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Tim T. !
You gave the correct answer for which hole my ball landed in the water – Hole 3!
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Spring is in the Air?
I am sitting here waiting to see some sign that spring will be here soon and trying to decide what I should write about for this month’s newsletter. As far as what to write about, I decided to share my first weekend golf trip my second year of golf.
As far as signs of spring, I am giving up and have booked a flight to see my son in Virginia. Flying out tomorrow and still deciding if I am taking my clubs or going to use my daughters-in-law clubs. Reality is that as long as they are shorter and lighter weight, the clubs will not really affect my game.
I have always considered myself athletic and when I started playing golf, I was convinced I would be the next Nancy Lopez or Annika Sorenstam. How hard could this game be? I would eventually admit I was not ready for the pros.
As I mentioned before, I started playing later in life and using a hodge podge set of men’s clubs. The men’s clubs were replaced with a used women’s set in year 2 and the following year with a new set chosen by me.
Now it being the second year of golf and just recently started using women’s clubs I was ready to hit the circuit (i.e., golf trips). Convince it was the men’s clubs that were holding me back. They were, well kind of. 😊
We planned a long weekend at Shanty Creek resort. Since our trip several years ago, Shanty Creek has added Hawk Eye Course to their property. I have not golfed there yet, but the guys did last year and said it was a lot of fun.
We arrived Thursday late afternoon and got settled in. We golfed The Summit and Schuss Mountain courses Friday. On Saturday started with Cedar River and ended with The Legend. Stayed one more night and headed home on Sunday. Tee times were 10am and 3pm both days.
The resort is divided into what they call Villages for lodging, dining, and recreation, each with its own vibe. When we went there were 3 – Summit, Cedar River and Schuss Villages. We stayed in The Lakeview Hotel in Summit Village. With the addition of Hawk’s Eye course, there is now a Hawk’s Eye Village. All four have dining and recreation opportunities. All except Hawk’s Eye has lodging options.
The Summit Course is just a walk across the parking lot of the Lakeview Hotel where we were staying. This is the oldest course on the property. It was designed by William Diddel in 1965.
This course is considered the easiest of the courses for a few reasons. Summit is not a long course, under 6000 yards from the white tees and under 5000 from the ladies’ tees. There is also a par three tee box on every hole to give beginners and junior golfers and a fun way to develop their game.
Most of the holes are fairly straight and open. There are a few doglegs, most are slight other than holes 1 & 5 that have sharp turns. There are not a lot of hazards, and they are easy to avoid. This is important for me because from my first-time golfing, if there is water, I will find it! I am easily intimidated when faced with hitting over the water, fortunately the 2 water hazards were off to the right, and I avoided them.
I really liked this course and glad we played it first. It was the perfect course to start for the golf weekend. I was (am) still learning the game, this course was great for me to get to know my clubs’ capabilities. I also tried different stances and swings. It was at this course where I finally found the most comfortable hand position. Because the course did not look scary, I was able to try and change things that were not working without too much damage to my score.
Schuss Mountain Course was a short drive east from Summit Village and is the second oldest course on the resort. The front nine opened in 1972 and the back nine were added in 1977. The course was designed by Warner Bowen. Shanty Creek describes this course as playing on two distinct 9-hole courses. The front through pine forest and then the hilly back.
I understand why they say this, but I do not necessarily agree with it. There is enough continuity in the style and play of the holes, that you know you just played a challenging course with many doglegs, some tricky bunker placement. Like the Summit few water hazards and a non-issue, except hole 18.
Hole 18 has water to the left of the fairway leading to the green. This hole also veers to the right, so someone like me that doesn’t have a strong drive will tend to be just in front or at the curve. Normally this would thrill me, not with the water staring me in the face. I needed to hit enough to the right to take the water out of the equation. Where my ball landed was just shy of the turn, I knew where my ball was headed before I hit it.
Overall, this course was the most challenging for me. The number of doglegs were frustrating for me at times. This was the beginning of my second-year golfing and my drives were a sad, sad 75 – 100 yards, needed more power for some of those holes. My partner loved the course but then again, he was in year 30+ of golfing. 😊
Done for the night
We got back to The Lakeview Hotel in time for dinner and cocktails. It was a long day; I had never golfed 36 holes in one day. Even with my struggles at the Schuss Course, I felt pretty darn proud of myself managing two courses and not needing to fall into bed immediately. We had dinner in the hotel restaurant again, enjoyed relaxing and having few drinks after we finished our meal.
Woke up the next morning feeling great. Headed down for breakfast and another day of golf. They had an omelet bar with a lot of ingredients to choose from that was amazing and I hear the pancakes were pretty darn good as well.
Cedar River is just a little north of the Schuss Mountain Course. At the time of our stay, this was the newest course on the property, built in 1999 by Tom Weiskopf. This course has made many top course lists. Named a top 1,000 courses in the world by Rolex, and America’s top 100 course by Golf Week. Golf Magazine named it one of Michigan’s top 20 public courses along with The Legend Course.
There is a reason this course has made so many lists. Not only is it absolutely beautiful it was a lot of fun for me to play. I may have been a tad overconfident coming off the 36 holes yesterday, I went into this round ready to kick some butt.
This course was my first experience with being paired with another twosome, I was not happy about that. I apologized to the twosome upfront for my lack of experience. They asked how inexperienced I was and when they learned it was my second season they talked to the starter, and he let them go ahead of us. Figured I could scare them off. I still am not comfortable driving in front of strangers.
With that problem solved it was time to show my partner a thing or two about golf. LOL… Think we all know that did not happen, but again it was just a fun course that favored my few strengths. I hit pretty darn straight and most of the fairways were just that. Had a playable lie every single time. Most holes may have been bogeys or worse, but I was able to move it towards the green without frustrations.
They threw water in on hole 18 on this course too, hugging the green on the right. Because of the straight fairway I easily avoided it and ended the round without one lost ball. Yay me!!!
This course is right next to The Summit Course and shares a clubhouse and practice facilities with The Summit. There is also a pro shop and Arnie’s Grill for grab and go items.
This was the last course we played and the one I was most afraid of. All the guys (husband’s league friends) when they heard we were going to Shanty Creek questioned his judgement letting me play The Legend. Ha! I did fine, did not annoy one single golfer and I get to say I played a course designed by Arnold Palmer. This course was opened in 1986 to a lot of excitement with it being the first northern Michigan course by Palmer. Manitou Passage in Leelanau County would follow 12 years later.
The Legend was a challenge for me as we expected. What we did not expect was how playable the course was for my partner; it was challenging but not so much that it was no longer fun. The fairways are pretty open and wide, other than 2nd hole, the course was mostly manageable for both of us.
Infamous Hole #2
Hole #2 was my first experience with what can only be described as a jungle between me and the green and I needed to hit over it. That did not happen and now I fear tall grass in front of my tee box. This course also has hole 7 that has a pond and a stream that runs through the fairway and then another stream in in front of the green. Hole 8 has a stream in front of the green as well. Now a stream should not be an issue, back then it was a big issue. I have since learned to hit across small streams without panic, ponds and rivers still scare the hell out of me. This trip the streams were well fed with my balls.
We get to hole 17 and there is a stream in front of the tee box for better players. I saw that water and momentarily panicked until I saw that my reds were well in front of that stream. My ball would be safe on hole 17.
How We Did
I would love to say that this was a turning point in my game, but it was not. What it did do was show me that 72 holes over the course of a weekend was a lot of fun. I get why folks go on golf trips and fill their time up with rounds.
Up until this trip I had golfed 2 other courses, this trip tripled the number of courses I had played. Trying other courses early in your golf career may be a mistake for some, for me it helped to solidify my love of the game. To be able to play on some of the most beautiful courses with absolutely spectacular views is amazing. And of course…..
Getting closer to kicking my partners butt each time I play
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