Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

I love to golf. But I don’t get the opportunity to do it that much. Therefore, I’m not very good.

And because I’m not very good, I often turn down opportunities to play at nice resorts, both because resort links tend to be tougher than your average municipal course, and because I get intimidated when paired up with a group of excellent golfers and worry that I am going to slow them down.

But the Boulders Waldorf Astoria now offers a “Pebble Tees” round tailored to golfers like me.  The resort has placed special tee boxes on nine holes to create a par three course that can be played in about an hour. It’s among a growing number of programs resorts are adopting to speed play and lure new or amateur players.

On a recent visit to the Boulders, I probably would have declined a round of golf, mostly because the visit was so short and my husband and I desperately wanted some spa and pool time.

But we opted for the short round late one afternoon. We were greeted with the same service of any full 18-hole paying player. They brought us cart, complete with huge glasses of ice water, rental clubs and the whole works.
On the first hole we accidentally teed off too far back. I sliced my drive into the brush, and out came a coyote. He wandered slowly around the fairway, apparently awoken from his afternoon slumber by the ruckus.

I'm an animal lover, so of course this made my day. My husband and I watched the coyote for a few minutes; eventually he wandered off into some more brush.

We finally found the pebble tee. Much closer to the green, and much easier to play from.  We kept our eyes peeled for the coyote, which wandered the sidelines for a bit, keeping an eye on us as well.

As we zoomed down the cart path a few holes later to bypass the long fairway for our short tees, we came across a bobcat, who was sitting still on the side of the fairway, almost close enough to pet. I’ve never seen bobcat in the wild. He was unfazed by our presence, as he kept a laser focus on a bird in a nearby tree.

In an hour we were done. I didn’t even keep score. I might not have been my best round of golf. But it certainly was one of the most fun. Maybe the Boulders should think about adding golf safaris.

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