Friday, December 27, 2013

New Mizuno MP-4 irons from HotStix

Eight years ago, while I was wintering in Arizona for several months, I was custom fit at HotStix for my original set of Mizuno's. I loved the fit, feel, and feedback of those forged MP-60's. But over a thousand rounds of golf and who knows how many buckets of balls I had worn the grooves down and it was time to make them my back up set.

This past Spring I returned to AZ for a few days and Chris Ferguson and I went through a new 3 hour fitting session. After going through several checks, Chris made some changes in loft and lie and re bent my old irons to the new specs. I went back to Florida and played with them for a few weeks and they worked well.

In 2006, I had time to take four different brands of irons with me and try them out for a couple of weeks. This time I didn't have that luxury as I was flying right back to Florida. We initially decided on a different set of cast irons which I just couldn't get comfortable with. I eventually shipped them back and we decided on the grain flow forged Mizuno MP-4's. These new muscle backs give me a pure feel and feedback like no other iron I have ever played. When you hit these irons, you can close your eyes and know exactly where the ball is going to end up. Plus they are the most beautiful irons I have laid my eyes on.

For the little it costs to get a great custom fitting at the Phoenix HotStix, I would really recommend you give Chris Ferguson a call and set up an appointment. It will be the best money you have ever spent. Your odds of buying clubs off the rack and hoping they all are fit properly are about the same as you winning the Lotto.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Golfer's Observation

We had a power outage last week and my PC, TV, and games console shut down immediately. It was raining out, I couldn't play golf, so I talked with my wife for a few hours.

She seems like a nice person.

Monday, September 16, 2013

How to Putt Over Goose S#!t

It is getting that time of year in Michigan when the geese are taking up residence on our golf courses and leaving their marks on the greens. This tip will help you keep your ball clean.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dx:Golf Balls

A man got on a bus with both of his front trouser pockets full
of golf balls and sat down next to a beautiful blonde.

The puzzled blonde kept looking at him and his bulging pockets.

Finally, after many glances from her, he said, "It's golf balls."

The blonde continued to look at him for a very long time,

thinking deeply about what he had said.

After several minutes, not being able to contain her curiosity
any longer, she asked, 
"Does it hurt as much as tennis elbow?"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blog's New Look!!

Hopefully, you have noticed a fresh look to my blog. With the help of 906 Tech it is now almost into the 21st century. New features are Favorite Photo's Slideshow that will run whenever you log into to the site or click on one of the Icons across the top. In the near future there will be about 100 of my best pictures in the slideshow.

Almost all of the information that used to run along the left side of the blog is now located across the top of the blog. Just click on an icon and the list will appear and you can go from there. The new True Links icon will eventually contain all the Links Courses I have photographed. Which courses qualify as links? Those 246 that appear in George Pepper's great book-TRUE LINKS.

Still in the works is an interactive Google Map that will allow you to view all the courses and color coded ratings of those courses I have played. Click on a course in the area you are interested playing and pertinent information should appear.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Old Course Photo's

All of the 2013 Scotland trip photo's have now been posted and I have saved the Old Course photo's to the end. Hope you have enjoyed the viewing.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Upper Peninsula of Michigan Golf

The Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan, contains 16,452 square miles (42,610 km²), almost one-third of the land area of the state. It is about one half the size of either Scotland or Ireland. The maximum east-west distance in the Upper Peninsula is about 320 miles (515 km), and the maximum north-south distance is about 125 miles (200 km). It is bounded on the north by the world's largest freshwater body, Lake Superior, on the east by St. Mary's River, on the south by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the west by Wisconsin and (counting the water border on Lake Superior) by Minnesota. It has about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) of continuous shoreline with the Great Lakes. There are about 4,300 inland lakes, over 100 waterfalls, and 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of streams. Snowfall in the winter can reach up to 390 inches along the Lake Superior shoreline. Lake Superior surface area is 31,700 sq miles, max depth is 1,276 ft, volume is 3 quadrillion gallons. It takes between 191-199 years to turnover all its water.

The population as of 2010, was 311,000 which is about 3% of the states total. In the past 100 years the population has actually declined, due to the decrease in mining activity. Marquette is the largest city with over 20,000 people. It has a major medical center, Northern Michigan University with its over 10,000 students, and a Federal prison with 1,100 inmates. The U.P. is a great area for outdoor activities including biking, hiking, hunting and fishing, skiing, ice hockey, and snowmobiling. If you enjoy gambling there are way too many Indian casinos to leave your hard earned $$ at. Of course the main summer sport is golf. The weather temps are in the 70's and dry with long days to provide great golfing.

Currently there are 55+ active golf courses (778 holes), it is one of the highest regions in the world for population/golf course ratio. 31 of the courses are eighteen holes and 24+ have nine holes (one course starts in Wisconsin and has 4 holes in the U.P.). There are about ten other courses that no longer exit (NLE). The Greywalls Course at Marquette GC located in Marquette is the jewel of all the It is rated in both Golf Digest and Golfweek as a top 10 in the state and a Golfweek top 100 Modern course. Timberstone in Iron Mountain is another course that is consistently mentioned in the top state 25. Other fine 18 hole courses are Sage Run, Pine Grove, Sweetgrass, Hessel Ridge, Wild Bluff, Heritage Course at Marquette GC, and The Rock on Drummond Island. Keweenaw Mountain Lodge in Copper Harbor and Wawashkamo on Mackinac Island are two of my favorite classic 9 hole tracks with Blue Heron (NLE) being a sleeper in Germfask. For complete rankings of the U.P. courses I have played check out the courses by state/region section on my blog. By the end of the 2015 season I will have played all of the Upper Peninsula courses.* 2018 Sage Run opened.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Castle Stuart Golf Links- 2013 Scottish Open

At Castle Stuart Golf Links, site of this weeks Scottish Open, I viewed some of the most vivid colors on a golf course. The Gorse was in full bloom and the white Art Deco clubhouse only enhanced the beauty of this course along the Moray Firth. Not since playing The European Club last Spring have I seen any thing comparable.

The challenging ground game stimulates ones imagination of the various ways you can play each hole. Castle Stuart is a course that I could visit many times and never tire of the experience. I now know why Gil Hanse was chosen as designer of the 2016 Olympics Venue over so many other talented architects. I hope one day to return to this slice of heaven. Enjoy the slideshow below:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Scottish courses I want to play again

Back in the USA, a few days removed from Scotland, has given me some time to reflect on my most recent trip. At my age there are way too many golf courses that I want to experience then I will ever be able to play. So returning and playing all the courses a second time is not an option. These are a few that would warrant consideration for a replay if I get the opportunity again.
Royal Dornoch- my favorite course of the whole trip. What great flow and transitions from one elevation to the other. Played it twice, could play it everyday.
Old Course- found it a bit quirky and target like golf to stay away from the bunkers. Nothing better than the challenge of the Road Hole and the ambiance of the 18th green surrounded on two sides by people watching you putt out. St Andrews is the most charming golf town I have ever visited. Got to love all the golf shops and 19th holes within a short walk of your last stroke.
Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart- Great ground game options and imagination needed at both of these.
Abernethy(9)- always nice for a small course to exceed your expectations. This whole area in the beautiful Cairngorms National Park and Abernethy Forest was a real surprise to me, in that there was a downhill ski resort in Scotland. Ski able snow was still visible in the mountain tops.

Watch for photos of all 19 courses to appear over the upcoming weeks, scattered with a few posts about the trip. Today, I start out with my #1-Royal Dornoch.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tomorrow #500- The Old Course!!!

                                                                                                                              June 17,2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

2013 Scotland Trip

Starting to firm tee times up and travel plans for this years British Isles trip. I expect to fill in another 5 or 6 courses by the time the trip is over. Hoping to get another round on the Old Course through the Ballot process. Will be spending a week each in the St Andrews and Dornoch regions.
6/13 North Berwick West
6/15  Carnoustie
6/16  Balcomie/ and Craighead at Crail
6/17  Old Course
6/18  New Course
6/19  Kingsbarns
6/20  Castle Course/ and Old Course
6/21  Abernethy(9)
6/22  Boat of Garten
6/23  Moray New
6/24  Nairn/ and Nairn Dunbar
6/25  Castle Stuart
6/26  Golspie/ and Brora
6/27  Royal Dornoch x 2
6/28  Tain
6/29  Fortrose and Rosemarkie

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Busy Day at the Office

My Boss phoned me today. He said "Is everything OK at the office?"

I said "It is all under control. It has been a very busy day. I haven't stopped to take a break all day."

"Can you do me a favor", he asked.

I said, "Of course, what is it?"

"Pick up the pace a little. I am in the foursome behind you."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why did it take over 12 hours to make a ruling on Tiger at the Masters?

For the governing bodies of golf to take over 12 hours to make a decision on Tiger Woods rules violation is just another example of the hypocrisy of these organizations. They rule against long putters but allow courses to become obsolete due to hotter golf balls and metal faced drivers. Why don't they care for long putters, because the putting stroke just doesn't look like golf was meant to be played in their opinion. They say it threatens the integrity of the game.

So here we are at the 2013 Masters and the worlds top player commits a rules violation and signs a card without taking a two stroke penalty. After 12 hours the committee comes up with a rationalization that will make it all right for Tiger to continue even though you and I would have been disqualified (DQ) at any other event.

Do I think Tiger initially knew he was breaking the rule on his drop at #15? Certainly not. In the heat of the moment I would probably have made the same mistake and not gone back on a line with the pin from where the ball actually "entered the water" to make a drop but where it crossed the water. Tiger admitted he dropped his ball ""2 yards behind" where he initially hit his 3rd shot and he was going to "dial it down a little" on the subsequent shot. He was dropping on an incorrect tangent line which gave him an unfair advantage. Even though he had no intent to break the rule, the fact is he did and signed an incorrect scorecard. Automatic DQ!

After signing the scorecard and Tiger realizing  he had violated a rule he should have disqualified himself, obviously he did not and the ball was thrown into the committee's court. The committee should have ruled and disqualified Tiger Woods but what ramifications would they now face? Without the games marque player who was on the first page of the leader board in the Masters, Augusta National and CBS would lose millions of $$$$ due to a drop in the TV ratings. With the history at Augusta of not allowing blacks or females membership until recently, no way did they want to stir up that hornets nest again by disqualifying the only black player in the field. So they find a loophole in a relatively new rule that would allow Tiger to compete.

It is the two year old so called HD TV rule 33-7, that allowed the committee to circumvent Tiger's rule violation and now threatens the Integrity of the game of golf with this precedence. Rule 33-7 is for minute movements of the ball that most would not see, not a 6 foot error of ball replacement. The loophole in this rule that was used states "in exceptional individual cases" they can waive a disqualification. The rule didn't apply in this instance! Do you really think that a lessor known player who was at the bottom of the leader board would have gotten this reprieve? The Game of Golf has always held it self to very high standards that even if no one else sees you violate the rules you are bound to call it on ones self. It now appears that you don't even have to know the rules or even attempt to call them on yourself and you will be allowed to play on depending on who you are.

Setting Tiger Woods personal ethics and morals aside, he is the last person I would take a youth golfer to follow at a golf event. His continued profanity and actions during a round of play is the worst example set by ANY professional golfer on tour today for our young golfers to emulate. But the PGA doesn't appear to be noticing his actions and continue to let the Golden Goose act as he wishes. The commentators tell us he is working on his temper but I have seen no signs of any change in his four letter vocabulary. Only yesterday on the 18th hole, when he discovered he had gone past the hole did he drop another F bomb on live TV. Do you think Tiger acts this way in front of his own children?

Tiger had the opportunity to gain back the respect of the golfing world by doing what most every other ethical golfer would do and had done before him by disqualifying himself from further play in the this years Masters. It would have been a shining moment in the history of golf, just as when Bobby Jones called the penalty on himself in the 1925 US Open. It would have set an example for the young golfers coming into the game today why golf is so very special to many of us. Unfortunately he like many others in our society today, take what they can no matter whether they deserve it or not and move on. Come late Sunday afternoon, if Tiger is on the leader board we will see if he has any conscious. I doubt it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bubba's Hovergolfcart

This looks like more fun than playing golf. It is $16,000 before its adaptation as a golf cart. Who will be the first golf course to buy a fleet of these?

Monday, March 18, 2013

New putting record- Campbell University

In November, I posted an article showing six golfers synchronized putting. Recently, I see where we now have nine golfers who have successfully all holed their putts. Where will this all end? Is the size of the hole the limiting factor? I would like to see 2 or 3 rows of several putters simultaneously putting with balls dropping in from all angles.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Polite way to call someone a Bastard

A guy was getting ready to tee off on the first hole when a second golfer approached and asked if he could join him. The first said that he usually played alone, but agreed to the twosome.
They were even after the first few holes. The second guy said, "We're about evenly matched, how about playing for five bucks a hole?"
The first guy said that he wasn't much for betting, but agreed to the terms.
The second guy won the remaining sixteen holes with ease.
As they were walking off number eighteen, the second guy was busy counting his $80.00.
He confessed that he was the pro at a neighboring course and liked to pick on suckers.
The first fellow revealed that he was the Parish Priest.
The pro was flustered and apologetic, offering to return the money. The Priest said, "You won fair and square and I was foolish to bet with you. You keep your winnings."
The pro said, "Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?"
The Priest said, "Well, you could come to Mass on Sunday and make a donation......And, if you want to bring your mother and father along, I'll marry  them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Update-Most Courses Played

Last December, for those who have been following my blog, you recall that when I was at Black Diamond Ranch I had the pleasure of playing with 72-year old Terry Inslee. At the time Terry had played 2,610* different courses and had not heard of anyone else playing that many. Pretty astonishing accomplishment, as most people will never even come close to playing that many rounds in their life. He mentioned to me that there was a youngster who had played 1400+ and would probably eventually catch him. But we all knew that Tiger was a lock to break Jack's major record right.

As fate would have it, when I played Erin Hills in late September I was paired with the heir apparent to Terry's throne. Forty-something Darryl Boe, from South Carolina, was at 1,486 courses and well over half way toward breaking the unofficial record.

Last week I read in Golfweek that one of their course raters claims over 3000. 68-year old, Welshman,  Derek Dobbs says he has bag tags from all those courses on his basement walls which are organized by countries and states. If the course didn't have a tag he simply made one himself. I must admit I am a bit skeptical about this guy, as he didn't produce an exact number.

So, it appears that Terry has relinquished the "Unofficial World" crown sooner than he thought. Darryl and who knows whoever else is out there are still in hot pursuit of the Welshman. If I got really motivated and played a new course everyday for the next 8 or 9 years I could catch them all. NO CHANCE unless some companies out there want to sponsor me- Aleve, Geritol, AARP, Golf Channel, Humana Medicare, golf equipment makers, RV companies, golf magazines, are a few that come to mind. I would gladly wear more corporate logos on my golf shirt than John Daly.

*Terry is currently at 2,850, as of the 2015 PGA Show, and still going strong.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Golf on Christmas

Four old timers were playing their weekly game of golf, one remarked how nice it would be to wake up on Christmas morning, roll out of bed and without an argument go directly to the golf course, meet his buddies and play a round.

His buddies all chimed in said, "Let's do it! We'll make it a priority; figure out a way and meet here early, Christmas morning."

Months later, that special morning arrives, and there they are on the golf course. The first guy says, "Boy this game cost me a fortune! I bought my wife a diamond ring that she can't take her eyes off."

The second guy says, "I spent a ton too. My wife is at home planning the cruise I gave her. She was up to her eyeballs in brochures."

The third guy says "Well my wife is at home admiring her new car, reading the manual."

They all turned to the last guy in the group who is staring at them like they have lost their minds.

"Jeez, I can't believe you all went to such expense for this golf game. I slapped my wife on the butt and said, 'Well babe, Merry Christmas! It's a great morning -- Intercourse or GolfCourse' .....
She said, 'Don’t forget your sweater!' "