Altered Course

Courtesy of www.golfchannel.com
Courtesy of http://www.golfchannel.com

There is a new show that debuted on the Golf Channel last night called Altered Course. It is equal parts fitness competition as it is golf competition, and it pits teams of two against each other in a race to finish extreme golf holes as fast as you can all while using the least amount of shots.

About 6 months ago, Kelly and I saw the casting request for this show, and since we are equal parts fit and golf fanatic, we decided it was the perfect show for us to be on. Unfortunately (as much for the Golf Channel as for us), we did not make the first season, but that’s because there are no guy-girl teams this year. We’re both confident that Golf Channel will figure out that this competition is (warning: golf pun) tailor-made for a co-ed competition and we’ll be the focal points on season two.

Each team has a #teamname, though. Most aren’t terribly clever (#GeorgiaBoys, #IcelandicDuo), but I feel like it’s something Kelly and I need to focus on so that when we tweet the show, we can use our hashtag and since it will be clever enough, it’ll get our foot that much further in the door for next season.

#RingsAndSwings

#LoveBirdies <– that one’s not bad. I’ll keep working on it.

So one thing I noticed when I was watching this show was it’s use of flying drones with cameras providing unique perspectives of the obstacles the contestants face.

Courtesy of www.golfchannel.com
Courtesy of http://www.golfchannel.com

They do a great job at showing the elevation changes, and it’s really the only way to show the flight path of the ball on some challenging holes. In this episode, players had to hit a blind shot over trees from the 1st fairway to the 2nd green 120 yards away. The drones do a much better job than what a blimp could do because they can get close to the action and really track the shot.

Golf Digest had a piece about how the US Open this week will use this same technology on it’s Fox broadcasts. I think this is a great thing for golf. I don’t think it will be perfect at first, just like how it wasn’t perfect on Altered Course, but the more we can experiment with what works and find new ways to make golf more exciting, the better it will be for the sport.

It’s no surprise that the golf industry isn’t in the best shape right now, and the USGA and PGA of America are trying to push initiatives to make the game more fun and more accessible to everyone. First Tee is introducing golf to inner-city kids and there are all sorts of “tee it forward” and “while we’re young” campaigns going on to make the games faster and more fun.

Back to Altered Course…

I really appreciate the show for the fact that they are trying to do something different with golf. I don’t think this style of golf will catch on around the country in the way the show is designed, but it allows viewers to see golf in a whole new light. It’s not all about who is the best player, but rather who can think on the fly and who can best balance endurance with a good enough golf game that will eventually win the show.

Courtesy of www.golfchannel.com
Courtesy of http://www.golfchannel.com

Basically, Kelly and I are behind the show, and ready to win it next year. I posted our submission video from last season below, and we’ve recommitted to our fitness in anticipation of getting on the show next season. We made the video on an old Mac laptop thinking we had to submit it that day. I know the level of production for next season’s video will match our intensity on and off the golf course! Oh, and if you can think of any clever team names…

Lunch Wars

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I don’t hide the fact that I am a vegetarian. I don’t carry a “Meat is Murder” sign with me everywhere I go either, but that’s neither here nor there. But I do consider myself relatively informed on nutrition. Anyone who decides to adopt a specific diet SHOULD understand what they need to do in order to lead a healthy life.

Every so often, people want to discuss my being a vegetarian and comment on how they could NEVER do it because of X, Y and Z.

“I like meat too much.”

“I can’t get full otherwise.”

“Does chicken count?”

“Bacon.”

I get it. Being a vegetarian isn’t for everyone. But today at lunch, a coworker of mine threw a curveball at me I hadn’t heard before, and I kind of laughed when I heard it.

“I couldn’t be a vegetarian because your food options are so limited and I like food too much.”

Let’s nevermind the fact that this coworker literally eats a turkey sandwich sandwich-841507-m 4 out of 5 days each week, with the same granola bar and processed fruit cup day after day.

What I choose not to eat vs. what I choose to eat is such a teeny tiny piece of the food spectrum. If I choose not to eat candy, soda, or Coco Puffs, does that make my food options THAT much more limited? I mean, sure I could have pizza, but I couldn’t have a Mountain Dew to go along with it. So limiting…

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The point is, when you start to take certain foods out of your diet, you get more creative with the other things you do choose to eat. Just because I can’t eat beef, doesn’t mean I can’t have just above every thing you can make WITH beef. Hell, even hamburgers have 5 or 6 variations of meatless varieties. I could argue I have more things to eat than non-vegetarians who are afraid to try something that isn’t meat.

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So this is my stance: I won’t preach about why I eat what I eat if you don’t try to challenge me on why I’m doing it. If you want to have a conversation, I’m open to it. If you want to tell me that I’m not getting enough protein or that humans have been eating animals for a zillion years and we need it to be healthy, I can point you towards a lot of studies that suggest otherwise.

And for God’s sake, if you’re going to have a turkey sandwich every day, don’t tell me how restricting my diet is to you.