It is raining - again - and not a time for fall golf. Cleaning out the reporter's notebook, I noticed 2018 saw a number of new courses played on my drive for 1000.
That is a lot of golf courses. Heck, 81 of those I've played have been closed, but through no fault of mine.
In looking at 2018 I realized that one of my friends, a golf course designer who continually comes up with stellar works, bedazzled me with several wonderful opportunities.
Ron Garl is a guy who simply designs fine layouts that are challenging, interesting and definately playable for all levels and abilities.
This year saw a return visit to a course played a couple years ago, Golden Ocala, which features 8 "replica" tests among it's 18 finely manicured holes. Simply loved it!
Got to play Money Hill Plantation with the "Man" himself, and was so very impressed with his outstanding knowledge of how golfers view a course and its challenges. This layout is superb.
While on that same trip we played Lakewood Country Club, which Garl refined and refurbished. The course had been site of New Orleans Open on the PGA Tour for years, and Garl brought back and improved endlessly.
Two Orlando area courses, Eagle Creek and Victoria Hills, found their way on to my list of courses played and the only thing I can wonder is how I had not sampled their challenges before. These are superb tests.
"Every course design is different, because every parcel of land is different. I don't have a cookie cutter approach," said Garl. "We strive to make the best use of land, challenge the player by offering multiple tee boxes and such, but in the end we want not only challenge but playability."
Playing a Ron Garl designed course is always a pleasure. We highly recommend you do so.
CHIP SHOTS: Details can be found at www.rongarl.com