On Wednesday April 27th we had our first 36 hole day of the year. We played Meadowink Golf Course in the morning and Murrysville Golf Course in the afternoon. Both of these golf courses are in Murrysville which is about a 30 minute drive from my home. The courses are only minutes from each other and they are very similiar. Meadowink is 6036 yds from the tips and Murrysville is 6139 yds at its longest. Both courses have a par of 72 only because they have very easy holes for par 5’s and really should be par 70’s courses. The courses are very enjoyable to play and have a good variety of holes. Meadowink in particular has a lot of unusual but fair holes. These courses are older courses but these are the courses that should be still built today and are not. These courses have lots of trees and are beautiful, not like a golf course that pretends to be a links course because they do not have trees and lots of weeds around that they call heather. Both greens putted very smoothly and ran 5 on the stimpmeter. I have played Meadowink many times and this was the first time I had played Murrysville. The price to play at Murrysville for a Wednesday afternoon I think was a little steep with the “senior” rate being 35 dollars. The regular rate was 38, why bother. As you know from privious posts there are a lot better deals around than that on a lot better courses. These courses were in very good shape with the roughs very lush and difficult to get out of. We have had a lot of rain here in Western Pa for April and the golf courses are very green. The day was unseasonably warm in the mid 80’s with lots of wind. Were these golf courses worth the trip. I would pair Meadowink up with another course out that way and say Yes,but with the price to play Murrysville it was not a good value. Meadowink also won the hot dog at the turn, as it was much better than the dog at Murrysville. The condiments were better and the server much more friendly. The guy at Murrysville was definitely not happy to be employed. Meadowinks dog might make the top 5 but it still does not come close to Firestone Farms. Maybe the guy that cooks the hot dogs at Firestone should take care of the greens. Our threesome did pretty well considering the strong winds but yours truly is kind of floundering again. I shot 83 at Meadowink and 79 at Murrysville. Pete had 77 and 76, and Donna had 93 and 89. At Murrysville Donna’ round was highlighted by a near hole in one on the 2nd hole. She hit a 3 wood about 160yds that stopped just 6 inches from the hole. Hopefully now we will get a break in the weather and begin to pick up the pace on playing the courses. Seventeen down and 73 to go.
Today we played Scenic Valley Golf Course in Peters Township which is about a 25 minute drive from my house. This course is about 8 years old and is in great shape. The greens ran about 4.5 on the stimpmeter due to conditions. We had planned on playing 36 holes today but the weather did not co-operate with a threat of storms in the Am and high winds in the Pm. This course is very enjoyable to play with challenging greens and one of the best finishing holes in the Western Pa area. It is a par 5 with a lake that can come into play on your tee shot and 2ond shot. If you hit your drive to far to the left you will go into the water but if you are too conservative and play out to the right then you will have a hard time going over the lake on your second shot. It is a really great hole. This course is worth the trip to play. It measures 6333 from the tips due mostly to short par 4’s, but the par 5’s and the par3’s are really good. These greens can be real challenging to read and when they get a little fast they can be treacherous. The group struggled at times with the high winds but we did have our moments. We all shot fairly high. I had an 85, Pete had an 84 and Donna had a 92 but she had a real good stretch on the back nine where she was 3 over par for 7 holes. This was a day for me that shows why this game is truly goofy. I struck the ball really well today. My short game was worse than awful and I am not going into details but it obviously gave me a score that would tell no one that I had a good ball striking day. The main thing a day like this does, is it really magnifies your bad shots. It does so to such a degree that if effects the way you think about your golf swing, like it is not functioning properly, when in reality your botching up chipping and putting. But enough of this drivel, we had a good time and the course is good and hopefully we will get 36 hole weather. There was no hot dog at the turn today because of lack of players but I have had hot dogs here before and they are better than most especially the jalapeno dog yummie. Fifteen down and 75 to go.
On Sunday April 3rd we played golf course no. 14 Butlers Lakeside. Last fall we played the Woodside so this completes the 36 holes at Butler. The golf courses are located in Elizabeth Pa. which is about a 40 minute drive from my house. The Lakeside course has 2 completely different 9’s. The front 9 is part of the original course that use to be a 27 hole layout. Then about 10 years ago they added a new 9. The front nine is fairly easy but the new back nine is more difficult and has some hilly tough holes. The course plays about 6700 yards from the blue tees. The biggest problem with the set up is that the front nine greens and the back nine greens are usually running at a little different speeds. Yesterday this was true with the front nine speed at about a 5 and the back nine was around 4 to 4.5 on the stimp meter. The course was in pretty good shape for early in the season and greens putted very smooth. Again the group has a lot of the early season rust. I shot 81, Pete shot 85 and Donna had a 90. I have played both of these courses many times over the years and they come under the heading of even though there is nothing terribly wrong with them, there really is not a lot to like about them. The greens and fairways have always been long and the course runs from fair to good in overall condition. Are they worth the trip, No. My game yesterday was up and down with a lot of short game rust. I am still a work in progress right now with the progress being slow. There was no hot dog at the turn yesterday because of the weather but we had a dog there in the fall and it was fair. Fourteen courses down and 76 to go.