Archive for July 2008

Valley Cup: A Bunch of Drinkers With a Golfing Problem

July 28, 2008

Well, to say it’s been a while would be a gross understatement.  For that, I apologize, especially to Julie, who apparently relies on this blog more than I imagined.  Suffice it to say that a couple of angry Facebook messages from her to me really let me know how much I needed to get back on the horse.

It’s been a long three weeks without cable or internet.  Even though I was able to mooch a wireless signal off a neighbor, it was very weak and often cut in and out so I decided to just forget it because I was ready to throw my computer out the window more than once.  There was one instance in which I actually sat down and wrote a post but my lack of a solid internet connection kept the auto save feature from working, and when I hit publish, the page reset and the whole thing was lost.

Don’t worry, it was mostly jibberish anyway.

A couple of things have happened since I was last able to post.  First, I am 100% settled into my new apartment and loving it.  Second, and more importantly, I just came back from one of the most fun weekends I’ve had in a while, and that is what this post will cover.  So relax your mind and enjoy as I take you through Valley Cup.

It was a weekend golf trip with 19 other guys, most of which are either members or fellow employees at the course I work at part time (Valley Golf Course, hence the name “Valley Cup”), and there are a handful of guys that come from other corners of the tri-state area as well.  The basic premise of the trip sees two clear objectives: golf and drink.  Since most of the guys there

Everything takes place at a nice hotel/casino/golf course called Dakota Magic, which is right near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.  It’s really a nice resort, and they took excellent care of us.  Even though this was my first Valley Cup, I can see why they have been going there for several years now. The golfing part is a competition, but it’s more about fun than anything.  There are two 10-man teams which are split up based on handicap, and then over three days everyone plays 6 rounds of golf in various formats, all of which are scored with match play*.  It’s kind of like the Ryder Cup, except with less skill and more beer.

The drinking part encompasses most of the weekend, and as much as this group of guys likes to golf, they like to drink just as much.  Case in point … Everyone left town Thursday morning, and our first tee time was at 1:00.  I would estimate that by 12:30 we all had at least one drink under our belts, and for most of us, we didn’t stop until bedtime Thursday night.  And then, we only stopped drinking because none of us have figured out how to drink while we sleep.

As far as the golf went, Thursday was the least demanding of the three days.  We played 18 holes of 2-on-2 shamble** style in the afternoon and then had a nine hole 5-man scramble*** in the evening.  I like this whole format because it keeps things fairly low key so people can ease into golf mode and play more relaxed games while they get absolutely plowed. By Thursday evening, there were a couple people who were so drunk they were almost unable to golf, and one guy who was completely unable to even stand and sat in the cart for the last five holes. Good times all around if you ask me.

After all the golf was in the books on Thursday, we all hit the bar and/or the casino.  I floated around from place to place, and ended my night hanging with a couple of the guys who were taking an absolute drubbing from the slot machines.  I later found out that the guys who were in the bar were asked to leave and some were escorted out by security. Considering how drunk most of us were, this came as no surprise … until I found out why they were asked to leave.

I figured they were probably just too drunk and the staff had had enough of them, or worst case scenario someone got into a fight or something.  Nope, nothin’ like that.  Turns out they were asked to leave because some of the guys were dancing with each other.  Now as far as I know, no one on this trip was gay, and most of the guys are actually married, so we’ll chalk that one up to the alcohol.

Speaking of things we can blame the alcohol on, my roommate for the weekend, Lee, had himself a mishap Thursday night as well.  Poor Lee though it would be a good idea to start buying shots at some point in the night, and despite my warnings to tone it down, he called me a “fucking pussy” and slammed some more.

Well that didn’t work out so well for him, considering he passed out on the floor next to his bed and proceeded to throw up all over the floor and piss his pants throughout the course of the night.  Not that I need to tell you, but our room smelled terrible the entire morning Friday.

Friday was the first of two exhausting days.  Added to the fact that most of us were feeling the effects of having a little too much to drink, we all had to play 36 holes in 88 degree heat with about 90% humidity.  Saturday was pretty much the same, upper 80s and humid.  Good golf weather for the most part because it didn’t rain or anything, but I was sweating like a whore in church both days. Plus, when you’ve got a hangover and that much golf to tackle, there’s only one thing you can do: start drinking to get rid of that nasty headache and play like a champion, no excuses.

Friday and Saturday both had the same format for golf, 18 holes of singles match play and 18 holes of 2-man best ball****.  Friday night was again spent in the casino and the bar, and again several of the guys in the bar were asked to leave by security. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.  I stayed pretty chill Friday night and hung out in the pro shop bar with a couple of buddies, one of which had a 16 year old girl after him.  That story wasn’t half as funny until we found out that she took a picture with him on her cell phone, and then immediately made that picture her cell phone background display as well as her Facebook profile picture.  She also added him on Facebook, so it’s just a matter of time now before he gets about 32 wall posts a day from her.  Only at Valley Cup.

You may have asked yourself why I decided to take it easy on Friday night.  Well, since Saturday was my birthday, and there was a 50-50 chance I was going to die of an alcohol overdose, I wanted to pace myself in preparation for the certain storm of free drinks and shots I would be up against Saturday night.

Sure enough, by the time we had lunch on Saturday, everyone knew it was my birthday and there was no escaping it.  After we finished our last 36 holes of the weekend, most of us went to the bar for the live band and a night of good times.  As I expected, I had people eager to buy me a beer and a couple of guys taking the initiative to buy me the occasional shot or two.  All things considered, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but I took my safety into my own hands and headed up to bed once I felt myself getting a little too drunk.  I mean, I didn’t want it to get to the point where I was puking on the carpet and pissing myself, that would have just been embarrassing … right Lee?

Sunday was kind of a sad day. It felt like the last day of summer camp or something like that.  All of a sudden, we all remembered we have jobs and bills and responsibilities again, and that’s always a bummer, especially after a fun weekend like that.   I felt surprisingly good considering how much I drank Saturday night, which was great because there is nothing worse than riding home in a car for an extended period of time when you’re hungover and feel like crap.

Well, after it was all said and done, everyone had hit countless balls on the driving range, golfed 99 holes, drank countless amounts of alcohol, and had one hell of a good weekend.  I’ll definitely be going back next year, and I can’t wait.  For now, I’m back to my regular work schedule again, and I actually start classes again in about three weeks, which makes me want to puke. But don’t worry, if I do puke, I’ll make sure to get to the bathroom instead of doing it all over the floor and sleeping in it all night, right Lee?

Well hopefully my blog writing will also return to normal now that I have the internet again.  I’m going to try to get back into a 2-4 times a week routine, so you can start making this one of your regular internet stops again, right in between checking your eHarmony account and looking at porn.

One love,

10

*Match play is a format of play in which the game is scored by awarding one point per hole to a player if he has a lower score than his opponent, regardless of the number of strokes the hole is won by.

**Shamble is a team game in which every player takes the best drive on their team and plays their own shots for the rest of the hole.

***Scramble is a game in which everyone hits and the entire team takes the best ball for each shot, including putts.

****Best ball format is when each player plays his own ball the entire hole, and the team takes the lowest score recorded for each hole.

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Steroids In Golf? I Doubt It

July 11, 2008

Man, it’s been so long since I’ve done posted anything, I just hope I remember how it’s done. I hope everyone had a fun, safe 4th of July weekend. Mine was spent moving and working, so I don’t have any glorious stories to report, other than ones about my new place and the new lifestyle it has bestowed upon me.

I absolutely HATE moving, but it went really smoothly, and now that I am all settled in at my new place, I absolutely LOVE it. Living alone, as most of you can either attest to or imagine, is very different from living with a roommate. Different, but for the most part, enjoyable. What’s really exciting to me is putting together a place that’s all mine, even though doing so is costing me a small fortune.

After I got everything moved in and unpacked, I was dead tired and felt like zoning out in front of the TV … only I don’t have cable yet. (On a side note, I lucked out and someone in my vicinity left their wireless internet unlocked, so for the time being, I am mooching a signal off of whomever was generous enough to let me. Even though it’s painfully slow sometimes, it will certainly do until I get mine installed, so I won’t complain.) Well, I decided a job well done deserved a reward nevertheless, so I went out and bought Grand Theft Auto IV, hooked up my Xbox 360, and went to town on that motha’. Three hours and a handful of missions and dead hookers later, I was certain that GTA4 was the greatest game I’ve played in a long, long time. Aside from the fact that the story is incredibly intricate and fun, and the improvements from the last installment of the GTA series are leaps and bounds ahead of anything I would have imagined, it just looked awesome on my HDTV. The cut scenes look like real life sometimes, no joke. My lack of sleep lately is 100% attributable to this game, and it will continue to be as such for quite some time I imagine.

In sports news, the PGA Tour is starting their random drug testing this week and will be testing for steroids and other various performance enhancing substances for the first time in professional golf history. Some of the players are disgusted about this whole ordeal, and this year’s U.S. Open runner-up, Rocco Mediate, had this to say:

“It’s the biggest joke in the history of the world,” said the PGA Tour veteran. “You could sit in the parking lot and drink a fifth of vodka, and you might get a fine. But if you take Vick’s Vapor Rub, you’ve got to go through the whole system. There are all kinds of things. If you drink a protein shake, and it metabolizes wrong, you’re done. It’s stupid. There is nothing we can take to help you in golf.

“We’re not Olympians here. If I take steroids, I’m not going to shoot better scores. I can assure you of that. … I don’t have a problem with drug testing, just the way it’s being done. Why don’t we do our own deal? And they follow you in [to a restroom] to take a piss? C’mon, it’s bull—-. Everybody can cheat all day out here if they want. We can move our ball, and nobody does it. We police ourselves.”

Preach on son. Golf is and always has been a game of integrity, and I really don’t think we’re going to get any positive tests for any banned substances out of these guys. As for the possible effect of steroids on a person’s golf game, I can assure you, no one is going to magically become a better golfer if they’re shooting up. Sure, maybe some players would get stronger and therefore be able to hit the ball further, but driving distance is such a small part of the game.

Any real golf fan knows that what makes great golfers is a combination of several things, most of which are involved with the short game – 100 yards and in. I’ve gotten into arguments about this before with people and always state my case by pointing out the RE/MAX Long Drive World Championship. Go ahead and Google that, and find a list of recent winners. On that list are a bunch of guys who consistently drive the ball 350 yards or further, and not a single one of them is making a single dollar on the PGA Tour. It just shows you how unimportant distance is to a certain extent. Take a look at Zach Johnson. He is ranked 194th on Tour in driver distance, and all he did was go ahead and win the Masters last year. He is, however, ranked fourth in driving accuracy, and steroids can’t help that one bit.

Apparently, the LPGA has a similar policy in place which allows for the random testing of performance enhancing substances as well. Riiiiiiight. Because I’m sure the LPGA has a real problem with juicing. Yeah, this is really a long time coming.

Pictured below are some of the more glaring, obvious users who are most definitely on roids and have prompted this policy proposal.

Lorena Ochoa – 5’6″, 118 lbs, man shorts included

Michelle Wie – 6’1″, 137 lbs soaking wet

Natalie Gulbis – 5’9″, 119 lbs

Vera De Milo – 6’4″, 245 lbs of pure hell

I think you get my point. I guess if the LPGA wants to police the ladies for performance enhancers, that is their beef and we can let them waste their time. But so help me God if Congress ever got involved like they have with baseball …

That’s all I’ve got for now. Again, I’m sorry I haven’t written much lately. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been having a wonderful time golfing everyday in between my morning and evening shifts at work.

One love,

10

It Could Be A Long Three Weeks

July 3, 2008

Fair warning to all my faithful readers, (yeah, all 12 of you), beginning this afternoon, I will be taking up residence in my new apartment and even though I signed up for cable and internet service over a week ago, the installers won’t be over to hook me up until the 23rd of the month.  It’s like I just got sent back to the Stone Age.

So that not only means that I will be spending the next three weeks completely in the dark about everything that is going on in the world, but I will also be afforded very few opportunities to write.  I’ll try, whenever possible, to mooch internet access off other people in my building, but if that doesn’t work, it could be a long three weeks.

I don’t know how much writing I could get done in other places, mostly because I need to feel really comfortable when I am writing and I rarely feel comfortable when I am on a computer in public.  For example, I could go to one of the handful of computer labs on campus, but I always feel like other people are watching what I do and reading what I write when I am on public computers, so that might not work so well.

Eric, if you’re reading this, I might stop by your place a few times and cuddle up in your bed with your laptop to pound out a couple of posts.

Well, sorry to cut this short, but there is just so much I have to get done today before I go back to work.  I hope you all have a wonderfully fun and safe 4th of July weekend.  I will be spending mine in town, by myself, unpacking and putting together my apartment, so even if I did have the internet, I wouldn’t have shit to write about from this weekend anyway.

Here’s hoping that one of my new neighbors has left his/her wireless internet unprotected so I can mooch off it for the next few weeks. Cross your fingers!

One love,

10

Phase I Completed

July 1, 2008

Well phase one of my moving adventure is complete.  After roughly 10 straight hours of cleaning, packing, and loading up, I got all my worldly belongings into a moving truck, said goodbye to B-Weezy, hit the road, and hightailed it … Straight to my Mommy’s house.

Since my new apartment isn’t quite ready and won’t be until Thursday afternoon, Mommy dearest and I are sharing some quality time as I have moved into the guest bedroom for a few days.  I almost feel like I did something wrong, like I just finished up a stint in rehab and now I’ve gotta live under adult supervision for a while until I get my shit together again.  In reality though, it’s just an unfortunate set of circumstances that has sent me from sleeping comfortably on my queen size bed to sleeping restlessly on a daybed that seems to be about the size of my left thigh.

News on all other fronts is good though.  Work is good, the weather has been un-freaking-believable lately, and my golf game is finally beginning to come out of the slump I’ve been in lately.  Great, now I just jinxed myself.  That’s the thing that kills me about golf; its absolutely amazing how everything can be so good for three straight weeks, and then all come CRASHING down after one bad hole.  Although, the hole in question scarred me for the better part of my life, and has stuck with me for almost a month now.

I was playing the round of my life through the first seven holes, and when I got up onto the eighth tee box, I was like a pitcher who suddenly becomes very aware that he has a no-hitter going.  All I could think about was not screwing up.  Well, after taking a 7 on eight (a par 3), and a 6 on nine (a par 4), my whole world came crashing down.  Confidence: dead.

Ever since then I’ve been in one hell of a mental box, especially with my mid irons, and for a while there I thought my best option might have been to take two weeks off and then quit.  Well, I’m not quite ready to go that far just yet, but if I post later this month advertising a set of clubs for sale, don’t act surprised.

I went with a couple friends to Get Smart on Saturday, and despite some negative reviews from a few guys at work, I enjoyed it.  I, as a child, was a fan of the TV series that ran on Nick at Nite, so it was cool to see it modernized and updated with Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, who by the way is IMMEDIATELY added to an amended list of my crushes.  She looks fantastic in the movie, and that alone was worth the price of the ticket.

Well, as much as I would love to sit and chat, it’s sunny and 75 degrees outside right now, and I can see no better way to spend my morning than on the golf course.

One love,

10