Posted Aug 31 2012, 08:17 PM by Cathy Erickson
We all find ourselves out on the golf course for different reasons and with different people depending on the day. Today, I had the great fortune to play golf with four awesome women at an event to honor our friend Steve Anderson who passed away a few months ago. It all came about at the last minute for me. A few days ago one of my favorite golf pals, Deb, sent me a note saying they were short one person for the event and wondered if I could play. My work life has been a little nutty lately and I just wasn't sure if I could commit to taking part of the day off, but I told her I'd see how my day went, and if I got a lot accomplished I would make it work. By the end of Wednesday I thought I could swing it so I said yes...I knew it was just what I needed after several weeks of feeling overwhelmed.
Posted Dec 30 2010, 10:43 AM by Cathy Erickson
I don't know about you, but this last week of December is a time for me to say good-bye to the current year and prepare for the next. My mental photo album gets sketchier every year (this is what happens when you get older), but I still have a pretty good slide show of great golf memories this year. And at the same time I find a part of my brain already getting ready for the season ahead, even though it's at least 5 months away. And it's that "resolution" and "goal setting" time of year, so pondering some golf goals seems appropriate, too.
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 Jul 06 2010, 03:07 PM by Cathy Erickson
It's golf scramble week in my little part of the world (my favorite golf day of the year!!), so my brain is going in a hundred different directions trying to make sure I remember everything I need to do before Friday. So I'm going to take a page out of Sam Johnson's repertoire and do some "scatter shooting" this week.
Posted Jul 14 2009, 09:30 PM by Cathy Erickson
My brain is jumbled with golf thoughts this week. I think I'm finally recovered from our great golf scramble last Friday. It was a terrific day! Well, except for the fact that we didn't win...again. My team battled hard and we ended up tied for first place (-15) but the scorecard playoff didn't go our way (which reminds me, next year, sudden death playoff!). But the sun was out, I got to spend the afternoon with some of my favorite golf pals (who can really hit the ball and Jason's putter was hot!), I heard lots of cheers and laughter, and we were able to help out our golf course and our high school sports teams. I call that a success!
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
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!!