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Thursday, November 29, 2012


Anchoring The Club - USGA Ruling

Well, I guess this is why I’m not in charge . . . I would have just ruled against the club . . .

But the USGA is taking a more nuanced approach . . .

Maybe I’ll get me a mid-length club . . .



Saturday, November 17, 2012


Highlands, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Alabama

“Robert Trent Jones is an evil man.” – Vicki O.
Highland Oaks is on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Dothan, Alabama. There are 27 holes, plus a 9-hole par-3 course. I played the Magnolia and Highlands nines, which
was named by Golf Digest as the 7th best new public course in America in 1994 and 31st in their list of America’s Top 50 Affordable Courses. This combination was also named by Golf Digest’s "Places to Play" as one of the nation’s Great Value courses.
The greens on the Magnolia course are all elevated, in the style of Pinehurst #2, with closely-mown slopes going down to the fairway, or collection areas, or a lake (on 9). Each hole is interesting, and unique. No flat, boring, up-and-back par 4's here. The grass on the greens is similar to that on the Crossings course at Magnolia Grove, in that the grain always seems to grow downhill.
The Highlands course has the hardest pair of par 3's I've ever played, or seen on TV. Only the 12th and 16th at Augusta National come close, and the ones here are longer, and downhill, and exposed to the wind off the lake. The 4th is 256 yards from the tips, with water by the green in front and back and on the left. I played it from 181 yards, and did not aim for the green. Nevertheless, during the downswing, my unconscious mind screamed “DON'T GO LEFT”, which triggered an electrical storm of nervous system impulses, driving the shot another 30 yards right of the green. The 40-yard chip shot was over two large mounds to a green sloping away toward the water. Short-sided, of course. Another involuntary spasm left the first try halfway to the green. The second chip was stuck perfectly, but suffered from a lack of concentration and preparation, and broke an unanticipated 15 feet. I was uncharacteristically sanguine about my double bogey.
The 6th is the signature hole, the peninsula green, 206 from the tips. Fully 50 yards longer than the 17th at TPC Sawgrass, but, to be fair, a somewhat larger green with a much larger trap in front. I'll spare you the details, but it was another double bogey without a penalty stroke. It was while approaching this green that Vicki gave her opinion of Robert Trent Jones. You have to know that Vicki has never played golf, but has accompanied me a few times and we have watched golf together on TV. After the round we discussed why the various clubs have numbers, and what they mean. So, as you can see, her opinion was insightful far beyond what her golf experience would afford.
Just to set you up for these two holes, the third is a 457-yard dogleg left par 4 with the lake on the left all the way, like the 18th at TPC Sawgrass. Except that the tee shot is over the lake to a fairway that runs at an angle, like the 18th at TPC Scottsdale, where the farther left you go the longer the forced carry. I parred that one (from 414 yards).
If you're ever in Dothan, Alabama, this is one not to miss.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


as if . . .

Truths known only to an avid golfer! 

Don 't buy a putter until you've had a chance to throw it.

Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing.

When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either use one more club or two more balls.

If you're afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have two options: you can immediately shank a lay-up or you can wait until the green is clear and top a ball halfway there. 

The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.

No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse.

The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all of your many other errors.

Everyone replaces his divot after a perfect approach shot. 

A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck.

It is surprisingly easy to hole a 30 foot putt. For a 10.

Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut.

Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

It's not a gimme if you're still away. 

The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the centre of a very large tree.

You can hit a two acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time. 

If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.

Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three.

When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.

Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two double bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.

To calculate the speed of a player's downswing, multiply the speed of his back-swing by his handicap; i.e., back-swing 20 mph, handicap 15, downswing = 300 mph.

There are two things you can learn by stopping your back-swing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove.

Hazards attract; fairways repel.

A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.

If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint

It's easier to get up at 6:00 AM to play golf than at 10:00am to mow the grass.

A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.

Golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because you spend longer praying than you would do in church.

A good golf partner is one who's always slightly worse than you are....that's why I get so many calls to play with friends.

If there's a storm rolling in, you'll be having the game of your life.

Golf balls are like eggs. They're white. They're sold by the dozen. And you need to buy fresh ones each week.

It's amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.

If your opponent has trouble remembering whether he shot a six or a seven, he probably shot an eight (or worse)... 

It takes longer to learn to be a good golfer than it does to become a brain surgeon. On the other hand, you don't get to ride around on a cart, drink beer, and eat hot dogs when you are performing Brain Surgery !!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


I like Ike

Golf was essential to his daily routine. When he awakened in the morning, he limbered up by taking a few swings in his bedroom with his favorite eight-iron.

He sometimes swung the club when dictating to Mrs. Whitman. At 5:00 p.m. he would rise from Teddy Roosevelt’s old Navy Department desk in the Oval Office, put on his golf shoes, and head out the door, leaving tiny spike holes in the floorboards. On the Ellipse, the greensward stretching south from the White House toward the Washington Monument, he would practice fairway approach shots. His faithful valet (or as he was known in military parlance, his striker), Sergeant John Moaney, would shag the balls while tourists peered through the iron fence.

Eisenhower teed off for a full round of golf about eight hundred times in his eight years as president. Almost every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon, he played three-hour, eighteen-hole rounds at Burning Tree, an all-male club in the Maryland suburbs. On twenty-three trips to Georgia, he played roughly two hundred times at Augusta National, where friends built him, on the 10th hole, a spacious three-story house known initially as Mamie’s Cabin, then more commonly as the Eisenhower Cabin. (Mamie herself never played but approved of the game as a stress reliever for her husband.) Ike was a respectable weekend golfer, usually shooting in the 80s, but he had a congenital fade and an unreliable putter, and he sometimes blew up with a torrent of hells and damnations. (Ike almost never used stronger language, and he disapproved of off-color stories. He would turn and walk away if a friend unwittingly tried a dirty joke.) The United States Professional Golf Association helped build a putting green and sand trap outside his office on the South Lawn in 1954. In the spring of 1955, when some unruly squirrels created divots in the green, Ike ordered them shot. Eisenhower was accustomed to having his wishes become commands, but in this case the offending animals were caught and removed.

Read more: http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/exclusive-excerpt-ikes-bluff-president-eisenhowers-secret-battle-save-world#ixzz2BQhP3CrW

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Alice Cooper points the finger at famous golf cheaters


Credit: Ian West/AP

Veteran rocker Alice Cooper has confessed he regularly cheats at golf – and he’s outed celebrity pals including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and tycoon Donald Trump for also bending the rules on the links.

The “School’s Out” hitmaker is a famed fan of the fairways and has credited the sport with helping him to kick his crippling booze addiction in the 1980s.

But he’s now admitted he can’t help moving his ball to a better position when his opponents are not looking, and insists he’s not the only star who likes to get a sneaky helping hand on the course.

Cooper tells Q magazine, “Everybody’s cheated at golf. You might give yourself a better lie, a little nudge here and there. Only when I’m playing with my friends, though. In tournaments I play straight up golf…

“The worst celebrity golf cheat? I wish I could tell you that. It would be a shocker. I played with Donald Trump one time. That’s all I’m going to say. President Clinton never had a bad lie in his life, let’s put it that way. It doesn’t matter where the ball goes, when you get there it’s sitting up because there are CIA guys in the woods (moving the ball), you know?”



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