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  1. 2019 Section Special Award Winners Announced – Western New York https://westernnewyork.pga.com/news/2019-section-special-award-winners-announced/ I'm proud and honored to announce today that I've been named the Western New York section of the PGA's Teacher of the Year for 2019. From the site, this award is "based on the professional’s overall performance in teaching; unusual, innovative and special teaching programs the professional has initiated or played a key role in implementing." The awards ceremony takes place the evening before my Behrend college team(s) play in our home Invitational, the last event of the "regular season," on Monday, October 7. I'm not sure which I look forward to more. 🙂 This follows two previous other awards or honors of recognition: @david_wedzik has received this award twice (2013, 2015), and the list of previous winners is available here: Annual Awards | Recognizing PGA Excellence | WesternNewYork.PGA.com Each year, the Section recognizes PGA professionals for their success on and off the course at an annual awards ceremony. See results at WesternNewYork.PGA.com. Of course, this and $5 might get me a small scone at Starbucks. 😉 But, I kid, I kid. This award is perhaps more meaningful than the others because these are the actual pros in my section who know quite a bit more about what I do, and this is my first year as an actual class A member. (I only finished up my associate-ship last May.) Among the things I cited on my supporting documentation after I was nominated: The two previous Golf Digest recognitions. LSW, and the instructors we've trained in that. The Project 10 thing we created for the Western New York First Tee program, based on LSW ideas and concepts. The Penn-State Behrend team. My winter Junior Elite Program. 5SK, the education seminars we've given to PGA sections, Evolvr, my certifications (AimPoint, etc.), and a few other things.
  2. 13 points
    There are several things which take almost no talent to do correctly, and if you can do them, you can become a better golfer and stay a better golfer. These things should be touchstones of a sort, things you check on constantly, but again which take no (or at least not much) actual skill to achieve. These are things even beginners can do. These lists are off the top of my head. Tier 1: No Real Talent Grip the club properly - in the base of the fingers, with the right number of knuckles showing for your swing. Set up properly - weight over the right part of your feet, arms hanging almost vertically, ball position forward of center. Learn the ball flight laws. You only have to learn them once. Learn that bad shots happen, and don't require a change to what you're doing or attempting to do. Change your grips when they get worn, slick, hard. Get a video camera, alignment sticks, and a few other training aids. You don't have to spend a lot of money here. Use decent clubs. Your muscle back 2-iron is probably not helping you much. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses. Your skin and your eyes are important. Tier 2: Minimal Talent Grip the club firmly while remaining athletically "loose" with the rest of your body. Tension in the wrong places can be a killer. Loose muscles are fast muscles. Learn what "start line" and curve your ball has on any given shot. You'll be miles ahead of the game when it comes to solving problems with your swing for the rest of your life. Practice effectively. It doesn't matter if you practice for 10 minutes or 10 hours a week, if you can practice effectively, you'll squeeze as much out of that time as you can. Nobody practices perfectly, but 90% effective is better than 30% effective. Nobody hits perfect shots when practicing, either, but you can make changes when practicing properly. Learn the Shades of Grey and your Shot Zones. Play quickly. Play without fear - golf is just a game we play. Tier 3: Some Talent Learn to putt with a backswing and downswing that are about the same size. If your ball goes too short and you feel you have to make a huge stroke, just swing it faster, but keep the through and backswing lengths the same. Learn to hit a chip shot with some forward shaft lean and without throwing the trail wrist. I'm amazed at how few people can do this, even if they're just hitting a shot onto a range with no real target, solely trying to "do" this motion. Learn how to make partial swings, particularly with wedges. Learn how to have a "B" swing for days when things are not going well. Develop a ball flight — it's okay if it changes as you continue to improve — and apply the bullet point in the section above to play it. I allotted myself 15 minutes to write this post and come up with what I could come up with, and that's it. Please add your own in the comments below.
  3. I have taken some time to write this post. I am trying not to use my usual style and am trying to make it more general and readable and understandable. As many know George Gankas has risen from mediocrity to achieve sudden fame, booking his $500/hour lessons out to June - though probably not anymore with COVID-19 and California - because Matt Wolff rose to fame and because his Instagram account shows a bunch of already very good players hitting the ball hard. Now of course George has actually been teaching for 25 years and is probably almost the same guy he is now as he was five years ago when he was unknown by most but that is just how golf is. I am not jealous of George - He is not taking students from me. I do not dislike George either - Though his surfer boy 'EMBH' attitude does rub me the wrong way, he cares about good information and is passionate about making golfers better, so he is okay in my book from that POV. But I do have some very real issues with his swing philosophy and I will attempt to talk about them here to start a discussion. My list of complaints - and I will go into more detail later on - is: Does not tuck his shirt in. Wears socks with sandals. EMBH. I am just kidding - but now seriously. First bear in mind this is from having seen much of Instagram, hearing from things, videos and speaking engagements, podcast interviews, etc. I have watched a LOT of GG content, directly from GG himself, I have not spent weeks watching him teach and some of this might be older or he might not do it as much as he says. A little like Stack-n-Tilt where something that has some value is WAAAY overdone to the point it can become an obstacle. A little goes a long way, and a lot is too much. None of what we are apparently calling 'flow' now with several manual movements in an effort to make it 'reactive' or something. Overdoes rounding of lumbar spine at setup. Trail knee extends too much too soon and hips over rotate on the backswing. You can see some guys with straight trail leg by P2. Hands get too deep too soon. Can cause two big problems (let me see if I can do this right): Hinders too much left bend. Notice some guys move the head down and forward on takeaway. Limits mobility with the arms and torso. Arms do not have any room towards the top so arms have to lift and shift outward. IMO b/c of the last couple notes, Gankas has been advising to add in more manual spine extension to finish the backswing. So you have a manual move on top of a manual move to compensate for each other. This extension on the backswing also gets pressure too far forward too soon, players get a 'loaded left' look at P2.5 to P3. If the pressure and mass does not load right it can not 'fall' forward in transition. Body shift and rotation sequence is backwards: George likes upper/lower body to stay back P4 to P6, then open up big time early and then moves lower center forward from P6 to P7 as the hip thrusts forward and up. Elite players tend to do the opposite, upper body is 'closed' in relation to lower body in transition as body shifts forward in order to spike pressure at P5. Most players are mostly done going forward with the body by P5.5 because they are going more up and around. Wants dual external rotation of hips in downswing. Does not happen even though his early Instagram was littered with players practicing this in some sort of hyper-perverted Sam Snead Squat thing. From P3.75 to P4.25, trail hip in good players moves from more internal to less internal (which is movement in the external direction-Yes) but then goes internal to neutral from there. The front hip goes internal on downswing. You can even see some Tour pros plant the front heel more forward than where it was at setup. If it actually went external in the lead hip the golfer would just spin out and have nothing to plant and push against. If you went external there you could not properly engage the muscles up the left side. Trail elbow does not actually go external with many pros at all. Most pros the elbow slightly trails trails the rear hip on the downswing and pros tend to have some trail shoulder retraction early in the transition. By P4.5 pros will not have the forearm 'in front' or more vertical than the torso tilt. George says the arms shifting out shallows the shaft. While it can it can also make the shaft get steeper or do anything else too. You can overcome the pretty weak force that shifting the hands out shallows the shaft very easily. I see people shift the arms out and steepen EVERY damn day on my lesson tee. Plus with GEARS or 3D we know the butt of the club early transition tends to move more vertically down and then moves out. It follows the movement of the body/torso: it lowers 'closed' and then starts opening up. If you have to shift arms out and go ER, how is Rory one of the most shallow players and Noren one of the steepest? Dislike manually feeling more rotation on the downswing by rotating faster and more. I do not have a problem with this in general - Dustin Johnson has to do this, but he is also a freak in a good way. But do not teach it to everyone. Not all great players are super open at impact and those who are, mostly a result of what came before. Look at Matt Wolff, who does the opposite of many of these things (https://www.instagram.com/p/B73nK0iA2xz, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2keCNyqEhQ😞 Hands track straight back on takeaway to mid backswing. Do not gain super depth. Trail hip does not over-rotate. Gets his right hip high and internally rotates into the hip. Unweights the lead foot instead of staying centered or left. Dual internal rotation of the hips. Here are some stills. Hands don't get overly deep: No real external rotation or outward shifting hands here: Internal rotated hips, left heel planted forward of where it was at setup: Some of these photos are https://www.instagram.com/p/BbVfT7NgkH5 and https://www.instagram.com/p/B1peRirlSqM and https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz6xE86FzGs. They will not embed because his account is private right now. 1. A little like Stack-n-Tilt where something that has some value is WAAAY overdone to the point it can become an obstacle. A little goes a long way, and a lot is too much. I do not have to say too much more about this and I do not have pictures to show it, but an example might be the Sam Snead Squat thing. It is overdone. Other things he does are a good thing that is taken past where it is good and beyond. 2. None of what we are apparently calling 'flow' now with several manual movements in an effort to make it 'reactive' or something. Countless examples of this. Look at the Matt Wolfe video FO up above. Compare to say Rory or Justin Thomas videos. See the first set of three images below too. 3. Overdoes rounding of lumbar spine at setup. Look for the hips to be a bit too level and the butt tucked under a bit too much. Not saying you want to have a flat back here and some of the more recent videos and Instagram posts look better. 4. Trail knee extends too much too soon and hips over rotate on the backswing. You can see some guys with straight trail leg by P2. Can find a ton of those on his Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/B_nKvxGjRPymAtMS8EM0ZnRFPt9RRNIMtMPG-E0/ for example. 5. Hands get too deep too soon. Can cause two big problems (let me see if I can do this right): 6. IMO b/c of the last couple notes, Gankas has been advising to add in more manual spine extension to finish the backswing. So you have a manual move on top of a manual move to compensate for each other. https://www.instagram.com/p/B_jRb3QjHPm10S7SxFLnr3BHVfQ8FKlN38ElGw0/ 7. This extension on the backswing also gets pressure too far forward too soon, players get a 'loaded left' look at P2.5 to P3. If the pressure and mass does not load right it can not 'fall' forward in transition. Too many to post. You will see a lot of GG students staying very centered then falling back during the downswing and then finishing forward late. This is similar to 2 but I thought it deserved its own post. Might be the same thing though. 8. Body shift and rotation sequence is backwards: George likes upper/lower body to stay back P4 to P6, then open up big time early and then moves lower center forward from P6 to P7 as the hip thrusts forward and up. Elite players tend to do the opposite, upper body is 'closed' in relation to lower body in transition as body shifts forward in order to spike pressure at P5. Most players are mostly done going forward with the body by P5.5 because they are going more up and around. Also similar to 2 and 7. Just more detail. You can condense these a bit if you want, but really, 8 is a bit different too because it is not about pressure but about the rotation and the translation and when those are 'primary' in the golf swing. 9. Wants dual external rotation of hips in downswing. Does not happen even though his early Instagram was littered with players practicing this in some sort of hyper-perverted Sam Snead Squat thing. From P3.75 to P4.25, trail hip in good players moves from more internal to less internal (which is movement in the external direction-Yes) but then goes internal to neutral from there. The front hip goes internal on downswing. You can even see some Tour pros plant the front heel more forward than where it was at setup. If it actually went external in the lead hip the golfer would just spin out and have nothing to plant and push against. If you went external there you could not properly engage the muscles up the left side. So many buckets between the knees especially in early Instagram posts. 10. Trail elbow does not actually go external with many pros at all. Most pros the elbow slightly trails trails the rear hip on the downswing and pros tend to have some trail shoulder retraction early in the transition. By P4.5 pros will not have the forearm 'in front' or more vertical than the torso tilt. 11. George says the arms shifting out shallows the shaft. While it can it can also make the shaft get steeper or do anything else too. You can overcome the pretty weak force that shifting the hands out shallows the shaft very easily. I see people shift the arms out and steepen EVERY damn day on my lesson tee. Plus with GEARS or 3D we know the butt of the club early transition tends to move more vertically down and then moves out. It follows the movement of the body/torso: it lowers 'closed' and then starts opening up. If you have to shift arms out and go ER, how is Rory one of the most shallow players and Noren one of the steepest? Note the handle actually goes behind him more and close to vertical then and yet Matt shallows the club. 12. Dislike manually feeling more rotation on the downswing by rotating faster and more. I do not have a problem with this in general - Dustin Johnson has to do this, but he is also a freak in a good way. But do not teach it to everyone. Not all great players are super open at impact and those who are, mostly a result of what came before. Look at other player videos on YouTube. Good things about George: Setup: armpits over the top of the knee over the balls of the feet. Does not set up like old Adam Scott with straight back. Generally better to be neutral or internal with trail elbow on backswing than external. Eat the ball cue in transition. Thank you to certain people behind the scenes in a PM for encouraging me to post this. And to take the time to make it good. I am posting this to have a discussion. I like a lot of what George teaches, but I do take issue with the things I listed up above.
  4. I've got an idea, and I'd like buy-in from a good number of people here. I'd like people to commit to doing this every day in April. Since we're all stuck inside (not all, and not literally inside 24/7, but you get the drift), I thought we could use this time to go through a 30-day practice plan. Specifically, my idea is this: Every day I'll produce a video showing you something to practice for five minutes. I'll post the video in the morning. I'd like everyone to practice that for five minutes, in your home, that day. I'd like everyone to post that they did it, and what they thought about it, and if possible a video of themselves doing the drill or game or whatever. I have got a few good ideas for the first four or five days, and will talk with @mvmac and some other guys about what we can do on different days. Some will be putting, short game, full swing… but all will be a drill you can do in just five minutes. They may not be something you specifically need to do, but since rehearsing good moves is a good thing, I'll again ask that everyone sign up and do it. I'm making this a challenge, so anyone who can do 28+ of the 30 daily drills will earn the badge at the end of the month. I'll keep the drills simple - you won't need to visit a range or even necessarily hit a golf ball (the putting things may involve an actual golf ball), so everyone can do them. Why? Again, if we're gonna be stuck inside, or at home, we can at least do some things to improve our golf. It'll help stave off boredom (for me as much as y'all) and give us something to do together. Post below if you're in, and on April 1, I'll post the first video. (Hint: it's gonna be about the first part of the backswing. 🙂) Index: Day 01 - Early Backswing Day 02 - Shoulder Pitch Day 03 - Trail Elbow at A4 Day 04 - Lead Wrist Conditions Day 05 - Delivering the Clubhead Day 06 - Chipping (Leading Edge) Day 07 - Pitching (Sole or "Glide") Day 08 - Putting (Rhythm, Tempo, and Sticks) Day 09 - Snapping Sticks Day 10 - Full Swing Flow Day 11 - Putting Pendulum Day 12 - Trail Arm Throwing Day 13 - High Pitches and Flops Day 14 - Eye-Hand-Club Coordination Day 15 - Putting "Bead" Work Day 16 - Double Stork Drill Day 17 - Double Noodle Drill Day 18 - Swing Path Gate Drill Day 19 - Trail Side Band Pull Day 20 - Lead Arm Throwing Day 21 - Low Point Control Day 22 - Proper Setup Day 23 - Pre- and Post-Shot Routine Day 24 - Trail Arm Pitching Day 25 - Sequencing Drills Day 26 - Turn, Tilt, Extend Day 27 - Early Extension Day 28 - Advanced Shoulder Tilts Day 29 - Advanced Stick Work Day 30 - Swing Mapping
  5. 10 points
    It takes no talent to be a nice person. You maybe paired up with someone you have never meet or is new to your Club. They don't know anyone and that person is taking a huge step out of their comfort zone to meet new people by playing golf. By being nice to that person for 1 round of golf can make such a tremendous positive impact in their life. Remember: Life is hard, golf is hard, being nice is easy
  6. So, I found this article in Golf Magazine. Save 7 strokes off your 30 handicap by being custom fit. Then I saw this: and I realized I could save 7 to 9 more strokes by changing putters. Then I saw this: I found I could drop 10 strokes in 10 minutes. Then I saw this: And I found out I can save 10 MORE strokes!!! So, I figure if I do ALL of these things I should be able to save 34 to 36 strokes by next weekend.
  7. No you don't. Sorry... Please don't bring up religion or politics on the forum. thanks.
  8. I have a few thoughts on the distance debate in golf. Except for the first, they're in no particular order. I'll try to be brief, but we all know how that tends to go… 1. I don't care about the 0.01% of golfers that this affects. Even if that number is as large as 1%, I don't care. Distance *may be* an issue on the PGA Tour (and other pro tours), and for a few college kids at the best college programs. I am almost fundamentally against changing golf just because of a tiny fraction of golfers. 2. I still believe that 6500 yards is enough (or more than enough) for 95% of golfers, and 7000 is enough (or more) for 99%+. While Rory might hit wedge to a 450-yard hole, for almost everyone else, that's a 6-iron or more. And if the membership at some clubs are chasing distance and expanding their golf course, that's their call. They're spending their own money. 3. I'm tired of hearing about the PGA Tour can't go play these awesome courses. Here are some of the outstanding works of art played in 1990: La Costa, TPC StarPass, Indian Wells, TPC Scottsdale, Waialae, Torrey Pines, Riviera, Doral, TPC Eagle Trace, TPC Sawgrass, Bay Hill, TPC Woodlands, Hattiesburg CC, Harbour Town, Forest Oaks CC, English Turn G&CC, TPC Las Colinas, Muirfield Village, Colonial, Atlanta CC, TPC Avenel, Butler National, Medinah CC, Westchester CC, TPC ConnecticutKingsmill CC, Pleasant Valley CC, St. Andrews, Warwick Hills, TPC Southwind, Shoal Creek, Castle Pines, Valleybrook, Firestone, Tuckaway CC, Oakwood CC… I give up, mostly because I'm tired of typing "TPC." Which of the courses that no longer host PGA Tour events are we truly "missing out on"? When the question is posed about what great courses can no longer host the PGA Tour due *only* to distance (and not the other infrastructure needed, lack of member desire to turn their course over for a month, etc.), the list is always *very, very* short. 4. I really don't care if the British Open can no longer be played at the Old Course some day, or if they continue to play it there and when it's not windy, the winner shoots -30. Will that guy have not done the best job of getting his ball from 72 teeing areas to 72 holes better than anyone else that week? Is the junior tournament my daughter won by shooting 30 on a par-33 course "less than" because most of the holes were par threes or driver-wedge par fours? 5. A universal roll-back WOULD affect the amateurs, especially if it's done with driver head size. If it's done with the ball, across the board, then amateurs are still going to be affected. I've heard people say "oh if you drive it 250 you'll probably drive it 247, but Rory will go from 330 (he doesn't average 330) to 300 maybe. No, that's generally not how this stuff works. 6. Speaking of driver head size… PGA Tour players go at their 3W pretty hard too. They're not swinging their drivers at 100% and then backing off with their 3W to 80% or something. PGA Tour players are better these days than they were in the 80s, on average. Would we see the occasional wild shot? Yeah, most likely by a guy that's going to miss the cut or who isn't playing on TV on the weekend. I suspect we'd almost fail to notice. When's the last time you saw someone other than Tiger Woods (he did it pretty frequently for being the GOAT) pop up a 3W? Limiting driver head sizes to small sizes would punish amateurs far more than PGA Tour pros. 7. Go find a trajectory optimizer or something and put -20° spin axis tilt and try 2250 RPM of spin and then try 4500, which is more than even balata balls spun during the 90s. Even the 4500 RPM ball won't curve that much. Why? My hunch is actually the aerodynamics. The dimple pattern. It's not simply the increased amount of spin people *think* they'll get from "balata" — it's that we've learned more about the aerodynamics. 8. People talk nostalgically about the "shotmaking" that players had in the 80s and 90s… but it's bullshit. Corey Pavin was a shotmaker, just as Bubba Watson is now. Tiger is a bigger shotmaker than most credit him for, and it serves him well. Lee Trevino? Jack Nicklaus? They pretty much — like modern day players — played one shot shape. Better to be a master of one than a jack of all trades (unless your brain just doesn't work that way, like Bubba, or unless you're so skilled, like Tiger). Billy Casper played a huge draw and won 51 times or whatever. It's nostalgia, and little else, to think that players were "shotmakers" in the past and aren't now. If there was something to be gained by doing it, with the money in the game today, players would do it. They'd figure it out, or a coach or a numbers guy would have. 9. Knowledge — like that it's better to play your one shot shape, with little curve, because it reacts the most consistently — isn't going to go anywhere. Since the 80s or 90s or whenever your "heyday" was, we've learned about optimal launch conditions. We've learned more about how moving the CG of a driver affects things. We've learned more about building shafts, and aerodynamics of dimples, and ball construction. We've learned more about how to swing. We've learned a LOT, and none of that knowledge is going anywhere. 10. On a podcast someone gave this example, and I think it's a lousy one every time it's brought up: "College baseball players use metal bats, and when they get to the pros, they have to switch to wood." This analogy falls flat on its face in several ways. First, the information is old. College metal bats were put under even more regulations in 2011 or so (including COR testing) to ensure that they didn't hit the ball much harder than wooden bats. They're a bit lighter, still, so players can swing faster, but the bats themselves aren't really much "hotter." That was done for player safety. Second, it costs a lot of money to replace a bunch of wooden bats, and they break. Colleges opt for metal or composite so they don't have to incur the ongoing costs of replacing bats. Not every college baseball team has a huge budget. Third, college baseball and the MLB system aren't under the same ruling body. Golf is effectively, around the entire world, governed by one set of rules and two ruling bodies who are in lock step with one another, so effectively one ruling body. Finally, college players making the transition to the pros have months or years to make the adjustment. College baseball players aren't called up to play game five of the World Series, but *we see this in golf every year.* Amateurs qualify for and play in major championships *every year.* If they're playing their "regular ball" or their "metal bats" in college so as not to be at a disadvantage, then they're going to be at one when they have to switch to try to qualify for a U.S. Open. 11. It takes quite awhile for players to adjust to a new ball. Yes, the players will say they've "adjusted" for the Mexico event, but what they're really saying is that they "made adjustments" because they have to, but they're really not 100% certain of anything. Watch the event and you'll see guys mystified at why they flew a green by 20 yards every 30 minutes or so. Attend it and you'll see even more. The course effectively plays 6600 yards at that elevation, so scoring is still relatively good. Guys who switch ball companies will take months over their off-season to truly dial in all of the types of shots they expect to hit, particularly around the greens. Guys in Ryder Cups do their best, and even try to pair with guys who play a similar ball. Guys may "adjust" but there's a big gap between "let's hit a few on Trackman and see how far *the same ball* goes at this altitude" and "this is an entirely new ball." Look at how many guys hit old-model-year golf balls… because they're so reluctant to change. Because they feel it will hurt their game. Because they know it will be difficult to adjust. 12. "Other sports have a common ball, why can't golf?" In all other sports, players are allowed to have their own *personal* equipment. The balls in most other sports are not personal, but shared equipment. Other players use them, too. In tennis, players get to use their own sneakers and rackets. In baseball, bats, helmets, and gloves are personal. In bowling, there's also not one common ball… because it's not shared. It's personal. Golf is the same. The opponents don't have to or get to play with "your" golf ball. 13. Going back a step, others have said "if the Masters puts out a tournament ball, you can bet they'd all play it." Sure, everyone *might* still show up and play it… I don't think many would actually boycott the Masters… but there'd be a helluva lot of grumbling about it. Such a tournament should have an asterisk, as we'd see virtually nobody playing at their best. The players who happened to adjust the fastest, or be given a ball that's already closest to their current ball in terms of short game spin and other things, would have the "advantage" that week over players who had the toughest time adjusting or whose ball was most different from the "Masters ball." At any rate, it would be a compromised tournament — we would *not* be seeing the players at their best. 14. Finally, "tournament golf is so boring?" Give me a break, that's because of distance? We know for a fact that if players have to hit a 6-iron to a green, that it's not going to get as close, on average, as when they have to hit a 9I. So what's more exciting: a player hitting a shot to 35 feet or a player hitting a shot to 12 feet? Sure, hitting a 6I to 20 feet might take more skill than hitting a shot to 12 feet with a 9I, but what do we see on TV? We see a guy, he hits the ball, we see it in the air, we see it landing on the green. If someone told you it was a 6-iron instead of a 9-iron, but the visuals were exactly the same… how would that make golf more exciting? If the same exact shots were hit? No. And if worse shots were hit, as they would be if they *actually* had to hit three clubs more? It'd be even less exciting. Go back and watch events from the 80s and 90s. They weren't all that exciting either… and most of what's changed, I think, is simply the coverage. We see too many putts, too many ad reads, too much pre-shot routine, too many tap-ins, etc. Golf coverage isn't boring because the ball goes too far. The two are almost entirely unlinked, and where they do meet, distance might lead to more excitement. Eagles are exciting. Birdies are exciting. Guys not being able to reach par fives… is more entertaining? Okay, that's all I've got for now.
  9. 1. Hitting balls into water. 2. Hitting balls into trees. 3. Hitting balls OB. 4. Playing courses that have lots of water, trees and OB.
  10. I posted this to my college team on Slack today, but thought it might benefit some of you to read and see this type of stuff. Consider this my top five list of things that college players can generally do a LOT better to shoot better scores. These don’t ALL apply to ALL players, but… they all apply to all of you as a group for sure. In no particular order, the errors I regularly see: 1. Full swings almost all the time. There’s tremendous benefit and control from hitting partial shots inside of even 160-170 yards. You take off a little spin, hit it more solidly, and control distance and trajectory better. 2. Missing in the right spots. When the entire world exists to the right of #3, far too many of you miss in the left trees/rough/OB. When going long on a green is dead… too many of you miss long. You generally take on too many tucked pins instead of playing for the center of the green, and you take on too risky of a short game shot (leaving the ball in a bunker or still in the rough) when just chipping it to 15 feet and giving yourself a par putt will suffice. The latter in particular is a killer: I’ve seen so many of you make double after you miss the green because you won’t just put the ball to 15 feet instead of trying to hole it or something. 3. Lack of imagination when in awkward situations. Ball below your feet in a bunker? Ball on a downslope with a pitch to the green? I see too many people freak out and not be flexible, creative, etc. enough to find a way to utilize their club as a tool, and their body as a tool, to hit the necessary shot. Clubs are just piece of metal - make them do what you need them to do… and spend time practicing weird shots from time to time. They’re often the difference between 74 and 77 or something, even with only 1 or 2 per round. 4. Poor distance control putting. Often it’s from an accelerating stroke (short back, long through) or one that’s wristy, but if you can develop good speed, your reads improve from consistent speed, and your putting (both one- and two-putts) improve as well. Spend more time working on the “speed” aspect of putting, and less time when you practice putting just hitting the ball toward a hole and trying to make it. And if you think you’re bad at five footers… just leave yourself fewer five footers per round because of poor distance control! 5. Lack of a “B” Swing or a “Get it Around” swing. This one’s admittedly the toughest here, but when things are going awry, many of you just continue to bleed out all over your scorecard. Spend time on the range developing some sort of “cheater” swing - a shorter, more controlled swing, possibly without much weight transfer back and forward, where you can hit the ball solidly and control the clubface pretty well, to at least keep the ball between the ropes and near the greens.
  11. Didn't get a chance to go out to play for my vlog yet, but hopefully that's coming soon. For now, I submit to you my application questions. I thought it would be at most eight minutes long, but apparently I talk a lot, sorry. Shoe Size: 9.5 True Original, 10 True Major Shirt Size: Small Pants Size: 30x32 Finished up my vlog. Course was packed so I had lots of time to talk to the camera but it ended up being too long so I cut it all out and narrated instead.
  12. Poulter has a well-earned reputation for intolerance towards loudmouth fans. Even if you don't like him, most golfers expect a certain minimum level of civility and sportsmanship. This fan failed to meet that pretty low standard.
  13. Incredibly rude. If you see someone behind you waiting on every shot and you know you are the slow one, you should wait for them to catch up with you at a tee box and ask them if they want to play through.
  14. Here's the deal, folks: I'd like to play enough golf and birdie every hole at Whispering Woods in 2020. I'd like you to join me on this quest. So, I've set up a spreadsheet here: 2020 TST Birdie Challenge - Google Sheets Welcome to the 2020 TST Birdie Challenge. Rules? There are no rules. Just fill in your best score relative to par on the holes as you achieve them, and let's all have fun and cheer each other on in 2020! Please click through, add your name, home course, and location, and when you make a par or a birdie, add that score to the sheet, with the idea that you're going to birdie all 18 holes on your home course this year. If you're above a certain handicap and would like to make it a par challenge, go for it! Just add that note to the Notes column. We can all cheer each other on and see where this takes us! Edit: if you truly play a TON of different courses, then follow these two guidelines: If you just play a lot of golf, but still get 20 or 25 (or more) rounds in on one course, consider making that your home course and just doing the birdie challenge there. If you truly play only 20-40 rounds per year, and never more than a handful at the same course, consider trying to birdie holes numbered 1 to 18 across all of your courses. Or even doing it twice. Yeah, some hole #17s will be easier birdies than others, but that's why you might do it twice. Edit 2 (2020-02-13): I added a second tab called "By Hole" for those who, when not playing their home course, want to keep track of the holes they birdie or par. If you birdie the fourth hole at some course that isn't your home course in the first tab, put your birdie in the second tab on hole four.
  15. 8 points
    Title. Seriously. Every day I talk to people who underplay COVID-19 by comparing it to the flu. Just today I spoke with someone who told me, "Tens of thousands of people die from the flu each year, we don't shut anything down for that!" Well you know what? It's not the flu. The flu is something we understand and have historical data for. This is new. A severe flu season has a death rate of 0.17% (something like 80,000 flu-related deaths in 48 million cases). As of today, 6,501 people died out of 169,374 confirmed cases, for a death rate of 3.8%. Even if somehow only one in ten people with COVID-19 are tested and confirmed to have it, it would still be twice as deadly as the flu. The flu also has a shorter incubation period, with symptoms typically presenting after two to four days. An individual infected with COVID-19 may not present symptoms up to 14 days after infection. That's a possible two weeks for a seemingly healthy individual to go about their daily lives, spreading the disease. I mentioned that it's new, right? Anyone who has had the flu before will have some natural immunity to similar strands in the future. But, viruses mutate. It's not perfect, but it's something. We have no pre-existing immunity to COVID-19, which potentially makes every single person in the world vulnerable to infection. Quarantines, school closures, and other changes to our daily lives have inconvenienced us. I get it. But this is about so much more than not being able to watch your favorite sports team compete, or your vacation plans being cancelled. It's not about politics or mass media hysteria. This is a real disease with a serious negative impact to the world and we (Americans) have the opportunity to do something about it before it gets out of hand and we end up like China or Italy. Sorry, had to get that off my chest. I'll burn this f***ing soapbox now. Sources: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/people-have-been-trying-underplay-why-coronavirus-different-flu-n1156801 https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/does-the-flu-provide-better-immunity-than-a-flu-shot/ https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
  16. Meh, most golfers are going to shoot the same scores regardless of what ball they use.
  17. Guy goes in to get a fitting. Warms up, hits his 6-iron. They get some numbers (I'm quasi-making these up😞 171 carry, 176 total. 5780 RPM spin. Launch of 20.1°. Dispersion is about 35 yards. Ball speed is 119.2… whatever. Fitter builds him a club or some clubs, all 6-irons. Fitter is able to get to these numbers: 185 carry, 188 total. 5350 RPM spin. Launch of 19.3°. Dispersion is about 37 yards. Ball speed is 123.4. What does the Guy often see? "Oh my I carry it 14 yards farther!" What should the Guy do? Realize that he's hitting his old 5I and compare the numbers to that club. What's important in fitting is not the number on the sole, it's how well you can perform* at the yardages you need. * This means the dispersion/accuracy, the landing angle, the height, total spin, etc. In other words, don't compare your 6I to a new 6I, compare the club you hit the distance of your fitting test clubs against those test clubs. If they only fit with 6Is, consider hitting your 5I and your 6I (and maybe even your 4I) as a basis for comparison. See if you're more accurate or get better numbers while maintaining the same carry yardage. Ignore the number on the sole. You want to compare the clubs that are the most similar, not the clubs that have the same number on the sole.
  18. Are you guys kidding?! Of course it’s: THE HAMMER!!!! POW!!!
  19. 8 points
    I want to take a moment to talk about my uncle Don. He is the guy who gave me my first swing lesson at a very young age. We were having a family cookout, and I had grabbed one of my days irons and was swinging it in the yard. He came over and showed me some things. I don't think my mother was too happy with him when I started making divots in her well manicured turf. This led to taking a few of my dad's "smiled" golf balls to the park up the street and hitting them back and forth every day. I would occasionally get invited to tag along with my dad, grandpa, and uncle at the nearby goat track. I killed a lot of worms at that place, but the occasional great shot (relatively speaking) wet my appetite for the game like nothing else. I wanted more and more. Uncle Don passed away yesterday. He was one of the calmest, coolest people I have ever know. I have never seen him get upset over anything. When he would hit a bad shot, which wasn't too often, he would simply say, "Hmmmm." and play his next shot. What I wouldn't give for another round at that goat track (now closed permanently) with those guys. I imagine he has already played a round or two with my grandpa on the great golf course in the sky.
  20. No sense in delaying… let's get right into it! Kickstarter of the Year I decided not to do Kickstarter of the Year this year because… the topics in the top ten and even the top 20 were either predictable (the majors, the Presidents Cup, the Tiger Master topic, etc.) or started by staff (Would You Rather…?, 5 Minutes Daily Practice, etc.). I will point out that the NCAA Football topic was fairly well populated, oldies but goodies like the Dress Codes topic were in the top 20, and a few others snuck up there. Let's revisit this in 2021. P.S. Unsurprisingly, the ranking order of the majors was… 2019 Masters, PGA, U.S. Open, and British Open. In order of the schedule. Rookie of the Year These members joined the site within the last month of 2018 or any time in 2019 and amassed the most reputation points while remaining in good standing throughout the year (only points earned in 2019 count). Just as you'd expect, of course! These members have a bright future ahead of themselves! Note: winning Rookie of the Year does not preclude you from also winning Member of the Year awards. It'd be like a rookie in a major sport also winning the MVP - it can happen. It just didn't happen this year… 😄 ROTY #3: TST's Bronze Rookie of the Year is… With 84 reputation points… @Bonvivant! This member joined TST at the late date of July 29, 2019! ROTY #2: TST's Silver Rookie of the Year is… With a grand total of 85 points, edging out the bronze finisher by one point, and having joined us early in 2019 on March 24… @FlyingAce! ROTY #1: TST's Gold Rookie of the Year is… With a whopping 115 reputation votes in total, a member who joined after Tiger won the Masters in 2019 (May 9), and a guy who is not Phil Mickelson… @leftybutnotPM! Congratulations! Now, it's on to the big one. The one we've all been waiting for. The… Member of the Year These members are the best of the best. They amassed the most reputation points during the calendar year 2019, and remained in good standing throughout the year. Their peers - you guys and gals - felt their posts were worthy of the most thanks, skins, fist bumps, high fives, or reputation, whatever you want to call it. These are the elite. The people who make insightful posts that help further the discussion… even if you disagree with them occasionally. Or frequently. Reminder: staff (me, @nevets88, @billchao, @NCGolfer, @boogielicious, @tristanhilton85, @mchepp, @georgep, @Pretzel, @Shindig, @mvmac, @RandallT, in no particular order) are ineligible for yearly awards, or we would have taken home some hardware here. But, moderating you fine folks is prize enough, and we thank you for your contributions to our community here! Without further ado… MOTY #3: TST's Bronze Member of the Year is… This member has a current content count of 4,630 and joined the site on January 14, 2015. He plays about as much golf as anyone here despite having a mostly full-time job, a wife, and enjoying traveling and meeting up with people. He's a two-time Newport Cup participant, and he's made the most of his 4600 posts, and rarely posts something which doesn't stop to make people think, whether you agree or disagree with him. He's been a single digit golfer for a while now, and racked up 438 reputation points during 2019, nearly doubling his 220 from 2018 (and our first repeat winner of the same award)… our bronze award winning Member of the Year is @DaveP043! MOTY #2: TST's Silver Member of the Year is… This member joined on November 3, 2008. He loves chippers, hates Tiger, loves the military, hates practicing, loves playing, hates losing, but loves gambling. He hasn't changed his profile picture since he joined the site, so far as anyone can recall. With 14,285 posts, and 592 reputation points earned in 2019 alone, the silver Member of the Year for 2019 is… @David in FL! MOTY #1: TST's Gold Member of the Year is… Now it's time for the big cheese. When this member isn't shanking the ball (or complaining about shanking the ball), he posts on TST with a little bit of attitude, which is fine. He's passionate about his golf, and he's a lifelong student of the game. He's bald, he joined the site one day after my birthday on March 24, 2014, and he's amassed 5,613 posts in his time here at TST. In 2019, this member blew away earned 2.19 points per day (for a total of 800 points). The best of the best of the best, the Rory McIlroy (?) of TST for 2019, the cream of the crop and our second repeat winner… @Vinsk!
  21. That's not rider/walker not mixing well. It is Fred not mixing with anyone. He seems to be oblivious to pace of play. Bottom line: Fred is a slow poke.
  22. This is real life according to my wife. Wife’s Diary: Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong; He said, ‘Nothing…’ I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can’t explain his behavior. I don’t know why he didn’t say, ‘I love you, too.’ When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep; I cried. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster. Husband’s Diary: six 3 putts… who the f**k 3 putts six times?
  23. As a pastor who very much enjoys golf, who has counseled many couples over the years dealing with difficulties, and is married to someone who has ZERO interest in the game, and who has, admittedly, complained of being a ‘golf-widow’ on occasion, I can offer a couple of pieces of advice. First of all, not that the topic shouldn’t be raised here, but it certainly won’t be solved here: does your husband want the marriage to work? If so, find a neutral third party who doesn’t have a vested interest in one of you over the other. You both need to hear the truth and know that it is as objective as possible. Secondly, don’t bring up any of your struggles on social media. If there’s any chance that he could happen across a post somewhere where he could feel that you’re airing dirty laundry in front of others, it can do great harm to an already fractured relationship. Thirdly, the next time you bring this up with him, I would suggest it not be when you are experiencing the first relaxing leisure time together. If you’re having a good conversation, ask if you can set up a time to talk about your marriage together. It’s easy to take a good experience and ruin it by putting someone on the spot. At that point, you’ve only made one more not-so-good experience together. Fourthly, how are the other aspects of your relationship? I don’t expect (or want!) you to answer this here, but you do need to answer it honestly to yourself. I’ve yet to see a broken relationship that is solely the responsibility of one person. How is your physical relationship? How much do you share each other’s interests? Golf is something many folks enjoy thoroughly, but I’ve also seen people dive into hobbies because it becomes a mask for other issues. Was everything great before golf? If not, then you both need to back things up and see where they actually started to go south. Unfortunately, no one here is going to come up with a quick-fix for you. It’s going to take time and honesty—both with each other and yourselves, but if you’re both committed, then it can definitely be salvaged!
  24. This set of videos pretty well summarizes why camera angles matter. I'm amazed at how often students will submit a video that ends up in the "red zone" both vertically and horizontally. Where the clubhead is at A6, left arm depth, the way the knees work, alignment of hips, knees, shoulders, etc., and more all look very different from slightly different camera angles. Be picky about your angles, or you can waste a lot of time trying to fix something that isn't even an issue, because it isn't what you're seeing.
  25. Okay, I've been away from the forum for a while. But I'm back with a VLOG. Yeah, I try to always play golf on my birthday. This year was rough, due to COVID-19 and horrible weather, but I got in 9 holes at Bent Tree Golf Course and used my phone to video it for you. A couple things: This was my first … and so far only golf I've played this year. It was very cold and very windy. I was very literally the ONLY person playing golf. I checked in, played and left without ever getting close to anyone. I brought my own putting cup thingie. I found it in my closet... I actually didn't think it worked, but as you'll see in the video it still kind of does. The tee shot on 2 could be one of the worse golf swings you will ever see. If you are faint at heart don't watch it. I also somehow got away with a horrible tee shot on 3 and 5. Let me know what you think. I hope you all enjoy it.
  26. Day 1 - Early Backswing In the first day we examine the setup, grip, and the early backswing. Faults that we often see: Bad grips (palmy, weak) Bad setups (back flat, butt out, grip between thighs or too far away, wide) Hands go out early Hands/forearms roll the clubhead in early Clubface rolled open prematurely The drills for today include: 1:30 – Left wrist only 1:30 – Right wrist only 2:00 – Split hand grip 3:00 – Add pivot to A2 Video: Remember, we'd love to see your videos, and have everyone that signed up meet the challenge. You don't have to film your whole session, but get at least 15-30 seconds of it. And if you want to record your whole practice, go for it. Or do a time-lapse video… those can be fun. Then upload to YouTube (I recommend making it unlisted), and post here. Just like this: If you're joining after day 1, you can catch up, or jump right in and move forward.
  27. You know what else gets old? People who have a bad attitude about others who come here to discuss their game, then leave them with a negative impression of this community. Yet the OP describes his short game (or lack thereof) and how he doesn’t spend time on other areas of the game. He seems to perfectly understand those skills are lacking and he needs to spend more time on them. Do everybody a favor and actually talk about the person in question instead of projecting your past experiences in his thread. I have a hard time understanding how you can criticize other people for assuming a person’s potential based on lack of information but can also make claims on what you think the state of their game is based on the same information.
  28. You all are making this way too hard! If you want to get better at golf you need to buy new equipment. I saw a putter advertised on-line that will save you 4-7 shots per round. I saw a wedge also advertised online that would save 3-6 shots I saw a fairway wood that saves 4-6 shots. A driver that saves half a dozen A hybrid that saves 3-4 shots plus 2 or 3 around the green. A range finder that saves 5 or 6 and finally a personal launch monitor that's likely to lower your handicap by 4.7 strokes on average. Just go out and buy all of that stuff and you'll lower your score by somewhere around 25 to 35 shots per round. … It's easy.
  29. 7 points
  30. Today's round of golf was pretty special for me. For the first time in quite a while my wife, definately my better half, joined me for 18 holes. Just her, and her SC putter. A few months ago, she underwent brain sergury to remove a benign tumor. Her rehab was quite remarkable, and she has had no ill effects from the sergury, as of yet. One of the first things we did, at her request, after her sergury was, what I thought was an ill advised road trip. However she, and her surgeon convinced me it would be ok. Of course I took my golf clubs, and she took her cameras. They say doctors make the worst patients, and I kind of understand that now. Her being an orthopedic sergeon (retired) herself, she made sure the folks involved in the pre/post sergury were at the top of their game. They all pretty much knew each other anyways. As I understand it, the young doctor who removed the 20 something staples recieved quite an ear full. An ear full of education So this morning, just out of the blue, she tells me let's go golfing. That she would putt against my full game. What this competition amounts too is she drops a ball on the green, at a spot farthest from the cup, and putts from there. Her par is what the hole is. Basically it's my entire bag of clubs, against her, and one of my extra flat sticks SCameron should be proud. She won today's round by 3 strokes, which means I am on the hook for a dinner, and a show, of her choice, later on this week. I even broke 80. Obviously, even though a loser, I am a happy person. After almost 50 years of marriage I still have the woman of my dreams around who likes to golf. Perhaps next time out (a grudge rematch) she will add a few chips, and pitches to our competition. I'm pretty sure she will still win....😍
  31. So my step son has been playing golf for a quite a while now and is in his senior year of high school. The team has been undefeated this season and has pretty much covered second place by 20 strokes on average. He played in his last district tournament last Friday. He teed up on number 17 which was a 182 yard par 3. As soon as he hit his tee shot, I told my wife "that is pure right there!" It hit the green, took one bounce, rolled about 5 feet, and dropped. Between the people following our group, the people in the group that just left the green and the people in the group right behind us, there were probably 25-30 people that witnessed it. Everyone went nuts. He was so amped up and excited that he couldn't even hit his tee shot on the next hole.He had a stretch, including the hole in one, of -4 through 3 holes. Did I mention this was the exact same course and hole that I got my first hole in one!?! It was a very special moment for me....almost brought me to tears...haha. Pay no attention to my shirt. I wore the loosest shirt in my closet because it was crazy hot...lol
  32. Newport Cup Application for @saevel25, for the East Team! Questions Vlog Measurements Shoe Size: 10 Wide (True Original), 10.5 Normal (True TL-01, True Major) Shirt Size: XL (Any major golf shirt brand) Pant Size: 36W 32L (Izod or Dockers Flat front) Hat Size: XL (Underarmor)
  33. I went through something similar recently. I hope it's not too forward of me to suggest, but I think the best course of action here is to seek out a marriage counselor. These situations are delicate and it's probably not something that's fixable by strangers on the internet.
  34. Now they need to work on the “get in the hole” idiots...
  35. Let the games begin! Here is my Vlog portion of the application. Most of this video has been sitting in the queue anxiously waiting to be edited and sent. I would have liked to have done a voice over but being pressed for time I left that part out. I will make the questions portion of the application video at a later date.
  36. It's very simple: You take the cosine of the decent angle of the club you intend to hit. Divide that by the Oblate Spheroid angle on the ball being struck, which is easily calculated by the coefficient of compression times the club head speed divided by the static loft or 0.8732 multiplied by the dynamic loft. You take that result and multiply it by the distance you would normally hit the club. Then add that to the original figure, subtracting 1/5th value of the wind speed squared, divided by the barometric pressure. Then you multiply the coefficient of the up current or 1/3 the coefficient of the down current depending on if you are right or left-handed. Your use the Pythagorean theorem to determine the overall length of the ball flight. Which is really just a simplified version of the longest leg of the right triangle. Of course that number needs to be adjusted to account for the arch involved in the flight. To factor that in all you need to do is calculate the circumference of the Earth at the exact point at which you are standing and divide the original distance times 2π times the tangent of the height of your left wrist from the ground and the shaft length of the club. We’ll ignore the actual sole thickness of the club because while it has a factor in the calculation for our purposes it won’t affect the ball flight enough for us to include it. Once you have that result you simply multiply the coefficient of slippage which can be looked up off any chart based on weather conditions and temperature. You determine the derivative of the angle of attack at address and then simply add in the number of calories you normally burn each day divided by what time of day it is and then put factor in to select your club. So, as you can see. It’s really very simple. When in double you can always just have Bryson DeChambeau calculate it for you.
  37. March Madness is canceled, the NBA is shut down, the Masters is postponed, and my Aunt Marge’s senior bowling has even thrown in the towel. Now restaurants and bars are closed, and our 40-handicap governor is threatening to shut down all entertainment facilities including golf courses. I have not tested positive, but the coronavirus is killing me. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. My wife suggested we take a walk, but I don’t walk anywhere unless I have a golf club in my hand and it’s cart path only. My kids have a restraining order on us and won’t let us come within 200 yards of the grandchildren. And we can no longer eat out, but when we tried to cook at home, there were cobwebs in the oven. The network channels are inundated with coverage of the virus. The golf channel has been showing reruns of old tournaments, which are almost as riveting as watching my brother-in-law’s video of his family camping trip to Yellowstone. And my wife is so desperate for something to do, she is even considering sex, and maybe even with me. Paranoia is off the tracks. Before the shutdown, we were having dinner at a local bar. I let out a loud sneeze and everyone at the surrounding tables started yelling "check please." My stock portfolio is plummeting and most of our cash is currently invested in toilet paper. I am washing my hands 137 times a day. I don’t touch anyone. I don’t even touch myself. I have been using tongs to go to the bathroom. This has to stop. Our society and economy have been crippled by a microscopic virus. Scientists have not yet determined the exact origin but have narrowed it down to a Chinese fish market or Rosie O’Donnell’s bathtub. And no one is sure how to prevent or cure it. In the past, the ways to prevent contracting a contagious disease were simple: don’t eat in restaurants with a cat on the menu and don’t date my college roommate’s sister. I don’t consider myself to be in the high-risk category. I have been building up my immune system by eating one meal per day at MacDonald’s for the last 25 years. Germs just slide through me. My only pre-existing condition is an inability to launch a golf ball further than 180 yards. And, according to the CDC, symptoms of the corona-virus are sweats, dizziness, and trouble breathing, which I experience whenever I am standing over a 3-foot putt. I can handle it. So, I proposed to my regular foursome the idea of escaping from our self-imposed Stalag 17 and venturing outside for a round of golf. Everyone recognized the danger and severity of the situation. But when faced with the decision to remain sequestered with our wives or to risk contracting a deadly virus, it was a no-brainer. Every man opted to play golf. Our foursome does not pose a medical risk to mankind. My friend, George is virus-free. Social distancing has not been a problem for him. Other than us, he doesn’t have any friends. Bob, my neighbor is a urologist who has been working from home for several weeks. He has developed a way to do remote prostate exams by having patients sit on their cell phones. And our other partner, Jerry tested himself with a kit he bought online. However, he thinks he may have gotten the wrong kit. It showed no traces of the virus but indicated that he was pregnant with twins. The federal government has established guidelines for social engagement. For example, you must stay at least 6 feet apart and no more than 10 people are allowed at a gathering, which means Patrick Reed’s fan club can still meet. In addition, our foursome drafted our own specific set of rules for Pandemic Golf. Rules of Play: · • Hazmat suits are permitted. As an alternative, one can wear a college mascot costume or big bunny pajamas. · • Masks are not permitted, because we would look more like stagecoach robbers than a foursome. · • Leave the flag in. And to avoid retrieving balls from the hole, any putt shorter than Lebron James is good. · • Ride in separate golf carts and don’t come closer to another player than a fully extended ball retriever. · • Don’t touch another player’s balls. This is always good advice. · • No high fives. Fortunately, we seldom have a reason. · • No petting the geese or the cart girl. · • Don’t use the spot-a-pot. More disease in there than in all of Wuhan China. · • No excuses. Slicing or hooking are not side effects of the corona-virus. · • Make an online bank transfer to pay off your bets for the day. · • Straddle the sprinkler on the 18th hole before getting into the car. These rules and restrictions adequately protected us from contamination. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for bad golf. I had trouble gripping the club with oven mittens, but it was an enjoyable afternoon which ended way too soon. There were no handshakes on the 18th green, no beers at the bar, and we drove home separately. As the pandemic plays through, it is giving us a glimpse into our inevitable future where all meals are delivered, all entertainment comes through the tv screen, and all human interaction is through our cell phone. Where schooling is online at home, exercise is on a stationary bike in our basement, medical testing is done at drive-thru windows, and colonoscopies are performed at Jiffy Lube. The world is changing. It is becoming less interpersonal as technology consumes us. So now that we have time on our hands, everyone should take a moment to cherish this fading era, when friends still get together to hit a little ball around an open field for no good reason other than to enjoy the companionship of their fellow man.
  38. 6 points
    I received a call from a business acquaintance last December. Over the years we had played golf together numerous times even with his living in Iowa and me in Michigan. Despite our age difference (I the elder by close to 30 years) and golf ability gap (his index around 1.0 and mine hovering near 10.0), our shared passion for golf made our friendship natural. He wanted to know if I was interested in joining him and his father on a golf trip to Reunion Resort near Orlando, FL. They had a group of seven Iowans and I would make it eight. We would stay at his father’s home on the Nicklaus course at Reunion. The group would prepare all meals in the home, and the cost would be 1/8 of the home’s cleaning fee and food purchases plus golf. “Yes!” I was in. A round trip Detroit/Orlando flight was purchased with accumulated “miles” and I waited for the big day to arrive. In early February I began to receive more information. Bring $200 as the gambling buy-in, fives and tens, please. Check! There was a hot tub so bring a bathing suit. Check! They had a car service that would bring me to the resort. Check! I figured the home would be a 4-bedroom house and each of us would share a room. Once I had the address to give to the car service I decided to “Google” the home’s location. Hmmm … I guess I had the wrong impression about where we would be staying. The house has 9 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms. Everyone would have their own bedroom with private bathroom. Check!!! Then I received the last item of information. We would be paying 36 holes of golf each day for 6 days. 216 holes of golf! What did I get myself into? The last time I had played 36 holes in a day dated back to 2017. We played two Newport Cup matches a day for two days followed by a singles match. Back then I thought that was a lot of golf. Now, almost three years later, I was going to play three Newport Cup’s in the course of 6 days. Bottle of Advil. Check!!!! The big day arrived and travel to Reunion went smoothly. The group ranged in age from 29 to 73 and handicaps were 18 to 0. The competition was divided into two 3-day segments with foursomes in the morning (gross alternate shot) and net stroke play in the afternoon. Having played or practiced very little since November, I was extremely rusty and put up some horrendous scores the first three days. My partner saved me in the alternate stroke round robin matches but little else was going right. The sole positive was one’s handicap was set by the handicap we brought down (9-10 for me) combined with our first three days of scores. My poor play got me a nice fat “14” for the second 3-day competition. Fast forwarding to Saturday, the last day, found us on the Nicklaus course at Reunion. It is the toughest of the three courses and conditions were difficult with a 17-mph wind, gusting to 25. The course apparently likes to make their front and back hole locations very close to the edge, giving us at most 6 feet of leeway. My front nine was okay with no doubles and a handful of pars. Then a I seemed to pull things together down the stretch. I found myself on #18 green with a 15-foot putt for birdie, 4 points (quota game) and the win. Sigh. I missed it right by an inch or so finished 2nd. How did I survive the 218 holes? First and foremost, Advil. Two in the morning and two at noon. Next, the foursomes/alternate shot format in the morning did not require the same effort as 18 holes of stroke play. It served as a bit of a break. Finally, we actually did not play 218 holes. We were partially rained out on Wednesday and only played 11 holes in the afternoon. Also, some of the matches only went to the 17th hole and one ended on #15. I only played 205 holes in six days, not 218. I managed to win back $190 of my $200 contribution to the pot and made some nice friendships. If I get a call next December, what will I do? I will let you know once I complete my physical therapy.😉
  39. billchao

    Swing Speed

    OT, but I find when most people describe a distance as their “average,” they really mean their typical distance with that club. It’s what they’re expecting to hit. Using their true average for shot selection might not be a good idea depending on how badly they miss because they would end up with the wrong club in their hands. For example, if someone hits their 7i 150 yards eight out of ten times and tops it 50 yards the other two, their average is 130 yards. If they played their 7i at their average distance, they would never hit the target. The idea is to remove the outliers - both good and bad - to determine how far they hit a club.
  40. My goals are: Break Par 4 times this year Shoot under 70 at least once Reduce my Handicap to US Open qualifying Eligible (STRETCH) Play >10 stroke play tournaments Win 2 Average <75 Qualify for Championship bracket in City tournament This is going to involve a lot of work Fitness 5-7 days a week Increase explosive power Increase stamina Increase Stability and balance Increase average drive 252-270 Increase Club head speed: SuperSpeed training 3 day/week More consistent center contact Contact drills Lessons improved weight transfer <0.5 lost shots on drives per round Improved putting >95% at 3' (I gave away too many strokes this year with short misses) <2 3 putts per round: <1.8 putts per GIR 3' putts 20 in a row 4 days a week It seems like a lot but they are all geared to WINNING.
  41. This is why I hit it all over the face. Less likely to wear one spot and cave it in there.
  42. @David in FL, @billchao and myself played in a fivesome in less than 3:30. It’s not the fivesome, it’s the people in the fivesome.
  43. I deal with different bunker conditions by cursing.
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  • Posts

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