May 2010


In other words, if you were to wake up this morning 30 minutes before your tee time, throw your clothes on, grab your clubs, and arrive at the first tee 5 minutes before tee time, what would you shoot?

Sure, you can’t really predict these things…maybe. But I like to call this your default score. It’s not good; it’s not bad. It’s just what you shoot on a normal day.

My default score is 81. I realized this last Saturday after playing 18 holes with my friends Tom, Lewis, and Chris at Forest Crossing. Other than my driver, my golf game pretty much sucked that day. I was +10 on the 18th green with a 50 foot birdie putt. As I stood over the putt, I thought, I suck. I’m about to shoot an 82. But I canned the ridiculously long putt. I shot an 81. Suddenly, I thought to myself, Okay, things are normal.

Is there really a difference between and 81 and an 82? Not really. Neither is that impressive, unless your looking to win the C flight of your club championship.  But, somehow, that 50 f00t birdie putt, and that round of 81, made everything okay–even though that was my only birdie of the round in miserable 90 degree heat.

So what’s your default score? If you woke up this morning and didn’t care how you played, what would you shoot?

One of the greatest shows in the history of television wrapped things up on Sunday night, culminating—in my opinion—with one of the best finales I’ve ever watched. Lost is over. And, man, that makes me sad.

Hope. Redemption. Forgiveness. All of the main characters on this character-driven show found what they were looking for at the end. Not every question was answered, but that was never the point of Lost in the first place. If you stayed with Lost until the series finale and somehow expected everything to tie up in a pretty bow, then you missed the point.

I was thinking about some of my favorite episodes yesterday, and a cool golf-related episode (“Solitary”) from season 1 came to mind. Most of the group was living in a cave at the time, and Hurley—the show’s primary comic relief—found some old abandoned golf clubs.

Stuck on an island with nothing to do, Hurley builds a makeshift golf course. Hilton Head golf it is not, but the course provides some stress-relief for the castaways.

The video I posted is not from the actual episode, but it’s a pretty funny extra feature—with Jin, Hurley, and Michael. Jin loses his mind after missing a putt. Hilarious stuff.

Is it possible that Jerry Rice is worse at golf than Michael Jordan was at baseball?

In his second Nationwide Tour event, Jerry Rice fired a 92-82 at the BMW Charity Pro-Am. Two weeks ago, Rice shot an 83-76 in his debut Nationwide event. I briefly wrote about that train wreck here.

Yes, those scores are awful. But here’s the kicker, Rice was disqualified in his second event because his caddy used a yardage scope in the fairway. Are you kidding me? The Nationwide Tour should be embarrassed to let this guy use corporate sponsors. Are they that hard up for publicity?

If Rice was competing on some small regional mini tour, then that’s fine. But the Nationwide is a smidgen below the PGA Tour–these golfers are the real deal–so why taint that with some publicity stunt from a guy who couldn’t make a cut if he played in every tournament for five years?

Unbelievable.

You know Rice doesn’t belong on the Nationwide for the mere fact that he said he was pleased with a second round 76 during his debut tournament. Dude, if you’re happy with a 76 on the Nationwide Tour, you’ve got serious issues.

Thankfully, Rice was quoted in USA Today as saying, ““Because I can’t commit to golf the way I want to, this is probably my last Nationwide Tour event.” Let’s go ahead and eliminate that “probably”, Jerry. Save yourself the embarrassment, and keep the range finder in the bag, please.

This Rice debacle leads me to one question: Who was worse at their second sport…was it Rice at golf or Michael Jordan at baseball?

Talk amongst yourselves.

This pet peeve is about me.

I’ll admit it. I’m an overzealous rules enforcer. Heck, I even wrote a reoccurring column about golf rules on this blog a couple of years ago.

If you carry one of these in your bag, you, too, might be an overzealous rules enforcer.

For whatever reason, golf is a sport where no one bothers to follow—or even understand—the rules. I’ve met people who have been playing golf for 10 years and still don’t know what a red stake signifies.

How is that possible? To me, that’s like saying, “What is that mound of dirt in the middle of a baseball field?” How can you not know that?

Granted, there are a ton of rules in golf—a lot of them are very specific and detailed. But you’ve got to know the basics.

I’m all about fairness, you see. If we’re playing in a game or a tournament and I’m re-teeing after hitting a ball out of bounds, you better know I’m going to make sure you re-tee as well. Don’t try and drop a ball outside the white stakes. That’s not a hazard.

If I’m spotting you 5 shots (or vice versa), you can bet I will make sure you aren’t using your hand wedge in the fairway.

If you’re talking smack about beating me by a shot but dropped your ball 50 yards ahead of where it went into a water hazard, well…I’m going to call you out on that too.

I’ve been called a rules nazi, but I believe there’s a place for it.

Look, if you’re just out having a good time with some friends or family, there’s no money on the line, nothing at stake, not even bragging rights—then I can understand bending the rules a touch.

But remember to put an asterisk by your score, because if you shot an 82 with 2 mulligans, then you really didn’t shoot an 82. Would you say you scored a touchdown if you were tackled at the 5 yard line? Just sayin’. I’ve known groups of guys who go on incredible golf trips, organize these ridiculous 3 day tournaments, and then look the other way while a bunch of goobers cheat through the whole tournament and take home a few thousand bucks. Really?

When I’m playing on a busy course, I’ll usually give my playing partners anything inside 2 feet—just to help with pace of play. I think that’s fair and reasonable. But if there’s anything on the line—including bragging rights—I might not be so giving.

It’s all about the situation. The more serious the situation gets, the more strictly I will enforce the rules.

If that makes me an overzealous rules enforcer, then guilty as charged.

I am golf pet peeve #15.

Previous Golf Pet Peeves:

#14: The Drive-By Honker

#13: The Golf Ball Finder Guy

#12: The Wannabe Golf Instructor

#11: Golf Simulators

#10: Pre-Shot Routine Guy

#9: Cell Phone Guy

#8: The Intrusive Golf Course Maintenance Worker

#7: The Drunken Wedding Party

#6: The Distance Exaggerator

#5: The Golf Channel Guy

#4: Stewart Cink’s Green Shirt

#3: The Mulligan Golfer

#2: The Shot Jinxer

#1: The Shot-By-Shot Recap Golfer

I’m going local today.

As some of you may know, I live in Nashville. Life has been crazy here in Music City during the last week.

The Great Flood of 2010 (or The 1,000 Year Flood as it’s also been called) has impacted tens of thousands of people throughout our city. Some of our landmarks like Opryland, The Country Music Hall of Fame, and LP Field have taken pretty bad damage from the flooding. The flood has claimed twenty casualties to this point. No matter where you turn, you see damage. President Obama officially recognized the city as a disaster area, meaning it’s now open for federal funding to help restore peoples’ lives.

My wife and I were fortunate. Flood waters reached our front yard, but stayed out of the house. Neighbors three houses down had water reach a few feet below their second level. One neighbor had to be rescued by boat. A friend who lives in Bellevue rescued 25 people in his boat and carried them to safer ground. Another friend lost the entire inventory of his store.

I helped some friends rip up hardwood floors and sheet rock yesterday, and I was stunned by the amount of damage in one neighborhood. You literally can hardly see houses because of the piles of debris and trash now in front yards and driveways, lined up and down entire streets. It’s indescribable.  No one ever thought this could happen in Nashville.

I could show you photos of our neighborhood, downtown Nashville, Franklin or Bellevue (google Nashville flood photos if you’re interested), but I thought I’d stick to the theme of this blog and show you some photos* from our local golf courses.

Not too many people are focused on golf around here during the past week, but it will give you an idea of the damage. Keep in mind that these courses are spread out all over the city. The flood didn’t just hit one area—it was widespread.

Gaylord Springs sits next to the Opryland Hotel. This is an immaculate, difficult course that has hosted Senior Tour events. This course has been closed until further notice.

Gaylord Springs Clubhouse nearly underwater...the course isn't even visible.

The Golf Club of Tennessee is a private course just west of the city.

Golf Club of Tennessee underwater.

Old Hickory Country Club damaged.

18th tee isn't even visible.

The Legends Course in Franklin is one of the most popular private courses in the area. Awesome track.

Twelfth Hole.

Mccabe Golf Course is a short, fun municipal course that I’ve played many times. I’ve even wrote about it. It’s a 27 hole layout, and 9 of the holes are now closed.

Serious damage at McCabe.

Mccabe will stay open but will now be a par 67 while damage is repaired.

More serious damage at Mccabe.

And those are just a few of the courses affected. Harpeth Hills has been closed. Richland Country Club has serious bunker damage. The list goes on.

If you live in the area, you know the damage we’ve seen here. It’s rough. But I’m amazed by the spirit of everyone in Nashville. Everyone seems to have picked themselves up and decided to move on with life, no matter how difficult the past weekend has been. It’s inspiring, really.

Some of these courses are an important part of Nashville’s business, and just like the city itself, they’ll bounce right back.

*Photos property of respective copyright holders. Used for informational purposes only.