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      Visit FlagstickRule.com   03/13/2017

      Visit the site flagstickrule.com to read about and sign a petition for the USGA/R&A regarding the one terrible rule in the proposed "modernized" rules for 2019.


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Pretzel last won the day on May 15

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394 One of the All-Time Greats


About Pretzel

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    Number Cruncher
  • Birthday 04/03/1998

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  1. It's likely that previously you were casting the clubhead from the top and reached peak clubhead speed somewhere around halfway down to the ball, before slowing down. It's likely that your feeling of accelerating into the ball means that your swing speed is the same as it was before, it just reaches its peak much closer to the time of impact than it previously did.
  2. 3 HCP to Scratch and better

    It is possible, but not for everyone. As someone who's done it (got to a +2 at my best), it isn't easy at all. There are two things that helped push me over the edge. The first is that I started making birdies, where before I was mostly stuck with pars and bogies and maybe 1-2 birdies in a round. The second is that I stopped making double bogies or worse, for the most part. Avoiding blowup holes entirely and making more birdies, while it sounds obvious, is hard to do. I practiced a lot with my short irons and wedges to try and hit approach shots tighter to make more birdies, and I started to plan my entire round before I set foot on the course to avoid big numbers that could come into play from poor decisions. It's definitely possible for some. It took me 2-2.5 years to go from ~3 to where I finally got past scratch, but it could be accelerated (I slowed down my playing time significantly after dropping from an 8 to a 2 in a summer, so perhaps it could have been quicker). It will require a lot of work, and in the right areas, and for some people it may end up not happening. Not everyone is physically capable of getting better than scratch, and everyone will eventually find their limit. I don't know for certain that I found my limit when I got to my lowest handicap, but I do know that I learned enough about my limits to realize that a career in golf was never, ever going to happen for me (unless I taught, but that isn't something that greatly interests me for a variety of reasons).
  3. I ordered my set of MP4's in 3-PW and I use the full set of 3-PW. When I got my first set of full sized clubs I had hybrids for my 3 iron and 4 iron since I couldn't hit the long irons very well. They were hard to hit until I started really getting fundamentals down and made solid contact with frequency. As I grew and my swing speed sped up I found that hybrids were sending the ball too high up into the air for me, so I dropped the 4 hybrid and used a 4 iron. This was around the same time that I also picked up my set of s55 irons, which were surprisingly easier to hit than my old Eye 2's. For about 6 months I would switch between my 3 iron and my 3 hybrid depending on the conditions for the day. If I knew it was going to be windy, I'd use the 3 iron, but otherwise I'd use the hybrid since I could hit it further. Then I reshafted my irons with shafts of the proper flex and gained enough distance with each iron that the comparison between the hybrid and the iron itself was only 5-10 yards difference, but I felt I could control the iron a lot better (keeping it low particularly). I started playing more and more rounds without switching back to the hybrid until I found out that I didn't really miss the hybrid much. The only place the hybrid really excelled for me over the iron was off the tee. I could hit the hybrid about 20 yards further off the tee than the iron, but I thought about it and realized that if I'm hitting a 3 iron off the tee distance is usually not my concern. A 3 iron is more than enough for me to reach any par 3, and if I hit it on a par 4 tee shot it means I'm trying to lay up short of some hazard, so distance doesn't matter. If I want something slightly more accurate than my driver off the tee I'l hit 3 wood, but even those times are pretty rare since I can just swing smoothly with the driver and get similar results with more distance if there is trouble on either side. I hit the ball well enough with my irons that the hybrid doesn't fill a necessary role for me anymore. For me it causes me to give up flexibility for marginal gains in a situation that I would rarely use it in. I mishit the 3 iron still sometimes and I know the hybrid might have helped in that case, but those mis-hit's are usually toe-y hooks anyways and I really don't want them to fly much further in the first place. My most common mis-hit is catching the ball a little bit thin and my iron can handle that just fine, since it goes mostly the same distance just with more roll than usual. For me the benefit of being able to more easily control the trajectory of the shot was worth the risk of having a less forgiving club to hit. Playing on plains courses the wind can pick up to be pretty stiff, meaning I play a lot of golf where I need to flight the ball. I don't play many courses that require (or encourages) a forced carry of 230 for a specific shot, but if I did I might consider using the hybrid to play that course over the iron just to ensure that I can clear whatever hazard is placed in front of my target. If you're interested in a 3 iron or a 4 iron I'd say give them a shot. Compare the results on a launch monitor with the hybrids you're looking at and think about the distance gap the club would fill. If you're not confident in the club, regardless of whether it's a hybrid or an iron, it's probably going to be worse even if you could benefit from the other club a bit more. Going to a launch monitor and mapping out what you use the club for lets you choose the type of club that you know will suit you best without causing yourself to second guess your decision out on the course. You never think, "Dang, I wonder if I should've put the hybrid in my bag" if you made your decision based on which would objectively provide more benefit.
  4. Chris Speilman sues Ohio State & IMG

    You're right. If I saw a banner with a famous person on it, and a brand name on the SAME banner, I would in no way be likely to think that the brand name is endorsed by the person printed, quite literally, on the same banner. Come on, you can't argue that. If the brand name is on the same banner, the banner is an advertisement for Honda using the likeness of the player. If it were a separate banner below the first there wouldn't be a problem (or at least it wouldn't be as large), but that's not the case. It's like saying the below picture (using your avatar as an example) is not an advertisement for a certain service: Regardless of whether or not it's intended to be an ad, the average consumer would most certainly believe it is an ad.
  5. Chris Speilman sues Ohio State & IMG

    In this case I agree Student B should be paid, but the argument they're making is that Student A is working a side job on top of his job for the school. His job for the school is to maintain good grades and the reputation of the school by being a stellar student. If their grades drop, they lose the money, same as how if the performance of the player drops he loses the money. Like I said, I think it's unfair to the athletes that they aren't paid, but that's the argument the schools would make in this scenario
  6. 2017 Newport Cup Selection Thread

    So, Blue team, I've got some food for thought for you all during your practice leading up to the cup. Do you breathe in or out on your backswing? How about the downswing?
  7. The "friendly wager" dilemma....

    I stopped playing with presses with a certain player when a $1 per hole 9-hole skins game had so many carries and presses that the final hole was worth $28 a person (in a four person group) $1 on the first hole, press, $3 for the second hole, $5 for the third hole, press, $8 for the fourth hole, $12 for the fifth hole, $15 for the sixth hole, press, $19 for the seventh hole, $23 for the eighth hole, press, $28 for the ninth hole. I made a birdie on the ninth and took home a very nice chunk of change, but I won't ever play skins with presses with that player again. $1 skins or a $5-20 Nassau I'm fine with even if it's a total stranger. I don't mind gambling, I think it's good for your focus on the course, and so long as the damage will never be more than $20 I figure I come out ahead of the average golfer since I usually play for free. I figure I've probably made more than I've lost over the years, but not by a large margin.
  8. Over-Stating the Value of a Playing Lesson

    That there is. It was a nice way to add some variety into the lessons and it was helpful to do sometimes if I felt like I was hitting good shots and not scoring, since it would give me an outside opinion of what I was doing poorly while playing. The 1.5x was only if it was a full nine holes. Otherwise the hour I had paid for could be spent wherever I wanted, the chipping/putting green, the range, or the course. On the course (if it was pretty open) we'd sometimes toss a bunch of golf balls in weird trouble spots reachable from the tee and I would try to hit the green from there, or we would play something like worst ball. It was fun and it was really helpful because he was pretty good at thinking of things that I wouldn't normally practice despite finding myself needing every so often. I think most of all it was a nice change of pace from just being on the range hitting at the flags they have marked, even though swing mechanics were still a pretty big focus.
  9. Over-Stating the Value of a Playing Lesson

    I liked that the instructor I most recently took lessons from, several years ago, would let me choose whether I wanted my lesson to be on the course or on the range. It was a 1 hour lesson either way, or I could pay ~1.5x more to do a 2 hour 9-hole lesson, but I could choose if I wanted a playing lesson or a lesson more focused on the mechanics of my swing.
  10. A possible new achievement ?

    I'm only aware of one bogey free round I've ever had, since I don't pay a ton of attention to practice rounds, and it was a tournament 67 I shot once at the start of a city championship. It was a nice solid round, but I can't remember even one other time it happened for me where I didn't make a single bogey. It would certainly be a pretty rare achievement if it was awarded for all holes being par or better. I think I'm more interested in just knowing how many people on the site have done it than in there being any kind of award for it. I imagine it would probably be in the single digits, even counting @iacas and @mvmac.
  11. Pistol Competitions

    I'm currently debating whether or not to keep the guitar I saved for (Les Paul Standard) or if I should sell it to get a less expensive one now that I'll soon have to start paying for both golf and ammo (not working at the golf course this summer for an internship and running low on free NRA grant ammo). I'm decent at golf and shooting, but I suck pretty badly at guitar and honestly don't come anywhere close to "needing" something like that, if anyone even really does. Of the three, that would be the one I have the least time invested into and makes the most sense to cut back on (though it is more of a one-time investment if you have lots of self control). I would love to do 3-gun events, but I'd need to get myself a new shotgun and rifle for it. My shotgun has a 3 shell tube and the rifles my family has are all bolt-action. The shotgun could be passable with lots of reloading, but I feel bolt guns wouldn't really cut it since I'm someone with a pretty competitive nature. Now that the national shoot is over though I can focus on practicing up for the Newport Cup! My golfing pretty much dropped to near zero this spring since I started going to the range the 3 evenings a week I had free. I'm glad that the NRA helped out with ammo, because even with the price of .22LR being low I was using probably between 500-1000 rounds a week for practice leading up to the event.
  12. Pistol Competitions

    Got back late this evening from the competition and a short vacation afterwords. I didn't do too poorly, placing 11th in the nation. There was some controversy with two of the shooters placed above me and how they held their pistols during the hunter pistol silhouette portion though, so if you discard the scores that didn't follow the rules I ended up in 9th. Either way a pretty decent finish considering how abysmal my red dot shooting was last Tuesday.
  13. Behind a Foursome of Slow-Playing Kids

    Because I can guarantee they were right behind the group in front of them while playing in that tournament. Having played in that type of atmosphere, you're almost always waiting on the group ahead of you, meaning playing through wouldn't have done much good. But yeah, if you said they shot terrible it definitely wasn't AJGA. You have to qualify to play in AJGA tournaments, meaning an 80 is considered bad with an 85 being awful.
  14. Pistol Competitions

    Yeah, the Mark pistols are pretty reliable. They're all semi-auto, @iacas, and since yours is slab sided it would likely be their Mark II Competition Target model. The design since then hasn't changed much, with the exception of the fantastic disassembly of the Mark IV's. The Mark III I use for the NRA bullseye that allows red dot sights: The Mark IV of mine with open sights that I got this last spring: I will say that I do greatly prefer the left grip scale from the newer Mark IV compared to the older ones. It's contoured underneath the bolt release, which lets you kind of hook your thumb around it and use your thumb to help hold the gun tight in your grip without much effort. The older grip scale with only a diagonal slanted thumbrest gives your thumb a place to sit and is more comfortable than flat scales, but doesn't necessarily give you any extra grip since your thumb still cannot pull the gun into your hand like with the newer grip. The Mark IV has an ambidextrous safety, but my hand is large enough that I couldn't take the gun off safe while holding it if it was still installed so I just removed it altogether. Both guns, however, shoot very accurately and have some nice Volquartsen triggers, hammers, and sears installed. They have a very different grip angle than a 1911 would have, since it's based off the Luger, but it's generally a better angle for shooting with your strong shoulder towards the target and I find it pretty comfortable for the one handed shooting I do.
  15. Pistol Competitions

    .22lr is a great caliber for practice because it's cheap, and because it has little recoil. It makes it really easy to see if you flinched (and helps to cure a flinch if you have one already), and the low cost of ammunition means you can practice a lot more. If you're looking for a decent entry-level pistol, I'd definitely go with either one of the Browning Buck Mark pistols or one of the new Ruger Mark IV's that came out this last fall. I have a Mark IV Competition that I use and it's definitely accurate (I can shoot out the X at 25 yards from a rest), but the nicest part is how easy it is to field strip it. Drop the bolt, put the safety on and press a button before lifting up on the back of the bolt. The bolt, barrel, and chamber lift straight off, letting you slide the bolt out and get everything cleaned and lubricated. The big advantage of the Browning guns, however, are the triggers. Ruger, admittedly, puts some REALLY rough sears in their guns at the factory and it makes for a gritty 5.5 lb trigger. Browning does a much better job with their triggers, but there is also a fantastic kit from Volquartsen that replaces the trigger, sear, and hammer to give you a really smooth 2 lb trigger in the Ruger pistols. I did that about two weeks after I got the pistol and it was a great upgrade since the sear is like glass and the trigger is adjustable for pre-travel and over-travel. If you want something a bit fancier than that the Hammerli Xesse is a great gun at sort of the start of the "match grade" .22lr pistols. It's ridiculously accurate and can be ordered with adjustable bullseye grips for under $1,000. Up at the high end you have some of the more expensive Hammerli's and the S&W Model 41, but those are guns that I honestly wouldn't even look at since I think the Xesse can match them at a lower price point with a better grip. Regardless of what you get, odds are that the gun can shoot better than you ever will unless you get to a really high level of competition. I know I still can't outshoot my gun. I would like to shoot IDPA as well as in some of the 3-gun competitions, but the problem is that I can't buy a pistol or the ammo required to shoot with major power factor. Pesky federal laws and all, requiring that you need to be 21 to purchase handguns or handgun ammunition... I'll stick to .22 for now and see if I still have the time once I'm 21.