After two flights overnight to get to Charlottesville, VA, for a wedding, I was dropped off by a friend for an afternoon round at Spring Creek. I was a bit delirious after getting only a couple hours of plane sleep the night before, but my exhaustion was no match for my enthusiasm. I'd heard it was a fun, fabulously maintained layout, and nearly every review highlighted the customer service.
When I arrived, the sky was still cloudy from rains the day before. But I was partnered with some friendly folks who knew the course, and had a great time playing a beautiful track that wound its way through the forests of western Virginia.
I'd planned to catch an Uber back to Charlottesville after my round, but around the 12th hole it occurred to me that they might not have any rides available in rural Virginia. And I was right, they didn't. There are worse places to be stranded, but I was stranded nonetheless.
When the round was over, I asked the pro shop to call me a cab. They told me it would be at least $60, and that's when Kevin Haney, Spring Creek's head pro, came out of his office. He'd overheard and said "No way, $60 is ridiculous. I'm heading through Charlottesville on my way home and I'll give you a ride if you can wait about an hour."
How's that for customer service?!
So I happily waited and had a drink with my playing partners. The skies were still mostly overcast, but were beginning to show signs of clearing. Fingers crossed, I had another drink.
After about an hour, the sun had set but the light show was just getting started. And eventually, in the last moments of the day, my patience was rewarded. So I grabbed my camera and started sprinting around between the 1st, 10th, and 18th holes, frantically trying to capture the course in the best light from the best angle.
Ultimately I ended up with this shot of the 18th green. And it's my favorite photo that I've ever taken on any course.
The brilliant purple skies reflected almost flawlessly in the placid water hazard (the one that took two of my balls), creating the illusion that the green complex is floating in midair. It's exactly the photo I'd dreamed of capturing as I slept on the plane the night before.
But just as special was the way I was treated at Spring Creek by every member of the staff, and everyone I met on the course. Kevin gave me a ride back into town as promised, and we chatted about all things golf along the way. It was a memorable day for all the right reasons, and I'm thrilled to have such a wonderful keepsake to remember it by.