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Esox

Back After 22 Years Off

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    I used to be a scratch golfer, one of the first people I knew of that could consistently hit 300 yards. Then I broke my left wrist for the 5th time in a mountain biking accident. Couldn't hit the ball with any consistency, much less power. Ballooned to a 12 in a short period of time and just hung it up. Fast forward to this summer. My youngest son (20)  decided to take up the game, his intrest coming from helping me throw out 5 hole in one awards collecting dust in the basement from my old playing days. He was using his uncles hand me down R shafted Daiwa HiTracs and odds and ends of second generation metal woods. He hit the ball much too high with the Hitracs, I suggested he try my old Yonex ADX Tours (Stiff boron shafts). He has been hitting them very well, despite their inherent lack of forgiveness. He got me to go out with him. With absolutely zero expectations (And a dead scaffoid bone in my left wrist due to the multiple fractures) I surprised myself. Half way through the round I was moving the ball both ways at will, albeit lacking precise control of how much draw or fade. Yes, at 61 I was a full club and a half shorter than I was, and the shafts on the trusty Yonexes are too stiff for me. But it was fun coaching the kid with his swing, and making leaps and bounds in his course management. We started going out regularly, whenever it was too windy to fish the big water, which lately seems to be every weekend.

    Kid broke 3 old woods while learning, and before I started working with him. The worst loss out of the inventory was the Taylormade Burner Bubble 3 wood that was the club I was playing when I quit. I went to Ebay and saw that I could get a set of 1-3-5-7 in a regular for under a hundred bucks. What the heck I thought, and a 7 wood? Really?  I figured I'd just leave it at home. Tried the 7 wood out at the range, I LOVED it, high, straight, consistent 190 yard carry and very little roll out. (I can draw it a bit but cant seem to make it fade). But the "regular" set of woods actually had a stiff shafted driver. Back to Ebay. Looking for really easy to hit, I got a Taylormade SLDR R shaft with 12 degrees of loft. The head is HUGE! I am not used to these new monster drivers and tall tees, but I am hitting it pretty well, 260-280, with the slider set one click towards draw, I hit it with my old favorite shot shape, a 5-10 yd power fade. Actually hit a couple 300 down wind. But that high trajectory kills me into the wind. I think I'll look into the same club with less loft, maybe step down to a 10.5 degree.

    So it was time for new money clubs. Hit a ton of demos. Either hated the feel, couldn't hit them, or just hated the look. Back to EBay. I was always a forged club player, and Yonex seems to have lost its luster from the days after I quit when Phil was playing them. I found a set of 20 yr old Mizuno MX20's with DG R300 shafts in good shape that looked like a good compromise between forgiving and workability,. I was right on. These things feel like butter, and are very workable while still not being overly punitive with mishits. And they are rockets when you pure them. In fact I went from a club and a half short to a half club shorter than I used to be, and I don't think these old Mizuno forgings are victims of loft jacking. My old Yonexes ADX's were the first set I ever saw that came with both a PW (Marked 10 iron) and a gap wedge (marked PW). I needed new wedges. Picked up a nice set of 52, 56, 60 degree Vokeys on EBay.  Run across a bag on FB, go to pick it up, End up with two nice bags with clubs (some crap Wilson Ultra game improvement nonsense) and a really nice set (like new) of Macgregor stainless muscleback forgings, a Ping Zing, Ping Anser 4, some Cleveland Hybrids and, most importantly a Cleveland HiBore XL 8.5 degree driver. My kid tried it and he KILLS it. His search for a driver he can hit long and consistently is over. He is a high ball hitter and his trajectory with this driver is spot on. He hits it with a small draw or fade, essentially straight.

    Now for my real period of adjustment. Balls. My, how things have changed in my absence. I always played a wound ball, and for the last 5 yrs of my old playing days I played the Maxfli DDH in 100 compression. I could work them by just thinking about it, and while not a balata cover the bite and pull on full shots was great, and the spin and control around the greens was very good. Balls are certainly a lot softer, longer, and straighter than the old days, do they even make wound balls anymore?. I cant find a ball I really like. Titleist Pro V's are OK, but I cant seem to get good bite on short pitches and around the greens like I used to. Looking for recommendations on a nice workable ball that might work for me. ( depending upon the spinal arthritis that day I have had my driver speed clocked at anywhere from 102 - 111 mph in the past two months).

If you got to this point, thanks for enduring the long read, and thanks for any suggestions.

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Welcome back to the madness!  You found a great place with a great bunch of like minded folks.   :beer:
 

The ProV‘s, Snells, or Bridgestone Tour B XS are probably among the spiniest that I’ve played around the green.  With your new wedges, I’d expect you to get pretty comfortable with any of those pretty quickly.

Edited by David in FL

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Welcome to the site.  I am a big fan of the Snell balls myself @Esox. They are around $20 less than most other high end balls as they are a direct to consumer company.  

You may find my old blog interesting, maybe not. We share some similar left wrist horror stories. I also broke my left hand after all this happened a couple years ago on top of the tendon issues.

Also, how the heck are you still able to swing a club after all those injuries?

 

Edited by cipher

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Welcome to TST.   Nice introduction.   We're glad to have you join and participate.   

You'll find Snell balls tend to be one of the favorites here and on other forums.   Do a quick search on Dean Snell and you'll be impressed with his background, knowledge and his golf balls.

Edited by dennyjones

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13 hours ago, cipher said:

Welcome to the site.  I am a big fan of the Snell balls myself @Esox. They are around $20 less than most other high end balls as they are a direct to consumer company.  

You may find my old blog interesting, maybe not. We share some similar left wrist horror stories. I also broke my left hand after all this happened a couple years ago on top of the tendon issues.

Also, how the heck are you still able to swing a club after all those injuries?

 

 Apparently not very consistently.  Some days are better than others. Due to the dead scaphoid bone that supports my left thump, I usually have too much finger pressure in my left hand, leading to a dead slice if I don't consciously release through impact.. I keep my hand strength up through regular exercise with the devils backhoe (a shovel, doing road work) I was retired for a while but decided to reenter the workforce as a grunt, getting paid to exercise while being outdoors, while waiting for my young bride to qualify for a full pension.  Years ago I had ER  Drs who wanted to fuse the thumb. I declined. My regular orthopedic Dr says if I keep my hand strength anywhere near where it is I may never need it fused. I may be a bit -um- rotund, but I am still very strong for being 61.

I am going to read that blog. Sounds interesting, and I will try the Snells, never heard of them till now. Thanks guys!

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2 hours ago, Esox said:

 Apparently not very consistently.  Some days are better than others. Due to the dead scaphoid bone that supports my left thump, I usually have too much finger pressure in my left hand, leading to a dead slice if I don't consciously release through impact.. I keep my hand strength up through regular exercise with the devils backhoe (a shovel, doing road work) I was retired for a while but decided to reenter the workforce as a grunt, getting paid to exercise while being outdoors, while waiting for my young bride to qualify for a full pension.  Years ago I had ER  Drs who wanted to fuse the thumb. I declined. My regular orthopedic Dr says if I keep my hand strength anywhere near where it is I may never need it fused. I may be a bit -um- rotund, but I am still very strong for being 61.

I am going to read that blog. Sounds interesting, and I will try the Snells, never heard of them till now. Thanks guys!

That is great that you are able to play and also found a renewed interest in the game. It gives me hope that maybe with a little luck, and with some fitness, I continue to play for a while. I had about 4 years through my main injury and through just a lack of interest where I didn't play very much. I found that excitement for the game again this year as well. Enjoy your playing days again sir.  :beer:

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Welcome back to golf and to TST.

I think you indicated you are in Michigan.  Make sure you join "Michigan Golf" under Clubs.

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