Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Golf lobby urges Rubio to drop the Obama golfing jokes

September 18, 2012

Golf lobby urges Rubio to drop the Obama golfing jokes

Golfers apparently have it so hard these days that a pro-golf lobby group called “WeAreGolf” is urging Senator Marco Rubio to refrain from discussing President Obama’s “passion for golf” in the future.

“As we enter the final stretch of campaign season,” the group writes, “we write to make a request we hope you will receive in the same spirit in which it is offered. Please reconsider your political strategy of criticizing President Obama’s passion for golf.” (Emphasis theirs.)

The concerns apparently stem from Rubio’s speech during the GOP convention in Tampa last month.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Golf Park Slapy, Czech Republic

Golf Park Slapy
Par 72, 5436m (yellow tees), Slope ~125, by George Velden  

First Nine Rabynsk√° Mountain, PAR 36, unique layout 3 +3 +3 (3x3PAR, 3x4PAR and 3x5PAR), length 2691 m of yellow stones

Second Nine Three Crosses, PAR 36, 2 +5 +2 layout (2x3PAR, 5x4PAR, 2x5PAR), length 2745 m, standardization in spring 2011

They say:
"The idea to realize a project Tides Golf Park St. Jan came about in 2004. Its author is Tom Noah, under whose leadership was established course, which is an example of respect for the land and its natural beauty.

Implementation was not easy. In collaboration with a specialist in the field of nature protection RNDr. Stephen nail that made ??nearly four years of preparation, intensive study and discussion than was possible to proceed to the creative process itself in the landscape.

Designing courses took a Czech architect George Velden, from whose pen came several interesting and acclaimed golf projects. Terrain modeling implemented experienced shaper Milan Istok. Greenkeeper Vojta and Fuchs. During 2009 the world's first nine holes with magnificent views of the dam Slapy called Rabynsk√° mountain. The course was standardized in the spring of 2010 and opened July 9, 2010. That same year she also simultaneously develop other nine Three Crosses, which bears the name after the nearby historically unique place that identifies the alleged original geographic center of the Kingdom of Bohemia, and just three sandstone cross. Its standardized and the opening is planned for late spring and summer 2011."

my handicap index was 13, 1 stroke less than my handicap, mainly due to the short length of many holes, I think . . . I'm not sure the slope would have captured the change in elevations successfully, vis a vis difficulty, tho' . . . not as hard as Karlstejn, for sure, and maybe actually a little tricked up in ways that are confusing to the first timer, but are actually no impediment to an experienced player. I had several strategic errors due to unfamiliarity.

uphill par 5 #1 is something . . . I love par5 starting holes, but the uphill mitigates the advantage of that, especially when you flare you drive into the next fairway, then foozle twice into traps. double bogey start.

There's artwork all over the course 

Short Par 3 #2 is a welcome breather after the uphill climb on #1. Easy Par. After both my companions went long I feathered a half-9iron in short...Almost made the long birdie, burnt the edge.

Shortish Par 4 #3 is downhill to the green with water on the left & behind. Pulled my drive left into the first cut rough. Confidently hit a full PW to the back of the green. Made the birdie. Started to feel confident.

Fully aware of PBFU on the next 165m par 3 #4. Hit an ugly kinda slice after aiming well left. wound up pin high right. chunked the first chip. bogey.

I was ready for another par5 on #5. Good drive. Good 5iron. Good wedge to the back of the green again. Misread the putt despite all the dew-lines clewing me in...par.
#6 is a mansized par4, uphill to a very difficult green. Course is so wide open I fanned my drive again, overswinging. . . psychological problem for me, even after 5 years in arizona, I forget . . . lumped up with a 5 iron and pitched onto the bottom of the green. Grateful for the 3 putt. I don't think the picture quite captures how small that top tier is and how steep the slope is. Monster.
#7 is one of those holes that a first timer might struggle with as I did. One of my playing partners absolutely hammered his drive left of the green, just over the road. . . so I tho't I could too. I wound up in the bunker short of the trash there on the left . . . terrible mishit . . . chipped out around the hedges, wedged onto the green and 3putted for a doublebogey. Maybe that wasn't bad strategy, but my driver was erratic all weekend, and I should've known. Playing strategically would make this a much easier hole (having a little local knowledge would help), even having to avoid those fairway bunkers. good hole.
#8 is a middling par 3 of no particular interest. One of my playing partners greenied close enough to measure for closest to the pin -- we were the first group, so he didn't win . . . 8^( . 8^)...
Short Par 4 #9 drew adverse comments because of the awkward tee shot. . . somehow it didn't bother me at all. Hit my best drive of the day, fading to the center of the fairway, 20m short of the green. I hit a west texas 5iron scuttlechip that drew admiration from my companions for its scottishness, then made the birdie. I don't know how long its been since I had two birdies on a 9 . . . ages. . . it's so weird how sometimes golf is so easy. Hammer a tailored drive, chip up with sang froid, nail the putt in the heart of the hole.

#10 is another short par4, with the psychobstacle of the trees crowding the fairway. A proper tee shot would be higher than those trees anyway, but my heel-line-drive shot the gap anyway . . wound up with an awkward lie on an earth-ripple crossing the fairway. . . I handled that ok, but fanned my 8iron off the right side of the green into the tall grass. Bogey.
#11 is another tricked-up short par4. My companions both hit irons to lay back from the mound that crimps the fairway about 200m out . . . I tho't sure I could just hit the same shot I hit on #9, but hit a weak flare right behind that tree on the mound. Had enough room to get a wedge up-and-over, but misjudged the distance and bunkered in front of the green. Got out of that in good shape, just missed the par putt. bogey.

#12 is a tricked up par5 with a 90 degree dogleg right. If you haven't been there before, that fairway looks really thin, tho' its really quite wide, and it's easy to cut the corner and go for the green in two . . . I was too chicken because of my erratic driver, and even pulled my shot left away from the heavily bunkered corner, almost into the tall grass. So hit the easiest shot in golf, the 5iron second shot on a par5, leaving a half wedge, but the wedge caught a little heavy in the light rough and came up short. Pitched way long to the elevated green from the hollow I was in. bogey. 

#13 is a short very uphill par 3. Not as much uphill as other par3s I've played in AZ & TX, so no beef from me, but I heard other complaints. Bogey when I missed the green pin high on the right and chunked the chip, again.

#14 is a midlength downhill par 4, dogleg left. There was a marshal providing counsel of a sort there for some reason. I pulled my drive left of my aim with a draw, as did one of my companions. He told us both to hit provisionals. But we got down there and found our first balls in great shape, just short of the green. I guess the marshall never seen long hitters like us ... 8^D ... pitched up just like I wanted, a little long, into the back fringe, and missed the birdie. After thinking I had a lost ball in the first place, perfektly happy with par.

#15 goes right back up the hill we just came down, about the same length. Trying to smooth out my swing, I sliced off into the weeds on the right, way downhill from the green, where if you go left over the bunkers, you're almost on the same level as the green. So I call that good architecture, but there were complaints from other duffers. . . Easily found my ball and got a good club on it, up onto the green, 30ft away. But the pin was on the edge of a trough, a very unfair position... not level at all. That's what I would say about some of these greens . . . they roll true, great shape, have that contortured look I like, but then you have to place the pins fairly. . . even from a couple of feet away, practically unmakeable. bogey.after a good lag putt.

#16 par 3 -- don't remember a thing.

#17 is a straightforward par5, not too long, but for some reason, tired legs, or mis-alignment due to unfamiliarity, I pulled two attempts into the woods on the left . . .just in and OB. x-out. Those highwires kinda make a mental obstruction, too... you should go right, at that right bunker, not anywhere near left. Then just avoid the island mound, and wedge onto the green.

#18 caused a lot of comment amongst the tourney players. . . Course is hilly enough that players are a little out-of-gas, and this is an intimidating hole. . . it's not really so bad, once you see it from the green, but for the first timer, "tricked up" is the kindest thing you can say. I was so freaked out by my erratic driving, I just put a defensive swing on to muscle the ball into the fairway, anywhere. Good enough. But then I watched my companions' balls bounce circus-like off the hard, narrow, peanut-shaped green, up onto the hill above... that's a HARD green in the all the meanings of the word. I pulled my 8iron (for pw-length, uphill) left of the green also up on the hill, into some really tall grass. Impossible lie. then the green could hardly hold the balls it sloped so steeply back down the hill. triple bogey.

So, I enjoyed the course, and admired its architectural eccentricities . . . the greens were very hard, and gave amazing high bounces on approaches sometimes, but the ball rolled true on them. The layout is a little strange and extreme, but the shortness of the holes mitigates that -- the white tees would be a gruesome test, sometimes 75 - 100 meters longer than yellow . . . with any wind . . . OMG.

I thought #s 1,3,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,17,18 were all interesting & entertaining holes . . . I don't mind if the architect puts in some breathers there once and a while, but those others were almost too plain or too short. If someone says that the back 9 is too tricked up, I know what they mean, but that opinion might change with more familiarity. The greens at #s 6,14,15,18 get special mention for contorturedness -- possible unfairness.

The course is quirky and has some growing-in to complete, so I'd have to give it a 3 on the scottsdale scale... the condition was very,very good, tees, fairways & greens, but I don't know if it could ever improve to a 2 . . . maybe if I made 3 birdies . . . 8^P

Golf Club Slapy, Czech Republic, Miscellany

The EXCELLENT Slapy Burger . . . 8^) . . .
The cute kittens outside the clubhouse.
A rather poor photo of the rather amazing vista from the clubhouse.
The putting green.
A very foggy/misty morning to a perfect, clement day.
Very nice restaurant.
Very adequate (not tooo large) omelet.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Teed-off Nevada man shoots golfer who broke his window: police

RENO, Nevada | Fri Sep 7, 2012 9:21pm EDT

(Reuters) - An angry homeowner apparently had better aim than a Nevada golfer whose errant ball broke the window of a home that overlooks the course.

Jeff Fleming, 53, of Reno is accused of opening fire with a shotgun on a golfing twosome, hitting one man who was treated at a hospital and released, police said on Friday.

Fleming was taken into custody at a local attorney's office where he fled following the shooting, Reno police said in a statement.

Fleming was booked into the Washoe County jail on suspicion of battery and assault with a deadly weapon late on Thursday and later released on bail.

Police say he opened fire at the 16th hole of Reno's Lakeridge Golf Course after one of the golfers shattered a window of his house with a ball. Fleming, whose home overlooks the course, had a verbal argument with the golfers before the shooting, police said.

Authorities shut down and evacuated the course after the shooting. Witness accounts led officers to Fleming's residence, which they surrounded before he surrendered at the attorney's office.

A telephone message left for the general manager of the public golf course was not immediately returned on Friday.

Friday, September 14, 2012