An open and closed case from the mind of Jack Nicklaus

Tater topped KP and I again as we got the second of our three Syracuse Golf Show coupon rounds in last week, utilizing another sunny, warm blue-skied day to its maximum.

The 18 holes that golf legend Jack Nicklaus designed for Timber Banks in Radisson, on the western outskirts some 20 miles from Syracuse, surely are pretty, and a pretty thorough test of our golfing skills at this stage of the game. Tater took the most skins and best score. I had one par, again, but captured three skins, more than round one at Kanon Valley.

Maybe I’ll do better in our third and final coupon round, at Seven Oaks, the Colgate University-owned, Robert Trent Jones-designed track that I used to be a member of some 15 years ago.

No balance for Beels.

No balance for Beels.

With the swing pictured when I handed my iPhone 6 to either Tater or KP to take a shot of this Beels having his turn on the tee, I can’t see how that will happen.

My balance is way off. I told KP my swing thought has changed from tem-po to sloooow-po as I take the driver to the ball, but not even that conscious effort to slow my weight exchange from side to side way down seems to be working. The photographs make me look like I’m screwing myself down into the tee box, and with my weight going toward the fairway first and then back away from the ball. Yes, there’s an official name for this malady. The dreaded reverse pivot may have made its way back into my swing.

That’s not how you hit it straight, or long. No, my tee shots are short and to the right. But knowing you have it and curing it are two different matters entirely.

KP tees off at No. 1.

KP tees off at No. 1.

Tater smooth.

Tater smooth.

KP and Tater, meanwhile, had a more solid base at the tee. That left them free to work on other aspects of their game. Sure enough, Tater was not pulling his drives to the left. And KP was hitting the ball consistently on the screws and hard, despite fighting an ailment for which he’ll be undergoing a procedure to fix next week.

This Nicklaus course carries two personalities.

The first nine holes are cut through woodlands, with tree-lined fairways and nary a neighborhood in sight.

Tater and KP on the first tee.

Tater and KP on the first tee.

Tee shot for my only par of the day.

Tee shot for my only par of the day, at hole No. 4.

The second nine, then, winds its way through the housing developments, impressive single family dwellings and big buildings worth of condos that builders hope the Nicklaus name and course help sell.

Notice the motto at top left.

Tater on the 14th tee, with the motto at top left.

Click on any photo in gallery for a description. Click and hold on photo at bottom right for an enlarged slide show.

Both nines featured big, hilly greens that were tough to putt. The greens were sided by low collection areas to catch errant shots. There were plenty of deep bunkers.

That Nicklaus is a sly guy.

Timber Banks is definitely a bargain to play for merely the $25 cart fee.

Would you prefer the holes cut through the woods or through the housing developments? Would you like to live in the free-standing houses or the condo apartment buildings, and why? Which photo do you like best, and why?

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35 thoughts on “An open and closed case from the mind of Jack Nicklaus

  1. I don’t play golf I have tried it, even had lessons but it’s not for me. I would not want to live anywhere near a golf course.

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    • Some people don’t take to it, and vice versa. I bought a set of clubs for my dear wife Karen, for example, at the start of our relationship, and after trying it, she says no thank you to golf. Oh, well, alady. I accept that. And I agree, it would be good to love golf to live near a golf course.

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      • It was fun but I nearly drove the instructor insane.. same with tennis and racquetball just can’t manage to make my body do what’s required to play those. I can make a tolerable showing at any other sport except those.

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      • I love to learn new things. I won’t be finished learning till I’m dead… even then I’ll be busy learning about dead.

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      • That’s how I feel about this life of ours, too, alady. Too much to learn to ever stop. You’re funny. “Busy learning about dead.” You told that one deadpan. Ba-da-boom.

        Liked by 1 person

    • That’s some single-family house, Scott, is it not? Tater says he heard that it was being built for a doctor … who then went on to fall off the roof of his present home and die. After that, the new house plan went down from four stories to three. That is all unverified. But … wow, that is a large house going up there.

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  2. Did the course come before the homes? Maybe the trees will grow up and hide the nice houses. Did I ever mention my Grandpa married again, once my Grandma died, to a woman who loved Arizona. They moved from Clearwater, Florida to Moon Valley where there was a golf course in their back yard. He never played and only occasionally did they go to the Moon Valley Country Club. One lucky time was when I was the bridesmaid, at age 16. smiles! We were told to call our second ‘grandma,’ “Aunt Vergene.” She had never been married and was over 65 years old. She and I became pen pals, she sent me lovely postcards of their travels. I always wondered why anyone would want to live on the edge of a golf course, Mark!

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    • I hope their lovely Arizona home did not get pelted by crooked golf shots, Robin. Or they themselves sitting out back. Ouch! That sounds like you had a good memory of being a bridesmaid for them at age 16, my friend. πŸ™‚

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  3. The “custom built” photo makes me want to own a schmancy house with a view of the green. My aunt and uncle has one, where there backyard looks down upon the green, about 20 ft, so no balls get in their yard. That would be nice and peaceful, too.

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  4. Ahhh….golf. I was watching Nicklaus as a kid, whether I wanted to or not. (when families had one TV ) Dad was a 4-handicap, achieved 3 holes-in-one, had a natural talent. He was a steelworker, but grew up on a golf course…first job pulling weeds off the greens, then as a caddy or clubhouse bartender when the union went on strike. I did not inherit his swing. I tried, took classes; ended up with a perfectly straight swing that does not go far enough. I should have stayed with Pitch and Putt ! Nice post, Mark. Evoked some great memories. ☺ Van

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    • You have some great golf family memories, Van. It is a tough game to play, no matter how hard you try. I have been attempting to perform better for 45 years. Not so much. And yet it pulls me out there every spring. My friends and I call it “communing with nature.” As long as I have a stretch every season in which things magically fall into place, I hit it straigt(er) and long(er) and score low(er), than I am happy. You’ll see later that I am part of a nine-hole late afternoon weekly league as well, and that I have passed along this crazy passion to my daughter, and play occasionally with her and her boyfriend, too. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your kind words.

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