Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Era Dawns for Philadelphia's Courses in 2008

January 1, 2008 will usher in a new era for all six of Philadelphia's municipal golf courses. Four of the courses (Cobbs Creek, Karakung, FDR and John Byrne) will begin being managed on behalf of the Fairmount Park Commision by Billy Casper Golf. My home course, Juniata, and Walnut Lane will be leased to two non-profits for essentially $1 annually. Juniata will be managed by the Juniata Golf Foundation under the direction of Bob Wheeler, who has served as the GM at Juniata for the past few years. Bob is a great guy and is very dedicated to Juniata Golf Club and its golfers. Walnut Lane will be managed by Impact Services, headed by John McDonald, the former Temple golf coach who is also executive director of the First Tee of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Scholastic Golf Association. You can read all of the details in this story by The Philadelphia Inquirer's excellent golf writer, Joe Logan.

Putting a Wrap on 2007

Well, we have reached the final day of the year, so it is time to put wrap on the 2007 golf season. Overall, The Muni Golfer played 18 regulation rounds and nearly 5 practice rounds (one practice round at Walnut Lane Golf Club was abruptly halted after 14 holes because of lightning), or 410 total holes on 13 different courses in 2007. The Muni Golfer played 4 courses for the first time in 2007: Wyncote Golf Club, Jeffersonville Golf Club, Sawmill Golf Course and Baywood Greens. I took 1703 total strokes during my 18 regulation rounds and my final stroke average was 94.6. My lowest score was an 88 at Juniata Golf Club on August 19 and my highest score was 103 at Baywood Greens on August 31. I recorded a score of Par or better on 56 of the 324 holes I played in regulation, or 17 percent. The most holes of Par or better I had in one round was 5, which I accomplished during three rounds: July 14, Aug. 19 and Oct. 14. I made 8 birdies, including 2 during my round at Baywood Greens, and 1 Eagle (a 2 on the 283-yard Par 4 18th Hole at FDR Golf Club). That is the third highest number of birdies I've had in a single season; I had 14 in 2001 and 11 in 1998. Here's hoping that 2008 provides more golf, better scores, and just as much fun.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone "Happy Holidays" from The Muni Golfer. May 2008 be nothing but fairways and greens, pars and birdies!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fire Sale at Dicks

I had received a $10 gift certificate from Dicks Sporting Goods as part of bonus rewards for using my Dicks Card, so I stopped into a Dicks while visiting my sister-in-law's this weekend. Dicks was having a great sale of Maxfli's Fire and Fire Tour golf balls. The Fire's, which usually retail at $19.99 a dozen were being offered at two boxes for $25, while the Fire Tour was on sale at two boxes for $40. I had gotten the Fire golf balls for Christmas last year and really liked how they played. To me, they play much like a premium golf ball, but at a better price. A three-piece ball, they have great distance off the tee, but feel soft around the greens and off the putter. They also have a small strip of flames imprinted on the side of the ball, which is great for lining up putts. So I used my gift certificate and picked up two boxes of the Fire.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Duffy Comes Through at Q School

Today was the final round of the PGA Tour's 2007 Qualifying Tournament, or "Q School," a six round marathon played over two courses, with nearly 200 golfers vying for playing privileges in 2008. Only the top 25 golfers and ties earn their "tour card," meaning they are fully exempt to play on tour next year. My favorite golfer, Duffy Waldorf, who lost his tour card two years ago and has been playing on sponsors' exemptions in the "Past Champions" category on Tour, was one of those in the field. Duffy, who was -3 after the first four rounds, shot 65-66 to finish in a tie for 14th at -16, earning back his card. In one of the most intense pressure cookers in golf, Duffy played the final 45 holes without a bogey. Congrats Duffy! If you want to get a better idea of Q School, I suggest reading John Feinstein's book, Tales from Q School, which I reviewed in an earlier post.