Monday afternoon i participated in my first charity golf scramble event for the New Hope Grief Charity group. On of our business partners John Matlock is a board member and invited me to come out for a good cause (and to do a little networking). The event was held at the Recreation Park Golf Course in Long Beach, a course i’m quite familiar with.
This was the first time that i played in a scramble format which is a best ball format. Our team was comprised of myself, Matlock and two of his friends with a range of skills that worked out quite well in this format. I was a little nervous having to work as a team, but i’m glad my driving skills were turned on because i was crushing the ball, but my midrange game was lacking, and my close game was spotty. At the end of the day we ended up at a score of 4 under which was respectable but nowhere close to the 18 under winning score.
The day was definitely different because we started on the 5th hole, where we could challenge a pro to get closest to the pin to win a prize. The next hole was sponsored by Bubba Gump offering ceviche, a Benz dealership offering a car for a hole in one, a massage therapist on another, and beer on the 1st hole.
I don’t remember the last time i took a day off that didn’t involve some sort of trip. With Alice having her 6 month doctor visit, and Joy and I needing our yearly dental check up it was a good day to take off for both of us.
Joy was kind enough to let me miss this doctor’s visit so that i could get an early round of golf with cousin Pish at Dad Miller in Anaheim. It must have been at least 10 years since the last time i played there, and since then a few things changed. The biggest is that Tiger Woods bought the area where the range used to be to build a Tiger Woods Golf Academy, and they shortened the par 6 18th to a normal par 5.
Our tee time was at 6am which we thought would make us the first one out, but we were at least the 3rd group out. I hadn’t swung a club since last August and my game was pretty rusty. Ended up shooting a 110 mixing in a couple quadruples with a couple pars with lots of triples in between. It was still a fun morning and we got out of there before 10am.
There was much discussion this year about the 9th Annual COC Golf Tournament because i was spearheading the campaign to move it away from Palm Springs to the more temperate climate of San Diego. There was a moment where Brock made a convincing movement back to the desert but I decided that I can’t do the heat and i was happy we did head south. It was especially good since there were fires burning up the hills of Banning which would have made the air even worse.
Friday the other guys took off around noon, while i had to finish up work before heading out to San Diego after traffic died down. Of course they had to send me a photo telling me to hurry up. Once i arrived at the Hilton Gas Lamp District I had to play catch up before heading to the Gas Lamp District to do some bar hopping. It was a blur, and I don’t remember half of what we did, which leads to me not waking up in the best moods to play golf.
Saturday morning we heading to Carlsbad to the The Crossings at Carlsbad which is right next to Legoland and right under an airport. The day actually started off decent for me but once my hangover started to wear off I started to really go off the rails. The back nine plays much tighter than the front nine and all the nature preserve made the course play like a links course. The sand kept swallowing balls for everyone, and at the end of day 1 Brock led with a 99, Roland with a 103, me with a 106, and 107 for Brian.
Saturday night Roland and I had to pay up for our secondary bet for dinner since our combined score was higher than the other two. We ate dinner at Gang Kitchen for some Chinese food which was surprisingly decent. After we got in to Prohibition which is SD’s “speakeasy” which was nice because they controlled how busy it was inside and had a live band playing. The rest of the night i kept it easy on the drinking and made it home before 1am.
Sunday morning we checked out and drove back north up to San Clemente to Talega Golf Club for our final round. Being 7 shots back i just wanted to play in control, keep my nerves down and hope that Brock just starts to fall apart. Considering that he specifically got to bed at 4am i liked my chances. I slowly just played bogey golf, and went back to back with a few pars before the turn and ended up only 1 shot back. The back 9 didn’t start off so well and gave back a few strokes but luckily didn’t lose as many balls as the other guys.
On the 18th hole i sat 1 shot back from Brock with a Par 4, water surrounding the green. I nailed my drive down the middle but ended up on a down slope with 130 yards to the green. Brock hit an iron but ended up with a side lie next to a bunker, which he promptly hit his ball into the water. I then hit my approach the right distance but started to draw right into the water. We then both dropped and i hit onto the green as fast as i could before i could think about it, when then made Brock loose another ball into the water before knocking it closer to the hole than me . Too bad i ended up three putting from the back of the green, which Brock thinking that he won. Sadly i had to inform him that we were now tied. We took the Championship to the putting green, where i ended up missing a short putt giving Brock his first Victory. Needless to say he was quite happy.
Saturday i got back onto the golf course for the first time this year. It was my basketball friend CJ’s birthday and he gathered some people for a round of golf at Long Beach Recreational course. They day was perfect with little wind, and the course not that crowded. My swing is still all over the place, and a barely pulled off a 99 by shooting an eight on the 18th hole.
After the round we gathered with the rest of the friends at Echizen in Cypress for lots of Tuna, and Sake. He’s goes often enough where the owner/chef came out from behind the grill and started doing very large shots with him at the end of the dinner. Happy Birthday CJ.
Since Labor Day is on a Monday and Hospitals are never closed Joy had to go into work for the morning which meant i had some free time to go play a round of golf with some of my basketball teammates. We booked a 7am tee time at Whittier Narrows which is an interesting setup where its 3 different 9 holes which you can basically make your own 18 hole course. Due to the lack of consistant play i’ve developed a hook to my drive and is very inconsistant which i’m not very happy about, since it used to be the only thing i could rely on. Ended up shooting a 105 and make a couple pars and an actual birdie.
After Joy got off work we wanted to take advantage of the sun and headed out to Hermosa Beach and happened upon the Fiesta Hermosa which basically shut down all the streets around the pier. We happily walked around, checked out some of the booths, but skipped out on the food and walked up the hill and bought a bottle of wine and took it to eat at Frito Misto ($2 corkage per person). After a whole bottle of wine we needed to walk it off so we walked back down to the beach to touch the sand and get in our picture with the sun setting.
Once back home, i had my last Fantasy Football draft of the year. I’m in a total of 4 leagues with two that i’ve actually invested money into. After so much football research i’m really itching to put some bets in Vegas this weekend during this year’s LVI Basketball Tournament.
The 8th Annual COC Golf Tournament occurred this past weekend, back once again for another 36 holes of golf at the La Quinta Resort & Club. We avoided having to rush there Saturday morning by spending the night, which meant an extra night of hanging out and drinking which probably wasn’t the best idea for myself, but it did create some memorable non-golf moments for the weekend.
We booked a tee time at the Greg Norman course on Saturday morning and the Jack Nicklaus on Sunday. We were lucky enough to escape the 110+ degree weather from the previous weeks, but the temperature was still in the low triple digits. The two courses are on the same property, and are completely different in terms of features but share the uncanny ability to make balls to disappear. The Norman course has lots of desert with these bushes that will just eat balls, while the Nicklaus course has some unkept rough that will send your ball into the abyss even if you have an idea of where your ball should be. Shooting under 100 was basically out of the question if you couldn’t stay in the fairway but you only had to be one less than the other guys.
I wasn’t particularly great on Saturday after a night of drinking and the heat really started to get to me and by the end of the 9th hole i just wanted to go back to the hotel, head to the pool and just relax. Needless to say i was out of the running for the trophy by the end of day 1.
The prize for winning day 1 was getting your food and drinks paid for the night and Brock won that in a putt off with Roland since they tied for the day. Brock did his best to drink as much Grey Goose as possible and actually played pretty well the next day.
The day started off pretty well for Brock, but unfortunately he got caught in a bunker and carded a 10 and left any chance for his first championship on the table for anyone to take. I did my best to come back from starting the day 12 back, and i got four pars for the day, but it was just insurmountable. Roland and Brian traded strokes for the rest of the day, and going into the 36th hole Roland took a two stroke lead and used the extra strokes to take home the trophy for the second time in eight years. Once again Brock went home to a disappointed wife.
The one thing i like about foursquare that it’ll notify you when you haven’t been to a certain place for a long period of time so it was interesting to see that its been a year since the last time i played at Riverview in Santa Ana. CJ my basketball teammate is an avid golfer and we’ve been trying for a few weekends now to meet up for a round and finally got together this weekend.
Along with our other teammate Steve we went out on course for a 9:15 tee time with gray skies, but thankfully not much wind. I started off the day well with a couple bogeys and pars but carded a 10 on a par four. At the turn i grabbed a hotdog and beer, and after the 10th hole i accidentally bought two more beers (i really only wanted one more). By the 16th hole i was feeling the beers and my peripheral visions started shrinking. Depending on how i scored the 18th hole i either got a 99 or 101. I still think it was a good day as my drives and putts were true, but my iron game was suspect.
The 7th annual Classic Cerritos Gold Tournament was changed a bit this year to become a two day event for 36 holes of golf, with a day of skins, and another of team play, with the total score of both days to win the trophy.
Our tournament this year was being held at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Desert. We got a pretty good deal for the four of us where we ended up paying about $116 each for two days of golf and a Hotel Villa Room. Considering that we normally have to pay somewhere around $40-50 just for one round of golf this seemed like a good deal.
We’ve been pretty loose with the the actual rules of golf when we play because sometimes the game itself is hard enough like lost balls and penalty strokes. Now that everyone is at the same skill level we started counting lost balls and water balls just a the stroke as they were, and also allowing for 1 mulligan per round.
The first day we played the Greg Norman Course at PGA West and got out on the course at around 2pm when the sun was at its hottest registering about 110°. It personally took me too much time to get acclimated to the temperature this time around and i was never really in it for the entire round. I only won three skins, and was no where close to winning the closest to the pin or longest drive for the day. By the end of of it I was down 6 strokes to Brian and i was basically out of it.
Day two game day tooke place at the Pete Dye Dunes Golf Course we got at 10am when it was still under triple digits outside. This day I teamed up with Brian, while Brock and Roland teamed up for a total score team event. The good thing about having games within the games is that even though i felt out of it for the trophy i still wanted to play it out to win the team event. By the first nine Brian and I had the team event in the bag, and somehow by the 18th hole i was tied for the league. I wasn’t playing any better from the day before but everyone else just wasn’t playing as well as the day before. At the tee box of the 18th it was a par 4 with water in play to the right but wasn’t a concern for me. My first shot went way left so i used my mulligan to go again which everyone thought was a great play. For my next shot, i hit the ball about a total of six inches. No one could believe what happened, and i couldn’t either. I took my 5 wood, popped it down the fairway where i stepped up and promptly shanked it into the water at 90° angle. I carded a nine for the hole and lost by four strokes.
At least i ended up winning the team event and won a chipper which i traded to brock for his golf travel shoe bag which i really needed. While Brock took the chipper as prize for the long drive challenge, Roland took away the most money for winning 9 skins, while Brian got a Swiss Army Golf Tool for the closest drive and the all important Trophy.
Saturday night we had to take an $80 taxi ride into downtown Palm Springs to find actual people and food and drinks for the night. We ended up at Village Pub where we had plenty opportunity for some people watching while having a few drinks. The place was a trip because i didn’t know how many people come here to hang out, and it was such a weird mix of bachelorette parties (like 6), guidos, old people with medical enhancements, and the gays. The place was crazy with a live band in one place, a dj playing hip-hop up stairs and an outdoor area that had all the oldies hanging out. The guys got their drink on and each enjoyed being away from family for a night and not having to deal with three kids each, besides Roland and I. When we got back to the room i passed out while everyone else went to the pool at midnight and enjoyed the night.
Joy has lots of studying to do for her licensing exam, so Sunday morning i had some free time to do what i wanted. I made plans to play my first round of golf of the year with Brock at River View in Santa Ana. We started our round at 7am, and made quick work of the ever changing course. The long game was great, and while getting to the greens came pretty easy, getting it in the hole from there was the issue. It wasn’t that i was leaving them short, they just weren’t falling in. I ended up going 20 over par for the round, stopped concentrating at 16th because i had the match in the bag already.
I think i play much better between long layoffs because i get out of my head and keep my swing much more simple. I probably wont play again until this summer’s tournament, but its great taunting the guys with pictures of the trophy.
The 7th annual CoC golf tournament was held this weekend at Indian Wells Celebrity golf course in Palm Springs. The tournament got off to a late start due to some bad directions and so we ended up starting an hour later and had to endure a few extra degrees of heat as the round went through the afternoon which hit triple digits. It was close throughout with no one having more than a 2 shot lead through out the round, although in the end it shouldn’t have been so close. I some how went into the 18th hole with a one shot lead over Roland and a two shot lead over Brian. With Roland going for the gold he popped his second, and thrid shot into the water and left be some breathing room, until i popped my third shot into the water. I ended up going into a putt off with Brian and came away with a victory.
The prize was a new 2 foot trophy that we’ll be passing from year to year, and a ice water bath by both Brock and Roland. I wasn’t really happy with my 97, and my complete failing at my first ever putt for eagle on a 240 yard par 4, but a win is a win and a trophy is trophy. Its my first new decoration to my new office.
The course played a little short, with only 2 par 5’s and 2 par 3’s. Playing from the white tees most greens were reachable without a long iron, but the holes varied enough with bunkers, water hazards and other elevation changes to keep in interesting.
As the original plan for our trip up to SF was for Joy to run the SF Marathon, i took the opportunity to play a round of golf with my favorite uncle. He promptly picked me up at my sister’s house at 10am and got to Hiddenbrooke in Vallejo with plenty of time to hit hit some balls at the range and grab a snack. The course was challenging yet fun, with lots of varying terrain and elevation changes. My uncle’s game is very consistent with drives that hit the fairway, and a good recovery skills around the green. He was beating me by two strokes after the front nine, but i was able to make up the difference and take the lead on the final two holes with a par and birdie to finish off the day recording a 92. I hit one drive some 275 yards with the help of the slope and had only one three putt so i was pretty happy with how my game is progressing leading up to the COC Golf Tournament happening next month.
As for my time in SF I got to eat a nice Italian restaurant, Peruvian, dim sum, and some candied ginger ice cream. Joy did a good job with her half marathon finishing under 2.5 hours.
With Joy having to do wedding stuff with her girl friends, i got a few guys together for an early round of golf at Birchhills in Brea. Jimmy, Brock, Brian and I got 18 holes on an executive length course in before 11am. I started off the round pretty well with a few pars in a row, but once my body woke up and realized what it was doing it was pretty down hill from there. I sandwiched a bunch of bogeys and doubles between a few pars so i don’t know really how i felt my game played, but the course had some long par 3s that just didn’t play to my strengths.
It was a good time with the boys, and i’m sure they appreciated the free time away from their kids. It also gave us a chance to discuss this year’s tournament and figure where and what we should do. Now where do we get a three foot trophy that we can put consecutive name plates on for all the years that we’ll play.