2009-11-14 44 -92

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Sat 14 Nov 2009 in St. Paul SE, Minnesota:
44.0066557, -92.4024189

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On the southeast side of Rochester, at the edge of Eastwood Golf Course, along the thirteenth fairway. Easy and unquestionable access either by walking across the bare unbuilt housing lots from the road or by playing the back nine of the golf course.


  • Mark plans to be there and is working on plans for Rhonda to join. We are considering golfing it, for the golf achievement, around the time of the 4:00 meetup. Schedule to be determined, so send me a message if you would like to meet up. Greens fees are $11 for just the back nine if you'd like to join.
  • Rhonda will work fast so she can get away early enough for a 4:00 golf game.



I managed to get away from work about when I figured I would, which happened to be right about the same time as Trane phoned to find out what time I would be able to make it. After I had signed out and was outside the security gate, I stopped the car and changed out of my stinky work grubbies into more normal clothes. Didn't want to golf club people to refuse me entry for showing up in torn, paint-splattered jeans, after all. I didn't know what kind of standards they had.

After a bit over an hour on a highway, which I spent mostly counting down the mile markers to the exit I wanted and singing along with the choruses of those songs I recognized on the radio, I reached the Best Buy parking lot where we were supposed to meet. I found the emptiest spot of the parking lot, and looked around for Trane's car, which wasn't there. So I got out, stretched my legs, got cold from the wind, got back in the car, and saw Trane drive up. Woohoo! another meetup!



We parked in the empty golf course parking lot and went inside to pay our green fees for the back 9. The guy looked at us funny and said we had about 45 minutes to sunset, but took our money anyway.

We crossed the road and went down the bank on the other side. Really, what was stopping anybody from just golfing without going into the store first? There were no fences.

At the beginning of the 10th hole and our starting point, Trane offered Rhonda a few tips on how to use the clubs, as Rhonda had only ever done mini-golf before. Rhonda hit the ball as hard as she could (after a few misses) and was pleasantly surprised to have it stay within the fairway, even if the fairway was directly away from the hash point. We had decided to actually golf our way to the hash point. Her luck didn't last long however, and it took approximately 6 tries to get the ball into the hole. Trane fared much better, as he had more experience golfing.

With hopes that the 11th hole would be better due to having had a chance to warm up, Rhonda teed off and hit a tree. Oops. On the second try, it stayed more or less on the mowed grass. Both of us lost a golf ball in the tall grass to the right of the fairway.

The sun finished setting as we finished the 11th hole, and we walked to the 12th hole in the growing darkness. The 12th hole had a lake in the middle of it.

After eyeing the lake and the barely visible flag on the far side, we both attempted to cross the lake. Rhonda's ball didn't even make it to the lake. Trane's ball flew high and long, and we lost sight of it... and then heard a very distinct splash. Rhonda saw ripples in the lake where it landed. His second try flew longer... and there was a very solid kind of splash, that left no doubt that the lake was eating Trane's golf balls quite happily. We walked down to retrieve Rhonda's ball, looked over the lake and at the darkening sky, then picked up the ball and headed for the 13th hole.

Because, of course, the 13th hole was the one with the hashpoint on it. This was the entire reason we had come here!

By the time we had got to the 13th hole tee-off areas, it was full dark, and while we found the bench and sign easily, we wandered around for a bit before identifying two starting points. Since we couldn't see the flag on the green, or really anything other than the lights on houses across the road at the far end, we turned on the GPS backlights and aimed our shots toward the hash point. Both balls disappeared in more or less the right direction, and we started walking after them, wishing we had brought flashlights. Along the way, we found a third starting point, probably the one we should have started from. Trane found his ball and whacked it toward the hash point, but Rhonda was unable to find hers, even backtracking and heading back toward the point on her breadcrumb trail where she had stopped for a bit to swing the club. No luck.

Right at the edge of the fairway, we found another golf ball, of a different brand, and Rhonda decided to claim that it was the one she had hit. Rhonda paced off the distance to the hash point from the edge of the fairway, about 15m, then got out of the way while Trane tried to put his ball there. After a GPS dance which included golf clubs hitting golf balls, we got there and took photos. Trane left behind a specially marked geohashing golf ball, in addition to the four we lost along the way.

We decided that was enough golfing, as we were halfway down the fairway and still couldn't see the flag, so walked back to the cars and put the clubs away.



Rhonda and Trane earned the Golf Geohash Achievement
by reaching the (44, -92) geohash on 2009-11-14.