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Posts Tagged ‘winter golf’

Happy New Year 2011

Another new season is here.  It is a little difficult to watch the professionals playing on television in Hawaii, it makes you want to get out and play and therefore brave the cold weather.  I have been playing in very marginal weather here in southeastern Virginia the past couple of weeks.  A couple of Sundays ago the snow came and melted twice during the playing day.  Of course, after the first snow had come and gone, there I was out there again only to be pelted by snow once more two holes into it.  I gave up, but there were some who braved on later in the day.

I have been riding the cart a lot in recent months, a knee problem, but I walked yesterday – well, semi-walked.  That is, I don’t think you really walk a round unless you actually carry your bag.  But, now that I think of it and feel my back and knee this morning, I am going to make that rule apply only to the under 50 crowd.  If you are 50 or over, anytime you are not sitting and moving is good and should be encouraged…in fact, the mere idea of being above ground and outside moving around is good. 

I have one of those tricycle bag carts that I push.  The three wheeled cart is really very nice and kind of the best of both worlds (walking and riding) if you get the right cart.  Mine has some places to conveniently keep things like pens, glasses, wallet and blackberry (on buzz), a parking brake (yes it needs one becasue it is that smooth), and some other nice extras.  I bought it at the All Marine Golf Try-Out Tournament in South Carolina last fall.  I hadn’t realized that the tournament did not allow riding, so I purchased the push cart I have now from the pro shop.  I used a rental pull cart the first day, but that was painful – those of you who have used one of those rental pull carts before know what I am talking about. 

I am doing some experimenting with equipment early this year.  Of course, there is always room to experiment throughout the year isn’t there…?  My driver is set – PING G15.  I have changed my 3 wood and utility wood back to the Bobby Jones (I am really striping the 3 wood right now).  My irons are currently Hogan APEX FTX with Graphite Design GAT 95 shafts.  These shafts have a great feel, but a little high on the launch.  Not complaining, the irons feel absolutely terrific, just thinking.  I have some Cleveland CG1’s with Project X 6.5 Tour Issue Graphite shafts coming this week.  I am expecting a little lower ball flight, we’ll see.  With those irons ($300 from ebay seller) will come a putter as a bonus – a Taylormade Daytona Rossa putter (white).  The irons alone were a great deal, but an added treat with the putter as it goes for $129 new.  Anyway, I had found 3 classic PING putters at a flea this winter for not much each and with new grips I have found I like to use 2 of them.  We’ll have to wait for the putter choice as the game bag go to putter until the weather gets nicer and the greens get into springtime condition.

Looks like I’ll have some ebay deals for someone else in a few months.  Look for 1putt on ebay.

A New Season

It is early March and I heard birds singing in my front yard this morning. They have been absent this winter and less conspicuously so as the winter has dragged on. You begin to get used to things. It has been a harsh winter by southern Virginia standards, although nothing compared to the winter you poor northerners have had to endure. But this morning, as I went out to get my newspaper, I remembered that I missed hearing the birds singing. I haven’t forgotten that I miss playing golf.

Oh, to be honest I have played some golf this winter – between short-lived snow events and lots of cold rain – but it’s really not the golf of good warm spring weather. Playing golf in a cold wind is like eating powdered eggs, it gets the job done but still leaves you wanting and hungry for the real thing. Winter golf, with its layers of clothes and painful thin shots is a snotty-nosed, chapped-lipped, teary-eyed shell of what we golfers really crave. But we lovers-of-the-game have to do it don’t we, we actually live for it. You have to eat, right?

When I was a kid I lived for baseball. At a very young age I fell in love with a game that, through my early years, provided me an outlet to play and compete and challenge myself. I loved the smell of the dirt, fresh cut grass, and saddle-soaped leather. I loved the sound of my metal cleats on the parking lot as I walked from my parents’ station wagon to the ball field. I loved the feel of the seams on the ball and making the ball curve, ‘knuckle’ or drop on command. And I especially loved the magic that is a perfectly hit baseball. But unfortunately, as with most, the game went on without me. Not because I don’t still love it, but because it is a young man’s sport and opportunities for serious play were near zero once I graduated from high school. I am well past high school now anyway, over 30 years in fact. I can’t just watch it, it isn’t the same. I have to be in it.

There are obvious parallels to be drawn between the games of baseball and golf. In its April 2010 issue, Golf Magazine’s cover article, Spring Training Special – Baseball & Golf, does just that.

“There is a sweet symmetry between golf and baseball, from the sense of hope and renewal that percolates on golf courses and baseball diamonds each spring, to the primal yet imperfectable action at the core of each pursuit: man hitting ball.”

Those are beautiful words! Jack McCallum crafts his words so eloquently in describing the feel of the connections of the two games, so apropos this time of year. His entertaining article refines the connections through the words, philosophies, and golfing antics of professional baseball players – from Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb to players active in professional baseball today. But, I was never a professional ball player and neither were most of you. I am a Weekend Golf Warrior.

My sport was baseball and I still have the memories and love for that sport that, without golf, would make me crazy. I still don’t watch it very often. I can’t live for baseball anymore. Now my sport is golf, in the way that as a youngster I lived for baseball. I can read about it, write about it, watch it on TV, because I can be in it. And it is that time of year. The birds are singing, the grass is beginning to green, and you can occasionally feel some warmth in the breeze. Let the layers of clothes be shed, the noses dry, and the tears go away for it is the season of golf.

That is my perspective of the sport and the basis for this forum. It is for the weekend golfer who lives for the days of golf to satisfy a need for fun and play, competition, relaxation, camaraderie, etc. From that point of view, I hope to present and discuss many aspects of the game; its tools, its news, and its culture.