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.

The front nine started with a string of pars and a bounce-back birdie to put me at even par through six, somewhat uncomfortable territory for a teen handicapper.

This seventh green is pretty exceptional for a muni, extreme tabletop, false front, false rear, blind from the fairway and only about seventeen yards deep. Almost always I get good and pissed off here because I failed to find the green. Even with a lob wedge it is tough to hold this goddamn thing. Today was no exception. Really a tough nut to crack.

This greenskeeper guy came up and joked about a giant squirrel running off with my ball. He then remarked that if he was a squirrel, that's what he would do. This really happened.

The beverage girl, bless her, drove by at least ten times, her rickety piece of crap cart rattling up and down the decayed paths.

I'm no expert on slope and course ratings. Actually I couldn't even really tell you how they work. But I could swear that Silver Lake's 116 number seems low. Because it's not easy, dammit. Every hole is narrow and there's lots of places to lose balls. Some of the greens are funky. Lots of elevation changes, mostly uphill. Like Dyker Beach, it's a medium-short total yardage with a lot of the distance in the par 3s--those four holes average 194 yards.

The wind blew harder as the round went on. Gusts, and swirling gusts. I lost a bunch of strokes--seven--over the last five holes and laid a shitty 44 on top of a good front nine 39.

Again I putted like a rank beginner, especially from long range. I am having trouble finding the natural putting tempo. My tendency is to let the stroke get too long and lazy, which I then try to correct by making a too short and fast stroke, which isn't the right idea either, and now I'm scrambled.

Still I hit eight greens again which is good news. The ball is soaring in this hot, humid air. I am starting to feel like the high handicap nightmare is ending. It's really starting to feel like, as long as I setup halfway decent to the ball, then make a good robust shoulder turn back, without letting the arms overrun of course, then turn through the ball with some conviction... as long as I can remember to do all that, maybe things are going to be okay after all.


  1. Two questions:

    One, are you still gaming the new putter? Any thoughts of putting the old Pal out for a spin?

    Second, were you planning on doing some short game practise when you realised that sign said not to?

    Have a great weekend and good luck on "the Open" !

    1. 1. I have been using the Anser 2 for almost two years now but I am considering going back. Anser feels heavy and explosive in my hands right now, especially on fast greens. Haven't been making very good contact and maybe the smaller Pal head can help me focus on that. I'm trying not to stress over it too much. So I am just working hard on setup, the rest will have to be left to God.

      2. No practise, just saw the new sign coming up on 18. That a place like this would spell it that way is completely absurd. It has to be nothing more than a common typo.

  2. "Practising"??? WTF! Has NYC suddenly become the fiefdom of effete British wannabe's? Last time I checked, golf course in the good old USA state, "No Practicing!"

    Next thing you know, they will be serving tea at 4pm and one will need to decide whether to take a buggy or just make do with a trolley.

    Okay, I am sure 97% of the you think I have had 1-2 too many beers this afternoon and you would be correct.

  3. Oh, while I am blabbering away, best of luck in the Brooklyn Open next week. Some day I hope to tee it up at the event.


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