The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Yesterday we went to Southeast Ohio near Steubenville to play 2 golf courses that were very different in many ways. The first golf course was Castle Shannon in Hopedale, Ohio, a wonderful lay out that was voted one of the top golf course in all of Ohio. It is about an hour and 5 minute drive from my house. Unfortunately despite being a great lay out, it has run into economic hard times, and despite an ownership change has not really caught on with the golfing public. This course was the first golf course, that I can say was really in bad shape. The “fairways” had a lot of crabgrass and the greens had some kind of blight on them that cause grassless holes all through them.  Despite all this this course is so well designed and has some great holes it really did not bother me that much. Plus the price was right at 18 bucks with a cart. The greens ran at about a 5 on the stimp were not bad where there was grass. This course is about 6800 yards from the tips to a par of 71. Its possible that this course is a little too challenging but I think it is immensely fair and from the white tees it is only 63oo. I am always a little sad when I see a good golf course like this go in such decline. It is just a sign of the times but it still makes wish there was a golf course bail out plan. The hot dog at the turn was very good. I had the short game blues and shot an 82 and Pete matched that. Then we headed back toward Pittsburgh about 10 miles to Blackmoor golf course. This little trip was much more interesting than expected. First of all I was not paying attention to the gas gauge and I was only 20 miles to empty. Fortunately the next exit had a gas station and that embarassing moment was avoided. Then we had not been to this golf course in about 5 years and we got off the exit made the left hand turn and then the right and drove right into a church parking lot. Well they obviously changed some road somewhere and we did finally figure it out but we were about 10 minutes late for our tee time. Fortunately they were not busy at that time although the parking lot was pretty full, unlike the parking lot we left at Castle Shannon. So we were able to get out ok and I don’t know if it was the adrenaline rush from all the distractions but I birdied the first 2 holes. I then settled down to my regular game and bogeyed 5 of the next 7 holes. Blackmoor is an excellent track for the first 13 holes but then I guess they ran out of land or ideas, but other than the 15th hole which is a very good par 3 the other 4 holes are pretty rinky dink par 4’s. The last 2 are under 340 yards both going downhill and then uphill straight away. Blackmoor is a solid golf course otherwise, which plays about 6400 yards from the tips, and  was in very good shape with greens running 5.5 on the stimp and were very smooth. I settled down on the back and shot 37 on the back for 76, and Pete shot 84. The hot dog at the turn was even better and overall we had a very nice day on a perfect weather day. Even though Castle Shannon was in such bad shape I still say these 2 golf course are worth the trip.  Still struggling along but we are moving along. Forty eight down with forty two to go



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