Friday, April 29, 2011

Irish Caddy



A Golfer has been slicing off the tee on every hole.  He asks his Irish caddy if he has noticed any obvious reasons for his poor tee shots, to which the caddy replies:


"Aye, there's a piece of shi+ on the end of your driver."


The Golfer picks up his driver and cleans the club face, at which point the caddy says: "No, the other end."



Monday, April 25, 2011

Goddard State Park, East Greenwich RI

3032 yds, Par36, Slope 111

hardened by my exposure to the mediocre in Greece, I tho't it would do me no harm to play a round with my grandson, The Babe, on a little 9-hole course close-at-hand . . . I don't think he has the game or attention span, yet, to weather 18 holes . . . so I passed up the Donald Ross treasure till another visit . . . 

One has wondered what kind of clubs one would get at such a place, and now one knows:
 First of all, those are women's wood-woods . . . I could hit the driver somewhat . . . on #4, I pureed my drive 200 yds . . . 8^) . . . but that mud-daubed 3wood betrayed me everytime I pulled it out of the bag . . . felt funny, unresponsive, like a wife with a secret grievance, if you know what I mean . . . no 5 iron, but the 6iron had a graphite shaft; when I tried to hit it, it felt like the head spun around the shaft and the ball scuttled off left about 50 yds . . .then The Babe said, that club head looked like it spun around in a circle! I didn't mind the clubs, per se, for this course, losing 1/3 of my distance with such a set made it seem more like real golf, but d-a-a-a-a-a-a-n-g.
 The #1 handicap hole is this 301 yd par 4 with a sharp dogleg left . . . I think it's the #1 because the temptation to try to cut the corner over the trees is apparently irresistable to a large percentage of golfers . . .2 of the 4some in front of us were in those woods . . . I tho't maybe that 3wood -- after I'd scraped off the mud -- might loft over the corner off of a tee, but instead I hit a line drive that bounced off the trees back to the edge of the fairway. 
 look at that bunker sitting right there in front of the green for all the fools cutting the corner . . . I guess the play is to try to drive over to the right side without going into the woods and creek over there, to get a look at the green. I tried to cozy a partial 3iron between the green and the woods, but it came up short . . . ball has a way of settling down in this turf so's getting any clean shot is difficult . . . . that's when I discovered that the PW was a graphite shaft like the 6, but with the head firmly attached . . . totally powered over the green with a half-wedge. short story: 6 double bogey.
I hate to make it sound like the course has no charms . . . so I include this shot of the par 3 170yd #7. I hit a 3iron not-quite-pin-high. bit right in the rough. I wouldn't mind trying this one again with some better tools . . . but there were duffers all over the place hitting metal shovel woods . . . guess they were going for the Tiger Woods feel of overpowering a course. I'd just like the heads to stay fixed.

Nice walk in the park with my grandson.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Golf Club Rodos - Afandou

Afandou is an unusual seaside, park-style course, Par 73, 6235 Meters, Slope 125, by Donald Harradine

they say: "Features: One 18-hole, par-73, golf course (6800 yards), designed by Britain's world famous golf course architect, Donald Harradine. Since May 1973 the 18 holes have been made available to golfers. The course's tactical features are a challenge to good scoring, both for amateurs and professionals. The trees, fairways, and greens are laid with different grasses selected to keep the course green throughout the year. The Golf Club is open all the year round. Admission fees are nominal and caddies, caddy carts, golf clubs and balls, as well as instructions, are available at moderate hire charges."

Sad to say, and I want you to know this makes me disconsolate, this course was in even worse shape than Glyfada . . . tho I saw more golfers on it, duffers I mean, not Golfers, but I make no judgement of their skills, if you see how I mean . . .  Same story . . . a perfectly reasonable course design decrepit in its maintenance. It makes very little use of its seaside location, save on the first hole where there is some sort of dune-y action going on, but there is wind and sand (on the course -- the bunkers are in terrible shape, by-and-large) , scrubby trees, *some* elevation changes, and a few interesting holes.

 This first hole, not knowing any better, but suspecting the worst, I am still hoping for some linkstyle golf . . .you can see a dune there on the left side of the fairway, but thats the only one anywhere. It was amazing to me how flat the course was in the opening holes, I mean, they had to *work* at it I reckon to make it that flat.
 The monotony was broken up a little bit on #6, where you *must* cut that corner, over the trash on the left to stay in the fairway. I could see that . . . but what I would say now is that the fairway was largely indistinguishable from the rough, all clover and weedy looking grasses . . . a blind t-shot in conditions like that is a real liability to losing balls.
 It's a little hard to see how #7 would work even properly maintained . . . it's a sharp dogleg right, but with the trees crowding you on that side, and a blind landing area, you might not want to go working the ball around the corner as one imagines it . . . so I hit it straight, thru the dogleg which was 30 m. closer than I eyeballed, up into a mound full of waist-high weeds . . . grumbling becomes audible . . .
 I had trouble believing my eyes here at #8. . . wtf . . . but finally just lined up with the t-box and whaled away . . .
 so up to my ball, I see there's a tree in the frikken middle of the fairway, a big bushy one too . . .
 but I carved a 3wood around that alright, but by the time I did the algebra (wind, elevation, distance, crappy lie), I figgered still a 6iron  . . .
 I couldn't believe how that ball stuck . . . about 18 feet short of the pin (on the right in that pic) . . . my birdie putt lipped out . . . perfect, just perfect.
So naturally, #9 is a 170 m par 3 to a severely elevated green over a valley . . . the greenskeeper mowing would never move, so I talked most of myself into hitting anyway with my 4hybrid. . . the rest of me hooked the holy bejabbers out of it into the trash at the bottom of the hill . . . pin high, I figger, but I didn't look for it.
 There's not to much to say about many of the holes, the turf is damaged and dug up, the grass is sparse and splotchy, the trees are funky looking, the traps are like eroded craters, and the greens are worse than all of that. #16, is like the mirror image of the #7 t-shot . . . you need to go left, but it's blind. . . . I was a little leg-weary by then, so I mickelsoned it off into the trees on the right, chopped a 5 iron out of the tall grass, between the trees (and these are big uns), to this spot on the other side of the fairway.
 I wasn't happy but that is a nice looking green complex, from a distance.
 for #17, I just said, Oh For Crying Out Loud, GMAFB. Trying to make sure I got it over that first tree with a little cut to hold it against the wind, I weak-legged it over into the trees on the right, in the tall grass again.
 I took this from position A, of which I am 20 m. to the right, but I couldn't see the green from there for my pic, and it too is nice-looking, but I got over there and picked it clean out of the weeds, hit a h-i-g-h 7iron that fought the wind and dropped like a book from a shelf 20 ft from the pin. Not bad.
 From there I wandered off in the wrong direction, dragging my weary old bones back and forth looking for #18, finally found the cart path leading up the hill away from the 17th green . . . it was so steep, I didn't recognize it. . . That is one *elevated* tee. Determined not to weak-leg it again, instead, I tomahawked it over that bush on the left . . . caught it real good tho', so instead of being in the trash, I'd hit the perfect shot . . . 8^D . . . wound up on the edge of bunker 80 m. from the green. . . so I hit knockdown PW off that hanging lie to the closest pin  I'd had all day . . .
but the putt didn't even touch the hole . . . disgustin'.

I consoled myself with a Mythos beer while I was waiting for my cab. He was early, but I still had time to buy a second . . . it was awful good, right out of the can . . . 
So, by virtue of the number of pictures I've included, I'd have to admit that it seems like I liked Anfandou better than Glyfada, at least on a prima facie basis . . . I'm not sure that's true. Maybe there's one or two more holes that are interesting, #1, #6, #7 (grrrr), #8, #9, #16, #17, #18, and I can see, even more than at Glyfada, the course that should be here, maybe once was . .  .but the last course in this bad condition I played was a converted  wheat field in Ft Worth.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Design in the Rough


Now, two and a half years later, no dirt has been moved at Punta Brava and Mr. Woods has not visited in some time. His two other designs, in Dubai and near Asheville, N.C., are also troubled; the Dubai course, according to people familiar with the project, has been shelved permanently. The desert sands have started to reclaim the strips of green from the six holes that have been completed. The Asheville project is searching for new financing, and construction has halted until at least this summer. In the nearly five years since Tiger Woods Design was founded, none of the courses have been completed.

It’s a trajectory that mirrors just about every element of Mr. Woods’s life these days: As he enters the Masters tournament beginning on Thursday, his golf game has fallen apart and he is overhauling his swing for the fourth time in his career. The string of affairs that made him tabloid fodder in 2009 and 2010 cost him his marriage, custody of his two young children and the loss of endorsement deals with Accenture, AT&T and Gatorade.