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15 Off to a Great Start

About WillieT

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  • Birthday 08/14/1959

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    Eastern NC

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  1. I've strongly considered not carrying the driver, but I also do not want to conceded that it has beaten me. My literal first experience on the course was a company trip that included a round of golf. After several drives that were worm burners at best, my co-worker suggested I either hit from his tee shots or use a 3w. I chose the latter, building confidence in making a good swing. Fast forward to almost 12 years later (2018) and I am joining the church's men's group golf outings with a real wood driver (old Spalding) and ancient irons. I have a blast hitting the driver and do reasonably well. Get the bug and purchase a few used clubs to make a more current set of clubs. Now I have a TM SLDR C 9.5* driver. On good swings it is rocket straight to slight fade. Bad swings used to be hard right slices, but now they are strong slices that are still playable from the far rough. I spend a lot of time with the foam practice balls and foot spray in the back yard. The focus is to evaluate/correlate the impact imprint and ball flight. Making small adjustments has proven to be most beneficial as I approach the tee box now more confident that the ball will be in the fairway and not in the woods, lake or whatever hazard is on the right. I like the driver, I like to see it rocket off and there is a great sense of accomplishment when it lands and rolls down the fairway. This has come by working on where I'm hitting the ball on the clubface and then correlating that strike with the ball path and what I need to make adjustments to where I would like it to go.
  2. I bought the 3 Strata irons (6-7-8) at the local Goodwill for $12. I knew I was taking a risk with the shot, and in retrospect I should have taken the unplayable 1 stroke penalty. If it had been the 845s Silver Scot or the Diablo Edge irons, I would have. Anyway thinking about picking up a new shaft (maybe a TrueTemper R300) to see how it plays.
  3. Yesterday my son and I were playing a local course and I hit an errant drive into some smaller trees, crepe myrtles to be exact. The lie was playable as I would be able to punch the ball back to the fairway with a 1/4 swing. I take my 6iron (to keep it lower) and I know that I may hit the trunk of the tree but did not think it would harm the club with the little punch swing. We try to play as is, where is....which makes shot choices really interesting. Well this as is, where is went WRONG - I hit the ball, it goes about where I wanted it and I look down to see that the iron is now at 90deg angle. My son starts laughing as it is kind of comical - broken club w/out any anger management issues! I am almost sick to my stomach as I kind of liked the club (even though it was a Callaway Strata) - I know cheap Chinese made club. Finish the round w/out the 6i and shot what I normally do. No, I wasn't angry just stupid to play the ball like I did. Why did it bend/break so easy? Maybe it was the cheaper steel in the shaft. Thinking about getting another shaft, refitting the head and applying a new grip....then again I only paid $4 for it at Goodwill a while back. Guess its just a lesson learned on shots and potential consequences.
  4. This conversation caused me to pull the card from the local club I play most often. The "difference" from golds (senior) to whites (regular) varies from around 10yds on par 3's to 40-50 on par 5's. This course was a built in 1969 and I don't think there were golds back then. Some of the tee boxes have the golds just ahead of the whites while others are truly standalone. I tend to play based on the "yardage" chart and which set of tees come closest to the 6,000 - 6,200 mark. Works for me as that distance is about max for me making GIR's.
  5. Wanted to amend my number as it was a first for me this week - I played the entire round with the same ball.....never have done that before. Of course when I was browsing through the thread and read Double Mocha Man's thoughts: I had to chuckle as on one hole I hit an errant tee shot onto the adjacent fairway. A man was walking his retriever and he noticed we were looking for a ball. When he asked I said it was a pink one (trying out some Pinnacle Soft's in pink) and he said, "my dog found it and has it in her mouth". Got the ball back with no harm and even offered to give it back to her as she was enjoying it. Anyway, that was a day of two firsts - having the ball "found in the fairway" by a retriever and playing a round not losing a ball.
  6. First time seeing this thread and its wisdom. I have watched videos on how to the magic move of the pros, the crushing drives of the pros, the green skills of the pros, the bunker play of the pros, ..... One thing I have learned is that we are individuals that have to find out what works for us. I've watched a ton of videos, read several books (including Hogan's), read extensively here and have come to realize that this stuff is complicated! Yep, I know Moe Norman said it is simple and his swing was the best ever. I know many will tell you to do this or that to swing like ___________(name pro here), yet the real answer is that it is hard work - focusing on small details - developing muscle memory that produces consistent results. I liken it to playing a drum kit - when you get "used" to the kit, you can close your eyes and know exactly where you are on a cymbal, drum, etc. Muscle memory is that we love to feel - as the everything just feels right. Hey, maybe that is what Moe meant on the "feeling of greatness", maybe its way Hogan was describing when he talking about being on plane. Is there a perfect technique - yes, the one that works for you, for me but not necessarily anyone else in that exact manner....
  7. I sometimes think I have "too many" swing thoughts when on the course. Lately I've adopted simpler is better so it goes something like this - on drives, "the airplane (golf club) is taking off", on irons "the airplane is coming in for a landing" and fairways/hybrids "the airplane is coming in for a touch and go". This is an adaptation of what I heard online instructor Danny Maude described iron/driver play the other day about how to visualize the driver swing as well as the irons. In working through the fairways and hybrids I realized they don't take the divot like the irons but are not upswingers like the driver, hence they in terms of airplanes are doing touch and go's - i.e. contacting the ground with a slight divot. So for me, it has simplified the swing thought process and reminds me of what should be happening at the business end....
  8. Started the year with an "on average" of 5-6 balls per round (errant tee shots, water hazards, etc). Lately that has migrated to around 2 per round. Therefore I chose 3-5 just to reasonably accurate. Also tend to find a good number of balls so my "net" loss/gain has been more of a gain lately. Yep, we do double check to make sure its not a ball someone is playing in a parallel hole, etc. Typically not, but we have spotted balls for folks when we saw them coming.....makes for great course etiquette.
  9. Interesting turns to this conversation. I've read and reread the OP's post and it seems that he is asking a couple of things, for example in the original question, i.e. does shortening a 5i to 7i length have major changes on the club such as lie angle, swing weight, etc. It begs to ask, do the manufacturers "build" clubs to have the same swing "feel", so that your swing feels the same whether its a 5i - 7i - 4h - PW, where the only real adjustment is knowing that the swing plane shifts slightly based on the varying club lengths which is what the latter part of the OP's post seemed to ask. For me, I know that I am, based on the static fitment charts such as Ping's, that I need clubs that are 1/2" shorter w/standard lie. In the same respect if I do take and put tape 1" down on the hand from the butt end and use that as my gauge for gripping the club, I swing straighter with more carry. The clubs make better contact all around. One thing I have wondered - does taking a 7i that is 36* loft and shortening the shaft by 1" which would make it in effect a 36* deg loft 9i? (referencing Tommy Armour 845s Silver Scots here) I know its still technically a 7i w/a shorter shaft. To be honest I work off the loft of the irons (which is why I love the TA 845s as the lofts are stamped in the club face) rather than the number stamped in the bottom. FYI - I have already been using drivers that have shafts shortened from 45.5 to 44.5 and can tell you I have a better sense of feel and control. wt
  10. Guess I will put them up on a shelf to look at or maybe add them to the bucket of old wound balls that a friend gave me. They were his father-in-law's and when they sold the house, he gifted them to me. Of course I could just make "lady bugs" of them and place in the garden for the grands to find... .
  11. Found a sleeve of these today at a local consignment shop. What’s the scoop? It seems they were a love/hate ball from what I’ve read up on them. The sleeve info says it’s a solid center wound multilayered ball with a urethane cover. These were a promo sleeve handed out by EQUITABLE insurance. t
  12. Great topic as I am a high-handicapper. Like Rip62 said "Once I realized that all I had to do was hit it a little fat and don’t decelerate I started getting out of bunkers no problem.", that is how I approach bunker shots. I am a proponent of playing it where it lies, unless it is absolutely unplayable - then I take the necessary drop. I see that as how you learn - got yourself painted in a corner, now its time to try to figure how to get yourself out. For example a couple of months back I hit one into a greenside bunker into the greenside wall almost burying the ball. I knew I could pull the ball from the buried lie and take a drop. Instead l chose to see if I could play it as the sand was reasonably soft. Getting my stance right I made a full on swing just behind the ball to try to get it up and over. The ball plopped up and then down into the bottom of the bunker - however it was no longer in a buried lie and totally playable. I then took a normal sand wedge swing and placed it up on the green about 15 feet from the hole. Taking the harder path was good as it increased my confidence on getting the ball out of the bunker. I have come to not fear them but rather its just part of the game. By the way I did it with a Tommy Armour 845s Silver Scot 56deg Sand wedge. I also from time to time sub in the Ping Eye2's as they are some sweet swinging wedges as well. To "help" my sand game, I have a small 4' dia area in the back yard that is about 4" deep with sand. Makes the perfect area to hit practice shots from sand and the grandson loves it!
  13. As a guy who's finally getting into golf at age 60, I find hybrids good for the long irons. I have used TourEdge GeoMax Bazooka 3 & 4 Hybrids (19 & 22 deg), love them as they are predictable on distance and shot shaping. Likewise I have used a Nike CPR 5h (26deg) - sweet hitting club as well. Currently the bag carries a TaylorMade SLDR S 4h (22deg). The TourEdge clubs are now in a secondary bag with the TM and Nike in the primary. I am finding that I can predictably go with the hybrids anyway from sand to fairways to the cabbage patch roughs. Just love how they launch the ball when struck well.
  14. I had chimed in earlier on what balls I prefer to play and am still there. Funny thing is the other week, I was part of our church men's group monthly best ball 9-hole round and was riding with a former course pro. I asked him which ball he preferred and he laughingly said, "I've hit them all and cannot see a real difference in any. In fact I have not bought a ball in 12 years, playing exclusively OP balls I find all over the courses I play." I thought is was interesting to hear that as I had a conversation earlier in the year with a gentleman who said his game had progressed to the point only a certain ball would work for his game. I guess golf balls are like deer rifles, rods-n-reels, special fishing lures, golf clubs, tennis rackets, baseball bats & gloves....it's really all about what gives you confidence to play better, hunt better, fish better. May we all continue to enjoy the game, banter about clubs, balls and course conditions as to why we did well, not so well or just out and out had a club tossing game (saw that one from a far the other day - nothing catches the eye like the glint of a chrome golf shaft flying through the air....)
  15. @mvmac - Great read and excellent info all the way. Can see why my hand alignment has been all over the place. Not focusing on the grip first One thing I really like is the "green dot" illustration for properly aligning the right hand. I had read on another site about doing similarly using medical tape and a Shapie to mark an "X" on the tape. The premise is the same - getting the index/trigger finger 1st pad on the side of the grip. These two threads have definitely turned the "grip light bulb" on for me. I took this to my back yard practice area w/foam practice balls. Initial strikes were straight and farther carrying. Of course foam balls are not real ones, so it remains to be seen what will happen then. However both threads have provided excellent primer info to better grip technique at address.
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