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Let’s Ditch this Joint: Chiropractic in Golf

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During the coldest month of a Minneapolis winter (Feb.), I went to a home show at our beloved Metrodome. Walking up and down the aisles, I chanced upon a young woman promoting chiropractic aid: $25 bought a gift certificate for an xray and a diagnostic in their office.
I’m not a believer in chiropractic medicine., but my lady friend said I was walking a little hunched over I always thought this backcracking was too close to quackery. I waited six months to use the gift certificate, but had already spent the money, so I went. I’m still a little undecided, but the xray of my spine looked like a bow instead of an arrow.
So I let the young woman chiropractor do some work on me. She doesn’t do much at any time. She crunches a couple of spots on my lower back, twists my neck like that Nikita TV teaser (but not so far as the assassin), and messes with my shoulder: whatever I’ve complained about that day.
I don’t know whether it works, but here’s the surprise: the first time I went to the course after I started the chiropractic treatment, I hit the ball straighter and farther than ever. It might be that she straightened out my shoulder problem from too many volleyball years. The second time I went out I was outdriving my buddies…and I never, never do that.
I seem to be in a little less pain from 67 seasons, and I’m enjoying the new length in golf. Did the backcracking make the difference? I don’t chip or pitch any better, but I’m hitting the long irons like never before, and driving a long way.
I’m pleased. Not ready to be the posterboy for chirorpractica, though.

Written by rvgolfer

September 27, 2010 at 2:20 am

Posted in golf, health

Who Says the Number of Rounds of Golf Are Down?

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The numbers–at least for the upper midwest–certainly don’t show that in 2010. As of April, they were up some 50+ percent over 2009. That’s according to a report from DataTech.
I’m certainly not adding to the stats: Tomorrow will be my first outing since last year, even if it rains! I’ve been changing my grip, trying to hold loosely with my left, while I almost let go with my right hand. (Sam Snead likened the grip to holding a bird in his hands.)
I’m also trying to keep my right elbow in and have the clubhead slanted a little bit left when I address the ball. I think that’ll give me a little draw.
My problem, as for so many amateurs, is trying to crush the ball instead of just hitting it. Powering down is hard to do.
The venue for the new stroke wil be Francis Gross GC, a Minneapolis Park Board course.

Written by rvgolfer

June 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Motorhome Madness

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For years I’ve been looking and dreaming about trailers. I own two already, a 19′ and a 31′, both Prowlers. Of course, now that Fleetwood has declared bankruptcy, it makes it a little less attractive to own one of their products. Not to mention their closing American plants to shift production to Mexican ones infuriates the very people they hope to sell to: the lower and middle class.

After all, when’s the last time the Donald hung his combover out the window of a motorhome as his apprentice du jour drove? It isn’t the rich that are customers for trailers and motorhomes, at least not the low-end ones Fleetwood makes.

At any rate, I’ve started to shift my focus from trailers to motorhomes. It all began when my girlfriend asked about the buses–conversions, actually–I was looking at, as a costsaving idea, “Couldn’t you buy a bus and then haul a little auto inside it?”

H’mm. Interesting. Of course, most of the buses I looked at were physically very high, to make room for storage. You’d need a mountain goat of a car just to get it inside the body of the unit. But conversions were much less expensive than buying a tow vehicle to pull a trailer. I mean, $2500 for an old one. And these are units that can travel a million miles, so they say.

However, most of them seemed to require some sort of mechanical expertise, and my specialty is writing. So I thought I’d look at a motorhome, specifically the Airstream, which also has a good longrange record. And that’s what I’m up to nowadays. Older ones seem to have as good or better quality as newer, so I’m on the hunt.

Once I get situated, I’m on the road toward lots of golf. Great fun, eh? Plus, my 90-year-old mother would love to visit an old friend who lives 1000 miles away, and this way she could do it in comfort. We’ll see.

Written by rvgolfer

March 29, 2009 at 1:55 am

What’s Not To Like About Golf?

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At my sister’s farm in the California foothills, you wake up with the chickens whether you want to or not. Or, not even with the chickens: there’s one particular rooster that starts bellowing about the time a faint glow begins on the horizon. The rest keep their heads under their wings.

I haven’t decided whether it’s the one in the pen, or the straggler that roams around loose, roosting in a tree at night. A bobcat trimmed her flock down by about 30 fowl before it was trapped, and she was left with a little group of chicks that one hen had. These are in the pen; the outsider was left on her farm.

At any rate, once the perp hollered me awake, I lay there in the dark (not even the turkeys were awake) thinking about golf. I tried to decide, what do I like about the game? I’m not very good, so it’s not because I excel at it.

Part of my fondness for the game is that it’s a reason to get out into nature, where I can breathe the fresh air and get a little exercise as I walk around the course. Like so many of us Puritan ethic types, I have to have justification for doing something enjoyable. So, I can feel productive about golf, even though it’s the productivity of “getting a better score than ever before.”

There’s the comradeship of playing against my buddies, with that secret glow when I do ally beat them on a hole.

We’re enrolled in a private club, we golfers, playing a game that can last a lifetime, unlike more active sports. We have our secret grip (usually overlapping), special paraphernalia, rules we all agree on, even a unique language (par, bogey, etc.).

Finally, there’s a quiet satisfaction when I do make a good shot, or roll in a tricky putt. Oh, it’s countered by dissatisfaction when I can’t make good shots consistently, but those little flashes light up my soul.

Written by rvgolfer

November 21, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Posted in golf

Phoenix Lake Municipal near Sonora, Calif.

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Having been in Calif. a month and a half, helping care for my 90-year-old mother after she broke her hip in a fall, I decided it was time to treat myself. OK, I have played two other courses courtesy of Golf Today magazine during my visit, and spent the Veteran’s Day weekend with my son and his family in Las Vegas.

Other than that outing, I hadn’t been able to get out since August. So on this fine fall day I slipped on my thrift store golf shirt and looked around for Phoenix Lake golf course. Following Highway 108 almost to its end, I turned off at Hess Road, turned left under 108, then right.

Two miles along, I saw the “Phoenix Lake Estates” sign and turned left. Another half mile, I pulled into the tree-shaded parking lot and walked across the street to the clubhouse.

Phoenix Lake. I wrote about it once before, years ago. The owner at the time was son of one of the original Harley-Davidson racing team, the “Wrecking Crew.”

It’s now under new ownership, since about a year ago. As a senior, with a $5 rental cart, I spent $17.

The pro told me the new owners planned to doubleseed next year. Apparently they need to use one type of grass during the scorching summers up here, another for the cooler weather in the fall.

The fairways weren’t terrible on this course, but they were narrow. If you strayed into the rough, which I have a habit of doing, there were clumps of green grass surrounded by bare dirt. But since I was by myself and playing for fun, I always ended up with a perfect lie.

The first hole wasn’t too bad, but the second–a 312-yard shot over a creek, ending with a raised green–ended up eating two balls.

It is a pretty course with the trees changing color, but those narrow fairways had houses crowding up against them. I noticed one dwelling particularly well-provided with wire mesh over their windows.

The sun sets early in these mountains in November, around 5p.m., so to squeeze in that twilight rate becomes almost a case of Extreme Golf. But if you get there earlier, it’s a pleasant stroll.

Written by rvgolfer

November 20, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Two New California Venues

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On the Crease: Pheasant Run G.C.
Highway 99 through the heart of California makes a person think of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. It’s hot and dusty, with mile after mile of asphalt running through flat farmland.
On every road atlas I’ve seen, the little municipality of Chowchilla is right on the crease, that dividing line where California is split in half, northern on one page, southern on another. As a result, pre-GPS, it was easy to miss it. Now, however, it has begun to prosper.
Pheasant Run is next door to The Lakes RV and Golf Resort, as well as The Lakes Real Estate project. The RV segment offers two free rounds of golf with a night’s lodging: So for $45 or so, you garner $120 worth of golf during the week.
More on this later.
Trinitas hasn’t opened to the public yet, but when it does, it’s going to be a winner. At the moment, it’s in a holding pattern while it clears the various hurdles its county commissioners have set. More on this soon.

Written by rvgolfer

October 28, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Posted in california, golf

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The Party Is Over

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The RNC has met, the cast is dyed. We had the smell of teargas in the morning, a la Apocalypse Now.
I watched a lot of the proceedings from the 13th floor of the 75-year-old St. Paul Post Office. From the 11th floor, minions of the Secret Service spread through the city. Next office from ours, U.S. Postal Inspectors deployed to help protect the convention. Through binoculars, I could see inflatable 3-man Coast Guard boats patrol up and down the Mississippi, machine gun mounted on the bow. They plodded about a mile below and above where the RNC was meeting, a block from the River.
The uproar didn’t affect us much. Oh, I changed the route I drove home to miss a peace march, and it was so much faster than my regular route I continued that way. Security forces were everywhere. Watching one group of 20 heavily-laden officers leaving a fleet of vans, I noted “I’ll be lonely when all these uniforms are gone.”
Sure enough, once the hootin’ and hollerin’ was done, the pontificating pontificated, the punditry punned, downtown St. Paul was much quieter. Restauranteurs who had licked their chops and raised their prices for the thousands of visitors ended up licking their wounds and having sell-it-before-it-rots specials: the conventioneers were no-shows. Week-old sushi doesn’t sell, even in the midwest.

Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls

Perhaps it’s appropriate that the week before the GOP showed up, the Northrop Grumman Bell Wringer showed up at my cubicle with a come-hither suggestion. In a conference room down the hall, he advised me that my time with the USPS would end on Sept. 26.
It’s a relief, in a way: I can sign up for Social Security and get out to take advantage of all those golf specials. So, California and Nevada, here I come.

I have a 31′ Prowler in Calif. I need to work on to get into shape for hauling around, and need to make a decision on a tow vehicle. After that, I’ll be visiting courses, working with Golf Today and other magazines, and seeing what happens.

Written by rvgolfer

September 11, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Posted in golf, retirement, travel