Category Archives: Miscellaneous


boston skyline charles river
The Boston skyline from a kayak on the Charles River

So I’m trying to get a round of golf played in all 50 states of the United States of America. But it’s not exactly like I’m just touching down, hitting the first tee and then it’s wheels up again. The coolest part, and probably the real reason I’m even attempting this, is to get to see all the different flavors each state has to offer. I got a small taste of the nation when some friends and I somehow survived a 43-day, 10,000 mile road trip to every baseball stadium in 2006 (Mario Kart got us through some long drives). I’m 12 states in these first 24 months and have done plenty of awesome things away from the course. There’s been a night out on 6th Street in Austin after I, along with over 100,000 other fans decked out in burnt orange, took in a University of Texas home game. I’ve ventured into Tootsie’s in downtown Nashville, walked along the Seattle waterfront and seen all the crazies during a Halloween weekend in Las Vegas. I’ve gotten to tour the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and catch up with people I rarely see like my grandparents in California or childhood best friend in Atlanta. With all that, I figure it might be a little different and maybe interesting to show some of these other things off. Continue reading Boston

How to Regrip a Golf Club in 11 Photos

Since I’m still waiting impatiently for my strained wrist tendon to heal, I’ve had extra time to do some golf maintenance while sidelined. Not saying I didn’t try to get a couple rounds in, even through cold weather and frigid winds. But since my average score this year is about a 96, I figure it’s best to rest a bit before continuing on to the next five states. Clearly I’ve gotten a little antsy to get back into golfing, as I’ve strayed from reviewing courses and written other golf related posts lately. But they’re fun and I’m still riding the pine here, so I’ll make another one.

Unsolicited golf advice is about as desirable as someone pooping in the cup. There are other annoying fouls golfers commit, such as not raking sand traps, leaving sunflower seeds on the green and unhooking golf bags from the golf cart causing them to crash to the pavement when someone steps on the gas. But getting swing tips you didn’t ask for, especially after a particularly bad shot that may or may not have ricocheted off a bar-b-que and through a pane of glass, is pretty irritating. “Came way over the top there.” “Try closing your stance.” “Your grip looks a little weak.” “Have a beer, you’ll play better drunk.” Well, that last one actually is a good idea some days. I don’t know enough about the golf swing to make an on-the-spot diagnosis from seeing your swing for a split second. But I do know a trick that, depending on how badly it’s needed, can shave one to several strokes off your score. Regrip your clubs. Continue reading How to Regrip a Golf Club in 11 Photos

Manifest Destiny

So in 2012 I got a new job, new car, moved into a new house, published a book and got a black lab puppy (which I now know can be more exhausting than a new job, new car, new house and publishing a book). Despite all that, I still managed to log over 30 rounds of golf and get to 5 new states. Now that all that craziness is over I can get around to focusing on playing better golf in 2013. I did start ’12 as an 8.5 and rocketed all the way up to a 13.2 before settling at my current 12.5. That’s not acceptable, and my new goal is to work that down to an 8.0. I’m not a man to make excuses, but if I were, they’d go something like this:

  1. Out of those 30+ rounds, only 6 were on courses I had played before. A wise man I played with at Lookout Mountain mentioned that just knowing a course can save 4-5 strokes. I agree, which is why it’s my fake excuse #1.
  2. I did get brand new irons and a new 3-wood, which took a few rounds to get adjusted to. But I do love those Cleveland TA7’s and the Taylor Made Rocketballz.
  3. I was hungover during 1 or 2 rounds, possibly.
  4. I’m pretty sure the holes at the Stadium Course in La Quinta were smaller than the specified 4-1/4″. Yeah, that’s it.
  5. Raising a puppy is exhausting.
  6. According to the Chineze Zodiac calendar, it was the Year of the Dragon. We Tigers don’t play our best golf during years of the Dragon, Rat or Rabbit. So sayeth ancient Chinese folklore (see author’s illustration below).
Pictured: The chaos of the Zodiac Chart
Pictured: The chaos of the Zodiac Chart

What about 2013 then? I still expect it to contain the required 20+ rounds of desert golf as I remain a resident of Arizona. But I still need 5 new states. I’ve got a few ideas and what my odds are of actually getting there.

Continue reading Manifest Destiny

A top golf course list of my own

rotogrinders misc rankings2

Golf Digest just released their 2013-14 Course Rankings. So to play all Top 100 Public Courses it would cost you just about $19,771. Hmm, well since I’ve already played Torrey Pines and PGA West, that at least lowers it down to $19,463. Anyone feel like making a charitable donation? I guess while we’re in the spirit of making lists, I might as well make my current ranking of all the courses I’ve played, based on how I can best recall them right now. So here goes… Continue reading A top golf course list of my own

I wrote a book!

The more books I sell the more golf I can play, so Ride by Graig Mantle (it’s only $0.99, that’s like 2 oz. of baseball stadium Coors Light, but way more refreshing)

Here’s the official description:

“Harvey Nash, a gunman for hire in the untamed west of 1873, had a reputation for getting the job done. So when he was approached with an intriguing assignment, his pride (and his pocketbook) wouldn’t let him turn it down. After all, it seemed relatively easy — make one delivery from Cheyenne to Dallas, receive payment, go on with his life. Little did he know that this job would put him in more danger than he had ever faced before, and events along the way meant he could never go back to his old way of life…”

You can read it on any Kindle or Kindle app, which is free for every smartphone and tablet out there. Unless you’re still texting on a Nokia, you’ve got no excuse not to enjoy it…

Ride by Graig Mantle