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Farm Links

I read that the old course at St. Andrews, Scotland was once used to graze livestock. Legend has it that the infamous bunkers were made by sheep burrowing to escape the fierce seaside winds and the iconic stone Swilcan Bridge was a crossing for cattle. Well, if its good enough for St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, then its good enough for Drystone Ridge. Although we're not likely to host a majors tournament anytime soon, the Shireford Farms Links are a fine round.

The course begins with a short par 3 in the front pasture. The only real hazard is the cow's feeding trough. Hole #2 features the stone wall at the corner of the horse riding arena. There are woods on the right but all in all a make-able par 4. Rounding the farm perimeter, hole #3 ties together the back field and the dry lot. A decent drive will clear the paddock dividing fence. Golfers are advised to avoid the right hand side of the fairway as errant balls will end up in the neighbor's goat pen (and you know goats will eat about anything). The course finishes with a long par 5 up the back pasture and passed the driveway paddock. Reachable in two strokes, the green sits atop the hill. If you need to hit a third iron shot be careful not to overshoot the green because the muscadine vines are newly planted and still a bit fragile. Hit your ball in there and it will be penalty shot out - no club swinging in the vineyard.

There you go. The par 16 four hole Shireford Golf Links. Since the PGA is currently playing without fans due to COVID-19, it might be nice to have chickens, horses, cows, and sheep to look on when you drive the green or sink a long putt. Now if we could just get the livestock dogs to caddie for us, we'd have all you could want in a prestigious course. Maybe it will someday be called the old course at Shireford and no will believe that one day it was a family farm.

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