Kirk on quest to go where few golfers have gone before

Lake of the Ozarks
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Editor’s note: Mike Kirk, the assistant media relations director at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, has been on a similar quest as David Jones, the superintendent at The Club at Indian Springs in Broken Arrow, whom we profiled last week online and in the 2021 Directory and Travel Issue of Golf Oklahoma. Kirk is trying to play every course in Oklahoma and is getting fairly close, particularly on the public course side. To say we have some really enthusiastic golfers in Oklahoma may be the understatement of the year. Enjoy the latest in our For the Love of Golf series.

By Mike Kirk

Apparently I’m a hoarder of some sort. Didn’t really realize that until I was digging through the attic in my Edmond home to get out Christmas stuff in November of 2019 and came across a box of – for lack of a better term – crap that I had accumulated over the years.

Grade school report cards (yikes!), a Desert Inn silver dollar gaming chip from my first-ever trip to Vegas in the early 1980s (wonder if that’s worth anything?), a newspaper clipping signifying the end of World War II (how’d that get in there?), the Parade magazine after Elvis passed away (why did I keep that?) and assorted other odds and ends.

And scorecards from golf courses that I’ve played over the past four-plus decades. Lots and lots of scorecards. From all over Oklahoma to places in Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky, New York and many states in between.

So, being the stat nerd that I am, I separated them into in-state courses and out-of-state courses.

Wow. That was my first reaction. Okay, maybe it was something a little stronger than that, but still. And again, being a stat geek, I made a list. Public courses played in Oklahoma. Private courses played in Oklahoma. Other courses, listed by state.

Sadly I don’t have a scorecard from every course I’ve ever stepped foot on, though I did have around 200. But I tend to remember really important stuff just like this, so I was able to recall courses that I didn’t have a card for and added them to my three lists.

The final tally that mid-November day? In Oklahoma, it was 99 public courses and 17 private ones. Add to that 105 courses in 24 different states, including nearly 25 from the Las Vegas area. Sadly, a number of Oklahoma courses on my list have since closed, including three in Edmond alone – SilverHorn, Coffee Creek and Traditions. And some courses have closed since I made my original list.

My Oklahoma public list started innocently enough at the nine-hole Perry Country Club, where I first picked up the game back in the mid-1970s at age 14.  A two-year stint on the PHS golf team got the list going, highlighted by a trip to the Alva Country Club my junior year where we won the regional championship to qualify for the state tournament that was held at the Cushing Country Club (now Buffalo Rock).

Not many courses were added during four years of college at Oklahoma State and just a few joined the list while spending a year as a sports writer at the McAlester News-Capital and Democrat. Most of my rounds in McAlester were played 30 minutes away at the Arrowhead State Park course that – ironically enough — was being run by Claude Powell, who had been the head pro at Perry CC during my high school years.

As a side note, Claude banned me from the Perry course for a week one summer for dragging my spikes on the eighth green (golf shoes had actually spikes in those days for you youngsters), an allegation that I dispute to this day. But I digress.

The list grew quite a bit during four years as sports writer at the Lawton Constitution. We worked nights (4 p.m.-midnight), which left plenty of time to play in the mornings, and off days were spent touring Southwest Oklahoma. My colleague and good friend Steve Sinderson and I would often go to two courses a day (Anadarko and Chickasha one week, Duncan and Comanche the next, etc.).

And then, in the fall of 1987, it was off to Edmond when I took over as sports information director at what was then Central State University and is now the University of Central Oklahoma. All three of my lists really exploded after getting to UCO for a variety of reasons.

Chief among those was working for an athletic director and great friend (Skip Wagnon) who was also the golf coach, which meant you got to play golf with the boss a lot at courses all over. Traveling to national conventions every summer expanded the out-of-state list, as did annual December golf trips to Vegas.

Most of my golf was played during the summer months while working at UCO due to the nature of the job, though I  would sneak out whenever possible during the school year. That ended in the summer of 2016 when I retired, though I still help out at UCO on a part-time basis. Now I play golf whenever and wherever I can, often getting in 36 or more holes in one day.

So quietly the lists grew and grew over the years. Obviously I love playing and knew my golf course list was pretty long, though I didn’t realize how extensive until getting that box out of the attic.

I’ve always enjoyed playing different courses, especially since I haven’t been a member anywhere since my high school days in Perry. Heck, I played 43 different courses in 2020 alone while logging a personal-record 186 rounds.

And the Oklahoma public list got me to thinking – how many are left in the state that I haven’t played?? So, of course, I did an internet search and made another list of those courses.

And then, being a semi-retired guy who likes to finish things I’ve started, I came upon a plan. Not a smart one, mind you, but a plan nonetheless. How about crossing off all the public courses on the list of those not played? Sounded like a rather silly thought, but I’ve always been keen to dumb ideas!

And so my quest began.

My original list contained 54 public courses I hadn’t played and I’ve knocked 21 from that. The ambitious goal at first was to cross off the rest by the end of 2020, but then something called COVID-19 showed  up. The majority of the ones left on my list are in the far reaches of the state, which means some overnight stays to try and eliminate three or four at a time, and the pandemic has made that a little more difficult.

Most of the courses I haven’t played are nine-hole ones, but that’s okay. That’s like going home to me, since the Perry CC was my home away from home while learning the game. And the majority of nine-hole courses have different tee boxes for the front and back nine, which usually makes each nine at least a little different.

There are a lot of courses I’m excited about seeing for the first time so let the adventure begin!

Here’s some quick observations on the courses I’ve crossed off since I made the list.

The Links at Mustang Creek in Yukon – Nine-hole course in the middle of an apartment complex. Played two tee boxes to get in a quick 18 holes and wasn’t a big fan for no particular reason. Short for the most part, but pretty tight and would be easy for somebody to knock out an apartment window. Glad I went, but won’t be going back.

Parks Brothers Memorial Course in Prague – Nine-hole course that, sadly, wasn’t much better than a cow pasture. The locals looked at me like I was from Mars or something, so I guess they’re not used to out-of-towners being in their territory. Course wasn’t much,  but it was a really nice day so I played both tee boxes twice to get in 36 holes. Club house included a pool table along with two recliners and an old television in the corner, which is where the guy running the place was taking a nap while an episode of “Bonanza” played on the TV when I went in between nines.

Bristow Golf and Country Club – Neat track and a hidden gem. Nine-hole course and several holes had distinctly different tee boxes, which was cool. One hole was a par-4 on the front nine and a long par-3 on the back and another hole was just the opposite. Early December and I was the only player on the course the front nine. Played both tee boxes twice for 36 holes.

Gil Morgan Golf Course in Wewoka – Another really nice nine-hole course. And another beautiful December day, so once again I got in 36 holes by playing both tee boxes twice. There were some big elevation changes on a couple of holes and the greens were bigger than what you normally see on a nine-hole course. Not many players other than a seven-some that I ran into, which you don’t see every day.

Sand greens at Lakeview Golf Course in Shidler

Blackwell Country Club – Nine-hole course that wasn’t very long (which I like as a short hitter!) other than the par-3s, which were all at least 175 yards. Fun course. Hard to believe I had never played here since Perry is just down the road, but it honestly never crossed my mind. Once more I got in 36 holes by playing both tee boxes twice. Nice clubhouse and the pro gave me a ball marker and tee with Blackwell CC markings when I told him what I was doing, so that was a bonus!

The Links at Norman – Unlike the Links in Mustang, this was a regulation 18-hole course. Not real long, but some narrow fairways and the greens were small and fast with lots of undulations. Some really challenging holes, especially a pair of the par-5s. Plenty of bunkers and they were all excellently maintained, which appears to be a rarity anymore. Would definitely play here again.

Keystone Golf Club in Cleveland – Another nine-hole course and a pretty short one, which again is fine by me. Greens were like upside down saucers. When I called the course on the way to make sure they were open, the guy running the place said that if the door was locked just grab a cart because the key would be in it and take off. So of course that’s exactly what happened. Door was locked, I grabbed a cart and loaded up, then went inside between nines to pay up. Local airport ran right through the middle of the place, so one of the rules on the sign at the first tee said not to drive carts on the runway. I am not making that up. And yes, I was tempted to go ahead and take a quick trip down the runaway, something I most assuredly would have done in my youth. Like, say, 2010. Played both tees twice for another quick 36 holes.

Kah-Wah-C Country Club in Fairfax – Where to begin. First off, nobody answered the phone at the course the day I decided to go here and yet – being an idiot – I went ahead and made the drive. Then I get to town and the directions on my phone led me to a residential section that definitely didn’t include a golf course. So I drive around, finally see somebody by their car and stop to ask if there was, indeed, a golf course in Fairfax. “Oh sure”, said the police officer – maybe the only one in this small town – that I happened upon. “Go down to main street, hang a left, go to the football stadium and hang a right.”

Kah-Wah-C Country Club in Fairfax.

Okay, sounded easy enough. I get to the football stadium, actually see a Kah-Wah-C Country Club sign, and hang a right. Nearly two miles later, just when I’m about to give up, I finally see another sign for the golf course. So I hang a left and headed down the road, thinking I was really close. But no. It was another 1.4 miles – yes, I tracked it – on a one-lane road through wheat fields and cow pastures until I finally reached my destination. It got so bad that I stopped a U.S. postal worker who was on the road and asked if there was actually a golf course at the end of the rainbow. “Oh, yeah,” she says with a laugh. “It’s really small and I doubt there’s anybody there, but just keep going down this road.”

So I did and, sure enough, there was nobody at the course when I finally arrived. And I mean nobody. No golfers, no workers, no nothing. Well, I had come too far to give up now, so I just unloaded my clubs, put on my golf shoes and decided I would walk. No big deal, it was a beautiful January day with no wind and temps in the mid-60s. I figured it would be easy enough to maneuver my way around the nine-hole layout and it was. I was a little bummed there was no scorecard, but I just kept tally on a scrap piece of paper and played two balls to get in a quick 18. I looked through the trash cans on every hole hoping to find a scorecard and finally did on No. 7, though I’m not sure how Glen’s card – after a 5-9-5 start – ended up there.

Course was a lot like the Prague one in that it felt like you were playing in a pasture, so there was no distinction between the fairway and the rough. And the greens were just shaved down fairways, though most of them at least had some curve to them. Short course, which again isn’t a bad thing for me, and the only bunkers had long since been overtaken by Mother Nature. But the adventure was worth the trip and another course bit the dust.

Shidler Lakeview Golf Club.

Lakeview Golf Club in Shidler – I thought my adventure to Fairfax would be almost impossible to top. I was wrong. Very wrong. I should have hit this course the same day I went to the Kah-Wah-C Country Club, but actually didn’t realize how close the towns were – 14 miles! – until I was leaving Fairfax and by then it was too late since it gets dark so early in January.

I didn’t make the same mistake of not calling the course ahead of time, but that didn’t matter because there is no number to call. Or at least that works. Undaunted, I call the Shidler city clerk to ask if, indeed, there was a golf course that was open in the town of less than 500. “Oh, yes, it’s on the south side of town just off the highway,” the sweet lady said. Perfect. So off I go, depending once again on my phone to direct me to the promised land.

And, of course, I wound up on a road that ended with a bridge that was closed down. I head back to the highway and take off for the big town of Shidler, calling the city clerk again on the way. “Oh, yes, that bridge is out. Come towards town and after you go over the river take a right on the road just past the truck batteries (I swear that’s what she said!).” Just past the river I spot an old oil derrick and decide that has to be the road, so I hang a right. Sure enough, about a half mile later I spot a sign for Lakeview Golf Club, which had apparently been used for shotgun practice quite often.

Snake Bridge at The Greens in Burns Flat.

Now I’m going down a one-lane road – ala Fairfaix – and came upon a fork in the road. As Yogi Berra once said, when you come to a fork in the road, take it. So I did, and a half mile later I’m surrounded by 20-30 cattle thinking I have hay in my trunk ready to feed them lunch. So I back up to the other fork and head that way. And then there it is – Lakeview!

Oh, boy. There’s not a soul in sight and actually doesn’t appear that there has been in weeks. A chained gate blocks my entrance to the “clubhouse” so I walk through a gate and see a sign – “Welcome to Lakeview Golf Club. Green fees – $5. Please place money in slot on front door. Thank you.” I am not making that up. In case you haven’t guessed, there are no golf carts.

Being a semi-honest chap, I push five dollar bills through the slot on the front door, find a scorecard in a mailbox-type container and head for the first tee. Long par-4 to start, but straight down the fence line it appeared. I tee off – hit the “fairway” by the way – and then left my approach short. As I was preparing to chip up to what looked like a very, very small green I notice that it’s not a green at all. Rather it’s a bunker. A round bunker with a flag in the middle of it. Or rather a pole, since the flag part of the equation had long since blown away.

It’s a sand green!!

Mike Kirk teeing off at Shangri-La.

I’ve heard of those, but had never before played one. Wow! You haven’t played golf until you’ve played on sand “greens”! When you get on these greens, there’s a roller that you use to smooth out the path from your ball to the hole. So you know it’s straight, which is a bonus I guess. But – shocker – sand greens are REALLY slow. And then, after you’ve putted out, there’s a rake for you to “fix” the green so it’s kind of back to the way you originally saw it. One advantage to sand greens is that you can be really aggressive with your chip shots!

Obviously the course itself isn’t one I would play again since it was basically a cow pasture with a few small sand pits thrown in, but I’m glad I got to experience it – and hopefully there are no more sand greens courses on my list! I just played nine holes, since it really wasn’t worth the time to hit two balls and get a full round in.

I stopped at the Pawnee Golf Club on my way back, another nine-hole course that I played probably 20 years ago. I don’t have a scorecard from Pawnee, so figured I could get one for my collection and also squeeze in a quick 18 holes. And the course was out of scorecards! The guy working the pro shop gave me a scorecard from a course in Drumright that is now closed (taking it off the list before I had a chance to play it). Pawnee’s course took possession of Drumright’s clubhouse stuff and he told me that “it’s too slow in the winter to spend $500 on getting cards printed so we’re just using these until we run out.” Super.

Another great day on Golf Quest 2020!

Sapulpa Golf Course.

Rock Creek GC in Sapulpa – Didn’t know what to expect from this course and it was pretty dang tough! Water comes into play on a bunch of holes, so course knowledge is a definitely plus and that’s something I didn’t have. Really enjoyed the course, other than that fact that it’s pretty congested. Which means golfers are in danger from errant shots on several holes that run close together. Greens were fast and had good undulations to them. No good stories on this one, other than the group of junior high golfers gathered on the 10th tee who looked at me cross-eyed when I asked to play through. Would definitely play here again.

Heritage Hills GC in Claremore.

Heritage Hills Golf Course in Claremore – After a two-month hiatus to the pandemic, my quest resumed here and it was a disappointment. Photos of the course on their website looked great, so I was excited to play here. Arrived early for my tee time and was told the back nine was closed – “Didn’t they tell you that when you called to make your tee time?” the guy taking my money asked. Uh, no, they didn’t. Oh, well, I was here so I paid up, loaded up and took off. Played two tees on the only nine to get in a quick 18 and might have played it again if it weren’t so crowded. Sadly, the course conditions weren’t very good. Greens were in bad shape and the bunkers looked like they hadn’t been tended to in months so they were unplayable. Liked the layout okay, but guess I was expecting more and thus the disappointment. Sign in the pro shop said new greens and bunkers were coming, so might have to try it again in a couple of years.

Cedar Crest Golf Course in Skiatook.

Cedar Crest Golf Course in Skiatook – Another place where I showed up and nobody was in the clubhouse. Looked around for a few minutes, finally saw a sign on the front door to “Take a cart and pay at the turn” and was headed that way when a worker showed up to take my money – $15 for green fee and cart. Yet another nine-hole course and once again a short one that was basically a pasture, with greens that were just mowed down short. But for some reason I liked the place. Had some character to it and several of the holes were pretty tough, especially since you didn’t get much roll because of the high grass. And that’s a killer for my game! Short course, with the longest hole the par-4 ninth that was 451 yards from one of the tees I played. Longer than the two par-5s. A gorgeous day, so played both tees twice for a quick 36 holes.

Watonga Golf Club in Watonga.

Watonga Golf Club in Watonga – I’ve been through Watonga many times to play the Roman Nose State Park Course (which is tough, by the way) and had always noticed this little course off the side of the road by the airport. Never thought about playing it until this project came about. Called the course for two days before heading that direction, getting no answer, but decided to go ahead anyway since I was going to another course that way. Of course I show up and nobody’s there. Locked down tighter than a drum. There was not one soul on the course, around the clubhouse or anywhere else. So I unloaded, grabbed my bag and took off walking.

Played the first hole, teed off on the long par-3 second and headed to the green. Get to it, notice the No. 9 green is really close. Just 22 feet away as a matter of fact (yes, I walked it off) and played out. Then I started looking for No. 3 tee. Nowhere to be found near No. 2 green, then I notice there’s a tee box next to No. 2 tee box so I trek back that way and there it is. Well alrighty then. Was hitting my approach to No. 3 and couldn’t figure out why there were two greens there. Hit to the closest one, get to it and notice that No. 6 green is right next to it. And I mean RIGHT next to it. Twelve feet to be exact. Anyway I proceed on and finished nine holes – though I thought I was going to be decapitated while walking up No. 8 when a plane practicing landings at the airport 20 yards away came swooping in. Greens were terrible, but the course itself wasn’t that bad. And it was free, since nobody was there. Only drawback was I didn’t get a scorecard for my collection.

Legacy Golf Course in Longdale.

Legacy Golf Course in Longdale – So I leave Watonga and get directions on my phone to this course that is somewhere near Fairview, wherever that is. I have never been so turned around in my life. Three miles, turn left on country road 250. Two and a half miles, turn left on country road 380. And so it went. I swear I drove by two meth houses and, across the street from one, was a dog/wolf that looked extremely hungry. Glad I had plenty of gas. And then, all of a sudden, there it was. And what a surprise! Clubhouse was a trailer, but that was no big deal. Other than the tee boxes, the course was in great shape, especially for a nine-holer in the middle of nowhere. They were actually hand-watering the greens – some of the best I’ve played on in 2020 — while I was out there and it was a great experience. Played two tee boxes for a quick 36 holes. Not sure I can ever find the place again, but glad I did this once.

Lakewood Golf Course in Ada – For the first time on my quest I took a partner along as good buddy John Martin (UCO’s baseball coach) tagged along as I knocked two more courses off the list. First up was Lakewood, another nine-hole track in Ada. Greens weren’t very good, but liked the layout and there lots of elevation changes. Pretty challenging course, capped by the par-3 ninth hole that was 220 yards from the back tees to a small, elevated green and not many bailout options. Making it even tougher was the hard ground, thanks to our current drought, so sometimes good shots got bad bounces. And sometimes bad shots got good bounces, but that didn’t seem to happen as much! Definitely would have helped to know where we were going and it might have benefitted us to play it twice, but we went two balls from two different tee boxes for nine holes to get a quick 18. We had a little difficulty on the first hole, a short downhill par-4 with trouble on both sides, and it looked like a group was going to catch us on the second tee. They waited until we hit on No. 2 and then continued toward us, so I figured we must have done something wrong. Then they got closer and we noticed they were carrying fishing poles instead of golf clubs and were headed to the small lake by the course to try their luck.

Sulphur Davis Elk’s Golf Course.

Sulphur-Davis Elks Golf & Country Club in Sulphur. It was just about a 30-minute drive from Ada to our second course of the day and I was a little worried it was going to be busy. I had called the day before to ask about needing a tee time and the lady who answered said “It will be steady all day, but we’ll get you on.” So of course we drive in and there’s not one car in the parking lot. Zero, nada, none. Which, of course, made me wonder if the place was even open. It was, sort of. We saunter into the double-wide trailer that serves as the clubhouse only to find an older lady asleep in her chair at the counter. Not sure what to do – and mad that I had lost out on a good photo op by leaving my phone in the car – we waited a few seconds and then knocked on the door. She awoke with a start, apologized and then took our money. So off we went, with the course to ourselves. The greens were Augusta-like after our experience at Lakewood and the course itself was fine. Nothing special about any of the holes, but nothing bad either. They did have something I’ve never seen before, however. As we putted out on No. 6, we noticed there were four other holes in the green. Apparently, since it was the closest one to the clubhouse, it doubled as the practice green. Interesting concept and a money saver, I would imagine. Once again, we played two tee boxes for nine holes to get a fast 18 in.

Cedar Creek State Park in Broken Bow.

Cedar Creek State Park in Broken Bow. I was really excited to play this course since I had heard it was really nice from several different people, but unfortunately that didn’t turn out to be the case. Went to the course one morning with my son and son-in-law while on a family vacation to the Beavers Bend area and as we got close to the course we could see one of the greens and my first thought was “uh oh.” And sure enough, every green on the course was – to be kind – awful. The best green might have been No. 18, which was a temporary one and just shaved down fairway but at least the whole thing was grass. Every other green basically had maybe a strip or two or three of green while the rest was basically dirt. And the tee boxes weren’t much better. Really liked the layout and there were some super tough holes, but overall a very disappointing experience.

Tishomingo Golf Club in Tishomingo.

Tishomingo Golf Club in Tishomingo. Wasn’t sure where I was going to end up when directions on my phone had me driving down a dirt road, but that only lasted a couple of miles before I turned into the road that got me to this course in the middle of nowhere, which seems to be the theme of this quest. Small clubhouse, but that’s not unusual. Nice little track with surprisingly big greens for a nine-hole course. Ninth green was really huge, meaning a poor approach left me with a 90-some foot birdie putt (yes, I three-putted). Ran into a foursome on the second tee box and there was a wait so they asked where I was from and when I replied Edmond, one of them said “What the hell are you doing down here?” I told them about that quest, which they seem semi-impressed by, but I was quickly stumped when another guy asked one my favorite course was so far. Felt on the spot with that one and couldn’t come up with a very good answer. It’s hard to pick out of 100-some courses in a few seconds! Ended up jumping around and didn’t play the holes in order, but that’s no big deal. Played two tee boxes for a quick 18.

Buncombe Creek Golf Club located in Kingston.

Buncombe Creek Golf Club in Kingston. Went from Tishomingo to go here and never drove close to Kingston, which seemed a little weird. This place was – again — in the middle of nowhere and it’s a little strange to drive across a cattle guard to get to a golf course, but what a gem! Another nine-hole course and it was in great shape with Bermuda greens that were big with lots of undulations. Several elevation changes throughout as well. Not very long and a few holes were pretty wide open, but also lots of trees that made you pay for errant shots. Really cool place. The head pro was a talkative fella and told me all about how the course used to be a peanut farm and part of the converted barn/clubhouse we were in was were they dried the peanuts. Interesting fact you don’t hear often at the golf course! Met my good friend Stan Wagnon here and we played 27 holes in a little over four hours.

Crooked Creek in Cordell. Somehow this course wasn’t on my original list, but I noticed it when was looking to head to southwest Oklahoma so figured I better check it out. Found the golf course number, called it, was directed to another number and called that the morning I was going to leave. Guy answers, I ask if the golf course was open and he says “It can be.” Okay, then. I give him brief synopsis of my silly quest, he asks where I’m coming from and I tell him the city area. He says I’ll meet you there. So I make the two-hour drive down, finally find the place, and he’s waiting for me at the “clubhouse.” Friendly guy, says he takes care of the course and asks me a ton of questions, one of which is where I grew up. “Perry,” I say. And sure enough, proving once again that it’s a small, small world, he threw out a guys name he graduated high school with that was my junior high math teacher! What are the odds?? He gives me a cart key, tells me when I’m done to put it in the mail box outside the “clubhouse” and sends me on my way. But it’s a 9-hole course and there’s a group coming toward the ninth green, so he directs me to No. 4 so I don’t run into them. No problem, I meander over there and take off. Not a terrible course, but the only thing they water is from 20-30 yards into the greens and the greens themselves. So the tee boxes and what passed as fairways were hard as a rock, which wasn’t a bad thing for a short knocker like myself. Greens were big and they weren’t bad, though didn’t appear to have been mowed in awhile. Played two tee boxes for nine holes to get in a quick 18. Got done, dropped the cart key in the mail box and was headed to my car when a guy – one of two on the course besides myself – drove up. Apparently the caretaker had told him of my quest, so apparently I was some sort of celebrity. Nice fella – name was Mike so can’t be all bad – and quizzed me for 15 minutes about where I’ve been, what courses I’ve liked/disliked, etc. All in all a good experience.

The Greens in Burns Flat. Only took me about 20 minutes to get from Cordell to here, so that was a big bonus. Nobody every answered the phone when I called before leaving Edmond so I was a little worried, but my buddy in Cordell said they would be open so I headed over. Found the course with no trouble, drove past the sign that said “Open 7 days a week” and found my way to the clubhouse. One car in the lot, besides mine. Front of the clubhouse was locked, walked around the back and it was locked as well. But a guy drove up in a mower when I was standing there, so I asked if the course was open. “It can be” he replied, making that the answer of the day in relation to courses being open in this part of Oklahoma. He unlocked the door, we went inside and I paid up. Gave me a cart key, I asked where the carts were and he says “It’s right outside.” Which I took to mean I had the only cart you could rent at the place. Alrighty then. I asked him where the first tee was and if it was easy to find your way around and he said the course went in a big circle. Sounded easy enough, so I loaded up and headed to the first tee. Unfortunately, the course didn’t register on my golf garmin so I had to go old school and rely on the cedar trees spaced 50 yards apart on each fairway for distances other than what I got off the scorecard of how long each hole was. That was how it worked back at the course I grew up on in Perry, so it actually wasn’t that big a deal. Liked the course. Tee boxes and fairways were mowed and in pretty good shape, though they don’t have an irrigation system to keep them pristine. Like Cordell, everything from 20-30 yards to the green was very green and in great shape. Bermuda greens, which I’m normally not a fan of, but these were pretty good. Greens weren’t very big and had some undulations, so some challenges there. It was interesting playing a course that went in a circle on a windy day. You got to experience that wind from all different directions, which was unique. Once again, played two tee boxes for holes to get in a quick 18. I was the only person on the course, until another single showed up midway through my round. All in all a great day and the quest continues!


 

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