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Posts posted by Fairway_CY

  1. I've played the Project (a) almost exclusively for about 3 years now.  In fact, I had won a bunch of Edwin Watts gift cards for some tournaments I'd played in and stocked up... and then my wife bought me a bunch for Christmas.  I've still got 10 dozen in my office.  

    My swing speed is pretty average.  I believe I've touched 100 MPH a time or two but I average about 97 MPH with my driver.  

    When I first tried these balls, I really liked how they spin off the short clubs.  What made me keep them in my bag, however, was their distance performance with the 7 iron and 8 iron.  I gained about 10 yards with each club by switching to these balls.  I didn't seem to gain it with anything else... but those clubs were a big gap in my bag for awhile and the extra 10 yards 'filled in' the gap I had from between 145 and 160 yards.  

    It's kinda crazy to see that you've gained 20+ yards with wedges just from these balls... but also interesting, as well.  I knew being fit for a ball is beneficial, but I've never taken the time to do it.  I'll have to ask the pro at our home course his thoughts when I see him next.


  2. Our greens were punched for a second time in late June because there was some stress on them.  The majority of the month of July, the greens were sandy and had holes everywhere.  They were awful to putt on and were just not coming back because of a lack of rain.  

    Every round I played there that month was REALLY good for me, though.  Our greens are typically fast and are the grainiest greens I've ever putted on.  With the holes... the grain wasn't as much of a factor for some reason.  As a result... my scores were lower and I was entering them in the system... and my index dropped significantly.  

    They're actually doing a 'mini tine' punch again this coming Tuesday and Wednesday to help prepare the greens for the fall and winter.  This will be the 4th time the greens have punched in 2017 at our club.  

    I've always reported everything unless I'm playing alone or hitting multiple balls.  As others have said... it's no different than playing in a strong wind or something.


  3. I mixed it up a little this morning.  I typically play the white tees at my home course (69.8 / 129 - 6147)... but when I arrived, one of the seniors that regularly frequent the club asked if I'd join their little money game group.  I had intended to play alone, so... I agreed and joined in.  They decided that everybody would play the gold tees (67.2 / 121 - 5553).  

    I had never played from anything other than the white or blue tees at this course, so I figured it'd be fun to try something new. 

    It worked out nicely because, for whatever reason, the ball was not going anywhere for me off the tee.  I struggled on a few holes throughout (3 doubles and 1 triple), but managed to squeak out a 41 - 42 = 83.  Not horrible for stepping out of the car, being asked to join and jumping on the first tee all in a matter of the first 5 minutes.


  4. This is nothing more than me venting.  If you're looking for a post about something... this is not it.  If you're looking for a post about how frustrating the game we all seem to love is... you've found it.  

    So... I've always been pretty bad at golf.  I never really had the time nor the financial means to practice as much as someone would need to become a 'good' golfer.  Now that my kids are getting a little older and we live in a more golf-friendly climate... I've seen my playing time increase significantly.  Without going back and looking to verify... I'd say that prior to getting settled down here in 2015, my highest number of rounds was between 25 and 30 for a year.  

    Over the last few years, that number has increased dramatically (27 rounds in 2015 - 78 rounds in 2016 - 61 rounds so far in 2017).  That also means a lot more practice time for me, both on the course and at the practice facilities.  I haven't yet taken any lessons, but I feel like I'm finally getting out enough where things I am practicing on my own are starting to stick.  

    My index has dropped from a 16.0 as of 5/15/2016 to a 10.2 as of 8/15/2017... and it's trending at a 9.3 with the next revision due in a little over a week.  

    My wife, for as much as she doesn't understand golf and probably doesn't want to hear me talk about it, will ask me what my score was whenever I play.  For the last few months, if it's not something 87 or better... I feel pretty bad about the round.  She knows this and will ask me what happened when I come home and tell her I shot something in the 90+ range.  This is where I struggle.  

    There are days when the game seems not-so-difficult.  This past weekend, for example, I played Sunday in an interclub match.  After struggling a little bit off the tee with my driver over the last 3 weeks (suddenly began hitting a weak fade out of nowhere)... I felt like something clicked the day before during a tournament round I had played.  On Sunday, everything was on.  I hit 10 of 14 fairways... and of the 4 I missed, only 1 was really a bad swing.  In addition to hitting the ball much straighter, I also averaged 10 yards per drive more than I've averaged this year leading into that round.  I posted an 'easy for me' 41 - 41 = 82 where, if a few putts dropped, it would have easily been a 78 or better.  

    The day before, in the tournament I played... I opened with a nice birdie before struggling mightily for the rest of the front side.  I posted a 46 that felt like a 70 on the front.  On the back... it was a totally different game.  My struggles with approach shots suddenly disappeared.  I hit a bunch of greens in regulation and threw up a 38.  The 46 - 38 = 84 got me within 2 strokes of the winner and I took second place.  

    Sunday night, my wife asked what changed and I shrugged.  Even though I'm way more consistent than I've ever been... I still seem to go through these fits for short periods.  I'll play really well for 2-3 weeks... I'll get filled with confidence... and then it will all go away seemingly at random for 2-3 weeks.  I'll struggle... I'll get frustrated... and then I'll have a round where things click and my confidence is back again.  I'll then play well again for 2-3 weeks before the cycle repeats.   

    My wife thinks I'm insane.  She's been around my golf buddies and I when we talk about 'losing it' and she rolls her eyes.  She doesn't believe it's a real thing... like it's Bigfoot or something.  

    I get golf anxiety when I have those periods where I struggle.  I wish I could always be 'on' when I'm on the course.  I love the fact that I've improved.  I love playing golf and not feeling like I'm 'that guy' holding the rest of the group up while I search for my ball in the woods all day long.  I just hate feeling lost when it decides to leave me.  

    Anyway... that's the end of my rant... for now.  


  5. 1 hour ago, todgot said:

    In the original post I kindly asked people in year round golf locations not to gloat.  :-P 

    I grew up in Las Vegas and we would even play in the 110 degree heat... but it was a dry heat.  I would not be able to tolerate the humidity you live in and would be right next to you in the clubhouse. 

    Haha!  Sorry 'bout that.  I definitely wasn't gloating... more complaining, actually.  


    One of my buddies lives in Arizona.  He's originally from Minnesota.  He won't go outside in the summer for anything.  I don't want to feel 110 degrees... dry, humid or otherwise.  

    If you find yourself down this way in the summer... pull up a seat and I'll buy ya a drink to help cool you off!  


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  6. Even when I lived in New Jersey, I couldn't stand summer.  I just don't play well when I'm uncomfortable.  Living in South Carolina now... playing during the summer is a chore.  Forget practice.  I've literally been to the course for some practice sessions that lasted 20 minutes before I would slink off into the 19th hole for some air conditioning.  

    Every time I check the weather apps for the last 2+ months, it's been a high 90's temperature with a heat index of 110+.  It SUCKS.

    I do a majority of my most effective practice in late September, October, February and March.  It's comfortable... I enjoy being outside during those times... and I don't have any excuses.  

    I'm very much looking forward to football season and some slightly more comfortable temperatures.  I don't really leave my couch on Sunday's (unless I have something scheduled)... and Saturday's in the south mean the courses are primarily empty because everybody is watching the Clemson, USC or UNC games.

    Count me among those who are eagerly counting down the weeks remaining until there's a break in the oppressive heat.


  7. One of my buddies had 2 extra tickets to Monday's practice round at the PGA Championship and asked if I'd be interested in them.  I'd never been to a professional golf event of any kind, so... I jumped at the chance.  Because kids were free, my wife and I took our 3 kids with us as well.  

    My daughters both started playing this year and enjoyed their time on the PGA Junior League team at our club.  They were excited to go and watch real golfers play, too.  More than that, however, they were excited about getting autographs.  

    We spent a good deal of time camped out to the left of the 9th green.  My kids stood in the line where the players were exiting and asked for autographs while my wife and I sat about 25 yards away in the shade of a tree parallel to where the pin was cut.  

    Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker were playing together that day, and as they approached... Zach hit a shot in the left rough, probably 30 feet from where we were sitting.  After he chipped on, he left himself about a 12 footer, slick and down a slight hill.  His par putt just missed the lip.  He had 3 PGA Junior children walking with him and one of them heckled him over missing the putt.  

    Zach called the kid (maybe 10 or 11 years old) onto the green and told him, "Okay big-shot... you give it a go.  If you make it, I do 10 push-ups.  If I miss it, all 3 of you do 5 push-ups!"

    Cool as ice, the kid grabbed his putter and lined up.  Zach got down to help him line up the putt and the kid waived him off, telling him he didn't need his help.  Zach playfully got up and threw his hands in the air.  The kid slammed the ball into the back of the cup.  When it dropped, the crowd around the 9th hole went wild.  Zack dropped down on the 9th green and did his push-ups while the crowd counted them off.  

    It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen.  He then spent 30 minutes walking BOTH SIDES of the autograph line signing every request before he left the area.  

    I always liked Zach... but this pushed him to the top of the list when it comes to PGA golfers I admire.  


    ZJ PGA 2017.jpg

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  8. 1 minute ago, iacas said:

    That's not the same kind of "common sense." And "common sense" both ain't as common as anyone wishes, nor is it correct as often as we'd like to think it is.

    You're correct.  Perhaps physics or leverage is more apt.  My point was just that things aren't always as clear cut as some would like to believe.  Statistically, that's the percentage play.  It's backed up by your research.  I don't believe it fits every player every time, though.  

    I'm curious though.  I've never had a discussion with a professional about this.  I've read your book.  I've seen your posts.  I understand where you're coming from on a statistical basis.  I still can't quite grasp the concept fully, I guess.

    You mentioned above that a 24 handicapper is going to benefit more from that type of play.  

    Using my example (280 yards away on a par 5) and a 24 handicap player.  You'd suggest a 3 wood that they might hit 200 yards 2 out of 10 times over a 5 iron which they might hit 160 yards 7 out of 10 times?  Is that simply because they'd be more likely to hit it closer from 80 yards if they succeeded than they would from 120 yards?  

    I genuinely struggle with decisions like this on the course at times.  Saturday, for example, I hit a decent drive on a par 5.  I was sitting up in the rough along the right side.  I had just about the distance I listed above, 280 yards, to the hole.  There were sand traps short & left... and also to the right of the green.  Short and right, there was an area of fairway down in a valley.  I debated for a good minute or so.  The lie was good... but the traps short & left concerned me.  I didn't want to be left with an awkward 40 yard sand shot.  I ultimately elected to hit my 4 iron, which left me down in that valley just off that area of fairway.  I then hit a shot from 68 yards which just missed the lip and left me a 6 footer for birdie.  

    In your opinion, @iacas, if you were there caddying for me... would your advice have been to hit the 3 wood in that situation?  I'm being sincere in my asking because maybe I need to rethink things.  Perhaps as @Golfingdad said, I am overthinking things.  That could be leading to some struggles.  Maybe getting out of my own way is the best option?


    7 minutes ago, iacas said:

    @Fairway_CY, you're still overthinking it.

    If you hit the long clubs poorly, their Shot Zones are correspondingly large, and then sometimes they're the best play (really wide open area, no hazards) and sometimes they're the stupid play (tighter landing area with a hazard or multiple hazards).

    @Golfingdad was just pointing out that you, like almost everyone, hit it closer from closer range, even if you're not as confident.

    I don't think he was commenting on whether hitting the shot to get there was the smart play or not.

    Crap... I was typing the above post while you responded with this.  

    This answers my question.  I think I'd benefit from re-reading LSW.  I'm not sure I fully comprehend the shot zones yet.  

    Thanks for helping to shed some light on it.


  9. 12 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

    Then it sounds like you're way overthinking this.  This one sentence is all that matters.

    I don't believe so.  

    Most PGA Tour players are capable of hitting multiple types of shot shapes, right?  As an example, they're facing a pin tucked in the back left corner of a green on a par 3... and to the left of that green is a water hazard.  Typically (not always, but more often than not), the shot would call for a draw.  Start it somewhere towards the right side of the green... draw it in... land it middle-left and let the shot shape bring it closer to the hole.  

    So Mr. PGA Tour is standing on the tee.  He was struggling that morning (or week... or month) with controlling the draw.  He COULD try and hit the draw... and he COULD pull it off.  Say the chances in his mind are 50% that he hits the shot as he needs to.  If he pulls it off, he's staring at maybe a 10 foot birdie putt.  However... if he overcooks it, he's in the hazard hitting his 3rd shot.  He knows he can control the fade.  That's a shot he's 90% confident in at the moment.  Start it at the flag, maybe just right of it, and let the ball drift off to the right.  Maybe he catches a ridge that feeds his ball towards the hole... maybe he doesn't and leaves himself a 25 footer.  He's going to make par, though.  

    This is not an apples-to-apples comparison, I know... but I'm using it to make my point.

    I'm clearly not a PGA Tour level player.  To me, though... it's the same premise.  That 3 wood I was talking about above.  Back a few months ago, I was maybe 30% confident I could advance the ball between 150 - 200 yards with that club... but I felt there was a 70% chance I was going to top it and advance it maybe 30 yards.  At that point, I wasn't capable of hitting that 3 wood in my eyes.  Instead of taking that chance and bringing an unnecessarily large number into play, I elected to hit the 4 iron.  

    In the question you brought up before about the distances being better or worse as I got closer... it's an easy thing to look at from an outside perspective and suggest just hitting the ball as close as I could.  Statistically, IF I'm getting to 30 yards... I'm going to hit the ball closer than I would from 70 yards.  That said, knowing the limitations of my game at that moment... the chances of me getting the ball to 30 yards was probably 30%.  The chances of being able to get the ball to 70 yards (give or take) was probably 90%.  The potential downfalls included topping the shot (leaving a much longer approach) or blowing it out of bounds.  The potential reward was MAYBE 10-20 feet closer if I pulled it off.  

    I don't believe it's overthinking it at all.  If the objective of every shot is to just hit the ball as far as I can, I should just visit the driving range.  On the course, some form of management is required.  My interpretation of the original post is that the poster is wondering how others manage their games in these situations.  It's abundantly clear that a large majority here believe in the 'closer is better' strategy.  It's not an incorrect or bad strategy... at all.  It's also not a one-size-fits-all strategy.  Others, like myself, believe there are other options.  Bad bet or not... it may be the safer bet at that moment.  If you have 30% belief that you can pull off the risky play but you have 90% belief that you can pull off something less risky, unless it's late in the match or tournament and you HAVE to take a risk... why not play the percentages?  

    41 minutes ago, Shindig said:

    Why not learn to hit a 40-50-60 yard shot?  You're a good enough player that it shouldn't take you more than an hour to figure out which wedge and swing.  Have you mapped your 1/4 and 1/2 shots with the wedges?  Flight shots with the wedges?

    Is this what you mean by it is right statistically, but might not be right for you right now?  As in, over time, you'd be better off learning to hit the 50 yarder, but if you and I were playing today, you'd be more likely to score well from 70 than from 50.

    Yes, exactly.  If I was on the course at this moment... I'd elect the 70 yard shot over the 50 yard shot.  In the long run, I realize that I'm going to hit the ball closer to the hole when I have shorter distances for my approach.  Statistically... that's not really something to refute.  Right now, however... I feel like the 50 yard shot brings more risk into the score than the 70 yard shot.  

    I'm in the process of learning the proper technique to consistently hit the various distances.  What I find, right this moment, is that if I'm hitting a 50 yard shot... it breaks down to where I hit about 40% short, 30% long and 20% pin high.  My zones are vertical zones for that... giving approximately 20 feet for each zone.  If it's 20 feet short... it's short.  If it's 10 feet short or long... it's pin high.  If it's 20 feet long... it's long.  On a horizontal zone basis... it's probably a 20-30 yard wide area in which I'll hit.  Not good, I know... but... that's where I am.


  10. 51 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

    But what are your average proximities on a 60, 50, 40, 30, 20 yard shot?  Are any of them actually worse than for that "ideal" 70 yard distance?

    No... providing contact is average-to-good, the distances are better as I move closer.  That said... the percentage of time I make clean contact from 50 or 60 yards as opposed to 70 yards is lower.  I don't have to do anything differently when I make my 70 yard swing... but I have to dial back or choke down when playing from 50 or 60 yards.  This results in a higher probability of hitting it fat or thin.  

    Like I mentioned, though... that was just answering the first part of the question.  

    For me... I'd prefer to play a 70 yard shot than a 50 or 60 yard shot.  At 40 yards and in... I'm probably not laying up... I'm hoping that my contact is going to be solid enough to get me into that distance.  

    So... say I'm 280 yards out.  I'm not getting there.  I know that.  If I smash a 3 wood, it's going 230 after the roll-out.  That's going to put me in that awkward 50 yard range.  At this point, with my game where it is... I'd rather hit a hybrid that'll get me 210 if I hit it well.  That'll leave me 70 yards.  If I'm outside of 70 yards but inside of 90 yards... it's still a 58° wedge for me.  90 yards is a full swing... 80 yards is a full choked-down swing... 70 yards is a full, but smooth (75% power) swing.  

    If I'm at 250 yards out... I'm "going for it" but... not really.  I'm just trying to get inside of 20-40 yards.  At that point, unless there is trouble, there's no point in ME laying back with a 4 iron.  Others may be uncomfortable with hitting a full 4 iron, which brings the second part of my post above into play.  

    Hit what you have.  Work on what you don't... then build it into your game.  

    I've dropped from a 14 index to just above a 10 index since the middle of March by identifying the biggest struggles I have with full swings (which were my 3 wood and hybrid)... working on them... and then implementing those parts back into my game.   

    In April, I was more likely to top a 3 wood as a 13.7 index than I was to make even semi-clean contact.  That meant a shot from 280 became a shot from 250.  The shot from 250 became a shot from 210.  The shot from 210 was hit with a 4 iron which became a 35 yard pitch.  That became a 15-20 foot putt which meant 2 putts.  That's a 7 on a fairly simple par 5.  

    I played the 280 shot with a 4 iron which left 100 or so.  That shot was a full approach wedge.  I'd either be on or near and then 2 putts.  In my mind's eye... par or bogey was acceptable.  Double or worse was not.  

    Now... I'll take a 40 yarder over a 70 yarder... but I'll take a 70 yarder over a 50 yarder.  That's now... maybe not in 6 months after I work on it, but... right now, where my game is... that's my shot.


  11. First... I'll answer the original question in the topic.

    For me, the ideal layup distance would be about 70 yards.  It's the correct distance for a smooth 58° wedge for me.  With that shot, I'd average about 20 feet from that distance.  A lot of my birdies come from shots at this distance.  Although I average about 20 feet, I'm often inside of 10 feet which gives me a decent look at making the put.

    Second... I'll address what everyone else is talking about.   

    I have never seen golf as a one-size-fits-all game.  Yes... statistics will tell us that you're going to be closer on average from about 20 yards than you are from 90 - 120 yards.  You pretty much don't even have to do the research.  It's common sense that the closer you are to the hole, the easier a shot is going to be on average.  Common sense also says that someone as tall (6'4") and muscular as Tony Finau should be blowing the ball WAY past someone as small (5'10") and wiry as Justin Thomas... yet, Finau is averaging just 0.4 yards more off the tee than Thomas.  

    Golf is a unique game.  Players like Fred Couples or Ernie Els make the game look easy and effortless.  They're never out of balance and they hardly look like they're trying.  Then you have guys like Thomas and Jason Day who look like they're angry at the ball.  Different sizes... different swings... different styles... similar results.  

    If you're currently uncomfortable with hitting those longer clubs because of the potential to top the ball or blow it out of bounds... play within your game.  Put the practice time in with the trouble clubs, and then bring it out when you're comfortable with it.  

    I spent the better part of 3+ years avoiding my 3 wood and hybrid for the same reason.  I didn't get to play or practice much and I didn't want to ruin a hole or a round by blowing a ball out of bounds or topping a few shots and taking a triple.  My play was to hit a 4 iron (which I was very comfortable with) and leave myself as close to the green as that could get me.  I joined a club last September and spent a large amount of time on the range and playing alone while practicing those 3 wood shots.  From the fairway, my Game Golf stats tell me that my average 4 iron is about 179 yards.  I'll typically play that club to go a maximum of about 190 from the fairway.  My 3 wood averages abut 216 yards.  The shot pattern shows a large number of shots between 205 - 220 yards, so... I'll typically play the 3 wood to go a maximum of about 230.  

    That 40 yards is a huge difference in my game.  The biggest example I have is on the 3rd hole at my home course.  A solidly struck driver would typically leave me about 280 yards from the hole there.  Hitting a 4 iron, if I caught it well, would leave me anywhere from 100 - 120 yards from the hole (which would be approach wedge or pitching wedge).  Being comfortable enough to hit a 3 wood on that hole now (out of bounds up the entire right side) leaves me anywhere from 50 - 70 yards away.  

    Over the last 3 or 4 months (since I became comfortable with playing my 3 wood off the tight lies), my scores on that hole have been much better.  I'm much more prone to make birdie or par than I am to make double or worse.  

    Yes, I'll still top a shot now and again because I make a poor swing... but the practice time I spent has allowed me to feel comfortable playing it and trying to shorten the hole as much as possible.  Still, I played within myself when I knew it wasn't there.  I employed the strategy you mentioned above in trying to eliminate anything more than a bogey.  At that time... for me... it was the right play.  

    Play what works for you.  It's not a one-stop-shop type of game.  

    All that said... what iacas says about being closer being a statistically better play is not wrong.  It just may not be right for you right now. 


  12. Another Wednesday... another 9 hole 'dogfight' at the club.  

    Hole #2 - Par 3 - 165 Yards

    The pin was up front so the hole was playing 159 yards.  I stepped out of the car and onto the course, so... I had no warmup time.  My 7 iron from the tee was on line but came up short and on the front of the green.  I was left with a 19 footer which I banged past the hole about 5 feet.  I made that coming back for par.  

    Hole #3 - Par 5 - 504 Yards

    My tee shot was low, but straight.  It didn't run out there very far and left me a long way to go.  I absolutely cold topped my 3 wood and it bounced forward about 40 yards.  My next swing with the 3 wood saw it finish out of bounds to the right.  I dropped and took the same swing and this time I found the green.  From 48 feet, I never got close and three-putted for a triple.  Ouch.

    Hole #4 - Par 4 - 331 Yards

    This is ordinarily a 4 iron hole but I felt like I needed to make up for the last hole.  I pushed my drive to the right and into some trees.  I had a small opening to fade the ball under and around a pair of trees and then hopefully run it up onto the green.  I did that, but the ball was hot and ran over the back leaving me a touch pitch.  I managed to pull it off, though, and left myself 3 feet which I made for par.

    Hole #5 - Par 4 - 389 Yards

    The tees were WAY back and the hole was playing in the 415 yard range.  My tee shot was okay but not very long.  I was left with about 176 yards slightly up a slope to the flag.  I hit a solid 5 iron that faded towards the target and settled on the green.  From 22 feet, I left it a foot shy of the cup and tapped in for par.

    Hole #6 - Par 3 - 179 Yards

    I believe this one was playing 172 yards.  I wanted to cut a 6 iron into the front right pin location.  I started it a little further left than I wanted, but it did cut back to the center of the green.  My birdie attempt from 27 feet hit something about 3 feet in front of me and popped straight up.  I was left with a slick 4 footer for par, which I converted.

    Hole #7 - Par 5 - 486 Yards

    My tee shot was a little right but took a good kick to the left and I believe rode the path a bit.  I was only 211 out from a back pin, so I hit a solid 4 iron that looked like it hopped hard.  When we got up there, the ball was on the front of the green, but a long way away.  From 76 feet, I left my eagle attempt WAY short but managed to sink the 15 footer for birdie.

    Hole #8 - Par 4 - 397 Yards

    My drive was solid but faded off into the rough just a bit.  I was left with 129 yards to the stick.  I caught a 9 iron a little heavy but it found the green and left me 17 feet for birdie.  Another putt left just short and in the heart, but I tapped in for a simple par.

    Hole #9 - Par 4 - 342 Yards

    Another pushed tee shot with my driver.  I was up the right side with some trees between my ball and the hole... plus the ball was well above my feet.  I had 126 yards in, but it was uphill and the ball was sitting up in that rough.  I should have switched to an 8 iron, but I stuck with the 9 iron and the ball came up short and in the trap.  I hit a decent shot out but it caught a ridge, ran towards the false front and then 25 yards off the green.  I chipped long and missed a 15 footer for bogey, so I took a double.

    Hole #1 - Par 4 - 355 Yards

    I hit an okay tee shot here that found the fairway.  I was left with 114 yards to a back pin location.  I choked down on a pitching wedge and got it up there to about 18 feet.  I blasted the birdie putt beyond the hole and then was left with a tricky, curling 4 footer for par... but I managed to make it.

    6 pars... 1 birdie... 1 double... 1 triple... 

    The 40 was good enough for 14 Stableford points and a +2 score.  My partner posted a -1 and we finished 1 stroke from a playoff for 3rd and 4th place.

    Oh well.  It could have been special if not for the 3rd and 9th holes, but... I'll take a 40.


  13. I played twice over the weekend with completely different results.  Both times, I played at my home course.  The time of day was practically the same.  The only difference in conditions was the wind direction switched.  On Friday, the first hole played down wind.  On Saturday, the first hole played directly into the wind.

    Friday, I opened with a par then went bogey - double - bogey - bogey - bogey.  I managed to make a par on the 7th hole, stuffed an 8 iron to 6 feet from the rough on the 8th hole for a birdie and then made a nice 10 foot putt for par on the 9th hole.  I posted a 41 on the front side.  

    The back, I opened with a birdie after bombing a 4 iron into the fairway and then nearly holing out a wedge from 114 yards.  I then went double - double on the next 2 holes before closing par - par - par - par - bogey - par.  The lone bogey in the last 6 holes was the result of a three-putt.  I posted a 40 on the back.  

    The 41 - 40 = 81 tied my career best and is the 5th time I've shot that score over the last 16 months.  When I reported the score to GHIN, it dropped my trending index to a 9.7 which meant that if I didn't play again until Tuesday, I'd have an official single digit index for the first time in my life.  

    Well... that didn't happen.  I had invited one of my golfing buddies and his family to our club for a day so he and I could play golf while the kids went swimming and the ladies caught up.  

    Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day.  It was a nice mid-80's temperature with a bit of a breeze.  The wind had changed directions overnight so... everything was downwind the day before played into the wind on Saturday.  Since it was only a 7-10 MPH breeze, it wasn't a huge difference, but enough that it made certain holes much longer.  

    I struggled mightily on the front side.  I began with a horrific pattern of double - bogey - double - bogey - double - bogey.  Standing on the 7th tee, I was already +9.  Nothing was necessarily wrong with my swing... I just wasn't starting the ball on the right line.  Add the fact that I three-putted 3 of the first 6 greens, and... well... it wasn't good.  I made a birdie on the 7th hole... bogey on the 8th... and then saved a par from the bunker to the left of the 9th green.  The 45 on the front was the highest 9 hole score I had posted in over 5 weeks.  It was going to take a really good close to keep myself as a single digit index.  

    Things on the back didn't go a whole lot better.  I missed 4 putts from 8 feet or less on the back.  The most painful was an 8 footer for birdie after hitting a nice approach on the 14th green.  I left it short an in the heart.  I was on my way to another 45 before a favorable ruling.  On the 18th hole, I tugged my tee shot a little and it settled into a little hole in the rough.  I made poor contact from there and the ball ran into a bunker that left me about 45 yards to the flag.  

    Behind our green is the 19th hole which features floor to ceiling tinted windows overlooking the 18th green.  You can't see in... but everybody can see out.  With the pin the back, it means those windows are only about 7-10 yards from the flag stick and it can get in your head knowing you could bounce one off the glass.  In the 48 previous times I had played that hole, I avoided that fate.  I guess it was bound to happen... but I caught one cleaner than I thought I would out of the bunker and watched as it bounced once in the rough behind the green and then hit the glass.  I'd never been there and didn't know what the ruling was.  Instead of attempting the shot again (because I really didn't want to bounce a second one off the window)... I picked my ball up.  I was going to drop and play a shot, but then I was told by one of the assistant pros at the course that it wasn't out of bounds and that I could drop in the painted drop area with no penalty.  My pitch from there rolled well beyond the hole and left me 22 feet.  At that point, it didn't much matter.  I lined it up and, of course, I drained it.  

    That bogey meant I shot a 43 instead of another 45.  The 45 - 43 = 88 was my worst score in over a month, but... looking back and realizing that I played really poorly but still managed to break 90 is a testament to how far my game has come.  

    My favorite part was when we entered the 19th hole after putting our clubs away and I was greeted with some high-fives for draining the putt after kissing the glass.  

    I've grown to love the club and especially the view from the 19th hole.  It's nice to pass some time inside there having a few drinks, watching some golf on TV and watching others finish up their rounds on the green right next to us.  

    Anyway... that's the story of my weekend.  My 88 kept me from officially calling myself a single-digit index, but... I'm close.  Real close.  It'll happen soon.


    • Upvote 1
  14. 47 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

    Earlier you mentioned not being sure if sharing yardage info was within the Rules as well as if the fellow competitor stating that hitting driver would go through the dogleg was acceptable. For future reference, you may share yardage. That is considered public knowledge and may be shared. Do not share what club you hit as that would generally be considered giving advice. Same with offering an opinion as to whether a driver will go through the fairway. You may also share knowledge of common features: "there is a pond over the hill" or "the fairway tilts to the right." Don't say, however, "Hit up the left side as the fairway tilts to the right." That would be advice. Stating facts that one could reasonably discover is generally okay. When one strays into opinion, there will be trouble with the Rules.

    Thanks man!  I thought that was the case but I never was very clear on it.  I appreciate the heads up.


    • Upvote 1
  15. I played a full 18 at my home course last Friday.  A front side 43 was offset by a back side 39 that included a pair of doubles.  The 82 (+10) was really very good for me considering I had a trio of doubles in the round.  

    Yesterday, I got out for 9 more in the Wednesday evening dogfight at the course.  I started on the 4th hole.  Details are below.

    Hole #4 - Par 4 - 331 Yards

    My opening tee shot wasn't hit solidly, but it ran out enough that it left me a little wedge to a front pin position.  I tugged it slightly and needed 2 putts from 27 feet for a par.

    Hole #5 - Par 4 - 389 Yards

    A solid drive on this hole left me about 150 yards to a back hole location.  I decided on a smooth 7 iron instead of trying smash an 8 iron because it was slightly uphill.  The distance was correct, but I pushed the ball to the right (which would become a theme) and it landed in a greenside bunker.  I tried to get cute and the ball barely got out.  I putted from the fringe to about 4 feet and made that for a bogey.

    Hole #6 - Par 3 - 179 Yards

    The hole was playing 163 yards, which should be a solid 7 iron.  Again, I started it right and watched it drift right.  It bounced off a hill and into the greenside trap.  I hit a nice little shot from there to about 4 feet but pulled the putt badly and tapped in for a bogey.

    Hole #7 - Par 5 - 486 Yards

    My drive was okay, but nothing special.  It was on the left side which feeds to the left anyway, so I ended up in the rough.  I had about 220 yards to go, but not a great lie.  I just wanted to hack a hybrid out and hopefully get it up somewhere near the green.  I got steep, the club got grabbed by the rough and I hit a high, floating pull that ended up in the left rough.  I had a pretty good angle to the hole and about 70 yards to go.  Unfortunately, I took a smooth swing and the ball hit the top of the club face.  It nipped a tree branch and knocked it into a bunker.  I played a really, really solid shot from about 25 yards or so away that landed softly and finished about 6 feet away.  I made that putt for par.

    Hole #8 - Par 4 - 397 Yards

    Probably the best drive I hit all evening.  I was left with 129 yards in a perfect lie in the fairway.  As had been the issue up to that point, I hit a weak fade that was entirely too far right.  It hit a tree and kicked right.  A fluffy lie and a poor swing resulted in another ball in the bunker.  I blasted out and the ball spun off the green to the fringe.  I putted from there to about 5 feet... then missed the double bogey putt and settled for a triple.  That was my first triple in 25 days.  I used to resign myself to at least a few per round, but I don't like taking them anymore.  They hurt and they stick with me.  

    Hole #9 - Par 4 - 342 Yards

    I decided to try and play safe to avoid the fairway bunkers up the right side... so I hit a 4 iron.  I hit a complete push slice that actually found the fairway bunker on the 8th hole.  I hit a very solid 4 iron from that spot up and over the trees.  The ball found the front of the green, but the false front sent it back into the fairway.  My pitch from there didn't grab quick enough and I ended up off on the fringe.  My putt from there settled to a foot and I tapped in for a bogey.

    Hole #1 - Par 4 - 355 Yards

    A good drive just got caught up in the left rough.  I was left with about 116 yards to the pin.  I finally hit a shot on line but it was a little short.  My putt from 22 feet ran a good 3-4 feet past and then I babied the par attempt, watched it miss right and settled for bogey.

    Hole #2 - Par 3 - 165 Yards

    This one was playing 160 on the number.  I hit a smooth 7 iron because I had a helping wind.  The ball landed about 20 feet short of the hole, released and finished 14 feet away.  The birdie putt was always right, so I tapped in for a par.

    Hole #3 - Par 5 - 504 Yards

    This one was easily playing 30 yards longer.  They had moved the tees back pretty deep onto the box.  My drive was decent but had a little fade on it that took off some distance.  I hit a nice 3 wood up the left side that caught the edge of the rough.  I was left with about 80 yards to the flag.  My wedge was tugged a bit and finished 40 feet left of the hole.  A horrible birdie attempt was way short and right.  I missed the par attempt and tapped in for a bogey to finish the round.

    The triple on the 8th hole hurt.  It took a lot out of me and I just didn't grind over the last few holes like I normally would have.  I missed a bunch of putts that I should have made (or at least come closer to making) over the last 4 holes.  All-in-all is was a pretty ugly round... but it's still better than I was playing 6 months ago, so I'm happy.


  16. So far, the only 'bucket list' course I've played is the Ocean Course at Kiawah.  

    I'm working on Pinehurst #2, TPC Sawgrass and TPC Scottsdale which I'm hoping to play next spring.

    Until then... I live vicariously though others who have had an opportunity to scratch a few off their lists.


  17. 28 minutes ago, Gator Hazard said:

    What @Jeremie Boop said. Besides, I'm sorry but if you suck so bad that you can't shoot sub 50 playing best ball on 9 holes, you shouldn't be betting that kind of money anyway. I would have laughed. 

    That's what has always made me laugh about it.  We knew we sucked.  On the front side, in the entire group, we probably made 10 pars or better.  We truthfully figured (and I believe they did too) that we'd probably have a handful of decent holes in each pair and things would come pretty close to a wash.  They didn't make anything better than a bogey the entire back nine (and they had more doubles and triples than bogeys) while we just managed to have one of us scrape a par or better on each of the holes on that side.

    It was a fluke and that's why we offered to call it off and tried to tell them to keep their money afterwards. 

    At the club I play at now, there's a pretty big money game on Friday afternoons.  When I say big, I mean in terms of people who play.  The standard bet is $5 with automatic two-down presses on the front and then it moves to $10 with automatic two-down presses on the back.  In most cases, there is about $5 or $10 exchanging hands.  I've had some rare exceptions in either way... losing $35 one time and winning $40 another... but usually, it's small exchanges.  

    I keep track of everything.  So far in 2017, I'm up $157 in all of my cash bets.  That's over the course of 30 different rounds where there was some kind of bet going.  It works out to about $5.25 per round.  I don't mind winning or losing like that.  

    I've heard tales from some guys at the club that they've been suckered into some bets where wives needed to be called to bring cash to the club.  In fact, one of the guys it happened to was out to dinner with a group of us and our wives.  When his wife was telling the story, you could see my wife's thought bubble saying that if that ever happened, I'd lose body parts.  

    I'm not wired to play games like that.  


  18. I'll absolutely put some cash up when it's against guys at the club I belong to or against some of my buddies.  Strangers, though... not happening again.  

    When I was 17, my buddy and I were at a local course just playing to get some practice in.  We were both on our high school golf team... but we were both bad.  Like, if we broke 100... it was a career day type of bad.  

    Anyway... we were told by the starter to head to the first tee and join a couple of guys that were set to tee off.  We made our introductions and away we went.  Through the first few holes, everybody was struggling.  I believe we made the turn and each of us was somewhere in the 55 range for the front side.  

    These guys were in their early 20's or so and we were all having a good time up to that point.  As we hit the 10th tee, they asked us if we wanted to play a best ball match on the back side for $5 a hole.  We honestly figured it wasn't a big deal and that, at worst, we'd lose maybe $10 each.  

    Well... we caught fire and reeled off a string of best ball pars and birdies and we won all 9 holes on the back side.  By the time we got to the 14th tee, we asked them if they wanted to just call it off because it was a little ridiculous how lucky we were getting.  They declined.  

    At the end of the round, the guys each took out $45 and literally threw it at us.  They told us we were lucky we were just kids or they'd have kicked our teeth in.  We tried, multiple times, to give them back their money... but they drove off, kicking rocks up in the gravel drive on their way out.  It was the most uncomfortable I've ever been on a golf course and I genuinely didn't enjoy it even though I played pretty well on the back side.  

    For reference... I still shot over 50 on the back as did my buddy.  We just made pars and birdies on the holes where the other struggled.

    I made it a point to never bet with a stranger again.  If I'm paired with random people somewhere and they want to throw $1 on a closest to the pin or something... I'm game.  I just won't agree to any kind of bets that require more than a single shot when asked by a stranger.  


  19. I don't have an exact number.  I tend to forget starts when the finishes never keep it memorable.  That said, I'd guess that it was probably something like -1 through 3 holes, give or take.  

    Earlier this season, I played in a tournament with a shotgun start.  I started on the 15th hole and began my round par - par - par - double - birdie - bogey - birdie - birdie - bogey - par.  So, I was even through my first 8 holes and +1 through my first 10 holes... but then I closed it with a string of ugliness and posted +12 for the day.  


  20. It's been awhile since I've posted a recap of one of my rounds.  I'm bored today, so... I figure I may as well post one.  

    I played last night in the weekly 'dogfight' at our club.  It's a nine-hole Stableford scoring event with a $10 buy-in.  It's a blind draw for partners, so... it's really a crap-shoot.  Either way, it's always fun.  I hadn't played in it since the middle of May and I hadn't touched a club in 10 days prior to yesterday.  The weather was nice and I really just looked at it as an excuse to get back out on the course.  

    Anyway... details are below.

    Hole #9 - Par 4 - 342 Yards

    I began on the 9th hole.  Typically, I wouldn't take driver on this hole but because it was my first hole and the format allows for 2 balls off of your first tee, I figured I'd go for it.  My first swing resulted in a big pull-hook which saw the ball finish in the short game practice area (248 yards).  My second swing was much better contact, but it hit an overhanging tree limb and dropped straight down.  With the first ball in a much better spot, I elected to play that one.  I was left with 126 yards up the hill.  I had to go over some trees and there was a bunker directly between my ball and the flag.  My 9 iron never got more than 5 feet off the ground.  It ended up in the bunker.  I blasted out and then took 2 putts from 30 feet for a bogey.  

    Hole #1 - Par 4 - 355 Yards

    No trouble on this hole if you avoid the 5th tee which runs along the left side of the fairway.  My drive was solid (251 yards) and in the middle.  I had 116 to the flag.  I pulled my pitching wedge a touch and it finished in a little valley just left of the green.  I absolutely flubbed my first chip, then chipped up to about 3 feet and took another bogey.  Not the greatest start, but not the worst either.  

    Hole #2 - Par 3 - 165 Yards

    The flag was 160 yards from the tee which is a perfect 7 iron for me.  I hit what I thought was a perfect shot.  The ball landed about 6 feet left of the flag but then released with a big bounce.  I was 33 feet away and with the greens being recently punched and sanded, I needed to putt through what was essentially a bunker.  I left it about 12 feet short but managed to make the next putt for a par.  

    Hole #3 - Par 5 - 504 Yards

    My drive was a little pulled but finished in the fairway (252 yards).  I do not have enough in me to reach this green, so I was just trying to hit a solid 3 wood to get me in position to have a short wedge into the green.  I managed to do that nicely and left myself about 40 yards or so to the flag.  I nipped my lob wedge nicely and I thought it was going to hit the green, bounce once and then roll down the slope towards the hole.  Instead, it hit and checked... and then actually rolled back towards me a bit leaving me on the wrong side of the slope.  Another woefully short putt led to a three-putt and a bogey.  

    Hole #4 - Par 4 - 331 Yards

    This is another hole I typically elect to hit an iron from the tee, but I felt good with my driver so I hit that instead.  It was a little right of where I wanted it to go and ended up in the right rough (252 yards), but it left me an angle to the flag.  A full sand wedge from 91 yards left me about 18 feet for birdie.  The putt didn't break back enough for me but I was left with a tap in for par. 

    Hole #5 - Par 4 - 389 Yards

    This is the longest 389 yard hole ever.  I find it to be the most difficult on the front side at my home course.  Anyway... I hit a solid drive to the middle of the fairway (238 yards) which left me 160 yards to the flag.  I cold topped a 7 iron that ran into the fairway bunker about 70 yards short of the green.  I was against the lip, so I blasted out.  I hit a wedge onto the green, but it checked quickly and left me 28 feet from the hole.  The putt for bogey was on line but finished just short.  I tapped in for a disappointing double.

    Hole #6 - Par 3 - 179 Yards

    The way the hole was set up, it was playing 171 yards so I hit a smooth 6 iron that finished pin high but about 30 feet left of the hole.  My birdie attempt ran just past the hole and left me a simple 1 foot tap in for par.

    Hole #7 - Par 5 - 486 Yards

    I got a little lucky with my tee shot.  It carried further than I usually hit it there, but it stayed out of the cross bunkers and in the fairway (257 yards).  I was left with 193 yards to the flag.  I hit a solid 4 iron that ran all the way to the back of the green and into the fringe.  I putted from there to about 3 feet and made the ensuing putt for a birdie.

    Hole #8 - Par 4 - 397 Yards

    My final hole of the evening.  I tried to mash my drive and pulled it horribly into the 7th fairway.  It left me a shot similar to my approach on the 9th hole, having to go over some trees and with a bunker directly between my ball and the flag.  I hit a 9 iron from 136 yards that somehow managed to find a hole in the tree canopy to sneak through.  It didn't get high enough to clear the trees, but it went through an opening, landed softly on the green and checked immediately, leaving me 5 inches for a closing birdie.  

    I had finished birdie - birdie.  With my current handicap, I needed to pick up 12 points on the evening.  I managed 15 points for a +3 total.  My blind draw partner had a rough evening and finished with a -5 total leaving us far out of the money.

    In the end, I had fun and it was nice to post a solid score.  I've now had more 9 hole scores in the 30's than I have in the 40's over my last 5 times on a course.  My USGA index is trending at a 10.5 right now which puts me seriously close to a single digit index for the first time in my life.

    I'd like to keep the momentum rolling!


    • Upvote 1
  21. Mine is the 10th hole at my home course.  It's really not a difficult hole, but I always seem to start the back with an ugly score.  

    From the tees I play, it's listed at 349 yards.  It's downhill pretty severely the entire way, but just shy of the green (at about 280 yards from the tee) is a creek.  A lot of people will hit a fairway wood or a hybrid from the tee to try and get as close to the creek as possible, but... I've tried that and managed to run into the creek, so... my play is usually a 4 iron off the tee to about the only flat area on the hole, which is up on the right side of the fairway and about 140 yards short of the middle of the green.  

    The problem is, if you don't find the flat area... the ball is going to be on a severe downhill slope.  The green slopes big time from back to front... and balls can spin off the front and roll into the hazard.  To the left is the safest play now, but... it leaves a pretty tough pitch or chip.  Long is dead because you're pitching up a steep slope onto a green that feeds away from you and it's next to impossible to get the ball to stay on the green.  You have to hope it gets held up in the rough short of the hazard.  Just to the right of the green is a small bunker... but literally 4 feet to the right of the bunker is a road that is OB.  

    If I find the flat area in the fairway, I'm capable of making par.  More often than not, however... I'm left scrambling for a bogey or worse after rinsing the ball or missing my target and leaving myself an impossible shot.  Starting the back nine with a double or triple is never fun.


  22. 3 hours ago, RandallT said:

    Got ya covered.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 1.05.47 PM.png

    Here's the one from the analysis we did last year:


    Is there anything with your full swing that you've fundamentally changed (via some instruction or LSW reading) that you can pinpoint? Or do you feel like you've mainly improved by playing and grooving the swing you had? You don't have to give away too much right now, as I think a good follow-up analysis might be pretty cool for others to read. Let's save something interesting for then! :beer:



    Without going too deep into anything right now, the biggest thing that 'clicked' for me was where my weight was at impact.  I paid more attention to my lower body during the swing when someone said I was always starting the swing with my upper body.  

    I fought the sh*nks with wedges for a portion of last season.  On the range one morning, one of my buddies saw me struggling and asked me if I knew my lower body wasn't moving at all.  He then had me do a drill with my feet together and after that, told me to focus on turning my belt buckle to my target.  

    I immediately felt off balance because I was hanging back so much on my right foot.  I made a conscious effort, at first, to keep my weight on my front foot.  It helped with short game and my wedges.  It also helped me become less erratic with my driver.  Eventually, I let my weight shift a little bit and focused on ensuring it was forward at contact.  I got some of my distance back (picking up about a full club with irons) and continued to keep the ball in play.  

    Although I only hit about 38% of my greens, my nGIR percentage is closer to 80%.  My penalties have dropped from 2.97 per round in 2016 to 1.26 per round so far this season.  A lot of my penalties in 2016 were from the tee (72 with the driver alone in 78 rounds).  This season, I've taken 63 penalties in 50 rounds.  Of those 63 penalties, only 16 have been with the driver.  

    My focus right now is my short game.  Putting has improved dramatically in the last 5 weeks.  If that continues and I can spend some time on my chipping, pitching and sand game... I'm hoping to get close to single digits by the end of 2017.


    • Upvote 1
  23. I love reading these types of things and I'm happy I got to be a part of one.  I can say that, between LSW, a lot of practice & on-course time and the analysis that @RandallT put together... my game has completely changed.  

    I don't have access to take a screenshot now, but... as of this morning, my Game Golf insights page has the following:

    Handicap - 12.5
    Average Score - 88.9
    Fairway Accuracy - 46%
    Greens in Regulation - 38%
    Putting - 1.9
    Scrambling - 17%

    My USGA index is 11.8 and trending down.  My penalty strokes off the tee are few and far between now.  Recently, my putting has taken a major turn for the better, so I expect things to improve even more.  

    I'm a stats nerd, so... when RandallT approached me about doing this, I jumped at it.  I believe it's made a big impact in my game just seeing (from someone else's point of view) where my focus should have been.  

    Anyway... I hope @Slowcelica gets as much out of it as I feel I have.


    • Upvote 2
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