I love to hunt from a backcountry camp, but I’ve never enjoyed setting up and breaking camp. Last year, a couple of friends and I decided to hunt Colorado’s first rifle season for elk. We chose a camping spot near the end of a marginal Forest Service trail (it took 45 minutes to drive one mile). We had no neighbors on this stretch of steep, heavily forested public land, and our hopes were high for finding wapiti. It took a good two hours after arriving in late evening to erect our cabin tent and set up camp.
SCOTTSDALE ARIZ – With its top-notch public courses and warm winter weather, Scottsdale has long been a haven for golfers looking for some classic desert golf.
Now they have even more choices with the opening of some new desert courses along with a brand-new Four Seasons Hotel in this upscale Phoenix suburb.
SunRidge Canyon was designed by Keith Foster, who has done several courses in Texas, and is one of the newer courses in the area known by locals as the Valley of the Sun. As the name would suggest, the par 71 course sits in a canyon, but Foster did a brilliant job of incorporating the desert landscape in this public golf layout.
Every good professional golfer, from an aggressive swinger like Sergio Garcia to a controlled technician like Annika Sorenstam, reduces the loft on his or her middle and short irons just before impact. That’s called “covering the ball.” If you took the club out of my hands at impact, you’d see that my right palm faces the target and is angled slightly toward the ground. I’m swinging down and through the ball. The shaft of the club is staying vertical long after the clubhead passes my left toe, and my right hand won’t turn over until it gets to my left pocket.
On the course: Tee shots
The most important way to break 90 consistently is to make good decisions on the course. The average 90-shooter loses more strokes due to poor club and shot selection than to a bad swing or missed shot. I’m convinced of that. I could caddie for the average 25-handicapper and take 10 shots off his or her score instantly–not by overhauling the swing, but by helping with on-course decision-making.
I spent my career on the PGA Tour doing whatever I could to put myself in the best position to make the best score. For a brief period in the 1970s, I could do that better than anyone in the game. During my career as a broadcaster for NBC, I’ve studied the course-management skills of the greatest players on the PGA, Senior and LPGA tours. And since I play in more corporate outings and pro-ams these days, I have witnessed the mood swings and struggles the average player can experience in the course of a round. My advice will not only help you hit better shots, it will help put you in the best position on each hole. And when you find yourself in some of those not-so-great positions, it will help you get out with more confidence and less damage to your score.