Silver Lakes Golf Club in Sweet Home Alabama!

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My day at Silver Lakes Golf Club

I have to give a little backstory on this to get you to fully understand where I am coming from when I tell my tale of Silver Lakes.

I’m from Las Vegas, been here my whole life. Nothing much shocks me anymore. I’ve pretty much seen it all. Not that that’s a good thing, believe me, there are some things that I wish I could get out of my head, but that’s Vegas for ya.

My wife is from a small, small, very small town in Northeast Alabama.

I freaking love the place. Her family has been farming there for decades. Cotton and soybean are their main crops, and they have a lot! That part of Alabama is so beautiful it’s almost surreal. That’s coming from a desert dweller. The farmland of Northern Alabama is stunning, the colors, the trees, THE TREES. Holly crap there is some big ass trees. There are weeds out here in Vegas that can be mistaken for trees if you are not from around here, so you’ll have to excuse me if I get excited about them. I could talk for days about all the things that I love about Alabama, but instead, I’m just going to talk about one of them, Silver Lakes.

My tee time was set for 11:00 am.

I left the house about 9:30 am. I wanted to get there early enough to hit the range and also I had not a clue to where I was going. Rural Alabama is no Vegas. I took me about forty minutes to get there and it was well worth it. To get to the course you have to drive through a small housing development (where I now want to move to!) with some of the most amazing looking homes you’ll find anywhere. I pulled up to the clubhouse, a great looking clubhouse it was and couldn’t wait to get started. Paid my green fees and headed out to the range.

I didn’t bring my clubs.

Traveling with three adults and two kids under the age of five sure make it hard to toss fit a set of clubs and still have room in the car for you. So I decided to rent a set. I was a bit disappointed in the rental clubs. For such an amazing facility the rental clubs sucked. Old Big Bertha Callaway’s on graphite shafts. They came with a Driver, 3W, 3I, 5I, 7I, 9I, SW and a putter. Not your ideal set of clubs to be playing with, but it had to do.

On the range, I encountered what would be my nemesis for the rest of the day, humidity. WOW! I have experienced humidity before. The wife and I honeymooned in Aruba back in 2005. But never have I played a round of golf in the stuff. Hats off to all you players in the South, I don’t know how you do it.

The first real difference I noticed between Vegas and Alabama was the ground. It was so soft. I normally don’t take a large divot, sometimes not even a divot at all, but out in Alabama, oh my God if you look at the ground it makes a divot. First thought NO FAT SHOTS, the ball won’t go ten feet if I hit a fat shot out here, and I might break a club!

I got to the first tee a bit early just to see what was going on.
They set me up to play Heartbreaker and Mindbreaker. I noticed a sign off to the side of the #1 tee box that in layman’s terms said;

“If you suck bad, play these tees, if you suck, but not bad play these tees. If you don’t think you suck plays theses and if you know you’re good to play these.

I ignored it and played what I thought would be challenging enough for me and would let me see most of the course. I think I chose correctly. if I would have played what they suggested, it would have taken about 400 to 450 yards off the course.
The starter was fantastic.
He chatted me up for a bit, I know it was just to allow the group ahead of me to get further along on the course. I was right about that. When we were done talking he kindly said:
“I hope you don’t mind me talking your ear off, I just wanted that group ahead of you to get a few holes ahead of you so you would enjoy the course more.”
I told him not at all and made my way to the first tee.
The one thing that I will never forget about Silver Lake
And, I’m sure there are a lot of courses like this in the world, but this is the first one that I’ve played, is how when you are on one tee box, you can’t see the green on the prior hole and you can not see the tee box on the next hole. It’s like each hole is a separate course.What a site that #1 tee was. The jitters came fast and furious, and I made a bad shot off the tee box, into the woods down the right side of the fairway.
Of course, the shot was unplayable and I took a penalty stroke. It’s like the golf Gods (yes, there are golf Gods) said “HE SHALL BE PENALIZED JUST FOR SHOWING UP A BAD GOLFER” (speak that in a Charleston Heston voice.) I hit my 3rd stroke across the fairway to the other side rough, not a pretty shot.
 The only good thing about that was no one was looking! HA 4th stroke was much better, it came to rest about 40 yards short of the very large mound that the green was placed upon. 5th stroke was a wedge that put me about 40 feet from the pin on the green. A healthy two-putt and my first hole at Silver Lake was completed. Double bogey 7 with a penalty stroke, not a bad start, I’ve had worse that’s for sure.
After that hole, I decided just to relax and enjoy the round. This was scenery that I had never seen before let alone played golf in. I took a deep breath, chugged back some of the Red Bull and proceeded to the next hole.

All in all I had a wonderful time and can’t wait to play there again. I ended up with a 105. Best round so far!

Follow Mathew Wangrycht:

Writer and founder of the golf blog The Breakfast Ball. My wife will tell you I'm obsessed with the game, she's right! It's that obsession which drives me to become a better player and make this site enjoyable for everyone.

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