How to Hit a Lob Shot From the Back of a Pickup Truck

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Recently, the Sunday Morning Group held a shootout in which the prizes were some stuff sent to us by Famous Smoke Shop, our tobacco sponsor and smoking connection, which sells cigars online, by mail order, and in person (at the company’s headquarters and retail super store, in Easton, Pennsylvania). The format was lob wedge over the patio to the practice green, closest to the pin, from the bed of Fritz’s pickup truck. You can read more at this blog’s official 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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Golf in Morocco: A Better Way to Haggle

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I visited Morocco on a golf junket in 2000, and although my companions and I spent a lot of our time playing golf we did other stuff, too. We did a fair amount of nosing around in the Jamaa el Fnaa, Marrakech’s huge central square and outdoor marketplace, just outside the front door of our hotel. (You can see both the square and the hotel in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”) In the square, for a few pennies, you could have your photograph taken with a large snake draped over your shoulders, and then, for a few dollars, have the snake (now slowly wrapping itself around your neck) removed. You can read more at this blog’s official 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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Report (Including Lunch) From the Olympic Club

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Our golf course has just nine holes, and from the tips it’s only a few inches longer than 5,500 yards, and if you want lunch you have to make it yourself. Nevertheless, the Sunday Morning Group managed to send two golfers—Addison and Todd—to the first United States Amateur Four-Ball Championship, which was held at the Olympic Club, in San Francisco, earlier this month. You can read more, and find out what they had for lunch, at this blog’s official 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 Best Sunscreen for Golfers is Now Available as a Spray

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New Zealanders didn’t invent skin cancer, but they’ve come close to perfecting it: their country is stuck under one of the skimpier parts of the ozone layer. The only time the tops of my ears have ever peeled was during a golf trip Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers, in 2007 (photo above). So it isn’t surprising that New Zealanders have also created the best sunscreen for golfers. And now it comes in a spray.

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You can read more at this blog’s official 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.

Free Golf Balls! (For My Friends and Me)

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At a rich-guy club several years ago, I stopped by the golf shop to buy Pro V1s, and when the assistant behind the counter told me how much they were I said, “Oh, no, just a sleeve,” but—ha-ha!—the joke was on me. I bought them anyway, because I didn’t want some kid to think I couldn’t afford fifteen dollars apiece for golf balls. During my round, though, I played away from trouble, and I never went for anything in two. And when I got home I moved three slightly beaten-up Pro V1s from my shag bag to my golf bag, because by doing that, I figured, I was cutting my average cost in half.

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You can read more at this blog’s official 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.

How Many Times Could Jordan Spieth Buy and Sell You?

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The British golf-stuff website onlinegolf.co.uk—which is similar to TGW, Golfsmith, or Edwin Watts—includes a gadget that lets you compare your earnings with those of the world’s best golfers. You have to convert your salary to British pounds, but once you’ve done that you have access to all sorts of interesting information, including how much you and the world’s best golfers are earning while you fool around at onlinegolf.co.uk.

To read other recent posts, visit this blog’s official 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.

Revolutionary New Playoff Format—Now With Bacon

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Two teams tied during the Sunday Morning Group’s inaugural outing of 2015, a couple of weeks ago, and the Committee devised a new playoff format for them. You can read more at this blog’s official 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.smggrilljager

Has Anyone Else Had This Problem With Their Rangefinder?

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Last June, I bought a Bushnell Tour Z6 laser rangefinder. My only beef about it is that the eyepiece, which keeps sunlight off the lens while you’re using it and is the thing you turn to adjust the focus, looks solid but is actually a cheap, floppy rubber tube that’s held in place by nothing but some kind of not-very-strong glue. You can read more at this blog’s official 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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Have a Cigar! Hey, Have Two!

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There are two approaches to turning yourself into a human billboard: the single-logo, less-is-more approach, typified by Tiger Woods (Nike) and Jordan Spieth (Under Armour), and the how-much-personal-surface-area-do-I-control approach, typified by Jim Furyk and NASCAR. My friends and I fall into the second category, and, even though by now we have virtually covered ourselves with umlauts (thanks to Jägermeister, the official all-weather intoxicant of the Sunday Morning Group), we haven’t finished selling out.

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Recently, we added another major sponsor: Famous Smoke Shop, which sells cigars online, by mail order, and in person (at the company’s headquarters and retail super store, in Easton, Pennsylvania). Famous Smoke is what is known in the business world as a “good fit” with a lot of the guys I play golf with.

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Famous Smoke was founded in New York City in 1939 by David and Rose Zaretsky, and it’s owned today by their son Arthur, who, whether he plays golf or not, is now an honorary member of the Sunday Morning Group. The company operates several cigar-oriented websites—not just Famous-Smoke but also CigarAuctioneer (which sells lighters and other accessories) and CigarMonster (which has the coolest golf hats):

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When we played at Richter Park two weekends ago, we handed out a bunch of goodies that Famous Smoke had sent us during the courtship phase of our relationship: cigars, hats, shirts, towels, and other stuff. We gave those things to ourselves and also to random strangers, including this guy:

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It was like Man Halloween.

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Cigars have sort of been in the news recently, because the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba will presumably lead eventually to the normalization of relations between American cigar smokers and Cuban cigars. I asked our new friends at Famous Smoke about that, and learned that Arthur Zaretsky believes that an end to the cigar embargo would be good good for Cubans and for his company (and therefore, by extension, for the Sunday Morning Group), but that, for a variety of mostly legal reasons, he doesn’t believe it will happen soon. Even so, he’s optimistic, long-term; he told a local reporter, “I’ve been waiting 45 years to sell Cuban cigars.”

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Recently, someone told me that when the pros sell out they do it for money, not just for hats and shirts with awesome logos on them. Whoa! Maybe we’ll work on that next.

Cart-only Rules Should be Against the Rules

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My home course isn’t open yet, but spring is finally truly here, and last weekend 16 of us played at Richter Park, one of the best munis in the United States: great course, stirring scenery, terrific pro, committed regulars, you name it. There’s just one problem: Richter doesn’t allow walking on weekend mornings, even if you pay the cart fee. The thinking, presumably, is that carts are good for pace of play. But, as anyone who walks regularly knows, four golfers on foot will almost always play faster than four golfers in two carts, because four golfers in two carts will almost always spend most of their time either doing nothing (because they’re waiting for someone else to do something) or aimlessly driving around. (The U.S.G.A., which is studying pace of play, should test this. And why not? They spend money on stuff that’s way dumber.)

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We actually ended up walking almost as far as we would have if we’d walked, because on Sunday Richter was cart-paths-only. The starter had told us that weekend rounds usually take about five hours, and I expected the cart-path requirement to make things worse. But even the slowpokes ahead of us beat five hours, and by a wide margin. I’ve thought about that since then, and I believe the reason, paradoxically, is that having to keep carts on cart paths forces riders to think more like walkers. They plan ahead, to some extent, and that speeds them up. Still, I’ll be happy to be back on my home course, where even three and a half hours is considered dawdling—like these guys, who were sunning themselves in the lateral hazard to the left of the fairway on Richter’s sixteenth, a claustrophobia-inducing par 5:

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Burgers, beer, and the Masters afterward, of course.

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