Monday, March 5, 2012

A little time in the great Southwest

As mentioned previously, I had a little golf trip planned for late February, and it came off without a hitch. The gang included me, my son William, William's father-in-law Steve Redmann, and my son-in-law Sam. We managed to fit in five rounds of golf in three different states over a long weekend (left Thursday night, got back Monday night).

I don't normally like to do golf travel early in the year, because I need a few weeks of April-May weather to get my game in some kind of shape. But Steve had a good friend who offered us his home in Lake Havasu, AZ, so we took him up on the offer and put a short trip together.

As evidence that my early-season game is wildly inconsistent, I present a six-hole sequence on Friday in which I went triple bogey/triple bogey/birdie/double bogey/triple bogey/birdie. Let me know the next time you see that kind of stretch on a scorecard.

The golf highlight of the trip was discovering a great course called Emerald Canyon, about 30 miles south of Lake Havasu. Carved out of the rocks and ravines along the Colorado River, the course gave us a really memorable experience.

The 4th hole (left) is a short par-4 carved out of the rocks. This is the view from the tee, and the green cannot be seen, hidden behind the large hill on the right.

Once you survive that trek, you come to the par-3 5th, a tremendous example of "target golf." It's a short hole (you can see the tee marker in the lower right) but you have to drop your short-iron shot on the tabletop green, surrounded by nothing but scrub and mountain.

We flew in and out of Las Vegas, about a two-hour drive from Lake Havasu, which allowed for a little sightseeing time as well. The first night we spent a little time at the "World Famous Gold and Silver" shop, also known as the pawn shop in the History Channel series "Pawn Stars." None of the guys from the show were around, of course, but a clerk told me the shop (smaller than it appears on TV) draws 5,000-6,000 visitors a day. On the left you can see William checking out one of the items.

On the way back, we stopped to see Hoover Dam. For decades, Hwy. 95 from Kingman to Vegas ran right over the dam, but now the highway runs over a massive bridge, bypassing the dam. We thought we'd see the dam from the bridge, but it's built with high walls that don't allow any view. So we got off the highway and drove down to the dam, and you can see Will and Steve on top of the dam, with the new bridge in the background. If you're in the area, there is a pedestrian lane on the bridge with spectacular views of the dam and river.

Finally, we got to Vegas a few hours before our flight home, so we did a little strolling along the strip in Vegas, and here you can see Will, Steve and Sam taking in the fountain show at the Bellagio.

Good golf, good times and a fun trip. Thanks, guys!

1 comment:

  1. I think Golf, sunshine, hiking ...all sorts of outdoor family fun.
    Golf Holidays