Wednesday, October 6, 2021

A Gloomy Day...

...when I played The Links at Rolling Meadows, an "executive" par 3 course.

This is an intimidating little course with narrow fairways, water hazards and sand traps on every hole, placing a premium on proper club selection and hitting good shots...if you hook or slice, over/under shoot, you're in trouble.

Plus it's in the middle of a condo complex, so you're definitely "on stage" when teeing off on a few of the holes.

Nerves, anyone?

Even so it was an enjoyable round, just about the perfect distance for my hickories.

Most holes are around 150 yards, a few in the 100 to 130 range.

That means I'm teeing off with my mid iron most of the time and my mashie for the rest.

Struggled a bit on the first 3 holes as I was near but not on the greens with my tee shots.

I then proceeded to botch short chips on each hole, and consequently considered throwing either my niblick or myself into one of the ubiquitous bodies of water.

Arriving at the 4th tee, I  a) let a young buck racing around the course on a golf cart play through, then  b) took a deep breath and pressed the reset button.

After a pause that refreshed...

no, I did not have a Coke...I just like retro ads like this one from 1929

...I managed to settle down and scattered 3 bogeys and 3 pars over the last 6 holes.

The most challenging hole for me was number 8...only 150 yards but it's fronted by water, so if you're short you're going to splash.

Thankfully I hit all of my mid iron and held the green.

A 2 putt netted a par, then repeated that trick on 9.

Along the way I bumped into some friendly folks who wanted to chat about my hickories, and I asked about life there at the condos.

It's a retirement community and Karen and I aren't quite there yet, but it's definitely an option we'll keep in mind for a few years hence.

And since it wasn't busy today, it only took me 45 minutes to walk 9...a delightful way to spend three quarters of an hour.

Gotta love hickory golf.

So...will I play this course again?

Well, if I thought I could do that I probably would, because it's certain if I go back I'll not only drop a few in the drink, but will also have to hit out of sand traps now and then.

This is one of those courses where losing a couple of balls per round and piling on the stroke count seems like a real possibility.

On the other hand, the course where I usually play has now officially closed for the year, so we'll see.

Desperate men, don'cha know...

Hard to believe we're already through the 1st week of October...have you started on your "October Movies" list yet?

I'm definitely not into cut and slash / demonic crap, so garbage like The Exorcist, Halloween, Scream, et al...they're out.

But classics are in so we'll cue up Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire, Something Wicked This Way Comes, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Ghostbusters (original version), to name a few.

We also like movies that capture the colors and mood of autumn, unrelated to Halloween, so Friday Night Lights, Dead Poets Society, Rushmore, Hoosiers and a new favorite, October Sky are also on the list.

This is an autobiographical flick about Homer Hickam who grew up in a West Virginia coal mining town, and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal as high school senior Homer, the great Chris Cooper as his father...

...and Laura Dern as a dedicated teacher who encourages her students to dream big and escape the drudgery of life underground in the coal mines.

The key historical event and epicenter of the movie is the Soviet launch of the first man made satellite, Sputnik, on October 4th, 1957.

It's impossible to overstate the significance of that event, not only as a scientific achievement for mankind, but also as a sucker punch to the collective American psyche.

We were suddenly and forcefully reminded our biggest enemy was leading us in the "space race", a lead they would maintain for much of the next 10 years.

(It wasn't until our Apollo program that we finally caught up and then surpassed the Soviets when we became the first nation to land a man on the moon in July of 1969.)

This realization had a huge impact on almost every aspect of our culture.

Indeed, much of mid century modern decor was indelibly marked by this... space age and atomic design elements became ubiquitous almost overnight.

And for our group of high school heroes... literally changed their lives and altered their destinies.

This is truly a remarkable movie with outstanding acting from every principal character, totally convincing in every detail.

It's also one of the few "high school" movies where the actors playing the students actually appear to be in high school, not 20 somethings pretending to be 10 years younger.

And rather than delving into extracurricular fluff - racing hot cars, bedding conquests, fretting over clothing styles and popularity contests - it centers on the idea of education as a pathway to freedom of choice in their lives ahead.

Do yourself a favor and watch this movie.

Not only will you be entertained by fine acting and educated on a key point in history, you'll also be uplifted... a pervading sense of dedication to a worthy goal and the realization that hard work and commitment are the keys to success.

As we get out the cattle prod...

...and urge you into a brisk trot toward the exit, feel free to steal a glance or two at the parting shots...

teeing off the 9th hole on the Ryan P. Hare Memorial Hickory / Wiffle Golf Course

thank you, Nascar

don't even think about it

friendly welcome from a local retailer

and one from a friendly homeowner

showers on a sunny day

the ol' homestead in early autumn

mr. groundhog clearing the area before making a break for the bird feeder

another late season hold out

the tree creature from the arboreal nether regions makes his triumphant return

Ok, that's it...that's all I've got, so...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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