Friday, April 24, 2015

Golf in Pahrump

They had a flyer at the RV park here about a weekly tournament, so I signed up.  It was at an executive course.  I think I was the youngest one there.  When I got there, the lady asked me what flight I was in, A, B, C, or D.  I told her 15 handicap, and she said "Oh, you're an A player!"  

It was a 4-man scramble.  One of my teammates is having his 94th birthday tomorrow.  He has macular degeneration, can’t see where his ball goes anymore, which is only about 130 yards with the driver.  He just got his drivers’ license renewed the other day.  They forgot to ask him how old he was until after it was all in the computer, so he didn't get the eye test.  He’s hard of hearing, too, so every time he spoke it was loud enough for the groups on adjacent holes to hear.
So I told him my blind golfer stories, the one about Tiger and Stevie Wonder, and the one about the guy going blind who takes his older brother along to see where his ball goes.

We won the tournament by 2 shots.  I chipped in twice, one with a wedge and one a putt from off the green, lipped out an eagle chip, made a 20-footer, and my teammates were making putts from everywhere.  We had 2 bogies, and shot 5 under par.  We each won $8 on a $3 entry fee.  They all wanted to know how long I was staying here, and when I'm coming back.  I will play again, if we're here again.  I have an idea now of how the pro feels playing in a pro-am.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blythe Municipal Golf Course

Being in Blythe, CA might be considered something of a hardship, but their golf course is a hidden gem.  We're staying in an RV park in Ehrenberg, AZ, just across the river, because it's a convenient stopping point on the way to Indio.

Blythe is a William F. Bell design, with an assortment of doglegs, water hazards, grass and sand bunkers, a dramatically elevated par 3, and some blind or partially blind shots.  The second hole is 195 yards from the white tees, but plays 170

to a double green, shared with #6.  

Many of the greens are elevated
They're smooth and fast, with tiers and some severe slopes, so care must be taken in planning the approach or chip.

The fairways are also tilted sometimes, and can put a pretty good shot into a bad place.

The front nine runs down and up the Mesa Bluff, with large elevation changes.  The back, from 10-16 is relatively flat, but with more narrow fairways and doglegs defined by large trees.

17 is a double dogleg par 5, 550 from the whites.

18 is a strong uphill par 3 with a grass bunker in front
The course is a par 73, with 5 par 5's.  The fairways are well-groomed, and the greens are pristine, smooth and fast.  The greens fees are quite reasonable.  I paid (hot deal on Golfnow) the same price I have paid for a bag of balls at Longbow.  I shot 82 with two birdies, which I admit adds some bias to my opinion, but I will still maintain that this is an above-average golf course at a very reasonable price.

More pictures.