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Hecaviator

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Friday Harbor
  • Interests
    Golf, sailing/cruising, fly fishing
  • Handicap:
    13.4
  • Referred By:
    No One

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  1. Just FWIW. Over the past 50 years I have competed in two sports that use handicapping in an attempt to level the playing fields: 1) golf; 2) sailing. I used to race sailboats 80 to 100 days a year. Now I play 80 to 100 rounds of golf a year. I have deep respect for those who have invested enormous amounts of time and thought in formulating handicapping systems in the effort to level out competition. That said, I realized long ago that both sailing and golf handicapping are fundamentally flawed, mainly because of two factors: 1) the variability that exists among the parameters employed in the mathematically formulae handicapping involves; and, 2) flaws in the calculations. Within these categories, there are numerous factors in play - many of which are inherently dynamic. These factors introduce opportunities to improve both sailing and golf handicapping, but achieving improvements would demand so much effort that the payoff for doing it isn't there in the subjective sense that most humans employ. Most people simply wouldn't feel the "payoff" is worth the "effort required". Good enough, it seems, is actually good enough for most of us most of the time. Course rating just happens to be one of the greatest variables: from state to state, region to region, and country to country. From my observation over many years, playing golf across the USA and a bit internationally, course rating is the biggest variable factors of all. Consider that my handicap in New Zealand is nearly 7 strokes higher than my handicap here in the States. I'm convinced it is because the approaches to course rating are so different. But that is another aspect that we don't need to divert to in this discussion. Frankly, because I have observed the limitations of both sailing and golf handicapping for many years, I don't hold much hope for meaningful improvements in either. They are both "good enough", even though neither is truly great. We could spend thousands of hours talking about the strengths and weaknesses of handicapping in both sports and how to fix the flaws. If we did, we almost certainly wouldn't arrive at any major improvements or viable solutions to the basic flaws, but would have enjoyed a lot of beer and good company. Maybe that is the greatest value of handicapping. If one wanted to invest the time and effort, what tracks might be followed that hold the greatest promise. I my estimation data is the key. We have vastly more of it today and (thanks to computers) we have vastly more capability to pose hypotheses and qualitatively assess the influence of various factors. That is what "Money Ball" was all about, and statistical metrics continue to blossom in sport, business, and many other endeavors because some people see an opportunity to make it pay off economically. So, I will continue to play golf knowing that the handicap measure of my potential (not my performance on a given day) is what will be used to compare me with other golfers. I will also recognize and accept its imperfections. When I was actively sailing, I had an alternative available: one-design sailing. That is what I chose to do most of the time, though I also sailing in handicapped events many times. In one-design competition, unlike handicap racing, there is no mathematical adjustment applied to correct for variabilities among hull shape, weight, sails, and even underwater appendages like folding or fixed blade props. By invoking strict physical design specifications and limitations on straying from them, everything is oriented to reducing the variables as much as possible. So, in theory (and almost in fact), it is the skills of the crew that determine who wins and loses one-design sailing races. It generally proves out. In one-design sailboat classes, in local fleets as well as at national-level competition, the same small group of individuals or crews usually win. They win most often because they are better than the other competitors. Every once in a while, someone who is usually in the middle of the fleet will break through, but if you hold enough individual races in a regatta (typically five to sever), the cream rises to the crop almost every time. That is demonstrated by the fact that the truly great sailors can move into a different one-design class than they usually sail in and compete right at the top immediately. They are extraordinary sailors. I've never done anything in my life as intensely competitive as one-design sailboat racing, and that includes very active participation in several sports in high school, in football in college, and in the competition of business. Nothing even comes close to high level one-design sailing competition. Imagine playing chess against a grand master while competing at the upper levels of a marathon or triathlon. You have two or three 1.5 to 2 hour long races in a single day where, if you lose focus or don't max out your physical effort for even a second, you fall behind and probably lose because someone else is maintaining their focus and effort at that level. Maybe that is why I am now golfing instead of competitively sailing <grin>. I suggest we accept golf handicaps for what they are, with all their warts and inequities. At the end of the round, does it really matter if we are buying the beer or the other guy is?
  2. Following up on Tony's, Harry's, and Chris' speculation in the latest No Putts Given (Episode 54?) in response to a couple tweets from the corpse of Adams Golf, what bizarre predictions or fake news can we gin up. I'm thinking that we will soon see Adam's Kirkland Signature irons and hybrids on the aisles of our favorite superbox store, probably strategically displayed somewhere between the alcohol and camping tents. Costco is already in the business with balls, gloves, putters, and (i have heard but not seen) wedges. What easier way to buy credibility in the golf equipment market could there be than bringing Adams back from the crypt that Taylormade cast it into?
  3. This may not help you much, but it depends heavily on the weather on the given day and what kind of game you play. If you play the ball in the air and it the wind isn't blowing, I would suggest you will enjoy Bandon Dunes or Pacific Dunes most. Much of Bandon Trails is more sheltered from the coastal winds by the trees, but it is my least favorite Bandon course. If you play the ball on the ground, don't miss Old MacDonald. I suspect the Sheep Ranch will be similar to it, but it is new and I haven't played it. If you have a chance, also play the Sandpines course up in Florence and/or Bandon Crossings south of town. Both allow carts, so If you are worn out from walking Bandon, they are a good break.
  4. I definitely vary my tips based on the quality of the experience the caddie provides. My experience at Bandon is dated at this point, but we are planning to correct that error next February. The caddies at Bandon are pros, and expect to be compensated appropriately. BUT, there is definitely a range in terms of the quality of service they offer, and sometimes they just have an off day. Some see an old guy and seem to figure this is just bag haul. Be very clear about what you want from them. I'm not usually assertive enough, so I have to bear some of the blame for less stellar days. One day at Bandon I had a guy who thought he should be reading every putt for me. He was really into the line, but didn't have anything to say about pace. I can see the lines, but pace is more subtle there than most places I've played because of the undulations and length of putts you get. Of course, I have played there only in the winter, and I suspect the pace is more consistent in the summer. I finally told him I could see the line and he didn't give me anything on the greens after that, even though I asked. The other thing he wasn't very helpful with were carry distances for fairway bunkers, which is critical at Bandon. There are a lot more fairway bunkers just waiting to suck your ball in than anywhere else I have played. I know my carry distances with my clubs if I hit them right. He couldn't tell me the carry distances. He'd just say "It's a six iron". That wasn't a very good day, and he got tipped accordingly. It probably pissed him off. I should have told the folks in the shop why I tipped him as I did, but didn't want to cause problems. The next day I asked for a different caddie, and this guy gave me shot lines and distances without having to request them. He also was very good reading the undulations and pace of the greens. Within three holes we were totally synched up. It was a great day. I was probably overly generous, but it was such a contrast from the previous day. I think I tipped him $60 or $70, but that was over10 years ago. FWIW, the son of a neighbor caddied for me at Chambers Bay and was head and shoulders above any caddie I have had at Bandon. But then we had played together and he knew my personality as well as my golf game. He probably saved me 6 to 8 shots each time he caddied for me.
  5. Friday Harbor, WA Most interested in testing the sports creme. I currently use a different brand of CBD sports creme as a topical for relief from the pain of gout flareups and it works well. I haven't used it in association with golf. I'd like to compare the Kanibi with that brand. I would also consider the other Kanibi products, especially the tinctures or gummies. I tend to be focused and play quickly. I've been working hard on my mental and physical control during the rounds in an effort to eliminate rushed decisions and get my 14 handicap down to single digits (I'm 75, so it is a challenge). I'm slowing everything down to a more consistent pace without rushing my walking or sequence of play. My wife and I, and the other playing partners that I typically play with, walk 18 holes in 3.5 hours or less if slower players aren't in front of us, so there are a lot of 7am tee times. I don't use a fitness tracker.
  6. Hector / Friday Harbor, WA Current GHIN 14.9 Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal Shot Scope member - will acquire new tags for the Wilson irons and use for accurate comparison to current irons.
  7. 14.5 Handicap, Western Washington Playing Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metals (5 / GW), 8 iron distance 138 yard carry. All I know about Sub70s is what I read on MyGolfSpy Playing 4 to 5 days a week on a variety of courses, mostly north of Seattle. Have just put a Shot Scope V3 in play, and will acquire a second set of tags for the Sub70's so I can provide detailed data comparing them with the Mizunos. Also have a set of Hogan Ft. Worth Blacks that I play January through March, 8 iron distance 144 yard carry. I would love to test the Sub70's against the Hogans as both are marketed through DTC consumer models.
  8. Hey Kyler; I have been through the transition in both directions. I started in the early '60's with Wilson Staff woods and irons. They were so much better than my game could live up to that it is a miracle I hit anything. After a layoff for 25 years, I started playing again. I don't remember what I bought, but they weren't anything notable. After a few years I decided that if I couldn't golf well I might as well look good. So I bought TaylorMade Supersteel Bubble shaft irons and some Ping woods. I still have them. They are still better clubs than I am a golfer. Then I started buying "up" in terms of irons. Went with Ping S55's, then Wilsons. Tried Nickents and some others. But I couldn't hit them as well as the Supersteels, so I backtracked for a few years. Then, on a trip to Bandon, my golf buddy and I were on the range. He was hitting his new Cleveland super game improvement irons. I think the model was something like HLI - in any case they were the ones prior to the HB3's.I knew his game well and couldn't believe how well he was hitting them. So I tried his on the range and bought a set the next week. Since then I have bought two more sets of the Cleveland HB3's. They are extremely forgiving, high trajectory, and long. You just have to get over how ugly they are in the bag. The sets of Cleveland irons are sitting in: 1) the garage; 2) the storage locker; and, 3) New Zealand, where we spend our winters. I still revert to them when my swing goes in the gurgler - which means they may get played soon. Last fall I decided to buy myself one more really nice set of irons before I croak - so I got fit and ended up with Mizuno Hot Metals. Then, in December I had a chance to buy a set of Hogan Ft. Worth Blacks really cheap and did so. I took them to New Zealand, intending to sell them after playing a few rounds and make a buck. I played them for two months there and quit thinking about selling them. They (and one set of HB3's) are sitting in our landlord's basement until we can return once Covid-19 has ceased. I played those Clevelands three rounds this winter (New Zealand summer) and still love them. But the Hogans are really special. They are traditionally lofted (34 degree 7 iron) but consistent as a clock and longer than the Mizunos, which are known to be hot clubs. Sorry to be so long-winded, but my conclusion is that you ought to give some of the new irons that are one or two tiers above super game improvement another look, especially the Hogans. You may be surprised how forgiving they are. Which Hogans are you playing? Maybe stepping back to the Edge irons will get you to a comfortable feel. But, if you are dead set on moving to super game improvement irons, give the new Cleveland HB Turbos a look. Like the Cleveland sets I have kept forever, they are ugly as a bulldog. But they are by far the easiest irons to hit I have ever had. I still carry the HB 3 3-iron and use it as a hybrid with the Hot Metals, slotting it between the 5 iron and my new Titleist TS3 hybrid. That old Cleveland 3 iron is my "go to" when I need 180 yards carry into a green. Because it flies so high, I can actually stop it on the greens. Good hunting. Hector
  9. Thanks Jaskanski; I wasn't aware that Trakman had such a chart. As far as carry distance, it seems pretty consistent with estimating swing speed by dividing your carry distance by 2.3, which Nic mentioned. However, as I look at the Trakman chart I have to wonder what sort of course assumptions they have programmed in. The differences between the carry distances and the total distances on the chart just seem, shall we say, highly optimistic. I fairly consistently hit between 215 and 225 carry with a slight draw and medium to medium-high trajectory. Based on that, using Nic's correlation value, I figure my swing speed must be on the order of 95mph. Fine so far. But I sure don't see total distances of 247 to 276 yards. 46 to 53 yards of roll just doesn't match the reality I see on the course. FWIW, our course is getting increasingly firm as summer advances, but if I get a 20 yard to 25 yard roll I'm pretty pleased. Maybe my spin rate is higher than what the Trakman program employs, reducing the roll out. But it sure doesn't show up in my shot shape.
  10. Hector Cyre - Friday Harbor, WA I have been using gps-based yardage aids for many years. Presently have and use a Bushnell watch/gps. It is my primary yardage reference at this point. I just ordered a Shot Scope, and will be starting with it in a week or so. I would be happy to use both the Sky Caddie and the Shot Scope each round and compare them as part of the test. If you wish, I would also continue to use the Bushnell and cover that in the test as well.
  11. Thanks Nic. That translates to just a tick over 95 mph for a 220 yard carry distance. Probably pretty close, if a bit crushing personally. I guess I'd better get the Speed Sticks out and get serious about their training protocol.
  12. We sometimes hear reference to swing speed as a metric for selecting a shaft or (as in the latest NoPuttsGiven video #44) a driver. But for those of us who don't reliably know what our swing speed is with our driver, or any other club for that matter, IS THERE A TABLE SOMEWHERE THAT CORRELATES DRIVER DISTANCE AND SWING SPEED? Even if we don't know our swing speed, most of us know or can easily determine our average driver carry distance. I'm not talking the longest drive we've hit this year and I'm not taking into consideration roll (total distance), just the carry distance. When the trajectory and ball flight characteristics are relatively conventional, not hooking hard or a big banana fade, that carry distance should correlate to some degree with the average swing speed, right? I suspect it correlates pretty well, allowing somewhat for equipment and smash factor (efficiency) differences. So, with reference to the "best" drivers based on swing speed that were mentioned on NPG#44, as a guy who is hitting his average drive (carry distance) 220 yards, do I fit in the slow swing speed category (less than 95 mph), the middle swing speed range (95 - 105), or the high swing speed range (over 105). AND IF THERE ISN'T A READILY AVAILABLE REFERENCE TABLE WE CAN LOOK AT, SHOULDN'T MY GOLF SPY DO US A FAVOR AND DEVELOP ONE AND PUT IT ON THE WEBSITE?
  13. Hecaviator

    Hecaviator

  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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