Thursday, July 02, 2009

We're Cursed!

We made the two hour plus trek to Port Stanley, Ontario to play the Stanley Thompson designed St. Thomas Golf and Country Club on Tuesday. Cal, Ryan, Dr. Greg and I all took the day off work to make the trip to the Top 100 in Canada course even though the forecast looked gloomy, at best.

However, the course was under partly cloudy skies when we arrived and hadn't seen a drop of rain all night so we were hoping for the best.

After being thwarted on our last chance to play the course a couple years back by excessive rains, it was quite satisfying hitting that first tee shot down the hill on the 410 yard par four opener.

I'd two putt the first hole for par then find trouble off the tee on the winding par four second and end up with a double.

I'd make a solid par on the extremely difficult and lovely par four third hole and then the rain started coming down in sheets.

Wonderful.

It rained off and on for three more holes and the storm siren finally blared just as I hit my tee shot on the seventh hole.

You have to be kidding me! Is there lightning in the area?

The sun actually came out moments later and the rest of the group hit their tee balls on the 7th. Just as we got ready to hit our approach shots, a person came over the loudspeaker, asking everyone to get off the golf course immediately.

This isn't good.

I went to the pro shop and they indicated that there wasn't lightning in the area but "the golf course is under too much water".

What? We hadn't seen ANY standing water at all through the first seven holes.

"Where is the water collecting?", I asked.

"We've just been hit with a lot of rain", was the reply.

"We're just going to hold off for a bit to see if it dries up."

With that, our foursome headed inside for some lunch and hoped for the best. For a full hour, there was just a quick passing shower but nothing else. Then, just as we were finishing up, the rain came down hard.

We knew we were done. Again.

I was able to get a full refund, but man. Two times in a row we try to play this course and get foiled. That's a hell of a long drive to have that happen twice. Maybe it's just not meant to be.

I will say this - the golf course was GORGEOUS and all of us were enjoying it immensely. But they have to do something about the poor drainage on the back nine - we finally did see the water collecting on the back as we drove out of the property and there is no way you'd see that at St. Catharines these days after the work that's been done.

What a colossal disappointment.

We decided to try to make the best of it and drove out to Tarandowah Golfers Club in Avon, shown below. It is a new, links-style course designed by Martin Hawtree and I've heard great things about it from Robert Thompson, a golf writer for ScoreGolf and many other publications.


The pro had told us before we arrived that they hadn't seen a drop of rain, quite a suspicious statement considering how close it is to St. Thomas.

Of course, when we arrived, we saw that the place was under a considerable amount of water. Geez.

Still, at $29.00 per player to walk, it was a worthwhile proposition so we paid the money and headed out.

We'd get FOUR HOLES done before we saw a crack of lightning and more ominously, a funnel cloud forming in the distance.

You've never seen us run that fast to get out of there!

What a disappointing day. Two good golf courses and we don't get to finish either of them.

The forecast was just as bad for Canada Day yesterday but the rains held off in the AM and we were able to get our round in. I shot a decent 77 (+5) from the tips and won a skin to make it a profitable day. I'm starting to slowly get a bit better from a ball-striking perspective but I'm still a bit off.

I've got my first round Langley Cup match to play on Sunday and will likely have to give a couple shots at least to my opponent. Looking forward to the match.

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