Father's Day Weekend - The Longest Day
I love it when a plan comes together is the famous quote from the “A” Team, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. I had not done anything wild and crazy for a little while and I had traded a day of work for a three day weekend. I told several different people that I had thought about going as far west as possible (Van Horn) so I could see the sun set on the longest day of the year. I asked my youngest if she would like to go and she didn’t say no which is interpreted as a maybe, but some motocross thing came up with her boyfriend and you know who is going to lose that battle. I then was called to play in a tournament at 1:00 PM at Battlelake in Mart that Saturday. Hmmmm, this is going to test even the Tankster. Still, I decided to go for it!
We played a scramble at Battlelake and it was hot. The birdie girls were out in full force which always makes that course more interesting. Their motto is “The hardest place to keep your eye on the ball." We won third place with a 12 under. After 18, I went home and took a quick power nap, woke up and started my journey west at 8:20 pm. Hey what is wrong with my GPS? It started acting up but was sufficient to get me to San Angelo. I made it around 11:00 pm, checked into a motel and within minutes was sawing some zz's.
I woke up on father’s day in San Angelo and started making for the golf courses. It was much harder to find them without my good ol’ GPS unit which had now gone completely bananas. It’s a good thing I carry my Texas Golf Bible with me. The first place I tried was Riverside. Whoops, no luck because there was a tournament going on. I inquired about the 9 hole course called Santa Fe. I struck out again. It was down for repair of their greens. I then called San Angelo Country Club and they said I must have a reciprocal club. I drove to Bentwood and they said the same thing. Alright, enough wasting time in this town, I am headed to Ozona. To find these San Angelo courses, click on Texas Outside's West Texas Golf Locator Map.
I had been by the Ozona Country Club before without the chance to play so I found it quickly and low and behold it was closed for resprigging their greens. I am not doing a very good job of finding places to play at this point. I headed to Fort Stockton. I took a picture of Paisano Pete (a big statue of a roadrunner) when I arrived and decided to buy me a father’s day gift at the Wal-Mart - a new GPS!
I went by the course to get some playing in but was rejected again because of another tournament (zero for six, a new high). What else could happen? Well that question was answered rather quickly as my check engine soon light came on. Then I ran into several mountain rainstorms. The rain was so thick it was as if someone had thrown a bucket of water on my windshield. As I drove in and out of these storms I noticed that the access roads were flooded to the point of being useless. I hope this doesn’t mess up my sunset.
I finally arrived at Van Horn and checked into a motel. I just had to play so I went to the Mountain View course for a quick nine. My first six swings were nothing short of horrible. I finally settled down and started playing a little better. I finished up and headed to Chuy’s. I sat right behind John Madden’s chair and ordered his favorite dish, Chicken Picado. It was good. Now it was time to get my picture of the sunset. I found a spot and when my new GPS switched to night mode I took a picture of the sunset with the time on my cell phone at 9:06 PM. I then found a secluded spot on the south side of town and watched a mountain thunderstorm. Ahh, this is better.
I woke up early and said goodbye to Van Horn at 6:30 am and headed to Monahans. The day had already started out better because my check engine soon light (crankshaft sensor) was now off. When I arrived at Ward County Golf Club I met some of the nicest people. This course is nice but it is extremely narrow, especially for west Texas. The conditions were outstanding and it was actually cool that morning. Amy Dutcher is the manager and introduced me to John Nelson who marshals at the course. He is from Munday and we talked about that area. He said that he knew some Tankersley’s from Knox City. He also informed me that Shelbye Hill who I met works in the pro shop as the local expert and was last year’s state champion in Class AAA high school golf. After a delightful 18 hole round I headed for Stanton.
When I arrived at Stanton I had to turn on S St. Boniface Dr. My boss’s name is Damon Boniface so I took a picture of the street sign. I told him I didn’t realize he had that much pull. The Phoenix Golf Club course was is disrepair and was a golf course in name only. Around the greens was watered and mowed but the rest of the course was rough and it had been turned into a lock box facility. The club part had been turned into something else no longer associated with it. I played with a rescue wood only and walked as fast as I could. It was hot now. I left quickly and headed for Big Spring. Whoops, I forgot, a lot of Country Clubs are closed on Monday. I tried Sweetwater on the phone, and nope, same thing.
I had wanted to play at Lone Cedar in Eastland for a long time and had been to the golf course several times, but I couldn’t play for various reasons. I called at about 6:00pm and they said they were leaving, but they would leave a cart out for me. I would settle up with owner Sam Harris later, as he was out playing the front nine. When I arrived, I got in the cart and took off. This course was truly a hidden gem if there ever was one. I recommend going out of your way to get there. The conditions were plush and my clubs cut through the fairways like butter. The greens had been recently watered and were smooth and easy to putt. I made SIX birdies, how refreshing. There is also a religious theme and scripture on each hole (can’t hurt). The price is reasonable and it has some really fun and pretty holes. One par three is on a peninsula and is 230 yards against the wind. A couple of others are downhill. It is located on Lake Leon. On the 16th hole I gave a marshal, a Mr. Vernon Allen who was having a severe slice problem, a quick lesson fixed him, dang I’m good.
I headed for home and arrived in Waco at 11:00 PM. One not so memorable day turns into a great next dayt. Let’s see now, 552 miles of driving, 45 holes of golf, 3 new courses in 3 towns, a 17 hour day and I really wasn’t that tired. Yep, it’s just another typical golf day in the adventures of the Tankster.
The Tankster - The Restless Golfer