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Nate Ramsey a.k.a. ncramsey83
It can be argued that Nate "ncramsey83" Ramsey won the best giveaway we've ever given away on oobgolf--a free trip to the 2011 Golf.com World Amateur Handicap Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. So it's only fair you get to know him a little better. I had to pleasure of meeting Nate at the World Am and I hate to admit it but he's a stand up guy. Kidding aside, please welcome ncramsey83 into the GoW Club. Enjoy!

How old are you and what's your occupation?
I am 34 years old and my occupation is a Contract Supervisor at a locomotive repair facility for CSX Transportation.

When did you start playing golf and what's your handicap?
I started swinging my father’s clubs when I was around 10, but my first nine-hole round wasn’t until I was 13 at River Bend Golf Course along the Little Scioto River in southern Ohio. My handicap is currently 12.7.

How often do you play?
I typically only play about once every two weeks. I have a two year old son who demands more of my attention than my failing golf swing. Suffice to say, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tell me about a great shot you've made.
Unfortunately I’ve never so much as sniffed a hole-in-one, so my greatest golf shot would have to be one that resulted in one of my four measly eagles that I’ve carded. The shot I am most proud of occurred at the Grande Dunes Resort Course in Myrtle Beach, SC on Hole #4, a 506 yard par 5. I hit a decent drive down the right side of the fairway but was still looking at 215 yards to the flag with water down the right side of the hole and surrounding the green. If I had that shot today, 10 times out of 10 I would lay-up and be happy with a chance at birdie. But I was feeling pretty confident in my swing those days and I don’t recall giving any thought to playing it safe. I pulled out my$40 no-name 7-wood (that I still carry to this day, no doubt in large part because of this shot), aimed 20 yards right of the flag directly toward the water hazard, set-up for a draw and hit it flush. The ball took flight straight over the pond and at about 100 yards out begins to draw in towards the hole, landing softly on the green and coming to rest pin high and 20 feet right of the hole. I was able to calm my nerves and drain the putt for my second career eagle. Although in hindsight, I once made a hole-in-one in mini golf that skipped through water, bounced off a rock wall, and careened off another person’s golf ball that was pretty spectacular.

What is your best golf memory?
My best golf memory was my first golf trip to Myrtle Beach, SC with my father in the spring of 2003. I had read “Final Rounds” (must read!!) by James Dodson and I desperately wanted to experience a golf trip with my father as Mr. Dodson had done with his father. Granted that Myrtle Beach is not Scotland or Ireland, but I was excited to play new courses and create an unforgettable golf experience with the person who was responsible for my passion for the game. My father introduced me to the game at a young age, teaching me everything from course etiquette to the basics of the golf swing. It was a great week of golf filled with many memorable experiences.

What is your "home" course?
My home course is Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort; a Jack Nicklaus signature course in the mountains of western Maryland.

What ball do you play?
I play the Srixon Z-Star Tour Yellow golf ball. I found one while looking for my ball at my home course and I loved the way it played. I was playing in windy conditions that day and I was amazed at the penetrating ball flight of the Sirxon, coupled with the super soft cover that provides great feel around the green. My home course is besieged with designated natural areas that are not maintained and declared lateral hazards which have a tendency to swallow up shots that are even slightly wayward. The yellow cover makes it much easier to locate, which I greatly appreciate at $45 per dozen!

Clubs?
Drivers: TaylorMade Tour Burner
Fairway Woods: Cobra F Speed
Hybrids: Cobra King Cobra Baffler DWS
Irons: Ping G5
Wedges: Cleveland CG11
Putters: Odyssey Black Series Tour Designs #1

Favorite pro?
My favorite pro is Jim Furyk. I love his business-like approach to the game and his unorthodox swing. I can appreciate the fact that many times people tried to talk him into changing his swing and he was wise enough, or should I say stubborn enough, to stick with what worked. I have an exaggerated backswing, ala John Daly, and there have been numerous people who have tried to get me to shorten my backswing. I say stick with what makes you feel comfortable and confident and tweak it as little as possible. Not that anyone should be taking advice from me; a 12 handicapper who plays just enough to justify not selling off all my clubs on EBay. My one beef with Furyk is that he’s a Steelers fan. That’s a tough one to overlook as a Ravens fan, but we all have our flaws I suppose.

Favorite course you've played?
My favorite course is Caledonia in Pawley’s Island, SC. It’s a beautiful, understated layout designed by the late Mike Strantz that flows along the grounds of a former rice plantation of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The entrance to the course is rivaled only by that of the infamous Magnolia Lane; mature live oaks draped with Spanish moss that set the tone for a memorable day of golf. At only 6500 yards from the tips, the course will not bring you to your knees with daunting carries off the tee or long approach shots into the greens. However, what the course lacks in brawn it certainly makes up for in creativity and beauty. Strantz’s genius is certainly on display on each and every hole of this Myrtle Beach area gem.

Dream course you've yet to play?
My dream course to play would be Pine Valley. Much like Caledonia, Pine Valley is well known for how the course naturally flows through the land that it’s situated on. The exclusiveness of the course also adds to the allure of playing there. I was tempted to name the obvious choices here including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, or Augusta. For the right price I could arrange a round at Pebble, fly across the pond to the home of golf, or scrounge up practice round tickets to the Masters. However, no amount of begging or pleading or mortgaging my house will permit access to set foot on the grounds of Pine Valley. Although I’m not above trying….anyone reading this that could possibly get me a tee time please, please, please send me your contact info. Ha!

Best round ever- and what course?
My best round ever was a 73 on the par 71 Fore Sisters Golf Course in Rawlings, MD.

What is one aspect of your golf game you would like to improve on in the next year?
I would like to improve on my driving. I have lost distance, control, and confidence in my driver over the last three years. I have purchased three new oversized drivers in that time span and abandoned them all in favor of my ancient Taylor Made 360 CC driver that I bought new over ten years ago. I would like to regain the confidence I used to posses each and every time I addressed the ball on the tee that used to allow me to swing freely and more times than not produced pure shots with a slight draw. Now the only thing I’m confident in when I reach for the big stick is that I’m going to hit anything but a solid draw that ends up in the short grass.

Tell me a story.
My favorite golf story occurred in Maui, HI while I was on my honeymoon in July of ’06. My wife was generous enough to allow me to golf while she resorted to an all-day spa treatment. I booked a tee time on the once stunning, but now defunct, Makena Resort South Course. The South Course was a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design that featured breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean on nearly every hole and Haleakala, a dormant volcano with an elevation of 12,000 feet, as the backdrop. I was paired up with two other singles; a guy from Jersey that was in his late fifties and a guy from California in his late forties. I’ll refer to them as Vinny and Jerry respectively, because I couldn’t remember their names if my life depended on it, nor do I care to.

By the time we reached the 15th tee box, we were all chatting it up and enjoying each other’s company, taking time on most holes to stop briefly and capture some spectacular pictures of the course. The 15th hole was an amazing 167 yard par 3 with an elevated tee that played down to the ocean. I had honors and proceeded to hit my tee shot about ten yards right of the green, a dead push. Jerry stepped up next and hit a solid shot that landed on the fat part of the green. Vinny was last to tee off and hit a solid 7 iron that was heading straight for the flag. Then in an instant, the ball stops dead in its track and falls from the sky landing sixty yards short of the green. At first we were confused and a little awe-struck at what had just happened. Then I noticed the feathers falling to the ground.

We all jumped in our carts and raced down to where Vinny’s ball had come to rest. A few feet away laid a bird that appeared to be a cross between a dove and a pigeon but to this day I have no earthly idea exactly what it was. For all I know it was simply a “White Kamikaze” of the anti-birdie family. As I approached the bird I could see that it was in pretty bad shape. Vinny, being your stereotypical guy from Jersey, begins to spew colorful words with his Jersey accent in the direction of the bird calling it everything but a “White Kamikaze”. Vinny was noticeably irritated and nearly in a fit of rage that this bird that was barely clinging on to life had ruined possibly his best shot of the day.
Jerry on the other hand, had quite a different reaction to the unfortunate incident. Jerry was visibly shaken up at the sight of this bird that was in so much pain. He carefully reached down and cradled the bird in his hands, picked it up and began to gently pet the bird as if he was nurturing a new born kitten. He appeared to be close to tears as he walked over to the rough on the right side of the hole and made an impromptu nest. He laid the bird down in the make shift nest and offered some words of encouragement as Vinny proceeded to hit his pitch shot fat. A few more choice words and a couple strokes later Vinny finally holed out and as he walked back to his cart, he stopped briefly and looked back at the bird that was flailing around and uttered one last “you son of a !&%$”!!

Needless to say there was much less chit-chat over the final three holes and an awkward nod and handshake to end the round. I personally was dying inside witnessing these hilarious incidents unfold. Everything from the bizarre sentiment Jerry expressed toward the bird, Vinny’s overreaction to the unfortunate incident, and the instant detachment between two grown men over such a random, ill-fated occurrence. All-in-all it was a great day of golf!

Thanks!

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[ comments ]
Torleif Sorenson says:
(1) Congrats in GOW; you deserve it.
(2) You needed a video camera that afternoon. Something like one of these two clips?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_mrm-4U0uY
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBodXag2W1w
10/3/11
 
bkuehn1952 says:
Welcome to the GoW family. As far as visiting Pine Valley, you should look into the "Crump Cup". I believe the public is welcome to attend this elite mid-amateur competition on the last day (typically the last Sunday in September). You missed it this year but there is always 2012. The bonus is no ropes so you can walk the course.
10/3/11
 
jeremyheslop says:
Nice stories! That bird story is great. I need to play more so I can have more stories lol
10/3/11
 
Banker85 says:
I would be like both those guys if i were in there shoes. Good story!
10/4/11
 
shaffer1969 says:
A bit late, but congrats on GOW. I think it's cool that the GOW has played my home course (King Valley) and a couple other courses that I've played.
10/7/11
 
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