Sunday, October 03, 2004

Bridges Golf Course

Yesterday, I played Bridges Golf Course. This is one of my favourite places to play. The course opened for business in 2000. We used to drive by it on the way to Elm Creek, to play the Scotswood Links course (another fine course, but nowhere near as difficult, designed or refined.)

It was cool at 9:15 am. I wore track pants beneath my khakis, a golf shirt, a sweat shirt and another sweat shirt. I warmed up at the free driving range, which is also one of the few ranges where you can hit off grass. You get a sense of "bigness" when you walk up to the first tee and look around you. Looking around, you see lots of imaculate green.

The first hole is a wide and long par 4. I ended up one the right side, about 150 yards from the green and left my second shot pin high but to the right of the green. The second hole is a par 5 which dog legs to the right and has water on the right. The third hole is a tough one. Unless you hit a long tee shot, you'll be hitting three to the green, which is over water. Fourteen of the holes have water in play. And, there's lots of bridges to drive over, hence the course's name. Hole number nine is about 348 yards but has the La Salle river running through it, in front of the green. All three of my playing partners ended up in or beside the right-hand fairway bunker. With 155 yards to the pin, you have a difficult shot out of the sand, over the water and onto the elevated green. It's an intimidating shot, even from the fairway, right in front of the steep bank to the river.

15th hole

The tenth hole is narrow with the La Salle River on the left. You can actually put yourself less than 20 yards to the green, if you hit a long tee shot over the corner, but I haven't been able to do that. Hole number 17 is a dog leg to the left with water all along the left. I ended up in the water on my drive, but I put my second shot in the bunker sand trap, and almost holed it for par. I ended up with a bogey. The best putter among us ended up four-putting after shooting out of the same sand trap. The 18th hole is a par five that no mere mortal can reach in two. You play your second shot to the left and hit your third shot over water (surprise, surprise) and onto an elevated green. From 150 yards away, your approach shot is intimidating. The next time I'm there, I'm going up a club or two to ensure I get on the green.

Only one of us broke 100 and he shot at least ten strokes worse than normal. I improved by 13 shots on the back nine, which was a small victory for me. I think my swing was somewhat restricted by all the extra clothing that I was wearing.

The club house is beautiful. We stayed for a reasonably priced meal. One of my partners commented on how fantastic the formal dining room is for events. This place hosts weddings, as well.

clubhouse dining room

There are no memberships available at Bridges, but you can buy ten-packs of games for $499.00 (with carts.) A normal round with a shared cart is $55 per person. We played during the fall special which is $40 per person, with a shared cart. The location is about 11 minutes from Oak Bluff, which about less than ten minutes from my home. Despite not shooting anywhere near my personal best, I had a great time and look forward to playing the course again.

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