Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spending Time At Nevada Bobs

I fell in love with golf twenty years ago. I always thought it was an old mans game, a rich mans game.
To make a long story short, a girl I was seeing dumped me, then I was in the dumps. A friend took me out to hit a bucket of balls to get my mind off of it. Another friend gave me a set of old Jack Nicklaus McGregor golf clubs so I could have my own set. Little did I know getting dumped would lead to a twenty year love affair.
I soon took classes at Sac City College to learn how to play the game. But it wasn't enough. I needed to be around the game more. I don't know how I got there, but I found a Nevada Bobs Golf Shop just off Florin Road in south Sacramento. I would go into look around. Hit some balls into a net. I couldn't afford to buy anything. I just went to hang out. The manager of the shop was very kind, and let me hang out as long as I pleased.
I would pop in once a week, sometimes more. I could stay there for hours and talk about the game.
I would cut class to just hang out.
Every now and then I would buy tees, a dozen balls just to earn my keep. I even tried to get a part time job there but the manager didn't need the help.
Over time I moved to the north suburbs and it was just too far to drive. After awhile I felt I worn out my welcome. I wasn't really a customer, nor was the manager someone I could call a friend.
Eventually the shop closed. Whenever I drive past the store on Highway 99,  its a flooring/tile store now, a flood of memories come back.
Now that I have money to spend, I know consider modern golf clubs junk. I would rather play with a nice vintage set of clubs, than a mass produced, mass marketed piece of junk now.
Rest in peace Nevada Bobs.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tennis Day

To support my post a few days ago about The Death of American Tennis, I took it upon myself to get out and play.
A friend and I headed out to our favorite tennis court in Vacaville.
I haven't played since late summer.
Needless to say, I was quite rusty. I brought out one of my vintage racquets to warm up with. My friend was warming up with w modern racquet. There was no comparisson, I couldn't keep up with him. So I had to switch to a modern racquet.
We played two sets. I lost 6-0 & 3-1. We were tired and hungry.
We were only there for almost an hour. We were the only ones out there. What a shame. Nice courts going unused.
I need to work on my serve. I plan to practice more.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Beach Day

I know this is a sports blog. But certain sports are performed by watermen such as swimming, surfing, snorkeling and sailing.
As for me it was a day of leisure. A blanket, a radio and a golf magazine. Perfect day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Slow Death Of American Tennis

Tennis is dead. There I said it. I think its been dead for years. It died when the torch was passed from Sampras and Aggasi to Andy Roddick. I feel he didn't care about being a tennis player. He just loved the perks and the lifestyle that went along with it. It was obvious in his play and many coaching changes that he didn't care to be a champion. Yes I know he won a US Open very early in his career, but the results afterward was pure rubbish. But this isn't a Roddick bashing post.
The person who stomped on American tennis' neck and crushed it and took the last breath from the American game was Serena Williams. Very selfish and arrogant player. She puts herself before the game. She's a very poor winner and loser. When she wins she brags and boasts about how her opponent was inferior to her. When she loses she mumbles her answers, then questions the credibility of the interviewer. I hate how she is trying to have rivalry with Maria Sharapova. She states that Maria isn't a serious player because of the modeling and endorsements. Serena does the same thing on a much bigger scale.....she also acts and has a clothing line. I have three words for Serena....pot, kettle, black. But this isn't a Serena bashing post.....okay, maybe a little!
I say tennis died years ago because of the laziness of our current society. I blame all the video games, God awful television shows and the dangerous world we currently live in. Allow me to explain.
Growing up I lived near a park. Us kids in the neighborhood would always play baseball, basketball and football......everyday. Just make a few phone calls and you had an instant pick up game. If we wanted to play tennis or volleyball, we went to another park that had the courts.
Try driving past a park nowadays. The parks are EMPTY!
My point is that everypark I went to, the tennis courts were full. Some of my favorite memories growing up is playing tennis with my cousin Lola. We would just hit balls and talk about school, homework or whatever else was on our teenaged minds.
Sometimes I would be lucky enough to be invited to play at the local racquet club Country Oaks (RIP..it was closed for a housing development that never happened).
It wasn't very often, but I took advantage of it. I remember when as an adult when I became a paying member. I would hit againts the practice wall until I got tired.
I was even a member at the stuffy Natomas Racquet Club. I say stuffy because if you didn't know anyone, you couldn't play. Very cliqueish there. So I would hit againts the practice wall until I got bored. I even signed up for an adult tennis league night there. The club pro was an ass. He didn't make me feel welcome. He was also the tennis coach at the college I went to. He was more concerned about his tennis team then us students.
So my love for tennis slowly disapeered.
It would be years before I would touch a racquet. Why? Because I was burnt out and lazy.
Thats my personal history with tennis. Growning older and having more responsibilities also took away from my tennis time.
So I contributed to the death of tennis too.
Working in the Napa valley has gotten me re-connected with tennis. A few co-workers play and invited me to play. My love for the game came back. I started looking forward to the next time we would play.
I dug up my old tennis books for tips. I even was watching more tennis on the telly.
What does this have to do with the death of tennis in America you ask? To further explain, I'm a serve and volley player. I love rushing the net. But my opponents would stay at the baseline. Forcing me to stay back because the would blow the ball past me. Baseline to baseline is soooo boring. I think the modern ball and racquets are just too powerful now. I played with vintage wood racquets a few times and there is a difference. At last years US Open Mens Final, John McEnroe said something I noticed right away. He said, "This match has been going on for two and a half hours, and thats the first serve and volley of the match. This shows that the game is truly a baseline to baseline game now."
The other day I was talking to a young lady on the Napa College tennis team. I was sharing my theory on the game when she said something that blew my mind. I was talking to her about the death of the serve and volley game, and she said, "The inherited apathy of our generation has contributed to the lazy baseline playing in our tennis society. The "dinosaur" sport is dying from the great competitive and sportsmanship to basically no rallying or real playing." Poetry!
The final question remains, can tennis make a comeback? Yes it can. How? Simple.....go out and play!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pitch Patch Potch

A few things on my mind......
Big changes are needed in LA area baseball. Scoiscia and Mattingly are going nowhere with their respective teams. Big investment, very small return.
I think the Golden State Warriors can beat the Spurs. I think the whole Western Conference is up for grabs. Just give the trophy to the Heat already.
I really need to pay attention to the Stanley Cup playoffs. I used to LOVE hockey. Hope I can fall in love with hockey again.
I really enjoyed 42. Great movie. I need to see it again. Harrison Ford deserves his first Oscar nomination for his role as Branch Rickey.
Time for me to focus on soccer football again.
The NFL really takes itself too seriously. Tone it down a bit NFL. Yes football is king in America, but don't flaunt it. The NFL Draft was a joke.
I think Mark Sanchez will end up in Oakland.
That's all for now! Good night to ya my two German readers!