The Pryor Times

Sports

July 8, 2014

The Porter Report

Course correction

OWASSO, OK — At the behest of Tahlequah Daily Press sports editor Ben Johnson, I made my less-than-triumphant return to Bailey Ranch Golf Course in Owasso Saturday.

What follows is an account of my first round of golf at my former home course in at least two years.

4:10 p.m.

I arrive at the course to shake the rust off of myself and my clubs at the driving range.

4:11 p.m.

I realize I have only 13 clubs in my bag. (My 3-wood is somewhere in the bottom of the lake that forms the right boundary of the par-5 11th.) This is of little importance; I will only use five or six clubs anyway.

4:28 p.m.

Ben arrives and we take off for the first tee.

4:31 p.m.

Ben's first drive finds the right side of the fairway. Mine finds the center, about 60 yards behind Ben's. Off to a good start.

4:32 p.m.

I lose my first of 13 balls on the front nine.

4:41 p.m.

I hit a gorgeous shot off of the second tee box but hook my approach. I finish with a triple bogey. Somehow I only remember the tee shot. Funny how that works.

5:04 p.m.

A kindly old man thanks us for letting him play through. He promptly cards a par on the par-3 fifth. I forget to tell him how I have already lost my first three tee shots in the native grass in front of the box.

5:25 p.m.

Ben has found a groove with consecutive bogeys on five and six. I find the groove in my right hand is beginning to blister.

5:46 p.m.

I reach my low point on the par-5 seventh. I accept the maximum stroke limit and cry softly into my glove.

5:55 p.m.

I start my best three-hole streak of the day with a bogey on eight.

6:21 p.m.

We head into the clubhouse to find a wedding reception has broken out. We neglect to stay for the live band, but find it somewhat odd that most of the guests (and the wedding party) are wearing football jerseys.

6:22 p.m.

The clubhouse is out of Ben's favorite beer, so he settles for Bud Light. I grab a couple cans of Blue Moon because I like their commercials. Turns out I like their beer, too.

6:32 p.m.

My final happy moment of the day. I almost save par on 10 but instead I two-putt.

6:40 p.m.

We drive by the lake on 11. Hi, 3-wood! Ben finds the drink with his first and third shots. I find the drink in the cupholder to be much tastier.

6:48 p.m.

The blister on my hand has gone from molehill to mountain. I tap out for the day.

7:02 p.m.

Blue Moon joins my official "Beers to recommend" list alongside Chimay Blue, Baltika No. 9, Boulevard Wheat, Marshall Sundown Wheat and Rodenbach Grand Cru.

7:38 p.m.

Ben calls it a night after nearly capping off the round with a par on 18 (he skipped 15 and 16 and found the drink on 17). Alas, like the rest of our round, he comes up short.

7:50 p.m.

I show Ben my name, etched these past six years into a rafter in the cart barn. (I used to be a cart boy during summers.) This is a proud moment for me until I turn too fast and my bag knocks over a stack of scorecards and pencils.

7:59 p.m.

I drive away from Bailey Ranch. It turns out to be my best drive of the day.

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