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Learning to score

scoring birdies

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#1 wildcatden

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:00 AM

Took my 7YO out again after work for 9-holes yesterday. His game is pretty solid right now except he is just not scoring birdies. He had at least 4 looks at birdie from 8 to 15 feet, but just didn't get any of them. Ended up finishing +3 which is a good score and pretty much in his range of +3 to +5 on his home course. Best he has shot as a 7YO is +1 on his home course. Best as a 6YO on this course was -2.  Here's his round yesterday:

#1: Par 4 155 yards. GIR. Missed 8-footer for birdie. Par.
#2: Par 4 160 yards. GIR. Missed 15-footer for birdie. Par.
#3: Par 4 170 yards. GIR. Blew 25 foot birdie 7 feet past hole. Missed 7-footer. Bogey.
#4: Par 5 225 yards. Bad drive. Topped 3W from fairway. Took 4 to get on green. Missed 12 foot par save. Bogey.
#5. Par 4 115 yards. Missed green, chipped birdie attempt to 5 feet. Made 5-footer. Par.
#6: Par 4 180 yards. Missed green, chipped birdie to 6 feet. Missed 6-footer. Bogey.
#7: Par 3 75 yards. GIR. Lagged 35-footer to 3 feet. Par.
#8: Par 5 225 yards. GIR. Missed 14-footer for birdie. Par.
#9: Par 4 160 yards. GIR. Missed 12-footer for birdie. Par.

Final score: 40 (Par is 37).

He has scored under par multiple times in USKG tournaments and practice when he was 6, but he has not done that in either practice or tournaments as a 7YO yet (he's 7.5YO now).  He's usually pretty good at leaving it within 18 inches if he misses a birdie putt from 20 feet and in, but does sometimes leave those 3 foot knee knockers for par.

What do you guys do to help teach the ability to score? Do I need to take him to easier (flatter) courses?  Or I guess just practice putting more? Or much ado about nothing and just keep at it?


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#2 tiger1873

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:12 AM

View Postwildcatden, on 20 June 2018 - 11:00 AM, said:

Took my 7YO out again after work for 9-holes yesterday. His game is pretty solid right now except he is just not scoring birdies. He had at least 4 looks at birdie from 8 to 15 feet, but just didn't get any of them. Ended up finishing +3 which is a good score and pretty much in his range of +3 to +5 on his home course. Best he has shot as a 7YO is +1 on his home course. Best as a 6YO on this course was -2.  Here's his round yesterday:

#1: Par 4 155 yards. GIR. Missed 8-footer for birdie. Par.
#2: Par 4 160 yards. GIR. Missed 15-footer for birdie. Par.
#3: Par 4 170 yards. GIR. Blew 25 foot birdie 7 feet past hole. Missed 7-footer. Bogey.
#4: Par 5 225 yards. Bad drive. Topped 3W from fairway. Took 4 to get on green. Missed 12 foot par save. Bogey.
#5. Par 4 115 yards. Missed green, chipped birdie attempt to 5 feet. Made 5-footer. Par.
#6: Par 4 180 yards. Missed green, chipped birdie to 6 feet. Missed 6-footer. Bogey.
#7: Par 3 75 yards. GIR. Lagged 35-footer to 3 feet. Par.
#8: Par 5 225 yards. GIR. Missed 14-footer for birdie. Par.
#9: Par 4 160 yards. GIR. Missed 12-footer for birdie. Par.

Final score: 40 (Par is 37).

He has scored under par multiple times in USKG tournaments and practice when he was 6, but he has not done that in either practice or tournaments as a 7YO yet (he's 7.5YO now).  He's usually pretty good at leaving it within 18 inches if he misses a birdie putt from 20 feet and in, but does sometimes leave those 3 foot knee knockers for par.

What do you guys do to help teach the ability to score? Do I need to take him to easier (flatter) courses?  Or I guess just practice putting more? Or much ado about nothing and just keep at it?

Your son is still young and you probably heard this a lot but it is true. Practice putting and work your way back from the hole.  Score may be higher but in a few years it will pay off.  If you confident in putting it really helps lower the score when they are older.

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#3 DavePelz4

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:14 AM

I'd quit worry about the score at such an early age and make sure he has fun.

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#4 wildcatden

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:28 AM

View PostDavePelz4, on 20 June 2018 - 11:14 AM, said:

I'd quit worry about the score at such an early age and make sure he has fun.

He definitely has fun and we have a good time on the course or practice (which always includes games). I'm just here trying to build his game via an "under current" of good habits and mental attitude. Appreciate the input.

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#5 wildcatden

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:36 AM

View Posttiger1873, on 20 June 2018 - 11:12 AM, said:

Your son is still young and you probably heard this a lot but it is true. Practice putting and work your way back from the hole.  Score may be higher but in a few years it will pay off.  If you confident in putting it really helps lower the score when they are older.

Yeah, that's good advice. It's just strange because I don't feel like he is lacking confidence in his putting. Obviously, my memory can be wrong, but it seems like he made these putts as a 6YO.  Regardless, we'll try some more putting at practice (note: our putting practice is usually just a game/competition between him and I from various lengths.)


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#6 darter79

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:50 AM

is he hitting the put on his true line? is he opening or closing the face at impact? Try the tee drill that will show you real fast if he even starting the ball on the right spot. When I do this with my 7 year old daughter its an eye opening, how often they can pull or push putts which will lead to misses.  We even used things like the putting tutor to get an indication of face path.  

Speed another game all together. For her we use her toes for most putts, big toe, pinky toe, big foot super big foot. Its silly put it helps teach speed to younglings. Question is how and why is he missing?

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#7 leezer99

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:51 AM

You may want to temper your expectations on putting and work on proximity to hole.

Based on tour averages:

#1: 8' putt - 49% make
#2: 15' putt - 22% make
#3: 25' putt - 10% make / 7' putt - 56% make
#4: 12' putt - 30% make
#5. 5' putt - 75% make
#6: 6' putt - 65% make
#7: 35' putt - 5% make
#8: 14' putt - 25% make
#9: 12' putt - 30% make

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#8 tiger1873

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:57 AM

View Postleezer99, on 20 June 2018 - 11:51 AM, said:

You may want to temper your expectations on putting and work on proximity to hole.

Based on tour averages:

#1: 8' putt - 49% make
#2: 15' putt - 22% make
#3: 25' putt - 10% make / 7' putt - 56% make
#4: 12' putt - 30% make
#5. 5' putt - 75% make
#6: 6' putt - 65% make
#7: 35' putt - 5% make
#8: 14' putt - 25% make
#9: 12' putt - 30% make

Good point,  There is no such thing as 100% putting, your looking to expand the distance they can be confident and make a putt.  If they can make 80-90% putts within 6 feet they are excellent putters and you shouldn't expect more. Once you confident in putting move back to chipping and make sure they can place it in that circle.

Edited by tiger1873, 20 June 2018 - 12:40 PM.


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#9 wildcatden

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:59 AM

View Postdarter79, on 20 June 2018 - 11:50 AM, said:

is he hitting the put on his true line? is he opening or closing the face at impact? Try the tee drill that will show you real fast if he even starting the ball on the right spot. When I do this with my 7 year old daughter its an eye opening, how often they can pull or push putts which will lead to misses.  We even used things like the putting tutor to get an indication of face path.  

Speed another game all together. For her we use her toes for most putts, big toe, pinky toe, big foot super big foot. Its silly put it helps teach speed to younglings. Question is how and why is he missing?

Yeah, we've done the tee gate drill before. I also have a 3 foot metal ruler that I have him putt on also sometimes (been a while).  His speed is good most of the time and we use swing keywords of "rhythm" and "clock" for him to think about hitting the correct speed of the putt.

Certainly, he's not hitting his putting line and/or he (or Dad) is not reading the putt properly.  We have the "PING Putting App" on an old iPhone that I used before to see what his natural swing path is for putter. He is somewhere between slight arc and straight-back-straight-through all of the time. Perhaps I will break that thing out again and see how is putting stroke looks.

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#10 hangontight

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:04 PM

We are in exact same boat , same age and everything.  I know for certain his putting has gotten worse - he just doesn't drain as many of the birdie opportunities.  Mostly his alignment is jacked and he rushes. I dont think its uncommon , I've seen it in scores of other kids who had moved up age/distance before us-  The 7 yo USKG tees are still kind of DCP for a lot of the better kids, but the approaches are typically longer - even iff they go from 1/2 SW approach (6u) to Full SW or PW (7) on most par 4's their proximity to hole is bound to be further..which equals less birdies, more room for error, etc.  Par 3's are more legit now - usually a 8-6 Iron, whereas before it was rarely more than PW.  He also doesn't birdie near as many par 5's as before when he would almost always reach them or near them in 2.   Part of our problem is also that I've made an effort to dis-involve myself- mostly let him read his own putts now, don't correct him as often when he is set up wrong, etc. He is learning to own his mistakes, surely at the expense of a few strokes, but short term pain for long term gain hopefully.

Edited by hangontight, 20 June 2018 - 12:06 PM.


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#11 wildcatden

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:04 PM

View Postleezer99, on 20 June 2018 - 11:51 AM, said:

You may want to temper your expectations on putting and work on proximity to hole.

Based on tour averages:

#1: 8' putt - 49% make
#2: 15' putt - 22% make
#3: 25' putt - 10% make / 7' putt - 56% make
#4: 12' putt - 30% make
#5. 5' putt - 75% make
#6: 6' putt - 65% make
#7: 35' putt - 5% make
#8: 14' putt - 25% make
#9: 12' putt - 30% make

Proximity would certainly help. I'm going to switch to the Chrome Soft balls (from Wilson Duo) I have on-hand for his next 9-holes to see if we can improve that with the better spin/stopping power. Those Wilson Duo 29 compression balls just don't stop, but becoming accurate with the SW and P from 20-50 yards is certainly a skill that must be honed.

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#12 kcap

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:06 PM

View Postwildcatden, on 20 June 2018 - 11:28 AM, said:

View PostDavePelz4, on 20 June 2018 - 11:14 AM, said:

I'd quit worry about the score at such an early age and make sure he has fun.

He definitely has fun and we have a good time on the course or practice (which always includes games). I'm just here trying to build his game via an "under current" of good habits and mental attitude. Appreciate the input.

I get where you are coming from, I love analyzing rounds and looking at scores to understand what went right for my son's round or did not -- away from the obvious.  

The tour average for 10-15 ft putt is like 25%.. your child needed to put one of those 4 -  i think that is very hard to accomplish and not really realistic

Looking at his round..hole 3 is the glaring stroke lost on a 3 putt (it could be a really easy or hard initial putt so that you need analyse) and then a couple of 6-8 ft putt where the average is like 60-70%.

He hit all the drives and 6 out of 9 GIRs .. could not ask for more, except maybe did the ball go where you wanted it .. i.e flag is in front you wanted to play short but you end up back of the green;  To me,  yes he made a GIR but it is still something we talk about after the round.

For the last few months, i have worked with my son on 3, 6 and 8 ft putts..it is amazing how much better and confident he feels over long putt cause he knows he will barely 3 putt.  

FWIW.. my son can't see to score as well.. so in a round I ask him to focus on hitting good shots and the score will take care of itself.

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#13 kekoa

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:22 PM

It might be worth working on some speed drills to hit the driver further as well.  I remember as a late 7 my son was driving or coming very close to driving par 4's.  Par 5's would be a driver and iron to get on in two.  His best round in the 7's was a 31 (-5) and I remember him having a few two putt birdies.  

It goes without saying that putting is extremely important to score.  Of course, proximity to the hole goes hand in hand with this.  Both these areas get a bit easier if you can bust the ball down the fairway and have a short iron in.
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#14 wildcatden

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:23 PM

View Postkcap, on 20 June 2018 - 12:06 PM, said:

View Postwildcatden, on 20 June 2018 - 11:28 AM, said:

View PostDavePelz4, on 20 June 2018 - 11:14 AM, said:

I'd quit worry about the score at such an early age and make sure he has fun.

He definitely has fun and we have a good time on the course or practice (which always includes games). I'm just here trying to build his game via an "under current" of good habits and mental attitude. Appreciate the input.

I get where you are coming from, I love analyzing rounds and looking at scores to understand what went right for my son's round or did not -- away from the obvious.  

The tour average for 10-15 ft putt is like 25%.. your child needed to put one of those 4 -  i think that is very hard to accomplish and not really realistic

Looking at his round..hole 3 is the glaring stroke lost on a 3 putt (it could be a really easy or hard initial putt so that you need analyse) and then a couple of 6-8 ft putt where the average is like 60-70%.

He hit all the drives and 6 out of 9 GIRs .. could not ask for more, except maybe did the ball go where you wanted it .. i.e flag is in front you wanted to play short but you end up back of the green;  To me,  yes he made a GIR but it is still something we talk about after the round.

For the last few months, i have worked with my son on 3, 6 and 8 ft putts..it is amazing how much better and confident he feels over long putt cause he knows he will barely 3 putt.  

FWIW.. my son can't see to score as well.. so in a round I ask him to focus on hitting good shots and the score will take care of itself.

Yeah, I like to analyze the round afterwards also. Hole 3 with the 3-putt was bad. Hole 4 (225yd Par 5) he hit a poor drive of only about 100 yards and then topped his 3W from the left primary rough (not deep and ball sitting up) another 50 yards.  Those two holes pretty much did it.  Reality is I felt bad for him because he hit a lot of great shots because our home course is hilly and a drive in the fairway can still leave you with the ball above/below your feet and other awkward type lies.  He needs a Gap Wedge but needs to grow another 1/2" or so before he is ready to move into a TS-51 set I have for him that has one.

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#15 wildcatden

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:31 PM

View Postkekoa, on 20 June 2018 - 12:22 PM, said:

It might be worth working on some speed drills to hit the driver further as well.  I remember as a late 7 my son was driving or coming very close to driving par 4's.  Par 5's would be a driver and iron to get on in two.  His best round in the 7's was a 31 (-5) and I remember him having a few two putt birdies.  

It goes without saying that putting is extremely important to score.  Of course, proximity to the hole goes hand in hand with this.  Both these areas get a bit easier if you can bust the ball down the fairway and have a short iron in.

Yeah, I pay attention to that also. He's hitting the Fly-Z+ driver consistently in the 140-150 yard range (on a flat hole), but some of the holes on our home course have quite the different elevations. I'll probably get him the Super Speed Golf swing speed trainer stuff for XMAS this year, but we do have my overspeed club to train with.  I was going to have him work on balance drills also with simple stuff like how long can you stand one one foot with your arms out, eyes closed and head up. Certainly, if you can drive it on the green, the game gets easier. :-)


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#16 tiger1873

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 12:33 PM

View Postkcap, on 20 June 2018 - 12:06 PM, said:

The tour average for 10-15 ft putt is like 25%.. your child needed to put one of those 4 -  i think that is very hard to accomplish and not really realistic


I see a lot kids make 10-15 ft putts including my own kids in about 20-25% of the time.  If you can't do this your not going to make birdies.  It's a tall order for a 6 year old but should not be a problem by the time  there 11 or 12.

I see lots of kids who drive  almost to the green and chip great but do lots of lags putts which results in a few holes that 3 putts they almost always lose to a short hitter who makes 15 foot put birdies on 2 or 3 holes.

Edited by tiger1873, 20 June 2018 - 12:39 PM.


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#17 BertGA

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:12 PM

View Postdarter79, on 20 June 2018 - 11:50 AM, said:


Speed another game all together. For her we use her toes for most putts, big toe, pinky toe, big foot super big foot. Its silly put it helps teach speed to younglings. Question is how and why is he missing?

Love it. Iím gonna have to try that. Iíve been trying other visuals to help with distance, but the toes are right there!

Did you notice a tendency towards a more arced stroke when they start focusing on toes?

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#18 golfer929

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 07:49 PM

Dude, the kid is 7, ease up a bit. Practice some putting from inside 10ft

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#19 darter79

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 08:50 PM

View Postleezer99, on 20 June 2018 - 11:51 AM, said:

You may want to temper your expectations on putting and work on proximity to hole.

Based on tour averages:

#1: 8' putt - 49% make
#2: 15' putt - 22% make
#3: 25' putt - 10% make / 7' putt - 56% make
#4: 12' putt - 30% make
#5. 5' putt - 75% make
#6: 6' putt - 65% make
#7: 35' putt - 5% make
#8: 14' putt - 25% make
#9: 12' putt - 30% make

Found an chart from 2016 that should put some things into actual make percentage. PUTTING

https://www.pgatour....ed-defined.html

Edited by darter79, 20 June 2018 - 08:52 PM.


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#20 kekoa

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 11:45 PM

View Postgolfer929, on 20 June 2018 - 07:49 PM, said:

Dude, the kid is 7, ease up a bit. Practice some putting from inside 10ft

We are all going pro. There’s no time to ease up.

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#21 golfer929

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 11:03 AM

View Postkekoa, on 20 June 2018 - 11:45 PM, said:

View Postgolfer929, on 20 June 2018 - 07:49 PM, said:

Dude, the kid is 7, ease up a bit. Practice some putting from inside 10ft

We are all going pro. Thereís no time to ease up.

Excuse me, my mistake!

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#22 Sean2

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 11:15 AM

At his age he is probably more interested in the flora and fauna on the golf course than in scoring.
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#23 wildcatden

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 10:24 PM

Worked on the putting a little bit this week. Shaved a couple strokes. Need to work on pitching/chipping and getting proximity to the hole as suggested earlier.

#1: Par 4 155 yards. Missed green. Chipped way past hole (worm burner). Missed 35-footer for par to 5 feet. Made 5-footer. Bogey.
#2: Par 4 160 yards. GIR. Missed 15-footer for birdie. Par.
#3: Par 4 170 yards. GIR. Made 12-footer for birdie. Birdie.
#4: Par 5 225 yards. Chipped eagle attempt over green (worm burner). Downhill birdie chip 8 feet past hole. Missed 8-foot par save. Bogey
#5. Par 4 115 yards. Missed green. Chipped birdie attempt to 5 feet. Made 5-footer. Par.
#6: Par 4 180 yards. GIR.  Missed 14-footer for birdie. Par.
#7: Par 3 75 yards. Missed green. Chipped to 12 feet. Made 12 footer. Par.
#8: Par 5 225 yards. GIR. Missed 20-footer for birdie. Par.
#9: Par 4 160 yards. GIR. Missed 25-footer for birdie. Par.

Final score: 38 (Par is 37).

Certainly getting steadier. He has not shot a round under par yet from 7YO yardage on our home or any course, but he is so close. Holes #1 and #4 really hurt the round....especially #4 where it wasn't that hard of a chip from just off the green and a good one could have gotten him a great look at birdie. On the other hand, he made a couple nice up and downs for par.

It seems hard to find a way to practice those 20-50 yard pitch shots. Our driving range doesn't have those baskets to chip/pitch into and our chipping/pitching green kind of has a way to get that range but it is always so busy (green/area kind of small). I guess we just need to head out on the course late and hit a dozen balls into each green.

One thing for sure, the Callaway Chrome Soft is a nice spinning ball for him. It's night and day with the stopping power compared to the Wilson DUO although that was a great ball for him as a 6YO. Like others have seen with wedges, I do see the Chrome Soft ride up the P or SW (UL48's) when hitting full P/SW shots. Perhaps may need to test out another ball like the Srixon Q-Star next to see if the same.

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#24 wildcatden

wildcatden

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 10:26 PM

View PostSean2, on 22 June 2018 - 11:15 AM, said:

At his age he is probably more interested in the flora and fauna on the golf course than in scoring.

Currently, it is Star Wars as he has now seen episodes IV, V, and VI. Our golf cartwas the Millennium Falcon today. Amazing, it can go light speed. Who knew?

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