Category: Shag Bag (page 1 of 5)

Good Things Come In Threes (or more)

Torrey Pines (South) 3rd hole.  Nothing is needed here except you.

Torrey Pines (South) 3rd hole. Nothing is needed here except you.

Despite the fact that the 2017 season has all but ended here in the DMV, your faithful scribe is still chugging along.  This blog came from inspiration from two of the people I follow on Twitter who deserve a generous concession; Mike at 36 a day and Beltway Golfer; two fine folks whose work is always worth a read (and if the Beltway Golfer (BG) is reading this and needs a partner to play at Congressional my DM’s are open, and I’m only begging a little bit).

It was Mike who posed the question about best 3-hole stretches for courses in Canada (I’ve not played outside Ontario so as much as I’d like to write 5,000 words about Cabot and Highlands Links I can’t do so with any level of knowledge) that got me thinking, and BG for pointing out (correctly) that Arthur Hills has done some fantastic projects in the area.  I’ll admit I’m not a subject matter expert on golf architecture, although if asked I’d lean in favor of people who don’t try to fit courses in areas they don’t work and letting the land dictate how the course will look (so I suppose I’m a minimalist).

But Mike’s question got me thinking; what are the toughest (my extrapolation) 3-hole stretches in the area among public courses here in the DMV?  As always, I took some time to ponder this by looking at reviews I’ve written, made a few overtures, and did some research (research is what I call “drink two double scotches”, if you’re curious), and put together a list.  I haven’t played every course in the DMV so take that with a grain of salt, but from courses I’ve played these are the toughest stretches I’ve encountered.

  • Blue Mash (Holes 1-3): As tough of a opening stretch as any course in the area.
  • Bulle Rock (Holes 16-18): A tight par 4, a par 3 over a hazard, and a par 4 with water left the whole way.
  • Fairway Hills (Holes 16-18): A tight and long par 4 1/2, a par 3 over water and a par 5 straight uphill.
  • Rum Pointe (Holes 16-18): Three tough holes with water in play, and a closer with a well-protected green.
  • Lighthouse Sound (Holes 5-7): Two toughies and the signature hole along the bay.
  • Potomac Shores (Holes 7-9): Looks easy on the card.  It’s not.  The 9th alone can wreck a card.
  • PB Dye (Holes 14-16): A not-easy par 3 and two sneaky-brutal par 4’s.
  • UMD Golf Course (Holes 11-13): A long par 3 over a hazard, a tight par 4, and a sneaky-hard par 5 (holes 1-3 are no slouches either).
  • Waverly Woods (holes 12-14): Par 4 with a carry over a ravine to an uphill green, a long par 3 to a well protected green and a long par 4.
  • Worthington Manor (holes 1-3): two forced carries off the tee to well protected greens and a long par 4 with a second shot over a hazard.  No easy start here.

TIGER, TIGER, TIGER

I believe I’m legally required by the Golf Blogger Regulations Handbook (2017 version) to write about Tiger Woods’ latest comeback (this weekend at the not-at-all ironically named Hero Challenge).

How many of these comebacks has he had (looks at old results)?  Haven’t we been down this road before?  Oh, wait, this time is different.  Oh, the same dirge was being uttered last year (remember that 2nd round 65 he fired last year at this event?) before it went off the rails.  And the time before that, and the times before that.  So you’ll excuse me if I don’t turn into a mouth-breathing goober over this.

Except this time, he’s coming out of legal trouble (he plead guilty to reckless driving in late October) and drug rehab, which his enablers and fanboys (of which there are far too many) would very much like to sweep under the rug and pretend it never happened.  Except that it did.  Part of being an adult is making choices.  Choosing to hoover up a bunch of pills and go for a drive at some ungodly hour is a choice (it’s not like he had no way to get home; he could have called any number of his enablers and they’d have driven him home).

Was he taking painkillers last year during this event or at the start of the year?  I’ve no idea, and without proof you’d have to give him the benefit of the doubt (nobody has asked him if he’s taking anything now, which seems a fair and reasonable question).  Or, everyone just kind of puts their head in the sand and pretends everything’s peachy keen jelly bean.

Having said all of that, he’s the greatest talent of generations and has a record of on-course accomplishments that may never be touched (at one point he held all 4 major championships and the Players Championship at the same time).  Winning the US Open and the Open Championship at two of the most well-known courses in the world (Pebble Beach, Old Course) in the dominating fashion he won them in is unlike anything we may ever see again.

I suppose it is possible that this time will somehow be different, but I’m still skeptical.  If he can, it’ll be a great story and would certainly ‘move the needle’ as the marketing people like to say.  But even as he’s playing a practice round, I’m waiting to see how he holds up over multiple tournaments.  Just because it would be a great story doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.  So I’ll hold my powder for now.

SONG OF THE DAY

Something to get you going when you need a pick-me-up.  Ready to go run through that wall now.

Bulle Rock RIP?

After hearing from several people through the grapevine that Bulle Rock golf course, consistently ranked as the #1 public access course in the state, may be on its last legs.  An article cites several issues that Harbor East Management Group (who owns the development) has with taxes and abatement charges (read the article).  Lest we forget, they own the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel in the Harbor East development and pay a grand total of $1.00 in property taxes (according to the article).

Here’s the problem- people work at the golf course, and people spend money to play the golf course.  Not just in green fees, but food and beverage (money that gets redistributed in Harford County), and likely helps with tourism given its lofty ranking.

Its closure would signal a massive shakeup in public-access golf in the region, and more worrisome, could have a domino effect of sorts.

This should be a year to celebrate golf in the region as three professional tournaments are being held in the area; the Senior PGA Championship was held over Memorial Day weekend at Trump National in Sterling, this week sees the Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac (played it in 2012 and was very impressed), and the seniors return in mid-July to Caves Valley for the Senior Players Championship (if we could just get an LPGA event in the DMV…oh to dream).  Instead, it looks like what is arguably the best ‘course you can play’ in the region may be going away.

IN VIRGINIA…

On the other side of the Potomac River, Landsdowne Resort is being sold to an Asian developer, but according to someone in the know, plans to continue operating the course ‘for now’ which doesn’t exactly sound promising.

OTHER LOCAL GOLF NEWS

Congrats to the fine people at Golfmatch announced that they have entered into a partnership with Troon.  Full disclosure- I use Golfmatch and find it useful.  I played in one of their events and enjoyed myself.  It’s a great way to meet other golfers and share experiences (and as much as I want argue otherwise, the reality is that we all want experiences).  If I didn’t use it I’d still mention it because Troon has one of the more impressive portfolios just from their Americas portfolio.

Long weekend coming up- sure, it’s going to be hot but who cares!  Get out there and tee it up!

The Language of The Game

Remember kids, Aloha Means Hello. And Goodbye.

Remember kids, Aloha Means Hello. And Goodbye.

As part of an occasional series geared towards newer golfers, I humbly present a list of terms you’re likely to encounter on the golf course that may confuse you.  We have a host of ways to describe shots that don’t quite come off the way we planned it.  Some people just throw a club while others will often use various terms of endearment.  Some of these terms are regional in nature, but I find it’s good to have a solid level of understanding.  Others of these are terms I’ve conjured up as a means of not offending people with the usual stream of profanity that I’m frankly quite good at.

Chili Dip: Nothing to do with chili, or dip.  When you are hitting a chip or a pitch shot and stick the club in the ground rather than hitting the ball.

Enter Sandman: When you take more than one shot to get the ball out of a bunker.   Also a famous Metallica song.  You have a hole where it takes you 7 shots to get the ball out of the bunker and you never live it down.

Pinball Wizard: When you manage to hit multiple trees with one shot.  Don’t know what a pinball machine is?  Ask your parents.

El Hozel: Otherwise known as the lateral vomit, la hozela, a hosel rocket, or a word that rhymes with banks that we simply do not say for fear that it will show up.  It’s like a virus.  You go to Tijuana for a fun evening of donkey shows and cheap tequila and you end up with some kind of infection.  El hozel works the same way.  I’ve seen people do everything short of animal sacrifice to get rid of el hozel.

Slice: For a right handed golfer when the ball goes unexpectedly right in the arc/shape of a banana.  For a lefty, the ball goes to the left.  Common miss for most amateurs.  Distant cousin of the power fade.  You can talk to a power fade.  You can’t talk to a banana slice.

Hook: The opposite.  Ball goes to the left for right handed players and to the right for lefties.

Skull: hitting the ball with the leading edge of your iron.  Often results in a ball that doesn’t get airborne and doesn’t go very far.  Used to end up cutting the surface of old balata balls.

Whiff: Making a swing and missing.  Also known as stiff breeze, air shot, 0 and 1, 0 for 1, etc.

Rinsing the Balata: Hitting a ball into a water hazard.  Balls used to be made out of balata.

Teenage Beer Pong: The act of getting on the green in two shots on a par 5 and then three-putting.  Much like teenagers who think it’s going to go great…and then it doesn’t.  Helps if the birdie putt just misses.

Sacrifice fly: A short tee shot that goes very high in the air but not very far.  Often followed by the ‘the runner will score on the sac fly.’  Don’t know what baseball is?  Ask your father.

Swing Oil: Alcohol quickly consumed.  A chugged beer, an airplane bottle of alcohol consumed in one shot.  Not to be confused with actual Swing Oil which is a supplement some golfers take.

La Hozela: El hozel, but for women.  Equally maddening.

Decell: Slowing your swing down on a chip or pitch shot which results in the ball either not making it on the green or just trickling on leaving you with a long and difficult putt.

Hairpiece: The pelt-sized divot that comes from hitting too far behind the ball.  Please replace if at all possible or at the very least fill that crater with some divot mix.  Sometimes called a toupee.

Topper: A topped shot; often a tee shot where you hit the top half of the ball and the ball rolls a few dozen yards.  Sometimes known as Free Toppings, Topper Shutt, Top of the Pops, or Big Top Pee Wee.

Moped: A guy who has a golf swing that looks ugly as sin but ends up scoring fairly well.

Commercial: A putt that ends up in tap-in range is said to be Commercial.  Not to be confused with the ads CBS runs to infinity during their broadcasts (it’s a pity that the golf gets in the way of their never-ending ads).

Donna Shalala: A short shot that goes left.  Named after the former Clinton cabinet member.

Rush Limbaugh: A fat shot that goes hard right.  Named after the conservative talk radio host.

Fat: Hitting behind the ball, causing the ball to not go as far as intended.  The cousin of the chili-dip.

Three Waggle: Taking three strokes to hole out on the green.  Also known as three-putting, going three-Jack City, three hole Monty, or just being bad at putting.

Socialist Roid Rage: A shot that gets hit hard left and long.

One: The thing that you can be guaranteed someone will say if your ball falls off the tee while you’re getting ready to hit your tee shot.  I think it’s required.

Caddyshack: Golf movie of some renown.  Someone is legally required to quote from the movie during your round or someone has to die (I think this is the rule…but I could be wrong).

Mrs. Doubtfire: Professional golfer and Scotsman Colin Montgomerie.  Use Google Images.

All Bag: Term of derision to describe guy that has pro staff bag and matching clubs but couldn’t break 130 to save his life.  The golf equivalent of soccer’s Full Kit Wanker.  Often will wear full Nike stuff with red shirt.  Impossible for him to play in under 5 hours.

Action: Wagering.  Many people will wager during a round of golf because they need ‘action’ to keep things interesting.

Fugly/Fungly: Decent and fun player to play with who has horrible-looking swing.

Sandbagger: See ‘cheater’.  Someone who keeps an artificially high handicap and during competitive events will play much better.  Will often use words like ‘I never putt this well’ or ‘I guess I was due for a decent round’ and the like.  The Brits like the word ‘bandit’ and I prefer cheat.

Man Bun: A generic term to describe something wholly inappropriate.  Think ‘chipping on the putting surface’ or using the word ‘sh***k’ on a golf course.

Evel Kenevel: Famed stuntperson and doer of stupid things.  Used to describe people who think a golf cart makes a great racing car.

Flying Lady: Generic term used to describe lower-compression golf balls some women and older men use.

 

 

 

 

 

More Local Golf News (Sort of)

18th tee at Bulle Rock.  Don't recommend going left.  Not even a bit.

18th tee at Bulle Rock. Don’t recommend going left. Not even a bit.

Now that we seem to be out of this never-ending pattern of cold rain, I suppose it’s time for another local golf news digest of goings-on.  Any opinions are mine and are probably wrong.

POTUS 44 FINDS A HOME

Several reports confirm that former President Barack Obama has been offered a membership at RTJ Golf Club out in Lake Manassas/Gainesville/Don’t You Dare Call It Manassas.  Not to get all snippy, but it’s this kind of reporting that makes me shake the fist of impending doom at people.  RTJ is 40 miles west of Washington DC.  Now, maybe in some circles that’s a short haul, but anyone who lives in a major metropolitan area can vouch for the fact that I-66 traffic is awful on a good day at 4:00 a.m.  I’ve taken I-66 to play in Virginia on weekend mornings, and it’s not pretty.  And not for anything but RTJ is in Virginia.  Mileage wise, it’s similar distance as DC is to Baltimore.

TPC Potomac would have made sense but I guess they couldn’t come to terms.  Well, Obama’s going to get to experience I-66.  So that should end well.

POTUS 45 MAJOR #1

Reminder that the (I’m not making this up) Kitchen Aid Senior PGA Championship is at Trump National DC in Sterling, VA over Memorial Day weekend (seriously, Sterling is near Dulles Airport- IT IS NOT WASHINGTON DC- BUY A MAP).  This course has never hosted a professional tournament much less a major on the Champions Tour.  Maybe let it host a Web.com event first or something just to see how it works in terms of logistics/parking/flow.  Or you know, just kind of wing it because that usually ends well.

This would be a good time to mention my golf-oriented objection to using Trump courses.  Instead of people talking about who might win (go Paul Goydos you spectacular thing you), you’re going to have a week-long discussion of President Trump.  Does he show up over the weekend and completely bigfoot the event?

Come July his New Jersey course in Bedminster will host the US Women’s Open.   So that should be a nice quiet week free of controversy…nothing to see here.  The USGA can’t run a 2-car parade (still waiting to see how they’re going to screw up this year’s US Open at Erin Hills because you know they will) and then there’s the Trump factor.  So the National Championship gets overshadowed.  Again.   The USGA could and should have chosen either Congressional or Merion to host the 2026 US Open (in honor of the country’s 250th birthday) but went with Shinnecock near Long Island.

TIMBERS AT TROY OPENS

After a lengthy remodel Timbers at Troy has re-opened.  I haven’t been able to get out there yet but am hoping to make the short trek sometime in the next 30 days.  The layout was always solid but conditions had gone sideways.  Hoping to see the course at its best.

AT&T NATIONAL GOINGS-ON

Not a bad read on what to expect if you go to the AT&T National at TPC Potomac or if you’ve ever thought about volunteering.  Tiger isn’t going to play, but you should still get a decent field.  I played TPC Potomac in 2012 and it’s a fantastic layout (I never played it pre-renovation so I can’t compare it).   Reminder the event goes back to Congressional for 2018 and 2020.  No word on a 2019 venue (hint: Bulle Rock or Baltimore CC (Five Farms)).

REVIEWS

I’ve been busier than expected of late but I should have the Bulle Rock course review uploaded by the weekend.  I’m also working on an equipment review.

If you’re playing this weekend, hit ’em straight and make those pars and birdies.

SONG OF THE DAY

Do the thing, Reds.  Do the thing.

 

 

 

Where I Break Down The Alien Wedge Infomercial

Today is December 26th, so depending on where you are you might be doing a host of activities.  If I were back home in Toronto we’d be drinking heavily while planning backyard rink skates (since unlike last year it’s cold enough) and watching the start of the World Junior Hockey Tournament on TSN.  People in Australia are watching the Boxing Day cricket test (and drinking heavily), while people in Britain are watching soccer (possibly rugby) and drinking heavily.  Here in America it’s post-Christmas sales, college bowl games of middling consequence (locally, Maryland is playing in something called the Quick Lane Bowl although given that She Who Is Really In Charge (SWIRIC) is a Maryland alum I’ll not joke that much about it), and trying to get all those electronic games and toys to work (hint- when in doubt, a glass of bourbon works wonders).

Photo courtesy Johnnie Walker

The finest tool for putting together those Christmas toys.  Trust me.

While SWIRIC is out shopping with her friends today (it’s a holiday tradition and I’m thrilled she’s doing it), I’m revisiting a classic infomercial from the days when Golf Channel used to air these all of the time.  Previously, I recapped the genius that was the Perfect Club, then the GolfLogix GPS.  Today, it’s the Alien wedge (full admission- I bought one years ago after a particularly brutal day when i seemed to find the sand on every hole and my playing partners started calling me Sandman).  Unfortunately, the commercial is for British audiences (thus the price in pounds sterling); not sure why but the US version isn’t on YouTube.  Let’s watch this, shall we?

Let’s be honest; infomercials were almost made for golfers struggling with their game (or 99.99% of them).  You’re at home half in the bag at 2:00 a.m. and maybe you don’t have Skinamax or ShowMeAGoodTime.  So you watch Golf Infomercials (somewhere, there’s a Golf Infomercial cosplay group and I will believe this until I’m dead).  So let’s review this bad boy, shall we?

0:02: Oh god, it’s a real alien!  Oh may gawd!  It’s coming for the world!  Oh, it’s just the Alien Shotsaver Wedge.  Watch as it blasts through sand…shot in glorious standard definition!

0:15: Somewhere there is a large group of men with nondescript British accents whose only jobs are voice-over work, because if you can’t have a great product, have a guy with a British accent describing it.  It’s a wedge!  A sand iron (which is a term nobody uses)!  It’s…the Alien Wedge!

0:25: Deep roughs?  Who uses that term?  I’ve heard it called rough, cabbage, tall stuff, junk, “you’re screwed” and ‘yeah, good luck finding that one’ but never roughs.  And who hits the ball off a cement cart path?  Oh wait, nobody.  You drop it closest point of relief no nearer the hole.  That’s a fantastic way to break a club and/or a wrist.  Maybe if the paths are hard-packed sand (or shells) you give it a go, but otherwise…use the rules.

0:35: Now we get to the regular golfer focus group portion.  Young guy with British accent?  Check.  Middle aged dopey white guy?  Check.

0:45: This isn’t the original Alien wedge (that I bought in a store) it’s the NEW Alien wedge.  It looks slightly less ridiculous (hint- if someone has one of these in their bag it’s a small cry for help…and I was that guy for a while).  The one I had didn’t have grooves; it had dots.

1:00: They show all of these shots out of various lies but they don’t show but one or two actually landing on the green.  Kind of makes you wonder.

1:11: Was wondering when the nondescript female golfer would show up.  You better believe she has a southern accent and a big straw hat (I can’t wait until this becomes a thing again).  You know, 20 years ago she’s got a pack of Virginia Slims in her pocket.  My aunt (god rest her soul) could break 80 in her sleep and could manage a dart and a razor-sharp short game better than anyone I’ve ever seen.  The curb-stomping she delivered to a pair of idiots who didn’t want to play with a woman (especially one who could say ‘bless their hearts’ and mean go f**k yourselves in a way I’ve yet to see replicated) is the stuff of legend.

1:16: And we have the young junior male golfer.  See kids- you can be cool too if you buy one of these.  No, really.  Do you think Jordan Spieth or Rickie Fowler had one of these?  I feel like if Rickie Fowler had one he’d use it to play motorcycle polo.

1:22: Graphics.  Probably done on a Commodore Vic-20.  To quote Ben Wright and Peter Alliss, majestic.  No expense spared.  The 12-year old who did these was well worth the 50 dollars they gave him.  Earned every penny of it.

1:30: Sound effects are off.  Don’t use the sound of an iron shot from the fairway for sand shots.  You hear that from someone in a greenside bunker, I’d suggest ducking and protecting your “one meat, two veg” if you catch my drift (or at the very least try to help the guy find what hole his ball ended up on).  You want that thump sound.  Any golfer knows that.  And hey, look, it’s old man in a straw hat…come on down!  Greg Norman looked good in that.  Maybe Jim Thorpe (because I’m afraid to tell him it looks bad).  Nobody else does.

courtesy National club golfer

The only man who looks good in a hat like this.

1:42: If you can’t trust someone trying to pull off the Bryson Dechambeau look long before he did, I’m not sure what you can trust.  You know who looks good in the Hogan/newsboy hat?  Hogan.  You know who doesn’t?  Anyone not named Hogan.  Stop trying to make this a thing.  Between this and the flat-bill hat thing, can people not wear a regular hat?  While we’re on the subject, you know who didn’t wear a hat for years?  Arnold Palmer.

courtesy GolfWRX.

Bryson Dechambeau and his Hogan hat. Want to make a personal statement? Win tournaments. As you were.

courtesy GQ

No hat. No gimmick. Just here to kick ass and take names.

Arnie’s gimmick?  It’s called winning and being one bad ass mo-fo.  And being cool as hell.

2:00: More shots from a variety of lies, and yet, you don’t see them land.  It’s almost like…no, that can’t be true.

2:07: Five bucks says the goober that takes that giant pelt of a divot doesn’t replace it, and then complains if his ball ends up in a divot.  Any superintendent sees this must be quietly sobbing in a corner.  Bad enough when the pros do it, but when a 20-handicapper takes a hairpiece-sized divot and leaves it (not even filling it)…inexcusable.

2:16: Hey look- old white guy in a straw hat!  Gee, I wonder who he voted for in the last election (gonna take a wild guess he’s not a BernieBro).  I’m surprised he took the big cigar out of his mouth long enough to use words.  Unrelated, you know this guy is a total Judge Smails at his club.  While we’re at it, let’s just say that the chances he says “Happy Holidays” are zero.  You do you, Tex.  Hook ’em Horns.

2:23: Cargo shorts on a guy whose grip is something out of a What Not To Do seminar whose knees are locked…must turn away and not see…must turn away.  Next to popped collars, my other men’s fashion choice I’d like to kill with fire is cargo shorts.  Most regular shorts come with two back and two front pockets.  Other than a survival mission in the Sahara Desert, you can get by without cargo shorts.  Put your keys in your golf bag along with any coins (please- the noise is distracting to the other players in your group).  An extra ball in one front pocket and some tees, a divot repair tool and a ball marker in the other front pocket.  Your phone goes in the bag (on silent/vibrate).  Take a photo by all means and then quietly (and quickly) put it back.  Hell for me is a world where every guy wears cargo shorts and every woman wears leggings and ugg boots.

2:35: Free top-quality headcover?  Take my money!   Headcovers on irons and wedges are morally wrong.  Don’t.  Those neoprene things?  Don’t.  No serious golfer has them.  It’s like having a stroke counter tool.  Save your money; that beer you buy at the turn will do your game a world of good more than a stroke counter tool or iron covers.  If I see a guy in a cart with neoprene covers on his irons, the following things will be undoubtedly true:

1) He will have a ball retriever in his bag and will be better at retrieving balls than he is at playing (oh, and if you hit one in the drink I promise you he’ll fetch it for you…and five other balls).

2) He will get indignant if you mention “we should pick up the pace a bit”…because he’s got nowhere to go and all day to get there but if he gets close to the group in front of him he’ll complain about how slow they are.

3) He will want to keep score for you even if he doesn’t know you and will ask you what you had.  Especially if he doesn’t know you.

4) He will give you a swing lesson that he heard from someone that will make no sense.  Probably a scramble tournament.

5) He will have a poker chip that he uses to mark his ball.

2:45: The “act now and you’ll also get…” portion.  Discount vouchers!  And it comes in a box so the UPS/FedEx/DHL delivery person knows you’re a golf junkie who buys stuff from infomercials.  It’ll look good next to the two ball retrievers you have in your bag, and that’s what counts.

So enjoy the trip back in time to the days of standard definition and Infomericals.  As I find more, I’ll post recaps because if we can’t laugh about them, then what’s the point?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2016 SGIC Plays Santa Awards- The Falling Down Drunk Edition

photo from William Kendall Books

Dead guy, meet imaginary guy. So you see where this is going.

So, 2016 has been something in the same way that having the stomach flu and the norovirus at the same time is something.

2016 summed up quite succinctly.

2016 summed up quite succinctly.

Santa is listening to a 7-hour mix tape of Duncan Sheik, Joy Division, and Werner Herzog Polka so he’s a bit tied up (he’s also just finished eating 7 Arby’s Beef N’Cheddar sandwiches in one setting after butt-chugging a bottle of Jim Beam).  Before Santa passed out while choking on that 7th Beef N’Cheddar he asked me to hand out some gifts to the local golf community.  So here we go…

So how was 2016 for you?

So how was 2016 for you?

For the Public Courses in Howard County, Santa brought you a comprehensive social media campaign!  The Twitter accounts at most Howard County courses are the equivalent of Twitter eggs.  The Facebook pages aren’t much better.  It’s a great way to engage with your existing players and…wait for it…hopefully find new players!  If you haven’t sent out a tweet in over 12 months, what exactly is the point?  Not saying you should be posting a dozen times a day, but weather-related updates, specials, or the occasional promotion is exactly what you should be using these tools for!  And while you’re at it let’s give that photography a touch up and have something done that looks professional.  People are visual.  Have recent, relevant and professional photos (and while you’re at it, buy a drone and take some flyover photos of holes).

For Willow Springs Golf Course, Santa got you a new clubhouse.  Seems the least he could do what with the old one having burned down.  And don’t worry, it’s got a fully stocked pro shop and a grill with local beers on tap.   A great option for golfers who want something shorter but still challenging.

For Hobbits Glen Golf Course, it’s a new bridge to replace the one that got damaged in the July storms that damaged downtown Ellicott City!  No more backtracking!

Hey there Compass Pointe!  For tweeting out cart path only on Christmas Eve (makes sense in the rain), you get an increased maintenance budget!  So let’s really make your courses shine.  Offer not valid on #1 on the South/West routing.  It gets a big lump of coal.

For Waverly Woods Golf Course, Santa got you your very own Pace of Play program!  Use this, and watch pace of play improve!  Be amazed at on-course marshals enforcing pace of play guidelines and helping groups move along faster.  Watch as weekend morning groups complete their rounds in four hours or less!  You’ll be shocked when the slow-poke groups get named, shamed and moved along!

For the local area, Santa dug deep and got you an LPGA Tour stop!  For a few years the LPGA had an event at Bulle Rock up in Havre De Grace, but that’s no more and the LPGA hasn’t been back in almost a decade.  It’s time to end that.  Williamsburg, VA and Atlantic City are NOT the DMV so quit trying to pass that off.  Between UMD Golf Course, Laurel Hill, TPC Potomac, and Worthington Manor there are several fantastic layouts.  Ideally, you’d have an event after the Williamsburg and before the DMV event and then go on to Atlantic City afterwards…so a nice mid-Atlantic swing.

Timbers at Troy…you’ve been naughty more than you’ve been nice of late, but Santa is going to give you karma and plenty of dollars to get your badly-needed bunkers and restoration work done.  Let’s hope for a completion date in time for what Santa hopes will be an early start to spring.  Golf in Howard County is best when you have everyone working to be the best.

Sligo Creek, Gunpowder, and Patuxent Greens…you get extended leases.  Losing Sligo Creek or Gunpowder would hurt a lot of aspirational golfers in the area.  Patuxent Greens is a tricky layout; I’d like to make it a point to play it in 2017.

For Renditions Golf course, you’re also getting some money to put into maintenance and signage.  Seriously.  Your course should be in better shape.  Make it happen.

Enjoy some Christmas music (the first few seconds are off- then it gets better), and your holiday.  A year-end roast and another Infomercial Review are forthcoming.

 

 

 

 

A Guide to Driving Ranges and Practice Facilities in the HoCo

Since I’m talking about practice facilities, the Blogger’s Code of Ethics requires that I post at least one pop culture reference.  Click on the video to hear Allan Iverson talk about practice.

Now that this bit of informality is out of the way, with December here (allegedly; wouldn’t know it with the 70 degree temps we had briefly this week as November bid adieu), it’s a surprisingly good time to hit the range.  It’s not as crowded, you’re not dealing with heat and humidity, and hopefully you’ve had a good season so hopefully this is about taking that next step in knocking a few strokes off of your index.

If, like me, you live in Howard County and want to stay in Howard County to practice, your options are limited but they do exist.  In pursuit of golfing mediocrity, I have personally tried and reviewed each facility.  You’re welcome.

Rocky Gorge Driving Range: Website rockygorgegolf.com is for sale (don’t ask)

Address: 8445 Old Columbia Road (Rt. 29).  Open 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. (unless this changes)

Vibe: Mini-golf meets batting cages meets ridiculous rules run amok meets “what else are they doing here?”

Details: If you’ve ever been on Route 29 North and crossed the Patuxent River Bridge, you’ve probably seen it.  It’s on the right.  Maybe you’ve seen the car with a target on it in what looks to be a plowed field.  That’s the place.  It appears to be thrown together rather haphazardly.  You have a batting cage setup for baseball and softball players, and a driving range for golfers.  But wait!  There’s more!  There’s also a short game area that isn’t exactly well-maintained, and a mini-golf area.  As simple as this should be, they have these silly rules that defeat the purpose of the place.  For one, the “NO GOLF BAGS ALLOWED” sign.  At a driving range.  I asked why, and was given an angry lecture that made no sense by the woman who runs it (did she come from the now-defunct Trotters Glen?).  So if you choose this place, take your clubs out of the bag and carry them with you.  Don’t ask.  You pay at the counter for a bucket of balls that appear to be Y2K compatible.  Of course they have mats, and the mats are a bit worn (being polite here).  Despite all of this, if you drive past it you’ll see people beating balls so they have their regulars.  I put this place on a list along with Gunpowder and a couple other facilities that you wonder just how much longer they’re going to be in existence.  There’s a practice green that runs about a 3 on the stimpmeter.

If you go: With traffic on Route 29 being what it is, if you come from the south just know that you can’t turn left to go south on Route 29.  Drive up to MD-216 and navigate the traffic circles to get on Route 29 South.  Bring small bills with you and make sure you have your golf glove in your pocket.

Fairway Hills Golf Course/Driving Range: Website: https://www.columbiaassociation.org/facilities/golf/fairway-hills-golf-club/

Address: 5100 Columbia Road.  Open Daylight hours (range is not lit)

Vibe: No-frills public golf course

Wide Angle Photo of Fairway Hills Driving Range

Wide Angle Photo of Fairway Hills Driving Range

Details: Fairway Hills is one of 2 Columbia Association courses (the other, Hobbits Glen, is restricted to CA members who act like they own the damn place).  If their pro shop is small and spartan, the rest of the offerings are equally no-frills.  You buy a token in the pro shop and then use the token to get range balls out of a vending machine.  Pretty simple.  Other than a few covered spots, the range stalls are all open-air, so if you use them, you’re in the elements (no shade during the summer).  Mats are in good (not great) shape.  Range balls are in good shape as well.  There’s a small short game area where you can chip and putt, but the emphasis is on small (it can get crowded pretty easily).  It is, however, well maintained.  There’s a second small putting green that you can’t see in the photo.

If you go: The First Tee of Howard County is located at Fairway Hills so you might see them on occasion.

Hobbits Glen Golf Course/Driving Range: Website: https://www.columbiaassociation.org/facilities/golf/hobbits-glen/

Address: 11130 Willow Bottom, Columbia, MD 21044

Vibe:  Similar to that of Fairway Hills, but with the rarefied air of a quasi-private club setting.

Practice Green at Hobbits Glen. Hazy due to near sunset, not because I was drunk.

Practice Green at Hobbits Glen. Hazy due to near sunset, not because I was drunk.

Details: It looks quite similar to Fairway Hills, probably because they’re sister courses.  The picture above shows a large practice green (to the far right/middle is one of the greens on the golf course).  The mats are in good shape, and it’s a perfectly decent enough place to hit a bucket and work on your putting.  If you’re done and are hungry, might I suggest stopping in at The Turn House for a bite?  It’s nothing particularly notable but it provides you with everything you need.

If you go: They have several golf leagues and the like so it can be busy at times.

Timbers at Troy Golf Course/Range: Website: www.timbersgolf.com

Address: 6100 Marshalee Drive, Elkridge, MD 21075

Vibe:  It’s complicated.

Details: For several reasons the range is a bit of a hike from the pro shop; it’s down the hill and to the right (you get range balls down there as well, but at the last time I was there you bought your token in the pro shop).  The last time I was there some of the mats were in need of replacement.  There’s a small (emphasis on small) short game/chipping area near the area where you buy range balls at.  It’s not very well set up; it’s easy to get the area clogged up.  The best part of the facility is a very large and well-maintained (it was as of my most recent visit) practice green adjacent to the pro shop and the 1st tee.   If you wanted to just show up and work on your putting, this is a good place to do it.

If you go: Traffic getting out of there during the work week can be a challenge due to an office building on Marshalee Drive.  Hungry afterwards?  Pazani is on Marshalee drive near the Exxon station.  They do a decent pie and a good calzone.

Waverly Woods Golf Course/Range: Website: www.waverlywoods.com

Address: 2100 Warwick Way, Marriottsville, MD 21104

Vibe: Time to get down to business.

Practice Green/Short Game Area.  Great chance to chip, putt and hit sand shots.

Practice Green/Short Game Area. Great chance to chip, putt and hit sand shots.

Details: I love and hate this place.  Love the course, love the layout and the challenging holes and detest the pace of play that their marshals have decided is acceptable.  Practice facility?  Best in the county and it’s not even close (if you’re from Waverly Woods and you’re reading this, I’m not even remotely kidding- take a bow).  It’s Usain Bolt time.  During the warmer months their range is green grass (not mats).  That alone puts them ahead of the other places but the short game area is, in my humble opinion, the gem of this place.  Plenty of areas to chip, a bunker to work on sand shots, and shortly mowed and areas with rough to chip out of.  There’s a second non-chipping practice green next to the pro shop.  If they could improve pace of play (and for the record I’m begging them to do this) I’d be here every weekend saying “here, take my money” and I’d sing their praises like a damn fool.   Yeah, it’s a bit of a hike to get out here (it’s off of I-70) but it’s worth it.  The closest area facility is Olney Golf Park (and they can be peculiar).

If you go: If you’re going to use the range you might want to park near the range and not near the pro shop.  It can be a bit of a hike. The short-game area is close to the first tee and is a hike from the range (but worth it).

Willow Springs Golf Course/Driving Range: Website: www.willowspringsgolfcourse.com

Address: 12980 Livestock Road, Sykesville, MD 21784

The vibe: Hope springs eternal.

Details: As you leave the Baltimore area on I-70, you’ll pass by Waverly Woods and Turf Valley (note- Turf Valley resort is restricted to resort guests so I did not visit or review their facility, as a polite but firm young lady informed me when I called to ask), and a few miles later, you’ll come across Howard County Fairgrounds on one side of the highway, and Willow Springs on the other.   Their range is rather utilitarian; while it’s large enough with plenty of bays, the mats are in average shape.  The short game area is decent.  Not great, not bad.   While I haven’t played Willow Springs, I can tell you it’s an Executive length course (shorter par 4’s and par 3’s) which makes it a good option for golfers who aren’t that long off the tee but still want to tee it up.

If you go: Their pro shop burned down in November (I visited them prior to this happening) so please visit and be as patient as you can.

 

 

Golftec is Coming to Howard County

While we’ve enjoyed pleasant weather for the first half of November (allowing courses to stay open), the weather people are saying we’re supposed to have a cool-down and it’s looking highly unlikely we’ll have a repeat of last year when we were playing in December and around Christmas (let’s all pause and think about how great that was even if it didn’t make for a particularly festive setting for Christmas).  However, we can always hope!

Coming soon- a Golftec in Howard County.

Coming soon- a Golftec in Howard County.

Once it gets cold and courses start closing for the year, options become limited.  Some ranges stay open year-round, but that means battling the elements.  One option that’s coming for Howard County golfers in Golftec, which has a location in the works in Ellicott City.  While driving on MD-108 this past Sunday I saw a sign for Golftec but wasn’t sure if it was real or if I was hallucinating.  So after a workout this morning, I stopped by to take a further look and was pleased at what I saw.

Golftec is not a retailer in the vein of Golf Galaxy.  They specialize in lessons (they have indoor facilities) and club-fitting which are two things that we lack in the area (I’ve had a club-fitting at Golf Galaxy that was okay, but I was mostly decided when I walked in the store).  For Howard County golfers this option currently doesn’t exist, which means it’s trek to Montgomery County to one of two Golftec locations or Needwood GC who have an indoor simulator (they offer indoor leagues through Montgomery County Golf).

So in the same shopping center as the Coal Fire Pizza, the Glamour Shots, and a Cold Stone creamery, there will be (see the picture above) a Golftec moving in.  When I was there, two guys went inside the store (you can see their cars in the photo).   And if that’s not enough motivation, you can get Glamour Shots once you’re done (I’ve often wanted to recreate the Jan Stephenson bathtub photo- see below), and then grab a meal at Coal Fire Pizza, Urban BBQ or Starbucks.  Jokes aside it’s very close to Timbers at Troy (right off of MD-100) and is fairly convenient to Hobbit’s Glen or Fairway Hills as well.

I'm going to recreate this at Glamour Shots.  You're Welcome, Everyone.

I’m going to recreate this at Glamour Shots. You’re Welcome, Everyone.

As with my tweet I sent out on Sunday, no update from Golftec’s website about anything official or an opening date.  But, signage at the shopping center as well as front door signage bodes well.  Your faithful scribe will stay on top and continue to provide updates.  In the meantime, hit ’em straight.

 

 

An Invitation For a Round of Golf

Dear President Obama,

It’s now September 2016, which means that by the time the PGA Tour hits Torrey Pines in January (and many of us on the Eastern Seaboard will watch with envy), you’ll no longer be President.   It’s been an interesting 8 years (you’ve had your moments good and bad, like many Presidents), and I’m sure you’ll write a memoir at some point (which I’m sure will be interesting) after you  leave office.  You and your wife have both indicated you’re going to stay in the DC area until your youngest daughter finishes high school, which I can respect since it’s obvious you care about your daughters and their education.

I mention this because as you probably know, when President Clinton left office, he moved to New York while his wife became a Senator representing the state of New York (however he didn’t have a high school aged daughter at the time).   You probably know this, but like you, Bill is a golf nut (and for the record, I think it’s important that Presidents have a hobby; taking a few hours once a week to play golf is good for you, it was good for Bill and I thought that your predecessor was being silly by giving up playing because of Iraq) even if he does take a few too many breakfast balls (mulligans) for my taste.  He became a member at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester because Trump gave him a membership (Bill wanted Winged Foot but they didn’t want him (more specifically they didn’t want his Secret Service detail)) which you can probably guess he’s had to resign given how things are right now.  I mean, talk about awkward!  Who knew how that was going to work out way back in 2001?

I’m not sure if one of the private clubs in the area will offer you a membership or not.  It says here that at least one of them will (my guess is that either Congressional, Columbia CC or even TPC Potomac would welcome a former President but we’ll see- not sure how Congressional would feel about your Secret Service detail although if anyone’s asking they’d be lucky to have you as part of their membership).  I don’t think Burning Tree will extend an offer (and if they did there’s no way Michelle would let you accept it- I’m in the same boat), and let’s be honest- Trump’s course in Virginia is a non-option for a host of reasons.  I’m sure Army-Navy Golf Club in Arlington would reach out as well, but that’s for them to decide.  It’s not like you have to make a decision about this right now.

Those first few months out of office could be tough when you go from being POTUS to being a house-husband.  You’re going to rediscover wearing sweatsuits all day long rather than having to wear a suit and tie (let’s not wear the mom jeans- you’ve got the ability to look more than fashionable).  It’ll be a heck of a transition, and yes- you deserve to put your feet up for a bit (I’m sure 42 and 43 have probably mentioned this to you as they both know what it’s like to serve two terms).  Please don’t take up painting.  Just doesn’t seem your thing (and besides, I’ve got family who does this and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be).  I’m sure that you’ll get offers from companies.  Maybe you’ll start a charitable foundation (my guess).  Or maybe you just want to work on your memoir and play a lot of golf when you’re not being a father and a husband (which we know are the two most important jobs you have).

So here’s where I come in.  We haven’t met (although we do share one rather peculiar oddity), but l’m inviting you to play golf with me sometime once you leave office in 2017.  I’m probably not moving either unless I win the lottery (in which case, you’ll find me in Hawaii- guessing you know the area pretty well).  As much as I’d like to say I’m a member somewhere, I’m not.  However, there are a host of really good daily-fee courses in the DMV that would welcome you and I with open arms (well, you probably more than me if you’ve read some of my course reviews…and if you have any down time, check my course reviews out since I’m guessing you will be looking to expand where you play once you leave office).  I probably can’t pay your green fees but I’m sure you can handle paying your own way (I’ll pay mine- not looking for a freebie).  I understand you don’t mind a friendly wager (which isn’t a bad thing), but let’s keep it friendly…say a $5.00 nassau?  I don’t want you getting in trouble since lord knows people can blow things out of proportion.

If you chew Nicorette gum it doesn’t bother me.  Even if you want a dart…if you do I won’t tell a soul (I used to smoke…I get it).  My angle?  I’ve always wanted to play with a former President and since you play (and you’re hanging around for a while), I thought I’d ask.

I’m a regular golfer who tries to tee it up every weekend that I can.  I change my shoes in the parking lot (guessing that’s what you were doing until November of 2008), I wear shorts most (if not all) of the time, but every time I tee it up I hope I’ll have a great round and play well (which I’m guessing sounds familiar).  I tend to play it down whenever possible and I like to play fast.  I hear you’re the same way which is good.  If you’re nice (which I’m sure you’ll be),  I’ll pay for drinks if the beverage cart comes by (if you do imbibe it’ll stay between us).  If you’re feeling really magnanimous, maybe we can get a photo when we’re done.

Since you’re hanging out in these parts for a while, can I offer a couple suggestions?  I know you’re not a hockey guy (we know your passion is basketball), but if you can go down to Fort Dupont Ice Rink and visit the kids who play there every day.  I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to see you.  For a lot of reasons, people really like you.  The guy who runs the program loves the game and I’m sure you’d give him and those kids a thrill.  It’s in the District of Columbia so it’s not that far away.  Since we do know you’re a golf guy, can you try and make it a point to spend some time with the First Tee programs in the area?  The kids are learning all kinds of valuable life lessons along with learning this wonderful game.  I’m sure they’d be happy to meet you.

Anyway, hope the next few months go well for you.  Just so you know, I liked Governor Romney quite a bit but such is life.  Decent man who loves his family.

Next time you’re on the island of Oahu, play Ko’olau (if you haven’t already).  It’ll test you, but it’s a fantastic place to play.

Stay healthy, and hit ’em straight.

Yours in golf,

Editor and President, Singlegolferincart.com

Where I Break Down the GolfLogix GPS Infomercial

The latest in 2009 technology Infomercials with 100% less Peter Kessler!

The latest in 2009 technology Infomercials with 100% less Peter Kessler!

Maybe it’s just me, but I will watch infomercials.  I won’t buy anything but let’s be honest, the whole idea of them is a bit hilarious.  Golf infomercials are just as hokey as anything out there.  Previously I reviewed the infomercial for The Perfect Club, which is, in my opinion, the apex of Peter Kessler’s career.  But hearing that Nike will no longer make clubs, balls or bags got me a bit nostalgic for some of these inventions (I know I’m linking to Golf Digest and I do so knowing what a complete gong show their website is in terms of navigation).  I suggested on Twitter that if Tiger Woods is going to no longer use Nike clubs, maybe he should use an Alien wedge and a Perfect Club.  Who knows, if he has the chipping yips maybe it can help him.

In any event, before we had wearable GPS devices and they weren’t a fairly common device to carry, GPS devices were rare (I remember the first time I played with a guy who had a Sky Caddie and thought we’d never improve upon that).  But even before that, we had the GolfLogix GPS Infomercial on what seemed like an endless loop on Golf Channel.  Behold:

Let’s watch this in all of its SD glory, shall we?

0:02: That didn’t take long.  If you look at a 150 yard plate and are confused about what club to hit, maybe we need to have a chat.  Guy in a cart with 2 bags with no passenger.  This will never end well; kind of screams out “who likes slow play…THIS GUY!”

0:08: I like Gary McCord but for the love of everything, can someone tell him that the landing strip below his lip is…disturbing?  Why is this a thing?  I don’t mind his duster, but the landing strip…holy crap.  Kind of makes you want Peter Kessler, doesn’t it?

0:16: I’ll say this for the GolfLogix GPS; it’s not that big.  No bigger than a modern sky caddie or the Bushnell range-finder I use.

0:44: Garmin, a world leader in GPS.  Admit it- you wanted him to say “it’s made in Germany- they make great stuff over there!”  Oh, and nobody is walking an Arizona resort course that’s target golf, and the guy who is walking wouldn’t be seen with that fancy technology.  He’ll step it off himself.  Oh, and that guy who’s walking?  You can bet cash he’ll have a ball retriever.  Possibly two.

0:52: Practically bullet-proof?  What exactly does that mean?  Is that like practically bikini-waxed?  Too soon…I know.

0:55: It took 54 seconds before we know Peter Kostis is in this thing?  Let’s just say that the fact he’s reading cue cards is about as obvious as it is he’s wearing a blue shirt.  I like Kostis (he’s one of the few good things about a CBS golf crew that needs a major overhaul), and his swing analysis is always bang-on but wow…to borrow a slogan, buy a stamp and mail it in!

1:20: Audio cut out briefly.  You didn’t miss much.

1:25: More confidence AND more fun?  If I see two bathtubs rolling out I’m stopping this.  Just saying.  Not judging but that kind of gets out of my purview.

1:38: Those swings they’re showing are all kinds of ugly.  These people don’t need a GPS.  They need lessons.

1:57: No pressing buttons or pressing through complicated screens?  Far be it me to speculate but the Venn diagram of people this was geared for and the people who own a Jitterbug phone are two circles on top of each other…right?

2:09: It knows where you are on every hole…showing a guy near a hazard.  So does it say “hey goober, might we try to find the fairway at some point today?” because that would be funny.

2:12: It will speed up your round?  Really?  If somebody hands one to Jason Day and tell him “hey, this will speed up your round” I will pay you cash.  The fact that he named his kid Dash and his pace of pay is glacial is him trolling us, right?  Seriously, Jason- if you’re reading this…let’s pick up the pace a bit.

2:40: The part where Kostis and McCord are talking like regular guys about “how we need to get more people playing the game” but wait- I didn’t think anyone cared about growing the game?   A GPS isn’t going to help you find your ball if you hit it into waste areas.  Just saying.  And now we have a montage of people looking for their ball.  Crazy idea- play your next shot and then help the guy look for his ball.

3:15: Yes, the USGA has approved DMD’s (distance measuring devices) but I’ll still get at least one idiot a month who will see me use mine and tell me it’s cheating.

3:17: Which one should you pick?  Ooh…I know!  The GolfLogix GPS!  Let’s see if I’m right!

3:25: Yup, old people can’t use lasers….or use the computer unless they’re screaming about kids on the internet.

3:43: Hot damn!  They picked the GolfLogix Golf GPS!  Damn, I’m good!  And hey- it’s powered by Garmin.  Garmin!  I’m just going to assume that Gary McCord’s safe word is Powered by Garmin.  It probably is, but who knows for sure?

4:02: The numbers change while I walk…I can only imagine how explaining him how the sun and moon work must have gone.

4:18: Yes, distances to front/middle/back.  FYI, the Sky Caddie does the same thing if you were wondering.  I almost bought one several years ago but went with the laser range-finder.

4:35: If you’re a regular player and see 258, three words: JUST HIT IT.  You don’t have that shot.  Or this guide from a sprinkler head with a sense of humour:

Just hit it.  Follow instructions.

Just hit it. Follow instructions.

4:42: That was an awkward transition; now they’re wearing different clothes (it’s called continuity, people) and Kostis is talking about pushing a little button.  Nope.  Not gonna go there.

4:50: Yes, it’ll show you the distance of your last shot.  When I caddied I did that as well once, telling this old geezer who asked me how far he was to the green “you hit your tee shot 120 yards; you’ve got 320 to the front, 335 to the pin 350 to the back” being serious about wondering if he could reach the green (yes, in probably 2-3 more shots).  This was in the mid 1980’s when persimmon woods were still common.  So from 320 to the front he thought he could reach the green with a 3-wood.  So no, slow play didn’t start because of Tiger Woods.

5:20: Kostis is sending McCord out on a mission.  Is he coming back with breakfast?  Maybe some beer?   I’m hoping that McCord is looking for his former comedic foil, David Feherty.  At the risk of having a hot take or blowing up golf twitter, Feherty’s interview show is really in need of something new.  For starters, he needs to ask better questions and quit fawning over the people he interviews.  Second…he’s falling victim on NBC/Golf Channel of being unable to tell me, the viewer, something I don’t know.  He was a former professional who won on the European Tour and played in a Ryder Cup.  Enough of the same tired jokes.  Mix humour with actual information and quit fawning over the players.  It’s okay to be critical; tell us why!

5:33: He’s in he right rough.  It’s okay.  Put the milk cartons down, everyone.  I’m going to say this again.  Gary, you seem a swell guy, but I’m begging you- shave that goddamn landing strip off your face.  Leave the Rollie Fingers duster if you want.  Let’s be honest, a GPS is not a secret weapon.  We call that a foot wedge.  He’s 142 to the center, folks and naturally he knocks it stiff.  How is it that when he hit the shot it was sunny and clear and when it landed it was overcast?  In film they call that “continuity” problems.

6:02: “Thanks, Gary” is Kostis’ safe word.  I’m serious.  Now we get to the “Gary McCord is so dumb (HOW DUMB IS HE?)” part of the show.  And if you haven’t been watching, ABC’s remake of the original Match Game has been genius.  Alec Baldwin as host is…how do I put this…is an inspired choice?  As in, he’s good at it?  If you’re asking, of course they brought back the Gene Rayburn long skinny microphone.  I’m just going to say that having people drink while playing…works.  The Canadian reboot has Sean Cullen and Debra DiGiovanni (both are hilarious but criminally under-used).

6:22: Another badly-edited transition and with McCord off huffing glue (allegedly), Kostis is now giving the sell.  I mean, if you can turn it on, you can use it!  He didn’t say what you could use it for (I mean, could I use it to kill a bug?), but I’m going to go with the idea that the intended use would be getting distances.

6:37: More ugly swings from regular golfers…that GPS device won’t help someone who’s in the Charles Barkley arena of ugly swings.

6:53: Didn’t know GolfLabs were the leader in independent testing…okay.  While we’re talking about improving pace of play, why is it that I see 4 guys playing and only 1 ball?  Hint- whoever is next should be ready to go.

7:23: Look, 7 minutes over 9 holes isn’t bad, but continuous putting, playing ready golf, and playing from the appropriate set of tees will cut even more time.  We also don’t know what the normal difference between the front and back 9 times are.  I’ve played with guys who, if you give them the number they still look completely befuddled.  Or they’ll ask me what they should hit.  This is why I drink.

7:45: I’m not Nate Silver but 16 golfers on an Arizona course is not exactly what I would call a significant sample size.  But go on…

8:25: Is adding and subtracting that hard?  IF you’re a legit 8 handicap and you can’t figure out basic yardages, that handicap is the equivalent of a lot of Botox treatment.  It’s called vanity.  I’m calling malarkey on that guy’s 8 handicap index unless he putts as well as touring professionals.

Look, if you don’t have a rangefinder or a GPS it’s not a bad investment assuming you know how far you hit each club (and are honest about it).  There are smartphone applications that can assist (the free ones are uniformly bad) as well.

 

 

 

 

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