Sunday’s round was one to remember with all sorts of excellent bounces and good breaks. The round was capped off by my holing out a 7-iron from 173 for eagle on the final hole at Bonneville Golf Course to shoot even par (and collect on all sorts of bets with presses!!). That was hands down the shot of the year for me and I doubt I’ll top it for some time.
Thanks to Game Golf, the GPS golf shot tracking system I reviewed a few posts back. They awarded that 7-iron the Game Golf shot of the week! I’m kinda famous now…
Many times I’ve used this golf blog to vent my frustrations with the game of golf. I do admit I’ve done my fair share of whining and snivelling about my scores and my short game. Golf is hard. Golf is frustrating. It is a game that cannot be mastered, yet I still do it and often wonder why.
Yesterday I apparently had some positive credit with the golf gods. I was the beneficiary of two crazy breaks, which both resulted in birdie.
First break was on the 7th hole at Bonneville here in Salt Lake. That hole parallels a busy street and the green sits next to a fence bordering the street. Any pulled shot left of the green could hit a car. I hit a wild drive into the right treeline. From 130 or so out, I punched a pitching wedge at the pin, but hit it way too hard. The ball bounced off the fence and settled to about two feet from the hole. I made the birdie putt.
The second break was on the very long par-3 15th. I hit a hybrid from 235 but hit a bit of an inside the club face thin shot which resulted in a low power fade. Not my intended shot. The ball rolled onto the green and settled about 15 inches from the cup, nearly going in. I made the birdie putt.
Finally the golf gods rewarded a good shot on the 18th hole. 18 at Bonneville is a 470 yard par-4 where the second shot is over a ravine (image below).
18th Hole – Bonneville Golf Course
After a 300 yard drive I sat at 173. I hit a 100% pure 7-iron on the exact line I visualized before the shot. The flight was nice and high with a tiny draw. It hit short-right of the pin and followed the green’s contour right into the hole for EAGLE. I was +2 on the round going into the final hole so the eagle got me back to even par 72 on the day, a tie for my best score of the season.
It seems like the ball bounces negatively more in golf than it does positively. Yesterday though, it was all positive and for that I’m thankful. Next time I’m out I fix a few more ball marks and fill in a few more divots. Need to keep making deposits into the golf karma kitty.
Yesterday I was the guest of a relative at the swankiest private course in town. I get to play there perhaps once per year and always look forward to it. I don’t typically play well there and I’m not a big fan of the architecture of the course. Maybe if I played better there I’d be a fan of the course design, but that’s a discussion for another day.
My cart partner was a 2nd cousin, a solid 9-handicap who hits the ball quite well. Unfortunately this poor chap is cursed with the yips.
What is the yips?
Yips or the yips is the apparent loss of fine motor skills without apparent explanation, in one of a number of different sports. The technical term is focal dystonia.
What this translates into for golf is the inability for the golfer to control the putter, especially on short putts.
It was very difficult to watch my 2nd cousin putt. Even if he was putting for birdie from five feet, he would three putt. The first putt would miss by a foot or so, and he would badly miss the one-footer. On one hole he actually double-hit a two foot putt. I’ve never seen anyone double-hit a putt and I hope I never see it again!
Eventually the group was giving him putts, saying “that’s good” in order to not have to watch him miss putts that were even under 10 inches.
He asked me for advice and the best I could come up with was to swing the putter with his shoulders, keeping the hands and wrists quiet. It seemed his hands and wrists would twerk, jerk, flip, and spazz out on those short putts. Either the advice didn’t work, or he chose not to try it during the round as the yips and putt problems lasted all day.
I thought perhaps I had the chip-yips because my short game is so bad. I realized that I don’t have the chip-yips after yesterday. I’m actually in control of my shots. I hit the chips and pitches solid and crisp, as I intend. My issue is not having a feel for distance control.
I feel bad for ANYONE who has the yips. This is the first time I have witnessed the yips. I’ve heard about it before, but seeing it in person left me (as they say in the UK) gobsmacked.
By popular demand I’m posting the official “what’s in the bag” for my 2014 club championship at Sandy, Utah’s splendid River Oaks Golf Club. It took me a while to get the photo because I needed it to be “official,” thus having the Golf WRX watermark on it. The photogs at WRX are so busy shooting every golf club and golf bag on the planet and putting their watermarks on them, that it took me a while to get this photo. As you can see, this photo is true and authentic since it has that WRX watermark. Enough about high end photography and on to the meat of this journalistic brilliance.
I’m very happy to have won the 2014 club championship at River Oaks. I’ve been a member of the club for many years and won my first championship there in 2005. This year’s championship seemed to fall in my lap as the field was narrowed down to a few left standing, and I managed to outscore the closest competitor by 13 shots. Yes, 13 shots. In the land of bogeys, the par man is king.
WITB – Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion
Let’s take a look at the winning sticks and the other crucial script items…
Driver: Cobra Amp Cell
3-Metal: Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta
Hybrid: 19 degree Cobra Baffler XL
Irons (4-PW): Hogan Apex Edge Pro, circa 2002
Shafts: KBS Tour 90
52 and 56 degree wedges: Eidolon V-Sole
60 degree lob wedge: Vokey Spin Milled
Putter: Dornoch Putters Bird Dog 1, handmade in Scotland by Grant MacKay
Bag: Nike Sport Lite
Ball: Bridgestone B330
Head Cover: Sumi-G with custom Black Mesa Golf Club embroidered logo
GPS: Golf Buddy VS4 talking golf watch GPS
Laser Rangefinder: Callaway (Nikon)
Club Brush: Frogger BrushPro
Golf Accessory Accessory: Snap Hookz
Golf Polo: Bobby Jones XH20 Aero
Golf Shorts: Tattoo Golf shorts
Golf Socks: Kentwool Tour
Golf Shoes: FootJoy DNA
Cigar: Gurkha Centurian
Green repair tool: Champ Flix
Toothpaste: Crest with mint sparkles
Hat: Pukkha custom Hooked on Golf Blog/The Golf Space hat
Glove: Don’t wear a glove, but for the sweaty shots it was the Asher skull glove (RIP James)
Tee: Tornado Tee
Grips: Golf Pride CP2
Sunglasses: Under Armour Phenom Sunglasses
Rain Jacket: Nike Hyperadapt Storm-FIT
Push Cart: Sun Mountain Micro Cart Sport
Ball marking device: Tin Cup Utah Utes stencil
Beer: Slammin Sam Snead Premium Lager
Spikes: Champ Scorpion Stinger
Travel bag: Sun Mountain ClubGlider Journey
Belt: Switch Belt rubber custom
Towel: Frogger Amphibian
Driver: Bombtech Golf Grenade
3-Fairway: Nike VR-S
Hybrid: Bobby Jones
Irons: Bridgestone J40 Dual Pocket Cavity
Wedges: SCOR, Miura
Putter: Ping Scottsdale ZB S
Bag: Datrek Go-Lite
Shoes: Ecco Golf Shoes
Tee: Champ Zarma Fly Tee
Now that the majority of the golf season here in northern Utah is over, and since my final club championship competition is finished (say hello to the 2014 champ!), I decided it was time to go to the doctor to address my tennis elbow problems.
Earlier this season I switched to some great, albeit harder golf grips. I loved the performance of the grips, but a month into using them tennis elbow flared up. The pain got so bad that I could not pick up the coffee pot to pour myself a cup of coffee. Even lifting my putter up a few inches to tap down a repaired ball mark was impossible without a ton of pain. It is a bad world to live in when there is no coffee and ball marks are not fixed.
Everyone and their dog has given me their advice and experience on the subject of curing tennis elbow. Resting the elbow, icing, and eating ibuprofen three meals a day didn’t help. Two swings and it was back instantly, even after two weeks of not playing.
New arm band and bandaid over shot area
I went into the doc’s yesterday and opted for a cortisone shot. I’ve never had one. It hurt like hell and hurts like hell right now. Some say one shot is all they needed and I’m hoping that’s the case for me. I do know it isn’t a good idea to depend on these shots and over time they’ll cause damage. Others suggested DMSO, a treatment given to horses. I’ll consider that down the road if necessary.
So I’ve had the cortisone shot and will take a week or so off to let it do its magic. In the meantime I’ll be switching grips. I’ll also consider adjusting some techniques to lessen the impact of the swing on my elbow. I have an arm brace which should help that, and another special brace on its way.
Note: I’ve had golfer’s elbow as well, and do have a bit of that since the grip change. The doctor did an x-ray on my elbow and it shows some damage on the underside, where golfer’s elbow is. I can feel a touch of it.
I the past I did the following to help cure/prevent the golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow and I got away from some of these:
- Play softer, bigger golf grips. It is a consensus that larger and softer golf grips will help, and I have a set ready to put on my clubs this week.
- Play a softer golf ball. Balls with a urethane cover and soft core like a Bridgestone B330 or a ProV1 are best.
- Pick clubs which insulate and isolate vibration better.
- Use golf club vibration dampeners on the clubs if necessary.
- Try like hell to hit the sweet spot. Center hits don’t jar the arm as much. Off-center shots are very bad!
- Swing slower and more relaxed.
- Pick the ball off the turf and take smaller divots.
- No more “ball pounding” on the practice range. The repetitive shock as well as the hard range balls are horrible for golfer’s or tennis elbow.
From a numbers and results standpoint, this is possibly my best amateur golf season yet with winning the club championship and coming in 2nd place at the Salt Lake Ameteur. Like most golfers I’m never satisfied, but the season has been a success.
September is nearly here, a great month in Utah for golf with the temps cool and the trees changing colors. Once October comes it is hit and miss (pun intended) on the weather and the temperatures really start to cool off. I hope to make it through to some time in October, then hang the clubs up for the winter in order for the injury to completely heal.