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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

Ball Hawker

I am a former golf ball “hawker.” You know the guy; their 15th club is a ball retriever. They are often found lurking around ponds and the heavily forested right side of fairways. It is hard for me to recall when I became obsessed with finding golf balls. Maybe I should blame my parents! They moved to Florida after my father retired in 1988. Their home was on the 15th hole at the TPC Prestancia in Sarasota. The 15th is a dogleg left par 5 that curves around a large pond. The green is locate

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Attitude

Confessions of a "Carry Snob"

For 60 years, when I walked, I carried my golf bag. Initially, there were no such thing as a “pushcart.” One either carried or one pulled a 3-wheel cart. I owned a 3-wheeler, but I rarely used it. I felt I could get around the course a lot faster walking across greens and taking short cuts through the heather or woodlands. I was a “carry snob.” No cart for this guy, I was a real player, I carried my bag. As I aged, it became more important to have a light load. My stand bags always had “hyp

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Playing

Measuring Sticks

Most of us have the need to occasionally talk about our accomplishments playing golf. When I have a particularly good round, I like to make a quick post to the “What Did You Shoot” thread. I dedicated a blog post to my triumph at a small golf tournament last year. I understand the need to toot one’s own horn now and then. On another golf site a member sort of sucked me in recently with a title to his thread of “What’s Better than a 5 Hour Round?” The question sort of intrigued me and I chec

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Driving

The Slow Death of a Blog

I was thinking about the impending start of my 2023 golf season. Hmmm, it seemed like a decent topic for my “Blog.” Nope, I already blabbed on that subject a while ago. Then I noticed how rarely I am moved to write a blog entry. My blogging on TST began in 2016.  My blog entries have slowly dwindled: 2016       27 2017       10 2018         2 2019         6 2020         5 2021         2 2022         3 2023         ? Undoubtedly there was much celebrat

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Blogging

The Season's Last Round

It seemed like my off season was going to start early when we had a cold snap and snow in early November. Fortunately, 2022-2023 is an El Nino year for the Mitten and we had a very temperate December with very little snow. I managed to play four rounds in December, including New Year’s Eve. My 2023 year started early with a round at Lake Forest GC (Ann Arbor) on January 3. The round in January was a real lifesaver. My previous attempt at golf on the last day of December had been a mess. I c

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Attitude

New Clubs

As reported, I ordered new fitted clubs at the end of July, 2022, and they arrived in mid-August. A new set of clubs after almost 20 years with my current set-up was unnerving for me. I decided to introduce the new guys a few at a time.  Initially, the 3-wood and 19-degree hybrid joined the family. These were easy changes. The old 3-wood had “only” been in the bag for 7-8 years. I had purchased it from a golf buddy for $20. It had a stiff shaft and my present swing was not a good match to g

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in golf clubs

Champion

I sort of use the blog area as a journal. Much of what I write in these blogs is boring to most of the TST population so I tuck it away here. As I posted in the Golf Talk Forum, I recently competed in the City of Livonia Golf Championship.  They hold the tournament on a couple city courses over two days. As a “super senior”, we play the forward tees at 5,300 yards or so. Driver-wedge and reachable par 5’s are standard. The hole locations are diabolical, however, perched on edges of steep sl

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Tournament

Dragged Into the 21st Century

My stepson and I went to two fitting sessions recently. The first was irons, and the second was driver/3-wood/hybrid. Each was two hours. I hit somewhere around 125-150 balls each time. I have never been a range rat and hitting 100+ balls was a chore.  Fortunately for me, the fitter had to swap shafts and heads which allowed me rest periods. Being a low-tech senior citizen, I had never hit balls in a simulator or been measured by a Trackman. Frankly, I did not want to know how slow my swing

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Fitting

Dark Thoughts and A Ray of Sunshine

My recovery from brain surgery is just about complete.  The medical team has begun the process of weaning me off the anti-seizure medication. Yes, I have two ½ inch diameter holes on the top of my head but my hair covers them nicely. I am just about as good as I am going to be.  I feel good.  I wish I could say the same about my golf game.  There have been some weeks where I contemplated permanently putting the clubs in the basement and pulling out the fishing gear.  I have never been a go

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Health

To the Brink and Back

If you are looking for a golf story, time to move on. Last year we had a dead tree taken down. I asked the tree guys to cut the trunk into moveable chunks.  I subsequently chain-sawed them into log-size pieces.  In early December I started splitting the large pieces into usable logs for our fireplace with a wedge and 10-pound sledgehammer. After a few days of intermittent wood-splitting I noticed I had a persistent headache and/or a stiff & sore neck.  I began popping 2 ibuprofens every

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952 in Health

The End of Sandbagging - Part II

This somewhat continues a blog posting from 2016.  If anyone is interested (Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller), here is a link: https://thesandtrap.com/blogs/entry/91-the-end-to-sand-bagging/ Fast forward 4+ years and I now occupy the highly sought-after position of Handicap Chairman.  We modified the Knuth Tournament Point System for our club.  Members accumulate points over the course of the season but, rather than roll the points over to the next year, we start fresh.  One of the biggest dra

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

Bugs

I enjoy the occasional brush with nature while on the golf course, as I am sure many others do also.  I came upon several antlion "nests" recently.  I always thought the insect was "ant lion" but Wikipedia told me it is antlion.  The larvae of the antlion build a funnel shaped trap in loose soil or sand.  Insects, typically ants, blunder into the cone and slide down to the bottom and meet their fate.  The things one sees while searching for that darn golf ball!

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

COVID Golf

My first round of post lockdown golf was scheduled for 7:00am on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.  In the Mitten we are currently limited to walking only.  I was planning on going solo since my two regular golf buddies had bailed.  One friend has a bad back and can’t walk a course.  The other has decided to skip golf until the “virus thing” has worked itself out. As instructed, I used the online system to book my solo round.  I was lucky and got the first scheduled tee time of the day.  The course

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952

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

bkuehn1952

bkuehn1952



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    • @ 2 weeks left for Stage 4 and the weight goal seems to be a miss.  I've plateaued @ 225 and see no way I can drop 10 lbs in 2 weeks.  I'll take comfort in the fact that I am not gaining even though my activity level has been low.  Also, I could "Claim" success since my initial goal was 225 but I did officially revise that down to 215 and I'm not going to backtrack just to claim success. I've yet to swing a club.  Was going to try last weekend but just did not.  I really hope to start swing
    • I will not even spend much time looking for my ball if I figure it will be unplayable. 1) no desire to get ticks, poison ivy etc. going into the woods. A player in northern Michigan got attacked by bees when he ventured into some woods, it did not end well.  Just not worth it. 2) I play 1 specific ball and if I had several random balls in my bag I would eventually forget what ball I grabbed then risk hitting a wrong ball. 3) Three words “ Pace of Play”
    • 3 weeks in and a little behind on the weight goal.  Was hoping to drop 3lbs per week but only managed to average lbs per week. the issue is I just can’t push hard enough to get the heart rate up to burn a lot of calories.  Before the surgery I was routinely burning 3400 per day while barely doing 6 miles.  Yesterday I had to do three sessions on the stationary bike had to get to 9 miles to burn the 3400 calories.   (I tell my FitBit  it is a treadmill and it is counting steps to get miles,
    • Way to go. Keep on schedule and we will all see the results some time this summer.
    • I like how Nick Faldo described this in a magazine article I think it was back in the day - fulfill your half of the bargain - he meant hit the best putt you can. It's up to the ball and the green whether it goes in or not, but you have no control over that. So fulfill your half of the bargain and you hit a good putt whether it goes in or not.
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