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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?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Time With Mickey Wright & Harvey Penick, A Guest Post by Sam Adams

Sam Adams, Essentially Golf
I met Sam Adams through the Google+ Golf Community (if you love golf and aren't a member of the Community you're missing an opportunity to connect with others who share your passion) and discovered that while we've never met Sam's living and teaching golf within about 30 miles of my home base.  As our conversations unfolded I also discovered that his approach to teaching draws on his friendships Mickey Wright and Harvy Penick, golfers I admire enormously.  

Mickey Wright played on the LPGA Tour from 1955 to 1969, was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1964, has been named all-time top woman golfer by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine, and penned Play Golf the Wright Way, a book I return to again and again as I continue to refine my relationship with this pesky, humbling, befuddling game that so engages me.  I was more than a little impressed when Sam shared with me that he's actually played a round or two with her.

My son Wes introduced me to Harvey Penick and his little red books several years ago when he tucked a couple of the volumes into my carry-on bag at the conclusion of one of our golf matches and said, You'll enjoy reading these on your way across the country at 32,000 feet.  Wes was correct.  I've read them all now, but my favorite is For All Who Love The Game: Lessons and Teachings for Women.  Although he's best remembered as Ben Crenshaw's coach (it's said Harvey continued to provide guidance to Crenshaw from his deathbed), like my current swing coach, Tommy Pendley, Harvey Penick had that rare capacity to nurture the golfer who lives inside many women and his writings speak to me and inspire me.  

How could I go wrong with a guest post from a fellow South Carolinian who's learned his trade from these two golf luminaries?  I couldn't.  So here's Sam's guest post on the wisdom and the inspiration he gained from Mickey Wright and her coach, Harvey Penick:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Bethel Wars: Round 3, Wes By 5

ASU Karsten Golf Club, 8th fairway
The fat lady did not sing for me in our final round of the 2014 Thanksgiving edition of the Bethel Wars.  David Bates had picked the ASU Karsten Golf Course for our third round.  It's a links-style course carved out of the Sonoran Desert and quite frankly I struggled from my first drive to my last putt.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Bethel Wars: Round 2, Mom By 1

On the way to the 1st tee at Dinosaur Mountain
We went back to Gold Canyon Golf Resort and played the Dinosaur Mountain track for our second round.  Wes had forewarned me.  His knee was ready for action.  I had a foreboding of what was in store for me as I watched him warm up on the driving range.  He was still limping but he was transferring his weight and his shots were flying long and straight.  His drive was back and I knew before we teed off that the second round was going to challenge me.  I can't beat Wes off the tee when he's on his game.   But I can generally beat him when we're inside 100 yards and wielding our flat sticks if I stay in the short grass and hit straight until I get to the putting surface.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Bethel Wars: Round 1, Mom By A Lot!

Wes and me at the turn, Gold Canyon Golf Resort Sidewinder
We played the 2014 Thanksgiving edition of the ongoing Bethel Wars in the Phoenix metro area.  Why Phoenix?  With good winter weather and good golf, why not Phoenix?

We hadn't been in town 24 hours when Wes and I left the other Bethels still settling into our rental and took off for the first round of our 3-round Thanksgiving match at the Gold CanyonGolf Resort Sidewinder course on a beautiful Arizona Tuesday afternoon.  ( If you're in the area and looking for a course, check out my Discount Tee Times review of Sidewinder. )