Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tiger Woods “While we’re young” and the pace of play

What’s the status quo in relation to slow play at your club?  Slow play is an issue that is constantly in the headlines in golf club newsletters and magazines.

This problem affects the enjoyment of the game for some men and women.  After 30+ year of playing golf I feel I have become somewhat immune to the problem, you allow 4 to 5 hours to play a game. Sometimes it takes less and sometimes it takes more.

We all have our bad days and the odd slow round here or there … but you do tend to get to know players who are traditionally slow, sometimes you can avoid them, sometimes you can’t and there is generally nothing you can do to change some slow players other than asking them to play at the back of the field.

The USGA are now tackling the problem of slow play with an initiative called “While We’re Young”.  They enlisted the likes of Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood, Annika Sorenstam and some other golfing greats to get the message across.  I quite like these short clips featuring Tiger and Annika and have inserted them below:

 

Karrie Webb – 17 years strong

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Pictured above my golf bag, complete with autograph. I’ve got a great story as to how I came by this gem. (We’ll save that for another post.)

 

Questions were being asked – when will Webb win again?  Is Karrie still the stellar contender she was 17 years ago when she bounded onto the LPGA Tour?

Absolutely!!

With a couple of top ten finishes earlier this year and then first place at the ShopRite LPGA Classic last week, Webb found herself back at the winners podium.

Webb has been sitting a little under the radar on tour of late returning mixed results with sprinklings of top ten and top 20 finishes, however her two stroke victory over Shanshan Feng at the ShopRite LPGA Classic last week broke her two year drought on the LPGA tour.

In her post tournament interview Karrie talks about her form and improving her mental approach to the game.

See Karrie’s interview here:

 

 

Golf on ice

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Solly teeing off on a frosty June morning 2013

Is extreme cold weather part of your golf year?  For around four months of the year I hit off in single digit temperatures.  For someone who has spent the greater portion of their life golfing  relatively close to the Tropic of Capricorn, playing in an icy climate can create some circulatory challenges.

How to keep my fingers warm is the biggest of them.  Some mornings when the temperatures dip below zero and then hover between five and ten degrees celsius for the rest of the day, I find it hard to move let alone feel and grip a golf club.  Sometimes the icy fog just doesn’t lift and the day gets darker and colder, it’s on these days I have to say my mind just switches off game mode and enters survival mode (I’m not going die of hypothermia, I feel like I am going to die of hyperthermia but I’m not going to die of hypothermia….. am I ?).

Strangely enough, in extreme weather conditions, it’s not unheard of for me to have a handicap breaking score.  I guess it’s not strange really as the expectation moves from concentrating on each shot to just completing the game and of course living (I read about this theory somewhere in a golfing mind over matter book, I should really try to implement this strategy every round – if only it was that easy).

It’s not so bad anymore, my coping mechanisms are better but I do still feel the cold.  I have to say though it’s taken me years to work out what to wear to keep myself sufficiently warm and mobile.  The main problem was finding the layers that I could swing a club in comfortably.  A lot of the high tech golf clothes either didn’t stretch enough or were too noisy.

…..Sometimes I think I’m playing with a herd of shushing elephants when we’re all geared up in our rain suits.

Shushing Elephants = The sound of a group of golfers make when they are wearing their wind breakers and / or wet weather gear.

What I wear to keep me warm: Thin merino long sleeve shirt, thin lycra long sleeve shirt, golf shirt / long or short sleeve, corduroy longs, thin wool socks with thin cotton socks, mittens for between holes and a fleece cap.

Happy golfing.

Royal Military College Golf Club – Canberra’s best kept secret

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If you are a fearless golfer up for a challenge and looking to play at a club with a difference, you need look no further than Royal Military College Golf Club.  Located on the outskirts of Canberra and known to the locals as Duntroon Golf Club, this picturesque little course sits in the grounds of Duntroon Military College.

Opened in 1962, the links date back to the 1920’s when military staff shaped 9 holes out of the bush for recreational play.  The layout has now proudly matured into a quality 9 hole golf course open to members and the public.

The homely clubhouse is situated on Calculus Lane, which is easily located after passing through the College’s “Gunnery Gates” on Fairbairn Avenue.

The small friendly clubhouse overlooks a neat, well-manicured putting green surrounded by stunning rose bushes lovingly cared for by devoted Duntroon members.

Sporting 9 holes with 11 green and 18 different tee positions, this 9 hole / 18 hole parkland style golf course gave the 8, 9 and 10 markers of our group a challenge and I’m sure would test golfers of all caliber.

The par 68 layout with its narrow fairways and small greens provided many unexpected surprises as did the Black Hawk helicopters and cadets performing manoeuvres on the course’s outskirts.  Yes I can confidently say there is something for everyone hidden here (quite possibly one of Canberra’s best kept secrets).

Duntroon’s allure is definitely its sneaky, small, lightning fast, bent greens, all of which are surrounded by an array of bunkers.

My favourite hole on the course is the par five, 4th.  This hole is said to be one of the toughest par fives in Canberra.  The dog-leg hole is lined by tall pines and shapes from left to right leaving no room for error off the tee.

Approaching the green, bunkers are positioned to the left and right allowing a narrow pathway of only three metres for wedge shots or a bump and run into the green.

This great par five is then followed by arguably one of the most challenging par threes I’ve ever played.  The 5th is terror personified.  From tee to green the hole is straight, 100 metres long, surrounded by bunkers and sided by out of bounds.  Hitting into this tiny green requires fearless accuracy and a strong commitment to shot selection.  Any slight deviations from this elevated tee will leave you at the beach or on the road.

One minor downside to Duntroon is playing the nine holes twice, albeit from different tees, with a couple of extra greens.  That said, the course is still nicely varied as there are eighteen different tee positions, some of which are on different angles, (which tends to keep you on your toes).  Another slight drawback is the limited practice facilities consisting of a two bay practice net and two practice chipping greens, one of which has a bunker.

On the whole this course gets my thumbs up, showing fantastic value for money.

Annual membership fees $600.00 (no joining or nomination fee)

Weekday casual play rates $20.00

Weekend casual play rates $30.00

Rates current as at 06/03/12

My Course Rating: 8/10

Disclaimer: I am a past member and Club Champion of Duntroon and still enjoy playing there when I get the chance. (Solly)

Shoes of Joy – Personalised golf shoes

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For those of you that hadn’t already realised, personalised golf shoes are available.  I too had heard or read somewhere that Footjoy were doing something with personalised golf shoes and to be honest I didn’t really think much of them, that is until the other day…………

Story starts now:

It was a rare day in that I found myself with more than 2 minutes to spare.  But, it was also an ordinary weather day.  It was cold and sunny, but not quite sunny enough to get the endorphins running around by themselves.

I decided I should probably do some excruciating, sorry exercising, which is one and the same thing really, isn’t it?  After about 30 mins of pretending to enjoy myself it appeared obvious that my endorphins had gone on a holiday to Broome, the Caribbean or some other exotic location and not notified me.

Blow me down with a feather but I found myself in a surprising situation.  The excruciating wasn’t giving me quite the energising lift I was looking for so I threw in the not so damp towel and went for an aimless wander to seek invigorating inspiration elsewhere.

Now some of you probably don’t know me well as yet so I will let you in on a little secret – my aimless wanderings usually take me to places like golf courses, driving ranges, retail golf outlets and or coffee shops.

What a dream if you could combine all four destinations in one!!  I do give credit though, some places have come close.

I digress.

Anyway …………… on this particular day I ended up in one of the more popular golf retail outlets.  Upon entering the shop the staff were unpacking a multitude of boxes.  Stock and packaging had seemingly spread across 3/4 of the shop but there they were, amongst the mayhem calling to me.

A pair of personalised MyJoys on the front counter, I just had to negotiate a safe path through the maze of bubble wrap and cardboard to reach them.

THESE SHOES ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I nearly fainted with delight.  You really do need to see a pair to get the full “must have” effect.  I got so excited about these patriotic, leathery, shoes of joy that I asked the staff if I could take a photo of them.

My photo really doesn’t do the shoe justice – one side of the heel had the Australian Flag and the other side was personalised with the player’s name.  Not that I am likely to forget my name but this just tipped me over the edge.

Needless to say the whole world now knows what I want for Christmas.

This is golfing consumerism gone mad – if you are suffering from the bogey blues these shoes of joy may be the lift you need.  If your bogeys are giving you the bogeys treat yourself to a pair of customised MyJoys or at the very least have a play on the MyJoy website and make up your own virtual pair of personalised shoes:

http://www.footjoy.com.au/myjoys/

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post “Solly” really does love these shoes.

P.S. I got a postcard from my endorphins they went to Sweden of all places to check out the Nordea Masters in Stockholm (lucky them).