“At home on the range.”
Such is the invitation to this unusual website that dedicates its being to the essence of golf on unmanicured, rough and tumble courses, more pasture than pristine country club. Bruce Manclark in Goldendale, Wash., looks after the site. While we may differ a bit on his take of golf’s early history – “it was the game of a rural people, played simply on the fells and fields where sheep and cattle grazed” – we can nonetheless pull up our wellies and join him for a round on the courses he features.
The first photo on the site features Hole No. 2 of the Vanderbilt Country Classic. Two lads, with a few clubs in hand, wait their turn at “The Hayfield,” which plays uphill, diagonally across a field. Pasture Golf aficionados are welcome to submit their own selections and there are several mentioned, from Florida to Nova Scotia, Hawaii to England.
There are several pages of the site that should not be missed. One is “Philosophy” wherein the Pasture Golf raison d’etre is outlined. It is done with a lovely sense of humor – “The motto of pasture golfers should be: clipping is fine, but don’t shave the poor dog’s butt.” Quotes from a variety of sources create a true sense of welcome and down-to-earth, hale fellow well met, golfing realism. There is no nonsense, just a good walk for smelling the heather and a round of good whiskey after the round.
There’s a page on cleekmarks; rules – … “don’t cut fences and when you enter or exit through gates, close and secure them behind you” and “Use your 7-iron to kill rattlesnakes”; tour, trivia, links, moon shots and other delightful pages that will more than help a visiting hickory golfer spend a pleasant winter afternoon.
Pasturegolf.com is a democratic site that welcomes the golfer who appreciates the essence of the game as well as delights on playing it over field and stream well beyond the gated confines of the elite club. Please do give it a visit.
One more local rule from the Bear Valley Golf Course in Kodiak, Alaska –
Bears have the right to play through.