Every now and again, those thoughts that slipped away come back and pay a return visit. I write them down and share them with others, hoping that they help or inform. I’ve got a good half-dozen ideas here. Let me know if you’ve experienced these moments, if you agree or disagree, if you react violently to what I write. It’s all good and welcome.
>I used to wear public course golf like a badge of honor. No, sir…no private club for me. Never mind that I was handicapped in high school matches when we played the clubs, or in state qualifiers. I still don’t belong anywhere (neither public nor private) but I split my time about 80%-20% public to private. In these unstable financial times, a call to a private club can result in a “keep it on the down-low, but come on out.” It costs about as much as a high-end public course and is one of those things I’ll do every couple of months. Have you ever struggle in a scramble event at one of the area posh locales? It’s time to get a little warm-up in. Doesn’t matter if it’s top-shelf or working-man private…it’s private and its greens are nicer than most public joints.
>Beyond Orlando and Myrtle…you can make a golf getaway wherever you darned well please. You won’t have the massive organization and apparent discounts that the destination spots (throw Michigan in there, too) offer, but if you call around, there are usually early-bird and twilight discounts for the taking. I remember a summer junket to Williamsburg, VA. The discounted times ran from 11 am to 2 pm…the sun was so strong that the natives stayed indoors. Time of year matters, too. Shoulder season (fall and spring) also brings out the deals. Check for same-day replay rates. If you have lunch, they usually cut you a sizable break on the second round, since you’ve left so much scratch at their place.
>My favorite drill of 2013 is the one that forces you to hold off the release of your hands. What you do is take two clubs, invert one and hold them together by the grips. You can do the same thing with a 60-inch stick. If you release early, the butt end of the joined clubs/long stick whacks you in the ribs. As long as you turn and hold off, you’ll not get bruised.
>If I had to play links golf for the remainder of my life, would I miss softer turf? I don’t know the answer and most likely, won’t. Links golf is awesome and is more accessible than people think. I’m not talking Bandon or Scotland or even Truro, MA (Cape Cod). When we get those heat-wave summers and courses with no budget for watering let their fairways get firm, you’ve got links golf. You need to land the ball 20 yards short and let it bound or bounce or roll forward to the green.
>My favorite strengthening exercise involves a dowel, a rope and a five-pound weight plate. Tie the rope to the weight plate and tie the other end to the dowel. Then, roll the rope up and down (don’t let it drop) as many times as you can. I started with one, then two, then three. My best is seven times up and down. The forearms are stronger and I’m spinning the ball better.
>If putters were monogamous, I would be the great putter floozie of all time. I can’t stay tied to one putter, it seems, for more than a month. Don’t know what it is. I also change grips and stances. When it’s gone, it stays gone. If you see me in May, taking 38 putts for 18 holes, you’ll be stunned two months later when I go ’round in 27 putts. Sometimes it’s knowing the precise distance, other times it’s putting by feel that does the deed.
>Sometimes you find that company and you stick with it through thick and thin. I have a set of irons now from a company whose irons I played in the early 1990s. Loved them then and don’t know why I gave them up (it isn’t Srixon, as they didn’t exist back then.) I recently added two wedges from a different company (54 and 58 degree) and love them. Sometimes I hit the ball in closer from 50 yards with a wedge than I do from 40 feet with a putter (see number six above.) Ahhhh, golf.