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Hecaviator

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Everything posted by Hecaviator

  1. Yeah. Asking which one a person might spring for without knowing the price is really a silly question.
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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?
  22. Well, I guess my customer service expectations are excessively high. Decathalon (Inesis) got me the code for opening up my account after a few hours and I ordered a pair of their waterproof golf shoes. I'm looking forward to getting them soon and testing them in the Pacific Northwest winter. Still, they ought to have a contact phone number for customer service. That's pretty basic. 

  23. MGS obviously really likes Inesis golf shoes (Decathalon based in France). They may be great, and I would love to order a pair, but go to their website and try to find a phone number for customer service. It simply doesn't exist. I have tried TWICE to set up an account and Inesis/Decathalon's site directs me back to my email to complete the set up (probably for a code), but there is nothing at my email address. Then I tried an email to their customer service. Nothing. Nada. They have recently opened a store in the San Francisco Bay area. No phone number available. MSG shouldn't recommend golf shoes or other goods from a company without checking them out first. I guess I'll just buy my golf shoes through Amazon. You can say all sorts of bad things about Amazon, but their customer service is first rate.  

  24. Hi Guys and Girls. I'm new to MyGolfSpy, and this is the first forum I have posted to. Have to start somewhere, right? My wife and I live in Friday Harbor, Washington in the San Juan Islands. I'm 74, so I suspect I am one of the older guys on this site. I'm not yet retired, and don't plan to. I own a water resource consulting company. My handle reflects that I owned and flew light aircraft for many years, with single-engine land, single-engine sea, and instrument ratings. Didn't fly enough to maintain my desired proficiency, so I sold the plane a couple years ago. We have a nice little club with a 9-hole course here on the island. Great conditioning, small greens, a few ponds, and too damn many trees. We also belong to a course in New Zealand (Taupo Golf Club), where we spend 10 weeks each winter (our winter = their summer, how convenient). TGC has two 18 hole courses, one roughly comparable to ours here and the other a real championship track. I play a lot with the "Vets" (old guys) there. My Handicap Index is 16.8 here, but for some reason it is always a couple strokes higher in New Zealand. I play 50 to 70 rounds a year - about 35 in New Zealand and the same or a few less in the Pacific Northwest, mostly because my wife and I go cruising in British Columbia in the summers. (This year we finally made it to Southeast Alaska. That takes a while at 6.5 kt.) Best thing about golf here on the island is the group of guys I play with. Best thing about the PacNW is the abundance of really good courses no one knows about. Gamble Sands is way out back of the back of beyond in the desert of Eastern Washington, but it is a GREAT (David McClay Kidd) course. New Zealand is kind of the same way. There are more golf courses in New Zealand per capita than any other country on Earth other than Scotland. Every little town seems to have a course and a clubhouse, and the tracks are often quite good. I have played a few where the fairways are "mown" by sheep, and the greens have low electric fences around them to keep the sheep off. Golf there is very egalitarian - everyone plays and everyone is welcome, from the banker to the butcher. I started golfing when I was about 14 years old. First got involved by caddying for a friend of my dad. Reason - $5 a round and he let my drive his car to and from the course at 14. I think that was so he could drink a shot of scotch on each tee box. I remember him as a fairly good golfer but a really accomplished drinker. He would let me hit a few shots during his rounds, and I caught the bug. I remember hitch hiking to the course with a buddy before I could drive (legally). It wasn't much of a course, sand greens, a lot more rough than fairways, and a lot of tall unmown areas. But we had so much fun. I played quite a bit in my first two years of college - even bought a set of Wilson staff woods (real woods) and irons. Then I realized that I better go to class instead. After I started work and got married I basically took 25 years away from golf - from about 25 to 50 - because I couldn't keep from getting angry. I just kept trying (i.e., swinging) harder, and it kept getting worse. Nothing I had ever done in sports couldn't be improved by being more intense. It didn't work for golf. So I hung it up. My sister-in-law was a PGA teaching pro. She advised me that I didn't play golf well enough to get mad about it, but she didn't get through to me. I really regret missing those years now, but that's just water down the creek at this point. What do I love about golf? My wife and I play most of our golf together. She plays to a HI of 22 or so, making it a lot of fun. (For many years we also raced one-design sailboats together - the best way I can put it is that she is quietly VERY intensely competitive.) Last year we played in the Five Courses Stableford tournament in Tauranga, New Zealand. Five days, five courses, five rounds, 300+ golfers from all over the world. What a gas! I found MyGolfSpy by accident because I started watching TXG on YouTube and saw their segment about the infamous golf ball test. I've read many of the Most Wanted articles and enjoy their objective perspectives. Right now I'm really enjoying marathoning the No Putts Given episodes. I bought a set of Mizuno JPX-919 Hot Metals and a Titleist TS3 21 degree hybrid.about six weeks ago. There are my first new clubs in about 10 years. I always thought I didn't play well enough to deserve clubs that good. They were for real golfers. What an idiot! It has been a real eye-opener. My Rocketbalz 3 metal hasn't been out of the bag since. No more surfing eBay for clubs. I'm mostly looking forward to reading others' posts rather than posting myself. So I may be AWOL from the forum most of the time. Cheers; Hecaviator
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