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New Twist on "Holes Not Played"


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I have been diagnosed with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Foraminal Stenosis (and a Foraminal cyst just to make things interesting). Despite the fact that I was comfortably walking and carrying my bag just 6 months ago, I now find that finishing 18 holes (in a cart) is difficult. The pain shows up in my hip and lower leg and (after a spinal epidural) I can swing a golf club where I could not do that before.  However just the moving around associated with cart golf causes random discomfort and about the only solution is to sit down. Sometimes 30 seconds is enough and sometimes it is not. More than maybe 15 consecutive swings (like on the range) is also a problem, but that is kind of an aside. My range hound habits disappeared long before this. Single golf swings separated by cart rides are quite doable, even when my hip/leg is in the discomfort zone. Walking is the problem. 

 

My last couple rounds have had some 'tough times' (lots of discomfort where the sitting associated with cart golf was not enough). But those tough times come and go - seemingly at random. If this continues my only solution is going to be to occasionally skip a hole to get enough 'sit time' to get back into my comfort zone. 

 

These would almost certainly be on the back side  of the half dozen courses that I play and the question comes up 'what to post'. If I skip a hole because of physical discomfort the rules are simple - par plus strokes. From the tees that I play these days 8 strokes is typical for me, depending on the course (I am playing the 'senior tees'). I don't really like that as it is somewhat manipulate-able where (assuming you are a vanity capper) when you feel the need for sit time you can 'wait for a non-stroke hole' (or the opposite if you are a sandbagger). 

 

An alternative would be to tee off on the skipped hole and then post 'expected score' based on the tee shot. I kind of like that approach better for some reason. What do others think - are there other alternatives here? 

 

dave

 

ps. There are all kinds of things that I cannot do anymore - and interestingly one of those is to play my classical guitar for long periods of time.  The one thing that I can do is to ride my bike as long as I damn well please. I have not ridden a 100 miler since pre-Covid times, but assuming my conditioning was there the stenosis thing (IMHO) would be a non-issue. Go figure.  

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11 hours ago, DaveLeeNC said:

An alternative would be to tee off on the skipped hole and then post 'expected score' based on the tee shot. I kind of like that approach better for some reason. What do others think - are there other alternatives here? 

 

 

IANAL, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn last night but I think that posting par plus any strokes is the right thing.

 

The people who would give you grief about manipulating the system would do it no matter what you do so do what's best for the pain relief.

 

Hope you get better soon.

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11 hours ago, DaveLeeNC said:

I have been diagnosed with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Foraminal Stenosis (and a Foraminal cyst just to make things interesting). Despite the fact that I was comfortably walking and carrying my bag just 6 months ago, I now find that finishing 18 holes (in a cart) is difficult. The pain shows up in my hip and lower leg and (after a spinal epidural) I can swing a golf club where I could not do that before.  However just the moving around associated with cart golf causes random discomfort and about the only solution is to sit down. Sometimes 30 seconds is enough and sometimes it is not. More than maybe 15 consecutive swings (like on the range) is also a problem, but that is kind of an aside. My range hound habits disappeared long before this. Single golf swings separated by cart rides are quite doable, even when my hip/leg is in the discomfort zone. Walking is the problem. 

 

My last couple rounds have had some 'tough times' (lots of discomfort where the sitting associated with cart golf was not enough). But those tough times come and go - seemingly at random. If this continues my only solution is going to be to occasionally skip a hole to get enough 'sit time' to get back into my comfort zone. 

 

These would almost certainly be on the back side  of the half dozen courses that I play and the question comes up 'what to post'. If I skip a hole because of physical discomfort the rules are simple - par plus strokes. From the tees that I play these days 8 strokes is typical for me, depending on the course (I am playing the 'senior tees'). I don't really like that as it is somewhat manipulate-able where (assuming you are a vanity capper) when you feel the need for sit time you can 'wait for a non-stroke hole' (or the opposite if you are a sandbagger). 

 

An alternative would be to tee off on the skipped hole and then post 'expected score' based on the tee shot. I kind of like that approach better for some reason. What do others think - are there other alternatives here? 

 

dave

 

ps. There are all kinds of things that I cannot do anymore - and interestingly one of those is to play my classical guitar for long periods of time.  The one thing that I can do is to ride my bike as long as I damn well please. I have not ridden a 100 miler since pre-Covid times, but assuming my conditioning was there the stenosis thing (IMHO) would be a non-issue. Go figure.  

Nothing to do with posting rules but just wanted to say I hope you, your back and your golf game can reach some sort of accommodation that lets you fully enjoy golf every time out. Best of luck, Dave.

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From August 18, 2021 I will be away from GolfWRX for a while.

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If playing golf gets too uncomfortable/painful, why do you feel the need to post a score? 

 

I am going to assume, because of your condition that you are no longer competing in tournaments.

 

Would it not be more enjoyable to just play as many holes as you can then go home and rest without worrying about scores vis-a-vis handicaps?

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12 hours ago, Mudguard said:

Does the scoring system not account for a pick up? Simply enter a zero, or pick up? In reality that's the only way to do it, I'm sure I'm not the only one to pipe a drive down the middle for a certain birdie then socket one OB...

 

A 'scoring system' is not the same as a posting system (ala' WHS). And the WHS has one procedure for when a hole is not played (exactly zero strokes taken on the hole) vs. a hole that is not finished (more than zero strokes taken on the hole but the hole is not completed). My two suggested options embody those two WHS procedures. 

 

dave

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37 minutes ago, Blonde Line Lizard said:

If playing golf gets too uncomfortable/painful, why do you feel the need to post a score? 

 

I am going to assume, because of your condition that you are no longer competing in tournaments.

 

Would it not be more enjoyable to just play as many holes as you can then go home and rest without worrying about scores vis-a-vis handicaps?

 

A good portion of my golf is with a dozen or so guys who play weekly in some form of four person team competition. We all carry handicaps and that is how we balance things between guys with single digit caps and caps close to 30. I would prefer to keep playing with that group (if I can). WRT team scoring we have ways to deal with skipped holes. 

 

And I really don't need to end the round, I just need a rest. In my last round on leaving the 18th hole my hip/leg was not at its worst but was moderately uncomfortable. It was a 12 minute drive to the grocery story and when I got there I had no discomfort whatsoever. 

 

dave

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2 minutes ago, DaveLeeNC said:

 

A good portion of my golf is with a dozen or so guys who play weekly in some form of four person team competition. We all carry handicaps and that is how we balance things between guys with single digit caps and caps close to 30. I would prefer to keep playing with that group (if I can). WRT team scoring we have ways to deal with skipped holes. 

 

And I really don't need to end the round, I just need a rest. In my last round on leaving the 18th hole my hip/leg was not at its worst but was moderately uncomfortable. It was a 12 minute drive to the grocery story and when I got there I had no discomfort whatsoever. 

 

dave

I can imagine a similar situation in the groups I play with. If the guy thought he seriously could rejoin the  (teams') round after taking a couple holes off we'd be be fine with that. Certainly nobody would tell him just to quit. 

From August 18, 2021 I will be away from GolfWRX for a while.

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I hope you get better soon. Playing in pain ruins the fun for sure. 
 

As you know, a skipped hole is par plus any strokes. Any hole you tee off and then pick up is MLS up to NDB. 
 

These procedures work fantastically if you follow them. 
 

Where you would “get into trouble” is if you start planning time off during your round with the purpose of manipulating your cap. If your intention is to manipulate your cap, you probably shouldn’t post the entire round. If you’re just taking time off because of pain etc., just follow the guidelines. 
 

Lastly, nobody cares if you manipulate your cap downward. If you know a hard hole is coming up that you have trouble making bogey most days and decide to sit that one out and take a “par+“ bogey to save your strength for another, easier, hole, your cap will only trend lower. Nobody you gamble with will care if your cap is artificially lower. 
 

I’d say go out, have fun, play with your group, and take time off when you need it. Then just post as per the rules. 

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3 hours ago, Sawgrass said:

I would “fight” myself to concentrate solely on the level of discomfort, and work hard to ignore the concept of which hole is coming up.

 

If you can manage to to that, avoid manipulation, you’re home free.

 

Good luck to you managing your irritating illness. 

 

SG, I agree and that is kind of the 'starting point'. But then it makes little sense to sit out a par 3 (possibly not enough 'sit time'). And it makes perfect sense to wait for a par 5 (more sit time for just one hole). And both of those tend to kind of skew your choice WRT where the holes live in the 1-18 hole handicap range. 

 

Since I have some leeway I considered having some kind of rule like "on even days of the month you first sit out hole should be a stroke hole and on odd days of the month it should be a non-stroke hole". Since I tend to carry a course handicap around 8 from the tees that I am playing these days that could work - but then there are those cases where you have a bunch of consecutive non-stroke holes. 

 

Heading back to the pain clinic early next week which will probably result in another epidural which will probably give me a month or 2 of relatively pain free golf. But epidurals every 3-4 months is not a long term plan (IMHO). 

 

My MRI revealed four distinct problems in the lumbar region and just the process to diagnose which is the cause of my discomfort at the moment is not a risk free process (from what I know). 

 

dave

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1 hour ago, Augster said:

Lastly, nobody cares if you manipulate your cap downward. 

 

This whole thing is mostly about keeping me playing in my Friday Golf group where I will have 3 partners. And they will certainly care about whether or not my index is artificially low (to the extent that a $3 bet can result in 'caring' 😀 ).

 

dave

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  • 2 months later...

For anyone who joined this thread late it is about a medical situation where I am forced to occasionally sit (in the very literal sense of the word) out a hole to allow recovery from a spinal stenosis problem. The discussion was mostly about choosing the 'sit out holes' as it is something of an arbitrary choice. 

 

Things have gone better than I had anticipated and today was the first day where I was forced to sit out on occasion (actually, a half dozen or so times). The 'choice' in the matter was less arbitrary than I expected as the discomfort came on pretty suddenly and was far less of a build up thing than I had anticipated. 

 

But on two occasions I came on a most interesting situation where on approaching the tee I felt like I needed another 3-4 minutes of sit time, so a rational way to do this would be to not hit a tee shot (allowing a couple more minutes of sit time) and then finish the hole. And instead of starting the hole but not finishing (post Most Likely Score) it would be finishing the hole from the point of "Most Likely Drive". I liked that concept of Most Likely Drive, but I don't expect that to show up in the WHS system any time soon. 

 

dave

 

ps. In both cases I teed off (one par 5 and one par) and was unable to finish either hole. It was a truly bad day on the golf course (yes, there is such a thing). I believe that I have found my personal EoEE (End of Epidural Effectiveness). I see the pain management doc on Monday.  

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  • 1 month later...

This is pretty interesting Dave, but I'd say maybe ask your group to pick the busiest time of day and then go out. There are some crazy slow rounds, and I'm guessing if you play it right you might be sitting 5 minutes on every tee. Another option is to let the group behind you through every few holes. That is like a guaranteed 8 minute sit. 

 

All of this depends on your friends being willing of course

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54 minutes ago, hahanice said:

This is pretty interesting Dave, but I'd say maybe ask your group to pick the busiest time of day and then go out. There are some crazy slow rounds, and I'm guessing if you play it right you might be sitting 5 minutes on every tee. Another option is to let the group behind you through every few holes. That is like a guaranteed 8 minute sit. 

 

All of this depends on your friends being willing of course

 

I've got good friends, but not that good 🙂   

 

dave

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Dave, I can sympathize with you.

 

Similarly, I have been diagnosed with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Foraminal Stenosis then add in lumbar scoliosis collapsing the left side of the spine for jollies. Fortunately, it is primarily an issue when lying flat at night, but some discomfort is creeping my left leg when walking and even sitting. There has been no overt effect on my golf outside of some swing distance degradation. Bending over is getting uncomfortable but not debilitating. But it is coming! And unless you have delt with this pain it is hard to describe both physically and mentally to others.

 

I've had three spinal injections, the most recent about two weeks ago. They work for a bit then we stair step Pregabalin until the next injection which are limited to 3 annually. In early December visited a surgeon and not happy with his proscribed correction. (Anterior and posterior interbody fusion).  Also, I don't want to do injections like "regular oil changes" as my pain doc's PA so eloquently describes the procession of folks coming in for shots. They have consequences too.  Next week I'm consulting a practice in Phoenix that has worked with professional sports team athletes and LPGA Tour members. Fingers crossed they can find a minimally invasive approach so I can get ahead of this darn issue. I understand there will be downtime and a rebuilt golf swing. But as long as I can get out and play...... numbers are irrelevant.

 

I can see starting in the Phoenix summer heat when my course is empty playing 3 to 4 holes from the 150 markers then trying to increase distance and endurance. I've already started standing more vertical putting.

 

Best wishes on achieving a satisfactory outcome.

 

 

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@Mtn_Mikey Your symptoms sound more severe than mine at this point. I am now on my second injection and even before the first one I could mostly live my life with just a  few exceptions. One of those was swinging a golf club (another would be stairs and/or inclines).

 

Oddly long bike rides (30 miles is a very typical ride for me) are quite therapeutic. My pain shows up in my hip and lower leg and my discomfort level is ZERO after a typical bike ride without exception. I don't care how bad it was when I started.  Right now I can play golf comfortably immediately after a spinal epidural. A month or 2 later golf starts to become difficult and a month or 2 after that impossible. 

 

I am seeing the 'surgical team' in a couple weeks just to understand what is in front of me. I have huge concerns about my epidural injections as in both cases I encountered pain starting about 6 hours after the injection and lasting about 4-6 more hours. In both cases it was so bad that I literally could not get around even with crutches. I was completely immobile. The pain doc and I are going to have a very serious discussion about this the next time I see her. This is not normal from all I can determine. 

 

Good luck. 

 

dave

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