National PGA Teacher of the Year is headliner at 2015 West Michigan Golf Show

For me, the annual West Michigan Golf Show and the Michigan Golf Show in Novi signal the beginning of the end of winter.  After being shut in under snow for weeks on end, it’s great to head to a convention center and take in acres of golf equipment, apparel, gadgets, travel exhibits, and instruction. There’s always a buzz in the air.

This year, the West Michigan Golf Show will feature national PGA Teacher of the Year Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen as the headliner. Goldersleeve-Jensen, the first woman to win the honor, is the owner and director of instruction at KGJ Golf at Indian Canyon GC in Spokane Washington.

Previous show headliners have included: Rockford (MI) native Todd Anderson, Mike Bender, Jim Flick, Hank Haney, Mike Hebron, Kay McMahon (LPGA), DeDe Owens (LPGA), Bill Strausbaugh, Charlie Sorrell, and Gary Wiren.

“Looking at the impressive roster of past headliners at the West Michigan Golf Show, I’m both thrilled and honored to be part of the 2015 show,” said Gildersleeve-Jensen, who started playing golf at age nine and was inspired by her parents, both accomplished players. “I have a passion for teaching golf that includes swing fundamentals, video analysis and properly fitted equipment.  In Grand Rapids, I’ll be touching on those lessons as well as encouraging audience feedback.”

The show’s hours are Friday, February 13 from 2 - 9 pm; Saturday, February 14 from 10 am - 7 pm and; Sunday, February 15 from 10 am - 5 pm.

Complete press release follows:


January 26, 2015 |  Category: Michigan Golf
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Switchgrips—An Interesting Idea


In a world of adjustable clubs, the Switchgrip may offer the first adjustable grip.

It is actually a pretty clever idea. The grip slides on and off an inner sleeve, allowing a player to change grips at will. Want to match your grip to your outfit. It’s easy with this setup.

The grip also lets a player adjust the weighting, with the addition of 0 to 5 gram, 10 gram, 15 gram and 20 gram weights.

The Switchgrip recently won a best new product designation at the PGA Merchandise Show.

January 26, 2015 |  Category:
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Haggis, Neeps, Tatties and Scotch Eggs

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties!

The main components of a Burns Supper are traditional Scottish fare of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (Turnips and Potatoes).


Haggis was described by Robert Burns as the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race.” It’s composed of sheep’s lungs, liver and heart; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours.

One scotch egg (No jar of Marmite)

Scotch eggs, on the other hand, were possibly invented by a London Department store in 1738. So in spite of the name, likely not Scottish. In fact, some sources say it may be an import from British India.

January 25, 2015 |  Category: History
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Scotch Cocktail For Burns Night: The Rusty Nail

imageJanuary 25th is “Burns Night,” in which the birth of Scotland’s poet laureate Robert Burns is celebrated. The actual Burns Night celebration is quite formal, but if you just want to raise a glass to the bard ...

Unadulterated glasses of Scotch are always best, but if you want a cocktail, try the classic Rusty Nail:

Rusty Nail Cocktail Recipe
2 Ounces of Scotch
1 Ounce of Drambuie
1 dash of bitters

You won’t want to mix your really expensive Scotch, though. For a Scotch that’s priced reasonably enough for mixing, try the Black Grouse.

Photo courtesy Christopher Volkman via Flickr

January 25, 2015 |  Category:
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The Burns Supper

imageLong before I played golf, I was a fan of Scotland. As a kid, my parents had Scottish friends, the Watts, who were in the US on a teacher exchange. Charles taught shop and attended church in his kilt. Christina was often our babysitter. She always encouraged me to go to Scotland, saying that the Scottish lasses would find my black hair and eyes attractive.

I also was a huge fan of monsters—such as the one that resides on Loch Ness; and of castles, of which Scotland has plenty. I played plenty of D&D as a teen.

My Grandfather, although of Welsh extraction, was a West Virginia University Professor of forensics (speech), who could quote innumerable poets from memory—among those, Scotland’s Poet Laureate, Robert Burns. And each year, he would attend a Robert Burns Supper (as well as a Friday the 13th Dinner, but that is a tale for another time).

Burns Suppers are celebrated on the poet’s birthday on January 25. During these, poems are read, haggis is served and Scotch (another of the land’s contributions to civilization) is consumed.

Burns Suppers follow a standard format:

The begin with the Piping Of The Guests: In which the guests arrive and mix.

This is followed by the Welcome and Grace:In which the participants are seated, and the Selkirk Grace is said. Although attributed to Burns, the Selkirk Grace probably predates it:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.

Dinner is of traditional Scottish fare, highlighted by a haggis. The arrival of the main course is accompanied by great ceremony. All of the participants stand while the cook brings the dish on a large platter. Bagpipres are played and the host recites “Address To A Haggis”

Fair fa’ (fat) your honest,
sonsie (jolly) face,

Great chieftain o’ the

Aboon (above) them a’ ye
tak your place

Painch (stomach), tripe or
thairm (intestine)

Weel are ye wordy
o’ a grace

As laing’s my arm.

The groaning
trencher (bowl) there ye fill

Your hurdles (buttocks) like a
distant hill,

Your pin wad help to
mend a mill

In time o’ need.

While thro’ your
pores the dews distil

His knife see rustic
Labour dicht (sharpened)

An’ cut you up wi’
ready slicht (skill)

Trenching your
gushing entrails

Like ony ditch;

And then, O what a
glorious sicht (sight)

Warm-reekin, rich.

Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an’ strike

Deil (devil) tak the
hindmaist! On they

Til a’ their
weel-swall’d (swollen) kytes

Are bend like drums;

Then auld Guidman (goodman; husband)
maist like to rive (tear)

Bethankit hums.

Is there that o’re his
French ragout

Or olio (stew) that wad
staw a sow

Or fricassee wad
make her spew

Wi’ perfect scunner (disgust)

Looks down wi’
sneering, scornfu’

On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him
ower his trash

As feckless as a withere’d rash
His spindle shank, a guid

His nieve (fist) a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, Haggis
The trembling earth resounds
his tread

Clap in his wallie (mighty) nieve a
He’ll mak it whistle;

An’ legs a’ arms, an’ heads
will sned (cut off)
Like taps o’ thistle

Ye Pow’rs wha mak manikind
your care
And dish them out their bill o’

Auld Scotland wants nae
skinkin ware (watery soup)
That jaups (slops) in luggies (bowls);
But, if ye wish her gratefu’
Gie her a haggis!

Following the cutting of the Haggis, supper is eaten. This typically consists of solid Scottish fare, including potatoes, and turnips.

Speeches follow the supper, in which one or more guests issue a remembrance of Burns life and poetry. This is known as “The Immortal Memory.”

The Memory typically is followed by a “Toast to the Lassies,” in which a male guest thanks the women who cooked the meal and offers some commentary on the fairer sex. The rejoinder is the “Reply to the Laddies,”

Finally, there are recitations of Burns’ poetry and the singing of songs.

The evening ends with closing remarks and the guests singing Auld Lang Syne:

For auld lang syne (times long ago), my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp (pay for)
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes, (hills)
And pou’d the gowans fine, (pulled daisies)
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn (creek)
Frae morning sun till dine, (noon)
But seas between us braid hae roar’d (wide)
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty fiere, (friend)
And gie’s a hand o thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught, (drink)
For auld lang syne.

I’d love to attend a Burns Supper some day.

Not sure I’d eat the haggis, however. It sounds revolting.

January 25, 2015 |  Category: History
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Saris Cycling Sucks At Customer Service

Recently, a small plastic strap on a Saris bicycle rack for my car broke. Thinking it would be a simple fix, I found the piece on the website priced at a reasonable $4. Then I discovered that the shipping and handling on this part is $10—more than twice the cost of the part.

So I contacted their “customer service” to complain. Here was their response:

Thanks for contacting Saris Cycling Group. I do apologize that we are not able to ship that part out at a lower cost. As a manufacturer we don’t do a lot of direct shipments, so are small parts have a flat rate to cover processing and shipping. If you only need one part, you may want to look to your local Saris dealer and they will likely be able to help you get that piece at a lower cost. Let me know if you have any other questions.

In other words, customer service is an annoying expense, and we don’t care.

My local bike stores told me that they only order from Saris once or twice a year (I wonder why ...) and it would be several months before they placed another order.

My recommendation: Don’t buy anything from Saris.

January 25, 2015 |  Category: Equipment
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Gull Lake View East Video Tour and Review

The Gull Lake courses (which include Gull Lake View East and West, Stonehedge North and South and Bedford Valley) are among my favorite southern Michigan courses. Read the complete Gull Lake View East review here.

January 23, 2015 |  Category: CoursesMichigan Golf
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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