A few days after my first round in about 1/3 of a year, I’m feeling some very sore muscles. Nope, not in the back or the legs from walking. It’s my arms. Both forearms are hammered. I can see how I get tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. The muscles in my forearms are taking a beating for some reason. I need to strengthen them up obviously.
The arms aren’t the only thing I need to strengthen. After a winter of not much more than sitting in a chair writing blog posts and computer code, I’m not exactly in the same shape as Rory McIlory…
We have a mini heat wave right now in northern Utah with the temperature spiking to 64 degrees today. It has been a brutal winter, with more snow this year than at least the last 4-5 years. We’ve been buried. The skiers love it, as they should.
One of my home courses, River Oaks, opened for play a couple of days ago. With the snow having just melted off, the ground is still muddy and there’s goose crap everywhere. The grass is dormant and the greens slow and bumpy. Still after 95 days it was nice to simply get away from the office, the desk, the keyboard, the mouse, the code writing… and walk 12 holes in the outdoors.
I’m attempting to approach the game different this year, focusing more on enjoying the experience than the scores or the handicap. I’m not sure how much mental strength I have to do that or how long that attitude might last, but that’s the goal, to rediscover golf. I soured on the game a bit last year.
As expected I was a bit rusty but did manage to make a couple of birdies in 12 holes, and knocked one tee shot on the par-3 3rd to about four feet. I have some kind of game which is better than the average hack, if not just because I was a professional drummer for decades and I have killer eye-hand coordination. It certainly isn’t because of raw golf talent or having a naturally beautiful golf swing, because those things I do not possess.
It was nice to get out and whack the white spheroid around with a long time buddy, and to meet a couple of other players along the way.
So far my quest to rediscover golf is on track. I didn’t quit the game on my first round of the year and I intend to play at least another round. It’s a start.
I’ve admired and been envious of the great golf books some of my fellow golf blogger friends have written. My pal Neil Sagebiel blew the doors off my golf cart with his first book on the 1955 U.S. Open, The Longest Shot – Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open. My longtime pal John Retzer, known as the Golf Blogger, wrote a great golf tips/advice book called The Five Inch Course – Thinking Your Way to Better Golf. I know I could shave strokes off of my game if I’d just take John’s advice, but the five inch space between my ears is so dense it makes a black hole look like marshmallow.
My favorite all time golf book is The Little Red Book. The book is a collection of thoughts on the game by perhaps the best golf instructor of all time, Harvey Penick.
I’ve admired the effort, time, and research it must have taken for my friends John and Neil to write a golf book. And let’s face it, golf writers are not in it for the money. There’s no way I could imagine myself putting in the time to research and write such a book. I couldn’t compare to those offerings if I tried. So I won’t. I don’t have the huge blocks of time it must take to write a book. Then again, there are some 5,000+ blog posts here, each one a thought or topic on its own. Harvey Penick’s book is basically a lot of short blog posts printed on paper. If I sought out to write a book, “one thought at a time” maybe I could do it?
I could I suppose, but who needs another golf book? I must have 50 in my review queue I’ll never read, and the 50 I have read have done nothing to help my game. I’m probably just too stubborn or dense to benefit from reading them.
The last round of golf I played was November 15th, 2015. Shortly after that date I tweaked my back very badly and was hobbled for nearly a month. I probably wouldn’t have played much during that period of time anyway because it just gets too cold here in northern Utah, unless global warming flares up.
Tomorrow’s forecast here is a crazy 62 degrees and the snow is melting fast. I will join up with my buddy Dan and who knows who else at 2:30 for a 9-hole walking round on the front nine of one of my three home courses, River Oaks. I’ve just spent some time transferring my sticks and other golf bag stuff to my newest golf bag (pictured). I can already tell the carry design of this bag isn’t great. The straps come too close together, making it hard to get my arm through. We’ll see how long this bag lasts.
I’ll also start on my testing of literally dozens of golf accessories, balls, apparel, and clubs which have been patiently waiting in HOG World Headquarters. It’s going to take a while to catch up.
For tomorrow’s nine I don’t expect much from my game as I haven’t hit a real ball in some 95 days. I just hope to survive the round, loosen up, and see if I can start to make progress on my single golf goal for 2016:
I have some new tees to test when the snow melts. The snow is melting so that’s good news. Come on global warming!
These tees are from a new golf company called HoleOut. HoleOut is debuting a ton of new products, many which I’ll be covering. The tee is called PerfecTee.
PerfecTee – The front is to the right
PerfecTee is not symmetrical on the crown. The tee is set up in a specific alignment so as to optimize the tee’s resistance, or lack thereof.
Tees by rule cannot “increase” distance artificially. The only way they can help with distance (or spin for that matter) is by having the least amount of resistance possible. The “front” of the tee in the PerfecTee is open and will produce little, if any resistance.
What will this equate to on the golf course? I will post my findings as soon as I’ve had the opportunity to test the PerfecTee on the course.