Golf Life

I’ve lost my swing, my putting stroke and my mental strength. Anybody know where they are?

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, May 21st, 2009
Categories: HackersLife

I think I’ve done it. I lost my swing. I’ve felt this coming on for a few rounds now. I’ve been hitting shots which are not solid and I’m not able to concentrate at all.

Today I actually sh***ed not only one, but almost 10 shots. Until last week I hadn’t hit one of those horizontally challenged shots since around 2004. Today all I could do was laugh because no matter what I tried I kept doing it. Last time I had the sh**ks it took me going to my pro to solve it after hitting bucket after bucket of them for three days.

This score tied my highest round of the year and I really had no clue how to swing a club. It seems like it is slipping away for some reason.

I’m going to try and chalk this up to the fatigue of my big trip this week and to playing a bit too much. But I wonder…

Golf and life. Sometimes they get in each other’s way.

I’m discouraged about my game and I think the game is reflecting some changes in my personal life recently. I’m much more emotional now when I’m golfing, compared to being more even keel or should I say, even robotic. If I hit a great shot I’m very excited and I’m very mad and frustrated when I it a poor shot. The poor shots are sticking with me more and sometimes I want to throw a tantrum like a little baby. Fortunately that hasn’t happened yet. Higher highs, lower lows.

I think happenings in my non golf world have brought my emotions to the surface now, rather than having them buried deep under many layers of callus.

Different physically?

I’m also wondering about my physical body. I think back 3-4 years ago, when I weighed 56 pounds more than I do now. I played much better and more consistent golf. I also drove the golf ball much farther because I was shifting my weight into the ball.

I’ve dropped 20 pounds over the last couple of months and I think it has changed my swing. The good thing is that I’m more flexible and I generally feel better physically. My back isn’t stiff and I’m in better shape.

Could my increased flexiblity be contributing to my shots being more wild and erratic?

Sounds to me like I’m saying I was a better golfer when I was unemotional and fat. That may be the case, but I’m not going back to that state so I guess I’d better work it out.

Commentary from the mud bath at Ojo Caliente

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
Categories: Golf LifeGolf LifestyleGolf VideosLifeTravel

Greetings from the Albuquerque Airport… pardon me…  “Sunport.”  I have just enough time before my flight to post a little video nugget from my trip to Black Mesa this week.  Below is a clip from the resort/spa I stayed at here called Ojo Caliente.  I’ll be doing a full review soon, but for now I hope you enjoy this little video.

Phil Mickelson’s wife Amy diagnosed with breast cancer. Phil’s schedule cancelled indefinitely.

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
Categories: LifePGA Tour

Fans either love Phil Mickelson or hate him.  Regardless of your preference in that department, I’m blogging to send my best wishes and positive karma to Amy Mickelson, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer.

Amy has undergone extensive tests and will undergo more.  Major surgery will be happening soon.  I wish her luck.  I lost my Mother to another form of cancer and it hits me pretty hard when I hear about people being diagnosed with it.

Phil Mickelson has cancelled his PGA Tour schedule indefinitely.

Day two at Black Mesa is history, and personal history was made

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, May 18th, 2009
Categories: GolfGolf CoursesGolf LifestyleHackersLifeTravel

Today’s goal, break 80 at Black Mesa

The more I play Black Mesa the more I love it. This is a special golf course. I become more confident in my shots and where I want them to land or roll the more I play the course. I played probably the most solid nine holes of the year on the front today. I got up and down on #1 from a deep green side bunker. On #2, a short par-4, I used the contours to the right of the green to bounce my 100 yard approach shot to about three feet. But my putt didn’t drop as the speed was not as quick as I expected. That would be about the last bad putt I’d make for the whole day.

black mesa golf club
Above, the old squeeky windmill at Black Mesa. When the wind kicks up, the windmill plays a an eerie yet rhythmic tune.  Normally I’d dislike a sound like this, but this tune almost hypnotizes me. How many millions of times has that wheel spun around?  I need to find out if there’s been a name given to this windmill.  If there hasn’t, I’m going to come up with an appropriate one….

On with the story…

When I got to the mega cool #4 hole I was still even par. #4 is the famous “dome” hole, where a cool sand dome guards the green left. I didn’t trust my yardage. It dictated a six iron. I hit five. Good choice. It ended up about eight feet below the pin. I drained the putt to reach -1. I played solid golf the rest of the front nine. My new and improving short game and some great putting helped me turn to the back nine at even par. I shot even on the front at Black Mesa. That is good.  Could I hold it together for the difficult back nine?

I have shaky confidence in some holes which have kicked my butt every time I’ve played them, like the par-5 13th. Today I was cruising along playing well and 13 humbled me once again. I knew I couldn’t miss the green right or I’d have an impossible up and down from a very deep bunker. I missed right, 7. Ouch. I’m realizing how demanding this course is. You really can’t miss a single shot in the wrong place your you’ll have to make some incredible shots to save par. Usually errant shots will result in an “other” score. My two severely errant swings did result in double bogeys on the back.

Yesterday I melted down on the 15th, a beauty of a par three. I clanked my tee shot into the water and scored a double. I was wanting redemption today. With my good pal Eddie Peck, principal guy here at Black Mesa watching, I pulled a six iron left. The shot bounced off the contours left of the green and ran down to about five feet. I laughed and looked at Eddie and said, “I meant to do that.”  Eddie laughed.

Eddie took off to watch the other groups so he didn’t see the putt, which I drained. The first thing he asked me upon the conclusion of my round was if I made that putt. I proudly told him that yes I’d drained the putt, and that despite having my golf ship taking on heavy water on the back nine, I paddled home with a 78. To me a 78 on this course is like shooting a 73 somewhere else.

Puye Cliff Dwellings

Following the round we visited the Puye cliff Pueblo Indian ruins, about 30 minutes from Black Mesa Golf Club.  The Pueblo Indians had built an incredible set of dwellings on top of, and on the SIDE of, a cliff.  I’ll post more about this fascinating part of the trip later, but here’s an image of our tour guide (right) telling us about the dwellings for now.

I’m too tired to continue writing, though I’d love to share the rest of this great day…


Played Black Mesa today and it was awesome

Written by: Tony Korologos | Sunday, May 17th, 2009
Categories: GolfGolf CoursesSite NewsTravel

I’m dead tired from a long day of traveling, playing Black Mesa and then the cocktail party, dinner and lounging in the hot mineral springs here in New Mexico. Yes it sucks, but someone has to do it.

Highlights of the round include making birdie on the 9th and the 16th. I almost aced the par-3 11th hole.

Must get some sleep so until I get more time to post, here are a couple of shots from today. First is the 17th hole, which I gagged, but it is a great view….

Next is the 18th green with the clubhouse in the background. The old squeaky windmill was playin’ some great music today.

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