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graham57

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About graham57

  • Rank
    Established Member
  • Birthday 01/09/1957

Personal Information

  • Your Location
    Germany

Your Golf Game

  • Handicap Index
    26.4
  • Handedness
    Righty

Recent Profile Visitors

1,449 profile views
  1. Tough hole vs Gimmick

    I have played on courses where there were trees (large ones!) in the centre of the fairway, but I felt these were just another natural hazard you needed to deal with when planning how to play the hole. I have also played a par 6: 700 yards, dog-leg right after your third shot, the approach over 100 yards of swamp. You would have had to hit two shots of over 250 yards to get to a point where you could cut the corner. The hole was tough, but something to talk about for years after! What about holes with basically only a teeing area and a green, with either a ravine or fern-covered slope in between. It's sawgrass without the water. There are a few holes like that in the Scottish highlands. I only feel a hole is unfair when - playing it for the first time - you have no way of knowing how to play the hole. Blind drives are ok when the course provides a platform to climb onto to get a look at the layout, or documents the hole pictorially next to the tee before you play. If you have to have played the course before to know how to approach some of the holes, that is something I resent.
  2. Chipping from Rough vs Fairway

    I would agree with klineka that the bounce makes a big difference. If there is a cushion of grass under your ball in the rough, holding it off the ground, you will need a higher bounce than from a tight fairway lie. Using the same club for both could be difficult. I carry a 60 degree lob wedge with a bounce of 4 and a 56 degree wedge with 11. if I have to hit a high ball over a bunker to reach the green, I choose the club whose bounce is most appropriate for the lie. If I am 40 yards off the green and there is nothing in the way, I will typically play a chip and run with a 7 or 8 iron, concentrating on where I want the ball to land (as stressed in many of the replies) and the contours of the green. However, I have a similar preference to yours: for any iron shot, I often find it easier to hit off the first cut than the fairway itself.
  3. As FrankfurtDave said, local golf clubs would be a good place to start (maybe the one you got your certificate at). Most people who have been playing golf for some time have accumulated several sets of older clubs in their basements (as golf is not as popular in Germany as Britain or the US, there usually aren't as many options for trading in an old set when buying a new one - that's why a lot of used clubs end up on ebay). The club might allow you to pin a note on the notice board saying you are looking for used clubs, you may get some good responses. I live near Cologne, so if you are anywhere close and I can help with anything, let me know.
  4. How many three-putts (or more) did you have today?

    Recently switched to an Odyssey Black Line no. 7 putter with a 39" shaft. For most people it would probably be a belly putter, but I'm 6'6", so the tip of the shaft is a couple of inches away from my body (I use my normal interlocking grip around the centre of the rubber grip). Since I got this putter on ebay, I've only had about 2 3-putts in the five rounds I've played (on four different courses) and have been averaging about 31 putts, which is good for me. Just need to get the rest of my game in some sort of shape now ...
  5. I hover around the 100 mark: best score ever 87, worst in last year 115. Have only broken 100 8 times (94 four weeks ago). My big problem is inconsistency: I make birdies and pars pretty regularly, but have 5-6 holes every round where I score zero points, which makes it hard to progress. My real bads are sometimes wild drives into woods/ob/water, topped long irons and pitches caught with the leading edge of the club which rocket over the green. I don't often hit mediocre shots, and feel that if I could get rid of the real mishits, I could make a really big step towards consistently playing under 100 ( as opposed to "breaking" 100 occasionally).
  6. dress code

    I have no problem wearing shorts and a polo shirt (if we play at a club which is not our own and we enjoy the round, we will often buy a golf shirt with the club's logo as a souvenir, so we have quite collection). I fail to understand, however, why golf clubs make life difficult for themselves and make it harder for people to adopt the game by demanding adherence to a more or less restrictive dress code. T-shirts with offensive texts or images are offensive anywhere, not only on golf courses. Being forced to tuck in your shirt on a hot day makes no earthly sense and only increases discomfort, and why should I feel offended if someone chooses to wear their hat backwards? I once refused to play at a course in England which allowed (non-cargo) shorts, but insisted they were accompanied by "knee-length white sports socks"! As has been pointed out in this thread, it is far more important how someone behaves than what they wear. We desperately need to attract young people to our game to secure the future of so many clubs. When young people join a golf club, they can learn so much about treating others with consideration and respect, let's not make it difficult for them to take that step by insisting on nonsensical dress codes. Disrespect is not accepting other people and their chosen attire or personal identity, and in that sense, dress codes are in themselves much more disrespectful than wearing cargo shorts or wearing your hat the wrong way round.
  7. Do Bad Boys Hurt The Sport?

    I'm going to differ from a lot of the opinions expressed here: I do believe that golf is special, in that - contrary to most other sports - golf (at least at the amateur level) is basically played without a referee. Calling a penalty on yourself requires a degree of honesty and integrity which are a far cry from the "let's see what we can get away with" of other sports. Which other sport has the concept of etiquette as an integral part of its make-up? For me, these are the aspects of our sport which contribute so much to building character in young people playing the game (much more than dress code or other superficialities, which in my opinion serve mainly to move golf further away from the reality of young people's lives). Throwing a club into a pond or breaking a shaft after a poor shot contradict the behavioural standards of golf. Having said that, this all relates to a golfer's behaviour on the course. I think it would be unrealistic (and in the end unfair) to demand of golfers a higher degree of morality off the course, than on it, although I would hope that the social and ethical standards of the game itself would actually prompt golfers to maintain similar standards in their private lives.
  8. Bunker Rakes: In or Out of the Bunker?

    This may appear to be sitting on the fence, but I leave the business end of the rake in the sand and try to place the handle on the edge of the bunker in such a way that it protudes over about half its length out of the bunker and is propped up in the air, so the chances of it interfering with a ball rolling along the ground are minimal.
  9. Starting handicap

    I play in Germany, where the only rounds which count towards an official handicap are competition rounds (there are some exceptions, where you can go round with a marker outside of a competition, but only on days designated as such by the handicap committee). Before you can even go on the course, you need to pass a practical test and an exam on rules and etiquette. The practical test has done be done with the club pro, and (based on three shots over par on every hole, you have to score at least twelve points in nine holes (i.e. get three over par on at least six holes - or other equivalent combinations). When you have passed both tests, you receive your first official handicap, which is 54 for everyone. By playing in competitions, you then bring that down by the normal Stableford system (my son went from 54 to 33 in his first competition). Just this year the European Golf Union changed the rules on handicaps. The most significant change is that, once you get below 26.5, you never go back up beyond that (up to last year that ceiling was 36). I believe that the maximum official/starting handicap in the UK is 28 for men and perhaps 36 for women. A lot of courses in Europe demand a maximum handicap in order to play there (I think the Old Course in St- Andrews currently demands 21.5 or better).
  10. Growing the game. I think it's ok

    At our club, I rarely see any youngsters out on their own, but very often there are foursomes of teenagers (or even younger kids) playing together. I think this is the essential thing: kids like to do things with their peer groups and friends. Clubs need to create that environment by working with schools and other youth institutions to attract enough kids to enable groups of friends to form. That often means making things happen (events, outings, parties) off the course as well. I am very much aware that youngsters are the people who - as members - will ensure our club survives and remains affordable for many years.
  11. Can playing too much make you worse?

    Last year on vacation, I played 10 days in a row and towards the end it just got worse and worse ... I usually find I need to take about a 2-week break to reset my mind and then I play really well for a few rounds. Unfortunately, the same applies to practice: if I go to the practice ground and - say - pitch 10 balls onto the green, I will get them pretty close to the pin. 2nd to fourth time round I'm getting less and less consistent. I'm pretty fit so I don't think it's necessarily physical, just a kind of mental fatigue. Whatever, slowing down your swing is good advice, even on the very first round!
  12. 59 or 60 degree wedge.....

    I carry 4 wedges - PW (46)/ 52/56/60 - and typically use all of them for full swing shots during a round, depending on distance (my full swing 60° shot is around 70-80 yards). Around the green, I use mainly the 56 or - for shots over hazards with little green to work with - the 60. Someone else pointed out that the bounce is just as important as the loft. My 56° wedge has 11° bounce and my 60° LW 4° bounce, so my choice also depends on whether I have a tight lie or the ball is sitting up high. In Thailand, where we often play, the Bermuda grass sometimes holds the ball up so high that a lower bounce wedge goes clear underneath it! The wedges in the set I keep there all have higher bounce angles than in the set I use in Europe. My handicap is similar to yours, but I feel that having a variety of wedge options helps cut down my score and compensates for losing points on account of long, but wayward drives. I find there are usually several ways to make longer shots, but in any given situation, having the "right" wedge in your bag is a real benefit.
  13. Can any clubs be fitted?

    I play with a set of Titleist 690 MB blades, which I love, although they're not really suited to my handicap (but iron shots are not my "problem zone"). I found another set in nearly new condition on ebay and bought them with the intention of having them re-shafted and fitted one day. I don't know if clubfitters will turn up their nose when asked to fit old clubs, or whether they are primarily interested in selling a new set when someone wants clubs fitted, but I will try to find someone who understands where I'm coming from and won't charge me an arm and a leg.
  14. GPS, WHY ?

    Casey 5-Strokes asked: Which watch do you have? I am looking at getting one, seems very convenient as opposed to pulling out a tool every shot. It's a Garmin S6 GPS watch, which has a 4C touchscreen, allowing you to graphically input things like pin position, etc.. You can also choose layup distances, track individual shots and so on. As I said in my post, I never use most of these features - either because they are simply too small to see with contact lenses, or because (e.g. shot tracking and other statistics) I feel they would distract me from concentrating on my game (and probably slow me down as well). What is really good is the automatic course selection. I find locating a satellite can sometimes take several minutes, so it's important to start course selection before you get to the first tee. For me, there are two points of criticism: 1. Where fairways run parallel, the watch sometimes jumps to the other hole (maybe because I'm not always in the centre of the right fairway!) 2. If I am wearing long sleeves (for example, a rain jacket), the contact of the fabric can be misconstrued as input and I end up having to manually go back to the distance function before I take my shot. I easily get a full round out of one charge with at least 9 holes to spare, but I wouldn't feel confident about trying to get 36 holes out of it before re-charging. Given that I only use a fraction of the features, I could have bought a simpler Garmin model. I saw this one in a store in the UK just after Christmas and it was on special offer, so I went for it.
  15. GPS, WHY ?

    I use a GPS watch (as opposed to a laser range finder) for three reasons: 1. Probably like yourself, I would look real stupid if I ostentatiously (and visibly) measured the exact distance with the laser and proceeded to over- or undershoot by 20-40 yards. 2. Distance markers on the course are often either missing or inaccurate (in Germany, where I play, the give you the distance not to the centre of the green, but the front). 3. My watch gives me exactly that: distance to front and back of green. From that, I can work out pretty much any pin position. While there is no way I am a good golfer, I find that - when I make make good contact - my distances are pretty constant and I have 10-15 yards between clubs. It really helps to know exactly what I am shooting for. My watch also offers fancy features like lay-up distances, distances to hazards, etc. in 4 colours, but as I normally wear contact lenses while playing golf, I simply cannot see them, so I never use them!
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