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  1. Hecaviator


  2. I love doing things: golf; sailing; skiing; fly fishing; hiking; biking; flying. My name is Hector. I'm an aviator. Made sense to me at the time. My other email address is HecMariner.
  3. The data is in. A couple weeks ago, five days on a 152 km bicycle tour - gained 6 lbs. Last two days, sitting around the house on my butt in self isolation - lost 3 lbs. Uh, we ate pretty good on the bike trail, but.... Back on the stationary bike tomorrow. Don't want to waste away.
  4. We are self-isolated for at least 30 days. Just got back from New Zealand (our winter/their summer) on Sunday, where we had self isolated the last 10 days after a bike tour on the South Island. That adventure required four flight legs. Then we flew a non-stop from Auckland to Vancouver and drove home. We don't want to be a risk to our friends and neighbors, so are staying at the house. Our club's course is closed. So I grabbed the shag bag and a couple clubs and headed for the yard. Wife asked "Where are you going?" I replied, "I'm going to practice chipping.". Wife, "No you're not. I've seen you chip." That's so cold.
  5. All due respect, I feel it is WAY too early to even initiate this discussion. MyGolfSpy has a social responsibility to its members to error on the side of caution. Even suggesting undertaking major tournaments before we know confidently that we have some semblance of control of the Covid-19 virus is not the right thing to do. Not even as a "I wish". The situation is much too dynamic to plan for holding such large, complex events that could attract thousands of people. We truly don't know what we are dealing with yet. All the data indicates, and responsible health professionals are recommending, that we nationally need to institute isolation and protective practices immediately to keep the death toll as low as 100,000 Americans. Once we understand better what the future holds, we can start to discuss the scheduling of tournaments, majors or not. Golf is a game. Protecting people, sometimes from themselves, isn't. Sorry to be strident about this, but MGS is way off base on this one.
  6. Oh My Goodness..... Hector, Washington State HI 16.9 Two sets in play: 1) Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metals; 2) Ben Hogan Ft. Worth Blacks 1) Mizunos, 155 to 158 yards; 2) Ben Hogans, 158 to 162 yards
  7. Uh, that's it? This one needs some work folks. It isn't up to the usual MSG standards. I've seen video clips of Chris when he really gets into it, and he is much more engaged and really interesting to listen to. Much more than he was in this question/answer session. This wasn't close to his best or yours. Maybe you had a different objective than what I was expecting when I read the introduction. Maybe this feature needs to transition to a video interview. Could you start with a Skype connection like you use with Tony for No Putts Given? Anyway, YES I am interested in learning more about the people in the business, but this isn't the ticket. Folks I want to hear more from in the future? Dave Pelz on effective practice. Ben Crenshaw on design. Kim Braly on shaft evolution. And a dozen more I won't bore you with. With regard to the last question to Chris about growing the game. We all know that young people have to get into golf or it will slowly die. Last summer I think I saw the future that will save golf. It will engage youngsters, but it will also change the game. It was in Campbell River, B.C., Canada of all places. A guy who made a bazillion dollars (Canadian dollars, but still a bazillion) came home to Campbell River, bought an old course, and started pouring large buckets of money in. He shut it down for a year and totally rebuilt the course. He has a four or five story hotel underway on an adjacent property. He also built a new "clubhouse", that isn't really a clubhouse so much as an extensive entertainment/recreation center fronting onto the driving range. He included a small pro shop to put people on the course, a very good restaurant in a "bar food" sense that also has stuff kids love, and about eight hitting bays hitting into the driving range that are state of the art equipped with high end launch monitor systems and large displays. They have comfortable seating for about six to eight people, and remind me of old-time bowling alleys where everyone had a beer and was really engaged socially. In fact the atmosphere was much like the bowling alleys I remember as a youngster. Everything was first class. The driving range, the restaurant, the fixtures, the simulator set ups, the rental equipment, the staff. When we drove into the parking lot initially a "greeter" was out there to welcome us, help us get our clubs out of the car, and answer questions about the course and facilities. And this person really KNEW golf. It was so out of the norm that it was almost unsettling. We were there on a Thursday and stayed for about six hours to watch the U.S. Open on TV in the restaurant. We ended up stuffing our faces with a LOT of good food and a few beers. The facility was incredible. Every single hitting bay was busy every single minute we were there - mid week, middle of the day. There were a lot of families, including a LOT of kids. They were so excited about the golf, it was infectious. We were hearing things like "When I get to play on a real golf course, I'm going to..." It was like nothing I've ever seen on at a golf course before. The hitting bays fronting on the driving range are even heated and sheltered so they will be comfortable in the winter. It was sort of a high class, mini Top Golf carried to the extreme in a small town in British Columbia. I had a chance to talk to the owner at length. He was very busy with this gigantic project he has going, but he took the time to talk to me - a visitor who was just having lunch and watching his big-screen TVs for free. (We did end up playing two rounds of golf there that week. The course was immaculately conditioned, though not the sternest test even in Campbell River) He was totally enthusiastic and very transparent about his project and business model. I commented about all the families that were there. No accident, he told me - his pricing actually allows a family to come in for a couple hours for less than the cost of taking the kids to the movies (not counting all the food and drinks they consume). His marketing approach was very impressive, with special birthday party sessions available, etc. His idea was that this is an entertainment center, focused on golf. He was busy setting up leagues for the winter months, which in Campbell River B.C. are real winter. THAT IS THE SORT OF THING THAT WILL GROW THE GAME - MAYBE EVEN SAVE IT. I know this is way too long a post, but I had to share this with someone who really cares about the game.
  8. Hey Lefty. I am about a 17, going higher I fear. Whatever you choose to do, I strongly recommend getting properly fit for your new clubs. A good fitter can dial you in pretty nicely, especially in terms of the combination of heads and shafts. I had never been properly fit for irons until last September, when I bought a set of Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metals after extensive testing over several months. I have found that I can hit them fairly well, and that the KBS C-taper LIte shaft worked for me. Then, in December I had a chance to buy a barely used set of Hogan Ft. Worth Blacks with UST/Mamiya Recoil graphite shafts (F3) at a great price and jumped at it. We winter in New Zealand so I brought them down here and have been playing them two or three times a week. I have been pleasantly surprised at how forgiving they are given that they are pretty "bladey". They are traditionally lofted (7 iron is 34 degrees) versus the Hot Metals which are jacked (7 iron is 30 degrees). Yet the Hogans are, if anything, a bit longer club for club. I will be leaving the Hogans here and switching back to the Mizunos when we return home in April. Bottom line, I think you should invest the time necessary to find a club (and shaft) that are best suited to you. For me both Mizuno and Hogan are a big step up. Both companies make quality products. When I spoke with Hogan during my initial search for new irons, they recommended the Edge model so that might also be the best bet for you as a 20 HI. But my experience with the Ft. Worth Blacks has been a pleasant surprise. FWIW, I like the technology of the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer for narrowing the choice of shafts, but I insisted that we do five sets of three swings with the MSO. I have professionally worked with data for 45 years and wasn't ready to accept that one set of three swings was sufficient, especially given the inherent inconsistency of my swing. The KBS shafts showed up as the preferred option in three of the five sets of three swings, so that is what I went with. The UST/Mamiya shafts were a shot in the dark that happened to work out. Both the KBS and UST shafts are "regular" flex, for whatever that is worth.
  9. A few ideas for you to consider. Do 1) and 2) below BEFORE you test any clubs. But above all GET FITTED! 1) Get a solid baseline on a sim with your current clubs. DO NOT settle for getting data only on one club (6 or 7 iron). Go through the entire bag. You may have to baseline on one day, examine the data carefully, and return on another day to test clubs. Fatigue is a risk if you hit enough to get a solid baseline on your entire current bag. 2) Do at least three to five 3-swing sessions with Mizuno's Shaft Optimizer 3D. Don't let the fitter just have you swing the MSO 3D three times. Most people's swings are not consistent enough to use the data from just 3 swings to narrow the field of shafts and select the best for you. In my case, five 3-swing sessions with the MSO 3D identified the same shaft (KBS C-taper Lite, regular flex) as most suited to my swing in three of the five sets, and it was second in two others. Obviously, that shaftt is suited to my swing. Get all the data details from the Optimizer, not just the recommended shaft. You may find that your current clubs are just fine, but your shafts aren't suited to your swing. Or, after testing through step 5) below, you may find that just putting new shafts and grips on your existing clubs is much less expensive than a new set of irons. Then you can spend the money left over on lessons, which might help more than new clubs. 3) When you get into testing irons, plan to swing at least five models of clubs, more if the fitter is willing. And swing them with more than one shaft if the MSO 3D has not identified a clear "best" option for you. At a minimum, hit the 5 iron, the 7 iron, and the pitching wedge. If the fitter insists just hitting the 7 iron is enough, find another fitter. Go through the whole set if you can, whether with the fitter or on your own using the sim. At a minimum, you will learn a LOT about your swing. 4) Try to fit hybrids into the set during the iron fitting, most likely in the 3 iron or 4 iron role. Test shafts with the hybrids, starting with the one identified with the MSO 3D. But be open to trying others as well. If you select a hybrid with an adjustable hosel and weights, experiment with adjustments. I found that the hybrid tended to hook. We dialed the loft down to the max available, which flattened the lie, and then set the weights heavy at the heel of the club. Bingo, straight as could be and better spin rates. 5) Consider a blended set of irons, e.g., Hot Metals and Hot Metal Pros or JPX 919 Forged. Or even try the MP20 HMB irons for the longest iron(s) in your bag, gapped to work with your irons and hybrid. 6) If a fitter doesn't have the patience to go through this with you, ask to work with someone who does or simply walk away. It's your money.
  10. After playing same old, same old (Cleveland HB3) super game improvement irons since about 2008, I decided to have a good set of irons before I die. And to have them fit instead of cruising around on eBay to find them. So, naturally, I bought two sets: Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metals in September and Ben Hogan Ft. Worth Blacks in December. Haven't figured out a favorite yet, but both are a LOT better than the Clevelands. The remaining question will be whether I can play either set well enough to get my handicap headed down instead of up as has been the case for the past five years or so. So far, so good. FWIW, both are long and I'm striking them consistently. My 7 iron carry with the HB3s had dropped off to 150 yards and was heading lower. I am hitting the Hot Metals 7 iron about 158 to 160 and the Ft. Worth 7 iron slightly more, maybe 163 carry. Can't explain why the Hogans are so long - their 7 iron is lofted at a traditional 34 degrees, while the Hot Metal 7 iron is somewhat jacked at 30 degrees. The trajectory of both is similar - must be the relative weighting of the heads or the different shafts (KBS C-taper Lite in the Mizunos and UST Mamiya Recoil F3 graphite in the Hogans, both regular flex).
  11. John, please put a link from this thread to the article. I just read it and commented on it. What a great article relating the history of an important period and a real contributor to golf (John Hoeflich). I played two of my three Nickent hybrids(#2, and #3) just yesterday, and they still crush the ball - a perfect fit with my Hogan Ft. Worth irons (4 - PW) and my TaylorMade 5 wood. Maybe I'll stuff the #4 in the bag tomorrow just for grins. And I was also gaming one of my two Nickent Pipe putters.( The other is in my bag at home.) I still have a set of Nickent irons that I couldn't bear to part with for some unknown reason. Maybe I'll break them out of the storage locker and put new KBS C-taper Lite shafts in them just to see what happens. Thanks again.
  12. Does Ben Hogan Golf send MGS irons to be tested as part of the usual evaluations that are performed? I would suggest that they should be, even though their direct to consumer marketing approach may not be what MGS thinks is in golfers' best interest (though I don't know why not). I want to encourage MGS to include the Hogan iron models in the 2020 lineup for testing, and wonder if others also support this.
  13. Just listened to Epi 28. Great talk. Miranda is a natural fit. The PXG discussion was interesting. I went in to their retail shop in Bellevue, WA over the holidays and hit the 0211 irons (only because they were ON SALE - $125/club). Given that I had just purchased Hot Metals in September and Hogan Ft. Worth Blacks in December, I wasn't really a customer, but I can't ignore a sale. They 0211 irons weren't anything special. I didn't hit the 0311 irons in case they were, 'cause they were NOT on sale. I don't hate PXG for their market and price point, but they are having the opposite effect on irons (and, I fear, golf generally) than what Dean Snell has created in the golf ball market. PXG creates another excuse for the big 3 (or is it 4 or 5) to jack prices up. It is a bit like the "loft war", with a race to change expectations of what a reasonable price is or what a number on a club means. FWIW, I have never owned Mizuno or Hogan irons before because I didn't think my game was worthy of either. News Flash! Mizunos and Hogans are not just for low handicappers. I brought the Hogans to New Zealand for our winter (their summer) and hit them yesterday. They are traditionally lofted but are at least a club longer (maybe more) than the Cleveland HB3s I have had here for 8 years or so. The Mizunos are still at home in Friday Harbor, WA. They are also at least a club longer. But the Hot Metal 7 iron is lofted at 30 degrees. The Hogan 7 iron is 34 degrees. For my testing so far, it looks like both go about the same distance. And, in addition to longer, they both fly higher than the old Clevelands. And I have discovered I can actually hit them, even the Hogan Ft. Worth Blacks that are forged blades. Technology is a very, very good thing.
  14. This week we went from 23 degrees (F) and snowing in Vancouver, B.C., Canada (at the airport for our flight) to 23 degrees (C) and bright sunshine in Auckland, New Zealand 13 hours later. As sailors say, nothing goes upwind like a 787. If you are challenged by the temp conversion, 23 degrees (C) is about 73 degrees (F). And 23 degrees (F) is still damn cold. How convenient that the northern hemisphere winter is the southern hemisphere summer. We went to the local golf club where we are members, picked up our summer membership card (a real bargain because golf is a winter sport here), and hit balls for an hour. We'll try to play this afternoon. My objective for our "second summer" this year is 40 rounds. I fell a bit short last year.
  15. Hi Miranda; Welcome aboard. Is there a separate forum where members can comment on topics addressed in the NPG episodes? Or is that simply done here in this forum. Also wondering - maybe I just missed the message if there was one. Is Sam gone?
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