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dave s

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Everything posted by dave s

  1. You might be comparing PGA Tour Pro stats/data with someone who might hold a high handicap. If you quoted tour pro stats, I don't disagree one bit. Closer to pin green = closer to hole on green. And tour pros understand the shot and most assuredly practice shots from that distance. My contention is it's still a pretty dicey range and shot for many higher handicap players. It's one I can hit but don't enjoy having one on every hole. It's a case of going to the well one time to many!
  2. I still assert that 50-60 yard shots are difficult to hit with consistently quality results for many players. From a tight fairway lie or off a mat at a range. As far as getting as close as you possibly can to the green, yes indeed. Agree 100%. Those who need help with that awkward half wedge shot should attempt to get better at it as you indicate. Those who simply can't manage those shots might want to avoid leaving themselves in that predicament. That's all I'm saying and it's not terrible advice, mate. Consistently poor results from that range? Develop a plan to stay away from the shot.
  3. Some personal thoughts. I love The Masters. Best broadcast in sports today. One thing I question every year: I understand the tradition of past champions, but does it make sense to have past Masters Champions who can no longer compete taking his spot in the tournament? Guys like Bernhard Langer or Fred Couples can still compete. Larry Mize and Ian Woosnam cannot. It's almost kind of embarrassing to professional golf to have guys playing who won't break 80 on days 1 and 2, miss the cut. I'm kind of torn whether its right to allow the lifelong exemption and have guys who have no chance of competing teeing it up or replace them with more of the OWGR players? Or, do we honor tradition and let Mike Wier play until he's 75 because tradition allows him to do so.
  4. Agree with @Valleygolfer to stay AWAY from the 50-60 yard range whenever possible. There's a good reason tour pros don't lay up to this range: It's a really difficult shot for everybody. I used to play scrambles with guys who hit tee balls to this range on par 4 holes. They'd say, "okay Dave, stick one close!" Sheesh! How many times do you think I can hit this shot before I blade one over the green? Tough shot. If you do keep getting yourself into the 50-60 yard range, maybe learn how to pitch with lower lofted wedge or even a 9- or 8-iron using more of a putting stroke? Tight lies indicate ball-first strike I believe. Good amount of spin and let it roll out like a putt once on the green. The obvious downside of this shot is you may get the bad bounce along the the way to the green. Better yet, stay OUT of this range and back to a yardage where you can swing at least 80% of a lob wedge and fly it all nearer the hole taking out the possibility of the bad bounce. Last Saturday, we're playing in complete mush conditions. The last hole, a long par 4 was completely into the wind. I had to lay up my 2nd shot due to bunkers that started 40 yards in. Since it was a cart path only rule, I took a layup club (8-iron) and some shorter clubs with me. Of course the layup shot was crushed leaving me closer to the green than planned. I had a 50* gap wedge as my shortest club and had your favorite 64 yard shot to the pin. 3/4 easy swing with ball first contact and hit a once-bounce stop to 10'. Missed the par putt of course, but was able to take enough off a club that usually goes 90-100 yards to hit it only 65 yards. It's certainly possible to negotiate that distance if you're good with less than full shots with your wedges, but personally, I try really hard to stay OUT of that range. The one I hit Saturday was likely as much luck as skill.
  5. dave s

    Where to start

    Since we're just moving into spring and playing season, I would suggest looking in your area for a beginner group lesson package. Some places have like a 6-lesson introduction to golf package that helps explain things that aren't obvious to golf. Beginner classes usually cover cover putting, short game, full swing classes for irons and woods. Some conclude with a 9-hole round to put into play what has been taught. Welcome to TST
  6. I live up north, NE Ohio, where everything is bent grass fairways and greens over soft dirt. Roughs are usually overseeded rye/bluegrass mixes that are very dense. That's because it freaking RAINS all the time making it grow like mad and too wet to mow. That said, I LOVE playing down south with bermuda fairways on top of a sand base. Bermuda, (or some of the newer turfs down south) greens hold shots and don't tear potholes in the greens like our soft bent grass / dirt base greens do up north. Yeah, I definitely prefer the down south courses with the hybrid, drought resistant grasses.
  7. Range work for me is to work on 2 things only: 1) dialing in distances for scoring clubs 7i and down through wedges; 2) hitting full shots with longer clubs for contact reasons only. Working on #1 means you have to have a range finder. My go-to range has greens with flags that can be scoped to return accurate numbers. The closest flag is usually 60-70 yards from wherever I'm hitting. They also have greens with flags at around 100, 140, 170 and one out there around 200 or so. I've gotten a lot of practice dialing in those scoring iron yardages at this facility. Working on #2 item means I'm focusing on solid contact and direction with the longer clubs and that's about it. Line up shots between greens and try to put them there. What I see so many other players doing is smashing through a large bucket of balls with a driver and nothing else. For me, it's put the ball in play off the team to set up the hole. It's not like I drive it far anymore, but putting it in play off the tee is something I fortunately don't have to work on a bunch.
  8. My weeknight league starts next Thursday, April 4. The weather is looking optimistic a full week away. 42 degrees (high temp) and no rain so far. 27 is the predicted overnight low. That means we'll tee off at 40 degrees drop to lower 30s by the time we complete the round. How to dress? I wear long, thermal underwear, a pair of pants then my rain pants over the lower half. Up top, an Underarmour cold gear mock shirt, layer on a golf shirt (no idea WHY?!!!) then a cold weather quarter zip top over that zipped up to my chin. Layer on my rain suit top that is impervious to winds and I should be ok. I have a nice Adidas stocking hat that I'll pull down as low as it'll go. Also will wear my winter golf gloves, (plural), two pairs of socks and the warmest pair of golf shoes I own. Like any of them are warm. Saddest part is we'll play all of April and most of may in weather I don't consider 'golf weather' at all. When I watch TV golf, it's warm, the fans have on shorts and shirts, look warm and are shielding their eyes from the sun. No such issues with sunshine or warm, dry weather in NE Ohio until July ... if we're lucky.
  9. Awesome, Patch. Thanks for sharing. At one of my local practice facilities, we have the 'old guy on the bench.' Here to find out he's been teaching the area for more than 50 years. Has quite a resume of youngsters who have gone on to play collegiate golf and maybe a professional or two. I sat next to him on his bench one time while he was reviewing a HS aged girl hit balls. Every once in awhile he'd say 'good swing,' or 'ball position,' or something to the girl. Took notice of those hands. Meat hooks, more like it. I though of Arnie after getting a good look at them. Big, fat fingers on very wide hands. Leathery texture. Every practice facility needs to have an older guy on the bench.
  10. I'm definitely not cheap when it comes to my golf game. I am kind of a cheap-a$$ when it comes to how much I'll pay to play. Just off a recent trip to St Augustine, FL with the wife. We played two very nice courses there. Total cost for both of our green fees at each place less than $80. I played Slammer and Squire at the World Golf HOF for $80. Another place I like to play is the greater Biloxi, MS area. The 3 top courses, (minus Fallen Oak) are Grand Bear, (Nicklaus design) Bridges, (Arnold Palmer design) and Shell Landing, a Davis Love III designed course. Last time there I paid $40 for the Nicklaus course, $50 for Arnold's course and $45 for Shell Landing. Anyone whose played these courses would rate them at least an 8 out of 10. And for that kind of money? Honestly, I don't need to take that next step to the Bay Hills and the TPC Sawgrasses of the world. Would definitely love to play both, but the difference between $50 for a really nice course to $400 for a legendary course doesn't add up for me. Depending on where you live, some locations have a surplus of courses and not enough players to fill them. Supply / demand means golf is an incredible value provided you look and shop a bit. In NE Ohio, we have a ton of golf courses. Lots of nice ones, too. Since I don't always have to play at 7:30 am on Saturday, I can book really nice courses on a Saturday or Sunday around 11:00 am for $30. The nicest courses might cost $40-50. In addition, web-based golf sites like Group Golfer and Golfnow provide insane rates if your schedule flexible. I'll play a really nice course Sunday afternoon with my wife for $25 each and take my lumps. Just booked a course near Columbus, OH via Group Golfer that hosted a recent D3 college national championship ... for $25!!! I spend the majority of my cash on golf equipment, clothes and shoes. Just like to make sure green fees don't break the bank.
  11. I have both types, soft-spike and spikeless shoes. The spikeless shoes work great for me when I'm playing on sand-based bermuda grass courses. They are lightweight and very comfortable. I have 2 pairs of the True Links shoes. Love them. However, I like up in NE Ohio where all our courses are dirt-based, soft and for the most part we play on bent grass fairways and greens. All of the courses are damp during morning hours meaning the TrueLinks spikeless shoes don't work. Also, it rains a LOT in NE Ohio making courses mushy at best to downright wet with casual water an on occasion a total quagmire. Spiked shoes are the ONLY choice most of the time. That said, I've purchased a few pairs of the Adidas spiked shoes with the BOA lacing. Great fit, still fairly lightweight and adjustable until the shoe fit is perfect. My feet don't bake in them on hot days anymore than wearing the spikeless True Links shoes. Conditions dictate what kind of shoe will keep your feet on the ground and steady.
  12. If your golf Expo is similar to what we visited recently in Cleveland, Vokey SM5 wedges could be had for $99. Brand new, still wrapped in plastic. As others mentioned, if you don't like the price you see, make an offer. They might just take it because anything they sell doesn't have to be transported (cost involved) back to wherever it came from. We got incredibly good deals in Cleveland. Took a foursome with me. Only deal was anything you buy has to fit in the trunk of my BMW or you're walking home with it. We bought clothes, shoes, clubs, one bag, gloves, hats, balls, etc. Bunch of smaller stuff but all was priced better than any of the online shops. Again, they brought the stuff there to sell, not take back home. You'll find a wedge! dave
  13. I use the Par Aide regularly to wash the BOGIES off my golf ball!
  14. Couple things on sunscreen: 1. Don't use the spray on kind like Coppertone 'Sport' after you've dressed for golf and apply it at the course just before teeing off. You'll ruin those nice Adidas and Nike golf shirts. I had a couple that were completely ruined by whatever chemicals are present in the product. 2. Our local news (Cleveland) did a clinical study of all the top brands available over the counter at any retailer. Some claimed to be spf 50 or 70 or whatever. The brand that clearly delivered on what its label indicated was Wal-Mart Equate brand spf 30 and 50 lotions. Both were spot-on with protection claims and substantiated by testing labs. The report also concluded that lotions were more effective than spray on products. I slather on the Wal-Mart Equate brand, spf #50 before playing. I can burn right through spf 30 over an 18-hole round so the 50 actually does provide better protection.
  15. I have and use the Pioneer cart bag. Can't compare to Sun Mountain, but as another has already said, they always get really positive reviews. Here's the good and maybe not so good about the Ping Pioneer: I like the 14-way, individual club holder. Will never go back to anything but a setup like this. Keeps shafts in good order, having each club in its own space is the way it should be. I travel with my clubs. The amount of stuff you can put inside that bag is insane. Golf shoes, extra clothing, everything that attaches to the bag, the ping driver and fairway wood heads, (I take them off before packing in my travel bag) extra balls, gloves ... the usual stuff It has a large tab in front to run the golf cart strap that secures bag to cart. Doesn't seem like a big deal but another feature I won't live without again. The darn thing is HUGE, but extremely light. Don't know the actual weight, but it's comfortable to carry and I have a couple of 9-hole rounds. It stands up nicely without falling over on level ground and providing you have the clubs distributed in a way that they don't pull the bag to the ground. When carted, all compartments are easily accessible. Three down the front keeps all the stuff you need for your round and then some. You could easily put a 6-pack in the bottom compartment. I use that compartment for extra sleeves of balls, golf gloves, etc. Instead of beer, that bottom compartment would hold 2 dozen balls easily. Top compartment is for loose balls, tees, ball markers and repair tools. Middle compartment is soft-lined. In goes wallet, keys and cell phone usually. The only thing I don't like is that it only has one 'side ring' to strap on things like towels, (I use 2) and my laser range finder bag, a couple of bag tags and my zip out club cleaner. Lots of stuff that any golfer would use every round ... just not enough space. I think the newer models (mine is a '16 year) might have glove velcro clip on the other side. Like I'd use that? Comes in a lot of cool colors as well. Mine is the medium blue, black and white. Looks similar to the G Series metal wood head covers.
  16. I played those woods years back. All of them, Driver, 4- and 7-wood, shafts broke about 1" from the point at which the shaft inserted into each club head. Since I purchased them from a local golf retailer, each club was sent back to Callaway and reshafted free of charge, no questions asked. If you've never played the Big Bertha club line, I hope the shafts perform better for you than they did for me! Good luck and enjoy your ebay find. dave
  17. Yeah, they're probably not 'doing it right,' but if they all agree to what they're doing and the group is all doing the same thing, what is the issue?
  18. The 2 balls I prefer are Callaway Chrome Soft and Srixon Q-Star Tour. Here's something interesting: Just played a few rounds in FL last week. I went back and forth playing the Chrome Soft and Q-Star balls every 4 holes or so. Hit a shot into a hazard, (those oversized grass planted areas) lost my ball but came out of the junk with a Pro V1 X ball. Took my penalty, dropped the near-new Pro V1 and finished the hole. The next tee ball I hit with the ProV1 X I could feel the difference in overall ball hardness. There was a noticeable slowing of my driver club head when the Pro V1 was struck. My swing speed is definitely south of 90mph and I could feel a noticeable difference in the exit speed off my driver between the Pro V1 and the other 2 balls. I really like both Chrome Soft and Srixon Q-Star Tour balls. They seem to match up well with my slower swing speed. They spin as well as any quality ball with irons and wedges and hold greens nicely. They also putt softly which I like, too.
  19. A part of a club fitting not yet discussed are the results shown on a launch monitor screen during club testing. You'll get to see launch angle, carry, roll out and shot dispersion left, middle, right. This is the part of a club fitting that takes all the subjectivity OUT of the process of buying new clubs. I don't care WHAT the club says on the back, what is most important is performance in distance and direction. Here's a good example: When my wife was fitted, the driver was a no brainer. Launch monitor results proved obvious as to which one she hit best. Next the fitter tried a 3- then a 5-wood. She couldn't get either to launch. Enter a 7-wood and she's getting it to fly, carry and roll out to a good distance. Hence, she wasn't offered or encouraged to buy two long clubs that didn't produce desired results. Next up were the hybrids. #3 and #4 didn't fly but a #5 worked great. So now, she has a driver, 7-wood and a 5-hybrid. Onto irons next. A 6-iron was hit or miss, but generally not very good. The fitter puts a 6-hyrbrid in her hands and the launch monitor shows good results. 7-iron through SW all worked great. Bottom line was through a fitting, my wife got clubs that worked, delivered results and we purchased only clubs that worked for her game. Without a fitting, we never would have known. When I did a club fitting, same thing: Ended up with clubs outside a conventional driver 3- and 5-wood, 4-iron - PW or whatever. I could have ended up with a few clubs in the bag that just didn't fit my game. With the fitting, I have the right clubs and they all work for me. New sticks are really expensive. Good to make sure you're purchasing ones that work best for your game.
  20. All club purchases locally. Need to hit, feel, launch monitor all clubs. Everything else, I buy online. Clothing, shoes, hats, balls, tees, supplies of all kind, bags, umbrellas. If you go to a Golf Galaxy (or name your store here) and buy a new Nike golf shirt or a pair of adidas 3-stripe pants or shorts, you're pretty much going to pay full retail. Online I can buy both a shirt and a pair of pants or shorts for slightly more than the cost of a shirt at a retail golf store. Plus, I can do it from this chair, not pay for shipping and get it in a couple of days. Online shopping for everything except clubs is a no-brainer in terms of cost, selection, ease of use. I rarely if ever have a return because I shop smart, know my sizes and what I want before clicking the 'buy' button. dave
  21. Viewing golf through a new set of eyes. Not mine. My wife's eyes. This will be her 8th or 9th season playing. We leave for FL this weekend and have 3 rounds planned and scheduled so far. Might play more. Whenever we get stuck on a tee box, she doesn't stress over the group in front of us looking for balls, rolling 2nd shots and not getting out of range fast enough. We park in the shade to wait. She looks around and verbally talks up the sheer beauty of her surroundings and how wonderful it is to be outside on a beautiful day. Wife totally enjoys the game. Rarely gets rattled on bad shots always keeping the mindset of 'the next one will be better.' She doesn't look at it as, 'crap, I'm playing for a bogey or a double on this hole.' She truly enjoys the journey from tee to green--wherever it might take her! She completely 'gets' that this is a hard game and neither one of us will ever be a single-digit handicapper. We just don't practice and play enough to see any appreciable scoring improvement. And her only disappointment is that the round is over and we're done playing. Granted, sometimes her round ends after 16 holes and she's reached her limit, but she'll still walk to the green to watch me putt out because that's what she sees on TV golf. Her attitude toward golf has really lowered the stress meter for me. She's a much better cart-mate than most of my guy friends. I pay for golf, she pays for beers and dinner after the round. Any of you guys buddies treat you that well?
  22. Three things: 1. Visit a quality club fitter who can pair the right head with the right shaft for you. The fitter will use a launch monitor and view results to find out which combination is producing the best results for you. 2. IMO, modern equipment manufacturers, (off the shelf gear) focus first on reducing a slice ... like I've ever seen the right side of ANY hole?! 3. The large-faced drivers, (460cc) are perhaps the easiest club in the bag to hit
  23. A Callaway #5 hybrid. It's the X-Hot model from maybe 5 years back.
  24. Welcome Tom. That'll be me inside of 4 years. Good on you for moving somewhere warm and taking advantage of year-round golf. dave
  25. On an oddly-related note, our league has a Back In Black (AC/DC) tribute night where we play from the way back, (black) tees. Everyone complains about the added distance to cover but our league scoring guy indicates that in general, the raw gross numbers barely increase on that night. Note: I'm one of the complainers even though scoring from the black tees isn't affected for some strange reason. We keep our usual hdcp numbers even though the course slope/rating is much different from the black tee boxes.
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