[Keck Observatories, Mauna Kea, from blog contributor, Roy Gorena, now a retired denizen of the Big Island. Nothing to do with the following story of course.]
OK, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here. But by popular demand this will supersede other hot “stories” currently in the pipeline. This morning Alexandria Golf Club (AGC) president, Roger Riley, on the left, requested that I, the cub reporter, join him and Don Clobes, on the right, a retired airline pilot and now flight instructor at Chandler Field, for a photo op flyover of the reconstructed signature hole (with the Minnesota green), No. 7. It was a beautiful October 3rd morning – 50 degrees, sunny, a wisp of wind – as we blasted off at 8:00 AM, mere minutes after sunrise.
Yoga class seems like a logical option should I wish to enter such a plane again – it was a tight fit for “his royal largeness.” And it was first time ever in a small plane, i.e., something other than a commercial airliner. I was a little concerned when the pilot easily pulled it out onto the runway all by himself? I would guess the kids’ Smart Car weighs more.
I checked out the dashboard – in case I got bored and wanted to find the “oldies” station.
The wind sock hung limp as a . . . well, it didn’t move much.
We’re airborne! Hardly a need for the Depends.
We’re making a bee line to the AGC. Having previously seen air photos of the Alex lakes area, one is still amazed at the amount of water!
We’re looking north. Voyager Elementary School is the long, brown building center right. Lake Henry is in the immediate foreground, Lake Darling is center left, Lake Le Homme Dieu is just above the school, and Lake Carlos is the long lake center top. Reminder again, you can double click all photos to make them full size.
Beautiful Lake Darling over the wing tip. Where the two points pinch separates “Big” Darling (left) from “Little” Darling (right). Lake Alvin is center left, just above Darling. Above Lake Alvin is Lake Ida, on the road (CR 34) to Carlos Creek Winery.
The AGC farmland in the foreground, Lake Darling on the left, Lake Le Homme Dieu on the right, Lake Carlos on top.
Hole No. 7, on the eastern shore of beautiful Lake Darling. Here I apologize to all who aren’t members of the AGC, or not golfers otherwise interested, because now we will present a plethora of similar photos as a working document for the club.
That’s the 6th green above the “covered” new 7th – it will be ready for play next July. That’s the 8th fairway going up the right side.
A close-up of the previous photo (just checking to see if you’re paying attention).
The forward tee will no longer have to shoot over water. The sand trap between the water and the green is deep enough to hide the Empire State Building.
Just one man’s opinion, but I think it’s going to be a gorgeous, challenging hole! There are 5 tee boxes of between 100 and 200 yards.
Remember, the wind along the lake in summer has an average net speed of 213 miles per hour. One often sees children on towing tubes go flying by at double digit altitudes.
The farmland south of the 8th and 9th fairways at the top.
Pulling up and around, one sees the internationally notorious Camp Ballantine along the shoreline just below (north) of the 7th hole. The crossing green strips, from bottom to top, are holes, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8.
Looking back toward downtown Alex, center right. The tall building (13 stories), left center, is the Alexandria skyline. Broadway (the main street) angles by it on the left. Lake Henry in the foreground, Lake Agnes just above Henry, and Lake Winona is the long, narrow lake at the top.
Same lakes, now you can see the tank farm on the right.
Guess? OK, CR 44, heading west past Voyager School, off the bottom of the page, but you can see their track. This is just south of the AGC.
Bottom to top: Farmland, driving range, 9th hole, clubhouse and parking lot, and the rest of the front 9.
Coming back around to No. 7 again.
Looks like a pork chop! (Well, I’m on a diet.)
Left to right: Holes 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8.
The aforementioned Camp Ballantine on the left.
Can you see Crazy Dave?
Somehow Donnacha and staff have managed to keep it green though it hasn’t rained since 1936. 🙂
Top left – maintenance and storage buildings with the clubhouse just below.
Voyager and Lake Henry at the top. Can you see Harry?
Back 9, left to right: 15, 16, 17, 18.
The back 9, less No. 13 off the bottom. The clubhouse is across the street.
Back 9 looking across the street to the Front 9.
Hole No. 10 on the left, No. 11 to its right.
Back to the Front 9, looking out on Darling.
And here comes No. 7 around again.
Nine months, probably on the cover of “Minnesota Golfer”?
Next: We’ll try to get back to chronological integrity.