This is an automated post. The PGA Tour is off this weekend and so am I!
I’m currently camping and hiking in Arches National Park, my favorite place on this planet. I’m off the grid. No computer. No cell phone. Here’s a picture from one of my last visits to Arches below. I may be in this same place right now!
Today I played my Tuesday league with my friend Bryant from the previous post. He and I both didn’t have much of our games today. My swing was MIA and every shot was causing me pain in my golfer’s elbow. The farther off center my shots are, the more they hurt. My shots were very off so I was in quite a bit of pain mentally and physically.
We both decided by the back nine that we’d forget about our scores and just have fun. So I started trying to drive all the par-4’s and doing other odd things. I was 40 yards short of the green on #11 and used my putter. I made par!
By the 17th hole something finally clicked. I found my swing, which was missing for 16 holes. I three putted for par on the 17th, and made par on the very tough 470 yard par-4 we finished on…
Moral to the story, don’t fight it too much. Let it go. It will come back eventually.
I’ve made a new friend this year, who I’ve taken under my golf wing a bit. Tuesdays this season I’ve been playing golf with Bryant Jacobs (pictured right), an injured Iraq war veteran. Bryant was nearly killed by a bomb designed to destroy a tank. Bryant has extensive injuries and can’t walk very well. He’s in constant pain. Despite all the pain and injury he has endured, I’ve NEVER heard Bryant complain once.
Golf has been, and will continue to be good therapy for Bryant. He’s hooked on golf for sure. He has some limitations physically but still is very strong. When he connects with his driver he can hit the ball a mile. Bryant struggles with golf as we all do, but he sticks at it. Even when he has bad days on the course, he comes back for more.
I’ve been planning on doing some interviews with Bryant. There are so many questions I have for him we’ve decided to do it via video. Stay tuned for that interview soon.
Bryant’s new home, courtesy of Homes For Our Troops
Saturday I attended a spectacular and humbling event. This event was the key ceremony where Bryant was given a new home by a wonderful organization called Homes For Our Troops. Homes for our troops builds custom homes for severely injured war veterans. The homes are set up specifically to make life easier for the injured veterans by giving them easy access to appliances, heating the sidewalks so there’s no ice, providing easy entry and exit to the shower and bathroom etc.
At the key ceremony I met Larry Gill (pictured right, speaking at Bryant’s key ceremony), who just may have the most rewarding job in the world. He’s the “Veterans’ Liaison” for Homes For Our Troops. He gets to hang out with the vets, help with the arrangements and design of the homes, and best of all present the new owners with the keys. I chatted with Larry for an extensive period of time and he told me all sorts of great stories about the homes they’ve built, and will be building for our injured veterans.
Larry lit up when we talked about golf, as golfers do. He even mentioned another organization helping veterans called Birdies For The Brave. That is one which Phil Mickelson helps out. Phil donates $100 for every birdie and $500 for every eagle he makes… for the rest of his career. Bravo.
Here are a few pictures of the key ceremony for Bryant below with captions. If you want to see them all, they’re located in the HOG Homes For Our Troops Gallery.
Everyone knows that golf and green chile sauce go hand in hand. The secret to lower golf scores and solid ball striking is eating tons of green chile.
This weekend I had some great smothered burritos I made with Jubes Firehouse BBQ Green Chile sauce. Their green chile sauce is great. These burritos couldn’t be easier to make. Here’s what you need:
1. Flour tortillas
2. Refried beans
3. Mexican cheese
4. Jubes Firehouse BBQ green chile sauce
5. An oven
6. A fork and a plate
7. An appetite
Instructions: Go play golf. When done, put beans, cheese and some chile sauce inside a rolled up flour tortilla. Put more sauce on top of the burrito and more cheese (always more cheese). Cook in oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Eat it. When done eating, go play more golf and shoot lower scores.
I should have shelved my Hogan irons long ago. That and performed an exercism on my game. My MacGregors are working very well right now. The ball striking which has been missing all year and crushing my confidence, is back.
I’m finally feeling the ball compress when I hit iron shots. I’m finally seeing the ball launch nice and high, flying far. I’m finally hitting my shots the distances I’m accustomed to. I’m shaving the skins of golf balls with crisp strikes. It is no longer a mystery how far, usually short, my approach shots will go.
Finally, thank the golf gods, I’m seeing shots go AT the pin. For a while I was just hoping to hit a green.
It is too late for me to compete in much here except my league, which goes to the end of October. All the major local tournaments are over and the season will be winding down in a couple of months here, when the snow flies. So my A game missed out on the major tournaments here. But I finally feel like I can hit a golf shot. I can’t express what a relief that is. I’ve been close to hanging up the sticks until next year. Close.
Better late than never.