September 30, 2017

Days until the 2018 Goodboys Invitational: 292
Target Handicap: 16.0 / Handicap: 25.4
Location: Superstition Springs Golf Club
Score: 55 / 59 = 114
Trending Handicap: 26.0 (+0.6)

Oh boy. Two rounds and I’ve already lost two strokes off my handicap since Goodboys Invitational Sunday. (Actually, if you count Goodboys Invitational weekend I’ve lost four strokes off my handicap since the middle of July.) It’s hard to fathom, and I won’t argue with you – it’s a little damaging to the psyche. But what else can The Great White Shank do but keep on plugging away? I figure, at some point it’s gonna turn around. But looking at my MyScorecard.com record since the 98 I put up at Superstition Springs back on July 14 shows nothing short of wreckage:

7/18 – Green Meadow Golf Club – 114
7/22 – Segregansett Golf Club – 108
7/23 – Triggs Memorial – 115
9/28 – Lone Tree Golf Club – 108
9/30 – Superstition Springs Golf Club – 114

It’s hard to believe that just yesterday I’d had absolutely the best range session I’d ever had, then followed it up this morning prior to teeing off at Superstition Springs with the absolute best warm-up session I’d ever had. You’ve heard folks talk about being “in the zone” during a round of golf and playing out of their shoes? Well that’s where I was, for the first time I can remember in my golf life. Oh, I’ve had decent range sessions before, good warm-ups, and even very good rounds (87 being my best ever), but at no time I can remember the game feeling so easy, my tempo and rhythm so in sync, the results exactly what I expected with every swing. And maybe I’ll never experience that feeling again, but while I had it, it was worth it, and memorable.

Today’s round started out as a continuation of my warm-up: after a blistering drive on the 380-yard par 4 opening hole, I had only 93 yards to the pin. I missed the green long on my approach shot but still two-putted for bogey. I flushed my second drive of the day and thought I’d hit a decent enough 6-iron into the second green but neglected to take into account a bunker on the left-hand side. I made a mess of that and ended up with a double-bogey six. I yanked my drive on the par 3 third into a bunker right (another pin I had no business going after) then made a mess of that as well for a triple-bogey six. On the fourth hole, a short par 4 with a pond in front, I hit the best 3-hybrid in my life to 80 yards, but pushed my pitching wedge off the green left (another opportunity for a green in regulation missed), but still ended up making par.

And that was it.

On the fifth hole I lost my tempo and rhythm, started over-swinging, and the day was a mess from that point forward. I lost my distance control. I lost my touch on anything requiring even the slightest bit of finesse. I once again lost the ability to hit my 5-wood (for the day I was 0-6 in 5-wood attempts, not even hitting one halfway decently, resulting in two 9s and an 8 on the par 5s). Most importantly, I started losing my driver off the tee, hitting one worm-burner after another. I then lost my irons, yanking even the shortest pitch shot. And that’s the way the rest of the day went. Every swing became an adventure, every shot leading to another lost stroke.

By the time we hit the final hole I was fried, both mentally and physically. My 3-hybrid off the tee was pushed left, requiring me to lay up with a 5-yard pitch before a stream that crossed the fairway. I yanked a pitching wedge dead right into the stream. Dropping my ball 190 yards from the pin, I crushed a 4-hybrid that drifted right into a grass bunker right of the pin that left me with an awkward side-bunker stance. I had only twenty yards to the pin but hit it fifty yards into a bunker that I couldn’t get out of. A perfect way to end the day.

The only thing I can say that worked for me all day long was my putting. I had a total of thirty putts and made everything inside of four feet, the result of some diligent work on the Superstition Springs putting green prior to the round. I’m proud of that because my putting has been so bad for so long. But that was the only good stat of the day: otherwise, I hit only four fairways off the tee and was 0-6 in opportunities for greens in regulation made. Most dishearteningly, my course management was as bad as I can remember – for all the times I’ve played this friggin’ track one would think I’d have learned how to play it by now. My playing partner Randy, a 6-handicap, real nice guy, was moved to tell me in the cart that he’d never seen anyone throw away strokes like I was doing, saying, “You know, sometimes you’ve got to play to your abilities.” That made my day!

After a day like this I might seriously consider folding my tent golf-wise were it not for the truly magical feeling yesterday’s range session and today’s warm-up gave me. Maybe, in the end, that’s the extent of my golf abilities – hitting balls off mats or grass when there’s nothing on the line. You’re just hitting balls to targets with numbers on them and nothing else matters: there’s no score, no handicap, no awkward stances, no implications if you make the wrong choice as far as distance is concerned, no balls to lose in creeks, ponds, subdivisions, woods, and canals. No course to manage. I don’t understand how I can lose that feeling and sense of touch on a golf course, but I’ll tell you this: not even Paula Creamer can help you if your set-up is poor, your aiming point is wrong, you’re playing the ball too far forward in your stance, and you’re over-swinging and yanking everything in front of you.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 18:15 | Comments (0)

A few items of interest to post while wondering just how far the NFL will “drop back” in the wake of the blistering negative coverage it has received as a result of turning what used to a nice way to veg out on a Sunday afternoon into another day of politics shoved down your throat.

…along those same lines, you wonder what on earth gave these guys the idea to push this kind of crap. Think about it: you have what has come to be America’s pastime with tons upon tons of money to be made by everyone involved. You have a brand that has been virtually unassailable in the way it has been marketed. And all of a sudden you one friggin’ clueless dope who starts pissing in the punchbowl and the owners don’t know how to handle it. This “taking a knee” business could have been stamped out from the very beginning, but the owners are too afraid of what the players would do.

…along those same lines, Steve Sailor at Takimag.com has a lengthy but sobering take on the NFL’s problems, and they aren’t going away soon. It’s truly a must-read, one of the most riveting pieces I’ve ever read.

I’m hoping for the best from the Red Sox in the American League playoffs, but in my view they’re far behind both the Indians and the Astros in overall talent. Come the offseason, their needs first and foremost will be a bat and a new manager.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline blog remembers the last day of the 1967 American League season and the impact Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski played in that last pivotal weekend. I remember it fondly – sometimes as if it were yesterday, sometimes as if it really were a half-century ago. Even today, it’s hard to believe just how crazy that season was for New Englanders.

Jimmy Buffett’s politics might be a little leftist for my tastes, but I respect him as an artist and, most especially, his ability to take a transcendent image and make a cultural dogma out of it. Heck, I had me a Pinot Grigio under a Margaritaville neon sign in my patio a little earlier.

Some examples of cultural rot and madness:
* Tennessee golf course changes its name.
* Federal judge tells Pennsylvania county to drop the Christian cross from its seal
* 10-year-old students called names after reciting Pledge of Allegiance in class
* That Cambridge, Mass. librarian is a moron. Mark Steyn explains why.
* Music teacher investigated for putting semen in students’ flutes

While I respect Salena Zito’s reporting, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker can hardly be considered a Republican. But it doesn’t change the fact that Democrats across the country are facing significant headwinds going into 2020. It’s not hard to imagine that by that time there will be less than a dozen states towing the Democratic Party line.

I tried to watch the first two rounds of the President’s Cup and gave up. It’s a snoozer. And so, for that matter, is the coverage. To be blunt, it’s not important. Hell, given the level of competition (Jhonny Vegas, really???) it’s arguably one minor step head of the national long-drive competition. And I’m thinking most golf fans feel the same. Wake me up when the real 2018 season begins at Kapalua in Hawaii.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 17:27 | Comments (0)
September 28, 2017

Days until the 2018 Goodboys Invitational: 294 /
Target Handicap: 16.0 / Current Handicap: 24.0
Location: Lone Tree Golf Club
Score: 47 / 61 = 108
Trending Handicap: 25.4 (+1.4)

The PGA Tour’s 2018 season gets underway next week, but The Great White Shank’s opener was today – a clear, rather warm mid-90s day under a hot sun at Lone Tree Golf Club. It had been more than two months since I played, but those who visit this humble outpost in the blogsphere know I’ve been remaking my swing for the second time this year, this one in an attempt to at least somewhat resemble that of LPGA star Paula Creamer (a.k.a., the “Pink Panther”). I’ve been working diligently in that regard over the past month in weekly range sessions, but at some point you just have to get out there and mark your progress and felt I did some good things out there today while also marking those things I need to work on.

The whole point in going all “Pink Panther” was really four-fold: 1) to hit my hybrids and 5-wood at least semi-consistently, 2) be more consistent (and hopefully longer) with my driver, 3) because my putting has been soooo bad for it seems like years, adopt her putting stance to see if it makes my putting game more consistent, all of which to help me 4) shave six strokes off my 24.0 handicap by the start of Goodboys Invitational weekend 2018. In addition, I’ve decided to listen to fellow Goodboy “The Funny Guy” and start using my 8-iron to chip when the circumstances demand a lengthy chip. Finally, besides tracking the number of fairways hit and putts, I’m now tracking what I call OGIR – opportunities for greens in regulation, meaning: being on the fairway 150 yards or less from the pin with an opportunity to make birdie by hitting the green. These are all significant areas targeted for improvement, surely, but while it’s a long way to the start of Goodboys 2018, in the words of Patrick O’Brian’s Captain Jack Aubrey, “there’s not a moment to lose.”

Before I get into my progress as far as the “Pantherization” of my swing goes, a few words about today’s round. While it’s true that all strokes count, that 61 on the back side wasn’t as bad as it looks (although, fer shure, it does look bad). The back nine featured three double pars: a six on the island green par 3 #12 where I three-putted from 20 feet after my 6-iron off the tee hit the island fringe and bounce into the pond, a six on the par 3 #14 where I pulled a 6-iron off the tee into a bunker and made a mess of the hole thereafter, and a big fat ten on the par 5 #18, where, after a beautiful drive and an equally-stunning 5-wood (thanks, Paula!) that left me sitting pretty 123 yards from the pin, I proceeded to put three balls into the water left. I had no business going for the pin on my third shot, but I was feeling frisky after my performance on the par 5 ninth (see below) and made some very poor shot-making choices to turn a chicken salad opportunity into chicken sh*t. And it should be mentioned that my putting demons which were somewhat held in check on the front emerged from out of nowhere on the back where I had two three-putts and a four-putt.

Oh well, no on ever accused Paula Creamer of being a miracle worker…

So clearly there’s more work to be done, but there’s still a whole lot of positives I can take from today’s round. First of all, that 47 on the front could have been even better. I was really rusty from not playing for two months, and it showed up in my short game around the greens which, from beginning to end, was pretty dreadful. Secondly, I seemed absolutely lost from 120 yards in; couldn’t hit a pitching wedge to save my life. This I chalk up to a bit of rust, a bit of still not feeling comfortable with the Pink Panther swing on my short irons. Still not sure what I’m going to do about that…

But I drove the ball really well all day: even while fooling around with ball position I hit seven fairways. Of the five opportunities I had to hit my 5-wood, I had four really good hits and one duff. Of the three opportunities I had to hit my hybrids, I had one outstanding hit, another crushed but sent way left into the adjoining subdivision, and one so-so. So good progress being seen there. Not so good was my OGIR score: I had nine opportunities – count ‘em, nine! – to make the green in regulation from the fairway 150 yards out or less but made only one. One! A pretty pathetic performance, I would say. Putting wise? I like Creamer’s putting stance and set-up. still, I missed three putts from less than two feet, but then again I haven’t practiced my putting at all, so I’m gonna just chalk it up on rust and whistle myself past the graveyard.

But if there was one example of the opportunities this new swing presents it was hole #9, a long par 5 with a sharp dogleg left at the very end, a pond protecting the green acting as the elbow. I had thinned my drive just short of the fairway, but hit a monster 5-wood that arced like a pro shot dead straight, leaving me 150 yards in the center of the fairway. I grabbed my 6-iron then intentionally aimed left to play a fade into the green. Took my Paula Creamer stance, gave it a Paula Creamer waggle, then feathered it to six feet and made the putt for birdie. Sucker golf that makes you realize the potential of the work you’re putting in, seducing you into wanting to come back for more.

So the 2017-18 Great White Shank golf season is off and running. A mixed bag for sure, but opportunities for improvement abounding and a road map in place for where I want to go.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 20:02 | Comments (0)
September 27, 2017

On one side you have:
* Democrats
* Progressives
* the Liberal Left
* the Mainstream Media
* Academia
* Antifa
* “Big Entertainment”, including media, Hollywood and the large record labels
* “Big Sports”, including NFL / MLB / NBA / ESPN
* Big Government, including all Obama administration holdovers
* Big Pharma
* Blue Staters
* GOP Elites
* Wall Street
* The Welfare Industry
* Illegal Immigration Activists
* U.S. Chamber of Commerce
* “K Street” and all lobbyists related to the above
* the Abortion industry
* National Intelligence (including the CIA, NSA, and FBI)
* Feminists
* Social Justice “Warriors”
* Hillary Clinton

On the other side you have:
* President Donald J. Trump
* Conservatives
* Red Staters
* the NRA
* The vast majority of those serving in our military
* A majority of police officers, firefighters, and first responders

It’s a fight to the death, and you can see all the people in group #1 finally being exposed for what they always have been as they crawl out from under their respective rocks whining and moaning and groaning and complaining and bellyaching and “taking a knee” over so-called “injustice” and “inequality”.

One question for those of you:

WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU THE LAST EIGHT YEARS WHEN BARACK OBAMA WAS PRESIDENT?

After all, nothing in the grand scheme of things has changed much since then – it’s only been, what, ten months, right? Oh, wait a dog-gone minute: there was something that happened in that time, wasn’t there? The election of Donald J. Trump as President.

You know what I think? All you folks in group #1 have no guiding principles whatsoever. Your problem is that you just can’t get over the shock of Hillary Clinton being beaten like a rented mule by Donald Trump – DONALD TRUMP! – after being led on for months on end that Crooked Hillary had the election in the bag.

That’s all this is – a temper tantrum by a bunch of petulant, juvenile, and spoiled leftists, elitists, prima donna athletes, and social-justice snowflakes who hate Donald Trump, and, by default (because it elected him) America and all those who voted for Donald Trump. Why now? Because they’ve finally come to realize that after months of being brainwashed by the likes of CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and The New York Times telling them that Russia meddling in the 2016 election was going to get Trump impeached and the election overturned in favor of Hillary, there was no meddling, Trump is President, and Trump is going to remain President for the next three years.

So now after some NFL dopes start “taking a knee” on behalf of supposed racial injustice and inequality (whatever that means) and disrespect this country’s flag and national anthem, these clowns have finally discovered a gesture that will make them all feel warm and fuzzy and united, allowing everyone to see just how they feel about President Trump. So they’re now emerging from their Manhattan high-rise condos, mansions, colleges and universities, chardonnay-swilling social circles, and gated communities to use this gesture to bash the President simply because he loves this country and is not afraid to show it and slam those who don’t.

(I know, I know, the whole “taking a knee” thing started with Colin Kaepernick while Obama was Prez, but at the time he was just a lone wacko wolf. Kinda like John McCain with an afro.)

That’s all this so-called “movement” is, folks – a temper tantrum designed to grab the greatest media attention.

The sad truth is, it shows just how hypocritical they are. All the time Barack Obama was President, he could have used his unique background and the power of his position to bring this country closer together and ease the racial divisions and tensions we have. Instead, he used his globalist world-view and progressive agenda to exploit our differences, exacerbate racial tensions, and bash America and what it stood for at every turn. Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the continuation, if not culmination, of every progressive’s wet dream, and for months on end these people waited with breathless anticipation while the mainstream media foisted one incorrect poll after another on the American people and called Donald Trump and his supporters everything from racists, sexists, homophobes, and xenophobes, sh*tting on them with dripping disdain at every turn.

They didn’t get their way, and now they blame and hate this country for it. So they denigrate our flag and national anthem, the very symbols of this country’s greatness. A country that gave them the best of everything it possibly could, expecting only that they give their best on behalf of it in return. And instead, this is how they treat their country. All because Donald Trump was elected President.

It’s sad, it’s sick, and it’s destructive. But they don’t care, because to them every waking moment in their lives is about playing politics and putting themselves ahead of this country’s interests. Funny thing is, I’d respect them all a helluva lot more if they came out and just admitted they were “dropping a knee” in protest of Trump being elected President. While my feelings about their actions wouldn’t change, at least they’d be admitting the truth, and once you have someone’s true perspective you can start hashing things out. But to all of a sudden claim, nearly ten months into Trump’s presidency, that its racial equality and injustice behind their disrespecting this nation’s flag and anthem is an insult not just to my intelligence but to that of millions upon millions of others.

Maybe they don’t know it just yet, but they are now all being revealed for the hypocritical, spiteful, and hateful people they are. And there will be consequences – far beyond anything they can imagine. This is a battle of wills, with our country’s history, traditions, successes, failures, lessons learned, rule of law, and sanctity of our borders at stake. The left is actively trying to destroy all of this, because they know that if they lose there is no going back. President Trump is the greatest threat to their agenda they have known, and they will stop at nothing to destroy him and what he stands for. So it’s not just an innocent act of “taking a knee” going on here, it’s the furthering of agenda that seeks to disrespect, demean, and ultimately destroy the social fabric and contract that keeps our country working together for our preservation and self-interest.

These folks are playing with fire, and those who play with fire are bound to get burned.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:52 | Comments (2)
September 26, 2017

Very disappointed to hear not just about New England Patriots players “taking a knee” during the national anthem prior to yesterday’s game against the Houston Texans, but reading QB Tom Brady’s and owner Bob Kraft’s comments about it afterwards.

…not to mention the highly-predictable defense for their actions by Boston sportswriters afterwards. But what would anyone expect in that regard? We are, after all, talking about the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

And I guess now we can expect Boston Celtics players do it this season with their coach’s OK.

So that’s the what it’s going to be going forward, huh? The politicization of every previously enjoyable aspect of our recreational lives, including sports? And for what, exactly?

If it’s about racial inequality and injustice, what exactly does that mean? Are we talking Ferguson? Baltimore? Trevon Martin? If so, give me a break. Or is this all about President Trump and your continued need to piss and moan about his election and his having the guts to call you out for your disgraceful behavior? Is that it? You disrespect the country’s flag and anthem because you feel the Prez is disrespecting the NFL because he feels, as do millions of Americans, that you have all the means at your disposal to protest whatever the hell it is you want to protest, but you should at least show respect for the nation’s flag and national anthem?

If in fact it’s about so-called “racial equality and justice”, what does that mean, exactly? What is it you despise so much about this country that you would show so little respect to our flag and anthem? Have you not had the opportunity to make millions upon millions of dollars playing a sport you love? You already have the freedom of speech and assembly to disrespect the very objects that stand for those freedoms at any other time, but you feel the need to do it on a national stage?

The NFL can try and spin this any way they want, but it doesn’t fly. You want to talk “racial injustice”? This country has spent hundreds of billions of dollars since Lyndon Johnson’s so-called “War on Poverty” and on public schools and inner cities, and for what? The inner cities – primarily under Democratic leadership for generations, BTW – are nothing but cesspools of graft and corruption. And just how much money do we need to keep flushing into the sewer of our nation’s public schools when it’s the poor and the minorities whose schools suffer the most while the public teacher’s unions line their pockets with cash? And if you want to talk about “black lives mattering”, why aren’t you all in Chicago on weekends experiencing first-hand the black-on-black violence and innocents getting slaughtered beyond anything presently happening in Afghanistan or Iraq?

Truth is, fellas, America has always been a land of injustice. Still is. Probably always will be. And it’s not just about the poor and minority communities, either. What about the florist who refuses to sell flowers, or the bakery that refuses to bake a cake for gay weddings? Is it justice when they’re harassed to the point of going out of business? Or the poor bastard whose film was accused of triggering the attack on the Benghazi consulate in 2011? That dude actually went to jail for nothing but a lie pushed by the Obama administration to protect the incompetence that led to the death of our Libyan ambassador and four brave Americans. Where’s the justice there? And where’s the justice when the rich and privileged skate because they have the money and/or influence to get the best lawyers the money can buy? Can someone say, Chappaquiddick? Where’s the justice in millions upon millions of babies, many of them African-American, aborted through no fault of their own. Where’s the justice in that?

You can look around and find injustice anywhere: rich spoiled kids driving around in Ferraris leaving the hard-working kid walking or skateboarding his way to his McDonald’s job in his dust. A local coffee shop that goes out of business because the city chooses to rip up the street it’s own for infrastructure improvements. CEOs who make millions upon millions of dollars in annual compensation while blue-collar couples work multiple jobs to make ends meet. If you’re looking for fairness, you’re looking in the wrong place. We don’t live in a socialist country, we don’t live in a utopia. There’s no such thing as fairness on the face of this earth. Sure, there is definitely room for improvement in so many ways. But while no one is questioning your right to freely express yourself within reason, that doesn’t mean you have to disrespect the objects of this nation’s identity.

But if this is the way it’s going to be from now on, that’s fine with me: I don’t watch the Patriots or Celtics, and am neither a NFL or NBA fan. But if the Red Sox want to start doing this kind of crap during the playoffs the TV will be turned off, and pronto. And it won’t a big loss – I can find equally-satisfying recreational pursuits in its place.

Maybe I’m just a dinosaur, but I happen to think this country is a pretty fine place to live, a country unlike any other on this earth, where the only limitations you have are those you place upon yourself. For professional football players who make millions of dollars doing something they love to do, this self-glorified behavior is nothing but shameful. And the same goes to those who support these actions – fellow players, the owners, the announcers, the media who make their living following them: they’re all getting paid pretty damned fine money to do what they do. They can make every kind of excuse they want, but in the end they’re not only disrespecting the flag and our national anthem, they’re disrespecting those who have lost mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, wives, and husbands in the service of their country as soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, police officers, firefighters, and first responders. You know, those who truly know what the meaning of sacrifice is.

Taking a knee to make a political statement during the playing of the national anthem in front of thousands of people on a bright, sunny fall afternoon while getting handsomely paid for doing that which you love most is not a sacrifice, it’s nothing but a cheap political trick, a sad joke, and a disgrace. Sure, people like me may not like it and approve of it, but that also doesn’t mean we have to support it in any way. And for an industry that lives and breathes on the support of fans through ticket sales, concessions, marketing, and team memorabilia sales, there’s going to be a price – literally! – that to be paid.

We didn’t start the fire, but I’ll tell you this: we’re going to turn the flames back on you. And when it starts hitting you where it hurts the most, and in the only place you only really care about – your wallets and paychecks – don’t come crawling back to us, because we won’t be listening. We’ll have already moved on.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:53 | Comments (2)
September 25, 2017

Well, it’s been three solid weeks of practice, transforming my golf swing into something akin to the swing of LPGA star Paula “The Pink Panther” Creamer, and I’ll admit – it’s been as much fun as it has been tough. I doubt I’m going to be able to make a complete transformation, but I’d like to think I’ll achieve a “compromised pantherization” – focusing on mimicking a lot of her set-up and down-swing, but keeping the take-away I had been using prior to this year’s Goodboys Invitational as my own. But maybe that’s just in my own mind – maybe I’m closer to hers than I realize. Or maybe I just think I’m mimicking her swing and retaining a lot of my own. I guess the proof will be in the results, whatever they are.

The set-up at address is something I’ve definitely adopted – I’ve got my knees bent and my back less hunched over than what I’d been doing before. I’m also doing that waggle she does in order to remind herself of the tempo she’s trying to achieve. I was never a waggle kind of guy, but I recognize the importance of it in Paula’s swing – she’s not just using it to relax whatever tension there might be, but I swear she’s also trying to keep the flat of her forward hand pointed towards target.

The biggest changes I’ve made are with my driver. I’ve now got a wider stance at address than I ever had, and I continue to work on slowing my tempo down to create the widest arc possible. All I can say is, when it works it really works.

Irons? The only changes I’ve made are to adopt Creamer’s setup at address and open up my clubface a tad (it was slightly closed during Goodboys Invitational weekend. I’ve also – on my own – chosen to adopt a bit pf a closed stance and play the ball a little further back at address. The irons remain a work in progress; I’m still experimenting with ball position and the angle in which I take the club away. But it’s all good, baby…

The biggest improvement I’m seeing to date is with my hybrids and 5-wood, which I absolutely could. not. hit. during Goodboys Invitational weekend. I’m not quite at 100% yet – it’s more like ninety – but the improvement is there and the confidence I’m feeling hitting these clubs is growing every time I head out to the range.

…Then there’s the short game, something that absolutely has been killing me for what seems like forever.

One significant change I’ve made isn’t exactly pantherization, it’s more something that my Goodboys friend “The Funny Guy” has been after me to do for years, which is, chipping with my 8-iron as well as well as my pitching wedge, and it’s something I’m getting more comfortable with.

What is pantherization is that I’ve adopted Paula’s putting stance, ditching the “feet together” technique I’ve been using since like, forever. I’ve tried it a few times on the Papago Park putting green and I’m ready to try it in real-game situations.

All in all, it’s been a fun three weeks, and I’m ready to take it to the course. I’m planning on playing a couple of times over the next week and seeing how it all goes.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:31 | Comments (0)
September 24, 2017

The only thing I will say to NFL commish Roger Goodell and all major sports enterprises and teams is this: do you really want to go there? You want to be on the side of people disrespecting the flag? You really want to go there? Really?? You do know the direction this is ultimately going to go, don’t you?

Look, I don’t care about a person’s political philosophies and affiliations. I don’t care how ignorant they are or might be. You don’t like or believe in our national anthem and flag, and respect the generations of men and women who died fighting for your right to be as ignorant as you are? Fine. I respect your right to believe what you believe. But you do not have the right to insult the very people who pay your salary and the advertisers who have paid damned good money that has afforded you the means the ability to achieve the lifestyle you have been able to achieve.

I don’t claim to know what’s going on inside your head, but it seems to me this country and its freedoms have been pretty damned good to you to enable you to make a living doing what you love to do and actually make money (and a hell of a lot of it), doing it. That’s what makes this country what it is. But you insult and degrade the blood sacrifices made by generations who came before you – generations that didn’t have half of the benefits you have been given – and died for you on beaches in France, in the biting cold of Korea, in the rice paddies in Vietnam, or in the flea-infested deserts of Iraq. You desecrate the sacrifices both they and their families made. But you don’t know that, and you why? Because you’re stupid, and because you’re ignorant.

It’s pretty damned easy, I’m guessing, to walk out on the runway into a stadium of 60K folks and think your sh*t doesn’t stink, and that your petty and ignorant gesture actually means something. Spare me your fuc*in’ social justice bullsh*t. Here’s a question: how many professors allowed you to skate through classes at college to enable you to attain the kind of lifestyle you now are able to achieve in that oh-so-evil capitalist America?

The system worked pretty damned well for you, didn’t it?

You may not think there’s a whole lot I can do beyond this blog that will have an impact on you and your ignorance. But there are sponsors out there who are paying some serious dough-re-mi to allow you to achieve the lifestyle you have. And I can tell those sponsors to go fu*k themselves if they insist on supporting a sport that supports the denigration of our flag and our national anthem. You know the saying, money talks and bullsh*t walks? Well, I’m guessing that in the weeks ahead you’re going to find out just how far your sponsors are going to be willing to go in allowing this kind of cancer to spread. Because that’s what it is: like it or not, you are role models to young people.

Methinks the NFL is about to have a sh*tstorm come down upon it. The one thing advertisers with the big bucks will not, and cannot, tolerate is controversy. You started it. The President called you on it. Now let’s see who blinks first. I got news for you: it won’t be the advertisers.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:11 | Comments (0)
September 23, 2017

…because a lazy late September weekend demands it. Hammond organ, piano, bass, drums (in my view the best Nick Mason ever played – notice how he plays just behind Roger Waters’ bass), and finally Dave Gilmour’s guitar played through a Leslie. Most folks who hear this can’t believe this is Pink Floyd, but they did so much great stuff before “Dark Side Of The Moon”. My late brother Mark used this track to learn how to play drums, so it has always held a special place in my heart. Enjoy!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:25 | Comments (0)
September 22, 2017

Even though here in the Valley of the Sun the transition from summer into autumn isn’t quite as drastic as it is back home in Massachusetts – the trees aren’t changing color (at least not down here), and the days and nights aren’t that much cooler (if that’s the word!) than they’ve been, but the signs are nevertheless there both to see and to feel.

Here at The Great White Shank’s hacienda, the most obvious change is in the swimming pool. It was only two weeks ago that the water temp was still hanging around 90 degrees – absolutely the best! – but it takes only a few nights in a row where the air temps drop around 80 to make it barely swimmable. Today I thought about hopping in to reattach my refurbished pool vacuum, but it only took one step in for me to realize that doing it from the warmth of the pool deck was the better option. I took a look at the pool thermometer; no wonder – it read 81,a little brisk if you ask me. Still, if the day is warm enough and I’m all sweaty and grimy from hitting balls or doing backyard work it might be worth one more shot before calling it a season.

While it’s not officially the end of monsoon season – we still have another couple of weeks before its “official” end – you can tell it’s over for all intents and purposes. The humidity, and the clouds that hovered daily over the Superstitions to the east and off to the southeast towards Tucson for the last three months are gone, leaving the sky a brilliant and iridescent blue. It doesn’t sizzle like it did even a month ago, and while the sun is still hot on the skin, the days lack that edge to them. There’s a big difference between 108 and the low ’90s, I’ll tell you that!

Another sign of fall around here in the Valley? The golf rates are about to skyrocket as the snowbirds start to trickle in from places like Nebraska, Iowa, and all points north to Canada. It’s great for the local economy, and the local courses, bars, and restaurants that have been just hanging on since May are ready to welcome back their regulars for another season.

With the “cooler” weather here, it’s time to give the backyard some attention. This weekend I’ll be backwashing the pool filter and washing and scrubbing down the patio and patio furniture and the Tiki bar. Now that we’re pretty much over dust storm season – and this year we had a heckuva lot more dust than rain – everything gets a much-needed washing and cleaning. The Tiki bar deck will need to get re-painted and re-stained, and all the tikis and silk flowers will get another coating of Krylon Clear. It’s also time to steer the queen palms into their winter dormant period; today they’ll get their semi-annual fertilizer injections and I’ll knock the watering back from one hour three times a week to 30 minutes twice a week.

The other big chore this weekend is fall planting. Which for me means taking the beautiful hydrangea out of the front pots and replacing them with some fall colors. The hydrangea will be washed down, dried in the sun, then bagged until Memorial Day weekend next year.

Of course, anyone unfamiliar with this area who come out here would immediately think they’re still in the middle of summer. But the days are getting just as short as they do back home – this week was the first week I had to turn on the lamp in my office for my 7 AM calls. And pretty soon the daily highs will drop below 90. The 80s only last a few weeks; around Halloween the heat gods will officially “flip the switch” and we’ll be in that truly delightful time known as “Arizona winter” until things start heating up around mid-March.

We’re coming into a nice time of year, and I’ve grown to like it more and more over the years. Sure, I miss the trees turning color, the cool nights, and the various doings and events that are unique to fall in New England, but it’s what comes after that, that I don’t miss. And like they say out here, you don’t have to shovel sunshine.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:31 | Comments (0)
September 21, 2017

A few random thoughts while wondering if by the end of next week New England and the Canadian Maritimes (God, I love the sound of those words!) might be paid a visit by Hurricane Maria:

While this may be true, all that matters to me is that I can pronounce “margarita”. In a certain Margaritaville.

the answer is “yes”. Next?

And a big “Yep” on this for Judge Roy Moore, running for the Alabama senate seat vacated when President Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as AG. It’s this kind of truth that the country needs to hear. Political correctness. Godlessness. And where has it gotten us? To places like this.

…and speaking of Attorney General Sessions, it’s time to start doing your job and lower the boom on the illegal actions of the Obama administration. And if you can’t, then step out of the way and let Trump appoint someone willing to start draining the swamp.

Sure I love golf, but I have zero interest in the FedEx Cup playoffs and have better things to do this weekend than to watch to see who wins. I watched the event in Boston only because it’s nice to watch New England golf on TV, but could have cared less who was playing, let alone winning. To me the FedEx Cup playoffs are nothing more than a showcase for a bunch of privileged, rich, and pampered pretty boys playing for even more money than they already can make. Here’s an idea: cut the total purse in half and donate it to the victims of Henry, Irma, Jose, and Maria. Then you’ll see what the priorities of these guys really are.

…that aside, I think this is about right. That Open Championship finish by Jordan Speith would have been fun to watch had I not been three-putting my way around Triggs Memorial on Goodboys Invitational Sunday (which already seems like a lifetime ago). Personally, I’d like another crack at that course, think I could take it down. Who’s with me?

…my own highlights this golf year? Hitting my tee shot to within six feet on the island green 12th at Lone Tree (the first time I’d ever hit that green in six tries) then draining it for birdie; making birdie on the par 3 8th at Trilogy Power Ranch from an impossible downhill bunker lie (on the short side, no less!); hitting my 124-yard 8-iron approach shot on the par 5 #3 at Agawam Hunt Club on Goodboys Friday to three inches (yes, I made the putt for birdie – even I can’t miss those!).

How bad is Hillary Clinton’s re-emergence on the political scene? Well, all I can say is, when you’ve lost the Huffington Post

Just my view, but the Red Sox look like a team that can beat up on crappy teams but are going to have trouble in the playoffs. Forget about the bullpen, that’s the least of their worries. They’re very vulnerable to good pitching – something they’ll see in spades come October – and they have a lousy manager who will be out-managed at every turn.

Kudos to the Prez for a powerful speech in front of the UN on Tuesday. You know how I knew he got the job done? When I read that the likes of John (“did you know I served in Vietnam?”) Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Condoleezza Rice – globalist frauds all – hated it. The amount of innocent blood these three clowns have on their hands is enormous, yet the media’s concern is limited only to the fact they hated Trump’s speech.

Heh. Is there anything alcohol can’t do? Hat tip: Instapundit.

This isn’t a bad list, but I think the Ramones “Rocket To Russia” and Neil Young’s “Live Rust” deserve at least honorable mention.

Reason #1,266 why Democrats are completely tone-deaf. I suppose Ellison could have compared the DACA kids to Japanese citizens imprisoned in internment camps during World War II, but, oops, that was a Democratic president who did that. What a moron.

…and that, my friends, closes the book on another Goodboys Nation weblog summer. And what a summer it was. See y’all come the fall!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:09 | Comments (0)

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