Those who know me know that I am a big fan of library e-books. I started reading them on my Nook Color and have since graduated to the iPad.
For popular books, you have to get on a waiting list for an electronic copy. You get an email when you’re up and the book is available for download to your device.
I will admit I was slow to the draw on the Hank Haney book and didn’t get on the list prior to release. Hence, I just got the email today. It has been downloaded and I have 21 days to read it before it vanishes from my iPad. I can’t imagine it will take that long to read this.
Knowing it was only a matter of time until I was able to read it, I’ve tried hard to avoid most of the reviews and chatter about The Big Miss. I wouldn’t say that I have an open mind about Tiger — I certainly have an opinion — but I have an open mind about the book.
I’m looking forward at taking a peek into Tiger’s inner circle.
Yes, this is what greeted me when I opened my locker the other day at my golf club. I almost felt like a tour pro.
When this golf season began, I took advantage of the Titleist promotion in which you got a free dozen balls when you bought three dozen.
I think this is such a genius promotion on the part of Titleist. Let’s be honest about something: Pro Vs are not cheap. While they cost much less than a driver or a wedge or a putter, they are still awfully expensive for something that is, essentially, disposable. The initial $40 price tag for a dozen was one thing, but that number has creeped north on a seemingly annual basis. Throw in tax and I’m not sure there are a lot of places where you can buy a dozen Pro V nuggets for under $50.
But when you get a free dozen, that drops the average dozen price to somewhere in the low to mid $30s. That I can live with.
While I get cheaper golf balls, I’m not the only winner. Titleist wins as well.
How? Well, even for a golf addict like me, four dozen balls last a long time. That locks me up as a Titleist user for quite a while. That also means I’m far less likely to pick up a dozen of the new Callaway Hex Black Tour ball. Or the new version of the TaylorMade Penta. That’s a win for Titleist. While I still think the Pro V models are the best two balls on the market, the gap between Titleist and everybody else isn’t what it once was.
So if you find one of these out there, let me know. I’d like it back. For the record, I went with the high numbered Pro V1x ball (balls are numbered 5, 6, 7 and 8 instead of 1-4). They say simply “JS” on the side in red. I’m hoping red letters = red numbers.
I haven’t had personalized golf balls before, but it was part of the deal. I’m expecting to see a lot of personalized balls at my club. Our pro said that more of our members took part in the promotion than any other club in Minnesota.
All right, a little bit of breaking blog news here. Starting today, I’m going to be a weekly contributor to the 2nd Swing blog, which you can find at blog.2ndswing.com.
For those of you who aren’t local to Minnesota, 2nd Swing is a golf retailer that has a boatload of used clubs and has a significant online presence. They have also invested a significant amount of cash in fitting tools — launch monitors, etc. — in their two physical locations in the Twin Cities.
I will continue to blog here and I will link to what I post at the 2nd Swing blog. I’m looking forward to doing a little writing there.
My first post is up. In it, I talk about TaylorMade’s Rocketballz line, the buzz it has created and the like. Give it a read if you’d like.
I have shared this one previously on Facebook. It was posted on a bulletin board over a urinal in a golf club locker room. It makes me chuckle.
This second one was spotted during a recent round at Ravisloe Country Club in Homewood, Ill. Ravisloe used to be a private club before running into financial problems. The club, which now operates as a semi-private facility, was purchased by a veterinarian who is very green. And if you roll your hybrid into Ravisloe, you’re going to get one of the prime parking spots.
… but apparently not if you play at Fargo Davies High School.
Tyler Mason of Fox Sports North checks in with a story here about how two freshmen at Fargo Davies registered holes in one on the same hole on the same day, No. 4 at Rose Creek Golf Course. They weren’t playing in the same group and both shots went in after spending some time on the cart path.
Sounds like it was a pretty good day for Brandon Winter and Collin Larson.
Larson was the first of the two to card his ace last Wednesday. His shot came up well short but hit the cart path and started rolling.
“When I saw it take a good bounce off the cart path right in front of the green and kept rolling and rolling, I thought it had a chance,” said Larson, who began golfing as a sixth grader. “Then it went in, and I was really excited. … “I just jumped up and down and high-fived my teammate.”
Winter wasn’t far behind with his hole-in-one, recording it just 25 minutes later on the exact same hole, also with a nine iron. And like Larson, Winter’s shot landed short but got a good bounce off the cart path.
“I felt like I didn’t hit it very well, and then I saw it bounce once,” Winter said. “I was just thinking, ‘There’s no way it’s going to happen.’ I heard it hit the pin and it went in. It was crazy.”
Enjoy it boys. And too bad you pushed on the skin.
If you have been anything of a regular reader of this blog, you probably realize that I am a fan of the EA Tiger Woods video game series. I’ve purchased every edition since I got my Xbox 360 about six years ago. And to be honest, I have usually pre-ordered it from Amazon or gone out the first day it was available and bought it.
Sometimes there have been good reasons to buy immediately. There was the year that Hazeltine National Golf Club was in the game for the first time. Last year, Augusta National was in the game for the first time.
But I’ve been trying to hold out this year. I didn’t buy it when it was released a few weeks ago. But last night I saw this at Target.
So there you go, Tiger Woods 13 at $20 off the original price. Will I be able to hold out? Or will I return to Target before the sale expires on Saturday? I’m not really sure.
I didn’t buy immediately this year because, honestly, I still have a lot to play on TW12. I go on streaks when it comes to playing video games. I will play a lot for a few weeks and then go a week or two and not play. Or I’ll play other games. Right now, I’ve been playing more MLB 2K12 and haven’t played TW12 in probably a month. I also like the NCAA Football game, Madden, some NBA and even the FIFA game.
While I get why EA has moved to releasing the game right before the Masters, it is a move that actually leaves me less likely to buy it every year. I like the game and it is fun, but if the choice is TW on the Xbox or me sticking a real tee in the ground and playing, I’m picking real golf every time. TW, however, is a great way to spend an hour or two some night or weekend in the winter.
So there you go. We will see if I buy. If you want to learn a little more about the game and the “Tiger Legacy” mode that’s new for this year, here’s a Q&A that ESPN.com did with Tiger himself a few weeks ago. If you have Kinect for Xbox (I don’t), here’s a look at the new Kinect features.
I know it will melt, but still …..
(photo from The Wilderness’ Facebook page)
So I caught a little of the end of the PGA Tour event yesterday and watched Carl Pettersson win for the fifth time on tour.
He’s an interesting player. There are the tinted glasses, the super-long broomstick and the fact that he is among a smaller and smaller group of guys on tour who don’t appear to live in the fitness trailer. He even admits to liking a bit of beer.
But none of that is what I think is most interesting about his game. What I find both interesting and surprising is that he won yesterday while playing a driver with 11.5 degrees of loft. Yes, you read that correctly. It says 11.5 degrees of loft. You can see what else is in his bag here.
I have not always been the biggest fan of loft. I loved 8.5 degree drivers, maybe 9 degrees. Part of that is because my whacky swing allows me to hit it really high. It’s great at times, but can also be a curse. Let’s just say I’m not exactly the greatest wind player.
But studies have shown that more loft, for many players, equals more carry. And that equals more distance to a certain extent. And more loft also generally equals less side spin, meaning straighter shots. For a long time, the perception was that loft was only really needed by higher handicap players and that it was something that better players didn’t need. Clearly that isn’t the case. Loft can help good players as well. I currently have a driver that has 9.5 degrees of loft, but have had a couple of late with 10.5.
It takes a little while to get used to hitting it that high, but it quickly becomes fun to hit high, long bombs down the fairway.
The side note here is that I played with Carl a few times when I lived in Raleigh and he was a senior at N.C. State. The Wolfpack players would sometimes be out at the club I belonged at and I would play some holes in the evening with them. He’s a very nice guy and I was happy for him that he won.
But I still can’t believe he hits an 11.5 degree driver.
I know people sometimes like to talk about how something was the “best ever” or “life changing” or some other sort of wild hyperbole.
But when I say that this is the greatest early spring I can remember in my Minnesota golfing life, I’m being serious.
I walked 13 holes last night after work at my club. It wasn’t warm, but it was certainly pleasant enough. I’m playing again tonight with my buddy Chris. It might be 13 more holes (yes, the 13th green is by the clubhouse) or we might be able to sneak in a full 18 holes.
Either way, it will be the 20th time that I have teed it up for at least nine holes. I’ve already played nine different courses this year. Now five of those rounds and courses were played during an early March trip to Texas, it has still been an unbelievable run here.
I played my first Minnesota round of the year on March 11. I played a second round a week later on March 18. My club opened on March 21st and I’ve already been out there 11 times. I played 216 holes in March (12 18-hole equivalents) and waked 189 of those holes.
To put that into perspective, my first Minnesota round a year ago was on April 9 and my club didn’t open until April 13. There are people I know who won’t play 11 times this year and I will have played 11 times at my club prior to last season’s opening date.
Just as amazing and surprising as the amount of golf played has been the course conditions. My club is in unbelievable condition. The greens are fast, firm and true. It’s like the middle of summer. I spoke with our pro yesterday and said they’ve had to put a little water on the greens to make sure they don’t get too fast. In April. Yesterday, the greens were running 12 1/2 on the stimp. It was a day in which they normally roll the greens, but that was skipped.
You had to be very careful about where you left your ball. I hit it above the hole on No. 1 — never a good idea — and promptly putted it off the front of the green. Front pins were very difficult to get it close to. You had to think your way around the course.
It sure didn’t seem like April