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About this blog

Just a place for me to let you guys know what's on my mind... Relating to the beautiful game of golf.

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I think with a little work, just making sure I stay the course, with the previous part, I think the equipment change will help me become a more consistent driver.

Now on to the single most important part of my improvement. My approach shots. I was going to break this part of the blog up into a few different pieces, but I decided that one long blog was better than three or four kind-of short blogs. So, about my approach shots. At times, I can hit 8 or 9 greens in a round, some rounds I hit 3 or 4. I know @iacas will preach GamePlanning, Shot Zones and Decision Maps to me. So were going to go through what I need to do to become a better iron player, so good in fact, I can maybe eventually get to scratch. I'm going to break down for you pretty much distance by distance and almost club by club, shot by shot at my home course of what I honestly need to do... to get more royalty in my life.  

A lot of the issues, I think I am having is, iI need to find that Smart Target, and just aim for the center of the green. The greens on my home course are relatively small at around 3,000 square feet. That still is a much bigger target than a 4¼ inch hole with a 6-foot stick with a piece of cloth attached to it… If I could just find that smart target in line with the center of the green that was even an intermediate target, I’d be halfway there. I still must execute. Golf is a game of imperfection, but if I’m 130 yards out for my second shot on the 13th Hole at Newman, if I aim at the center of the green my entire shot zone for my choked-down 9-iron, is on the green. Same for a stock pitching wedge. As far as I drive it, (which really isn’t that far, about 260 yards carry) and as short of irons as I have into most greens (on the front nine, if I don’t hit some hybrids, I’ll be hitting a bunch of shots with sand wedges all day.)

I may have figured out part of this with just the introduction, aim at the center of the green, jack-ass. (I’m talking to myself, no offense to anyone). There is a part of Lowest Score Wins where they took 90s, 80s, and 70s shooters from 50 to 130 yards and had them shoot at the flag and shoot at a Smart Target. The higher handicappers did better shooting away from the hole, and took fewer strokes to hole out, than shooting at the hole.

At the tale end of last summer, I started a thread which I should re-link, but I won’t. I said I wasn’t going to hit any full shots inside of 150 yards. I’m still not. Will there be a time and place when I do? Perhaps someday.

Ok I said I was going to go shot-by-shot, of some approaches I would hit in a round at my home course, which is Newman Municipal Golf Course here in Ithaca, New York.

Hole 1, Par 5, 490 Yards: Now I’ll be honest, I haven’t played with my new clubs yet or been out since October, but usually I have to lay-up short of the ditch because the tree or the right has a catcher’s mitt, the trees on the left you have to advance it toward the 3rd tee to have a chance to maybe make a 5, and the right side of the fairway though it leaves a longer third shot, is a better side to shoot from. So, I usually have about 120 yards, if I have this yardage, there are three trees behind the green, the one in the middle is almost dead in line with the center of the green. If I shoot the flag at 120 yards and it’s in the back, choked PW at the tree, in the front choked ¾ PW at the tree.

Hole 2, Par 3, 145 Yards: I like Par 3s they are measured to the center of the green. Now we have a variable on the 2nd, some days we play from the right tee, some days we play from the left. Depending on the day, it changes the smart target. I forgot to mention, the prevailing wind is usually from the North. The 7th Hole you’ll see is straight into the teeth of this wind. We had a fence behind the green that was basically the out of bounds marking for the hole. It’s gone. Now we use trees and the practice fire station windows. From the left tee, a choked 8-iron at the far left window of the practice fire station. From the right tee, there is a lone pine tree across Fall Creek that is a little off center, but it’s pretty darn close.

Hole 16 (also the 7th from a different angle), Par 3, 200 yards: This hole can play 220 yards if Mike decides to tip it out, but usually we don’t. There is a window on a boat house in the distance that is in the dead center of the green… if that doesn’t work the 8th tee marker (which is white, is usually a good line). You have Fall Creek on the right which is out-of-bounds. So I will take the penalty buffer into consideration and move your shot zone over to the left, there is also native grass to the left but it’s way left. There is a pine tree at the back-left corner of the green I will aim at because. It’s honestly the lightest shade. From the tee, if I get a nGIR most of the time and hit the green 1 out of 5… I’d be happy. 200-yard 4- or 5-iron shots are not easy for anyone.

I think, what I’ll do my first time out in 2018, is get all my smart targets in order. Draw out my shot zones on some of that graph paper, they have you do constructions on in high school. Continue to work on my full swing drills, that I am working on with Craig, and who knows by summer @iacas maybe giving me, the breaking par, no sixes, and tournament winner badges.





Remember my plan to get better at golf, that I wrote a few weeks back. Well I'm going to dissect it down to what I need to do in order to get my handicap down under 5...

For wanting to be an sub 5 handicap, My driving well stinks. Probably 240, if I was lucky, and not-so-straight, It was absolute shit in comparison, but when I drove it well I was driving 280-290 with no problems. But it was Tiger inconsistent.

You won't believe what led me to what happened with my new driver. But this is a blog, so I'll tell the story. I shot a 76, October and the only 6 I made was on a par-5 after a seemingly fine tee shot. But I was outside of 250, didn't have the lumber in the bag to go for it, so I laid up (bad Shane). I got home that night, and I pulled out my old Wilson 1200 GE Maple Laminate Drive that plays 43.5" long. (mind you actual "woods" can be difficult to hit, however after about ten shots that all went similar distances (not long maybe 220-230) I realized something. I don't need a 45.5" driver to hit it long. I probably should to my fitter and figure this out.

I started a thread linked above. Which I actually did this experiment today. We actually did a version of this when I was settling on my length in my new EX10 driver. We actually started at 45.5" which is where I was at. Then we worked down to 45".... Which was a little better. Then I went too short... he actually has a couple shafts that make the driver play 42 and 43" respectively... and the strikes were there, but the distance was too short. (I joked if Tour Edge had a 15° or 16° driver head, I might use that for a 6 or 7 club set) So we went from there to 43.5" which was actually really good... but the launch was a little high. So we stuck made the Driver 44", The launch was around 15°, spin around 2500 (which is a hell of a lot lower than I had), and I was flying it 260... Consistently... So we tried 44.5" and the inconsistency creeped in. I'm 6'5" I have average length, limbs, a long torso... And I have a Driver an inch shorter than most of the guys at my course... wait till they play with me... they are in trouble.

But as Dave and Erik say in LSW... 250 yards is plenty to be a scratch golfer (if you're playing from the proper tees, which I think I am, my course is 6,385 yards). I don't think I can get to scratch just by becoming an excellent driver of the golf ball, that is both long and reasonably straight. And I'm longer than 250 consistently... I'm probably going to be pushing a legit 270-280 yards once the season gets in full swing. If I can keep my shot zone in a nice 30 yard wide oval. I'll start gaining strokes. All I want to know from @iacas is trying to make your misses smaller, okay, if your only giving up say 5-10 yards of potential distance to do it?


I looked at some of my Game Golf statistics and some of my other statistics I kept,

My short game is not as bad as I thought it was, my approaches inside of 100 yards need some work though, I'm actually gaining strokes on a 5-handicap with my driving already, even as bad, as I'm driving it sometimes. I'm losing shots on the approaches, but not much -2 ish (the 2 GIRs I need), and my putting is almost dead-on with a 5 Handicap. I'm only losing like 0.162 or something per round (mostly 3 putts between 30-40 feet).

So I'm going to continue to work on my full swing drills to get the handicap down to 4.x... So I need to hit 2 more GIR a round. So 50% GIR gains me some strokes... More next week


So I think I figured out a way to get all of my needed pictures on here in one post.

To review:

Driver: Tour Edge Exotics EX10, 10° head with a Project X HZDRUS Yellow 65 6.0 shaft, Lamkin UTX Grip +1/8" , playing length of 44"0315180231-COLLAGE.thumb.jpg.1e65676d9459223c6a471b46ab54549c.jpg

4-wood: Tour Edge Exotics CBX, Project X HZDRUS Yellow 65, 42" playing length, with a Lamkin Z5 grip also 1/8" oversize0315180232a-COLLAGE.thumb.jpg.59b5030dd81e969fab5adfa2de338353.jpg

Hybrid: Tour Edge Exotics CBX 20°, with Project X HZDRUS Black 85, 5.5 this time... Standard length (40") with the same grip as the 4-wood. Now you are probably asking yourself, what in the hell is Shane doing with a Regular Flex shaft in his hybrid? Answer: I didn't like the feel of the 6.0, and the other stock shaft wasn't getting the numbers I wanted. The 5.5 fit perfectly in with what I am trying to do at this current time, which is all based on accurate distance. @iacas I have enough distance to spare, I'm just fine-tuning now. Trying to get the numbers the way I want to. The funny thing, I can do what ever the hell I want with this club. High, low, cut, draw. From 180-220 yards this is my "magic club". This is the hybrid that has been a big deal on the PGA Tour Champions lately, the Exotics hybrid staffers have won, finished 2nd a couple times and had numerous top-10 finishes with this hybrid... and this thing does not go left on misses.0315180233-COLLAGE.thumb.jpg.1ca141f85954f7a7979294fbf8493cfe.jpg

Irons: Now the part you've been waiting for my irons. Tour Edge Exotics CBX Blades (3-iron thru PW) standard loft (21°, 24°, 27°, 31°, 35°, 39°, 43°, 47°), 2° upright, 3/4" longer, with True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT R300 shafts and Lamkin UTX Grips +1/8". Why regular? I like the feel. Why longer? I'm 6'5" Same with the upright. I didn't take any face pics but here is the 5, 7, and PW0315180234-COLLAGE.thumb.jpg.661997418490ddd0deb59a2240be2fae.jpg

Wedges: Tour Edge Exotics CBX Blade 52°, 56°, 60° with TT DG Wedge shafts, Same specs as irons, with Lamkin Z5 grips.0315180235-COLLAGE.thumb.jpg.ef0362ccda6f51e3b963de7f7d4ac34c.jpg

Putter: Tour Edge Exotics David Glod Tour Series v2.3 with Super Stroke 2.0 Mid Slim grip 35" (I actually have 2 of these). I played the 1.3 for the last two years, I had one gripe, no sight line, I loved the feel, but couldn't line it up well. So now I can.0315180236-COLLAGE.thumb.jpg.09d9bcbcaa418057fb3aa4c0137f0d71.jpg

I will switch between 3-iron and my 60° sand wedge depending on course conditions.


Because of size limitations of uploads, and having a 13MP camera phone. I will have to do this blog in several parts. Sorry in advance.

Tonight we'll start with the Driver and 4-wood.

Driver: Tour Edge Exotics EX10 with a Project X HZDRUS Yellow 6.0 that plays at 44".  I chose the 10° model.0315180231.thumb.jpg.1539d1a9da1a60c35f28aceb55fa0a42.jpg0315180231a.thumb.jpg.e59308dc856d792f746a45887f808078.jpg0315180232.thumb.jpg.c24065272ba5c62077127554d417d071.jpg

I went with a 44" length for two reasons, I am 6'5", and should play 45.5" or so, but I would rather have more consistent strikes. Second, I have distance to spare. So that's why.

It has a Lamkin UTX grip +1/8".

4-wood: Tour Edge Exotics CBX 16.5°. Same shaft as driver, playing at 42". Lamkin Z5 grip +1/8"


Again the reason for the shorter shaft is consistency of strike.

Tomorrow, I will do a hybrid and irons blog, so basically it's a teaser with the Driver & 4-wood.


Journey To The Center Of The Green

By Shane Jones

I wish I could just rename my blog the title of my new entry. However, if I can't it's all good. Anyway it's Sunday, well technically Monday wee hours... So this is part of my weekly blog.

Recently, since my last lesson, back in February (remember Craig is in Florida for a month). I've added a new drill to my repertoire. It's the first move down drill. I have kind of explained it in the "5 Minutes Daily" thread (fingers crossed 20 days to go... Though I was so tired I put yesterday's date for today) It's really not that complex of a drill, and you can do it, with or without a club, I use my spatula at work, if I have a free second or 5. Basically, your trying to keep your trail elbow (In my case the right), close to your body, but at the same time, drop it down like you are going to "elbow drop" Randy Orton or something. (At least that's the feeling I get.) So this little drill actually is helping me with three things I tend to struggle with. 1) balance, 2) occasionally coming over the top, and 3) Flipping occasionally... If I don't have a club in hand, I try to think of the back of my left hand as my "clubface". Hilariously, my left hand seems to actually have some "shaft lean" at "impact". When I do it with a club, I don't have an impact bag, so I use my couch pillow and swing this to impact and I notice the same thing.

I actually had the chance this week to hit my new irons a little with some real golf balls. Word to the wise, don't hit a Top-Flite or Nitro with a blade. (I didn't). They had some gamer Bridgestone B330-RXs that they were using for the monitor... The feel is absolutely amazing... If you are an improving player (5-12 handicap), I would recommend at least testing some out..... For whatever reason a well struck shot off a "Super-Blade" (enter my Exotics CBX Blades) even it is a smidge off the heel or toe... It actually holds it's line quite well... I still have the ability to hit some high shots, I suppose... (the data agrees too) for the most part, my trajectory is a little lower... now I've only tested indoors because let's face it, I live in Upstate New York, and the weather can't make up it's @#$%ing mind. (Like Steve Martin's boss in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles). I cannot wait to actually go outdoors and hit these on the practice area at Newman, in reality on the course.

If any of you have read my 2018 Golf Goals thread my main key two were: 1) Average 9 GIR a round 2) Get my handicap under 5. I actually have a 2019 goal, however, it might require a lot. And @iacas would have to make the decision of having a cook on his team, who is way too smart to be a damn cook, who like to crunch numbers, like he does. I hope finances, family stuff, and my paid vacation work out to the point, where I can travel to the West Coast in 2019, and represent the East team and keep the Newport Cup. But @iacas, I don't know if you'll be able to stand all of my Exotics gear. I don't really do well in Blue, unless it's Newport Cup team East blue.



I have for the last few years slowly gotten better. I still have bad days. I want to walk of the course those days. However, I seem to be making measurable progress.

As a lot of you know, I tend to switch equipment a lot, always trying to find that "perfect golf club" as Tom Wishon would call it. For 2 years, I played Tour Edge Exotics EXi irons, which are a game-improvement iron, that is gear a little toward better players. They honestly are great irons, think of them as a cross between a non-forged AP2 and a TM iron with a speed slot. They really are nice.

I lost my Game Golf belt unit two years ago during the club championship. So I just simply stopped using Game Golf. So my distances on there really aren't up to date. Since taking a few lessons over the winter, and using GC2 to track, the differences are amazing, I'm a full club longer with my irons, I'm actually hitting a draw, and I am really looking forward to this golf season.

After my second lesson, Craig (my instructor) asked me if I would ever consider playing a blade iron. I said, I've always wanted to, however, I think my strikes are too erratic to try it. So we grabbed my 6-iron and some impact tape and we looked after 10 shots, and said... those ten shots are in a small enough area that I could play blades. One thing led to another and I am currently playing the new Tour Edge Exotics CBX Blades (I have a picture in my Tossing Around Set make-up ideas for 2018). I have only hit my foam balls with them, but I am excited to take them out to the range. (I did demo the 7-iron with the shaft I'm currently playing).

Quite honestly, my game is headed in the right direction... The main areas I need to clean up to be honest, is missing the green from 75 yards and in, better Game Planning, and continue my practice plan. Things are starting to get better, I'll work on the wedge thing when the season is in full swing...

One more bright spot, I'm only 24 days from one year in the practice challenge... I really hope to get to 1 year, that was my goal when I hit 6 months in a row, I wrote it down in my notebook, One Full Year of practicing five minutes everyday, and posting about it...

Thanks to all the golfers who make The Sand Trap what it is.


The Continuing Story Of My Golf Game

Apparently I should only devote 15% of my practice time to putting. That's what Erik says anyway.

My 30-75 yard game stinks. I mean it's bad. Like Alina is better from 30-75 yards than I am. (Not even a joke) It's sad, I'm 40 yards out hitting some sort of half sand wedge. Alina I hitting 8 iron or driver... I knock it to 20 feet... after stupidity, she hits her shot to 10 feet. Then pleased with her self she walks up to the green with her dad. I miss the 20 foot putt, she drains her 10 foot putt. She's 4 (was 3 when this was happening last year)... I mean she did practically hold a golf club before she could walk. Zoey, my nearly 4 month old, stares into the corner at my wife's golf clubs all the time. I try to go to the golf course, to get out of the house, Alina grabs her clubs.

Sorry, had to throw that little anecdote about my daughters in there.

Anyway, I'm try to do figure out is a 30-75 yard shot, a pitch or a full swing motion... If the 75-yarder is full swing, and 30-yards is short game... I can clock face, actually most yardages. I've been known to hit an occasional "7:30" PW from 60 yards from time to time, 

All I know, is that it is an achilles heel, and needs a hell of a lot of work.

So, here's the Stalin reference of the blog: I don't have a KGB agent watching me hit balls, telling me what to practice. I  can practice what is a glaring weakness, correct?

On a nice side note, I got my new irons this week (I think it was Tuesday), I'm actually playing blades now. And not some Thrift Store blades (though my first "set" was a nice Wilson Sam Snead half-set we found there for $30). My new Exotics CBX Blade Irons are now in the bag. I decided to go to a 44" driver this year. The last couple of years, I've been swinging a 45.5" driver. I'm all over the place with the 45.5" club, where is, I am much more consistent with a 44" club. So I've got that now...

Stay tuned next Sunday as I do a thorough what's in the bag with Photos... I may try to do A VIDEO.

If you have any questions, ask.


My Plan to Get Better at Golf

By Shane Jones


            After over two decades, I have decided that I am not very good at golf. I mean at all, I am a terrible driver of the golf ball (If you look at my strokes gained statistics), I don’t gain a lot of strokes with my approaches. I am a terrible wedge player. I’m a decent putter, but anyone who plays miniature golf with a four-year-old child can do that. With all of stuff I’m bad at, I needed to find some things that I was good at to build on. I was reasonably long, both off the tee and with the irons. I am decent from 100-125 and 125-150 (I don’t gain a lot of strokes to a scratch, but I’m good enough to gain strokes against a 5 handicapper), I usually don’t have a lot of blow-up holes, and I know how far each of my clubs go with a normal swing.

            In the days, in which we are analyzing everything, you wonder, how you will ever get better at golf. I think that I may have devised a plan in which to do this. I will get into a more detail with each of these later in this blog. First, I’m getting lessons. I’ve already started this part. Next, realize that just because I can hit it 270 yards off the tee, doesn’t mean that I necessarily would need to. This isn’t the Soviet Union in 1947 after World War II with Joseph Stalin telling me, that I must hit it 270 yards on a hole with a 14-yard wide landing area, while having a firing squad locked and loaded at me. Furthermore, I need to have a better practice plan. I used to practice whatever I felt like that day. That doesn’t work especially if you want to get better. I’m trying to embrace the Five S’s of practice, so when the money down in tournaments, I’ll have dealt with it in practice. Practice isn’t just hitting balls either. As @iacas and @mvmac have preached, practice can be rehearsing a motion while waiting for a bus, getting a motion down in front of a mirror, or a golf specific workout. Finally, I need to GamePlan better. I need a back-up club to advance the ball safely, when my driver goes awry.

            You’ve made it through my first two introductory paragraphs without going to another blog or thread. Here is the meat and potatoes of this blog. Explaining myself about how I plan to get better.

            The biggest obstacle, I’ve had in my lifetime for golf is that I’ve never taken a lesson. (As of this posting, I’ve taken three). I asked all the questions in Lowest Score Wins to a few instructors. I accidently came across the instructor that I choose. I went into an indoor golf center and saw a sign for a 5-lesson package for $250. I received a $300 gift certificate for Christmas from a family member who knows how much I love golf. I was just trying to get some launch monitor time and the Pro there and I struck up a conversation. He asked if I had ever had a lesson. (I’m paraphrasing for time’s sake) I said no. He said, the launch monitor time would do me some good, but lessons would probably be better. He’s a younger guy (a bit older than me, probably Erik’s age or so). I asked him my questions, he asked me his. We went on like this for about 15 minutes and I decided it after a few days of going through the data, that he was right. So, I called and signed up for some lessons.

            The first lesson, was a “figure out where I was” and “where I want to go” lesson. So, he had me hit 3 solid shots with each of my clubs. So, we got my distances down, and he noticed that a lot of my shots were leaking to the right. That’s where the first seeming monotonous drill came in. They have the “Eye Line” training aid that you see advertised on TV and Internet. Craig is more old school… He pulled out 4 water bottles. (If you’ve read the “5 Minutes Daily Practice Challenge” thread the last couple months, you know what I’m talking about) he placed a ball down. Placed 1 bottle in front of my left foot and one in front of my right foot a little further from me. He says, take a waist high swing and don’t hit these bottles, once you can do that consistently 10 times in a row, for 3 days. You can move to a half swing (9:00). If you can do that, move to a three-quarter swing, if you can do that, you can officially hit a draw. I asked, “What about a full swing?” He grinned and said, “Your three-quarter swing, looks like a full swing to me”.

After a month of getting this drill, down to a science, I go back. The results were amazing. Longer and hitting draws very close to the center line on some, relatively close with others. He complicated it for the next month. The hardest shot in golf to hit. The straight one. All four bottles. In a 6” X 6” square. Can’t hit the bottles. Nothing longer than a 9-iron, for a month. (It’s the hardest damn drill to get perfect that you will ever see.) After a month of that, I go back. I’m doing all that right. Craig notices that my body is a little out of sync with my arms during my transition.

Now he has me doing this “Arms lead the body drill”. It’s not a hard drill to master, but I think he’s up to something. I don’t have another lesson until April (he’s going down to Florida for a month for a tourney or two and to see some family). I was second guessing myself for a very long time. For once, however I’m trusting the process. I DO believe this is making me a better golfer.

            Next, having a better practice plan. I used to practice whatever the hell I felt like. It was like okay, If I hit balls, I must drag the net out, put it up, hit balls and take it back down. (A pain in the ass if I ever knew one). This is related to getting lessons, either directly, or indirectly. I’m a believer that now that I am receiving lessons, I’m practicing better. I’m working on the two “SV4” skills for sure with what I am practicing.

            The bad thing is, no one ever really taught me how to hit a bunker shot. I kind of picked up things on my own. Then, the skills with less separation value, I’m left to practice on my own. Will I? I will, at some point. My pitching and chipping need some work. I guess when Craig comes back, he’s going to work with me on that. I need to plan better. I DO believe I am on the right track though,

            I’m getting tired, and my paragraphs are getting much shorter. The third thing is having a back-up club when my driver goes awry. (Sounds like something Tiger needs right now). My home course is 9 holes with two sets of tees. 6,385 yards. If you divide that by 28. It’s around 228 or so. I don’t need my driver (270 yards total) to necessarily get around. If driver is putting me into trouble, why be a stubborn ass and keep hitting it? I’ve found a “magic club” that can get me 220 yards or so off the tee and I can choke down to the graphite and hit it 180 yards if I must. If driver is causing double bogeys or worse, the 20-degree hybrid will be the way to go. (Mission accomplished there).

            Finally, I need to GamePlan better. I need to get my Shot Zones down to a science. Even if I must get some ¼” grid paper, a ruler and a compass and draw this out and keep the paper in my bag I will. If it helps me get better, damn it, I’ll use it.

            Well of all the blogs on The Sand Trap, this one may be close to the longest. I typed it up on Word so that I would have a spell check and such. But there you go, that’s my “Plan” to get better at this beautiful game. I want to thank Erik, Mike, and all the golfers and other members that keep the Sand Trap going. I’m sorry I wrote a damn novella for a blog, everyone.



Approaching my 31st Birthday on Wednesday is a good time to look back and assess things.

As many of you may know my wife and I, welcomed our second daughter, Zoey Bree on November 11, 2017. 

But I was thinking of what I need to do to get from a 6.7 Index to below a 5 this year, and even though it's snowy and cold, I've already taken some steps.

I decided it's finally time for me to get some outside help. I've been doing this myself for 21 years and it's about time a second set of eyes looked at my mess of a golf swing. 3 lessons in, I'm hitting a "draw" for the first time in my golf life. 

I went from having a 7-iron carry of 152 yards pre-lessons, to 170 yards after just 3. I know it's only February and it's indoors, but I am happy.


Part II: I Can't Hit a full wedge shot

I imagine some of you probably think this is a joke, for an 8.1 Handicap Index to talk about. But, unless it's part of my iron set, if it has the markings of a "wedge" I cannot hit a full shot with any consistency.  I can get away with a 9 to 3 swing occasionally a 10:30 to 1:30 swing. But any fuller, hell no. 

So recently I decided from 90 yards and in, I will not hit a full shot. Ever. Period. 

90 yards. Ok, you would think under normal circumstances would probably be say a 56° or 58° full wedge. For me anyway. Nope, choke down an inch or so on a 52° gap wedge and hit it 10 to 2.

75 yards. 60° wedge? Nope do as above and hit a 9 to 3 (roughly).

60 yards and in... I'm fine. I have a bunch of different ways to play that comfortably. Lately it's been cheat my weight forward and hit a half-swing 56°. Works pretty well.

It's just that hole from 75-100 yards we'll say. I find it funny as hell I hit more greens from the 25 yards outside of that than from that range. Maybe it's mental, maybe I'm doing something completely wrong. I don't know. Golf is hard (R). 

If I can ever sort this out, I'll probably be on my way. 

Stay tuned. I'll update this blog weekly.


Well here we are the middle of May with my fresh 8.1 Handicap Index. Why am I posting here? Well I don't know whether to say I'm getting better, or my bad rounds just aren't as bad anymore.

Two years ago, I would occasionally still have a blow-up round that was in the low 100s. I would typically have a bad hole and wouldn't be able to get off the doubles train. My good rounds were pretty good, I had shot in the 70s twice that year, with my typical scores being in the mid 80s.

Fast forward to now, My "bad" rounds aren't quite so bad, I recognize that a bad hole is just that, one bad hole. I don't get on so many bad 4 and 5 hole stretches that are 9, 10, and 11 over par, now my "bad" four and five hole stretches are usually in the 6 over range, most of the time, I'm able to keep the round in the 80s with a stretch of six or seven holes of one or two over.

Anymore the worst I usually make on a hole, is double, a lot of times, I'll find a way to make bogey when double is likely. I don't compound my mistakes nearly as much as I used to, like trying the "heroic" recovery, I just advance it safely and making bogey is my focus, once in a while I'll hit the next shot great and make par.

I want to give credit where credit is due though, I want to thank Erik and Dave for writing Lowest Score Wins. The regulars at my home course can definitely notice a difference. I used to stink it up in the club championship and the city, but tye last couple of years, I've played much better within my flight.

 My main goal is to someday be consistent enough, to hold a 4.4 handicap index, and qualify for some "bigger" events, and hell, maybe have 5 magical days around Labor Day and win the City, but that is a little ways away. I'm getting there, but it's a long journey.

My main hindrance right now, is I really need to hit more greens. I won't be a 4.4 hitting 5 greens a round. My misses are better, but I need to average around 9.5 to 10 "kings" a round, in order to achieve my goal. I'm getting there, but I've only gotten to the fourth floor, with several more floors to go, and this "building" has no elevators.


The first sentence in Lowest Score Wins is "Golf is hard"

I agree with that statement 100%.

In my opinion, Golf breaks down to four major facets. Driving, approaches, chipping, and putting. I have had rounds where I have had one going. Usually when that is the case it is putting. There have been rounds I have been able to put two facets together. I've had a handful of rounds where I have three facets going... Why can some days can I get three facets going and the fourth one just takes the day off. Usually on those days the putter or my chipping will take the day off... Those are my rounds of 75 or 76.

I had a round 2 years ago where I hit 10 greens in regulation, had 5 near greens in regulation and shot 85. Why because I chipped bad and didn't make one birdie putt, worse yet I three putter three times including a green in regulation. 

i have also had a 76 hitting just 6 greens in regulation, but had an additional 10 near greens in very safe places so I was able to get up and down a lot with simple chip and run motions.

In my opinion if I could ever get all four facets together for one magical afternoon, I could shoot around par. But I think that might be a long way off. I would be happy with 10 greens and the rest near greens. Gain maybe 1 stroke putting, and get 5 or 6 scrambling pars. But I'm along way from that.


I realize this entry is coming from an 80s shooter and not a pro, but it's based on personal experience. I figured that you would appreciate it. 

It is my belief that most high-handicappers carry too many clubs, mostly clubs that they struggle with. Since golf is hard and simplifying it is impossible, We will simplify what we can namely what you carry in your bag.

With the vast forgiveness of the newer drivers, Driver will be in the bag and obviously a putter. So now we figure out the rest. You higher handicappers should ask this question: Can I consistently hit a 3-wood from the fairway? I know I can't so I carry a 4-wood. But for most, the need is for more loft. When I was struggling, I had a 5-wood in the bag, it might be a 7-wood for others. 

Next what is the longest iron you hit consistently? For higher handicaps this is probably about a 7-iron, it could be a 6-iron but for this demo we will say 7-iron. So basically your iron set will be 7-iron- pitching wedge.

Next I would only play one hybrid something between the loft of your fairway wood and longest iron like a 5-hybrid.

Finally wedges, now if you struggle to break 100, you really only need one extra wedge a sand wedge, if you are in the 90s a gap wedge and sand wedge are fine, and practice with your 6-iron because you'll add that when you can consistently hit it.

So in conclusion, a Driver, lofted fairway wood, 5-hybrid, 7-PW, SW, putter is plenty to break 100. Add a gap wedge at high 90s and a 6-iron at consistently lower than 95.


My month of July was filled with some bad scoring and bad decisions in tournament rounds. I shot 98-92=190 at the club. Didn't play well at all either day really... (I don't carry a vanity handicap I promise) I had a 9 and a 10 the first day (automatically reduced to 8 with ESC) and some bad shots and brain farts around the greens.

The second day was a little better hitting the ball but two or three triple chips turned an 84 into a 92, I hit 3 fairways that day. And 4 or 5 misses were by a lot (plus I took 2 unplayables on 9 and 10)...

I shot 95 at Conklin in the outing with @krupa, @colin007, and @RFKFREAK. If I can ever figure out how to download the Facebook live video, I'll post it to YouTube and here. It should be entitled: "How Not To Play The Tenth Hole at Conklin Players Club"... But it was a good time meeting Colin and Christian.

I took a week off from the course just to kind of take a break from playing. I did practice though.

Last Sunday I played 27 holes... First nine pretty good. 4 pars in a row on 13-16. Bogey-Double-Bogey start, finished double then bogey. 43 not bad first nine in a week.

Second nine, parred 1 and 2 doubled 3 bogeyed 4 doubled 5 bogeyed 6,7, and 8 parred 9, 44 on the easier front nine (I'm thinking what the hell?)

So since I'm a member and it was slow I waited an hour and played 9 more. I made bogey at 1. Pars at 2 and 3, up and down par at 4, bogey at 5, par at 6, up and down par at 7, bogey at 8... So here's the situation... I'm +3 standing on the 9th tee... I haven't been +3 on the 9th tee all year (even when I birdied both 6 and 9 my first time out this year). I need a par 5 for a 39...

I hit a good drive with a 5 yard fade about 260 from the tee in the left center of the fairway... 245 yards to the middle of the green, 4-wood in my hands, hit well, but about 15 yards right, behind a 15 foot pine tree about 40 yards from the hole. I hit my pitch... Oh no I decelerate... Clunk! Crash! Right of a limb, but it gets to the other side... I hit my 45 foot chip to about 3.5 feet. 

3.5’ for a 39. My first sub-40 nine holes of the year... I play my putt to break an inch inside of the right edge.... I hit the putt... It's rolling... And I hear  "plop, plop, plop, plop"... I was nervous over that putt, but I made it...

So this week, I'm working on gripping down an inch or so for a straighter ball flight. I found I hold the club way too close to the end. So the club stays open. If I grip down too far... It closes too quick (stiffens the shaft) In between, pretty good. 

I'm hoping I can put 2 sub-40 nines together in qualifying for the City. 

Just a note to @iacas, I did the three 3-hole round trick when I shot that 39... I actually was +1 in each three hole round.


It's July, that means it's becoming time for me to prove myself amongst others.

The Newman Club Championship is. July 16-17, TST Outing on the 23rd, and the Ithaca City Golf Championship is August 27, 28 and Sept 3, 4 and 5.

I've been playing ok lately... But not great... Pure B Flight here... I won't be winning the championship flight... Or probably the first flight... (I won't shoot a good enough first round) But I'm playing pretty well... Just need to eliminate the brain fart doubles I sometimes make. And the other bad swings I sometimes make.

Basically if I play well in these tournaments and at the outings. I will be happy... Simply put. :-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-)


Recently my consistency with my shorter clubs has gotten better. 

7-iron down to the 54° wedge has been much more predictable... My distances have been very good for the most part...

I'm not fearing much from 75-160 yards... I hit it very well. I do have issues missing greens with 7 and 8 irons... But it's not by much typically. 

My longer clubs 4w, 3h, 4i, 5i and 6i need a lot of work... But that will come around soon I hope... If anyone has any suggestions on my longer clubs let me know... I'll get some video up so you can see if there is anything I can fix.


IttiAfter a month and about 9 rounds, I've got a lot to work on.

My long game is just OK, my alignment sucks, and 100 yards and in needs a lot of work... I'm hoping to shave a 3-5 strokes by the Club Championship in July, the outing the week after, and the Ithaca City Championship the last week in August and over Labor Day weekend.

So I've developed a practice plan to work on this.

1) Alignment: In the past I've had no pre-shot routine. I've watched a few videos on alignment and think I've found something to try, I think it might work... But it's a little different and might take a bit of getting used to.

2) 100 yards and in: my GW goes 110 yards with a full swing. My Main issue is 50-100 yards. 50 and in is pretty good but not great which will be worked on as well. However, 25 yards and in, I just need to work on proximity to the hole. I need more short putts for pars to make more pars.

3) My game planning needs a little work... On some holes it's great I have few issues. Par 3s I'm struggling with. I'm having trouble just shooting for the center of the green. I go flag hunting sometimes and it costs me dearly. 

My goal is to average around 80 when the tournaments come around...

I have a long way to go to become Scratch by 2020.


I'm starting to think serious golfers don't live in 900 sq ft. 2 bedroom apartments. But hell, Becky (my wife) says if we every get a 3 bedroom home, we won't be able to have another child, because the extra bedroom would have 30 sets of clubs in it... Don't believe me... Here's a comprehensive list of every club I own. (Not including Becky's one set on Alina's clubs)

Drivers: Tour Edge EX9, XRail, Callaway Steelhead III, Wilson 1200 GE (actually wood).

Fairways: Tour Edge EX9 (4+7), XRail 3 and 4, Wilson 1200 GE 3 and 4.

Hybrids: Adams Pro DHY,  Tour Edge EX9 3h, XRail 3h and 4h.

Iron Sets: Tour Edge EXI (4-PW, AW, SW, I ordered the matching 3-iron), Tour Edge V-Blade (1-PW), Tour Edge Exotics CU (4-PW, AW, SW)

Individual Irons: Tour Edge Exotics CU 6-iron (separate from the set), TechPower ZX-20 2-iron (I built it myself, its kind of a souvenir from the first iron set I built)

Wedges: Tour Edge CB Pro S (54°, 58°), Tour Edge TGS 304 (50°, 54°, 58°)

Putters: Tour Edge DG Tour Series V1.3, Tour Edge Bazooka Geomax 05, Tour Edge Backdraft GT-2, TaylorMade White Smoke (the Daytona looking one), Wilson Augusta, and my "ancient" Ping Zing 2 I found in a second hand shop with the grip in poor poor condition... So I put a SuperStroke Fatso on her and showed her some love.

It might not be as bad as some I've seen but in our small apartment it is.


My daughter Alina is almost 2 and a half, she has a couple of clubs, and she tries to mimic my swing. She kind of holds the club like a long putter (The way she holds it, actually is legal)

I didn't start playing golf until I was 10. Alina has a huge head start on me as she started actually attempting to hit the ball at 15 months. The good thing is she actually is enthusiastic about playing golf with me... but I only take her to hit balls, if she asks me to... Wouldn't want her to do something she didn't want to do, I'm waiting a little bit until she has a little more coordination to try to teach her basic fundamentals. But she's into it, at that is a great thing...0206151733.jpg

Alina at 15 months with her first putter. 


As a 29 year old, who has played this game for nearly 20 years now, I've been steadily getting better at this game over the years.

I actually had a stretch where I was a lower single digit handicap (around a 4 or 5), but I got into a bad car accident, while riding with a friend in 2010. I'm lucky to be alive, but I lost a ton of speed and was out of golf for 8 months. 

When I came back, I struggled to get any kind of distance, and really struggled to score. After 2 years, I finally started to feel well enough, after a bunch of physical therapy to have some speed back. I still was only able to swing 3/4 of the way back...

Toward the middle of 2014, I started to not feel pain with a swing to almost parallel, I couldn't quite get it there, without a jolt of pain, but slowly with more PT I did.

Finally, after 5+ years I am pain-free on the golf course. I can actually make a full swing without getting a jolt of pain.  Even with all the pain and physical therapy, Somehow I carry a 10.1 Handicap Index.

Recently, I realized something. If I want to be a scratch player, I have a long way to go. I need to put in some 5 Simple Keys work. My first two keys are pretty solid, Key #3 I'm working on, with small successes, making good progress on. Keys 4 and 5, I'll have to get down if I want to be scratch.

My putting isn't the worst, when I remember to not look at the result from shorter distance, I'd like to break even on the greens, meaning average the expected number of putts from all distances. My inside 60 yard game is better in the sense, when I'm short sided, I just make sure I get it on the green and have a putt from my next shot. There is very little 2nd greenside shots anymore, I make sure I have a putt for par. I have very very few penalty strokes now, but I seem to have a blow-up hole that kills my momentum... then I'll play a four or five hole stretch in 6 or 7 over, instead of getting over the triple, and refocusing.

I want to thank you all for reading this... and for the friendly atmosphere of the site.




Tour Edge usually puts out quality equipment. The EX9 driver is no exception. The quality of the clubhead design is not matched by many. The aerodynamic crown helps to actually make the clubhead feel that it's going faster than most of the drivers I've swung in the past.

As I've posted in a few different threads, I went through a full bag dynamic fitting. The EX9 was actually not the first driver I hit. I hit the Callaway Great Big Bertha, TaylorMade M1, and the PING G before I hit the EX9. My ball speed was pretty consistent in the mid 140s (lousy smash factor), until I hit the EX9, my dispersion tightened, my ball speed was up and spin was down by nearly 600 rpm, it was a clear choice for me.

The other good thing about this driver, is there are several shaft options available at no extra charge. I also tried the EX9 Tour which is 430cc as opposed to the standard 460cc. which is for better players, looking for a smaller head to help work the ball. 

The adjustable hosel for both drivers can be adjusted to 8 different settings, you can adjust loft +/- 1°, the hosel has 4 standard lie settings, and 4 upright lie settings. The EX9 standard 460cc retails for $300, and the EX9 Tour retails for $400.

Overall, The Exotics drivers in general over the years have been underrated. While they aren't in as high demand or the recogniton as their fairways and hybrids... They are great clubs, that shouldn't be ignored...

Overall I give the EX9 driver a 4.8/5 stars.20160305_194150.jpg

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