Welcome to part dos of the 2013 Hooked On Golf Blog Year in Review. The 2nd half of this great year started off in golf mecca…
Carnoustie Golf Links – click for more images
On July 1, 2013 I played the Old Course in St. Andrews with my best friend in the world, and the best Old Course caddie John “Boynie” Boyne of Caddie Golf Tours. I made a tactical error by reducing the loft of my driver one degree because it was so bloody windy. That made my driving accuracy awful as I had more sidespin. Consequently the Old Lady ate my lunch and crushed my confidence! I gained new respect for the Old Course.
Through the first week of July my Scotland golf trip continued. I played the absolutely fabulous Kingsbarns Golf Links in mega-wind. I hit a downhill 4-iron 128 yards and a crushed hybrid 132 yards! Solid!
I played Carnoustie, considered the toughest golf course in the world. I was even par after passing through Hogan’s Alley! I was -1 through 4. Solid 82.
Played two rounds on the Castle Course, another on the Old Course, and a round on the Torrance Course.
The final round of the Scotland trip was special, and the first round I broke 80. We played the wonderful Balcomie Golf Links in Crail. That round changed my perspective with regards to what I’d like to do the next time I’m golfing in Scotland. The next trip will be a tour of the coastline, playing every course which comes along the way.
Two weeks after I got back from Scotland my heart was aching to be back in Scotland as I watched Phil Mickelson win the Scottish Open, then the Open Championship a week later.
Continuing on with possibly the best July on record for me, I did a media trip to Cabo San Lucas and played the #1 (Diamante Dunes) and #2 (Cabo Del Sol) courses in Mexico. So in a one month period I played 4-5 of the top 50 courses in the WORLD.
Jason Dufner won the PGA Championship in boring fashion. Then, the most exciting part of the week was when he grabbed his wife’s ass on the 18th green in front of about 20 billion people. Nicely played.
Sadly, the new club president at my men’s association ran the club into the ground. Only six people showed up for the championship.
Bubba’s Hover was the video rage. Bubba Watson released a golf cart hovercraft!
Of course, April is Masters month. Not a month is busier for me or HOG. Lots of Masters related articles. Adam Scott won the Masters in dramatic fashion. Angel Cabrera hit what I consider the shot of the year with his approach on the final hole to about two feet. That shot resulted in a birdie to tie Adam Scott and force a playoff.
Tiger Woods won THE PLAYERS (always write “The Players” in ALL CAPS, it is what they do). Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods had a little tiff which the media went into a feeding frenzy over. Sergio eventually apologized for some not-so-nice comments.
I love to keep close tabs on the “Auld Grey Toon” of St. Andrews. It is my home away from home, even though I’ve only been there twice…
Good friend and Old Course caddie John Boyne tipped me off about a very neat and historic golf discovery by Roger McStravick. Mr. McStravick has been researching in the University of St. Andrews for an upcoming book, “St. Andrews, In the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris.”
The discovery was found through the reading of manuscripts from the Golf Collection in the University of St. Andrews Special Collections Department. In statements written by Old Tom Morris was information pertaining to Tom’s building of his first golf shop next to the 18th green of the Old Course in 1878.
I hope to get in touch with Mr. McStravick and do a small interview about this discovery, and also pick his brain for other great information about Old Tom, the Old Course, and the Old Gray Town. Stay tuned.
The Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour was rolling this past few days in northern Arizona and southern Utah, with stops at Bryce Canyon National Park, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and Kanab, Utah.
Coral Cliffs Golf Course – Kanab, Utah
Home base this week was at a pal’s place in Kanab, Utah. Kanab is just on the Arizona/Utah border, about 1.5 hours north of the north rim of the Grand Canyon, This small town of about 5,000 is in a fantastic location with the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park all from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours away.
Kanab has a small and relatively unknown 9-hole golf course called Coral Cliffs. Of course, the name comes from the red rock cliffs which serve as a beautiful backdrop. The fine managment at Coral Cliffs allowed me to ride the course on a cart and bring my photo gear, including my aerial imagery rig (toy helicopter). Here’s one shot of the 5th, 6th and 7th holes from above. I’m still working on processing the rest of my images, but for now enjoy this one.
For more on Coral Cliffs, visit the Kahab page at Utah Golf Guru, a Hooked On Golf Blog sister site. Utah Golf Guru provides a list of every course in the state of Utah with photos, course details and even playing tips from yours truly!
I’m only a few weeks into piloting my toy helicopter aerial imagery setup. I’ve been working on building up my flying skills and also working on my photo/video setup so that I can capture higher quality images and video. There are still some big pieces to the puzzle like a new camera and some stabilization gear. Below is a photo video from last night’s flight around sunset at one of my home courses, River Oaks.
River Oaks GC, Sandy, Utah – Hole 3 (right) and Hole 5 (left)
One item I’ve ordered and am anxiously waiting for is a camera “gimbal” which will keep the camera level, even when the copter is pitching any direction. This will make the flyover videos of the golf holes much more stable and pleasurable to watch.