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The ranger reveals!

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Uh oh. Here he comes. Headed right for your twosome, foursome, or fivesome. You spotted him on hole 4, in the faded white cart with the orange pole and yellow flag up ahead in the woods, lurking. And now, what does HE want?

1. “The Truth.” If you and your buddies are standing next to your cart, your athletic-fit golf slacks covered up to the knees with black pond muck, and milfoil trailing from your cart wheels, you’re probably too close to the lateral water hazard. Just own it.

2. “Keep up.” Remember, he wants you to enjoy the six-plus hours you’ll be out there. The snap hooks and peel draws, the towering slices and butter cuts. The miraculous downhill 40 ft. birdie putts: All of it. Just stay in sight of the group ahead of you.

3. “Drinking.” The group ahead of you probably is, and you certainly are. Everyone knows it’s a vital part of tolerating the game. Just don’t flaunt it. Use plastic glasses. Travel light. Half gallons of vodka or your Uncle Shifty’s moonshine take up room for your cigar humidor.

Pro tip: Go right for the “Robustos.” Get the heaving over with. The effects of twice a year cigar smoking on a draft beer breakfast can hurt, or become your handicap.

Once again, if you “Keep up,” everything will be fine. Sort of.

4. “On course advice.” You should know that the beer girl is far better at her game than you are at yours. She gets more practice. So be polite. Tip well. She’s probably working on her masters in psychology and can spot the alpha male in your group in seven seconds.

More advice from the Ranger

Watch the weather. The desire to “play just one more” is quickly overridden when your cart is sliding sideways downhill, on a rain-slick fairway, headed for the hickorys.

Respect the game, the course, the staff, and yourself. If you’re a guest at a resort, don’t drag the furniture out of your fairway villa, set it on fire, and get caught sleeping in a greenside bunker the next morning. (true story)

And please; no skulled lob wedges off the living room carpet, out the sliding glass door, over the balcony railing and headed for the group coming up 18. (also true)

Remember, the ranger’s “hostile resting face” is not his fault. It’s really just bemusement. When he says “Use someone else’s better judgment,” it’s for your own good. Think of the Ranger as a mobile “players assistant.” You want the booming bass music three fairways overturned down, he’s your guy.

You want the groups ahead to speed up? Ask him. It’s already driving him crazy too.

Above all, have fun. Enjoy the scenery. Golf is a difficult game that tests one’s mettle and reveals one’s character.

Just don’t become one.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. TEN

    Mar 13, 2019 at 9:56 am

    This is written by one experienced battle tested ranger! He’s been to the front lines and returned to tell truths in a humorous well written essay. Now if only everyone in the group could read! Ha.

  2. JP

    Mar 13, 2019 at 12:42 am

    And for the love of God, play the tee box appropriate to your skill level and athletic ability!

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Podcasts

TG2: Rory wins his “Fifth Major”! Plus, a discussion with a true golf junkie

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Of course we are talking about The Players and Rory’s win! Is The Players close to a 5th major or not? We have GolfWRX member mBiden2 on the show to talk about his golf junkie ways and the gear he is liking for 2019!

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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College golf recruiting: The system works

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Yesterday, one of the parents I consult with on college placement asked me what the lessons are from the recent college admissions scandal for her and her son. What are the takeaways?

Michael Young, who coined the phrase in 1956, writes, a meritocracy is “the society in which the gifted, the smart, the energetic, the ambitious and the ruthless are carefully sifted out and helped towards their destined positions of dominance.” For decades higher education has embraced the meritocracy, creating an effective system which it funnels students with amazing precision to school that matches their academic ability, courtesy of indicators like GPA, SAT and class rank. So why would people work to circumvent this system? Ignorance and entitlement; the members of this scandal were driven by having the right brand name to tell their friends at dinner parties, not the welfare of their children.

In my own experience, I have seen families put their kids into months of hardcore standardized prep, while signing up for six to eight sittings of the SAT under the guise of trying to get to a better school, all while balancing practice and tournament golf. The problem is that this does not make you a good parent, it makes you an asshole.

In my own examination of data in the college signing process over the past three years, I have found only three outliers in Division One Men’s Golf at major conference schools. Each of these outliers had a NJGS ranking outside of the top 1000 in their class with scoring differentials above 3.5. They also each had a direct and obvious connection with the school. They leveraged the relationship and had their children admitted and put on the roster. Success! Unfortunately, none of the players appeared on the roster their sophomore year. Why? By the numbers, these players are 6 shots worst than their peers. That’s 24 shots over a four-round qualifier.

Obviously, it needs to be said again; the best junior players (boys and girls) are excellent. Three years of data suggest that players who attend major conference schools have negative scoring differentials close to 2. This means that they average about 2 shots better than the course rating, or in lay terms; have a plus handicap in tournaments. This is outstanding golf and a result of a well thought out and funded plan, executed over several years.

There is no doubt that the best players have passed through top tier programs in recent years, however, they have entered these programs with accolades including negative scoring differentials and successful tournament careers, including a pattern of winning. In order to compete at the professional level, players must meticulously try and mirror these successes in college. The best way to do it? Attend a school where the prospective student-athlete can gain valuable experience playing and building their resume. For a lot of junior golfers, this might not be the most obvious choice. Instead, the process takes some thought and looking at different options. As someone who has visited over 800 campuses and seen the golf facilities, I can say that you will be surprised and impressed with just how good the options are! Happy searching.

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Podcasts

The Gear Dive: World Long Drive Champ Maurice Allen

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Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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