Golfing How I Started, How I Hacked, How I Improved
for me started very young. It wasn't as dramatic as some of the pros who started swinging on a course at age 5. Tiger was like scoring in the 70s at 5 wasn't he? Anyhow for me golfing started in gramps back yard with a one iron with a brown wood shaft hitting plastic golf balls with really no destination in mind. Every Sunday we'd be up at gramps and sometime during the day I would hit the plastic golf balls. One Sunday we actually set up a small little course complete with styrophome cubs dug into the ground with flags. We'd hit the golf ball about 50 times over par like we even knew what par was. It was fun but chaos golf. As I got older in Rhode Island somewhere in the early teen years my friends and I grabbed some old clubs and went out to Melody Hills Golf Course. It was a small course and perfect for young clueless hackers like we were. It was there we learned some more of the rules and a few friends played on the high school golf team and so some of the rules started to rub off when clubs were flying and balls were banging off trees. I do remember hitting a birdie on a small par three by hitting a 30 foot putt. I have no idea how it went in. In time we ventured to other courses like Country View Golf Club. This was up in northern RI. I liked it because it was close to Tarklin fishing pond where I caught a big trout as a kid. Anyhow the course was a little bigger and nicer than Melody Hills but it was harder. I remember a big willow tree that sucked up my golf balls and the pond that drank them. We were very bad golfers back then. Scoring 8's was common and only a couple of guys could get below 100 for 18 holes. I remember the humidity, mosquitoes, and many laughs. Over time my buds got pretty good. Me I was always scoring last. I could hit the snot out of a baseball but golf balls going strait wasn't my thing. Triggs Golf Course is where we eventually golfed at. This is a golf course where the big boys play. Many of my friends still golf there today. Billy Andrade the pride of Rhode Island golf played there and he did very well on the PGA tour for years. So by the time we started golfing there some of the guys were well into the 90s and one would get into the 80s.
Golf on Cape CodGolfing
on Cape Cod by far and away were some of the best times I had Golfing in my lifetime of 40 years. A good friend's mom and aunt had a beautiful home around the elbow of the Cape and before they went down for the summer they allowed a bunch of guys to stay there. They still go and I haven't been for years but I'm granfathered in as they say being one of the origionals to invade the area back in the 90s. There is just something about the cool salty air and all the greenery of the Cape. Looking over the ocean from almost every angle, the wonderful homes and of course the great sea food. Golfing was always a competition of teams or handicaps. I actually won once with my astronomical handicap. The games go on became the theme when golfing one morning. Fog, clouds, and rain were all over but we golfed on. The nightlife was very fun but playing cards on the screen porch was what most did. Then of course the fights for the beds in the bedrooms were always comical. Mainly because grown men with jobs and some married would actually fight! I always took the lowroad and found my way to the couch. I flew up to the Cape a couple of times with my friends helping to pay the way. One of these years I'd like to get back to New England and golf again with the group.
Golf in GeorgiaGolfing in Georgia
started for me in 1991 when I moved to take a meteorology job with a telecommunications company. My college buddies soon moved to the southeast from New England and we became room mates. We went out and hit the golf ball around every now and then to some local courses. Forgive me my memorie escapes me. I know we golfed a few times at Browns Mill golf course in Atlanta and Bobby Jones course also. It wasn't long before I found a job at The Weather Channel which was a real special place to work at in the early 90's. A real family atmosphere and many of us liked to golf. So one of the funny stories told at my expense is a group of us went out to I believe the Boulders Golf Course on a typical hot and humid afternoon. Thunderstorms rolled through so picture several carts of meteorologists flying back to the club house because we were caught in rain! There were rivers of water draining off that course. I had a pink umbrella borrowed from a friend that was left in the middle of a fairway after taking a shot. Well it took me a while to remember where it was so I started screaming WHERE's MY UMBRELLA WHERE's MY UMBRELLA which ignited some laughter from those I was golfing with. To this day that story still comes up the few times I talk to those who were there. Golfing is a great thing to do at work. The Atlanta Country Club would host PGA tournements and we would go to watch. We drove to Columbus Georgia to Calloway Gardens to golf one day. This was a beautiful golf course. It's funny now I try to remember all the details and can't. In this day and age it would be great to have the golf journal book to record shots and memories on the course. There is just the feeling of a good time with friends.
Golfing in North Carolina
I left The Weather Channel to pursue television in Raleigh North Carolina for the start up NBC affiliate. I did play alot of golf here. Cheviot Hills is where I would go to hit the ball around by myself mostly. I would practice often on the chipping and putting green. River Ridge Golf Course was my favorite here. I golfed here with friends often and it was perfectly laid out surrounded by lob lolly pines and along some great rolling hills. It was a housing community so you had to dodge homes every now and then. Will Mar was another very nice course. I remember a teaching friend from Rhode Island coming down for spring break or winter break and we'd go and chase the white ball around. It really was my only time to have a shot at beating him. It typically was his first time out so I would take advantage of the rusty golf swing. Again golfing in North Carolina was fun. I remember going over to the Greater Greensboro Open a PGA tour event and following Fuzzy Zoeller. Watching pros smash that ball in between the crowd is something. It's like every shot is great for them. Golfing on that level is special. North Carolina has some awesome courses and in Pine Hurst there are a few winners. It used to be home to the Golf Hall of Fame. Before I left TV in Raleigh one of my last stories was to cover preparations around Pine Hurst Number 2 for the US Open. I still have some of the giant pine cones off the course. That was the year I believe the late great Payne Stewart won. I know he was a Christian and can't wait to talk to him someday.
Golfing at Myrtle BeachGolfing
at Myrtle Beach is something every golfer should do before they leave this planet. Just the atmosphere during the peak of golf season is great with most restaurants filled with tables of groups from all over the country. There are a ton of stories how the new driver hits the golf ball strait and 300. The five birdies I had in a row and didn't use my foot wedge. We made one of our friends get up and sing karaoke! Being near the ocean doesn't hurt. For me I was working in Raleigh and many of my buds from Rhode Island would make a trip down to the southeast. I would drive and meet them. We were all older but still acted like teenagers. There were many pranks with the highlight being getting up to the tee and realizing there was shaving cream all over my grips! we golfed many courses in Myrtle Beach including the one that had the gondola going over the intracoastal waterway. It really is a tourist trap. My older cousin runs the Chuck's Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach. A very successful and tasty stop. I remember again mainly feelings of good comradery on and off the golf course. The golfing certainly was fun with the proverbial BLOOP being said in the backswing while we tee'd off over water.
Golfing in IdahoGolfing
in Idaho is quite a switch from back east. If your read my bio it spells out how I came this far west. There are so many good courses out here and you can see for miles. I'm partial the Hunters Point Golf course. It's a new Gene Bates course that is laid out to perfection. My brother in law spent many years trying to get this opened and it happened during one of the worst economic times in history. Golfing at Banbury Golf course is a treat. It's a fully developed housing community with the course laid out around a good bit of water. Spur Wing Country club, Plantation Golf Course, and Falcon Crest are real nice. Centennial Golf course and Ridge Crest seem to get alot of traffic. Shadow Valley is up along the way to the mountains. Quail Hollow plays well and of course good old reliable Warm Springs is there. For many year I was fortunate to play in the media tournement at Hillcrest before the Albertson's Boise Open that's part of the Nike tour. One of the most fun courses is Riverbend out along the Snake River. It's known for the hole built around an old grain silo! The green is sloped terribly unfair. If the pin placement is on the right side the high side of the plateau shaped green then you better not be below the pin. It's like a 70 degree slope so any ball that doesn't make it rolls back about 50 feet! When I first arrived in Idaho I hooked up with some great guys and we went almost every week to a course. Purple Sage, Clear Creek down in Buhl Idaho is one of the most scenic courses you'll find anywhere. We went and golfed up at New Meadows a wonderful course in the mountains of Idaho. The game Lone Wolf became the game of choice. But as life does so often it takes turns in a season. Most of us became parents with one of the group moving to Hawaii. So time on the course disappeared. But that was a real special time in my life. I guess when you hit the ball around it's always special. I golfed with my Pastor and another guy from First Baptist Church of Boise in the church golf tournement. We won! That was one of the few times I've ever won playing a scramble format. The other time was the Mayor's Cup out at Centennial Golf Course. My brother n law and his buddy are scratch to low handicappers. They pulled in my father in law who at 80 is still an 10 handicapper. I think that day they only used one shot of mine. Hopefully many reading this will see the need to buy that Journal book listed above. That would help me pay for green fees!