Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ridgewood Country Club, how I miss you.

My Ridgewood Country Club didnt quite look this nice,
but it was close.
Senior year of college I lived in a house just a block away from campus with two of my best friends on a street called Ridgewood. Our Ridgewood Country Club wasnt as exclusive or as well maintained as THE Ridgewood Country Club that the pros played this week, but it still has a special place in my heart.

There were only six full time members of our club: JP, EB, BK, MCG, Bzy and the Grizzly himself. There were no dues and we didn't have to make a tee time. By the end of the year, we had identified at least 100 different holes around the block. Even more impressive, we managed not to break a single window all year.

Our made-up holes included fire pits, trash cans, tree trunks, construction cones, mail boxes, and occasionally a Subaru Outback. We flew our balls over bushes, under limbs, off stairs, gutters, wood piles and concrete, and occasionally, when we were feeling adventurous, over houses.

My Senior year of college, I only had 5 hours of class per week, so I had plenty of time to spend at Ridgewood Country Club. And it showed. That year I went from about a 25-30 handicap to a 18. I did play a lot of real golf that year too, but what changed was my short game.

At Ridgewood Country Club, I learned how to pitch, chip, flop, and do everything in between. I learned to hit a ball 15 feet in the air and have it land 15 feet away. I learned how to pitch a ball so it rolled out, and how to hit it so it didnt. I could hit a Pitching Wedge, a Sand Wedge, and a Lob Wedge all on the same trajectory on command. Basically, I just learned how to hit any short game shot I could ever need.

The hours of "practice" that I put in at Ridgewood Country Club continue to pay off. Although most people would put my golf game into the "grip it and rip it" category, I think I have surprised one or two people with my creativity around the green.

Given the chance, I would certainly take a membership to THE Ridgewood Country Club, but my little ridgewood aint bad either.

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