The journey of the Springfield “kids” continues…if you are studying a map of Kansas, you are probably thinking – why Russell? Here are a few reasons we stopped: It’s only about 1 1/2 hours south of the geographical center of the US; it’s on I-70, thus an extension of the I-70, Eastern Colorado Small Town Golf Trail; it has a 9-hole golf course; I have a nephew named Russell; and probably the main reason…halfway through the state, I needed an old person bathroom break.
Linda warmly greeted us as we invaded the clubhouse and jostled for position outside the restroom. I’m sure she was thinking “are these yahoos’ here for golf or just to relieve themselves”? We took care of business; paid our money; and proceeded to the first tee.
A wide-open fairway greets you at Hole #1. Easy enough except for the water that fronts the green at this par 4 of 368 yards. Your big decision is to lay up or go for it on shot number two. My motto is if you are only going to play a course once – go for it! Hole #2 comes with an abundance of water issues. Creeks need to be carried on the first and second shots while also avoiding the water that flows down the left side of the fairway.
For those of you who like me are not the “sharpest tools in the shed”, there are two greens that are visible at Hole #3. How did all three of us miss this important fact at the 190 yard par 3? As you scan the horizon, the flag to the left (the one we chose) is for Hole #12 if playing 18; the flag to the right is for the third hole (the one we didn’t choose). It all worked out since our sliced tee shots moved us in the direction of the correct green. One par; one bogey – all is good!
Hole #4 – long; straight; football-sized wide; 565 yards long; and the number one handicap. I hit three solid shots and was still short of the green. It sucks to be getting old and feeble! Hole #5 has a slight dogleg right and should be no trouble – birdie hole? The par 3 sixth hole is another birdie hole with only a bunker to avoid at the front left of the green. Best be left – these are my words of wisdom at Hole #7. All the danger (pond & trees) is on the right side of this dogleg right par 4.
Can you hit your tee shot straight and in the air? If so, then at the par 3 eighth hole you will miss the pond and the left and right bunkers. Another football-sized fairway awaits your wild tee shot at Hole #9. Nothing but your wayward shots and poor putting will hold you back from finishing your round with a birdie or par.
Birdie: Surprise – you never know what you will find as you travel America’s Highways and Byways. If your travels take you along I-70 in the middle of the USA, stop for a break and visit the good folks in Russell. Tell them Always Time for 9 sent you!
1054 E. 2nd Street, Russell, KS 67665; 785-483-2852; www.russellcity.org