Forced to Play Golf … Again

20 Jul 2006

The same student who was here last week is also taking this week’s class. It would seem that whenever this particular student takes a class that I am teaching, the fates conspire to make us play golf together. I don’t know why that is, but it’s a pattern that I don’t mind repeating.

So, this time, we decided to visit Lakeside Golf Course in West Bountiful, Utah. This course has a local nickname (some of you may even already know it); it’s also known as, “The Sponge” due to it’s usually rather wet state. It’s a very nice golf course, but we were surprised to find out that it was about 44% more expensive than the course we played last week. However, given the timeframe of some things we had to do in the afternoon, we decided to only play 9 holes.

We decided to take a 7:36am tee time. It was a beautiful morning, the air was clear, not too hot and not too cool, either. The sun was still a bit low over the east, which made the first couple of holes a little more difficult (playing towards the east), but it didn’t take long to get past that.

We had a great time. The course was a little wet in some spots, but overall, it wasn’t bad. Things were definitely greener than they had been last week. We didn’t keep too close a tab on our score, but we both noticed that I was significantly improved. I was hitting straight, solid shots one right after another. I even took par on a couple of holes and only double-bogeyed (or worse) on 3 of them.

There was one 530+ yard long par 5 (trust me, that’s a long hole, even for a par 5) I was about 30 yards short of the pin with only 2 strokes played. If I made the simple chip shot onto the green close enough to the pin, it could be an easy 1-putt for only the third birdie in my life. But, no, I had to nip the tip of my 9-iron on the ground before it reached the ball, rotating the club and sending the ball off to the right at a 35-degree angle to where I was aiming for. I just couldn’t putt it out from there, although I was only 18 yards from the pin. So, I chipped it on and my 1-putt ran out of steam about 2mm sort of dropping the ball (it was litterally sitting on the rim of the cup but didn’t go down). So, I ended up with a bogey.

Overall, I think I was about 16 over for the front 9. Considering how little golf I’ve played in the past few years, that’s not bad. I just really wish I could have made birdie on that par 5. It would have been nice. Oh, well. Better luck next time.

When You Have to Hit the Links

13 Jul 2006

This week I have been teaching one of Guru Labscourses at our offices in Bountiful, Utah. One of my students flew out from Washington, D.C., Maryland (i.e., just a couple of miles north of D.C.). He had brought his clubs out with him and had been asking for recommendations of good courses to play. We decided to visit Eaglewood Golf Course in North Salt Lake, Utah. This course is set up on the hillside and is only about a 12 minute drive from my office.

So, we went golfing.

After a quick bite of lunch at Bajio! (yummmmy!), we stoped at my house to pick up my clubs and then drove out to Eaglewood. It was a warm day, so I wore my Aussie hat, which I picked up about a year and a half ago while vacationing for Christmas & New Year’s in Australia & New Zealand.

Anyway, we didn’t really keep score, but I proved once more that I’m not just a hacker in computers, electronics and ham radio, but also in golf. Actually, I had a few good holes and even managed to win a couple. We took about 5 hours to cover the course (a little more than 4 is typical, but it was a hot day). The greens were excruciatingly slow, mainly due to having been aerated just three weeks before, but even worse was how long puts just would not break. There were several times that I had excellent puts that would have gone in if they had broken just a bit. It was a kinda strange thing to see, but it also made sense from the aeration.

My student thought that it was one of the most beautiful courses, mainly thanks to the views.

It was very nice to get back out on the links. The last time I played was nearly two years ago and it had been over a year before that, previously. It also didn’t hurt that I was able to work it into the schedule such that it made one of my students really happy. Boy, do I feel like one lucky guy.

English Invade German Pubs

29 Jun 2006

Apparently, the British citizens who are in Germany for the World Cup are celebrating so hard because of their victory last night, that German pubs are in serious danger of running out of Beer.

Said one German pub owner, “Never have I seen so few [drink] so much in so little time.”

If you’re not laughing from that quote, then perhaps what you need is a history lesson.