The Tee Box

Just got back from Canada
July 17, 2011, 6:13 pm
Filed under: golf, miscellaneous, travel

The family and I went to Niagara Falls and Toronto last week on vacation. We did all the normal tourist things on Saturday and Sunday, but Monday I played a course called Thundering Waters, which is a John Daly designed course on the Canadian side of the border. The course was in nice shape although there was construction going on all around the club house. My game wasn’t in great condition since I’d been nursing back pain the week prior. I was a bit surprised that on many holes you couldn’t hit a driver from the tee. I figured that since John is the “grip it and rip it” guy that’s what we’d get to do. I liked the layout and he definitely give you options and let’s you hit all the clubs in your bag. I’d play it again because it was a lot of fun.

On Tuesday we headed up to Toronto for the second half of the trip. The primary attraction for me was the Hockey Hall of Fame. It does not disappoint and I recommend it for anyone with an interest in the game. There’s even a golf club in one of the displays. On Thursday I played the Legends course at Lionhead in Brampton, Ontario. The price was a little steep but this too was a nice place. This course is a true test but it’s also very fair. There were many elevated greens and it required some thinking and adjustments. I shot 85 but I felt I could have played better. I’d play this one again as well.

We came home on Friday and spent yesterday catching up. But since I’m still technically on vacation I played Piedmont today. I was supposed to play with a twosome but they disappeared so I went off alone. I was behind a foursome who were, shall I say, deliberate. I went off the back nine and made the turn in 2.5 hours. On the front I joined up with two brand new members with the hope that it would slow me down and I wouldn’t have to wait on every shot like i had been. It helped a little but we still took another 2.5 hours on the front. It’s easily the longest round I’ve played at Piedmont. I ended with an 84, so it was pretty average.


Been too busy playing to blog
July 4, 2011, 8:29 am
Filed under: golf, miscellaneous

In the last week I got out and played what equaled four full rounds of golf. On Monday I went to Raspberry Falls to use a silent auction certificate that I’d won last winter. The days was muggy and the gnats were terrible. The course is a nice one but honestly the gnats really detracted from the round. I didn’t play well at all. My tee shots were all left, which puts you into a tough position to score. I ended with an 89 but it felt like 109.

On the drive back home I decided I needed to hit the range to figure out what I was doing wrong. When I got to Piedmont Club I noticed that the course was fairly open so I decided to play nine more. They sent me off the back and I my misses all went right, just the opposite of the morning. Go figure. I did play better and I shot a 42 for that nine.

On Wednesday a friend asked if I wanted to play over at Stonewall Golf Club. I like this course so I agreed. The drive from my office shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes however VDOT decided to shut down some lanes and the commute took longer than expected. I arrived when I was supposed to be teeing off. I dropped the clubs at the cart and ran in to pay. Then it was straight to the first tee without even a swing. I went on the shoot my best score ever, a 76. We played the white tees but you still have to hit the shots. I had two birdies and one eagle.

On Friday afternoon I hit Piedmont again for nine. This time it was the front and I felt as good as I did over at Stonewall. I shot 38 for those nine. Combined with the earlier back nine score the total was 80 for the eighteen.

Finally, yesterday I made it out to Piedmont again. I was early so I hit some on the range and then went over to the practice area for some chips. I did something bad to my lower back while chipping and I was in some pain as we started the round. At first it didn’t bother me during my swing so I played. As the round progressed however walking became much more difficult. Eventually swing was a problem as well. Somehow I shot 83 but I have to say it seemed like the longest round of golf ever.

I think it might be time to take a break until my back feels better. Hopefully that’s before my trip to Canada next week. I plan to play while I’m there so I better rest my back.

Golf is a funny game
June 25, 2011, 7:54 pm
Filed under: golf, miscellaneous

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out golf. I can go out and feel like I’m hitting everything well and shoot 87 and then I can play like I did today. I headed out after my wife told me I should play golf. I never turn that offer down. I walked on but was told that the tee sheet was fairly full but that I might be able to join up with a threesome that was scheduled to go off at 2:39. I went down to the first tee and waited until 2:39. No one else showed up so I went ahead and hit my first ball. I crushed it down the middle. Perhaps I should always skip warming up on the range. I gave the missing group another minute and then figured I’d start walking and if they came up behind we could join up.

After four holes I was still even par. I caught up to the group ahead but I also noticed that there was a single riding behind me so I waited for him to catch up so we could play as a twosome. It turns out that there was another single behind him so we all played together as a threesome. Our first hole together is a tough par 3. I hit a little over the green which left a delicate chip. Wouldn’t you know that I holed it for birdie.

The rest of the round was more of the same. I’d hit bad shots and somehow save par. The one exception was the 14th hole where I actually hit the fairway off the tee (a rarity today). I hit my approach to less than a foot. Tap in birdie. Another example of the way the round went was the par 5 18th. I pulled my drive way left and then hit my second shot and kept it to the left. Then I hit my third to about 15 feet and made the putt.

As I said, golf is a funny game.

The US Open and Afternoon Nines
June 23, 2011, 7:07 pm
Filed under: golf, miscellaneous

The weekend was very busy for me. I went to the US Open at Congressional on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s ticket was a grounds ticket. We decided to follow Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson for most of the morning but that group had the majority of the gallery. We did very well by getting a good spot on the rope and waiting for them to come through. Then we’d jump ahead a hole or two and do it again. For the afternoon rounds we caught several different groups. It was a fun time and my first time at a major.

Saturday turned out even better. We had Lexus Hospitality Tent tickets. These were given to me by my uncle, who is the GM at Lindsay Lexus in Alexandria, Virginia. If you want a Lexus, go see him. I hadn’t eaten anything prior to getting there so I was pretty hungry when we arrived. We headed to the tent and I was very surprised that this was no ordinary tent. There was an open bar, flat screens all around, air conditioning and made to order food. I got right on the omelet for breakfast. In addition there was a sign that Natalie Gulbis would be there a little later for a Q&A session. I made sure I was there for that. After the session she signed autographs and I was fortunate enough to have someone with a cell phone take a photo of us. I did get on the rope to see Rory get his first birdie of the day. It was a long day but very satisfying.

Yesterday and today I managed to get in nine holes each. I was fairly good off the tee but my round required scrambling to be decent. I shot 42 for the nine. Today I was missing more fairways but I got two birdies and a couple of pars. My score was 37 so I was happy to quit after the nine. Combined that was a 79 so I’m happy with it.

Got in a couple of rounds before the US Open
June 15, 2011, 7:40 pm
Filed under: golf, miscellaneous

I’ve got tickets to the US Open at Congressional this weekend. That means I can’t play golf on Friday or Saturday. Sunday is Father’s Day so I have lunch and then plan to watch the final round of the Open. No playing golf this weekend. So Monday I decided I”d try to get in a round before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. I met a friend at Piedmont and we headed out after work. We started at 3:45 and really didn’t wait much at all to hit any shots. We played the white tees and I really enjoyed the round. I shot 81 but more importantly I hit my clubs very well. Confidence makes such a big difference. The relaxing pace I’m sure helped. We made it around the course in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Today I decided to get out again before Game 7 of the Finals. This time I played as a single and I walked. I moved around the course at a good pace and only played through one group. I was still hitting my tee shots pretty well so that always helps. I caught a group in front on the eighth tee and waited on them for eight and nine. At the turn I picked up a couple of young golfers who asked if they could join me. They were sixth and seventh graders but they hit it pretty well. Playing as a threesome slowed me down a little and it helped to keep a decent pace going. Today’s round lasted 3 hours and 40 minutes so it was still brisk. I played the blue tees today and shot 82. Not my best but I’m not going to complain.

I really don’t know when I’ll get back out. There’s rain in the forecast tomorrow and then I have the busy weekend ahead. It was nice to take advantage while I could.

Too nice of a day to stay inside
June 2, 2011, 8:52 pm
Filed under: golf

Today the humidity finally broke. It’s felt like the middle of July for that past few days and today it finally felt like June. I couldn’t pass up the chance to play a round. I went out to Piedmont with the father of my daughter’s best friend. He’s been in Korea with the Air Force and he’s back for a few weeks. The breeze was strong and neither of us had any time to warm up. Because of that the round started on the wrong foot. While I did birdie the third hole, I never really got into a groove until the back nine. I shot 45 on the front but followed that with a 39 on the back. The driver really started working towards the end of the round. The 84 could have been better but it was beautiful outside and I was playing golf with a friend. Nothing else really matters.

Back to Heritage Hunt for a Day
May 30, 2011, 2:50 pm
Filed under: golf, miscellaneous

I was invited back to Heritage Hunt by a friend I met there when I was a member. I’ve always like the course because it fits my game. My handicap dropped a lot when I became a member there and it rose when I moved from there to Piedmont Club. The problem I had was that I usually golf on Fridays and Heritage Hunt always seemed to have tournaments or the tee sheet was already full with retired members. That meant I had a hard time playing my own course, which caused me to move to Piedmont Club.

I was really looking forward to going back. The course is in great shape. The weather was a bit hot and humid, much more so than you’d expect at the end of May. It truly felt like the middle of July. I have to think that the heat, along with this being my fourth round in four days, played a part in some poorly struck balls. I did shoot 82 which is a testament to the way the course suits me. My front nine was better than the back but I really feel that was because I was getting tired.

I’m looking forward to sitting back with a beer by the grill and enjoying the rest of my Memorial Day. It’s been a great weekend, a great part of which was the four days of golf. But I’m ready to take a day off. Considering the temperature is supposed to hit 98 tomorrow, that’s a great plan.