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About this blog

The occasional random golf-related thoughts pop into my head. The blog efforts of several other TST members has inspired me to give it a try again. No one should anticipate a cohesive series of blog entries.  I go where the mental winds blow.  ;-)

The photo was taken at Carnoustie as I and my fellow golfers/caddies walk down the fairway. I am on the far left.

Entries in this blog

 

Golf Marathon

I received a call from a business acquaintance last December. Over the years we had played golf together numerous times even with his living in Iowa and me in Michigan.  Despite our age difference (I the elder by close to 30 years) and golf ability gap (his index around 1.0 and mine hovering near 10.0), our shared passion for golf made our friendship natural. He wanted to know if I was interested in joining him and his father on a golf trip to Reunion Resort near Orlando, FL. They had a gro

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The WHS

I recently attended a USGA sponsored seminar on the new World Handicap System (WHS).  Our Club needed to have one member certified by the USGA and as handicap chairman, I was the logical choice. As a member of TST and from reading material on the WHS, I was familiar with the general outline of the changes and new procedures.  My hope was that the seminar would fill in a lot of the details.  It did. Two items on the agenda were most interesting to me. Playing Conditions Calculation

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Playing in the Icebox

I have always stopped playing golf when low temperatures turn the course into a solid block of ice.  For me, it isn’t fun to watch my ball carom off the green like an errant shot hit into a parking lot.  I don’t mind cold weather but playing on a concrete-like course is not my idea of golf.  So, why was I standing on the first tee at Whitmore Lake Golf Links last Friday?  One of my regular golf partners, Mack, is a confirmed cart rider.  To my knowledge, he has not walked 18 holes in at le

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2019 Rules Changes - Observations After a Season

One of the big changes in 2019 was the USGA/R&A overhaul of the Rules of Golf.  Our Club runs a series of net tournaments for our members.  Our members range in age from 50 to 94 with handicaps of +1 to 36.  I was a bit pessimistic that our members would be able to accommodate all the Rules changes.  After a season of watching our members play in our Tournaments, here are a few of my observations. The option to leave or remove the flagstick has turned out to be a bit of help on pace o

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Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

I suspect I am like many other golfers after a round.  We look at the scorecard and begin to analyze our round with a pair of rose-tinted glasses.  “If I would have just …”  If I could have …”  I should have …”  It is fun imagining how making better club selections, being more conservative/aggressive and taking a bit more time over that putt would-could-should have resulted in a score several shots better. Perhaps this exercise is why we often over value the “mental game” versus the physica

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Anticipation

We probably all have personal markers that tell us the golf season is approaching.  Our anticipation grows as we tick off the events at foreshadow our return to the course.  Even those lucky players who reside in more temperate climes likely have a seasonal timeline (e.g. if the course is being over-seeded with rye it must be November; if the tourists are arriving, it must be January; if the rye is dying, it must be April).   The pre-season’s kick-off in our little corner of the Mitten is t

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I Am Not a Mudder, Are You?

mudder noun mud·der | \ˈmədə(r)\ plural -s Definition of mudder  1 : a race horse that runs well on a wet or muddy track 2 : a player or a team (as in football) that performs well on a wet field    After my final round of 2018, I was thinking about the course conditions the past month or so.  While we have had relatively mild weather, it has been wet.  I don’t do particularly well in wet and muddy conditions.  I play in all sorts of weather: hot, windy

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Getting Used to the New Rules of Golf

I have found getting used to the new Rules of Golf to be a bit of a challenge.  In time there is no doubt the revisions will become part of my golf process.  A number of the changes, however, are not reflexive and I have to consciously think about them.   The easiest new rule to re-learn is having the option to leave the flag in or take it out.  Since December I have been playing with the flag stick in.  After six rounds, it still looks odd putting from 20 feet or less with the flag in

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Streaks

If the weather holds and I manage to play a round of golf in November, it will mark the 45th consecutive month that I have played golf in Michigan.  The last month I did not manage to play 18 holes was February, 2015.  Yes, I am one of those fools wandering around on the course when it is 35 degrees.  While I can handle cold and wind, I do have some standards as far as conditions.  I neither play when the greens are frozen solid as concrete nor if the course is mostly or entirely covered in snow

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On the Hot Seat

I have been silent for a bit on this blog.  Time to start blathering again. A new tournament season is rapidly approaching for our club-without-real estate.  2018 will be my first season as Handicap Chairman after serving a few years on the committee.  We play a 15-event net tournament season so the Handicap Chairman is a somewhat thankless job.  There is always a vocal group that believes every winner is a sandbagger and successful players yap about the downward handicap adjustments we dol

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The Nine Hole Conundrum

It is always fascinating to me how all sports seemed to have developed a structure that tests the participants for a sufficient length of time to separate the wheat from the chaff.  In football one has to play both halves. Remember the Super Bowl?  The seventh inning stretch doesn’t end the game, the 8th and 9th innings must be played. Long ago when the game of golf was being formed, somehow the founders knew that 9 holes would not require the consistency a truly sound golfer must have to succee

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Golf Balls

The “2017 Snell PGA Championship Prediction Contest” got me thinking about golf balls.  When I first starting playing golf, I pretty much paid no attention to the brand or model.  A golf ball was a golf ball as long as it wasn’t damaged. The only brand/model that I can recall from my youth was the “Wilson K28.”  Someone (perhaps the club pro?) told us that the “Wilson K28” was a good golf ball so every Father’s Day for several years we bought my father a dozen.  He was never much of a golfe

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Rules

I enjoy Rules discussions.  One learns a few things and also experiences another’s perspective.  I started playing competitive golf late in life (35 or so) but I made it a point to learn the Rules well before I ever entered a tournament.  Frankly, I see no point in playing any game without a clear understanding of the Rules.  Collecting double the rent on an unimproved Monopoly or “castling” in chess are details and one can play either game without knowing the rule.  One is likely, however, to s

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TST Michigan

The first TST-Michigan outing is in the books.  We exceeded our target with a total of seven TST’ers meeting up in Okemos, MI.  A few observations: It was interesting meeting the people behind the user names and avatars.  My plan was to get to the course a bit early to put out a small “TST” sign to attract the members as we wandered in.  Before setting out the sign, I passed a gentleman a couple times and I strongly suspected he was part of our outing. Why?  No idea other than he seemed a

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Random “Hump Day” Thoughts & Observations

Birdies - For me, a golf round never seems very satisfying unless it includes a birdie.  My 8-10 handicap certainly attests to the fact that I am no birdie machine but somewhere around 2/3’s of my rounds have an under-par hole.  When I am headed to a mediocre score, a birdie at least gives me one hole where I can say I managed to get things right.  When I pitch a shutout, it hurts a little. Birds - Speaking of birds, parrots and parakeets often escape from their owners.  In Florida, they ac

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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall – Creating a V-Log

For a number of years I have been consciously avoiding viewing my golf swing on video.  My swing is flawed but at 64+ years old, I am not sure I want to start a reclamation project.  Playing golf is a lot of fun and if my results are not particularly good, I am okay with that. The first time I saw my swing on video dates back to the 1980’s when my wife and I went to “golf camp.”  The pro had a series of stop action photos of professional golfers and he would stop my swing video at various

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I Wish That Poster Would ...

We often hear, “that is a 1st World problem,” when we complain about many of the trivial irritants we encounter during the day.  The following list clearly falls into that category.  In my defense, there is not a lot of golf being played here in the Frozen Mitten right now and that likely explains my irritable mood.  Also, I know at some point I have been guilty of a number of items on the list and likely a lot more!  Still, sometimes it feels good to just vent. ·         Very long posts. 

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Indoor Golf Course - Michigan Style

The other day I drove past a large inflatable dome on the side of the highway.  I thought to myself, “Gee, I didn’t realize that they had built a golf dome there.”  As I thought some more, it may actually have been an indoor soccer venue or tennis facility.  Golf domes seem to be going away as more driving ranges build shelters and install heaters.  Also, simulators are big business and take up a lot less room. All this got me thinking about the indoor golf course they built in Michigan bac

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Golf Bags

My first golf bag wasn’t even really my bag; the bag was shared with my sister and brother.  It was a jaunty red, black & white tartan patterned “Sunday” bag and held our 7 or 8 slightly undersized clubs along with a supply of golf balls and tees in a single zippered pocket.  The bag eventually was consigned to the basement when we graduated to a standard set of clubs.  I remember occasionally sighting it stowed away under the basement stairs.  I imagine it got tossed when my parents moved t

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Buddy Trips

I love golf buddy trips so the announcement of the 2017 Newport Cup has started my golfing juices flowing.  A well-organized golf buddy trip is a great experience.  Considering the people planning the event, I suspect that the 2017 Newport Cup will be singular experience.  I am doing my best to temper my excitement at possibly participating with the knowledge that there are many better players ahead of me in line. Still, it is a welcome distraction while the snow levels ebb & flow this winte

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End of the Season

My last round of the year was played Wednesday, 12/7/2016.  It wasn’t exactly perfect weather with a high of 37˚ (f) and a 14 mph breeze.  Still, it was sunny and I have played in much worse conditions.  I tend to tell myself that if we had this weather in January or February, we would all be out running around in shorts. It was definitely chilly at the outset but after walking the first three or four holes it was very comfortable.   Living in the north central part of the USA tends to infl

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My Day on the Red Tees – My Tee It Forward Experiment

One day last week it was relatively cold (50 degrees F), with overcast skies and a chilly 15 mph wind.  Add to that the fact that the course had been completely aerated and we had a soaking rain the day prior; it was going to be a long day.  It seemed like a good time to experiment with the “Tee It Forward” idea.  While I ordinarily play a set of tees measuring 6,560 yards (par 71, 71.6/120), today it was going to be 5,606 yards (67.1/111). A few years back another site had held a “Tee It F

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Seasonal Sandbagging

Our state association recently announced that the handicap reporting season has been extended to November 15.  This came after they opened the reporting season early with a March 15 opening rather than the traditional April 1st date. I am all for reporting as many scores as possible but extending the handicap reporting season, on both ends, seems like a bad idea.  Certainly most courses in Southeast Michigan become playable by mid-March and remain so until mid-November.  There is a big di

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The Eagle Has Landed

Early in 2016 I asked some of my online friends when was the last time they made eagle. I had discovered, to my chagrin, that while I thought it had been a year or two, it actually had been nearly 5 years.  Many of my online buddies confessed to similar droughts.  At the time I joked that we all had better start taking dead aim. Shortly thereafter, a golf buddy remarked that I was one of the better wedge players he knew.  He said I always seemed to be right in line with the target and usu

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Birthday Golf Tradition

For over 20 years one of my birthday traditions has been collecting a free round of golf at one of the local Huron-Clinton Metro Park golf courses.  My birthday falls in September so I get to enjoy a taste of Autumn with my round.  Those with birthdays that fall between November 1 and March 31 get to celebrate a ½ birthday 6 months after their real date.  There are four Metro Park courses within a ½ hour drive and I have joked about hoping that my birthday would be a rainy washout so I could dri

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    • In Canada, we were told to stay inside and most have done that. Companies and schools are closed as are restaurants and any non-essential businesses. The virus is still spreading, but slowly. I look at the numbers twice daily and am shocked how fast this is spreading around the world, but, especially in the States.  Pat first, I was going to continue going out, possible get the virus and get it over with. Flu symptoms for a week, with headache and fever? Once you get over it, nothing to wor
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