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Everything posted by PirateJim

  1. I haven't read all three pages of responses, so if this has all been said before please take this is my +1 to those. First of all, it is important to keep in mind that par 4 holes tend to be the hardest on the average golf course, that's why there are so many of the dang things, so if you are going to blow up there is a good chance it will be one of those. With that out of the way, it is VERY important for you to pause at the end of one of those horrid experiences and go over in your own mind what exactly caused the problem for you. It may be more than one thing of course, if so list them all... The first step to fixing problems is to identify them. One of the biggest mistakes all golfers sometimes make is to get into trouble, maybe slicing the ball into the woods, and then try a "hero shot" to make up for it and catch back up. This is often a mistake for pros (watch just about any Sunday...) and almost always a big mistake for the average golfer or high handicapper. You got into trouble because you made a bad shot. The chances of getting out of that trouble unscathed by making a great shot from a bad place are very very small. You've already made a mistake to be in trouble, suck it up and get back into the fairway so you have a decent chance on the following shot. Your goal when you find yourself in trouble is not to be in the same or worse trouble on the next shot! I have very similar advice for long shots that require a carry over water out toward the end, i.e. the hole with a creek in front of the green. Only you can determine how far out you can reasonably expect to get the ball across and onto the green, but unless you feel the odds are high I would suggest laying up short of the water. (This could apply to nasty bunkers too if you don't like being in them.) If it is a par 4 and you lay your second shot up short of the water you have a decent chance of pitching up fairly close to the pin and having a putt for par, but when you're trying to break 100 bogies are great and you have two putts for that. If you knock it in the creek the penalty will have you pitching from about the same place for your 4th shot instead of your 3rd. If you do make it across, the farther out you are the greater the chance that you will have a really long lag putt, or may even miss the green and be pitching anyway. Laying up isn't real manly maybe, but a lot of times it can be real smart. For every shot you have, ask yourself what is the worst case scenario and how likely that scenario is to play out. The trick to lower scores is staying out of trouble when possible. Beyond that, are you having trouble getting out of sand traps, practice those shots. Taking too many putts, practice putting. Hitting poor chips and pitches? Yep you guessed it, practice. If you can afford it, take some lessons, particularly on those areas that are giving you particular trouble. Hope this helps a little.
  2. A lot of people play mixed sets, so nothing wrong with that and it could be argued that there is a lot RIGHT about doing it. Distance, for me, isn't that big an issue, but accuracy certainly is and so I love clubs that are forgiving. You just don't need that much forgiveness in the shorter irons/wedges. The remaining "issue" may be overall club weight and swing weight. Personally, I don't like having clubs that feel all that different, maybe it doesn't bother you, or maybe it isn't an issue with those particular clubs. For me, again, this extends to the grips, I'm just happier if they all feel the same. I read somewhere that irons are all about moving the ball toward the cup, nothing more, nothing less. (That's paraphrased, not a direct quote.) If that mix moves the ball effectively toward the hole for you it is a good thing.
  3. I love mid-size grips and don't have really big meat hooks or anything. I think a lot of people would like them if they gave 'em a try, but I don't think they would significantly change your shot shape unless you unconsciously gripped them differently than normal size grips. I'm guessing the slices on the first round were the anomaly based on having a new club in your hands. Are the shafts the same length, same flex? Did you practice some with the new driver, or just hit the course? Whatever the case, glad to hear you're having better luck now! Keep hittin' 'em straight.
  4. Congrats on getting to the point where you want to get serious about your game. My first bit of advice would be to get properly fitted if you're going to spend the money for decent clubs. It is amazing how much difference having the right shaft in a club can make. Some of the big-box golf retailers have good fitters, some not so much it seems. My personal experience was that the "fitter" wanted to make sure that my perfect fit was something they had in stock. But even that would be better than nothing. So far as what to get, the "best" club mix it is really a personal question, but here's one suggestion. Yes get a driver, then consider a 4 fairway rather than a 3. A 4 is easier to hit off the deck and will get you darn near as much distance as a 3. Choke down a bit and you don't need a 5 either. I have gone to carrying a 7 fairway, but some think a 3 hybrid is the cat's meow, try 'em both. The choice between a 4 iron or a 4 hybrid is again purely personal, you gotta figure out what you can hit better, or if you want one at all for that matter. On the other end of the bag, I personally think everyone needs a club of at least 56* like a sand iron, and a lot of people think a 58* or 60* lob wedge is important including me. You might take a long hard look at Ping irons since they tend to offer wedges that match their sets and aren't bad clubs if you don't have your heart set on some other specific brand of wedge. The new Karsten irons have wedges down to a 55* sand wedge, the G25 and older G20 irons go down to a 58* lob wedge. So far as a putter... that is mighty personal. Edel was recommended and most I've heard of who have them love 'em. Most of the big name putter makers have high end putters in the $300+ range, and I would recommend getting fitted for any of them, but there are lots of pretty nice putters that cost a lot less and can serve you well, particularly until you are pretty sure you've settled in on one particular putting style and have no intent to change. If possible find one of the big-box retailers that has a good selection of putters out for testing and spend some time rolling balls. The darn things come in so many shapes and sizes only you can decide what fits your eye and aligns right, what turns you on, and what turns you off.
  5. Hmmm. No... No, every idea that comes down the pike doesn't deserve universal support. So far as consideration, that is exactly what internet forum threads like this one are really about, isn't it? The premise of the poll that got this thread rolling was " Would you be for a 15" cup as an option for golfers? " That invites discussion. Now, just because some individual may think it is a bad idea which they choose to dismiss outright does not mean it is ultimately a bad idea. However, just because someone comes up with an idea and goes about promoting it certainly does not automatically make it a good idea that deserves everyone's support either! In my case at least, this is not the first I have heard of the "Hack Golf" concept, and although the whopper cup is the current topic, I have given the overall concept what consideration I am capable of and listed some of the more important points against the idea in my first post on the topic. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that others have also had the time to think this through and contemplate the ramifications to the game. "Growing the game" isn't such a wonderful thing if "the game" stops being Golf along the way (IMHO). The thing that will get more people into the game, or back into the game since many have been forced to quit, is to get the economy moving... but I'm skating close to a different topic so now I will shut up and consider my piece to have been said.
  6. Hi Erik, I haven't actually "backed off" my strong disapproval of things like 15" cups, or TM's whole Hack Golf concept (I believe that was the name that included non-conforming clubs and all.). I'm sorry if my subsequent post seemed to come off as backing off that position. However, I often criticize people that simply oppose ideas without offering better alternatives (or arguing that the status quo is just right). To that end, the second post was intended as an attempt to offer up some alternative suggestions for making it more fun and interesting for beginners and hopefully speed up play a bit without the need to make radical alterations to regulation courses. I agree with MS256 that some beginners do at least some of those things. I think it wouldn't hurt to formalize beginner's rules so everyone had the opportunity to know what is going on and beginners with high standards of personal behavior would have a way to make things easier without feeling like they were cheating. Jim
  7. Okay, after reading all the other replies and giving it some thought, here is a suggestion for making it easier and more fun for beginners that doesn't require changing the golf course radically. First: in the interest of pace of play, a lot of golf courses would be well served to assure that their roughs weren't too 'rough' and that out of bounds markers are realistically placed. This would help everyone and speed up play. Then develop "beginners rules." Here are some suggestions off the top of my head... Allow "lift, clean and place" on all shots, many people do this anyway, codify it for "beginners rules." Heck, let 'em use a tee if that will reduce frustration and speed up play (better shots from the fairway = faster play generally). Count the score tee to green, then allow two putts for bonus points off. Example: a person takes six strokes to get the ball onto the green, they then have two putts: If they make it into the cup on the first putt they get to take two strokes off, for a 4 on the hole. If they make the second putt they get one stroke off, a 5. If they miss the second putt, they pick up the ball and move along carding a 6. This still gives the newbie plenty of incentive to practice their putting AND speeds them along to the next tee. Set up a "beginners drop zone" outside bunkers that they can move their ball to for the cost of one stroke if they choose. That way those who freak out over bunkers have a way out, and there is still plenty of incentive to improve bunker play to enhance scores. I'm sure others could come up with more suggestions that might make the game a bit easier for beginners and thus more fun, but that don't require making radical changes to the golf course. These sorts of changes would, I suspect, be more readily accepted and adopted by more courses.
  8. I voted Never, though I hope I don't really have to use persimmons because of it. This, in my opinion of course, is nothing but an entirely self serving scheme from TaylorMade to bastardize the game of Golf into something else in hopes of selling a few more lines of non-conforming clubs. This would NOT be good for Golf. The chances of investors thinking it was a good enough idea to build significant number of dedicated TM-Goofy-Golf courses is slim to the point of approaching impossible. The chances of many golf existing courses alternating between Golf and TMGG is similarly slim, both because it would hack off all the real golfers that were already their customers and because it would take a LOT of extra work on the part of their grounds crews to pull off. If they tried having both sorts of holes on each green there would be a lot of real golfers (and some TMGGers) that would pull out a wedge to deal with the occasions that the "wrong" hole was blocking their path to the "right" hole. That would be hard on the greens, the grounds crew, and the players. People who might be drawn to the new TMGG game and who purchase non-conforming clubs to play at it with, that later decide to give Golf a try will soon find that their non-conforming TMGG clubs are unwelcome in any but the most casual games of Golf. This will lead to hard feelings all the way around for a lot of people. Again, not good for Golf. Personally, I won't ever even consider TaylorMade products again. Jim
  9. I agree with getting instruction over new clubs if that is the choice. If you are in high school, perhaps the school has a golf program? Many do (at least around here) and the instruction is part of the deal. The 990s were Titleist's version of a game improvement club in their day I believe, but there are newer clubs that have more GI characteristics these days. For starter clubs, I don't think you can go wrong with Ping G series clubs, and the older G15s turn up pretty cheap on used racks.
  10. I too would suggest following Hammer4's sage advice. Money spent on lessons is almost always better than money spent on clubs. And once you develop some rapport with the pro they can likely guide you on club selection. Of the three sets, I like the third because it includes a 3 and 5 fairway "wood". When you are getting started, you might be well served to take the driver out of the bag and tee off with the 3 and then stick to the 5 for long fairway shots. If you watch the pro tour events you will regularly see them use a 3 off the tee for those tricky tight shots where control is needed. I suggest using the 5 from the fairway because many people that have played for years have difficulty hitting the 3 off the grass. Old sayings get to be old because they prove themselves again and again over time. One of my favorite old sayings is that you get what you pay for, even in golf equipment. After you've had a couple of lessons and have gotten some recommendations from your pro you might be well served to shop around for some used clubs. Older Ping G series irons, for example, sell pretty cheap and are a good choice and value for a beginner.
  11. Welcome to the forum, James. There are people that use a 'baseball' grip successfully, but most use an overlapping or interlocking grip in order to assure that the hands are interacting in unison as they control the club. If you are the book reading sort, I would heartily suggest Five Lessons by Ben Hogan. The grip is discussed at length, as is the rest of the full swing. There are lots of decent books on golf, but this one is a classic and doesn't beat around the bush too much. There is discussion of the book here: http://thesandtrap.com/t/14250/five-lessons-the-modern-fundamentals-of-golf-by-ben-hogan Good luck!
  12. I think it would very much depend upon the instructor and the individual student. Information overload is a very real thing. There is also a HUGE 'possibility gap' between sending in videos a couple of times a month and constant supervision by a live instructor. For example; weekly one hour lessons with a decent teaching pro. For me, I believe optimum might be a 15 minute session each day at the start of my practice to evaluate how I'm doing and assign maybe one thing to work on that day. I'm pretty sure if I had someone critiquing each shot I'd advance more slowly than by getting regular instruction and plenty of time to practice what I've been told. None of us are Iron Byron that can just have our programming tweaked between shots.
  13. A quick look at the specs on MP53 and 755 suggests the MP53 3i has 21* loft while the 755 is 22* but this is pretty close. You didn't mention anything about shafts in either set, could this be the culprit? I'm not sure if 1/2" shorter would change the flight that much or not. Shaft characteristics strike me as the most likely culprit.
  14. Choosing the right irons is a big decision, both financially and for your game. It is important that you feel good about your clubs because it is hard to play well if you hate your tools. This has to be tempered by understanding that all the manufacturers make "game improvement" clubs because they are genuinely easier to hit well than are the "player's" clubs that have smaller heads, thinner top lines, and less offset. Not many years ago everyone used blades because that was all they had and some got to be good golfers, so it is certainly possible for most people to learn to play well enough with darn near any club. It will just be easier with some than others. The big attraction to "player's" clubs is that they are easier to 'work' than GI clubs. You can still 'work' GI clubs, but they do tend to encourage a straight shot or only mild draws or fades, which is a very good think for most people. Easier to 'work' also means easier to hit in an unexpected direction. At a 17 handicap your game still needs "improvement" and straight shots will serve you very well, so in my humble opinion, you will hobble yourself at least somewhat if you don't play the clubs that are available to make improvement a little easier. Don't worry, golf is still hard. The Mizuno EZ clubs are good if you can get past the look. Their 825 irons are, to my eye, much better looking. I'm a Titleist fan, so I'd suggest you look at the AP1s. While they're "game improvement" clubs, they tend to have less offset than some of the other GI lines and generally have a nice traditional look. The 714s just came out and you may find some deals (probably unadvertised) on 712 models as well as used clubs that may turn up on the market. My final thought is that, while we all like new toys, myself certainly included, your surest route to "buying a better game" is to spend the bucks on lessons. If you can find a decent teacher I'd suggest taking some lessons and getting his/her take on what sort of irons would be a good fit for you at this point, or if they even think you need new sticks right now. Lessons will do you much more good than new clubs. Don't restrict it to one or two. Pretty much every top pro on the tour has a "swing coach" on retainer.
  15. There are several books out there on mental attitude and golf, I believe there are reviews on this site. One of those might help. I think you have taken the first step by identifying that your problem seems to be one of confidence. You have to believe that you can make the shot. I know that is real easy to say, and I'm still working out how to do it all the time; here's what I do. When, for example, faced with a 30 yard pitch, take a good look at the green, flag position, where the trouble is, where you want to land the ball and how far you want to roll it after it lands. Then, in your 'mind's eye' visualize the same basic shot on the green you always practice to as you take a couple of practice strokes to get the feel for how you want to hit the ball, picture it landing where you want and rolling to the hole, and say to yourself "I can make this shot." I'd suggest doing basically the same thing while practicing, including the self assuring "I can make this shot." You can use this same technique for any shot. If you have signs or flags on your regular driving range that you use as targets, picture one of those range markers out in the middle of the fairway where you want to aim your drive and, again, assure yourself that you can make the shot. I know everyone has different limiting factors depending on where they live, but if there is a cheaper golf course around perhaps playing some practice rounds there would be good. $120 for a round of golf would certainly limit my participation.
  16. Maintenance of forum decorum dictates that I cannot properly express the low opinion I have of this entire concept. What is the point of the post? Hogan was who he was in his own time frame. Period. As an aside, I'd be interested to know if there is even one player on today's PGA Tour that didn't read Five Lessons early in their journey to pro status...
  17. The current list: Driver: Titleist 913 D2 10.5*, Aldila RIP Phenom 50 Fairway: Titleist 913F, 17*, Titleist Bassara W55 Hybrid: Ping G25 23* (4), TFC 189H Irons: Titleist AP1 714 5-PW, Aerotech Steelfiber i95 Wedges: SCOR 4161 48/52/56/60, Genius 9 Grips: GolfPride New Decade Red Mid-size on all of the above. Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 - Super Stroke Mid Slim 2.0 I'm going to be changing to a Super Stroke 3.0 shortly, and I'm toying with switching the 4 hybrid for a 3, other than that, this is the setup for the foreseeable future.
  18. Some Mizuno fitting expert may be able to chime in with a definitive answer, but I would think that "regular stiff" would equate simply to "stiff" with most shafts. This, as opposed to the "Tour X Stiff" extra stiff shafts that you see sometimes. Most of the information I have seen on "regular flex" and "stiff flex" is based on a range of swing speeds and there isn't a hard dividing line, but rather a pretty good size overlapping area in the middle. It is my understanding that a more flexible shaft will tend to promote a higher ball flight as a generality, though where in the shaft the flex point is can also have a huge effect. My feeling is that if you are 25 and buying some used clubs you are going to re-shaft with the intent of improving your game, I wouldn't be thinking so much about using components you can "grow into" in a year, but rather components that will help you the most NOW. This also extends to heads. Your profile says 15 handicap. That ain't bad! But it doesn't suggest you are ready for "players" clubs either. Quote: I should also mention that I'm always drawing or hooking the ball, and sometimes I even hit behind the ball. He noted that my hands are lower at impact than they are before takeaway. And that I'm hitting 1-2 degrees Upright because of it. And that I'm crowding the ball... Bare with me... Would shortening the shafts fix any of this? I choke up on almost every Club in my bag so that's not why my impact is upright. I would just hate to get 1 degree flat 1/4" short shafted clubs just to never covered up the swing problem. Perhaps some lessons with a competent pro would be in order? That person could also very probably help you sort through some of these other questions since he/she will become familiar with your actual swing.
  19. I often play solo, and sometimes play two balls though I am more inclined to use the second to set up particular shots I want to practice. When playing solo, I think it is incumbent on the player to be aware of people behind him and move along. The guy should have been conscious enough to notice you on the tee behind him and, after putting out one ball, he should have picked up the other and been on his merry way. This is particularly true if the second ball was in a spot where the people on the tee can't see what's going on and they might reasonably expect that he was heading to the next tee. My personal view is that it is rude to play a second ball when people are waiting behind you, even if you are keeping up with the group ahead of you while doing so.
  20. The one someone is smoking inside their house at least a block from wherever I am.
  21. Only you can decide which sport you really want to pursue. Hockey and Golf seem about as different as two sports can be, one is very much a team sport, the other is you solo. One is in your face rough and tumble action, the other is quiet and contemplative in comparison. Perhaps these differences can help you decide which is more your style. I will say that I suspect that outside the ranks of actual successful tour golfers and active members of pro hockey teams, there are probably a lot more long term careers centered around golf than hockey. Which ever sport you decide on, please keep in mind that the competition is fierce and the chances of some kind of injury that may sideline you are very real, more so in hockey I guess. So don't forget to keep up with your education, even if you have your sights set on playing pro sports of one kind or another. You may need a fall back plan.
  22. My only experience with Trackman has been during fittings where it looks to be worth its weight in gold. I certainly don't need to take one to the range when I go to practice, but I'm not a pro. If I were a tour pro I think I'd have one and use it a lot, if for nothing other than assuring that my numbers didn't suddenly change unexpectedly. If I were a successful pro, I'd probably have a spare.
  23. Altering the lie angle of an iron correctly requires a special tool/machine. But for someone with the machine the task itself is really easy. You have a pretty fancy set of irons; I'd immediately find a pro that can test the lie angles on those irons and adjust them as needed. It'll cost a few bucks, but if you are already sufficiently concerned to be asking here about it, it should give some peace of mind and will make the clubs work even better if the angle is currently off.
  24. Your pro is talking to you about current trends in golf equipment, not some kind of rule. The DCI irons are older game improvement clubs, so they are probably pretty easy to hit, though newer GI clubs are probably a bit easier still. If you can hit those longer irons well, and you want to keep them in the bag, hey, it's your bag. I wouldn't go out and buy a new set just yet. Keep taking lessons, placate the pro by at least leaving the 2 and 3 in the car when you take the lesson :-). If, like most of us, you get the itch for something new and golf related, shop around for a 3 hybrid or a 7 wood (okay, metal) that you like. In six months or so, when you have your swing much more under control you will be in a better position to think about getting fitted for some newer clubs.
  25. There might be two in my last 20, but no more than that. Some people take a couple of vacations a year, never to the same place twice. Some people buy a time-share so they can enjoy the same place over and over. Some people are blessed to live in a place they love and vacation happily at home. My home course is close to home and a pretty decent layout with enough maintenance issues to give me something to gripe about but not enough to run me off. The next nearest course is a good ten miles away and I don't seem to have any more fun playing different courses than I do my regular. Different strokes... Jim
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