Warming Up
Global Traveler|September 2021
Making new friends is easy at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club.
FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER

If you have not seen the movie Me, Myself & Irene, I suggest you do. I played golf with some of the “finest people from the state of Rhode Island” when I visited the Sarasota area last February. My buddy from Ireland, Aidan McNulty, and I were joined by Doug and Sandy for the first tee time of the morning. I could not figure why Aidan selected the course, 30–40 minutes south of Siesta Key, when so many courses are nearby, let alone my GPS taking me on a wild goose chase as I approached the club. The sun had not even come up as we drove, and we arrived at daybreak with a glorious sunrise on the first tee. Aidan had to hit a few balls to warm up, and after that the gent in the pro shop told us to go to the first tee of the Marsh Course. In our overexcitement to be the first off as a twosome, we blew by it in our carts (we each had our own) and passed the twosome we were to play (we were not told about that). After a tongue-lashing by the starter — and a few displeasing frowns from Sandy and Doug — we were back on track to be the first off, as a foursome this time.

Heron Creek is a fine facility with three nine-hole courses, which certainly helps the variety and pace of play. Legendary Ohio native Arthur Hills, who died this past May at age 91, designed the course. Hills designed more than 200 courses in his career, many in the Sunshine State, Ohio and Michigan. It is said when he started as a golf architect in 1966, he took out an ad in the Toledo Yellow Pages, and the first course he designed was Brandywine Country Club in Toledo, in 1967. He was a big believer in the risk and reward holes, and it was my plan to show our friends from Rhode Island some “Philly moves” on the course that early morning.

HOLE 1 MARSH COURSE

522 yards, par 5

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