Sunday, September 21, 2008

First Ace...


Scored my first Ace last night at Green Caye Golf Course

..- 150yds, 9-Iron -..

Taken from

In 1999, Golf Digest reported, "One insurance company puts a PGA Tour pro's chances at 1 in 3,756 and an amateur's at 1 in 12,750."

Fun with the numbers...

Since I have kept pretty good records of most of the golf I've played, I get 1 in 6723. Those numbers are a bit skewed because I play most of my golf (little less than 2/3) at a par three course. If all my golf had been played on regulation courses and I got the ace after playing the same number of par 3 holes, it would have been 1 in 21,438.

The Joy...

The Eagle three was more joyful.

The Ace was more like, "Oh my God I got my first hole-in-one... I got my first hone-in-one... I GOT MY FIRST HOLE-IN-ONE!!!" And from there it was more a sense of relief that I have one under my belt.

Oh Happy Day... Oh Happy Day,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kids Logic...

The Boy...

So we're doing a lot of clean up after the storm and for the first time in our kids lives, my wife is giving them TV dinners. After hearing this the kids get real excited. My six-year-old starts talking about what to watch while they eat, and I attempt to end the conversation by reminding them of our rules.

We have a "no eating in the living room policy".

So my six-year-old asks, "Dad, why do they call them TV dinners if we can't watch TV while we eat them?".

I have no answer for that.

Insurance Sucks...

Looks like we have about 3000.00 - 3500.00 worth of damage. Our insurance policy, like everyone else's around here, has a hurricane clause that sets your deductible to two percent in the event of a hurricane. That makes our deductible is 3600.00.

Golf is not a Priority...

Sorry for the off-topic posts, I'll be back on track in a few weeks I'm sure. Not many courses open at the moment anyway. I understand Green Caye will be open tomorrow. I hope to get down for a loop, but we'll see how much work I can get done by then.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Let there be Light...

...and air conditioning.

We're okay. Power was out for about 62 hours. We sustained minor damage. There are many in much worse shape.

Businesses are slowly opening. There are lines for everything. We learned some good lessons for next time. More later.

We're okay.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Can't find a Tee Time...

Or a Hotel...

We decided to hunker down and ride this one out. It's heading right for us. I called a few courses to see if there were any tee times available for tomorrow and no one even answered the phone.

Waiting for the power to go out.

See ya on the other side,

Friday, September 05, 2008

Expanding My Horizons...


It’s now been three years and three months since I started playing golf. My current handicap is moving down through 11.29 at the moment. I feel I’m kind of hanging on to that because I generally shoot in the upper 80s but manage mid to low 80s once in a while. A couple of those points are due to my playing the same regular courses.

I played in two recent tournaments at Green Caye. Both were glo-ball tournaments. One was during the full moon, and the other was during the new moon. Playing in the dark is pretty fun and very different, especially during the new moon. The format was 2-man scramble and I played with Martin both times. We won the full moon tournament with a crazy up and down round of +1 where we shot four bogeys and three birdies. We placed third in the new moon tournament with a steady even par round that featured one birdie and one bogey. Two other teams shot -1 and a five-hole playoff lasted well into the night. I’ve been winning enough cash to pay for my membership lately, which is nice.

Ball Striking…

I can work the ball well, either fading or drawing with my Bridgestone J33 Combo irons or my Bridgestone Airmuscle Utility Iron, but I can not for the life of me hit a consistent draw with my woods. As a result, I took the 5w out of my bag and replaced it with the Utility Iron. I needed something I could hit a long draw with off the tee and my 4i, even at 205 to 220, isn’t enough. My 3 iron offered a little more distance, but not reliably. The Utility Iron has a longer shaft than the J33 Combo 3 iron in my set (I have the 2 iron too but again, not reliable) and after a couple of range sessions I’m absolutely bombing this thing. I have not been real consistent on the course yet, but when I hit it good, it's real good.

I continue to have difficulty controlling the driver. In addition, I’ve been suffering a case of the pulls lately. I generally hit little cuts to mild fades with my woods (3w very consistently) so I aim down the left side and work the ball to the right slightly. Somehow I started pulling shots 10 to 15 degrees left about every third or fourth shot. That’s not good, especially on the tree-lined courses I like to play. It’s not fun stepping up to the tee wondering if I’m about to yank one left. I hit a few balls on the range trying to become aware of the conditions that the pull emerges from. I think it may have come from a slight strengthening of the grip of my right hand. It’s hard to tell though because on the range, after the first shot, the data is skewed.

Preparing to Join a Traveling Golf League…

While I’ve resisted playing in handicapped events (all of the tournaments I have played in have been gross scoring – no handicap adjustments) due to all of the sandbagging horror stories, I’ve decided to join a competitive league. There seems to be safeguards to prevent sandbagging and the member’s stats and records are posted. An example of these safegaurds: Players who turn in non-tournament scores for the purpose of handicapping will have these scores kept separate from the tournament scores and the player will compete to the lowest of the tournament or non-tournament handicap. The league plays different courses all around Houston and the season is year-long, playing every two weeks. It starts in October. Since my handicap is not GHIN, I will be playing my first three events as a guest this season to establish my handicap for next season. It will be interesting to see how I do on unfamiliar courses and the resultant handicap.

The first event will be on the 14th at Hermann Park Golf Course, a course I have never played. I reviewed the course and it looks like I could play well there. Even from the tips it’s very short (6014 yds; 67.9/117; Par 70), but has narrow, tree-lined fairways (built in 1922) and many greens are fronted by water. Finding the fairway will be a must. For this course, I’ll be leaving the driver at home as I can’t find a single hole where I could use it. Joining this league will give me plenty on material to blog about. I felt was getting too repetitive with my posts and so I slowed way down.

The Mrs…

My wife has been very supportive of my golfing in general. Of course bringing home cold hard cash ($30 to $120) when I return from tournaments helps. Joining this league will require a little more of my time because league tournaments will be played twice a month on Sunday mornings. Travel to and from the courses could be up to three hours and possibly more. There is more prize money to be won, but the competition could be tougher and these will be unfamiliar courses. My goal will be to place in the money (League pays T3) within the first five events. I’m sure she will continue to be supportive weather I win or not, but it sure is easier when I’m winning.

The Blogosphere…

Lot’s of my favorite blogs are no longer posting and lots of new blogs have been started. I’ll try to update my sidebar with links to the current blogs I’m reading.

Looking forward to more frequent posting,

Friday, August 01, 2008

First Eagle...

Catching Up...

Wow, a seven month hiatus from blog posting. What have I been doing? For starters, I stopped keeping track of my stats at Green Caye for three months of membership.

I played in a couple of tournaments at Green Caye. One was a 2-man scramble where Martin and I won first place. The other was an individual event where I won second place. I missed one tournament where they play in the dark with glow balls from the front tees and hang glow sticks on the pins. They might do that again during the next new moon (end of this month). I hope I can make it because those seem like a lot of fun.

This last month (my 21st month of membership), I did manage to keep my stats and they show continued improving trends. These stats would have been a bunch better had I not shot 38 (+11) twice this month. But as I say, you have to take the bad with the good.

Without throwing up the charts…

My GIRs went down, UNDs went up, birdies went up, putts went down, pars went up, and scoring went down. All good stuff.

Now for some numbers…

I’m getting up and down 37.6% of the time at Green Caye and that improvement shows on regulation courses as well. I think the worst tour players get up and down about 50% of the time.

My par three scoring average is 3.56 and that’s down from 3.59. I’d like to get this number down below 3.5. I think that’s achievable.

My First Eagle...

The big news here is that I scored MY FIRST EAGLE Wednesday July 30. It was at Beacon Lakes on the eighth hole, a par 5 of 490 yards. A tailwind and hard fairway combined to give me a 300 yard drive that settled a few yards right of center in the fairway. The approach was to a front pin on an elevated green that first rises, then slopes away. My shot needed to hit within the first yard or so if I expected to be near the pin. If it landed more than fours yards deep it would likely roll off the back of the green. From 190 yards to the center, I selected an 8 iron expecting to carry the shot about 175 yards. The shot came off perfectly, landed on the front of the green and rolled a yard or two to settle at 2 feet. I have never been so nervous over a two foot putt before. For added pressure, the greens had just been punched and sanded that day. After seeming to have to concentrate just to breathe, I managed to roll the putt in and score my first eagle.

The sense of joy is similar to when I broke 100. Breaking 90 and breaking 80 seemed come and go as a matter of course. I almost expect this to be more joyful than making a hole in one, or an eagle two because it’s something I tried to do. A hole in one and an eagle two are just not expected, they surprise you. Also, I have had several looks at eagle, perhaps the closest was from about 12 feet off the fringe. Hole in ones and eagle twos kind of surprise you. Eagle three lets you look at it real close before you take a shot at it.

Dad’s coming down for a few days next week. He’s not really my Dad, he’s my Father-in-Law. My Dad passed in 96, so my Father-in-Law is now my honorary Dad. I’m going to enjoy every moment while he’s here because you never know at the time that you’re playing your last round.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Even Par…

I played four loops last night at Green Caye, and the second loop I shot even par, tying my course record there. I made a nice string of pars through the fourth hole, and birdied both five and six. I didn’t think too much about my score till after I parred the seventh. I tried not to think about it, but as I walked to the eighth tee I started to think about the results. I quickly gathered myself mentally and focused on the upcoming shot.

I had been having some trouble with this hole for some time. There is water immediately right of the green and the green gets smaller as it gets farther away from the water. I’ve hit plenty of shots into the water here, I’ve pulled plenty left. I tried taking a club that would take the water out of play but it’s a difficult hole to get up-and-down.

I decided to club up and hit a smooth shot at the pin. I pulled it slightly but landed on the green some 15 to 20 feet left of the pin. Releaved, and wanting to stay in the moment, I started thinking about the putt. By the time I got to the green I was thinking about another birdie!!!

Now this month I’m trying to focus on getting my putts past the hole. Sadly, I’m not having too much success. I leave many putts short or just a few inches past the cup. I just can’t seem to find the speed to go one or two feet past the cup and to be honest, I miss plenty of birdies as a result.

So there I was on the eighth hole at two under with a 15 to 20 footer for birdie and I slam the ball six feet by and miss the comebacker.

The ninth is the toughest hole on th course due to it’s length and OB on both sides. Over the past three months I’ve managed to par it just 25.8% of the time. I didn’t know the exact number when I got to the ninth tee, but I knew I usually bogy this hole. I tried to focus on the shot and the target but I couldn’t get the thought of hitting OB out of my mind. In my preoccupied state I hit a weak push off the toe that was short but in play. The pin was on the right side of the green and after giving up a shot on eight, I hit my short pitch left of the pin to the fat of the green. I had a chance, but I was easily twenty feet or more from the cup. A conservative two putts and I had earned my second even par round at Green Caye.

I’m very happy about the even par round, yet dissappointed that I gave a shot up with the three-putt.

I played two more loops and finished with about forty minutes remaining on the lights. Since the temperature was in the mid 30s I had the course all to myself; so, I hung out on the ninth green and had a great practice session.

Great Practice Routine…

My intent was to practice putting but I ended up working on up-and-downs (half of which is putting). I took five balls and tossed them in all directions around the green. The goal is to get all five balls in the cup in two. Each ball must be played out before the next ball is hit. Once a ball is in the hole, it stays in the hole unless it takes more than three shots to get the next ball in the hole. With this rule, you must avoid three-putting. Oh, and you can’t go home until all the balls are in the cup. While I did put myself in come challenging locations around the green, I was surprised that it took me over twenty tries to get all five balls in – and I never had to pull a ball out of the hole.

The number of balls you use should challenge you to complete the session in a given number of shots (or amount of time). For added fun, do it with a friend and make it a competition.


I’m starting to think about tempo. I’ve heard a lot about tempo. I think my game could benefit if I could find “my” tempo.

A common error I make is to get too quick at the top; I start the downswing too early. I’m fairly certain that working on tempo would reduce the occurrence of this problem.

I looked around and I found an electronic metronome that has a headphone output with adjustable output. It’s pocket-sized and looks to be exactly the type of thing that could be used to work on tempo. I know they make similar tempo devices specifically for golfers. Are there any other methods of working on tempo? Do I need to get a gadget to find “my” tempo?


I’m on pace to maitain another month with a 32 average. My wife has been very encouraging and sometimes even suggests that I go golfing. The past couple of months I’ve played golf nearly three times per week on average and at less than $100 per month – and that includes gasoline!!!

Not too shabby,