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October 4, 2008

The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - Sandy Traps


Many people would not consider early October to be an ideal time to head out to the golf links and play a round. But those people clearly have time in August and September after their morning meetings to run out to play a quick 18 holes. Every sunny, beautiful and gorgeous day in August and September, I had to look out my window and wish that I could play. But instead I had a history book and laptop in front of me, typing a long paper on the culture of advertising in the decade prior to the Great Depression. I know you're all aching for a return to college.


So finally I found a free afternoon to go check out the brand new Palouse Ridge Golf Club. I threw my golf clubs into the car and headed down Stadium Way for what I thought would be a pleasant afternoon of golf.

And I was right. Mostly.

There were only two things wrong with my day. First, the weather wasn't ideal; it was a little windy and rained a bit but the temperature was nice. Second, was the fact that I couldn't buy a clutch shot all day. Neither of those things were the fault of the course.

The opening hole offers beautiful views of the Bryan Hall Clock Tower and much of the rest of campus. As you elevate a bit to the second tee, the views of Moscow Mountain are extraordinary and as you descend to the third, the views of the Palouse and much of the rest of the golf course are breath taking. The price of admission alone is worth the gorgeous views all over the new course.

But then the course does something even more wonderful. At times it will kick your butt up and down the block and at others give you a chance to atone for your mistakes. For instance, poor first and second holes brought me to the third hole, with a drop in elevation to a narrow fairway. If you're accurate, a drive of over 300 yards (308 for me) is not out of the question and a nice par waits for you. Some holes offer the possibility of titanic drives, others require pinpoint accuracy.

Also, don't forget: bring plenty of balls. If you miss the fairway or the rough by even the slimmest of margins, your ball is in the wheat and likely end up in a loaf of bread. While executing the futile search for your long lost ball though, you're likely to stumble on about ten more in the same area. Some holes are as forgiving as a priest during confession; others hold grudges as long as mother-in-law elephants. For instance, on hole 10, my drive sailed about 280 yards down the fairway on the long par five. I laid up with my seven iron to set up a pitching wedge. With my ball sitting 125 yards away and the wind at a dead calm, I thought I was perfect.

As my shot sailed towards the green, the upper winds picked it up and pushed it to the right just enough. It ricocheted off the side of the green and into a gully between the Palouse hills. Just a small piece of advice, be accurate.

At the end of my round, I finished with a gentleman's 93. Not bad for a guy who hasn't played in a month and played an incredibly difficult course.


Should you happen to be in Pullman before the end of the month or in the spring and the weather is nice, make your way out to Palouse Ridge for a round of 18. Although the course was frustrating for myself and everyone I played with (my roommate Scott, another friend Miles. But not my friend Riley, he shot a 79. We are no longer speaking to him.)
The course is difficult and will test every semblance of your game. It is an incredible course and it is a great day of golf you will remember for a long time to come.


PICKS:

Last Week: 3-1
Overall: 24-7


Can the Trees upset? Probably not. But don't think I wouldn't like to pick them. And I'm convinced Charlie Weis is the biggest (emphasis on the big) hypocrite on the planet and Jimmy Clausen is his little minion.

Tiny, Angry Irishmen 28, Our Namesake is a Kid Named Leland (look it up) 17

Now here's a game that is an enigma. Both teams have lost games they shouldn't but I'm a big fan of giving the ball back to Nate Longshore a bit. Five bucks says Erickson uses this trip to the Bay Area to interview for the Raiders' head job next year.

I Ate Goldilocks 34, Al Davis's New Head Man Coaches Here 17

The Trojans lost to one of the Oregons last week. I'm really looking forward to them taking it out on the Ducks.

(Manly) Helens of Troy 45, The Gordon Bombay's 13

I picked them last week and they let me down. Now they lost their only good player and their signal caller is Ronnie Fouch. Nice name, beat up in middle school much?

The Willie Tuitama Experience 36, Ty Willingham Packs His Bags 10


On to your Cougar picks:

UCLA 49, Washington State 17 says coach of the D-5 Team in Minneapolis who beat the Hawks with a shot off the post and into the net by Charlie Conway, Caitlin Gordon (Bombay).

Washington State 22, UCLA 6 says television producing expert and bearded gentleman Scott Perry.

Washington State 33, UCLA 14 says Matthew McConaughey look-alike and Sarah Palin "lover " Jason Gallaher.

The Cougars could really use a win and Marshall Lobbestael has looked more comfortable in his second week of practice. But taking a trip down to a big venue like the Rose Bowl on their first real road trip doesn't favor a young team.

UCLA 36, Washington State 24


Obscure Pick of the Week! I can't believe I've forgotten for a few weeks! Keep me on the ball people!

Holy Cross Crusaders 23, Yale Bulldogs 10



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