2015 Blogging Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2015 Season Recap

Last Season’s 2015 Goals

A scant 8 months ago, the 2015 season started with brand new optimism and hope for a better game and lower scores. Suddenly, Christmas is coming and the season is well over and it’s time to reflect on the season that was and set up some new goals for the future.

I was excited coming into the 2015 golf season but I knew I needed to improve on my short game to continue to shoot in the upper 80s, including:

  1. Better speed control for more 2 putts
  2. Better chipping for more 1 putts
  3. Better bunker play- too many thin bullets way over the green in 2014!

As the season wore on, my short game nicely stabilized into reliable form while my irons game was the piece that ended up needing rescuing.

2015 New Gear

I got new irons (Callaway Apex) this season and struggled with them during the first couple of rounds in Palm Springs Christmas 2014 trip.  During my last rounds on the trip, I finally started to hit them solid by slowing down and hitting them in rhythm instead of trying to muscle every shot.

I also bought new hybrids over the 2014 off season- Callaway X2 Hot 3Hy and 4Hy.  The 4H have quickly become one of my favourite clubs in the bag due to how easy it is to hit and how versatile the hybrid is.

Amazing Callaway Customer Service

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California Postcards – Aviara Golf

This year, we re-visited California for our winter golf vacation and spent a few days at the beautiful Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, CA.

The golf itself included lots of great holes-

#3 is a short, pretty par 3 over a pond;

#7 has this amazing drop and is all downhill;

#8 is big downhill risk/reward par 5, green guarded by water;

#10 could be a drive over the water feature for a chance at the green in 2;

#18 is a long par four with water in play off the tee and on the approach.

The golf was a difficult test with lots of elevation changes; dramatic water features; uneven lies everywhere; large undulating greens that welcomes 3 putts.  (2 putts for par feels like victory sometimes!)

Finally- some pictures.  There really are no words to properly describe it but it’s fair to say that the pictures doesn’t truly do it justice!

Looking back from #3

Top of the world at #7

Approach on #8

Looking back at the 10th teebox

Ho Hum, another typical par 3 (#14)

The 16th Green

Coming home on the difficult #18

Here’s a compilation from the 2015 LPGA Kia Classic with real pros showing us bogey golfers how to drive over the water on #10 and hitting the green on #16.

 

 

Cold Autumn Golf

 

It started out as a wet, cold, and chilly front 9 but then the skies cleared up and we had a wonderfully quiet and peaceful round on Thanksgiving Monday at the Broadmoor Golf Course.

 

You can see we’re losing most of our leaves in Northern Alberta already – here’s hoping we get a couple more rounds in next weekend before our Canadian golf season is over.

Arccos Golf Review

What is Arccos?

Think of it as Fitbit for golf.

It is fourteen sensors that you attach to the end of each of club, and in conjunction with the GPS of your iPhone, tracks every shot that you hit during a round.  This is also similar to the GameGolf product but the key difference is Arccos’ sensors will detect club impact on your behalf without requiring your explicit “tap” or trigger to let it know you’re about to take a shot.

So excited to try this out!

The Arccos system (the fourteen sensors + the iPhone app) will automatically keep track of the location and distances of every shot; provide front, middle, and back of the green distances; and automatically keep score while you play.  The promise is that it’ll do all this for you in the least disruptive way possible to your current playing routine.

Here are my early impressions after 3 rounds so far.


System Set Up

The sensors are small gumdrop shaped caps that screws into the grip end of each club.  I found that putter sensor didn’t fit too well with my Superstroke grip but it is still fully functional.  My suggestion is for you to test each sensor first in case you find a drained battery like I did and have to replace them.  The pairing process is simple- open up the app, select your clubs and press the top of each sensor for 5 seconds as the app prompts you. Continue reading

Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course

Stunning.

Jasper Park Lodge is really beautiful.  It is a little more secluded and less commercial than Banff and the course really works well into the land.

There are a good mix of really straight forward holes and difficult challenges where course knowledge really helps. But then again, even if you get distracted by your surroundings and miss a shot, the golf is still great, and the view is phenomenal so your golf attitude factor #GAF for JPL would be crazy high as one of my favourite golf blogger friend The Grateful Golfer would say.

Here are some shots from the weekend…

 

The par 5 10th

The typical tee box view

Hole#14 One of the toughest but more stunning holes

Wow!

Beautiful but tough par 3 #9.


 

After a pretty tough first round, I learned a few things for the second… I better jot down these notes as a reminder for possible future rounds.

  • Hole #3 is a blind tee shot so it was hit and hope the first round.  The way to go is to hit a straight drive over the first tree on the right corner, it’ll fly onto the dogleg right fairway and leave a short iron in for the approach.
  • Hole #8 is a tough one- a straight drive through a tight landing area leaves me with a long iron into the green.  It might make sense to just take an iron of the tee to make sure the ball is in play.
  • Hole #9 is a long downhill par 3, guarded by front bunkers.  It’s an illusion from the tee box that the bunkers are right on the front lip of the green- it’s actually quite a far ways off.  If you just fly over the right bunker, there’s actually a funnel of a fairway that should drain the ball down towards the green.  I found out by accident when I faded a 5 iron of the right hand side and found myself in okay position with a downhill chip.
  • Hole #12 par 3 is a huge green.  Don’t over shoot it, there’s a deep bunker behind.
  • Hole #13 has a blind approach to the green.  It’s probably further right than you think.
  • Hole #14 is the beautiful tee box over the lake onto the fairway.  I long straight drive will actually get you into the forest through the fairway so maybe a 3w or hybrid is smarter.
  • Hole #15 is the deceptively “easy” par 3 where you must hit the green.  Short and it funnels 15 yards back down the hill.  Left and it’s hazards.  Right and it’s deep bunkers.  It’s better to be longer and deeper in the green and be putting than too short.  The green widens up when deeper as well.
  • Hole #16- against my own actions, probably shouldn’t take driver and just land in the fat part of the fairway.  Must stay right on the approach because the lake cuts deep, protecting the front of the green.
  • Hole #18- No need to draw this, just hit the driver straight and the slope of the hill will bring everything back left.