Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back At 2014, part I

Well, I've put off this post and now, it cannot be put off any longer. It's time to look back at the year that barely was, a.k.a. 2014.

Friday, December 26, 2014


Back from California. It was nice coming back to a mild New York winter. After a couple nights of rest I was back on Eastern Standard Time and so ready to get back out into the wild uninhabited world of winter golf. I hit it, pretty hard, taking advantage of the convergence of some holiday downtime and not-entirely-terrible weather. It was all kind of a blur of push draws and three-putts. I've been enjoying it as much as ever, but it's just been happening at such a fast rate that I'm having a hard time keeping up with it all, emotionally. So here's a bunch of photos and impressions from the last three rounds, all played with the same ball, an optic yellow Titleist I found up in Yonkers.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Roadrange: Saddleback Golf Driving Range, Mission Viejo CA

I got pretty ticked off about the driving ranges all being closed on account of some morning rain. I didn't want to leave California without settling that score.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Roadgolf: Tustin Ranch GC, Tustin CA

Greetings from Southern California. I had no specific plan to play golf while I was out here, but I was invited by my sister's husband to play a round at his club, the Tustin Ranch GC. I tend to feel out of my comfort zone at places like this but I just kind of rolled with the tide and accepted, for better or worse. Anyways it's a very gracious offer, so why the hell not.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Roadrange: South Orange County Edition

I am ripshit annoyed at the moment. If you have a profanity filter on your browser, might as well switch it on. First a little setup. Early this morning a light, steady rain began to fall here in south Orange County; it continued until just past noon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Roadgolf: Dunwoodie GC, Yonkers, NY

The weekender strikes again. This time with Ms. Legitimategolf, who hasn't been out in a while, and also has spanking new TM driver and fairway wood--gifts from a recent birthday--that need to be put into play for the first time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

More notes from the Weekend

Seasons change. People change. I'm a weekender now. Now that cold weather has arrived, the pecking order has shifted, the weekend has become safe again and I am venturing out to the course these days with impunity.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Roadrange: Edgewater Golf Range, Edgewater NJ

Located across the Hudson River on the New Jersey side, the Edgewater Golf Range is a place I've passed by quite a few times over the years. The sign isn't much, in fact you cannot even see it from the street.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Weekend Runaround

A flurry of activity lately. Weather's been hitting the sweet spot lately--around 40º with windchills. That's about the line that separates the hobbyists and the truly afflicted. This is what I've waited all year for, right? Time to get out there and get it, by train, bus or boat.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Eat this on the golf course, not that

The venerable Golf Digest is running an article entitled "17 Super Foods That Make Easy On-Course Snacks". Many words in that title appeal to my interests, so I naturally checked it out.

I know it's hard times for the print media business, but still I was not prepared for what I read in this "list". Things like #3: "garlic edamame". Okay so boiled soybean pods might be nutritious and wholesome, but eating them tends to produce a lot of scraps, which tends to make them a not-so-great food for the course. Not sure I like where this list is going.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Here in the civilized world, the darkness of winter doesn't just creep up on you. No, in this age of "Daylight Slaving" and other so-called modern advances, winter creeps up for maybe the first couple weeks of October and then BAM! It leaps up suddenly, unsheathes razor claws and mauls you from behind.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More Fall Splendor, etc.

I had last set foot on Dyker Beach Golf Course in mid-September. After a turgid 34 holes in the span of three days, I decided "no mas" of this place until the cold season started: "Spending ten hours here over the course of two rounds reminded me of why I hadn't been here in a while, and why I won't be back until the temperature dips below 40º."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Saturday Night Live

Live from Shanghai!

When I was growing up, most jokes about China involved pulling the skin around your eyes back to mimic slanty eyes.

Times have changed a lot since then and in 2014 when people joke about the Chinese it usually has to do with them being the fiscal overlords, of us. The tables have turned. Who is now the butt of the jokes? It's us.

However unfortunate that may be, the outlook is still good for American golf fans in this new global balance of power, if it'll mean more late-night live action on TV. Last Saturday night with bedtime approaching I sat down on the couch to wind down before bed. Surfing channels, I happened upon the live broadcast of the final round of the WGC HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, China, which (thanks to some heavy palm-greasing no doubt) is now an actual, official PGA TOUR event. Bonus!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Splendor of Fall, etc

IF we are going to go by the strict dictionary definition of "golfer", then I ain't much of one lately. Semantically speaking it'd probably be apter to label me driving-range enthusiast.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Week in Legitimategolf

Sorry. I'm not sure what to say these days. I have been plenty obsessed with the game of golf lately but evidently it's kind of hard to describe what's happening; the words aren't really forthcoming. Plus, who the hell wants to brag to the World Wide Web about improvements in their game only to fall face forward shortly thereafter? But take heart, friends. I really hope I don't regret saying this, but I am onto some serious, next level shit, I think. And perhaps such an experience is hard to capture in lousy words.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Roadrange: Spring Rock Golf Center, New Hyde Park, Long Island

After a week of no-golf, I was starting to get a little itchy. My parents had spent a few days visiting the city, and when it was time to drive them to the airport I thought I might as well find a place to pound some balls while we're out in Queens.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Swingthoughts: face the truth, part I

Lately I have been coming to terms with an ugly truth about myself, and my face. It's closed.

It all started a couple months back. I began to notice that I could not seem to hit a ball from an open stance. For the life of me, just couldn't do it. A closed stance was the only position from which I could feel like anything resembling a golf swing was physically possible. What's worse, over time the stance seemed to want to close more and more, even with the shortest of irons.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The week in Legitimategolf, early fall edition

Frankly I did not really feel like playing this week. No, check that. I didn't much feel like getting on the train or the bus and communing with New Yorkers, and then being on the course and getting all huffy over slow play and what not. However, there is a blog to maintain. So I did it, pushed myself out the door, just for you.

Monday, September 29, 2014

"2 Teams, 1 Cup" 2014 Edition

I have no interest whatsoever in any of the pre-Ryder Cup hype or the weeks-long buildup, but when the event actually begins I can't help but to watch with some interest.

It's hard for me to attach any kind of patriotic zeal to sporting events--I tend to watch with the disinterest of an extraterrestrial, coldly observing human behavior. Let's face it, the guys on the US team have more in common with the guys on the Europe team than they do with you, or me. But still, US vs. Europe is an interesting golf rivalry in that a clear pattern has emerged lately, in which the tormentor has become the tormented. Comeuppance, in a sporting context, is all in good fun.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Roadgolf: The Architects GC, Phillipsburg NJ

For the past couple of years I've been celebrating birthdays by burning rubber out of the city and playing a round of civilized golf with Ms. L, on a course that's a little more upscale than I'm comfortable with. Last year was New Jersey's Crystal Springs resort; the year before that, Jack Nicklaus' Mansion Ridge in the Hudson Valley. For someone who's never really been too interested in birthday celebrations, this is shaping up to be a real treat and something I actually look forward to.

This year I picked out the somewhat pompously-named Architects club, located on the westernmost edge of New Jersey, right up against the Pennsylvania state line. (To completely escape the reek of the city, you have to drive for at least an hour.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Legitimategolf Reality Tour, volume 1

Mr. F was understandably hesitant to have his actual identity associated with this blog, but there's his hat sitting in the rough.

Over the weekend I had a visitor. One of our brave readers from south of the Mason-Dixon came up to the city for a bit of adventure, personal edification, some light tourism, and to experience first-hand a slice of ghetto golf life.

Due to circumstances we ended up playing Dyker Beach twice in three days. Not the best itinerary, but perhaps good for my Southern friend in that this would at least offer him a deeper, rawer, more immersive experience. This is after all the ground-zero of ghetto golf in the Americas, in my opinion.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Inching towards summer's end

I am now in full longing for cooler weather and all the goodness it brings to golf courses everywhere. I now daydream about beanie hats and long sleeves; about saying "F off" to the sunscreen, bermuda shorts, all the thrice-a-year golfers that gum up the works during peak season.

Still, we are talking about clinical addiction here. As much I'd like to blow the whole thing off until around October, needs must be met. So it's back to Silver Lake.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Penalized in the Poconos

The Pocono Mountains are located in northeast Pennsylvania, about an hour and a half from New York City.

Around here the name Poconos is generally synonymous with alpine fun and good times, located within a sensible distance of the big cities. As a non-native New Yorker I had always assumed that it was a place to be. A destination if you will.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stuck in the mud

The happy roadtrip times are over. I am back in the city to ride out the dog days of summer. The weather has been unsettlingly cool this year, yet the deep summer blahs are still in full effect. At this point I feel like I'm only playing to fill a need, to avoid the withdrawals. To get back to zero.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Street Scenes: decline of golf, hits Manhattan

Came across a rather dismal tidbit on the internet yesterday. EV Grieve is a neighborhood blog that covers the goings on in (and let's face it, the cultural demise of) the East Village area of Manhattan, which is where I've lived for most of my time in New York. It is still my neighborhood though in a sense, because while I moved out three years ago, it was only to the next neighborhood over. I'm only a par 4 length away, and when it's time to eat out I usually end up back in the old 'hood.

Besides news the blog covers all sorts of ephemera, some of which involves semi-interesting garbage left out on the sidewalk. This one hit close to home, especially since I'm a stand bag user myself. (Apologies for the graphic filth in the photos.)

Street trends: Empty golf bags

We spotted these two empty (and unattended) golf bags yesterday morning outside the new Cooper Union building… they weren't for the taking though… 

Frankly I'm not sure what to make of this. It's a little disconcerting that all three of those bags seemed to be in decent condition, fairly modern, and name brand items. Especially the Ping. Everyone knows that the best stand bag in the business is a Ping stand bag. Even an Ogio is not half bad. I've used one myself.

Plus this all happened within a day or two. One doesn't just throw out a good Ping stand bag, unless something really bad has gone down. Or one has just stopped caring completely.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Roadgolf: Hanover CC, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (Doggie on board)

I never expected to wind up here in New Hampshire, never mind on the campus of an Ivy League college. But we're staying in the ultra-quaint town of Woodstock, Vermont, and the only golf course there--the RTJ Sr.-designed Woodstock CC--happens to be hosting a gigantic tournament today. Very disappointing, but at least the lady on the phone was extremely apologetic about it--that softened the blow a bit.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Roadgolf: Catamount Golf Club, Williston, Vermont

After a full day of wandering around Burlington, then hiking around a place called Niquette Bay State Park, there was still a bite of daylight left. So we found a quiet little semi-private 9-holer in tiny nearby Williston. This was the view that greeted us as soon as we got out of the car, but that didn't keep me from interrogating the lonely pro shop guy about whether "it was busy out there", hopeless gutter-rat that I am. I felt so out of place as soon as that came out of my mouth. Here we are well into the super-twilight hour, certainly don't see much of anyone out there and yet, I cannot stop myself from stressing about a crowded course. In a remote town with population under 8,000. In the 2nd least-populated state in the goddamn union. The only crowds here are the ones in my cluttered mind. Sad. I wonder if there is any hope for the likes of me.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Roadgolf: Ferrisburgh Driving Range, Ferrisburgh, Vermont (Moving to the country, gonna hit me a lot of range balls)

Greetings from the road again. This time the path has taken the Legitimategolf crew to the Green Mountain State. It's our first time here, and this really is a magical place exploding with maple-covered hills and verdant pastures the likes of which these city-eyes have never seen. No wonder Vermont is forever associated with cows and dairy--this is a goddamn wonderland of grazing.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sucking in the 80s

I found a rare tee time deal at DBGC, and then actually looked forward to seeing the old haunt again. Maybe I could rediscover some old positive vibes, maybe even some of my vintage scoring.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ghettogolf Radio: "Feel the Pain"

Let's flashback to a simpler time--when music still had heart and soul, and the music video was still considered a legitimate form of entertainment--The Nineties! This alternative rock semi-hit by indie guitar rock heros Dinosaur Jr. popped up on my internet radio recently and hearing it I thought: "Wasn't there also a wacky golf-themed video?"

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hanging out in the local scene

It had to happen. I've been playing at Silver Lake with some regularity now, and sooner or later I was bound to start mixing in with the locals. When I first discovered this course it was late fall, and I played largely on my own, zipping in and out in a matter of a couple of hours, almost wholly unnoticed for the most part. But now it's peak season and there's a lot of people out there and it has become more apparent that this is a locals-heavy place. You certainly don't see many high falutin' Manhattan folk like myself on this island, so it's probably best that I make an effort to blend in without rocking the proverbial boat.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bow down to the crown

Team Spain, the reigning queens of matchplay [photo by Keith Allison, flickr]

The LPGA debuted a new event over the weekend, the International Crown. For those who missed it, this was a team tournament with the US, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Sweden, Spain and Australia each fielding a team of their four highest-ranked players.

I wasn't particularly interested prior to the event, but it dammit if this didn't out to be some compelling TV golf. The big "2 Teams, 1 Cup" matches might be great in theory but in 2014 they might be a little too exclusionary, too 20th century, too old-world and bloodless to really fan any of the flames of rivalry, xenophobia, ugly pride and deep grudge-bearing that make inter-national team competitions in any sport so appealing.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Rough going out there today. The summer temperatures have been moderate lately, but swamp-ass humidity persists. Gad, do I hate summer golf in the city. DBGC is looking as rough as I've ever seen it. The greens are pretty much hybrids of grass and sand at this point.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Flashback: '14 Brooklyn Open Highlights

Well as far as I was concerned, the whole thing had been consigned to history. But no, not quite yet. Not for me at least. You see, some ne'er do well with a camera thought it would be fun or funny to put together a highlight reel of that whole sweaty day.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


The tee-time deals have cooled off a bit now that the weather's gone all hot and nasty, but I'm still surprised at what we're getting away with over here. The cost-of-everything is going up all the time isn't it? But I'm glad to report that my golf expenses lately are down to circa-2006 levels. I pushed my way through some massive tourist-herds on the ferry and made it across the water to Silver Lake.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ghettogolf: Cup Fever

Okay, so normally I try to avoid weekend golf in the city. But this afternoon somehow boded well. I just had a feeling. A conjunction of some iffy weather and the big soccer final maybe. I called up the Dyker pro shop to make sure I could walk on as a single. He said I could. I asked if it was busy and he said it wasn't. I strained to hear any deception in his voice and decided it was worth a try.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Now that my big summer tournament has come and gone, I am a little bit aimless. Although I'm a little relieved now that I can resume my summer "off-season"--you know, take a break from all the sweat and sunscreen and slow-ass foursomes and what not.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

'14 Brooklyn Open Recap

Ms. L drove me to the course and hung around while I warmed up, taking in the scene. On the range we overheard a couple of nervous-sounding guys trying to pep talk each other, and even she had to scoff at their foggy platitudes about "staying in the moment" and "don't project".

I warmed up for about a half hour longer than I'd planned to. Like a typical busy day at an NYC muni, tee-times were hopelessly late.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The '14 Brooklyn Open is in the books

The home hole.

I shot an 86 (+14), good for T2. I took home solo second place money though--they used back nine score as a tiebreaker and I shot an incendiary 42 (+5). Minus the entry fee, that's a profit--five bucks! I can dig it.

But phew. I am really beat. It hurts to think about golf right now. Check back for a followup post tomorrow, or something. By the way, thanks for all the support!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

'14 Brooklyn Open Preview, part 1

We are within a few days of the big tourney and I am pretty excited for it. Like rip roaring, let me at em, chest punching, forehead vein popping, gratuitous foul language spewing, ready to tee off right this goddamn instant excited. So naturally I was pumped to get in this one last practice round.

Monday, June 30, 2014

P&P: Robert Moses GC, Babylon, Long Island

Time to take a break from all the hand wringing and tournament prepping and experience some golf in the way it was probably originally meant to be enjoyed--by the seaside and with some good company.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer on Staten Island

It's been over a month since I've been on Staten Island. A nice tee time deal and some threats of bad weather made for an obvious choice for a quick round. I'm still new to this place so it'll be my first time playing here in summer conditions.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Couple things to talk about. First, I am now officially psyched about this upcoming Brooklyn Open golf tournament at Marine Park Golf Course on July 7th--sorry that sounded kind of like a terrible radio ad. But it's all true! I went to the course to play a round, practice some of the little things and to get a general idea of where I'm at and what parts of the game it would behoof me to key in on in these next couple weeks.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Week in Legitimategolf

Now that my swing is starting to feel more like an actual swinging motion and less like a complicated sequence of highly mechanized body movements, it's time to get back out on the course and re-learn how to get the ball in the hole.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ball of Confusion (That's What the Golf World is Today)

In this episode of "OEM Talk" we are going to take a look at two golf ball brands and the seemingly opposing strategies used to market each to the public.

Friday, May 30, 2014

P&P: Cedar Beach GC, Babylon, Long Island

Along the south shore of Long Island exist three (that I know of so far) state-owned and operated seaside pitch and putt courses. Over the holiday weekend we headed to one of our old favorites, the beach at Robert Moses State Park, about an hour outside of the city.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dark Thoughts, spring edition

It's time to talk about what the hell is going on here. If you read this site on the regular you might be wondering where all the usual misadventures in city golf have gone, the tales of encounters with detestable strangers, of awkward confrontations and offended sensibilities, the lurid photography revealing some of the saddest places and conditions found anywhere in the golf universe, only to be replaced by meandering swing contemplations and dim snapshots of range balls and decrepit astroturf.