Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ghetto Golf, vol. 7: Silver Lake GC, Staten Island

Bye, home. See you in a few.
I've been in New York City for over a decade; I've been a NYC golfer since 2005. Yet in all that time, like a lot of Manhattanites, I've never set foot on the island known as Staten; never had a reason to. (After a while this becomes a weird, snobbish point of pride--never been there, never will!) Despite what the NYC transit map inaccurately depicts, it's not that close to Manhattan, and then there's that forbidding $13 toll charge if you want to cross the Verrazano Bridge by car.

But last week after the Brooklyn Open had finished, I was waiting at the bus stop in front of Marine Park when a tournament volunteer saw my clubs and struck up a conversation. He asked if I had ever played in Staten Island, and sang the praises of one of the courses there, Silver Lake. What's more, he claimed, getting there by ferry from either Brooklyn or Manhattan was quick and easy, even more so than the trip to Marine Park which, let's face it, is closer to the Atlantic Ocean than to actual New York City proper. Even for a lot of Brooklynites on the opposite edge of town, the trip to MPGC is forbiddingly long.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Legitimategolf talks to... Ric Parnell

The classic Tap lineup, from left: Nigel Tufnel, Derek Smalls, David St. Hubbins, Mick Shrimpton (aka Ric Parnell), Viv Savage
One of the few things I dig more than this dumb sport is classic rock and roll music, and like most fans of the rock I love the 1981 motion picture This Is Spinal Tap. It's one of my all-time favorites.

A few weeks ago I caught an airing on the BBC America channel and enjoyed it thoroughly as always. Watching it this time around I noticed the great work of the two supporting band members--Viv Savage (keyboards) and Mick Shrimpton (drums), and how much they add to the gritty authenticity of the whole Spinal Tap milieu. That's the great thing about this movie--is it a joke, or is it real? Maybe it's both, or maybe it's neither.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brooklyn Open Recap

I got to the course about an hour before tee time. It was still kind of cold out, but the makings of a really nice, clear blue sky fall day. There were a few guys on the range, and the practice greens were packed. A news crew was on hand to cover the opening of the tournament.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Brooklyn Open: results

Brooklyn borough prez Marty Markowitz about to award the trophy. Spoiler: it wasn't to me.

Well, the inaugural Brooklyn Open is now in the books.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Brooklyn Open: Final Update

Hole locations have been released. None seem out of the ordinary. I'm not going to pay too much attention to the precise spots anyways, since I'll be looking at the middles of greens for the most part. I've been using Marine Park's GPS app the last couple times out, and I'll probably do the same tomorrow, thanks to a local tournament rule that permits the use of phones for rangefinding.

I considered real-time reporting my scores on the internet for anyone interested in following along but a) that would technically violate the "no communication by phone" rule and 2) it's another distraction I could do without. One app open is enough. Besides, in a tournament don't I have to keep everyone else's score too? Like Daniel Larusso, I'm just going to have to learn a bunch of this tournament stuff on the fly.

Golf bag is just about ready to go, as per normal. I'll probably pack a few more Pro-V1s than usual. Also part of my strategy for the day is to pack a lot of food (trail mix, jerkies, pb&j) and always be eating in order to maintain high energy levels. I think I have a fast metabolism, especially when I have to think hard, so I think this is key.

There will be a weird game time decision for me as I've found out that riding carts are included, though walking is still permitted. Most likely, I will walk and carry, as I always do on this course. Also in this circumstance I would expect sharing a cart with a stranger to be a huge distraction. Walking this full course is kind of a toil but I think I'll be fit enough to handle it.

I will probably post later that afternoon with the results and what not. Thanks to everyone for the advice and support and everything. Until then in the words of AC/DC... to those about to tee off, we salute you.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Brooklyn Open: Practice Round, more previews, tee times etc.

Played my very first official tournament practice round for the Brooklyn Open. "Official" because as a registered participant, I got a discount on the green fee. Other than that it was a usual day on the course--the other three guys I was grouped with had no idea about any upcoming tournament.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Brooklyn Open Updates

Some more details about next Monday's inaugural Brooklyn Open are emerging.

The field is set and here's the number of players in each division.

Professional Division: 23 players
Division 1 (0.0-8.9): 36 players
Division 2 (9.0-13.9): 21 players
Division 3 (14.0-18.9): 13 players
Division 4 (19+): 7 players

I'll be in Div 2, though I'm a bit sad now to see that I missed out on the division with the most action. Battling against 20 other guys, that's still a lot though. A little surprised at how few high handicappers turned up; then again, this is a pretty tough golf course.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Swing Thoughts: one week to go

En route to Randall's Island, where I served detention this weekend.
The entry deadline has passed, the field looks to be set and there's just one week to go until the first-ever Brooklyn Open. I just now read over some of the official tournament documentation and frankly I'm feeling a little freaked out right now.

The first tee time is supposedly at 7:30am.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Creep of the Week

Last Sunday, the final round of a new LPGA-sanctioned tournament took place somewhere in deep China. It's notable because it featured: the hometown favorite overcoming a one-shot deficit by making eagle on the 72nd hole to win outright; a mishit shot that got not one but two stunningly good bounces to wind up a few feet from the hole; an epic display of grousing and sore losing by the runner-up, and the subsequent obliteration of her twitter account.

(Not the most timely post admittedly; then again this event was so far away, and so severely tape-delayed, this all could've happened last month for all you care.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Swing Thoughts: The Overswing

Blustery day on the Hudson River; you can see some whitecaps in the distance.
Ok, so I've been ramping up the practice in prep for the upcoming Brooklyn Open. I went to Chelsea Piers for a short session. Really short--as in not even thirty balls. (There's lots of reasons to hate this place, but one really nice thing about its self-serve ball dispenser system is that you can buy exactly as many balls as you want.)

Like millions of people I struggle with the overswing. It's something I have been working at for almost as long as I have been playing.

Within the psyche of most amateur golfers there is an eternal struggle, between the rational mind which knows that a short, controlled swing produces the optimal combination of precision and force, and the reptilian mind which wants nothing else than to lurch back and deliver a unmerciful, pulverizing death blow to its prey.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Indian Summer + the Anti-Creeps of the Week

Verrazano Bridge overlooking #13 and #14 fairways.
It's hot over here this week. I snuck out for some late afternoon golf and it felt like summer all over again.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ghetto Golf vol. 6: Rockaway Beach, Queens

"It's not far, not hard to reach/We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach"
-The Ramones, "Rockaway Beach"
It's been often said (by me) that New York City is an absolute wasteland for golfers. That's true in a relative sense--compared with most other major metropoles, golf here is too expensive, too crowded and too often characterized by general anarchy. Which is especially disheartening in a city that's constantly claiming to be the greatest.

But it wouldn't be quite fair of me to call it total desolation. The truth is there's a surprising number of golf-purposed facilities in the area, even beyond the known courses.