Small game

People from work keep asking for a game to be put together and other people have asked for one as well so I put one together. Friday seemed to be the popular day requested so that is when I set it up...except I inadvertently put Saturday on the evite. So we ended up with just 5 people. Grr.

Emily was to my left, Roman to her left, Phil to his left, and Steve immediately to my right. I started out horribly. Every time I flopped top pair, someone else flopped something better. For example, I checked my option with A/8. Flop came 5/7/8. I raised, Phil re-raised. Turned out he had flopped a straight. 

We started with 10K and I was down to maybe 7K when I pulled pocket kings. With blinds of 50/100 I picked up pocket Kings. I raised to 400, Emily called. Flop was A/Q/something small. I raised, she called very quickly. I put her on the Ace and checked when the turn brought a blank. Surprisingly, she checked as well.  The river was a 9 and she bet out. Since I had put her on the Ace there was no way I could call but I really agonized over it. Finally I folded face up...and she flipped up pocket 9s. Right fold, wrong cards I thought she had. But it was several more chips, too...

Finally I got down to about 4200. Picked up a hand, doubled up through Steve. Slowly started to rebuild my stack. Slowly but surely I built a lead and soon I had over half the chips in play...but not on any memorable hands. Just kept picking up blinds and small pots. 

Got down to 3 way between Roman, Emily & I. Roman was first to fall and then it was heads up. But Emily only had 3K, I had about was just a matter of time. Finally we got all in pre-flop with my a/3 against her K/4. I hit a meaningless 3 and took it down.


THe Goose's inaugral round

So lately the Goose has expressed some interest in learning how to golf. A week or two ago a few of us...okay, 12...went to a kind of "joke" course where I showed her the basics of a golf swing.

When I say joke course...the fairways are harder to hit out of than the deep rough on real golf courses. The rule is to "sweep the green when you are finished putting" because the "greens" are...well...sand.

Still, she learned the basics of the swing and how to hit the ball. So we went to a short Par 3. As in 1113 total yards for 18 holes. REAL short. The longest hole was 82 yards. But that is okay...she does not hit it real far yet.
I, on the other hand, do. I played the entire course never needing a club longer than a soft gap wedge and most of it was my sand wedge, a club I will hit anywhere from about 50 yards on in. I was mostly trying to put a new shot in my bag, a flop shot.
As you can see, even by the second hole her swing is still a bit stiff. We are working on that. The first hole was about what you would expect. 64 yards, straight, sand to the left. I was on in one, 2 putted for a par. She reached in 3 and 3 putted.
Her putting instruction was not extensive: "You have played mini-golf, right?"


"Just do the same thing here. Don't worry about reading greens or anything like that, just roll the ball to the hole." I have to admit, for her being a new golfer...that actually worked pretty well. For an executive course it had some interesting greens, including one that had better than a foot of left to right break on maybe a 10 foot putt. That I did not expect...
Anyhow, the second hole was more of the same. I reached in one, 2 putted for par, she reached in 3 and 3-putted.
On the third hole, I reached in 2 and 1-putted while she reached in 2 and 3 putted.
And so it went; she had 5 6s, 2 7s, an 8 and a 5 going out, I had 6 3s, a 4, 5, and 6. Yes, on hole 8 I really struggled.
I tried to flop a pitching wedge. It did not go well...and proving sometimes I don't learn from my errors, I tried a flop shot with my sand wedge. So it took me three to get on the green. And I was at the wrong end. I wimped on my first putt, leaving an 8 - 10 footer...and here is where the break came. So I 3 putted. Meanwhile, the Goose was on in 3, then 3 it took her all of 8 holes into her golfing career to match my score on a hole.
Anyhow, I shot a 33 going out to her 57.
On hole 10 she actually accomplished another first. She overdrove a 56 yard green. She discovered she did not need to be afraid of taking a full swing. She still ended up taking a 6, but now she knew she had more power than she had thought.
Hole 11 was a 54 yarder. Her drive landed on the green. She 2 putted for her first par! (and the second time her score equaled mine...)
I am still super proud of that, even though it was a short course; getting up and down in 3 on your first time on a course, even a short course, is something I find impressive.
As golfers will, she promptly regressed and took a 7, but still...
Hole 14 was my only birdie of the day as I was on in one and drained a nice little 10 footer that broke right to left. It was a pretty good read on that hole.
She also impressed on the 17th hole. She hit into a sand trap and, given the choice of hitting out of the sand or me tossing the ball out of the sand for her to hit, she hit out of the sand. And did pretty well, I might add.
She improved 7 shots on the back 9, touching up a 57 while I stayed the same at 33 coming in.
I am super excited she has taken up the game. I am also excited she is showing so much improvement so quickly.

Posted by Picasa

How You Doin?

I am an "emergency" sub this year. Game 1 was rained out. Game 2, they needed me so off I went. Tried out my shoulder...actually able to put a good swing on it. Cool. He put me at short. Top of the first I came up with 2 outs and Nick on 1st. I cracked it right up the for a solid double but the next batter got out.

Bottom half of the inning I had one chance, a ball hit softly to my left which I gloved cleanly but it was hit too softly and my throw was late. It was a tough throw as by now I was left of second base and had to throw back across my body, but it was accurate.

A couple batters later I dove for a ball to my right but it was out of reach.

Next time at bat there were 2 on and again I went straight up the middle, this time for a triple. Made 2 more of those plays scrambling left and throwing back across my body. Made both plays.

Next at bat there were runners on first and third. I rained it off the fence in right center and had another triple. Came up a second time in the inning, this time I hit it well but slow runners on first and second held me to a single.

Bottom half of the inning, runners on first and second, I knew where the girl was going to hit it. She did. I went to pick up the ball, step on second and throw to first for the inning ending double -play...and just didn't pick up the ball. Next batter grounded the same place but faster, this time I stepped on the bag but the throw was a hair late. No problem, made the next play as well, another slow roller to my left, throw from behind second and made the out.

Came up with 2 on. Got my pitch, put it down the right field line and strolled around for the home run. I had my cycle!

We made the plays in the bottom half of the inning with Larianne making a nice catch in left to end the game. Sadly, we crushed them (the Jolly Rocks) something like 19-3 or some such score.

On the bright side, I made about 10 plays and only missed 1. My hitting was back. One of the reasons I was more or less planning to quit is I felt like I was just hurting the team every game with my inability to field, throw or hit. It was nice being a solid contributor again.

Starving Crazed Weasels, August

Nice turnout of 12 or 13 people. Tough night.

Flopped top pair, Kings, with Jack kicker. Bet it. People stuck to river, hit an Ace on the river.
Flopped top pair, 10s. Bet it. River was an Ace. He had A/K.
Flopped 2 pair. Bet them. Someone stuck to river, hit inside straight.

Bet pocket 10s, pocket 9s, and A/J, all of which people folded.
Emily was real low, I had K/J to her K/9, she was all in. Hit the 9 on the river.
Now I was low.

Had K/Q suited, she was all-in again, Kevin and Tim both called. So many chips in the pot I took my shot. Lost on the river.

Now I had 300. Pocket9s. All-in. Kevin called with J/3. I doubled up.

Blinds raised to 50/100. By now I had 450. I was UTG, 6 players. Picked up A/3. Next hand I would be in the blinds, people had folded to my raises...all-in. Emily called. Eric called. Tim called. I am screwed.

Flop was like K/4/3. I had a pair and backdoor straight. Never hit anything. Eric bet all the way, Tim and Emily called. But Eric and Tim had nothing. Emily had Pocket Queens.

Just never got it going. Could not bet people off when I had the better hand and the river crushed me. Played well, made no difference. Sigh.



Played some best ball. Dave and I against John and Jim.

Last time we played I teamed with John. He is not a particularly long hitter but he is accurate. He often struggles to chip when a hazard is in front of him such as a sand trap or water but otherwise he will get you on the green in 2 - 3 shots on par 4s.

Dave is similar to me. He will typically fade or slice his drive but plays for it and hits a lot of fairways. His chips are generally accurate and his putts are very solid. He is probably a bogey golfer or so, maybe 1 or 2 shots worse over 9 holes.

I am getting my game back, but for now I have very little control over my driver, my mid-irons are shaky, but my chipping is pretty good.

I have not played with Jim for years but he tends to have titanic drives but then breaks down in the short game.

So Jim would provide the drives, John the mid-range game and they would split putting duties. Dave and I would split it all, we are very similar golfers.

My first shot was just humiliating. I almost completely whiffed and dribbled the ball about 10 yards. They insisted I re hit and this time I put it about 200 yards down the fairway, though it did fade to the right. My iron shot went left and Dave floated to the green, we played one of his putts and one of mine to par the hole. Meanwhile, Jim had a titanic drive but pulled it left. John was short but in the fairway. They hit the green and 2 putted.

2nd hole is a par 3. John hit short but center of fairway, Dave pulled it into the trees though it was bending back into play. Jim over drove the green and almost into the street. All I had to do was drop in on the green and we would pick up a shot or 2. My shot started good but then sliced like a mother and we ended up playing Dave's shot. I hit a nice punch shot that gave us a make able putt. Somehow we both missed and bogeyed, as did the Double Js.

Third hole, my drive was long but further right. If we were not playing best ball I would have liked it but Dave was almost center of fairway though slightly behind a tree. Dave hit the fringe a bit short, so I decided to try a miracle shot and go over the tree. Unfortunately I way over drove the green. I made up for it by flopping a shot about 3 feet from the pin, Dave putted in for par.

At this point I was feeling a bit bad. We had played 5 of my shots...out of 12. I was only 1 off the pace but did not feel like I was holding up my end.

Starting on hole 4 that changed. I blasted my drive long and on the right side of the fairway. We were about 135 yards from the hole with an uphill hit over a sand trap. I pulled my shot into the OTHER sand trap and Dave skulled his shot. So we would play from the sand. And when we got there the ball was totally plugged....buried. And we had to go the long way across a big green. Dave suggested I move it but I wanted to try the shot. So I blasted the ball...and it was AWESOME. Just like you are supposed to, I kicked up sand onto the green, the ball exploded out onto the green to about 6 feet from the hole. My putt was terrible...but Dave hit it to save par and we picked up a stroke. It worked great...he had a poor drive, mid-iron and chip but saved us with a great putt. I had a poor middle iron and putt...but they worked.

Hole 5 goes over one water hole and then a wide fairway that has water in front of the hole, sand to the side and behind. I demolished the ball, long and to the right side of the fairway. John was medium distance and dead center in the fairway while Woody (Jim) just destroyed his ball. We later found it and had it been straight he might have driven the green. Well, from 115 yards out Dave launched his ball over the green. With water in front...what to do. I sort of did a modified pitching wedge...and it was GORGEOUS, landing about 8 feet from the cup. My birdie put missed by about 6" and Dave was about the same. We parred the hole

Hole 6 is a long par 4 with a slight dogleg right. Again I unleashed and for the first time in any one's memory, someone out drove Jim...I drove it maybe 250, landing inside 30 yards. A nice sand wedge shot gave us a make able birdie putt...and we THREE PUTTED. Awful putting display. Mine was so bad it was embarrassing. Drive, chip, good. Putt? I suck.

Hole 7 is a short par 3, I think 118 yards. For the first time all day I ripped out my 9 iron. Unfortunately., the sun was right in my eyes. I could not even see the green. I decided to "trust my club" but pulled it left. Dave then hit a great shot that gave us another 6 - 8' birdie put. Yeah, we missed it. That was all Dave's hole, though.

Hole 8 we ended up on the green in 2 thanks to another fine drive I had and good chip but a 4 putt...yes, I said 4...put us 3 over par.

The 9th hole is a par 3 over water to an uphill green. Dave and I both landed on the green. Again my putt was just embarrassing...way off line, way off distance. Dave had a nice putt to get us close and we parred again to finish 3 over, 3 or 4 shots ahead of Jim and John.

Overall I would say my drives were probably about a B for me, my mid irons maybe a C, my short chips a solid B or even an A, and my putting an F. Fortunately, Dave picked me up when I was struggling and vice versa. We meshed well, it was a fun day.



Was asked to be a replacement in a charity golf tournament. Have only gone once this year and that was with a foursome where we had 2 teams each playing best ball. Fair enough, just don't expect much from me.

First hole we play has a sign, "217 yards to end of fairway". No problem, I rip out my beloved 7 Wood and promptly overdrive the end of it, which I could not see at the time because it was a drop away area. Anyhow, we played that one and my second shot as well, which I put a ways out there. In fact, on that hole we played 3 of my shots so I was feeling good.

We played par golf for the first 3 holes, then a bogey when none of us could hit the green on a par 5. That would prove to be a trend.

It was on our 8th hole it all went wrong. By then I was already starting to feel fatigue. We put together 4 pathetic drives. The BEST of the 4 was maybe a 150 yard "blast" that landed in a fairway bunker. Out of the bunker, 3 of us hit about 30 yards each and one guy somehow cranked it up to about pin high...but on a downhill lie looking over a sand trap to a green that fell away from us. We just shook our heads...this was a shot none of us was capable.

I laughed. "Don't worry, I got this. I am going to hit a sand wedge flop shot that will bring rain, land about 3 feet the other side of the cup and back up to it." We all laughed because....well...I can't do any of that.

First off, I can't hit the sand wedge at all. Horrible club for me. I have no clue what yardage I hit, when I do pull it out I typically skull shots, and I can't hit a flop or put back spin on it.

So I promptly hit a shot that went about 100 yards straight up in the air, floated over, landed a little beyond the stick and backed up to about 4 feet from the cup to give us an easy par save. It was AWESOME. And unbelievable. That is NOT a shot I have in my bag.

Well, Dave was collecting the other balls and rolled one towards Jason...and it dropped. But we putted from mine. Easy put. Straight line, no break, make able distance. Oh, not make able for us...we all 4 yipped and bogeyed the hole.

It was a melt-down after that. My 7 Wood, which I NEVER struggle with suddenly I could not swing. I hit 40 yard drives with it where the divot out-flew the ball, sliced my driver like nobodies business...and everyone else was struggling too. We mixed pars and bogeys about equally.

On one hole I again over drove the fairway because I did not realize there was a chasm beyond the fairway. Jim was at the end of the fairway. Jim, Jason and Dave promptly all hit into that chasm which meant my chip into the sand trap short of the green was the best shot. "No problem," I said, "I have a sand wedge." We all laughed because we had seen my sand shot earlier. Except this time I hit it perfect, had the flying sand like you are supposed to and rolled it about 3 feet from the cup.

The next hole we took our one mulligan. It was a 136 yard par 3 that my beloved 8 iron...far and away my 2nd best club and one that I used to hit about 165 yards...was a good 20 yards short. Jim re-hit his drive and it ended up on the fringe about pin high. I rolled a bump and run to about 6" from the cup, Jim was about 10", Jason missed by a couple feet...and Dave holed out for a (cheap) birdie.

Next hole I broke out my driver for no apparent reason and crushed it (for me these days) about 260 yards. Unfortunately, that put us about 135 yards from the hole on an uphill side hill lie to a blind green with a tree overhanging it.

"No problem," I said, "I am going to blast my pitching wedge over the tree about 8" from the cup." We all laughed since I had hit my 9 iron short on a 120 yard shot a few holes previously. Clearly a Pitching Wedge was not going to carry 135 yards uphill. So I blasted the pitching wedge, it flew over the tree, we all lost sight of it. After everyone else hit, we rolled up the hill, my ball was pin high about a foot off the green in the fringe. Great shot.

That was about it for the great shots for me for the day.

We ended with a 7 over 79 for the day, not bad for 3 duffers and a guy who had not played in 6 years. We hit 2 illegitimate shots all day: we brought my first drive somewhat back from the OB per the "official" rules which was kind of cheesy and we took the mulligan. Otherwise it was totally legit.

I played surprisingly well even without having good control over my 7 wood or 8 iron...which are typically the 2 clubs I hit 80% of my shots with. I definitely felt like I held up my end. We used at least a half dozen of my drives, 8 or 10 chips, 5 or 6 I would say overall about 20 - 25 of my shots were used so I was right there with Dave and Jim. Jason had not played in about 6 years and we ended up using maybe 5 of his shots.

And we had fun so that was good. Good experience, glad I went.