Golf Saga

Follows my golf game from inception to greatness (at least that is my hope). Includes tips, techniques, stories, rants, successes, etc... A blog for golf lovers.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hitting Straighter!

I think that I needed to lay my bag down for a few weeks in order to get my head on straight. On Wednesday, I played an executive course near my home (The Reserve at East Bay), and I was thrilled by the results. I only sliced the ball once! Once as opposed to nearly every shot! I also hit my first G.I.R. (Green in Regulation). For those of you that don't know, each hole in golf has a "par" associated with it. Par is the number of shots that it should take for a good golfer to get the ball into the hole. For example, if there is a par 3 hole, it should only take one shot to get onto the green, followed by two putts to hole the ball.

Unfortunately, I'm not able to report that I parred the hole. Though I was shooting straighter, I wasn't putting at my best, which meant that my score still suffered. One of these days, I'll be able to put both halves of my game together in order get a great score.

The weather was great, and I was able to satisfy my itch for the time being. Until next time, swing away!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Itch

I'm sitting at my desk, wearing a Callaway golf polo. I've just added me two sense to the Golf Link Forums, and I want to hit the links! It is cold here in Utah, but that isn't going to stop a golf junkie like me. My wife and I have had a lot going on over the past several weeks, and the only golfing that I have done is a few putts in my living room. I have to say that my 2-Ball putter is super accurate! I just want to challenge the course to try and stop me just one more time this season before I concede to the elements for the winter.

I want to try one more time to make par (by myself). I want to actually make the green in one on a par 3. I think that these are realistic goals that I can see through before I hang up my clubs until spring.

Man, oh, man do I have the itch!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Company Tournament

Back in August, my company had its annual golf classic, which is always a four-man scramble. I fielded a team consisting of my brother-in-law (Matt), his younger brother (Kevin), my sister's boyfriend (Mike--ooh, he does have a name!), and myself. I was by far the least experienced on the team. The tournament was actually my first full round of golf. It was a brisk Saturday morning when we all met at the driving range to warm up. I was feeling good, and was very excited to take part in the tournament with these guys that I got along with very well.
The time for the shotgun start came, and we drove our carts out to the 17th hole. The team elected me to tee off first, and when I did, I hit a decent shot (for me at that time) about 130 yds. down the right side of the fairway, my ball coming to rest just off the fairway.The other guys bombed the ball, and we ended up with a great lie about 100 yards from the hole. We birdied that first hole, and got our round off to a great start.
We had birdied eight of the holes when we made our way to the 9th green (pictured above) with another birdie opportunity. I read the putt, stepped up, and did like I had done all day for the team, give them a good read for their putts. I had read a little right to left break, but to my dismay, the ball started straight, and kept going straight, until suddenly--as if an invisible hand had pushed the ball--it broke right, and dropped into the hole. I had just one putted the ball from 15 feet, and with a pretty crappy putter, I might add. I was exstatic! For me, that was the highlight of the tournament, even moreso than what followed.
We finished the 16th hole--a par 3 with a massive green--with a par, and headed back to the clubhouse to turn in our score: 62 (-10). We were happy with the way we had played, but felt like we had given up too many birdie or better opportunities. We had reached 17 of 18 greens in regulation or better, but hadn't been able to hole out in just one stroke on several of the holes. At least, that is what the other guys were feeling. I felt so happy to have been part of a team that even birdied a single hole! When we turned in the scorecard, we were in first place, but we didn't think that we'd remain there. Another team had to be able to beat us.
Well, another team tied our overall score, but the tiebreaker was the 1 handicap hole, which we had birdied, and they had parred. We won! I couldn't believe it! It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to do it again next year when I'll be hitting straighter, sinking more putts than I miss, and giving my team better lies.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Save a Life

Permit me to deviate from the subject of golf for a moment. One of my favorite new bands, The Fray, has a song, How to Save a Life that discusses the loss of a young man to drugs due to alienation from those who wanted to "save" him, but ended up alienating him, fighting against him and trying to change him instead of standing by him and being a pillar of strength to him. It has caused me to look at myself, and how I try to help those that I love.

This summer, I had an uncle commit suicide. During his life, he had huge struggles in his relationships. His children accused him of terrible things, and he always went against the grain as far as our family's religious and moral views were concerened. I loved him dearly, and looked up to him so much for his sense of humor, his brilliance and his charity. He was the kind of person that would literally give you the shirt off his back if you told him that you liked it. My dad experienced this first-hand when my dad commented on his tie, my uncle took it off and gave it to him. He was just that kind of person.

As I found myself aligning more and more with my religious values, and seeing that he differed from them so much, as I look back, I see that I began to distance myself from him, allowing myself to become indifferent to his lifestyle because of the contrast between our lives. I allowed myself to become at odds with him, though neither of us ever knew I was doing this. Especially at the time that his children betrayed him, accusing him of unthinkable things, even plotting with their mother to accuse him, I should have called. I should have stepped in to support him. Even just to let him know that I still loved him and was thinking about him in such a difficult time for him. Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness. I would have stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life.

Go to the link above. Listen to The Fray's lead singer/songwriter, Isaac Slade, talk about his experience. I know that after thinking about this for the last few days, I am going to make the effort to in a sense stay up with those I love all night in an attempt to save them during hard times. You never know how your action or inaction will affect others. Be a friend. Stand by those who need a shoulder to lean on, or who may not be strong enough to stand by themselves. If a family member or a friend can't count on your help, whose help can they count on?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A New, Shiny Putter

Well, the shoulder has been bothering me on and off, so I haven't been to the driving range, or on the course, although I almost took a golf cart for a ride around the course on Monday (I'm not psycho, I just needed to find my golf coach). What I have done is practice putting and chipping. I was average on Monday when I putted, but today I was darn near unstoppable.

Why? Because I just got my Odyssey White Steel 2 Ball Blade. It is the most amazing putter on the face of this earth! It has a urethane insert for great response and distance control, and a milled steel sweet spot for better feel. Its alignment is where it gets the name "2 Ball" because of the two simulated golf balls that you line up behind your ball. The weight is perfect, and the grip is phenomenal!

I was able to line up a putt from 60 feet away, and not only get the distance, but putt the ball right down my intended line. I had only misjudged the break by about two inches, and the ball rolled only one foot past the hole! I was able to duplicate this nearly every time today! Once I get back on the course, this putter is going to help me lower my scores so much! It allows me to take my mad skills to the next level!

I love this game!


Friday, October 06, 2006

A Small Hitch

Yesterday I gave a training on effective written communication at work. Everything went very well. A lot of discussion was generated, and I felt that the message was delivered clearly and concisely. After finishing the training, I was gathreing my things, and as I went to pick up my laptop, this terrible, searing pain shot through my shoulder. The pain persisted the rest of the afternoon, becoming accentuated any time I would reach for something in front of me. I decided that I should have my shoulder examined, so I left work and went to my doctor. After moving my shoulder around, and having me resist the movements in all directions, he sent me over to the radiologist for X-Rays. The X-Rays showed that everything was normal, and he concluded that I must have strained my tendons connecting my bicep to my shoulder and pectoral.

I've come to the conclusion that I must have strained it by swinging too hard. Word to the wise: don't swing so hard! Let your hips start the motion, and move your body fluidly through the swing. And also, if you're going to lift weights, don't lift the morning after a round of golf. Lift the morning before a round of golf. If your muscles are already worked, you'll be forced to develop skill and technique instead of using strength to whack the ball down the course.

I may have ended my season. I'll be out for a couple of weeks while I let my shoulder heal, and by that time, for all I know, we could have snow here in Utah. It's unlikely, and I should be focusing on the positives, not the negatives, but I'd really like to get out on the course! Maybe even just the practice green. Okay, I've determined that my season isn't over! I'll get better, and I'll make it back out there. No bum shoulder is going to keep me off the course! I'll be back out there as soon as my two weeks are up!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

My brother-in-law, Matt, has been my biggest supporter, and help as far is golf is concerned. He just popped in on my blog for the first time today, and I realized that I've spoken about the help that I've received from my sister's boyfriend, but I haven't really mentioned the help that I received from Matt.

Matt took me out for my first round of golf this summer. I may have sucked, but that didn't matter. He stayed with me, and we had a great time. He has given me so many pointers, and many of those pointers that I have mentioned were probably given by him.

I mentioned that I recently scored 59 on my local nine hole course. That was in large part due to better putting. Matt and I went out to Cedar Hills Golf Club the Saturday before, and just worked on putting for a few hours. He was willing to do that, and helped me calm myself down when putting. I mention all of this because he has been monumental to me, and I just want to say, thanks, bro!