MICHAEL CARMAN’S GOLF COLUMN: Buying a set of perfect clubs

TALK ABOUT DELAYED gratification.

With invitations to come and tee it up springing forth from courses and clubs across the North Olympic Peninsula as a result of my writing this column, I recently made the decision to upgrade my golf bag with a new set of irons.

While certainly built for the long haul and still full of usefulness, my hand-me-down set of Byron Nelson Tourney MacGregor irons from the 1960s were not built for a player of my size or (lack of) ability.

They are forged irons, the type of clubs once used by tour pros and low-handicap amateurs to tame golf courses.

They were a bit too short for my needs. The set also lacked anything smaller than an 8-iron, so my short game was always an adventure.

Occasionally, I would hit an absolute cracker of a shot with them and gain a little bit of understanding of their potential, but to improve my scores I needed something more closely tailored to how I play.

I needed something in a cavity-backed, steel-shafted design that made use of hybrid technology.

The desire to step up a level in equipment wasn’t impulsive; I had performed a good amount of research into finding a set that fit both my level of play and my budget back in early June.

In the interim, life intervened and I had to postpone my purchase until mid-September.

Shopping online, I found a set of Nike irons from the 2006 model year for a drastic discount.

Reviews were sparkling, “Taken 10 shots off my game with these,” “Such a large sweet spot, mis-hits are a thing of the past,” “Great feel,” etc. . . .

I was sold on the clubs and soon pulled the trigger on the transaction, even ponied up for two-day shipping to have them in time for the upcoming weekend.

They looked excellent upon delivery, and quickly went into my bag in advance of the upcoming rounds I was sure to enjoy.

And there they sit.

When I woke up the next morning I felt a pinch in my lower back.

aving had issues with my sciatic nerve before, I quickly knew what that painful feeling was and I knew I wasn’t going to be hitting the links anytime soon.

The pain has only increased in the past week, with a diagnosis of a herniated disc.

Hopefully I can play at some point in the near future but after a week of this I would settle with being able to stand up straight and walk without looking like the lead in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Here’s some reminders:

• Port Townsend Golf Club hosts Sunrise Rotary’s fourth annual Driving in the Dark Tournament on Saturday.

For more information on this fun event played with glow-in-the-dark golf balls, lighted tee-boxes and flagsticks, contact the pro shop at 360-385-4547.

• SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim will put on a Rules and Etiquette seminar Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Golfers are invited to bring their questions for club pro Kelly O’Mera and club owner Jeff Pedersen as well as their appetites.

The course will have hot dogs, donuts, soda and coffee prepared for those who make it out.

Start time is 5:30 p.m. and the event is set to run until about 7 p.m.

• SkyRidge is also hosting its seventh annual three-person scramble tournament on Saturday.

Contact the pro shop for more information at 360-683-3673.

Cowboys dominate

This life-long SuperSonics fan has little positive to say about the state of Oklahoma but I will say that the Oklahoma State men’s golf team will be a force at May’s NCAA Championship if the Cowboys can play anything like they did Sunday and Monday at the Ping/Golf Week Invitational.

Oklahoma State finished 22 shots ahead of Washington to claim the team title at 1-under 862 for the 54-hole tournament on the Olympic Course at Bremerton’s Gold Mountain Golf Club.

The Cowboys also finished 1-2-3 in the individual standings with Peter Uihlein shooting a 5-under 211, Morgan Hoffman a 3-under 213 and Trent Whitekiller coming in at even par 216.

They were the only players to shoot par or better in the entire field.

Here’s some area results:

• SunLand Golf & Country Club’s Women’s Golf Association has been busy the past two weeks with its annual Partners Eclectic Tournament.

In the first flight, Linda Beatty and Judy Flanders claimed top honors in the gross division with a 72, while Marine Hirschfeld and Alice Myers, Julie Hightower and Judy Nordyke, and Mary McIntyre and Jan Prout all tied for first in the net category with 61 each.

The second flight saw Kathy Mahnerd and Sue Nelson claim top honors in gross with a 90, and Sherry Meythaler and Jan Stoecker win the net crown with a 56.

This Thursday the ladies will hold their annual “Rally for the Cure” Tournament, which benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

• Sequim’s Cedars at Dungeness ladies held their two-day Whine and Roses Tournament last week.

The women played a scramble-format tournament on Monday, then had a putting contest with wine and cheese after their round, followed by dinner and prize awards at 7 Cedars Casino.

Tuesday saw the ladies play a two-man best ball format followed by a luncheon. Full results for both days can be found on Scoreboard, Page B2.

The Dungeness Lady Niners also played a game of 3-2-1 last week. Teams count the three lowest net scores on par-3 holes, two lowest on par-4s and the lowest net score on par-5s.

Vernice Quigley, Terri Green, Donna Teel and Jan Boyungs finished first with a score of 43.

• In Port Angeles, the Peninsula Ladies Golf Group played the game of T’s and F’s last Wednesday, counting only the holes that start with the letters T or F.

Chris Anderson placed first for the 18-hole ladies with a 35, and Dona Scarcia came in first for the 9-hole ladies with a 20.6.

•Over in Jefferson County, the Discovery Bay Ladies Golf Club played fewest putts last Thursday.

All of the women competing averaged fewer than two putts per hole, with Irene Helander leading the way with 29 putts.

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