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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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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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