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Blog Comments posted by RandallT

  1. I look forward to hearing more.  Anytime a golf blog mentions USSR/Stalin, I’m in it for the long haul. 

    Any thoughts on using video in your practice regimen? Would love to see your swing thread updated if you are gonna be incorporating video analysis. Definitely helped me when I was looking to “change the picture.”

    Definitely interested in seeing you get eligible for Newport Cup 2019! :beer:

    Edit: I could’ve sworn you had said before in another thread you weren’t eligible yet but I notice now your handicap is actually low enough already!


  2. I think @David in FL nailed it. USS Wasp (LHD-1):

    Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 2.30.40 PM.png

    Looks like they've been deployed in the med in 2016, striking ISIS targets:  http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20170327-Africom1.html



    Marine AV-8B Harrier attack jets and AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters, flying initially from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, conducted weeks of precision strikes against ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] forces strongly entrenched in the coastal city to support the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) troops. Supported by armed Air Force MQ-9 unmanned aircraft and other U.S. forces, the strikes killed or dispersed the ISIS fighters.

    The presence of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in the Mediterranean was a fortuitous event for AFRICOM, which has no committed forces of its own and usually has to share assets with other commands that may have higher priorities in the global fight against extremists.

    “The fact that the MEU-ARG was passing through, we were able to take advantage of the big deck (Wasp)” to conduct the strikes against Sirte. “Sometimes things work out to our advantage,” Waldhauser told the Defense Writers Group.


  3. 4 minutes ago, Dave Saari said:

    Is it really true that a player can't post a solo round for HCI purposes? Why not? As long as you comply with the handicapping guidelines and play to the best of your ability, why should it matter if you are playing alone?

    Welcome, again, Dave. It's true. You might want to read back through these threads here when you get a chance:


  4. It's a double-edged sword though, isn't it? While I wish some posters would get a clue, I really love the way things stay interesting when people post in zany ways. 

    The long posts can make our eyes glaze over, but it's cool someone had the passion and time to write all that crap! :-D

    So bring on the quirkiness, the inability to follow directions, the refusal to search for prior threads on the same topic, the bad grammar, the ignorance of sound body mechanics and practice regimens, some occasional immaturity, and poor decision making from time to time! Love it!



    1. 33 minutes ago, Marty2019 said:

      And also, it has to be fun.  It can't be all work.

      I thought this was key in what you wrote. At first, I thought that hitting fewer balls wasn't "fun." It felt too disciplined. Over time, I've flipped on that. It's a cliche, but I'm enjoying the process. When at the range, I'm there to change something, I'm not convince myself I'm hitting good shots. The fun is when you CHANGE something- and the joy of hitting a good shot is short-lived. Just give me a few more shots, and that good one has faded from memory. But if I've truly changed something, I should enjoy the benefits of better contact for a long while.

      Like the young woman you saw, pounding balls can be relaxing in a way- just swing freely and see what happens. I've definitely done that when I needed a break from the discipline. But I've found that changes don't happen when hitting balls rapid fire- even when you try to stay conscious of what you're doing. Not major changes, anyway.

      The changes I'm working on are deeply ingrained from years of being unaware of proper fundamentals, so it'll be fun to fix that- using all the tools you mentioned: video, slow swings, focus, etc.

    2. Last round I played, I forgot my 8- and 6-iron (was practicing inside and left them in an umbrella stand- duh). I don't even carry a 3-wood yet. At the end of the round, I wondered if I should just remove all even-numbered clubs and just choke up or swing slightly slower, when needed. A 20-ish yard gap between clubs is probably smaller than the variance of how the distances I hit the ball with my swing anyway!

      But yes, I agree that for beginners who are struggling to break 100, they might just drastically simplify and use clubs they can control. Keep it in play with the shot that advances it as far as possible in a relatively safe manner. Once you get a few rounds under 100 (or whatever threshold), then you can add in complexity.

    3. Quote

      I've contemplated professional help... but when I think of those words, my golf geek starts thinking of lessons!

      Ya know, CY, but you could limit your golf this winter to just.....

      wait for it.....

      wait for it.....

      lessons and dedicated practice.  Your wife would be glad that you do mirror drills in a hallway, rather than playing a full round. And I'll be waiting for you over in these threads :-P

      But seriously, you and I have had polar opposite seasons. I've pretty much done nothing but practice/lessons (with a break in there for part of the late summer). I have no idea how I'll score in spring. In retrospect though, it has been eye-opening to think almost nothing about getting out to the course and just let an instructor guide your progress. 

      I'd recommend it to anyone whose willing to give that a shot for a few months. Challenge is to see what fundamental change you can make to your swing- to see what scores and consistency of play arrive when the season starts.

      A new focus for your geek-dom for the winter? Yah, I know- there's a happy medium between us somewhere, right? Your inner geek sounds like he wouldn't be interested in anything "medium" when it comes to golf :beer:. But think about it- I've enjoyed it, and still a few months to go til I plan to get back out to the course. 

    4. In my last round, I was licking my chops at a short Par 5. I was swinging well, and it's only 465yds, but some trouble if too wayward. I was in one of those mid-round grooves, and my swing just felt effortless and smooth. I hit a great drive, and had 200yds left (with the wind). From there, I knew short was better than long, so I used a nice and easy 5-iron that came off the club incredibly. To my amazement, it ended up rolling just to the back fringe!

      I rarely, if ever, reach a par 5 in two, so I'm pretty damn impressed at this point. So no problem, a chip and a putt for birdie, right? Sure is better than my typical bogey I get on this hole.

      THIS TIME, I've got you, nemesis hole.

      In short, I failed to make even a GIR (the front pin location dips pretty good and I watched my fringe putt roll down into a swail), and I had to hit a 6ft breaking putt to save par. :pound:

      In this case, it was overconfidence and over-exuberance. Couldn't see anything but a birdie, and totally lost focus.

    5. Just wanted to drop in and say I love how you think, man. I saw this quickly on my phone the other night, and glad it got bumped to remind me to look out your amazing layout. Before I dive in, I think you're maximizing the use with using the same greens/tees for multiple holes, minimizing how much is mowed to pristine condition, minimizing how much you need to water it. Just generally getting the most out of a small plot of land but minimizing the work and cost of getting playable holes. Cool idea.

      Gonna be a long winter up there with more brainstorms like this? 

    6. 1 hour ago, iacas said:

      I might write up something about this, but remember that it's often about 25%, 40%, 20%, 15%… so it's important that the ratios are about the same, too, or it indicates a deficiency.

      Makes sense. I probably get caught up in the absolute numbers too much, but we have to consider the typical skew.

      When comparing to a gold standard, a likely area for improvement is where you are significantly worse than that skew- even if the absolute number is not as high. 

      3 hours ago, CarlSpackler said:

      I switch it to a 10 handicap to see where I am deficient for range so I can clean that up and advance.

      That seems like a good iterative approach. Just clean up where you compare worst to your peers, as GAME GOLF's reports for each HCP level already factor in the skew mentioned above.

      What's clear is that your putting is fine though! All 3 analyses agreed with that.

      Lastly, how do you personally handle "oddball" courses like this? Obviously it was a short course. You had 11 driving opportunities, and I believe a few of those were layups.  Naturally, your strokes lost in driving would be lower than if you played a 7000yd course. 

      So does your "dissecting a round" philosophy have any adjustment for a short course, or do we just let it all average out over time across a variety of courses? 

    7. As I review your spreadsheet tracker above, @Carl Spackler, I see that when you go hole-by-hole, you assign yourself 4.5 shots blown for short game. GAME GOLF, on the other hand, says that the typical 10HCP player is 3.7 shots better than you in short game shots. Effectively, they are saying that where you blew 4.5 shots, for you to be on level footing with a typical 10HCP player in their system, you should have only blown 0.8 of those opportunities.

      Does that pass the common sense test? 

      Your gut assessment and the comparison against PGA numbers both showed that your approach shots were clearly the area where you lost the most strokes. By a significant margin.

      Maybe the comparison to a 10HCP is messing me up, and perhaps you could post the GAME GOLF comparison to a scratch golfer? Brings up an interesting question, do you prefer to see where you vary in skill areas compared to people who score similarly to you- or do you want to see how many strokes you are losing compared to some gold standard (to par as you did, to scratch as GG does or to PGA as I do?).  Those 2 analyses could yield different areas where you could improve, and both be right. Right?

    8. 56 minutes ago, natureboy said:

      So you still calculate the SG based on lie, you just don't put 'Recovery Shots' in the reporting stats? That makes sense.

      As I think about it, I consider a "recovery" shot EXACTLY like I consider a penalty- mathematically anyway.

      Say you hit a tee shot into the water on a par 3. Take your penalty, then take your drop. To calculate that, you look at the starting point (tee) and the ending point (drop), and consider that it took you 2 shots to get there (your shot and the penalty).

      Then you do the math to make that work from strokes gained perspective. I won't bore everyone with that. But there's no debate the penalty was a result of the original shot.

      Likewise for recovery shots. In Shane's case above. He started at 100yds or so on an approach.  2 shots later, he was greenside. So look at the values of those two locations, do that math, and lump that difference under approaches.

      It's all a matter of how you think it's appropriate to assess which area needs work. In his original spreadsheet above, he chose to dock himself 1 approach, 2 short game. I'm just humbly suggesting 2 approach, 1 short game. Or split the difference. Whatever.

      But the key to me is that "recovery" shots could be considered very much like we consider penalties- assess the shot that did the damage. Then when you review where you need to practice, the ultimate cause has a better chance of coming out "on top."

    9. Just now, natureboy said:

      Are you just saying you don't personally see value in tracking recovery lies for your own game or you don't see value in it period?

      I prefer to lump everything into the 4 categories: drive/approach/short/putt. If I have a recovery shot, I just don't see the value in knowing how many strokes I gain or lose from those. But I do see value in penalizing the prior shot. Not sure that answers your question.


      I am digesting your PM now, BTW. Very interesting.


    10. I know we're chatting by PM about this, but just wanted to throw out my thoughts on this sort of thing:

      1. I think so many of us craft our way to measure our progress. I know I tinker with this stuff a lot. Overall, we each have our own way, and that's cool. Here's another related thread from @alleztom
      2. The apps out there seem to be getting better and better at this. They still fall short in different ways, but I do think there's improvement year over year.
      3. The trick is obviously to keep it simple but sufficiently useful. The problem I see is in capturing all of those shots that are partial strokes lost. Where you hit a decent shot for yourself, but it might be 0.13 shots worse than a scratch golfer, or whatever. @iacas mentioned that.
      4. Also like he says, each hole could average anything- not just the par value. Again, it's fractional. Like 3.8, rather than a par 4. Over the course of 18 holes, those fractions per shot and fractions per hole could add up.

      On the other hand, I sent you a draft spreadsheet via PM that showed the fractional strokes gained/lost against PGA data, and the overall values were VERY similar to what you came up with! So your method seems to have worked just fine (roughly). So if your system works for you with all those caveats, I say it's a pretty decent model.

      But I have another question on holes like #15. You had a 100yd-ish approach that you pulled into the trees. Then because you were stuck on a root, you bladed it across the green. Then on the come-back short game shot, you thinned it to the far end of the green and 2-putted from there. You gave yourself 1 shot dropped from approaches and 2 shots dropped from short game.

      I have discussed this with others (and tried to understand Broadie's methodology), and I still can't get out of my head that the shot you hit from the tree root should be "billed" to the original approach shot. That's kind of a recover shot from the tree root (to me) and not your standard short game shot.  And rather than track strokes lost for recovery shots, I think it makes sense to blame the prior shot's category: in this case, approaches.

      If I'm nuts, let me know. I worked with others on the Strokes Gained spreadsheet I sent you, but nobody else sees it that way, frankly. Even Broadie tracks recovery shots as a separate category (where I see no use in that). As I see it, you could've saved 2 shots by hitting a better approach from 100yds. Period.

      Ok, I'll get off my soapbox.

    11. Love it!

      I liked the little discussion you threw in about denormalizing the data model to capture the slope/rating at the time the round was played, as that's something I don't think I'd ever thought through. I guess your only other option would have been to assign a date of the rating in the course_tees table into the scores table? That would certainly make the calculation of differential a bit more complex to do the join between two tables based on the correct rating (based on round date in the scores table to a date NO LATER than that round in the course_tees). Not sure I know how to do that in a JOIN command.

      Anyway, great idea for topic. I think lots of us enjoy geeking out with data modeling, but are afraid to admit it. I'm also a fan of MS SQL Server, but I also felt looked down upon by Oracle or Sybase guys at work. Those of us supporting MS SQL Server were the pariahs. Curious if that division (sometimes just teasing, sometimes quite serious when choosing a platform for a new project) still exists out there in the workplace generally (OT, I know!).

    12. FWIW, my Ford Fusion hybrid is constantly stopping and starting its motor. It is all unobtrusive, as the start does not feel like a traditional car start where you crank the key. When the car needs more power than it gets from the battery (or if it needs to charge the battery), the engine quietly kicks back in. 

      Hard to say why, but I just feel like it doesn't take a lot of energy to start it. It's almost seamless. I used to doubt whether that made sense to shut down the engine like it does, but the engine does stay off for long enough, that it must make sense.

      I've gotten 38/39mpg now for years, so that says something.

    13. Yah, I'm discussing with Erik now about some blog-style posts I could do more in the area of analyzing your rounds (stat tracking/game improvement), and that's my biggest "concern." Concern is too strong a word, but I wouldn't know if I had more than just a few mildly interesting things to say, to a select number of geeks. I'll likely run with it until I'm outta gas. But I enjoy the topics you tend to pick, so good luck keeping them rolling along. Good stuff.

    14. I seem to have at least 3 "stories" to tell with my game through a round of 18 holes. The first few holes might be one story, and the finishing holes might be another.... but in between, I might get into two or three other patterns of play: a double-bogey train, a string of pars, whatever.

      Last round, i was proud because I double-bogey'ed 1&2. I started to feel the day was toast already, but fought that off and just stayed with it. Although I parred 3, I hit my tee shot on 4 OB. It pretty much felt like I had double-bogeyed the 3rd hole too, since I was essentially +6 after 3 holes (still on the tee on the 4th hole because of the OB).

      I settled down and "parred" that hole from there (actually a double-bogey), then parred the next 3 holes to get right back into the realm of "bogey golf," my standard these days. It felt like an achievement just to claw back so soon, and I thought "hey, this game's easy."

      Famous last words.

      The last two holes on the front nine are really easy, and I played them in +3, I think. Duh. The rest of the round was not memorable, but I got around just ok enough.

      So not a tale of a great start or great finish, but an example of relaxing and not giving up after a bad start. You never know when you can get hot. I truly felt like after my bounce-back after that OB that I could've parred a bunch of holes the rest of the round, but it wasn't to be. Next round!

      (I also wanted to bump this post, so people can see it again. I always enjoy hearing people's rounds where crazy starts/finishes happen. C'mon people!)

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