I read a couple of weeks ago in a golf rag that Shane Bertsch had just missed the cut in the season's final tournament and in doing so had fallen to no. 126 on the money list, just narrowly missing out on fully-exempt status for the coming golf season. The gist of the story, though, was that we were to feel sorry for him because due to confusion surrounding his medically-exempt status for 2008 he didn't realize he hadn't already secured his card for 2009. I finished the article and couldn't help but feel a little annoyed at the fact that a guy who made well over half-a-million dollars this year playing golf (!) was actually trying to elicit sympathy from the work-a-day world of people who read golf magazines because he wasn't "smart enough" to understand what he had to do keep his job for the immediate future. I don't know of too many factory workers who can show up late for their shift and say they didn't know they were supposed to be there earlier who still keep their jobs for very long. And this guy had more then ample information from the Tour advising him of his situation that he claimed he "didn't read because he's on the road all the time and who has time to read all their mail anyways." Seriously, I don't feel sorry for this guy at all. I know he's no pampered superstar but still, he has a great gift for playing the game we all love and he couldn't figure out how to keep doing it against the best players in the world? No sympathy here.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
My buddies and I played golf this afternoon and saw something none of us had ever seen before. As we were coming down the 18th fairway we looked over and saw kids ice skating on the pond bordering the 10th green. Golf and Ice Skating are two games/past-times whose paths don't usually cross. I've always thought the seasons were complementary, if you will, but I guess I was wrong. Maybe it was too cold to be playing golf but I don't think so. A nice sweater and stocking cap and some choppers to keep the hands warm in between shots was all I needed to stay loose and comfortable. Sure, the ponds bordering the fairways and guarding the greens were certainly frozen. But who wouldn't enjoy hitting balls off of them and watching them bounce back onto the playing surfaces. I drove the ball just short of the green on the par-4 1st hole, a hole which measures some 350-yards in length. And I'm no John Daly, mind you. But the frozen water next to the fairway and fronting the green provided a perfect trampoline for a low draw with the driver off the tee and Boing! Boing! there goes the ball right up by the putting surface. It was crazy, indeed. Crazy fun.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I played golf in the dark last night. Sure I've played as it was getting dark before--many times in fact. But yesterday, as I was feeling the end of the season drawing ever nearer, I decided to keep playing well into and after it was dark. It took a little more concentration to "feel" where the ball was going, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that balls hit reasonably well on a course you are familiar with can be found with just a little extra attention paid in the dark. If the ground hadn't been speckled with fallen leaves who knows how much easier it would have been to find my balls? Still, I managed to par two of the four holes I played in the dark (I lost four balls on the other two--thanks, leaves) and couldn't have been happier to find both my drive and my second shot on the par-5 finishing hole right where I expected them to be. If you've never tried it I urge all you serious golfers out there to play in the dark sometime before you hang up the spikes for good, preferably by yourself. You'll be amazed at what you discover about your game.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I realized the other day, after consulting the rules of golf, that I was in err on October 18th when my playing partners ball hit mine while it was at rest further down the fairway and I proceeded to play my ball as it lay. Turns out I should have replaced my ball where it lay before it was struck by his ball in motion but I did not. I should have assessed myself a two-stroke penalty for the hole and signed for a 7, not a 5. My apologies to the karmic gods of golf--I acted not out of selfishness but of ignorance and I promise it won't happen again. Seriously though, given that I and the rest of my playing companions were some 200-yards down the fairway when the collision of golf balls happened, I'm not sure how I was supposed to realistically assume with any accuracy where my ball had originally come to rest. It seemed more "accurate" and perhaps appropriate to just continue the hole playing my ball where it lay after it had been moved by my opponents ball. Oh well, live and learn.