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Blake Parkinson a.k.a. blake_p
How old are you and what's your occupation?
I hit the big three-zero recently. I just graduated from the University of Texas, hook’em up!!, with a Masters in Chemical Engineering. I am currently working as a research engineer in the semiconductor field.

When did you start playing golf and what's your handicap?
I played a couple times over the years, but I started playing more regularly at the beginning of last summer. The max handicap is 36.4 so that is where I fall, but my true handicap is currently around 44, although I have sorted some problems out and have differential of 35 over my last 18 holes.

How often do you play?
Usually I play a 9-hole course once or twice a week

Tell me about a great shot you've made.
Two recent shots come to mind. The first was a par 4 and I had hit a poor shot of the tee leaving me about 180 yards to the pin with a tree about 20 yards in front of me and enough left that could just see the pin and a river at about 150. My first thought was to hit it low and lay it up, but decided that my score was already so high anyways that if it landed in the river it would not be that big of deal. I pulled out my 5 iron and got a clean enough hit on it flew straight just missing the tree as I had hopped and landing just short of the green. It was my first real "risk, reward" type of shot. The second was a 20 foot putt for par that had about 2 feet of break on it. I have often seen in my mind what I wanted to do, but not been able to get the speed or direction just right. On this putt I was able to step up to it knock it in for my only par that day.

What is your best golf memory?
My family came from out of state to attend my graduation and I was able to go golfing with my dad, brother, and new brother-in-law. My dad and brother were not too interested in playing so they drove the carts around for us. We had a great time laughing and joking around with each other and when my dad got back home he signed up for lessons at his local course. I just finished building him his first set of clubs.

What is your "home" course?
I play a lot at Harvey Penick Golf Campus here in Austin. It is a short course; 2127 yards from the tips with only 3 par 4's which is good for me since I am still learning. Both my mid-iron play and short game have improved a great deal from playing this course. I also play the
Balcones Woods Country Club -Spicewood course when I want to play on a longer course.

What ball do you play?
I play Snake Eyes SDF. I like how soft they feel and they are pretty good on distance if I strike them well.

Early this year I fit myself and built a set of Snake Eyes Python XL clubs. The driver has a little higher loft to help me get it in the air while I am learning and I also built a 3 wood and 5-SW. I skipped the 4 iron because I could never hit it with my last set, but I am planning to build one in the near future.

Favorite pro?
Like many people, I like following Tiger. It is fun to watch how creative he can be at times. I also like watching Mike Weir; he missed the cut in the Open, but recently he has been close to the top in a few tournaments and its fun rooting for someone who has been successful yet still less known.

Favorite course you've played?
So far the coolest course I have played on was at
Avery Ranch Golf Club here in Austin. There were plenty of ball eating water hazards, I probably lost 10 balls and deer were all over the course.

Dream course you've yet to play?
I plan on playing Bethpage Black and the Old Course at St. Andrews some day.

Best round ever- and what course?
Recently, I shot a +10 on Harvey Penick for my best round of 9 ever. I had 4 straight GIR, three pars, and only two penalty strokes.

What is one aspect of your golf game you would like to improve on in the next year?
Driving distance. Having a lower lofted club would help, but I am so inconsistent right now that I would rather have higher loft help me get the ball in the air than having it rolling on the ground and going half the distance. My longest drive has been around 230 and would like to see it up over 260.

Tell me a story.
Sometimes I take my 5 year old daughter with me when its late and the course is really slow. She only has a putter right now, but the other night when we got back she had to show Mommy how to use her putter. She grabbed the club and instead of swinging it like a putter she took an exaggerated back swing and followed through with her back foot up. I haven't taught her how to swing like that yet, because she doesn’t have a driver or iron yet so I asked her how learned how to swing like that. She said "From watching you. That is how Daddy swings." It made us laugh and I am glad I can share golf with my little girl.


Interested in being next weeks featured golfer? email us here

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
Hey Blake - I am in Austin as well. I am a member at River Place CC. Welcome to the GOW club....Bob
trikai says:
blake_p says:
Hook'em!!! and thanks for the welcome Bob.
[ post comment ]
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