Fall Visitor

Fall Visitor

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Par for the Course


"For me, the worst part of playing golf, by far,
has always been hitting the ball.
"
Comedian Dave Barry

Oh, Dave: I can so relate. That's why I decide to let my husband hit the ball, and I ride along in the cart. We are both much happier that way.
Early in Randy's fascination with golf, he bought me a used set of women's left-handed golf clubs. He even took me to a driving range and had a professional give me pointers.(Smart man: He didn't try to "instruct" me himself!)

But he can't change my natural propensities: I like being good at the things I do. Yes, I realize that's a narrow-minded way to live, but there you go. It's the truth. I am not good at golf. 

I am good at riding in the cart. I am good at taking photos of pretty places where Randy golfs.
I am good at reading a book while we wait on the foursome ahead of us. I am good at being a conversationalist when called upon and in being quiet during the all-important golf swing.

Randy has made his peace with that. When we go to a new location, Randy likes to golf at courses in the area. The same was true during our trip to Estes Park, Colorado.
Driving range - Estes Park Golf Course
The overall "green" of the course was quite a contrast from the withered lawn and scorched farm fields we'd left behind in Kansas, where 100-degree temperatures were the norm at the time.

As it turned out, Estes Park also was warmer than normal. But it was still cooler than home. And we weren't watching dryland corn and milo fields burn up while there. Out of sight, out of mind? Well, in theory, it works.

Randy golfed at two different courses while there.  The 18-hole Estes Park Golf Course is a public golf course that opened in 1917. He also golfed at the 9-hole Lake Estes Executive 9-Hole Course, a public course that opened in 1972.
A view from the golf cart - Estes Park Golf Course
With the mountain backdrop, I didn't do a lot of reading during our time on the courses.
  
I have added a new "job" to my role as Randy's No. 1 golf fan. Once during a golf outing, I call out, "In the hole," trying to give Randy the experience the pro golfers get on Sunday afternoons. (I always wonder whether the people who are shouting this have their DVRs recording and want to hear themselves on television. I just roll my eyes.) But it is good for a laugh.
So was this sign along the way. For the record, we did not see any elk droppings or hoof prints, so there were no real excuses for mulligans.
Estes Park Golf Course was recognized as the sixth most beautiful golf courses in the United States by Mitch Kaplan, author of The Golf Book of Lists.
We concur:  It was beautiful!
Randy likes to wear K-State gear while golfing because it often generates conversations. At the 18-hole course, he was paired with a couple of golfers who were wearing Oklahoma State orange. I guess we kept it all in the Big 12.
They were all comparable golfers, which made it fun for them all. 
The rain held off until near the end, and the guys played through it. We would have loved to send the rain to Central Kansas instead.

***
On another day, Randy golfed the 9-hole Lake Estes course.
According to publicity materials, it's home to a herd of elk that are active during elk calving and elk rut seasons. We didn't see any elk on the course. But there were plenty of geese.
Randy planned to golf the short course in the morning, and then we were going to go back to Rocky Mountain National Park and drive to Beaver Lake. However, nature was "too crowded." We saw the electronic signs, saying that vehicle access to Beaver Lake was "restricted." We later learned that the parking lot at Beaver Lake was full and had been since 7:40 that morning. Park rangers suggested we come back later in the afternoon.
So ... we went back to the 9-hole golf course. They gave Randy a discount on another trip around the course. It was a pretty day. There was a nice breeze. I had a camera and a book. All was right with the world.
The Lake Estes 9-Hole Golf Course incorporates the Big Thompson River on the last four holes.
Randy only landed the ball in the water once. (One other time, it glanced across the river like skipping stones. That was impressive!)
All was going so well that he decided to make a third round of the 9-hole course. We almost got to the end before we got rained out.
Since it kept raining, we didn't drive back out to the National Park. I guess Beaver Lake will be on a "next time" list.

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