Posted Aug 03 2011, 03:30 PM by Cathy Erickson
Lots going on in my golf head this week...First of all, it's August!! This means I only have about 2 months of decent golf season left. I'm sad that I haven't been out on the course nearly as much as I should have, but I've decided that I will be kicking my priorities around a bit to make more room for my happy place.
Let's see, what else...oh, yes, Tiger is back. I've got to believe there are all kinds of betting possibilities for the "comeback" this week at the Bridgestone. Since there is no cut at this limited field event he eliminated that one, but I'd say there is a fairly large contingent that thinks he will be marginal at best, and considering his injuries and time away from golf, it's probably not a bad guess. But you know there also others that believe he'll be hoisting another WGC trophy come Sunday - and I guess you never know. From what I could see on a betting odds web site, he's still a 20/1 pick ahead of Phil, Nick Watney, Adam Scott, and Martin Kaymer. Best odds are McIlory at 14/1, so it looks to me that there is a lot of belief in TW out there. As I said last week, I hope that being back on the course will sprout some joy into Tiger's life, regardless of how he finishes. The funniest thing I've read so far is a comment from Chuck over at my favorite Fantasy Golf website, http://www.kerplookee.com/. He put Tiger on his squad for the week and followed it up with: "And I know I'm going to regret my Tiger pick. The soul patch made me do it." Laughed out loud!
Posted Aug 12 2010, 06:59 AM by Cathy Erickson
I read somewhere that what makes a professional golfer better than the rest of the golfers out there is concentration. Somewhere in the depths of our brains we need to find that iron curtain and block out the rest of the world when we decide to tee it up in a match that means something. I recently found out that my curtain is in need of serious repair!
But I also found out that if you're not carrying around confidence in your golf bag it's like playing without your "go to" club.
Posted Jul 29 2010, 12:39 PM by Cathy Erickson
It has been a busy few weeks in my world outside of golf and I feel like I'm going through withdrawals. But a big work presentation is over and now I can think about golf again! Yippee!! But what's been on my mind lately were a couple of great golf days earlier this month...
Our annual golf scramble was a huge success! The weather was perfect, the golf course was full, over 100 gift certificates were given out, and my water bottles made it with 15 minutes to spare! (Thank You FedEx!!) There is a lot I love about this day - it's my way of providing a day to give back to our golf course and to have an opportunity for more than 150 golfers to have a fun day.
Of course, for some of us, there is a little something about winning that's in the back of our minds, too. For the past 3 years my team of great golf pals and I have not been able to stand on the winner's podium...we've either struggled with our putting or had a hard time getting our approach shots close to the pin. Either way, we were on the outside looking in at our other golf friends who have taken the title since 2007. We were ready to put up a great score this year, but it was a comment by our rival team's guys..."you make a good 2nd place team"...that made us all just a little more determined bring our best game.
Just before teeing off I had a thought...sometimes in scrambles we are our own worst enemy - trying to "make a shot happen" or maybe swinging out of our shoes instead of just playing our game. So I thought that if we had a little competition within our own team we would be able to bring out our best shots...so I proposed to the team that for every approach shot, the person who got the closest got a point, and at the end of the round whoever had the most points won our "wager". Being the competitive types, my boys loved the idea, and before we were ready to hit our first shots, we had already changed up the rules to include putts and cancelling points. This was going to be a fun round!
First hole, point for me!! I'm already loving this game. But soon enough we were all throwing darts at the pins and giving ourselves great birdie chances on almost every hole. There were some hilarious moments when someone would get just inside of what we thought was already a great shot - points were hard to come by! We also hit all of the par-5's in 2 and made eagle on 2 of the 3! Our only struggle were the par-3's - we left ourselves with longer putts and the best we could do was burn the edge, so no birdies on our 3 par-3's! Ouch. The 2 eagles made up for it though and we ended up -17 for the day and a 3 shot victory!
Our point game was tight to the last hole, too - DY had 5 points and 3 of us had 4 points and one had 3, so there was still a chance to tie...our approach shot to the par-4 9th hole was about 60 yards, and I can't tell you how happy I was that I had hit about 75 60-yard wedge shots just a few days before as practice! I was 2nd to hit and I ended up about 6ft away so I had to wait for 3 other guys before knowing if I could tie! It was close, but it was me! I think our point scores were a testament that we all contributed shots all day long. (And Jason & Casey, I forgive you for cancelling my putts!)
It was funny, because of my own internal competitiveness and side game, I didn't even realize how great we shot until the round was over. To me, that was the real success of the day - we played some great golf because we wanted to beat each other! (side bar: I just wanted to once again thank everyone who played that day, my great friends for volunteering, and especially to my team who once again made this my favorite golf day of the year - thanks JJ for keeping track of all my "stuff"! ...virtual hugs!)
My other golf highlight in the past few weeks was getting the opportunity to play in a scramble with 3 great women. Deb, Judy, Joan and I played in a Hot Ball scramble with about 12 other teams. The format is, everyone tees off and one person has to be the "hot ball"...that person plays the hole by themselves and other three scramble whichever other drive they want. Handicaps mattered, so there was definitely strategy involved in picking the right hot ball player, because sometimes one of us would get a stroke on certain holes. I really liked that there was thinking involved!
For whatever reason, my putter decided to get hot that day - and we were able to card quite a few birdies on our scramble ball and we did quite well on our hot ball, too! Although I'll admit my hot balls STUNK! But thankfully I got strokes on a couple of them. Judy was definitely our Hot Ball VIP! She came through when we needed her.
Deb and Joan were solid all day long and Joan's competitive spirit was contagious! It was the BEST day!! I wasn't sure if we would have a chance to win with some teams having a lot of handicap to work with, but in the end we were the winners...and I couldn't have been more thankful to have been asked to play that day.
As I'm reflecting on these great 2 days, I'm remembering that Sam Johnson isn't a fan of scrambles...I remember a post of his and I'm recalling that he did have some valid points...but you know what, I still love them!! That's why I started Scramble Tuesdays at our golf course!!
I'm looking forward to playing in a few more events this summer, but mostly I just love playing golf with great friends. I hope you get the chance, too.
Filed under: competition, scramble, friends, Golf, Cathy Erickson, hot ball
Posted Mar 03 2010, 08:59 AM by Cathy Erickson
I remember it like it was yesterday...a note came in my inbox from the super cool Tees2Greens Webmaster inviting me to have my own blog right here at T2G. A spot in the internet world where I can share my love for golf to my heart's content...how could I pass up an opportunity like that??!! I'm sure he didn't know it, but that note meant more to me than I can explain.
Posted Oct 07 2009, 12:53 PM by Cathy Erickson
I had one of "those" days yesterday...the one where you're feeling sorry for yourself and you decide to just wallow in the muck and the mire for awhile. Have you been there? I started writing my blog thoughts for the week and after I got done and browsed it over, I realized it was the saddest, most depressing thing I've read in a long time...and I am not that way when it comes to golf!!
Posted Sep 24 2009, 03:58 PM by Cathy Erickson
Have you ever had one of those weeks where nothing really went your way and you just feel crabby? This is how my week started out. I started out in a bad mood on Sunday and really made no effort to look at the bright side of anything...then things progressively got worse - I found a small water hazard in my basement that appeared after my water heater decided to start leaking who knows when. An unexpected home improvement project later and I'm ready to call this week a wash - but then I remembered that I was going to play golf with one of my favorite people yesterday.
Posted Jul 09 2009, 11:01 PM by Cathy Erickson
I am one of those people who finds great enjoyment in seeing other people happy. I don't know, there is just something about being around happiness that makes it worth the effort to pass it on to as many people as I can. It could be something as simple as letting someone in front of me when there's lots of traffic (and appreciating "the wave"), or making someone laugh at a joke (my current favorite, Two cannibals were eating a clown. One says to the other, "do you taste something funny?" - I laugh every time!). Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that I believe it's worth the investment to bring joy to other people.
Posted Jul 02 2009, 12:16 PM by Cathy Erickson
If you haven't read Sam Johnson's post this week about summer golf, you really should. It's a good read and I hope it makes you laugh a few times. As he has been slow roasting himself in triple digit temperatures, those of us closer to the Canadian border (eh!) have been on a weather roller coaster - just the other day I had a turtleneck on and it's summer!!
While I appreciated Sam's humor, his last sentence really made me think - and it reminded me that I sometimes roll the following question through my head - "If I love golf so much, what in the world am I doing in Minnesota?"
I think that's a question that goes through the minds of many Minnesotans, because you know, Minneapolis, Minnesota has the largest number of golfers per capita than any other city in the United States!!
But then I start remembering favorite golf memories that include family, friends, and sometimes strangers, and I can't think of any place I'd rather be.
I'm from a golfing family, and I'm smiling right now thinking of countless memories of times on the course with my Mom, Dad, and brother. My Mom was the one who taught me how to play so even though I'm a lefty in several things, I'm a right-handed golfer because my Mom had right-handed clubs. When we were young she would give my brother and I 1 club and a ball and we could hit it up to the green. We weren't allowed to hold anyone up, so it was a race on every hole (I think that's why I can't stand slow play!).
I got my first set of Nancy Lopez clubs when I was in junior high, and I remember golfing regularly with my mom and her friends. There weren't a lot of girls my age that golfed, so my Mom and I spent a lot of time on the course...what great memories.
My Dad always encouraged me and one of his favorite words is "tempo" - I try to remember that when my swing disappears. My brother and I played some when we were younger, but I realize now, not enough. A memory that is hitting me right now is when I was in high school my brother and a friend came to watch me in a high school playoff meet - we didn't get many spectators, so when I realized who it was, and that they were there to cheer for me, I was so excited! (thanks, JP!)
Working summers through college didn't leave me a lot of time to golf, but after I graduated (and had second thoughts on my career choice) I got the opportunity manage our local clubhouse for 4 seasons. It was an experience that impacted me more than just about anything in life (what memories!!).
My Mom was my partner and my Dad was the best grocery getter ever (brother JP was a guest cook when he was home)! We spent just about every day at the golf course and it became like a second home (and an extended family!). There were long days and hectic times, but I loved it there. I made friends that mean more to me than they will probably ever know, and it taught me that people, not things, are what really matter in life. My golf game was at its worst then because I never got to play, but I was able to live vicariously through every player that checked in. I love it when we reminisce about those days.
The reality of that golf life was that I couldn't make a living doing it, so it was time to find something new. But being away from the grind made it possible to actually golf more! It took a few years to find my game, but when I did I was able to reclaim that joy I found every time I took a swing...and it became a haven as I found my way to a challenging, stressful, but rewarding job outside the golf world.
It's like golf is a hub that connects things for me. Sometimes it's my alone time, to practice or just escape life. I appreciate it when golf reminds me that there is beauty all around us. Or when it teaches us that life doesn't always give us what we want, but when we least expect it might give us a gift we don't deserve.
Golf is a great social connection, too, either in the morning golf group, league night with the girls, or the throw together 9-some scramble a few weeks ago (loved that!). I have enjoyed golfing with new pals over the past few years, and I'm really looking forward to a few scrambles coming up. My mind is filling up with some golf road trips I've taken with awesome golf pals, and I'm laughing right now thinking of some funny golf stories I just talked about with a friend last night (I wish I could share them here!). I'm also missing my friend Carol who made golf seasons so fun for me...she made the leap and moved to Florida. And I know I've said this before, but I am so grateful to all of my guy golf friends who let me play with them.
And sometimes golf is family time...I am still golfing with my Mom (my Dad only plays in perfect weather conditions so we're still waiting!) and I feel so lucky that we have golf to share together. One of my favorite memories will always be playing with her in a 2-lady scramble last year. Neither of us had high expectations so we just went out to have fun and enjoy the day...and maybe that was the key. Tee to green (no pun intended) I played about as good as I can remember, and my Mom's putter was hot!! (she will want me to tell you that she birdied #8 all by herself!) We ended up in 2nd place and I think the surprised happiness on our faces stayed with us all day. I'm excited to be playing in that event with her again next week.
I think having such short golf season makes us "short season golfers" appreciate the time we have that much more. And the 50 degree days make us Ooo and Ahhh over 75 and sunny. As a friend and I often say, "It's all about choices"...and it just makes sense for me to be in a place where I can have family, friends, and golf all in one place...and when I get the golf bug during the off season I'll just visit Texas!
with 2 comment(s)
Filed under: Minnesota, family, choices, memories, scramble, friends
Posted Jun 25 2009, 03:37 PM by Cathy Erickson
On Monday I got to play one of the nicest courses in Minnesota with three of my favorite golf friends. For the last 3 years, at least once a year, we have a match...I'm the newest member of the foursome - our friend, Looper, was the 4th for many years, but sadly, he passed away a few years ago. I still remember the day my friend Scott asked me if I wanted to be the new 4th for the group - I was touched beyond words. Still am.
When I found Tees2Greens website and forum I found a happy place. There were great people there and in 2009 they asked me if I wanted my own blog space. It was a dream come true!! The site is down now, but I was able to get all of my posts to be able to post here. I will always be grateful for all of the Tees2Greens folks!!