September 19, 2017

My first impression after watching the original “60 Minutes” version of Charlie Rose’s interview with President Trump’s formal advisor Steve Bannon was that it was pretty much as expected – a hit job, even though Bannon (at least in my view) acquitted himself quite well.

Then I saw the full interview, and was struck by how different the overall tone was and how “normal” the conversation was. It’s not only quite interesting, it’s actually riveting – not just in the broad range of topics covered, but how well both Rose and Bannon come out of it. Rose, while obviously coming from a Beltway elitist perspective, is nevertheless respectful and getting the most out of his subject; Bannon is unapologetic and passionate in his “America First” populism. Seeing the longer version, I’m impressed with the quality of it all – both Rose and Bannon deserve a lot of credit for how well it was conducted.

The longer version is something everyone in this country ought to see, for it shows not just how two grown-ups in the room coming from two different sides of the political aisle can be forceful, yet respectful of each other’s perspective, but it provides a window into President Trump’s world-view. Sure, there were a couple of moments where you could tell Rose came close to getting under Bannon’s skin, but I thought that Bannon handled those moments deftly and came across far less than the racist, alt-right nationalist ogre the mainstream media and Democrats have painted him to be. I had a lot of respect for Bannon prior to and after the “60 Minutes” version; I now have even more. Anyone who wants to truly understand how Donald Trump operates and how his campaign was able to beat Hillary Clinton’s in the general election ought to invest their time in this interview. The guy is an “America First” populist, and it’s obvious he and President Trump are cut from similar cloths. I’ll tell you this – I’m glad I have the likes of Steve Bannon on my side.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 20:27 | Comments (0)
September 15, 2017

…and what a week it was! Finally got a sniff of the coming Arizona fall – it was ten degrees cooler (well, relatively speaking) than yesterday. After so many months above 100 it was nice to see 95 today.

I’ve been saying this for years. Sure, there were abuses and the exploitation, but on balance the main benefits colonialism brought in Africa and Asia were the integration of diverse cultures and order. I guarantee you wouldn’t see the kind of despotism and civil wars that have killed millions of people had the Europeans been in charge.

Methinks the Venezuelans chose right – if given the choice between eating a cute bunny and having it for a pet, rational folks will choose the latter every time. (Warning: cute bunny pic at the link!)

Rule #1 for conservatives in this Trump day and age: trust nothing you hear from the mainstream media. All it is doing is actively working to create dissatisfaction between the Prez and those who voted for him last year so Democrats benefit in 2018. The media will say anything, do anything, and try everything in its power to create disapproval. I would have thought Kurt Schichter knew better, but I guess everyone has their buttons that can be easily pushed and anyone can have a bad day.

The story behind the world’s oldest known photograph. Pretty fascinating.

I, too stand with bikini-wearing baristas. What guy in their right mind wouldn’t?

What is it with the LPGA? They have their final major where play gets suspended the first day because of rain and what do they decide to do? Make it a three-day event. Really?? I mean c’mon – you want the tour to be treated with the same kind of respect as the men’s tour? Man up!

The Red Sox are gonna have to seriously address their Hanley Ramirez problem before they start post-season baseball.

Have a great weekend, y’all! Me? I’ll be splitting time between work and hitting balls – finally getting the chance to get back to work on my short game which I haven’t touched since Goodboys Invitational weekend nearly two months ago (has it been that long?).

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:10 | Comments (0)
September 14, 2017

Just a few random thoughts as here in the Valley of the Sun we say sayonara to summer, as it looks like the days of 105+ temps are finally – finally! – over and the nights get ready to settle in the 70-degree temps of what is usually a very short fall season. Looking forward to getting out and hitting balls in temperatures below 100 degrees as it promises to be this weekend.

How bout dem Cleveland Indians! Are they really this good, or are they streaking too early and in danger of peaking before the playoffs start. I guess we’ll find out in three weeks time.

If I’m Kim Jong-Un I’m not going to sleep any easier hearing about this, I’ll tell ya. Watching the video at the link is worth your time, I guarantee it.

I’ve posted before that The Capris’ “There’s A Moon Out Tonight” is my all-time favorite doo-wop song. So imagine my surprise to find an Irish group called The Roomates do a bang-up job of it a cappella. And their released version of the song is just as good. If you love doo-wop, you can’t go wrong by picking up a bunch of their CDs.

Hillary Clinton is either delusional, a narcissist beyond anyone’s comprehension, or a masochist of the highest order to keep throwing herself out there and embarrassing herself on a daily basis like she’s doing. Seriously, there’s something psychologically deficient at work here. I guess it’s one thing to write a stupid, boring book that blames everyone else except numero uno for your humiliating loss to Donald Trump last November; it’s another thing entirely to drag your frumpy, sorry ass out there on camera simply to listen to people fawn over you simply because you’re, y’know, Hillary Rodham Clinton. One of these days she’ll go away and leave us all alone, but one can only hope it comes after she runs for president again in 2020. It’s hard to find a more joyless, colorless, phony, and despicable creature walking the earth.

Geez, Yahoo! News writes about this as if it’s a bad thing. It’s time for the USA to stop being the caretaker of the entire world and start taking care of its own. Once we’re done doing that then maybe we can talk.

I remember the good old days when ESPN was all about sports. Now it’s just a social justice cesspool.

Here’s the real story of Hillary Clinton’s election night. Because in the end it was always, and would always be, about her and to hell with everyone else.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:27 | Comments (0)
September 13, 2017

So Irma has come and gone, and while there are areas of Florida that were completely devastated, it could have been a whole lot worse. If the hurricane’s track (and, BTW, kudos to the National Hurricane Center for virtually nailing it) had stayed just off the west coast in the Gulf instead of veering slightly inland (we’re talking, like, only fifty miles here) or took the path Donna did in 1960 we’d be talking a catastrophe. As it was, for folks like my mother-in law in Port Richey and my sister-in-law’s ex and two kids (that aren’t kids anymore) up in Citrus County the Gulf Coast got nothing more than a blowy rainstorm. Like many, they chose to ignore the local authorities and didn’t evacuate. All I can say is, to quote the great Tom Petty, “you got lucky“.

Far be it from me to question motives, but might all those Hollywood celebrities who gathered to raise money for the victims of Harvey and Irma be doing so only because some mucky-muck higher up in the movie studio echelon looked at the lousy a year the movie industry has been having and the outpouring of criticism Hollywood has been receiving for its incessant Trump-basing, and decided some positive press was in order?

…and while I’m certain the estimated $44 million they raised will be gladly accepted, forgive me if I resist patting these limousine liberals on the back for emerging from their walled-in and gated communities to do something for, y’know, the common folk. Heck, Oprah ($2.9 billion), Cher ($330 million), and George Clooney ($180 million) have net worths between them more than $3.5 billion. What a bunch of troopers.

…and they simply couldn’t stop themselves from keeping politics out of it, bleating over and over their climate change agenda. Gimme a break. Joe Bastardi of has been preaching over and over the fact that while we’ve had two bad hurricanes this year, this is nothing compared to years between 1945 and 1955 when the U.S. was hit repeatedly by hurricanes, and not small ones either. Look at 1947 alone! The fact is, as the migration to places south of the Mason-Dixon continues as the country grows older and folks want to escape the winters and the high cost of living in the Northeast “blue states”, more and more folks and property will be put at risk by the natural course of events that occur when the tropics light up every year.

Two cases in point: look at the 1954 hurricane season: can you imagine the damage and costs if you had storms like Hazel and Carol if they were to take the same tracks today?

None of this has anything to do with climate change – at least the man-made kind. Just something to think about…

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 07:59 | Comments (0)
September 12, 2017

Watched Trump advisor and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon on Sunday night’s 60 Minutes and was positively blown away. Not only did he honestly and aggressively push back at liberal weasel Charlie Rose’s pear-clutching, elitist, Beltway-centric assertions, but for all intents and purposes he fired the first shots across the bow at the GOP elites in Congress who have been digging their heels in from day one against President Donald Trump’s agenda.

There was virtually nothing I found objectionable about anything Bannon said, particularly when it came to Senate Majority Leader Mitch “The Turtle” McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul “RINO” Ryan – after all, they’d had the better part of eight years to put together a opposition-led legislative agenda that could have been ready to be pushed through on day one with a Republican president but have done nothing. Why? Because it’s far easier to do exactly what they had hoped and planned for – serve as the opposition to President Hillary Clinton’s agenda instead of actually having responsibility as the party in power to, y’know, stand for and do something. And Bannon called them out on their disloyalty:

…“The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face.”

…“Mitch McConnell when we first met him … he basically says, ‘ don’t want to hear any more of this “drain the swamp” talk.’”

…“In the 48 hours after we won, there’s a fundamental decision that was made. You might call it the original sin of the administration. We embraced the establishment. … Because you had to staff a government.”

…“The plan was to do Obamacare because, remember, Paul Ryan and these guys come in and said, ‘We’ve done this for seven years. We’ve voted on this 50 times.’ … There is wide discrepancy in the Republican Party, as we know today, now that we’re in it. But I will tell you, leadership didn’t know it at the time. They didn’t know it till the very end.”

I guarantee you that there were no two people in Washington as horrified on election night when the election was called for Donald Trump than “The Turtle” and RINO Ryan. They probably even wet their jammies at the thought that they could be held accountable by Trump voters; they surely knew there would be no more excuses. But that didn’t mean they didn’t stop trying. And that’s what Steven Bannon accomplished in his Charlie Rose interview: not only was he firing shots across the bow of McConnell and Ryan, revealing them for the weasels they are, but also putting them on notice that any Republican senators and congressmen up for re-election who didn’t support the President’s agenda were going to find themselves primaried come next summer.

So the game is on: you have RINO Republican senators like Alabama’s Luther Strange, Tennessee’s Bob Corker, and Arizona’s Jeff Flake that know their future aspirations are now in danger. They know Bannon’s plainly-spoken and unabashed “America First” agenda is what put Donald Trump in the White House to begin with, and they have to know Bannon has deep-pocketed donors ready to back his efforts to primary any Republican senator or congressman up for re-election in 2018 who aren’t behind Donald Trump 100%. Maybe they don’t believe it – yet. But make no mistake about it: if you were to ask Republicans in Washington who they fear most: Donald Trump or Steve Bannon, they’ll answer Bannon. They know he’s a tough-as-nails Irish street fighter carved out of the same mold as Andrew Breitbart, and they know he’s not afraid to name names and kick ass.

When I first heard that Bannon was leaving the White House I was dismayed, but knowing that his leaving truly was his own decision and that he feels he can do far more to push the Trump agenda outside the confines of the West Wing, I’m ecstatic. There’s a tsunami similar to 2014 heading towards Washington, and it’s going to be bloody for Republican incumbents who have no clue as to what’s about to hit them. Bannon has the money and influence to recruit solid alternatives to the GOP elites, and the same “cold anger” out there that put Donald Trump in the White House is ready to rise up against establishment Republicans like it did to President Obama and the Democrats in 2014.

The GOP Washington elites have been put on notice, and it’s going to be exciting to watch. The revolution starts in two weeks.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:11 | Comments (0)
September 9, 2017

A few random thoughts while seeing where exactly Hurricane Irma is going to hit…

Me? I’ve been commenting at the Weather Underground blog over the past few days that the NHC track was always too far to the east and that they were putting too much credence in that dopey trough sliding down from Oklahoma. It just didn’t seem that strong to me – certainly not strong enough to push a hurricane as large as Irma has been up the Florida east coast or even up its spine. I always thought it would hit anywhere from Sarasota to the Florida / Alabama border, and I’m sticking with it.

…I notice that late last night they started moving Irma’s landfall from Ft. Myers up to Tampa Bay, and now they’re hinting that it could even hit further north than that. Knowing that hurricane tracks are prone to wobble one way or the other, I’m guessing Tampa Bay or slightly north of there, but if I were living in Pensacola (I wish!) I’d be keeping a wary eye to the south.

My favorite hurricane song? Gotta be Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane”. That is some bad-ass grungy guitar playing on Neil’s part.

They say Irma will be the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since Hurricane Donna in 1960, might even surpass that. I remember Hurricane Donna hitting Massachusetts – in fact it’s one of my earliest memories, I was almost five then. I can remember the wind wailing outside our windows and eating supper by candlelight after our power went out. I seem to remember the menu that night included Spam.

The pictures coming back from Barbuda and St. Maarten are heart-wrenching. It will be interesting to see what kind of wrath Irma leaves in Florida.

Looks like I’ll be making another donation to Samaritan’s Purse for the victims of Harvey and Irma. I’d much rather give my money to SP rather than a bureaucracy-heavy organization like the American Red Cross. Putting the money as close to the local folks in my view is always best, and the folks at SP are top-notch in that regard.

And let’s not forget Hurricane Jose that’s spinning out there behind Irma. Me? I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that somewhere down the line Jose and New England are going to be used in the same sentence.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 11:48 | Comments (0)
September 8, 2017

I’m sure Jimmy’s thoughts are with all his peeps down there in Key West where I’m guessing Hurricane Irma is gonna make a mess of things before too long. I guess that’s why so many pirates – at least in their hearts and souls – are attracted to places like southwest Florida, the Keys, and the Gulf Coast: you live purely in the moment because in the back of your mind you know come next September there could be some monster out in the Atlantic making a beeline towards your ass that can take it all away.

Actually, for all its potential cons, there are a lot of pros behind that way of thinking. We’re only on this earth a very short while, and its never ceases to amaze me watching things on the news at how things can be taken away from you in such a short time. It could be that nagging cough that finally brings you to a doctor’s office and the MRI that follows. It could be some moron driving southbound on a northbound highway while you’re driving home after a late day a work. It could be some idiot shooting up a supermarket, restaurant, or café, and you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could be that sudden, awful chest pain that comes out of nowhere. We all have our sacred, etched-in-stone plans and dreams, acting as if nothing can take our hard-earned rewards away from us.

But it can. And it does. More often than we’d like to admit.

Which is why, when a monsoon dust and thunderstorm blew up to our southeast I asked Tracey to crack me open a Sam Summer and sat under the tiki bar and listened to thunder peal in the distance, lightning flash behind the houses far beyond our south wall, and hear raindrops spat against the gas grill cover and the wind swirl the big mesquite branches above me. The tiki lights were bright and happy, the thatch roof I’d installed two summers ago still solid above to keep me dry, and thoughts about my family and days long past, never to be experienced again, when we’d all gather out on the front porch to watch a thunderstorm roll in as warm in my heart as the air around me.

There’s no real point to this post other than to emphasize once again just how fragile and precious our lives are. Anything and everything could be taken away from us in an instant. Could be the result of a natural disaster, or the result of something you never in your wildest dreams would have thought of when you turned over the ignition in the driveway or the garage. You have to live each day as if it’s your last and do so without regret as long as you’re not hurting someone else along the way. My thoughts and prayers are for the folks in Florida this weekend. It can be a tropical paradise, for sure, but there’s a dark, flip side to everything: nothing is ever quite as perfect as it seems.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:00 | Comments (0)
September 7, 2017

I understand why President Trump did this – he wants to keep moving his agenda forward and having the debt ceiling thing hanging over his head during the last session of 2017 would have been an unnecessary distraction from the real stuff he wants to do. But if he thinks he’ll get anything in return from Schumer or Pelosi in return for his good faith gesture, he’s mistaken. Fortunately, I don’t think he is, and I see this working in three ways:

1. If Schumer and Pelosi continue their obstruction the Prez can say he tried to work with them in good faith but they’re not, so he’s cutting them out of the mix going forward.
2. It show the country he’s willing to work with both sides of the political aisle for the common good.
3. It puts on notice Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell that they better get their sh*t together by the end of the year and start supporting his agenda.

I do believe they can get health care and tax reform done by EOY, leaving immigration reform for 2018 when “UniParty” RINO Republicans are going to be pushed hard by conservatives. There will be folks primaried – which they should – and immigration will become the primary issue in the 2018 midterms. It’s an issue that the GOP should benefit from; whether or not they’re smart enough to take advantage of it – well, I think we all know the answer to that.

This is just another example of why Phil Mickelson is such a favorite on the PGA Tour. Could you imagine Tiger Woods engaging someone in the gallery like that?

But… but… I though “tough” President Obama drew a red line in Syria? Don’t hold your breath expecting to hear about this on CNN or MSNBC.

While it remains to be seen what the final pages will read when the 2017 baseball season is over, it’s pretty clear at this point that not only is John Farrell a lousy manager, he doesn’t have much control over his clubhouse and his players. His handling of the Dennis Eckersley incident was an embarrassment, and now this. And for Dustin Pedroia to say he’s not aware of rules shows he’s either as ignorant as his field manager, or he’s just a jerk. Play by the rules, fellas, or don’t play at all.

Yeah, it’s been a fairly uneventful monsoon season rain-wise here in Gilbert, but other parts of the Valley of the Sun have done OK. Last night we had a full moon while it rained lightly for ten minutes as a thunderstorm slid to our east and south. Some nice lightning but no thunder. We still got a few weeks left to see something good happen.

Good luck to Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots as they open their 2017-2018 season. If they stay healthy, they’re heads and tails above just about everyone in the NFL. But it’s a long season and anything can happen.

Yep. Like I said in an earlier post, at some point the libs, snowflakes, and “Never Trumpers” out there are just going to have to accept the fact they’ve got 3+ more years of President Trump at the very least. He is what he is, and he’s not going to change what got him to where he is just to make y’all feel more comfortable or good about yourselves. So suck it up, buttercups.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:31 | Comments (0)
September 5, 2017

A must-read post from blogger Ace at Ace of Spades HQ about how we seem to have gone from a country who just 70-odd years ago could storm the beaches at Normandy to a place where college students need “safe zones” with stuffed animals and Playdoh for whenever someone triggers them with a Trump sign or something that happens to offend their fragile psyches and sensitivities. Clearly, we’ve become a nation enslaved to our smart phones and social media, to the point where the word “saturation” doesn’t do the word justice and we’re brain-damaged because of it.

Case in point: I’m standing in line at a Dutch Bros Coffee stand on Monday while the twins await their medium iced white chocolate mochas with extra whip cream. There’s contemporary synth-pop blaring out of the speakers, and I’m the only one standing in line who isn’t either tattooed or using their smart phones as a extension of their physical bodies. A young, attractive couple in front of me is communicating with each other through their smart phones. Neither is saying a word to each other, they’re just texting each other and laughing over whatever it is they’re texting. That’s what it has come to. Back in my day you’d, like, converse with each other, y’know?

I know I sound like an old fogey here, but when I told the twins I felt like a dinosaur everyone just laughed – good naturedly, of course. Which is fine. But there is a more serious undercurrent running through this – and especially when it comes to politics. My God, you’d think the election of Donald Trump has been the absolute end of the world. CNN and MSNBC run 24/7 with every kind of conspiracy theory you can imagine; no wonder every snowflake liberal thinks that Trump is about to be impeached (he’s not) or about to resign because of the latest explosive developments in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe (there aren’t any). And I think Ace is spot-on when he writes that while it’s just the drive-bys trying to rile folks up for ratings purposes and furthering they’re own hateful, Beltway elitist agendas, it’s also damaging to our country’s collective psyches and how it’s important to turn it all off and, y’know, find a life:

That’s why it’s important, I think, to cultivate a hobby, an interest, a charitable endeavor, a group with shared passions where you can exert some control. Sure, you won’t be exerting control over the things you maybe wish you could control, but you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing your efforts slowly work to achieve something tangible, real, and good.

Haven’t read in a while? Start reading. Lotta good books out there. Some of the best are like One Hundred Years old and so are even free on Kindle (or 99 cents, just for the converstion).

Thinking about getting some GAINZZZ? Well, get some GAINZZZ.

Haven’t picked up the guitar since you were 20? Pick it up again. (I’m told the amount of free and expert instruction now available on the internet for learning music is fantastic.)

Thinking about starting some activity the whole family can do? Stop thinking, start doing.

I think it’s very helpful to have some areas in your life where you are challenged, and yet you can overcome those challenges through effort. A bit of control in one area might make all the difference.

Ace is also right about the dangers of social media, the need of folks to be seen as important or influential by tweeting stuff or posting stuff on Facebook simply to garner folowers – something they’ve obviously been unable to do in their own meager existences.

What is the damn advantage of that? What are the first reports besides garbage, inaccuracies, #FakeNews, and #HotTakes?

Why would anyone on earth every want to read something about major news (and note: 99% of news is not major, even in the Age of Trump, when everything is shrieked about) that the writer didn’t even take four or six hours to think about first?

For purposes of my job, I should want to be among the First to Know.

On the other hand, for purposes of my mental health, I kinda like being Among the Last to Know. Time acts as a good sieve to filter out most of the the noise and stupidity — and Dear Lord, there is so much grunting animal noise and stupid clamor nowadays.

Life is short, guys. No one ever realizes how short life is until they’re looking at having only days or weeks of it left.

Tune out the lunatics, filter out the hate, embrace things that matter, and try to get off the white-knuckled machine of anxiety, fear, depression, and hopelessness Your Media Betters have made for you.

If not for the mainstream media’s continuous focus on the negative, I wouldn’t even know we had so much to be afraid of in my not-so-small town. Maybe it’s just my own perception at not going out much beyond the supermarket or the pizza join down the street, but it seems to me that the folks in my area seem to get along quite well regardless of race, sex, culture, and religion. Sure, you have the bad apples here just like you would have in any community, but 25 protesters marching in support of DACA doesn’t make for an uprising. When Bill O’Reilly left FOX News I gave up cable news of all kinds up, with the exception of FOX’s Saturday night lineup of Judge Jeannine, Greg Gutfeld, and Watters’ World are fun to watch. Like most folks increasingly, I instead choose what internet sites I get my news and info from (it’s a wider variety than I bet y’all think!), and figure I have the God-given brains to recognize what’s important and useful, and what is total bullshit. And there’s a lot of that out there!

To be honest, the only time I’ll watch TV anymore is Golf Channel or switching between the MLB Network, Golf Channel and Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” on Friday night. The other nights of the week I’m reading – primarily fiction (James Lee Burke‘s Dave Robicheaux series and Randy Wayne White‘s Doc Ford series are current faves), or just sitting out on the patio and enjoying a quiet Pinot Grigio or two or three before calling it a night.

And you know what? I’ve found out I don’t miss the TV. We’re it not for golf and baseball, I probably wouldn’t even own one. At nearly 62 years of age I don’t need to be caught up on what’s hot in pop culture or listen to someone commenting on the political divisions that run in our country these days. I’ve been around long enough to know what I know, believe what I believe, and take everything one day at a time because it can all go “poof!” in the blink of an eye. To immerse myself in social media would tell me I don’t really have a life, and last time I checked I do. It would be better for us as a country if many others would do the same, but the social media genie is out of the bottle and that’s just the way these times are. It’s just unfortunate that it’s turning young people into a bunch of snowflake zombies who never learned to think or speak for themselves.

Heaven help all of us if they were ever called to storm some beach thousands of miles away in defense of this country.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:35 | Comments (0)
September 4, 2017

It felt kind of funny as I took a couple of practice swings at the Papago Golf Course driving range for the first time since Goodboys Invitational weekend. It had been a little over a month since I’d even looked at my clubs, and the swings I was taking felt awkward and unnatural to me, but I was embarking on a new journey swing-wise – one far different than the swing I had patched together for Goodboys weekend.

And patched together was the word for it. Ever since I started getting the itch back to hit golf balls again, I’d been doing a lot of thinking about my golf swing and re-reading the blog posts from the weeks leading up to Goodboys Invitational weekend. And, truth be told, while I still think I struck the ball better that weekend than I had ever done in any Goodboys Invitational weekend prior, the fact remained that I went into the weekend without my 5-wood and hybrids as reliable weapons, and it killed me. I mean, how right can your swing be if it doesn’t translate to all the clubs in your bag? Not to mention the fact that I had played lousy the Tuesday before Goodboys weekend at Green Meadow and only “found” my driver the next day while playing nine holes at Trull Brook. So whatever I was able to patch together for this year’s Goodboys weekend still left more than a little room for improvement.

As folks who frequent this blog know, I’ve always been a huge fan of LPGA golfer Paula Creamer. She’s sexy and adorable, but a fierce competitor with a swing that’s just drop-dead gorgeous. Fellow Goodboy “Killer” Kowalski thinks her swing plane is too flat on takeaway – and I can see where he’s coming from – but I love-love-love the way she goes down and gets it on her downswing. Look at her wide stance with the driver and the way and how early her back foot comes up as she drives through the ball. I also like the way her knees are bent at address – she seems to have a better weight distribution on her feet than I typically do. But what I really like most is her tempo, and how long her swing is to generate the power she seems to get without swinging hard. Taken together, since I really don’t have a swing I can call my own at the present time, why not start from scratch and see how it goes?

And so that’s what I decided to do upon my return to the range for the first time since Goodboys Invitational weekend. I was hoping to hear an announcer say over the loudspeaker, “And now, for his first appearance since his runner-up performance in the 2017 Goodboys Invitational: Doug “The Great White Shank” Richard!” But alas, there was none, and no one seemed to notice my arrival. But I felt different: I had worked hard on my swing prior to Goodboys weekend and had seen first-hand the results of all that hard work. I knew if I had to, I’d find the swing I had six weeks ago and try and fine-tune from there, but there would still be that issue with the 5-wood and the hybrids, so I felt a certain sense of freedom in trying a different kind of swing simply for the hell of it.

I took a lot of practice swings without a ball in front of me – far more than I would normally – because I wanted to try and get my footwork right. If there’s one thing I’ve learned these past few years, a good golf swing is built from the ground up, not the bottom down. It felt totally alien to me, but I was content simply with trying something different. The first few 8-irons I tried hitting were all topped as I tried to get the timing down: it was clear I would have to slow my swing down in order to get it right. But once I did, I was pretty darned happy with the results. One of the things I wanted to fix immediately from my Goodboys Invitational swing was to eliminate the slightly-closed club face at address I was using and keeping during my very upright take-away. I know it was kinda-sorta working for me, but I also knew in the back of my mind that all I was doing was cheating. So getting the club face back to neutral at address and then mimicking Paula’s down-swing also meant putting a premium on not jumping at the ball; if I did it was a big pull to the right.

For this first range session all I wanted to do was hit 8-iron, 6-iron, 4-hybrid, and 5-wood. If it didn’t work I’d call it a day and just go back to working more on what I was doing before Goodboys my next time out. So after a bunch of 8s, I dropped down to my 6-iron. Once again, while there were more than a few sculls as I tried to find the right tempo, I finally got it down and really enjoyed the higher trajectory I was getting from having my club properly set at address. The day wasn’t too hot, so I grabbed a water and took a few moments to look at a new set of high clouds coming in from the southwest from Tropical Storm Lidia before heading on to my 4-hybrid and 5-wood:

The moment of truth had arrived. My hybrids had been a mystery to me prior to Goodboys Invitational weekend but there were times I really needed to hit them during that weekend and they cost me strokes. I was hoping this new swing approach might result in something different. I took a bunch of practice swings, again to get my timing and footwork down, then dropped a ball. A big hit, long and straight followed by a pull, a push, a scull, but then another monster hit straight. What I noticed more than anything else – once again – was the trajectory I got when I caught it good. Higher and softer-landing than anything I could ever remember hitting since I got these clubs. And the same thing was true with the 5-wood: three swings that went boom-boom in the zoom-zoom room with the same lovely, high trajectory I’d suddenly got addicted to seeing scattered around a couple of sculls and pushes where I didn’t get the timing right.

For me, it’s now all about results, the predictable kind. Follow the axiom and you’ll get the desired results. Go off the reservation in any way and the results become unpredictable. I’m not 100% sold on the Paula Creamer swing yet, but let’s just say I’m very intrigued by it. It’s going to take a bit of work, but starting this weekend I think I’ll try to hit balls on a weekly basis to try and further refine the footwork and the timing this new swing requires. But if in the end it means finding my hybrids and 5-wood, it would be make me one happy dog, fer shure! I’m having a lot of fun trying something different, but it’s only because of all the work I had put in this year leading up to Goodboys Invitational weekend that makes taking the risk and diving head-first into a different pool – at least swing-wise – worthwhile.

It will be interesting to see where this ends up taking me.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:27 | Comments (0)


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