A moment of silence today. Esther Sundel passed away last night. She was 101 years old. My condolences to her family and friends.
Balboa Park Golf Course – San Diego’s other municipal golf course just a 5 minute cab drive from downtown hotels, the San Diego Convention & Visitor Center, Little Italy and San Diego’s Gas Lamp District. Balboa Park Golf Course is a beautiful, traditional and challenging golf course with great views of the San Diego skyline, Balboa Park and Pt. Loma with Pacific Ocean San Diego Harbor in the distant background.
The Balboa Park Municipal Golf Course offers 18 holes of great golf and 9-hole executive golf course too. It is a local favorite due to the quality of the course and the inexpensive green fees.
Here are some of the proposed changes to the course.
Last year I was looking for the best advice on irons to enhance my golf game and was thrilled to buy the RAZR X irons – steel shafts, as per the paid club-fitting session with the golf professional. Why the club-fitter sold the steel shafts? Not sure, but hindsight says there might have been a better option other than what was in stock and perhaps on sale?
I aggravated an old elbow injury (a dislocated elbow with a broken funny bone, which was repaired with steel pins) and I had to stop before the end of the season last year. After taking 2 months off to heal the inflammation, I felt the steel shafted irons were contributing to the “tennis elbow” pain and felt a lighter swing weight would help alleviate further damage to my elbow. Anxious to get this issue resolved and get my irons ready for this upcoming golf season, I met with another golf professional who was extremely helpful, informative and wondered why the “professional club-fitter” didn’t ask me about any physical limitations.
After weighing my 7 iron, comparing that weight to other graphite irons, hitting balls with those other graphite shafted 7 irons, we concurred that a different shaft would be best. So she sent me on my way to Golfmart to discuss options with them, because her expertise is with TaylorMade equipment and felt they would be helpful with the Callaway irons.
This is where the apprehension begins, because I know going to the big box golf stores to purchase anything is always a drill of dejection. I will be ignored, dismissed and misguided until I just give up and leave the store.
I brought in my 7 iron, just in case I could talk them into putting in a different shaft so I could try it out on the course. I could decide whether or not this was the right shaft and replace it in all my other irons.
I asked for the golf pro’s recommended guys at the club-fitting area and they weren’t there. I should have left then. The first guy I spoke with in the club-fitting area, listened to me for a less than a minute, and then dismissed me to another employee. Ok, maybe he is new and this other guy is the expert. I again stated that I would like options for replacing the shafts due to the swing weight. The first words out of that guy’s mouth, “You don’t want to do that. It will cost you $25 -$30 per new shaft and another $20 each for us to install them.”
Did he ask me how much I was willing to spend? No. I anticipated the cost around $50 for each iron and was willing to spend that amount. It was blatantly clear he wasn’t interested in replacing the shaft when he walked me over to the used clubs and shows me the graphite set that included the 3 & 5 woods. I let him know I don’t need the additional woods and he stated “We don’t break up these sets and that’s how it is sold.” He then just walked away.
Yes, that is correct, he just walked away. I stood around for a bit, looked at other used clubs and wondered where he went. The drill of dejection was apparent and I was in self-denial that it couldn’t just keep happening… could it? It’s 2013! Rice and Moore are members now at Augusta.
As he walked to the back of the store, I stood in his way, basically to figure out where he went and what options, if any, he found for me. He asked me, “Did you find anything?” Ah no, I didn’t. I don’t want to buy another set of clubs, I have clubs. He then begins this oration, “The golf head weight on a steel shaft is lighter than on a graphite shaft so replacing the shaft won’t work anyways. We could put in a different shaft but we may need to add tape weight to the head.” Blah, blah, blah…
I didn’t say anything and frankly I quit listening. I just let him tell me why he didn’t want to help me. Since I am under the impression that club makers have options if they want the swing weight to be the same with steel or graphite shafts and that doesn’t necessarily mean two different weight heads. Maybe my RAZR X irons was the exception to the rule; maybe the head weights are different. Maybe I won’t be able to replace the shafts. Maybe it’s time to give up and join the ranks of the other disillusioned golfers that don’t get any better, won’t get any better and can’t get any better.
He sums up my dejected visit with, “Call me and I’ll check to see what’s in” and then turns to walk away. Meaning, “what used clubs are in” that he can sell “whatever” to me. Which isn’t what I want, I just want a lighter swing weight in the irons I purchased last year!
Alas, I shook his hand, thanked him for his time and didn’t expect or get a business card or any further assistance.
It really comes as no surprise that women don’t take up the game of golf or keep up with it. It’s not the only taint of disparity that we must endure from just the retailers; it also follows us to the course. I watch the boys play badly from the blue tees, put up with them telling us to hurry up because we are slowing play and throw my hands in the air when they hit into us.
I want to be able to play this wonderful game of golf for as long as I can and enjoy the best I can play, provided I can get the proper equipment to match my physical limitations. I have a 13.4 handicap and a 235 yard drive; I am definitely not your average amateur women’s golfer. I only ask to be treated with the same courtesy and respect as men golfers, what the spirit of the game of golf enriches in us all. It is time to call Callaway Golf to see if they will be of nobler assistance.
I just got off the phone with Erin, the Callaway customer service representative. After explaining in perhaps over detail as to my equipment issues, she had the answer I was looking for. Of course you can put different shafts in Callaway irons. We knew that.
I was provided a RMA number and off went my clubs to get the graphite shafts I needed.
Thank you Callaway for keeping this ole gal in the game!
UPDATE: Just picked up my re-shafted irons. Callaway polished the heads so they look brand new. And when I got back to the office, a box of Callaway HEX Chrome golf balls had been delivered by UPS. (Sent to me via Callaway as a “sorry you had to put up with Golfmart”)
THANK YOU CALLAWAY!
It’s why we golf. Because we have Torrey Pines as an option on a beautiful San Diego day. (The RESIDENT discount is a bonus too)
Two simple shots to choose between for every situation: a low chip for good lies with lots of green to work with, and a high pitch for when you have a sketchier lie or no room to run the ball. Using these shots, you simplify the decision-making process. You’re able to concentrate on your landing spot and target, and you’ll hit more shots close to the hole.
ADDRESS (above, left)
The feet are close together and turned 45 degrees toward the target, and the weight is mostly on the lead foot. The ball position is under the right armpit, and the body posture is tall.
BACKSWING (above, right)
Pull the club straight back from the target with the back of the right hand, and feel the right wrist give slightly–not fully hinge. The hands stay low and quiet going back.
IMPACT (above, left)
Just as in putting, the back of the left hand leads the club toward the target. The arms are an extension of the club, and there’s no hit or lift in the stroke. The ball just gets in the way.
FINISH (above, right)
Angling the feet toward the hole makes it easier to create a slight lower-body pivot in the downswing. The upper body stays quiet and is pulled through by the pivot, and the club finishes low.
ADDRESS (above, left)
The feet are angled as with the low chip, but the stance is slightly wider, the knees have more flex, and the ball is just inside the shirt logo. The weight is forward, the shaft straight up and the face open.
BACKSWING (above, right)
Feel as if you’re taking the club away with the thumb and index finger of the right hand, and let the clubhead’s weight pull the right wrist into a full hinge. The weight is mostly on the front foot.
IMPACT (above, left)
Pivot through impact, and keep the right hand moving palm up at the target while the left hand stops at its address position. It should feel like a 75-percent version of your full swing.
FINISH (above, right)
Sling the clubhead on a vertical plane directly in front of the chest, and ride the momentum to a full finish. The club finishes high and in front, not pulled around and down near the left hip.
More drills and video: Dave Stockton: The Only 2 Shots You Need: Golf Digest.
I decided a few months ago to marshal at my local public golf course. Sneak it in as much as I can when work allows.
Albeit I really don’t have much of an issue during my scheduled time with slow play, my golf buddy who also marshals at Balboa Park, does. She exhausts me with her recap of all she had to do to keep pace of play, and tend to the golfers.
Matty Reyes, Golf Starter/Assistant Volunteer Coordinator at Balboa Park Golf Course, sent us out this great article regarding slow play.
Here are some excerpts:
The NGF’s Pace of Play Survey asked “WHAT SLOWS PLAY?” and reported these causes (with the percentage of facilities mentioning them):
• Golfers playing tees too long for them (57%)
• Golfers looking for lost balls (56%)
• Holes that cause a bottleneck (41%)
• Golfers stopping for food and beverages (37%)
• Cart path-only policies (33%)
• Water hazards (24%)
• Inexperienced golfers/lack of golfer education (17%)
• Narrow fairways (15%)
• Bunkers/waste areas (14%)
• Blind shots (12%)
• Short tee-time intervals (9%).
The NGF Pace of Play Survey, asked its 700 responding facilities “WHAT SPEEDS UP PLAY?” and received the following responses (with percentage of facilities mentioning).
• Encouragement of Ready Golf (69%)
• Encouraging proper tees (47%)
• Ranger program (46%)
• Generous fairways (40%)
• Golfer education (37%)
• Shortened rough (35%)
• Fewer water hazards (30%)
• Longer tee-time intervals (27%)
• Limited bunkers/waste areas (22%)
• Pace of play programs/systems (12%)
• Re-positioning groups (10%).
The chance of overall pace of play improving via players becoming more skillful is slim. Both the NGF and the USGA concur that a “Core” golfer is someone who plays more than eight rounds per year, and averages about 94 strokes per round, with an average Handicap Index of 20.0. Despite these golfers’ well-intentioned and sometimes diligent efforts at improvement, these numbers have been consistent for many years.
Great article! Read more at A Pace of Play Resource
After a beautiful day at Encinitas Ranch, the last thing we did was post our round. It’s our way of acknowledging the good, bad or ugly round we had. We talk about those special shots, long birdie putts, and great drives.
I use to take for granted whatever score I posted on the clubhouse computer would accurately reflect my round and adjust my handicap appropriately. However, I do play from the WHITES on some courses and know that most clubhouse computers are not listing women’s tees.
Today’s clubhouse computer indicated 4 posting choices, no women’s whites. In fact, if you login to the scga.org website (GHIN number/last name) to post online, there isn’t a women’s white tee specified there either.
Before you play that next round and errantly punch numbers in to that clubhouse computer, visit USGA’s COURSE RATING AND SLOPE DATABASE. Enter your club name, city and state and search for results.
Here you can find what the USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating for the tees you are playing.
Finally, women’s white tees! 73.9 USGA course rating/127 Slope rating.
Now I can manually post my round correctly:
Try this on the range: Place clubs in front of and behind the ball, on your target line, and insert a shaft or umbrella vertically 10 yards in front (above). That gives you a precise image of your target and the starting line of your shots. Then, practice fades by aiming left, clearing your hips earlier on the downswing, swinging to the left and holding the face open with your forearms. Practice draws by aiming right, slowing your hip turn through impact, swinging to the right and closing the face by rotating your right forearm over your left.
What to do Augusta? When you always offer an invitation for membership to I.B.M. chief executives. (I.B.M. is one of only three main sponsors of the Masters)
Because of your gender discriminating practices, do you pretend not to notice that Virginia “Ginni” M. Rometty, became IBM’s first female CEO on Jan. 1, 2012?
Toss your archaic rules aside, practice some civility and offer Ginni a membership!