Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Heart Attack...

I was busy packing a putter (sold it on - excellent place to buy/sell golf clubs), to be shipped, yesterday afternoon. My wife was getting ready to go to her step aerobics class when I overheard her saying, to our 3 year old son, to not play golf in the house.

I just told her that it's ok and let him do it. She told me that she was worried that our daughter might get bonked on the head. I said it's's just a plastic club and's one of those oversized, plastic, Fred Flintoston type kiddie golf sets..harmless. I, carelessly, told her that I'll watch him so he doesn't do any bonking..mind you I'm in the other room..not in view.

She said she's leaving and I went to see her off when all of a sudden I see my son stradling and "pony riding" my Scotty Cameron SS Newport, and without the headcover on!, on our floor. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I inspected the head and fortunately, and unbelievably, no damage was done to the putter..not sure about my heart though.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Madame X..

I just got back from San Diego last night and played 9 holes today. I was going to play a full round but just felt that my swing wasn't there to really deal with it on the course. It was just me today and got off about 6:30 am. Surprisingly for a holiday weekend the course didn't have too many golfers. I was hitting 2-3 balls a hole practicing various shots and getting more time in with my new 51 deg. wedge. I can pretty much nail it about 110-115 yards which fills the perfect gap between my PW and SW.

It was nice because I was able to just throw a few balls down here and there and just tinker around trying different stuff. I also got to finally play with the Red X that I got a couple weeks ago..and decided that it will stay in the bag. The one thing that really stood out was it has a great weighted feel behind it and seems my putts don't come up short. The ball really does come off the face nicely. I also think alot has to do with the fact that I have always felt that my putter swing is more straight back and forward rather than the open/close door style.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

'Outta My Way..

They say L.A. is the car chase, as well as bank robbery, capital of the world. I was going through one of my daily news feeds and it turns out our local CBS2/KCAL9 has an online video library of car chases, since 2004, that have occured in L.A. Under the Browse Video tab, scroll down to "Car Chases".

I know..I know..another non-golf entry..


Not a golf commercial..but pretty cool nonetheless.

Monday, May 22, 2006

No Golf..

A belated post but didn't play last Saturday. I was planning on it but then my wife hit me with a massive "honey-do" list which included removing old shower caulk and replacing it..thought about playing the whole time by the way..ugh. Anyway..not sure if I'll be playing next week either because we're on going to San Diego for Memorial Day weekend..and pretty sure my clubs won't get to ride in the back of the Sienna. I'm off on Monday so I'll be getting a round in then most likely anyhow. I'm happy though since I got to see Lumpy win.

BTW: I put up a new SOTW..never heard his version of it..I like it though.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tom Slighter..

Can anyone tell me who Tom Slighter is?..anyone..anyone..Bueller..Bueller..? ok that was bad. Anyway I know many of you, if not everyone, know who Scotty Cameron is but I assume that not too many people know who Tom Slighter is. Tom is the owner/designer of his line of putters at Slighter Golf Custom Putters, based in Snohomish, WA.

They are absolutely exquisite putters that are individually handcrafted and customized to your liking. You can tweak it out anyway you want and there are numerous styles he offers. Although they may look a Scotty Cameron, but even his design is actually from the PING Anser style, you won't be able to get Scotty to tweak it like Tom will do for a fraction of the cost with craftsmanship involved.

Although Scotty Cameron is based here in the U.S., but unless you have deep pockets and are fortunate to get one of his handmade creations, his putters are made overseas. All Slighter putters are personally created here in the U.S. by a master like Tom Slighter. I would highly suggest if you are looking to step up and purchase a high quality putter get one by Tom ASAP while you can!

I found out about Slighter putters from one of the golf forums I belong to and he also does putter refinishing. I had a chance to deal with Tom, personally, and he is a great guy. He has great customer service and gets personally involved in your order, which you won't see Scotty Cameron doing unless you're on the tour. I will be sending in one of my putters (Yes! Tracy) to get it "Slighterized!" with the 3X Black Oxide Finish.

Examples of his work done:

Here is another one that got "Slighterized!"

You may have noticed that the bottom of these Yes! putters have the "beach" sound slot which was also done at his shop. I'm not sure how much this affects the weighting of the putter, if any, but Tom can also add additional weights if desired also..neato!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Not Yet...

I played at Oak Quarry, again, last Saturday morning going into it with new found courage since I broke 90 at Rio Hondo last week. I really came with the mindset to play well and break 90. I played well and and hit the majority of the fairways. My putting wasn't that bad either with only one 3-putt, one 1-putt and the rest being 2-putts.

The kicker, as before, were the greens. This place has no mercy if you do not hit the green or near by it. The majoriy of the green seem to be perched up and guarded by hazards on all sides. It also doesn't help that they're all muti-tiered which adds to the overall difficulty. The greens are extremely tricky too. The holes break ALOT less then what appears which I noticed throughout the day. I'd say the greenskeeper knows what he's doing..very sneaky.

I did manage to only lose 2 balls this time, both on forced carry par-3's over a ravine, fun huh.. One thing I wished they did replace is the sand in all the bunkers. It is so coarse and granular. Very similar to playground sand..maybe I should take my sand wedge out the next time I take my kids to the playground. You really have to commit on your bunker shots here or you're going no where, fast, since a majority of them are pot bunkers.

The rough here is also very thick. I hit a great drive on the 17th and our group couldn't find was straight as an arrow but just rolled into the rough..I ended up finding it but it took some time. Hitting out of the rough here always always incurred an additional stroke.

Either way I ended up shooting the same exact as I did last time, 95, which I wasn't too happy about. My goal this year is to break 90 on this course.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Yellow Box...

I received a mysterious yellow box package today. It was on my front porch.

What could it be?!? Taaa-Daaa!!

My Scotty Cameron Red X arrived :)

After a couple weeks and a few thousand miles traveling around the midwest it finally made it here. I'm contemplating just keeping it packed or playing with it. I may be playimg Oak Quarry again this weekend so if I do I think I'm going to give it a whirl there. It truly is a work of art.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New Wedge..

I got home and the wedge that I bought on (swap shop forum) was there. I was looking for a wedge to fill in the gap between my PW (46 deg.) and my SW (56 deg.). I got the 51 deg. wedge (Cleveland 588 GunMetal) to fill this void and to keep it consistent with my SW. I've always played with a Cleveland wedge and aesthetically it is still the "cleanest" looking wedge out doesn't have any fancy colors or graphics. I got it for $45, shipped, which was a great deal.

This was the 1st time I bought from the Swap Shop but it truly is a golfer's mecca (bazaar) for used/new golf equipment. I would say that it's better and worse than Ebay for golf gear. Unlike Ebay the sellers at don't have "ratings" so you just need to do some homework and see who's legit/trustworthy and who's not. This can be done by checking out how active they are in the swap shop forum and also cross referencing that with how many posts and other items they have sold/bought by using the "search" function.

Yes, I agree it's still not the most secure way to find a reputable seller but after you browse the numerous classifieds they have in the swap shop you can get a feel for who the regulars are. There is also a positive/negative feedback section to further compare sellers.

It definitely has better prices than Ebay and usually some room to negotiate. I've noticed a majority of the sellers sell their product with a final "shipped" price which makes it simple to understand. The majority of the selling/buying is based in CONUS so any overseas sales would probably cost a little more with shipping, but like I said there is always room for a little negotiating.

These seller's just don't want to deal with all the Ebay BS and just want to turn a quick sell with less hassle. Many of the items for sale do not have photos with them so you need to know exactly what you are looking for. Many of them will take a photo of the product if you ask for it but don't be surprised if the deal is too good and some other person just buys it under talks.

Anyway, my wedge arrived in awesome shape and looks like it was probably used for no more than a few rounds and I was more than satisified with the transaction. I asked for photos but figured somebody else might just buy it so I trusted the seller. The seller had also sold other items which made me feel more comfortable in the transaction.

I'm waiting on a putter but it got misrouted, not the seller's fault, and should hopefully be here sometime this week. I think it's on a Fedex truck someplace in Kansas right now.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Funny Who You Might Meet..

I played my standard back nine at Rio Hondo on Saturday morning with my co-worker bud. He's getting better but has a way to go on his quest to breaking 100 this year..he averages about 125 right now. I played really well on the back and finished five over. We were just a two-some on the back when another guy asked us if he could join us. Sure, no problem here. He was the spitting image of Sam Elliot..talked like him too with that drawl, real nice guy, with a touch of joke.

We were playing and I noticed he had a very old set of clubs with an old bag. No brand name here but he was a player. His driving was about as straight as you could point at..all the time. He had a wonderful short game too! He was always just two putts out for par. I don't think he even used a wedge..just putted everything off the fringe.

He tended to give us a "narration" of everyones shot, but very low keyed, and was telling his mind..what we did wrong or right. We were talking about golf balls and he was mentioning how everyone loves the PV1 and then he drove away still talking about it. He was actually having his own arguments most of the time. After the 9th hole we parted ways and we shook hands..great player.

We finished fairly early, 8:30 AM, so we were able to play the front..sssweeeett! We got paired up with these 2 high school students and it turned out that one of them plays for his high school and the other dropped out. Both of them looked like the cast from "That 70's Show". They were dressed in that skater/punk style. One of them, "Ben", was wearing his high school's golf shirt, tucked in, and sporting an "oversized" old school black "SOX" baseball hat, the brim was still flat as new, keeping in his enormous caucasion afro. "Chris", the "Ashton Kutcher look-alike" drop-out, was wearing jeans and an untucked polo with a ski hat paired with your classic "Jeff Spicoli" black and white checkered Vans slip-on's.

I could tell though they were players and had game for some reason when they got on the tee box though. They both had wonderful stances and swings..and they hit their driver a mile..geez. It was refreshing to see that unleashed, youthful, bravado in their swings. Here I'm trying to maintain my swing, short of chaos, and too see these two kids hitting the ball LONG and STRAIGHT was amazing.

They were at times way off the fairway from their brute force, but had the ability to put their approach back onto the green or an awesome layup..something you see the PGA guys do lately. They both had wonderful touch greenside and knew how to putt to match. It's was awesome to play with these guys..or at least play along side them.

I tripled bogeyed the last hole with a tee shot into the water followed by 2 miserable shots but managed to finish 9 over on the front for a combined 14 over for an 85 (par 71) and FINALLY breaking 90 at Rio Hondo. It's funny who you get to meet when you play golf.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Lately I've been looking for some good songs but the question is easier said than answered. I was searching around for what would be "good songs". I typed it into Google and it brought me a link to Fingertips. It's an awesome site highlighting numerous indie bands/singers, in a nutshell.

The site is very simple..almost too navigate through..but that's the beauty behind it as well..and it is all about good music..right? The best way to understand what they're about, and a good start, is to go here and then as your read the introduction make sure you click the highlighted links.

I've put up a few songs from Fingertips in the SOTW (Songs Of The Week) section at the sidebar. If you got some time check them's amazing. If you're looking for the latest Dixie Chicks song or any Billboard Top anything it won't be here..but imagine the majority of the good music the radio doesn't play.

Yeah, I know so what does this have to do with golf..nada..but I like all kinds of music, but please no The Smiths (including Morrissey) or The Beatles.

60 Balls...

I consider myself a "frugal" golfer and have been playing with "experienced" golf balls for some time now. My affinity, still, is for the Callaway HX Blue. I recently acquired 60 of them via Ebay for $45, shipped which comes to around .75 cents per ball. I always buy all my balls from Ebay, last shipment was for 48, since they have the best deals anywhere. I have to admit that this batch was not as pristine as the previous batch but nonetheless they were in good shape. They were the older version also which made it a little cheaper, but still felt the same.

On the average though I will play one of these "experienced" balls for a round and then it will usually go into the shag bag so their "lifespan" is fairly lower than probably a newer ball or maybe because I just had a bad round with it..probably the latter.

Anyway, before you head out and buy a new box of PV1's check out Ebay you may be surprised what you may find.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Tied for 16th..

I played in my first golf tourney at Oak Quarry last Saturday. The picture you see on the home page is their signature hole #14 and is the view we had too..amazing. It was my first time playing here but Oak Quarry is quite an interesting course laid out through the quarry mines. It cuts through these huge quarry mountains and is visually stunning and has numerous elevation changes. I can't remember any hole that was just "straight" which kept me excited about the next hole.

I believe carts are mandatory and if it wasn't you don't want to walk this bad boy. There are just unbelieveably steep paths to the next hole and a little distance from one hole to the next. I'm not going to describe every hole and what I did or didn't do but what I can say is if you're outside the first cut of rough..fuhgettaboutit. The rough is fairly thick, but well groomed, but you just can't find your ball once it gets into the bushy area beyond the rough..and there were numerous "Beware of Rattlesnake" signs too. Remembering what I read from GolfChick I decided not to tread there. I ended up losing 8 balls, a shattering new record, but better than getting bit by a diamondback anyday.

The greens were much faster than what I'm used to playing and nothing really checked for me. I got wind of this rather quickly and played a bunch of bump and runs which worked out pretty good. Every green was muti-tiered, which I loath, but surprisingly I was able to lag putt well that day.

I got to use my rangefinder but it turned out the carts were equipped with GPS units but the GPS seemed to be off a few times with the correct yardage. Also one thing my rangefinder could do was to get yardages to the front of the hole and at various "markers" on the fairway and green which the GPS unit couldn't do. Getting yardages to the front was actually a big help that day since there was alot of trouble if you couldn't make to the flag.

A good example of this was on this on hole #10. It played 208 yds to the flag but if your shot went anywhere to the right you were done. I busted out my rangefinder and decided to hit it to the front, 178 yds., and hopefully run it to the hole. I hit my 5 iron, 180 yd. club for me, and hit a good shot but missed just about a yard from the front. It was safe though and I went up and down to save, the others in my group decided to go for it and posted 6's all around.

Hole #14, "Splinel Slide" (they name all their holes..not sure what they mean though..some kind of mining reference I suppose), is a gorgeous par 3. "This signature par 3 hole was rated the best in Southern California." Basically you're sitting high atop this canyon with a lake to the left and a very intimidating peninsula green to the front. You can bail out to the right but anything left is "bye-bye" time. The hole played 178 yards to the center but probably a little less than that since it was dramatically downhill. I went witht he 5 iron because I figured that a little long was better than short here. I ended up hitting a frozen rope, that everone was hollering at, at the hole that hit behind the flag and rolled and stopped at the first cut of rough..a 6 iron would've been perfect. I went up and down for par here which was awesome.

I ended up shooting a 97 (gross..really gross) and 77 (net), but one of the highest rating/slope, 71.9/133, courses I've ever played. They used the Callaway method of scoring since not everyone, I think I was the only one thinking about it, had established indexes..which helped me too anyway.