Results tagged ‘ KyleLohse26 ’
The baseball season is a long one–162 games in 180 days–and that doesn’t even count Spring Training and those 30 Cactus League games.
However, the pace is different in Spring Training. While the games are still important, the time down here is very much about taking a look at different players, trying out new things, working out the kinks and building team chemistry.
With two weeks of practice before the Spring games begin and with the bulk of the Cactus League games being day games, that also gives players a little more free time before they go back to work in Milwaukee and the grind sets in.
So what do a lot of the guys like to do with their down time in Arizona?
While first and foremost, many treasure the extra time with their families before the regular season gets underway:
Aside from that, they can also enjoy some of their hobbies that might fall by the wayside once the regular season starts, like going fishing:
On this Brewers roster in particular, however, you’ll find many of the pitchers in particular hitting the links.
Last year, during Spring Training, you’ll recall that Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg and I hit the links and took on Kyle Lohse in a match that ultimately led to him joining Twitter (#YoureWelcome!).
It’s been well-documented that Kyle is the best golfer on the team by far, but that doesn’t stop his teammates from trying to take him on in various challenges–scrambles, best ball with strokes per side, etc.
And, earlier this spring, I had the pleasure of tagging along with Kyle and a couple of the guys again on two separate occasions to take some pictures and video–all in the name of work, of course.
First, I headed out with Kyle and Matt Garza to Lookout Mountain Golf Club.
This award-winning course sits among the magnificent North Phoenix Mountains and offers panoramic views of the amazing Arizona landscape. Case in point: Hole #10 is the signature hole here at Lookout Mountain. You’re 14 stories high on the tee box and, from this video of Kyle’s tee shot on the hole, you can see that it lives up to its name “Picturesque Pointe.”
This outing was really not much of a match. Matt doesn’t profess to be a great golfer; he was just out there to have fun—with the goal to beat Kyle’s score on at least one hole.
While Matt didn’t achieve that goal this time, he did have what I’m told was a better day that usual and ended up tying Kyle on 4 holes.
Personally, this was my first round of the season, so I was a little rusty; the par-3 9th in particular had my number. The hole was 80-yds for me and I blew it over the green on the tee shot and it was all literally downhill from there. In this video of my shot, you’ll also see where Matt ended up on his tee shot on this hole (that’s Kyle narrating, obviously):
Despite this hole and another two blow-up holes, I was able to tie Kyle on at least 3 holes and actually beat him on 2. He and I each had two birdies in the round, which was cut short due to darkness.
One other thing worth noting from this outing: Matt Garza broke his 3-wood on a tee shot during the round. None of us are quite sure how this happened. One minute he was teeing it up and the next, he was holding his broken club. But even despite this setback and not beating Kyle on a hole, he was a great sport, never once showing frustration, just chatting the entire time and laughing a lot.
Here are a few more photos from that round:
The second time I had the pleasure of hitting the links, it was to test out a new product called the Golfboard.
When I saw the PGA tweet about this combination golf cart/seque/scooter/skateboard, I knew our guys would love it because many of our players use scooters as transportation between the parking lot and the Clubhouse at Miller Park.
The good folks at Golfboard were kind enough to set us up with two Golfboards for a round of golf at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, so I joined Kyle Lohse and Will Smith to document the experience.
After a brief tutorial, the guys quickly picked up on the boards, which are extremely easy to learn, fun, and most importantly for these guys, safe.
The guys were zipping around the course in no time flat. Here’s a short video Kyle took:
I also brought the GoPro and we hooked it up to the Golfboard. Here’s a tour of the 9th hole, courtesy of Kyle. (Note: The ride felt much smoother than this video portrays!)
And here’s a shot Kyle hit while the GoPro was still running:
Here are some other fun photos from the round:
It was a lot of fun out there on the course, getting to know these guys a little better away from the field.
Whether it’s fishing or golf, or another hobby, it is good to see the guys get a chance to relax and unwind now because we know once the regular season is underway, there will be little (if any) time for those things.
Speaking of time to relax and have fun, today is one of just two offdays in the Spring Training schedule and I’ll be back out on the golf course with Kyle, Will and a bunch of other players, coaches and celebrities for Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic. Stay tuned for more photos and videos!
Special thanks to Lookout Mountain and Westin Kierland (and Troon Golf) for letting us hack on your courses; and of course, special thanks to Golfboard for letting us test drive your gamechangers.
As we noted last week when Brandon Kintzler served as batboy for the Brewers vs. Royals Exhibition Game at Miller Park… a bet is a bet.
And, while Kyle Lohse may have won the bet on his golf match against Brandon, he wasn’t quite so lucky earlier this spring when he took on Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg and yours truly.
Gather around, kids. This is the story of how Kyle Lohse joined Twitter.
Yes, you read that right. You can now follow Kyle on Twitter: @KyleLohse26 and we suggest you do—be sure to tweet him your messages using #WelcomeKyle, too! Maybe we can even get him trending.
It all started when I went down to Phoenix for Spring Training with the idea of writing stories on what players do with free time in Arizona. Having noticed many of the players tweeting about playing golf, and being a lover of the sport myself, I decided that might be something fun to cover for the blog and our social media sites. I asked a couple of guys about it but was pointed in the same direction each time: “You have to talk to Kyle,” they said.
I started doing a little research and realized that, in addition to being a championship-caliber pitcher, he’s also a heck of a golfer. In 2009, he even made Golf Digest’s list of “150 Top Athlete Golfers,” coming in tied at #33 (with Wisconsin’s own Dan Jansen, oddly enough) and in 2011, he was named one of TotalProSports.com’s list of “11 Best Pro Athlete Golfers,” coming in at #9. He started playing when he was about 19, taking up the sport as something to do in the offseason. He is completely self-taught; he’s never had a lesson and he’s basically a scratch golfer. His lowest score was a 67 at TPC Scottsdale.
So, I talked to Kyle and he was open to playing a round of golf for the good of social media. Little did he know just how much social media he’d ultimately be in for!
All that was left was to come up with some sort of challenge/stakes, as Kyle said, his first hint of smack talk emerging, “to make it interesting so I don’t get bored.”
Now, I’m an avid golfer, but nowhere near Lohse level, so in order to be fair, we decided to set some parameters.
In the past, he’d challenged some of his teammates, with a couple of guys teaming up and playing a scramble against his individual score, so we decided that Will, Tyler and I would play a team scramble format against Kyle’s individual score. It was also match play, meaning we would take our team score against Kyle’s on each hole to determine who “won the hole.” We would not be given any strokes.
“I think that if we beat you, you should have to join Twitter,” I suggested, fitting since not only am I the Director of New Media for the Club and referred to affectionately (I hope) as “Twitter Girl,” but Will and Tyler are also both avid users of Twitter themselves.
“Okay, fine, sure I’ll join Twitter,” Kyle said, shrugging it off. I could tell he didn’t think he’d have to worry about it.
As for Kyle’s bet with Will and Tyler, they agreed upon dinner as their bet—steaks as the stakes.
And with all of that squared away, we were off.
On the first hole, a par 4, our group got off to a hot start with a birdie and Kyle made par; however, we gave that right back with Kyle making a birdie on the second hole.
On the third hole, a par 5, we caught a break—Kyle made a bogey!—but then he quickly made up for it a couple holes later, sticking a shot on the 5th hole, a par 3, within a foot of the pin.
In Kyle’s mind, the 6th hole was a turning point in the match. He said that the fact that I “outdrove” him didn’t bother him as much as the approach shots: “I think if I remember, we had about 151-yds in [Cait’s note: He had 151, we had 150.] and I was hitting a knockdown 9-iron and you were hitting your 3-wood. You got it on the green, which was huge because Thorny hit a line-drive over the green and Will hit his about 7-yds, so I thought I was looking pretty good there, but then you stepped up and put it on the green. That was a clutch hole for you.”
Both “teams” made par on the 6th, but then Kyle birdied the 7th hole to take his first lead of the day… However, then I came through on the 8th hole, another par 3, hitting a great shot that rivaled Kyle’s on 5:
Will and Tyler let me do the honors. I sank the birdie putt, bringing the match back to even.
“You know there was a string of holes where, if you weren’t there, the boys would have fallen further behind than they were at the time. That one kind of stopped my momentum,” Kyle conceded. “It came down to that and me not making birdie on the next hole when I had 90-yds in on a par 5. I hit it about 5-yds too long and ended up making par, but that’s the kind of stuff that ends up happening out there on the course.”
If Kyle’s ball had landed on the green, there’s a good chance he would have made birdie on #9.
We remained all square through 9.
Then, we made the turn.
We had fun with the GoPro in Spring Training and we even brought it out on the course with us. Here are drives by Lohse, Thornburg and Smith on #10, both at regular speeds and in slo-mo.
The guys even tested out the GoPro, taking this video of one of my shots.
Kyle started off the back with a bogey. He also made bogey on #12. Our team was able to hang in there, making pars during that stretch, and matching Kyle on holes 13-16, but we couldn’t get any more birdies to drop to put him away.
As we neared the end of the round, we started talking about what we’d do if we ended up tied—a chip-off? Putting challenge? Extra holes?
Fortunately, we didn’t need to worry about that. On the 17th, a short par 3 over water, both teams made par on the hole and the match reached dormie—Team Will, Tyler & Cait was two up with one to play and had effectively won the match.
“It always feels good to take down the best,” Tyler said. “Sometimes you have to knock them down a notch. You (Cait) really picked us up on a few holes and were always there for mental support.”
Here was Will’s reaction:
As for Kyle? He was a gracious loser, sticking around for the final hole and a post-round interview.
“I was kind of disappointed. I played well in our round. Really you’re asking kind of the impossible, to beat three people in a scramble, in match play. I think I had you guys in strokes,” Kyle said. “But I could go home at the end of the day and not be upset about that, knowing that I took on three people and almost pulled off the impossible.”
And, when he returned to Milwaukee, he also held up his end of the bargain, and joined the Twitterverse.
“I’m not real happy about the reason why it is happening, but it will be interesting. I’ve never been in on any form of social media, so we’ll see how it goes,” Kyle told me today, after signing up for his account.
“Hopefully sarcasm comes through very well because I have a dry sense of humor and I’m sarcastic at times, so we’ll see what I’ve got.”
When I asked him what he plans to tweet about it, he said, “The random things that go on in the everyday life of a baseball player, I just want to keep it kind of light and fun, or try to anyways.”
As for his bet with Tyler and Will? “I still owe them dinner. We talked about it. We’ll find a good time.”
It was a lot of fun out there on the course, getting to know these guys a little better away from the field. They were relaxed and having a good time.
However, now that the season is underway, there won’t be much (if any) time for golf, but we can all look forward to following Kyle and the rest of the Brewers on Twitter this season. Stay tuned for insights into their day-to-day lives, interesting anecdotes and playful banter among teammates; for a complete Brewers Twitter Roster, visit brewers.com/connect.
Looks like Kyle made good on the other half of his bet to Tyler and Will last night! A true man of his word, indeed.