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One footnote on the above stats: I played about a half-dozen rounds on Game Golf this year in early July, because my Arccos putter sensor died and I was awaiting a replacement. During that time, I put up the following numbers:

1P%: 41% (whoa!)
2P%: 49% (much lower than most of the above)
3P%: 10% (higher than what I'm seeing now)

1.68 putts per hole (lower than any of the above totals)

Game Golf rated me as losing 2.5 strokes per round to a scratch golfer, with a worse strokes gained than a 10 handicap.

Add this, I think, to the data that makes me skeptical of Game Golf on Strokes Gained.

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: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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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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I may have to give that puttout device a try.  I use the grint to keep stats and it shows 32.5 putts per round historically for 1.8 putts per hole, but I hit 53% of GIR so needs improvement.  I notice my avg putts per round goes way down when I hit fewer greens, but not sure that's a strategy I want to pursue for he sake of putting stats. 😛 

 

How are you liking the Skytrak?  Have you used it as a simulator at all on any of the virtual courses, or just for range practice?  Is it accurate enough for determining club gapping distances?

I'm really close to buying one for the garage setup to make the long northern winter seem a bit more bearable.

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Mizuno ST190 9* Driver / Taylormade M2 15* 3W / Callaway Razr Fit 18* 5W (stiff graphite, standard)

Taylormade GAPR Mid 3 & 4 (stiff graphite, standard)

Sub 70 24 deg 699U 5 iron (stiff graphite, standard length, 1 deg upright lie)

Cobra King F6 Irons 6-PW (stiff graphite, hard stepped, standard length, 1 deg upright lie)

Cleveland CBX 50* & 54* / Ping Glide 2.0 60* (stiff graphite, hard stepped, standard length, 1 deg upright lie)

8802 Putter 33" / Chrome Soft Truvis Yellow

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A quick chart I built today from my previous years' Game Golf data and this year's data from Arccos:

image.png

Each category records my strokes lost to a scratch golfer by aspect of the game, and the total. In addition, I've got a column for something that should be close to my average score each year.

Obviously, comparing strokes gained from 2016-2019 against 2020 is dubious, because of the differing stats systems. But in any case, I'm pleased to see obvious, measurable improvement.

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: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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11 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

A quick chart I built today from my previous years' Game Golf data and this year's data from Arccos:

image.png

Each category records my strokes lost to a scratch golfer by aspect of the game, and the total. In addition, I've got a column for something that should be close to my average score each year.

Obviously, comparing strokes gained from 2016-2019 against 2020 is dubious, because of the differing stats systems. But in any case, I'm pleased to see obvious, measurable improvement.

WHOA! 
Look at that short game improvement. 👀

StrokerAce
:tour-edge: EXS 220 HZRDUS Smoke
:cobra-small:  King F7 3w Fujikara 
:callaway-small:  Apex 20 Catalyst 6.0
:callaway-small:  Apex 23 Catalyst 6.0
--------------------------
:srixon-small: Z785 KBS CTaper lite
:cleveland-small:  RTX Zipcore 54/58 
:ping-small: Sigma G Kinloch C 
--------------------------
:918457628_PrecisionPro: nx7 pro rangefinder
:1590477705_SunMountain:  C130 cart bag
Franklin, MA; Right Handed; 10
"the club face sends it, the path bends it..."

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy Stroker said:

WHOA! 
Look at that short game improvement. 👀

Short game is looking good,  but he needs to do superspeed golf to get that driving distance up. 

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  :odyssey-small: Ten S      Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330,   :EVNROLL: ER2.2,  

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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On 8/26/2020 at 3:05 PM, GolfSpy MPR said:

A quick chart I built today from my previous years' Game Golf data and this year's data from Arccos:

image.png

Each category records my strokes lost to a scratch golfer by aspect of the game, and the total. In addition, I've got a column for something that should be close to my average score each year.

Obviously, comparing strokes gained from 2016-2019 against 2020 is dubious, because of the differing stats systems. But in any case, I'm pleased to see obvious, measurable improvement.

Great job with the short game!! Care to share some of your practice routines? (Asking for a friend)

Driver:  PXG 811x Gen1, HZRDS Smoke Yellow 60g S

Fariway:   :titelist-small: 917 F2, 3-Wood Fujikura Blue 

Hybrid:   :ping-small: G410 18*

Irons:  :titelist-small: T300 4-5, T200 6-PW Nippon 880 Pro R

Wedges:  :cleveland-small:  CBX2 50*, 54*, 58*, TT Dynamic Gold Wedge Flex

Putter:  :odyssey-small:  EXO Rossie 34.5" (Tester) 

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With multiple days in the extended forecast showing snowflakes (...sniffle...), it looks like it's time for the season in review.

The short version: I made progress this year, but I'm still short of my goal. As of right now, Arccos gives me a handicap of 11.7. Most of my progress this year was from my short game and putting.

The long version: The first obstacle to my year in review is that not only did I change my stat-tracking system this season (from Game Golf to Arccos), but midway through the season Arccos utterly revamped how they calculate strokes gained and handicaps. At one point this year, on the old system, I had a handicap well under 10; even today, the old version (which I can access because my iPhone 6 didn't get the new version) has me at a 9.4. But that was always fishy, especially considering the very low course rating of my home track.

For that reason, I'm not going to try to do much by way of year-over-year analysis. Instead, I'll mostly look at the numbers from this season and be a bit more anecdotal about how they compare to previous years.

Here's the 30,000 foot overview:

Screenshot_20201013-112857.jpg

Now, let's clarify this: these stats are for the most recent 50 rounds (as many as Arccos will allow you to select) compared to an 8-handicap. I choose this benchmark because it is a good indication of where my game needs to be to accomplish my goal of getting into single figures.

The numbers here are clear: my short game (for Arccos's purposes, that's 50 yards and in) is single-digit caliber, both with the wedges and with the putter. My full swing remains my problem.

Let's break it down by facets.

Driving: I remain pretty awful off the tee. Arccos thinks I'm even worse than that.

SmartSelect_20201013-113016.jpg

This number ain't good, but it is (as I've explained before) somewhat misleading. My home course is (to say it kindly) quirky, and there are multiple par 4s that take driver out of your hands. What Arrcos here suggests is my "long" drive number is actual the "smart" number it gives to the holes in which I actually use my driver:

SmartSelect_20201013-115812.jpg

Those who've followed this thread for a while will recognize that that 234 number, while not impressive to anyone, represents a small gain in driving distance for me this season. For comparison, my Game Golf records from last year tell me that my "typical" drive (with driver) was 218 yards (since these are raw numbers and not strokes gained calculations, a comparison makes sense).

Just to do this visually (and this graphic is imperfect), here's a shot from GG of my 2019 drives and from Arccos for 2020. I've lined them up to where the 250 yard stripe is the same on both; the scale, unfortunately, is different:

driver comp.jpg

This is noisy data, to be sure, but I think it's evident that I have a greater percentage of drives near the 250 mark this year than last. I also lowered the percentage of miserable short duck hooks, which was my nemesis miss last season.

As for fairway accuracy, it looks like I brought the right miss into play much more this season. Game Golf tells me that in 2019, I was 28% Left | 55% Fairway | 17% Right. This season, I was 29% Left | 48% Fairway | 23% Right. That's a solid two-way miss dispersion.

I have heard rumblings that there are plans to build a driving range at our course. This would have the potential to be a game changer for me, as it remains the case that if I want to practice driving the ball, I have an hour drive to the nearest range.

I'll say more about this in the conclusion, but most of my goals for this offseason should, at some level, contribute to better driving numbers. I'm planning to dedicate myself to the PlaneMate this winter. I also aim to get back to working out and to regular use of my DIY SuperSpeed sticks. I need more distance, and I need a better, more predictable swing, because driving remains the biggest glaring weakness and the biggest obstacle to my reaching a single figure handicap.

Approach: The big news here, of course, was putting the Sub 70 699 Pro irons in my bag for an MGS Forum review this season. If you want to dive deeper into that switch, go read the thread. The short version is that the switch from the SGI-class PING G700s to the 699 Pros had far less dramatic impact on my on-course numbers than I would have guessed. My before and after numbers were very close, and the aesthetic and subjective appeal of the Sub 70s are keeping them in the bag through the winter and into next season.

How was my approach game? In a word: mediocre. Arccos thinks it is slightly worse than my actual handicap and definitely a liability in my quest for single figures. The biggest problem: a pitiable GIR number:

SmartSelect_20201013-113051.jpg

Some of this is swing and contact related, but I'm finally getting it through my thick skull that some of this is strategy related. Why do I come up short so often? It isn't because I have totally unrealistic ideas of how far I hit my irons. I have way too much data, both on course and SkyTrak, to not know how far I hit my irons.

My issue is that I base my club selection on the club that will get me to the flag on a very good strike. I'm not talking about a once-in-a-lifetime, totally flushed it strike. But it's the sort of strike that I have (looking at the numbers) just under 50% of the time. The other 50+% of less-then-ideal swings, I come up short.

So I'm going into next season with (finally) a better strategy. I have a hard time simply telling myself to club up or to aim for the yardage of the back of the green. For me, that's like setting the clocks forward in my house 15 minutes so I'm not late: it doesn't work. I have a strong aversion to intentionally aiming at the wrong thing.

To convince my mind that it's OK, I've learned the right idea is to center my dispersion pattern over my target. I'm not aiming past the hole. The hole (or the center of the green, etc.) is my target, but I need to choose a club that will get the center of my shots on the center of that target.

In addition to the strategic changes, I trust that the PlaneMate and speed work this winter will also show an improvement in my approach game next season.

Short Game: Finally, on to the better news! My short game showed significant improvement this year, and most of it was because I finally committed to a clock wedge system. In short, I use three wedges for partial wedge shots: my GW, SW, and LW. With each wedge, I have a 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 swing, and I tested those swings repeatedly on SkyTrak. After coming up with reliable numbers, I printed a chart with those distances and taped it to my Precision Pro NX9 HD range finder.

This revolutionized my short game. I no longer had to "guess" or "feel" partial swings; I had swings that I had confidence would go the distance I got from my laser. Obviously, this is not foolproof; I still hit plenty of poor shots this summer. But my numbers were much improved and are almost exactly what would be normal for an 8 handicap:

SmartSelect_20201013-113119.jpg

The chart here is interesting: in both yardage ranges, my average distance to the pin is closer than an average 8 handicap. I got up and down virtually identical with an 8 handicap from 0-25 yards and slightly higher from 25-50 yards. My greens missed were significantly higher than both; this adds to the evidence that the greens at my course are very small.

There's still room to make this is a stronger strength: I can't use the small greens as an excuse; I have no business missing so many greens from this distance. But my goal this winter is simply to continue to sharpen what I've done here; I'm not looking to reinvent this wheel.

Putting: This is now comfortably the strength of my game, where I'm now gaining strokes against an 8 handicap. If I'm going to complain about small greens for approach and short game, I have to concede: I don't have nearly as many really long putts as the average player. But the putts I do have, I tend to get without throwing too many strokes away:

SmartSelect_20201013-113209.jpg

I rarely 3-putt (again, small greens are a factor here). But even breaking putts down by length (and I obsessively plot the position of my putts on the green during the round):

SmartSelect_20201013-113156.jpg

Even on the rare occasions that I have a really long putt, it doesn't look like I'm struggling. I have a putter I like. I have a putting mat in my office with my PuttOut (I swear by the PuttOut) and my basement green. I'm going to keep grinding on my same practice routine on this. My goal here is incremental improvement rather than any wholesale change.

Summary: I'm bummed that I haven't yet reached my goal. When I begin this project, it was an attempt to figure out if an amateur working without coaching, but armed with a bunch of tech and avid appetite for golf knowledge, could easily reach single figures. I think I'm likely good evidence that, if good coaching is available, you should seek coaching.

In hindsight, I didn't practice much once the course opened this year. I played a lot, and so most of my available "golf time" was spent at the course rather than in my garage. When I set up the SkyTrak, Kirke often wants to bump me off (and the other kids want their time to play as well). This is a good thing and I'll not complain about it.

My biggest plan, as I've already noted here, is to revise my swing using the PlaneMate. I have a nagging over-the-top move that I'd like to eliminate, and I think I've made some progress on it. My hope is that the result will not be merely a more cosmetically pleasing swing, but one that has greater potential for repeated good contact. As soon as the season is officially over, I'm starting offseason workouts, including some weight training and SuperSpeed. I'm planning to include my boys in some of that, which will hopefully give me more incentive to do the needed work.

Another option that I have to consider again is online coaching. It might be time to set up a more formal coaching relationship with Adam Young.

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: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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1 hour ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

 

Summary: I'm bummed that I haven't yet reached my goal. When I begin this project, it was an attempt to figure out if an amateur working without coaching, but armed with a bunch of tech and avid appetite for golf knowledge, could easily reach single figures. I think I'm likely good evidence that, if good coaching is available, you should seek coaching.

In hindsight, I didn't practice much once the course opened this year. I played a lot, and so most of my available "golf time" was spent at the course rather than in my garage. When I set up the SkyTrak, Kirke often wants to bump me off (and the other kids want their time to play as well). This is a good thing and I'll not complain about it.

My biggest plan, as I've already noted here, is to revise my swing using the PlaneMate. I have a nagging over-the-top move that I'd like to eliminate, and I think I've made some progress on it. My hope is that the result will not be merely a more cosmetically pleasing swing, but one that has greater potential for repeated good contact. As soon as the season is officially over, I'm starting offseason workouts, including some weight training and SuperSpeed. I'm planning to include my boys in some of that, which will hopefully give me more incentive to do the needed work.

Another option that I have to consider again is online coaching. It might be time to set up a more formal coaching relationship with Adam Young.

Don't get too bummed, you're working hard...it will get rewarded.  PlaneMate, SuperSpeed, and weights are my plan as well.

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Driver: :honma:TR20 460, Vizard 60g Stiff

FW: :tour-edge: CBX 119 3w, 15,  Project X Evenflow Blue 75g Stiff

Hybrids: :titelist-small: TS3 3 & 4H, Project X Evenflow Blue 85g Stiff

Driving Iron: :mizuno-small: MP-20 HMB 3i, UST Mamiya recoil ES 780 F3

Iron: :mizuno-small:JPX 919 Forged 4- GW, Project X 6.0

Wedges::vokey-small:SM7 54 S Grind, 58 M Grind

Putter: :EVNROLL: ER2B 

:SuperSpeed:

Tested the Honma TR20 460 driver

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5 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

This number ain't good, but it is (as I've explained before) somewhat misleading. My home course is (to say it kindly) quirky, and there are multiple par 4s that take driver out of your hands.

This is one of my frustrations with the Arccos platform. I don't understand why that distance off the tee statistic can't be smarter and only count drivers, or give an option to show distance off the tee with different clubs. My chart is much the same - I hit driver on 7 of 15 non-par 3s at my home course. To do so on several of the holes provides zero benefit if your driver dispersion is greater than 30 yards (of which, mine is much wider...).

I know you didn't quite make the handicap progress you were wanting, but I think you're still trending in the right direction and you know what areas you need to improve upon.

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

Driver: cobra_logo.png.190908c8b4518eec87c087429e4343ee.png Cobra SpeedZone Xtreme (9°, set to Draw), 44.5", Aldila Rogue Silver 60 (110 MSI) Stiff
17° Hybrid:
callaway_logo.png.3dd18aa65544000dd0ea3901697a8261.png Callaway Super Hybrid, 41.5", Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 Hybrid Stiff
19° Driving Iron: 
cobra_logo.png.190908c8b4518eec87c087429e4343ee.png Cobra SpeedZone 4 Iron, 2° Flat, 39.75", X-Caliber Rapid Taper 75g Stiff
22° Hybrid:
cobra_logo.png.190908c8b4518eec87c087429e4343ee.png Cobra KING F8, 38.5", Aerotech Steelfiber i95 Stiff
5-GW:  
maltby_logo.png.c889f4bebd3ab94fe9c37e77ba6c0c55.png Maltby PTM Chrome, 1° Flat, 37" 7 Iron, KBS C-Taper Lite 110 Stiff
54°, 58°:
cobra_logo.png.190908c8b4518eec87c087429e4343ee.png Cobra KING MIM Black, 3° Flat, -1/2" (54°), -1/4" (58°), KBS C-Taper Lite 115 X-Stiff
Putter:
image.png.49fcc172a1ed0010d930fbe1c5dc8b79.png L.A.B. Golf DF 2.1, 36", 68°, Black with Custom Sightlines, BGT Stability Tour, L.A.B. Press II 3°
Ball: :Snell:Snell MTB-X Optic Yellow

Tracked By: :Arccos: Arccos / Cobra Connect
Bag: :1590477705_SunMountain: Personalized 2020 Sun Mountain Sync
Riding On: :CaddyTek: CaddyTek Caddylite EZ V8

2020 Participant #CobraConnect Challenge | 2019 Reviewer Callaway Epic Flash Driver

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7 minutes ago, edingc said:

This is one of my frustrations with the Arccos platform. I don't understand why that distance off the tee statistic can't be smarter and only count drivers, or give an option to show distance off the tee with different clubs. My chart is much the same - I hit driver on 7 of 15 non-par 3s at my home course. To do so on several of the holes provides zero benefit if your driver dispersion is greater than 30 yards (of which, mine is much wider...).

I know you didn't quite make the handicap progress you were wanting, but I think you're still trending in the right direction and you know what areas you need to improve upon.

Yeah, definitely hoping that especially when they get the desktop/internet version up to date, that the club data will be presented in a more useful way.

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: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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With multiple days in the extended forecast showing snowflakes (...sniffle...), it looks like it's time for the season in review.
The short version: I made progress this year, but I'm still short of my goal. As of right now, Arccos gives me a handicap of 11.7. Most of my progress this year was from my short game and putting.
The long version: The first obstacle to my year in review is that not only did I change my stat-tracking system this season (from Game Golf to Arccos), but midway through the season Arccos utterly revamped how they calculate strokes gained and handicaps. At one point this year, on the old system, I had a handicap well under 10; even today, the old version (which I can access because my iPhone 6 didn't get the new version) has me at a 9.4. But that was always fishy, especially considering the very low course rating of my home track.
For that reason, I'm not going to try to do much by way of year-over-year analysis. Instead, I'll mostly look at the numbers from this season and be a bit more anecdotal about how they compare to previous years.
Here's the 30,000 foot overview:
Screenshot_20201013-112857.jpg.51890b0f16ec36cd355b3375234173d2.jpg
Now, let's clarify this: these stats are for the most recent 50 rounds (as many as Arccos will allow you to select) compared to an 8-handicap. I choose this benchmark because it is a good indication of where my game needs to be to accomplish my goal of getting into single figures.
The numbers here are clear: my short game (for Arccos's purposes, that's 50 yards and in) is single-digit caliber, both with the wedges and with the putter. My full swing remains my problem.
Let's break it down by facets.
Driving: I remain pretty awful off the tee. Arccos thinks I'm even worse than that.
SmartSelect_20201013-113016.jpg.586b45cf8e6b0f49a4d998eaeaa28e77.jpg
This number ain't good, but it is (as I've explained before) somewhat misleading. My home course is (to say it kindly) quirky, and there are multiple par 4s that take driver out of your hands. What Arrcos here suggests is my "long" drive number is actual the "smart" number it gives to the holes in which I actually use my driver:
SmartSelect_20201013-115812.jpg.b92ea6f9bbbcd70a2069b483f0ba9599.jpg
Those who've followed this thread for a while will recognize that that 234 number, while not impressive to anyone, represents a small gain in driving distance for me this season. For comparison, my Game Golf records from last year tell me that my "typical" drive (with driver) was 218 yards (since these are raw numbers and not strokes gained calculations, a comparison makes sense).
Just to do this visually (and this graphic is imperfect), here's a shot from GG of my 2019 drives and from Arccos for 2020. I've lined them up to where the 250 yard stripe is the same on both; the scale, unfortunately, is different:
1764817729_drivercomp.jpg.89a9f48630503cdf5cff575d3c69960d.jpg
This is noisy data, to be sure, but I think it's evident that I have a greater percentage of drives near the 250 mark this year than last. I also lowered the percentage of miserable short duck hooks, which was my nemesis miss last season.
As for fairway accuracy, it looks like I brought the right miss into play much more this season. Game Golf tells me that in 2019, I was 28% Left | 55% Fairway | 17% Right. This season, I was 29% Left | 48% Fairway | 23% Right. That's a solid two-way miss dispersion.
I have heard rumblings that there are plans to build a driving range at our course. This would have the potential to be a game changer for me, as it remains the case that if I want to practice driving the ball, I have an hour drive to the nearest range.
I'll say more about this in the conclusion, but most of my goals for this offseason should, at some level, contribute to better driving numbers. I'm planning to dedicate myself to the PlaneMate this winter. I also aim to get back to working out and to regular use of my DIY SuperSpeed sticks. I need more distance, and I need a better, more predictable swing, because driving remains the biggest glaring weakness and the biggest obstacle to my reaching a single figure handicap.
Approach: The big news here, of course, was putting the Sub 70 699 Pro irons in my bag for an MGS Forum review this season. If you want to dive deeper into that switch, go read the thread. The short version is that the switch from the SGI-class PING G700s to the 699 Pros had far less dramatic impact on my on-course numbers than I would have guessed. My before and after numbers were very close, and the aesthetic and subjective appeal of the Sub 70s are keeping them in the bag through the winter and into next season.
How was my approach game? In a word: mediocre. Arccos thinks it is slightly worse than my actual handicap and definitely a liability in my quest for single figures. The biggest problem: a pitiable GIR number:
SmartSelect_20201013-113051.jpg.af9f3cf5f2964a6ff654e57dfc3a98a2.jpg
Some of this is swing and contact related, but I'm finally getting it through my thick skull that some of this is strategy related. Why do I come up short so often? It isn't because I have totally unrealistic ideas of how far I hit my irons. I have way too much data, both on course and SkyTrak, to not know how far I hit my irons.
My issue is that I base my club selection on the club that will get me to the flag on a very good strike. I'm not talking about a once-in-a-lifetime, totally flushed it strike. But it's the sort of strike that I have (looking at the numbers) just under 50% of the time. The other 50+% of less-then-ideal swings, I come up short.
So I'm going into next season with (finally) a better strategy. I have a hard time simply telling myself to club up or to aim for the yardage of the back of the green. For me, that's like setting the clocks forward in my house 15 minutes so I'm not late: it doesn't work. I have a strong aversion to intentionally aiming at the wrong thing.
To convince my mind that it's OK, I've learned the right idea is to center my dispersion pattern over my target. I'm not aiming past the hole. The hole (or the center of the green, etc.) is my target, but I need to choose a club that will get the center of my shots on the center of that target.
In addition to the strategic changes, I trust that the PlaneMate and speed work this winter will also show an improvement in my approach game next season.
Short Game: Finally, on to the better news! My short game showed significant improvement this year, and most of it was because I finally committed to a clock wedge system. In short, I use three wedges for partial wedge shots: my GW, SW, and LW. With each wedge, I have a 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 swing, and I tested those swings repeatedly on SkyTrak. After coming up with reliable numbers, I printed a chart with those distances and taped it to my Precision Pro NX9 HD range finder.
This revolutionized my short game. I no longer had to "guess" or "feel" partial swings; I had swings that I had confidence would go the distance I got from my laser. Obviously, this is not foolproof; I still hit plenty of poor shots this summer. But my numbers were much improved and are almost exactly what would be normal for an 8 handicap:
SmartSelect_20201013-113119.jpg.25ec2738ed59f3ea5d9a6e2159156ebc.jpg
The chart here is interesting: in both yardage ranges, my average distance to the pin is closer than an average 8 handicap. I got up and down virtually identical with an 8 handicap from 0-25 yards and slightly higher from 25-50 yards. My greens missed were significantly higher than both; this adds to the evidence that the greens at my course are very small.
There's still room to make this is a stronger strength: I can't use the small greens as an excuse; I have no business missing so many greens from this distance. But my goal this winter is simply to continue to sharpen what I've done here; I'm not looking to reinvent this wheel.
Putting: This is now comfortably the strength of my game, where I'm now gaining strokes against an 8 handicap. If I'm going to complain about small greens for approach and short game, I have to concede: I don't have nearly as many really long putts as the average player. But the putts I do have, I tend to get without throwing too many strokes away:
SmartSelect_20201013-113209.jpg.57191c52e671e8d43fbce615f1a03659.jpg
I rarely 3-putt (again, small greens are a factor here). But even breaking putts down by length (and I obsessively plot the position of my putts on the green during the round):
SmartSelect_20201013-113156.jpg.d39508cecd300e0a8a8b0698cef91518.jpg
Even on the rare occasions that I have a really long putt, it doesn't look like I'm struggling. I have a putter I like. I have a putting mat in my office with my PuttOut (I swear by the PuttOut) and my basement green. I'm going to keep grinding on my same practice routine on this. My goal here is incremental improvement rather than any wholesale change.
Summary: I'm bummed that I haven't yet reached my goal. When I begin this project, it was an attempt to figure out if an amateur working without coaching, but armed with a bunch of tech and avid appetite for golf knowledge, could easily reach single figures. I think I'm likely good evidence that, if good coaching is available, you should seek coaching.
In hindsight, I didn't practice much once the course opened this year. I played a lot, and so most of my available "golf time" was spent at the course rather than in my garage. When I set up the SkyTrak, Kirke often wants to bump me off (and the other kids want their time to play as well). This is a good thing and I'll not complain about it.
My biggest plan, as I've already noted here, is to revise my swing using the PlaneMate. I have a nagging over-the-top move that I'd like to eliminate, and I think I've made some progress on it. My hope is that the result will not be merely a more cosmetically pleasing swing, but one that has greater potential for repeated good contact. As soon as the season is officially over, I'm starting offseason workouts, including some weight training and SuperSpeed. I'm planning to include my boys in some of that, which will hopefully give me more incentive to do the needed work.
Another option that I have to consider again is online coaching. It might be time to set up a more formal coaching relationship with Adam Young.
Absolutely love this write up. As I am going through it i half thought about doing something similar but your write up just takes the cake. My off-season plan is very similar to yours so I am going to join in. Planemate, SuperSpeed and PuttOut is the plan!

Sent from my SM-G950U using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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With multiple days in the extended forecast showing snowflakes (...sniffle...), it looks like it's time for the season in review.
The short version: I made progress this year, but I'm still short of my goal. As of right now, Arccos gives me a handicap of 11.7. Most of my progress this year was from my short game and putting.
The long version: The first obstacle to my year in review is that not only did I change my stat-tracking system this season (from Game Golf to Arccos), but midway through the season Arccos utterly revamped how they calculate strokes gained and handicaps. At one point this year, on the old system, I had a handicap well under 10; even today, the old version (which I can access because my iPhone 6 didn't get the new version) has me at a 9.4. But that was always fishy, especially considering the very low course rating of my home track.
For that reason, I'm not going to try to do much by way of year-over-year analysis. Instead, I'll mostly look at the numbers from this season and be a bit more anecdotal about how they compare to previous years.
Here's the 30,000 foot overview:
Screenshot_20201013-112857.jpg.51890b0f16ec36cd355b3375234173d2.jpg
Now, let's clarify this: these stats are for the most recent 50 rounds (as many as Arccos will allow you to select) compared to an 8-handicap. I choose this benchmark because it is a good indication of where my game needs to be to accomplish my goal of getting into single figures.
The numbers here are clear: my short game (for Arccos's purposes, that's 50 yards and in) is single-digit caliber, both with the wedges and with the putter. My full swing remains my problem.
Let's break it down by facets.
Driving: I remain pretty awful off the tee. Arccos thinks I'm even worse than that.
SmartSelect_20201013-113016.jpg.586b45cf8e6b0f49a4d998eaeaa28e77.jpg
This number ain't good, but it is (as I've explained before) somewhat misleading. My home course is (to say it kindly) quirky, and there are multiple par 4s that take driver out of your hands. What Arrcos here suggests is my "long" drive number is actual the "smart" number it gives to the holes in which I actually use my driver:
SmartSelect_20201013-115812.jpg.b92ea6f9bbbcd70a2069b483f0ba9599.jpg
Those who've followed this thread for a while will recognize that that 234 number, while not impressive to anyone, represents a small gain in driving distance for me this season. For comparison, my Game Golf records from last year tell me that my "typical" drive (with driver) was 218 yards (since these are raw numbers and not strokes gained calculations, a comparison makes sense).
Just to do this visually (and this graphic is imperfect), here's a shot from GG of my 2019 drives and from Arccos for 2020. I've lined them up to where the 250 yard stripe is the same on both; the scale, unfortunately, is different:
1764817729_drivercomp.jpg.89a9f48630503cdf5cff575d3c69960d.jpg
This is noisy data, to be sure, but I think it's evident that I have a greater percentage of drives near the 250 mark this year than last. I also lowered the percentage of miserable short duck hooks, which was my nemesis miss last season.
As for fairway accuracy, it looks like I brought the right miss into play much more this season. Game Golf tells me that in 2019, I was 28% Left | 55% Fairway | 17% Right. This season, I was 29% Left | 48% Fairway | 23% Right. That's a solid two-way miss dispersion.
I have heard rumblings that there are plans to build a driving range at our course. This would have the potential to be a game changer for me, as it remains the case that if I want to practice driving the ball, I have an hour drive to the nearest range.
I'll say more about this in the conclusion, but most of my goals for this offseason should, at some level, contribute to better driving numbers. I'm planning to dedicate myself to the PlaneMate this winter. I also aim to get back to working out and to regular use of my DIY SuperSpeed sticks. I need more distance, and I need a better, more predictable swing, because driving remains the biggest glaring weakness and the biggest obstacle to my reaching a single figure handicap.
Approach: The big news here, of course, was putting the Sub 70 699 Pro irons in my bag for an MGS Forum review this season. If you want to dive deeper into that switch, go read the thread. The short version is that the switch from the SGI-class PING G700s to the 699 Pros had far less dramatic impact on my on-course numbers than I would have guessed. My before and after numbers were very close, and the aesthetic and subjective appeal of the Sub 70s are keeping them in the bag through the winter and into next season.
How was my approach game? In a word: mediocre. Arccos thinks it is slightly worse than my actual handicap and definitely a liability in my quest for single figures. The biggest problem: a pitiable GIR number:
SmartSelect_20201013-113051.jpg.af9f3cf5f2964a6ff654e57dfc3a98a2.jpg
Some of this is swing and contact related, but I'm finally getting it through my thick skull that some of this is strategy related. Why do I come up short so often? It isn't because I have totally unrealistic ideas of how far I hit my irons. I have way too much data, both on course and SkyTrak, to not know how far I hit my irons.
My issue is that I base my club selection on the club that will get me to the flag on a very good strike. I'm not talking about a once-in-a-lifetime, totally flushed it strike. But it's the sort of strike that I have (looking at the numbers) just under 50% of the time. The other 50+% of less-then-ideal swings, I come up short.
So I'm going into next season with (finally) a better strategy. I have a hard time simply telling myself to club up or to aim for the yardage of the back of the green. For me, that's like setting the clocks forward in my house 15 minutes so I'm not late: it doesn't work. I have a strong aversion to intentionally aiming at the wrong thing.
To convince my mind that it's OK, I've learned the right idea is to center my dispersion pattern over my target. I'm not aiming past the hole. The hole (or the center of the green, etc.) is my target, but I need to choose a club that will get the center of my shots on the center of that target.
In addition to the strategic changes, I trust that the PlaneMate and speed work this winter will also show an improvement in my approach game next season.
Short Game: Finally, on to the better news! My short game showed significant improvement this year, and most of it was because I finally committed to a clock wedge system. In short, I use three wedges for partial wedge shots: my GW, SW, and LW. With each wedge, I have a 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 swing, and I tested those swings repeatedly on SkyTrak. After coming up with reliable numbers, I printed a chart with those distances and taped it to my Precision Pro NX9 HD range finder.
This revolutionized my short game. I no longer had to "guess" or "feel" partial swings; I had swings that I had confidence would go the distance I got from my laser. Obviously, this is not foolproof; I still hit plenty of poor shots this summer. But my numbers were much improved and are almost exactly what would be normal for an 8 handicap:
SmartSelect_20201013-113119.jpg.25ec2738ed59f3ea5d9a6e2159156ebc.jpg
The chart here is interesting: in both yardage ranges, my average distance to the pin is closer than an average 8 handicap. I got up and down virtually identical with an 8 handicap from 0-25 yards and slightly higher from 25-50 yards. My greens missed were significantly higher than both; this adds to the evidence that the greens at my course are very small.
There's still room to make this is a stronger strength: I can't use the small greens as an excuse; I have no business missing so many greens from this distance. But my goal this winter is simply to continue to sharpen what I've done here; I'm not looking to reinvent this wheel.
Putting: This is now comfortably the strength of my game, where I'm now gaining strokes against an 8 handicap. If I'm going to complain about small greens for approach and short game, I have to concede: I don't have nearly as many really long putts as the average player. But the putts I do have, I tend to get without throwing too many strokes away:
SmartSelect_20201013-113209.jpg.57191c52e671e8d43fbce615f1a03659.jpg
I rarely 3-putt (again, small greens are a factor here). But even breaking putts down by length (and I obsessively plot the position of my putts on the green during the round):
SmartSelect_20201013-113156.jpg.d39508cecd300e0a8a8b0698cef91518.jpg
Even on the rare occasions that I have a really long putt, it doesn't look like I'm struggling. I have a putter I like. I have a putting mat in my office with my PuttOut (I swear by the PuttOut) and my basement green. I'm going to keep grinding on my same practice routine on this. My goal here is incremental improvement rather than any wholesale change.
Summary: I'm bummed that I haven't yet reached my goal. When I begin this project, it was an attempt to figure out if an amateur working without coaching, but armed with a bunch of tech and avid appetite for golf knowledge, could easily reach single figures. I think I'm likely good evidence that, if good coaching is available, you should seek coaching.
In hindsight, I didn't practice much once the course opened this year. I played a lot, and so most of my available "golf time" was spent at the course rather than in my garage. When I set up the SkyTrak, Kirke often wants to bump me off (and the other kids want their time to play as well). This is a good thing and I'll not complain about it.
My biggest plan, as I've already noted here, is to revise my swing using the PlaneMate. I have a nagging over-the-top move that I'd like to eliminate, and I think I've made some progress on it. My hope is that the result will not be merely a more cosmetically pleasing swing, but one that has greater potential for repeated good contact. As soon as the season is officially over, I'm starting offseason workouts, including some weight training and SuperSpeed. I'm planning to include my boys in some of that, which will hopefully give me more incentive to do the needed work.
Another option that I have to consider again is online coaching. It might be time to set up a more formal coaching relationship with Adam Young.

This is such an awesome run down and very thorough! Been a pleasure to check in on this and see how you’re getting along. Sounds like it’s been a mixed bag this year but you seem to have broken down the data pretty well and have a nice plan going forward!

I can totally vouch for the Puttout as well that is an AWESOME tool for putting. I look forward to the post that you’ve reached your goal!!


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
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Driver:  :callaway-small: Epic Flash Sub Zero (8.5* HZRDUS Smoke Shaft)

3-wood:  :adams-small:  Tight Lies 2 (15*) 

5-Wood:  :adams-small: Tight Lies 2 (19*) 

Irons :  :ping-small: i210 5-PW

Wedges:  :cleveland-small:  RTX-4 50* and 54* RTX-3 *58

Putter::1332069271_TommyArmour: Impact No. 3

Ball:  MAXFLI TOUR or a :srixon-small: Z-Star

Tracked by: :Arccos:  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a little something I've been toying around with:

I find the GBox interesting, but can't imagine spending close to $100 on it. A driveway marker through the belt loops seems to me to have much the same effect. This is about a 3/4 7 iron, and on the downside, I'm keeping my trail elbow in front of the stick while getting the head of the club under and behind it.

  • Like 3

: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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