Posts Tagged golf

Golf, anyone?

A few years ago, I took the plunge and purchased a (weekday-only) membership at the golf course near my house. I had been considering it for several years and then they offered a special, low-initiation deal. Effectively, it cost about the same as it would to play once a week at any of the slightly cheaper courses in the area, plus, any guests playing with me got a slight discount such that the cost of their round would be comparable to the other courses as well. And, of course, I could stop in and play 9 holes after work for free. (Or late afternoons on weekends, which was included in the weekday membership.)

Nice theory. In practice it didn’t really work out. It wasn’t too bad in the summer, though I rarely did better than break even for any given month. And even though it’s possible to play golf year-round in Texas, the early morning golf that I typically play isn’t very pleasant during the winter. And, of course, it does rain on occasion. Really, the only thing that kept me going with the membership was the fact that without it we would really have to play a differnt course, which would be much less convenient.

Well, for various reasons I didn’t even play once last month. I did play yesterday, but I just didn’t feel it. I decided to cancel my membership, so I turned in my 30-day notice before leaving the course. I think that’s probably going to turn out to be pretty good timing as winter approaches. Plus, even though it’s a nice course, and plenty challenging, I’m kind of tired of playing the same course more than 90% of the time.

To be clear, I still intend to try to play golf at least once a week, even though my game has really fallen apart over the last few years. And, if history is any indication, playing at other courses has a very good chance of allowing my game to return to its previous glory — or at least rise from the depths in which it has floundered lately.

Now I just need to try to get some good use out of my last month of membership. Anybody wanna play some golf?!

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Practicing Practice

I’ve never been good at practicing. Anything. Not only do I hate practicing, it never seems to help me. Now, I admit that I’ve probably always expected immediate results, which I know is unrealistic. But that’s too bad.

There is one exception to this, and that is if I can practice by actually participating in the activity. I have no issue with this at all. In fact, I can sometimes even manage to practice alone by competing against myself, if possible. But I know that this is simply not the same as routine practice, such as specific skill drills.

Pool
As I’ve apparently only rarely mentioned, I participate in a pool league once a week. We play both 8-ball and 9-ball and I’m a fairly decent player. Even though I have a pool table at my house, I never practice. It used to be that I would at least play some 9-ball by myself, but that was mostly a waste of time as I wouldn’t really focus. I certainly would never do any of the drills that are often suggested.

Golf
I hate the driving range. Hate. Hate. Hate. Practicing chips and putts is not quite so bad, but I’d rather just play a few holes. Or 18. Though the obvious decline in my game over the last several years argues that this “improve through play” system is no longer working for me.

Photography
OK, I guess I technically practice photography in as much as I often just take pictures of random things to experiment with techniques and settings. However, even then I’m always looking for interesting subjects for my photo blog. Certainly if I’m going to be taken some portraits I try to take some test shots before hand. I suppose this comes as close to practice as anything I do. Perhaps this is just an indication that I take photography more seriously than my other endeavors?

Running/Biking
While I do make sure to log a reasonable amount of time in these activities before a scheduled event, it’s more about simply participating in the activity than about training for the event.

Racquetball
I’m not even sure how I would go about practicing racquetball. I would like to play twice a week instead of my current once a week, though.

Bridge
I haven’t really played bridge since we moved back to Austin over ten years ago. I miss it. This is something I actually did practice, though practicing was usually in the form of casual play. But sometimes I would create contrived hands to practice bidding, with my more experienced partner critiquing my choices.

Of course, this is last example is mental practice rather than physical practice, which makes it distinctly different from the other examples (except photography, perhaps). That naturally brings up the parallel of studying in school as a form of practice. And that was another thing I generally avoided. It worked out fine, and I don’t certainly have no regrets with my current status in life, but I do occasionally wonder what might have happened had I had the wherewithal to really apply myself. Perhaps that’s a topic for another time.

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Amazing that mine also references golf…

I don’t jump on meme bandwagons very often, but this one I saw on philosulfur‘s blog piqued my interest.

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open it to page 56.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  5. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

“The recreation area has both a kids’ pool and a putting green.”

(We’ve been planning or Disney World vacation for later this month.)

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Holy Cactus!

Golf ball through the cactus

On the 18th hole of this morning’s golf round I hit my tee shot into a hazard left of the fairway. I found my ball and the lie was not too bad. I decided to try and hit an 8 iron over some trees to the green.

Things didn’t quite work out as planned. I failed to get the ball very high, though the result was acceptable and I managed to bogey the hole despite my ball going through the cactus pictured here.

It was a fitting end to a round of golf where I had several things go my way. On the par 3 8th hole I also hit my tee shot left, but it hit the edge of the cart path and bounced onto the green near the hole. On the 9th hole my approach shot was heading right but hit a tree and kicked back toward the green. Along with the cactus shot those were the three big examples.

The end result was an 84 — my best round of the year so far and I think my best score since 2004.

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iYardage – Future IntelliGolf Replacement?

iYardage

Very cool. Now just need some sort of mechanism to vastly expand the number of supported courses.

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1 Iron Golf…extreme game improvement golf clubs.

1 Iron Golf…extreme game improvement golf clubs.

Having all irons the same length sure does sound like it would lead to more consistent swings….

(Edited to change “link” to “length”, which makes much more sense, I expect.)

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