Monday, January 5, 2015

The shorts of a discombobulated golf course

It’s a little unusual to be wearing shorts while playing golf in early January in Raleigh NC. But, it was that way Sunday playing 18 holes at Lonnie Poole Golf Course, wearing shorts, pushing a bag cart on soaked turf during an on again, off again rain shower. It was a 2 hour and 35 minute walk with nature, using just one golf ball and scoring an 8-over par 80.

Right now, the muscles are sore from pushing that cart up and down hills and swinging those clubs with a strong tempo, one that hasn't seen a full individual round at Pinehurst No. 8 in mid-October. Sunday, with temperatures in the high 60s/low 70s, with a strong breeze and intermittent rain, a round of golf was in order right after the early service at First United Methodist Church of Cary. This 62+ year old body still likes to walk the course, and, with carts on paths required, walking was better and quicker than the alternative.

Lonnie Poole Golf Course is an interesting place. It’s on the NC State University Centennial campus, land leased to an LLC for minimal dollars. The golf course/pro shop is operated by a private management firm. The greens superintendent, who decides when the course is open or closed and if carts are on or off the paths and/or fairways, is on the University staff with a citizen-funded state salary and reports to a series of people including an advisory committee that reports to a University official; and the restaurant is operated by another private restaurant in Raleigh. The college golf teams have offices, locker rooms and indoor practice facilities. The NCSU turf-grass management department and the Professional Golf Management program also have program space. On the surface this is a discombobulated set-up that somehow works, maybe.

During the winter months the course gets little play but many of the patrons for some odd reason refuse to repair pitch (ball) marks on the greens. Sunday, patrons were out but not in force. However, there were ball marks a plenty and easily repaired. It seems the daily fee paying public does not feel obligated to repair ball marks or rake traps. That’s too bad. It has taken a several million dollars to build the course, and for the public of all people. Hah! Those who use it should help to take care of it or they should not be invited/allowed back.

As far as the sore muscles, that’s a price one must pay to play under the conditions. Please let me know when the next warm day is scheduled.
-------------------- word of the day
rallentando (adjective) [rah-luh n-tahn-doh]: slackening; becoming slower

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