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.
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.
Two things I’ve learned the hard way during my first year practicing as a lawyer:
- The Michigan Court Rules are extremely handy and offer clear directions in most situations. It’s good to read them thoroughly, and then revisit them for each specific matter.
- Reading on paper is easier and “better” than any digital replacement for paper. This statement might surprise a few of my co-workers, but as I head into my second year, I’m trying to better strike a balance between using paper and striving to be paperless. The idea of going paperless is nice, but there has to be universal access to all files when out of the office for it to really be a benefit. I’m finding it easier to simply plan for work out of the office and take specifically what I need. Working out of the office is tricky because I usually forget exactly what I need to really get down to work. This is where I’d like to have greater virtual access, but that requires diligently scanning everything and then ensuring it’s on the server and in the right place. Baby steps!
Has anyone else noticed the heart graffiti that is becoming increasingly visible around Traverse City, Michigan? I searched the Record-Eagle website and on Google for any coverage of this graffiti phenomenon and found no mentions.
If you’re a local resident or if you have visited within the last year and walked around downtown, you can’t help but notice dozens, if not hundreds, of six to twelve inch two-toned hearts painted on walls, posts, sidewalks, and other surfaces around the city.
Personally, I like it. The hearts liven up otherwise plain spaces. If the city is deliberately ignoring the graphic decorations, I hope they leniency is not abused. Some decoration is clever and cute, but too much could become unsightly.
Have you noticed? If so, what do you think of it?
Update on October 11, 2009: I was quoted by Vanessa McCray in her Record Eagle article, “Someone Hearts TC.” What I said:
Chris Rogers of Traverse City blogged about the phenomenon, which he first noticed in a plaza off East Front Street.
Since then, he has spotted the hearts frequently. Like others, he said your creations straddle “a fine line.”
“I think it adds an interesting texture, and, fortunately, they are hearts and something not more controversial,” he said.
Geoff Shackelford alerted me to this Traverse City Record-Eagle story about one of my favorite Traverse City-area golf courses, High Pointe Golf Club, is closing due to the poor economy. I grew up on that course playing tournaments while participating in the Traverse City Junior Golf Association. I had high school tryouts and tournaments there, and I played my first round of 2008 there with my dad.
Big bummer to hear about.
Visiting Ann Arbor always takes me back to my college days. The campus was relatively the same — whether it is or I just remember it that way is probably irrelevant. There are some building improvements. Notably, the business school now looks like a massive red spaceship, a sharp looking addition to the museum on State Street, and some construction behind Hill Auditorium. But, overall, central campus has retained the same layout that I walked and rode during my undergrad years.
The notable sites I make a point to see when I visit are:
- The men’s bathroom in Angel Hall near the Fishbowl computer lab.
- The Starbucks on the corner of State and Liberty.
- The Borders on Liberty.
- The Big House.
- Stucchi’s (Ice cream).
In line with the nostalgia of visiting Ann Arbor, I found the slideshow, “Time Machine: Traveling into the past in Mason Hall,” by James Tobin. Go Blue!
Forgive the title, I couldn’t resist.
The Lions won. The Tigers won. U of M won (finally). Tiger Woods won (easily), which meant the most exciting thing about the final tournament of the FedEx cup was finding out about the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo. Go ahead, look and see.
The Sylvania 300 was raced (Is that the lingo racing fans?) at the New Hampshire Int’l Speedway, which is fifteen minutes from where I live. The fans that didn’t (couldn’t? Do these things sell out?) get to see the race set up folding chairs on highway overpasses and watched the traffic driving south on I-93. They were watching me drive! I tried to give them a good show – a good clean lane switch. I overtook a Ford Focus in masterly fashion.
O.J. Simpson was arrested on a self-directed “sting-operation.”
The guy who bought Barry Bonds’ 756th home run baseball is asking the public what to do with it at vote756.com. There are three options: (1) send the ball to the hall of fame, (2) iron an asterisk onto the ball and send it to the hall of fame, or (3) banish the ball to outer space.
I don’t care about anything else that happened.