Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Masters & Myrtle Beach

I've been away from my blog for quite awhile now.  In fact, I thought about giving this up serveral times.  But that would be a shame, since I put several hours of work into this in the beginning.

Earlier this spring I took a much needed vacation to Myrtle Beach South Carolina for a golf trip.  Well, I should say, I thought it was a golf trip, but it turned out to be a party with a little golf mixed in.  The highlight by far was my first trip to Augusta National for the Monday practice round.  If you have never been it is most definately a golfers paradise.  Be sure to cross it off your bucket list.  That said, I'm not about to go on and on about the course and its supremacy, you have all heard that before.  I just have to mention the customer service.  Everything is top-notch from the fairness of beer and food prices, to going to the washroom, and concession.  My day at Augusta was unbelievable, a sunny 35 degrees celius day.  Couldn't have asked for more!  (I will post some pics on the photo page)

It would be an extended post that I don't have time for to go into detail on the Myrtle Beach golf portion, but I will reveal this.  We played four great tracks:

Tuesday - The Witch
Wednesday - Tide Water
Thursday - Caledonia
Friday - The Grande Dunes (Member Club)

Again, the weather was near perfect, with the exception of the Friday when it was cold and raining for the majority of our round.  Although, it did turn sunny and warm for the final part of the back nine.

I suppose in the future I will provide some feedback on these courses, and my experience.  Although, as a precursor here's my ranking for the week.

#1 Caledonia - Amazing layout, Excellent condition, love the free seafood chowder at 9
#2 The Witch - Good layout, Excellent condition, Great Value, Great Service (two pints and lunch included at the turn.  Plus bringing your own cooler was not frowned upon)
#3  Tide Water - Great course layout, Conditions were not where I expected
#4 The Grande Dunes (Member Club) - Straight forward course layout.  Nothing surprising or striking.  Conditions were Great, but members were not.  Excellent food!

So, I'm looking forward to continuing this Blog, just not sure how often I will get too it.  Too much golf to be played!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A wife's reaction

One Saturday last summer I left home about 7:30 am to play golf with some friends.  On the way out the door may wife yells down the stairs to me “what time will you be home?”   I thought for a second and replied “probably about 1:30, I’ll have lunch at the club.”

Well, when I finally rolled in the door at 11:45pm she greeted me at the door.  With a not too impressed look on her face.  You know the one I'm talking about.  I immediately started to explain.

“We finished our game about 11:30, had lunch, and I started home, when alongside the road I saw this attractive woman with a flat tire on her car.  I stopped to help, got the tire changed.  She offered money, but I refused.  So, she suggested that I at least allow her to buy me a beer. She said, there’s a pub just up the road, we can grab a beer there and I'd be able to clean up.  I agreed to stop, I mean I was thirsty. We had a beer, then another beer, then a couple more, and I realized that this woman was not only pretty, she was very friendly, and a good companion to spend time with. Before I knew it, we were in her bedroom having sex. And that is why I am so late getting home.”

My wife looked me in the eye and said “Don’t shit me; you played 36 holes, didn’t you?”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shaping Golf Shots

Shaping golf shots is important to lower your scores.  If you can master the various trajectories of the golf ball, then you should be able to play under the worst of conditions and circumstances.  Most golfer strive to hit the ball straight.  This is a huge mistake.  Straight is the hardest shot in golf.  I mean think about this.  There is always spin on the ball, its not like throwing a knuckle ball.  So, a fraction off center the ball may spin left or spin right, depending on the club face.

Most pros on tour have a preferred shot shape.  More than likely its a draw, since its the shot shape that is more powerful and travels farther.  Although, there are plenty of guys out there that hit big high long fades.  Just look at Freddy Couples, for instance.  The point here is that if you have a shot shape, don't waste your time trying to hit it straight.  Work with what you have, there's no doubt it is more consistent that a straight shot will every be.

So, how to do you shape the ball from left to right, or right to left.  Personally, with my swing I know there are many things I can do to change the shape of the shot.  Its just something I've learned from reading and practicing to see what works for me.   I wanted to attach the video of the all time greatest player, Jack Nicklaus, demonstrating his one swing approach to changing the balls flight.  It really simplifies the entire concept, and provides a great baseline.

It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that Jack knows what he's talking about. 



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mayakoba Golf Classic

So, I've been away for a week to Mexico, but on my travels I was able to catch a little golf.  Our resort was about 10-15min walk down the beach to Mexico's only PGA tour stop, the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

So, anyone who has ever been to a PGA tour event knows that they are extremely strict when it comes to taking pictures.  Well, we were able to snap a few photos while standing on the beachfront which the par 3 15th hole extends to.  Obviously,  we were careful not to take photos during the players routine.  Anyhow, have a look at these few photos. 

Yeah, that's me beach side and green side.  Absolutely, the best way to take in a PGA event.

Once I get back to reality, I will get back to regular posts.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Its Funny because its True

Just over two years ago my wife (fiance at the time) and I were on a road trip of Canada's east coast.  Beautiful country I might add.  Our trip started with a night in Montreal, then onto the Fundy National Park (where we got engaged that morning), to Shediac New Brunswick, and then to Prince Edward Island where the story beings. 

Veiw from a tee box on the back nine.

So, we are in PEI, apart from say Myrtle Beach, PEI is a golfer's paradise.  You flip open the yellow pages.  No, No, who am I kidding, the yellow pages of my generation is Google.  So, if you Google 'golf + PEI' you are going to end up with thousands of hits.  And if you try it right now, the first thing that comes up is "Canada's #1 Golf Destination".  Which is completely true.  The courses to chose from are some of the best the country has to offer, no doubt.  Well, ever since the 1998 Export A Skins Game I have wanted to play the Links at Crowbush Cove.  That event, practically put PEI on the golfing map and Crowbush was the most renowned at the time. 

We booked a tee time, a mid-afternoon round.  Taking advantage of the twilight rates.  I can't quite remember the cost exactly, but it was somewhere around $200 for the two of us to play with cart, and rent clubs. 

I believe my wife has the ability to be a fantastic golfer.  She shows new improvements each time she's out.   She can smash it.  I mean she can hit her 5iron consistently right up the middle about 130yrds, not bad for a beginner.  Well, like I said this was over two years ago, and she was just starting out.  And like most beginners they think this game is easy, and want to hit it far. 

So, the first hole at Crowbush is a par 4 pretty much straight away.  Oh, I forgot to mention.  Since we were teeing off in the prime season, we were paired with another couple.  A very nice couple in their 40's from Red Deer, Alberta.  I stress very nice!  We hit the tee getting to know each other with small talk and the starter gives us the go ahead.  I tee off first and hit a decent drive up the left hand side that ends up in the rough.  The gentleman tees off hitting to the right and it trickles into the bush and we drive up to the ladies tee.

The ladies tees are elevated and there is a small marsh just in front.  I can see my wife is slightly intimidated.  And I can't blame her really.  She's about to play a beautiful course, it is her 2 or 3rd time golfing ever, she's playing with two people she met just 3 minutes ago, clubs she's never used before and we can't afford, and there's water right in front of her.  So she insists the lady go first.  So, the lady tee's it up and sploooosh!! She plunks one in the water.  I could see the sigh of relief in my wife's face.  She knew her expectations had just been lowered.  The lady quickly tees up another ball and catches it good and it clears the marsh easily and ends up in the middle of the fairway.  My wife is up.  With no hesitation she tees it up confidently.  No practice swings, and bang!  She chili-dips one of the end of the tee box that rolls down into the water.  She looks back at me, and I can see she wants another ball so I toss her a pinnacle and tell her to take her time.  With the pressure on now, sure enough the second one finds the water too.  Not to mention the third one too.  You can imagine what the other couple is thinking at this point, "This is going to be a long day".

I tell them to drive ahead up to their balls and my wife will tee off from the other side of the marsh.  So, they take off and we head around to the other side of the marsh.  I can see she is dejected.  "Don't worry about it hunny, we aren't out here to break any records, just have some fun.  Hit a few shots, pick your ball up, have a drink.  Just enjoy yourself."  Yes, she was dejected, but she is a very determined woman and I can see she mean business this time, as she grabs another pinnacle from the cart.

She tees it up just inside the fairway.  She smoked it.  It took off hot, about 20 feet off the ground screaming up the right hand side.  Before I could get the words out of my mouth, it takes one hope and hits the man we are playing with high in the leg.  Crap!!!!  What do you do?  What do you say?  At this point everyone in the group is thinking, "This is going to be a long day!"

A birdie try on the back nine.

Well, as it turns out.  The man escaped unscathed.  I played reasonably well.  So, did my wife.  She even made her first par on the 6th hole.  We had a great time.  The scenery is like no other place on earth.  We both loved it, and the rest of our trip. 



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Golf Trivia Challenge

I got this trivia game in an email earlier this week.  Have a go at and see how much you know about golf. 

In the end it will give you a score.  I was 5 under par.



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reading the Green

Most golfer's over there career will never put any thought into what green reading is all about.  They will just instinctively go through a thought process (or not) before taking the ball back.  Since reading Dave Pelz's book the "Putting Bible", I have come to realize that there can more of a process than just determining speed and line.  I just wanted to refresh the art and science of reading greens to make more putts.

Green reading is the task of determining how the green itself affects the ball on its journey to the hole.  First off, green reading takes time and through experience playing many rounds on many different golf courses, under many different conditions and circumstances will play a significant role in your ability to read greens over time.  In other words the more you do it, the better you will get.  The science of green reading takes these experiences and quantifies them with regard to how the ball actually reacts to the speed, slope, grain, and weather conditions (wind and rain).  Of the determining factors in the science of green reading, speed is arguably the most important because the overwhelming effect it has on both the slope, grain and weather.

Everyone will develop their own personal method of green reading, but the following are some general points to mews over.

1)  As you approach the green begin to notice the general lay of the green.  Imagine water being poured near the hold and watch where the water will drain.  If it is raining or has recently notice the areas that remain wet, notice drainage, low and high points.  This will take some visualization.

2)  As you begin to approach your ball and mark it (or whatever your routine may be)  start to determine the amount of speed required to get the ball to the hole, determine whether the putt is uphill or downhill.  How much will the ball break based on the speed required?  Which way is the grass growing (grain)?

3)  When it comes to speed I have found that its important to get the exact distance to the hole.  Since, you can't carry a measuring tape on the course, pace off your putts.  It better to know the putt is exactly 28ft, rather than 25 to 30ft, it will do wonders for your confidence and your lag putts.

4)  An important factor to remember when reading break is that the slower a ball is rolls the more affected it is by slope and grain (This is usually nearer the hole).

5) Once you have determined the distance, speed, break, and grain begin your pre-shot routine.  Take a few practice stokes, visualize the putt rolling in on the line you have chosen. 

All this should take about 30seconds, I mean we are not pro's and pace of play is important on most golf courses, so don't over do it.

To close out I want to touch on a concept that I believe is an important part of reading putts.  Remember this age old adage "No putt can go in, if it doesn't make it too the hole".  What I mean here is make sure you give it a chance, get it to the hole.  Well, Dave Pelz outlines in his book the "Putting Bible" that the optimum speed for a putt to drop is to role it 17inches past the hole.  I won't go into the science, physics, logic behind it (That's for you to find out by reading his book), but he has proved it through testing and testing again.  It seems like a weird statement to make doesn't it, "hit the ball 17inches past the hole and it will have the best chance at rolling in".  Why not die it into the hole?  Well, just think about how many putts you leave short., I bet is significantly more than you roll past the hole.

After I started writing this post I realized that this topic was not a 4 or 5 paragraph post, but more like a 15 to 20 pages in a book on putting.  So, check out Dave Pelz's stuff if you want more info. 

Like most of my posts, yes this one too ends abruptly.