Friday, March 31, 2006

Do You Aim For The Golf Range Picker?

During a summer when I was about 17 I worked at Meadowlark Golf Course in Huntington Beach, CA in the cart shack running carts back and forth from the starter. I was also responsible for getting the range balls by driving the range ball picker. Back then Meadowlark had an old farm type of tractor with the big wheels in the back and the small ones in the front. It also had a welded cage surrounding the area where you sat to protect you from golf balls. It was actually pretty cool to drive around.

I was really scared the first time I picked the range because I knew the range picker had a giant virtual bulls-eye on it. You know it's true because all of us are guilty of trying to hit that moving target on the range. How many times have you actually hit the range picker? I know I had hit it many times up to the point of getting into the caged bulls-eye.

I hooked up the range ball picker to the tractor, got in, and drove it into the range. It was almost like a bull coming into the arena to fight the matador, but this time the bull was going against about 30 matadors with metal sticks and white balls. As soon as I entered the range it felt like it was raining golf balls. The golfers were actually waiting for me to enter and as soon as I did they didn't waste any time unleashing their attack on me. It was right then that I realized that all the bad karma I created for hitting the range picker was coming back 30 fold. It was very unnerving to be driving along and out of no where hear a 100 mile an hour golf ball hit the side of the cage.

I never really go used to being hit, but I learned to ignore all the near misses. The hardest part was when I had to drive the tractor really close to the mats where the golfers were hitting. I knew I was prime meat then because I was an easy target. Most of the golfers didn't try to hit me then because they knew I could see them. They liked to wait until I was far away so their anonymity was protected, but there was always some kids who didn't care if I saw them hit me. The kids got a kick of trying to hit me and it was a rare case if they did.

One day I was driving along in the picker and a ball pierced the armour of the cage and it started to ricochet inside the cage. It ricocheted about 3 times before it fell out. I had to stop the picker and collect myself after that happened. To this day I still don't know how the golf ball didn't hit me, but I'm sure glad it didn't.

Do I still aim at the range picker while hitting balls on the range? You're damn right I do. It's just too much fun to fire off a few balls at that moving bulls-eye.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Runaway Golf Cart

How many of you seen this before? Someone gets out of their cart while on an incline or decline and forgets to set the brake. Before they know it their cart is racing down the hill with no one in the drivers seat.

On one occassion while playing a practice round for my high school I was grouped with some players from a rival high school. At first I thought it was going to be a long day, but by the 3rd hole we were laughing and having a good time. There was one particular guy that seemed to be a real prankster. He was doing things to the flag after we left the green. He was moving the tee markers and bench so they lined up towards another hole.

We were teeing off the 9th hole when this guy saw an abandoned cart. He went over to it after he teed off to see if it had any juice left in it. Sure enough it did and he got into the cart and started driving it round doing 360's and jokingly trying to run us down. That's when he got his bright idea of ghost riding the cart down the fairway, which had a pretty steep decline. At first we all started to laugh as we saw the unmanned cart flying down the fairway. On it's way down it hit a dip and caused the cart to change direction. It was now heading straight for the lake on the 8th hole. You should have seen the prankster in our group run. He was trying to chase down the cart before it went into the lake, but we all could see that the cart had too much speed to be caught.

Well sure enough the cart went flying into the lake and everyone was rolling on the ground laughing except the prankster. As a 15-year old this was hilarious and I would have to say it would have been hilarious to anyone else who witnessed it. It would have been a winner on America's Funniest Videos TV show.

Needless to say the prankster was in big trouble because one of the grounds keepers witnessed it and reported it to the starter. It ended up costing the prankster in our group around $1800 and he was suspended from his golf team.

Damn that was funny though!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Taylormade r7 425 or r7 425 TP?

When comparing the TaylorMade R7 425 and the R7 425 TP, there are a few things to remember that can help in deciding which one is right for you. Both are alike in that they combine a large, forgiving 425 cc clubhead with TaylorMade’s renowned Movable Weight Technology (MWT), and both offer exceptionally high MOI. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

Basically there are four key differences between the R7 425 and R7 425 TP:

(1) The R7 425 TP is engineered with a slightly open clubface, since most skilled players have little trouble squaring the face to the ball at impact.

(2) The R7 425 TP includes more cartridges in a wider range of weights, allowing players to choose from 1,230 launch conditions across a range of nine swing weights.

(3) The R7 425 TP is also equipped with a different shaft, the TaylorMade RE*AX with Fujikura ROMBAX technology.

(4) The R7 425 requires a shaft with a .350" tip diameter while the r7 425 TP requires a .335".

Taylormade recommends testing out both clubs for yourself at one of one of their
Demo Day Events so you can see and feel the performance differences firsthand. Plus, you can get any questions answered by a TaylorMade representative.

Also, be sure to check out TaylorMade's R7 425 and R7 425 TP
Frequently Asked Questions sections on their web site for more information.
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The Cleveland CG2 vs CG4 Tour

I've always been a big proponent of Cleveland irons and Cleveland's latest irons the CG4 Tour and CG2 have caught my eye. My last 2 sets have been Cleveland's with my current set being the Cleveland TA2's with Sensicore shafts. A buddy of mine picked up a set of the Cleveland CG2's about 6 months ago and swears by them and that got me in the mood to go take a look at both the CG4 Tour and CG2 irons.

I was at Roger Dunn's Golf Shop in Santa Ana, CA and decided to hit a few balls with both the Cleveland CG2 and the Cleveland CG4 Tour. I picked out a 7-iron in both sets and headed over to the hitting area. I started out with the CG2 and the set up of the iron was very attractive. It had a clean look and a nice top line. All of the balls I hit were clean, crisp, and solid. I especially liked the solid feeling of the ball coming off the face. I then tried the CG4 Tour and it had a nice clean look as well, but it did have a thicker top line and maybe a slight offset. The balls I hit with this iron felt identical to the CG2. Aside from the asthetics both irons performed the same, but I'd get the CG2 because I personally like the thinner top line. I think you can't go wrong with either the CG2 or CG4 Tour because of their equal performance.

The solid feel I got from hitting the CG2 and the CG4 Tour was noticeable... meaning they felt more solid than the TA2's I'm currently playing with. I think I'll wait a few more months before I get the CG2's so I can get some more play out of my TA2's, but I'll definitely be getting the CG2's unless Cleveland comes out with something better.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Taylormade Ultimate Golf Swing Analysis

I've been in the market for a new swing analysis of my golf swing and during my search I came across TaylorMade's Motion Analysis Technology or MATT. The reason why is because I've gotten stronger and I feel the shafts I'm using may be a little weak. I looked up Maxout Golf again, which is the company I used the last time for my swing analysis, but it didn't look like their technology had changed much compared to what I read on TaylorMade's MATT. I'm not saying they're bad, but it's been about 3 years and I know technology in golf has definitely advanced over that time.

The closest TaylorMade MATT facility to me is in Carlsbad, CA at the Aviara Golf School, which is run by Taylormade Performance Labs. I went through the entire website and I was fascinated by how sophisticated their technology was. The
Motion Analysis Technology (MATT) is like something out of a sci-fi movie. This technology is incredible where you're hooked up with sensors on your body and several high speed cameras record your golf swing. They do all of this so they can generate a computer model of your swing and analyze it from any angle. They keep a database of all the swings they analyze and they can compare your swing to an Ernie Els or Sergio Garcia.

The price for 2 1/2 hours with TaylorMade's MATT swing analyis is $250, which I think is a bargain considering there's nothing like it in the world. TaylorMade has been at the forefront of technology in the golf industry and have yet again set the bar with their Motion Analysis Technology.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Golf Ball Magnet

It was an afternoon in the summer where a few of us left work early to play 9-holes of golf at Aliso Viejo Golf Course in Aliso Viejo, CA. It was a perfect day for golf with the temperature around 75 degrees and a very clear day.

We had just teed off on one of the blind par 4's and I hit a big drive that reached the crest of the fairway and went down the drop in the fairway. My buddies teed off and all of them were in the fairway except for one that went way left. We got to our golf balls and two of my buddies hit their approach shots. My ball was at least 40 yards ahead of them because I had made it down the slop of the fairway. I got to my drive, which measured about 320 yards, and set up to hit about a 3/4 sand-wedge. I was just about to take my backswing when I get drilled in the back of my right calf with a golf ball, which dropped me to the ground. I looked back towards where the golf ball came from and I didn't see anyone, but I did see one of my other buddies fall out of the golf cart laughing. Evidently he thought it was funny to see me get drilled by a golf ball, and I imagine from his view point it probably was.

I got up and looked at my leg and it had a nice read spot from the golf ball that was starting to welt up. I looked up again towards where the golf ball came from and here comes the buddy in my group who had hit his tee shot way left. He was yelling to me "Did you see my golf ball?" That made the other guys in my group to really start laughing hard. I yelled back to him and said "Yeah, it's right here. You drilled me with it." Of course he didn't believe me until I showed him the back of my calf. When continued our round of golf, but after about 2 holes the back of my calf was turning black and blue. It was going to be a deep bruise. That was the second time I've been drilled with a golf ball and I'm starting to think I'm a golf ball magnet.

The next day at work my buddies were giving the guy who drilled me with the golf ball a hard time about it. There were jokes flying around the office for a good two weeks and to this day someone throws one in when were talking about golf. I actually laugh at the golf jokes too because when I think back it is a pretty funny golf story.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Afternoon Golf Turns Ugly

One day after school I went to hit some golf balls at the Meadowlark Golf Course range. While I was hitting balls Ambrose came up, who was a kid I had just met last week. He was 14, which was a year older than me, but he looked like he was 18. He lifted weights since he was 10 and he looked like a body builder. Anyway he asked if I wanted to go play 9-holes before it got dark and I said ok.

We headed out on the back nine and when we got to the 15th things started to get a little crazy. We reached the 15th green and Ambrose decides to show off his strength. He takes the flag stick, which back then were metal rods instead of Fiberglas, and bent it in half with his two hands. For some reason I thought that was hilarious and started to laugh so hard that I got a side ache. He stuck the flag back into the and went on to the 16th hole.

We reached the 16th green and Ambrose decided he wasn't done and took the flag stick and started throwing it like a spear so it would stick into the green. Again I started laughing. In fact so hard that I started to cry and almost couldn't breathe. He was laughing too and he just left the holes in the green with the flagstick embedded into the green. We went on and played the 17th and Ambrose left after that. I continued on and played the 18th hole. As I was walking to the proshop I heard someone screaming. I turned around and this man was yelling as he was was running up 18 yelling. At first I didn't know what he wanted, but by the time we both reached the proshop things got really ugly.

This man takes me by the arm and gets the guy in the proshop to come outside. The man precedes to tell the explain that I destroyed the pin on 15 and tore up the green on 16. I told him it was a guy I was playing with who did it. I could tell I was in deep because there was no way the guy in the proshop was going to believe me over this man. We argued for a few minutes more when the proshop guy sent a maintenance guy to go look at 15 and 16. A few minutes later he came back and said the holes were damaged and the guy in the proshop called the police.

As soon as the guy from the proshop left the man looked at me and said "I oughta take you behind that shed and teach you a lesson." He was really pissed and I was really scared. After about 15 minutes the police came and they questioned me and the man. They asked me if I knew who the other boy was and I said I had just met him and didn't know where he lived. Another 15 minutes went by and the policeman escorted me to his squad car and put me in the back seat. That was one of the most terrifying experience I went through as a kid. The policeman told me he was taking me to my mom's work, which was Sav-on's at the time.

We reached Sav-on's and the policeman parked right outside the entrance so everyone saw what was going on. He let me out of the car and escorted me inside to my mom. You should have seen the expression on my mom's face. It was a face of shock and disbelief. The policeman explained to my mom what happened and then he left. I explained my side of the story to my mom and she believed that I didn't do any of the vandalism at the golf course.

Well needless to say kept my distance from Ambrose from the day on.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Maxout Golf Has Club Fitting Down To A Science

A couple of years ago I was in search of a professional club fitting company to be fitted with clubs, and that's when I stumbled across Maxout Golf. I had typically got my clubs off the rack and then had the lie and loft adjusted a little to fit me and that was the extent of my club fitting. This time I wanted my swing to be analyzed by a professional and then have them tell me the specs I would need to have clubs fit me and my swing.

I started my search on the internet and there wasn't really anything that grabbed my attention except for a company in Sherman Oaks, CA called
Maxout Golf. I went to their web site and at the time it wasn't that impressive in appearance, but they seemed to know what they were talking about. I called and asked them to explain to me exactly what they do for the $195 club fitting. They said they hook you up to a machine that measures several things about your swing like how much the flex in the shaft you achieve when you hit the ball, launch angle of the shot, RPM's of the ball on a drive, etc... It sounded very impressive and I decided this was the place to go and made an appointment.

I arrived with my clubs and they asked my to warm up a little by hitting a few balls. They hooked me up and had me hit a 7-iron and then a 5-iron. They have ultra-high speed cameras set up so they can play back your swing and freeze it to show you any swing flaws you might have. It was pretty cool to see my swing broken down the way they explained it. One side benefit during the analysis is they tell you what you can do to improve your swing, so it was a mini golf lesson as well.

I then hit my driver a few times and then they had me hit a few others with different shafts that had different flexes and kick points. He had me hit different kinds of balls to help reduce the spin rate of the ball, which ultimately equated to more distance on my drives. The guy who worked with me was very helpful and a good teacher. They even did a putting analysis as well and sold me on the putting arc, which is a pretty cool putting aid.

After everything was said and done I had the exact specs I needed for clubs that would fit me and my swing. One of the most important things besides the club fitting is that they aren't there to sell you any particular brand of clubs. They're willing to suggest clubs that would fit your swing and customize them for you, but they don't push it on you to do so. I was particularly interested in the
Cleveland TA2's at the time and they agreed that they would be a good set for me with just under a standard lie and Sensicore stiff shafts. They suggested tour velvet grips with plus one wrap. At the time I had the Taylormade R540 driver with a stock stiff shaft, but the suggested the deeper faced Taylarmade 510 with a YS6 stiff shaft. They also suggested the Sonartec SS-02 14 degree fairway wood with the YS6 stiff shaft.

I told the guy that I was going to order everything at
Roger Dunn's mainly because of their awesome return policy, which would allow me to return any of the equipment for store credit within 90-days of my purchase. I took the specs and went to Roger Dunn's Golf Shop in Santa Ana, CA and ordered up everything. It took just over a week to get everything and I was pumped. I took the clubs to the range and hit them and everything fit like a glove. After a couple of days at the range I was hitting them like I had been playing with them for years. After a month of playing with them I had dropped my handicap from a 6 down to a 3.

So the moral of the story... custom fitted clubs done by professionals does make a difference in your game, and Maxout Golf is definitely a place that knows what they're doing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Would The Real Scotty Cameron Please Stand Up?

Do you think I really know Scotty Cameron? You know the guy who makes the golf worlds most recognized putters by Titleist? I didn't even know this until 20+ years out of high school while playing on the golf team

I played varsity high school golf at Edison High School in Huntington Beach from 1979-81. My first year at Edison as a sophomore on the golf team was a little tough because I had just transferred from Marina High School, which was a rival school. Our home golf course was Seacliff Country Club in Huntington Beach where we got to hit all the range balls we wanted and play all the golf we wanted after 1:00pm without paying a dime. Now that was really nice!

We had a pretty good team my sophomore year with guys like Markel Taylor, Scotty Cameron, and others being the strength of the team. Scotty was a senior at the time and he had a good swing and scored well. He also used to do a lot of work with clubs and putters in his dad's golf shop. I only got to know Scotty a little bit because he was a senior and I was a sophomore. Jeff Frederick was another guy on the team who was also a sophomore and he was closer to Scotty because his brother was also a senior on the team. Jeff and I played together on the golf team throughout high school and a few times after that.

Well they went on to graduate and I didn't hear anything about Scotty Cameron other than he started to work more with his dad in his golf shop. The years went by and I went to college. It was probably around 1998 when I ran into Jeff Frederick and we got to talking. He asked me if I knew about Scotty and I said no I hadn't heard anything. Jeff then said he's doing great. He's making putters and living in a really nice house Carlsbad, CA... and that's when it clicked. After all of these years I hadn't put 2 and 2 together.

You see I knew Scotty's last name was Cameron, but I didn't think it was the same Scotty Cameron who was making a name in the golf world and on the PGA Tour for his putters. Well it's not hard to see that Scotty is doing very well for himself. If you know anything about golf you know that the Scotty Cameron putter brand is probably the most well known in the golf world. I've had 3 of his putters over the years and I currently have the Studio Stainless Newport 2.5 and love it.

Way to go Mr. Cameron!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Golf Balls... The Other White Gold

Now you're probably wondering why I call golf balls white gold. If you think about it for a minute golf balls are white, but how does it relate to gold. If you read on you'll see that golf balls can truly be considered white gold... well at least to me and my brother.

In my last post, Scrimpin For Golf Balls I ended with a statement that me and my brother had created an ingenious device for getting used golf balls that could have made us millions. How do I know it could have made us millions? We had found out about 20 years later that a guy had made his fortune from selling experienced golf balls, and he did it the way we did 20 years before.

After we decided that scrimpin for golf balls was too much work for a relatively small reward, we had to come up with a better way and we did. One Saturday morning we went trashing digging and I found an old TV antenna that gave me an idea. I told my brother that we should make a rake to dredge the bottom of the lake for the golf balls. This way we wouldn't have to go in and we could get the used golf balls in the deep part of the lake that we couldn't get by hand.

So we went home and got out a hacksaw, drill, hammer, and screw driver. We also went to the nearby fishing and tackle shop and purchased two of those loose green-fishing nets. I started to create a long skinny rectangle measuring about 4 feet by 8 inches with the parts from the antenna. I then added two additional pieces that extended from the sides to the 3-foot center rod I added. The finishing touches were the two green fishing nets that we attached to the frame with tie-rods, and a 100-feet of that thick yellow nylon rope we borrowed from the golf course one night. We were now ready to give it a try.

We headed out the next night to the golf course with our new golf rake and a fishing gunnysack, which we were sure we'd fill up with golf balls. We dropped the net in the lake and walked around the lake until the rope wouldn't reach anymore and we started to dredge the lake. When the net reached us we were pretty anxious to see what how many golf balls we got. We pulled it up and it stunk like something rotten because we had dredged up so much mud. We had to shake the net in the water to rinse the mud off the balls in the net. After about 30 seconds of rinsing we pulled up the rake and there it was, white gold. This is what me and my brother called the white shimmering golf balls glowing in the net because they were all wet, which made them all look brand new. To us it was gold because we saw dollar signs when we saw all of those golf balls. That night we came home with about 300 golf balls and the gunnysack was pretty heavy.

We dredged the local golf course for about a year, but we then moved and had to find another golf course to dredge. We found one that was close and it had easy access in south Huntington Beach. The first night we dredged this new golf course was a night I still remember because on our very first pull we got close to 200- hundred golf balls! We continued for another 45 minutes and had to stop because our gunnysack was full to the brim. We pulled in over 800 golf balls in 45 minutes and that’s what you call WHITE GOLD!

The beauty of this small business was that there was absolutely NO waste. The brand new balls we sold by the dozen and the others we through into a big giant tub that we would accumulate until we got to 1000 golf balls. We did this because we sold these for 10 cents a piece to a guy who stripped them and resold them to the golf ranges.

So you can see that had we continued on we could have made millions. We would have contracted with all of these golf courses to dredge their lakes and sell the good ones back to them to be sold as experienced golf balls in the pro shop, and the remaining golf balls as range balls or shag balls.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Scrimpin For Golf Balls

In one of my previous posts I talked about me and my brother selling used golf balls to golfers on the weekends, but what I didn't mention is how we turned it into a small used golf ball business. We initially started out selling the used golf balls that would come over the fence surrounding the golf course. We then took it to the next level and decided to go where the real money was... in the lakes inside the golf course. Of course this was something that had to be done at night because we knew the golf course wouldn't approve of us taking a dip in their lakes during the day to get the experienced golf balls.

I still remember my first experience going into the lake at Meadowlark Golf Course in Huntington Beach. We wore our two piece wetsuits to keep us warm because the water and air at night was pretty cold. The bottom of the golf course lake was slimy with the mud oozing between my toes and there where crawdads as well. We made up a name for what we were doing called scrimpin. Scrimpin to us was crouching down and feeling with your hands and feet for the used golf balls along the banks under the water. We'd stuff them into the long tube socks we'd bring to carry the golf balls in.

Now there were a couple of hazards in scrimping; 1) the crawdads where very protective of the banks and now then you'd get pinched on your hand or foot. I sometimes wondered if they were protecting the used golf balls as well; 2) while scrimping we were always freaked out by what could be in the lake and we were always on the look out for "The Creature From The Black Lagoon." You know how kids are with their imaginations; and; 3) the golf course maintenance guys would occasionally come by the lake. This required us to take drastic measures. We would have to go under the water and hold our breath until they went by. Let me tell you... that water was pretty disgusting and I'm surprised we didn't get sick from it.

On a good night we would get about 60 experienced golf balls of which half were good enough to sell back to the golfers. We'd go 2 or 3 times during the week and clean them up Friday night so we'd be ready for Saturday and Sunday mornings at the golf course. We asked the neighbors to keep their empty egg cartons and give them to us. We used these as a way to present and sell a dozen of the used golf balls at a time with each dozen being of one brand like Titleist, MaxFli, Topflite, etc... A dozen golf balls would sell for $6 and we'd typically have 6 to 10 dozen for sale. So on a good weekend we could make $30 a piece, which made us feel rich having that kind of money in our pocket.

After about six months of scrimpin we decided that there had to be a better way to get the golf balls out of the lakes. And sure enough we found a better way and created an ingenious device that would do just that. My next post I'll describe in detail how me and my brother could have made millions with this device.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Have You Ever Been Drilled By A Golf Ball?

It was a nice sunny day and I was a freshmen playing in a high school golf match against Long Beach Milikan High School. We were playing at Recreation Park Golf Course in Long Beach. After two holes I was even par and we teed off on hole 3, which is a long par 4 with a slightly elevated tee. In my group I was paired up with Lisa who played for our high school, Edison High School, and two other guys from Milikan.

We walked up the fairway and went to our own golf balls. Lisa's golf ball was about 30 yards behind everyone elses ball. I walked down the left side of the fairway in the rough to get even with my ball in the fairway and then wait for Lisa to hit.

Now the group ahead of us was up on the green still, but Lisa was too far out to reach them so we told her to go ahead. I turned my head to look at the green when Lisa hit her 3-wood. Within that split second I heard what sounded like one of those land rockets you can buy at the hobby store. You know the ones that make that loud SSSSSHH sound and go straight up a zillion miles in the air. Well I turned around and I see Lisa's golf ball zeroing in on me. It was one of those low screamers about 3 or 4 feet off the ground. It happened so fast that I didn't have time to react and it hit me square in the back.

I still remember that golf ball coming at me as if it happened yesterday. Now that I think back it was a lot like the slow motion bullet time in The Matrix where Neo is dodging the bullets, but I wasn't able to dodge this bullet. The golf ball hit me so hard that one of the guys in our group heard the thud clear across the fairway. With a golf ball traveling around 110 mph and being as hard as it is I was lucky it didn't hit me in the head.

I finally caught my breath and stood up. Everyone was asking if I was alright and I said yes, but I don't think I was. I think I was a little bit in shock. I lifted up my shirt and asked them to tell me if there was a mark and they said there was a bruise with white spots inside, which we all realized were the dimple marks from the golf ball. I continued playing, which was a big mistake because I wasn't the same after getting drilled with the golf ball. After the 5th hole it started to really hurt, but I stuck it out. I finished the 9-hole match with a 49, which was my worst score ever for nine holes.

The moral of the story. Don't walk ahead of the golfers in your group unless you feel the desire to be drilled by a 110 mph golf ball.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Here's A 7-Iron Right Back At Ya!

I'm sure a lot of you golfers out there will relate to this story. I was playing a round of golf with some buddies of mine at David L. Baker in Fountain Valley, CA. It's an executive golf course that you go out with a 12-pack among friends and have a good time. It was on the weekend and play was slow so we had plenty of time to put down a few beers. By the 5th hole we all were having a great time.

This is about the time things started to turn ugly. We had a group of golfers behind us that I could tell didn't play golf very much. On the 6th hole, which is a short par 4, we got hit into by someone in the group behind us. We all would have been ok with it if they had yelled FOUR, but since they didn't we all got a little pissed off.

The next hole was a par 3 and it was a little backed up so we we had to wait before we could tee off. The group behind us caught up with us on the tee, but made no apologies for hitting into us. I spoke up and told them they need to wait until we're out of reach before hitting up and to yell FOUR next time. They didn't seem to receptive to my words of advice.

Well that wasn't going to affect how much fun we were having that day. In fact me and my buddy removed the straps holding the golf clubs in my brothers golf cart. When we finished teeing off my brother gunned his golf cart and both sets of golf clubs flew off the back of the cart. His reaction to his golf clubs falling off was a little slow because he drug both sets for a good 20 feet. That was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen on a golf course. I was laughing so hard that couldn't breath. I'm sure the 3 beers I had by then made it funnier than it was, but it was damn funny at the time.

We finished playing 7 & 8, which were both par 3's, and we came to 9, which was a par 4. Again we had to wait for the group of golfers in front of us before we could tee off. It's was my turn to tee off. I get settled behind the ball and I'm about to tee off when all of the sudden I hear the sound of water pouring. I look back at my golfing buddies to figure out where that sound was coming from and I almost fell to the ground laughing. One of my buddies was sitting on the edge of the golf bench with his dick hanging out of the bottom of his shorts and taking a piss. He was just sitting there as if it was no big deal. I thought the golf bags flying off the golf cart was funny, but this topped it off.

By the time we all stopped laughing the guys behind us reached the tee. Our grouped finished teeing off and we went up to my buddies golf ball, which was about 150 yards off the tee in the rough. He spent a few minutes looking for it when all the sudden a golf ball lands 10 feet from hitting me. The guys behind us hit into us again and I couldn't believe it. I said fuck it and grabbed my 7-iron and walked over to the ball. I lined myself up at the 9th tee box and fired away. I hit it pure and it was heading towards the guys on the 9th tee box like a heat sinking missile zeroing in on an Iraqi tank. The guys on the tee box looked like they were running for their lives.

My buddies were laughing so hard that they fell to the ground laughing. We finished the hole and went on to the 10th. We were waiting for the golfers behind us to come up, but they never did. I guess they didn't want a piece of me.

The moral of the story... don't hit into the golfers in front of you unless you want to be drilled by your on golf ball in return.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

TaylorMade TP R7 Quad vs TaylorMade R7 Quad

This is a golf equipment review of the TaylorMade TP R7 Quad and the TaylorMade R7 Quad of which I currently play the TaylorMade TP R7 Quad.

I got an awesome deal on a used TP R7 Quad from Golfsmith that was in excellent condition. At the time I bought it the TP R7 Quad's were typically going for $699, but I was able to get it for $399 and to be honest with you it looked brand new to me. It had the Speeder 757 XS shaft in it and it was a great looking golf club. Before I walked out with it I had to give a test drive in one of Golfsmith's swing analysis booths. I wasn't exactly prepared to hit a golf club because I went in there to get some new golf shoes and all I had on were flip-flops.

Well I jumped into the swing analysis booth in my bare feet with two drivers. One was the
Taylormade TP R7 Quad with an XS Speeder 757 and the other was the regular Taylormade R7 Quad with the stock stiff shaft. My first few balls were with the stock R7 Quad felt pretty good. The swing monitor said I was getting about a 270 to 290-yard carry with a swing speed of 114 mph, which was pretty typical of my golf swing. I then pulled out the TP R7 Quad and I was a little concerned that the XS Speeder 757 was going to feel like a 2 by 4. On my very first swing I hit it pretty pure and I looked up at the swing monitor and it said it carried 300 yards with a swing speed of 114 mph. I continued to hit ball after ball pure with the TP R7 Quad and I was averaging a 300 to 320 yard carry. I think one thing contributing to hitting the ball so squarely was that I was hitting in my bare feet. I guess subconsciously I knew I had to remain as still and solid as possible otherwise I'd be all over the place. Hey I think there's a swing tip in there somewhere.

I was in love with this golf club and knew I was going home with it. On my last swing of the club I had a small audience including the guy running the swing analysis booth. I took a deep breath and hit the purest ball of the day. I looked up at the swing monitor and couldn't believe what I was seeing... it said I had a 360-yard carry with a swing speed of 117 and an accuracy of 1.56. I asked the guy running the booth what the accuracy number meant and he said the ideal number was between 1.50 to 1.60 to be dead on. Now of course I took these numbers with a grain of salt, but I was still very much impressed by the TP R7 Quad.

Needless to say I got everything I could out that club on that one swing... and I was sold. I have to say that I've never just picked up a club like that and hit it consistently in such a short amount of time. I was never a big proponent of paying that much for a club because I didn't think it would be any better than the regular models with a nice shaft, but I was wrong. I took it to the range that day and made a minor adjustment to the weights to get a little more of a draw on the ball.

If you're in the market for a new driver I would definitely test drive the TaylorMade TP R7 Quad with the Speeder shaft, but not necessarily with the XS.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Going, Going, Gone... Golf Style

I mentioned in my previous post that me and my brother used to sell used golf balls back to the golfers when they'd hit it over the golf course fence. We'd get up early on a Saturday and Sunday morning with our baseball mitts in hand and walk over to the fence on the 6th hole (along Graham St) of Meadowlark Golf Course in Huntington Beach, CA.

We were usually the first ones there, but by 9:00am there would be at least 5 more kids waiting for the same reason. Now the reason why we brought our baseball mitts was because we wanted to catch the used golf ball before it hit the street. If it did hit the street then it would get a big scuffmark on it and the golfers wouldn't pay a dime for it.

I still remember to this day the feeling of anticipation we all had for a golf ball to come flying over the fence. It was like a track meet where all of us were on our marks watching the next golfer on the tee, and as soon as we saw it come off the golf club head we knew if it was coming over or not. Let me tell you when it did it was like a bunch of small kids going after the candy that spills out of a piƱata after its broken open. You'd be surprised how many golf balls would fly over that fence in a 3 to 4-hour period.

Back then the golf ball of choice was
Titleist and Maxfli, but I remember when the Molitor golf ball came out. This was considered the illegal golf ball because of how far it would go. When one of us would get a Molitor golf ball it was like finding a gold nugget because we could sell it back to the golfers for $1.

Now the next thing we'd all do is try to get the golfers to come over to the fence to see if they wanted to buy some of our experienced golf balls. It was always the case where the golfer who hit the golf ball over the golf course fence wasn't about to come over and buy his own golf ball back :-) Back then, which was the mid-70's, a brand new golf ball that we caught would go for 50 cents. While that may not seem like a lot it was a lot back then for both a 10 and 11 year-old boy.

We did this for another year and then we decided that there had to be an easier way to get more experienced golf balls. What follows next is how we took things to the next level and became true entrepreneurs. I'll leave that for another post.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Day Of Trash Digging Started Me In Golf

I actually started playing golf by accident. One morning when I was about 10 years old me and my brother headed out to do some trash digging in the neighborhood to see if we could find any treasures to take home. Boy did our parents love that. We would do this every Saturday morning because that's when the trash man came to pick up the neighborhood trash. During our hunt I found an old Spalding 6-iron golf club with a leather wrapped grip. The golf grip was old, hard, and very slick, but I didn't know any better. I was so excited about finding it that you would have thought I won the US Open or something.

When we got back home we went into the garage and got a handful of golf balls. We had a ton of golf balls because that's how me and my brother made a few bucks. We would find the golf balls that were hit over the golf course fence and we'd sell them back to the golfers at
Meadowlark Golf Course in Huntington Beach, CA, which was only a block away from our house. That's another golf ball story for another day and actually very interesting and funny. Anyway we got to the neighborhood school and just started hitting golf balls all over the place. Now I know where I got the idea of hitting golf balls at the school. I actually picked it up pretty quickly, but my brother was the shank-master. Several times he hit it into the backyard of some of the houses surrounding the school. Luckily he didn't break any windows, but I'm sure the neighbor loved chewing up a golf ball in his lawnmower the next time he mowed the lawn. It was evident that golf wasn't for my brother and to this day it still isn't :-)

So as you can see my start in golf wasn't your typical start like most kids. My dad didn't buy me my own set of golf clubs and drag me out the the golf range for hours on end, but I think if he would have I probably would have liked it. Ever since then I've been playing golf, which is now going on 33 years. I played some junior golf, played high school golf at Edison High School, and played many years at
Meadowlark Golf Course as a men's club member.

In college I was going to go out for the golf team at
California State University of Fullerton, but after talking with the coach and some of the players I realized that I wouldn't be able to get my computer science degree with all the travel required. So I would say my first big life decision was to pursue a career in computer science instead of one on the PGA Tour. Eventhough the odds of making it on the tour were slim, I still think now and then where I'd be if I took the path of a career in golf.

Anyone out there have an interesting story to tell about how they got started in golf?