My Paper Tiger journey / 1 year full time golfer job starts Monday 7-1-19

grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited Jul 6, 2019 6:22pm in Instruction & Academy #1

So basically, I turn 40 in a couple weeks and most dudes buy a harley or a convertible but I'm going to play and practice golf basically full time for a year. I'm taking inspiration from the book Paper Tiger (if you haven't read it go do so ASAP) where a guy went from about a 15 handicap to a PLUS 2 or 3 or so in a year.

My goal was to be scratch by the time I was 40 but work kept me in check for the past 3 to 4 years but now that's changing for the better and I have a team that takes a lot of the load off me. I'm going to keep up with the post as a journal to look back on at the end of it all, a way to track my progress, and also hopefully to get some great advice that helps me along the way.

I should be able to practice or play a minimum of 30 hours per week every week for the next year barring injury. I also have a putting green in my living room to practice at night and plenty of space to do drills on full swings.

Current Handicap: 7.9
Goal Handicap: Scratch or Better

Biggest Strengths/Advantages:
1. A wife who will tolerate this and a job that will allow it.
2. Distance. I have a higher than PGA tour average swing speed.
3. Close friends with several former mini tour and web.com guys to play with and learn from.
4. Access to two different top 100 in America teachers within 30 minutes of my home with all the technology I could ask for.

Biggest Issues:
1. Only played the game off and on for about 10 years, zero tournament or pressure situation experience.
2. My putting is atrocious.
3. My short game isn't much better
4. Poor course management, a huge part of my bad scoring is self inflicted.

Would love suggestions from any of you who have gone down this path. Any really accomplished golfers who would like to share their practice routines and skills games that they have used to improve would be greatly appreciated.

Ping G410 Plus
Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
Vokey SM6 56 and 60
Post edited by grantc79 on
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Comments

  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PowderedToastMan said:
    Sounds fun. The great news is that your four weaknesses are all things that can be learned. Your swing speed is largely a gift of good genes, but putting, short game and course management can be acquired through practice, experience and learning.

    Go to a really good fitter, find a putter you love the look and feel of, and can align easily, and stick with it for the full year. As for short game, I’d get a few lessons with Monte or Dan, and just totally commit to their ideas and practice like mad on those.

    If you want to be a scratch or better player, find a go to shot off the tee that you can know you’ll be able to rely on. If you can hit it long and in bounds, and make a putt here and there, you can reach your goal in less than a year I believe.

    Great advice 👍

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60
  • ZXE041ZXE041 Members Posts: 11 ✭✭

    Best of luck! Looking forward to hearing about your journey!

  • wkuo3wkuo3 RELEASE Members Posts: 4,187 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, what a life !
    Not only your job allows you to take time off for golf but your wife understands your ego and dream.
    If it worth anything, you should have your health check up before you start the change of schedule. The last you'll need is an injury which stopped you in the track.
    Obviously you'll need some professional help on the short game and putting. Maybe due for a few lessons and equipment fitting ?
    Last and most important, Never forget the support from your spouse, even when she expressed agreement to let you go free on golf. Because you'll go back to her when you turned 41 and hopefully will daty with her for the rest of your life. By that, I meant Don;t ignore her needs just because she said go fly away.
    Good luck to you, and really envy you for being able to do this. But I'll never exchange my life with anyone else. Still jealous, so share some glimpse of your journey here .

  • JAMH03JAMH03 Members Posts: 956 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @grantc79
    Congrats and Go get it here are some ideas that I hope can help. If they can GREAT if not no sweat!




     



  • buckeyeflbuckeyefl Members Posts: 6,068 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jun 29, 2019 2:00pm #7

    Fix 2, 3 and 4 ( given your circumstances that should be relatively simple) and you may have to set new goals.
    A little tip a sports psychologist for end gave me, never pick up a club without a reason or a purpose.

    Good luck.

  • airjammerairjammer Members Posts: 1,077 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Went thru something similar but at age 28..40 now. I got divorced and worked night shift at the time. Didn’t quite put in 30 hours a week probably closer to 20 with 12 hours of it being hitting balls. Our starting handicaps were pretty much the same and I cannot say exactly how low since I only played money games at that time but it was on the plus side. I’ll share what I would have done a lot differently.

    I would seek out one of the golf professionals you mentioned close to you and put together a written plan. I’m a tinker by nature so I would randomly change what I’m working on daily basis. That meant that I didn’t have a “swing” I had to find a feel that would work when I did play. I’m still that way to this day but not nearly as bad. So the first lesson I can share is build a game for a lifetime..know exactly how you need to setup with each club and write it down. What exactly you are trying to accomplish on the backswing and the transition pieces that need to happen for you to be successful..write it all down.

    30 hours is a lot of time. If you start banging lots of ball early on it easy to get tired and you’ll change your swing probably for the worse out of shear necessity because your body is too tired to hold the club up properly at the top of the backswing or transition properly. Most professional routines I have seen go something like this..warm up, practice putting, hit balls working on something technical, play 9, hit more balls working thru feels the new technique provide on the course, more putting, some chipping/pitching, play 9 or 18 money game...rinse and repeat.

    Imo playing money/pressure games are very important to growth as a golfer. You have to play for enough that it makes you nervous to lose it. I think it’s that important that it’s worth way more than 10 hours of practice a week and you might want to work more just so you have extra money to play with.

    Find a way to make your practice harder that being on the golf course..set up obstacles etc whatever you have to do to increase focus.

    Find a practice buddy that is better than you if at all possible. Chipping or putting for quarters is enough for me to hyper focus.

    Have fun with it

  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @wkuo3 said:
    Wow, what a life !
    Not only your job allows you to take time off for golf but your wife understands your ego and dream.
    If it worth anything, you should have your health check up before you start the change of schedule. The last you'll need is an injury which stopped you in the track.
    Obviously you'll need some professional help on the short game and putting. Maybe due for a few lessons and equipment fitting ?
    Last and most important, Never forget the support from your spouse, even when she expressed agreement to let you go free on golf. Because you'll go back to her when you turned 41 and hopefully will daty with her for the rest of your life. By that, I meant Don;t ignore her needs just because she said go fly away.
    Good luck to you, and really envy you for being able to do this. But I'll never exchange my life with anyone else. Still jealous, so share some glimpse of your journey here .

    I'm not actually going to fly away I have everything I need here locally and two small kids

    When they go to school and sleep is my time
    When they are home it's family time

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60
  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @airjammer said:
    Went thru something similar but at age 28..40 now. I got divorced and worked night shift at the time. Didn’t quite put in 30 hours a week probably closer to 20 with 12 hours of it being hitting balls. Our starting handicaps were pretty much the same and I cannot say exactly how low since I only played money games at that time but it was on the plus side. I’ll share what I would have done a lot differently.

    I would seek out one of the golf professionals you mentioned close to you and put together a written plan. I’m a tinker by nature so I would randomly change what I’m working on daily basis. That meant that I didn’t have a “swing” I had to find a feel that would work when I did play. I’m still that way to this day but not nearly as bad. So the first lesson I can share is build a game for a lifetime..know exactly how you need to setup with each club and write it down. What exactly you are trying to accomplish on the backswing and the transition pieces that need to happen for you to be successful..write it all down.

    30 hours is a lot of time. If you start banging lots of ball early on it easy to get tired and you’ll change your swing probably for the worse out of shear necessity because your body is too tired to hold the club up properly at the top of the backswing or transition properly. Most professional routines I have seen go something like this..warm up, practice putting, hit balls working on something technical, play 9, hit more balls working thru feels the new technique provide on the course, more putting, some chipping/pitching, play 9 or 18 money game...rinse and repeat.

    Imo playing money/pressure games are very important to growth as a golfer. You have to play for enough that it makes you nervous to lose it. I think it’s that important that it’s worth way more than 10 hours of practice a week and you might want to work more just so you have extra money to play with.

    Find a way to make your practice harder that being on the golf course..set up obstacles etc whatever you have to do to increase focus.

    Find a practice buddy that is better than you if at all possible. Chipping or putting for quarters is enough for me to hyper focus.

    Have fun with it

    Great advice. I'm seeing a lot of that now.
    I played a scramble the other day with two 30+ cappers and a friend who played mini tours. I would have shot my best ever round if I just played my own ball that day but I was loose and didn't have anything to worry about.

    When I play with friends even if its 5 bucks I start making mental mistakes moreso than swing mistakes. The reason is because I'm focused on having fun and hitting the impossible shot as opposed to posting a score.

    My main guy that I play with grinds out everything, I don't grind out anything. Thats priority number 1 for me is mental focus.

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60
  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JAMH03 said:

    I'm gaining and losing strokes primarily through very poor course management and 3 putts. Shot 41 yesterday averaging 2.3 putts per hole. Hit 100% of fairways and 67% of greens.
    I'm playing a lot of rounds with great players and learning how they score. How they approach certain shots. Basically I'll have them caddy for me for that round and tell me what shots to hit on every shot aside from putting.

    I'm mainly seeing Rob Noel in Abita Springs, he teaches several top rank world/national amateur players taught Patrick Reed and others for a long time. But I have another guy I can see if I need to but pretty sure its just going to be Rob.

    Still developing the plan and the routine thats the next step.

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60
  • Dan DrakeDan Drake Members Posts: 2,004 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Grant,

    Congratulations on making a BIG decision! To do what you are going to do does take some time and for a few things to go in your favor and you have already laid those out. Well done there, as normally this type of post is not nearly as well thought out. I have done just about what you are going to do, although my list of strengths & weaknesses was a tad different than yours. But, from March 1st, 2017 as a 7.1, I will be a 0.6 on the July 1, 2019 revision. Like you, swing speed is an advantage that I have, so I know where you are coming from and know that you will get there.
    My one quick piece of advice is to really deep dive into the "prep" aspect of it all. Get an app or a spreadsheet and track your strokes gained religiously. You will find out where you REALLY need to focus, and where you are already good enough and can just work on "upkeep." Also, look into DECADE by Scott Fawcett or at least look up his videos on tee shot strategy. Just his free content alone has been worth 1 FULL SHOT per round for me since I have implemented it into my game!

    I won't say good luck, because I don't believe you need good luck. I know you will do this. Please message me if you would like to talk in more detail.

    WHO DAT!

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  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Dan Drake said:
    Grant,

    Congratulations on making a BIG decision! To do what you are going to do does take some time and for a few things to go in your favor and you have already laid those out. Well done there, as normally this type of post is not nearly as well thought out. I have done just about what you are going to do, although my list of strengths & weaknesses was a tad different than yours. But, from March 1st, 2017 as a 7.1, I will be a 0.6 on the July 1, 2019 revision. Like you, swing speed is an advantage that I have, so I know where you are coming from and know that you will get there.
    My one quick piece of advice is to really deep dive into the "prep" aspect of it all. Get an app or a spreadsheet and track your strokes gained religiously. You will find out where you REALLY need to focus, and where you are already good enough and can just work on "upkeep." Also, look into DECADE by Scott Fawcett or at least look up his videos on tee shot strategy. Just his free content alone has been worth 1 FULL SHOT per round for me since I have implemented it into my game!

    I won't say good luck, because I don't believe you need good luck. I know you will do this. Please message me if you would like to talk in more detail.

    WHO DAT!

    Yup I got 18 birdies premium to cover that will check out those vids thanks

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60
  • wkuo3wkuo3 RELEASE Members Posts: 4,187 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @grantc79 said:

    @wkuo3 said:
    Wow, what a life !
    Not only your job allows you to take time off for golf but your wife understands your ego and dream.
    If it worth anything, you should have your health check up before you start the change of schedule. The last you'll need is an injury which stopped you in the track.
    Obviously you'll need some professional help on the short game and putting. Maybe due for a few lessons and equipment fitting ?
    Last and most important, Never forget the support from your spouse, even when she expressed agreement to let you go free on golf. Because you'll go back to her when you turned 41 and hopefully will daty with her for the rest of your life. By that, I meant Don;t ignore her needs just because she said go fly away.
    Good luck to you, and really envy you for being able to do this. But I'll never exchange my life with anyone else. Still jealous, so share some glimpse of your journey here .

    I'm not actually going to fly away I have everything I need here locally and two small kids

    When they go to school and sleep is my time
    When they are home it's family time

    There was a period of time in my life about 2-3 years where I was in between the jobs, I had similar situation with two young children and an understanding spouse. I did not get to play as much golf as I'd like to. I had to pitch in for shopping, child caring, cooking and the household works to share some of the chores with my better half.
    Those were one of the best memories I had with my kids and wife. Sure I plyed golf maybe 3-4 times a month during those days. Could I played a lot more golf ? You'd bet. But I'll never regret not able to improve my golf game over the time I had had with my family.
    That is just me, not telling you what you should be doing. I value my family time more than a game and a nimber on the index card.
    Even Jack Nicklaus said, It's only a game , when asked how he felt about his golf career. He is someone to be admired, while having his career going could still spend time with his family.

  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @wkuo3 said:

    @grantc79 said:

    @wkuo3 said:
    Wow, what a life !
    Not only your job allows you to take time off for golf but your wife understands your ego and dream.
    If it worth anything, you should have your health check up before you start the change of schedule. The last you'll need is an injury which stopped you in the track.
    Obviously you'll need some professional help on the short game and putting. Maybe due for a few lessons and equipment fitting ?
    Last and most important, Never forget the support from your spouse, even when she expressed agreement to let you go free on golf. Because you'll go back to her when you turned 41 and hopefully will daty with her for the rest of your life. By that, I meant Don;t ignore her needs just because she said go fly away.
    Good luck to you, and really envy you for being able to do this. But I'll never exchange my life with anyone else. Still jealous, so share some glimpse of your journey here .

    I'm not actually going to fly away I have everything I need here locally and two small kids

    When they go to school and sleep is my time
    When they are home it's family time

    There was a period of time in my life about 2-3 years where I was in between the jobs, I had similar situation with two young children and an understanding spouse. I did not get to play as much golf as I'd like to. I had to pitch in for shopping, child caring, cooking and the household works to share some of the chores with my better half.
    Those were one of the best memories I had with my kids and wife. Sure I plyed golf maybe 3-4 times a month during those days. Could I played a lot more golf ? You'd bet. But I'll never regret not able to improve my golf game over the time I had had with my family.
    That is just me, not telling you what you should be doing. I value my family time more than a game and a nimber on the index card.
    Even Jack Nicklaus said, It's only a game , when asked how he felt about his golf career. He is someone to be admired, while having his career going could still spend time with his family.

    Ya agree said it earlier the grind will only be going when they are in school or asleep

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60
  • ddettsddetts Roy McAvoy Sioux Falls, SDClubWRX Posts: 1,699 ClubWRX

    Sounds like an awesome plan and commitment! Great that your work and marriage parts of your life allow for that time allotment.

    I started a similar process about 1 year ago, but definitely didn't have that amount of time or resources (pro level players, etc), which I'm very envious of.

    I look forward to following along with your journey.


    > See my current WITB
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  • DavePelz4DavePelz4 A golf course in the Chicago area.ClubWRX Posts: 24,785 ClubWRX

    First, I'm jealous...but isn't Monday July 1?

  • ebrasmus21ebrasmus21 Serial Shanker CAMembers Posts: 5,688 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    This should be an interesting follow. My advice, especially with all the hours/week you have to play and practice is learn how to practice effectively. You’ll have to figure out what that looks like for yourself but it’ll take consideration and awareness on your part to figure out and implement.

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  • PowderedToastManPowderedToastMan Members Posts: 4,001 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jun 29, 2019 6:21pm #19

    One other bit of advice. Once you come up with a plan, particularly your swing and the changes you want to make, stick with it. Every golfer is tempted to try something different when things aren’t working, when really your tempo and rhythm are probably just off. I see it all the time in good players.

    You have to be impatient in your quest to get better, but patient in allowing the changes to happen.

    Former professional golfer. Current amateur human being. Reformed club ho.

    In the bag:

    PING. Lots of PING.
  • buckeyeflbuckeyefl Members Posts: 6,068 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @PowderedToastMan said:
    One other bit of advice. Once you come up with a plan, particularly your swing and the changes you want to make, stick with it. Every golfer is tempted to try something different when things aren’t working, when really your tempo and rhythm are probably just off. I see it all the time in good players.

    You have to be impatient in your quest to get better, but patient in allowing the changes to happen.

    X 100

  • carreracarrera Members Posts: 2,597 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Good luck in your quest - looking forward to following along.
    Add some fitness/yoga to your schedule - your body will thank you. At 40, the strain of all this practice and play can result in injury or soreness, which will interrupt your improvement.

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  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @carrera said:
    Good luck in your quest - looking forward to following along.
    Add some fitness/yoga to your schedule - your body will thank you. At 40, the strain of all this practice and play can result in injury or soreness, which will interrupt your improvement.

    That's been on my mind I could basically hit the gym for about an hour every week day after dropping off the kids.

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60
  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jun 29, 2019 9:47pm #23

    What I'm currently working on:

    Full Swing:
    1. I get a bit flat at the top. My immediate move to start the downswing when I get like this is to want to steepen initially then try to recover it by flattening it out the whole way down from there. See pic. I'm doing what Fowler used to do. I wanna get it steeper in line with my shoulder.

    This will lead to the snap hooks or the blocks which along with putting is whats killing me because being a long hitter isn't fun when you hit it the wrong way. Working on feeling the club move up more and feeling the shoulders turning a bit more vertically than horizontally.
    2. My back leg straightens a bit too much and my hip wants to rotate backwards too much. This leads to me getting weight into my back heel instead of my back arch. Once I try to transfer forward my weight wants to go to my front toes instead of front arch and heel. That's another problem causing me to steepen because I'm not moving laterally from foot to foot I'm moving backward to back foot heel then up and forwards to lead foot toes. My model is Koepka, very little hips opening and knees staying bent throughout the backswing.

    Putting:
    1. I get into a bad habit of setting up too far away from the ball. When I do this I tend to pull the putter head inside then push putts when I come back through. I got two putting mirrors one in my living room which I'll use at night for an hour or so and one for my car that I will use at the course. The one at home I get up to the ball get my eyes in the perfect spot on the mirror, hit the putt, then back away and reset. I'm going to do this so I get the repeated motion of setting my eyes in the proper spot. When at the course I'll also use tees to train the proper putter path.
    2. I'm going to grind out every putt. No more slapping at 3 and 4 footers and giving them to myself if I miss it. I'm going to read everything and have the same preshot routine for everything. I'm going to putt out everything as if its tournament golf.

    Mental Game:
    1. I play at a very narrow 6600 yard course. This course really encourages you to work the ball both ways. My natural shot shape is a draw so I wind up having to cut the ball off the tee box if I want to play aggressive. Its also very easy to get out of position with tight dog legs which then makes you work the ball so you have to hit to certain distances off the tee box as well. I'm going to start playing my draw on every shot that doesn't absolutely require something different. On most holes if I accidentally hit my ball straight when trying to cut it I'm out of bounds. If I have to cut it to play a hybrid then I'll just hit an iron. I'm going to stop trying to work the ball both ways to go after sucker flag pins. Aiming at the center of the green and hitting my draw won't kill me. Aiming at a right side flag and drawing away from it from 150+ out also won't kill me.

    A ton of my bogeys and double bogeys come from the tee box and chasing sucker pins and that's going to stop.

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60
  • Railroading13Railroading13 NebraskaMembers Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My only advice.... Random practice>block practice. Practice how you play

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  • JAMH03JAMH03 Members Posts: 956 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jun 29, 2019 11:11pm #25

    Edit Tagged ddedts and erabrasmus as I didn't realize they were already here.


     



  • MountainGoatMountainGoat Mid-MarylandMembers Posts: 2,049 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I know how this ends.

  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Open Championship! IowaClubWRX Posts: 18,275 ClubWRX

    @DavePelz4 said:
    First, I'm jealous...but isn't Monday July 1?

    Getting a head start, lol, or late, I can't figure.

  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Open Championship! IowaClubWRX Posts: 18,275 ClubWRX

    LOL, if those last pics are of the OP, I dare someone to tell him this won't work!

  • parmarkparmark Parmark Members Posts: 1,420 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Like noted above, a friend of mine, younger but a real player, went out with this goal in mind a few years ago. Only suggestion from peanut gallery - take care of your body. I recall the Dan Plan 10,000 hour guy, seems his body gave out on him. You might want to consider or plan more than an hour a week if I read that right - find a good yoga program, you can also do that at night when kid's are asleep. You are young enough but don't take your health for granted. Best of Luck , would be fun to see you accomplish this. Don't let the small detours stop your journey.

  • grantc79grantc79 New OrleansMembers Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Railroading13 said:
    My only advice.... Random practice>block practice. Practice how you play

    @2bGood said:
    I spent some time getting to scratch years ago. The one thing that helped me most was being proficient at short putts.

    3 times per week I would attempt to hole 90 - 34" putts out of 100 attempts as the first thing I did for practice. My training was simple - I would use my putter to measure out 5 location around a hole 34" away and then take my time going around the circle 20 times. If I got to ten misses before I got to 90 makes I would start again. Some nights I would never get to practice anything else and ran out of time before I made 90. The great part about this is you get to experience you putting under stress. So may times I would have 2 or 3 attempts left and would need to make them all or start again.

    Obviously I got really good at making short putts. Not so obvious is this really free'd up my chipping and lag putting as I had a very large circle to aim for to know I was going to make the putt. This then free'd up my approach shots as I felt getting anywhere near the green would result in a two putt or up & down at worst.

    Your results may vary, but for me this was what l look back on as the single best help to lower my cap.

    That's pretty cool

    Ping G410 Plus
    Ping G410 2 and 3 hybrid
    Mizuno Hot Metal Pro 4-GW
    Vokey SM6 56 and 60

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