T's Words on Golf

Real golf talk about both good and (somewhat) bad golfers.

January 23, 2012

Terrible Golf

While playing with another new fellow golfer last Wednesday and seeing him struggle the entire round (thus taking our team out of contention for the weekly title which means next-to-nothing), all I could do was cringe every time he yelled at himself with that overly-used and stupid comment, "Keep your head down!".

This is by far the worst advice for anyone who has ever played the game. Whomever started the idiotic phrase/advice/coaching suggestion should be banned from the game. I dare anyone out there to try it (right now) in your living room, out in your backyard or on the driving range. Put your head down, make sure it stays there and try and hit three consecutive shots cleanly. You have no chance.

Think about it: How are you supposed to stay on plane whilst your chin is digging down into your chest? It gets in the way of both of your shoulders you moron! You will dip going back and you will dip going forward, forcing you to compensate during an already-bad swing. Good luck!

Here is some excellent advice. (I normally charge for such advice, but since I learned it from someone who didn't charge me for the same advice, I'll let you all have it for free.): 

The proper way to reinforce your swing and make it more consistent is to tell yourself, (and subsequently do), "Keep your head STILL!". Set up for your shot with your chin up enough so you have good posture. That is, keeping your spine angle straight from your waist up through the back of your head. This allows you to turn your shoulders underneath your chin, which also gives you more torque and distance. You will also not dip, allowing you to hit the ball squarely. Simple, huh? Just remember to keep your head still during the swing and the rest will take care of itself.

One other thing: Make sure you hit through the ball. This will also help with good ball striking.

So don't be a moron golfer like I once was and start saying 'no' to bad advice from fellow golfers who are probably worse than yourself. It's just not safe.

January 10, 2012

Tiger's Not Back But The PGA Tour Is

For those of you that thought that Tiger's win in SoCal last month actually meant anything, think again.

First off, how great of a tournament is it that the defending champion, Graham DcDowell, doesn't even come back to defend? And how many players are even in the tourney, like 18? When Tiger dominated before his promiscuity blew up in Elin's face, Sherwood meant something because everyone wanted to see him win everything. I wasn't one of them because frankly, winning that tournament would be like me picking out the right movie to see at the theater with my family and it just so happened to be Forest Gump. (Not a big reach, especially after reading the reviews the day before.)

Now we hear that he's coming back in February to play Pebble. Again, not a big reach because of his past successes there, but it is a start. He would really impress me if he played the Northern Trust at Riviera, where he has never come close to winning. He has always liked playing it safe, playing tournaments he has won  over and over again, but seems to shy away from those that have given him trouble. (I can't think of a lot of them off the top of my head (and I don't want to bother researching it right now), but the Waste Management Phoenix Open rings a bell.) His fans always love to see him play, but please NBC and CBS, don't show us every shot he takes even when he's twelve back on Sunday! There are a lot of players that are right in the hunt that we are lucky to see hit one shot in the final round. I bet their collective families would have something to say about that.

I know it's killing the PGA Tour's American television partners to have only one American, Steve Stricker, in the top five golfers in the world, but just don't over-compensate with a Tiger montage before and during the final round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, which he probably isn't even playing. So let's see how the rest of the bunch are doing when the play is climaxing on a Sunday, and not dwell on Tiger's decision to dump Stevie last year or how his swing coach is going to turn him around this year for sure. (Everyone knows Tiger would have won all those tournaments with me on his bag and he still had Butch watching over his precious self.)

So let's get serious PGA, CBS and NBC. I'm looking forward to the new line of winners this year, with Ricky Fowler leading the way. After all, he's brought the colors purple and orange to the top of the golf clothing spectrum. Who else can say that? (Please don't use Poulter's Pussy Pink Plaid trousers as a reasonable comparison. Who else wears this shit?)
Neon Ian Poulter

A New Idea!

I usually posted about my Wednesday's group of golfers. This included how we did as teams and outstanding moments from either on-course and off. I got bored and needed a new idea that would not only entertain my readers, but also keep me enthused. I couldn't find one.

After weeks of pondering, I decided upon bashing-and-cheering all golfers in general. This sounds easy and chicken shit, but who out there in the golfing world does it on a regular basis? The Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee has his moments, (especially at Tiger's expense), but who else?

I'm ready.

September 16, 2011

Yucaipa Valley Quakin'

As I hit a very good drive on number four, Bert said, "earthquake!". I immediately responded with "nah, that was just a real good hit". The other two guys in our group, Clarence and Vito, said they felt nothing, but it was probably because Clarence was talking so much to Vito that neither of them could notice anything else around them, -even the earth shaking below their feet! My excuse was I was in the middle of my violent-motion swing and that was the truth. I talked to Ralph after the round and he told me Tino felt it, but none of the others noticed anything. He did say he talked to his wife a couple holes later and she asked him if he felt it, since it was centered right there in Yucaipa! So, I guess there really was one, but I still insist on attributing it to my tremendous hit. Ego thing.

Anyway, the round went by without anymore shakes, rattles and rolls. Yes, even the rolls were limited in the fairways, because the grass was way too long there too. Although this course has as nice a layout as any other in the area with the exception of the Beaumont courses, Oak Valley and Morongo 36, the conditions consistently bring it down to muni-level. Too bad, but the $25 weekday rate offsets it well.

Bert shot 86 and I tripled 18 to shoot 79, but Vito and Clarence both forgot how to play golf. These guys usually shoot between 85 and 92, but not on this day. Those numbers were gone by the 16th! Some days are like that, but why when on my team?! The other team of Bill, Tino, Elliott, Ralph and Bob J., all shot between 88 (Elliott) and 91 (Ralph and Bob) and thusly cleaned our clock for $6.75 apiece.

Yes, there were only nine of us this time! This is by far the smallest number of golfers for a Wednesday in almost ten years! -And it was kinda nice! Not that we didn't miss the other guys, but things were just a whole lot easier, -kinda like having a week off. I'll take it!

Next week we're playing the (in)famous Nicklaus design in Corona, the Champions Club at the Retreat, and I can hardly wait, even though there are a few of the others that are a little nervous. It boasts a 139 slope from the blues at only 6277 yards(?), hmmm.

September 9, 2011

It Was Frickin' Hot!

Played at The Golf Club at Glen Ivy in Corona this week and we basically boiled. Don't get me wrong, we still had a lot of fun, but those last few holes were f'ing tough! Immediately after our round ended, Vito and I drowned ourselves with cold water in the restroom so as to bring our body temperature to sub-100°. Other than the heat, the course was in good shape with only the greens being fairly spotty and the bermuda fairways starting to go dormant. One thing for sure though, this course has the best bunkers anywhere. Beautiful sand.

After I shot a dumb-ass 40 on the first nine holes with some terrible second shots and three missed four-footers, I settled into a very good rhythm of pars for the first seven holes on the back. That's when I decided to duck-hook my drive into the vegetation just off the fairway on eight. (We played the back nine first.) I then topped a whopping 80-yard drive for my provisional. After hitting a great fourth from the heavy rough in front of the tee box, Vito and I went over to the tree line that sucked up my first shot so we could hopefully retrieve my somewhat new Bridgestone. At first we didn't have any luck, but that turned right away when Vito started loading up on some beautiful Haas avocados from a very healthy tree! I immediately forgot about the ball hunt, but then Vito said, "T, here's your ball!". -And it was in bounds!! I punched out to just short of the green and almost saved par, but was quite happy with bogie, considering what it could/should have been. Mmmm, avocados are soooo good! I limped in with an ugly 4 on the last hole to shoot 78 and was rewarded by my other playing partner, Dave, with a big juicy Blue Moon in the bar. Fucking awesome, let me tell you!

The last group crawled in over an hour later. (We had fourteen players, so we went out 3, 3, 4, & 4. The first two groups finished in 3-1/2 hours, but there was a big gap to the last two foursomes, who weren't being pushed at all, -probably because there wasn't anyone else dumb enough to play in hell's kitchen that day.) We finished second and netted a cool four bucks apiece, which coincidentally, was the exact same amount the first place team of Bert, Bill, Joe and Old Bob did. Since we were a threesome, the shares were significantly bigger. Yeah for us.

George, Ralph, Clarence and Tim smoothed in for third and lost a few dollars while Elliott, Tino and Jon sucked and lost almost $7 each. Funny how this game is, everyone had resigned to the fact that Elliott's team was favored that day, yet it just didn't happen. Bummer.

The only other good note from this week's excursion was the grapefruits we all got from the trees just off #7's fairway. One can never starve when playing Glen Ivy, but you sure can die from dehydration.

August 25, 2011

Hidden Valley Is No Picnic, It Just Eats Your Lunch

About once every other year we venture to Hidden Valley Golf Course in Norco, CA. It takes that much time for me to sneak a round into our itinerary, because of the fact that most of our guys really hate the place. I don't love it, but I definitely don't hate it. It is a shot-maker's course to the tens. You put your ball in the right spots on the course and you can get on the greens without much of a hassle. HOWEVER, if things aren't going where they were meant to go and you end up getting into the ravines, hillsides and firm bunkers, you will hate this place to no end. About his first trip to HV, New Bob (100) put it best: "I had six bad holes, but I blame myself for all of 'em". (In that six hole stretch NB was twenty strokes over par.) And that comes from a guy that just shot 79 last week at Apple Valley Country Club!

I spent the day putting myself on the wrong parts of the greens and hitting shots well-past my usual distances (i.e.: a pitching wedge that flew 135 uphill on #14?) and into trouble. At least four three-putts, three penalty drops and six or seven bunker shots brought me in with an 83. I was three strokes clear of Elliott (86) and eight strokes better than my playing partner, Clarence, who came in with a nice 91. Everyone else shot 94 and higher. I, along with New Bob, want to go right back, but just about everyone else didn't quite concur. Pussies.

The big item brought up by several golfers was the fact we were playing from the blues. HV plays just 6292 yards from the blues and only 5772 from the whites. Elliott made the decision to play blues, which made me happy, but it pretty much ended right there. The biggest complaint came from Billy, saying it was unfair to all except for a couple players (meaning Elliott and I), and there was no way for the shorter hitters to reach a lot of the par fours. With the exception of #9, (a downhill 401 yards par four), and #18, (424 yards with a downhill tee shot), all other par fours are between 302 and 376 yards. Come on, we play longer holes at all the other courses we play on a regular basis! As it turned out and to back-up my argument, about half of the blue tees were moved forward and near the white markers. Anyway, I figure since we probably won't be back there for quite awhile, (I'm sorry to say), this issue will shortly pass with no further ruffling of their collective feathers.

By far the biggest proof of HV's 'lethal-ness' was the fact that Ralph eagled #7, -and he still shot 108! Matter of fact, he was paired with Tino and Vito, which makes a team of all 80's shooters, yet none of them even broke 100!! Congrats Ralph, I think.

Team honors (and $) went to my team that included the aforementioned Clarence and Bob and we netted a very nice eight bucks apiece. Second and third, by default, went to Elliott's (+50 cents) and Bert's (-$4) teams respectively. You guessed it, Tino's team sucked hard.

Here's a picture of my two teammates on the tee box on #15. As you can see, HV has its fair share of stunning views (just not stunning-looking golfers):

And Bert took this electrifying video from #13's tee box. Just try and stay awake.

August 20, 2011

Spend Some Time Helping Out Fellow Golfers

There are many sites out there that help golfers find out where to play, but there isn't one that covers as much about golf courses and their collective backgrounds, -except for greenskeeper.org.  (For all of California, and most parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Texas. Also includes the St. George area of Utah for those of you that are thinking of going to Mesquite, NV for your next "Big Trip".)

Greenskeeper gives scorecards, ratings, slopes, reviews, green fees and discount opportunities about all *area golf courses. What sets this place apart though, are the golf course maintenance schedules. How many times have we all made tee times for courses and shown up only to find out they had just recently punched the greens, are working on the tee boxes or just made a temporary green for #18 so they can work on the permanent green. Greenskeeper lets you know the "when" and "what" about each course's schedule. A HUGE help for group leaders and their followers!

Another special feature, (once you become part of their 'team'), is the ability for a golfer to post a review about the course he/she just played. These reviews include but are not limited to: course conditions; the clubhouse and its proshop; and the staff's helpfulness and courtesy.

Do yourself a favor and check this site out. You will not be disappointed, -like some of you currently are now investigating.

*You will not find anything about private courses, but us real golfers don't really care about that, -unless, of course, we get invited to play one. We all have to give-and-take.

August 19, 2011

No Broken Legs, More Bugs and a Solid Round

Played Shandin Hills this past Wednesday and no one was injured, per say.

Quite a few years ago, Don and I were playing with Burz and his brother, Parker, at Shandin Hills and having a delightful round full of doubles, triples and others, when Don decided to wash his golf ball at the fifth tee box ball washer. I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to 'race' him to the washer and he decided to race me back. Bad choice(s), because as soon as Don's spikes (yes, it was back in the days of metal spikes) reached the cement surrounding the ball washer, both feet went sliding as if on ice and his shin collided with the ball washer steel post, breaking his right tibia and fibula in the process. Nasty scene. Thank goodness the ambulance was carrying him off within 30 minutes, which gave us ample time to finish our round before noon, so as not to miss the lunch special that day at the course.

Now, back to this week's round. No one got hurt, including Don. Everyone had a fun day even though there were quite a few gnats again this week to spoil our eyesight and taste buds, but not near as bad as last week at El Prado where I had nightmares for three days thereafter. Shandin was in OK shape with lush and slow greens, thin but mostly playable fairways, long and tough rough, and absolutely terrible tee boxes. In other words: Shandin Hills in its usual condition. For 20 bucks, it's still worth it.

I had a very good round shooting 75 even though I had some bad bounces and only one birdie. My short game was pretty spot-on while I hit some less than "spot-on" irons. Playing with Bob R. (92) made the round that much more enjoyable, even though he does like to pester me a bit. I suppose I deserve most of it... OK, probably all of it.

Our team which also included Clarence (86) and Harry (100+) finished a solid second out of four teams which netted us a big one dollar. Hey, it's better than losing a buck! Ralph, Elliott, Vito and Jon were the big winners clearing a cool $4.25 apiece. Elliott was pissed that his solid 80 didn't come close to my 75, but good for me and my already inflated ego.

Next week were venture back to Hidden Valley where our collective egos take a beating and the lack of hookers is a big turn-off.