If you have been following around here this year, you probably know that I returned to playing golf after a 41-year layoff.
I documented my goofy return in the article "Aces", but since I did pick the clubs back up, I have been playing a lot. As in four-to-five times a week, playing a course three times, and then hitting the range a couple of times.
The game is so different to me than as a kid. I don't remember much in the way of strategy as a teenager aside from trying to simply hit the damn ball as hard as I could, ideally in the right direction.
But, as an adult, likely coupled by changes in the game, things have become so much more cerebral to me. I see a serious golf course as a miniature course on steroids, with patches of ice plant and bunkers protecting greens like a moat offers a defensive edge to a castle replacing windmills and silly slopes and dancing clowns.
In a way, that makes the designer evil to me, but being one who likes a challenge, this has all become part of a homogeneous game where thinking about shots and clubs and how to approach depending upon my lie is tantamount to some complex IT decision making flow chart.
But, after regular play over six months, I have indeed witnessed an improvement in my game with my tee shots straightening out for the most part, and my fairway shots getting there too. Unfortunately, the Zen to golf--aside from being in the moment each time you strike the ball--is that as one aspect of your game improves, almost by rote, something else deteriorates.
Or, as I tell Diane, one day it takes me four to hit the green and I two-putt, then next two to get on and I four-putt, making both rounds completely different yet exactly the same.
It is hard to describe why this peculiar game has seriously nailed me, but you know things are getting strange when between innings of the baseball game that has my attention, I switch to whatever golf tourney is on, and then back to baseball, depending upon who has which commercial first.
This particular weekend, though, has been extra interesting as with the PGA taking place in Wisconsin, I have not only been glued, but an entrant to a beginning Fantasy Golf contest at Draft Kings, where for my first go-around, I simply picked six golfers and the score is based upon eagles, birdies, and pars earning points, while bogeys on down cost.
So, the golfers I picked in the $50K Salary Cap game are:
Bubba Watson ($9900)
Dustin Johnson ($11,200)
Zach Johnson ($8400)
VJ Singh ($6500)
David Toms ($5600)
Jim Furyk ($8100)
I did well enough with Dustin Johnson in the lead, but as the second round winds down, there is a learning in Zach Johnson and David Toms, as neither looks like they will make the weekend cut, and that means no points, and no points in golf is like no innings or at-bats in fantasy baseball.
I cannot say what prompted my selections, aside from Watson, who is fun to watch and simply crushes the ball, but a lot was based on my watching Bridgestone last week, where Bubba came on strong, and where the Johnsons and Furyk fared well.
But, I do have to say it is as much fun to watch, and track and sweat out as are any other variation of fantasy sports.
As for Bubba and Dustin: please keep crushing it dude, and I will try to do the same.
Do look for us to cover more in the fantasy golf world in the future, though!
Like I said: it's fun!