From the shady part of the fairway of the 4th hole at Little Bennett. I like shade.

From the shady part of the fairway of the 4th hole at Little Bennett. I like shade.

I can’t say I’m surprised that Tiger Woods isn’t playing in the US PGA Championship.  The only thing that is surprising is that he still waits until the last minute to withdraw from majors (when nobody was surprised that he withdrew), as if somehow he’s going to turn up and play.  I don’t have any inside knowledge, but I do question if he really wants to play.  He seems to care quite a bit about his kids (which is a good thing).  It can’t be a money thing; by all accounts Woods has held onto his money.  He will go down as the greatest golfer of his generation, and his 2000 season should be considered the high mark (barely edging out 2005) for a season in the modern professional era.

From the fairway on the 9th hole at Little Bennett. It's a hot heat.

From the fairway on the 9th hole at Little Bennett. It’s a hot heat.

We’re having one of those heat waves; I played yesterday (7/21) at Little Bennett; course was in solid shape (especially fairways).   If you live in Western Howard County it’s pretty easy to get to but even from Columbia/Elkridge it’s not that bad.  Don’t think I’m playing this weekend (I’m still not close to 100% and I’m still running out of steam at the end of my rounds).  If you do play, stay hydrated!  My trick- take two water bottles and stick them in the freezer overnight.  Take ’em with you, and as they melt you’ll have icy cold water.

Not for anything, but I paid $39.99 (with a 50% off coupon for a replay that same day)  to play at Little Bennett yesterday (Thursday), compared to weekday rates at Waverly Woods ($64.00) and Timbers at Troy ($57.00).   Which means 36 holes at Little Bennett would have been less than 18 at Waverly Woods and only $3.00 more than 18 at Timbers.  A recent visit to Timbers at Troy didn’t reveal it being in particularly great shape, which is disconcerting.  I know that our weather this year has been particularly difficult, but why is it that the MoCo courses are in such better shape compared to Timbers at Troy and Hobbits Glen (which is in dire condition)?

I’m no expert but if I were running Hobbits and Fairway Hills I’d worry less about FootGolf and more about why more and more “core” golfers are taking their money to Montgomery and Anne Arundel county courses?

For me, summer wouldn’t be summer without some good books.  I used to be all about wanting physical books, but since She Who Is Really in Charge bought me a tablet a few years ago, I’m a convert.  I’m looking forward to finishing up Uber Chronicles by Jessie Newburn.  I’ll admit to being conflicted about Uber (along with Lyft and other so-called “sharing” economy applications).   Jessie Newburn runs our local HoCoBlogs group (of which I’m proud to say I’m part of their community).  She’s asking some interesting questions from her perspective and I hope others find her work as engaging as I have.

While we’re on the subject of books, if you haven’t read it, John Feinstein (who is local) has churned out some truly great golf books.  His Good Walk Spoiled remains a standard-bearer about life on the Tour.  His book Tales From Q School should be required reading for anyone who ever thought they could be on Tour.  His book Open chronicles the 2002 US Open at Bethpage, and is half of my annual “re-read” list (the other is Ken Dryden’s classic “The Game” which remains the standard for sports books which I always read prior to the start of the NHL season).

While I’m veering off of the subject of golf, if you live in Howard County (or you work here), a good read is this which is from the HoCo Blogging community.  I won’t say I agree with every word, but given the lack of coverage our county gets (the DC and Baltimore local stations seem to take delight in ignoring what goes on here), it’s nice to see someone asking good questions about current issues in the county.  His work during April’s school board elections was particularly compelling.

Here’s some happy music. Enjoy and stay cool out there.