Door County, Where I stand as a golfer, and The Green Mile
by Radio Joe,posted Jul 15 2012 6:23PM
In my previous blog, I teased that I was going to talk about trading Zack Greinke. Since this topic has been the talk of the town for the last couple of weeks, I’ve decided to give my short take on the matter, and move on to something a little more interesting to the reader…well hopefully.
Should the Brewers trade Zack Greinke? Yes.
What do I want in return? Shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar from the Rangers. If Greinke goes anywhere else, give me a shortstop prospect and/or a couple of talented pitching prospects.
This blog is a compilation of three things – my vacation in Door County, my golf game, and The Green Mile.
This last week was perhaps the most stress free week I’ve had since graduating from Carthage College. In need for a break from reality, I managed to make it happen. After board operating the Rupena’s Baseball Post Game Show last Sunday, as Tim and Sparky were live at Summerfest, I met up with some friends and drove over to Summerfest myself. Bumming around the grounds, we had a couple of beers and some greasy (but great) hamburgers. It was nice to reconnect with some of my closes friends, and regain a social life. While not seeing any of the headliners, we stopped at a couple of bars on Water Street…yes, we all got home safely.
Come Monday, I would meet my family in Door County, and spend the next few days there.
If I retire anywhere, it’s Door County. I’ve been coming up to the peninsula since I was youngster. Why do I love Door County? The answer is simple - the scenic beauty, the fresh air, and the feeling that you’re far away from civilization.
Typically, my family stays at Little Sweden, a timeshare resort just south of Fish Creek. After some complications getting a week in our condo, my mom settled on a small cottage just off the water near Sturgeon Bay. While the pictures of the cottage looked harmless, it was nowhere close to Little Sweden. In fact, we all felt we went back in time. The cottage was clearly something out of the 1970s – old furniture, shag carpeting, a TV the size of a lunchbox (I kid you not), uncomfortable bed mattresses, no internet, and not much room to move around. At least the place was very clean, but outside of that, I promised that I would only spend time there to sleep…I kept that promise.
My week in Door County was this - eating, sleeping, drinking, swimming, and golfing. The biggest thing on my mind, however, was trying to correct my golf game in preparation for the Kenosha County Open.
Leading to the second point in this blog, my journey to Door County allowed me to spend all the time in the world to figure out where I stood as a golfer. Because of my crazy work hours, I haven’t had time to golf. Door County is known for their golf courses, so I played two of the most popular. Booking tee times for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I played twice at Maxwelton Braes in Bailey’s Harbor and once at the Orchards in Egg Harbor. The weather was perfect, and oddly enough, there weren’t as many golfers out there as I thought (maybe because of the economy). In the two days and 36 holes at Maxwelton Braes, I shot 94-92 (there were a couple of mulligans in that round). While my putting was almost stellar, I struck a ton of poor shots with my woods and irons. The problem with my game is consistency, and while shooting in the mid to low 90s is good, it’s not good enough. At the Orchards, a course that plays much longer and wider than Maxwelton Braes, I shot a mediocre 101. The course should be the next stop on the PGA Tour. It’s a titan of a course, and scenic as hell. Although I wasn’t impressed with particular elements of my game, I had to buck up. The County Open loomed…
Leaving Door County early Friday morning, I returned to K-town, changed, and checked the newspaper to see who I was playing with. Sure enough, they had me paired with the two-time defending champ (and Pro) Bob Tierney and former champion Dave Wente. Great…watch me make a complete ass of myself on the course. Struggling to hit quality shots in Door County, I knew that my confidence was lacking. Hopefully, I do something right when playing with these guys.
For the first two holes, I was toe-to-toe with the best-of-the-best. We all pared the first two holes. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Then, my flaws settled in. We were playing the white course at Brightondale. If you’re familiar with the course, the 5th hole has a tight dogleg Par 4, loaded with trees on both sides. If you miss the fairway, you better figure a way to get back on it. So what do I do? Two tee shots in the woods and a couple of penalty strokes later, I holed out for an 11. An 11?! Hell, Bob made a birdie! At least Bob and Dave were very good sports, and did not laugh at me. That’s part of the reason why they were champions.
After having four bad holes throughout my first round, I managed to put up a 101 (53-48). I clearly showed my good, bad, and ugly moments, but had I not butchered some of those holes, I would have shot low 90s for sure. In my opinion, Brightondale is more challenging than the courses I played in Door County.
This is my third year in the County Open, and I have had zero success. In fact, my best score to date in that tournament was a 99. It was my goal to prove that I could go much lower. In the second round early Saturday morning with a different group and course, I fired back with a 92 (49-43). I was dialed in both with my driver and irons; I stayed away from three putts on the greens, and only hit into a couple of hazards. On Sunday morning, it was more of the same consistency I’d been praying for. I fired a 94 (48-46). We played on the white course again, and the holes I butchered on Friday, came with pars and bogeys on Sunday. As for the 5th hole, I made an 8 instead of an 11. It’s an improvement, right?
While I was nowhere close to winning the tournament, I’m glad I battled this weekend on the golf course. I’m glad my confidence level has returned. I’m glad I can hit better shots. What’s the next big event I’m playing in? The 1250 Golf Outing. Last year, our group was second to last at +4. This year, I have a whole new group. In my humble opinion, we’re going for the win in August. Larry Harris (if he plays) and his group better watch out. We’ll give him a run for his money.
Although I was home from Door County, I still took off from work this weekend. The only thing on my agenda was playing in the County Open. Outside of that, I was still on vacation.
My dad has been encouraging me to watch The Green Mile. It’s from Frank Darabont (the same guy that directed the Shawshank Redemption, one of my personal favorites, as well as The Walking Dead, my favorite TV Show), and the story was originally written by the great Stephen King. The Green Mile is set in the Depression Era down in Louisiana. Tom Hanks plays Paul Edgecomb, a prison guard situated in cellblock E, Death Row. He guards those prisoners, and escorts them to the electric chair when it’s time for their execution. Michael Clarke Duncan is John Coffey, a GIANT and burly man convicted of raping and murdering two little farm girls. As Paul looks over the inmates, Coffey begins to perform miracles. Coffey represents a Christ-figure. Without giving anything away, Paul is put in a difficult situation. Should he execute somebody capable of healing others back to life? Would anyone believe what Coffey is doing? I was very impressed with the movie, and the ending made me choke up just a little. Recommend it to anyone.
That was my vacation in a nutshell. Back to reality. It starts with waking up at 3:30am to produce Chuck and Wickett on Monday. While I’ll miss Door County, it’s always nice to get back into the swing of things. After all, there are always more vacations to look forward to…