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Cory O

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Everything posted by Cory O

  1. It's not a identifier, it's a command! Nice customized reminder of what you need to do to not wind up in the rough so much. (and I ordered 5 dozen of the Pix over the weekend and they already shipped for free FedEx 2-day.)
  2. I’m in the MGS forums because I have a passion for golf, but something else personal development and mindfulness. I work in corporate learning & organizational development, so these are practices I try to bring into my organization as part of my job. Mindfulness, however, is something I really feel applies to golf and is essential to how I play. Hopefully some of you could also improve your game through mindful practices on the course, so I put together this quick guide to what mindfulness is and how it can be applied to help you play your best golf. What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is, in short, meditation. I think there is still a strong connotation out there tying meditation to Buddhist monks with incense and prayer bells and while that is not necessarily false, it is only one small type of meditation. You don’t have to be in a Tibetan monastery to meditate (that would be cool though) as you can apply mindful practices anywhere at any time. Another, and in my opinion worse, misconception is that meditation is about cutting yourself off from the world. This is pretty much opposite to the intent of mindfulness which is to actively increase your awareness, both within yourself, the outside world, and how you’re interacting with it. The positive mental and physical impacts of practicing mindfulness have been well-documented and easy to find so I won’t dig into them here, but I will say that I strongly believe that it really can help anyone be their best self in any given situation. Golf just so happens to be something it is particularly well suited to. How can mindfulness help my golf game? As said above, mindfulness is all about increasing your awareness. Here’s how I see that awareness, internal and external, helping golf. · More controlled emotions and less likely to get trapped in negativity · Better situational awareness · More accurate and meaningful visualizations · More satisfaction with results A key part of any mindful practice I do (and I’ll describe a few below) is to ask myself “how am I feeling?”, naming my emotions and acknowledging them without judgement. For example, standing on the first tee for a round I’ve been excited about I probably feel nervous. I will tell myself “I feel nervous”, that’s all. This nervousness is not good or bad, it simply is. I’m probably not feeling just one emotion either, so I can build the inventory “I feel excited/joyful/tired/stressed.” This is something internal, so it can all be done in a few moments. While I said that these emotions are not good or bad, taking this time to actively name and acknowledge them makes it much easier to set aside the ones that won’t help you in the moment and focus on the ones that will. If you are someone who struggles with compounding negativity out on the golf course, this is something that can have an almost immediate impact on your game. The same practice for how I feel mentally applies to my physical state as well. I’ll take inventory of how I’m feeling physically, not just what is sore or stiff, but what feels relaxed, where I feel balanced, and adding just a bit more focus to the muscles I know will have to get to work soon. In less than a minute, we can have a pretty full picture of who we are at the moment and better prepared to add in the outside world. That’s the next place we can add mindfulness to our golf. Being mindful to our environment isn’t all that different than applying awareness internally, it’s just a change of focus. Typically, our senses are acting passively, and we don’t really think about what we’re seeing, hearing, or feeling. Most of the time this is no big deal, but in a performance situation this lack of active awareness means we’ll be acting without complete information, making it more difficult to produce results. Taking a minute to send out senses outward with intention, asking “What am I hearing/seeing/feeling right now?” allows us to build a more complete picture. A key point here is control. We don’t control these external things and usually that lack of control causes stress (whether we acknowledge that stress or not). Acknowledging and naming these external factors doesn’t make them disappear, but it does allow us to better use the information or let it go. To bring this all together, let’s talk about visualization. We’ve all heard many times to visualize our shots and how that will help us play better. That is true (and visualization itself is a mindful practice), but in my opinion most golfers out there are skipping ahead and not really making their visualizations impactful. Internal and external awareness discussed above is all about building a complete picture of who and where we are. With this complete picture, we can then create an accurate visualization, something we are then much more likely to accomplish. That right there is how mindfulness can most positively impact your game. So how can I apply mindfulness to my golf game? Being intentional and active with mindfulness means applying practices and techniques. There are a bunch of them out there and I highly recommend using a resource, like Headspace, to guide practices. This is especially useful when you’re just getting into things, but I still use guided meditations daily. That said, here are a few practices you can use right away. These are the types of things I do between holes or even between shots when I can’t really pop in the headphones and follow a full guided meditation. They can be done all together or individually: Three breaths and mental inventory Take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Focus on where you feel the breath coming in (stomach/chest/diaphragm?) and where you feel the motion of the exhale. There’s no right or wrong way of doing it, just focus on the breath. With the third exhalation, close your eyes, return the breath to normal, and ask yourself “How do I feel?” Do your best to name the emotions as specifically as possible, form an image in your mind of what that emotion “looks like” if that helps as well. Don’t try to force yourself into how you “should” feel, but just try to acknowledge what you are feeling without judgement. Once you have taken this inventory either start the next practice or open your eyes and move on. Body scan With eyes closed, bring your focus to either the top of the head or your feet. From there, scan that focus down or up your body (personally, I visualize a Star Trek-esque sci-fi scanner in my mind, but that just helps me). Take inventory of how each part feels physically (loose/tight, heavy/light, relaxed/tensed etc). During this practice, try to remember that there’s nothing wrong or “broken” that needs to be “fixed” in this moment, it’s all about awareness on what it is. A side effect of this practice though is that if, for example, your scan tells you your slouching, you’ll naturally start to stand up a bit straighter, so allow that to happen as well. Mindful awareness Start with the eyes closed and acknowledge what you feel around you. If standing, start with the feet, how does the ground beneath you feel? Is it soft or firm? Level or uneven/bumpy? Are your feet balanced on it? This is another moment where we’re not trying to apply this information yet, just noting it. Next, actively listen to your environment, what do you hear? Is there a dominant noise? Try to let it fade more into the background and see if you can hear other things instead. Open your eyes and find an object of focus (a flagstick works great). What information does this focus produce? Is the object moving or is it still? Even the small details like color and shape, actively acknowledge them. Closing thoughts With these practices and others you can take as much or as little time as you can manage. Start small and try not to chide yourself for not doing it correctly. There really is no right or wrong hear. If a thought distracts you, simply acknowledge the thought and return the focus. This itself shows that you are actively engaged in mindfulness and will benefit from it. Also remember that just like no two golf shots are exactly the same, no mindful practice will be the same every time. Some days it will seem easy, some days more difficult. I also don’t really believe anyone can ever be an “expert” at mindfulness, at least not within themselves. It is always a practice and something you have to be intentional about. If it ever became something without intention and effort, then it wouldn’t be mindfulness anymore. So, is it worth it? I’m not going to promise that these practices will save strokes or help you hit specific performance goals, but I am very confident that it will help you play your best golf. Your best golf in this sense is getting the best results out of the realities of your situation, the swing you have and the environment your in. Your best golf is always changing, but even as it does, mindfulness can help you walk of the course more satisfied and without regret. That’s the type of feeling that really makes you want to come back and keep playing.
  3. I was very impressed with it! Not magically bashing 300 yarders or anything, but probably about 5 yards longer on the marginal-to-good strikes than what I was getting out of the Atomic. I had read and seen in reviews that the Honma has a sneaky draw bias, so I was a bit concerned as I'm a natural draw hitter, but my good swings didn't produce anything overly left in the default settings (in fact it probably stayed a bit straighter than the Atomic even though I have that one set as much as I can get it to a fade bias). I'll get it out on the TopTracer range at some point this week to get some numbers and tweak the settings, but I'm confident that it'll wind up being my gamer, especially because it really is a gorgeous club at address. Here was probably the best of the bunch. Maybe a 15 yard downhill, but very well struck and pretty sure it hit the front of the bunker on the carry and just barely stayed in it.
  4. There has to be sand in the bunkers for the ball to bury, fortunately(?) that doesn't apply to most of the courses I play.
  5. Quick look through my rule book app doesn’t show anything of that sort officially, but IMO if it’s just a recreational round and your playing partners are in agreement, taking a free drop is reasonable if only for pace of play. Competition would be a lost ball and have to go back and re-hit.
  6. Also I think it’s import to note that the course worked just as it was supposed to for every other golfer besides Bryson, even par or worse. DeChambeau was and is a special golfer and he had everything working today. Very few, if any, golfers will be willing or able to do what he is doing (and time will tell if his body will really let him continue doing it). In my mind, they shouldn’t be trying to really limit the distance, but instead just make the distance more risky. If deep rough can’t do it, then mark zones as OB and unplayable for pro tournaments. Few white stakes will make the “bomb and gouge” a much tougher proposition and is a lot easier than trying to completely change the rules or equipment.
  7. Just looked it up, that putter seems like it could open some very large bottles!
  8. All given golf clubs should have a take-back policy ;-)
  9. 7am tee time this morning, usually never get out that early, so maybe I came out a bit cold. Scramble-fest on the front, but did alright with a long birdie on 7 really helping (wound up being the only one for the round). Back 9 was generally a lot more steady with 8/9 greens in regulation, but nothing too tight so I wound up with a bunch of two putt pats. Only exception was on 13, a dogleg left perfect for my draw, but I wound up with a pull hook and unlucky bounce off the cart path for my first OB in like a month, leading to an ugly double. 39-38 for a 77 (+5). Currently dropping my handicap below 5, but I’m thinking there should be a PCC adjustment as the blacks and blues were playing essentially the same.
  10. Golfdiscount.com has the Pix 2.0 (along with the regular TP5 and TP5X) practice ball (new balls, cosmetic blemishes only, stamped with practice) for $19.99 a dozen.
  11. I have a bike handlebar phone mount on the handle of my pushcart. Holds it super secure and then I can just position the cart behind me to take swing vids rather than setting up the tripod.
  12. Really never played golf outside of messing around at the range until I was 16/17. A football injury took me out of all my regular sports and I was working at a golf course so I really jumped in. Broke 100, 90, and 80 within the next year. Broke 70 for the first time when I was 19 and maybe 4 times total over the next two years (at fairly easy courses I’ll admit). Gave up the game for about 5 years at 21, then while living in Korea I became a fairly hardcore screen golfer (simulator rooms). I was a +2 handicap at that, but it really is a different game. Shot 71 (-1) last month, that’s the closest I’ve been to the sixties on a full sized course since my university days. Hopefully have one to post about again soon.
  13. And the Honma has arrived! Definitely a “premium” look and feel (the headcover is even line with faux fur). Going immediately in the bag for a 7am tomorrow without any adjustments. Playing another found ball 2019 Pro V1 to keep things as even as possible with that last round with the Atomic. This particular found ball has a nice little custom message that raises an obvious question given that is was a lost ball.
  14. Hey fellow Angelino! I also tend to play the LA city courses, but haven’t been to Penmar yet as I’m more northeast. If you’re ever looking to play the Sepulveda or Griffith Park courses, let me know!
  15. I went with the Garmin S20 as they are gettable for very very cheap and I didn't feel the need to have the full map features of the S60. Garmin is definitely the leader of the pack for golf watches though, so I would stick with them. My S20 does everything I want, front-middle-back yardages, hazard yardages and automatic shot tracking. Not bulky at all, so I wear it as an every day watch. Lasts 3-4 rounds of GPS tracking on a single charge.
  16. ...so GigaGolf had a demo set of my exact same irons (which I really like) 5-PW in my specs, but with the same graphite shafts as my hybrids (and I really want to try graphite shafted irons) for like $120 shipped. I had to buy them. Absolutely no choice. EDIT: I came up with a somewhat valid justification! I feel like my gapping between the 4h and the 5i is a bit too big and my PW and AW is a bit too tight. Getting graphite in these might just give me a couple more yards and slot right in where I want my gapping to be.
  17. If you are looking for the most budget option, I’d recommend going with GigaGolf.com That’s where pretty much my whole bag is from and they’ve always been fantastic to work with. They have a basic online fitting tool that will recommend lie/length adjustments based on your height and wrist to floor distance and flex based on usual ball carry. Plenty of options for grips and shafts too that won’t break the bank. I would take them over pretty much any used set.
  18. Following the thread as I'm interested if there are any responses out there. With the amount of golf I've been playing, I casually started looking into clubs to see if the cost was justifiable. Cheapest around I found was La Canada-Flintridge County Club at around $400 a month for their junior membership (under 39 years old). Short-ish but interesting course, no real practice facilities to think of, but I was tempted as it's just down the road from me. Didn't pull the trigger though, $400 is a lot of public golf. I am springing for the ClubCorp "Play Away" membership though, two complementary rounds at their private courses Sun.-Fri. plus some other perks for $60 a month, the course just has to be more than 100 miles from your home, so I'll use it to play in Palm Springs, San Diego, and the occasional trip to Vegas.
  19. Saw blue skies today in LA and the air quality went from “unhealthy” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups”, so felt pretty normal out on the course this afternoon. The public courses are definitely getting the late summer bake though, combined with the constant play have left the greens less than ideal.
  20. Oh it was in the bag for a few rounds and saw some action, literally the only club that would consistently go right on me (but for some reason I never played it on a dogleg right....or aimed left now that I think about it). Here’s a selection (Garmin recorded a few as my 3w as I didn’t have the bag updated). Slice Slice Slice I’m pretty sure this is the only time I went left with this club, pull hook that literally never got more than 10 feet off the ground. Those were the okay-ish contact shots. There were a couple of 100-150 yard toppers as well, nice “lay ups” on Par 5’s that were completely intentional.
  21. Got home from a so-so 9 (I don’t drink on the course generally) and cracked open a Rolling Rock, cuz I’m classy like that.
  22. The club review you've all been waiting for the HEATER F-35 hybrid: So this started out on this thread on scammy email advertisements for something called "Patriot Golf". I recognized the clubhead as a TaylorMade clone I see all the time on eBay. On the eBay ads, I noticed that one of the sellers was fairly local to me and when I looked it up, it seemed like a decently sized component wholesaler/builder, so I reached out to pick something up for myself (and save myself $11.99 shipping). I went with a 15* hybrid, the Heater F-35 as I wanted to check out a low lofted hybrid as a driver-alternative for windy days. Few rounds in and plenty of swings in my exclusive club testing center (a mat placed unevenly between two trees in my side yard) and I'm ready to review. First impressions as I got the club is that it looked alright. Decent paint, no noticeable cosmetic issues, and it was built straight (I suppose Monark Golf is to thank for that). Only thing is that the coloring and design of the "H" in "HEATER" makes it harder to read, so the club name looks more like "EATER", but I suppose no harm there and also I prefer a matte finish instead of the shiny one this has on the crown. Right away, I could see that this clubhead seemed big (maybe more of a "super hybrid"?) as can be seen in the comparison photo with my three wood and 18* three hybrid. Additionally, the clubhead was heavy (and probably a very heavy shaft as well). I've had it out on the course a few times now, hit it from different spots and have some decent impressions on it. My first swing with it was a drive off the 375 yard first at Hansen Dam (down hill but into the wind). The Heater sent it 240 down the right hand side of the fairway, so off to a good start, but this wound up being the best shot it produced for me. Not to say that it was horrible, the club stayed solid and I never had a fear of breaking it, but it just didn't really work for me. The super heavy clubhead made it hard for me to turn over, so I was hitting a bunch of big slices with it (and cue the Judge Smails voice "and I never slice") instead of my usual draw. I think this club needs to be provided a lot of speed to be hit well consistently and you have to provide that speed, no tech in there to help you with it. Bit more practice with it (and maybe hitting the gym) and I bet I could get it working, but meh, probably not going to happen. Heater F-35 Pros: Solid clubhead and well-enough built club (at least the one I got from where I got it) Looks fine in the bag, not going to be confused for a premium club, but not super obviously cheap Hits golf balls and probably won't break Less than $50 Heater F-35 Cons: First glance, looks like it's called the "F-35 EATER" Clubhead weighs as much as a Geo Metro (estimated) Will it stay in the bag? I was honestly surprised at how okay-ish the club was. Guess it goes to show that at the end of the day, golf clubs are just mostly hunks of metal on the end of a stick and if you swing it well, it can hit a little ball a pretty long way. That said, the amount of effort needed for this particular hunk of metal was simply too much. My normal hybrids seem to go fast without me trying, but the Heater required me to really try. It was a solid feeling when it hit the ball (and then watch it slice 30 yards), but nope this F-35 is going to stay parked in the hangar. Added the eBay screen for reference. Now I really want to try it in a sand wedge loft...
  23. For my own play and what I would suggest to others is just to follow the WHS net double bogey rule where the maximum score is double bogey + any handicap strokes given on that hole. In the example above, if it wasn't a handicap hole, a six would have been the maximum score anyways so it wouldn't have mattered. If the course is busy, I really do think everyone should just pick up at their net double bogey and move on. Outside of that, I agree with the general sentiment above that given putts are given and the score should be recorded as such. I also don't really understand a game that is a.) casual enough to give putts in stroke play and b.) serious enough that you're keeping each others' scores and writing down a 7 after a missed "given" putt and causing a fiasco.
  24. Quick suggested use for the testers that I do personally. I'll add 1ml of the full spectrum oil (750mg unflavored) to my second cup of coffee as I'm sitting down at my desk to start work. Combo seems to help me be alert and not edgy for the flood of web conference calls I'm dealing with.
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