30 December 2005

The Greatest Joy in Golf

This is from a blog I kept a few years ago. Detailing an experience I had in 2003 regarding my finding a "hidden" but neglected gem in Central PA.

To me, experiences like this are the greatest joy in golf.

I was just in the most hell forsaken place on the planet I think.
After work today, I decided I wanted to play golf. Since the PSUGC is closed for a three day tournament I had to go to a different course.
For some reason, I wasn't feeling Toftrees so I did some searching. I decided on a course about 30 miles southwest of here called Standing Stone. I knew the architect of the club and I like his work so I figured I would give it a try.
The drive down was beautiful, over and through mountains and valleys and what not. The course is off the beaten path some, and unless you are paying attention you would probably miss it. The entrance was narrow and was only one lane. The road gave a good view of the course and I was moderately optimistic at my choice.
The gentleman in the pro shop let me out after I showed him my PGA card. One notable thing about him was his business card, which he gave me. He apparently teaches and does trick shot shows. The golf shop itself was a small hut that was no bigger than a back yard shed and was completely seperate from a larger building used as the club house and restaurant.
The course looks like it was once a really good course. Walking down the first fairway I noticed signs of painstaking and futile effort to put the course back together. It saddened me that I saw half completeled projects with the shovels and other tools still lying around. The fairways were long, and very wet considering the rain we've been getting.
The thing is, the design is there. The holes are routed logically, the greens located on good spots and the bunkering, while overgrown somewhat, follows a path that could be challenging.
I only survived four holes before I couldn't take any more. I made a mental note of the ground, and the basic routing from the score card and left. It is very hard for me to see a remnant of what once was. This was obviously a course conceived by a genius at design (Geoffrey Cornish, for those keeping notes) and it wasn't meant to be this neglected.
To most people, it may be just another course. To me... it's a waste of very good effort.

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