Month: August 2011

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For the last couple of weeks my putting has been truly atrocious. On average I have at least 5-6 three putts per round, and once a round I have a longish fifteen footer and the ball barely makes it half way to the hole.

So I dug around in the darkest corner of the garage where I keep my old golf stuff and found a classic mallet putter which I once used in my youth during a streak of amazingly good golf scores.

Miraculous putter
Golfcraft Brass Combo Frank Johnston El-Rio Model

I brushed off all of the cobwebs and cleaned it. Since the golf course was closed today due to very wet weather, I could only hit balls on the driving range and then putt around on the practice green. I brought this ancient putter with me and gave it a go. Who knows, maybe there's still some magic in it after all these years.

Here's what happened. I sunk the first two balls on the very first hole. I then proceeded to sink the next ball on the second hole, followed by a lip out and a third ball which lipped to the back of the hole and hovered half way over the hole but didn't drop in. The first loop around the practice green resulted in seven aces and not a single three putt. None of these putts were easy and most of them had a significant break in them.

Could this be just a fluke? Or is the classical design really much better than the more modern variations? To be honest, the club head is ugly and when you stroke the ball you feel amazed that you can even hit the ball solidly. But you can, and the ball rolls true. I even tried jabbing the ball, and even then it goes right in the hole as if a magnet is pulling it down under. I also tried whacking longish putts from one side of the practice putting green to the other, and the ball still rolled great.

I should start using it and blow away my opponents. They seem to think that they are more professional golfers and better putters with those fancy and very expensive brands of today. When in the end I could use my clunker ancient-looking putter and one putt half of the holes on the course. I wonder if I have the nerve to use it in the important tournament this weekend. I think I do.

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There is nothing in the world more invigorating than an early morning round of golf, teeing off as the very first flight and having the golf course all to yourself.

Your body might at first feel a little stiff, but after a few deep breaths of the crisp morning air and the smell of the moist grass filling your mind with pleasant thoughts of the many birdies to come, you are ready to go.

The sun is just beginning to rise on the distant horizon, the orange shimmering ball of fire welcoming you to the early morning adventure, rays of light bringing warmth and good will to your game.

The first drive is always a bit of a gamble as you are not feeling real confident swinging the club. Just take back the club slowly, make an easy swing and more often than not the ball will fly pretty straight, if not right down the middle of the fairway.

Early-morning-golf.jpg
View from the first tee at sunrise (6:40).

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This has to be the craziest most unusual roller-coaster ride nine holes I've ever had in my life. It started out pretty bad, looked good for awhile, and then at the end it blew up completely in my face.

Getting a double-bogie on the first hole was a bummer, especially when it was followed by a bogie, meaning that I was already three over par after only two holes.

A par on the third hole was more like it, and at that point I felt like things had settled down. If I got lucky I could shave off a couple of those strokes with a birdie or two later on.

Then the magic came. Birdie, birdie and then an eagle (finally, it was my first eagle at my home course since I joined three years ago). Four under in just three holes, equalizing that lousy start and putting me one under. Feeling pretty darn good, indestructible now.

eagle-putt-hole-6.jpg
On the 241 meter par four sixth hole, I hit the green from the tee using my three wood and this is where the ball landed. I took this picture just before I sank the ten foot putt for an eagle.

A par four on the seventh, so far so good. At that point I was feeling pretty strong, like I could still pull off a birdie or two before I made the turn.

That was when disaster struck...

The drive on number eight faded ever so slightly, cleared the bunker on the right, but ended under a tree on the other side. I meant to play it safe by just punching a seven iron into the fairway, but I hit it a tad too purely, ending up right on the edge of the lateral hazard, balanced on a pillow of grass hanging over the water with nowhere for me to stand. I balanced precariously on my tip toes, but then I whiffed the ball, yes you heard me right, I missed the ball completely (hadn't done that in many years). Then I managed to connect to the ball, but pulled it way left into the woods and high brush, no way I'd ever find that ball again. Dropped and made a nervous swing, punching my seven iron to the front of the green. Finally, I three putted from there for a very painful nine, which is a quintuple bogie. From one under par to four over in the span of one lousy hole.

I should have used my brain and taken a drop from the hazard and accepted a double-bogie. If the ball had only rolled half a millimeter further, it would have fallen into the water and I would have had to drop anyway. But you know how it goes when you're hot, you get cocky and think that you have supernatural powers. I'm a jerk and I know it.

A par on the ninth would have been nice, but I was pretty shaken up after the previous hole, hit my drive real fat, had to be satisfied with chip and two putt for a bogie.

To recap the roller coaster golfing adventure fiasco: double-bogie, bogie, par, birdie, birdie, eagle, par, quintuple-bogie, bogie. Which all adds up to a ho hum forty-one.

Oh well, better luck next time.

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When you are ready to putt, address the ball and imagine a white line defining the curved and convoluted path that the ball will take as it travels across the surface of the green to the center of the hole.

The ball starts off fast and then slows down as it nears the final destination, certain areas of unevenness causing the white orb to bounce or vibrate ever so slightly, but not enough to cause it to veer off of this predestined trajectory.

Your opponent's eye is glued to its snake-like motion and he is hoping that the ball will slide past the hole or even lip out at the last moment, but you know better what is really going to happen. The mental vision will become reality before you realize it.

In your mind's eye, visualize the ball disappearing into the dark hole and making that wonderful sound as it rattles around at the bottom of the cup.

The putter swings like a soft pendulum and strikes the ball like a slightly resistant cushion, momentum is imparted according to nature's way, the ball slides along that white line so clear in your mind, and you sink the putt to win.

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Remember when the Netscape Navigator first went public and how much in awe you were with such an amazing feat of new technology?

At the time it was the most advanced web browser around and for me it's appearance in my life became an instant eye-opener.

That's when I started to become addicted to HTML, reading those cryptic specifications, and then taking the high ideals of sharing information openly to heart, being able to make a difference on your own.

When I learned about this new-fangled markup language, I tried it out myself. Low and behold, I could point my browser to the local file and it worked effortlessly. Better yet, I could even put it on a remote server, give it an url, and allow my family and friends to view it also.

Pictures of the kids so my mother could see them, some boring pieces of poetry I had written or an interesting blob explaining what I had done that day.

Just when things were becoming bright and dandy, that's when Microsoft came along and dashed things, party-pooper.

That was a little over fifteen years ago, and Internet technology has become alot more complicated since those naive days of yore.

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Once in a lifetime you have the greatest round of golf you could have ever imagined. That is exactly what happened to me today. Believe it or not, I managed to shoot an even par round of golf, and I feel great.

With a string of four back-to-back birdies on the front nine, I made the turn at two under par with a thirty-four. Keeping up this tempo was at the back of my mind, and as the last couple of holes approached, I started to get pretty nervous. I was even par with only three more holes to go.

In the last couple of years, I've made it a few times to these very same last three holes with the possibility of scoring great rounds, and each and every time in the end I choked magnificently with a triple or quadruple bogie. I was jinxed, feeling like I was destined to failure no matter how hard I tried. Concentrate, think of nothing, just hit the ball.

There I was again with only three holes standing in my way of a perfect day. However, this time around I knew that today would be different. I was in "the zone" and it felt like no matter what, I could hit that little white ball effortlessly, my drives went right down the middle of the fairways, and my approach shots were flush and ended up close to the flag.

Two pars and only one hole to go. Great five wood down the middle with a hundred yard approach to the flag, and I miss hit the shot slightly, pushing my wedge to the right side just below the green. A short uphill blind chip rolled just past the hole. Then a one putt for par straight into the cup, what a sweet sound the ball makes as it falls into the hole.

I closed my eyes before I bent down to pick up the ball out of the hole. I felt like crying I was so emotional. With a thirty-seven on the back nine, I had bagged an astounding seventy-one. Who ever could have expected this to happen?

I figure that it took me a little more than thirty-five years to shoot even par again, the last time being in my golfing heyday as a seventeen year old golfing dreamer. The enormous hiatus of years had been overcome, and then finally having picked up golf seriously again, the last few years of practice and mental training had proven that I could still do it.

The young buck golfing hero inside of me has finally been liberated.

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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.