Leilehua's scenery
This is the chipping area at Leilehua (Hawaii) Golf Course's golf range just outside Wahiawa. The Waianae (pronounced Y N I) Mountains are in the distance.

The first hole at Mountain View GC, Fort Huachuca, a 500 and some yard par 5.
The secrets of successful golf
Yes, I have found the secret to successful golf: Don't hit bad shots.

Also: don't try to use so many clubs, they just confuse the matter, especially if you're a beginner. Best round I ever shot prior to 2002 was with a 3-wood, 5- and 7-irons, pitching wedge, loft wedge, and putter. Takes a lot of the decision-making out of the game at a time when bad decisions are more the norm than good ones.

Finally, just make good contact with the ball. You don't have to murder it every time, and you don't have to take the club back to yourleft hip on the backswing, either.

And one more thing: relax your thumb and index finger on your strong hand (the right hand for right-handed people, left for left-handed). Think happy thoughts. And don't forget about the driving range. It's there for a reason.

Golfing for me started in June 1997 at Fort Knox, Kentucky, although I had golfed a few holes some 20 years earlier. From a delightful, though humid, rebirth at the par 3 course on Fort Knox, my game (and I use the term loosely) moved to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, to the Mountain View Golf Course. There I made my first sub-100 round, as well as my first birdie. I think I might have gotten one or two more birdies during my illustrious career in Arizona.

ABOVE: Looking off our balcony at the ninth tee in the foreground of Centre Hills Golf Course, with the ninth hole in the background, just over the water. BELOW: Looking the other direction off the balcony at the eighth green in the foreground and the second hole in the background across the stream after a spring snow. Buckley Air Force Base is just across the road.
I rolled in at least four birdies while in Hawaii. Had a chance for another, but missed a three-foot putt. Not as cheap to play in Hawaii as it was in Arizona or Kentucky. Bummer.

Now we're in Colorado, living next to a par-three, nine-hole course near the Mile High City. Golf balls travel farther, the greens are usually very dry, and there are lots of birds and their spore around.

Probably due to its being a par-3, I've already rolled in three or four birdies. Two lowest rounds have been a four- and a five-over. On the four-over round, was two-over till the last two holes, which I usually par, but for some reason I bogeyed this time.

--On Nov. 17, 1997, broke the 100-stroke barrier for 18 holes with a round of 96. Included were three triple bogeys and four pars.
--On July 20, 1998, played my first 18 holes at Kalakaua Golf Course, Schofield Barracks, O'ahu, Hawai'i. It only took me 104 strokes on the par 72 course. Not bad for not having played in six months.
--On August 21, 1998, 97 for 18 holes at Kalakaua. That included three pars in a row. Done without the driver, 3-wood, 3-iron, or 4-iron being in the bag.
--On May 3, 1999, 42 on the back nine of Leilehua, which included my first birdie of the year, preceded by two pars; so for a brief moment, I was one under par for the course. Four pars, two bogeys, a double bogey and a triple rounded out the day.
--On October 27, 1999, 45 on Leilehua's back nine, including another birdie. On the green in regulation several times, couple of pars, nasty snowman on a par 5, but very cool.
--May 2002, bought a set of Tommy Armour 845s irons and a new bag for playing in Colorado. Necessary because I'd sold my starter set in Arizona a few months ago.

My list of Oahu golf courses
USA Today's golf page
PGA's Homepage
Golfweek in Orlando
Golf Magazine
Golf Illustrated
Fort Huachuca Greater Men's Golf Club
Aurora Golf Clubs