When I finally got to the front of the line, at 6:00 a.m., I had a 10:30 time and four-and-a-half hours to kill. I made friends with the starter as best I could (he was a busy guy), and at 10, there was a cancellation. “Grab your clubs,” he said, “you’re up.”…
I chose the white tees, as did Joe, Cal and John, and we were off. It was damp and even a bit chilly and threatening rain. By the time we walked up the 18th fairway more than five hours later, the drizzle was beginning.
Of all the par 4s, only four were less than 400 yards and many were 420, 430 and 440, too long for me. But it is a beautifully designed course and in very good shape. Just how it stays in such good condition when it gets played from dawn to dusk every day is a mystery to me. It has lots of elevation changes, many heroic carries over fescue to the fairways and small heavily bunkered greens. In fact the bunkers give this course its character. A WWII veteran once wrote. “I have seen no bomb craters that I’ve studied as anxiously as that bunker guarding Number 2 of the Black Course. They do come bigger. When the ruins are cleared away, plenty of them look more like the third hole from tee to green.”
Long, thick rough abuts the fairways, with long fescue and many trees just outside of that. The Black Course demands long accurate play to small, well bunkered greens…
No comment on how the front nine went, but I shot a 45 on the back and was damn proud of it. My short game was on through the back because most of the par 4s were unreachable for me. Larry Berle
Date: December 02, 2014