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MARK'S INSIGHTS

Here we go again - another golf season - though it never really ends, does it? In your garage, in the dome, your game is elevated. The drives are straighter, the putts are truer; we find the goove. Dreams that scores in the hundreds become nineties, then 90's become 80's, 80's become 70's. Yes! 2 more years till the senior tour!

It's January - temps in the teens (Fahrenheit), but the wind takes us below zero. So why are we golfing? Because there are courses open in the Metro Detroit area - the weather must be good there! This time its Sycamore Hills near Mt. Clemens. Only a light powdering of snow on the greens (you can really see your putt line). Its tough to get the tees in the ground, and the extra clothes are a burden (someone needs to develop lightweight winter golf wear), but we like the extra bounce and roll on the frozen fairways and being able to putt out of sand traps. The frozen lake on west #4 gives us another option - to shorten the hole by skipping the ball across the lake.

Forget the fact that the perfect 7 wood from 180 yards on #6 landed on the green, bounced up 40 feet into the air and 50 yards past the pin. Forget the icicles forming on your beard and eyebrows and the north wind in your face. Its peaceful out here in the woods on a pretty golf course in the middle of winter.

Why are we out here? Because it has been too long since the burden of our expectations has met with reality. We need to check our game - to hit and chase the little white ball, to correct our errors, our shortcomings, our minds and our souls. Credit, blame, pride, frustration - its all on us. Feel the pressure when trying to make a 5'2" putt? The joy in correcting a slice? (Even though you are now hitting a pull/hook.) The good shots we remember and build upon; try to replicate. How can I improve this year? Got to really learn how to hit the sand wedge; hit more fairways; hit more greens. Man, I wish I could develop one putting stroke and stick with it! And I'd love to have my driving range game transcend to the golf course!

If nothing else, I want to play as many beautiful golf courses as possible - to see the sun rising and setting at the end of a sculpted fairway. To enjoy the contrasting colors and different hues of green on the fairway, the rough and the putting surfaces. To stand on a perfectly sculpted tee box and contemplate the perfect drive on a fairway bounded by trees, water and traps. The arc of the ball in flight floating against a red mountain background out west. The smell of freshly cut grass. What kind of bird was that? Do you look for fish when you pass a lake or pond on a course? I've spent more time with nature by playing golf in the past five years that I have at any other time in my life.

Golf - there is nothing else like it. No one else to depend upon; no one else to blame. Just you and the course - the wind - the elements. Could it be the clubs? Is a $400 driver worth the investment? Always questions....

So here we go - off to golf - two average guys, to average golfers - out to play as much golf as possible. To describe our experiences, to paint a picture of the courses we visit, the conditioning, the aesthetics, the playability to the average person. Two guys who want to golf for a living. Professionally? No. Just golf. We're the "Two Guys Who Golf" - Mark &* Dave

 

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