Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Golf Vacation, last course: Greystone

Photo from the Greystone website.

After making our requisite deposits in the donation boxes they call slot machines at the Las Vegas airport, we were on our way to Nashville. Surprisingly, I didn't get that much sleep on the flight. Greg won't go see "chick flicks" with me, but as a captive audience in an airplane, he watched the ro-co they showed - Failure to Launch - and I wanted to watch it with him. Mildly entertaining for both of us. I caught him enjoying it a few times, which was good.

I booked us at the downtown Hilton Suites, right by music row in case we got the chance to get out and enjoy some nightlife. We didn't, but it was nice to be back in a "real" hotel. We arrived late and pretty much went straight to bed. We had a friendlier 10:00 tee time the next day, figuring we'd need the rest by now, and boy were we right.

Our sixth straight day of golf (well, mine at least) at our sixth course was at Greystone Golf Club in Dickson, TN. We tried to pick the nicest course we could find within a reasonable driving distance. We chose well. We didn't want to get all the way to Tennessee just to play some $10 dog run, which were the majority of courses we were finding in our search. We found Greystone at about $40 and thought it must be top-of-the-line. We were right. I guess everything out there is affordable compared to southern California. Even at Greystone, one of Tennessee's premier courses, you can get an unlimited-play ANNUAL pass for $1000! At the premier public course in my area, the same deal is $4500.

Getting there

I had my handy dandy Google Map to help us make the 45 minute drive out to the golf course. I should have thrown it out the window. There are just way too many "70 S" roads out there. Bear right on 70 S W (0.2 mi), continue on 70 S (1.6 mi), bear left on US 70 (no S on that one)... etc. WTF. It turned into over an hour drive after calling the course a couple times and trying to figure out where the hell we were. Here's a tip: if you're traveling west on the 40, just follow the sign on the billboard when it tells you to exit for Dickson. I'm pretty sure it'll turn into the correct 70 and take you right where you want to go. But don't call me if you get lost.

The weather

I was worried about the heat we'd find in the desert, playing in Primm, Mesquite and St. George. I bought us a couple of those spray bottles with fans in preparation for the misery, but with some luck and early tee times, we didn't really need them at those courses. The temperature in Dickson was supposed to be about 75, and even though I knew it would be humid, I thought it would still be pretty comfortable. Not for this So-Cal chick! And we didn't even bring the stupid bottles! I thought the humidity was oppressive and it came with plenty of bugs. Eww... bugs. I overcame it to enjoy the round, but was still distracted on a few putts by the little flying gnatty things. At least there was nothing big enough to cause me to do my infamous "bug dance." But I digress...

Back to the course

It was a Thursday and pretty quiet at Greystone. We checked in and received a warm and friendly welcome. I just looooove the southern accent. Then we went to the range, which was nice and big and allowed us to test-pilot the Tennessee grass. After warming up, we went back inside to get some refreshments to take out on the course with us. The girl behind the counter was sweet with a precious accent, but seemed to be a little more focused on her modeling and/or acting future (based on her conversation with the cute young groundskeeper in there flirting with her) than on our transaction. After telling us about the $5 deposit for the cooler-bag, she neglected to charge us for it. We were going to mess with her when we returned it and ask for our $5 back but we didn't have the heart.

I chose to play from the white tees (6002 yards) because the yellows were only 4919 and I felt like using my driver a little more. Greg chose the blues (6426) over the blacks (6858). The course was pretty friendly, though still challenging. It's right next to a quarry - perhaps a grey stone quarry? - so a couple of the holes are a tad noisy but not too disturbing. They made great use out of all that stone and the course is nicely decorated and strategically challenging because of it. Not only is the course lush and green and unexpectedly scenic, there are some really neat golf holes. Like #12, for example. It's a par 5 (458 from the whites, 495 from the blues) and there are big rocks right in the middle of the fairway.

The par-5 #12 hole. Play this hole once and you'll know what to do the next time. Here's a good angle of the green that might be useful on your first time out. I guess I was too hot to remember to take the right photos, so this is another one from the Greystone website (nice site, btw).
Great, bathroom photos are starting to become my trademark. I didn't use this one, but look how cute it is! And check out the grey stone.

Much of the course is fairly wide-open, but you still have to make some shots. There's plenty of trouble to be found if you're looking. The rough wasn't too treacherous but it was long in places which makes finding your ball a bit difficult. The fairways, greens and even the bunkers were in great condition. I wound up in one un-filled divot on a fairway, but it looked like most of the golfers out there are courteous and repair their own damage on the fairways and greens. Either that or the groundskeeping staff really stays on top of it.

The par-3 #16 hole. Yes, there's a little water in front of that fine display of grey stone.

Looking back on #2 from the third tee box. The natural beauty of Tennessee is enhanced by this first-class golf course.

Results, please

Like I said, it wasn't very busy and we got through our round in 3 hours 45 minutes. I played a pretty steady round but still had one blow-up hole. I hit 6 out of 14 fairways but only 2 greens. I had one sand save (double sandie, actually - hit the fairway bunker AND the greenside bunker) and a total of 29 putts (vs. 47 the day before!) and carded a 93 for the round.

I was disappointed to find out that the only tees rated for women are the yellows, so my round was unpostable. When I called later to ask if they had a women's rating from the white tees since it wasn't on the card, they seemed confused: "You played the wattes?" You'd think it had never been done before. I submitted all the information to my handicap chairman to see if he could make sense out of it or if he wanted to post it with estimated ratings but he just tossed it out. I guess it was the ratt thang tuh dew.

Say it out loud in your best southern accent: Naiow thayat's a purty gawlf hole.

Even though what goes on in this outbuilding probably isn't pleasant, I liked the way it looked.

Overall, I was surprised by how much I liked this course. I can see why the PGA has used it in Q-school rounds and other prestigious tournaments are held there. The finishing hole is a beauty that leaves you with a great parting image and reason to return. I doubt I'll ever make it back to Dickson, but if I do, I'll be playing that course again.

Next post.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Wow GC, what a great vacation and thanks for sharing. Those are some fine looking courses.