Welcome to the fourth and final post looking back at 2011 for myself and Hooked On Golf Blog. I start this post in July 1 2011, which happens to be when I’m on an airplane to golf’s home, St. Andrews, Scotland. What comes up first is the trip of a lifetime and the shot of a lifetime.
My first July golf blog came on the 2nd, Greetings From St. Andrews. It was a quick hello from the home of golf. Not much time to write, too much golf to be played and pubs to be experienced.
My 2nd July post is Great times in St. Andrews, more to come. Look at the killer pic of my golf group standing in the Road Hole bunker.
Within a couple of hours of arriving in St. Andrews, we were teeing off on the Old Course. Having traveled all day and having no feel for the huge difference between American golf and Scottish golf, I was happy with my 81.
Shot Of A Lifetime
At 7:00am the next day, we played the Old Course again. This is where I hit the shot of a lifetime–the greatest par I’ll ever have on the Road Hole, the 17th. To cap that off I make birdie on #18 to shoot a satisfying 77.
Picking my ball out after holing out from 196 yards, Road Hole – St. Andrews, Scotland
Other courses played while in St. Andrews include the amazing Castle Course, the unbelievable Kingsbarns, Strathtyrum, Jubille Course, New Course and the Eden Course.
Interviewed Robert Duvall
I had the great pleasure of interviewing Academy Award winning actor Robert Duvall about his starring role in the golf movie Seven Days In Utopia.
In August I had the pleasure of seeing my golf writing appear in an actual print magazine. My article on the Solstice Golfathon appeared in the Utah Golf Association’s Fairways Magazine.
On August 8th I posted a review of one of the best courses in Southern Utah, Coral Canyon.
The HOG World Tour headed for some sea and sun to southern California and the beach. While there I took some time away from basking in the sun to visit the Cleveland/Srixon world headquarters.
Part one and part two of my look back at 2011 covered the professional golf world, Tiger Woods, PGA Tour etc. Part three today covers the first half of 2011 for Hooked On Golf Blog as well as my own unique experiences. I’m lumping them together because it is too hard to separate them. So here’s a sequential look at January to June 2011 through the HOG and TK filter:
January is always a big post month because of the start of the PGA Tour season, and because of my annual trek to do live blogging from the PGA Merchandise Show. At the PGA Show I did a ton of interviews including Titleist, Taylormade, Bridgestone Golf, Cleveland/Srixon and many others.
Unfortunately in January I separated my shoulder skiing. I was blogging and shooting photos with one arm in a sling. The injury caused me to miss the annual Battle of the Golf Blogs in Orlando at the PGA Show. My role became photographer, reporter, tweeter and videographer.
Nike Machspeed Black Driver - click for review
My new Nike Machspeed Black driver review was posted.
Did a review of the Hexcaliber, a golf ball compression and roundness testing device. Very cool.
Nailed down Nike Golf as the grand prize provider for 2011 HOG/Space fantasy golf. I rule.
Today is a special day and I can’t wait to visit my very good friend and Iraq war vet Bryant Jacobs. Today is Bryant’s “alive” day. We’ll be celebrating the fact that Bryant is alive this evening at Bryant’s new home, built by Homes For Our Troops.
Seven years ago Bryant was blown up by a road side bomb in Iraq. He barely survived and has lived in great pain ever since. He’s had countless surgeries. Golf brought me and Bryant together and we’ve enjoyed dozens of rounds together. Love the camaraderie we’ve built up. I’ve seen the pain in Bryant’s eyes–seen him limp and struggle, yet NEVER complain.
Bryant is 2nd from left. I'm 2nd from right.
When I feel down or frustrated about life or my golf game, thinking of my buddy Brant puts it all in perspective and makes me realize how unimportant my troubles really are.
Hats off to you buddy. See you tonight.
Sad news in my world. One of my golf buddies, Gary Arnoldus, has died. His full obituary is at the bottom of this post, but neglects to mention the cause of death which I suspect is exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
I met Gary some 10-15 years ago on the golf course and since then have played dozens of rounds together. We were part of a large group of players who played out of Meadowbrook and also toured around the state on weekends to courses around the state. Below is a picture from one of those tour stops in St. George. I’m standing on the chair and Gary is by my left hand with the white hat and white collar.
Gary was a hell of a golfer, with THE most powerful hands I’ve ever seen. He had a 46 inch driver with a tiny head on the end which must have been made out of lead. I could hardly pick the thing up, but Gary could blast that sucker 300+.
I remember a match with Gary at Bonneville one year. Gary and his partner were kicking the asses of my partner Arnie and myself. We got to the 240 yard par-3 15th and we pressed Gary’s team. Gary ripped some kind of iron which landed no farther than FOUR inches from the hole and stuck there. That was one of the best golf shots I’d ever seen and it cleaned out our wallets. We still talk about that shot, every time we get to that hole.
In reading Gary’s obituary below, golf apparently wasn’t the only sport he excelled at. Speaking of the obit, I’m posting it here on HOG. It will stay online as long as this site is online. I think it is BS that the newspapers post the obits on their web sites, then “charge” fees to keep them online. (more…)
Had a fantastic day today with some friends on the golf course and then friends/family tonight. It was a good birthday. Still not too late to get me something, just make sure it isn’t golf gear! A trip to St. Andrews or Bandon Dunes would be good…
So for some reason I like to make my own birthday cakes. I usually try to employ a golf theme and this year was no different.
I used a Callaway 3-wood I found in a hazard at River Oaks on the 2nd hole. What do you think?