Thursday, May 29, 2014
Some people have Candy Crush. Others have Tetris. Some people pass the time by actually learnin' n' stuff. Not me however!
Why ReGripped you might say, how doust thou wile away the hours? My Elizabethan-era golf friends, let me introduce you to WGT Golf!
The game is free to play although you may need "credits" (which cost real money) to access some of the cooler courses.
You have the options of playing 9-18 consecutive holes
Playing closest to the hole games
or joining up with others to play against them.
(Halo has nothing on WGT golf).
The graphics are top notch, you feel like you are playing a realistic golf game with bounces, wind gusts, shimmering water.
My favorite game is the traditional 9-18 hole stroke play (mainly because I suck at the closest to the hole games) but I really wish WGT rotated their courses a bit more. Maybe swapping out a course a month will help keep my insane interest level up.
Do you play WGT? Want to play WGT? Check it out here: http://www.wgt.com/home.aspx
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Most golf courses are laid out along the natural contours of wherever the developer buys land. Some emphasize creeks or rivers that runs near them, some the hills, some create all of those things for the golf course.
Until Scholl Canyon, I have yet to encounter a golf course designer who said "screw it, I am building a golf course on the top of a freakin mountain".
There are cliffs, canyons and ridges that you must trundle up and down. I have no idea what elevation gain/loss is for any shot that you might make at Scholl but suffice to say, there is no pedestrian hole on this course.
Being situated on the top of a mountain has its advantages, especially for killer views of Los Angeles.
Scholl Canyon is an executive course, the majority of the holes are par 3s with a smattering of great par 4s. What makes the par 4s great is the real risk/reward aspect. Shape your drive using the contours of the course you will have a great chance at a birdie. Miss, and its off the cliff with you.
The downside of Scholl is the marshaling and lack thereof. Yelp indicated that rounds would be slow as the golf newbies would be trying out there games but I never expected such a weirdly inconsistent groupings (lots of people playing the same few holes, the rest of the course wide open). Also there were a definite lack of "fours" yelled, ball marks repaired, etc. but the course was in pretty good shape and even with these downsides, I breezed through 18 in 3 hours and loved doing it.
I also loved it because I came thiiiis close to a hole in one
Maybe next time Scholl, I will be back!
Thursday, May 15, 2014
As I have gotten back into the game of golf, it has become quickly apparent that my irons are not what they once were. Sure you could blame my "swing" my lack of "discipline" or my "rust" for having poor results on march from the sofa to the course but I knew my clubs were failing me for one distinct reason, they were fitted for me 18 years ago.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Hogan GCD Edges (remember those?) but I don't doubt for a moment that my 16 year-old-self has a different game than my 30+ year-old-self and that I should take advantage of the new technology.
With this in mind, over the last few weeks I have been hitting up the indoor driving ranges of Roger Dunn here in SoCal trying out different irons. I was surprised by some (Titleists always the thoroughbred of the golf world, too clunky for my tastes) and enjoyed swinging some others (Callaways, amazing clubs, including the X2 Hots).
The one club that I consistently liked was the Ping i25. It had a minimal (but progressive) offset, whatever that means, and truth be told, was pleasin to the ol eye (it was purty). I also hit it straighter and longer on the simulators but honestly, I don't know how you trust those things completely. You need to see the ball actually fly.
So a few Sundays ago, I went down to Del Mar California to get professionally fitted by Josh from Ping. It was my first fitting in years and Josh answered my questions and put me through all the fitting paces. I was thinking I could hit the black "off the shelf" Pings but Josh had me dialed in and put me on the custom fit track:
And wouldn't you know it, I hit the custom fit clubs better than the off the shelf clubs. Now the true test, how do they hit? Stay tuned!
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Since making a New Year's Resolution to play more golf, I have hit the range a few times but sadly have hit the golf links fewer times. Having Good Friday off from work, I decided to hit up a quick 9 at DeBell's par 3 course in Burbank to check it out.
Unlike other par 3 courses, DeBell is truly a three club par 3 course since no hole is over 90 yards. What is fascinating though is that the course does present its own unique challenge, mainly that every tee shot is a blind shot.
Sure you can see the flag stick but where is the green? How did your shot do? Every shot is like this, even the downhill ones!?!
Another challenge of DeBell is that the greens are small which is cold comfort when you stick a shot within 15 feet and it is still off the green. Speaking of those greens, the ones at DeBell remind me of my homemade green back in New York where I put a tuna can in the ground and mowed it closer than the rest of the grass. This is not a knock against DeBell, if you pay $5 you are hardly expecting PGA tour-level greens but just be prepared to work on your wedges more than your putting.
All of the holes have mats that you can hit off of but the course is also shared with a disc golf course which has its own set of tees:
(see the blue tee markers, that is for the disc golf). I applaud golf courses to stay relevant mixing uses (just as long all of them don't go this way) and I actually played some of the holes from the disc tees to give the hole a little more distance. I am still not sure what to think about FootGolf though.
My favorite holes had to be 6
just due to the scenic beauty of the surrounding Verdugo Mountains.
Overall, I dug this course, especially since I was the first one out although I wished for some holes of varying lengths. If you are looking for a chill par 3 course to work on your wedge game, definitely recommend this puppy!
If you want more information about the DeBell Par 3, check it out here! http://www.debellgolf.com/-home
And here is another guy's review of the course: http://www.richiesworldofgolf.com/2013/04/de-bell-par-3-golf-course-burbank.html
Thursday, May 1, 2014
The pace of play issues I have experienced at other courses are the norm here as well, at least on the front 9. If you can get to the 10th hole, you are golden and in for a 2 hour 9. Pace of play issues aside, the course itself is nicely kept. The tee boxes are in decent shape and the fairways are some of the best I have played in LA thus far.
The greens are really where the course shines because there are many mounds and slopes to negotiate as you get around the course.
Did I also mention that you play next to the airport?
It makes for a hilarious "man made" obstacle to negotiate the noise and the jets rumbling down the fairways.
I liked it!
There are a couple holes of real note that this course. The first is the second hole which is short but has water at 230 yards out making a real risk/reward tee shot.
Another great hole is the 18th, while short, it is uphill and into the wind with an insane green making for a nasty but enjoyable hole.
All of the reviews aside, I will never forget (never? never!) my time at Westchester due solely to the fact that I holed out on 15 for a &*)(*)(&*(& eagle! I might have had eagles before but I can't remember, I will sure remember this one though, PW from 105
and with one hop, my scorecard got a lot better.
As golfers we all know the feeling, lousy round and then one shot redeems the whole mess and you come back the next week eager for action. Well I am more than eager after that eagle and then birding 18. Ready to get back at'em!
Want more info about Westchester, check it out here: http://www.americangolf.com/