Reflections on Weather at the Start of the Summer Golf Season

Lucky my husband had a spare fleece vest in the boot.  XXL but warm & toasty.
                                                                           Photo: © GolfGirlMedia

Here in the US the last Monday in May is Memorial Day, a federal holiday to commemorate men and women who've died serving our country. Both solemn and festive, we celebrate it with parades and ceremonies.

Meanwhile, Memorial Day weekend has become something of an unofficial soft launch for the summer season.

While school may still be in session, and the northern solstice won't actually occur until June 21, the final weekend in May... in the minds of many... is when summer actually starts. After all, the shops are laden with flirty summer frocks and the weather is often warm and balmy. Often... but not always.

This past weekend was definitely a mixed bag weather-wise here in southwestern CT. It began with a cold, gray, rainy Saturday but ended on Monday with blue skies, brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s.

In between them was Sunday, the day we'd selected to play golf. It looked promising early on, but as we drove up interstate 84 towards the town of Oxford the once feather-like clouds turned threatening and leaden. The wind picked up dramatically and my husband's grumbling became more annoying assertive ... as though I'd obliged him to accompany me.

By the time we reached the course at Oxford Greens a light drizzle spritzed sporadically and gusty gales made it feel more like Carnoustie than Central Connecticut. Before long our playing partners arrived... and the chorus of complaints intensified. I refused to join in, first of all because I've had precious little time to play this year... in any kind of weather. In addition, I know how negativity affects my game and finally, to be perfectly honest with you, I really don't mind playing in windy conditions. In fact, I rather like the challenge of unique weather, as long as it remains unique... I wouldn't want to play in high winds every week, but once in a while, it can be interesting and enlightening.

"Vista", is hole #2 at Oxford Greens. It's a par 3 with an undulating green, protected by bunkers and water. Par for me.
                                                                                                                                          Photo: @ Golf Girl Media

So we tackled the challenging course and battled the 25mph winds. The guys played reasonably well (plus they had a perfect excuse for any mistakes) and I... played better than ever.  Turns out the very features I normally lament in my game (my low trajectory, wide stance, compact backswing) can be quite helpful when the wind blows. I think the thing I like best about playing on a cool, blustery day is the way I feel after my round, it's an awesome kind of exhaustion and it absolutely ensures an excellent night of sleep.

I'm guessing that was probably the last of our wintery weather... and if this is a typical CT Summer, we'll soon be complaining about the heat and humidity.


The Travelers Championship Means Much More Than Golf to Nutmeggers

The Travelers Championship - A CT Golf Event That Transcends Golf    via TravelersChampionship.com

While the golf is certainly stellar, for Connecticut residents, the Travelers Championship is also synonymous with history, community and charity.

For over fifty years the PGA Tour has come to the Hartford area for this annual event. It brings together sports fans of all stripes for a celebratory week of activities; a week that transcends the game and touches the lives of many. The Travelers Championship is Connecticut's largest professional sporting event and as the infographic above illustrates, 100% of the proceeds go to local charities.

For 2013, Travelers Championship week will run from Monday, June 17th thru Sunday, June 23, and the field is getting deeper by the day, with commitments coming in yesterday from Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Jason Dufner, Fredrik Jacobson and Padraig Harrington.

And... the tournament's world class Cromwell venue, TPC River Highlands, is right on schedule to receive the PGA Tour stars. We played there yesterday as part of the Travelers Championship media day, and though our team was less than impressive on the fairways and greens, conditions were great, and all the elements that make the Travelers Championship so compelling to watch (the natural amphitheaters, the many greenside bunkers, the spectacular finishing holes ) also make the course fun... and challenging... to play.

Tickets for the Travelers Championship are available on the event website and you can get the latest news leading up to the tournament by following the Travelers Championship on Facebook and Twitter.

@TravelersChamp on Twitter
Travelers Championship on Facebook


Turfpath: An New Social App for Homeowners and Golf Course Managers

Turfpath: a mobile-social app for grass lovers      photo: © Golf Girl Media
A lawn is defined as, "an area of land planted with grasses which are maintained at a short height and used for aesthetic and recreational purposes". 

Now to me, that sounds a bit like, well, a golf course... and if you happen to be a golfer who owns a home in a continental climate zone, chances are you often spend spring, summer and  autumn torn between the competing demands of your lawn and your game.

Just as area courses begin open for the season's first rounds, a plethora of spring lawn care tasks present themselves; raking, liming, over seeding, fertilizing ... and pulling up those perennial dandelions. It all must be done if you want to maintain decent lawn, and if you do, you'll inevitably find yourself sacrificing some of your early rounds and practice sessions for days of utilitarian yard work.

Other days you'll hit the course, which has hopefully been aerated, top dressed, nourished, trimmed and spruced-up for spring.  Good golf course maintenance makes early season playing a pleasure, but the vivid, lushness can also provoke some serious "lawn lust" because let's face it, we all want our lawns to look like our golf courses, right?  It's even been said that today's lawn care industry was actually born in the Spring of 1967 with the first technicolor broadcast of the Masters, when suburban America saw Augusta National, in its verdant glory, for the first time.

Now available at the Google Play and iTunes app stores
With that in mind, who better to liaise with when your goal is a gorgeous green lawn than golf course managers and turf grass specialists?  And that's part of the premise behind Turfpath, an ultra-promising new app now available in the Google Play and iTunes app stores.

Created by John Kaminski, an associate professor at Penn State (and a multi-faceted renaissance man) who understood a couple of years ago that a mobile social network would be a stellar way to allow anyone with interest in growing grass... anywhere in the world... to connect and exchange information.

The app features a growing gallery of images and descriptions of the various weeds, diseases and insects that can be problematic for grass growers.   Turfgrass professionals, golf course superintendents, landscapers and lawn-lusting suburban home owners can then add to the galleries with their own photos and information, and can exchange ideas on how to control these turf trouble-makers and prevent future infestations. The app will also contain live, geo-specific infestation alerts.

Adding to the social factor is a system of points and badges one can earn for posting, sharing information and interacting with others.  I happen to be one of those golf-loving, lawn-lusting suburbanites I described earlier, so I downloaded the app this morning and I've already identified a couple of the annoying weeds that have recently appeared on my lawn.. and gotten some eco-friendly advice on how to handle them.

I'm pretty sure Turfpath will soon be one of my favorite and most frequently used apps and I'm guessing I may have a greener lawn and a better golf game by the end of this summer.


Jordan Baker: Golden Age Glamour Meets Golf in "The Great Gatsby"

Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker       Photo:Warner Bros Pictures

Name: Jordan Baker

Age: 23

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Occupation: Professional Golfer

Body-type: Slim, Athletic

Pet Peeve: Carelessness

Controversy: Accused of moving her ball from a bad lie to win her first tournament

Quote: “It takes two to make an accident”

When The Great Gatsby opens later this week it'll undoubtedly influence fashion and decor trends... and will inspire themed parties, weddings and events... across the globe.  The jazz age excesses portrayed in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel... and made larger-than-,life in the most recent film version... will always be tantalizing. The story features excessive wealth and reckless abandonment and the allure of that combination transcends generations and jumps national borders. 

The fact that Jordan Baker... a significant secondary character in Fitzgerald's literary classic... is a professional golfer probably means there'll be numerous Great Gatsby Golf Tournaments this season as well. 

At first glance, Ms Baker is not a particularly appealing personage. Beautiful... but haughty and cold... she drifts through the narrative, tainted by rumors a cheating scandal, never fully explored. In retrospect however, she's seen as something of a trailblazer; an independent woman in the 1920's, when that concept was relatively rare. 
I think it's safe to say that she's the preferred female character for the majority of contemporary women who read the novel

It'll be interesting to see how this golden age golf girl is presented in the new film. Early reviews of the Baz Luhrmann's version of The Great Gatsby, hint at a dazzling production that's a bit short on substance, but from what I've seen of the trailers, I'm guessing that when it comes to Jordan Baker, it'll be hard not to be "halfway in love with her" by the movie's end.

For a bit more on Jordan Baker's magnetism check out Matt Cooper's piece at Back9Network.com


Of Wing Tips & Weekenders - New Golf Shoe Styles From 'Equipt for Play'

Just a few of the new styles from "Equipt for Play" 
It's Springtime in Connecticut and as you may know from reading Tennyson (and from perusing this blog) in Spring, "a fuller crimson comes upon the Robin's breast ... and a young man's this golfer's fancy turns to thoughts of love golf shoes".

True to form, several red-breasted avians have appeared in our pear tree and I've got my eye on the season's latest golf footwear options.

To be honest, my quest has just begun as Spring's late arrival had me in my winter golf uniform... black jacket/sweater, black pants, black shoes... till the end of April.

Though temperatures aren't yet high enough for shorts and sleeveless, I've happily transitioned some color back into my closet and I'm very much looking forward the multi-chromatic months ahead. And how fortuitous that a copious collection of new golf shoe styles from Equipt for Play is now available for preorder, with delivery expected by the end of the month.

I wrote about this extraordinary line... and its fabulous founder, Annie Jaroszewicz... in the fall of 2011, shortly after it had officially launched.  Since then the company has more than doubled their sales and the collection is now available across the US and Canada.  A year ago Equipt for Play scored the ultimate ace, making the prestigious "O List" as one of only 9 products Oprah Winfrey deemed "Guaranteed to Make You Feel Good".

The 2013 collection includes new "Wing Tips" that meld madras with leather in whimsical color combinations and "Spectators" that are both elegant AND stylistically unexpected.  The classic Oxford comes in suede and leather, in a plethora of shades.  Then there's the Weekender, a driving loafer that's equally at home on fairways and highways.  In fact, all the new styles feature an innovative comfort-traction sole that's perfect for golf or street wear.

The only problem with the new "Equipt for Play" line is that you'll undoubtedly have trouble choosing just one pair. I'm working on that right now and I've managed to narrow it down... to about eight.  H/T ShiShiPutter
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