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PirateJim

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Everything posted by PirateJim

  1. I'm a lefty too, or at least I tend to left-handedness. But like many lefties I am fairly ambidextrous. I'm quite sure that when I had been walking for an hour or so my father shoved whatever golf club was handy into my hands and I just learned to play right handed. There weren't that many options for left handed clubs back in those days. Though this is a really old thread, I'll just say it: I love being left handed. Because of the way the world is I have learned to get a LOT more utility from my right hand than most right-handers do from their left. Ever pull up to one of those toll booths where you drop coins in the little basket and watch a right-hander trying to throw the money with their right rather than reaching out and dropping with their left? Quarters usually roll under the car...
  2. Okay, I am sort of a Titleist fan, but I'm mostly a fan of the Titleist Advanced Fitting Center that I'm fortunate to have in my area. A proper fitting and selection of the right shaft for the individual is really important. There is an Advanced Fitting Center in the Denver area as well according to the Titleist web site. If you have an interest in AP2s (everyone is raving about them) I would strongly urge you to take the time to visit them rather than just trying whatever happens to be leaning against the wall at some big retail shop, broken hosel and all.
  3. Okay, I won't try to talk you out of buying new clubs. After all, buying new clubs is sorta exciting and as long as you aren't using the house payment for them more power to you. However, as you shop around I'd suggest not getting hung up on "player's clubs" vs "game improvement clubs" because the lines are blurry. I'd also suggest that "workability" is something all irons have, though some are more easily "worked" than others. However, saying in a review that a particular club is easily workable can be a nice way of saying that it is hard to hit straight... If you like Ping (I do), I'd suggest that you take a look at the I25s. They are more of a "player's" club while still having some forgiveness. I think you would also do well to give the Titleist AP2s a try, but while you're at it give the AP1s a go too. Yeah, they are Titleist's "game improvement" club, but they don't have huge offset and it is sort of melted in so it doesn't stick out like with some other clubs and I can vouch for their workability while still having a tendency to hit straight shots if you give them a chance. (Straight is my preferred shot shape for most situations.) With any of these clubs, or others that may be mentioned, it is important to understand that all come with various shaft options, though some of the big retail chains act like what's in stock is all that's available. If you are going to spend the bucks for a nice new set of irons don't shortchange yourself by letting some sales clerk sell you what is handy without trying the various options. After my fairly recent fitting for the AP1s (love 'em) I am pretty much of the opinion that the shaft selection is at least as important as the head/brand selection. Good luck! Let us know what you end up with. Don't forget pictures!
  4. Jessica isn't bad... she's just drawn that way. No... No, if we're going to have a cool golf cart I'll take Bubba's hover cart. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=bubba+watson+hovercraft&FORM;=VIRE15#view=detail∣=8157BE743D011C73E9F18157BE743D011C73E9F1
  5. The Ping G20s I bought when I first took golf back up had a full set of wedges (PW, GW, SW, LW). It wasn't long before I swapped out the lob wedge for one that was the same loft and nearly the same bounce, but with a different sole grind that was a bit more accommodating for different kinds of shots. I really only used the PW, GW and SW for full swing shots like a 10, 11 and 12 iron. But I wasn't getting as much flexibility as possible using the clubs that way. While most people still make full swing shots sometimes with their various wedges, the real utility of a wedge is in partial swing finesse shots, and as noted above you really don't need the big cavity to help with forgiveness in most of these kind of shots. Besides, it gives us golfers something else to tinker with.
  6. Well, I answered yes, but from a purely intellectual perspective. First off, given my current game, I would expect a teaching pro to be noticeably better than I am which would, of course make him/her "good" by my definition but pretty shoddy when compared to Tiger. My current teacher never hit it big time on the tour, but played the mini-tours for years and made a living. I get to play with him from time to time and he still plays like the pro he is. You can't expect Sean Foly and his peers to be better than the big name golfers they work with.
  7. I already held David's opinion in high regard, but it went up a few notches more now. Assuming Reagan wasn't available for some reason, I definitely wouldn't mind playing around with Wonder Woman either. Oh, and with regard to the Bat Cart, wouldn't Batman carry his clubs in his handy-dandy utility belt?
  8. You're listing three wedges above, if they fall into the generic categories of Gap/Sand/Lob then the question that remains unanswered is what the loft of your pitching wedge is? The object is to get a fairly even distribution of lofts. My pitching wedge, for example is 44 degrees, so I essentially carry two "gap" wedges 48 and 52. Not everyone is as wedge-happy as I am though.
  9. It "could" be an option, but the big question I would have is what it will do to the bounce. If you have a lot of bounce now (10 degrees plus) it might work out, but I believe that if you are starting with low bounce you could end up with very little bounce at all which could leave you with a 60* that is harder to hit than your 62 is. Again, unless you think you can turn the club in for a full refund because it is currently unused, I think I'd recommend getting out and practicing with it as it is for a bit. It may be that your pitching technique will work well with the club and you'll love it. If not, stick it in the corner with the putters that haven't quite worked out. As your game improves you may find that there are certain courses where the club would be a real advantage later on.
  10. Until about five months ago my highest loft wedge was a 58 and everything was fine. I've since bought new irons and reconfigured my wedge mix to add a 60 and like it a lot, but I have to remind myself to hit it a bit harder because of the added loft. Personally, I don't think I would want a 62, but that's just me. You've got it, so get out there and practice with it! You may come to love it, you may not, but you won't know until you give it enough practice time to make an informed decision.
  11. First off, only you can tell whether you want to put in the effort to improve at golf. You have to want to do it because it is hard, but that's part of the fun of it for those who learn to love the game. I'm guessing that you don't really want to quit or you'd just do it rather than post to a forum like this, so the rest of my comments will assume that you'd like to go ahead and improve. A lot of what I say here has already been said in one way or another, but some things need to be repeated several times to gain validity. GET PROFESSIONAL LESSONS if at all possible. And spend more time on a driving range and putting/pitching/chipping green than on golf courses of any length. There are several good discussions of practice strategies on this forum, the search function is your friend. When practicing on the range, it is vital that you pick a target to hit toward for each and every shot and that you equate the amount you miss that target by to what would happen on the golf course. Thus, if you're hitting a driver and end up ten or fifteen yards to one side or another you might still be in the fairway, but on the side you would prefer not to be on. However, if you are ten to fifteen yards off with an 8 iron you just missed the green. In my humble opinion, accuracy beats distance for most shots in golf. Get a set of alignment sticks to practice with, if you don't want to spend the money for fiberglass versions from a golf shop, get wooden dowels from Home Depot, just so they are straight. Lay them out so they are pointed toward your target and practice looking at the correct "sight picture" they help you set up to the target. Don't just line up to them and fire away, pay attention to what you are seeing in relation to your intended target when you are set up right! Which leads to the problems you report from your last round. Unless I'm very mistaken, it sounds like you are just plain trying to crush the ball in a lot of the instances you report and may not be getting aligned right in others and it isn't working out well at all. That is what's causing silly things to happen like nearly (or not so nearly) missing the ball all together with woods and knocking the ball off in unexpected directions with short irons. Ease up and smooth out your swing. Learn to align you shots. On the course, as on the range, it is critical that you pick a target that you are hitting to. Your pro that you're going to take lessons from will help with this. Then practice on the range until it comes naturally. Golf is a game of finesse. Great golfers can finesse the ball powerfully, but you can be a good golfer if you can finesse the ball as appropriate for the shot at hand. If the other guys are hitting 9 irons but you feel like you need to use a 7 to finesse the ball onto the green, who cares! The object is getting on the green and sinking the putt. To recap: get lessons, not one or two, but plan on a series to begin with then periodic visits to the pro going forward. Most of the tour pros visit their "swing coach" on a pretty regular basis. Relax and hit the ball a bit easier, you will hit more pure shots that way, and your score will look better at the end of the day. Practice regularly, but practice with a purpose. Practice your putting until you get rid of those three putts (well, most of them :-) Practice pitching until you can get at least a good number of your shots into one-putt range. If that sound's like a lot of work try to learn to get some fun out of the practice. Playing pretty solid bogie golf (scoring around 90) isn't a real long reach for anyone that doesn't have a physical limitation if they will just develop a solid fairly repeatable swing and learn some finesse on order of that needed to work a knife and fork effectively.
  12. Just a quick thought. If you are planning, or seriously considering, buying some new clubs, why not explain that you're getting the fitting to help in evaluating whether you should buy new clubs or not and whether new clubs would make much difference for you. (Which is true, so nothing deceitful going on.) And explain that you'll need to save up a bit, but want to know exactly how much you'll need (also true.) The pro's a working person too, so should understand. Then see if the fitting cost can be applied toward new clubs purchased a bit later and how long the offer is good for. I would think a local pro shop would give you a few weeks anyway, though I wouldn't count on it from one of the big retail store chains where keeping track of such things might be too much a burden.
  13. A quick peek at Amazon assures me that an assortment of name brand grips are available in the ~$5.00 ea. range. Once you have the technique down, grips are stupidly easy to change yourself, so the grips and supplies to install new ones should be easily under $100. Changing out your shafts is another issue... Most important, in my opinion, is the fact that all shafts are not created equal. Some are specifically designed to give higher or lower flights to serve players with specific swing characteristics. Now, the low flight you are complaining about could be from having a stiff shaft when you really need R flex. But if you were to pick up the XP95 shafts mentioned above (designed to launch high) you might find that they balloon because you really needed a stiff shaft after all, but a shaft that tended to higher launch. Rather than getting involved in a shaft change, why not go ahead and put some new grips on what you've got and put some of the money you'd spend on shafts into a big-box store fitting for some G25s. Try the various shaft options and settle on what you want, write down the specs, then tell 'em you'll have to think about it and start watching for some to turn up on Ebay? (At a 17 handicap, I'm thinking you would be much better served by G25s than the I25s since you don't have money to burn.)
  14. What is "right" for one person may be totally wrong for the next. But for what it is worth, I am a fan of the 4w rather than the 3 unless you use the 3 a lot off the tee as a driver replacement. The 4 is, for me, easier to hit from various fairway and "friendly rough" lies than a 3 and goes nearly as far. Then the jump down to a 3h (or in my case a 7w) doesn't leave as big a gap.
  15. You've told us about your game and handicap, but I'm very curious why you need a 4 degree lie adjustment. Are you much taller or shorter than "average" whatever that is? Have really long/short arms? If none of the above, I think the suggestion of keeping your old clubs and getting some lessons is a very good one. A swing that is way out of whack could, I believe, cause the lie angle to seem that far off. My suggestion would be to get a couple of lessons under your belt and ask the pro if your shot patterns suggest that your clubs have an incorrect lie angle. If I recall, too flat will tend to push shots to the right (for a right hander) while too steep will cause a pull to the left. If the pro thinks it might help, go look for someone in your area that does club repairs (not necessarily someone with a vested interest in selling you some different clubs) and get the lie tested and adjusted as needed on your current sticks. The pro may be able to recommend just that sort of shop, and some pro shops may be able to do it on-site, it mainly takes the right piece of equipment. That should not be a huge expense. Then keep at the lessons. I see you say you try to play weekly, but you don't mention how often you practice... A lesson every week or so, and a few range sessions in between would almost certainly do your game a lot more good than a new set of clubs.
  16. I've tried several and have not yet found a hybrid that I can hit with any real consistency, so for me the "top end combo" is Driver, 4 and 7 fairway metal. The 4 is just easier to hit off various fairway lies than a 3 and the 7 is one of my favorite clubs in the bag. I like the idea of a hybrid and the goodness it is supposed to bring to the game, but I haven't found my match yet.
  17. The objective was fixing a slice. Therefore, I'd suggest working on "grooving" the swing and incorporating the things your pro showed you. Once you're hitting the ball straight(ish) and comfortably you can work on speeding up the swing if you still need to. You may find that more distance comes with incorporating those other changes and getting comfortable with your new swing. Or, you may find that the benefits of balls landing in the short grass outweigh those of being closer to the green but in deep rough/woods. For what it's worth, if you can actually focus on four swing changes at once you have my deep admiration, I can barely think about one at a time...
  18. While "longer" irons are great, all other things being equal, it sounds like you hit your old irons plenty long enough to score lightly on most courses. And being around the same handicap, I will say that for me tighter dispersion is something I give more weight to than distance. I must say that I was amazed during my AP1 fitting a few months back at how much different shafts affected not only launch angle and distance, but also dispersion. I ended up paying extra for the Aerotech shafts specifically because they grouped so much tighter. If you want to "move your game on" a good fitting by someone that really knows what they're doing will (IMHO) make more difference that the brand of heads you choose and is well worth the effort that may be involved in obtaining said fitting. For the record, I do love my AP1s and would suggest you put them on your list of clubs to try along with the Ping G25s, Speedblades and Callaway Apex irons. If you are determined to have more of a "player's" club, the AP2s are getting good things said about them as are the Ping i25s.
  19. I elected not to vote for either. I've never tried Golf Galaxy; to the best of my knowledge there isn't one near by to me. I have done a fitting with Golfsmith and was very disappointed with it. However, I certainly can't condemn ALL fittings done by the numerous Golfsmith stores because one yokel wasn't a decent fitter. That's the thing, and it will be for any of those stores I believe, there may be good fitters with good intentions and there may be poor fitters bent on selling whatever is handy and in stock today both working in the same store. My suggestion would be to ask around and see who other people think is a good fitter. You're looking for a person, not a chain of stores. If possible, ask your local pro(s), they will likely have a much better idea about who in the area is decent. You may find that the best fitters in your area only do fittings for a few brands of clubs because those are the ones they are trained to fit for! I've got a bag full of Titleist clubs, not so much because I'm a Titleist fanboy, but because there is a Titleist Advanced Fitting Center about 20 miles up the road with an excellent fitter. If you're dead set on a particular brand of clubs, go to their web site and look up fitters. I believe most brands have various "levels" of fitters. Having had the benefit of a good fitting in the past I would definitely make a pretty long trip to get to a good one, including spending the night along the way if necessary.
  20. +1 to the suggestion of test hitting clubs before you buy them. Some people take to hybrids easily, others like I do not. And not all of them feel the same or perform the same for each person. You don't mention the shaft but I have become a true believer that the shaft makes the club in many ways because it can have such a profound impact on ball flight.
  21. I tried both the 825 Pros and the EZ Forged and wasn't too taken by either, but the bigbox store only had clubs with one shaft available to try, and not one I'd be interested in, so... I'm sure both are fine clubs if you get properly fitted but I have to say that I'd much rather see the 825 Pros peeking out of my bag at me than the EZs, looks count for something to me, and apparently for you as well Jakester23 since you're concerned about the look of the club's topline. Mizuno is supposed to have a great shaft fitting tool, but I'd never buy a set of clubs without actually hitting them with the prescribed shaft on a range, so the fitter is a big consideration for me.
  22. One unanswered question that pops into my head is whether or not you have a driver in that bag? Assuming you do, you might also want to try out a 4 wood since it would tend to be easier to hit off the fairway than a 3 and should fill the gap between the driver and hybrid nicely. If the hybrid is currently you longest club, then a 3 wood might be a good idea since you could use it off the tee.
  23. I'm playing the 714 AP1s and love them a lot. I've not heard anything bad about the 712 version though and it was Titleist's best selling club until they made the switch to the 714 model. That, however, is the rub. While you may find new 712 models still for sale, what you see will be what you get and there won't be any options for being fitted for any shaft other than what the dealer happens to have installed on the clubs in stock. I presume they could still adjust lie angle to fit you. IF you hit the stock shafts well you may save some money, but you won't know how much better it might have been with different shafts... So, with that thought in mind, why not try out the 712s you find for sale and see if you like them, determine what flex you want in a shaft, then scout around for a used set and save even more.
  24. When I first decided to get back into the game I took lessons weekly or bi-weekly for several months. Now I take them when I have something specific I want to work on. I try to get in at least five practice sessions largely focused on the topic of the last lesson before considering getting another unless I feel like I just didn't "get it" the first time. Generally my pro will talk me through the "didn't get it" phase without an actual lesson though. I'm pretty sure there is no right answer to the basic question though. Some people catch on quicker and/or have athletic abilities others don't. Some pros are better teachers/communicators than others too. But I think periodic lessons are going to be a way of life for me so long as I pursue this silly game. Most, if not all, of the tour players pay regular visits to their swing coach...
  25. A lot of good advice here, but the fact is that for these "feel" shots nothing beats practice. A lot of good advice here, but the fact is that for these "feel" shots nothing beats practice. Choosing the type of shot you want to use has a lot to do with your own skill at each type and what you feel most confident with. I start practicing my pitching and putting with the same balls I play on the course a few months back since the range I generally use has pretty typical "range rocks" for balls and I don't think practicing feel shots with them helps as much as with better balls. I like to take a dozen balls and drop two in six different places (i.e. distances from the target). More than two and I start really zeroing in and I don't feel like the practice does that much good. After I hit this dozen pitch shots I go putt them out. You can, of course, rinse and repeat as you wish. Putting out the pitch shots adds consequences to each and is generally good putting practice at the same time.
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