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About this blog

A blog by JonMA1

Entries in this blog

 

The Golf Gods Suck

I finally got around to playing 18 holes of golf with only 4 clubs this morning -  something I've wanted to do since early in the season. My goal was to keep the score to within 5 of my average. The 4 hybrid and 9i were shoo-ins. The 4h because I seem to hit it well, and the 9i because I can use for a short bump-and-run all the way up to a 130 yard full swing. I then had to decide on two more. I decided to bench my gap wedge, which is the go-to club from 100 yards and in, and go with the sand we

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Winter Blues

Just as it does for most golfers, winter brings about a lot of free time when golf is not an option. Sure, there’s practice, simulators and launch monitors, but for me, limited practice is about the only golf I see from December to April. I should be spending all that extra time going to the gym, or investing in some decent boots and bindings so that I can get back into X-country skiing. But I haven’t done those things. So I find myself looking for projects in hopes of carrying me through

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Same Golf, Different Year

2017 wasn’t exactly the same, but the results are pretty close… set the bar low and fail to reach it. I’m not sure why it’s so important for me to improve at golf or why failing to do so has the impact it does. There are plenty of things I’m not that good at that I still enjoy. Guitar, fishing, hunting, shooting, working on small engines, lawn and home maintenance… I’m ok with being mediocre with these. They are simply enjoyable activities that make up my version of a full life. Unfort

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Luck

One of my pet peeves when discussing sports is when someone blames a loss of their favorite team on bad luck. There are certainly instances when it’s appropriate, but more often luck is overrated as the real cause. Today’s round was going pretty well. I hadn’t totaled my score, but late in the round I knew it would be lower than normal. I’m trying to get a couple scores in the low 90’s to keep my index close to where it is, and was on track to do just that. On the 16th, I hit a good te

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

I Finally Have Golf Figured Out!

I can almost sense the collective cringes of those reading that title. We’ve seen newbies make this claim one week, only to post the next week how much they hate the game. I've certainly been guilty of it, though I’ve since learned my lesson. While most of the time we are talking about the one swing thought or swing adjustment that will carry us to single-digit greatness, other times it’s a can’t miss epiphany on the strategy that will have us navigating around the course like a pro.

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Demons

When someone is described as having demons, it’s usually to point out negative personality traits of an otherwise decent person. Weaknesses such as alcoholism, gambling, anger… damaging habits that cannot be fully controlled and either prevent a person from obtaining their full potential, or one which can rear it’s ugly face and derail whatever is good in his or her life. I think this can be said for the golf swing as well. Words such as a “tendency”, or a “bad habit” are used to describe a

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

What is Real Golf to You?

A recent topic addressed the idea of modifying golf in an attempt to make the game more enjoyable.  There’s nothing new to the idea of simplifying or modifying rules in games. Rules are changed in Monopoly and Scrabble. Poker can become a completely different game by making various cards wild. When playing pickup games of football or basketball, our rules were nothing like those of official high school, NCAA, or the pro ranks. Even these levels of the same game have variance in the rules. 

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Wish I Could Hit Like a Girl

According to 2014 Trackman data, the average LPGA pro gets about as much carry distance as I get from carry and roll combined. Well, I’ve never been too embarrassed by it. The world is full women who can kick the tar out of me in a fight, are faster, stronger, throw harder, jump higher…. I guess the question becomes, should I worry that I don’t hit as far as the best 100 women on the planet? The question has less to do with ego and more to do with practice, potential, and gaining

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Course of Action

Am I the only one who’s fantasized about having a private golf course? There’s no logic to the thought. The knowledge, effort and cost necessary makes it, well, a really bad idea. Still, it’s winter. I’ve cleared snow from the driveway, shoveled the deck and finished the laundry. My wife has taken her mother holiday shopping and I’ve done my 5 minutes of practice - a few times already.  In other words, I’m bored enough to imagine…. Slow play at the local courses has become unbeara

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

2016

I played what may have been the last round of golf in 2016 today and kept score on the front 9 for the first time in over a month. I had no intention of posting the score towards my handicap index so I played from a variety tee boxes. I also tracked this round on GameGolf which I hadn’t been doing much of either. Finally, I recorded video of a few shots to see if any of the work I’d put towards getting my weight forward was showing up on the course. After taking Evolvr lessons during the w

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Starting Over

For the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to implement some changes a local teaching pro had been kind enough to share with me. The results weren’t bad at first, but as I started to work in more of his advice, my iron swing became harder to control. Still, I remained patient with the poor results — that’s how it works after all. I anticipated the bad rounds and, for a while, was able to control the frustration.  The last two rounds pushed me over the edge. I tracked many of my 20

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

How Good is Good Golf?

There’s been at least one thread here on TST asking what we consider good golf. Single digit, scratch, Tour pro… From the perspective of a poor player like myself who rarely plays with anyone who’s good, there’s almost no reference. Most of the folks I play with are hackers. Sure, they’ll talk about how they usually shoot a couple strokes over par, then I’ll watch as they play at a level of golf not far from mine. I played with a couple of brothers recently who told me they’d been shooting

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

It's a Gift

Went to the range yesterday to work out a couple craptacular issues I saw on recent video. Armed with a phone for video and a game plan of slow, specific, short and success practice, I was prepared to make some real progresss. While paying for the two baskets of balls, the pro asked me how my game was. I told him I needed a better shoulder turn and proper weight shift. He suggested a drill for the weight shift and then offered to come out to the range to observe my swing. I told him I didn’t wan

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Who Needs Peace and Tranquility?

As someone who is used to walking an uncrowded course alone, the last couple of days were certainly a change of pace... Nicklaus, Palmer and Travino I had just walked through my 9 hole course this past Sunday morning and was making the turn back to the first green when a threesome in two carts went by. As I came up on the tee box, they suggested I should go ahead of them. I offered for them to join me and they accepted. As we introduced ourselves, there was something about the three of

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Mystery of the Lost Golf Balls

My yard consists of a couple of acres, made up predominately of what I believe to be Norway Spruce. There are a few “lanes” between these trees that can be used to practice full swing iron shots. Throughout the 7 or 8 months of the year when there’s no snow on the ground, I will go out almost nightly and work on my game. I’ll hit a dozen or so shots, go out and collect the balls, then hit them again. I don’t always hit my target (no shit, I have a 27hi), so there’ll be a few lost per nigh

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Stepping It Up

Earlier in the season, I started a thread about how to deal with ability - or lack of. (http://thesandtrap.com/forums/topic/81404-hitting-a-plateau-with-ability/#comment-354724). What I was after was more enjoyment out of what has become a very big part of my life. As is the case with many of my thoughts and opinion on golf, the idea that I can learn to be ok with a crappy game was mostly wrong. While I must learn to accept the current skill level at which I play, it’s difficult to suppre

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Having the Course to Myself

Growing up, I hung out with the same group of friends pretty much every day. While we were pretty active with boating, fishing, football, basketball, tennis, etc., none of us were involved with golf, which kind of sucks.  Throughout the last four years, my son has been about the only person who I’ve played golf with on numerous occasions. With his calm demeanor, you couldn’t ask for a better playing partner. Those rounds have been the most enjoyable and memorable. Just last month, he accept

JonMA1

JonMA1

 

Striving for Mediocrity

Advance the ball, keep it between the ropes, GIR’s are King and occasionally, you hit it close and make a birdie (more like par). “Ok, I can do these four things” I tell myself as I’m walking to the first tee. I pull the 5 wood so I can put myself in decent position for a short approach shot from the dog leg.    The 5 wood. What used to be as close to automatic as any club I’ve ever swung, now scares the hell out of me as I address the ball. All I have to do is not top the ball, I think. I sta

JonMA1

JonMA1



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