Anyone who plays golf, knows that it's a game of ups and downs. One day you're hitting great, the next day you feel like you're blowing every shot. One day the cup is like a magnet to your ball, the next it seems to squirm away as your ball approaches. Why do we keep playing? Guess it's because, in spite of all the frustrations, you're never bored! Do you feel the same? Share your favorite courses or golf moments with us.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Summer's End

The days are getting shorter and the evenings cooler. Late afternoon golf leagues are finishing up, a sure sign that summer is over! Our mixed couples league ended the season with our annual Fun Night and climaxed with the Awards Banquet. My husband is playing in his league tournament today, followed by their banquet. We'll now have to find our own competition for weekends and the few weeks remaining where there'll be enough daylight left to get in nine holes after he gets home from work.

It's not all bad though. Autumn is my favorite time to play golf! The days are usually crisp and bright. Mosquitoes and those incredibly annoying gnats have disappeared for the most part! We can look forward to Canadian Geese flying in formation over our heads rather than having to walk through their messes on the fairway. What can be more beautiful than a golf course surrounded by brilliant fall folliage?

Monday, August 25, 2008


I don't know if other sports have as many rules as we find for golf, but I doubt if they seem as convoluted to amateurs as the USGA Rules of Golf. One would think that every possible condition has been taken into consideration and ruled upon! Whether you can understand the rule that applies is another matter. Just when you think you've got it straight, they refer you to another rule that may lead you to a completely different conclusion.

I was just browsing through the rules and found an interesting one that I'd never considered before. Did you know that if your ball ends up buried in the sand you can use a club to remove sand to find it? But, once you do find it, you must re-cover it so that only a bit of the ball is visible. No penalty.

While we were playing at the Water Gap Country Club in Pennsylvania, one of our golf partners chipped a ball toward the green, but we couldn't find it. Finally my husband noticed a hole in the slope up to the green. The ball was lodged about two inches down into it. Since the hole was about the same diameter as the ball, attempts to remove it failed and eventually the ball disappeared completely into the tunnel. Some little chipmunk is probably now nosing it around his burrow! The player took a drop without penalty, and I now see in the rules that the abnormal ground conditions rule would apply since the hole was made by a burrowing animal.

When you're playing golf for fun and not in a competition, I think most people would prefer to leave their official rules of golf at home. It's good to know the rules and play by them but constant nitpicking will drive your fellow golfers crazy. I do think, however, that the guidelines for etiquette should always be followed. I'll get into that more at another time!

Right now however, if you want to learn more about the rules of golf and have a hard time figuring out just what they mean, there are a number of books available that simpify these rules. Just go to Amazon or Borders and have a look! I'll give you a short list of just a few that I discovered:

Golf Rules & Etiquette Crystal Clear: Find the Answers To Your Questions About the Rules

The Rules of Golf in Plain English

Golf Rules Made Easy 2008-2009: "The 28 Golf Rules & Penalties for Stroke Play"

The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Golf Rules and Etiquette

Do I Get A Drop?: The Golf Guru Handbook

Now that you know where to find rules that you can understand, you might also consider buying a book that actually tells you the rules of play that can make the game more fun. Check this one out! The Official Rules of Bad Golf It may be more to your liking.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Playing in the Mud

Since my "Waterlogged" posting, I have received some advice on playing in wet conditions from Vince Polich of Kissimmee, Florida. He suggests that the lift, clean and place (or drop) rules would probably apply.

The USGA rule 25-1 is as follows:

b. Relief
Except when the ball is in a water hazard or a lateral water hazard, a player may take relief from interference by an abnormal ground condition as follows:

(i) Through the Green: If the ball lies through the green, the player must lift the ball and drop it, without penalty, within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. The nearest point of relief must not be in a hazard or on a putting green. When the ball is dropped within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, the ball must first strike a part of the course at a spot that avoids interference by the condition and is not in a hazard or not on a putting green

In addition courses may post play under winter conditions for the protection of the fairway surface.

Vince also suggested using a stroke similar to what you would use in a sand bunker, merely skimming the surface to avoid chunking!

We've now had two full days with no rain so things are looking up! Unfortunately, there are thunderstorms forecast for this afternoon. Since I jammed my wrist the other day and then further aggravated it by playing 18 holes on Saturday, I'm taking a few days off to give it a rest before our couples league on Thursday. Hopefully, the golf course will have dried out by then!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It's been very difficult getting a round of golf in this summer, here in the Northeast, without getting soaked! Record breaking rainfall has turned the fairways to mush and hindered mowing on some courses to the point where you might as well be hitting from the rough.

On Saturday, we went down to play at a course in Derry, New Hampshire with our son. When we arrived, we were told that the course was pretty wet so it was cart path only. What they didn't tell us was that there was standing water on just about every hole. After each of our drives on the first hole either ended up in nasty puddles or plugged into the mud, we knew we weren't going to have the best of scores! Lucky for us, we managed to stay out of the bunkers which were completely flooded. There are rules governing flooded sand traps, including removing your ball from the trap and taking a one stroke penalty if it's unplayable, but first you would have to find the ball under the murky brown liquid! We did have a good time though because, what the heck, we were playing at least.

On Sunday, we drove down to North Stonington, Ct. We had a tee time for 10:30 Monday morning at one of our favorite courses about 15 miles away in Westerly, RI. Unfortunately, we had heavy rains overnight and again early Monday morning, so by the time we got to Winnapaug
Golf Course, we were pretty certain that we would not be playing. Sure enough, as we drove into the empty parking lot, we could see that the rain had done it's damage. The gulley that serves as a landing area for your drive off the first tee was doing a good imitation of a true water hazard!

We were told that the course was open and carts would be allowed later in the day if we wanted to come back in the afternoon. Now, Winnapaug is a course that usually dries out quickly, but we could see that there was no way that it could dry out before the day was over. Since we had to get back to Vermont on Tuesday, we knew that for this trip, golf was not to be. We had to make do with casino action instead!

As I sit here at home watching more dark clouds gather, I dream wistfully of the normal August conditions at our home course, Skene Valley. At this time of year, the hard clay beneath the fairways is usually baked solid. Your ball seems to roll forever and you get your best scores of the year. Instead, I'm spending time looking up helpful hints for playing in the rain or in wet conditions. Other than going down a club, I don't find a lot of useful information. I could use some tips on finding your ball in the fairway when the grass is longer than the rough normally is, or how to avoid divots the size of a toupee when the ground is so soft that you can create a gouge just by scuffing your foot!

Ah well, the sun will come out and stay out eventually, won't it?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Whether you are visiting Myrtle Beach for a few days or spending the winter, you can save up to $50.00 per round by becoming a member of the Grand Strand Golf Association. Membership costs only $49.00 a year and entitles you and up to three guests to great discounts at some of the best courses in the area.

If you are not into golf packages, this is the way to go. My husband and I prefer to keep our options open when we go on golf vacations. We don't like being tied into packages. This past year, we discovered the GSGA privilege card, and even though we were only in Myrtle Beach for a week, we were able to make up for the price of membership with our first round! The list of courses participating include the four Barefoot Resort courses and the Founders Club of Pawleys Island. Lower priced courses such as Azalea Sands are also included.

The only drawback we found was that, in some cases, you could not book more than two days in advance. This was not a problem for us, however. We were able to get tee times at just about every course we called. We usually prefer not to book too far ahead because we then have a better idea of what the weather will be doing.

Your card also gives you discounts at restaurants, entertainment and lodging. We had a bit of trouble at Friendly's when some of the staff didn't know that they accepted the card, but that was soon taken care of with the help of a "friendly" manager.

Once you are a member, the renewal fee for the following year goes down to $39.00. It really is well worth it!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


If you want to catch the LPGA British Open, you have only a seven and a half hour window to do so. That's the total amount of television coverage alotted to it in the U.S. It will be shown on TNT from 10:00 - 11:59 AM ET on Thursday and Friday, 1:30 - 3:00 PM Saturday and 1:00 - 3:00 Sunday on ABC. They had more coverage of the men's Open on the first day!

Maybe, the women would be taken more seriously if the LPGA web site took them more seriously. On their present site, they highlight an interview with Hee Young Park with the question "What is the one item of clothing that you couldn't live without?" Out of 18 questions, only 3 had anything to do with golf. Park, herself, seemed to be trying to steer the interview back to golf in her answers to a number of the other questions.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

When You've Gotta Go!

They tell you to drink lots of liquids on the golf course. The drinks cart comes around every few holes with ice cold beer, water and soft drinks. Unfortunately, there are too few restrooms to be found nestled among the trees. Maybe they should have a travelling porta-potty following the beer buggy!

I know the problems that golf courses have because of septic field, plumbing and electrical considerations. It's not easy putting facilities out in the middle of the course, but some clubs do better than others in taking care of this need. My home course has three restrooms, not counting the clubhouse. That's about the best I've seen anywhere. True, there's nothing fancy about them. They don't even have sinks to wash your hands, but they do have that all important throne (aren't antiseptic handwipes a great invention)! They use large water storage tanks positioned under the roof, which they fill regularly. This water is then gravity-fed to the toilets.

A number of courses seem to rely on "porta-potties." I hate them, as do most women I know, but when you've gotta go, they're better than nothing. They're usually suffocatingly hot, smell like a latrine (well duh!) and have about as much room as a coffin.

We've played some courses that offer no restrooms at all other than in the clubhouse, and they weren't always the cheap clubs. I guess they figure you can hit the bathrooms on the turn! I don't think men find this to be much of a problem. Of course, they've got the bushes and trees wherever they go. (We won't mention poison ivy, ticks and any other surprises lurking among those bushes.) As more women take up golf, I think there will be more of an effort made to provide better facilities. I hope so anyhow. In the meantime, things could be worse. I could be hooked on snowmobiling. I hear that it's a real struggle when you're out in the middle of nowhere on a freezing winter day and you've gotta go!

Monday, July 28, 2008


This was just sent to me by e-mail. I don't know where it originated from, but it says it all!

Golf What It All Means
The term "mulligan" is really a contraction of the phrase "maul it again."

A "gimme" can best be defined as an agreement between two golfers ..neither of whom can putt very well.

An interesting thing about golf is that no matter how badly you play; it is always possible to get worse.

Golf's a hard game to figure out. One day you'll go out and slice it and shank it, hit into all the traps and miss every green. The next day you go out and for no reason at all you really stink.

If your best shots are the practice swing and the"gimme putt", you might wish to reconsider this game.

Golf is the only sport where the most feared opponent is you.

Golf is like marriage: If you take yourself too seriously it won't work, and both are expensive.

The best wood in most amateurs' bags is the pencil.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What Wrist Injury?

Padraig Harrington wasn't playing like he had a wrist injury! He fooled a number of us and pulled off his astounding back to back win at the British Open showing no signs of distress! Maybe that's what it takes to win a major this year! Play through the pain.

I have to admit though, that when Sergio wasn't showing any sign of brilliance, I quickly switched to cheering Greg Norman on. I am so fickle! It was looking good for Norman until the first three holes on Sunday. Those three bogies seemed to set the stage for another disappointment. However, it was great seeing someone over 50 putting on a show! As one of the TNT commentators said, "He's a great physical speciman." He should serve as an inspiration for all of us.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


What to do, what to do! With no Tiger playing in the British Open this year, I haven't been looking forward to watching it as much I usually do. I know it will still be great golf and I know that there will be a lot of drama, but I'm used to having a favorite to cheer for! Sure, it's easy to appreciate great shots and perfect putts, but where's the passion that comes with rooting for your guy!

So, sorry Tiger, but I guess I'm just going to have to be a bit unfaithful and go for someone who's available! I've studied the list of contenders and narrowed it down to a few.

The first would have to be Padraig Harrington since he will be defending his title. It's difficult to win twice in a row though, especially when you have neck and wrist injuries. Then there's Ernie Els. He just got rid of his caddie and went back to Ricci Roberts who was with him previously when he was winning more frequently. He's also working on his swing with Butch Harmon. These changes may be coming a bit too late, but still he is "The Big Easy". How about Phil Mickelson? Nope, don't think so! He still seems to fall apart when he gets to the end, in spite of his previous Major wins. Stewart Cink has a habit of always being on the leader board, but I think that's just where he'll be, on the board, but not on the top. That brings me to Sergio Garcia. He's been given 8-1 odds as the favorite. He lost in a play-off last year to Harrington and with Tiger out of the way, he's probably ready to finish the job. He won the Players Championship this year and should be feeling his oats! He hits a long ball and can putt. Since he no longer takes forever over his ball and has dispensed with the endless waggles that used to drive me crazy, I think he's my choice! Or should it be Ernie? Nah, I'll go with Sergio. He's sure to do something wild and crazy to add to the excitement at Royal Birkdale Golf Club!

Coverage begins at 6:30 A.M. Eastern time on TNT.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cutting Back! Are Gas Prices Hurting Golf Courses?

A number of people have told me lately that the cost of gas is having an effect on the amount of time they are spending at the golf course! Is this something that is happening nationwide? If so, it is not entirely surprising. When people are having a hard time paying for gas to get to and from work, it is understandable that they will start being careful of adding extra miles to get to their favorite golf course. With the additional surge in the cost of food and other necessities of life and the very real fear that fuel costs for the coming winter will be exorbitant, they no longer feel that they can afford the green fees and cart fees as often as they have in the past.

Let's hope that this trend does not make golf a sport that only the rich can afford!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


If anyone had asked me a week ago why we use the terms "birdie, "eagle", "bogey" or "mulligan", I would have simply stated "Because that's what they're called! Duh!!". I did get to thinking though that they are rather strange terms, so how did they originate? Thank God for the Internet! I now have a better understanding of how they came to be.

Let's start with "bogey", since that's a word that most often comes into play in my personal golf history. According to, a bogey was a widely used term for a goblin or a devil. A popular song in the late 19th century, stated "I'm the bogey man, catch me if you can." Golfers at that time started chasing the Bogey or trying to "catch" a great score! A bogey score was considered to be a ground score, or what we now call par. In the early 20th Century, the United States Golf Association came up with regulations determining distances for par. At that time they began to call one over par a bogey. The British evenually followed suit and a bogey is now considered one over par world wide.

"Birdie" is a little easier to understand. In the 19th century, a slang term for anything great was "the bird". Golfers, being ever modern, started using "bird" for a great shot that gave them an under par score on a hole. It eventually evolved to birdie, which is still in use. I'm sure glad that "Cat's Pajamas" wasn't the slang term for "cool" in those days!

Again, it was Americans who provided us with the the term "eagle". A score of two under par is a big bird. Since the Eagle is the national symbol of the United States, it wasn't long before the term carried it's prestige to the golf course.

Now comes the one I had never even heard of! An "albatross" is a double eagle! The albatross is an even bigger bird than an eagle and is very rare. Therefore, it became the word used for the very rare three under par score on a hole! I have a lot of problems with this one though. Since two of the definitions for albatross are "an obstacle to success" or "a worrisome burden", I don't understand why they would pick a word that has such connotations when getting three under par would seem to be a real cause for celebration! Seems like they should give that term to double bogey and come up with something new for the double eagle.

My final word is "mulligan", something I'm more familiar with. There are many stories about how the term mulligan came to be used in golf. Most of those stories center around a golfer named Mulligan, who hit a bad shot and decided to have a "do-over". Since, as the story goes, Mr. Mulligan was a prominent man, it became popular to take a mulligan when your shot went astray! Of course, this is against the official rules of golf, but in friendly games it is often allowed. The other version I found was from "The Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" and it states, that "the word derives from saloons that, back in the day, would place a free bottle of booze on the bar for customers to dip into. That free bottle was called, according to the book, a Mulligan. The term was adapted to the golf course to denote a "freebie" to be used by golfers". . H-m-m, not too many saloons would be so generous these days!

So now you know everything I know about these regularly used golf terms. Hope you get that eagle or albatross sooner, rather than later!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Playing in the Poconos

If you like sloping fairways, you'll love playing golf in the Poconos. We recently spent a week in Tannersville, Pennsylvania in the heart of the Poconos. We had a great time even though it seemed that we were constantly having to hit with the ball sitting either above or below our feet. It made for some interesting play!

The area is a beautiful region of Pennsylvania and has a number of really good courses, many offering senior rates. Glen Brook Golf Club in Stroudsburg has a senior special on Monday and Tuesday which includes golf, cart and tax for $28.00. On Tuesdays, you can play at Fernwood Golf course in Bushkill for $25.00 if you're a senior and bring a coupon that you can print from their web site. The coupon entitles you to 18 holes with a cart and a hotdog and pepsi. Seniors can play weekdays at Cherry Valley Golf Course in Stroudsburg for $25.00, cart included. Water Gap Country Club in Delaware Water Gap gave us a $35.00 rate when we called and asked for the Senior Rate. Evergreen Golf Club in Analomink, is only a 9 hole course, but green fees & cart for seniors is $22.00 for 18 holes Monday - Friday.

Up a hill!

We played Glen Brook on the first day of our visit. Glen Brook is one of the oldest courses in the Poconos. Although it was designed in 1924, the clubhouse, built out of stone, has been in existence since the 1790s. Advertised as being a gently rolling course, we found that "gently rolling" doesn't mean quite what we thought. The fact is that when you go to the mountains for a golf vacation, you'd better expect to be hitting up and down those mountains! The course was well maintained and had many interesting holes. They also have guest accomodations available.

Down a hill!

On Tuesday, we took advantage of the special at Fernwood. The golf course is part of the Fernwood Hotel & Resort. Accomodations are available, as well as golf packages. We found no water hazards on the front nine which is always a plus for me, and although there were a few sand traps guarding the greens, we even managed to avoid them. The 10th, 11th, 12th, and 17th holes all had water crossings, but none were very wide. All in all the course was not terribly difficult but challenging enough to be interesting.

Our favorite course there was Cherry Valley. We enjoyed it so much we played there two days in a row. I'm not sure exactly why we preferred it to the two previous courses because it definitely had the same type of mountain slopes and difficulties, but strangely enough our scores were a bit better than we get at our home course. The second hole, rated the hardest on the course is a short par 4, but you have a complete blind shot up and around a dogleg. As my husband was about to tee off, a deer came from the woods and meandered across the fairway about 70 yards in front of us. It was in no hurry to leave, and since we had no-one right behind us we took a few pictures and waited for it to move on. I think it brought us luck for that hole because we managed to get bogies. We found that just about every hole had it's own quirks, even the par 3s! My 15 and 11 woods came in very handy for the sometimes highly elevated greens.

We finished the week at Water Gap Country Club. Although, we had driven past this course when we were looking for Cherry Valley, we still had a hard time finding the entrance to it. Unfortunately our GPS system let us down, apparently having it listed under an incorrect address. We were teamed up with a friendly member couple, who were able to give us some tips now and then on where to play our shot. Of course, knowing where you should play it and actually doing it are not the same thing! Again, the steep slopes were often our undoing. Even playing the ball high up the slope did not always keep the ball from rolling all the way to the bottom. A storm blew in when we were on 15th and after hearing stories of golf cart rollovers on the wet slopes, we decided to call it a day.

I would definitely recommend this region for a golf vacation. There are plenty of other activities to keep you busy if you aren't into playing golf all the time too! If you're interested in fishing, biking, kayaking, fantastic scenery, outlet malls, car racing, casinos - it's all right there!


Hi, I'm Laurie and I play a few times a week at my home course - we live in Highlands Ridge in Avon Park, Florida. We have 2 courses North and South and we are members and have our own cart. It is summer in Florida so the courses are real cheap and hot! Almost any course can be played for $20 with cart. In the winter it's a different story!
July 1, 2008.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Skene Valley Country Club

My home course, Skene Valley in Whitehall, NY, is a pretty long course (6407 yards from the whites, 5732 from the golds and 5523 from the reds), but it has wide open fairways and treelines don't come into play on most holes. There are a few sand traps and a few ponds, but that makes for a more interesting game! There are three restrooms on the course, which is a definite plus since it's unusual to find that many at the more expensive clubs.

Fairway of the 8th Hole

My two favorite holes 8 and and 14 are short enough that I can be on in two strokes and even manage to get a birdie now and then! Number 14 does have a pond on each side of the fairway and three sand traps around the green. If you can stay away from these, it gives you a chance to make an easy birdie or an easier par! On the other hand my nemisis hole has got to be the long 7th! It measures 581 yards from the whites, 516 from the golds and 503 from the reds. For additional difficulty you have three gullies (two for ladies and seniors) to cross and a long hill to get to the green. This is one of the holes that has trees along the right hand border, and when the wind is whipping a lot of people end up in those trees, out of bounds. If I ever make par on 7, I'll let you know! For me an 8 is not uncommon, a 7 is more rare and a 6 is a cause for celebration!!

7th Hole from Men's Tees
Did I mention there are
3 Gullies!? The green is way
up at the trees in right center.

There are a number of leagues throughout the week, playing mostly in the evenings. My husband, Duncan, and I belong to the mixed couples league. We use a two person scramble format and play from May to the end of August when the earlier nightfall puts an end to it.

Skene Valley, has membership fees of $470 for single membership and $700.00 for couples. Pay before Christmas and you can deduct 10%. If you are not a member, green fees are $24.00 for 18 holes and $12.00 after 3:00 P.M. Cart rental is $11.00 plus tax for 9 holes, $22.00 for 18 (that’s per cart, not per person). They also offer a punch card that enables you to buy 10 green fees or rides and get one free.

I'm hoping to hear from you about your favorite courses. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Golf Does Not Have to Bankrupt You!

Now that I've reached the age of 60, I guess I'm now considered a senior. (at least AARP thinks so!). Like many people I love golf! I love to play golf, to watch golf and to talk golf! I try to play four or five times a week until snow or early darkness or closed courses shut me down. Since I play so often, I have to play on the cheap. I can’t afford not to. I am fortunate to live close to a golf course that is reasonably priced, but when I travel I find it difficult to locate courses that charge a price that I can pay without breaking my budget.

Those of us who love to play, but aren’t rich, do not need luxurious clubhouses or perfectly manicured fairways and greens. We are looking for good golf, interesting holes, challenging distances, adequate restrooms and clubs that welcome people of every income level. If we have to play on fairways that are not up to the standards of professional play, that doesn’t bother us. If we have to tee off from well worn tee blocks, we can deal with it! We just want to play!

The purpose of this site is to not only find and share the best prices available for green fees and carts throughout the U.S. and southern Canada, but to allow others of the "over 60" set to share their best senior golf moments.