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Friday, July 22, 2011

Guest Blog from Alan Gard

It’s now been over a month since my visit to the Kingsley Club.  Previously, I had written about the anticipation leading up to the trip.  The offsetting post-trip ennui has allowed me the opportunity to procrastinate in documenting some thoughts on my visit there.  
This time I got to spend four whole days there, and I noticed some things that I missed when I was only there for one day before.
Gard daydreams about an eagle on #13
Culture Club
While I had hunches on the culture from my first trip there, a few points were really driven home to me this time.  First, the genuine friendliness of the staff was abundantly clear.  I arrived before my host, and they made me feel welcome as if I was the member.  There is something different about the feel of this club in comparison to the club I was a member at and other clubs I’ve visited.  The best way I can describe it is that there is a total void of pretention, where many other clubs are havens of pretention.  Another way of saying it might be that they treat you the way they do just because it is the right thing to do.  I get a feeling that few people working at the club are actually “working”; they’re just doing what they enjoy doing.  And for me that elevated the experience.
Into the Great Wide Open
I remembered the remoteness of the club and the dirt road leading to it from my first trip.  But I didn’t realize how alone you could feel on the course. There were obviously other groups out, but many times we felt like the only ones on the course.  And that makes for such a pleasant experience compared to many resort courses where you feel like someone is right on top of you, whether that be other groups or the course ranger.  Playing Kingsley is retreat golf; you are truly getting away from it all.  Despite all the golf we played (my tally was 31, 43, 54 and 36 holes over my four days), I was really refreshed at the end of the trip because there was nothing else to worry about.
(You Make Me Want To) Make a Memory
While there are certainly memories from the first time I was at Kingsley, this trip created many more.  And much like the anticipation leading up to the trip gives more value than the trip alone, reliving the memories helps the trip live on.  Some from this trip really stand out…
  • My brother’s miracle tap in par on #4 (topped drive into rough, hack out barely to the fairway, 7-wood to 1 foot).
  • The Kingsley Golfer’s birdie-less streak and how towards the end of the trip he’d get irked when someone else made one.
  • Jason McOlgan’s quest to post a real score for a round without at least one hole where he’d pick up.
  • My near hole-in-3 on #3 from the red tees.
  • My brother driving #3 and #4 in succession from the red tees.
  • My being in the right fairway bunker a little over a hundred yards from the green on #14.  It now has the unofficial title of “Gard Bunker”.
  • The Kingsley Golfer complaining about playing from the gold tees but still parring #1 and #10 in our only times playing from them.
  • The Kingsley Golfer complaining about my choice of tees for #9 in our head-to-head match. (For those who don’t know, the Kingsley Golfer enjoys complaining.)
Alan hitting one of many shots out of the Gard Bunker on #14
I’m sure we’ll be discussing these and others for many years to come.
Once again, I sincerely thank the Kingsley Golfer for allowing me to return to the Kingsley Club.  I appreciate the course and the Club itself even more after this trip.  

It is always wise to rake thoroughly when you know that you will be visiting the very same bunker later in the day.

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