Thursday, December 20, 2007

As posted on

I truly don't know who or what to believe, but i know the following to be true.

- every player in the last 20 years who HAS NEVER USED hgh, steroids or any performance-enhancing susbstance will ultimately have their statistics, accolades, etc... brought into question.

And unfortunately, this is unfair to the players (past, present & future) who stay clean and don't use.

Take the case of some members of the Chicago White Sox, who in 2003, considered refusal to the testing policies at that juncture, as a method of protest for more stringent testing measures:

Obviously, this would have caused a rift in the MLBPA and nothing ever came of it. But what the White Sox were saying at the time was something very prophetic.

Aside from understanding the negative side-effects of steroid/hormone use, they understood that a un-level playing field goes against the integrity & ethical grain of our National Pastime, something that is undeniably above their statistics and accolades.

Unfortunately, there seemed to be little or no action to address the issue then. To sit here and determine culpability between the players, the owners, Commissioner Selig or other parties is futile. Sure, there are more serious penalties now and all sides recognize how drastic the situation has become.

But what's done is done. And because the actions of a few people, the integrity of the greater good now comes into question.

Had this issue been addressed years ago, perhaps when the White Sox quietly protested, a lot of embarrasment could have been avoided.


Monday, December 10, 2007

A Not-So Open Letter To A Douchebag

I usually don’t rant about my personal life on this site, but I’m in dire need of a therapeutic and cathartic release, and hence, I must write.

This past weekend in Phoenix, my rental car was broken into and a shoulder bag was stolen through the rear driver’s side window. I was out on the golf course 3-putting every hole during the theft (no joke). I have since filed a report with the Phoenix Police Department about both crimes.

Before I go any further and before you open your mouth… I know I shouldn’t have left the bag in the back seat, where it may be visible to a local ne’er-do-well, looking for his jollies in the name of Vandalism and Theft. Lesson learned. But I’m telling the story, here.

Inside the shoulder bag were the following contents:

*My girlfriend’s laptop
*An external wireless modem
*A copy of the E-Myth Revisited by Richard Berger
*A copy of Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
*My headphones
*5 DVDs
*The keys to me & my girlfriend's apartment (proper grammar?)

I itemize these things as a reminder to myself and everyone else that ultimately, these are simply items that can be replaced. I have updated any and all passwords that have been previously used on that laptop. Even that’s tolerable.

But do you notice how ‘My Journal’ is capped and bolded. I sure hope you do because it is this single item that I miss the most, for I truly feel my soul is in the hands of some pockmarked, Crus-tachioed, pasty-faced, needle-dick of a youngling, barely out of Middle School.

Truth be told, I may never find you or know your face.

But in some cosmic universe, if it ever occurs, I will cast you to a country where they castrate people for stealing things that don’t rightfully belong to them. Someplace like Turkmenistan, Venezuela or Detroit.

Once there I will hope you try to steal something again, for the authorities will find that in your case, castration is simply the tip of the iceberg.

Your tongue will be ripped from your mouth and a continuous slurry of Prickly Pear Cactus-fed, cattle feces is pumped into your digestive tract.

And I’ll still be putting a peg under it, teeing off, and writing about it afterwards.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Avoid The Pines and punch the clock

The Pines Golf Club at Marana
8480 N. Contintental Links Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85743
(866) PINES-18

When one thinks of the word ‘quarry’, the notion of a golf course usually doesn’t follow. However, some genius thought that building a Golden Tee-esque, 6300-yard course at the bottom of a rock pit was a good idea. They were wrong.

Moreover, you can’t build a multi-million dollar golf course with thousands of dollars and it seems that what The Pines is trying to do. Although the course has been open for at least a year, there are still cart paths that need to be paved, construction around the course impedes upon the layout and the drainage system, for lack of a better term, sucks.

Don’t bother using your driver because the holes are narrow with little room for slice/hook leakage; precise shot placement is a must. It’s proximity between I-10 and the Tucson Mountain Range can make the course extremely windy and for $60, it’s not worth the price.

Surprisingly, the greens and fairways are well maintained, but make no mistake… the Pines is misleading and disingenuous to the game of golf and the people that play. From the outside, the Pines looks like a mansion. But up close, it’s a crack den.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

National Pride

Arizona National (formerly The Raven)
9777 E. Sabino Greens Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85749
(520) 749-3636

This Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design (and the University of Arizona’s home course) is one of many plush courses you’ll find nestled within the Catalina Foothills. Although it’s not hotel or resort-based like that of its nearby neighbors (Westin La Paloma, Loews Ventana Canyon), this course provides challenging desert golf at a reasonable price (under $80, before the high season) and encompasses the same golfing experience as the aforementioned resorts.

The 9s differ, as the front plays notably shorter and narrower than the back, so you’ll have to play some well-positioned finesse golf before making the turn and ripping it. If you’ve ever dreamed of driving a golf ball off the top of the Sears Tower, you can realize said dream on holes #5 & #18, both of which overlook the clubhouse from a well-elevated tee.

Back story on the 18th hole: In the mid-90s, during a Pac-10 match, Tiger Woods (then a standout golfer at Stanford) drove to the rock in the middle of the lake about 370 yards away. After dropping and taking a penalty stroke, he went up and down for birdie.

Desert Golf… an essay.

If you ever have the chance to play golf in a desert and/or a desert-like mountainous region, I highly suggest doing so if for nothing more than a learning experience of playing a different type of golf; one that’s different than the customary wooded Country Club or that wide-open hacker track where every par-4 is less than 300 yards. No, this is different.

The desert has plenty of natural beauty as much as golf in the desert has natural pitfalls, so a few reminders for those who wish to go to Palm Springs or Scottsdale for their golf trip… and have never done so before.

Gravity, especially near a mountain range, is a force of nature to be reckoned with. Thus, any shot going away from the mountains is downhill and vice versa (towards the mountains is uphill). But a downhill putt towards the mountains is at the very most, level, if not uphill. Does this help any?

The desert is a hazard and can be hazardous. If you’re unlucky (and believe me, you are) your ball will spray left and right and end up in the brush. So when you find your $7.00 Titleist Pro-V 1 ball near the Prickly Pear cactus, use a club or a ball retriever to avoid thorns in your hands.

If you see a Bobcat crouching down near a tree, don’t bother telling the nearby Jack Rabbit that it’s about to be eaten.

Avoid walking or carrying your clubs in the desert, your ancestors probably walked through the desert enough. Besides, any desert course worth its salt won’t allow you to do so. If you want to walk, simply go for a hike and leave your clubs at home. You’ll lose fewer balls that way.

Speaking of balls, you will lose plenty, so buy ‘em cheap and in bulk if you can. There’s nothing worse than the schmuck who paid more money for his dozen golf balls than the round, and ended up losing all of them.

Don’t worry about hitting nearby homes with an errant shot. Chances are, the owners are snowbirds and aren’t home anyway.

Courses in resort towns (Palm Springs, Scottsdale, etc…) change their price according to the season. The ‘High’ season is usually from December 15 to May 15 and greens fees usually double during this period. So be sure to check all rate schedules for desert courses.

If you find this aggravating, you can always take up macramé.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Slow times, cold times

I'm in a regrouping phase right now. Believe me... more to come.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Andies starts, doesn't finish.

Andies Restaurant
5253 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 784-8616

Amongst the remaining Swedish blue & yellow laden store fronts of Andersonville is Andies Restaurant. A full menu of Greek & Middle Eastern dishes, table-ready house wine and friendly service awaits you.

Of course, feel free to start with some fresh Baba Ganoush & Falafel. In fact, parties or Four or more may do better by ordering ‘tapas’style, for the appetizers are truly fresh and savory. The entrees however are nothing to write home about. The Shawerma was a tad chewy and overdone, while the stuffed artichoke tasted like it was leftover from the previous evening’s dinner.

Andies also has a Lakeview location at 1467 W. Montrose Ave., about 8-9 blocks due South and one block West of Clark St.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Bears hibernate. Your game doesn't have to.

White Pines Golf Dome
500 West Jefferson Ave.
Bensenville, IL 60106
(630) 766-0304

When golf season ends in the Midwest, most golfers will accept it with quiet dignity and forget about their game until the first decent day of Spring. It doesn’t have to be this way. The White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville is only about 30-40 minutes from downtown Chicago and 5-10 minutes from O’Hare Airport.

Open 7am to 11pm daily (from November 1st to May 1st) the Dome measures 100 yds. x 100 yds. x 100 yds. (width x height x depth) with 50 practice stalls on two-levels. Practice your short game and aim for one of the three target greens, or take out your Driver and aim for one of the dotted flags hanging down. Lessons available by appointment.

The Dome’s practice tee is run on hourly rates; $10/hr on weekdays, $12/hr on weekends. You can also purchase a $35 member pass for discounted rates. No clubs? No problem. Used clubs and demos are available to rent. And if you’re really Jonesing for golf, White Pines has a computerized simulator.

Be ready for next summer and hit the Dome at White Pines.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Surfing the ironing board?

I’d like to use a quote from screenwriter/director Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights) who described the screenwriting process as, “…ironing. You move forward a little bit and go back and smooth things out.”1

That pretty much describes where I am right now with this ‘thang’ known as In Between 18. It kind of feels like when a surfer has no waves to surf, but the surfer must occupy their time with something like board shaping or exercise, something related to their passion and yet keeps them limber and ready.

Bear with me. There’s more to come.


1 Eszterhas, Joe; The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter As God (hardback); p. 170; 2006-1st ed.; St. Martin's Press

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We all go through it...

Blockage. No content. Nothing to write about. But we still have to keep the baby fed.

More to come.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Sirloin on Madison

Third Rail Tavern
1133 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 432-9107

Friendly and comfortable, the Third Rail Tavern has seemingly everything you would want in a neighborhood bar. Located about 6 blocks East of the United Center, it’s the perfect stop for a bite pre-Bulls/Blackhawks game.

Stick to the Sliders as an appetizer or go for the Tavern Burger, both are made from fresh ground sirloin. The sandwiches (notably the Turkey Club) are so-so at best and look like they were made at White Hen. Check the sign outside the front door for daily specials.

The bar is spacious and well ventilated. Metered parking available in the surrounding area, although parking in the West Loop is always scarce.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chicago's New Original & Best?

Piece Pizzeria & Brewery
1927 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 772-4422

About a block East of the Bucktown/Wicker Park epicenter is a pizza joint in every sense of the word. Aside from the customary Chicago diet staples of pizza & beer, Piece offers live music every Friday with Karaoke & Live Band Karaoke on Thursdays & Saturdays respectively.

But with three distinct styles of pizza, Piece has figuratively taken pizza outside the box. A “Red” pizza is served with the traditional tomato sauce & mozzarella. A “Plain” pizza is w/out cheese and a “White” pizza is w/out tomato sauce; plenty of toppings to choose from as well as gourmet toppings like clams and banana peppers. House Brewer Jonathan Cutler brings his 9-years of brewing experience and TLC to each of Piece’s award-winning draft beers. If you like the brew that much, take home a 64 oz. Growler of your favorite.

Whether you eat your ‘zza in the spacious bar (Plenty of Hi-Def TVs) or carry out, make Piece your new pizza destination in Chicago.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Canadian Wind, oh so cold...

It all looked good on High of 63 & Sunny.

In an attempt to maximize every last minute of playable golf weather, I patiently sat through morning traffic on the Ike today in order to make it out for a 9am tee time at Cantigny (Wheaton, IL).

Now let me backtrack a bit. I mentioned that it all looked good on What I neglected to see or perhaps discredited altogether was the 15-20 mph wind out of the Northeast. For those that are not meteorologically inclined, a wind from the Northeast is one cold MOFO.

Coming down from our friendly Canadian jetstream, a Northeast wind tends to make play hard on the body and the course. The extremities tend to go numb, the golf club can vibrate on poorly hit shots and can sting the hands. And even though the wind is out of the Northeast, it still blows the ball in all sorts of directions.

Back to Cantigny, I stood like a shivering moron on the first tee and squeezed off a good shot, straight through the fairway and into some high grass. I was in my car and back on the Ike faster than a cop at a Krispy Kreme. I sat through traffic and finally made it back to my apartment. I came in from the cold and JP had made a pot of coffee.

I poured a cup. It never tasted so good.

And then it struck me. Golf season is all but over in this town.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sammiches Galore!

Jerry’s Sandwiches
1938 W. Division Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-1006

You may have to take your time in deciding exactly what to eat at Jerry’s. There are 100 sandwich combinations on the menu, each named after a friend of the owner’s or an employee of the establishment. If you don’t trust the name or the sandwich, you can opt for the ‘Milton F’, which entails your specific combination of meats, cheeses, bread and garnishes (over 70 ingredients to choose from).

Wash your sandwich down with your choice of the best microbrews that North America has to offer. On draft or by the bottle, be sure to read through the lengthy descriptions that Jerry’s offers on their drink menu so that your beer choice complements your sandwich. Various Martinis and other cocktails available.

Jerry’s also has a location in the West Loop (1045 W. Madison) near the United Center, making it perfect for a Bulls/Blackhawks pre-game bite. An upscale atmosphere with a gourmet twist on an American lunchtime fave makes Jerry’s a destination for all ages.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another Busy Saturday...

Means that I'll have more in the very near future. I'm looking to see how the golf is in warmer areas and last minute flights out of MDW and ORD. Do spontaneity and golf mix? In my world they do.

More to come.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Diamond Dave is back!!!

Van Halen
Allstate Arena
Rosemont, IL
October, 16, 2007

I’m not going to write and tell the reader that the Van Halen concert was the music event of the year, but then again maybe you wouldn’t get it. Not unless you understand why David Lee Roth is someone who can still make you smile at the very sight of his.

Everyone at the Allstate Arena was treated to a two-hour, 20 odd-song mixed set of Van Halen’s radio friendliness and obscure rock anthems. Alex Van Halen came to the office and never lost a beat, sweating through a mid-set drum solo that brought the house down. Sixteen year-old Wolfgang Van Halen (son of Eddie) more than held his own, even with Roth seemingly patronizing the kid onstage. Eddie Van Halen was timeless, shirtless with cropped hair, blazing his way through the set with driving force and his signature hammer-on solos.

But back to Dave. Seeing DLR ham it up on stage was great, even though the voice has lost an octave or two and the leg kicks reek of lower back pains. Dave got most of the lyrics right throughout the evening, but when the words to ‘Dance The Night Away’ eluded him, even he had to smile at the folly of it all.

For this reunion was seemingly never supposed to happen.

Yet there they were, Dave and Eddie hugging and displaying amity for the crowd. The fans rocking out to their favorite VH tune. The drums were loud. The guitars were louder. The lights were bright. The air reeked of kind bud. The only thing that seemed out of place was the exorbitant ticket price.

But just to see Dave, it was worth every penny.

Set List (Unofficial)

You Really Got Me
Show Your Love
Running With The Devil
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Beautiful Girls
Dance The Night Away
Everybody Wants Some
So This Is Love
Mean Streets
Pretty Woman
Drum Solo (Alex)
I’ll Wait
And The Cradle Will Rock
Hot For Teacher
Little Dreamer
Jamie’s Crying
Ice Cream Man

Ain’t Talking About Love

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Birthplace of Golf Is In... West Chicago?

St. Andrews Golf & Country Club ($$)
3N441 Il Route 59
West Chicago, IL 60185
(630) 231-3100

Part of the Jemsek-Hinckley Golf Facility family, St. Andrews Golf and Country Club’s 36 holes will test even the most seasoned golfer with its rolling, wooded fairways. Both courses play relatively straight up but its swales and hilly, narrow approaches can muck even the straightest of shots. Each 18-hole course, St. Andrews and Lakewood, are both well maintained for their age (designed in 1926 and 1929, respectively), each retaining the wooded native beauty of the area.

The practice area boasts a full pro-shop and a sizable driving range with ample space on the grass tees for that full pre-round stretch, Plush chipping and putting areas just a cart ride away. Friendly service, a full bar & restaurant awaits you in the clubhouse for that post-round meal. St. Andrews also caters/specializes in golf outings, to which I can personally attest as being first rate.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What Is In Between 18 #2

Remember, this ever-evolving thing called 'In Between 18'?

Sometimes, epiphanies happen in the strangest of places, like the shower. You know the shower. We sing like nobody’s around when we’re in there and ideas come to us in moments of “Alas” and “Eureka”. Right around the part where I got shampoo in my eye during a stirring acapella rendition of Saint Dominics Preview, another idea came to me.

In Between 18 is:

A place where you can find my writings and reviews of golf courses, eateries, cultural points of interest and the like.

A place where you can find me.

A place where you can you can agree and/or disagree with me and my opinions, statements and other remarks.

A place where you can tell me where to go, even if I’ve been there before.

Uncle Julio's is Cerca De Everything

Uncle Julio’s Hacienda
855 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 604-8769

Border-style Mexican food is pretty easy to find around the city, but Uncle Julio’s Hacienda certainly makes a case for convenience. Its location to various big name retailers (Crate & Barrel, Banana Republic, Best Buy, et al) and Chicago’s famous Steppenwolf Theater makes this casual eatery a good place to eat and run.

The tortillas are made fresh daily and the chips are so light they nearly melt in your mouth. Various combination plates of tacos, enchiladas and tamales are available, as well as a wide selection of entrees like the Costillas (mesquite smoked pork ribs). Uncle Julio’s has a steady flow of frozen margaritas to choose from, or you can customize your own.

Plenty of space of larger parties (call ahead for availability). It can get a little crowded at times, so plan accordingly.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Autumn Chill

The last few chilly days have effectively brought autumn to Chicago after a heat spell brought hordes of LaSalle Bank marathon runners to their knees. You would have to go Mardi Gras to find more people passed out on the pavement.

But the cold weather is bringing the Chicagoland area golf season to a close. It’ll be back indoors if we want to practice and play. There are a handful of golf domes surrounding the area and there’s always a simulator at the local golf outfitter or Dave & Buster’s.

For me, I will be using my Wonder-Twin powers (work with me on this one, people) to make myself into a goose and fly south for the winter… for more golf. Ah, it's but a destination down the road. I am still amidst moving in to my new apartment and trying to get things off the floor and onto shelves, moving crap from one end of the apartment to the other. It all seems monotonous and never-ending

There is something to look forward to this weekend, aside from football on Sunday. I’ve got a scramble coming up on Saturday, which makes for another course review.

More to come.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I've Been A Bit Remiss

I just moved into my new place and things need to be organized. It’s a long, arduous and necessary process. Golfing and reviewing have taken a back seat, for now. Bear with me, more to come.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bring Your Appetite For Destruction

Kuma’s Corner
2900 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 604-8769

Established in 2005, Kuma’s quickly staked claim to Chicago’s best, if not most intriguing burger; a unique gastro-experience starting with a ½ lb. of ground Black Angus on a pretzel roll, with a plethora of head banging combinations. The food literally rocks. Bring out your inner Lemmy with the Motorhead (w/ goat cheese, kalamata olives, oregano, tzatziki, onion & tomato), or go for the Kuma Burger (named after the owner’s pet Akita) with bacon, cheddar and topped with a fried egg. Chicken breast and Garden burgers can be substituted for beef and a side salad can be substituted for fries/chips, proving you don’t have to be a carnivore to rock, there’s something for all. Plenty of beers by the bottle and on draft, Jack Daniels on tap.

With heavy metal blaring from the speakers, tattooed staff and fiery grill, Kuma’s industrial ambience is a nice alternative to the Sunday brunch lot.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Learning On The Road

I had never stayed in Bed & Breakfast before, until this past Tuesday. I can’t even begin to tell you how dirty it was.

Not the B&B so much. My room was a bit garish and a couple of spiders lingered in the Jacuzzi tub, but it was a nice room altogether. It would be a hoot if I were here with my girlfriend or spouse.

And then the light went on in my head. And then I realized that it was I who felt dirty. A single guy at a place geared towards couples. Needless to say, I turned in early. The next day at breakfast felt very awkward between myself and two other married couples in their 50s. The silence was deafening as I tried to focus on eating a breakfast of microwaved sausage, rubbery potato pancakes and scrambled eggs with little bits that looked like Styrofoam particles.

I was out the door and on the road faster than you can say check out. And I’ll stick to hotels and flophouses.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Flying Colors at White Hawk

White Hawk County Club ($$)
1001 White Hawk Drive
Crown Point, IN 46307
(219) 661-2323

About 60-70 minutes Southeast of downtown Chicago is a blitzkrieg of lakes, wetlands and fescue known as White Hawk Country Club. Each 9 (color designated Grey, Black, Red & Silver) is a challenging par 36, with water reachable on 28 of 36 holes. Silver Hawk measures the longest at just over 3,700 yards. The course is well maintained, especially the various multi-tiered and raised greens. The slick, manicured dance floors can spell 3-putt if you’re not smart with your approach shots.

If you’re between a 8-15 hanidcap, think twice about playing from the tips. Grey Hawk #4, a par-5, measures at 620 yards. The back-to-back par 5s on Black Hawk can give you back-to-back snowmen. This course is testy, so hackers shouldn’t feel too bad if they feel the need to move forward a bit, because it may save golf balls and frustration.

White Hawk is worth the drive and will put your golf game to a serious test… bring your ammo.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Valpo's Gem

The Course at Aberdeen ($$)
245 Tower Road
Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 462-5050

Opened in 1997, this spacious course is laid out amongst rolling, breezy hills with a mix of native forest and marsh filling out the landscape, as well as providing some hazards. Water comes into play on 12 out of 18 holes, but hackers shouldn’t be daunted as there is decent relief at the forward tees.

The 12th and 13th holes certainly make for an interesting round. The 408-yard, par-4 12th has a split fairway with a partially hidden green; club choice is important at the tee box. The 300-yard, par-4 13th will have bigger hitters trying for the green in one, but the right-side lake can and will make the eagle dream die.

Wide open fairways and negotiable rough makes The Course at Aberdeen appealing to those still trying to straighten out their snap hooks and leaky slices. It’s about 60-70 minutes from downtown Chicago, but its plush fairways, well-maintained greens and attractive scenery make Aberdeen worth the drive.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Going golfing soon...

I'll have more to write then.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Short Course at a Short Distance

Wilmette Golf Club ($$)
3900 Fairway Drive (Lake Ave. at Harms Rd.)
Wilmette, IL 60091
(847) 256-9777

Opened in 1922, Wilmette’s wide open layout and relatively short track (6,400 yards from the tips) is enticing for those wanting to ‘grip it and rip it.’

The tree-lined fairways can force some rescue shots, but the shallow rough and adjacent fairways won’t punish you either. There aren’t many dog-legged fairways, water comes into play on only 6 hole and there’s plenty of relief at the forward tees; the course isn’t too hard on less experienced players. There is only one par 5 per side and the 517-yard 17th hole is most likely the scorecard killer. The fairway crooks slightly left with water lingering about 100 yards in. An approach shot above the hole on the sloped green can force a 3-putt.

Wilmette’s close proximity to I90/94 makes it only a 20-30 min. ride from downtown Chicago, making it perfect for the city dweller or weekend visitor.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"The" Staple of Chicago's diet

Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen
1141 S. Jefferson St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 939-2855

Perfect for the post-round nosh, one of the true bastions of America’s diners is nestled just South of the Chicago Loop, amongst the garment dealers and the historical grounds of the Maxwell Street Market. Manny’s corned beef is as much a part of Chicago’s culinary cornucopia as Gibsons or Trotters.

Don’t let the large daily menu overwhelm you. Everything’s good. But generations of Chicagoans have survived on Vienna corned beef sandwiches on rye. Your only worry should be brown or yellow mustard. Manny’s is a true cafeteria, with plenty of seating for larger parties and ample parking in the rear of the building.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The King of the Forest Preserve

George W. Dunne National (Forest Preserve Golf) ($$)
16310 S. Central Ave.
Oak Forest, IL 60452
(708) 429-6886

Located 30-40 minutes Southwest of Chicago, George Dunne’s mix of sloping fairways and wooded confines makes this course the crown jewel of the Forest Preserve group. Operated by Billy Casper Golf, this 7,200-yard course features water on 9 out of 18 holes and plenty of trees. The front 9 plays fairly wide, with a narrower back 9 winding its way through the Preserve.

You’ll need to think twice about taking out your driver on a few holes, notably the 4th, the 11th & the nearly impossible to par, 18th hole, all of which must carry large ponds, only to find landing areas with little runways. The punishments for driving through the fairways here are shallow bunkers and low hanging trees.

Tees for all skill levels. Hackers and beginners should bring extra ammo for errant shots. Between the water and woods, there are plenty of places for a ball to get lost.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This Yom Kippur...

I'm atoning for:

  • 3-putting greens
  • carding a 7 in any round
  • dead hooks with the Driver
  • sculling chip shots
  • slicing approaches 150 yds. in
  • missing birdie putts within 8 feet

and all the rest.

Good yontif to you and yours.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Get low at Indian Boundary

Indian Boundary (Forest Preserve Golf) ($)
8600 W. Forest Preserve Ave.
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 625-9630

On the Northwest edge of the city and about 10-15 minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Indian Boundary is a short track, perfect for those just picking up the game the of golf. Only a hair over 6,000 yards, the short par-5’s are begging to be approached in 2 shots, so be ready for some eagle putts. The back nine reads like a poker hand. Four par-4’s in a row, and then 5-3-5-3-5.

More seasoned golfers will like the ease of the course while hackers will actually have a chance to card their first birdie. For the price (Under $30!!!), Indian Boundary isn’t hard on the wallet. Check with the pro shop about Night Golf and other specials.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Golf at the Edge of the City

Water’s Edge Golf Club ($$)
7205 W. 115th St.
Worth, IL 60482
(708) 671-1032
Greens Fees (18 holes w/cart): Contact clubhouse for rates.

Living up to its name, Water’s Edge boasts the wet hazard on 10 out of 18 holes. A challenging but manageable course, beginners and hackers should not be daunted. About a 35-40 minute ride from downtown (About 15-20 minutes from Midway Airport), Water’s Edge, this course sits on the Cal-Sag Channel, making the course susceptible to waterlogging. Keep an eye on the weather before you play this course, or bring your galoshes.

The 1st hole, a par-5, doglegs left and forces a tough 2nd shot, with a creek splitting the fairway about 150 yards from the green. Have fun at the turn with the 400-yard, par 4, 10th hole, where the tee sits atop the hill like a launching pad, so don’t be afraid to grip and rip the Driver. It’s a tough finish with the 18th hole, water runs all the way up the right side.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

South Side -- Scottish Style

Harborside Internatioal (Starboard) ($$$)
11001 S. Doty Ave. East
Chicago, IL 60628
(312)-STARTER (782-7837)

The Starboard course at Harborside International is part of an upscale, plush and well-maintained Scottish-style 36-hole golf gem located 20-30 minutes south of the Chicago Loop. Harborside boasts a large teaching area complete with driving range, putting and chipping areas.

Harborside always maintains a 1-club wind and the fescue lining the rough will eat any errant shot. This is not a course for beginners, as having any chance at a decent score requires well-placed shots, so keep ‘em straight and bring plenty of ammo.

The par-4 9th demands driver off the tee, but a headwind can make this hole seem like a par 5. The par-3 13th creates for an awkward address at the tee box, with the doglegged approach. The par-5 18th, the Liberty Bell, is a daunting 560 yards from the tee and finishes with water all the way up the right side.

For location, value and overall golf experience in the Chicago city limits, nothing beats Harborside.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It's Sunday

There's football to watch.

Not to worry. More to come. GO BEARS!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

What is In Between 18?

Maybe I’m just tooling around
Maybe I’m just monkeying around
Maybe I’m just around

What am I working on?

It’s something that has to do with golf, travel, accommodations, food, festivals, culture, human interest, benefiting your fellow man and the like.

The process by which the content of this site will be generated and communicated is organic and circuitous. It may or may not color within the lines of professional journalism. It is like an amoeba constantly changing shape, yet staying cohesive and focused on reaching “the point”, no matter if it’s not a straight line connecting A to B.

I remind myself of what David Fricke (an editor from Rolling Stone magazine) said about Wilco’s album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Or was it simply about music in general?

But the point Fricke made, and for that matter, what I’m trying to make is this:

“You’re either going to dig it, or your not.”

I hope you do.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Where the 'royal we' stand...

We are wireless. I am free to roam with my (read as: on loan from JP) wifi-ready laptop.

Where will I be going and what will I do when I get there?

I'm working on it.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wooded & Windy

Deerfield Golf Club & Learning Center (public) ($$)
1201 Saunders Rd.
Riverwoods, IL 60015
(847) 945-8333

Renovated in 2005, the Deerfield Golf Club boasts a mixed challenge of wood-nestled narrows and breezy open fairways. The opening three holes forces straight shots with O.B on both sides. The par-5, 2nd hole eats up errant drives with a long pond on the left.

The back nine is partially protected by a wall which cuts down on wind generated from nearby Interstate 294...partially. The green on the dogleg-right par-4 17th is well protected with bunkers and surrounding trees. The par-5 18th boasts a raised green, dog-legging to the left; a misplayed second shot here and your scorecard will be in shambles.

Don’t be surprised if Bambi’s relatives find their way to the fairway (it’s not called Deerfield for nothing).

Monday, September 10, 2007

what's coming your way

researching more about wifi, golf and travel.

Perhaps you're getting a clearer picture of what's to come.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

hang in there!

Remember that motivational poster with the cat hanging from a tree branch?

It's kind of like that. So bear with me, I'm working on it. More to come.


Friday, September 07, 2007

A change is coming

and it doesn't involve taking hormones or going to Mexico.

more to come. :)


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