Day 150: Google Photos


I like the new Google Photos. A lot. The search feature is fantastic; it’s great how my photos are now grouped by topic as well as date.

Tonight I found the above photo under the “Golf” heading. I did not create this heading; thanks to the magic of Google Photos, my photos were scanned and put into the appropriate group. This was one of the better golf shots I hit this year; I love this tee shot at Roosevelt because you’re firing right at the Griffith Observatory. Thankfully, Google Photos has no proof of my next shot, a shanked approach that ruined any chance of birdie.

Day 110: Pursuit


My buddy scored a fantastic deal at Scholl Canyon Golf and Tennis Club: $10 for a round of golf, including the cart. It was the first time either of us had played the  course and we had a great time. The course winds through the canyons of Glendale, with some nice views of the city.

The highlight of the day was his eagle on the 15th. After sticking the green, he nailed a 50-foot putt. We both whooped it up like he’d won the Masters.

Since Scholl Canyon is an executive course (par 60), my way-under-100 score doesn’t count for my Break 100 goal. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get more deals like this so I don’t break my bank account in pursuit of my goal.

Day 90: Chances

Birdie chances for me and nephew.

Birdie chances for me and nephew.

As noted here, one of my goals for this year is to break 100 on the golf course. Unfortunately, I have not been able to play as much as I’ve wanted to in 2015. It’s the end of March and I haven’t gotten out to a regulation course yet. I’ve played a few executive and par-3 courses, but need to stretch my legs and play a par-72 soon. The summers in the Inland Empire can be brutal for golfers and it isn’t easy playing in the stifling heat.

The photo above is from my last trip to a par-3 course. I had not swung a club in awhile and had my ups and downs during the nine holes, but managed to stick the last green with my pitching wedge. My nephew nearly matched my shot and we both had a chance for a birdie. We both missed, but tapped in for par.

I realized that it might not be realistic to break 100 this year, but as long as I don’t miss any chances to golf with my nephew, I’m okay with it.

Day 47: Links

Links at Terranea. Pacific Ocean in the background.


Spent the morning at the Links at Terranea, a 9-hole par-3 golf course in beautiful Ranchos Palos Verdes. My quest to break 100 on a golf course is on hold right now as I shake off my latest injury, this time to my elbow. But I couldn’t resist the chance to play with a good friend of mine, especially after he scored a deal on Groupon: $25 for the round, including a push cart, which was half off the regular rate.

When I drove there today, I passed the nearby Trump National golf course, which is out of my price range ($300+ for a round). Terranea offers an affordable alternative and even though the views weren’t as spectacular as Trump’s, it was still a gorgeous place to play golf (despite today’s marine layer that refused to burn off until after we had played). I wouldn’t recommend paying more than the $25 discounted rate we scored, though; the greens weren’t as good as some of the $10-and-under courses I’ve played (Los Feliz and Glen Oaks, to name just two).

Overall, though, I’d suggest playing here at least once for the views and links-style golf. It was my first experience with this type of golf, which requires lower-trajectory shots that won’t be affected as dramatically by the ocean winds. There were a few slight breezes today, but on the final hole, my playing partners and I all looked on as each of our tee shots was hung up in the winds and dropped short of the green. Lesson learned for my next visit here: club up, practice those stingers, and make sure Groupon has a deal.

Day 31: Fresh Air


Roosevelt Hole No. 8

I’ve written about my love of golf here. Every golfer knows, though, that the love of the game comes with equal parts of hate. Or frustration. Or both.

For every drive that splits the fairway, every approach that sticks the green, and every putt that finds the bottom of the cup, there’s the drive that goes out of bounds, the approach that lands in a bunker, and the putt that hangs on lip of the cup.

So yesterday’s round at Roosevelt Golf Course featured a little bit of everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I won’t recap every shot here, since nothing is more boring than a golfer/poker player/fisherman talking about the missed putt/bad beat/one that got away. Instead, I’ll share two things I took away from my round, which I try to do after every time I play: 1. The exercise is good (especially at Roosevelt, where golf carts aren’t available for its hilly course) and 2. The view is relaxing, as pictured above.

It’s a lot easier focusing on these two things once I’ve thrown out my scorecard. Exercise and a view: I love golf!

Day 18: Rest and Relaxation


San Bernardino Golf Club


After a long day yesterday, I caught up on my rest and relaxation today. I had lunch with the family at the local Indian buffet, watched the Seahawks-Packers game (incredible!) and the Pats-Colts game (boo!), then started to catch up on The Walking Dead. Season 5 got off to a bang and I’m looking forward to being up-to-date with the series.

I’m still a bit worn out, though, so today’s blog will be short and sweet. Pictured above is a scene that always helps me relax: an afternoon at the golf course. The photo is from the San Bernardino Golf Club, a course that is one of the easier ones in the Inland Empire. If I’m going to reach my goal of breaking 100 this year, the SBGC will probably be the place I do it. At the very least, it’ll be a relaxing place to try.

Note: My photo was all tricked out by the geniuses at Google’s Auto Awesome.

Day 6: Get There

Nice day at Los Feliz.

Nice day at Los Feliz.

This year marks the fifth year of my golf career, which means I wish I would’ve started playing at least 25 years ago. Like my newfound love of running 5Ks, the aches and pains I suffer through now would’ve been more bearable as a young man. Every day reminds me that middle-aged healing takes much longer.

I learned to play golf at Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course. One day in 2010, I asked my brother to play a round with me. I’m not sure why I decided to do it and I don’t recall his exact response, but it was along the lines of “what the …?!” Neither of us had ever picked up a club before; the only sport we played in our younger days was basketball (with a smattering of football and baseball).

It’s no coincidence that the course was featured in one of my favorite movies, Swingers:

That movie and that scene in particular was a huge hit with me and my buddies, so I thought it was appropriate that I played my initial round there. I’ll have to dig out my scorecard from the garage someday for a good laugh: I scored either a 62 or 63 … on a par 27 course.

Still, Los Feliz was the beginning of my love affair with the game. In the years since (when I haven’t been dealing with a bad knee, back, or Achilles), I’ve played rounds all over Southern California and a couple of courses in Las Vegas, getting both of my brothers into the game and meeting lots of great people along the way. I’ve volunteered a few times at the L.A. Golf Show, won a putter signed by Ben Crenshaw, and was a walking scorer at the Soboba Golf Classic, where young pro Russell Henley was turning heads before making the leap to the PGA Tour.

Now that my nephew has taken a liking to the sport, I find myself revisiting some of the par-3 courses where I honed my skills. It’s been a blast, not to mention confidence-booster, hitting greens again on some of the shorter holes. It’s been meaningful sharing the game with him, teaching him the rules and etiquette as we bond at the courses that I learned at with his dad and other uncle.

I failed to reach my goal of breaking 100 last year, but I’m giving it another shot in 2015 and if I don’t do it, that’s fine. I’ll gladly settle for the quality time with my nephew on a golf course.