I mentioned my golf playing some time ago but I thought I might share some of my latest experiences with you.
Sports have always played a big part in my life from the grade school backyard softball games on through my senior softball playing days. Sandlot football battles with neighboring kids were fun but they didn’t quite come up to the softball games. Also, the weather also seemed to favor softball over football.
Well, you can only play softball for so many years as my nephew Jerry Bosher would tell me. True, I played with some fellows who could still hit and run in their 70s but they were few and far between. Jerry said I needed a sport I could enjoy well past that age. Tennis, racquetball and the like also were a bit too strenuous.
Golf has provided me enjoyment into my 80s. I have been able to combine my golfing with another favorite sport — travel. I have been able to play golf in a dozen states and Canada.
We just recently returned from visiting Dottie’s oldest son, Jim, and his family in north Bellingham, Washington. Jim and Terry, his wife, cater to my interest and make sure I get my golfing fix in while there.
I have been able to play on four different courses there over the years and they are all very different. The layouts and terrain offer just about anything you would desire and the weather can also be challenging. For instance, this year I played on a new for me course, Lake Padden, on the first Friday and the temperature was in the mid-80s and a week later, I declined the offer to play because it dropped to the mid-60s and the air was damp and cool.
Lake Padden reminded me of the Robert Trent Jones course in Birmingham. It was a beautiful, hilly course cut through the tall forests. Water wasn’t a problem even though it wound around the lake.
My favorite course north of Bellingham is halfway between the town and the Canadian border — Shucksan, named for the mountain near Mount Baker. It is one of the most beautiful courses in Washington and is only slightly hilly with a small stream winding though most of the course. The highlight hole is a long straightaway slightly rising with a breath taking view of the mountain behind the hole.
Raspberry Ridge, only a few miles south of the border, is mostly flat winding its way through the raspberry fields. Not quite as challenging, but it has a tasty snack bar
The other course I have played in the Bellingham area is Dakota Creek. It is located just off I-5 just south of the Canadian border. This course is more rugged and doesn’t have some of the amenities of the others but from the high points on the fairly long course you get a good view of Canada. It is very different from the others.
For sheer beauty, though, you can’t beat the scenery of Hawaii and California. Just being there is a treat in itself and adding a golf game is a big plus. Travel allows you to see the beauty and contrasts of our great country.
Golf is really a challenge that you can play and enjoy with the competition only against yourself. You can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature without working up a conflict.
Vandagriff is a retired daily newspaper editor and college history professor emeritus, who still writes, teaches and speaks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-341-3719.