Escaping Winter: Palm Springs Trip!

Palm Springs

A week in Palm Springs has come and gone way too quickly and we’re immersed once again in the daily grind of a dry Calgary winter. Beth and I had a fantastic time down in Palm Springs visiting her parents and hanging with her sister Jane and brother-in-law Matt; their trip overlapped with ours for a few days. We played lots of golf, drank some wine (or maybe a lot, but definitely not too much), did a bit of shopping, a bit of biking, inhaled tons of great food and even cheered on Canada in the Olympics!

I played golf six straight days and Beth played five of those, taking a day off to go shopping with her Mom and sis. It was a huge burden for her Dad to take us out golfing in perfect 85 degree weather everyday, but Gary is always willing to take one for the team like that. Even Beth’s panda, Pebbles, was thrilled to be back out in the sunshine.

Pebbles the Panda

We managed to get in a good mix of golf while doing it on a budget, playing four different courses over the six rounds. There are a plethora of golf courses in the area so you’d have to spend a month down there to hit them all. Doesn’t sound like the worst idea, however, for now you can look forward to some stellar reviews on these tracks in the near future:

Mountain Vista Golf Club – San Gorgonio Course (x2)
Mountain Vista Golf Club – Santa Rosa Course (x2)
SilverRock Resort
The Westin Mission Hills – Gary Player Course

As far as my game went, I was pretty happy overall considering it had been over three months since hitting a ball to a destination other than a net 12 feet in front of me. I couldn’t keep it on the golf course the first round, but I’m sure the residents appreciated finding some brand new ProV1s in their pools. I treated the first round as more of a warm-up, and it progressively got better, particularly with my irons, as the trip went on.

It was a great opportunity to see where I’m at with the changes I’ve been working on with Fred. It really validated that I’m headed in the right direction. Same with Beth, who was crushing it. My driver and my putter left a lot to be desired which hurt my scoring, but looking back I’m not at all discouraged as I haven’t put any time into those areas of my game yet. Everything in between that I’ve started working on seems to be on the right track, so that’s all I can really ask for.

I had an especially encouraging final round at the Mission Hills Gary Player course, where things came together nicely on the front 9 and I made the turn at 1-under par after giving myself decent looks at birdie on 7 of the 9 holes. I got into some trouble off the tee on the back 9 and leaked a bit of oil, but a final tally of 78 is still encouraging in February during swing changes.

I was in the red overall playing Gary in our usual $2 Nassau matches with a $1 per birdie side bet, but I did get the monkey off my back and cut my losses by taking some money back from him a couple rounds. I always have a blast playing matches against Gary, I think an important part of improving as a player is playing against better players who push you and who you can learn from.

For now it’ll be back to working out, practicing, more sessions with Fred to continue to improve the swing, and of course trying to stay warm. Maybe we’ll crank up our fireplace and leave the doors open to help the snow melt in Calgary. Who knows, maybe we’ll even find time to pop down to Palm Springs for another quick golf trip before the season starts in Calgary!

Happy golfing!

Josh

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