Notes: At the Driving Range

Posted by cjsharp1 on September 27, 2008 in Notes 1 Comment

I finally got to go to the driving range tonight… the first time in nearly 6 years, and the first time ever with my own clubs. I’m pretty happy with the outcome. It gets me motivated to go more often. These are my notes from the range:

  • Invest in a golf glove. Not only would it help my grip, but it would also prevent my hands from getting sore. A quick $10 purchase would make things better.
  • Zero Friction golf tees are amazing, especially the extra long ones. First, the tee didn’t break, it just bended. Second, since it was so long, it went further in the ground, which meant there was less of a chance of losing it during my drive.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever hit a ball as far as I did tonight. It felt really good to make solid contact with the ball. I was surprised to see how much I improved since the last time I went to the driving range.
  • Even though my drive has improved quite a bit, I have a consistent slice. Very consistent. I need to look into fixing this.
  • After I swing, I turn my left foot almost 90 degrees. I think some golf shoes might limit this.
  • My lower left shoulder blade hurts. Either I’m doing something wrong during my swing or I’m using muscles I’ve never used before. My guess is that I’m doing something wrong during my swing.

Tiger Woods SwingVision

Posted by cjsharp1 on September 24, 2008 in Videos 0 Comments

Here are some cool videos of Tiger Woods’ drive, captured by SwingVision. I especially like seeing the close up, slow motion capture of the head of the driver impacting the golf ball.

Clarification of the Goal

Posted by cjsharp1 on September 19, 2008 in News 1 Comment

After talking to various people about this project, I’ve come to the realization that I need to add some clarifications and stipulations on which golf courses count and which don’t count toward the goal. Also, to go along with the goal, I will be maintaining two approximate handicaps throughout this project; one handicap for 18-hole full rounds and one handicap for 9-hole half rounds.

These are the clarifications and stipulations:

  1. All courses within a 35 mile radius “as the crow flies” will be considered for the goal. In order to determine if a course is within that 35 miles radius, I’ve created a Google map that has the full circle drawn on it. The map can be seen on the “Map of Courses” page. If the tee box for the 1st or 10th hole is inside the circle, then it counts toward the goal.
  2. Private golf courses within the 35 mile radius will not count toward the goal, but any rounds played at a private golf course will be included in the approximate handicaps.
  3. Golf courses outside the 35 mile radius will not count toward the goal, but any rounds played at an outside golf course will be included in the approximate handicaps.
  4. If a golf club has more than one course, then each course will be counted separately. For instance, Cog Hill Golf Club has four courses. Each courses will count as one course that needs to be played.
  5. Short courses (under 3,000 yards for 18 holes and under 1,500 yards for 9 holes) will not be counted toward the goal. Any rounds played at these courses will not be counted toward the approximate handicaps.

Not only will these clarifications and stipulations help me determine which courses to play, they will also decrease the total number of courses that need to be played, which makes the goal more obtainable.

Columbus Park Golf Course

Posted by cjsharp1 on September 18, 2008 in Courses 0 Comments

My second stop on the Chicagoland golf course tour brought me to the Columbus Park Golf Course. This golf course is part of the Chicago Park District, which maintains six golf courses throughout Chicagoland. Of the six golf courses, only one offers a full 18 hole course (Jackson Park Golf Course), with the remainder only offering 9 holes.

Mike joined me again for this round. We chose this course because it was the second closest course to downtown, with the closest being Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course, another Chicago Park District course. We also knew that we would not be able to get a full 18 holes in due to darkness, so going to a nearby course would give us the best possibility of finishing before the sun was gone. The course was also much cheaper than Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course. Mike and I went on a weekday evening again, and was only charged $7. Not bad for a quick 9-hole in Chicago.

Unfortunately, we didn’t even get to finish all 9 holes. We started a little late due to street traffic, and were slowed down even more due to traffic on the golf course. By the time we called it quits due to darkness, we just finished the 5th hole, which was the course’s only par-5 hole (hey… at least we played the par-5).

Mike and I were a little unimpressed with the course. The fairways were very wide. On many of the holes, it was difficult to tell the difference between the fairway and the rough, and the greens were very bumpy. Also, on some of the longer holes, it was difficult to tell where the side boundaries of the holes where, since there were not many trees along the fairway. The course was also very damp, but this was expected since there was a huge downpour over the previous weekend that flooded many parts of Chicago.

All this aside, for my second time out with my clubs, I felt I played well. A lot of my drives were decent, and I made solid contact many times on other shots. Mike also picked up a birdie on the fourth hole (1 under par, not a real bird). He didn’t do a birdie dance.

Columbus Park Golf Course – Scores & Stats
Course length: 2,753 yards
Course par: 35
Course rating/slope: 32.4/96 (blue tee boxes)
My score: 33 (13 over par through hole 5)
Mike’s score: 24 (4 over par through hole 5)
Balls lost: 0 (it was a big field; kind of hard to lose a ball)

Mike was telling me that there is a way to determine your approximate handicap from half-rounds of golf. I’ll be researching this a bit later on. Of course, this half-half-round (that’s not a typo) will not count toward the handicap. I’m only going to use stats from the full rounds of golf that I play in order to determine my approximate handicap.

Columbus Park Golf Course
5701 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago IL 60644

Terminology: dormie

Posted by cjsharp1 on September 8, 2008 in Terminology 0 Comments

I came across a particular golf term today… “dormie”. What does it mean? Well, the Wikipedia article for “dormie” (update: Wikipedia removed the page: “Non-notable term, no sources provided, and WP is not a dictionary.”) was so informative interesting that, instead of paraphrasing the article, I’m going to just show a direct quote.

Dormie (also spelled “dormy”) is a term used in match play golf, denoting that the score is such that one player is the same number of points ahead as there are holes still to play; thus that should one hole be halved, that leading player will win the match.

The player currently in the lead is said to be “dormie” or “dormie-number” where number is the number of holes involved.

The word derives from late 18th and early 19th century Scotland, where golf was played on links on the coast. The heathland near the coast is home to a number of indigenous species, including dormice, or “dormies” in the argot of the East Coast of Scotland. Dormice, as shy creatures, generally hid well from passing golfers, but a sighting was held to be particularly good luck for any links player passing.

From these connotations of good luck the name of the “wee, cowrin’, tim’rous beastie” entered golf parlance, meaning a state of affairs where one stroke of good fortune would award a win to the leading player.

The earliest known mention of the sight of “dormies” as being lucky is from OSA 1791-2 ((Old) Statistical Accounts of Scotland, p. XXX. In its reference to the parish of Monifieth (in which lies Carnoustie where, incidentally, the “Open” (British Open Championship Golf) is often played, and golf was recorded some 25 years before it was St. Andrews), the record of local flora and fauna includes a tangential mention. The usage is also noted by Sir Walter Scott, whose diaries for the year 1828 include a description of a visit to Carnoustie, where he wrote an extended essay on local wildlife, mentioning the peculiar habit of local “gowfers” (golfers) of invoking the name of various rodents during play.

Another theory, and one given in the USGA Museum, states that “dormie” comes from the word “dormir,” which shares a French and Latin origin. “Dormir” means “to sleep.” “Dormie” means that a player has reached a match play lead that is insurmountable – and so the player can relax, knowing that he cannot lose the match. “Dormir” (to sleep) turns into “dormie” (relax, you can’t lose).

Many dictionaries state the etymology of “dormie” as unknown.

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