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Everything posted by PirateJim

  1. It'll never take off if they won't allow Comrade Putin to play shirtless.
  2. A yardage book certainly has some value, but I wonder how often you would consult it after you'd actually fleshed it out. I think the fleshing out would be a great exercise in and of itself in getting to really know the course. One other thought: I've been suing one of the Garmin S1 GPS watches for over a year now and love the thing. It isn't a yardage book, nor as precise and versatile as a laser that can give you yardage to a bunker or some specific tree, but distance to the hole (front, back and middle) at a glance with no gizmo to fiddle with has its own value. It will also measure yardage from point A to point B, so you could use it in developing that book...
  3. I don't know what the rest of you're set make-up looks like, but a lot of folks who have trouble with 60* lob wedges find happiness with a 58 instead. I put a good bit of mileage on a 58/12 lob and had good luck with that combo before switching to SCOR and giving up worrying about bounce. If you like Vokey's perhaps you could find a Titleist fitter to help you select a loft and grind that works for your swing? (IMHO you can't get a proper wedge fitting hitting off a mat so you'll need a fitter that works off grass and sand.)
  4. My last set was G20s and your description of the packaging rings a definite bell, particularly about the little head "booties" that I recall pitching. I understand that some clubs come with fancier packaging, but from a pragmatic perspective just about all of them are fated to be dropped into a bag and carted around in a car trunk. Congrats on the G25s, nice sticks for sure! And welcome to the forum. Let us know how the clubs work out for you.
  5. I picked the Apex since "None of the above." wasn't an option. What I'd pick has little bearing on what's best for you though. Just sayin'...
  6. Greetings, and welcome. Spyder said it well so +1 to most of his comments, particularly with regard to the Titleist AP1s. I replaced my Ping G20s (yes, I also understand your comment about the G15s feeling clunky) with 714 AP1s a couple of months ago and couldn't be happier. You said you were open to new or used clubs, but I've no idea of your financial position of course. The thing with fittings is that a good one includes trying various shaft combinations as well as determining whether you need R-flex or S-flex shafts and measuring for lie angle. I was amazed at how much variation in feel and ball flight you get with different shafts. So if you can see your way clear from a money perspective I think a properly fitted new set would likely be the way to go. If you are thinking of used, I'd at least go for a big-box store fitting of the brand and model you're looking at. They may not have anything but the standard shafts to try, but at least you can determine flex and see how they feel before heading off to shop Ebay or whatever. Finally, I personally think that mid handicappers are much better off sticking to game improvement clubs rather than diving into "players" models, even if they are pretty and feel good on the occasions you hit one cleanly. There are a range of GI clubs, the Ping G15/G20/Karstan being out on the end toward Super GI, and the AP1s some Callaway Apex, and others being closer to the "Players" side of the spectrum. But golf is hard enough without saddling yourself with clubs that are harder to hit than need be. How to decide? One valid way, IMHO, is to talk to your local pro and other good golfers you may know and ask who the good fitters are in your area. The biggest reason my bag is stuffed with Titleist clubs is because there is a Titleist Advanced Fitting Center with an excellent fitter in the area. Find a fitter you feel good about and then select brand/model based on that person's recommendation.
  7. With all due respect, that's an entirely subjective question with no real answer that doesn't boil down to personal preference... I like the "feel" of graphite shafts because they soften impact somewhat. Others may want to feel that impact and think graphite feels dead. I sort of like heavier shafts in my irons because to me I seem to be able to track the swing a bit better. Others may love light shafts... A more important question is which shaft PERFORMS best for YOU in a particular club. That is a question best addressed by a good fitter with a launch monitor.
  8. The heck of it is that playing smart gets to be even more important as you work on breaking 90. One thing that I hear recommended often, and think is a really good idea is to go ahead and get a handicap established and learn how to figure how many strokes you get on each hole. Then play to beat your handicap, not par. If you're working on breaking 100, you'll get two strokes on a lot of holes. Knowing that you would get two strokes on some par four hole makes shooting a six there a "personal par" instead of a double bogie. If you get off in five strokes it's a "personal birdie!" That's a lot easier on the your confidence level as you walk to the next tee.
  9. When I played years ago I never really liked chipping and I mostly used my sand wedge around the green, who knows what loft/bounce it had, in those less enlightened times people had a pitching wedge and a sand wedge... When I took golf back up about a year and a half ago I got a set of Ping G20s that came with PW, GW, SW and LW. The lob was a 58/12 and we became friends, that being my main go-to club anywhere near the green. Since I got the AP1s and filled the bottom of the bag with SCOR wedges I do branch out a bit more because they all 'feel' the same to me, but up close the lob is still my go-to club. Love it. That said, a lot of wiser golfers than I recommend against 60* wedges for higher handicap players and I expect the problems described by MarshallRaynor are symptomatic of the reason for this recommendation. I could get by okay with nothing loftier than my 56*, but I think most people should be okay with a 58* lob. Unfortunately, you do have to practice with any wedge to get the most out of it, and pulling it out of the bag five or six times on the course doesn't count as practice. http://thesandtrap.com/t/39411/quickie-pitching-video-golf-pitch-shot-technique If you read/watch the videos in this link you'll see an effective way to work a wedge (sand/lob/whatever). It's a pretty long thread, but there is a lot of good stuff in there. Being confident in your ability to pitch the ball takes a lot of pressure off the average player who doesn't hit that many greens in regulation (else s/he wouldn't be "average").
  10. So I'm betting that these par 3 holes feature some water up near the green? Water is a lot of people's bugaboo, so don't feel alone. But sometimes we're our own worst enemy when it comes to those kind of shots. If you set yourself up on the tee and the last thing you do is look at the water to remind yourself not to go in it you are almost programming your mind to do exactly that. When you get to the tee (on any hole) look over the situation ahead and identify where any problems are (water, trees, bunkers, etc.) and then where you want to land your ball. As you're choosing where to land the ball figure in the bad scenarios where you hit a less than perfect shot and try to pick a landing area that has the least bad results from a poor shot. But wherever you choose, look at THAT place as you set up and take your shot. Don't be fixating on the water! If the water is a forced carry (i.e. a creek/pond blocking the front of the green), and given that you have a known issue right now, go ahead and play short of the water! Pop the ball onto the green with a wedge and you're still putting for par. But bogies are your friend right now, so you've still got two putts AND your ball. I know, you're not going to get into the "Shot of the Day" film clip that way, but you're gonna break 100 easier if you play strategic golf.
  11. Congratulations on deciding to get your game together. I came back to the game a year and a half ago and have worked pretty hard trying to improve. Here are a couple of thoughts, more may come up later. chasm said it, I'll repeat it: get lessons! He also said he was taking lessons as if he were a complete beginner, but it isn't only complete beginners that need lessons! All of the tour pros have "swing coaches" that they visit often. Nothing wrong with taking lessons, I have taken a bunch in the least year and a half and will continue to off and on so long as I play I expect. But lessons alone in all likelihood won't get the job done, you have to follow them up with practice. Three hours practice for each hour lesson may be enough, but each time the pro has you change something in your swing it will probably feel like the wheels have come off for a little while. It always does for me. You need to expect this, a significant change takes a while to settle in and become part of the swing you don't have to think about. You are right to start working on losing less balls! Those are score killers and confidence breakers. You didn't say how you are going about losing the balls, but as a guy that plays a course with water on pretty much every hole I'm going to take a guess that it is mostly with the driver and perhaps other long clubs that go astray. I'll expand on not losing balls to a general: stay out of trouble! And when you get in trouble anyway, make sure that you get OUT of trouble. Don't try to make up for a bad shot with some sort of remarkable "hero shot" that has a low probability of succeeding. You are better off 200 yards down the middle of the fairway than 275 and off in the trees, or the lake.... There's time to work on fancy shots when you are working to break 80. Forget about making par! You're trying to break 100. Nine bogies and nine double-bogies will get you a 99 on a par 72 course. Finally, and I hate this one but am finding it to be so true: to putt better, practice putting more.
  12. I'm not the poster to whom this is directed, but I will chime in anyway because this is the internet! I have SCOR wedges in my bag and absolutely LOVE them. "SCOR wedges are not available in multiple finish options." This is TRUE, and I know a lot of people like their different finishes, but that has no effect on performance. Silver is nice IMHO. "SCOR don't think multiple sole grind options are a good idea." I think it is really more like SCOR doesn't think multiple sole grinds are necessary. (From my experience with the clubs, I think this is true.) "SCOR wedges do not offer custom stamping and multiple grip and shaft options like everyone else." You can get ANY shaft or grip your heart desires if it is available for sale in the US. Call 'em on the phone and ask for it. I didn't ask for custom stampings, but even more than finish options, no effect on performance. "SCOR wedges are not in anyone's tour bag (that I know of)." I don't know of any either, those guys and gals generally want to be paid to use clubs, and most (all?) iron manufacturers have a wedge line they want to showcase. Perhaps with Hogan irons to go along with them some will appear in the next few years? "SCOR would rather waste money on multiple individual lofts and stamping them in 1 degree increments - a bit dumb considering their opinion on bounce" Well, gee... You're not supposed to buy 'em in one degree increments, you are supposed to be able to buy them in INCREMENTAL STEPS based on the specs of your iron set. I don't see that bounce is involved in this... "SCOR wedges are not true forged clubs - and never will be." I agree that their "Hammer Forged" process doesn't create a "real" forged club, the ones in my bag currently will, thus, never be anything but Hammer Forged. Now, if they go into Hogan iron production and are getting "real" forgings for those perhaps it will change, don't know. For what it's worth, the SCOR wedges feel quite nice, but that's compared to the cast stainless clubs I play so... "SCOR wedges have the cheek to charge more than market leading wedges that offer all the options they don't." Yeah... what can I say, Aston Martin has the cheek to charge more than Chevrolet for their cars and they don't even have a decent SUV with third row seating as an option. I have no idea how the revived Hogan brand will fare either, but I certainly hope they do well. I suspect Perry Ellis has pretty deep pockets so if they are committed to making it work it just may.
  13. I completely agree with the advice to spend your money on lessons before dropping bucks for equipment unless you've got plenty of disposable income to dispose of. After you've had lessons and your swing is in better shape you'll be in a far better position to choose new sticks. You say you've had a lesson and are planning to take a "few" more. I would suggest you not put limits on that at this point. As JoePete said, work out a plan with your local pro and put in the time on the driving range to practice what s/he is trying to teach you. The golf swing doesn't come naturally to most people, and you should be prepared to find that after most lessons you may well feel more screwed up than you did going in. I know I often do, but after I practice some and sort out the new strange feelings I find I'm are hitting them a bit better than I was before the lesson. And you'll find that the lessons often build on one another, so limiting yourself to a "few" lessons may limit how well you play. Discuss your equipment questions with your pro, that person can probably guide you on selection as well as timing for purchases. They may also be able to help hook you up with a good club fitter when the time comes. I, personally, have a pretty strong belief that finding a good fitter is more important than finding a good brand of clubs to be fitted into. Most of the major brands have good clubs, so being properly fitted makes the real difference. Quote: 1) What would be better: getting fitted for new irons, keeping my current irons and get fit for lie angle, keep iron heads and fit for shaft/lie angle, leave irons as is? Your teaching pro should be able to help decide if it looks like you need a lie adjustment. Beyond that, keep the irons for a few months at least. Quote: 3) What should I do with my wedges? I was considering getting a 588 rotex in 52.10 and 56.14 and not using my callaway SW, vs. just not getting any new wedges and using what I have. I hit the cg16 and 588 in 52/56 today on mats and liked the feel of the 588 slightly better. Is the cavity back graphite shaft on my current SW a detriment to learning proper chipping? I feel like there is more feel with steel. I've read a lot of recs not to use a 60* as a beginner, which I do ok with but certainly have mishits with sometimes, so I will probably leave the 60* for practice only. Again, I'd wait until you have a bit more experience and have had a couple of short game lessons, one for chipping, one for pitching and sand play. For a solution with two new wedges, you might consider the 52.10 and a 58.12. Quote: 4) I hate my putter. I feel like the main problem is the lie angle, for my natural stance it would need to be more upright. I've been hitting a bunch of putters and like the Ping Anser 5 TR and Craz-e TR, but I think their lie angle is off too, but not as much as my current putter. Should I get a new off the shelf putter, have my putter bent at golfgalaxy, or find somewhere that does putter fitting and get a new putter there. Welcome to the club, everybody has a corner of a closet dedicated to the putter pile. But more seriously, you state you are 6' and 175 pounds. Assuming also average length arms I am a bit surprised that so many putters seem to have such bad lie angles for you. Before investing in a new stick or having the current bent, I would again suggest discussing putting with that pro and make sure you are setting up properly, etc. Having a good relationship with a pro and taking lessons periodically is the best thing you can do for your golf game. All of the tour pros have their "swing coaches" and often pay big bucks to have them in attendance at important tournaments, so there's certainly no shame in having one yourself.
  14. I voted NO because I believe there is a real need for organizations like the USGA and R&A; else soon it won't be grooves or anchored putters, but laser equipped putters with microprocessors and Aimpoint firmware that one has to work at missing putts with. How about shoulder fired drivers that even us seasoned citizens can shoot 350 yards? Some would say it wouldn't get that bad, but without a controlling body there would be nothing to stop it. On a more positive note, there is little keeping you from enjoying your i10s except in high level competitions.
  15. Vokey's are dandy wedges, but SCORs just work so sweet for me, thin lie, plush lie, sand, hardpan... they may not be for everybody but I like 'em. I am indeed a Titleist fan, but one of the main contributing factors in my bag makeup is that there is a good Titleist fitter (i.e. not a store clerk) close by that takes the time to find the component combo that works for me.
  16. Love all the photos. Here's the current bag.
  17. I agree that your best bet is hitting balls on the course and measuring. If you don't have a range finder a smart phone GPS app will work nicely. You will need to hit enough shots to get a decent average working (10 shots?), and it is less useful if you don't use the same ball you always play with, or if you don't always play the same brand/model. I really only worry about the short irons and wedges for this exercise, but that's just a personal decision.
  18. I agree and put my congrats on the first page. I have tried on a number of occasions to talk people out of switching to blades when they come looking for internet validation of their scheme. However, that isn't what is going on here. The man made the statement that he had bought blades and they are in the bag. I may have personal reservations about how good an idea that is, but the deal is done. At this point the arguing is pointless, I do most sincerely hope the new clubs enhance both score and pleasure in the game.
  19. So... you "suggested that we pick up our pace..." but you don't really say that you feel your pace was actually particularly slow, simply that the group ahead had gotten away from you, yet nobody had caught up from behind. Was your group really playing slowly? Had you not "gotten away" from the group that started behind you? Or was the course sort of slow with natural gaps between starts? I certainly agree that it is important to keep up a good pace, but I also agree that there is a fine line between playing promptly and hurrying. If there's nobody behind you, there's certainly no reason to hurry. There are several legit reasons the group ahead might get away from you, particularly if they had open space to start with. For example, a group of better players will just take less time to complete a hole that a group of average players simply because there are less strokes involved. If you were unhappy with the group's pace you could have left them behind as has been suggested, and you don't have to play with them in the future, but I don't see a reason for the other three to rush things up under the circumstances as reported.
  20. The I have a course only about a mile drive from home. It's sort of a crappy course, but the next nearest is 20-30 minutes away so I mostly stick close to home.
  21. Though I agree that golf is on the decline, more so in some areas than others I'm sure, I think what you're seeing is more a return to balance after the game experienced a growth bubble that I believe closely mirrored the housing bubble we are all familiar with here in the U.S. During that housing bubble (which was largely brought on by misguided efforts of our government to tinker with the free market and make housing 'affordable' by BOTH of the major parties) there were a lot of new subdivisions carved out of cow pastures that had few if any natural attractions of their own. To enhance the value of these properties the developers put in golf courses and as people move into those developments non-golfers found themselves with an opportunity to play and took up the game. Sadly, the housing bubble burst and many of those folks found their 'affordable' loans coming due on homes that had declined in value because the speculators were out of the market and there were plenty of similar homes for sale at fire sale prices. At the same time the economy tanked for other areas and bingo, the new golfers suddenly didn't have the money to continue playing and courses that were still run by suddenly struggling developers as well as some that had been turned over to now cash strapped home owners associations started to close their doors. Unfortunately, I think that the decline will continue until such time as the economy is allowed to begin to flourish again, and even then I wouldn't ever count on seeing growth like we had ten years ago.
  22. Congratulations, I hope they work out well for you.
  23. I played G20s for over a year and switched not long ago to the Titleist AP1s which I totally love. I tried the i20s; they were nice but they were considerably less forgiving than my G20s and I didn't see much performance difference. It should be noted that I was trying them at one of the big box golf stores where there was no effort made to show me different shafts except for "stock" steel and graphite. For me the AP1s provide that somewhat sleeker look with less offset while still giving the forgiveness that my game benefits from, and the Titleist fitter had a stack of custom shaft options that got me the flight and spin that I needed for improved performance. I didn't try the S series since Ping has those positioned even farther along the "players club" spectrum than the I series.
  24. Custom fitted clubs are, indeed, as big a deal as people make them out to be, in my opinion. Now, if you are a real 'average' person with a real 'average' swing, perhaps the standard configuration that a set of irons comes in will perform averagely for you. But a lot of people benefit from at least having the lie angle adjusted else they will be pulling or pushing shots because of it and end up making some weird compensation with their swing to rectify the 'problem' they are seeing. However, one of the biggest benefits of a proper fitting is shaft selection, not so much to find shafts that won't break (that problem strikes me as really odd), but to optimize ball flight and performance. It is amazing how much different shafts can change club performance. Whether or not you choose to get a fitting is totally up to you, it's your game, your clubs and your money. But most find that it really does make a difference.
  25. Fourteen degrees of bounce is indeed a bit higher than average, but I think the question is how you set up and swing the club and what conditions you play in. If you hit most of your pitches with a lot for forward shaft lean you are de-lofting and removing some bounce, and if you play on fluffy grass and sand more bounce is your friend. Bottom line, ultimately, is whether you are happy with the club and it performs for you. Grats on finding a combo that works for you!
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