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28 Plays from the Tips

About graham57

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  • Birthday 01/09/1957

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  1. While I completely agree with all the sentiments expressed here, I do think that quite often there is too much focus on putting when golf is shown on TV. OK: putting the ball in the hole is the ultimate goal, but showing all the different shots underlines the diversity and complexity of the game. I also feel that Protracer/Trackman shots make it much more interesting to watch and help people appreciate the difference between a draw and a fade. For me, the most interesting things to watch are approach shots (pitches, chips, bunker shots) - those are more varied than either full swing shots or putts.
  2. Anyone play a driving iron?

    I bought a Controller " roll & bulge" driving iron on ebay and find it pretty easy to hit straight (like some of the other posts, around 200 yards). I use it exclusively on long par 3's and for my second shot on par 5's. Again like other posts, I have always had a hard time hitting fairway woods. I carry a 3 iron as an alternative and occasionally a titleist 2-iron, which I find harder to hit well.
  3. Etiquette

    What bugs me most about cussing and swearing is the total absorption of that player with himself and his own game, independent of whether a lady is present or not. Making a meal of a bad shot detracts from the "togetherness" of playing a round of golf with partners and - if taken too far - can actually put others off their game. I get frustrated as hell with myself when I am playing badly, but I would certainly try not to spoil the atmosphere and enjoyment for those playing with me.
  4. Asked by my wife and sons what I wanted for Christmas, I said a wall calender with golf course pictures (promotes some serious daydreaming). I duly received a classic calender from my younger son, which was much appreciated, while my wife found something quite unusual: in German it is called "Unspielbar", which means "unplayable". It contains pictures of difficult/unusual lies, some of which are a little tongue-in-cheek (see link below). As of Thursday, both will grace the wall of my office! https://www.dumontkalender.de/golf-unspielbar-2017-kalender.html
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 ...
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
  14. 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.
  15. 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!

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