Sunday, September 30, 2007

8 Birdies & The Langley Cup Result

Last year I began golf season as a 4-5 handicap and was at one point an 8. Getting worse in golf means either I'm not serious about the game, or I'm not mentally with it. In any case, last year I got worse at golf. And that's pretty depressing when golf is about the only "sport" you play.

This year has been different. I think I'm mentally stronger and my swing has become more fluid and therefore more reliable. My handicap dropped from a 6 to a two, which is pretty much the best I've ever been at the game. Most improved has been my ability to bounce back from a bad event (see: double bogey) and follow it with a good one. I still suck at stroke play (club championships) but that might be saying something about me mentally. Keep in mind I can't play poker tournaments well either... don't like not having instant gratification or something.

And so this year I'm better. I have a couple sub par rounds including a career best 69 (-3) from the tips at the home course, and as of this morning, I am the low-handicap division match play champion at my course -- the langley cup.

In truth, I realize our little internal club events don't register to outsiders, but to our golf members, and particularly my golf group (all good players) it's a sought after title. I'm pretty psyched about winning it. Matt says i should expect a nice piece of crystal for the house in recognition. I'll post a pic when that happens. Yes, Harry is playing st. georges today, so it's really debatable who's having a better weekend. That Prick.

Stats from this weekend. I had 5 birdies yesterday including 4 on our 5 par 3's to shoot 75 from the blue tees. Today I was just fairly solid all the way around (except the first hole, naturally) and made 3 birdies on the way to a 73 from the black tees. 8 birdies in a weekend is pretty sweet for a hacker like me.

Thanks to Andy for making the round enjoyable even though he didn't have his best game on. No, he didn't complain about his back or elbow, Harry. Sorry to disappoint.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Back From Out West - Miss Me?

No, didn't play much in the way of golf out west. I played 18 holes in Calgary at a place I don't remember the name of at the moment -- was like 2 weeks ago, and yeah i have a crap memory, so what. It was a nice track, lots of rolling hills and fescue with a mountain view on most holes. Very cool. I shot a craptastic 84. Had zero touch this day, but did hit the flagstick from 145 on one hole so wasn't too far gone.

In Vancouver, I played a fun little course with my buddy G. He and his friends aren't avid golfers like my 'crew' but they enjoy the game and hack it around OK. We just played 9 holes but I birdied the last two to shoot even par. Honestly, I play enough golf and was just happy to be out west having a good time with good friends during my week off. I know that's almost blasphemy among my golfing readers who demand top quality golf courses but that's just the way it is.

Played one little home game of poker which G organized when I was there. You know the typical $20 tournament sort of thing. Naturally I lost both games :) One as a 3:1 fave pre-flop and the other bluffing off my chips against my friend C who is in my opinion a player with potential.

And that's it. The rest of my week was spent with friends, doing a tiny bit of actual work, walking their dog, shopping with C, sipping matchas & chais and generally getting a feel for the place.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mystic Saturday On The Beach

Saturday, Matt and I took off to visit Mystic, a course on the mountain in Hamilton which he had played but I had not. Mystic is, to say the least, challenging.

We had heard previously that its conditioning was questionable, but decided to brave it for a relative bargain of $95 to play a round. Well, it's challenging all right. I started off with a double, got into some trouble off the tee and lost a ball on the 2nd shot (my playing partner couldnt watch, he was off in some other trees himself). Made a few pars, a few bogeys, was playing OK overall but then made a turn for the worse. I think It was 43/45. No I wasn't playing that well, but its a bloody hard course. For my first time out I might have squeezed out an 81-82 or so playing relatively well.

So, I spent a lot of time in bunkers, fescue, that sort of thing. I'd play Mystic again for sure, but hopefully when i'm really playing well.

Sunday's Langley Cup match never happened due to rain. I got a few hands of poker in at 50NL -- lost two buyins... meh.

I'm off to Calgary and Vancouver this week, will hopefully get a round or two in.

That's all for now.

Monday, September 03, 2007

3 Rounds Including Langley Cup Semi-Finals

I played 3 rounds this Labour Day Weekend. I shot a 82 saturday (blah), 80 sunday (blah), and then there was today.

It was today, Monday, where I played Joe B in the Langley Cup Semi-Finals (the low handicap match play tourney at our club). Joe is the guy who dispatched Matty in the quarters in what I consider an upset. At the time, Matt and Joe played even though Matt was a 3 handicap -- as I understand it, Joe doesn't keep a handicap so just went with straight up. So, I came into today expecting Joe to play even, maybe as a 3 to my 2. I honestly believe Joe when he said he's a 5, so when he said it today, I went with it and said sure let's go.

He's one of those guys who can scramble the hell out of you in match play. Great hands with the wedge and putter, just deadly around the greens. He beat Matt straight up, and that's an accomplishment because Matt is Goooooooooood.

Off we go.

I start off bogey, par, par and was 3 UP after 3. That's what i'm talkin' bout!

Then I lost 4 in a row. I 3-putted #4 green (they're slippery as hell and I can't get a feel on them), he got his shot on #5 and we tied with bogeys, and he got his shot on #6 and we tied with Par when he made an insane 2-putt from the back to the front of the green. #7 I missed the green right, he par'd and i'm one down.

Let's recap, 3 up to 1 down in 4 holes. HA!

I putted my birdie 5 feet past on #8 and made a nice comeback to halve the hole. #9 I played well, drive up the right, nice 4 iron in to 5 feet, and drained the birdie (skin money is sweet). We're all even after 9 and it's a good match.

#10 I hit my rescue into the left pin-high bunker in 2, Joe hits a great wedge in for his 3rd and has a 5 footer for birdie. I make a good sand shot and miss a 2 footer. He made his, and I'm 1 down again.

#11 I make a nice birdie with a 12 footer to win, we're all even again.

#12 I hit my shot long and right, ending up near the cart patch pitching over a bunker onto a sloped green. Not a great spot. Unfortunately for Joe, he hits his ball in the junk and I win with a bogey (i'll take what I can get). I'm 1 UP

#13 Joe has a tough hole and I halve the hole against his shot with my 4 against his 5. I'm 1 UP

#14 I make a nothing special par, Joe just misses his par save and I'm 2 UP

#15 The wind is howling into our faces on this 575 yard hole. I hit my drive into the bunker right, hit a nice shot to 185, and put my ball on the back corner of the green with a 5i. Joe comes up short and I make my two putt to his 6. I'm 3 UP and dormie.

#16 Joe gets into real trouble off the tee (his driver was a trouble spot today) and I play it for par with rescue, 5i, wedge. Narrowly miss the birdie putt and I win.

Unfortunately, my bud Harry had a tough day today losing to Andy and claims to be hanging up the spikes for the year as football comes on TV. We'll see bout that.

Next weekend I plan to play Andy in the finals of the Langley Cup. Andy has played well and did so again today. It should be a fun match. There really is nothing on the line here other than getting your name on the wall and a trophy, but it's a point of pride among the better players at the club to be Match Play Champion. I'll give it my best, just happy to be here.

Played some online poker on Saturday night, 500 hands and breakeven in the end. Meh.