Saturday found me playing just one round of golf. It was a tough choice where to play that day, and I settled on Belvedere based on my friend’s suggestion. Belevedere is a very interesting course. It’s Private, but allows outside play – like many of the great clubs of Scotland and Ireland.
I pulled in and was guided to my parking spot in front of the pro shop. In the grass. Concrete is for members, apparently! HA! I am only kidding, but it is the thought that crossed my mind. I checked in at the Pro Shop, a tiny little shed at the front of the lot. The shop was packed with an awesome selection of goods. I loved the clean logo, an old pennant style red flag with a blue B. I strongly considered buying a shirt, but my mom always tells me I don’t need any more. She’s right.
I got paired up with a wonderful couple that was visiting from Florida. Dennis & Kim work out of their RV during the days and golf in the evenings and weekends. They’ve spent the past few weeks in the Traverse City area taking in the beautiful Michigan summer – although Kim did say she froze when they first arrived.
Both had good golf swings and great attitudes. It was a fun round of golf with them, and we were able to share a lot of time chatting about our experiences and golf courses all over the world. I happened to choose my Streamsong to wear that day. Kim had her Streaming dress on. They live down in the Tampa area, so they’ve played there many times.
I said that the Arcadia Bluffs South course was my worst round. Until today at Belvedere. I couldn’t get it figured out. I’d hit a good drive, then a horrible second shot. Or I’d just miss the green and chunk my chip. I struggled on the greens. It was just a classically tough day on a classic course.
Opened in 1925, Belvedere has hosted many of the games greatest players. They celebrate the classic appeal of their course in many ways. The routing was divided by Marion Center Rd., with the front 9 on the south side of the road. The most telling part of its’ age was the lack of a continuous cart path. They had paths where they needed them, but otherwise there was a fairly liberal approach to the carts.
They were hosting a hickory club tournament that afternoon, and we saw some of the players on the first green as we teed off on 9. In their effort to keep it real, they wore knickers. When we came around the turn and drove through the lot to get to the back 9 we saw 4 or 5 gorgeous classic rides including a Porsche and Jaguar that put me in the mind of James Bond. These guys were either stuck in the past or loved celebrating it!
My struggles continued throughout the day and I never quite proved to Dennis or Kim why I love the game so much and write a blog. I missed the 16th green to the left. I putted it through 4 feet of fringe, over the green, and down the hill – 60 feet from the flag. I never finished the hole – stuck at the bottom of that hill for the next 4 shots.
Dennis hit the shot of the day on 17, 190 yards into the wind to about 5 feet. He wrapped it up by snagging a great birdie. I’d tell you more about what I did at Belvedere, but there just weren’t many highlights. So we’re living through Dennis’ exploits today.
Belvedere was a beautiful place. You really felt like you’d gone back in time. The old trees, a beautiful variety of Northern Michigan hardwoods and pines, the hills, and the old pro shop packed with black & white photos. Truly a piece of Michigan history.
If possible, I’d like to go back to that morning and try that round all over again. It was a great day, with great people, and, for me,