Friday, November 03, 2006

The Off Season

I'm tired. That's all I can say. The time has changed and it's now dark when I leave work. Even if I sneak out early there's no time for golf. Plus the rains have started. It's all very depressing -- it's officially "the off season".

On the plus side I've learned that there's a range with heated stalls not too far from my house. This year I took my driver and three wood out of my bag. I'm going to start researching drivers and buy one. Then I'm going to spend this off season working on the driver. That will be a nice bonus next year.

So I doubt I'll have a lot to post about over the next few months. However, in January I'm going to Taiwan and I will be golfing with my wife's uncle at a couple of incredible courses. I'll make sure to post about that.



Friday, October 20, 2006

Buy a Little History

If you've got an extra couple of hundred dollars laying around, tomorrow at 11:00 Freeman's Auction House will be auctioning the Tom McNamara golf collection. Some items are very cool and within the price range of most duffers.

Here's a few items The Bad Golfer will not be bidding on:

A Pietzcker coloured photo, depicting Walter Hagen,inscribed Walter Hagen, and further inscribed PGA - 1921-24-25-26-27; USGA Open, 1914-19; Western Open, 1916-21-26-27; French Open, 1920; British Open, 1922-24-28-29,50.3cm x 40.4cm
Estimate $5,600-7,700

A black and white group photograph, depicting Tom McNamara, Francis Ouimet and two other golfers, seated on the ground with golf clubs, 11.8cm x 17.1cm; and another depicting Tom McNamara standing with three other golfers, 19.5cm x 24.6cm (2)
Estimate $750-1,300

A black and white photograph depicting Gene Sarazen, holding the claret jug and the US Open trophies and inscribed, 'To Leo McNamara from his friend Gene Sarazen', and signed, image size 28.3cm x 22.2cm
Estimate $940-1,700

But here's a couple I might try to lowball:

The Professional Golfers Association of America, 1973 Club Professional Championship Contestant money clip

Estimate: $200 -$ 300

A Hyde Imperial, 'Woodley Flier 27 1/2' mesh pattern gutty ball
Estimate $370-760

You can see the entire collection by visiting the Freeman's Auctioneers Website.



Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blog of the Week

Last week I touted the merits of the blog written by TC the Terrible. This is a well written, very funny blog that’s definitely worth a look. However, the blog has little to do with golf. This week I'd like to tell you of a blog that is just fantastic and is totally about golf. In fact, right now I'd say it is my favorite blog on the web.

The blog is called The Reluctant Jam Boy. It's written by a professional caddie named Tom. Rock Hudson putt: looks straight, but isn't. - The Reluctant Jam BoyThe stories he tells are laugh-out-loud funny and crafted in a way that will keep you coming back for more. You'll read stories about how he played a practical joke on his customers, how he tries to handicap his customers by the clubs they have, caddie lingo that's hilarious, and the recent entry, worthy of a spot in Sports Illustrated, is a great piece about a tournament he caddied in and his insecurities about reading the greens.

My favorite posts on Bad Golf are about my game on the green. If I'm lucky I play once a week. Now that the weather's turned that will be much less. But Tom's out there every day. He has a variety of loops to write about. And boy does he picks good ones.



Tuesday, October 17, 2006

World's Greatest Golfer

Take a look folks. If you think that picture looks like Kim Jong II, the leader of North Korea, well, you're right, it is. But he also happens to be the world's greatest golfer. Here's the proof:

  • Rounds Played: One
  • Hole-In-Ones: Five
  • Score for 18 holes: 38
  • Score relative to par: -34

With all the news about North Korea this week, I was all set to do some serious reading on the net when I came across this gem. Then I was all set to write a great post about it, but someone beat me to it. I can't write it any better than the folks at Duffer's Golf Club did, so you might as well read their article. If you want to read a more serious article that mentions the golf game check out the article Gulag Nation by William C. Triplett.



This is Kind of Cool

I really appreciate all of you who read my blog. You're obviously smart and discriminating. Therefore, I thought I share with you this little tidbit. Here is a map of the last 100 readers on this blog. If you're a regular reader, you might even find your home highlighted.



Monday, October 16, 2006

An Honest Response

The other day I was golfing with my boss. I was shooting great and, as I’ve mentioned in about three other posts this month, I shot a 45. We were sitting on the tee-box for the ninth-hole (a 150-yard uphill par-three) waiting for the foursome ahead of us to clear the green. Adding up the scores we noted that I was at 42 and would definitely break 50 for the front nine. Breaking fifty is always my goal.

Anyway, as we sat there discussing our scores and what club we were going to use on this hole, we were vaguely watching a kid who was about twelve years old hitting his approach shot on eight. He must have had a pretty good tee shot because he was smack in the middle of the fairway looking at about 130 yards to the green. He was standing above his ball, preparing to make the shot with a gray-haired old lady sitting in a cart behind him. The kid took his swing and just totally chunked it. “Fuck!” he yelled. My boss and I started cracking up as the kid stormed after his ball.

We weren’t laughing at him for chunking it. It was his response – so raw, authentic, and unexpected. It was one of the highlights of the round.



Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lost: My Golf Game

Lost: My Golf Game

If Found, please email"I've learned that an Executive Course is a course that has mostly par threes, a few par fours, and is over priced" -- Bad Golfer

So a few days ago I made a post titled A Snowman's Not So Bad After All. Turns out I was right.

Today I got to leave work a little earily, so I thought I'd play a quick nine at the "Executive Course" down the street from my house. The last three times I've played this course I've scored a 37 (par is 29). Today I was bound and determined to score lower than 37. Dare I think I could actually score a 35?

I got paired up with a couple of other golfers and started off terrible. I shot a six on the par-three first, and then went bogey-bogey on the second and third. So coming up to the 125 yard par-three forth, I figured I was in pretty good shape if I could just get it on the green.

But something happened. First, the excuse. As I mentioned I rushed to the course from work, I still had my work shirt on and it was tucked in, tight. I could feel it pull on my back swing. But hell, this was just a little 125 yard nine-iron. That shouldn't bother me. Now, the shot: forty five degrees to the right. I couldn't believe it. It wasn't on the next fairway, it was on the fairway beyond the next fairway. But still, it should have been an easy chip shot to the green. Wrong! The chip shot when over the green. Then two more chip shots over the green and I finally found the soft stuff laying five. At this point I was so flustered, I four putted. That's right, I took a nine and a par-three 125 yard hole.

The guys I was playing with felt so sorry for me they marked it down as a seven. At the end of the round when we were adding up our score, they had me a 44. "But you only gave me a seven on the fourth," I said.

"Ok," said the old guy, "You can have two more strokes if you want them."

I took 'em.

So, my last four nine-hole rounds have been: 37, 37, 37 (on the par 29 course), 45 on a difficult par 36 "real" course, and then a 46 on this par 29 course. How's that for consistancy?!?



Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Colin Montgomerie Golf Course Management

It was announced yesterday that Colin Montgomerie has been chosen to design an 18-hole Tournament golf course for the Riffa Golf and Residential Development Company in The Kingdom of Bahrain.

My prediction -- he'll choked on the 18th hole and it will end up looking like this:

Friday, October 06, 2006

Unplayable Lie

In case you don't read the comments on this site...

First, I suggest you do. I appreciate anyone who leaves a comment and they are all worth reading.

Secondly, in the comments on my post regarding Mitsuhiro Tateyama, Greg from New2Golf mentioned that Tateyama should have declared an unplayable lie. Well, I am a bad golfer and don't know all the rules. If it seems unplayable kick it out and then lie about it. Now that I'm getting better I'm starting to count all my strokes, including out of bounds. So I guess "unplayable lie" will no longer mean If it seems unplayable kick it out and then lie about it.

By the way, if you want to read more about golf, check my blog roll and the sites I mention. They have some great stuff on them. The New2Golf site has an excellant article on beginner's tips, and Golf Nomad has some great videos of Michelle Wei on a Korean TV show that are very funny.



Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Snowman's Not So Bad After All

Since this is a blog about bad golf, I'd be remiss to ignore this gem.

Next time you're on the course marking that snowman on your scorecard, think of Mitsuhiro Tateyama. A couple of weeks ago Tateyama, who's ranked 72 on the Japanese tour, was playing in the Acorm International at the at the Ishioka Golf Club. Here's how his hole went in the opening round, on the 225-yard par-three eighth:

Tee shot: ???
2nd shot: Hits the rough on the front of the green.
3rd shot: Opps. Over the green into some bushes. Ouch the ball is stuck in the roots.
4th - 17th: Hacking the ball out of the roots.
Eighteen shot: On the green.
Ninteenth shot: In the hole.

That's right, a 19.

"My mind went completely blank. I just wanted to get the ball out of there."

- Mitsuhiro Tateyama

(I know the feeling Mitsuhiro)

On the bright side, at least he didn't break the JGTO record. That belongs to Norio Suzuki who, at the 1987 Tokai Classic, accidently recorded his ninth hole score as 42 -- now that sounds like something I'd do.



Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Must Be Mental

I must be mental because the folks at Golf Mental Mastery have contacted me and are now a (assumedly proud) sponsor of the Bad Golf Blog. Also, the folks at Golf Mental Mastery are so confident in their product they are sending me a copy of the Golf Mental Mastery CD which I will tryout and review in a future article.

Now keep in mind, I'm a bad golfer, and I'm proud of that fact. But that doesn't mean I don't want to get better and this year my game's made big improvements. So far I've focused on clubs and lessons -- physical aspects of the game. I'm excited to take it to the next level and see if some mental conditioning also helps me cut a couple of strokes off my game.

Now here's the caveat, they are a sponsor of this page. So how can I give their product an honest review? Well, it's not like they're Disneyland and I'm ABC for christsake. I write this blog because I enjoy it and I get feedback from my readers which encourages me. This blog is also good for my mental game because if I'm having a crappy day on the course I just think: "Well, at least I'll have something for the blog." So, I'm not in it for the money. They're confident in the product, I want to cut strokes off my game. In a win-win world it will work and I'll love it and it will get a glowing review (which some of you cynics will be skeptical of) and they'll continue to sponsor the site. In the meantime, I think you should support them for no other reason than they're supporting me. So, if you're interested in helping your mental game out and in a round-about way supporting the blog, don't wait for my review, check out Golf Mental Mastery for yourself and let me know what you think. Maybe we'll have different opinions.



Saturday, September 23, 2006

Golfing With Children

I was going to comment on TC the Terrible’s comment on my last post, but then reconsidered because what I have to say is worthy of another article (BTW, if you get a chance, check out TC’s blog, it is very good).

This post is about golfing with children. And I don’t mean take them out and show them how to swing and have a great day bonding type of golfing with children; I mean sneaking out of the house to get away from the incessant noise and demands type of golfing with children. That is, how to get out there and golf, even though you have other responsibilities. And this, my friends, has been my problem of late.

Here are the problems I’ve faced in trying to get out to the golf course:

  • Work
  • Rain
  • Football (I’m a Seahawks season ticket holder – even though I’m really a Raider fan – so Sundays have been shot).
  • Family (wife and kid) responsibilities
I’m not going to get divorced or lose my job for golf so I can’t do anything about one and four; I’m going to buy some golf rain gear so I should be able to golf in the rain in the near future; and after this Sunday the Seahawks don’t have another home game for three weeks, so that should help as well.

Even with these obstacles (sorry, honey, I didn’t mean to call you an obstacle, but you know what I mean), I’ve found some time to take my clubs out of the trunk, but I’ve had to be creative. I’ve been going to the driving range at lunch but the big bonus was finding an “Executive” course (so called I assume because it has seven par threes, two par fours, and is overpriced) about two miles from my house. This way, I can sneak out of work a little early, play nine holes, and get home before my wife misses me. But here’s the problem:

I’m hitting the ball better than ever!!!

With my new clubs, a few swing adjustments I’ve made from articles I’ve found on the web, and learning how to do a “pitch and run”, my swing is consistent and I’m scoring low. The three times I’ve played this “Executive” course I’ve ended up five over par. For me, that’s fantastic. I was three over the last time I played but I double boogied the ninth after my chip shot from 5 feet off flew over the green. I’ve been hitting better than ever at the driving range as well.

In the past, I might have a good day, but never two in a row. Now I’ve had a half-dozen or more good days in a row without ever stepping on a “real” course. So I’m dying to get out there and see what I can do. I have a feeling that that ninety I’ve been dreaming about is within range.



Friday, September 15, 2006


It happened already. I had a 5:07 tee-time last night and it got rained out. This will be my second winter after moving to Washington from California and I can't believe the season is almost over. And it will continue to rain until June. I'm going to have to buy some rain gear. So I guess you all are in for a treat -- posts about golfing in the rain.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

An In-Depth Look at Steroid Use on the PGA Tour

I was reading an on-line article by Ron Kroichick in the San Francisco Chronicle the other day on the whole golf/steroids scandal. In the article, Kroichick lambasted PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem for saying the PGA does not plan to drug test golfers. Kroinchick takes exception to this, saying:

Baseball is awash in tainted home-run hitters over the past decade, the NFL might strengthen its testing program in the wake of the Carolina steroids scandal, track and field is littered with fallen stars and the winner of the Tour's premier race, tested positive.

And later in the article he states:

Many, many athletes use performance-enhancing drugs.

Those athletes come from a wide variety of sports.

Fame and wealth are powerful lures.

I couldn't agree more. Steroid use is obviously rampent on the PGA Tour. Let's examine the proof. I have here before and after pictures of the top five golfers in the world.

While the images speak for themselves (and prove the point that the PGA Tour must begin testing immediately) I can't help but add my comments:

First Case - Tiger Woods

Tiger woods before taking steroids responds to a little boy who asked for his autograph.

Tiger woods after taking Steroids reacts to a little boy who asked for his autograph.

Second Case Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk before taking steroids. An easy going smile. A nice man without a care in the world.

Jim Furyk after taking steroids. Notice the hate and anger as he charges into the gallary to punch a photographer for snapping a shot in the middle of his backswing. An obvious response from someone who cannot control himself due to the extended use of steroids.

Third Case - Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson before steroids. A nice slim handsome man.

Phil Mickelson after steroids. Notice the extra bulk. That came from somewhere!!!

Fourth Case - Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh before Steroids. A nice manner, in control of his emotions. Smiling and laughing with the gallery.

Vijay Singh After Steroids. Unable to control his emotions due to excessive use of performace enhancing drugs, Vijay finally breaks down.

And, I present to you the most compelling evidence that steroid use is out of control on the PGA tour, especially among the younger players...

Fifth Case - Adam Scott

Adam Scott in a photo montage of his swing, prior to steroid use.

Adam Scott bulked up on steroids.

Need I say more?



Monday, September 11, 2006

The Golf Gods Strike Again

I was playing a round with my brother the other day. When my brother and I play against each other it’s very competitive. We’re equally bad at golf and we are competitive by nature so we don’t just want to win, we want to kick each other’s butt.

On the first hole, a par four, I pared and he got a double-bogey. On the second hole, a par five, he pared and I got a double-bogey. So stepping up to the par three third we were both two over. Both of our tee shots landed on the green, about 12 feet from the pin. I two putted, he 3 putted, so again I was winning. Stepping off the green my brother said to me, “You’re short game's getting a lot better.”

“Yeah,” I replied. “Since I got this new putter I haven’t three putted yet.”

And that's when it happened. Somewhere in Golf-God Land, the Golf Gods were minding their own business. I can picture it: There they are, long robes flowing, practicing pitching on some perfect range. When suddenly their peaceful retreat is broken by a loud thunderclap and they hear my voice, like the voice of a baseball announcer over an intercom. “Yeah,” they hear. “Since I got this new putter I haven’t three putted yet.”

I can see them look at each other, rub their hands together, and laugh.

So on the par five fourth, my brother's on the green in four. The green is tiered and the hole is on the upper tier. I'm also laying four, but my ball's on the fringe, also on the upper tier about 10 feet from the hole, so it should be an easy two putt, right? Wrong.

My first putt goes below the hole, catches the slope of the tier, and rolls about fifteen feet down the green. I scorch my second putt about eight feet past the hole. Now I’m above the hole, on a downward slope, and I tap it too hard and it again rolls passed the hole, and continues rolling so my next putt is almost the same as my second. I two putt from there for a total of five putts and a score of nine for the hole.

And the Golf Gods get a belly buster before looking for the next fool to dare challange their domain.



Join The Bad Golf Mailing List

I receive a number of emails from people asking me when I’m going to post again. I admit my posts are sporadic. I’m going to continue to write articles, but I can’t promise to write one a week. I’ll try to write at least one a month, but this is a hobby of mine – something I do when the mood strikes me.

I appreciate all the interest you’ve shown in my writing. To make things easier for you, I’ve decided to start a mailing list. Whenever I publish a new posting I’ll send a quick email to the mailing list letting you know. Then you won’t have to check the blog until you receive an email. I will not use the email address for any other purpose.

So, if you’re interested in receiving an email when I publish a new post, just send an email to and let me know. I’ll be happy to take you off the list at anytime.



Monday, July 31, 2006

Good Golfers are Liars!

So, where have I been for 14 months? I hate to admit it but I moved from one of the finest places to play golf, the central coast of California, to one of the wettests places on earth, Vancouver, Washington. In the last 14 months I've: had a baby, quit a job, accepted a new job, moved, bought a house, and suffered through a Northwest winter. But I'm back golfing and writing, so hold on to your hat, here goes:

Good golfers lie. That's it, bottom line. They are big fat liars because they don't want you to become a good golfer. They love laughing at you; they relish ridiculing you; they treasure tormenting you. Trust me, I know, because if I become a good golfer, I will. I'll lie to your face and laugh behind your back. But since you're reading my blog, I'll explain...

After not golfing for over a year I went out and played 9 holes with some people at work. I found that laying off for a year didn't hurt my game at all, as I shot a 67. This isn't including my 3 whiffs on the first tee. It was nice to know that I could quit for a year and start where I left off. The next week I went out for another 9 and shot a fantastic 62. Wow, improvement.

I was playing poker on line and had a run of luck and won some money. So on a whim I decided if I'm going to get back into golf, I'm going to buy some new clubs. What the hell, why not? I've resisted buying new clubs in the past because every time I've read a golf blog or news group regarding clubs all good golfers will jump on the thread and proclaim: "Save your money! Get lessons! Clubs don't matter! Save your money! Get lessons! Clubs don't matter! Save your money! Get lessons!" Clubs don't matter!" Or, for a real fun lie, "I only have a set of 1200 dollar clubs because I can afford it and they're pretty. They don't really help my game." For six years I've believed their lies. I've invested hundreds of dollars on golf lessons, only to see my scores go from the mid-120s to the mid-120s. My goal has always been to break 100. I will admit after some lessons I would see a dip in my score, maybe I'd shoot low 12os. But nothing close to 100.

Still believing the lie, but with some change in my pocket and a "What the hell" attitude, I started researching clubs. After a few days I thought I was going to buy a set of TaylorMade Rac OS2s. I went to 4 golf shops before I found a salesman who seemed to know golf and didn't act annoyed at all my questions. He spent a couple of hours with me and had me try a number of different clubs while taking all kinds of measurements. I ended up purchasing a set of beautiful Callaway Big Bertha '06 irons for about six-hundred bucks. The standard set is 3 - PW, but after some discussion he took out the 3 and threw in the SW.

I went out with my boss on Sunday to play 9. My first outing with my new clubs. I pared the first hole. I shot a 52 while 3 putting 6 times. From 150 yards in I was deadly. My favorite shot was an 8 iron from about 130 yards out. It was an extreme uphill shot, and the green was protected by sand traps. My shot floated beautifully toward the pen, just clearing the traps, and landed "like a butterfly with soar feet" on the green. It gives me chills thinking about it.

I'm going out again today and Wednesday. I'll give you an update. But for now, I can say with some confidence:

Don't believe the good golfers who want to keep kicking your butt on the golf course. CLUBS DO MATTER. Yes, invest in lessons, but get the best clubs you can afford. Trust me, you won't regret it.