Golf Ball Display Cabinet Project, Part 2

In my previous post, I went over some of the early stages of my golf ball display cabinet. In this post, I’ll go over how I actually finished it.

I have already gotten a handful of emails and texts about the project – it turns out I’m not the only one out there who thinks this is a cool addition to the house!

A lot of golf ball display cabinets feature a green felt backboard, but I wanted mine to be a solid black to avoid taking any attention away from the focal point of the piece: The logo golf balls. I spray painted it teal and allowed it to dry before applying the dark wood stain.

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The frame was assembled using 45-degree angles at the corners (using a mitre saw), and here is where it became evident I need some more tools. Specifically, a nail gun and corner clamps would have come in huge.

Without corner clamps or a nail gun, I wood glued one corner at a time, using scrap wood blocks to ensure 90-degree angles at the edges. After allowing the wood glued corners to dry, I put four small finishing nails in to each corner – two on each side of each corner.

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With the frame assembled, I re-sanded the sides and all visible areas again, especially the edges to bring out the natural, rustic wood look that I like. Kelly and I are both big fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show Fixer Upper, which gave me my vision for the overall appearance of my project.

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I again sanded and attached the back using wood glue and nails. The pine wood I used was slightly bowed, so the backing did not attach as smoothly as I would have liked but I got it close.

Looking back now, I would have attached the shelves to the back prior to attaching the back. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

Finishing the shelves was next, and let me say it’s a long and arduous process! A drill press would have been incredibly helpful at this step, as using a hand drill for all 203 tee holes presented at least 203 opportunities to make a mistake.

I used a chalk line to mark where the drill holes would go – slightly toward the front of the finished/visible shelf edges and with 2″ in between each tee. Measuring the distance from each side that would make sure the tees all lined up vertically took a while, but ended up requiring the first hole to be drilled just under 5 cm in from both the left and right sides.

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Sand over the shelves after drilling them make sure the surfaces are smooth. Also, flip over each board to make sure the drill bit did not go through the bottom. If it did, use putty to fill the hole and wait for those to dry. Once dried, I spray painted the shelves the teal color and allowed them to dry.

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After drying, I sanded down the shelves again and then stained them, allowing the wood finish to dry.

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Next? You guessed it: More sanding.

Sand down the shelves after the stain is dry, and especially sand the edges to bring out the natural wood underneath. Sanding this time will bring out some of the teal under-cover, and make the wood look vintage and, thus, cool.

Next, get the tees that will be used in the display and find something effective for cutting them down. It took a lot of trial and error in this part of the project, but the best tool I could find was a wire cutter and the tee length that I settled on liking best is ~ 3/4″.

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Cut the tees down just under an inch each and using a sheet of sanding paper sharpen the bottoms so they’ll slide straight in to the tee holes. Try to make sure they are all straight up and down; this will be tough to fix later.

When all the tees are rudimentally in the holes, there are a couple of options for setting them. The one that I used was taking a hammer (a mallet would have been better) and pounding on them until they were all the same height above the shelf, and fit snugly. Another option is to use a hand-clamp, but after a couple of cocktails on Saturday night I had a hard time getting the clamps to put the tees in straight and went back to the hammer.

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It took a while to get the distances down for the shelves. Most important, of course, is that each shelf has enough space for a ball to fit comfortably underneath the shelf above it. I wanted to have a little extra space on the bottom shelf to have slightly longer tees, but looking back on that decision it really didn’t add much appeal.

Above the taller first shelf, the other five were spaced to be around 2-3/4″ apart from one another. The important part here is to make sure you like how it looks when they’re mounted, so avoid any nailing until you know you have the spacing that you want.

I made a mistake here and start wood gluing and then nailing in the shelves right away – the shelves look alright, but could have been spaced a little more effectively.

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Always make sure to wipe off any excess wood glue whenever binding the boards – this will be awful to clean later. Put weights or heavy objects on top of them to let the boards set securely, and when they are dried it will be time to get some finishing nails through the sides.

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When everything is dry, flip the board over so the backing is face up, and using the chalk line mark half-way through the height of each shelf where nails will be pounded in. The scrap boards shown below were screwed in to the corners earlier to help keep the corners and the back board tight.

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After the nails are pounded in, the project should be just about finished!

The last step for me was affixing a french cleat to the back frame. The french cleat I got from Home Depot was ~ $15, has a 200-pound weight capacity and was super easy to install. One piece screws in to the frame (make sure it’s centered perfectly), and the other screws in to the wall – make sure to get at least two of the wall screws in to studs – the side attached to the frame will then sit on top of the wall side, and can be moved laterally (like the old tv wall mounts that are flush to the wall)).

Finally, 32 hours of work later, my project was completed and on the wall. The last thing left to do was put some golf balls in the display… I’m at 130 now, and have room for 73 more. Mission: Accomplished.

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The last issue I had involved golf balls falling off the tees – I was able to remedy this with small pliable adhesive circles from Michael’s. They actually ended up being the exact diameter of the tees, working out perfectly.

Have you ever had the urge to take on a cool golf project? If so, what is it and how did it turn out? I’d love to see pictures of other golf enthusiasts’ projects!

Painting by Kris Halsrud: The 17th at Whistling Straits, Straits Course

Kris Halsrud is a talented writer, golfer and IT professional. Like me, he has blogged about golf for years, and over the past five or so years we’ve built a friendship through our golf writing and love of the game.

While most of my writing revolves around the Wisconsin golf scene, Kris’s is more focused on Minnesota with his Kristazio on Golf blog.

When I went remote for my sales job back in July of last year, I turned what was my second bedroom in to my office and have been working on getting some cool artwork including photographs and paintings (ie: This caricature by Gene Haas), and have always wanted something big and impressive for the corner accent wall.

Kris, who is a Systems Engineer in the Twin Cities area, has always had a passion for painting and artwork. While he does not sell his work professionally, his artwork is amazing and he has made quite a few pieces over the years for charity auctions and other events.

After playing the Straits course in perfect weather last August, I finally had a scene I wanted to have done for the coveted accent wall in my office:

Photo of Kyle teeing off on the 17th of the Straits course at Whistling Straits

Photo of Kyle teeing off on the 17th of the Straits course at Whistling Straits

While the above picture shows my friend, Kyle (I took it), he was able to work with other pictures found on my blog to paint me in to the setting.

The 17th on the Straits course is one of the most famous par three holes in the world, and is every bit as beautiful as it is treacherous. Be short and find trouble; be right and find some of the most ridiculous bunkers in the world; be left and you’re in Lake Michigan.

And who would raise up a huge berm front-right on a 200-plus yard par three just to have an awkward-shaped bunker that will leave a blind shot downhill toward the lake? Only Pete Dye.

The story is that with every course Pete Dye designs, his wife (Alice) is given artistic integrity on one par three. This was Alice’s par three on the Straits course, and she must have been in a real bad mood that day!

Kris did an incredible job on the painting, even matching the frame’s finish to other artwork in my office, and this beautiful 36 x 24 oil painting now hangs proudly on the pavement gray accent wall that I see a hundred times or more per day:

Painting by Kris Halsrud (http://kristaziogolf.blogspot.com) of me on the 17th of the Straits course at Whistling Straits

Painting by Kris Halsrud (http://kristaziogolf.blogspot.com) of me on the 17th of the Straits course at Whistling Straits

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Gene Haas: The Master Caricaturist

As Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Golf Association from 1977-2000, Gene Haas forged the way for great and competitive golf in our state, and as a committee member for the USGA played a key role in the formation of the slope system that is now used around the world for the purpose of providing “Travel-able” handicaps.

His work has made competition within different states and clubs, and between all skill levels as reasonable as it has ever been, and his efforts and the relationships he has developed both within and outside of the game have made him an absolute legend.

Still carrying a five handicap, Gene stays active in the golf world, playing out of Westmoor Country Club and continuing to rate golf courses for Golf Digest – heck, he wrote the book on golf course rating systems. He is also the foremost historian on golf in Wisconsin (which brought us together in the first place) – if he doesn’t know it, nobody does.

In his free time, Gene has become well-known on a national level as a caricature artist. His work has been featured in numerous magazines, both golf-related and not (who remembers Mad Magazine!?), and he is looking forward to being the featured artist in the upcoming issue of South Florida’s “Opulence.”

As a guy who works on trying to be artistic (and fails miserably, but I enjoy it!), I loved Gene’s work the moment I saw it and can recognize it anywhere… When entering the locker room at Westmoor Country Club, for example, or when I followed another Wisconsin amateur legend, Tom Halla, on Twitter.

Through my golf writing and a speech I had to give at North Hills Country Club last year on the state of the game of golf in Wisconsin and the history of North Hills, I have gotten to know Gene a bit over the years and have always enjoyed his company and stories. I had to ask him for a portrait, but for the longest time could not decide what I wanted it to be of.

I sent him a picture from the eighteenth hole at my beloved North Hills last week, along with a number of face shots for him to put on canvas, and the result was every bit as good as I had hoped for:

Caricature portrait by Gene Haas

Caricature portrait by Gene Haas

Interested in having your own caricature portrait drawn? Gene’s website shows much of his work throughout the decades – likenesses of legends from sports, politics, entertainment and all facets of society. Most have been featured in published works – mine will probably not, but it’s mine and will adorn my office wall when I am able to find an 11″ x 14″ frame that suits it.

His rates are reasonable, and his work is spectacular. Gene can be reached at ehaas4@wi.rr.com.

Link to Gene Haas’s Website, “Face Value”

Another of his recent works, painted for Herb Kohler, Jr., following this year’s PGA Championship, where he was a guest of Kohler’s in their private chalet:

Caricature of Herb Kohler, Jr. and PGA Championship winner Jason Day, by Gene Haas

Caricature of Herb Kohler, Jr. and PGA Championship winner Jason Day, by Gene Haas

Golf Course Photography: Westmoor Country Club

With the Men’s Invitational being played at my home course of North Hills Country Club, I reached out to my friend, Joey, to play some golf at his home course, Westmoor Country Club, in Brookfield yesterday.

We teed off at 10:27 and it was hot, but there was a nice breeze that kept things comfortable. The course was in magnificent shape, and since I already reviewed it last year I took it as an opportunity to continue my dabbling in photography with different filters and “Artistic” photography.

WiscoGolfAddict course review of Westmoor Country Club

While Joey played his worst round of golf in the past 20-plus years for the club championship qualifying round, Jeff played his best shooting 38-42 [as a 15-handicap!].

It’s always fun playing with people who are playing their best, and 38 on the front was phenomenal – it was fairways and greens with some great putts and a few that didn’t quite fall but left easy pars. I love those days, personally, and could tell Jeff was pretty psyched about it, too.

I was especially excited about it because Jeff was my teammate for 6/6/6 for the first six holes, in which he was even par while I was still figuring the greens out.

As a side note, Westmoor has done a fantastic job with their greens – they are rolling really well and true, and you would be hard pressed to find an unfixed ball mark anywhere.

Bill Burkhart, who is on the club’s golf/handicap committee, played along with us and offered a lot of great insight about the course and their current projects. I love the new “Thin fescue” that has been introduced over the past few years, especially, and tried to highlight some of it in my photography of the course from Saturday’s round.

Hole 2

Hole 2

Hole 3

Hole 3 along Moorland Road

Hole 3 from the swale between the tee and green

Hole 3 from the swale between the tee and green

Hole 4

Hole 4 along Moorland Road

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Hole 4 along Moorland Road

Hole 5

Hole 5

Hole 7

Hole 7 along I-94

Hole 7

Hole 7 along I-94

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Hole 9 playing back to the clubhouse

Hole 9

Hole 9 playing back to the clubhouse

Hole 9

Hole 9 playing back to the clubhouse

Hole 11

Joey’s approach on hole 11

Hole 13

Hole 13

Hole 13

Bill’s tee shot on hole 13

Hole 14

Hole 14

Hole 16

Hole 15

Hole 16

Hole 15

Hole 16

Hole 16

Hole 16

Hole 16

Hole 17

Hole 17

After I finished three-putting on seventeen, we made our way to the eighteenth tee where we were met by staff telling us that the incoming storm was only a couple of miles away. They had picked up our bags half-way down the fairway and had us jump in carts to head back to the clubhouse.

It was starting to get a little dark, and a little windier, but nothing happened for 15-20 minutes. Then…

Flash storm from the lounge at Westmoor Country Club

Pop-up storm from the lounge at Westmoor Country Club

Flash storm from the lounge at Westmoor Country Club

Pop-up storm from the lounge at Westmoor Country Club

Flash storm from the lounge at Westmoor Country Club

Pop-up storm from the lounge at Westmoor Country Club

Flash storm from the lounge at Westmoor Country Club

Pop-up storm from the lounge at Westmoor Country Club

Golf Course Photography: Whistling Straits, Irish Course

As a marshal for the upcoming PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, I have had access at times to discounted tee times at the Kohler courses, including the Irish course at Whistling Straits, the Straits (last season), the River course (last season) and the Meadow Valleys course at Blackwolf Run.

Seven friends of mine and I played the Irish course at Whistling Straits yesterday, and seeing as I have already reviewed the course (WiscoGolfAddict review of Whistling Straits, Irish course) I decided to use the round to experiment with new filters and settings on my camera.

The pictures to follow are some of my favorites from yesterday’s round at one of our country’s top 100 golf courses:

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The par four 1st hole tee shot at Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Jeff’s tee shot on the par three 3rd hole on the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Jeff’s tee shot on the par three 3rd hole on the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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The par three 6th hole on the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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The par five 8th hole on the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Blake’s sand shot on the 8th hole at the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Dan’s tee shot on the par four 10th hole at the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Sand and fescue left of the fairway on the par four 10th hole at the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Left-side approach on the par four 10th hole on the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Left-side approach on the par four 10th hole at the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Match-up for the ages: Jeff vs. Dan finished with Dan winning with par on 18 vs. Jeff’s bogey (10th hole green shown here)

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Tee shot on the par three 11th hole on the Whistling Straits, Irish course, with PGA Championship facilities being erected on the Straits course in the background

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Tee shot on the par three 11th hole on the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Dan’s tee shot on the par three 11th hole on the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Tee shot on the par four 12th hole at Whistling Straits, Irish course

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View from the 12th hole tee box toward the 14th on the Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Dan hitting his second shot on the par four 12th hole on the Irish course at Whistling Straits from the Straits course

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Tee shot on the par three 13th at Whistling Straits, Irish course

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A look from the par four 13th on the Irish course at Whistling Straits toward the Straits course

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A look from the par four 13th on the Irish course at Whistling Straits toward the Straits course

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The approach on the par five 14th hole at Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Sunset over the pond on 16/17 at Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Sunset over the pond on 17 at Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Tee shot on the par four 17th at Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Geese on the par five 18th tee box at Whistling Straits, Irish course

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Whistling Straits clubhouse at 9:30 pm… Sorta spooky