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Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Bethel Wars: Thanksgiving 2014

We're going to Phoenix for our Thanksgiving match play 3-round series.  I am so ready.  My clubs are tucked into their traveling case, the pups and parrots are going respectively to Dog Came and Bird Camp for the week, and I'm going to take on Wes while the rest of the family chooses sides and functions as our personal gallery.  And all this is going to take place under sunny skies and 70-degree mid-day temperatures!

On the surface it doesn't seem like this ongoing match play between Wes and me would be a fair competition, but the forward tees go a long way toward balancing out the playing field because when you get right down to it, the bulk of the game is played within 100 yards of the cup and so long as my knees hold up even a little old lady like me can move the ball forward 100 yards.

Phoenix is an interesting choice.  It's home ground for none of us, but the granddaughter (who's making some noise about taking up the Game, herself) suggested it as a compromise rendezvous location.  Given the golfing opportunities Wes and I backed her up enthusiastically and then everybody else got in line and booked their flights.

Golf aside, there's a certain allure to gathering for a holiday on nobody's home turf, promising a balance in the playing field of extended family dynamics.

So what do you do about tee times in a place that's unfamiliar to everyone?  I had the edge on this one because I occasionally write for the Discount Tee Times blog, so I asked my boss, David Bates -- whom I've never met but with whom I have a lovely, digital world working relationship -- to help us out with some recommendations and suggestions.

David is never short on recommendations and suggestions.

David, and by extension Discount Tee Times, has the inside track on who's who and what's what in golf throughout the southwest.  He was more than up to the task.  We're looking forward to an exciting 3-round series, playing both the Sidewinder and Dinosaur Mountain tracks at Gold Canyon Resort and the Arizona State Karsten course -- three totally different layouts that are going to offer three different sets of challenges.

Sidewinder's first.  The course going to take me into the desert and give me a chance to navigate around some of those huge saguaro cacti.  Dinosaur Mountain is going to present some environmental challenges that this girl who likes to golf play in the coastal areas of the southeast rarely experiences.

I'm looking forward to playing the ASU Karsten because it's a links-style course set in the middle of the desert -- now how did they do that?  And Arizona State has one of the best collegiate golf programs in the country, so I might get to see some very (athletically, not sexually) hot young golfers in action.

I'll let you know how the series unfolds.  Wes reports that his game is better than it's ever been, that he's adopted a zen approach and is driving the ball 300 yards.  He hasn't said whether or not his ball lands in the short grass.  He probably needs to keep in mind that my putter's hotter than his!