In the December, 2012 edition of “The Traveler,” the e-newsletter put out by the Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism folks, I was amused…. no wait, I giggled out loud upon seeing my name listed as a golf “expert” when announcing my new blog. No really, that’s what they called me, an expert; I gotta forward that to my mom. According to a definition I found online, an expert is, “A person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject.” Unfortunately, I have neither when it comes to the game of golf.
Sure, I like to play rain or shine (but prefer rain since our courses are far less crowded), enjoy the companionship of a golf buddy, a hot dog and a cold beer and definitely love hitting a sweet 9-iron shot to within 3-feet of a tucked pin—at least I would if it ever happened. And I also have a true appreciation for the real golfers out there like my friend and mentor at Semiahmoo Golf Course, Jeff Coston; but an “expert?” Hardly. Jeff is a golf expert; the real deal.
However, I can say without fear of contradiction that Whatcom County is blessed with several of the finest golf courses in Washington State. Toss in a couple that I like down in neighboring Skagit County and you can pretty much play a different (and quite good) golf course every week of the year in rotation and only hit the same course three or four times. Yakima certainly can’t say that, neither can Spokane or the Tri-Cities or even the wonderful (but relatively few) courses on the Kitsap Peninsula. What’s more, except for the very occasional snow or frost delay, you can play nearly every day of the year. Again, few of our cousin-cities around the state can make that claim.
So, I guess when it comes to my knowledge of the courses in and around the Bellingham area, I could be considered to have a fairly high degree of knowledge on that particular subject—I’ve played them all several times. Well, at least I know where they are and how they play in the rain and other weather conditions that some people may consider more desirable. I know which ones have good practice facilities and a definite opinion about which are my personal favorites and why. But again, my knowledge of such things hardly rises to the level of expertise. For instance, I don’t know bent grass from Bermuda, but I do know which course is most likely to open soonest during a frost delay or is most likely to have a beverage cart out during your round. You know, useful stuff like that. Does that count as expertise?
So I hope the use of the term “Expert” doesn’t set your expectations too high. I’ll do my best to inform and entertain during my assault on the county’s courses this year, but if you really want to talk to a golf expert, call my buddy Jeff Coston. No, really. CLICK HERE to listen to an”On the Range” interview from the 2012 PGA Championship.
Click Here for other of Marcus’ ramblings about golf throughout the state of Washington.