Friday, August 18, 2017

Day 8: Bahle Farms and Back to Dallas

It’s our last day in Michigan and we have to pack up, check out and head to Traverse City. One more round of golf. This time at Bahle Farms ( -- they should get  as a URL as well because this course isn’t easy to find on the Internet as it should be), a course we haven’t played that in reviews was called a “hidden gem.” It looks like it has some rolling hills, maybe an orchard, water. It’s on the peninsula outside Traverse. Off the beaten path but doable since it’s about 20 minutes from the airport.

Oh, I forgot in Day 7 to include our dinner adventure (sans Pete who wanted to go to bed). In all of the year's I've been coming to Boyne, I've never been to Teddy Griffins -- a bar/restaurant right near the Boyne Highlands lodge. The parking lot is always packed. We decided to go there for dinner instead of the lodge. It was worth it and when we left, the line went out the door -- in the pouring rain. We sat at the bar and enjoyed the company around us. And, Paul is still talking about the tropical girl poster above the urinal in the men's room. 
Raining on our way into Teddy Griffins

Bar says "no sniveling."

"no pissy attitudes"

My prime rib sandwich. Yum.

Off we head at 5:00 am to make our 8:10 am tee time. Plenty of time to stop at Bob Evans ( ) for breakfast (I know I talk about nonchain restaurants, but breakfast doesn’t always count since we’re looking for a convenient place to eat along the way. Besides, I’ve never been to a Bob Evans). Chris, our waitress, takes good care of us, giving us stronger coffee, Tom a better piece of ham. And then she sits down when we say we’re from Dallas. Her son lives there – in Kessler Park, right next to me!

And off to the course. It is in an orchard – a CHERRY orchard! For $75, it seems a good deal on a Saturday. I opt to eat cherries (and pick them for the round) instead of going to the range. My body doesn’t have many of those warm up shots anyway.

The first hole sets us up for a good day – down and then up hill, lined by trees. The carts are gas, so hopefully we won’t gun it when Pete’s hitting. That wouldn’t be good. The course only gets better. A lot hillier than the pictures on their website. The greens aren’t too tricky, but a couple of holes it would have been good to know the slope. Some of the holes are in the woods. Some are in the orchard (Cherry and we think Peach or Apricot). More cherries for me. Get a glimpse of a turkey with her babies.

While I wouldn’t call this course a “bucket list” course, it was a great way to end our trip to Michigan. Not too challenging. Plenty of scenery. Little slower pace of play than we like, but it’s a Saturday morning and the “regulars” play on Saturday as we find out.
Also find out that Mario Batali who has a house up this way, plays here:

Round ends on a funky little down hill, up hill hole. We end with a selfie, since Heather showed us how.

Pack up the bags, pack up the car, and then off to the airport ( ) we go, breezing through check in and security before our flight leaves. Unfortunately, no time for Moomers. Our flight is late in leaving – late enough that there is concern over catching our connecting flight from O’Hare to DFW. When we land at ORD, the flight attendant asks people who aren’t connecting not to get off so that some of us with tight connections can try and make our flights (the woman next to me, was pretty rude – not connecting, but she’s “fast”). We dart to our gate, going from G to K, getting on the plane when they are announcing last call. But, will our bags make it? Why, yes, they do according to the App. And confirmed by Paul when we land because he watched our bags get loaded onto the plane.
Just make it to the plane

Pete before his nap.

Pete takes a nap. I read a book. Land at DFW and then the long wait for bags commences. Poor guy in customer service is overwhelmed – and he’s the one that has to unlock the oversized bin. All bags arrive. Tony and I drop off Tom and head home. Another year, another golf trip. And we all survived.

Day 7: Crooked Tree and Donald Ross, the Whites Head Home

We have super early tee times at Crooked Tree on Friday so that Heather and Mark can wrap up and get to the airport in time. Breakfast at Sagamore’s is going to have to be really quick. On the drive their, get a text from Mark saying that the Whites are going to have to bow out this round. We wondered if they were going to have all of the rounds in them. There had been a lot of rain last night – and inch and a half at Crooked Tree – so this is the first round I think we’ve ever played that was cart path only. Kinda a pain, except when there aren’t cart paths!

This is "the" Crooked Tree.

"Tom, are you my mommy?"

We keep texting pictures to Heather and Mark, since they are missing out on this course. We don’t always put Crooked Tree on our rotation – thinking because it’s not our favorite course. I take that back now. I think it’s not always on the rotation because it’s only 18 – and in between all of the others. Great views. Fun course. No cart girl this morning because of all of the rain and cancellations.

We haven’t seen a lot of critters on this trip. But then, a doe. And a baby. And another baby – this one looked like he was going to walk right up to Tom – he was mewing, “Are you my Mommy?” Pretty awesome. Not quite like seeing a bear, but it’ll have to do. 

We finish our round and head to lunch at the Bob In Again – I have cherry custard and a hot dog! Tom a bear claw. And then cherry custard for dessert. Paul onion rings. Pete a sandwich basket. Last Bob In Again fix until 2018.

Off to Boyne Highlands to play Donald Ross for our last round of Boyne golf. It’s supposed to rain in the afternoon, so I grab my rain gear.

Note: I didn’t post it on our first Boyne Highlands day so I could save it here. Their pro shop is pretty good. And, believe it or not, a hot purchase is… men’s underwear. Who would think that I’d be shopping for say, a Boyne Highlands Golf Hat, and then decide to get underwear with cocktail glasses (yep). Why not! And, to make it even more fun, the staff in the pro shop gets to change out the mannequin daily (oh, fun – time to change the panties!). BTW, no, they didn’t sell these for women, just men.

Yes, you can buy men's underwear at Boyne Highlands Pro Shop.

Yes, they change out the undies daily. 

Donald Ross is a cool course with signature Donald Ross holes – the scorecard includes the name and location of each hole and Paul and I study up. Paul’s playing well and likes knowing that he birdied the blah, blah, blah hole at Pinehurst #2 (or whatever). Today’s pace is a lot slower than any of our other rounds – people stacked up in front of us, and behind us. The guys behind us were clearly not good golfers since they awarded the person with the highest score the “win.” Good attitude to have!

On the back nine, it starts getting a wee bit dark. And then darker. I put my rain pants on – yes, it’s quite the look, but I don’t care. What else are we going to do if we’re not golfing? It spits and sprinkles a bit, but not much, and we’re able to finish out our round on Donald Ross. One more course left, Bahle Farms.

Par Three, Donald Ross

This is a "look": the pink sweater that has gone on EVERY Michigan golf trip, skort with rain pants underneath!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Day 6: The Mountain, Barefoot Golf

There is always a chance of rain in Michigan and so far we’ve avoided it. I’m happy that Bay Harbor day was overcast AND sunny, but no rain. On the Mountain, there’s a chance, but it looks good. Maybe in the morning a little. And maybe in the afternoon.

Today we have breakfast at the Mountain. Same type of buffet as Highlands. But, different. We eat, grab “To Go” coffees, and head to the Mountain to check in for Alpine in the morning. Monument in the afternoon. Take the 15 minute ride up the mountain.
The Whites are running a little late in the morning. Heather tells us from their window.

Yes, six people, six sets of clubs fit in this guy.

A little early for breakfast so we get some lucky pennies made at Boyne Mountain.

Riding up the mountain and golf ball tossing (objective is to catch a tossed ball).

Paul wants a group shot of everyone on the bridge between Alpine #2 and #3. Me, Tom and Pete finish up on #3 and drive back for the photo – a selfie, no less. Success. Our first group of six selfie.

Heather, Mark and Paul on #2, Alpine

Selfie on the bridge, #2/#3, Alpine

Sign antics. We made some changes to the leaderboard.

Mark slays Alpine.

Pete's still trying to get the sod record and collect #20 from Scott.

Tom not quite able to climb this tree.

The bridge where we took the selfie.

Baby seagull.

Matchie, matchie.

Heather at the apple altar.

Pete starts out ROUGH on Alpine. Until #4 – drive into a left bunker. Hits his second. In the hole it goes for an Eagle, Chippie, Sandie, Skin (if we were playing that game). It makes him happy and less grumpy, at least for a bit. It’s hard for Pete not to appear grumpy. We try and poke him into a smile.

Lunch on the patio. Then off to the Monument and back up the Mountain. We get off earlier, hoping to beat the rain that is supposed to come in the afternoon. Me, Paul and Pete. Heather, Tom and Mark. Mark has given me and Paul an extra bottle of “pancakes” and we have fun. Me and Paul take our shoes off after the cart girl gets us a beer hookup. Pete’s mad at us for talking. We just get more giggly. And then Pete takes his shoes off so life is better. Jerry Lee takes our picture on Green #16. 
Paul with the Willow Tree

Paul trying to capture the $20 from Scott.

We finish up our round. Alpine and Monument are now Heather and Mark’s “new favorites.”
And then we decide we need to play more. As a scramble. Some of us barefoot (Mark and Heather didn’t go for that though – and Tom didn’t either). 6 under for 9.
Birdie = Pancakes

And then dinner instead of at the Bob In Again, at a Mexican restaurant – Red Mesa ( ). Pretty good Mexican for Michigan coming from Texas. It’s raining pretty good at this point and on the way home.
Paul's "fancy" beverage at Red Mesa.

Mark listening intently to Tom's story.

One more round for the Whites on Friday before they head back to Dallas, Crooked Tree. We also are playing the Donald Ross course.