Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

The Traveling Golfer

With host Tony Leodora will travel both near and far to bring viewers a look at some of the most spectacular golf destinations in the world!

General

Coping without golf

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

These are obviously trying times.  The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll, and people are worried about its fangs.  Rightfully so.

Yet in a time of business shutdowns, social distancing, quarantines and such there are several givens in preventions.  Like washing hands endlessly and not rubbing your face.  Avoiding discretionary travel. Work from home if possible.

Golfers lament time away from the course, playing the game they love, as governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Maryland have shuttered golf courses. At last count 21 states have closed golf courses, while 28 states remain open for play.  One state, Alaska, is closed but snow has a way of keeping players off the course.

Linfield National's Rob Kloeckner, a Neshaminy grad, has petitioned the state for a waiver to no avail.  So have three course operators from the Pittsburgh area.   

Delaware Courses are open for the most part, with social distancing guidelines (one to a cart, or no motorized carts at all, locked pro shops, no toughing flagsticks, etc.) in place as safety is important. One owner operator in Delaware said business has been brisk with the closure of courses in neighboring states. 

Near all courses are being maintained as the closures have not ended caring for course work, so once a handle on the virus is fixed openings could come fast, especially in less populated areas. 

Patience required.

If you want to keep the muscles working, the Mad Golfer in Southampton is open for self service practice. 

For my golf fix I recently watched a replay of the 2019 Masters Tournament. Spoiler alert, a guy in a red shirt did pretty well. 

 

 

 

Magical "secret" - CBD

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

Those who've read my columns dating back to 1978 know I'm not a fan of gimmicks or fly by night solutions to improve your game.  Heck, golf is a game as hard as there is, because as Lee Trevino says, you have to play your foul balls. 

Still, every blue moon there is something that pops up that, well, is simply amazing.  This story isn't about a new golf club,magical ball or teaching aid. Nope, this time it's something completely different.

As a golfer gets a bit older there are aches and pains that are bothersome and sometimes even keeps one away from playing on certain days.  There are obviously numerous pills to help limit the pain and get one onto the course, but for some nothing seems to work.  At the recent 18th annual Media Classic in The Valley of the Sun in the greater Phoenix area I was introduced to a product that, well, works for me.

I've had this nagging pain in my right arm that didn't affect my swing but did cause pain and discomfort when my body turned in a certain direction.  It also was painful when I slept on one side. Turning over in the middle of the night sparked me to sit upright, leading to a lack of fitful sleep. 

No more. 

And the solution? CBD.

Precisely it was a sauve provided by Physician's Choice CBD. A legal solution derived from extensive research of the hemp plant (not the marijuana plan) that is legal, bought over the counter, and helps soothe many of those nasty pain, aches, anxiety and sleep disorders which are nagging to a point of hurting your golf game. 

Extensive research occurred with doctor's involved in each step culminated with the various products that help many people overcome a variety of ailments. 

"I've always been intrigued with the concept, and the more I read and researched I soon knew there was something there," explained Jeff Schaeffer of Physician's Choice. "Cannabis has had a sketchy history, but when broken down into parts it became evident there was a use from legal components (of the plants)."

The result of years of work was a non-opioid pain reliever that provides numerous benefits without crossing over the line of being aanti-inflammatory drug. The benefits are many, it's easy to apply and there are no illegal components. 

One can rub in a cream, take a pill or spray a mists under the tongue for the desired relief.  Simple, easy.  

To be clear, CBD is a chemical part that is found in both hemp and marijuana plants. When extracted from the hemp plant there is minute THC --- the part of the plants that promote a "high". There have been more than 20,000 studies which indicate help with pain and anxiety problems among others while not having the high component.  In other words, perfectly legal. 

The product is growing my leaps and bounds, as once the "high" component of THC is eliminated from the equation (yes, you will pass a drug test) people are giving it a try. For me, I'm sleeping through the night and much of the back pain from my bad golf swing has been significantly reduced. 

There are numerous brands/varieties of CBD, but for me the extensive research by Physician's Choice is a game changer.  It provides me with the confidence that I have a solid product. Not inexpensive, retailing in the $50 range for creams, the product has helped me. 

Do your homework, but surely consider this product.  

CHIP SHOTS: The host venue for the Media Classis was the new and improved and luxurious Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.  A long-time staple of area hospitality the resort underwent a complete renovation in 2017. The result was superb.  Outstanding rooms, restaurants and spa, the 18-hole "Short Course" course was reworked and enhanced and is a great way to spend a couple hours on the course. The resort also has an agreement with the nearby championship Camelback Golf Course. A true can't miss resort, Mountain Shadows proves you "can go home again."  

 

 

Golf courses say "Thank you" to Veterans

Written by Bob Oliver on .

A number of golf courses are thanking veterans for their service on Veteran's Day!

Courses undewoor the Ron Jaworski banner, including Ramblewood, Valleybrook, Blue Heron Pines, Running Deer, Riverwinds and Downingtown, as well as McCullough's Emerald Links and Balamor are offering free golf.

Veterans must call in advance for tee times (subject to availability) and present a military ID or military documentation to receive the offer. 

"We want to give something back to those dedicated men and women who served our country with great honors and distinction," explained Ron Jaworski. "It is gratifying to us to be able to acknowledge their efforts on behalf of our country and thank them for their service."

Remember, call ahead and have appropriate documentation. 

Flagstick in...or out?

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 

Nearly three months into the new year and new set of rules the questions continue on whether to leave the flagstick in the hole while putting or remove it as traditionally held. 

The new rules say one can leave it in, as their is no penalty for hitting the pin while putting as with the prior rules. However, some golfers are saying leaving the pin in the hole will cause putts to deflect or rebound out. 

For me, starting with several days in Florida in January, I've not removed the pin prior to any putt in 2018. In my experience, having the flagstick in the hole allows me to better view the putt. Now in the old days I'd have my caddie or a competitor "tend" the flagstick. But now I merely ask to leave it in. 

Not once have I regretted it. And, it speeds play. Nothing wrong with that. 

Of course, there are those who believe leaving it in will deflect balls. Only once this year, in 27 rounds, have I seen such a deflection. I have seen several times when a ball thought to have enough stream to speed past the hole - maybe even off the green - was slowed by the flagstick. Several have fallen into the cup.

Point it, there is no scientifically proven do or don't here. And I often side with speeding up play. So leave it in it is. 

 

 

Players settling in to new rules

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 
 
 
It has been said that rules are made to be broken. But in golf, for real golfers, rules are the standard of play wanted and desired so that all competitors can battle evenly. 
Oh, sure, 80% of golfers do not have a "real" USGA handicap. 
One hears on the first tee, "I'm a 15". And then you watch that player shoot 80....or 100.
Still, even casual golfers tend to frown upon mulligans on every hole, gimmie putts of 20 feet for par, or moving a ball from outside the stakes inside the playing course.
The USGA completed a massive re-write of the rules with goals such as speeding up play, making rules more understandable, and overall simplifying a difficult game. While this reporter consistently points out strangeness of the USGA brain trust, the rule changes implemented for 2019 do make some sense. 
Right off the bat, one may leave the flagstick in the hole while on the putting green. There is no penalty for hitting the stick.  
For me, this makes sense. Heck, my eyes are bad. It's a whole lot simpler to leave flagstick in the cup while putting than having this guy stomp here, that guy wanting you on other side of hole, pulling and leaving on green for one player, tending pin for another.  While this can still occur, many of the regular players I compete with leave the pin in at all times. 
On a January day in Florida, nobody removed the flagstick from the hole the entire round. Not once.  And there was nary a problem. 
Another change was dropping ball from knee height.  Other than some asking what is knee height, it seems simple enough.
Also, on those pesky lost balls, you have three minutes to look for it rather than five. A time-saver. 
One can ground their club in a penalty area, repair spike marks, remove loose impediments in bunkers and play ready golf. 
A few seconds here and there and minutes are cut from the length of time it takes to play a round. 
One major play change that affects most golfers is the alternative to the former stroke and distance penalty for a lost ball or out of bounds shot to add two strokes to their score and drop a ball in the fairway rather than trudge back to the tee and take another stab at things. Now, this is not the case if one has played a provisional ball. In such a case you check for the circumstances of the first ball (OB?, Lost) and if it is either playing the provisional ball is the option. 
Overall, the new rules appear to be speeding up play, which for most means a more enjoyable game. It's nice the USGA is taking a step forward in this area.