The golf club has a good restaurant with friendly help.
|Culture with Camoluscious Gally||
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.
This summer my husband treated me to a stay at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. The hotel dates back to 1766, how amazing is that? I was awed by the atmosphere, all that red brick and all those columns; a true Southern US sort of place.
During our stay, we had the opportunity to play the Old Course at the Omni Resort. This was well worth it, not the least due to the fact that every few holes we'd come to a historical marker explaining who had played on the course, including Presidents Taft, Nixon and Ford, with Eisenhower and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor visiting the former casino.
The golf course is located on Sam Snead highway, named in honor of the local golfer who became one of the great professional golfers of all time with 82 professional championship wins. Sam Snead was the pro golfer at Omni Resort's Cascade golf course.
Playing the Old Course in Hot Springs, Virginia, is like taking a walk through nature. It felt a great deal like we were alone on the golf course with the greenery cut across the side of the mountains. One of the fun parts about this course is getting peek-a-boo views of the resort buildings, including the tower that was built in 1929.
The holes are played both uphill and downhill. There are a few sand hazards but they didn't come into play very often.
The main challenges of the Old Course were the many changing lies and all of the trees found lining the fairway.
One of the helpful but also awkward parts of playing the Old Course involved the drop off and pick up of your golf clubs. When you checked in at the hotel, the porter's sent the golf clubs down to the course for you. This was cool. It meant we didn't have to futz with them at all and didn't have to have them in our room.
After golf, we had lunch in the small cafe at the clubhouse, food was really good. At the pro shop, there was a lot of discussion about whether we sent our golf clubs up to the resort for pick up or came down with the car--eventually they managed to deliver them to where we loaded our luggage which worked out perfectly.
Other than golf, the Omni Homestead Resort offers many activities including their very popular hot springs swimming pools and spas, hikes through the resort property (which features homes as well as the hotel) and followed the ski lifts at times, a tour of the cascades, horseback riding, games in the game rooms, and much more. It's a pricey pleasure and a real treat.
River Oaks Golf Club is located in Meaghers Grant, Nova Scotia, Canada, close to Halifax and takes about an hour to get to from downtown. When you drive to this golf club from Halifax, you follow a nice highway through the mountains and over Middle Porters Lake until you reach Musquodoboit Harbor, then you turn up a road (Hwy 357) along a beautiful creek (see photograph below) to get the River Oaks Golf Club clubhouse. Traffic was not a bother. We arrived in time to have lunch, both of us were satisfied with our typical golf grub lunch. The service was good too.
One of the first holes leads you to a hole near a set of farm houses, showing clearly this golf course was probably built out of farm land, but has enough features that it is not your typical pasture land course.
Our first challenge came with the rain, the golf course manager told us if they were locked up by the time we finished due to few players, to go ahead and park the vehicle etc. This turned out to be the case but we were still able to get into the clubhouse and use the restrooms. Bathrooms mid course are available.
Some of the more challenging holes involved that lovely creek we followed, it provided some marsh land, lakes, and cut across the fairway a number of times.
Other players were on the course, but we seldom saw them during play, since the holes don't cross and have good spacing. You feel like you're alone in the mountains.
One of the last holes involves lots of water, the carry for men is a little long but the women make out okay.
The course played quick and fair and even with the rain, we still managed to have a great round of golf.
I thought Sweetwater Golf & Country Club's golf course was going to be easy to play until I reached hole 10. This is not to say that the front nine holes lack challenge.
The Sweetwater Golf & Country Club in Apopka, FL is friendly to visitors. The golf clubhouse is split between several buildings--the snack shop for instance shares quarters with the pool crowd. Dining at the snack shop is very good, I liked the turkey sandwich just fine. There's a separate place for the pro shop and another place for dinner dining. We didn't get golf cart service but they provide drinks vending machines at the bathrooms halfway along each nine.
The golf photograph above is about half of hole number ten. The hole travels uphill through the trees and when you get to the top, you find the lake and the hole curving around it to the left. This hole is pretty tricky since the side hill lie tends to want to put your golf ball in the water as does any roll.
The golf photograph to the left shows one of the tricky par 3's on Sweetwater Golf & Country Club. Three of the par three's require a drive over 150 yards, including this one that has a deep gully and pond. Other challenges on the golf course include a sand trap hidden in front of one green, another long sandtrap beyond a tree that allows golfers to shorten the distance to the green.
This golf club is pretty lively with many events, an upcoming Thanksgiving Day buffet, and a long time on the golf course--5+ hours for our round.
I have to admit I wasn't very impressed with this App, the Mozosoft Free Golf Range Finder for my Android phone. First of all, it didn't have an accurate view of my current position. Second of all, it didn't have any information about the golf course which I was on. Thirdly, most other Apps have a score pad with it; this does not.
This app is a very simple one. It will display an aerial view of the golf course you are on and it allows you to pick points on that view and find the distance. So how does the average golfer use this app?
Well, when you walk up to the tee and want to know how far away a tree is from where you are hitting, you can look for it on the aerial view, click the tree and find out how far it is away. This is very helpful for those tight holes where you can overdrive and end up in the trees, the water hazards, or the sand hazards. It does this feature much better than my handheld Bushnell Golf Range Finder which works by pointing your sighting at the tree and reading the distance.
It also aid by providing an aerial view where you can identify whether or not their are water hazards or other challenges over a hill, hidden by a tree or dogleg. Since the view is from a satellite, it gives an up to date view of course conditions-- in Florida, sometime lakes appear after rainfall then dry out.
You can also find the distance very accurately on your approach shot and to determine exact distances for a carry over water.
For what it does, and for it's price, this app is better than none at all; but there are much better choices for the price, features available.
Orlando Beach Hopping Visitors Might Like Golf at The Preserve at Turnbull Bay, New Smyrna Beach, FL
The clubhouse at the Preserve at Turnbull Bay in New Smyrna Beach, FL is not intimidating. This photo shows the clubhouse from the first tee. Coming into the club, you're met by staff members who help you load your golf clubs into a cart right away.
This photograph shows the challenging second hole, a par 3 across water that isn't as difficult as it may seem. The houses, also, sit well back from the golf course on most holes, so golfers don't need to worry about accidents or a big audience. There are many water hazards on this golf course.
The way to handle the narrow starts on some of the holes is to use a shorter club, anyone that golfers find are easy to hit straight.
The drives over water seldom result in lost balls, unless they roll off from the side.
We found play on this course was crowded so we were glad we had a tee time, especially since we started at about 9:00. Although we often followed the foursome in front of us, play moved well and we easily managed our round in under four hours.
The clubhouse has a small snack bar in the pro shop and we did have cart service. The bathrooms were available about halfway and at the clubhouse. Afterwards, there was plenty of time for lunch at BlackBeards in New Smyrna Beach and a stroll along the beach, too.
Florida has some pretty explosive storms with lots of thunder and lightning. This warning, courtesy of the carts at The Preserve at Turnbull Bay in New Smyrna Beach is a reminder of what to do in the case of storms with lightning. The Wikipedia write up about lightning strikes warns about electrical ground charge, the strike affecting electronics causing damage to hearing especially Ipods, and secondary reactions to lightning strikes such as explosions in vehicles and burns from holding metallic objects.
My two tales of unexpected storms occurred in two different locations, one in Wyoming, the other in Colorado.
The most unexpected storm I was in occurred in Wyoming on the golf course. It was a very hot, clear day. We were in the middle of a round when a high pitch whistle blew. You could hear the sound everywhere around. We looked up, the sky was blue, not a cloud in the sky. No rumbles were heard. Everyone except for us dashed in their carts to the clubhouse. We shrugged thinking maybe it was a party or something. I got up to take a shot, when suddenly winds 70mph or more nearly blew me over. Less then two minutes later, the winds passed through and were gone. I missed the ball and it ended up in a creek, costing me two strokes. But that was a smaller annoyance than being dead.
So, the warning here is when a golf course's emergency warning system sounds, head in, no questions asked. The club house often gets warnings of tornado or dust storms that can cause problems without ever having any sign of rain, thunder or lightning.
So the second tale of a storm occurred in Colorado on a golf course where the week before they had had a man killed by lightning. We paid attention to the notices posted on the walls. Again it was a beautiful day but on the fourth tee we saw clouds gather and then the whistle blew. We decided to play the hole out because we didn't hear lightning but only managed to get to our balls and pick them up. The older woman we were playing with just left. We barely made it inside before the deluge hit. Huge lighting blasts and rumbling of thunder and buckets of water. Everyone on the golf course was trapped inside the clubhouse for at least a half hour, by then everyone gave up and got wet since the thunder and lightning had stopped.
The message here is storms can hit incredibly fast. When the warning system sounds, get inside.
This advisory from the National Weather Service explains what can happen if you are struck by lightning. It also has some good safety tips. First Aid for Lightning Strike Victims steps is available from WebMD.
The golf course at Rock Springs Ridge Golf Course, Apopka, FL is still suffering from the economy in the form of weeds in the fairway, but the greens were in good condition and the course mowed and sand traps maintained. Both restrooms mid-nine were operational. The cost when we played in October 2013 was $20, so it was a good golf green fees and golf cart golf deal.
One of the major ways Rock Springs Ridge challenges the golfer is their use of Live Oak trees mid course and protecting the green as seen in the golf photograph above and to the left.
To place the ball near the flag on the green in the photograph above requires chipping below the tree but over the sand trap.
To get past the trees mid fairway in the golf photograph to the left requires that the ball travel over the tree or under the branches or if luckly, finding the air and going through the live oak.
What club to use? To chip over a tree, use a pitching wedge with the face almost parallel to the ground. To drive beneath the trees, use a three wood or four iron, or use a club that is almost 90 degrees to the ground.
Other challenges at Rock Spring Ridge Golf Course include the heavy turf and moguls on a few of the holes, as well as hidden fairways, hidden greens, and water hazards.
The restaurant at the Rock Springs Ridge Golf Clubhouse was open on Saturday, offering up tasty 8 oz. burgers, chicken tenders, fries, and the usual sort of golf food.
Golf in Florida and other areas of the country can involve "casual water" on the golf course and a variety of of other problems after heavy rainfall.
This photograph shows the passing of a rain filled cloud in Florida.
Many golfers from the Seattle, WA area have a rule called "embrace the rain" since it's very likely people will encounter rain so rather than stop all life, you just go do. There are good reasons why golfers play golf after heavy rain, here's my best list why:
My husband and I played golf at Deer Island Country Club in Tavares, Florida, just after record winds had knocked many trees down on the course and the golf course staff were busy removing all the debris.
We still had a wonderfully pleasant golf outing, despite a few lurking clouds. The golf course is in supreme condition and is lovely for many, many reasons.
Deer Island Country Club has many bridges that golfers cross as they travel along the course since the course has water on both sides of the fairway in many places and is sitting in the midst of several lakes. Several holes require golfers to drive over a creek or pond.
Water is not the only hazards to watch out for on Deer Island Country Club. The many sculpted sand traps over additional hazards on the course. The lovely sand trap on the left of this golf photograph has a nice ridge making a chip onto the green much more difficult.
The toughest par three hole required you to land on the green or else. It takes a straight accurately selected golf club to make your shot. The course is one of the most fun I've played.
The food at the Deer Island Country Club is also really good and the staff is really friendly. Expect to find bathrooms halfway through each nine and at the clubhouse.
Sheri Fresonke Harper
Sheri loves to golf, travel and to write.
WA State Golf Reviews
Auburn Golf Course
Bellevue Golf Course
Blue Boy West Golf Course
Enumclaw Golf Course
High Cedars Golf Course
Kenwanda Golf Course
Kayak Ptoint Golf Course
Lake Wilderness Golf Course
Maplewood Golf Course
Sumner Meadows Golf Course
West Seattle Golf Course