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2017 Golf Thread

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by Koufax, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Member SoSH Member

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    1,252
    Ok SOSH, tell me about club fitting.

    I've been playing the same set of irons for the last 15 years or so - TaylorMade Super Steel. I bought them off the rack at a Golfers Warehouse. I can hit them decently but really struggle with consistent ball striking. Basically if I break 90 I'm pretty happy. A couple weeks ago I flew back east and was invited out for a round of golf. I borrowed my buddies set of clubs and played really well. I still hit my share of bad shots but I struck the ball much better than with my own. I scored an 81 which is far and away the best I've ever played. It was pretty legit too, only taking one mulligan on a poor drive OB.

    This experience has really got me thinking that maybe I could benefit from getting a club fitting and new set of irons. I have never been fitted before so I don't really know what is all involved. Where should I go? I'm assuming that a club fitting goes hand in hand with getting a new set of clubs? Should I go to the fitting with new clubs in hand and they fit them to me or do they tell me which clubs I would benefit from the most and then I make the purchase? Do they do a swing analysis? How much does it cost? What other type of questions should I be ask while I'm there?
     
    #451 Blue Monkey, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  2. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    13,174
    Do a simple google search in your area to find a club fitter. (If you're in the Boston area, which it doesn't sound like you are, Joe and Leigh's is the best around). I believe Golf Digest still has a database for best fitters in any state. They can make some adjustments to your current set, but if you're on 15 yo gear, you likely should just get new technology; there's a good portion of marketing involved in year to year new models but that amount of time, you're playing outdated tech.

    Do not buy clubs before you get fitted. Go to a shop and browse, see which clubs fit your eye, what falls in your price range, hit them and see what you like, then go to the fitting with maybe 3 or 4 sets in mind. If you find a good fitter, they will have a launch and spin monitor to analyze your results with each and settle on which set is best for you given the stats each club produces.

    They will determine if the club head should be bent flat or upright; if the shaft should be lengthened or shortened; what flex your shafts should be; what size grip you should be playing.

    This will probably run you about $100-$150 at most places, but they usually give you a credit for that amount if you buy the clubs through them, so it offsets at most places, but that's something you can ask.

    Depending on where you go, they will do every club in the bag, driver to lob wedge, or you can just do woods or irons. I would definitely ask them about what wedges you should add to the bag - if your current set of clubs are 15 years old, the lofts on them are likely going to be different than a new set, as current clubs have moved to stronger lofts as a marketing move to make them seem longer hitting. Today's PW is more like a 9 iron ten years ago. You want consistent gaps in your progression, so the SW you have now may be actually the same as a new PW. I would also ask about long irons vs hybrids. That loft change means your current 4I is closer to a new 3I, which might mean you're better off leaving it out and getting a hybrid instead.

    It's a fun experience and always exciting to get new sticks. Find a fitter, talk to them when you make the appointment about what you're looking to do and trust the process.

    Edit: To expand a little bit on what your experience is going to be, this is what will/should transpire:

    You'll show up and they'll have you hit your own clubs to warm up and get some base line readings. You'll discuss sets you've looked at and are interested in and they might have suggestions for you based on what they see from the data and anecdotal evidence you give them, i.e. "I always seem to hook/slice; I can't hit a 4 iron; etc". Depending on the facility, you may be on a range or on a simulator in a studio.

    They then will take one of the sets you want to try and usually start out with contact tape on the sole of the club - this will tell them if you need the head to be more flat or upright, based on the contact you're making with the ground. They'll also be able to figure out if you need longer or shorter than stock shafts. They will then attach a device to your shaft to determine flex strength.

    They have all these clubs in every configuration (or they have the heads they can change out on the fly) and you'll likely hit the 6 iron for every set you try. You hit maybe 5-8 balls with each and they will whittle it down based on the stats the TrackMan spits out and tell you what they recommend. Then you'll pick out grips, based on feel and size. Then they order the clubs.

    Most sets now come 4I-GW (some call it AW; either way it's between your PW and your SW), but companies are pretty flexible these days and with custom fitting, they can play around with that or you can buy clubs individually. If you can rock a 3I, you can add it. If you can't hit a 4I, they can leave it out and you can buy a hybrid instead.

    Talk to him about composition of your bag. You ideally want to be able to take a full swing and have roughly 10-15 yards difference moving from one club to another. When I got fitted last at J&L's it was about a 90 minute process and we did a wedge fitting as well, as my wedges were set at lofts to compliment my old set and the new set, the PW was 2 degrees stronger. I may be getting into information overload for you, but when/if you talk to him about wedges, talk to him about bounce as well - if you tend to take a big divot or not makes a difference on what you should be playing.

    They also can do putter fittings as well, if that's something you're interested in. For that, they can use your old one and just bend it accordingly, if you're not looking for a new one.
     
    #452 Papelbon's Poutine, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  3. jercra

    jercra Member SoSH Member

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    That is all fantastic advice. The only thing I'd add is that you should try to find a clubfitter with a Trackman if you can. Most launch monitors calculate things like swing path, spin, clubface angle, distance, etc. Trackman and really high end Flightscope's measure all of that with a high degree of accuracy. It's pretty important stuff for fitting clubs so if you can find one, go there.
     
  4. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    13,174
    I should have been more specific, that's what I meant when I said "launch and spin monitor". You're right, he should absolutely ask if they have a TrackMan or Flighscope, by name.
     
  5. jercra

    jercra Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, be careful with Flightscope. They have a whole range of launch monitors. Only their highest tier are Doppler radar based. All Trackman are.
     
  6. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Member SoSH Member

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    Great stuff guys. Thanks for all the info Millhouse. Definitely a bit of information overload but much appreciated!
     
  7. jercra

    jercra Member SoSH Member

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    It shouldn't be overload. Just find a fitter and go in. There's nothing that says you have to buy something on the spot. Good places should let you pay for the fitting and still use it against clubs if you buy from them within a reasonable time frame. Just make an appointment and they'll guide you through everything. The good news is that once you're fit you'll have a really good sense of what works for you going forward.
     
  8. Comfortably Lomb

    Comfortably Lomb Koko the Monkey SoSH Member

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    8,395
    Don't be shy about the hybrids. If you're shooting in the 80s and struggling with "consistent ball striking" then you're probably flat out hurting your game carrying an iron below a 5-iron.

    Irons haven't advanced like woods and hybrids over the past couple decades. Those Supersteels are probably still fine in a vacuum, but if they don't mesh with your swing, game, and eye then they're a problem. Lie angle, shaft length and flex, bounce, etc. can either work with your swing or against it.

    I still play an old ~y2k set of Ping i3 O-Size, 5-PW, and I don't think they're holding me back. They're still good sticks when I make half-decent swings. The only negative about them is the grooves are starting to wear flat.
     
  9. jercra

    jercra Member SoSH Member

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    I linked to a Tom Wishon article upthread that talks about the length of you clubs, especially woods, and how to build a bag for your game. The short story is to make sure you try drivers/3-woods with shorter shafts or at least choked down when being fit and to choose hybrids over irons in general. His rule was to take the lowest iron in your bag that you feel totally comfortable with and make everything lower than that a hybrid. That article is worth reading before going in for a fitting.
     
  10. Phragle

    Phragle wild card bitches SoSH Member

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    The new ping woods are very hot and forgiving
     
    #460 Phragle, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  11. Phragle

    Phragle wild card bitches SoSH Member

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    What were the borrowed clubs? Hard to imagine the clubs alone being worth 10 strokes, but it's possible. Two things, bring your current clubs to the fitting. All the data in the world won't be worth as much without the baseline data from your current clubs. And remember to care about how the clubs feel. I've had some bad experience with fittings and have had more success with finding clubs that feel right.

    He means something that monitors both the ball and the clubhead. Lots of places have ball monitors but when you see the data from the club head its a whole different thing. More than just Trackman measure both though. Some fightscope and foresight do too.
     
  12. Comfortably Lomb

    Comfortably Lomb Koko the Monkey SoSH Member

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    I was talking to my pro about drivers and he thinks the Pings are the best heads on the market right now. Said Taylor Made's are slightly longer, and he sells a lot more of those, but the Pings are so much more accurate and forgiving that they're worth giving up a yard or two. He tries to push people toward Ping but they just won't do it. He's not much of a fan of the stock Ping shafts though. Anyway, I love my G driver. It really flies.
     
  13. Phragle

    Phragle wild card bitches SoSH Member

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    From what I understand all other things being equal every driver is about the same distance on a perfect strike. What you're looking for is something that fits the best and is the most forgiving.

    I hit the TMs well but I don't find them any better than my G30 with the tour shaft. The TMs seem a little longer on mishits but also go farther off line than the G/G30 too. So its a trade off IMO. The new G400 feels different though. It seems to have the power all across the face of the TM while also being even more forgiving than the previous Ping drivers. I think its a bit of a breakthrough -- at least as much of one that there can be legally. It's the best driver I've hit and idk, it's hard to describe but it just feels different. You have to try it yourself.
     
  14. jercra

    jercra Member SoSH Member

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    Did you get a g400 or just hit it at your place? What setup did you hit? Shaft, length, stiffness, swingweight? I'm just curious. I love my current driver but I'm in the middle of a total shit tourney round so a new driver is always tempting.
     
  15. Phragle

    Phragle wild card bitches SoSH Member

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    I don't believe you're allowed to buy it until the 27th. I hit the demo closest to my G30 lst which was a 10 degree lst with the stiff tour 65 shaft. I think the stock length is around 45, but specs aren't always exact. I'll measure the length and sw next time.
     
  16. 4 6 3 DP

    4 6 3 DP Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    The two bigger equipment sites (hackers paradise and golfwrx) both are raving about the G400. Admittedly those guys are all club hos and a few months ago it was all epic (which I game and think is excellent), but still, they have good things to say.

    And popped the 80 cherry today. Needed some room, as I started leaking oil heavy on the back as I fought for a score (note to self, do not look at your score if you can help it). But made a putt for 78 and crossed that goal off the list. Fun day.
     
  17. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Member SoSH Member

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    It was some version of the Callaway X series
     
  18. Phragle

    Phragle wild card bitches SoSH Member

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    12,248
  19. jercra

    jercra Member SoSH Member

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    1,278
    Thanks @Phragle . I'm surprised at D0. I'll try hitting one at my men's club whenever they get them in. I've got book money to spend on something!
     
  20. Phragle

    Phragle wild card bitches SoSH Member

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    Well with the tour 65 shaft it's not actually a 65 grams -- it's 61, and it's shorter than the base Alta model too. What would it be if it was a half inch longer, like D3? You might not be happy with the shaft options at your club. The stiffest, heaviest shaft my shop had was the stiff tour 65 which is like a middle of the road shaft, ss wise. It's good for 105-ish swing speed, but you may want more beef.
     
  21. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    2,440
    On the subject of club-fitting, the one point I'd add is that particularly if your swing tends to vary greatly from day to day and round to round (like most mid-to-high handicappers, and quite a few low handicappers like me), there's really only so much a club-fitting session can tell you. You can certainly learn basic information like how long your clubs should be relative to standard, for example, but I'm rather dubious about advanced statistical tracking which is based upon precise measurements like swing speeds and launch angles when my launch angle today might be nothing like my launch angle tomorrow. At the very least, I'd try to make sure my swing was at or near its median condition before going in for a fitting.

    Incidentally, I was the subject for an article in Golf Digest on club-fitting many moons ago when I was interning there - first they sent me to get fitted for Titleist irons, and then they sent me to this independent clubmaker in Schenectady called Dick Bogdan (now deceased) who had some of the wackiest golfing theories I've ever heard, such as his belief that irons would yield the same amount of spin no matter how much mud or sand or grass was stuck in the grooves. The one that made the most sense was his theory that most golfers have an unusual distance gap between two of their short irons - usually between 8-9, 9-PW or PW-SW - relative to the rest of the irons in their set. I've certainly always had a gap like this with my irons: I pretty much go down by 10 yards per club from my 2-iron to 8-iron (200-190-180-170-160-150-140), but then my 9-iron falls to around 115 before my yardages stabilize again (PW = 105, SW = 90). He said you could get your irons adjusted to remove this gap; I've always worked around the gap and learned how to ease off my 8-iron when required, but I've always been curious as to just how commonplace this phenomenon is with the average golfer.
     
  22. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    On a separate topic, I played my home course of Dunbar with an Australian friend of mine this morning who I met at GolfClubAtlas.com a while back (and who very generously helped set up most of my dream golfing tour of the Melbourne Sand Belt) - he's over in the UK for two weeks, having now finished a week of golf in Scotland before driving down to Birkdale to support a friend of his who qualified for the Open Championship. This happened to be the one round I play each year on average in Scotland with no wind and bright sunshine; we teed off just before 7:30 in the morning and finished just after 10:30, which is very much how golf ought to be played and is very often how Scottish golf is played. I was 1 up in our informal match coming up the 18th and got a bad flyer on my approach shot, which not only rolled down the hill behind the 18th green but also just through the practice putting green beyond it. So after removing the small flagstick from the practice hole in my line of play, I took a big whack with the 'ol Texas Wedge, and from about 40 yards got my ball to about eight feet and made the putt for par to win the match. Happy days.
     
  23. FL4WL3SS

    FL4WL3SS Mrs. Dennis Wideman SoSH Member

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    You're underselling fitting being advantageous for picking the right flex shaft. Lie, loft, length and flex is 80-90% there from a fitting perspective. The rest of the stuff with spin and launch angle is for fine tuning and increasing distance and accuracy at the margins. Getting fit for the correct fundamental attributes of a club will do more for most players than anything else.

    I agree that most recreational players should not be on launch monitors for fittings, but it's a great tool once they get everything else right.
     
  24. IdiotKicker

    IdiotKicker Member SoSH Member

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    3,617
    So I'm at the point where I'm looking to finally make some strides in my game and put the time in over the second half of the summer. I'm self-taught and score in the low 90s but I am about as unorthodox as you can be and need to find ways to clean up my mess, in particular off the tee as I haven't even had a driver in my bag the last three years and generally tee off with a 4 or 5 iron since I at least know where they're going. It works for the most part, but I'd like to not have 180-190 yards in on a 400-yard hole and it would be nice to carry more than like 175-180. Curious if anyone can recommend any good places for lessons anywhere around 128, preferably in the southern half of it. Thanks in advance.
     
  25. 4 6 3 DP

    4 6 3 DP Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I'll give you a different impression on club fitting.

    I am basically self taught on club fitting. As in, I go into stores and I hit everything I can find. And learn what feels good and what doesn't. I'm down to a 9, and can tell you that if you give me a stiff tipped shaft, I have trouble hitting an iron straight. I don't mean stiff flex, I mean something like a Dynamic Gold regular flex feels terrible to me and it's slice city. And yet with KBS Tours regular flex or soft stepped stiff I'm straight to hitting a draw and I am a pretty accurate iron player.

    Fitting doesn't fix swing flaws but many of your swing flaws can be caused by ill fitting equipment (i.e. if a club doesn't load correctly for what you like to feel, you're likely to accomodate for it by doing something else wrong, etc.)

    Anyone these days who doesn't get fit is leaving strokes on the table. Period.
     
  26. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    We're basically on the same page, FWIW. I absolutely agree that every golfer should get fitted for his or her clubs - buying off the rack and hoping for the best is a mug's game. My point was more that the average handicap golfer should concentrate on lie, loft, length and flex and not get hung up on fancier electronic metrics which may suggest you hit a couple of shots 2 yards further with the Callaway club than with the Taylor Made club on a particular date at a particular time and with a particular swing. Get the basics right and find clubs within those core parameters look and feel right to you - that's pretty much it.
     
  27. FL4WL3SS

    FL4WL3SS Mrs. Dennis Wideman SoSH Member

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    Sorry, I must have misunderstood. My reading comprehension sucks.
     
  28. The Napkin

    The Napkin wise ass al kaprielian Dope SoSH Member

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    idle curiosity, what would a set of, say, Pings run at a real place like Joe and Leigh's as opposed to off the shelf at Dick's? (For reference Dick's lists G30 irons at $599, hybrid $149, fairway wood $169, and driver $249 so $1166 for the set.) I'm playing on old King Snakes from college if not high school supplemented by a hand me down driver and 3-wood that are probably only 10-15 years old instead of 20-30 and I'm (sort of) an adult now and all this talk of getting fitting done intrigues me.
    Also, would I be able to get $50 for my old clubs anywhere? Or are they a donation/tax write off at this point?

    I only play like once or twice a year because I'm a loser and none of my real life friends play so not sure if it's worth it but for the right price...
     
  29. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    3,608
    If you only play once or twice a year, consider buying what you want used on Ebay. I've done that and been quite satisfied. If a set costs $1,000 new, you should be able to find it for $300 used.
     
  30. The Napkin

    The Napkin wise ass al kaprielian Dope SoSH Member

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    But doesn't that defeat the purpose of getting them fitted?
     
  31. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Yes it does. I didn't see any mention of fitting in your original email. If you're only playing once or twice a year, I can't imagine getting fitted for new clubs, but that may just be the cheapskate in me.
     
  32. The Napkin

    The Napkin wise ass al kaprielian Dope SoSH Member

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    18,012
    Awesome. So anyone want to take a stab at answering the question?
     
  33. jercra

    jercra Member SoSH Member

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    Prices for new clubs are generally set by the manufacturer without a lot of room for wiggle. I have no idea if Joe and Leigh mark their prices up but it sounds like they take the cost of the fitting off of the overall price so even if they are same price as Dick's you'd get some additional value from the fitting. Info on their trade-in program is available on their website but it basically says they'll give you whatever the current value of the clubs are as a credit.

    As far as Ebay and fitting go, they are not mutually exclusive. I got fit for a driver years ago. Paid $100 for the fitting but wasn't willing to pay $800 for the driver I ended up in so I went to Ebay and bought the head and shaft separately and then put a new grip on myself. I ended up saving about $400 total.
     
  34. Phragle

    Phragle wild card bitches SoSH Member

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    Yeah this is exactly right. Manufacturers set the prices and they barely change. Ping is ever more strict. They're almost never on sale or included in promos, and that's how they want it. There's almost no reason (imo) to buy new, unfitted clubs off the shelf at the store. If you want to go full priced new clubs then get fit. If you don't need a fitting or can do it yourself, then save money by going online, on eBay, or even demo set.

    Put your old clubs on eBay. It's pretty easy and you can sell anything (sort of) there.
     
  35. Byrdbrain

    Byrdbrain Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Yeah Ping actually sends secret buyers out to stores and Proshops to make sure no one sells at an unapproved price.

    Edit: Others may do the same but my understanding is Ping is much stricter about it.
     
  36. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    Input your clubs here: https://valueguide.pga.com

    It will tell you what they are worth as trade in at any shop with a certified PGA Pro. Prices aren't going to vary much from shop to shop, but some brands do have yearly deals. If you're stuck on a particular brand, like Ping or Titleist, you might be out of luck. But I know brand like Taylormade have a month or two window mid to late summer where they offer $100 or more bucks off. Places like Dicks will often run promos coinciding with sales that offer %150 on trade in.

    If you're looking for an upgrade but play that infrequently and don't need top of the line stuff look at 3balls, which is J&L's used website. I've bought woods and hybrids off there that are marked 'used' and come with the shrink wrap still, have never been hit but are a year old and probably half the price of a new club. They're floor model clubs. I've been fit for woods/hybrids separate from my irons fittings and I just swap the shafts out after I get the new ones.
     
  37. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    The latest of my Scottish golf chronicles: I just played my second-round match in the 128-man matchplay event at Gullane (No. 1 course) I mentioned previously. With the proviso that I normally absolutely love matchplay, this is the second year in a row that I've been absolutely hosed in my second round match. I'm a 4 handicapper playing against a 15, so I'm giving 11 shots in total. Neither of us played terribly well on the front nine, but I was 2 up at the turn; I thought I'd need that cushion, given that my opponent was getting shots on five of the next six holes, but I wasn't expecting this:

    --#10: Opponent makes bogey-net-par on a 460-yard hole into the wind; I make bogey. (Now 1 up.)
    --#11: Opponent holes out from off the green for birdie-net-eagle on a downhill/downwind 470-yard par-4. (All square.)
    --#12: Opponent hits his approach shot to 15 feet on a par 5, makes par-net-birdie; I make par. (1 down.)
    --#13: On the one par 3 where he's not getting a shot, opponent hits it to 10 feet, makes birdie; I make par. (2 down.)
    --#14: Opponent two-putts from 30 feet for par-net-birdie on 430-yard par 4; I make par. (3 down.)
    --#15: Opponent makes a 10-footer for par-net-birdie on par 5 after I miss my 12-footer for birdie. (Match over, 4&3.)

    Just for good measure, my opponent then made birdie on #16, holing a 20-footer on another par 3 where I wouldn't have received a shot. So for those seven holes, he was two under par gross and effectively seven under net; I'd have needed to play those seven holes in -5 just to be level.

    This is the problem with handicap competitions: high handicappers generally have a much higher variance, insofar most 15-handicappers who are on their game have to do much less right to make pars than a 4 like me has to do to make birdie. Last year I also lost 4&3 to another 15-handicapper, a local teenager (and member of Gullane) who was clearly improving and shot something like +4 (gross) through 15 holes. While I don't think either of these guys were cheating - UK handicaps are *much* more trustworthy than US handicaps, as only competitive rounds count toward them - both experiences have proven to be immensely frustrating. (If only I could have won today, my next two opponents would have been off 6 or 7...sigh.)
     
  38. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    Can you expand on why U.K. handicaps are *much* more trustworthy? I get that only using competitive rounds adds a bit of legitimacy, but is there not still self reporting? Wouldn't the smaller sample size make them less reliable? Sandbaggers gonna sandbag.
     
  39. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    What do you mean by "self reporting"? Every card turned in toward your UK handicap has to be in a formal competition administered by a formal golf club, with the exception that under certain circumstances you can submit a limited number of scorecard from non-competitive rounds each year provided you treat them as competitive rounds. In both cases, all cards have to be signed by you and the person who kept your score; to cheat the system, either you have to not play by the rules of golf (which seem to be observed much more accurately in the UK than I remember seeing them observed in the US - e.g., no mulligans whatsoever) in a formal competition and get a co-conspirator to go along with you, or you have to play in competitive rounds not at your home club - rounds for which scores are not automatically forwarded to your home club - and selectively report only the good scores or the bad scores, depending on whether you're trying to get your handicap to go up or down. The latter is known to happen, but the former simply isn't done unless you want to risk getting kicked out of your club.

    Sandbagging and outright cheating notwithstanding, the UK/international (CONGU) system itself seems far better than the US system to me. In the US, if I remember the system correctly, to calculate your handicap you take your last 20 scores, adjust them for Slope and Course Rating, and keep only the best 10 scores on a revolving basis. So if you play one round a day, the set of scores which make up your handicap will completely change in less than three weeks. By contrast, in the UK scores in formal competitions are adjusted by a Competitive Scratch Score (CSS) calculated for each event. The CSS is based upon a course's Standard Scratch Score (SSS), which is akin to the Course Rating, but adjusts the SSS by anything from -1 to +4 depending upon how well the field played - i.e., in high winds and bad weather, the increased difficulty of the course is taken into consideration. (On really bad days you can get a "Reductions Only" round in which your handicap can only go down, not up.) Anyway, if your net score in a competitive round is 2 or more above the CSS for the day, your handicap goes up by 0.1; if it's equal to or 1 more than the CSS, it stays the same; and if it's below the CSS, your handicap goes down by 0.1 for every stroke under the CSS you are. Or rather, it goes down by 0.1 per stroke if you're a Category 1 golfer (handicaps of 5.4 or less), or by 0.2 per stroke if you're a Category 2 golfer (handicaps of 5.5 to 12.4), and so on.

    My best handicap under the US system was 2.4, and my best handicap under the UK system was 2.7...but I promise you, I was a *way* better golfer as a UK 2.7 than a US 2.4, not least because that 2.7 was earned in competitive play. And because of the revolving scores element of the US system, even legitimate handicaps can be made to look awfully fishy. True story: two days after Greg Norman lost the 1984 US Open playoff to Fuzzy Zoeller at Winged Foot, my father - playing off 15 instead of mid-single figures because most of his recent rounds had been recorded in the aftermath of a knee surgery which was now no longer affecting him - partnered Norman in the Atlanta Classic Pro-Am and beat him straight up, 72 to 75. Different tees, of course, but the point is that in the UK, 20 bad rounds in a row would at most make your handicap jump up by 2.0 shots, not to a level where you could legitimately shoot a net 57 in competition. And if my opponent last year at Gullane had shot +4 for 18 holes in a strokeplay competition while playing off a 15.0 handicap, his handicap would have *immediately* dropped to 11.7 (i.e., 11 shots x 0.3 for being a Category 3 golfer, assuming that the CSS was right at par).

    Sorry...went off on a bit of a rant there, but hopefully my logic is clear. Check out the CONGU website for more information if you really want to dig further into the mathematical weeds on this.
     
  40. FL4WL3SS

    FL4WL3SS Mrs. Dennis Wideman SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,942
    The UK system is definitely much better, I totally agree.

    However, I think the USGA is adverse to moving to a better system because they think it will drive golfers away and I probably agree. It's much easier to carry a "vanity" cap in the US as well as carrying a "sandbagging" cap, so it would impact golfers at both ends that use the system to their desired wants.

    I would be all for moving to a better system. I like what the Australians have done, personally.
     
  41. FL4WL3SS

    FL4WL3SS Mrs. Dennis Wideman SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,942
    I will say about the UK system, it takes longer to drop your handicap, so someone that improves dramatically over a few months will be playing below his cap for a while before it adjusts. In the US your handicap represents what your potential is, so you never have that problem unless you're purposely sandbagging.
     
  42. Comfortably Lomb

    Comfortably Lomb Koko the Monkey SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,395
    I stopped carrying a handicap and haven't looked back. I get no joy from he handicap system allowing me to beat a more skilled player who scored lower than me who had to give me shots, and it's cheap nonsense when some other guy wins when I took him down by several shots but the handicap system puts him on its shoulders. If you get the ball in the hole than less strokes than me you were better. If you do it in more strokes you're worse. Anyway, I can't stand the handicap system. It's like competition for people who don't like the reality of competition.
     
  43. southshoresoxfan

    southshoresoxfan Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,593
    I recently tried to explain the handicap system in golf to my wife. Her response "so it's cheating?" Pretty much
     
  44. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,440
    Scottish Chronicles continued: on Saturday I played in the Sinclair Cup, a 36-hole event at Royal Dornoch. The Old Course notwithstanding, which I refuse to rank against any other golf course because it's just that different, Royal Dornoch is probably my favorite course in Scotland. (Muirfield is probably the other main contender for that crown, FWIW.) So it was a real treat to be back, even if we were playing the course all day in a 20 mph northeasterly wind (gusting to 30-35 mph) which is pretty much the opposite of the prevailing wind. Great courses still work in the "wrong" wind, though, and RDGC is no exception - the first eight holes were brutally hard, but both of the par 5s were downwind and the back nine was at least somewhat gettable.

    Anyway, I shot a pair of 79s - net 75s - against the par of 70, which was good for T20 gross and T15 net in the 72-man field. (Just to give a real-life example of the UK handicapping system, SSS for the course from the competition tees is 73, but the CSS for the two rounds were 74 and 75 - showing that it was playing significantly tougher than normal even for a field in which the worst golfer was playing off 8 - which meant my handicap remained unchanged for both rounds.) Didn't hit the ball great, but I was particularly pleased in the afternoon round to not have any double bogeys or worse, and to have made every putt of six feet or less I had all day, which is very rare for me. I used a variant of my normal stroke in which I gripped the putter very tightly with my hands while trying to keep my wrists and arms relaxed, the latter for feel and the former to minimize any unnecessary movement, and it paid off handsomely: my rough calculation is that I holed around 130 feet worth of putts in the afternoon.

    Dornoch is a long way off the beaten path - particularly at present, with the single-lane A9 road between Perth and Inverness smothered with "average speed cameras" the whole way (i.e., you can get a speeding ticket if your average speed over any distance exceeds the speed limit, which was sometimes as low as either 40 or even 30 mph because of non-existent construction works). But it's still very much worth seeking out if you're in Scotland: it's just over an hour from Castle Stuart and Nairn, the other acknowledged championship courses in the north, and the much nearer links of Brora with its roaming cows and sheep and gently electrified fences around its greens is a real treat as well. When the gorse is in bloom around May, as shown in the second picture below, it's a stunningly beautiful course - but even when it isn't, its architecture is such a joy to behold and engage with.

    upload_2017-7-24_19-22-21.jpeg

    upload_2017-7-24_19-45-23.jpeg
     

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