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Preview: A Golf Blog

A Golf Blog



Gary Potter's weblog with lot's about golf and a start into Radio Control model flying.



Updated: 2013-06-29T10:08:06-07:00

 



Online vs. Brick and Mortar

2013-06-29T10:08:06-07:00

…you decide. I was in the market for a new golf bag – something to replace this behemoth. I looked online for inspiration and on a day trip decided to ‘drop in’ at one of Dick’s Sporting Goods locations to...



What Is It?

2012-11-15T09:40:38-08:00

The winter of 2009 brought some pretty brutal weather with it. There’s very little here to deflect wind so when it blows it’s with a vengeance. As a result, the winter tarps that the past superintendent covered the greens with...



Merry Golfing Christmas

2011-12-22T08:43:48-08:00

Today’s the shortest day of the year and I suspect one that’s not fully embraced by the golfing population. So golfers, just play faster. Until tomorrow anyway, when the days start getting longer. With Christmas right around the corner, I’m...



The Sweet Spot

2011-07-12T12:25:12-07:00

The new golf tools (clubs) are working great. This is the best I’ve ever hit the ball. I still have some lapses (penalties; I sure hate stroke and distance) but for the most part its fairways and near misses on...



MOI Matching and My Scores

2011-07-05T12:31:59-07:00

Greg asked in the MOI Matching post what the new clubs have done to my scores – Great Question. Since getting my new clubs, all but a few rounds have been within 2 strokes (+/-) of my handicap. My low...



MOI Matching

2011-06-14T06:47:54-07:00

Since taking up golf about 15 years ago, I’d thought many times about getting clubs that were made for me; not necessarily a brand name set off the shelf that were fitted from a ‘lie board’ with the lie angle...



Cover Up

2011-03-07T12:22:56-08:00

For about 2 weeks in February, the temperature here at The Ranch only got above freezing 3 times. The maintenance crew covered the greens to keep them from freezing and killing the Tif Eagle grass plants. For the most part,...

For about 2 weeks in February, the temperature here at The Ranch only got above freezing 3 times. The maintenance crew covered the greens to keep them from freezing and killing the Tif Eagle grass plants. For the most part, it worked well but for a couple of days, the wind played havoc with the covers.

Several of the tarps worked loose in the wind and a few of the greens were partially uncovered for about 48 hours; just enough time to stress one of them severely. That green is being partially covered today with the hope the black tarp will heat up the soil enough to help the grass recover.

I never really gave tarps much thought but as we've been playing the past couple of weeks, the difference between the turf that was covered and the turf that wasn't is dramatic. From this picture, the area that was covered is dramatically greener.

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Leverage

2011-02-27T11:18:45-08:00

It almost made me smile - 2 major media/broadcasting entities, NBC and Golf Channel, have partnered to broadcast the WCG Accenture Match Play championship. I wonder why something like this hasn't become the norm? NBC is doing the broadcast and...



Winter Golf

2011-02-02T12:07:20-08:00

So when do you think folks that live here will be able to get in a round of golf?



Transitions

2010-11-25T08:43:02-08:00

I normally don't much dwell on the weather but this years transition from warm to not so pretty much happened overnight. Last winter was particularly brutal on some of the greens here at 'The Ranch' so this year, the superintendent...

I normally don't much dwell on the weather but this years transition from warm to not so pretty much happened overnight.

Last winter was particularly brutal on some of the greens here at 'The Ranch' so this year, the superintendent decided not to take any chances. Because of last winter, he and his staff pretty much went into butt busting mode for several weeks; one green had to be completely rebuilt and several required significant patching due to freezing temperatures.

When I say not take any chances, I'm not kidding. The super rolled out the tarps three weeks ago when the outside temperature was above 80.

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You have to admit that it seemed odd to be playing in shorts yet anticipating a freeze any day.

Today was only supposed to get to 40 with overnight lows in the 20s so the green that was rebuilt got wrapped in a snuggie yesterday where the mercury tapped out at 78.

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It's obvious the super would rather do normal maintenance during the summer months and not have to worry about rebuilding greens. And, know what? I don't blame him.

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Time Off

2010-09-23T09:33:23-07:00

My mind started wandering and I got to thinking about how often I play golf. (insert comment about getting a life). Today is day 265 of 2010. I know that because I found a day counter online. I also know...



Re-Supply

2010-07-25T11:22:29-07:00

I really enjoy playing mountain golf. The scenery is fantastic and we get the occasional elk and deer. Thankfully, the black bears restrict their activities to after sundown. It’s a good thing too – they can be pretty messy. As...

I really enjoy playing mountain golf. The scenery is fantastic and we get the occasional elk and deer. Thankfully, the black bears restrict their activities to after sundown. It’s a good thing too – they can be pretty messy. As a matter of fact, there are local rules here that provide relief from wild animal poo!

It’s also fun to play at about 8,500 feet because the ball travels a good 10 to 15 percent farther. My last time out, I carried a 7 iron 175 yards. Not bad for a sexagenarian.

But, even with the scenery and the ball carrying farther, I still have to deal with narrower fairways, more penalizing rough, lots of water, and tighter out of bounds. That translates into more frequent re-supply of golf balls. Back in the flatlands, if I get an order in by noon at The Golf Warehouse it will be on my front porch sometime the next day.

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US Open Television Camera Coverage

2010-06-19T14:55:24-07:00

I don't know about you, but I think ESPN/NBC is doing a sub-par performance when it comes to their camera coverage. I'm watching in HD and I haven't seen a tee shot in the air yet. As a matter of...



It All Matters or Everything Counts

2010-04-19T10:18:38-07:00

The golf season here at the ranch is just about fully underway and will be when we can finally say goodbye to what seems to be about 4 weeks straight of high school tournaments. Anyway, as more and more join...

The golf season here at the ranch is just about fully underway and will be when we can finally say goodbye to what seems to be about 4 weeks straight of high school tournaments.

Anyway, as more and more join the regular Wednesday and Thursday MGA games, pace of play becomes more of an issue. Last week, before starting our Thursday game, the MGA president had a few words about posting legitimate scores. Play the ball down, no gimme putts, and play ready golf. If everyone followed those directions, there’s no reason that the round or any round should take more than four hours.

Well, you’d have thought he’d poked someone in the eye with a sharp stick. The ESC handicap issue was mentioned – why keep playing if you’ve reached your max ESC score for a hole? Well, for one, your ESC score for a hole only gets applied after the round when posting your score. Here at the ranch, we post scores hole by hole and the GHIN system automatically adjusts your actual score with the ESC score when applicable.

Besides, consider if $$$$ is involved. What you shoot is what applies when figuring out prizes but it’s adjusted for handicap purposes.

Now, how about the time it takes to play a round. I still believe that you can shoot 72, 102, or 122 and still complete play in 4 hours. What get’s things all out of whack is the 35 handicapper plumb bobbing a 3 footer for an 8!

How about 1.) hit the ball; 2.) find the ball; 3.) hit the ball; repeat 2 and 3 until the ball falls in the hole the start over with 1?

That work for you?

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Identity Theft

2010-02-18T14:09:57-08:00

Well, maybe not but….I have several Google Alerts and one of them is for mentions of Acemakr. Seems that recently someone has hijacked the Acemakr (search the comments for Acemakr) moniker. Not the web site, just the moniker. Bit of...

Well, maybe not but….I have several Google Alerts and one of them is for mentions of Acemakr.

Seems that recently someone has hijacked the Acemakr (search the comments for Acemakr) moniker. Not the web site, just the moniker.

Bit of a bummer, really.

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Do Over

2009-12-17T11:29:30-08:00

I realize that Golf Digest is a victim of print deadlines and had to have the artwork for their cover story in well before the news about Tiger broke. But, you've got to know that they'd like a do over...

I realize that Golf Digest is a victim of print deadlines and had to have the artwork for their cover story in well before the news about Tiger broke.

But, you've got to know that they'd like a do over on this one - the last thing the president needs now is advice from Tiger.

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The Big Chill

2009-12-09T11:39:12-08:00

I realize that other parts of the US are getting hammered by the first real winter storm of the year. Here in North Texas, we got the cold and managed to dodge the snow and ice bullets. We are pretty...

I realize that other parts of the US are getting hammered by the first real winter storm of the year. Here in North Texas, we got the cold and managed to dodge the snow and ice bullets.

We are pretty much able to play year round here but that does present some problems for our maintenance staff. When it gets really cold or is forecast to be for an extended period of time, our super stages tarps for the greens anticipating they’ll need to be covered. In my time here at the ranch, I think that’s only happened once.

What’s more common is for him to run sprinklers on the greens before daylight so when the sun does come up and the temps drop, the ice that’s formed creates a sort of blanket of insulation.

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I’m sure he’d much rather run the sprinklers than have his crew wrestle with covering 18 greens and 3 practice greens.

Just think, the coming of winter in 13 days means that in 14 the days will begin to get longer.

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A Gift That Keeps on Giving

2009-12-08T11:05:59-08:00

I got a note from GolfLabels.com a couple of days ago. I bought labels from them when I got my latest set of irons and while I've not needed them as of yet, they do contribute a bit to piece...

I got a note from GolfLabels.com a couple of days ago. I bought labels from them when I got my latest set of irons and while I've not needed them as of yet, they do contribute a bit to piece of mind should I leave a club somewhere on the course. I've still got some spares but I'm thinking a set for each of my foresome would be a nice touch for Christmas. Not to worry, it will still be a surprise - I don't think either of the three ever visits the blog.

If you'd like to get me something...this would certainly fit the bill. It's a French Army Knife.

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Hat-Tip to Cash @ Bushwood

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Job Hunting

2009-12-07T10:05:56-08:00

In February, Hunter Industries is partnering with the GCSAA to present a Student/Superintendent Employment Fair. If you are interested in a career in turf management or enhancing your resume with classes and seminars, you might want to see about getting...

In February, Hunter Industries is  partnering with the GCSAA to present a Student/Superintendent Employment Fair. If you are interested in a career in  turf management or enhancing your resume with classes and seminars, you might want to see about getting to San Diego in February.

More here.

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Winter Maintenance

2009-12-04T08:12:06-08:00

We’re not there yet; winter that is. Here in North Texas, we can pretty much play year round but it does get chilly. And the chilly weather brings with it a different course. Except for the over seeded tee boxes,...

We’re not there yet; winter that is. Here in North Texas, we can pretty much play year round but it does get chilly. And the chilly weather brings with it a different course. Except for the over seeded tee boxes, all the turf (> 200 acres of it) is dormant. That means the little white ball rolls like the dickens – a good drive in the summertime could translate to winter time madness because a ball that found the fairway 6 months ago will now roll through the fairway and into the rough, a hazard, or out of bounds.

The cold weather also brings with it a different kind of maintenance. The course mechanic is overhauling equipment and our GCSAA superintendent is doing projects that took a back seat during our peak growing season.

Seems like there are always challenges with drainage; whether it’s puddles in low spots on the cart paths or soft false fronts to some of the greens is always something. Then there’s our ESA (environmentally sensitive areas) that get their once a year cleanout.

One of the initiatives here actually free up some of the hours the staff needs for course set-up. A couple of years ago, we went to rotating cups during the dormant turf season.(image) Each green has 3 hole placements. They are rotated daily (maybe every other day if play is light) and new holes are cut only ever second or third week (again depending on play). The cup plugs aren’t growing so there is zero chance the hole ‘scar’ will heal.

It works pretty well and when the warmer weather returns, the greens bounce back a lot easier.

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