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About sjduffers

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    South Bay Area (Northern California)

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  1. Background: I am a fairly poor greenside bunker player, as I have a tendency to take too much ball and send the ball flying over the green. My hero shot is when I find myself in a greenside bunker above the hole, with a downhill lie (e.g. back of the bunker), when the green slopes away from me and there is a pond/lake beyond, and I still take the shot with a big swing on the off chance that I won't skull the ball and will manage to get it and keep it on the green (close to the hole optional). Once in a zillion times, it actually works! But, I'll keep trying...
  2. I use a push cart, with a stand bag, and no getting another bag with legs was not a sell-out: I ride or I push the cart, so why do I need legs? I don't! I have a fat grip on my putter. Not a sell out. I put better with it. I had a 4 hybrid in my previous set but when I got another set (and shipped the old one to the other place I go to once in a while), I went without the hybrid and opted for the 4i instead. Not a sell out, or even a reverse sell out. Just happened that way. I have a rangefinder: it's much better than trying to read distances on a phone that takes forever to get its GPS signal sync'd up. Much quicker than pacing off sprinkler heads and guesstimating the flag position from the center. Not a sell out. I got rid of my 3 hybrid in favor of a 60 degree wedge and I may now have a small gap between my 4 (hybrid or iron) and the 5 wood, and not a huge yardage between the 5 wood and the 3 wood, but that's not a sell out. I am not missing that 3 hybrid much and I can use the 60 degree wedge when short sided or for short bunker shots. I am taking lessons (or have for the last 2 years or so, as I am in a pause with them right now). It's helped me a lot and I should have done this a whole lot sooner. Not a sell out. I am always trying to improve, and no sell out in sight: I can use all the help I can get!
  3. Current index trend is 9.2 (official last revision is 9.6), and current anti-handicap trend is 13.4. The gap between the two, that is about 4 points, has been narrowing in the last year or two. Before that, the gap was easily 6, 7 or 8 points! Still, anti-handicap is driven higher by rounds around 88-91 that are typical of much tougher tracks I go to once in a while, or of the occasional T tournaments where nerves are more at play. My usual (easier) go-to courses that drive most of my handicap yield an average score of 80-83, with the occasional 85-86, and the occasional 77-79.
  4. Absolutely. The (visual) illusion is because when we look at a slope that goes downhill less than the slope we are on, it appears to us like it is (or might be) going uphill instead. Even if you try reading a such a green from below the hole, because you are looking at a steeper slope in the background, you can pick the slight uphill in front of you as going downhill. As Einstein told us, it's all relative! Yes, use your feet and trust them.
  5. He's also said that he makes a practice stroke anchored and then moves the butt of the club off his chest for the actual stroke. He's totally fine.
  6. I would like to add that you made sure to convert the meters into yards (add an extra 10% or so to the numbers), right? Otherwise, those are respectable numbers for someone only started their golf journey. FWIW, as a 58 year old who started playing golf in their mid-40s, I don't have a lot of distance (driver 210-240y, 7i 130-140y and PW 95-105y), but I do enjoy the game very much, did take lessons and improved my swing considerably after I did.
  7. Yes, those are the odds for the pros. And with 144 or 156 players in the field, usually cut to 60 to 80 players on the weekend, it makes sense that there is a hole in one at nearly every tournament (some have none and some have more than one obviously), as they are pretty much all the same ball striking level. However, for the average amateur, the odds jump to 1 in 12000 or so, so assuming 4 par 3s per round like you said, that's one in 3000 rounds and if the average (committed) player has a good year at 50 rounds per year, that's a non-trivial 60 years to wait for a hole-in-one! Luckily, there are executive courses with more par 3s, and the odds also improve as a player gets better, so it's really a continuum between the 1/12000 and 1/2500 odds for most people. There are always statistical flukes of course, but on average, it holds. In other words, the better you are, the luckier you get, which is the same principle at play as in "The more I practice, the luckier I get" (Gary Player about holing out from the sand)...
  8. 1 (just under 3 months ago) after 14 years of playing or so. Wheew!
  9. I took a 12 on #10, a par 5, at Poppy Hills (before the renovation), in a tournament. I was in the middle of the fairway after the drive. There is a lake on the left and long hitters can go over it and hit the green which is also on the left side of the fairway, but there is plenty of room straight for a lay up with maybe 80-100 yards to the green. I hit a 3 wood, into the trees right, OB. I reload of course with a 5 wood (it's a tournament, I said), and sail the next one OB too. I reload again and watch in horror at it goes right towards the trees again! Except this time the golf gods have pity on me and spit the ball right back in the fairway. Wheew! I was this close from DQ'ing myself. I am laying 6 by now, but still don't feel that I am close enough to chance going over the lake, so I layup and then flub the short approach, now laying 8. I am standing on a mound on the side of the green, everything running away from me, towards the water (remember the lake?). Sure enough, I blade the chip/pitch and it finds the water (red stake). After dropping (my 10th stroke), I made a nice up and down for a smooth 12, with 3 penalties (2 OBs and a LWH). ETA: It could have easily been a 14, had I missed the putt and its comeback. As someone said in the other thread: how do you get a 14? You miss the 3-footer for 13 and tap-in.
  10. I voted for the slow golfer, which is the most annoying thing to me, especially when you give him hints as to what he could do to speed things up a bit and he just ignores all of it. Since multiple choices were possible, I also voted for the rage-aholic, especially when he starts throwing clubs. Some of the rage filled tirades can actually be funny so as long as his burst is over quickly I can tolerate, but some people are raging all day long. Sometimes I finally say "you (or 'we') are not good enough to be that upset". It usually calms them down for a bit. I didn't select it, but the third worst for me wouldbe the Distractor: show me some courtesy and shut your clapper when i am ready to swing, please. I don't need full silence for a minute, but don't start talking or making a loud noise in my backswing.
  11. When your opponent returned to the tee to hit another ball after looking where he thought his original was but couldn't be found, it was not a provisional ball. He just hit 3 from the tee at this point. A provisional can only be hit before you begin to look/search (as a provision in case it isn't found), if you suspect it might not be found. Regardless of how the ball got next to the next tee, your opponent couldn't use his original ball. Retrieve it, yes, but that's it.
  12. Thanks @iacas for the shout-out. @Soss, don't forget an embarrassingly long bro hug after he putts out on 18. He's just won a major after all! You can use this time if you orient yourself properly as a way to hide the fact that his wife is getting in position to run to the green and to give her the clue to come in. And... don't forget to hug the wife too! It's been mentioned already, but as you stalks putts from the opposite of him, or right behind him, carry the flag with you. Don't let the flag on the ground (unless you are busy raking a bunker with a fine comb or something...). Grab it by the business end (where the fabric is) and have the bottom part in the air.
  13. While he gets ready to take his stance (but way before he gets ready to hit), grab the bag and put it down right next to him, and start discussing a wind change, real or not does not matter, and hand him another club. Waste 30 seconds or so discussing the situation, and let him go with his previous club. Rinse and repeat for effect! Start shushing the (imaginary) gallery, yelling "put that camera away, please". Kudos for the bet and for being a real good sport about it. This should be tons of fun!
  14. An Associate Club is a club (ie a group of people) without an assigned golf course. So they go around the area and play tournaments at those locations, usually on the weekend. They are structured like a an actual club (at a golf course) with a president, treasurer, handicap chairman, tournament director, etc... So that's what those 2 two you never heard off are. Associate Clubs can have some fancy and sometimes self-deprecating names too; they are typically formed by groups of people who have another social connection, be it work, church, social cause, ad-hoc, whatever, and most of them are opened to new members, even if those new members are not exactly of the same composition as the original crew. Just ask them who they are and if you could play as a guest a time or two to decide if you'd be a fit.
  15. Just remove putting altogether from golf then. Problem solved: everybody is as good as anyone else at it, and it would take much less time to play a hole, maybe half the time as it does now.