My too-long neglected Callaway clubs had been in the trunk of my car for more than a month, waiting for the first round of golf of 2012.
First, there was the snow storm that buried the Northwest. Then came the ice storm, followed by rain.
As much as I love the game, sloshing around a golf course and having quality shots imbedded in mud on a fairway is not conducive to a fun-filled day on the links.
What’s a golfer to do?
Say hello to The Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course– recognized as the driest course in Western Washington, located near Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula. I have heard a lot about the course and its reputation. But after all that snow, ice, and rain less than two weeks earlier, how could it be anything less than a quagmire? Heck, the still-soggy earth in my back yard gives way when I walk on it.
There was only one way to find out just how “dry” the driest course in Western Washington really is.
Boy do I have good news for you. I have played wetter tracks in April and May than the round my colleague and golfing pal played at The Cedars at Dungeness on a crisp but sun-splashed Feb. 3 – one of about 41,000 rounds that will be played on the course this year.
“We are open 364 days a year,” said Bill Shea, the PGA-Director of Golf and General Manager. “We’re closed on Christmas Day.”
However, the mid-January storm that hit Washington dumped more than seven inches of snow on the 6,616 yard, tree-lined course, forcing it to be closed for 10 days. But the course rebounded well, thank you very much.
Shea, who has been part of the Cedars at Dungeness staff for all but 18 months since 1997, explained that Mother Nature usually is very kind to them. The average yearly rainfall is 11 to 13 inches in Sequim, compared to 28 inches in Port Angeles, located just 15 miles away.
“Another reason we stay dry is the soil we have here,” he said. “It’s a sandy loam. We can play summer rules 11 months of the year,”
But the test is in the pudding, so they say.
After a visit to the driving range to loosen up, the first round of the year started at 11:15 a.m. as part of a five-some. The group included brothers Scott and Troy, Jacob, Bob and me.
The condition of the course amazed me. Not once during the next 4 ½ hours did any of our shots become plugged — on or off the fairway. The roll wasn’t quite Arizona-desert like, but much closer than I ever expected.
Birdies came in bunches. Well, they came in bunches for Jacob. He birdied five of the 14 holes he played before having to leave for a prior commitment. Bob and I figured we drove him away. Scott had a couple of birdies, coming with three inches of an eagle on the 387-yard par-4 10th – and made a superb shot onto the green on No. 3, the signature hole with the famed “crab” bunker. Troy contributed a birdie to the day.
No birdies for me or Bob. But that didn’t matter. The first of what hopefully will be many rounds of golf in 2012 was a blast.