The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Added two new courses this week as the solid playing continued. On Wednesday we went to Champion Lakes in Ligonier, Pa., which is an 86 minute drive. This course is owned by two former Pittsburgh Pirates Jerry Lynch and Dick Groat. They bought the course sometime in the mid to early 60’s and last updated it in 1970. The golf course is a solid layout and has a beautiful setting with the mountains in the background. The course played 6300 yards from the white tees to a par of 71 and the greens were the old bent and ran a very fuzzy 5 on the stimp. The fairways were a little long and the roughs was grown in fine with little or no bare spots. The course has many tree lined holes and can be very tight in some cases. It has a lot of up and down holes but over all is an enjoyable course to play. It is a very old facility that could use a little updating both inside and out with the golf course included. There was no hot dog at the turn and we made the turn at 12:45 and I do mean in the p.m. So 88th place for Champion Lakes for the hot dog at the turn. I turned a spectacular ball striking front nine into a mediocre 39 with horrible putting. I putted a little better on the back by making some par saves and shooting a 77. Rich had a 75 with Pete coming in with an 81 and John an 82. A pretty good day for the group as this is not that easy of a golf course. Champion Lakes is worth the trip even though it is a brutal trip and would be better as part of a 36 hole day. On Thursday I went over to South Park with supreme confidence that my rounds in the 70’s streak would continue and when I birdied the first hole it looked like I might have a really good round. Then I bogied the next 4 out of 8 holes and made the turn 3 over thinking am I going to blow it on this course. But then I rattled off 8 straight pars and even with a last hole bogey shot 76. Today we went to Olde Stonewall in Elwood City Pa which is about a 50 minute drive. This is a course that I thought would not be on the list because it is a very high end course and the green fees are 150 dollars. Let that sink into your budget for awhile. But one of the guys in our group got a coupon for the month of May for 50 per cent off the green fees. So the guys were game and so I said what the hell why not. This golf course has some spectacular holes on it and the stretch of holes on the front 4, 5, and 6, may be the finest stretch of golf holes I will ever play but it is not and never will be worth 150 bucks to play the joint. This is also the home of the 5 dollar hot dog and it was very good and had the best bun I have ever had at a golf course,but it still is not worth it. Come on 5 dollars for beef intestines at the best. The course is in great shape with the fairways very tight and the roughs were good. This is also another example of a links course is Western Pa. where they allow a lot weeds grow up and call it heather. In the case of Olde Stonewall, they call it native grass. NATIVE GRASS!!. The greens ran a 6 on the stimp and were very smooth. Its these greens that make this course as difficult as it is. The greens are not very big but they have many small undulations which makes reading them very very difficult. This course would be worth the trip if it was a little more reasonable. Sixty five on the weekend would be just about right. I shot 77 and the streak remains alive. Tony shot 81 with Pete coming in a 88 and John a 95. We had a gorgeous day to play and it was nice to include a course that I thought would be left out. The course plays 6700 yards from the tees we played, to a par of 70. There are some spectacular views and holes that have greens surrounded by three sides with water and many many sand traps. This course without a doubt has the best conditioned sandtraps. I will say if you really like golf and live or visit Western Pa. you should play this course at least once. Well the streak is at 11 and the Memorial weekend is on the way and a 2 man scamble tournament is this Friday. Sixty nine courses down and twenty one to go.

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