For extreme golf dorks only: Seperated at birth

This is kitschy, yet hilarious. From

Got any more?

Tim Herron: Andy Richter?


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E-mail deals

If you’re not already signed up on the e-mail list of your favorite Twin Cities metro golf courses, you’d best get while the gettin’s pretty cheap. Sure, GroupOn will send you “big” discounts for doggy daycare in New Hope, but you might be surprised to find in automatic e-mail updates from Minneapolis, St. Paul, Troy Burne, StoneRidge and others. Many will give you free rounds on your birthday, and don’t try to type in that days date and try to pawn it off as your birthday because you’ll be disappointed when they check your I.D. If you have a winter birthday, they’ll usually honor it, though.

Pour example, here are a few screen grabs from my e-mail. These discounts are good right now. Get on it!

Welcome  to Minneapolis Golf
Gross National’s Tuesday Golf & Lunch Special and Columbia’s Early Bird Special
Gross National’s Tuesday Golf & Lunch Special –For just $40, you receive 18 holes of golf, a riding cart, a single sleeve of Srixon golf balls, and lunch. Lunch consists of a hot dog or sloppy joe, chips and a fountain beverage. This offer is valid before 3:00pm on Tuesdays through June 22, 2010. Not valid with league play or special events. Print Coupon
Gross National’s 2 for 1 Range Offer –Purchase one bucket of balls for our range and receive the second bucket for free. This offer is good until June 22, 2010. Offer not valid with league play or special events. Print Coupon
Columbia Golf Club’s Early Bird Special – 18 Holes –For just $19, you receive 18 holes of golf and a riding cart on any Monday – Thursday through June 17th, 2010, between 6am and 7:30am. Offer not valid with league play or special events. Print Coupon

Hiawatha Golf Club & Fort Snelling Golf Club 2-for-1 green fee specials
Hiawatha Golf Club’s 2-for-1 green fees with a purchase of a riding cart – 18 Holes – Buy 1 green fee for $28.00 and a full cart for $30.00 ($58.00 total) and get the second green fee free. This offer is valid before 4:00pm Monday – Thursday through June 24, 2010. Valid for groups of 2 or 4. Not valid with league play or special events. Print Coupon
Fort Snelling Golf Club’s Special – 9 Holes – Buy 1 green fee for $16.00 and a full cart for $16.00 ($32.00 total) and get the second green fee free. This offer is valid before 4:00pm Monday – Thursday through June 24, 2010. Valid for groups of 2 or 4. Not valid with league play or special events. Print Coupon

Not bad, eh?

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Monsoon season and the ‘Long’ shot

Unfortunately I haven’t played golf since, WOW, May 4. And I basically haven’t posted since then. Yowsa. Not like anyone checks this blog anyway. But still, I’m sure my shortgame is going to be a-hurtin’.

Annnnnd … I know everyone loves talking about the weather in Minnesota, but we just had a weeklong stretch where it was darn near monsoon season, and now we’re dealing with record highs in the Twin Cities.

95 degrees in May means Stevie no golfey. However, these extreme temps are probably good for soil temps on local greens. So we’ve got that goin’ for us.

In other news, while he didn’t qualify for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Vikings kicker (and Packer legend) Ryan Longwell still plans to “go pro” after his pro football career, according to this May 10 Pioneer Press article.

And now Burlington, Wisconsin-product Tony Romo shot 69 in a local U.S. Open qualifier and WON A FREAKIN’ PLAYOFF! Romo’s golf game holds up under pressure-he already has a better U.S. Open playoff record, than he does in the NFL. Ouchhh.

Romo advanced to next round of U.S. Open qualifying. Next up: Beating the Eagles.

Word on the street is Romo is using a new White Hot XG Odyssey belly putter that made all the difference. He actually left the course after shooting 69, came back and then won the freaking playoff! Solid! Next up, the 30-year-old Romo moves on to the 36 hole stage of qualifying June 7 at Woodland, Texas’ The Club at Carlton Hills. Sounds very Fresh Prince.

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Going pro

As my work in the golf business draws to a close (got a job as an assistant editor at a magazine) a few interesting customers have stopped in to buy clubs and ask my advice.

Yesterday I gave a putting lesson to Vikings backup CB Asher Allen. The well-rounded and jovial Georgia product has caught the golf bug (and already broke two graphite shafted drivers). Little man packs a big punch and loves the steel-shafted Callaway hybrid I sold him.  Haha! He said he hits it well and has yet to break the shaft off at the hosel – so he’s got that goin’ for him. Our convo ranged from a new stadium (“It may be home field advantage, but we have to play [with all that noise] too.”), and I went a bit ol’ skool throwing out Neon Deion, Jeff George and UGA’s Herschel Walker (both of whom were Vikings, unbeknownst to the rookie) and included a dead-on impression by Allen of the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed “Caller …”. He has to be one of the more polite individuals I’ve ever met. I wished him good luck, except against the Packers.

When pressed about Favre coming back, he simply looked off into the distance – in this case the Titleist irons section – raised a fist and said “Let’s Go!”. I assume that means he wants Favre back. He agreed that $12 million would be hard to pass up. I told him he should go golfing with Ryan Longwell. Incidentally, I’m still trying to land a Longwell interview. His recent announcement that he will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open means he’s getting a lot of interview requests according to the Vikings’ P.R. guy, so we’ll see where that goes.

Tonight a rather large gentleman and his son were hanging out by the club wall. I approached and noticed the son had a Shatuck-St. Mary’s windbreaker with the name “Brodeur” stitched into it. Took one look at the dad and could only assume it was New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. After fitting his son for some Nike Dual Cavity irons and a couple of VR wedges, I helped Marty (I didn’t actually call him that) purchase a lefty 10.5 Ping g15 draw driver and he also threw on an Odyssey White Ice putter for good measure. Naturally, I slapped on a few midsize grips for the gold medal goalie. Nice guy. We talked golf/hockey, I mentioned Madison-native Jerry Kelly, and got to shake the man’s hand.

It was a good end to a rainy day that saw me going to the dentist in a failed attempt to get a wisdom tooth pulled. Apparently I’m too big of a baby for just Novocaine and laughing gas. Come to think of it, maybe I just left ESPN on and the whole day was surrealist dream.


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A tribute …

So T.C. Teebox ventured down to Texas for a lil’ R&R – research and reporting over the weekend.


* “Played” The Tribute – Dallas’ No. 1 public course. After getting over a few topped drivers and hybrids early, and thanks to a few solid tips from the Long Drive Association’s Alex DeVilling, my driver decided to start working and my short game was pretty good (by pretty good I mean no four-putts on greens that tetered around 11-12 stimp).  Sunny and 75 all day. DeVilling, BTW, was a great (dare I say mysterious) host, and is going to give current LDA Champion Jamie Sadlowski a run for his money some day.

Very fun trip overall. Got to take a tour of Adams Golf HQ in Plano. Not a humongous operation, but a lot of smart, dedicated golf folks there. I understand why the brand has begun to really take off in the last five years. Good dudes, all of ’em. Of course, I am in no way biased that they bought all of our food and drinks and sprang for our hotel and transportation the whole weekend.

I played the new CB1s, and they look and feel great. Didn’t really dig the Project X shaft, myself. But hey. I actually hit the 19-degree A7 very well out of a fairway bunker – just so I could say I did it. The course was really in great shape. Immaculate and FAST. Since it was a shamble format (modified scramble in which you play approaches from the best drive, and putt from the best shot on par 3s) I got to work on my chipping a lot.

It’s hard to quantify just how far these long-drive guys hit it. You really have to see it for yourself. 400 yards is not a problem downwind. 4 … hundred … yards, people. Sadlowski actually put it over the first green.

Great to get away on a golf vacation. To quote En Vogue “Back to life, back to reality.”

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Compression session

Joe Seeds brings up a good point about golf ball compression.

I’m sure this is a topic heavy on your mind: How much a golf ball compresses, and which one is right for you. Well, pack your bags, cause we’re going on a truth trip, my friends.

The days of 80, 90 and 100 compression rates are over. You see, it used to be easy to pick out the right ball for you. Now, not so much. No longer can you pick a compression based on your swing speed (such as 80 for slower swings, 90 for average clubhead speeds, or 100 for faster speeds).

Also, the cover and core of the ball has changed dramatically in the last decade. Urethane covers can be found on better balls (Titleist Pro V, TaylorMade Penta, Srixon Z-Star series) and Surlyn on others.  Urethane will spin more (this includes sidespin) and Surlyn are usually found in two-piece or “distance” balls. Balls have gotten more durable and go farther. Some balls are still honed to slower or faster swing speeds, while others may spin more or less. And I can’t get much more vague, can I?

I had Titleist (Acushnet) training last night and they claim that their ball is basically the longest premium ball in golf. And that they’ve got one for every player. Since they are truly the No.1 ball in golf, let’s use their balls as an example – er … – you know what I mean.

* Pro V1s: $50 a dozen. Regular Pro V1 is a three-piece ball, spins a ton and is softer. It’s the best choice if you want the ball to check on chip shots, and if you have problems getting the ball airborne. If you already hit the ball high …

*Pro V1x: Again, plopping down $50. Two piece. It will add distance. Particularly in the case of the 2007 Pro V1x, which experts say, that if you line this up with the seam facing down your target line, you’ll get an extra 20 yards. A lot of tour players (at least older tour players – I’m looking at you Stricker and Kenny Perry) still play this ball I believe.

*NXT Tour: $33. It’s the common man’s Pro V1. Essentially has all of the same characteristics (three piece), and now with a more durable cover. Won’t spin quite as much, and the Surlyn cover doesn’t feel as soft as the PV1.

*NXT Extreme: $33. EXTREME!!!!!!!!! distance. For the most part. Pretty good feel for a two-piece.

*DT Solo: Titleist got rid of off of it’s crazy value balls and replaced them with this – a two-piece, Pinnacle-esque, distance ball. Though not bad for $22. It says Titleist and will give you extra distance. BUUUUUUUUUUUTTT this also has a lower compression rate – which gets us back to the original point of this article. Titleist dudes said that women could/should play this ball. Meaning those golfers with (by and large) slower swing speeds should probably go Solo, and would get the most distance/game improvement/budget improvement out of this ball.

While the days of gutta percha and balata are behind us, millions of dollars continue to be spent annually to provide incremental improvements to the golf ball. Titleist said they do more r&d than every major ball manufacturer COMBINED. Yowsa. And they’re now on their fifth Iron Byron, which I guess is impressive.

Anyway, hope that helps. Compress away.

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So, I work in the golf business. Everyone may associate that with having “fun” all day. It’s still work. It is fun, but it’s not fun looking at the sky and sun outside and then 10 different swings inside (especially when you’re trying to get your own figured out).


*This is an interesting link saying G’Smith’s “Win W/Phil” promo will cost Callaway’s insurance company about a mill.

*And, interestingly, I’ve learned TW apparel sales were up 24 percent from Oct 2009-March 2010. Wha??? Riddle me that.

*Here’s a different take on Phil’s Sunday “shot-of-a-lifetime” on the 13th.

*Annnnnnnnd since this is a T.C. golf site (or supposed to be) here are a few links to awesome springish deals.

*Flashback Friday’s subject: Fun with Hogan. Here’s his hip slide, and a few lessons (open google preview) everyone should learn from the Hawk.

Off to chip-n-putt at Hia.

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