Today I made something happen that I never thought would be possible: I played a round of golf, in Wisconsin, in my twelfth consecutive month!
At 39 degrees and sunny, I made the 25-minute trek to Mequon to Missing Links Golf Course. My intention was to check out their new heated driving range, and to finally have a chance to see my full drive in action. Enough crushing balls 70 yards into the side of a dome and having no idea whether it slices afterwards, I figured. I’ll be in [hopefully warm and sunny] Myrtle Beach in just a few short weeks, and needed to find out the condition of my swing.
Missing Links was a wonderful surprise. The driving range is very nice, but even nicer was when the man working the counter told me the course is actually playable. I hit a large bucket, feeling pretty good about my shot-making abilities, and paid the $8.50 for their nine par three holes.
Missing Links is a Jack Nicklaus-designed executive course like no other par three course I have played. The terrain rolls over a ton of small hills, and most holes have water or fairly significant elevation to add difficulty.
Hole 5: Par 3 (136/107)
The longest of the par threes is a 213-yarder that is fairly narrow, but the hills on the left side of the fairway can actually help funnel shots. I caromed off one of these and ended up pin-high five feet from the pin. It would have been an easy birdie putt if the greens were not covered in sand.
Hole 8: Par 3 (213/146)
The shortest of the holes is the first, which measures 76 yards. There is a lot of character to these little holes, including a number of sand traps that are boarded much like the ones on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. This makes the bunkers tricky, as these boards require adding extra loft to the pitch. The rest of the holes are at least 100 yards, totaling 1,131 from the white tees.
Playing Missing Links rekindled my excitement for setting up a par three challenge with my friends from work. Although that will probably be held at Noyes, which is a half mile from my office and can be played over lunch, I am certainly looking forward to getting back to this crafty executive course later this year. At Missing Links, the only thing missing from a great golf experience is nine more holes.
This reminds me of an article I wrote last season after stopping by Noyes Golf Course. It was one of my very first articles, and I received a lot of great emails at that time about the value of practicing on par three courses. If you have not had a chance to read it yet, check it out here: Taking a “Step Down” and Working on the Fundamentals.