I’m very excited about the PGA Championship. I can’t wait to see who flames out, who shines and also to check out Whistling Straights. Will Tiger Woods find any sort of swing? Will he be able to hit a fairway or make a putt? Will Phil Mickelson lock up player of the year by winning his 2nd major, as well as becoming the #1 player in the world? Will Ernie Els open up a huge FedEx Cup lead, and prove that he’s “back?” Will some new, up and coming young gun announce his arrival? The next four days will be great.
The problem with the PGA Championship, is that it is the last and final major. “Glory’s last shot” as it is called. Aside from the Ryder Cup every other year, it marks the beginning of the end of the professional golf season. Yes I know there are many professional events coming. No need to remind me. But really, we’ll be on the downside of the season. To that I say BOO HOO.
Not only does the PGA mark the beginning of the end of the pro golf season, it marks the beginning of the end of my yearly hack festival. I’ll be begrudgingly counting the days until the snow flies here in Salt Lake, and awaiting the arrival of winter and the subsequent hermit like behavior the evil cold white stuff elicits.
Will I be satisfied with the season? Is a golfer ever satisfied? Will I get an ace, or win a big match or win my club championship? Will something happen to make this season one to remember? Time is running out.
If you think golf is only about hitting a ball into a hole in the least amount of strokes possible, you don’t get it
But is it all about the scores and the results? No. In fact, the scores are secondary. My golf year has been a roller coaster of scores and emotions ranging from 69 to 86. But the one solid thing, the best part of golf for me, is my friends. My golf buddies are where it is at. There are many, all who have very unique and endearing personality traits.
There’s the wounded Iraq veteran Bryant, who gives me perspective on a daily basis. Watching him struggle with golf and the physical limitations being blown up in a war makes me realize that I really don’t have things too bad. There’s Guy, the director of golf at my home course. He’s battling such terrible pain in his neck that he can hardly swing, but he goes out all the time and still manages to enjoy the game and take my money. Dave is very intelligent and loves to debate about anything. I love to choose the opposite side of his daily debate topics, even if I agree with Dave. This just fires him up. Dan is the most positive guy ever. If his house burned to the ground (heaven forbid), he’d laugh and find something positive to say. There’s Marius, one of my newer pals. A Norwegian entrepreneur and gear head with a great swing and a love for competition. He also has a hell of a product line which I liked so much, “I joined the company.”
The last few are huge.
Arnie is the best. My (tears building) good friend who I’ve played thousands of rounds of golf with. He’s one of the most fierce competitors ever and can beat anyone with his short game. He has also been a bit of a role model and a crafty source of great advice in life.
My Dad turned me on to golf. I’ll never forgive him for doing me such a great and infuriating favor. We play every week and I really enjoy the time he and I spend on his wonderful home course. I’ve shot three of the best five rounds of my season up there while playing with my Dad. And he and I WON the father/son tourney this year. I think we hold the victory record in that event.
Unfortunately my best pal Al is too far away to play regular golf with. But we play together in spirit. I was once a mentor and role model for him, but the roles have cycled around the other way lately. He’s one of the best people on this planet. We played one round together this year, at my wedding golf tournament. Al and I are already booked for our next round and boy will it be a good one, at ST. ANDREWS next year.
I just wrote the word conclusion so I could stop myself. I’m doing the blogging equivalent of rambling, but it felt good. The season isn’t over yet but time is ticking. I’ll be definitely enjoying and cherishing the rest of the rounds I play this year with all of my great golf buddies. In fact, I’ll get right on that tomorrow morning at 8:58.
I’ve known Luke Swilor for many years now. We’ve had some epic matches, most of which he has come out on top. But I hang my hat on the one where I had a great day and he had a bad day and I kicked his butt.
Anyway, a hearty congratulations to Luke and wife on the birth of their new son Zac.
Zac will be taking my money on the golf course soon.
I just got back from a great and fun tournament for Homes For Our Troops. My buddy Bryant Jacobs did an awesome job putting it together and raising money for wounded veterans.
I met and played in the tournament with two vets, one is Travis (right below) and the other was a vet from Vietnam.
Left to right above: Guy Lester (director of golf at River Oaks), Bryant Jacobs, Tony (me) Korologos, Travis Wood
Travis was blown up in Afghanistan and lost a leg and function of many parts of his body. He’s had 84, YES 84 surgeries and was in the hospital for 2.5 years. He could be down with all of that, but he wasn’t. He was very positive and energetic and quite fun to be around.
Tip o’ the hat to Travis, Bryant and Homes For Our Troops. The tournament was great and judging from the big crowd I’d say it was a great success.
To see all of the photos visit this gallery.
Anyone in Utah or close enough to come here for a golf tournament Thursday, I’m calling you out right now! My good friend, severely wounded Iraq war veteran and golf buddy Bryant Jacobs is hosting a charity golf tournament. This tournament is in association with Homes For Our Troops, an organization which builds homes for injured veterans at no cost to the vet. The organization provided my buddy Bryant a beautiful, handicap accessible home and simply handed him the key. That is in credible. Now Bryant is turning the tables and helping Homes For Our Troops raise money to provide the same great service to other wounded veterans. He’s playing it forward so to speak.
My foursome will include the Director of Golf at River Oaks and my good friend Guy Lester and two wounded war veterans. We’re going to be tough to beat!
For more information, visit this link at the Homes For Our Troops web site.
For my story on my pal Bryant, you can find it at The Golf Space or Hooked On Golf Blog.
There’s also a recent feature on Bryant and the tournament in the Salt Lake Tribune.
I had just make a great birdie on #3 at Wingpointe (by the Salt Lake Airport). That hole is a tough par-3 over water, usually into a head wind. I’d stuck my B330-RXS to about three feet and drained the putt with a putter I’d accidentally left in my bag from equipment testing yesterday. After making that putt I may have a new putter but I definitely have a new pal.
Walking off the green I nearly stepped on this guy. I picked him up to put him in a safer place but had to snap a pic first because he was so cool.