My Lousy World

Just a golf course, of course

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Hole No. 4 no longer has Doug Blough to kick around. The curse of the par-3, God-forsaken, rattlesnake-waitin’, triple bogie-baitin’ short drive into hell has been broken. I beat the Powell Golf Club devil, and as we drove down the yellow brick road to the waiting green, I shook my 7-iron at those ball-belching sage brushes and screamed, “You look awfully hungry. Well, eat my shorts, you heartless, soulless skunkweed!”

I don’t get over to Powell’s course often, but it’s always a wild, bittersweet adventure. I suppose it sounds kind of bizarre, if not troubling, that I would take it so personal and spew such animosity towards a simple, 160-yard hole, but I’ve also been known to curse a table leg weeks after stubbing my toe. Until two Sundays ago, I had never avoided the No. 4 weed patch, and/or the water … let alone landed on the green.

I’m golfing more than ever this summer and Park County is blessed to have two quality golf courses within walking distance (well, it’s 35 miles … one really should take a cart). My nephews and I more frequently trim the trees at Cody’s Olive Glenn, but it’s mainly for logistical reasons. I must admit, though, I tend to grow really attached to my balls, and too many Titleists are captured — never to be seen again — by the unforgiving terrain standing guard over Powell’s fairways.

But I know really accomplished Cody golfers who prefer your more challenging geography, and after Sunday’s outing with a fivesome consisting of a Beemer, a Holm and three Bloughs, I’m seeing more and more to love. You can’t beat the complimentary bag of range balls upon plunking down the outrageously reasonable greens fee, but I stumbled onto a few additional advantages of that short navigation to Powell.

Two words: Golf cart. Olive Glenn carts get the job done efficiently enough, I suppose. They basically take a golfer from point A to point B, traditionally about a 50-yard trip for me. But I noticed something strange during one of those 50-yard jaunts in a Powell golf cart … silence. Yes, it suddenly occurred to me I was moving, while hearing nary a sound. It afforded me more unbroken focus to beat myself up about the previous shot I muffed, but also to more likely to formulate a swing adjustment.

Conversely, the Cody carts I’m accustomed to torture me with that mocking, whirring noise which pushes my fury to an alarming crescendo. The contrast between the two rides is like comparing Mercedes-Benz to a ‘93 Pontiac Sunbird.

I don’t mean to go overboard in my praise of Powell’s golf carts. I realize many would consider it fairly insignificant, but I don’t. Life is a journey, and journeys are best spent in silence. That Powell cart I was driving ran so quiet and smooth, at one point I thought I was going about 3 mph before I realized I was up to almost 6. Gas mileage isn’t an issue, but peace of mind certainly is.

And let’s be honest … do we really need that maddening “beep, beep …” while backing up? I mean, has it really prevented untold high impact collisions and serious injuries/tragic deaths? I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a daydreaming golfer alerted just in time to push his small child out of harm’s way. What’s next? Emergency flashers on bumper cars?   

Don’t get me wrong; I love the easy access and spacious expanses of Olive Glenn, but the Powell Golf Club has pleasantly placed itself on my GPS radar, with No. 4 my new favorite. I can’t wait to return and yell, “Remember me, you crabgrass-hole?!!” before lifting a 158-yard floater to within 2 feet of the cup.

My Lousy World

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