Saturday, September 17, 2011

See It, Feel It, Trust It, DEAL WITH IT

In my last post, I talked abut the golf movie Seven Days in Utopia and the message I got out of it. For golf, it was SFT (See, Feel, Trust). It was seeing your shot, feeling the shot in your hands, and then trusting your shot and hitting it with conviction. My old junior college coach likes to add one more thing to it: deal with it. It's accepting the outcome of your shot, regardless. It was about remaining calm in both the good and bad. For life, it was about a relationship with Jesus and knowing that golf is merely a game.
For my first competitive round in 5 months, I didn't know what to expect. Then a text came from my dad just prior to my tee time. It said: S F T. I applied the S F T D to my game.

I won my Houston City Am qualifier with a 69.

I won it by chipping in from 30 yards on the final green. I won it by making 7 birdies on the round. I made it by making putts 20-30 feet...something that rarely happens. I won it by trusting my game. I won it because Jesus gave me a sense of calmness I haven't felt on the course in a long time.

After I chipped in on the last hole, I put my sunglasses on and gave thanks to Jesus while my playing partners finished out the hole.

You can check out my scorecard and results here

It has been a long time since I won a tournament/qualifier on an individual basis. Hopefully this great playing translates over to the Houston City Am Oct. 7-9.

Numerical Summary for the Round of 69:

7 - number of birdies and pars on the day. Like I said: roller coaster.

0 - number times I was concerned about time, checking my phone concerned about the outside world, worried about the pace of play. When you are calm and in a zone, nothing really matters.

10 - minutes spent on my warm up before the round. I hit some perfect iron shots on the range, made a handful of putts and hit 2 great chip shots. My warm up was a stark contrast to the normal 45 minute warm up I normally prepare for.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Seven Days In Utopia

If you have any free time in the next few weeks and love the game of golf, go check out Seven Days in Utopia. Last night I walked over to the movie theater (weather in Houston cooled to a nice 93*) and watched one of the best golf/life books I have read in a long time. Most golf books are either working on your physical or mental aspects of the game but this book/movie shows the true importance in life: a relationship with Jesus.

It's not a movie that will break box office records or something that will be award winning, but the message is timeless and puts life into perspective. I am not much of a movie-goer but this was too good to pass up.

Numerical Summary for the Labor Day Weekend:

4 - hours watching the Baylor/TCU game. If you didn't watch the game, you missed an Instant Classic. And you're crazy to think that I wasn't at the game. Sic Em.

1 - number of comments hurled from me to folks wearing purple after the game. Why do I mention this? Because the only time I opened my mouth, someone behind me asked if I was trying to start a fight. Who was it? The youth pastor at the baptist church near my parents house that I have visited before. Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor.

6:45 - AM tee time the morning following the Baylor game. I got 4 hours of sleep and then was on the golf course for 4 hours. If only life was that generous to give me equal parts sleep and golf.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I will be writing a full blown post about my trip to Calgary soon, but until then...

Here is a sample of the golf I experienced during my trip:

Sunday, July 31, 2011

For Business...and Pleasure

For the last 5+ years, I have worked for one of the nation's largest oil & gas producers. Our main focus is to pull gas and liquids from the ground and put it a pipe for refineries. For the first 4 years on the job, I reported all of the spending on US capital projects. About a year ago, just before my company went through a massive expansion through acquisitions, I was moved to focus solely on our Permian (West Texas/East New Mexico) area which has quickly become the most active region in the world for my company. It's fun to see more of the operations side of a region that has 25 rigs running on a daily basis.

We have operations in Australia, Chile, Argentina, Egypt, UK, United States and Canada...which brings me to the subject of this post. Our Canada operations are based in Calgary, Alberta. The Calgary office recently lost their capital reporting accountant and are in need of someone to come up for a few weeks to run the reports and analysis. My 'bat phone' lit up a few weeks ago and within a few hours, I had my flight and hotel stay for two weeks in downtown Calgary. My tasks for the two weeks are pretty simple: get the work done efficiently and timely, and once that is done...PLAY SOME GOLF!

Calgary is similar to Denver with the layout - mountains to the west, plains to the east. My timing couldn't be any better as the company's golf tournament will be played on the only Friday I will be in Calgary. You're crazy to think I wouldn't be signed up to play. The course we are playing is to the east of town, so it looks to be a fairly flat course but at a good elevation.

For the weekend, I am renting a car and heading west to the 'young' Rockies. Numerous co-workers have told me to go see this lake or this mountain lodge, etc. Thanks but no thanks. My car is going to Stewart Creek on Saturday and then Kananaskis on Sunday for 36 holes of awesomeness. With daylight lasting for a good 15 hours, I should have plenty of time to enjoy the rounds. That's 72 holes of golf for the weekend with 54 holes of golf in a 2 day the sheer Rockies, at high will be pretty incredible. I sure hope I remember to take plenty of photos to remember this trip.


Stewart Creek:

Oh yeah, I get home on Thursday around 9:30pm and head straight to Galveston for a little weekend beach party. The weather in Calgary: low 70s. The weather in Galveston upon my return: mid 90s.

Numerical Summary for the week:

4 - hours spent at a Slip-N-Slide party yesterday. Yes, a bunch of 20 and 30-somethings got together on an inflatable slip-n-slide and I have to tell was a lot of fun. I was given the task to provide music for the party and I succeeded with my wide selection of old school hip-hop. Thanks Snoop and Biggy.

12 - as in noon, which has been the average tee time for me the last few rounds. Nothing strains the body more than playing golf in heat index north of 100 and humidity around 80%. Hey, at least I know I am not the only idiot out there sweating profusely while hitting a small white ball around the course.

33 - days until the first Baylor football game. With baseball being the only sport going on right now, I am so ready for some football.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's In the Bag

Yea, I know it's been over a month since my last post. Since this is a golf blog and maybe someone out there is actually following me for golf purposes, I figured I would divulge what is in my bag and my choice for various golf items.

Driver: I did some research (as posted here) and I finally settled on the Titleist 910 D3 in 8.5* with an Oban Devotion 7X shaft. It took Titleist about a month to finally send me the correct driver, for some reason they thought I was right-handed, but ultimately my lefty driver arrived in the mail Friday and was in play today. The first few holes were shaky, but I didn't miss a single fairway on the back nine.

Fairway Wood: My fairway wood and hybrid are my throwback items. I had the worst time finding a fairway wood that was easy to hit and consistent off the tee and off the fairway. I tried the Titleist 909f, Callaway X Hot, Adams Super Hybrid, and TaylorMade Burner. Finally, the TaylorMade V Steel was on a website, brand new for $59...sold.

Hybrid: Nothing has been able to replace the Sonartec MD 19* in the past 4 years. Nothing.
Irons: (4-GW): My choice in irons has gone from blades to muscle backs to cavity backs. Irons for all skill levels have become easier to hit. I am a firm believer that unless you are on TV every week for golf, there is no need to be playing blades. I have progressed from Cleveland CG1, to Titleist AP2 and now found THE set in the Adams CB2. Forgiveness is as important as workability in a set of irons. Do NOT forget that.

Sand/Lob Wedge: Since my irons came with a 50* gap wedge, I went with a 58* sand/lob wedge that is perfect around the greens. Cleveland is one of the few wedge companies that have various sole designs in left hand. Their DSG wedge is perfect for bunkers and deep bermuda grass.

Putter: The flat stick is something I either love or loathe. If it's hot, then I am posting some low numbers. However, recently, the putter has been a woman going through menopause. Hot one minute, cool the next. I have a couple in reserve (SeeMore mFgp reserve, Bettinardi B330, and a custom Slighter Snubnose), but the TaylorMade Kia Ma has taken the top spot.

Bag: I sport the Adidas University bag with the Starburst Jr Golf Tournament logo. We gave each of the 1,000+ kids a bag in last year's tournament. The shipment was so large that we had to store them in an 18-wheeler.

Balls: For the longest time, I used Titleist Pro V1x. For the longest time, Houston experienced numerous months of consistent rain. I switched to the TaylorMade Penta upon its release because it didn't spin as much in the wet conditions. Now, Houston is in a drought and I have switched back to the Pro V1x due to firm/dry conditions.

Shoes: Puma Special Edition. These are some of the smoothest shoes Puma has put out. Love the design to them and they are quite comfortable.

Belts: Um, you can't have Puma Special Edition shoes without the matching belt!!

As you can see, I thoroughly enjoy the world of golf. Some may say it is a little obsessive, but I just utilize the skills God gave me. I am always up for a round so if you need a fourth, let me know.

Stay tuned for next post when I discuss my future work trip to Calgary, Canada!

Numerical Summary for the past 30 days:

6 - rounds of golf played in the last 6 weekends. It's a streak I hope to continue in this ridiculous heat.

72 - holes of golf played with the same Titleist Pro V1X. It's a number 2 with a Compass Bank logo on it obtained in my dad's Chamber Golf Tournament. It's still going strong and has led to some great scores.

5 - average hours each week spent at the pool. Hey, I figured after I get all my chores done, put in my practice time on the course, I need some R&R. It's blazing hot outside and sure the pool isn't cold anymore, but man, it sure beats watching TV inside.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there...hope you got a sweet tie or a watch that will stop working once it hits moisture. I got my dad some bright yellow golf balls (Srixon) so that he can see the golf ball better on the course, especially at dusk.

Here are some videos for the Dads...

Too lazy to take the kid out for a walk? No worries, just grab you a remote control car:

Need to really put your stamp on a road trip? Enjoy.

The Dad's Life Anthem. So True...

Thank you dad for all that you have taught me in life. I hope to pass along those things to my kids one day.

Numerical Summary for the weekend:

2 - days my phone spent in a bowl of rice. I dropped it in the pool Friday afternoon, took it apart and let it sit in rice until Sunday morning. It started right up and everything works great. I still can't believe the rice did the trick.

27 - hours spent either watching or playing golf. First off Rory McIlroy...un-freaking-believable. What a tournament for him. So glad I got to watch it from start to finish.

3 - penalty shots incurred during my round at Lochinvar with the brother-in-law and his brother. I don't think that has happened to me in a long, long time. Found every possible water hazard. Still managed to shoot a 76, but oh what could have been...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Best Drivers of 2011

Alright, let's get back to the main reason I started this!

This spring at the Shell Houston Open qualifier, the PGA guys were using equipment I had never seen before. As an amateur, I consider myself to be on the long end of the distance spectrum throughout the bag. My drives are consistently around the 290 - 300 yard mark while hitting around 50% of fairways. Compared to the pros, I couldn't muster the strength to match their distance. Most of the pros had been measured over and over to find the right club head and shaft combo. The ease at which they swing and the distance they produced got me thinking about my current setup and how it might be completely wrong for me.

As a lefty, demo clubs are about as rare as a hurricane in Iowa. So instead of purchasing a bunch of custom ordered drivers and hoping one would work out, I traveled all over the Houston area to demo days. I found that 4 drivers are really worth taking a look at if you are a more skilled golfer.

Background: If there was a shaft upgrade available, I would choose that club. Otherwise, I was stuck with stock shafts for the demo. Titleist, Cobra and TaylorMade offer interchangeable shafts so they had an unfair advantage over the Callaway.

Specs: Avg swing speed - 116mph. Optimal Launch Angle - 10*. Optimal Spin Rate - 2700rpm. Avg Angle of Attack: -0.7*. Avg Smash Factor - 1.44

Cobra S3

Probably the most forgiving driver I have ever hit. Also, probably one of the worst stock shafts I have ever hit (Fujikura Blur). It was a little difficult to hit a consistently straight drive but man were they long. Cobra's elliptical face design really is cool because it applies to just about every golfer. Where are most of your mishits? High on the toe, low on the heel. Kudos to Cobra for the most realistic driver head on the market...just a shame that if you want a shaft to fit your game, you will need to pony up another $200 on top of the $300 price tag. Plus I love the name of the driver: S3...that's my initials. I should buy one solely for the label!
Final Grade: B- (Only because of the subpar shaft)

Callaway Razr Hawk Tour

Sweet Mary and Moses this is by far the longest, hottest driver on the market. Into the wind, this driver was about 15 yards further than any of the competition. Normal wind conditions, the Cally was tied with Titleist. Their stock shaft, the Aldila RIP, is a great shaft for most golfers...but not for me. I needed something to launch lower with a lot less spin. This is quite a step up from the FT-9 Tour. It is the only one of the 4 that features a fixed head unlike the other 3 adjustable heads.
Final Grade: A

Titleist 910 D3

Most of the time I skip over Titleist. Why? Because they have always been to hard for me to hit and they were the most unforgiving club in the shop. The last Titleist driver I owned was the 905R and it was a rocket...if you could find the sweet spot the size of a gnat's ass. This club completely changed my opinion about their forgiveness. This club actually HAS some forgiveness. I first hit the Diamana 'Ahina (the updated WhiteBoard) and thought I had fallen in love...that is until I put in the Oban Devotion shaft (a $150 upcharge) and this had a hard time not going in my bag. The adjustability of the club is nice and it is just enough to tinker but not overwhelm you.
Final Grade: A (would have given A+ but the price is a little steep)

TaylorMade R11

The tinker toy of the golf world. Yes, they are on TV more than we can count. Yes, out of the 9,756 options, 1 is bound to work for each golfer. However, the white driver is too bright for me in the Houston summer sun and the spin on this driver was way too high for me. I don't ground my club so the face angle adjustability doesn't come into effect. I tried the heaviest, stiffest shaft available and it still couldn't bring the spin rate down. For people with slower swings, you need spin to keep the ball airborne; however too much spin causes the ball to balloon and reduces roll.
Final Grade: B+

If you are in the market for a driver, please go get fitted. Do NOT buy right off the rack. There is so much technology out there that can find you the right combination. Sure, we would all like to blame the club instead of our swing, but if your driver is older than 3 or 4 years, you will benefit from the latest and greatest out there.

Numerical Summary for the Week:

1 - rounds of golf played in the last 4 weekends. Yes, I have been going through the typical withdrawal symptoms: shakes, nervous twitch, cold sweats and spontaneous golf swings in the office.

0 - number of good shows on this summer. Living on reruns is getting old and no I can't dance, she shouldn't date that guy and I am sure someone has a great voice.

25 - mpg average in the Shelby on my trek from Houston to New Braunfels, up to Waco and then back to Houston. Who says 320 hp V-8 engines aren't fuel efficient!?!

Monday, June 6, 2011


Yes, this is a golf blog but all I have done lately is discuss music. Well, my next post I will talk about the golf club testing I have done but there is a new group out I am trying to spread the word about.

The group is called Motopony and they just released their debut self titled album a few weeks ago. I heard their music on my radio station.

King of Diamonds by tinyogre

Wait For Me by tinyogre

Seer by tinyogre

Just some very chill music that I have really enjoyed listening to at work and at the apartment. Their King of Diamonds song is actually free on right now.

Numerical Summary for the Day:

0 - Amount of TV I have watched this evening. Actually doing productive stuff like laundry, dishes and cleaning. My apartment now smells of fresh linen, bleach, vanilla, and lemon. Hello headache!

Friday, May 27, 2011

For the Holiday Weekend

Houston's forecast for the Holiday weekend: Partly Cloudy, Breezy, High in the low 90s.

What is loaded in the car for my friend Craig's Lake Party: Swimsuit, sound cube of death, ipod, SPF 100, tooth brush and some flip flops.

Summer is definitely here.

Here are some of my 'Best Of' for the summer.

Best Margarita Ever...Period. It's easy to make and probably one of the healthiest margaritas you will ever drink because it is just alcohol and fruit juice. The orange helps reduce the acid bite that most margaritas carry.
1 oz Patron Silver
1 oz Patron Orange
1 oz Triple Sec
Squeeze/Juice of 2 limes and 1 med orange (best to microwave the fruit for 20 seconds to get more juice out)
Mix well with lots of ice (no salt or sugar on the rim).

Best Steak (that I have ever made)
Choice cut of meat
Brine for an hour prior to grilling
Heat grill as hot as it can get
Season steak accordingly (I like to use a little brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika)
Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side
Finish steak by heating oven to 400* and baking for about 7-10 minutes.
Serve with a little butter.
Note: If you have a really thick piece of meat, you will get the middle cooked faster (more evenly) if you put a few nails in the steak. The metal acts as a conductor of heat and it is perfect for those who don't like rare steaks.

Best Suntan Lotion for intense summer parties

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This sweat and water proof 'spray-on' lotion is simply magic. I spray it on at the beginning of the sun exposure and it lasts all day long. No need to reapply. Heck, I have to scrub in the shower pretty good just to get it off. I think it absorbs into the blood stream!!

Best Shoes for the Summer

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Old man slippers?! No sir. These are Reef's Slip On Shoes and they are just as comfortable as sandals. They have their uber soft insole and I wear these all the time. Another pair I own is made by Sanuk. Being a golfer, I have an unsightly sock tan line and these shoes help people from noticing the stark contrast of my normal skin tone and my tan legs. Plus, getting older = ugly toes.
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Best Summer Beers

Blue Moon is always a safe bet. Blonde Bombshell is perfect for pool side. Dos XX is like a good dog, always there to greet you when you get home, never leaves your side, and always has a smile on its face.

Headed to Lake Conroe!

Numerical Summary for the week:

4 - AM...which the time I woke up this morning. The power went out in my apartment and all the clocks were flashing 12:00. I have black out shades so I didn't know what time it was. Once I found my phone, I was already awake. Still didn't make it to work until 8ish.

1 - year away from Facebook. I decided to reactivate my account...but I am already starting to regret it. So many incriminating photos out there.

15 - estimated crowd size for the lake party. I know the house can sleep a bunch of people but since I will be the 15th wheel, I have a feeling I will be sleeping in a closet. That may sound bad to some of you, but if you knew my vacation sleeping arrangements growing up...a closet is an upgrade!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Music...Less Silence

If you know me or my lifestyle, you know there is always music playing. I live alone so the silence is usually filled with either Slacker or Pandora online radio. The last time I posted about music, it was more about websites, etc. This post is about what I am actually listening to these days. Judge my music all you want, make recommendations, it's all good.

First off I have to mention the best portable sounds system...ever. Sure you have seen the portable speakers for your ipod that maybe pumps some high treble but no bass. This 'sound cube of death' is well worth the sticker price (and extra $100 battery so you can use it off a/c power) and provides ample amounts of all-around great sound.
This is the Bosch Power Box Job Site Radio. The cage around the unit allows it to be dropped from a height of 7' and still operate without a hitch (I haven't tried it yet, nor do I plan on it anytime soon). It comes with a remote that is handy when you are too lazy to turn it up. It can operate in all environments; Bosch recommends just not submerging it in water...duh. It's perfect at the pool, beach, tailgate, etc. It is truly incredible with all the ports to hook up an iPod, a satellite radio dock, flash card, sim card, and cigarette lighter port. If the unit is plugged into a power source, then there are 4 a/c outlets so you can charge your phone, etc.
It has a nice subwoofer as well on the bottom of the cube so you get some nice bass.
Alright, on to the music...

I have been on a Ray LaMontagne kick recently. I don't know if it's me getting older, the dating scene, or my ever-changing life but Ray gets the job done.
Beg Steal Or Borrow - Ray Lamontagne by mickmgmt

Repo Man - Ray LaMontagne by mickmgmt

I also recommend the following songs from Ray: Henry Nearly Killed Me, Jolene, Empty and Three More Days.

Ben Harper just recently came out with a new album and I really like these two songs (Feel Love and Don't Give Up on Me Now)

I would also recommend Amen Omen from Mr. Harper. Darn good song.

OK, onto something more upbeat. Raphael Saddiq is way underrated in my book. I hope he makes it big time cause he has a very unique sound. Here are two of my favorites:

You want something more along the Indie/Alternative scene? Try some of these:

Idiot Heart - Sunset Rubdown
Grown Ocean - Fleet Foxes
Something Good Can Work (RAC Remix) - Two Door Cinema Club
Go (feat. Karen O) - Santigold
Maximalist - Baths
Houdini - Foster the People
Botanist - Guineafowl
Let's Get Out of Here - Les Savy Fav
Stay Too Long - Plan B
Answer To Yourself - The Soft Pack
Under Cover of Darkness - The Strokes
Still Sound - Toro y Moi
Will Do - TV on the Radio
Comin' Through - War on Drugs
King of the Beach - Wavves
My Body - Young The Giant

I hope I have been able to bring you some music you may not have heard of already. Remember, check websites like and for daily updates of free new music.

Numerical Summary for the Weekend:

60 - hours between showers this weekend. I had every intention to maintain personal hygiene but a trip to the beach and the pool delayed usage of soap and shampoo. Oh I was a sweet smelling dude this afternoon.

15 - pars made on the Cypress course at Cypresswood Golf Club here in Houston. I played with a buddy who just finished his 2nd year at law school. It was a pitch and putt style course but I enjoyed using a sick day!

5 - ingredients used for THE BEST MARGARITA...EVER! You mix a shot of Patron, a shot of Patron Orange, a shot of Triple Sec, the juice of 1 med orange and 2 limes...mix with lots of ice (no salt or sugar on the rim). They are soooo smooth and they hit you like a runaway truck! Perfect while in Galveston or poolside.