At the time my handicap was the absolute best I was playing with a group of eight guys, none of whom was higher than a 5-handicap. In the group there was a zero and a bunch of 1’s and 2’s. It was a tough group. If you didn’t bring your A-game, you had to make sure you brought your A-TM game. I really loved the competition level and intensity of those years, and I think playing in that group helped me improve and play at a high level, for an amateur. I was playing 4-5 times per week as well, which I’m sure helped. My handicap got as low as a 0.9.
Unfortunately that group dissolved. I still play with some of those guys, a time or two a year.
Fast forward 10-15 years to now. Because of where I am in life (translation: day job, wife, 3-year old, limited time), I can’t play 4-5 times per week. I’m only able to play two times, and perhaps a 3rd time if I’m lucky. Yes it sounds crazy that I say “only,” because many amateurs play once a week, once a month, or maybe a few times a year. I realize despite a 50% drop in rounds, I play more than probably 90% of amateur golfers. Playing less does not help my game. Winter around here in northern Utah hurts the game as well. Nothing hurts your feel and crispness as much as a six month frost delay.
But now that summer is here I’m past the spring rust phase. I’m also playing quite a bit right now. It’s not cold either. Many of the reasons or excuses I could use for not playing well are not useable. Up until about 1.5 weeks ago, I’ve struggled to break 80 with many rounds around 85. Why? If I knew that, I would fix it.
The last week and a half though, I’ve finally seemed to turn a corner. Rather than mid 80’s, I’ve got a 74, 76, and two nine hole rounds that come in at -2 and even. What happened? Did I suddenly become a better golfer? Did I change swings? Did I put a new driver into play? What?
So what is contributing to the better scores? I don’t feel like I’m hitting the ball much better, but I’m scoring better. I don’t feel like my abilities have suddenly changed. What has changed is my “playing environment.” I’ve changed from the casual buddy group to the more intense competitive match play and tournament rounds. Also played 18 with a different group a couple of days ago, all who hit the ball as far or farther than me and could clean my clock on any given day if I don’t bring the A-game. It seems that perhaps for a while I’ve been in a playing rut due to the group I’ve been in. All good chaps for sure, but I’ve gotten too comfortable in the group. I’m not focused. There are higher handicap players in the group as well. Perhaps there’s a bit of “playing to the level of the other players” going on. Perhaps being around a higher handicapper for round after round has caused me to lose focus in my own game. Try not to interpret that as an arrogant comment. Think of another individual sport like tennis. A high level tennis player may not improve or keep his skills in top shape playing an opponent who is not at the same level. Yes one could argue that another player’s game should not affect one’s own golf game and there could be some truth to that. But I’m generally the kind of player who plays better if I’m around better players.
So where does that put me if the above analysis is true? Part of what makes golf enjoyable is the camaraderie of playing with friends. Perhaps the approach should be to keep the serious golf on the schedule, and play the casual and less intense rounds with the buddies now and then too.
Or maybe all that is a bunch of nonsense and I’m just playing better now. It could just be the phase of the moon or because I put my left sock on first instead of the right one this past week. Wait, I think maybe the better play is because of better underwear scripting…
I love that statement. It seems many golf apparel makers are going for shock value, and becoming less and less classy and sophisticated. Those flashy products may be hot for short period, but become passe quickly. Conversely, a product like Devereux with it’s simple and elegant styles, stands the test of time.
The simple and stylish Andrew polo, part of the “72 Collection,” is certainly not one where the user needs to know where the replacement batteries go. The $75 Andrew is sharp, classy, elegant, and easy to put together in all sorts of apparel scripts.
“A closet filled with big bright in-your-face colors and dizzying patterns that SCREAM will not transform you from dud to stud. Oftentimes, the reverse is true.” ~Devereux
The Andrew comes in four colors: steel (pictured above), aqua, coral, navy. Each color easily pairs up with numerous short/pant combinations. I recommend pairing the Andrew up with the Devereux Martin Shorts (review coming soon).
Sizes for the Andrew polo: small, medium, large, extra large, double extra large.
- Oxford Performance Knit
- Swing Free Tailoring
- Spread Collar
- Grosgrain Detail
- Heather Effect
- 60% Pima Cotton // 40% Polyester
On The Course
I’ve had the Andrew in play for many rounds this golf season, in some very different conditions. Earlier in the spring I put the Andrew through the colder temps here in northern Utah. Then a trip to Indiana had me testing out the polo in high humidity and 97 degrees. And just this week I wore the polo for a round in which the air was extremely dry and the temperature at the end of the round was 104. In those varying conditions the polo performed well and stayed comfortable.
During the golf swing some poorly designed polos can bunch up, pull, tug, and come untucked. The Andrew’s cut keeps me comfortable. Even with my violently spastic golf swings the polo stays in place.
The Andrew is great to wear while writing golf blog posts at HOG world headquarters, or when out on the town. It can work great in business casual situations.
The Andrew polo by Devereux is a solid performer on and off the course. It exceeds my strict requirements for golf polos: performance, comfort, style, and easy care. Set your apparel script up with some proper threads.
Devereux Welch Polo Review – 2014
The Hooked on Golf Blog World Tour was in French Lick, Indiana last week to experience golf and the French Lick Resort. In addition to the fabulous Donald Ross course, I had the opportunity to play the Pete Dye course at French Lick. Wowsies.
On a difficulty scale from 1-10, the Dye Course is a 12.3. With a course rating of 80.0 and a slope of 148, I’ve not played a more difficult course. And I’ve played some of the world’s most difficult courses like TPC Sawgrass, Wolf Creek, and Carnoustie.
I will be posting my full review of the French Lick Pete Dye course as soon as I’ve recovered from the beatdown it gave me. Stay tuned.
This past week the HOG World Tour was in French Lick, Indiana to check out two courses from two very different and equally famous golf course architects, Pete Dye and Donald Ross. The Donald Ross Course was the first on the menu, and I loved the entree so much I went back through the buffet a 2nd and 3rd time.
The Donald Ross Course 10th hole (left) with the practice putting green in the foreground
This was one of the more challenging Donald Ross courses I’ve played due to the large amount of elevation changes and horizontal movement of the holes. And the greens were some of the most extreme I’ve ever putted. Putting or chipping from above the hole is nearly impossible.
Par-3 4th Hole – 240 Yards
I was able to play this fabulous old course (1917) three times. It’s ranked 71st in Golf Digest’s Top-100. I’ll be posting my full review of the experience soon, but wanted to do a quick share and a couple of photos prior to that. Stay tuned.
Greetings from the fabulous and beautiful French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana. I think I can see Larry Bird’s house from here. I’m in French Lick on a press trip to review the resort and the three golf courses here. More to come on the golf.
View from a balcony room into the dome at the West Baden Springs Hotel
The photo above is a shot from the balcony of my terrific room here at the West Baden Springs Hotel. The hotel is circular with a huge dome in the middle. The reverberation is quite lengthy.
This is a very classy place. They obviously aren’t on to me being a blogger. They must think I’m a “journalist.” Shhhh. Don’t tell them.
Last night I had a dinner, feast rather, fit for a king. Above you can see the waiter making up my favorite dessert in the universe, Bananas Foster. Wow was that good. Great restaurants here at French Lick Resort.
Check back for some golf related posts from the Ross Course and the Pete Dye course.