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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.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I've Been Playing With A Masked Phantom Golfer!

I dreamed last night that I was defeated by a Phantom Golfer wearing a Tonto mask.  What's that about?  Now I'm working out my anxieties about my golf game in my dream life?  I didn't know I had anxieties about my golf game sufficiently severe to merit a dreamy encounter with a Phantom Golfer wearing a Tonto mask.

A Tonto mask?  On the golf course?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Who Identifies?

A quick thank you to the Making Birdies Facebook page for this one
I don't think it matters whether work is defined as going to an office or cleaning the bathroom.  There's work and there's play, and I will always choose playing golf over working.

Blogging is so tightly linked to playing golf that it feels like what I do when I'm resting from and reflecting on the pleasure of playing golf.