On Sunday past, I was fortunate enough to take part in the Military Appreciation Day at Black Bear Ridge Golf Course at Belleville, Ontario. This is a top-notch course and depending the site, is rated in the top 100 in Canada! Regardless, Black Bear is a great course that offers many unique challenges that are both subtle and obvious!
The Military Appreciation Day consisted of a 4 person Best Ball. Basically, everyone plays their own ball and the lowest score of the group is recorded as the team score. Individual handicaps are not used. The course was awesome, but the weather was crazy! We experienced rain, snow, sleet, 50 kpm winds, and it was only 9 degrees. The sun made a brief appearance, but the weather could not dampen out spirits!
Duffy, Bruce, Steve and I set out on the first tee with great hopes of scoring low! And after 3 holes, we were 2 under! We had to navigate the course keeping in mind that the cold weather and difficult wind were going to tax us all day. Above all, the company was outstanding and the banter was light-hearted!
Looping around the awesome course, we had some highlights and some shots we wished we had back! Regardless, here some highlights that I think you might enjoy:
We had 4 birdies, 5 bogies and 9 pars. It seemed that at the right moment one of us made a great shot. Always a game changer, we chipped in for birdie -twice! We made one 35 foot putt for par and several 6 footers for par. Our chipping was very good overall it saved us on several occasions! The sand traps were in excellent shape, although I never actually hit the ball into a trap all day!
Bruce and Duffy were long off the tee. Often out driving Steve and I by 40 or 50 yards. It was a bit demoralizing at times, but hey that is the nature of golf. However, if they missed off the tee; they really missed off the tee. Bruce on one hole hit the ball, because of a slice and crazy cross wind, about 150 yards right. I think he hit the hole two over!
However, the line of the day goes to Steve after his perfect second shot off the tee on 10: “I Should Have Hit My Second Ball First!” That line was used several times after that!
Steve was a bit wayward during some of his shots. He was in many interesting places that required a ‘Seve’ approach to golf. He ricocheted off trees, rocks and just about everything on the course, but always seemed to land in great position for a shot at the green. During one instance, he hit a low screamer from the right side of the fairway. This ball was no more than 2 feet off the ground. We all thought we would be heading for the trees again, but his ball hit the 150 yard marker and bounced to about 125 yards from the green in the middle of fairway! His luck lasted all day, but at the end it was starting to wane.
The best shots of the day go to Duffy and Bruce. Bruce shot a par on the 13th hole. It was 130 yards long with a crosswind of 50 kph. Bruce hit is pitching wedge high into the air with a huge cut! His ball was held straight and he landed about 25 feet from the pin. None of us came close to the green and thank goodness Bruce easily 2-putted for par! The other best shot of the day belonged to Duffy. The par 5 – 18th hole was into the wind. Off the tee, Duffy hit a low screamer that was easily 300 yards. It was incredible to watch his ball roll and roll. I only wish I could hit the ball that far!
The Military Appreciation Day at Black Bear Ridge Golf Course was fantastic. The weather was cold, wet, and very windy; the temperature was 9 degrees C and the sun shone for about 5 minutes. However, it was a fantastic day! Bruce, Steve and Duffy were awesome playing partners. We laugh, joked and enjoyed our time on the links. And on a side note, we shot a 73 as the total score; not a bad way to end the fun tournament.
Last Sunday was a very special day and I want to thank the owner, GM, and the staff of Black Bear Ridge for their generosity and hospitality. It was a fantastic day and I hope we have the opportunity to do it again sometime!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!