End of the Year Recap

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It was a good year for me golf-wise. Club Champion when I didn’t think that was a possibility. Some takeaways from this past year:

Putting

My putting turned out to be phenomenal. I have a very unconventional putting grip (I will get some pictures up over the winter). Think of Phil Mickelson’s claw grip, but instead of putting left-handed, I use it right-handed. It is left-hand low (cross-handed) with my left hand not even gripping the putter. I basically just use the left hand as a guide and have my index running up the grip. There is a significant gap between my hands, again I will have to put up some pictures. Well this putting grip (style?) has transformed my game. I am much more consistent and confident in what I can do on the greens.

Irons

I am confident in my irons, I have made the jump 100% to the Legacy Blacks. They are more forgiving on the toe side which has been my miss. I just have to work on my distance control a little bit. I occasionally still catch some a little heavy with my swing plane, but overall we are talking 10-15% short. Not a chunk. Again, my miss is still a pull.

Wedges

I like my 58 and 64 a lot. I haven’t found a 50-52 that I am really sold on yet. The Trusty Rusty does just fine. Mostly just working on accuracy with these.

Woods/Hybrids

I carry a 3 wood, a 2 hybrid (Cobra Baffler, I don’t know what else to call it, a 4 wood?) and a 21 hybrid (3 iron replacement). They don’t get much use. The 21 is a great club for me. Very confident in what in can do. The 3 wood isn’t bad but its not a go to club when I need it. Baffler is great from the rough and the fairway, but a struggle off the tee. Just need to work up some confidence in it. My driver is probably the most important club in my bag. I was better with it, but not great. I was able to change my shot shape over the year and the Ping G is a very stable and forgiving driver. I will probably keep it in the bag for the foreseeable future.

 

Things to work on next year

  • iron accuracy
  • driver accuracy
  • gaining some distance off the tee

Things I’m happy with

  • putting
  • chipping
  • wedge shots

 

2016 Club Champion

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Since it’s been a month since my last post, this one should be lengthy, maybe not. Well I won our club championship. My game hasn’t been to the point that I would have expected come this time of the year, but then again, it never is.

Over the last 2-3 weeks I have gone from not being able to control my driver, not make a putt, thinned wedges, and skulled bunker shots to my game coming together for one day and winning the club championship.Very unexpected to say the least.

I have a very controllable driver swing right now. Long irons that go absolutely straight. Wedges with great distance control, and a putter that I don’t know how to explain it, but just works. I am hoping to get some video of my swing over the next week or so, so that I can base everything off of it for the next year or years to come.

Something I never thought would happen. Me, the club champion.

Some small updates, It’s been a few weeks.

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Well, it’s been a few weeks since I have last checked in. My game has been coming along ver very nicely. I have a new move with the irons (still Legacy Blacks) that has gotten me back my yardage. My numbers are about normal—PW is about 140 and then gaps about 10 yards down to the 5 at 190. Right before I start my swing I shift my weight and hands about 2-3 inches to the right. It helps me get a better weight transfer and I think a few more MPH out of the swing speed. Launch is much higher as I normally trap the ball. So far so good, accuracy is pretty good.

I have put 2 new drivers in the bag. I had a bunch of shafts from my G30 laying around, so I found a cheap G LS Tec head for sale and have tried it out. It’s not bad, but nothing really any better than the Cobra. The other driver is the XR Long Drive head. It’s a 6.5 degree head and I put my Project X LZ Blue(?) 60 in it. Has a nice fade to it, and I can eliminate the left side of the course. Shot some amazing rounds with it so far. Not any longer than the Cobra or Ping… just different. I will be bagging it this week, keeping the Ping close of course. I have a few more shafts to try in the Ping.

I think I am going to drop a wedge….. maybe 2. I chip and pitch exclusively with the 58. The 55 and 51 get used sparingly.. 51 more so than the 55. I think I am going to drop the 55 (and 51 for that matter,) and put my old Ping 52 in the bag. I get better turf interaction and I have really started to pull the Cobras. I don’t mind them as the distance control is spot on. Also I rarely use the 64. It has a spot in my bag, when I need, I really need it, but I just don’t use it. Not even 1 per 18. Why take a spot in my bag for that. I will probably put a 3 wood in temporarily to see if I can use it. I’d like to have a driver that goes to the right, and a 3wood goes left or vice-versa.

Club championship is 3 weeks away, and I have shot under par multiple times in the last few rounds. I shouldn’t be tinkering, but I’d like to have the most options available. Things are looking good.

Legacy Blacks: A few weeks in

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I have been playing with the Legacy Blacks for a few weeks and I have been playing pretty decently. Giving up on distance used to be an issue for me, but once I got past that my play really improved. I don’t need to hit a 7 iron a specific yardage, I know I can hit it 165-170 if I swing hard, and I can hit it 150 if I just want to smooth one out there. Both shots have their place and more often than not I will pull a club based on some other factors. Where is the better miss? Will it stop if I hit it the perfect yardage? Have my full shots been accurate today? I have been questioning a few things and then swinging accordingly. It has helped with my approach shots, I also realized that it doesn’t matter what club gets you there, just as long as you can put a confident swing on the ball and do it repeatedly.

I also added a hybrid to my bag. I never liked hybrids but I really needed to fill that 185-210 gap. Ping Anser 23 degree in Regular (!) fits the bill perfectly. Like it off a tee, out of the rough, from the fairway. Perfect fit so far. I however do not have a club other than driver to hit off the tee on shorter par 4’s. If I need a club to go straight from the tee. I have the hybrid or a driver. The Baffler goes left off of the teebox. Not really sure why. From the fairway its fine. I must be swinging harder. I’ll work on that.

I also have abandoned the Seemore for the old Ping Anser putter. It is just more accurate for me from inside 10 feet. I can’t make too many long ones with it, but maybe that will come with time.

Another Round with the Legacy Blacks

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I played another round with the Legacy Blacks. Played pretty well with them. I gained back most of my distance. They are playing about 1 club short which is acceptable for the accuracy increase. The 5 iron is more like 1.5 clubs short so it leaves me a little exposed at the top end of my bag. I might need to take out the 7 wood and put in a 4 or 5 iron to give me enough coverage from about 185 – 225. Haven’t decided if I will use them in my league yet, but two rounds in the 30’s is nothing to sniff at for me this year with how I have been playing.

Trying Something New

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In the never-ending challenge to get the Adams out of my bag (WHY!!!) I came across some Callaway Legacy Blacks. They are great looking and great feeling when flushed, but I can’t hit them very far at all. They seem to be about 20-25 yards shorter than the Adams.

First hole. I had about 130 to the pin and I hit a PW. Came up about 10 yards short.

Second hole, I was going to layup so I got to see how far I could hit a 5 iron. Normally I can get it out there near 200 yards.. Today.. 175, but it wasn’t a solid strike.

Third hole, I was 160 yards out and I tried an 8 iron. Normally between an 8 and 9. Still came up about 10 yards short of the green and about 15-20 short of the pin.

This went on all round. I was chipping magnificently and I shot a 38 with a 3 putt. I hit 4/9 greens eventually. My favorite part about the irons is that I can hit them poorly and they go just as far as when I hit them well (maybe all of my swings are poor?). They are also arrow straight. I am probably going to give them a go for another round to see if I can handle the distance loss and then back to the Adams.

The Tides Have Turned

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I have played a lot of golf in the last week or so. Probably too much golf, but the tides have turned in my season. I made a putter change, from my Seemore to an old Ping Anser. It was more of a mental thing as I traditionally don’t like that style of putter and it doesn’t feel nearly as nice, but I will use it until it stops working and probably go back to the Seemore.

My last round was a 39, with 3 putts missed inside of 5 feet. Now I know what you are saying. I wasn’t putting that well. Well you are correct and incorrect at the same time. I was really struggling with the Seemore to even get myself to that 3-5 foot distance on my lag putts and I really only have about 60 holes in with the Ping. 2 of the putts were completely my fault. Our greens are running fast and I am trying to lag in a breaking 5 footer. I need to put a little more pace on the short putts. Not worried about the putting.

Approach shots are still an issue. I am able to get my wedges to fly just fine, but anything from about 130 and further out has been an issue with both distance control and accuracy. I would like to get that working a little better and I think I will be just fine.

Driving is the best it has ever been. I am hitting it long and straight. Very much in control of where I put the ball. Off the tee I have been working on eliminating half the course. I can pick which side I want to eliminate which is the first time… in ever since I have been able to do that.

Chipping is mediocre. Sort of relapsed a little. Not overly concerned but I could be a little better.

 

Last Arccos score:

DR: +4.3!!! (6/7 FIR)
AP: 15.6
CH: 1.4
PU: 6.8

Frustrating Play

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The last two weeks of league play have been horrendous. A 46 and a 43. I never shoot either of those. 2 weeks ago I was spraying it everywhere off the tee and my irons were terrible. It just wasn’t a good round. I was hoping it was an anomaly. Then last week I shot a 43. First swing OB, second under a tree. That led to a triple. 1 triple and 2 doubles later… a 43. So I took some time off. I’ve really only played about 5 rounds in the last 14 days. I made a mental note while playing in a scramble to stop fighting my game. I wrote about how I wasn’t going to switch irons (and I haven’t yet!) and now I am going to go back to what got me here. A draw off the tee. It’s a serviceable swing. I really only need a fade one 1 hole. I will just work on hitting one off that one tee and play my normal flight for the rest of the round.

I also made some progress with my irons. I have to start with a slightly open face and then I hit this slight push. Very very manageable. It might go a few yards shorter, but I don’t mind. I should get a round in tomorrow before my match, so I will shake the rust off and see if I can put together some decent holes. I shot a 40 last night…. 7 pars (2 putt pars!), 2 doubles. I would be happy with a 38 this week and then I will work down from there.

My Story

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My golf goal is to shoot a 69. I have been working on my swing over the last 2-3 years, with somewhat successful results. I have lowered my handicap from around an 9-10 to about a 4. I have gone through a swing change, or swing changes that have helped with me lowering my handicap.

Up until the 2013 season I have used original Ping Eye irons. They were (are) great clubs. I still use them for a few rounds a year. They are near and dear to me since they were purchased by my grandfather and I used them for about 15 years. The only problem with them was they were blue dot and had the original shafts still in them (33 years old and had some serious wear marks). I am only 5′ 8″ and the blue dot was a little too upright for me. I hit what I would call 15 yard draws with them, really probably hooks, but I was very consistent with them. Draws with my irons turned into draws with my woods and I have basically never been able to move the ball in any other direction than left.

In 2013 I became adamant that I needed to hit a straight ball or at least occasionally move the ball to the right. That year my game suffered, I was all over the place and frustrated. In August of that year I purchased a set Adams forged irons and didn’t quite hook the ball as much and I was playing pretty good near the end of the season. The clubs were cheap and I never really liked the stigma of playing Adams clubs (I know, how vain!), but they performed well. I have tried to get them out of the bag ever since and finally this week I have decided to just stick with them. My handicap is at it’s lowest ever, I hit them a mile, and I’m comfortable with where my miss will be. Still can’t hit them to the right though, I wonder if that’s a swing issue 🙂

Overall I am decent off the tee. Not very long (and I will periodically go over stats, including my baseline stats) and I tend to miss to the left. Fairway wood game is a mess and I would abandon them completely, but I try to get as many eagles as I can as an honor to my grandpa (I bring the balls to his grave). My irons are decent, I hit mostly short irons into greens, our course is only 6300 yards. Chipping is OK and putting has improved leaps and bounds in the last few years.

 

Driver: 247
7W: 211
5I: 196
6I: 180
7I: 166
8I: 166
9I: 152
PW: 139
51: 124
55: 111
58: 90
64: 79
GIR : 61%
FIR: 44%
Miss Left: 35%
Miss Right: 21%

 

I will give a report out probably weekly and give some stats for the round to see how I progress as well as what I am working on swing-wise.