I learned long ago that golf has a mind -- and a warped sense of humor -- of its own.
That's why an otherwise beautiful tee shot can stop in a divot, why your opponent's skulled 7-iron can skip across the water like Captain Sullenberger hit it and why kids want to dress like Rickie Fowler.
If you play, you understand. If you don't play, don't start. You'll have more fun piercing your tongue.
That brings me to my latest slapdown.
Playing in the Cedarwood club championship over the weekend, I got beat by a man with a broken leg.
I know, Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open on a broken leg. He was playing the Barclays last weekend, I checked.
The only guy I beat got DQ'd because he signed an incorrect scorecard.
I think he's the only guy I beat. I wisely grabbed a beer after the round and didn't glance at the scoreboard or anyone else before slinking away, pretending I had somewhere to be -- and it wasn't the practice tee.
Let me make it clear that I have great admiration for the man who beat me on one good leg. He has a rod in his bad leg, parts of it have come loose and he now has a stress fracture in his thigh bone. When he makes a full swing and tweaks his leg the wrong way, it looks like it hurts worse than a Rosie O'Donnell monologue.
But he loves golf and keeps playing through it, kicking my butt in the process.
There's something inspiring about his willingness to keep playing but let's not make it about him. Let's talk about me.
I could tell you I was 1-over par through seven holes and facing an easy approach shot into the par-5 eighth green Sunday, thinking I might be able to backdoor my way into second place in the net division after another in a long history of poor starts in the club championship.
But then I'd have to tell you that three holes later I was 10-over par and relieved that both of my Titleists missed every vehicle moving on Highway 51 after my tee shots at the easy 10th hole turned right of Sean Hannity on their way off the property.
You might think that seeing a man with a broken leg grinding away would push me to keep grinding, too. You might be wrong.
A three-hole stretch of double-bogey, triple-bogey, quadruple-bogey kills your incentive. Let's see sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella put a happy face on that scorecard.
I finished and, after briefly considering donating my clubs to a nearby pond and bailing out of an October trip to Bandon Dunes, I wondered why I'd expected anything different. If nearly 50 years of playing golf have taught me anything, it's not to bet on myself when you have to putt 'em out.
My only regret?
I should have bought the man with the broken leg a beer.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Fifteen-year old Lydia Ko, who won the LPGA Tour's Canadian Open on Sunday, wasn't born when Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters.
Make you feel old?
Make you wish you could hit it and putt it like the kids these days?
Ko became the youngest player in LPGA history to win a tournament, breaking the record set last year by Lexi Thompson. Ko was brilliant, making seven birdies on Sunday, to pull away from Jiyai Shin and Stacy Lewis, two of the tour's best players.
Afterward, she talked about wanting to buy a dog and her goal of attending Stanford, both of which she may eventually get though she couldn't take her $300,000 winner's check because she's still an amateur.
Ko's victory raised an interesting question:
What does it say about the LPGA Tour?
It's a tour in desperate need of a jolt of relevance and Ko's victory at least pulled some of the attention away from Nick Watney's victory in the Barclays and the musical chairs being played for the final four spots on Davis Love III's U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Without a dominant player at the moment - Yani Tseng's sterling game has dulled slightly - the LPGA needs someone or something to bring it into focus. Maybe it's Ko.
She recently won the U.S. Amateur and now she's an LPGA Tour winner. It says everything about her potential and perhaps too much about the LPGA Tour at the moment.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
Recently, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw stopped by Pinehurst to take a look at their restoration project at No. 2, which has been open for more than a year now.
With both the men's and women's U.S. Opens less than two years away, they're looking closely at the width of fairways and the amount of growth in the sandy natural areas.
Here's a link to what they had to say about No. 2:
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Two area courses that made the conversion from bent grass to bermuda grass greens earlier this summer are ready to reopen.
Rocky River Golf Club in Concord is scheduled to reopen Aug. 20 and will offer special rates the first week after its reopening.
Verdict Ridge Golf & Country Club in Denver will reopen to the public Aug. 25.
Both courses are among a large group of area courses that made the transition to more heat-tolerant putting surfaces this month. The Wyndham Championship being played this week at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro made a similar move and is hosting the PGA Tour less than 12 weeks after making the change.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
Thursday, August 09, 2012
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Monday, August 06, 2012
Wednesday, August 01, 2012