Better Golf, in Fizzies Form

salttablets
My high school’s locker room had a salt-tablet dispenser. We were encouraged to help ourselves before practice but weren’t supposed to drink much water, which was said to cause cramps. Taped to the wall was a large photograph, labeled “Johnny Condition,” of someone throwing up into a toilet—probably a water guzzler. There was a drinking fountain behind home plate on the baseball diamond; we were allowed to visit it once or twice each morning and afternoon during two-a-day summer football practices, but we were encouraged not to swallow. Then, midway through a practice in 1970, our coaches gave us each a paper cup containing an orange liquid, which they had produced by stirring powder into a big plastic tub. It was the dawning of the Age of Hydration.
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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

 

I Don’t Get Blisters Anymore, But if I Did. . . .

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Golf shoes by True Linkswear, a company for which I am an unpaid shill, are so comfortable that I now wear one or another of my many pairs not just when I play golf but also almost any time I can’t get away with being barefoot. My favorite model at the moment is the “lyt dry” (I don’t pick the names). The photo above shows what they looked like on my feet at the men’s member-guest, back in August. 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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Two Golf Dreams, Featuring St. Andrews and Stevie Wonder

I’ve often wished that I’d taken up golf twenty years earlier, not only so that I could havekatieredgown wasted my physical prime on golf courses instead of in classrooms, libraries, and bars, but also so that I could have attended the University of St. Andrews instead of the college I did. I’d have bought a student golf ticket, which would have enabled me to play virtually free rounds on the Old Course and all the other Links Trust courses until I flunked out—and I still could have ended up in my current profession, since writing about golf requires no education at all. Instead, I’m forced to live vicariously through Slade, whose granddaughter Katie (in the sharp red gown in the photo at right) just matriculated at St. Andrews.

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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.

The Sunday Morning Group Conquers All

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Yale University has an undistinguished student body and a miserable football team, but it does have a tremendous golf course , which the U.S.G.A.—mysteriously but somehow characteristically—lists under “T,” for “The Course at Yale.” I’ve played two rounds there this year: one with Richard (a college classmate, who for two years lived within two doors of my own dormitory room but whom I didn’t meet until our thirty-fifth reunion), and one with Shep (an honorary member of the Sunday Morning Group) and his dad, Dick. Before I teed off with Shep and Dick, I visited the men’s locker room and discovered that the shelf above the sinks—mysteriously but somehow characteristically —held just a single toiletry item, a hair preparation I’d never heard of:

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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.

cathytattoo

Head-to-Head Match Play Against Mosquitoes and Ticks

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Last month, at the men’s member-guest, I noticed that Michael U. had a cool-looking gadget attached to his golf bag. He told me that it contained a battery-powered fan, which enveloped him and his golf cart with a cloud of mosquito repellent. I was extremely interested, because I don’t like being bitten by mosquitoes, and I’ve been trying extra hard to protect myself against ticks, ever since coming down with Lyme disease for the fifth or sixth time, back in June.

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The device is called a Clip-On. The manufacturer—Off!—sent me some to try, along with a couple of other goodies. You can read about the results of my testing 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.

hackerspray

Golf at Sea: Man Overboard?

For a New Yorker assignment unrelated to golf, I recently went to sea. I didn’t see anyone actually hitting golf balls—using the ocean as a driving range is no longer permitted on cruise ships—but I did serve as the gallery for two young people playing miniature golf:

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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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Tree Trouble: Winter is Coming, and Howard Meets His Match

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There’s a maple near the bend of the dogleg on the first hole, and each year it provides one of the first clear signs that the golf season is winding down. The tree may mark one of the famous portals to hell, because there’s another tree just behind it, planted in memory of a dead guy, and if your tee shot clears the first tree the second one will sometimes knock your ball into a lateral hazard–like a pair of volleyball players doing a bump-set-and-spike. 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.

greatblueheron

How to Create Your Own Inexpensive On-course Sound System

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At my club’s member-guest two years ago, Fritz and Klinger showed my brother, John, and me that a golf-cart cup holder acts like an amplifier when you place an iPod or iPhone in it and crank the volume — as Klinger is demonstrating in the photo below with “Send Her My Love,” by Journey. They played Journey in their cart during our match with them again this year, too, and when the tournament was over John mentioned the cup-holder trick to his older daughter, who is starting college this fall, because he thought she would be impressed. She wasn’t. “She said it’s common knowledge that cups, cup holders, ceramic mugs, etc., have that effect,” John wrote me later. She also told him about an even more inventive way to accomplish the same thing. It involves these:

earbuds

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.

A Visit to our Enemy Club, and Jimmy’s Brilliant Idea

Addison, Rick, Other Gene. Enemy Club, August 9, 2014.

Addison, Rick, Other Gene. Enemy Club, August 9, 2014.

Our course was closed for the women’s eighteen-hole member-guest, so Addison, Rick, Other Gene, and I played a round at our enemy club, on the far side of town. We have a semi-reciprocal arrangement with them, and some of their holes have nice views of our state’s second largest natural lake, but I don’t love their course. 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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Member-Guest News (Part Five): Night Putting, Bloody Marys, and Attempted Man Hugs

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The first round of match play in the world’s second best amateur golf tournament—the U.S. Amateur—was on the Golf Channel on Wednesday, but they switched to a boring pro-tour “round-up” before it was over. In the Amateur, some guy had just birdied the seventeenth hole to square his match with some other guy, and the two of them were the only players still on the course, and I was angry because I wanted to know which one of them would advance. I tried to look up the result later, online, but I couldn’t remember the name of either guy. If the Golf Channel ever decides to cover the world’s best amateur golf tournament—my club’s men’s member-guest—stuff like that won’t happen, I promise you. Incidentally, I would happily watch anyone’s member-guest on TV, in preference to, say, the Champions Tour.

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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.

puttinglights