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MikeG

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  1. I disagree to a point. They have a cool modern look, but they probably won't probably stand the test of time. Maybe not mullet or disco bad (see Cleveland VAS or Ping Zing), but certainly not in the category of some the other 15+ year old CBs that still look great today.
  2. Those were the days I hated the most, and to top it off I usually played horribly when things ground to a halt on the course. When I first started playing a lot, my play had a big impact on my self-esteem. My wife and kids knew immediately when I had a good or bad day on the course, and while it didn't affect my relationship with them, I really question my perspective looking back on those times. Nobody important to me in my life ever really cared about what I shot on a given day. At my best I was about a 4 handicap or so, but I've been right around a 6 for most of the last 20 years. When I get my game back in order after my long break, I imagine I'll be right around a 6 again. I finally came to the realization that scores weren't what really mattered to me. It took several years for me to realize that my true enjoyment comes from hitting good shots and being outside for the morning. If I shoot a good score...great. If I don't that's OK too as long as I hit the ball well. If I skanked it around for 18 holes and shot a 75 or 76, I'd be just as disappointed as if I'd shot an 84 or 85 while blowing a few drives OB and putting like crap. About 15 years ago I was playing in my Club Championship's 1st Flight (just missed playing with the big boys). After shooting a 75 the first day, I was one behind the leader. Late that night my wife (who knew about the tournament and my current position), came home from her friend's house and started to get frisky with me. "Geezus, woman. The other 364 nights of the year and..." The next day I showed up at the course with pillow lines on my face about 30 minutes prior to my tee time. I shot a 74 and won my flight by two shots. I got home and my wife was standing in the family room with her hands on her hips and had my 3 kids lined up on the couch with terrified looks on their faces. "How did you do?" "I won." Of course I was thrilled because it was the first two-day tournament that I'd ever won, but I didn't dare show any emotion. She then went on a 10 minute tirade about how their rooms were a mess when she woke up, and no one had done the dishes. I took my steak and many beers on the back patio alone that night and laughed my a** off at the day's events. Nobody, nobody, nobody cares what the vast majority of us shoot except for ourselves. A big tip of my cap to those whose scores do affect their esteem. I honestly respect your drive and determination even if I don't share the same attitude towards the game. There are some great stories and experiences in this thread.
  3. A few weeks ago I scheduled a PXG Full Bag fitting for this past Thursday. Unfortunately the fitter notified me that he was unable to keep the appointment, so I made an appointment for an iron fitting at a Club Champion studio near me. As intrigued as I was about PXG gear, I was in kind of a go-mode for a fitting, and aside from my curiosity about PXG, I was Switzerland about manufacturer and iron types. As I mentioned in a previous recent post, I'd been away from the game for a few years, and now that I'm old and weak, and I wasn't sure if new gear would benefit me. I've been using my Mizuno MP-59s with DG SL 300 shafts since I returned to playing about a month ago. It's been 10 years since I was fit for them (and made subsequent lie and shaft changes to them), and despite ho'ing many sets of irons since buying them, the Mizunos are the devil I know among the many sets, and I know what to expect from them in terms of distance and ball flight. The fitter's first comment after watching my warm-up and baseline shots was that I certainly didn't need much offset. Although I've mostly been drawn to player CBs, I was ready to move to SGIs if that was the best fit for me. He handed me a T100 head, "How does that look?" "Like a 6-iron." "Any preferences on shaft weight or material?" "No rebar." I like the weight of my DG SLs, and my mishits with the MP-59s generally weren't too bad at all, but the teeth-rattling feel at impact when I missed them just a bit was getting old, and even flushed shots didn't feel or sound all that great. The first shaft I tried with the T100 was a SteelFiber i95 stiff-flex shaft. The club felt a little light but nothing alarming: I still had a good sense for the club and shaft, and while I certainly wasn't swinging out of my shoes, I didn't feel like I was swinging a toy. After half a dozen shots or so, he said "that's going to be tough to beat." Yep. After six more club heads and five more shafts, we settled on his first choice. After he adjusted the lie angle to 1* flat, I was shocked to be able to hit a couple of intentional fades, which is still my primary choice for approaches into greens. As I mentioned before I've read through a lot of equipment threads here (same ole WRX and God Bless It!), and I was stunned at the amount of quality choices of clubheads and shafts that are out there right now. I don't know if Trackman and an unlimited gear menu is for every golfer, but I enjoyed it and might see some improvement in my ballstriking. Here are the results from my flippy old man swing in all of its inconsistent glory. The Launch and Attack Angles make me cringe, but eh...that's what I get for learning on rock hard fairways, tee boxes and mats during my formative years. Before the hiatus, I did have days where I actually did take divots with short and mid irons, but that was usually when my back was a little tight or I was hungover or something. Blue is after the lie angle adjustment (and me being slightly fatigued at the end of the session. I'm in good physical shape, but my golf stamina isn't quite there yet):
  4. Although I've read his book several times many years back, I don't remember what his ball placement advice was. His "Magic Move" had a big impact on me when I first started playing a lot of golf. I went from a typical left-to-right, banana-balling 18 handicap to a ~12. All it took after that was better course management to get into the 9-11 range and breaking 80 occasionally. To the OP's question: set-up (grip, alignment, ball position) and an honest self-assessment of my game in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Thanks for everyone's insights. I'm really looking forward to it based on the comments in this thread. To tell you how out of the game I've been, I had no idea there was a Club Champion here. I just went to Austad's and Golf Galaxy when I looked around the other day. I'll check out Club Champion after the PXG fitting.
  6. I bought the video last night and watched it twice in its entirety and repeated a few sections after that. There's a lot of old school wisdom in there. A lot of the big picture concepts reminded me of what Ernest Jones, MDLT, and even Jim Flick sometimes wrote. I mentioned in a post over in the equipment section that I'd stopped playing for 4+ years. No stompy-footed rage quit or even burnout, golf just stopped being a priority for me. My dad recently passed away, and among our many common interests, golf was at the top. It just feels right to start playing again with the enthusiasm that I had for about 20 years. I've had 7 or 8 range sessions and a few loops around some practice holes at a local course. I've stayed in good physical shape while not playing, and a lot of things came back quicker than I thought they would. On the other hand, I've made a determined effort to not crank my shoulders/hips/arms in order to gain some day-to-day consistency that I've always lacked. The big turn comes naturally and easy for me, but just because I can do it, it doesn't mean it's good for my swing. While my clubface contact has been pretty solid considering the layoff, I was hitting some horrible high and short cuts throughout the bag, and everything into the wind ballooned and flew a club shorter than what I'd anticipated. I was also extremely steep at impact with grass and dirt marks only way out towards the toe. There's a lot to digest in the video, and I think that eventually Cast A will be the primary benefit for my swing. I went to the range tonight unsure of where to begin, but the one thing that immediately jumped out at me last night was when Monte talked about No Turn Transition. It might sound weird but the OTT move that Monte talks about was even worse for me with an abbreviated backswing compared to my longer backswing when I had time and space to recover from a move like that. I spent most of 100+ shots tonight focusing on delaying the body turn at the start of the downswing. The results? The first was that it felt like I had acres of room to swing to impact without feeling stuck. The rest was kind of back to normal. I hit a lot of nice high and solid shots with my irons and mid(ish) trajectory drives*. I also had lots of misses, but they were my normal misses: thin but playable iron shots that were slightly left of target and about half a club short or flushed hooks that flew a bazillion miles left of target. And I had grass and dirt marks on the center and heel of my clubs. It may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but now I have a foundation that I can begin focusing on the rest of the swing. *Cast A was a little difficult to feel and execute tonight with the irons, but as soon as I focused on it with the driver, my shots improved dramatically. This will be a long process, but at least I'll have a long, miserable Nebraska winter to work on it without losing patience. Monte rocks. I've been a fan of his since his introduction at 4GEA a century and a half ago.
  7. Wilderness Ridge. I had to click on Membership Information to get to the golf section. They have a couple of instruction bays indoors, so it may be inside. 4 lefties in a group? I've never seen that. Pretty cool.
  8. Back to the game after a long and strange 4-year absence. I've been beating balls out on the range and played a few practice holes at one of our local places. I'm 58 (yikes!) and unsure how much swing speed I may have lost or even how the latest clubs and shafts stack up against my current gear. No decision yet, but I'm thinking about a fresh equipment start -- mostly irons, wedges and driver. I've read through a bunch of threads here and went to a couple of local shops. After getting over the sticker shock and empty equipment racks I have a few clubs in mind from several manufacturers. On the other hand PXG intrigues me, and I'd like to give them a good look before I go to a local retailer for other choices. I've scheduled a full bag fitting at the closest spot, which is a private joint in Lincoln, NE. Unfortunately I can't find much info on the place other than it's great for weddings. Unsure if it's an indoor or outdoor fitting. Since it's PXG, I'm sure it's not in some dude's single-car garage or 10x30 backyard, but I have no idea about the environment. Either way, I'd appreciate learning about anyone's experience at a local/non-PXG Studio location. Thanks.
  9. My favorite as well, and for me they usually involve doglegs. I like options. Throw in a little wind or soft/hard conditions, and they become more fun.
  10. I am old and Asian, and play 2.5 walking if unhindered. How about old and Black? Young and Black? How about middle aged and Hispanic? How about old female and White? How about old and Indian? I have spent many hours behind all of these but would never post anything like that. Smiley faces won't hide your bias and ignorance. In my many years with experience playing as a single, I can certainly say that slow play is not confined to any ethnic, gender, or age group. The golf buffoonery gene is like cancer: it doesn't play favorites. Strange however that I think cancer actually may be more curable.
  11. From Pine Valley to local goat track munis I've usually played better on the back nine regardless of pre-round prep, nutrition, etc.
  12. Thanks for the replies. Tiemco, funny you mentioned that article. I haven't read GD in years but I did catch that article at the barbershop a couple weeks ago. The gravity feel got my attention. I'm not at the point where I can duplicate that on actual swings right now. I've tried it and hit a lot of fat shots. Regarding the internal and external movements I've noticed that I almost feel like I'm swinging out-to-in a bit on my best swings. Judging by the high draws I've been hitting it's not the case, but it feels that way. I think I was missing the elbow's forward motion. Four trips to the range (family stuff prevented full rounds of golf this weekend) and all pretty solid sessions. I haven't had that since two summers ago. It definitely feels like a freer arm motion through impact.
  13. Sorry I can't wax nostalgic on this one. I started playing a lot in the early 90s, just prior to the golf boom. The courses I played were packed and even at some driving ranges I had to wait to get a stall. 4 1/2 hours were the norm whenever I played. I depended on equipment reviews from the magazines and word-of-mouth. Shaft options were generally R, S, or X, DG or Rifle. As an improving hack my ball choices were 2 piece rocks or balatas that were about as fragile as Easter Eggs. Fast forward 25 years. I have two decent courses within 12 miles of my house that I can get on for under $30 on weekends, and depending on the times I can walk 18 in 3-4 hours. Equipment choices are almost overwhelming now, and information is readily available on just about every club, ball, and shaft on the market. I'll go into cranky old man mode for one thing. Etiquette was overall much better back then. I'm not a fan of hearing music out on the course, and it really bothers me to see people not taking care of the course. And it seemed back then that slower groups were much more willing to let faster players or groups play through. Even with that, I'll put up with fixing a few extra pitch marks and raking other people's footprints in exchange for the improved access and pace of play. Even with my creaky bones and lower tolerance for BS, these are the good old days for me.
  14. I feel your pain, but mine has been the opposite. Thrash and flail for the first 6-9 holes then I go into lizard-brain survival mode. Last three rounds have been 43/36, 47/37, 48/39. I was +12 through 6 on that last round. Shanks then yanks then "whatever it takes to get me home and put a beer in my hand."
  15. To paraphrase Dean Wormer, "Steep, stuck, and inside is no way to go through a round of golf, son." The fog is slowly lifting after last year's hiatus and long road back to relatively competent ballstriking. It's been a struggle. No matter what I did or thought I was doing with my set-up and backswing I was still really steep and violently goat humping the shaft at impact. All types of mishits, no consistent shot shape, and my normally high ball flight came and went with each swing. Last week I read an exchange between Monte and another guy where Monte talked about leading the upper body's part of the downswing with the right elbow moving down and in front of the body. It sounded familiar to something I'd read in McLean's "The Slot Swing" book that he calls the "Hitter's Pocket." I re-read the book (read it several years ago), and I also went back and watched Monte's 2013 video and blog entry on the right elbow. I've been to the range three times since reading and watching, and the results have been promising. My contact is more consistent although still on the first groove/thin side (very few divots with anything longer than a 9 iron), and my left/right misses are directionally about half of what they were. My long iron shots look like long irons and not bladed lob wedges. The two most encouraging things are 1) At the range I don't hit 10 consecutive shots 30 yards left of my target, and 2) On video today I saw something weird "Geez, it looks like I'm sitting down at impact." No doofus, your pelvis wasn't shooting out at the ball at impact. Although the move gives me ample room between my arms/hands and body I'm still too steep and my backswing is still too long, but they're incrementally improving. It took me years to screw up my swing, so I figure it'll take more than 3 months to straighten it out. One thing that McLean writes about is the clubhead dropping down and the shaft flattening at the start of the downswing. In Monte's video he looks like he does it on one of his demo downswings, but he doesn't specifically address the dropping/flattening. For the life of me I cannot get that feeling on real swings. Is that flattening/dropping move worth trying to develop or is McLean just cherrypicking from some but not all good players' swings? I can see how it would shallow out the downswing, but it's a feel that so far has been completely elusive. If it is worth pursuing what's are some good ways to develop that motion? Thanks.
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