Murfreesboro, TN

Hitting the Bloomfield Links in Murfreesboro

John M. Dabbs

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9th holeJohn Dabbs/Photographer

Situated just off Medical Center Parkway at the end of Walter Hale Court is a sweet little par-3 course. The course is managed by the Old Fort Golf Club. It's not your typical 9 or 18 hold course either.

Not an ordinary par 3

The 6 hole short course is great for beginners of all ages, and for seasoned players honing their game. According to Old Fort Golf Club, the Bloomfield Links are home to one of the best and most unique junior golf programs in the region - the Linksters Series.

This is a training course. No need for your woods or long irons here. You can practice those at the driving range. Here is a course designed to tweak you medium to short game. It's perfect for running drills or just working yourself along. No need for a cart or full bag here. I usually make do with a 5-iron, pitching wedge, putter, and a couple of balls. (Yes, I lost one out of bounds a time or two.)

Hours and rates

You'll find the course open March to November (as long as the weather cooperates). Fees are very affordable, with the senior rate at $5. Daily fees can be called in to the Old Fort clubhouse and paid over the phone by credit card - or you can pay in person at the Old Fort and walk over across the greenway. I personally just drive from the hotel to the course.

The course opens at 8 a.m. daily and closes thirty minutes before sunset - 7:30 p.m. CDT today.

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Four-hole practice greenJohn Dabbs/Photographer

What to expect

Being adjacent to the river, the course doesn't drain well. A thunderstorm around noon today had the course waterlogged this evening around 6 p.m. when we arrived. I was warned of the soggy 1st hold by another golfer on his way out as I pulled into the lot.

The course is very straight forward with a single support structure with restrooms and storage for the ranger. He often pops in to check on things, and make sure everyone has paid the fee. The course is well maintained for what it is, and is used frequently by groups teaching the sport to youngsters, and for school teams practicing and doing drills.

While I have never found the course empty, it's always had enough room for a threesome to slide right in without having to wait or inconvenience anyone playing through. There is even a four-hole practice green near the 1st tee area. It's ideal for warming up or practicing while awaiting your turn.

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Tee-box markerJohn Dabbs/Photographer

You'll notice the tee-box marker and a few holes around it in the photo. I doubt if anyone uses a tee here, but the greens and grounds are maintained to repair these areas quickly with new growth. As damp it as it was today, it was the worst I had ever seen it. I attribute it solely to the amount of rain today. There is still plenty of grass in these swipes to grow back. So don't let these things bother you.

In closing, with the heat of the day - even this late in the day, I'm glad I was able to walk the six-hole course... and that it was only six holes and not longer. It was still big enough to have an enjoyable outing and work on my putting for another 15-20 minutes before packing it in today.

If you like golf, and have time for a bit of fun with a warm up round, or just not enough time to put into a full 18 holes - this course is perfect for you. I highly recommend it. I was introduced to the course a few years ago by my friend and coworker (now supervisor), Ray.

Ray and I didn't make it out there together today - maybe tomorrow after work! If you see me out there - be FORE warned. I'm not that good.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Johnson City, TN
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