Here is a map of Saddleback Ridge in Solon, Iowa with the hazards marked and the best route through the course.
Category Archives: Golf
I was out there on Sunday with its 40 degree temps and steady strong wind. I was never comfortable, and I played horribly. But I managed to par the toughest hole. A par 5 straight into the wind. And I was playing from the back tees. It took three driver hits to make it and a chip and a putt. I hit a good drive and none of us made it to the fairway. That tells you something.
This last weekend I played a round of golf. It was chilly in the low 50’s but it wasn’t unpleasant. My mood goes way up after playing golf. I wonder if that was the last round of the year?
Brown Deer golf course is challenging. It is not like Saddleback in that it is unforgiving. You have to hit the ball straight off the tee. There are plenty of hazards. I had a couple blowup holes on the front. I was 20 ft from a birdie only to 4 putt. On the back I just didn’t play as well. I had trouble again with putts and I dubbed a couple chips.
Still broke 90. I had like 42 putts. But I was hitting most fairways and quite a few greens in regulation. I had quite a few looks at birdie. But I had no birdies.
If this is the last round of the year then I think it is going out on a high note. I think the high note of the year for me was playing in a best-shot in Mt Vernon. The low point was playing in 110 heat index in the Sasso Memorial in June.
It’s been three weeks since I lasted played and I am more than ready to play again. I’ve played Saddleback Ridge Golf Course exclusively this year. I get about 25 rounds in per year and about 75% are at Saddleback. Now the season or year is coming to an end and good weather is disappearing.
So what do I like about golf? I love being outside. I love the challenge of each shot. I enjoy making good shots. And, I like the company.
I really haven’t tired of Saddleback. It is a great course with an open layout. You can hit a wild shot and not be penalized.
Some people don’t think golf is a sport. I can tell you that if I just walked on the golf course and didn’t stretch and warm up, I will tear a muscle. And, I am amazed that at some point in the round my body memory of golf wakes up. I just have the feeling that I can hit a great shot.
I’ve played 60 holes in one day on several occasions. 18 holes is nothing. It takes me 6 to 9 holes to warm up.
Saddleback is a great course. It has excellent greens. It plays fast because there isn’t trouble and people don’t lose balls. Hence, they aren’t spending time looking for balls.
My group plays games to make it fun. There is the Worm (last person to 3 putt pays everyone else a dollar). There is bingo-bango-bongo (points for being longest in fairway, first on the green, closest to the whole, longest put–and the mystery) I am not sure I can explain the “mystery”. It is a point for bad play. All the scores on a hole are added together, multiplied by 7, and the 1st digit of the sum is cross referenced with a list of bad plays like shortest drive, most penalties, or farthest right off tee. It makes things interesting. There is also the Wolf (teams are chosen for each hole). Low ball, Low total with handicaps. And we play as teams of two. Handicaps are an interesting point. Before we determine the teams on the first tee, each player indicates what handicap is appropriate. I take the handicap of 9 which is my established handicap but some of the players take as many as 25. It can be a sore spot–just kidding. You want to have a high handicap to help your team and even out the competition. But it can get ridiculous.
Once that is settled the players flip coins to make the teams. And the game is determined. About the worse you can do is lose the Worm and maybe 5 dollars. Not real big stakes but enough to bring out the competitiveness in players.
So I thought I would talk about astrology. It fits into the whole mysticism topic. I think it represents folklore and it is a guide to personality but we aren’t tied to any outcome because of it. I read a great book on Saturn and it’s significance in astrology. It is suppose to be an indication of personality. The analogy is that of the store front. What is in the store front window and what is in the store when you go inside.
For example there are people that show off, brag, and have things that they show you they think makes them important and when you dig alittle deeper into their personality you find they are unhappy. That there is nothing in the store. They are a disappointment and you won’t come back. Then there are some people that have very little in the store front. They don’t show anything but when you get to know them they are great people. They may have so little in the store front you might not know that they are a store. And it can be a great surprise to go in and find plenty in the store. So in astrology the position of Saturn on the birth chart is suppose to indicate the personality and what is in the store front and what is in the store. I think it is a useful analogy.
You want to have something in your store front. Otherwise people won’t notice you at all. They will pass you by. You have to show you can interact with people. And when someone wants to come into the store and shop you need to have the shelves stocked.
I think this is true in all things. You balance your store front and the inventory. You don’t want to disappoint people by having everything loaded in the store front.
Let me digress…
As for the wordle above. I grabbed a definition of my sign in the Zodiak and made a wordle of it. Virgos are known to be picky, critical, and detailed oriented. I had a reading on my birth chart and was born as a double Virgo. For that reading, it was expected that I would become a teacher. I am. I was told I may not value things as much as I should. And I can be impractical. I certainly have that issue from time to time. But again, this is folklore talking and I don’t see it’s relevance beyond the wisdom of the ages that can be applied to anyone. Historically, Saturn was seen as a symbol of the “malefic”. But now it is considered as a predeterminer of personality in the birth chart.
Back to the store front. There are sad stories of people with so little showing but so much inside. People that are depressed or shy but that are hardworking and loyal. I see everyone with a store and a store front. Being more self-deterministic I just like the analogy and am not so convinced by the birth chart’s significance.
The way I meet people is in pick up games on the golf course. You never know who you will meet when you walk on and get paired with strangers. You can’t just play your game and say nothing. You have to make the effort to get to know them. You usually talk about work and family. Then you talk about anything. You complement good shots keeping in mind the level of skill of the golfer. So you have to size up the player. I’ve never had a bad experience with who I meet. In fact, that is how I meet most of my friends. I played with one quiet gentlemen and on the second hole he made a hole-in-one which is like winning the lottery. That was a long time ago. I’ve met talkers that are big personalities. They really like to talk. And sometimes they just talk so much you can’t concentrate on the game. They are actually boring.
But other times you strike up a conversation and that leads to a friendship, even an enduring one. Perhaps you get invited to tournaments or vice verse. Golf is a social sport. It can be a team sport. It has had an explosion of interest since the emergence of Tiger Woods. The only time I really don’t like golf is being paired up with golfers in singles tournaments that take themselves and their game so seriously. They have things in their store front, they are usually good players (a shiny object), but they don’t think they need to get to know you which is part of the game. So they are arrogant knobs.
Golf is so popular that I think I read that corporations are assigning employees to learn golf. If you want to learn more about golf I suggest reading the short but witty book by Harvey Penick. “The Little Red Book” and “The Little Green Book”. I subscribe to his methods of teaching golf and how and what he values about the game. The book seems to have little upfront but a wealth of interesting points about the game inside.
So this wordle is of my blog at this point. The word “Group” sticks out so I must be using that term frequently. The words “distance, rain, drought, feeders, one, and faculty” are next. So I will talk about being part of groups.
I belong to several groups. The work group is about 4 people in the same room with one another and 10 or so people that frequently visit the room. There is a group dynamic. Each of us are good at one or more different tasks. It all centers around distance education. One person specializes on technology hardware, another specializes on media development, another on trouble shooting courses, and finally another specializes in course development. But we can also do each others speciality.
Another group is quite different. A bunch of clowns that I play golf with each year. About 20 people that play weekly, or in tournaments, or in the annual Sasso Memorial. Actually you have to be able to play a fairly decent round of golf to be a part of the group. Nobody is a beginner. But handicaps vary from 3 to 25. And there is always a game to play for a quarter a point. Sometimes I win 5 dollars, sometimes I loose 5 dollars.
Another group is the satsang group. There are a few people that get together to talk about spirituality, though the discussion invariably turns to our love of animals. Occasionally there are trips to regional or national meetings and seminars. Many people in the group I’ve known for 20 years. It is somewhat akin to group therapy I guess.
So the next tier in the wordle includes the word “distance”. And I am very familiar with that term. Distance is what I do. As media developer for continuing education at the University of Iowa I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen highly successful classes and those that don’t even have the numbers of students to go online. I don’t think enrollment is a complete metric of success. A required course that goes online is going to be successful. Sometimes going online is the only alternative to having your program cancelled. Distance means tapping into the region and students that can’t travel to Iowa City to take a course. But ironically distance also means taking a course online even if you live in Iowa City. Distance gives students options for enrollment. But I was surprised how many distance students are actually in Iowa City.
Is distance a threat to F2F (face-to-face)? I don’t know. It doesn’t have to be. Distance really means staying current with technology and student expectations. Our aim is to make “distance” at least as good as F2F. There are two goals of distance. One is to provide students more options to graduate on time. The other is to provide students with a diversity of courses to chose from. The question is where is the money and where is the beef? The money is in compensation to faculty that run the distance courses. The beef is in the technology and strategies faculty use in the distance course.