I Dream of Golfing Bicycles

By Michael FechterOctober 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
Martin Luther King had a dream. Dr. King dreamed that, 'my 4 little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.'
 
A noble dream. A dream worth standing and marching for, a dream in which Dr. King sadly died.
 
I also have a dream. I dream of a bicycle that can carry your golf clubs while you peddle the course.
 
Perhaps a less noble dream.
 
You see, my 'job' as the Ambassador of Fun is to live as joyously as possible, coming up with unique ways to benefit golf and the growth of the game, while also doing what I can to help charity of many varieties. The charity that I personally oversee deals with the dilemmas of worldwide orphans. And I am always looking for ways to be of financial and critical benefit to orphans.
 
Well, how does a golfing bicycle fit into the plight of worldwide orphans, you may ask?
 
Allow this explanation:
 
Months ago, it hit me that many people do not golf because it is so time consuming. Many of us have second and third jobs, just to keep up with rising gas prices. Others of us have had to eliminate our private jets, just to keep the captain and deck hands of our yachts employed. It is tough all over.
 
So, in an attempt to get more people out on the course and off the course in a reasonable time, the 'natural' idea occurred to me that I should develop a bicycle that will pull your golf clubs behind you. Sort of like those baby/child nests that people often pull behind bicycles. I figured if these contraptions are safe enough for my 2-year-old Mitchell, the wunderkind offspring, they are damn sure safe enough for a set of Mizuno's.
 
Of course, there are problems when attempting to create a metal fabricated device involving larges doses of ingenuity and expertise, especially when I am nothing more than a kind spirited humorist and orphan worker. So, I did what I always do when confronted with dilemma: I consulted a large American conglomeration whose mission statement is to 'make money and plenty of it.'
 
You see, I didn't want to make loads of money off this genius idea. I just wanted to see it get into the marketplace. I wanted to see people have fun with it, as I am the Ambassador of Fun. And if possible, I wanted to see orphans share in a small percentage of any royalty profits that came from it. I didn't want money. It is how I am wired.
 
So, I contacted a conglomerate that handles several sporting lines involving both golf and the protection of children. It seemed a perfect fit.
 
While I should not say the names of the products they make, for legal reasons, I can tell you that IF you had a baby that was a jogger, or if you were a bag that wanted to be carried by a boy, these might be two of the products that they made.
 
After brief conversations with the C.E.O.'s of both companies and the C.F.O. of the parent company of the conglomeration, I was sent to a person in product development and marketing to whom I revealed this idea of genius.
 
I never heard from her again.
 
Using the deduction that was gained from an 'A' in a Business 101 course at a minor State college, I took this to mean that they were not interested in my idea or my suggestion that my royalty go not to me but to orphan charities.
 
As I am never one to be discouraged from a bad idea that has no market potential, I immediately contacted a 'Master Bike Builder' - Robert Soto. And now, over the past 6 months, we have developed a 3-wheeled, 3-speed bike that can safely transport even a staff golf bag the size of Tiger's Buick across the hundreds of acres that comprise a golf course. Allow us to take a bow. Noble Prizes can be sent directly to my home. I don't care for Stockholm in winter.
 
So, 'What are the advantages of biking a golf course...dumbass?', you may ask.
 
1 - Speed... you can easily play 18 holes using one of our bikes in less than two hours (As long as you are the first groups off in the morning).
 
2 - Exercise... you actually leave the course having lost weight and gained strength (Although we did add a cargo area behind the bike to carry a cooler, if you want to bike while enjoying a beverage or 12. Or if you should catch a 14-pound bass on No. 13 and need to bring it home).
 
3 - Fun... it feels great biking a course top to bottom. A 'Golfcycle' combines regular biking with elements of off-road biking and the whole thing is a leisurely pleasure.
 
So, if you love to bike, love to golf or just want to try something new and different, I hope our 'Golfcycle' is your ticket to more rounds of golf (Please, there is no need to throw rose petals or send notes of appreciation).
 
The golf courses that I represent should have models by the spring of 2009. And we're happy to share it with any reputable distributor as long as some profitability goes in perpetuity to orphans. Sorry, it is how I'm wired.
 
But it's a lovely way to go through life.
 

Email your thoughts to Michael Fechter
 
Editor's note: Michael Fechter, orphan worker and humorist, has the best job in golf: he's paid to be the Ambassador of Fun for golf courses across America. His 'job' is to make the courses he represents across America more interesting, unique and fun. Enjoy his humorous series on getting back into the game as he struggles to get his game into the shape it was nearly 30 years ago when he won his only personal junior 'major,' the Al Esposito, on America's easiest muni with rounds of 71-71-75.
 
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    Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

    Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

    While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


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    “It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

    Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

    “I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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    Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

    McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

    “I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”


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    The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

    “There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

    He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

    “I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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    Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

    Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

    Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.


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    It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

    “If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

    Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

    “It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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    Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

    Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

    Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

    “It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”


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    Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

    “I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

    Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

    “If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”