In comments to previous Fairway Solitaire posts (here and here), one of the developers at Grey Alien Games suggested that the problem may been with the video drivers. It's true, my drivers were woefully out of date. I updated them and have yet to encounter trouble in my subsequent play sessions. But I should note that the problem doesn't actually occur during gameplay. The publisher, Big Fish Games, makes you install a Steam-like front end, which is where I've been having the trouble -- usually, I quit the game, their app opens up, and then it all goes horribly, horribly blue. We'll see if this happens again.
Even so, I am still hopelessly addicted to this game. I've been off work the past week, and fully intended to spend my time catching up on some past console games. I managed to put a few hours into Call of Duty 4 (it really is that good!), but other than that it's been all Fairway Solitaire all the time.
In the initial two posts, I hadn't yet discovered the helpful items available for sale in the pro shop. As the game progresses, you can buy items like x-ray goggles that allow you to see the next card in the deck, and one that turns 25% of the cards face-up at the start of a hole. It adds a new level of complexity that helps a lot. I just wish you could buy irons in the pro shop, as well. I've been accruing money at a far greater rate than I could spend it, and I always wish I had more irons. Maybe in Fairway Solitaire 2.