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Handicap Index

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  1. March Madness is canceled, the NBA is shut down, the Masters is postponed, and my Aunt Marge’s senior bowling has even thrown in the towel. Now restaurants and bars are closed, and our 40-handicap governor is threatening to shut down all entertainment facilities including golf courses. I have not tested positive, but the coronavirus is killing me. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. My wife suggested we take a walk, but I don’t walk anywhere unless I have a golf club in my hand and it’s cart path only. My kids have a restraining order on us and won’t let us come within 200 yards of the grandchildren. And we can no longer eat out, but when we tried to cook at home, there were cobwebs in the oven. The network channels are inundated with coverage of the virus. The golf channel has been showing reruns of old tournaments, which are almost as riveting as watching my brother-in-law’s video of his family camping trip to Yellowstone. And my wife is so desperate for something to do, she is even considering sex, and maybe even with me. Paranoia is off the tracks. Before the shutdown, we were having dinner at a local bar. I let out a loud sneeze and everyone at the surrounding tables started yelling "check please." My stock portfolio is plummeting and most of our cash is currently invested in toilet paper. I am washing my hands 137 times a day. I don’t touch anyone. I don’t even touch myself. I have been using tongs to go to the bathroom. This has to stop. Our society and economy have been crippled by a microscopic virus. Scientists have not yet determined the exact origin but have narrowed it down to a Chinese fish market or Rosie O’Donnell’s bathtub. And no one is sure how to prevent or cure it. In the past, the ways to prevent contracting a contagious disease were simple: don’t eat in restaurants with a cat on the menu and don’t date my college roommate’s sister. I don’t consider myself to be in the high-risk category. I have been building up my immune system by eating one meal per day at MacDonald’s for the last 25 years. Germs just slide through me. My only pre-existing condition is an inability to launch a golf ball further than 180 yards. And, according to the CDC, symptoms of the corona-virus are sweats, dizziness, and trouble breathing, which I experience whenever I am standing over a 3-foot putt. I can handle it. So, I proposed to my regular foursome the idea of escaping from our self-imposed Stalag 17 and venturing outside for a round of golf. Everyone recognized the danger and severity of the situation. But when faced with the decision to remain sequestered with our wives or to risk contracting a deadly virus, it was a no-brainer. Every man opted to play golf. Our foursome does not pose a medical risk to mankind. My friend, George is virus-free. Social distancing has not been a problem for him. Other than us, he doesn’t have any friends. Bob, my neighbor is a urologist who has been working from home for several weeks. He has developed a way to do remote prostate exams by having patients sit on their cell phones. And our other partner, Jerry tested himself with a kit he bought online. However, he thinks he may have gotten the wrong kit. It showed no traces of the virus but indicated that he was pregnant with twins. The federal government has established guidelines for social engagement. For example, you must stay at least 6 feet apart and no more than 10 people are allowed at a gathering, which means Patrick Reed’s fan club can still meet. In addition, our foursome drafted our own specific set of rules for Pandemic Golf. Rules of Play: · • Hazmat suits are permitted. As an alternative, one can wear a college mascot costume or big bunny pajamas. · • Masks are not permitted, because we would look more like stagecoach robbers than a foursome. · • Leave the flag in. And to avoid retrieving balls from the hole, any putt shorter than Lebron James is good. · • Ride in separate golf carts and don’t come closer to another player than a fully extended ball retriever. · • Don’t touch another player’s balls. This is always good advice. · • No high fives. Fortunately, we seldom have a reason. · • No petting the geese or the cart girl. · • Don’t use the spot-a-pot. More disease in there than in all of Wuhan China. · • No excuses. Slicing or hooking are not side effects of the corona-virus. · • Make an online bank transfer to pay off your bets for the day. · • Straddle the sprinkler on the 18th hole before getting into the car. These rules and restrictions adequately protected us from contamination. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for bad golf. I had trouble gripping the club with oven mittens, but it was an enjoyable afternoon which ended way too soon. There were no handshakes on the 18th green, no beers at the bar, and we drove home separately. As the pandemic plays through, it is giving us a glimpse into our inevitable future where all meals are delivered, all entertainment comes through the tv screen, and all human interaction is through our cell phone. Where schooling is online at home, exercise is on a stationary bike in our basement, medical testing is done at drive-thru windows, and colonoscopies are performed at Jiffy Lube. The world is changing. It is becoming less interpersonal as technology consumes us. So now that we have time on our hands, everyone should take a moment to cherish this fading era, when friends still get together to hit a little ball around an open field for no good reason other than to enjoy the companionship of their fellow man.
  2. This thread typically gets started one way or another, so I may as well start it here. When you play a round of golf, pop open this thread and add a comment. Tell us your score, tell us how you played, and so on. I'll kick it off... Today I shot what would have been about a 78 or a 79 at my home course. Tough to say since I didn't putt (I gave myself two putts on all but three holes where I'd stuffed it within 5 feet - any missed I'd have made there I figure would have been balanced out by the five putts I had from 5-10 feet). Temporary greens, you see. A week ago we had a foot or two of snow. Today it was 40-45 degrees and the ground was soggy, but very little snow existed. I was one of about ten golfers out there. The lack of much wind was nice - 45 degree weather plays about a club shorter. I'll write more later. Gonna post a picture or two from my camera phone. Note: this thread should contain only posts about your score. No replies, please!
  3. I've been Playing Golf for: casually? Many years. Seriously, this is my first. My current handicap index or average score is: 12.5 My typical ball flight is: Woods - Straight or slight fade. Irons - High Draw The shot I hate or the "miss" I'm trying to reduce/eliminate is: weak fade or pull hook. both resulting from coming too far over the top. Unfortunately, I don't have a swing video as of yet. I blame this on my wife, as she refuses to tag along with me to the range and sit around video taping me while I hit balls. I do, however, have one of those zepp sensors which reads your swing and gives you a visual representation of your swing. I don't want to hash out everything describing the zepp sensor here, because then it might turn into a discussion about the sensor and not about my swing. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to make a tread about the sensor elsewhere on the site. But, for now, if you are curious, you can check out what I wrote about it here. Zepp Sensor Anyways, I'll post a couple of swings. for now there is one thing I am working to correct, and, even knowing it's an issue, cannot find a way to resolve it. looking for any pointers you might have. My issue is that, like a billion other amateurs out there, I have a natural movement over the top on my downswing. see below for a couple swings from today's trip to the range. short story on Zepp sensor - dark blue = back swing ; light blue = downswing My first few swings of the day are always quite bad. with just a few practice swings when I pay attention, it gets markedly better. My biggest thought here is setting up properly (bend at the belt buckle), and making a good full shoulder turn going back. turn with the chest, not with the arms. and finally, I have a couple of quick drills that I do. once those are complete, my swing is in much better shape. The drills that i do, (usually one or the other, not both) are: setting up with my right foot offset about a foot behind my front foot - This opens up a great deal of room for my hands to come through on a exaggeratedly inside-to-out swing path. setting up completely closed to the target and hitting balls that start way right and hook back at the target. - This gives me the feeling of pushing the ball from inside to out and extending my arms down the target line through impact and follow through. As you can see; with a little conscious effort, I can really get my swing on track... my issue though is that even in the best of those swings, my first move is still over-the-top. This natural over-the-top movement is the reason that my first swings of the day are so poor, because I have to focus on mitigating how bad the movement will be. With thought and effort, I can control the problem and hit balls with a really nice ball flight. but, as long as that over the top movement is there, a good swing will never come completely natural and that will always have to be my focus. If I could just find a way to make my first move to the ball down and to the inside, then I could use so much more of my attention on other parts of the swing. your thoughts?
  4. Excellent point "Vinsk". What you describe has been my personal experience. At age 67 I took my son out to Bandon Dunes early Sept. Out there you have to walk all courses. After coming home I started to have pain in my left hip; I always walked at home so I was surprised at this; I could no longer walk without pain, could not sit at my desk for longer than 15 minutes; riding a cart was OK; but I had subconsciously modified my swing to avoid posting too hard on my lead leg. Even before that I had bouts of back pain where I would suffer a spasm from not bending at the hips properly or twisting around to pick up an object, while under load. These bouts would always subside after a couple of days, but were miserable at the time. Back to the hip, First trip was to PCP; he took an X-Ray nothing showed up on that so he recommended a visit to orthopedic Dr.. Earlier in my life I had seen an orthopedic Dr. about my left shoulder. In my early 20's I suffered a severe dislocation - going to bed in the barracks late one night in the dark and flopped down on the bed, only the bed wasn't there and I extended my left arm to break the fall. After that my left shoulder would dislocate easily - making a left arm only golf swing; it would dislocate at the top of my finish. So I moved on with life; whenever it dislocated I would pull it back in place. In my 40's I was surfing; walking back in carrying the board under my left arm, when a rouge wave caught me by surprise and ripped that board from my grasp. Now a simple dislocation became a major big deal - couldn't play golf etc. At this point in my life I had Medical insurance so I went to Orthopedic Dr.. After reviewing my X-Ray he described the injury to me and said yes he could operate to try and fix the issue or I could try a series of exercises targeting the rotator cuff to strengthen it and help stabilize the joint. That worked, after a while I do not have an issue with that shoulder!! Back to my hip - after the PCP I decided to try a physiatrist (sp?); he did an ultrasound on the hip to see if there was a labral tear or some other cause, then ordered an MRI. So a 67 year old with hip pain guess what the diagnosis is from the MRI - mild arthritis. He offered pain meds(declined) and said if the pain gets too much go see an Orthopedic Dr.; they can replace your hip. I know a number of golfers who have had hip replacement surgery and it was successful - but not for me. I signed up with a golf specific trainer and started working with him; I worked with him once a week for two years. I learned a lot about how muscular imbalances and repetitive movements can cause issues., and what to do to counteract the adverse Now I am pain free in the hip; much stronger in the core; no back spasms; no sciatica; no knee pain. Play golf 5 days a week and hit a lot of golf balls in my garage setup. Have played 54 hole tournaments; swinging just as well on the 54th hole as the first hole. Recently I had started having soreness in my trail shoulder after playing golf - after some research on the internet I have addressed that issue and my shoulder mobility and strength are vastly improved. Hope I did not bore you with the long story; but I tell that story in the hopes it will help other individuals. I play with a lot of older golfers and see these issues all the time - sore backs, painful hips, shoulders and knees. I always suggest they first check with medical professionals to ensure there is not a serious medical issue that needs to be addressed; then tell them my story and suggest they get with a golf specific trainer. Despite that I know two golfers who had hip-replacements; another with shoulder surgery; another talking about knee surgery. The list goes on. If you are still practicing medicine, then god speed and stay safe during this pandemic.
  5. Six rounds into the year, and I've birdied 8 of the holes. Yesterday I got one on our 13th, 167 yard par 3. The interesting part, this is at the highest point of the back 9. The day had been foggy from the start, but starting up the 12th hole it closed in. By the time we got to the 13th tee, we could only see about half-way to the green. No flag, not even "darker fog" to indicate the tree line to either side of it, just white. So we picked lines based on where we could see the forward tees, I hit a decent shot, about where I aimed it, and found myself with a 25-foot putt that I managed to roll in.
  6. I’ll just share an anecdotal story about a pro from our country. He didn’t make it on the European Tour but pretty much anyone who is working in golf in Slovenia was pretty certain he would the first to do so, he was really close, I’d say his hcp was in the +4-5 range at that time. So he went to Sweden to a top coach who is coaching players on the PGA tour. I can’t recall the name. But he forced him to change his swing so that the trail elbow is forced forward in the rotation (think Dustin Johnson-ish). That was last year. The guy still struggles to break 80, can’t hit a fairway for the life of him. Afaik he doesn’t work with the coach anymore but still can’t find his previous swing.
  7. Okay, I'd go with a semi-private club, with some topography, but not too much. Walkable. Trees, ponds, creeks, a few ocean holes. Hosts a U.S. Open every decade or so. The range and other practice facilities (available trackman units) within short distance of the locker room. The clubhouse is old school architecture with a veranda overlooking the 18th green and 1st tee. Inside it's somewhat quaint with a comfortable feeling. The proshop and restaurant take up 1/3 of the space. The bar/lounge occupies 2/3 of the space. Priorities man! Bar has pool tables (come on up David of FL) a tasty bar menu and a separate cigar lounge. Everybody knows everybody, conviviality all around. Tom Watson, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas hang out there on occasion. Oh, and Tommy Fleetwood makes an appearance, too. Everyone knows everyone by their first name. Mr. Watson says, "How's it going James? Were you successful at flattening your plane?" Like Bandon Dunes and Chambers Bay, there are no power carts. Walking only, unless you have a note from Vinsk. Long winding drive up to clubhouse, putting Augusta National to shame.
  8. Sticking with the early shift and "push outward" feels l mentioned in my last post. Also, keeping up with the step drills to key in on the "closed while shifting forward" aspect of my swing. But there is a reason I have a tough time keeping the upper closed. My shoulders keep spinning open in response to the "skipping a rock" trail shoulder external rotation My tendency is to go super external with my trail arm, left shoulder works down and around. My brain isn't going to allow for right side bend (which I need a lot more of in transition) with the ER trail shoulder because it's a double shallowing mechanism. Excessive ER forces me to to get the shoulders opening with the knees staying flexed to make sure the excessively shallow club hits the ground. Reason those drills are good is because it helps me keep the right side "wound up" as I shift (along with the right elbow), I don't coast the left shoulder forward. Upgrades at 6, handle more forward, result of having more right side bend and room.
  9. I might add as someone who grew up downtown, Atlanta has become more than a southern city. It really has taken on an international destination. Superbowl's, NCAA Championships, the new Hollywood, and some amazing food. Sweet tea like nowhere else. Great golf, and like @bwdial said the Appalachian trail BEGINS, in North Georgia, we hiked from Springer to Fontana Dam in NC a few years ago when we were living there, it's awesome. It's worth looking into. If you don't mind horrendous traffic then it's the place for you. And I will add, if you are a single dude, up around where @bwdial lives you will find some of the most beautiful Korean ladies outside of Seoul.
  10. I live north of Atlanta, near Lake Lanier, and I think north Georgia might fit your bill, somewhat. I can play golf throughout the year. Yes, it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter, but it's generally pretty temperate. When it does snow, it usually only lasts a day or so. North Georgia is mountainous, so when it's in the 90s around Atlanta, it'll be in the low 80s in the mountains. Nowhere near the crime rate of metro Atlanta. Cost of living is pretty good around here. Diversity isn't a hallmark of the North Georgia mountains, but Atlanta is an extremely diverse city, and the surrounding areas are becoming more diverse. Atlanta is about an hour or so away if you are north of Lake Lanier, which if you like to boat and/or fish, is ideal. Soccer? Atlanta United. Fantastic fan experience in one of the best - and cheapest to drink and eat in - stadiums in the country. And, if you like a more 'intimate' soccer experience, Atlanta United 2 plays at Kennesaw State University, which is about a half an hour north of Atlanta. Also: the beaches of Georgia are a few hours away. Myrtle Beach and Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail are both a short trip away for some variety. The Appalachian Trail starts in the northeast corner of the state.
  11. iacas

    Tiny Homes

    My wife is watching a bunch of "Tiny Home" shows in a row. What the hell? How many of these people are still living in their tiny homes three years later? Tiny Homes are 165 square feet on average. They just finished a home for a family of five. Many of these people are couples with pets and/or kids on the way. And, they're paying $75k+ for these things. What in the holy hell? My 800 square foot apartment in Florida was "small." How in the f*** are people doing this for more than about three days in a row?
  12. A friend of mine told me the other day that he had decided to take up golf which is great. Now, im happy to give him tips on how to do it on the cheap (balls, shoes, clubs etc.) but i have always said i wouldnt give him swing advice as it wouldnt seem right. Anyway, he sends me a very excited text" Russ, i have just seen this bloke on the net with a fool proof swing, check him out he's call Jim Venetos" I humoured him and took a look. Some of you may have seen him. He presets, as he puts it "setup, backswing and impact and plays from a position" by pivotiing on to his lead foot then swings his arms with no lower body movement. He wants about 85% weight on the lead foot. Im happy working on my center pivot swing and thanks to explanation of pressure by @iacas its going quite well My mate kept on at me to have a look so to shut him up i tried it. Put it this way, contact was easy and power seemed ok, but holy crap, the amount of pressure it puts on the left hip was imense and i still aching! I dont want to tell him not to use it if it works....but..... could the pivot/twist onto the lead foot then the lack of "give" during the swing cause pain in the hip?
  13. Funny, as I look at this question. I think I'm one of the few who voted not based on what it meant to the player, or even by what happened to the player. I voted based on how I personally remember it. For me, watching Phil knock it off the hospitality tent is imprinted in my memory. Phil moved on and nobody feels sorry for him. I didn't see the Arnold Palmer thing. I wasn't born yet. I'm sure I watched all the rest of them. Nothing sticks in my mind like Phil at Winged Foot. So, I voted based on my memory of it. Not based on level of collapse, or historical significance. The one I actually remember second most clearly is Lorena Ochoa at the 2005 US Women's Open. My wife and I are both Ochoa fans and she was totally charging down the back 9. Birdie after birdie, she seemed to be on a roll. Then she almost literally missed the ball with her 3 wood on the tee. I've never seen a pro put such a poor swing on the ball. My wife and I were both like "Oh my gosh, she almost missed the ball". That one sticks in my mind as well.
  14. One guy doing something doesn't "disprove" anything in this case, and I'm on record here many times as saying the trail leg doesn't do much of anything in the downswing of a golf swing, so you're talking about two different things. Jim is voluntarily giving up a source of speed and power by limiting body rotation. He's throwing his arms from an unmoving platform, versus the "traditional" swing which moves the platform (the torso) against which the shoulders throw. I can throw a baseball faster from a flatbed of a truck going 40 MPH than I can from the same truck when it's parked.
  15. Saw this via Golf Rabble's Instagram. Looking at comments, looks like 60% saying tap doesn't count as a stroke.
  16. Sounds right. But I think it might depend on where the pin is cut. And the wind. If it's a sucker pin where a miss puts you in jail, I might play it safe. But then, second place money on Tour these days is pretty doggone good! This is just my way of saying I DON'T KNOW!! I've read more than one article about Mickelson at Winged Foot saying that when he pulled the Driver, Bones should have grabbed it off of him and snapped it over his knee! Dumbest damn decision Phil ever made!
  17. Depends on where we’re playing the U.S. Open, if it’s Winged Foot that 18th hole is brutal. (Not as hard as Phil made it look in 2006). One “bad” shot and you can make 6 in a heartbeat. That being said, I’m basically guaranteeing 4 by playing it for a “king” keeping my chance to win the championship in regulation. But almost guaranteeing a play-off. Now Torrey Pines is a different animal because the 18th is a par-five. If you hit the fairway off the tee. You will probably be able to reach the green in two. Yes it brings 6 into play, but you can also make a 3 or 4 and win the championship. That being said, it depends on where we’re playing the Open. And two holes in a playoff is dodgey. I would try to win the championship with a putt, if that makes sense.
  18. I recently bought this, planned on moving ball a foot and placing this down for a similar putt to the one I had. Never had a chance to use it.
  19. I think the answer @iacas gave is probably the "right" answer here. But knowing myself. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be taking the aggressive route and bringing bogey into play. I'm going to pick Aggressive. At least it will be memorable. Thinking back I can't remember who won the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot, but I remember Phil Mickelson hitting his ball off the hospitality tent. I actually put the bonus question on there because like an idiot I thought the US open had an 18 hole play-off. So, it was kind of a would you like to play with this guy or that guy? kind of question. Anyhow, It wasn't until this morning that I remembered that the US Open now does a 2 hole aggregate play-off. … Eh, I'm old. I forget things.
  20. Good morning! Great forum!! Read all 42 pages this weekend!! Question for Dave. You said in a video that you were trained / influenced by Phil Rodgers. Per his book and videos, Rodgers used one ball position (inside the left heel) and adjusted his weight (left foot, centered or right foot) to change trajectory. You do not seem to use this approach. You seem to change both ball position and weight distribution for each trajectory. Am I correct?
  21. I think what your referring to is an uphill slope: Front foot above the back foot. The swing gets more difficult to finish, because gravity is pulling your weight away from the target. From a wider than normal stance you must lean back to set your shoulder parallel to the slope of the terrain; so that your swing arc won't hit into the ground. Use a club with less loft to compensate for the upslope and grip down on the shaft. The difficulty of this shot comes from having to force your body rotation (and resulting weight transfer to move up the hill through impact). You have to learn your "lean limit" for a good swing. Stand off to the side and take a few practice swings to see where the club arc is bottoming out and what the face angle is doing; remember the new ball flight laws suggest the face angle has the most initial influence on the ball's flight. Remember exaggerating your body turn to produce clubhead acceleration past impact is not an easy thing. So assess your distance to the target; how severe the slope is, the green surround and any hazards that lie ahead and make your best shot to minimize putting up a big number. The above is paraphrased from a book written by Dave Pelz, "Damage Control". The book covers a large number of recovery shots from all over the Golf course.
  22. Actually, a Texas wedge is a putter from well off the green. It's technically a Foot Wedge I think you are referring to (though I wouldn't know anything about that). But if you're liking the Texas reference I think we'll just call it a Boot Wedge.
  23. Update. Cocoa Beach Country Club is alive and well. You now have the option of not using the rake in a bunker, not that anyone ever did before, but can use your foot to try to smooth it out. It is suggested to not touch the flag stick. All carts are being "thoroughly" disinfected after use, and you are being advised not to use any discarded broken tee's left on the ground. Anyone in the central Florida area whose course has closed and is looking for a nice inexpensive place to play during this crisis, look elsewhere, we don't need your kind over here. It's taken the virus to get rid of the Spring Breakers and the snowbirds, we don't need you Orange/ Osceola County folks coming over here messing things up. 😄 J/k
  24. And I thought good fences make good neighbors. Wouldn’t a roof like netting at 15 feet high be more effective? Maybe guy put it up to make a point.
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