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MD/DC/VA Golfers - Twelve Monkeys Mental Divergence


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I will say one good thing about the Food Mart in town. You could drive by it 100 times and think it was just a dumpy convenience store filled with junk. Which it was. But they had an EXCELLENT selection of local/northwest beers.

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Field Report: 2nd Swing Wilmington DE     After Christmas, my son uttered the words that every 90's shooter golfer longs to hear out of his progeny, in the hopes that they can live vica

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Heck yeah, @dagoose383.  This is a great time to experiment with different uses for clubs, and strategic options.

 

There are still a few holes on the new home course that I haven't really locked in on a strategy I feel comfortable with.  I've been experimenting with different things.  Here's one where I think that experimentation really is going to pay off.

 

The picture doesn't do justice the level to which the trees up the right encroach on the tee shot.  Especially as somebody that generally draws the ball, it's such an uncomfortable tee shot, even with an iron.  At first, I just accepted that it's an iron off the tee.  One problem is that the trees on the right catch balls started even fractionally too far right, and when it happens those same trees also block you from getting the next shot anywhere near the green.  Additionally, the fairway in the landing zone for iron off the tee slopes significantly right-to-left, so essentially all shots funnel to the same spot in the rough.  It's usually gnarly, and leaves a right-handed golfer with the ball below their feet.  It's not an easy par, even if you've got a PW in hand.  The green is small, elevated, and there's not much room around it before penalty shot trouble comes into play.

 

As you can see, the fairway gets significantly wider beyond the fairway bunkers.  Not only that, the fairway is essentially dead flat up there as well.  One day I decided that I was going to grip my driver in an open face position, line up at the fairway bunkers on the left, and swing away hoping for a mega slice into the wide part of the fairway.  It worked perfectly that first time, leaving me a little flip 56 into the green.  I've tried the same shot every time since.  While my execution hasn't been great every time, my results on the hole have been night and day.  When I overplay the slice, the ball is curving at the tree line on the right.  The ball has either dropped straight down, or bounced into the fairway every time.  I've been hitting flip wedges, a number of them to very close birdie range, whereas before I was making a pretty even mix of pars and bogeys on the hole.  I've only made bogey one time that I can recall with this strategy, when I essentially shanked my driver so it started way too far right.  I'm gonna keep honing the mega slice D on this hole for sure.

tvh10.png

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Learning to hit a big cut like that can only help. That hole is a sneaky bustard. 

 

@dagoose383 I don't hit my 60 full. Of course mine is a 60/04 and it gets really bad if I mis-hit it at all. It's great for fuller shots off firm, tight lies, but it's mostly for slipping under the ball near the green when I need to land it soft. I can hit it full. It'a a good 60 yard shot that stops pretty quick, but I don't trust myself with it and the times that I need it instead of a "feely 54" are too rare to make practice worthwhile.

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Literally all I've been doing is turning the face of my driver open before I grip it, like you'd do with your wedge for a bunker shot.  I haven't quite honed in exactly how much I need to open it yet.  It needs to be enough that the ball will curve at least some amount right, 100% of the time.  But I also can't open it so much that the ball slices 100 yards, or starts right.  Need to be able to just aim at those bunkers and swing away, knowing I'm essentially never going to miss left.

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I've only played TF-H once, but I do recall those trees on the right being a lot less punishing than most trees are.  I think I bounced back to the fairway after hitting one.

 

You guys are going to get some good golfing lessons by being banished exclusively to TV-H for a few months.  TV-O is going to feel wide open when you get back to it.

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The trees on the right are mega-punishing, unless you can hit a banana ball that carries past the first 240 yards of them.  A lot of balls that hit the trees bounce down, or into the fairway, but unless you hit it far enough, you're still blocked from the green.

 

 

The next time I play a round of golf in warm weather, on a course that isn't TV-H, I'm not gonna know what to do with myself. 

 

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Another club I did what you're talking about with is my 50, @dagoose383.  I never used to hit anything but full and knockdown wedge shots with it.  Learning to incorporate it into my chipping and pitching has been a big upgrade to my short game and scoring wedge game.

 

Unfortunately I seem to have forgotten how to use one of my clubs that I only ask one job of - the putter.  I really neglected practicing my putting this year, and it shows lol.

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Goose, I’ve always played with a half set of irons and 10 clubs total  full time unless I’m shamed into playing a full set by some of the Hive guys. 
It does make the course interesting and different as you  can hit a yardage with more than one club. Also forces you to try and hit shots that’s not necessarily related to your handicap. 
Would recommend at least for winter. Great thread below for the diehards -

 

https://forums.golfwrx.com/topic/978322-starting-a-new-adventure-minimalist-golf/

 

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I play with 7 clubs a lot during the winter, primarily because it allows me to carry my bag easily, and play quickly.  I pretty much always carry driver, and putter.  Then I typically swap between odd irons and 50 as my highest lofted wedge some days, and even irons with 56 as my highest loft other days.

 

One "gotcha" about doing this during winter, is that there's essentially only one option when I'm in between clubs (which seems to happen like 75% of approach shots lol).  There's really no "step on the shorter club" option when you're already dealing with restricted swing and clubs flying shorter than usual.  I've always got to take a longer club, and smooch one in.

 

My scoring is negatively impacted carrying 7, rather than a full set.  I just don't care during the winter.  I'm not sure if it's really doing anything to boost my golf skills for when I start playing with a full set again, either.

 

A long standing hole in my golf arsenal is a "grid finder" drive.  I'm accurate'ish with my driver on full swings, and not crazy long, so more often than not, I just swing away.  But there are absolutely times where I want to be certain which way the ball will curve, and sacrifice distance (but not a ton) to have a better idea of where the ball will end up. 

 

 

 

 

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In normal winters when my shoulder isnt all F'd up, I normally just put my 150 and in clubs in my Jones bag and walk around hitting those shots. When I'm all bundled up with ten layers on, it doesnt do me any good to try and muscle up some driver shots. There's no benefit to my game there. But hitting those shorter wedge shots, IMO there is still something I can learn there or improve on.

 

This is always more practical if you belong to a club and you aren't paying to be out there - otherwise its pretty dumb to pay to do that.

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On 1/12/2021 at 9:30 AM, dcmidnight said:

In normal winters when my shoulder isnt all F'd up, I normally just put my 150 and in clubs in my Jones bag and walk around hitting those shots. When I'm all bundled up with ten layers on, it doesnt do me any good to try and muscle up some driver shots. There's no benefit to my game there. But hitting those shorter wedge shots, IMO there is still something I can learn there or improve on.

 

This is always more practical if you belong to a club and you aren't paying to be out there - otherwise its pretty dumb to pay to do that.

 

Having the job/life flexibility to play 9 holes from 150 on a random winter weekday is a minor life goal of mine.

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the opportunity to just go treat a golf course like your private playground is one of the benefits that I didn't "weigh" before joining a place. Huge bennie.

 

Sort of funny from Monday. I'm out solo. 11 goes out into the woods. 12 comes back. 

 

There's a guy -- not a golfer, a ped -- walking towards the green on 11. I wait. He goes all the way back to the tips on 12 (up hill) and is just standing there looking back over the course. I figure he's waiting for me. Well, I only have a half set so, I hit this 8 iron in to a tucked pin from like 130. Low shot. hit. checked. Like 15 feet. Very cool. I'm like "oooh, that dude must be impressed."

 

Then, I go to my next ball. Normal gap wedge. Hit it to like 12 feet. I'm like, "that dude must think I'm the ish."

 

So, I'm walking off the 11th green to the 12th tee box, and he starts walking right down 12. He's completely clueless. I go, "hey, can you wait just a minute so I can hit a drive."

 

he goes, "oh, I'll just walk over here." moving over to 11,  "It's your field."

 

Field. 

 

Yeah, that guy appreciated those golf shots. I bet he went home and told his family about them. /s

 

In the winter, we get a lot of pedestrians, dogs, joggers, etc on the golf course. I really like it. I'd like to see it all year except liability is just too great. I just like sharing the land. 

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13 minutes ago, thechief16 said:

I wish I had City's tolerance for people.

Things rarely said. 

 

I mean, it's 40 degrees on a Monday in January and the dude is out enjoying fresh air and a sunset; you can make a choice not to ruin that guy's day. 

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We "walked a few holes" yesterday, AKA had a 16 hole deathmatch.  It was beautiful outside. 

 

The ability to go out and play some arbitrary number of holes less than 18 without caring has been a stellar benefit of joining a place.  Otherwise yesterday I'd have to take off time from work, because I'd only want to go pay to play 18 holes if I actually thought I was gonna get them all in.  Or, more likely, I just wouldn't play at all because I couldn't take off early and wouldn't want to pay for 18 to play 14 or whatever.

 

The greens were rolling slower than they have been, and bumpy.  I made everything I looked at.  The other round this year I made everything I looked at was on punched, top-dressed greens.  In horses for courses terms, I'm a $hitty green specialist, I guess.

 

I also had to take a conference call (literal, not a poop) for like half an hour while we played.  It completely took my mind out of golf, other than the 30 seconds or whatever period I was ignoring the call to hit a shot/putt.  I played great during that stretch.  I guess it was the perfect distraction.

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This should be a good season, with a bunch of carryover vacation and vaccination within reach.

 

I would add that not all clubs are set up for the "few holes of practice" format, which does kind of stink. Some folks like to always have a tee time but it does drag when you constantly have to call to see what's available and then make the time, with a chance of being put into another group. You're basically getting the pub experience with better conditioning and practice facilities. 

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When I visit my parents for a summer vacation, I'll play at my dads club a fair amount.  It's rare that we'll play a full 18.  We'll get there at 4, warm up, play 12-14 holes, and be home before 7.  Whenever I play 18 I'm out there trying to put up a score.  It's nice to just go out and play without any sort of expectations.

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The fantastic voyage continues. BST items were shipped on December 14th. 

 

One package took 3 weeks to get here from Oklahoma, was "delivery attempted" at 1:30 PM 10 days ago and is nowhere to be found. The other went from CT to FL, got here two days ago and was "attempted" again...also nowhere to be found. And the mail room is literally in the front door of my work building, open to deliveries 24/7. The local sent me all the way to Glen Burnie because apparently another PO manages the packages. 

 

Any ideas, or do I just chalk up a loss of a few hundred bucks?

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I took a nice little 9-hole 6 club stroll yesterday. Played with a guy from my normal Sunday group and we flew around the course in a little over an hour (he was riding). 
 

I took Driver, 5, 7, 9, 54* and putter. Ended up shooting a “practice round” 40 (lift clean and place in several places that were just hard packed mud).

 

Surprisingly there were only 2 times I wished I had another club. On the par 3 2nd I wished I had an 8 (pushed my 3/4 swing 7 iron to the right) and on the par 5 8th I could have reached in two if I had my 3W (made par going 5 iron and pitching a 9i into the wind from ~40ish yards). Hit driver on all the 4s and 5s, worked out really well so I may start taking more risk and not “play it safe” with 3W or hybrid. 
 

Overall a great experiment day and I’ll definitely make a habit of these types of rounds. 
 

I didn’t bring my range finder to try and get back to the “old school” way of playing. Hitting driver-wedge on the par 4s helped out a lot. 

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Got out with Domes yesterday at UMD.  Rolled to the first tee with no warmup and hit the fairway with the first ball I hit in 2 months.  Was downhill after that and I slapped it around to a 95.  I think I was mostly better on the back 9 with the exception that I couldn't get out of any bunkers.  Would have been 90ish if I had just gotten it out and 2 putted a couple times.

 

Played with another 2-some that was also walking, and I was home within 4 hours of our tee time.  Love me some winter golf.

 

We had a funny conversation that I'm walking a very fine line between "moocher" and "first alternate".  I played 17 times in 2020 and did not reserve a single tee time.  I might have made one at Worthington Manor, but it was with a larger group and I was just doing the mechanics of reserving rather than actually organizing.  2019 was like 5 years ago now, so I can't recall when I last made one.  For the most part it's just been that I'm unreliable and have jumped in on open spots when someone else drops.  Maybe 75% "first alternate", 25% "moocher".  But I like that it's a debatable topic.

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With next weekend looking like weather in the 30's and maybe snow the week after I got to thinking about going to a golf simulator / indoor golf spot. Is anyone aware of any in the DC area? 

 

I know that Blue Mash has one set up in their pro shop, but I'm hoping for something closer to DC.

 

City Swing was right downtown, but according to Google it's "temporarily closed".

 

Any others out there?

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Pinecrest is my go to spot in the winter, in a normal offseason I'll probably hit 8-10 hours in there. Its $50 for the first hour, $30 for any hour after that. Full Trackman 4 setup with the range/practice options as well as 25-30 courses you can play. Tons of good beer/food options at the grill too.

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