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About vandyland

  • Birthday 01/18/1984

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  1. Played yesterday in great weather but was struggling with enjoying the walk because I was putting so poorly. By the time I got to 18, I realized that golf is a humbling endeavor and if you get too married to what you shot, you're eventually going to go crazy. At least, that is how I think I will be. I am striking the ball about as well as I ever have (avg carry with a driver is up from 245 to 260, hit between 11-14 GIR per round) and I should think of that as a positive rather than focus on how I am "wasting it" by not being able to make many 5-10 footers all of the sudden. Ultimately, I have neglected my putting practice because my putting had been pretty good as of late and, wouldn't you know it, my putting started slipping. Hard to justify getting upset about poor putting if you are not practicing putting, right? Final thought is the a recurring realization which is that it is very rare that my game is firing on all cylinders (driving, iron play, wedges, chipping, putting). But I am encouraged by the fact that through lessons I can usually diagnose (if not always fix) the problem. Trying to enjoy the process and not get too wrapped up in results.
  2. I have been heads up putting for the last few months and this past week was the first real hiccups I have had with it. I am now missing 4-6 footers frequently and I think it has to do with me starting to setup open due to looking at the hole. I have only had a couple of bad rounds putting but this last round I must have had 9 putts from 4-10 ft and I didn't make a single one of them. VERY CONCERNING. So concerning that I went to a local golf shop and messed around with an armlock putter for about 45 minutes. Thankfully the armlock putter did not blow me away. I think what is happening is that I have gradually gotten more handsy with my stroke and need to start working with a chalk line again to make sure I am starting the ball on line with a square face. I think feeling the stroke more in my shoulders should help. I still believe in heads up mainly due to how helpful it is for speed.
  3. Is overseeding without aerating a pointless exercise?
  4. -Got to play several new courses this year: Pinehurst No, 4, Tobacco Road, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club and The Golf Club of Tennessee. -Dropped my scoring average to under 80 for the first time in my life (78.22 over 44 rounds) and have made 80 birdies and 3 eagles so far in 2021. -Shot 73 from the tips of my local golf course All while welcoming the birth of my second child, a daughter, in May of this year.
  5. As an update to this we are about 7 rounds later and I have no regrets about the iron change. Overall GIR is up (both overall and on iron approaches) and, anecdotally, dispersion seems much tighter on left to right misses with the Hogan vs the Cobra F9s. Spin is also higher and more consistent so well struck balls seem to fly more consistent distances. Very pleased and I still just stare at these irons when they are in my bag. They looking absolutely beautiful. Definitely liking the heavier shafts as well. Overall I am very pleased. The only negative I have noticed is that, as noted previously, the "feel" of these Hogans is not quite what I would expect. I am still disappointed when I mishit a shot and I have no idea where I hit it on the face. I can often guess by the ball flight but there is no specific feedback with these like I had with the Sub 70 639 CBs and Mizuno MP-20 MMC. Sigh, you can't have it all. The flipside to that is they perform VERY WELL on thinned shots I have found. That is now my miss and I get away with it all the time.
  6. I think the biggest strides are just that there are a ton of different iron "types" out there now. Particularly if you have a specific need (to fix a club delivery issue) or a specific look or feel, there are a dizzying amount of options. But I can take my 1970s Sam Snead blades out and if I hit them in the center they have a very consistent distance and dispersion to them. The differences in say the Mizuno MP 20 MMC vs the Mizuno MP 57 would be minimal in so far as I don't know that there are many players who would have an appreciable difference in their results with one vs the other. My biggest mistake was selling my old Taylormade RAC LT irons, I loved them but was tricked into thinking I needed "more forgiveness" when, in reality, I just needed two lessons. I tested a ton of irons and did not see a significant difference in the DTCs (Sub 70, Ben Hogan, New Level) vs the major OEMs (Cobra, Titleist, Mizuno) in terms of build quality or consistency. My reasoning for moving on was I had improved my ballstriking to where super game improvement irons were hurting me being "too hot" in terms of a center strike could go nuclear every 4th or 5th shot and the lack of spin made it hard to hold some greens.
  7. I have lead tape on my wedges to help me (mentally more than anything) maintain smooth tempo with them: More recently, and I don't have a picture, I put lead tape (two wraps around so not a ton) just below the bottom of the grip on my driver to counter balance my driver and add a little feeling of "weight" to the shaft and, maybe coincidence, I am hitting my driver much better as of late.
  8. I now have 5 rounds in the books with these clubs and a few other interesting nuggets. - I had and have been working on coming into the ball shallower with my irons and taking less of a divot...which means my miss is now a tad thin. These clubs seem to do VERY well with a thin mishit which is surprising. Maybe 8 yards shorter and a little less spin and if there is nothing short of the green it usually means the ball rolls out to about the intended distance. Love that - The extra weight in the shafts seems to be very helpful for tempo as I don't find myself getting quick with these. - The clubs don't have any dings or really any wear yet so the durability is there so far (early days) I have gone 73, 78, 77, 79, 76 in my last 5 rounds and with the median being 77 that is about two shots better than average. In particular, my par 3 scoring average is coming down. And I have probably only lost 1/2 a club even with these very traditional lofts.
  9. The thing I like the best about Kelly Plantation is that it has an extra par 5 (and technically an extra par 3 to compensate). That made it more fun as who doesn't love more par 5s? Also, compared to the other Destin golf courses, I thought parts of the course felt very secluded and quiet. A nice natural looking design without a nice variety of holes kept me interested the entire round. I agree the course is more expensive than it should be but I would also say that about Emerald Bay, Regatta Bay, Baytowne and The Raven. Real estate is not cheap in and around Destin so they pass the expenses on to the consumer.
  10. Thanks for the writeup! I am going in November and playing Harbour Town and Heron Point. I looked at the course on Google Earth and since I am a bit squirrely with my tee shots I will likely be playing the yellow tees so I have the option to hit hybrid on most holes if I feel the need. What tees did you play and how did you find the pace of play? My fear is that it can get REALLY slow out there but maybe the required forecaddies keep people moving along. Definitely planning to walk as the course looks extremely walkable and I always think when you play a world class golf course like this you have to walk to get the full experience.
  11. To your point, the last 5 rounds I have played at standard, non-resort golf courses I have used the following clubs over 90 holes of golf: Driver, 3W, 4hyb, 7i, 8i, 9i, PW, GW, SW, Putter. That's 9 clubs and realistically I could easily drop the PW and hit a hard GW or soft 9 and cover that gap. Also, the 3W is more of a luxury than anything else. Most rounds I generally use 7-8 clubs. Speaking only for myself, I find when I feel like I "need" all 14 clubs or a really specific club it is, honestly, because I am not feeling confident in my game. I used to obsess over bounce and grind in my wedges because I was too steep into the ball and feared chunking it. I got really concerned with launch angle on my 3W because I was ballooning the crap out of it because I was wiping across it. Etc. Playing with the small bag taught me that I can overcome an 7* gap in my irons on (most) golf courses just by being a little more creative with my shots and a little lighter on my expectations.
  12. A couple of questions: (1) How often do you use your simulator? (2) Do you think it has helped you improve? (3) Does the skytrak mimic what you see out on the course?
  13. So I have two bags currently, as I was awaiting my new irons (Ben Hogan PTxPros, thank you for asking!) I decided I was so done with my current irons that I would, instead, play a half bag with some super old Sam Snead irons. So this bag ended up being a throwback bag which is a bit wacky to be honest: Driver: Nike Sumo 13* Driver Stiff with the OG Nike Diamana Stiff Shaft 4hyb: Pinhawk 20* One Length Hybrid (7 iron length but still carries about 195) 5-7-9 Irons: Wilson Sam Snead Blue Ridge Blades from 1967ish - I would guess the 5 iron carries 170, the 7 iron carries 145, the 9 iron carries 115 SW: 56* bent to 57* Cleveland Tour Action Reg .588 - carries about 80 yds Putter: 1982 Bronze Ping Anser What was amazing about this bag is that I would go out with these clubs that I was guessing at the yardages (they are old so I played them basically a club and a half short, ex. the 5 iron is like a 6.5 iron, really) and still shooting about what I normally would with 14 clubs. Granted, this is at a course that is fairly easy and I know very well. But still! Also, my expectations were lower and really I was just trying to hit a smooth shot. Score was pretty irrelevant because I was always trying to take something off one of these clubs to make them fit the yardage. Really a study in simplifying the game. However, the new big bag is very hard to ignore...but I did have some takeaways from my small bag. I think looking at the setup and picture below, I can easily drop the 5 iron (or 5hyb depending on conditions), 3W and maybe even the gap wedge for most courses. That would take me down to 10 clubs. I don't see any need to add anything to this setup currently so I think at most I would carry 13 clubs. I am posting this WITB to hold myself to the following maxim "No more clubs purchased between now and 2022" . If I think I need help somewhere, it's definitely better to get a lesson. What the small bag taught me is that the game is rather simple if you can hit the ball at the intended target. Driver: Cobra SZ turned to 10.5, cut down to 43.5 inches with weight in the front - Carries 245 3W: Pinhawk 3W cut down to 42 inches - Carries 220 4 and 5 hybrid: Pinhawk One Lengths (20* and 25*) - Carries 195 and 180, respectively 5-PW: Ben Hogan PTxPros GW: Cleveland Reg .588 51* - Carries 110 SW: Cleveland CG10 56* - Carries 85 Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Anser Just to bring this home. I played 9 holes on sunday with the half bag and shot 38. I played 9 holes this morning with the full bag....and shot 38. This morning's 38 felt a bit easier and I didn't make any putts today but still shows this game can be remarkably simple. I'm not quite ready for those 3 club challenges that I see but I will say playing with a smaller set shows you how often it is better to just take one more club and try to smooth it in there. Mainly because with a small set you HAVE to do it. Playing a smaller set also exposes your weaknesses more, especially if you don't have certain shots like: a knockdown 7iron vs a smooth 7 iron vs a hard 7 iron. I definitely didn't have those shots a few months ago and now I am starting to feel like I have them now. Hopefully that "feel" stays with my larger set.
  14. They are here and they are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. Played 9 holes this morning and had a chance to hit the irons on the following holes: #3 - Par 3 - 171 to the center, hit a smooth 6i to 9 ft. Yep, that's very exciting! #5 - Par 4 - 164 to the center, hit a hard 8 to 30 ft, we like that. #9 - Par - 167 to center, hit an easy 7 to 35 ft, that's good. 3 putted the last hole for a 38 from the back tees which is slightly better than average and down to the fact that I drove the ball a little erratically today and didn't make any putts (had a 9 footer for birdie, a 12 footer for birdie and a 14 footer for birdie and missed all 3 ). 3/3 on irons into greens today. Everything felt smooth and easy. Loving the extra weight in the shafts (went from a 90g shaft to a 120g shaft and it feels excellent). Through one round these are performing so, so well. The Cobra F9s are as good as gone now.
  15. Update to the update, I got my shipping notification today. Will post in hand pics and probably do some further testing and talking points as I get to play with them. I have a trackman session setup for next week (a few days after the expected receipt of the clubs) where I am going to try to figure out gapping. Should be a hoot.
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