Monday, May 31, 2010

Back To The 80's

I'm a fan of everything '80's..especially when it comes to my golf score. I decided to go with the Mizuno MX-25's, more on this later, and played at Mile Square Park (Players Course) today with a buddy of mine. I've played the "Classic" course, which has mature trees throughout the course and meandering doglegs here and there. The fairways are flat with faster greens. The "Players" course is more of your modern style course.  There's more water that come into play with slightly undulating fairways, however, the greens are much more forgiving..slower. Okay, enough about the courses.

I was hitting all my irons nicely, but without a doubt the forged feeling was adding alot more confidence and feel as the day progressed. There's an absolute difference between my Titleist AP1's and these Mizuno MX-25's. The MX-25's felt buttery soft, but I noticed I was able to really get the ball up there without much effort. I was literally aiming at the pin on many holes. The trajectory was awesome..the ball would go up and come down like a lawn dart. I was literally playing all yardages straight to the pin..and needless to say I shot a 85 in the end.

The key to shooting a "good" score is you MUST KEEP UNFORCED ERRORS (like tennis) AT A MINIMUM! What I mean by an UNFORCED ERROR are shots that shouldn't have been made in the first fatties, shanks, thin ones, etc. You know..the ones if you were given another chance you would've just hit a 7 iron and moved on..right? I always keep track of these "error" shots and for me if I can keep then to 15 or less I know I'll be under 90. Today I hit 13 of these errors..which obviously proved my theory of breaking 90 (85). I had 9 pars, 5 bogeys and 4 doubles.

One thing that bothers me is that we played the course from the white tees (6,334 yards), and not the blue tees (6,759 yards). Obviously, I'm going to play this course again, but from the blues so I can get a better estimate of my renewed confidence..and if I'm really coming around to the next level..Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ottawa Golf

When you think about Canada what's the first think that comes to mind?  For me it was the the McKenzie Brothers and Strange actually Canada, and especially be exact, is home to some of most gorgeous golf courses in the world.  Ottawa golf courses have some of the most pristine courses that are on equal terms and quality, if not surpassing, to your high-end private courses in the U.S. AND THEY'RE need to sign off on the house or the kids college fund..i.e. weekend nomads, like you and me, can feel part of high society too.

Loch March is a PUBLIC (hooray!) golf and country club that offers all the bells and whistles of your exclusive private clubs without those staggering initiation fees and minimum accounts often required with them..all packaged and delivered to you in a resort environment.   Their 18-hole, par 72 golf course is as renowned for it's superb beauty and has mature forests that make Loch March an ever changing short..flat out gorgeous!

The fairways and greens at Loch March are top-dressed to always ensure proper playing conditions..and these guys cut their tee decks (us yanks call them tee boxes) BY HAND..which make it look like a green..unbelievable!  This is a place of natural beauty. The golf holes at Loch March were not contrived; they were discovered on the natural topography of the March Highlands.

Loch March is a course that will inspire you to play your best game. Each hole presents a unique challenge, whether it's the pin position, a greenside bunker or well-placed stream. Risk or reward is evident at every hole. You'll find that par is demanding, yet a bogey is quite comfortable; that the golf course rewards the good shot yet doesn't penalize the poor ones and by the end of your round, you'll have used every club in your cookie cutter course here folks.

Without a doubt, golfers of all levels will enjoy their round at Loch March. Four different sets of tee blocks, from a touch over 5,000 yards to a hair under 7,000 yards, let you choose the most appropriate course length for your abilities. Their lush fairways and impeccable greens promise ideal conditions for you to play your best, whether you're out for a casual game or looking to test your skills.  Lay up or go for the green — it's your call.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bridgeston J36 Pocket Cavity vs. Mizuno MX 25

Well, I finally got out today to test the Bridgestone J36 Pocket Cavity forged irons AND..I also got the Mizuno MX 25, also forged, to compare.  I know these are two different style irons and the J36 PC's are definitely more of a players iron, whereas the MX 25 are more of a game improvement iron.  I ran up and down both sets at the range under the same conditions today and the varying results of both sets were apparent. 

Let's begin with the J36 PC's, which I noticed immediately that the ball flight was lower BUT, much more penetrating than the MX 25's.  A lot probably had to due with the stiffer Project X 5.0 flighted shafts and that the swingweight on the J36 PC's are a D-3.  Just swinging the J36 PC's and you can immediately feel the heft of the iron. 

Fortunately, I have a smooth swing, which this iron requires, but you will be rewarded with a pure, low-mid ball flight.  I would have to say however I was about a club short all around with the J36 PC's.  There is a little room and less than perfect contact is immediate loss of distance.  These would be perfect for windy days where you wouldn't want the a low ball flight.  What seemed kind weird was that all the irons seem to act their respective lofts, however, on the 5 iron the flight seemed just too low and seemed more of a 3 iron flight.  Not sure if the lofts were off..but it was VERY apparent. 

The Mizuno MX 25's were a joy to hit and I have to be honest, easier and more forgiving.  I knew these were better suited for me when I tried to hit the 3 iron, which I never use nowadays, and hit a perfect laser down the middle with the first swing.  The ball flight is exactly what I was looking for and it got the ball up high.  The feeling is unbelievable with grain flow forged irons.  These hard as rock range balls felt like almost got to a point where they felt a tad too mushy..if that's possible.  The shaft was the Dynamic Gold SL R300..and I feel tempted to try it in the S300.  I like the headsize of the MX 25's as it is identical to the Titleist AP1's that I was using before, but a thinner topline and obviously the unmatch forged feel.  I felt like I was almost swinging to fast with these irons.  It may be because I was hitting the heavier and stiffer J36 PC's and then these..but I'd still like to try these in the S300.

Both the J36 PC's and the MX 25's were a joy to hit and felt awesome, but the MX 25's were definitely more "fun" and easier to get going.  I have to say you need a fast head speed to get the true effectiveness of the J36 PC's, whereas with the MX 25's it's more player will do with what you have. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LIJA style!

Have you noticed that alot of the gals on the LPGA have really spruced up their style and have become real fashionistas out there on the links when it comes to their golf doubt.  Gals like Christina Kim have been sporting snazzy-chic sportwear collection from LIJA on regular basis..and if you know anything about Christina Kim, she is a member of the style council. 

Two-time LPGA Tour winner Christina Kim knows that today there's just as much talk about what a player wears as the score she posts. Recognized for her colorful taste in clothing, Kim has partnered with trend-setting brand LIJA by Linda Hipp for a style that transitions seamlessly from course to clubhouse.

“Looking great helps me focus on my game and play my best,” says Kim. “The clothes Linda Hipp designs fit perfectly with my personal fashion sense and let me create outfits for any mood or playing conditions.”  Nearly a decade ago, Hipp led the charge in creating fashionable women's golf apparel, moving the industry from scaled down versions of boxy men's polos and ill-fitting shorts to cutting-edge designs made specifically for a woman's body.

As North America's fastest growing golf and sportswear line, LIJA offers something for every woman's aesthetic in its shorts, skorts, polos, sweaters, t-shirts, pants and dresses, among other pieces.  For Kim, who hit the course in 2006 looking more fit than ever thanks to a new exercise routine implemented during the off-season, LIJA's fusion of sport, leisure and fashion was a natural choice. Partial to hot hues and form-fitting pieces, the 23-year-old found the mouth-watering color palette of the company's spring collections irresistible.

“Christina is a truly unique personality and fashion-forward player on the LPGA Tour,” says Hipp, principal designer and company founder. “We're extremely excited to have her wear LIJA. Her flair and sense of style make her a great representative for our brand.”

With a focus on fun, flirty and vivacious colors such as olive, lawn and sweetpea greens, orchid, sangria, lemon yellow and cherry red, LIJA's delectable polos and skorts struck a chord with Kim's vibrant style.

“Linda Hipp's designs are amazing,” Kim adds. “She really gets making clothes that look great and perform.”
Kim likes to walk the fairway in LIJA's polo shirts, which pair a fitted look with distinctive details for a non-traditional finish. Highlights like contrast collars and cuffs, or hidden buttons on the placket, turn ordinary into extraordinary, while a touch of spandex in the material allows for freedom of movement without the boxiness of a looser shirt. A favorite is the line's short sleeve Paloma Polo in white, which features ruched contrast shoulder insets in lawn green.

For bottoms, Kim often sports the brand's popular skorts, which combine the styling of a skirt – including the ability to show a little leg – with the comfort and functionality of shorts. Available in a variety of colors and prints, including a windowpane pattern with white piping in eye-catching shades of cherry or orchid, the skorts can be paired with a number of tops – making packing for tournaments that much easier.

“LIJA is a lifestyle brand that brings unique looks to any woman's wardrobe for golfers and non-golfers alike,” Hipp says. “Our goal is to create a variety of pieces that women can mix and match to express their own individual personalities, and this year we wanted to create collections that would really pop with the bright bursts of color naturally found outside during spring.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nikon and golf..

I've been an avid photographer (I use a Nikon D90) for the last three years and have to say that I love photography as I do playing golf.  Unfortunately, these are two activities that are not to cheap to keep up with.  For now, I'm happy with the photographic and golf equipment I have, but it has come at a cost.

For example, I can honestly say that one of my lenses cost over $1,500 (Nikon 17-55 f/2.8) and all lenses combined (I have 3) cost over $3000 (others being the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 and 50 f/1.4D)..just the lens..*gulp*  I think you can at least buy a few sets of irons for that amount, no?  I have to admit, these lenses are professional grade lenses and the quality of them are just unbelievable..they're built like tanks.

Sure, I can't enjoy or dwell on a great round with the photographic gear, BUT I do get to make and keep great images with it.  If given the opportunity to hit a gorgeous drive or capture a gorgeous moment with my camera..I have to say the jury would be hung on this.  Maybe it's the creative side in me, but something about capturing the essence of a moment, the moment of time, and to explain it from my perspective is a very say the least.

A good thing is, and good for my pockets, is that I am completely happy with my photographic gear.  Photographers are big gear head too, like golfers, and we love to buy all sorts of stuff..and trust me..there is ALOT of things you can buy in photography..a frigging lens cover/filter to protect your lense can cost $100..a hundred dollars!  My lens filters alone are over $300..and all they do is sit pretty on the lens..crazy and expensive huh?!

A few months ago, I really wanted to upgrade my camera body (this is just the body..lens not included..haha) to a full frame model for $2,700 (Nikon D700)..I was this close *space between my thumb and index finger pinching*, BUT for common sense finally kicked in.  Like golf gear, it' not the arrow, but the indian that kills the bear..and it's not the gear, but the photographer that takes the gorgeous picture.  This was a defining moment for me, and one that saved me alot of money, to understand this basic that is identical to buying golf equipment.

Anyway, I've already rambled long enough about this.  If anyone of you are also photo hounds, drop me a line..let's talk..maybe you're on Flickr too..damn you Nikon!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hilton Head Golf

When I think of Hilton Head Golf obviously the Verizon Heritage and Harbour Town Golf Links come to mind.  Those funny plaid, red jackets worn by previous champions such as Greg Norman, Fuzzy Zoeller, Davis Love, Bernard Langer, Boo Weekly and Jim Furyk. 

Don't know what it is, but this course brings out some of the finest players to really want to win that funny plaid, red jacket.  Anyway, a half centrury ago a person by the name of Charles Frasier wanted to create a vacation community in South Carolina's natural wonderland.  He asked this guy name Pete Dye with the assistance of The Golden Bear (Jack Nicklaus) and this course came to life as has ever been a part of the PGA Tour since 1969. 

But Hilton Head Golf isn't just Harbour Town, there are other fine course just as spectacular.  You also have the Ocean Course and Heron Point at the Sea Pines Resort, as well, which are nothing short of spectacular to consider.  The Ocean Course is one the the oldest courses in the Hilton Head golf establishment.  It touches the ocean but is inundated with lush marshes and lagoons which make it quite enticing to play.  Water comes into play on 12 of the holes making your tee shot something to always consider.  Heron Point was redesigned by Pete Dye and faiways have been reshaped with challenging angles and elevation changes.  Most holes have water, tricky doglegs, long bunkers and a myriad of other challenging items left as a part of Pete Dye's signature.

There are numerous other courses on Hilton Head island which are worth looking into.  Check this place out for hilton head tee times

Friday, May 14, 2010

What Fred carries..

One of my favorite players around..surprised how much he cuts his hands from practice with all that crazy glue.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New set on the way...

As you may know, lately, I've been getting "re-bit" by the golf bug.  This has led me to peruse the internet and research for a new set of clubs.  I really do like my AP1's and they feel great, BUT there is no feel like FORGED.  I use to play with the Mizuno T-Zoid PRO's forged and they were great.  I just played with a set of Titleist 690.CB forged..and once again..great.

But, as we all know, this feeling of GREATNESS or forged-ness comes at a price.  The 690.CB's had to be hit on the button or it was a serious loss of distance and accuracy.  I wasn't spraying them all over the place, but the slightest error at contact would magnify the end result.  I have to admit the head size on the 690.CB's are a tad smaller so there is not much room for error from the beginning.

I love the size of the head on my AP1's, and some have said they seem Callaway-ish..and I'll admit it..true, but they aren't shovels.  Well, after a long and exaustive research I've decided to leave my beloved Titleist family and jump ship and get the Bridgestone J36 Forged pocket cavity back irons.  I would've like to have stayed with Titleist, but they still need to offer a mid-size full forged iron.  Yes, I know they have the 704 and 804..but heck..those irons are over 5 years old..c'mon already.

I was about to bid on some used J36 pocket cavity iron sets on Ebay, but unbelievably, has them BRAND SPANKING NEW for $399..and free shipping..heck some of these guys on Ebay were starting their auctions on their used J36's for that!?  Anyway, I called my order in today and hopefully it should be here by Monday.  A friend of mine has the same set and they are truly beautiful to look at.  Something about an all-forged chrome set that sends goosebumps all over the place.  The J36 pocket cavity irons tend to be more forgiving than the full cavity backs as they offer a deeper CG (center of gravity) than the regular cavity backs. 

Tour Design, Maximum Forgiveness
The J36 Pocket Cavity irons from Bridgestone offer a blend of today's game forgiving technology with a traditionalist look. The J36 Pocket Cavity is cut into the back of the club, making the CG lower and deeper than any other club in the J36 line, while continuing to offer maximum feel and control.

  • Premium forged 1020 mild carbon steel
  • Deep CG enhanced by Pocket Cavity results in maximum forgiveness (Higher MOI)
  • Thicker top line and sole inspires confidence
  • Tapered sole design for versatility in shot making
  • Trailing edge relief for better performance from a variety of lies
  • Rifle Project X flighted shafts - Regular: 5.0; Stiff: 6.0
  • Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips
So, I get the best of both worlds.  The head size of the J36 pocket cavity irons are similar to my AP1's AND they're fully forged.  It's like a driving a Bentley compared to a Cadillac..both nice..but you get my drift.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hidden Valley kicked my butt..

So there we were..discussing where to play for next time over email amongst friends..we were naming a few courses around and we "decided" to play at Hidden Valley Golf Course.  I've never played there so there wasn't anything I could say negative or positive about it..just go play it..right?
 The course is in Norco (just found out that means North Corona..Nor-Co..) and set in the mountains..first turn off.

Don't get me wrong, mountain courses are extremely beautiful to look at and be admired, but golf courses should not be made on them.  It's just not normal..or maybe I'm wrong..but golf courses should be on relatively flat land.  I'm down with mild undulations on a fairway, but when you have continuous faiways where the ball will go kicking off to the sides at any given time..well that is just plain, ridiculously hard..and not fun..beautiful..but not fun. 

One thing that bothered the crap out of me at Hidden Valley is that EVERY tee shot had to be on the money.  Straight, down the middle, was the only thing acceptable.  Sure, the sweeping canyons and bush were majestic to look at, but anything less then down the middle and you were in Lost City (I just made that up..gotta use that next time).  Another thing(s) that bothered me were all the frigging uphill holes.  Do people think these are fun to tee off on?  Do you like subtracting 50 yards from your drives?..not me..unfortunately.
 The views on Hidden Valley were amazing and so was the wind too.  Usually, the wind dies down after a certain part of the day..but not here.  It was windy from hole #2 to the nineteeth. 

So lets add all these together..narrow fairways, uphill holes and a enjoyable mix..not.   But, ALAS there is a happy ending to all of buddy Joe..on a very legitimate downhill, 170 yard par 3 hole..pured the sweetest sounding 7 iron.  It was mesmerizing to look at..the ball took off and apexed like a shooting star in the started to perfectly fade and dropped like a took a nice kick to the right..started to roll..and roll..and roll right into the cup!  Screw Tiger woods and his infamous Nike ball at the buddie Joe's had more drama..and I got a free beer out of it too.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Got a Scotty..again.

After weeks of debate and research I got another Scotty Cameron..a Fastback 1, to be exact.  I have a straight back and straight through style so I needed a face balanced putter.  I loved the SC Red-X when it came out and was very close to getting it, but then I decided I wanted something newer..and the Fastback 1 fit the bill.  They are truly works of art and just look so right.

I'm a member over at The Cameron Collector and they have a bunch of good folks that are selling Scotty Camerons left and right.  I got mine from a fellow member over there, it's 34" and 350g..and it fits like a glove.  Does it make me a better golfer? wel..does owning a Lamborghini make you a better driver..does owning a Rolex make you tell the time better? get my drift.

Anyway, I can say it does give you a sense of confidence knowing that you are putting with one of the the best putters available..if not..the best.  If you've been looking here and there for a putter, pick up a Scotty..I guarantee you that you've reached your destination.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Arizona Golf..the time is now!

When we think of Arizona the first thing that comes to mind is the Grand Canyon right? Well, some of the the best courses in the U.S., and the world too, are all located in the Grand Canyon state. Arizona golf, from the southern desert to the northern flats, is considered some of the most beautiful and well-designed in the world.

Verdant fairways and cool ponds dot the region, providing enchanting contrast to the stark mesas and prickly cactus that define the landscape. With all of this plus clear skies year round, it’s no wonder that avid amateurs and prestigious professional tournaments alike make Arizona their home..perhaps why Phil (Mickelson) has his own grill in Scottsdale.

Now with so many courses to play in Arizona..which one..right? Well, when it comes to golf that makes even the greatest players restless with anticipation, Scottsdale tops the leader board. Scottsdale golf houses over 200 golf courses which have had some folks like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson (duh), Kirk Triplett and Tom Weiskopf – many of whom call Scottsdale home. And not only does Scottsdale serve up gorgeous greens set amidst a stunning Sonoran Desert backdrop, the city also is home to an enviable collection of post-round hotspots that will keep you on par for the 19th hole.

Now, I have to admit Scottsdale is like the Beverly Hills of AZ golf, so if you're on a tighter budget there are still numerous holes to be had. Tucson golf and Phoenix golf also offers a very fine share of fairways and greens that won't break the bank. Either way, if you are looking to get away to some spectacular golf, golfing in Arizona can't be beat any way you look at it.