Hello there. This is my first post on the site. I promise that subsequent posts will NOT be this long.
How long have you been playing golf?
I've been playing golf since I was a young kid. Both my dad and my step dad were avoid golfers and both belonged to several country clubs or owned small summer homes on golf courses. When I was in junior high school and high school, I played A LOT of par 3 courses that were within easy biking or driving distance, so my short game and my putting is pretty good. However, until recently I never learned how to hit a driver (or longer fairway woods) with much confidence. To this day, I play with nothing but hybrids, woods and hybridized irons, which I frequently use off the tee. Several months ago, I purchased an entirely new set of clubs for the first time in nearly 20 years. I am now the proud owner of a full set of Cleveland Launcher HB (High Bore) irons (5-9, PW, SW). I also own the Cleveland Launcher HB 4 iron and their Dual (or Gap) wedge, but I recently removed these clubs from my bag to make room for a driver and a 9 wood.
Every chance I get, I visit the local Value Village about 10 minutes from my home looking for throw-away bargains. Over just the last month, I've found some gems and diamonds in the rough. I picked up an unused Sun Mountain V1 Speed Cart ($200 new) for $12.99; I bought two unused Cleveland Launcher 2009 fairway woods (a 5 wood and a killer 7 wood) with Fujikura regular shafts for $4.99 each (I loved these clubs so much and hit them so well that this week I bought a matching 3 wood and driver from eBay to round out the set); and two days ago, I found an old See More FGP putter with a pristine milled face and matching leather head cover for $9.99 as well as a vintage Cobra Baffler 7 wood for $1.99 which I'm in the process of refinishing (photos to come later when the project is done).
What’s your handicap or normal score?
I honestly don't know what my official handicap is as I practice WAY more than I play. One of my goals for 2019 is to figure out what my true handicap is. Because of a long-term (scar-tissue related) inury I have from open-heart surgery when I was a young kid, I'm unable to play more than 9 holes at a time without discomfort, so I'll need to play 10 rounds of 9 holes to establish my first "official" handicap. I've done a few fake projections that put my handicap somewhere near an 18, but I expect than number to go down.
What do you love about golf?
I love the fact that golf is so multi-faceted, and that to achieve a goal, I often need to the do the opposite of what I'm trying to accomplish
I can play the game alone, with friends, or with my wife and boys
I can practice by myself in remote parks or at driving ranges and putting greens
I can measure my progress with numbers and data
I love researching new golf technologies and reading reviews
Theoretically, I can play on the same courses as Tour Pros and use some of the same equipment as Tour Pros
There are lots of great online forums with a real sense of community
While not exactly a year-round sport, golf still provides plenty of opportunities to visit driving ranges or hit balls in public parks in the off season. And if all else fails, I can break out the putter at home and practice sinking 8-footers on a putting carpet in my family room
Playing a round of golf is a great form of outdoor exercise, especially if I don't use a golf cart
Many of the courses where I live are off-the-charts beautiful
I actually enjoy practicing for free at nearby parks and open spaces more than spending $50 (or more) on a round of golf. There's also a certain Zen-like moment that comes from hitting a pure, nearly flawlessly-executed shot with a 7-wood, hearing the swoosh of the swing, and knowing without even looking up that the ball is rocketing skyward and at precisely the location where I aimed it. I'm also continuously intrigued by the Yin and Yang of golf - for example, to hit the ball far, I must hit it slowly and with a smooth tempo. Or, to grip the solidly, I must hold it softly in my hands. There is also room in golf for amateurs, like me, who enjoy swimming against the current and who like to throw aside conventional wisdom and try out new techniques, and then adopt and refine these oddball techniques if they pay dividends.
In terms of my swing style, I am and have always been a true sweeper. This means that I NEVER take a divot, ever. If I do accidentally take a divot, it means I made a mistake in my swing, and the resulting shot is invariably a poor one.
Other than my putter, I have nothing but hybridized irons, rescue clubs (including a NOS Ginty and a Cobra Baffler), and woods in my bag. Even my wedges are hollow hybrids.
I use a split hand putting technique in which my hands are widely separated and NEVER touch each other, and I bend over very far when putting, trying to get my head as close to the ball as possible.
I generally place the ball in the center of my stance and only adjust my position based on the length of the shaft or to shape the shot.
Recently, after injuring the ligaments in my right pinky using the interlocking grip for decades, I switched to the 10-finger baseball grip and have never looked back. I can't imagine using any other grip now.
After noticing that I was consistently hitting longer-shafted woods and drivers off the heel or hosel, I started positioning the club up to a full head length BELOW the ball at address. Problem solved!
I have a number of different hobbies, but interestingly all of them are relevant to golf in some strange way.
In addition to golf (which is my current and daily obsession), I also enjoy flying radio controlled 1-meter bungee-launched gliders as well as flying kites in high winds (this gives me a good sense of what happens to a golf ball in windy and blustery conditions as well as some insight into the overall flight characteristics of golf balls); I enjoy target shooting and trap shooting (these sports have taught me concentration, focus, aiming and alignment techniques, and how to control my breathing and heart rate); I also enjoy playing both acoustic and electric guitars on old tube amplifiers (this has taught me how to tap into my own inner creativity and to do things 'my own way'). Finally, I like to make memes in my spare time.
What brings you to The Sand Trap?
I have been lurking on the site as an unregistered user for some time, and I finally decided to register so I could join in the fun, get some feedback from other users, and share an occasional golf-related anecdote or two.
Where are you from? What is your home course?
I like to hit balls and do practice putting at Willows Run golf course in Redmond and at the Twin Rivers golf course in Fall City, Washington.
What are the best and worst things about golf in your region?
Where I live, it rains a lot (and I mean A LOT). This translates to lush, green fairways most of the year and only a few months of downtime when things really get cold or it snows. I live within 30 minutes driving time of at least a dozen different public golf courses, so I consider myself very fortunate in this regard.
What do you do for a living?
I am a front-end software engineer with more than quarter century of experience in the field.
How’d you pick your user name?
I'm BoomerGolfAnon. I am a Boomer (born right at the transition line between Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers); I am also passionate about practicing or researching golf in some way on a daily basis; and I like to keep my actual identity anonymous. I always remember that line from ElastiGirl in 'The Incredibles': "Your identity is your most important possession. Protect it!" Hence: BoomerGolfAnon