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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/10/2019 in all areas

  1. We had some time off around the holidays so we did a cruise from Sydney to Auckland and enjoyed 8 rounds with my favorite golf partner, my wife. 12/20 Sydney The Lakes 1928 Michael Clayton Our first game of the trip, the course was in beautiful shape, and it was a worthy challenge. Seemed like the 1st 9 was one giant sand trap, and the back 9 brought in the water obstacles. Would love to play this course again. 12/24 Melbourne Sanctuary Lakes Greg Norman design A fun course, many sand traps, too many, but we had fun, and both played a good game which made for good tempo’d enjoyable golf. 12/29 Stewart Island Ringa Ringa Heights Golf Club 6 holes 3 laps $10 pay is on an honor system, basically a slot in the wall of the office that says slide $10 here. Hilly, tall grass, tiny greens, set along a lovely coast line. Here’s us on the 1st hole with the ship anchored in the background. Yes the grass was a bit thick at points. 12/31 Akaroa golf club If you ever looked at a hillside and thought you could never build a golf course there, well here they did build that course and while holes are set along the relatively flat near hill fields, several are build alongside, up, down, and cross over a fairly sized hill. 1/1 Kaikoura Golf Club Great people here, and on New Years day they had over 50 golfers out for a tournament, we were on our 13th hole when the shotgun start filled up the first 12 holes. Nice rolling fairways, set on a fairly easy 18 holes, but good fun. 1/2 Purapuraumu Beach Golf Club designed by Mr. Alex Russell of Melbourne Took an hour bus ride from Wellington to play this enjoyable course. Set up very much like a Scottish Links Course where the holes seem dictated by where the sand dunes formed. The design maximizes these features, and with the wind blowing steady off the Tasman Sea set me up for glorious successes and utter failures but surely a fun day out. Good golf loving people at this club. 1/5 Mount Maunganui Golf Club Mr. C Redhead 1935 designed the 1st 13 holes then the rest were developed after WW2. Set in 3 sets of 6. This was a Saturday and the all the members were out enjoying their fair track. Missing the fairway costs you here with rough and trees between parallel holes. The play was a little slow but we were able to meet 8 super nice club members in the groups ahead and behind us while waiting. 1/6 Titirangi Golf Course, Auckland designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie Loved the course, tough course, every shot counts and there are 4 challenging par 3’s; par 70 (2 par 5s) for 18 and under handicaps and par 72 (4 par 5s) for all others. Would love to play this course again about 5 more times, maybe more. Here’s a tee on the back 9. And then we ended the trip at the CFP championship. Good to be home! Look forward to walking 9 later this week. Aloha, iSank
  2. How many times have you heard that this player or that player is a "great ballstriker?" We hear it all the time. What makes one tour player a better ballstriker than another? If you take the top 20 PGA Tour players, are some better ballstrikers than the other? If so, how do you define "ballstriking" and what do you look at to determine if one player is a great ballstriker? Can it even be defined? Secondly, how would one become a great ballstriker? Can you be a great golfer but not a great ballstriker?
  3. I’ve got that in the cushions on my couch. 😜 I think he may just not feel comfortable with the course.
  4. After posting I "found" the My Swing section and the recommendations of submitting video(s) of a person's swing for evaluation. I will work on compiling a couple of videos for that purpose. Many thanks...
  5. If it's just a sprain it's really about your pain level. If you're doing something and you know you're pushing the pain level then you're only prolonging the healing. But if you're able to practice your short game without significant pain then play on. The outside is your lateral malleolus. Very common site for sprains. If you decide to practice and see how it goes I suggest you put some ice on it when you're done and take some NSAIDS. I also recommend you wear at least an ace wrap while you practice. If you notice bruising appearing after practicing then you're best to hold off for a week or two. Cheers.
  6. Yea, from his perspective it makes a lot of sense. He's a past winner at the Honda and it's pretty close to his residence in the Bahamas (I think that's where he lives). He's dropped all the way down to 41 in the world, so I could see why he would think he has a better chance at a win at PGA National than in Mexico, and he doesn't want to pass that up. The Match-play meanwhile isn't particularly great prep for the Masters, so it makes sense skipping that too. And then the St.Jude one is right after the British. I would imagine he expects to feel pretty drained after that and wants the next week off.
  7. I always walk with my push cart. I hate when i´m forced to ride a cart on certain courses.
  8. Hasn't happened yet. I'm going to wait for a relatively warm evening, head to Kittyhawk with a shovel and bury them in the hazard on No. 10 of the Hawk course which has been drained for the winter. I figure I've put enough balls into the thing that it could use something else. I'll use a broken tee as the grave marker.
  9. Take a look at the photo's of the different golfers ability and their strike consistency. Impact location by handicap I was teaching a PGA Tour professional the other day and while we were hitting drivers on the Trackman, I sprayed the face with Dr. Sholl’s Odor X... There is a stark contrast between scratch golfers and PGA Tour players. Compared to a high handicap golfers, a scratch golfer is a good ball striker. Compared to a PGA Tour player, a scratch golfer is probably slightly above average if that. It's just something announcers have to say. They need a way to differentiate the golfers. Jack was known as a bomber of the ball. Lee was known as a ball striker. Probably because his iron play stood out compared to the rest of his game. I bet Jack's iron game was better, but Jack's power stood out more than his iron game. To be considered one of the best golfers of all time, you need to be one of the best ball strikers of all time.
  10. So very cool. I enjoyed reading about it. Thanks for sharing.
  11. Personally, I'm a firm believer that comfort is the #1 reason to buy any shoe. Durability, styling and waterproofing come second.
  12. I'll take Mickey Wright over anyone. Ben Hogan said she had the best swing he ever saw.
  13. If you consider all PGA Tour golfers to be great golfers, but not all of them to be great ballstrikers, then they are. Even a scratch golfer can be both a horrible ballstriker (compared to a PGA Tour player) and a great ballstriker (compared to a bogey golfer). And an 18 handicapper could be a great ball-striker… if he's a 90-year-old former Tour player who is only an 18 because he hits his driver only 150 yards. You've asked questions for which there aren't really any answers, because everyone's going to picture a different frame of reference. But, in general: You can learn to become a better ballstriker, of course. "Ballstriking" at its core is hitting the ball on the sweet spot a higher percentage of the time, with good impact alignments (the right amount of shaft lean, etc.).
  14. Nope! Nothing to do with heel toe, just how the sole of the club touches the ground at address I’ve uploaded two pictures for reference. Club is a pitching wedge!
  15. Seeing as how it's at address, and not impact, it really doesn't matter too much. At impact, though, you'll want the leading edge a bit lower than the trailing edge, so many people set up with the handle forward a bit, lowering that leading edge at setup, too.
  16. Holy smoke, 2001? Tell me you haven’t played much golf during that time? Over the past two years I have tried all the FootJoy models with the new BOA closure system, which is fantastic. It is worth the extra money. However, the new Ecco shoes with the BOA closure system are far superior to the offerings from FootJoy. Do not overlook Ecco, even if you don’t want the BOA system.
  17. I'd say a highly-qualified underrated. Different golfers and different golf courses have different rhythms. It's really about finding a pace-of-play that is more comfortable to you in the given environment. Personally, I find walking to be better because I often play alone and there is often a lot of traffic in front of me. It is easier to walk slow than drive a cart slowly. In the cart, you sit and watch the people in front of you. All that impacts my level of concentration and can effect my scores. Naturally it could be a totally different story for someone in a different situation. It's good to have options.
  18. Yep, sprinkler head yardage and 150 yard markers are going the way of the typewriter and the dinosaur.
  19. I give you Anne van Dam: Don't think she's technically on the LPGA Tour, but close enough for this topic I'd say. More of her: I am in love with her swing.
  20. I just went and watched a few videos of some LPGA swings, this video is from 2012 but Na Yeon Choi's swing look pretty smooth and effortless.
  21. If I remember correctly, the Golftec practice plan is not cheap. I think I paid 500USD for half a year or was it a year, I don't remember, and I got a break. Is there a PGA Superstore nearby you? It should have indoor bays and the fee is way more reasonable.
  22. I disagree with nothing you've said. People SHOULD follow obvious or explicitly stated dress codes. However, their choice really doesn't affect me directly, they generally do nothing more than make themselves seem foolish. I'm generally more amused when I see that, rather than indignant or bothered. Where the disagreement comes in is the question of whether removing one's hat to shake hands after a round of golf is part of an "obvious dress code", or even part of standard good manners. If you read back through the thread, you'll find lots of examples of find golfers, gentlemen all, who are shaking hands with their hats still on. I'm not going to accuse Gene Littler or Byron Nelson of being rude, I'd generally think I'm safe if I behave as well as they do. Hat doffing for the handshake seems to me, and to others, to be a relatively recent change to what were good manners before. Being an old guy, having been a golfer at a time when the hat could be safely left on when shaking hands, I feel no urgency to take it off simply because Ricky Fowler has decided to. And I'm not insulted in any way based on what my playing partners do with their hats at the end of the round. I did chuckle on Sunday, when I saw John Rahm finish his round at Kapalua. He took off his hat, transferred it to his left hand, ran his right hand through his (undoubtedly sweaty) hair, and immediately offered it to his playing partner for a handshake. Really, do you want to be shaking anyone's freshly sweat-anointed hand, or would you rather they kept their hat on?
  23. I am struggling with a couple of contradictions with my swing: 1. Keep the upper body, especially arms, loose and supple to promote a swing rather than a hit; but do have tension in the lower body through coiling for power. Not being a natural athlete, I find myself either totally floppy, like a bit of spaghetti or totally rigid, like a plank. How do you practice to feel this separation? 2. Keep the head or spine still and use a one piece take away. When I make a wide takeaway, rotating my chest and arms together, I find it so hard not to sway to the right. The pros are so good at starting to turn their arms and shoulders without moving their head at all. How do I train myself to get this separation? I think my observations are valid because (on the rare occasions) when I achieve these goals that I am trying to describe, the shot is so easy and long and straight, but please feel free to suggest that I am trying to do the wrong things.
  24. I considered making this a separate topic, and maybe I will if there is enough interest, but for now, this tweet is interesting: Other possible reasons could involve fatigue, pressure late in the round, the grass growing and/or being in the sun and/or just becoming less "mowed/rolled" throughout the day could have an effect too. But to the other side of things, players further into the round should have a better idea of how the greens are rolling, too.
  25. “Learn from the mistakes of others—you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
  26. If you'll allow, I'd like to stray from the "op/ed" nature of this column for a moment to cover the "positions" or "Ps" in the golf swing. For many this will be review, but many will hopefully learn about these "positions" in the golf swing. Update 2012-02-23: In the 5 Simple Keys® (5SK) world we've chosen to call these the alignments in the golf swing, as we wish to put less emphasis on "positions" and view them more as checkpoints at which some measurements might be taken. I'll choose Charlie Wi for many of the pictures simply for consistency's sake and because I know this particular swing illustrates something at A6. A1 - Address Very simple one to understand, as A1 is the setup or address position. You can judge things like posture and overall setup, ball position, handle location (too close to the thighs, leaning back or forward too much), the hang of the arms, weight location (toes/heels as well as forward/back). A2 - Shaft Horizontal (Backswing) This position allows you to look at how quickly the shoulders are turning, how quickly the wrists are hinging/cocking, how much the wrists and forearms are rolling, whether the head is translating or staying relatively stable, how much the shoulders have turned, etc. This is one of the somewhat "looser" positions because the wrist cock will determine the location of A2. For example, Charlie Wi hits a fairly normal A2 position (albeit one with a lot of depth): But Rickie Fowler's A2 looks funny because he doesn't roll his forearms at all in the start of the backswing: Steve Stricker sets his wrists later, so the shaft "ascends" more slowly and "arrives" at A2 a little "late." Late wrist sets will tend to look like the club has been taken more inside or under than it really has, and early wrist sets will tend to look the opposite. A3 - Lead Arm Horizontal (Backswing) When the lead arm is parallel we can check the wrist cock (typically around 90 degrees), we can check the shaft plane and the plane of the hands (where are they coming out of the body - base of the bicep? Top of the shoulder? Mid-way?), we can check relative shoulder turn (some people stop turning here, some haven't turned enough because they've just swung their arms back). We can check the head, the shoulder pitch becomes evident down the line, and more. Note that Rickie's backswing is a product not of quickly cocking the wrists but of allowing very little rotation of the forearms or wrists ("accumulator #3" in TGM). His left arm to shaft measurement at A3 is only 107 degrees). Of course, Steve Stricker's is even more: A4 - Top of the Backswing Wherever this player reaches the top of the backswing, that's A4. Note that a shaft isn't necessarily "laid off" if it points left of the target before the shaft reaches horizontal, nor is it surely "across the line" if it is pointing right but past parallel. Many things can be checked at A4 - wrist conditions, shoulder tilt, any translation off the ball, plane, right elbow flex, left arm position, weight/pressure/CG location, etc. A5 - Lead Arm Horizontal (Downswing) This position can tell us many things as it's early enough in the downswing that a player can still make changes much more easily to affect A6 and A7. How far "in" is the left arm? What's the shaft done based on the wrist conditions? How's the right elbow working - towards the belt buckle or staying behind the rib cage? Have the hips begun going forwards? Has the head started tipping back? What's the plane of the shaft like? Note that in Rickie Fowler's case, "lag" appears excessive but it's an optical illusion. He's simply "laid the shaft down" so much that the face-on view is not a good indicator of lag. See the blue lines on the left? Imagine they represented his left arm and clubshaft. Imagine he rolled his left forearm and wrist enough to lay the shaft down that much. Look at how much "lag" it would appear he has from the face-on view! In reality, "lag" should be measured from perpendicular to the plane containing the three points: left shoulder, left wrist, clubhead. It might surprise you to know that Rickie doesn't have a ton more lag than good ol' Steve Stricker, but the camera position and the "laying the shaft down" throws you off: A6 - Shaft Horizontal (Downswing) A key position. There are a lot of things you can check here, but one of the keys is where the clubhead is relative to the hands. Charlie is pretty well "on-plane" here: Note the two lines I've drawn. If your clubhead appears beneath or inside of your hands - the location of the green line - you're quite likely going to send the path of the golf club out to the right. If your clubhead is outside your hands or above the plane like in the right, you're quite likely sending the clubhead path left. The clubhead in the red case is "over the top" of the hands plane - one of a few definitions for that term ("over the top"). Though A6 is highly sensitive to camera position, it's clear that Steve Stricker is going to "hit out" at this ball, while Rickie Fowler - despite "laying the shaft down" heavily from P3.5 to P5 - is coming down pretty well on-plane. Skipping ahead a little bit, I think this picture will make a little sense to people. I've traced the clubhead in both Steve Stricker's swing and Charlie Wi's (Rickie's is similar to Charlie's). As you can see, the tangential line at the bottom of the swing arc in Steve Stricker's swing - called the "base plane line" or "base line" - is pointed well to the right. If you imagine creating a plane on the arrows, the base of it would rest along the blue arrow. Charlie's (and Rickie's) plane is much more "at the target" than Steve's. Steve Stricker plays a ball that pushes and draws a little, and catches the ball just in front of of low point to help the clubhead go a little left to take some of the draw curve off of his golf ball. Final note on P6: good golfers tend - nine indeces on downward (with increasing frequency) to get "under" plane or "stuck" (hello, Tiger Woods!), while poor golfers tend to be "over." A7 - Impact Things to look for here are fairly obvious: clean contact, clubhead traveling in which direction (ideally +/- a few degrees), handle leaning forward an appropriate amount (0 to 10 degrees, rarely more; less with the longer clubs, more with the shorter ones), etc. A8 - Shaft Horizontal to the Ground on Follow-Through A9 - Lead Arm Horizontal to the Ground on Follow-Through In virtually every golf swing, the shaft is horizontal to the ground before the lead arm, but the two are sometimes very closely timed. These images are from before A8 and A9, but honestly, A8, A9, and A10 are almost never used in discussing the golf swing because they're simply an indicator of what's come before. They are however quite useful in instruction, as a student modeling a position at A8 or A9 will introduce changes to his motion prior to A7 which will have (if the instruction is correct) positive results. A10 - End of Swing Again, debatable, but for all practical purposes, A9 is almost never discussed. It's too easily "faked." :-)
  27. As @mvmac and I drove around observing golfers playing in the Newport Cup this past few days, several thoughts occurred to us. We won't single anyone out, of course, and to those of you reading I want to point out that these players were all single digit handicappers. In no particular order, here are some of the things we noticed and what you can or should do about them to play better golf. 1. Short Game Shot Selection As it says in Lowest Score Wins , the first rule of a short game shot is to not leave yourself with another short game shot. If you have a 30-yard bunker shot but the green is five yards away, hit the ball somewhere between six yards and 40 yards. Leave yourself with a PUTT first and foremost. Countless times @mvmac and I observed someone going for a pitch to a short sided pin only to leave themselves still short sided and pitching again. Though, yes, "Golf's Longest Yard" is important, you're simply far more likely to make a putt than a chip, and you can't start worrying about golf's longest yard before you get the ball on the putting green. 2. GIR is King Following up on #1, hitting greens is important. I advised my team all week to get the yardage to the flag and, if it was in the back, to subtract five yards or so and if in the front, to add five yards or so. I still think they could have done that more, and paid more attention to it. It's a tough thing to actively look away from the flag and play a shot to the green. Sometimes it's tough to even pick a target line. But it's important, because again, you're more likely to make a putt (or two-putt) than to hole a chip (or get up and down). #1 and #2 tie in to each other. The point of both is to get you to the areas where you're almost as good as a PGA Tour player as soon as possible: putting! 3. Shot Zone Size @mvmac and I joked that everyone's Shot Zone must have been about 5x larger than they thought. Some holes had 100 yards between homes left and right… yet we watched balls find the homes to the left and the right. Yes, maybe they were in the 20% of the "aberrations," but with the penalty buffer that players should have been using, drivers were often not the play given the actual size of the Shot Zones. On a 398-yard hole, and given the importance of GIR (they're the King!) and nGIR (Queens), a player who hits hybrid 240 yards and can then reach the green with an 8- or 9-iron rarely has the need to hit a driver to leave a sand wedge. This seems to fly in the face of "advancing your ball," but remember The Rule from Lowest Score Wins . Particularly, remember the "safely" portion. If there are Penalty Buffers, Bunkers (which have their own penalty buffers, remember), or thick trees… it can and often should change the chosen shot. 4. Not Watching Ball @mvmac and I have noticed some things that differentiate good players from the not-so-good players. When a good player hits a good tee-ball, he doesn't watch it. When he hits a bad shot, he watches it like a hawk. The not-so-good player is the opposite: he will turn away from a bad shot and often takes delight in watching every second of his good one. Yet… this approach leads to lost balls. There aren't a lot of places to lose a ball in the desert (particularly when the course is not really a desert course with a bunch of cactus off the fairways), but we saw a fair number of lost balls. Watch the ball. Move sideways to get a better angle to view where it lands. Keep your eyes on the area where it lands. Remember landmarks to serve as pointers when you start to look for the ball. This applies to everyone's shots. We saw a number of people not watching their partner hitting a shot… in the alternate shot format. Blows our mind. That's your ball that your partner is hitting. 5. Learn to Hit Big Curves The 17th hole required (the first two days, anyway) a big cut with a driver, 3-wood, or hybrid. Yet very few attempted this shot, mostly because it wasn't in their arsenal. Good players can hit big curves on occasion. Big curves are a form of trouble shot - a big hook can get you around a corner, a big cut can get you out from behind a tree but still on or near the green, etc. Many hit a double-cross and pulled the ball straight into the water, but that can't happen: learn how to hit some big curves because, when they come in handy, they can save you one or two shots on THAT hole, right then, instantly. Plus, learning to hit big curves (hooks and slices, effectively) can teach you quite a bit about your path and your clubface awareness. @mvmac will finish this with five more observations.
  28. This is a good video that kind of explains why it's destructive. I like it, anyway.
  29. You actually score much worse here than you think. GIR is unachievable if your first drive is OB or in trouble. You don't get to say "when I had an attempt…" - you also have to give yourself a LOT of attempts. You didn't do that as well as you could. It is stated in LS W, but the entire GamePlanning section is built around getting on or near the green as quickly as possible. That starts with the tee shot.
  30. 6. Misses and Adjustments We saw a number of players that had a particular miss but they didn't make any adjustments. If you notice you're pulling the ball, whether it's on the range or on the course, play for that shot. It doesn't make sense to set up for your "stock" shot when, for whatever reason, your stock shot has changed that day. Be aware of where you're missing it and account for it. It's fine to play your "miss" that day, fix it on the range after the round but when you're on the course you have to figure out how to grind out a score. 7. Pace of Play I think players tend to interpret slow play as the golfer that takes a lot of practice swings or stands over the ball for a long time. While the Newport Cup players weren't "slow" but they certainly weren't fast. It comes down to doing the simple stuff correctly. Players wouldn't drop their partner off at their ball and then go to their ball. There was too much time spent watching other players hit their shots when they could have been moving or standing near their ball, getting ready to play. Players wouldn't start reading their putts until it was their turn to play. Players needed to play more ready golf, not "wait until it's my turn and then get ready" golf. Next time you play, make sure to get to your ball and be ready to play. Get your yardage, take your practice swings while other golfers are playing or are at their balls. 8. Simple Rules Don't lose strokes or holes on the simple stuff. One simple rule a couple players broke was the "sin" of hitting the wrong ball. Make sure you hit the correct ball, take a second to check because it can be very important. Not just because it may cost you a hole but also because it can change the momentum of a match. 9. Pattern Awareness Erik and I were surprised at some of the misses we saw. Some players could hit a push draw off the tee and then push fade an iron. They didn't have a pattern. It's important to hone a pattern because it makes it much easier to manage your way around a golf course. You can't play good golf standing over a ball and not knowing where it's going to start and how it's going to curve. Obviously we're all going to hit bad shots from time to time but the majority of your shots have to fall within your shot pattern. 10. Get out of Jail When you hit it in trouble, make sure to get yourself out of the trees, high grass, bunkers. Advance your ball the farthest you can but make sure to advance it in a position where you have a clear shot at the green. Part of the problem was the player didn't hit their punch shot solid. They would hit it fat and not get it out of trouble. This is a big mistake. We also saw a player use a sand or a lob wedge when they had to hit the ball under a tree. The player hit the ball solid but the ball launched too higher and hit a tree limb. Be smart about what clubs you use, don't try to hit a club that has 56 degrees of loft under something. Take a 8 or 7 iron and make sure to get it under and past the tree. Spend some time on the range practicing these shots. Play the ball back, weight forward and hit it hard. Get familiar with what you need to do to hit these shots solid and the correct trajectory.
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