November 8, 2012

54 Hours, 1349 Miles, 72 Holes of Golf

Now if you are planning on an extended weekend to play golf, traveling with the group I played with last week is the way to go. Wheels up on the plane was promptly at 8 AM with the first stop being Hutchinson, KS less than an hour from Omaha by plane.

Our destination was Prairie Dunes Country Club. It is ranked by Golf Digest as the #25 of the Top Courses in the world. It is a Perry Maxwell design which is the same architect as my home course of Omaha Country Club. The difference is it is a true links style course versus a parkland course at OCC.

The green complexes were terrific with real challenges on the putting. They also have wonderful bunker placements guarding the greens as well as fairway driving lanes. You can get a great virtual tour of the course at http://www.prairiedunes.com/virtualtour.

Panaormic scene from Prairie Dunes

Beautiful panorama from Prairie Dunes. Rated in the top 25 courses play.

We played the course in under four hours and were wheels up for dinner at the Ft. Worth Club in Ft. Worth, TX that night. The Ft. Worth Club is the home of the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award with an entire room dedicated to past recipients. After a full day of 711 miles, 18 holes of golf, and a private Texas club dinner, I was exhausted.

Davey Jones Trophy

Here I am posing with the famed Davy Jones trophy

But true to form, I arose early on Friday and went to the hotel fitness center. I started with cardio to clear out the cobwebs that a little too much red wine might have caused. I then did the Fitness For Golf stretching routine. You can get this right now for free by registering at www.FitnessForGolf.com for the seven free videos. We will be moving these videos over so that only members of the Fitness For Golf member site can view them, but for right now they are free for checking out the new site. And by the way, I truly believe in these workout programs or I wouldn’t do them.

At 7AM we were off to the Colonial Country Club for 36 holes. We played 18 in the morning and then joined their member guest event in the afternoon for another 18. Colonial is a tight course with lots of trees and some water hazards strategically placed. If you are not driving it straight you will pay the price.

Unfortunately on Friday ball striking seemed to be a bit of a challenge for me. Part of it was knowing where to hit and part of it was trying to direct my swing when I saw hazards I wanted to avoid. That is not a recipe for a confident swing and my scores reflected it.

Colonial is the home of a PGA Tour stop, the Crowne Plaza Invitational played in May each year. The other challenge of the course was the greens. There are such subtle breaks that if you don’t read them just right, you will skim the edge. I saw several putts on the exact lines that one missed it one way and another missed it a different way. You can find out more about colonial at www.colonialfw.com.

Tree lined Fairway at Colonial

Here a tree lined fairway at the beautfiul Colonial Course

On Saturday we were again up early and the first ones off the tee. I was pared with a couple of very good golfers and it was fun to watch. One of the guys in the group was an under scratch golfer who does not hit the ball any further than I do. But what he can do is get up and down from anywhere. His distance control into the greens resulted in very makeable birdie putts. And when he did screw up by not hitting the green, his chip or pitch distance to the pin resulted in a number of one putts.

Everyone who played with him came away with the same positive takeaway. He doesn’t hit it any further, but his short game is one of the best any of us has played with. That’s where the strokes are saved and the game is made. I have worked hard on this part of the game, but after enjoying the Saturday round with him, I know I can do much better.

Wheels up were at noon. Touchdown on the Omaha Tarmac was at 2:15 in time for the 2:30 Husker kickoff for most to rush home and watch. For me, it was in time to see my Fighting Irish squeak by in triple overtime.

54 Hours, 1349 miles, 72 awesome holes of golf, a great group of guys and home in time for a football game. It doesn’t get much better than that. Now back to reality…

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