A couple weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner. Since my daughter was only 2 months old at the time and I had no energy to cook, I sent the men (including the star of this post, Chris) out to forage for some Chicken and Waffles at nearby Flying J's, but alas, it was closed. They came back with tasty burgers from Phil's Icehouse instead, and all was forgiven.
While dining on burgers, Chris told us about a new app he had created. It's something about golf in Austin, and I'm going to get him to expand on it more in a second, because I'm sure he can describe it better. I'm also hoping he can talk about other stuff that I know nothing about, because he's outside my usual circle of mothers, graphic/web designers or architects (though just barely, as his wife is a mom & web developer).
First off, you and your wife moved to Austin about two years ago. What made you want to move here?
My wife is (mostly) from Austin, so when we were looking for a place to relocate to after I finished grad school, Austin was on the top of the list. We looked at our other favorite places - San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, and Boulder - and Austin had the best mix of job opportunities, affordable housing, and... er... free baby sitting. Austin also has non-stop flights to all the other places, so while we don't live near my family (mostly in California and Hawaii), mountains (my favorite place), or the ocean (my wife's favorite place), we're really only a few hours of traveling away.
How do you like living in Brykerwoods?
is great. It's centrally located and (very) close to MoPac, so we're no more than 20 minutes to almost anywhere we'd work, dine, or play in the Austin area. The neighborhood itself was mostly built in the 1940s and the houses are a little quainter than Tarrytown (just west) and Pemberton (south) while still being reasonably priced. Our neighbors range from original owners to growing families. Brykerwoods has an active community group that organizes block parties a few times a year and a good moderated mailing list for community discussions. Do I sound like an ad for Brykerwoods yet?
Tell me about the app you just created.
ForeSight is an interactive yardage chart application for golfers. It uses aerial photography and a unique measurement system to allow golfers to measure distances between any two points on the golf course. GPS units typically only provide distances from the current location to a few preset points such as bunkers and the pin. ForeSight lets golfers place their ball anywhere (including, of course, where they're currently standing using the iPhone GPS) and measure to any location. This makes it easy to plan shots and determine how far your shot went.
Currently, ForeSight supports the local Austin public courses and I will be adding more courses over the next year as time permits. (if there are any tech savvy golfers reading this, let me know if you want to help add courses. ;) ) [ed. note: Contact Chris by contacting me
, and I'll pass on his info.]
There is a Lite version and a Full version available on the app store:
What's your favorite golf course in Austin?
Somehow, Austin ended up with an abundance of great, affordable golf. My two favorites in the city are Roy Kizer and Lions. Roy Kizer is probably the most forgiving course in Austin and you have to try really hard to have a bad game on it. Lions has short, narrow fairways and is a little more challenging but has a lot of history. It also happens to be about 5 minutes from my house, so it's easy to go play a game after work and still get home at a reasonable hour. (well, it was easy before the baby arrived) Unfortunately, Lions will probably be converted to expensive condos when the city's lease expires.
You have an 8 month old son now. What's a typical weekend for you now?
Eat. Play. Eat. Play. Nap. Repeat. Occasionally there will be some climbing or golf mixed in for fun. (heh... who am I kidding... I've only golfed twice since my son was born.)
Ok, now pretend you didn't have a kid-- what would a dream weekend be like in town?
There is such a thing as life without a kid???
If I had babysitting for a whole weekend, I'd take advantage of all the outdoorsy things you can do in Austin and the great dining scene. Friday would kick off the weekend with a fancy night out with my wife at Zoot (sigh... no longer close to our house) or Olivia or a similar restaurant followed by a play at the Zach or music downtown.
Bright and early Saturday, I'd drag my neighbor out for some rock climbing at Reimer's Ranch or the Barton Creek Greenbelt, then relax with my wife in a kayak on Town... er... Lady Bird Lake, and enjoy Tex Mex and BBQ for dinner (Maudie's and Lamberts are two favorites).
Sunday, I'd schedule a round of golf with the in-laws and finish off the weekend grilling and relaxing at home.
Anything else that people should know about Austin?
Austin has a good rock climbing scene! No, there aren't any mountains or any real high cliffs, but the rivers have carved out some really impressive limestone features that make for fun sport climbing. And, Enchanted Rock has good granite trad routes an hour and a half from Austin. Really, outside of Hueco Tanks, Austin and E-Rock have the best climbing in Texas.
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