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Posted KjBowen on 08 June 2014 - 08:28 AM
I really enjoy this as it allows me to play with a ton of different people and of all skill levels. Yes there is a chance of some nightmare rounds but some can be very pleasing.
Yesterday I decide to head over to play the local Par 3 course and when I arrived there was no one on the course except for a very old man on the tee.. The owner comes out an says you may wanna play thru him as he plays VERY SLOW. I told her no worries I am in no hurry. He tees off and she was right.. Very slow.. He finishes the hole and I play the hole.. I walk to the next tee and he just arrived. I asked him if I could play along side him.. He made a face like he was shocked I didn't ask him to play thru.. We played together and we had a great time.. Playing with him prob added 30-40 mins to my round but we both had company..
Turns out he is 83 years old
Has been playing golf for 63 years!
He lost his wife and has no one to play with.
At the end of the round the owner came out with tears in her eyes and told me that he plays there 3 days a week for over 4 years and no one has ever played with him. They always play thru and that what I did was an amazing gesture.. I told her in my eyes that's in the spirit of the game and why we all play.
She refunded me my greens fees and said that with what I did that earned me a free round.. I went in and the old man bought me a drink.
I truly love this game and I think I will be doing even more rounds as a single lookin to meet some amazing individuals
Posted Pure745 on 29 September 2014 - 08:35 PM
Intro . . .
I would like to start this off by thanking fellow WRX'ers who have made this thread productive and fun to do. It is hard to believe that this is the fourth year doing this and going on eight years on WRX. For those that are reading this for the first time, these "Shootout" threads started in 2011 when I was having a tough time finding un-biased and real world information on clubs that I was interested in and began documenting my thoughts, findings, and results on WRX. Over the years the "Shootout" threads have evolved and the process which used to take entirely too long and cost way too much money has gotten slightly more time and cost efficient.
This year's thread started back in late 2014 when I was invited (non-WRX related) to a Nike event where the Vapor Pro and Speed were seen in person, along with the fairways and irons. I posted my initial thoughts and pictures in hand, and a few months later I was notified I would be going to the Oven for a WRX trip to test the Vapor line. This trip was an unbelievable experience, but I knew the Vapor line and any new '15 line was going to have a heck of a time kicking out the SLDR/Rogue 125 combo that won last year's shootout. Needless to say, OEM's went big this year and there are LOT of great options that probably will be giving your current driver a good scare.
About me . . .
Life has changed quite a bit over the 4 years of doing these Shootouts and so has my game, my index has been as low as a +2 and has high as a 1 with around 30 tournament rounds posted in 2014. I'm now 33 years old, and going on my 3rd year of joining a private club. My game has changed and improved quite a bit since joining and the amount of competitive golf has increased by a great margin. I have also started a pretty regimented workout and diet in May '14 which has increased my strength and flexibility and I have picked up a few yards this year as you will see in my numbers compared to last year. I feel very fortunate to have played in some of the invitational tournaments last year and to have played with some really great golfers and PGA pro's over the past year that have taught me quite about about myself and my game. In 2015 my goals are very simple, to get better and enjoy the game as much as possible.
My swing back in December with the Vapor Flex:
Current Driver and background . . .
As I mentioned earlier, the SLDR 460/Rogue 125 combo was really great for me last year, very long and dependable in tournament play. The SLDR setup was one of the best drivers I have owned and made driving one of the strengths in my game, the only thing I could ask for would be an improvement in dispersion and distance on slightly off center hits and if I'm begging a few more yards Fast forward to the Oven trip, I hit the highly anticipated Vapor Flex side by side, good for good, and the Flex beat my SLDR by 2-3MPH in ball speed (179 vs. 182). The trip was fast paced and little did I know that I wouldn't have the Flex in hand for months after that trip. I actually received the Flex in late December with our inter-club season starting in January, I really didn't want to tinker with my driver prior to this since this is a big deal to our club and I really wanted to improve on my performance last year. The Flex good for good was amazing, but I hit a few errant shots with it that had me questioning the overall playability. Insert the Vapor Pro, right off the bat this thing was very straight and long. Not as long as the Flex, but I found it much straighter. Could have been a few factors, but I have stuck with the Vapor Pro since then and started off my season with it in the bag.
Here is a snapshot of my competitive rounds so far with the Vapor Pro, it has definitely been my workhorse, and my stroke average is about 3 lower than last year. This is not 100% due to the driver, but the driver has been a huge factor in my matches.
Enough background, lets get to the Trackman session . . .
I mentioned there were a few curveballs in this session, you'll see them below and I'll try my best to explain my thought process while it's fresh in my head from yesterday. My criteria for picking a driver is NOT all about Trackman numbers. I have always been skeptical about choosing a driver strictly based on numbers for many reasons, one reason is that I don't think some of the numbers make a huge difference on the course, under pressure, when you NEED to hit a certain shot. With my current game, hitting the ball straight is a big deal, having predictable misses are a big deal, and having the ball in play is a really big deal. Let's not kid ourselves, I still want distance, max distance because I want every advantage I can get. So with that said, Trackman numbers are important, but more important is how the club actually performs and there are many factors that come into play here.
Trackman setup - Cool Clubs - Irvine, CA . . .
This was my view, the trees back there are the end of the driving range with a street behind them. You will see the distances on the overhead sheet from Trackman later, but this will give you a good idea of what you are actually seeing in the graphic.
The Lineup . . .
All shafts are Rogue 125's tipped 1" at 44.75"
From address (in no particular order) . . .
Big Bertha Alpha - Double Black Diamond
Ping G30 LS Tec
The numbers - the averages and "The Big 3 or 4" . . .
The Trackman session was very interesting for a few reason, some good, some bad. The good reasons are that Trackman gives you some really interesting data that you simply have no other way of obtaining. The bad reasons are that sometimes this data contradicts what you see on the course and what you know to be true based on experiences on the course and tournament play that you have found to be acceptable and can be counter productive. This session did just that, and is why I feel that driver/club decisions should be made based on a BLEND of information you have from Trackman and what you ACTUALLY see on the course and the other intangibles (sound, feel, looks) that can also influence the overall confidence you have in a club. I had to bold these parts because of the amount of reviews I see on here hit into nets and decisions based on numbers not in actual playing conditions. I like when fitters will give you a few recommendations for your specs based on fittings since on the course vs. on the Trackman could end up being two different things.
With all of that said <spoiler alert> there is no clear winner here yet, but it is pushing me to drill down to the best few drivers and really focus in on which of these is hands down the best for me. Typically in years past, this process would have taken me months to do what I found out in a few hours yesterday, another benefit of outdoor Trackman fittings.
Here are the averages from yesterday. A member asked if I could rank my swing from 1-10 yesterday, and I would rate it a 7. Another bad thing about Trackman fittings is that it is such a small sample of swings, this was the case for me yesterday as I didn't have my best stuff and hit a few wild balls, but overall I got more than enough information on what I needed focus my attention on. Honestly, I wish there was a clear cut winner, but to be fair to myself and my game, I really do need to go further with this process to find what is actually the best for me.
The BIG 3 or 4? - R15 - 915 D3 - Vapor Flex - Vapor Pro
So if we were going strictly on the Trackman session, the Vapor Flex would have won. Overall distance, spin, LA, speed, dispersion was the best of all drivers and was the favorite of the fitter. The problem with that is that I have already found the Pro to be better overall on the course, or is it? So I took the Flex out yesterday and was hitting the sh%t out of it, it was about 10 yards longer than the Pro and dispersion wasn't as bad as initial testing.. I played "okay", and shot 70. I was really happy with that. I have listed the detailed numbers from the "Big 3 or 4" below so you can see the shots.
To elaborate on why the Big 3 are the Big 3 - the main factors are dispersion, playability, and numbers, these were the drivers that really shined overall. The Vapor Flex and R15 were absolutely smoking a few balls, so they would win based on numbers alone. The Vapor Pro was actually middle of the pack on Trackman, but has been exceptional under tournament conditions and really solid on the course. The 915 D3 was probably the straightest from what I saw, definitely went higher and IMO, there is room for me to improve this one a little bit.
R15 - The R15 seemed to be a better version of the SLDR for me. Shape looks great at address, sound and feel had been improved and the numbers were better than the SLDR as well. Add in additional forgiveness and there really isn't much not to like about this club.
915 D3 8.5 - The D3 definitely wasn't my favorite going into this, in fact, I thought it would get smoked by the other clubs. I was wrong, the 915 is a great club and overall performer. Dispersion was the best of the bunch and for that reason it is in the final bunch.
Vapor Flex - The Flex is just a monster. The best looking and sounding of the bunch, with crazy ball speed and spin numbers to back it up. There is a lot like about this club, but the biggest and most important factor in question is the overall playability.
Vapor Pro - The Pro has been a workhorse for me. Looks fantastic, sounds great, and is almost a blend of the Flex and the 915 D3. I'd say this is a very similar club to the 915 and would have a great chance of steering a few Titleist guys over to Nike. Not the best numbers, but has shown it's true colors on the course! The consistently lower smash factor is weird to me, but I wasn't swinging this one the best for some reason.
The Cobra FlyZ+ was the biggest surprise. Although it didn't make the final cut, it's damn good! Anyone who is a huge Cobra fan HAS to try this one out. I found it to be night and day compared to the BCP and much better. Sound and feel are spectacular, this head in black would look awesome. It was really close to making the final group but the others just had more that I liked overall.
What about the BBA DBD and G30 LST?
Without going too far into it, the DBD was the most disappointing of the bunch. Last year it was the Covert 2.0, this year was the DBD. The numbers on the averages make this club look far better that it was in real life. I actually found last years BBA to be better. Everyone is different and results vary, but I didn't like the DBD at all.
The Ping G30 LST is very low spinning and will be a great club for ping fans looking to drop spin significantly, and I mean significantly. I hit a few that were just knuckling under 2K rpms. The bad is that it is UGLY.. it looks terrible, and there is no way I can sugar coat that. It sounds and feels okay, but other than that I would have to be a die hard Ping fan to use it.
So what next?
Right now I have the Flex in the bag since it did technically win the Shootout on numbers and dispersion based on that session. I have a USGA qualifier coming up soon and if I have a bad round before then I'm going to be using the Vapor Pro in that round. After that I will be dialing in the R15 and 915D3. I might do one more Trackman session with just those clubs and then I will finalize with an overall winner. IF the Titleist wins, my bag will be going back to 100% Titleist due to pure OCD reasons and it's a really solid tournament proven bag that can be swapped in immediately if needed
UPDATE 2/23 - The Final TWO
After a lot of thought about the numbers, some insightful comments and feedback on here, and my own thoughts on my game and the feedback I have from hitting all the clubs - I have come down to the final two drivers.. VAPOR PRO and 915 D3. I thought a lot about the Trackman session and the numbers and how playable each club really was without me having to mess with anything. The best two were the Vapor Pro and 915 D3. The Flex won out on sheer numbers and in the Trackman session, I actually hit it the straightest, but I know for a fact this is not what happens on the golf course. The Vapor Pro and 915 are actually quite similar in numbers, and today I went to a trustworthy source to get fit for Titleist (not Cool Clubs) from a fitter who has played with me before and is a great player himself. We ended up with the 915 D3 8.5 (C1 setting) where I was getting balls in the 12˚ LA and 1900-2300 spin (depending on the strike) and the 915 F 16.5˚ 3WD (B1 setting) with the AD DI 8X with the option of the P95. The Titleist clubs have been built and I will dial them on the course and eventually get the two setups back on Trackman to confirm the numbers and real world results before finalizing this. My goal with the 3 wood is to find something stupid easy to hit that launches really high with mid spin but nothing too crazy that will balloon. The Nike Flex was confirmed to be really good by the Titleist fitter, but the 915 F really crept in there with some really nice balls hit and hit very high and soft. All of this needs to be confirmed on the course, I plan on doing it this week. So anyways, here are the final two setups!
Vapor Pro 8.5 ˚ Neutral - Rogue 125 70TX
Vapor Flex 16˚ - Right - Rombax P95
Titleist 915D3 8.5˚ - Rogue 125 70TX
Titleist 915F - 16.5˚ - AD DI-8X
UPDATE 3/8 - And the WINNER is???
Before we get into the winner, I want to talk about how it won, why, and the process to get to where I am at today. When I first started this, I thought that the Vapor Flex was going to walk away with this one and it did, on paper, but on course it was a different story for me. Good for good it produced a ball that was unreal, but I had some weird left shots that were dive bombing and just really couldn't play a driver that had that miss. Then it was the Vapor Pro, it performed great in the heat of battle and was just so playable. So good on the course that it overshadowed the shortcomings on the Trackman sessions. Next came the 915D3, sneaky long, and a great performer in the Shootout, great launch, really low spin and a great look at address. The downfall? The worst sounding driver I have hit this year and really not what I expect from Titleist in that department. The upside is that if the 915 won, I would have it hotmelted and dialed in by Cool Clubs, so really not a huge deal, just an annoyance.
For the 915, I rolled the dice and got fit by a Titleist fitter who I trust, but indoors on Flightscope. I will say this again, and I'm not sure why I don't take my own advice half the time, indoor fittings are just not that effective. I took the 915 D3 8.5 set to C1 to the course, it was good, but I felt it had room for improvement.
Trackman Session #2 - Cool Clubs Driver Fitting
At this point, I didn't trust the indoor fitting at all, especially after putting it in play and seeing the results after a few rounds. I like the Vapor Pro the best and it performs on the course, but with the feedback of the fitter at Cool Clubs and what I saw to confirm the numbers, I just felt we can do better. The Flex, I didn't trust fully but I can't argue with the numbers and the good for good results I saw on the course, it was just too much to turn my back on.
• 915 D3 - After the indoor fitting we were at C1. Literally after 2 swings on Trackman we went to D2 and saw a night and day difference. Keep in mind that my usual shot is pretty straight or a slight cut. My miss is usually overcooked right, so we went with more draw bias to that if I did turn it over, it's a slight pull and misses would be much straighter. This was definitely the case, the 915 D3 was going to be really tough to beat on this setting.
• Vapor Pro - My favorite going into this point, but not after I just saw the 915 on the D2 setting, I knew this was going to be interesting. The first Trackman session, I just was not hitting the Vapor Pro well at all so I thought I could prove the fitter wrong on this one I was wrong. The ball speed and spin were just not in the same realm as the 915 D3 now was, and definitely not close to the Flex, although more playable.
• Vapor Flex - The wildcard and the club that "won" the Shootout initially based on pure numbers, but not in playability. We tried 9.5N-Mid, 10.5N-Low, 10.5N-Mid. The numbers again were the best, but I just wasn't hitting as straight as the D3. I didn't want to fight it and try to force any certain club to work over another.. but STILL in the back of my mind I'm thinking "if I can just tame this beast, it's a no brainer". We ran out of time (I was late) and had to stop there.
At this point I was frustrated that I was late and didn't have time to fully dial in my driver and would have to do MORE testing to find that "ah-ha" moment where I'm committed to something without any doubts. I was happy with what I saw with the 915 D3 so I put it in the bag and used it in a practice match. It performed pretty well, but nothing too crazy, definitely gained distance on misses and it was a little better and longer than the Vapor Pro on off center hits, I missed 1 shot right which cost me a hole but overall it was good.. just really LOUD!
The only thing in my mind at this point was maximizing the performance and playability of the Vapor Flex, this should be the driver I use right? Best numbers by far, looks/sounds great, I've seen it do some amazing things on the course, but I have also seen the flip side of that coin. Last resort, reached out to a fitter at Nike I met at the Oven. He suggested a new setting that I have yet to try on the Flex.. 10.5R-Mid. Took this to the course and the results were very promising, but still too much right in it for my fade.
Trackman Session #3 - Cool Clubs 3WD/Driver Fitting
This fitting was the 2nd part of my first fitting and was to dial in a 3 wood (to be discussed later) and to ultimately finalize my driver. At this point, the Vapor Pro was somewhat out of the question due to the 915 D3's performance and that I already knew what the Vapor Pro does. This was specifically a last attempt to dial in the Flex and get numbers on the new setting from Nike and then to compare that to the 915 D3.
• Vapor Flex - I told the fitter about my conversation with Nike and we just went from there with the Flex as the focal point. The first two balls were smoked, with my usual fade. He really liked this setting that Nike suggested, and I hit a few more and basically felt we were on to something. He wanted to experiment with a crazy setting that I would have NEVER guessed on my own, but was the setting that worked really well in my Flex 3 wood and 915 FD. It was the LEFT setting.. the setting that has never been touched. We set it to 10.5L-Mid and it was hands down the best session on Trackman and dispersion was inline or better than what I saw with the D3 or Vapor Pro, add to that the numbers were the best and the misses were really good. Next step.. take it to the course, and after 54 holes..
THE WINNER . . . NIKE VAPOR FLEX
After 3 rounds with this driver setup the way it did, I trust the misses I was seeing, and the crazy distance gained on misses from optimal spin/launch numbers. Basically the higher launch I was seeing in the Vapor Pro that I liked was really climbing (especially on mishits) and Trackman really confirmed this. My misses were really losing a lot of distance, even though straight, were a good 10-15 yards behind a miss with the Flex optimized. The ball flight on the Flex launches a bit higher and does not climb but is a flatter trajectory with less spin and a lower AoD so the ball will release when it lands. The optimized setting got rid of that weird left ball and my misses are very predictable. Almost like it is not even the same club I was hitting when it was in the 9.5N-Low setting. Good for good, this driver is one of the longest I have hit and with the right setting the Flex has really proved me wrong. I will happily eat my words on the playability after what I have seen in the extensive testing and on course performance. I should also note that one of the key factors to this setting working well was that the driver from address still looks square/open even on the LEFT setting, this is key because in the past it has been hard for me to find a driver that sets up well but isn't overly right biased which forces me to turn the club over more than my stock shot likes to. The LEFT setting really holds my ball online on my overcooked right misses, and really is nice to see on the course.
The numbers look like this, I'm waiting for Cool Clubs to send a modified view for the driver only, because it's pretty cool to see the differences in what the settings actually do. The conditions during this session were a slight wind in and swirling (about 5-6 mph) but not consistent, so these numbers were REALLY good for me conditions that weren't as perfect as I've had before on Trackman and amplified the spin/ballooning.
Note: the spin doubled on one shot so the average spin is actually 2719.
UPDATE - 4/8/15 - Tour Issue Vapor Speed Limited (Glued Hosel) vs. OTR Flex
Here are the numbers from the tour issue "Vapor Speed Limited" with the W80x from the Oven, it was hit in comparison to the OTR Flex with P95 that was dialed in at Cool Clubs.
All shots hit from the ground:
OTR Flex w/ P95 set to 16L
Side by side:
Goal is to have the ball landing softer when hit off the turf, these shots were all hit from the ground:
Well, that's it for now. Thank you all for reading and all of the input, feedback, and enthusiasm!
Posted golfpros1 on 08 February 2014 - 08:11 PM
Pros and Cons
If you go all Taylormade, you can also pretend to sign a clothing deal with Adidas Golf, which really ups your poser game. You can also be young and edgy and rock the Ashworth stuff, so the options are really endless for you. Throw in the white three striped belt and you're practically a touring pro. For all their marketing, the clubs are actually really good, so it could be a win-win this season.
The ball is great, but not for everyone, which could really mess up the relationship with your pretend sponsor, and you're also subject to those things they call wedges. Also, their staff bags and hats change every 6 months, so this is an ongoing investment that you have to consider to maintain your poser level.
If you go all Titleist, you have a nice transition from woods to putters, cause it's all pretty quality stuff. The staff bag also doesn't change often, so you can maintain your level of poser for quite a while before reinvesting. And let's face it, there's a million of these guys, so you could fly under the radar and pull this off too. You also have Footjoy to round out your look, which isn't too shabby I might add.
It's hard to find a pretend clothing deal. Sure, you can go with Oakley, Polo, UnderArmour or someone, but it feels like your poser game has lost some street cred. You also lose out on all the fuzzy feelings you get with Taylormade and Callaway marketing hype. I mean, how fun is it really to say you're hitting a <insert number> versus a JetSpeed? The models also don't really change each year, so it loses some poser edge unless you go with the story about Titleist letting you bag what you want as long as it's theirs (which requires some acting skills).
If you go all Callaway Golf, you've got some quality stuff throughout the bag. Some woods are hook central, but nothing the pro model can't fix, or a story about some custom fitting sessions in Carlsbad. Staff bags also get a big bonus, cause collecting the bombs is kind of cool, and tells you're playing parters that you're 250 yard drive is really a 320 bomb. Also, you could maybe pretend you're a professional long driver, but that really comes down to whether you can swing the club 115mph to pull off the look to unsuspecting ams that think 300 is long.
Sure, you can wear Callaway clothing, and it's pretty decent stuff, but it's not as easy to find or on sale. Those golf ball dimples also take some getting use to, but I'm sure you can work it out. Also, the endless questions about Phil could get to be too much, depending on whether you're a fan or not.
If you're a cast guy, you've found your home. These guys have lots of great options, and even touring pros will play the i series so you might be able to pull the whole thing off. Plus, you can also get your putters dipped in gold (spray paint might work), and start a room in your house. This is for the serious poser, however. Another good thing, you can pretend to sign a deal with any ball maker and still be legit.
Not everyone loves cast, so this could be an issue. You also have no clothing deal options to complete the full poser effect, though you might be able to pull it off with Oakley (especially if you say you're truck is bullet proof (don't test it out, no matter how many beers on the course you drink)).
If you're a forged guy, this is really a great way to go. Irons, wedges, and putters are top notch stuff, and you can tell stories about how samurai swords are made. Bags and hats don't change often, so you can maintain your poser level for some time. You can also pretend to be sponsored with any golf ball, but I'd stick with Titleist on this one.
Woods are not at the top of peoples list, and although their own pros will bag a TM driver, it lowers your ranking. You have no clothing deal options either, which really limits you to Oakley, Polo, UnderArmour, etc.
If you go all Nike, you have some great Nike swooshed options. Pretty quality throughout the bag overall. And when you sign a pretend deal with Nike, with it comes apparel, shoes, hats, street wear when you're not playing, etc. You can pull off the best poser image, behind TM, in the game. This is also the best option for the PLAYAS... you know who you are (no need to insert a cheap Tiger waitress joke).
You live in the shadow of Tiger, and it's creating friction with your pretend sponsor. You also would never bag anything but their blades, so you better bring your A game.
A long history of winners and majors, you follow in great footsteps. They are also a general sporting company, so you can mix in other sporting equipment to round out your pretend sponsorship. Also, they don't sponsor many people you've heard of, so in the US you have a higher chance of pulling this off (unless they are hardcore golf fans). Plus, you could make your own funny youtube commercial if you're the type.
Seriously? No, really, seriously? Where do we even begin? You have no pretend clothing deal associated with this sponsorship, let alone shoes or ball, but I suggest you're a journeyman that likes to march to the beat of your own drummer (may require acting skills) to pull this off.
You're best friends with Watson... just go with it. Besides, you were also instrumental in Els leaving Callaway. This could win you an oscar this year. BTW, their stuff is actually really good, and the shaft upgrades alone make this a smart pretend sponsorship for any poser (especially on a budget). Also, you're inside knowledge about TM owning AG makes you not only the real deal, but gives you the ability to fulfill your dream of wearing yellow shoes.
These guys are associated mainly with Champions Tour players. I know what you're saying, it's only bad for the guys under 50, but it's still a major issue to consider to pull this off.
You are the coolest kid on the block! I mean, you sip red bull all day, and party all night with the hot ladies! If you're young, this is THE pretend sponsorship this year. You got some great options with the equipment as well, and you can even COLOR COORDINATE with your other pretend sponsor, Puma.
Only for the young. Seriously, no one needs to see a 40 year old guy in orange pants. 'nough said.
Still one of the top wedge makers, and a solid overall choice. This is a nice sleeper sponsorship. You also won't have to worry about all the pressures of shooting commercials or marketing materials since they never do it. You can also link your pretend sponsorship with Srixon, which is a huge selling point if you prefer a yellow ball.
Let's be honest, this sponsorship is home for the insane. VJ is spraying antler urine or something on himself, Beljan is laying all over the course with panic attacks near death, and where do we even start watching Keegan hit a ball. You'll also have to work on a clothing deal here, and if Srixon isn't your deal, you will have a tough time pulling this one off.
Fred Couples. Yeah, that's what you're getting here, and it's a good thing. OK, everyone likes some Kuch (don't say that with your wife around), but it's all about Couples here. The equipment is actually pretty good, particularly the forged stuff. You also have a great ball selection to fit anyones game with this pretend sponsorship, and all of them are totally legit options with Lee hanging on to the lower ball speed models. You also have a lot of flexibility with this sponsor, so it could be a win-win if you're a tinkerer.
It's been a while, but didn't the woods look like something Austin Powers would use? It took some serious wind out of this sponsorship in the driver department in the past, which is why you saw some other options in the bag. Couples or no couples, Bridgestone Golf just doesn't seem to carry the kind of poser power of the others, so you have to really figure out who you want to pretend you are.
Posted Lord Helmet on 17 January 2015 - 02:55 PM
What an awesome gesture. My daughter was stoked. I hope this gentleman is a wrxer and sees this. My hats off to you sir.
He was a good stick too!
Posted PZero on 07 September 2014 - 07:43 PM
Posted Guardian5 on 04 August 2013 - 03:47 PM
Posted easyyy on 05 February 2015 - 09:45 PM
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No back to our normal programing...
Posted PhilMickFan on 21 July 2013 - 04:27 PM
Posted Sean2 on 19 February 2015 - 09:41 AM
Anyway, the average golfer drives the ball around 200 yards. A number of studies have documented this. However, for the average member of this forum, that is not the case. If you extrapolate the average drive, the average golfer should probably be playing no more than 5700 yards. Not if he wants to hit mid-irons into the green.
Many of the members here pride themselves on playing the "tips". And that's fine.
Bare in mind though that most of the members here are not the norm, as such when talking about distances, tees to play from, and the like you are well outside that norm.
However, there are some members here who are around the norm. They may be seniors, beginning golfers, females, people with some kind of disability, or what not.
So, breaking 80 for the average golfer from the whites or reds is legit. Hitting the ball 220, or playing the white tees, does NOT make them any less a "man" (in fact knowing what tees to play from makes them more of one, in my opinion, because they have the cajones to not cave in to peer pressure and play back further because they are afraid to look bad).
Not playing stiff, or x-stiff is okay too, as is not hitting your 7-iron 180.
It's great that there are those who CAN play the tips, who CAN hit 300 yards, but that does not make the members who cannot any less a golfer.
If an average golfer hits the ball 200 yards and breaks 80 from 5700, that is approximately the same as someone who hits it 300 breaking 80 from 6900.
IMHO we need to start taking the ego out of this game. People have what they have. In any event, it doesn't make them any less of a person simply because they can't play this game as well as someone else.
One of my most enjoyable rounds was with a gentleman who shot around a 110. A very class act, with a huge heart, and he couldn't drive the ball 180.
For those of you up north, I hope spring arrives early. For those of us in New England, let's hope we can tee it up by May. :-)
Posted Sean2 on 23 March 2015 - 11:16 PM
It was a great tournament before TW. It will be a great tournament after TW. And, it will be a great tournament during TW, even if he decides not to play.
It has a rich history. No one player can make or break a tournament simply by his presence, or absence.
Posted Obee on 07 September 2014 - 12:19 PM
The magic circle is truly what it's all about. There are many factors that go into what separates each level of player from the next, but that one is the most important on a long term basis. Over one round (which I will show below), it can be overcome by short game or better putting by the amateur, or mediocre putting by the pro, but there is simply no substitute for "hitting the pocket," to borrow a bowling analogy. Not every ball thrown in the pocket in bowling results in a strike, just like not every ball hit in the "magic circle" results in a birdie. Keep hitting the pocket, though, and you're going to make a lot of strikes. Keep hitting it in the magic circle, and you're going to make a lot of birdies on a regular basis--the key to competing at elite amateur or professional golf.
Just yesterday I played a Saturday round at the club with a top Champions Tour player. I've played dozens of rounds with this guy. After playing with him over and over and over, I can tell you some pretty indisputable things about a below-scratch amateur versus a tour pro.
As many of you on the site already know, I'm a competitive amateur. I'm a +0.8 right now, and my low index is usually in the +2 range. Years ago, I was more like a +2.5 to +3.5 for much of the year, but those days are gone. I'm 47 now, and I just hit the ball too short and am constantly battling lingering back and side issues. I was never "long," but I was always "long enough." Now I'm not even "long enough." I can't take advantage of any par 5's if they are over 510 or so, and I just don't have the club head speed anymore to access truly tough pins in true tournament conditions (firm greens).
I can still play this game at a reasonable competitive level, and if you put me inside 140 yards, there isn't a lot that separates my game from a pro’s when I'm healthy and can release through impact.. When I was longer, I could take advantage of that strength (my solid play from inside 140), and would be hitting wedge into quite a few holes every round. Because of that, I was able to hit the ball into the “magic circle” quite frequently. Now, on a longer course, I'm lucky to be inside 140 on any holes except the shortest par 4’s and the par 5’s, which greatly reduces my ability to put it in that magic circle.
I only mention my game for comparison's sake when I play with a Tour Pro. And by the way, I'm comparing myself to a Champions Tour player, and not a regular tour player because I'm 47. If I were 32, I'd use a regular Tour Pro as an example. So let’s get into it!
Here's yesterday's round at Bear Creek Golf Club (7,157 75.7/146). We played all tees back except for two par 4's that were up one tee due to some tee maintenance. Played about 7,100 yards and longer than that, actually, due to how soft and wet the fairways are in the morning in the Inland Empire due to temperatures reaching 100 degrees-plus and them having to water so heavily over-night and in the morning.
I'm going to give a hole-by-hole breakdown of how our round went so that you can see what it's really like to play a Tour Pro. Greens yesterday were running at 10.5ish, but on the bumpy side due to recent top-dressing/punching. All the holes have been filled in with grass, but they are still soft and not the truest.
One other thing before I get into details: We gamble when we play. Yesterday we were a fivesome, and there were multiple team bets and individual bets, including the Champions Tour player playing a Web.com player for some $$$. This particular Champions Tour pro is a grinder. He plays golf. That's what he does. He grinds over 3-foot putts with us and HATES to lose to any of us!! LOL
1) 421 par 4, Very little wind at this time. Course soaking wet. Very little roll.
OBEE: Drive down the middle. 174 to a back left pin. Hit 7-hybrid (32 degrees) to 18 feet. 2 putts for par. EVEN PAR
TOUR PRO: Drive down the middle. 155 to back left pin. Hits 9-iron to 8 feet. BIRDIE. 1-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 1/1, Tour Pro 1/1
2) 424 Par 4.
OBEE: Drive down the middle.168 to tucked left pin just over huge ridge. I hit 7-hybrid to 20 feet. 2 putts for par. EVEN PAR
TOUR PRO: Tour Pro hits 3-wood down on right side of fairway. 160 to pin. Hits 8-iron to 12 feet. 2 putts for par. 1-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 2/2, Tour Pro 2/2
3) 528 par 5 (second shot is uphill and into a breeze. Plays much longer than 528.
OBEE: Drive down the middle. 4-wood lay-up to left side of fairway. LW from 70 yards to 12 feets. 2 putts for par. EVEN PAR
TOUR PRO: Drive down the middle. 3-wood carries center bunker and is 20 yards short of green. Pitches to a foot. Birdie. 2-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 3/3, Tour Pro 3/3
4) 415 par 4. Very difficult driving hole with multiple options.
OBEE: Drive down the middle, but heeled a bit and short. 164 to tucked right pin. 7-hybrid to left front with big ridge in between ball and hole. Bad first putt and miss the 4-foot par putt. BOGEY. 1-OVER
TOUR PRO: Drives over right fairway bunker. 140 to pin. Misses green right. Chips 4-feet long and makes the par save. 2-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 3 / 4, Tour pro 3 / 4.
5) 472 par 4. A bit downhill on drive. Considerably downhill on approach.
OBEE: Drive into right rough. 207 to back pin. 4-hybrid into right long rough. Pitch out to 20 feet and 2-putt for bogey. 2-OVER
TOUR PRO: Drive down middle. 170 to pin. 8-iron just over green in thick rough. Stubs chip a bit and leaves is short. Misses 10 foot par putt. Bogey. 1-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 3 / 5, Tour Pro 3 / 5
6) 152 par 3 (playing 129 today and downwind now). Tiny green. Trouble short and long.
OBEE: Choke-down, cut PW to six feet. Putt has a lot of break, and I miss it low. Par. 2-OVER.
TOUR PRO: GW onto back fringe. 20 feet. 2-putts for par. 1-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 4 / 6, Tour Pro 4 / 6
7) 400 par 4
OBEE: Drive barely into left rough. 9-iron from 151 to 25 feet. 2 putts for par. 2-OVER
TOUR PRO: 3-wood down middle. PW to 10 feet. Lips out birdie putt. 1-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 4 / 7, Tour Pro 5 / 7
8) 177 par 3, playing 168 actual. Down-wind.
OBEE: 8-iron that I pull left into a deep swale. LW pitch to 6 feet. Make the par save: 2-OVER
TOUR PRO: 8-iron to 10 feet. Lips out again. 1-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 4 / 8, Tour Pro 6 / 8
9) 539 par 5:
OBEE: Drive into left fairway bunker. 7-hybrid lay-up to 141. 9-iron short and in bunker. LW bunker shot to 4 feet. Save par. 2-OVER
TOUR PRO: Drive into left fairway bunker up. 9-iron lay-up to 140. PW to 30 feet. 2 putts for par. 1-UNDER.
Magic Circle: Obee 4 / 9, Tour Pro 6 / 9.
10) 432 par 4
OBEE: Drive down middle. 8-iron from 165 to 18 feet. 2 putts for par. 2-OVER
TOUR PRO: 3-wood down middle. 8-iron from 170 to 18 feet. 2 putts for par. 1-UNDER
Magic Circle: Obee 5/ 10, Tour Pro 7 / 10
11) 555 par 5.
OBEE: Horrible drive into left rough. 320 from pin. Downhill lie, ball nestled down. Horrible 6-hybrid lay-up attempt that I only advance 100 yards. 207 to front left pin out of rough. 4-hybrid that I knock on front-right of green 30 feet. 2 putts for par. 2-OVER
TOUR PRO: Drive down right side, which shortens the hole. 3-wood that he blocks right into water hazard. Drops and pitches on to 18 feet and 2 putts for bogey. EVEN PAR
Magic Circle: Obee 5 / 11, Tour Pro 7 / 11
12) 207 par 3. Into wind and uphill with deep bunkers short.
OBEE: 3-hybrid just a bit short into deep bunker. LW bunker shot to 3 feet. Make the putt to save par. 2-OVER.
TOUR PRO: Hybrid to 8 feet. Misses the putt and settles for par. EVEN PAR
Magic Circle: Obee 5 / 12, Tour Pro 8 / 12
13) 352 par 4. Strong crosswind.
OBEE: 4-wood down middle. GW from 109 to 12 feet. 2 putts for par. 2-OVER.
TOUR PRO: Driver down middle. LW from 50 yards to 15 feet. 2 putts for par. EVEN PAR
Magic Circle: Obee 6 / 13, Tour Pro 9 / 13
14) 543 par 5 (plays uphill and into a 10 – 15 mph wind).
OBEE: Drive down middle. 4-wood lay-up to 107 yards. Choke-down, cut PW to 3 feet. Make the birdie. 1-OVER
TOUR PRO: Drive down the middle. 3-wood up near green, but has an awkward stance and ball is in rough. Hits great pitch to 7 feet. Lips out the putt for birdie and settles for par. EVEN PAR
Magic Circle: Obee 7 / 14, Tour Pro 10 / 14
15) 421 par 4. Upill and into 10 – 15 mph wind.
OBEE: Drive down right-center of fairway, but I miss it a bit. 205 to front pin. 3-hybrid to 18 feet. 2 putts for par. 1-OVER
TOUR PRO: Drive down middle. Comes over the top on his approach and pulls it into left bunker with downhill lie to downhill pin. Hits an amazing shot, but he still has 10 feet for par. Misses the par and makes bogey. 1-OVER
Magic Circle: Obee 8 / 15, Tour Pro 10 / 15
16) 222 par 3 downhill, with strong wind down and left.
OBEE: 4-hybrid that I whiff and hit in front bunker, 30 yards short. GW to 10 feet. Miss the par save. 2-OVER
TOUR PRO: 5-iron misses green slightly left. Chips up and saves par. 1-OVER
Magic Circle: Obee 8 / 16, Tour Pro 10 / 16
17) 439 par 4. Wind down and across from right.
OBEE: Pull-hook drive into left rough. Blast 4-wood from 230 into front bunker. Knock bunker shot to 2-feet. Par. 2-OVER.
TOUR PRO: Drive down middle. 9-iron from 150 to 15 feet. 2 putts for par. 1-OVER
Magic Circle: Obee 8 / 17, Tour Pro 11 / 17
18) 432 par 4 downwind.
OBEE: Drive down middle. PW from 140 to tough front pin to 8 feet. Miss the birdie and tap in for a 2-OVER 74 on a course rated 75.7/146.
TOUR PRO: Drive down middle. GW from 130 to 12 feet. Misses the birdie and taps in for a 1-OVER 73.
Final “Magic Circle” Numbers: Obee 9 / 18, Tour Pro 12 / 18.
So there you have it. Keep in mind that the round was pretty typical in terms of ball-striking. The Tour Pro hit the ball about like he usually does, but yesterday he maximized his score. Hit hit one ball in the water, and he made absolutely nothing in terms of birdie putts. Based upon his ball-striking yesterday, I would expect his scoring to range from 66 to 73. He scored about as poorly as he possibly could have scored. He just made nothing. He’s actually a very, very good putter, but the greens were a bit bumpy, and they weren’t falling for him.
Based upon my ball-striking, I would expect my score to range from a low of 69 to a high of 78 with that round yesterday. I made a couple nice par saves, but I also made zero birdie putts in the 6 to 18 foot range, and I had quite a few of them.
OBEE: 12/18 GIR, 9/14 fairways, 32 putts, 9 / 18 magic circle, 3 / 4 sand saves, 1 / 2 up-and-down.
TOUR PRO: 13 / 18 GIR, 13 / 14 Fairways, 32 putts, 12 / 18 magic circle, 0 / 1 sand saves, 2 / 3 up-and-down.
So make of that what you will. I play with this guy a lot. Our standard bet is that he plays from the back tees (the tees we played yesterday) at 7,157, and I play one set up from the gold tees 6,874. He gives me 2 a side when we play that way, and over the last 2.5 years in which we have played several dozen rounds, I would say that he is slightly (55/45?) ahead in the bet. If we always played the black tees together as we did yesterday, I would ask him for another shot on the front, for a total of 5 shots. I would take that bet as “fair” whether we played stroke play or match play due to my overall “steadiness” as a player and the fact that I don’t “blow-up” very often (I rarely make double-bogey or worse).
So that’s approximately a five shot difference in our games on a regular basis. Where do those five shots come from?
1) He’s both longer and (a bit) straighter than I am off the tee, and even though he’s 55 years old, he’s getting longer. He’s longer today than he was three years ago according to him. He’s fitter, stronger, and in overall amazing shape with a well-tuned driver for his swing. He hits the ball in the 270 to 290 range on a regular basis. I hit the ball 245 to 265. That’s a BIG difference.
2) He’s a much more consistent putter than I am, especially from “where it counts”: 4 – 10 feet. (I can putt well from time-to-time, but I have no consistency from week to week, month to month).
3) He’s a much better and more consistent mid to long-iron/hybrid player than I am
4) He’s a much, much better and more consistent fairway wood player than I am (he can hit the ball much higher than I can, when necessary, for instance)
5) He’s a slightly better short iron (PW GW SW LW) player than I am
6) He has a moderately better “normal” short game than I do (basic bunker shots, basic pitch and chip shots)
7) He’s significantly better at short game “specialty shots” than I am (very difficult bunker shots, very difficult lies to very difficult pins, etc). For an amateur, I am quite skilled in that area—certainly better than most “scratch” golfers. He is, though, one of the best on tour at those types of shots. This isn’t a big deal, though, due to the fact that a good player can sometimes go several rounds without ever encountering a shot that requires any type of special talent. When you do have one of those shots, though, it sure helps (and saves strokes) to be an expert.
8) He has a far more stable “mental game” and routine than I do. He simply does the same thing over and over and over. His routine is a beauty to behold, as is his demeanor and steadiness on the course.
So there you have it. The five(ish) strokes per round come from all of those areas combined. Sometimes he beats me by 7, 8, even 9 strokes. Sometimes he beats me be only one stroke. Sometimes (quite rarely), I beat him straight up. Overall, though, it’s about five strokes.
One last thing: The tougher the conditions get, the more his superior skills and length will increase the separation in our games to six, seven or even eight shots on average. Two factors play the biggest role in that separation: Green firmness and rough length, with the more important of those two being green firmness. When the greens get firm, the pros ability to stick their 7-irons close far exceeds mine (and most competitive amateurs) due to their higher club head speed and superior launch characteristics/consistency that allows them to hold greens from tough lies and attack pins that I have to play away from.
We can learn a lot by comparing ourselves to the pros, but we have to be realistic when doing so. Golf is made up of levels. Figure out what level you are at and figure out a way to get to the next level. If you're a "mid-capper" (10 to 15 handicap), figure out how to get to "low handicap" (4 to 9). If you're a low handicapper, figure out how to get to "around scratch" (1 to 3). If you're "around scratch," figure out how to get to club scratch (+ 1 to 1). If you're a club scratch, figure out how to get your game to local/regional tournament level (+ 1 to +3). If you're a local/regional tournament level guy, figure out how to become a true elite amateur.
At every level, there's something for you to work on. Somewhere for you to shave strokes. And to me, the only measuring stick to ever use that makes sense is the best players in the world. You will, of course, never get from 14 to elite amateur or pro in a short time, but why would you ever use anything other than the pros as your ideal? Watch them, dissect their games, learn from them. Understand what different conditions mean. What tournament pressure means. What true short-game mastery means. What "owning" different golf shots means.
There's nothing like this game. Shoot for the stars. Maybe you'll catch the moon....
Thanks for reading. I look forward to your comments!!
Posted Playaway on 10 July 2014 - 12:35 PM
Posted Drudersh on 24 February 2015 - 10:28 AM
Posted Thunder Dan on 31 March 2015 - 02:33 PM
But, let's be honest she was way too hot for him to have the right intentions for a marriage. She wanted this all along, to live the good life for awhile then a divorce settlement. I don't even need to meet her or hear her story. Hope Jason finds his game and a non-gold-digging lady
Posted klbrown514 on 06 January 2015 - 02:10 PM
If you can hit the ball into the atmosphere and it never comes down, you deserve to take a drop anywhere you like...
Posted mmarler on 17 April 2015 - 11:04 AM