I had to be stealth as I crossed the border. As a Colorado State University supporter and the husband of an alumni, I was now entering the territory of the Wyoming Cowboys. We are now in possession of the Bronze Boot as the 45-31 winner of the Border War football game of 2014 and I know they will be seeking revenge for that beating. The green license plates with the white mountain peaks may give me away as a Colorado resident, but they were probably just a blur now as I pushed the new 80 mph speed limit on I-25. Once you are past Cheyenne, there is only wide open space to admire, so my eyes drifted to the back of my hands and I started to wonder…when the heck I turned into my grandfather! But I digress…
I coasted into the Casper Municipal Golf Course parking lot without being noticed and after paying my green fee was promptly directed to the Highlands 9. This 27-hole facility also includes the Park and Links 9’s. Hole #1 is a 418 yard (blue tees) par 4, which is straight and non-threatening – a good hole to start your round with a birdie or par. Your tee shot at Hole #2 needs to be airborne or you will need to reload. If you successfully clear the pond, then all you have to concern yourself with is the green that dramatically slopes from right to left.
Make sure your tee shot is left at the par 3, third hole. Left will feed the shot to the hole: a miss to the right and you will continue to chase after your shot. Hole #4 has a blind tee shot and the tee marker shows a slight dogleg to the left. As the crow flies, the green is probably slightly to the left, but the fairway that is out there is slightly to the right. So what I’m saying is that your slice will probably land directly in the middle of the fairway.
When you play a golf course in Wyoming, you are almost certain to encounter two things – wind and antelope. This day was unusually calm but at Hole #5 I found my antelope grazing on the fairway. This first par 5 is straight, so having to dodge the antelope must be the reason it is the #1 handicap hole.
Hole #6 – how is this not the #1 handicap? Creek to carry; huge bunkers to avoid and it’s the #6 handicap? I wanted to use my 8-iron for my third shot but it was no longer in my bag; I pulled my 9-iron and hit a perfect shot to the green that helped me birdie the hole. Someone please explain this game to me, I don’t understand!
Once again, you have to carry the same creek with your drive at Hole #7. This is a short par 4 with the green tucked up on the right side of the fairway. The putting surface is large but has an ugly, dramatic, mean false front. You better be on the back side or kiss it goodbye. You finish the round with back to back par 3’s. Both are over 200 yards from the blue tees. Hole #8 will once again have the creek to carry; Hole #9 today had more antelope to elude.
Ace: The pace of play, conditions of fairways and greens were excellent. The Parks and Links 9’s are integrated with the Highlands 9 to make for very interesting routing through the course. As a first timer playing here, there were a few times I had to drive around to find the next Highlands tee box. That being said, I really liked the combination of holes which made for a very pleasant round. Two other things that made this a great day – no wind and my Colorado car was still unharmed in the parking lot.
If you are looking for a unique place to eat and drink after your round, try Sandfords and the Ten Sleep Amber Ale.
P.S. I really do love my Wyoming friends (one of them kindly tracked me down and returned my 8-iron)!
2120 Allendale Blvd., Casper, WY 82601; 307-233-6620; www.caspermunicipalgolf.com