CARMAN’S GOLF COLUMN: Resolve to get out on the links more

A SCANT FIVE days have passed, but I’m sure many of you have broken your New Year’s resolutions already.

The reason? You made them too difficult.

Its hard to will yourself to daily exercise, eating right, being kind to others at every opportunity, etc.

That’s why if I set a resolution I like to keep it small and manageable.

What did I resolve to do more of in 2011? Play golf.

Shocking, I know, but I really didn’t play as much as I should have last year, especially considering I write about the sport every week.

Playing nine or 18 holes once or twice a week will help move me toward that daily exercise goal, and if I stay away from hot dogs at the turn and stick to bananas or peanut butter sandwiches as my in-round snack, I’ll be closer to eating a more healthy diet.

And once it’s warm, I might have a chance to get a really nice farmer’s tan out on the links.

Midwinter scramble

Sequim’s SkyRidge Golf Course, 7015 Old Olympic Highway, will host its Midwinter Open three-person Scramble on Saturday, Jan. 15.

The tournament will open with a frost-free 9:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Cost is $90 per team with gross and net prizes, range balls, two team KPs and a late afternoon lunch included.

The optional honey pot is $60 per team, and a team long putt is available for $5.

Each team must have a total handicap index of 15 or higher to play.

And each team has to use at least three drives per player.

For more information, stop by the course or phone 360-683-3673.

PT golf events set

Port Townsend Golf Club’s Hidden Rock Cafe has upped the ante and placed four rocks out on the course for players to find.

Sleuths who find one of the rocks will receive a free breakfast or lunch.

Seven rock hounds have sniffed out a free meal so far since the promotion began.

The golf course holds an all-day $10 skins game on Saturdays.

It’s $10 for the game and $10 for greens fees.

The course’s three-month long Winter Eclectic began on New Year’s Day.

Port Townsend’s next tournament is the Ice Cube Open this Saturday.

And make sure to reserve your spot for the annual Arctic Open on Feb. 12-13.

That tournament goes on in any weather, even snow, and is always a popular and full event.

For more information on any Port Townsend Golf Club event, phone the course at 360-385-4547.

A bit of a shocker

The news that Augusta National, home of the famed Masters, would be included in the “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12” video game for play on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, was surprising.

I reviewed last year’s game and found it fun to play, especially with a group of friends (Wow! Just like real golf) but missing a crucial piece, the ability to play The Masters tournament at Augusta National.

It was a familiar lament, the game hadn’t appeared on a video game or computing platform since I played Accolade’s “Mean 18” in the late 1980s.

I blamed “fuddy-duddies” in green jackets for Augusta’s absence last year.

It turns out I was way off.

If you can overlook the fact that Augusta’s membership is 100 percent male, the course has actually made a lot of forward-thinking strides in the last decade.

“In recent years, the tournament has been the first major shown in both high-definition and 3-D television, the first to offer live bonus coverage on the Internet and the first to allow free admission to all children under 16 accompanied by an adult,” ESPN.com’s Jason Sobel wrote on Tuesday.

It all seems like a trend toward hooking younger and younger players on the game of golf and the lore of Augusta National.

A smart move considering the advancing age of much of golf’s clientele.

Hand in hand with the inclusion of Augusta National, The Masters has also formed the Masters Tournament Foundation as a way of annually investing in development programs worldwide.

The Masters will receive proceeds from the game, and will direct 100 percent of that money to the new foundation.

My concerns that the game may have been hastily put together considering its March 29 (nine days before the first round of The Masters) were eased after reading an Associated Press article by Doug Ferguson on www.forbes.com.

“It took 10 days to laser the course, and the entire project took the equivalent of 10 people working around the clock for a full year on nothing but Augusta National,” said EA Sports President Peter Moore.

So the game will have the same elevation changes that the course has and the same azaleas and dogwoods lining the rough.

Best of all? It has the caddies outfitted in the full-white jumpers that caddies at Augusta National wear.

The only unrealistic aspect of the game?

Players can choose to play the course as Natalie Gulbis or Suzanne Pettersen, LPGA golfers who are characters on the game.

They wouldn’t be able to do so in real life.

________

Michael Carman is the golf columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. He can be reached at 360-417-3527 or at pdngolf@gmail.com.

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