Golf Stories: The 2000’s

The 2000’s saw my golf game go into a basic decline, that made me start the blog, so I would keep on playing golf. It is not to say that good things did not happen, in the first 10 years of the new century. I acquired holes in one number 4 and 5, and did play some good golf periodically, but for the most part, things did not go all that well when it came to my golf game. I did go down to Florida for one winter, and taught at a golf school, and have tried to find the answer to this goofy game, since around 2010. While I think I have learned a lot about the game, and myself during this time, I have not come close to finding the key, to this game called golf. I thought I had it a couple of times, and it is all documented in the blog, but I have really never been able to play, up to what I consider, to be my true potential. But enough of the present, and lets look at some of the things that happened in the early 2000’s.

My fourth hole in one took place at the Club of Nevellewood, on November 2, 2003. It was by far the best of the five. It was on the 17th hole, a 180 yard par 3, with a green that was wider than it was long. The pin was on the right side of the green, which was the toughest pin placement, because you had to carry the trap, in order to shoot at the pin. I was having a good back nine, after a mediocre front of 40. I came to the 17th hole one under on the back nine. I decided in my typical fashion, what the hell, to shoot at the pin. I hit a 6 iron perfectly, and it hit about 3 feet in front, and to the left of the pin. Even though I had played the course a few times, I was not that familiar with that part of the green. There was an upslope on that side of the green. My balled rolled to the very top of the slope, and started the slow trickle back to the pin. We could see from the tee box that the ball was still moving back to the pin. In what seemed like an eternity, it just kept moving slowly down the hill, until it disappeared into the cup. It was a very pleasant surprise, and quickly got me to 3 under on the back. Even with all the excitement of the hole in one, I managed to par the last hole, and shoot a very nice 33 on the back. My fifth, and final hole in one, came in June of 2005 at Castle Shannon golf course near Steubenville, Ohio. It was another hole in one I did not see go into the hole. The hole was playing 200 yards downhill and I again hit a 6 iron. With the sun glare, I could not see the ball hit the green and thought it was short. This was further confirmed in my eyes, when my playing partner Pete hit a beautiful fade, that hit just short of the green, and bounced up about 15 feet short of the pin, which we saw all the way. Driving down to the hole, we could not see a ball short of the green, but when we got closer, there was a ball mark about 8 feet short of the hole. I took one look at Pete and said, “That SOB is in the hole”, and sure enough I was right. The back tees on the hole list the hole being 245 yards and when they put the notice in the paper, they listed hole 245, and it said I had hit a 6 iron. I got some calls on that one, wondering how I had hit a 6 iron 245 yards, and into the hole, no less. I gave out very little info on that one, because it was fun to let people think I had really done that. Other than the some other spectacular shots, one time I went 2, 3, on a par 3 and 5, and almost holed both shots, my golf was for the most part disappointing.

My winter of teaching was fun, and I went through a major swing change myself. I met a lot of interesting people down in Florida, but none more interesting than Babe Belagamba, who was the head of instruction at the school that I taught in Orlando. The Babe was the definition of a character. He was an inventor and had many of his inventions at the school. I still use some of his quotes to this day. He gave me many a lesson and I remember him telling me “Your body is not doing what you think its doing, trust me, you’ll see it on the video”. Of course, he was right. His swing principles, were to make sure your right elbow was digging into your side at address, have your weight pressed into the right side of the left heel, and take the club pretty quickly to the inside to help you turn on the take away. He was not a big believer in visualizing the shot, but more in controlling the body. He wanted you to feeling a stretch up the left side at the top of the swing and release it like a sling shot. I do not do a lot of what he taught me, back then but maybe I should. My favorite quote of his is ” Several years of school, can produce a good brain surgeon, but golf is a lifetime education in frustration. He was right, golf is not brain surgery. Unfortunately Babe passed away in 2006, just a little over a year, after I had met him, and I never got to hear enough of his golf wisdom.

The decade ended with me about ready to quit the game, for the second time, and I thought that this time, it would be for good. Then I happened to see in the local paper, a listing of golf courses, in the area. I started to count them up, and all of these were all public courses, that were at least 6000 yards long. In other words, no par 3 or executive courses. I noticed that there were around 100 golf courses, within 90 minutes of my house, and I thought, why not try to play them all, and start a blog about it. Rate the courses, including the hot dog at the turn, and see if I might be able to figure out this game, in the process. The blog has evolved in to it’s current form where I discuss various subjects involving the necessities of life. Yes, golf is a necessity of life. The non golfers, non meditators, non foodies, and non sports nuts, really don’t know what you are missing. It’s never to late to find out what life is really all about. See you on the links.

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