2013 was quite a year for Hooked On Golf Blog and me, Tony Korologos. This article is part one of two (part two tomorrow), looking back at 2013 from at HOG viewpoint.
Ah the beginning of a new year and the hopes that my short game would improve. There’s always 2014…
Rory McIlory switched to Nike Golf. Personal issues, business issues, and perhaps the equipment switch would contribute to a less-than-satisfying year on the course for Rory.
Attended the PGA Show for the billionth time. Orlando hates me and my body. Had a great time seeing the new gear, meeting old golf friends and battling in the Battle of the Golf Blogs.
February I posted a bunch of golf videos from the PGA Merchandise Show.
Asher Golf’s James Roundy, a local friend, passed. Sad.
The Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour traveled to Bogota, Colombia. What a fantastic trip! I got to play golf with Web.com Tour star Kevin Foley in the Web.com Tour Colombia Championship Pro-Am. Kevin would later gain his PGA Tour card for 2014! He must have learned from my dual chicken wing granny over the top swing.
While in Colombia I played golf at La Cima Golf Course, 10,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains. Wow. Ball go far.
Met Web.com Tour player Dusty Fielding. Nice kid.
A fun blog post was “Filtering Out the Noise: Golf Social Networking’s Top 10 Overused Status Updates.”
I reviewed the Cobra Amp Cell driver.
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.
I reviewed the Cobra Amp Cell irons.
Ecco Golf came out with hybrid wingtip shoes. Some of the coolest crossover shoes ever.
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.
HOG poll results told us that Delta Airlines is the worst airline for golf travel.
Good thing Adam Scott won the Masters when he did. The USGA and R&A announced the ban on anchored golf clubs, beginning January 1st, 2016. Bye bye belly.
Eric/Tom sent in some great fan mail, calling me an “asshole who sucks at golf and couldn’t break 100” all because of a golf bag I reviewed. Thanks Eric/Tom!
I fell down a volcano and suffered volcanic road rash. Thankfully my Nikon survived.
I played in the Salt Lake Amateur golf tournament. I was right in the mix through 27 holes until my back went out on the 10th tee. I finished, but the last nine was not pretty. Bugger. Kill me.
HOG readers voted Southwest Airlines as the best airline for golf travel by a landslide.
I reviewed a very cool book: An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course.
Posted an article on golf CHEATERS. That’s what sandbaggers are.
Justin Rose won the U.S. Open in amazing fashion. That was one of the best ball striking displays I’ve ever seen.
On June 30, I boarded an airplane bound for St. Andrews, Scotland.
I love picture books. They’re perfect books for my reading level…
I’ve been enjoying a great book called “Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors – Golf’s Renowned Venues.” This book shows vibrant and panoramic photos of golf’s major venues since 1950, along with paintings of them as well. Of course the major tournaments are the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship (British Open), and the PGA Championship.
The photographer for the book was Patrick Drickey, a world renowned photog licensed by the PGA of America. How do I get that gig?
The artist is Linda Hartough, from Harbor Town, SC.
Naturally the first page out of the 250 I opened to was the Old Course at St. Andrews. What are the odds. No really. What are the odds? One in 250 and I turn to THE Old Course.
Green Glory – click to zoom
The 2nd page I managed to randomly find was the photo below of the 13th hole at Carnoustie, a beautiful par-3. See the image below. What a great thought, knowing I’d played both of those courses about five months ago. Seems like years. I miss that place…
Carnoustie hole #13 – click to zoom
Green Glory is full of some great imagery, and a little bit of useful information regarding each venue. This is a great coffee table book for days like today (12/19/13), where it has been snowing for 10 hours. I can thumb through it and reminisce about the rounds I’ve played on some of the courses within. I can dream of playing rest.
To pick up a copy of “Green Glory: A Visual Tribute to the Courses of the Majors – Golf’s Renowned Venues,” visit www.stonehousegolf.com. Retail is $75 for an autographed first edition and $55 for the book unsigned.
This is crazy. I just opened the book again, to look for Chambers Bay. Chambers Bay is the host of the 2015 U.S. Open, the first venue in the northwest to host a major. I turned to the Carnoustie page again! What are the odds?
I was enjoying the book Loopers: A Caddie’s Twenty-Year Golf Odyssey while doing a ton of golf travel in July. I didn’t realize how much I was enjoying the book until I lost it. On my return from the Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour stop in Los Cabos, Mexico, I thought I’d left the book on the plane. I was at a crucial part of the book too, right when John Dunn, the world’s most traveled golf caddie gypsy, arrived in Bandon Dunes. Big bummer.
I was going nuts, wanting to know how the book ended. I decided that I’d have to contact the publisher who sent the book in for review to at least get a PDF version of the last couple chapters. I even thought of contacting John Dunn directly, but I figured that would be tough because he was probably hitchhiking through Death Valley or someplace nutty like that, between two caddying gigs.
Then I found it.
I’d put the book in my backpack on the way back from Mehico, inside the laptop section, which is sort of hidden. I was thrilled. So I grabbed a glass of vino and headed for the back porch to finish it off. Like the last caddie book I read by Oliver Horovitz, An American Caddie in St. Andrews, the book ended with me in tears.
When I do golf course reviews or golf travel articles, I tell the whole story. But golf books, especially non-fiction titles like this one, I can’t. I don’t want to give the story away.
In short, Loopers is the story of a John Dunn. He has to be golf’s most traveled caddie gypsy. Dunn has caddied all over the country the last 20+ years, even in Scotland. Most of the time Dunn made his way around without having a car or in many instances a place to sleep. What an intersting life. I’d love to be in a situation where the only possession I have to worry about is my golf clubs. No car payment. No insurance. No mortgage. No obligations, except to the game of golf.
I’d bet John’s story continues even now. I wonder where he is?
John, if you pass through Utah again look me up. I have a spare bedroom. You can crash here if you need to.
Loopers is a fascinating inside story about the life of a nomadic caddie.
To purchase John’s book click the photo or this link: Loopers: A Caddie’s Twenty-Year Golf Odyssey.
I first have to apologize to my lovely lass (Scottish for lady/wife) for pretty much ignoring her a couple of nights ago. I only had about 30 pages left in my latest read An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course by Oliver Horovitz, and I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it. Sorry I left you stranded on the freeway at 11PM with car troubles dear! Will you forgive me? I hope the cab ride home was okay. Did the baby eat on the cab ride home? Hehe. Just kidding… sort of.
An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course is the story of a Jewish kid from New York who becomes a caddie in St. Andrews. How could that not make for a good book? So many dynamics. Oliver tells the story of his college years and trying to find his place in life. Like seemingly everyone who spends time in the Auld Grey Toon (Old Gray Town), Horivitz falls in love with the place, the people, the culture, and of course the golf.
I like how Oliver had several plots going at the same time during the book: The caddie life, the college life, family life, and love life. No matter what happened in any of those parts of his life and where they took Oliver, St. Andrews called him. I understand the call. Ever since going there the first time, it as been calling me to come back. I’ll be there in one month for a beautiful week. Can’t wait.
Without giving the story away, there are great moments and sad moments in the book. On no less than three occasions I had tears in my eyes, and not the Bill Murray Caddie Shack kind. Following Oliver’s birdie putt on 18 toward the end of the book I had to pause and gather myself before I could continue. Deep breaths…
Oliver’s story is a delightful account of a one person’s unique journey through a crucial developmental time in his life, spent at one of the most magical places on this planet, St. Andrews. The writing is brilliant (Scottish term) and the insights on the Old Course caddies are fantastic. I remember back in 2011 when I was walking with my caddie John Boyne (mentioned in the book) and a fellow caddie on another hole signaled to John by holding up his player’s golf club high in the air and waving it. Now I know what that means!
This is a nice coffee-table or office book I like to pick up once in a while and thumb through a few pages. Golf Quotes- Great Quotes About a Great Game by Joe Vanek, is of course a book containing most (if not all) of golf’s greatest quotes. This is a very nice hard cover which also has some fantastic golf photos which accompany each quote.
Golf Quotes – click to buy
Here are a couple of my favorites:
“Golf tips are like aspirin. One may do you good, but if you swallow the whole bottle, you will be lucky to survive.” ~Harvey Penick
Or how about this one from my buddy…
“Golf is the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off.” ~Chi Chi Rodriguez