“Quirky, funky, unique…a course everyone should play”. That is how one golfer described The Causeway Club. Another person in the same group said, “it is a cow pasture.” I guess to each his own but we have heard this before, so here is our take on this interesting track.
I am always thankful when a course opens with a nice, easy, wide-open par 4 like Hole #1. There is plenty of fairway to hit if you don’t “duck hook” it into the pond on the left or slice it into the small line of trees to the right. Finding those trees cost me a par today. The par 4 second hole can be a little tricky because of the pond that fronts the green. Choose your club wisely on this short 277 yard hole. If you get a “wild hair” and attempt to drive the green, there is additional trouble behind the putting surface. My advice – lay up; pitch over the water; one putt; take your birdie; and get out of Dodge.
Hole #3 is a straight, 304 yard par 4 with no trouble except for the road to the left which runs the entire length of the hole. Beware of cars and pedestrians moving along this placid road. For the long hitters among you, this would be a good chance to “air it out” but holding the small green could be difficult. Hole #4 reminds me of the 18th at Pebble Beach. Well sort of; well maybe not; but it does have water to the left of the teeing area. If your drive finds dry land, your second shot will encounter the first bunkers of the day at the green. If your approach shot goes a little long, you will find the water that may have captured your tee shot extends along the rear of the green.
Aim toward the American Flag. Words to heed as you tee it up at Hole #5. This is the last of the five consecutive par 4’s. There is some water to the left; some trees to the right; so for crying out loud, just hit it straight at the flag. And now for the par 3’s…
The first of four in a row is the downhill, 142 yard sixth hole. Large bunkers surround the front of the green and any wayward shot to the right or left will slide drastically off the putting surface. Wow…wow…wow, that was my thought as I pegged my ball at Hole #7. Another long (233 yard) par 3 – what is with these Maine courses and their 230+ yard par 3’s from the white tees? This one is: 1) uphill (great, let’s add another 10 yards); 2) a pond to clear with the tee shot (least of my concerns); 3) big slope to the left of the green which is cut into a hill (vegetation will come into play); 4) way left brings water back into play; 5) hit it to the right and let the slope guide your shot to the hole (easy, if I could it it that far).
So what awaits us on the next par 3 at this quirky string of holes? We’ve had one downhill and one long, uphill, plus it was the number one handicap hole. Just to be different, Hole #8 has a blind tee shot of 175 yards. I “run” halfway down the fairway to see if the green is clear (it is not). I wait, “run” back and that’s when Karen asks, “what is that long, skinny, green thing” at the tee box? The periscope would have been much easier to view the green than “running” all around the fairway – another senior moment!
To the naked eye, Hole #9 appears to be a painless way to finish the round and this stretch of par 3’s. It is if your shot finds the green. Mischievously hidden from view is a long, narrow bunker that spans the front of the green. Somehow my line-drive tee shot skipped over the bunker but in the process also zoomed passed the green, whizzed through the bushes, and ended in the parking lot. Fitting end to a quirky, funky, unique course.
Par: I agree that this is a course everyone should play – once. It won’t appeal to everyone but we had fun playing this par 32 layout. It starts with five par 4’s and ends with four par 3’s. A few holes will present a challenge for all golfing abilities. If you are looking for a perfectly manicured course (CC is not a cow pasture), skip this course and move down the road to Kebo Valley Golf Club. However, if you are looking for a quick 9-hole round before you explore the rest of Acadia National Park, give The Causeway Club a try.
So how do you spend time in Acadia National Park? We started by dropping our luggage in Southwest Harbor (the quiet side of the park) at The Inn at Southwest. Dora and Daniel were exceptional hosts and chefs. After golf we decided for three short hikes south of Southwest Harbor. Ship Harbor, Wonderland, and Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse provide areas for easy hikes to the ocean.
If you are looking for a little more challenging, uphill hike just north of SW harbor, you will find Echo Lake Beach – hike and a dip sounds perfect.
Moving over to the east side of the park, you will find the “hustle and bustle” of Bar Harbor. Our choices for this side of the park: 1) A drive up Cadillac Mountain and the highest point on the eastern seaboard; 2) A visit to Jordan Pond House for a “popover” (and of course another lobstah roll) and a hike to the Bubbles; 3) A easy four mile walk along the coast from Sand Beach to Otter Point; 4) Leisurely walk around town and a stroll along the waterfront; 5) Biking the Carriage Roads. A wonderful couple of days!
10 Fernald Point Road, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679; 207-244-3780; www.thecausewayclub.org