I had two chances to play golf while we were in Vermont this summer. Vermont is, topographically, so much different from Delaware that is great fun and a real challenge to play up there.
At Bakersfield Country Club
On the Tuesday of our week at the Tyler Place, we put together a group of 10 interested in playing a round of golf and headed out to Bakersfield Country Club. Several of us had played there in the past; it is one of my favorite places to play just for being so different from what I am used to here in the flat lands.
Bakersfield is a local club and very down to earth. The parking lot is gravel and the members are neither hoity nor toity. The holes range from rolling meadow layouts to long thin dog-legs that hug the sides of what seem like towering mountains. There are plenty of elevation changes and challenges.
I played poorly, as is my habit, though there were some good moments. Since my drives are dicey at best, I usually play safe and use my 3-wood off the tee. On a course like Bakersfield, where many of the holes feature dense forest on one side and yawning chasms on the other, straight-though-short is a good approach. I carded a par on one hole and felt mostly positive about my game despite a few blow-up holes and a final score of 126.
The weather was lovely, with blue skies and a few clouds.
At Richford Country Club
Later in the week, Andy Southmayd and I headed a bit further out to play a neat little 9-hole course at Richford Country Club. This is another very local club that sits just south of the border with Canada and boasts a healthy membership from north of the line.
Andy found this place and counts it among his favorites. I am fond of it as well. It also varies between meadow and woods and has even more elevation changes than Bakersfield. Like many courses in the area, it includes wonderful mid-fairway boulders that, if hit, can send your ball well off to almost anywhere.
Our round was wet. we played in a slowly lifting fog that occasionally forgot itself and became light rain. On the positive side, it made reading the greens a bit more interesting.
Again I played badly, mixing in a par with a series of mediocre holes and a few blow-ups. Not terrible, but not great. Good only another 126.
Over the last nine years, I've played some seven different courses in upstate Vermont and New York. I've enjoyed all of them, played poorly, learned things, and seen some spectacular views. I've bought golf shirts and hats. There are grass stains from mountainsides on my golf shoes and towel.
Thanks north country. It's been great fun.