Monday, December 15, 2014

Lost Balls

14th green in the shadow of Croagh Patrick
I've long heard how wonderful the golf courses are in Ireland.

They were right.

Granted, my experience is limited to one course, Westport Golf Club, but if other courses on the Emerald Isle are as good, I can't wait to play more places around here.

From the road leading to the course, it didn't look all that special. Nice parkland layout in the valley. But once you go over the rise between the 11th green and 12th tee, the scenery changes dramatically. Holes 12-13-14-15-16 overlook Clew Bay and are overlooked by the famous Croagh Patrick mountain.
15th tee with the fairway across Clew Bay
The 15th hole is spectacular. The tee shot must cross an inlet of the Bay, then the long par-5 winds around the bay to a crowned, wind-swept green.


How'd I play? Well, I improved steadily through the round. On the first hole, I lost two golf balls. On the second, only lost one. On the third and thereafter, did not lose anymore. I tried to lose one ball four times on the 13th hole but I kept finding it in the trees. The ball I lost on No. 15, I think was stolen by a seagull - it was a good shot and should have been in the fairway. At least, that's my story, and there were no witnesses.
From the 18th fairway toward Croagh Patrick
After I hit my tee shot on the par-3 14th, I was wishing I had witnesses - it was going right for the flag, and I thought if I got a hole in one, how could I prove it? (I didn't)
Wasn't sure I was going to get to play at all, even though we are here for 3 1/2 weeks. It's been cold (between -2 and +9 C, or 30-45 F), rain most days, and winds as high as 100 k (60 mph). But when I walked the dog this morning, there was no wind, and there were hints of blue sky, so I decided to go for it. Layered up to keep warm, wore gloves in between shots. Enjoyed a mix of bright sunshine, multi-gray clouds, and yes the daily rain. Highlights of the day - nailed perfect tee shots on 17 and 18, and got to see a rare double rainbow.

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