Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Queen of the Green

Bunker Mentality's Queen of the Green golf polo shirts are fun yet classy. This fashion forward brand promotes confidence and individuality. They also have accessories such as hats, belts, ball markers, divot tools and golf bags. My favorite of them all would be the Who's your Caddie? T-shirts... very fun to have!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The British Open welcomes the Bashful Prince Ryo Ishikawa

Teenage Japanese golfer, Ryo Ishikawa also known as the "Tiger Woods of Asia" will be playing in Turnberry for the 2009 Brisitsh Open. He qualified to this Bristish Open by Winning the Gateway to the Open Mizuno Open Yomiuri Calssic on June 28th. The young lad is getting a lot of attention not just for his Tigeresque golf skills but also for his unique fashion sense. He is part of the new generation of golfers (with Anthony Kim and Camillo Villegas to name a few) that are changing the face of golf fashion.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend Golf Report

This weekend, we played at Lone Tree Golf Course in Antioch (Saturday) and at Lake Chabot in Oakland (Sunday).

Saturday at Lone Tree was TERRIBLE. I wasn't able to enjoy this beautiful golf course because of the weather. As a high handicapper who averages 105 per round, I learned that I should stop playing or not play at all if my score is lower than the temperature outside! The temperature was over 107 degrees! We knew that it was going to be hot the day before the game and we all came prepared but we ended up totally underestimating the heat. After the front 9, I gave up because of heat exhaustion. I went straight to the clubhouse to cool off and decided not to finish the round. The boys on the other hand braved the scorching heat and finished the game. For two hours after the front 9, I stayed at the patio hydrating myself and enjoyed the magnificent view of the course until they finished the game. After the round, Marc told me of a conversation he had in the locker room with a stranger... It went something like this:

Stranger: "Did you play today?"
Marc: "Yes."
Stranger: "It's so hot outside!"
Marc: "I know! One person in our group didn't make it, SHE quit after the front 9."
Stranger: "Ah, Women are wiser than Men!"

Sunday at Lake Chabot was fun! This public course regained its popularity after a recent renovation as golfers flocked to get a chance to play the popular 18th hole... a 656-yard Par 6! It is the hilliest (almost mountainous) course I've ever played so far. My putting was so off as the green was so fast. It took us several holes to get used to the speed. The good thing about today's game is that I was hitting my driver well.

Let's talk more about the 18th hole...

The photo above is half of it! It's the view from the hole. Notice how the cart path is criss-crossing the fairway? It kinda reminds me of the crookedest street in San Francisco! Anyway, the tee boxes are situated on top of a hill at the upper right hand side of the photo, past the photo border. From the teeing ground, the fairway turns left at probably around 300 yards. This turn will give you a clear view of the hole. From the turn, the fairway dips for around 250 yards and ascends another 100 or so yards to the hole. From 100 yards down, if your ball doesn't make it all the way up to the putting green, it will roll all the way back down! Thank goodness that didn't happen to any of us today!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Marc, Sunny, Joe and I played at Lone Tree Golf Course today. After the round, Marc and I went to a friend's house in San Francisco for a small get together and dinner. The host and his wife invited their friend Michelle and husband Reggie over. After dinner, we started talking about golf, golf clubs in particular. As we talked about golf clubs, I told Reggie the history of my sticks... From my first set, Callaway Gems to what I use now,'some Japanese forged irons'.
I was surprised when he asked what kind as most of the golfers I know don't really know much about Japanese golf clubs. And, after I tell them that I use Japanese clubs, they seem to NOT be interested at all. I told Reggie that I am currently using Epon Forged AF-701s, his face lit up and asked "Do you go to TourspecGolf? Thrilled, I said, "YES!"

As it turned out, he is also an avid fan of TourspecGolf and is also in to Japanese clubs such as Epon Forged, Miura, Tourstage, Gold's Factory, Honma Beres, OnOff, PRGR etc. He even knows about Dance with Dragon! Dance with Dragon is a brand that I am very much in to. My golf grips, Iron head covers and other golf accessories are Dance with Dragon. I've never really met anyone who is so in to these things as much as I do and it was instant bonding! What are the odds of meeting someone here in the US who belongs to the same group and is active in a golf forum based half way across the world? He asked me and Marc if we could show him our sticks and we did. He knew what they were, from Marc's Tourstage driver to my Lepon driver! Finally, we meet someone who talks the same talk... Golf Geek, Japanese version!

PHOTO: My Lepon Forged driver by Epon Forged

Friday, June 26, 2009

Heat Wave Go Away, Come Again Another Day!

A warning was issued today to San Francisco Bay Area residents to prepare for a heat wave this weekend. A lot of areas will be in the 100s. It's a shame that it had to be a weekend of back to back golf. Both my Saturday and Sunday tee times are at noon, which means I will be at the course during the hottest hour of the day.

What not to forget when playing golf during this kind of weather:
1. WATER!!!
2. Sunblock
3. Sunglasses
4. Hat/Visor

On a positive note, it is a fact that high temperature increases distance to your golf shots. Distance will increase as temperature gets higher and will decrease as it goes lower. I will be focusing on this thought tomorrow.

My drives will be long...
My drives will be long...
My drives will be loooong (and straight)!

*Life is Crap water bottle available here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Girl's On-Course Survival Guide to Golf

I finally got the much talked about book by Christina Ricci, A Girl's On-Course Survival Guide to Golf. The author is an amateur golfer who impressively went down from a 30 to a 5 handicap in only 5 years of playing golf.

It took me a while to actually purchase this book because of past experiences with "highly recommended" golf books. Unlike other golf books that I TRIED to read (I usually just end up leafing through the pages), this book kept me interested. The author made it interesting by using the right words and communicating instructions in a way that is so easy to comprehend, by not overusing technical terms a golf newbie like me would typically not understand. Reading this book made me feel like the author was actually talking to me like a girl friend would. It pointed out a lot of things that I am doing wrong and it actually inspired me to get my buns off my couch, practice my swing with a club in hand in front of the mirror, while minding the newly learned pointers. (Golf Geek Alert!)

As usual, I am still struggling with executing what I have learned. My mind knows what It wants my body to do yet my body is not cooperating... I think this is an indication that I have formed bad habits. My mission is to break these little bad habits and be a better golfer even if it means shaving my handicap by a point or two. As I always say, I am happy with baby steps, as long as I am moving forward!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Play Golf for Free!

With the current state of the economy, it is imperative that we spend our money wisely. A lot of people are cutting down on so many things especially recreation expenses. Let's face it, compared to other sports, golf is on the losing end when it comes to affordability.

I was searching the net earlier today for good golf deals. For playing in public courses, Golfnow offers a wide selection of golf courses around the country for great prices. They also offer a free round of golf after 5 bookings and every 10 bookings thereafter. Also, for some of you who may not know yet, there are a lot of golf courses who will offer a free round of golf on your birthday. Usually, the free round is good to use a week before to a week after the actual birthday. If you live in the San Francisco/Bay Area, here are some of the public courses that I found that you might want to check out for your free round:

Hope you enjoy your birthday par-tee!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lucas Glover wins 2009 US Open

Lucas Glover played exceptionally well during the tournament. However, I can't help but wonder what could have happened if the group of Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Angel Cabrera were scheduled to play on the 2nd wave last Thursday.

Clearly, being part of the second wave was favorable. The weather was more forgiving. The scores prove it. After the first round, the average score of the first wave was 2 strokes lower than the second. Also, 11 0f the top 13 players who broke par after the first round were from the second wave.

Obvious conclusion: Timing was definitely EVERYTHING in this US Open.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Long Day of Golf

My foursome played at Shadow Lakes golf course in Brentwood, CA today. We left San Ramon at 10am. It was a long drive but we wanted to try a course 2 of us haven't played yet. We got to Brentwood at 11am, on time to catch the breakfast menu at Diggers, a local restaurant in the neighborhood. After brunch, we checked in and bought two large buckets of range balls to practice and thank god we did. Shadow Lakes is a tough course and my Driver not cooperating with me makes it tougher. The weather did not cooperate too, it was so windy that my ball fell off the tee a couple of times on separate occasions during address. I can't even count the times my hat flew off my head.

The most memorable and intimidating hole was the Par 4 16th named "Matthew's Dare". The teeing grounds are situated on top of a hill giving a full view of the green and all the water surrounding it. Thank God one of us has a range finder with slope in hand (Bushnell 1500 Slope Edition) to minimize the risk of the ball rolling all the way to the water. But even with the range finder, the wind took command and intimidation took the best of my foursome. None of us got a par, not even the two single-digit-handicappers. Today was probably one of the longest rounds I ever played. The course was packed and we had to wait our turn on every single hole. There was a foursome ahead of us that were clearly not seasoned golfers who insisted on playing the back tees. It was a drag but I had fun anyways! The round lasted almost 6 hours. We finished at almost 7pm. We drove back to the East Bay after and made our 8pm dinner reservation. We all hung out at home after dinner. I played terribly today that we started to brainstorm to find out what I can do to improve my game. From my grip, to my posture, my putting, my plane, and chipping techniques, the boys didn't leave anything unanalyzed. Somehow, from all this golf talk, we ended up doing chipping drills for 2 and a hlaf hours in the living room. The four of us took turns chipping with a 52*, 56* and 60* wedges. It was fun, lots of laughter, but most important of all, I think I learned quite a bit. I am actually looking forward to hitting the range tomorrow to practice chipping. But for now, as it is already 1am, I should go to bed. I am golfed out... I lived and breathed golf today! I wonder what tomorrow will bring...

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Puma Brigade

I am a big Puma fan. Majority of my golf apparel are from Puma Golf. Before the US Open started, Puma gathered over 75 golf enthusiasts, provided them with 2009 Special Edition golf apparel and the opportunity to watch the US Open in Farmingdale, NY to support Geoff Ogilvy. Below is a video from Youtube of the Puma Brigade storming the US Open:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

US Open's Frozen Leaderboard

I was so eager to watch the US Open today that I even contemplated on not going to my office.  I was able to watch a good half-hour coverage on The Golf Channel before I left my house this morning.  I drove straight to Starbucks for my much needed coffee, sat down for a few minutes outside, grabbed my phone for live streaming before heading to the office... that was when I found out that the US Open at Bethpage Black was suspended due to heavy rain.  For the next few hours after that, I was religiously checking online and all I saw was a frozen leaderboard.  I eventually learned that the tournament got postponed and will resume tomorrow.  

I hit the range with the boys later this afternoon, had dinner and then watched a movie (The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3).  By the time I got home, that was when I saw photos of what happened to the Black Course after a gruesome inch of rain.  It looked worse than what I expected it to be especially when I saw photos of volunteers using giant squeegees on the green. I've read that it will rain as much as today for the rest of the week.  Without the weather's cooperation, who knows how long this tournament will last?

My thoughts:
*After a double bogey on the 5th, Tiger redeemed himself and got a birdie on the 6th, leaving him at +1 when the tournament was suspended.  Padraig Harrington didn't play well today and is 4 over after the 6th while Angel Cabrera is at even par.  Will Padraig be able to come back from this 4 stroke deficit?  I hope so!
*New York's darling, Phil Mickelson, will be teeing up tomorrow for his first round.  If the weather cooperates with him, and with a huge gallery of supporting and adoring fans, I am sure Lefty will give us something spectacular.
*It is likely that the 2009 US Open will punch through next week due to inclement weather conditions.  I am already thinking of creative ways to be able to stay home and watch the whole broadcast of the last round.  Of course, the amount of effort I will exert to come up with this "creative idea" will depend on who will end up on the top spots after the 54th hole. *evil grin*

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Golf Balls with Attitude

Though I haven't really seen these balls played on a golf course, I have been seeing a lot of these balls sold in cyberspace.  When I went to The Bay Area Golf Show earlier this year, where Tattoo Golf had a booth, I have witnessed a lot of people buy their skull and cross-clubs printed golf balls.  The odd thing about these buyers is that majority of them would buy specialty golf balls not for their use but as presents to other golfers they know.  I guess this would make the receivers treasure the golf balls more and refuse to play it to avoid losing them.  Another thing that I have noticed is that the golfers I know have mixed feelings about flashy golf balls.  Some find it embarrassing to use as "colored golf balls" give the impression that the golfer is new to golf, while some love it and think its fun (more women think the later than men).  What say you?  Below are photos of some balls with attitude:

Tattoo Golf Titleist Pro V1 - Guys will probably pick this ball amongst the rest.  Aside from it being a Pro V1, the skull is "cool" and would be the manliest of the lot.
$14.99 for a sleeve of 3, available here.
Here's another one from Tattoo Golf.  This will appeal to younger female golfers.  It is a Chromax metallic pink ball.  Last Christmas, I received a pack of 6 Chromax metallic pink golf balls as a stocking stuffer.  When I used the ball during a round during the holidays, I was asked by one of the boys, obviously trying to be funny, "Where did that Christmas ornament come from?"...  Well, It was actually a bit funny given we were playing during the holidays but, Hey, I love my pink ornament-looking golf balls and I am embracing it!
$14.99 for a sleeve of 3, available here.

This one is cute, it's a Bridgestone Newing ball and the print is a Japanese anime character, Doraemon.  I would really love to own some of these but I have a feeling that if ever I do get my hands on a sleeve of these golf balls, I will probably end up not playing with it for fear of losing them.  I will keep them safe until I mange to get rid of my awful slice when I drive.
$35 for 12 balls, available here.
These are 2009 Tourstage V10 Vivid golf balls.  It comes in super fun colors: Super Yellow, Super Orange and Super Pink.  Missed the fairway? No problem, these balls will stand out from miles away!
$88 for a 12 balls, available here.

Golf Refugees golf balls not only look cool especially for putting but they claim that Thermal Distance Technology will add distance to your shots... enough said, I'm in!
18 euros for 12 balls, available here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

2009 Virtual US Open Championship

A friend hosted a barbecue today for Game 6 of the NBA Finals (Lakers won).   With this and a couple of errands I had to do, there was clearly no time to do anything "golfsy" like go to the driving range or play 9 holes (though I managed to squeeze in a few minutes to go to Golfsmith to buy a few stuff).  So what do I do?  Well, today, I spent part of my lazy Sunday morning playing the Virtual US Open.  It is an online challenge where anyone can register and virtually experience Bethpage Black.  The winner of the Virtual US Open 2009 will receive an all expenses paid trip for 2 to Pebble Beach as USGA guests for the 2010 US Open.  It's a fun game, I scored a 104... Guess I will be buying my own ticket and will be driving myself to Pebble Beach next year!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Friday

After a crazy week of long hours and everything breaking at work, I was able to leave a couple of hours early yesterday.  I headed to Dublin Ranch Golf Course with a coworker and played a full 18.  We were paired with 2 guys from Chevron, Robert and John, who both snuck out of work as well.  This was the perfect ending to one of the craziest weeks in my office... dealing with the "go live" week for our bank conversion that almost failed after weeks of preparation was extremely stressful.  The weather cooperated with me yesterday. We finished at around 8pm and it was still bright and the weather was still comfortable.  Today, I also managed to squeeze in another round with the boys in Castro Valley.  Two rounds of golf this weekend is good, very good... though  I wish I could play more often.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

2009 US Open Groupings

Here are the Thursday/Friday groupings that I will be watching closely:

Group 7 - 8:06am - Tee 1: Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington & Angel Cabrera - This could be the most interesting group to watch.  Defending US Open champion Tiger Woods comes face to face with British Open titleholder Padraig Harrington and Masters champ Angel Cabrera.  

Group 19 - 7:55am - Tee 10: Geoff Ogilvy, Jim Furyk & Paul Casey - Furyk is one of my favorite players and being the biggest Puma Golf fan, I wouldn't miss him playing side by side with Puma-Boy himself, Geoff Ogilvy.

Group 32 - 1:25pm - Tee 1: Sergio Garcia, Camilo Villegas & Adam Scott - To be honest, I am more eager to see what these guys will be wearing than how they will be playing.  Looking forward to see what Adidas and J. Lindeberg have in store for these golfers.

Group 34 - 1:47pm - Tee 1: Rocco Mediate, Kenny Perry & Tom Lehman - Of course, like everyone, I am curious if media darling Rocco Mediate can do a repeat of last year's US Open.  Go Rocco!

Group 44 - 1:14pm - Tee 10: Anthony Kim, Rory McIlroy & Dustin Johnson - Aaaah, the exuberance of youth! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's In The Bag Update

Made some changes... I dropped the Callaway Squareway fairway wood #5 and added a 60* Epon Forged 208 KGX wedge, dropped the 56* Callaway X-forged Vintage wedge and replaced it with a 56* Epon Forged 208 KGX:

Lepon 12* by Epon Forged
Callaway FT-5 13* (backup)
Taylormade Men's Burner Rescue #3 19*
Taylormade Men's Burner Rescue #4 22* 
4-PW Epon AF-701 Forged Irons
52* Epon Forged 208 KGX
56* Epon Forged 208 KGX
60* Epon Forged 208 KGX
Odyssey Sabertooth
Scotty Cameron Studio Style Newport 2 (backup)

Here's what I am eyeing now... A Gold's Factory Dance With Dragon Putter:  
(Available at www.tourspecgolf.com)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pretty in Pink

I am not really a fan of chunky athletic golf shoes.  Sleek, feminine looking ones are more my style.  I've been hearing a lot of good stuff about Adidas golf shoes, but never really bothered to get myself a pair until a few weeks ago, when I stumbled upon a photo of the Adidas Tour 360 3.0 in pink.  I had no idea that this shoe comes in this color format.  After days of contemplation... "Do I really need this pair? Will buying this turn me in to the Imelda Marcos of golf shoes?"... I gave in to my impulsiveness and bought it. Why not, I wear a lot of pink when I play golf, this should match most of my stuff anyways.  Surprisingly, it doesn't look as chunky as I expect it to be when I wore it.  I also didn't expect it to be so comfortable... no wonder this is the boys' brand of choice.  If playing with the boys means having this "equipment" as they call it, then I am in, STYLIN' in pink!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tiger Wins the 2009 Memorial Tournament

Two weeks before the much awaited US Open in Bethpage Black, Tiger becomes the 2009 Memorial Tournament Champion with an awesome round of 65 today, finishing -12 in Dublin, OH.  Jim Furyk came in second at -11 after a birdie on the last hole.  Jonathan Byrd however, got a double bogey on the 18th, bringing him to -8 and a tie for 3rd.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine from Florida stayed with me for over a week for a much needed "mini reunion".  During her stay, I shared my passion with golf and encouraged her to pick up the game.  She is a newlywed and her husband plays golf, too!  This morning, I received a text message from her that she went to the driving range with the husband and enjoyed her first serious encounter with a golf club.  I got so excited while reading the text message that it jolted me out of my sleepiness!  I called her up and spoke to her and her husband to hear all about it... I want every single detail!  Her hubby told me that she did amazingly well for a first timer.  She was able to get the ball up, STRAIGHT and hit 50-70 yards!  I wasn't able to ask what club she was using, but it didn't matter.  I remember my first few times at the range, I couldn't make the ball fly more than 2 feet from the ground, couldn't hit past 50 yards with a pitching wedge and would always top the ball if not miss it!  

She is a natural... move over Lorena, make room for Svea!

I am keeping my fingers crossed that she falls inlove with golf as much as I do.  When that happens, she will officially be my first female golf friend... Yay!  Give 'playing with the boys' a break!  

"Girl, let's go to TPC Sawgrass and repaint those ladies tee boxes red!"

PHOTO:  Immortalizing Svea's first time on the range.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Random Thoughts while Watching the Memorial Skins Game

1.  When Tiger won with the chip-in on the last hole, why was I not surprised?  I somewhat expected it to happen while watching.  Leave it to Tiger to deliver when it counts.  

2.  I found it so amusing that during a relaxed game like this, Manny caddied for his big bro, Camilo.  My favorite part was when Camilo for the life of him, couldn't take his Florida Gator head cover off!  Seeing the obvious bond between these two brothers made me miss my little brother while watching the game.

3.  I love the idea that all 8 players wore wireless microphones the whole time.  It seemed like I was actually with them while they were playing.

4.  Jack Nicklaus is so adorable!  Hearing his comments via the wireless microphone makes him even more adorable!

5.  Tiger... expected.  Harrington... not really.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Have a Handicap!

This evening, as I was cleaning pockets and compartments of my golf bag, I came across a pile of my scorecards.  Realizing that these scores should be enough to establish a handicap, I searched the net for FREE online handicap tracking services.  To my surprise, after entering my scores, I was given a 27 handicap.  I know, a 27 handicap is like getting a "D" but I am very happy as I've always thought I was around 36!  How exciting is this!?  I am still learning a great deal and with my baby steps forward, I am setting a goal... I want to go down to a 25 before the year ends.  Keeping my fingers and toes crossed... *wink*