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sjduffers

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sjduffers last won the day on October 15 2016

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93 Multiple Major Winner

About sjduffers

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    Well Established Member

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  • Your Location
    South Bay Area (Northern California)

Your Golf Game

  • Handicap Index
    8.5
  • Handedness
    Righty

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  1. changing balls during play

    This. I have. A couple of years ago, I casually mentioned to my instructor that I thought I was lipping out a lot of putts and he watched me line a couple from 15 feet and lipping them out (on a straight putt) and then told me: you're lining up the line at the edge of the hole, not inside it. Stop using the line and just put down the white part of the ball (no logo, no marking), pick a dimple to look at, and let your body/mind do all the alignment and other work to get the ball to the hole. Results are much improved since then!
  2. The Nine Hole Conundrum

    It's so true! I recently had back to back games on the same course with 50-38=88 followed by 37-43=80 just 2 days later. While It's nice to think that I played the middle 18 holes in 38-37=75, I have no reasonable explanation as to why it happened... Yes, I was slow getting in the groove with that 50 first nine (and incurred several out of the ordinary penalties), but that can't be all of the explanation.
  3. Crowds and slow golf are making me quit the game

    The problem is why should it take 45s per player? I think 30s is more than enough. In fact the proposed rules for 2019 mention 40s maximum, right (and that is more in line with Tour players). I saw a terrible amateur take 40 to 50s every time the other day, and it was literally torture to watch him. With 30s per player, you'd save 2 minutes between the first and second shot, leaving 4 minutes to do all the other things besides driving ahead. Sure, it means stop telling your story on the tee when it's your turn to hit and have your club selected already when it's your turn... and who does that? Not the slow players, and there are tons of them!
  4. Recap Your 2017 Golf Goals

    I have to amend this. I did get a 74 today. A nice Christmas gift from the golf gods. Ok, it was on a par 70 course, and I played from the white tees (just under 5800 yds), but you still have to put the ball in the hole, right? It helped that I had 3 birdies and very nearly the elusive 4th (which is a goal for 2018). Also, that's now 30 rounds in the 70s for the year.
  5. What are Your 2018 Golf Goals?

    I feel that I am reaching my level of "incompetence" (from the Peters' principles): I am never going to gain another 25-30 yards with the driver or another 15 yards with my 7 iron. I am now aiming at keeping my game where it is and marginally improving it where there is still a bit of room. My goals for 2018 are: 1) Get the GIR to 45%. That was the goal in 2015, 2016, 2017 and remains for 2018. I have stopped getting regular lessons (i.e. once every 3-4 weeks) and only occasionally check in with my coach. I feel I have all the tools necessary to get it there, and it's a combination of more deliberate play (I am a fast player that doesn't handle slow play very well and reacts by being even faster), better and more consistent pre-shot routine (i.e. alignment check, pick a small spot a few feet in front, etc..) and more considerations about club selection. This mostly apply to the irons: I am pretty good with the driver or fairway woods in term of selection and targets. An unmistakable sign that this is an issue is that my GIR% is currently lower on par 5s than it is on par 3s, despite being much closer to the green on average on the par 5s! 2) Fix my greenside bunker play as a glaring weakness: my sand save percentage is like 2.5%, but more troubling is the number of times I still leave the ball in the bunker or blade it over the green. It is a reason why I have a bit more trouble scoring on courses that I don't know like the palm of my hand. On courses I know very well, I am hardly ever in a bunker (either they have very few bunkers or I actively avoid them). I think I know what to do, but am having a hard time doing it, so perhaps another pair of eyes will help. I plan on taking a couple of lessons from another coach, as my current coach only teaches indoors and of course doesn't have access to sand... 3) Keep the index in the single digits, and attempt to get it under 8.0 (closest so far has been 8.2) for a couple of revisions. 4) Shoot a personal best (currently 75) on a par 70 or higher course, meaning 74 or better. Same goal as in 2017. 5) Have a round or more with 4 birdies or better. Best so far is 3 (several times). 6) Keep the putter as a strong asset (less than 5% of 3-putts and 30 putts per round). I am already there or nearly there (4% and 30.5 respectively). Ensure it stays there, even when playing on faster greens from time to time: On some faster greens (stimp 11 or higher?), I typically have an extra 3-putt or 2 as some putts get away from me, rolling too far past the hole, usually due to carelessness. This also requires more play on those greens, compared to my typical 8-10 stimped greens. 2017 was a definite step above my previous level. I think 2018 will be more of a consolidation and firming up the progress already achieved. PS: A long term goal is to break my age, but I am probably a good 15-20 years away from that still, as I close in on 60.
  6. 40 Putts per Round, Average of 96 (Dave Pelz)?

    22 putts for 9 holes is really poor, but if you count putts taken from off the green, you should not, even if you use the putter. So, it could have been 18 or 19 really and that is still not great, but much better! ETA: I had an 18 holes round this year where I took 24 putts (yes, for all 18 holes). It helped that I was off the green a lot, but that's nearly half as many as you claim, per hole... You can do much better.
  7. Recap Your 2017 Golf Goals

    Disclaimer:I live in a year-long season area for handicap reporting. 1) Awfully close. The index went as low as 8.2 for one revision but did not dip under 8.0. I was able to stay in the 8.x range since mid-August though, so the goal of staying under 9.0 for 3 months was met and then some. 2) Success. I have 28 rounds in the 70s this year, out of 115 rounds so far (and still counting). 3) Nope. Missed by a stroke. The best rounds this year were 75 once, and a few 76s. There is a week+ left, yeah? 4) Nope. The GIR% went as high as 37% for a while, but dropped back under 30% now. 5) Very nearly. I managed the whole year under 1 3-putt per round (5.56%) at 4.1% for the whole year and currently (last 20 rounds) at 3.5%. I briefly had under 30 putts per round on average (i.e. last 20) at 29.8, but it's creeped back above 30, 30.4 at the moment (and 30.6 for the whole year). However, the scrambling stat is at 33% and up-and-down at 42% now, so progress. 6) Done! One round with only 24 putts: 12 1-putts and 6 2-putts (only 3 greens hit that day helped!). Shot an 81 that day: 1 birdie, 8 pars, 8 bogeys, 1 double. So overall, a very successful year, my best yet. Most of the goals were met or nearly so. I am now a single digit player, despite being pretty short off the tee (220 yds or so). The big elusive one is the GIR%. That will be my focus for 2018, again.
  8. Why do you want a "Gimme"?

    I have never understood people begging for a gimme (I saw that again today). If you are that close that you think it's a gimme, just putt the damn ball into the hole instead! It should be a no brainer because it's that close, right?
  9. The (No) Sixes Challenge

    I achieved the challenge again in both my of last 2 rounds, with scores of 78 with only 3 greens and 79 with 6 greens in regulation. The putter really helped in both instances. For instance, I had a breaking 12 footer for par on the last hole today, a par 5, and sank the putt! I start every round now trying to achieve this challenge and it's not easy, especially the no bogey on a par 5 part (for me).
  10. For me, it's getting in the low 70s. I have hit 75 twice and have a good half-dozen 76s, etc... But breaking that 75 barrier is not happening (and maybe never will?)...
  11. New Rules for Video Call-Ins

    My view of the Tiger drop at the Masters was that he "forgot" (and maybe he really did in the heat of the moment) where the ball last crossed the margin of the hazard after getting a carom off the flagstick, instead thinking about how the ball crossed the same hazard exactly inline with the flagstick from the initial spot where he hit it. So, he went back 2 yards on that line (and in his mind could have gone further back still) and dropped there. FWIW, I have seen that same mistake made several times in low-level tournaments except that in many cases people don't really understand why the flawed drop is not a proper one. That or applying the "line drop" to the flight of the ball (between the spot where hit and the point of entry) as opposed to the line to the flagstick. At least those folks can claim that they are not a Tour player, but it does not exonerate them from not knowing the rules... As for the topic of this thread, I agree with others that the removal of the 2 strokes penalty for signing an incorrect score card is an incentive to not knowing the rules. I do agree however with "de-emphasizing" the call-ins: they don't have to call them that anymore even if they still happen from well-connected folks, but the time concern is welcome one. The situation we had of applying a penalty the next day was clearly not a good thing and such a thing does not happen with the last round, because all scores are final after the tournament is closed.
  12. Are Rangefinders contributing to slow play?

    Yup. I turned the beep off on my Leupold, as the visual indication in the viewfinder is enough: a square surrounds the flag (or is it the number? I can't remember which and I've used just today..). I was just pointing out that various models have features built-in to signal a lock on a reflector, whether they call it Pinseeker (Bushnell) or not... Well, that's just a bad implementation. I don't need to know I just got a yardage: i can read the damn number in the viewfinder, can't I? LOL. If you are gonna buzz, buzz for something useful: you've got a yardage off of a reflector. There, much better. Absolutely. Golf rangefinders give preference to the foreground object (the flagstick) whereas hunting rangefinders give preference to the background (the deer hiding in the trees).
  13. Are Rangefinders contributing to slow play?

    I keep mine in the accessory compartment of my push cart, right in front of me. It's already outta there by the time I stop walking at the side of my ball and out of its case (magnetic closing, no zipper) and against my eye. It takes a second to take a reading, more (like 3-4s) if I need more info, like a lip of a bunker or two, front of the green, etc.. Another second or 2 to put it back in its pouch and in the push cart compartment, while I think about the club I want and grab it in the next motion. Really negligible amount of time vs. the time it actually saves. If I am riding in a cart, I keep the rangefinder in a cup holder as many have said, and shoot my target right through the lowered windshield, and add or subtract a couple of yards as appropriate for the ball position relative to the cart. Easy, peasy. All done and put away in 3-4 seconds, at the most. Like I said above, you have to have a good holding technique (think photographic gear) to register a correct reading quickly and it really helps to have an idea of the distance you are measuring within 10-15 yards ahead of time, so you don't erroneously target a tree behind the flag and add 20-30 yards to the real number. Most rangefinders have a feature that reacts to the reflectors found on flagstick and give a vibration, a flash, a noise, or a visual indicator in the viewfinder when the reflector was hit. That saves time too.
  14. Agreed 100%. That's what I do too, and make it formal by having my eyes tracking back the line of putt from the hole back to the ball (curve included) and immediately starting the backswing as an extension of that, while the eyes stay on the ball during the backswing, downswing and the early part of the follow through.
  15. Are Rangefinders contributing to slow play?

    I can get a yardage with my rangefinder in 2s maximum: one to grab the device and another one to aim at the target and shoot the distance. There is a proper technique needed to make that happen. Hold the instrument like you would a camera (SLR or DSLR), by making a stable 3-point platform: one point is the forehead (or the eye socket of the eye in use, depending on the device) and the other 2 are the elbows tucked into your sides or abdomen depending on your shape and what is confortable. With this stable platform, it is easy to aim/shoot at the target just as it is easy to take crisp (non-blurry) pictures. Too many times, I see rangefinder novices trying to one-hand the device and having a real hard time. No wonder: they are only using maybe one of the three anchor points, if that and will have a hard time get a fix for a target at anything longer than 50-80 yards... Properly used, a rangefinder is more precise than anything else and can be faster too (try getting a GPS yardage from a phone!), and is definitely faster than walking the distances to the sprinkler heads. True dat. But like I said, it should take nowhere near 10 seconds to get information with a laser, either. Another data point: a buddy of mine has one of them fancy talking voices clipped onto your hat GPS. More than half the time, he asks me to give him a yardage (with my rangefinder). Why? Because the thing isn't charged up, hasn't figured out the course or the hole we are on... or do I dare say, because he doesn't really trust it? I keep telling him that he needs a rangefinder and he claps back that as long as I am playing with him, he does not, as mine is doing just fine. I tell him that one of these days, I will give a wrong yardage... by accident you know (like lasering a tree behind the flag).
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