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Everything posted by LeftRightLeft

  1. I find I have the most fun when playing courses that are 6,000 to 6,200. I think I average about 220 off the tee, which is about 10-30 yards less than my golf buddies. The formula of 28 times average drive fits what I like. A for golf with my buddies, where I see the larger difference is from the fairway. I'm up to two clubs shorter (at 150, I'm more comfortable with an easy 6-iron, where most of my friends are hitting 8-iron). That's OK, because I feel I can still compete from that distance. It's worse at 180, where I'm hitting a 3-hybrid and they hit 5-iron. So even though I know my preference, my friends always play the longer tees. Their handicaps are a bit lower, so I'm thinking I can offer to play scratch, but move up a tee. How do others handle this?
  2. Better for sure. My index is down 2.3 strokes from the beginning of the year to 14.6. I only played 16 rounds (so far), and practice time was sporadic at best. However, making practice swings in the backyard with a specific plan in mind has made a big difference. I also have a much better idea of how to make corrections mid-round. Putting is still not great. If I have less than 35 putts, I'm usually in the 80s. Considering I was a 23 index three years ago, not entirely bad.
  3. Good to know. Wild Wings was part of a housing development. The developers allowed it to go into bankruptcy. That's why the locals had to save it. My son played it in a high school match, but I never have. I've played the country club next door, though (Yolo Fliers GC). Northwood is a gem! Alister MacKenzie designed!
  4. All in all, it was disappointing. The rule is what the rule is presently. Not what I "wish" it to be. I can't know her intention, but at the very least it was careless. Marking the ball from the side is dangerous. If you don't have the reference point of the ball and the hole in a line, there's a potential for a mistake (unless you have some type of reference point on your marker). What bugged me most is after they told her, she again marked her ball from the side, even though she would not be in the line or through-line of her playing partner. I actually yelled at my TV "what are you doing?". Very careless in my mind.
  5. I just counted the NorCal courses I've played. 138. A few are no longer with us. Favorite: Pasatiempo 2nd Favorite: San Francisco Golf Club. Pebble Beach is on the bucket list.
  6. Tower of Power songs would be appropriate. I really enjoyed the two rounds I've played there.
  7. Nor-Cal lost Roddy Ranch this year. A fun layout in the foothills east of Mt. Diablo. It still shows up on GolfAdvisor commercials. Another loss was Bethel Island GC which wasn't much to look at, but it holds fond memories for me. As a youngster, I drew each hole keeping the same routing but new green complexes. I just built in more strategy where pin location changed the best position to play from. It was in our Delta region, so it was windy in the summer, and foggy in the winter. It would have been a really great links course as it was built on peat, had Bermuda fairways, and drained very well. I always thought it was an unpolished jewel!
  8. Some posts just catch your eye. Over the last 20 years, I only played around 12-15 rounds a year. Some years far less. I was getting worse and worse from lack of play, but more from lack of intention. Essentially, I "lost" my game, but I would go to the range and stripe it. Over the last couple of years, I've tried to be more thoughtful in my approach, even if I don't get to play as often as I would like. The problem with the range is I can easily get into a groove, but it does not necessarily translate. All us mid to high 'caps seem to have this in common. I've added a pretty common range game. If I don't have time to play, but feel I'm on the right track with my swing/practice, I play "mind golf" on a course I'm familiar with. I go through my normal 10-12 ball warm-up (yes, that's my usual). Then I tee it up "for real". It takes about 45 minutes to play 18. It's also great for instilling a solid pre-shot routine. Mine is imagine the shot, one rehearsal swing based on what I'm trying to do, pick the line, step in, waggle, go, then accept. I call my waggle "goldilocks", but that's another post. For example, my home course starts with a shorter dogleg right par-4 that begs a slight fade. I need the driver to get past the big tree guarding the right side, but if I hit it left I will go through the fairway. I pull the driver and make a practice swing that I think will deliver the baby fade. I try to be true to my pre-shot routine. If it goes on my intended line, I pull an 8-iron. If not, say I hit it left, I pull a 6-iron, or even a 5-iron. I can't duplicate rough, but I do my best to "play golf". The key is to be honest with yourself. I even play punch outs. For me, accepting unintended outcomes is really important. Thoughts like "I didn't used to do that" are not productive. Then when I get to play, I at least have some feel for hitting shots on demand, and don't get down if a shot doesn't come off. I think this is helping me get over the range to course thing and my handicap has dropped 7 points over the last two years.
  9. I really enjoy playing golf with strangers. Kind of like a box of chocolates. Funny story from last summer: after a work appointment I was playing alone at a semi-private course that's one of those hidden gems well away from any larger towns. Members are mostly farmers. The area has a very high unemployment rate, and considered a bit "backward". I joined up with this guy who was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, but wearing golf shoes so I figured it would not be too bad. He turned out to be a really nice dude and a decent enough player. Unfortunately for him, he may have had the worst teeth I ever seen (let's just say the singular "tooth" was a better descriptor). He was playing with a brand new set of top of the line clubs (the irons were Callaway Apex). After a few holes I commented on how nice a set of clubs they were. He said a "Yea, my wife gave me the option to fix my teeth or buy a new set of clubs". I bit awkwardly I said "Good choice". He laughed, so at least he wasn't offended. I can't say I would have made the same choice, but to each his own. It was a fun round of golf.
  10. PING is going to help me be fast and forgiving with the new G Driver and Crossover! 1) Dustin Johnson -15 2) Brooks Koepka -14 3) Charlie Hoffman -13
  11. I was doing this a bit a couple of years ago. I was freezing due to wanting to start the backswing perfectly, especially with the driver, and occasionally 6 irons or longer. Then my swing was out rhythm so I was spraying it all over the place. I was playing golf swing instead of playing golf, which is why my moniker is "leftrightleft". Sounds like you are in a similar boat. I came up with my "Goldilocks" routine. At the end of practice session, I would try to move into reaction mode. I would do a one-piece takeaway purposely outside the line, then I would do a one-piece takeaway inside the line. The third was the go and "just right". In my mind I would say "NO" after the first, "NO" after the second, and "YES" on the third. It didn't matter if it was perfect, it is just a mind trick to get over the technical crap. It allowed me to transfer a free swing to the course. I still do it on the course with the driver when I'm not feeling confident. It seems to free me up. I now try to do the technical stuff on the range, or when making practice swings in a mirror. When I get to the golf course, I'm trying to visualize the shot, make a practice swing to simulate the shot, and go. Then accept the result no matter what. Golf is fun again. Good luck.
  12. I would like to add the Eagle award. I've had a number of them, including the almost albatross a couple of years ago. Longest eagle was a 2-iron on a par 4 (a long time ago when I played such a club). Thanks!
  13. Stiff versus regular is something I've struggled with. My swing speed has not been checked in at least six years. My driver swing speed was 96-97 mph, which is between R and S, but probably closer to an R. However, I found I could not find a regular shafted driver that I liked. I've settled on ball flight to make my decisions regarding set makeup, so I have a somewhat inconsistent set. I realize I'm just a mid-'cap, but here's my experience. My driver has a Project X Velocity 6.0 (stiff?). I like this because my "safety" drive is a fade. I simply choke down, reduce the reverse "k" and I get a slight left-to-right. Otherwise it flies pretty straight on decent swings. My mistake move is "shoulders first" which normally results in a wicked pull-hook. I feel this bad swing contributes to at least 4-5 handicap points. I could probably score better if I hit choke-down fades all day, but ego won't allow that. My 4 wood is listed as stiff (Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue 65), but to me feels more flexible. The typical ball flight is a high soft draw. It does not fade well. I'm confident with it, so it is the go-to fairway wood. Only time I hesitate to pull it is if the ball is above my feet. If that's the lie, I go to the 3 hybrid. My 3 hybrid is a stiff (Mitsubishi Fubuki). Ball flight is neutral to a very slight fade. I like that I can turn it over and get 10 extra yards, but it does not get away from me. My 4 hybrid is a regular (also Fubuki). I hit a high, soft draw with this club. BTW, the 3 and 4 hybrid are the same brand, model, just with different flex shafts. I recently switched to irons that have DG R300. I love them. My tempo smoothed out. Subconsciously, I may have been rushing down from the top to compensate for the stiff feeling of the old irons (S300). So the slightly softer shaft has actually improved accuracy. I know lots of folks get better dispersion with a stiffer shaft, but my results have been better with the regular. I was just hoping to get back some distance lost, but I'm getting better accuracy, too! Based on my new found experience with the irons (better tempo), I'm wondering if the stiff-shafted driver has something to do with my mistake move (rushing from the top). I just find it really difficult to hit a fade with a regular shafted driver, and if the nerves are going, I want to hit a fade. It's comfortable to me. I recently purchased a new closeout Adams Super LS XTD 3 wood with the Kuro Kage stiff for $50. I don't often get a chance to go for par 5s in two, but I thought I could put it in the bag in the summer when fairways are hard. So far, I'm finding this particular S shaft too much for me. The ball flight is very low and left-to-right. A $50 experiment. I'll probably see if a player on one of the local HS teams needs a new 3 wood. Too stiff a shaft can mess with tempo and ball flight. That's my two-cents. Anybody have a similar experience?
  14. By the way, the above was just the rumor I had heard when I was a kid. No idea if any of it was true. I kind of liked the legend, though!
  15. Sunol Valley had an interesting history. As I understood it, the course was developed with union slush funds. Back in the day, there were stories of it being a mob hangout. I know there were union golf tournaments with the Raiders in attendance and other sports figures represented, too. They also had the course lit for a number of years for night golf, which was pretty cool. Pendragon, I've played every one of the courses you mentioned. I also heard that Bethel Island GC closed in October. I saw on LoopNet they wanted $22m for the land!
  16. I've had two hole-in-one's (holes-in-one?). I've broken 90 seven of my last 20 rounds including an 81 (tournament score), which is a big improvement over the last decade of really ugly golf (i.e. prior to joining this TST)! I have not caught a "fever" for over 30 rounds! The 81 would have won our club's annual senior net championship, but I was exactly seven days shy of my 55th birthday. So no go, only a flight winner. LOL. I see a double eagle above. I nominate that for a new award (The Golden Albatross?). Far rarer than a hole-in-one. I nearly had one a couple of years ago. My ball mark, the pin, then my ball two inches directly behind the hole in a perfect line. I think it rattled the pin, looked into the hole and decided not to go home. Fair result considering I had blocked my drive into another fairway creating a shorter approach through a small gap in the trees.
  17. Last fall we were playing Metropolitan GC in Oakland CA. It's right next to the Bay, and surrounded by marshland at the southern end of the course. This fox saunters onto the tee right in front of us, and then stands there staring us down from about 15 feet away. Truthfully, it was unnerving. What we didn't realize is he was just the distraction. The rest of the pack was stealing our food from the cart! This being Oakland we realized they weren't a pack, but a rather sophisticated criminal organization: a gang, if you will!
  18. I've played the same set of Maltby irons for the last ten years. I think the quality is excellent. I just built a new set of Acer XV Pro irons (from Hireko Golf) with some Dynamic Gold R300 shafts I had pulled a few years ago. Although I'm hitting the Maltby's well, for a $70 investment I had to give the Acer's a try. The finish on the Acer's is really nice. I've only hit them on the range once (off a mat), but they feel solid, have a nice trajectory, and hold their line like a laser. I'm bagging them tomorrow for my first round of the year.
  19. I've been working on a steady head/centered pivot (I'm trying to be a bit more systematic about swing corrections this year). I notice that many of the swings that are demonstrated on this site (like C. Wie, G. Waite) from the face-on view seem to have the spine at 90 degrees to the ground at address. When I try to match this some of my divots look like I'm digging a grave. Is it acceptable to add a tiny bit of a reverse "k" to my setup? I'm finding that this helps me shallow out my plane a little bit, while still having my divots start on the target side. Any negatives to this adjustment?
  20. My kids have definitely helped me appreciate rap/hip-hop. The global reach is amazing. For me, Bob Dylan's writing often leaves me awestruck. Springsteen is great. Ones I have not seen mentioned are Van Morrison and John Hiatt.
  21. LOL, just saw this post. I did too, and I still dream about it. There was a course near where I grew up that just begged for a makeover. In a Junior High art class (1973) I drew each hole, following the existing routing. The course is built on peat/sand. It drains really well, and was the go-to course after a rain. There are very few trees. It's located in the Sacramento Delta region (quite foggy in the winter), tends to be windy, so it just begs to be modeled on a minimalist links course. Which is exactly what I designed based on photographs of St Andrews and other Scottish links courses. I drew new green complexes, the green views from the fairway, plus the overhead hole layouts. Well, my teacher said it wasn't "art". Philistine. About ten years later, the owner of the course obtained drawings from an architect for a remodel. Traditional BORING crap adding water hazards with fountains and such. Just like every other course from the '80s. The remodel never happened. I just heard that it shut down last October. I found out on LoopNet they want $22m for the land. California real estate. Yikes.
  22. Ancil Hoffman (my avatar photo). A Sacramento County course. It's picturesque and a fun round. It sits in a hollow next to the American River. It gets a lot of play, but they do a pretty good job with maintenance.
  23. I'm trying to figure out if I should be bothered by it. This is clearly about sand bagging. I suppose it's a problem at some clubs. I was visiting my parents and I saw in the local paper that the winning net score at the local muni was 61, with second place a 62! Since this type of scoring doesn't happen at my club, I had to laugh. On the other hand, It almost seems like the USGA wants to lower the number of folks with handicaps, rather than increase the number. Is the USGA is losing (lost?) sight of one of their mandates: grow the game? I don't belong to a country club, just a muni club, and I don't play alone very often. My muni club rarely has a problem with sandbagging. It might happen once, but they freely assign a tournament handicap. A typical winning net score is 68, which seems pretty reasonable. I know some golfers have the luxury of playing practice rounds. I don't, so when I play it's real to me and I play by the rules of golf (not as in a Bond film). I post the few 9 hole scores I play per the club rules. As it is, I'm only playing around 15-20 rounds a year. My regular group are serious golfers (but we all lack time). I also play with some guys that enjoy a few pops during their rounds. They could not care less that I follow the rules. I post those rounds equally, and if I played alone, it's not any different. If anything, I play better alone than with my less sober friends. Does that mean I will be "gaming" my handicap? So does this "solve" a problem, or merely create new ones? What are the forum's thoughts on this?
  24. I first got to know them at one of my favorite live shows of all time. They were awesome! It was Carlos Santana's Blues For Salvador at the Kaiser Auditorium in Oakland. It was billed as a dance party with all the performers doing all sorts of collaborations. Santana, Jerry Garcia, Caribbean All-stars, NRBQ, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Skaggs, Tower of Power. I wish there was a tape floating around...
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