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Change can be good, very good
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TOPIC: Change can be good, very good

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grantar2
Change can be good, very good
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 14, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    Danny Lee
Favorite Golf Course:
    Medowlark


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Monday July 10, 2017 9:38 PM
I have always purchased the best equipment be they tools or sports equipment I could afford, taken instruction, and then put the burden on myself to perform. If you have good tools and equipment it’s the user not the system.

Until recently I have been happy with my 2004 Big Bertha clubs, and my 20+ year old Probe 20/20 putter, my Adams wedges. Changing shafts a couple of years back improved performance, but as of late I have had issues elevating the ball, making solid contact, getting the ball to do what I wanted.

Undoubtedly it’s me, but I decided to see if new clubs could help. When my 2004 Big Bertha’s were designed the process was driven more by tradition than data. Trackman didn’t exist until 2004, and it wasn’t until 2006 that the leading five club manufactures had one. On tour Trackman made it’s first appearance in 2007. The kind of computer aided design, mass properties, weight design tools, metallurgy we have today weren’t available widely outside of key industries such as aerospace and defense. They were rudimentary in the golf business. Graphite shafts have really accelerated development in the 5 to 8 years as carbon winding technology has advanced and prices have dropped.

The process of finding new clubs is fun, go to the golf store, hit a number of clubs, see how they respond, visit the fitter, try some more clubs look at the data. I would say read reviews but I find them difficult as there is little in the way of head to head in the game improvement sector, and even less often with the longer irons. I can hit a 7 iron, pretty much anyone’s 7 iron, but a 3,4,or 5 iron that is a different trick. Ignore the total distance, but what is the carry (at what altitude and temp setting)and yards off target, what is the dispersion. You tube can be helpful, but you almost never see someone testing clubs with a swing speed of 70-85mph.

What was the result of the tinkering, new clubs, and not the clubs I thought I would buy. I picked up a set of Adams Blue Irons, and hybrids. The quality of strike and the feel are as good as the Taylormade M2’s at least to my feel, and the launch easier than Callaway Steelhead XR, the two models I though going in would have to fight it out. I am getting greater distance out of the blues, much better trajectory, spin, and straighter flight path with the irons, I have a draw with the hybrids, trying to work that out, not as fond of the look as I am of an iron but I can't complain about the result from the rough. I am having to learn the dispersion pattern for each club number all over again, and I have a couple of gaps I didn’t have before, but I am loving the experience.

During the study phase I decided it was worth buying a dedicated sand wedge, not the ones that come with sets like I have been using with my Callaway set. I was undecided between a Callaway Mac Daddy II which I had always wanted, a Callaway Sure Out, or a Cleveland. I went with the MDII, and so far I love it. I added a forged MD II 58 degree to replace my Adams 60 degree. Still learning that club, It’s going to take some work, it’s a very different feel than the old Tom Watson Adams.

Maybe it’s all in my mind, maybe the clubs really make a difference, but I have shaved an average of 6 strokes off each of my last four rounds and am getting a handle. This morning using my laser range finder I went pin hunting to great effect, admittedly on an easy course.

My swing is slower now than when I bought my Callaways, my approach to shots is changing, the new clubs will be a challenge to master, I am not used to hybrids, I am have never been able to spin a ball backwards before, and now I can do so with my lob, sand, pitching wedge and 9 iron.

The range finder is narrowing my misses, and helping me avoid fairway hazards, it's also making me think about the area around the pin and my dispersion pattern before pulling a club.

The Callaway’s I bought directly from Callaway. The Adams Blue set, was deeply discounted since Taylormade has closed down the brand, I had to have the shafts lengthened and re-gripped to fit me.

My unexpected issue is the interaction of the club with the ball. My old go to Callaway HEX don’t feel as good, and aren’t behaving as well as my cheap Bullet Titanium, and neither is performing as well as the Bridgestone e6 soft I was given a box of. I wasn’t expecting a change of feel for the ball with the change of clums, so we will see where that leads me.

I am not recommending my choices for anyone, but I am saying the new stuff out there, really is better if you haven’t changed clubs in the last several years.

Has anyone else had a similar result?
REPLY
 Message #84699
1PLUS1
RE: Change can be good, very good

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    March 27, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Seve; Nick Faldo
Favorite Golf Course:
    Belgrade Lakes (Maine)


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Monday July 10, 2017 11:58 PM
Despite some drastic variances in what you and I would be looking for in club design, I found this account of your "odyssey" quite interesting. However, placing those differences aside, I do agree with you on a number of points. Regardless of one's ability and/or talent level, playing with the best clubs you can afford will only lead to positive results, provided you put in the necessary work. Consistency in design, feel, and playability will enhance the feedback necessary to improve your ball-striking and, hopefully, help reduce your scores. Judging by your comments, it would seem you've already discovered that for yourself. Well done.

Being open to the options available regarding the type of club targeted for your skill level is another critical factor when it comes to making the right choice. Not falling prey to all the marketing hype is another. By adopting this mindset, you've avoided that classic misstep where someone ends up purchasing a set of clubs that are ill-suited to his/her game and ability. Sure, everyone would love to be able to hit those blades of yesteryear right on the sweet spot with every swing but vanity can be a devilish adversary so choose your weapon carefully.

It's also quite obvious you've spent a lot of time and effort in your search. While there are so many resources available to help narrow one's choice, nothing beats actual live testing, which has been further enhanced with the widespread availability of the Trackman and FlightScope fitting technologies. While I'm a firm believer that numbers aren't the "end-all" when it comes to club fitting, they certainly do provide valuable data that can help point you in the right direction when it comes to selecting clubs properly suited to your swing characteristics.

As for me, I'm not in the market for new clubs but still curious if today's plethora of choices would make a notable difference in my game compared to what I currently play. I've got a "stable" of top-notch irons at my beck and call...although somewhat dated...yet at this stage of the game I doubt dropping $1000.00 on a new set of irons would be worth it. That being said, I did fall in love with Mizuno's MP-5 blade a couple of years ago during a demo session and wouldn't hesitate to put them in the bag if I were inclined to do so.

Lastly, as I was reading your post, what resonated most was the journey you chose to embark upon. Although the Philadelphia 76ers have truly worn out this phrase, you obviously "trust the process". I'm glad all the homework paid off and that you've been pleased with the results. Best of luck moving forward.

[[Edited by 1PLUS1 on Tuesday July 11, 2017 12:06 AM]]
REPLY
 Message #84701 - This was a reply to message #84699
grantar2
RE: Change can be good, very good
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 14, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    Danny Lee
Favorite Golf Course:
    Medowlark


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Tuesday July 11, 2017 4:13 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7JlGMBUZlk

To me the most valuable part of data is the swing speed, face angle and launch angle.

Thanks 1PLUS1, I enjoy the process, and the mental side of the pursuit. Probably my aerospace background.

Now if I can just solve the unspoken conundrum, why when I reach the green in regulation, does the probability of a three putt increase? Not necessarily related to distance of the ball from the hole, and completely independent of par for the hole.
REPLY
 Message #84720 - This was a reply to message #84701
1PLUS1
RE: Change can be good, very good

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    March 27, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Seve; Nick Faldo
Favorite Golf Course:
    Belgrade Lakes (Maine)


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Tuesday July 11, 2017 6:56 PM
QUOTED  To me, the most valuable part of data is the swing speed, face angle, and launch angle.

That's all well and good...and useful when comparing different clubs or shafts...but as far as I'm concerned, the bigger part of the equation is "repeatability". The chances of a high handicapper being able to produce consistent, repeatable numbers across the board are quite slim; conversely, a low handicap player would be more apt to be successful in that regard. Sure, you may establish a baseline to a certain extent, but how often can you hit those numbers with consecutive swings? Since a variance of just a couple of degrees can drastically affect the angle of attack, face angle, and launch angle...as well as the quality of the shot...I wouldn't get too wrapped up in the numbers game unless there's a high rate of consistency displayed in the swing data. And hitting balls on a launch monitor does not compare to hitting them on the golf course.

QUOTED  Now if I can just solve the unspoken conundrum, why when I reach the green in regulation, does the probability of a three putt increase? Noe necessarily related to distance of the ball from the hole, and completely independent of par for the hole.

My take? Purely a psychological issue. Just like those people who are aware they're having a great round yet then proceed to fall apart on the final hole or two to completely ruin the day, you may be subconsciously allowing this condition to remove you from your comfort zone. Constantly telling yourself that you've reached a green in regulation may be subjecting you to unwanted and unnecessary pressure so the sooner you abandon that approach, the better you'll be.

But since you're a numbers guy, why not compare your putting stats for greens hit in regulation vs. those not hit. Is there something in the data that would support the psychological issue I alluded to...or is the overall state of your putting game to blame?
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 Message #84726 - This was a reply to message #84720
robule
RE: Change can be good, very good
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 4, 2003


Favorite Golfer:
    Couples, Ko, Day
Favorite Golf Course:
    N/A


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Tuesday July 11, 2017 8:20 PM
GIR and # of putts can really put you in a funk.

If you hit a par 4 in 3 and have a 3 footer for par, vs hitting it in 2 and having a 60 footer for birdie, which one would you choose and why.

Hit a hole with a GIR and have a 10 footer, take that all day. The longer extremes start to alter the mindset a little when 3 putting from 40 feet.

Maybe keep track of your first/second putt distance on every hole. That made a big difference in my confidence on greens. See that you are 2 putting from 40+ feet and the mindset becomes, easy 2 putt and on to the next hole. You can also see distances that you struggle. Also helped with feel for speed in every aspect of putting.
REPLY
 Message #84729 - This was a reply to message #84726
grantar2
RE: Change can be good, very good
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 14, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    Danny Lee
Favorite Golf Course:
    Medowlark


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Tuesday July 11, 2017 11:32 PM
1Plus1, those who have played with me know I don't worry to much about shots, I am enjoying being out. I do strive for consistency, and repeat-ability within the limitations placed on me by age, injury, lack of feel due to diabetic neurology. I always look at groups of ten, or twenty shots. Since I am a member at the PGA Superstore I can tune as often as I like.

I don't play competitive golf, it's the one sport I play without concern. I was a collegiate tennis player, I tournament trophies from that, I was competitive in autosports, and I have an SCCA championship from that, I shoot competitively (no wins there yet). Golf is for fun. Right now I am comparing range data with on course performance at courses I know well, I keep data from my score cards round over round. But that is for me to know what I want to work on.

On course I don't allow myself swing thoughts on course, I don't let a bad shot worry me, at worst it's a lost ball, as best an opportunity to create a good shot. I enjoy practice immensely, so the data drives things to work on.

On the question about the par 4, I would likely be happy with either as each offers a fun challenge. If I were attacking a hole, I would most likely prefer to be on in three. It's not unusual on a par 4 with trouble such as #9 at Casa del Sol for me to lay up. Most people hit driver but unless you can carry 230-240 you either end up in the creek or on a horrid down hill lie into an elevated green. I hit 8 iron, gives me a nice lie, with a 7 iron to about 30 yards off the green. Pitch and putt. Going long on this hole is not an option.

Now it's important to remember on a Par 70, Par 72 course Meadowlark, San Juan Hills, Tejars Creek, I am a double bogey golfer. Usually one or two holes being the issue. Some of that is I would rather see if I can hit a hard recovery shot than the safe recovery shot, but that is just personal preference since I am not competing with any one.

I have been tinkering with the idea of tracking the distance of putts. Surprisingly lag putting is something I have been very good at, one of the reasons I didn't change putters for more that 20 years, even with the loss of feel from diabetic Neuropathy (makes it easier to stick a needle in your fingertips regularly) I have done well there. Recently I have had a problem believing a hole brakes left to right. The vision isn't what it used to be, at 58 and retired who can complain.
REPLY
 Message #84735 - This was a reply to message #84726
chevelle
RE: Change can be good, very good

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    September 2, 2008


Favorite Golfer:
    Fred Couples
Favorite Golf Course:
    Goose Creek


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Wednesday July 12, 2017 6:37 AM
Grantar2: I was in your place about 9 years ago, shooting between 96 and 109 on courses. It takes time and knowledge and it sounds like you are doing well in both places. It is very important to know how far you hit your clubs. Once I had that knowledge it helped allot. It is also very important at this stage in your golfing experience NOT to get hung up with pars. You yourself said that you double boggie most holes. Set your goal to just play "boggie" golf, if you play boggie golf that equates to a "90" the pars will come and they will offset the doubles you are still getting. Set you goals to be reachable, I.E. you are now averaging 103 so you are not just going to start shooting 88 all the time. Set you goal to go down slowly, 97, then go to 92-93, then 90. This is reachable and encouraging
Also don't let your ego or machoism get in the way of playing the most "forgiving" clubs out there. I have gone to the Big Bertha OS irons because the are just forgiving and long for a 64 year old. I have also gone with the Fusion fairway woods and driver and sold the Epic fairway woods and driver because they get the ball up in the air really well and are easy to hit. Did I loose a little distance, maybe but I hit them much more consistent so it helps my game and score. And remember to play "smart golf". if you have 225 to the green and you only hit your driver off the tee 230, you will not get there with a 3 wood, (which can be difficult to hit from the fairway anyway) so hit a 7 iron PW instead. You do not always have to take the longest club to get the most distance.
Number of putts is a very deceiving stat as stated with the examples previous mentioned. I keep track of allot of stats and never thought of keeping track of the distance of the 1st putt and number of putts. That is an interesting idea which I may try.
Keep getting knowledge and your game will improve. Remember there are many different graphite shafts and you have to find the one that words best for your. Low flex gets the ball up higher, mid flex high flex equates to a lower flight , low torque will be straighter but may loose distance, higher torque will get more distance but dispersion may be greater. I very rarely use the stock shaft that comes in a driver or fairway wood.
REPLY
 Message #84738 - This was a reply to message #84735
1PLUS1
RE: Change can be good, very good

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    March 27, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Seve; Nick Faldo
Favorite Golf Course:
    Belgrade Lakes (Maine)


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Wednesday July 12, 2017 5:24 PM
Grantar...

Thanks for providing some insight as to how you approach the game and the reason(s) you find it so appealing. As a result, I now have a better understanding...and appreciation...of your perspective regarding playing as well as practicing. Golf's appeal can vary from one person to the next but finding that one facet that brings you the most enjoyment is what matters most. For some, it may manifest itself in posting an all-time best score while with others, the camaraderie and friendship the game cultivates takes center stage. And for some people, it's simply the opportunity to be outdoors in a natural setting that they cherish most. One doesn't exceed the other...the choice depends on the individual...but I always find it interesting to see what it is about golf that brings people the most satisfaction.

And pertaining to practice, I'm of the opinion that productive range sessions can often elicit the same level of joy and satisfaction one might derive from a well-played round of golf. So in this regard, I'd say we share the same viewpoint. And I can now see where the data analysis aspect can add further incentive and gratification as you continue with "the process". I'm sorry to learn of your physical limitations but, at the same time, commend you for adopting a "pressure-free" philosophy that permits you to still enjoy the game. Hmmm...I wonder if there's a lesson to be learned there?



[[Edited by 1PLUS1 on Wednesday July 12, 2017 5:30 PM]]
REPLY
 Message #84764 - This was a reply to message #84735
grantar2
RE: Change can be good, very good
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 14, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    Danny Lee
Favorite Golf Course:
    Medowlark


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Wednesday July 12, 2017 5:52 PM
I enjoy the outdoors, low stress exercise (little hard on the back but I don't go for full swings, I try to play within the what the body will give me). I enjoy the people, playing at least once a week, I can say I have only played with one person in my foursome I ended up not liking by the end of the round. People are fun.

For those who I have played Guru outings with they can attest I have no problem picking the ball up and playing the next hole if I am blowing up and slowing the group. I also don't mind playing either the blues or whites, depending on course. Playing the shorter tees can bite you hard as I found out at the Crossings.

Golf is meant to be fun. As for the physical limitations years ago they would have been a real issue, now they are more of an inconvenience. I have already enjoyed, done and had more than 90% of the world. Everyday now is a blessing from the LORD. Being retired I get the opportunity to play when it's less crowed, at discounted rates, with great people. This is a fun game. I enjoy playing it, thinking about it, practicing it, watching it, and contributing (I am a bunker buddy for the PGA event at Torrey).

My confession, yes I feed the ducks, geese, squirrels or foxes if I have something and they ask.
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 Message #84765 - This was a reply to message #84764
1PLUS1
RE: Change can be good, very good

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    March 27, 2007


Favorite Golfer:
    Seve; Nick Faldo
Favorite Golf Course:
    Belgrade Lakes (Maine)


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Wednesday July 12, 2017 10:28 PM
QUOTED  ...I feed the ducks, geese, squirrels, or foxes if I have something and they ask.

Must be nice; most of the critters I've come into contact with don't display such manners...they usually just grab what they want and run off without a "Thank you".
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 Message #84770 - This was a reply to message #84765

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