Tee Tattler

Happy nearly-spring greetings from the golf course at the Illinois Valley Country Club!
Only one week until the first day of spring. With the weather we had the past few weeks, one surely wouldn’t expect that!
In players’ news this week, we could not get onto the course for lack of grass, the snow built up to about 18 inches melted a bit during the daytime and then stubbornly rebuilt itself nearly every night. There is still snow today on the shady part of 2, 3, 4 and 6. Hoping that the warm rain melts it off by Thursday as it is supposed to be warm and sunny, however it should be incredibly soggy out there for some time yet.
I was dreaming about pumping out the effluent pond and collecting all of the wayward, sunken shots but I think that I will wait just a week longer as it looks like quite a bit more rain is coming. Last year I pumped it down to the liner and then it rained and put about 6 inches under the liner, which sits on a clay base. The rainwater sat under there and boy was it hard to collect the balls, as each step pushed any remaining water on top into my footstep and the balls then disappeared into the black water.
Since there is little golf news this week and I’ve gotten started talking about the effluent pond, I will describe the hole that surrounds it.
No. 7/16 is the hole. No. 7 starts at the left side of No. 6 green. It is a raised tee box that was formerly only set up during The Greenskeepers’ Revenge Tournaments. The standard tee box sits about 40 yards forward and makes the hole about an 8 handicap hole, out of 18, so moderately difficult. With the tee box back, it makes the hole about 460 yards which puts the green out of range in regulation for most golfers.
The tee box sits under the branches of some oaks and is a nice shady spot in the hot summer. The fairway stretches out in front of you and is fairly wide but for the “low pond” on your right, a low area that formerly was used to settle the last remaining solids of the effluent and evaporate the water therein.
This is no longer done as the effluent is now completely clear and treated with ozone, ultraviolet radiation and chlorine to make it totally clear. The low pond is reachable from the back tee and, since it’s on the right side of the fairway, many golfers slice their balls into it. Most days, a player can shoot out of it and we keep it mowed in the summer. However, sometimes the rain runoff will fill it up and create a pretty little mirror pond.
The fairway then continues around and makes a sharp dog-leg to the right with the green sitting another full club from the bend. A golfer can possibly cut the corner and shoot straight at the green, landing in the fairway of No. 2, but it is guarded by a row of pines up close and you must hit short or your ball will land in the lined pond (which is always full and behind a fence).
If a player elects to take that route, they will have to then hit a blind shot straight at the green with only the power pole on one side and a willow on the other to determine the green’s location.
If a player hits left of the fairway, there is plenty of room, but there is another row of pines that can severely block a shot going through them. If a player gets lucky and hits one right down the center, they will still have to contend with hitting over the water in the pond. A few rare golfers can reach the corner and then have a shot directly at the green. However, the green will still be 180 yards away and raised about 5 feet, with steep sides, so your aim has to be tight.
This hole is originally rated a four par but we believe that it will be rated a five if we were to have the USGA come visit. This would make par on our course a very rare 73 with 37 on front nine and 36 on back.
*This Saturday is the St. Patrick’s Day Tournament with corned beef and cabbage served up by Gimmees Grill.
*We are traveling to Roseburg for a 9-hole skins game on Sunday with about $6,000 of skins payout. A golfer could possibly win the only skin and take all of that cash home.
*Men’s Twilight league is coming soon so please get your teams lined up and get your sponsors.