Whoops! I have really screwed up with tracking the days of the year in this blog. I don’t know how I screwed up but today is the 74th day of the year, so I am correcting my mistake and using the correct day of the year for today’s blog.
This morning I finally got my chance to play this awesome Robert Trend Jones course here at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa. I ended up teeing off about an hour late due to a freeze delay. Yep, it has been pretty darn cold here with lows near or at freezing and highs in only the 50s. Plus, up until today, it has been very windy, dropping the wind chill factor in the low 40ths. Brrrrr!
Even teeing off after 11AM, the temperature was still in the low 50s. At least the sun was out and the forecast was for afternoon temperatures in the mid-60’s. I had suggested to Mary Margaret the she not join me today but, instead, wait until this Sunday to ride with me during my round of golf. It was just too cold today and I was concerned that she would not find it enjoyable.
I was paired up with a lovely couple from Glen Oaks, Illinois, which is near Chicago. They were so nice, I told them that I wished Mary Margaret had come with me today after all as she would have loved to share their company.
I learned that the golf course we played is either the 2nd or 3rd longest course in the world with the black tees yielding a length of over 8100 yards. Needless to say, we did not tee off from the black tee boxes. We chose teeing off from the white tee boxes, which yields a course length of a more reasonable 6200 yards.
This course is spectacularly beautiful with perfectly manicured fairways, lots of lakes and streams, a cascading waterfall with many drops totaling about 80 feet, woods with tall, majestic trees towering above and greens that were well bunkered. The course is very challenging as it is very hilly, yielding a number of blinds shots, deep, large fairway bunkers and undulating greens; many with very subtle slopes. I was thankful that the grass that makes up the roughs were still in winter hibernation because when it warms up and they green up, it will make this course even more challenging.
I was very pleased with my woods today, as the driver and 3 wood were straight and true all day. However, my irons and especially my putter, were another matter. Sometimes I could control them and then other times… Well, I will let your imagination run wild with how I shot. I ended up barely breaking a 100 with a score of 99. And it was a liberal 99 as I played winter rules due to a few wet and muddy spots on the course. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the round and am looking forward to my second round this coming Sunday.
After golf, Mary Margaret and I drove into Birmingham to dine at Gianmarco’s, a fantastic Italian restaurant that came highly recommended. Their menu was amazing. You can see it by going to: https://www.gianmarcosbhm.com/menu. As you can see, it is very comprehensive and we learned that this extensive listing was augmented by 12 different special dishes being offer tonight.
I opted for the special baked oyster and prosciutto as an appetizer and then moved on to their rigatoni with asiago, fontina, gorgonzola, grana, cream, sage and prosciutto. All I can say is that I died and have gone to heaven. It was so cheesy and good! I asked our waiter, Seth, to pair it with an Italian white wine and the one he selected was perfect.
Mary Margaret chose the veal scallopini with mushrooms and marsala wine sauce served with creamy polenta and spinach. Oooh! So good! We both enjoyed our dishes so much that we shared them in trying to decide which one was best. They were so good I would call it a tie.
Adding to the great food and ambiance of the restaurant, was the remarkable waiter who pampered us. We had the first seating of the night so our waiter, Seth, had time to spend with us and we really enjoyed him. As it turned out, Seth had worked in China for 6 years and married a young Chinese lady from a rural farming village while there. They have move to Birmingham, now have a little boy and a 10-month-old girl and her parents have immigrated to the US and live with them. Seth speaks fluid Mandarin after living so long in Shanghai and they all speak Mandarin in their home. He waits more as a hobby which he enjoys very much. He and his wife run an import and distribution business along with a few other ventures. His is obviously a very dynamic individual.
We so enjoy our time at Gianmarco’s that we made reservations for this Saturday. We can hardly wait.