GOODBYE, GOLF SEASON
I’ll Miss You Until Next Spring
After spending countless hours nose-to-nose with my computer screen, there’s nothing more revitalizing than stepping out into the fresh air of the golf course. Though the game itself can be frustrating and, at times, cruel and demoralizing, whiling away a few hours of camaraderie out in nature with my older brother Mark and my good friend Mike is something I look forward to every spring. my life. Not only have I enjoyed the game on and off since I was a kid, but I also worked for a while on golf courses in California and here in Racine before earning my degree in turfgrass management. Back then, I polished my game all the time, but when I was driving a truck for a living, I took a break from the green. In the last 10 years, though, I’ve become pretty fanatical again — and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Mark, Mike, and I consider ourselves the three golf amigos, because ever since my brother moved back to Wisconsin in 2012 and I met Mike in 2013, we’ve been golfing together regularly in southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois and traveling as a trio to farther-flung courses. One of our favorite nearby spots is Shepherd’s Crook, a course just across the Illinois border that’s a 30-minute drive from my house. We like to go there or to one of the courses in Lake Geneva every few weeks, assuming the weather cooperates. We also like to play the local courses: Ives Grove, Petrifying Springs, and Brighton Dale. We are blessed to have a plethora of golf courses in such close proximity! If you read the very first edition of my newsletter, then you already know golf plays a big role in
Now that October is here, golf season is coming to an end, but I’m happy to say I have enough good memories from this year on the green to last me until spring. My favorite of all of them would have to be the whirlwind two-day, four-course trip Mark, Mike, and I took to Island Resort & Casino in Harris, Michigan. The casino owns two golf courses, one right behind the casino and another about 15 minutes away. We left at 2 a.m. on a Thursday for the drive up to the casino so we could make our 8 a.m. tee time (the casino is on Eastern Time), play again that afternoon, and repeat the same scenario on Friday. After we played Sweetgrass — my brother and I played this course once before three years ago — behind the casino, we headed up to Marquette to play Greywalls at the Marquette Golf Club. The course is a short distance from Lake Superior, and the lake was visible in the background of several holes. It was a very challenging and sometimes disheartening course to play! The scenery within the course was awesome, with all the rock formations and the up-and-down layout of the course. We spent the night at the casino, thoroughly exhausted from the early start and 36 holes of golf. We had dinner, passed at gambling, and retired for the evening, looking forward to our 8 a.m. tee time at Sage Run — the other casino course — on Friday. This course was brand new, having been completed in the summer of 2018. It was another challenging course. If you did not hit the ball straight, all kinds of perils awaited you!
The course still has a lot of growing pains to go through and rough edges to smooth out to get it up to the stature of the other three courses. Timberstone in Iron Mountain was our final leg of the journey in the afternoon after surviving the beatdown at Sage Run! This course was carved right out of a hilly forest, so you can imagine shot placement was at a premium here, as well! There were many picturesque holes throughout the course, which you do not often see at golf courses here in southeast Wisconsin because of the flat terrain. The course was extremely crowded, so it took us about 5 1/2 hours to play, which is unacceptable by our normal playing- time standards. If we are the first group off in the morning, we have no problem finishing 18 holes in 2.5 hours. If you, too, are mourning the end of golf season, don’t hesitate to let me know next time you call with a tax problem — we can swap war stories to pass the time until spring! Paul Francetic
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