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About b101

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    Long-Time Member
  • Birthday 02/25/1988

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    Cheltenham, UK

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  1. Musicians who golf

    Try listening to some progressive metal - 13/8 is not uncommon . I play guitar (grade 8 - self-taught) and relate pretty well to those experiences. It's been the same process for me in improving my golf: lose yourself in practice and separate technical from creative. I've never had a problem with dedicating a lot of time to a repetitive task, so that probably helps. Additionally, I'm pretty sure both help with general hand-eye co-ordination. As a very random aside, my friends and I had an archery competition last weekend. None of us have ever done it before, so it's as level a playing field as you can get, meaning no real skill set beyond concentration and hand-eye co-ordination (no real strength required). Of the 12 arrows, I scored 111/120, next nearest being 103 - I'd put that entirely down to the co-ordination gained from both golf and practising a musical instrument. Both hobbies have also taught me how useful a place the internet is, providing you can search correctly and take your time to assimilate the information. I can't stress it enough, you can learn pretty much anything online now and have access to better information than ever.
  2. What a rough day :(

    Translation: **** happens
  3. My Swing (b101)

    It's been a fun week! For more updates from Lytham and Formby, please see this thread: Royal Lytham & St Annes is the best course I have ever played and was simply brilliant from start to finish - highly recommended! For this post, I wanted to do a bit of analysis on the last few rounds using Game Golf and see what I could glean as well as whether my thoughts are actually based in reality. I also had a short game lesson yesterday, which worked on reducing my hinge (my feeling of neutral was as far hinged as possible), meaning that I can hit down far more effectively. I then went and played 9 holes in the evening and it made an immediate difference. More on that in a bit. Putting-wise, I had a great response from Preston, which explained quite a few aspects of the left-hand low approach that I should look at, as well as the need to commit to the pendulum, no acceleration stroke. I'm still working on that (I got the video just before the round at Lytham) and the immediate story is that it's much better for long putts, but I'm pulling short ones slightly left. More work to do, for sure. Formby (6400 yards) - 10 over. https://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/1785870 Started really well and drove the ball nicely until about the eleventh, when I started losing it right a bit more. The main issue was that, on the back nine, I couldn't control my low point with my irons and even though I was putting myself in scoring positions off the tee, I was just not hitting enough GIR on the back nine. Front nine was as good as I've played in a while though. Didn't feel I putted particularly well, but it wasn't bad - didn't make any that made me feel I was gaining shots. What was nice was that there were no blow up holes. There was a chance on 7, but the best recovery shot I've ever hit actually gave me a very makeable par putt. My sentiments are borne out entirely by the GG statistics: Royal Lytham & St Annes (6700 yards) - 10 over: https://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/1785846 A long, seriously bunkered course with tricky shots whenever you missed the fairway. It was fairly windy, but nothing too severe. I felt I drove it brilliantly, with the couple of average strikes still pretty safe (apart from the awful shot on 8 that caused the double and finding a bunker on 18 - although, look at the tee shot you have to hit! Finding a bunker is about 50% probability!). Approach play was a bit better, but can still improve further, particularly with partial wedges, which I just didn't feel I had under control at all. Putting was ok, but I didn't hole many of my putts in the 6ft-10ft range. I also could have scrambled much better, which was why I was leaving those shots. I can visualise the shot, but just wasn't managing to hit my lines or see the release I wanted. This interests me as I thought my putting wasn't great... I guess we all do! I wonder whether this calculation is quite on the money, as I don't feel I was gaining strokes doing it. The numbers for short game and approaches don't surprise me and off the tee was good, bar those two shots. Yesterday - some four days later - I had a short game lesson with Matt, who had fitted my Edel wedges. We spent 45 minutes on the range, when he worked on changing my release pattern. Essentially, I was hinging hard immediately, which was impacting my ability to hit down with the club and properly engage the bounce. He had me hit loads of shots to about 50 yards, trying to get the feeling of a more extended, vertical takeaway (my words, not his) and then syncing my body with the arms better, to feel I was really rotating through the ball and hitting down and left. What we saw was that the more I felt confident in hitting down and knowing that the club wouldn't stick in the ground, the more the ball flew high, straight and stopped nicely. We also found a bit of extra distance in doing so, not that it was the primary objective. After that first 45 minutes, we went onto the course and around 5 different greens, just trying to hit certain shots. He was really clear that the range was technical and the course was hitting the shot and trusting the technique. By the end, I was back to that awesome turf interaction that I'd first had on my Edel fitting and had moved away from and was hitting all the shots I wanted, including the nice mid low flight that will serve me well on windier days. The main difference is that I can now see a landing spot and hit it, whereas I had been seeing and missing them beforehand. I've come away with a new training aid as well (the Yes V-Easy) to really feel that path - I was using it for the first 45 minutes and still had the feel 2 hours later, so it's worth the money for me. Farleigh (4 over - 9 holes): https://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/1795260 The final round was just after my lesson. Did everything brilliantly apart from putt, missing a couple of sitters and having an abysmal three putt on the 3rd hole. (The first putt on the 4th was very downhill and whilst I'm annoyed, I'm not too heartbroken about missing the return). Irons were better; I actually hit the 3/4 PW on the first about 10 yards further than I normally would due to the better synced swing Matt and I had worked on and the driver was flying well. The greens were also really hard, making some approaches (1st, 9th) tough to stick. I made two nice up and downs that I wouldn't have done before the lesson and gave myself chances where I hadn't been at Lytham or Formby, most notably the pitch from the back of the 9th, bunker shot on 5 and the second pitch on the 6th. I had a horrible lie and was short-sided, green running away on 6, so that was never going to go close. Also worth mentioning the hybrid on 9, which was a worldie - I'll never hit a better shot with that club. Under a tree, with a restricted follow through, I had to hit a draw to avoid the branches and found the perfect line over the bunker Yep, these are about right... Approach shots lost would include the 9 iron that was destroyed into the wind on 5, the hard bounce for the PW on 1 which threw it over the back and the poor first pitch on 6. So, what to work on? Well, a few images expand on the story - all from the last three rounds: Off the tee: Approaches inside 150, split into three categories: Approaches outside 150, split into three categories: Strokes Gained overall: Plan of action: Nail the putting motion and setup changes and eliminate the pulls from inside 10 feet. I need to keep practising, using a start gate and work out what my tendencies are. I'll also post a response to Preston to check the new setup. Keep doing what I'm doing with driver and wedges. 0.47 strokes lost against a scratch golfer is awesome and I just need to keep taking driver and hitting it as well as I am currently doing. Really work on contact with 7 iron and up - outside 150 can be so much better. This really includes hybrid and 3 wood, although what I was doing in the lesson with Matt has also cleared that up. All in all though, I'm pretty happy with this and really seeing progress - +10 on two tough courses is good enough for me right now and I feel like my ceiling is much higher/lower than that.
  4. 2017 Wyndham Championship

    Forgot that they're both a bit twitchy in pre-shot routines and go hot and cold with the putter. But yep, otherwise, I'm out.
  5. 2017 Wyndham Championship

    Both play Callaway. Done. Next
  6. 2017 Wyndham Championship

    Says a lot about post-PGA golf that more of this thread has been discussing beagles than the golf Would love to see Stenson hold on for a number of reasons: First win since Open (nobody wants another Danny Willett-style fall off period) I love his way of playing when he's in the mood, walking after iron shots as they approach the green etc. Overcoming being saddled with Captain Slow Play himself (Kevin Na) He's just awesome
  7. NFL 2017-2018

    Stupid preseason games giving me hope for our offense! Goff and Gurley looked good last night, although admittedly the Raiders defence didn't offer that much other than Khalil Mack... Fingers crossed this continues.
  8. 2017 Solheim Cup Official Discussion Thread

    Love that gimme from Lexi - class all the way
  9. What a rough day :(

    One week on, how have things gone @wakefield724?
  10. The final hole is awesome and just utterly daunting. A par four with a ridiculous amount of bunkers that threaten the drive and then an approach to the clubhouse. Nothing explains this hole quite like the scary course guide: It's a great end to the round and one that is fitting for any Open Championship. This was, quite simply, the best golf course I have ever played and I loved every minute. It's hard to explain just how much of a mental challenge it is - there are so many factors in play on every single shot and you're constantly considering where the best/worst misses are, what the wind will do, how the ball will bounce and where you want to play your approach shots from. I went from the green tees (6700 yards) and I played pretty well in all, putted better and mostly drove the ball pretty well, but there were so many holes where bogey was a good score. https://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/1785846 In short, I can't recommend the Southport/Liverpool area enough for a golfing break, if you get the chance. The surrounding area is really affordable to stay in and eat, so it can be quite well-priced, too. There are so many more courses in the area that I plan to play, and I'll update this thread as and when.
  11. The practice facilities, as you'd expect from an Open venue, are excellent. The short game area is small, but tricky and allowing for a huge variety, whilst the range is huge with a number of targets. After about an hour of warming up, I set out onto the first - the only par 3 opener on the Open rota. Nothing like a 4 iron to a heavily bunkered green for your first shot of the day... I ended up going way right (practically onto the next tee box) and actually it wasn't too bad a place to miss - a relatively simple pitch on, but missed the putt from 15ft. It's one of those holes where 4 is a good start. A couple more photos give an idea of the nature of the course, but, to be honest, I was so caught up in the enjoyment of my round that I just didn't take that many. The par three 9th hole shows why some people consider the influence of the outside world to detract from the course. I disagree and it's a stunning hole for me.
  12. Disclaimer: there will be a lot of photos (in good quality this time!), hence multiple posts Royal Lytham and St Annes: So, I tried to book Royal Birkdale first - it has better reviews and had just hosted the Open. No luck there, so I went for Lytham without a second thought. What I read about the course beforehand suggested a fairly bland course, but with a really good test of golf. It's widely considered both one of the most challenging on the Open venue (ask Adam Scott...) but also one of the least beautiful. The course isn't a traditional links - you get no view of the sea and the entire course is encircled by the town of Lytham. You see walkers coming across to get to the other side and the odd views of red-brick houses when you get to the extremities. But, I would totally argue for it being beautiful. It's not got the vistas of Turnberry, but no other course does. It is really well-designed though and again there was the feel of space, even in the middle of a town. The first thing you notice is the clubhouse - how can you not? Looking back over the 18th green: It's iconic and you immediately know exactly where you are. The other thing you can instantly tell from these photos is the sheer quality of the course's condition. I think only Turnberry matches it for the maintenance and it just looked perfect; the greenkeepers clearly work very hard and you notice it the whole way round. Inside the clubhouse, there is so much history - the Claret Jug, montages from every player to have won there and a signed club from each player. There was also a signed photo of Ernie admiring the Jug on the way in to the Clubhouse: I've never had the feeling of so much history, at any course, and it really gives you a special feeling before you head out to play.
  13. I've deliberately left the title vague, as I intend to keep the thread updated when I play more of these courses (which will definitely happen!). A couple of weeks ago, we booked a few nights in Southport (of Royal Birkdale fame). For those that don't know, this is one of the best areas in the country for the quality and variety of golf courses, with two Open hosts (Royal Birkdale and Royal Lytham St Annes) and a number of other links gems. The other fun aspect is the abundance of heather and pine trees, meaning you get some nice links/heathland hybrid courses such as Formby and Southport & Ainsdale. There are loads of others though, as evidenced by the Top100 golf courses site: http://www.top100golfcourses.com/golf-courses/britain-ireland/england/lancashire I was lucky enough to book onto Formby (Monday) and Royal Lytham St Annes (Tuesday). Formby: Formby is a heathland/parkland/links course - although I'd say predominantly a links. It plays host to Open qualifying events as well as top amateur competitions. The practice facilities were good, although the range is a way away from the first tee, so I didn't have a look at that. There is a nice short game and putting area though. Mostly, though, I'll let some of the photos speak for themselves. First tee - nice and open, but some decent bunkering on the tee shot and great view of the course: Third tee - you can start to see the influence of the heather and pines blocking out the right hand side: Third green - you can see the links style here. A great par 5 green with a small landing zone (you come in from the right) and some real undulations: I'd have loved to take more photos, but for some reason my phone was only taking in low quality. I did get a nice video of a drive on the 17th though. The course is lovely and you can see much better photos on their website: http://www.formbygolfclub.co.uk/gallery/the-course/. I played from the yellows (6,469 yards) and it didn't feel long, but definitely showed its teeth when the wind picked up on the back nine. The front nine was outstanding, with a great variety of holes and that lovely feel of being in a mix of heath and links. I did feel the back nine wasn't as good and I could have used more variety between holes 11-15, with a number of fairly similar par fours. They are all good holes, but just didn't feel different enough for me. The 3-5-4 finish of 16, 17 and 18 is excellent though and with such a deep green on 18, you could easily face a very long putt needing a score. The front nine is amongst the very nicest I've played though and it had that blissful feel where you're totally alone for hole after hole. I played ok - drove the ball pretty well but didn't make many putts. What is clear is that it's a punishing course from the rough and I kept rueing fairway misses - whilst the lies weren't bad and you could always find your ball, you'd often end up with the ball either above or below your feet or you'd be blocked out. I love a course that can do this and punish you without resorting to super thick rough, patchy lies or out of bounds and this is where Formby excelled for me - it's a really good design and I would be delighted to be a member here. https://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/1785870
  14. @dennyjones - good work! However, we want to see the very hardest 6 footers on the practice green (bullet point 1), so please do post up your attempts on the 6% slope. Looks pretty brutal and would love to see it!
  15. "Short Game Secrets" by James Ridyard

    So, I downloaded a couple of these videos after following James on Twitter - he shares a lot of good thoughts and a couple of the videos he shared intrigued me. I particularly liked the one below that he retweets quite a lot. There are a number of videos and it can be hard to know exactly what you get. The 5 DVD set includes: Approach Wedges Scrambling Bunker Play Practical Green Reading Putting Performance The two I was particularly interested in were the Approach Wedges and Scrambling videos and I got both 2.0 and 1.0 versions of each. For info, I'd recommend getting 2.0 first, as it may include the 1.0 videos as well (I ended up with 2 copies of 1.0). I'm going to try to review without giving too much information. James has worked with a number of top players and coaches (Tour and otherwise) to pick up on what they do well and try to dial in when coaching. What I did really like was that a lot of what he says resonates with @iacas, @mvmac and others preach with pitching and short game in general, such as delivery of bounce, loft and shot selection. All of the videos are full of information and whilst they are relatively short - 40 minutes or so - there is so much there that you won't necessarily pick it up within 4 or 5 views. Approach Wedges 1.0, 2.0: This is relatively technical and addresses a few key factors (launch, strike etc). I would say that, for a casual player, this is not the one to get, as whilst there are some good concepts in there, it doesn't necessarily give you that much to immediately go away and work on. I will re-watch it to try to glean more, but there wasn't that much in here that I wasn't aware of already. It is also possibly the hardest section to work on on your own, without access to Trackman etc., but James does make some good suggestions. Approach Wedges 2.0 is more technical and doesn't really apply to me right now, dealing with spin rates, smash factor. It might suit a low handicapper, but I wouldn't suggest it as necessary viewing. Scrambling 1.0, 2.0: Whilst the Approach Wedges 1.0 was a bit heavy, Scrambling gets straight into the task of how to score lower shots and particularly varying trajectories with your wedges to accomplish this. You look at when to use certain shots and easy ways to vary high, low and mid trajectories to accomplish this - James explains it quickly and easily and I could immediately take this knowledge to the course and play around with it. I would suggest that this and 2.0 are almost essential viewing - they combine lots of information with really effective presentation and clear ideas of how to build this in to your game to shoot lower scores. 2.0 also includes some really useful situational based sections, with James taking a certain shot and explaining his choices clearly. There's also a nice fault fixer element that would help those who struggle with thins and duffs. In short, they are really useful viewing, but I'd advocate Scrambling over Approach Wedges, simply for the ease of incorporating it into your practice. If you'd like any more information, please ask, but I'd certainly recommend looking them up.