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About joepro23

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    Be The Ball
  • Birthday 11/30/1985

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    Northern New Jersey

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  1. 2012 goals: 1) Post more on TST during the golf season. - I have a bad habit of forgetting about this site while I am actually golfing in the summer. I always turn here in the late fall/winter, but I shouldn't wait until the season is over. 2) Get back into competitive golf . - Been 3+ years since a college tourney and/or serious amateur event. I am looking to play in 1 or 2 amateur tourneys next summer. Some competition might spark interest in working on my game. 3) Break 70. - Came close again in 2011, shooting 70 on the nose, but the sub-70 round has been elusive since I last did so back in '04. My tricky home course doesn't help, but I know it is very doable because I have all the tools. 4) Regain consistency in my scoring. - Back in college I once played an entire spring season (14 rounds) with scores between 74 and 78. I always showed up. If the putts fell, I shot 74...if they didn't, worst was a 77 or 78. Now, I can shoot 72 or 85. It doesn't help that I play less now and have less reps, but I know I can control those bad rounds and keep them at least in the high 70s with some discipline and focus. 5) Practice short game. I have more demands on my time now, but I always make room for golf. When I do go to the course, I should spend some more time on my short game. My inconsistency in 2011 was almost always due to short game shots. Some days I made every putt I looked at, others I had a few 3-putts and couldn't touch the hole on a 4-footer. Chipping was the same story.
  2. I did pretty well actually... 1) Played a bunch of new courses. Played in California for the first time in Feb, and did an epic trip to Scotland (Turnberry and St. Andrews) in August with my family. Trips created a lot of great memories. Probably the best golf travel year I could imagine. Going to be awhile before any new trips like that $$$. 2) Close, but no cigar. I actually shot 70 just a few weeks ago. Had a late 3-putt and bad chip that derailed me on 15 and 16. Made a nice birdie and 10-ft par putt on 17 and 18 to shoot 70. Could have been worse after the two bogies, but I know I could have easily parred one of those two holes I screwed up. My season got off to a late start because of the bar exam, so my game didn't really come into form until the fall. Other than the recent 70, I had a few 73s and 74s, but didn't really scare sub-70. Maybe a few more rounds could have led to something, but the season is running out in the Northeast. 3) Wedge game from 60-100 was great all year when I did play. It was the putter that let me down after wedge shots from that yardage. I felt really comfortable all year from any number 60-100 yards, and stopped any deceleration that had been sneaking into some of those wedge shots last year. Visualizing the shot shape/flight and choosing to go with some more low spinners helped. 4) I did work on the baby fade iron shot and the only thing I still need to work on is controlling the yardage with it. I know my natural slight draw yardage to within a foot or so, but the fade loses a few yards and I am learning that new yardage with each iron. Didn't get a chance to test the shot under pressure.
  3. I think the USGA could just throw out the whole distance factor. You should just be scratch (or not) based on your scores. If someone got to a legit scratch, I don't care how far they hit the ball. It would probably be pretty hard to find many scratch scorers under 270 w/ the driver anyway, but look at a pro like Corey Pavin. Will he not be "scratch" anymore since he only hits it 260ish? His scores beg to differ.
  4. Spring 2007. Invited on Stanwich CC in Greenwich, CT. We get to the 16th Hole. 170 yards, slightly elevated green. Went with a 7-iron and and the ball started out a little right of the flag, but drew back and was all over the pin. It landed at the top of the false front, one-hopped, and disappeared. Because of the elevation, I thought it might have gone over, but my friend who plays there was certain it was it. Sure enough, it was there at the bottom of the cup.
  5. @Copaman: I played Patriot League golf too and graduated a few years ago. Good times. Cheers!
  6. It would help if we knew more about your game. How long have you been playing? How far do you hit it now? Still growing? How long/tough are the courses you are currently playing? Where are you playing? Is it south enough to play all year? College: Getting a college golf scholarship is really competitive and requires you to not only be scratch, but enter and do well in the AJGA to get the attention of college coaches. Just making some college golf programs is definitely possible for you if you are able to improve over the next few years. Many D1 (in the north), D2 and D3 schools hold a try-out and it is do-able if you can put up 4 rounds in the mid to high 70s in a row. I don't know what your game looks like at all. Just based on your 81-83 scoring average, you need to cut about 8 shots and be able to shoot mid-70s under pressure. The southern schools are about 5 shots better on average and don't hold tryouts. I played D1 in the Northeast. 4 year starter, Co-captain of my team, and played in over 40 tournaments. My scoring average was between 75-77. This was in crappy New England conditions and on 6800+ yard tracks. Several times I was very happy posting a 79 when it was 38 degrees, sleeting and the wind was blowing 40 mph. Anyway, I was shooting in the high 70s and low 80s during my freshman year of high school. You aren't that far off as long as you keep improving over the next three years. If you want to play down south, you need to improve a lot. PGA: Do you mean PGA tour or a PGA club pro? PGA Tour...the easy answer is no way, not going to happen. The people that become PGA pros are shooting in the 60s when they are in high school. If you just started the game, maybe you have a chance to improve rapidly, but the PGA Tour is almost impossible to make. It is not a realistic dream unless you are extremely talented early on and get on the right track to pursue it. Becoming a club pro is a lot more attainable and a good college player would probably be able to do it. EDIT: My advice would be to try and keep having fun with the game. It is nice to try and improve and get better, but I have seen several people burn out because golf just doesn't become fun anymore. Stay patient, work on your short game (as others have said) and the scores will come down. If you want to get to the college level, it is definitely do-able if you put your mind to it and work on your game over the next few years. Good luck!
  7. It is not just a mid-high handicap thing. As you get better, your expectations and skill level change, so "having it all come together" is just as rare at most amateur levels, even scratch. I think the pros are able to bring it all together more often because they practice and play this game for a living and have built such consistency. Even in the pros, the reason you have one-hit wonders (think Ben Curtis) is because they had that fluke weekend where it all came together and they won a major. Other pros have the ability to bring their A-game almost every week. I think it is really hard for most people to bring it all together because of the nature of golf. No matter what you do really well that day, everything else seems to be just a little worse so it balances out to your normal skill level and average score whether that be par or bogey. In my case, if I am striking it really well, I am not making any birdie putts. On the other hand, if I am all over the golf course with the long ball, I usually end up scrambling with some one-putt par saves. However, sometimes I have rounds where nothing works out and I blow up into the 80s. Unfortunately, those are more common than the occasional round where everything is clicking and I shoot 70-72.
  8. I usually go with orange juice and a banana before a morning round. At the turn I grab a nature valley trail mix bar and a gatorade. If there is no halfway house, I bring my own stuff. Important to stay hydrated on the course. Sometimes I like to bring sunflower seeds out there. I don't spit them on the green, so if you see them there it wasn't me. Caffeine and alcohol are the popular "no-nos" on here, but I have found them both to have a minimal impact on my golf game. I can see why some people are against them though when golfing. I just haven't seen the difference personally.
  9. First off, I think you are approaching this whole thing the wrong way. You don't do drills "to make your stats better". You do drills with an instructor to work on your swing so you can hopefully score better. The stats improve naturally when you start playing better. You can't go out on the course with the idea that you will beat your average stats that day. Just hit each shot and tally it all up later. For greens in regulation...think about the formula that has been mentioned on this site before. 95 - (total greens hit x 2) = approximate score. So, to have a really good shot at breaking 70 with a typical putting and overall game that day you need to hit 13 greens in regulation. 95 - (13 x 2) = 69. 13/18 greens in regulation comes out at 72.2% GIR. You don't need to average that, you just need to hit 13 greens in one round, just 4 more than your current average. Of course, hitting 4 extra greens per round is easier said than done. Putting is a tough stat to measure. Total putts can be lowered if someone has a really good chipping game and has tap in pars all day. Putts per GIR is a decent stat at measuring how often you are 3-putting versus 1 and 2-putting. Putts per hole needs to come down to about 1.6 or 1.7 for you to see rounds in the low 70s. Fairways hit doesn't mean much unless your missed fairway shots are ending up behind trees, OB or in the hazards. I am only at 45%, but I play a pretty tight course and my misses are usually just a couple yards off the fairway. I also have the advantage at hitting it 280-295. Since you only hit it 250 (not that bad, but not awesome), you might need to hit more fairways than me to score. It also depends on what kind of course your playing and how long it is. I don't know how old you are or when you started playing, but try and pick up some yardage. It is tough for a 250 hitter to break par unless they are in total command of the rest of their game. Some other important stats that you should look at: - Scrambling - Par 5 scoring average (Mine is 4.9. This is something that really separates scratch players and low handicappers from mid-cappers. The way to lower your scores is to use birdie those par 5s) - 3-putt avoidance EDIT: Also, your Putts per GIR CANNOT be 3.8. Think about it...that would mean that you are averaging about 4 putts per green on the holes you hit in regulation. You are probably misreading the program.
  10. First off, I am from NJ also. . It seems like you have a lot of natural talent and potential considering your scores after just one year. Your athletic background should help too. Remember though, you are using different muscles in golf. It is more about flexibility. If you are working out, do core stuff and a lot of stretching. If you bulk up in the upper body too much, golf will be difficult. You could look into lessons, but they are not a "must". I am totally self-taught. However, I did have the advantage of starting at age 5 and playing in tournaments at age 7. You could also look into getting fitted for clubs, but again, that is not a must-have. You should only get new clubs if you get really serious. If you keep enjoying yourself and the scores improve even more, then start thinking about tournaments. Try entering some tournaments at your local club. If you get into the mid to high 70s consistently and a low handicapper, maybe try the NJSGA and MGA. No matter what you do, have fun with it all. Getting better at golf requires a lot of patience. There will be times when your game "plateaus" and you stop improving. If you stick with it, golf is a lifelong game that, at least for me so far, has been very rewarding. Good luck and have fun with it.
  11. So true. Beginners have a hard time with the handicap concept until it is explained to them clearly. Also, even people who do have handicaps neglect posting all of their rounds, many 9-hole scores, and posting rounds over 13 holes (after filling in the rest of the holes according to handicap). People also struggle with or forget about ESC. Even if people are diligently and accurately posting, there will still be problems. It is not a perfect system. A 12-18 hdcp has a much better chance at beating their handicap than a low handicapper. It is just purely a numbers game. If you put a 2 hdcp up against a 12 hdcp...the 12 has a MUCH better chance at breaking 80 than the 2 has at breaking 70. When one of these mid-cappers has a great day, and breaks 80, I am basically screwed, since I have only broken 70 a couple times.
  12. Pretty cool vid. Weird to see him with his Titleist hat on in his shack and walking around the slums. Quite a contrast there.
  13. Sometimes a new club gives a nice boost of confidence. I am curious, do you think the improvement is mostly due to the new woods, or have you worked harder on the fairway wood shot at the range? It looks like your next step is getting the driver out of the bag. It is a big asset to be able to put that club in the fairway. You will leave yourself shorter approach shots and be able to hit more greens in reg.
  14. I agree with this. I just cannot get into women's pro golf. It does not matter where they are playing. It may look like their short games are good, but that is because their long games are so terrible in comparison. Over the years I have seen posts saying variations of the following line: "I like watching the women more because they play our kind of game." Who wants to watch them play "our" game? Isn't that calling them out as playing as bad as amateur men? Also, they are not playing my game. I am grip and rip, they are bump and run. The current longest hitter on the LPGA is hitting the ball 265.5 avg. http://www.lpga.com/player_stats.aspx?mid=4&pid;=5 The next course they are playing is set up at just 6500 yards. Zzzzzzzzz
  15. Playing with my dad and a fellow member at our semi-private club when I was a kid. We are on the par 3 9th hole, which is at the edge of the course property. The entrance and main road are way to the left through trees and a church parking lot is about 50 yards behind and left of the tee in the woods. So, this guy we are playing with tees it up about a yard behind the left blue (back) tee marker and proceeds to skull it straight into the left tee marker, which was shaped like a golf ball. The ball then skies straight up and backwards going out of bounds in the woods near the church parking lot. We were all pretty much in shock. I had to hold back my laughter because I didn't really know this guy and he wasn't taking it well. Probably the craziest thing I have seen in my 17 years of golf.
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