Archive for October 2008

Made In America: Titleist Golf Ball Factory

Posted by cjsharp1 on October 22, 2008 in Videos 0 Comments

I came across this video that was posted on YouTube of a clip from the Travel Channel’s “Made In America”. This clip shows John Ratzenberger (the guy from “Cheers”) visiting the Titleist golf ball factory. The clip talks briefly about the history of the golf ball, the history of Titleist, and how Titleist makes their golf balls. They mention that they make 750,000 balls a day through their plant. Pretty cool. Golf Tracker

Posted by cjsharp1 on October 22, 2008 in News 0 Comments

Since the golf season is starting to slow down (I kind of came in late in the season anyway), I took some time to build the Golf Tracker. I’ll be using this web application to store all the Chicagoland golf courses that are necessary to complete the goal. I’ll also be using it to keep track of my scores, as well as storing information about the people who play rounds with me and their scores. This application also feeds the Google Maps points for the ‘Map of Courses‘ page.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be working to add all of the courses. It’s kind of a slow process because I have to find each course on the map, as well as get some general information about the course (number of holes, par count, total length, etc). Plus, my initial estimate of 75 courses is way off. I’m now thinking there may be close to 150, but we’ll see.

Wooded View Golf Course [Field Trip]

Posted by cjsharp1 on October 12, 2008 in Field Trips 0 Comments

I finished the weekend/mini-vacation by meeting David at Wooded View Golf Course. Wooded View is located in Clarksville, IN, and is about 7 miles from the Indiana/Kentucky border, north of Louisville, KY. Wooded View Golf Course is part of Clarksville Parks and Recreation, which maintains twelve parks throughout Clarksville, an aquatic center, and a softball complex. Prior to the start of this project, I’ve played at Wooded View Golf Course twice, both times in a foursome with David. The weekend rate with the cart was $35, which is not bad considering this is a nice course that can be difficult in some areas.

The course winds its way through tall trees and hills. Five of the holes are doglegs that bend nearly 90 degrees. There are four par-3 and five par-5 holes. Water hazards touch eight of the holes, with the biggest water hazards being on the 9th and the 14th hole. I always dreaded the 14th hole, because the water hazard is in a valley that is right in front of the tee boxes. I tend to lose 2-3 balls just trying to get to the other side.

It also didn’t help out that we played from the blue tee boxes this round, so the water hazards were more difficult to cross. In the end, it didn’t really matter which tee box we started from, because we both played pretty badly. The round started off pretty well with me making a bogey, and David sinking a 40ft putt from the fringe (he still got a 7 on that hole). We were in traffic the whole time; there was a slow foursome in front of us and a fast threesome behind us. We were constantly hurrying up just to wait. The whole round took 4-1/2 hours.

David didn’t play so well this round. His fairway wood and iron shots were off and his putting was bad (except for that first 40ft putt). I remained consistent with my previous rounds and also played bad, although I did have some nice drives. I need to keep remembering that you don’t have to kill the ball on the drive. Once I get more steady with that concept, I think I’ll be more consistent on my drives.

Wooded View Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,548 yards (6,169 yards from blue tee boxes)
Course par: 71
Course rating/slope: 69.5/123 (blue tee boxes)
My score: 118 (47 over par)
David’s score 117 (46 over par)
Balls lost: 10+ (mostly in the woods)

We ended up losing a lot of balls because of all the leaves that were on the ground. We would search for the ball for a few minutes, but then give up because there was pretty much no hope. The leaves also made it difficult to putt on the greens, but by the time we were nearly done with the round, we could really care less about the leaves.

David made three bogeys and no pars. He 1-putted two times and 2-putted seven times. I made two bogeys and no pars. I 1-putted two times and 2-putted eight times. There were many instances where I could have made par, but failed to do so because I 3-putted. My putting started good, but eventually got worse. Still, the putter that I was using (David’s old putter) was much better than my original mini-golf putter.

Wooded View Golf Course
2404 Greentree North
Clarksville, IN 47129

Terminology: links

Posted by cjsharp1 on October 10, 2008 in Terminology 3 Comments

So, the last post got me wondering: What makes a course “links-style”? Well… thanks to Wikipedia again, we find out the answer:

A links golf course, sometimes referred to as a seaside links, is the oldest style of golf course, first developed in Scotland. The word comes from the Scots language and refers to an area of coastal sand dunes, and sometimes to open parkland.

Many links – though not all – are located in coastal areas, on sandy soil, often amid dunes, with few water hazards and few if any trees. This reflects both the nature of the scenery where the sport happened to originate, and the fact that only limited resources were available to golf course architects at the time, and any earth moving had to be done by hand, so it was kept to a minimum.

So what made the 9-hole course “links-style”? First, there were no trees throughout the course. Second, there was only one water hazard, which was part of only one hole. Third, there were sand traps on eight of the holes. Finally, it was fairly flat. The combination of the flat land and no trees made the course windy, which is also an important factor. Hence, the “links-style” course.

The Wikipedia definition continues:

The challenges of links golf fall into two categories. Firstly the nature of the courses themselves, which tend to be characterised by uneven fairways, thick rough and small deep bunkers known as “pot bunkers”. Secondly, due to their coastal location many links courses are frequently windy. This affects the style of play required, favouring players who are able to play low accurate shots.

One word that keeps popping up in the definition is “coastal”:

Links courses tend to be on, or at least very near to, a coast, and the term is typically associated with coastal courses. However, links conditions can be duplicated on suitable ground, even hundreds of miles or kilometres inland. One especially notable example of an inland links-style course is Sand Hills Golf Club, a much-acclaimed early-2000s layout in the Sand Hills of Nebraska.

Links courses remain most common in Ireland and also in Great Britain, especially in Scotland. There are well known links courses in other countries, including in North America: Pebble Beach Golf Links in California (on the Pacific Ocean) and Whistling Straits in Wisconsin (on Lake Michigan) in the U.S.; and, in Canada, Harmon Seaside Links (in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador).

The rest of the Wikipedia entry lists some famous links golf courses.

Hidden Creek Golf Course [Field Trip]

Posted by cjsharp1 on October 10, 2008 in Field Trips 0 Comments

A round of golf… what a better way to start a three-day weekend/vacation. Friday afternoon, I met up with my buddy David, the one who really got me started into golfing, at Hidden Creek Golf Course. David is not a golf noob; he’s been playing since he was a kid. The last time I played a round of golf with David, I was using one of his old sets, and we quickly rushed through the back nine, so that we wouldn’t miss his wedding. In fact, before I started this project, every round of golf I ever played was with David.

Hidden Creek Golf Course is located in Sellersburg, IN, and is about 10 miles from the Indiana/Kentucky border, north of Louisville, KY. The week leading up to this mini-vacation, I was researching the different golf courses in Kentuckiana, and Hidden Creek stuck out as one of the nicest courses. I had to play this course.

Hidden Creek Golf Course consists of an 18-hole course, and a 9-hole links-style course. We just play the regular 18-hole course. The front nine is called the “lake nine”, because the holes surround a lake. The back nine is called the “creek nine”, because the holes follow a creek (pretty smart, eh?).

This course was tough. The fairways were narrow and somewhat hilly. A couple of the fairways were parallel with the railroad tracks that bordered the one side of the course, while other fairways were parallel with a treeline and a creek that bordered the other side of the course. The fairways were also very close to other fairways, so it was not hard to slice a drive into another hole. In fact, David almost got hit twice with golf balls from other players. The round took about 3-1/2 hours.

David and I didn’t play so well. I still felt pretty confident with my drives, but I didn’t really show it. I don’t really remember how many drives I mis-hit. My iron shots were crap, until I had a revelation on the 15th hole… I realized that I was standing slightly behind the ball during the shot, which would cause me to consistently top the ball. After I realized this, I started standing with the ball more in the middle of my body, and my iron shots started improving.

David is the most confident with his iron shots. He was telling me that when he was younger, he used to play with an iron set that was too short for him. He got used to that set, and was playing pretty well. When he switched to a set that was the correct size for him, he got much, much better.

Hidden Creek Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 6,872 yards (6,130 yards from white tee boxes)
Course par: 72
Course rating/slope: 70.1/124 (white tee boxes)
My score: 118 (46 over par)
David’s score: 105 (33 over par)
Balls lost: 10+ (I lost count. Many of them went over the railroad tracks or across the creek.)

David got par on three holes. The best I got was a bogey on the 18th hole.

David let me borrow one of his putters for this round. I decided to keep track of the number of putts on each hole, just to see what kind of stats would come up. I ended up 3-putting nine times and 2-putting six times. The rest of the times, I really didn’t care to keep track. I also decided I would continue to “borrow” his putter. Thanks David!

Hidden Creek Golf Course
4975 Utica-Sellersburg Rd.
Sellersburg, IN 47172

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