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.

Back at Silver Lake. The trees have become barer but otherwise the place still looks good for playing golf. Playful cat was having some fun on the first green, and why the hell not?

The 7th green is a visual challenge made even tougher by a low winter sun. Somehow, I made a birdie here. Praise God.

Kind of a tough day today. I was glad to be back out there, but it was a little cold and windy. The turf was wet and the course played really long. Also, I've run out of ProV1's which is why I've gone with this yellow mid-priced model. I don't know the numbers on these things but I'm pretty sure this ball is costing me some distance off the tee. Talk about first world problem.

There are a lot of things that will keep me off the course but mere low temperature alone is not one of them evidently. I felt pretty good about the way I swung it the day before, as well as pretty awful about the way I putted it, so naturally the urge to get back out there was strong.

Invoking the spirit of the holidays, I said, "fuck it" and gave in to impulse.

Because really, that's what the holidays are all about right? Being happy. And right about now there is no place in the city I'd rather be than this deserted Dyker Beach course.

It's the height of broken tee season. I am snapping 'em off by the dozen over here.

Ho, what is this? Really odd to see what looks like a major green reconstruction project in the middle of winter.

I was really disappointed but since someone had bothered to put up a temporary hole, what else was there to do but hit to it? It sucks that there's no green surface whatsoever, but hey--if there's a hole, find it. It's the essence of the game, jack. So making my best visual guess at the distance I hit a very fine 7-iron inside the twelve-foot circle. A chip and a tap for par, I will take it. It's all about perspective see. I am lucky to be out here enjoying golf.

Again, strange time for this kind of work. But I gave up trying to understand years ago.

Again with the putting problems. Lengths like this are freaking me out lately. I'm simply not understanding how one gets a putt of this length to settle near the hole. It's appalling really. But again, perspectives.

A fast-moving twosome stayed a couple holes ahead of me all day. You people, you're all right.

Some hearty Koreans in an earnest search party. Good to see people taking this game serious.

Winter has an annoying way of drying out, not to mention chapping the skin, hair, sinuses, etc. of us humans. Seems like kind of a raw deal--until you consider the hell these trees must go through. Again, all perspective.

A rare birdie opportunity in these hard times.

The same Koreans from the search party, having looped back around for some more back-nine action. After not really seeing anyone all day, it was sort of nice to overhear some camaraderie and interaction and passion for golf.

The yellow Titleist made it through another round, in spite of my growing dissatisfaction with its not-top-of-the-line performance. Want to not lose a ball? Well apparently the secret is to play like you want to lose it. Whatever, I should go easy on it. It's doing its best.

Again I hit it pretty nice, and putted like someone who has never heard of golf. So while I feel like I am swinging it better than I ever have in life, my scores remain in the sucks-to-middling range. Very frustrating but again, perspectives.

Another wincingly cold one. But not for me. I'm more animal than human at this point, in many ways. Blithe indifference to cold air is one of them.

I have grown to appreciate the optic yellow of this ball. And while it seems to lack the desired "pop" off the clubface, and appropriate feel on the short shots, its familiar script logo is strangely reassuring.

Staten Island has become, in a sense, my spiritual golf home. Good god--what the hell has happened to my life?

It's quite brisk, but I am good spirits today. Lo, a tap-in birdie on the 2nd green.

With the kind of insouciance you would expect from a guy playing for the third time in four days, I attempted to hook one around this massive fence post and onto the green in two on the par 5 fifth.

We can't seem to shake off the muddy conditions around here. No complaints here though.

Not only did I fail to lose the yellow ball again, I shot an 81--a personal best on this course. And I did it in a scanty two hours and fifteen minutes. Here in the dead of winter, I feel in peak season form. Look people, we don't know what the extended forecast truly holds. Which is to say, we are one blizzard away from misery, at this uncertain point of the season. Whatever the case, the season can only get harsher and more ungolfable from here. Now is the time to hit it, and hit it hard.


  1. You have insipred me. I am going to grab the bag and go play today despite the forecst of showers! Gung ho!

  2. bkuehn "One Hour Forty Seven Minutes" 1952December 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Bill Earl - proof your comments. ;)

    LB, some advice from an old golfer. Be careful you don't let your focus stray from the score to elapsed time of the round. There are a few golfers out there, often seniors, who take more pride in their ability to negotiate 18 holes in under 2 hours than their ability to make a score. Never mind that they just shot 103, they played 18 in 1 hour and 57 minutes.

    Others count the number of balls they find as opposed to their score.

    "Harry, how did you do?"
    "I was plus 10"
    "You shot 82 ?!?"
    "No, 105, but I found 10 balls out there!"

    There are a lot of ways to lose sight of the ultimate goal, the score (i.e. long drives). Don't fall into one of those traps.

    Finally, you might stop after playing the first hole and drop a bunch of balls to practice putt (allowed under the Rules of Golf). It might help get a feel for longer lag putts for the rest of the round.

    1. Damnit this might be the best advice I've read on the internet since that thing you once said about embracing the provisional--that was really helpful. Since I'm playing alone out there in a barren wasteland, why not practice putting between holes? Take advantage. Jesus H Christ this is going to be great. Big thanks.

  3. Nice round Mr Legit (golf clap :))!

    It's good to see you back in action. Ball striking is where winter's golf pleasure really is. Putting is all but automatic, on greens that are left marked and abused by the winter gods: water and contours does not make for even surfaces, so speed is somewhat unpredictable and various deformations (impediments, worms, ball marks not correctly fixed and the like) can easily throw a good putt off course.

    I have plenty of 3-putts to complain about in soggy Northern California right now, but I won't. I am trying to just enjoy being out there and focus on the ball striking. Yes, my scores have gone up and so as the index (it's year round season over here), but it'll come back down in time, shortly after spring begins. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

    Happy Holidays (and happy golfing) to your Mr Legit, and to your readers!

    1. I should really do a better job at proofreading: sheesh! Sorry for the typos.

  4. "I hit it pretty nice, and putted like someone who has never heard of golf."

    I'm stealing this line (and maybe not even giving proper credit). 81 is pretty sweet at this time of year! I posted 85 while walking solo in 2:50 on Sunday, but took a few short breaks for mental health (leaving 4 birdie putts short on the front nine and resisting the urge to hammer-throw my putter into the trees..I probably could have putted better with my 3h).


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