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Obee's Putting Improvement Thread


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#1 Obee

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 09:38 PM

I have begun to religiously document my putting stats and I'm going to share them here.

As some of you know, I was previously NOT a very good putter for a scratch/below golfer. I would miss one or more 3 - 4 foot putts every round (probably averaged 1.5 misses per round). I got sick of that about a year ago and committed to fixing it, which I have. I did three main things (all of which I have outlined in some detail in other posts:
  • I now use the line on (virtually) all putts.
  • I went to a VERY upright (79 degrees) putter that is 36 inches long
  • I switched to a CLOSED stance, which gives my right arm plenty of room to move DOWN my line (I'm fat and have a big belly)
  • I switched to the claw (the same version that Mickelson uses)
I also have come to believe that ALL good putting starts with finding the right "speed of the day" on a straight-in 4-footer. I now practice those more than I have in my entire life. It's pretty much all I practice (when I do, which is rare).

I've been playing on some really cruddy "summer" greens here in SoCal (where greens are MUCH better in the fall, winter, and early spring than they are in the summer), and my stats aren't great, but I'm certain they will get better.

Looking forward to sharing my journey here. Let's make this thread about overall putting improvement in any way, shape, or form. :-)

Here a link to the spreadsheet. Please let me know if it's not functional:

https://www.dropbox....O-416kr4za?dl=0

Edited by Obee, 04 September 2018 - 10:55 PM.

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#2 PorscheFan

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 10:16 PM

View PostObee, on 04 September 2018 - 09:38 PM, said:

I also have come to believe that ALL good putting starts with finding the right "speed of the day" on a straight-in 4-footer.

Interesting advice.  I'm going to adopt this.

Looking forward to seeing where this thread goes, and how you improve...

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#3 bladehunter

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 10:47 PM

great idea   !   Ill be adding to this thread for sure..  So far after a long overdue putter swap ive gained 2 strokes a round over my previous 4 months tracking with old putter.  Im still -2.01strokes a round putting..But i was  -4.50 strokes a round lost on the green consistently...

I swapped to a spider red with full line .. and now suddenly im starting them online... at this rate i may see positive strokes gained on the greens inside the next month !
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#4 lowheel

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 12:32 AM

Obee, are you tinkering with putter weight? going face balanced or some toe hang? Did you go more upright to have a more square to square stroke with less face rotation? are you tracking tourney rounds only or all rounds?
I wish you luck buddy, no harm in seeing what works for you

Edited by lowheel, 05 September 2018 - 12:34 AM.


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#5 Bye

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 02:11 AM

Really interesting to hear the changes you have made Obee, the fashion is definitely to go shorter in length these days. Going to a longer putter is definitely unusual, but hey what ever works.

I’ve said it on another thread, after really struggling on the greens for the past few season I went left hand low. I read somewhere that when most people do this they keep there left arm bent instead of allowing it to straighten. I have no data, but my putting has improved greatly.

I agree with you about the importance of working on getting the speed of the greens. It will be interesting to hear how you get on.

Good luck mate.

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#6 blehnhard

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 06:14 AM

First off, I would like to thank Obee for his contributions over the past month or so on several "putting" threads.

I too have changed to the same claw grip version that PM and Obee use (left fore finger down the left side of grip).  Also, I installed a SS Pistol GT Tour counter weighted grip (50 gram) on by Bettinardi Studio Select 2 putter. These changes have made a significant improvement in my overall putting. While still 3 putting more often than I would like, I am holing many more short and medium length putts.  Also, I am stroking my short putts (4 to 5 feet and in) with much better speed.  I used to barely crawl the ball into the hole even on very short putts (18" and in).  I feel a lot more confident over short putts even when I miss.

My last 3 rounds have included 17 birdies.  3 under 69 with 6 birds and 3 bogeys (1 3 putt on 1st hole). 1 under 70 with 6 birdies and 5 bogeys (4 under 31 on 1st 9 but 2 3 putts and a couple of missed short putts had me back to 1 over going to 17.  Made 12' birdie on 17 and 6' birdie on 18 to get back to 1 under.  Yesterday, opened with 3 straight birds 3', 4', and 15'.  Some bad drives got me in trouble and along with 2 3 putts (1 from 6' on #9) wound up with 2 over 74 - 6 birdies and 7 bogeys.

One of my poor past habits was to make changes to set up and stroke pattern during a round - searching for something. I have stayed with the same routine, mental process and stroke pattern for the past 6 or 7 weeks since I made the changes.

Now if I can get my driver straightened out, I might start shooting some real low numbers.  Iron play has been solid and get lots of looks inside 10'.

Bruce

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:02 AM

I made significant improvements this season by changing my attitude and approach. The only change in technique was to narrow and open the stance a bit (Jack Nicklaus-ish), which is a return to my younger days.

I've regressed a bit in the last month. One of the "approach" changes I made was to find and commit to a line before taking my stance and practice stroke. Lately I've been taking the stance and then trying to make sure I'm committed, which doesn't work nearly as well, especially on make-able 4-8 footers.

Obee mentioned working on speed for 4 footers, which I think is really smart. I know I have a tendency to overlook the proper speed on short putts -- it's part of the regression I mentioned above.
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#8 ASak10

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:24 AM

So what would everyone say is the proper speed for a 4 foot putt?  If you miss is it a foot beyond, 2 feet, somewhere in between?  Maybe more or less?  I've heard various distances from Pelz to the Aimpoint school and curious what people like, especially on the shorter putts.
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#9 Krt22

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:26 AM

I know the aimpoint folks now advocate 1ft past, the 2ft past is less favorable as at that speed your effective target size shrinks

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#10 QMany

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:38 AM

Obee, I don't think Putts, Putts per GIR, etc. are as helpful as once thought. For example, since we don't know how close you hit it to the hole, it is impossible to say whether 1.8 putts per GIR or 0.44 3-putts per round is good or bad.

View PostObee, on 04 September 2018 - 09:38 PM, said:

As some of you know, I was previously NOT a very good putter for a scratch/below golfer. I would miss one or more 3 - 4 foot putts every round (probably averaged 1.5 misses per round). I got sick of that about a year ago and committed to fixing it, which I have

...my stats aren't great, but I'm certain they will get better.

I think you would really like the statistics available through DECADE by BirdieFire. They have about 40 putting statistics: Strokes Gained Putting, Make Rates, Leave Short %, each of those for 3-4', 4-8', 8-10', 10-15', 15-20', 20-25', +25' buckets and many more. I think it is much more useful for pinpointing strengths and weaknesses. For example, I can see my Make Rates and Strokes Gained are really good inside 8' but become abysmal +10'. As it is, you can't really tell if you are getting better at those pesky 4', whether your 3-putts are relatively good or bad, etc.

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#11 Pepe8714

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:43 AM

I like to putt everything between a foot and 18" past the hole. I find this is a great balance between 'feel' and effective cup size. All putts will have a proper pace and consistent reaction as the ball looses speed / approaches the cup.

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#12 finleysg

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 11:50 AM

View PostASak10, on 05 September 2018 - 08:24 AM, said:

So what would everyone say is the proper speed for a 4 foot putt?  If you miss is it a foot beyond, 2 feet, somewhere in between?  Maybe more or less?  I've heard various distances from Pelz to the Aimpoint school and curious what people like, especially on the shorter putts.

12-18" is my target. What you really don't want is too little pace, imo. The variance and small misreads kill you if you're dying 4 footers at the hole.

In some cases, i.e. when you're above the hole and you have a nasty slider, the proper leave might be 8-12 ' below the hole, because if you miss, you're not going to be close anyway. Those are fun!
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#13 Obee

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 11:59 AM

View PostQMany, on 05 September 2018 - 08:38 AM, said:

Obee, I don't think Putts, Putts per GIR, etc. are as helpful as once thought. For example, since we don't know how close you hit it to the hole, it is impossible to say whether 1.8 putts per GIR or 0.44 3-putts per round is good or bad.

View PostObee, on 04 September 2018 - 09:38 PM, said:

As some of you know, I was previously NOT a very good putter for a scratch/below golfer. I would miss one or more 3 - 4 foot putts every round (probably averaged 1.5 misses per round). I got sick of that about a year ago and committed to fixing it, which I have

...my stats aren't great, but I'm certain they will get better.

I think you would really like the statistics available through DECADE by BirdieFire. They have about 40 putting statistics: Strokes Gained Putting, Make Rates, Leave Short %, each of those for 3-4', 4-8', 8-10', 10-15', 15-20', 20-25', +25' buckets and many more. I think it is much more useful for pinpointing strengths and weaknesses. For example, I can see my Make Rates and Strokes Gained are really good inside 8' but become abysmal +10'. As it is, you can't really tell if you are getting better at those pesky 4', whether your 3-putts are relatively good or bad, etc.
Yes, all I need is a template of the statistics I need to track. I am definitely going to do that. Anybody out there have a list of the items I should track?
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#14 bladehunter

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 01:09 PM

I have the template for strokes gained saved in the same program you posted these stats in.  If my pea brain can figure out how to email it.  Lol.    If that helps let me know and Iíll  give it a whirl.   It keeps a graph for different distances etc too. So itís easy to see where you have the most putts and where you miss the most.  Etc
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#15 lastmacuser

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 01:10 PM

View PostObee, on 04 September 2018 - 09:38 PM, said:

I switched to a CLOSED stance, which gives my right arm plenty of room to move DOWN my line (I'm fat and have a big belly)



I am equally gravity challenged. I switched to an open stance for the same reasons. I'm sure you also tried this. Do you find the closed stance more beneficial?

Edited by lastmacuser, 05 September 2018 - 01:11 PM.


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#16 Obee

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 01:36 PM

View PostASak10, on 05 September 2018 - 08:24 AM, said:

So what would everyone say is the proper speed for a 4 foot putt?  If you miss is it a foot beyond, 2 feet, somewhere in between?  Maybe more or less?  I've heard various distances from Pelz to the Aimpoint school and curious what people like, especially on the shorter putts.

If you are not sure, and have to ask the question, it is highly likely that you are putting your short putts too softly. (I used to be like this).

My goal is to find the speed that allows me to hit the back of the cup on a level or slightly uphill putt.

The thing is, you can't fake this in tournament play. You either get comfortable with this and it becomes the way that you putt, or you don't.

The key for me on these was learning how to get the ball to roll end over end, instead of putting side spin on the ball.

Rolling the ball with a pure(er)stroke, I could hit a dead straight part actually dead straight. Or reasonably so. That was the difference maker for me.
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#17 Nard_S

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 03:34 PM

View PostASak10, on 05 September 2018 - 08:24 AM, said:

So what would everyone say is the proper speed for a 4 foot putt?  If you miss is it a foot beyond, 2 feet, somewhere in between?  Maybe more or less?  I've heard various distances from Pelz to the Aimpoint school and curious what people like, especially on the shorter putts.

Somewhere in-between is ideal to me. Foot and a half.

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#18 RattlesnakeRon

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 03:59 PM

View PostObee, on 05 September 2018 - 01:36 PM, said:

View PostASak10, on 05 September 2018 - 08:24 AM, said:

So what would everyone say is the proper speed for a 4 foot putt?  If you miss is it a foot beyond, 2 feet, somewhere in between?  Maybe more or less?  I've heard various distances from Pelz to the Aimpoint school and curious what people like, especially on the shorter putts.

If you are not sure, and have to ask the question, it is highly likely that you are putting your short putts too softly. (I used to be like this).

My goal is to find the speed that allows me to hit the back of the cup on a level or slightly uphill putt.

The thing is, you can't fake this in tournament play. You either get comfortable with this and it becomes the way that you putt, or you don't.

The key for me on these was learning how to get the ball to roll end over end, instead of putting side spin on the ball.

Rolling the ball with a pure(er)stroke, I could hit a dead straight part actually dead straight. Or reasonably so. That was the difference maker for me.

Obee, what are your keys for putting a good roll on the ball?

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#19 Obee

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 04:14 PM

View PostRattlesnakeRon, on 05 September 2018 - 03:59 PM, said:

View PostObee, on 05 September 2018 - 01:36 PM, said:

View PostASak10, on 05 September 2018 - 08:24 AM, said:

So what would everyone say is the proper speed for a 4 foot putt?  If you miss is it a foot beyond, 2 feet, somewhere in between?  Maybe more or less?  I've heard various distances from Pelz to the Aimpoint school and curious what people like, especially on the shorter putts.

If you are not sure, and have to ask the question, it is highly likely that you are putting your short putts too softly. (I used to be like this).

My goal is to find the speed that allows me to hit the back of the cup on a level or slightly uphill putt.

The thing is, you can't fake this in tournament play. You either get comfortable with this and it becomes the way that you putt, or you don't.

The key for me on these was learning how to get the ball to roll end over end, instead of putting side spin on the ball.

Rolling the ball with a pure(er)stroke, I could hit a dead straight part actually dead straight. Or reasonably so. That was the difference maker for me.

Obee, what are your keys for putting a good roll on the ball?

Put a line all the way around your ball and practice hitting 6 foot putts to where the line does not wobble. After a while, you will be able to do this most of the time. When I started, I could not do it a single time because my stroke sucked!!!
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#20 jslane57

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 04:42 PM

So many great stats! One stat I think is overlooked is you're feeling that day and what the miss is. For example, I found that when I was playing my very best, I mainly missed putts on the right side of the hole, but with perfect speed. And days I struggle I miss the speed more. So how to use this data? When struggling, I try to worry less about line and focus on speed...and sometimes I can turn things around. And days that are going great, I make sure not to get sloppy with alignment. Can't have too many stats!

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#21 Hawkeye77

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 05:01 PM

Putter change, Obee?

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#22 Obee

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 05:07 PM

1W.jpeg

View PostHawkeye77, on 05 September 2018 - 05:01 PM, said:

Putter change, Obee?

Same one: Odyssey Works Tank 1W that I cut down about an inch or so. Bent it super-upright myself using the good ol' "step on it and bend it while you're stepping on it" method. LOL
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#23 Hawkeye77

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 05:37 PM

View PostObee, on 05 September 2018 - 05:07 PM, said:

Attachment 1W.jpeg

View PostHawkeye77, on 05 September 2018 - 05:01 PM, said:

Putter change, Obee?

Same one: Odyssey Works Tank 1W that I cut down about an inch or so. Bent it super-upright myself using the good ol' "step on it and bend it while you're stepping on it" method. LOL

Aha!

Never thought I'd betray the DF but shortly after we got back from vacation we were out of town and while the wife was doing stuff with her dad and I had time to kill before a lunch with some friends I stopped (of course) at a golf store.  Didn't really have an agenda and just started fooling around with the latest and greatest of the Camerons, TMs, Odysseys, etc.  Didn't like any of them, not even a little bit.  Then picked up a two year old (but new) Odyssey that was hiding and on sale, also an inch longer than the norm for me.  It fit me perfectly and rolled the ball great for me - just felt incredible to me, and honestly, just the putter change has made a huge difference in my game since mid-July.  Nothing against the DF, but this putter just "fits" and looks good by the ball (to me) and I'm riding this horse until it drops, lol.

Will be watching the thread - like the 4 foot putt idea and what you are doing with short putts in general.

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#24 OffTheDole

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 09:48 PM

View PostQMany, on 05 September 2018 - 08:38 AM, said:

I think you would really like the statistics available through DECADE by BirdieFire. They have about 40 putting statistics: Strokes Gained Putting, Make Rates, Leave Short %, each of those for 3-4', 4-8', 8-10', 10-15', 15-20', 20-25', +25' buckets and many more. I think it is much more useful for pinpointing strengths and weaknesses. For example, I can see my Make Rates and Strokes Gained are really good inside 8' but become abysmal +10'. As it is, you can't really tell if you are getting better at those pesky 4', whether your 3-putts are relatively good or bad, etc.

Great stuff. I need to start logging my rounds as I go so I can capture these type of stats because as you said, GIR and putts per don't really help you figure out whether you're actually putting well!

Good luck, Obee.

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#25 stickner

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 09:51 PM

View PostObee, on 04 September 2018 - 09:38 PM, said:

  • I now use the line on (virtually) all putts.


What putts don't you use the line on?

Thanks for starting this thread, will be very interesting to follow.


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#26 Shilgy

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 10:01 PM

View PostObee, on 05 September 2018 - 05:07 PM, said:

Attachment 1W.jpeg

View PostHawkeye77, on 05 September 2018 - 05:01 PM, said:

Putter change, Obee?

Same one: Odyssey Works Tank 1W that I cut down about an inch or so. Bent it super-upright myself using the good ol' "step on it and bend it while you're stepping on it" method. LOL
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#27 eagle1997

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 10:08 PM

I know this isnít en vogue to say, but I really feel like putts per round and putts per GIR still have relevance.  For those who donít like to track every stat down to the last detail, they can provide an ďoverall healthĒ of how you are putting.

Most of the better players I know are not tracking the difference between their sub-8 foot putts made vs 10+ foot putts made.  And, to me, the strokes gained stat can really only be used as a broad reference to other players, unless they too happen to be tracking their putts made/distances on the same course on the same day in the same weather with the same greens condition.  

This is not an attack on any of you who collect and apply these stats.  If the methodology helps you improve and focuses your practice habits, thatís great!  Counterpoint: Most of us know when we are putting bad or putting well.  This feel is *typically* reflected in our PPR and PPGIR stats.

Me personally, Iíve been working on what Obee recommended to me: learning to roll the ball dead straight on a line, my speed 5í and in, and lagging it close from 30/40/50 feet.  And Iíve never putted better.  Made so many excellent putts of varying lengths over the past month... Confidence is sky high.

Thanks again Obee-Wan.  ;)
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#28 Shilgy

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 10:24 PM

View Posteagle1997, on 05 September 2018 - 10:08 PM, said:

I know this isnít en vogue to say, but I really feel like putts per round and putts per GIR still have relevance.  For those who donít like to track every stat down to the last detail, they can provide an ďoverall healthĒ of how you are putting.

Most of the better players I know are not tracking the difference between their sub-8 foot putts made vs 10+ foot putts made.  And, to me, the strokes gained stat can really only be used as a broad reference to other players, unless they too happen to be tracking their putts made/distances on the same course on the same day in the same weather with the same greens condition.  

This is not an attack on any of you who collect and apply these stats.  If the methodology helps you improve and focuses your practice habits, thatís great!  Counterpoint: Most of us know when we are putting bad or putting well.  This feel is *typically* reflected in our PPR and PPGIR stats.

Me personally, Iíve been working on what Obee recommended to me: learning to roll the ball dead straight on a line, my speed 5í and in, and lagging it close from 30/40/50 feet.  And Iíve never putted better.  Made so many excellent putts of varying lengths over the past month... Confidence is sky high.

Thanks again Obee-Wan.  ;)
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Edited by Shilgy, 05 September 2018 - 10:24 PM.

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#29 NoFancyUsername.

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 12:54 AM

Totally agree with point 2. The rest is up to the individual. Best of luck.

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#30 Swisstrader98

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 06:26 AM

Reading this after I missed 3 3-4 footers yesterday:(


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