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Saturday, April 07, 2007

 

Augusta Ranch


They Say: "Augusta Ranch Golf Club in Mesa Arizona is an 18-hole, 3800 yard, par 61golf course renowned for its exceptional playing conditions and challenging layout. This course allows players of all abilities to get out and enjoy the game of golf, the way it is meant to be enjoyed. "

It was nearly another violent day of Phoenix golf. I'm surprised these guys are still around, this being a right-to-carry state and all. Sooner or later, Darwinian law must take over.

The 4th is a 274 yard par 4. The first group of the Men's club was behind us, and as we're putting out a ball bounces onto the green. We were near the pin on the back left, and the ball was on the front right, about 40 feet away, so I just waved at the tee so they would know that we knew that they had hit into us.

On the 7th hole, 301 yards, he did it again. This time the ball rolled to the back fringe, about 10 feet from where I was standing. Then, suddenly, it came to rest 40 yards left of the green, in the gully. He chased me down and apologized for not yelling "fore". Then he wanted to know where his ball had been before I swatted it away.

You know how, later on, you think of the perfect thing to say, but by that time it's way too late. He had no clue that I was mad at him for deliberately aiming where I was standing, not for failing to yell "fore" when he succeeded in hitting his ball there. TWICE. Of course, in the heat of the moment, when he offered his hand I shook it, and told him where his ball was. At least he didn't do it again. My blood pressure was dangerously high for the next couple of holes, but I managed two more pars and shot 31 on the front (par 30).

The course is a "2" in the executive category. It's well-maintained, the staff was very friendly, the holes are interesting and challenging, with well-placed bunkers, elevation changes and water hazards. Winding among the houses and streets of the neighborhood, it is not particularly walker-friendly, but the street crossings are not too bad, and probably the distance walked is not more than a traditional par-72 course. The forward tees are 1000 yards ahead of the tips, so it is a "1" for woman-friendly. The 9th is a forced carry over the lake, but it's only 84 yards. Pace of play was fine. Our foursome finished in 3:15 despite a few short waits on the front 9 for a threesome that was having a very tough time of it. They must have quit at the turn, because the back was wide open.

We were talking to the hot dog guy afterwards. He says Alice Cooper holds his tournaments there, and in person is not at all like his professional image, although he does have some garish golf clothes. He says the GM at Augusta is a frequent guest on the local golf radio show. He didn't recognize "bunker to bunker", but how many could there be? We'll have to ask next weekend.
a more generous opinion . . . from a year ago . . .

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