One of my three home courses is Bonneville Golf Course, the most popular golf course in Utah. It’s great municipal course with tremendous greens, some nice elevation changes, and oddly, NO fairway bunkers anywhere. The only course I’ve ever seen that does not have a single fairway bunker.
Yesterday was my first round on this course for 2016. I started off nicely with a birdie on the first hole, a reachable par-5. I also made birdie on #10 and the par-5 16th. I had a bunch of bogeys and one double, not surprising since it was my first full round of 18 holes since about five months ago. All that added up to a +6 78 from the black tees. A somewhat respectable score so early in the season.
This was my first full round of on-course testing of the new Harry Taylor wedges. That’s taking some getting used to. I’m not hitting them as far as my old wedges yet. That could be due to spring rust, different grinds and/or different shafts on them. I did make a couple of very nice chips however, so that’s nice.
I’m trying to approach this season with a different attitude. Last season I let the game’s frustrations get the best of me to the point of nearly quitting. I lived and died on each shot, rather than just being out there and enjoying some fresh air and green grass. I’m sure I’ll still have frustrations but I’m going try and focus less on score and individual shots, and more on the overall experience.
We’ll see how long that lasts.
I didn’t walk the course yesterday as my playing partner always rides in a cart. I do need to walk more to get in better shape, and to get ready for the upcoming Scotland trip. Plus it will save a few bucks. By walking I could basically save enough in cart fees to play three walking rounds of golf for the cost of two riding.
Below is a photo I Tweeted from the 8th tee. Look at the fabulous green fairway in the foreground and the snow covered Mount Olympus in the background!
Somehow I managed to squeeze $12 out of my two opponents, despite giving up shots and/or a tee box. It was a nice day and nearly 70 degrees which is not normal for March here in northern Utah. I’ll take it. Bring on the global warming.
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.
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:
Here’s the latest driver from Taylormade, the M5. The M in the name stands for “Mixer.” This driver’s inspiration comes from the audio mixing console, like you see at big concerts and stuff.
Golfers will be able to adjust the usual driver properties like loft, face angle, lie, and so on. New adjustments will include parametric filters on several different bands, balanced and unbalanced inputs, high and low pass filtering, inline compression with hard and soft knee adjustments, effects inserts (adding a plugin type architecture for 3rd parties to develop their own “driver APPS”), noise gating, tube pre amplification, dynamic range expanders, and a bypass button for when the adjustments get so crazy you need to turn them all off.
Perhaps this is the the peak of the adjustable driver era? I’m not sure there are many more ways we can adjust these things. Statistically all these club adjustments over the years have had NO effect on amateur golf scores, which have not improved in decades.