Category: Golf

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The golf competition season has finally started again after waiting patiently two years for the corona pandemic to recede, and our Heren 1 (27 holes) team is looking pretty good. I am the short guy to the far left with the wrinkled pants, also known as the team captain. From right to left: Erik, Paul, Ed, Reinier, Jeroen and me.

One birdie, four bogies and the rest pars. Thirty-seven on the front and thirty-seven on the back. No double-bogies, no water balls, two saves out of the sand trap, and not a single lost ball. This is what playing golf is all about, once in awhile everything clicks, the long putts fall and you get lucky a couple times. My handicap has dropped from a 6.8 to a 6.3 in one sweep. Let's not allow this to go to my head, tomorrow is another day, so let's enjoy this great feeling while it lasts.

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As the proud captain of team Old (Oud), I am pleased to announce that finally after three years we beat team Young (Jong) in the traditional yearly match-play championship.

The young whipper-snappers were cocky and with their massively long drives they felt confident that they would win hands down yet another time, but we pulled it off with our wits and perseverance.

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Above, the winning captain giving the celebration speech, I could not have ever done it without such a great team of old farts behind me.

Here is the entertaining article I wrote for the club magazine:

Jong tegen Oud 2021

Every year in September, the generation gap is celebrated for a day when the young bucks and the older folks come together for the annual Jong tegen Oud matchplay championship. Over the years this contest has grown into a fun-filled tradition, and for the first time due to the popularity the team size was increased to twelve against twelve.

On the last Sunday of the month, it was a fun and challenging time where the two teams conduct a friendly battle for the much coveted trophy. After the wake up call and early morning coffee, the nine holes greensome match takes place, and after lunch the afternoon singles eighteen holes is launched, followed at the end of the day with the traditional borrel, celebration BBQ and prizes.

Team Jong was lead by Ralf Mulder who did an excellent job as captain bringing the team together into a fortified unit, inspiring them to take the challenge with renewed energy and confidence.

The young whipper-snappers were cocky and with their massively long drives they felt confident that they would win hands down for the fourth year in a row. Well no matter, the older and wiser folks managed to pull off the win with a unique combination of skill, perseverance and lots of lucky breaks.

Sure, being able to drive the ball three hundred plus meters looks impressive and can be intimidating, but in the true tradition of golf the match play format is a true equalizer. The short game from bunkers, chipping from off of the green, recovery shots from behind the trees, and sinking long birdie putts was the name of the game. Yes indeed, the Team Oud had their act together in that regard.

Though slightly disappointed, the Team Jong displayed the true spirit of golf by accepting their loss gracefully, and were not the least daunted in calling for a re-match next year to win back the trophy.

As the winning captain, I want to thank everyone for making this a great success and look forward to continuing this fine tradition next year. We will not make it easy for the youngins, that's for sure. Let luck be on our sides again.

- Kiffin

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Chipping went really great this afternoon, from ten feet off of the green most of my balls ended up within a meter or two of the hole. Sure, playing an actual round of golf is a completely different story, but knowing at least that I can chip well makes me feel more confident out on the course.

Played nine holes today for the first time at a golf course called Midden Brabant. On the first hole I chipped in from 50 yards for a birdie, and on the ninth hole I made another birdie by sinking a massive putt from one side of the green to the other. Too bad for the double-bogie, trying to hit over a tree that was too close for comfort. Ended up with a thirty-nine which is nice.

I was hoping to break eighty during the monthly medal tournament this morning. With only one hole to go, all I had to do was shoot a bogie for a seventy-nine. Instead, I three putted for a double-bogie and ended up with a round of eighty. The only other bad hole was number eight where I choked with a triple bogey after hitting my drive into the water. Not necessary, the putt was only a couple of feet uphill. You could look at it more positively and say that I only had two bad holes out of eighteen. But those lousy two holes cost me five undeserved extra shots. Better luck next time, and when I break eighty I will be even happier than before.

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If my memory serves me right, I think that this article dates way back to 1973 when I was sixteen years old. That would make my father fifty-six, which is seven years younger than I am today. I remember that sunny day very well and how happy I felt holding that trophy in my hands.

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What a fantastic round of golf that was. My father and I complemented each other perfectly. We made amazing recoveries, drove long drives straight down the middle, shot chips landing next to the hole, and sunk many a long putt for birdie. Beyond recalling the feelings of excitement and being pumped up with adrenaline, I don't really remember that many exact details. One episode though that does remain clear in my mind is the following.

The 17th hole was a par 3 and my father had a long uphill birdie putt from the front of the green. I was attending the flag and hoping that he would putt it close enough for an easy par. When he struck the ball too hard and realized that it would end up rolling much too far past the hole, he screamed "Step on it, stop it!" When I ignored his cursing he repeated it with such aggressiveness and furious anger that I began to tremble doubting whether or not he was serious and if he was directing his anger at me. I hesitated but held my ground doing my best to ignore him. Then at the top of his lungs, he hollered "Step on it!" one last time. Despite the rules of golf, the fact that we were playing in a very important club championship, and to make things worse we were leading with a fantastic score, I acted like the good and obedient son that I was. Not wanting to go against my father's wishes, worried about the possible repercussions of ignoring his orders, believe it or not, I actually stepped on that ball and stopped it dead in it's tracks.

I guess after that embarrassing display of poor sportsmanship, we should have been either disqualified from the tournament or given the usual hefty penalty of two strokes. We were playing with Bill Chapman and his father, and they were so kind to look the other way, let us place the ball about where it would have ended up, and allowed us play on as if nothing had happened. Just a small glitch, and it was after all a friendly good old club match. We had played an amazing round of golf (despite a bogey on that hole), truly a stellar performance, so in a way we still deserved to win that trophy.

I really had never ever thought about it, not even at the time of holding that trophy as the winners, the memory had been erased from my mind in the joy of that moment. Not until thirty years on when I met up again with my former golfing buddies Craig, Danny and Bill. When Bill recounted the scene in excruciating and embarrassing detail, we couldn't stop laughing and rolling on the ground. Strange how a long lost memory can be rekindled and brought back to life again in that way.

This year around I had trained hard and was psyched up to win the senior championship.

On the first day I played pretty well, and things looked very hopeful. With four birdies and two double-bogies, I was tied for first with a 76.

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On the second day I fell apart for some strange reason. No birdies, three double-bogies and a disastrous quadruple bogey on the 12th hole (back-to-back drives out of bounds).

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The final tally resulted in a fourth place finish for me. Oh well, better luck next year.

This afternoon I played nine holes in the searing heat. Things went quite well at the beginning, but after six holes disaster struck.

Here's how it went: par, par, par, par, par, par, triple bogie, bogie and bogie.

In general golf can be a fun sport, but it can also be very painful sometimes.

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It has been a long time coming, but I can finally play golf again starting next week. First only nine holes at a time, and hopefully in the not too distant future, a full eighteen holes again.

Cannot touch the flag, ball washers or bunker rakes, the holes have been made shallow so that you can more easily pick out the ball in a hygienic manner, keep social distancing of one and a half meters in place, no padding on the shoulders or shaking hands, and once the round is finished you are expected to go back home immediately.

Stupid coronavirus.

The annual 'Jong tegen Oud' match play tournament took place again this year on Sunday, 22 September. The weather was nice and sunny, and the playing conditions were nearly perfect for fun day of golf.

This traditional challenge has proven to be a grueling contest matching a team of young whippersnappers against an older team of wise and experienced seniors.

Article (scroll down).

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After qualifying for the Rijnmond Open nine years in a row, for the first time I failed to make the cut. The last couple of weeks I spent much time training myself and practicing endlessly, but to no avail.

I played terribly and for the life of me I just could not get my act together. My body was stiff and refused to obey the commands from my brain. That combined with an unusual streak of bad luck brought me to my knees.

The cut for the final weekend was 89 which I missed by two lousy strokes shooting a 49 + 42 = 91. When I normally easily shoot in the high seventies to low eighties.

This has really bummed me out, and it is difficult for me to accept. Golf is a brutal and unforgiving sport, and it doesn't improve one's chances as you grow older and wiser.

Oh well, my day will come another time in the not so distant future, or so I keep trying to convince myself.

What the heck, I might as well give it a try. I will replace my rescue and see how it goes. Besides, rescues are for senior hackers anyway. For now I'm still good enough, so it'll be a fun challenge making new changes and tweaking my golf style before it's too late.

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I figure that from off of the tee there are some challenging holes with narrow fairways where this driving iron can come in very handy. Using a full-fledged driver is a bit risky, and although with an iron the distance is reduced somewhat, splitting the fairway more consistently is what it is all about.

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Great first round, so so second round. Thanks to Thea for letting me play on her 60th birthday.

The game of golf is an unpredictable sport. Not only can your scores differ greatly from week to week or even day to day, but if you are not careful suffering scattered results within a single round is not uncommon.

Very frustrating to say the least, but that's often what the wonderful game of golf is all about. You against mother nature and her inclement moods.

So with that introduction, let me try and explain what happened to me this afternoon. The stormy weather, high winds and gusts of hard rain pellets stinging my face surely didn't make life easier. This is how the erratic nine holes went:

Double, eagle, double, par, par, birdie, bogie, triple and double for an unimpressive forty-three.

Wow, an eagle on hole two. That was a nice surprise.

On my second shot, I lofted a nine iron to the left of the flag to compensate for the wind blowing from left to right. Indeed, the ball came down drifting to the right as expected and landed right next to the flag. Since the green is elevated I could not see where the ball had stopped, but I knew that it was very close.

Turns out it actually rolled nicely into the hole without me seeing it, which after the awful double on the first hole put me at even par.

Seven wet and windy holes later, I was putting on the ninth green. It started to hail so hard that I missed my bouncing putt for my noble efforts.

That's when I decided to call it a day and walk back up to the clubhouse for a hot chocolate with extra whipped cream as a reward for my suffering.

I haven't played any serious golf since September of last year. Sure I hit balls a couple of times and practiced putting and chipping a bit, but I had become so distraught with my lousy game last year, that I decided to put gold on hold for awhile. Maybe even give up the stupid sport for the rest of my life.

It being winter and too cold outside, I was even less inspired to continue honing my golfing skills so things just went along fine as long as I didn't try to play golf.

Yesterday I played at the Leeuwenbergh Golf Course with a couple friends (Reinier, Vanessa and Maurits), accepting that this would be purely for fun and relaxation since I'd surely hack around and make a joke of myself.

For the first time in two month I hit a half a bucket of balls, and I was even surprised how good it went.

Then everything magically came together. A nice par followed by a birdie on the first two holes. One under par after two holes, are you kidding me? So then I bogied the next two holes to go one over, part of the game. Parred my way to the turn, and continued parring down the stretch for twelve holes in a row (that must be some kind of record). Knocked the ball in the left-hand trap on 17 and scrambled for a bogie, and ended up with a par on the final par 5 hole.

Final result: 37 + 36 = 73 (two over par).

Last year I had played so poorly that I had accepted the painful fact that I may never be able to play a decent round of golf again, maybe not even breaking eighty the rest of my life. Out of the blue and totally unexpected, I manage to pull off this miracle. Dear God thank you for blessing me with such a fantastic day on the golf course. Yes, there is still hope so never give up.

I guess I still have it inside of me, somewhere deep yet accessible. It's a great feeling knowing that I am still capable of pulling it off. If I put my mind to it and get a little bit lucky along the way.

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The defending champion and hunch-backed golfing legend (far right) manages to get third place at the club stroke play championship with a not-so-blistering 81, 87 (ouch) and 81. Better luck next year.

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I know that I am a power hitter, but this time I got a little carried away and hit the ball a bit too far. Oops, sorry about that.

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Too bad for that lousy double-bogey. Those par fives were not on my side this morning. They are normally easy birdie chances for me, but I flubbed three of the four par five holes choking up four strokes. Oh well, better luck next time.

For the first time this year I managed to break eighty by shooting a 41+38=79. It was also the first time in a long while that I had a double-bogey free round. So maybe I was playing from the regular tees, but still it feels to me like a nice accomplishment anyway. All that hard work training makes it worthwhile and good to know that I'm still capable of playing a respectable round of golf.

So you hit a pretty good long iron shot to the green but get an unlucky bounce. The ball rolls off the green, nestles itself just off of the fringe but ending deep in the high grass. The top of the ball is visible, but just barely. You have only ten yards or so to work with to the flag, and the greens are very fast today. What now?

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I've been plagued by this challenging situation many times. Still I haven't figured out how to play this shot without either fluffing it a couple inches, skulling it across the green, or clubbing it too fat and sending the poor ball to who knows where. The odds are that nine out of ten tries I will hit the ball badly and lose a valuable stroke or two. Training this shot hours on end down at the practice green doesn't seem to help.

I decided to do some research on the Internet and see what kind of advice other so-called professional golfers have to give. I was very surprised to learn that there is a very wide range of possibilities, from one extreme to the other, and not a single one offering the magical solution to this frustrating predicament.

Please feel free to choose one of the following, cross your fingers and hope to die:

  • Take your gap wedge, open up the club face as wide as possible and swing through the ball.
  • Hold a five iron perpendicular to the ground and hit the ball with the toe of the club like you are putting it.
  • Hit down on the ball with your wedge contacting the ball on the downward arc.
  • Swing through the ball with your sand wedge scooping the ball out like it's in the sand trap.
  • Tap the ball lightly with your rescue club so that the ball jumps out ever so slightly.
  • Take a fairway wood and pop the ball out by striking the upper half of the club face.
  • Hit down solidly on the ball with the putter and let the ball pop out.

So partner, which will it be? Choose one of the following weapons: gap wedge, sand wedge, low iron, high iron, wood, rescue, putter or something else. They all seem to work.

After searching for the answer, I now realize that it doesn't matter that much which advice you choose. Just take what first comes to mind and hope that your first hunch is the right one.

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Down below at the practice green.

I could easily shave off 3-4 strokes a round by honing my short game around the green. Time to work on those bump and runs, chipping out from the thick rough, and don't forget those tricky shots from the bunker.

Today marks an important historical day for Dutch sports. For the first time in history, Tom Dumoulin became the first Dutch cyclist to win the renowned Giro d'Italia. This is the second most important race after the Tour de France.

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Breukink vindt Giro-winnaar Dumoulin absoluut geen eendagsvlieg

While perhaps only slightly less significant than Dumoulin's win, but also very deserving of an honored spot in the annals of Dutch sports history, is that I managed to win the Club Championship on the very same day.

After a grueling first nine holes, I was able to pull my game together again by shooting a nice 37 after the turn to beat out the leader by one stroke.

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Uitslag Clubkampioenschappen Strokeplay 2017

Bij de heren sloot Kiffin Gish finale zijn ronde (83 slagen) af met vier parren op rij, waarmee hij Nico van Leeuwen één slag voor bleef. 252 slagen (85-84-83).

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This is a picture of me teeing off on the tenth hole. Great drive down the middle of the fairway. Seven iron hit well, just nicked a low-lying branch and bounced into the fairway. Eight iron landed six feet from the flag, and unfortunately my birdie putt just lipped out.

Been trying to practice as much as I can, especially now with such nice weather for golf. My last few rounds were 38+39=77, 43+35=78, 41+36=77 and 41+38=79. Being able to break eighty again with relative ease makes me feel young again.

Not bad for the first official tournament this year. Hitting the ball straight and far felt good and even managed to make a couple nice birdies. Not a single double-bogie which is always a nice accomplishment. Although I could have easily shaved off a few strokes had I focused just a little bit better.

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Wellput mat.

No longer do I have any excuse now not to become a much better putter. If I practice enough I can easily shave off 3-5 strokes a round.

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Late afternoon at The Dutch.

Finished the round just in time, and managed to pull off a 36 + 41 = 77. A nice birdie on hole two and an unfortunate double-bogie on hole 16. Not a record but still within my handicap buffer. Proof that an aging man can still perform well and enjoy life.

Thanks Mr. Kordic for inviting me again to play on this fantastic golf course.

Getting the luck of the draw and being able to start with number one out of the fifty contenders, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Although you have to leave home at the crack of dawn in order to make it in time for the first early morning starting time, being the first off the tee is a symbolic gesture.

I also felt pretty good about may game and thought that who knows maybe I could get a lucky streak and win the tournament. In the past I've entertained similar illusions of fame, only to go into mental meltdown mode and shooting terrible scores. Just to play one shot at a time and enjoy the round as much as possible at this beautiful golf course, "Misschien Wel de Mooiste Golfbaan van Nederland."

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The number one sign hangs proudly from my golf bag.

As it turned out, although I made the turn with a so-so 39, the back nine went quite well and I birdied three of the last four holes. Boy was I hitting the ball really great. For awhile there, I was leader in the golf club but after the long wait I came in fourth place which is also nice.

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Future famous golfer?

He picked up the putter, took the over-sized club and started swinging it ever so slightly back and forth, as if he'd done it before. A natural? We will just have to wait and see if in the end he'll like the sport or not.

Luiten wint KLM Open met tien birdies op slotdag.

Joost Luiten claims home victory with three-shot win at KLM Open.

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Joost putting (I took this picture on the last hole of day one)

I'm not the greatest fan of his, but I have to admit that he pulled off an impressive victory.

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2442 entries and as many as 1877 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

My mother passed away 3-27-2018 ago.

Started Gishtech 04-25-2016 ago.