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Everything posted by bkuehn1952

  1. bkuehn1952

    USGA Looking Into Lucy Li Apple Watch Ad

    The Rules are clear. Ms. Li broke the Rules. Perhaps the USGA will apply a variation of "failure to include an unknown penalty" exception? I can see the USGA giving her a pass if Apple agrees to remove her from their ad campaign and, in fact, no one was given any money or promise of future compensation for her participation. I would not agree with that solution. If the USGA is determined to find a solution short of yanking her amateur status, I can see them trying to find some middle ground.
  2. bkuehn1952

    Golf Ball in the Ocean

    I believe long ago, passenger ships would allow passengers to hit balls into the ocean. That doesn't occur anymore.
  3. bkuehn1952

    Retirement Plans and Dreams

    My wife and I are Michiganders. We are just in the talking stage. We are considering living in Texas, between San Antonio and Austin. Probably a condo since we would be gone quite a bit and the condo management could take care of everything in our absence. My brother lives in Austin and one son and his family live in San Antonio so that works out well. We would want a location that has reasonable access to a state of the art hospital facility, just in case. As a plus, Texas has no state income tax. We would visit Michigan and have a "vacation" condo in the Ann Arbor area. As residents of Texas, we would hope to avoid paying Michigan's 4.25% income tax. Currently Michigan taxes pensions and they would also take their 4.25% of required withdrawals from 401k/IRA plans (I think). My wife and I have done well saving and investing and it is painful to think we might have to give Michigan a chunk of our nest egg. All of my wife's family lives within an hour of Ann Arbor. Our other son and his family live about 10 minutes away. So we do not plan on abandoning Michigan. Besides, it is a perfect golf area from mid-May to mid-October.
  4. bkuehn1952


    If the weather holds and I manage to play a round of golf in November, it will mark the 45th consecutive month that I have played golf in Michigan. The last month I did not manage to play 18 holes was February, 2015. Yes, I am one of those fools wandering around on the course when it is 35 degrees. While I can handle cold and wind, I do have some standards as far as conditions. I neither play when the greens are frozen solid as concrete nor if the course is mostly or entirely covered in snow & ice. It is a rare winter in Ann Arbor when the weather is mild enough to eliminate the snow cover for an extended period; we average 60 inches of snow annually. Still, there are mild stretches when the sun, temperatures and rain will melt the snow cover. This past February, we had a two-week period where temperatures pushed 60 degrees and some hardy souls were wearing shorts. My guess is the streak will end in January or February of 2019. Despite the many signs that our climate may be warming, this isn’t Palm Beach; we are overdue for a hard winter. Speaking of streaks, my “modern” holes-under-par-streak remains at 3. I had a few opportunities where I managed 2 consecutive birdies this year, but never succeeded in getting 3, much less 4. I call it my “modern” streak because I had an out-of-body experience back in the early 1980’s. Having never broken 100, I rattled off “eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie” while playing nine at a local course with some friends. Of course, I opened the round with a double but then found myself standing on the 6th tee at three under. Thoughts of a course record danced in my head. Reverting back to my normal game, the next four holes were not pretty. I did not even break 40 for the nine. Truthfully, that streak was a total fluke, like flipping a coin and coming up heads 20 times in a row. A streak that will be coming to an end this year is my “100+ rounds a year” streak. About 10 years ago I began a flexible work schedule. Playing 100+ times a year was a no brainer. This year there just wasn’t the drive to go out and play like year’s past. If the weather stays relatively mild, I might hit 90 but 100 is out of the question. Finally, in 2018, I continued the golf streak that means the most to me. My first Ann Arbor City Men’s Golf Championship was in 1990. Every year since then I have played, save 1995 when the course was closed for renovation and there was no tournament. I look at the field in 1990 versus 2017 and the only name they have in common is mine. I now play against the sons or grandsons of the guys who played in 1990. Sadly, I have always been a participant rather than a contender. In a field of 150, my best finish was a tie for 20th. Still, I have always enjoyed measuring myself against the course and my fellow hackers. Nowadays I finish in the middle of the pack with an average three-day total of around 255. When the day comes that I can’t walk the 54 holes and/or can’t keep my scores under 90, I will retire. At this point, the plan is to continue the streak to 29 in 2019. What kind of streaks does everyone else have?
  5. bkuehn1952


    47! I actually played 3 full 18 hole rounds by the 8th of January. Not a record as we tend to have mild starts to January. February will be the tough nut. We are getting snow and very cold temps this weekend. But, there are a lot of days until 2/28!!!
  6. bkuehn1952

    Why Golf Shoes Don't Last

    A 6,500 yard course is 3.7 miles just walking tee to green up the middle of the fairway. Unless one is playing a particularly stretched out course with a lot of distance from green to next tee, maybe one walks 5 to 6 miles. At 6 miles a round, one needs to walk 167 rounds, certainly achievable. Walking 150+ rounds in a year is impressive.
  7. bkuehn1952

    A Decently Humorous Story

    "Minzey" is the late Professor Minzey of Eastern Michigan University. We was a regular contributor to an online golf newsletter. Those of us who live in the snow belt can appreciate this. Best of Minzey’s Musings - I Love Snow December 11 - 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow! December 12 - We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life. December 13 - Snow lovely snow! last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. December 14 - 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer.Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska, after all. December 15 - Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel. December 16 - Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. God I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room December 17 - Electricity’s back on, but had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying. December 18 - Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to poop. By the time I got undressed, pooped and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a snow plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he’s too busy. I think the jerk is lying December 19 - Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying. December 20 - 6 inches;. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a b…h who drives that snowplow I’ll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplow December 21 - Merry -bleeping- Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I told him I wanted to hit him in the nose. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s a fricking idiot. If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to stuff her into the microwave. December 22 - Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves. December 23 - Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze, plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes. December 24 - Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The wife is driving me crazy!!! December 25 - 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am? December 26 - Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver; he is now suing me for a million dollars, not only for the beating I gave him but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his butt. The wife went home to her mother. 9 inches predicted. December 27 - I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling. December 28 - Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?
  8. bkuehn1952

    Will the New Flagstick Rule Become a Fiasco?

    It might be a wash. We no longer will be tending the flag while someone putts a 45 footer. I imagine a lot of time after leaving the 45 footer a foot to the right, we will tap it in without removing the stick. Then, if the next guy has a 35 footer and wants it out, the player that just holed it out will yank it out.
  9. bkuehn1952

    I Am Not a Mudder, Are You?

    mudder noun mud·der | \ˈmədə(r)\ plural -s Definition of mudder 1 : a race horse that runs well on a wet or muddy track 2 : a player or a team (as in football) that performs well on a wet field After my final round of 2018, I was thinking about the course conditions the past month or so. While we have had relatively mild weather, it has been wet. I don’t do particularly well in wet and muddy conditions. I play in all sorts of weather: hot, windy, cold, rainy. Of all the conditions, a wet course presents the greatest challenge for me. I am not a mudder. For me, four factors create a mudder: distance, ball striking, patience and equipment Distance: Wet & soggy courses result in no roll out. Unless one hits the ball for good distance off the tee, the course becomes too long to consistently score. If on average one loses 20 yards a tee shot (and 2nd shots on par 5’s), a 6,700 yard course becomes effectively 7,000+ yards. A 6,300 yarder plays to 6,660 yards. Further, that is figuring only 20 yards per shot are lost; often it is 30+ yards. Of course, moving up one or two tees is an option for casual play but tournament play typically offers no relief. Ball Striking: Wet turf leaves one little margin for error. The slightest fat shot will be a disaster. And the effects of a wet club face and ball compromise distance and spin. One study on the subject supports the idea [ http://blog.tourspecgolf.com/wet-versus-dry-golf/ ] Patience: Wet conditions often results in slower play. Cleaning clubs, fiddling with umbrellas, getting rulings for casual water all slow things down. If carts are being used, cart path only is a real time killer. Even the best players are going to find scoring difficult, so patience and a good attitude are crucial. As Bill Belichick recently said when the forecast was for cold and snow: “We aren’t playing against the weather.” Equipment: A quality rain suit, waterproof shoes, rain gloves and dry towels go a long way toward making soggy conditions more playable. When one is wet and cold or spending extra time trying to avoid being wet and cold, one game often suffers. When one is equipped properly, one’s attention can go toward playing golf and not merely surviving. I have the patience and equipment. My problems are distance and ball striking. On a good day I might carry a drive 200 yards. On a wet day, any hole 400 yards and over becomes a “par 5” for me. And even the shorter holes find me hitting hybrids and fairway woods for approaches. Hitting off wet turf is an issue too. My less than pure strikes result in an increased number of fat shots. Also, as the “TourSpecGolf” study shows, wet clubs and balls result in shorter carries. Of course, I have never been one to give up when conditions get tough. Sometimes patience can overcome the other factors. My wife and I used to play in a mixed two-person scramble at a local course. We typically ended up in the middle of the pack. One year, on our 2nd hole, the skies opened up, sending a lot of couples back to the clubhouse. My wife asked whether we should go in. “Hell no”, I said, “over half the field is going to quit. That just improved the odds of our winning.” As it turned out, I was correct. We played on and won. Maybe my wife is a mudder!
  10. bkuehn1952

    USGA/R&A Finalize 2019 Rules of Golf

    Do you think anyone did more repair work on damage to the green along their putting line than what they would have done in the past? Or was the golf casual enough that no one was overly concerned? As we golfers become more aware/used to the Rules changes, I wonder if some will take this change to the extreme.
  11. bkuehn1952

    Are you a mudder?

    I play in all kinds of weather but wet, rainy conditions are tough for me. I don't have the length or precise ball strike to overcome the conditions. It is a struggle for me to score better than the field.
  12. bkuehn1952

    Unusual Putting Technique

    A video or a series of photos showing this technique would be a lot better than all of us trying to imagine the process.
  13. I get up early and try to arrive early so I am not stressing out about missing my scheduled tee time. Since I am getting up early I go to bed early, too. I do not beat a lot of balls, just enough to get an idea of how I am hitting them and to get a bit loose. Typically the menu is a bowl of cereal, glass of juice and a piece of fruit. Toss into the bag an apple and/or a granola bar for during the round if I want something to eat during the round. Drink lots of water while playing I doubt many of your competitors are thinking about nutrition and you probably should not over think it. Eat what you normally do when you are going to be getting some light exercise.
  14. bkuehn1952

    What is Your Punch-Out Club?

    7 iron but if needed, I use 5 iron to be sure the shot stays under very low hanging limbs.
  15. bkuehn1952

    Are you a mudder?

    Well? Anything you want to tell us?😉
  16. bkuehn1952

    Worldwide Golf Handicap System to Debut in 2020

    If one goes to the USGA site and looks at what is offered on the worldwide handicap system, due to debut in less than a year, the information is a bit vague. This leads me to believe there continues to be negotiations and tweeks to the formula being proposed. The article shared by @Rulesman from the Australian golf association had the most details, as far as I could see. What we know (or think we know) - Changes from the current USA system 1. Currently the formula takes the 10 best differentials of the most recent 20. The new formula will be the best 8 of 20. That will tend to lower handicap indices initially. 2. Currently a player needs at least five 18 hole differentials (or the equivalent combination of 9 hole differentials) in order to have a USGA index. This will change to three (54 holes). 3. The current maximum indices are 36.4 (M) and 40.4 (F). The new maximum will be a course handicap (not index) of 54. 4. Currently there is no adjustment for varying playing conditions. In 2020, there will be an adjustment made to differentials scored on days when the conditions are considered to be abnormally difficult. The details are missing but it is thought the adjustments will be relatively small. 5. Currently, the ESC is based on a player's course handicap. There is a table that displays the ESC for each range of course handicaps. The new ESC maximums will be based on what a player's "net double bogey" would be. In the past a player with an 8 course handicap just took double on whatever hole they experienced a disaster. Now one needs to consider the hole's handicap rating. As an "8" course handicapper, when the easiest hole on the course is a par 4, take a 6 (no strokes so net double is 6). Hardest hole is a par 4, take a 7 (1 stroke given so a net double is 7). This is a bit more complex so entering scores into the computer "hole by hole" might allow the computer program to figure out where you get strokes and what the ESC should be. If one calculates ESC manually, knowing the hole's handicap ranking will be mandatory. 5. The article from Australia talked about a "soft cap" of "3". The USGA talks about a "memory". Essentially, there will be a system that compares one's lowest 12 month index against your current index. If your current index is more than 3.0 higher than the 12 month low, you will be adjusted down. The adjustment will be 50% of the difference between your 12 month low +3 and the computed index (clear as mud?). An example is best. Bob's 12 month low index is 12.5. The latest index computation shows him to be 17.3. That is more than 3.0 higher than his 12 month low so his index is adjusted down. 17.3 - 12.5 = 4.8 4.8 - 3.0 = 1.8 1.8 x .50 = .9 Bob's adjusted index is 16.4 (12.5 + 3.0 + .9). I think I have this right but absolutely check me on this item. 6. The article from Australia talked about a "hard cap" of 5. I take that to mean that a player's current index can never be more than 5.0 higher than his/her 12 month low. 7. Again, the Australian article states that the ".93" factor will remain unchanged. In the USA the formula uses a .96 "bonus for excellence". If the Australian article is correct AND the formula is the same worldwide, we will have a .93 "bonus for excellence". As our club's handicap chairman I have a keen interest in all this. No doubt there will be some changes and new wrinkles before 2020. If anyone comes across new information, be sure to share it here. Thanks!
  17. I do not believe the USGA has a set of Rules for "Chapman" competitions. By "Chapman", I refer to a team game where a 2-man team each tee off, then switch and hit each other's ball on the second shot and then finally, select one of the balls and alternate shots until holed. There are other names for this game but many of us use "Chapman." The questions deals with penalty strokes taken and the right to choose which ball to play after two shots. In the scenario, Player A hit a long tee shot and player B hits a very short drive. Player A lays up short of a cross hazard for his second, using Player B's tee shot. They move forward and discover player A's tee shot went too far and is in the hazard. They drop out and player B prepares to hit. The opposing team states that if Player B hits, the team must pick-up the other ball. Because they dropped and took a penalty, player B is hitting the team's 3rd shot. They have no option to use the "lay up" ball once a 3rd shot is made. It sort of makes sense to me. Player B is going to hit the 3rd shot, whether they play either ball. It would not be reasonable to allow player B to hit both balls and then choose one of those. Anyone know for sure how it should work?
  18. bkuehn1952

    Walking Golfers?

    There is a "The Walking Golfer Society." The original "society" and the main website are moribund. I traded emails with the "owner" who started the site and society. He just lost interest and did not have the time to invest. Some of the regional chapters (i.e. Midwest, Northeast and Southeast) are still active and hold 1-2 golf outings annually at very nice courses. I am nominally a member (no cost) and receive their emails. When I started playing in 1961, most walked. I got in the habit early. Later, it became a money thing; I did not have much and wanted to keep it. I walked almost exclusively. Now, as my friends and I have aged, it is hard to convince them to walk. Probably 50% of the time I ride because it is required or my group demands it.
  19. Several years ago I discovered that the course in WI, where my golf journey had begun, had been sold and was no longer in operation. A lot of memories plowed under by a bulldozer. Michigan has many public courses, perhaps too many. Every year brings a handful of closings. My personal count of courses I once played that are now subdivisions or farm fields has hit 10+ in the recent years. I often wonder which course will be next. So far, none of the closed courses have been part of my regular rota. Anyone have a favorite course shut down?
  20. bkuehn1952

    Great Ball Striking

    An uneducated answer from me would be "ball striking" = great iron play. One may not be the longest or most accurate driver of the ball but after that, iron play takes over. Put an iron in your hand and you are going to have a chance at par or birdie if you are a great ball striker.
  21. bkuehn1952

    Hello from Switzerland

    Welcome to TST. My grand parents emigrated to the USA from Switzerland. They both came from your area and spoke Züritüütsch. Sadly, only my mother ever picked up any of the language. We all hope to hear from you often.
  22. bkuehn1952

    What'd You Shoot Today?

    Yesterday I played my "easy" winter course. 75 (around a 9.1 differential). A couple birdies and no doubles. It was partly sunny, around 50 degrees and little wind. The course was a quagmire with fuzzy greens but it felt great to be out there. Right now it is 20 degrees, snowing and windy. Sigh. Clubs are going back into the basement.
  23. Some golf buddies were discussing whether they play the same ball all the time. Some swear that their game is better with a consistent ball usage. Others feel the ball is over rated and any urethane covered multi layer ball works fine. Mind you, these are not low single digit golfers but cover a span of maybe 7 to 15 handicap. Personally, I see the benefit of playing a single brand and version of a quality ball. With my swing speed and ability, the benefit may be hard to quantify. Still, we all strive for consistency and ball consistency likely helps even someone like me.
  24. bkuehn1952

    Overrated/Underrated (Golf) Topic

    Overrated (sadly) - I prefer to walk and do so as often as my playing companions will allow. Several years ago I would have said underrated but after sitting in a cart and playing almost as often as walking, I am no longer sure. I seem to play decently (or poorly) under both approaches. I feel better walking and think I play better but the numbers tell me I am wrong as far as scoring.
  25. I assume I will easily adopt the proper drop process. This weekend, however, I twice dropped from shoulder height when moving out of a puddle so clearly a bit of time and memory will be needed for this old dog to learn.

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