The Golf Chick Golf Blog

The golf blog with an erratic swing by a chick with a serious obsession. And friends.

Category: Protipsgolf

Posts by Doug Lesko

Dead Solid Perfect. In Loving Memory of Doug Lesko.

Doug Lesko | 1963 – 2017 | Rest in peace, my love.

IMG_20131002_153301_375 Doug swingThe love of my life. My forever. Fatally flawed with a heart of gold, Doug Lesko is my best friend, my favorite person, the golfer of my dreams, my past, my present, and my future. Yes, I’m going to speak about him in the present tense as well as past, because he’s still and always with me. He passed away on January 18, 2017. He will be with me forever (just as planned). In my heart, in my mind, and in my soul. I talk to him like he can hear me as if he’s physically right next to me, just like I did when he was in a coma at the end, because I know he hears me, somewhere, somehow.

God I love to watch Doug swing a golf club. So effortless, but with such purpose. And when it’s dead solid perfect, we just know. That sound, and that look. He made me swoon in many ways, but there was nothing that got me quite like his golf swing. I don’t think it was two days after he passed that I panicked, wondering if I had his swing on video, because I want to always be able to see it. Thankfully, I do. Just like the voice mails I kept from him with good mornings, goodnights, I love yous, and more, that I listen to frequently, I don’t plan to share any of that with anyone. Those are ours and ours alone.IMG_20131107_154841_501 Doug conestoga

Doug is smart, sharp, and funny. His dry humor sometimes eluded me, especially after things at home got more serious. But he’d give me that look or say something else that made me laugh and then laugh again at myself for not getting it.  Doug wrote for this website, and his posts can be found under the category protipsgolf. I miss his humor and style even when we just sit around watching TV. The things we enjoyed together are so difficult now, but I’m trying to experience the joy in them along with/instead of the pain.  We shared a lot of the same opinions on PGA Tour players, and sometimes disagreed on the ones we liked and why, who we wanted to win (or not), and their fashion choices. I love how much he loves to watch the LPGA tournaments and watch the ladies play, and how he appreciates their skills and personalities. He didn’t give me too much in the way of “coaching,” but since I didn’t break 80 until we were together, I’ve got to give him some credit for that as well, if only for the influence he has on my comfort and confidence on the course, including updating my equipment and getting me to trust it. He really believes in me, and may be nearly as much of a fan of me as I am of him.

Doug is caring and thoughtful – he shows it every day in the way he cares about me more than I do. For example, as his hospital rooms went from comfortable to critical, and he was in more and more distress, he apologized because the chairs I had to stay with him were “getting worse and worse.” At home, he’d try to do more than his doctors advised because he wanted to help me out as much as possible while I was working and caring for him.

Doug loves music – it’s a love we shared that brought us together almost as much as golf. We shared many musical interests, and some that differed, but he was so much more open to experiencing the stuff I liked that he had never been interested in than I was of his. He loved to read, and watch films, and appreciate art in general. This appreciation tells me a lot about a person, and is indicative of someone with a depth you want to get to know.

Doug is easy to like – people who knew him even casually (not many people had the privilege of knowing him well) tell me that. My family and true friends embraced him not only because they cared about me and I loved him, but because he was a downright good human being.

IMG_0251 Doug and the beanHe came to me a damaged man, but you wouldn’t have known it (and I didn’t). All I saw was what a loving, kind, gentle soul he is. I knew he was a good man. I fell in love with that man completely, and without hesitation or doubt. I trusted him. We only found each other recently (2013) and the instant we came together we planned to spend the rest of our lives by each other’s sides. Neither of us knew that his would end so soon or how limited our time together in these bodies would be.

At the beginning of this post I used the phrase “fatally flawed.” We are all fatally flawed and have our own circumstances in life to overcome. Let’s just remember what a good man Doug really was, and that his life ended way too soon. We had so much more to do together.  Some of us are fortunate enough that our flaws aren’t fatal until much later in life. So be grateful for what you have and love the people around you as much as you can for as long as you get to. I would give anything for just one more moment with him, whether that moment lasted one second, one year, or a lifetime. I’m lucky to have had him in my life and honored to have been loved by him in spite of my own flaws.

Doug is Dead Solid Perfect – which is the title of his favorite golf movie, and one of our first movie dates while we were 3000 miles apart, watching it “together.” Yes, he’s dead. Yes, he’s solid. And, yes, he’s perfect – to me.

Overjoyed, by Matchbox 20IMG_1088

Feeling my hands start shaking
Hearing your voice I’m overjoyed
I’m sorry but I have no choice, you’re only getting better
Maybe you have your reasons
Maybe you’re scared, you’re feeling down
Are you crying when there’s no one around?

Oh then maybe, maybe if you hold me baby
Let me come over I would tell you secrets nobody knows
I can not overstate it, I will be overjoyed

That smile on your face like a summer
The way that your hand keeps touching mine
Let me be the one to make it right

And maybe, maybe let me hold you baby
Let me come over I would tell you secrets nobody knows
I can not overstate it, I will be overjoyed

And if you want, we’ll share this life
Anytime you need a friend, I’m gonna be by your side
When nobody understands you, well I do

So maybe maybe, let me hold you baby
Let me come over I would tell you secrets God only knows
I can not over state it, I will be overjoyed
Baby let me come over I would tell you secrets nobody knows
I can not over state it, I will be overjoyed
Yeah I will be overjoyed,
Oh I will be overjoyed.

 

New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

Happy New Year! This article about New Year’s golf resolutions was originally published in View on Mesquite Magazine Jan/Feb 2016 issue. If you’re here to follow Doug’s progress, please keep checking back. Unfortunately, he had a medical setback that has delayed his resolutions so they could not begin January 1. But he’s determined to make a big comeback and get going on these ASAP!

Please join in and share your own resolutions or your thoughts/progress with those listed here.

golf ball 2016

New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

by Doug Lesko

 

It’s 2016 – Is this your year? Is this the year you stop smoking? Stop drinking? Lose 30 pounds? If you put your mind to it I have no doubt you could. Doesn’t sound like much fun to me though. I’m choosing to focus on golf in 2016; I want to take five shots off my game. By June I want to be a +2 handicap. It doesn’t matter what your goal is – breaking 100 or breaking 70 – a desire to get better is all you need. I’ll give you eight easy things everyone can do to make golf more fun.

 

  1. Stay hydrated.

This one is so easy and so important to playing good golf, especially in the desert. Staying hydrated is a daily requirement; your body needs water, and a lot of it. Drink a glass first thing in the morning, have a glass with every meal, and have 2 glasses between each meal. You’ll feel fuller and eat less.

 

  1. Eat healthy (most of the time).

I like food, most of it not very healthy. I like pizza, wings, mashed potatoes, cake, and bacon. To say I’ll stop eating the foods I love is unrealistic and sets me up for failure. I’ve found I also like salmon, tuna, chicken, sweet potatoes, salad, and many types of fruits and vegetables. If we can just eat healthy five or six days a week, a cheat day or two is acceptable.

 

  1. Stretch.

As we get older, our muscles start to shrink. We need to stretch every day, even if it’s just bending to touch our toes. Stretch your back, your arms, your shoulders, your legs, and your neck.

 

  1. Swing a club 100 times everyday.

Start with slow easy swings, make a full swing and proper weight shift. Lay another club on the ground and pay close attention to your alignment. You can use any club but switch it up from day to day. On the seventh day swing two clubs at once.

  1. Practice your putting.

You can do this anywhere – at the course or in your living room. Work on five to ten foot putts. Proper techniques are the first priority: straight back and straight through using your shoulders and keeping your hands still.

 

  1. Commit to at least one day a week at the range.

Go through odd number clubs one week, even the next. Always use alignment sticks or a club to make sure you are aligned square to the target. Hit the driver on each trip. Range balls do not fly as far as your normal ball, so don’t worry about distance. Focus on hitting the sweet spot on every shot. Technology has made the sweet spot bigger but it’s still very important to hit the center of the club for consistency. Finish with full swing wedges; again, make good contact and control the ball flight.

 

  1. Find a club you can chip with consistently.

Just because Jordan Spieth uses a 60° wedge doesn’t mean you have to. I prefer my 50°, while you might find an 8-iron to be your best fit. Whatever works for you, spend at least 20 minutes practicing chipping to inside a three foot circle.

 

  1. Get fit.

Playing with clubs that are too short, too long, too upright, too flat, or don’t have the proper shafts can cost you several strokes. Bring your clubs to Ready Golf and Gear and have them fit you for your swing. You might be playing the right clubs; you may just need your clubs bent to fit you. You may decide to get new clubs, but playing the right clubs fit for you is the only way to play your best golf.

 

I will be implementing these resolutions personally and blogging about it at thegolfchick.com. Feel free to follow along and share your process and progress with me.

 

Make 2016 your best golf year ever – go play!

Say No to Five Hour Rounds!

I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t play golf, but even more than that I don’t understand why some people that do play have no idea how to navigate a golf course. I don’t like five hour rounds. Correction – I hate five hour rounds. I’ve never heard anyone say “That round was way too fast. We need to slow down next time.”

All too often while waiting on the tee I see two carts sitting side by side up ahead. Three of the guys are sitting in the carts, one is on his phone, and one is telling the other guy about the birdie he made on this hole in ‘96 or ‘97. The 4th guy is standing next to his drive doing his best Tiger Woods grass toss, trying to figure out how this 2mph wind is going to affect his upcoming bladed 5 iron. Having decided it’s a two club, wind he pulls the 7. Now the fun begins: practice swing, practice swing, practice swing… no, wait. He’s only 210 out, 2mph downwind. It’s got to be the 8 – he saw Bubba hit this exact shot last week. The fact that he just ripped his driver 190 never enters his mind. Four more practice swings, this time with the 8, then pures it 70 yards. Still not out of our landing area, but on to player #2 where the show begins again then again and one more time. Unless the 2 players in one of the carts are women. Most women hit it then hit it again until they get to the green where they are lining up their putts while watching their husbands toss grass in the air.

Golf is hard, playing golf doesn’t have to be. Golf is a game where you police yourself and call penalties on yourself. Only you can speed up play – unless you are scared of those 90 year old volunteer rangers that most courses use now.

Here are a few easy things that everyone can do to make golf more enjoyable for everybody.

1. Play the right tees. Most scorecards have recommended tees based on handicaps. A better way may be to look at the holes on the card. You should be able to comfortably hit a 6 iron or less to most of the par 3’s and 4’s.

2. Practice on the range, play golf on the course. The only time I take practice swings on the course is when I’m trying to stay loose because I’m waiting, I have a difficult stance or lie, on chips to get a feel for the lie, or if I’m trying to hit a big draw or fade. Three or four practice swings on every shot just wastes time and wears you out.

3. If you’re the longer hitter in your cart, walk to your ball and get ready to hit while your partner is getting ready. Take a couple clubs with you; twenty seconds after your partner hits you should be pulling the trigger. Even if you grabbed the wrong clubs he can drive over and you’re ready to go.

4. Unless you’re playing in a tournament, play ready golf. Common decency tells you an eagle or birdie has honors, but any other time, hit at will. Same goes for around the green. If you have a 50+ foot putt and no one has made it to the flag to tend it, putt it if you’re ready. Chances are it’s not going in. If it does and you’re playing a friendly round, nobody’s going to make you take that penalty.

5. Be aware of your surroundings. Park the cart on the path at the back of the green. If you brought a club with you to chip, lay it at the back of the green after your chip so you can pick it up on your walk back to the cart. Start lining up your putt and fixing ball marks while others are putting as long as you can stay out of their line.

6. Write the scores down on the way to the next tee. No eagles or birdies? Grab your club and swing away.

*This post is a section taken from my “bio page” which is here.

Editor’s note: I had a discussion with some people on twitter yesterday after a 5+ hour round. Here are some ideas we threw around:

Golf courses – offer green fee discounts to people who play in less than 4 hours. Perhaps in rebate form, or in discount on their next round.

Public/private courses with members who don’t pay green fees? Maybe a discount on monthly minimums. Or, how about a rewards program/points card. Every time they play in less than four hours they get points towards money to spend in the pro shop.

Any course – Use your marshals to move people along! Also, implement a “wall of shame,” on which you display photos of players who take more than 5 hours a round.

But, since golf courses are like highways and one slow group causes a traffic jam, only penalize the first group that fell behind. This one’s tricky because you’d need a marshal out there to identify the offenders. And if he’s out there and didn’t speed them up – he’s the one who should be penalized! Offer a drink or something to the groups whose rounds were miserable behind them.

Other ideas? Please share in the comments! :) – Kristen @thegolfchick

 

Train Your Aim – Putting Gadget Review

Review of the Train Your Aim putting aid by @protipsgolf 

train your aim 

I’ve never been a big gadget guy – I use tour stix and chalk lines. Train your Aim works on the same principle as chalk lines but is much easier to set up. I recommend drawing a line on the ball even if you don’t normally.

I started as the easy to follow directions instructed – by hitting putts of 18 inches then moved to 3 feet then to 5. I stopped when I got to 8 feet. Obviously you can’t use this during play; the idea is to train or eyes to know what a perfect setup looks like.

Practice with this, start and end your pregame warmup with Train your Aim and you’ll be surprised at how many putts you make. Commit to an hour a week even if it’s at home on a rug. You will become a better putter. The plastic seems durable but I would like to see a pro version maybe made of aluminum and more adjustable so you can customize it for your putter.

Bottom line: for a price less than a sleeve of ProV1’s you can easily take 3 or 4 shots off your score. The Train your Aim will still be in your bag long after those 3 ProV1’s have moved on to their new home in the desert.
Log onto www.trainyouraim.com and order yours today!

 

train your aim batmantrain your aim blade

Coyote Springs Golf Course Review – Update

This is an update/addition to the previous review of Coyote Springs.

coyote springs golf

We played Coyote Springs again on Sunday 8/9/15 at 8:10 AM.

Summer golf in the desert can be challenging. Most courses are very dry with many brown spots throughout the course including the greens. What grass there is often is much longer to help keep it alive in the heat. Coyote Springs could host a TOUR event next week. The greens were a little slower than usual. To be honest, that made them slightly easier to putt than the winter TOUR speed we’ve become used to (not as much fun to putt; please don’t ever change).

I asked the Assistant Pro, Doug, how they keep course in such great shape. He gave all the credit to the Superintendent and the best staff in Nevada. Most courses in Mesquite cut staff way back in the summer and those that are working act like they would rather be anywhere else. Not the case here, the customer service was outstanding as always.

Two things I saw Sunday blew my mind:
First, huge coolers filled with bottled water between 6 of the holes. Some courses charge $4.00 a bottle – it’s the desert.

water cooler

Second, they walk-mow the greens. I talked to the greens staff and was told it takes about 40 minutes to cut an average green.

walk-mow coyote springs

 

The course is wonderful and the layout is tremendous, but it’s the little things Coyote Springs and next week’s #2 course do that keep us coming back.

*Editor/golfchick’s notes:
Regarding the water on course – many desert courses opt for providing jugs of iced tap water on every other hole.
Regarding customer service – the awesome customer service at Coyote Springs is the friendly variety, not the kind that feels corporate mandated.

The Best Golf Course in Mesquite

#1 – Coyote Springs Golf Club
The number 1 course in Mesquite is not really in Mesquite, but in a town called Coyote Springs, half way between Mesquite and Las Vegas. The town of Coyote Springs is home to a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course called The Coyote Springs Golf Club. There are only two Jack Nicklaus signature courses in the state of Nevada (the other one is Reflection Bay in Vegas), and to me, they’re both must-plays.

Coyote Springs

 

The golf course makes up the entire town – no houses, no restaurants, no hotels, not even a gas station. That may seem strange but you’ll get it once you’ve been there; Coyote Springs is all about the golf. Stretching out to almost 7500 yards, this course plays every bit of that. If that’s too much (as it is for me), other tees range from 6800 to 5300. Surrounded by mountains, the views are breathtaking without the extreme amount of blind tee shots that seem to be prevalent on desert courses. Everything is right in front of you, all you have to do is hit the right shot.

I’ve played this course many times and in many different conditions, and the course has been in perfect shape every time. The practice facilities are by far the best in the area. Two negatives: First, no clubhouse. The plans for the clubhouse and another 18 were put on hold after the real estate bubble burst. The makeshift clubhouse (2 trailers) works just fine. They have balls, hats, shirts, snacks, and beer. Not sure what else you’d need. Besides, the outstanding customer service more than makes up for it. The second is a pet peeve of mine – no GPS. Not a huge deal to locals who play the course frequently and know where the sprinkler heads are, but first timers may have to spend a little extra time finding yardages. Bottom line, play this course. Even if you are staying in Vegas – play this course. High season prices are in the $140 range and summer rates are as low as $60, plus Clark County residents discounts are even more generous. Coyote Springs would be a great deal at twice the price. Any player from a scratch golfer to a beginner can find a set of tees to play from and experience a tour quality course for a very reasonable price.

Coyote Springs

Contact;
1-877-742-8455
www.coyotesprings.com
@CoyoteSpringsGo

Check our Mesquite Golf page for more reviews of golf courses in Mesquite, Nevada.

Golf in Mesquite Nevada

Mesquite Golf According to Doug

Mesquite, Nevada is a small town 80 miles NE of Las Vegas. Many of the same amenities available in Vegas are also available in Mesquite. There are casinos, restaurants, great winter weather and hot summer days. Mesquite doesn’t have the nonstop 24 hour party, mind numbing noise, or bumper to bumper traffic of Vegas. Mesquite offers 7 championship courses all within a 15 minute ride from anywhere. Also the best course you can play is a hassle free 50 minute drive. I’m a local and spend my weeks talking to tourists and locals about golf. All the courses are extremely player friendly with yardages ranging from over 7400 from the tips to less than 4500 from the reds. Don’t call the reds “the ladies tees.” The Golfchick is all lady and the only time she sees the red tees is when she starts her stinger 3 wood on that line. All of Mesquite’s courses are worth the trip, especially when it’s 10 below at home. With the exception of number 1 on the list, I will rank the courses in order according to golf course conditions, playability, customer service, and treatment of locals. If you’re planning a trip to Mesquite I hope this helps. If you need more information tweet me @protipsgolf, leave a comment here, or contact The Golfchick at kristen (at) thegolfchick.com.

Starting next week I will review a new course each week in order from best to worst according to me (for whatever that’s worth). For now, here’s my take on our town’s most famous course:

Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek Golf Club is the most well-known course in the area. For all of Mesquite’s 1st or 2nd time visitors, Wolf Creek is a must play. Bring your camera and leave your driver in the car. The views and the conditions are spectacular; it’s extremely easy to get caught up in the surroundings and lose focus on the golf. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. At 6300 yards and numerous downhill shots calling it short would be kind. The course can stretch out to over 6900 from the tips, but those tees markers are rarely put out. The service is good – the bare minimum of what you would expect from green fees in the $200 range in season and $85 in the summer. The Terrace Restaurant has casual dining as well as fine food with an extensive wine list. Wolf Creek offers no discounts to locals and seems content with making this almost exclusively a tourist destination. Playing Wolf Creek at least once should be on everyone’s golf bucket list.

Club contact 866-252-4653
Reservations@golfwolfcreek.com

Editor’s note: Keep an eye on our Mesquite Golf page for links and updates to Doug’s course reviews.