No More Lumpy’s

FullSizeRender (3)One of our favorite golf stores is closing its doors for good. They have been serving the area for over 30 years and they have decided to shut down both stores here and the one store in Florida. Believe it or not, Lumpy’s is closing.

What we liked about Lumpy’s wasn’t the abundance of equipment like they have at the PGA Superstore. The equipment they had were adequate for the average golfer but what we liked at Lumpy’s was the expertise and customer service that came with every club that you pick up. They were always ready to serve you and watch you hit several shots with the club before asking you whether you like to hit more balls or try another club. They would never try to upsell you or pressure you in any way to buy the club on the spot.

Lumpy’s would hold several demo days throughout the season and bring in all the manufacturers for you to try out their new clubs. We attended last year’s event and were given a Lumpy’s golf towel, just for attending.

If you go to Lumpy’s now, you can pick up some good deals on whatever is left. They said they decided to close on April 1st and the first clubs to go were the ladies’ box sets. We were lucky enough to pickup the last Callaway Solaire 8-pc set for half price. Originally sold for $750, Lumpy’s price was $599 and store closing price was $300. It came with a golf bag, driver, 30-wood, 5-hybrid, 7-iron, PW, SW and an Odyssey putter.

All Adidas and Puma golf shoes are 70% off. FootJoy and Skecher shoes are 30% off. I picked up a nice Adidas Climacool golf shoe for $24 that originally sold for $79.95. I also picked up a Puma golf shoe for $30 that originally sold for $99. My wife picked up a FootJoy golf sandal for $30 but there was only one left.

Apparel was 20-30%. Iron sets were 20% off. Callaway gps and rangefinders were 25% off but the discount varied for Golf Buddy, Leopold and Bushnell. Putters were 20% off and accessories were 30% off.

 

 

 

 

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Why not work on your swing at Woodhaven

FullSizeRenderPalm Royale CC is a beautiful and challenging par 3 course but it lacks practice facilities. There is no driving range, chipping green and sand bunkers to splash balls out of. There is a putting green but it’s out of commission at the moment because they are trying to repair the grass on the green.

Not too far from Palm Royale CC is another gated golf community, Woodhaven. To get a day pass from security, simply tell them that you will be golfing there and they will let you in. Next drive straight and watch out for carts. There is a bag drop at the end of the road but if you plan to use their practice facilities only then make a left and park your car.

Grab your golf bag or a few clubs and head towards the clubhouse. The pro shop is located in the back where there is a snack counter and a resting place to get out of the sun. There are sand bunkers to test your skill with and a driving range but a small warm up bucket is $5 which is too small to practice properly.

Better practice facilities in the area include Shadow Hills, Indian Wells, First Tee and the SilverRock Resort.

 

 

 

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A Taste of the Good Life

April is coming up fast and a lot of our neighbors and friends will be leaving for home. Some of them who rented for the winter are looking out for deals or a house to buy so they have a place to return to when the snow starts falling later this year.

If we didn’t have a place, we would consider finding a home at one of Trilogy’s properties. We visited the Trilogy here and in Phoenix and we loved their properties and golf courses. If you are looking for a deal or something to try before you buy, check this out:

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This looks like a good way to be introduced to Trilogy and “taste the good life” which we have for the last 3 months. And to make this offer even more enticing, let me order a week of sunny weather while you’re here.

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Fashionably Delicious

IMG_6171I’ve gained at least 10 pounds since coming down to escape winter but as a foodie, I’m proud of my extra weight. I’m going to blame it on the new In & Out burger on Highway 111 and the new food market, Aldi.

We went to the soft opening of Aldi yesterday and was impressed. I was trying to compare Aldi with other supermarkets like Sprouts, Stater Bros., Ralph’s and Trader Joe’s but I couldn’t find a match. It’s like a fashionable boutique that sells groceries.

Their fruits and veggies section is a bit like Trader’s Joe but Aldi has whole watermelons, pineapples and mangos. I like the way they sell asparagus. Instead of a bundle for $1.99 a pound which works out to almost a pound, they sell you a pound bag of asparagus for $1.19. Pineapples went for $1.49 each avocados for 49 cents each and bananas were 39 cents a pound.

I also like walking down each aisle and seeing familiar products for a lot less. Other than snack food, I’m impressed on the price of canned soup, bottled tomato sauce and packaged cookies. There is a small but essential selection of Keurig compatible coffee pods for less than $5 a box.

I like their prices on bread, even though there is no bakery in the store. A 20 oz bag of split-top wheat bread is only 99 cents and a 12 oz bag of fresh hamburger or hot dog buns is only 85 cents. I have spent at least 3 or 4 dollars for a bag of sandwich bread elsewhere. Also if you enjoy the taste of sweet Hawaiian bread, you are going to love them at Aldi’s because of the price. They taste like the real thing but instead of being baked in Hawaii, they were baked in Illinois.

Wine and cheese usually goes well together and Aldi has them both. You won’t find the huge selection of wine or cheese like at Von’s or Ralph’s but they have specially selected 7-8 oz packages of cheeses for less than $3. I tried the Havarti and Brie and liked the smoothness and mild taste of both. You won’t find interesting cheeses at Aldi’s but they do have bake-at-home XL pizzas for less than $5 that looks delicious.

I think we will be shopping at Aldi’s in the near future. Drop in and take a look but be sure to bring in your own bags and get ready to pack your own groceries.

 

 

 

 

 

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March on a Dime

IMG_6169When not golfing, we like going to the library to see the latest DVD’s and books. I think their selection is pretty good and it almost reminds me of the Blockbuster at home. This visit, we borrowed the ‘Digital SLR Cameras & Photography  for Dummies’ and the ‘Empire’ tv series. They have a great selection of travel dvd’s ranging from Disneyworld to Japan which is next on our list.

Also if you are looking for a good book to curl up and read, visit their book sale where they have books for 10 cents. That’s the price they charge for a printout as well.

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Ivanovic, Murray and Bouchard are out

Deflated Genie Bouchard.

Deflated Genie Bouchard.

Stadium 1 is usually the preferred place to be when it comes to watching good tennis. It is for Larry Ellison and his niece for sure because they have the cushy seats court side and they have attendants that rush out with warm blankets when it gets windy and cold.

Yesterday was a bad day for all the top seeded players that had their matches in Stadium 1. It started with Ana Ivanovic who was the crowd’s favorite. Ana is a beautiful Serbian girl and she normally plays a great game of tennis but not against Karolina Pliksova who outran and outplayed her. Ana did not have a chance. Pliksova won the match at 6-2, 6-0.

Next up was Andy Murray vs Frederico Delbonis. Andy was the crowd’s favorite but was no match to Frederico’s quickness and agility. Andy tried to rush the net but failed at executing short volleys.  At the end, he was frustrated and cursing at himself for not returning trivial shots. Frederico surprised the crowd with his interesting unorthodox serve, hard forehands and incredible returns. Andy lost 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.

Last but not least, Eugenie Bouchard vs Timea Bacsinszky was a match that was nothing to write home about. Genie was deflated and tired. She had a slow start and fell behind 3-0 before waking up. Nothing was going right for Genie. Her returns kept hitting the net and she watched so many passing shots that made the crowd wondered why she was trying harder. She got so frustrated with her game that she smashed her racquet apart. It was so unlike Bouchard to do that and it even surprised her coach. She threw her racquet under her chair and she tried to compose herself on the break. When she returned, she played with more focus and intent but upon the first point, Timea had an unfortunate fall and it took 2 medical timeouts to bandage her up.

Genie fought hard in the second set to come back from a deficit to a win. But when the third set was played, Genie lost her mojo and eventually gave up. She lost to Timea at 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

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Genie is Out of the Bottle

DSCN8572Tonight’s match between Canadian sweetheart Eugenie Bouchard and US powerhouse Sloane Stephens was exciting. Sloane came out strong and confident. Eugenie was tentative and Sloane took advantage of that, by striking early and getting Genie out of position. She would lead her down the right then drop shot to the left. It was well executed and Sloane did that several times through the night.

Lucky that Sloane was over hitting and losing points. Genie was hesitant, often holding back and not even trying to hit every shot.

After winning the first set, Genie became stronger and more confident. She started serving better and returning the ball better. The second set was spectacular tennis as both ladies battled it out. Genie was out of the bottle and playing like she did in the US Open prior to her fall that caused her a concussion.

Sloane fought hard and could have won the second set but Genie dialed in and came up winning. We will be watching her and hoping she reaches the finals at the BNP Paribas Open.

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McEnroe Charity Event

DSCN0184Within minutes after receiving an email from the BNP Paribas Open, the McEnroe Charity Event was sold out. Last year we missed the event because we did not know how to buy the tickets and when we were told that the tickets were free, we had to find out how to get our name on the list.

This year, we were attended the event and it was incredibly fun. I definitely recommend it if you want to be entertained. This year, John McEnroe talked Pete Sampras and Andy Roddick to play. Coco Vandewegh, Tracy Austin and Madison Keys also came along and were fantastic. Pat Cash was hilarious.

The only complaint I have about the event is the amount of empty seats in the stadium. It was hard watching the tennis from the third level when there were empty rows at the first level. It would have been nice for organizers to let people migrate closer to the action as the night wore on. Other than the tennis spectacle, there were exchange between the players that would have been fun to had listened to. But from the third level, the reverberation was too great to had heard the jokes.

Andy Roddick was playing well. His serves were still incredible at 134 mph. I think Andy retired too early but that’s my opinion. Pete Sampras on the other hand looked sluggish. He was talked into it and was hesitant to accept the challenge because he said he didn’t keep up with his exercise regiment nor his game. His game improved as the night went on and he did pretty well for his age. John McEnroe was smooth as ever, as an announcer and player. He had a head full of white hair but he can still hit the ball.

The event raised $80,000.00 for charity.

 

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Go for it! Lauren Embree

DSCN0126It is great to see a player again from last year’s pre-qualifications. Lauren Embree from Florida was back at the BNP Paribas Open and she looked fresh and stronger than ever. Unfortunately, so did the rest of the field. Lauren played hard and under hot dry conditions. The sun was beating down at her but it was good that she was hydrating herself frequently. She looked mentally stronger and more patient. I’m sure a year had made a difference to her playing ability.

After a hard match, we were fortunate to have a photo with her. She apologized for being sweaty but we didn’t care. It wasn’t everyday we get a photo selfie with a future WTA tennis star.

Lauren won every match until the semi-finals when she played Taylor Townsend. She took the first set very easily and for a moment, I thought she was going to win the second set. Taylor began to warm up and became more confident with every stroke. Eventually she wore Lauren out and took the second set. On the third set, Taylor hit early and capitalized. She went on to beating Lauren badly. It was sad to see Lauren lose but I’m pretty sure we will see her next year again.

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First Week at BNP Paribas Open

DSCN0120Going to the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells every year is one of the highlights of living here in the Palm Springs area. If you are into tennis then you have to come and stay for the full two weeks here. The first week is the pre-qualifications where local players can sign up for $50 and try their hand at beating each other to reach the qualifications round. Once qualified, players will be drawn and selected to play against the world’s best players.

This year we were following some hopefuls including Lauren Embree, Taylor Townsend and Sofia Kenin. These girls have been playing tennis for some time and some of them have played in the French Open or the Australian Open on a wildcard status.

Attending the pre-qualifications is fun. First of, it is free and parking is too. Second, there are both the ladies and men. And third, it gives you access to the practice area and grass area where it will be restricted when the BNP Paribas Open gets underway.

If you plan to drive, head over to Gate 7 at Indian Wells via Miles Ave. Attendants will greet you and direct you to the parking lot of the day.

The pre-qual matches are played on the practice courts. They have a desk set up in front of the fitness center and proshop for players to check in. Players not playing in matches are assigned courts to practice on, so it is helpful to ask for the court where a particular match is played on.

Bring water and an umbrella for shade. If you like photos, bring your camera or smartphone but put it in silent mode. Seats are limited in the practice courts so arrive early.

Scoring is interesting so pay attention. The girls are expected to keep score for themselves even with a USTA rep being nearby. There is a flipboard on top of the net post that you can keep up on but the players don’t keep it updated.

 

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