Category Archives: Oregon Golf Blog

Playing as a Single: Golf at its Best!

I like playing golf  by myself.  Prefer it actually. 

Of course I golf with other people. I have a regular partner I play with all the time, but he can’t play ALL the time, and if it’s busy at the course, I’m ready and willing to join up with someone. I can get along with anyone, high handicapper, or scratch. I am courteous. I don’t cuss. I know golf etiquette. I can even handle the braggart, the two-ball mulligan hitter, and the not-count-the-strokes guy when he hits out of bounds. I can even handle the guy that should write down a ten, but picks up the ball and takes a seven because that’s all he can post. I don’t care. It’s their score, their game. I’m not competing with them. I’m focused on my score. I don’t cheat. I take all the penalty strokes I incur. I don’t bump the ball. I’m a purist when it comes to my score, and I post everything, because I want to know what my true handicap is. I want to see how my scores ebb and flow throughout the year. The other day I shot a 76. Today I shot a 92 (never try to duplicate a good score–just won’t happen–well, not right away, unless you’re Bernhard Langer). Yes, I do post my score when I play alone. I’m that trustworthy.

When I play by myself, I can whip around the course in two hours and ten minutes. Two hours when I don’t take the flag out (I don’t post those scores).

When I’m out on the course, I get in a zone. A semi-euphoric, robotic state. I talk to myself. I rejoice when I hit a miraculous shot. I don’t need anyone to tell me it was a good one. I don’t need the recognition. Good shots feel good, like a drug. Bad shots bother me, but I’ve been doing golf for so long, I just see what I can do on the next shot to make up for the bad one.

Sometimes I do a play by play as if I am an announcer on TV. I do shot by shot announcing like Jim Nance, and color commentary. I’m a cross between Gary Koch and David Feherty. “Looks like he’s going to use a 7-iron Jim, and he’ll need all of it to make it to the front of the green. Ohhh, just slipped by the hole. Good shot, though. He’s still got a tester of about three feet. It’s no gimmee, but it’s  below the hole, so he’ll most likely have no trouble making par.”

Stuff like that. You know what I mean.

There’s a lot to be said for playing golf alone. I’d rather go alone than hit balls on the driving range. It’s better practice. Just you and the course.

I like to go out early. Sometimes I’m the first guy out. The greens mower and I dance around the course. We know each other’s moves, habits. We even have hand signals to communicate how many holes behind the next group is, so he can plan his route to accommodate me and stay ahead of them. Alternatively, I go out about three hours before dark. Most everybody is pretty much done by then. At my home course, everybody knows me. I wear a floppy hat all the time. When they DSCF6094_cropsee me coming they just wave me on through. They know I won’t hold them up. They know they can go ahead and hit before I’m out of the way.  I watch for them. No sweat.

Golfing alone started when I wasn’t able to find a partner. I’d just go to the course and join up with anyone. I’ve met a lot of good friends that way. My current partner included. Sometimes there wasn’t a sole on the course. That’s when I discovered  the joy of playing the game solo. Mmmm, perfection.

 

 

Return to Running Y: Southern Oregon’s Top Course

20161105_122717_001_resized“Nostalgia waxed poetic as I made the turn into the campus of Running Y Resort, site of one of Arnold Palmer’s Sweet Sixteen golf courses.”

Think of a movie or television show you loved as a child, and then watch it again as an adult. Sometimes it’s not the same. But sometimes, you become that kid again on a Saturday afternoon, giddy with excitement about the outcome of the the episode.

Nostalgia waxed poetic as I made the turn into the campus of Running Y Resort, site of one of Arnold Palmer’s Sweet Sixteen golf courses, in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I played here almost one year ago exactly, and about a month after the passing of Arnold himself (you can read my initial impressions here). The caliber of the course was still there. Just like the old re-run, the giddy anticipation of experiencing an Arnold Palmer design in my own back yard of Southern Oregon again, washed over me.

What more could I say about Running Y Ranch Resort that hasn’t been said already? When you think of a course like this, or any of the King’s courses, certain 265words tend to pop up repeatedly: immaculate, beautiful, serene, and challenging. Much like the man himself, his courses are a cut above the others. Southern Oregon is blessed to have dozens of golf courses within a 100-mile radius, and each one of them pales in comparison to the Ranch. Simply stated, Running Y boasts membership among the Oregonian super-courses like Bandon and Pronghorn.

That was the synopsis of my previous article, and was fresh in my mind as I walked back into the pro shop at Running Y Ranch Resort. But a year is a long time, and Oregon weather has been brutal these last twelve months. I admit I was skeptic, or perhaps concerned is a better word, that Running Y could have the same incredible status as it did in October 2016.

Never doubt the King…or the maintenance crew at Running Y.

img_1523We have been without Arnold for a little over a year, but I know that wherever his spirit is playing tonight, he is playing happily knowing his kingdom is being maintained to standards only he could set. Running Y remains the nicest golf course in the area, with every blade of grass right where it should be. dscf7195The autumn sun shone down on us the entire time, sometimes blocked by the beautiful pine and oak trees that line some of the fairways. Clocking in a round at about 4 hours, our time in the kingdom was short, but it was worth it.

DSCF7217After leaving the grounds, we found ourselves in the Ruddy Duck restaurant in the main lodge overlooking the opening holes of the back nine. My compatriots and I, all equally chilled and tired from our game, sat and shared stories of past feats (some true, some exaggerated) amidst pints and plates of French fries. As would be expected, the staff in the restaurant was incredibly kind and knowledgeable, traits they shared with their pro-shop cousins.

Leaving a beautiful golf course after a great round with your friends is never an easy thing. There is something about the mutuality of golf that brings the best out in everyone, and this feeling is amplified when you step foot onto the higher caliber courses like Running Y. In hallowed glory, the King reigns supreme.

Sandpines Special Offers and Stroke Play Championship

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Sandpines Offers
Revealed!!

Special Offers

Visit our Event Registration
Online Registration

 

Hi Everyone-  Ready for some FUN at SANDPINES??!!

Is your game tournament ready? If so, Sandpines is the place to be this September!!

SANDPINES is hosting our 2nd ANNUAL STROKE PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP  September 16-17,

36 holes Individual Stroke Play
Play our Award Winning Rees Jones design under tournament conditions

Play will be from our “Rees Combo Tee” with a yardage of 6,359 yards

Added money and prizes!!

Simply click on the link below for more information

 

 

2nd Annual Sandpines Stroke Play Championship
Sept.16- 17,  2017

Sandpines Golf Links
1201 35th Street
Florence, OR  97439
Phone: (800) 917-4653
http://www.sandpinesgolf.com