Lesson Plans The Ox-Bow Incident

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The Oxbow Incident

Course: 18 holes parkland. Back tees - 6, yds par 72; Forward - 6, yds par 72; Women's - 5, yds par Accommodation: Galgorm Manor. Tel 08 ; fax 08 Leighinmoor Hotel. Beechfield Guest House 08 It must be years since I saw a movie called The Ox-Bow Incident, which, as I recall, starred Henry Fonda and was probably the finest cinematic indictment of lynching. And in all that time, it never occurred to me to find out how the movie got its name. Well, enlightenment eventually came recently, in the most fascinating circumstances.

On the recommendation of Ulster friends who know their golf, I had travelled to Ballymena to see the splendid new facility at Galgorm Castle. They informed me that my host was literally an honourable gentleman, but on meeting him, Brooke explained with a smile: "I don't use the title for fear that people might think of me as a layabout who did nothing all day. Any such notions would be quickly dispelled on hearing of Brooke's enforced departure to the Middle East after inheriting the estate from his grandmother in Quite simply, he needed to earn sufficient money to make it viable.

Formidable death duties had to be paid, quite apart from major restoration work on the 17th century castle, which is considered one of the finest examples of Jacobean architecture in Ireland. And among other developments, acres of the estate have been turned over to golf.

Teaching The Ox-Bow Incident

He went on to say that in shaping the layout, 93, cubic metres of earth had been moved. Much of this, however, was for mounding around the greens insofar as the general lie of the terrain was already ideal for golf-course construction. An excellently-appointed, bay flootlit driving range, forms part of the facility and is proving to be very popular with patrons.

And Brooke appeared rather chuffed at the idea of it being stocked with standard, competitive golf balls of which 2. Meanwhile, construction work was in progress on an extension to the clubhouse catering facilities and plans were also outlined to me for a par-three course, close-by the castle. When that particular element is up and running, Brooke believes he will have a facility to cater for all golfing needs. Greens and tees have been built to USGA specifications and Gidman's design skills are in evidence from the opening hole, a yard par four, which follows the lie of beautifully rolling terrain in a sharp dog-leg to the right.

On progressing out the course, it is difficult not to be impressed by the overall impact. Here is classic parkland terrain on which the key features of soil, water and mature trees are drawn together in a golfing challenge that is at once, delightful and daunting. In fact it would be difficult to imagine a more ideal, self-contained site, bordered as it is by the River Main to the right and the River Braid to the left, forming two sides of a triangle until they meet at the back of the 13th green. From that point, the Main takes over and flows onwards to Lough Neagh.

Apart from the two rivers, there are five lakes which Gidman uses to strategic effect. I was particularly taken by the short seventh yards where the irregular-shaped lake to the front and right of the green, looked as if it might have been a part of the original landscape. This is a lovely part of the course, where the eye follows lines of trees towards the 10th green, situated at the right extremity of the layout. Also in view were a few of the six swans, which are expected to multiply over the coming years. But what of the ox-bow, I hear you ask. This is a horse-shoe bend in the River Braid - what a charming coincidence that it should carry the name of a five-times British Open champion.

It is first encountered on the opening nine where the river has to be traversed to reach the green at the yard fourth. Then, on the homeward journey, the inside of the horse-shoe contains the 15th tee which is reached by crossing a metre galvanised bridge over the fast-running current. From there, the competitor faces man-sized finishing holes comprising the yard 16th, yard 17th and the yard, par-five 18th. I was also guided to the view from the 12th tee where the majestic outline of Slemish could be seen in the distance, even in the prevailing, overcast conditions.

He went on to explain that the town of Ballymena, with fine industries such as Michelin, Gallaher and O'Kane's Poultry, has 30, inhabitants plus another 30, in its environs. His point gains rich emphasis in the fact that the ceiling of club members was reached before the official opening. Friday Night Lights by H. The Giver by Lois Lowry. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

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Chris Masters on The Ox-Bow Incident

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