I would love to tell you that the Dunswood idea was born the first time we played golf abroad in Dubai but that would be stretching the truth. In fact in 2016 we were lucky enough to find ourselves together in Atlanta for 3 days, with 2 rounds of golf booked. Before we had even put the ball on the tee, we were enjoying a beer round the pool in the W Hotel in Atlanta (not a bad place to get rid of the jet lag and enjoy the view). I would also love to say it was a joint idea, but as with all good younger brothers, I have to pay respect to my older brother here…
On to the Golf. We played both Wolf Creek and Mystery Valley. Two completely different courses, but both accessible with the help of Uber (and would you believe some super friendly locals who we played with at Wolf Creek giving us a lift home). When we told them we were just going to get an Uber home, they nearly fell over as we were over 1 hr away at this point from Atlanta itself.
The difficulty in playing with people you don’t know is how to pitch yourself on the 1st tee. You don’t want to undersell yourself and then nail it off the tee and par the hole. But on the other hand you don’t want to shout about the 79 (that would be amazing for my level of golf) you shot just the other week, and then trudge round in a plus 100….(which happens to the best of us).
Well, both of us managed to battle round with respectable 90s, does that make us average? The 2 issues withWolf Creek were the distinct lack of beer carts (a few cold beers at the 10th would have been perfect) and the lack of anything that resembled the 19th hole. In our view a must for any golf day. That said, the tree lined and undulating fairways give a great challenge for the average golfer. I really like the 1st tee. There is a starter hut with no starter (always a bonus) and you have the impression you can just smash it anywhere and you will have a shot at the green, only to find when you are down on the fairway that the massive local trees come in to play – a real local’s tee shot is needed. Stay right, and loft it up there and you will be fine – I was told after I hit my drive long, hard and left!
Mystery Valley was much more polished as a course, and totally empty when we played which was crazy as it was Sunday lunch time. That said, it was 35 degrees in the shade (good job there was a nice beer cart). Whilst there was a 19th hole, the main memory was standing next to the air con trying to cool off. If you’re going to play there over lunch – bring a towel and a change of clothes before an 11hr flight! Thankfully, we had all our luggage with us (which the receptionist was very happy to look after while we played) so we were all set.
The 2nd hole was also a favorite, A nice short part 3, with a huge Oak shadowing the left hand side (I am not a tree person so could have been any type of tree), just in front of a stunning old house, with a chap clapping away at our shots into the green and waving us onto the 3rd with a ‘good luck’ while sitting on his porch.