Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Farewell to Broadmoore

If you haven't heard, the Murrays are moving. While I will definitely miss the MurrayMint (so named for the color of the kitchen, which was mixed by Travis and April) I am really excited to see the new MurrayMint, located in Edmond, which means it is closer to CDB1! The MurrayMint served as the HQ for all CDB Operations for the entire state of Oklahoma. (Although this is changing, more on that later) The adopted, and some might even say home, of CDB was Broadmoore, which is located a mere 2.1 miles from the MurrayMint. I know that I won't be able to fully describe the greatness of Broadmoore, but I will do my best.

Duffy Martin (I'm sure his friends called him "Duffer") designed the 6,334 yard, par 71 course in 1962. Travis played there alone first, but I remember the first time we both played Broadmoore was sometime in the late winter/early spring of 2009. It immediately reminded me of the course my grandparents lived on when I was growing up which is where I "learned" (ha!) to play golf, so I had some sort of weird memory-like connection immediately. Because Broadmoore was built in '62, it had a SWEET clubhouse and since CDB is such a huge fan of Mid-Century architecture/culture, we were immediately impressed with the facilities, which had changed very little in the last 47 years.

Upon inspection, CDB easily surmised that Broadmoore was the place to play in the '60s; the clubhouse was two storys, included a pro-shop, restaurant, club room, locker rooms, and offices for the "pros." The staff at Broadmoore was a bunch of old guys who looked like they had been there since it opened and just never left. It seemed as if they were originally the club "pros" that gave lessons there. Although it is somewhat difficult to picture anyone taking lessons at Broadmoore today, it was so easy to picture Broadmoore when it opened in 1962; young families enjoying their swanky new clubhouse, learning to play and love golf on the newest course in town. However, by the time CDB arrived, the clubhouse only offered a glimpse of what used to be; One "pro" ansered the phone, took tee time reservations, checked golfers in, sold "experienced" golf balls and a few other items while one or two young girls operated the snack bar (no longer a restaurant) located on the second floor, which had a nice view of the ninth green to the left and the putting green to the right.

I remember the first time we played there, stopping in for a Snickers and some coffee (it was cold) at the turn. While enjoying our refreshments, we observed the group behind us on the ninth green and noticed that one of the guys had an anger problem. CDB doesn't like anger problems. Anyway, while upstairs in the "snack bar" we started looking around and exploring some of the rooms when we came across a life-sized cardboard cut out of Sergio Garcia. Now, if you are reading this, then you probably know our good friend Cody, who happens to look EXACTLY like Sergio. We had a good laugh and took some pictures with "Sergio" before heading back out to finish our round. Unfortunately, this clubhouse burned down in July of 2009. It was the strangest thing, we showed up the morning after and were shocked when we saw the remains of the clubhouse still smoldering. But, in true Broadmoore fashion, the "pros" had set up a couple card tables and were still open, cash only of course.

The actual Broadmoore course is pretty special. Not in the way that some of our other favorite courses are special, but in its very own Broadmoore-ian way. I can honestly say that there is not another course like it in OKC or Tulsa. So much of what sets Broadmoore apart is memories, not that we don't have memories from other courses, but Broadmoore memories somehow seem a little different. I think part of this is because none of our other friends (or people in general) know anything about Broadmoore, which makes it a CDB course more than anywhere else. Travis and I both appreciated Broadmoore exactly for what it was and loved all the imperfections, oddities, and quirks. There are the gas carts; not because they need gas for severe elevation but probably just because that's what they already had, and why change? There are the cart paths that are just asphalt, no concrete, no curbs, just asphalt. There are the old, abandoned bridges with the white railing that are unnecessarily steep which haven't been used in years. But instead of removing them or repairing them, the "pros" simply hung a chain across them, signifying their closure. There are the cardstock-like scorecards that are somehow larger than other courses' scorecards. There is the waste pile (which includes dead trees, brush, telephone poles, remnants of the clubhouse, and only the CDB gods know what else) right off the fairway on number 10. There is the cool, one of a kind, 70s modern house between the seventh green and the eighth teebox. And finally, there was the coolest sign in the parking lot that you passed on your way to the sixth tee; it was at least eight feet long and four feet tall with a picture of a young boy and his father playing golf, with "Broadmoore Golf Course" in a great '60s typeface across the top.

There are, of course, all the on course memories and shots which are too numerous to list here. Although, it is worth mentioning that Travis and I both shot our lowest scores to date, 83 for me and 77 for Trav, at Broadmoore on Schafer's birthday last year. It was also the kind of place where no one said anything the time we took Schafer with us and played an entire round.

Another thing that separates Broadmoore from our other courses is the amount of change we've been able to witness. It's almost like we're part of the club or something like that. We played there when the original clubhouse was still standing, we had a good idea of what the club was like when it opened and appreciated the nostalgia it offered to those willing to look. We saw the clubhouse still smoldering the morning after it burned down. We watched as they built the cheap metal building for the cart barn. We noticed (and were very, very sad) when they tore down the old sign. We saw the mysterious "country club" building before it was torn down, too. And most recently, we've seen the foundation for the new clubhouse. All in all, we've seen a lot of change at Broadmoore and in a way it almost feels like we've been able to take part in the transformation. I know that I'm talking like we'll never be able to play Broadmoore again and I'm sure we will play it again, but it won't be the same. From now on, playing Broadmoore will require planning and a 30 minute drive and come complete with a new clubhouse, which is exactly what Broadmoore is not.

Here are a few stories from our round last weekend at Broadmoore and a few examples of what one can expect when playing Broadmoore:

We had an 8:40am tee time and arrived a few minutes after 8. Once we made it to the putting green, the group (a fivesome no less!) that was scheduled to tee off before us began showing up. A few were on the green with us kind of chit-chatting about nonsense when one the fourth guy of their group showed up. He was such a loudmouth, not only would he not shut up, but he was so loud I'm sure the "pros" in the mobile-mini (aka clubhouse) heard him. When their fifth guy finally showed up, Mr. Loudmouth would not stop berating him. It was so awkward because it was fairly obvious that Mr. 5th Man didn't know Mr. Loudmouth all that well and wasn't quite sure how to react. I remember Mr. Loudmouth giving Mr. Five a hard time about his glasses and I remember thinking that his glasses looked pretty good.

Once we made it to the first tee, another twosome shows up and says that they have an 8:57 tee time but that the "pros" told them to go ahead and tee off. As if that wasn't enough, after we let them go, another twosome jumps ahead of us and tells us that they're going to go ahead and tee off so they can catch the first twosome and play with them. What the hell is going on??

So, once again CDB lets someone else tee off. The next part of this story is so strange. This (especially this) is one of the things that would only ever happen at Broadmoore. Anyway, by now a line is beginning to form on the first tee box. The foursome behind us was waiting to the right and behind the markers, which is where Trav and I were standing, watching the guys in front of us suck it up. Because CDB2 is the more social one, he politely goes over to the group behind us to explain the situation and just be the nice guy that he is. Well, Trav's conversation with them started out innocently and normal enough. But, at some point it took a very awkward turn. I'm not exactly sure how Trav and this other guy on the topic (I wasn't really listening yet) of golf shoes, but Mr. Smoke (he sounded like a robot, most likely due to emphysema) was particularly enamored with CDB2's silver Adidas golf shoes. First asking if they were comfortable (they are), then remarking that they looked very light (right again), and finally telling Trav about his friend in North Carolina who had a pair exactly like them. He went on about the shoes, and in an attempt to explain just how light they really were told Travis that if he were to try and throw one of his shoes, it would only go about a foot. Because it is that light. Ha! Mr. Smoke then began commenting on the materials of the shoes. (To his credit the shoes do look very different than normal golf shoes, mostly because of the different materials.) At this point, Trav and Mr. Smoke were still about 5 feet behind me and I was facing the other way trying not to laugh too much. Now, up until now the conversation had been mostly normal, but when Mr. Smoke asked Trav if he could feel his shoe a line was definitely crossed. Because Trav is such a nice guy (and was undoubtably shocked by the odd request) he said uhh, sure and mumbled something about the two different materials and how ventilated the shoes were. I knew I didn't want to miss this, so I glanced around just in time to Mr. Smoke down on one knee groping Trav's foot. Not just running a finger or two across the top of his foot, but literally squeezing Trav's foot like it was one of those stress balls. I have no idea what was said after this because I'm pretty sure I lost it and had walked away. Like I said, only a Broadmoore is there a chance you'll have your foot felt up.

In addition to this, there were a number of other very strange noises one never expects to hear on a golf course. Including but not limited to: an inordinate amount of barking/yipping dogs, owners yelling at said dogs (Sissy!!...Sissy!!), someone hammering some sheet metal, a helicopter, tornado sirens, a ban saw, and of course Mr. Smoke's robot-voice which surprisingly carried a long way. I'm sure there are more, but this post is out of control!

So there it is, a fairly decent description of all that is Broadmoore. Thinking of experiencing Broadmoore for yourself and taking in all its greatness? Don't bother; you'll be disappointed, underwhelmed, and confused. Confused about how and why Travis and I loved Broadmoore so much. Because, like I said, it's all about the memories. And I'm just glad I've got so many good Broadmoore memories.

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