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Everything posted by betarhoalphadelta

  1. I'm not good enough at golf where I feel like I need to elaborately test 5-10 balls to be "fit" for my game. But I'm also not good at golf, so taking one variable out of the equation by always playing the same ball is important to me. If I'm inconsistent, I want to know that it's because my swing was bad, not because the ball I'm playing that hole has different characteristics than the one I lost on the last hole lol. Most of the year I was on Kirkland, because it seemed to have no real downsides, was a urethane ball, and the price can't be beat. When the big ball test came out, though, I switched to the MTB-X. The Kirkland was way out on the end of the spectrum spin-wise, whereas the Snell seemed to be much more "middle of the road" and appropriate for me. And they come in Yellow. So the MTB-X is my ball 100% of the time now.
  2. The "good" news is that most of the northern hemisphere is starting to move into non-golf weather, so that might alleviate some of the demand-side issues. The better news is that I don't live somewhere that ever has non-golf weather
  3. Increments of time, in a 1/30 of a second interval. That's chosen because TV is at 30 frames per second, as is most other video like what your cellphone captures. (Movies are traditionally 24 FPS, or at least used to be.) So if you're 30:10, your swing takes 1.33 seconds, with the backswing being 30 increments or 1 second, and the downswing being 10 increments or 1/3 second.
  4. I *can* snap hook a 56, but I don't usually lol... The partials I was having a little tendency to pull them left, not to curve them left like the 5i.
  5. Hit the range today. Took 5i, 8i, and 56*. Just wanted to focus on training the movements. Overall I was happy. It got squirrely at the end because I was probably moving through too quickly. I was focusing on 3/4 length, 3/4 effort swings most of the time with the 8i. Just trying to make sure I had good sequencing and getting the left hip back on the downswing. I threw in full swings intermittently and generally my swing felt right, and the flight was good--not too many "lefts". With the 56, it was mostly partial swing target hunting at two of the 55gal drums at different distances. My direction control wasn't as nice as I'd like, but I was doing pretty well with distance control. I had a couple full swings shot at the 100y marker, and mostly felt good about both contact and direction there. The 5i was not quite as perfect. Those were basically all "full swing" shots towards the 200y marker. I was having trouble avoiding the lefts with those swings. I did try to just focus on taking a nice controlled and easy swing, and some worked out and others didn't. Need to keep drilling. Towards the end of the session, it just wasn't great. I wasn't getting good contact, so I went back to just drilling 8i on the 3/4 3/4 swings, and got back to where I needed to be. I tend to get somewhat rushed when I run off to the range in the middle of a work day--especially since I was hitting the gym for a workout on my way back to the house--so I need to work on that from the mental aspect too.
  6. I play my EQ1 set at 37.5" (traditional 6i length). I'm 6'5" with a 39.5-40" WTF, so the traditional 36.5" (8i) length is just too short for me, as that was my SW length on my previous set. I have 4h, 5i-GW in the EQ1 set, and had the PW bent to 44 and the GW bent to 48 to make room for specialty wedges. I then had my wedges (52, 56, 60) made by Sub70 and had them built to 36.75" with the same shafts (Modus 120) and grips. I didn't want to build them to 37.5" due to swing weight issues as the heads are significantly (~25g) heavier than EQ1 heads, and Sub70 was nice enough to cherry-pick the lightest heads they had to help keep the swing weight down on the build. I didn't mind having two different lengths, because the EQ1 PW and GW are primarily full swing clubs, whereas the 52/56/60 are primarily used for wedge duty, so maybe 25% or less of the swings with those clubs are full swings. The longer EQ1 works for me, but I'm also significantly taller and larger in general than most players, so I don't mind heavier swing weight.
  7. Got the kids this weekend and a busy schedule, so no rounds (even 9). Hoping to get my son out to the range but actually spend the entire bucket on his practice rather than mine...
  8. I don't think the takeaway from Monte's discussions on the whole driver / PW distance thread is that you should be hitting partial iron shots. I think the takeaway is that those scoring clubs should be hit for accuracy, not for distance. For me, a 150 yard shot is a full swing 9i. That's not a "step on it" 9i. That's not a "hit it as hard as I can" 9i. That's just a nice relaxed swing. If I try to hit a partial 8i for that shot, I don't have enough practice to know how much to take off an 8i to hit 150. Sometimes it might be close to 160, sometimes it might be 135. I think the point is that you shouldn't be trying to hit your max effort shot on every short iron. That doesn't mean that you should hit partial shots a lot, it means that you should be realistic about what distance a nice normal swing will reach and hit to that.
  9. I was thinking of another metric that might be useful for a high-cap like me to track: Wasted shots. Much like the Broadie metric for "awful shots", which apparently is any shot for which the SG is -0.8 or worse, these are shots that are so bad that I've basically added a stroke to my score without improving my position relative to the hole. I think that for most high-caps like myself, if I don't waste any shots, I should be somewhere in between par and bogey on every hole. If I make GIR, a par should be my expectation. If I miss GIR, a bogey should be my expectation. Obviously I can three-putt a GIR or I can get up and down from off the green for a par save, but usually either way I should be expecting to two-putt in most situations once my ball is on the green. I could also track "great shots", but there aren't so many of those lol... So for my most recent round: Hole 2: My putt from the fringe wasn't particularly long (about 18 feet) and I left myself 5 feet or a little more to save bogey. From 18 feet I should be able to lag to tap-in, whereas I can expect to two putt from 5 feet too often. Hole 5: Flubbed pitch that left me pitching again. From that close to the green I should have gotten down in 3 for bogey, but ended up being 4 for double. Hole 9: Shanked GW that got me from 130 out to 70 out. From 70 out I managed to get down in 3 and save bogey, but from 70 I'm not anywhere near 100% to hit the green, and my expected strokes to the hole (based on my 9-hole exec course experience) is probably 3.5 or higher. Hole 10: Topped drive. I really didn't put myself in position to hit to the green on a short par 4, and had to lay up to center of the fairway. I again managed to save bogey, but that drive was wasted. Hole 12: Flubbed pitch and I missed an 18" putt, so I have two wasted strokes there. Honorable mention could be the pulled drive, but I leave that one off. It wasn't topped and it actually did get some distance, so I don't think it was completely wasted. Hole 13: Skulled sand shot and two of the three pitches back towards the green, so three wasted strokes. If I was counting "great shots" the putt here would count. Hole 14: Flubbed pitch. My drive put me in great shape for par, but I only made it halfway to the green on a 50 yard pitch. That was a wasted stroke. Hole 17: Topped/pulled drive and lag putt. The topped drive on a VERY short par 4 and being stuck in deep rough basically made it a very dicey proposition to make the green. Then I three-putted, because my lag putt went to 5 feet or a little longer. Hole 18: Shanked 4w on my second shot. It moved me from just under 200 out to 160 out. My average to get into the hole from 200 is a little over 4, and from 160 is a little under 4, so it was a wasted shot. Wasted shots: 13 Driving: 2 Irons/long game: 2 Pitching/short game: 6 Putting: 3 I scored a personal best on a regulation course of 90, largely because I wasn't wasting shots off the tee or with the long game. But looking at how much better I could have scored SIMPLY by not making a mess of my pitching is a big wakeup call. It is an area that I don't practice often enough, and it shows.
  10. That's a good point and one I didn't consider... Having other milestones can keep you engaged if you see improvement in those milestones even if it's not showing up in the final score. Of course, the counterpoint is that often some of those other milestones are closely correlated with the number on the scorecard too. Penalties off the tee, missing a lot fairways, and missing a lot of GIR, etc are a great way to score 100 Either way, the important thing is to figure out what works for you, and commit to it.
  11. If you can do this for weight loss, why can't you do this for golf? This is the mindset reset that you need. Weight loss is easy. It's only two things. Monitor/limit what you eat, and exercise. The issue for most people is commitment to doing it, not coming up with a plan. Golf is even easier, because we like it, unlike weight loss. So commitment is less of an issue. So the answer is monitor what you eat, meaning make sure that you have good instruction so you know what you need to focus on, and exercise, meaning make sure you practice what you're working on. Sure, you can make it more complex. If you exercise and all you ever work on is arms (banging driver), you are only doing a small bit of what "exercise" should be. Don't skip leg day (putting), brah! Just as you need to do arms, cardio, core, and legs, you need to practice long game, pitching, short game, and putting. But it's not rocket science. Your milestones in golf would be like trying to define weight loss and having one metric for your weight (the obvious one), another for your waist circumference, another for your bench press max, and a fourth for how many situps you can do in a row. Sure, you can measure all those things--but if you follow the process (eat right and exercise), they're all gonna improve anyway. It's simple. Follow the process and the results will come. Mentally you're there with losing weight--what mental hurdle do you need to overcome to get there with golf? This IMHO is the problem with the YouTube/GolfWRX rabbit hole of swing moves. If you're working on 7 things in your swing, you're actually working on nothing. That leads to frustration, as you found. What might be the case for you is that you have a functional swing, and your effort to simply "make good contact" in your practice regimen is to drill it to keep your swing repeatable. Don't mess with it, just make it repeatable so you have trust in making good contact. Tinkering gets in the way of doing that successfully. I've been working on my mechanics, in the sense that I had a stall/flip/EE problem that all stemmed from not having proper hip movement, and I felt like that would inhibit my repeatability no matter how much I drilled it at the range, so I took a lesson and I've been working on that one change for 7 months. It's finally paying off, but a lot of that is because I didn't let myself get distracted with 10 other swing changes in that time frame.
  12. Yep. I've certainly enjoyed some of those rounds, like a +4 on my little 9 hole exec course, and the +9 on the 18 hole short course. The latter being the first time I've notched multiple birdies (3) in a round. But being the star of your rec league softball team doesn't exactly mean you're ready for major league baseball. So it's not really the same thing. Now I need to turn it up a notch and break 90
  13. I think it was tension. I was focused too much on trying to make the green in two that I got into my own head. It probably did make me swing harder and less controlled, but it was that the 4h is a club that I almost need to remind myself every time I grab it "just swing nice and easy like any other club" and I didn't do that. The two shots with the 4h on 12 were the opposite. I was really focusing on taking a nice swing through the ball and just trusting that it'll go at least in the general direction and distance I wanted. So whether I was trying to kill it or not--I might have been--it was a mental error.
  14. I'm a bigger fan of setting the practice goals than the milestones. Milestones are measurement tools, not something that will actually MAKE you better. I'm a fan of measuring inputs rather than outputs, because outputs are messy. So here would be mine: Try to play ~54 holes of golf per 4 weeks. One 18-hole round on each of the weekends that I don't have the kids, and at least two 9-hole rounds at the exec course (with my son if schedule permits, or getting away for a weekday morning a few times if not). Average 1 range session per week. For now the goal of the range session is to ingrain the movement based on my last lesson with Monte, which was in March, and general practice across all clubs including partial wedge shots. Visit the short game practice area / practice green at my "club" twice per month for work on chipping/pitching and putting on a real green. Commit to using my putting mat several times per week for 10-20 minutes at a time. This is basically 2a: When I feel like I've gotten the movement from Monte fully ingrained, go back for another lesson so I'll know what to work on beyond that going forward. I think for people of our skill level, setting concrete milestones is harder because we need to get better everywhere. And the way to get better everywhere IMHO is "ballstriking", meaning making consistent contact and hitting the ball in the direction you intend. That's practice and occasional lessons to improve what you're practicing. The milestones are good, but they're outputs. If you work on the inputs, I'm convinced the outputs will improve. Where tracking milestones like those is valuable: If you're putting in the work but you're not seeing any long-term positive trend in the milestones, it suggests that you're putting in the work incorrectly. This could be the typical "GolfWRX/YouTube rabbit hole" I talked about I think in Terp's thread where you're getting distracted and working on 12 things at once, which basically means not working on anything. It could also mean that your practice is misguided and you're ingraining a flaw instead of fixing a flaw, in which case you need a pro's help. If you feel like you're improving your ballstriking/swing but it's not improving the milestones. This could be a course management sort of thing, i.e. if you're not improving your penalty strokes over time are you picking bad targets? Are you getting too aggressive on shots that you can't execute? Are you having mental tenseness on the course that doesn't show up on the range and how do you address that? Etc. If you have a collection of milestones and some are improving while others aren't, then it can help you focus your practice. I.e. right now you say you want to improve SG from 100-150. My personal view is if you work on your swing and ballstriking, it should improve across the board. But if you're working on full swings and you see that 100-150 and 150-200 are improving but you're not improving at all, or actually getting worse SG numbers in the 50-100 and short game areas, it suggests maybe you're not balancing your time as wisely as you could be. Milestones are also good because as you improve, that will give you a tangible trend to make you feel good about the improvement that has occurred... But IMHO it's a long-term strategy, and focusing on the milestones in a shorter term will be a distraction to the end goal. I've always been a believer in focusing on the process first, and that the results will come.
  15. I played 18 yesterday. Course is Rancho San Joaquin in Irvine. It's listed as 6128 yards, par 72, 69.4/123 from the blues (where we played). In the writeup, I'll throw out some shot yardages. I did not actively measure these with my app, The Grint. They were measured by my Garmin watch, which is designed to automatically detect the swing of a golf club. So a few of them may be off. I intended to hit the range, but was running a little late taking the dog for a walk so I just arrived and spent time on the putting green instead. Weather was sunny, with the start of the round quite nice (we teed off at 842a), but with predicted highs in the low 90s. Hole 1, 505 par 5, HDCP 5: Slight dogleg left par 5. Open fairway with trees right between the first hole and the range. To the left is sparse trees and farther left is the 18th fairway. Left can be bad if you're stuck too close to a tree, but can also be pretty open. Green is protected front left, and pin-high right, by bunkers. I teed off with driver, aiming towards the right edge of the fairway/rough in case of draw/hook. I hit a beautiful baby draw starting just right of my intended line, drawing back in, but stopping about 2 yards into the right rough, 279 yards. I'm now left with ~240 or so. I'm about to grab my 4w, and then think that discretion is the better part of valor and grab my 7i instead, to lay up. I hit a shot low off the face but straight, 151 yards. I'm left with a partial wedge, IIRC it was measuring ~80 yards. I think I took the 56*. I made good contact and good line, and it landed on the green but rolled just off the back fringe. I was still able to putt from there (~25 feet), and the birdie try had great distance and was about 18" right of the hole. Made that. Par, E. Hole 2, 142 par 3, HDCP 17: Short par 3 on a normal day, playing to an extreme front pin. Green is protected by a big and nasty bunker front left, and is elevated so misses can leave tricky chips. The front of the green is very heavily sloped. Playing about 120. I take a full-swing 52*, and pull it left. I'm sitting there praying I either hit it long/left (over the bunker) or left it short of the bunker. It lands about 3 yards short of the bunker. Oddly because of the shape of the bunker, it was only about 4 yards shy of pin high, so on line might have just made the front of the green. Now I've got to pitch over the bunker to a short-sided placement. I take the 60* and pitch nicely, but land it JUST a shade far and it rolls out just onto the opposite fringe. I putt from the fringe (~18 feet), and with the heavily sloped green it falls down a LOT farther than I played for break, and I'm left with 5' for bogey. I miss it and two-putt. Double, +2. Hole 3, 325 par 4, HDCP 15: Shorter par 4 that plays a very slight dogleg left. To the right is OB, to the left is sparse trees. Green protected front left by a bunker. I hit driver again, and it's a pull draw. I don't see it land but suspect it was held up by the trees, as it ended up underneath one tree. I'm left with about 130 to the pin, so I take the GW. I make somewhat decent contact, leaving it a little right, but it lands and sticks on the front right portion of the green. I pace it off and I think I've got about 35ish feet uphill to the pin. I leave that lag pretty close, and make the par putt. Par, +2. Hole 4, 336 par 4, HDCP 11: Another shorter par 4, but tricky. From the tee, the green is directly in line with a large fairway bunker that's usually about 200-210 off the tee. The fairway curls around the left side, and then there's a big valley between the bunker and the green, so if you're down there you're hitting to an elevated green, protected front right by a large bunker. OB all the way down the right side, and safe but sparse trees between fairways if you end up left. This is a good driver hole now that I can hit driver, because that fairway bunker is right in the range I can reach with a good 5i or normal 4h. I take driver and hit it dead straight over the bunker, ending up in the middle of the fairway and Garmin says 266 yards. I think I'm about 70 to a back pin and hit a partial wedge, and I make the green but defintely didn't give it enough. I'm about 45' short of the pin. It's a long uphill putt to get up to the tier where the pin is, and I hit another great lag putt to be almost tap-in range. I make that putt. Par, +2. Hole 5, 502 (460) par 5, HDCP 1: Tough hole. Off the tee there's a bunker guarding the right side of the fairway. Right is OP all the way down, left is safer (trees or adjacent fairway) but if you get over there you only have a play back into the correct fairway and can't likely recover without it costing a stroke. After the bunker and down a hill, your second shot plays to a landing area where the fairway is narrow and guarded left and right by lakes. The green is wide but shallow, guarded by the right lake, and elevated 15' from water level. Not only that, 3 palm trees just off the shore of the right lake can get in your way depending on pin placement. Leaving your second short of the lakes gives a mid-long iron and good luck stopping it on that green, if you reach. I take driver off the tee. I make pretty good contact but it's another pull draw headed for the trees. I find the ball in the trees about 235 out, but I'm stuck with a tough look having to punch it out low. I check and the pond on the right is about 175 out, so I figure a 7i punch shouldn't be able to reach. I aim at the left pond knowing my tendency--especially with the ball back in my stance for a punch, is a draw, and punch out. Ball goes perfectly straight and stops about 5 yards short of the pond in the rough. I've now got 150 left directly over those tall palm trees. I take 9i and aim a little right playing for a draw, and end up pulling over the trees and landing safely past the water but still not getting the distance. The rough held the club up--should have taken 8i. I try to pitch onto the green and flub it about 6 yards. Pitch again and I roll past the hole, 7 feet. I miss that putt and tap in. Double, +4. Overall this is a hole that can turn into an ugly number a lot of ways. I really only count one wasted shot, though, the bad pitch. I'll take it. Would have loved to make my 5-footer for bogey on 2, and to make my 7-footer for bogey here, but +4 through 5 holes is good by me. Hole 6, 366 par 4, HDCP 3: Short par 4, but with a big lake that is in play if you're long-left off the tee. OB down the right side but this hole is diagonal at the corner of the property, so the farther you are from the tee, the more room there is. The water follows the fairway all the way down the left side, and then there's a bunker between the water and the green protecting the green. This is the hole I probably shouldn't take driver on with my left miss, but I'm feeling good today. I take driver aim WELL right--at a copse of trees about 230-240 off the tee in the right rough. I know going straight is safe as long as I'm not behind a tree trunk, and I want to give myself room for a draw or pull. I end up hitting a monster DEAD straight--on my intended line lol. I don't see it land. I get up towards the trees--no ball. I keep going past the trees--no ball. I go farther than I think I can possibly hit, and there my ball is, sitting nicely in the rough. Garmin says 303 yards--I must have gotten a good bounce off the cart path beyond the trees lol. I believe it too, because I'm even with the green. I now have a 80 yard partial wedge. IIRC I took the 56 with a near-full swing. I hit it well and onto the green, but a bit short, leaving myself 20 feet. I hit a good lag putt and make the next. Par, +4. Hole 7, 346, par 4, HDCP 9: Hole has a giant tree down the right side that can really mess with approach shots if your tee shot is out right, and the left side is much more open. Green is protected front left by a bunker, and has a bunker behind. Tees are up, which scares me because there's a large net to protect houses from anything going right off the tee. Because of my natural shot shape I usually aim a bit right and there's not a lot of room there. So I take driver and aim down the center. I hit another great drive, with... A slight FADE?! It lands in the middle of the fairway. Garmin says 245. I've now got about 90 to a back pin. I hit an almost-full 56*, and the instant it comes off the club I'm calling it long and I'm worried I'll fly into that back bunker. Turns out I was long, but just barely; I see it land on a slope behind the green and feed just back onto the back edge of the green. I'm left with a 10-footer downhill putt for birdie. I miss the putt 2" to the right of the hole and 4 feet past, but I make the comeback. Par, +4. Hole 8, 166 par 3, HDCP 13: Hole plays uphill over a pond to a blind green, with big bunkers fronting the green on the left and right. Pin is on the front edge, and with the elevated green my laser says it's playing 160 with the slope. I take 8i and make great contact, but it's a push to the right. It lands in the bunker and stays up on the uplope facing the green, about pin high. I get up to the ball and I see it's embedded. Well, crap. That said, I get out well with my 56* and it only rolls out about 16 feet past the pin. Unfortunately I miss the par save and tap in for a two-putt. Bogey, +5. Hole 9, 414 par 4, HDCP 7: Pretty open hole. Decently wide fairway, with sparse trees left and right, and this hole is between #5 (left) and #10 (right), so you're actually pretty safe no matter where you end up (but #10 cuts the corner a little). Tricky multi-sloped green is protected by small bunkers all around. I aim down the right side with the driver, and make great contact and again see a slight fade... I find my ball just off the cart path in the rough between #9 and #10, 263 yards. I'm left with 130 to the green, and I'm behind a tree but should be able to get over it with GW, so I swing that--and chunk it about 50-60 yards off to the right from there. Get up to my ball and I've got about 70 left, and now I really need to elevate over a different tree, but I'm within 60* range. So I hit that with almost a full swing, and it launches nice and high over the tree and lands on the green. I have a tricky 30 footer to save par, which I miss and put about 4 feet, but I make the putt coming back. Bogey, +6. Out in 42. That's a damn good start. Hole 10, 355 par 4, HDCP 10: A bit of a tricky dogleg left, with houses and OB down the left side but still some room to cut the corner if you're brave. There's a fairway bunker at the corner and trees just to the left of that. There's bunker left of the green, but otherwise it's pretty open once you're past the corner. I take driver, and I think I just felt myself try to muscle it. I top it ~80 yards left. Oof. Now I'm (with the dog leg) about 240 out and reach for my 4w... And again put that sucker back. No need for hero ball after I just hit a shot like that. I take 7i and aim over the tree/fairway bunker, and hit a nice perfect straight shot that puts me in the middle of the fairway where a drive should have been. Left with a partial wedge to a back pin, I hit a really nice shot that ends up about 15 feet past the hole on the right. It's a tricky downhill putt, and I lag it to 18". Make that. Bogey, +7. Obviously I don't feel good about that drive, but I feel great about saving bogey out of it. Hole 11, 368 par 4, HDCP 6: This is HDCP 6 for two reasons. There are a couple of big trees down the left side that if you're over there, you have nothing other than trying to punch under them, lay up over them, or draw around them. That, and the green is very well protected by one bunker front left, and two bunkers to the right. Other than that, it's pretty straightforward. I take driver and hit a solid shot, but it's towards the right rough. I see it land and I'm not sure whether it rolls backwards on the cart path or not. Garmin says 228 yards and I end up with about 140 to a front pin, so I suspect it did. Hit PW from there, and pull it just short left of the green. I flub a chip to the fringe, putt from there to 18", and make that. Bogey, +8 Hole 12, 527 par 5, HDCP 2: There's water down the right side that normally requires a hell of a drive to reach (and usually is in play for a second shot). Houses and OB down the left side, but decent room between the fairway and those houses that you have to REALLY end up left to be OB. The fairway narrows about 100 yards short of the green near the end of the lake to the left and the encroaching trees on the right, and then the green is protected left and front-right with bunkers. I hit driver and it's a low pull just above worm-burner height that gets hung up in the rough and stops about 130 yards from the tee. Not great. I'm 400 out and hit the 4h. I was really trying to make just a nice easy swing with it instead of killing it, and I'm rewarded with perfect contact and a nice high trajectory, slight draw, that goes 200 and I'm in the fairway along the left side. Got another 200 to go, and hit the 4h again. Contact isn't as good and it's more of a push draw starting right and curving back left, and I think it's got a chance of running up--but it hits the slope in front of the green and stops DEAD. Literally I got up to the ball and my ball was a foot behind its ball mark in the wet fairway--somehow I backed up a 4h lol! I'm pitching to the green and, lo and behold, flub it up to the fringe again. I'm at least close enough to putt, and from ~45 feet or so lag it to 18". Which... I lip out. Ugh! Double, +10. Not a good hole. I was in decent scoring position making up for the terrible drive, but one flubbed chip and two-putting from 18" is just awful. Hole 13, 157 par 3, HDCP 14: Forced carry over water, protecting the green short and right. Bunker to the left, and the green is pretty heavily sloped so putting can be tricky, but otherwise a pretty straightforward par 3. Tee is up and I have 150 to a back pin. I hit 9i. Contact is ok but not great, and it's pushed right--right into the front right bunker. From there I've got a 20 yard sand shot, and I clip the ball clean instead of taking sand, and thus send it 50 yards past the pin. OOF! So now I've got a pitch back and the green. I have a tall tree in front of me that I have to get under, but I have to get it over a shorter tree farther out. I hit the 56* and hit it EXACTLY how I want--and it clips the tall tree and kicks left. Now I've gotta get over the smaller tree. Which I should be capable of with the 56*, but I chunk it and it goes under the tree rather than over. One more pitch and I get onto the green, but with the slope it rolls out about 21 feet past the hole. I drain that 21-footer dead in the middle of the cup. Triple, +13. My playing partners joke that for some reason, I can sink just about any length putt to save triple bogey. Can't hit them for birdie, or to save par. But if the hole is already trash, somehow putts have a tendency to drop. I guess that's my superpower?? Hole 14, 348 par 4, HDCP 8: This hole has a completely blind tee shot down a hill. Trees down the left side and open on the right. Bunker short left of the green, but the hole is not all that hard to play as long as you're not left... I hit driver and it's heading left, but not REALLY far left. If it isn't far enough, the slope down from the ridge the trees are on will feed it right back into the center. If it's too far, it can kick even farther left and you're hitting at the green through the trees. I get down there and see my ball sitting perfectly in the middle of the fairway, so I'll take it. Garmin is confused but based on the fact that I left myself about a 50 yard pitch, I think the drive was closer to 300 aided by the massive elevation drop. And of course I chunked that pitch about halfway. Next pitch I hit pin-high left of the pin about 10 feet from the cup, and 2-putt. Bogey, +14. Well, hate to bogey after that drive, but I got lucky that the drive fed back into the center so I guess I can't complain. Hole 15, 156 par 3, HDCP 12: This hole is under construction. So temporary tee box and temporary green, 100 yards, no bunkers/obstructions. I hit a full swing 56* and drop it pin-high about 16 feet left of the cup. The "green" is absolutely trash and I manage to walk away with a two putt, and happy to get it on this POS green. Par, +14. Hole 16, 396 par 4, HDCP 4: Another relatively open hole as it sits between #9 and #4/5. Left isn't that great on this hole, but right is fine. There's no trouble in the fairway, but three bunkers protect the green front-left, front-right, and back-right. I hit driver, a nice long draw down the left side, 258 according to Garmin and it finishes in the left rough. Due to angle and tees, I'm still sitting with 170 to the hole, and I take 7i. I make a good swing but the rough catches the club and I end up 30 yards short in the fairway. I pitch to a center pin, and I really like it coming off the club, but it hits the upslope on the front of the green and stops far short of where I thought it would, leaving me 30 feet to save par. I putt and leave myself a not-easy bogey putt, but I make it. Bogey, +15. Hole 17, 292 par 4, HDCP 18: Short, straight hole, but 3 bunkers ring a small green, and the fairway is pretty tight, so accuracy is a premium here. On the right side the trees are pretty dense, and if you get stuck there a few near the green are nigh-impossible to hit over. Down the left is more sparse, but still a lot of trees. Playing to a front pin location, and my watch is telling me it's 272 to the front edge. And I'm thinking "go for it!" So I pull driver, swing too hard, and hit a low worm-burner pull. FFS. 190 more to go from the left rough, I take 5i and again the rough is too much and knocks a bunch of speed off my club. I hit a low pull down the left side of the fairway, about 150 or so. From there I have a short pitch of about 40 yards, so I pull my 56* and hit the ball exactly as I want, but oddly it hits and finishes 30 feet past the hole. Hmm. Go to put the 56* away and it's sitting in my bag, and I realize this was my 52* wedge. Ooops. I guess with the little half-swing that's why it went 7-8 yards too far. Now I've got a tricky breaker that I don't play enough break, and it rolls past low and finishes 5 feet from the hole. I putt that and stop it an inch from the cup. Ugh. Double, +17. Easiest hole on the course and I screw it up with a bad tee shot AND a three putt. Ouch. Hole 18, 457 par 5, HDCP 16: Short par 5, but narrow fairway in the first landing area. It opens up as you approach the hole, but with bunkers left and right of the green. I hit driver and it's a nice big shot but it's a straight pull headed towards the trees between #18 and #1. I find the ball under a tree, Garmin says 267 out from the tee. I've got a clear shot and I'm just under 200 from the hole, so I pull the 4h and start dreaming of getting there in two. Famous last words. I shank it off the toe, about 60 yards across to the right side of the fairway. Now I've got 160 to the pin, which is still salvageable. I take 8i and I hit it a little bit thick, and it only goes about 130 and ends up in a bunker well short of the green. I do manage a decent SW shot there, make it onto the green, about 20 feet short of the hole with a decent uphill putt to save par. I *barely* miss that par save and tap in. Bogey, +18. Strokes from 100 yards in - 61, average of 3.39 per hole Putts - 34 Fairways hit - 6/14 Greens in regulation - 5/18 Birdies: 0 Pars: 6 Bogeys: 7 Doubles: 4 Triples+: 1 So I went 42/48 for a 90 (+18). I'm damn proud of that. That might be my best round ever. I know I've recently got that 69 (+9) and a 75 (+15) and a couple 78s (+18) at Oso Creek in my history, but I can't really look at a course that's 3670 yards and slope of 99 and call those scores "real" compared to a 6200 yard course with a slope of 123. Golf is so much more fun when the driver is working. This course is one that makes it easy to pull out driver, because even when you're in the trees you'll find your ball and at worst you're punching out, and if you're really wild, you're probably just playing from the adjacent fairway lol. My "strokes from 100 in" is deceptive in how bad it was. It was actually negatively impacted by the fact that I was driving the ball well enough that I had a lot of approaches, partial wedges, and pitches from that 60-100 yard range, a lot of them specifically on par 4's in the 80-100 yard range. So that skewed up the numbers. Highlights: The driver first and foremost. God it's just so much fun to stand up and blast balls. We had a single with our threesome and he remarked I should be playing from the gold tees, not the blue. I don't get told that very often lol. Second is that in the entire round, I only had one hole that I consider a blow-up (triple or worse). I realize good golfers see a double as a blow up, but that's not my standard. Third is that overall, contact was good today, and that what I've been working on in my swing (moderating my in->out path and not hooking everything off the planet) came together on the course. Fourth, I got through the round on one ball. No water, not OB, no penalty drops. Lowlights: Flubbed pitches, and the skulled sand shot. Also, although my putting was much better than a few of my recent rounds, it wasn't a strength. I had SO many opportunities. I could have made bogey on 2 and 5 instead of double with better putting, and missing the putt on 12 to save bogey was inexcusable. I had a three-putt. Although I carded 34 putts, that doesn't include a fair number from the fringe that aren't technically putts, but would have put me over 36 for the round. Last, my distance control on some of those partial wedges was not stellar. I might have had more realistic birdie tries and more makeable par saves if I could have gotten a few of those closer. But, still... A 90 on a regulation course with a slope of 123. I'll take that any day of the week. My index had been creeping up and had just gotten from 20.4 where it was after the 69 (+9) round to 21.0 as some of my scores aged out, and this round brought it back down to 20.2. That was fun.
  16. I completely agree with the long-term idea espoused by that book. I got into a discussion with some folks on a completely different topic about goals and plans. I said 'my goal is to become a scratch golfer--and the plan to do so is relatively straightforward; it's lessons, practice, and commitment to get better.' The other guy said that's an unrealistic goal--only ~1.5% of male golfers in the US ever achieve scratch. So what? If it was 0.15% (less than 1 in 500), maybe I'd agree. If my goal was playing on the Senior Tour when when I turn 50 in 7 years, that's probably an unrealistic goal. But 1.5% is only a little worse than 1 in 50. Given that I'm a healthy, able-bodied male with no known physical ailments that prevent me from achieving that goal, 1 in 50 is something you can hit with determination and hard work. I think with anything of this nature, you need three things: Determine your goal. Make sure that you develop a good plan and process, such that if you consistently follow the plan, you'll achieve the goal. The commitment to actually do it. Truth is I'll probably never be a scratch golfer, but it's because of #3. I don't have the time or flexibility to devote the kind of practice time I'd need to hit scratch, and I don't have the commitment to elevate the goal of being scratch high enough relative to other things (family, work, social engagements, etc) that I will get there. If I didn't have a wife--I could absolutely become a scratch golfer. But I do have a wife. If I devoted enough time and effort as I'd need to become a scratch golfer, though, I probably wouldn't have a wife any longer lol! But I do trust that my goal (to "suck less", i.e. get well beyond "weekend duffer" status) and my plan (to actually practice and play often enough, with lessons as needed to improve my skills) is achievable and I've committed to that. And per your point, the big thing about this is trusting the process instead of looking at scorecards. Scorecards over a 5-round stretch are not going to tell you anything. Scorecards over a 1-2 year stretch, on the other hand, will. If you base an exercise / weight loss goal on daily weigh-ins, you'll get discouraged because day-to-day or even week-to-week your weight can fluctuate quite a bit with seemingly no rhyme or reason. The same is true of golf scores. But if you commit to a long-term plan, whether it's exercise / weight loss or golf improvement, and you have a good plan and you STICK to it, over time you transform yourself. Keep working to the plan, and you'll break 85 again. Maybe it'll be next summer, or maybe it'll be 2023. But if you keep working to the plan, you'll get there.
  17. Yeah, it's one of the reasons I don't post a lot of videos in my thread, and when I do, people often give me swing advice and I politely thank them but silently ignore it. I'm working on one thing based on my lesson with Monte. When I feel like I have it down (I'm getting close IMHO after almost 7 months now lol), I'll go back to Monte for more. This forum and YouTube can lead you down all sorts of rabbit holes of things you should be doing in your golf swing, and you can only focus on so much at once. There are a lot of good things here to that you can make use of. I.e. @TheDeanAbides message to you about the par+1 strategy and focusing on managing the course rather than hitting bombs lol, and something he just said in my thread about practice and range time that I think will be valuable for me mentally to break me out of trying to kill the ball on the lower-lofted clubs. There's a lot of value in the mental side and the "how to practice" side of things, i.e. I tell people basically what Monte told me, which is that most of your work when changing a movement should be partial-length partial-effort swings, i.e. the 70-80 yard 7i swing. Also that video is the key if you're changing a movement--you can "feel" like you're doing something and then you see it on video and realize your feel is completely wrong. But you can't get dragged one way to another from swing idea to swing idea and ever actually make progress on the movement you need to change.
  18. Thanks. I'll give that a try. I think for me it's right about 5i and up. Everything 6i and down I feel like I'm hitting to a target, and once I get to 5i and up I feel like I'm hitting to a distance, and that's where I start swinging hard.
  19. @TheDeanAbides I'd love it if you or someone who understands the process would take some video of the method you're describing and toss it up on YouTube.
  20. The fitter was right--the shaft isn't the problem. The swing is the problem. That said, moving to a stiff shaft may HELP. Especially if it worked in irons, I might listen to your pro on moving to a stiff shaft in driver. I'm in a similar boat with similar scoring. My issue isn't my clubs, it's my control of the clubs. Not that this means fitting and having the right shafts isn't important--it is. You want to have equipment that is in the right range for your swing. But the key is going to be lessons and practice. The way to hit the center of the face is lessons and practice. I can hit the center of the face. The problem is that I can't do it consistently. That's what I'm working on. I can't give you tips, because your swing flaws probably aren't the same as mine. And without a video of your swing, nobody here can really give you tips either. Foot spray or contact stickers tell you what the symptoms are. They don't tell you what the disease is. That's what your golf pro is there to help with.
  21. Went to the range today. Needed it. Unfortunately it wasn't right and I left probably 60% through the bucket. Highlights: I started with PW, and was just focusing on the move. After the first few "knock off the rust" swings, I was just flushing the wedges. It was great. I also was sprinkling in pitches with the 52/56/60, and focusing on the follow-through move from Monte's UTB 2.0, and I think that's a huge difference for me. My contact and consistency on all pitch shots is so much better when I focus on getting the right arm/shoulder through. Lowlights: I think I was getting impatient and swinging too hard with some of the other clubs. Sequencing, as a result, was off. Had trouble with the 4h and the driver. I realized my mind wasn't right. Didn't want to turn bad swings into bad habits. Walked off.
  22. I don't have a metal yardstick, but my putting mat has a line on it that I can use to see how well I'm starting on line. I just need to use it. I'm not all that concerned about the speed control. It's actually generally been one of my putting strengths. One thing I've noticed is that as I progress through a round, it gets better. So it's not something that I can't do--it's just that I'm not adjusting well at the beginning of rounds. That might be due to adjusting to the new ball, and it also might be due to playing a bunch of different courses with different green conditions so it takes a few holes to get the speed of the greens right.
  23. What this tells me is that I need to practice. I've been neglecting range time, and need to get out there at least once this week (maybe twice) before playing this weekend. The putting is a problem. I need to also spend some time on the putting mat. I don't feel like I've been great at starting the ball on line for those mid-range (5-12 feet) putts that can be the difference between getting up and down for par instead bogey after a pitch, or the difference between turning a three-putt into a two-putt after a poor lag and not doing so. I'm playing again Sunday at Rancho San Joaquin in Irvine, which is a longer (~6200 from the blues) course than my usual Oso Creek but isn't as much of a screwy layout as River View. No dry stream beds to hit out of, not dealing with half the holes being elevated greens, etc. I like that it's more of a challenge due to the length, but it gives me a lot more recovery capability on a lot of holes when shots go errant--it's nowhere near as penal as some courses. So with a little practice this week, maybe I can try not to embarrass myself and score in double digit range lol...
  24. Played 9 with my son Sunday at the par-29 exec course. For reminder, this is a course where no par 3 requires anything more than 52 off the tee, and there are two short par 4s. Not going to give a full write-up. I shot a 40. A typical score for me on such a short easy course is mid-30s. All in all, I didn't play horrifically, but I had two blow-up holes and too many missed opportunities. Holes 1-3: Made GIR on all three holes. Felt like I made great contact on every tee shot. Unfortunately I went par/bogey/bogey. I killed myself on #2 and #3 with speed control on the lag putts. I left myself 6-8 feet and couldn't convert to save par. Holes 4 & 6: Both are TINY holes (one playing 70ish to back pin and the other playing about 45 to the center location). I shanked both shots to the right. I managed on 4 to pitch and two-putt for bogey, and amazingly pitched on 6 to 27 feet and sunk the putt for par. But I don't know WHAT the hell happened with those tee shots. Hole 5: Short par 4 playing only ~185, so I went for it. Hooked my tee shot over the pond to the left, it kicked off the bank and into the water. Dropped over there in heavy rough, and missed clearing the water pitching to the green by a foot. So I lost two balls on this hole. Made triple with the two penalty strokes. Hole 7-8: Two screwed up wedge shots off the tee. 7 was low on the face and went 20 yards past the pin. 8 was just all sorts of messed up, and way short but bounced its way up to just shy of the green. Managed bogey on 7 and par on 8. Hole 9: Short dogleg par 4 with the approach over a ravine. Laid up perfectly with an 8i exactly how and where I wanted it, leaving myself a hard 52 or easy GW (48*) to the pin. Chose the easy GW and chunked it into the ravine. With the penalty, horrible approach after the drop, and three-put, made a quad. Three pars, four bogeys, and two blow-ups. You can maybe claim it wasn't that bad of a day except the blow-ups, but three-putting for bogeys, shanking partial wedges, and screwing up my contact on 7-8 means that even beyond the blow-ups, I was just inconsistent in all facets.
  25. Yeah, I'll worry about things like optimizing my ball choice for trajectory and spin when I can hit the center of the face more consistently. I don't have some insane swing speed where I need a "low spin" ball like a Left Dash or something like that. So "middle of the bell curve" in both distance and spin is fine. I figure that buying a proper urethane cover ball is important, but beyond that I'm not interested in optimizing. Kirkland was way out on the long tail of the bell curve, so I figured I'm giving up too much out there. I did manage to make it through the last round on one ball. So that's nice.
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