A few random items

In my old newspaper days, this would be called emptying my notebook. I guess here it is a brain dump in which I find a place for some of the stuff rattling around in my brain. Here we go:

– Weather.com has a predicted high temperature of 97 degrees for Minneapolis today. I love it. I’m playing a first-round match for my club’s season-long match play at 5 p.m. I hope my opponent begins complaining about the temperature before we start, because I’m good with it. I love how warm temperatures make my back feel loose. I like how the ball flies like crazy. It’s all good in my book. I have an extra glove ready to go and I’ll drink a ton of water. And while the purists out there might frown at this, I will ride this afternoon. I kind of subscribe to the 90 degree cart rule: If it’s 90 degrees, I take a cart.

– There’s currently a thread on Golf Club Atlas  in which poster Steve Kline is being interviewed by other members of the board. Steve is clearly a very good player as he qualified for match play at the USGA’s Mid-Am at Bandon Dunes a couple of years ago. In that thread, there was one comment that really got me thinking:

“With any club more than an 8 iron I am always looking where I can leave the shot if I miss for an uphill pitch and easy up and down.”

I think there is something in that simple sentance that I can learn from. My game of late hasn’t been bad, but it hasn’t been good either. I’ve been just a little off and I’ve left myself in spots around greens where getting it up and down for par is difficult. I think I should take the Steve Kline philosophy and pay a little more attention to where the best miss is when hitting a mid- or long-iron into a green.

– I have become a light user of websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial and Crowd Cut. Generally I only buy the deal if I know I’m going to use it or if it is a place where I want to try. Over the past few weeks I have seen several golf deals. In addition, I somehow got on the mailing list for something called IDealGolf. That email this morning featured a deal for cheap golf at Mississippi Dunes.

My question is simple and I guess it is pretty easy to figure out: How come every course that I’ve seen featured on these sites someplace I would have zero interest in playing? It’s probably pretty clear that the decent courses are doing all right (or they’ve lowered prices to the point where golfers are spending the same amount of cash and playing a better course).

The Mississippi Dunes deal is $22.50 for a round of golf. My thoughts: That is cheap, but cheap doesn’t mean it is a good value. After all, I’m the guy who openly says that life is too short to play bad golf courses.

– Here’s an somewhat interesting story from Politico  about Obama’s golf game, habits and his upcoming round with House Speaker John Boehner. I’m not here to talk politics, but here is an interesting line that I think all golfers can relate to regardless of their political ideals.

“Friends and associates say the president sees his five-hour outings as a chance to blow off steam, improve on a score that averages in the mid- to upper-90s and, above all, escape the scrutiny of his day job.”

– While I don’t always love that the U.S. Open is set up in a way that seems as if par is more important than anything and the tournament becomes more of a test of endurance than an event that identifies the best golfer, I do like that it is — to quote Cheech in Tin Cup — the most democratic tournament. Anybody can play their way in and many players have to play their way in. Yesterday was the sectional qualifying day and in an era which PGA Tour players don’t have to worry too much about getting in events, I find it interesting to see who doesn’t make it through the 36-hole qualifying event.

Here are some noteable names of guys who aren’t going to be playing at Congressional: Stewart Appleby, J.B. Holmes. Keegan Bradley (who won two weeks ago), Sean O’Hair, David Duval, Ricky Barnes, Justin Leonard, Steve Marino and Jerry Kelly. That’s a pretty good list.

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