Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crazy, Wild Stuff

Apparently at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin there is a gazillion gallon aquarium.

AquaDom at Radisson, SAS - Berlin, Germany

Berlin Aquadom

Radisson SAS Blu Berlin internal aquarium

In or Out?

Scuba diver in AquaDom at hotel in Berlin, Germany

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Some Flickr Finds

The view of Athens from the Acropolis
Athens from the Acropolis

Tom Takes His Toys Outside
Spartan Battle Line

A Summer Sunset on Torch Lake in Antrim County, MI
Torch Bay Sunset July2

Istanbul Sunset
Fishermens Sunset

Sunset at Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field at sunset

Friday, November 12, 2010

Every Cloud has it's God Damn Silver Lining

My new Ipod Nano works with my Xbox 360. My old Ipod, which some bastard stole, did not. It was interesting to trudge across the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3 while playing Jay Reatard.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The New Revolution Golf Course

This morning I had a 10am tee time with my friends, Barry and Kathleen. It was our first round at the remodeled Revolution Park Golf Course. I've been waiting for several months now to play the newly designed course. Initially it was schedule to open this summer. Then it was moved to late summer. Then fall. It opened October 29th.

The first obvious change is the clubhouse. It is housed in a large new building whose parking lot you enter from Remount. They share the building with Revolution Park Sports Academy. When you approach the building the clubhouse has a separate entrance on the left. There is a door that connects it to the academy but that stays locked. The old clubhouse now houses First Tee of Charlotte. First Tee is a group whose mission is to introduce youngsters to the game of golf. The new clubhouse is nice and has a patio area with tables but I liked the old clubhouse. It had a nice atmosphere.

A second obvious change is the course layout. All of the course is now located on the other side of the creek that used to border the left side of the hole One's fairway and stood between the tee and the fairway of hole Nine. What used to be the fairway for hole One is now a driving range. Hole One is now located in the formerly empty area that ran parallel to the old hole Eight. You end up hitting in the same direction as the old #1 but this time you are on the other side of the creek.

Hole One
Hole One is straight and not too fancy. Near the tee box is a putting green where you can practice while you wait your turn. The trees on the right are really close. If you are a righty with a tendency to slice you will find this hole a bit of a test.

Hole Two
The second hole is a good example of how the new design combines the old with the new. The tees are located in the same general area as the tees of the old #3. Instead of taking the dogleg to the right it doglegs to the left. Making the hole a bit longer.

Hole Three
The old third green is now the green for new #3 which is a 154 yard par three (we played from the white tees). This allowed them to take down the nets that were installed to protect those teeing off on the fourth hole. They did leave up the pretty pine trees that still are next to the green. That is one thing about this new design that stood out. What they seemed to have done is opened the course up a quite a bit. It no longer feels like you are in the middle of a crowd while playing here. Before I would feel like an errant shot could hit another golfer. Now the course doesn't play so tight. That is the one problem I have with Sunset Hills. There are a couple spots on the front nine there where I don't feel comfortable hitting until other golfers move on.

Hole Four

This hole is essentially the same as it was before. It's a dogleg left with a huge open fairway. It's almost impossible to not have a playable ball after a hitting off the tee in this hole.

Hole Five

This is also very similar to old #5. It's a short downhill par four dogleg right with a grove of trees between you and the green. The hole has been harder with the addition of a bunker in the fairway that is designed to catch the balls of those that may try to drive the green. Beyond that bunker is another one on the front edge of the green. This hole is a good example of what makes Revolution fun, short holes that make us all feel like big hitters.

Hole Six

It's an uphill par four with a dogleg to the left. They didn't change much here either other than get ride of those odd ridges that looked like someone had driven a big plow across the fairway. I never could figure out what the hell those were doing there.

Hole Seven

On this hole they really changed the course up. Before this would have been another short downhill par 4. Now they turned you 90 degrees to the right for a long par 3. Our shot was 179 yards. I used a 4 iron and was pin high but off to the right. This area before was just a bunch of trees. They plowed them up and put in this nice down hill par three. It's a nice change up. Before Revolution had only one par three. To the right and left of the hole there is some grass that is easy to play out of. The big danger here is going long. Just a few feet on the other side of the green is some serious deep rough that is impossible to play out of, if you can find your ball, that is.

Hole Eight

This hole is a very shot par 4 with a dogleg right. I think a big hitter with a six iron could drive the green over the trees. I tried to cut the corner with a three wood and drove it into the one of the mounds they have on the right. Next time! The green is in the same place as the old #7.

Hole Nine

This is the old #8. It's a long par five that is longer than the the old eighth hole. The green is located where the previous hole nine had its tee boxes. It's not too difficult, it's just long and uphill.

Speaking of the old ninth hole. That is the only thing I really miss from the old course. Hitting over the creek from the elevated tee onto that giant forgiving fairway was a lot of fun. It was a unique shot.

A major improvement you get with this new course is the greens. The greens are in great shape and they are now full of tricky undulations. You really have to read these greens now. The employee at the counter said people were saying the course was playing tougher. The tricky greens are a big reason why.

The course, although it has a great new design and plays well, has not fully grown in. They are aware of this and have a sign posted saying so. There were a few times where I couldn't take the shot I wanted because my ball was essentially sitting on new sparse grass and I had a hard time getting my club under the ball. I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays when the grass grows in.

I would call this redesign a success. I really liked the old Revolution and this one has the potential to be better.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Revolution Golf Now Open

I saw on the website that Revolution Golf Course is once again open for business after a major redesign. I went by today at lunch and grabbed a scorecard so I could take a look at the new layout. I'm intrigued by the new layout. It looks like Hole #1 is in the open space that used to be to left of the old #8. One thing I find surprising is that they have taken the pond that you had to hit over on the old #2 out of play. I'm going to go Sunday and try the new course out. I can't wait. Anyone want to go?

Here is a scan of the course off the back of the scorecard.
Revolution Golf New Layout

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Found Photo

I was doing some research today at a local antique store, hoping to get some contacts for some appraisers. The store was real busy so I didn't get a chance to ask my question. I grabbed some business cards from the front door and bought a couple of old snapshots and left. The back of this picture was some writing that said, "Taken at George's Place, Summer of 1926."
George's Place in 1926