|Culture with Camoluscious Gally||
This view of the Desert Dunes Golf Course in Palm Desert, California shows the clubhouse from the ninth hole with the huge complex of windmills used to generate electricity in the area. It shows that at times the winds in the area make this a much more challenging course. When we played, a light breeze kept us cool in the cooler spring morning. While at times the course features wide open fairways, these often narrow down with desert landscape on both sides. The good news is the desert landscape offers many sightings of wildlife, even if it eats your balls.
The above picture features some of that desert landscape midfairway, just in case the Robert Trent Jones, Junior designed course isn't tough enough. You can see that there are moguls and hills everywhere that usher your ball into the desert. Most of the desert animals are friendly cottontail bunnies or jack rabbits or squirrels. The birds are quiet, our only spotted ones were a yellow-crowned sparrow and a roadrunner who posed glamorously and a Red Tailed Hawk soaring overhead. More fun was the spotted back with narrow tailed California Ground Squirrel. Play moved fast so we didn't have much time to really examine all we saw. This photo hides some of the superb landscape on the golf course, so I will provide more examples.
This particular photo above offers a view of the golf course I had most trouble with namely the sandless traps that guard most of the greens. They didn't stint on traps and didn't make them shallow. The winds, we were told, suck the sand out of the traps on a regular basis. So they tend to be hard pan mucky holes that require you to pick the ball out. The better plan is to not get into them. To do this, plan your shots carefully. Don't hit a long shot to get on the green, it will rarely happen. Instead, play to make a short chip onto the green and carefully place your fairway shot so it ends up on the fairway.
Don't be surprised to find the Desert Dunes Golf Course has a lake in the middle. The above photo shows their signature 17th hole with the beautifully xeriscaped gardens behind next to the natural desert.
The brown golf jacket belongs to my husband. He received it from me as a Christmas gift that I had to search all over to find one that met his requirements. He normally just uses layers, a long sleeved shirt over a golf shirt with a windbreaker over that. This year, the temperatures have been in the 50-60's in the morning which is cold for us.
When I went looking it was for a warmer jacket with enough give that when hitting a golf ball it doesn't pull. Most golf jackets for sale are either lighter weight or are pullovers. My husband has difficulty with pullovers since his backward reach is stiff due to arthritis, so he wanted a zip up jacket. LLBean had a jacket that would work and for once he is wearing his gift, surprise!
The second jacket is a surprise gift in January from my husband to me. We went out golfing one morning and it was 60F about but the cold wind cut through my clothing. I made it part of the round but was shivering so bad, I asked, please, can I get a jacket?
We were playing golf at Cocoa Beach Country Club and the clubhouse had a sale on jackets and one fit me! The cost was very low but it was a lifesaver.
When considering buying a golf jacket, some things to think about include:
Sand Hazards are not all built alike. They often vary in depth, sand quality and type, edging, and placement. The shot out of a sand trap may require additional loft in order to make it out safely due to the depth. A sand wedge gives that loft, but if the hazard isn't all that deep, a different iron or driver can be used. It requires the judgment of the golfer to decide which club to use based on that initial depth but also the distance the golfer would like to go.
The picture above taken at the former Walkabout Golf Club, now the Indian River Preserve Golf Club in Mims, Florida, shows one of the nastier type of sand hazards, one dug into a hill situated in the middle of the course. The golfer must hit over the hill on their fairway shot with enough loft and distance to avoid landing in the sand hazard.
If a golfer is unlucky enough to fall within the sand hazard, they must hit without knowing where to place the ball. A walk to the top of the hill will often be enough to site the flag on the green, but they must choose a tree or other feature of the course to act as the target. This sand hazard is deep enough that club with more loft is needed. The penalty for the golfer that finds their ball is this hazard is that the loft needed may make it impossible to reach the green on the next shot, so their penalty is extra shots.
I've always managed to miss this particular golf hazard known as the church pews at Royal St Cloud Golf Club in St. Cloud, Florida but I've seen others fight it. The green grass pews sit within a relatively flat sand hazard but they are curved and the grass is hard to mow so it is often deep grass. If the ball lands near the sand-grass edge, the golfer faces interference from that edge. If it lands in the deep grass, it may have an uphill or downhill lie due to the curvature. Downhill lies often result in a flat hit without loft so the ball might end up in the sand. If the golfer doesn't hit out of the sand with enough distance, they are likely to hit out of the sand again, and maybe again. This one has more pews than are shown, with the green grass sections perpendicular to the direction of the flag.
Some sand hazards are more decorative, like these at Washington National Golf Course in Auburn, Washington. Here the purpose is to show off the UW Husky "W" while also guarding the green. Shots directly to the green that fall short will fall in the first sand hazard, while the ones to the side will pick up any shots that veer left. They are somewhat deep and the distance from the trap to the green is not as short as a player might wish.
Phil Mickelson's book "Secrets of the Short Game" on how to get out of a golf bunker or sand hazard made the most sense to me when I read about how to do it. His video below offers some helpful tips:
One of the most pleasant aspects of Bay Tree National Golf Club is that while challenging, many features of this course makes it a win for newer players. The fairways tend to be wide near the tees on most holes. Although there are many lakes and traps, these tend to be harder to get into. My husband and I played here recently and only had one or two golf balls roll into the palmettos. The wide fairways can be a relief for newer players who hit hooks or slice from the tee. If your first ball hits fair, that's half the battle.
A few of the back nine holes have narrower fairways and more of the trickier shots. Some holes require the golfer to hit over ditches so chipping up is sometimes needed. A couple of the back nine holes have hills along one side. The first time I played here it was in late summer so I worried about rolling out of bounds. I thought, hit high on the hill, the golf ball will roll down. This doesn't work. It's far better to avoid the hills, my husband and I found there was plenty of room for the golf ball to land away from the hill as the fairways opened up down range. The last hole features a real surprise, you hit toward the green and have to drive way around a small lake before walking onto the green from the back. It's a fun golf course with a lot of variety in how your ball lies and with a lot of scenic views. Located in Melbourne, Florida, 32940, it is near I-95. For a better view of how the golf course plays, see the video below.
The golf club has a good restaurant with friendly help.
I feel bad about writing a review about offseason golf in Auckland, New Zealand because we were playing golf during a long period of drought. The Formosa Golf Course kept their greens well watered but many places the grass had turned brown. This is always good for a nice roll so all is not bad. Formosa Golf Course had many touches of Asian gardening that added color to the course and I chose this golf course because it offered scenic views.
The hole pictured above is one of the course specialties. It's a short par three downhill and if you miss the green, well, you're down on the mucky tidal beach below. To make it more difficult, the green is sloped to the side and it is a large green so that even if you land on the green with your drive, you still might have many long putts. The view however is spectacular. For a first taste of New Zealand golf it offered lots of birds, views, plant life and challenge.
The first challenge we encountered was our lack of car. We thought, no problem, take a taxi. The taxi driver was willing to wait at the course and earn the return fare for no extra gas, but the cost of play was much less then taking the hour to and from drive from our hotel in Auckland. Live and learn. This wasn't the case for most New Zealand golf because after this, we had a rental car.
The above hole was my favorite with exotic trees to look upward at, lots of sand, and some large zen stones in a sand garden along the side, or maybe that was a slightly different one. The course plays with lots of uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies. It features many sand traps, many views of the coast and bay, and several large duck ponds.
The course is somewhat more challenging for women than for men. The clubhouse is large with friendly staff.
The video below shows a better view.
My husband Bob is a proud Buckeye (Ohio State Grad) so typically sports a hat showing his colors.
His clothing is mix and match--he likes cotton shorts from LL Bean because he likes the elastic comfort waist. His latest shirt is a Grand Slam Airflow; he likes the modern moisture wickable materials that dry quickly but they need to have a pocket. A shirt pocket is his place to carry a required cell phone. I like him to have a cell phone on him at all times after hearing stories from his parents. He's in good health but its better to be safe then sorry.
For those who sit too much at a computer desk or just sit, this stretch is sure to loosen the muscles between your shoulder blades and allow you to swing freer.
HOW TO DO IT:
Repeat as often as needed. Don't try this with an injury, if it hurts, or if it goes contrary to a doctor's advice.
Savannah Golf Course near Cocoa Beach is a hidden wonder of southern charm. Many people don't realize its just off of the freeway, open to the public, and nit very crowded. This makes it a real win to play, especially since its priced very readonably.
It's a quality course as seen in the care they took building the clubhouse, maintaining the course, and creating a course where players feel they are alone on the course.
Despite water being present on many holes, they usually didn't come into play. Only one hole, the fourth, had a surprise, a ditch to cross near the green, and the starter was kind enough to warn us in advance.
Golf is very pleasant with lush fairways, white soft sand, and well maintained greens.
Although Cocoa Beach Country Club is nearer to the beach, Savannah Golf Course is less than 5 miles away, has similar ocean breezes, and a challenging course to test your skills.
I bought a new golf dress for my upcoming birthday from Nike. I like that it is roomy through the arms and chest and waist, so it allows me to swing a golf club with ease. The material is lightweight, a polyester with lots of holes to allow the wind to blow through, and helps to wick moisture from your body. The neckline is sure to please the PGA rulemakers as is the longer hemline. This dress doesn't come with shorts but also covers nicely when you bend. It comes in two colors which is welcome since one can only have so many black golf dresses. I'm also wearing Nike tennis shoes since the course was dry and there wasn't any need for traction.
I'm on the 17th green at Twin Rivers Golf Course in Winter Springs, Florida. The ball I use is a Pinnacle--I still prefer yellow.
A recent vacation to the panhandle of Florida after a side trip to Columbia, South Carolina to see the solar eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21, lead us to the much appreciated good food and nice beach locations in Destin, Florida. There are worse reasons to go golfing than a solar eclipse, see my best eclipse photo:
Our choice of golf outing at Emerald Bay Golf Club in Destin, Florida, turned out to be a real win. Instead of black out sun, we had velvety green fairways, tees, and greens.
The club house was friendly and we got out as a two-some following and followed by the same, sometimes it felt like you were alone on the course even when you were not, at least until we caught up with the mowers, easily done with an early 7:00 start time.
My favorite holes were at the end, this is the view of the Emerald Bay Golf Club clubhouse from the eighteenth fairway, headed toward the green. Before this hole, you finally reached holes with views of the bay, notice on the picture below, both Bob and I had our chips on the green with only one chip. A nicely maintained course allows chips to land and stop, with some roll, but not speeding across it like greased lightning, something that can happen in Florida where greens dry out.
One thing that was nice was the tees were all numbered, I through V (see photo below), using Roman Numerals, to allow golfers to select their tee by their handicap and by the associated usual score for the hole rating known as the course slope: read slope about from the Georgia State Golf Association webpage:
Sheri Fresonke Harper
Sheri loves to golf, travel and to write.
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