By Kathy Bennett
Today, the last day of April, was a wonderful first round of golf for me and my dear husband at Indian Mound Golf Club in Ossipee, NH. Don’t let the early date fool you – owner Jonathan Rivers and his crew must double as magicians because the course was in great shape and as green as many a course I have played in June or July.
While our game was a little rough (it seemed we could hit anything but the green – including trees, houses, stumps and other stationary objects), the weather didn’t misbehave too much and we squeezed in a round between light rain showers on a partly cloudy Sunday.
There were few players on the course this April 30th, although with our 12:30pm tee time, pro Julie Rivers shared that others had gone out earlier in the day. She nodded towards the entrance for the Rivers Edge Tavern, Indian Mound’s cozy and inviting restaurant and bar, and encouraged us to stop for some refreshments before or after our round as there was no rush. Rivers Edge is open year round, has a surprisingly varied menu and features live music. They are worth a try for golfers and non-golfers alike.
We took off for the always challenging first hole (the line of trees to the right must be magnetic) and scraped the rust off our game with mixed results. We could blame anything but the conditions as the greens and fairways were in consistently good shape throughout the front nine. I even managed to score my season’s first birdie on the water-protected 4th hole, a short par 3, and a rare deuce for this bogey golfer. Most of the time we didn’t keep score as we eased into golf season one mis-hit at a time.
If you haven’t played Indian Mound, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The original front nine are forgiving but never dull, with many water hazards, mature trees and interesting layouts, including the eponymous indian mound on the 8th tee. A placard gives a brief history for those interested. The back nine are newer, longer, and more challenging than the front. Definitely bring a cart unless you enjoy trudging up and downhill for those last 9 holes! Ossipee isn’t far from the Conways – we counted just over 30 minutes door to door from our Center Conway home.
Some tips for your first game of the year (and yes, I should’ve followed my own advice):
- Pull your bag out of the basement a few days before your first round and show your clubs some love. Clean out last year’s scorecards and debris from the pockets.
- Fish out your golf glove and decide if it’s time for a new one, or squeeze another few round out of last year’s. (I couldn’t find mine so golfed gloveless – not sure a glove would’ve helped!)
- Be sure you have golf balls packed. I got a dozen for my March birthday so I was good to go.
- Wash that golf towel and reattach to your bag.
- Using a toothbrush and soapy water, gently wash your club heads to remove last year’s dirt and grass (or better yet, clean them in the fall after your last round!).
If you work for Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce business member, you can purchase a “Road to the Links” golf pass for $125, entitling you to two midweek visits at participating Chamber member golf courses, including Indian Mound. Restrictions apply. Contact the Chamber for details – they sell out early so if you qualify, get yours now. It’s a great way to try out all the golf our Valley has to offer.