TERRE HAUTE — We have finally gotten a very welcome break in the weather for some relief from the oppressive heat.
I felt so sorry for all the kids who played in the Terre Haute Junior City Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s hard enough to concentrate for 18 holes in normal temperatures. In sweltering heat it’s almost impossible.
My job this week, as I followed Phillip on the course, was to keep him hydrated and cooled as much as possible. I carried a small cooler with bottles of water and sports drink in it, in addition to ice cubes.
He sometimes chewed on the ice, but as it melted, he dipped a small towel into the cold water, rang it out and put it on the back of his neck. Not only did this cool his neck down, but also kind of air-conditioned his whole body, especially his head. This is a tip we can all use when the heat index gets into the upper 90’s or above.
If you just can’t take the heat, take my favorite tip and take a trip to Michigan! However, temperatures have been in the 90’s there lately too, and not all places have air conditioning, but most of the time Michigan is the place to go if you want a respite from the heat.
You can make the trip relatively inexpensively too, if you find the right course to play. We found a gem of a public course on the west coast of Michigan, with very affordable rates and packages, especially for vacationers. It’s called the Old Channel Trail Golf Course in Montague, which is just north of Muskegon.
The Old Channel Trail GC is a 27-hole course made up of three entirely different nines, built at different times by different architects. There are four sets of tees, reds being the shortest, then white, blue and black all the way back.
The oldest nine is called The Woods, and it was designed and built by Robert Bruce Harris in 1926. As the name implies, The Woods has plenty of trees and narrow fairways, and smallish greens.
It plays 3,222 yards from the black tees, 3,076 from the blues, 2,963 from the whites and 2,574 from the red markers. Some of the fairways are doglegs that you can easily drive through, and has some narrow fairways, so you have to think about what really is the best club to use for your tee shot.
The second nine, called The Meadow, was built and designed in 1966. Its fairways are pretty wide open, but it’s right on the coast of Lake Michigan, so at times there are some pretty strong breezes to contend with.
The strength of the lake breeze can affect your club selection, so even though the course looks benign, you have to keep your thinking cap on. The Meadow plays 3,332 yards from the black tees, 3,145 from the blues, 2,950 from the whites, and 2,471 from the reds.
The Valley course, the newest nine, was built in 1994. Some of the holes are pretty open, except for some strategically placed bunkers, and some long grasses that an errant shot could get lost in, and yes, there are a couple of valleys to hit across. The Valley plays 3,383 from the back tees, 3,058 from the blues, 2,847 from the whites, and 2,430 from the red markers.
One of the great things about the Old Channel Trail is that it has rates specifically targeted for vacationers. For instance, in the month of July, juniors play free with a paying adult (we did have to pay for them to ride a cart with us though).
That was a great deal for us since we had two adults and two juniors. We also took advantage of the weekday twilight rate, which was $23 after 3 p.m., for greens fees and cart, for 18 holes.
On Saturday and Sunday, the twilight rate is the same but it starts at 6 p.m. Other vacation packages are a 3-day membership for $49, which is good for any three consecutive weekdays, unlimited golf without cart. Cart fee is extra. A three-day weekend membership, which is Friday-to-Sunday or any three consecutive days that include a holiday is $69 for unlimited golf. There’s also a weekly membership for any seven consecutive days with unlimited golf, for $99.
When you’re done with golf, you can relax with food and drinks at The Old Channel Inn, just down the road. Their perch special is delicious!
The drive to Montague from Terre Haute takes about 6 hours, so you could leave mid-morning and be there in time for twilight rates. There are plenty of hotels nearby in Whitehall, Montague and Muskegon, and lots of campsites too. For more information about the Old Channel Trail, call (231) 894-5076. Their website is www.octgolf.com. For more information about the White Lake area, call (800) 879-9702 or visit www.whitelake.org.
I I I
n Coming up at the Brickyard at Indianapolis — I went to my college reunion recently and a friend of mine who is from Canada told me about the Mutual of Omaha “Drive, Chip and Putt” competitions that his kids have been doing.
This is a free event for boys and girls ages 7-14, sponsored by Mutual of Omaha and The Golf Channel. There are different sectional qualifying sites, and the top three individuals in each age group qualify for regional, and then go on to the national event, which this year will be held in Orlando, Fla. There will be a “Drive, Chip and Putt” event at The Brickyard Crossing at 1 p.m. on July 29.
The deadline for registration is July 28. For more information and to register online, visit the Golf Channel’s website, www.thegolfchannel.com, then click on “Drive, Chip and Putt.” Or you could call the Brickyard Crossing Golf at (317) 492-6572.
Jennifer Myers can be reached by mail at the Tribune-Star, P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808.
TERRE HAUTE — We have finally gotten a very welcome break in the weather for some relief from the oppressive heat.
- On & Off the Course
Death Notice: Feb. 7, 2013
• Gary R. Wright
Donna Lynn Strahla Bown
Donna Lynn Strahla Bown passed away early Friday morning, Jan. 25, 2013, with her children by her side.
‘The Match’ pitting amateurs vs. pros recalled 62 years later
Quote of the Day: “I play golf with friends sometimes, but there are never friendly games.” — Ben Hogan.
Bubba Watson has had a busy fall. Not only did he play all the way to the final round of the FedEx Championships, and in the Ryder Cup, he also played in an event commemorating a very famous match played at Cypress Point in 1956, pitting two of the greatest golf pros at the time against two of the best amateurs.
Come to think of it, all four were some of the best golfers of all time. This year’s event was celebrating The First Tee’s exceeding $100 million in pledges to reach 10 million new young people. It wasn’t televised and kept very quiet; only 225 people were in the gallery.
One of the people in the gallery was Mark Frost, the author of a book titled “The Match,” which is about that match played 62 years ago that was re-enacted in modern terms last week. The pros in 1956 were Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson and the amateurs were Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward. It was supposed to have been a private affair, built around a wager by two millionaires, George Coleman and Eddie Lowery.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf from the wrong side of the brain
Imagine this scenario: a woman, small in stature (possibly freckled), walks into a hospital emergency room and says, “I have an emergency, I need a doctor quickly!” The admitting nurse, ever trying to be helpful, asks what the emergency is.
Farmers looking at widely varying yields
Combines will roll through fields this weekend, bringing in the harvest from a summer with nearly no rain.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf debut in London would have been nice
As the Olympics get underway in London this weekend, I was thinking it’s too bad that the Olympic committee decided too late to add golf as one of the sports for this event; instead it will be added to the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Getting to Hoosier country’s best golfing venue part of the fun
If you are looking for Indiana’s premier golfing destination, then you should look no further than French Lick.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Indiana's Pete Dye courses worth the drive
You’ve probably heard of the Robert Trent Jones Golf trail throughout Alabama, but you might not be aware that Indiana has its own “Pete Dye Golf Trail” comprised of seven courses.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Fathers typically a big influence on golfing sons
Some events fall naturally into place around holidays. The Fourth of July always falls somewhere during Wimbledon, giving all of the Yanks in attendance something to be boisterous about, to the chagrin of their hosts; The Masters often, but not always, ends on Easter Sunday, which is fitting since golfers find it such a reverent occasion.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Memorial just one of many visions of Jack Nicklaus
When Jack Nicklaus was a young man, the golfer he most admired was Bob Jones.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: With some tricky rules, golf is not a walk in the park
Golf is not a casual sport, even though it has a term called “casual water.”
On and off the course: Sycamores seeded sixth heading into MVC golf tourney
It wasn’t too long ago that Indiana State University didn’t even have a women’s golf team.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: A hard ticket to come by
This is the weekend of the Masters Tournament, the first of the four major tournaments.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Some things on golf course are worse than steep putts
It’s not often that anything gets more scary on a golf course than a steep downhill putt, but on some courses around the world, things a little more on the supernatural side might give you a bigger fright!
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The shot heard round the world
I don’t know if the Golf Channel will show a “Best Shots of 2011” highlight reel, much like ESPN does for baseball or football.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The Red, White and Blue visits the Isle of Green
In 2006, the Ryder Cup was held in Ireland at The K Club in County Kildare.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Fall may be coming but golf season is far from over
Once the major tournaments are over with, what’s there to look forward to in the world of golf?
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf… simplified!
Golf is not a simple game. A golf course is made up of 18 holes, all different. There are par-3s, par-4s and par-5s; they all vary in length and elevation, and each has its own challenges. There can be water hazards, trees, sand bunkers, tall grass, hills, valleys — and then, if that’s not enough, there’s probably wind too.
On and Off the Course: Northern Ireland builds on golf history
Northern Ireland is only about 5,452 square miles in area and has a population about the same as West Virginia, which is about 1,880,344.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Women’s Open at the Broadmoor
This is the weekend of the U.S. Women’s Open, and this year it’s being played at The Broadmoor, East Course, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The Fort Golf Course: A Walk in the Park…
Indiana has some pretty spectacular state parks, but one of them gives you the ability to “spoil a good walk” by chasing a little white ball.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Father’s Day is a good day for golfers
Most people consider the time around Christmas to be the gift-buying season.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Playing with lead a difficult task
As exciting as last week’s Masters was, with six players being tied for the lead at one point on Sunday, it was very difficult watching Rory McIlroy fall apart to shoot an 80.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Masters a rite of spring
This is Masters weekend, the grand kickoff to the golf season for a lot of golfers. Sure, there have been tournaments on TV, because the professionals have been playing in Hawaii, California, Texas, Dubai, and other areas not so affected by winter as we are here in the Midwest, but to me, watching The Masters is a rite of spring.
ON THE OFF THE COURSE: Some history on the Ryder Cup
I fell asleep in way too many history classes to ever qualify as a history buff. However, since I have grown up a bit (not much), I enjoy learning about all kinds of history. I often have questions about how something began, or how something came to be.
On and Off the Course: Purdue's Kampen Course a gem in Indiana's rough
About a month ago, Indiana was still heavily mired in heat and humidity, making outdoor activities such as golf less appealing than usual. At that time it felt like the repressive heat would never go away, it would never rain again, and all of the grass was just going to continue to wither and die. And the month prior to that we kept getting rained out of golf events!
On and Off the Course: Successful golfers know ... focus is the key
I have a good friend who coached his daughter’s basketball team for a number of years, and told me that his theme with the girls was always “focus”, until it was ingrained in their brains. Now when they play high school ball, if they hear “focus” yelled from the stands, they know the source.
On and Off the Course: Technology adds even more fun to the course
You’ve hit a drive into some brush in an area marked as a hazard, but you can’t find the ball to prove it is there. And no one actually witnessed it go in the hazard. You just think that’s where it probably is. What is the rule for this situation?
On and Off the Course: Anthony Gonzalez First Tee Classic a worthwhile charity event
On Monday, I worked as a volunteer for the Anthony Gonzalez First Tee Classic, Golf Tournament and Auction at Eagle Creek Golf Course in Indianapolis. It was an absolutely beautiful day, with clear blue skies, just a few wispy clouds here and there and a high temperature of about 76 degrees.
On and Off the Course: Trends show golf in decline
You don’t have to watch the news or read the paper to understand that America is struggling on the economic front. The evidence can be witnessed at the local golf course.
- More On & Off the Course Headlines
- Death Notice: Feb. 7, 2013