Friday, December 22, 2017

The Best Round of The Year
by Bill Cromwell
December 2017 
Pondering The Best Round of Golf During 2017
                  Pondering The Best Round of Golf During 2017

Ending the golf year is never a good thing, but before moving on to a new year of great golf, remembering your best round of the year will certainly ignite enthusiasm for playing more golf during 2018.

This past November on one of those perfect Indian summer days, the golf course was calling my name. Arriving early enough to warm up on the range to loosen these old bones after a week or so of non-golfing days — cold, rainy and seemed like the sun did not exist for weeks. Range time was encouraging, as I noticed my brief layoff must have alleviated my bad swing habits, and I’d returned to a proper swing plane. Off to the first tee with a positive attitude — it was going to be a great round.

Stripped the first tee shot down the middle landing about 110 yards from the green. It’s a short hole. Nevertheless, I dropped the approach shot three feet from the pin and knocked down a birdie. Oh ya!

Shot after shot was down the middle off the tee and then on the green in regulation. Who is this guy? Par after par. Sure there were few bogeys mixed in, but right back with a birdie and even an eagle mixed in. It was amazing. My swing was on, and my mind knew it. I was positive this was the round of the year in the making. I didn’t want to add the score after the front nine in fear of jinxing the round.

The back nine started with a par 5 hole and wouldn’t you know it, I bogeyed. Uh oh — did I lose that edge I had on the front nine? Evidently not, I birdied the par-3 11th. Game on, I was back on track — fairways and greens with one or two putts and onto the next hole. I even dropped several 40-foot putts. This was no doubt going to be my best round of the year.

It all came down to the last hole. A par 4 and all I needed to do was relax a hit one more fairway off the tee, get on the green in regulation and two-putt for yet another par. The approach landed 30 feet from the hole. Okay, not bad, I can two-putt from there. Carefully reading the break, I figured it’s slight left-to-right, snuggle it up close, maybe to two feet, and I’d have a tap-in par. No snuggling that day — drained it!

The round of the year, I carded a 69. Best round of putting all year, I just couldn’t miss. Man, I love those 8-inch cups!

With all the craziness in the world, thank goodness, we have golf. We all make plenty of really bad shots, but it’s the great ones we remember.

Merry Christmas! See you next year!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Should You Carry a 15th Club — a Battery-Operated Leaf Blower During The Fall and Winter?


Should You Carry a 15th Club — a Battery-Operated Leaf Blower In Your Bag During The Fall and Winter?

You may have been playing golf in the fall when a fellow golfer announces, “I can’t find it, so I’m going to invoke the leaf rule.” So, what’s up with this “leaf rule” thing and is it legal?

No, there is no such thing as the “leaf rule,” according to the USGA. The “leaf rule” was simply invented by an unknown golfer to keep the pace of play moving.

The Rules of Golf consider the seasons, including the time of year when leaves are dropping faster than the Health Care Plan Coverage.

If a “course” has a local rule allowing the natural accumulation of leaves to be treated as ground under repair, and you’re sure that your ball is lost under leaves, you may find the nearest point of relief and take a drop without penalty within one club-length from the spot where the ball crossed into the leaves, but no closer to the hole, (Rule 25-1, Decision 33-8/31). However, if your shot went out-of-bounds, then you must re-tee (or drop nearest last stroke) and take one penalty stroke as stated in the USGA’s rules of golf.

Without a local rule, leaves are loose impediments. You can’t move your ball when removing leaves or it’s a one-stroke penalty, and the ball must be replaced. The same is true if you’re searching through leaves and the ball moves. But if your ball is covered by leaves in a bunker or a water hazard, there’s no penalty if the ball moves during a search. Just replace the ball and cover it with leaves, if necessary, so only part of the ball is visible (Rule 18-2, 12-1). If you find your ball in leaves piled for removal, see Rule 25-1b.

Golf purists feel the “Leaf Rule” is a cop-out to allow golfers to “cheat” with a free drop for hitting a bad shot that landed in leaves — an area that would have been a lost ball without leaves. Further stating that golfers don’t request the “leaf rule” when their ball is in the fairway or on the green.

We should always adhere to the rules of golf. However, it could be said, that fall and winter golf should be played for fun and to keep our game/swing tuned-up for the regular season, but for the sake of those golfers following you — don’t spend all day looking for a golf ball in the leaves or weeds. Buy some of those cheaper priced bright orange or yellow golf balls rather than pricey Pro V1’s. When you lose the cheaper balls, you won’t feel like it’s such a big deal. 

Lastly, remember the second-most-complained-about annoyance — cart paths only. If you want to play on nice fairways next spring and summer, then stay on paths when courses request it. There is a reason courses request paths only, and it’s not to annoy you; it’s to save the turf. Fall can offer great golf weather, and rates are at their lowest now, so when the mood strikes, tee-it-up and enjoy the day.

Hope to see you on the course this fall.
Bill Cromwell
Publisher, TEE TIMES GOLF GUIDE Magazine
Kansas City Golf News

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fall and Winter Golf Tips to Stay Warm and Have Fun

Fall and Winter Golf Tips to Stay Warm and Have Fun

I received a few comments on the following article from readers who misinterpreted the last half of the article beginning with the line, “On to another topic that, I gotta tell you, just drives me nuts,” regarding “Those guys who dillydally stopping for lunch at the turn.” The reader, who did not read the statements entirely, assumed I was referring to the course employees negatively. Not at all! I was referring to exactly what I said, “Those guys who dillydally stopping for lunch at the turn,” with only a one sentence reference to a slow person behind the counter. Hey, that person was slow! But, that was not what the article was about, so please read entirely.
Fall golf, you’ve got love it — we have no other choice! I must admit that I prefer wearing shorts and sweating a bit while I golf. I stay loose when I’m warm, plus the ball compresses better and I hit longer drives (if I hit it well). Ball compression is something you might consider during the colder months of the season. If you’re one of those players who’s just gotta play a ProV, then do yourself a favor and buy some lower compression balls this time of year. A Precept Laddie, Wilson 50+, TaylorMade Rocketballz, Titleist DT Solo and other similar brands work well for cool weather golf — they’re also less expensive. You might consider using the bright yellow balls —they’re much easier to see in the dormant fairway grass and easier to spot in the leaves.

Dressing in layers is the theme for winter golf. My winter golf rule is — if it’s a nice sunny day with low winds, I’ll play. However, as I said earlier, I prefer to be warm or hot. I dress in layers starting with lightweight Under Armour, if it’s really cold, and layering up from there with a mock turtleneck, pullover vest and a jacket that has zip-off sleeves making a second vest. I like clothing that keeps me warm, but also allows unrestricted use of my arms. As I get warm, I just peel a layer off and keep on swinging. Because most courses allow jeans in winter — I have a secret for you! Go to Bass Pro Shops and get a pair of Redhead flannel-lined jeans. These things are toasty, and they come in three different flannel thicknesses and feel like PJ’s when you’re wearing them. Save the dress slacks for those warmer days.

On to another topic that, I gotta tell you, just drives me nuts — those guys who dillydally stopping for lunch at the turn. It’s bad enough when the counter person is as slow as a snail at simply putting a hotdog on a bun, but then you have the guys who think they can sit down and leisurely eat the dog at the snack bar — then just jump back on the 10th tee, oblivious to the players coming off nine. How about using some common sense if you don’t want to play golf using etiquette — if you stop and sit down for lunch, you lose your spot on the course.

www.TeeTimesMagazine.com.That means you can’t just jump back in front of a group. You eat, you lose — simple as that! Instead, you should wait it out until no one is coming off the ninth green, and then tee off on the tenth. And, swallow the hulls of those damn sunflower seeds you eat, and stop spitting them on the greens — it’s gross and they’re in my line! Have some respect for the course, if not the golfers behind you.

Okay, now get out and play some golf this winter. Pick a sunny day with low winds, a low compression ball, get some flannel jeans, eat fast, leave the sunflower seeds at home and go play golf.

Oh, have fun too!

Footnote: I will post the reader comments mentioned in the intro and my reply in a later post — stay tuned. As always, see current and past magazine issue at www.TeeTimesMagazine.com.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Idiots Yelling, Mash Potatoes at PGA TOUR Events

It’s seems like every U.S. PGA tournament I watch on TV anymore is mostly about how loud some moron can yell something absurd to make sure his idiot friends at home know it was him yelling. I did not hear this stuff once while watching the British Open (the Open Championship). In fact, the crowd there seemed very respectful — sure they hollered, but mostly motivational things towards their favorite players. Who are these idiots yelling, “Mash potatoes,” and stuff like, “Get in the hole,” when the pros tee off on a 560-yard par 5 at PGA tournaments? Why isn’t someone in the crowd telling these idiots to shut their traps or knocking the fools out!

While watching the recent Bridgestone Invitational, every stinking shot Tiger hit, some jerk was yelling, “Get in the hole!” It couldn’t have been the same guy — there’s no way he could move through the crowd that fast to the next hole. If it was the same guy, why didn’t someone stuff a hotdog in his mouth every time he opened his trap or escort him off the property?

In the Open Championship, Tiger finished T6. He appeared mad on just about every shot he took. In fact, he was busted more than once for dropping the “GD” bomb on microphone, and slamming clubs to the ground, spurring some pretty harsh criticisms from broadcasters, and rightful so. However, a few weeks later in the Bridgestone Invitational, suddenly he’s a new player with a better attitude, and he vaults to a huge early lead, going on to win his fifth tournament of the year by seven stokes. Tiger played like a different player with a completely different attitude — he actually looked like he was having fun.

This got me thinking about my own game. Some days, I play my absolute worst golf — when I’m frustrated or mad just because I’m not hitting the ball well that day. It’s almost as if I’ve convinced myself of the last statement, and I play that way for all 18 holes. No, I don’t throw or slam clubs to the ground — I mostly hold the frustrations inside.

Recently, I was playing with three players who, well let’s just say, made me feel really good about my golf game. They must have lost two dozen golf balls and, if counting all their strokes, shot well over 100. I played my best that day. I hit nearly every fairway dead-center, every green in regulation, and shot par on all but six holes. The six holes I didn’t par were the results of bad shots, but the guys I was playing with were having such a tough day — nothing could make me feel bad about my mishits, so I never got frustrated or angry. I played like a different player with a completely different attitude and scored well.

I learned something that day. In golf, even Tiger’s game is off when he’s frustrated and not relaxed on the course. It’s not always a good idea to play to your competitors’ game, even when they are beating you by a landslide. Play your game, relax and have fun. Bad shots happen, but good shots can outweigh the bad, if you focus on the good ones and forget the bad ones. Have fun golfing, but please don’t be that guy yelling “Mash potatoes,” or “Get in the hole,” that’s just dumb!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

KC Golfers Ready For More Good Golf Days

Well, it appears as though we’re getting payback for our great 2012 early spring that began in February with 70-degree golf days. This year, we barely had any good golf days until May, and now, we’re already into June. Wow!

For the business of golf and for golfers, life has not been good so far this year. Let’s hope record heat is not the discussion of the day for July and August this year as it was in 2012. Golfers better take advantage of the good golf days this month and play often, just in case. The courses need your businesses, too, so spread the love this year and play a few different courses. Test your game at different venues occasionally — you might discover a few courses that will better suit you, and you’ll experience new challenges.

Plan now to attend the great events in or around Kansas City during June and July. The 7th Annual Watson Challenge, featuring Tom Watson, is back in KC, June 7 – 9. This year, find time to watch Tom Watson and many of the very best players within the area compete for the title of best golfer in KC. See more about The Watson Challenge on page 12 of our June issue at www.TeeTimesmagazine.com.

Share your favorite sport with your child during Take Your Daughter to the Course Week, July 8 –14. Local courses will offer additional special promotions. Contact your local course to find out what they will be offering. See page 36 for more information, and then play golf with your junior during June.

Til next time — Get out and play golf.