Modified Scramble

Out of the Sand Like A Pro

I played Men’s Night at Osprey Links golf course and had a blast.  As most players know, men’s night is a great time to meet new people and play fun golf games.  Yesterday, I played a modified 4-man scramble that I have never heard of before.  Here is how it went:

It was a 9-hole 4- man scramble.  Each player teed off at every hole.  After the drive, the team decided which player would play their own ball alone while the other three played a scramble format.

Side note: for those who do not know, scramble format is where everyone hits off the tee, you pick the best shot, everyone else picks up their ball and goes the the best shot location and hits again.  Continue until holed out.

After the singleton and scramble team holed out, we added both scores together for our total score.  Each player had to play by themselves for two holes.  The ninth hole could be played by anyone.  For a par 36, we scored 35 for the scramble and 42 for the singleton.  I tell you it was loads of fun!  It was interesting because of the strategy we were trying to use to outsmart the game, but it all came down to playing your own ball under pressure.

The weather was great, the course was great and the company was fantastic.  I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!

1 Down 79 to Go

This year, I hope to match my last years number of 80 rounds.  In the short northern Canada season it is difficult, but at least it something to shoot for!  Yesterday was my first round.  I have scored as low as 1 over at Osprey Golf Links, however yesterday was not the case.  I did shoot close to what I expected after only hitting 40 balls at the range on Friday.

I could go into all the poor shots I made (and there were a few), but that is not what this blog is about!  It is about being grateful for playing golf and focusing on the fun and positive aspects of hitting the links.  So here is what was great yesterday.

I played with two of my good friends.  We laughed, cried, joked, and supported each other around 18 holes of fun in the sun.  I have golfed quite often with these guys and every time I walk away feeling happy and grateful.  That is what good friends are all about.

The weather was fantastic.  A little wind, bright and sunny, no bugs and the temperature was perfect – 23 degrees Celsius.

I made great contact on some of my shots.  Especially with my new Callaway Razr Fit Driver and 3 Wood.  I have added about 10 – 15 yards distance from my old clubs.  I am excited because using these clubs should only get better as the season unfolds.

I chipped pretty well.  My 52 degree Vokey Wedge was working extremely well.  However, my 56 and 60 degree wedges need some work.  Although, my best shot came from my 60 degree wedge.  I was 5 yards off the green and the pin was 10 paces on.  The grass was thick, so I opened the face slightly, swung with a firm grip and flopped the ball within 6 inches of the hole….and yes I made the putt.  My short game will get better, especially when I practice!

Lastly, I carried my clubs.  Some may not think that this is something to be grateful for, but I do because I like to carry if possible.  Golf is a sport that does require a certain level of physical fitness and carrying my clubs is a good indicator if I am ready for the golf season. I am not far off, so I will be hitting the gym next week.

Yesterday’s round of golf was fantastic.  It was a great way to start my season.  I am looking forward to getting out there on Monday or Tuesday!

I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!

Is Golfing Fun?

Golf is a good walk spoiled – Mark Twain

Is golfing really fun?  What is the major draw for people to spend 3 – 5 hours outside chasing a little white ball?  I have heard, read and watched many aspects of the game, but is golf really fun?  Well, I am here to say without a doubt that golf is fun…..if you get it!

hole in one - Osprey Golf Course

Hole-In-One, 26 Jul 12, Osprey Links Golf Course

Throughout my life, many people have asked me about golf?  They wondered why I devoted so much time to a sport that looked easy to play, but in actuality was very difficult. I would explain about the personal challenges, the uniqueness of each round, the enjoyment of spending times with new and old friends, but they never seemed to get it.  They just could not grasp the concept of how golf enriches our lives.

I actually had this conversation not to long ago and it made me think of why I spend 25 hours a week practicing, playing and learning about a sport/hobby/pastime.  Well, I have finally reach a definitive conclusion and I am sure it really only makes sense to me.  My darling wife supports my golf habit, my friends laugh at my desire to constantly play, and my family have given up trying to explain it.  So here is my reason why I love to play golf:

IT MAKES ME HAPPY!    Yup that is it.  It makes me happy.  The joy I feel when I walk up to the first tee in anticipation of what is to come is something I have always enjoyed.  Stroking a hole-in-one (three times) provides an almost unexplained sense of excitement.  Walking early in the morning, experiencing the sunrise, listening to the birds and watching the wild life is so peaceful.  Watching your friend achieve a milestone and sharing in their triumph.  Connecting with people from around the world and sharing a common theme that only golf can offer is rewarding.  Teaching your children how to play golf is priceless.  I could go on and on, but I believe you get it!

I am grateful for being able to enjoy golf.  It has brought untold joy into my life.  I believe golf is the best sport in the world.  I truly am a grateful golfer.

What has golf done for you?

Too Much Respect!

True Patriot Love FoundationToday I had the tremendous opportunity to play at the North Bay Country Club (NBCC).  They opened 4 tee times for military members in support of True Patriot Love Foundation.  The NBCC, like other courses in the North Bay, Ontario, region such as Pinewood Park Resort and Osprey Links Golf Course, presents an excellent challenge to any golfer.  The course was in fantastic shape, the greens were fast and the fairways plush.  The sun was shining…..I guess you get the picture.  I am a grateful golfer.

Too Much Respect!  The greens at the NBCC constantly presented a challenge.  They are extremely tough to read, fast if you are not below the hole and most are elevated.  As I played the course today, I found myself extremely tentative and unsure of my approach shots.  I was intimidated and afraid to play my game.

Well after 5 holes, I decided that I was giving the greens too much respect!  So I decided to play my game, hunt for pins and focus on my strengths.  What a difference.  I started to take advantage of my opportunities and as a result I scored the same over par for the last 13 holes as I did for the first 5 holes.  So the lesson for me, and I suggest for many golfers, is to always play my game, stay focused on my strengths and enjoy the time on the links.

I want to thank the local courses for opening their doors for the serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces.  Your generosity is heart warming and appreciated!

Which Shot Was the Worst?

Today, I learned a valuable lesson.  I was golfing with a friend and we were playing pretty well.  We were enjoying the beautiful weather, excellent conditions at Osprey Links, and great conversation.  I am a grateful golfer just for the outstanding time on the links.

All was going well until the 16th hole.  It is a long uphill par 5 with a difficult approach shot.  I hit the ball a little long and rolled off the back into the long grass.  Now the fun begins.  I hit my 52 degree and chilly dipped the shot.  Frustrated, I walked up to the ball on the fringe and sculled it 25 feet from the pin.  A smooth 2 putt and ta da – 7.

So which was the worst shot….you are right.  It was the 5th shot I sculled across the green.  Every once in a while, I make silly mistakes like this.  I should have walked over to my bag, grabbed the proper club and my putter.  Then walk back to the ball and focus and visualize the ball going in the hole.  This is an important lesson I continue to relearn.

Everyone makes a bad shot, it is what you do next that counts.  Reducing strokes by staying focused and accepting that sometimes bad shots happen will reduce your overall score.  Besides, on such a fantastic day what did I have to complain about…I am a grateful golfer!