Monday, March 22, 2010

What I learned yesterday.

So, yesterday, my friend Andy and I went out to Shoreline Golf Course to play the first round of 18 for the season.  It was the perfect day for golf -- sunny, breezy, and 60 degrees.

Last week I had put together a set of clubs from Golfsmith components.  His old irons were circa 1980 Wilsons which are not the most forgiving clubs ever made.  I threw together a set of XPC V9 irons, an XPC V9 hybrid, and an XPC V9 driver.  It turned out to be a great set of clubs, and only cost $200 for the entire set.

The front nine was quite uneventful.  I banged out a 46 and Andy shot a 53, but a 10 on the par-5 final hole made the score much higher than it should have been.  He was loving the irons and hybrid, but wasn't making good contact with the driver.  He couldn't get any lift on his tee shots and when he did catch a hold of one, it was snap hooking.  Odd, but not surprising since he'd never carried a driver in his bag.

On the 10th hole, a 470 yard par-5, I crushed a 300-yard drive with my new driver.  I had about 170 yards to the green, so I smoked a 7-iron to 15 feet.  I sank the putt (my one and only one-putt of the day) for my first eagle of the year.

We carried on and then got to the signature hole of Shoreline, a dogleg-left par 4 with water hugging the left hand side of the fairway (similar to the 18th at Pebble Beach, but without the $200 price tag).  As we were waiting for the threesome in front of us to clear the fairway, Andy pulled out a junk ball and aimed toward the lake.  Using his driver, he topped his ball into the lake.  I asked if I could give the club a swing, as I hadn't swung it yet.

I teed up the ball on the tee box, about 15 feet from the edge of the lake, reared back and gave a mighty swing.  The contact felt great, but the follow through was odd.  As I followed the flight of the ball, I noticed a large object following the path of the ball.

Sure enough, the glue used to keep the head attached to the shaft had loosened, and my friend's brand new club head was laying 30-yards deep in Carter Lake.  (If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all).  I stood there in disbelief.

So lesson number one:  Don't aim a golf shot into a lake without a large buffer of ground between me and the lake (to allow for easy collection of a club head should the glue fail its job).

So there the club bobbed in the water, the murky, polluted waters of Carter Lake, laughing at me and my failure as a club builder.  As there wasn't much chance that either of us would be swimming out to retrieve it, we decided to play on and hope that the current/waves would push it ashore.  We played on, but through out the rest of the round, all I thought about was how I was going to get that club out of it's watery grave.

And focusing on the dumbness of the situation actually allowed me to get out of the way of my game.  I pushed through the remainder of the round and ended up shooting a two-over-par 38 to give me a final tally of 84.  Not too bad for my first round of the year, but my celebration lasted long enough to walk to the clubhouse to see if they'd lend us a cart to ride out to the lake to see how our club head was doing.

We got out to the 2nd green and 13th tee box, which both bordered the lake and started looking around.  Nothing.  So, I decided to see if the wind and waves had pushed the head up the 2nd fairway.  Sure enough, about 500 yards away from it's inital entry point, the head was floating 30 yards away from shore.

I decided to come back to the course in a couple of hours, with the hopes that it continued it's current path and I'd find it sitting beside one of the hundred or so fish corpses that were on the water's edge (because Carter Lake is basically a chemical waste dump).  When I got back to the course a couple of hours later, it was nowhere to be seen.  I got back just before dusk and the reflection of the lake made it almost impossible to see out onto the lake, but after walking the shore a couple of times I could see that it had not made it.

I went out to the course today after work to see if it'd made it to shore, but the wind direction had changed today (and was much stronger) so I'm assuming if it hasn't sunk, it's made its way to the other side of the lake.  Bummer.  So, I guess I have a new story and it's only going to cost me $50.

Lesson number two:  Modern club heads float, but wave/current direction is tricky to determine on a chemical waste lake.

As Mastercard might say:
Round of golf:  $10
New golf club:  $50
Losing your friend's club in a lake:  Priceless


SONG:  "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas  ("You're my boy, Blue!!!")

LOOKING FORWARD TO:  the delivery of my new golf shoes later this week.  I had to send the others back because they were too small.  Hopefully the next size up works because they don't carry any sizes bigger in that style.  I hate buying shoes online because it takes forever to ship them back and get another pair shipped out.

ENJOYED:  George Clooney in "Up in the Air".  The Wife and I also enjoyed seeing many places in Omaha in movie.  (Go here for the Omaha Montage).

1 comment:

  1. So funny. I love that you kept going back to see how the club head was doing. You should have fashioned a long retrieval instrument, Sandlot style.

    I loved "Up in the Air" and was totally geeking out about the Omaha parts. Although I think they really should have included a shot of the Bemis.