Random thoughts just passing through

When I coached baseball, I used to say that every coach should get a chance to have a player like David Piela or Norman Tonnucci once in his career. The same standard now applies to golf. In the following weeks I will be mentioning some folks who are  those that every golfer should get a chance to play with at least once in his career.

This week’s nominee goes to Billy Hermanson, the great champion out of the Black Hall Club. Still a ball-striking machine as he embarks on the senior phase of his golf life, there can’t be anyone more pleasant and enjoyable to play with, and he made a recent Friday afternoon at Great Neck CC a total joy for me and Billy Dillon.

… I don’t like the belly putter, the long putter, or any other putter that is anchored to the body in any way. I just wish I could come up with an honest and coherent argument against them. But I can’t.

… How did we play golf before there were hybrids?  I don’t remember.

… This is a cautionary tale. Did you ever meet someone who bragged about the slowness of the greens at his course? “Yeh, baby.  The course is in great condition and the greens are so slow you have to hit a putt with a polo mallet just to get it to the hole. Eat your heart out.”  Answer: Never. Not ever.

… Butch Langley’s restaurant at Great Neck is going to be a big winner. The man knows what he’s doing.

… I recently played in the CSGA Tournament Of Champions (that’s a gratuitous self-promotion) at Bull’s Bridge Golf Course.  It’s as good as anything in Connecticut, a Fazio design carved out of the rolling hills of the state and a must play in the fall, although its very private and difficult to gain access. Where is it, you say? You know where nowhere is?  This is right in the middle of it.South Kent. My GPS contradicted itself three times and, by the time I got home that night, I had jet lag. But what a treat!

… Nobody says “no” to Arnie when he invites you to his tourney at Bay Hill. Nobody says “no” to Jack when he summons you to the Memorial. Nearly the entire European contingent said, “Sorry Tiger. Can’t make it,” to Tiger’s event at Congressional this week. Just sayin’.

… Something’s wrong with Phil.  Just a feeling but it’s a strong one. 

… Over/under on Tiger’s remaining major victories. I channeled my old pal Humphrey and he makes the line at three and a half and says empty out on the under.

… I just sent my friend “Scotty Cameron” on a well-earned three-week vacation in my basement. He needs the rest.

… I lost interest in the NBA when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson retired. I lost interest in the Champion’s Tour when Nicklaus was no longer a factor. Does this make me a bad person?

… PGA Tour’s biggest cliché? White pants. And trust me, not everyone should wear them.

… A genie pops out of a bottle and says he will grant you, either perfect line, perfect speed or perfect contact when you putt. But you may choose only one. Which do you choose? Think it over and choose wisely. Correct answer next week.

OK. OK. I can’t wait either. Let me ask the putting genie. Wait a minute. GENIE. GENIE. Which is it? … Really? Perfect contact, you say? Hmmmmmm. Makes sense, I guess.

… Final thought.  Play it forward.  You’ll have more fun.

Jim O’Neill is a member at Great Neck CC.

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