June 28, 2012

The Golf Club at Twin Creeks

Played a round yesterday morning with Phong and two schoolmates.  We played at Twin Creeks in Allen, TX.  That course was TERRIBLE.  I thought the customer service at Lake Arlington was bad, but the woman selling the food at Twin Creeks takes the cake.  The course is within a community of fancy 1 to 3 million dollar homes.  You'd think the course would be in pristine condition but it was by far the ugliest golf course I have seen so far.  
The thing I was most worried about before our round was the forecasted 104 degree heat, but lucky for us it wasn't too bad at all.  The first nine holes were actually perfect weather, but that's about the only thing that held up for me that morning.  I ate some super spicy Thai food the night before and I felt super uncomfortable the next morning.  Slept about two hours, woke up about an hour before the round expecting a 40 minute drive with about 20 minutes to warm up.  Unfortunately, the drive took 56 minutes!  So I arrived late, had no warmup, stomach wasn't feelin right, and all of that combined with an ugly view for 18 consecutive holes made for a super crappy golfing experience.  At about the 11th hole I was ready to go home.  My head wasn't in the game and I was just hitting the ball to send it forward without any purpose or enjoyment.  During the last half of the round my only thought was "I can't believe I drove an hour and spent money to play here."  I lost every single ball in my bag, left two brush tees in the two different tee boxes, and ate the most garbage ham sandwich.  Still managed to scrounge together a 95, but that score doesn't reflect just how bad I played.  My fairway wood was a consistent 20 yard chunk, followed by a 200 yard pull about 50 yards to the right of the green.  It's difficult to enjoy yourself when you keep losing balls in weeds around the fairways and have to putt around crab grass on the greens.  The bunkers were solid dirt that barely passes for sand.

One star to The Golf Club at Twin Creeks.  Whoever the groundskeeper is for that course should be ashamed of himself.  Golf season started months ago, no excuse for such poor landscaping this far into the year. 

June 18, 2012

Lake Arlington

Salman and I played Lake Arlington Golf Course yesterday.  Pretty nice course.  We give it 3 stars.  The course itself was great but the staff was horrendous.  By far the worst we have ever encountered.  The check-in guy was apathetic.  The cart girl was not friendly, and the girl tending to the bar was the rudest person I have ever encountered in a club house.  Pardon me for interrupting your facebook conversation.  The greens were inconsistent.  Some were fast and some were in desperate need of cleaning up.  But the course itself was very nice; probably some of the best fairways in DFW.  The layout was tight but not too difficult.  Some of the holes felt like they were on top of each other.  E.g. The first and tenth tee boxes were practically side by side, facing the same direction.  No bunkers, but several holes had water in play.  Also, the map on the score card was inaccurate.  E.g. The map would have water separating the fairway from he green so Salman and I would cut back on the power instead of going for the green only to find that we were avoiding an imaginary hazard.

We played at a super consistent pace since the course was deserted and we didn't have to wait for anyone.  There was overcast and a slight drizzle so I'm sure a lot of players stayed home to avoid the weather.  Lucky for us.  We managed to play nineteen holes in three and a half hours.  That includes accidentally playing the 3rd hole twice and taking a break at the turn to eat a quick meal.


June 6, 2012

The Swingpack

Chance Manning: The SwingPack

Proper Encouragement

Here's a story written by a golf blogger about his experience with positive reinforcement on the golf course. I'll add my two cents after the jump.

Sports Psychologists Are Wrong About This

I had a side-hill three-footer in a team match, in which a partner and I were playing two guys from our enemy club. I studied my little slider while one of the other guys failed to chip in. My putt was slick, but I felt confident. I could see the line as clearly as if it were painted on the grass.
When it was my turn, my partner—who had been in his pocket since hitting both his drive and his provisional drive out of bounds—suddenly spoke. “Take your time,” he said.
Now, there’s a golf injunction I hate. I had been doing little for the past fifteen minutes except waiting for other people to play themselves out of the hole. How much more time was I supposed to take? I ignored my partner and got comfortable over my ball. One long, last look at my target, and—he spoke again.
“Back of the cup,” he said. “Smooth stroke.”
He had me now. Was I missing something? I backed away and reexamined my line. Maybe the putt did break less than I’d been thinking. I picked a different blade of grass to aim for, and stroked the ball a little harder.
It dipped below the rim but didn’t fall.
The conventional wisdom among sports psychologists is that chat between partners should always be positive. The human brain can’t process negative instructions, they say. Tell a golfer to avoid that bunker over there and he’ll think of nothing but sand. Therefore, you say “Back of the cup,” not “Don’t jab it, you loser.”
I disagree. When a partner turns gravely supportive, I can’t help wondering what he’s worried about. Invariably, I come up with a list.
A better strategy, I think, is to confront golf anxieties squarely. Recently, some buddies and I tested this hypothesis. Our foursome was playing three other foursomes, and our pro, Fran, had a crucial putt.
“Hey, Fran,” I said. “Don’t screw up.”
He laughed. Then he drained it.
On the next hole, as I was teeing up my ball, Tony said, “Keep it out of the woods, for a change, O. K.?” Boom—straight up the middle. And long.
When your partner tells you to make a good swing, he is indirectly expressing his uneasiness about your ability to play golf; when your partner tells you not to screw up, he is using a joke to acknowledge the pressure you’re feeling and, in effect, forgiving you in advance for letting down the side, if that’s how things turn out.
On the final green, I was able to return the favor to Tony. “We need this one,” I said, “How about not blowing it?”
He took his time, made a smooth stroke, and nailed the back of the cup.

June 5, 2012

How to Mark a Golf Ball on the Green

This comes directly from Golf.About.Com; And was written by Brent Kelley

The phrase "marking your ball" can refer to writing or drawing something on the golf ball for identification purposes, or it can refer to placing a ball marker on the ground to mark the ball's position while you lift the golf ball. It's meaning No. 2 that we are concerned with here - specifically, marking the golf ball on the putting green.
Unlike other areas of the golf course, on the putting green you can lift your ball for any reason. But you must always mark the ball's position when doing so. Some reasons to lift a ball when on the putting green:
  • a) When you want to clean the ball;
  • b) When you want to align the ball's graphics with your putting line;
  • c) When you believe your golf ball might be in the way of another player, or a distraction to another player;
  • d) When another player asks you to do so.
Marking the golf ball on the putting green is a common occurrence. So you better know the correct procedure.
Step 1
Place a small coin (or similar ball marker) directly behind your golf ball on the putting green.
Step 2
Pick up your golf ball. Important: Make sure your ball marker is on the ground before lifting the ball. Never lift the ball and then place a marker where the ball was. Place marker first, lift ball second!
Step 3
When ready to replace your golf ball on the ground, put it back on the green directly in front of your ball marker.
Step 4
Pick up your ball marker. As with Step 2, make sure you do Step 4 in the proper order. Which is: Place ball back on ground, then lift your ball marker.
And that's it. Pretty simple, eh?

Do I have to put my ball marker behind the golf ball on the putting green?
No, you are not required to place the ball marker behind the golf ball before lifting your ball on the putting green. You can place your ball marker in front of the ball or beside it, so long as you replace the ball in the correct position later. However, we recommend always placing the marker behind the ball. This is tradition, it's the way almost all golfers do it, and you'll avoid confusion by following the same convention.
Considerations and reminders
As with all activities on the putting green, be aware of other players' putting lines and be careful not to walk across another player's line.
Marking the ball on the green is addressed in the rules in Rule 16 and Rule 20. Failure to mark the ball before lifting it results in a 1-stroke penalty. If the ball is replaced in the wrong location (e.g., you place the ball down beside your ballmarker rather than in front of it) and you putt from that wrong location, it's a 2-stroke penalty. Different scenarios are addressed in the rules cited and linked above, so give them a read. But the easiest thing to do is to always remember to mark the ball before lifting, and always put the ball back in its correct location.

Related Article:
Are there any rules about what can - or can't - be used as a ballmarker?

June 4, 2012

Virtual Tour of Tour 18 Dallas

Click for Virtual Tour of Tour 18 Dallas

Breaking Ninety!

Level Up!  I did it!  Shot an 87 yesterday at Plantation Golf Club in Frisco!  The course was awesome.  I played with Salman and Patrick.  Despite the heat and the long drive it was a fun round of golf with some crazy moments and lucky bounces.
Salman's arch nemeses, the trees, got in his way a few times but overall his ball striking was better than ever.  He's been reworking his swing mechanics and the changes are insane.  He's definitely the longest hitter in the group.
 My round started off great with a 4 over par 40 on the front nine.  Unfortunately, I was so excited about playing well on the front nine that I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself to play just as well on the back nine.  That pretty much ruined my focus and I blew up on the back nine with an eleven over 47.  Oh wells.  At least now I know I have the ability to shoot low 80s, as long as I can keep my mental game in check.  Next goal is to break 85!  Need to work on putting and bunker saves.