The UNM south golf course is a championship course that is way too much championship for this golfer.
It has ankle deep grass in the rough, tricky greens, deep traps, rolling fairways and a few doglegs that would make a dog blush. You wouldn’t want to walk this course unless you were a mountain goat and a masochistic one at that. The greens on all the holes have multiple breaks and the greens keeper always puts the pins where you would expect with someone who fights with the wife a lot.
On the back nine there is a short par four dog leg to the left that wraps around a little pond with a huge cottonwood between the edge of the left fairway and the lake, directly in the way of a straight tee shot to the green. Long hitters can try to fly the cottonwood and drive the green while the rest of us mortals lay up to the right and have a wedge shot into a small tight green guarded by a big trap.
The pond is shaded and a gaggle of ducks live there in the warmer months of the year before they migrate south for the winter. When we golfers drive down the fairway, the ducks waddle out to meet us and sample treats we bring from home and have stored in our golf bags belted to our gasoline powered golf carts that have tv screens that give distances to the pin, let you order food, and play music.
Growing up with ” Donald Duck” makes ducks seem approachable though we know these guys have a dangerous bill that gets aggressive if the duck feels threatened. If the ” Donalds ” get really bothered they usually turn back to their lake and paddle out to the middle where they can weather any people storms.
Today, we give them treats and they stay close to us. We all hit our approaches to the green but no one makes a birdie. Walking off the green, we can hear the ducks quacking like television sports announcers on crack.
Whether they are ” cute” or a ” Nuisance” lies in the eyes of the beholder but they make a tough day on the course a little less disheartening.
Even championship courses need diversions, even ones that waddle and quack.