Matthew, golfing at the diamond in the rough.

Matthew and I, both fighting illness and on the back end of getting rid of strep and/or bronchitis.   Were bored to tears at home so we packed up our golf clubs and headed to the little Diamond In the Rough down the road.   I didn’t blog about this place last year when I found it because I wanted to keep it to myself.

I’m talking about Forest Hills Country Club.   Smack dab in the middle of Middletown, Ohio is this little 100+ year old 9-hole golf course.  It is not fancy, but it is challenging and tough.  5 par 3’s and 4 par 4’s, with two sets of Tees for each hole that makes each hole different enough to keep it interesting.  (3 of the par 3’s are 200 yards from one set of tees).   Narrow fairways and small greens.   A nice, quiet (and cheap) place to play golf that’s literally 5 minutes from our home.  We have lived here for 17 years and had no idea it existed until it showed up on GolfNow last year.

ForestHillsEarth(Overhead Google Earth of the place).

There is no pro shop, but there is beer/drinks. There is fairway and rough, no first cut, second cut, third cut.  There is water on one hole and it shouldn’t really come into play.   It’s a great little place to sharpen your skills with the small greens, about half have pretty good undulations to them.  It’s also very quiet.  Just a great little place.  It’s no where near the standards most folks expect today’s golf courses to be, but it is over 100 years old and that’s pretty dang cool.

Matthew is currently 8 1/2 years old and had been playing golf since the start of last fall.  By playing golf I mean he comes with me to the driving range and bangs on some balls.  I have taken him to Forest hills about a half dozen times and he’s usually more interested in driving the cart and gets frustrated pretty quickly.

Today something clicked with him and he’s really been striking the ball well.  (Might be something about keeping both feet on the ground) But if you know Matthew, he’s already an 8 year old golf expert 🙂   So I just have to feed him little tips and tidbits here and there and let them sink in.   Today a lot of that came home to roost.

On the south side of Forest Hills are two holes #4 and #5.  Both Par 3’s.  #4 is an uphill 200 yard narrow par 3, and #5 is right along side and down hill.  I think these are the two hardest holes on the course because they are so narrow and anything right on #4 is out of bounds, lost.   #5 is just an optical illusion and while being downhill seems to play much longer than it would indicate because it’s always, and I mean always into the wind.

On June 26th, Matthew carded pars on both, back to back.  Here’s where our balls laid after our second shots on the uphill #4 hole.

Forest Hills #4
A Par in the making

We both made those par putts.

Matthew then carded another par on the downhill par 3 #5 while  I carded a double bogey (5).   I don’t think I’ve ever par’d them both back to back.

In both cases he smoked his driver, about 150 yards for him, then stuck his 9-iron 4 feet from the hole.  We had practiced all day the day before with his 9-iron in the front yard.

He then proceeded to make both putts.

He was extremely excited that some of the things he’d been working on were coming together.   It was a great day.