*I know that this game is challenging. It’s even more challenging when you don’t have time to practice. Since the high school season ended, I’ve been out each weekend for 18 holes and have found success and failure in different ways and in different aspects of my game each time. I’m amazed at the remarkable lack of consistency in my game. For now, I like coaching more than competition, so I’ll be not practicing for a few more years;
*Much has been written and spoken about the growth in popularity of the belly putter. If anything could push the long putter to the back pages of Controversy Monthly, it’s the anchoring element of the belly putter. I’ve gone all in, lengthening my Two-Ball putter to about 41 inches. I’ll be trying cross-handed, regular-handed and anything else that occurs to me to get a sense of what this new technique can offer. Of all that I’ve read and heard on the topic, the most salient point has been the following. In reference to the many middle-aged golfers who have experimented with the belly putter, the author (from a major magazine, I forget which one) said (I paraphrase) that maybe the reason they’re putting better with the belly putter is because they are practicing more. These champions had become complacent about practice with regular-length putters and their strokes had suffered as a result;
*If you know anything about golf course architecture, know this: new course construction in the USA has slowed to a crawl or less. From 1990 to 2005, thanks to the Tiger Fever and the arrival of the baby boomer generation to retirement age, golf course construction exploded upward. Here in WNY, we saw 9 new courses (Fox Valley, Links at Ivy Ridge, Harvest Hill, Diamond Hawk, Arrowhead, Ironwood, Buffalo Tournament Club, Concord Crest, Seneca Hickory Stick) along with 9-hole additions at Deerwood and Willowbrook, declare the first tee open for play. Since 2008, the pendulum has swung nationally, with courses being closed and sold for development (mainly housing);
*People talk about trailblazers who left a path for others to follow. They usually don’t bring up the ones who failed along the way. Remember when Annika Sorenstam made a run at the cut at Colonial (on the PGA Tour) before falling short? I’m convinced that she would have been followed this year by Yani Tseng at Puerto Rico, save for the tribulations (and poor decision-making) of the Michelle Wie Compound. From age 15-ish to age 20, Wie tried time and again to make a cut in a men’s tournament, failing all but once (a wee event in Asia) and losing all touch with what it took to win. If you love irony, in 2004, Wie was the defending champion (at the ripe age of 13!) of the women’s public links championship of the USGA. She again reached the final, where she lost in 36 holes, 1-down. It was the last run at a tournament victory she made until she won on the LPGA tour in 2009. Does it surprise you that the name of her conqueror on that public links-championship day in 2004 was Yani Tseng?
*If you promised me that WNY would have little snow and very cold temps this winter, I’d take it. I envy those folks in northerly climates who continue to golf all year round, thanks to the absence of the white stuff. I can handle the frozen fairways and greens, the unraked bunkers and the bitter chill. Just let me see my ball;
*About five years ago, the Buffalo District Golf Association left BG.C (our site) to develop its own web site. The site isn’t bad, but it’s not yet as great as it should be. This month, the Walter J. Travis architectural society repeats the move, striking out in a new direction. As we did with the BDGA, we wish the WJTS well. One positive is its use of the word press functionality that we went to last January. Although most often associated with blogging, word press allows for a consistent, streamlined look and easy access for a number of contributors, with no coding necessary. I’ve missed messing with the html, but only so often;