Weekend of Leaves and Golf

I find it funny how my plans for a Saturday never play out as I write them down. This Saturday, I was going to sort some paper, play nine holes of golf, rake, and do some work. Instead, I ended up raking for three hours, going on a hike at Misty Acres down near Frankfort, MI with dad and Katy, and then raking some more.

After we cleaned the leaves off of the entire driveway, Lindsey and I went to the Old Mission Tavern for a nice meal. We tried to use a 50% off your second dinner coupon, but the (excellent) waitress informed us it wasn’t good until November. Woops! The bread and salads were excellent, regardless. Lindsey wasn’t crazy about her prime rib, but I liked my parmesan-crusted whitefish. What made the evening, however, was running in to my golf coach from the University of Michigan, Jim Carras. I had not seen him since 2002 or 2003, when I was a Junior in college. He was up with friends visiting the area.

Sunday morning was spent eating pancakes and trimming some pine trees on the south side of the driveway. I am bushwacking all throughout the developed areas of our property in an effort to recover some of what I perceive to be areas and views lost to overgrowth permitted by prior owners.

I played in the Big Hole Golf Event at the Grand Traverse Resort on Sunday afternoon with Ben Orr and Chris Day. This is an event where they cut 10 inch (instead of 4.25 inch) holes in all of the greens. It was fun, but we still couldn’t make a putt!

The Tigers completed getting swept for the second time in the World Series. Not sure what the problem is there. Would have been fun to see them win, but I’m not a huge baseball fan. Lions won. Woop-de-do. Until next weekend, have a good week.

Woodworking Projects #1 and #2

I have started building simple woodworking projects in our garage. Here are photographs of woodworking projects #1 and #2. Future projects will include yet another golf club stand, a stand-up desk, side or entryway tables using saplings I have cut, and various Christmas presents. Let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas!

101st Michigan Amateur

It was a great opportunity to play in the 101st Michigan Amateur, which took place at Oakland Hills Country Club – North Course. Oakland Hills C.C. was a beautiful venue and a tough test of golf.

I arrived early on Sunday for a practice round, which was interrupted by rain on two occasions. The greens were slick and the rough along the edges of the fairways was dense and long. These were the course’s main defenses against the 168 top Michigan amateur golfers.

While hitting pitch shots on the short-game practice area, a gentleman came over from a nearby house and introduced himself and offered me a Rolling Rock. I went over and chatted with him about the tournament. He and his wife graciously extended an invitation to me to use their guest room for the remainder of the week in lieu of my staying at the Hampton Inn. I accepted the offer the following morning before teeing off in the first round. After my round, which I’ll get to, I caught up with them and was able to settle in and visit.

I teed off in the first round on Monday morning at 9:36 a.m. and fought my way through the day, ultimately finishing with a 74. I was pleased with this opening score because it didn’t shoot me out of the tournament and put me in decent position to make the cut the next day.

Lindsey, Peg, and Dan flew down to watch the second round. It was extremely hot, and Dan offered to caddie for me. I gladly accepted! It took us a few holes to figure out the player-caddie routine as far what to put where, but having him on the bag was a big help. He kept me positive and thinking birdies even when I was making bogies. It was nice to have some familiar faces in the tiny crowd following our group.

My ability with the “flatstick” let me down in round two, and ultimately caused me to miss the cut by a single shot. I drove the ball beautifully, only missing a single fairway all day. My approach shots were sub-standard, which tested by putting even more. But mostly it was an inability to adapt to the slower day-two green speeds. I routinely left lag putts six feet short.

It’s always difficult not to look back and only reflect on the shoulda, woulda, and coulda’s, but the experience was too good to do that.

2012 Michigan Amateur Qualifier

I qualified for the 2012 Michigan Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club’s North Course today by shooting a 75 at Boyne’s The Heather, a Robert Trent Jones design. I had to win a three-man playoff for the final spot, and did so by paring the long 18th hole par 4 over water, which I had double-bogeyed earlier in the day. I’m happy to have been able to set out to qualify, and get the job done and am excited to play in the Amateur. Having not playing in any events like this since 2001, when I last qualified for the Michigan Amateur (played that year at the Flint Golf Club), my goal is to make the cut and get into the matchplay portion of the event.

Nadal on Golf

Rafeal Nadal quoted in a Miami Herald article:

Most important is you can spend three, four, four-and-a-half hours with good company, with friends, with family. Spending time with friends, family, that’s great. That makes the round good.

He makes a great point that is opposite the standard complaint that “golf takes too long.” We are only here on this earth for so long, and we might as well enjoy our time, surroundings, and friends while we can. Let’s just hope I’m playing well!

Fall Golf & Website Update

Lindsey and I trekked over to Gaylord to use a couple of free-round coupons for The Tribute golf course at the Otsego Club. I think the rest of Northern Michigan had the same idea. It was one of the slowest rounds of golf ever. The course was nice (I holed out for eagle on one of the par 5’s on the front nine!!!). However, we called it quits after it took four hours to play 12 holes.

We had a good “old” dinner at the Suger Bowl in downtown Gaylord where we were the youngest couple in the restaurant by a good 30 years!

There was lots of wedding talk – and we’re trying to nail down the rehearsal dinner location. When it comes down to it, it’s tough to find a place to host a large group the week before the Fourth of July! One of the many “joys” of fudgie season in Traverse City.

As you can see, the engagement/wedding website is slowly taking shape. I added a countdown timer today, and we’re hoping to post profiles of the bride-elect and groom-elect this week… and then follow with the rest of the wedding party and families.

Have a great week and feel free to comment or contact us if you have any tips or just want to say hello!