2019 Golf Thread

bostonbeerbelly

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I'll be in town the end of July :)
End works for me. Away most of the first two weeks. Stay in touch and we can get a sosh 4some out there.

If you have never played the rock, it is a tough course somewhat frustrating with a number of blind shots, it is short but always challenging. Beautiful views of the Atlantic on over half the holes.
 

TFP

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Dec 10, 2007
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Played in many times. It is amazing. I get over 2-3 times a summer and though I haven't played them all yet, I think it is the nicest club in the area.

@TFP if you are looking to try another club in the area, I would love to have a few guys out to Bass Rocks - I paid my bill early this year so I have a few free guest passes. August will be best for me.
I’m in, let’s do it. Happy to host you at the International too in return. The Pines there is an awesome course, one of my favorite tracks in the state.

Got out today, game came back around. Have a session with my pro tomorrow to help lock in some consistency.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Meanwhile, I've somehow wound up part of my club's team for the forthcoming Dispatch Trophy event. I mentioned the East Lothian County Cup previously, which is the oldest foursomes (alternate shot) competition in the world...well, the Dispatch Trophy covers clubs across Edinburgh and the Lothians and might be the most prestigious inter-club competition in Scotland. It's a straight knockout event played over the course of a week, from Saturday to Saturday (with rounds in between on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday), with two two-man teams per club and the same aggregate score format applied across two matches that I mentioned is used in the County Cup; I can't actually play on the Sunday, so I'm basically down to play on the opening Saturday and then on Tuesday, with another better golfer down to play on the Sunday and then Thursday/Saturday at the end if we keep advancing.

This year's event is at Braid Hills, a quirky course on a hill overlooking Edinburgh with stunning views of the city and a lot of short par 4s. It's the site of the most ridiculous match I've ever played - back when I used to work for State Street in Edinburgh, we had a company-wide matchplay competition every year, with full handicaps applied. Not everyone playing in the event had proper handicaps, so people just listed their handicaps and were taken at their word. So about a decade ago, I played a match in this competition at Braid Hills against an alleged 15-handicapper, and I remember making about a 25-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 10th hole to move to six under par (gross) for the round...and then my opponent made a 15-foot putt for an eagle, net albatross, which put me 2 down for the match. I then birdied the par-3 11th to get back to 1 down, and to seven under par - by far the most strokes under par I have ever been or almost certainly will ever be in any round of golf - before fading a bit and losing the match 3&2. Maybe he was an honest 15-handicapper, but for me to have such a low score going and not to have ever led in the match was just so absurd, I still chuckle ruefully in thinking about it.

Anyway, the Dispatch Trophy event is straight up, with no handicaps applied, and I don't think the four golfers in my team are good enough (myself definitely included) to make too much progress. But if nothing else I look forward to having a bit of fun next Saturday morning...before then coming back to Dunbar for a 5:18 p.m. tee time that same day in the second club championship qualifying round at Dunbar.
To follow up on the previous post: I wound up having to take over the effective captaincy of our Dispatch Trophy team yesterday. Several of our team members had late commitments which ruled them out of various days of the event, and the guy organizing the team was swamped with work, and for a while it seemed as though we would have to pull out of the competition lest we win a match and then have to pull out later (which would be embarrassing to the club, especially as the event gets coverage in the Scottish newspapers). So yesterday morning, I took it upon myself to work my through the club directory, starting with the best handicaps and going down from there, and find someone capable of subbing in for our second and third matches tomorrow and Tuesday. A total of 17 phone calls later, I finally found our man, and several emails later, I'd picked the team and our position in the event had been salvaged.

As for our first-round match today, it was a wet one - Braid Hills is not a links course, and large parts of it don't drain well at all, so after fighting through a constant drizzle I'll be on to a second pair of shoes and socks and trousers when I go back out to Dunbar later this evening for my club championship qualifier. The quality of golf in my foursomes match was not great, but it was very close throughout; I don't think we were ever anything other than level or 1 up the whole way round. The big moment was probably the uphill, 205-yard par-3 13th, at which point our match was level and our teammates in the other match were 2 up: first the opposition in my match and then I myself hit into the steep-faced greenside bunker about 15 yards short and to the right of the green. While we were walking and still more than 100 yards short of the green, my partner (Kieran) went ahead and hit his bunker shot first - the ball hit the top of the bunker lip, hung on top for a moment and then trickled back in, virtually on top of our opponents' ball. After the other guys marked their ball with a tee, I stepped in and managed to hit a really good shot that pitched on the fringe and skidded forward, stopping four feet under the hole. The opposition splashed out short of the green in the rough, pitched six feet past the hole and missed the comebacker, and Kieran made our bogey putt to win the hole. So instead of being a combined 1 up, we were 3 up, and front that point on we cruised to a combined 5&4 victory, with neither match needing to go past the 16th hole. So we're back out tomorrow morning at 10:30 again to play Tantallon, one of the clubs based at the West Links in North Berwick; they got a walkover today and so haven't played the course in its current state, which might well be to our advantage. (I know my wife was really hoping Dunbar would lose today; every time I hit a bad shot, I could joke to Kieran that my wife was happy, because playing three rounds - two of them away in Edinburgh - in one weekend doesn't give me a lot of credit as a husband or father!)
 

ConigliarosPotential

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So I ran out of gas tonight, as I might have predicted. Was -1 after 4, having made a 40-footer to birdie #2, but then I got on the bogey train hard for five holes - I could even sense it was coming and couldn't do anything about it. Then I played the hardest three-hole stretch on the course in par-par-par, even just missing a 10-foot birdie putt on #12, and after splitting the fairway at #13 I felt I had a pretty decent chance to maybe squeeze out even a 74 or 75. But I pushed my approach at #13 into an awkward spot in a bunker, couldn't get out at my first attempt, did very well to get my fourth shot out to within six feet...and three-putted. Staggered home with an 82, not helped by the fact that my electric trolley basically ran out of battery power on the 13th or 14th as well and I had to push it all the way home (and it's *not* designed to be pushed). So I'll probably need about a 73 in the final round next Saturday to have a chance at qualifying for the matchplay...and of course, I'm straight back into action tomorrow morning in the Dispatch Trophy.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Amazingly, we're through to the last 16 of the Dispatch Trophy after a match against our local rivals from Tantallon GC in North Berwick. My partner - Bill, subbing for Kieran - and I had a horrible start, not just in falling 3 down after three holes but also the manner of those losses (bogey-double-double at best, including a penalty for knocking flowers off of a gorse bush during a practice swing which we called on ourselves at the 3rd). And we also got embroiled in a row with our opponents, or rather with one of their non-playing teammates, who was giving advice on club selection to the younger of their two players, a 14-year-old Danish kid called Valdemar who is already very good and is really going to be some player when he gets a bit older. Thankfully that discussion cooled down, and we heated up a bit with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 5th to get back to 2 down after I hit a very rare 300-yard drive off the tee. Tantallon birdied the 6th to go 3 up again, then we halved the 8th in birdies (I hit a cracker out of the rough with a 7-iron to about 8 feet) before stealing the 9th with a par and the 10th when our opponents had to take a penalty drop and then pushed their next shot into the gorse. Tantallon birdied the 11th to go back 2 up, then I got us out of jail by hitting an 8-iron from between two tree roots to 15 feet at the 12th (leaving Bill a putt he narrowly missed).

While halving the 12th, we learned that our partners were 4 up, so we knew we had the slight aggregate advantage. We did fall 3 down before reaching the 16th, where I hit a soft wedge uphill and into the wind from 80 yards that landed about 10 feet past the hole, spun back and grazed the edge of the hole, but kept rolling all the way back off the front of the green. (I almost never get the ball to spin backwards...that was really weird.) We halved that hole in pars, then on the par-3 17th - across a valley to a plateaued green - my opponent blew his tee shot right toward some gorse and heavy rough, after which I thought I'd hit a really good shot which just failed to carry the steep bank in front of the green by maybe a couple of feet, pinged off a rock embedded in the bank, and ricocheted literally 50 or 60 yards back down into the valley. But as our opponents were looking for their ball, we got word that our teammates had finished the 18th with a 6 up lead, so our match didn't matter; we agreed to just halve the 17th (even though we were favored to win it) and take an aggregate 3&1 victory. And then I got interviewed by a reporter from The Scotsman after the match, so there's every likelihood I'll be in the paper tomorrow, which is nice.
 

jercra

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Amazingly, we're through to the last 16 of the Dispatch Trophy after a match against our local rivals from Tantallon GC in North Berwick. My partner - Bill, subbing for Kieran - and I had a horrible start, not just in falling 3 down after three holes but also the manner of those losses (bogey-double-double at best, including a penalty for knocking flowers off of a gorse bush during a practice swing which we called on ourselves at the 3rd). And we also got embroiled in a row with our opponents, or rather with one of their non-playing teammates, who was giving advice on club selection to the younger of their two players, a 14-year-old Danish kid called Valdemar who is already very good and is really going to be some player when he gets a bit older. Thankfully that discussion cooled down, and we heated up a bit with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 5th to get back to 2 down after I hit a very rare 300-yard drive off the tee. Tantallon birdied the 6th to go 3 up again, then we halved the 8th in birdies (I hit a cracker out of the rough with a 7-iron to about 8 feet) before stealing the 9th with a par and the 10th when our opponents had to take a penalty drop and then pushed their next shot into the gorse. Tantallon birdied the 11th to go back 2 up, then I got us out of jail by hitting an 8-iron from between two tree roots to 15 feet at the 12th (leaving Bill a putt he narrowly missed).

While halving the 12th, we learned that our partners were 4 up, so we knew we had the slight aggregate advantage. We did fall 3 down before reaching the 16th, where I hit a soft wedge uphill and into the wind from 80 yards that landed about 10 feet past the hole, spun back and grazed the edge of the hole, but kept rolling all the way back off the front of the green. (I almost never get the ball to spin backwards...that was really weird.) We halved that hole in pars, then on the par-3 17th - across a valley to a plateaued green - my opponent blew his tee shot right toward some gorse and heavy rough, after which I thought I'd hit a really good shot which just failed to carry the steep bank in front of the green by maybe a couple of feet, pinged off a rock embedded in the bank, and ricocheted literally 50 or 60 yards back down into the valley. But as our opponents were looking for their ball, we got word that our teammates had finished the 18th with a 6 up lead, so our match didn't matter; we agreed to just halve the 17th (even though we were favored to win it) and take an aggregate 3&1 victory. And then I got interviewed by a reporter from The Scotsman after the match, so there's every likelihood I'll be in the paper tomorrow, which is nice.
You should not have taken a penalty for knocking some flowers off a gorse bush with a practice swing since it does not improve the conditions affecting the stroke (rule 8.1 in both USGA and R&A).

https://www.randa.org/en/rog/2019/rules/the-rules-of-golf/rule-8

Also check this video (though it's from Canada I think the rules are the same)
 

ConigliarosPotential

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I was back out again this evening in our Sweet 16 Dispatch Trophy match. We had a sharp rain shower for the 15-20 minutes right before we teed off, so I didn't really warm up at all, and promptly necked my opening tee shot into gorse to the left of a hugely wide fairway and then skulled my next shot (a 50-yard wedge) into gorse over the green. Nice. I proceeded to have a pretty abysmal first 11 holes, during which Bill and I fell 5 down - and on the 11th tee, a flipping crow went into my partially opened golf bag, poked its way into an unopened granola bar and ate about two-thirds of it, which was absolutely a metaphor for how I was feeling at that point. Our teammates in the front match were doing well again, though, so there was still plenty to play for; we pulled one back at the 13th, and my game suddenly started to come around, but at the same time Bill's was kinda falling apart, and we lost the 14th and 16th without much resistance. So we were 6 down heading into the par-3 17th...but we got word that our partners in the other match were 6 up, and let me tell you, it's a very odd feeling to be getting killed and yet have to still steel yourself to play important holes. On the 17th I found the green, about 30 feet right of the hole, but after our opponents left their 40-footer fully 10 feet short, Bill then did the same thing and left his putt 8 feet short, and neither of us could make our par putts (I made a decent stroke but played too much break).

After our partners hit the tee shots on the short and very, very quirky par-4 18th, word filtered through to us that our colleagues in the top match had lost the 18th with a bogey (ugh), and therefore we needed to win our final hole to take the match into extra holes. I faced a really weird blind shot of around 75 yards with a 20-foot bank maybe 10 yards in front of me and the pin in the back-right corner of the green, with no more than 10 feet of green between me and the hole on my direct line of approach. My counterpart hit first, and I heard "nice shot" from his partner; I didn't get any more intel than that, but I figured I needed to take dead aim. I felt I had a good read on the line, and I thought I put a good swing on the shot and hit it where I wanted to, but I didn't hear any response from anyone after that, so I thought that was probably game over. But when I got to the top of the hill and approached the green, I discovered my ball was three feet from the hole - one of my teammates told me that it lipped out and probably should have gone in for an eagle - and that our opponents were off the back-right edge of the green. They hit a good chip, but Bill calmly rolled in the birdie putt, and that meant everyone had to go down the 19th for a dual sudden-death playoff.

By now, it was well after 9:00 and starting to get very dark, so both matches teed off simultaneously before the top match went ahead and finished first. We saw both teams make pars in front of us, so it was down to us, and Bill's approach finished 25 feet right of the hole, while our opponents were a bit inside of us. My putt was slightly uphill, and I absolutely didn't want to do what Bill did at the 17th, and I wanted to go for glory and give us a chance of instant victory, but I was too aggressive and went four feet past the hole. Our opponents lagged up for a gimme par, and then I decided not to tell Bill what I thought my putt had done past the hole - it turned a bit to the left, but I didn't want to impose my thoughts upon his lest they influence him negatively. Of course, Bill then read the putt as straight and it drifted past the hole to the right - so that was that. From absolute goat to near-hero to goat again in the space of half an hour.
 

Phragle

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Played in many times. It is amazing. I get over 2-3 times a summer and though I haven't played them all yet, I think it is the nicest club in the area.

@TFP if you are looking to try another club in the area, I would love to have a few guys out to Bass Rocks - I paid my bill early this year so I have a few free guest passes. August will be best for me.
Lets do it. Hows the Rapture wood working for you?

I had a spontaneous start to my season today at Abenaqui CC in Rye NH. Its a tremendous course but I almost didn't go because it was my first time swinging since October. Ive been thinking of swing changes I wanted to make all winter and I tried to integrate them anyway without any practice. It went pretty well to my surprise other than the drivers I topped, but it went great with clubs shorter than my woods. I just need to start swinging more and hammering these changes into my brain.

I know some of you guys know the rules better than I do and I had a new issue today. I tried to hit a lob wedge onto a green but the wind took it, it went straight up, and came down vertically in the bunker short of the green and disappeared deep into the sand. I just went up and dug it out then took a drop behind the bunker. I didn't want to be the course lawyer but it seemed reasonable to me and I certainly couldn't hit it. It was 3-4 inches below the sand. What is the rule on this?
 
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Doug Beerabelli

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To the amusement of my wife and children, who were in my foursome, I had this happen last weekend:

Short par 4 about 350, up a hill, small pond (nka penalty area) on left at bottom of hill that is full of surlyn-attracting magnets. I dutifly hit my drive directly into it. I take drop at point of entry within the two club wide drop area no closer to the hole, remembering to drop it from knee level. My view of the green is partially blocked by some oak trees on the left side as you go up the hill. I strike a well-hit but slightly pulled 4 hybrid, which is heads directly for the trunk of one of them. It caroms off the center of trunk, right back into the water/penalty area. I was rightfully mocked by my loved ones for this.

Anyway, I'm not sure exactly what all my drop-options were. I think I can a) rehit from same spot as previous shot; or b) take drop from other side of penalty area back on direct line from point from hole to point of entry into PA. Is there a c) option where I can drop withing two club lengths of nearest point of relief outside the PA on the side of the pond where I entered, no closer to the hole? I did option c", out of time saving and sanity reasons. As I thought about it later, I wasn't sure if that was permissible under new rules (or even old rules).

EDIT: Before you ask, I did account for the one shot penalty for each ball-rinsing.

What say ye, SoSH golf armada?
 
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Byrdbrain

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Yellow staked or red staked?
If the latter then it sounds like you were ok if the former then no.

The latter exists in cases where option b isn't generally possible.
 

88 MVP

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For those of you who play in competitive leagues and tournaments, I’m curious how you handle rules issues and how often they comes up.

I joined a club last year, and this is my first year playing in the men’s league. Before joining the club, I had zero experience playing anything more competitive than a corporate/charity scramble event. I played my first league match Tuesday night. The pair I played against took a few liberties:

First, one took what I thought was an illegal drop from an area of ground under repair. The roped-off area was in the rough and had no angle to approach the green due to trees. The player took a drop laterally out to the edge of the fairway, well beyond where I understand Rule 16.1 to allow free relief. I lost the hole, but might have halved if not for my opponent taking such an advantageous drop.

Second, one of them lost track of his approach shot in the sun and was unable to find it. After searching for the ball, he went back and dropped from the prior spot, but didn’t take a penalty stroke. We halved the hole, but I should have won.

I let both incidents pass without saying anything. I obviously should have challenged the player for not accurately counting his strokes on the second incident, but I was already somewhat thrown off by not having said anything about the earlier drop. In both cases I was somewhat reluctant to say anything because I’m a new member and trying to meet people and make friends, not be confrontational or gain a reputation as some kind of jerk for calling people on the legality of relief, etc.

Did I just run into some guys who happened to be fast and loose about the rules, or is that somewhat common in competitive matches? And how do you all handle raising rules issues with a playing partner in matches or tournaments?
 

Byrdbrain

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I'm sure it varies by league but the one I'm in would never let that fly at all. Every stroke counts(until you lose the hole), drops need to be done properly and lost balls are stroke and distance. It is very awkward raising rules violations for sure doubly so if you are new and don't know the people well.
You make it sound like this was a team match, is your partner new too?
 

southshoresoxfan

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Just got done with Whistling Straits. Absolutely phenomenal.

We played in 30mph winds, but it lived up to the hype and then some.
So jealous. How’d you shoot?

Got my new irons in and man I’m hitting some ropes. The extra stiff shaft let’s me go at the ball without fear of ballooning my shots up. Have a 2 day tournament next weekend so I need to dial in some distances but I’m very excited for this season.

7 weeks to Kapalua!
 

FL4WL3SS

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So jealous. How’d you shoot?

Got my new irons in and man I’m hitting some ropes. The extra stiff shaft let’s me go at the ball without fear of ballooning my shots up. Have a 2 day tournament next weekend so I need to dial in some distances but I’m very excited for this season.

7 weeks to Kapalua!
We played one tee up @7150 yards and the wind was blowing 20-30mph all day. I shot 84, which should have been a couple strokes better.

I almost had the hole of my life - on the 533 yard par 5 second hole I hit a monster drive and had a 6i into the green. I hit a great shot and I couldn't see it hit the green. My buddy was standing 20 yards right of me goes "I'm pretty sure that went in". We couldn't tell until we got to the green and it had rolled over the front of the cup to 3 feet.
 

TFP

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We played one tee up @7150 yards and the wind was blowing 20-30mph all day. I shot 84, which should have been a couple strokes better.

I almost had the hole of my life - on the 533 yard par 5 second hole I hit a monster drive and had a 6i into the green. I hit a great shot and I couldn't see it hit the green. My buddy was standing 20 yards right of me goes "I'm pretty sure that went in". We couldn't tell until we got to the green and it had rolled over the front of the cup to 3 feet.
Hell of a birdie.
 

jercra

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I'm sure it varies by league but the one I'm in would never let that fly at all. Every stroke counts(until you lose the hole), drops need to be done properly and lost balls are stroke and distance. It is very awkward raising rules violations for sure doubly so if you are new and don't know the people well.
You make it sound like this was a team match, is your partner new too?
Yeah, that's total BS on the lost ball. Hard to comment on the GIR without seeing it but what's the point of competing if you're not playing by the rules? Does your men's club pay thousands of dollars in prizes or something?
 

Old Fart Tree

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Kapalua is one of the very few things that lives up to expectations in my life. I am jealous.

And 88... I would have played it the way you did but seethed more. Play there six times to see what the consensus is. If that’s the deal - it’s fast and loose, and guys talk over beers how guys who are rules sticklers aren’t popular- then that’s the deal, and go in knowing that. Make your own decisions about your own play but don’t let people take money out of your pocket.

If - as it should not be - that’s NOT the deal and these guys were either outliers or guys taking advantage of a new guys unwillingness to call bullshit... stick it up their ass the next time you play.

I hate cheats.
 

4 6 3 DP

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I played Caledonia in Myrtle over the weekend. Stunning course. Worth the drive if you're anywhere near it. I do Myrtle a lot and had never played it, now will be a must visit. Bucket list course, really. Just gorgeous.
 

TFP

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I played Caledonia in Myrtle over the weekend. Stunning course. Worth the drive if you're anywhere near it. I do Myrtle a lot and had never played it, now will be a must visit. Bucket list course, really. Just gorgeous.
Fully agreed. Best course in Myrtle IMO.
Doing our Ryder Cup there this year in September. Heritage, True Blue, and Caledonia. I’m assuming we won’t be disappointed?
 

FL4WL3SS

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You've seen him putt. That was a par for sure.

@FL4WL3SS, you've played Bandon and Whistling Straights so far this year. Any preference?
Pacific was my favorite at Bandon and Whistling was at least comparable, if not better. The entire course is along the water, whereas Pacific went to and fro. There wasn't a single bad hole on the course.

Playing Erin Hills today, the Irish course tomorrow (Whistling Straits sister course) and the River course Sunday (on Blackwolf Run property). All of the caddies yesterday said that River is phenomenal and all are top 100 courses.
 

Byrdbrain

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Caledonia and True Blue are both great, certainly the 2 best I've played in that area. Heritage is a very solid course but certainly a step below those two.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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My final club championship qualifying round was today, and on the first hole - a short par 5 with a burn 15 yards in front of the green and a pond about 10 yards left of it - I hit a great drive and had a chance to go for the green in two, but I tugged my 3-wood into the pond (I think for the first time ever). But when I got up by the green, I could see half of my ball sticking up out of the water...so I took off my socks and shoes and went into the pond with my lob wedge, Van de Velde-style. I'd never done that before, I don't think; unfortunately, the end of a little log sat just behind the ball, so when I splashed into it, I barely moved it two feet forward. Luckily that was enough to get the ball onto the bank of the pond, and I was able to chip from there onto the green and make bogey, but it wasn't an auspicious start. I never really found my game thereafter and wound up shooting a 79; on the 14th, I drove into my least favorite bunker yet again, and I was so pissed that I walked really fast from the tee to the bunker, stormed into it with a 7-iron and made a really angry swing from just on the up-slope which made perfect contact and actually got the ball on the green. Shame that I wasted such a good result within such a poor round.
 

Plantiers Wart

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I am absolutely pulling everything left. Heading left with a slight draw. Only clubs I’m hitting straight are my wedges. Thought it was my grip, worked on it, but nothing. My alignment seems fine. Maybe rushing through the ball?
 

ConigliarosPotential

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I am absolutely pulling everything left. Heading left with a slight draw. Only clubs I’m hitting straight are my wedges. Thought it was my grip, worked on it, but nothing. My alignment seems fine. Maybe rushing through the ball?
Sounds like you're not getting your lower body through the ball properly, and are instead coming over the top. If your arms and upper body are working faster than your lower body, you'll usually pull everything like that.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Would highly recommend the trip to Kohler. We ended up throwing an extra round in at The Bull (top 100 public).

Straits was the best of the five with Erin Hills close behind. The Bull and The River course (at Blackwolf Run) were next with The Irish course at Whistling Straits the most underwhelming, but still really solid course.
 

Phragle

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Got my new irons in and man I’m hitting some ropes. The extra stiff shaft let’s me go at the ball without fear of ballooning my shots up.
You've come so far from the minus length regular shafted AP2s you had a year ago!

I just got back from the new PGA superstore in Peabody. What an absolute unit. It's a huge place with lots of stock, and everything is nice and new. They have about seven simulators on one wall, two of which are specialty fitting booths, but what shocked me is they have another wall with about nine more simulators just for practicing and it only costs $100 for a year of usage. It seemed too good to be true until they said it was limited to 30 mins a day. I'm going to call tomorrow to clarify, but even if I heard right it's still a great deal if you live close enough.
 

mostman

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So as I mentioned upthread, I’m back playing regularly again for the first time in about 5 years (young kids). The thing is, I’m in a lot better shape now than I was then, stronger, and more lean. So using my old swing was causing a bunch of problems. At the direction of my friend, who is a teaching pro, I’ve made some subtle changes to my swing. The grip has been adjusted. My position at the top has been adjusted. And I have a new tempo.

On the range and on the simulator it feels amazing. I love all the changes we’ve made. But it’s going to be real slow trusting these changes on the course. I played in a charity event this weekend and, if I had to guess, I’m playing about 10 strokes worse than I used to be. High 80s instead of high 70s.

Is there anyone here that has gone through a swing rebuild and could share some wisdom on how to stick with it on the course? It’s frustrating to be worse than you used to be. I don’t want to give in and revert back to the old swing. What’s happening now is, when things go sideways, I sort of blend the old with the new, which is terrible.
 

jercra

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
1,883
Arvada, Co
So as I mentioned upthread, I’m back playing regularly again for the first time in about 5 years (young kids). The thing is, I’m in a lot better shape now than I was then, stronger, and more lean. So using my old swing was causing a bunch of problems. At the direction of my friend, who is a teaching pro, I’ve made some subtle changes to my swing. The grip has been adjusted. My position at the top has been adjusted. And I have a new tempo.

On the range and on the simulator it feels amazing. I love all the changes we’ve made. But it’s going to be real slow trusting these changes on the course. I played in a charity event this weekend and, if I had to guess, I’m playing about 10 strokes worse than I used to be. High 80s instead of high 70s.

Is there anyone here that has gone through a swing rebuild and could share some wisdom on how to stick with it on the course? It’s frustrating to be worse than you used to be. I don’t want to give in and revert back to the old swing. What’s happening now is, when things go sideways, I sort of blend the old with the new, which is terrible.
Commit and fuck your score? It usually takes a couple of months for swing changes to take effect in my experience. You'll have good days and bad days and you'll never full dial it in. If you do, remember us when we ask for tickets to the Masters.
 

mostman

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2003
7,527
Commit and fuck your score? It usually takes a couple of months for swing changes to take effect in my experience. You'll have good days and bad days and you'll never full dial it in. If you do, remember us when we ask for tickets to the Masters.
Yeah I’m trying to do that. Basically not even keeping score, just focusing on improving. I think what I need to do is commit, like you said, and just go out and play. Leave the mechanical thoughts for the range. Basically the same idea when you learn to swing the first time. It’s just hard to tell your brain to stop when you have memories of making similar shots.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
SoSH Member
Feb 22, 2004
9,674
Ralph's Diner
Anyone switch to single-length irons... and stick with them?
Not exactly but my wedges (49, 54, 58) are all the same length, lie angle (with the exception of my 58 which is 1 degree flatter), and have the same shafts as my irons. Doing so was a huge help on full shots. No negative impact around the greens.

I also have a shorter shaft in my 19 degree hybrid. Big help there too... in part because hybrid shafts are just way too long in general.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
6,147
Michigan
Not exactly but my wedges (49, 54, 58) are all the same length, lie angle (with the exception of my 58 which is 1 degree flatter), and have the same shafts as my irons. Doing so was a huge help on full shots. No negative impact around the greens.

I also have a shorter shaft in my 19 degree hybrid. Big help there too... in part because hybrid shafts are just way too long in general.
I cut down my driver and woods 1” and I hit them much better. My irons 4-GW(52*) are all 7-Iron length. I made them myself using a set of old Titleist forged heads and True Temper shafts. Had to grind the weight off the high-numbered irons, add weight to 4-6, and adjust loft and lie through the set. I’m used to them now and don’t think I’ll ever go back to variable-length irons. My wedges (56 * and 60*) are standard, but I only use them for chipping and sand.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Sadly, my Ladies Cup matchplay adventure at Gullane is over after only one round. In retrospect, a 9:12 a.m. tee time the morning after the US Open ended at nearly 3 a.m. wasn't my greatest ever idea; neither was failing to fully charge my trolley battery the night before playing a course as hilly as Gullane #1. (I'd charged it after my last round, but that was two weeks ago, and it's dying quite rapidly now...) But I doubt any of that mattered, given that my opponent - a 68-year-old local with a 13 handicap, and therefore getting eight shots - had one of those rounds at whch I could only repeatedly shake my head. Helped by a 60-foot birdie-net-eagle putt from off the 3rd green, with me only 10 feet from the hole for birdie myself, he was only one over after six holes in a 20 mph wind, and I was 3 down. (I would have been 4 down had he not graciously let me play on at the 5th after we'd failed to find my ball in thick rough in the area he'd thought it had finished, I conceded it as being lost, and then we found it 30 yards further ahead in much lighter rough near the green.) After I pulled back a hole at the 7th, he then won the 8th when his way-too-hard pitch hit the pin and stopped inches from the hole; he won the 9th by getting chipping to four feet from 40 yards away and making the putt after I'd missed my own six-footer; and then at the long par 4 10th, he somehow hit a rescue club from 135 yards out of what looked like impossibly thick rough to about eight feet, and my own desperation chip for par hit the flagstick virtually dead center but somehow failed to drop. From 5 down with eight to play, I did win three of the next four holes to give myself a sniff, but I left a 10-foot uphill birdie putt at the 15th short which would have put me only 1 down, and he managed to get up and down for par at the 16th by lagging a putt from off the green, at least 40 yards short of the hole, to within eight feet and making the follow-up effort for another par. I didn't play great, but I didn't play that badly given the conditions, and to have had really no chance at winning is quite galling. But that's the other side of matchplay golf, isn't it? If your opponent is on fire, there's really nothing you can do about it.
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
1,524
Worcester
The swing work I have been doing this year finally started to pay off on Saturday this weekend. Granted it was one round (actually the last 12 or so holes of one round), but I finally didn't feel unsure over the ball- I had a pretty good sense of where the ball was going. The "downside" of everything clicking is that I became about a half-club- full club longer. Most of it was just making solid contact, but even earlier this year on good contact, I hadn't really felt like I was much longer. So I ended up airmailing a few greens, which for a casual round with Dad, I was more than happy with.

Of course, the real test will be to see what happens when I am able to get out again, which given this year, won't be for another month or so...
 

Zomp

Dope
Dope
Aug 28, 2006
11,327
The Slums of Shaolin
I’m due for a new wedge soon. Has anyone tried the PM grind callaway? I don’t think I’d get both my wedges in that grind since it looks like a shovel, but from chipping and hitting flop shots with it I’ve been impressed.
 

4 6 3 DP

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Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2001
1,910
I'm a huge fan of the rtx-4. It's the first wedge I've ever owned where I've felt that club could be an asset instead of a liability. I'd recommend at least trying it.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Here's a matchplay story for you: today I played at Dunbar in the first round of the Titleist Matchplay Championship, a UK-wide event in which if you win four matches you get through to a strokeplay (stableford) regional final, and if you win that you get an all-expenses-paid trip to Portugal for the Grand Final. I've made the regional final before, but that was very far from my mind when I fell 4 down after seven holes - I'd driven out of bounds at the 4th, my swing was all over the place, and I'd missed three putts of six feet or less. And my opponent was playing lights out as well.

But then in the 8th fairway, in my search for any piece of technique that might save me, I resolved to firmly anchor my right elbow to my body and use that as the key to rotating my torso properly..and something extraordinary happened. Here are my next seven approach shots and what they did for me:

--8th: 8-iron to 20 feet (par; won the hole)
--9th: Wedge to 10 feet (birdie; won the hole)
--10th: 2-iron to 10 feet (conceded for birdie; won the hole)
--11th: 3-wood through the green (chipped to 6 feet, conceded for par; won the hole)
--12th: 3-wood from 235 yards out of the rough to 30 feet (three-putt bogey; lost the hole)
--13th: 5-iron to 40 feet (par; hole halved)
--14th: 4-iron to 25 feet (birdie; won the hole)

And at the short par-4 15th, I drove to within 50 yards of the green, hit a bump-and-run 6-iron to 8 feet, and after my opponent made his own 15-footer for birdie, drained that for my own birdie to halve the hole and stay all square. (Four birdies in seven holes!) I also covered the flag at 16 and almost made a 30-footer from behind the hole for another, but we halved that in pars, as we did 17 and 18 after I made a 10-footer for par at 17 and my opponent made a clutch 10-footer of his own on 18 (after twice hitting into bunker on the hole), so we went back to the par-5 1st for sudden death. My opponent drove into another bunker, and after wedging out hit his third into the back corner of a greenside bunker, from where he had to sink to his knees to play his next shot. He could only make bogey, and despite shoving my 9-iron approach to the right of the green - I laid up to a bad distance and was between clubs - I hit a great lag putt to two feet and made par to win the match. I think my career matchplay playoff record is now something like 5-0 (in singles matches, anyway), and having played my final 12 holes today in three under par, I have a much different outlook on the rest of the golf season than I did a few hours ago!
 

ConigliarosPotential

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I bought a new motorized trolley yesterday - finally. It has built-in GPS, measuring distances to the front/middle/back of the green on most courses around the world; that wasn't exactly a necessity for me, but that's what they had available in the shop, and it didn't cost much more than the standard model, so I went for it. Anyway, as I'm playing in the strokeplay qualifying round of my next big matchplay tournament in North Berwick tomorrow, on the spur of the moment I thought I'd take it out for a test drive this evening...arriving at the first tee at 10 o'clock. I love Scottish golf in the summer.

The funny part was that when I got to the tee of the par-3 third (the nearest hole to the clubhouse) at around 10:30, our assistant pro and one of his mates were actually on the tee. I played the hole and went to my car, and as I put my trolley away they were firing a bunch of balls at the green - they said something about needing to practice some sort of "Beat the Pro" day tomorrow. I'll tell you what, I never imagined that I would have to wait or play through a group on the third hole of any course at 10:30 p.m.!
 

ConigliarosPotential

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By the way, on a separate topic...out of interest, how long does it take you to play 18 holes (on average, at your home course)? I was out on Tuesday to play a practice round by myself, and I got stuck in the middle of a bunch of foursomes, and despite having my headphones with me and podcasts to listen to, it felt absolutely interminable, to the point that I skipped the 13th through 16th holes and would have skipped the last two as well had I not managed to get far enough ahead of a bottleneck to have space to finish things off. Of course, it probably only felt interminable by Scottish standards, which is why I'm asking - I'm particularly keen to know what pace of play standards are generally like back in the US at the moment.
 

Zomp

Dope
Dope
Aug 28, 2006
11,327
The Slums of Shaolin
At my club, on a busy day, it’s a 4 hour round. For tournaments like the club championship qualifier, add 30 minutes.

Public golf on a weekend is anywhere from 4:30-5:30.
 

jercra

Member
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Jul 31, 2006
1,883
Arvada, Co
As you know, and as should be obvious, the US is a giant country so there's no answer to your question. In New England, a 5.5 hour round was good. In Colorado that would lead to strongly worded letters. In non tourney play outside of densely populated areas a public round should take no more than 4.5 hours. A good round walking should be under 4 (weekday, not busy, etc.). 10 PM rounds take significantly longer.
 

The Needler

lurker
Dec 7, 2016
1,502
At my club in LA, a 4-hour round is a either a bad day, or a way too serious minor gambling match. If it takes much more than that, I start questioning why I’m paying club dues at all.
 

jercra

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
1,883
Arvada, Co
Yeah, there's a major distinction here between public and private golf. It's one of the main perks of private golf in the US. I think that's different in the UK based on having a few British friends but I don't know for sure.