There’s no better way to starting a Friday morning than being at a golfing playground.
Doc’s Golf Centre’s 9 Moons Pitch and Putt (the native season has 14 moons and the course can be open for at least nine seasons) bring that to Penticton. Joined by friend Kristi Patton, we ditched work to shake the cobwebs off our golf game for the annual Penticton Western News tournament that’s approaching.
We had a blast. We didn’t even bother using the scorecard. I can remember trying to count how many shots I took on one hole, then thinking it doesn’t matter. After an initial struggle getting the ball to move from the first tee, our play gradually improved. The course has six holes that you ‘pitch’ (of just under 100 yards), and three holes that you ‘putt’ (around 35 yards). Sorry guys, no need to bring your driver. You will have to save those Herculean or Happy Gilmore-like drives for larger courses.
As Doc’s Golf Centre pro John Ferrier said, this course is all about challenging your short game.
“It’s really where the scoring part of the game is,” he said. “One of the main reasons it was built.”
While waiting for Kristi to arrive, George Thompson and his son Isaac, four, took to the course. Ferrier charged them a minimal fee and the father-son duo got going. Young Isaac had his small orange golf bag attached to his back. It was priceless watching them to the first hole. That is what Ferrier said makes courses like this great.
“We are getting a lot of parents and grandparents with their little ones that are too small to play the big courses,” said Ferrier. “It’s a place where kids can come and play and learn the game. That’s the key right there.”
As Kristi and I trailed the Thompsons a hole behind, it was pretty humourous to occasionally watch them. Dad gave Isaac a few tips throughout their outing. Isaac’s dad even game him a checklist to help him learn to play. It was a Kodak moment. What is interesting about the course is that the tees and greens are synthetic turf. It was designed that way to extend the season and Ferrier admitted to not being a greenskeeper.
“It’s so hot that to keep the golf green alive when you have to cut it so short is just a taxing process,” he said. “I wanted those to be pretty much perfect every time.”
Early feedback from participants has been positive for Ferrier. He had one lady tell him, “It’s a championship golf course, it’s just miniature.” And the prices good too. Kids pay $8, $10 for seniors and $12 for adults
“A lot of people are happy with the work put in to create the course,” said Ferrier. “The design worked out great. The speed of play I think was the key. You can go around in just over an hour. You can still do other things in the day.”
Like go back to work?
It was tempting to play another nine, but I knew a return to the office
was a must.