By Paul Harber
I will not forget my first round at Widow’s Walk Golf Course in Scituate.
It was Opening Day and it was something special. I got paired with a flaming liberal who was mad at me for the entire 18 holes.
First, he was furious because it didn’t bother me that Bill Parcells called often-injured wide receiver Terry Glenn, “she.”
Second, he couldn’t believe I didn’t agree with him that wife-beating Red Sox Wil Codero should have been banned from baseball.
It wasn’t fun.
But I did have more fun with another one of our playing partners, Larry Moulter.
He ran the old FleetCenter and he also ran out of golf balls.
He lost 20-something balls trying to negotiate the wetlands, bridges and brush that made Widow’s Walk the toughest course I’ve ever played.
Nevertheless, it was fun.
It wasn’t really that goofy golf.
Simply, it wasn’t fair to judge a course the day it opens.
It’s like judging a beauty contest for newborns.
They need time to mature and Widow’s Walk has matured magnificently.
It has been softened and you can actually play 18 holes without losing a single ball.
Designed by the nationally known Ohio-based architect, Dr. Michael Hurdzan, Widow’s Walk was built on 100 acres of an abandoned sand and gravel quarry that was long devoid of vegetation and wildlife.
The quarry was used to build the runways at Logan Airport.
Hurdzan tried to do something special, making America’s first “environmental demonstration course,” Widow’s Walk opened to much fanfare and national acclaim 13 years ago.
The media fell in love with it. Golf Digest named it one of the “Best New Golf Courses in America” in 1998 and put in on the list of top courses to play.
Today, it is a much better golf course and a lot fairer than when it opened.
Areas have been cleared out.
However, it remains a unique course.
It is still target golf. It’s not a grip-in-and-rip-it playground.
Pick a target and aim for it.
I usually tried to hit the fairway, 150 or 100 yards from the green to give myself a good approach shot.
It doesn’t demand John Daly length off the tee, but it does require that you hit the ball straight.
You probably won’t post your best score ever here because of the number of hazards you face.
But it is a great place for a match, where you are not concerned with beating the golf course, but trying to beat your opponent.
There are great match play holes. There are short par-4s you will try to drive and par-5s you’ll want to birdie.
All of the par-3s are the sort of tee shots you hit and hold your breath until the ball stops.
Scituate deserves five stars to making the needed improvements to this course instead of simply using it as a source of income for the town.