Month: March 2012

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The greens over here are lightning fast, and I just cannot get used to them. No matter how lightly I strike the ball with my putter, the ball rolls and rolls way past the hole, sometimes even down to the other side of the green. I cannot believe it, which I say out loud, as if not my fault and out of my control.

On average I've been three-putting five to six holes a round, and once even had a four putt from only ten feet away, ouch. The last round I played at my home course, the greens were rough and bumpy, requiring large sweeps of the putter to get the ball barely to the hole. Sometimes I'd whack the ball so hard and it would stop way short of the hole, even downhill putts.

Another difference is that all of the distances are in yards instead of meters. Not that that is such a big deal, one yard being about 0.9 meters, but over longer distances this can mean a whole club less. Just yesterday, with the wind at my back I hit a hard seven iron to the back of the green on a 165 yard par 3 hole, which is about 150 yards, my usual seven iron distance. This might seem at first like a slight adjustment, hitting merely one club less, but psychologically the effect is much greater. I have this feeling at the back of my mind that I have to hit the ball much harder, as 165 yards sounds and/or feels much further than 150 yards, which can mess up my swing.

Now I need to re-adjust, but that will not be easy. I've played twice and barely broke eighty both times: 79 + 79. If I could only putt more gently, stop three putting and switching between meters and yards, my scores would be much better.

Putting more gently would not be enough, however. A slower velocity means that the ball will be affected by the break much more. There are alot of curvy greens here, some bevelled in such a way that balls hit too far will roll off the side of the green, past the fringe and into the high grass. Several times I've somehow managed to kiss the ball just right, only to see it curve outside the lip at the last couple inches. Putt with confidence and watch the ball drop in the heart of the hole, they always told me.

Oh well, no one promised that golf would be easy. That's why I like it so much. Now it's time to prove myself in the home country, thirty plus years later, pretending and enjoying it all at the same time. Who cares about the occasional three putt and double bogie, when I can laugh and shake it off, getting that valuable birdie once in awhile.

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The last time I came to California, I brought along lots of heavy clothes just in case, but since the weather was lovely and very warm I'd lugged along alot of extra weight for nothing. This time around I decided to bring mostly light weather attire, short sleeves, golfing shorts and only a couple regular pants.

As it turns out, old mother nature has decided to tease me by bringing along rain and cooler temperatures, but I'm not about to let that get me down. Californians are pretty spoiled when it comes to the weather, and although for Dutch standards these are typical days that I'm very used to back in my home country of Holland, my friends and family here are complaining about how lousy the weather is.

When it comes to golf, nothing keeps me away from my eighteen hole fix, and that is also the case for the little drizzle and cloudy skies. Who cares? Ironically, since no one dares play during these conditions, alot of tee times are open, and I can easily book prime times and have the whole golf course to myself.

This afternoon I'll be hacking around the Laguna Seca Golf Ranch with an old High School buddy from the past. Hopefully I can get a bunch of pars, not too many double-bogies and a even birdie or two.

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Finally made it back to California, the last time being about four years ago. Everything looks pretty much the same as usual. The drive down to Monterey from the airport which normally takes a little less than two hours took four hours because of massive traffic jams in the Bay Area.

Unfortunately, the US authorities would not allow Thea to board the plane, because of some minor anomaly with Thea's passport that Interpol had tagged as suspicious. This was a very traumatic moment, especially since I had to leave her hastily to catch the flight, giving her a quick kiss and emotional hug. Hopefully she can get the situation rectified and join me later next week. Welcome to the land of freedom!

From beginning to end, I travelled a total of five thousand plus miles in nineteen and a half hours. My mom thawed out some frozen raviolli and that was my dinner. Crashed in bed at eight and managed to sleep until five in the morning, whereupon I sat downstairs in the sitting room and read my book. So the jetlag is fairly minimal.

Cannot wait to go out and play some golf, although for the next week they've predicted cloudy weather and occasional rain showers. It's good that I brought four pairs of golfing shorts with me. Also would like to head on over to a couple golf stores and buy lots of fun stuff: fairway woods, flop wedge, golfing caps, towels, ad infinitum.

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That's my office on the 5th floor, 2nd window from the left.

After a long hard day at work, it's time to turn my back to the office building, get in my car and drive back home. Tomorrow it's off to the other side of the world, California here I come. I will probably not be missed.

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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.