Thursday, May 30, 2013

Terra Ceia Bay Golf and Tennis Club in Palmetto, FL - a short review and overview

Terra Ceia Bay Golf is a short 18 hole course in a gated community which is open to the public. A few years ago I actually lived in this community and practiced often on their range as well as in the short game area. When looking for a summer membership for this year I looked all over the area with the goal to be within 10 miles, have no large monthly commitments and pay a price which is reasonable. At the same time I tried to find a place which offers a nice short game practice area as well as an ok range. I go to Terra Ceia Bay Golf a lot to practice my short game. They have a nice putting and chipping green, a little bunker and plenty of room around the green to practice all kinds of different short game shots. The range is not the best. The tee boxes for the irons are not exactly flat which makes you hit from strange lies at all times. However, they have plenty of targets, which gives you plenty of options. Biggest challenge with that are the practice balls. Most of them are very old and have little to know true fly. Some of them are good and newer, which I then pick for my driver practice. The tee boxes for the woods is much better. Flat and well taken care of. The balls are the same, but as I said , I can work with that. After doing my practice there for a while, the assistance manager asked me if I am not interested in getting the range card and the summer card. Not knowing what that meant she explained this to me and I was surprised about the great offer. The range card for this facility is 250 $ for 12 months and you can it as many balls as you like. With a large bucket being 6 $ and a small bucket 4.50 $, this is a great deal. I go through about 20 buckets a months. So I only need about 3 months to get my monies worth there. Could be faster. So I immediately said I will do that and signed up for that. Next I was told, that I can purchase the summer card for 100 $. Good through September 30th I will be able to play 18 holes walking for 5 $, 9 holes walking for 3 $, 18 holes riding for 12 $ and 9 holes riding for 9 $. Can you imagine? Ok, this is a short executive course with par 3s and par 4s. But I tell you in a minute why it is a great course to practice. So I signed up for the summer card as well and am now able to play all the time for a great deal. Considering that I practice every day 3 to 6 hours, this is wonderful and only about 5 miles from our house. So perfect! The course itself is , as I said before , short. But it offers everything you need to improve your game trough the summer. The course is tight. Meaning , you have to move the ball forward. There is not much room for error to either side. 15 of 18 holes have water! Now that is truly a challenge and certainly will improve your mental game. The greens are small and for the most part in good condition and fast. This accounts for great putting and chipping practice. The par 4s are all good enough to hit a driver, but have so much trouble in them, that a 3 wood or hybrid might be the better play. But you can practice target shots with your driver. There is 3 par 3s of about 190 to 200 and one even at 220 ( a very difficult hole from the back tees!, but I love it). Overall, a great course to practice and improve. Right now they work on the greens, so do not expect perfect greens. It is that time of the year. The club house is really nice , but the grill restaurant is closed. That is a draw back in summer time. They do sell beer and soda in the pro shop though. The beer selection is actually pretty good. 2.50 $ for a beer is a little high I though. You can also pay for the pool, gym or tennis. Which makes it nice for a complete day stay. The entire facility is not fancy, but clean and in good order. Really like the carts. They seem to be pretty new and well maintained and clean. The pro shop offers some merchandise. Mostly log stuff, some balls and tees. Also some snacks like nuts etc. The staff is very friendly, always ready to help you, smiling and patient. I believe that is a direct reflection of the work the manager and assistant manager perform and their attitude. Last I would like to mention that they work hard on events. Trying to make tournaments happen. There is leagues as well and the people playing in them are all friendly and fun. I played the Memorial Day tournament and it was a fun event for a good price. Over all I think. This is not a high end golf club, but a well managed golf course with good practice facility. Easy on the wallet and laid back. I am excited to be there this summer and work on my game, which will , without a doubt improve greatly on that course. So if you are in the area and looking for a short round of golf ( 3 hours max if it is not busy) for a good price, 14.50$ 18 hole riding after 1 p.m. , 18.50 $ 18 hole riding before 1 p.m. ( 18.50 $ each for all day Sat and Sun ) stop by at Terra Ceia. If you see a short haired young guy practicing, it is me. Say hello for a chat. I like Terra Ceia Golf and you might too!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yellow Wilson Staff Duo Golf Balls - How do they play and feel

1 week ago I finally decided to give the yellow ball a try. When I say I finally decided I have to say, that for the past 25 years I successfully played white balls. It never even occurred to me to try a yellow ball, because nobody every played them and most ball companies did not bother to make a high quality ball in that color. But over the years there was many situations which really upset me. They were all the same. I hit a good shot. Everybody agreed that I did and when I got to the spot where the ball should have been, we could not find it. Loosing balls in fairways or in spots which are not necessarily difficult spots always upset me. On several occasions I not only lost the ball , but the tournament. Not very exciting and at times costly. So back to the ball. Since I play the Wilson Staff Duo ( which I prefer by far over the Titleist ProV 1) I thought, let us try the yellow version. Immediately I found that the yellow they are using is not as bright as the yellow other companies put on their balls. I found that much easier to get used to and still bright enough. The first tee off was really strange. I mean, totally strange to me. The ball looked much bigger and it shined right into my eyes :). However, I hat a great tee off with the ball. The second shot was similar in feeling. But I was able to play it well and ended up with a birdie on a hole I did not birdie in a couple weeks. After a couple holes, I actually was totally used to the ball and loved it. There was not a tee off I had after which I could not see the ball from the tee box. Be it in the fairway or in the rough. When I hit my ball into some high grass, no problem. Much easier to find. Within tree groups, no problem at all. On the green, this ball looks different and to me, much better. Almost like it was supposed to be like that. I could line up and picture the ball better as it rolls towards the hole. If you visited this blog before or our website you might have read my Wilson Staff Duo Golf ball review. This yellow ball has all the same features, feels and qualities as his white brother. However, I must say , that it is a nice ball to play and I can see it better. It feels bigger and is easy to find around the course. I will start playing the Wilson Duo Staff Yellow ball from here on and see how it goes. The price is the same and you find it at and at many golf shops. Let me know how you feel about it and if it helps you play better and find more balls after hitting them off the fairway. They play great and feel good.