An old favorite, with plenty of oaks

KP's ball, on the 11th green at Olde Oak.

KP’s ball, on the 11th green at Olde Oak in Kirkville, N.Y.

Sometimes weeks of summer slip by with too much on our plates for KP and I to get that golf game in. I was worried we’d miss the whole month of June, what with that trip to Cape Cod and college graduations and life.

We snuck in Olde Oak yesterday. Tater went fishing instead. See what I mean about life?

It had been a full four weeks since KP and I had played Green Lakes, that hilly and spectacular layout from the mind of famed golf course architect Robert Trent Jones. Olde Oak lies in the same eastern ‘burbs of Syracuse, oh, two or three miles from Green Lakes as a crow flies. But this old course is as flat as the ‘Lakes is rolling. As the name implies, it has plenty of trees to line the fairways, though.

When we first started playing this course some three decades ago, it went by the name of Town Isle.

There is a pond heavily involved along the whole right side of the eighth hole. The Erie Canal sits very prettily behind the green of the 11th hole. See the photo above.

Mostly, though, the course winds itself simply and fairly through our countryside.

KP on the tee of the par four 12th at Olde Oak.

KP on the tee of the par four 12th at Olde Oak.

We try to play it exactly once a year.

The tees, fairways and greens are in good condition. The owners care about the grounds. It’s not in such good shape, however, that they should have been allowed to add that pretentious ‘e’ at the end of Old in the name of the course, in my opinion.

It cost $25 to take a cart. It would have been $18 if we had chosen to walk.

Me at the 12th tee at Olde Oak.

Me at the 12th tee at Olde Oak.

Lo and behold, it was my turn to come out on top in the skins game. I also won stroke play by a couple. But our games were close enough, as usual, to make every hole interesting until the last shot.

The two-man game makes for a fast and comfortable afternoon.

After we hit our drives, for 30 years, KP and I usually say “even-Steven.” That means even if one of us loses sight of our ball to the right, we mark the other’s ball in the fairway and use that distance as the starting point in the search for the elusive shot. It works most every time.

When we stopped at the turn to buy beverages — no water in fountains or coolers to drink on the course is my biggest beef with Olde Oak — KP looked at his phone and saw that the U.S. soccer team had advanced to the knockout round of the World Cup despite losing to Germany. USA! USA! I looked at my phone and saw a text from my dear wife Karen noting that she’d spotted a baby stroller hit by a car outside the office. No, came the next text, it was a bike. It was the second incident at the same corner this week.

After the round, we sat on a couch in the clubhouse to drink a couple of cold ones, watch some soccer and golf, and talk about life. I laid out facts about things on my side this time, and he thought and considered and offered opinions. Another good round for Beels and KP.

Are there friends in your life that you feel like things aren’t quite right if a month goes by and you don’t get together? What’s your feeling about places that add extra letters to words in their name? Are you following the World Cup soccer tournament?

34 thoughts on “An old favorite, with plenty of oaks

  1. What a lovely place, with the tall oaks, and hope that you enjoyed the great outdoors, Mark! Hope the person on the bike will be o.k. and sorry about the fact there is not any free water coolers around this place! Take it easy, enjoy your Sunday!


  2. So nice to have friends like KP! I have a couple of my own KPs. We live near each other and usually go to the corner to our favorite little Mexican restaurant for some wonderful Sangria and chips and guac and tacos and… πŸ™‚


  3. “Are there friends in your life that you feel like things aren’t quite right if a month goes by and you don’t get together?”

    Months? Naw. Decades? Yup.


  4. Why can’t my life be like this instead of the hamster wheel it’s become? It gives me the blue blues.

    I’ve never held a golf club and I don’t plan to. It looks to have a hypnotic, addictive effect on otherwise rational people.


  5. I’m not really following the soccer but can’t help but cheer for our team. πŸ˜‰

    I don’t care if people add letters to their names….it’s all said the same way. πŸ˜‰

    And I have a friend who if I don’t hear from her I send her a message asking “why do you hate me?” to which she responds “you’re giving all your time to everyone else!” and then we both laugh and make plans for dinner. Usually at her house. With her cooking. And the husbands and I yelling at her to hurry up. Good times. Seriously….good times. Some people you can laugh with no matter what ridiculousness comes out of your mouth. πŸ™‚


  6. I have one friend that I see almost every day and another that I don’t see for years at a time because she lives far away. It’s always good to see either one!

    I am somewhat conditioned to an extra e, having grown up in Quebec…ahh those French add an e to everything and throw in an ‘accent aigu’ for good measure!

    And no, I am not following the world cup, but I always know when the game is on because I can hear a big oooh or awww or whoa from all the neighbouring apartment windows when I’m sitting on my balcony!

    Diana xo


  7. it is a beautiful course, mark and you would think with a spelling like ‘olde’ in it’s name, it would at least offer some sort of grog or mead out on the battlefield for the brave soldiers fighting it out. scary about the call, how horrible, but somehow relieved it was a bike rather than a stroller. yes, i have friends that i need to see on a regular basis just to remember how nice it is to walk through life together. speaking of walking through life, i think you should do a walking tour of the syracuse countryside, while golfing your way through it. oh, i think you kind of already are )


    • A clear grog would be most welcome intermittently through the battle of the golf, Beth. The early soldiers of this sporting war even donned kilts, I do believe, to represent their clans, as pipers welcomed their safe return to the 18th green. I am totally making this up, obviously.

      Yes, the idea of this periodic series with KP (and Tater) is to share what we have in these beautiful parts!

      I’m glad to hear that you, too, must walk through the paces of this life with a regular cast to feel the proper balance.

      Now, I am counting down to Sunday with you, in spirit. )


      • thanks so much, i could not be any more excited. talked to them yesterday, they’re in d.c. and then on to michigan on sunday! i’m setting up ‘boys town’ upstairs for the joeys. as for the close friends, they become family too.


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