It happens. Fam stuff keeping me off the links. But don’t feel too bad for me. I’ve been averaging 27 holes a week since mid-August. And oh! The courses I’ve played –
Tewksbury Country Club, Tewksbury, MA
Cranberry Valley Golf Course, Harwich, MA
Continental Country Club, Wildwood, FL
Sandwich Hollows Golf Club, Sandwich, MA
Red Tail Golf Club, Devens, MA
Braintree Municipal Golf Course, Braintree, MA
Carrickmines Golf Club, Dublin, Ireland
Blackstone National, Sutton, MA
Highland Links Golf Course, Truro, MA
He was the embodiment of golf in the Mad Men era. The son of a steel mill worker, turned grounds keeper turned golf pro at the family run nine hole course, fans flocked to Arnie, drawn by his skill, passion and charm. Palmer brought golf into our mid-century rec rooms, live, in real time on our black and white TV sets.
In the New York Times, Dave Anderson has a great tribute to the man. Michael Bamberger’s Men In Green gives a full, warm account of Palmer, Nicklaus and Player and the game back in the day.
“Eighty percent of life is showing up.” Woody Allen
After 110 years, golf returns to the Olympic Games. Some of the world’s top golfers, citing health concerns and scheduling conflicts have opted out of playing in Rio. So, who will we be watching at the Games?
At the Paris games of 1900, the first and, until now, the only time women played Olympic golf, American women swept the field. Margaret Abbot (gold), Pauline Whittier (silver), Daria Pratt (bronze). Playing for the United States are:
Lexi Thompson (Rolex rank 4)
Stacy Lewis (Rolex rank 9)
Geriina Piller (Rolex rank 15)
With Half of the top 20 players in the world hailing from the Republic of Korea, it is safe to call Korea a power house of women’s golf. Korea is the only nation to field it’s full complement of players at this Game.
Sei Young Kim
In Gee Chun
..And Little Seoul Sister
Lydia Ko (born in Korea, residing in New Zealand)
Neighbor from the North
…playing three days in a row!
Tuesday, Wednesday and today – if the weather holds and the nature of the folks looking to tee off at 2:15 on a Friday afternoon.
…I hit the ball well enough, and it lands somewhere not too far from where I intended it to be. Occasionally, the ball’s travels feeds my aspirations – the one putt, the long drive to the middle of the fairway, the wedge shot that hits the flag stick then drops into the hole. In these highlight reel moments I feel elation and affinity with the game ; I feel golfly.
…then there are the times when I return to the origins of the game, and I feel like I’m hitting a rock with a stick towards a gopher hole.
Every stroke counts, but some more than others. My score for yesterday’s nine wasn’t remarkably high, or low, for that matter. I was matched with three very good players (people who par a lot), and while I didn’t match their level of play, I did keep up, and came back to the clubhouse with the same ball that I started out with:)
They told me it would happen. If I practiced and took some lessons and kept at the game, I’d get better. They just didn’t tell me how long it would take, or how many oaths would be uttered, or how many balls would be lost along the way. (The answers: years; countless and thousands.) Progress came in seemingly microscopic increments – a long drive here, the solid shot there. And I was thrilled, especially when my tee shot landed out there in the middle of the fairway. I savored every second of that long walk and I loved how the ball sat – it seemed so happy – surrounded by all that soft comfortable grass.
And on that long, triumphant walk, I’m thinking wow! Here’s where I could really make something happen. Gosh, I hope I don’t screw this up. Then I’d arrive at my happy ball. Select club. Line up shot. I can make this happen. Don’t screw this up. Cross line. Address ball. Make happen. Don’t screw up. Swing. Screw! (or, more accurately, a synonym for screw that starts with “f”) Consistently.
Why did this keep happening?
‘Twas a dark and gloomy night,
whilst sipping a wee dram and reflecting on this phenomenon, I realized that the last two words my brain heard before firing up the neurons needed to swing the club were “screw up.” I was programming my brain to deliver a screw up and that’s what it did.
In my off-season reading I came across the lesson of the bridge in Joseph Parent’s Zen Golf and as advice offered by Annette Thompson in Different Strokes: The Lives and Teachings of the Game’s Wisest Women, by Mona Vold.
A bridge isn’t built to carry it’s entry load in one day. It carries each load one at a time, here and now.
So now, on that long walk, I’m thinking about the bridge, and the single load that the next shot carries. “Here and now” is a much better message. And it seems to be working. For now, anyway:)
The one with the IT department. That you’ve been lining up for a week – the one that will reboot the enterprise-wide system and finish up the big project that you’ve been spearheading for almost six weeks . Yeah. That call. And when the call is over, there is a window of opportunity to play a quick nine before the whole kid pick up/dinner balloon goes up.
Fifteen minutes into the call and the IT guy is foundering. At the 30 minute mark, IT is still trying, and things still aren’t working, and you’re wondering how long the clock will the clock before IT seeks reinforcements. At 60 minutes IT concedes. IT does back to the drawing board and you’re off the hook and out the door on the way to the first tee.
Yeah. Don’t you hate that call?
Fever Tree Tonic Water / Pocket Ball Washer / Putter Wheel
June 24, 2016
Fever Tree Tonic Water – As part of our never ending quest for the perfect g&t, this summer we’re pairing Bombay Sapphire gin (a long time favorite) with Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water. “If 3/4 of your cocktail is mixer, make sure you use the best” say the folks who craft this tasty addition to the bar cart.
Green Go Pocket Ball Washer – I know. I know. I should bring a towel to the green. I should mark my ball, pick it up, wash it off and whisper “roll into the hole” in it’s ear. I should pace off the distance, and use my putter as a plumb line. I should never let the lateral water on the 5th hole come into play. This gizmo solves the bring a towel to the green problem. Fill it with water, ring it out, bring it on to the green and viola! a clean and happy ball that’s ready to roll into the hole.
Putter Wheel – Genius. A perfectly balanced wheel the look, feel and roll of a golf ball. A solid, square putting stroke sends it straight down the line. Hit it with an open face, the Putter Wheel veers right then falls over; a closed face sends it left before it topples. A welcome addition to the growing family of golfing parlor games.
3/10/16 – Spring came early to Boston. I was driving past the course (the tee on 5 to be exact) and there was a four some waiting to hit. All the cars in the parking lot confirmed it – the course was open. Let’s golf!