A long overdue update

Well, about 4 days ago nothing had changed from my previous post. Thus my lack of posts. I was hobbling around, and any mild activity brought the pain to a point where walking was a challenge. Tests showed nothing structural, so the only option was to wait it out. Ten days after the pain showed up it was as bad as day 1. This past Friday I woke up noticing that my first steps out of bed were a significantly dulled pain from Thursday. This has improved each of the past few days until today I feel not even a twinge of pain in my foot.

I’m a bit shocked at the sudden and dramatic improvement. Four days ago I was getting ready to pursue second opinions because of the lack of improvement, and today I felt good enough to hit a few birdie balls in the back yard without any pain.

With a couple more days to make sure it stays away I hope to play later this week. Thankful for a level of improvement that seemed impossible just a few days ago!

Video | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Upon further review…

Perhaps my physicians gut isn’t that great. Upon further review… x-rays show no break in my foot. 


I’m not even sure if I feel good about it or not. Obviously, not having broken bones is generally considered a good thing. As I’ve said though, it feels like it’s going to nag a lot longer if it’s not something simple like a break.


On the bright side, after five days of it staying the same or if anything getting worse, today is the first day that it seems slightly improved. Not dramatically, but I think there is a slight edge taken away pain wise. It may mean nothing, but maybe it could be something that could slowly heal itself.


I will be seeing a specialist this week to get a better idea of what is going on. Lots of RICE and watching the BMW Championship in the meantime…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Went to the doctor…”My gut is that it’s broken.”

Golf in a nutshell:

Start playing the most consistent golf of your life.

Start a blog publicly stating your goals.

Break your foot within two weeks.

Spent the majority of the day in hospital waiting rooms.

It’s not definite, but the doctor told me point blank, “my gut is that it’s broken.”

She suspects that that I broke the 5th metatarsal bone in my left foot. It’s one of the most common places to develop a stress fracture.

She also said that if the X-rays come back clean that she would send me for an MRI because “it’s clearly something.”


At this point I’m actually hoping its a break. A break is simple. A few weeks in a boot and everything is back to normal. Anything else is going to take more time to figure out, and probably longer to heal.

While in the radiology waiting room I Had the immense pleasure of talking with an older gentleman who celebrated his 55th wedding anniversary this year. He spoke with such love and care for his wife who is having serious health issues. His weak voice rose up as he talked about meeting the woman he loved.

Perspective is good.

X-Ray results should be in tomorrow…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Uneducated Teacher Syndrome: The Never Silent Killer


Pass along this ribbon to raise awareness for UTS

Caddied for an outing at Applebrook yesterday. I planned on playing after the outing, but around the fourth hole I started to feel a stabbing pain in the arch of my foot. Nothing I couldn’t deal with, but certainly irritating. Over the next four hours it slowly got worse and worse until it was, without a doubt, as much pain as I have ever had to push through. Every step sent searing pain radiating up my leg. There were a number of times when I thought that I wasn’t going to make it.

The consensus of the multiple medical professionals I have in my family, plus the ever dangerous googling of symptoms (Sometimes requires amputation?!?!) is that Plantar Fasciitis is the culprit. Whatever it is, it’s miserable, and kept me from playing.

One of the guys I caddied for, while being nice enough, suffered from something that is epidemic in the golf world; Uneducated Teacher Syndrome. These are the people who, despite rarely breaking 100, have an encyclopedic knowledge of “helpful” anecdotes they have heard on various Golf Channel segments and, while unable to apply any of them to their own game, think that they are Hank Haney incarnate.

The player in question did not break 100 yesterday, while his partner shot somewhere between 80-85. This discrepancy didn’t make him think he should keep the advice on the inside.

At one point the better player hit a bunker shot which was right on line but came up about 10 feet short of the hole. The one battling UTS, despite having failed to get balls out of a bunker on three separate occasions went into a lecture as if he possessed the short-game wizardry of Lefty.

“You’d be a much better bunker player if you kept your hands moving through the sand,” he said. “You can’t neglect practicing sand shots. You can do a lot of scoring out of the bunkers.”

Iconically sound advice. That’s the problem with most people who have been afflicted by UTS. They have the ability to parrot expert anecdotes, and their ability to do so blinds them from the fact that doing so only highlights that they are being beaten by 20+ shots. The gentleman yesterday probably thought that it would distract from his poor shots, but all it did was make everyone have to hold back sarcastic comments every time he shanked one, rather than root for him like they did everyone else.

It’s tough when you have to watch UTS up close. It’s a disease that has touched us all. With your help we can beat this vicious affliction!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Budget Golfer’s Manifesto

Weekends…The arch nemesis of the budget golfer.

You may have thought it was the yips or an incurable slice, but you have been misled. It is rather the packed courses on weekends and holidays; and the jacked up prices, delayed twilight hours, and required carts that come with them.

While weekends often turn into an insurmountable obstacle, I have — at the risk of sounding boastful — mastered the art of budget golfing. Far more than I have achieved the same mastery in…you know…golfing.

Golfing on the limited income of a young family is a challenge, but there are indeed ways…

The Basics


This website/app is fantastic. It allows you to book (often discounted) tee times for weeks in advance. Set up email alerts for their “hot deals” and you’re in business. Last month I played for $9 with a cart. The people I played with were forced to pay the standard $35 dollar walking rate.

The only catch is that the courses give Golf Now a few of these discounted tee times every day, and they place them randomly through the day scattered among the full-price tee times. The cheapest ones are often at awkward times. There is a way around this however…

I find the cheapest possible tee time, book it, then call the course. I explain that I booked a tee time on golfnow.com for late in the afternoon but would like to play sooner, and ask if they would be able to fit me in if I came over right away. I have never been turned down.

Often, the result of this strategy is golf at a gimmick-ly low price during prime hours.

Twilight Hours

If you are willing to golf at off times the course will often give you a great deal themselves. It’s amazing to me how many courses charge $60-70 a round at noon — prices I would never pay — yet if you go at 3 or 4 in the afternoon the price is $15-20 to play for as long as daylight allows.

Don’t underestimate playing in the “off season” either. If you combine twilight hours with early spring or fall rates you can sometimes golf for almost nothing.

Advanced Techniques

Looking at the basics and finding nothing new? You may be ready to graduate to advanced budget golfing.

Never Pay for Golf Balls

Ever. No, seriously. Don’t ever pay for golf balls.

If you know how to do it, you can find enough golf balls to last you for years.

I only hit super premium golf balls. Is it because I’m a golf ball snob? No…okay yes. But this irrational, unfunded snobbery is only possible because I never fork out my own cash to support my snooty taste in balls. This allows me to indulge the pretension that if I line up a Pinnacle instead of a ProV1 — I will die a little inside.

You need to identify the spots on each course you play where wealthy 25 handicappers are spraying their $50 a dozen golf balls. Long grass or trees that are close to the right edge of a fairway, or at the bend on a short dogleg are prime options. Go at an off time when you won’t hold anyone up and play slow. Real slow.

Hit each of your identified spots and spend 10 minutes scouring the area. Hit your ball in there intentionally if you feel you need an excuse. You’ll generally find more $4 bills than you can carry. It’s as simple as picking them up.

Learn to play quickly

You don’t have to be a great player to be a fast player. The vast majority of players should never get near the championship tees, and you better have a really good reason if you are reading your putt from three different angles.

What does this have to do with budget golfing? If the course isn’t busy I have never had someone take issue with playing extra holes, or “bonus golf” as I’ve heard it jokingly referred to. It’s often openly accepted, certainly at twilight times. Being both a budget golfer and an adult with responsibilities, it is essential that you take full advantage of the times you are able to get out.

On an empty course, I can fairly routinely play 36 holes in 5 hours. The ability to play 27 or 36 holes for one price and in one time out is a huge step to getting the essential practice needed to get better.

Expert Budget Golfing 

We’re are getting to the serious stuff. This is not for the faint of heart, people! Don’t try this at home!

Play all the Best Private Courses in the Area for Free

“Okay, Adam,” I can hear you asking. “What does that mean?”

You may notice a trend in the times that I golf each week as the blog continues, and it won’t be the times you would expect. I will almost always golf on Mondays. Why?

Many people don’t realize that virtually every super-elite course in the country closes one day a week for maintenance. For the overwhelming majority of these courses that day is Monday. This is the day when caddies and other employees are allowed to play the course.

In most cases if you were to go in the late afternoon the course would be abandoned and you could play without anyone asking a question. However, there are ways to do this legitimately without having to sneak on.

I have played a large number of the nicest courses in the greater Philadelphia area, including courses that have hosted PGA Tour events and majors just by doing a few simple things. You can’t, however, be shy or afraid of brief rejection.

Most courses will allow their employees a guest on these days. I will go sit in the parking lot and wait for someone who is about to play. I never have to wait long. I approach them, ask if they work at the course and then I’m just honest. I say I’d like to play the course and ask if they would be willing to allow me to be their guest. Most of the time this is all it takes. People generally respond very warmly to the request.

If this isn’t working? “You have not because you ask not.” I will walk towards the club house till I see someone who looks even mildly official. I hope to find someone near the bag room, but even a groundskeeper will do. Again, honesty…

Describe that you live in the area and you’re a lover of golf. Throw in some compliments about the course and how beautiful it is and what an honor it would be to play such a well respected course.  Say that you know that employees are allowed to play today and ask if there would be any way that they would allow you to play as well.

I have been turned down doing this…but not often.

Too simple you say? I have gone out in search of a place to play the majority of the Mondays over the last few months and never failed to find a place to play, except for this past Monday, when I forgot that it was Labor Day. None of the courses were closed.

It’s not only free golf, but its free golf on the best courses in the area. It’s far simpler than you’d think.

Hit Great Clubs but Don’t Pay for Them

Think this is getting stupid? Maybe so, but it’s what I am doing. For the first time in my life I have the exact clubs that I want right and I haven’t paid for any of them. In fact I haven’t paid for clubs since I bought a knock-off set of bladed irons 6-7 years ago for $100. Not only have I not paid for them, but I’ve hit nicer and nicer clubs and actually turned a profit.

This takes a lot of patience. If you want to buy the exact clubs your heart desires off the rack on a whim, this isn’t the method for you.

I run an online business where I buy and sell online. I have mastered Craigslist and eBay and know how to get top dollar for virtually anything.

I knew the clubs I wanted and I started slowly trading up to them.

My irons for instance…

My first big break was finding a dramatically underpriced set of Titleist 681 irons on Craigslist. I bought them for $75. I then turned and sold the knock-offs I had purchased for $100 for $125 after using them for three years. I had my heart set on Titleist CB irons, so I started researching them and their market value used, all the while closely monitoring the market on the 681’s I had in my possession. I targeted the 2 year old model, and waited for an opportunity where the clubs I wanted fell enough below their normal market value that I could swap them with my current irons.

The irons which normally go for $400-500 used fell to $290 in an auction that ended at 3am, so there were very few people looking at eBay at the time. I snatched them up and immediately listed my older irons. Within a couple days I had sold them for $385.

What did I do with the extra $95? I found a guy on Craigslist who had beautiful set of Vokey wedges. These wedges, even used, were going for over $100 a club. He was asking for $200 for all three. I gave him a call, and within an hour had negotiated him down to $100 for all three if I was willing to pick them up.

I was.

I have done this with my entire set, including the bag, and now have a set that I could sell for $600-700 overnight.


I didn’t steal them…But I certainly didn’t pay for them


How do I golf on a budget? I don’t pay for balls, I don’t pay for clubs, I rarely pay a greens fee, and it’s all 100% legal.

Who says golf is expensive?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Rounds

Well I did indeed get out yesterday and with the course unusually empty I managed to play 34 holes in 4 hours before I had to call it a day after hitting the tee shot on 17 my second time around. When you hit a tee shot and there’s not enough light to have a earthly clue where the ball went… that’s when it’s time to stop playing. 


It had been about ten days since I had actually played a round so I was aware that I might not come out as sharp as I would have liked to. I had no idea how right I was…


The first 9-12 holes were as bad as I can remember playing as an adult. I shot a +10 46 on the front 9 and frankly felt like it could have been worse. My driver was bad but my irons were unspeakably atrocious. I didn’t have confidence in making solid contact. 


Round 1 in a nut-shell


The score was slightly exaggerated by my first quadruple bogey of the year. I had my first run-in with a snowman of 2013 when I made an 8 on the par 4 8th. I didn’t miss them.  Applebrook, though long, is not that tough a course if you keep the ball in play. It has large fairways, but the rough is thick and the very much in play fescue is deadly. I took on the fescue and lost badly. Number 8 consisted of a drive hooked into the fescue, a wrist bending hack that went three feet, then another attempted hack that shot dead right into a water hazard. From there I was grateful to make 8.


The fescue at fault in the “Great Snowman Incident of 2013”


I stood at +13 through 12 when I hit a great tee shot on the short par 3 13th and something clicked. I played the remaining 6 holes at even par to salvage an 84. I certainly didn’t go out with 84 in mind but it felt good to be able to turn it around in the middle enough to keep a bad round from turning into an embarrassing round. 


Hole 13


With a bit of confidence I headed back to the first tee and promptly birdied two of the first three holes. I shot +1 37 on the front 9 the second time around. An improvement of a full shot per hole off my first effort. I was +4 through 16 when I was forced to stop, so I would have shot anything from 74-78 barring a disaster. Certainly not a round that will qualify you for any serious tournaments any time soon, but it felt really solid after struggling so much earlier in the day.


I don’t know if he originated the saying, but I once heard David Feherty say that golf is weird in that “When you are playing poorly you are confident that you will never play well again, and when you are playing well you are confident that you’ll never play poorly again.” Yesterday was the epitome of that for me.


Something about about this game makes it so that 9 holes into my day I felt like I would never sniff par again. Ever. I couldn’t even get a solid strike with my irons after-all, why would I think I could play well? 


Three hours later after 2+ hours of respectable play, driven at points by solid iron play, I had to resist the urge to use “figured it out” language, which of course is a complete joke.


I’m hoping to avoid a ten day break before I play next. I have no desire to play bogey golf for the first half of my next round before “figuring it out” again. 


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Labor Day golf? Nope…

A combination of Labor Day crowds and flash flood warnings swept away any chance of playing today. Everywhere I went had lines waiting off the first tee. It would have been a five hour round with the constant fear of a monsoon hitting at any moment.

I hope to play Applebrook Golf Club early tomorrow evening. It’s a beautiful private club where I caddy occasionally. It has hosted many local and USGA qualifiers over the last few years, including a U.S. Open qualifier this past year. I always take special note when I’m playing a course that I might come across at a qualifier.

I’ve been fighting my irons a little bit lately so I’m hoping to get them back on track.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment