Friday, November 6, 2009

Adventures in Golf


Now don’t laugh. In the rural west, golf can be quite adventurous. Going after a lost ball on the way to the eighteenth hole in Carlsbad, New Mexico could encounter rattlesnakes that would make Indian Jones cringe and the concentration and size of rock chucks (marmots) on the Custer, South Dakota course (above) would put the run on Caddy Shack’s gopher population. Sand traps and water are just several of the hazards and are a small inconveniences to suffer for the privilege of being out in some very beautiful areas. Where else besides Hot Springs, South Dakota, are you more likely to have to wait for deer or wild turkeys to cross the green than another player?

Every course is different and offers unique challenges and that’s part of the fun. Being the marginal player that I am doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the sport when the activity gives me an excuse to linger in such places as Crawford, Nebraska (population 1,107), which by the way, has a great nine-hole course. So, I play on in hopes of achieving eighteen holes at par and finding the next hidden gem that makes the outing as exciting as the game.

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