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Playing a "Goat Track"?


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#61 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 07:15 AM

View Postbangabain, on 06 June 2016 - 12:02 PM, said:

Some of my best memories of golfing when I was a teenager were at goat tracks - we had one that was close to the town I grew up in, and on Mondays and Tuesdays it was $5 for under 18's to golf all day...just under 6000 yards, postage stamp greens, dirt for rough, but couldn't beat that as a poor student who still wanted to golf as much as possible :P lots of 36 and 54 and "just 9 more" hole matches played there over the years :P

Ha, I just looked at their website, and in 10 years it's gone up to a whopping $10 for juniors to golf all day...and it's $85 for a full year junior membership, up to the grand total of $500 for a 7 day membership...great stuff :P

Wish we had something like that here in Edmonton to just go and play for peanuts, different business over here unfortunately...

Sounds just like the course we played in college. $5 for as much as you wanted to play. And they acted like they appreciated us being there (even though I'm sure we were obnoxious college students). Very small, dome like greens, three par threes, fours, and fives. It was good ground though so growing grass (of some sort) wasn't much of a problem. Wasn't always the best grass, or groomed the best, but very rarely just dirt.

Man we had a lot of fun out there.

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#62 bangabain

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 02:21 PM

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 11 June 2016 - 07:15 AM, said:

View Postbangabain, on 06 June 2016 - 12:02 PM, said:

Some of my best memories of golfing when I was a teenager were at goat tracks - we had one that was close to the town I grew up in, and on Mondays and Tuesdays it was $5 for under 18's to golf all day...just under 6000 yards, postage stamp greens, dirt for rough, but couldn't beat that as a poor student who still wanted to golf as much as possible :P lots of 36 and 54 and "just 9 more" hole matches played there over the years :P

Ha, I just looked at their website, and in 10 years it's gone up to a whopping $10 for juniors to golf all day...and it's $85 for a full year junior membership, up to the grand total of $500 for a 7 day membership...great stuff :P

Wish we had something like that here in Edmonton to just go and play for peanuts, different business over here unfortunately...

Sounds just like the course we played in college. $5 for as much as you wanted to play. And they acted like they appreciated us being there (even though I'm sure we were obnoxious college students). Very small, dome like greens, three par threes, fours, and fives. It was good ground though so growing grass (of some sort) wasn't much of a problem. Wasn't always the best grass, or groomed the best, but very rarely just dirt.

Man we had a lot of fun out there.

The fairways were always in good (relatively speaking) shape most of the year, except when it turned into a bog in the winter, unfortunately getting baked in 40+ temperatures all summer every summer meant the little water they had from the dams on the course were used for tee boxes and greens, and the fairways got a drop every now and then if there was enough left over...certainly made it easier to find your ball if it was off the fairway though haha :P

Exactly as you said though, they were always happy for us to be out there, even when we brought friends with us who had never played before...definitely an attitude that could rub off on a few courses around, that's for sure!
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#63 stevopagolf

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 03:22 PM

I drive 4 hours each year to play in a 2-day golf tournament at what many golf aficionado's would probably call a "Goat Track".  Greens are fast, sloping and quirky.  Half the holes you can't see the green off the tee and there are a few that if you potentially can't see the flag on your approach.  Practice round, 2 days of golf, dinner/lunch, beer and soft drinks on the course.  $153 including SKINS and Calcutta!

I go back every year because of the people and it is a really great time.  Not a bucket list track by any means but golf is golf.  Hit it find it hit it again.  Repeat until it's in the hole.

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#64 mick0212

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 12:57 PM

View Postfinleysg, on 22 April 2016 - 10:08 AM, said:

I grew up playing the Minneapolis city courses, back when they actually put the occasional dollar into course maintenance. They were fun courses for learning to play: Hiawatha, Meadowbrook, Wirth, Gross, Columbia. Occasionally we would go across town to play Como in St. Paul.

Hiawatha at $5.50 for 18 was a great deal at that time. Now only half the course is open, pending a water study that will decide its fate.

I lived right by Hiawatha but almost always drove up to play Gross instead.  Never thought the city courses really were goat tracks, but that was quite a few years ago now.  Always thought it would be fun to imagine what could be done to Hiawatha with some money for a redo.

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#65 ryu123

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 10:13 AM

as a kid in the 1970's my buddies & I would sometimes sneak over the fence at the nearby college course, which wasn't maintained at all. We'd play a few holes at twilight & finish in the dark.

In the summer the fairways were baked & rock hard. In winter the course was mud.

There were no grass tees, only rubber mats. Not artificial grass mats, but the old style door mats with wavy rubber ribbons. It was tough to get a tee to stay upright.

The thirteenth hole had gophers in the fairway who would sometimes pop out of their burrows & steal balls.

For $5 we could play 18 holes. A lot of fun.

(After a few renovations today it's a pricey public course with decent greens & grass fairways. I just can't justify $65 to play it.)


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#66 jli2636

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 10:23 AM

There was a course in Erie that was supposedly a nice course when it was open. Well the Penn State satellite campus there bought the land and uses it for their ag department I think and it's free to play 9 holes. Grass was mowed, greens putted pretty well, and for free you can't really complain.

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#67 pholway

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 03:20 PM

If you are ever near Oxford NY play blue stone. This is the veiw from 18 tee. You bomb is down a massive hill. It's fun.

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#68 DaveGoodrich

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 08:08 PM

By far, my favorite goat track here in the IE of SoCal is Shandin Hills. I basically learned to play here. Reasonably priced, good layout (few parallel fairways, and some elevation changes), friendly service, "regular guy" clientelle.  They always have good greens, and if you hit your ball where you are supposed to, there will be grass there to meet you. Otherwise, it's dirt and gopher holes.

They were hit pretty hard by the drought and water restrictions last summer, but the course is in excellent "goat track" condition right now.
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#69 atbat82

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 08:55 PM

I grew up playing a goat track. Used to carry a small rubber mallet to help hammer the plastic tees into the hard tee boxes. Drives would kick and bounce all over the hard pack they called fairways. I'm not sure they even had sprinklers. But damn did we have some fun. Sadly, the course is no longer there.

My brother likes to golf a couple times a year. He's terrible, like only hits driver and 8-iron terrible. So we usually play a local goat track, figuring on a Saturday, it's a 5-6 hour round anyway, so we won't be holding anyone up. Some of the most fun rounds I play every year.

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#70 Sedge

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 04:20 PM

View PostMarkrip, on 18 April 2016 - 04:41 PM, said:

I have one about 5 minutes from me so I run over there quite a bit. It's over a hundred years old. The course has one of the toughest and funnest par 5s I've ever played. It's a fun place to play.

What course are you talking about?


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#71 Imhappyinthe80s

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 10:41 PM

Just met an old work buddy at a local goat track. Has few back to back par 5s then back to back par 3s. Par 70, decent layout. OK greens on slower side. Feels like links golf, but def a goat track. Damn fun round, under $30 to ride a weekend morning.
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#72 Shipwreck

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 07:40 PM

There was one in Lemoore, CA that definitely should be put out to pasture. I wasn't even a good golfer at the time but knew this place was the worst of worst of goat tracks. I can't remember the name of it but I can remember the condition. The "greens" (I use that word with the loosest of meanings" were just patches of grass that were cut slightly lower then the "fairways". There was no slope anywhere, no nothing. And it was, I think $25 to play it. Horrible horrible experience.
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#73 BEND OF THE RIVER GC

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 08:44 PM

I'll always play somewhere ONCE. Some places that I almost ended up passing on, ended up having awesome greens or were a fun time.
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#74 BloctonGolf11

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 08:40 AM

I was raised and taught how to play golf in rural Alabama.  The course I learned everything on is a small country course known simply as Whippoorwill.  It is comically short at times and the fairways are not perfect but the owner puts his heart and soul into the greens and they always run true.  As well, it has the best collection of Par 3's you will play just about anywhere.  All short, but all different and challenging in their own respect.  It is the definition of a goat track but there is a simplicity in playing courses like that where you get back to the basics of the game and just play.
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#75 aabcuue

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 07:12 PM

View Postryu123, on 08 May 2016 - 07:29 PM, said:

at $240 per round, Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz, CA is not your typical 'goat track', but in 2010 for several months it brought in 150 goats to graze the vegetation in some treacherous terrain.

photo of 'Henry' and the Pasatiempo head superintendent, Paul Chojnacky, from Golf Conversations.com July 23, 2012 interview
Any course where Alister MacKenzie designed & lives on the course for last 5+yrs of his life is definitely not a goat track.
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Edited by aabcuue, 18 August 2016 - 07:15 PM.

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#76 Flogolf

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 10:11 AM

View PostShipwreck, on 30 July 2016 - 07:40 PM, said:

There was one in Lemoore, CA that definitely should be put out to pasture. I wasn't even a good golfer at the time but knew this place was the worst of worst of goat tracks. I can't remember the name of it but I can remember the condition. The "greens" (I use that word with the loosest of meanings" were just patches of grass that were cut slightly lower then the "fairways". There was no slope anywhere, no nothing. And it was, I think $25 to play it. Horrible horrible experience.
Funny you mention Lemoore...I think this course might've been named Phoenix Sunrise Golf Course. The only reason I know that is because I was Google Earthing around Lemoore looking for Kelly Slater's new wave that he built and it turns out it's right next to that course. So I figure maybe he's gonna do a surf/golf park out there. BTW, the course does very much look like a goat track from GE...

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#77 AceCatKY

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 09:57 AM

There was a small 9 hole, par 27 course in the middle of town that I used to play a lot as a kid. It was fairly challenging and only $3 to play during the week. My mom used to drop me off there in the summer and I would play 18 or 27, then eat lunch and play 18 more. The tiny greens and all par 3s really helped to hone my short game growing up.
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#78 ddbowdoin

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 10:41 PM

Ponkapoag in Canton, MA.  What A DUMP! But I love it.

Donald Ross design, state owned... No irrigation. It's like playing on the moon

Sad though, some money and the place would be stellar!

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#79 bcpudge7

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 07:47 AM

There's a public course in BG that has the potential to be a great public course, but has the reputation of being a cheap course, so it's kept like a cheap course.

Would love to see it taken over and made nicer

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#80 johnmeany

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 05:22 PM

Hominy Hill in Central NJ. Muni course that has had a few USGA public links championships. Doesn't look like much from the road but a really fun and challenging track that plays over 7000, and a very hilly course as well, but still an easy walk. Could really be something special, but it's not given a lot of funding.


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#81 RayGorman

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 02:44 PM

With a few trips to Ireland and Scotland under my belt, what you call "Goat Tracks", I might call a "Local Highlight".. With ACTUAL goats... and/or sheep. As OP mentioned, just driving by and have some time to kill before actually going anywhere, why not? Put your Fiver in the honor box and take a nice walk in the countryside. Might be a pitch and putt or a 9 holer, what's the difference? It isn't always how you play, it's finding these places that aren't resorts, manicured to within an inch of the bent grass' life or overrun with "Pros from Dover" and their 24 pack stuffed in their bags.

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#82 Conrad1953

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 10:48 PM

Haha, have played some fun goat tracks. Played one near Tracy, Ca that
had no fairways on the back nine. You'd just look for the green and figure
out a way to get there. It was hilarious.

Also, when I lived in Gilroy, Ca, back in the early 80s we played the goat
track at Gavilan College. It was 9 holes of flatness BUT the course closed
at 5PM in the summer and they said we could walk and play it after that
time for free. So we did. It was daylight til 9PM so we could play those 9
holes over and over til dark for nothin'.
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#83 interstate_45

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 09:25 PM

am i a bad person or a snob because i absolutely hate goat tracks? country clubber (not much better, believe me) or what is it? any thoughts...
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#84 Monsweko

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 06:31 PM

View Postjohnmeany, on 27 September 2016 - 05:22 PM, said:

Hominy Hill in Central NJ. Muni course that has had a few USGA public links championships. Doesn't look like much from the road but a really fun and challenging track that plays over 7000, and a very hilly course as well, but still an easy walk. Could really be something special, but it's not given a lot of funding.

LOL Hominy Hill is not a "goat track".  As you point out it's a fun and challenging muni, and also typically in very good condition.  It's also #7 on the list of best public golf courses in New Jersey per Golf.com.

Indian Mountain Lakes in the Poconos (PA).  That's a goat track.  My father and his cousins (and previously his father and their fathers) have been golfing there for a couple of decades.  9 holes, with two sets of tees to allow you to "play 18".  No tee times, no dress code, no range.  The "clubhouse" is a shack.  Owners live in a house next to the 18th green.  One of the par 3's is 120 yards with about a 100 foot drop in elevation.  And I have a blast every time I play there.

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#85 clp34vmp

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 03:40 PM

I feel like my area is home to the ultimate goat track. Swannanoa, in Afton, VA, is a pretty astounding place. It is up on top of a mountain so is always a bit cooler in the summer which is nice. As far as I can tell, there is never any really discernible difference in the grass on the fairways, tee boxes, and rough. The greens are for the most part more or less puttable, but the bunkers occasionally have some small amounts of vegetation growing out of them. Still, there's something to be said for this place. A couple of the holes could be really cool with a bunch of TLC. My favorite was the 230+ yard par 3, steeply downhill the whole way to a small green next to a pond. A few others have a lot of potential as well. It's the kind of place you can have a lot of fun with the right mindset and a few beers.


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#86 OrangeGravy

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 08:47 PM

View Postnikegal, on 18 April 2016 - 04:46 PM, said:

View Postgolfgirlrobin, on 18 April 2016 - 03:19 PM, said:

I kind of like goat tracks.  Some old run down place that costs $17 to walk and run by the same folks for a hundred years.  Hard as a rock in summer and a bog in the rainy season.  

I'm probably more likely to pull over and play.  Not every round needs to be a bucket list experience.
HaHa, I learned to Play on a goat track. I came from a single parent home and my friend's parents owned a course/range like you speak of Robin and they let she and I work around the shop and we got to play and hit balls in leu of paymemt, lol. Then when Pete left Richard's club and "retired," he bought this little course/range that epitomized "goat track," lol. So much so that Richard and his BFF found this big goat placard and put it out front by the course sign as a joke however Pete liked it and left it there, hahaha. Its funny because it was a goat track however if you stopped by it was like the king and his court as you could see Pete's brother Sam, Bob Ford, Rick Martino, Rick Smith when he was in town, not mention Jay Sigal, Mike Souchak, Harvey Ward and Duke Delcher, to name a few more, lol. So even though it wasn't much to look at, it had character and a lot of big money games were played on that goat track, hahaha. Have a nice week Robin :) Maddie

^^^^ I grew up working/playing at the local goat track. I first worked on the grounds, then moved up to mowing greens the next, summer and finally bartender the when I was old enough. I got to play free as much as I wanted when I worked there. You could lose your ball in the fairway. If you had to go into the brush to find a ball there was about a 95% chance you had a tick on you somewhere! I loved it and learned to hit tons of crap lie recovery shots there. To this day I have no fear of hitting a ball out of a divot or hitting a touch pitch/flop shot off of hard-pan. You would get 5-10 hard-pan lies a round even if you hit the ball decent. I still call home a similar 9 hole family owned goat track just down the road from the original.  I always head to the goat ranch when I need to get out of my own head and work some kinks out. Brings me back to the basics mentally. I try to play there every couple of weeks, it keeps my golf focus in line.

PS. There was also a group of wild Turkeys that hung out in the far corner of the course near the river where I used to knap first thing in the am before mowing!
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26

#87 augustgolf

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 10:33 PM

View PostOrangeGravy, on 13 December 2016 - 08:47 PM, said:

View Postnikegal, on 18 April 2016 - 04:46 PM, said:

View Postgolfgirlrobin, on 18 April 2016 - 03:19 PM, said:

I kind of like goat tracks.  Some old run down place that costs $17 to walk and run by the same folks for a hundred years.  Hard as a rock in summer and a bog in the rainy season.  

I'm probably more likely to pull over and play.  Not every round needs to be a bucket list experience.
HaHa, I learned to Play on a goat track. I came from a single parent home and my friend's parents owned a course/range like you speak of Robin and they let she and I work around the shop and we got to play and hit balls in leu of paymemt, lol. Then when Pete left Richard's club and "retired," he bought this little course/range that epitomized "goat track," lol. So much so that Richard and his BFF found this big goat placard and put it out front by the course sign as a joke however Pete liked it and left it there, hahaha. Its funny because it was a goat track however if you stopped by it was like the king and his court as you could see Pete's brother Sam, Bob Ford, Rick Martino, Rick Smith when he was in town, not mention Jay Sigal, Mike Souchak, Harvey Ward and Duke Delcher, to name a few more, lol. So even though it wasn't much to look at, it had character and a lot of big money games were played on that goat track, hahaha. Have a nice week Robin :) Maddie

^^^^ I grew up working/playing at the local goat track. I first worked on the grounds, then moved up to mowing greens the next, summer and finally bartender the when I was old enough. I got to play free as much as I wanted when I worked there. You could lose your ball in the fairway. If you had to go into the brush to find a ball there was about a 95% chance you had a tick on you somewhere! I loved it and learned to hit tons of crap lie recovery shots there. To this day I have no fear of hitting a ball out of a divot or hitting a touch pitch/flop shot off of hard-pan. You would get 5-10 hard-pan lies a round even if you hit the ball decent. I still call home a similar 9 hole family owned goat track just down the road from the original.  I always head to the goat ranch when I need to get out of my own head and work some kinks out. Brings me back to the basics mentally. I try to play there every couple of weeks, it keeps my golf focus in line.

PS. There was also a group of wild Turkeys that hung out in the far corner of the course near the river where I used to knap first thing in the am before mowing!

Wild Turkeys...90 or 100 proof?
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#88 OrangeGravy

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 02:52 AM

View Postaugustgolf, on 13 December 2016 - 10:33 PM, said:

View PostOrangeGravy, on 13 December 2016 - 08:47 PM, said:

View Postnikegal, on 18 April 2016 - 04:46 PM, said:

View Postgolfgirlrobin, on 18 April 2016 - 03:19 PM, said:

I kind of like goat tracks.  Some old run down place that costs $17 to walk and run by the same folks for a hundred years.  Hard as a rock in summer and a bog in the rainy season.  

I'm probably more likely to pull over and play.  Not every round needs to be a bucket list experience.
HaHa, I learned to Play on a goat track. I came from a single parent home and my friend's parents owned a course/range like you speak of Robin and they let she and I work around the shop and we got to play and hit balls in leu of paymemt, lol. Then when Pete left Richard's club and "retired," he bought this little course/range that epitomized "goat track," lol. So much so that Richard and his BFF found this big goat placard and put it out front by the course sign as a joke however Pete liked it and left it there, hahaha. Its funny because it was a goat track however if you stopped by it was like the king and his court as you could see Pete's brother Sam, Bob Ford, Rick Martino, Rick Smith when he was in town, not mention Jay Sigal, Mike Souchak, Harvey Ward and Duke Delcher, to name a few more, lol. So even though it wasn't much to look at, it had character and a lot of big money games were played on that goat track, hahaha. Have a nice week Robin :) Maddie

^^^^ I grew up working/playing at the local goat track. I first worked on the grounds, then moved up to mowing greens the next, summer and finally bartender the when I was old enough. I got to play free as much as I wanted when I worked there. You could lose your ball in the fairway. If you had to go into the brush to find a ball there was about a 95% chance you had a tick on you somewhere! I loved it and learned to hit tons of crap lie recovery shots there. To this day I have no fear of hitting a ball out of a divot or hitting a touch pitch/flop shot off of hard-pan. You would get 5-10 hard-pan lies a round even if you hit the ball decent. I still call home a similar 9 hole family owned goat track just down the road from the original.  I always head to the goat ranch when I need to get out of my own head and work some kinks out. Brings me back to the basics mentally. I try to play there every couple of weeks, it keeps my golf focus in line.

PS. There was also a group of wild Turkeys that hung out in the far corner of the course near the river where I used to knap first thing in the am before mowing!

Wild Turkeys...90 or 100 proof?

There was that at the 19th hole
Callaway FT Tour 9.5*/ OG Blueboard 73x
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28

#89 defnotapro

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 09:05 AM

I don't mind playing the goat tracks from time to time. Played one outside Houston that was named Faith Bridge (Formerly Fox Creek) with a buddy on Masters Sunday. We were trying to get in a morning round so we could watch the Masters later. It was by far the worst course I've ever played but we ended up having a good time trying different trick shots and what not. Just depends on your frame of mind. If you are wanting to play a nice course, then you should do your research. If you are not a fair weather/course golfer, then you can have some fun.

29

#90 dan360

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    not a jacked loft

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 12:23 PM

The rub of the green.   And fairway.  And tee box.  

Last time I checked, "golf" was about playing the ball on the course.   The ground.  Earth.   Hundreds of years ago it literally was more like 'take a stick and knock a ball in a gopher hole' as Robin Williams so eloquently put it.  

The goat tracks are some of the most fun and memorable experiences I've had playing this crazy game.  

Hit a beautiful drive dead center of the fairway only to have it land in one of those little depressions the mowers can't reach?   Hilarious.

Greens that are soggy in one corner, hardpan in another, and contain more clover than Poa Annua Kentucky Blue Bent Fescue Sauce?   Ballin'

Bunkers that look like they're more a stockpile of road gravel or ice sand for the county road out front?   Yessir, that's why God gave us mechanical types the knowledge of how to use a grinding wheel on our wedges :)


I love shitbox courses.   People seem to be friendlier there too.  


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