Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Round #20: Delaware - Bayside Resort Golf Club

There was no planned itinerary for our trip beyond Maryland. With the uncertainty weather brings into the planning process, I was not sure if we would turn back to Iowa or continue on. I did know that the Bayside Resort Golf Club in Delaware was a public course where a last-minute reservation would be possible. We called the golf course and reserved a 1:30 PM tee time for the following afternoon as we were driving out of Washington. A hotel room for the night was easy to find in nearby Ocean City, Maryland. As the name implies, Ocean City is on the Atlantic shoreline with lots of empty seaside hotels during the off-season. Our plans were set to pick up another state.
The sunny skies we enjoyed at the Congressional disappeared overnight, followed by a  morning weather forecast with a 70% chance for rain. After looking at the radar maps, I called the course to see if I could get an earlier tee time. Overcast skies and threatening rain would normally cause a few cancellations and open up the course for play. That did not happen at Bayside as it continued to be booked solid. They agreed to get me on the course early. I paid the greens fee and committed myself to play - come rain or sunshine. 
The starter must have taken pity on me playing as a single player sandwiched between foursomes. The Jack Nicholas designed course had golf carts equipped with GPS equipment. This not only provided the player with a picture and playing distances on each hole, it also allowed the staff to identify the position of the carts on the course at any given moment. After a quick check on the GPS, the starter jumped onto his golf cart and told me to follow him. We drove down the cart path, through the maintenance garage, past a neighborhood and onto a public street before arriving at the 7th tee box. He succeeded in putting me ahead of the other players where I would be able to start playing at my own pace.

Note: picture taken the prior afternoon when there was some sunshine

Round: #20
Location: Selbyville, Deleware
Golf Digest Best-In-State Rank: #3
Date: 26 Apr, tee off at 9:20 AM
Conditions: overcast skies, 8 MPH wind, 52 degrees
Yardage: 6,418
Lost balls: 0
Score: 80 on a par 72
With only enough time to practice my putting, I arrived on the 7th tee box with no warm-up. My first shot landed on the side of the green; a 2-putt gave me the first par of the day. I was off to a good start. The weather held off for two holes of play before a light rain began to fall. Perhaps I should have done a rain dance on the 7th tee box as I birdied hole #9 after the rain started falling. The rear of the golf cart was equipped with a vinyl shield that kept my clubs dry; I donned rain gear and continued to play. In the absence of any lightening, the light rain posed more of a nuisance than an obstacle. I was scoring well in spite of the many water hazards Nicholas had designed into the course.

341-yard par 4 hole #9 

361-yard par 4 hole #10 (view from the green back up the fairway) 

142-yard par 3 hole #13 

181-yard par 3 hole #15 

389-yard par 4 hole #16 

 View of approach shot to the green on hole #16

418-yard par 4 hole #18

Playing the back nine was uneventful. I shot two bogeys and one double bogey before five pars in a row. I drove from the 18th green back to the 1st tee box. The starter had specifically asked me to check-in with him again before teeing off of hole #1. He approached a threesome was on the tee box and asked if I could join them. Surprisingly, they indicated their preference to just play as a threesome. There may have been a reason behind it, but it was very unusual to not form a foursome. After they finished teeing off, they did offer to let me play ahead of them. I quickly teed off over a small pond into the fairway, my approach shot landed on the green where I two-putted for a par. I caught the next foursome on the 3rd tee box. They also volunteered to let me play through on the short par 3. My tee shot landed on the edge of the green where I again two-putted for a par. I was on a roll. I caught up to the next group on the 6th tee box where two boys from Philly were waiting for the group ahead to clear the fairway. The Philly boys offered for me to join them - which gave me some companionship on the last hole of my round. 
369-yard par 4 hole #1 

517-yard par 5 hole #2 

361-yard par 4 hole #4

I have previously played on golf courses that had posted habitat areas. This was the first time I had seen pictures of snakes on such a sign. It was also a first to see a decoy placed to keep water fowl off of the greens.

Julie picked me up at the golf course and we drove off to find some lunch. She was looking at Yelp reviews as we drove into Bethany Beach. She wanted to try a restaurant named the Blue Crab. With the exception of Alaskan king crab legs, I have never liked anything made from crabs. I insisted we check the menus before sitting down; we took a booth where our presence doubled the number of customers in the establishment. I ordered a shrimp po-boy sandwich with chips that was an excellent choice. Julie asked me to taste her sautéed crab meat, even though she knows quite well my dislike for crabs. I was shocked by what I tasted. Her meal was a better choice than my po-boy sandwich. When writing a restaurant review for Yelp, 5-star is the highest rating you can give. It was an easy choice for me to award 5-stars to any chef who can turn a crab hater into a crab lover with one meal.

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