Meeting The Members: Meet Todd

Here we speak with Todd, one of the members here at St Andrews.

How long have you been member of St Andrews?

I have been a member now for 5 years. I first heard of St Andrews from a buddy of mine who only recently started playing golf, so it was a bit ironic that he was the one teaching me about this club! I was teaching him how to play golf. It was good to know someone in the beginning as it made it easier to make friends. I found the guys to be really welcoming and inviting and I feel very lucky to have made some great friends.

Who is your favorite golfer?

I guess I am jumping on the bandwagon but my favorite golfer is and always will be Tiger Woods. I know there has been some controversy surrounding his behavior, but I think we should forget about that and remember his skill. We have all done things we regret in life, but that does not mean all the good things should be ignored.


How old were you when you started playing golf?

I started to play golf when I was quite young. I remember going to the golf course with my father when I was around 4 years old. I was memorized by the game and knew that I wanted to learn how to play it. In college I joined a team of golfers who would meet twice a week. We would all work on improving our skill and helping each other out. This was great and it is the main thing that really helped me. This is why I try and help others as much as I can when they are first starting out.

How much longer do you see yourself playing golf?

I will play until I can play no longer. I do not think I will give up playing golf unless the good lord has another plan for me. I have made some good friends at the club, and even if I could not play golf anymore, I would still come here to have a beer with the guys. I once heard someone say that the friendships you make in golf stick for a lifetime, and I believe this. The guys know I have some pretty strong opinions such as the reasons I hate Phil Mickelson and our debates can get heated, but we all have a laugh about it later.

If you are interested in becoming a member, apply to become a member.

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What Would be Your Dream Foursome?

I’m talking about a group of any 3 golfers from any time in history plus you, at any course of your choice. For all those wonderful, sappy individuals who would choose three family members please leave this blog right now and never come back. This is a hypothetical, you’re supposed to have fun with it. I’m talking about famous golfers here. Any golfer, real or fake, no matter the time period. Who ya got?

I have a flood of names running through my head right now. Legends of the past and legends of the present manifest in my head and then quickly disappear. However, I think I have my foursome. I would go with Happy Gilmore, David Feherty, and last but not least Bubba Watson! Didn’t see that coming, did you? Nope, I’m just kidding, screw you Bubba. My fourth would actually have to be Tiger (circa mid 2000s).

Dream Golf Foursome

I wanted to go with an all fun and quirky foursome but I can’t give up a hypothetical dream round with Tiger right? He’s gotta be in there. I mean he’s Tiger! Can you tell that I kinda like Tiger yet? Anyway, this would be a really fun group to play with for a number of reasons. I’d like to see Tiger and Happy would go back and forth at least for a bit until Happy had too many beers (he wouldn’t last til the third hole). Feherty would be his usual weird and hilarious self, plus having the Irish accent in the group would be a plus. And seeing Tiger be able to play in person would just be a treat in and of itself. Plus, I’d probably learn a ton of tips from him.

Oh and I think we would have to play St. Andrews as our course. This course is definitely on my bucket list and being able to play here with these other three would be freaking awesome. Who’s in your foursome? Leave your comments below and let me know.

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Greg Norman’s Chainsaw Incident Shows The Importance Of Using The Best Chainsaw

There are a few things in my life that I love to do. I love a game of golf, and I love high performance power tools. I think there will be many men that can relate to this, with one of them being Greg Norman. As a child he was someone I idolized, and as an adult I can see myself becoming more and more like him. Greg Norman shares my passion, and if I could speak with him I would have many questions to ask. One question sticks out though.

Although it has been over 2 years since the Greg Norman’s chainsaw incident, it scared me (although if it was Phil Mickelson I probably would feel different). It scared me because I thought that it could happen to me. Whilst doing one of the things he loved, Greg Norman suffered an injury with his chainsaw. This injury was actually quite severe, requiring surgery and damaging his nerves. I wonder how this happened when finding a safe chainsaw is simple, and a quick google search gives pages such as, with reviews to find the best chainsaw and safety ratings.

Greg Norman owns a ranch in Colarado, and so chainsawing is something he does regularly, just as they do at St Andrews. The really shocking thing is that this appears to not have been his first incident with a chainsaw. I am not sure what chainsaw Greg Norman uses, but I can imagine one with appropriate safety features would not have lead to the same amount of damage.

I guess my interest leads me to seek out these types of things and read on them in my spare time. It is also important for me to remember that Greg Norman is now in his 60s and due to this is probably not as internet savvy as I am. However, the incident is a reminder of the importance of safety. Do your research and make sure you take appropriate precautions. Incidents like this should not happen, and with care, they will not happen.

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Essential Items to Improve Your Game: Best Golf Rangefinder

GPS range finders are a relatively new technology in the game of golf that can really drop your scores. If you’re like me, identifying your yardage on the course is more of a best guess approximation than a real science. I typically don’t have time or even want to walk off yardages like professional caddies do, so I usually find the 100, 150, or 200 yard marker and then make an eyeball guess from there. There is discussion of whether they are worth it with arguments for both sides, but I know they are.

The biggest disadvantage to this terrible method is pretty apparent; a lot of the time you end up hitting the wrong club. One of the worst feelings for a golfer is hitting an approach shot flush that you believe will be stuck a mere foot from the pin, only to find out that you hit the wrong iron and you flew it over the green. Or worse you came up short and have your friends question whether you’ve been going to the gym enough.

As an amateur golfer, I need all the help I can get, and hitting the wrong club as often as I do is something I can’t continue to afford to do. That is why I do my research on sites like to keep updated on the best golf rangefinders.

 Essential Items to Improve Your Game: GPS Range Finders

Even though they can be expensive, even the best golf GPS rangefinders are totally worth the investment, and can be found here. Being able to know your distance to a pin or a specific tree or bunker can help you out in tremendous ways because you will be acting on specific yardages rather than just estimates. Instead of thinking you should be hitting a pitching wedge to the green you’ll have more confidence than ever that if you hit it as normal you will be on the dance floor and not in the lake behind the green.

Golf is a finicky sport and I’ve seen the craziest things happen on the links; so why don’t you go ahead, reduce some of the craziness, and add a little certainty to this game? That’s why I say that if you haven’t already, you should definitely go ahead and make the investment into it.

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I Hate Phil Mickelson

I have a confession to make and most of you won’t like it; I hate Phil Mickelson. I know that Lefty is a popular guy on tour and was basically number 2 in golf behind Tiger all those years, but I just can’t like the guy. There’s just so much about him as a person, I wonder why people root for him so hard. Firstly, the guy just seems evil. He has a politician’s smile that makes Hillary Clinton’s seem genuine. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that smile that just says, “I hope no one can tell that I’m not really happy and instead despise everyone here.” He has that smile and he has those dead eyes too. Come to think about it, I think he would make a great candidate for president of the United States at this point.

He’s also just not that good. He is the opposite to one of the reasons I love golf. Here’s another unpopular opinion I typically don’t root for the losers in sports. If it’s my city’s team or athlete I will root for them through thick and thin. But for just a random athlete or team they have to be winners or underdogs. Phil Mickelson should be a winner but isn’t. A lot of you may say, “Well you’re wrong because he’s won 5 majors.” This is true, however, Mickelson should have won several more if he didn’t personally screw himself. His pride in keeping up his strategy of aggressive play cost him true legendary status.

I Hate Phil Mickelson

I’m not saying that Mickelson is a bad golfer in any respect, because that’s just statistically not true. All I’m saying is that Mickelson should have been a lot better. Now, I’m saying all of this from the level of a fan. In no way can I comprehend the pressure felt standing over a shot Sunday at a major. It’s understandable that someone can make a mistake in that situation. But as fans we don’t root for understandable, we root for someone to do something that there is no way we could do ourselves. We root for people to break the glass ceilings of what we as a species thought was impossible. And in that regard, Mickelson came up short. I don’t care if that’s unfair for me to say.

Mickelson is also terrible in the Ryder Cup. Terrible as in he has a losing record. Like if he were an American football team he would get first overall pick in next years draft. I do get that the games played in the Ryder Cup are much different than regular stroke play, and that a lot of your success depends on how your teammate performs as well. But still. For the guy that was basically #2 to Tiger his whole life, he should not be that bad in the Ryder Cup. Golf is golf, play well you do well, and Mickelson certainly has not represented Team USA well.

Anyway, that’s my rant on Phil Mickelson. Golf is too gentlemanly and soft to the point that nobody hates each other (or at least publicly). There aren’t really rivalries or guys getting booed. That’s not how I am. So I will continue my open hate of Phil Mickelson, and hey he’s from San Diego maybe he’ll ask me in person why I hate him.

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What’s Your Favorite Golf Movie?

Movies provide such an amazing experience and ability to enthrall us into any story that is well told and executed. Golf movies, although they are rare, are no different. When thinking of my favorite golf movies I could only come up with a handful. Thinking that I must have forgotten some I did some research and found out that there are simply not many great golf movies. There are about five great golf movies and they are: Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Tin Cup, and The Legend of Bagger Vance. Going through Google I was surprised to see that there weren’t more that I had just not thought of. Nope, classic golf movies are rarer than me making eagle.

I’m going to focus on my three favorite movies here, those being Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack, and The Greatest Game Ever Played.

What’s Your Favorite Golf Movie

This may ruffle some feathers but Happy Gilmore is my favorite golf movie of all time. This is a classic Adam Sandler movie back when he was still funny. Everything from the Subway commercial, to Grizzly Adams references, and his fight with Bob Barker make this movie incredibly funny and memorable regardless of whether you like golf or not. “Gold Jacket, Green Jacket, who gives a hoot?”

Second in line is not far behind with Caddyshack. Caddyshack is that classic 1970s comedy with a powerhouse cast including Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield. This movie is filled with lines that go under the radar the first time you watch it. Actually this movie went under the radar for me when I first watched it. However, it ages like a fine wine getting better and better each time you watch it.

Number three on this list is “The Greatest Game Ever Played” with Shia LeBeouf. This is a great golf movie and incredibly underrated. It tells the unlikely story of Francis Ouimet’s journey to winning the U.S Open as an amateur. This happened in my home state of Massachusetts at Brookline Country Club (also known just as “The Country Club”). Even back then, a young and impoverished amateur like Ouimet was incredibly unlikely for him to win the major. Another testament that golfers who don’t come from country club backgrounds can still go out and compete.

And that’s my top 3, if you haven’t seen all three of these movies I suggest you take a day and marathon them all. In fact, I may just do that this weekend.

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Why I Love Golf

Golf has been with me since I was a child. Golf and family blended together and formed the man I am today. Golf will be a part of my life until the day that I die.

My first memory playing golf was at this short par 3 a few towns from where I lived. As a kid, the drive to the course felt incredibly far away as if it in the middle of nowhere. In reality it was maybe 20 minutes away. I was introduced to the game first by my grandfather. I played that first time with him and my uncle. I was young, about 5 or 6. I remember not having any idea of what I was doing. I knew I had to hit the ball and get it in the hole but the concept and depth of the game alluded my young mind.

I won’t lie to you, I was not in love with the sport since birth. I didn’t grow up with a club in my hand like Eldrick or Rory. Golf was a cool sport for me as a child but I was more into baseball, hockey, and football. These were sports I played more frequently and was better at. I was really bad at golf as a child and I hated the fact that the ball didn’t comply with my wishes like it did in other sports.

As I got older I continued to play a few times every summer with my Dad, and sometimes my uncles or my grandfather. I played golf with my Dad, my grandfather, and my younger brother on my Dad’s 40th birthday. I remember my younger brother skulled a shot while my poor old granddad was on the green going to his ball. He was paying attention but the ball came so quickly he wasn’t able to react in time. I remember seeing his leg a little bit later thinking he had swallowed the golf ball and it had come up underneath the skin on his shin.

Why I Love Golf

My grandfather died when I was in the eighth grade. It was one of the first times in my life I had to deal with someone passing away, and it was amplified all the more by the fact that I grew up so incredibly close with my grandfather. He was the man who taught me how to play golf. He taught me how to mow the lawn. He taught me how to play poker. The man who taught me so much about life was gone and I didn’t understand it; one second he was here, the next second he was gone, and he wasn’t coming back.

I don’t even remember who gave it to me but some time after his death I ended up with his driver’s club head cover. The thing had to have been at least 40 years old. The sock was sewn with wool and the cover was a bulldog, eyes barely visible, hat on his head, smoking a cigar. It was such an incredibly unique cover, I always wondered how and where he got it from. From then on, every round I played, I was reminded of him when teeing off. It was a great way to remember my grandfather while playing the game we both love.

**Unfortunately, that club head cover was stolen from me along with all my clubs one week after arriving in San Diego. I have a similar club head cover now but I’ll never get back that original.

I love the game of golf because of the time I’ve spent with family and friends playing it. The game itself will always be a wave of gratifying and frustrating emotions. But the memories I have on the courses are always about the people I was with and the bonds formed there. I loved watching golf movies with my friends and family.

The last time I played Torrey Pines my family was out visiting on vacation from Boston. I played with my Dad and my younger brother just like on my Dad’s fortieth birthday all those years ago but without my grandfather. We were on the fourth hole on the South Course, which is about a 450 YD par 4 that rests right on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We were walking down the fairway towards our balls as the sun was beginning to set over the water, and a hawk came flying out of nowhere no more than 5 feet over our heads. My grandfather’s favorite bird was a hawk, and I couldn’t help but think that somehow he was there playing right along side us. That’s why I love golf.

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