Monday, April 29, 2019

Golf Itch

I think I've caught the golf itch again this year. I'm finding myself wanting to get out and hit and hit and hit.

I think it started with a golf-centric Las Vegas weekend in February with one of my good friends from grad school.

The view from the first tee at Siena Golf Club.

We played two full rounds. The first was Arroyo at Red Rocks and the second was at Siena Golf Club.

My game wasn't the greatest, but it was fun; and apparently the flame was (re)lit. Enough so that I signed up as a sub on the golf league I played on a few years ago and I'm playing in a tournament with that group this weekend.

The weather here started to cooperate in early April and I was able to get to the driving range shortly thereafter. I've also started watching some YouTube videos trying to improve my play.

One thing I noticed from my Vegas golf was my driver seemed dead compared to my friend and the people we were paired up with. I'm still trying to decide if it's a little worn out or not. I've been in and hit some others, but neglected to bring my r5XL for an accurate comparison. Perhaps I will do that tomorrow, although my dad just picked up another r5 from a thrift store that looks like it's barely been swung (his opinion). I'm hoping to get into the simulators and get an accurate comparison.

Still, I think the videos and the time at the range have helped with building some consistency; at least off of the tee. Thus far I have been to the range four times and played three rounds. I've been playing my usual “bogey and change” golf, but am noticing some consistency off the tee and I've been making some great putts.

I’m also trying out a deal off of the internet. I get email updates from an app I use called “Swing U” to record my scores as I play. Like most things on the internet there are recurring ads for various things related to the site. This one was for a “free” two-dozen golf balls. I saw it enough to spur my curiosity and so I called the toll-free number and was soon talking to a sales rep. I agreed to pay shipping and handling on the balls. However, I was also curious about another offer he mentioned for a “free” hybrid iron for testing out some other clubs. I guess I’m an easy up-sell as I agreed to that offer too. There’s a 45-day return policy on the trial clubs or I own them at $150 a piece. They were a 3, 5 and 7 wood. Who in the modern day of golf needs a 7 wood? However, I have since hit the 3 wood and am really liking it. The shaft is stiff and was sized for me. In fact, after hitting it I found my old 3 wood feeling like a piece of junk. Thus, I think I’m going to keep the 3 and 5 woods and return the 7.

That offer also had me on the quest to complete the short game clubs as well. I currently have a cheap sand wedge that I love, but lack anything for distances between that and the pitching wedge and for very short shots that require some loft. Not wanting to drop another several hundred dollars on new wedges, I found matching cheap “gap” and “lob” wedges on EBay where the funds go a "The First Tee" charity chapter in Florida. So now my bag is feeling a bit heavier, but more complete.


Today's round was my first 9 holes on a regulation course. Proudly, I did play to my handicap. I had one really bad hole, else I played decently. The weather was cool, enough to keep people away, so I had the course to myself for the most part. I even played with two balls (get the laughs out now) for a few holes. Still I noticed my driver was feeling dead but was sinking mostly bogeys and a couple pars.

With the empty course I was able to get the round in very quickly. It only took roughly 75 minutes for the nine holes. I can easily complete a round in an hour on a typical “par 3” course. Regulation length courses usually take a bit longer; 90 to 120 minutes.  The speed left me feeling good about the round as well.

This re-found love for the game has me wanting to play/hit every day. I know this isn’t practical, but I am hoping that it will lead to some improvement and summer enjoyment. My interests typically go in waves. I’m sure by the time fall shows up, I’ll be ready to move on to the next thing.

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