Yesterday we played Quicksilver golf course in Midway Pa. which is about a 25 to 30 minute drive from my house. Quicksilver is one of the more well known golf courses in the area. The course has hosted Senior tour events and Nationwide tour events and some Open qualifiers. The course and clubhouse was renovated about 20 years ago and they did a beautiful job. The bad thing was, after the renovations they charged an arm and a leg to play the course. New owners took over the operation about 5 or so years ago and that has improved somewhat but the course is still a bit pricey. Fortunately being old we got the before 11 am Mon. through Thur. senior rate of 29 dollars with a cart. We played from the blue tees which played about 6800 yds and greens ran about a 6 on stimp. This course is pretty hilly and will give a lot awkward lies something the Senior tour did not like. I have played this course probably once or twice a year over this 20 year period and the thing that bothers me the most is sometimes this course has not been in the best of shape. Now yesterday it was in very good shape the fairway and roughs were good and the greens putted very smooth. If you are going to charge a premium price then the course should be in premium shape. This course is a pretty difficult course with some severe sloping greens and has a course rating of 73.9 with a slope of 137 against a par of 72. I only mentioned this because yesterday I had my best round of the year in relationship to the course rating by shooting a 75. On top of that I have a cold. On top of that the conditions were windy with periodic showers. Another example of how this game is just plain goofy. The hot dog at the turn was ok but nothing special. At least the ketchup and mustard didn’t look like they were handled last by 6 year olds. As with everything else at this place it was overpiced at 2.50. Is this place worth the trip? If you can get the senior rate absolutely. On their website they say its 65 with a cart on the weekend, so forget it, although they seem to have a pretty decent fall rate. Pete shot 82 and Donna had 91, again under less than ideal conditions. Who knows what happen to me today. I guess you could say that I only play well when I am dehydated or my body is being ravaged by a virus. So my plan now is to not drink any water the day before and visit lots of day care centers and get real close to kids with colds. I feel that I am getting close to an answer with this plan. Forty two courses down and 48 to go.
Yesterday we played Mannitto in New Alexandria Pa which is about a 55 minute drive east from my home. This was the first time I had played the course and it was a solid golf course. The course played about 6300 yards from the tees we played from and is about 6700 yards from the back tees, and plays to a par of 71. Ususally we play from the back tees but there is not much different from the whites except for a few holes and the par 3’s which were very long. The course was in good shape, although it seemed they had over watered in places and the greens ran a 5.5 on the stimp and were smooth. The sand traps were not in great shape which is typical of many public courses. There is two things that must cost more than I realize and that is sand and asphalt. The condition of sand traps and cart paths are usually not up to the other standards of the golf course. The price was right for the weekend 35 dollars with a cart. This course was built in the early 60’s but reminds you of a course that is a lot younger becausse there are not many trees and the course is wide open and a little stark looking on a lot holes. There is a good variety of holes and if you live within an hour of the course it is worth the trip. The hot dog at the turn was only fair and the mustard (2) and ketchup bottles looked like they had not been cleaned in a week. The group had its ups and downs. The greens were quite undulating and if you had the ball on the wrong place on the green it made putting difficult. I shot 79, Pete 77 and Donna had just one of those days where nothing goes right and had 101. It was a beautiful but hot day with low humidity which didn’t make it too bad. My struggles continue and the quest goes on. I think I have a better chance of discovering a new continent. Forty one down and forty nine to go.
Yesterday we went to East Liverpool, Ohio to play 36 holes. We started with Beaver Creek Meadow, which is about an hour and fifteen minute drive from my house. The course plays about 6400 yards from the tips, and greens ran a 5 on the stimp and were in good shape. This course has a great variety of holes has lots of trees and like most courses in this area is relatively flat. All and all a very enjoyable course to play. The hot dog at the turn was very good but won’t crack the top five. We did have a shot of the day at the par 3 16th hole. It is about 145 yds slightly uphill and Pete hit an 8 iron right at the pin and looked pretty close from the tee. It was only one half inch just to the right of the hole, very close to a hole in one. Pete had a very good round in addition to that spectacular shot by posting a 2 over par 73. I shot 74 and Donna came in with an 84. Then we went about 15 minutes down the road, to Turkana another very nice golf course. It also plays about 6400 yards from the back tees and the greens were running just a touch faster than 5 and the course was in very good shape. This course is a little newer course so there are not as many trees and is a lttle hillier than Beaver Creek. Even though the course does not have that many trees, they did not decide to let a bunch of weed grow around the course and call it heather. This course also has a great variety of holes and is very enjoyable to play. The hot dog at the turn was very good and the server friendlier than the one at Beaver Creek. The group did not play as well here. I shot 79, Pete 84, and Donna 90. Maybe the group is getting old and just can’t go the distance anymore. These courses are very good, the price is right 25 and 24 dollars with a cart, and as a tandem definitely worth the trip. If you live within an hour of the course worth the 18 hole day. My game was up and down all day and I had a bad day with the tee ball. Fortunately neither one of these courses is very tight and I was able to get away with murder and score pretty well at Beaver Creek. No closer to an answer, I don’t ever know what the question is anymore. Forty courses down and fifty to go, almost half way there.
Today we played 36 holes. The first course we played was Blackhawk in Beaver Falls Pa. which turned out to be an interesting experience. Blackhawk has 36 holes but we couldn’t arrange to play 36 holes because of various league committments, which was fine. We teed off at 7:04 am and played the front 9 in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then the staff was a little confused as to what would be our next nine. You see they number the nines 1, 2, 3, and 4. They must have been up all night thinking of that one. Usually when you play nine number one you go to nine number two to finish your 18 holes. Now as we were playing the 9th hole one of the staff stopped us and said we should go to course number 3 because they were spraying course number 2 with God knows what and we couldn’t play there. Then we were done with the 9th hole, we were stopped again and there was a little confusion whether we should go to 2 or 3. We had to wait a couple of minutes to see what the final word would be. Again we were told to go to good old course number 3. Well, as we were heading over there to the 1st hole of course no 3 we were stopped again this time to tell us that we would have to speed things up because we would be holding up a womens league start up. Now remember we had just gone around the front 9 in 90 minutes and they were the ones that had stopped us twice no less because they did not know what the hell they were doing. We hustled on over and believe me the women did not have wait, God forbid. The course it self was ok. It is a relatively short course that is in pretty good shape. It plays about 6000 yards and greens ran a solid 6 on the stimpmeter. The hot dog at the turn was just mediocre at the bottom of barrel when came to taste. Needless to say we won’t be going back to play the other 18 holes as I don’t want to get in way of the local yokels and lets hope they all live a long time with all their children wanting to play golf. This was the first public golf course I have played in 53 years that had an attitude. The group played fairly well. I had a 77, Pete a 79 and Donna a 90. Then we went down the road 3 miles to play Rolling Acre. This golf course plays 6600 yards with greens a little slower at about 5. This course has nice variety of holes is fairly wide open with some hilly holes. The other thing about this course which is a little unique is the par is 73. They also have a very nice clubhouse which is a log cabin which is very nice inside. The hot dog at the turn was very good and cooked very well. The course was in good shape with some dry spots in the rough. This course is worth the trip. I kind of found magic in a bottle as I rattled off 12 straight pars before making a birdie 2 at the 13th hole. However I made a couple of bogeys coming down the stretch but a one over par 74 was very nice. Pete shot 81 and Donna had some problems and shot 100. It was a very hot and humid day in the low 90’s and I think the heat got to all of us at the end of the day. Rolling Acres has a third shorter nine and they call the courses North South and West. I did suggest that they call the nines 1,2, and 3 but the guy at the counter just gave me a funny look and said that will be 27 dollars with a cart sir. They always call you sir when they think your a little crazy. I played the last 27 holes one over par today so maybe I am coming out of this funk I have been in forever, or maybe I just play better when I am dehydated and ready to pass out. Thiry eight down and Fifty Two to go.
Yesterday we went to course no. 36 Ponderosa in Hookstown Pa. which is about a 35 to 40 minute drive from my house. This golf course has been around for awhile and has some things about it that make it unique. One it has some of the biggest greens in Western Pa. If you like to putt then this is your golf course. The par 4’s can be challenging but the par 5’s are gennerally easy. This is where you have to score on this course is the par 5’s. The course plays about 6600yds from the blue tees. The course was in good shape not great, and the greens were running a 5 on the stimp. The lay out is very hilly with lots of blind and uphill shots. This is another golf course that I put under the heading of ” I don’t have a lot to say bad about the golf course but I don’t have a lot of good to say either. It does have a nice variety of holes and it has lots of trees but a lot of up and down shots. The course has never been in great shape but is always playable. It is a tough golf course to play for the first time. The course is not worth a long trip. The hot dog at the turn was not that good either toward the bottom of the pack. My day started out by hitting a high fade that hit the cart path and kareened 30 yards to the right into the lake. It didn’t get much better after that. I shot 82, Pets also shot 82, and Donna had 87. This course is kind to women in that it really moves up the tee boxes. Not much talk about finding the answer because I am really not trying to at the moment. I am concentrating more on just finishing the round when things don’t go so well like yesterday. I did do that. The game is still a big mystery to me on all levels. Thirty six down and 54 to go
Yesterday we went to golf heaven in Boardman Ohio, about a an 80 minute drive from my house. We played 36 holes at Millcreek. This is a state park in Ohio and the golf courses are simply called Millcreek North and Millcreek South. These courses are over 80 years old and to say that they have stood the test of time would be a major understatement. The courses were designed by famed architect Donald Ross and they are a couple of gems. Both courses are about 6500 yards from the tips and play to a par of 70. The South course is a little longer and harder than the North course but they are by far the best courses we have played so far. Each 9 has only one par 5 and the par 3’s are very good but the meat of the course is in the par 4’s. There are 9 par 4’s that are over 410 yds with the longest being 465. The courses were in excellent shape with the fairways and roughs perfect and the greens running a very smooth 5.5 on the stimpmeter. I don’t think I saw a putt bounce the entire day unless it hit a ball mark. Every hole is tree lined and even though not extremely tight you can not be wild off the tee. The course is very flat and every hole is challenging. There is not a really easy hole on the golf course but on the other side of the coin there is not a super difficult hole. I think this is what makes a golf course truly great. The hot dog at the turn was delicious with another toasted bun. The group played pretty well also. I shot 75 on the North course and 76 on the South. Pete had 84, 81, and Donna shot 89, 88. The weather was very good with some clouds and a small amount drizzle to start which then cleared into a very nice sunny day with temp’s just touching 80. Obviously this course is worth the trip even if you have to walk to get there. The best thing is the 36 hole rate they give, 37.50 for 36 holes with a cart. Like I said welcome to golf heaven. Thiry five courses down 55 to go.
Today we played Highland Springs in Wellsburg, West Virginia, about a 50 minute drive from my house. This is a golf course that I played some as a teenager and young adult and have played it a few times since moving to Pittsburgh. It is a course that has gone through some hard times but has managed to keep on going and today the course was in very good shape with the greens running 5.5 on the stimpmeter and were very smooth. The course is 6800 yards from the tips, a little hilly with fairly wide open fairways, that were in good shape. This golf course is real enjoyable to play and is definitely worth the trip. One unique thing about this course is it has about 6 holes in Pennsylvania and the other 12 holes are in West Virginia. The hot dog at the turn was very good with the condiments being quite tastey. The price was right here also, 23 bucks with a cart and the dog and the can of pepsi 2.50. If you live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh you should give this course a try, you will not be disappointed. Yours truly had one of his better days on the course in a long time. Even with some shaky putting I rattled off a 75 and hit some really good shots with nary a real bad one in the lot. Pete shot 82 and Donna had a 91 with the course being a little long for her. I really can’t explain the good round but we will see if the trend continues, or was this just some kind of cosmic blip. If I had been chipping and putting just a little bit better this could have easily been my best round of the year but it still was a very satisfying day. Thirty three down with 57 to go.
Yesterday was a 36 hole day. The first course we played was Hartmans, which is in Zellienople a 40 minute drive from my house. This course is an older course, very flat and easy to walk. There is a lot of water which comes into play on the back nine. The fairways were hard and dry but had grass and the rough was not too bad. The greens were slow running a 4.5 on the stimp. There is a good variety of holes, with most of the holes tree lined. The course played 6300 yards from the tips and some of the tees were moved up, so the day we played, it probably did not play quite as long. The hot dog at the turn was excellent with a toasted bun. The first time that has ever happpened, and the condiments were very good. The course could only be described as being in good to fair shape, as it was dry and some areas were burned out. One green was completely burned out. The price was right however ,15 bucks to walk. I unfortunately stunk out the joint with my game today. I shot 83 and really can’t even describe how pitiful I was. Pete shot a steady 76 and Donna had a 90. Then we went to Strawberry Ridge which was quite a contrast. I assume this course is a newer course. This course plays almost 6000 yds from the tips, and the greens were good running almost a 6 on stimp and were very smooth. That is about the only good thing I can say about this course other than the fact that it was in pretty good shape over all. This course is extremely hilly and there were some major cart rides from the green to the next tee. Some holes on the front nine were extremely tight and just plain weird. A lot of blind shots and again this course was dry and hard and losing golf balls would become a hobby if you played here very much. I do not know why they make golf courses so unplayable but at least this course is not out my back door. The hot dog at the turn was pretty good but could not compare to the one at Hartmans with the toasted bun. I continued to struggle on the front 9, but put it together on the back a little bit with the help of the shot of the trek so far. The 15th hole is a short 293 yd. par 4 straight away with very little trouble. I put a really good swing on a driver, hit a beautiful draw and with help of the hard ground got a very good kick and with lots of roll put the ball within 6 feet of pin and made the putt for an eagle 2. This allowed me to shoot a 1 over par 36 on the back and salvage a 78 for the day. Pete shot another 76 and Donna an 85. Neither one of these golf courses is worth the trip but Hartmans is very playable and there is that toasted bun. Thiry two courses down and 58 to go.
Today we played course no. 30, Village Green in Hickory Pa. which is just about a 30 minute drive from my house. This course playes around 644o yards from the tips and the greens ran a 6.5 on the stimp and were very smooth. This course is fairly hilly and has tree lined fairways and on a few holes water can come into play. The rough was not too long and did not have any bare spots. The fairways were good and course overall was in excellent shape. The hot dog at the turn was good but nothing out of the ordinary. If you don’t have to drive more than an hour then this course is worth the trip. Some of the greens can have some false fronts on them which makes keeping the ball on the green very difficult. The group played ok today on another beautiful day. We may have had a miserable spring but we are making up for it now,with some really nice weather the last 4 to 5 weeks. I shot an 80 with some putting woes at the end, Pete shot 82 and Donna had 88. Overall this course was a very pleasant experience. We are a third of the way home now 30 down and 60 to go. Looks like we are headed for 36 this Wednesday.
Yesterday we played 36 holes on a gorgeous day in Western Pa. We went north of Pittsburgh and started with Pheasant Ridge which is about a 50 minute drive from my house. This course plays about 6500 yards from the tips and was in excellent shape. The fairways were great, the rough had very little areas of sparseness, and the greens were perfect. They ran a 5 on the stimpmeter and were extremely smooth. This course is very hilly but most of it is on the par 3’s and the walks from the green to the tee. It is a well designed course and has a nice variety of holes. The par 3’s on this course are very challenging. It has a lot of tree lined fairways and the shorter par 4’s are tight. The hot dog at the turn was ok but nothing special. Overall a very enjoyable course to play and definitely worth the trip. The group played ok. I had a 78, Pete had putting trouble all day and shot 85 and Donna had a 91. This course was also a very lady friendly course with tee markers moved well forward. Next we headed a little further north to Rittswood. This course also plays 6500 yards from the back tees but that is where the similarities end. This course is much flatter and more wide open. It was not in as good as shape as Pheasant Ridge but was ok. The fairways were good and the rough was good but it was courser and more difficutl to hit out of. The greens were slower as they ran at 4 and were a little bit bumpy. Overall this course was enjoryable to play and had enough variety of holes to make it interesting. No sand traps. The hot dog at the turn was better here very tasty with some nice condiments. Even though I feel Rittswood was the easier golf course the group played about the same or slightly worse. I shot 80 going on a 6 hole bogey train on the front, Pete contiued to have putting woes and shot 87 and Donna shot 90. Another course that is lady friendly. This is a nice solid little golf course but not really worth the trip. I am not any closer to any answers let alone golf. That corner I thought I was turning around last week, turned out to be just another golf hallucination. The last hole of the day was a great example of why this is such a goofy game. It is a 413 yd par 4, with a slight dogleg to the left. With the ball teed up I hit my drive a good 75 yards right of where I was aiming. I was directly behind a pine tree and just had to pitch out straight across. I didn’t hit it hard enough to get it in the fairway. I am in the rough with the ball sitting a little bit down. I am about 215 yards from the green. Since I have nothing to lose, I take my 3 wood and hit down on the ball perfectly and knock the ball on the green about 40 feet from the hole. Now I ask you, how can you do that? How can you hit a ball that accurately out of the rough, when just before with the ball teed up perfectly from a level lie you hit it across state lines. If you can find the answer to that the search is over. Twenty nine courses down and 61 to go.