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Campus Gold Club Continues To Swing at MU
Jacob Ray
Staff Writer

For those students who can’t afford the money, time, and/or gas for golf on a golf course; your prayers have been answered. Manchester University students can now golf on campus, and all a player needs is a high iron golf club (such as a nine-iron or eight-iron), a few tennis balls, and a couple hours of free time.

There are 18 holes on the MU campus golf course, with a 64 par for the entire course. The premise is simple: holes are objects around campus that one hits with a tennis ball, such as the peace garden fountain at hole one, the Manchester Clinic sign for hole two, or a certain rock for hole four.

Created by the student-made Campus Golf Club, it’s led by senior Luke Bentley, with sophomore Andrew Ellam as the club’s treasurer. The original idea for campus golf began with Bentley’s older brother, who used to play a version of campus golf on his campus. Bentley then started a club at Manchester his sophomore year. “It’s a lot of fun,” Bentley said. “It’s chill; we just go out and have a fun time.”

The course is a free-for-all, play-when-you-have-the-time-to-play activity, with a few tournaments here and there. “It’s open to anyone,” Bentley said. “You don’t have to be good at golf; it’s not that hard.”

The club just held its first tournament on Sept. 30 with senior Derek Jones coming in first place. With the Mall closed until May, the course is offset a little because two of holes are located there. However, the club just plays two holes twice instead.

The club’s annual Homecoming Scramble, a two-person golf match, is taking place Oct. 14 (this Sunday).  Anyone is welcome to join, and for more information contact Bentley or Ellam.

This reporter took to the course with my friend Daniel Kleiman, playing the first three holes. First thing to know: Hitting a tennis ball is quite different from a golf ball. The second thing to know is simply that Campus Golf is extremely entertaining. I used an eight-iron throughout the holes and Kleiman played a nine-iron.

The first hole is at the Peace Garden, and we quickly discovered how terrible we are at tennis golf. Kleiman reached the hole first. He sank his ball deep into the fountain, which turned out to work in his favor. Hitting a ball inside the fountain during tournament play will allow a player to cut off a stroke from his or her score for that hole. Several other special ground rules like this one can be found throughout the course.

The second hole is right across the street outside Helman, but the target is challenging: the Manchester Clinic sign down and across the road. Between bouts of laughter and terrible whiffs off the ball, Kleiman and I managed to get our tennis balls on the other side of the road without hitting vehicles passing by, no small feat to be sure!

The third and final hole we played starts in the Schwalm Rhiney Bowl, with the smokers’ picnic table as the target. Kleiman took some time to reflect after smacking his ball and a large clod of dirt in the air. “This is tricky; it can feel like a really good hit, and then really be terrible,” he said. Upon reaching the table, I somehow managed to shoot my ball through the slight gap between the legs. Ironically, it was probably my best straight shot, though it added three more strokes to my final score.

In our three-hole excursion, Kleiman won with a score of 18 to my 21, effectively summing up our ineptitude at golf with tennis balls. But scores aren’t what matter. Campus golf is purely just for enjoyment, even for novices like us.

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