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Everything posted by bobfoster

  1. If I ever called my SO "my" woman, or "gal", I'd likely get hit with her 7 iron ...
  2. Greetings! (Don't know where this post belongs, feel free to move it mods). Sometime in the last couple of weeks I passed the 2.5K mark in postings. Joined this site in 2010. Participation has ebbed and flowed. Sometimes I'm on daily, other times months go by between logging in. But I just wanted to take a moment and give a big shout out to the guys that started, and run this website. I almost can't measure how much fun I've had here, and how very much I've learned. I do have a somewhat narrow focus - usually read Equipment, Tour Talk, General Golf Talk, and Etiquette/Rules. But almost every thread I follow has the same general tenor. Highly knowledgeable golfers posting here, and (especially) superlative moderators. They generally have a very light touch, but are extremely firm on those rare occasions they have to be. They are the ultimate cat-herders. So this is just to say thank you. I've been a golfer for over five decades - it is without a doubt my favorite sport. Finding a community full of other fanatics has just been very enriching. Also decided to express it more meaningfully - just signed up for the Annual Subscription. And would encourage anyone who's here a lot and hasn't subscribed to do so (yes, I get that this sounds like a pitch from some NPR pledge drive, but I am in no way affiliated with the site ... just want to support the time and work of the folks that keep it alive and thriving.)
  3. Yes. Golf simply isn't very present in Chinese culture. [The following stats are approximate, round numbers.] China has 1.4 billion people. The US has around 330 million. But China has around 3 million people that consider themselves golfers (play at least once or twice a year). The US has 25 million or so. China currently has around 500 courses. Florida alone has 1,100 - over twice the number of all of China. Though golf goes through peaks and lows (in the US too). I believe it is currently growing in China. Still, the disparity is enormous. I've played golf in China (have done business in Beijing and Guangzhou). Don't claim to be an expert on China, but in my personal experience, it is virtually only for elites in business and politics. And most of the Chinese businessmen I played with (yes, men - saw very few women playing) had developed a taste for the game due to travels in Australia, the EU, or US, where golf is a much larger part of corporate culture. And (again, anecdotal) most of the guys I played with there (with a couple of exceptions) simply weren't very good. The focus was more on the social/business aspects of the game rather than the sport itself. I met almost none of the sort of fanatics it is common to run into in the US. A WRX-like discussion board would never get off the ground there. Note that these are just personal experiences - would be glad to be corrected by people that have visited (or lived) and played there far more often than I.
  4. Start another thread to ignore the elephant in the room in this one? Why? Look, there are about 25 million golfers in the US. At least some of them got injured or had heartbreaking surgeries this year. And there have been hundreds (over the years, thousands) of golfers that got to the PGA Tour for a season or two and then disappeared. Yet, there are no newspaper articles about them, or WRX threads. No one knows them, or remembers their names. The sole reason this guy is even remembered or talked about is because of the lawsuit. Hard to have a thread about him without even mentioning it.
  5. Completely agree. Have done a lot of business in Asia. I don't like to generalize (and Asian countries are very different), but on the whole, there are three major differences between US and Asian culture. First, they are simply way more disciplined about education. There's little "grade inflation". Second, family tends to be much stronger in Asia than in the US. Parents support their children, but also expect them to work and succeed. And third, the sense of entitlement that has grown significantly in the US (especially over the last decade) doesn't exist to anywhere close to the same degree in most of Asia. There are very few "snowflakes" in South Korea or China.
  6. IMO, they have gotten better, but in more subtle ways than drivers and FWs. I think the aim of development is different. (Very simplistically), with drivers, optimizing the trade-off between distance and dispersion is the goal. With irons, it is the trade-off between workability and forgiveness. I think OEMs have improved both. There's been almost an explosion of experimentation with new materials and clubhead designs, some purely cosmetic, but others (at least in my experience) definitely affect the scorecard.
  7. Respectfully, I don't think "fault" is the issue here. When you hit the pro level of any sport, your body is fundamentally part of the whole picture. There is a single set of rules that everyone plays by. If his circulatory system is so bad he can't even walk 18 holes, he is simply not a professional athlete - of any kind. Couldn't play professional tennis or football, or basketball or soccer either. Many people (actually, most) could not. Please note that I am quite in favor of the ADA. I own a company and have people with various disabilities working for me - in fact a couple of my best people. Go out of my way to make reasonable accommodations (which sometimes means buying them extra, specialized technology & etc.). But the key word is reasonable. If someone is partially blind, they simply shouldn't try to get a job driving a school bus and then ask for an accommodation. A construction worker with vertigo should not work on the 50th story of a new skyscraper. A person who is deaf shouldn't apply to sit at a desk as a telemarketer. Some physical conditions just flat out mean there are some jobs that you are not born to do. Casey tried to enter the pro level of a sport with rules that almost by definition he knew he couldn't follow. And walking the course is not some trivial, obscure rule, it is fundamental to the game. I used to play multi-day tournaments. Hoofing it is hard. Most weekenders don't get this. A lot of them are tired after even playing 18 with a cart. Walking is way different than riding - it almost isn't the same game. The pro tourneys, walking 18 holes a day for four days straight, takes a real toll - the average course is 6.5 - 7 miles of walking per 18. Probably 2/3s of America couldn't walk 25+ miles over four days, let alone also play golf. That court ruling was deeply unfair to every other golfer on the Tour. I'm actually a real fan of the appropriate use of the ADA. The vast majority of Americans are. But applying it to frivolous, or even slightly bizarre circumstances (as has happened in many more cases than this) actually damages its legitimacy. All that said, I wish Casey the absolute very best, and hope he'll get joy out of, and make solid contributions to the teaching of the next generation of golfers.
  8. Well, to be fair, there's no participation trophies on the PGA Tour. But more to the point, I've been to KFT, mini-tour, college, and even HS golf tournaments. There are none there either. It is vigorously, almost viscously competitive. (And I am simply awed at the level of the games some of the high school kids have today.)
  9. I'm playing the MMCs - and actually love them (took a little while to get used to them though). But am certainly going to at least hit the 223s when they finally hit the stores. Why would you want to skip a release before you've tried them?
  10. Marketing people are filled with their own importance. They believe the roll-out campaign is a make or break thing. They are the center of the universe. Impose blackouts! "Control the message". (I run a company and have some marketing people - useful, but they have to be kept in handcuffs.) With some products? Yes. With Mizuno irons? No. The marketing department giving, or withholding information is pretty much meaningless. The guys that like Mizuno, like Mizuno. It isn't clubs, it is a flipping cult (good grief, we are now on page 46 of talking about the 221, 223, and 225 - that's a far longer thread than most PGA tourneys get). What will matter is the people that try them. And either give a thumbs up or thumbs down. The Mizuno Cult isn't weekenders. They are golfers. And releasing some YouTube video this month instead of next months will have absolutely nothing to do with how they sell (much to the dismay of the marketing people). What will matter is how they play.
  11. Marketing departments suck almost as much as legal departments.
  12. I replaced my entire bag this year. Mostly just upgrading - have been playing Titleist D/FWs for years. And Mizuno irons for a couple decades (though I must say, I'm liking my new MMCs almost as much as I liked the MP-32s I played in the 'aughts). And Scotty putters for a couple decades. Even got a new cart bag and stand bag. But I made two alterations that were life changing. The first, the Sun Mountain Clubglider Journey Travel Bag (https://shop.sunmountain.com/clubglider-journey-detail). A travel bag with wheels. Anyone that has lugged clubs through airports gets why this is genius. But the biggest - I just got two Miura wedges. First time I've owned Miuras. Could wax poetic for several paragraphs about how perfect they are in every respect, but it all can be summed up thusly: They are worth the price.
  13. I understand your sentiments, but just don't fully agree. Sports pros aren't rocket scientists. They don't cure cancer or create great software or take care of people with Covid or put out house fires. The only way they make a living is by entertaining. The prize and endorsement money comes from the eyeballs that watch them. In my mind, they are in the same category as actors, or musicians. This is not to cast aspersions on them - I love music, watching movies and sports. Competition is what they do to entertain, but the point is to make money. All sports have changed, gotten (over the years) longer, higher, faster, whatever. I happen to love hockey (for instance). Played for a decade when I was a kid (the era of Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe if there are any old guys here). It is now so incredibly fast, the guys are doing things on skates I would never have dreamed of, and the puck is almost lethal at the speeds it is hit. But messing with equipment to try to take it back to some bygone era is just a fruitless endeavor. I guess I don't really think golf has turned into "long drive". Average driving distance on the PGA Tour has never even hit 300. Which (relatively speaking) isn't that much longer than good amateurs. There's a lot of people on WRX that can drive it 250 - 275 fairly consistently (I can't anymore, because I'm getting old, but I play with teenagers that can bomb it - played with a 16 year old a couple of weeks ago ... beat him easily ... his drives were easily 275, a couple 300, but he was on the fairway, like, twice in the entire round). I still think the game is from 100 yards in - just wedges and the putter - is what wins at golf. Being the longest off the tee gives you a bit of a leg up, but doesn't win tournaments. I guess I just think golf is, to me, perfectly fine right now. I love to play it, love to watch it. I think the USGA has an unhealthy and unnecessary fixation on distance. What I believe they should be obsessing on is PoP. The curse of golfers everywhere - by far the sport's biggest problem. They are obsessing on an inch of driver shaft length? When people on Saturdays and Sundays are playing 5 hour rounds all across the country? The USGA actually have a "Distance Insights Project". But they don't have a "Pace of Play Project"? Are those old guys even awake to what actually matter to golfers?
  14. Except, you don't really need to dramatically lengthen courses. Almost no one is talking about doing anything other than fiddling with a few holes on a few courses. As I attempted to point out, there isn't some stampede of golfers going to a 46+ shaft - many have tried them, but ultimately a rare few actually decided to use them, and even they don't use them all the time. They are just too hard to control. There was a big jump in distance in the 'aughts, when everyone was trying to Tiger-proof courses, and a lot of golfers got really serious about conditioning. Average driving distance increased by over 14 yards between 2000 and 2010. But most of that has settled down. Average driving distance in 2010 was 287. In this past year, 295, i.e., in the entire past decade the average driving distance has only increased by eight yards. Most courses (even those on the PGA Tour) aren't exactly worrying about dramatic increases in the "cost of land, cost of water, cost of maintenance". There's not many golfers even at the highest level that can reach a 600 yard par 5 in two. Some courses might have a drivable par 4 now and then, or an unusually short par 5, but generally, at best, only one. Players use a lot of their irons every round. Golf is not even remotely just a driver and putter. You are painting a picture of the game that just isn't real. There is no dark apocalypse of distance threatening the very integrity of the game. Nor any evidence one is coming. 13 might not tickle your fancy at Augusta - but find me a pro, of any age or era, that has ever said "I don't think Augusta is difficult enough". And as a "sportsman", my primary goal isn't to figure out how to make any sport harder for goodness sake (if yours is, I guess that's your game). Sports are entertainment. Changes to rules, IMO, should have one of two main purposes: Make the sport more fun to play for amateurs, and more exciting to watch when you see the pros.
  15. It is solving a non-existent problem. There are no signs there is about to be some "mass adoption" of longer shafts. Driver shafts are very different from something like wedges, or golf balls, or driver head CCs. Shaft length poses a fundamental trade-off between distance and accuracy. The pros always try to optimize it, but can never get around the brutal physics of it. It is simple math. A lot of pros, in conjunction with OEMs, (obviously) have already experimented - that's what they do. (You don't think the top 50 have not played around with everything from 42" to 48"? Really? These guys fly on private jets and do this for a living. They try everything.) But after all that, they have almost universally settled on 44" - 45" as the top of the bell curve in that trade-off. If there was going to be some "inevitable" migration to longer shafts, it would have already happened. IMO, the USGA just has never liked bomb-and-gouge golf. They've made that very clear (it is also what was behind the wedge groove rule). But if you step back a bit and look, doesn't it seem bizarre that a sport's rule making body would be against a certain style of play? Especially when that style of play is incredibly popular with the fans themselves? (People love watching these guys do monster drives, and then try to hit impossible shots out of deep rough.) More to the point, to state it succinctly, why is increasing distance a problem that has to be solved?
  16. I bought this one earlier this year. Very serviceable, and beautiful. https://www.mizunousa.com/us/product/golf-mizuno-br-d4c-cart-bag/240224 Note, I usually walk w/ a stand bag, but now and then for some courses, and for "corporate golf" (industry conferences and such) it is nice to have something bigger, with more pockets. One of which has Cuban cigars.
  17. Sorry man, my bad. I had highlighted a couple sentences in a post you were responding to, and it somehow inserted my comment in your post instead of his. Metaphorically speaking, I hit the edge of a WRX dimple, but clearly didn't compress it enough hahahahahahahaha!
  18. I think I was at Super Bowl V1XXX
  19. I've been a member of various clubs in various places over the years. My experience: 1. None has ever required a member to even have a handicap (not every golfer rushes to enter his scores after every round), let alone meet a certain level. Not everyone that joins a country club is a golf fanatic. Some just like to have fun, and like the social atmosphere. 2. The elderly have never been a problem. Some of them take up golf because their doctors encourage it - A six mile walk on soft grass is very good for old bodies. And - in my view - they tend to be the most courteous golfers on the course. They usually play in off peak hours, and are almost universally good about letting people play through. They wouldn't want to feel like they were slowing you down any more than you'd want to be slowed down. 3. As several have mentioned, PoP is just not really related to handicap. IMO, the single biggest variable (by far) in PoP is course management. Almost every course, public or private, has signs up about PoP, but some courses, through their marshals, establish an atmosphere that says they mean business - that it isn't just words. Any course that wants PoP to matter simply uses polite, but firm and persistent marshals. Without that, it doesn't matter if the whole club is filled with young, scratch golfers, you are still going to have PoP problems. 4. Dude, its golf. If I saw two 80 year olds taking lessons I wouldn't be groaning, I'd be grinning. I'd probably go up and introduce myself, give them a big thumbs up and welcome them warmly to the sport. Golf is about way more than just hitting a ball and making it through a round in 3.5 hours.
  20. The USGA has way too much time on its hands. Why create a rule that at best affects a mere handful of people? What's the purpose? Plus - if someone actually wants to play a shaft that long - good luck to them. I tried a 47.5 a few years ago (have a friend who is about 6'6" - he just uses a shaft that is comfortable to him). I did, indeed, hit it longer. One drive probably went 325 yards in the air. Problem was that the 325 was 250 yards straight, and 75 yards to the right. It did land on the fairway, just not the fairway I was teeing off on. Never could wrestle that beast under control. Phil does hit his drives fairly long for an old guy, but his accuracy leaves something to be desired. It is a trade-off. But if it is a trade-off he wants to make, I don't get why the USGA would want to stop him (or anyone else).
  21. I have no bad feelings (that I can remember). That, however, is the funny thing about golf - for some reason picking up a golf club must mess with neurotransmitters. I can have a day where I'm not hitting it very well, 80 - 85 mediocre-to-bad shots. But somehow when I'm sitting at home that night enjoying a delightful beverage, the only thing I remember from the entire round is the one shot where I holed it out of the sand from 25 feet away.
  22. Actually, when someone asserts something far outside the norm of current thinking, it is up to them to prove it is true - not up to someone that doubts it to prove it false. And I wouldn't mid the gory details of golf if there were some actual details here. BD seems to just make assertions. Details, to me, would be asking questions like: 1. If this is, indeed, a serious issue that affected putting in a non-trivial way, why have so few pros (including most of the very best) noticed it? Why wouldn't the entire top 150 all be asking the ball companies to make adjustments to lessen the effect? 2. What is the degree of the problem? Something can be simultaneously both real, and relatively insignificant. Granted that hitting the edge of a dimple might do something, what, exactly is the extent of that something? For instance, how often does it happen (certainly not on every putt - or every pro would be demanding different kinds of balls). And - perhaps most important - even at its alleged worst, how big is the effect? A putt being offline by a centimeter over a twelve foot putt (meaningless, as you couldn't even tell if it was a dimple of a half dozen other possible causes)? Or off by an inch on a four foot putt (would be meaningful, but obviously any effect dimples have would be far less pronounced)? Nice to see BD studying the physics of the game. He's certainly not the first golfer that has. Especially these days when virtually every aspect of swings and equipment are measured by some pretty complex machines. The problem with getting too much into the science, however, is you can wind up going down mathematical rabbit holes and getting lost in trivialities.
  23. Looks great! But it had to add (relatively speaking) a lot of weight. I've gamed Scottys for years, mostly because I have always found the balance to be perfect - the putter almost swings itself. I think I'd personally be a little hesitant to mess with that. What you did looks great! But how does it play?
  24. Watching Wolff makes me crazy. Haven't seen a swing like that since Jim "Don't Try This Swing At Home" Furyk rode off into the sunset (or at least rode off into the Champions Tour). I get that they are both great golfers, but their swings are almost painful to watch.
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