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The Golf Daily Thought Page - 2012_2013 Created 02/17/2012 Modified 12/02/2012

 

 

A Tooonament For All Time  - Originally Posted 04/11/2012 

The Raptor watched a LOT of golf this past weekend.  It all started on Thursday with the trio of Palmer, Player and Nicklaus opening up the playing of the 76th Masters Toonament in Augusta, Georgia.

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With 13 Masters Tournament Wins, The Trio Of Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus Are This Generations Iconic Golf Figures...They Are Shown Here Preparing To Start This Years Masters Golf Toonament

The first day of play was a blur but The Raptor managed to listen to or watch The Masters from 6:00 AM (Golf Channel - Morning Drive), through the day (www.masters.org - live stream), on to the live telecast from ESPN at 3:00PM and finally, the rebroadcast of the telecast a 8PM.

Come Friday, The Raptor hosted a "symposium" at Skeeters Pub which was attended by a group of about 40 to 50.  The highlight of the afternoon was the visit by The Raptor's spawn, Andrea who has developed a real interest in players such as Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott...hhhhhmmmmmm...

By Saturday, the leader board included past champion, Fred Couples as well as Jason Dufner.  It was Dufner who generated some buzz as he showed some rebound from his disappointing loss to Keegan Bradley at last seasons PGA Tournament.  Both Couples and Dufner came out of the box a little stodgy and fell into the pack while Peter Hanson parlayed a brilliant 65 into the lead for the final day.  Playing in the last group with Hanson would be none other than 3 time past Masters Champ, Phil Mickelson, who had played inspired golf since an opening round 74.

While others had faltered during rounds two and three, Mickelson had been awesome...carding a 68 - 66 to get within reach of a fourth "Green Jacket".  The fourth would put him in company with Palmer and the previously unmentioned Tiger Woods with Nicklaus holding the most at six Green Jackets!  Meanwhile, pre-tournament favorite, Tiger Woods seemed to play uninspired golf for all four days and finished at 5 over par, which was 15 shots from the leaders.  Another pre-tournament favorite, McIlroy, had sniffed the leader board after two rounds, positioned at four under par, only to shoot 77 - 76 on the weekend.

Sunday morning dawned warm and sunny and the players all seemed a bit nervous as they conducted pre round interviews with television reportes who seem to come up with the stupidest questions. The whole tournament took a dramatic turn early on when Louis Oosthuizen, the diminutive 2010 Open Champion struck what many think is a truly magical golf shot.

The Raptor was not watching the television at this point but was listening to the radio broadcast while driving to Mom's house with Andrea,  The announcer seemed laconic in his analysis of the shot..."Oosthuizen has selected a four iron and the shot is away...it hits the front of the green and begins to bump and roll towards the back of the putting surface...it's angling towards the flagstick...it's creeping up to the hole...it's in for a double-eagle!"...

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Louis Oosthuizen And His Caddy React To A Double-Eagle (Albatross) At The Second Hole On Sundays Masters Goldf Tournament

The shot propelled Oosthuizen to the top of the leader board and almost immediately, Mickelson made a triple bogey six on the fourth hole after an errant tee shot on the lengthy par three. Bubba Watson, who had been lurking amongst the leaders for the first three rounds appeared to be a non factor at this point...Standing on the fifth tee at 6 over par, he managed to birdie one of the hardest holes on the course and played solid golf through the 11th hole.  Unfortunately at miss hit on Augusta's 12 hole...a dynamic 3 par resulted in a bogey and Watson once again found himself down in the pack.

Watson, who has a unique view on everything, somehow found his game and reeled off four straight birdies to reach the clubhouse at 10 under par. Oosthuizen, after jumping to the lead with the double eagle on hole number 2, bogeyed holes four and ten but recovered nicely with crucial birdies on both incoming par fives and the pair moved back to the 18th tee for the sudden death playoff.

Both Watson and Oosthuizen missed makeable birdie putts on hole 18 and then went to the 10th tee which by now was lined with about 10,000 patrons - or so it seemed.  Both players, feeling the pressure hit poor tee shots.  Watson ended up deep in the right woods, while Oosthuizen hit trees too. Fortunately for Oosthuizen, his ball settled in rough, almost 220 yards from the putting surface but, with a clear shot.

Watson, on the other hand was seemingly going to have to "punch out" and attempt to make his par with a chip and a putt.  Golf is a funny game...just when you might think Oosthuizen was in the driver seat, he hit his approach poorly and could not find the putting surface. Watson then hit a dramatic, hooking nine iron which rocketed out of a clearing in the trees and arched onto the putting surface...12 feet from the hole!...advantage Watson.  After a valiant attempt by Oosthuizen to perform a chip and putt par he settled for a tap in bogey.  Watson, having to two putt, cozyied up his birdie attempt and made the short conversion to win the playoff and The Tooonament.  An incredible and inspirational win for all time in what was arguably one of the best Masters Toonaments ever...

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Bubba Watson, Wearing The Green Jacket, Masters Champ - 2012...

 

LOL - Originally Posted 03/27/12

A Catholic priest, an Indian doctor, a rich Chinese businessman and an Italian from New Jersey were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers in front of them.  

The Italian from New Jersey fumed, "What's with those jerks?  We're waiting fifteen minutes between shots!'  

The Indian doctor chimed in, 'I don't know, but I've never seen such poor golf!'  

The Chinese businessman called out, 'Move it, time is money!'  

The Catholic priest said, 'Here comes the greens keeper.  Let's have a word with him. Excuse me, sir!' said the priest, 'What's wrong with that group ahead of us?  They're rather slow, aren't they?'  

The greens keeper replied, 'Oh, yes.  That's a group of blind fire fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime.'  

The group fell silent for a moment.  

The Catholic priest said, 'That's so sad.  I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.'  

The Indian doctor said, 'Good idea.  I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's anything that he might be able to do for them.' 

The Chinese businessman replied, 'I think I'll donate $50,000 to the fire fighters union in honor of these brave souls!'  

The Italian from New Jersey said, 'Why the f*ck can't they play at night?

 

Tiger Woods Has Returned - Originally Posted 03/26/12

The Raptor sat at the kitchen table Sunday afternoon reading the newspaper and keeping ears open for Tiger Woods eventual march up the 18th fairway at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club.  As the day started the jury was out on whether Mr. Woods would take the 54 hole lead he had built to the house.  Perhaps the demons of old would surface or one of the pursuing batch of capable PGA pros would craft a impressive final round and leapfrog the field to victory.

Tiger Woods - In A Classic Pose!

As it turned out, Tiger played a steady if not overpowering round of golf on a course set up to the severest of conditioning.  Without digging too deeply, it should be noted that of all of the players finishing in the top 10...Tiger was one of two finishers who were able to play the course under par on Sunday. The others being Brian Davis and Ryan Moore.  Notables such as Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, and Ernie Els struggled on the wind swept, firm and fast putting surfaces and Tiger foil Phil Mickelson finished in a tie for 24th...13 strokes off the pace.

The Raptor has to look at this and wonder how the "Tiger Haters" (and there are many) are going to react...you may recall that Tiger won the Chevron Challenge last fall and The Haters pooh pooed the win as insignificant since it wasn't a full field event.

Now perhaps the Haters can say that since Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy were not present this past weekend, Tiger has once agin earned a hollow victory.  Oh Well!

It's now on to The Masters and you can dig deeper here at this site on The Golf Page to learn more.

On not of concern...towards the end of yesterdays event, Tournament Host, Arnold Plamer, suffered from some sort of heart problem and was not able to be present when Tiger made his triumphant walk up the 18th.  It is reported that Arnold is OK but everyone connected with his legacy must be shaken by this development...get well soon Arnie!

 

Breaking News! - Whispering Woods GC Under New Management - Originally Posted 02/27/12

It's not often that The Raptor is caught speechless...but today it happened.  As The Raptor was sitting at the desk...TCB...a call came in from none other than John Britton, owner of several local businesses including Whispering Woods Golf Club.

Mr. Britton had called to tell The Raptor that he has negotiated to pass on the management of Whispering Woods to current PGA Golf Professional and Director of Golf...Richard Rocky.  This is breaking news in the golf community of near epic proportions!  Needless to say, The Raptor tried to act professional and chat it up with John, but the thoughts were racing and after a brief conversation, we ended the chat.

Pictured Here Is The WWGC Proshop and Outdoor Cart Tent which also serves as the "Asphalt Bar & Grill"

 

I immediately sent a congratulatory text message to Rich and he contacted me shortly after to confirm the deal...Rocky will develop a management company and operate the facility in the same manner as the SMS Group operates Erie Golf Club. Rocky was bubbling with enthusiasm as he discussed his plans to open the golf club as soon as possible and he also mentioned his intention to have a "member's" meeting in the next few weeks to discuss the change.

While it is too early to evaluate how this development will shake out...it's bound to shake up a few people.  The Raptor is looking forward to promoting the golf club as much as possible so stay tuned for further developments.

Jamokes and Jugdish - Originally Posted 2/16/12 

The Raptor has been checking out on the classic film, "Animal House" lately and is continuously amused on how much of an influence it's scenes have had on our society.  During the second scene in the film, the hero's, Kent and Larry, met the gang at Delta House and begin their trip into a world of debauchery and deceit. 

Classic Animal House Heroes...Larry (Pinto) Kroger, John (Bluto) Blutarski and Kent (Flounder) Dorfman walking into the "Zoo Fraternity"

 

Kent and Larry had stopped earlier in the evening at the Omega House and had meet the films villains Doug Nedermeyer and Greg Marmalard.  During the course of their visit they had been viewed by the Omega crowd as a "wimp and a blimp" and subsequently introduced to other undesirables such as Mohammed (Arab), Jugdish (Hindu) , Sidney (Jew) and Clayton (Blind Man In Wheel Chair).  After the introductions, Nedermeyer gives the brush-off to Kent and Larry by stating in a straight face to "help yourself to some punch and cookies" Later on, Marmalard brings Kent BACK to the undesirables area and says "then you'll have lots to talk about"...roflol!

The Omega House Undesirables....Lonny (Larry) Kroger, Mohammed, Jugdish, Sydney and Clayton enjoying some punch and cookies...

This attitude of inferiority in the form of undesirable stereotypes like Jugdish and Clayton survives to this day and is an important part of our societal norms. Infuse some other derogatory terms such as "Jamoke"  which the Urban Dictioary describes as "a clumsy loser who is incapable of doing normal human tasks" and the reader gets an idea of the painful routine The Raptor goes through when trying to balance and engage the various personalities who are important to The Raptor's summer activities.

This air of superiority was in full display a couple of weeks ago when The Raptor organized an outing at The Lake Shore Country Club.  The weather has been especially mild as of late and it was the week of February 4th when The Raptor sensed he could sell a golf date with his large circle of acquaintances.  There were several roadblocks to a successful event.  For starters, the circle is multi-locational so the interested parties would include both Omegas and Deltas.

The Raptor sent out a general message to about 50 players in the circle regarding a match for Saturday February 4th at Lake Shore and received a respectable number of confirmations from the Deltas but none from the Omegas.  As it stood, The Raptor knew that the Omegas were interested in a match but the location and or players was a concern.  The rationale involves a "pecking order" of desirability when it comes to the playing of golf shots in this region.  And a visit to Lake Shore would necessitate having some Jamokes in the vicinity of the Omegas and it is common knowledge that Jamoke can rub off and attach itself to the unsuspecting Omega.  The Raptor sensed that discussion had ensued amongst the Omegas as to the desirability of a match at Lake Shore.

The Omegas are primarily housed at the exquisite LakeView County Club while The Deltas are housed at the inferior Whispering Woods Golf Club.  Unfortunately, Whispering Woods closes for winter and Lake View could be open but due to it's location up on the ridge south of I-90 it is mighty cold this time of year in addition to having soft turf conditions which preclude the use of golf carts...

Lake View County Club - Hole #10 - Gawd!...What A Hole!

 

Option number two for The Omegas would be to play at the lovely Lawrence Park Golf Club which generally has excellent turf conditions in the winter and is located much nearer to civilization.  As a result it would be more desirous than a visit to Lake Shore as The Shore has fallen on hard times and does not meet the expectations of the Omegas.

Lawrence Park Golf Club - Hole #1 - Short But Sweet...

By the time Friday afternoon had arrived The Raptor was sitting on a roster of roughly 10 players and elected to send out another query for the Omegas and as a result several Omegas called in and "kind of" confirmed a spot.  However, there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth since the concern by a couple of the uncommitted Omegas was the potential pairing with a "Jugdish".  This is what I mean by painful.  That somehow the Omegas among us are so focused that they can't afford a match with a Delta and would not commit to a match as result.  There was a real possibility that The Omegas would back off a visit to Lake Shore and instead meet at Lawrence Park..  To The Raptor, this is plain embarrassing

Lake Shore County Club - Hole # 17 - A Classic Four Par!

 

However, this all seemed to change once the Omegas had conversed amongst themselves and deemed a match at Lake Shore as acceptable.  So the Omegas were grouped together in order to avoid any exposure to a Jugdish.  What was The Raptor to do? Breath a sigh of relief?

This painful routine continued the following day when an Omega elected to come out to Lake Shore again but only agreed to do so provided he didn't have to play with any Jugdishes...geeze...talk about superficiality!  So this put The Raptor in a tricky position since there were no other Omegas on the roster, it was plainly apparent that some Deltas would be involved.  While the match went off with out a hitch, The Raptor was saddened and disturbed by these attitudes.

It does not make for a fun day when The Raptor has to be concerned with every little aspect of the process and it's starting to wear...why can't people just get along?  These incidents of histrionics make it extremely difficult for The Raptor to continue with this endeavor and as a result I believe it's time to move on.

 

Heads Up! It's Tee Time! - Originally Posted January 17th 2012

The Raptor was standing outside tonight at about 5:30 in the gathering darkness amazed at the balmy 50 degree temperature which had melted all the snow which had dumped on the region over the past weekend.  Unfortunately, the warm temps were coupled with copious amounts of rainfall, perhaps dumping over an inch of hard rain during the course of the day. This turned the back yard into a soft sea of grass/mud which our pet seems to enjoy tracking into the house...

These weather incidents certainly have everyone wondering if Spring will be early or late this year.  Early is good and we can hope that is the case.  There are a number of gathering developments to note...

First, the WWGC lost another prominent member as Dave Hewett has decided to join the LVCC for the 2012 season.  Dave had been longtime member at LV and joined WWGC during the tumultuous 2007 golf season.  During his time at WW, Dave played a solid game and regularly was in contention for the annual Club Championship...coming in second to Lucas Marsh last season.  

It is well documented that Dave is a serious player and as such spends a lot of time at the practice range. Since LVCC has completed a magnificent practice facility, Dave had elected to take his talents to North East...

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The New LVCC Short Game Practice Facility - Finally A Reality After Being Planned For Over Ten Years! - This Is A Game Changer...But A Pool Would Have Been So Much Nicer!

Special props are going out to Dave and his good buddy, Dave First who teamed up to win the EGDA Senior Better Ball this past season at the Lawrence Park Golf Club! As has been the case, a playoff was necessary to determine the winner and the Hewett/First team was able to prevail over the team of Ron Coleman and Rick Federici. 

Results Of 2011 EDGA Senior Better Ball - aka The Streeter Cup

No. Player Club Gross Net
GROSS         
1 Hewett, David O WW 66 66
  First, David GH    
2 Federici, Richard A. LP 66 64
  Coleman, Ron LV    
3 Paris, Bob LP 67 66
  McKibben, James KC    
4 Sherman, John LP 68 66
  Downey, Chris LP    
4 Fugate, Doug KC 68 67
  Tarbell, Ellery LV    
6 Keller, Jim EV 69 60
  Reichard, David DG    
6 Pepicello, Tony WW 69 64
  Raptor, The WW    
8 Carlotti, Rick LV 70 70
  Natalie, Lou WW    
9 Capotis, Homer LV 71 67
  Capotis, Mike LV    
10 Arrigo, Matt GH 72 66
  Cascioli, Terry NA    
10 Kowalewski, Dave DG 72 69
  Seus, Rick DG    

While at it, The Raptor would like to note that the team of Tony Pepicello/The Raptor finished tied for 6th in the same event!  Tony Pep played to a magnificent 3 under par 69 while The Raptor was no slouch either shooting a fine 83.  It should be noted that our net score of 64 earned sixth place honors as well...it was a job....done...

Picture Of Hewett

Dave Hewett - Gone From WWGC But Not Forgotten...

Dave joins a growing list of past WWGC members such as Rick Carlotti, Ron Coleman, Shawn Wallace, Nark Noce, Ray Kallner and Chad Bednarski who have joined other clubs for necessitous and compelling reasons.  Their absence is disappointing as The Raptor had noted last year since it gives the impression to many that WWGC is NOT a desirous locale.

There are a number of factors which can make or break an avid golfer and his "affiliation".  Price can be a factor. Course Conditioning is a major determination. And lets not forget amenities.  If you consider these three criteria alone, WWGC is lacking.

Consider that a single membership for 2012 is $2,100.00, if you put down a $500.00 deposit by 12/31/2011.  Missing the down payment bumps the fee to $2,300.00.  If you consider that a 2007 membership was $1,000.00 without carts, this $2,300.00 price tag will make it challenging for the zero-sum members among us.  Maybe this fee is a tad hefty when compared to such exquisite tracks as Elk Valley, Erie GC and Downing. But, when "real" clubs such as LVCC develop convoluted "buddy" schemes to entice players the ability to hold onto members is difficult.  

Course conditions? Let's face it WWGC is a dump/dog track...just ask RDD!  The turf care crew always gets a sluggish start to the season and then plugs the greens in May.  The holes usually heal sometime in early June, just as the really hot weather is coming.  So the players see outstanding conditions for about two weeks.  Then, hot humid conditions roll in for July and August which renders the fairways wet from irrigation while the greens become slow as molasses.

How bout amenities? Clubhouse?...not. Locker Room?...not. Pro Shop?...sigh. Equipment selection? Great if u like Titleist. Food groups? Hot Dogs and Pizza. Table service? Well... you get the picture...

So what gives? The place is awful right?...WRONG! WWGC is great! A serious player can play every day that ends in the letter "Y".  There is always someone looking for a game!  The staff is very forgiving and they only talk and snigger marginally behind the member's backs. If you think golf is a game meant for walkers...join a flat track like Downing...the Woods has the coolest holes in town!

WWGC_15_2010

WWGC - Hole 15...The Raptor's Ravine...choke on it Ray!

Amenities? Let's face it...the Asphalt Bar & Grill makes special events like The Prep Scramble and The Chili Cook Off what it is! And our couples scrambles are great fun too!

Rocky_And_Friends

PGA Pro Richard Rocky and WWGC Staff...Leah and Courtney...put it away Don!

So get ready gang! It's less than 75 days till April 1st! This should be great!

 

   

 

 

 

 

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