Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Return to The Rookery

The Rookery
Milton, Del
Yards: 2886/3253 – 6139
Par: 35/36 = 71
Rating: 68.8, Slope: 123
Score: 46/51 = 97
Date: July 15, 2012

A family tradition returned last Sunday when I teed it up with my cousins for a round of golf at the Delaware Shore. It had been a Labor Day weekend tradition in the past, but because of family and moving the few  years, the traditional family round at the shore had been missing. My two cousins and my cousin's husband joined me for a round at The Rookery in Milton, Del., just north of Lewes. It is a fairly wide open course that was co-built by Pete Oakley, the 2004 Senior British Open champion.

 The Rookery Scorecard

The front nine is the easier of the two at The Rookery, playing at 2886 yards. There are two bizarre holes that come back-to-back--the Fourth and Fifth Holes. The Fourth is a 290-yard Par 4 that has a large pond in the middle of the fairway. It is the ultimate risk/reward hole, requiring a drive of about 270 yards to clear the water. You lay up off the tee with a 7- or 8-iron, then have an 8- or 9-iron into the green. The Fifth is a 385-yard Par 4 that doglegs left. You tee shot must reach the end of the dogleg to have a clear shot at the green because a line of line trees stands across the front left portion of the green. I started well, with bogeys at the First and Third Holes, and a par at the 168-yard Par 3 Second Hole. But I doubled the Forth when I hit my approach fat and into the water. I also doubled the 491-yard Par 5 Sixth Hole and the 390-yard Par 4 Seventh Hole, but I had a nice par at the short 115-yard Ninth Hole. This gave me a 46 for the front nine. I wasn't hitting it great off the tee and my chipping and pitching was suspect, but I grinded out a decent score.

 The Fourth Hole

The back nine at The Rookery is a great deal tougher, with three Par 5s that measure 575-, 466- and 566-yards. The first of those comes at the Tenth Hole, where a row of bunkers crosses the fairway about 200 yards from the green. The Tenth is followed by the 425-yard Par 4 Eleventh Hole. I made double bogey at both. I managed a bogey and then a par at the second Par 5--the Thirteenth Hole. But then I failed to take advantage of the next four holes, which feature three Par 3s. I made a triple bogey at the Par 3 Fourteenth, double bogey at the Par 3 Fifteenth and bogey at the Par 3 Seventeenth. I did have a par putt at the Par 5 Eighteenth, but missed for a closing bogey. As has been the case throughout this season, I was five strokes higher on the back nine that the front, shooting a 51 for a total of 97. I just didn't take advantage of those holes where I could score on the back.

 The cross bunkers at the Tenth Hole

The Rookery is really a course you must play if you get to the Delaware Shore. It is always in great shape and the constant breezes and course length make it a challenge. We paid $54 with cart for our round at 11:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning in July, which is a bargain compared to the more celebrated Baywood Greens in nearby Long Neck, Del.