Sunday, November 15, 2015

A November Round of Golf

So, maybe you have seen the NHL 36 series. I am a Red Wings fan so obviously NHL 36 Lidstrom is my favorite. They are documentaries where they follow a player around for 36 hours going through their daily activities of life, practice, and games. For this post, I am going to walk you through a recent round of golf.
As with any round, it starts by getting a good group of guys together. I don't have a regular foursome, but rather a larger group of interchangeable guys that I am able to get 2, 3, 4 or sometimes more guys to get out and play.  Once the group is set, the trash talk begins. Alliances are made, jabs are thrown, past victories are paraded in front of each other like they just happened, and challenges are made. In the time leading up to the tee time, there will be a series of exchanges in a texting chain that never seems to end. The banter is harsh, funny, and friendly without pulling any punches. Enough to stir the pot and give the winning side something to talk about after the round. I get my last jabs in the night before and try to get some quality rest. The build up from all the talking makes this impossible. I toss and turn, wake up and watch a TV show on my tablet, then go back for a few more hours of broken sleep. 
The morning starts with coffee and Ibuprofen to get the body going. Don't laugh, one day this will be you too. I make sure I bring a few bottles of water and my Bluetooth speaker with me. If you haven't started playing golf with music, I recommend you start.  I call in my sandwich order to my new found favorite deli, Breakaway Deli. I get a sausage egg breakfast sandwich on croissant. Way better than any breakfast sandwich you will get any fast food place. I also get a #2, corned beef, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing on Rye to take to the course for lunch. This time of the year there is limited staff working at golf courses, so you can't count on getting food at the turn. You have choice of big, bigger, biggest, and cold, hot, or grilled. I get bigger hot.

I get to the course in time to hit a few putts and away we go. There are three of us today with Cole riding along. We hit two off the first tee to get the blood flowing. Couldn't ask for a better

day in November. 60 + degrees sunny and no wind. The course, Links of Crystal Lake is in great shape. Greens and fairways are excellent and not many leaves on the course to make balls disappear. The game we are playing is 5-3-1.  My playing partners are striking the ball well leaving no room for error. The front nine is not good for me as I 3 putt 7 of the 9 holes. Unbelievable!! If this keeps up it will be an expensive round as my partners are playing solid.      The back nine goes better for me with some good breaks, my playing partners slowing down their pace, and my game getting better. The shots of Fireball that, I call him Magnus (not his real name), brought may be to blame for my better play. I breakout my corned beef sandwich on #12 and share with my friends. The sandwich is a hit. I am now bringing sandwiches to this week’s round as we are playing again in this awesome November weather. If you have never played the Links of Crystal Lake, it is a shorter course, Par 70, with some fun and challenging holes.                                                                                                                     
 Like these two back to back holes. A 100 yard peninsula par 3 that two of us hit in the water, followed by a tee shot over water on the next hole. The scoring stays tight all day, but in the end, there is one clear winner. 

18 is a nice finishing hole and my last chance to cut into the lead. I get up and down for par to help my cause a little. In the end, Magnus shoots 78, Cole's dad (Mike, you know your son is cool when your referred to as Cole's dad instead of Mike) shoots 83, and I bring up the rear and shoot 85. With all the 3 putts, I will take it. And so will Magnus and Cole's dad, take my money that is. It was a friendly game so it wasn't that much, more bragging rights than anything. In the end it was what it always is, a great day to be out on the course with friends. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way paid or compensated in any way for my comments, recommendations, or reviews of any business. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Forest Dunes Review

As I mentioned in my last blog, I played Forest Dunes this past weekend. What a fantastic golf course. I played Arcadia Bluffs last year and was blown away by that course. Forest Dunes may not offer the spectacular views you get at the Bluffs, but it is every bit as good a course. They are both must play golf courses for all golfers. 

The ride to Forest Dunes from Metro Detroit is only about 2 1/2 hours, making it a nice weekend getaway. The clubhouse is impressive as are the different lodging options. For those of you who did not know, like me, they are adding a unique Tom Doak course. The course will play 1 to 18 and then 18 to 1 on alternating days. If you weren't excited about playing Forest Dunes before, you should be now. This will make for a perfect weekend golf trip. Play the Dunes twice and play each way on the Doak course. I am looking forward to next year. 

Back to Forest Dunes, enjoy some of the pictures I took as this is the best way to showcase the golf course. 
The second shot into 8.

From 8th fairway looking at 18 and the range.

8th Fairway.

8th green with 18 fairway across the lake. 

The next three are from tee box on 9. Par 3. Great Hole!

From the III tee, this played about 175 into the wind. 

Mostly carry to a beautiful green and backdrop!

Fun hole cut out of the landscape. 

Impressive cart path around the entire course!

18th green. Third shot on par 5. 

19th, (Bye Hole) A nice par 3 with a bunker in the middle of the green to settle any unfinished bets!

I hope you enjoy the pictures, and would like to hear from those who have played Forest Dunes to see what you thought of the course.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or reimbursed by either golf course to give my review of Forest Dunes or Arcadia Bluffs.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall Golf and My Top 3 Golf Courses in Metro Detroit for Fall

I love playing golf this time of year. The weather is cooler and the leaves are changing color. It does require some planning and watching the weather forecast closely. Do not rely on the forecast alone for your preparations. I find it always best to check the radar with any of the various weather apps and look outside your window. Once you decide to go for it, the best thing to do is be prepared with multiple layers of golf gear. If you are like me, you can never have enough golf gear. I get a lot of nice gear at discount from and Gear from Callaway, Oakley, Under Armour, and Puma are always on these sites, sometimes for as little as $10. I recommend checking these websites out.
You have your gear ready, now it is time to pick a course. You have to be selective this time of year because not all golf courses are good for fall golf. Not if you want to find your ball anyway. I find the best courses are Links courses because they have few if any trees. A nice bonus this time of year is the heather is usually laying down a bit as well making those errant shots a little easier to find and play. But who hits those? We are lucky in Michigan and in the Metro Detroit area to have so many great golf courses. For my top 3, I am using value, course conditions, and course character to choose my favorites. Not in any particular order, they are:
  • ·       Blackheath Golf Club in Rochester
  • ·       Sanctuary Lake Golf Course in Troy
  • ·       Gateway Golf Club in Romulus
  • Blackheath #6
    Blackheath Par 3
    Blackheath Par 3

    Sanctuary Lake #1

    Sanctuary Lake

These are great fall golf Links style courses. Very few trees and ball hiding leaves and they all keep course conditions in great shape. All three can be played for $20 or less in the fall using or other discount tee time websites. If you haven’t played these courses, I recommend you add these to your fall rotation. For those of you who may have played Gateway in the past few years, they are under new ownership, and the course is in fantastic shape.

I am planning to go play Forest Dunes this coming weekend to check another great course off my must play list, so if anyone has any advice, please share. 

Last week I shared some of Dave Pelz's videos on short game. The YouTube video below is from the guys at They have a lot of videos on YouTube that you can subscribe to and you can send them questions as well. Check them out.