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Archive - 2013

July 9, 2013

Not About Golf, But Important

Posted by MB
This post is not about golf, per se, but about all of us in general—which, of course, has ramifications on our golf.

I am old enough, and a voracious enough reader, to have read many books. This is the best non-fiction book I have ever read. I have never said that before. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

Who Owns the Future?, by Jaron Lanier

June 16, 2013

2013 U.S. Open Day Four

Posted by MB
I'm posting this at 1:00 PST. My picks for today: I was hoping Tiger and Rory would both be in the mix, and kind of wanted Tiger to win—because, to me, watching him play well is a higher experience than watching anyone else play well. But if it can't be him I want it to be Phil. If not Phil, I'm pulling for Jason Day. If not Day, I'm pulling for Stricker (especially after number 2).

U.S. Open Wrap-up

Okay, chuckle, so one of the few guys I didn't mention, Justin Rose... What fabulously steady and awesome play. Many congratulations.

Just a couple points to mention:

Luke Donald hits the young lady volunteer on No. 3—best wishes to her for a quick recovery—he (and she) stays conscious and makes bogey. Though that may have been a lost shot to par it was not a lost shot to the field. Awesome. But professional golfers are not machines (though it is probably something to aspire to). Best wishes also to Luke Donald for a speedy recovery from the psychic damage from hitting the young lady (even though, of course it was an accident it has to feel terrible to do that). Have you ever heard the expression "this is going to hurt me worse than it hurts you?" That certainly did hurt both of them. Emotions and adrenaline, obviously, are difficult things to manage.

Example: Stricker hits it OB on No. 2 (totally out of character), then shanks it OB again on the same hole (remember that guy crashing and burning at the bottom of the ski jump in the intro. to Wide World of Sports? "...and the agony of defeat"). Professional golfers are human beings, not machines—though being machine-like, mentally, emotionally and physically would probably increase their success rate. At some point we have all done both of those things in pressure situations and have had blow up holes like that, no matter what skill level we have attained. I have seen both Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus (and others) shank the ball in a tournament on national television (I can't remember for sure which tournaments, but one or both of them were at Pebble Beach.) Stricker made a great putt for triple, and as easy as it is for someone (like me) to say (when they are watching rather than playing): they're all just strokes. That dramatic and shocking triple bogey could just as easily have been 3 bogeys, which would not have seemed so horrendous.

Mickelson holing from the rough over the bunker to that tight pin on 11 was pretty okay... as in, heart-stoppingly spectacular! That ball looked like a putt going in the hole.

I'm telling you Jason Day is going to get one soon. I think we can all sense it.

Re: Phil's runner-up finish. Professional golfers are human beings; they are not machines. Phil rocks... period.

Happy Father's Day to my dad and all you dads. smile

June 4, 2013

2013 U.S. Open at Merion

Posted by MB
So the US Open is at Merion this year—how cool is that? Merion is by far my favorite U.S. Open course (not even a close second). I have felt this way since I first saw it in 1971. And from the pictures I'm seeing it looks just spectacular, magical.

I remember watching Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino on TV there in 1971. And I remember David Graham hitting 18 greens in regulation on Sunday to win in 1981. (That's the only time I've ever seen anybody hit 18 greens.)

They have stretched out the yardage to just under 7,000 (at par 70), and they are calling that short by today's standards. Go figure.

I'm looking forward to it.

April 19, 2013

Effective bounce

Posted by MB

Entry moved to new location, "Effective bounce" in the "Ask the Pro" section

April 14, 2013

Masters Sunday 2013

Posted by MB
Wow, the rain has really changed the character of the course. Not only is the ball flying a little shorter (which is pretty easy to adjust to), but it is also behaving somewhat differently on landing (again, fairly easy to adjust for). The most dramatic thing, however—and you can see this by how many putts came up short, or WAY short, or went through the break/did not break as much as usual—is the speed of the greens. These guys are so used to how the greens are on the weekend (i.e., SLICK) that it is impossible to force themselves to add more speed, or enough more speed. And when they are successful at forcing themselves to do it, they usually play it through the break. Human beings are not machines... even "golf gods" with that much experience.

The beauty of the golf course is not as magical in gray, wet conditions. But the tournament is still exciting. For me, the combination of the overwhelming artistic visuals of Augusta with the familiarity of knowing the course so well—from having seen it every year since the early 70's—makes the Masters by far the most fun tournament to watch.

And let's face it, that finish of regulation play is about as good as it can get: two birdies to tie? Awesome.

How do human beings pull off that kind of spectacular performance (i.e., the last hole of regulation for both Scott and Cabrera) under that kind of pressure? Surely it is not just skill. Of course, there is a tremendous amount of skill because of all the technical work, and years of practice, and playing under pressure. But in environmental conditions with that many variables to adjust to and that much emotional energy flowing through a nervous system do you really think that any human being actually has that much control over their mind and body and golf ball? So is it luck? Is it guts? Is it a combination of skill, luck, and guts? Whatever it is, it seems magic, and amazingly fun to watch.

Lastly, what an elegant playoff. No mishaps (although I would hasten to point out how different the approach shots on eighteen were for both players in the playoff than in regulation (from an even shorter distance for both), to support my point that human beings just don't have that much control over their minds, bodies and golf balls. Hearty congratulations to Adam Scott on his first major victory (although he has won The Players Championship, which really is just as serious as any of the majors).

A great tournament. Really enjoyed it. Hope you did too.

April 9, 2013

Here comes The Masters, baby!

Posted by MB
I'm feelin' it. Masters Here's to a classic and exciting tournament with somebody huge and famous winning in a nail-biter on the last hole. smile

February 15, 2013

Staying down through the ball after surgery

Posted by MB

Entry moved to new location, "Staying down after surgery" in the "Ask the Pro" section

February 13, 2013

Golf Dictionary milestone!

Posted by MB
My Golf Dictionary or Glossary is now over 700 golf words and phrases and counting. Hooah!   smile

February 8, 2013

Height for dropping

Posted by MB

Entry moved to new location, "Height for dropping" in the "Ask the Pro" section

January 22, 2013

How Much?

Posted by MB
Wow, okay, so $200 million seems like a lot, for just about anybody to do anything, no? Like, how much would it be worth to completely fix global warming, end world hunger and eradicate all diseases? $200 million seems about right, don't ya think?

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