nothing shocking

I can skin a rattlesnake. I own a giant hairy scorpion and a big curly haired tarantula as pets. I have photographed my face next to a rotted Javelina carcass. I can do all of that and still not get the shock that I do when I say I enjoy golf.

Golf?!? Wha?? You golf? Since when???

I guess it’s more believable that I am spiritual and weirdly sensitive to energy or that I’m slightly off and who knows what I’m up to. Everyone seems good with that. But the visual of me on a golf course, for some, is as foreign as me in snow.

The high desert in CA where I grew up was not a hotbed of golf courses. I’m not sure there were maybe one or two local courses at the most. I don’t remember him playing or owning clubs yet growing up, golf was on T.V. every Sunday with my Dad holding the remote hostage. I knew all the top players’ names. I learned the scoring. I heard the whispering announcers tell us to watch in silence from our living rooms in another state because one peep could ruin the final putt for the win!

I hated it.

So, what changed? Why golf now? Why would someone like me choose a sport like golf?

Roughly 20 years ago I met Jay. The day we met I was coming home from Disneyland, he was coming home from golfing. He loves the sport. His addiction for golf took up where my Dads had left off.

With Jay now in my world I was again hearing the familiar sounds of the hushed announcers, but with new names and faces. It still didn’t make me run out and buy clubs. I did start playing here and there with whatever club Jay handed me but would rather be driving the cart.

My father had never encouraged me to play golf. Jay always has.

See, back then, my “why I was playing” was different. I wanted Jay to be proud of me out there. I wanted him and probably others to be impressed. My expectations where grossly misguided from years of only watching pros and never having watched real humans golf. It discouraged me horribly when I sucked at this very expensive “game”. Intimidated by the beauty and size of a real golf course and the very real water hazards in front of me, I felt embarrassed and extremely self-conscious.

Truth be told, most golfers hit balls everywhere and so do the pros. That’s why they yell “Fore!” But the T.V camera angles change your perception of what it’s really like to be out there. My head was so full of “watch the ball- stand like this- swing don’t miss-ohmygod are people watching” I surely didn’t enjoy it. Golf was frustrating, awful and long.

I wish I had known back then that Golf was exactly what my brain needed.

I’m creative. My brain goes all over the place randomly. As I have aged, and my hormones have started running amok, my brain and body have seen some not so enjoyable severe highs and lows. Oh sure, you can add chemicals to the mix and see what works or helps but meditation does not come in pill form. Meditation and exercise are top on any list of ways to help yourself heal.

My brain isn’t going to allow me to just sit idly and clear my thoughts. Oh no, it’s going to beat me up about not doing anything while I “just sit”. I have that mental issue that I think I have never done enough. Never good enough. My brain wants to be in constant motion to keep happy.

To play golf you need to be able to clear your mind. Shut out distractions. Focus. Visualize. Be the ball. Multitasking and golf do not go hand in hand. Life’s other bullshit cannot be anywhere near your brain.

The game of golf itself is simple right? Hit the ball with the metal stick into the cup. Go. You’re on your own. No one even keeps your score. It’s up to you to be honest.

I have good hand eye coordination yet can swing and miss a ball right in front of me. If I get mad about it, my swing will automatically become worse. If I can focus and find that small spot I can hit the ball. If my body relaxes it will flow and swing. If there is stress and tension my body will hit the ball wrong or simply miss altogether. So sure, it’s a “simple” game.

There is even Tai Chi for golf to help with the flow.

Honestly the minute I stopped playing golf for a score but rather for my peace of mind it all changed. The minute I accepted I was new and learning and took off all the expectations, my swing improved. My goal was no longer trying to impress. My goal had become much more personal. Golf was a tool I was using to make me feel better not to become famous.

Putting areas are free. I can practice whenever I want. I have my own driving range and mats at home or can go to any of the courses nearby to practice. I am outside, fresh air, green grass, walking, moving, and most importantly playing. I’m playing. It isn’t anything more than that.

Keep it simple. Don’t make it harder than it already is. Visualize where you are going. Don’t rush, you can walk there. The tranquility and the beauty of a golf course gives me a setting where challenging myself feels less like I’m under an attack.

I was only under attack before in my own mind.

Not so shocking that I golf.IMG_2214.JPG

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9th Hole Lost Ball Stats

 

Sunday August 7th-Friday August 19th 2016

Total:49 Lost Balls found

*Lost Balls found on the street and in the desert from the 9th tee box to the end of the road by the hole for the 9th. Read “Lost Balls” posted Aug.8th 2016

Total Titleist ProV1 found: 5

Full stats at the end.

I have started a spread sheet. Though I am interested in the results creating anything on Excel is a huge pain in the …if you ask me but I love you all and know you are as curious as I am to see how many balls come flying over at us from the course.

Now remember this is not “season”. It’s still over 100 degrees out here. However, because of that fact Dinosaur ( the 9th hole we are focusing on) is only going to cost you about $40 right now instead of  about $130, that might change the number of golfers…we shall see. There are so many factors at play and we just started this… it’s going to be interesting.IMG_4641

If you couldn’t already tell my brain leans to the creative side. I’m positive the computer and Excel will do and answer all of the stats we want I just don’t know how so I am getting help and soon we will have it all broken down. Then we will know exactly just how many Super Hots or Tru Softs have ended up at the base of a cactus across the street.image

Sunday Aug.7th 2016

Nike Mojo #2

*Titleist ProV1

Top Flight XL Distance

Callaway Super Hot

Top Flight Magna High Trajectory

Total:5

Monday Aug.8th 2016

*Titleist ProV1

Nike Pro Long

Callaway Super Hot

Nitro Ultimate Distance

Total:4

Tuesday  August 9th 2016 Flash Flood Course closedIMG_4692

Wednesday Aug.10th 2016

Wilson Staff

Total:1

Thursday Aug.11th 2016

Nike Crush Extreme

Srixon Z Star XV

Taylormade Burner

Total:3

Saturday Aug.13 2016

Titleist NXT Tour

Titleist ProV1X

Nike Hyperflight

Maxfli Noodle Long and Soft

Nitro Ultimate Distance

Polara Ultimate Straight

Taylormade Burner

Taylormade Distance

Taylormade Aeroburner Soft

Taylormade Tour Preferred

Taylormade RBZ Distance

Total:11

Week total 27 lost balls found

Sunday Aug.14 2016

Taylormade Burner 2.0

Wilson Staff Duo Spin

Titleist DT Solo

Nike Mojo ( Aaron’s Last Round w/o Permission! Nov.2015)

Titleist ProV1 ( Samuel Adams)

Noodle + Long and Soft

Srixon Soft Feel

Total:7

Monday Aug.15th 2016

Callaway Chrome Soft

Callaway Chrome Soft

Callaway Warbird

Titleist NXT Tour

Callaway Superhot

Titleist DT Tru Soft

Srixon Z Star

Total:7

Tuesday Aug 16th 2016 worked late

Wednesday August 17th 2016. Javelinas were out then recorded almost a minute of coyote howling so no I did not go wander around down there.

Thursday Aug.18th 2016

Callaway Supersoft

Wilson Staff Duo

Total:2

Friday Aug.19th 2016

Titleist DT Tru Soft

Bridgestone Golf

Titleist ProV1

Taylormade Distance

Callaway Tour

Bridgestone Tour B330-RX

Total:6

 Sunday August 7th-Friday August 19th 2016

Total:49 Lost Balls found around the 9th hole of DinosaurIMG_5193

Tee time

Some days are good. From start to finish good. We had one of those days yesterday and can I tell you how needed it was? Last week was day after day of plumbing nightmares (post: “Running Water”) and stress.

You earn good after a while. Life throws you so much that every so often it all goes right and you have a really good day.IMG_3348

A yummy cup of coffee, a fun wander around the property with the dogs, then baths for the two unsuspecting filthy pups was the start.

Jethro the 17 year old dog was left alone to nap away his day.

Fluffy and clean and with full bellies we left the dogs to “watch the house” and off we went to the golf course.

He plays and I drive the cart and goof off. Gold Canyon Golf Resort this time of year is awesome for us locals. It’s still one of the most gorgeous courses around but because it’s 9000 degrees outside it’s cheap to play and no one is out there. He paid right around $25 to play on a course that in season goes for over $100 a round! (Sidewinder)IMG_3244

We “walk on” at around 11 or so. (Don’t let that term fool you. I “walked” to the cart. That just means we didn’t have a time reserved and were able to just walk on to the course to start with no waiting. No one is walking a full 18 in this heat.)

They give you a cart, a cooler with ice and water and cups and towels and anything you could ever need to golf without frying or flopping over for the next 4 hours. They even have water with fruit floating in it! Yes please. Spoiled much? Oh and just in case you didn’t grab any of that there is a lovely girl who drives around all day long looking to see if you need anything!

I love to drive the cart. These carts have a map and distance info on a little screen! Golf courses are normally very pretty and quiet so It’s not awful to be the driver.

My best friend is my husband. I have fantastic friends in my life but he sits at the top. He loves golf. LOVES. Cannot emphasize that strongly enough. Loves, loves, loves the game of golf. Me and golf run a close race. I have no problem with it and encourage him to play as often as he can or wants. I’m not just saying that either. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving a sport and playing it. Go do it. As much and as often as you can! Life is too short to not play. Get out there and Go Play!IMG_2027

My brain does not want to play golf for four hours. My brain wants to hit the ball then wander over to that hole in the ground under the tree to see what’s living in it! It’s not attention deficit either! It’s just my brain finds all kinds of things around it when I take it outside! So I drive and take pictures and wander and keep score and try not to slow down the game! It is too much fun. But I don’t go very often (can’t imagine why I’m not invited all the time hahahaha!)IMG_3245

I am told I am fun to have out there because I don’t take it that serious. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect the game, but as I have stated many times and irritated many golfer friends, it’s PRACTICE! I’m sorry guys but every time you step out there you are “practicing” in order to get better are you not?IMG_3281

Yes, it may be extremely important to you to do really good around your friends but in the end no one got paid or was offered endorsement deals or a green jacket so get over yourself, relax, have fun and hit the ball! Hit it hard and far! Hit it! Then channel your inner Phil and go find that ball on the path or in the desert like he always does and smack it again! Stop throwing expensive clubs into the water, breaking them, giving up the sport or blaming photographers and just go play! Your score will improve dramatically. Besides, look at your outfit? How can I take you that seriously anyways?IMG_3236

Laughing improves your golf game. I hit a shot so bad one time when we were up in Sedona. Bad. Yes, there I was on the first tee, people eating on the patio having no idea that danger just set her ball on the tee and took a full swing! I don’t warm up. Why?  I got this. My shot ricochets off a boulder and screams back towards the clubhouse narrowly missing expensive windows! I crouched down so fast! Hilarious, like that was going to save anything! My husband is dying laughing, relieved he isn’t paying for any damages. It’s all good. Just need a new ball. That’s me golfing. I really belong in the cart.

My golf loving best friend keeps a pretty even temper out there.  I can’t imagine him throwing a club in the water. He’s actually a pretty good golfer. He has golfed for most of his life. His dad loves the game. My father did too. I remember plenty of Sunday afternoons with my father snoring on the couch while any PGA was on. Don’t touch the channel! He was not sleeping!IMG_3294

I was able to take some fabulous pictures while we were out there and even saw an incredibly angry face staring back at me from a hole under a tree! I think gopher but that’s just silly…a gopher on a golf course?

Lunch was at the club house. Half off everything on the menu this time of year! Heck yeah! Home to clean up, let the overworked puppies out to pee then back inside for another nap, then over to my friends house to feed her farm animals! (post: “good times”)IMG_3406

On our way back home from Queen Creek the storms started rolling in. It is Monsoon Season here in AZ so these storms are sudden and can be powerful. We got a good amount of rain last night, lots of lightening and howling winds. The temperature dropped from 109 down into the high 70’s. We thought we had died and gone to heaven! Open up the house, turn off the constantly running air conditioner and let the fresh air in! It was awesome!IMG_3476IMG_3494

Good coffee, clean puppies, golf, half priced yummy food, farm animal love, a thick vanilla shake, a rolling storm with thunder and lightning and much needed rain, all shared with my best friend and love of my life. Can’t ask for much more. Good day.

GOLF?

Our heat here in AZ has been so extreme this weekend we continue to set records, yet I can look outside my window to the tee box on the 9th hole of the Dinosaur and see 4 men happily waiting their turnimage

Just like the Superstition Mountain we live next to, the game of golf seems to have this pull, this energy, this drive that makes a grown man go outside in 110 degree weather to “play”.

I can hear all of you golfers now “Just get an early tee time.” It was 95 degrees at 5:30 this morning with an expected high of 117! No joke. (6/20/16)

The way our little house sits on the hill we have spectacular views all around. The mighty Superstition dominates the North and East views. But if you look out to the South you see golf, the tee box for the 9th hole. If you look out to the West you see the 11th hole tucked into the mountain.

Living here I’m finding there are golfers for whom excessive heat is not going to stop a good round of golf. Blasts of hot wind, heat radiating in waves on the concrete, doesn’t matter. Its golf. And right now its CHEAP golf on some of the best courses in Arizona. When you normally can pay well over $150 a round during peak season, a $35 tee time can entice a serious golf lover to go withstand oven like heat to start a round at noon.image

$15  will get  you a tee time round 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Just go to http://www.GolfNow.com.

I love golf. It’s a great sport. I just have no idea why anyone would want to play in this heat! But I see them. They are out there.

Now I’m not a golfer. I don’t think what I do out there classifies as actual golfing. I’m told if I “practice” I will get better. If hitting one or two balls  10 times or more at a hole that I never get it into isn’t “practicing” then I don’t know what “practice” is. Just the word “practice” makes me giggle. Practice. I repeat the word “practice” about nine times like I’m Allen Iverson…not a game…we talking about practice. I belong in the cart.

Most courses are beautiful and quiet. Like being in a park. Usually lots of nature too. I have even seen alligators! ( No, not out here. In South Carolina, another home of some amazing golf courses.) An alligator laying by the greens is not enough to stop a golfer! Especially in the South where they are common.image

I guess it’s like us out here in the desert with lizards and snakes, it just comes with the territory.I have seen deer, quail, squirrels, roadrunners, lizards and more bunnies than necessary out on our “home course” Dinosaur. Like a ridiculous amount of wild bunnies. I’ve counted 9 and 10 just hanging out by a fairway. They just kill me. After years of golf course living they still have absolutely no idea how to navigate any oncoming cart traffic. Confusion every time.image

Javelinas usually don’t get to roam on the courses but it wouldn’t surprise me to hear someone tell they saw one or two.They wander through my yard. I’m sure they find their way onto the grass. My husband seems to see coyotes quite often. But coyotes and Javelina are not going to stop a good round of golf any more than an alligator is. Be serious.

Planes were diverted yesterday. Couldn’t land. It was too hot. I’m not making that up. It is illegal for planes to land or take off once the temperature hits 120. Something to do with the effect the heat has on the equipment.

4 hikers died this weekend on our trails due to the heat. The news reporter said one of them was a personal trainer. This heat is serious.

I can just hear the argument that its actually SAFER to be a golfer:“ Golf courses have carts. No hiking except to find your ball. Golfers aren’t walking the whole round. The carts have coolers with ice and beverages. The carts give shade.”

Its 110 degrees outside currently. Just saying.image

Sure, you could also argue that the colorful clothing golfers wear make it much easier to spot one in distress when he flops over on the green holding a flag! I see you guys from a good seven iron away. I see those neons. Golfers are much easier to rescue. Rarely is a helicopter required.

For some even the worst round of golf in this heat can produce an inner happiness that a walk through an air-conditioned mall just can’t provide.image

Don’t believe me? Ask a golfer.