2016 in review

I’ve not updated this blog in a very long time, but 2016 was an up and down year as far as my game goes.. I won a few events, and not placed well in as many – kind like the game itself, inconsistent and always chasing that perfect strike. My index has been hovering between 5.5 and 8 with my low index occurring in October at a 5.4, currently it is at 6.8 and I expect it to stay pretty close to that entering into the new year.

Went to visit Alan Fink and Lindy in Charleston for the 2016 GC Am Tour event at Kiawah Island during St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. Played great during the practice round, If I remember correctly, I shot 76, the tournament rounds were not quite as good – 93 on the Ocean Course and then 84 on the Osprey Point course on Sunday – couldn’t blame my caddie, Wayne, as he guided us in all 3 rounds, I just didn’t hit the shots I needed to when I needed to hit them. Also got to play Alan’s home course, Links at Stono Ferry with Alan and Craig Ford – Great guys and I look forward to my next trip in March 2017.

Chris Ladd and I made it through 3 rounds of the NCGA E-club 4-Ball match play, losing our match to a birdie on the 19th hole by a guy who hadn’t hit anything close or made any putts all match.. disappointing…

Was asked to fill in at the NCGA Couples Modified Alternate Shot event with Terry Levis – It was the first time I’d ever played in this type of event, and even though we didn’t find our stride until the final 9 holes on Sunday at Quail Lodge shooting an even par 36, and finishing near the bottom of the first flight, I had a great time. Perhaps we can do a little better than that next year if she’ll have me back as a partner..

Won the November Stableford event at Half Moon Bay, shooting a 81 with a 3 over 39 on the back 9. but I 4-putted the ninth green for 42 on the front 9 or I would have broken 80 there.  Currently leading the Points list for the 2016 Legends Cup and I’m going to miss the December event due to a AmTour tournament scheduled for the same day.

Won the Low Gross and finished 2nd Low Net at the Coyote Creek Member appreciation 4 person Scramble with Robin Brabb & Bill and Merry Ayers. We shot 62 gross and 59 net. We hit a number of very good shots that led to makeable birdie putts, and Bill’s 7 iron from 168 on #17 led to an eagle putt by Merry. Well done Team!!!!

I started playing on the GC Am Tour again for the 2016/2017 season on the Sacramento tour. I won at Poppy Hills, shooting 83 to Nilo Mia’s 84, and then finished dead last in the Sr. Hogan flight at Carmel Valley the very next day, shooting 92.. Depressing, but I have yet to play well at Carmel Valley..

I got very close to breaking par for the first time in November on the Coyote Creek Valley course, shooting 1 over on each side for 74. I also scored a 78 on Dec. 11th hole_out_nov_18_16on the Tournament Course with a 1 over 38 on the back 9, highlights included a chip-in birdie on 11, a lip-out birdie putt on #13, and near misses for birdie on both 17 & 18.. could’ve been a little lower…

The highlight shot of the year was a hole out eagle on the Par 4 fourth on the valley side – 186 yards with a 5 Iron.. Knew it was on-target, and didn’t see it on the green when i got there, so had both my wedge and putter with me when i found it in the hole.

I’ve updated my gear with a set of Fourteen TC-888 Irons, Great feel with these Forged Irons from Japan. They put the Mizuno JPX850 into the spare bag. I also acquired a new Titleist 917D2 Driver with a Aldila Rogue C-Max, although I am still gaming my 915D3 with the Whiteboard shaft as I feel it is just a little more controllable. I also changed putters to the new Cameron Newport Notchback, great feel, face balanced, and I can see it set up square.

December holds the next AmTour event at Teal Bend with a tour party Saturday night at Top Golf in Roseville – Never been to one of these, but hear they are a good time and I’m looking forward to seeing how this operates.

Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year to all, I promise to be more active on this blog in 2017.

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RIP Max – 5/25/96 – 7/2/14

I know this is supposed to be a golf blog, but today Sally and I had to take Max, our 18 year old Norwegian Forest / Viking Cat, to the vet for a final time. He had been losing weight for more than 6 months, was deaf, and it was time. Max had been with Sally longer than she has been with me.  He was always under foot, obnoxious, crotchety and lately annoying as he was always crying about something, but he was also loving and playful, would lay on the couch and snuggle with us, would knock over my tea glass if i left ice in it, leave his white fur everywhere, and I’d never seen another cat of his breed prior to meeting him in 1999.


Sally’s pickle nosed pie-boy

This morning instead of waking me up by crying for his breakfast and ice cubes, he was laying by the closet in one of his favorite spots. I put food in his bowl, and ice cubes in his water dish, and thought it was strange that he wasn’t getting up to go to one of those places. I went over, picked him up and stood him near the fancy feast. He wasn’t interested and instead went back over and laid down near the hallway closet door.  About 11:30 Sally called 4 times and texted me that Max was not well. She got up and found him lying in his litter box. He crawled in and just stayed there, definitely not normal….


on the floor earlier today – 7/2/14

The Vet stated he probably had failing kidneys and was dehydrated, even though we put out fresh water with ice cubes for him every morning and afternoon. He also said he had a heart murmur and that we had made the right choice and spared him some suffering to come.

I will miss him calling to min_or_oute in the morning to feed him, and I will miss him standing at the back door scratching to get out, then walking away after I opened it for him. The cartoon to the left is certainly appropriate – He never could make up his mind – In or out dammit… I think he did that just to piss me off..

I joked yesterday that I would be glad when his time came so I wouldn’t have to hear him constantly yowling at me every time I walked into the kitchen, but Sally and I will both miss him. I’m just glad that he held on until Sally returned from her weekend trip to her sister’s.  I told her that he had waited for her to come home so he could say goodbye. We still have Mande, our 10 year old female calico, but she also has noticed that Max didn’t come back with us.  RIP Max – may you finally catch those catnip mice and lay in warm green fields.

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Winner at the GCAmTour Del Monte Classic

So on Sunday I entered the Golf Channel AmTour event in Monterey at Old Del Monte Golf Club, the oldest operating club west of the Mississippi. It’s been around since 1897, is part of the Pebble Beach company – so you know they take care of it – and a number of golfing greats and yours truly have walked it’s green fairways.

The Tour put us into a combined Sarazen/Sr. Sarazen flight due to not enough Sarazen players to make up it’s own flight – C’mon Youngsters.. What’s up with that?? – and since we didn’t tee off until noon, A little late and near the back of the pack of the Sarazen flight, it allowed me a leisurely morning to stop and have breakfast and hit a bucket of balls at Monterey Pines. My playing partners  for this tourney were Nilo Mia, who I played with at the Stonetree event, which he won, and is currently 2nd in the Sr Sarazen flight, which I was leading heading into the Summer Series, and Douglas Ward, also from San Jose, who I had not played with previously.  We had a good day, the weather was warm for the central coast, but not overly hot, and the wind was down when we started, but came up in the middle of our round.

I played pretty consistently, managing my game to shoot a 5 over 41 on the front 9 and a 6 over 42 on the back for an 83 total, not carding anything over bogey. I shot 90 here at this tourney last year, and I knew it was going to be a good day, when on the first hole I hit my chip shot to tap in distance. In fact the only wild shot occurred off the tee on hole 15, and I caught a break and found that the ball ended up in a burrowing animal hole, allowing me a free drop. I put the next shot onto the green through the trees and then proceeded to 3 putt for a 5.  Didn’t really deserve par after that tee shot. On the 16th green, after another missed putt for par, Doug commented that I hadn’t made any doubles or others during this round. I told him to shush as the golf gods might be listening. As it turned out, i made 2 more bogeys coming in on 17 & 18 that were inside 10 feet. I really need to work on those, but these greens are small, fast, and have lots of contours, so only 3 putting twice was a minor victory.

del_monte_winner_croppedIt felt really good to come into the bar, and be told that the leading Sarazen score, to that point, was an 86 shot by Gregory Lee. I celebrated with an Arnold Palmer, bought for me by Nilo. A really good way to end a weekend. I didn’t even care that i had to sit in a traffic jam on highway 156 from Castroville to North 101 on the drive home, I was just enjoying the ride and the sounds of Sirius/XM’s Classic Vinyl.

The Am Tour’s partnership with Srixon/Cleveland Golf has a promotion whereby if you win your flight using Srixon balls, you get a free box of your choice. I played the same TriSpeed Tour ball all day, and so i’ll be getting a box of Z-Star XV3′ s soon. Look for my pic to be added to this page:  http://www.gcamtour.com/winwithsrixon/

Full results from the AmTour site are here, and the round data from ClubSG is here. With this win, the $130 dollar addition to my 4 digit winnings, and 175 points that came along with it, I’ve sewn up the Sarazen flight for 2014 and punched my ticket to the Nationals in Scottsdale, Az at Greyhawk & Talking Stick. Now to convince my boss to get the time off… any suggestions???

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wow – a new post for 2014.

ok – so the last post was made a while ago.. a lot’s changed since then. Have been meaning to keep this up a little more this year. will certainly try harder.

I ditched the Taylormade Irons in January, but did upgrade to a SLDR Hybrid, and thanks to the great folks at the Dublin Golf Mart, and their 90 day playability guarantee, traded out the Speedblades for a set of Callaway Apex Irons with UST Mamiya Recoil shafts in an F4 flex.


These babies are like cheating. They sound great, compress the ball like nothing else, are extremely forgiving on mishits and I’m 10-15 yards further on each club. Did i mention they feel like butter and I’ve started to get some serious backspin when they hit the greens.

I’ve also put a SLDR 430 Driver, that i found on the used rack at the San Jose Golfsmith, into the bag for 2014. Thanks to whomever didn’t like that club. It’s been easy to hit long & straight. I bought a new Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver 60S shaft from JD’s clubs on Ebay (jdserres) for cheap, and i’m not looking back.

I decided not to rejoin the Cherry Chase club in 2014 as the courses scheduled weren’t that appealing and I’m playing a lot with the GCAM Tour and NCGA e-clubs, so just didn’t think i needed another commitment for golf.

I’m walking more this year, trying to get out and walk once a week, even if it’s just 9 holes after work, which is pretty easy now that the days are longer. I’ve dropped about 20 pounds and am feeling really good about everything except my putting. Really need to work on the 6-10 foot range and get that down solid.

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(Almost) A Full Taylormade Bag

Well, I took the plunge and bought a new set of irons to update the Ap2 710’s that were about 5 years old. I had been trying differing sets for about 3 months and was anxious to hit the new Titleist AP2’s and the Ping S55’s. I got to hit the Pings at the PGA Tour SuperStore in Palo Alto and hit them pretty well.  I found a demo of the AP2’s at Golf Mart and hit it ok, but there just really wasn’t that much difference from the 710’s in terms of feel and distance. SO I kept looking…

While I was in the San Jose Golfsmith, checking out the remodel, i picked up a  TaylorMade Rocketbladez 7-iron with a M flex graphite shaft from the demo rack and checked it out on their flight scope launch monitor. I hit 10 balls and I see that i am averaging about 195 yards with this 7-iron, with very nice trajectory and very tight dispersion


area, about 10 yards Plus or Minus from the center line. I ask the closest golf caddy and find out that the M stands for “Mature” or Senior flex.. wow.. maybe i can get away with this shaft, very whippy at the tip and the ball just jumped off the face.

Since I had a couple of gift cards from my GC Am Tour and NCGA eclub Championship winnings, I headed over to Golf Mart in Dublin after a round at Callippe and worked with Jake.  I hit the Rocketbladez and the newer Speedblades with both the steel and graphite shafts. After about an hour I walked out with the Speedblades in Stiff 75G Velox T Graphite. I traded off the Mizuno’s for this set to cover some of the costs as well. 


These irons now round out my gamer bag along with an RBZ Tour 10.5* driver, the R11 4 wood, an Adams 3 Hybrid, Ping Tour-W Wedges and an Odyssey Pro Black 2-Ball mallet putter. I can’t wait to get a few rounds under them and then write up a new club review.

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New trip update / course reviews

Posted under Courses -> Rounds & Reviews -> Palm Springsanother one checked off the bucket list

another one checked off the bucket list
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