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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Salas Effect

Brittany Lang, Brittany Lincicome, Stacy Lewis, Brooke Pancake, Lizette Salas,
& Jennifer Song ready for the Women's Health Classic Pro-Am at Stony Point.
The Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women's Health Classic is in full swing at The Links at Stoney Point even though the tournament action is still three days away.  The topiaries that will reappear at the Festival of Flowers in about 6 weeks are artfully placed around the clubhouse, the leaderboard is up and waiting to record the action on the course, the spectator seating is where it needs to be, and the months of planning and hard work are behind Jim and Denise Medford.  Show time started at 7:30am Monday morning with the first of three Pro-Am events.

Friday, April 24, 2015

I'm Taking That One Home With Me!

My golf game has been up and down recently.  The grass is growing again and because I'm hitting off almost fluffy green stuff rather than dry, dormant brown stuff I've finally stopped skulling my chips and my trusty flop shot has returned but, of course, there are other issues.  Golf is sort of like marriage -- while I tweak it over here, something else tends to pop out over there and at times I feel trapped in an endless, futile search for the perfect round that doesn't exist.  I probably need some therapy around this issue because my rational self knows golf doesn't work that way and it's just not going to happen.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Golf and Character: My Take on Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth's Thank You Note
This thank you note from 15-year old Jordan Spieth rolled across my Facebook page recently.  It says much about the character of its author and also suggest much about the sport he loves.

I've long believed that because of its nature the game of golf provides a lens through which the interior character of individual golfers is revealed.  Even in team events like the Curtis Cup, the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and their various spin-offs, collective success or failure is the cumulative product of individual performance rather than the result of a collaborative effort.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Deactivated or Finished?

Tiger Woods, Deactivated or Finished?
Is this about Tiger, or is it about something bigger than any individual?  The latter, I think.  This is about why we do what we do, in work and in play, about who and what we choose to represent our ideals, and about how we manage tarnished images.  It might also be about how we know when it's time to refocus our physical and mental energies, about how we manage change when what we're doing no longer brings a greater measure of joy and delight than pain and suffering, when what was at one time an exhilarating challenge has become a grinding, painful drudge.  But I think at the core this is about letting go of an icon.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Winter Golf Blues? Try This!

Has anybody else just about reached the end of their emotional rope trying to play golf on dormant grass, no grass, even mud?  I've come close to slitting my wrists more than once over the last month as I've skulled chip after chip and watched my ball perform what would in other circumstances be a stunning imitation of Hans Brinker on his Silver Skates as it zipped across the green, inches from the cup, coming to rest in what in April will be the second cut of rough but what is right now a snarled tangle of dormant grass, leaving me an impossible 4th shot just to get to the putting surface on a par-4 I routinely bogey.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Golf, Oui -- Jihadis, Non

I generally maintain an impermeable boundary between what I write here and the larger world of war and politics and global epidemics.  To be sure, I'm aware of and sensitive to the depths of human misery and suffering forged in those crucibles, but this is a place where I write about the mysteries surrounding the game of golf and, in a compact with my readers, this is a place apart from the human tragedies that surround and bombard us to which you, my readers, can retreat for a brief respite.

Tonight I'm breaking that compact.  To my sorrow, France -- that nation that provided the intellectual synergy and enlightenment that inspired the American Revolution, the culture that set the 20th century standard for sophistication and inclusion, that place where fine food is a taken-for-granted basic human right, where street vendors ply their trade with a panache that escapes ordinary folk elsewhere, the nation that has suffered and resisted and survived occupation, a place I have visited again and again, and a place that I love despite the haughty scorn I endure when I attempt to communicate in French (I long ago gave up and turned to the more universal language of American Express) -- has joined the ranks of jihadi's victims.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Endings, Beginnings, & A Meditation on the Game of Golf

Alma Barnes, Me & Bonnie Bell (left to right)
Despite the problematic weather I got in my traditional New Year's Eve and New Year's Day rounds again this year.  I typically play these two rounds solo and use my time alone on the golf course for some quiet meditation and reflection -- about the year that's passing, about the year that's promising, about how I'm doing managing my life -- but when I offered last week to make a New Year's Eve tee time for the Star Fort Ladies Golf Association a number of women perked up and said they'd enjoy a round too.

We were all monitoring the long-range forecast and the sun was predicted to make a brief appearance between two winter storms marching across the continent.  Still, after several days of cold rain I wasn't too surprised when I arrived at the golf course to find that our number had dwindled to three: Alma, Bonnie, and me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Come On! Let's Just Get In A Quick One!

Wes has dropped in for a quick Christmas visit, tucking me in between a stop in Florida and his Virginia holiday blowout.  I had a short list of chores only a son can complete ready for him, and he had a short list of things I needed to help with, including a particularly delicate shopping assignment, but then the sun peeked out.  You know what happened!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's Cold. It's Raining. It's Saturday. I'm Golfing!

What's with this golf obsession?  The weather outside is frightful . . . and I'm planning on teeing off at my usual Saturday morning time.  What am I thinking?  There are three shopping days remaining until Christmas.  My shopping isn't finished! I can't imagine that any other Star Fort Ladies Golf Association members will be teeing it up on this cold, west Saturday morning.

My list of undone tasks is way too long -- pay bills, change the parrots' papers (a healthy parrot poops every 15 minutes, around the clock and there are five healthy parrots in my life happily pooping in concert), shop for stocking stuffers, get the guest room comforter off the shelf and into a duvet cover and onto the bed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why Not Front Page News? Some Thoughts on Ben Martin, Shanshan Feng & Laetitia Beck

Ben Martin's putting clinic at Shriners Hospital fort
Children-Greenville, SC.  Photo credit: Scott Chancey,
Greenwood Index-Journal.
As November has segued into December and 2014 begins its rollover into 2015, we've been bombarded with a wave of devastating and horrifying media images ranging from videotaped beheadings to mass protests difficult to distinguish from the freedom marches of the 1960s to the wholesale destruction of Syria, town-by-town, to the slaughter of a school full of children and their teachers in Pakistan.

The 24-hour news cycle has made it possible to follow, almost shot-by-shot, the search for a crazed cop-killer in Pennsylvania and the attempt to liberate a cafe packed with terrified customers being held hostage in Sydney by a crazed jihadi, or was he?

Have I omitted something?  Probably.  It's been almost too much to absorb.  Am I getting desensitized to mass violence?   Or am I, in the golf season interregnum, just more attuned to the 24-hour news cycle blood and guts filler?