Sunday, January 29, 2006

First round of golf for 2006

Yesterday, Saturday, January 28th, I played my first round of golf for the year. The weather was an unbelievable 58 degrees in Indianapolis; with the sun popping in and out during the afternoon. I played with a long time friend from high school and we walked the entire 18 holes with pull carts; the outing was perfect!

We played from the white tees, neither of us lost one single ball, and I had one par with a total score of 111. Hey, it's the first round of the year and the course was played during the winter here in Indiana. Add two strokes for winter conditions to every hole and it doesn't look so bad!

My golf partner for the day, Bill Hafer, has been one of my best friends for 40 years. Bill and I played together at Riverside Golf Course, the oldest golf course in Indianapolis. It is a municipal course, built in 1901. The most interesting hole is "Old Smokey", a 440 yard, par 4 with a steep and challenging elevation change just prior to the green. The name comes from the steep hill with a green on top, hence "on top of old smokey".

We plan to play at least one round every month of the year in 2006 with a goal of playing all 13 Indianapolis Municipal courses as well. The municipal courses in Indy are just wonderful in both value and challenge. Each course is city owned and operated by a PGA member professional. Additionally, each course meets the standards set by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and offer specially equipped golf carts for those players requiring additonal assistance. Once again, an example of how progressive the courses are here in Indy.

The complete listing of municipal courses we plan to this year is as follows:

Coffin Golf Club
Douglass Golf Course
Eagle Creek Golf Club (both courses)
Pleasant Run Golf Course
Riverside Golf Course
Sahm Golf Course
Sarah Shank Golf Course
Smock Golf Course
South Grove Golf Course
Thatcher Golf Course
Whipsering Hills Golf Course
Winding River Golf Course

As a note, Sarah Shank is the first golf course I ever played; I was in the eigth grade at public school #18 located in Fountain Square, on the southside of Indianapolis. The game has brought many enjoyable times with friends and business associates. Beyond that, my wife and I now take a golf vacation each year at our condo in Lake Lure, North Carolina, just outside of Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Bill and I will be heading to the practice rounds at Augusta National during Masters Week, April 3, 4, 5 with two other close personal friends. We plan to play two Donald Ross courses in Augusta while there: Augusta Country Club, built in 1899 and Forest Hills Golf Club, built in 1927.

I was fortunate enough to get 4 passes for Tuesday and Wednesday of the practice rounds; Wednesday is a practice day with the famous par 3 tournament in the afternoon. We'll play golf on Sunday and Monday, then attend the practice rounds all day Tuesday and Wednesday. Two of the foursome going have never been to Augusta National Golf Club, so we are looking forward to this extraordinary golf event this spring, as well as more rounds ourselves.