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  • Writer's pictureBob

Golf, Lobster, and Post Card Views

Back on Track

The journey was a bit bumpy last year.  As I mentioned before, work has been a bit of a mixed blessing.  I’m super busy, which is good for job security, but it’s bad for mental health-and golf, which has a lot to do with my mental health.


Averaging 40 video packages a year prompted a few discussions at work to get some additional support and expand the video department, and about 6 months ago we began the hiring process.  We received over 135 resumes, and 85 of those resumes made it through a very rigorous screening process.  I reviewed everyone of those resumes and narrowed it down to 12 leading candidates. After the phone interviews we chose 5 very qualified folks to be interviewed with the hiring team, and just last month I was able to double the video production team from 1 to 2.  The workflow has already improved, my plate is less full, and that means I have more room on my calendar to get back out on the links.


Lobster, Lobster, Lobster

Question, do you all like to eat lobster?  If so, Maine is the right destination for that experience. When I say it’s everywhere I mean everywhere, and it’s available in all sorts of food varieties.


 There’s your chutneys, jellies, and salts.  I think I even saw a lobster mustard!   Sitting by one of the many harbors and having a lobster feast was amazing each and every time.  Laura and I were in Maine for a week, and we ate-on purpose-lobster everyday, we like lobster.  Beside the two golf courses I was there to play, lobster was our main-pun intended-goal. We drove from Boston to Bar Harbor, and before we hit the coastal route to our final destination we dropped into Freeport, ME home to L.L. Bean-open 24/7 365 days a year. Of course we did some shopping, I see you Vermont Flannel Company, but this was our first of many stops for lobster and it didn't disappoint.



Then next day packed the car with some Maine swag and with the lobster experience bar set high we headed to the coast and started our drive north to Bar Harbor. We pasted small quaint fishing towns, shopped at small quaint fishing towns, and of course ate lobster at small quaint fishing towns. Before too long we were turning into Bar Harbor, a (not too) small quaint fishing town, and they had plenty of lobster.


Kebo

With Laura on the bag, which really means driving the cart and reading greens from 30 or 40 feet away, we headed out for a round at Kebo Valley Golf Club.


I teed off at a little after 3pm, which gets us on the back nine as the sun starts to get low in the sky. I like to do this, especially on wooded or parkland courses, because you have a great chance at seeing some local wildlife.  I was hoping to see a moose.  


The only course management advice we got when we left the club house was the first, fifth, and 11 fairways were a little wet, and remember to club up your approach shot on 17.  I looked at my caddie and we nodded.


The front nine was somewhat uneventful. I was playing a solid bogey golf round. I may even had a par or two. The course was in great shape even on the wet fairways it wasn’t that bad, and on those I played “lift, clean, and place” which I’m sure improved my scoring slightly. We had the course to ourselves, which made the round even nicer, we were not being pushed from behind or playing catch up with the group in front of us.  We even stopped along the way to just take in the sights.



As promised the sun was heading down as we made the turn, and two things were on my mind; moose and the 17th hole. The back nine playing conditions were as good as the front nine, the tee boxes, fairways, and greens were really well maintained. 



Playing conditions are not a big deal to me, and playing these historic public golf courses, well some of them are “well used” and that’s part of the charm.  When you step on a course that’s been open since 1888 and there are no signs of wear and tear on the fairways, you tend to take notice, mostly because that’s hard to do on newer courses.


The 17th Summit

We made our way to the 17th hole and still not a moose in sight.  As I was getting ready to tee off on 17 I remember looking out thinking this was not a big deal, 349 par 4, straight fairway, it does tighten up a little further down there near the hole, but I don’t think it will be an issue.  It did look like there was a bunker in the front, maybe guarding the left and right side of the green.  That’s pretty standard.  The drive was one of my best of the day putting me on the left side of the fairway.  As I was putting my club back into the bag I remembered the starters words, “remember to club up your approach shot on 17.”  Ok, off we went to find out what that meant.



Still glowing from my drive I located the ball sitting up nicely on the left side of the fairway.  It wasn’t until I was about 15 yards from the ball that the danger of this hole, which they call The Taft began to reveal itself.  Standing 138 yards away I had to strain my gaze up to see what I assumed was the green 100 yards above my head.  To make things even more interesting this towering summit was protected by a monster bunker stretching about 180 degrees in front of the green.  Why? Why so mean, it was a great day and I hit a great tee shot, who would do this to us. 



I grabbed my 6 iron, I doubled clubbed up, and as I was lining the shot up a swear I saw some snow up there and maybe even a bear.  Anyway, my first goal was not to fall into that bunker and I hit a good 6 iron, which just skipped past the edge of the summit with some heat.  The next goal was to hope it stayed on the green.


It did not.  But hey, I was past the bunker, there was in fact no snow or bears up here, and plenty of oxygen to finish the hole.  I had to bump and run my third shot, which settled down about 10 feet from the hole.  I ended this journey with a tap in bogey.  And I was happy with that.  Later I learned how this hole got its name.  Apparently President Taft played here and shot a 27 on this hole, having to take 17 shots to get out of the monster bunker.  I admire his persistence, but talk about pace of play, yikes.  I guess it’s good to be the President.


No Moose!

Great round, great course, 17 is a must play-club up twice, but don’t look for moose.  After our round we met up for lobster dinner with a long time friend who is a Park Ranger at Acadia National Park


He let us know that moose don’t like to hang out near Bar Harbor, in fact they don’t like to hang out near the coast.  They are located more inland and about 3 hours from Bar Harbor.  So putting my moose sighting goals away I turned my attention to the next round of golf.  I was headed to Winter Harbor, which was about an hour's drive from Bar Harbor, to play the second of the two most historic golf courses in Maine: Grindstone Neck Golf Course.

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