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Adventure to Break 85 - Rebirth of the Shovels

 bortass ·  
bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
Joined:  edited Aug 3, 2020 2:07pm in Instruction & Academy #1

Once upon a time there was a terrible hacker named Bortass. He thought golf was boring growing up until he played for the first time in his early 30s. Suddenly the game that looked so 'stupid' as a kid wasn't and it was he that had been stupid and overlooked the game of golf in his younger years. He eventually bought a cheap starter golf set and returned the loaner clubs to his coworker. He was having a grand ole time exploring the local woods and water features because that's where the ball went. He was amazed how fun it was regardless of how bad he was. It was surprising in a way, yet it was as it was.

Eventually, as in 6 years after starting, he decided that he didn't want to be a terrible hacker any longer but a 'true' golfer. He wanted to taste the goodness that was breaking 100 for he had read a number of times that the majority of golfers never do. It took many lessons, a few years, and mental growth to actually do it, on Father's Day no less. It was one of the sweetest moments on the course for him. It was not long afterwards that he decided that 90 was the new goal.

Surely this would be easy, he thought. But alas such was not the case. It took more lessons and almost two more years but on his 42nd birthday he shot an 89. He tried to get under 80 to no avail. His love of the game was gone, replaced by frustration. He went from being able to shoot scores in the 80s to barely being able to break 100 and so he quit playing. He had gone full circle from hacker to okay golfer back to hacker. His clubs that saw many rounds over the years collected dust in the garage. They saw the course maybe once a year thereafter, a memento of a forgotten happy time


Anyone still with me?

So there are some people on these boards that may remember me. I documented my attempt to break 100 and 90 on these forums many years ago, 2008 - 2012. I got a lot of encouragement and advice from other members, some of which are still here like @Sean2 , @Rohlio , @pappaf2 , and others. Forgive me if you posted in those threads and I didn't mention you, it's not intentional. I remember their avatars and have seen them post stuff in more recent times.

I believe my best ever 18 hole round was an 85 and best 9 was a 41. I pretty much quit playing in the 2013-14 time frame. I was extremely frustrated with my game at the time. I went from a 19.6 index to 30.2 before I stopped playing. I played 1 18 hole round in 2016, shot a 54/45 99, and 1 nine hole round in both 2017 and 18.

2019 saw me relocate to the Atlanta area. My only round of the year, so far, was a charity scramble. A number of things have changed since I last payed attention to the game, no more belly putters, singles posting, the flag can be in now, etc.

My long term goal is to see if I can regain my old form and actually crack 85. I expect this to take quite a while based on my previous endevours to crack 100 and 90. I have see flashes of my old game during my sporadic rounds and the scramble. For example, I opened my 2017 and 2018 9 hole rounds with a couple of pars each and later fell apart. So Sometimes my swing is good but it's just as likely to be bad, lol. I can lay the sod as good as ever!

I have just joined a local club, so I'm going from being able to play 6 - 7 months to year round. I don't plan to play as much as I did during my personal hey day in 2012. I need to do a better job managing my personal time and I also don't want to burn out.

I had my first range session yesterday. I just brought my 7i and SW. Overall it went very well. I hit a number of pitches and 1/2 wedges, along with full 7i, with some punches thrown in. My ball flight is still predominately a draw, though I did hit a couple push fade clunkers. I also managed to blade a few pitches and chunk a couple full shots. I call it a solid success.


I have no clue about the pro(s) at the course yet but plan to wait before I consider lessons anyhow. The pro I worked with in Maine was great for me and it won't be easy to get that kind of relationship going again IMO.

I can't use index as a guage any longer since the USGA rule change in 2016 about singles not posting scores. Most of my rounds have been solo, just the nature of things, and I'm not sure how often I'll be posting. I also have no clue what my index will even be. It last was a 30.2 but I haven't been part of GHIN in over 5 years and I think my last posted score was in 2013. I don't remember my GHIN number and need to go in and talk to the pro about what the story is. I bet they just start me new since the WHS is rolling out in 2020 and I don't have any 2019 scores to use as a baseline.


Thanks for reading if you made it this far. Have a great one.


Mods, feel free to delete or move, if this type of thread is no longer appropriate for the forums. Things have changed in the last 6 years...

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Comments

  • DivinDaveDivinDave Longview TexasMembers  631WRX Points: 142Handicap: 13.8Posts: 631 Golden Tee
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    Good Luck!

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    Experience - What's leaned just after you needed it most
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  • Z1ggy16Z1ggy16 Members  9787WRX Points: 1,671Posts: 9,787 Titanium Tees
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    Easiest way to break 85 is just slap something down the fairway a reasonable distance. I shot 81 only using a 4i off every tee other than par 3's. Don't lose any balls, make a reasonable approach shot within 10-20 yards of the green and become deadly inside 5 feet. Almost impossible to not break 85 doing this. The only caveat to this is if you're really bad at bunker play and reasonably good with driver, then maybe that is not the best idea... the 4i approach usually lands you in a few bunkers throughout the round.

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  • lindsaybinseylindsaybinsey Members  81WRX Points: 54Handicap: scratchPosts: 81 Fairways
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    Keep grinding! I feel like being out on the course trumps the range once you break 90 consistently. Harness the punch shot and the learn how to save the pars and bogeys. The scratch players always have the best course management skills. Take the medicine when you miss the fairways and greens. Don't force the doubles and triples, and make putts baby!

    You will get there before you know it!

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  • RohlioRohlio Members  2456WRX Points: 298Posts: 2,456 Platinum Tees
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    WITB:
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    Irons: King Forged One Length 4-PW C Taper Lite S
    Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin 50, 54, 58
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  • James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan Members  1280WRX Points: 898Handicap: 12Posts: 1,280 Platinum Tees
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    Would you like an excel spreadsheet or something to track your index unofficially for reference purposes? That's what I use anyway.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
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    This is close to what my previous experience showed me. I wasn't a long hitter, and assume that won't change anytime soon, playing at sea level. A solid drive for me would be in the 225 range. My 5i was about 170ish when I played a lot. My previous course was about 6600 yards so I had to learn to hit driver. Once I was able to poke my drive out there a decent for me distance, my scores started to drop. My short game has never been great but I was a decent putter. I averaged under 2 putts per hole but I also missed most greens, so short game is where I was losing strokes as I got better off the tee. I didn't get up and down much but the days I did is when I scored better.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
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    Thanks, I used to be real good with punches. I played from the trees a lot! People say they are mostly air but I have a knack for finding the solid bits.... My range sessions aren't just mindlessly beating balls, not that I have a focused plan either. I generally only take a few clubs, one of which is almost always a wedge. I start with just hitting pitches and partial wedges. then I'll start to mix in my other clubs. I go back and forth and will change what I'm trying to hit. The exception is if there is something specific I am trying to work on, then I will focus on it and may hit an entire bucket using the same club and swing. I talk to myself on the range, so I try to find a spot away from other people, lol. I tend to hit a shot, watch the ball flight, and comment, fat, thin, ball position mistake etc if it goes astray. So I don't rake 'em, if you know what I mean. I try understand why the ball did what it did.


    I would change one thing you said a little. My experience is being on the course trumps the range if you want to get better period. I was a range rat before I tried to break 100 and even when I started that process. The father of a high school friend of mine would always see me on the range and one day he told me I should just go out and play. The range can help you learn, good or bad, how to hit a ball and make a repeatable swing. It doesn't teach you how to play the game. How to deal with trees; What happens if my ball is in wet rough and I take a normal swing(it's bad); How to recover from a OOB shot. The experience you gain playing is worth so much once you can make decent contact with your swing.


    It's also where I learned some of the hardest lessons which were all mental. It took a very long time for me to not let a blow up hole derail me. The mental side of the game is huge and did not come naturally to me. I may not like a bad shot and will get frustrated by it but it is not likely to derail me any longer. Take my lumps and move on.

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  • lindsaybinseylindsaybinsey Members  81WRX Points: 54Handicap: scratchPosts: 81 Fairways
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    I agree 100%.

    My son is 14 and made his HS varsity team as a freshman. He is really struggling to keep his cool on the course. No one becomes a great course manager without tons of poor decisions under the belt. Live and learn.

    One more thing about range time, if you have a buddy or someone to hit with, take turns hitting at targets. Have contests, play for a beer. The most minute amount of pressure really changes up the way you approach each shot. When they don't matter and you just tee up another ball after a bad shot you can groove in some poor habits. Making them all count is where its at. I like Rory's range routine: one fade, one draw one straight. No matter what club he always follows the pattern. Being able to shape shots gets you out of trouble, controlling a fade or draw can mean the difference between a birdie or a double.

    Good luck!

    Posted:
  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
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    Thanks for the offer! I used to track all my stats on OOBGolf, which was a great site. Looks like they were bought out and shut down. I was able to transfer all of my rounds to Skygolf but I can't tell if I like what they have now. It looks like the stats tracked are the same as OOBGolf, which would make sense. I have no idea what the reports and screens look like now since I just have a free membership. I had paid OOB the $20 a year for the extended stats and I used them quite a bit. So I'm trying to figure out what to use now for a stat tracking app. I downloaded TheGrint but haven't used it yet since i have yet to play a real round in 2019.

    I'm open to suggestions for a good stat tracking app.

    Posted:
  • Sean2Sean2 Members  32900WRX Points: 3,452Posts: 32,900 Titanium Tees
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    Keep working on your short game...you don't have to be young or athletic to develop a good one...and a good short game is a real stroke saver. Good luck!

    Posted:

    Treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping. Jordan Peterson

    Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest thing of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

    In golf, the human mind has much higher capabilities to screw things up than the physics has to make things better. Unknown

     

  • pappaf2pappaf2 Members  3507WRX Points: 166Posts: 3,507 Titanium Tees
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    Welcome Back bortass. Good luck on your renewed journey. I guess I didn't know you were in Maine. I've been up there a couple times in the last few years. It's an underrated state for golf.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
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    I plan to. I had purchased Monte's short game video when it first came out in 2013. I watched it once back then and have watched some of his latest version of that video this year. I like what I have seen with it and will just need to sit down and watch it all and start working on it. Blading chips is the bane of my existence...

    Yup, all of my golf except the charity scramble I played in October was in Maine. That's why it was funny when I'd tell people about the time I golfed on New years. Here in Atlanta, not so much, lol. At least I won't need a hammer to get a tee in the ground here. What courses have you played up there? Belgrade Lakes is very nice and I got on the Woodlands, upper end private course, thanks to a tournament. The real drawback is winter, followed by playing in the mud. The course I belonged to would open around mid to late April and close by Veteran's day. The course that would open if they could clear the greens and fairways of snow was an exception.


    One thing about my goal is that its not apples to apples and I realize it. My old home course where I did shoot an 85 was 6300 yards with a slope of 113. I don't know what tees I'll use at my new course but the whites are 5900 yards with a slope of 126. So my new track is a bit harder than I'm used to. I think my short term goal is to try to break 95. I don't think it will be super hard once I start playing regularly. I have no consistency, so I will play great(for me) on a number of holes and have a bunch of dogs to offset things. I have been this way for years, I kinda left the stage of being bad on every hole behind me a long time ago. It's why I like points games with my old index. I can string together a few pars per 9 but the 7 and 8s get me and I have a bad score....


    One advantage of the new course is the range. My old course had a tiny range and you could only hit short irons and there wasn't a practice bunker. I can hit whatever I want at the new range and the practice greens are larger with more room to work. They also have a greenside practice bunker. I should be able to work on all aspects of my game as the need arises.


    It was raining heavily today, so I didn't try to get out and hit any balls. My plan is to just hit balls like I did a couple of days ago to get used to swinging the club and knock some rust off. Do some short game work to try and not kill my scores by making a mess when I'm trying to get up and down. I don't know when i'll get my first real round in but I'm hoping to play 9 sometime in the next week, weather and life permitting.


    Cheers!

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
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  • rcfs1834rcfs1834 Members  35WRX Points: 20Posts: 35 Bunkers
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    Hey @bortass , I’m in Maine and took up golf a few years ago. I started out just hacking around and now want to get better. I’m a member at the Woodlands and it’s a tough course for a beginner but luckily it has a simulator for the winter months. What pro did you use for lessons while in Maine? What courses did you like playing in Maine? Thanks

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  • rich_s2rich_s2 wisconsinMembers  1075WRX Points: 831Handicap: 1.6Posts: 1,075 Platinum Tees
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    If your goal is to shoot lower than a 85, be prepared to shoot a lot of 85's. Score goals create imaginary barriers. Stick to mental goals like staying positive and committing to every shot. Just my .02 best of luck!!

    Posted:
  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
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    I was a member at Gorham Country Club. It's a great course for what it is. Fairways are not tight, though 14 off the tee can be fun with OB right and a hazard left. Greens are slow but roll true and were always in great shape. I could easily find times to play as a single and get in a quick 9. Freindly staff. It was also 5 minutes from my house...

    I played Woodlands once in a MSGA event. I loved it even though it ate my lunch. The greenside bunkers were an experience and the quality of the sand was so much better than any other place I played in Maine. I played Nonesuch in Scarborough a fair amount and like it but it can be busy. That's where I played January 1 one year. Falmouth CC a couple times and it was okay. I guess i expected more from it since it was a private course. PCC is also great if you can get on it. I played a couple MSGA events there. Martindale is interesting too with some of the hills. Also played Point Sebago a few time in a work Ryder Cup event. So I've never played the entire course since we did 9 hole matches. Matches ended before 17 and 18. I did like the course though. Brunswick was fun as well. Turner Highlands was just odd to me and had a local rule that any ball that went right of a tree on one of the holes was OOB. It's a dogleg right and they built a house there, so cutting the corner right of the tree brought the house into play. Belgrade lakes was a nice one too but only played it once and can't remember much. If only the golf season was longer. I didn't ski or have any winter pastimes, so that was a dead season to me.

    The pro I used was Rick Altham. He was the head pro at Gorham and last I knew is the head pro at Biddeford Saco CC. He tries to work with what you have and not just rebuild you into a specific model. I worked with him a lot but he turned my instaslice into a draw. It took a long time, years, but it was well worth the time and money. I wouldn't have the game that I do without him. He's a great guy as well. Oh I want to mention I'm not athletic nor a natural at golf. Some may question the amount of time it took me, 4 years of actually working on it, to go from not being able to break 100 to posting scores in the 80s. So don't let the fact I worked with him for years be a black mark on him. End of the day I am extremely happy with the results and would not change a thing about it. I'm gonna miss him.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
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    I know full well what you mean by imaginary barriers. I think the hardest lessons I learnt on the course was related to managing my mental state. I can vividly remember carding an 8 on the third hole when my goal was just to break 50 for 9 and losing it mentally. It was a litany of 'this round is over', 'you can't do it now' etc. It took a fair amount of golf to get past it and realize a bad hole wasn't the end of the world. Just move on and keep trying.

    The next hurdle was when I knew I was close to my target score. This one is common from what I've read from others on this site. You're standing on 18 and just need a bogey! Well here comes a 7 or 8... lol. I got in the habit of not keeping a running tally of my score. Write down the number and move on. So the day I broke 90, I knew I played well, but I didn't know how well. Granted I have a feel for the overall round but not knowing the numbers helped. Of course when I broke 100 and then 90, I didn't care about score at all for a number of rounds. I played carefree golf and it was great and I want to say I posted some real good rounds as well.

    The 85 gives me something to strive for. I have no clue how realistic it is. I'm at a new course that's a bit harder. I haven't golfed much in years. I'm in worse shape now too, lol. It's just the number I never broke when I did golf quite a bit, though I shot it a few times. At the end of the day I'll be very happy if I can shoot scores in the 80s like I used to. It's just vanity but I felt better about myself as a golfer when my index was in the low 20s versus the 30 it was when I stopped posting. It's partly knowing that once upon a time I was better and my drop off wasn't due to age or injury which I know will happen to me someday. I just don't think I'm at the point where I need to concede that I peaked and am on the backslope of my ability to play this game.

    Posted:
  • msgmsg Members  431WRX Points: 118Handicap: 8Posts: 431 Greens
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    Good luck in your journey! I am in your same shoes some few years ago. I kept on breaking 90 but had a hard time breaking 85 or lower. Then when everything go sorted out, I mean my shot shape became predictable, which was a fade, that is when things got better for me. Of course my short game improved a lot as well. I rarely three putt and I almost hit every green from 100 yards in.

    Whenever I get to talk to someone who wants to get better, I always tell them the story when I was duck hooking everything with my driver. My drives went like 160 yards max. I kept on using my driver which was stupid, and kept on aiming right. I hit almost all the fairways that day and did not lose a ball. I scored 77 on a 6000 yard course. Lesson to be learned there was that I do not need 300 yard drives off the tee. I just needed to keep the ball in play and scramble here and there and I was able to go low.

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  • pappaf2pappaf2 Members  3507WRX Points: 166Posts: 3,507 Titanium Tees
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    I've played the front 9 at Cape Arundel a couple times and Wawenock Golf Club a couple times up in Walpole. Both in my top 5 favorite courses I've played anywhere. My wife and I have really enjoyed the times we've spent in Maine. Long way from the SF Bay area though.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
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    I never got the chance to play either of those courses so I can't compare them to other courses you might like that I played in case you ever go back. I think the closest, geographically, I got to Cape Arundel would have been DuneGrass and Biddeford Saco CC. I liked both of those courses. One course to check out if you go back is Sunday River. It's on a ski resort, so carts are required. I played it once and the views are amazing and you get some holes where you tee off with quite the downslope. Belgrade Lakes is similar and has amazing views as well. I enjoyed both courses but onlyplayed them once as part of events. Both are public lasy I knew but I don't know the cost. Belgrade is expensive I think. I believe they have a helipad since some people will fly in from their yachts off the coast, lol.

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  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members  278WRX Points: 74Handicap: 21.9Posts: 278 Greens
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    I use the grint and love it. I never enjoyed adding up my scores, and I'd often misplace a scorecard before I got around to it. With the grint, I just take a picture, upload it, and they track everything for me. I like being able to see which way my handicap is trending, and I also like looking up old scores when I replay courses to see how my rounds compare. Seeing how often my friends play and how they shoot also encourages me to get out there more.

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  • platgofplatgof platgof ClubWRX  2103WRX Points: 311Handicap: 17Posts: 2,103 ClubWRX
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    Did you ever think your goal might be to high with the limited time you have? Breaking 90 is nothing to be ashamed of at all, and that goal might actually help you get some low 80's once in awhile. Find a course that makes golf fun. Maybe the courses in Georgia are not as good as where you are from? A lot to be said for the golf courses in the Northeast. If Atlanta has lots of red clay like Tn, good luck!! Sounds like you miss the driving range?

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Dec 18, 2019 #24

    Do you just use the basic version or pro? I miss all the stuff I could track on OOBGolf. I added a 9 hole round to the free version of GRINT and it doesn't track much. Gonna have to see what 'advanced' stats the various apps will track.


    I set my goal at 85 since the last goal I had when I did play was to break 80 which isn't realistic. I already have broken 100 and 90, so decided on a number I have tied but not broken. It may be a stretch and a challenge but I think it will be a fun one (for me). I never felt like I had peaked in the past, so it may be doable. My short term goal is to break 95 which is definitely doable.


    I haven't been able to hit the range again. It was almost 70 Monday but the course is closed that day. Tuesday was in the 50s and there was raine Monday into early Tuesday. I tried to go to the range that afternoon in the mist but they closed at noon because of the weather. Guess I need to get used to how this course runs, lol.

    I did get my first 9 hole round of 2019 in the books. The last actual round I played was 9 holes September, 2018, at my previous home course in Maine. I really don't count the charity scramble I played in late October of this year as a round. It was 49 degrees, sunny, with a bit of wind. The course was cart path only because everything is wet but I walk so that's not biggie except for fairway conditions etc. There was a fair amount of casual water but i never felt the need to seek relief. I have played in worse.

    Please bear with my descriptions. I haven't played this course, outside that scramble, so I don't know the holes very well. You may find my descriptions changing as I play more and get a better feel of things. I don't have a great recollection of pin placements.

    Front 9 white tees, 3033 yards per the card. Slope for 18 is 126 and my old course was 113. yardage is similar but the new course is harder. All yardages are based on the card unless noted otherwise. I used my old Bushnell GPS.

    1 - 404 yard par 4. The hole is very straight with the 9th fairway to the right and the range to the left. There is a small line of trees separating 1 and 9. The border with the range is a thicker stand of trees. The tee box is elevated and the fairway doesn't start until the bottom of the slope. I hit driver and it's a low draw 196 into the fairway towards the left side. I'm 201 from center and there is a bunker short right. I am not confident with my sand game, so want to avoid that. I decide to layup with my 5i and I hit it thin, low and right. I end up about 109 from center and have to carry the bunker now. I decide on PW since I don't know my yardages anymore and it's kinda cold out. I blade it low and right... Luckily I find the ball to the right of the green in the fringe, I got past the bunker. I chip with my SW to about 5 feet. I misread the putt and end up about 6 inches from the hole. So I tap it in for a 6 and I'm off!

    2 - 142 yard par 3 per the card and my GPS said about 133. There are bunkers surrounding this green. I decide to hit my 6i. I make decent contact and it's a nice draw that is long and in the back bunker. I did GPS the shot and it went about 148 yards. I'm short sided since the pin was back left and my goal for any bunker shot is to just get out. I try to recall what I saw in Monte's shortgame video that I have watched when it first came out in 2013/14 and i think I rewatched the sand section a month ago but I'm still fuzzy on it. I open my SW, aim left, and hit the ball out of the bunker and it rolls 25 feet past the hole. Oh well, at least I'm out. I putt and miss, leaving myself a 2 footer that I make for a bogey. Not great but also not bad.

    3 - 458 dogleg right par 5. I hit a push fade with my driver over the right trees. I'm pretty sure I can find the ball, which I do on the edge of the tree line, 201 yards off the tee. I have no shot in the direction of the green, so I punch a 5i at the best angle I have towards the left rough to get as much distance towards the green and giving myself a shot into it. It's a decent shot and I'm in the fairway about 123 from center. There are bunkers short right and behind the green. The flag is towards the left side of the green. I decide on 9i and aim for center. I blade it low and right, the ball was too far back in my stance I think and I wind up in a bunker on the right... I have plenty of green to work with. I do the same thing as before and get on the green, well short of the hole. I'm 35 feet away and it should break left. I hit my putt and I miss about 5 feet right... It did not break like I thought but I had the speed right. I do sink the 5 footer for a 6 and another bogey. Overall not a bad start to the round.


    4 - 293 yard par 4, slight dogleg right. I hit driver 197 yards into the fairway. I think it was a low draw. I'm 104 from center and decide on my GW. I make good contact and get a high draw. I here the solid thunk of it landing on the green. My first GIR of 2019! I have about a 10 foot birdie put. It looks like it'll break left. I line things up and I hit my put, missing high since it didn't break as much as I thought, and 2 feet past the hole. I have an easy par putt. I hit it and it breaks hard right and I end up a foot away. So the 2 footer broke in the same direction that i thought my first putt would break but didn't.... I sink the next putt for a 3 putt bogey, sigh.


    5 - 501 yard par 5, dogleg right. Woods left and there's a ridge on the right. There is a stream going under the fairway as well. I hit driver and it's off the toe. I don't see the ball after impact at all. I assume it went right based on how impact felt. I hit a provisional and it's a low draw into the fairway on the left side. I go looking for balls and my provisional went 205 and is in the fairway. My first ball went a whopping 171 yards into the right rough and is on the front edge of the ridge. The ridge has a clear flat spot all along it, so i hoped to find my ball up there but no dice. I'm in the rough and the ball is above my feet. I decide to punch a 4i. it's fat and goes more right than I want... Again I think the ball was too far back in my stance, sigh. it's a week shot but i got lucky and it bounced along the ridge and ended up in the fairway on the right side short of the stream. Maybe 30 yards past my provisional... I think I hit another punch with better results and I'm 102 from center. I hit my GW and it's a bit low and well right, it clips a branch which kicks the ball left towards the green but I'm long. The tree did help me though. The green slopes back to front. I hit my chip from the fringe and it rolls past the hole and about a foot off the green on the low side. I use my putter for the next chip and I put it about a foot from the hole. I make the putt for an awesome 7. For the record, I only consider it a putt if my ball is on the green.

    6 - 367 par 4, this hole is fairly straight with woods left and houses right. I hit driver and it's a mishit but ends up in the fairway on the right side 167 yards off the tee. I'm 186 from center, in the fairway, on top of a ridge and the green is lower than my but is raised from the surrounding fairway. I decide to go for it with my 4w. Impact is solid and the ball is high, far, and right.... based on the flight I'm either in the trees that are near the green on the right or in someone's yard. I hit a provisional and do the same thing except this time it hits a tree and I see it drop. There is no sign of my first ball. My provisional is in a man made drain, it's a 5 - 6 foot diameter hole with a drain at the bottom and it's filled with 6 inch pieces of stone on the all along the sides and bottom. I'm kinda happy thinking I get relief and then I see that there is a single red stake and a red line painted all around the hole. So the drain is a hazard... No way I'm hitting off those rocks, so I take my penalty drop. I chunk my wedge.... I end up chipping on and two putting. I didn't write down the distances for some reason. So I card a 9 with a S+D penalty and another penalty stroke. I gotta read the 2019 rules for OOB. I think there may be different options than just stroke and distance but I may be wrong. This hole really sucked but I'm happy to be playing. My mood was fine as I moved on to 7.

    7 - 351 yard par 4, slight dogleg right and the fairway slopes down off the tee. It's a great driving hole, I think the tee is a good 20 + yards above the green and the fairway slopes down the entire way. The right side of the hole is a ridge. There's a house to the right of the tee box, slightly above the tee box and there are more houses along the top of that ridge and it's pretty level. So you have a hole that slopes from tee to green AND right to left. I hit driver and it's a fade that hits the ridge on the right side and it kicks into the fairway, 177 yards. I'm 158 from center and have to cut over the ridge a little, the ball is above me feet. I decide on 6i and it's very fat and it goes right on me. I find it under some tufts on long grass in the rough on the ridge. I hit another punch and get on the green. I'm 45 feet from the hole and I roll the putt 5 feet past the hole. I line up the 5 footer and I catch the high side and it lips out... I have less than a foot remaining and sink it for a 3 putt 7.

    8 - 160 yard par 3, the tee is elevated by a good 15 - 20 yards. I see the flag is forward and my GPS reads 140 to front. the wind is in my face and I decide to hit 6i. I figure the wind and hill will offset. I hit I nice high draw that lands in the front fringe and rolls short and right of the flag. I have my second GIR of the year and birdie putt! I'm 7 feet from the hole and I miss low and it goes 3 feet past... I sink the par putt though. So I have my first par of the year at least.

    9- 357 yard par 4, it's pretty straight with a pond on the left near the green. i hit driver and it's a push slice into the first fairway, 195 yards. I'm 187 out and there are some trees to deal with along with the pond that is on the left front of the green. I decide to punch my 4i and it's fat... I'm still in the first hole in the rough and have trees to deal with. I'm 107 from center and decide to try to punch my 9i and hook it a bit to bend it towards the green. I make great contact and it's doing what I want but catches a branch on a small tree that was the last one that needed to be cleared, sigh. So I'm finally near the green to the right of it. The flag is back left and there is a ridge running across this green. the flag is on the upper tier. I hit a chip and it's too weak... I am 57 feet from the hole on the right and on the lower tier. The putt will break left because of the tier. I hit my putt and it's too low/slow. I end up on the upper tier 8 feet below the hole. I line things up and sink the putt for bogey.


    I shot a 53 with 2 penalty strokes, including 1 S+D, so that alone cost me 3 shots. It's under 50 degrees out and there's some wind, so I'm shorter than I'm used to off the tee. I'm not too worried about my driver at this time.

    The 4w on #6 wasn't a smart play but I'm trying to figure things out. I didn't go out saying I want to try to score as best I can. The smart play would have been to layup. It looked like a spot to try to see what would happen. My contact on both shots was solid and I got nice and high ball flight but lost them both right, which is bad...

    #7, I need to make sure I go left off the tee more. the right side is harder to play from, which is a good thing to notice.

    My putting was 'interesting' I had 19 putts. Overall my speed seemed good. I had 185 feet for first putts on 8 holes and needed 17 putts to hole out. I need to figure out the break and my aim better. The course in Maine has slow greens that roll true but there's a fair amount of break in them. The new course is faster, also rolled great, but it didn't break as much as I thought. I'm thinking I have 6 inches of break to the left and the putt hardly moves, lol. This will come with experience.

    I was pleasantly surprised with my sand shots. I got out in 1 each time. My old course only had a couple of holes with bunkers and some could be putted out of. I think there are more bunkers on the first 4 holes here than the entire 18 in Maine... So I will need to practice it some.

    At the end of the day, I had a great time playing. My two blow up holes didn't really bother me. It's good to see that I'm able to maintain an even keel after making a huge mess of those two holes back to back. I will be a bit sore tomorrow. I haven't been active since moving to Atlanta, so I will feel things in the morning but I welcome it. It was nice to actually play in December as well!

    Have a good one.(if you made it this far :))

    Posted:
  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members  278WRX Points: 74Handicap: 21.9Posts: 278 Greens
    Joined:  edited Dec 19, 2019 #25

    I use the pro version. Right now, I really only use the photo scorecard upload capability, but I have a friend that uses it and records FIR, GIN, #of putts, which direction his drives went, etc. They can record all that and track it if you keep the shorthand on the scorecard.


    I mainly started using it because I wanted an official USGA handicap, which it provides. Some courses require you to have one in order to play, like St. Andrews for instance. But really behind the photo scorecard upload, I mostly just watch my handicap trend, look up old scores, see my recent scores, or see how often my friends are playing and what they're shooting.

    Posted:

    Titleist R11s

    Ping G2 3W

    Taylormade Rocketballz 3H 19*

    Mizuno JPX800

    Cleveland CBX 56, 60

    Odyssey White Hot RX #2

    Snell MTBX

  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #26

    @bonvivantva Thanks for the info. That is a good chunk of what I used to track. I'll look into the Pro version and see what it offers. My shorthand notation has drive distance, direction, approach distance, club used, direction of miss, # chips, # putts, putt lengths, and I add in sand/penalties as needed.

    I'm thinking of Arccos at some point since the reviews have been good and it's an interesting looking. The drawback being needing your phone in your front pocket but it might be worth it to have a better understanding of how I actually hit my clubs.

    Posted:
  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members  278WRX Points: 74Handicap: 21.9Posts: 278 Greens
    Joined:  #27

    My friend that does the notation and uploads to The Grint also does Arccos. I haven't spoken to him about it specifically recently, but when we last talked he really found Arccos valuable. He is 6'10, and when he flushes one it really flies. He was surprised to find out his true distances on the course. I, probably like most, find that I hit a little longer off a mat (which is where most people figure out their distances), and when I'm choosing a club on the course it's better to club up rather than down. My buddy on the other hand found out via Arccos that his miss on approach shots is typically long. He is more of a bomb it close and short game it in type of player, while I try to give myself approach shots around 100 yards when I can. That's not exactly me playing smart; even on a par 5, I usually don't swing much more than a 5-6i on my second shot as I tend to duff anything longer. But a decent drive and a 5i usually get's me into striking distance. I've seen my buddy hit a 230 yard 6i before, and if he gets ahold of his hybrid there aren't a lot of distances he can't consider. When I looked at his Arccos data, you could see that he would get there in fewer shots than me, but then he'd be off the back in the rough, in the sand, in the trees, etc., where as I'd lay up and be putting or running it up. Per the grint, our handicaps are about the same, but he if played a little more strategically, I think he'd have me beat most of the time.

    Despite his inclination to go for it, I know the arccos data has helped him out. We'll be out on a dogleg, and he'll pull a 3w instead of driver because when he reviewed his previous round(s) he saw that his driver was going long on that specific hole. Or on a narrow fairway, he'll pull his hybrid out because hes been in the fairway less than 50% of the time with the driver. It seems worthwhile to me. I'm still working on solid consistent contact, and after that, I need new irons, but eventually I'd be interested in something like arccos.

    Posted:

    Titleist R11s

    Ping G2 3W

    Taylormade Rocketballz 3H 19*

    Mizuno JPX800

    Cleveland CBX 56, 60

    Odyssey White Hot RX #2

    Snell MTBX

  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
    Joined:  ...

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  • aramirez24aramirez24 Members  97WRX Points: 57Handicap: 20Posts: 97 Fairways
    Joined:  #28

    This is my current goal as well and it's clear as day that I'm losing my strokes around the green. Shot an 88 the other day without losing a ball. Flubbed chips and 3 putts kill the score.

    Posted:
  • AugustokAugustok Members  114WRX Points: 36Posts: 114 Fairways
    Joined:  #29

    I use the Grint basic I find recording the standard, putts, fairways missed, hazards found, and score enough to care about without taking away from paying attention. I have an official handicap but the grint one is in the same ballpark so it should give you a good idea counting all your rounds including singles. Staying out of trouble and not compounding errors I think is the main thing for the majority of golfers who are not single digit handicappers. Not dwelling mentally on prior shots. I read one of those golf psychology books, forget which one, years ago that suggested thinking that “every shot is a potential thing of beauty” as a way of forgetting the last bad shot. Sounds ridiculous but this thought works for me sometimes. I break 85 but not all that often and would like more 80s on my record and I intend to practice putting more which is my least favorite part of the game to hopefully accomplish that next year.

    Posted:
  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #30

    @bonvivantva Thanks for all the Arccos info. I'm pretty sure I will pull the trigger on it at some point.


    This is very true. The margin of error gets smaller as you try to score lower. You need to keep tee shots in play, avoid penalties, and have a decent iron/short game combination. As with anything, a strength in one area can cover a weakness elsewhere but my game has no strengths really. At least that how I feel at the moment.

    I plan to use Grint in a similar fashion. I play mostly solo and those rounds are no longer postable for hdcp purposes. So I'll just throw them all into Grint to get an idea of how I'm doing. I do plan to rejoin GHIN in 2020, so I can post whenever I am allowed. I hope to take part in some of the club events and I assume I may need an actual index to help with that. At least that's what I was used to at my old course. All of their scrambles had teams made of A,B,C, and a D player. I think I was almost always the D player, though I may have been a C a few times when my Index was around 20.


    I got out for another 9 today but let's just say it was a learning experience. Same 9 as yesterday, temps were a few degrees warmer but not as much wind. No recap of this round since I stopped tracking things early on and had 3 Xs on my scorecard. I should have just gone to the range. My round went off the rails pretty quickly and it turned into a practice session while playing. I was hitting multiple balls at times


    What I learnt:

    Bunkers killed me and I will need to learn to handle them. My old course had between 15 - 17 green side bunkers. New course has 22 on the front 9 and 21 on the back. You can fit probably 3 - 4 old course bunkers in some of the bunkers at the new place. For example I ended up in the bunker on #1 and it took me 3 to get out. My issue wasn't mishits, it was distance... My bunker shot is good for maybe 6 - 10 feet of flight, this bunker is probably a good 25 feet or so deep. I was near the front left of the bunker and the pin was to my right behind the deepest part. Instead of going out sideways, I tried to hit towards the flag, which got me maybe 8 feet closer or so. Did it a second time as well. Later in the round I get in another bunker and to get out on the green is more reasonable for my shot range and I am out in 1. So I need to learn to either hit it further than I have had to in the past or be smart and just try to get out in 1 regardless of direction.

    Hero or zero shots tell me I am a zero. I tried one or two and it didn't pan out. This is as expected and not something I would do in normal circumstances.

    Missing right can be real bad on a few holes on the front. The par 3 I got a par on yesterday was an X today. I hit my tee shot right and it landed on the ridge that slopes down from right to left on that side of the hole. There is some real long rough up there and I saw my ball bounce around but it didn't clear the rough and I never found it. In the future I will hit a provisional if that ever happens again.

    Irons were MIA. I think the only decent iron shots I had, and there were 2, were second shots after mishitting the first one. I lost most irons low right, push fades or dead pushes way right, but managed to lose a 4i from the fairway with a low pull hook... I was thin a lot and fat a few times, sweet...

    Putting will need more reps on the course. I need to learn the speed better. I blew a couple putts 5+ feet past the hole. Some time on the practice green will help. I'm a feel putter and like to have the ball die into the hole versus the guys that like to ram it in. I am not super concerned with this yet.


    Positives: My driver was okay. I used it on 7 holes and hit 4 fairways. I missed right twice and left once. A good drive is still only 200 yards but I think this is okay. My reasoning is that it's high 40s - low 50s temp wise. The course is soft as well. I am thinking that I should get closer to 225 or so when the temps are closer to 70 but maybe I'm wrong. I did hit one 251 today but it was on the par 4 with the elevated tee box, so it was the topography.

    My game plan for now is to get to the range to work on my irons. I need them to be serviceable. Mostly go in the direction I want with not as many mishits. I want to think my issue is rust and not knowing my ball position as well as I once did. Short game is next. I figure short game won't matter as much if I'm dropping multiple shots on par 3s or approaches when I dub a shot or block it dead right into the crap. Short game can make up for poor iron shots but that's only if you get the ball near the green. I also need to mix in some sand work too since I think bunkers will become a regular thing for me and not just a once in a great while rarity.

    Posted:
  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1723WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,723 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #31

    Mid 50s today, sunny with no wind. After the debacle yesterday it was range time! But first I had to watch some videos from Monte. I went through his sand videos from his Using the Bounce series and a couple of the Efficient Swing videos that deal with the lower body. The sand videos were very helpful and he explained how to deal with distance control in the bunker, use a different club! This was a bit of a foreign concept to me since I use a SW in the bunker. I mean that's what it's for right? The lower body piece was related to a feel to help your pelvis start moving forward and down.

    I hit the range and it was mats today which blows. I don't like hitting off mats since they mask things, especially slightly fat shots. It is what it is though. I hit a couple little wedge shots working on the feel from the video and the results are good. I see the ball flight I want. There is a practice green by the range and it has a bunker next to it. The one guy at the range decides to stop hitting balls, go to the practice green and spend the next 15 or so minutes on his phone. I wanted to work on the bunker shot and the bunker is positioned in a way that you can hit into the range, so that's what I did. This also had another advantage beside keeping phone guy out of the picture, there is a cul de sac next to the range. It runs behind where you hit from, so you have range, road, then houses. The practice bunker is aimed right at the houses if you are hitting onto the green. I'm worried about possibly bladeing a flyer into someones house or car because I suck and can hit that shot...

    I dropped between 10 - 12 range balls in the bunker and used my SW and PW, along with what I picked up from Monte's sand videos. My first shot goes flying way further than expected, so does the next. That's when i remember that Monte doesn't swing fast in the bunker. It's a nice easy swing with full follow through. I do that with my SW and PW and the ball comes out much shorter and as I expected. I only hit the 10 - 12 balls but the majority were good. I had a mishit in the bunch, along with the two I launched by mistake when I started. I feel better today about the sand then when I walked of the course yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I need to spend much more time working on this shot and realize it. I think I should get in the habit of hitting a dozen sand shots whenever I go to the range. It'll help keep building my confidence and skill.

    The rest of the range session was a mix of shots. I try not to sit there and beat balls by hitting the same shot over and over again. I brought a 7i, 91, PW, and SW. I would hit some full shots with the 7i and then maybe pitch some with my SW. Hit a couple 9is followed up by a few half wedge shots. Through in the occasion punch, etc. Overall it was a massive improvement over yesterday's iron play. I actually hit the high shots I expect with these clubs a fair amount of the time. I had a few fat, some thin, some pushes, and a couple pull hooks but most of my shots went in the correct direction. Height varied but the good ones were all draws I think. There may have been 1 small fade in the good shot mix but I don't think so. I tried to focus on the forward and down with my pelvis that I saw in the non sand Monte video. One of my 7i shots when I did this was perfect(for me), a high draw with good distance. It's the shot shape I used to see when I was decent. I should also mention I was hitting blades today for a change.

    Depending on who you talk to, blades should only be used by pros and better than scratch golfers. Us regular folk should never touch one. I don't agree. My mindset is play what you want, blades, GI, or SGI clubs. None of them have a requirement that you need to be in index range XYZ to use them. Of course there are trade offs and you need to be cognizant of them. Years ago I used a Mizuno 6i blade and a persimmon 1W for practice, it's in my previous threads. The idea is feedback and challenge. If I mishit a blade, I know it. It can hurt, but the same mishit with a GI or SGI club may fly relatively okay and I won't notice the mishit. The persimmon 1w is just plain hard to hit for me. the funny thing is it actually went mostly straight when I played with it on the course. I hit worm burners that didn't go as far as my driver but it went straight. I'll mention that the persimmon 1W was before I could hit my driver decently.

    I have gamed a set of MacGregor Vfoil M565s since they came out in '04 I think. I got them the year they came out and the 565 is the middle range for the Vfoil line. They are cavity backs and I assume are considered GI clubs. Once I got my index into the lower 20s I started looking for a set of MacGregor Pro-M blades, which were out of production at the time. I think it's one of the last blade lines that MacGregor came out with before being sold to Dick's Sporting Goods and pretty much dropped off the face of the planet as a golf company.

    I wanted a set just because... No real logic to it. I scored a set on eBay and would practice with them. Eventually I started playing with them and what I found is that my scores didn't really change much. I played just the blades for a while, I think I swapped the M565s back in for a member-member, and when my game fell apart, I stayed with the M565s. I haven't hit the Pro-Ms since 2012/13 until today. The results were good and not a lot different than I would get with my 565s.

    I want to play the Pro-Ms again. It's an ego thing, stupid really (the ego thing, not the using blades, YMMV). I enjoyed playing with them years ago and it's my personal opinion that they helped my swing in the long run. I have no science to back this of course, it's just my opinion. I won't say the same about the persimmon 1w though. I still have it but doubt I will ever game it again. It was originally bought as a training aid and I think it will stay in that role. Maybe someday I'll take it to the range for the LOLs. I like my driver too much, lol.

    Have a good one and merry Xmas.

    Posted:
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