Friday, August 07, 2015

Day 4: Black Lake (UAW) and Elk Ridge.

We wake up on Tuesday to rain, but it looks like it’ll clear up on our way. Stop for a fancy breakfast at McDonalds on our way (it’s about an hour to Black Lake). We’re already worried about making both tee times and we haven’t even teed off yet. Black Lake is a pretty special course built and owned and operated by the United Auto Workers Union. Pretty clubhouse, but nothing special. It’s the course, not the amenities. The clubhouse clothing selection isn’t even label recognizable by me. Starter lets us off (they have switched the course so 10 is now 1 and they haven’t, according to the starter, changed everything up yet). Black Lake is treelined, with plenty of bunkers, and then some holes have marsh. Very lush. Very lush. Very lush.
Pete helps Tom stretch at the townhouse.

First group shot of the trip at Black Lake, first tee (or 10th) (Paul, Tom, Liz, Pete)

There is a story here about tee markers.

Par 3 at Black Lake.

Paul meets Bambi.

Paul and I are off to a rough start, but rally back to tie it for the last hole. But, everyone strokes and it’s a par 5. I am not playing well off the tee and have lost a lot of distance. And, as dubbed by Paul, "Tom is the luckiest bad shot golfer I know." And up against these three, I may be laying up on all holes with them gunning for it, taking away any advantage I may have from the forward tees (at Black Lake, not bad, but below at Elk Ridge, not much advantage at all). Old age sucks. Or, I just need to start using more weights instead of the yoga and pilates… Pete hits it on in two and wins the hole and the robin.
There are plenty of critters as well on this course and the deer don’t seem afraid of us at all. I thought Paul would be able to walk right up to a baby.
Again, you can see why Black Lake is in the top 10 (maybe top 5) in Michigan. Again, amenities lacking (no cart girl that we saw). But, at the turn, the bartender held up a sign for us for Frankie (another story, another blog when I get the photo from Tom).
Unfortunately we don’t get to play all of Black Lake or we’ll miss our tee time at Elk Ridge (note to self: finish Black Lake, skip Elk Ridge). And, it’s a par 3 that we quit on.
Yes, Paul, there is an echo on this course.

Tom with a tough second to the green.

More deer. There were two babies.

While out of the way, Black Lake is a gem that you shouldn’t miss.
Elk Ridge, is another gem. Just not a gem for me because:

·        I’m left handed with a slice (or call it what you will)

·        Almost all of the holes are hard dog leg rights

·        I’m left handed with a slice

·        See above.

Yes, Paul, there is an echo.

Par 3 at Elk Ridge.

This course was near impossible for me to play, especially given that I was giving up length off the tee not hitting it well, and having to hit less club to deal with the hard dog legs. Needless to say, I was way behind them on pretty much every shot. And didn’t finish about a third of the holes.  Oh, it’s a pretty course. Tree lined. Nice woods. Nice marshes. Nice bridges. NO amenities (no cart girl and by the time we finished the clubhouse was locked up – good thing I didn’t have to pee). No, I don’t need to play Elk Ridge EVER again. But, it’s a nice course for a right handed player with a slice.

Wednesday is my day: Bay Harbor Day.

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