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Will Par

 
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Everything posted by Will Par

  1. This is just my perception based on many years of looking at golf swings and seeing what the really long hitters do differently. Fast hips play an important role for all players, but the really long hitters get their hands really high at the top of the backswing. Watch Bubba and Dustin and try to imagine getting your hands into that position at the top of your swing. I can't do it, and if I did somehow I'd be in the hospital for a month. I think it is that wide position at the top that produces the huge drives. If someone hits it long without high hands, they are pounding it out there with the big core muscles, strong legs, and hip drive. Oh, yes, there are also players like Chi Chi Rodriquez. Small wiry guys with the ability to really generate super fast hand speed. I think the hips play a big role here too. Muscles and flexibility... it all depends on what you have to work with.
  2. I'm not really a fan of yellow, so my vote would go to the Olympic Club version. So far I'm not sold on the "sneaker" look in golf shoes. I think a golf shoe should provide stability and support for the golf swing, and I'm wondering how much stability these versions of the golf shoe provide. But I do think it would be nice to put on these at home and not have to change shoes after getting to the course. At some point I'll probably buy a pair from one of the manufacturers and see how I like them. What brand does everyone like? Adidas? Ecco? Footjoy? Do they provide the necessary stability?
  3. I posted above that I won't be buying the book, and I still won't. But I will be interested in hearing if there are any comments relative to putting and what Haney may have suggested to Tiger in that area. Or any comments Tiger may have made about putting himself. Those are areas of instruction that might benefit anyone and I'm always looking for new putting ideas.
  4. I don't follow college basketball very closely but this is such a nice prize that I'm going to give it a shot. If my previous success at picking brackets is any indicator, no one needs to worry much about my entry. But if I get lucky, it would be nice to have a Clemson bag from Sun Mountain.
  5. I can't speak for others, but for me the Pro V1 and Pro V1x are almost interchangeable meaning that I see little difference in performance or distance. The Pro V1 feels better at impact and is my preferred ball. I don't have a very fast swing speed... about 95 or a little more, so someone with a much faster swing speed might see a difference. In fact, it may be my swing speed that makes all the premium balls perform the same for me.
  6. My worst week of the year. I had a promising lineup but I did an excellent job of minimizing the points available. Two of my picks finished top 5 and two others top 30, and I only managed to squeeze out 86 points total for the week.
  7. Congrats! Nice prizes too. Well-deserved.
  8. Just wondering. Is everyone going to start Tiger next week at Doral?
  9. I think the distance difference with the driver between top balls is only five or six yards at best on a good strike. For me, that is not a significant difference and that small difference will not make a difference in the score I shoot. Tour caliber balls will produce consistent distances for all shots through the bag and spin consistently around the greens. A less than premium ball may go different distances when hit with the same force, and may not spin consistently so short shots will be hard to judge. If I hit a pitch shot with a less than premium ball, I'll see it roll out more when it lands. If a ball is too hard, premium or other, I never feel like I'm hitting it solid. I won't play a ball that doesn't fly consistent distances with iron shots. I want a ball that goes consistent distances when I hit it, feels flush on a solid strike, and fits my short game. I'm not going to sacrifice any of those requirements for extra yards from the tee. Several different premium balls fit those requirements for me.
  10. I'm of the opinion that you can take the top pro line ball from each manufacturer... the models that are played by the professionals on tour... and there won't be any significant performance difference between any of them. There might be a small difference in feel and spin, but all of the balls are going to perform the same... meaning there will be no difference in the scores that a player would shoot if that player used one of the other balls. I normally play one specific brand, but its mostly habit... I'm accustomed to seeing that name on my ball when I get to it in the fairway, and I position the markings a specific way when I spot it to putt. I play a different brand or model occasionally, but I've never found any top pro line ball that I think performs decidedly better than any of the others.
  11. I read the excerpt from the book also, and the one thing I found interesting is that Tiger somehow arranged to participate in those military training exercises. Even with his military contacts, how common is it for a civilian to train on military bases in Navy Seal and paratrooper exercises? Does the Pentagon have a budget for high profile civilians who want to participate in special-ops training? And what about that comment that there was an age limit of 28 years to enter Navy Seal training, and that an exception had been made for Tiger if he decided to join? How can the military make an exception to established rules for a high profile person like Tiger Woods? I'm not saying that is not true, I'm just saying I have my doubts that any special exceptions were made for Tiger. So the questions I have are: Did all this really happen? Did Tiger tell Haney it happened? Was Tiger's account accurate? Did Haney recount accurately what he believed he was being told by Tiger. Where is the truth in one persons account of discussions they had with another person? Tell me again how big that fish was that you caught last week? I read the excerpt, but I won't be buying the book.
  12. I've played Pinehurst #2 and TPC Sawgrass but it's not likely that I'll ever play Augusta National or Pebble Beach. Other than those two and possibly some of the Scottish links courses, the one course that I really find intriguing is Chambers Bay. I don't ever expect to play there either, but I'm looking forward to watching the US Open telecast in 2015. That looked like a really interesting layout when the Amateur was there a couple of years ago.
  13. I'm in favor of fast play and expect a foursome to keep pace with the group ahead. If they can't keep pace, they should be on a pace to finish the round in less than 4 hours 15 minutes. The group I play with will finish a round normally in 3 and a half hours, but I accept the fact that most groups will take a little longer. I know there are places where normal rounds take 5 hours or longer, but I won't play at those places regularly. When it comes to "forcing" someone to play faster, in most cases there is no solution. I know from long experience that slow players will be slow regardless of the length of the course they play. I play with guys who can't reach some par 4's in two shots and our groups can still finish in well less than 4 hours. Slow play is caused by three types... one is constantly looking for lost balls and the reluctance to drop a ball and play on. Next is the player who has a bad short game and ping-pongs the ball back and forth across the green. Finally there is the guy who is never ready, can't make up his mind, and takes forever to play a shot. Then he stands there moaning and groaning after he hits. How do you "force" those three slow guys to play faster? Truth is we all may be guilty of one of those transgressions occasionally. My "solution" is to play a course where the pace of play is reasonable most of the time. If it is slower than I like, or if I'm playing somewhere where the pace is really slow, I accept it as best I can. I know there are some things in life I'll never be rid of... slow play and weeds in my yard are two of those things.
  14. For a one time club event it might be fun, but low handicap players will not normally enjoy playing from short tees. Courses have different tees to give players of different abilities a choice that best fits the distance that they hit the driver and best fits the overall ability of the group they normally compete with. Some players may not be playing from the tees that best fits their game, but that's their choice. Who am I to tell someone else what tees they should play from? The reason some players are slow has nothing to do with the set of tees they play. Slow players will be slow no matter what tees they play. There has been a recent "Play it Forward" movement to get players to play from shorter tees. I don't understand that and don't agree with it. Last summer I played the King and Bear. When checking in we were told the tee markers had been moved up to get everyone to "Play it Forward". Blue tees were where the white tees normally are, etc. So now I'm looking at the scorecard trying to figure out which tees to play and the tee setting doesn't match the score card distances. I'm standing there thinking, "So if I would have normally chosen the white tees, do I now play from the Blue's? Which handicap rating do I use when I post my score? Why setup tees that don't match the scorecard? Don't try to influence which tees I play. I'm quite capable of figuring that out myself when tees are setup properly." I'm in favor of just letting everyone decide for themselves which tees they want to play.
  15. There are a number of different reactions a person can have in competition when the pressure rises and some of these reactions will inhibit performance. As you encounter these reactions under pressure, you can learn to deal with them. One example is that time seems to speed up. Your mind races faster and faster and you make poor decisions. You don't realize this is happening until after the round. You then ask yourself, "Why didn't I just slow down?" Another example is that you become overly cautious and try too hard. You start thinking of how to avoid all the bad things that can happen. I think Charlie Wi four-putting the first green at Pebble was an example of this. He is normally a really good putter. I suspect he just got too careful and altered his normal putting routine. He was OK after he walked off that green and I bet he learned something from that. These are just two examples. It's a matter of learning to deal with the reactions that pressure creates. The more times you compete under pressure, the more times you begin to experience these different reactions. You have to learn to deal with each of them before you can play your best.
  16. Will Par

    Match Play

    I entered this... only got 15 right in the 1st round, and both of my top 2 finalist picks lost in the 1st round. Only 21 points through two rounds. Next year I'll have to find a different strategy for picking match play winners. Flipping a coin would be a better strategy than whatever judgement I used this time.
  17. Practice should have an objective to produce results. A beginning golfer will have different objectives than an advanced player. I've played for a long time and have an established swing with certain tendencies. I tend to swing too much in to out, often aiming too far right, and sometimes get too steep. When I practice, I'm looking for swing keys that eliminate or minimize those faults. I have a few keys... keep the clubhead outside my hands on the takeaway, swing the triangle of the arms and shoulders, and keep the right arm straight on the takeaway... that normally will get me swinging correctly on plane. Normally all I need is to get the club started correctly on the takeaway, and the rest happens automatically. That's all I'm searching for on the practice tee... a good takeaway swing key. My routine is to hit a few balls to get my swing feeling right and then go to the wedges. PW, GW, and LW. I try to hit shots to varying distances with each club. Ideally I'll be able to hit a specific shot any distance between 60 and 120 yards with one of those clubs. I try to adjust the distance with different swing lengths, gripping down, and with smoother swings. I'm certainly not good enough to hit every distance exactly, but that's my objective when practicing with the wedge. Inside 60 yards it's all feel. I've always loved to practice putting but that doesn't mean I've always been a good putter. I became a much better putter when I learned to forget putting mechanics entirely and focus only on seeing the line to the hole. Now when I practice putting, my objective is to focus on seeing the line to the hole throughout my routine. Read the putt well, get setup over the ball without losing focus on the line I see, and trusting my read. If I have a last minute thought that I need to hit the putt harder because it is uphill, or that I need to play more break, that means I'm not trusting my read. Those kind of thoughts lead to poor putts. For me, putting practice is always mental. Unfortunately, if you practice a lot on a certain putting green you learn the breaks and visualizing the line becomes automatic. You also don't have the pressure that generates those last minute thoughts that derail your stroke. I'm not sure that putting practice really has much value once you develop the ability to see and focus on the line of the putt. Beyond that, putting is just being mentally confident and trusting your read and trusting your ability let your stroke happen automatically. Some days that is easy to do, and other days it can be really difficult.
  18. Technology in golf gives us a huge number of options when buying clubs. New clubs with new technology are released every day. We come to this site to read reviews to see what to buy next. But I sometimes wonder if all these options and technology helps me play better. When I started playing golf, the only choices when buying clubs were manufacturer and whether I wanted regular or stiff shafts. All irons were blades and all had steel shafts. Most sets were 2-PW and a Sand Wedge. No choice on wedge lofts, no choice on type of shaft other than flex, and you took whatever grip came installed. Woods were either persimmon or laminated. You just decided which manufacturer you preferred (Hogan, Wilson, MacGregor, etc.) and bought it from the pro shop. You probably would shop around and try to find a good persimmon driver, but other than that you just played with a set similar to what everyone else played with. And best of all, you learned by trial and error how to hit those clubs. There was no perimeter weighting to disguise a poor hit. You knew immediately when you missed the sweet spot and you adjusted. Today, graphite shafts from dozens of manufacturers come with different weights and flex profiles. If I make the right choice, I hit the driver 30 yards longer. Irons have advanced cavity weighting, multi-metal technology, and high MOI. Even the pros play cavity back irons. If I want to buy a wedge, I have to decide what loft and bounce. And I don't just buy a sand wedge, I need a 3 or 4 wedge set that fits my swing and distance gaps. It's complicated. If I'm not playing well, it is probably because I made the wrong choices. So I start searching for different clubs. Wouldn't it be better if I just settle on one set of clubs and learn to hit each club in that set? Wouldn't it be better to play blades and get feedback that helps me swing better? I know this: I shot the best scores of my life when I didn't have many choices and when there was no technology to help me play better. Yes I was younger. But if you ask me, technology hasn't made it any easier for me to hit more greens and fairways... or any easier to make more putts... and certainly no easier to shoot low scores. But I also know this: There are few things in golf more exciting than the anticipation of how a new club will perform. The excitement may be short lived, but putting a new club in play sure is a lot of fun.
  19. My point is not that one company makes clubs of better quality than the other. It's a perception that TM itself creates. TM implies in their ads that their new products are better than the previous version. Just watch the new R11S ad that is running now. How would you feel if you just purchased a new R11 driver a few months ago and now have to watch an ad that says the new R11S is much longer and better? I think we all know there is not likely to be much difference between the two clubs (R11 vs. R11S), but the ad creates a level of uncertainty in our minds. It's the marketing strategy that implies the older version doesn't have the full functionality and quality (meaning distance) of the new model. And since we all want more distance, we have a tendency to want to believe that the new R11S may indeed really be longer. It's TM's way of creating demand for their new version. I think TM's current marketing strategy is to position TM as the "distance leader" among club manufacturers. All the Rocketballz hype leading into the new R11S that supposedly is also longer. It's a continuing campaign by TM to create the perception that their clubs hit the ball longer than competitors clubs. It doesn't matter if TM's new clubs are really longer or not. If they can create the perception that their clubs are longer, then "perception becomes reality" for a lot of the golfing public.
  20. There is a big contrast in marketing strategies between the different club manufacturers. TM is constantly releasing new products and has to run new ads to promote the new releases. They have a lot of contests and giveaways to get new clubs in play and generate demand. Their ads create a lot of interest but I sometimes wonder how many clubs they sell at full markup before they discount them. Big price discounts a short time after a new release suggests that the old club is of lesser quality (than their new product). Titleist, in contrast, only releases clubs with significant changes every 2 years or longer. You never see a Titleist club at a discount price until the new model is released, and then the old model is only discounted a small amount. The quality of that older club is still perceived as excellent. Most of the Titleist ads are for golf balls. I wouldn't be surprised if Titleist makes more money on balls than TM does on clubs. Titleist is a very strong brand and they keep it strong using a different strategy than TM. All the companies benefit from having a big name pro on their staff. Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Annika Sorenstam, Arnold Palmer for Callaway, Donald for Mizuno, Couples for Bridgestone, etc. A lot of clubs (and balls) are sold simply because the golfer is a fan of one of the top players. Lots of different ways to market golf.
  21. TPC Scottsdale Spencer Levin 65-63-68-75. Pebble Beach Pro-AM Tiger Woods 68-68-67-75.
  22. Phil's 64 was the biggest news and proves he is still one of the best players in the world. And I'm very pleased he did it with his standard length putter. Tiger could have shot another 67 like he did on Saturday and that wouldn't have been good enough to beat Phil. (And don't forget that Romo was playing from the amateur tees. His play was impressive but don't assume that would translate to a T2 finish.)
  23. Tiger is trying to recapture his position as the number one golfer in the world rankings. Just a few years ago none of the top players were using long putters. Tiger's long putter competition was limited to Carl Pettersson, Tim Clark, Rocco, and maybe a few others. None were a real threat to his dominance. The long putter, even then, was still considered an inferior way to putt. Today, Tiger is seeing lots of young, really talented players using long putters. Keegan Bradley wins the PGA Championship using one. Adam Scott finishes 2nd, ahead of Tiger, in the Masters using one. Webb Simpson and others are winning on tour using long putters. I'm sure Tiger is wondering--like all of us-- how well these guys would be putting if they had to use standard putters. Every time he loses to someone using a long putter, he is going to be asking that question. The long putter has evolved from an inferior way to putt with no one caring who uses them, to a potentially better way to putt because young talented players are winning with them. That's the only reason their legality is now under scrutiny. That scrutiny will only intensify with each Tour victory by a player using a long putter. And if Tiger finishes 2nd in a Major to a long putter... well we can only speculate about what may happen.
  24. I think I've played that golf course. But it was many years ago and I deny any involvement in the reported incident.
  25. For years there was a stigma attached to using the long putter. The only players who used them were players who struggled with putting. In almost every case these players were able to recapture a level of putting proficiency by going long. That in itself proves that anchoring the putter and automatically taking the wrists out of the stroke simplifies the putting action. Today there is no stigma that keeps anyone from trying an anchored putter. Some young players are starting out with a long putter. I personally was flabbergasted a few years ago when I saw college players in the US Amateur using long putters. But I now understand completely. It's an easier method to control and learn. Most young players are going to start out using a long putter unless something is done. So much of putting is percentages and how close to the hole you are. No matter what method you use, you will always be subject to those percentages. I doubt there will ever be any measurable way to prove one method is better than another. But it is obvious that an anchored putter simplifies the stroke and helps golfers who struggle using the standard putter. Are we going to continue to permit some players to take a shortcut or should everyone learn to putt the standard way and face the same challenges? I'm opposed to long putters, but I'll be surprised if they are ever outlawed. And if they remain legal, a generation from now, almost everyone will be using them.
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