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Alf. S

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Everything posted by Alf. S

  1. It may work for you but for clubs in my area it has devalued membership and helped in the decline in numbers.
  2. My view of GN in Scotland is on the wane. The flip side of their offering BRS is being phased out by Scottish clubs and Scottish Golf Union is actively promoting their own system to replace it. Why? IMO because it is driving the market in the wrong direction. Example my home club use to charge £25 to £30 a round for a visitor, doing simple maths, if I play 20 times a year that justified my membership. GN signed up a majority of clubs in the area and were offering Hot Deals the average green fee dropped to £12-15, consequently membership has dropped. OK we may be getting more visitors but you need 45 visitors at £15 to compensate. I think by replacing Golf Now Scottish Golf see that they can take back control of the market and push it to grow the game. Just to be clear I'm talking about the non- Marque clubs in Scotland. The marque clubs I assume are having a tough time at the moment due to Covid but due to cost the average Scottish golfer rarely play these courses. Also the marque clubs never use GN!
  3. What not to use! I moved from GP MCC Plus to WINN DriTac at the beginning of the year. Great in the dry, like a bar of soap in the wet. Not humid in Scotland but can bet quite wet. Hope this rules out one set of grips
  4. In the UK, for regular golfers electric trolleys are pretty much the norm. I myself given the option would use one even when golfing abroad. They take most cart and tour bags comfortably but I have one that is specifically made for electric trolleys. Buggies are my least likely choice and will only use when the course and weather dictate I need to use one. I.e hilly with big distances between green and tee, high temperatures, etc. I have a couple of carry bags that I use during the summer mainly when I’m out on my own or pop out for a quick 9 holes. Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy
  5. In the UK, for regular golfers electric trolleys are pretty much the norm. I myself given the option would use one even when golfing abroad. They take most cart and tour bags comfortably but I have one that is specifically made for electric trolleys. Buggies are my least likely choice and will only use when the course and weather dictate I need to use one. I.e hilly with big distances between green and tee, high temperatures, etc. I have a couple of carry bags that I use during the summer mainly when I’m out on my own or pop out for a quick 9 holes. Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy
  6. To be clear I've never been a natural golfer, although I have been able to hit the ball having good eye to hand coordination but not necessarily in the right direction! I’ve always set small achievable steps and always focused on handicap improvement. When your handicap improves you will win competitions along the way. At 22 h/c it was to get below 20 then to category 2 (below 12) then single figures now it's cat 1 (5 and below) Spending time on the course I've found is the best way to improve but also I've had a lot of kit change and if I do look at changes and try and tie them in to milestones. 1. Couldn't hit a driver off 22 but got hold of a Cobra Ti Offset Driver in the late 90s, this added 20 yds off the tee got. Handicap moved down into the high teens 2. Got fitted for my first set off Mizuno MX-25s in early 2000s moved down into the low teens 3. 2008 moved to using 3/4 wedges in my bag PW, 52', 56' and sometimes 60' moved down to single figures for the first time 4. Got to thinking kit was the answer bought a set of TM LT2 irons went back up to double digits for 2 or 3 years. I’ve had lessons, changed kit regularly and spent time on the range but the most useful way to improve is to go out and play. Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy
  7. I’ve been lucky, most of my working life I’ve worked for American Multinationals which provided great benefit packages including pension contribution. Having 5 to 10% contributed from the age of 26 made it possible. Oh and I keep my wife working!! Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy
  8. Season start last week for me and 2 cuts in 2 competitions now at lowest handicap ever of 6.9. Changes? During lockdown did a lot chipping in my back garden, focusing on pivoting around the sternum. You would think that my chipping would be 1st class but no. I changed my setup so that my sternum is pretty much over the ball for all my shots. Suddenly I’ve gone from 30% fairways hit to 70%. Approach shots not so good but hitting longer clubs better. 3.5 months to drop another 1.5 to reach my goal of cat 1 before I’m 60. Also have Senior Club Championship qualifier on Saturday so a busy time! Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy
  9. 8 For me. 3 spikeless, ECCO general purposes hard wearing used in summer and hard ground conditions Puma Ignite used on holiday, lighter ECCO Biom, which mark really easily and tend only to be used occasionally 5 Spiked Winter golf boots Callaway Black CHEV with metal spikes again Winter Callaway Black CHEV Mulligan soft spikes Adidas White 360 Tour (need broken in) blister generators Under Armour White soft spikes
  10. Not text book but it helps me. I will usually have a walk round the hole to get a feel for pace. I will then crouch 6 feet behind the ball and try and get a 1st read, I will then use my hand to just block my sight of the hole and take a 2nd read this usually gives me a more accurate line. I find the hole and in particular any slope behind the hole can cause me to mis-read the putt. In the UK we mostly bent grass of fescue so don't really have a grain.
  11. Clubs opening for the 1st time since the 23rd March. Members only and in 2 balls. 3 rounds booked over the next 3 days. Just hope I don't make a backside of my self after 9 weeks of only chipping in my back garden/yard
  12. Alf Falkirk, Scotland, UK H/C 7 Srixon Z565:- 3i to GW; Nippon NS Pro 850GH Stiff Shaft Icon
  13. During lockdown I've been trying to develop a more consistent putting stroke. I'm not a terrible putter but I go through some hot streaks and sometimes where I can't get the ball in the hole. The later is usually at the start of the season, moving to quicker greens and the fact that all through the winter we have gimmes within a putter length. My average per round according to Arccos is 33 If I try a normal grip and start with my arms hanging down as most of the golf books tell you I tend to pull my putts to the left. I attribute this to my left side closing the face. What I've tended to do is point my left elbow at the hole (chicken wing), which has helped, but also hard to get a consistent setup. In lockdown I've now started putting my left fore finger down the grip and this seems to help. Has anybody got an interesting putting technique?
  14. Alf. S


    In Scotland we have had all the courses closed since the 23rd March. There are 2 points I wan to make. 1. The game in Scotland for the non marque clubs has been struggling in recent years, my own club is running annually with debt around $150k. There is a debate at the moment because we don't get access to the course that we should withhold fees or look for a refund. In normal circumstances if I was a member of a wealthy club I would back this, but I'm happy to continue on as is. Thoughts! 2. I'm really frustrated by the governing body in Scotland; Scottish Golf that have given out guidelines to close all courses for play. We have a right to roam law in Scotland that means the public can use the course as a right of way this is being abused with picnics and kids playing in bunkers, soccer on the greens and all kinds of s*** happening on the well maintained courses. Personally with a set of guidelines policed by on course marshalls I don't see why the courses can't re-open to singles and 2 balls, no buggies walking only, all course furniture either removed or banded off. With a little common sense the course can be opened. If you think about it the average male with a club in their hand and swinging will ensure that their partner stays at least 6 feet away. We have 5 people in the house in lockdown and I need to get away soon or I'm going to have a Jack Nicholson moment
  15. Falkirk, Scotland, UK Age 59 Current Driver SS = 98mph Rate your fitness level: average Affirmation I will see the entire program through
  16. Alf Falkirk, Scotland, UK 100 MPH H/C 7 Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy
  17. Scottish Golf have advise all course to close. Maybe a silver lining for us Scots is that post virus I expect there will be a lot of spare tee times at the prestige clubs at knock down prices!
  18. We are in total lock down, but they do say you can have one piece of exercise a day on your own or with your self isolation group. Hmm 3 ball with my 2 sons?
  19. Bars, restaurants, cafes and gyms closing in Scotland at midnight. Our clubhouse has been closed all week but course open. Social distancing advice all over the place. Non-essential course furniture removed, leave flags in and don't touch, do not touch playing partners equipment. I'm being careful, played 18 holes today by myself.
  20. Just back from my Spring holiday in the Canary Islands and thought I would do a little review of 3 course. Fuerteventura lies off the Moroccan coast in Sub Tropics so at this time of year the temperature is around 70'C or 21'C so is a good golfing temperature. It is about 4.5 hours from Scotland and is a favourite all year round holiday destination for the UK. The 3 course are Fuerteventura Golf Resort, Salinas Golf Resort and Las Playitas. This time of year is regarded as high season and the green fees were pretty similar across the 3 course about €41 for twilight (i.e after 2pm, 4 hours 45 mins before sunset) and €72 any other time. With a comfortable temperature I tended to play twilight and had no problems getting round before the light faded. Fuerteventura Golf Resort This course is linked up with the local Sheraton and also the onsite hotel so you may get better rates staying in the hotels. They paired me up with an older couple on the 2 occasions I played there, both couples were on a package at the Sheraton. They were both good company but if you get frustrated playing with high handicapper golfers then it could be an issue. They definitely had some interesting techniques. The course plays just over 6700 off the whites and 6400 yards off the yellows. Being a bit of a woose and being on holiday I went off the yellows. The course tries to cater for resort golf so there is very little rough but loads of crushed lava rocks if you go off line. It is also pretty flat, except for the 17th and 18th and is palm tree lined fairways. The practise facilities were good with driving range putting green and chipping area. The condition of the course was OK the greens and tees were in good condition but bunkers were hard packed with lots of stones and the fairways were patchy . After the 1st few holes I decided to take preferred lies in the fairways. I walked and carried on both occasions, the hill coming at the end and a long trek between 17 and 18 was a bit tiring but not too bad. In terms of layout the course wasn't particularly memorable. To score well the par 5s are key (2, 5, 10, 17) and are were all reachable for me in 2 The drive at the 2nd is tight and a challenge especially since the prevailing wind blows left to right across the fairway with OB on the right. My bad shot is a high cut so I didn't fair well here. There was also a couple of interesting tee boxes, the 6th is a dogleg left at about 210 yds but the tee is tucked behind 2 palm trees that blocks out the left side of the fairway, similarly 18 again a dogleg left had us teeing up with a housing safety net blocking out he left hand side of the fairway. For me a draw is not a shot I can play unless it is the dreaded double cross, ended up having to play wide right adding 50 to 60 yds to the holes. The course has held the Spanish Open in the past but in its current condition I can't see that happening again soon. Salinas de Antigua Golf Club This course is separate from Fuerteventura Golf Resort by a minor road so has some of the same characteristics in terms of condition i.e the greens and tees are are in good nick but fairways and bunkers leave a lot to be desired. It is also easily walkable which I did on all occasions. The one difference I did find was that there are a few patches off deep rough in unexpected places. At the 1st I hit a 4h just to the right of the flag lost sight of it when it pitched only to find it buried on the bank 3 yds thru the back in this long rough. It has a few large water hazards but when I visited they were almost empty. The chipping and putting areas are in good condition but the driving area is in need of some work with the boundary nets flapping in the wind. I was really worried about how they had connected the ball dispenser which was ~ 200 yds away from the club house and was connected with a variety of extension leads and hacked together wiring with insulating tape wound about them. Just as well it doesn't rain much! The balls on the range were in pretty poor condition as well but for a warm up they were OK. The course is just under 6000 yds off the whites and 5600 off yellows I played 2 games off the yellows and one off the whites and although I scored worse off the whites I didn't feel there was any significant different strategy required i.e. playing off the yellows didn't suddenly bring more bunkers or hazards into play. I like the layout of this course better than Fuerteventura and I can remember more of the holes. The 11th is a short par 4 dogleg on the card at 316 yds but you can try and carry the water which off white is about 220 yds, a classic risk reward hole. The 3rd another dogleg over water is actually shorter at 309 but with a smaller green and again is drivable over water but for me on this I never took it on. The par 5s again were all with in reach in 2 for me especially with the run I was getting off the tee. I usually carry the ball about 230 with my driver and back home in the winter I'm lucky to get 5 yds of run. On the 1st for the 3 rounds I averaged 289 and striped one out to 304 yds. It was down wind. The layout confused me a couple of times, on the 11th you have to walk back down the fairway by 100 yds to get to the 12th tee and the 13th really confused me and my partners the 1st time we played it the 14th green lies to the right of the fairway about 50yds for the 13th green. We all played onto the wrong green before before realising our mistake. One last comment the clubhouse restaurant is to be recommended the menu and staff were excellent. Las Playitas The 3rd course I played was Las Playitas which was recommended to me for the views. It is part of a large sporting complex that caters for training camps and has sporting activities throughout the day. It has an Olympic length swimming pool which was being heavily utilised. This was in the less touristy part of the island and is bordered by a more typical Spanish fishing village. The course plays about 5300 yds off the whites with 8 pars 3s and is made up of 2 distinct parts. On the clubhouse side of the main road it is relatively flat and has 5 par 3s and a par 4 the holes on this side are pretty straight forward and not very challenging. The other side of the road is built on a hillside so a buggy was pretty much mandatory with a lot of distance from green to tee. With very few direction markers finding your way from green to the next tee was an issue. For the 4th tee we were completely lost and had to be directed there by another group. unlike then other courses I found the par 5s a challenge, not really due to there length but more the layout and the hanging lies. The 5th for example is a left to right dog leg driving down hill nearly impossible to stop short of a lateral about 280 yds off the tee. I was then left with 180 yds off a downhill lie into a small green with lava rock all around. 10th is uphill but no better a good drive left me with a blind 2nd with OB on the left and the ball below my feet with lava stones all the way down the right. Final the 11th again is down hill with a branka at 270, tried to play short with 3w and still ended up in it, then laid up to the wrong place because I couldn't work out where the green was 90' to the left. I was 4 over for the 3 par 5s with 3 penalties. The condition of the course was again similar to the others but the fairways were worse with the 13th in particular having small stones all over it. Pus quirky with good views and it was my best score of the trip 75 (+8). Some of the mini Golf as well
  21. Alf / Scotland UK Handicap 7 Srixon Z565 160 yds
  22. One of our local ranges has had this installed lately, all the bays now have a TopTracer capability with loads of options to practice, play some top course, monthly competitions events, etc. A friend (more a social golfer) raved about it over Xmas to me so I thought I would have a go yesterday. Here are my initial impressions. I was looking to do a comparison between by FightScope Mevo and the Range and try out my re-griped clubs and a new driver. I usually pay £8 for 100 balls this was £9.50 for TopTracer so having picked up my 100 balls I was ready to go. I went through a registration process with my phone including downloading the App, this takes about 5 minutes, I didn't enter my club setup which would take another 10 minutes. You can then start the session by scanning a QR code on the screen. If you are going I would advise registering and setup before going. I then used the range screen to drive my practise. The start up screen gives you 4 or 5 options from playing course to challenges or straight practise. For me it was straight practise. After hitting my first 10 shots with driver I was beginning to get a bit frustrated at the numbers. I use Arccos so pretty much know how far I can carry a ball, my drives were consistently 10 to 20 yds shorter. I then started to use my Mevo (which my no means is gold standard) and on ball speed they were within a couple of mph, launch angles similar but the carry numbers were 10 to 20 yards longer on Mevo. I then started to go through my bag and consistently the system was under recording even visually you could see it from the distance markers on the range. I had a conversation with the guy in the next bay and he was seeing the same thing. For the driver you are pretty much stuck at hitting it off the teeing point in the mat, for my 3w I moved it forward to the front and it seemed to be a bit better. I ended up looking more at relative performance rather than actual numbers. After about 60 balls I stopped, this is about my boredom level at the range and moved over to course play. I had selection of 4 or 5 courses including Spyglass and the Old Course so I played the Old Course. This I found quite interesting taking into account I was having to hit 2 clubs more for any shot. The green play is interesting, 40 to 70 yds down the range there are 16 or so flags which are you target for pitching. When you are either on the green or near it come up with a screen of the mapped flags and you select one as your target. Depending on how close you hit your pitch it gives either 1-3 putts to get down. On completion I thought all my data would have been saved to my registered account but it wasn't so I must have screwed up the setup at the start. Being an old git I still think I'm technically savvy but this is probably operator error. Final thoughts. I think it is better than blindly hitting balls at the range but I was really disappointed with the accuracy numbers. In some cases it is a bit like a golf lounge capability where groups can go and compete, they have leaderboards on challenges positioned around the range. Will I go back probably but more for a fun day with friends if the weather is bad and we can't get out on the course.
  23. Has anyone tried this at your local range?
  24. For the guys that pick up it should take that hole as a net double bogey for handicap purposes.
  25. Yeap watched it all the way thru. Most interesting was the dispersion numbers. I've recently switched from Pro V1 to use the TP5x so I will be interested to see if I see any difference. I was also surprise at the distance difference between the TP5x and the Pro V1 on the 7i about 5 yds, that's a big number for someone who swaps between the 2 balls. In the warmer weather I will probably go and test this for myself before the season starts with my Mevo. Not as accurate but should give me a good idea of a 5 yard difference. On 2 piece I thought the JPX performed better that the AD333 but they conclusion was the AD333! I also was given a dozen ERC Soft balls last year and didn't like them at all. I played a couple of rounds with them and they are now in the garage looking for a good home.
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