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RC

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Posts posted by RC

  1. There really should be no pain or discomfort from a good grip so I only asked all those questions because I did not know what you were doing to cause the issue.  The interlocking grip is just as acceptable as the typical Vardon grip (or overlapping,) and lots of younger players use it.  It is a common bromide that smaller hands tend to work well with the interlocking grip.  I still think most golfers prefer the overlap just to unify the hands closer together.  Which ever grip you use, favor having the fingers more angled down at address.  This causes a slight and natural arching of the wrist which comes closer to the position of the left hand at impact.  This is not something to over do, but a little goes a long way.

    To the question of the thumb and heel pad.  The heel pad should be on top of the handle which requires the grip to be down a bit into the fingers.  If you rotate your thumb so it is on the side of the handle, that is too far.  Something like 12:30 to at most 2:00 pm when viewed from above is a reasonable range.  I think the thumb should not be more than 1:00 pm or less, because I like a more neutral grip.  But good players can play with strong grips, they just have to learn to hold off the finish.

    Your best bet is to go to your home pro and show him or her your grip and ask for advice.  Seeing a grip and pushing and pull a club while someone is gripping it in the left hand is far superior to trying to describe a grip with words on the internet from someone who might know nothing at all that would help you.

    Good luck and good golf.

  2. It is impossible to discuss your grip because we don't know what the adjustment you made is.  Can you describe you lefthand grip in more detail, or better yet a picture.  Pointing the V formed by the index finger and thumb to your right shoulder is typically a stronger grip position, but your grip depends on many things.  A strong versus neutral grip has little to do with actual strength or how your ultimate ball flight will turn out.  Where is the heel pad of your left hand?  How much into the fingers is your grip?  Do your have a gap between your index finger and your thumb or is it squeezed shut?  Is your left hand thumb long of short?  Are your fingers angled onto the grip or more perpindicular?  And then there is the right hand...  There are many variations and all contribute to either a good or bad grip for most golfers.

  3. The advantages of a private club are many:  rounds under 4 hours, generally better conditions on the course, especially the greens -- people seem to care for their course because they will be playing there a lot, and sometimes there are especially good pros.  The disadvantages are higher expense (typically.)  Some private clubs tend to cater to single digit handicaps, some to members who demonstrate a love and knowledge of the game, and some just because you live within a development, and yes there are some who appear to have a level of snobbery -- but I have not really encounter that in a few decades.  A club's personality and whether it is more or less exclusionary varies all over the place.  I did not give an answer for the questions above.  I choose golf courses based on the quality of the course and the typical speed of play one can expect.

  4. Four hours per round...  That is an unhurried pace that most should be able to adapt too.  On tour, penalty shots and fines ensue and during public play, marshalls escort the players off the course if not playing to a four hour pace -- after one warning.  Taking longer than that is due to an ingrained habit of not paying attention to playing along using common sense and courtesies toward other golfers.  It is really not hard to play in four hours, no matter the slope and degree of difficulty.  Move up a tee and pick up your ball if you cannot play out in at least triple or quadruple bogey.  I've yet to see a tour course one could not play in four hours, and I have played a bunch of them.  Spend more time on the driving range and learning your game's limitation, if that is your excuse.  The majority of other golfers are not out playing hoping one or two guys can hit hero shots 5 percent of the time.  That's my harsh take on this subject.  Get to you ball, figure out the yardage, select a club, and be ready to hit when it is your turn. The wasted time I see in high school and college golf is surely not in the spirit of the game.  It comes from insensity habits permitted by coaches and officials.   And those that want an unhurried, liesurely walk in the park, please do that and not hold up the majority of golfers who are out to play a game on the golf course.  -- I suppose some will not like this post, others will be delighted.

  5. Byron Nelson was the game's ultimate gentleman and a personal hero of mine.  It was at this tournament before his death that he was kind enough to pose for a picture with me.  I still have it and treasure the time talking with him.  He was like talking to a member of the family he was so interested and genuine.  I am always happy to watch his tournament.  I enjoyed Ben Crenshaw's tribute to Nelson on the golf channel as well.  Few people know all the kind things Byron Nelson did, and I surely do not but I know of some of his contributions and he was truly a special man.  Plus, tonight the Rangers are playing the A's and guess who is in the stands... Phil Mickelson.  Pretty cool for Ranger fans.

    It would be fun to have another young gun, first time winner this year, but I don't have a clue who to guess it might be.

  6. Pretty much the same workout every time, been doing these for years, specifically for golf.

    1.  10 minute treadmill warm-up to get heart rate up.  Never stretch before heart rate is up.  Something to do with synovial fluid in tendon sheaths I am told.

    2.  Immediately take BP and heart rate, then weigh on scales -- today I was 111 over 75 after treadmill warm-up.  Heart rate gets to about 125 or so.

    3.  Lay on back, rope on ball and toes of foot, pull upright to stretch hamstring and calf -- both sides -- one minute each.

    4   Sideways push-ups of hips while laying sideways on elbow and foot.-- do both sides 15 reps quickly

    5.  15 reps lying on back and pulling knees up and under a rope held up between hands outstretched above shoulders.

    6. Best one:  Lie on side, knees up to 90 degrees and laid to one side, and someone holds them down, both arms out front stretched in front of chest and to the side, palms facing.  Take top arm and swing in all the way above and across body until it goes below the level of the other arm as if you are on a cross (you must be on a narrow table and knees held down.) Do 15 reps then change sides and do it again.  This is the best one for flexibility for your golf swing.  If you play right handed, the right arm over will be harder.  This one is brutal.

    7.  2:00 minutes of bridge or ladder (hold straight body line balanced on elbows and toes.)

    8.  Rotator cuff exercizes on pulley weight machine, elbow to side, pull 15 times each way, each arm -- total 60 reps. Don't do too heavy of weights -- use light weights and lots of reps, make sure elbow does not leave side.

    9.  30 weighted ab-sit-ups in a special chair -- I do as much weight as I can possibly move.

    10.  Back stretcher where you drop back and knees jam into chest while holding on with straight arms to the bars.

    11.  Leg presses -- 2 times 15 reps -- leg machine.

    12. on a machine -- flying arm chest pull to center (the one you see ladies do for chest exercizes.)

    13. push ups -- 15 quick ones. I do them on a machine.

    14. Walk off cool down

    Done -- get a protein shake, head to golf course.

  7. I understand and agree with the points made, but I still think first time or infrequent players are going to make miss-reads that seasoned, every day Augusta caddies would not.  Everyone has the charts and knows the low point of Rae's Creek, but there are putts that simply defy and suspend your sense of sanity.  Usually the read might be correct as to direction of break, but the not always, and there are a lot of miss-reads that are associated with the increase or decrease of speed as the break kicks in.  We have all seen putts break late, then take off down a slope.  I think no matter the reading skill of the player/caddy team, the first few times at ANGC will yield baffling putts.  My guess is the practice rounds provide a lot of educational time rolling balls -- they would have to.

  8. Not too long ago, Players at the Masters used local Augusta National caddies.  That meant the players would typically have a caddy that knew the putts perfectly,  Then at some point, the regular tour caddies became the norm and one seldom sees a local caddy any more. They are still there of course, toting bags every normal day.

    I wonder about that because the local caddies work as a team under a senior caddy who knows the greens with precision.  Anytime a caddy mades a questionable read, it is like a special called meeting of the UN committee on international affairs.  The caddies gather around the master caddy who rolls balls by hand to show exactly how the putt should have been read.  Understand, the normal way these Augusta caddies give instructions is to point out the line and a second thing is to point to a place which is the distance one should try to stop the ball.  This allows the player a very useful amount of information to putt those nearly impossible greens.  This method works great on greens at Augusta that run faster than the greens are running this week so the time factor is not really an issue.  The locals seem to me to have an advantage.

    The caddy I've used the most on my old home course was extremely good, but there is no way he could have been as good as the caddy masters at Augusta when playing there.

    So, indeed I wonder how a non-local caddy could possibly be as astute at reading the greens as those that are reading them every day, and every year with each new change?

    Perhaps some regular tour caddies would be preferrable over locals, but I think at least some of the locals would still be great choices for some players.

  9. First some assumptions... Assume you are naturally long off the tee, assume you are a very good putter, and assume you have played under pressure at serious golf tournaments.  Add to that a scratch or near scratch handicap on a course or courses that are serious tracks.  If you have all that then how well you would play at Augusta National becomes a question of how well you can follow the exact instructions of the local caddies.  They know when an extra club is needed, they know the putting lines and more importantly where you should think you are putting your ball to stop (which is not where the ball will stop.)  A good caddie is critical.  There is no reason if you can follow the caddy's advice and execute the shots that you should not be in the 70's or low 80's.  It is an extremely difficult course to play but a good caddy who figures out your tendancies is absolutely required.  Maybe after 20 or so rounds, you will be able to play decently reading your own putts, but trust me, you cannot read your putts the first few times -- I know.

  10. Well, two days in and numbers 9 and 18 are the killers.  The back pin on 9 makes it really tough because the angle into the green is over bunkers to a narrow area, or if the player bails out right off the tee, it means a long, long approach.  18 with soft fairways means long irons into a bear of a green, with the pin close to the right side (which is normally the easy pin location.)  You go right or into the right trap and you change to playing for bogey -- forget par.

  11. I think the great thing about the Masters is the same thing that might be an issue with the PGA -- and that is the Masters sort of does things its own way.  The PGA does not control the Masters, but seems to happily co-exist.  As long as the Masters is conducted with such class and with such reverence for tradition, I don't think the PGA would want a show down with Augusta National Golf Club.  Plus, the Masters invites great players from around the world, the best amatuers, and has a qualifying set of conditions for everything.  Some things are best left to be managed locally and the Masters is a good example.  The world knew Bobby Jones and he typified the gentleman golfer.  In some ways this is a major in tribute to Mr. Jones and the traditions of golf in America and the world.  This elevated the Masters in a way that a national organization like the PGA cannot do.

    In my dreams, I am never playing the last hole on Sunday at Crooked Stick, or Cherry Hills, or Southern Hills, or Pebble Beach, etc.  No, my dreams are always of Augusta National, and yes, I have played there many times.  I still dream about it.  Every swing is a cherished moment. I hear the music in my soul.

  12. I do not know why, but the PGA has never quite resonated with me as a major on par with the other three.  So I would be fine with a replacement major for the PGA that is a true world wide event hosted by different venues around the globe and a production of all the various tours -- but a bit more encompassing than the Players Championship.  It might even require two weekends so that a large field could be assembled and then qualified for the final weekend.  Almost sounds like an every year Olympics just for golf.  No matter how hard the PGA has tried, the Players as it is, has not quite made the jump to the lofty status hoped.  Maybe a new event to replace the PGA and the Players could be the Professional Golf World Championship.  This suggestion may not be popular with the US PGA, but perhaps it would be more prestigious than the current PGA event, and it would make a Players like tournament a real major.

  13. Some clubs are closed on Monday, but not all.  Either way, as has been observed, usually play resumes the first normal day after the tourney ends.  One of the shocking things you see immediately after a tournament is just how much damage is done to the turf by the gallery foot traffic, heavy equipment, and, as you might expect since pros are proficient at hitting to the desired landing areas, divots all clustered around the best places.  And it is much worse if there has been wet weather during tournament week.  It is almost heart breaking to see fairway crossings turned into mud pits but it happens.

    Repair ground crews can be hard at work for several days after a tournament.  And many places begin restoring rough length to whatever is normal rather than the length demanded by the PGA.  Even a place as pristine as Augusta National looks pretty shop-worn after the Masters.

  14. Great post WUTiger.  I had not thought about mentioning the different bounce options for sand wedges but indeed I do have two sets of Cleveland sand and lob wedges just for courses with different traps which favor more or less bounce.  However, as time marches on, I have sort of changed my attitude about that and make a swing adjustment for trap shots from different types of sand.  So I am still firmly in the camp of 14 clubs, but do think the conditions might favor one set of choices over another.  There are courses where a 5 wood might be preferrable, for example..

    The idea of buying a game with a truck load of clubs for whatever reason seems extreme to me.  I doubt it works.  Heck, it is hard enough for me just trying to decide each day whether to carry the hybrid or the 3 iron, and I wish I was skilled enough to hit the hybrid like a lower flighted 3 iron stinger.  I'm not so I pop the trunck and ponder which club goes in the bag every day.  Silly really.

  15. Number 12 is getting a lot of notice for good reason.  The green moves away from you on the right side, so a pin on the left is a lot closer than a pin on the far right  (some Nicklaus par threes have this design feature) -- except the green is very narrow so the closer left pin always gets a lot of shots just over the green.  A strong draw is not the shot for this hole.  The chip back is not easy and you might get close to an unplayable in the steep rough at the back of the green..  The heart breaker is a right pin when the wind knocks your ball down or balloons it up.  The ball just does not get to the green surface and rolls down the slope into Rae's creek.  You walk forward, take a drop and you are staring at a shot that normal players find very challenging -- a short pitch from a very tight slight downhill lie, over water, to a relatively shallow and almost flat green.  So for many people, 12 is about as tough as it gets.  And, it is not even a long par three.  Normally an 8 iron, maybe a 9 iron, and a smarter play might be a well flighted 7 iron.  Short but truly scary.  For average golfers, who might have to hit a five or six iron, this green would be very difficult to hold.  You need a high flight or controlled spin.

    And a word about number 9.  This is an underrated hole.  The drive will be massive because it is down hill, but it must not be pushed.  The fairway slopes downhill but feeds balls to the right.  A big draw puts you at the bottom of the hill for an uphill approach.  Come off it a little and you have a very difficult downhill long iron approach that goes back up the hill.  A great drive is one that just misses the trees down the left side with a little draw.  Then the trouble shifts to the approach.  I think all uphill holes where you cannot really see the green surface are hard, but this one has a famous false front and that is all you can see.  You really can wind up more than fifty yards down the hill if you hit it short or spin off the front.  I know of one spin back that wound up 90 yards down the hill.  So, you try to err on the long side, but then the putt back is very intimidating unless the pin is deep into the green.  In some ways it is as hard as the the back right of 16, when the .pin is right above the crest where the ball will not stop.  You don't try to make the putt, you just hope not to three putt.  There is really only one pin position that is a "go for it" placement.

  16. I would agree and disagree.  The talent level of golfers is higher than ever, they have optimized their swings and skills to the equipment of today.  But... the golf ball and the clubs, especially the shafts, have changed the game completely.  Doral a monster?  Hardly, when compared ot where they were driving the ball years ago.

    The same thing happened in tennis when high tech tennis rackets replaced wood.  Some artistry and shot making went out, but power and athletic ability went way up.  We are not going to change the march of technology, but I do wish the great golf courses of traditional design were played from the same places as years past, just so one could compare the skill level of various eras and perserve the greatness of previous era courses.  I am always a little sad when a venerable track becomes a pitch and putt due to the new gear.

    Today a course is not long unless it has par 4's over 500 yards and par threes around 250 yards.  Yet, some of the more exciting golf is the driveable par fours that require accuracy or one pays a heavy price.  Such holes are exciting.  What that tells me is course design is also part of the problem.  Great tracks like Pine Valley do not need to be more than about 7,000 yards to challege the best in the world.  Opening up the landing areas and encouraging a blast it and hope mentality changes the game almost as much as a ball that goes 30 or 40 yards longer. It is still a joy to see a great design like Pine Valley essentially render the greatly improved length much less important.

    So, I agree a little bit, but I think the athletes of today are much better trained in general.  The talent has gone up.

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