Saturday, June 9, 2012

Of Balls and Shoes

With apologies to John Steinbeck...
A while back, I wrote about my search for just the right golf ball to suit my "game". I have played a number of rounds with the Wilson Fifty Elite, which comes in day-glo orange, and I have found my ball! In fact, that's one of the features I most appreciate about the Wilson many previous outings, I have been unable to find my ball, even when it occasionally landed in the fairway. God help me if my white or even yellow ball wound up in the first cut or deep rough, and I didn't even bother to search if it went into the trees or undergrowth. Not the case with these orange beauties...I think I have only lost two over 72 holes, which is a major improvement. The Wilson 50 works well for my slow swing speed (about the same as a Jamie Moyer "fastball", or approx. 75 mph.) As a point of comparison, Tiger Woods' swing speed averages 130 mph. Anyway, I can drive these balls about 220 yards on a good day, and they play well for my short game too. Just $12/dozen at my local Puetz Superstore.

Since I usually walk when I play golf, shoes are another part of my kit that I have previously found lacking in comfort and utility. Although soft spikes are better than the metal ones I grew up using, they get clogged with grass clumps, and don't transmit an accurate feel of the footing. I became intrigued by the sort of goofy-looking footwear PGA Tour player Ryan Moore has sported over the past year. Mr. Moore often adopts the 1930's golfer look, right down to the tie and argyle sweater, but then he'd wear what looked like Birkenstock golf shoes. I did some checking, and Ryan Moore endorses and wears TRUE brand golf shoes, which are hybrid sole, natural fit animals. I liked the concept of a golf shoe I could put on at home, drive to the course, walk 18 holes, and stop by the grocery store without changing. Most user reviews proclaimed the TRUE shoe to be "the most comfortable and functional golf shoe ever!" So being the dedicated golf consumer, I bought a pair (got 'em on sale at Puetz, which supports the military with a 5% discount, thank you very much.), and have come to the same opinion. My golfing buddies have all used the "Nice clown shoes" comment, but since I resemble the guy who dances in those "Six Flags" amusement park commercials, I am used to that kind of stuff.

Speaking of balls, my reserve unit had a change of command ceremony yesterday. After we got through the whole goat rope in reasonably-professional fashion, we fell out of formation, and were chatting with the friends and family members in attendance. That's when the four year old son of our new commander came racing across the drill floor, wound up, and socked me in the nuts with a punch that Mike Tyson would have envied. Took me to my knees in the blink of an eye. The commander and his wife were very apologetic, but hopefully this incident isn't a foreshadowing of how the last part of my military career is going to go.

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