Wednesday July 7 was the day that we bid adieu to our trusty van, Dodgy. But not before we‚??d slept in it one final time, or should I say tried to sleep in it as the 85 degree overnight ‚??low‚?? turned Dodgy into a sauna.¬†
We had arranged to meet the Swiss buyers at Starbucks in Queens and from there we did the deal, gave Dodgy a pat farewell and jumped in a cab along with all of our gear on route to the Creek Club.¬†¬† But first we had talked to about 6 rental companies about getting new wheels for the rest of our time in the US but they were all trying to charge us 6% of NZ‚??s GDP for 5 days rental (and even more for 4 days ‚?? go figure?).¬† We were in a pickle so us being us thought, let‚??s get out to Westhampton (Jeff Leveen had agreed to give us a ride out after our game at the Creek) and we‚??ll take stock from there.¬† Meanwhile we were also trying to arrange for the papers to transfer the car, not altogether an easy task when it is Californian registered and we didn‚??t want to change it to NY as the buyers are doing the return trip back to California. ¬†A logistically difficult step in our year of golf.
You can probably picture us in the cab arriving at the Creek Club with all of our belongings (many of which had been hurriedly put into various golf club ‚??shoe bags‚??), frazzled and without much sleep under our belt. ¬†Oh, and it was of course another humdingingly hot day.¬†¬† But then, as it often seems to work out, we met our host for the day, George Eberle who was such a cool ‚??dude‚?? that his energy rubbed off on us and before we knew it we were living the dream at the Creek Club.¬† We also had that elated buzz after and I must admit I felt a little bit proud that we‚??d managed to buy Dodgy, drive Dodgy and sell Dodgy all with no huge dramas.
George brought out his friend and a junior guy at his work to join us for the round, another Top Man by the name of Elliot Pool.¬† So the four of us sat down and got to know each other over a spot of lunch in the clubhouse and a couple of infamous Southsides.¬† Both these guys are on our wavelength so after minutes it was like we were old friends sharing lies and drinking beer.¬† After our whirlwind morning and four nights straight sleeping in Dodgy, I was happy as larry to be perched in this old homestead that has been converted into a golf clubhouse and enjoying a fine lunch.¬† A very fine lunch at that. ¬†¬†The service and all around atmosphere of the Creek was first rate and stacked up there with the best establishments we have been blessed to be invited to this year.
The golf course at the Creek Club was designed by Mr C B Macdonald - a busy man in these parts in the early part of the 20th century.¬† The club is situated on a long skinny block of land on Long Island, which at the northern tip borders the Long Island Sound and the club makes the most of this by having a beach club out there with accompanying swimming pools and bars.. It‚??s a cool spot on the property.¬† The course winds its way down from the clubhouse out to the beach club and the 10th hole (below) plays right along the waters edge before the course makes its way back to the clubhouse.¬† The routing is like a traditional links course which I enjoy.¬† Today it not only played downwind many of the outwards holes, but also downhill towards the water. And then you turn and try to make your way home..
The name ‚??the Creek‚?? stems from a tidal creek which runs parallel to the beach.¬† The 11th hole is the signature hole on the course ‚?? a par three which is played from near the ocean‚??s edge to an island green which is completely surrounded by ‚??the creek‚??.
The 10th and 11th holes run east / west and are an interesting part of the golf course and holes that wont be forgotten in a hurry! ¬†10 is a drivable par four, but you need to carry the ball over the water and if you go left you‚??re OOB, and on the beach.¬† Around the green a number of wee bunkers which you‚??d almost rather be in as opposed to the sandy scrappy lies between them. It‚??s pure.
The 11th green, whilst completely surrounded by water, is absolutely massive. It is probably 70 yards in length and today there was a back pin.¬† So boys being boys we finished out and went to the front edge of the green to see if anyone could two putt (see below) but after two tries each with no success we moved on to the 12th¬†where instead of playing off the regular tees, we hit off from the back edge of the island 11th green turning a 390 yard hole into a 480 yard monster.¬† Which George subsequently knocked it on in two and made a solid 4, net 3. Money. Needless to say after a handful of these and some solid playing from JP over the front nine Elliot and I were tail between the legs and shaking hands on the 15th hole.¬†
The holes at the Creek which are on the bottom plateau have a real linksy feel to them and with huge waste bunkers along the fairways it almost has a Cypress‚??esque feel to it.¬† These holes are very flat, with the odd raised green (eg #9 and the gnarly #16 which is elevated with a huge false front and I‚??m sure has been the graveyard for many rounds over the years and is pictured below) and play firm and subject to the elements.¬†
George explained that there used to be huge reeds on the dogleg right 13th hole that blocked the view of the green from the tee, but these have now been removed to leave a wide open windswept expanse.¬† The tributary rolling across the 13th and 14th holes into the main ‚??Creek‚?? has also been cleaned up and over time this will erode away more of the course to become a prominent feature. I really like what they have done in this corner of the golf course near the ocean ‚?? the guys hope it will forge its way back into the top 100 in the US, and judging from our experience I think it can‚??t be too far away!
The last hole climbed back up to the clubhouse and a couple of solid swings later I had 10 feet for eagle.¬† Finally a putt dropped, a good finish but far too late to compete with the guns.
George Eberle? Amazing host and did everything to smooth over the stress of the day.¬† Even invited us to stay, and to borrow his landcruiser for the next few days which has taken a huge load off our shoulders.¬† We went back to his place after golf and met Aimee and their four kids. We had a quick shower and then ventured out to the Mill Creek in Bayville where we were hosted by the owner Mr James Scott who is a chief champ boss captain skipper.¬† He had about a million stories to share ‚?? including the one of him as a 24 year old fresh out of college making far too much money and with a father as the president of playboy magazine.. Sounded like a rough couple of years for him. James went around the restaurant telling everyone about these two crazy kiwis playing golf every day for a year and before we knew it we were making new friends all over the show. James has left wall street now and has really found his niche (we kiwis pronounce that ‚??neesh‚?? not nitch) making fine food and serving fine wine and generally making people like us and the Eberle‚??s happy over a great night out.¬† He also was kind enough to make a donation to The First Tee.¬† Thanks to George and Aimee and Elliot and everyone else involved with another special day of puregolf2010.¬†
Posting comments has been disabled.