I took a day off work Thursday and the local crew got back to doing what we do best: playing golf on classic tracks with traditional gear. Northwood was again the destination but this time we had a special guest star rounding out the foursome – the globe-trotting, jet-setting, sweet-swinging legend known as “Blade Junkie”. Persimmon and blades with steel shafts were the orders of the day and Geoff came prepared, packing a crispy set of frequency matched Golden Rams with Brunswick 5.5′s and a walnut Texan. I brought out a “special occasion” set – the Al Geiberger personal model Bird-on-Balls by Spalding. John and Newman rounded out the team with Titleist Blades / Mac 925w and Apex Blades / Cleveland TC-15, respectively.
Newman was designated cameraman and beer-drinker, John provided the color commentary, long drives, and the first birdie, while Junkie and myself provided most of the video subject matter. Somehow, we came away with no videos of drivers off the tee (!) but we did get some good footage to remember the round.
Northwood is a course that would get overpowered with modern gear. Playing with traditional gear ensures a nice balance of challenge and enjoyment with several short holes alternating with long two and three shotters. We had perfect weather and the course was in great shape. As a bonus, John sweet talked his way into some deeply discounted greens fees… can’t say exactly how cheap or he might get in trouble when this post goes into the public record.
Here are a few highlights that made it through Newman’s editing room. Disclaimer – I have been going with a little walk-through move to take pressure off my old-man back when the ball’s on the turf. Not exactly Fred Couples pretty but low impact.
First off: here’s a shot of my setup for the day. Should probably be a marketing shot for Eliott.
In no particular order:
Junkie has one of those swings to make you jealous – steps right out of the car onto the first tee and stripes it. This one may have gotten the award for best sounding iron shot. It was a long iron off the tee on the short 4th.
Yours truly putting the Spaldings to work on the par-3 3rd – this one scared the hole:
And the putt to finish that birdie:
Geoff on the same hole – I believe this found the green for a birdie try as well (commentary by John if you have your sound on):
A short iron approach flushed by John:
Fairway wood from about 220 – 2nd shot on par-5 6th. It was a low screamer from my Hogan 3-wood ending up just short of the green (failed to get birdie).
Playing a 1-iron (!!!) down the same fairway. That white dot on the tree behind him was the sign for “HIT IT HERE” off the tee which is precisely what he did. The man can golf his ball folks!
Short wedge on the par-3 8th, cozied up nicely.
And the finishing touch!
One more from the guest of honor:
Bottom line: anyone can play traditional golf today and probably find just as much fulfillment as with the modern stuff. There are people, courses, and gear to support it. No, every shot wasn’t struck purely. Everybody scuffled at times and everybody had a few highlights – just like any other day on any golf course in the world. But who cares? Play what you want, when you want. Respect the course, smile, strive to do your best and get better while you’re at it.
Can’t wait to tee it up again!