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Monday, December 30, 2013

Rule #13: Play It As It Lies, or: Hit The Ball. Go Find It. Hit It Again.

Golf is a simple game.  There are only 34 official rules.  So playing a round of golf within the rules should be fairly straightforward.  Right?

Charley Hull, the fearless teenager who put on such an amazing demonstration of golf in her match against Paula Creamer at the 2013 Solheim Cup, offered the best explanation I've ever encountered of how the game of golf is to be played: Hit the ball.  Go find it.  Hit the ball again.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wes & Me: In the Zone

Santa deposited all variety of golf paraphernalia at my house.  He probably had to outsource the golf stuff, if the rest of the world's golfers were gifted the way Wes and I were gifted.  I now have the coveted red leather shoes with royal blue soles that have preoccupied me for months, and a red and white glove to complement.  Wes owns a snazzy golf bag umbrella that's going to serve him well during California's rainy season, although getting it past the TSA security check will involve some challenges.  We both have lots of new balls from non-golfing friends and family, some of them with loving and creatively embossed inspirational messages. Thankfully, neither of us found a new ball marker in our stocking!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Paula Creamer: How Much Is Too Much?

I'm happy for Paula Creamer.  I really am.  Everybody deserves a rich and satisfying personal life.  To love and be loved in return forms the core of my own life, and I wish the same for every person who walks the face of the earth.  I'm a hopeless romantic and the joy Paula conveyed in announcing her marriage proposal resonates for me.  But Twitter?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To Cut, Or Not To Cut

Last year about this time it was a torn meniscus in my left knee.  Not a big tear, but enough to let me know it was torn every time I took a step.  I tore it in June, on the 8th tee at The Patriot, playing golf with Wes, while I was trying to outdrive him.

Do you think you can finish the round, Mom? he'd asked as he helped me limp back to the cart.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Golfing Spectrum: Ko to Jiminez

At my home course the grass has gone dormant, the ground is hard, the greens are fast, and the season of winter golf has begun.  Today the skies are overcast and there's a fine, chilly drizzle that's not so much falling from the sky as it is hanging in the air.  There's not much in my world today to recommend a round of golf, but it's been an absolutely terrific golf day!  Lydia Ko and Miguel Angel Jiminez both won tournaments this weekend.

And that's significant because . . .?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dubai: Party's On!

The Ladies European Tour is bringing its season to a close with a party to beat all parties.  I've always secretly believed that golf is really a vehicle for advanced adult play, and the pictures the LET posted on its Facebook page after the 1st round of the Dubai Ladies Masters confirmed this.

Camel rides, falconry, excursions into Bedouin camps for henna tattoos -- what else could you ask for to round out a season of athletic competition?

Lexi Thompson's blue sombrero pales in comparison to the goings on at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, UAE.  I find it all simply irresistible.  If you can't have fun while you're at work, why go to work?  Life's just too short to do otherwise.

Shanshan Feng's complaining about not getting enough sleep and Carlota Ciganda's taking time off from the practice green to hit the malls and Charley Hull 4-putted the 18th hole and gave up the 1st round lead.

I'm following the Dubai Ladies Masters and posting end-of-round reports, so if you want to see how this party turns out, check out my daily posts on

Photo Credits: Tristan Jones © Tristan Jones Photography

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lessons from the Links

I squeezed in a 2nd solitary 18 holes Thursday before the annual mid-afternoon Thanksgiving feast, and I again played a very satisfactory game of golf.  It wasn't spectacular.  Nothing amazing happened.  I shot 93, missed a few putts I should have made but didn't, needed to conjure up the Magic of Flora, my aged 11-wood (whose pink flamingo head cover gave the club her name), to get me out of a couple of waste areas and back into the short grass, but made no ball offerings to the water hazards and put a few pars on my card.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Real Life Trumps Family Golf

I'd planned to write a post tonight that reported the outcome of the first in our planned 3-match Thanksgiving series.  Travel plans were made.  Golf clubs were packed.  Smack talk had started.  Then things fell apart on the West Coast, and there was much reconfiguring and changing and adjusting.

We all agreed.  The needs of children in crisis trump the Thanksgiving Match Play series.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Girls' Golf Weekend Supremo!

The Lorena Ochoa Invitational is a different kind of LPGA event.  The field is small -- just 36 players -- and the tournament is very intimate.  The players tend to hang out at the Guadalajara Country Club after every round snacking on Mexican tidbits and drinking margaritas.

It feels more like a girls' golf weekend at the beach than a pro golf tournament.  Well, there are a couple of significant differences -- a million dollar purse and a great big hand-crafted ceramic and tooled-silver trophy, to be specific.

Lexi Thompson got initiated into the Lorena Ochoa Invitational winners' circle today that includes Christie Kerr (2912), Catriona Matthew (2011), IK Kim (2010), Michelle Wie (2009), and Angela Stanford (2008).  I can't imagine anything that would be more fun that a serenade by a mariachi band to celebrate the end of a weekend of golf with the girls!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Diabetes & Me

I walked out of my doctor's office about a year ago with a diabetes diagnosis.  It actually wasn't much of a surprise.  My family medical history has been working against me on this one for most of my adulthood.  But I've lived an active life, watched what I put in my mouth -- most of the time -- and held off the inevitable for as long as I could.  So I received the diagnosis gracefully, asked to be sent to diabetes education, and was convinced that this wasn't going to change my life.  I was very mistaken.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Good Company Trumps Slow Play

I don't know about your golf rounds but sometimes, for me, getting through the round is more about survival than about winning.

I once played a round in Palm Springs in July when it was so incredibly hot that the drink cart carried iced towels in a huge cooler and dispensed them without charge several time during the round.  We all survived that round although I'll not again play golf in a Palm Springs August.  Another time I finished a round in rain so heavy that my ball was making 6" rooster tails on every putt.  I survived that one too, and the one I played the day the dreaded 8th hole pond at Star Fort was frozen and my ball resembled a hockey puck as it bounced on the ice and careened up the fairway toward the green.

And then there are the rounds that involve emotional survival.  That's he way it was for Jason and me at Wild Dunes Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All-Around Missed Putt!

Barb found this photo in her files and sent it to me as evidence that she's never been a putter.  But I can tell you that I've never seen Barb use this putting style.  In fact, I've never seen anybody, man or women, junior golfer or geriatric hacker, try to putt like this.

I've studied this photo for a while and the more I look, the more amazing it becomes.

All of us who've ever plumbed a tricky green, hung over a ball, lined up for a crucial putt, forced the tension from our hands and bodies, followed Ben Hogan's advice and drawn that magical line from the ball to the cup and back to the ball, then taken our putters back and allowed them to swing forward like pendulums suspended from our shoulders, and held the putt while our balls rolled effortlessly forward on pure and true paths and dropped with a satisfying clunk into the sanctuary of the cups must surely be filled with gratitude.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Cup Final Score: Star Fort LGA - 11, Woodfin Ridge LGA - 5

Star Fort LGA 2012 Pumpkin Cup Team
At the conclusion of the Sunday Best Ball matches the Pumpkin Cup was firmly back in our possession, but the final score doesn't tell the entire story of this annual contest among friends.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Cup: Day 1, Star Fort Team - 5, Woodfin Ridge Team - 3

Star Fort Team Members Marie Pate (left)
& Ruth Glasl (right)  trying to grab the Pumpkin
Let me give you a little background on The Pumpkin Cup.  It's a 2-day, match play event.  The 2013 Pumpkin Cup is the 4th playing of the event.  Day 1 we play Captain's Choice in 2-women teams and Day 2 we play Best Ball, again in 2-women teams.  I've started lobbying for an expansion of the format to include a 9-hole singles match, but that's something for the future.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Cup Countdown

26 hours to tee time and counting.  Everything seems in order.  The pairings have been sent to Fred to get the cards printed.  Barb and I have tweaked the rules sheet one last time.  Everybody has their food assignment for Saturday's on-course snacks and Sunday morning breakfast.  What else remains?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Barb and Shirley and I piled into Barb's van yesterday morning and took a little road trip to the Golden Hills Golf & Country Club Club for the last Sandlapper tournament of the season.  There's no more organized interclub play now until March.  Everyone's hunkering down for the Thanksgiving-to-New Years holiday season, and then golf slows down as we navigate a couple of cold winter months.  Well, I know winter's a relative concept.  We're in South Carolina.  It's nothing like Michigan.  But we do need to wear sweaters and sometimes we need winter gloves during January and February.  The Magnolia Blossoms among us tend not to play much golf.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pumpkin Cup Worries: My New Putter

Star Fort Pumpkin Cup 2012 Team
I've been deeply worried, in that secret, unspoken fashion that can disrupt my sleep and distract my attention from Hillary's comments on Washington dysfunction, about the wisdom of acquiring a new putter and trying to make friends with it 6 weeks before the Pumpkin Cup, which is an annual golf highlight in my life, right up there with my biennial matches with Wes.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Cup: Pre-Tournament Tensions

As the Pumpkin Cup approaches, tensions are building.  There's mild bickering and political maneuvering around the format: 2 18-hole matches vs 4 9-hole matches.  Will there or won't there be an alternate shots format?  And the ultimate point of contention: If we do singles matches, who will play Sandra, who's the closest to a scratch golfer?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lucky Shots, Big Girls, & Little Girls

Here it is, Shanshan Feng's lucky 2nd shot on the par-5 18th hole at the Pine Valley Golf Club in Beijing, China that gave her an eagle and an upset victory over Stacy Lewis, and then set off that storm of sour grapes tweets this morning.

Shanshan wasn't the only lucky golfer yesterday.  Lefty did it too, sending his ball crashing into a tree and skipping across a pond, all from a grossly uneven lie.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

This is Golf. Hope Springs Eternal.

I confess.  I 'm a sucker for new equipment.  Even though my rational self knows better, that part of me that always thinks today I will play a bogey-free round sometimes takes over.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I'd predict that everybody who's ever had one knows immediately what this photo is depicting!  Am I right?

I remember everything about this shot!  I remember that I was playing with Pat and Teenie that day, and that I'd played the first 3 holes on the front 9 rather miserably.  I remember how helpless I felt when we drove away from the 3rd green and I had yet another double bogey on my score card.  And then, I experienced a golf miracle!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkin Cup Fever

Barb @ Pumpkin Cup Planning Lunch
Some women just can't get enough golf!

Four years ago some women at Woodfin Ridge Golf Club decided they wanted one last golf tournament before everybody drifts away from the golf course and gets busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas.  They talked to some friends at Star Fort, who thought one final tournament was a fine idea.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Battle of Star Fort

Larry Parnell, Waiting at the Bar,
Ready to Join Either
The Loyalists or the Patriots
Each year I join in the commemoration of The Battle of Star Fort, an event that is little known and of dubious military significance.  While not a re-enactment in the technical sense,  this commemoration offers a moment when everyone who participates pauses to reflect on how in the world a golf match can possibly take on the aura of a military battle.  But once you understand the military battle, then it all makes sense.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Interclub at Persimmon Hill

Lunch at Persimmon Hill
Once a month from March through October I play a delightful round of golf with a group of women from neighboring golf clubs.  We play the Stableford system, we play fast, and there are stakes.  As club teams we play for an annual trophy that's rotated among the participating clubs and won (or lost) based on each club's ladies association cumulative score.  And I have a standing side bet with Peggy Smith because I feel that it's not golf if I'm not gambling!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Celebrating Helen Alfredsson

The First Evian Champion, Helen Alfredsson, 1994
Helen Alfredsson is playing her final professional golf tournament this weekend, The Evian Championship.  The 48-year old Swede has played some glorious golf on both the LPGA and LET Tours.  Her choice of The Evian as her final professional appearance resonates with symbolism.  Alfredsson is the first winner of The Evian (1994) and she won it again in 1998 a then one more time, a decade later, in 2008.  With fairways rolling through the French Alps and greens tucked into mountainsides, The Evian is the perfect venue for concluding a long and distinguished career!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Evian Blues

I've been pumped up for weeks, waiting for, anticipating The Evian, longing to be at Evian-les-Bains, dragging one of those snazzy green lawn chairs with the Evian logo embossed on it that spectators can purchase for a paltry 20 Euros at The Evian Shop behind me as followed Suzann Pettersen -- my secret girl-jock crush -- watching her roll putts, out-play the entire field, turn loose in Norwegian with a string of exhilarating profanity when her ball misbehaves, all the while nibbling delectable morsels from an oh-so-French picnic basket I purchased on my way through the gate to the tournament.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Mental Game: Sometimes Life Just Gets In The Way

For the most part I enjoy being an adult.  Within broad limits I set my own daily schedule, order and rearrange my priorities, decide what to eat and when to eat it, go to bed when I'm tired and get out of bed wen I'm rested.  And, as I've slowly and systematically set aside the demands of a job and the domestic requirements of an earlier era, I've become pleasantly accustomed to arranging all other aspects of my life around my golf schedule.

Thursday is a regular golf day.  Today is Thursday.  I should be sipping my smoothie, making my sandwich, stuffing some little carrots in a baggie for my mid-round snack, and heading out the door to the golf course.  I should be, but I'm not.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

(Almost) Lost Balls & Axiomatic Truths

Those of us who love the game of golf, and I mean really LOVE the game of golf, cherish memories of certain special moments when we have actually triumphed over the game -- the day we beat Old Man Par on a hole we'd been struggling to master for weeks, or months, or even years -- our first Ace -- the day we broke 80, or 90, or 100 (depending on where we are on the scorecard/index continuum).

I have two memories that I call us and revisit on days when I'm especially discouraged about the way I played a round, that help me remember the core axiomatic truth about the game of golf:  This is a game that involves progress, but at which I will never achieve perfection.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Birthday Golf

All of us have weird, idiosyncratic golf rituals.  I was once chatting with my spiritual daughter, Jane Lybecker, about our plans to reconnect with family and friends in the aftermath of a great disaster.  I confessed that I didn't have a plan.  (Jane, who's remarkably prepared for disasters, carries a 4-day water supply in her car at all times.  I would succumb to dehydration.)
Jane and her Sister Kim, Ready for a Family Golf Round 

That led us to consider the barriers to reconnecting when, in our cases, we are separated by great geographic distances.  (You can't get much further apart than South Carolina and California.)  We decided that the best we'd be able to do if faced with cataclysmic forces of destruction was drive to the nearest golf course and play a round, all the while sending out loving thoughts to everyone in our networks, who would also be playing a round of golf while waiting for the world as we know it to end.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Now I ask you, which role model would you prefer?  This one?

Lydia Ko, 16-year old New Zealand amateur golfer

Lydia Ko won the Canadian Women's Open back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.  She's a schoolgirl from New Zealand and an incredible golfer who somehow is able to maintain a steady, even-handed balance, play top-notch golf in high stress tournaments, and maintain this smile throughout.  She's modest, self-confident, and unassuming.  What's not to like?

I'd love to have her dating my grandson, being my granddaughter's best friend, and showing other teenagers what happens when you work hard, play hard, and be nice to others.  I'd frankly jump at the chance to add her to my list of granddaughters!

Miley Cyrus performing at the MTV Awards
Or this one?  Joining your family at Thanksgiving as your grandson's new girlfriend?  How about joining your granddaughter on the family trip to the beach?  No? Why ever not?

I thought about embedding the video for your viewing please but I decided it was just too vulgar for my blog.

Let's get serious here.  I'd rather be a member of a golfing family than an MTV family.  But that's just me.  Maybe my age is showing.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bad Day on the Links? Want to Quit?

When I game back to golf after a 30 year sabbatical I was faced with some serious problems.  I remembered that I had once played a respectable game of golf, but all those small skills sets that fit together to make a competent weekend golfer had left me.  My swing was flat.  My feet were flat.  My back and my knee joins were 30 years older than the last time I'd held a golf club. I'd forgotten how to keep my head down.  I'd forgotten how to keep my feet still when I putted

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Golf Channel, Take Your Feet From Off Our Necks!

I don't ask much of the Golf Channel.  I'm a bright person.  I understand that their advertising money comes from viewer ratings, that there are more men than women who golf (by about 3 to 1), and that men are going to prefer watching other men play golf (although the why of this one escapes me); and women, at least some of the women I know, also follow men's pro golf much more enthusiastically and closely than they do women's pro golf.  I get all that.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Solheim Hubris? Not Me!

I suppose as an American I should be lamenting the loss of the Solheim Cup to Team Europe, but with 12 matches left to be played, that would be a bit premature.   Despite the Saturday afternoon Team Europe clean sweep, I confess to having enjoyed watching the Saturday matches unfold.  There were all hard-fought contests that went to the last hole or two in the round.  I saw some spectacular golf and, for me, that's the next best thing to playing golf, which I can't do right now because South Carolina is covered in rain and I don't enjoy mud-golf.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rhythm & Rulings

I'm still trying to figure out what happened Friday at the Solheim Cup when Carlota Cignada dropped out of that lateral hazard on the 15th hole.  Frankly, I'm not at all surprised that Rule 26-1c and Rule 26-1c(ii) were in conflict.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Solheim Unfolding

There's really nothing worse that getting rained out or blacked out when you're keenly engaged in a golf tournament!  I'm sitting in the Oklahoma City airport and, after 4 days without an internet connection, I need to catch up on my email and see how the morning round at the Solheim went.  Guess which one got my attention!

Guess who really wants to be in Parker, Colorado, right now, rather than in Oklahoma City!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Match Play: It's Not Over 'Til It's Over

For me, match play is fundamentally different from stroke play.  In stroke play, 2 bad holes can tilt the contest.  In match play, there are still 16 holes to be played, and they're all equally weighted.  And that's the essence of why I love match play.

The approaching Solheim Cup is probably (alongside the Ryder Cup) probably the most well-known match play tournament in golf, but match play is a format that easily engages golfers at all skill levels.  Still, the Solheim makes my heart beat faster.  At a deep and basic level, because I, too, have felt it, I understand and identify with the fierce rivalry that so engages Team USA and Team Europe in this biennial competition.

But match play isn't limited to the Solheim and Ryder Cups.  The format can frame golf rivalries and competitions at all levels of player skill.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Round 3: Indian Valley

Wes decided we'd play our 3rd round at his home course, Indian Valley Golf Club.  It's a pleasant place.  Golf there is always relaxing for me and I enjoy the course challenges.  The water hazards of South Carolina courses are replaced by terrain variations that I don't routinely deal with, so in order to stay competitive I need to think through my shots more carefully when I play Indian Valley.  There's a good bit of up and down and tilt on the fairways, and the greens tend to be much softer than those at home -- just some different conditions, but over the years I've learned how to make adjustments to my game to take advantage of a different set of opportunities.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Round 2: Bodega Bay

The Links at Bodega Harbor is one of all time favorite golf courses.  It's one of the first courses Wes took me to play when he dragged me back to the game and the 5th hole, which has variously terrified and befuddled and challenged me over the years that I've play the course remains one of my favorites.  Take a look back at Playing Favorites, an earlier post about my relationship with the 5th hole.  I think you'll enjoy it.

Bob Caldwell (left) and me, and one of the other Bodega
regulars, enjoying a pre-round group hug!
Wes and I go back to Bodega Bay again and again.  The course is about an hour north of Marin County -- the filming location for Alfred Hitcock's film, The Birds, for those of you who are over 50.  And, as is the case with the game of golf, we have developed friendships.  Bob Caldwell, the PGA Pro at Bodega, always greets us with a big smile and I inevitably enjoy a great hug from him.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Round 1: Mare Island

This morning dawned chilly and foggy, a typical August morning in the Bay Area.  I scrambled for enough clothes to keep me from shivering and chattering through the front 9 for our 9am tee time, ending up in a long-sleeved tee with arms that extended beyond my fingertips that I borrowed from Wes beneath a regular golf shit, covered with a black fleece vest that could come off as soon as I got warmed up.  And shorts and my black Ecco shoes with the hot pink soles and laces, which I felt certain were the right shoes for this 3-round match play tournament.  And Wes looked like, well, he looked like Wes.  We ate huge bowels of oatmeal and packed lots of snack food and off we went, onto the freeway to join the morning commute.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mare Island Tomorrow

Today was a travel day.  Tomorrow Wes and I start out summer tournament at Mare Island, the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi.  I really love playing the course, but I admit that I'm always a little startled when I pause on my way to the first tee to read the little warning: WATCH OUT FOR THE RATTLESNAKES.  Just another variation on golf course fauna, I suppose, but I don't typically think of rattlesnakes as a part of my golfing environment.

In any case, I've checked my clubs that hang on the was of Wes's garage between visits.  I have balls, tees, a purple cap, a couple of ball markers, and clubs, so I'm good to do.  Stay tuned for the first round report tomorrow evening!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Now What? Saturday's Plan B

Third round play's been suspended at the Women's British Open because of high winds.  The Star Fort Ladies Golf Association got bumped from it's customary Saturday round by the men's member-guest tournament.  Saturday isn't getting off to a smooth start.  I need a Plan B.  Otherwise I'm going to get stuck cleaning the bathrooms!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Let There Be Golf!

hunting the short grass at Bodega Bay
I've been getting ready for my annual summer ambassadorial tour -- a veritable whirlwind of visitation with people I love but who live far away -- Wes and his son, Devin, in California; Charlie, who's generally doing summer theater somewhere, this year on the Olympic Peninsula; Charlie's daughter, Reilly, the archeologist who gets distracted by the fauna when she drives around a golf course with me, occasionally rolling a few putts just to be polite but really much more interested in lizards and alligators; Aunt Mickey, who keeps her golf cart battery charged and her country club membership active even though she's not picked up a stick since her 90th birthday; my cousin Doug, who tells me life's too short to deal with bad drives, then retrieves errant balls from the rough -- mine as well as his -- and deposits them squarely in the center of the short grass before we take our 2nd shots.

Like me, Doug is firmly committed to the easy life that's promised by staying in the short grass.  Wes, who's more reckless off the tee, seems to thrive on the challenge of finding the short grass.  It may be an age thing.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Plus Ça Change, Plus Ça Même Chose

c. 1918
In its December 21, 1924 issue, Golf Illustrated advanced an opinion that has a remarkably contemporary ring: It is rather an odd coincidence that the three ambitious players who have held three National championships and have desired to add to these a fourth have all failed! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Women Golfers Can Never Equal Men?

Women golfers can never equal men?  So declared Harold Hilton in an article published in 1915 not by Fox News or Penthouse, rags better known for a lunatic fringe bias than for informed reporting of All The News That's Fit to Print, but by the scion of even-handed reportage, The New York Times.  Click the link and read the article for yourself.

Let's dig deeper  What women were penetrating the sacred links when Harold spewed out his vitriol?  Lots of them, it seems.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gradually Things Got Worse: Rory and Me

Greg used to tell me that I had 14 weapons in my bag, and if one wouldn't do the job there was always another one that could and would.

But over the past few months, several of my weapons have gradually become less effective than they once were, and some of those shots that were once reliable and predictable have turned downright nasty.

I blamed: (1) my knees, which are old and sometimes don't like it when I make them pivot; (2) my hips, which are also old and also don't pivot very well and sometimes hurt even when I'm not making them pivot; (3) the weather, which has been, first, cold and dry and then warm and then wet and hot; (4) my right hand, which has been having some trouble holding on to the club because -- well, you get the idea.  I blamed everything I could think of to blame, outside myself.

Monday, July 15, 2013

There's More to Golf Than Winning!

I know! I know! I can hear it as I write!  We can't play golf if we don't have a positive attitude, if we don't bring the I can do this -- I can beat you to a bloody pulp attitude to every round we play and keep that attitude tattooed inside our eyelids from the first drive to the last putt.  Anything less makes us losers, condemns us to a miserable game of mediocre golf.

Solheim Cup Team USA, 2011
Let's set that chest-beating, raw-meat-ripped-off-the-bone-in-chunks attitude aside for a few minutes.  Don't abandon it.  Don't deny it.  Just set it aside.  We'll come back to it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Darrell Remembers: Golfing With Little Old Ladies

I’ve been struggling with my golf game for several months.  Simply put, things have gone downhill.  My drives have gotten shorter, my fairway shots are going awry, and I’m even occasionally topping the ball on my trusty flop shot.

What’s the problem?  Has age finally caught up with me?  Have I, without even knowing it was happening, become one of those little old ladies who can’t hit her drive more than 100 yards, who uses her 5-wood to advance the last 75 yards to the green, whose hands are so knotted with arthritis that she can’t maintain a firm grip on her clubs?

Friday, July 12, 2013

There's Golf Drama, and Then There's Golf Drama

I was chatting about the US Women's Open several weeks ago at our monthly Interclub tournament and one of the women waved her hand in dismissal and said, Oh, I don't follow the LPGA.  They're too slow, and they can't make a move without their caddies.

It wasn't your caddy's fault, Bubba

What about Bubba Watson pitching a spoiled child tantrum because he thought his caddie hadn't suggested the right club and hadn't provided correct distance information?   I've used a caddy, at Pebble Beach, and she strengthened my game.  I loved her company and her advice.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Musselburgh Links - Let's Pack Our Clubs!

In 1567, in East Lothian, Scotland, not too far from Muirfield, which will host the 2013 British Open, not too far from Edinburgh, on the Firth of Forth,  25-year old Mary Queen of Scots played golf on the Musselburgh Links.  Mary had recently married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, following the murder of her 2nd husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley.  Could it have been a golfing honeymoon?

Details of Mary's golf attire, information about her choice of clubs, the the nature of the ball she used are lost to history, as are the identities of her golfing companions.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

It's Still Raining, Again

Coming home from supper Friday night, during a rare pause in the endless rain that's been going on now for almost 2 weeks, I looked up into a near-perfect, cloudless, early evening sky and thought, If we can get through the night without rain, I can play golf tomorrow.  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

More On Anger & Course Management

Peachie Bethel, being very cute & curious
I was rolling a few putts on the practice green last week, waiting to tee off.  There's generally a bit of chatter on the practice green, speculations about humidity, heat, when the greens were cut -- all that information that figures into the how-hard-shall-I-stroke-the-ball equation that mystifies and befuddles golfers.  All that chatter came to an abrupt stop when those of us who were testing the greens and warming up our pendulums were treated to an extraordinary display of golf course rage, which rivaled any road rage I've ever heard about in both intensity and vitriol.