Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Conestoga in Mesquite, Sky Mountain in Hurricane

If you are in the Virgin River area, that transition zone between the Mohave and Great Basin deserts, these two courses are a pretty good bargain in season.
Conestoga, a Gary Panks design in Mesquite, has a beautiful front nine. I thought the back side not so much, but they had a great special in November and December of 2011: $59 including lunch, cart, range balls. So that made it  $50 or less for golf. Too close to the casinos, I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but a good price for a good course. They have good sand  bunkers too! If you are going by Mesquite, Nv. and have the time, take a look.
Like the previous course, Sky Mountain (a Jeff Hardin design) in Hurricane, Ut.  has a beautiful front side. I scored ok there too. Too many abodes on the back, it's not so pretty then.  I played  for $40 including cart in the fall of 2011. They called it "twilight" but it was only about noon. A nice value there.

A word about my local Coral Cliffs which is a very scenic nine: "TOUGH", with unplayable rough and very narrow fairways. Seriously, the fairways are as narrow as any I've seen. The greens roll pure. The bunkers are almost as bad as the ones at Utah's best.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Bad Review of "Sand Hollow", Hurricane, Utah

4 in the morning and up and at 'em. Played the "best public course" in Utah, "Sand Hollow" (John Fought architect). Strikingly beautiful. Bunkers suck, red dead clay and stones. Can't be the best therefor. If they are going to do that dead bunker thing, just rather extend the desert in strips. Don't call a hole in the desert a bunker. That's not "natural" as the claim is. It's a hole with a big lip. BUNKERS HAVE SAND ON A REAL COURSE! Cost me and everyone I played with 6 strokes. Bunkers are not supposed to be for chipping practice off of hard-pan. I recommend the white tees here if you are not too long off of the tee. It's still worth playing once (with a camera) but I won't be back.

Then topped the day off with Land Hill petroglyphs in the Santa Clara River Reserve. Awesome stuff and 50 mile per hour winds on the hill where the "rock writings" (or Tempi'po'op in Southern Paiute) were.
Boy, when I'd rather drink water than beer it is hot! On the drive home was lucky to keep the temp gauge on the vehicle under 230 degrees. Got to get a fan clutch before I get to Scottsdale, Az. to play Troon North (The Monument), one of the best golf courses on the planet. Because the sand bunkers have sand! And it's strikingly beautiful. And it's a Tom Weiskopf.
Two really strong beers (1 Lithuanian, 1 Guinness Stout) and two great cheap cigars, then dinner at 8 brings me to bed with "She got legs and knows how to use them".

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kokopelli Golf Course and Greetings from Kanab

Here's a gorgeous golf course in the middle of nowhere (Apple Valley, Ut.). Stunning desert scenery abounds, including lava fields. Bring your camera but not your golf clubs. I can't call this a "hidden gem" because for the average golfer it's penally unplayable. Like Wolf Creek in Mesquite, just stunning but cruel. I played this baby twice and birdied and parred the #3 handicap first hole. Unfortunately the numbers 1 and 2 handicaps are completely unscoreable.
If you are normally an 18-22 handicap (average golfer) you have no chance on this track to stay in double figures, unless you cheat. The contours on the fairways and roughs, plus the terrible conditioning. tennis ball bounce the ball out of play unless shots have pinpoint accuracy. The greens are slick with ridiculously unreadable contouring. Pool table hard grounds, 20 yard wide landing areas, bad sand bunkers. Whoopee!
All that and Western Diamondbacks too!
This is probably a great challenge for a scratch golfer. I wouldn't know. The club pro said that his best score is 70. That should tell you something.
I was told that this was a Summerhays course but I'm seeing  Beddo on some websites. Whoever, it's some monster.
If it was taken care of there might be a chance here. This course just takes the will to score away.
BEFORE YOU SAY "YEAH BLAH BLAH BLAH", I've played Pebble, Pinehurst #2, all of the Bandon Dunes courses, The Prince, The Bear in Michigan. I know golf. I like penal, but Kokopelli is a torture chamber.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not in David's House!

Tetherow Golf Club, in the high desert/forest of Bend (3500 ft. elev.), Oregon, has a David Mclay Kidd course that is better than his Bandon Dunes course (which really launched his career, like Tom Doak for Pacific Dunes). B. D. used to be as tight as Tetherow until they started cutting out the penal gorse. David must be proud of his Bend track, as he lives there on the course. Not in David's house you won't shoot your number the first time. But I think fair and great scenic layout. I've heard this course referred to as "tricked-up". I don't think so, just good links golf. It's worth the drive, play it! Or maybe keep the driver in the bag the first time, until you know the sweet spots to hit to. It seems novice narrow. It's a load from the tips at 74.8/144 and 7300 yards.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

...and "Old MacDonald" had a HEE HI HEE HI HO!

Hi de hi de ho. So now it's official. Bandon Dunes in Nowheresville is now the preeminent "public" golf resort in the U.S.A. Perhaps it used to be Pinehurst via sheer volume of fine courses. Perhaps it used to be Pebble Beach, because of tradition and because it had one more course (4) than B. D. (Del Monte is one of Pebble's 4 courses but not many know it.) But no more. Bandon Dunes now has tradition. Old MacDonald has been there forever, hidden. With the addition of Old MacDonald on 6/1/10, which as I've said before will make an immediate impact on the "Top 10", the remote Oregon resort is on top. Have you seen 4000 year old Barrier Canyon Art? Or the Archaic rock art twice as old? I have that kind of awe for this new course.
The only problem? The "public" is in quotations. None of the resorts mentioned are actually public. They only want the upper crust, as evidenced by their pricing structures. The public doesn't play at them. Boo Hoo.

Bandon Dunes; 4th. green (and first vision thereof) inclusive to 5th. tee, 3rd. tee, 16th. tee (glad they didn't put the clubhouse there), 17th. tee
Pacific Dunes; 2nd. tee (great hole), 18th. tee (back tee), 3rd. green through 4th. green (windsurfers and pelicans coasting into 30 mph winds if you are lucky), 11th. hole
Bandon Trails; 1st. tee (good ocean view-very few on this great course), 2nd. tee (ditto), 13th. tee, 14th. tee (awesome view at an awesome hole)
Old MacDonald; 7th. green (see B. T. 1st. tee) inclusive to 8th. tee, an overall clean atmosphere and experience with fantasy greens (it's puzzlingly scoreable)

By the by: Great courses have 4 great finishing holes. B. Trails has 7.

SURVEY SAYS: Hardest 1) Pacific Dunes (Tricky), 2) Bandon Trails (Tough), 3) Old MacDonald (4 very long par 4's), 4) Bandon Dunes (They cut a lot of the penal original gorse out) 
AND SAYS: Favorite 1) Bandon Trails (Compares well with C & C's Sand Hills course in Nebraska) 2) Bandon Dunes (A soft spot for the original course) 3) Old MacDonald (Great aura, not a lot of views) 4) Pacific Dunes (Tricky, but #1 public course)


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Can't Get Away Without Some Scatter-Brained Thoughts

I think of golf as ranch land gone bad. I guess if you are good at the game it ain't gone so bad. A good walk not ruint then?

Even though the slam-dunk may be the most dramatic hole-in-one, the "three bouncer and in" is the best shot. It shows more accuracy as to the exact line. This should be executed with back spin for perfection, but three forward bounces will suffice.

Front foot comes up at heel on backswing-result is big slice o.b. or worse.
Wrists cock at takeaway-result is shank, probably o.b. Also, no corresponding back hip turn same result.
Drop rear shoulder-result is nice straight chili-dip with beautiful divot.
No hip/leg action-result is dead pull out of play*Caution: Do not want hip/leg action in bunkers.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Then Play on...

the hideout, monticello, ut
beaver creek, avon, co, r t jones jr
rio grande, south fork, co
las vegas paiute (sun mt), las vegas, nv, p dye

oops, wrong blog. That's the title of a great old Fleetwood Mac song. But I guess it does go well for these 25 "More Than Honorable Mention" courses that I've been lucky enough to play.
4 above
21 below

sedona golf resort, sedona, az, panks
rolling stone ranch, steamboat springs, co, r t jones jr
saddle rock, aurora, co, phelps
the gauntlet, tigerville, s c, p b dye
vistoso, tucson, az, weiskopf
starr pass, tucson, az, cupp-palmer
pa a ko ridge, sandia park, n m, k dye
cantigny, wheaton, il, north-packard
fairway pines, ridgway, co
hobble creek, springville, ut
lawsonia (links), green lake, wi
broadmoor (east), colorado springs, co, ross (1-6, 16-18)-r t jones sr
bandon crossings, bandon, or
river valley ranch, carbondale, co, morrish
arizona national, tucson, az, r t jones jr
red fox, tryon, n c
sonnenalp, edwards, co, cupp-morrish
las sendas, mesa, az, r t jones jr
coral canyon, washington, ut, foster
keystone ranch, keystone, co, r t jones jr
bear dance, larkspur, co

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