A couple of 51-year-olds play a quick nine holes



I recently had the opportunity to purchase a complete set of Wilson Dyna-Powered Staff Model golf clubs. It included 1, 2, 3, and 4 woods and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW and SW and the blade type Wilson Augusta putter. It even came with the original cloth and leather bag.

A little research and I discovered that this set was roughly a 1957 model , which is also the year I was born. I got to thinking that someday, since I play a different set of irons every time I play anyway, I should work this set into the rotation. Well, today it happened. My son and I went to our "home" course , Riviera Country Club in Holly Hill, Florida for a late afternoon 9 holes, and I packed my vintage Wilson set into the car as my weapons of choice for the day.

It was an interesting trip back in time for me, offering a glimpse of the tools that golfers who were playing 50 years ago had available for their use. It was also interesting to compare how my score with these clubs would stack up against my score when armed with more modern equipment. I expected my score to be a little higher with the old clubs and I expected my distance, especially off the tee would suffer with the older gear. Both of these expectations came true, but overall I was a little surprised at how well the clubs and I performed together.

On the first hole, a short par five, I hit the old wooden driver 225 yards into the left rough. This would be a consistent theme of the nine holes, as I hit only one fairway, and pulled all the par 4 and 5 tee shots to the left. Not really a draw, just a high, soaring drive that went a little left. My second shot was a five iron to about 40 yards out. A pitching wedge landed just left of the green and a chip and putt gave me a par.

On the second hole, a 147 yard par three, my 6 iron landed about 10 feet to the left of the flag and I two putted for a par. I was now even through 2 holes.

On the third hole I hit a 2-wood directly into the late afternoon sun. It felt good and sounded good, only I never saw it and never found the ball. In retrospect, I should have looked down the left side of the fairway, but force of habit made me search on the right. This was before I realized that I tended to pull these clubs. Still, even with the penalty stroke, I managed a bogey.

Things then started to stray. M tee shot on the fourth went left (again) and found water. A surprisingly strong and straight 5-iron found the back bunker and sloppy sand play made a complete mess of that hole.

I finished out the round hitting only one fairway, with every single other wood veering left off the tees. Poorly struck tee shots on the two remaining par threes (this course has 3 of them on the front nine) left me with a mediocre score of 49 for nine holes. Still, I took only 19 putts on the nine holes, with two three-putts and one one-putt. Nor great, but not as bad as I expected from the skinny Wilson Augusta blade.

The irons and the would felt kind of stiff and dead compared to today's more springy clubs, and although the distance was somewhat less that I was used to, just adding a club or two to the distances compensated nicely. I really enjoyed the classic "golf shot" sound of the woods (click here) and like the classy look of the chrome and leather of the irons. I also found it refreshing to use the bare minimum in putter design. It was just me, the hole, the ball and one thin piece of metal on the greens. Unlike many of today's clubs, these irons, when mis-hit, did not nudge the ball back in its intended direction. If you don't hit these clubs squarely, you find yourself digging through the weeds not very far from where you just struck the ball.

All in all it was great fun, and gave me a whole new appreciation of the golfers of yesterday and the clubs of today, and was an experiment I'd highly recommend to everyone.

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy


Better to be lucky than good!

I've not yet had one of those days on the golf course when everything seems to go right, but yesterday I did play the front nine in a fashion that made it seem like I really knew what I was doing. It all fell apart on the back nine, but that's another story altogether. Anyway, on the front nine I started off slowly, but not badly , for me, bogeying the first 3 holes. On the fourth hole, a short par 4, I hit an eight iron about 4 feet from the pin and sunk the birdie putt. On #8, a 168 yard par three, my four iron landed about 12 feet short on a line straight at the pin and I was able to roll in another birdie putt. Those two birdies couple with two more pars and overall fairly decent play got me to the turn at 40.

The shot that sticks out in my mind, however, was not a particularly good one. I was lying two, about 120 yards out on the 457 yard par 5 seventh hole, after pushing my drive into a bunker and then hitting a decent five iron back into the fairway. In other words I was right where I wanted to be. I grabbed my nine iron and walked confidently up to the ball. I swung and hit an ugly, fat shot left of the green which was going to land about 25 yards short. However, the ball caught the edge of the cart path and bounced crazily toward the pin, ending up about seven feet right of the hole. In one of my normal rounds, the ball would have bounded left, or maybe even right back toward me, but on this day, my positive energy seemed to have charged my game and even my bad shots turned out good. It's a feeling I'm not used to!

I just missed the birdie putt, which was OK with me, since I figured I didn't really deserve a birdie after that shot anyway.

On the back nine, my karma totally reversed itself as I pressed a little harder, realizing that my lifelong goal of breaking 80 was with possible reach. Nothing went right, from chunked chip shots, to shanked tee shots, to a greens maintenance guy riding noisily up to the edge a the green just as I was about to chip on and parking there staring at me as I muffed the shot. (That's no excuse, but annoying none-the-less)

So, at the end of the day, my score was a lot worse than some days, and a lot better than others, but basically average. I did experience for nine holes that rare feeling of invincibility, where even my bad shots turned out good and where my luck ran to the positive side. I'm still waiting for the day when I can ride that wave for 18 holes.

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy

Never had a lesson! (until now)

I've been hacking away at this great game since I was about 14 years old, and I've never had a lesson! Well, that's not entirely true: my dad took my sister and I to a kid's golf clinic when I was 14 and that was my introduction to the game. Through the years I've never been more than an average golfer and never took my game too seriously. It was a fun pastime and a reason to drink beer, and that was about it. Until about 4 years ago, that is, until, in my late forties, I kind of thought "Why not me?". Why couldn't I be more than an average golfer? Why couldn't I regularly break 100? Why couldn't I break 90? Why couldn't I eventually break 80????

Well, over that last few years I was able to regularly break 100 and have broken 90 several times, dropping down to 84 in one round in June of 2008. My improvement, however, seemed to level off and even reverse as of late, which is why I'd been thinking more and more about an idea that had been luring in the back of my mind lately; Why not go for a lesson with a PGA teaching pro?

I've been playing regularly at a course near my house, Riviera Country Club in Holly Hill, Florida, and my son has been going for Saturday morning clinics with the local pro, Donnie Klem. I'd even spoken briefly with Donnie on a couple of occasions about the possibility of actually scheduling a lesson.

Then, last week, I did it! I mentioned to Donnie once again that I would like to get a lesson sometime, an he said, "How about Tuesday at 11am?" "OK", I said, "sounds good to me."

I showed up at the appointed time not knowing what to expect, but with an idea of what I felt like I needed to work on. I had been getting off the tee OK lately, and my short game was passable. What was killing me was the inconsistency of my second shots. Time after time it seemed like a good drive would be followed by a fat iron shot out of the fairway, or a poorly struck approach shot falling short of the green. I have also noticed that the length of my iron shots was significantly shorter than many of the guys I was playing with. My distance off the tee was acceptable, but my irons were falling short.

I told Donnie, the pro all of this and he went to work on my swing. It turns out that my self-taught, thirty five-year-old swing was based on a swaying of the hips instead of a turning of the shoulders and my grip was on the strong side, with a hint of tension thrown in. This was producing high, floating iron shots that tended to drift to the right, costing me distance and accuracy. Donnie showed me a couple of things to work on, with the intention of producing a more powerful, lower, right to left, draw shot, which should tend to zing the ball more sharply to my target. It felt strange at first, but then I got it for a while. For about a 15 minute stretch in the middle of the lesson, however, I could hit nothing but nasty, ugly little shanks. Donnie then had me perform a drill that involved placing my feet closer together in a very narrow stance. This helped me to feel the proper shoulder rotation better, and I started to hit the ball more precisely once again.

I had a round scheduled right after the lesson and off I went, armed with a few tips from Donnie. The round went OK, and I ended up shooting a 90, which wasn't bad considering I somehow managed a 9 on the par 5 17th hole! There were a few of the little ugly shanks sprinkled into the round, including one on 17 that contributed to my quadruple bogey.

More importantly, though, I actually had 5 make-able birdie putts in the round, two of which I made. I hit a 5 iron 3 feet from the hole on the par 3 12th, and hit a 4 iron to 8 ft into the wind from 160 yards out on the par 4 15th. I also closed the round by sinking a 5 foot birdie putt on 18 following a 9 iron approach to the green.

I trip to the driving range a couple of days later produced amazing results, as I was able to drop ball after ball into small circles around my targets, making me more excited that I have been in a long time about the potential of my game.

Obviously, it's too early to tell if my lesson is going to produce miracle results, but I have to think that having a trained pro watch you swing and give you direction woould have to produce better results that self-intruction from a guy who's never broken 80!

I guess I should have gone for a lesson years ago!

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy

Going low in Ohio

As is usually the case during the summer, this Thursday afternoon found me on the road for my "day job" as the series photographer for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. This week's race is at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Mansfield, Ohio. What was different about this particular Thursday was that I had flown in on Thursday morning, didn't have to be at the racetrack til Friday morning, and actually had a wide-open afternoon to kill. In anticipation of this open day I had done an internet search a couple of weeks ago, looking for public golf courses around Ashland, Ohio, where my hotel was. I discovered a course called Brookside Golf Course that looked promising (reasonable rates, walk-ons allowed) and made a note of it.

On my arrival in Ohio on this day I had a ton of overdue work to do and was leaning toward checking into my hotel and putting in an afternoon on the computer. When I went to check in, however, my room was not quite ready, so I went to grab some lunch. Soon the lure of the links overtook me and I found myself in a Walmart buying golf balls, tees and a golf shirt. I before I knew it my GPS had steered me to the Brookside Golf Course and I was at the counter in the pro shop renting clubs and a cart.

As I set out for my solo round, I realized that the conditions were not ideal for a successful round. First of all, I had no golf glove or shoes ( I was playing in a comfortable but slick pair of top-siders). Next, it was already 2 o'clock and there was a league startiing at 5, which meant I would have to hurry to get 18 holes in. Finally, there was the matter of my rental clubs: an AMF Ti matrix 10.5 degree driver (dented in the heal), AMF 3 and 5 woods (both also mildly dented), AMF Wide Track 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 ,PW and SW and (heavily perimeter and sole weighted) and Wilson Pro Staff blade 3 and 6 irons, and a non-descript AMF perimeter weighted putter. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers and I was happy just to have a golf course basically all to myself for a few hours. Besides, I had a whole bagful of excuses when my round went south, which it was sure to do.

I pulled up to the first tee , a 481 yard par 5, and, as I often do when I'm unfamiliar with a driver or just not hitting the driver well, I decided to hit my 3-wood. On pulling the headcover off, I discovered that my 3-wood was a lefty club. Uh-oh, I'm a righty. I checked the 5 wood and it was a right-handed club and did a quick check of the rest of the bag, making sure they were all right-handed, which they were. If I wasn't up against the clock (I had to be done before the 5 o'clock league and it was already after 2) I would have gone back for a righty 3-wood, but since I wasn't expecting much from this round, I decided to just go without the 3-wood.

My first swing of the day, with the driver, sent the ball about 210 yards intot he right rough, and my round was underway! A 5-iron from the rough and over a couple of trees put the ball back on the fairway about 130 yards out. I hit an 8-iron on my third shot and, to my surprise , the ball hit the green and rolled to a stop about 12 yards from the flag. Two putts later I had parred the opening hole. The next two holes were par fours , which I bogied and looked as if this round would probably be typical of most of my recent outings. On the fourth hole, a 145 yard par three, I came upon a foursome that elected to let me play through. As usual, an audience and a feeling that I should hurry along to get out of their way spelled disaster. My tee shot landed a little short and my first chip rolled all the way across the green and off the other side. I managed a double bogey, waved to the foursome and moved along. From that point on I seemed to hit my stride with a series of decent 220-250 yard drives and 7-irons to the green. I was starting to get a feel for my rag-tag rental clubs. The 9th hole was a 152 yard par 3 into a gentle breeze. I pulled out the 7-iron which I's hit my last 4 approaches with. The ball sailed straight at the pin, landed and rolled about 15 feet past the hole. On arriving at he green I discovered that the ball had actually stuck the ground about a foot from the hole. My par on #9 brought me to the turn at 41. Wow, I though, I might have something going!

To make a long story short, a pair of double bogies hindered my progress on the back nine, but for the most part, I remained on track for a career day. A couple of highlights from the back nine:

On the 501 yard par 5 13th I launched a 270 yard drive into the right rough. Since I didn't have a 3-wood, I hit a five wood. It travelled straight at the flag, landing about 3 yards short of the green, but a huge bounce and roll put the ball on the green, about 18 feet short of the hole. My line was good on the putt, but the ball stopped about 12 inches short. I was still happy thrilled to card a birdie.

On the 144 yard par 3 16th, a hole that travels so steeply uphill that you can only see that top of the flag from the tee box, I elected to hit a choked down 5-iron. I didn't htink the 7-iron would reach the highly elevated green since I was hitting directly into the wind, and I hadn't hit the WIlson 6-iron bald all day and did not feel that this would be the time to start. My tee shot went slightly left of the flag and disappeared over the crest of the hill. on my arrival at the green I discovered the ball just off the left edge of the green in the rough. I really bad chip left the ball on the green about 15 feet on the other side of the hole. The uphill right to left put rolled dead-center into the hole for a par.

As I stepped up to the 17th tee, a 361 yard par 4, two thing happened. First, I decided to resist my habit on constantly adding up my score and playing the "whit-if" game ( what will my score be if I par the next 2 holes?) and second, I noticed a scratch on the top of the driver that I hadn't seen before. Closer inspection revealed that it wasn't a scratch, but a crack! The driver head was beginning to split in two! Oh well, hopefully it had two more drive left in it. The drive took off with a dull thud and travelled about 210 yards doen the left side of the fairway in to the rough. A sloppy approach and ugly chipping and I finished with a double-bogey on 17.

Stepping up to #18, a short 298 yard par four, I was acutely aware of my cracked driver, but still stupidly elected to hit it instead of the five-wood or 3-iron. Being somewhat distracted I naturally blew the drive, hacking it into the rough about 150 yards from the tee. Oh no, were the wheels coming off once again? I decent 3-iron from tick rough, a good pitch and a couple of putts saved a bogey on 18.

I anxiously tallied my score next to the 18th green: I had finished with an 84. My personal all-time best!

Golf is a wierd game. You can spend years optimizing every aspect of your game only to become frustrated at every turn in your efforts to shoot a lower score, then go out on a random afternoon at a course you've never seen before, wearing slick casual shoes, no golf glove and using a mismatched , damged set of rental clubs and shoot the lowest score of your life! Oh well, I'll take it!

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy

I knew my son would beat me someday, but . . . .

It's been a little over a year since my son first set foot on a full size, par 72 championship golf course. My dad and I discovered golf together more than 30 years ago when I was a barely a teenager and the golf course was one of the few places that we found common ground to enjoy each other's company as I went through my rebellious teenage years. So now that my oldest son was big enough to swing a golf club and get the ball a good ways down the fairway, I figured it would be a good time to get his feet wet.

One of the ways I've kept him interested in the game is telling him that it would not be long before he was beating me on the golf course. I watched his face as his eyes came alive as he imagined the day that he had finally bested me on the links, I thought of some far-off day as he approached high school graduation and I approached retirement when I could proudly say that my son had defeated me on the golf course.

One day a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take my son out for a quick afternoon round at a local course. As usual, David was playing off the red tees and I allowed him to tee the ball in the fairways, so as not to discourage him with a lot of topped shots. I began the round in my usual fashion, with a good drive followed by a clumsy approach and ugly putting on the first hole. Oh well, I hadn't warmed up and I knwo that my game would eventually come around. Meanwhile, David was smoothly whacking his tee shots about 15 to 175 yards down the fairway and chipping nicely onto the green. His putting was a little shaky, but he was obviously playing the round of his life. At about the turn, I even noted to him that he was leading me by a stroke and that if I didn't step up, he may even beat me! Of course, in my own mind, I knew that this would never happen, as I ALWAYS follow a shaky front nine with a fairly competent back nine.

As the round progressed, It was becoming painfully obvious that the game was not coming to me, and David chugged along as steady as a rock. A quadruple bogey on the par 5 16th (which David Parred) and a triple bogey on the 17th, dogleg left, and I announced to David that there was virtually no way that I could beat him on that day! I limped home through two bunkers on #18 and tallied the scores. My 11-year-old son had beaten me by 12 strokes, shooting a 97 to my inexplicable 109!

When we got home, David raced in to announce the scores to his mother, brother and sister who were all equally as delighted as was.

I can't that I'm not proud of his accomplishment. I thrilled that my son seems to have acquired the same love of the game that I have. I hope he goes on to derive as much pleasure as I have through golf and hope that he beats me many more times. But the last time we played , I brought along my 5-year-old son too and he got his introduction to "big course" golf. At least there will be someone in the family who I can beat for a few more years.

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy


The best 16 holes of my life!

I played a course in Florence, SC last week called "The Traces" that I had never played before. It's actually three 9 hole courses and you play two of the 3 to make up an 18 hole round. It's a beautiful layout that I would highly recommend (see my "courses" page). I stepped to the first tee and hit a pretty decent 3 wood right down the fairway. My second shot, a sand wedge from about 60 yards out, rolled to within a foot of the cup for an easy tap-in birdie! On the second hole, a short par three, my tee shot hit the green, although it was till a good 25 feet from the flag. I managed a good putt to about 3 feet and rolled that in for par. My drive on the third hole hit on a hard, downhill sloping fairway and ended up about 275 yards from the tee. Again, a good pitch and adequate putting allowed me to record a par on the scorecard. Almost the whole day went that way, with the word "almost" being key here. Throughout the round I recorded one birdie, 7 pars, 5 bogies and 2 double bogies and one inexcusable triple bogey on a par five where my second shot was lying about 50 yards from the green. All of this I can live with. It's the remaining two holes that had me leaving the golf course with a sad, empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.

My final score for the day was a 91, which, in general is not to bad for me. My total score for the 16 holes listed above comes to 72. A little quick math and it's easy to determine that I played the 2 holes missing from the above list in a magical total of 19 strokes! What has me baffled is trying to figure out how a golfer (ME!) can go out and basically play the round of his life for 16 holes but have that round interrupted by two holes where he looks like he's never swung a golf club before in his life! After my stellar start described above, I stepped to the 4th tee, a 477 yard par 4, thinking "birdie!" I then proceeded to yank my drive hard left into the woods. Through some miracle, I was able to find my ball and even had a fairly clear shot back out to the fairway. So now I punched the ball right through the fairway into the trees on the other side! Again I had an escape route available to me and this time I actually got the ball back to the short grass only to squander my good fortune by pulling a 3-wood back into the woods on the left. By the time I limped off of the green I had carded a 9 on the hole. Badly shaken, I bogied the next hole before regaining some confidence by parring the 126 yard par three 6th hole. Then cam the second par five of the day. I stepped to the tee, vowing to be be more careful on this par 5. To make a long story short, after an excursion through the woods and two shots into the water in front of the green, I managed a 10!

Of course I was a little surprised as I realized late in the day that I still had a very good chance to break 90. That was about when I blew up on the 479 yard par 5 17th for a more acceptable triple bogey. It's just as well as I really did not feel like I deserved to shoot in the 80's on that day.

Later that day I listened as Ernie Els described how he felt after he hit two balls into the water on the 17th at Sawgrass in the first round of this year's TPC. Ernie basically said that it did not feel good to work hard all day only to give it all back on one hole late in a round. I think I know the feeling!

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy

Well, maybe graphite shafts aren't so bad . . .

After puzzling for a few days over my miserable driving range experience with my new Wilson Pro Staff irons (see my Feb 23rd entry), I thought it through and decided another practice round with the clubs was in order.

I figure that the more flexible, floppier, regular flex graphite shafts, couple with my normal frantic, rushed, forced swing, was allowing the clubhead to torque to the right as I came through the ball, producing the ugly little shanks that I was smacking on the driving range. I decided to go back the to the driving range with the clubs, this time pretending that I was swing a medicus trainer, or a Whippy tempomaster trainer. With these devises you can not make good contact with any kind of rushed, forced swing. Sure enough, this time out I was producing nice, fairly straight, lofted iron shots!

Next, I got my son and raced out to my home course, Riviera Country Club. in Holly Hill, FL, for a quick afternoon nine. Once again, the results were pleasantly surprising, as I was able to complete the front nine in 45 strokes, which is not bad for my current skill level.

Now I've got to readjust my thinking about my swing. Maybe these graphite shaft clubs reveal some swing flaws that my steel shaft clubs tend to cover-up. Maybe I'm rushing my swing with all my clubs, but only the more flexible graphite shafts make me pay for my hurried swing. Maybe if I apply my smoother, more relaxed approach to all my clubs, I'll benefit with lower scores and before too much longer I'll arrive in the mythical, long sought-after land of the sub-80 seventies!

Low I'm back on the Briteside of golf . . . at least for the time being.

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy

Consistently inconsistent or vice-versa

Another round into 2008 and again no big breakthroughs in my ongoing chase to go below 80 on the links.

This this time out we played Cypress Head in Port Orange, Florida, the site of my personal best 85 in September '07. My strategy for thhis round involved using a starter set of Ram 3,5,7 and 9 XS-1000 irons, thereby leaving me more room in my bag to carry some extra fairway woods and wedges. for the task at hand I brought along a Prosimmon 2-wood, my Top-Flite 3 and 5 woods and a Golfsmith 7 wood to supplement my Callaway FT3 driver. With so much water adjoining the fairways at Cypress Head, and accuracy off the tee at a premium, I felt like it would be smart to hit some 2 and 3 wood tee shots. I also carried my current favorite "Line-up 305R" putter.

Actually, the plan was working quite well, although I don't think that I was en route to a below-80 round, I was playing fairly good, for me, even bogey golf. A pair of snowmen, however, did me. Ironically, one was on the difficult, long, over-the-water, par 4 14th. After staring down the lake and putting my drive in decent position in the fairway, I proceeded to pull the Persimmon 2 wood from my bag, determined to hit the long approach shot to the green and make a run at a decent round. What I actually did, of course, was badly top my second shot, hopping it about 75 yards back toward the water. Thankfully it stopped just short.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I pulled my 7 iron out, resigning myself to the fact that I could still save a bogey if I made a decent shot here. Rushing the shot, as I often do after a dissapointing effort, I yanked the 7 iron hard left into the lake. After a double bogey on 15 (following a perfect tee shot with my 2 wood) I birdied the short par 3 #16, puting myself back on target for a sub 90 round heading to the final two holes, both par 5's. On 17 I hit a long drive down the left side of the fairway, which parallels water. One big, slightly left bounce, and I was wet again. A harrowing, train wreck of an approach to the green left me scrambling for another 8. On 18 my drive went right . . . . Right into the woods!

I dropped a ball, hit a good second shot and a short approach to about 10 feet in front of the green. Then I rolled in the chip shot with my 9 iron to finish with a 92.

All in all I guess it's hard to be too disappointed with that score considering that I tallied 7 penalty strokes on the day! Also, using my ugly little Line-up putter , a putted only 24 times for the round, a new personal low, so I also had that to hang my hopes on. But it's hard to be really satisfied after a round in which half the time it came easily , and the other half I felt like I'd never seen a golf club in my life.

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy

Heavy on the wedges

This was only my third round of 2008, and so far there has been no indication that this will be a breakthrough year in my quest to break 80. For this round, Friday, February 1, I decided to forego my usual habit of carrying an extra driver with me and loaded up on wedges, hoping that my short game would carry me to glory.

We played at Riverbend Golf Club in Ormond Beach, FL and I threw the following clubs in my bag:

Driver: Callaway Big Bertha Fushion FT3
Fairway Wood: Taylormade Burner 3, 5, 7
Irons: Ram FX 5-PW
Wedges: Blades: 52 degree Approach, 56 degree Sand and 60 degree Lob
Putter: Ping O-Blade

My strategy seemed to be working early, as I was one-under bogey golf through the first 5 holes. Then, on the sixth hole, I suddenly lost me touch off the tee. Over the next 5 holes I had a triple-bogey, par, quadruple-bogey, triple-bogey and double-bogey. Just as suddenly, my tee problems cleared up as I hit the next five fairways and parred the next five holes! (There was actually a birdie mixed in for good measure. It was even beginning to look like I had a chance to break 90 despite my front nine 50. Sadly though, my tee-off magic once again faded away and I limped home with a double-bogey, triple-bogey and double-bogey, for a round of 94.

I would still have to consider my short game strategy a success, though, as I had 32 putts in the round, below my average. I also one-putted 6 holes, which indicates to me that I was pitching and chipping up close to the hole. On # 17 my 7-iron chip shot ran across the green and clanked off the flagstick on a shot that I almost sank from the fringe. (Of course I two putted from 3 feet following that shot.)

Anyway, once again an inconsistent round brought me home with a score that I had a hard time getting excited about. Still, glimmers of hope and promise for for the next round keep me hoping that that elusive sub-80 round is in my future!

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy


New Year, New Bad Habits

I've been a golfer since my teen years, which was a long, long time ago. In all those years, my problems off the tee have usually involved trees or water along the right side of the fairway. In other words, I've always bee a slicer. My tee shots, even when they started of straight, would usually go right. On good days this might be a gradual drift to the right. On bad days my ball would be ricocheting off rooftops 2 blocks to the right of the fairway.

Toward the end of last year, I finally decided to tackle this problem. A few tweaks to my grip, adjustments on my head alignment and changes in my backswing, and I was starting to feel pretty good about myself. There were actually 2 of 3 round in December when my "fairways hit" percentage skyrocketed (for me) well over 50 percent. I thought, "why did I wait so long to correct this problem?" I dreamed of the idealic future that awaited me on the golf course: long rolls down the fairway after my perfectly stroked power draw tee shots landed, no more second shots from the boondocks on par 4 lefthand doglegs, etc. I would surely achieve my goal of shooting in the 70's within a month or two of the new year! Just a little more tweaking . . .

I stepped up to the first tee at New Smyrna on New Year's day 2008 to hit my first drive of the year. I ran through my new preswing checklist: Grip a tough on the strong side, club head a teeny bit hooded, slow, low takeaway into a more horizontal backswing. I made solid contact and my ball shot tee, landing about 30 yards left of the fairway. "Wow!", I thought, "That was weird!" In my 30 plus years of golf, rarely have I had to glance left to see where my drive had landed.

As the round progressed, it became evident that this would be a pattern for the day: Drive-trouble left.

Not only did the problem carry into the next round of '08, it also continued to worsen! I was now consistently hitting my second shots from the left rough and ever closer to the tee. Uh-oh.

Time to backpedal. Weaken the grip! Open the stance! Open the clubface! : DRIVE-TROUBLE LEFT!

So as the new year begins, I now have a brand new bad habit to work my way out of. It'd be kind of nice to hit a nice fade once in a while!

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy