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Everything posted by RayG

  1. Quite a few injuries over the 30+ years of playing. Some from errant Golf Balls and some from an actual swing. 2 years ago had a particularly painful thwack at the ball in a trap and cracked a bone in the back of my hand. And that was on the first hole. Played pretty well after that since I couldn't grip too tight or overswing. The next few weeks were pretty painful and couldn't play due the swelling and inflammation. Fortunately it was late in the season and healed before the following spring. One errant golf ball injury tops the list. I was playing with a friend of mine and was waiting just off to the side as she swung at the ball. Neither one of us noticed that Pipe that was sticking out of the round just ahead and to the right of her. Right to the bone on my ankle on the fly. Dropped me like a wet sack of potatoes. Thank goodness it was only one hole to go before I could get the bar after 9 holes. Took a few Jack Daniel's on the rocks to dull the pain and get back out there and finish the round.
  2. Volunteer to help set up the teams next year. Tell them you have this great "Scramble-Ware" on your PC and would gladly take that chore out of their hands. Set 'em up the way you want and problem solved.
  3. The most special - Royal County Down... After an Irish wedding the night before and setting some kind of record for Guinness consumption. Still managed an 83, but could have been worse... A lot worse. I went off as a single since the starter had a group of Asian tourists filling up the rest of the day. Now there's 50+ folks waiting for me to tee off. Okay, take a nice 2 iron, keep it low and out of the wind and take advantage of the roll. KLACK... A worm burning weed killer about 150 yds. Look back and shrug. Take the long march out to the ball and know that they're still watching. Deep breath and smooth a 5 Iron about 200 yds down the fairway... whew! finished that hole and now I'm lost... no signs directing you where to go, no map on the scorecard. See a slightly trodden path off to the right and follow it, fortunately it led to #2. By #4 I caught up with a Canadian who was a member and a couple of his friends-all of whom had a caddie. I was using a trolley and finding my own way...barely. One of the most enjoyable rounds I ever played in conditions that really tested my game. First few holes were sunny and 60-65 degrees with a breeze off Dundrum Bay, by #6 the wind was screaming at 25kts and it was starting to cloud over. A few holes later it was raining cats and dogs with no wind, and by 13 the temp dropped into the upper 40's with sleet only to jump back up to 60-65 by the time we teed off at 18 staring straight back at the Sleive Donard Towers. I've NEVER, EVER had to change in and out of a rain suit so many times with so many different combinations of top, top and bottoms, bottoms, hood up, sleeves down, sweatshirt off, etc... thankfully, the guys were really a great bunch and the caddies were a collection of characters- the old grizzled veteran, a youngster and a pro caddie in the making. All of whom helped me out when they could. After 9 holes it was raining really hard and two of the guys dropped out to wait. The Canadian and I kept on and I got the youngster on my trolley- made his job easier, I'll bet. Never had one before so I wasn't exactly sure what was up. It was pretty enjoyable after that, nobody else around and just chatting about nothing special. Even with the wild weather those 9 holes felt like they took about 10 minutes. Hit some of the purest drives I've ever hit, hit a few klunkers into the fescue and a few OUT of the fescue. Never lost a ball, though, and had a decent day of putting and chipping. I asked about what to give the caddy, and when I went to pay 1/2 the fee at the caddie master, he said it was already paid for, just give the lad a ten'r- after all, he didn't carry your bag, he just took it for a walk! I gave him a 20 anyway for all the help. Then it was off to the 'visitors bar' for a nice whiskey by the fireplace to warm up a bit and watch the rest of the tourists come in. I will always remember that day like it was yesterday, and how much more I enjoyed it than my first round at Pebble Beach.
  4. Pretty simple, really... An easy practice swing, address the ball, drop my butt about an inch or two to keep the knees flexed and swing. I find that without that little butt action, my legs are too stiff and I wind up swinging with my arms only instead of using my whole body.
  5. Agreed- so let's call it a draw... But do you think that course management is harder to learn the actual playing of the game? I play with an individual who has played for awhile, yet has NO ability to "contain his enthusiasm" on the course. 240 yd carry over water? 'No problem!" Even though he doesn't hit it 200 yds in the air with his best shot. No amount of gentle coaching or "What the hell are you doing?!" seems to make an impact, so it's tough to keep a straight face when I hear "Gee, how'd I shoot a 102? I'm better than that..."
  6. If it's 1/10 with no risk- that's not a risk/reward situation. Having the CONFIDENCE to attempt a high risk/reward shot I think is what I was trying to get at. Down by one with 3 or 4 tougher holes to go, Par 5, 220 carry over water to a shallow green with trouble behind. I don't have those gonads even though I KNOW I can hit it OCCAISIONALLY- on a good day- with no pressure. In this case, instead of playing for the Eagle, I play for the layup and hit my SW in close and go for the birdie. After that, play the next few as well as I can and see what opportunities arise.
  7. I'd agree with Course Management. But "AMAZING" Course Management? Nobody has that kind of discipline. That would eliminate those risk/reward type of decisions by always taking the easy way out. A close tie would be something not listed- Accuracy off the Tee. Hitting fairways consistently sure makes scoring easier than trying to make miracle saves from the jungle.
  8. I think that's it right there- analyzing too much because you're not on the course. I try and play a simulated round at the range after warming up with some lazy 7 irons. I imagine a local course layout and play the holes in order. Almost never hit the same club twice in a row. First hole a par 5? Driver, 5I/7W, then a wedge. Next hole a shortish par 4? 3W then 8I. If you slice/hook or top one, don't re-tee, play the next shot as you would on the course. If you need to bend it around a tree at the corner, try and do it. It's a lot more fun and less tiring than beating a driver into submission until blisters form. If you have a buddy who knows the course, you can play a match. Many ranges have mini golf so you can settle the putting that way!
  9. Look around for some "anti-glare" spray. It is used in the movie/TV business to keep those flare spots reflecting of eyeglasses, picture frames, windows, etc... Or maybe a matte finish clear urethane spray on the offending area might work.
  10. If you are serious about improving, go for the series of lessons. Watch out for those "One Free Lesson" coupons, though. I had been playing for 25 years and was having a little trouble with pulling the short irons on approaches. I made the appointment and told the pro on the phone "I've been playing for 25+ years and have an idea of what I'm doing. I just need some help with the iron play". I show up and explain again what I'm looking for. By the time the half hour was over I was completely screwed up. Not one short iron hit, hitting 5 irons off a mat. I went from the upper 70's to the low 90's. Because I had been playing for so long with my initial instructions firmly entrenched in my mind, I never really had to think of the little things any more. Well, so much for that. I was constantly thinking about what he told me about my grip, etc... It took me several years to get back to my fairly normal form. And guess what? I started pulling those short irons again. Solution? I widened my stance a stitch(about a half a shoe width), and opened my left foot a bit. Helped me to maintain my balance better and keep me from sliding to far to the left on the downswing. So that half hour lesson took almost five years.
  11. You gotta hear the 'whoosh' at the bottom. I was having the same trouble- everything pushed/sliced right. I read a tip in one of the mags about hearing the 'whoosh' at the bottom of the arc. So I practiced just taking full swings. No Ball- just a tee in the ground to keep focused. Get it to 'whoosh' just as the clubhead passes the tee. It also mentioned swinging the club 'upside-down' to get the feel of the 'whoosh'. Take a normal grip at the hosel and practice a full swing. The narrower grip end will 'whoosh' better so you get an audio feedback when it's done correctly. Oh, and a lighter grip pressure helps the hands to release as well.
  12. Anyone have some info/experience with this years model? Are they really more durable than last year? I really like the ones I use now, but they're from last year and tend to scuff and peel fairly easily.
  13. If those first putts are longish type putts, don't go for the tiny target of the hole. Try to imagine a 4/6 (adjust the size for the distance of the putt) foot diameter circle around the hole and try and stop the ball inside that circle. That will leave 2 or 3 footers for your next one. Easier to make a 2 footer than a 6 foot comebacker. I don't seriously consider any putt of 20' or more a real shot at birdie, and I'm a fairly decent putter. I just adjust the size of that circle for the length of the putt. If it goes in, great, if not I have a tap in. Usually will go 2/3 rounds without a 3 putt because I'm realistic about not making those 40 footers for birdie/par. Inside about 8-10 ft, that's when I can seriously consider hitting the hole.
  14. Maybe it's just something I naturally picked up on. I am right handed but left-eye dominant. I find if I slide too much to the left my hands try to overcompensate and a trapped pull hook results. But there is all kinds of advice on how to get that skip-stop action that I like, and what ever works is what's best. Experimentation and practice is probably the best advice. Or, you could just take the Dremel to the grooves and really do some work on the ball!
  15. A simple swing key is when addressing the ball for that Pitching Wedge (or any Iron) in to the green is: instead of looking at the back of the ball look at the FRONT of the ball and aim for that. This will naturally produce a more descending blow and give it that little bit of a pinch to create some spin. Don't swing any harder, it's not necessary. This also helps to reduce those fat clunkers.
  16. #4 is usually a smooth 5 or 7 (depending on tee location) wood to the edge of the "Gorge of Eternal Peril". #2 is usually the 3 wood to the neck or just beyond, depending on whether the tees are up or not. From there its a medium iron in. If they're back a bit then maybe the driver comes out. Then the driver stays tucked away until 10, then re-emerges for 16, 17 & 18. As for price- looks like they've throttled back a bit. $59 after 11am on weekends, with a bonus $40 'member for a day" promotion. Unlimited range balls, food and drinks from the cart and dining room. Pretty good deal.
  17. Oh, boy... did I find out about 'throttling back' a looong time ago. After playing a medium length course in Myrtle Beach that was nothing but doglegs around 250-270 yds out and driving through every one of them. I can still uncork one when necessary, but around here (Long Island, NY) I don't NEED to hit the driver and can still usually out distance my playing partners using my Tight Lies Strong 3. And do it by 20-30 yds on average. A recent round at Long Island National is a good case and point. Myself and a friend hooked up with these 2 younger guys. We started out from the Golds(one up from the tips) for the first two holes. They didn't show me anything spectacular about thier driving or any other aspect of thier games. At the third hole they decided they wanted to play from the tips. "okay, it's your funeral" I thought to myself. After waiting for what seemed like forever to tee off waiting for the group in front to get 400 yds out, they both topped thier drives. Now we're a hole behind with the ranger ready and waiting on the next tee. He didn't say anything when we got there. They went back to the tips again and one dribbled his drive to the ladies tee and the other guy popped it up to the right. We teed off with our 5 woods and were off to the middle (big pit of death at about 210-220yds). The ranger asked me what were they doing hitting from there? I just kind of chuckled and said something about padding handicaps or something. After that hole they seemed to settle a bit and start hitting or coming close to fairways with a bit more regularity. But other than that part of thier game, they had nothing. 3 putted almost every green, chili dipping just about every short pitch or chip and had no Iron game to speak of. And the distance I was hitting my driver (when I hit it) was past them by quite a bit more than the difference from the golds to the tips. They couldn't have been enjoying themselves too much other than seeing how far they could hit it- what's the point of that? Meanwhile, I stuck to my gameplan of mostly 3 woods to a good yardage in the middle and played to a 77. Had them each by 20 shots minimum. Shows that experience (30+ yrs) and good course management can overcome the "Bomb it" mentality. BUT, knowing I CAN bomb one with the youngsters makes it interesting.
  18. Some of the local publics have tee time memberships for a foursome as well. You buy the same weekend time every week from May to Oct., with the ability to play during the week at a discount. That would get fairly boring after a short time. For Private Club Memberships, I think that has an advantage due to the varying 'Reciprocal' deals you can get with other CC's. An introduction letter from the pro can go a long way to get you into many different clubs.
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