Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An Update

Except for one disaster hole where the wheels not only fell off but rolled away in all directions while the body of the wagon crashed to the ground, the horses galloped off and the camera rolled throughout, last night went well. I bettered my best score on the Gold 9 at Emerald Greens by 3 strokes (the counter stops for people with my enormous handicap at 10 strokes per hole), lost two balls, found two.

I was a happy hooker for sure, though. At one hole I put it all the way across the adjoining fairway. My recovery shot was good, though, and I hit my next shots well also, and ended up with a triple. It could have been much worse.

Golf at times is like riding a three-part seesaw. You have a long game, a mid-iron game, and a short game. Now that my mid-irons are coming along (at the end of the season, of course), my short game is faltering. I twice missed putts of under two feet.

But, apparently my new rules for playing (see yesterday) are paying off. Too bad I didn't learn them at the start of the league.

Oh, and on the 9th hole last night, my playing partners--Ron, Tom and Neil--finally made comments on my form. It turns out they think I'm not playing the ball far enough forward, and I always aim right. Setting up according to the trio, my drive on the 9th tee went straight down the middle; my second shot ended up about 30 feet short; I bumped over on my chip, but ended up with a 5 on a par 4, so I was happy. Then I asked them, "Why'd you wait so long to comment?"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Party´s Over

My golf season--the first league I´ve ever been in--is coming to a close tonight. I´ve suffered from cold weather and a few rainy outings, one or two really hot days, and many nice ones.

I had hoped that, with retirement from everyday toil in the offing, this frequent shot of golf might help me get a little better. As I look back on my skill level, I might, maybe, be a leetle bit more accomplished.

Of course, I'm still in the D flight. To move up to C, I have to:

  • Shorten my stroke
  • Set up by opening my left foot a little, rather than parallel to my right
  • Swing a lot easier
  • Put my putting on autopilot, rather than thinking
  • Practice chipping for distance
  • Avoid lifting my head on impact
  • Keep my weight, as Sam Snead recommended, in the saddle (on my heels), rather than toe dancing (ending up tippytoe). Actually, opening my foot seems to help with that.

It has been fun, which is the important thing. And I´ve discovered I´m really accomplished at one hole in particular: 19.

Next I'm heading for Calif., then the Golf Today magazine tournament in Las Vegas at the Suncoast Hotel and Badlands Golf Course. Three days driving to Jamestown, Calif., a few days visiting my mother, one day to Las Vegas, three days visiting my son, his wife and daughter, then three days driving back through the Rockies.

My only concern is my left eye. Since I suffered from Bell's Palsy, that one gets tired more easily than my right. On a long trip like this one, I'll be using drops often, wearing my dark glasses, and being cautious. We'll see. I may have to adjust my distances.

While I'm visiting mom, I'll try and whip my Prowler 31' trailer back into shape. I bought it in 2000 while I worked in San Jose, as a cheap way to live in Silicon Valley on a contract tech writing job. It paid for itself in a year by costing half what it would have cost to rent even a studio apartment out there. Then my brother, while he was in the last stages of colon cancer, was able to stay in it in warm weather. Since 2003, it's been parked on my sister's farm near Jamestown.

I'll have to see whether I can fix various parts on it--the rear door, for example, is ripped to shreds. Wheel bearings will need greasing, at least. I'm hoping there aren't any open seams where water has leaked in. Etc.

If I can get it working, I'll use it for awhile after I retire. If not, I'll have to buy something else. Time will tell. It always does.