Golf and Condoms in Atlantic City

P1140670

This year was the crystal anniversary of the Sunday Morning Group’s annual end-of-season golf-only trip to Atlantic City. The first A.C. trip was organized by Barney in 2000, when, for some reason, everyone looked younger than they do today:

AC SMG 2000

We always open our A.C. trips to friends from outside our club, and even to friends of friends. This has beneficially expanded our acquaintance with overweight middle-aged men from beyond our immediate geographical area, and has led to some interesting matchups. This year, six of the twenty guys on the trip were from other clubs. 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.

IMG_4039

The Frost is on the Jägermeister

jagerfrost

Google Now is an app that automatically displays certain useful information when you launch Google on your phone or other mobile device. Exactly what it displays depends on a number of factors: your current location, data you’ve provided to other Google services, and subjects that you’ve asked the app to follow for you, such as professional golf. It knows where my house is, because I’ve entered my home address on Google Maps, and it knows I’m interested in the results of certain post-season baseball games, because I’ve looked them up, and when I’m traveling it suggests nearby activities. It still has a few bugs, though. For example, it thinks I “work” at my golf club—presumably because when I leave my house each day that’s the place I’m the most likely to go. Come on, Google! You sound like my wife!

frostdelay

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.

IMG_3935

The Single Most Important Truth About Golf

raybarneyoldcourse-thumb-518x330-139040

You can find out what it is 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 Goff 1743

My Latest (and Therefore Favorite) New Golf-Travel Accessory

eBags, one of a select group of companies for which I am an unpaid shill, makes my favorite carry-on bag, my favorite laptop backpack, my favorite packing accessories, and, now, my favorite travel toiletry case:

packitflat

 

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.

Lester’s Wheels Come Off, Plus a Contest

lesandcar

Actually, it was just one of Lester’s wheels. His car had been in the shop the day before, and something hadn’t been put back correctly, or something. He made it to the golf course, though, and the wheel didn’t come completely off until he was in the parking lot. (He made a deep gouge in the gravel.) If all that had happened at speed on a highway, he probably would have missed his tee time. 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.

lescarthumb

18 Good Things About Golf: No. 14

williamshazard

14. Golf is a game of good and bad luck. It is played on purpose under circumstances that ensure superior skills alone will not always determine the victor. A ball sliced out of bounds may hit a tree and ricochet back to the middle of the fairway. A perfectly struck drive may land on a sprinkler head and carom out of bounds. In an attractively thought-provoking way, golf is frequently unfair. 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.

hackerpushcart

Change Your Own Grips and Win a New Driver!

workbench

Two days before my friends and I left for Scotland and Ireland, last spring, I decided to replace the grips on all my golf clubs, both as a gesture of respect to the great courses we’d be visiting and as a way of avoiding work. A few weeks before, I’d bought thirteen Lamkin Crossline Full Cord grips and a bunch of gripping supplies, all from Golfsmith. 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.

newdriver

Two Ryder Cup Shots You Didn’t See on TV

upthecreek
You didn’t see them because they happened in a different Ryder Cup, the one the Sunday Morning Group held while the American tour stars were getting whupped in Scotland. Twenty-four guys signed up in advance, and Corey, our pro, divided us into two teams. The youngest guy in the field didn’t show, apparently because he had met someone interesting in a bar the night before. Corey took his place, after persuading his mother, our club’s immediate past president, to watch the golf shop for him. (The guy who didn’t show made a big mistake, in my opinion. The time to establish golf in a romantic relationship is at the beginning, before the non-playing party has had time to develop a case.) You can read more—and watch video clips of the two shots—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.
furykryder

Naked Putting With Jennifer Lawrence! (I Mean, a Poet Laureate for Golf)

bcaskernish

Billy Collins was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001-’03. He has taught at Lehman College, in the Bronx, since 1968, and he is a senior distinguished fellow of the Winter Park Institute, at Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida. He’s also a golfer. This summer, he wrote to ask for advice about playing golf at Askernish, a restored Old Tom Morris course on the island of South Uist, off the northwestern coast of Scotland. I put him in touch with Ralph Thompson, the club’s chairman, and Collins visited with his fiancee, whose name is Suzannah. 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.

bctruckbuffet

Better Golf, in Fizzies Form

pcdfootball

I played football in junior high school and for a little while in high school, in the late 1960s and very early 1970s. We had two-a-day practices each August, before school began. This was in Kansas City, where summertime temperatures occasionally reached a hundred degrees, and the humidity was so high that the air felt like aswimmable liquid, and the droning of cicadas gave the heat anaural dimension. My 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.

salttablets
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 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. The powder had been invented by scientists at the University of Florida, and the liquid was called Gatorade. It was the dawning of the Age of Hydration.
gatoradetestingsixties
Nowadays, of course, there are people who won’t attend a thirty-minute office meeting without a big bottle of something to sip on. But overdoing it is undoubtedly healthier than underdoing it. And I’ve observed, over the course of many summers, that not drinking enough water on a hot day has a major impact, late in a round, on my ability to swing a golf club. Drinking water also gives me something soothingly self-distracting to do while my opponent dithers over a shot in a tense match.
venturiusopen

The problem with Gatorade and other sports drinks is that they’re loaded with sugars or artificial sweeteners, and if you drink them like water they’re also expensive. Recently, I’ve discovered an excellent workaround: “Active Hydration” tablets made by a company called Nuun.

nuuntubes

They contain the good stuff in sports drinks, including electrolytes (whatever those are) and various other things, and they don’t contain sugar. They come in plastic tubes, which you can safely keep in your golf bag, and when you drop one of the tablets into your water bottle it fizzes. Do you hear me? It fizzes.

nuunbox