Monday, December 26, 2011

2,610 US Courses played!

Recently, I had the opportunity to play the Black Diamond Ranch Quarry course in Lecanto, Fl. My host was 72 year young, Terry Inslee. Terry started playing golf in his late teens and has been on a playing binge ever since, that now has him up to 2,610 courses played in the United States. He tells me that he doesn't know of anyone who has played that many, and doing a bit of research I could not find any claims by anyone who has. I asked him what the most courses he has heard anyone else have played, and Terry said he knows of a 47 year old who is about 1000 courses behind him and thinks he has a good chance of eventually catching him. But at one time we all thought Tiger would pass Jack in Majors victories. So for the foreseeable future Terry will be King of the US Courses. It was a pleasure playing with Terry who has just about as many one-liners as courses he has played. On one of my shots that I took a bit too much turf on, he stated that "he could hear Chinese voices coming out of the ground."

My quest of 1000 seems pretty small compared to what Terry will eventually play. In perspective if he doesn't play another new course and I continue at my current pace I would be over 100 years old before I hit 2600. If I played a new course a day it would take me over 6 years. The most I have ever played in a short period, was 22 different courses over 18 days on my Ireland trip this Spring.

Doing my research I did come across the most rounds played in one year. In 2010, a 64 year old golfer in Texas played 600 rounds to set the record. Already in 2011, a 41 year old in Georgia has played 612 rounds in only 197 days through November. That is averaging over 3 rounds per day! He expects to make it to 1000 by the time 366 days (leap year) are up. He stated that he quit his job and his wife is completely supportive in his quest. So the next time any of your spouses complain about you being at the golf course too much, have them google Jimmy Daniel.

1/22/15 UPDATE- I ran into Terry at this years PGA Show in Orlando. In the Fall he had returned from an 80 day, 105 course tour of the NW. He is now up to 2,850 with another big trip planned for this year in the NE. Coincidentally, a couple of years ago I was paired at Erin Hills with his ultimate pursuer. Small world.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Golfer Kills Wife

Verne was teeing off from the men's tee. On his downswing, he realized that his wife, Joy, was teeing up on the woman's tee directly in front of him. Unable to stop his swing, he nailed it, and hit her directly in the temple, killing her instantly.
A few days later, Verne got a call from the coroner regarding her autopsy.
Coroner: "Verne, your wife seemed to have died from blunt force-trauma to the head. You said you hit a golf ball and hit her in the temple, is that correct?"
Verne: "Yes, sir, that's correct."
Coroner: "Well, inexplicably I found a golf ball wedged up her ass."
Verne: "Was it a Titlist 3?"
Coroner: "Yes, it was."
Verne: "That was my mulligan."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Golf Core Exercise

-Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.
-With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.
-Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.
-After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags.
-Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level.)
-After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tough Guy

When my Florida doctor asked me about what I did yesterday, I told him about my day:

"Well, yesterday afternoon, I waded across the edge of a lake, escaped from an alligator in the heavy brush, marched up and down a mountain, stood in a patch of poison ivy, crawled out of quicksand, and jumped away from an aggressive rattlesnake"

Inspired by my story, the doctor said, "You must be an awesome outdoors man!"

"No," I replied, "I'm just a shitty golfer."

Friday, August 12, 2011

3 Year old's Prayers

A father put his 3 year old daughter to bed, told her a story and listened
to her prayers which ended by saying, "God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy,
God bless Grandma and good-bye Grandpa."
The father asked, 'Why did you say good-bye Grandpa?'
The little girl said, "I don't know daddy, it just seemed like the thing to do."
The next day grandpa died. The father thought it was a strange coincidence.
A few months later the father put the girl to bed and listened to her
Prayers which went like this, "God bless Mommy, God Bless Daddy and
Good-bye Grandma." The next day the grandmother died.
Holy crap" thought the father, "this kid is in contact with the
other side."
Several months later when the girl was going to bed the dad heard her say,
"God bless Mommy and good-bye Daddy."
He practically went into shock. He couldn't sleep all night and got up at
the crack of dawn to go to his office. He was nervous as a cat all day,
had lunch and watched the clock.
He figured if he could get by until midnight he would be okay. He felt
safe in the office, so instead of going home at the end of the day he
stayed there, drinking coffee, looking at his watch and jumping at every
sound. Finally midnight arrived; he breathed a sigh of relief and went home.
When he got home his wife said, "I've never seen you work so late. What's
the matter?" He said, "I don't want to talk about it, I've just spent the worst day of
my life."
She said, "You think you had a bad day, you'll never believe what happened
to me. This morning my golf pro dropped dead in the middle of my lesson.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Golf Poem

In My Hand I Hold A Ball,
White And Dimpled, And Rather Small.
Oh, How Bland It Does Appear,
This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.

By Its Size I Could Not Guess
The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell,
I've Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.

My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End;
A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.

It Has Made Me Curse And Made Me Cry,
And Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises Me A Thing Called Par,
If I Hit It Straight And Far.

To Master Such A Tiny Ball,
Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses,
And Does Exactly As It Chooses.

It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies,
And Disappears Before My Eyes.
Often It Will Have A Whim,
To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.

With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,
If Only It Would Find The Hole.

It's Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows ... I'll Be Back Tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Golf Joke of the Month


# 10 -- Golfer: "Think I'm going to drown myself in the lake."
Caddie: "Think you can keep your head down that long?"
# 9 -- Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course."
Caddie: "Try heaven, you've already moved most of the earth."
# 8 -- Golfer: "Do you think my game is improving?"
Caddie: "Yes sir, you miss the ball much closer now."
# 7 -- Golfer: "Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?"
Caddie: "Eventually."
# 6 -- Golfer: "You've got to be the worst caddy in the world."
Caddie: "I don't think so sir. That would be too much of a coincidence."
# 5 -- Golfer: "Please stop checking your watch all the time. It's too much of a distraction."
Caddie: "It's not a watch - it's a compass."
# 4 -- Golfer: "How do you like my game?"
Caddie: "Very good sir, but personally, I prefer golf."
# 3 -- Golfer: "Do you think it's a sin to play on Sunday?"
Caddie: "The way you play, sir, it's a sin on any day."
# 2 -- Golfer: "This is the worst course I've ever played on."
Caddie: "This isn't the golf course. We left that an hour ago."
# 1 -- Best Caddie Comment .... Golfer: "That can't be my ball, it's too old."
Caddie: "It's been a long time since we teed off, sir."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Future U.S. Open Venues

2012 Olympic Club
2013 Merion
2014 Pinehurst #2
2015 Chambers Bay
2016 Oakmont
2017 Erin Hills
2018 Shinnecock Hills
2019 Pebble Beach
2020 Winged Foot
2021 Torrey Pines
2022 The Country Club
2023 Los Angeles CC
2024 Pinehurst #2

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ireland 2011 Trip

Currently, I am in Ireland touring the northern portion, starting in Dublin all the way around to Carne in the West. I will have played 23 rounds by the time I am finished on the 14th of June. Will have around 3000+ pictures to post from the 22 courses courses listed below. I have not found one I didn't enjoy, but I could also say that about the previous 400+ I have played. Stay tuned for the individual slide shows starting the end of June.

Portmarnock Links
The Island
County Louth
Royal County Down
RCD- Annesley
Royal Belfast
Royal Portrush-Dunluce
Royal Portrush- Valley
Ballyliffin- Glashedy
Ballyliffin- Old
Rosapenna- Sandy Hills
Narin & Portnoo
County Sligo- Bomore (9)
County Sligo
Royal Dublin

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Masters and Players- my two favorite events

With the conclusion of  my two favorite golf events, The Masters and The Players, I have probably seen more exciting golf than I will for the rest of the year. Granted there are still three Majors left to be played this summer, but I know I will not be watching every shot the way I do for these two tournaments every year.

What makes these two events stand out above everything else? First, I believe it is because the venue is the same each year and both have similar designs. Why would you want to change sites every year when you have two of the most thrilling finishing nines in golf to entertain fans? Where else can you see such big swings in the standing than at Augusta and Sawgrass?

This year at The Players, Nick Watney was up by two strokes going into the 14tth hole and by the time he walked off the 16th he was five off the lead. David Toms makes a one bad swing on #16 and loses to Choi in a playoff. G-Mac looks like he has it under control until he takes a double at #18 and quickly drops out of contention. At one time I counted almost a dozen players within striking distance of the championship.

There was also a herd of players all playing great coming down the stretch at The Masters, producing one great shot after another. Charl Schwartzel birdies the last four holes on Sunday to win by two strokes. What drama!! I love to see birdies and eagles over players struggling to hit out of thick rough to make par on every hole. I don't think we will ever again see anyone win more than two majors in a year let alone the Grand Slam, and certainly Tiger now will be a long shot to break Jack's major record. Too many great players worldwide today that excel under different conditions for anyone to ever dominate like players did in the past.

These courses are both set up to produce birdies and eagles on about 6 to 8 holes, especially on their back nines. The reachable par 5's, on both back nines, are high risk reward with water coming into play and can produce big scoring swings with eagles. To quote Bobby Jones, "I think a par five should always be of the kind that can be played as a great par four if the player is man enough to do so." The par 3's are all again played over water hazards and can produce some really big numbers on #12 at Augusta and #17. To quote Jones again, "the difference between a bunker and a water hazard is the difference between a car crash and a plane crash. You can recover from the former but not from the latter." Just think how boring these back nines would be without any water hazards. Both have strong finishing holes and a couple of demanding long par 4's. I don't want to go as far as saying Pete Dye copied Augusta National, but I believe he was strongly influenced by the great layout that Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie created. Even though the terrain is very different you still get the same flow on each back nine. The excitement produced to the viewers, by the players being rewarded for taking risk, is what makes these two events so much fun to watch. I feel that Dye (Modern) and MacKenzie (Classic) are the two greatest architects of their eras.

I was fortunate to be able to attend both of these events this year. For the first time in three years there were no cold, freezing spells in Florida this winter. Finally, The Stadium course was in excellent condition to rival that of Augusta National. Both of these courses are set up with generous landing areas off the tee and minimal rough to allow the players a chance to have a go at most greens. Miss the greens and you will have no easy time of making a par.

Personally, I prefer going to the practice rounds and watching the Championships on HD from my living room. I thought both telecasts did a wonderful job of showing non-stop action with limited commercials, which sets them apart from the other majors. At The Players the golfers are available after every hole to sign and interact with the fans, unlike The Masters practice rounds. Due to most of the Florida snowbirds having gone north, the crowds at The Players are sparse compared to The Masters. Tickets are very reasonable priced at The Players, $20 or less for a practice round pass versus $50 or much more if you have to buy them from a scalper at The Masters. I am already making plans for next years Masters and Players.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Golf Joke of the Month

A little old lady was walking down the street dragging two large plastic garbage bags behind her.

One of the bags was ripped and every once in a while a $20 fell out onto the sidewalk.

Noticing this, a policeman stopped her, and said, "Ma'am, there are $20 bills falling out of that bag."

"Oh really? Darn it!" said the little old lady. "I'd better go back and see if I can find them.. Thanks for telling me officer."

Well, now, not so fast," said the cop. Where did you get all that money? You didn't steal it, did you?"

"Oh, no, no", said the old lady. "You see, my back yard is right next to the Golf course.

On Golf days, a lot of Golfers come and pee through a knot hole in the fence, right into my flower garden.
It used to really tick me off. Kills the flowers, you know. Then I thought, 'why not make the best of it?

So, now, I stand behind the fence by the knot hole, real quiet, with my hedge clippers. Every time some guy sticks his thing through my fence, I surprise him, grab hold of it and say, 'O.K., buddy! Give me $20, or off it comes.'

"Well, that seems only fair," said the cop, laughing. "OK. Good luck! Oh, by the way, what's in the other bag?"

"Well, you know", said the little old lady, "not everybody pays."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Players- 2011

Photo's from Tuesday's practice round.

For more extensive photo's of the Stadium Course, please go to Slideshows and click on TPC Sawgrass.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

TPC Sawgrass #11

Opened in 1980, TPC Sawgrass was the first of many PGA Tour courses made for ideal fan viewing. I first played the Stadium Course in 2004 and have played it a half dozen times since. It is one of the most penal courses I have ever experienced for your approach shots. There just aren't too many places that you can miss on these shots that give you an easy up and down. The view off some of the tees are confusing, as are many of Pete Dye's other holes in the world. At Sawgrass, it appears that some tees have been cut out and slide over to one side about 30 yards. It creates angles that make you feel uncomfortable off the tee.

I always play the course as far back as allowed, which is usually only around 6700 yds with a slope of 146. No matter how well I think I am playing when I arrive it seems I always walk off the course with my tail between my legs. I can count on one hand the birdies but must admit I have made at least double bogey or worse on every hole. Total cumulative worst score on each hole = 114!! I once shot 38 on the back with an 83, my best score to date.

In 2007, the old FLW style clubhouse was torn down and replaced with what reminds me of a Middle Eastern palace. Now 77,000 square feet with a roof that costs more than most homes do, it is a very impressive sight. At the same time the course was also renovated bringing it back to the fast and firm conditions it was meant to be played for the 2008 event.

Hole #11 is a split fairway reachable Par 5 for big hitters with numerous options on how to play it. Off the tee, you have a large landing area to the right fairway with the only danger being the waste area on the left. Once you get to your drive, the first decision is to go for it or lay up. Personally, the chances of me being able to hold the green with a 3 wood on these firm greens are pretty low. You have water and a larger bunker that wraps around the right and back of the green. So my best case is ending up in the sand with a long bunker shot left.

If the pin is in the back of the green, I will lay up at around 120 yards out to the right fairway; aim at the big tree on the right side with a draw. This gives you a wedge into the green. When the pin is front, I want to hit my approach to the left fairway which is a more difficult shot than laying up to the right fairway. It allows you to hit straight into the pin and eliminates the swale to the left front side of the green. You would need to hit a very precise shot to stay away from it if you are coming in from the right. Get on the green in regulation and you are probably going to make par or better, but miss and you have one of many difficult up and downs. You will be looking at bogey or worse. I was lucky to make one of my few birdies here. If you like holes with many options and different lines of play, #11 will be a real treat for you.

Other notable short holes: #4, #6, #8, #12, #13.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

TPC Sawgrass #16-18 - Golf's most exciting finish!

Where else could you shoot anywhere from 8 to over 20 on a three hole finishing stretch? I will never forget the excitement of watching Craig Perks (2002) playing the last three holes eagle, birdie, par with chip ins on #16 and #18 to win. Or seeing the replay of Bob Tway taking a 12 on #17. Whether you are a pro or an average golfer you have a chance at making an eagle on #16 or snowman on any of the final three holes at TPC Sawgrass.

Hole #16 is a very reachable Par 5, if you can find the fairway with your drive. Ideally, a slight draw will get you within 3 wood range or less. Push it right off the tee and you will have a bad angle or you may find the bunker. Left is more than likely jail, unless you are DL3. If, you don't have the kahunas to go for it or have hit a poor drive, make sure your lay up is at least 100 yards out. If you look at the above pictures you will notice a huge tree guarding the left side and anything from 50 to 80 yards out will need to be hugging the right side of the fairway to have a clear shot into the green. To me this is an easy par, as long as you keep your approach out of the water. The risk of going for the green trying for eagle makes this a very exciting hole. Hit your approach shot short and you will catch the front bunker; long left and you will find yourself in a small pot like bunker. **Make sure to check out the pin position on #17 when you are walking up the 16th fairway.**

The Island green on the 17th has probably been on your mind on and off since you arrived at the course. The range can be a good indicator of what to expect with the wind when you make it to the 17th tee. Once you get on the tee you will not feel the full effect of the wind and it would be wise to have made some mental notes while warming up on the range. The range and the 17th are 180 degrees opposite direction of each other. The last time I played TPC the wind was coming out of the NW at about 30 mph. Usually, I would be playing a 9I into the green which is around 130 yds to the center. This time I thought I needed a 6I and ended up finding the water long and left. My re tee I used a 7I and found the center of the green. The other time I found the water it was to a back middle pin and I thought I had hit the perfect shot, only to see my ball bounce twice and disappear. If I had only checked the pin while on 16 fairway I would have noticed how little room there was between the pin and back edge. My tip for your first try at the 17th is to play to the middle of the green, no matter where the pin is located. If you don't make it on the first try keep on hitting until you put one on. It is better to have taken a big number and made it on then to have to live with not making it on at all. Whatever you do don't go to the drop zone, unless you are wearing a skirt. If you can't hit one on off a tee, you will probably chunk or skull the next one off the turf. Don't feel rushed, the groups waiting for their chance will understand. I once stood and watched a foursome rinse at least three dozen balls before they moved on. You may play other Island holes but none will be more exciting or make you sweat as the 17th at the Stadium course. This the one that all others are compared to.

The 18th hole is the number one handicap hole at the Stadium course, as are 25% of all the 18th holes played on the PGA tour. Nothing is more satisfying than to "earn" a par or birdie to finish off your round. One of the worlds architectural guru's, once said, "A finishing hole should be the climax of the round and pose a strong risk." With water guarding the whole left side of this long dogleg there is plenty of risk. The first time I played this hole I hit what I thought was going to be a nice tee shot. I watched a little draw run out and slowly trickle left until it nearly came to rest on the wood piling and drop into the lake. Since that time I have been playing more right and coming in at a distinctly inferior angle. As all great architects do, they give you the best angle only by luring you into the highest risk shot. I am now left with a long iron or hybrid into a deep tiered green that is protected short right by grass moguls and a bunker; long by a deep bunker and left by water. As most holes are at Sawgrass, there just isn't a great place to miss a shot. Pete Dye has done a wonderful job at the Stadium course of defending par at the green complexes.

Only once have I have shot in the 30's on a nine here, 38. It was only when I was able to par these last three holes and make no double bogeys on all of the others. What a great feeling it was to think that I had finally got the best of this string of finishing holes for once. It is so hard to play nine, let alone a round at TPC Sawgrass, without making a double bogey or worse. Just watch the final day of play at The Players Championship and see how many players fold up like cheap tents on #16-#18.

Other notable long holes: #2, #5, #7, #9, #14.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Masters 2011 - 75th Edition

It had been four years since my last trip to the Masters and I couldn't wait to visit the hollowed grounds of Augusta National again. We had stayed about 80 miles south of Augusta the night before and had experienced an early morning thunder storm. As we got closer we noticed that the traffic signals were out and there had been several trees blown over. The local AM radio station had alerted us to some 100 year old trees having been lost at the golf course and play would be delayed until further notice. The temperature had dropped from balmy 87 the day before to a cool 54 when we climbed out of our car in the west parking lot.

We headed to the course and immediately noticed the gigantic practice area that had been constructed in the past year. What an improvement from what the pros had to warm up on before. First stop was the merchandise building to kill some time until the course opened. Absolutely, the most dollars spent per second of any commercial operation in the world. One of the employees told me that Monday had been the second highest grossing day in history, I would suspect today was going to be the record.

Next we walked over to the Par 3 course and toured it. I took several pictures of it this visit which you can click on and view under MASTERS 2011. The previous trip I concentrated photographing the 18 hole course and you can view those under MASTERS 2007. Several trees were down between #8 and #9 and the lake was full of debris from the storm. I am sure this was a worst case scenario for the grounds crew but they have hundreds of people and unlimited resources to handle any problem that may arise. By the time we finished our walk around the PAR 3 course, play had resumed.

Starting on hole #10 we made our way around to Amen Corner following Villegas and Caberra before we sat in the bleachers taking in the beauty of #11 and #12. Due to the intense winds it appeared as though many of the flowering azaleas had lost most of their flowers. After a few minutes we moved onto #13 and viewed what Phil was visualizing on his now famous approach shot in 2010. Next rest stop were the bleachers overlooking the 15th and 16th holes. I love to watch the players SKIP IT on the pond. Some of the young first time pros really get into it and will hit several shots. Amazingly, many of their skip shots ended up closer than their traditional shots. Most skip it several times but Ross Fisher , on his final try, hit it hard about 10 feet in front of him and one hoped it on.

One of my favorite hideaways was in the azalea's just off of the 5th green overlooking the 16th. My last visit I got some beautiful pictures from there that you can view on the MASTERS 2007 slide show. This trip I see that they have cleared that whole area out and planted grass so the patrons can now sit and watch. A piece of heaven has been lost. It was getting that time of day when I was craving some of those inexpensive, $1.50 egg salad sandwiches so we headed to the food concession. Due to the loss of electricity they had lost all their eggs, so I had to settle for the $2.50 line of sandwiches which were not nearly as good as the egg salad I had been savoring.

On the front nine we caught up with Ben Crenshaw, his caddie Carl, who was caddying his 50th Masters, and Jhonny Vegas. The long par three #4 had Ben pulling out the driver to make it to the green against a stiff head wind. Ben was showing his Texas Alum all he could about how to putt the tricky Augusta greens. Unfortunately, Ben's lack of length is going to make it tough for him to make this years cut. It appeared most of the players stayed on the range for the day or didn't even show up due to the strong winds that were blowing on Tuesday. Being a Michigan grad, one of the trip highlights was seeing Lion Kim (2010 Publix Champ) finishing up his round with KJ Choi on #9. He had all his U of M attire on with a nice Michigan logo bag. Hopefully, you all caught his maize and blue shoes he was wearing on day one. I hope he makes the cut just so I can see those shoes. If only I had a pair of those magic slippers, my game would improve by at least 5 shots.

Masters Trivia- Did you know that the nines have been flipped at Augusta National? Following the inaugural Masters in 1934, and shortly after Alister Mackenzie's death, Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts announced the change. Just think if Gene Sarazen's shot, "Heard around the World" had been made the year before on the 6th hole instead of on the 15th in the 1935 Masters. I bet that double-eagle would not have been nearly as loud. Horton Smith is the only golfer to have won on both layouts. Other world class courses that have flipped their nines are; NGLA ,Shinnecock, Eugene CC, Victoria Hills, Pablo Creek Club.

By now it was late afternoon and we made one last dash through the merchandise building and then dropped by the range to watch a few players working on their games. Heading out of the gate to the car, I told my son that I hoped he would come back with me again for the 100th edition.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day Golf Facts

-Golfers who claim they never cheat, also lie.
-A two-foot putt counts the same as a two-foot drive.
-Never wash your ball on the tee of a water hole
-There is no such thing as a friendly wager.
-The stages of golf are: Sudden Collapse, Radical Change, Complete Frustration, Slow Improvement, Brief Mastery, and Sudden  Collapse.
-The only sure way to get a par is to leave a four-foot birdie putt two inches short of the hole.
-Don't play with anyone who would question a 7.
-It's as easy to lower your handicap as it is to reduce your hat size.
-If you really want to be better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.
-If your driver is hot, your putter will be ice cold.  If you can hit your irons, you will top your woods.  If you are keeping your right elbow tucked in, your head will come up.
-Progress in golf consists of two steps forward and ten miles backward.
-One good shank deserves another.
-It takes 17 holes to really get warmed up.
-No golfer ever swung too slowly.
-No golfer ever played too fast.
-One birdie is a hot streak.
-No matter how badly you are playing, it's always possible to play worse.
-Whatever you think you're doing wrong is the one thing you're doing right.
-Any change works for three holes.
-The odds of hitting a duffed shot increase by the square of the number of people watching.
-Never take lessons from your father.
-Never teach golf to your wife.
-Never play your son for money.
-Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing.
-The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.
-It's surprisingly easy to hole a 50-foot putt when you lie 10.
-The statute of limitation on forgotten strokes is two holes.
-Bets lengthen putts and shorten drives.
-Confidence evaporates in the presence of fairway water.
-It takes considerable pressure to make a penalty stroke adhere to a scorecard.
-It's not a gimme if you're still away.
-The more your opponent quotes the rules, the greater the certainty that he cheats.
-Always limp with the same leg for the whole round.
-The rake is always in the other trap.
-The wind is in your face on 16 of the 18 holes.
-Nothing straightens out a nasty slice quicker than a sharp dogleg to the right.
-The rough will be mowed tomorrow.
-The ball always lands where the pin was yesterday.
-It always takes at least five holes to notice that a club is missing.
-The nearest sprinkler head will be blank.
-Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.
-You can hit a 2-acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time.
-Out of bounds is always on the right, for right-handed golfers.
-The practice green is either half as fast or twice as fast as all the other greens.
-No one with funny head covers ever broke par (except for Tiger Woods).
-The lowest numbered iron in your bag will always be impossible to hit.
-Your straightest iron shot of the day will be exactly one club short.
-No matter how far its shaft extends, a ball retriever is always a foot too short to reach the ball.
-If you seem to be hitting your shots straight on the driving range, it's probably because you're not aiming at anything.
-A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.
-The only thing you can learn from golf books is that you can't learn anything from golf books, but you have to read an awful lot of golf books to learn it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Innisbrook Copperhead Course- The Snake Pit

Innisbrook Resort was developed in 1970 and all four courses were designed by E. Lawrence Packard. It is located on the West coast of Florida in Palm Harbor. Recently, new ownership has freshened it up with a 30 million cash infusion. I played two of the courses in late February just as the PGA was setting the Copperhead up for the Transitions tournament.

The last holes, #16-#18, are called The Snake Pit. They are three of the most difficult finishing holes on the PGA Tour. So, when I arrived on the 16th tee I was ready for a challenge and hoping to play them at even par.

#16 (Moccasin) is a long Par 4, Cape like hole, that plays at 430 yds from the Green Tees. Ideally, you would like to play it to the right side of the FW shortening the hole. My drive found the left side of the generous FW, 177 yards out. The hole played slightly uphill and to a back pin today, so I choose my #4 Hybrid and left myself with about 20 feet to the hole. The greens where firm but they had not been cut down to tour speed yet, my putt was woefully short and left me with a four foot tap in for a par.

#17 (Rattler) is a medium length par 3, which has a narrow neck on the front half protected by bunkers on both sides. Today the pin was located up front at 170 yards. The green is steeply sloped , so you would like to keep your ball below the hole. I hit a 5 iron pin high into the right bunker. Blasted out to within 10 feet and had a side winding putt for par. Missed the putt and took my 4. Easier pin placements are located in the back half of this green, which also allows for a much larger landing area. One over par after two holes of the Snake Pit.

#18 (Copperhead) plays uphill at 420 yards to narrower landing area. Observing the hole from overhead, it does actually look like a Copperhead snake. Needing a birdie, I put a little extra into my swing and predictably blocked it right into the rough. I was left with 160 yards to a green that would accept a nice draw. Coming out of the rough using a 5 iron, my shot hooked into the left front bunker. My last hope was to hole a longish bunker shot but I came up 15 feet short to the sloping green and two putted for bogey. Two over par and I can see why these three holes are rated the third most difficult finishing holes on Tour.

Other notable holes: #1, #4, #9, #12, #14.