Sunday, April 1, 2012

Round #10: Oklahoma - Karsten Creek

The drive into Oklahoma was uneventful until we dropped into Guthrie to visit two quilt shops. Guthrie is the quintessential “Main Street - USA” that political candidates use as a back-drop in their TV ads. The ladies in the “Extra Special” quilt shop invited me to sit and read their magazines while Julie shopped. I was intrigued by an edition of the True West magazine with a headline that read: “Was Geronimo a Terrorist?”. The picture perfect scene was completed by a fire department fund raising drive on Main Street. We pulled up to a stop light where a 10-year old boy held out a fireman’s boot for passing motorists to pitch in their donations. As I threw some money into the boot, I asked the boy if they were selling Girl Scout cookies. The firemen immediately started laughing while the young boy answered “No!” with a very shocked look on his face.

If this is Saturday than we must be in Oklahoma! It is time to catch a round of golf in a new state.

Round: #10

Location: Stillwater, OK
Golf Digest Best-In-State Rank: #2
Date: 17 Mar, tee off at 12:00 PM
Conditions: cloudy, 15 MPH wind, 72 degrees
Yardage: 6,597
Lost balls: 1
Score: 85 on a par 72
The internet site for Karsten Creek made it clear the course was situated in a housing development. As we drove through the unmanned entrance gate, the low quantity of homes would normally indicate bankruptcy was close at-hand for the developer. Karsten Creek was not a normal development. A “Ring of Honor” near the club house entrance was evidence to the support provided to the Oklahoma State University golf team provided by wealthy alumni. Some of the more noteworthy contributors have on-site accommodations provided for their use.

The "Ring of Honor"

These are the kind of alumni every university wants to have. 

A nice place to stay when the big donors play in the pro-am events.

Karsten Creek is the home course for the OKU golf team. A long hallway inside the clubhouse is dedicated to their accomplishments; apparently the alumni’s contributions have produced the desired result.

Unlike the courses in Mississippi and Louisiana, a few groups were walking off the course at the conclusion of their round as I arrived. However, there was only one other person on the practice range and he was going home to watch March Madness collegiate basketball games on TV. I teed off and played the round by myself, seeing only an occasional player during the afternoon. Warm weather had the grass on the fairways & greens growing well; the roughs had not yet turned green. This worked to my advantage since any balls hit into the rough would sit on top of the dry grass in much the same manner as if I had teed it up. Patches of native prairie grass had not yet started growing after being burned off; these areas of the course were more aesthetic as they did not come into play.

 496-yard par 5 hole #1

177-yard par 3 hole #3

 456-yard par 4 hole #5

165-yard par 3 hole #7

Abundant woodland and rolling hills provided excellent habitat for wild turkeys. Their gobbles could be heard as the warm weather brought on their mating season. 

Look close - - - in the middle of the picture is a turkey walking away from the #10 tee. 

169-yard par 3 hole #11 

175-yard par 3 hole #15

The course had virtually no water hazards until you arrived at hole #17. The last two holes brought a small lake into play along with a nice view of the clubhouse sitting above hole #18 green.

428-yard par 4 hole #17 

482-yard par 5 hole #18 

View of the club house from hole #18 fairway

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