Is This Idea So Crazy That It Just Might Work?

hackerdog

Not long ago, I received a promotional email from a golf course my friends and I have often played during the winter, called Lyman Orchards. That got my hopes up—but the email wasn’t an announcement that the course had re-opened; it was an invitation to celebrate “National Pie Day” with “a Free 6-inch Pie.” And the pie wasn’t really even free, since you had to buy twenty-five dollars’ worth of other crap in order to get it. And then the weather turned almost vengeful: driving rain and sub-freezing temperatures. And then we got snow. 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.

titmouse

Golf Among the Zebras: Reader’s Report from Kenya

jeffandzebras

Jeff Mwangi is a reader in Nairobi, and, starting today, he is the official East Africa correspondent of this blog. He took up golf two years ago, at the age of 40. That’s him in the photo above, at the Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort, in Nakuru. He wrote to me recently to ask about golf simulators, for which he believes there is a large potential  market in East Africa: “I am looking for commercial ones to install in a shopping mall, and also in some of the golf clubs, for range training.” I told him I would try to help put him in touch with some manufacturers. Do you hear that, manufacturers? I’ve got a couple of other ideas, too. In the meantime, I asked him to tell me a little about golf in Kenya, and about himself. 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.

jeffpalaceofthelostcity

Two Golf-trip Travel Tips

fullarraycubes

If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s intrusions of light and noise into hotel rooms in which I’m trying to sleep. 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.

hotelroomsurprise

Reader’s Trip Report: Ballybunion in Winter

dantani29thhole

Dan Tani, an American reader, joined Ballybunion as an overseas member in 1998, when the cost was next to nothing. Two years later, he married a woman from Cork, and so now he’s obliged to visit twice a year. (He proposed to his wife at the stroke of the millennium, after playing Ballybunion in the afternoon and rehearsing his lines on the drive home.) Ever since, he’s made a point of playing at least one round on the Old Course very late in the year. In 2013, he played on New Year’s Eve Eve—December 30—with three Irish guys whose fourth had exceeded the legal limit on showing up late. Last month, he played again. 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.

bally15

Beating the Snow, Plus Exclusive Footage of a Rare 86-stroke Penalty

forecastscreenshot

The forecast for Sunday was terrible, but the one for Saturday was pretty good — “snow and ice, then rain; fog”—so we shifted our Sunday game to Saturday. 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.

P1150414

Can Ski Gloves Cure the Yips? How to Dress for Sub-freezing Golf

newyearswheel

On New Year’s Day, fifteen of us played the Red Course at the Wheel. The temperature was 20 when I woke up and 25 when we teed off, and it never got to more than a degree or two above freezing. Our cars were virtually the only ones in the parking lot when we started, so the guy at the desk (who took the photo above) said we could play as five threesomes, three fivesomes, two seven-and-a-halfsomes, whatever. We played as three fivesomes.

fritzshorts

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.

skinsadamhacker

Late-December Bonus Days

On the Saturday after Christmas, the weather was so mild that a couple of courses in our area reopened. Joe, Mike B., Todd, and I played at Candlewood Valley Country Club, about 20 minutes from where we live. The greens were fast and the fairways were fairly dry, and the course was so crowded that we had to stand in line at the first tee, even though we had a tee time:P1150196-001

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.

P1150220

Golf-gear Innovations From a U. S. Marine

Mike Shelley spent five years in the United States Marine Corps. Among the pieces of equipment that he and his buddies found hugely useful were slender lengths of nylon kernmantle rope, known popularly as 550 cord, paracord, or parachute cord. (That’s Shelley on the left in the photo below.) “I was in a special operations unit,” he told me recently. “We’d carry a compass in one pocket, a knife in another pocket, fire starters in another pocket, whatever. And to keep all that stuff from getting lost we had our combat utility uniforms retrofitted so that every pocket had a little loop sewn inside it. You’d tie a length of parachute cord to your gear and another to the loop in a pocket, and that way you would know that, when you jumped from a helicopter into the ocean in the middle of the night, your gear couldn’t fall out and sink to the bottom.”

shelleyrecon

There’s a golf connection—and you can read about it 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.

golfbagzippull

Major Breakthrough: A Better Way to Watch Golf on TV

tubeimage

My wife’s college roommate’s son got married recently. Before the wedding, he and his fiancée were interviewed at length for an episode of a reality show called Something Borrowed, Something New, on the television network TLC, which is to women what the Golf Channel is to men. Three years ago, during the summer before my daughter’s wedding, I inadvertently watched parts of quite a few TLC programs, because during that period the TV in our kitchen was permanently tuned to it. For example, I saw parts of several episodes of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, a British reality show about the weddings of gypsies and Irish travelers. From it, I learned that, in planning our daughter’s wedding, my wife and I had made many mistakes, including allowing our daughter to marry a non-gypsy and failing to rent any stretch Hummers or horse-drawn carriages:

gypsywedding

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.

Unbroken (by the Stupid Weather)

snowfromcar

My home course has been closed since shortly before Thanksgiving, so we’ve been playing around. I was traveling (without golf clubs) two Sundays ago, but everyone else played at Tunxis Plantation, which is about an hour from where we live, and last Sunday we went back. I rode with Other Gene. Snow was falling when we left home, and it continued to fall as we drove, and when we were maybe fifteen minutes from Tunxis I realized that it was probably going to keep falling and not melt by the time we got there. And that turned out to be correct.

parkinglotmeeting

We called every golf course we could think of and discovered that Fairchild Wheeler, in Fairfield, was not only open but “with greens.” The Wheel is just an hour from Tunxis, so that’s where we went. Tim showed up as we were pulling out, but he decided to be a good husband by returning home and giving his wife holiday-related opportunities to be angry at him. 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.

jager