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"A wee' bit O'Columbus"

by Ron Waterson

Nasty fairway bunker at Golf Club of Dublin

Other than the obvious reference, I write "a wee bit" because I was only in town for two possible golf days and one half of Saturday was a wash. We, that's me and my old Buckeye bud Brian, intended to play 36 on Saturday and 18 on Sunday, but mother nature reduced us to 18 on Saturday. Even that was a little tricky, as we had to drive west of Dublin away from the moisture laden billows that had perched themselves over the New Albany area and refused to leave...to the point of closing the course we intended to play all day Saturday, Clover Valley. So around 4:00 we found ourselves on the reasonably moist first tee of Darby Creek Golf Course in Marysville. By the third hole it was sunny and what was a fall back position without much expectations, turned out to be a pretty nice course. It's not the kind of place you drive hundreds of miles to play, but Darby Creek is a very well manicured track that is well worth the $30 something we gave for the after two special.

They boast two distinctively different nines, but to be honest we didn't find the design change from one side to the other nearly as significant as they report. I would consider that a good thing, because most of the time I hear that one nine is different from the other, it makes me think that they were built at different times and I anticipate things like greens speed, size and quality varying from one side to the other. That's just not an attribute where I come from, and fortunately it is not the case at Darby Creek. Darby Creek's 18 holes were all built at the same time. Although the back (The Woods) does incorporate more trees, we found the design characteristics to be similar to the more open front side (The Links). Simply put, there are more trees on the backside and yes you get a little more wind on the front do to the openness, but the actual hole designs are true to each other with a links flavor.

Front side at Darby Creek is definitely more open

Darby is a good player friendly, all bent grass par 72 course that measures a little over 7,000 from the tips. Slope 129 rating 73.7. It's a very fair test of golf without being especially impressive in any particular category....modest. Just kind of classic, simple design and solid all around. We liked it and would gladly play it again. I would also comment that Darby looks like a great place to have an outing.

The 3rd at Darby Creek golf course

After the round we enjoyed adult beverages with the friendly staff while we gazed out the 25 foot tall A-frame window that overlooks the course, and on this evening, featured a beautiful sunset. Ahhhhhh.....we have saved the day!

We made our way back to the Marriot in Dublin, freshened up and headed over Longhorns for a steak. Your restaurant choices within walking or stumbling distance of the Marriot are Longhorns, PF Changs and Cozymel's. The Marriot has a bar, where after dinner we found a wedding party playing "shoot the boot". This may be the single most disgusting after wedding ceremony I have ever witnessed. After removal of some unsuspecting saps well worn dress shoe, the shoe was filled with beer and then to the chant of "shoot the boot" everyone in turn, much to our amazement females included, shot a shoefull of beer back. You may now kiss the bride...or not! We had our share of libations while we watched in amazement, but I bet our breath was better the next morning.

Sunday morning we took our fresh pie holes over to Golf Club of Dublin for 18 before we headed back to our respective homes. Golf Club of Dublin is another links course measuring a little over 7,000 yards. The course has fescue grass fairways that feature absolutely nasty fairway bunkers. It's a Hurdzan/Fry design, but the evil Pete Dye comes to mind immediately when you look out at these massive bunker walls. They have the kind that you sometimes have to hit backwards out of. Yikes! The course info screams "Old School", and "British Isles Links golf" so I guess making bunkers like those that world war soldiers burrowed themselves in to avoid shelling was the intention. For golf, they are not a safe or desirable place to be.

I found the intentional use of fescue grass in the fairways to be an odd thing. I don't mind hitting off of fescue, but I know that it doesn't hold up well in heat or drought, so it seems strange to me that you would cover a course with it. Fortunately, this part of Ohio had recovered from their drought and the fescue was growing great. Our playing partner did tell us that just a couple of weeks earlier some of the fairways looked like dry wheat toast.

Furthering the "Traditional" theme, GC of Dublin has named all the holes with some clever reference to...well you guessed it...British Isle tradition. I went out in 35 while traversing my way through holes like "Walk the Plank", "We Burn" and I even birdied "St. Patrick". I made the turn one under and that damn 69 thing started popping into my head again.

"Druids Grove" got me for an 8, I followed that with a double at "Double Vision", I had no hope as I bogeyed "Risk and Hope" and finally I capped off my four hole collapse with a bogey at "Roon the Ben" or "Ruin the Round" as I think Brian called it. I did manage to recover and par out from there to shoot 79, but that was a rough four holes. I think some devious little soothsayer stole my ball in Druid's Grove where my debacle began with a unexplainable lost ball.

All in all, we enjoyed our day at Golf Club of Dublin and I would suggest playing it if you are in the area. It's an $80 course on the weekend, but they do try to provide a lot of service and golf in this area is considerably more expensive than what we are accustomed to in Kentucky. Remember, you are in Jacks backyard! This is a high end public golf course with all the amenities, including a large clubhouse with tall ceilings and beautiful hardwood decor. It's a nice clubhouse and course to visit, just don't visit the bunkers!

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