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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/30/2020 in Blog Entries

1. 3 points

The End of Sandbagging - Part II

This somewhat continues a blog posting from 2016. If anyone is interested (Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller), here is a link: https://thesandtrap.com/blogs/entry/91-the-end-to-sand-bagging/ Fast forward 4+ years and I now occupy the highly sought-after position of Handicap Chairman. We modified the Knuth Tournament Point System for our club. Members accumulate points over the course of the season but, rather than roll the points over to the next year, we start fresh. One of the biggest drawbacks with a “rolling 2-year” computation was the recordkeeping involved. We also moved to a “Competition Only” handicap for our members. We develop a handicap index based solely on “C” (formerly “T”) scores. Players continue to post all their scores to GHIN to maintain their GHIN index. We pull the “C” scores out and calculate an index using the WHS calculation but with just their “C” scores. An excel spreadsheet makes this process fairly easy. The move to a “Competition Only” index has largely solved the issue of sandbagging. Over the course of a season, few members are successful enough to “earn” a Knuth handicap reduction. After 9 tournaments in 2020, three members currently have reductions of 2-3 strokes. Most of our member’s GHIN indexes closely mirror their “C-only” indexes we use in our tournaments. Only one member has won their Flight more than a single time. The exception, surprisingly, has won 3 times in 5 tournaments. That success has earned him 9 Knuth points and a 3-stroke reduction going forward. When I gave him the news, he was not pleased. Here is an excerpt from his response: “… In using this system, it is not making (our tournaments) fair or equitable. It is like anybody who plays should get a ribbon because they participated, make all feel good, nobody loses, SOCIALISM.” I tied to talk to him at the next tournament but he did not want to discuss his situation. If he had stopped a moment, he might have realized the entire system of handicapping is a bit of “socialism”. He clearly would not fare too well even-up with his 10-handicap game against our scratch members. The handicap system is designed to make it possible for everyone to have a chance at getting a ribbon, as he put it, but it does not guarantee a ribbon. Still, he does somewhat have a point about our club’s efforts at leveling the playing field. By using a “Competition Only” index, eventually even the worst choker will see his index rise sufficiently to make him competitive. Why practice and try to become better when eventually poor play will result in a competitive index? For example, “Rob” is a tall, strong individual. He has a good swing and is capable of hitting the ball a long way, relatively straight. Still, he seems to be a bit of a vanity handicapper. A couple years ago he was playing in our “A” Flight (unsuccessfully). While his current GHIN index is 7.1, his scores from his last 8 tournaments are: 89, 83, 88, 87, 93, 100, 92, 92. The 83 resulted in a differential of 10.2 so the balance of the differentials are higher. His “C-Only” index is 11.8. Currently “Rob” is playing in our C Flight with guys sporting indexes of 11.0-15.0. It is just a matter of time before “Rob” gets his “ribbon.” In our efforts to weed out potential sandbaggers, we have promoted the also ran’s into contenders. I am not going to lose any sleep over this situation. After the season’s end, the Board can decide whether any changes are warranted. I somewhat like the idea of using the lower of the GHIN and “C-Only” indexes. If someone wants to have a low GHIN index, let him compete with it.
2. 2 points

A Tweet Regarding the Length of the Backswing

The point of the backswing is to turn your body and to slightly bend your trail elbow, to elevate your trail elbow (to varying degrees), and to hinge your wrists (to varying degrees). The first bit — what's commonly called "turning your shoulders" — is the most important. Getting the club to parallel is not even on the list.
3. 2 points

How Stuff Has Turned Out

Following the Club Championship experience, I decided to ease off considerably. Golf really wasn't enjoyable. Too much time stomping around the "natural area" looking for another slice or pull. Even just the business of counting up the strokes, penalties and lost balls was mind-numbing. There just really wasn't a point. So after that July Sunday, it was time for a change. First, came two weeks off with no rounds or visits to the range. Then, I visited the range on a particular Thursday and started to think about the way I used to hit the ball instead of the way I had been trying over the last year and a half. The results weren't immediately very good, but I didn't care. Finally, I played nine holes with my new crew at Miami Shores. Didn't count a single stroke. Hit a few good shots and a few bad. Picked up on the 7th. But had a pleasant time anyway. That's sort of been the routine as many weeks as not. Nine holes as often as 18. Playing not for score, but to try to hit a few solid shots and toy around with my swing. It's getting a bit better I think. I'm back to lining up the ball on my toe like I used to before those disastrous lessons I took. Trying to quiet the hands and get that weight on the front foot. Clobbered the 1W 250 (good for me anyway) on the last two holes Saturday and got a birdie on No. 8 (not that I was counting). Needless to say, I haven't posted for handicap since the CC. Then again, it really doesn't matter. There are no competitions at Miami Shores for people like me, so why worry about it. Figure I'll stay here at Shores anyhow. It's close and inexpensive and I got my weekend group to play with. Maybe next year I'll break out the card and pencil again. Maybe, I won't. But this will do for now.
4. 1 point

Urban Golf

I’m enjoying the weather, reading outside with a water view in the park and I swear to god I heard the sound of well struck wedge. I turn around and lo and behold this. Dude is practicing finesse wedges. Golf, finds a way. I’ve thought of doing this myself but never got around to it.
5. 1 point

Tales from the Golf Shop

Today I decided to go to the local Golf Super Duper Store to try out a 3 wood that caught my eye. As the product expert sets up my request, I take a few practice swings with my own club. The lighting is not great, its hard to see if my club face is square, and I hit about the 3 worst balls in my life warming up. I was hemorrhaging on the astroturf as someone's grandfather just stood behind me wondering why the hell I asked to try the tour model. Then, on the 5th ball, I finally hit the ball down the middle with a quiet draw to roll out at 245. Feeling some redemption I hit 2 more on a similar note, put the club down, and walked slowly to the end of the hitting bay. On to the first victim, I mean club. Snap, push, skank, slop, and then a gorgeous draw on the line 245 with identical numbers from my 3 wood. I hit 2 more and then the guy says, "I don't know what you are looking for but that Diablo Octane Tour you brought in put up identical numbers. It's got a heavy stock shaft that feels like it was tipped". Then he says, "Henrick Stenson would still be playing this club if he had his way". OK, I get it, don't fool with what isn't broken. At this point I am feeling frisky so I ask to hit a driver model that has the newest and greatest shaft ever in it. In fact I may have just ordered that shaft and its coming Wednesday. Well the store is having an issue in getting inventory so he sets up what he can find and hands me an adjustable game improvement club set to 8.5. Low snap, low push, and then as he steps away I open the face for more loft and I hit it. I mean on the screws coming down on the center line and I stop right there. I mean why even chance it by hitting another ball? So he comes back and says that looks pretty good. He tells me to come back when they get their inventory in and I thank him for his time. Now I don't know why it took so long to hit a decent ball because that did not happen when I demoed my irons. I can only think that the thrill of the long club, coupled with the instant gratification of seeing the numbers, only intensified my out of body experience. So yeah, once I swung it like I do in real life I was rewarded with my mere mortal numbers, but nothing fear inspiring like you see on the commercials. All in all, the trip was not a total fool's errand as I happened to find some shorts on sale. Like modern drivers they were bigger than the ones of yesterday. While I blame Covid on that I can only think that 25 years in the same size was a pretty good run.
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• Posts

• Yep, I think it was about 2 weeks of no rain. I played 4 courses the previous 4 days and 3 out of the 4 the courses were pretty firm.
• Good call.  I actually switched to it recently!  I have it in the smoke XS shaft. And, that's awesome that you're on the right track now.  I don't really get into the mechanics like wrist angle so much.  I feel like knowing the ball flight laws and using my gc2 has helped me more than my previous coach ever did. That's more or less what I went with--arrow/face pointed at 0* and then try to swing at 0* or a tad right.  That gives you the straight to straight draw ball, as shown on my gc2 readouts about.  Just be careful to ensure solid strike because if you mis-hit it, gear effect kicks in and all bets are off!
• You will love Pawleys. Jack Nicklaus design and the back nine is beautiful. You won’t be disappointed
• Yep, exactly.  Sorry, my iPhone line drawing isn’t the greatest.  Look at how much you move towards the ball in the downswing with square hips.  Check out the early extension video below.  If someone has a better drill let me know but that is what comes to mind for me.  Hips sliding forward and staying on the wall/chair.  You probably can't create an inline impact until you can do that with the hips.
• I tried this and it helped! Thanks @saevel25. Thought was left hip higher, right hip lower. Keeping balance better and turning through ball better.

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