Part Two: Dirty Golf
Unbelievably, I snuck out for more golf on Thursday, again while the monkeys were off dancing. After, I went across the street to have my Two-Ball extended into a belly putter, but that’s another tale (yet unwritten) for another time.
You know the feeling when you’ve been away for a while, then you come back to something and recognize how damned fine it is? That’s Sheridan Park for me. What a golf course! Let me qualify that…what a golf course if you play 1, 9, 10-18. That’s pretty much what I did, except I skipped 9 and played 18 twice. 11 holes in 100 minutes, most of them spent chasing two golf balls on opposite sides of the fairways.
There’s a lot of mud on the Sheridan fairways these days. Don’t aim for the rough, son, as there are lots of leaves over there. You hit and hope the white stays on the ball long enough for you to find it. The greens are another story, running pretty fast and pretty true. The hole on #1 was cut in a place I’d never seen before, over a ridge back left that I never knew existed. Same on #14, where the ball broke wickedly off the fence that backs the green, protecting the residents of Sheridan-Parkside from my golf ball, and the golfers from the residents of Sheridan-Parkside.
So, dirty golf, right? Nothing scandalous nor salacious about it. Simple, really…I played the ball, mud and all, until it fell in the cup on each hole. Sometimes I’d clean it, if a ball washer was available on the subsequent tee. I know that you’ve listened to tour announcers remark “there’s mud on Tiger’s ball, so he’s trying to figure out which way it will fly.” I think it’s a rule of opposites: mud on left, ball goes right; mud on right, ball goes left. Mud on top, you’re screwed. Truth is, I didn’t pay much attention at Sheridan, just banged away.
Oh, by the way, there’s some dude roaming the grounds who hates women or children or geezers, or a combination of all three. As I was walking from 13 tee to green, crossing the pristine 2-Mile Creek for what seemed the umpteenth time, I spied two red tee blocks, set at the perfect angle to the green, in the middle of the creek. What’s up, misogynist?
Another by the by…on the 11th hole, the one that runs along Sheridan Drive, I hit two 6-irons off the tee, one way left. I came upon a really, really, REALLY flat part of the rough that coulda, shoulda, mighta been a tee deck. I was about 165 out from the green and looked at the prettiest par three that never was in western New York (I love finding par three holes trapped in other, longer holes.) From the flat spot, the hole ran down to the swollen creek, across the tall, brown reeds, to the green benched into the hillside. Honestly, who’da thunk it? Stolen holes, stolen beauty.
I played #17 smart, for once. Hit two good drives into the fairway, leaving about 230 to the hole. Punched two 7-irons over the creek, leaving toss wedges into the green. Had two runs at birdie from inside 15 feet, but missed them both. S’okay…5 beats 6 or 7 any day, although 4 tastes the best!