y'all know the course; we play there every year. It's a good
challenge, both for the golf and the physical conditioning -- lots of
climbing. Here's Terry teeing off on the first hole, a downhill par-4.
They get you on the next hole, though; you have to climb almost all the
way back up. And the third goes all the way back down again. And so on
for most of the course. We had a sunny day in the mid-70s, with a
strong wind -- a 2-club wind for holes that are not protected by hills
or tall trees.|
I was hitting very good drives the front nine, but my approach shots were pretty awful. For instance, I hit my drive on #1 to the middle of the fairway only 100 yards from the green. Usually I have to play a 5-iron to this green after a decent drive, but this time my sand wedge flew the green and left me short-sided with the green running away. It was like that the first four holes: good drive, followed by badly-placed approach shot, leading to a double-bogey. By the time I righted the ship with a par on #5, I had dug a pretty deep hole for a scoring round -- took a 48 for the front nine, and pretty much did away with any chance to break 90.
My back nine was much better. I straightened out my approach shots and putted better, too. When Fred added up the scores, he told me I was going to have to give him 2 strokes a hole for the rest of the weekend, based on the back 9. Seems I had shot a 40 -- to give me a surprising 88 -- while he shot a worst-of-weekend 57. He said, "I felt like I was playing well. But when I counted strokes after each hole, it was a double or triple bogey."
was playing very solid
golf. He wound up with an 80 for the round. Outstanding! As I said
before, the course can be a real challenge.|
But the biggest physical challenge for a walker shows up around the 17th hole. (That's Fred at the left, teeing off on #17.) The hole plays over a deep, steep wetlands ravine. The walk from tee to green is partway down into the ravine and back up. After you've caught your breath enough to putt out, you climb again, up that hill at the left of the picture, to the 18th tee.
We had dinner per tradition after a round at Dauphin: Gilligan's. Rather than order a big meal apiece, we shared a bunch of appetizers, soups, and salads. We discovered that not everybody agrees what consistutes good calimari, that their salad anchovies were OK, and the crab bisque was very good.
|The snack bar in the Armitage clubhouse is "The Caddyshack", a very good restaurant.
Their "sandwedges" make the best between-rounds lunch I've ever had at
a golf course. Outstanding! And the atmosphere is great as well; we ate
on the deck, overlooking the ninth green.|
Note to self: the Chevy Chase sandwedge (the whole menu is themed on the movie Caddyshack) is outstanding. Thin-sliced turkey breast, swiss cheese melted on, and cole slaw and Russian dressing. Vague resemblance to a Reuben -- which I love, too -- but sweeter and lighter.
Actually, the Caddyshack is a non-golfer's restaurant as well. When we were leaving after our second round, a little after six o'clock, families and couples were streaming in for Saturday night dinner.
left six hours between the morning and afternoon tee times. This is
usually a good idea at RSG events where the daylight hours allow -- and
we had the longest day of the year right before RSG-Hershey.|
The morning round had gone quickly and the service was good at lunch, so we had lots of time to kill before our afternoon round. And we couldn't even go for an earlier tee time, because Coops was joining us for the afternoon -- so we knew we couldn't tee off more than a minute or two early. So we found productive ways to occupy the time. We worked on our putting on the practice green. We practiced chipping on the lawn near the practice green. And Fred "recharged his batteries" near the practice green.
|The greens were the fastest we encountered all weekend, with subtle
breaks that wouldn't have had any effect if they were slower. I was
striking the ball really well, but not scoring all that well because I
had to play cagey on the greens. Even staying conservative, I wound up
with 37 putts for the round. That was due to four 3-putts; of my three offsetting
1-putts, two were really tap-ins due to good pitches. Fred seemed to be
handling the putting the best of our threesome. |
Groff's Farm is mostly a links-style course, with rather few trees (at least as they affect the golf). Lots of steep hills, though not quite as much climbing as Dauphin. And a fair amount of deep, ball-grabbing, ball-losing hip-high grass, if you wander too far off the fairway in the wrong spot. (This isn't wispy "native fescue" either; it's thick as well as tall.) I think Fred managed to avoid losing any balls in it, but Matt and I lost at least one apiece in that stuff.
But there are three holes on the other side of the road that have a completely different flavor. On #7 and #9, trees really define the hole -- along with a wide, flowing stream at the boundary of the course.