“Weaving Stories Together – Sydney International Storytelling Conference” June 6-8 2014.

Sydney International Storytelling Conference - dates have been announced!

Dear Storytellers,
We are happy to announce that the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) Inc. will be hosting another “Weaving Stories Together – Sydney International Storytelling Conference” in June 6-8 2014. The theme will be ‘Connecting with Stories’. Place the date in your diaries now! 

Call for workshops and performances and website information HERE

Looking forward to seeing many of our Australasian friends again as well as visitors from further abroad.
Kind regards,

Christine Carlton
Australian Storytelling guild (NSW) Inc.
0415 430 485

Clare Coburn: Storytelling Muster 5 November 2013

Dear lovers of wonder, whimsy and wisdom

Just before I head off to Singapore for the festival, I had to let you know we have a muster coming up--a storytellers' muster! 

All storytellers from beginners to old hands are welcome so please send this on to anyone you think may be interested

Come to the inaugural storytellers’ muster: a day when storytellers, new or seasoned, gather to share stories, resources, try out new skills, and be inspired. There’ll be time to engage, sing, tell, reflect, share and connect; but mostly a time to be nourished amongst fellow storytellers! Workshops with Simon Oats, Clare Coburn and Martin Samson, warm up with singing led by Jo Windred.
Cup Day 5 November, 2013, 10am to 5pm
319 Auburn Road, Hawthorn Vic 3122
followed by an evening of storytelling and soup from 5.30pm to 8pm, entry by donation
Book for the muster at just $20 to $50 at trybooking: http://www.trybooking.com/DHNQ

Enjoy the light and warmth of early Spring


Rustic Canyon Golf Course, Moorpark, California - Course Review

Rustic Canyon Golf Course

Moorpark, California, United States

Architects: Gil Hanse, Geoff Shackelford and Jim Wagner (2002)

7,028 Yards, Par-72

Rating/Slope: 73.4/133

My Quick Review: Firm, Fast, Strategic and FUN

In his course profile on GolfClubAtlas.com, Ran Morrissett notes that the man that misses the first fairway should be shot. It's a good thing Ran was not the starter the day I played Rustic Canyon with a trio of GCAers as we'd have been a twosome for the rest of the round! The first fairway is indeed a very wide one; but, the intimidation of the short bunker right, the gunch farther to the right, and the out-of-bounds lurking left, combined with first tee jitters, will have a surprising number of golfers missing the fairway on this opening 540 yard par-5.

Rustic Canyon, especially if playing firm, is a thinking man's golf course. After a well-struck drive, golfers must decide whether to challenge the OB and a crossing dry-wash to leave a short approach from the left, or whether to lay-back to the right:

While laying back to the right seems like the 'obvious' choice, when the hole is playing downwind, golfers left with this short pitch wonder how they can keep their ball on the green. Playing right takes away the ground-game option:

The green complex at the first is adequate; not one of the day's standouts. The green tilts back toward the tee and fairway cut to the left leaves ample room to miss.

The 460 yard par-4 second hole at Rustic Canyon plays in the same direction as the first. And, like the first, has out of bounds running the length of the left side. Only the distant bunker gives a clue of the preferred angle of approach.

Perhaps the most confusing feature on the golf course is this bath tub sized bunker 260 yards out that actually faces away from the tee! Is it meant to be in play from the 2nd tee, or on the 5th, or both or neither? I'll let the Rustic regulars explain...

Playing away from the out-of-bounds leaves this view from the right. Effectively using force perspective, the top-line of the bunker matches the green's shaping making it appear as though the bunker is green side...

From the left-centre of the fairway, after challenging the out of bounds, the golfer is rewarded with a clear view of the green. Most importantly, the golfer will play his approach into the tilt of the green. Approaching this right-to-left tilted green from the right, especially if downwind, is a considerable challenge...

One of my playing partners said this is the best green complex on the golf course. Hopefully he will choose to explain why. If nothing else, these pictures help to show the leftward slope of the green...

The third hole, at 315 yards, is likely out of reach for most, but playing downwind there is sufficient temptation to 'go for the glory'! The golfer is given the opportunity to play a safe tee shot to the right, but for the preferred angle of approach into the green the golfer must challenge a diagonal ridge that crosses the fairway.

The approach as seen from the left:

And the principle's nose bunker complex guarding the area 40 yards short-right of the green. The golfer who bails out after trying to drive the green will be left with the dreaded long bunker shot:

One of the hole's primary defences is this deep bunker long and left of the green. Playing an approach from the right carries with it the greater risk of finding this menacing hazard:

I am going to presume that the 170 yard 4th hole is one that has changed since Ran's 2002 review. Ran notes that from the "tee, the golfer sees an uninterrupted green path from tee to green, hence what could be so hard about these holes?" As is clear from this first picture, a bunker filled ridge cuts across the hole 50 yards short of the green, blocking the once uninterrupted path.

The golfer is given ample room to bail out right, but contouring in the bailout area, combined the two-humped spine that runs diagonally across the green, mean that recovery from the right (or anywhere really) is a tall task.

Little forgiveness is shown for tee shots that land long of the green...

The 5th holes is the second of three par-5s on the opening nine. At 570 yards, slightly uphill, and playing into the prevailing wind, most golfers will be trying to shorten the hole wherever possible. Such is the genius of the hole where not once, but twice, the golfer is asked to play a semi-blind, bold shot over scrub or wash to cut off yardage; and on both occasions, the cautious golfer is given more than ample room to tack his way around the trouble. From the tee, the ideal line is well to the right, on a line where the fairway cannot be seen:

On the second shot, the golfer must carefully choose on which line he is to play over the wash. The shortest line to the green is well to the left, though there is ample room to the right (thanks to the shared fairway with the 2nd) to miss.

The green is dominated by a steep drop-off short and left:

A slight jog in the routing, as the 5th through 11th holes all run in the same general direction, with the exception of the 6th. At over 200 yards and with wash and native that blocks the view of the area short of the green, a first-time golfer at Rustic Canyon will surely be intimidated.

As the golfer nears the green, he sees there is ample room to miss short and right. This swale short of the green makes the tee shot considerably more interesting. Surely the play is to land the ball short of the swale and have it run onto the green. But, mis-hit the tee shot slightly and fail to get through the swale, and the golfer is faced with an extremely difficult recovery to a green that tilts away.

The 7th hole is another that has been changed as a result of the flood / mudslide in 2005. Ran called this hole a Channel hole, where the golfer had the option of playing a bold tee shot carrying at least 220 yards over wash to leave a pitch into the green, or to lay up to the left leaving a difficult angle of approach over the hazard. In 2004, the hole looked like this:

And in 2005, it looked like this:

By 2006 the hole was back in play, but the driving options that made the hole so great had been eliminated:

In 2011, the right fairway was extended to once again tempt the golfer to take-on the carry from the tee -- the carry today measures a minimum of 255 yards and, as a result, will not be taken on by many.

That is not to say the tee shot is wholly uninteresting as the golfer still must challenge the right side for the preferred angle and longer approach, or can play left for a wedge approach:

The wash crosses the hole at an angle:

I've written quite a bit thus far, but that is not to take focus away from the green complex, which must be the most controversial on the course. High 'wings' left and right on the green are separated by a deep swale, or half-pipe, that runs down the green's centre:

The 8th is just a wedge par-3, and is one of those holes where you're thinking birdie on the tee, but a slight mistake will result in bogey (and some head-shaking). The raised green is wide and shallow, and the overt hazards (bunkers short and left of the green) should not be in play.

The green slopes sharply from back-to-front making for many tough pin positions and requiring decision making from the tee. In all cases the golfer will want to keep his ball short of the pin as a miss over the green is a sure bogey.

A shelf on the left 1/4 of the green adds an excellent and challenging pin position:

On a golf course with tremendous width, the 9th fairway may be the widest and least defined fairway on the golf course. Bombers can likely reach this par-5 in two, but for most it is a very comfortable three-shotter. It's interesting how, when the golfer knows all he wants to do is keep his tee shot in play, he hits some of his worst tee shots. Such was the case for my group at the 9th (Alex excepted) where we all hit crooked and short tee shots.

The 9th is a hole where the golfer needs to play backwards from the green. The wonderful 9th green is dominated by a swale front-left and a plateau back-left. Playing to the front-left pin the golfer will want to play left of this perfectly placed fairway bunker. Playing to any other pin the golfer will want to play as far right as he dare.

Rocket Clock: "Do It Yourself" September 11, 2013

Rocket Clock Story Slam: “Do It Yourself"
Rocket Clock returns with a night of stories on the theme of "Do It Yourself". 

We're looking for tales of stepping up, taking the bull by the horns, home handyman exploits, going it alone and leading by example.

Pre-register your intent to tell by emailing rocketclockss@gmail.com or register on the night. Everyone is welcome to come along and listen, laugh, drink, cheer & weep.

Wednesday September 11, 2013
Doors open 8pm; slam kicks off 8.30pm. 
$5 pre-sale (+ $2 booking fee) or $8 on the door. Book tickets now via the Bella Union website: http://www.bellaunion.com.au/ticketing/show_367/.
Bella Union
Level 1, Trades Hall
Corner of Victoria & Lygon Streets
Carlton South

What is Rocket Clock?
Rocket Clock is a monthly story slam competition. Ten people each have five minutes to tell a story around a particular theme. Judges in the audience rate each story on both content and performance. Everyone has a great time.

More info:

Canadian Forces Base Borden - Anderson Park - Golf Course Review

Anderson Park Golf Course 

Borden, Ontario, Canada

Architect: Unknown (1917)

3,209 Yards, Par-36

My Quick Review: There's nothing more fun than golf on sandy soil!

"Have you played here before?" asked the gentleman in the pro shop.

I haven't.

"You're really going to enjoy it. It's not like most courses around here; it's links style."

We've all heard that nonsense before, right? 'Links style' courses with artificial mounding, an abundance of water hazards, and soft conditions.

Well, such is not the case at Anderson Park. I was astonished to find this 1917 design, built in the centre of an active Canadian Forced Base, built on sand. If the tinge of brown in the fairways, and the whispy tall grass don't appeal to your eye, move on... but Anderson Park GC is as fun a golf course as I've played in Ontario. The more I play these little known 9-hole courses, the more I enjoy their roughness and their quirk.

Anderson Park is no pushover at 3,209 yards, par-36, though the firm conditions do make it play considerably shorter.

The first hole is a 295 yard straightaway par-4, playing alongside out of bounds and with a tee shot that must crest a hill 220 yards from the tee. I'm sure the smile on my face was apparent as this normally short hitter drove the ball onto the front edge of the green -- oh the joys of links golf!

The second is another short par-4 that plays along the property's boundary. Staggered bunkering from the tee create cause for thought, and a simple at-grade green makes depth perception on the approach more difficult.

Some quirk at the reachable par-5 3rd as the blind tee shot gives little indication of the ideal line:

And for variety the approach is played to a pushed-up and domed green:

After the opportunity to start strongly, golfers will be brought back to earth with the back-to-back terrors at the 4th and 5th. The 4th is a 452 yard par-4 where, once again, the golfer must avoid out of bounds. At the 5th a driver may be required as it plays 249 yards, and into the wind, on the day I played. Perhaps a nod to MacRaynor, a deep swale guards the front of green:

A look at the sandy base:

The 6th is another straightaway par-4 with an uphill approach to a drop-down green that offers a fun kick-plate:

The 7th, well, it could be Prairie Dunes:

And you like long, internal views? This view from the 8th fairway looks across the 7th green through to the 3rd hole...

And the 9th is a fully-functioning redan: