Those of you familiar with the movie, ‘The Sand Pebbles’, will remember these to be the dying words of the protagonist, played by Steve McQueen. In the movie, the character, Jake, has just suffered a mortal gunshot wound while effecting the rescue of a Christian missionary from the hands of Chinese Communists, and has sat down with his back to a wall as the full realization of the events sinks in. He repeats that phrase once more, in disbelief, just before a second bullet, the coup de grace, ends his life (and the movie).
But that is what I kept repeating to myself when playing the Skybrook course – WHAT HAPPENED??? I had seen the reviews posted in July, and couldn’t believe the course could be in as poor condition as was described. Sad to say (very sad for me, personally, because I had repeatedly praised the improvements and general course conditions during the previous year), it is true! I found the course conditions to be almost exactly as described by MrSlims in his review posted about a month ago. Even the practice green had several, large bare spots, and it is probably a tie between No. 1 (estimated at most to be 40% “green”) and No. 12 (of which I have photos) as to which of the greens is the worst. Another poor condition reported in July was the lack of mowing, in particular, the rough. The same was still true, today, and indeed, it caused a lost ball when I was unable to find mine in the “short” rough around the greenside bunkers on the Par 5 No. 4 hole. The copious amounts of lengthy, cut, (dead) grass around some of the tees are testimony to infrequent mowing. I did see one mower in operation during my round, but the amount of wet clumps in the fairways made me wonder if it weren’t a rare appearance. Finally, we have had sporadic, heavy rainfall in the area recently, and it has taken its toll on the bunkers – generally wet, some standing water, and a few bunkers that were more gravel than sand.
I have reached out to the course Superintendent for his explanation, or reasons, for the sorry conditions of the course, and what steps are being taken to restore it. I will post any comments here when I receive them. The bottom line – I cannot recommend playing the course at this time. Sad, so very sad, compared to previous days.