Sunday, December 2, 2012

beta blockers

Truth & Rumors: Greg Norman says 'lots of guys' used beta blockers in his day

Posted at 12:05 PM by Samantha Glover | Categories: Charlie Beljan, Greg Norman, Truth & Rumors

According to a report by The New York Times, Greg Norman said he remembers a time when "lots of guys were on beta blockers" on the PGA Tour:

“It wasn’t openly acknowledged, but it was obvious to the rest of us. A guy’s personality would change. In practice rounds or friendly matches, we’d see the real guy under stress. Then in competition, he was like a different, calmer person. Those guys were trying to take the nerves out of the game. But nerves are very much a part of the game.”

In 2008, when the PGA and LPGA Tours adopted anti-doping policies, beta blockers were included on the banned substance list.

Charlie Beljan's panic attack and win at the Children's Miracle Network Classic did more than just secure his place on the PGA Tour next year. It has also brought up the discussion of beta blockers once again.

According to the Times report, Beljan will meet with his doctors near his Arizona home to discuss potential treatment plans this week. If Beljan is required to take medication to treat his anxiety, he will be required to apply for a therapeutic-use exemption, which will require a review by an independent panel of doctors, to continue the medication during competition.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Anchoring The Club - USGA Ruling

Well, I guess this is why I’m not in charge . . . I would have just ruled against the club . . .

But the USGA is taking a more nuanced approach . . .

Maybe I’ll get me a mid-length club . . .



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

as if . . .

Truths known only to an avid golfer! 

Don 't buy a putter until you've had a chance to throw it.

Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing.

When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either use one more club or two more balls.

If you're afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have two options: you can immediately shank a lay-up or you can wait until the green is clear and top a ball halfway there. 

The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing.

No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse.

The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all of your many other errors.

Everyone replaces his divot after a perfect approach shot. 

A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck.

It is surprisingly easy to hole a 30 foot putt. For a 10.

Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut.

Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

It's not a gimme if you're still away. 

The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the centre of a very large tree.

You can hit a two acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time. 

If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.

Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three.

When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.

Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two double bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.

To calculate the speed of a player's downswing, multiply the speed of his back-swing by his handicap; i.e., back-swing 20 mph, handicap 15, downswing = 300 mph.

There are two things you can learn by stopping your back-swing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove.

Hazards attract; fairways repel.

A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.

If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint

It's easier to get up at 6:00 AM to play golf than at 10:00am to mow the grass.

A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.

Golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because you spend longer praying than you would do in church.

A good golf partner is one who's always slightly worse than you are....that's why I get so many calls to play with friends.

If there's a storm rolling in, you'll be having the game of your life.

Golf balls are like eggs. They're white. They're sold by the dozen. And you need to buy fresh ones each week.

It's amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.

If your opponent has trouble remembering whether he shot a six or a seven, he probably shot an eight (or worse)... 

It takes longer to learn to be a good golfer than it does to become a brain surgeon. On the other hand, you don't get to ride around on a cart, drink beer, and eat hot dogs when you are performing Brain Surgery !!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I like Ike

Golf was essential to his daily routine. When he awakened in the morning, he limbered up by taking a few swings in his bedroom with his favorite eight-iron.

He sometimes swung the club when dictating to Mrs. Whitman. At 5:00 p.m. he would rise from Teddy Roosevelt’s old Navy Department desk in the Oval Office, put on his golf shoes, and head out the door, leaving tiny spike holes in the floorboards. On the Ellipse, the greensward stretching south from the White House toward the Washington Monument, he would practice fairway approach shots. His faithful valet (or as he was known in military parlance, his striker), Sergeant John Moaney, would shag the balls while tourists peered through the iron fence.

Eisenhower teed off for a full round of golf about eight hundred times in his eight years as president. Almost every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon, he played three-hour, eighteen-hole rounds at Burning Tree, an all-male club in the Maryland suburbs. On twenty-three trips to Georgia, he played roughly two hundred times at Augusta National, where friends built him, on the 10th hole, a spacious three-story house known initially as Mamie’s Cabin, then more commonly as the Eisenhower Cabin. (Mamie herself never played but approved of the game as a stress reliever for her husband.) Ike was a respectable weekend golfer, usually shooting in the 80s, but he had a congenital fade and an unreliable putter, and he sometimes blew up with a torrent of hells and damnations. (Ike almost never used stronger language, and he disapproved of off-color stories. He would turn and walk away if a friend unwittingly tried a dirty joke.) The United States Professional Golf Association helped build a putting green and sand trap outside his office on the South Lawn in 1954. In the spring of 1955, when some unruly squirrels created divots in the green, Ike ordered them shot. Eisenhower was accustomed to having his wishes become commands, but in this case the offending animals were caught and removed.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Alice Cooper points the finger at famous golf cheaters


Credit: Ian West/AP

Veteran rocker Alice Cooper has confessed he regularly cheats at golf – and he’s outed celebrity pals including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and tycoon Donald Trump for also bending the rules on the links.

The “School’s Out” hitmaker is a famed fan of the fairways and has credited the sport with helping him to kick his crippling booze addiction in the 1980s.

But he’s now admitted he can’t help moving his ball to a better position when his opponents are not looking, and insists he’s not the only star who likes to get a sneaky helping hand on the course.

Cooper tells Q magazine, “Everybody’s cheated at golf. You might give yourself a better lie, a little nudge here and there. Only when I’m playing with my friends, though. In tournaments I play straight up golf…

“The worst celebrity golf cheat? I wish I could tell you that. It would be a shocker. I played with Donald Trump one time. That’s all I’m going to say. President Clinton never had a bad lie in his life, let’s put it that way. It doesn’t matter where the ball goes, when you get there it’s sitting up because there are CIA guys in the woods (moving the ball), you know?”


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lazne Kynzwort Golf Resort, Czech Republic

They Say: "Golf Club Kynzvart is the youngest golf club in the Czech Republic's smallest region, which now has the most courses (10) relative to area and population. The club is located on the fringe of the Slavkov Forest, in the imaginary centre of the other courses, which are located within a 50km perimetre around Kynzvart. The two nearest golf courses are Bohemia's oldest one, with origins dating back to the times of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy - in Marienbad and in Carlsbad. Golf Club Kynzvart may not boast a long tradition, but it offers its members a role in creating it. The history of the club started between 2004 and 2008 when it was officially established and the construction of the course commenced. The architects used the features and characteristics of the castle and the neighbouring nature and, combining traditional and modern elements, created a varied parkland course."

6620m (~7262Yds), Par 72, Slope ?

#1 short par 4, but there is a large tree and a large bunker pinching the landing area. . . in the sunshiny autumn glory this day I effortlessly hammered my drive over the trap with a power fade away from the tree. We (2-ball scramble) bladed our 2nd just over the green, 2putt par.

#2 medium par 4, a little downhill, very tight fairway . . . totally feeling my oats, intentionally hit a tight draw down the right side of the fairway . . . not to much trouble getting to the green, but that pin was on the edge of a hump that made birdie not happen.

#3 Long par 5 . . . not too much trouble on the drive, just stay in the fairway, but then we got confused by the meterage, and both hit 5irons into the water on the left . . . mine landed right of the water and just followed a hidden slope into the water . . . gad I was irritated.. . . from there another 5iron to the green and flounder to a 7.

#4 par 4-- so wide open I was guarding against the fan-slice, and hit it on a beeline at that hump on the right . . . our playing companions start to grouse about my expertise on the tee . . . 8^D . . . nobody ever notices how bad I putt, OTOH . . . not a real good approach, but up-and-down. . . 

#5 par 3. . . hashed a 5iron. . . over the water but . . .we tried to play this ball, even with the scramble drops, just impossible. . . double bogey . . . 

#6 par 5 . . . played left of those trees . . . many people cut the corner, but that's not fairway, it's rough, and deep in places . . .I didn't realize the hole played so short, and tried to hit a 5wood short of the water . . . 5iron woulda been better . . .  looking for my ball in the deep creekside rough was no fun, especially with our companions complaining about the speed of play . . . duuuuuude, we bin waitin' on you most of the time! . . . double bogey . .. should be simple drive, 5iron layup, and wedge.

#7 par 4  . . . too upset and hurried to get a photo of the tee . . .hit a good drive to the back side of the hump before the sandtrap . . . hit a weak 4iron at the left side of the green, short, then up & up & down for bogey.

#8 very short downhill par 3 . . . hit a half9iron to 3 ft and made the birdie.

#9 par 4 from the back tees is a fearsome t-shot . . . like 200m water carry . . . we didn't have that, we had this trick shot around the trees . . . hit a little halfdriver to the middle, then my partner hit a sparkling 7iron right at the pin, I tho't it might go in, but it wound up 20-odd ft past . . .then we 3jacked from there. . . oops.

 #10 par 4, kinda hairy looking tee shot -- mind games -- just a drive & pitch hole if you can get past that . . . 

#11 par 3, very little bailout room here, ob all down the right side, and tree trouble on the left. . . I hit a high 5iron counting on a fade onto the green, but it hit a tall pine solid . . we weren't sure where it went . . . bounced back 40 m toward the tee . . .chopped it up and 2putt bogey.

#12 par 5 . . .very tight landing area. . . downhill pinched by a w-i-d-e creek that crosses the fairway, not reachable, but playing on your mind planning the hole . . . trees, of course, and then some bunkering on the right . . . Hit a rope down the right side with no draw on it. . . straight into the bunker . . . hadda pitch out short of the bunker and try to go from there . . . 5iron/8iron 
from there . . . that elevated green is tough . . . 

#13 par 4, shortish, but a huge mass of bunkering on the right as the hole doglegs left around those trees . . . in my total confidence, I just slapped my drive over all but the last bunker on the right, just short of it --- whew --- just a shortiron from there, 2 putt par . . .kept thinking we'd get another birdie, but just couldn't really get close enough.

#14 par 4, not so much happening, just rail it straight down the right side, short iron onto the green and 2putt.

#15 par 4, likewise, don't remember at all . . .

#16 par 5, hit another good drive -- not well placed -- in that bunker on the right side. . . all day long worried about overhooking and just kept hitting it straight . . . hit a towering 9iron out of the trap, laying up short of what we tho't was the creek crossing the fairway . . . turned out to be covered in the fairway . . . just played safe from there, 150m out with water on the right side of the green . . layed up with a 7iron in the middle pitched on, then made an 18ft par putt. Nice when the strategic golf works out. . . 8^D . . .

#17 is another hairy t-shot for the first timer. . . Not knowing anything, I just hit a half driver down the left side. Turned out alright, left a half-wedge to the green, 2putt par.
#18 par 3 -- I really don't like par 3s to finish a 9, and especially not an 18 . . .hit a solid 5iron, pin high, into a bunker right of the green, behind that evergreen . . . both days . . . we used my partners ball w-a-a-a-a-y on the left side, off the green. Bogey . . .it was funny the next day, our competitors were in the same place, and made that 40m shot for a birdie. . . .


#s 1,5,6,9 on the front, and 10,11,12,13,16,17,18 are all very good holes, if not great....
the par 3s are an excellent mix of challenges and distances.
the par 5s are a very good assortment of holes, with the challenges not on the t-shot so much, but more on the 2nd and approach shots, if you see how I mean . . . 
the par 4s are well-mixed, too, but there's a kind of sameness to several of them that could be better with more variety...

For the most part a mature course (despite it's newness) and if the trees grow in some on those bland par 4s it might move up on the scottsdale scale . . . I'd say a high 3 right now. . . 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lost Ball . . .

In Arizona , you might  want to accept the fact that your golf ball is lost.

Take the  penalty stroke and move on.

There is a reason you don't go into  the cactus, where it's dry and hot  looking for your golf ball.

X-Ray of this  snake





Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ryder Cup 2012

Why do women like US golfers?

Because they can be on top for two days and still come second...!

Boom Boom


I think women like the sensitive way they weep afterwards, too . . .

Zbraslav, Prague City Course, Czech Republic

Par 72, 6161m (white tees), Slope 133, by Alex Cejka.
As we dropped back down into the river valley from the hills outside prague a chilly fog closed in over us . . . inside the unique clubhouse are golf-dimple psycho-wallpaper, and gothic cellar arches . . .

They have a huge practice putting green course with 18 holes, called the Himalayas. I spent some good time there -- wasted as it turned out, they hadn't brushed the greens yet, which rolled entirely different when done.

No expense spared. A picturesque scottish style bridge over one of the scottish style burns.

It was very gloomy over the practice tees . . . the sun was barely peeking thru the clouds.

From the first tee it looked impossible . . . I've played in the fog before, in houston, but the anxiety level of my playing partners raised my hackles . . . this course must be really hard . . . I didn't think we'd ever finish the first hole . . . I failed to find the fairway 3 shots in a row, the first cut rough is bad enough, but then there's this scottish style whin all over, too . . . fuhgeddaboutit if your ball goes in there.

I'm not sure my opinions are valid... terrible course for a first timer, even with three guides . . . 8^D . . . greens are severely contortured -- not too slick, in compensation, but gaaaaaah . . . scottish style links course, imitation, I would say, but anyway just write me down for 98 and call it a day... 

Totally overwhelmed by the chilly fog, I took no picture of #2 -- I assume a double bogey.

#3 is 180m par 3, as you can see, even more intimidating in the fog, redundantly intimidating when the saddle green is elevated 5 meters above the tee ground, surrounded by a giant waste area, moundy clumps of whin. . . by accident, I popped up my 7wood short of the green, splayed a 5iron chip that just didn't quite roll back out of the fringe, pin high, up on the top tier, 3 putt from there.

#4 par 5, might be a breather in sunlight . . . could just make out the first shadows of the day . . . found the fairway safe enough, pureed a 5wood down just short of the green, behind that outcrop you see, pitched over that long onto the green, and 3 putted, when it wasn't as fast coming back down the hill as I expected. Naaah. Tough hole.

#5 par 4 . . . good drive, weak approach (typical this day -- performance anxiety).
#6 par 4, one of the most linksy looking holes, full of fairway pot bunkers . . . pulled my drive left of the big bunker that sits dead in the middle. Confidently calc'lated allowing for meterage, wind, etc, and hit a half wedge 35m past the pin . . . course a lot of that was the roll down into the saddle of this double green. Hit so many terrible short and mid irons this day that to have the one I hit well turn out so bad was excruciating . . . 3putt bogey.
#7 par 5, #1 handicap hole .. .pulled my drive into the light rough on a side hill down hill lie . . . woulda hit a fairway wood, since this is a l-o-n-g hole, but opted for a 5iron to cope with the lie, which seemed to work alright, I was in the fairway, in between 3 huge bunkers on a flat lie, but couldn't hit another successful 5iron in succession. chipped my 4th shot way past the hole (again, over-and-over again, tho' I don't know how, the greens were so slow putting).

#8 par 3, another very linksy hole. beelined a half-7wood right at the pin, but it took a bad bounce right into a pot bunker. Got out "ok" but then 3jack. I don't know that you can see in this picture how large this green is (they all are rather large), or how hilly it is. . . believe me when I tell you: hilly.
#9 short par 4. . . same old x2 . . . good drive, pathetic approach, tough green.
#10 par 5. . . something a little different now, some water comes into play on the back9 . . . perplexed by this new anxiety, I popped my drive up short. hit a reasonable fairway wood, but the approach (longer than it needed to be) was as bad as any this day. It's one thing to have tough greens, but this is another tough pin placement too, just behind that turf ripple on the green.
#11 par 4, teeth-gritting resolution to play better . . . good drive, then I tho't I'd finally hit a good approach, but it was on the front of the green, while the pin was in back. . . then --- spurious phone calls from work about problems that aren't mine, but the help desk can't really make that call, once the application support team gives up . . . somewhat flustered, I called my colleague, got call waiting, and putted, short, up hill, 3 times. Now Upset. Talked to my colleague; turned the problem over to her.
#12 par 4 seemed like a masterful design:
- that water just tempts you to drive over it but it scales way back as it goes right to left in a deception designed to grab balls . . .the shore is double protected with cattails, which just kill any ball, so no skipping over the pond. . . the shot is to aim at the trap on the left and fade it right or aim at the the trap on the right and draw it left . . . so I aimed left and drew it, with just enough juice to get over the water, by 10m or less, which actually was very, very good, leaving me a good look at the green and pin . . .people right of there had to come over a complex of 5 pot bunkers . . . and with the pin set over on the right side of the green . . .great hole. One of my companions took the time to tell me that the hole played a club longer than it looked. I believed him, but part of me didnt. . . I was amazed when I looked back from the green how far up hill it was . . . but I did hit an extra club, a very thin 8iron that wound up pin high, down hill from the pin, perfekt. you can see at the far right of the picture.missed that birdie. didn't even reach the hole.

That hole #12 is the first of something they call Amen Corner, three holes around an old quarry, still under re-hab . . . it's awesome now, will be double-awesome when they make it look less unfinished.
#13 par 5 is a trial because you have to hit less than driver for the first shot because of the hazard on the right and huge bunkers on the left. . . I pulled my 3wood left into the bunker . . . now I always say that fairway bunkers don't bother me, bein' a son of west texas, but the pov from this bunker was terrible, hazard on the right, fairway sloping down to the hazard, and ob all along the right side . . .to reach the green you need to gain SOME meterage, even out of the trap. . . I even backed down to 6iron instead of 5, but it still caught the long grass on the edge of the grap, so maybe only 100m , but it tip-toed around the corner bouncing hard away from the water, so ok! Then another pathetic 7iron approach that sliced down to the bottom of the green, I mean like 40m from the pin, and a very steep slope, maybe 2m top to bottom ? I hit another 5iron bump-&-run -- I had such good luck with that at Slapy that I tho't it must be a natural for me, but every single one today was long, long, long. so no par.
#14 par 4 is the one that all my partners were grumbling about . . .very tough hole. . . you have to be very brave and very long to cut any of the corner off. Most of us just tried to get down the left side somewhere with less than a driver, but then that left me 150m, which today is a no-goer. . . I foozled up near the green, with a bunker between me and the pin, with a steep slope -- the only hope was to pop it up with some back spin and land it in a square meter above the hole and trickle down. . . so I bladed it over the green into the hazard. Sigh.
#15 par 4, just too worked up over my failures to hit a good drive . . actually found it, in semi good shape -- in a cuppy lie of patchy rough on a steep side hill lie next to the water, but I should have tho't I could hit a 9iron out of that anyway . . . nope. total foozle. Dropped a new ball and hit that one to the middle of the green. too little too late.

#16 par 3, 160m to a very difficult skinny green.. . .I pulled a half 7wood left of the green, which gave me another try at a 5iron chip, which didn't turn out tooo bad, pin high above the cup, but I missed the par putt, and the bogey putt.

#17 par 4 is an intimidating look... one hardly knows how much to cut off. My partners recommended a fairway wood over a particular hazard marker so that's what I did; plenty of stick, sliced tho', wound up in the fringe that large fairway bunker . . .no problem, except that it was still 130m, with an ugly looking bunker gaurding the right side of the green where the pin was . . . so I aimed left . . . but then the green . . . OMG . . . it's like 47m wide and 21m deep, with 6 different putting areas. . . the front left where I was is scalloped out to be the lowest part, there's a tier above that that seems sort of flatish, then a middle tier that's higher than that and relatively flat, then the right side is on a lower tier sloping away, like a false edge . . .that's like a 1m dropoff. I made an outstanding putt, so I was only 10-12 ft past the pin. No Par.

#18 is a flat par 3, with a heinous valley-of-sin-like swale short left of the pin and bunkers all around the rest. It's a big green so if you have that high 160m shot, no big problem. . . I do not. mid irons had totally abandoned me this day, and this was no exception. More practice for my 5iron chip.

I would say that 4,6,10,15 were good holes, and 3,7,8,12,13,14,17 were great holes. . . the layout's is a little odd, finishing 3-4-3, but never mind that . . . 

I didn't like how similar the par3s were in distance, tho' they all have unique characteristics. #16 irritated me with how skinny-&-wide the green looked from the tee.

The par 5s were all very interesting and diverse.
Maybe one short par 4 would have been nice.

Some of these holes I've marked as great border on unfair, especially the greens. . . it's one thing to say that you need to place your approach on the right side of the pin to putt well, but when the whole hole militates against it with hazards, dog-legs, and deep bunkers, whew.

Still, no doubt it's a top-grade course, even tho' it's flatter than liberec or karlstejn, e.g. A 2 on the scottsdale scale, with expectations that it will mature and be tweaked in the future . . . the so-called Amen Corner there at Zbraslav would never get old . . . you can get in trouble so many different ways . . . 8^D