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A quick follow up to my last post: here's Game Golf's analysis of my strokes gained through my first 36 holes of this season, compared to my first 36 holes of last season:

image.png

This really does give me hope for this season. Last year, if you combine approach and short game stats, I was almost 7 strokes better in July/August than I was in May. I doubt the difference will be that extreme this year, but it does show that I have a pattern of better scoring as the season progresses.

My biggest asset so far this year? I'm keeping the ball in play. I've lost two balls on my 36 holes thus far. The first was a chunked shot that landed in a puddle in the rough, and I just couldn't find it in the puddle. The ball was in play, but just disappeared. The second was a provisional I hit that I ended up not needing, and I forgot to pick up the ball. So even my two "lost" balls were not lost in the traditional sense.

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I've been inspired by two recent threads: @jlukes's swing overhaul, and @revkev's thread comparing lessons and fitting vs. self-teaching and off-the-rack clubs (these are both great threads that, if y

Thanks for the shout-out @GB13 My bits of advice: Get a notepad and on the last page write your full target goal, be that making scratch or the PGA Tour, whatever, you are going to refer

The good news: Arccos replied yesterday and got my course information straightened. So far, everything looks pretty good. The OK news: I had a deeply mediocre nine holes this morning (10 over), a

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Kirke and I played another nine yesterday. He beat me soundly: he shot a 43 to my 47. It was a frustrating round for me. I hit trees with six different shots, including all threes times I pulled driver. I also had two different holes in which it took my 3 wedge shots to find the green. Partial swing wedge shots (40–70 yards) have been a particular problem: I know the correct swing length (thanks, SkyTrak!), but that doesn't matter when I fat them four inches behind the ball.

Hole 12 was (unfortunately) typical:

image.png

This is one of the easiest holes on the course, a short par 4. I hit a really good 4w off the tee leaving above a 60 yard wedge. Fatted that one. Then thinned the next one over the green into the back bunker. Decent sand shot and two putts later, I walk off with a double.

I honestly need to spend more time like Kirke: he spends hours a week in the backyard with his wedge, chipping and pitching from all lies to targets.

I swapped out putters for this round: I was really struggling with short putts using the Tour Stroke Trainer. I think the Trainer still has its place for practice, but maybe not on the course. Threw the Spider in the bag for this round, and Game Golf approved: 15 putts, gaining 1.5 strokes for the round against scratch.

Handicap crept up for the first time on this round, back to 15.3.

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Played 18 yesterday with a fellow pastor. Summer was fun while it lasted; the weather today is rain and highs around 40°.

Had another absolutely generic round for me: an 89, which is bogey golf here. Went about it in a slightly odd way: out in 47, back in in 42.

It was my first round using my new EXO Indianapolis S. Took a hole or so to get adjusted to the speed (it's a fairly soft feel), but I'm pleased so far. Nothing great: 34 putts, but I didn't miss more than a couple I should have made, and my putting score is almost exactly at a 10 handicap level.

image.png

The bigger developments happened off the tee. Not only was I getting close to 10-handicap level in strokes gained, but I had a couple of legitimately good drives: two different 240+ pokes.

image.png

This is again with virtually no rollout on shots right now; there were a couple of drives today sitting within a foot of their pitch mark. So that's encouraging.

The short game continues to leak major amounts of oil. I have a busy few days coming up, including a trip, but when I return, I'm hoping to make chipping and pitching off all kinds of lies a major focus of practice.

Handicap held steady at 15.3. As I've stated before, I'm still feeling pretty good. This was my first 18-hole round. This was yet another round in which I didn't lose a ball; it's awesome to have to replace balls because they're worn and not because they've disappeared. And I still expect my short game feels to get dialed in with my rounds.

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I like to check in occasionally on your odyssey. I like your honesty too. This game ain't easy. I'm curious at what distance do you play your course? I ask due to soft conditions I think you play on.

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Sorry had to quote this because this is what I love. I need to get back to practicing this part of my game. I do believe that our feeling of what is 1/2 and what is 3/4 might be wrong maybe a mirror would help...wish I had a setup in my garage

Continuing to explore the features of the SkyTrak to help me reach my goal. Even since I first read Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible, I've been a bit intrigued by the clock wedge system. But without a range, I've really had no way to get my numbers, and so my short game approach has been to use my SW for every partial swing shot, unless the situation explicitly called for a LW.
So the fact that the SkyTrak has a wedge matrix feature built in is great. In setup, you tell it 1) how many wedges you have, 2) what size swings you want to do, and 3) how many swings of each kind you want. The math means that your swing count will add up in a hurry. I'm doing four wedges, four size swings (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full), and five shots for each kind of swing. That's 80 shots; it took me almost 50 minutes to complete the matrix.
Here was my first result:
image.png.77a8166f66832c6a569f1033141d4079.png
So the obvious things that jumps out is the major gap between the 1/4 and 1/2 swing distances. In my case, I think I need to reduce my own conception of the 1/2 swing, and maybe slightly also the 3/4 swing. I also still need to figure out how to hit a full swing wedge that doesn't just launch higher without carrying further. My desire is to have my full swing SW be 90, GW be 105, and PW be 120. I know that's possible for me; it's not a matter of speed but of consistent technique.
Anyway, the potential is there for this to be a workable system for me. I use a laser rangefinder on the course, which is an important component for making this usable.
I'm continuing to love the SkyTrak data. In addition to the matrix itself, it gives you the dispersion chart for each club. Here's my SW:
image.png.062ba876368ffcd9fe92e796d8eefaf6.png
With the 1/2 swing, I had one shot that was an outlier, otherwise all the partial swings had pretty tight groupings. I really think I need to look into getting some wedges that are a degree or two flat; the wedge pulls are a regular feature of my short game.
 


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2 hours ago, PlaidJacket said:

I like to check in occasionally on your odyssey. I like your honesty too. This game ain't easy. I'm curious at what distance do you play your course? I ask due to soft conditions I think you play on.

The course is very short. I'm playing from the furthest back tees, at about 6,100 yards.

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A couple more mediocre rounds since my last check-in: handicap remains steady in the mid-15s. Here's the strokes lost versus a 10-handicap for the last two rounds:

image.png

Putting (continuing with the Indianapolis) has been steady but unspectacular. There's obviously room to get better, but it isn't what's holding me back.

My approach game has been less-than-great as of late. What I've found is I tend to have the best control when I'm thinking fade. Even if the ball doesn't actually fade, it reins in the big left miss. Sometimes, with the goal of just swinging freely, I don't consciously think about a fade, and this sometimes leads to the big left miss, especially off the tee. That has lead, in the last couple of rounds, to balls in the left woods or caroming off trees.

Just for kicks, here's my first eight rounds of this year versus my first eight rounds last season:

image.png

I remain encouraged that I'm better in every single category so far, and overall, about 5 strokes gained versus the same rounds last year.

Our local men's league begins tomorrow, so I'm excited about that. Playing on a team with my dad this year.

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So have you noticed any of your offseason work pay off?  Why do you think you aren't seeing as big of returns for all of the time you invested?  Do you feel you spread yourself too think rather than focus on one specific thing?

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I have a question as well MPR. We all form a picture in our minds about things we can't see. For better or worse - right or wrong. I picture you in a rather isolated area with limited golf availability. Certainly a very short season. I read where you are in a league currently. Are there any players who might be low single digit hcp'rs? Perhaps between 0-5 or lower? The reason I'm asking is that I found early on that if you can play regularly with guys like that you will learn a lot - rather quickly. Low handicap players didn't get there in most cases by trying to "figure it out" on their own. A good player (much better than you) if willing; might mentor you along.

2 cents.

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4 hours ago, jlukes said:

So have you noticed any of your offseason work pay off?  Why do you think you aren't seeing as big of returns for all of the time you invested?  Do you feel you spread yourself too think rather than focus on one specific thing?

Great question, with a multi-part answer.

I think the fact that I'm starting my season in almost last year's mid-season form is not insignificant. Like I said in my last post, I'm about 5 strokes better right now than I was through 8 rounds last season; I'm about 2 strokes behind where I was in July/August last year. So I'm not yet ready to say that the work isn't paying off as much as I wanted it to.

As for things that have paid off, the biggest is the gapping, especially in that troublesome area for me from 90-120 yards. I've already this season had multiple shots in that range where I would have chosen the wrong club and come up short, whereas this year I know that (for instance) my SW struggles to go past 90 and my GW past 105 or so.

On the other side, the transition from indoor golf to outdoor golf is not small, and this is one of the big lessons I'm learning right now. This is especially true for the short game: I don't think SkyTrak's software does a good job properly simulating rollout on short shots. And (this is the biggest thing) actual golf courses constantly ask you to hit shots with your ball in bad places, especially if the course you play isn't pristine (ahem). Hitting off a mat is one thing; hitting a partial wedge with you ball nestled down on a little bare patch of mud resting against a sprout of grass is very different.

Right now, I'm losing lots of shots from exactly those kinds of short game failures, and I don't suspect there's any other solution to that than real outdoor practice. Kirke and I hit the course for a bit this morning, and he's awesome to play games of up-and-down with (he straight up beats me more often than I beat him at that). That kind of practice is now going to be regular for me.

I also still need off-the-tee practice, which I got none of this winter because of the ceiling height in the garage.

TL;DR: I think the practice this summer did pay off in ball striking and gapping. I need to work on chipping on pitching in game conditions.

15 minutes ago, PlaidJacket said:

I have a question as well MPR. We all form a picture in our minds about things we can't see. For better or worse - right or wrong. I picture you in a rather isolated area with limited golf availability. Certainly a very short season. I read where you are in a league currently. Are there any players who might be low single digit hcp'rs? Perhaps between 0-5 or lower? The reason I'm asking is that I found early on that if you can play regularly with guys like that you will learn a lot - rather quickly. Low handicap players didn't get there in most cases by trying to "figure it out" on their own. A good player (much better than you) if willing; might mentor you along.

2 cents.

The guy I've play most with since I really started playing this game six or so years ago is @Erik-M, who's a legit 5 handicap. And while he has helped me a great deal, his game is so different from mine that it's hard to make applications. I've been with him when he's driven greens 330 yards away; that's not a skill I'm going to be picking up from him. He's a natural athlete who plays without swing thoughts; I'm a thoroughgoing nerd who loves over analyzing every aspect of my game.

So while you're likely right, I'm enjoying what I'm doing. If I needed to get to a certain handicap, and that was the entire goal, I know I'm going about it wrong. But for me, a lot of the enjoyment comes from trying to figure it out.

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Like ole Frank Sinatra sang..... I did it my wayyyyyyy. 👍 🏌️‍♂️

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21 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Hitting off a mat is one thing; hitting a partial wedge with you ball nestled down on a little bare patch of mud resting against a sprout of grass is very different.

Are you still very wet up there, too? One of my major frustrations so far this season has been the absolutely insane amount of precipitation. I have yet to play a round this year without standing water on some part of the course. If I'm not on the fringe I can almost guarantee my lie is going to be awful because of conditions like you mentioned.

I've enjoyed following along on the GAME Golf portal. Our GG handicaps are very similar. Thanks again for sharing your progress on here. It's particularly inspiring for me because I can relate to all of the struggles you've mentioned.

 

 

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Unofficial WHS Handicap: 10.4 (Last Updated Nov. 10, 2020)

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Just now, edingc said:

Are you still very wet up there, too? One of my major frustrations so far this season has been the absolutely insane amount of precipitation. I have yet to play a round this year without standing water on some part of the course. If I'm not on the fringe I can almost guarantee my lie is going to be awful because of conditions like you mentioned.

I've enjoyed following along on the GAME Golf portal. Our GG handicaps are very similar. Thanks again for sharing your progress on here. It's particularly inspiring for me because I can relate to all of the struggles you've mentioned.

Yeah, absolutely. Even in the best of conditions, our course struggles to fully dry up. It sets low, and it's not at all a sandy soil up here. I've described it to others as hitting every single approach shot out of a fairway bunker: the ground is soft, and if you catch it fat, you're likely to be punished severely.

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On 5/16/2019 at 11:15 AM, GolfSpy MPR said:

..spend more time like Kirke: he spends hours a week in the backyard with his wedge, chipping and pitching from all lies to targets

Oh yeah..! That is the BEST kind of practice!!! Kid is gonna be gooooood 👍

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Quick check in. I've played two times since my last post, but my Game Golf (mercifully) died just before the wheels totally fell off my last round. My overall handicap has continued to be steady: from 15.6 at the start of the season to 15.7 now. That said, I still think there's value in comparing my year so far through the same point last year.

image.png

It remains the case that in every category, I'm ahead of where I was through 10 rounds last season. The putting is obviously the biggest difference, and I think that's very sustainable. I'm actually happier with the improvement off the tee. Further data off the tee, beginning with the bad news: the left miss (that I thought the Rogue SZ would mitigate) is back with a vengeance:

image.png

The "off the tee" distance in GG is every tee shot, not just driver. I'm still not hitting my driver (on average) far enough; it's just at 200 yards. But it's been coming around a bit lately: here's the first shot of my last round:

image.png

The tee shot on the first hole is slightly downhill, but there wasn't anything else (strong wind, bounce off the path) that contributed to the distance. The course is finally starting to dry a bit, and getting a ball that rolls even a little is a big boost to distance. I wish the drive wouldn't have ended up under a tree, though 🙂

Here's my biggest improvement thus far:

image.png

So I'm hitting essentially twice as many GIRs as this time last year, with fractionally fewer putts per hole. That's a good combination. That GIR number is still not OK, but progress is good.

Tomorrow night is my first league match of the season. I'm partnering with my dad this season, which puts me in a different position that previous years in league: I'll be matching up with the better player on the teams we play, so that should provide some healthy pressure.

Next week, my wife and I celebrate our tenth anniversary. My parents are watching our children for a few days while she and I take a short trip, and that'll include two rounds of golf. She doesn't play (though she's a better athlete than I am), but she does enjoy being outdoors and so she'll join me for walking those rounds. I'm looking forward to playing a couple different courses (I play almost all my golf at one course) and seeing how my game travels.

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8 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Quick check in. I've played two times since my last post, but my Game Golf (mercifully) died just before the wheels totally fell off my last round. My overall handicap has continued to be steady: from 15.6 at the start of the season to 15.7 now. That said, I still think there's value in comparing my year so far through the same point last year.

image.png

It remains the case that in every category, I'm ahead of where I was through 10 rounds last season. The putting is obviously the biggest difference, and I think that's very sustainable. I'm actually happier with the improvement off the tee. Further data off the tee, beginning with the bad news: the left miss (that I thought the Rogue SZ would mitigate) is back with a vengeance:

image.png

The "off the tee" distance in GG is every tee shot, not just driver. I'm still not hitting my driver (on average) far enough; it's just at 200 yards. But it's been coming around a bit lately: here's the first shot of my last round:

image.png

The tee shot on the first hole is slightly downhill, but there wasn't anything else (strong wind, bounce off the path) that contributed to the distance. The course is finally starting to dry a bit, and getting a ball that rolls even a little is a big boost to distance. I wish the drive wouldn't have ended up under a tree, though 🙂

Here's my biggest improvement thus far:

image.png

So I'm hitting essentially twice as many GIRs as this time last year, with fractionally fewer putts per hole. That's a good combination. That GIR number is still not OK, but progress is good.

Tomorrow night is my first league match of the season. I'm partnering with my dad this season, which puts me in a different position that previous years in league: I'll be matching up with the better player on the teams we play, so that should provide some healthy pressure.

Next week, my wife and I celebrate our tenth anniversary. My parents are watching our children for a few days while she and I take a short trip, and that'll include two rounds of golf. She doesn't play (though she's a better athlete than I am), but she does enjoy being outdoors and so she'll join me for walking those rounds. I'm looking forward to playing a couple different courses (I play almost all my golf at one course) and seeing how my game travels.

Well, Happy Anniversary to you two! Have a good time out there and just play your game. Nice work so far!

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In my       :ping-small: DLX Cart Bag:
Driver
:    :ping-small: G410 SFT, set to 9.5*, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 60, stiff (MGS Official 2019 Tester)
3W:          :ping-small: G-Series SF TEC, set to 16*, Aldila Tour Blue ATX, 65g, stiff
5W:          :ping-small: G400 SFT, set to 19*, Aldila Tour Blue ATX, 65g, stiff
7W:         :ping-small: G410 SFT, set to 22*. Alta CB 65 Red, stiff

Irons:       :ping-small: GMax, Green Dot, 5-PW, Project X Graphite Blue 6.0, 80-90g , stiff
Wedges: :ping-small: Glide 2.0 Stealth, 50* SS, 54* ES & 60*/8 Forged MGS Special from the Wedge Wizard, Green Dot, Alta CB graphite, 84g, stiff
Putter:     :ping-small: Vault 2.0 B60 Copper, 33", black dot w/GP SNSR grip (PING Sigma 2 Fetch under "see-trials")
Ball:       :Snell: MTB BLACK (MGS Official 2018 Tester for the :Snell: MTB RED)
Shoes:     :footjoy-small:  Classics Tour w/Black Widow Softspikes

Disabled Marine Veteran. Semper Fi!

#No apologies, just Play Your Best
#Powertotheplayers

 

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The Rogue sz is not going to mitigate a hook. In fact fact, it's so low spin its only going to make your left misses worse 

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In my :mizuno-small: BR-D4 Stand Bag

:ping-small: G410 LST 9* VA Nemesys 65X
:ping-small: G410 LST 14.5* Tour AD DI 7X
:titelist-small: 818 H2 20* Tour AD DI 85X
:mizuno-small: MP20 HMB 4 Tour AD 95X
:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW Oban CT 115 X(-)
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 49F - 54S - 59D
:mizuno-small: M Craft II
:bridgestone-small: Tour B X
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12 minutes ago, jlukes said:

The Rogue sz is not going to mitigate a hook. In fact fact, it's so low spin its only going to make your left misses worse 

Could you explain this a bit more? My assumption is that the SZ line is fade biased. I'm also not understanding the connection between reducing spin and accentuating a left miss.

:callaway-small: Epic Flash Sub Zero, 9°, Aldila Rogue White 70 X
:taylormade-small: M4 3HL 16.5°, Atmos Red 60
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 19.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
:755178188_TourEdge: CBX 20°, Project X HZRDUS 85 5.5
:Sub70: 699 Pro, Modus3 105, 5–PW
:Sub70: Forged Black 50°, 54°, and 58°
:odyssey-small: Stroke Lab EXO Seven Mini, 34"
:srixon-small: Z-Star XV

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5 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Could you explain this a bit more? My assumption is that the SZ line is fade biased. I'm also not understanding the connection between reducing spin and accentuating a left miss.

Watch this video from Ian at TXG getting fit for his new driver.  Funny thing is, his previous driver is a Rogue SZ and he was tired of missing it left

And from my G410 stage 2 

Quote

I demoed drivers like the M5, Epic Flash SZ, and TS3 and while all 3 drivers would give me slightly longer drives on well-struck shots, they penalized me more on off-center hits more.  As someone whose miss is a hook, super low spin can spell disaster on a mishit because it leads to ugly quacking duck hooks. While the G410 will never save me from a truly awful swing, I know that there is a greater margin for error.

 

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In my :mizuno-small: BR-D4 Stand Bag

:ping-small: G410 LST 9* VA Nemesys 65X
:ping-small: G410 LST 14.5* Tour AD DI 7X
:titelist-small: 818 H2 20* Tour AD DI 85X
:mizuno-small: MP20 HMB 4 Tour AD 95X
:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW Oban CT 115 X(-)
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 49F - 54S - 59D
:mizuno-small: M Craft II
:bridgestone-small: Tour B X
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Thanks. I started that one, and noticed that as well, which I found interesting. Didn't watch all the way through. It looks like his ball flight is similar to the miss I've got right now, which is more a pull than a hard hook; if I'm remembering correctly, Ian's ball wasn't turning hard left, but just going left from the start.

Of course, his goes further than mine 🙂

:callaway-small: Epic Flash Sub Zero, 9°, Aldila Rogue White 70 X
:taylormade-small: M4 3HL 16.5°, Atmos Red 60
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 19.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
:755178188_TourEdge: CBX 20°, Project X HZRDUS 85 5.5
:Sub70: 699 Pro, Modus3 105, 5–PW
:Sub70: Forged Black 50°, 54°, and 58°
:odyssey-small: Stroke Lab EXO Seven Mini, 34"
:srixon-small: Z-Star XV

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  • GolfSpy MPR changed the title to MPR: The Single Digit Project

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