The drive to Birmingham was about 90 minutes and we arrived at the Oak Mountain State Park, just outside the city in Pelham. With over 50 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails set in a picturesque 9,940-acre park, there is something for all outdoor enthusiasts to appreciate and enjoy. There is something for everyone, even a golf course for us duffers! With two fishing lakes at the north end of the park, you can rent boats or use your own(electric trolling or oars) or fish from the banks. Other activities included mountain bike trails, a demonstration farm, and rental horseback riding facilities. While we were in the park on May 19th, the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs were held on the great nature trails inside the State Park. One of the campers next to us from East Hampton, Long Island came in second in the triathlon portion for women over 50. Good God was she in great shape!
Returning to play in Birmingham was a pleasure. They have three courses plus the short course. Ross Bridge is a resort course and the greens fees are high, since we played it on our last trip we decided to play the Ridge and Valley courses at Oxmoor facility. We had the pleasure of playing the Valley course our last time, but had not played the Ridge. Arriving for our 10 AM tee time on Friday morning, there was not a cloud in the sky. We hit some balls and headed over to the Ridge. The match that day was Janice and Bunny vs. John and Pete. The story is not of the match, but the absolutely great golf course that we played. Seldom do you have the pleasure of playing one hole after the next with such vistas and grounds that were in perfect shape. The Ridge course,
with its roller coaster fairways, heavy tree cover and precipitous 150-foot elevation changes, is incredibly photogenic. As a reminder of the site’s former use, the green at the par-five 3rd is buttressed by a shelf of exposed shale rock. By the way, John and Pete were victorious.
The 19th hole was its usually fun respite from the heat. The bartender asked us if we had ever tried an Ice Tea, not Long Island or just ordinary ice tea, it was a liquor that you mixed with water. We shared one to try and immediately went to the liquor store and got two bottle for the campsite. A stop at Costco for chicken and smoked salmon, which we enjoyed for dinner along with Ice Tea.
Saturday was another beautiful day and it was time to play the Valley Course. The fun for the Wilson’s was that we had played it two years ago and having some memory of the course from before was nice. The Valley course is dotted with picturesque lakes, beautiful rolling fairways and stretches two miles downrange along a slender valley. The par-3 second hole plays over a pond to a green guarded by bunkers in front and that was a challenge to put it mildly! The format again was the boys against the girls, taking no prisoners, John and Pete won again. As usual we enjoyed the wildlife on the course, a group of turkeys passed our way. In addition we have seen many close par 3 shots from all, Birdie Bunny had 2 in one day and at the Valley Janice added one.
On to Montgomery and the Capital Courses, The Senator, The Legislator and the Judge!
Standings: Bunny 4 John 6 Pete 4 Janice 2