2021 Golf Thread

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
2,672
Worcester
Other SoSHers with whom I have played this year can attest to this. When my tempo is good, my game is good. When it is bad... .well it is like I have never picked up a club before. There is no middle ground. I was playing with/against my brother on Sunday. We were on 12, and I was 4 up. He said "No offense, but I prefer playing against you when you suck. ".When I am on, it is boring golf. Fairways/Greens... 2 or 3 putts. When I am off it is spray and pray... chunk a punch out... punch out through the fairway, skull a wedge. Leave a chip short. Hit the next chip 10 feet past. Leave the putt 2 feet short. Miss it...."
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
35,426
I’ve heard nothing but great things about Arundel, let us know what you think.
Honestly, was not impressed by Arundel. Besides the lack of a bar, any type of food, one bathroom on the entire course, the place is one of the most dangerous courses I've ever played. It's an absolute shooting gallery, with greens and tee boxes separated by feet. You need to have your head on a swivel. Even the drive into the course is frightening. There's basically a 1.5 lane road right through the middle of the course that you take to get from the main street to the clubhouse. The road itself doesn't really come into play on the course, but you literally drive though about 6 fairways coming from either side to get through. You basically drive, stop, make sure nobody is hitting into your car, drive, stop, do it again, until you make it through the firing range. Never seen anything like it.
That said, course was in great shape, greens ran really well. It's short, plays like 5,900 yards from the blacks/tips, and is a par 69, but the greens are diabolical. I played as well as I could from tee to green on day one, but had like 40+ putts (including putts from off the greens) and shot 85. We finished in 2nd, by one shot. I missed like 5 birdie putts inside 6 feet. Easily the worst round I've ever had with a putter.

Day 2, my partner and won at -9. I was getting 11 shots, and shot 39 on the front after starting double, bogey. Then the hangover kicked in, and I was a mess on the back, but my partner went -2 gross on the back on his own ball (including 3 birdies in the last 4 holes). We beat 2nd place by 6 shots, and he had 3 birdies live in the pool, and I had 1. Financially, had a good weekend, and we had a ton of laughs. If I happened to be in Kennebunkport for a few days, I'd definitely play it, and I'd do something like a 2-day up there again with my friends, but I certainly wouldn't drive 150 miles round trip just go up there and play a round to see the course. There are way too many better courses much closer than that.

One of my friends flipped out (which is pretty standard for him) and threw his driver in the river, and it was fun taking pictures of it as it floated away and then texting it out to the group. I appreciate a good club throw and given the chaos going on (balls flying, people talking because there are 2 greens and 3 tee boxes in an area that could fit on that giant green at the International) when he duck hooked one OOB, it was warranted.
 
I played my first tournament round since early July this morning at Dunbar, on a beautifully calm morning. They'd just punched and scarified the greens on Wednesday, so the greens were unusually rough to putt on...and yet, I made putts of 35 feet (birdie on #4), 10 feet (par on #11), 30 feet (par on #14), 40 feet (birdie on #17) and 8 feet (par on #18). I insisted on staying positive, which made all the difference: once or twice I did get screwed by a bouncing putt or a ball tracking along a scarification line, but I'm convinced that if you putt positively, any imperfections on the greens will affect your ball less than if you're timid and let them get into your head.

My finish could have been even better: I found a greenside bunker on #16 and my ball rolled into a footprint, but I forgot that we're still allowing preferred lies in bunkers on account of the fact that some people are still afraid to use the rakes in these times of COVID. I played out conservatively and accepted my bogey, but then I was paid back when I rolled in that uphill 40-footer on #17 which had about three feet of left-to-right break in it - that felt SO good. And then when I found another greenside bunker on #18, this time used my preferred lie wisely: I splashed out to 8 feet and hit another positive and indeed perfect putt. Finished with a two-over 73; at the time of writing, I'm the leader in the clubhouse (net 69, -2), and although the conditions are good enough that I'd expect someone else to beat that, maybe the greens will put people off enough that nobody will?
 
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And amazingly, my score just held up and I won the tournament! The winner of the medal is determed by net scores: three of us tied for net 69, but I won on countback (which is best back nine, and then best last six holes, and then best last three holes). I also finished solo 2nd gross, two back of the scratch golfer who shot a 71 - which is even better for me insofar as there were seven golfers at scratch or better in the field, and 15 players in total with lower handicaps than mine. The only downside is that I didn't enter the scratch or handicap sweeps before my round, and I probably cost myself £60 or £70 in prize money by not paying the £1 entry fee each time; my logic is that I'm never likely to win a prize, and shooting a low score is both reward enough of its own and more likely to happen if I don't have a financial prize adding to any pressure I'm feeling. But still, that's only the second medal I've ever won at the club, and I think that should get me back into the "Tournament of Champions" equivalent that we have for all of the previous year's medal winners in the spring...so yeah, I'm pretty fired up.
Fantastic, putting, CP. Very impressive.
Thanks - the best part is that all three of the putts I made of 30+ feet had significant left-to-right swings in them, which like most people I find are much tougher than right-to-left putts. I just picked my spots, committed to them and made positive strokes...and I guess it was just my day today.
 

Eagle3

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2004
423
Has anybody ever had the yips? More importantly, does anybody have a cure?
Putting is sucking the life and enjoyment out of the game for me.

I dont have a blatant case, in that I dont 6 putt from 3 feet like Ernie Els in the 2016 Masters. But I'm getting subtle hand spasms where I cant keep the putter square. From 3 feet I miss my line by a few inches, from 30 feet it of course magnifies and I can miss by 3 feet. Not every putt, but certainly worse under pressure. My last round I hit 14 GIR and shot 78 due to 0 birdies, 2 three putts and cant get up and down unless I chip it to a foot. That's a pretty typical round this whole season. Putting has been the weakest part of my game my whole life, but I've reached new lows this year.

Probably need a sports psychologist more than a lesson from a golf pro.
Any suggestions? I've tried a claw grip, left hand low, and a Kuchar armlock putter so far with no success. Haven't gone to a long putter yet, that could be next as desperation sets in.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
14,294
Tuukka's refugee camp
I had it where my putter would just open up at contact where I was essentially afraid to hit the ball. I think it stemmed from playing a very cold round and was further exacerbated by my own anxiety and lack of confidence in my game. I switched to left hand low and that helped steady it out. I had some success as well with focusing on my breathing as I went through my stroke to take my brain off the “I’m afraid to hit the ball” thoughts. It still comes and goes but is much better than before.

I could tie my yips to a specific round, so not sure if this is helpful. Could be useful to think to when you first got the yips and see if there was any obvious factor that caused it.
 

Eagle3

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2004
423
I had it where my putter would just open up at contact where I was essentially afraid to hit the ball. I think it stemmed from playing a very cold round and was further exacerbated by my own anxiety and lack of confidence in my game. I switched to left hand low and that helped steady it out. I had some success as well with focusing on my breathing as I went through my stroke to take my brain off the “I’m afraid to hit the ball” thoughts. It still comes and goes but is much better than before.

I could tie my yips to a specific round, so not sure if this is helpful. Could be useful to think to when you first got the yips and see if there was any obvious factor that caused it.
Its performance anxiety for sure. I've played a lot of competitive golf and I was pretty solid under pressure when I was younger, but my nerves have gotten progressively worse since I turned 50. And I think I can trace the yips to a specific incident. 4 ball tourney at the end of last year, big crowd watching on the 18th green and I 3 putted from 3 feet. It's been all downhill from there.

I will try some breathing techniques, thanks for the input
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
SoSH Member
Feb 22, 2004
11,535
The Paris of the 80s
Probably need a sports psychologist more than a lesson from a golf pro.
Any suggestions? I've tried a claw grip, left hand low, and a Kuchar armlock putter so far with no success. Haven't gone to a long putter yet, that could be next as desperation sets in.
How much are you practicing putting? None of those changes are all that easy.

I tried one of those armlock putters in a store one time and it couldn't hit anything where I wanted to. Could I get good at it? Maybe, but not without a lot of effort. It certainly helped prevent my wrists from doing something funky though.

It doesn't exactly sound like "yips" if you're OK from a foot but wild anywhere beyond that including 30' away. That strikes me as time to hit the practice green and put in serious hours.

Also time to throw a different putter in your bag.
 

Eagle3

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2004
423
How much are you practicing putting? None of those changes are all that easy.

I tried one of those armlock putters in a store one time and it couldn't hit anything where I wanted to. Could I get good at it? Maybe, but not without a lot of effort. It certainly helped prevent my wrists from doing something funky though.

It doesn't exactly sound like "yips" if you're OK from a foot but wild anywhere beyond that including 30' away. That strikes me as time to hit the practice green and put in serious hours.

Also time to throw a different putter in your bag.
Believe me, it's the yips. It's a twitch in my hands. If you've never had the yips it's hard for people to understand, but when it happens it's a dramatically different (and horrifying) feeling from your normal push or pull.

I practice putting a LOT, because I've never been a good putter, and even more than usual since this started.
I have a 4' wide by 12' long by 6" high platform with artificial turf and regulation cups in my basement, and I go to practice green at my club regularly.
I've used the armlock putter for at least 40 rounds since I got it last year. I also have 2 other conventional putters that I used in the past and have recycled. Currently using a Ping Zing 303ss Redwood.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
SoSH Member
Feb 22, 2004
11,535
The Paris of the 80s
It seems like all of the yips-related advice is some variation of make big changes and focus on fundamentals. You've fried whatever is responsible for putting the way you've putted your entire life. Left-handed? Long putter? Several shots of whiskey and hope your brain shuts off? Big changes.
 

Oil Can Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2003
7,101
0-3 to 4-3
I did a trip to Kiawah earlier this month (which was amazing in and of itself) and my caddie on the Ocean Course was a great guy who is a .2 handicap and has played over 650 rounds at Ocean. He said there are no days in the year when he's not either playing or caddying. Anyway he apparently putts one handed and has basically his whole life. Said people think he's crazy until they play a round with him. I didn't get the sense he was bullshititing us, but you never know...
 

FL4WL3SS

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
12,724
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
I did a trip to Kiawah earlier this month (which was amazing in and of itself) and my caddie on the Ocean Course was a great guy who is a .2 handicap and has played over 650 rounds at Ocean. He said there are no days in the year when he's not either playing or caddying. Anyway he apparently putts one handed and has basically his whole life. Said people think he's crazy until they play a round with him. I didn't get the sense he was bullshititing us, but you never know...
I putted one handed for six months two years ago because I am a really good putter with just my right hand and having my left hand on the club was giving me problems. People also thought I was crazy, but I putted just fine and would have kept going with it if not for feeling like a weirdo.

Luckily I've gotten my putting sorted out, but I'd go back if I had to.
 

jercra

No longer respects DeChambeau
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
2,856
Arvada, Co
I putted one handed for six months two years ago because I am a really good putter with just my right hand and having my left hand on the club was giving me problems. People also thought I was crazy, but I putted just fine and would have kept going with it if not for feeling like a weirdo.

Luckily I've gotten my putting sorted out, but I'd go back if I had to.
Just did it for a few.holes at Bandon because I'm a disaster with the putter right now. Didn't help all that much, but I can often putt better with just my right hand or with my 60 because I actually release the clubhead with both.
 
When I'm really struggling with my putting, my first and usually best remedy is to completely forget about technique. Instead, I concentrate like crazy on just making sure the little line on the center of my putter contacts the center of the ball on the line I want to hit it. Maybe that sounds crazy, but putting is such a mental activity that a change in focus like this can often work much better than any change in technique unaccompanied by a corresponding mental change. (Sometimes I even hold the putter with what feels like a death grip, just to give me the sensation of total control.)
 

Eagle3

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 26, 2004
423
When I'm really struggling with my putting, my first and usually best remedy is to completely forget about technique. Instead, I concentrate like crazy on just making sure the little line on the center of my putter contacts the center of the ball on the line I want to hit it. Maybe that sounds crazy, but putting is such a mental activity that a change in focus like this can often work much better than any change in technique unaccompanied by a corresponding mental change. (Sometimes I even hold the putter with what feels like a death grip, just to give me the sensation of total control.)
As Yogi would say, putting is 90% mental and the other half is physical.

Its interesting you mention occasionally using a death grip. The first thing my club pro asked me (before watching me putt) was if I was gripping it too tight. Just goes to show there are countless ways to fix things. I definitely think it's way more mental, not mechanical in my case. I need to clear my mind, but so far I haven't been able to get rid of the negative thoughts that race through my head when I'm standing over a meaningful putt.
 
As Yogi would say, putting is 90% mental and the other half is physical.

Its interesting you mention occasionally using a death grip. The first thing my club pro asked me (before watching me putt) was if I was gripping it too tight. Just goes to show there are countless ways to fix things. I definitely think it's way more mental, not mechanical in my case. I need to clear my mind, but so far I haven't been able to get rid of the negative thoughts that race through my head when I'm standing over a meaningful putt.
The death grip idea is really a way to change your mentality more than anything. If by gripping the club tightly (or super loosely, for that matter) and focusing just on the center of your putter and the line in which it contacts the ball you can isolate your powers of concentration in that direction, you can maybe exclude any yip-centered panic. I have used this concept with a super-loose grip as well, even to the point that the take-back wobbles around in an unsteady arc and I then have to focus on straightening the putter out on the follow through; the whole point is to give your brain something to think about other than the yips.
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
2,672
Worcester
I did a quick search through this forum and didn't see anything specific... apologies if I missed it- any recommendations for Central/ Metro West club fitting? My nephew (8HC using hand-me-downs) is asking for a new set of fit clubs for Bday/Christmas (Dec 6 Bday). His dad and I decided we would chip in a portion of it, but as he is turning 16, he could get a job and cover the rest. He's not tied to a specific brand- though apparently, all the cool-kids are playing Titelists these days.

Bro lives in Northboro - so anything 290/495 area is in play. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

-ogg
 

Freddy Linn

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
8,867
Where it rains. No, seriously.
I belong to a sorta fancy country club and they just announced a 100% vaccination policy for all members and guests starting 12/1. Proof of vaccination filed with management or a negative Covid test within 72 hours is required to use the facilities.
 

FL4WL3SS

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
12,724
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
I belong to a sorta fancy country club and they just announced a 100% vaccination policy for all members and guests starting 12/1. Proof of vaccination filed with management or a negative Covid test within 72 hours is required to use the facilities.
I live in WA state and our country has mandated vaccinations for anything indoors, including dining, since beginning of Oct. I just wish they'd get rid of the mask mandate if we have the vaccine mandate. Otherwise it's easy and convenient.
 

Doug Beerabelli

Killer Threads
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Does this place have a wait list? And what state?

If such rules are mandated by state or local laws, that's one thing. But I think that's an overreach. Maybe require it for extended use of indoor facilities, with a rule that masks are required for bathroom or locker room use. I've gone weeks at my club not stepping indoors for more than 15 minutes at a pop, but in the process playing golf, eating a meal outdoors, and a trip to the bathrooms that are located just inside an outside door. Are country clubs a source of significant spreading events, either to members or employees?

FTR, I'm vaxxed, as is my entire immediate family. My club is in a blue state, but I haven't heard anything in this regard come down the pike yet from the Board. Practically speaking, I'd be able to deal with the rule, and with guests, you'd just have to plan on the testing if they weren't vaxxed. That being said, I'd not want to be an employee with the job of policing this.
 

voidfunkt

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 14, 2006
699
/dev/null
Probably got my last round in for the year this morning at my CC. Season of highs and lows for me... started out mediocre, had a great summer with a new driver, and then I've been a mess since mid-September. Need the off-season to reset. Probably hit the local simulator bay place in Boston in Jan or Feb to start loosening up again.

Found a random Tour Balata 90 in a stream today. Wouldn't surprise me if one of our older members is still playing those legitimately from a stash they bought 25 years ago. Also possibly some of our hickory club members are using them. Hickory club play seems to be picking up a cult following lately? I think it is kind of cool.

Winter's coming...
 

jercra

No longer respects DeChambeau
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
2,856
Arvada, Co
Played at the Club at Ravenna last week. Absolutely gorgeous course which was in pretty good shape for November. Shot a 44 on the front and then god knows what on the back.

View: https://imgur.com/a/vxbuvDC

It's in Littleton, CO.
Lucky. Our league last summer had a chance to play a tourney there if we got 20 guys to sign up. Only 12 did so I never got the chance. Now I live in Florida so it's not likely I'll ever play it. It sure looks beautiful, though. I also didn't know you were even still playing.
 

kelpapa

Costanza's Hero
SoSH Member
Feb 15, 2010
4,032
Lucky. Our league last summer had a chance to play a tourney there if we got 20 guys to sign up. Only 12 did so I never got the chance. Now I live in Florida so it's not likely I'll ever play it. It sure looks beautiful, though. I also didn't know you were even still playing.
Next time you're back in town let me know. I golfed more this year than I have in a long time, but it was either work related (like this) or up in Granby.