Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Golf, Golf, Golf

Medicus Dual Hinge Swing TrainerThe last two weeks have been full of golf — I love it. It started with receiving an curious but surprisingly effective golf swing trainer — called the Medicus Dual Hinge club (pictured at right). It looks like a club with a broken shaft, however it is actually a club with two hinges in the shaft. The hinges are adjustable so that the shaft will remain straight unless too much force is applied in the wrong direction. When you swing with it correctly, it will remain straight. If you attempt to accelerate the club too quickly during your backswing or forward swing, it will break down. The same thing happens if your swing plane is too vertical or too horizontal.

Once you get your swing grooved with the Medicus club, it is supposed to translate to your swing with your regular clubs. In my mind, it is like having your golf pro watching your every swing to tell you what you are doing wrong. It is helping me a lot — although I am still struggling with consistency. Of course that is the curse of every golfer — consistency.

Mike WeirLast Sunday, IĀ attended the final round of the Fry's Electronics Open golf tournament at Grayhawk in Scottsdale. This is not nearly as big a tournament as the Phoenix Open — which is a good thing since the golf course is not suited for the size crowds that the Phoenix Open attracts. The attendence at the Phoenix Open on Saturday alone is around 100,000 people. Fry's Electronics Open had a total attendance of 27,500 for all four days!

But I was one of the 5,200 who attended on Sunday, braving the fierce winds to watch some really good golf. The winds, which are somewhat unusual here, offered a good challenge for the pros, making some of them play like the rest of us. The highest ranking golfer in the field, Phil Mickelson, failed to even make the cut.

But four days of golf came down to an exciting final hole — with Mike Weir (from Canada) holding a one stroke lead over Mark Hensby (from Australia but living in Scottsdale) — both playing in the final group. The 18th hole is a par-5 hole playing at par 4 for the pros (translated: it's long) with water to the right side of the green. Both players hit drives over 300 yards — downwind, downhill. Mike is a lefty and the wind was blowing across the green so a normal draw could carry on the wind right into the water — so he had to be careful. He aimed far enough left and hit the ball straight enough to not even come close to the water. Unfortunately, his ball landed in a sand trap. Mark hit his shot and the wind pushed it toward the water with the ball coming to rest on the rough grass on the slope just above the water. Both golfers were able to get up and down to record pars — and thus Mike Weir was the champion.

A terrific ending to a very enjoyable day of golf.

La Paloma Country ClubAnd more golf. My friend, John from Texas, arrived Wednesday evening for his annual golf trip and visit with his daughter, Jennifer. Thursday was devoted to father-daughter time.

Then Friday was our golf trip to Tucson to play at La Paloma Country Club. It is a spectactular resort course at the Westin hotel. But difficult. Very difficult. We really enjoyed the round but our scores were nothing to write home about.
We-ko-pa Golf Course
On Saturday, we played at We-ko-pa Golf Club at Fort McDowell. This is part of the resort and casino complex on the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation.

It too is a spectacular golf course (actually two of them) and it too brought us to our knees golf-score-wise. But a beautiful day on a golf course with an old friend is a treat no matter what the score.

Tomorrow we are playing a bit closer to home since John has an evening flight to catch — so we are playing at Ocotillo, not far from our townhouse. And it is another day to go for that elusive hole-in-one or par round — or just have fun regardless of the score.

 Life is good.

 B. David