Six Surprising Golf-related Uses for Your Camera, Phone, Rangefinder, and Bifocals

During a recent Golf Digest assignment in Florida (at Streamsong Resort—see “Buddy This!”, in the January issue), my foursome was seated so far from the TV above the bar in the grillroom that no one at our table could follow what was happening in the World Series:

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To deal with that problem, I periodically took a zoomed picture of the screen and enlarged the image until we could read the score in the lower left-hand corner:

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You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

Tour Players are Great Big Babyish Crybabies (About Cameras)

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The pros get upset if a camera on another fairway clicks during their backswing. What babies! During a recent Golf Digest assignment in Florida (at Streamsong Resort—see “Buddy This!”, in the January issue), three other editors and I played six rounds in four days while a photographer and his assistant clicked away, sometimes within inches of our faces. And it wasn’t a problem! In fact, I think it helped.

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You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

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The Other Golf Course at Royal County Down

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A little over a year ago, I traveled to Northern Ireland on assignment for Golf Digest. My account of that trip, called The Adventure of a Lifetime, was mostly about Royal County Down, in Newcastle—the golf course that, if I really and truly had to pick just one, would probably get my vote as the world’s greatest. As terrific as R.C.D. is, though, it’s not the only golf course in County Down, or even in Newcastle. There’s a second course on the same property, called Annesley Links, and, although visiting Americans seldom play it, it has plenty of charms. It’s only 4,500 yards from the men’s medal tees, but if you can play it without losing more balls than you did on the championship course you’ll have something to brag about.annesleygc

You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

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Five Holiday Gift Ideas for Avid Golfers

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Your loved ones have a hard time buying presents for you, so you try to help: “How about some of my favorite golf balls?” You write down the name of the kind you like—the exact name, including the “X” after the “V1”—and your loved ones take the piece of paper with them when they go shopping. And there, in the ball department of the huge golf store at the mall, they see the kind you want.

But, for some reason, things never work out. You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

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Reader’s Trip Report: Bethpage Black and Yale

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Alex Nosevich, a reader, is a member of a club-with-a-club at Shining Rock Golf Club, in Northbridge, Massachusetts. “Our group calls itself the Winter Tour,” he told me recently, “because we play through the winter. However, as soon as our home course closes for the year we call ourselves the Arctic Tour. Probably more complicated than it needs to be.” Here’s what Shining Rock’s fifth hole—a long par 3, called Quarry—looks like when it isn’t covered with snow:

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It’s called Quarry because that granite outcropping near the green really is the remains of a quarry. According to the club’s website, “The abundance of granite in these hillsides made ready access to materials needed to construct the nearby Blackstone Canal or for foundations for the massive mills which blossomed along the river in the 1800′s.” Back in October, at around the time the Sunday Morning Group was celebrating the Crystal Anniversary of our annual autumn golf trip to Atlantic City, the Winter Tour took a similar trip to Bethpage Black, Bethpage Green, and Yale:

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You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

Two Easy Ways to Speed Up Golf

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Each summer for the past ten years, Richard Hunt, an honorary member of the Sunday Morning Group, has spent his Saturday afternoons at the Wheel introducing youngsters to golf at The First Tee. This year, his chapter named a trophy after him: the Coach Rick Award, which goes to the scoring champions in the Ace/Birdie division. (He’s also pretty good at teaching grownups; he’s a marketing consultant in Manhattan, and he oversees the Venture Creation Program at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, where he is a mentor-in-residence.) A couple of weeks ago, Richard attended the U.S.G.A.’s Pace of Play Symposium, at which two dozen speakers spent two days talking about how to make golf go faster. “I thought the event was quite valuable,” Richard (who took the photo below) told me. “This is exactly the kind of thing they need to do ‘for the good of the game.'”

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You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

Uh-oh: What’s That White Stuff on My Golf Course?

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There wasn’t much snow to begin with, and most of what there was had melted by Saturday, but Gary, our terrific superintendent, closed the course temporarily, because it was so cold that the remaining snow and the frost were unlikely to go away before dark. That didn’t affect me directly, because I’m traveling without my clubs for a little over a week, on a reporting assignment that’s only tangentially related to golf. It didn’t affect Hacker (real name), either, because he had decided that, paradoxically, playing golf for three consecutive days with a broken finger had made the finger worse, not better. Still— and I think I speak for everyone—I am opposed to any form of weather that causes golf to be suspended.

Before our mini-storm hit, I had an opportunity to test two new pieces of equipment. Both are from eBags, one of a select group of companies for which I am an unpaid shill.

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You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

This is the Best Sunscreen for Golfers, and I’m Not Kidding

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As I drove home from my dermatologist’s office, I felt more than slightly annoyed. Slicing two unsightly bumps from the side of my nose had taken the doctor roughly eleven seconds, from Novocain to Band-Aid, yet had cost me more than a thousand dollars. With five minutes of instruction, I figured, I could have performed the operation myself, using tools I already own. But I calmed down a few weeks later, when I went back for a follow-up appointment. One of the bumps was just a harmless old-guy surface enigma, the doctor said. The other, though, was something I really did need a licensed physician to deal with: a basal cell carcinoma—skin cancer. You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

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Beer, Bushmills, Burgers, Brats, Bonus Days

A couple of years ago, my club decided to stop giving trophies to tournament winners, because the trophies were expensive and many of the winners didn’t bother to take them home. But as soon as we’d stopped giving them out people began to complain about not having them anymore, so this year they were back, but less fancy. Here’s Addison drinking beer out of the mug he got for winning the club championship. (Fritz, the tournament chairman, said it looked bigger in the catalog.)

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You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.

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Late-season Golf Breakthrough: Leaf Stymies

The golf world abandoned stymies in 1963, but the Sunday Morning Group keeps them alive, sort of, by using them in playoffs, which we conduct on our practice green. On Wednesday, we invented a new version: leaf stymies.

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You can read more at this blog’s new home, on the Golf Digest website. And if you “subscribe” to myusualgame.com, by filling in your email address in the blank on the right side of this page, you’ll be notified every time I post something new. And, if you’re willing to wait a month or so, you can find complete versions of all my old posts on this site, too, by paging down until you reach them.