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>Quality Byron Coverage

>I highly recommend everyone checks out my buddy Tony’s coverage of the HP Byron Nelson Championship this weekend. He’s live and on the ground, and gives great insight and perspective both as an amateur golfer and a fan.

It’s all at http://www.hookedongolfblog.com/.

Keep’em in the short stuff.
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>Bridgestone Ball Chat

>I decided to go about finding a lower price ball to be my standard ball rather than the tour-level V1 and 330 permutations I’ve been abusing over the last year or two. I decided to give Bridgestone’s online ball fitting a try. Big surprise, it came up with the most expensive ball they make.

So I poked around to see if there was any further information about which of their e-series balls, (at the lower price point) might be a good fit for me, but there was none.

Then I noticed their site offering to chat real time with a representative. Having used these types of services before, I was sceptical but I gave it a shot.

Lo and behold, I got a very prompt response, and got to have a very in-depth conversation with a staffer who clearly knows quite a bit about what makes golf balls behave a certain way and about their products specifically. “Seamless Jim” was friendly and funny (meaning he got my obscure references), and he got me exactly the information I wanted. He even answered my generic questions about ball terminology.

(No, you won’t get to chat with Adrienne Ferreira on the Bridgestone site. I just know I won’t find a better excuse to include a picture of the letter-reading hottie from their commercials in my blog)

At the end of the conversation the site offered to send me a transcript of the chat to my email box for my records, which is a nice service.
I highly recommend you give this service a shot if you’d like to have a candid conversation about ball technology. It’s like having a product specialst at your beck and call.
Keep’em in the short stuff.
P.S. Do NOT Google “Ball” and “Chat”. There’s really no telling what kind of a site you’ll land on.

>Major Props to Salina Municipal

>Every now and then in life we come across a diamond in the rough. In Swedish we call this a “Smultron-ställe”, so named after the very tasty miniature strawberries that grow wild. To a golfer, a place like this may be a course who’s inner and outer qualities belie the expectation based on it’s appearance and location.

I came across a place like this last week, when I stole away from a set of very elaborate High School graduation events to play a quick 18 holes in Salina, KS. I didn’t know anything about either of the local courses, so I decided to give the Muni a shot.

I couldn’t have been more pleased.

First, the course itself: 18 holes at par 70, with the Blue tees measuring 6,500 yards and the Whites 6,212 yards. The two nines are fundamentally different in character. The front nine is pretty flat and open; while the back nine don’t have a flat hole in the bunch. The rough is open, and it’s easy to locate your ball even if you miss the fairway. There is no water, and the biggest risk is where OB cuts fairly sharply into the playable areas on three holes of the back nine (two of which I found with my own ball).

The holes are close together, making it a great course to walk, and I did note several walkers when I was out. I would caution you to make sure you mark your own ball, as there’s a good chance it’ll wind up on a different hole if you’re not accurate.

For as early in the spring as it was when I was there (temperatures in the upper 40s), both the greens and fairways were in VERY good shape. The greens rolled true and consistently, and the fairway was dense.

Secondly, the people were great. Very friendly staff in the shop, and the groups I came across on the course were very prompt and courteous about letting me play through.

Thirdly, the practice facilities were very accomodating. A large putting green that appeared to be very consistently prepared as compared to the course. They also had a well manicured pitching and sand green, as well as a large range.

The course also has a close connection with the First Tee program.

Salina is located where I-70 and I-135 intersect in East-Central Kansas. You may or may not have much reason to be in that neck of the woods, but if you do I highly recommend this course for a casual round.

Their website is http://www.salinamuni.com/.

Keep’em in the short stuff.

>Seve is taking a turn for the worse

>According to the official website of Severiano Ballesteros, his “neurological condition has suffered a severe deterioration.”

While no details are available, it appears it’s getting to be very dire straits for one of the true legends in professional golf.The European Open is in Spain this week, appropriately enough, but it’s turning out to be a double edged sword. Players like Olazabal and Jimenez are not talking to reporters, and there is public mourning going on.

“This had to be the saddest competition in terms of ambiance today. I’ve never seen anything like it.”said Spanish Open spokesperson Maria Acacia Lopez-Bachiller in an AP interview.

If you’re not familiar with Seve, I recommend re-reading Jaime Diaz’ piece from Golf Digest last year (http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/british-open/2010-07/seve-ballesteros).

My own tribute, for all it’s worth, is in the form of a cocktail (golferinkilt.blogspot.com/2010/07/britis…rtini-seve-tini.html).

All in all, it’s a bit of a bummer day.

>Golf Writing Snobbery

>I was just informed by an unnamed golf tournament that they don’t have enough space to allow web writers and bloggers to receive credentials to their tournament. This, of course, after the fact that The Colonial opened their doors to me last year, and I had a great time at their event (http://golferinkilt.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-day-at-colonial.html).

And I know that organizations such as Golf Writers of America still stick to their old-fashioned standards of writers having to have been published in print in order for them to even be considered for membership.

And as much as I dislike it and disagree with it I guess I can sort of understand this mind set, if it’s applied consistently. But then Golf Digest, one of the biggest Golf publications in the world, publish an article that’s made up almost exclusively of tweets by one of their writers.

I like the tactile sensation of reading a paper, but why would I bother if most of their golf and sports pieces are from newswires that I read 12 hours ago? If you’re going to put yourself up on a pedestal, you need to provide the kind of content that justifies it. If you just print electronic content that some generic news service published, how in the world can you look down at other writers of electronic media?

>A Four Dollar Ball Cost Me Four Weeks

>So I was out playing golf with a good friend from The Golf Space about a month ago. We were having a great day, when we got to the tenth hole.

I faded my drive into someone’s yard at the side of the course. The ball was almost close enough to reach with my driver, but not quite. I’m on my tippy toes and full finger reach, leaning over the steel fence between their yard and the course. STILL can’t quite reach the ball. So I sort of thrust myself forward and up, and finally that buys me the extra fraction of an inch I needed to knock the ball in the right direction.

My chest smarts a bit, but I give it a rub and go on, and don’t think much of it. I don’t, that is, until the next time I try to swing the club. It is VERY painful, both on the backswing and on the downswing. I grin and bear it for about another four holes, but in the end I had to walk off the course.

I get home and put a lot of ice on it and take a handful of Nuprin. By now I realize it’s not my stomach muscles that’s hurt, it’s my lower right side rib.

Three days go by, and it doesn’t get any better, so I decide to go to the doctor. It’s fractured. It’s friggin’ fractured. Four to six weeks of recovery.

I’m now at about four and a half weeks, and I finally was able to swing a golf club a few days ago. It’s not pain free, but at least I was able to hit a few balls without grimacing in pain.

I’m SO getting a ball retriever.