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!

Traverse City’s Heart Graffiti


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.

High Pointe Is Closing

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.

Early Morning Rounds

I haven’t had the opportunity to play an early morning round of golf in a long time, but boy do I miss it. There is just something about the chill in the air, the uninterrupted dew on the fairways and greens, and the empty course waiting to be played that makes for a peaceful morning. Dodging the mowers can be tricky, but fun.

My penchant for early morning rounds likely developed during my junior golfing days. At the young age of ten or eleven I started competing in nine-hole tournaments at local golf courses. The courses donated (I presume) early morning course time to the Traverse City Junior Golf Association for us to compete. And compete we did, once a week through the summer. There were usually about eight or ten tournaments, which worked out to one per week. Just enough to establish a competitive season without being too great a burden on our parents, who got us to the course at obscenely early hours.

Later, high school golf tryouts started at 6am and ran all week. Needless to say, it was a very tiring week. High school tournaments were usually played early, too. And there were always too many pranks to be played and fun to be had to get to bed early.

So, through all of this nostalgic wandering is the reason I like playing early in the morning. It gives me a reason to think back on my childhood when I had trouble falling asleep because I was so exciting and nervous about the next mornings nine-hole tournament. That feeling never went away, and to this day, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I tee up my Titleist on the first tee and take those stiff practice swings.

High School Golf Practice

Yesterday was sixty-five degrees, calm, and sunny so I went to the golf range to practice. I bought my seven dollar large bucket of balls, laced up my golf shoes, and started hitting easy sand wedges to the red flag on the right of the range about 85 yards away. I was trying to keep the trajectory of my shots down so I could control my distance better. About thirty minutes into my session high school golfers began setting up shop on the range. Then what looked to be the junior varsity team hopefuls came over. These kids didn’t look a day over pre-adolescence, but they talked a big game. They talked it loudly, as if they were addressing a elderly foreigner. Naturally, they started their warm-up by trying to smash drivers to the edge of the woods. I felt compelled to get my driver out and hit the ball well into the woods. I did, easily. Having satisfied my ego, I returned to hitting easy eight irons to the yellow flag 160 yards away. But, the range was filling up too fast for all of us to hit. These kids were moving in on my nice patch of grass. A runt of a boy directly in front of me swung a driver equal to his own height. A lanky youngster was joyously topping, slicing and shanking balls behind me. I feared for my life. Instead of visualizing the shot I wanted to hit, I began imagining what it would feel like when cold steel met my skull. Not good. It was like I was standing it the middle of a chinook helicopter. Clubs were spinning, balls were flying. The kid in front of me actually lost his grip and his club flew over my head. The kid said woops then blindly walked in front of me. I decided it was best for me to leave at that point, so I hit my last ball, tucked in my clubs and shook my head. This was chaos – unlike any golf practice I had ever participated in, but it still made me miss high school golf.

Michigan Wine

“Michigan’s Wine Country Grows Where the Cherry Is King” – a NYT article about what great wine Michigan has to offer. The focus is on Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties in the northwestern part of lower Michigan. (By the tip of the pinkie finger is you look at the palm of your right had.)

I’m not a big fan of the cherry wines, which are very sweet. But both the white and red wines I tried at the Leland Wine Festival in early June were delicious.

It’s always fun to see your home area highlighted for good products.