Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm Excited...

The New Guy...

Once a month my department has a little bowling tournament. My group was holding the top spot somewhat handily. Then, out of nowhere, another group wins three in a row. Now we're tied in wins and the next tournament will claim bragging rights.

We got a new hire in my group last week. While he and I were walking down the hall with a particular trash-talking member on the other team, I said to the new guy, "So I hear you have a hell of a bowling game". I really had no idea. I got what I expected though, a neck-snapping head turn from the trash-talker. What I didn't expect though was his reply, "No, but I have a pretty good golf game".

I've been trying to spark some golf interest within the group for some time. We had a total of four golfers including me. The other three are casual golfers who's games... well, let's just say they don't get out too often.

So I talked a bit with the new guy and he seemed pretty into the game, said he plays from the tips and scores in the 70s. I told him I was playing at Green Caye that evening and he would be welcome to join me. I gave him my number and left it at that.

Later at Green Caye as I finished the third my phone rings and it's him and he's at the clubhouse. I meet him back at number one and we played two loops. We didn't keep score, but I'd say he play at least as good as I did, and I played pretty good. He hits about a half a club farther than I do, has a great swing, and prefers to walk.

We're playing Glenbrook next Thursday. I'm looking forward to playing with someone who's likely 10 strokes better. I always seem to play better when I'm playing with better golfers. I'm also looking forward to playing from the tips. I definitely have the length to play from the tips, I've always played one tee box up because that's where my usual playing partners play from.

General Update...

I'm over my 'bout with the shanks. It was a difficult experience. Last month Martin left for the summer. I'm storing his golf cart in my garage for him while he's away. Before he left, he paid a month's dues for me at Green Caye. Can you have a better golf buddy than that? I don't think so. Martin is my regular opponent when playing for money so I'm mainly practicing now. Lately I've been playing the green tees (most holes 80 - 115 yds) to work on my wedges. I've been having trouble with hitting fat shots. Sometimes I hack out a divot you could bury a small animal in. I started out trying to slow down my swing a bit, but had only slightly better results. Acceptable results came after I started using a very narrow stance.

The wedge work paid off - I finally shot a good score (82 (38/44)) after several rounds in the mid to upper 90s. I made eight pars, two birdies, five bogeys, and three doubles. I was hitting greens like a pro. My putting was marginal though and I 3-putted two holes on the front after hitting the greens in regulation. I got a little loose on the back where I made the three doubles. Another highlight, I lost only one ball.

I might get out to Green Caye Sunday and/or Monday night. Then it's off to Glenbrook with the New Guy.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Two-Year Update...

I’ve been golfing for two years now…

I didn’t play as much this year as I did last year, logging just 36 regulation rounds. My hcp was 23.86 at the start of my second year, is currently 17.06, and dipped down to 16.59 along the way. I played more at Green Caye though this year, logging seven months of membership during which time I logged 132 nine-hole loops.

My last months per-round stats were very solid at Green Caye fueled mostly by good putting and chipping. Making just three triples in 126 holes was huge too.

Ave score: 33
Ave pars: 3.9
Ave putts: 16
Ave GIRs: 2.4
Ave UNDs: 2.2
Avd Birds: 0.29
Ave 3-putts: 0.70

Also noteworthy, I got to play Magnolia Creek (72.2/127) with Dad during his visit and I beat him 94 to 104. I played a solid game and would have scored much better had I not blew up on the fourteenth, a par four, with a nine. Not losing three balls would have helped too (no, I didn’t lose a ball on the fourteenth). I really wanted to show Dad how far I’ve come in two years and I did that. I drove the ball well and managed to hit one 300+ yards. On the eighth, a 152 yard par three, I called a fade and hit a beautiful shot with a soft eight iron that came down just a yard or two short. On the 16th, a 189 yard par three, playing about 185, I called a draw and slammed a high towering shot the landed in the back bunker (easily 195 all carry). Oddly, that was probably the longest six iron I have ever hit (I usually get 175-185 with a high draw). The course is loaded with bunkers and I found my fair share of them. I got into five bunkers, made two saves (one was a greenie from a fairway bunker) and took two shots to get out of one of them (yes, that would the the fourteenth and it was a deep, dark dungeon).

With a free evening, the boys (Dad, Me, and my boy) went to Green Caye for a couple loops. I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I shot 38(+11)/38(+11) with hardly a single solid shot. Dad tore me up with 32(+5)/34(+7). No matter, I was happy to show Dad where I learn the game.

I’ve been taking the kids to Green Caye with some regularity. They are both playing from tee to green and they really seem to enjoy it. They have both come along quite well with their game and I just let them have at it. I only offer minimal coaching (unless they ask) but I do teach them ediquette. At the moment, I only take one at a time.

Things have been very busy at work with the STS-117 launch on Friday 7:38 EDT.

I’ll post more when I can,