Since I had arrived at the Black Lake golf school a day early, and the first session wasn’t actually until 7 pm today, I had a lot of time this morning and afternoon to just play golf.
The Black Lake Golf Course is rated as one of the top ten courses in Michigan, and deservedly so. Each hole is gorgeous, lined with pine and birch, and immaculately groomed. It’s tight—hooks and slices will disappear into the wilderness—but fair. Even with my game in the terrible shape that it’s in right now, I managed to work my way around to a decent score. I can’t wait to play it again tomorrow.
The course is part of the United Auto Workers’ Reuther “Education Center.” It’s a vast property with hotel rooms, a conference center, classrooms, a sports complex and more. Interestingly (though not surprisingly), there’s a guard at the main gate checking to ensure that any cars on the property not only are an American brand name, but also that the vehicle’s VIN number indicates that it was assembled with union labor.
I actually was prepared for this, thanks to a warning from a friend who once had an issue trying to get his Chevy onto the property. It seems although his car had an American nameplate, it’s VIN number indicated that it was assembled in Mexico. Thus, he wasn’t allowed inside the center.
I checked my VIN before leaving home.
There is, however, good news for golfers who drive foreign vehicles: parking a foreign car on the course lot is not an issue. It only becomes important if you want to actually enter the education center property or stay on site.
I also have a word to pass on from the course pro: The course is open to everyone: union and non union, Republican and Democrat; etc. al. It’s a public course, and anyone iwth $75 can play. A word from The Golf Blogger: If you’re in Northern Michigan, you can’t miss this course.
I was at first a little put off by my acomodations, but they’re growing on me. I’m staying in a large log cabin structure known as the “Old Lodge.” It sits on a lakefront beach, hidden away among groves of pines. The building was part of one of those classic Northern Michigan lakefront resorts before it was bought by the UAW. Legend has it that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz honeymooned here.
That tells you how old the lodge is. There’s a distrinctly 1950s air to the decor. The age of the lodge also means that there’s no internet access—wireless or otherwise. Fortunately, my wireless internet card is able to get a minimal signal that alllows me to post this story.
The school actually began this evening when the members of the class (just two of us, actually) met with one of the pros over beer and nachos. He gave us a course book of articles and instructional tips, talked to us about our games, and let us know how the next two days would proceed. I’m pretty encouraed. They’re not wedded to a schedule, and are willing to head in whatever direction we need to go. I’m pretty confident about my putting and short game,so I think I’ll ask for extra help with my driving and irons.