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2013 in Review

Last year, my USGA index skyrocketed to embarrassing heights and I scrambled for excuses in this year end post of 2012. And then I played the same type of schedule in 2013 and dropped down to my pre-season goal of a handicap in the 8’s, finishing at an 8.8. So I guess all my logic from last year didn’t hold water. Out of about 35 rounds, at least 20 were on courses new to me and I shaved 4 strokes off anyway. Only five rounds crept into the 90’s, and two of those were in February when I only had one working wrist. But only two rounds snuck into the 70’s, one of which won me $200. So now I’ve settled into a low 80’s threat in the midst of what are supposedly my prime physical years (though at the moment I look more like the “before” pic). So then what changed?

graig mantle kierland
This awesome swing was never the problem

Continue reading 2013 in Review

Stone Canyon Golf Club

Stone Canyon Golf Club in Blue Springs, MO

stone canyon golf club

The Stats

Tee Time: October 22, 2013, 8:20, 61 F, partly cloudy and breezy

Designer: Greg Norman (2009)

Playing Partners: Seth

Tees: Black (front 9)/White (back 9), Par 72 (70.9 rating/137 slope/6,548 yards)

Course Handicap: 11 (8.8 index)

Stats: 84 (42-42); 30 putts; 5/14 fairways; 4/18 greens; 1 penalty stroke

The Course

Ahh Missouri, the home of Brett Parise. I’ll start out by saying I had been to Kansas City once before, and I didn’t like it at all. It was on the baseball trip in 2006 to see the Royals play the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. The stadium itself is great, but it might have been just a factor of us staying in a sketchy part of town and general travel fatigue because I came away thinking it was one of the worst cities we visited. Good thing I came back, because it is so much nicer than I remember. The skyline is beautiful, the locals are really great and of course the ribs… The World War I National Museum alone is worth the trip. And I was also wavering on even playing golf on my quick work trip here (I know, tough life). That stomach bug from Virginia still ate away at me, I had made an early-morning time and it was a chilly morning (50 degrees on the first tee; the high in Phoenix when I landed later that day was 91). I don’t know what made me get up and head out to Stone Canyon Golf Club in Blue Springs, MO just south of Kansas City, but thank God I did. Apparently Greg Norman designed this course and has never played it. I personally doubt he’s ever even been to Missouri unless there was a major taking place there. Then I thought about how much pressure there would be to play a golf course you personally designed. You would theoretically know everything about it: any false fronts, hidden hazards and blind tee shots. I bet it would be a lot of pressure, and we all know how the Shark performs under the gun. Continue reading Stone Canyon Golf Club

Kingsmill Resort

Plantation Course at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA

kingsmill resort plantation course
Greg and me

The Stats

Tee Time: October 19, 2013, 12:00, 67 F, overcast

Designer: Arnold Palmer/Ed Seay (1985)

Playing Partners: Greg Ryan

Tees: Blue, Par 72 (69.4 rating/125 slope/6,060 yards)

Course Handicap: 10 (8.8 index)

Stats: 93 (43-50); 38 putts; 7/14 fairways; 8/18 greens; 3 penalty strokes

The Course

This round started tough, given that just 3 days prior I took a hockey puck to the gut. It’s not easy to get all that torque through your torso when your stomach is bruised. But since it’s a hockey injury, I can’t be too specific. Let’s go with the Rick DiPietro school of medicine and classify it as “General Body Soreness“. I don’t ever remember being hurt as much as when I play ice hockey. I’ve been hit by fastballs, crashed cars, skied and snowboarded poorly enough to deserve injury, jumped off roofs and probably a few other things, too. But play just two years of hockey and it’s sprained this, bruised that. Or I could be getting old… And actually once I stopped compensating for my hip being in pain, my swing felt all right. It was the previous night’s dinner that did me in on the back nine. It’s tough to survive 30 or 40 swings with a stomach that just won’t settle. I blame Greg for the restaurant choice, clearly he knew what he was doing. Continue reading Kingsmill Resort