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Slice of Life
By Terry Moore

I dont know about you but I like to start the new golf year off with a set of goals for the coming season. Ill admit that most of time I only accomplish a few of the goals I set for myself. Sadly, as with my attempt to retrieve my ProV1 from the water hazard, my intent sometimes is beyond my grasp. No matter. Let me share with you a few of my goals with the hopes youll keep me more accountable this year:

  • Improve My Wedge Gameif one is going to lower ones handicap then honing the skill with the 100-yard and under shot is paramount. Ive watched the best amateurs and pros eat up the par-5s and short par-4s because they regularly leave themselves makeable birdie putts with deft wedge shots. A west Michigan pro told me a true story about how exact the pros are with their short irons. He said Gary Wiren the noted teacher, author and player -- pulled out of his wallet and showed him a laminated card with all sorts of yardages and markings on it. Wiren explained it was a chart he devised for himself with the exact yardages he hits with his sand, pitching, gap wedges and 9-irons. Whats more he calibrated the maximum distance when he choked down on each of these clubs by an inch and two inches! Can I duplicate this discipline? Sure, I know how to laminate cards at Kinkos.
  • Follow U-M golfer Andy Matthews for a round during a Big Ten eventIve known Matthews since his junior golf days at Egypt Valley CC and its been gratifying to see such good things happen to such a nice, young gentleman. Last summer, he achieved a long-standing goal by winning the Michigan Amateur. I had the good fortune to witness his strong game in a friendly match last fall (when he hadnt touched a club for over a month) in Naples, Fla. Scraping of the "rust" off his game, he shot a new course record of 7-under-par 65 on a 6,500-yard layout at Shadow Wood CC. The competition is fierce on the pro tours but if anyone from Michigan can pass the test its Matthews.
  • Attend a Buy.com tournamentIve attended every Tour event except a Buy.com event so its time to knock off that goal. Come to think of it, its a shame that Michigan hasnt been the site of one of these tournaments. If I were an owner of a resort or public golf , Id sure examine how to entice such an event to my course. For sure, the caliber play is superb and many future stars of the PGA TOUR spread their wings first on the Buy.com Tour. Anyway, plan to see me at a 2002 event, probably in Dayton, OH.
  • If I could play in only one media day this year, it would be.at Bethpage State Park, Course, site of the 2002 U.S. Open. What a thrill it would be to play this Tillinghast design, carefully restored by Rees "The Open Doctor" Jones, on Long Island. The USGA finally found a fitting and true public course (note: Pebble Beach is a resort) to host its National Open (as Tom Watson liked to refer to it.) To its credit, the USGA invested $2.7 million in the restoration, which from all reports is superb. The layout (at a stern par-70) will be stretched to 7,295 yards, making it the longest U.S. Open in history. Yes, that would be quite an attractive trip: play Bethpage, check out some other historic links courses (Maidstone, Shinnecock etc.) on Long Island, and spend some time in Manhattan. I wont need Henry Kissinger, Al Roker or Woody Allen to ask twice.
  • Attend the U.S Amateur and U.S. Publinx ChampionshipsI consider it a patriotic to attend any national championships held in our state. To have two major USGA events in our state in the same season is indeed a bonus. Theres something extra special being around a major amateur event. Maybe its because such competition is short of the usual hype and commercialism so prevalent in todays sponsor-driven world. On that note, thats why I also will mark down attending the NCAA II Womens Golf Finals to be held in May at The Meadows GC in Allendale.
  • Watch Tiger Woods play an entire round at Warwick Hills Ive been lucky to see Tiger play in person on numerous occasions. And even with the added onus of battling the huge galleries, its always worth the effort and strain. Hes the premiere golfer on the planet and he normally pulls off shots you wont see anywhere. Inasmuch as Tiger passed up the Buick Open last summer, I cant envision him doing the same this year. So Ill do myself a favor for my grandchildren ("I saw Tiger in Ought Two.") and be there on Thursday at Warwick Hills somewhere in the big gallery, craning my neck, and catching flashes and glimpses of Tigers enormous talent.

March/April 2002 Issue Table of Content
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