Day of Golf at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park

Just Go Golf is our new mobile app that gives the player a true "day of golf" experience by simulating both the swinging of the club and the walk in between shots.

The first round of Just Go Golf was played at the Ravine Park in Cottage Grove, MN, when I compiled the first beta version. There were several rounds at the park as new iterations of the app were built, but once the winter came the app testing moved to clear sidewalks and indoor venues.

Spring is finally here, and it is time to return to the Ravine Park with the fully armed and operational public version of Just Go Golf. Join me on another odyssey of golf, puzzled looks from passerbys and horrible selfies. Here are the results of our golf outing at the Cottage Grove Ravine Park!

Whoops, I forgot to take a picture after the 1st hole. Luckily my daughter was also playing and snapped a shot. I tend to burn several more calories per hold than she does.

What happened?
We had not been to the park since they cleared it out last fall. This is my dumbstruck look as we arrived at a spot that used to be dense woods.

Hiking up one of the larger hills at the park. I initially hit the ball into the water but was able to recover.

Getting angry on the 4th hole after scoring another bogey.

Back on track with a birdie on the 5th hole as we passed the 4 way intersection.

As we hike back into the woods, I begin another fit of rage after a bogey. I am supposed to be good at this game!

A nice long walk was what I needed for the 7th hole. This is my "I've run out of faces to make so I don't know what to do" face.

Another solid par on the 8th hole as we walk along the ravine.

Birdie on the 9th hole as we start to approach the park. Here is a shot looking down on the ravine. Don't fall in.

The playground is a little over half way through our walk; and I was able to finish it quickly with an eagle. 

The 11th hole took us out to the end of the dock on the Ravine Lake.

ALBATROSS! I'm the guy that programmed the text that reads "ALBATROSS" to appear, but I'm not sure I'd ever actually seen it. Anyway, it now dawns on me that I can take pictures of actual scenery rather than making faces at my phone the whole time.

For the 13th hole we walked to the SECRET LAKE - a second lake in the park not found on the maps (although easily seen on Google Maps). After scoring another birdie, a snapped a picture to prove we found it.

Back to the big Ravine Lake and on our way up the paved path back to civilization; my roll continues as I hit an eagle! To think I finished the front 9 worried I was going to embarrass myself (in regards to my fake golf skills).

Another birdie as we make our way back. Sensing this may end up being my best game on Domingo Palms ever, I am starting to pause and line up my shots carefully rather than hurrying through them.

The hand that looks like it could be mine is actually my son's. He is trying to keep me from making a fool of myself with these scorecard selfies. He is 15 holes and 264 calories too late.

Time to look scared! We're entering an area that is more densely wooded with taller evergreen trees. I am now an unlucky 13 under par.

I finished strong, scoring par on the difficult 18th hole.

It was a great day of golfing outside at the park, and a few lessons were learned along the way.
  1. Since everyone plays at different levels, and you don't have to walk the distance of your last shot (that goes in the cup), there will be quite a bit a variability in what "walking 18 holes" means. We walked the entire length of the Ravine Park without any real side paths (other than the secret lake), and I finished 18 holes, but wouldn't have had more than one more hole to spare.
  2. We had a few people playing Just Go Golf simultaneously. We weren't really playing to compete, and this worked fairly well for us as we all payed different levels of attention to the game. It really does a good job at "filling in the gaps" - where you can enjoy playing and get immersed anytime, but it doesn't need to distract from the setting or the people around you.
For those of you wanting to enjoy an outdoor golf experience, or just a whole new way to experience the Ravine Park, Just Go Golf can be played for free! Just get the free version of the game and start your game at the Cottage Grove Ravine Park. Players at the Ravine Park can play all of the gold version courses with the free version, just for enjoying the outdoors in Cottage Grove!

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