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All city 08 18 2016Wow!  I overcame a 6-6-6-6 start in the first round of the Walla Walla City Championship, steadying my nerves to post my best round of the year.  Eight over after four, I finished the front nine in ten over 46.  A decent comeback for a twenty handicapper.  After double-bogeying number ten, the magic began. Par saves and a birdie chip-in were mixed with long, powerful, straight drives. I left a few wedge/9-iron shots WAY short of greens, only to hit sweet recovery wedges and crucial putts on some of them.  It was so fun!  I toured the back in 39, netting 65 for the day. It put me in position to challenge in the open division (white tees), sandwiched between the championship contenders (blue tees) and the seniors (gold tees).  I am so excited for tomorrow!

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Golf is mysteriously enticing. How to stay mentally primed? Focused on positivity, visualizing sweet, pure strokes. Loving the feel of solid contact and skyrocketing shots, often nestling near the target. So sweet! I did that for much of the time tonight, and it soothed my soul. But the mystery lives on: I slipped off at times, for three holes especially, before swinging smoothly for the final two holes. Six pars, four bogeys and a double bogey. I missed two ten foot birdie putts but had good distance feel. Even some of the bogeys included beautiful shots. Practice breeds consistency. My heart knows some practice I need is in my mind. Tee it up!

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Pat & Lyn live in golf heaven!

It’s a version coaxing toughness, adaptability and the requisite resiliency. Snow reprieve chinook birdies would be delightful! But I didn’t score any…

Layering is key. Imagination is paramount. Touch is enlivening! Terrible shots can be frequent!

It likely was my first (or close) December golf ever, and the three week layoff showed. I hit just enough good shots to get me thinking about tomorrow…

 

I love Cougar country, with powerful lions trekking our highlands and our gridiron.

Our seven mile run on Sunday was hard, after the post-marathon layoff and Saturday’s leg workout with Nick, Annie and Jaslyn. After the run, we saw Gabe Marks. Cool!

Equally hard was the first quarter of football. Whoa! I apologized to Annie for the worst game of the year. Like I was playing? Down 14-0 with 21-0 forthcoming, our Cougars drew a definitive line in the sand. A dreamy game changed nightmare into fantasy. The upbeat game of the year! Wow! Thanks Cougs! Thanks Mike for the taste of Club level life. It is amazing!

The rain pounded me on the drive home and then soaked my beautiful Redwood.

It’s the season to run and spin and lift and step my way to awe-inspiring mountains. Yeah! That’s it! That’s what I’ll do!

And a little more golf…

Pat loves fine desert living!

Pat loves fine desert living!

Today is a transition, sandwiching golfing utopia and high-level football. Stanford travels to Washington State University in a battle for PAC-12 north supremacy. Pat and I savored swimming and stretching in warm water and weather at his home before cruising to Sky Harbor today. The Nevada mountains below me are topped with snow as the sun shines brilliantly. It’s been a dreamy week. Lyn and Pat are such great hosts. A victory tomorrow would taste like dessert. We’ve enjoyed a resurgence of kick-ass football. Pullman boasts one of the most exciting teams in the country, with remarkable players. Rain and wind are expected to return, granting the Cougars a chance to redeem their season-opening slop-drop against Portland State.

With the looming time change, lunches on the golf range sound appropriate. I hope for rounds at Veteran’s Memorial, Canyon Lakes and perhaps Palouse Ridge/Wildhorse/Othello on the near horizon. Autumn golf in the north will beg patience and restraint. How low can I go?

I’m wondering if my exposure to warm desert golf will be a life-changing event for me. To follow masterful links with a soothing swim is a great way to live. Would it be awesome for a month or more?

I hit golf balls from small mountains and soon I will ski across bigger ones. I believe that core work, strength training and high energy cardio-vascular adventures like hiking, spinning, squatting, running and climbing offer me avenues to greater achievement, firing my body and soul. How many mountains will I summit this winter? How fully will I savor the fruits of life as I dance to the passage of time?

I sense a need to mix it up, see the world and greet new adventures with a fiery passion, recognizing the fleeting nature of life. Work has enriched me and play has treated me even better. My spirit soars and dances and blossoms in wild community. These are the greatest treats. Want to play with me soon?

Lyn and Pat live the good life, including amazing golf at Tonto Verde Peaks course.

Lyn and Pat live the good life, including amazing golf at Tonto Verde Peaks course.

Lyn’s net 69 mastered the inaugural Desert Classic at Tonto Verde’s Peaks course, which was lovely in almost every way. Lyn won match play over both Pat and I.

Desert golf is brothers' bonding is an amazing way!

Desert golf is brothers’ bonding in an amazing way!

The greens were slow, the translation suggested foolish greens, which looked like they’d be incredible when fast. The views were magnificent.

Who believes they can take me in a long drive contest?

Who believes they can take me in a long drive contest?

We hit some beautiful shots and occasionally found the desert. Lyn was the straightest hitter and most consistent putter (29). Pat and I matched 89’s to ramp up suspense.

Lyn is the champion...of the day!

Lyn is the champion…of the day!

In the week-long competition, Pat beat me 35-28 in head-to-head skins and I nipped him 3 days to 2 in match play. Pat made three beautiful birdies, including a hole-out from the sand that was exciting and rare for it’s range.

Desert master Pat crafts a recovery shot.

Desert master Pat crafts a recovery shot.

I hit a high, long eight iron to eight feet past and stroked it home for birdie on hole 6 (78/90).

Should I shorten my backswing?

Should I shorten my backswing?

We enjoyed this lovely slice of Rio Verde and the awe-inspiring drive, showcasing the Four Peaks and surrounding mountains. The views were magnificent, the company so loving and golf as I’ve never seen it before. Wow! I am a desert golf lover!

Bring on the long drive contest!

Bring on the long drive contest!

Lyn strokes it pure!

Lyn strokes it pure!

Pat grooves his swing.

Pat grooves his swing.

This may be the ultimate climax after amazing preludes at classy desert courses. The Peaks course at Tonto Verde will serve as the championship venue for the 2015 Erickson Desert Open. What a privilege it is to have entered! I hope next year’s field is larger. If not, c’est la vie and lucky me!

Desert target golf on small, fast and undulating greens is so appropriate after the tracks we’ve enjoyed. This links quintuple has been by far the most incredible golfing experience of my life. Let the good times roll!

WSU whips Arizona, as seen from a Las Vegas brewery...

WSU whips Arizona, as seen from a Las Vegas brewery…


Go Cougs!

Go Cougs!

Quintero Golf & Country Club is heaven on earth!

Quintero Golf & Country Club is heaven on earth!

The Legacy Golf Club in Vegas. Los Caballeros Golf Club in Wickenburg.

Pat at Los Caballeros.

Pat at Los Caballeros.

Corte Bella Golf Club in Sun City West. Quintero Golf and Country Club in Peoria.

Quintero is wild and so fun!

Quintero is wild and so fun!

Amazing golf courses, incredibly progressive in quality.

Steady and free, stroking it sweet!

Steady and free, stroking it sweet!  Los Caballeros

Awesome views, manicured greens, impeccable cart paths, generous service, splendid landscapes, exquisitely executed strokes, family friendly camaraderie, close competition and perfect weather. This is so fun!

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Today, Quintero ramped it up on perfectly smooth and dangerously fast greens, running 11+ on the Stimpmeter. The fastest and best greens of our rich lives. Pat whipped me on Quintero like he did at The Legacy. Fortunately, I nipped him at Los Caballeros and Corte Bella. Corte Bella was sweet, but Quintero upped the ante again. Can we top it?

What would you do here?

What would you do here? A punch shot under the tree at Los Caballeros.

On the front nine at Corte Bella, I crafted a 39 that easily could have been lower. It was the best golf of my 52 rounds this year. Pat scored with two birdies at Corte Bella and nearly caught me on the back nine. Then I ballooned in score at Quintero to my highest score of the year. Still, it was so fun! Pat made another birdie and won going away. I’ve missed all of my birdie putts so far this week. Can I change that? The next round could be climactic, and likely full of fun!

Has Frank been bushwhacking at Quintero? Hint? Check the pockets....

Has Frank been bushwhacking at Quintero? Hint? Check the pockets….

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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