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Big Lex

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Big Lex last won the day on March 9 2016

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  1. I shouldn't have said it was "tedious," and I didn't mean to imply that AimPoint takes a long time under normal circumstances. What I was getting at is that the method, while simple from a "science" perspective, requires adherence to a specific and somewhat exacting process. Determining the slope of a green quantitatively way is not something most people do naturally or intuitively. And for people who _don't_ know what you're doing, standing with your feet near the line while you sense the slope can look weird to someone, as can the finger thing, etc. I simply meant that I try to do all of this stuff as efficiently as possible so that when it's my turn, I'm ready to putt. Just like on any shot. And the story of the guy who had an AimPoint book or chart or cheat sheet that he consulted on every putt is true...but I realize it's probably an anomaly and not at all typical of people using the method.
  2. I own the DVD and did some reading about the method too. I've been putting this way for a little over a year. I would definitely spend $200 for an actual class, because the AimPoint express thing I have simplifies things I think. General thoughts....I love the method. I love when people come up with novel ways to solve problems. I love some of the things the method shows you, such as how, often, these things you hear people say like "every putt breaks toward the water tower" are often absolute bullshit. The first time I used it I was amazed. While no doubt there was some confirmation bias in my opinion of the round, I think it's safe to say that I'd never had a round where I had at least the direction of break (and some feel for the amount) correct on EVERY putt. It's also kind of tedious, and I've learned I need to be really awake on every green and do as much of the work as possible when other players are taking their turns, otherwise you can really slow people down and piss people off. The system doesn't per se take any longer than any other method of reading putts I suppose....you can be super slow at anything, including eyeballing the line....but for some reason it seems to piss people off or provoke needling when people do this. And God forbid if you conscientiously AimPoint every putt and have a crappy putting day. I've never played with anyone who does the full-monty method calculating every putt, but someone I played with told me of a round he played with someone doing this, and by the end of the day he was ready to stick a fork in the guy's eye.
  3. Do you actually mean that in the ballstriking option, you _just_ do the ballstriking? In other words, no putting allowed...you would pick up your ball on every green and not finish the holes out? If that's the case, then I'm not sure...I might choose the perfect striking round. It would be a fast round, exhilirating. I can't imagine what it would feel like to stand over every shot and _know_ I was going to flush it. I think it would be REALLY hard to resist the urge to actually putt and finish the holes. But if I did pick up on every green, at least I'd be able to fantasize about what I _could have_ shot. And that might be a better memory than having a few hiccups and shooting a personal best score. Now, if I _have to_ finish the holes, it's easier: I definitely want the scoring round. The reason is that in this latter scenario, I think the ballstriking round would be emotionally deflating, and the scoring round would be the opposite. If I hit every green with an approach that is going toward the pin, and I _don't_ shoot a personal best, what would that mean? My lowest score ever was a 74. If I hit _every_ green with an approach flying at the pin and I shoot 75 or 76, that is going to be horribly disappointing. It could mean I have 39 or 40 putts. Or, worse, if I make 2 or 3 birdies, then shooting 75 with 18 GIR means 6 - 6! - three-putts. And if I make no birdies? I could conceivably still shoot 79 or 80. It would mean I'd had a horrific putting round, but it's not out of the question. No birdies, 5 three-putts? I'm not above that, sadly. I wouldn't like hitting the ball incredibly great like that and _not_ shooting a personal best score. I think how deflating that would be, feeling like I'd "wasted" my best golf ever, a once-in-a-lifetime round. On the contrary, how bad can you possibly hit it and have a personal best? Shooting 73? Well....maybe I'd want it to be under par, a 70 or 69. I don't care if ballstriking isn't perfect, you can't shoot 70 striking it terribly....it would mean I'd probably have no double bogeys, certainly no blow-up disaster holes, very few bogeys, and 3-4 birdies. Making a few bad strikes but making up for it with great follow up shots is really inspiring. Fun question.
  4. By your definition of luck - an extremely likely event that occurs - yes. But I am following the other poster's idea about "luck," that it is a manifestation of randomness which occurs continuously. And I still think we don't know the overall effect of luck on us because - even by your definition - we have selective memory.
  5. Yes! This is how I think about luck too. We don't really know how much "luck" helps or hurts us because there is luck or randomness on every shot. No, if you drive the ball in the center of the fairway, the random variations on the bounce aren't likely to have as dramatic an effect as, say, the direction of a ricochet off a tree. But on the putting green, tiny randomness can have big effects. It seems inevitable that, as someone has said, luck _really_ should have zero real effect, because since it is randomness, it should even out over time and show no "preferences." Similarly, the more skill you have, the less chance there is that you will hit a shot where randomness will alter your result in a significant way, better or worse. Now, regarding a tournament result, you could argue that luck effects things. If you have 10 players all within, say, 3 strokes of each other, over a 72 hole tournament, their scores probably don't differ significantly from a statistical standpoint. You could imagine that a break here or there would have been enough to make one person the winner and the rest losers. Still, I think that's faulty logic, because, well, four rounds is hundreds of shots, and that should be enough where every player's "luck" should have evened out.
  6. If you have shot rounds close to par on a reasonable-length golf course, then I would be almost certain you have the potential to pass the playing exam to be a PGA club professional. Regarding practice, it's probably already been said, but don't focus on the amount of time you have or wish you had. Focus on using the time you have most effectively. Paying for quality instruction is extremely important and will make you improve much faster. But you must find a good, qualified teacher and you have to have the patience to work with them conscientiously. If you have to borrow money or go into debt or something for a little while, don't worry too much about that, because you are investing in yourself.
  7. You asked someone to explain how the system works, and you were properly referred to source material. In the event you are looking for a quick summary, the reader's digest of what confuses most people at first about the handicap system is.... 1. It's not based on _all_ your scores, but your most recent _best_ scores. The ten best of your most recent twenty scores, to be exact. So it is really designed to predict your _potential best score_, not your typical score. 2. It's not based on your score versus "par," it's based on your score versus the course rating, which is sometimes the same as par, sometimes higher, and sometimes lower. Rating is based on the _length_ of the course. 3. The difference between your (best) score(s) and the course rating is _further_ modified by something called "slope," which is intended to adjust for course difficulty from factors _other than_ length. 4. The final number is adjusted again....reduced by 5%....because the idea is that you don't handicap 100%. The system builds in a small amount of advantage for the better player. 5. The number you get from all this is called a _handicap index._ The actual number of _strokes_ that this index gets you varies depending on the course you are playing, the tees you play from at that course, etc. So, if your USGA index is 18.4, it doesn't mean you will always get 18 strokes versus a 0 index player. You may get as many as 2 or 3 more or less. 6. For years it aggravated me that I couldn't just calculate my own handicap index and use it. This is prohibited....the USGA insists that handicaps must be administered by golf clubs or organizations. This is so that there can be proper policing of the handicap system, keeping its integrity so that people trust it and can use it fairly in competitions. Organizations can actually lower a player's index if they think the player was dishonest with their score reporting, etc.
  8. I replace virtually everything about every 5-8 years. Usually the set makeup changes when I change things out. The soonest I've ever replaced an iron set is after about 3 years. Drivers as often as every 2, but I've used drivers for 6-7 years also. Putters....don't get me started
  9. This is easy. 2016, the Member-Member championship at my club. My partner was the reigning club champion. The format was 9 hole matches (5 of them), we were in the championship flight. I was playing at an 8 course hcp at that time and my partner was a 2 I think then. So we were giving strokes in every match, but won every match. A clean sweep. We had one match that was close, but most of them we just rolled. As sometimes happens when you play with someone who is really good, I sort of picked up on his rhythm or something, and I played better than my hcp, with three 9 holes gross scores under 40, a 41, and a 42. The 42 was the only 9 where I didn't shoot better than my handicap. So we won our flight easily. I thought we were done, and I was hungry and wanted to go in and eat and buy drinks for people. Then the pro announces there will be a "playoff for overall champion." Oh. Ok, well, I can play another match or whatever. This will be easy, we just need to beat the guys in the other 3 flights. The format for the playoff was alternate shot - a format not used at any time in the tournament - and the handicapping was done without strokes but with tee placement. So we were the only group to hit from the blue tees. My partner drove for us. I usually would out drive him if I hit a good one, but I was also much more likely to hit a really bad drive, so he insisted he drive for us. He hit a great drive. But we were into the wind on a par 5 with the second shot a forced carry over water. Still, I felt fine. It's not like I didn't know the hole or expect the shot. This hole is our 18th, and as I walked up to the ball I felt confident. I had just faced pretty much the same shot in our last match, playing my own ball. It is not a problem clearing the water distance-wise, but it is a shot that requires a good strike because it is a tight, downhill lie. But as I said, I had just hit about the same shot - maybe 10 yards shorter - in my last match, had cleared the water by at least 50 yards on a so-so strike, and I was playing probably the best I'd ever played. As I got ready to hit the shot, I noticed someone move in my peripheral vision, so I backed off for a minute. When I did, I saw that many of the members had come out to watch the playoff, probably 75 guys, easily the most I could remember watching me. And it was silent. Nobody playing on any other holes. The Pro there watching everything. All the other groups on the hole, etc. The next few moments seem, in my memory, to have transpired in some type of twilight zone. I don't remember taking the club back. The sole of my club hit the turf behind the ball and bounced-skidded forward, the leading edge of the club striking somewhere above the ball's equator. The ensuing shot - a sickening, topspin-bouncing-gaining-speed-down-the-hard-dry-hill-toward-the-water abomination - easily found the water. I wanted to follow the ball into the water. My partner was a great guy about it. He made a consoling joke that the only thing he was mad about was that I'd lost the ball that he'd used the entire day. He dropped and hit a perfect hybrid about 210 uphill onto the green and left me about a 20 footer. The putt didn't get close to the hole and we bogeyed and lost to another group who made a par. I recovered, but boy was that a bad way to end a tournament.
  10. Big Lex

    Big Lex

  11. Late to this party......but this is an entertaining thread. Someone asked on Facebook "name a personal change you made which has brought you alot of happiness...." I answered that it was a change I made about 7 years ago in the way I responded to others' communication. Some people call it "allowing." Benjamin Franklin wrote about being "deferential." It means accepting, as much as possible, that everyone has a certain internal view of reality that is valid for them. Yes, definitely, most men "lie" about how far they hit a golf ball. But they have their reasons. And it doesn't matter. Not to me, anyway. For whatever reason - I think it was playing with an older brother who, when I told him the drive I just hit went "about 240" told me "no, JP, that was about a 210 yard drive" - I learned long ago that I didn't like to overstate how far I hit the golf ball. But I am sure I have plenty of my own blind spots in my version of reality. I think one of the most fun parts of recreational golf is observing the way people handle themselves and their game psychologically. When I do this, I enjoy the game no matter how well I happen to be playing.
  12. The first time I tried to actually hit shots with sunglasses on, I had difficulty making solid contact (um...compared to without glasses 🙂 ). So I got in the habit of taking them off for shots. ....And, predictably, this lead to me eventually losing a pair of glasses on the course, taking them off and dropping them to the ground preparing for a shot, and then getting caught up in the shot and forgetting them. Sun damage to lenses and corneae is a significant issue obviously, and we should wear sunglasses 100% of the time we are outdoors, year round, end of story. I don't, because I forget or get lazy or whatever. Ok I will maybe make this a golf goal: Always wear my sunglasses when playing golf. Hit balls on the range with glasses on to get used to it, but wear the glasses all the time anyway even before I've cured the ball striking problem.
  13. I think there are two main reasons. The most important one, mentioned a couple of times, is that it's largely a matter of choice. Although "golf" unites everyone from a driving range pro to Tiger Woods, the fact is that being a teaching pro and a touring competitor differ as much as jobs as do a plumber and an accountant. I think being a professional competing athlete is one of the last things I'd want to do. Even if you do make it to the top, the competitive and financial reward may be there, but often at the expense of any semblance of a normal life, the constant risk of life-altering injury, etc. Being a golf teacher? Totally different gig, and probably preferable for 99+% of the population. So probably most teachers never even wanted to be a tour pro to begin with. The other reason - also alluded to I think - that you don't see tons of tour wins among famous teachers is that the degree of talent and dedication needed to become teaching pro is much lower than to be a touring pro. On the bell curve of golf ability, most teaching pros might actually be closer in raw talent to a single digit club player than they are to an elite tour player. Successful tour players are freaks. But that doesn't mean a "basic" PGA pro can't be a great teacher, even to a better player. Good teaching is about much more than golf ability. It's about sensitivity, reasoning ability, judgement, psychology, etc. etc. And basing an argument or comparison around the issue of PGA Tour wins is setting a ridiculously high bar. The suggestion that the average club pro can't "do" is absurd. Golf is ridiculously hard, and anyone who can play the game at scratch level or better not only can "do," but is an expert. A multiple-win tour pro is a space alien.
  14. Chipping/pitching game on the practice green at my course on the way to work. About 20 minutes. Hamstring stretches. Putting on the aimline trainer thing. Backswing drill
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