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The TourSpoon Blog - Page 9

post #145 of 188
Thread Starter 

I have a few rounds in now and I am making some progress. I am really concentrating on the centered head and removing tension. When I can do this I can feel the club head release through the ball. Saturday, was really windy and I was tense and it showed. I did get a little flow which resulted in 3 birdies, 2 of them from pured 8 irons. Sunday, I was killing the driver and hit a drive downwind with a baked out fairway 330.  I was licking my chops on the 90 yards left and bounced my wedge into the hard pan trying not to blade it and walked with bogey. The next hole I had the same shot on a short par four and concentrated on clean contact and hit it to 12 feet and had a bounce back birdie. It was windy, but I finally broke 80 in my third round this year!

 

My Razr Fit Tour Authentic came in on Monday and today I had it cut to 45". The PX Black 6.0 fits me like it was made for me and after throwing an extra wrap on with my REL 3Gen grip it came out to D4 (from a sledge hammer like D7).  At the range I messed around with the adjustments and found the S+ setting to be optimal. I think it is half a degree open which is just a shade more square than my DOT.  I added 2 grams to put the sw to D5 but found this to feel a little heavy so kept the original neutral setting of 12 grams in the toe and 2 in the heel.  The result was a powerful flight that was straight to baby draw rather than my normal straight to baby fade. The club seems square so I think that little adjustment made some difference and matches better with my 3 wood flight. I ended up hitting my last ball in the net which was 255 out so I figured it to be a 265 carry downwind. Side by side with my DOT, it was slightly longer so I can't wait to put it into play. This club is slick and I love the all black face. 


Edited by TourSpoon - 3/12/13 at 9:21pm
post #146 of 188
Thread Starter 

I am still trying to fine tune the new RAZR Fit TA and think I came up with a good setting. At D4 I have the face open .5 a degree (S+ which is about 9.2 degrees of loft) with the heel weighted at 6g and the toe weighted at 8g for a slight fade bias. I tried this today and hit about 25 balls. I threw out the first 5 drives and came up with these averages for the next 20 with a low distance of 238 and a high of 295:

 

SS 99

Ball speed 144.6 (1.46 factor) 

Spin 2750

Carry 246

Total 271

AoA  -0.9

LA 12.7

 

 

These numbers look pretty good to me so I know when I get on the course it's not the club. My swing speed has dropped a few mph, but that is more about rust. It will come back in the next few weeks and to tell the truth, I never came out of my shoes with all swings ranging from 97 to 102. 

 

I also hit some new 3 woods and then I hit my DOT 15* once right at 245 and down the middle. I stopped immediately as it was on the money. 

post #147 of 188
Thread Starter 

I took some video and got back to work. It seems the centered head is good on the backswing, but I come out of it a little coming through resulting in some mild breakdown. I worked the forward lean drill that Erik sent me some time back. Additionally, I am trying to have the right palm face the ball on the backswing and then face the sky at the top so that I can get the shaft parallel to target. That, along with shortening the backswing, will help prevent me from crossing the line. The short game is coming around and I am trying to take the putter inside to get it on a truer arc. 

 

The last 2 rounds have been interesting with some solid golf but no birdies. Both were 79s, which is fine, but I need to start making some putts! The driver is working out real well. Today I hit a drive 315 downwind, but my best drive was into a 2 club headwind measured at 250. I had real good tempo, kept it low, and it was a golf shot. It was cold in the beginning and there was no finesse. The ball was not coming off the way I wanted it too, but I could not really feel my hands. By the back, it started to warm up, I focused on tempo and staying loose, and I finished with 8 pars and 1 bogey. 

post #148 of 188
Thread Starter 

Yesterday was a windy day at the newly renovated Atlantis Country Club. I started the round with no expectations with the goal of hitting it solid. I warmed up on the super fast, hard greens and finished with 15 3 footers. Today's lesson would be to never give up. 

 

On the first hole, with a helping wind, I pounded a 275 yard fade that hugged the dogleg leaving me 235 to the pin. I hit my 3 hybrid (it recently kicked the 3 iron out of the bag) and ran it up pin high for an easy 2 putt birdie. On 2, I missed the fairway and had a tree to negotiate and hit short of the green and scored a bogey. The shortish 3rd saw a 3 wood and a sand wedge to 8 feet for bird. U/D for par on 4, missed u/d after a stellar flighted 6 iron into hurting wind rolled off the back on 5. On 6 I hit another 275 yarder, short iron to fringe, and poured it in from 30 feet for birdie #3. The next 3 holes play dead into the wind and I miss up and downs on 7 and 8. On the par 5 9th, I pull a knockdown pw into the bunker. The sand is crusty and my wedge bounced right into the ball and it's ugly off the other side of the green for a double and a 39. Honestly, I was not too disappointed as the wind was starting to gust up to 20 and I should have really paid attention to that bunker. 

 

The back starts with a great u/d, a routine par, and then on 12 a toed tee shot into the lake. I dropped under the equidistant rule and pounded a hybrid to wedge distance and put it on the green to 18 feet and made the putt for a par! Another routine par follows, and then a 15 yard bunker save. On the next tee (460 into the hurting crosswind), I snapped a drive OB. Re-tee and right of fairway with 190 left into the teeth. Hit a 2 hybrid to 18 feet and made it for an OB bogey. Now the next 3 holes play into the wind and 16 I missed the u/d from 7 feet. On the par 3 17th playing 175, I hit a flighted 5 for par, and on the 565 18th hit my drive 265, laid up with a 5 that flared into the wind, then hit a flighted 6 iron from 150 to set up a 2 putt par and 38 and a 77 on the 72.5/129 rated course. 

 

What a crazy round. The 3 birdies were fun, but the water ball par and OB bogey taught me a lesson. Usually penalties throw me into a 2-3 hole tailspin. But keeping focused after the bad results allowed me to keep it going. I walked with a 77 in pretty brutal conditions and some new confidence. 

post #149 of 188
Thread Starter 

Today started a little rough going 4 over in the first 4 holes, but I hung in there and birdied the 5th and walked with 40. The back started ugly with another double, but 3 more birdies made for a nice 37 and a 77. I go back to work next week so the golf is going to slow down a little. The swing keys that I want to remember are centered head, easy backswing like I am swinging the left hand just past where the right shoulder was at address, and keep the head centered on the thru swing. Every bad swing today had me moving slightly ahead of the ball which then leads to a rescue move with a block or pull. When I can stay centered, it just happens and if my tempo is on I just only think about swinging the club head through the ball. My putting has been on lately, and I have been really feeling the path with my right hand. I can't remember the last time I had 7 birdies in 2 rounds. Now I just need to get rid of those penalties and doubles. 

post #150 of 188
Thread Starter 

Putting is the great equalizer. At least it was last weekend when I only hit 5 greens in another windy round that had plenty of mediocre ball striking. Making a bomb from 50 feet on the par 5 first hole started the round and I ended up making 140 feet in 28 putts (50% up and down, 33% sandies) for an 80. I struggled trying to make the move that I had the previous week which led to some inconsistent contact but luckily I avoided any penalties so it wasn't horrible either. I am finding my scores are grouping closer together with the handicap index at 5.3 and the anti at 7.6. 

 

With some work to do, I went back to the range the following day and worked on keeping the head centered going through the ball. By the end, I was hitting it pretty clean into a 15 mph headwind. The next day I went back and ran into my unofficial coach who ended up working with me. He liked the take away (press is 95% gone) and suggested a hair more extension and then the same in the downswing. He gave me some insight that gave me what I needed and I was hitting everything flush again. It really starts with putting myself in a good position at the top so as I extend through the ball I get that penetrating ball flight. We worked more on the path extension and I walked away with the feeling of the arms and club extended past the ball as the right shoulder worked under my chin. Tempo plays a part and when it all lines up I know its going to be a good move. 

 

We went over to the practice green and I showed him my stock pitch which is a cut pinch with my 54. He liked it and gave me a couple of variations and then showed me what he was working on which is a variation of the pitch shot where the bounce comes into play. With a stronger left hand grip and the shaft vertical he hit a couple and then I did the same. This brings the bounce into play and gives a nice little lob that just kind of floats even if you hit it a little fat (very similar to the pitch being discussed on this forum). The stronger left hand makes it easier to keep that shaft perpendicular to the ground and for the club head to pass the hands as the left cups. I also hit a few traditional lobs sliding the club under the ball which creates a lot of spin, but doesn't have the safety of the bounce lob. I am glad to be back to enjoying the short game practice again as I was struggling back in February.  He left and I finished hitting a few 7 irons and off-the-deck 3 woods. 

post #151 of 188
Thread Starter 
The last 2 rounds were 82 and 77. The first round had a few penalties, a few doubles and a couple of birdies on two par 5s. The 77 saw me hit 9/9 with the driver but no birdies. I had a double when my club slipped in my backswing and I hit into a hazard, other than that, I had 14 pars and 3 bogeys so I was extremely consistent.

On the range earlier today, it was blowing left to right so I really tried to draw the ball to hold it against the wind. I concentrated on keeping connected with my arms against my chest back and through. I was hitting the ball with a great trajectory holding its line. I need to remember that connected feel that is similar to the old towel drill. I don't know how I decided to work that today, but it was what I needed. I even was hitting bullets with the 3 iron, so it's back in the bag for now.
post #152 of 188
Thread Starter 

I went and bought an Orange Whip as the result of the positive reviews on the Trap and the net in general. I have been swinging it for about 2 weeks and I am seeing the benefit of a better path, smoother swing, and lower iron flight. With some reps under my belt, I went and played Saturday at Madison Green, one of the toughest courses in the area. I played the Blue Tees at 6500 yards rated at 71.8 with a slope of 147. This is a good test and I am starting to learn the course. They have a great summer deal so I will be playing here quite a bit. The key is getting through the tough holes without any big numbers and then take advantage of the easier holes. I usually average a couple of birdies a round because the greens are so pure. 

 

I made an easy par at the first, then missed a 3 footer on the second. That got my attention and I concentrated and made a 5 foot par save on the next hole. I bogeyed the next and par the number one rated hole. I then make a putt for birdie, bogey, birdie, bogey for 38. The back starts off with a bogey on the tough number 10 and then I find myself on 18 just 2 over for the back. I hook a huge tee shot that finds water after rolling down the bank at 120 yards to the green and calmly take my drop and put a wedge to 18 feet and 2 putt for a 77. I hit my irons really well, lower than usual, and with consistent distance. The shot of the day was a fairway bunker shot from 110 that I hit a knockdown pw that was just beautiful. Golf was fun today and I walked off with a solid round and a revision coming out to a 5.2 index. 

post #153 of 188
Thread Starter 

The Orange Whip is really paying off. After 2 windy rounds of 80 and 83, I went out today and had my best round since starting this blog with an even par round of 72 from the Gold Tees at Park Ridge. I hit 83% of the fairways especially when it counted, and hit 10 greens. I was 5/8 in scrambling and only needed 28 putts with 3 birdies. I was playing so well, that I even missed 2 putts inside 6 feet and still shot even. It was no picnic either with winds blowing 15-20. The swing thought was easy back and then through with the feeling that I stayed back. This kept my head centered as I tend to move it forward slightly during the downswing for a really good position at impact. It paid off with smooth tempo and only two marginal shots for the round. What a great day! This round pushes the index back down into the high 4s!

post #154 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

The Orange Whip is really paying off. After 2 windy rounds of 80 and 83, I went out today and had my best round since starting this blog with an even par round of 72

 

Congrats!

 

Can you tell something about the way you use the Orange Whip? Time spent training and so.

post #155 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDutch View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

The Orange Whip is really paying off. After 2 windy rounds of 80 and 83, I went out today and had my best round since starting this blog with an even par round of 72

 

Congrats!

 

Can you tell something about the way you use the Orange Whip? Time spent training and so.

 

I use the Orange Whip pretty much as recommended. I start by holding it in front of me and do about 10 trunk twists. Then I swing it 10 or so times with just the left hand then the right hand. I finish by swinging it with both hands 20 to 25 times fluidly concentrating on keeping my balance and finishing in a good position. Immediately after, I grab a longer club and then try to swing it paying attention to the backswing (the Orange Whip has me going back in a better position) then I really feel the sequence of my downswing into a full finish and hold. I do that about 10 times. Then I start over with the full swings, rinse and repeat for a total of 3 sets. I do this 4 times a week. 

post #156 of 188
Thread Starter 

I continue with the Orange Whip training routine along with range time. It has been raining down here for the past 3 weeks with little opportunity to practice so I continue to "Whip it good". The balance and control that has come with this has been outrageous and it has helped me stay centered and improve my release. My little head slide forward is really improving and something that I know is the real key to my recent success. 

 

After my recent even par performance, I teed it up the following week with the expectation of having a decent round with an emphasis on decent, not spectacular. I teed off on the par five with a 275 yard drive, a great layup, and a wedge from 105 to 6 inches and a tap in birdie. The next hole I hit a drive right into the trees, layed up on the right side, and from 85 yards out holed out on the fly with another brilliant wedge shot for birdie #2. Feeling frisky, I decided to go after the 150 yard island green on the par 3 third hole and because of a slight breeze, chose a knocked down 7 iron that I yanked into the drink for a double. So much for thinking I had it going. I ended up scraping it around for a 40-41 (81). 

 

Last Friday, I tried again. The difference today was that I hit good shots on a breezy day, was able to leave myself simple up and downs and was 2 over going into 17. With a double and a bogey I limped in with a 76. The following day I had similar results and found myself +1 after a birdie on the driveable 14 with a stellar chip and putt. Three bogeys followed and then a solid par for another 76. The last two rounds of 4.7 and 4.5 move me down to a 4.4 index. The ball striking has been crisp and things are going my way. In all honesty, the key has been swinging in balance, with good tempo and sequence which puts me into a great position to strike the ball solid. 

post #157 of 188

Mr. Tour Spoon,

 

Glad to hear about those two recent excellent rounds!  I have something like the orange whip but it's not the same, I got it from GG and it's called the Gold Flex or something like that?  It seems way too long but hopefully it will work. 

 

My question is what would you say the average course rating, yardage, and slope is from the courses that you are playing?  I remember you had a site that had your stats and I tried to access it just now but it was not there?  As you know the rating/yardage/slope is a big deal and I was just curious to know a rough average? 

 

A side note - I wish more people understood just what effect rating/yardage/slope have.  A guy in my office who is a pretty good golfer, shot a 73 recently and everyone was talking about it as some incredible accomplishment.  I did not want to be a buzzkill or anything, but considering the 73 was shot on a par 70 course that was under 6k yards, had a rating of just 67, and slope of 115, that 73 was actually only almost a 7 handicap index!  So while most people figure that he was just a few strokes over par (true) and close to being scratch (wrong) because in reality he played each hole at almost a half stroke over par (rating wise). 

post #158 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjwestner View Post

Mr. Tour Spoon,

 

Glad to hear about those two recent excellent rounds!  I have something like the orange whip but it's not the same, I got it from GG and it's called the Gold Flex or something like that?  It seems way too long but hopefully it will work. 

 

My question is what would you say the average course rating, yardage, and slope is from the courses that you are playing?  I remember you had a site that had your stats and I tried to access it just now but it was not there?  As you know the rating/yardage/slope is a big deal and I was just curious to know a rough average? 

 

A side note - I wish more people understood just what effect rating/yardage/slope have.  A guy in my office who is a pretty good golfer, shot a 73 recently and everyone was talking about it as some incredible accomplishment.  I did not want to be a buzzkill or anything, but considering the 73 was shot on a par 70 course that was under 6k yards, had a rating of just 67, and slope of 115, that 73 was actually only almost a 7 handicap index!  So while most people figure that he was just a few strokes over par (true) and close to being scratch (wrong) because in reality he played each hole at almost a half stroke over par (rating wise). 

 

Thanks for reading my rants. I have heard of the Gold Flex and it seems to be a similar type swing trainer product. The Orange Whip is slightly longer than a normal driver but it really has helped me as I have described. I actually bought it based on the reviews here on TST. 

 

I recently changed my Scorecard website because of access issues. This is the new site: http://tourspoon.site40.net/scorecard/#

Most of the courses I play are in the 6500-6750 range. The last two were rated 70.6/130 (par 71) and 70.8/129 (72). My new home course is 71.8/147 (72) and is a pretty tough test. 

post #159 of 188

Excellent, thanks for the updated link!  Sounds like you are playing some pretty legit courses at from tees that are plenty far back.  Do you ever have the urge to purposely play an "easy" course from a distance that is not that far just to see what you could score? 

 

I like to do this because it gives me confidence and also I can use it as a measuring stick to see how much progress I have made.  Keep up the good work!

post #160 of 188

Orange whip?  That thing looks neat.  Might give it a try.  Does standing on it give you elevation?  Does this screw up your club address or contact because you're standing higher?

 

I imagine you may have hit a few thin shots at first but then learned to adjust easily due to what I'm reading in your blog (you're a good golfer).

post #161 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjwestner View Post

Excellent, thanks for the updated link!  Sounds like you are playing some pretty legit courses at from tees that are plenty far back.  Do you ever have the urge to purposely play an "easy" course from a distance that is not that far just to see what you could score? 

 

I like to do this because it gives me confidence and also I can use it as a measuring stick to see how much progress I have made.  Keep up the good work!

 

Some of the courses we play are easier than others for sure. We have a couple of "easy" courses in the rotation and I usually judge it by the slope as an indicator of how much trouble you can get into when you hit a bad shot. Length really is not an issue at the yardages we play so I don't really care to play shorter. My progress is monitored from that 6500-6700 yard range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJBam View Post

Orange whip?  That thing looks neat.  Might give it a try.  Does standing on it give you elevation?  Does this screw up your club address or contact because you're standing higher?

 

I imagine you may have hit a few thin shots at first but then learned to adjust easily due to what I'm reading in your blog (you're a good golfer).

 

I don't have the base which is called the Orange Peel, although I would love to try it. I have the device that you swing and the feeling is easily translated on the course after a few weeks. The main thing for me is that my tempo is much better and in sequence. When my timing is off, I have a tendency to forget about the legs and hips which I feel are critical in getting a consistent swing. The other point is that you swing the Orange Whip, you don't hit anything so you are really working on the "swing". 

 

I just got my Golf Pride Decades and will be doing a review on them. I put them on half my clubs and will be going to the range today to give them a whirl. If I have good results, I will finish the rest of the clubs and play a few rounds before writing them up. I am confident I will like them because I borrowed a friend's 8 iron that has the grip on it earlier this week to see what I was getting into. 

post #162 of 188

Oh, I see.  I was totally lost.  I thought the whip was the deal that you stand on.  I might be able to get the same effect from swinging my lady's graphite pitching wedge lol.

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