The chip in eagle on the par four third hole put me two under par, and I coasted along the front nine with a couple bogies making the turn at even par. The back nine was a bit of a struggle with seven pars and two bogies ending the day at two over par. Final score was 37+36=73 which is my second best from the regular tees. No double bogies but not a single birdie either. My putting was slightly off, otherwise it would have been a stellar round for me. My handicap has dropped to a snazzy 4.2 which happens to be my lowest handicap so far since I was a young buck. There is still hope for the aging golfers in this world.
Today was as a national day of mourning in The Netherlands for the first time in more than fifty years. The last time was way back in 1962 with the death of Queen Wilhelmina.
The whole country is stunned in disbelief that this inhumane crime could have been committed against such a peace-loving and innocent people who have nothing at all to do with this stupid war supported by Poetin's thugs in eastern Ukraine.
Nearly three hundred passengers and crew shot out the sky by a surface-to-air missile, falling and crashing to a terrible death. Of those, one hundred ninety three Dutch citizens. First happy and relaxed looking forward to a family vacation in Bali and then the next second a ball of fire. Whole families wiped out in a second. Since Holland is such a small country, most everyone knows someone who is related in one way or other to one of the victim's families or friends.
Heart-rending view of the seventy-two hearses bringing the bodies back home.
It was surreal watching the line of forty hearses rolling through the beautiful green countryside on such a sunny and warm day. Droves of crying people standing along the road throwing flowers as the vehicles passed by slowly. The same scene to be repeating four days in a row before all of the bodies have been repatriated.
That last time I felt this sad was when Kennedy was shot. I was six years old and watched the funeral procession on the television.
For the first time in my life I decided to go out and splurge by hiring a well-known club-fitter for professional advice. He measured various aspects of my swing (velocity, angle of descent, spin, alignment, etc) as well as my bodily dimensions (height, arm length, hand size, stance and angle I address the ball) to come up with clubs tailor-made and optimized to my abilities and constraints.
The shaft was shortened slightly, the resting position of the club head adjusted upwards so that the ball impacts a bit higher on the club face, and introduced a new shaft flex between stiff and regular/senior, among other things.
With the same clubs I can swing at a slower velocity, gain more control at impact and on average hit the ball 10 meters farther. Sometimes if I hit the ball just right, the ball flies so purely that I can barely feel the impact it feels so soft. I can hit my 8-iron more than 150 meters, for example. After two days of warming up and practicing with my new weapons, not trying to kill the ball, inspiring certain subtle mental adjustments and increasing my confidence by being more positive about my abilities, I enjoy golf that much more.
Thanks to these new beauties, I managed to play a super weekend of golf. In fact, I went out and won the second major club tournament called "Clubkampioenschap Tegen Par" where per hole you score a zero(0) for par, a minus(-) for a bogie or better and a (+) for a birdie or better. I came in at the top by shooting -4, +2 and -6 for a grand total of -8.
Winnaars van het Clubkampioenschap Tegen Par - 21-07-2014
Na een zeer warm en spannend weekend zijn de kampioenen bekend! Annemiek de Langen heeft met -25 (19 parren en 5 birdies) de eerste prijs bij de dames in ontvangst mogen nemen. Goede tweede is Lotte Hoekstra geworden en Conny de Wolff staat op de derde plaats. Bij de heren is Kiffin Gish met -8 kampioen (30 parren en 8 birdies) geworden, gevolgd door Ed Schelkers en op de derde plaats Maurits van der Linden. Winnaars proficiat! In totaal zijn er 71 birdies en 1 eagle gemaakt in dit weekend, het birdieklassement kunt u terug vinden onder de downloads van de wedstrijdcommissie.
Netherlands win World Cup third-place playoff final after beating hosts Brazil 3-0 in Brasilia.
Sure it would have been better had we made it to the finals, but third-place is pretty good for such a small country on the world's sport stage.
During the NK Strokeplay Heren Senioren golf championship, I was hitting the ball really well. Despite the disappointing results, I have to admit that in general I felt pretty good after the two day tournament. Twenty-fourth in a field of eight-eight of the best Dutch senior golfers is nice. These guys are pretty good, and being part of this interesting challenge keeps me sharp and competitive. I also got to meet many nice guys who are dedicated to the true spirit of golf.
Unfortunately I had three disaster holes: two triple bogies and one quadruple bogie. Two caused by mad slice drives into the thick forest and one caused by a flubbed five iron off of the tee which went into the water hazard. Despite these disasters, I am proud to say that I kept my cool and shook them off with a casual smile and chuckle. The course was in beautiful condition and perfect golf weather, so I could not complain.
That's ten lousy strokes thrown out of the window. If I had only parred those easy holes, I calculate that I would have come in third place. What a shame. However, we all know that golf was never meant to be a game of "ifs" so be it. Better luck next time.
This is what I see every morning when I walk into the office in Delft.
We arrived back from Madeira late last night. The week was really great and we were able to relax and have fun at the same time. In addition to lounging around and doing nothing sometimes (reading and sleeping under the sun with an amazing ocean view) we also traveled around and explored the island.
For a better impression of what we did and the places we visited, have a look at the Vacation to Madeira album.
For the first time in my life I have been disqualified from a golf tournament, before I even hit the ball a single time. It all happened less than a couple hours ago and I'm still recovering from such an unexpected disappointment.
It's not like I did anything bad, or did I?
My official start time at the Dutch Senior Open was 14:20 but for some reason I had 14:40 engraved in my mind. Although I've been living here for a long time, I still have problems with the 24-hour clock they use in Europe.
I purposely arrived very early so that I could spend much time warming up for this important event I'd been looking forward to for many weeks. I registered myself an hour before and started practicing and getting loosened up.
At two thirty I went to the first tee. Some official lady came up to me and asked if I was "Keffin" Gish. When I said I was, she said that I had missed my starting time of 14:20. That's not possible I answered, my starting time is 14:40. She pointed to my scorecard and there it was perfectly clear: 14:20 indeed.
Proof that I was indeed mistaken.
What bad luck. They were very strict and would not make any exceptions to the rule. When I gave her an emotional story of looking forward all year to the event that was my big highlight, taking off two days from work, their final cold judgement wouldn't budge an inch. I even got a little desperate and said that I suffered from a slight form of dyslexia, meaning I often can't help but mixing up the numbers. Too bad, those are the rules and we are very strict. No I would not be allowed to play in a later flight. They wouldn't even refund the fifty euros registration fee I paid less than an hour earlier, what a waste.
(I will write them a polite letter and appeal for a refund of the fifty euros which I believe is a reasonable request)
What's even stranger is that I had a bad dream last night. I dreamed that they wouldn't let me play because I was wearing my new white golfing shoes. For some reason these shoes didn't not adhere to the official rules, and no matter how I pleaded they would not listen to me. It was one of those frustrating dreams where you have almost reached someplace, but at the very last moment you get prevented from going any further because of some bizarre and nonsensical reason. Like running a race but right before you cross the finish line your legs freeze up or turn to rubber and you cannot move while everyone else passes you by in a flash.
Scorecard which clearly shows my start time.
Perhaps it was my subconsciousness trying to warn me in a symbolic way: that the start time I had registered in my mind was incorrect. Too bad that I did not remember the dream until afterwards, when my disqualification and resulting ruminations brought back that faraway memory of a dream. So much for mysterious spiritual messages when you cannot heed to them as well.
I learned my lesson the hard way and know that I need to be extra careful next time. This has been yet another exciting day's journey in an unpredictable life.
Shake it off, adapt and go on. Life continues as usual.
Tomorrow I will be playing my first round of the International Dutch Senior Open at the Golfclub Broekpolder. If I make the cut on Friday I get to play in the final round on Saturday. Wish me luck.
All those days of grueling practice and mental preparation have finally resulted in the ultimate success. With satisfying rounds of 74+77+80 during the weekend, I played exceptionally well.
Best of all is that I won 1st place at the Club Championship. Life is good and I'm starting to love this sport called golf all over again.
My handicap dove down to my lowest of 4.3 and then got bumped up to a 4.4 handicap.
Next week Thursday I play in the International Dutch Senior Open and will do my best to keep up the momentum, my plan being to make the weekend cut.
On average nearly half of your golf shots are on or around the green. The reason that practicing putting and short chip shots is essential to playing good golf.
That's why lately I've been spending much time on the practice putting green. Two or three times a week I drive by after work and spend an hour or two putting around.
I've developed my own practice program. I make a loop putting around the perimeter of holes. Two is even and putt ins count for one under. Three balls per hole. I am not allowed to make a single three putt. Every single putt counts, even the very short so-called easy tap ins. This keeps one sharp for the important stroke play tournaments where every hole must be putted out to completion. If I do three putt I have to start all over again.
Sometimes I'm lucky the very first try and make it through all the way around without three putting. If that happens I have to keep on going until I three putt and then start all over again. I keep on going for an hour or two. A couple days ago I made it through the first round at eight under. Another time I kept three putting the first hole and had to restart three times, made it to the second hole and three putted that hole and on and on. Sometime I make it to the very last hole and miss the very last two foot putt.
When I've had enough putting for the day, I head on over to the chipping green. There I can practice short chips from the fringe and just outside of the fringe in the rough. This usually goes on for half an hour, but I cannot leave until the last ball is chipped into the hole.
I find this ritual very relaxing and peaceful. Often I'll look at the clock and see that two hours have gone by without realizing it. This is a mental game which sharpens my mind and allows me to escape from the stress and chaos of the real world. Funny how the human mind likes these kinds of games and gets re-energized by whacking around a little white ball into these round holes in the ground.
I am very pleased to announce the latest release of ZCP which is a major improvement and offers some new and interesting features.
Thousands of brave soldiers sacrificed their lives seventy year ago today. Many more would die before Europe would be liberated from the oppressors.
I've been playing golf for so many years now that I've pretty much experienced every crazy possibility you can imagine. During the monthly medal last Sunday, I did it again much to my amazement and entertainment of my fellow players. I will try to explain what happened.
I was playing pretty well that day except for my drive on the eight hole which I pulled to the left. Worried that it was a lost ball, I was relieved when someone else spotted it in the deep rough.
Rather than getting a double-bogie and possible triple with my provisional, I now had an easy chance at a bogie possible par. Since the rough was so thick I had no choice but to place it safe and chip it out into the middle of the fairway. All I needed to do was concentrate and get the ball out of there.
Because of the thick grass and perhaps some carelessness on my part as well, I had to hit the ball much harder than usual, and I caught the ball on the toe of the club causing it to fly out sideways and to the right. I saw it shoot out and fly directly at a low trajectory right at my bag, making a loud thump and disappearing in thin air. The ball had disappeared, where did it go?
Hitting your own bag is bad enough due to a penalty stroke, but what was the ruling if you could not find the ball afterwards? Would I have to take a two stroke penalty for a lost ball and play the ball again from the original spot buried in the high rough in addition to the one stroke penalty for hitting my own bag? This could be a disastrous hole, having to hit my ball again but this time lying five. Six out on the fairway (hopefully), a long iron onto the green (hopefully) and two putts for a nine or possible ten on a par four hole.
Upon closer inspection I examined where the ball had struck my bag which had been a direct hit on the side pocket zipper. The zipper was slightly open, and there inside together with all my other balls and tees was the original ball! What are the odds of that happening? Luckily, I had marked the ball with my unique pattern and was able to distinguish it from the rest of the balls in there. No one believed me at first, until I showed them the ball and explained what happened. It was a miracle mishap.
As it turned out I managed to save a double bogie by sinking a thirty foot putt. I wrecked my double bogie free round again, but it could have been worse, much worse.
It was a long two week wait but it was worth it. My fantastic new driver has finally arrived. I dropped by the driving range on my way home from work this afternoon to give it a try. The first couple drives were clunkers, then really low but far, and in between a big bad crush of a drive. The default factory setting is at 8.5 degree loft which might be a bit low, but there's some utensil I can use to adjust the loft a notch higher or two. This new club is going to take some time getting used to but I'm patient.
Even par after twelve holes, and all of it from the back tees. It's a rare pleasure shooting a thirty-six on the front nine way back from the championship tees. I was going strong, but the further I got the more nervous and insecure I became.
Okay, so what if I shot a bogie on the thirteenth par three. Sure it was a lousy chip rolling past the hole and I missed the putt coming back by leaving it short. I should have just shaken it off and continued. Actually, that's what I thought I did, but I guess subconsciously this hiccup was eating me up inside.
After that I choked the rest of the way, starting even par after twelve holes it went like this: bogie, bogie (sliced into the trees and lucky it didn't go out of bounds), bogie (nice six iron ten feet from the flag but just off the back of the green, chip two feet from the hole, jabbed putt right for the miss), double-bogie (shanked a 4-iron of the tee), double-bogie (flubbed an easy chip from just off the green and three putted) and a bogie to end it all.
This has happened to me before a a couple of other occasions. Going along strong, worried to make a mistake, collapsing like a fool. It's all mental and I have no one else to blame but myself.
My final score was: 36 + 43 = 79 (at least I broke 80).
Golf is the cruelest of sports. It keeps taunting you to come back and to keep trying again and again until you somehow achieve that once in a lifetime perfect round.
I'm still hoping to achieve some day in the near future.
So this is pretty embarrassing. Barely qualified for the NGF Monthly Cup and felt excited. Joined the last flight as the last person. Drove early in the morning all the way to the east of Holland to the Heelsum golf course so that I could play with the best golfers. Mostly young bucks less than half my age, so what was I trying to prove? I guess I needed a new challenge in life, so I gave it a go anyway.
My swing felt pretty good and I was hitting some really long drives off of the tee. On the last hole I really let one fly, best drive of the year. However, two triple bogies, three double bogies and only six pars killed my game in the end.
Nice to be humbled, realize that I am not the best golfer in the world anymore, get back to basics and make me rethink my game.
In order to deal with stressful moments better so that you can remain focused on behaving effectively and doing what matters to you most, just follow these four simple steps:
- Take a deep breath
- Observe with an open and gentle attitude
- Proceed positively
"The motivations of man, because he sacrifices his health
in order to make money, then he sacrifices money to
recuperate his health, and then he is so anxious about the
future that he does not enjoy the present the result being
that he does not live in the present nor the future, rather
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then eventually
he dies, having never really lived."
- Dalai Lama
After I updated to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, url links in other applications stopped working. Well, when I clicked on the links my google chrome browser would fire up properly, but it would stay stuck at the homepage and not be redirected to the link that I clicked on.
This was irritating me for days and I just could not figure out what was going wrong. I uninstalled and re-installed google chrome a number of times, removed the hidden
~/.config/google-chrome directory, on and on.
Just about the moment I was ready to give up completely and go back to firefox, I had an unexpected insight. The simple solution is just to do the following:
Probably something went wrong with the ubuntu upgrade whereby this file got leftover and wasn't deleted properly.
It sure would be nice if I could always putt the ball right in the middle of the hole like this more often.
Suppose you try to upload a file and keep getting server errors thrown in your face. Have a look in the apache error log and see if you can find a line looking something like this:
mod_fcgid: HTTP request length 136872 (so far) exceeds MaxRequestLen 131072
If that is the case, then you are in luck. To fix it, look for the apache configuration file called
/etc/httpd/conf.d/fcgid.conf and edit it. All you need to do is add the following line at the end of the file.
These are the details for Centos 6, but for other operating systems it should be something very similar.
So far this year, my golf game has been steadily going downhill. I do not believe that there is any correlation at all between the amount of time I practice on the driving range and my actual performance out on the golf course.
The more I practice the more I get stuck, it just doesn't matter any more. I even wasted sixty euros on a one hour golf lesson to readjust my grip. Throughout the week, I hit lots of buckets of balls and putt for hours, but I keep asking myself what for?
Though I am very frustrated I do not let it show. I pretend to be relaxed about my lousy golf game and joke around. I appear so very cool, calm and collected. The truth of the matter is that I am boiling inside, raging at myself because I cannot understand why I am playing so poorly.
I am tempted to throw my bag of clubs into the lake and my golf shoes along with them. But I better not, because perhaps in a few days or weeks I may need them again.
The word "alot" does not exist. It is often mistakenly written instead of "a lot" which is the correct spelling.
This was drilled into my head all through elementary school, just like it ain't proper to say ain't, but for some reason I keep wanting so bad to use it that way.
A lot as one word feels more normal to me, just like many, much etc. which are all also one word and not two. So what's the big deal?
That guy sawing wood in the distance is really starting to get on my nerves again. It started this morning and he's still going at it strong.
We have this neighbor whose hobby believe it or not is sawing piles and piles of firewood. Rumor has it that the poor guy has some kind of addiction where he needs to pile up more and more wood and cannot stop.
His house is surrounded by piles of neatly stacked blocks of wood, five feet high around the perimeter of his property. Instead of getting overly irritated by him, I guess I should feel sorry for him.
Could be worse, if he was my next door neighbor I would have become completely insane by now. Wonder how those folks next to him are able to deal with that continuous sawing.
The first couple of chapters of Feast of Crows was difficult reading, but after rereading them I finally built up enough momentum to carry me through the first half of the book.
To help me get up to speed, I googled around and found the following excellent primer which provided me with a nice refresher of the story up to now.
Four and a half thick books and two more to go. Keeping just ahead of the television series to avoid spoilers. Wondering when the next volume will be published.
At least once a year I have my worst round of the year. Today was such a day and it was not much fun. I started out with three double-bogies in a row followed by five bogies and a lucky par on the ninth hole. That's a big bad 47 which is eleven over par for the first nine holes.
I was playing from the back tees for the first time this year, but that is no excuse. It was just one of those days where everything went wrong, and I could not make a single putt.
The back nine started out alright with two pars in a row, and then I had another double-bogie when I four-putted. It was grin and bear it from then on, and somehow I managed to keep my cool and shoot an even 40 for the back nine.
The final result was nothing to be proud of: 47 + 40 = 87. It could have been worse, at least I broke ninety.
I kind of amazed myself by remaining fairly calm and collected most of the way. I decided to treat it as an interesting learning experience. Turn around the misery and transform it into a worthwhile experience.
First of all it gave me a chance to keep my cool despite a highly frustrating round, especially the first three holes. Then again, I saw it as a unique opportunity to try out some challenging shots which I would normally not be able to practice if I were hitting every ball straight.
For the next time I am better prepared because I am familiar with that awful feeling. Imagine I am playing a stellar round of golf and going for the course record. Now if I flub a shot I can keep calm and recover. That is the true spirit of golf which will help me score a winning round.
Golf can be so much more enjoyable if you have the right frame of mind. What at first seems to be a terrible disappointment is really a brand new challenge waiting for you to overcome.
Hopefully I will not have another worst round of golf for a very long time.