|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.
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.
One Christmas, my husband and I decided to explore the island of Puerto Rico and so did a mini-tour picking up some of our favorite sites to see, enjoying Christmas away despite a few days of rain, and golfing. Of course, golfing is a must when you visit Puerto Rico because there are many fine golf courses.
During our stay at the Embassy Suites Dorado Del Mar, we played the Dorado Del Mar Golf Course which sits right beside it several times because they had a special deal that allowed us to play a couple times at reduced cost.
The Embassy Suites Dorado Del Mar was one of the nicer places for us to stay with a wonderfully large swimming pool, free happy hour, many restaurants, and comfortable chairs in the rooms, with a decent rate despite the holiday.
The Dorado Del Mar Golf Course is fairly wide and flat so is welcoming for newer golfers. The course has plenty of challenge from hazards, water being one of the major sources of humility causing events.
Anyone may play golf alone, as a twosome or foursome depending on the crowd, but no one will ever be alone on the Dorado Del Mar golf course because visitors are certain to find a green iguana or two to keep them company. The green iguanas often dart into the water if approached too close since they are considered food, especially since they tend to be overpopulated.
Near the end of the round, golfers are challenged to cross the water and land on a small green surrounded by sand traps, see golf photograph above.
There's a small snack shop at the Pro Shop but food is also available at the Embassy Suites Dorado Del Mar. In all, families and couples will have a grand time on this course.
I was just explaining to my husband how golf courses could use native grass planting on the rounded upper edges of sand traps when I found them in place at Victoria Hills Golf Course in Deland, Florida.
Here's a few photographs:
The advantage of this tactic is that it is easier to avoid watering the edges of sand traps to keep them green using native grasses which are much more drought tolerant and don't need to be mowed. The bad news for golfers is that these native grass plantings are hard to escape, although I watched on ball today hit and richochet of the grass to somewhere safe. The benefit is that the sand stays much fluffier and easier to escape when they don't get watered every day. The rough here, is not long grass, but lightly seeded almost sand. In a dry, sandy environment, this strategy makes a lot of sense.
I’m cool, warmed up, loose.
I’m gonna crack this ball straight down the fairway all the way to the white post, clean and straight.
Yeah. I’m the king of the worm burners, oh, no, I’m the baddest Tiger of these here woods. Ha ha, not bad, I launched that there rocket clean into that oak, missed my forehead, missed my partner, never you mind. I’m out on the fairway now.
I’m cool, warmed up, loose. Got my eye on the ball. King of Zen. Just swing and … yeah.
Okay. I’m King of the beach blanket beee-ing go.
Okayyy. No problem. Golf is about practice and practice make perfect. Okay, closed my eyes there. Splash?
Splash it is. Okay, I’m Chipping King, just smack that ball into that little ole hole. God’s be with me.
Whew. I’m the man. Ain’t I the man? Blow me a-way! It’s all won on the greens guys.
Ain’t I the King? Didn’t I just chip right in? Ever see anything like that before? MMMhmm.
You on for five on the next hole?
The Deltona Club in Deltona, Florida, offers an unexpected golf course in Florida, one that has no water hazards.
So will you find a golf course with enough challenge?
The answer is of course, it's a golf course.
The best part of the Deltona Club golf course was starting off on the number ten tee and ending up on the number nine green. Why? Because after a tough round, I got to play an easy par 4 followed by this par three in the golf photograph.
The hole shown above shows the sense of humor that the golf course architect had in creating the Deltona Club golf course. Sand is used to save costs and to make it very difficult to do anything but land on the green.
Other golf course challenges at Deltona Club includes holes that climb uphill, downhill, very substantial doglegs including one surprise hole that wasn't right in front of us but off to the right.
The best way to handle Deltona Golf Club is to use plenty of sun protection, pick the right club for the distance to avoid trouble and to use a firm but dug in attack out of the sand trap if you do get into one. Check out Amateur Golfer Benefits to Phil Mickleson's Secrets of the Short game for more help.
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.
Our arrival at the Links at Crowbush Cove at Lakeside, Prince Edward Island, Canada was mighty early for two lazy travelers but we had our choice 7:45 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. so we decided to just get up and go for it.
There's not many places to stop between Charlotte and the Links at Crowbush Cove for breakfast and the golf course restaurant didn't serve breakfast either. Our solution was gas station packaged rolls, not so good.
One of the reasons this course is so popular is the weather in Prince Edward Island is really quite pleasant, even in early September.
The Links at Crowbush Cove golf course is immaculately maintained, with lush sculpted sand traps you don't want to visit. The slope is somewhat higher for women than men, I think because of the uphill play.
Several of the holes at the Links at Crowbush Cove have beautiful views--here my yellow Pinnacle golf ball made it to the green on their signature par three scenic hole. Not all of their par three holes are as easy to par, I think I actually birdied it. Tweet Tweet.
If you go, expect to have a wonderful game with some nice local players. From here, it is easy to continue on to the Prince Edward Island National Park, which is also well worth the visit. Directions to the course are easy to follow. There's bathrooms at the turn and midway, yeah!
Sheri Fresonke Harper
Sheri loves to golf, travel and to write.
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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