Bonneville Golf Course Aerial Photo by Tony Korologos
Yesterday I played my 3rd round of net match play for the 2016 Bonneville men’s club. Any rounds at this point are gravy since I’ve gotten my entry fee back. Today’s match was against a very good player, a 1-handicap. After blowing at 8-iron over the green on the par-5 first hole in two, I went one-down with a par. On the 2nd I 3-jacked (not normal for me) to go two-down. If I didn’t get my ass in gear this was going to be the world’s quickest 9-hole net match…
Fortunately I made two good shots to get to about 15 feet for birdie on the tough par-4 3rd. Made the putt to go 1-down.
My opponent, knowing I was getting a pop on the 4th hole, made about a 40 foot bomb for birdie to tie my net birdie. Still 1-down.
On the par-5 5th my opponent made an impressive par after hitting his drive in the lateral hazard to the right. My net birdie put the match back to even.
I screwed up on the par-3 6th. My opponent missed the green and made bogey. I ran my birdie putt by too far, too aggressive. Missed the downhill come back putt. Still even. Should have been 1-up.
On the par-4 7th I hit a killer approach right at the pin from 125. Hit landed, went up to the hole, then spun back about 25 feet. Bad luck there. Opponent makes birdie and I go 1-down.
On the short par-4 8th (about 330ish?) my opponent actually waited for the green to clear before teeing off. He made it to just short. I don’t have that shot in the bag so I hit my best shot of the day, a solid 4-iron. I hit an okay approach to about 20 feet and said “Houston, we have a problem.” A player as good as my opponent should make birdie from so close to the green and that’s just what he did. My birdie putt to extend the match just missed.
In the most entertainming moment of the match my opponent shook my hand and said, “nice match, Troy.”
He realized the name mistake and apologized, but not after I gave him some grief.
On the 9th, playing for fun, I made birdie. Of course…
I shot even par for the nine holes and lost 2-down. My opponent shot 3-under. I don’t feel too bad. That’s some damn good golf being played.
Even though I lost today, match play is still my favorite form of golf.
Not much time to think about this match. This afternoon I play my gross match, against a pro who is one of the best players in the association.
I hear a lot about the future of golf and how bleak things are in the golf world. They obviously don’t know about my new buddy Sean, a 9-year-old golfer I met this week.
On the 13th tee at Bonneville I looked back at the par-5 12th to see a very young solo golfer hitting to the green from about 160-170 yards. He reached the green, a feat I wasn’t sure was even possible for a player of that age and size. When his ball reached the green I saw him jump for joy and do some fist pumps. He was stoked.
Then I watched him hit the very difficult par-4 13th green from roughly 150 yards, while I was teeing off on the 14th. A lady walked by from the nearby houses telling us “I can’t keep him off the course.” When mom walked up to him he proudly told her of his current birdie putt of about three feet.
Sean caught up to me and my partner on the 18th tee. He confidently walked up and said hello. Then very politely asked if he could join us and play the final hole with us. “Of course,” I said. After talking to him for a minute I could instantly tell this was a special young golfer and couldn’t resist rolling some video, which I hope you enjoyed.
When golfers play by themselves it’s interesting to watch them. Some players play a couple of balls or play mulligans, or pick up short putts and don’t finish the hole. Sean hit one ball on every hole and putted-out. He played honest golf, by himself.
My 3-year-old Seve and I have had a blast with the new BIG MAX Autofold FF 3-wheel push cart (UK: trolley). I set it up in my office and have been carting him around the hallway, living room, and kitchen. Finally after about 14 hours that fun finally wore off I got a chance to take the trolley out into the back yard and get some pictures of it.
BIG MAX Autofold FF Push Cart/Trolley
I will begin testing this cart on my next walking round, Monday. Then I’ll keep it in play the rest of the week until I take off for Scotland. I’d really love to bring this trolley with me to Scotland to use it there instead of carrying my bag or renting trolleys there. Oh well. Life is rough.
BIG MAX Autofold FF Push Cart/Trolley
Stay tuned for my full review of this push cart soon. Initial impressions are that this is a well engineered, substantial piece of golf equipment. Let’s see if it holds up to some real abuse use.
Earlier this week I enjoyed playing a casual round of golf with my good friend and Iraq War vet Bryant. As you can see from the photo below Bryant was injured and now has a prosthetic leg. He has been featured in many local papers and articles for his willingness to test out new amazing leg technology. Unfortunately during our round he didn’t have his newest leg as it was broken. He was sporting the old one.
I have the game of golf to thank for meeting Bryant. We met at River Oaks in the men’s association. We’ve become good friends and played many rounds of golf together.
With the 4th of July coming up I can’t help thinking about Bryant and his family, as well as other vets who have sacrificed so much so I can have the freedom to play the game of golf. I’m thankful and I have great respect for guys like Bryant for putting themselves and their lives second to our country’s safety and security.
Hats off to Bryant and all other veterans this 4th of July weekend. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. You have my gratitude.
The best thing about running one of the world’s best golf blogs isn’t the gear, the travel, the hot groupies in yoga pants… It’s meeting cool people in the golf industry and often times playing golf with them! Case in point is a very fun canadian chap I’ve played golf with several times now, Claudio DeMarchi from TravelingGolfer.net. Claudio is one of the funnest people I’ve met on the HOG World Tour.
Above is a fun video I put together of Claudio doing some golf trick shots on the Pete Dye course at French Lick. The course is one of the most difficult courses in the world, but Claudio can easily stripe drives down the fairway on tees nearly as tall as he is! What’s that all aboot, aye?