(Image courtesy ukgolfguy.com. Content courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, pgatour.com, lpga.com and let.com )

Backdrop

This has been an interesting, and challenging year, for me personally and for everyone in general. I made the decision a few months ago, pre-COVID, to let this site run it’s course. I had run out of passion so I decided to “fold the tent”. I’d rather not write than go through the motions of posting articles to hit a subjective “content schedule” where my heart may not have been in it. It’s been four years at this blog. It’s been challenging, entertaining (for me, at least) and gratifying because I’ve met and worked with people who I consider friends. But, enough.

The site will phase out over the next month, so to be honest, this may be my final post. I’d rather go out with some feeling rather than do a synthetic bon voyage post.

Let’s get down to business…

Men’s Golf

With this season suspended/canceled, not much to report on on-course accomplishments. However, this bit of news supersedes, to me, any on-course successes. Six (6) golfers were named Academic All-Big Ten. They are; Jonerik Alford, Grant Engle, Laken Hinton, Jack Mancinotti, Kevin Stone and Justin Wick. My congratulation to these gentlemen for there performance in the classroom and on the course.

This now brings us to Buckeye alum Ryan Armour. Ryan has been on PGA tour 20’ish years and sits comfortably into the “yeoman” status. Not star power game, but still very solid. Solid enough to finish T-6 and T-4 in the past two PGA events. That’s very solid. A watched a couple of his rounds this past weekend and was impressed with his ball-striking. He’s not a long hitter off the tee, but fairly accurate in terms of hitting fairways. Which is fortunate, because due to Ryan’s lack of length, he needs to be hitting out of the fairway, not the rough.

Women’s Golf

With not much in the way of on-course collegiate golf, there is still some very good news to report.With this season suspended/canceled, not much to report on on-course accomplishments. They are Alanis Sakuma, Yukie Sasaki, Sofia Seldemirova, Adeena Shears and Skylar Thompson. My congratulation to these ladies for there performance in the classroom as well as on the course.

Three Buckeyes got into the game last month at the Colorago Open. Rachel Rohanna finished 7th, Emma Jandel T-13th and Jessica Porvasnik T-56th. Of note, Jessica had a very good opening round of 70 and a very bad second round of 80. Her undoing was a three hole stretch played in +5. But, that’s okay, she’s young and hopefully, she can look back at that stretch of holes and decipher how she could have played them better. It was a bad stretch of play, but she shouldn’t be haunted by them, she should learn from them.

Meanwhile, Jessica’s classmate Katja Pogacar gave an insightful interview of being a young player on tour (LET) in trying times. It’s a good read.

The Round

The old band is getting back together and I’m getting in a couple rounds of golf per week. It seems my game may be stabilizing a bit. Last week, I had my low round in a couple years (76) followed by two rounds in the low 80’s. My game is still a work in progress; I’m working on a ‘power fade’ to complement draw off the tee and need more consistency with fairway play. The short game is in good shape, which is a relief, since with my inconsistent iron play, hitting GIR is way more of a challenge than it should be. At age 69, I just don’t have the club-head speed that I had 30-40 years ago. Who knew? Hopefully, I’ll have another 20 years to solve The Problem.

The Takeaway

This has been a fun run at blogging. I’d like to thank you for humoring me these past four years. I’ve had several people play critical roles in helping me over the past decade; Joe, Chuck, Eric – I can’t thank you enough for your guidance and encouragement. To JC, I thank you for being my partner-in-crime. I know a hell of a lot more about rugby than I did before!

The Ohio State Golf Program; Therese, Jay, Stacy, Brad. I truly appreciate the time you took from your professional and personal schedules to spend time with me over coffee, video or email.  Also, former Ohio coaches Donnie Darr and Lisa Strom. I’m impressed with the programs you run and the high character of the young people you bring into the program.

Staying on the subject of  ‘teachers’, I had a solitaire round of golf last week. While hoofing and carrying the 30 pound armory, it enabled me to think a bit. Perhaps one branch in my road not taken was getting early golf instruction. I didn’t start playing until I graduated from college. I had one lesson three years into playing (it was a set-up issue) and I didn’t have another lesson until decades later. In the interim, I relayed on native athletic ability. It got me through (lifetime handicap probably around 10-13), but there was probably something undeveloped.  I told my son, that whatever sport (not football) my grandson wants to play, we (dad/mom, grandpa/grandma) will encourage the proper instructions. With my son an Ohio State fan, who knows where Leo will go to university?

I also appreciated the ‘viewing’ and feedback of family through the years. My brother, Uncle Ron, cousins (especially for basketball recaps, because that’s really who we are!). Of course, Mom (RIP) was the touchstone for this.

Finally, I’d like to thank my niece Emily and her husband Mike for doing the foundational work of graphic design and site set-up.

I couldn’t have been in this position without you, so thank you. Stay smart, stay healthy