Favorite places in Maine: Penobscot Valley Country Club

Husson University junior and co-captain Kevin Byrne putts to hole one during an October 2009 round of the North Atlantic Conference Golf Championship at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono.
Husson University junior and co-captain Kevin Byrne putts to hole one during an October 2009 round of the North Atlantic Conference Golf Championship at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono.
Posted July 13, 2011, at 6:36 p.m.

Some people like a barefoot walk along the sand and rocks at Popham Beach, where the ocean beckons for miles.

Some prefer the vertical ascents of Mount Katahdin, where 360-degree views await those who reach the summit.

Me, I like the smell of fresh-cut grass, gently sloping hills and the feel of 25 pounds of steel and graphite on my back.

In short, I like golf.

For those who don’t play, the game probably seems maddening. Who wants to chase a tiny white ball around a field?

But if you have played, you know the magic of golf. Because you have hit that one shot that sails off your club cleanly and travels exactly where you aimed. That one shot that will ensure you play again even if all the other shots that day were lousy.

Lately, I’ve been playing my golf at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono, a course that would have been mostly off-limits to me five years ago.

But since the Harris family bought the Orono links in 2007, the course has become less private and, thanks to continued deals, less expensive.

For me, though, any golf course will do.

OK, it’s not a strenuous hike or a 20-mile bike ride, but if you ditch the golf cart, you can walk about 4 miles during an 18-hole round. Add in your golf bag and 80 swings (or 90 or 100), and a round of golf can be a decent workout.

If you still want sand and water, most golf courses (Penobscot Valley included) have that too.

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