My email, Facebook, and Twitter are lighting up with concern from around the world. I’m thankful to have so many friends in the golf industry. Apparently the big news the last couple of days is that a golfer was stabbed here in our lovely state, an incident involving slow play.
So speed it up!
The golf course was Payson Golf Course, a course which isn’t close to me. I’ve never played it. Probably never will now. This is from the Salt Lake Tribune:
Payson • Police say a 61-year-old Utah man is accused of stabbing another man for golfing too slowly.
KUTV reports that the man and his wife were golfing Saturday night when they got into an argument on the course with other players.
Payson police said the couple thought the group was going too slowly and wanted to play ahead of them.
The man reportedly used a pocket knife to stab another man and was wrestled to the ground by another golfer after the couple encountered the group again near the ninth hole.
The victim had a small cut and was taken to a hospital for the non life-threatening injury
After weighing up all the options and discussing it with my family and the Hooked on Golf Blog team, I have decided that due to the health concerns surrounding the Zika virus I will not be participating in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Though the odds are low, my medical staff has confirmed that there is a potential risk of harm to me and my family and I’m not willing to take that risk.
It is with great sadness that I had to make this difficult decision. I was looking forward to being considered to compete in Rio and representing my country. I hope that HOG readers can understand this difficult decision and respect my position.
In closing I thank all those who have supported me in my golf career. I send my best regards and wishes to the the participants who will be teeing it up this summer in Rio.
The U.S. Open is this week at Oakmont. The course is setup to be the toughest course in the history of professional golf. According to many it is going to be a bloodbath. Watch for the pampered tour pros to be whining and sniveling about how hard it is. Poor babies.
As is customary during major golf championships, and a few other bigger golf tournaments, the golf apparel manufacturers release their “apparels scripts” to journalists and bloggers around the globe. Those journalists eat it up because it is easy content their lazy asses can just repost, and because they think they might get a free shirt out of the deal. Here’s Jason Day’s apparel script from adidas. It’s so cute.
For years now I’ve come up with my own “scripting” for these events, from g-strings to dirty laundry to beer scripting. Since this year’s U.S. Open is going to be so brutally hard, I thought my apparel scripting should reflect what it will really take to survive: body armor.
Are you geared for war? FORE!
In the previous post about the 2016 RCK Salt Lake City Amateur tournament, I mention briefly a sock scripting malfunction. I thought the story deserved it’s own golf blog post so here it is.
In the 2nd round of the tournament Sunday I had some other problems in the shoe/sock department. I can laugh now but at the time I was not laughing.
I walked some 20+ miles in some new shoes early in the week and as a result got a bad blister on my left heel, along with some kind of injury on my right arch. So I had some pain in both feet, which makes walking 12 miles in the tournament a little difficult.
I taped the hell out of my ankle and changed shoes on the 2nd day. That helped a lot. The new old shoes did not rub or make the blister worse thank the golf gods.
Sock Scripting Malfunction
It was about 7 a.m. and my bedroom was still dark Sunday morning, the day of the second round. As to not wake up the lovely sleeping beauty bride, I quietly grabbed a pair of white Kentwool Tour socks from my drawer and tip toed out of the bedroom and headed to the tournament. In the parking lot of the course when I attempted to put the socks on I found they were about 8 sizes too small. They were my 3-year-old son’s Kentwools, accidentally located in my sock drawer! Complete and utter sock scripting #fail.
I had no choice. I stretched them and put them on. Surprisingly I could stretch them enough to cover my feet and ankle. My playing partners/buddies told me “just buy some damn socks in the pro-shop!” I told them, “I’m not going to buy a crappy pair of cotton socks. I’d rather wear my 3-year-old’s Kentwools than adult size crap socks.” They thought I was nuts. Then again, they don’t wear Kentwools so they can’t possibly understand.
A few holes in my toes were being crushed together and the stretched fabric was not giving me enough padding. I knew if I continued on I’d do even more damage to my feet. On the 3rd hole I called lovely bride and asked her to bring me new socks.
On the 8th fairway a cart from the pro-shop came down with a grocery sack for me. Special delivery from the wife. Inside was a pair of white Kentwools. Thank you thank you. On the 9th tee I started to put the socks on and realized something. The socks were my wife’s socks, not mine! Too small again! Dammit to hell! I looked in the sack and fortunately she brought an extra pair of Masters green Kentwools, which were my size. What a relief.
Below are all the socks involved in this event, after I wore them all. The smaller sizes are a bit stretched out now.
Left: 3-year-old’s socks | Middle: wife’s socks | Right: my socks
I finished the hot round in 95 degrees with comfy feet and no further issues. Ironically I played better in my 3-year-old’s socks than ones that were my size.
- Score while wearing 3-year-old’s socks: one over par.
- Score while wearing socks my size: six over par.
The stats don’t lie. I guess I’ll be wearing my 3-year-old’s socks from this point on. Kentwools only, of course.
This is a painful post to have to write, but I’m compelled to do it. I was horrified to see heavy equipment in operation this past Saturday at the fabulous Bonneville Golf Course. Bonneville is a municipal course which was designed by William Bell and has been providing the public great golf and fantastic greens since 1929. It’s really a gem and is an extremely popular course. “Bonney” is the first real golf course I played as a beginning golfer many years ago.
Unfortunately the heavy machinery was not there to level out the uneven tee boxes, work on improving the greens, fix the bad bunkers, or rip out the crumbling cart parking strips by the tee boxes. I was shocked to find equipment and workers digging out new cart paths. Lots of them.
One of the great things about Bonneville was its LACK of cart paths. Lacking cart paths makes a course much more aesthetically enjoyable. Plus, with no cart paths by the greens, errant approach shots aren’t bounced into the next county. That’s over. The ironic thing is that having cart paths is what makes specific parts of the course shabby and downtrodden. The paths basically force cart riders to enter and exit in the same places and cause a ton of damage to those areas. With no paths cart traffic is spread across a wider area and less damage is done to the course. I know, I’m talking crazy talk, right?
Apparently those who are making the decisions want Bonneville to look like some resort course in Orlando, rather than wanting it to be a great golf course. Seriously, WTF are they thinking? Not only that, we keep hearing about how Salt Lake City courses are losing money faster than John Daly loses alimony. Somehow they scraped up the money for cart paths though. Got it.
Below are a few photos I captured with my phone during that round, showing a few places they’ve begun work on the new paths. I hope this is all, but I doubt it. Under each photo are my comments. If you disagree, I’d love to get your opinion.
Above is the look from the snack shack which is by the #2, #4, and #11 tees. You can see two paths not very far apart. Yeah great idea to lay down two times the amount of pavement. Wouldn’t it be smarter to lay down less pavement? I know. Crazy talk.
Above is a view of the par-3 17th green with the new path just a few steps right of the green. Pop quiz: Do you know where most amateurs miss? You guessed it! Where that new cart path is, to the RIGHT. Strategically that cart path is great. If players miss right and hit the path, their ball will either bounce over to the 11th tee and kill someone, or bounce down the path to the ROAD and hit someone’s car, causing them to swerve and hit golfers coming off of of #1 green. Brilliant.
Above is another view of this great new path which runs from the 17th tee to the green. You can see the rest of the hill where many thousands of carts have come down over the years. No damage of course. No cart path needed.
Above you can see a photo of the par-4 14th green. Some 5-10 steps left of this green will be a new cart path. This is such a great strategic placement. You see, right of this green is a hill with some trees which can eat balls and never give them back. So the “default miss” for people who bail a little bit on this hole is left. Now if someone goes left, their ball will bounce on the cart path into trees, or toward the 15th tee. The ball likely won’t reach the 15th tee, but will give the golfer an enjoyable impossible flop shot from a downslope over trees. I’m sure that’s just what William Bell had in mind.
Wow isn’t the photo above beautiful? The view back up to the par-3 15th green from the 16th tee used to be the great green Bonneville bent grass. Now it’s this God-awful “Y” shape of future pavement. Fantastic! This is another strategic blunder too, but even worse than the one by the 17th. This is a 230 yard par-3. Players are always missing this green, mostly right. Yes, new cart path will be right. There will also be path to the left, for those who double cross themselves. And finally, path long for those who over club. Congratulations! You’ve just created a 230 yard version of the 17th at TPC Sawgrass, but instead surrounded the green with pavement instead of water!
Not Likely to be Final Thoughts
Some of the greatest golf courses in the world have no cart paths. The world’s two greatest courses come to mind: Augusta National Golf Club and the Old Course in St Andrews.
Somehow the 87 year-old Bonneville Golf Course has managed to be the most popular course in the state for decades without cart paths. Despite having golf carts, Bonneville’s great drainage, resilient bent grass, and hard ground has meant carts do little damage to the course. So why the change? To me it reeks of someone making decisions who knows nothing about golf, or perhaps doesn’t care. This is someone who doesn’t “get” the experience and authenticity of this great old golf course. This is someone who spends their time sitting at a desk, not walking the golf course. Their vision of golf is carts, cart paths, and cart fees. This isn’t some Disney course in Orlando. This isn’t a country club. These new paths are an unnecessary expense which will make the course less appealing visually, and produce all sorts of problems from a playability standpoint.
If you disagree with me and think adding cart paths will improve Bonneville, I’d love to engage in some conversation with you. I mean it.
Last year Salt Lake City Golf Division allowed the Arthur Hills airport course Wingpointe to close and has been looking to close another course called Glendale. Now they’re messing with their cash cow Bonneville. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
What will Salt Lake City Golf Division screw up next? Perhaps the best thing for them to do would be to continue to own the courses and bring in a management company to run them and make the decisions they’re clearly not smart enough or equipped enough to make.
On the bright side, Top Golf is opening soon in Salt Lake…
UPDATE May 5, 2016
A week later… They are putting in nice looking new sand into the bunkers. See instagram photo below:
I have to give credit where credit is due. Good so see them improving the bunkers, which were previously just dirt with rocks.