Two days away…

In a mere two days, I will be en route to LeRoy Country Club in LeRoy, NY.  The trip is upon me, and I am bubbling with excitement.  I’ve been quite busy the last few days, and still have much preparation to do.  For those looking for deeply developed and thoughtful entries that rise above the level of merely the pragmatic update, you’re going to have to wait.

I have played two rounds of golf recently – on Wednesday and again yesterday.  Both rounds began with sparkling front 9’s – 42 and 40 respectively.  The round on Wednesday petered out mightily, ending with a snowman on 18, leading to a disappointing 90.  I was fearing the worst: that my game was deteriorating just in time for my trip to begin.  The 40 on the front 9 at Tri-County Country Club yesterday, then, was particularly encouraging, given that I had never played there before, and that the 9 is comprised of tight holes with significant elevation change.  Also, my wedges were…. dialed in…. from the first hole, as you can see by this photo of my 3rd shot on 1:Image

Unfortunately, this short putt was for a par rather than a birdie, as my drive drifted into the trees and I had to punch out.  Either way, I played a fairly tight 9 holes of golf, and closed out the front with a 5 foot birdie putt on 9.  I had found my game!  As soon as I had found it, I lost it.  I made it through 10-12 +3, and was still hoping to turn in a solid round in the low 80’s.  I began, at this point, to spray my drives in every direction, to lose the touch with my wedges, and to forget how to putt.  I was an absolutely miserable +12 over the last 6 holes, easily my worst 6 hole stretch this year.  Ended up shooting a 91.

The last 4 9’s are pretty emblematic of golf: 42-48-40-51.  Look at those ups and downs.  To bounce back after a 48 with a 40 at a much tougher course was very encouraging.  As soon as I managed to feel good about the way I was playing, I go and lose my ability to do pretty much anything correctly on the course.  It’s kinda like following the Phillies – they sit at 46-47 this AM… having just won series against Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Washington… clearly full of potential yet sitting a game under .500.  Stretches of adequacy followed by adventures in futility.

I have no time for further tune-ups; this was my last round before the trip.  I’ve historically played the front 9 at LeRoy much better than the back, and it’s my hope I can string together a fair back 9 at LeRoy.  I’m not too concerned about the front, but really, really need a tight back 9.  For my psyche, and for my goals on the trip.

Within the next day, I’m going to post a bunch of goals I have, both golf and non-golf related, for the trip.  I’m also going to get that “stats” page I’ve mentioned previously up and running.

With the donation of the tremendously skilled scramblin’ man Brendan Sweet (the dude reminds me of a slightly more consistent version of myself, although I have beaten him 2 of the last 3 times we’ve played), I have now exceeded $1000 in donations!  This is an amazing figure to reach before the trip has even begun, and it’s my hope that as the trip continues, the donations will only become more frequent.

Big thanks to Alex Peters at Kraftsmachine for priming the Jetta for the trip.  She’s got new tires, was aligned and is pointing as straight as an arrow, has fresh oil and received a stellar detailing job, both in and out.  It also got new rear brakes.  I had a minor scare with those yesterday driving home from the golf course, as that pungent odor of brake/clutch began wafting into my nostrils about the time I noticed one of the brakes was grabbing.  Sure enough, a little smoke caught my eye and I had a sticking brake.  As it turns out, some accumulated rust in the caliper’s piston is almost certainly the culprit, and I’m headed back to Kraftsmachine immediately after this posting to have a new one put on.

For those of you who simply aren’t car people, trust that it’s a minor problem which will be resolved by today.  Basically, as the brake pad wears down from normal use, the tiny piston which pushes it against the brake rotor doesn’t have to go all the way back to it’s normal position, and some sediments and road gunk can get in there.  Then when you put a fresh new pad on the car, the rust gets in the way of the piston fully seating, and sometimes the brakes stick.  It happens, and the only way you’ll ever find out you have the problem is when you put new pads on the car!  As Alex told me “good thing it happened here!”  Indeed, I do NOT want car problems when I’m on the road, and I anticipate having none.

I’ll give an update later in the day to notify you all of some of the changes around the site, as well as to update some goals and give a confirmation that everything is A-OK with the Jetta.

As always, please spread the word and consider a donation!

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