Course: Shale Creek
Location: Right off Marks Road in Medina
Directions: Easy access from I-71, I-271, Rt. 42. 20 Minutes from Akron, 30 from Cleveland, 45 from Kent
Dewsweepers Tee Time Was: 820
Shale Creek Website
A great weekend meant the Dewsweepers 2014 tour got underway in Medina at a really nice course, called Shale Creek. This course is in a conga line of sorts, of some solid places to play in Medina County. Just a couple miles from Bunker Hill, and Pleasant Valley golf courses. All nice places to play very good public golf.
Shale Creek is a part of a housing community, but the houses seldom are a factor in your shot making process as they are mostly well off the course. This can be played from 6,000 up to 7,000 yards. This is a wonderfully designed course with a bit of everything to test all of your skills. Hills, sand, water, sloped greens, and just flat out good golf. Today the weather conditions were fine, for the exception of the 30 mph winds that really made it very difficult at times. It's early in the season, but they were in very good shape. Of course, like all golf courses this early, they will improve. But Shale is way ahead of the curve. The were in pretty darn good shape, considering how early it is.
We wrestled with the wind, especially on the back 9 when things really kicked up. Not much roll todau either as the course was still damp. But it was dryer than most after this terrible winter, and slow to spring - Spring. Overall for our inaugural round, we couldn't have picked a better place to start off.
Beef got off to a slow start today, and had a couple of bad numbers of the front. But Beef did what all good players do, he hung in there and waited to find his swing. After a 48 on the front, with a 8/7 back to back, (tough to recover) he warmed up on the back 9. Parring 5 of the last 7 holes, and keeping the ball in play despite the wind. That's what you gotta do. Just grind it out, and he did posting a very nice 40 on the back with a vicious wind for a nicely recovered 88.
Beef's nice approach at #13
Tex had a remarkably consistent round, scoring 51/51 on a tough day weather wise. Tex is a low ball hitter, and that helped him with the wind. But with the damp, he didn't get much roll and that's his bread and butter. Tex did keep the ball in front of him most of the day, and was the only one of us that did not record a 3-putt. And that was no small feet. Greens everywhere right now, have a ways to go, and are hard to read and not always true. So getting the ball in the hole sometimes is not small thing.
Tex lining up at the difficult #12
Joe Red today was the story. Red did something none of us had ever seen in 30 years of golf! He CHIPPED IN 4 birdies today. On holes 2, 7, 13, and 17. Stunning! He only had 26 putts on the day. He saved himself about 8 strokes by just - not putting 4 times! I have never seen anything like it. Plus, we all got to see the highly inappropriate victory dance 4 times. Yeah, thanks! We don't have to see that again. But, he earned it. Red also struck the ball well to put himself in position to make those chips.
Joe Red's HIGHLY hard to watch "birdie dance" (4 times!)
I also did something I have never done. I took a "10" on a par 5, the difficult number 3. After a nice drive into the wind, I tossed 2 balls in the water, and then 3-putted. Tough to recover from that. But, I did to a degree. I had 6 pars on the front, and shot a 43. I wasn't too unhappy since I took a 10! On the back, I played OK, but not as well on the front. The wind kicked up, and I struggled on the last 3 holes, taking 2 doubles for a 45, firing 88 on the day. Overall, not bad since I played the par 5's horribly, (usually my strength) at 7 over (5 on one hole) and missed 4, 3 foot putts. Hard to survive a 10. Sheesh!
I'm sure this was one of my good drives....
Course highlights? This entire course is terrific! The par 5's are all great. Number 2 is a great tree lined par 3. Number 9 is a really nice par 4, that's short, and is a tough approach shot. Number 10, is a challenging par 4, hard dogleg right with a tough green to hit. And 12, is a really tough par 4 that wraps around hard to the right over trouble.
Shale Creek can be played many different lengths and ways. But this is not a beginners course at all. The facilities are wonderful, and service is great. They even called Beef to tell him they located his club head cove that he lost, and they would hold it for him until he comes and picks it up. This is also pricier than most public courses, and it's worth it. Although deals can be found depending when you want to play. Just a really fantastic place to play!
Joe Red - 82
Beef - 88
Wynn - 88
Tex - 102
Next week we visit Big Met, in Fairview. A historic course that's part of the MetroParks system.