Sunday, August 31, 2008

Catching Up and Philosophizing

First the good stuff:

Number one daughter is now a University Student. She seems very happy, will actually start studies on Tuesday. Leaving her and coming back home and knowing she's not coming home much any more is pretty surreal.

VEV, Do your best and be smart, which I know you will. I am very proud of you and the person that you have become under the circumstances we've had thrust upon us, I'm really in admiration of you. You are one fine little (5 pound 2 oz.) girl. You, who will likely never read your Father's website or blog :-) - I can get away with gushing over you.

Also, Mrs. r, the next time out after her ACE - left it less than 3 inches short on-line at #13 her next time out.

The $ is closing in on the ₤ ! Now nearing the $1.80 exchange rate, a full 10% discount from recently. Maybe a trip to London is in the near future?

The Bad:

Best possible wishes to my administrative superior, I hope it goes well for him from now on. His son E introduced the two if us and it led to this current chapter of my life. P.P. and Phil S. (my mentor in my former career) in the same year is a lot to think about.

The Ugly - Competition:

Game plan worked for 12 holes at the USGA Senior Amateur Qualifier (then the morning caught up with me.) Damn! Anyway, it took one under par to qualify as the GAP is a tough qualifier and Kudos to Tom Bartolacci who shot a nify 66 just in the group ahead of me to qualify for two consecutive years.

I played with a fellow from Alabama and he blew up very early - bad for him, good for me - to hold concentration and I held it together whilst that unfortunate-ness was going on. It gives me hope. Next up is for the final tune-up (Labor Day Couples) before the GAP Senior Amateur. Trying to hold it all together, fighting the foibles is great mentally reasonably fun, but I've reached a point where my back does not allow building exercise tolerance so it's a mental thing to concentrate and try less hard not to let things get in the way.

Golf is indeed 95% mental after a while. You really don't need near as much physical capacity as you might think. What did Trevino say? "Golf is 50% physical and 90% mental", at least I think that's what he said.

Nothing like friends getting together. Visiting Northern California for an educational experience, a get-together worked out perfectly for dinner in Carmel,CA.

Here's the photo from that earlier time in the year which I found looking for something else. Nothing like serendipity.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good News

Lehigh Country Club Number Sixteen

Yesterday, 20 August, 2008, Mrs. redanman scored her first ACE less than one week after watching Oliver hole out on number 15 as documented below, August 17, 2008. I was not there because even a kilt would not have allowed me to play the Lehigh Women's Invitational during which she scored the perfect shot.

She has been waiting, very impatiently I might add, ever since hitting a near miss at Black Diamond Ranch Quarry #13 and then watching Stephanie Vater step up and hit the exact same shot save for holing rather than a near-miss. Madame of redan was steaming and had for a few months after!

Yesterday a seven iron did the trick and Renee did indeed exhibit a bit of relief as well as such excitement that she thinks she forgot to repair the ball mark. Prior to executing the shot as the team was not at tippy top form she was heard to exclaim "Since we're not doing all that well, maybe I'll just hole in one so we can start drinking early" it is told.

HAH! true story.

Congratulations Renee.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Global Message

Global Warming
Climate Change
Human-Induced Climate change

Bottom line:

We don't need to be scared into doing what's right because of some trumped-up, unprovable concept that just isn't true we need to do the right tings because they are the right thing to do.

Use less energy: Turn off lights
Use better cars that are more efficient and not inefficient trade Peter for Paul types such as Hybrids.
Re-cycle products
Ban Styrofoam
... ... ... finish the list for yourself.

These are good things to do, but we won't save the planet becasue we do, that's just Bullshit.

OH! - and one more thing:
Nuclear Power is good for you.

Look for something else here later, I'm jsut bookmarking the spot chronologically right now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bobby Jones Scholars and Lehigh

Shot of the day at fifteen

St. Andrews University and Emory University of Atlanta have a granted program by which four (and soon to be five) scholars from each university earn the right after commencement to spend an exchange year at the corresponding University in Bobby Jones' honour. Part of the year for the U.K. side is an opportunity to travel the united states and some choose to follow Bobby Jones path in major championship golf.

Bobby Jones, arguably the greatest golfer who ever lived (On the short list with Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Byron Nelson for their amount of time and degree of dominance at the top and the current top injured golfer one Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. A great debate can ensue about a singular best, and a strong case can be made for each. Mr. Jones and Mr. Nelson have the distinction of leaving at the height of their powers, Mr Hogan certainly overcame the most to utterly dominate in his latter years and we are yet to see whether the meteoric rise of E.T. Woods will continue after his arguably self-induced knee problems have halted his quest of surpassing JWN's major championship mark(s).

In the process of following Bobby Jones footsteps, the path inevitably leads to Merion's sublime East Course site of his USGA Amateur triumph of 1929 to complete the "Impregnable Quadrilateral" - precursor to todat's still unobtained professional grand slam. (Some will argue that E.T. Woods has accomplished said slam, but since not in a calendar year it is so dubbed "The Tiger Slam". Padraig Harrington is now halfway to the "Paddy Slam").

Jack William Nicklaus caught and surpassed Bob Jones record major total, never accomplished the calendar grand slam but holds the career grand slam thrice and two USGA Amateur trophies for an astonishing 18 or 20 major championships depending on how one tallies the total. Remember that Bob Jones did what he did in his spare time as an amateur. Yet another reason that the "best" is so debatable!

One of last year's scholars and one of the the previous years scholar are now on the path at Merion's doorstep with a tee time today. Yesterday James and Oliver were at Lehigh CC as had been Gordon (aka the London golfer) earlier in the season. From June's Blog archives. Wonderful young gentlemen I am a better man for having met them and the lovely Stephanie.

Mrs. redanman played in the fourball but Stephanie did not. We had a near perfect day and here are a few photos.

The cleanup of seven continues to evolve:

Hole Seven v 2.03.05

Hole Seven v 3.01.01.

Hole Seven v 3.02.01

The sweep of seven from the bridge - reminiscent of the twelfth at Merion East

Documentation process

Oliver and James at seven

I'll try to get some of the photos from Merion .......

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Golf is not a warm weather sport

Responding to Geoff at his website and musing on my own:

Fair? Bill Fields is a moron, first off. Well, maybe not one might say - maybe golf has lost its roots, lost SIGHT of its roots at the elite or professional level. Golf was never meant to be fair (I know you've heard it before).

Several problems provide a conundrum as regards Oakland Hills and score-(s)/(ing).

When the field was so tightly bunched as it was after 36 holes it connotes a BAD SETUP. Excellence is not rewarded. Multilple ways to plod are devised, everyone loses.

What was most wrong with the setup?

Narrow fairways with "rough bunkers" and greens that demand angular appraoaches (hereby eliminated by NF + RB) that are unavailable? Perhaps Rees just did what he was asked.

Four inch vertical rough three feet from greens edge? Rock hard greens that don't receive anything but a spun wedge or very short iron?

Greens tucked on shallow shelves with said rough a mere meter away? (anyone who did not download the .pdf daily of pin placements really miissed out on watching TV)

The unintended consequence of "Game improvement clubs" which help the most skilled players the most?

Game transforming Driver-Ball combinations.

Protecting sacrosanct par?

It was a proverbial perfect storm with protection of par as the final determinant and simultaneously trying to maintain fairness. At least the best player in the field did win. Harrington winning on the two disparate setups that were the Open Championship and PGA Championship of 2008 makes him the player of the year for 2008.

Asking for avoidance of low scores, variety of play, strategic golf and accommodation of weather changes with today's equipment is too much. At least it was the most interesting PGA Chumpionship in years - thanks to Oakland Hills greens.

As my pal Martin in Scotland has always wondered as he stays up later and later in Scotland to watch American Tournamnets delayed by bad weather - why do they hold these tournaments in thee weather conditions (Thunder/lightning/ Sturm & Drang)?

Perhaps merely the answer is that Golf was never meant to be a warm weather or certanly not a HOT weather game. Changing conditions with such forced course conditions never work and that was proven again. Oakland HIlls remains a fascinating golf course, but not under major course setup -In America.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Congratulations Padraig

Certainly no asterisk needed. 32 on the second nine, a true champion golfer of the year!

Also, a late finish provided more golf viewing than usual. Sadly for the bomber J.B. Holmes, it was 7 and out at the first and then a three man drama to the end.

The redanman is a fan of all three Sergio Garcia, even with his whining - after all aren't Latin men supposed to be sensitive? His powerful arc and lag gets waylaid by his (less than before) suspect putting stroke because in the end the birdie putt on 17 probably was the clincher for his day. Ben Curtis is a player I admire more for his demeanor than perhaps anything else, almost validated his Open Championship, but in the end just a little nerves at the turn made the difference for him.

Padraig has emerged as the number one player now playing golf actively - defending the Open and winning three of six consecutive majors. With Tiger's expected return to major form perhaps being 18 or more months it should be a wonderful 2009 in Men's Major golf.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday at Oakland Hills

The overnight rains have softened the course just enough to keep balls in the fairway. We'll see as the day goes on how the course plays for all, but it certainly helped the players finishing on Sunday morning or playing all of round three on Sunday.

It will be curious to see what happens with three balls off each nine to try to avoid the weather. A broadcasting coup for TNT and not what sagging CBS wanted - probably an early finish.

Oakland Hills for the average player without excessive green speeds and thick rough remains for the club player a reasonable albeit hard test of golf that is enjoyable if one likes challenging greens, if you don't it's not for you. One tip for the player who someday gets to play Oakland Hills South, keep the approach below the pin position.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

PGA Oakland Hills

Great Course. Great Greens. Set Up?

All wrong.

What's wrong?

I don't even mind the bunkering for the professionals, it's just what the pro game has evolved into. It is the rough as long, thick and homogeneous as it is just off very severe, very firm very fast greens that I mind. The bunching of the scores shows this to be true, when a major has so many players bunched if is because the set-up is wrong.

It is not a good idea to homogenize the rough such that the rub of the green is eliminated for all practical purposes. Golf was not meant to be fair, see what happens?

Some of these photos are tweaked a bit unnaturally to show the contours of greens and to enhance their visibility as much as is practical.

first tee

back of second green

par 3 third

two views of 8

two views of eight green

par 3 ninth and clubhouse

four of hole eleven, most interesting land and perhaps best, surely quirkiest hole

green of hole 12 from 13 tee

thirteen from tee

thirteen from behind

low-lying fourteen

from fifteen tee

back right of fifteen green - a tight pin typical of PGA setup

sixteen green


eighteen from tee