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Everything posted by Clayton

  1. This is a fun thread. I played a lot of courses all over in 2022. Loomis Trail, WA Lake Padden, WA Homestead, WA North Bellingham, WA Raspberry Ridge, WA Torrance, St. Andrews Kittocks, St. Andrews Jubilee, St. Andrews The Old Course, St. Andrews *obviously an incredible experience! Sandefjord, Norway Sorfors, Sweden Larvik, Norway Notteroy, Norway Vestfold, Norway Troia, Portugal *this was a special place, loved it! Pine Cliffs, Portugal Benalup, Spain Almenara, Spain (next door to Valderrama - way too expensive to play there!) Jurmala, Latvia Paarnu Bay, Estonia *this was INCREDIBLE golf - I want to go back here if possible. I think that is everything. Awesome, awesome year for golf!
  2. I've golfed in both countries. Vietnam has some really, really nice golf courses but to be honest, I have no idea how much they cost, etc as they were part of a business trip. I do think they were private courses that you cannot just go play. I see Faldo has one that recently opened there that looks incrediballs. We went to Thailand in November 2019 and I'd send you there because A) it's not communist and B) Thailand is one of the most wonderful places I've ever visited. And I've now visited 28 different countries! November is a good time as it's not yet high season and it's not so dang hot yet either. The golf around Phuket is really expensive and I guess some courses are much nicer than others so do your research. I ended up playing at two places. The first was a Navy base course. It was so hot in our "hut" room that we couldn't sleep and ended up finding a room with AC - so much for the sea breeze cooling things off!. Anyway, the course is called Tublamu Navy Golf Course. It's a fantastic layout, right on the Andaman Sea. It winds back and forth so you have lots of beautiful views of the water and some inland holes - and it's really nice when the breeze is blowing in to cool you off a little bit. I can't imagine how hot it must be to golf there in December!!!!! The course was in around 8/10 condition and certainly nothing to complain about, especially the price. I could play there 3 days in a row as the layout is challenging and fun. The wind can make some holes play really long. https://www.tublamunavygolfcourse.net/index.php If you go there, there's some amazing restaurants on the beach near there and in a town not far away. I don't think it would be wise to try and play 36 holes. You probably won't make it. The next place we went was a few hours drive away (I rented a car - it was like $25 for 21 days!!!). It's called the Katathong Golf Resort and Spa. This is a really, really nice place. We rented what they call the "garden resort" and are kind of tiny homes lined up near to a small pool. They were building a big pool and more rooms when we were there. I just checked prices on Hotels.com and mid November when we went is $38/night for a garden resort room and for the big fancy room it's all the way up to $53/night WITH breakfast! What an incredible value and especially compared to Phuket that is quite expensive (not that I'd completely skip Phuket). It's around $100 to play there but they also have "sport days" with discounts and if you ask about stay and play they probably have a great deal for that too. I HIGHLY recommend going there and playing for 2-3 days. https://www.katathong.com/accommodation/garden-resort/ We also stayed in Phuket but I didn't golf there because of price. If you want any tips on places to stay, I'd recommend the one we stayed in Phuket and Katathong (and can give you a link) but NOT the one in Tublamu - it was to rustic and kind of dirty and smelly. We also stayed in a REALLY cool area that is not near to those other places called Ko Lanta. You can also take a boat over to Phi Phi islands, a very beautiful place to visit. Hope that helps!
  3. I went last May as a single. It. was raining like crazy on the way up (drove from Manchester), but got to have lunch with Alf, a member here. That was so nice. Then I drove the rest of the way to St. Andrews (still raining the whole way). Went to bed with a heavy heart thinking my trip was going to be ruined. My rain jacket was so used, I didn't think it would really keep me dry... Got up 3am and went to wait in line, hoping for a spot on TOC. I was #24 or #26 - pretty far back. When I was finally three back (an American couple was in front of me), they said "last spot!" and after waiting in 7*C for hours I felt a little glum. HOWEVER, the couple didn't have their gear with them as their hotel was just a block away but the last spot was in like 5 minutes - the first of the day. The guy asked if I was ready and I said - "YES, I was born ready!" (I didn't really say that, but thought it LOL). I paid and ran out to the first tee, took like two practice swings and we were off!!! Shot an 82, net 66 but to be fair I pre-played it like 10-15 times on Trackman before going (I was working at a sim business at the time). Mag-i-cal is all I can say. It was sunny but crazy windy with 100 yard drivers and 288 yard 5 woods. I also played the Jubilee course as the New was pretty packed. That turned out to be super nice as A) I got to play alone and B) I got to play the full back tees (they don't let you at the Old) and play 2 balls off each tee and experiment with tee shots. I'll tell you right now, 5w doesn't work there and I'll be bringing my 3 iron on the next trip to St. Andrews. I also spent a day at The Fairmont that is located next to The Castle Course. It was 70 Pounds to play both courses in one day - the Kittocks and Torrance. Very nice, beautiful courses up on the cliffs above St. Andrews just like Castle is. If you have time, that is a great way to spend a day golfing - and if you call just a couple days ahead you'll get that great price vs. booking way ahead of time. I again got to play alone and nearly had the whole course to myself that day. I think there were 3 other cars in the parking lot. It was a good day. Since you are two, your best bet is probably to buy the unlimited 3 day package for 320 pounds. It doesn't include the Old but you can play the others as much as you like and get to make a one advanced tee time per day. As a single I cannot do that package more book more than 24 hours ahead of time. I'd play a rotation of Eden, New, and Jubilee. I like to play those kinds of courses twice if possible because you learn so much the first round on what not to do on a hole. All that being said, I'm going back the last week of April. I will again stay in super low cost AirBnb rooms (like $40-50 per night) and have Crail booked the first day - both courses, then I'm driving up to Cruden bay the next day and playing there twice. I then have 2 days open to play wherever I can - since I cannot book at St. Andrews until 24 hours ahead of time I'm probably going to try and play Eden and New one day and not sure the other day. Maybe just 18 holes after the first two days of 36. I've lost around 30 lbs since that trip and been working out like crazy to try and get in super good shape for the trip. I wanna make it count! One quick funny story about my last night in St. Andrews. I purposely did not drink anything while there as my focus was completely on golf, and I was working on losing weight so I ate healthy food from the grocery store. I copied and pasted from a message I sent to a friend so there's some typos etc. On the last day, I went to a fish and chips place to treat myself after eating all grocery store bought meals here. Added a little vodka bottle as well (haven’t had any drinks in a long time either). Drank that on the walk home and decided to find a “heavy” before I leave as well. Went to Brewdog and had a nice red ale but they said it wasn’t a proper “heavy” and for that I needed to go to the Criterion Bar. Ok, ok… so I went there next and ordered a heavy. They allegedly didn’t know what I needed but we narrowed it down to something. I go outside where it’s quiet (the bar was absolutely packed and I just wanted to drink it in peace). Then an American and a Scotsman are talking away about golf and somehow I get involved in the conversation. At some point the American leaves and the Scot is talking talking talking. I finish my drink and he says I absolutely have to have another as it’s my last night there. Comes back with a really tasty one - not sure what it was but good. It’s “on that guy over there” as he’s getting married tomorrow. So that’s why all these guys have green jackets on. But Im told don’t call them green, they are tweed jackets. We have a few more and I meet someone from the R&A that’s supposed to be high up and a couple more people. Then I have to pee. I go do that, say I’ll be right back and when I come out, everyone is gone. The place is completely empty. I look outside and there’s nobody to be seen. It’s like none of it happened. But I do have pictures so I know it did. That was my last night in St. Andrews. Maybe "the ghosts of Scotland?" If you have any questions, please do ask and I'll try to answer them.
  4. Wow, that's actually fairly affordable. From the comments, looks like some small upgrades to the camping would result in even more visitors. How you doing over there Alf?
  5. Heja Sverige! My wife is Swedish and I have a ton of Swedish family now so I get to visit every summer, sometimes more. I've not played near Stockholm yet, just other parts of Sweden.
  6. Their new one in Korea was REALLY good. Again, they talk about how good the amenities are. For me all those breaks, tea and egg stops, giant locker rooms, and 6 hour rounds are extremely irritating. I also don't really enjoy having a caddy much at all. I don't think I could golf in Korea. However, the course is quite beautiful.
  7. Makes sense on the drones. Especially now with the war. They just jailed a guy in Norway (Russian) because they have so many people flying near to sensitive places like power stations and pipelines. Would def like to see Iceland even though I should have already played the courses I'm interested in. I live a 3 and 4 year old now soon to be 4 and 5 so doubt I'll ever get another chance to play in Iceland, sadly.
  8. Well, now I've binge watched like 20 videos from these guys. I can't say that I enjoy the guys or their story, but they have gone to a lot of courses I am hoping to go to. In fact, they have videos on the two in Sweden plus the first 72 holes I'll be playing in April when I go back to the east coast of Scotland. I can tell from their teaser stuff they will be going to Lofoten Links in Norway. I'm a bit disappointed that's the only one in Norway that they will probably go to. I didn't see anything to indicate they will play in Denmark either but maybe? Wish they would go to this course in Iceland. I was supposed to play there but they forgot to load my equipment on my stay over trip through Iceland (I fly through there on the way to the US) so I didn't get to play there. https://www.english.golfmos.is/hlidavollur-photos
  9. So, I live a few hours from Falsterbo - haven't played it, but plan to this year. I'm actually across the fjord in Norway. Open invitation to play with me if any of you find yourself near to Sandefjord or Oslo. Anyway, I really would like to get to Visby but dayum that ferry boat ride to the island is expensive now! I've played one of two links courses in Sweden over at Öland - it was quite a fantastic experience. Every year I also play some courses up near to Umeå where we visit family. One is particularly great to play and I look forward to it. Probably the best part about golf in Scandinavia is that Malaga and Marbella are a very inexpensive flight away. I just got back from there and I also drove over to Algarve in Portugal and to an awesome links course by RTJ Jr. called Troia. It was spectacular! It's also cheap to fly to Scotland - I went in May and am going back in April as well. With some points I had, it's $26 to fly there with luggage. On Ryan Air I can fly over for around $100 with my golf bag. So it's nice home base to golf in other places. Anyhoo, I want to watch Falsterbo and Visby now.. TTYL!
  10. I think that there's been a little disservice done to golfers with the new setups. I say this knowing my Mizuno 223 4 iron loft is 22* just like the loft on my other older set's 3 iron. But that extra 1/2" of shaft and the "longer" trajectory in the 3i makes quite a bit of difference. In the end, if they truly did the job they say they do - that is they just adjusted the loft to accommodate a change in COG, even with the same loft they shouldn't go the same distance - and guess what - they don't in the long irons. Where the problem for me is that while the 9i goes like an old 8i and the Pw goes like the old 9i, and the gap wedge is like an old PW... I'm missing that last long iron option. I guess it's sort of washed out with the loft progression companies have chosen to build them with, hoping you'll buy an extra hybrid or two or maybe another fairway wood. So I think they are taking golfer ego and making it look like they hit a PW extra long while also trying to sell another expensive wood or hybrid to us. Another option for me vs playing an older set of irons might be to strengthen the Mizuno 223 4i loft 2*, the 5i 1.5*, the 6i 1*, the 7i .5*, then leave the scoring irons alone and see if that satisfies my want for a wider range from my irons. Maybe I'll even be more accurate with the 4i than the 3i since it's a club shorter in playing length.
  11. I bought a set of Mizuno 223 this summer and really like them. The plastic crap started breaking out of my Psi irons (that I got because my Rocketballz Tour were cracking and had plastic breaking out of them!) Anyway, 46* PW, solid forging going to a hollow core in the longer irons. They are 1* stronger than what was standard for the last 2-3 decades, before "loft wars" happened. The Psi had a 45.5* PW, but hit the ball exceptionally high. I have two bags depending on where I'm at and the other set is i210, 1* weak - so a "standard" 47* PW. I've never seen the ball go so high and they seem to need less loft on them. Planning on taking care of that with Ping soon. Anyway, long story short, I miss having my 3 irons in the bag. I played a bunch of golf in St. Andrews this past May, three times in Spain, and once in Portugal. All of these places being right on the coast, it can be very windy. One of my favorites, Troia, was a true links course as were the ones in Scotland. I have to be able to play a windy game where 5w and 7w aren't so great. Especially since I'm going back to Scotland in April! Basically, I miss having a 3 iron in the bag, especially for tee shots in crosswinds, and am thinking to go back to more traditional lofts and gain a long iron. I'll do this by reshafting my TM 300 Forged irons and bending some of the short irons up to a degree weak, possibly 1.5*. The PW will be 49* or 49.5* - a fantastic "modern gap wedge" and then I have the slot available for the 3 iron I am missing so much. So that'll definitely be "non standard lofts" Would love to hear what others think of this idea.
  12. My swing is the best it's been in maybe 5-6 years after this season. BUT... I think I developed some rotator cuff tendonitis in the right shoulder (I play righty). Went to do an off season workout and now my right shoulder is in major pain. Not sure what to do about it but I tried ice tonight. We'll see how it feels tomorrow - my regular left shoulder is still sore from the workout so I want at least that to go away. I just want this season to go on and on and on.
  13. Good comment, thank you. Perhaps you can suggest an iron head that might be useful for shaft fitting. They always want to fit to a head/shaft combo...
  14. Hopefully the title gets people to click, as I really want a lot of opinions here. I've been playing the setup in the title since I came back to golf in 2021 after a short 3 year break while we were having a few beautiful little kids. I lost A LOT of speed and distance in that time and last winter while working at a golf sim I brought as much back as a (now) 49 year old can expect. My new distances generally are (Arccos data): 46* PW - 135 8i - 162 4i - 217+ 61* - 86 (but typically more like 75-78, not sure how Arccos calculates this one) I often play with a +3 index friend and he is absolutely dialed in with his T100S irons, 48* gap, 54*, 60*. We chat during our rounds all the time about how the new lofts are basically the old set with different numbers. I have a set of nearly new TM300 irons. They are close to the same lofts, but the PW is 48* instead of the Gap. I played at St Andrews - four rounds of links golf including the Old Course, and my home course all season as well and there's so many holes where a 3i would be perfect for me. I have had one ITB for two decades and think I want to get one again. The TM300s have Royal Precision 7.0 shafts. They are OK, but a little stiff for me. I could play them well on a good day for maybe a whole round, but if I'm playing 36 holes, no way I can swing those that many times in a day. That tells me they are too stiff for me. Given all that, I am trying to decide on a shaft for them. I have KBS Tour 130x in my i210 and they hit high, high, high. Part of it is shaft, but also that iron design is difficult to flight lower. I have KBS $-Taper X in my Mizuno Pro 223 and really like those shafts. They are really good. I have two iron sets as I live in both NA and Europe for parts of the year. I'm just wondering what you guys think and would appreciate suggestions on what to shaft these up with. Open to suggestions.
  15. Thanks guys! Had a great week of golfing while I was still 48!
  16. Did you have him open it and see what the spec sheet or shafts say?
  17. I play those in my wedges right now and often wonder just how good they would be in my irons as well.
  18. The KBS Tour 130X is always a good option - high launch I know but has that X-stiff stability and pretty dang consistent. Perfect going into winter for the PNW.
  19. This would be one sweet contest to win! I’d go with the King Forged Tec One Length 4-Pw set (not sure why the set doesn’t have the GW like the 5+ set does). Then I’d also buy a 50* gap, 56* sand, and 60* lob to complete the OL setup. I’ve been wanting to try OL for a looooong time but just haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Explain why you chose the model you did and what you'd hope to get out of them performance wise: After seeing how well my dad can play with OL, I wonder if it’ll help me gain consistency and lower my handicap. The reason I didn’t choose the X is that they are just so darn strong in loft although I’m not sure exactly how to gap the OL wedge setup either. List your first name/city state (US Only entries) Clayton Bellingham, WA What current irons you're playing Mizuno Pro 225 Handicap 14 Will you agree to patriciate in discussions on the forum about your experience with the irons after receiving them. Yes
  20. Cool - I'll check it out. I'm a 14, formerly a 7 hcp and I just shot a low 80s round on the Old Course and a high 80s round on the Jubilee (this from the tips) a couple days ago. I don't think it's so hard to do. We had 30+ MPH winds with huge gusts. I've only been to Paris in France and it was such an awesome trip. Maybe we can tee it up sometime? Want to come play in Norway?
  21. Just an FYI for any of you that would like to see what golf is like at the Old, Jubilee, and at the Torrance and Kittocks courses, I've uploaded over 300 photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10227750640622701&type=3
  22. Well, thanks for the comments guys. I got up 4am and was at the booth by about 4:45. They had 12 spots open when I checked the day before and I was number 14. A couple was in front of me and when they got up to the counter the starter said the last spot was the first tee time in 20 minutes, do they have gear? No… but I did so I got out! it was really cold, maybe 7* or mid to high 40s. My hands hurt etc, especially after waiting for hours outside. Was probably a good thing I didn’t have time to stress. Hit an ok opener and although I duffed a couple tee shots and there were 20-30mph winds, I still managed some pars and birdied 7, 15, and 16. Ended up with 82 and with my current hcp index I’m mighty happy with that result. More golf tomorrow and Thursday!!! So happy I got the OC accomplished first day.
  23. Thanks for the link. I was wondering if there was something like that, but hadn't found one yet. Cool!
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