Rvgolfer's Blog

Looking at life through an oversized steering wheel

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

Free Advice, Freely Given

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That’s a line from a Louis L’Amour novel I’ve always liked. And now that I’m writing for eHow under dale662, it’s fitting.
Take a look at what I’ve got so far. It’s about writing, but that’s what I’ve done for the last 40 years.
As for my growlin’ Ford E350? It only has 2-wheel drive, and when it gets stuck in a rut in snowy Minnesota, it gets stuck.

Written by rvgolfer

March 21, 2010 at 2:52 am

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Free at last, free at last

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Except I’m sitting in the Honda dealership in my Vikings jacket while they make some minor repairs to my 2000 CR-V. My contract ended last week, and I have a few loose ends to tie up around Minneapolis before I head for a warmer clime. I might get connected with another tech writing contract in the near future, but I doubt it: there are just too many bodies and too few openings.
So, the rattling from under the Honda bothered me, and I brought it in to the dealer first thing this morning. It turns out it was a loose heat shield. But it was time for an oil change, and the oil sensor was leaking, so with one thing and another it’ll probably run around $200.
If I’m going to head out to Calif. in it, though, it pays to have it in good shape. The van will have to wait its turn for travel until next year, doggone it.
I suppose I could take in my golf clubs for awhile. They’ve been rattling around in the Honda for a couple of months, without being used as implements of destruction. I’d better put them away before they get covered with leaves or–even worse–snow.
As for the Vikings? Brett Favre seems to have energized them. They needed a sparkplug like him.

Written by rvgolfer

November 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Growlin’ at Golf

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I went and done it: bought a tow vehicle. Since I own a 31′ Prowler already, I wanted something that would handle it easily. Not a pickup, although I looked at a lot of them. Instead, I chose a big 2000 Ford E350 7.3 liter diesel. Yep, a cargo van.
It had all the racks pulled, so there is a hole or two in the floor. It is the extended version, about 18" longer than regular. I've only run one tank of fuel through it so far, but it seems to get about 15mpg in town. I had to learn that diesel pumps usually have two size nozzles; mine takes the smaller, while the bigger are reserved for semis that pump to fill 150 gallon tanks.
Of course, it roars. I’ve nicknamed it Growler for now.
Am I going to make a conversion van out of it? I haven’t decided. My first investment for the interior, though, was a futon mattress from Ikea that folds down.
I paid a fairly inexpensive price on the Ford, but spent $425 for two alternators four days after I paid for it. Yep, two. The one on the bottom of the engine was cracked like an eggshell. It also has two batteries to deal with. It was an “as is” purchase, but the dealer soaked up part of the cost on the installation. If I’d gone to a Ford dealer, it would have run $570 for one.
There are no side windows except for the driver and passenger. I’m considering having some sliding screened types put in to allow a little extra light, not to mention ventilation.
It also has a problem with the dome light coming on when the driver’s side is open. I’ve bought a Sears multimeter, and will try to track the problem down.
Now, I’m waiting for the chance to take it on a long trip–with my golf clubs. I’ve been planning how to build a rack that will hold four sets at one time. That would also mean I’ll have to install a bench seat so I can carry passengers.
Why buy a van?

  • If I want to leave a trailer parked and go on a short golf jaunt, I can sleep in the van.
  • I could get a battery jumpstarter that has an inverter, and use that on occasion for a microwave.
  • I don’t like fifth wheels, so didn’t need that capability.
  • I wanted a diesel, to pull a trailer.
  • Storing things is a lot more secure in a van.
  • Keep posted. My time in the full-time work force is drawing to a close. Maybe this time next month I’ll be on the road, looking for a few nice courses.

    Written by rvgolfer

    October 4, 2009 at 8:45 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

    Lame Duck Pardons More Turkeys

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    The Lame Duck has pardoned two more turkeys, Pumpkin and Pecan, following his earlier success in pardoning Scooter. Of course, these two latest birds of a feather are guilty of nothing more than gobbling, while the early little canary sang like a stool pigeon.
    The earlier pardon, of course, was in line with LD’s Thanksgiving suggestion to the American people throughout his terms in office: “Get Stuffed”.
    At least we can be comforted by the thought that, like Bob Cratchit, we’ve cooked his goose.
    Happy Bird Day.

    Written by rvgolfer

    November 26, 2008 at 7:55 pm

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    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