Tag Archives: golf

Frustrations of a born-again Father

Yes.  I am born-again.  I am a father for the fourth time (get it, four kids) with ages ranging from late teens to infant.

The wonderful thing is I get to do it all over again.  The terrible thing is I get to do it ALL over again.

Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.  Instead that goes into the jar for Junior’s college fund (split 4-ways of course.)

So as one child steps into adulthood, college, adult decisions whilst another can barely walk, it gives me time to think.  Is/was this a monumental waste of time or are they getting what I am trying to teach them?

You would think I would have written a book by now.  I read other blogs of parents saying how many kids they have and that they are experts.  Well I am here to tell you there is no expert out there.  Kids, for the little sociopaths they are, are self-serving.  You can steer them along the straight and narrow but you cannot shield them.  You can only give them the background — a spine if you will — to make a decision right or wrong and to stand by that decision whatever the result.

Me being the bad guy/disciplinarian well, I like things done a certain way.  I want things done when I need them to be done.  Not after their video game but now.  I know when to pick my fights.  I know when to put my foot down.  I ask them if they did their best.  If they can honestly say to themselves — honestly mind you — yes I did my best then win or lose that’s all that can be asked of you.  I preach this to my kids.  Wonder if they listen.

So are we all doomed?  I feel it sometimes but you take the good with the bad.  Or as my father always says, “Plan for the worse.  Hope for the best.”

You can only hope that their best is good enough to succeed in life because after all, isn’t that what we all want for our kids?

Harbor Park Golf Course — Course Review

Just off the 110 freeway before San Pedro and beside Harbor City Community College is a sleepy, little 9-hole course that sports a pretty decent set of challenging holes.  Played Thursday this week.

If you blink you will miss it.  So don’t.  This course is perhaps in the best shape I have seen in quite some time.

The greens are in good shape and roll fairly true.  Sand in the bunkers are suspect but it’s compacted so definitely playable.  Tee boxes are relatively flat.

The course sports a two par 5’s, two par 3’s the rest par 4’s of varying lengths with a par of 36 at just over 3100 yards for the blue tees.  It’s a standard golf course; not an executive course by any description.  If you want to play 18, play the course twice.  It offers mature trees that line the fairway, ample landing areas and a definite list of challenges from hole to hole.  Take Hole 2 for example the Handicap 1 a longish par 4 dogleg left at 430 yards it’s definitely a fun hole for the longer hitters or Hole 6 with a blind shot to the green for an uphill par 3.   I like this course.  Pace of play can be slow at times but locals frequent this place and with it a certain degree of speed in their play.

Conditions bottom-line are the best I have seen in over a year.  I would add this place to your list of inexpensive places to play.  Get in, take a long lunch, and back to work.

Harbor Park Golf Course / Scorecard PDF



Recreation Park Golf Course — Course Review

Played here Wednesday.  I have to say I always play well here for some reason.  I guess I like the green speed and the pace of play here which always tends to bring out my better game.

I was fortunate to play with a local celebrity on the Junior golf circuit — Sebastian, an 11 year-old golf wunder-kid.  Actually according to his father he is the 11 and under Los Angeles County champion for 2013.

If you have ever played with a seriously good junior then you know they characteristically knock that rock down the middle.  They may be short in stature and lacking in distance but they are consistent, down the middle sort of player.  Unfortunately for me he may be short but he can knock his driver 230+ yards down the fairway consistently.

But I am getting ahead of myself,  the golf conditions here at Rec Park are the best I have seen for twilight golf anywhere.  I was expecting bumpier greens as the sun would set but I was rewarded with smooth rolling puts.  Course conditions here are superior.  It’s not your usual municipal golf course.  The superintendent takes care of this course and it shows.

Greens rolled pretty true.  The locals who play here repair their divots for the most part.  Fairways are dormant but playable.  Tee Boxes are flat.  Sand in bunkers was a treat — fluffy sand — completely restocked all bunkers with new sand.  Pace of play was fantastic.  Since I was playing with two juniors (they rode with their parents) and I walked we managed to finish the front 9 in under 2 hours.  We managed to come in as the sun set to complete our 18 holes in under 4 hours.  Not bad considering sunset happens around 4:30 this time of the year.

Some note should be made that they have made several improvements to several golf holes.  Namely Hole 1.  They removed the bunker at the dogleg instead deepening a bunker protecting the green on the right and placing a new bunker protecting the OB fence that runs along the street (Federation Drive).  Some of the fringe around the green on hole 1 has been replaced.  Hole 2 has deeper bunkers along the right side of the green.  Hole 4 the green was enlarged and the fringe around the green replaced.  Hole 6 (Hdcp 1) has the traps on the left side protecting the green made smaller and deeper.  Hole 7 I believe they redid the bunker on the left.  That is about all I can recall but expect areas around the greens to be a bit sketchy in spots but once that grass takes hold it would be very nice indeed.

Overall I do like the changes.  They make sense and they do reward good shot-making.  The greens are still super fast and some of these holes have some wicked break but hey I come here because I like the conditions and the challenge.

Now would I come back here again?  You betcha.  Regards to the staff of Recreation Park for a job well done.

As for one of the juniors I played with today, he shot a 76 from the blues.

Recreation Park Golf Course website

DeBell Golf Course — A Golf Course Review

I was invited to play this course back in December but this is nevertheless relevant to the golfer out there to play a course off the beaten track.

Located in the foothills just North of Burbank this gem of a golf course — another product of William Bell, golf course architect extraordinaire, is not your basic run of the mill course promising some pretty picturesque views, tough golf holes, and some of the wickedest putts that can sometimes defy gravity.

This course reminds me of Malibu Country Club at 1/3rd the price.  It plays shorter for sure but what it lacks in distance it more than compensates with target golf.  They sport a new restaurant, banquet area and pro-shop.

They flipped the two sets of 9 holes so the back is now the front 9 and the front is now the back 9.  You are greeted on the first hole with a nice, short par 5 but definitely a fun hole.  Mind the trouble on the left and in front of the green.

Conditions here are perhaps the best I have seen.  (Played here around 4 years ago and the conditions were suspect then but now…. wow– impressive!)  Greens rolled true.  Tee boxes were flat.  Certain holes offer a grew view of the Los Angeles basin.  It reminds you why LA is one of the best cities to live.  They put a lot of money into improving the golf course and facilities and that investment shows well to this golfer.

The updated restaurant has an updated menu.  Ask for their homemade chips they are delicious!  Their golf range is a little on the shortish side but they have newish range balls.


Alondra Park Golf Course — Golf Course Review

Played here Sunday at twilight.  Thank goodness the days are getting longer because I don’t know how much longer I can take teeing off at 2-2:30 and only getting at the most 15 holes.  I need to play a full round of golf but time is always an issue.

This is a public golf course in Torrance California on the border of Lawndale, Gardena and Torrance.  One of only a handful of golf courses in the South Bay it does get a lot of play if just for the plain fact, it’s convenient.

There is not a lot to the golf course.  It’s flat.  The greens have little or no break; your typical municipal fare.  The only note of mention is that this course recently (like 5 years ago) renovated their front 9 holes.  The ironic thing is they ran out of money to finish the back 9 and so they charge a little premium in order to help fund that endeavor later down the road.

Now the golf course since the renovation has two distinct types of greens — one for the front which is hard fast and one for the back which is slow and soft.  Be prepared to run the ball on the front 9 holes and throw the ball up and play aggressively on the back.

Overall greens are in good shape  for both the front and back.  Fairways are OK.  Tee boxes are relatively flat.  Sand in bunkers — LOL what sand?  It’s dirt and hard pan at that.

Played with a nice couple for the front 9.  He also happens to run the van/club repair shop opposite the driving range.  Nice fellow, great striker of the ball, and knowledgeable about the current golf equipment give him a shout out for me.  His van is open M-Sat 12-5pm.

Pace of play was decent.  Managed to play a few more holes than previously before darkness forced my hand.

It’s OK golf for the price ($22.25 Twilight) on the big course.  If you want challenging though try their 18-hole par 3 course.  Small greens, loads of undulation, and pretty popular among the locals.  It is in my opinion one of the hardest par-3 golf courses around.  Sunset between holes 13/14 A hawk ensuring that sleeping duck gets much needed rest.  Alondra Park Hole 7 Hdcp 1 Hole 2014-01-05 15.31.56 And So It Starts.... Golf! Alondra Park Hole 10, view of the green from 150 out. Alondra Park Hole 13, Tee to Green More sunset at Alondra Park

Golfer Profiling

Watched CSI?  Heard of Criminal profiling?  How about Racial Profiling?

Well I am not as politically correct but I found out a few years ago about Golfer Profiling.  What is it?  To me it defines what a golfer does or plays to — his tendencies if you will.  (Thanks Coach!)  And playing to those tendencies will make you aware of where you need to improve your game and drop your score.  Because let’s face it in golf it’s not the high score that wins; it’s how low can you go!

Now I didn’t put a lot of stock into this until I started tracking my own game.  I mean meticulously trying to figure out why I struggled playing a game I so dearly loved.  At first I kept saying it was my mechanics and to some extent it was.  But I kept playing with golfers with similar or lesser ability yet they SCORED better than I did.  Did they know the rules better than me?  Perhaps.  Did they put better than I did?  Maybe.  The truth though is they thought of this game as a just that  — a game.  A game that can be played well if you know how to score.

Mechanics that was for the golf range.  Rules of golf for playing in a tournament.  To play this game you have to master just a few things — chase a little white ball into a hole in as few as strokes as possible.

Now how the hell do you do that?  When I was originally confronted with that question it was like a light bulb went on in my head.  I evolved from just “chasing that ball” to chasing that ball in as few as strokes possible.

It’s subtle I know but nevertheless mind-blowing to this hacker.

Let me illustrate.  See the graph below it shows the tendencies of various golfers at various skill levels based on score.

% Fairways
Iron Accuracy
Putts per Round


Seeing this got me thinking on the differences between various levels of players.  Now I saw the differences between a player that shot in the 90’s versus a player who regularly shot in the 80’s and so on.  Where to improve.  Where to focus my attentions.

Just to say to another golfer, “you need to know your short game,” isn’t enough.  You need to know your short game “100 yards and in.”  You need to quantify your shortcomings so you can adjust.  If your short game isn’t working focus on your putting.  If that isn’t working focus on getting on that green in regulation.  Improve your chances for success.  Honestly I don’t have enough time to devote to this game like I used to.  So everything has to be spot-on or I waste my time and time is money.  So what do I need to do to get the results I want?  These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourself if you want to improve at this game.

So it is this humble hacker’s assessment that seeing these tendencies listed in such a manner it became easy to assess my game, assess what needed to be focused and ultimately get my game to a level I felt comfortable playing.  Hacking can be fun but let’s be honest it can wear on you during a round.  It’s not fun.  It’s not pretty.  This could be just the band-aid you need to help you stay focused playing 18 holes.

The real proof of this pudding though is will it work for you?

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) kicks off tomorrow!

In my former life, I always looked forward to this time of the year. It always meant the CES was coming to Vegas and it always gave me the opportunity to see the next best gadget for the upcoming year.

I used to sell packaging to the game and music market. I still do to some small extent but it was never like those heydays of the 80-90’s. I can be nostalgic because I came into this market when music was still reel-to-reel and 8-track! Ah those were the days.

My humble opinion look to the smarter televisions and home automation categories. Those are always fun. If they come up with a better robot vacuum cleaner (a la Roomba). I may just break down and buy one or three. As for smarter phones unless they have some sort of super battery I won’t waste my time.


Admission is usually trade only but anyone with a business card, a pen and a creative flair can get in. (Dodgey up the card with your name and telephone /email and submit it. You may just get in for free!) 18+. Oh and don’t forget the AVN show at the Venitian (I think ).


Golf from my perspective…

2013-11-05 23.33.38

I have been playing golf now for a little North of 30 years now.  And there are a few truths I have managed to piece together over the years.  Here is my little take on golf in no particular order.

  1. You chase a little white golf ball into a hole.  (Golf can’t get anymore simpler than that so why complicate it.)
  2. Just when you think you figured out something in your swing or in your game something else fails you.
  3. The short game (for me it’s 125 yards and in) is the most important part of your game.  Literally it’s 60-75% of your game so you better get proficient at it or it will be a LONG round of golf.
  4. It’s never the equipment; it’s always the golfer’s fault no matter what you say.
  5. I prefer to be lucky.  Good stands a distant second.
  6. Tiger Woods is to golf like breathing is for living.  (Face it Tiger haters if it wasn’t for this man and his faults golf would not be as popular as it is now.  You have to take the good with the bad.)
  7. Good golfers came in all sizes and shapes.  You can dress like a pro but that doesn’t mean you can smack that little white ball down the middle or break 100.
  8. Golf can be an obsession bordering addiction.
  9. If your girlfriend understands you play golf and doesn’t have a tirade over it — MARRY HER.  Life will be so much more simpler.
  10. Golfers always make sure they have clean heads, shafts and balls.  It’s all about good personal hygiene baby.

Los Amigos Country Club, a golf course review

I live and work in Los Angeles.  I also play a lot of golf here.

That said, this little municipal golf course in Downey was once the butt of a lot of local golf jokes.  To say the course conditions here were bad just a little over a year ago was to be kind.  I mean in a word, this place “sucked.”

Gone are those days though.  We are talking a massive turn-around.  Hyperbole, maybe but see for yourself.    Not only have the facilities improved (updated restaurant, bar, pro-shop and banquet area) but also the golf course.   From tee to green the course has been revamped.  You no longer have to deal with storm drains that ran through several holes.  It’s all covered and drains rather well thank you very much.  But the greens have been transformed from slow, pot-marked and bumpy to smooth and quick.  The fairways are lush and all the bunkers have been restocked with fluffy sand.  Also several bunkers have been added; making the course in my opinion more of a challenge.

This course has it’s charm.  Decent risk/reward holes with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get just don’t screw up kind of holes.  I personally like the layout.  You won’t need your driver on a lot of these holes but on hole 9 you have a definite challenging par 3.  Come play this course, you will see what I mean.  Conditions here currently rival if not exceed those of it’s more upwardly mobile sister golf course Rio Hondo down the street.  

It’s just plain good golf.  And thgolfer in me appreciates value when I see/play it.  Hats off to the staff especially the superintendent Vince and GM Mike.  

Side note we did play on a Friday so the pace of play was on the slow side and was expected.  Just wish I played a bit better.