Lake Havasu Golf Club – East Course
In the mid-1960s, before Lake Havasu City became a city, a 9 hole golf course was built and later another nine was added. It grew into having two 18-hole courses and under the original owner was named London Bridge Golf Club.
Today, both courses are under new ownership and known as Lake Havasu Golf Club with two simple and easy to remember names – East and West. Golf course design styles are as varied as golfers’ outfits and golfers’ miss-hits. The original design style at Lake Havasu Golf Club served a certain purpose back then and still works today. Back in the 1960’s this area would have typically attracted male golfers, perhaps an older demographic of retired or semi-retired. These golfers didn’t travel short or long distances to be punished by a golf course; the game has enough challenges built into without adding unreasonable tests of skill and patience.
This is what was presented to us when we played the East Course today. Arriving with plenty of time to hit a few balls and putt a little, we were greeted by Director of Golf Chris Marschalk who gave us the overview of where to go and who to see. Again, a big deal for me, the ability to take the power cart to the parking lot was a good start. We got the cart loaded up, shared a small bucket and rolled a few putts on a very smooth practice green. When we were ready to go, Bob Horn, our friendly starter said “It’s all yours”. Twenty minutes early, we teed off.
The first hole was a gentle one about 160 to the flag for me which resulted in a 2-putt par and a 2-putt bogey for Myra. We were on form. Having travelled south of the border from Canada to play winter golf countless times, the contrasting colors of the brown dormant Bermuda and bright green over-seeded greens and tee boxes were normal for the time of year. It also had no negative effect on the playability of the course, so scratch that one off of your list of 101 golf excuses.
The front nine was little mundane, but looking back it set us up for really bearing down on the back nine. We felt the back nine is by far the better of the two nines and has some great holes.
There was consistency on all 18 holes. Tee boxes were perfectly flat, the greens ran smooth as melted butter while most of them had this tricky little slope to them. So, beware on the short putts and the downhillers too.
Although from the back tees, the East Course it is only 6,000 yards there’s no doubt that the smallness of some of the greens as well as those tricky slopes protected the course on the scorecard.
Our goals and expectations are never grandiose. Myra has now elevated her game so that breaking 100 is very realistic and for me, at a 9 handicap, 80 is my magic number. We often simplify it to pars and birdies. I have to get at least one birdie and when Myra gets one like she did on the Par 4 13th – that’s a mega bonus. Great drive, solid 5 wood just short of the green and upon my imploring her to get it close as its uphill she knocks a 60 foot chip dead in. Now that’s a birdie! Plus, it was the first of the day for either of us and spurred me to knock one in too.
I looked at a 25 footer on the Par 4 16thsaid to my sweet, little partner, “ This might be one of my last chances for a birdie so I better knock it in. ” A few seconds later we locked arms and did our birdie dance, a butchered version of some kind of square dance and the wedding favorite “The Bird Dance”.
The Wentworth finish of the East Course was a highlight for me, a lover of Par 5’s. Wentworth finish? Wentworth Club, the incredible course located just west of London, England in Surrey, and host of many world match play events and European PGA Tour events has a very famous Par 5 , Par 5 finish. It’s also where I managed a 79 with a 10 on one hole and at the end of the round while walking out of the clubhouse I said hi to a great Spanish player. Actually I went, “Hey Seve”, and he simply smiled and said “Hello”.
So every time I play back to back par 5’s on the last two holes, it makes my day.
The 18th in my opinion is the best hole on the course, a long meandering boomerang shaped dogleg right, absolutely lovely.
As we finished, we noticed the parking lot was as busy as it was when we teed off, a testament to the popularity of this club. There were numerous Canadian license plates and not many from Arizona to be honest. The membership opportunities are what makes this such an attractive club due to the various packages available. For those, like us, who only leave our Canadian nest for a month or two they even have seasonal memberships that do not require any initiation fees and start from one month right up to 6 months. We did the math and with its unlimited usage one could get rounds down to $20 a head, cart included, at either of the 2 courses. Alana Schmeling is your gal to see or talk to for more information as well as any of the capable team in the pro shop.
Tomorrow it’s the West Course so we’ll see you after hopefully another round where we both make birdie or as we call it a “double birdie” day.