The Duffer's Guide made its first – and hopefully, far from its last – visit to beautiful Whitlock Golf and Country Club last week, and, fortunately, we had a number of things fall our way, which, all told, created an atmosphere for one of the most enjoyable rounds of golf I've ever had the good fortune to play.
This time around, my brother-in-law and fellow duffer Jesse Paterson and I managed to catch a beautiful day, weather-wise(which are few and far between these days) as well as a day with very little wind to speak of.
Whitlock is made up of three nine-hole courses, so we opted for 18 holes on the North and South courses.
That was our first mistake.
We should've gone for 27.
We teed off on the 345-yard par-4 first hole and moved quickly into duffer mode. As per usual, it takes me a few shots to get comfortable on the course, and I carded a 6 on the hole. Jesse had a rough time with the green and also ended up with a 6. We moved quickly through the next few hole, but as we played, we noticed something we hadn't yet seen a lot of this year: green grass. The course at Whitlock was so pristine, you could've eaten off it.
On the 129-yard par-3 fifth hole, I hit a decent tee shot, but for whatever reason, mt pitching wedge, which normally gives me 120 yards off the tee without fail, landed me short of the green – in a nasty, nasty bunker in front of it. Two shots later, I was out and ready to begin my assault on the putting green. Never has a double-bogey felt so satisfying. Jesse, on the other hand, found himself on a bit of a roll, hitting good shot after good shot, and not getting himself into trouble with errant shots.
That's the name of the game at Whitlock; minimizing mistakes. I started to roll as well, with bogeys and pars on the sixth and seven. On eight, a tree sitting in the fairway caught my wedge shot and bounced it back and left me cursing the tree-as-hazard gambit Whitlock likes to use.
My rancor was muted, however, by the first hole on the south course, a 433-yard par-5 boasts an elevated tee box with a great panoramic view of the course, and has a creek running across the fairway at about 225 yards, which is roughly to where we hit the ball on most tee shots. Sure enough, we both hit to within feet of the creek, but avoided getting wet – just barely. The second hole on the south course was a 185-yard par-3, which, through its elevated tee box and low green forces golfers to tee off blindly, hoping their shot lands in the vicinity of the green. The ninth hole on the south course is also a memorable one; the elevated green is a tough get, but wow, what a picturesque place to play golf.
Whitlock Golf and Country Club is a private, members-only course located at 128 Cote St. Charles in Hudson, just minutes from Highway 40. For more information on the course or membership, visit them online at www.whitlockgcc.com, or call them at 450-458-5305. The club has varying rates for members of different ages.