This past week the HOG World Tour was in French Lick, Indiana to check out two courses from two very different and equally famous golf course architects, Pete Dye and Donald Ross. The Donald Ross Course was the first on the menu, and I loved the entree so much I went back through the buffet a 2nd and 3rd time.
The Donald Ross Course 10th hole (left) with the practice putting green in the foreground
This was one of the more challenging Donald Ross courses I’ve played due to the large amount of elevation changes and horizontal movement of the holes. And the greens were some of the most extreme I’ve ever putted. Putting or chipping from above the hole is nearly impossible.
Par-3 4th Hole – 240 Yards
I was able to play this fabulous old course (1917) three times. It’s ranked 71st in Golf Digest’s Top-100. I’ll be posting my full review of the experience soon, but wanted to do a quick share and a couple of photos prior to that. Stay tuned.
Greetings from the fabulous and beautiful French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana. I think I can see Larry Bird’s house from here. I’m in French Lick on a press trip to review the resort and the three golf courses here. More to come on the golf.
View from a balcony room into the dome at the West Baden Springs Hotel
The photo above is a shot from the balcony of my terrific room here at the West Baden Springs Hotel. The hotel is circular with a huge dome in the middle. The reverberation is quite lengthy.
This is a very classy place. They obviously aren’t on to me being a blogger. They must think I’m a “journalist.” Shhhh. Don’t tell them.
Last night I had a dinner, feast rather, fit for a king. Above you can see the waiter making up my favorite dessert in the universe, Bananas Foster. Wow was that good. Great restaurants here at French Lick Resort.
Check back for some golf related posts from the Ross Course and the Pete Dye course.
Aerial Photo: Soldier Hollow Golf Courses – click for more
SALT LAKE CITY – May 20, 2016 – Hooked on Golf Blog will bring it’s famous “HOG World Tour” to Heber, Utah May 23-25, 2016 for the annual International Network of Golf (ING) Spring Conference. ING is a non-profit organization with the objective to “bring golf industry executives together with members of the golf media to improve communication, introduce new products, services and destinations, and to develop and nurture relationships.”
“I’m looking forward to attending my first ING conference and especially to meeting new and old friends and associates in the golf industry. I’m also looking forward to experiencing the great golf Heber Valley and the state of Utah have to offer, and showing some of my new and old friends around this great area.” ~Tony Korologos, Hooked on Golf Blog
At the ING Spring Conference the blog will be meeting with industry professionals media regarding equipment, travel, tourism, education, media, and social networking. Of course, many rounds of great Utah mountain golf will be experienced.
I had a wild hair up my shag bag to take in the experience of a course I haven’t played in probably several decades, Nibley Park. We often refer to it as “The Gib,” which is short for The Gibley. That comes from “Nibley Gibley.” So I affectionately said that I was “flogging the Gib.” I’m glad to clear up the confusion on that now.
This course is a 9-hole par-34 which measures a lengthy 2,895 yards from the blue tees; the tips. The only par-5 is 453 yards and I hit an 8-iron into that one on my 2nd shot. Yes I made birdie.
Play is slow. So people do cartwheels in the fairway to keep themselves entertained…
The Gib is a bit of a beginner’s course, and one which is on the low budget end. It clocks in at a whopping $11.00 to walk 9-holes. That’s a price I can live with. The crowd is, shall we say, more working class than higher end courses in town. That’s part of the experience I was looking for. Plus I’m trying to get used to new Miura irons, and new shoes.
I played with two guys who were playing their 2nd round of the year. I doubt they even have established handicaps. I had fun playing with them, and watching their match which was 25 cents per hole. I think 75 cents exchanged hands at the end. One of the guys was pitching it better than me with what appeared to be a pitching wedge hybrid. See below.
That P-Hybrid has “internal sole weighting.” I can’t imagine what external sole weighting would be.
The other guy was a lefty and bragged that he got his TaylorMade driver for $10.00 on eBay. I said, “if you only knew.” He got his entire set of clubs on eBay in fact, and said the most expensive club in the bag was his driver. Most of his clubs were $5.00 or less. As I wielded my brand new shiny Miuras I couldn’t help mumble “if you only knew (my rants about golf product release cycles).” Later in the round he told me he had seen a set of irons like mine before, when some guy was pawning them. He said he knew the guy had no business with irons like that. English translation, they were stolen. That’s my guess.
I enjoyed playing a more casual round on an easier course, especially one where my rusty spring game didn’t cost me more than my green fees. Low pressure. I tested some new shoes, a new ball, and got another round in with the new irons.
Post-round I practiced low running chips and short game. I practiced so long my back was tweaked the next morning. It took half a day to get myself straightened out.
Game Still MIA
I’m hoping my missing golf game will reappear soon. I’m thinking the more spring rounds I get in, the closer I’ll get to my game’s return. Until then my handicap is blowing up and my confidence is like a house of cards.
This year’s goal is to enjoy the walk. Regardless of the score, that’s what I’m trying to do. Most of the time I’ve gotten it done.