Month: April 2010

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Some people are capable of sitting completely motionless during the whole train ride and do nothing except stare into the thin air in front of them.

One young man in particular, who commutes the same sixty minute trip as I do, accomplishes this feat quite admirably.

The only major movements he makes are when he enters the train carriage and takes his seat, and then an hour later stands up and exits the train.

Are these people truly thinking beings?

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You should be very alert at all times not to play the wrong ball. In my many years of playing golf, this has never happened to me before. That is, not until that fateful moment yesterday while I was on an unbeatable winning streak. Just like that.

This is so easily overlooked, but it can sneak up behind you at the moment you least expect it and bite you real bad. That's what happened to me yesterday and probably caused me to lose my match. Going all square into the last hole, I went one down when my opponent sank a four foot par putt, after I lipped out mine. Damn.

In match play, if you accidentally hit the wrong ball, you lose the hole. In my case, it was not my direct opponent's ball, but the ball of an opponent of another pair two flights ahead of us. He had sliced his ball badly off of the tee and into my fairway, near enough to where I thought my drive had landed going the other way.

I wasn't a complete idiot though. I did bend down and check the ball. Indeed, I saw the Titleist logo, and right next to the number was the red dot I had dabbed carefully on one of the dimples. Only after I had reached the green, marked my ball and then started to clean it, did I notice my grave mistake.

I have no one else to blame but myself. I did check it though, but not 'carefully' enough. It was a Titleist indeed, not my number '2' but a number '3'. Also, the red spot on the dimple was not alone, right next to it (but unfortunately at the time of inspection out of view lying on the lower half of the ball hidden in the grass), were two more similar red spots, forming in total a simple crescent of three spots. Upon realizing my mistake, a felt an awful emptiness in my stomach, but had to confess right away.

Simply said, "Oops, wrong ball. You win." I scraped his marker from the green with the back of my Ping putter and flipped it in the air so that he could catch it. I ran back down the fairway and replaced the ball as best as I could where I had hit it, notifying the person down the other adjacent hole of my stupid mistake.

It was so easily overlooked that I do not feel so much ashamed as more screwed over. Oh well, bad luck. Where was my real ball? Had someone else picked it up by accident? Whatever, I learned my lesson. Fortunately despite my loss, the team as a whole had won. Otherwise I would have felt pretty bad.

I learned my lesson the hard way, so hopefully I'll remember to be extra careful the next time. Make sure that you never make a similar mistake.

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Golf-team-HB3.jpg
The future famous HB3 golf team
De Hoge Bergsche

Danny, Boyd, Lex, Kiffin, Bernard, Teun

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For the first time this year, I had a round without double-bogies (but unfortunately no birdies either). That's definitely a good sign.

If my putting wasn't so bad and the greens were in better condition, I could have easily shot in the seventies. Instead, I should be happy with a 40+41=81.

I didn't take many risks and I avoided over-powering my irons, e.g. hitting an easy seven iron instead of slamming an eight, which is my usual strategy.

On one particularly easy par three, my ball just cleared the water, bounced onto the fringe, and spun back into the drink. Nice effect, lousy result.

Half of the ball was exposed above the water, and my fellow players were rooting for me to go for it, more interested in seeing me splash mud all over my clothes and face, so they could joke about it on the nineteenth hole.

Although slightly pumped up because of a streak of pars, I took the drop (what a wimp, they kept taunting me), chipped just past the pin, and then sank the one footer for a four.

Nice save.

My handicap dropped back down to 11. Just two more notches and I reach my most important goal for this year: to be a single digit handicapper again.

That's been more than thirty years. Can't wait.

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There's not a single cloud in the sky and it is perfectly blue. Nor is there a single contrail to be seen anywhere. This is indeed a very rare sight to experience, when the sky is normally criss-crossed by hundreds of fresh and fading airline streaks of vaporized air.

The sky seems so peaceful, but scary at the same time, making you feel religious just in case something foreboding is about to occur.

volcanic_clouds_of_ash.jpg

Viewing such tranquility, it is hard to imagine that no more than a couple thousand kilometers to the west there are violent eruptions spewing millions of tons of ash and rock into the sky. Is it ready to blow up?

The previous time the same volcano was so active almost two hundred years ago, it lasted more than a year. So we should prepare ourselves for a long haul I'm afraid. Just hope that none of that ash falls down here.

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Putting the ball half-decently and avoiding three-putts is an art in itself, not easy and very frustrating.

Let's not try and complicate things too much and just focus on the three most important concepts for me in the coming days which are:

  • Grip the putter as lightly as possible without letting it drop
  • Let the putter swing back and forth like a pendulum
  • Have faith in gravity's pull and allow the head to strike the ball naturally

I'm very curious how these will improve my score or not, we'll see.

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I had a pretty good score today (41+42=83), but I keep duffing my chips pretty badly. Could have easily shaved off 3-4 shots and broken 80 with little effort.

In order to break this habit I'm going to have to concentrate better on the following simple seven step procedure.

  • Address the ball with both of my feet together with the ball located in the exact center.
  • Separate my feet to shoulder width keeping the ball centered.
  • Take several practice swings letting the turn of my body sway my passive hands back and forth like a pendulum.
  • While taking these practice swings, visualize the ball trajectory rising into the air and listen to the ball land softly on the green close to the pin.
  • Repeat these practice swings until two in a row feel just right.
  • Step up to the ball, waggle and then just hit the bugger at the hole.
  • Watch the ball trajectory rise into the air and hear the ball land softly on the green close to the pin.

For effectiveness this should not take longer than twenty to thirty seconds between the moment I take my stance to the moment of ball impact.

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Playing golf while it's pouring down rain isn't that fun unless like me you get an extra kick from the increased difficulty of a wet grip, chips that die in puddles, and divots which splash in your face.

Golf-rainbow.png

Just when you're about ready to give up, the skies clear and you are given a message from one of the golfing gods.

It is a beautiful rainbow off in the distance showing you where the next hole is. You whisper to yourself how much fun it would be to make a birdie under that multi-colored arch of light, and you're off to make it happen.

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2291 entries and as many as 1876 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.