|Culture with Camoluscious Gally
The views from the starter's gate to the nineteenth hole at Algonquin Golf Club in St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick simply can't be beat. If you're going to play a golf course with views, look for one with as much service and care as Algonquin Golf Club, you will be happy. We were helped with our golf bags, offered water, provided course directions, then we were off.
The American Bald Eagle sitting in the tree beside their signature hole show in the golf photograph to the left just added to our enjoyments, as did the Black-backed Gull. To find flowers on the edge of the green just makes for more pleasure during your game. This hole did play a lot more difficult than it looks. A drive down from above had to be spot on or you'd chip from someplace not so bad or worse.
Other nice things about the Algonquin Golf Club included the fact that they took full advantage of their hillside golf course to offer a huge variety of holes, some with downhill lies, some with uphill lies, some with side hill lies. Sand traps were beautifully placed but luckily they didn't come into play often. Despite being fairly well booked, the golf course layout allowed you to believe you were on the golf course by yourself. It was a real treat.
Kebo Valley Golf Club , Bar Harbor, Me golf course has a great view and rates the course conditions from 1-10, we played when it was a 9, with the small loss due to extremely fast greens. Kebo Valley Golf Club offers a number of challenges to the golfer, starting with a course rating that is extremely tough for women, with many choices for the men that can be much harder. For golfers who can set aside their awe at the view, a fun time can be had.
Golf Challenge Number One: Raised Greens
One of the downsides of the raised greens at Kebo Valley Golf Club is they tend to be dry and very fast. To handle the small greens, high lofted shots are the only way to go. With enough backspin, they may actually stay on the green. Using a GPS device will help you identify the exact distance to travel. Part of the strategy should include getting as close to the green before chipping since drives to the green are likely to roll off or get stopped on the approach.
Golf Challenge Number Two: Hidden Fairways
One way to handle hidden fairways is to drive ahead and check out where the best place to hit your drive. A second way is to consult the handy course overview book provided with your greens fee, often it will show a point where to aim and also indicated the distances to any trouble you might find. A third way to handle it is by a sex change operation since the ladies tees are forward of this narrow tee. Another way is to pick an aiming point that lies in the area of the open space, especially if you can spot the 150 yard distance marker.
Golf Challenge Number Three: Bubbles Blocking the Fairway or Green
The name bubbles for the moguls in the pictures come from the celebrated bubble mountains at the center of Acadia National Park. If the ball lands on one of these, golfers will find they need to use an iron because the grass tends to be fairly heavy and the surface variable in direction. Take a practice shot and verify your follow through, chances are the ball trajectory will be angled.
Make sure you use a drive or a chip with a lot of loft to avoid these bubbles/moguls.
My husband and I recently played Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Florida on a hot humid day with the temperature averaging about 95F, but we found that wise course layout typically had us waiting in shade at the tee with a cooling breeze off the many lakes on the property. Although water is ever-present on many of the holes, most of us avoided actually ending up in the water during play.
Shingle Creek Golf Club has many nice things about it, including a summer time golf and spa package if you stay at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Shingle Creek is the home course for the University of Central Florida Knights golf team, so if you are accompanying a UCF student on their first visit to school, this may be a win. It's located close to the Universal amusement park, not far from Disney World and about a half hour from the UCF campus. On the golf course, expect to find nice golf carts with very helpful (like the one in the photograph) GPS directions for playing the hole. Most of the staff were very friendly and helpful about getting your golf clubs to your golf cart.
Although you're downtown Orlando, most of the holes have either peekaboo views of the downtown buildings, or let you feel like you are entirely alone on the golf course. Challenge on this course comes from the many moguls, sand traps (none very deep), a few tricky shots where you drive across water and one hole that has a surprisingly narrow start with out of bounds right on the cart path (very early).
Food at the golf club is tasty but rather expensive.
Sheri Fresonke Harper
Sheri loves to golf, travel and to write.
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