Schmoozing At The Golf Course

I impressed one guy tonight by knowing of the “Canadian Ballet,” the name given the strippers who worked the clubs in Ft. Erie, Ontairo across the border from Buffalo.

When my TV station has events for its business clients the on-air-staff is often invited. We are a visible part of the company. In some ways we’re the most visible part. That’s why I drove with Al Terzi to the Hartford Golf Club tonight.

Very nice. I enjoy meeting our clients and schmoozing, I’m good at schmoozing.

I impressed one guy tonight by knowing of the “Canadian Ballet,” the name given the strippers who worked the clubs in Ft. Erie, Ontairo across the border from Buffalo.

The Hartford Golf Club is wow! Beautiful and beautifully maintained.

I’m trying to think of the best way to say this, but basically I’m glad I wasn’t picking up the tab!

It’s a golf club and as you might expect the patio where folks mingled featured a view of the course. Again, beautiful and beautifully maintained. I heard people praising the course because it wasn’t too hard.

People always ask me, “Do you play golf?”

I have the best hours for it, my workday starts at 3:00 PM. I live near some very nice public courses.

The problem is I suck at golf. It’s not like I didn’t try. I took lessons. I practiced. I never got better.

Shank. Slice. Miss. Miss, again!

The only hole I ever parred benefited from a bounce off a well placed tree! You can’t make that stuff up.

When my folks lived here I often played with my dad. Father’s are forgiving. I gave up golf because it was unfair to the non-family members I then played with!

“Oh, you’re not that bad,” people will say. No, really I am that bad! Waiting for me takes the fun out of the game.

I miss walking the course. At Laurel View here in Hamden I could walk and carry. That was decent exercise out in the sun.

It’s just not meant to be. Golf and I just weren’t made for a lasting relationship. Still, I’ll always cherish what we had.

What A Racket I’ve Got!

Any time I get upset with work I should think back to this day and remember what a racket I’ve got!

The note was sitting in my inbox before I got out of bed. It was from our 4:00 PM producer Dana.

Hey guys –

Just wanted to let you know – Coleen would like for Geoff to do a “Travelers forecast” live from TPC today.

Travelers is capitalized because it’s the name of the golf tournament running this week in Connecticut, The Travelers Championship. Coleen is Coleen Marren, FoxCT’s news director and my boss.

If she wants me to come to work in jeans and a polo shirt and head out to the links so be it! I am not complaining.

I would have headed directly from home to the course in Cromwell, but I needed my earpiece. Without an ‘IFB&#185’ I can’t hear what’s on-the-air including questions aimed my way. I swung by Hartford then headed south toward Cromwell.

I haven’t been to the TPC in years. My former bosses didn’t want me reporting from the field. I’m not sure why?

The facility has changed a lot with time. There are more structures. There are more sponsors.

Everywhere you look there are well mannered, well dressed volunteers. Mostly their job is to say “Don’t go there.”

I didn’t.

My job was to give a rundown of the weather on the course for the next few days and a little golf science. I needed a ball!

Just below our camera position Ben Nelson was warming up his putting stroke. Without ever actually making eye contact he handed our sport reporter, Bob Rumbold a Titleist Pro V1x. At almost $4 per ball (though he’s surely not buying them) it was a nice prop.

I did my weather/science hit and explained a little bit about why golf balls have dimples (they reduce turbulence allowing the ball to fly farther while being more easily controlled), ate a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream bar from the media tent and headed back to Broad Street.

Any time I get upset with work I should think back to this day and remember what a racket I’ve got!

&#185 – IFB stands for interrupt feedback. It is most the on-air program though the producer and director an interrupt.

Football Sunday

We will be on the sofa. There is assigned seating. I will be wedged in the uncomfortable curved section in the corner.

The Eagles play this afternoon. Helaine, Stef and I are die hard Eagles fans. We will be on the sofa. There is assigned seating. I will be wedged in the uncomfortable curved section in the corner.

As with any modern American family we will each have a laptop… and Stef an additional Blackberry.

This game is an unexpected pleasure. Not only had we given up on this year’s Eagles, we openly speculated whether McNabb and Andy Reid should be back. Is it too late to say sorry?

It’s like Popeye after a can of spinach. All Of a sudden everyone is fearful of the Eagles. Strange.

Teams master football the way players master golf or poker. Every once in a while you have a streak and confuse it with divine insight. Don’t be fooled. Streaks can’t last. There are bad beat in every pursuit.

Any Eagle team could be out there today. It’s my understand that’s why they still play the games.

Playing Golf With My Dad

I spoke to Helaine this morning. Not a good night for her. She’s coming down with the cold I undoubtedly gave her. Frank plowed our driveway at 2:00 AM and then the town came by and did our road at 4:00. She heard both… in fact she never got back to sleep after the first.

Steffie’s coming down with a cold too. I will not return as Mr. Popular.

The 1104 miles (1776 km) between them and me makes a world of difference weather wise. We were back into the low 80s with San Diego-like humidity. There were clouds, but they were the puffy variety that marks fair weather.

I lived here in the very early 70s. What was I thinking when I left?

My dad and I hadn’t played golf yet, so we headed out around 1:30 PM. There was plenty of room to get us in, though we ended up playing behind a slow group&#185.

My father’s course of choice is Sherwood Park, a course that is incredibly forgiving. There is no water. There is no rough. The holes are short and easy. So, for us, this is an incredibly challenging course!

If there is athletic acumen in the Fox family, it has been hidden from my dad and me.

Actually, Steffie is quite athletic. I have no idea how that happened. It is not inherited from me.

Sherwood Park has another attribute that attracts my dad – it’s cheap. Since it was already nearly 2:00 PM, we played for $11 a man. That includes a cart! And, since it was late, it was as many holes as we were willing to play.

We were paired with another golfer, an 84 year old&#178 named Joe. He was slim with good posture. He was old – no doubt. But for 84, he looked pretty good. He was certainly a better golfer that either of us.

When my folks lived in Connecticut, my dad and I played golf all the time. He was the perfect golfing partner. He was forgiving as only a parent could be. He was available as only a retiree could be. Once he left Connecticut my golf time was seriously reduced.

The funny thing is, I love playing golf. It’s a great game.

I’ve never shot up heroin, but I assume there’s the same pleasure involved at the beginning of heroin use and golf. Otherwise why would you allow yourself to become addicted to a game which is so frustrating.

I started slowly today, but soon had ramped my game all the way to mediocre. Twice I putted for birdies. That’s unreal for me. Of course, both times, I three putted – but that’s another story.

My dad, Joe and I made a great team. I was the spotter. I stood behind both of them to see where their tee shots went. In Florida, a lot of tee shots are lost in the vast blue sky. That most of these golfers, who can’t find their golf balls, drive cars is scary beyond belief.

We played 12 holes until Joe had to go. My dad and I continued through 14.

It was great in every sense of the word. This is one of those moments they talk about in the credit card commercials – playing golf with your dad… priceless. It is.

If the weather is good again tomorrow (and why the hell shouldn’t it be good), we’ll play another round. I’m looking forward to that.

&#185 – By definition, any group of golfers who plays slower than my dad and me is slow. Remember, we are taking the maximum strokes allowed by law on each and every hole.

&#178 – When kids are 3 to about 11 years old, they offer up their age as a matter of pride. That attribute goes away until age 65. From 65 up everyone again freely offers their age. No matter what the person looks like, your response is supposed to be, “Wow, you really look good.”