The Day I Got Bay-onned
By Stephanie Wei under Wei Goes Golfing

I’ve already written about Bayonne Golf Club in conjunction with my fantastic Fourth of July Threesome. Remember? I played well, avoided ubiquitous trouble on the course, and posted an 82 that would have a 75 anywhere else. Well, I returned on Saturday morning to play on one of the hottest days of the summer. As you may remember, I’ve already had an unfortunate experience with heat exhaustion and golf once this month. And it was even hotter on Saturday — it was well over 90 degrees and add the humidity to that, we were looking at 100 degrees. But since I’m such a trooper, we were going to play…even if it was ugly. And it was.

Well, I quickly realized why it was so unbelievably Herculean that I managed to avoid trouble the first time I played. Because already on the second hole, I was digging around the fescue looking for some awful shot I skulled into it. Luckily, I had a good lie and it popped right out to about six feet. But I could see how 8s or 9s are effortlessly made at Bayonne.

What did I shoot? Hell if I know. A lot? Actually, I didn’t score that poorly. My misses were “good” misses. But it was ugly and I’d like to forget about those awful shots. Here I am below, trying to cool down at the half way house and dreading the last nine holes in that heat. We teed off around 11:30, so basically, the hottest time of the day. Plus, for some reason, there was hardly any wind at Bayonne, the fake links course on the Hudson River.


Oh, when I wrote about the Castle Course recently, I said it reminded me of the fake American links courses I’d played. I take that back. Even though parts of the Castle Course is artificial the ball still rolls and feels like a real links course. On the other hand, Bayonne just looks like one, but doesn’t play like one at all. There was a comical moment on one of the finishing holes, where either my ball or Rob’s (member who took me to play) just landed and stopped without roll. Actually, that happened a few times. At one point, the caddie just walked up to the ball and shook his head laughing and said, “This is not a links course.”

Do they advertise it as such?

“Oh, you should see the video,” I was told.

Well, I just came back from Scotland and I can tell you that while Bayonne is a link-style-looking course, it’s not links golf. But call it whatever you want — I enjoy it’s quirkiness and it’s still fun to play. Now I also need to remember to bring extra balls next time since like I said, the first time I played, I must have just been striking the ball extra well. Actually, the caddies are remarkably adept at retrieving the errant shots in the fescue.

I survived walking 18 holes in the 100 degree heat on Saturday — without coming down with heat exhaustion. When I came home and turned on the TV, every news channel was discussing the unbearable temperatures and the record-breaking, sizzling highs. Worst thing is, for the first time in at least six years, I have a pretty defined farmer’s tan — something I swore off after my competitive days.

Who wants to hit the beach this weekend?

Here’s a gallery of several scenes from Bayonne on Saturday. The fusion of large industrial machinery, the dirty Hudson River and the grassy dunes designed to mirror the links of Scotland present some sort of artistic meaning or serve as symbolic commentary to modern times. (Click to enlarge image.)

Here’s me hitting some mid-irons into the Hudson River, too: