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About graham57

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  • Birthday 01/09/1957

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  1. I have exactly the same experience: I am a high handicapper, but play my best golf with muscle-back irons (previously Titleist 699 MB, now Mizuno MP18). I feel so comfortable with them and truly believe they help me play better. The feeling I get when I (occasionally) hit a 6-iron 190 yards and land it on the green is what I play golf for (forget those other shots, they don‘t really count!).
  2. I beg to disagree. A big part of captaining is getting to know your players and working out which pairings will generate positive energy. If you listened to the interviews with the European players afterwards, the common opinion was that Thomas Björns role was „incredible“. Look at the huddles at the end of every round, the fact that his captain‘s picks scored the highest number of points ever (9.5 points), the relationship which evolved between Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari and the tears shed on more than one occasion by Paul Casey to appreciate the role Björn played as captain. Guys like Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrell Hatton are not yet fully mature as professional golfers and need guidance. They got it.
  3. Rather than having to deal with gamesmanship or overly talkative types, I have had to learn to keep myself in check when playing competitive golf. I have a tendency to try to cheer my opponent or flight partner up after a bad shot, but eventually became sensitive to whether this was being received positively or whether it was better just to keep quiet. Now, I tend to limit any comments or chatter to a minimum or to times when we have to wait for the group in front to move on.
  4. Golf is the greatest and most fulfilling disaster of my life. In need to get that framed!
  5. I live in Germany so things might be a little different here. We also have 4 courses within a 20 minute drive. In the end, we opted for the closest, simply because we reckoned on a summer evening we were more likely to play a few holes if we only had to drive 10 minutes. Another factor was the fact that our course has no tee times - you just turn up and play, and it is rare to have to wait more than a few minutes before teeing off. Also: the course is a difficult one, which means we usually find other courses easier to play. For us, being members of a club was important, as taking part in competitions and other club events adds to the social enjoyment. The only real drawback was that the club we chise was probably the „snootiest“ of the four. We reckoned we would find some normal, down-to-earth people to play and hang out with. It took a while - but worked out fine in the end! Someone mentioned clubs cooperating with each other. This has become a major factor here as clubs compete for new members. We can now play on four courses without having to oay a green fee, which is a huge plus.
  6. You are probably right: „a couple“ was probably used too loosely, though the round which took her to that low handicap was in fact a 44 point round in the regional finall of a nationwide competition series, and that round won her a free trip to play Teeth of the Dog (where - despite the new low handicap - she made 40 points in the compeition final). It was that wound which took her down so far. Omge again, however: my main point is the role competitions play in club life and the possible effects of the new habdicap system, rather than the math.
  7. I prefer contacts to the distraction of worrying that in summer my glasses will slip off my sweating face when I am putting (has actually happened). Now I just can‘t see the green layouts, etc. on my GPS watch!
  8. Several posts point out that there are different factors that make a course tough. I have played a couple of courses immediately following a pro tour competition, and the greens were murderously fast, making it almost impossible for me to get an approach shot to stop on the putting surface. I have played a couple of really tough layouts, including Pete Dye‘s Teeth of the Dog and Dye Fore (which I preferred) in the Dominican Republic and a fantastic course in Spain, and find that my game rises with (but not necessarily to) the challenge. On the Spanish course (La Galiana near Valencia, for those who get the chance), I spoke to some guys from an English ex-pat golf society, who told me most of their members refuse to play there, because it is too tough. For me, it was one of the best golfing experiences of my life. My wife on the other hand, who has a lower handicap than me, hated it, saying it was too tough to be fun. A course near us has 9 hilly holes with sloping fairways, big elevation differences, blind shots, etc., and 9 flat holes alongside a river. The overall slope rating is 136, mainly due to the first 9 holes. I invariably play pretty well on the hard holes and dismally on the easy ones!
  9. Everything you write is correct (except that the „ceiling“ for your handicap being raised has now been reduced to 26.5) - I am just not sure where it contradicts what I wrote. According to an article on handicaps on the website of the German Golf Association, any score over 30 Stableford points represents a „good“ round, based on the logic that your handicap represents your best, rather than your average performance. As the table shows, the reward for a good score (i.e. >36 points) is greater than the penalty for a bad one, so your handicap tends to go down faster than it goes up. My wife had a really good season a while ago, going from a 34 handicap to 26.1 in only a couple of competitions. At the end of the season, the club‘s handicap committee decided to „reward“ her by assigning her a handicap of 24.1. In the following 8 competitions she played in, she failed to reach the buffer zone and went up to 24.9. This continual „failure“ to play to her handicap reduced the enjoyment for her, and it is only recently that she is playing consistently to her handicap and has a genuine chance of reducing it further. The point I was making is that compeitions are one of the main things that get a large number of members together who normally might not even know each other, and that de-linking handicaps from competitions might potentially „individualise“ club life more than today, which I would find regrettable.
  10. I have a hard time getting my head round the idea that calling an unplayable and re-placing the ball on the green would somehow be more within the spirit of the game than what Phil actually did. While I agree that it is in accordance with the letter if the rules, It would mean moving the ball not „back“ to where the last shot was played from, but forwards in terms of the hole layout, at the same time placing the ball closer to the hole, which is expressly banned in situations where a ball has to be dropped or replaced (including within Rule 28 itself (28-c), if the player chooses to drop the ball within two clublengths of where it came to rest). This quote from an article on the USGA website demonstrates for me that the original intention of the unplayable rule was to prevent players gaining an unfair advantage: In the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews Rules code of 1851, the player required “the consent of his adversary” to declare a ball unplayable and drop it for a one-stroke penalty. So if your opponent thought your ball was playable, he was given the opportunity to make two strokes with your ball in an attempt to move it to a playable position. If he succeeded, the two strokes your opponent made count in your score, and you must then continue play of the hole. The idea for this practice actually came from an earlier 1828 code from Burntisland Golf House Club. Again, I don‘t dispute that the move would be legal - I just would ‚t feel any more comfortable with it than with what Phil did.
  11. graham57

    New Irons

    This is exactly what I do: I picked up a set of Titleist 690 MB‘s on ebay and loved them. Just recently had a set of Mizuno MP18‘s fitted and they feel great. For me, a blade looks just right when addressing the ball, and I do believe it helps me swing more precisely. I think the key thing is whether you feel comfortable with your clubs, there is no hard-and-fast rule. I tried to play with my son’s Callaway X22’s once and they neither looked nor felt right (the results were not great either). In any case, playing these irons is not what spoils my handicap - that is down to wayward tee shots losing me too many points.
  12. First off: I support a lot of the practices advocated in this thread - ready golf, considered positioning of trolleys/carts, letting faster groups play through, etc.. Walking on my own early morning, I have played our 18-hole, hilly course in less than two hours. I hate waiting, because it interrupts any rhythm you may have got going. But: there seems to be an implicit premise in may of these posts that faster play is per se virtuous, and that players have a right to plough their way through the field, and anyone holding them up is intrinsically evil. The OP and one or two others hint that people have different paces at which they play golf, and that there is some value in not rushing round the golf course. The key for me is being considerate of other golfers, but this works both ways: beginners or maybe older golfers often (of course not always) play at a slower pace. Pushing them or creating pressure by playing up close to them is just as inconsiderate as not being ready to play your shot. Part of the reason I play golf is that it provides an alternative to my stress-packed professional life, to driving on crowded roads and so on. I can take a few deep breaths and enjoy being out in a natural environment. I don‘t want to play golf the way I have to do business, and to people who say they have to get round in 3 hours, otherwise they couldn‘t play at all, I would point out that there is no law which says you have to always play 18 holes. Most courses loop back to the clubhouse after 9 holes. Time pars are a good guideline: if sensibly defined, they should reflect the time it takes to play a round, being considerate of others and doing everything you can to avoid unnecessary delays. But golf is not a race. Players have to accept that it takes a certain amount time time to play 18 holes (around 4 hours is neither a snail‘s pace nor unduly fast, but a realistic average which should guarantee a stress-free and rewarding experience on the golf course).
  13. We sometimes play on a course in Thailand where on some holes you have to run after your ball waving an iron, as otherwise monkeys will run onto the fairway and steal your ball!
  14. I'm not sure if competitions will become less attractive under the new system. As Zeph mentions, amateurs in Europe often play a really good round once and then really struggle to play to it subsequently. This can lead to players avoiding competitions in order to hang on to that better handicap. I think competitions will be liked and disliked for the sames reasons as before: cameraderie, the chance to measure yourself with others (often with players you wouldn't normally play with) and the competitive challenge for those who like and enjoy them, the added stress level and pressure for those who don't. I certainly hope that competitions don't lose appeal, as they are a major element of what makes golf a club or community sport. Getting and maintaining a handicap with private rounds could potentially make golf more individual/insular.
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