Friday, April 26, 2024

Boast Not Thyself Of Tomorrow...

...for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
     -Proverbs 27:1  

Ain't it the truth...definitely did not know what that day had in store for us.

That's our 2005 Chevy Colorado on the left after a 20-something kid t-boned us as we were driving through an intersection with the green light.

Thankfully God's angels were on duty and no one hurt, just thousands of $$'s of damage done to both vehicles.

Almost felt bad for him when he was ticketed - anyone can make a mistake and I've made plenty - but his was an expensive lapse in judgment.

I guess, as the old saying goes, "I shoulda stood in bed".

We soldier on.

It's a shame I didn't read Vardon's book...

...when I was just getting started with hickory golf.

It's a mistake to carry a modern golf mindset with you as you venture back to the hickory era, and it's one I've perpetuated for the past 7 years.

Could have saved a lot of wasted time and effort, and avoided at least some incompetence on the links - or "foozling", as Vardon calls it - had I simply begun by reading "The Gist Of Golf".

It's such a great, practical how-to manual, providing clear instruction on every essential, from the grip to the stance to the swing to the purpose of each club and finally to the strategy of how and when to play those clubs.

I had no idea my stance was off, nor any concept I was misusing my mashie and niblick - both of which are considered specialty clubs for specific circumstances.

Vardon's strategy for each shot is "play within the club".

E.g., you're 140 yards from the pin, and if you hit all of your mashie just right, you can make it.

What do you do?

Leave the mashie in your bag and hit a normal mid iron instead.

If you play within your clubs, you'll have far fewer flubbed shots and thus a better round.

That also means knowing the range of each club.

Today, golfers carry 14 clubs so they can have a 10 yard spread between each one.

In the hickory era they carried 6 to 8 clubs, each used within a range that varied based on how you hit it: easy, normal, hard.

Knowing your club range will make those "swing hard with my mid iron or normal with my cleek?" decisions a snap.

He also includes pictures of each swing highlighting stance and form...

...and throws in interesting personal anecdotes along the way, all in 175 very readable pages.

If you're interested in hickory golf - and let’s face it, who isn’t? - you should read this book.

And speaking of... was another glorious day on the links, in spite of my inconsistent play.

Though I'm learning useful pointers about this game - things I should have known when starting out - I'm not at the "monkey see, monkey do" stage yet.

Even so, I did manage to put together 3 complete holes, from tee to green - 1, 8 and 9 - where I was on the green in regulation with a chance to putt for birdie, and happily "settle" for par.

my birdie putt on the par 5 #8...

The other 6 other holes were a frustrating mix of good shot/bad shot, especially from the tees.

Always disappointing to start off badly, and even if my 2nd shot goes well, I tend to think of the hole as a loss.

...and my tap in for par.

On #6 for example, I hit a serious fade from the tee -

bad dog!  bad!

- but my 2nd shot (mid iron) landed just a few feet off the green.

Took me 3 strokes to get down for a bogey, which in my world is actually pretty darn good.

In my head, however, my lousy tee shot ruined it and that hole was "bad".

birdie putt on #9...2 putt for par to end my round

Yet another issue for the therapist to hay through, but it was nice to finish with back to back pars; salvaged the round, at least in part.

It's obvious I still have plenty of work to do, but am making some early season progress.

Hoping this is the year I'll finally put together that elusive "complete" round.

As Alexander Pope opined back in 1733 in his "An Essay On Man", "hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blest."

Just wait 'til next week!

Ok, everyone who loves what's happening in this country...

...please take one step back.

Now that we're by that little bit of unpleasantness, let's 23 Skidoo.

don't ask questions, just say yes

decisions, decisions

they never clean up their mess


guess who's back at his cottage?  lucky dawg!

some kodak starflash pics:  magnolia in bloom

Loki at rest

spring shadow play

That's gonna do it for us at the AMC.  All this excellence is exhausting... please, last one out turn off the lights.

later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, April 20, 2024


...but oh so true. 

I miss the America of my youth.

When I was a kid, we recited the <Pledge Of Allegiance> before the school day began.

We were taught <The Golden Rule> as the foundation for proper relationships in life.

We were raised on principles of faith, family, hard work and helping others in need.

We believed America was…

...a place of opportunity to which people all over the world flocked for a better life.

It wasn't perfect by a longshot - Civil Rights were hard won in a bloody grind, vehemently opposed by powerful democrats.


You shouldn't be.

Brush up on your history and research the 1956 <Southern Manifesto>.

The "I feel your pain" party stood in violent opposition to the Civil Rights movement.

Democrats from both the Senate and the House declared their commitment to "segregation forever", pointlessly delaying cultural change - that was already too slow in coming - for years.

Governor George Wallace, democrat, standing in front of the University of Alabama in 1963, vowing "segregation now, segregation forever"

In spite of these obstacles we believed progress was possible, that we could overcome ignorance and hatred, and by so doing create a better future for everyone.

The zeitgeist, the prevailing "spirit of the age" was hopeful, optimistic, happy.


Because we believed America at its core was exactly what President Lincoln said it was...

Far, sad cry from today's dystopian society.

In much lighter fare...

...I once again gathered up the tools of my ignorance and ventured forth to do battle on the links.

Since my gutty playset is still woefully incomplete, I decided to use my 1920's era hickories and Calloway Supersoft golf balls.

And I did so after gleaning a few pointers from the great Harry Vardon's book...

...originally published in 1922 when Vardon was in his 50's.

This is a delightful read, presented with an understated British flair, and covering each club Vardon considered worthwhile: driver / brassie, cleek, mid iron, mashie, niblick, putter.

That's it; when he was in his prime, winning 6 British Opens and scores of other tournaments, he only used 7 or 8 clubs.  (He carried 10 or 11; 3 extras, in case a hickory shaft broke during his round.)

I'm no threat to win anything, but my playset today wasn't too far off his standard: no driver or cleek, but I did carry a brassie, mid iron, mashie, niblick and putter.

And I definitely picked up pointers from his book.

One about stance - his was much more open than mine has been - and another especially useful tip about the proper use of the mashie.

That last proved instantly useful...

on in 3, 1 putt for par the 2 pars I managed today were due to what I learned about the mashie.


That's not to say my golf game has been cured; I'm still quite capable of producing an ugly slice.

I know how to correct it at the driving range - it's almost always failing to roll my wrists over - so I take the next 2 or 3 balls and swing until I get it right.

But it's different on the course, isn't it?

A slice from the tee or fairway is a wasted stroke, and occasionally a lost ball, which hammers that hole.

And if I don't mentally shake it off, or worse, rinse and repeat the next hole - well, there goes another round of golf.

Vardon called that “foozling”: any general incompetence on the links that results in pointless strokes.

Pretty sure that doleful breeze is the collective sighs of foozlers everywhere as they nod their heads in gloomy agreement.

Even so, today's bright sunshine and crisp temperatures helped make this outing exactly what I always hope for:

A little solitude, a little exercise and a delightful stroll through the countryside.

Opened Ryan's Course this past week...

planning to resurface the 2nd hole next weekend

...but have only walked it once so far...waiting for the gale force winds of April to subside - 15 out of 21 days have had winds gusting 25 mph or higher - as they tend to wreak havoc on wiffle golf balls.

You've suffered through enough hickory golf, yes?

Let's 23 Skidoo..

magnolia tree bloomed early this year and is already shedding its blossoms...

...same tree in May a few years ago

early spring

don't even think about taking Loki's ball

this mourning dove showed up recently...

...apparently looking for a cigar

As you storm the exits, fleeing the AMC version of a living heck, a theological question for you:

Ever wonder who Jesus really is?

According to the Bible...

...He's God.

Don't let anyone tell you different.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books on

Get your paperback books here:

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