Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking Back At 2014, part II

Dark Thoughts: Spring Edition

"Aeration--a good excuse to spend more time hitting balls at the range, I figured. Anyways that's what the urge is lately and what is life except a series of urges."

Ghettogolf: From the Practice Green on Randall's Island

"As such, it rolls very fast. I suppose you could just pretend you're at Augusta or something. Seriously though, you can't. This "green" is too littered with rocks to act out any kind of fantasy that involves a ball rolling in a true line towards a hole."

The 2014 Brooklyn Open

"I am planning on entering again. Considering my bloated handicap you have to like my chances."

Farther Down the Handicap Hole

"At this point I was so annoyed with the round, and life; I had no shits left to give."

"Couldn't tell if these two were serious but since they had made a huge stink earlier in the round about me tapping in a six-inch putt they were kind of dead to me."

"It did not help matters that my backswing had all the structural integrity and live tension of an overcooked noodle."

Pitch&Putt: Cedar Beach GC, Babylon, Long Island

"Because in 2014 government doesn't seem too keen on recreation nor give two shits about golf, which probably sits at the bottom of the parks' department priorities list, near shuffleboard and bocce ball."

"Ramshackle but dutifully maintained, the diminutive courses hark back to a simpler, quieter time and are untainted by anything newfangled like wi-fi or so much as a "like us on Facebook". Cedar Beach doesn't even have a Yelp review page for God's sake."

"I have said it before and I'll say it again--pitch and putt is the answer to many of the world's problems."

"So in those instances we practiced "laying up" short of the greens at all costs and taking the big number out of play. Dammit if that's not edutainment then I don't know what is."

Ball of Confusion

"Not that this is some kind of endorsement of Titleist either. They are in all likelihood a bunch of snakes in the grass too. For all we know they don't actually care about our golf games. Maybe the real message is: Hey if you losers want to keep buying ProV1's and slicing 'em into the woods, then by all means do--we'll make more."

The Week in Legitimategolf

"As I loaded my bag into the car I did consider the possibility of ending up hacked to pieces and stuffed into a 55-gallon drum."

"We talked about the Mets and how he's learned to expect nothing from them and how much better life is as a result."

"I could hardly care less about someone's tops but the awkwardness of the situation soon became a thorn in my side as the guy felt compelled to provide me with all this context for his sorry struggles."

"Look, I know all about the struggles but at least I keep mine to myself and never try to lay a troublesome trip on someone else. Well, except for all the people who read this blog but hey--you come here, you know what you are getting into."

"At some point you just have to say 'Fuck it' and leave it the rest to God."


"After a long stint in the shits the confidence is starting to swell again. Watch out world."

"I understand that rationalization and coddling are intrinsic to golf."

"Two people can share a handicap index but differ wildly in just about every other aspect of humanity. Why not?

"Some of us umpteen handicappers have heinous-looking swings but don't miss big and are efficient around the hole; others, nice-looking fast swings but chip and putt like morons. But all of us, united--in our tendency to make bogeys."

"There's more to good golf--so much more--than cannonball drives, skyscraping irons and prodigious fairway woods. You have to be consistent, avoid untimely wild mishits and most of all you have to get the ball in the fucking hole and let's face it right now my ability to do all that ranges from sucks to middling."

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

"Sure enough there are no concessions to modern millennium life here whatsoever. Vending machines that take paper money--that's the most modern thing they got here."

"Hitting off mats is not exactly ideal, or legit, but hey--we are talking about playing golf while wearing flip-flops. Lighten up, jack."

"If you squint hard, you can pretend you're at Shinnecock or something."

"We both went for it and lost three balls in the process. I made double bogey; Ms. L a 9. But hey, no guts, no glory."

Brooklyn Open Preview, part I

"I realize now that slow players are diverse as humanity itself and that there are innumerable causes of the nuisance."

"So perhaps I had effected a tiny change after all, and it didn't require being a pushy prick."

The '14 Brooklyn Open Is In the Books

"But phew. I am really beat. It hurts to think about golf right now."

'14 Brooklyn Open Recap

"In my division making his Brooklyn Open debut was none other than Vijay Singh. No, not Vijay Singh of Fiji, major champion, World Golf Hall of Fame member. No, this was the Vijay Singh of Valley Stream, Long Island, 'teen handicapper."

"But my fundamentals, sweated over for the past few months, were sound enough that I couldn't totally screw things up with my animalistic lurching at the ball."

World Cup Fever

"Normally I hesitate to criticize a business from my worldwide bully pulpit, but this one is run by the "American Golf Corporation" so who cares. The word corporation is in the name, nuff said."

"While the numbers might not bear out any huge improvement yet, you gotta trust me on this, I have intangibles dammit."


"Dammit if this was not the best I've played all year, even if the scorecard says 82 and looks middling through and through. Screw the numbers! You had to be there."

"To understand this smug self-satisfaction you have to remember that a few months back I was splitting my nutsack and not even breaking 90."


"You could tell they had just met nine holes ago and were really hitting it off. Good for them."

"What a stupid mess. I wished for the earth to open up and swallow us all."

"It was a special feeling and blah blah blah... who am I trying to kid. I still feel bitter and disappointed."

Bow Down to the Crown

"In modern times though, America has taken over as the golf establishment as well as the dominant force in competition and the U.K. has settled into comfortable also-ran status, the rivalry effectively buried a long time ago when Jack Nicklaus conceded that Ryder Cup putt to Tony Jacklin as if to say 'Hey, we are all rich white guys, why are we fighting for?'"

"The pressure on all was very evident and with the exception of Australia, and let's face it, Paula Creamer, most of them rose to the occasion, and no one had a nervous breakdown."

Hanging Out in the Local Scene

"Their decent golf games, general normalness and easy natural rapport between them were such a relief from the usual stew of dodgy attitudes and personalities (my own included)."

Sucking in the 80s

"Judging a book by the cover is supposedly wrong and everything but you know what, you do it all the time, and sometimes your judgment happens to be right on."

"I paid for this domain name, I have no sponsors to speak of and nothing to lose--I'm going to speak freely. If you don't like it, beat it!"

"He kept whistling some retarded tune through the whole front nine, one of the worst offenses imaginable."

"To make matters even more frustrating he resembled an angry, fat Phil Mickelson, if Phil was from Brooklyn and had gotten his face punched in too many times. That really twisted the knife and annoyed me to the core of my soul for some reason."

"After a period of some brisk improvement I now seem to be smashing my nose up against the boundary of my abilities and it sucks ass."

"Reminds me of that Doors' song--people are strange, when you're a single."

Roadrange: Ferrisburgh Driving Range, Ferrisburgh VT

"Ice cream and maple syrup in Vermont are like slot machines in Vegas--they are found just about anywhere."

Roadgolf: Catamount GC, Williston VT

"The only crowds here are the ones in my cluttered mind. Sad. I wonder if there is any hope for the likes of me."

"When you live in a city you think you know what quiet means, but then you come out to the country and realize that you have no friggin clue."

Roadgolf: Hanover CC, Dartmouth, NH

"Recently I had set a goal of breaking 80 before summer ended. I could not have expected it to happen in a situation like this--on the road, unfamiliar track, not an easy one, all while trying to keep our doggy companion from having an emotional meltdown."

Street Scenes

"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."

Stuck in the Mud

"At this point I feel like I'm only playing to fill a need, to avoid the withdrawals. To get back to zero."

"I joined two other dullards to make up a thoroughly uninspired threesome."

Penalized in the Poconos

"I tried to ignore all the man-made artifices staring me in the face; then I flailed a 3-wood and hit a huge block straight over the rooftops."

"Because at that point I was ready to declare to anyone who cared to know, that this was nothing short of the worst course I have ever played--no offense of course."

"Not sure if I'll even be back to the Poconos, for golf or otherwise. What have they got here that you can't get in the mountains of Jersey, about 45 minutes closer? Legal fireworks, I guess."

Inching Towards Summer's End

"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."

Legitimategolf Reality Tour, volume 1

"But nowadays thanks to a steady diet of cart-included online tee-time deals I've grown fat and lazy. Well maybe not literally fat, but I have succumbed to the horrible cliche of becoming the very thing one once hated."

Roadgolf: Architects GC, Phillipsburg NJ

"To completely escape the reek of the city, you have to drive for at least an hour."

"Now I am among the uncouth masses lured in to golf during the Tiger Woods boom-era, but hopefully such historically-rigorous homages as these will not be completely lost on my ignorant ass. After all I've sampled the designs of guys like Robert Trent Jones, Tillinghast, Mackenzie and Ross and done so with the earnest eagerness of a Japanese tourist."

"No, this is a time to relax, take it all in. Go buck wild, scarf down a grilled cheeseburger at the turn. Damn it all to hell, have a can of beer too."

2 Teams, 1 Cup, 2014 Edition

"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 speaking about losing, we can't feel bad for the U.S. team. We just can't. Let's not get stupid here. They got a free expenses-paid trip to Europe, were treated better than visiting dignitaries, got to play a bunch of golf on a world-class course, given comp'ed meals (don't know this for sure, only guessing here) and most likely an assload of really cool official Ryder Cup shwag. Meanwhile we sat on our couches watching a mind-numbing, painfully golf-unsavvy NBC broadcast that consisted mostly of commercials."

Swingthoughts: Facing the Truth, Part I

"Please. Just trust me on this, close your stance, aim right, and maybe we won't hit the ball off the left side of the planet. You're an asshole."

"By the grace of God, recently I managed to open my stance again and actually hit some intentional fades. One day at a time."

Roadrange: Spring Rock Golf Center, New Hyde Park, NY

"Getting struck by hard objects at high speed is hazardous, but let's not forget about the real danger here--unauthorized golf swing instruction."

"Hell, I'm glad the Alley Pond was closed. Otherwise we wouldn't have found this place, which is a whole lot better than that mosquito-infested shit hole. (No offense of course.)"

"Plus, who the hell wants to brag to the World Wide Web about improvements in their game only to fall face forward shortly thereafter?"

The Splendor of Fall, Etc.

"I know that seems like an affront to all that is decent but hey, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

"Procrastinate and you will find that it's a fine line between the beautiful multicolored artistry of Nature, and a bunch of shitty, brown, lifeless debris."

More Fall Splendor, Etc.

"Some interesting tracks left in this bunker, something other than the usual markings from the specimen known as Overweight Brooklyn Man."

"I didn't play as well as I had hoped to (87), but at least no ball went missing today. A miniscule victory."


"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."

"Now at last I understand the real meaning of Christmas--it is, more than anything else, a desperate attempt to inject some light and cheer into the dankest, darkest, shittiest, lose-the-will-to-get-out-of-bed weeks of the year."

"The cold is not inherently bleak or dismal. We got down feathers, we got synthetic fleece. We got Gore-Tex® for crying out loud."

Eat This, Not That

"Even if I was the world's biggest hummus fan, I would still shit on this idea. How and why would I attempt to enjoy my favorite dip in the middle of a golf round. Where do I even put it? What if it's really hot out? Or really cold? This so-called suggestion leaves me with way more questions than answers."

"Why bother? Just throw some of your own fruits and nuts into a goddamn ziplock baggie and call it a life."

"Oh yeah! Let's take empty carbs, sprinkle with butter, oil, salt and cheese, then take it to the course and proceed to get this all over our gloves, grips and balls."

"You need snacks that are nutrient-dense, fit easily in your bag, and don't cause any mess or hassle. It is why no actual golfer in the history of the world has ever said the words "Let's bring hummus to the golf course today!"

The Weekend Runaround

"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."

Roadrange: Edgewater Golf Range, Edgewater NJ

"Call me a pollyanna, but I still think that beating range balls should be fun."

"The range overlooks Harlem and the Hudson River, making this place a sort of bizarro-world Chelsea Piers. See how the other half hits."

More Notes from the Weekend

"They say time is money so in this aspect, golf represents a tremendous bargain right now. I am averaging about 2.5 hours per 18 holes--that's a savings of 44% from the time-cost of a regular season round. Folks, these are like, wholesale prices."

"Below 40º at the start, with windchills taking it down below 30. This is pushing the limits of sensibility. I can admit that."

"What you gonna do, some of us are extreme thrill seekers. Some run 100km ultra-marathons, some people ski down avalanches; I maintain a handicap index during the winter."

Roadgolf: Dunwoodie GC, Yonkers NY

"It's a really, really cold one today--a face-freezing 37º with gusty windchill factors up the ass."

"Today was cart-path only, and the one time I veered off the path, an alarm went off and central command actually took control of the cart, only allowing it to drive in reverse until we had returned to the cart path. Scary stuff. A totalitarian nightmare if you think about it."

"It was way too cold today to even think about food options at the turn, but wow, ordering up burgers and dogs with the aid of GPS and touchscreen technology--what a country."

Roadrange: South Orange County

"Unfortunately what I had hoped would be just another of my light-hearted travelogue-y looks at the various golf facilities all across the wonderful golf universe, is going to end up as a bitter lamentation and a damnation of the shallow heart and abject wussiness of the Southern California lifestyle."

"These are people who barely know how to read a weather report, never mind make sense out of a Doppler radar map. I know this because I was once one of them."

Roadgolf: Tustin Ranch GC, Tustin CA

"The lie angle is probably too upright and the shaft is too short, and my dad's got some much "better" putters lying around, but I putted well with this one time, so whenever I visit Orange County, it's what I putt with. I probably like it because it's so beat looking, I guess I am a smartass hipster like that."

"All the other accoutrements of country club life I could take or leave, but having ice cold liquid refreshment at arm's reach throughout the whole round, that is truly awesome."

"In a desperate bid for a GIR I attempted to work a fairway wood around that palm tree, over the giant water hazard and onto the tiny green. I failed miserably but fuck it--for a brief moment as I stood over the ball, I believed. That counts for something in my book."

"A weak double bogey to finish with a 98. Even though I'm wearing running shoes, and playing with a jalopy set of outdated golf clubs, it still stings."

Roadrange: Saddleback Golf Driving Range, Mission Viejo CA

"Some assorted dudes showed up to whack buckets. There is some chatter in the air; now the atmosphere feels a little less post-apocalyptic. Not that I minded."

"Chipping. Pitching. Chipitching. Pitchipping. Everything in between; those shots, for which there are no names. I hit them all."


"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."

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

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

"The yellow Titleist made it through another round, in spite of my growing dissatisfaction with its not-top-of-the-line performance."

"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."

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


  1. congrats on a fine year of cyberblogging

  2. "As I loaded my bag into the car I did consider the possibility of ending up hacked to pieces and stuffed into a 55-gallon drum."

    Has a better sentence ever been written?


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