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The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

March 28, 2005

Living It Up In SC

While The Players Championship winner still to be determined, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to bring you all up to speed on some of my experiences on my most recent trip to Aiken, SC.

It was my original plan to play a round of golf at Cedar Creek, but when I got out there I was told there was no space, and no chance of being paired up with a twosome or threesome. While I was disappointed, I did take a few moments to look around the course. From what I saw, this was a beautiful Arthur Hills design, and I look forward to playing it on my next trip. However, I still had to get my golfing fix (after all, my wife went shopping with my sister and I figured that I deserved some fun as well) so I went to a course I had played before, Aiken Golf Club.

This is the second time I have played the course, and both times have been great experiences. I went out by myself, and within 15 minutes the pro had three others who were looking for games and we had a foursome headed to the first tee. The course is not long (6,100 yards), but there is no such thing as a flat lie or a straight putt so it makes up for its lack of length by requiring accurate placement off the tee and into the greens.

At only $36.00 including cart (weekend rate), it is a great deal, and the condition of the course is impeccable. The fairways were dormant, but the greens were in excellent shape and rolling fast.

The signature hole of AGC has got to be the 16th hole. A par-3 measuring 198 yards with a 30-yard elevation change from tee to green. It is just a great feeling to hit a shot and have it hang in the air fur such a long time.

So, if you are ever in the Aiken area I highly recommend this course. You will not be disappointed.

On Saturday we took in the Aiken Steeplechase, and this is definitely going to become an annual event for this guy. We had great weather (sunny and about 80), an excellent tailgating spot on the rail, and my parents are good at making friends so we had plenty of other tents to visit and partake in their hospitality.

One thing that amazed me was the grandeur that many people took towards this event. Some of the prime tailgating spots are passed down from generation to generation, and people dress to the nines and serve food and drink in fine china and in Waterford crystal, all this while acting in a way that is more reminiscent of a Jimmy Buffet concert as opposed to the equestrian high society.

Luckily, no horses had to be put down on the track (apparently this is not as infrequent as one would hope), but we did see a couple of horses come through sans jockey, and that brought about chuckles and quick changes of wagers.

For those who might be interested in attending one of these steeplechase parties the fall event will be held October 29th this year. The fall race is not a popular as the spring one, so it might be a great way to see if this is something you want to do in the future.

I can’t say enough about Aiken as a whole. I realize that I do not live there, so I am sure that they are dealing with many of the same political and societal challenges that we here in Greensboro are (maybe with different names or ramifications, but still similar), but I have never met an unfriendly face there, and it is becoming easier and easier to find excuses to go see my folks.

2 Comments:

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Patrick Eakes said...

I keep wondering why Arthur Hills does not become more prominent. I find his courses very challenging, but fair, a la Tom Fazio.

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger The Grunkle Guru said...

Patrick:

Thanks for the post. I am with you on that. I would rank Hills a close second to Donald Ross in terms of designers. I have to think that it is marketing, and that he has either chosen to lead a low profile or that is just the case.

I also think that the tour does not play many (if any) of his designs so that might hinder noteriety as well.

 

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