Duffer’s Day on the Green

Links u Love 2 Hate

We’re hitting the links today. The kind you walk between, instead of clicking. The back problem that’s kept me from teeing off this last year is finally recovered enough to withstand my maniacal thrashing of iron into turf, and Jim’s ready to come out of the clubhouse, too. So grab your quiver, and get ready to fudge your score along with us as we visit our hidden gem of a (slightly bigger than) Putt-Putt golf course: Santa Barbara’s Hidden Oaks.

The strat of Hidden Oak's golf course.

Number 9…number 9…number 9…

Let’s Go Fore It!

Right away I notice the economy’s hit the quaint course where it hurts. On its greens. Though manicured and maintained the usually lush links are as brown as I ever seen them, and as quiet, too. Only the burble of doves and rat-a-tat of woodpeckers underscore my customary war whoop as I slice hard off the 1st Tee with my go-to 9 iron…and Mulligan–again–and again–

The greens need a little love...that's a golf score...right?

Ghost Golf Town…just add tumbleweed.

 Just Don’t Count That First Stroke–or That Next One!

And again. I know it’s been a while since I played, but it seems I’ve forgotten how to swing entirely by the time I finally make it anywhere near the 1st hole. It takes me a total of 6 divet-digging strokes to drive the whopping 80 yards to my satisfaction—strokes I’m counting as 1, naturally—and an additional 2 to sink it for real. I forgive myself by virtue of absentia and favoritism, but still find myself glancing about surreptitiously in case a passing marshal wants to administer an impromptu fairway sobriety test. A test I would certainly fail. I would be GUI, for sure: Golfing Utterly Inexpertly, as you can see by the pictures below.

Couple enjoying a game of golf at Santa Barbara's Hidden Oaks

Photo courtesy of the Golf Channel…NOT!

Go Jim Dandy!

Jim a lot less so. He hits it in 1 right off the bat, continuing to play well even after I relieve him of the Louisville Slugger with which he’s opted to play, and my next “recorded”  drive isn’t bad, either. My club face gets a good piece of the ball, leaving me by the bunker near the pin and since I’d almost always rather be at the beach anyway, I’m pleased enough with the lie. As I drag the golf cart behind me toward the sand like a wheeled suitcase full of Coppertone, the balmy breezes of late afternoon help coax along Jim’s ball for an easy birdie.

Still life on golf course Hidden Oaks

¡Check out la montaña!

Everyone Turn Around Please…

A fearsome shows up when we’re on 3. That’s right—a fearsome—that’s no typo you’re reading there. I am a blushing player at best, and a club-whinging golfer at worst, and as soon as there’s anyone within say…oh, I don’t know…a golf course’s distance of me, I start to choke to the extreme. This aberration alone would have been enough to guarantee my lack of inclusion in the LPGA—the gallery would have to cover their eyes whenever I teed off, with a strict no-peeksies rule enforced –if my handicap didn’t ensure that already.

The tools of the trade.

Here, Karen karen karen karen….

It’s a Golf Miracle!

It just goes to show you the human animal is an unpredictable beast. The 4th turns out to be my best yet, advancing golfers, or no advancing golfers. My very first stroke schools my ball righteously, cracking it with an authority that lands it just before the green, and even outdistances Jim’s drive. So what if I tee off from the Ladies Tee that’s yard closer? My muscle memory is obviously kicking in & not a fairway too soon. This is one of the longest distances on the entire course, but that’s okay as long as you’re par for it. It provides ample opportunity to enjoy the Zen garden setting the course’s 4 bunkers draw to mind, and time to tell a tall tale or 9, as well.

Santa Barbara based personal trainer Karen Robiscoe exhibits good golf form.

Drive for show, putt for dough, I’m trying to put some backspin on it…

It’s Outta There, Folks

So, it’s right in keeping that Jim’s voice takes on an amused inflection as he tells me I just smacked it a good 125 yards. It sounds more than right, it sounds as good as an outright fish story. The type wherein the landed fish grows bigger with the telling, so I’m going to jump on that boat too, if you don’t mind, and blog it at a solid 200. Rewrites, you know, & updates, too, so please imagine outstretched hands here:  _____________ measuring expanding increments of air so: /                     / as I describe this epic drive of mine–time & rewrite again. I mean to double-check the total yardage on this Tee when we drop off our cart at the pro shop aka lemonade stand later–I really do!–but I forget.


It was this big: /…. / No! It was THIS big: /………….. /

In The Rough

The 5th hole is the hardest to make on the entire course. If the initial drive from the men’s Tee doesn’t cover the 145 yard distance , the ball will “foul” off the steep slope that leads to the pinnacle whereon the green lays, and disappear forever into the chaparral abutting it. So even though I’ve not even begun to exert any kind of real energy on the mile or so walk, it’s pleasant to let Mike swing before me while I imagine both seeing & being the ball. He’s part of fearsome duo we let play through, and clearly pleased with his shot, and who wouldn’t be? It cracked off his 5 iron as loud as gunfire.

Locals enjoying the greens at Hidden Oaks

It’s on the green, folks!

Belated heads up, gallery: The only place you’ll see a ball in motion in this blog is in your imagination. Or in those woods. Sorry, chickens! My camera’s just a pocket cam, and I’m just a person with pockets, and no actual “pix-per-tise”. Poetic license enough to come up with a brand new word that means: expert at snapping pix, though.

Six of One…

The 6th Tee is a blind shot off a hill to the green below, but not an unscented one, so even though my drive stinks, it’s up to snuff. I bet you didn’t know you could skunk a person in a game of golf, but you can—and I did! Here’s the not-so-fishy, skunk pictures to prove it!

Can I bring him home? My new golf buddy...

You can call me Pepé Le Pew.

You CAN get skunked in golf!

…but my Mama calls me Flower.

Golf makes for strange company!

Something to consider–and yes, that white blob is a golf ball! Our incidental lil’ fella helped find it.

Bee Tree of d’Other

The 7th inning stretch is home to this spectacular tree. The tree is in turn, home to a thriving hive of bees, and I’m glad to hear them buzzing about while we muck about. With bee populations on a dangerous & un-precellular-dented decline, their buzzing is honey to my ears.

Landscape at golf course: Hidden Oaks in Santa Barbara

Tree cameo.

Would you believe the 8th Tee looks verrry similar to the Tees that have come before, so I’ll slide off to the side to include this bit of blooming Utopia:

Birds of Paradise--on a golf paradise!

The flowers look good.

That’s a wrap then, at 9. Time to kick it.

Santa Barbara based personal trainer Kardio with Karen on the golf course.


Let’s Golf Again Soon!

I’m off for a run tomorrow. If you’d like to come with, check out:  1000 Words  here at Kardio with Karen. You could even show up early!

BIO: Based in Santa Barbara, CA, Karen Robiscoe is a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and personal trainer through NASM. DBA Kardio with Karen, she is additionally certified as a Group X instructor and Spin teacher with Fitour, a licensed Livestrong Cancer Survivors instructor by YMCA, and a fully accredited Aquatics teacher with AEA.


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