Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We’re Talkin ‘Bout Practice!?

One distinction between my playing golf five years ago and my playing golf these past few months is practice.  Five years ago, I lived at the range.  Since then, not so much.  While I would love to think that new equipment, more regular play, and positive thinking will shave the ten strokes I’ve added to my handicap in the past few years - I realize I need some time at the range.  More importantly, I need time at a chipping and putting green.
I found both last night.  Ten minutes from my house I was able to spend $15 and get a large bucket, time on an empty chipping area, and a bottle of water.  A few hours later, I was back on track – I even flushed a final 5 iron into the dark sky. 
I sought the range out because I had the beginnings of a swing thought.  It started while playing last week and was further ingrained from a comment a club fitter gave me.  Not that it would help anyone particularly, but it had to do with staying behind the ball through impact and feeling my hands reach through the hit and down.  I needed to work it out.  Halfway through the bucket it clicked.  Then my irons did to.  It was awesome.  I used to describe the feeling I had as “the secret” because when a new thought starts to work and you get on a roll grooving irons, it can feel like you discovered how to play the game at last – uncovered the elusive secret.  I know it doesn’t last, but the more times I can get a successful thought and work it out through 150 balls or so, the better I have grooved one successful element of a golf swing, right?
Anyway, sorry to bore both of you reading this, but I am getting excited about this great game again and felt like sharing.

Monday, August 27, 2012

White Driver and Big Red Grips

As my obsession with the game takes hold of me again, I am finding my 'need' for equipment is increasing. 

A sick day Friday led me to Golfsmith where I was able to swat range balls at an electronic screen with a bright white R-11S.  The computer seemed to think I hit the thing a touch north of alright.

$300 dollars later, I was talking to the pro shop about re-shafting my Titleist 906F fairway metal and getting new grips on all the irons and wedges.  Now my irons will have some fancy Winn synthetic soft oversized grips and my wedges have even bigger grips with one other change - they are bright red.  

That is right, bright red for the scoring clubs.  Now let’s see if they can remember their job.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pleasant Distractions

Since my glorious return to my favorite game I have been thinking about my clubs.  I already shared with you that my wife offered to have my Cleveland TA2 irons re-gripped.  While I love those irons, they are getting a little old and are probably designed for the golfer I was and not the golfer I am.
If you have no idea what they are, they are what was referred to in 2004 as a hybrid between ‘game improvement’ and ‘shot making’ irons.  Essentially, I got them because they were the closest a club could be to a blade without actually being a blade at the time.  I was an equipment snob of a particular variety and I loved a thin top line at address and looked down at anyone playing with “shovels” or “bulldozers.”
Well my recent rounds no longer afford me the right to be an equipment snob.  I don’t play as much as I did and my ‘shot making’ clubs now allow me to ‘work the ball’ into trouble all over the place.  So I started to pay attention to my playing partners and other golfers’ bags.
You know what I saw?
Two things:
First - yellow and orange golf balls.  No, thank you. 
Second - white drivers.  Yes please.
I know I started by thinking and writing about my irons.  Well too bad, I was distracted by something shiny.  Besides, I think I can get back to controlling my ball flight eventually.  What I cannot get back to with my circa-2005 Launcher is a pretty white Taylor Made.
I want one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Been a while...

I had forgotten about this blog.  I really had the bug back when I used to post here.

Well life is funny.  It shows up and derails plans and shift interests.  I have continued to play over the last five years, but never with the same focus.

It dawned on me when my wife offered to have my clubs re-gripped for me as a present a few months ago.  I thought it was a nice idea and would have liked to have had it done, but I never followed up and my Cleveland TA2 irons have the same grips they had last year (and a few years before that). 

Contrast that small non-story to my getting the same clubs re-gripped six years ago.  Back then I had a golf pro friend who took me behind the counter and re-gripped my clubs with me to avoid dropping them off overnight or for the two-three days it took to turn them around.  Not only that, I only agreed to do it after hitting two large buckets and was positively crushed when he told me they needed to sit 24 hours to dry and set.  What was I supposed to do for 24 hours without golf clubs!?

Like I said, life is funny and my interests have changed. 

Then I found out I was going to have a son.  Most soon to be parents know their life is really going to change and that free time will certainly vanish.  I thought that my son will certainly extinguish my already faded commitment to a time consuming game. 

But then, why am I posting on an ancient blog about golf?

To my own surprise, I started sacrificing to play golf again.  I get up at 5 am on weekends to play and get home in time to make my wife breakfast.  I started doing it Saturdays and have recently been able to get out Saturday and Sunday.  I am walking with my friend or getting out as a single and just playing. 

Golf is the greatest game there is and I want to share that with my son someday.  I just needed to go figure it out again for myself.  Now if I can get my handicap from six years ago back...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Two Golf Stories

School has been killing me. For the last few months, this week has been my light at the middle of the tunnel. This week is Spring Break. This week, despite MTV’s best efforts, does not involve a beach in Mexico or a V-Jay. It simply means I only work part-time for a week, and I get my afternoons free to play golf. I have two stories I wanted to share from the last few days.


I was putting on the practice green after my round the other day and this guy and his 2 or 3 year old were putting. The guy was practicing, and the kid had those plastic clubs and was knocking a whiffle golf ball around. Every five or ten minutes the kid would yell something when he knocked it into the hole.

After 30 minutes or so the dad says, “Are you ready to go home?”

To which the exasperated kid huffed, “I’m just playing golf dad.”

I looked at the dad and said, “Best. Answer. Ever.”

The dad just beamed with pride.

I am ordering sets of the plastic clubs today for every friend of mine with kids.


During one of my rounds a few days ago, I was playing as a single and moving quickly. As I approached the eighth tee, nine high school kids walked out of the trees. I was playing a municipal course near my house and there is an adjacent high school. I imagine they were taking some kind of short-cut, or were off in the woods doing what kids do who hide in the woods on a school day. Either way, I didn’t think too much of it.

Then it dawned on me; I was alone at the furthest point from the clubhouse. I am not a small guy, but nine 16-18 year old boys could most certainly kick my ass. In fact, because I am pretty tall, I have not been in too many fights. I have never been picked on, nor am I all that aggressive. Basically, my physical stature has kept me from trouble all my life and so I am sure if I did have to fight, I would undoubtedly lose.

All of that was racing through my mind while I climbed to the tee. I stood over the ball facing a long par four dog-leg left with OB along the left side. The hole was intimidating enough without trying to judge the pack of hoodlums from the corner of my eye.

Then I smoked it. It might have been the purest drive I have hit in a few months. It was a hissing, high, power fade, down the left side that flew the dog-leg and rolled to the right hand side of the fairway. I had an 8i left to a hole I hit 5w the day before.

As I watched my ball, I heard one of the crowd say, “Daaammmnnn, he stroked it.”

Now that was fun.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tax Returns = Golf Toys

The Federal Government says payments made toward tuition are deductible.

Who am I to argue?

So, although I work almost full-time, once you subtract what I pay to go to school full-time my adjusted gross income ends up equaling a pack of Skittles and a Mountain Dew. To make a long story longer, I got a fat return this year.

I was feeling a little flush, so I decided to treat myself to something I have wanted since I first saw one more than a year ago. I went to the store and bought a Sun Mountain Speed Cart. I am far too impatient for things like EBay and sales, so I paid full price, and I don’t feel bad at all. It is beautiful.

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I went home to clean my clubs, reorganize my bag, and put the thing together in my living room. In fact, I am typing this at work, looking outside and contemplating excuses to clock out and find a golf course to push my new cart around.

Is that wrong?

If any of you out there have one already and want to comment on how great they are; feel free to do so. I already know, but I love reading it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Alright here goes…

I am wilting under the strain. It is not entirely my fault; after all, Law school, Work, and Not Much Else, would be the title if my life was a book. Trying to find time to work on my game is difficult. Trying to find time to write for the Fine Chammy is near impossible. The only thing working in my favor is that both golf and writing are therapeutic. My perverse mind has convinced itself of their healing powers over my overstressed, overtired body. So here I am writing about golf, a game I cannot afford the time or money to play.

“Boo hoo,” you say?

Well, I only told you that to gain a touch of sympathy before I revealed something about myself. So really, here goes:

I am a Tiger Woods fan. I am more interested in watching golf when Tiger plays. I enjoy watching Tiger play in a playoff as much as I enjoy watching him lap a field. I cannot help it. I think it is awful, and I am somewhat ashamed of myself. Regardless, it does not keep me from watching him play.

Purists cannot stand that Friday coverage will show every shot Tiger takes at the expense of other players in the field, sometimes even the leaders. Not me. I love it. I would rather watch Tiger hit from an impossible lie while he is struggling than watch a guy who cannot possibly be there Sunday shoot a 63 on Thursday or Friday.

None of that makes me unusual. Most ‘golf fans’ out there feel the same way. That is why Friday coverage will show Tiger’s round at other players' expense in the first place. Just because it is usual, does not change the fact that it is polarizing. I read the columns and some of the other golf blogs out there, and I can tell that Undaunted Duffer is rolling his eyes. I might even get lifted from his links.

Despite the injury to my reputation as a ‘serious golf fan’ I have come clean. I love watching golf, but I really love watching Tiger. Anyway, he is three under with four or five to play in his first event of the year. You can bet TiVo is capturing all of it for me.