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Found 6 results

  1. We're in that special hell of rules controversies with the implementation of the new Rules of Golf. There have been some growing pains with the new rules, and that has allowed the golf media to tee off on its favorite target, the USGA. Which, to be fair, can make itself an easy target: https://www.golfdigest.com/story/despite-harsh-words-from-some-tour-pros-usga-pleased-with-roll-out-of-new-rules-of-golf. That aside, I wanted to talk about the "controversy" about the knee-height drop that the Rules now require. Rickie Fowler got a one stroke penalty for dropping from shoulder height this past weekend. Cue the complaining from him: https://golfweek.com/2019/02/22/rickie-fowler-hit-with-one-shot-penalty-for-illegal-drop-at-wgc-mexico-championship/ I can forgive him - he just had a brain fart, probably didn't gain an advantage in this situation, it cost him money. I'm always annoyed when I get a penalty, personally, and it's absolutely never my fault, okay? But cue the pearl clutching from the media: https://www.golf.com/news/2019/02/25/backstopping-pro-tours-under-policed/ I'm here to tell you that this is wrong, and knee-height drops actually make a ton of sense. One of the best things the new Rules do is simplify dropping. Now, all you have to do when dropping is land the ball in the relief area (without touching you or your equipment before hitting the ground) and ensure the ball comes to rest in the relief area. If you don't do this, you have to redrop. Pretty simple. Yes, you have to figure out what your relief area is, but that's pretty simple, too. (For a fuller explanation of this, see Rule 14 and the definitions in the Rules of Golf.) The old rules were much more complex. Specifically, if your ball rolled to one of 9 areas after you dropped it, you had to redrop. For example, if your ball rolled more than 2 club lengths away from where your ball hit the ground, you had to redrop. You had to know all of these 9 areas to know if you needed to redrop or not. So, the new way is simpler, right? Instead of learning 9 different triggers for a redrop, you only have to learn 1. Great! Why am I talking about when you have to redrop? This is why we're dropping from knee height. Generally, under the new Rules, your ball cannot go as far after hitting the ground as it used to without triggering a redrop. Dropping from knee height reduces the chance that a redrop will be necessary. It also means that a ball has less of a chance of embedding in sand when you drop it. It makes a ton of sense, really. Now, you might say, that's all fine, but why not allow dropping a ball from anywhere above knee height? I think you could easily game the rules to be able to place the ball when you really want to by simply dropping from shoulder height instead of knee height. Think about dropping on a side slope, for example. You're much more likely to have to redrop and place if you drop the ball from a higher point. Sure, this is rare, but why take the chance? We're all on the same page, right? Knee-height drops make a lot of sense. (If you want to know more about the changes to dropping, this is an excellent article that talks about this in a bit more detail: https://rulesgeeks.com/2018/12/30-days-of-2019-rules-changes-day-16-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball-in-playing-it-from-a-relief-area/) Now to the point of all of this: golf media, please take 5 minutes to understand the rule before issuing a HAWT TAKE about the rule. The USGA has a one page sheet that explains the rule: http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/new-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball.html. You don't come off very well when you fail to read that. I know it's fun and easy to just mindlessly bash the USGA, but they do get things right. This is one of them. (Oh and by the way, the Rules are actually really good, as a whole. Maybe I'll talk about that in another post later.)
  2. https://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/2018/11/01/bryson-dechambeau-putting-pin-2019-rules/ Duh. Yep.
  3. http://www.golf.com/instruction/flag-or-out http://www.grouchygolf.com/2004/09/golfers-leave-that-flag-in.html Notice the first comment on the latter link above… This will be a quick one. When hitting a shot from off the green, leave the flagstick in. It's really that simple. Unless the flagstick is leaning so far toward you (the Rules of Golf allow you to re-center a flagstick that's leaning because it wasn't put back in properly) that a golf ball will not fit, it can only help you. A ball that's rolling so fast it hits the flag and doesn't go in had NO chance of going in without the flag. The flagstick can only take speed off the golf ball, either letting it fall in or keeping it closer to the hole. And, second: If you're outside of 25 feet or so, consider having the flagstick tended when you putt. People are shy to have the flagstick tended when they putt, but having a person stand there not only helps you aim (though you cannot ask them to stand somewhere in particular - if they happen to stand where you're aiming, it may be helpful to you), but it also helps you with your depth perception and thus helps you with your speed. That's it. Two tips that should help you. I've literally told my golf team members that if I see them playing a shot from off the green with the flagstick out, they strongly run the risk of sitting out the next round because it's just stupid to do otherwise. It's a free way to occasionally save strokes.
  4. JB Holmes was 239 yards from the hole in the fairway: -10 was in the house, and he sat at -8. He needed an eagle. I think that, given the conditions, he chose incorrectly. He was much more likely to be able to hole a shot from around the green than to hole a wedge shot from 100 yards. I think the stats would back that up pretty easily, even accounting for the presence of a backstop. The ONLY reason to not just blast the ball toward the back of the green is if you literally think there's more than about a 10% chance of the ball finding the water. For someone with JB's power, I'd think that's almost a non-issue - hit it into the grandstands, take your drop, and give yourself a 20-yard chip from the rough with the green filtering the ball down to the hole. I think this one's almost open and shut, even accounting for the backstop, unless he's feeling REALLY good about his 100-yard wedge game and REALLY bad about his short game at the time. But let's also, since this is just a mental exercise, pretend or assume JB didn't think he had a shot that would go 240+ yards to the middle-to-back of the green/rough. Why lay up to 100 yards? Why not 65? You'd still be almost 20 yards short of the water. Well, given the unique features of the hole, this is a case where backspin DOES matter, and the ability to create it, to help spin the ball back down the backstop, is relevant. A shot from 65 yards with less spin requires a finer touch - the ball has to land short of hole-high to have a chance, and a yard or two too short and it'll bounce off the front and go back into the water. So, I feel like the choices should have been: Hit the middle to back of the green (if it bounces into the back rough, fine). Lay up in the fairway to 100 yards, left-center of the fairway. Lay up some amount closer and/or farther to the right. Unfortunately, JB chose "4. Lay up in the primary rough after taking five minutes to decide against the better option, #1."
  5. Bob Ross, a 14-handicapper is 240 yards out from a par five after his tee shot. There are some greenside bunkers, from which the player is average for his handicap level, and little other trouble except way to the right and left where the usual group of trees and bushes separate holes on this lovely golf course. He chooses to hit his three-wood, which normally travels about 220, and promptly slices the bejeezus out of it into the happy trees. Was this a failure of strategy? Or execution? We can't say. Not without more information. If we knew that Bob normally hits his 3W 180-220 yards within an area about 40 or 45 yards wide, we can say that his strategy was fine. He simply failed to execute as he normally does. If, on the other hand, he normally hits his 3W poorly from the fairway, and only really hits it well when he can tee it up a little, then it was a failure to plan or strategize properly. Perhaps, if this golfer has a hybrid that he hits well, or a 7-wood, that would have been the better strategic choice that follows "The Rule" from LSW. Like the old "I'd be a much better player with a better mental game" excuse, golfers are quick to blame strategy when their execution is actually what deserves the blame. I concocted this chart relatively quickly to describe what I see from players: As you can see, pros have almost no execution mistakes (they double-cross themselves or fat a wedge now and then, but they're good, so they don't do it very often). They also make strategic mistakes infrequently - they're good at shooting low scores, after all - but they do still make them. On the high end of the handicap range, the execution errors start to vastly outnumber the strategic errors. Yet think back to Bob. Most likely, most of Bob's 3-woods match the first description: they go 180-220 yards into an area 40-50 yards wide. Had he pulled that shot off, he'd have been fine. He failed to execute. Yet far too often, average golfers blame their strategy. Why? I think for the same reason that they're often quick to blame "their mental game" or some other distraction like "Oh, I rushed that one" or something. Again, why? Because it's easier. Strategy is something you can change in an instant, which requires no actual work. It softens the blow and feeds the ego. It's much easier to think to yourself "I could have made birdie there if I'd just chosen differently." But be real with yourself: if you're not breaking 80 or 90, your execution mistakes vastly outnumber your strategic mistakes. You're not making bogeys and doubles because you're choosing poorly, you're simply not hitting good shots, and you can't shave 50% of the strokes off your handicap just by making better choices. Yet golfers love to seek the quick fix. They love to think that a big improvement is just around the corner, whether it's by buying a new driver or putter, taking a few quick-fix type lessons, reading a tip in Golf Digest, or, often, by flipping a magical switch so that every decision they make is the perfect one every time. It's not like that. Good golf, and improving at golf, takes work, and that work should be directed toward hitting better golf shots. I've added a poll to the article. I chose 1-2 shots. On a 35-footer downhill, Nicklaus would advise the player to hit the putt softly and look to cozy it up by the hole… but the average golfer already thinks that type of thing. They're not going out there ramming those putts (on purpose, anyway). Nicklaus can say "hit the middle of this green from 150 yards out," but the average golfer isn't trying to chunk it into the front right bunker… and he'll do that with Nicklaus advising him all the same. If Nicklaus was allowed to watch the golfer play ten or twenty rounds, the number could go up to 3, 4, even 5… but that's about the limit.
  6. http://www.golfdigest.com/story/watch-cody-gribble-lose-a-webcom-tour-even-in-the-most-brutal-way-imaginable Answer below to share why you voted the way you voted.
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