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post #37 of 189
Thread Starter 

I played yesterday and got up super early to make a before 8 tee time.  When I got there the starter asked if I wanted to go with the first group out at 7. That meant no warm-up, but pace would not be an issue.  I got to the tee and we played a wagering game which sounded like fun.  I busted a drive 275 down the middle and that was basically the highlight of the day.  On the second tee box, my partner duffed it and took a major razzing to the point he just snapped and I thought he was going to go postal (later I found out he worked for the post office!).  He started on the razzer and just told him that he was a f-ing a-hole and went on a rant for a good minute.  I really thought they would come to blows right on the hole.  Needless to say, I got really frazzled but composed myself to make a nice par save.  Then came the razzing, and the constant comments about how good I used to be and blah, blah, blah...you get the picture...group from hell.  I said to myself, that this would be a good test of golf, to be able to concentrate through this chaos.  It was no use.  By the end of nine, I was resigned to just "practicing" and not keeping score as I had mentally checked out by the sixth hole.  I had hit the driver great all day but any scoring club was pointless as my nerves were shot.  To be honest, the only guy I ended up liking and could see myself playing with shot at least 110 and was not half as annoying as the razzer who got bent and yelled if he missed a putt (like he was some kind of player).  The best thing I was able to do without thinking about it was to outdrive him on almost every tee shot which only pissed him off but delighted my partner who on a late hole said, He hit it by you a good 20 yards...again!  I went through the motions and finished the round and the guy says my score and then said something like you hit the ball well.  I said my score was horrible and he said, I wasn't commenting on your score.  Whatever...a-hole!  


Today was a little better as I took my father-in-law to see my pro (bought him a series for his b-day).  It was really good to see him start to come around and he hit some great shots.  I worked about 20 minutes with my guy and we worked on the club path past impact.  I told him about the day before and hitting 70% of the fairways but having trouble with the irons and we worked on the post impact part of the swing.  He said that this was the final touches that I needed to really take me to the next level.  I hit some really stellar wedges, 7 irons and then partial wedges concentrating on body through the ball and extension down the path.  Then we went to the putting green and worked on 10 footers and then on 3 footers...my latest area needing improvement.  He saw the slightest of breakdowns in my stroke and got me to tighten it up and put more of a pop on it to feel acceleration.  Then I asked when I should see him again and he said that your swing is where I want it to be and now you have to go play.  We decided that I would report back at the end of March.  Today was a good day.  

post #38 of 189
Thread Starter 
I met my brother in Orlando to play Magnolia Plantation in Lake Mary. Hit 10/14 fairways, 11/18 gir, with 33 putts for a 78. This is a tight track (72.2/135) so I hit my 2h off the tee most of the day. I was u/d more than 50% and made one birdie. Hit everything really straight as you need it on this target course that has a lot of trouble on it. I really felt the extension today as I was swinging in balance into a full finish. I will continue working on the putting and the one to two lapses that cost me two penalty strokes. Overall it was a good day with 12 pars, 1 bird, 3 bogeys, and 2 doubles (ouch).
post #39 of 189
Thread Starter 
Another day of target golf with 9/14 fairways, 8/18 gir and 29 putts. I didn't warm-up because when I got there I had to hustle to beat the crowd and started off hitting a nice draw off the tee. It rolled right down a bank into the water for my first of four penalty strokes. Luckily I was able to make bogey three times and a par with a 25 footer that went in. That combined with 3/7 scrambling and a birdie put me at 78 again (4.9). I hit the three wood more than the 2h and hit it well picking up some much needed confidence with that club. These last two days really made me think about course management as there were so many tricks on this setup and hitting driver was just not the smart play. Staying away from double today made a big difference with 7 bogeys, 1 birdie, and 10 pars.
post #40 of 189
Thread Starter 
Walked onto DubsDread today in downtown Orlando and was asked to join a group of guys who worked at the course for a little money game. This is a tight and short course that you really need some local knowledge on. Since we played partners, I played a little aggressively and started off with 4 bogeys. Then I decided to play smarter and set up a run of par, bird, bogey, par, bird, par, bird. Then I decided to get aggressive again and ran up 5 bogeys, but pulled it together to finish par, bird for a 6 over 76 (8.1). If I ever play there again I would hit more irons off the tee and play for the landing areas that are 130-150 from the greens and avoid the trouble that you can't really see from the tee. Many good hybrids were punished because of the steep run-offs that lead to the water and the narrowing that occurs the farther you hit it.

The highlights were a 30 footer for bird, almost driving the 9th green (short left) and hitting a 60 from 20 yards to 5 feet for bird, a pw from 120 to three feet, a 3w from 240 pin high to set up a 54 chip to a foot to save par, and on the par five 18 a 5 iron from 190 to set up an u/d bird from the back fringe.

All in all it was a fun day making 4 birdies! The only time I ever made more was last year when I made 5 just to make 9 bogeys to shoot 4 over. I guess today's lesson was to not give up and to have fun playing golf. I got a boost with the new putter making everything from 5 feet and in and as a bonus, won a few bucks.

Our little trip is coming to an end and my revision came out today and I stayed at a 5.5. Those last 2 scores helped as my best score fell off. I hope to be able to continue the good times and work down to that 5.0!
post #41 of 189
Thread Starter 
Just when you think that you know what you are doing, golf has a way of humbling you. I went out early this morning and after an easy par on the first just became tentative in my swing. I am not sure why, but I was just not finishing anything especially off the tee. I was quickly 8 over 44 for the front and got away with a couple on the back along with a couple of solid holes for a 39. I was scrambling on the front poorly going 1/5, but was able to go 4/4 on the back. Putting was marginal with 33 putts but the real loser of the day was fairways going 4/15 with 2 penalties.

I have finally decided to cut my driver down a 1/2" from 45.5" D6 to 45" D3. I almost always grip down an inch so I am going to shorten it a little to see how it goes. Tomorrow is a scramble so I will see how it plays, but I suspect that the swingweight will be unnoticeable. It came D5 from the factory and when I changed the grip it went up by one so D3 shouldn't be an issue.

Edit: Well, I cut it and it came out to D4 so only one point off factory spec...I am keeping my fingers crossed!
post #42 of 189
Thread Starter 

I tried the driver out today at a scramble tournament that I played in at Palm Beach Polo (Freddie Couples old home course).  This place is pristine and with the greens just rolled, they were stimped out at 11s (my home course averages 8-9 in season).  Holy cow!  We ending up winning by a shot in the handicapped format and I was able to contribute most of the shots for my group as everyone else I was placed with ranged from 14 to 18 caps.  After a few average drives, I realized that I still should grip down a little and put the ball back.  Once I did that I started hitting a little draw that could hold itself into the wind.  After it was all said and done I was averaging 255 off the tee with 11 drives that I could measure (I did hit 3 really off line being that I was just trying to bust it with a partners drive in good shape).  The highlight was a 500 yard downwind par 5 that I hit the drive to the 200 marker and then a 4 iron pin high to the fringe just above the hole.  Of course we blew the eagle, but it was a solid hole.  On another par 5 I hit driver 250 into the wind and then 3 wood 240 pin high just off the green to set up another up and down birdie.  Luckily, everyone in my group was really cool and we had a blast just laughing at the ridiculous speed the greens were at as some of our putts were just unreal.  Well, all that worry about cutting my driver was for not as it performed well today.  

post #43 of 189
Thread Starter 
I went to the putting green before work to practice. I was doing great with the lags and needed some help with 3-4 footers. What really helped was to get my weight 70-30 on the front foot, maintain the flex in the right wrist, and to anchor my head. Once I got my head right it made such a difference. I was just wondering how I could overlook such an important detail.

I am on the road this weekend so no golf for me. Next week I am going to the Honda on Friday and playing Sunday. I hope to have some of that tour tempo and smoothness rub off on me.
post #44 of 189
Thread Starter 

This morning was very windy and by 8:30 it was blowing a steady 15 mph.  The course I played is only 10 miles from the Honda Classic so you can tell from the tournament how windy it has been.  I managed to keep it in play on the front but only hit 3/6 fairways, 4/9 greens and got u/d  2/5 times for a 39.  I started the back with another missed u/d, then hit the flag stick with an 8 iron on the next hole only to miss the birdie from 6 feet.  The putt was on a downhill slant above the hole, broke more than 6 inches, and had the potential for three putt as the greens were @ 9s.  For the last 6 holes the wind was cranking and I played them 2 over with one three putt (total nine 5/8 fairways, 7/9 greens, 0/2 u/d) for a back of 39 and a 78 total (5.7).   


I felt good, hit it solid, made the key drives when I needed to, and hit some good wind shots.  Even though I had 34 putts, I made everything within 5 feet and that was key as it was hard to get the ball close today because of the conditions.  The bunkers were also challenging because they were overfilled and not compacted and we had 6 plugged balls within our threesome.  I started getting some serious tempo going and that was what kept me from having any real blow-ups today.  Watching those guys at the Honda must have helped.  

post #45 of 189
Thread Starter 

Another windy day again which made for some dried out fairways and super slick greens that were blazing at 9.  I was real happy with putting and only required 29 putts. I made everything 8 feet and in with no 3 putts, which is huge.  I have been trying to feel the right hand in the putt while maintaining the bend (good drill is to putt right hand only and preserve the bend in the wrist).  This seems to be the key in making those shorties.  It has been something that I have been really trying to make solid and it is paying off.  Also paying off is the short game with a chip-in birdie today. 


What cost me today was losing concentration 4 distinct times (I am sure there were more).  The first going from bunker to bunker (but getting u/p), then hitting a tree on a par 5 lay-up shot, flubbing one chip (got u/d on second), and hitting into the water on the island green with a seven iron (got u/d from drop zone).  So while the short shots got away, the short shots also saved me.  With a windy day, I was able to avoid any doubles, and posted an 80 for a 7.4.  I will take it.  


I have been hitting my 18 2h so well that I ordered a 20 3h that should be here later today.  I decided to put the 3i aside as I haven't been consistent with it.  The 2h I hit 3-4 times a round off the tee and hit the fairway about 80-90% of the time.  It has me rethinking my 3w too as I can hit the 2h about 240 off the tee (225 carry).  

post #46 of 189
Thread Starter 
The 3h showed up today so I regripped it and hit it on a monitor and at the range. The monitor averaged carries of 200-205 4i, 215-220 3h, 230 2h. At the range it looked like everything was a good club apart. The real test will be on the course where I can really see what the deal is.

I also worked on the sand game and concentrated on the entry point. I chipped and putted finishing with keeping the feel in the bend of the right hand. I made 10 in a row from 3 feet and after some longer practice made 12 in a row from 3 feet and left. I feel like the putting is getting more consistent.
post #47 of 189
Thread Starter 
Today I played a practice round with a pro from my course and another pro that is preparing for an event. The tournament course is real sweet with greens running at 11. We play the tips and I find myself making some clutch putts for par just to keep up with these guys. Once I start to relax I start playing and I put up a bird on a par five that my friend just eagled. Since we got a late start because of a course scheduling problem and it was really hot, I started to get a headache. I was feeling it and blew up on a par 3 with a double. I pick-up at 14 because I was really late for dinner and follow the USGA format for missing holes which puts me at 81 or about a 6.7 for cap purposes.

I learned today to be committed to every shot and to plan ahead for food and hydration needs. I felt like I was running out of gas near the end. I also got some confidence because I was able to play with these guys and match some of their shots, and even outdrive them on 2 holes despite me having 20 years on them. I just need to remember to not panic and play my game. I stuck a few good shots today but more importantly saw a guy get around the course with some great play. One cool shot was him getting u/d from 100 yards to save bogey and avoid a big number. He had great tempo and had that piercing solid, ballflight. The other guy had some moments, some really good and some really bad (pretty sure I had him on the front). Pro 1 did shoot even for the day (with a great eagle) that put him at a plus performance while pro 2 probably played to a mid single cap.
post #48 of 189
Thread Starter 

I am a right hand snatcher...there I admitted it to the golfing world.  My go to, under pressure, secret (only to me) fall back move is the right hand snatch.  It all started last night, when I realized that I had better look at my swing before my lesson today.  I just downloaded the SwingReader Pro on my Iphone for an investment of 99 cents.  I put my phone in my vise and took some practice swings to see the state of affairs.  The app is pretty cool and allowed me to draw lines, circles and see everything in slow mo.  Not too bad I thought as I first looked at the good stuff.  It actually looks like a golf swing, with the club staying on plane up and through.  There was some improved lag, and even a nice extension to follow through.  A few things to look at was the club going a little inside and then being slightly crossed at the top, my lower body was not supporting the upper as well as it should, and then I saw it. That dirty little forward press move is back.  Barf.  


I meet my guy at the range and after a little small talk he asks me what I needed to work on and I tell him that my lower body needs to support my swing better.  After 2 balls he stops me and goes back through the most fundamental move we started with at lesson one.  The left hand starts the left arm which moves the left shoulder.  I am stunned.  The right hand pick-up move is evident.  It's the kind of move you want when you are chopping wood but not swinging a club.   We work on swinging the club back with the left side, getting into position to have the club move down in the slot.  I tell him (like he doesn't know) about my goal to get rid of the press move because it leads to the right hand snatch and he says it's a good idea (so nice of him not to tell me that he recommended that months ago).  The press moves my hands forward, opens my shoulders, and then I can either swing back, or in this case lift it up ruining all chances of starting on plane.   I soon discover that if I release the tension in my body that it happens pretty easily and then I can move through impact to finish.  After working my way up the irons we  get through the 2h and then to the 3 wood and I start getting a little blocky and quit releasing.  Back to the half swing drill to figure out how to use my right side again.  After about 20 balls I have regained the proper timing and finish the lesson bombing 9 in a row with high draws.  Ahhhh, now what did I just learn?  My keys are to start without the press, use the waggle as a mini swing, take the club back with the left side and swing the club, feel the left hip start the swing and release to finish all without tension.  What an easy game.  The short version, lay off the death grip, feel the left hand guide the path on the backswing, and my right side will know what to do because it is all there for the taking.  


I feel pretty good now, having flushed my share of irons and 3 woods and ask for a couple from the bunker.  I contort myself into a twisted mess and he just stops me cold.  Back to basics again, square to the target with the ball inside your left heel, pull your left foot back a few inches and open the face.  Now without your press move make an upright move and it just clicks.  He leaves and I hit ten to a pin 20 away with 9 of them within 5 feet.  I chip a few and go to the putting green and lay down a dowel outside my line and make 10 six footers in a row.  I think that I need to sell the putting tracks on Ebay that I just bought as the dowel is easier to use and doesn't draw attention.  I then try some 3 footers and it starts getting busy so I settle on making 3 more six footers and call it a day.  





Edited by TourSpoon - 3/18/11 at 10:56am
post #49 of 189
Thread Starter 

After telling myself that I will play one shot at a time, I find myself in the first fairway with a 85 yard shot.  I start thinking birdie and blade it over the green into a tree.  I somehow bump it onto the green and 3 putt for double and bogey the next 3 in a row.  It's a trying day failing to get up and down when the putter is marginal.  I par the next three and start thinking again...41...wrong...bogey-bogey 43.  On ten I focus on the shots and make a brilliant pitch into the bank and get it to 6 feet for a par save attempt...3 putt double from 6 feet!.  I really know that there is nothing to do now but play for the shot.  Par-par-par-par-birdie (wedge to 2 feet).  Thinking I am somebody again, I have a wedge into the 16th green thinking birdie...short, chunk, chip, two putt double.  Follow it up with a bogey and now we are on 18 and I totally give in to the shot again with no expectations.  From the middle of the fairway I stick a wedge to 14 feet and make the putt for a birdie for 39 and a "How did you manage an 82" from my partners taking money for back and overall.  It just shows me that I need to forget score and play.  Highlights...2 bunker shots...one to 5 feet the other to 1 foot.  Two birdies and finding my swing on the back nine (lots of thoughts after yesterdays lesson).  The 9.2 gets thrown out, but it was a good lesson in why I need to stay in the now and concentrate on the shot at hand. 

post #50 of 189

Hope you don't mind me piping in and asking you a question.  First off, I love the blog idea as you work to improve your game.  So much so, that I'm gonna rip the idea off and keep a running log of my rounds and practice sessions.  Great idea and hugely helpful.


My question is this; what do you mean when you are talking about the right hand snatch and the forward press?  I assume the forward press is at address and is talking about your hands being ahead of the ball, forward shaft lean.  I have the same habit at address (a habit picked up from an instructor when I was a youngster).  I find my miss to be when I cup my right hand on the way through as I try to "pick" the ball instead of hitting down and through.  Is that the right hand snatch you are talking about?  I practiced a bit with no forward press at address (althoug I still do this when putting) and it seemed to rid me of the pick move, but I got a bit "hooksie" from it. 


Just was hoping for some clarification.  Keep up the good work!

post #51 of 189
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Saxguy102 View Post

Hope you don't mind me piping in and asking you a question.  First off, I love the blog idea as you work to improve your game.  So much so, that I'm gonna rip the idea off and keep a running log of my rounds and practice sessions.  Great idea and hugely helpful.


My question is this; what do you mean when you are talking about the right hand snatch and the forward press?  I assume the forward press is at address and is talking about your hands being ahead of the ball, forward shaft lean.  I have the same habit at address (a habit picked up from an instructor when I was a youngster).  I find my miss to be when I cup my right hand on the way through as I try to "pick" the ball instead of hitting down and through.  Is that the right hand snatch you are talking about?  I practiced a bit with no forward press at address (althoug I still do this when putting) and it seemed to rid me of the pick move, but I got a bit "hooksie" from it. 


Just was hoping for some clarification.  Keep up the good work!

I am glad you are enjoying this blog.  I thought I was the only one who read it! 


The "I am a right handed snatcher" post was maybe a little theatric, but what I was referring to was that I was setting up at address and then rocking into a forward press.  Some people do this to start their swing but I felt that mine was exagerated and pushed my hands too far ahead and opened my shoulders.  Since the beginning I have been working on left hand swinging the club back trying to remove the feeling of the right hand pulling.  The snatch is just that, the right hand taking over in the backswing so that the club is picked up, not swung freely on plane.  I had thought that I had rid myself of that fault, and for a while it was gone, but then I saw it on the video and my instructor immediately picked up on it.  So the combination of the exagerated forward press with the right hand pulling never allowed me a chance to get on plane.  Once I relaxed, eliminated the pressing and started my swing with my left hand again, I was back on plane.  I hope this clarifies it for you. 


post #52 of 189
Thread Starter 

Today's adventure was at Palm Beach National, my home course, with my father-in-law and his two cronies.  We started with heavy fog, so much that you couldn't see more than 200 yards.  From the back tees I started the easy par 5 with push, skank, push, pitch, 3 putt double and go on to bogey the next 2 so I am 4 over after 3 holes.  My group is playing worse and I figure that I am in for a long day.  Then I start hitting greens and miss birdie tries of 15, 27, 6, and 8 feet.  So 4 pars, a missed u/d on a par 3, and a lucky par on nine give me a 41.  With high hopes I push my drive on 10 and I am then pin high needing to hit a sixty over the bunker.  I hit a great shot and upon landing it takes off down the slope for a 30+ footer and another 3 putt for double.  I'm not giving up and hit 7 iron to 12 feet miss for a par, wedge to 2 feet for bird, lip out a 30 footer and make par, sand save for par, wedge to 3 feet for bird (hit the stick), 9 iron to 8 feet and lip out for a par, 8 iron to 30 feet and make the bird, and then SW to 15 feet and leave it 3 inches short for par and a 35.  Add it all up for 41+35=76 (3.9) for a great comeback.



I don't know what to make of the round today as I only hit 2/15 fairways with 11/15 [edit- 4/15, 9/15] just pushing right (mostly in decent spots) except that I hit stellar short irons.  Scrambling I was 1/6, with two 3 putts, 33 overall, not really wonderful there.  The big stat was greens hit at 12/18 and playing those holes in -3.  I also noticed that today was the first day since November that there was virtually no wind at all which makes a difference with iron distances.  Todays 3.9 will lower the cap to 5.2, the lowest ever!  So a bad start turns around to a strong finish and gets me closer to that goal of making it into the 4s.  


One of my latest obsessions is the Iphone Swing Reader software.  At 99 cents, it has allowed me to look at positions throughout the swing and make some adjustments.  Here are some of the things I am currently working on:


  • Eliminating the rocking press start (almost there)
  • Keeping the head behind the ball (starting to slide to far forward at impact)
  • Alignment in shoulders while putting


What it has allowed to fix are:


  • Standing up taller in stance and while putting
  • Takeaway now on plane (still crosses slightly at top)
  • Better balance 


Days like today just make me want to play more.   



Edited by TourSpoon - 3/26/11 at 5:46pm
post #53 of 189

Congrats on the lowest index ever for you!  Way to rebound after a rough start and keep plugging away.  Impressive 76 with 2 fairways, but sounds like your iron game was pretty solid.  Keep up the good work.


What's your bag set up these days?   Mine's posted pretty recently in the WITB thread.

post #54 of 189
Thread Starter 

Thanks...actually it was 4 fairways...I miscalculated, but still I was never really that far off the entire day and I played the same ProV1 the entire day!  


My signature has the set-up but here are more details:


Octane Tour 9.5 Project X 6.0 S

Tour X 15* with Fuji TourPlatform S

18* and 20* Adams Pro Gold with Matrix Ozik S

735 cms 4-P (24-28-32-36-40-44-48)  S300 (4 iron is 1* strong, 6-P 1* weak, all irons up 1*)

Vokey 54/10, 60/08 with S200

Odyssey 2 Ball blade

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