Saturday, June 18, 2011

My First Trip - Thoughts on Tee Box Variety

The first trip as a member to my "home” course (more than 500 miles from home) came with quite a bit of pressure.  Sure, I had been to Kingsley Club twice before and I knew exactly what I was getting when I signed up.  Still, I must admit the trip was accompanied with a lingering doubt that gets a little bigger every time you try to explain to a friend or co-worker exactly why being part of a club that you may only get to see three or four times a year is a good idea.  Fortunately, my first trip was a blast, the course was in wonderful shape, and the staff was friendly and attentive throughout the trip, which helped confirm for me once again what a great decision I made to be a part of Kingsley Club.  The only glitch was some extremely unhelpful employees at American Airlines, resulting in a missed flight.  American Airlines now comfortably resides at the top of my "worst customer service and least respected companies" list.  If only I could be so lucky to have Southwest gain access to TVC.  

The fourth green with a look at some of the seasonal wild flowers in bloom in early June.
One of the highlights of this trip for me was digging into the variety presented by the the choice of tee boxes at Kingsley.  There are three core tee boxes I can see myself playing at Kingsley.  The green (which is a members combination of the tips and the blue tees), the blue tees, and on occasion the whites when I am looking for something short and sporty.  The gold tees (the tips) are a bit too long for me though I could see myself playing them once a year just for a nice, humbling experience. The reds are too short for me to enjoy a full variety of shots, but I could see myself playing from the reds on a regular basis when my distance fades.  The reds will also be a great place to start for my kids when they are a bit older.  
One of my favorite views on the course.  High above with the 7th in the foreground and the 8th in the background.  Unfortunately, one only gets this particular view when searching for stray shots.  Still, the view from the 7th tee is equally rewarding.
Even though the golds may be too long and the reds may be too short in total, they each present some compelling choices on individual holes.  The real beauty at Kingsley comes when one ignores the constraint to play one color tee box for the entire round.   Over the course of 7 rounds, our group only played from a set tee box 3 times.  We played the blue tees twice and the green tees once.  The other rounds were a mix and match of everything from gold to red.  Rather than long runway tees where only the distance changes from tee to tee, Kingsley reigns supreme in creating different angles and options from each tee box.  For me, only Ballyneal can match this variety.  I mention Ballyneal because without their "no tee markers" setup, I might not have ever looked within and found the creativity to mix and match.  I hope readers will take the opportunity to play at least one mixed round on their next visit to Kingsley Club.  The two formats that we've found to work for us is a match play format where the winner of the previous hole picks the tee for the next hole or else a pre-determined draw of tees the night before the round. Both work well, and it is fun to play a 36 (or more) hole day with one round from a set color tee and one round mixed up.  

My next few blog entries will serve as a brief guide to tee boxes in order to help you make your decisions. 

Looking back at the tiny and always dangerous 2nd green.


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