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.

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!