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MaxEntropy

 
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MaxEntropy last won the day on October 4 2019

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About MaxEntropy

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  • Birthday 01/04/1968

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    Akron, OH
  • Handicap:
    ~15

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  1. If we say 12 month period instead of 2020, I'll gladly take the birdie on #4 I referred to in my post. I rarely sniff par on that thing.
  2. I like this idea, I'm in! For me, the PEHaYHC is a more reasonable goal. Here is a screencap of my stats for our league course (started using Arccos in August, so the data is for nine, 9-hole rounds) #1 - Relatively short, not a difficult par if tee shot avoids trees. OB left, trees right. #2 - One of the longer par 4's on the course, plenty of room (slightly) left, way left will be blocked by big trees, right is bad, water left/rear of green. I've never played this hole very well. I'm sure it's psychological now. #3 - Not terribly difficult par 3. #4 - Another long-ish par 4, usually into whatever wind we have. Trees right and left, but a bit more room left. #5 - Depending on pin, one of the longer par 3's, but nothing terribly problematic. #6 - Par 5 can be reached in two if a good tee shot catches the downslope of the landing area during dry season. It's a pretty rare occurrence, but it happens. Probably most open hole on the course, but it is a bad time for a dead pull as OB becomes reachable. #7 - Relatively easy dog-leg right par 5. Trouble way right, but usually not hard to recover from a bad tee shot. #8 - Forest right, trees left. Approach is almost always blind and pretty far uphill. #9 - Par 3 that usually plays 140-ish. Long can be trouble. #10 - Short-ish par 4 into prevailing winds. OB right, trees left. Way left can have a decent look from in front of #18 tees. Nothing super hard, but I've never scored well on this hole, mostly because I've gone long on approach a few too many times. #11 - Three-shot par 5 for me. Target for second shot can be tricky because of a big valley, making third shot interesting. #12 - Longest par 3 on the course. Depending on tees and pin, can be 170 to almost 200. Pond left, but is not really in play unless you get a bad bounce. #13 - Dogleg left, can be a tricky hole. A tee shot in the fairway can still have tree trouble blocking approach. OB way left, trees left and right. #14 - Pretty straightforward par 5. Landing area on second shot slopes down to green, so make sure to under-club. OB right, trees left, long is death. #15 - The bane of my existence. A good tee shot leaves a 6 or 7 iron to the green. I rarely have a good tee shot here. Left is not too bad, way left is a forest, and trees right. Second shot is intimidating to me, perhaps because of pond short/right, even though it's not really in play. #16 - Relatively straightforward par 4 with sparse trees right and left that, with a lucky bounce, will leave a doable approach. #17 - 150-ish yard par 3, uphill, usually into the wind. Green is a bit crowned on the sides and will repel what might be a decent shot. #18 - Very tight par 4, but pretty short. I spend too much time banging around in the trees on this hole, especially to the left. Our league moved to the course last year. It is not terribly long but there is a big emphasis on accuracy. As a result, I use a lot of 3W's or hybrids off the tee. Realistic birdie holes: 1, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14 (I have birdied 4 of the 7 listed and have had decent looks on the others). Never going to birdie...EVER: 2, 4, 13, 15. I sort of birdied #4 during a scramble - we used my tee shot, my approach, and I made the putt, but it was a fluke. It's a tough hole.
  3. I probably have 3 or 4 different balls in my bag at any given time. I'm going on my second season using the Z-Star as my primary. If I happen to lose my personally mandated max of 3 new balls, I change to whatever else is in my bag, which includes a few Z-Stars that were retired for scuffs due to inevitable collisions with unintended targets, a few high quality balls I find and keep (ProV1, TP5, and/or respective x varieties), and I think there are still a couple K-Sigs a friend gave me. I get the idea that we should find and play one ball, but when I am having "one of those days" where I lose three or more new balls, the consistency of the ball will be of no benefit to my game at that point.
  4. I'm going to go out on a limb and say, if it was available, there is red on the bag.
  5. I was there about 90 minutes. All the focus was on 7 iron. Based on what he saw, he actually guessed I had the two-way miss with the driver - with my path, he suggested it's mostly a matter of chance on where I have the face oriented at impact resulting in everything ranging from straight pull to banana slice. I believe the Arccos stats confirm. We talked briefly about putting and we did a little putting while waiting for the room, but nothing terribly detailed. I'm fairly comfortable and confident in my putting. Right now, I view full swing as most room for improvement.
  6. So it has taken me almost a month to finish writing this. Work has been crazy since November and it is finally starting to calm down a little bit now that budgets and project plans are finally done. For my birthday, my wife had arranged for me to have a swing evaluation done at the GolfTec which is about a half mile from my house. I scheduled it over lunch time on 1/21/20. Before I get into the details, perhaps a little background from a lesson perspective…. I have taken two lessons in my golfing career: one a little over 20 years ago (with a local pro who had his own shop) and one about three years ago (at Golf Galaxy using a gift card). The first lesson was perhaps more impactful, in my opinion – things I learned then have stuck with me, even through a nearly decade long break from golf. The primary points from that lesson were things that helped me keep my backswing from going way past parallel and keeping my wrists more stable on the downswing so my hands are more likely to be ahead of the ball at impact. The GG lesson showed me something valuable (not maintaining spine angle during downswing), but, without giving away too much, the GolfTec coach made the argument that it was a symptom of something else, and it was a pretty compelling argument, but we’ll get to that later. The GG pro also gave me a couple drills to help with my spine angle and my path. We spent the first 15-ish minutes talking about my game and why I was there. In my mind, even though I have lost a fair amount of distance over the last few years, I am not tragically short (I’m above average in distance according to the various charts online for age/handicap). I would actually be fine with my distance if I had more consistency. I showed him my current Arccos handicap breakdown (see below) and we talked about those a while, with him boiling it down to needing to improve my full-swing ball striking as chipping and putting are currently relative strengths for me. As of last fall, with driver in my hands, I miss left 36.4% of the time, miss right 27.3% of the time, and am in the fairway 36.4% of the time. I’m not a big fan of those odds on keeping the ball in the short stuff. Missing fairways at the course we play for our league is fairly penal - it's not uncommon to miss the fairway by just a few yards and have no shot at the green. I also had a secondary motivation – is there some fundamental flaw I have that has been putting extra pressure on my lower back? Although I told him I have periodic lower back issues, I did not tell him I was hoping to learn something that might minimize it. He had me warm up with my 7 iron while he got things set up. It had been since early November since I had swung a club, so I wasn’t hitting the ball very well – I only had a few shots I would consider “typical”, so there was a lot of rust. He then strapped me up with their sensor and I proceeded to hit more shots while he recorded a few, observed, and took notes. After about 10-15 shots we spent a bunch of time at the monitor as he was talking me through everything he saw, first down-the-line, then head-on. Down-the-line: The very first thing pointed out to me was at address – my hips and feet were in decent position, mostly aligned with the target, but my shoulders were open to the target line by around 18 degrees according to their sensor. That was relatively straightforward to address, and it felt very odd to me, but I least I understand the feeling I should aim for. Apparently my take-away is pretty good and being “driven” by my body instead of my hands, leading to a backswing that is pretty good until about 90 degrees, then my hands start going almost vertical, so I am way out of position at the top with very high hands. This results in a very steep path getting back to the ball and an outside-in path. The coach suggested the very high hands is the main factor causing me to stand up/suck my hips towards the ball to compensate for the steep swing. He also suggested the high hands are preventing a full shoulder and hip turn (shoulder turn ~75 degrees, hips around 35 degrees) so this could be at least a partial explanation for some of my distance loss. He then set up an aid that I had to try not to hit on my backswing (essentially two shafts jammed together and covered with a pool noodle). It was not terribly hard for me to not hit the pool noodle, but hitting the ball suddenly became more difficult – I assume I was too focused on missing the noodle, so we worked on very slow speed swings for a while to improve the feeling and slowly ramped up the swing speed. Keeping my hands in “proper” position at the top improved my shoulder and hip turn to 87 degrees and 52 degrees, both of which are well within the “normal” range by their metrics. All this time I felt like my age and conditioning were responsible for the decreased rotation I knew I had, but it turns out it was at least partially technique related. He gave me a simple drill I can do at home to try to get my hands where they belong at the top. I’m sure there are other things that, over time, he would like to work on because this would only address a part of the of the things that effect ball striking: path, face angle, AOA,…. Below is a screencap of where I am at the top versus Aaron Baddeley. Head-on: The head-on view did not really show too much in the way of serious flaws. Apparently I do a decent job of “covering the ball”. I had heard that phrase a bunch but never really understood what it meant. At least now I do. My take on it is that I get my sternum aligned with the low point of my swing at impact. The only real issue identified was that my swing becomes a little disconnected after impact with my shoulder turn being quite a bit larger than my hip turn. As the coach is a fellow lower back pain sufferer, he told me that this can put stress on my lower back. One other relatively minor issue was my ball placement. Apparently they teach ball placement should stay centered for irons whereas I learned to start at the center with a wedge and transition the ball more forward as the loft decreases. I know we have discussed on here plenty, but it was the way I was taught, so I have stuck with it. I will likely try to get the ball more centered and see if there is any improvement in the consistency of my contact. Overall Impressions: Being a scientist, I very much appreciate the way they break down the swing into tangible metrics, as they do. I don’t see myself getting OCD about them, but I believe they are at least good indicators of getting into good positions. As I have very limited experience with lessons/teachers, I don’t really know how to rank the experience, other than I found it very useful. I got along with the coach quite well and we related very well. I felt like he listened to me and had a very good understanding of what I would like to accomplish. Part of the deal with the swing evaluation is them trying to sell you a lesson package. I am confident I could benefit from a 3 month package and would love to do their 6 month deal. Depending on the length of the package, they try to include 3 – 5 playing lessons to see first-hand how what they are working on translates to the course. I would really like to have that experience, if for no other reason, to have someone to question my intent before I try to do something heroically stupid instead of taking my medicine. I would love to tell you I signed up for one of the packages, but the timing is really bad for us right now. We have two kids in college and I am expecting another painful tax season since my wife kept forgetting to change her withholding – I changed mine so it won’t be as bad as last year, but it's still going to hurt. Our car insurance (4 cars/4 drivers) is also due around the same time, so we will be bleeding money over the coming months. I feel like the primary issue identified is something I can attempt to fix on my own. I already had suspicions about the steepness of my swing and had periodically tweaked things to attempt to flatten it out, with generally decent results. Now that I have an at-home drill and a good feel for where I should be, I feel like it should be easier to accomplish. I have no doubt there will be unknown (to me) side effects that I may or may not have a clue on how to fix, but I’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. Now, if only the weather would improve so I could get to the range....
  7. Welcome! I played the Westfield South Course about 20 years ago and really enjoyed it.
  8. I don't necessarily disagree with you, especially since golfers are a different breed, but to continue the racing analogy, Pirelli clearly sees value in supplying tires to F1, which has to mean it effects their sales positively. Those tires are most certainly not available to the weekend warriors who like to take their sports cars to track days (besides, who would want to put 13" wheels on their Porsche?), but I'm willing to bet there are people buying Pirelli's because of their involvement in F1. Personally, I see no need for bifurcation in golf until you hit the professional ranks. How often do amateur baseball players own or practice with wooden bats prior to getting drafted? I honestly don't know, but I would be surprised if it happened too often just because the skill required to hit a baseball is not sufficiently changed by the bat they are using.
  9. Which is one of the things that always confused me when NASCAR went the way of the template. I couldn't understand why the manufacturers stuck around when "their" car was not what was on the track so people couldn't go buy what looked just like the Thunderbird that won the Daytona 500. I didn't mean drivers fitting a template, I was more talking about a ball "template" of some sort. I'm sure they could develop a spec that would reduce distance but still give the manufacturers some leeway to try to differentiate themselves if they wanted to keep multiple manufacturers involved. Spec tires haven't really ruined racing, so I would suggest if a spec ball were done properly, it could work here, too. I would argue that has always been the case. I recall seeing a chart somewhere (maybe even in this thread?) that shows the distance difference shortest to longest on tour has held pretty steady over the last few decades. Who knows, I may be imaging it, though.
  10. Personally, I don't think I am opposed to some form of bifurcation, if that's what they think they need to do. Baseball does it once at the professional level with bats. Granted, I doubt there is much $ pumped into R&D on a piece of wood, but maybe I'm wrong. If they choose to bifurcate with the ball, perhaps the USGA and R&A could learn from racing - almost every top level professional series has a spec tire where interested manufacturers bid for the right to provide tires periodically. They could maybe even go the F1 route where there are 3 different specs to choose from on any given weekend. I could imagine something like a low, medium, and high spin or compression option that players get to chose from depending on the course and/or conditions and what they are trying to accomplish. I suppose they could develop a spec that could include any and all manufacturers (sort of like the NASCAR "car of tomorrow" that was a mandated body shape with Toyota, Chevy, or Ford stickers on them) so they don't burn any bridges with current manufacturers.
  11. So here I am quoting myself.... To make a long and painful experience relatively short, my wife originally ordered this cart on Walmart.com on December 2. Something was messed up and the order had to be cancelled/reissued three times and we never saw the cart. My very patient wife called Walmart somewhere around 800 times trying to escalate and find out what was going on. I even emailed Big Max to try to sort out where the problem was - Walmart or Big Max. The guy at Big Max informed me that they have never processed an order through Walmart and it sounded to me like he wasn't even sure Walmart was an authorized supplier, so I'm pretty sure it was a Walmart problem. When it became clear we were never going to see the cart, my wife started seeing if anyone would price-match the original sale price of $150. By this point, prices had returned to $200-$220 range depending on where you looked. Dick's did the best - they told my wife to monitor prices and would match anything she saw currently advertised, then made sure they emailed her an extra $20 coupon. She ordered on Sunday and the cart showed up yesterday. Walmart ended up giving us $50 credit to be used in-store or online, so I suppose you could argue we ended up with a better deal, but man, it was a painful experience. Merry belated Christmas to me! The good news is the weather is not exactly conducive to golf right now so it's not like I can use it just yet.
  12. Have you considered this? https://www.amazon.com/Datrek-Lite-Black-Charcoal-Royal/dp/B01LZWPBZF/ref=sr_1_2?crid=9D7W5E50N23C&dchild=1&keywords=datrek+dg+lite+ii+cart+bag&qid=1581612632&sprefix=datrek+%2Caps%2C158&sr=8-2 Since you push your cart a lot, it's a couple pounds lighter than the two you asked about.
  13. Please post some pics when you get a chance!
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