Thursday, July 26, 2012

Junior Golf

I come from a large family. With ten brothers & sisters, I have relatives spread across the United States. Two of them live in the Minneapolis area. We visited my sister and her husband in Minnetonka on Thursday. After playing golf at Interlachen, we drove north to Champlin where my brother and his wife reside, Joe & Mary Herring. We sat out on the screened porch and drank a few beers as the sun set. Screened porches are a necessity for enjoying the outdoors in the land of 10,000 lakes and 10 billion mosquitoes, especially when the house backs up against small pond. We were able to enjoy the warm weather as the evening wore on.
 Joe & Mary's home

View of the back yard marsh & small pond

Mary & Joe

Joe had planned to take me golfing at the Edinburgh USA course early Saturday morning while Mary & Julie visited some quilt shops in the area. The plan was to meet up around noon for lunch at a Thai restaurant in Osseo. The plan changed after we awoke to thunder storms and lightening. The rain did not stop the women from their shopping, but we lost a few hours before the weather broke enough to play golf. We kicked in Plan B - - - play a quick round at the nearby 9-hole Eagle Lake Youth Golf Center.

Round: #1 on a junior golf course
Location: Plymouth, MN
Golf Digest Best-In-State Rank: Not ranked
Date: 21 Jul, tee off at 10:30 AM
Conditions: cloudy, 3 MPH wind, 82 degrees
Lost balls: 1
Score: 65 on a par 62
WIth a break in the weather, other players were streaming into the parking lot as we showed up at the course. We knew the round of golf would be leisurely after watching a family of four with two young players tee off ahead of us, which is what you would expect to see at a junior golf facility. Since we were playing as a two-some, we decided to play two balls on every hole to maintain a slower pace of play. It worked out quite well.
Bother Joe standing on the hole #6 tee box

This was the first time I had played a junior course. There were several notable differences from a normal golf course. First, the length of the course measured 1,808 yards from the black tees, 1,278 yards from the orange tees. We played from the black tees, making it seem like an 18-hole course with a length of 3,616 yards with two balls in play.  A normal course for me would be 6,500 yards in length. Second, the shorter par 4 holes presented the potential for tee shots to roll through the fairway on holes that dog legged (i.e., turned left or right). I lost one ball that flew straight over the fairway into the brush on  the dogleg left hole #4. The straight par 4 holes had reachable greens for players that can hit longer drives than me. Third, the par 3 holes were shorter than usual with fewer bunkers, but you still must hit an accurate shot to hit the greens.
The golf gods showed up again. I was swinging the club with a smooth confidence that allowed me to score quite well. The greens were rolling very slow by comparison to the average course I have been playing, which reduces the break enabling direct putts at the hole. I did manage to hit two shots within close range on the hole #3, but still missed both birdies putts. It was a nice round of golf with the lowest score I have ever had on a golf course, even though you do not usually play two balls on nine holes to arrive at such a score.
 125-yard par 3 hole #3

 292-yard par 4 hole #4

 156-yard par 3 hole #6

 126-yard par 3 hole #8

 300-yard par 4 hole #9

View of approach shot to the green from the hole #9 fairway

We met the ladies for lunch on schedule, filled up on some good Thai food, and got on the road for the 380-mile drive back to Bettendorf.  38 states completed, 12 to go!

Reuan Thai Restaurant in Osseo

1 comment:

  1. “We knew the round of golf would be leisurely after watching a family of four with two young players tee off ahead of us, which is what you would expect to see at a junior golf facility.” Well, come to think of it, golf is indeed a sport to build relationships too. It can be a way for families to bond. Anyway, despite some troubles, I think you and your family enjoyed your trip. :)

    Doug Dillenbeck