Wino Wally's 


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Well, itís after the first of May and once again, Iíve got the golf bug, but havenít snuck out to the links yet.  Itís a little interesting how having a family will shift your ability to complete 18 holes of golf from an average of 60 rounds per year to a lucky dozen or so. 

Of course, the wife will disagree with this saying that Iím free to play during the week as long as I take the time off from work (and of course this ignores the fact that I am not in the same income category as ďthe DonaldĒ).  In the pre-kid days, Saturday and Sunday golf was a predetermined objective.  Assuming 24 weekends with double round enjoyment, that left only 12 weeks where I could assume a ďbusiness roundĒ during the week.  These days, Iím lucky to get invited to 12 business rounds a year and forget the weekends.  Sundays are reserved for Sunday school for the girls.  Dad has to set an example, so he canít be on the golf course when the minister is leading a spiritual revival.  Saturdays are reserved for soccer and since my girls are young, they get assigned the midday league time which means the day is shot.

Just so I can lay claim to being a golfer, I subscribe to a few golf periodicals (I also belong to a few golf clubs, but I try to forget that since an ROI on my membership dues is infinitesimally minute these days given the minimal usage).  Probably my favorite magazine is Links (  My reason is simple:  the old standbys like Golf Digest and Golf Magazine aid and abet my guilt trip of never finding the time to hone my game according to the latest tips from the pros.  ďHit the ball like TigerĒ, ďPutt like JackĒ, and ďModel your short game like TrevinoĒ are among some of the pithy, but useless articles for folks like me who canít hit like any of those guys and arenít likely to find the time to work out swing flaws on the practice tee.

Links Magazine takes another tack.  It profiles golf courses and golf personalities from around the U.S. and around the world.  The ads are primarily for high end, real estate developments and for expensive golf equipment.  This is exactly what Iím looking for.  Now I can leaf through the magazine and say ďwell, I donít think the Gulfstream will be able to land at that puny airstrip near that golf course.Ē  Or, ďI played that course with Wino John and if theyíll let us play there, I donít want to be a memberĒ.

The May/June issue of Links just came out and I was impressed enough with the articles to report on them here.  Thereís an article on the Pine Crest Inn in Pinehurst, NC.  This one brought tears to my eyes since my wife and I honeymooned in Pinehurst.  The bar at the Pine Crest is the 19th hole hangout in town for serious golfers and one of its fixtures is a plywood board placed in the fireplace with the narrowest opening for anyone intoxicated enough to think that they can chip a golf ball through that slot.  For those of you, who want to be in the center of all of the action in Pinehurst, visit for information on reservations.

Another article in the recent issue profiles Tralee Golf Club in Ireland (  As you may know, I have golfed in Ireland with a group of country club buddies.  This past fall, I experienced Tralee for the first time.  Tralee is the first course in Europe designed by Arnold Palmer.  Palmer had probably one of the best natural topographies available with the site.  The day we arrived, it was raining (as usual).  I immediately purchased a Tralee rain hat (Irish style) to avoid ruining my U.S. rain hat.  It was raining so hard, that we decided not to warm up by hitting a few shots on the range.  On the first hole, I pushed my tee shot into the 10th fairway to the right of that hole (later on, I hooked my tee shot on 10 onto the 1st fairway, so I can say that I didnít miss either fairway that day).  I donít remember what I shot on the first nine that day, but I just remember the guys who had played there before stating ďwait until you see the back nineĒ.  Well, the back nine matched its description.  However, my thrill was in making a birdie on number 12, the number one handicap hole.  Number 12 is a 458 yard par 4.  While the length is nothing to sneeze at, the fairway runs downhill and a good golfer usually hits something less than driver here to avoid blowing through the fairway and having his ball land in the old quarry which is at the end of the fairway and to the left of the elevated green.  Laying up on your tee shot means having a 200 yard second shot to an elevated green that will play closer to 240 yards if youíre on the left side of the fairway as I was.  However, all the action in our group is with the daily skins game, so I left conservativism in my bag and struck a 5 wood with authority.  The ball bounced on the front of the green and headed for the back where the pin was, coming to a rest three feet short of the hole.  One putt later, and I was looking at a net eagle, good for some serious skin greenbacks.

While there are some more great articles in the May/June issue, Iíd like to mention a few of the products profiled.  If your idea of a wallpaper is a 54 square foot mural of one of your favorite golf courses (or baseball or football stadiums), you need to visit  I personally like the mural of Augusta golf holes.  Futuristic Flushing is the headliner of the product review of the Toto Neorest toilet (  For only $5,200 you can have a toilet with a warm-water cleansing unit with front and back aerated warm-water spray, an oscillating spray massage, heated seat, automatic catalytic air deodorizer and warm-air dryer.  I fully expect to see one of these in the Wino John Mansion given his ability to find sponsors who will allow him to sample products for a test review.  This baby looks like the ultimate and who better to test a crapper than our own WJ.  Lastly, there is an article reviewing the latest in putter technology.  Three putters, The Monster by Parente (, The Money by SeeMore (, and the Tracy II by Yes! Golf (, are profiled.  Two of these putters are $200 each and one is $170 (and yes, WinoJohn, I know that you havenít spent that much on your last three sets of clubs, but this is the 21st century!).  Unfortunately, based on the reviews, I like either the Monster or The Money and those two happen to be the $200 gems.  Maybe Iíll wait to buy one of them from my friend Ron, the orthodontist, who hasnít found a new club that he hasnít bought for at least a moment in time (Ron usually needs just a couple dozen new patients a year to feed his equipment habit).  The Ronster is also the brother-in-law of my erstwhile golfing buddy, Wino Phil.

Well, thatís all for now on the golfing front.  Iím hoping that WinoJohn will visit the beach for a few rounds of golf over the 4th (isnít that our patriotic duty, WJ?).  We might also taste some wine on the 19th hole (and of course it will be red!).

Wino Wally
Baltimore, MD
May 4, 2005


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