Takeaways from the takeaway
A few years ago I realized I didn’t need a golf training facility to videotape my swing, just a camera or phone with video. It’s interesting to see how my swing has changed over the past few years, in that it hasn’t really changed much. My swing’s fallen apart the past few weeks and I went back to check the footage for obvious flaws. One thing I noticed was how my left...
Where is my lob wedge?
It may not be major tournament level adversity, but I showed up to the course on Saturday without my 58 degree wedge. After frantically searching my car for a few minutes, I realized I left it behind on the 18th hole the last time I played. Once I accepted I would be playing my round without it, I took to the practice green with my 54 degree. Luckily, I had a few minutes to spare before my tee...
It’s a bit too cold to golf today so instead I went to GolfSmith to demo some new drivers. I bought my Callaway FT-5 a few months before starting this blog in 2009 and it’s time for an upgrade. The FT-5 has definitely treated me well, but I’m starting to lose distance and I think I need more than 9 degrees loft to improve my driving accuracy. I did some research last night and...
Tis the season
The golf season finally starts this weekend with 50 degree weather (barely). I’m probably going to hit up the range Saturday and definitely playing 18 on Sunday. I’m feeling strangely confident for not having played in 5 months, but it’s probably just excitement from having a chance to play that’s squashing any apprehension about being rusty.
I haven’t thought much about golf since my last round on September 22. But with the new year comes the imminent start the new golf season. New trips to plan. New equipment to buy. New promising tips to improve my game. I reached a number of milestones last year including dropping my handicap under 15. My main goal for the new year will be adapting an “old man game,” meaning...
Unwinding of a golf season
My streaks of consecutive weekly rounds (minus the honeymoon of course) ended unceremoniously on Saturday, July 21. With confidence waning after a taxing Connecticut golf binge, I unraveled at Marine Park Golf Course and hung up the TRUE linkswears for a while. I was back on the course about a month later with a different mindset. Since improvement so late in the season was unlikely, I was just...
This Sunday I leave for my annual* golf extravaganza with Darren. This year’s trip includes three of the finest courses in the Northeast. Scoring here won’t be easy. My goal is to break 100 at every course, and shoot in the 80s at least once. * Would love it to be annual but happens more like every 2 or 3 years Fox Hopyard Rated: #5 overall in CT (Golf Digest), #4 public in CT...
Fixing my pull/slice
I ruined another round last Saturday by slicing two balls out of bounds. As I’ve been particularly hard on myself lately, I promptly hit the range after the round. My habitual pulling and slicing is caused by an outside-in, or “over the top,” swing path. What finally clicked on the range was thinking about swinging in a circle on which impact happens from the inside (see...
One vs. two plane swings
You know those workout disclaimers that say “consult your physician before starting an exercise program”? They really need one of those for golf swings - “Don’t make any changes to your swing without consulting a professional.” Last weekend, I attempted to change my takeaway positions. In the process, I broke my current swing, wasted two days of practice, and...
Brooklyn Country Club
There are plenty of reasons why country club golf is superior to public golf, but being unencumbered has its benefits. Most notably, I can play any (public) course I want! Over the past 9 weeks I’ve played 8 different courses across New York City, Westchester, and New Jersey, and already have plans to play 5 new courses this season. Here are my thoughts on the NYC publics: Forest Park,...
You can use whatever club you want
The standard thought prevailing on public courses is “I have X yards to the hole, and I hit this club X yards.” It’s simple, it allows golfers to practice full shots and use them on the course, and it leads to high scores. It’s hard to hit a full shot perfectly, especially for high handicappers, yet that’s what most golfers try to do every swing. There’s a...
How to practice putting
I’m not a terrible putter, but I definitely leave my share of strokes on the green. Hank Haney says the time you’ll break 80 is the time you don’t see any three-putts on the card. I’d like to improve my putting, but how? I’ve spent some time on practice greens, but it doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference in total putts the next time out. A quick Google...
The touch, the feel of chipping
After a long golf offseason, the last part of my game to come around is the short game. So far this year, I have more birdies than I do simple up and downs. My excuse for this is that the short game practice area at the driving range closes for the winter, and I rarely have the opportunity to practice chipping. I’ve been given plenty of pointers over the years on how to improve my short...
Building a great set of clubs on the cheap
Two of my friends asked for advice today on buying clubs. Both friends are beginners, and neither anticipates playing more than a few times per year. Rather than buying someone’s old junk or a crappy “starter” set, I took the time to prepare a top-notch set of quality clubs that can be had relatively inexpensively. First, I recommend buying most clubs used. Despite what...
For my birthday, I received a gift certificate to TGW.com. I considered buying a hybrid to replace my 5 wood, or some new golf pants to make it through the cooler spring weather. Ultimately, I decided to use the funds on something that would actually improve my game. Since I’ve been ballooning irons and hitting wedges fat this year, I bought the Tour Striker Pro training aid to help with...
Thank you NYC!
I’d like to thank the thousands of New Yorkers that read my blog last night and decided they wanted to join me on the course today. In fact, there were so many people that took my idea I couldn’t even get on the course! I showed up to the course at 10am and was told the earliest I could play was 1pm. I hastily called every course within an hour drive but was told the same thing. I...
The 2012 Golf Season is upon us
With temperatures creeping towards 60, the 2012 golf season officially started today. Unfortunately, my season will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m not as excited for the new season as I have been in previous years, but once the sun hits the face and the sweat hits the back there’s no place I’d rather be. My swing might be in disarray tomorrow, and mentally I’m...
Another post about the weather...
Today is officially the first day of winter, December 22, 2011, and it’s definitely a golf day at nearly 60 degrees. If I get a day or two like this next week, my decision not to travel to Florida or California to play golf will look pretty good.
While global warming will ultimately lead to widespread flooding and species extinction, for now at least we can play more golf. Memories of Thanksgiving in New York from my adolescence are filled with cold and snow. However, I was able to play golf last Thanksgiving, and this Friday’s forecast looks even better. I’m all set to play after getting a chance to hit some balls last...
I broke 80... on a par 67
I am happy to report I shot a 77 at Douglaston today, my best score ever. Though short, Douglaston is not necessarily and easy course. Par is 67, and 10 shots over is my best score in relation to par for 18 holes. Still, I can’t officially count this as breaking 80, but that goal seems more plausible today than after my last round.
Larry David in The New Yorker →
Larry David says it best: Finally, after years of pain and struggle, I had accepted the fact that I would never be a good golfer.
Back to basics
My golf game has imploded recently. The last few rounds have been brutal and have sapped my enthusiasm for the remaining golf season. Last week’s range session didn’t solve anything, so I was back on the range today. Today’s focus was on two keys. The first key is something I was told at golf camp when I was 13 - the downswing must be initiated with the hips and lower body. ...
5 wood no good
For the past few rounds, every shot I’ve hit with my 5 wood has been a slice. Perhaps the club itself is flawed; it’s the only club in my bag with a regular shaft flex, and the lie angle is flatter than my other clubs. I really should stop using it, but I can’t resist when I’m lying right next the 200 marker. Tomorrow, I’ll be taking my talents to Saxon Woods Golf...
Poll: Where should I play golf this weekend?
Where should I play golf this weekend?online survey
Tiny tweaks make a big difference
Last weekend’s round started out rough. I was continually slicing my drives (what else is new), which was leading to bogey after bogey. I know I shouldn’t make swing corrections during the round, but I was going to be miserable if I didn’t figure out what was wrong. I rehearsed my swing continuously over the first 10 holes and came to the conclusion that my left wrist was...
Just a little reprieve
Two weeks ago I lost my 6 iron, watch, and GPS in the span of two rounds. Since my mind clearly wasn’t right, I decided to take a weekend off from golf. Honestly, I didn’t really miss it or feel the desire to play. Maybe because it rained most of the weekend. I’ll be back out there this weekend, fully recharged and ready to enjoy the day.
Swing key from this weekend's record tying round
I would estimate I’m in the bottom quartile of overall flexibility among my peers. I’ve learned to live with limitations like not being able to touch my toes without bending my knees. When I finally accept my lack of flexibility in my golf swing, I’ll become a much better player. My key from yesterday’s round is directly related to my lack of flexibility- I need to lift...
For some reason this song got stuck in my head the...
I was way off
Until I read this month’s Golf Digest, I presumed my shoulders needed to swing on a flat plane (parallel to the ground) to achieve a flat, inside-out swing arc. I’ve been working on this recently, but my swing hasn’t improved. Today, I learned Matt Kuchar greatly improved his consistency when he steepened his shoulder angle. Being stubborn (what does a PGA pro know that I...
What's par on this hole?
The guy I played with hit his first two shots a total of 40 yards. As he approached his third, he asks me “What’s par on this hole?” What’s the difference to you, guy? Turns out he wasn’t a terrible golfer, but that had me smiling.
Hands ahead of club
Two weeks ago, I worked on my short game at the range and pitch and putt. For short shots, I focused on to taking a shorter backswing, accelerating through impact, and keeping my hands in front of the clubhead at all times. I learned these tips from a pro at Golf Manhattan, and they are echoed in Phil Mickelson’s DVD. The practice paid off the next day when I firmly broke 90. I...
Like a baseball swing
Last time on the course, I hit some amazing shots when I concentrated on my hip turn. Today, I went to the range intending to ingrain such a hip turn. My secondary goal (as usual) was to flatten my swing arc. As I was nearing the end of my session, I was still a bit out of sync. I was working on my two keys when suddenly it hit me: a baseball swing is flat, and power comes from the hips and...
Is it the shoes?!
I’ve past the tipping point of wanting something badly enough and am about to place my order for TRUE shoes. They are spike-less, ultra-lightweight and supposedly crazy comfortable. For some reason, this excites me greatly and I’m about to shell out more money than I’ve spent on golf shoes in my lifetime combined.
Driver mishits: solved
Starting the middle of last year, I’ve occasionally been hitting annoying, short, rolling drives. They sound ok coming off the club, but die quickly and roll 100 yards (if I’m lucky). What became obviously today is I’ve been hitting the ball off the bottom of the clubface. This part the of the face, about an inch below the sweet spot, is dead. The solution? Tee the ball...
Golf Digest Tip: Stay grounded
In this month’s Golf Digest, one tip that stood out to me was using the ground for power. Throughout the swing, amateurs tend to reduce their ground force, whereas pros increase it. If they were standing on a scale, the pro’s weight would increase throughout the swing while the amateur’s would decrease. I guess this is what people mean by “coming out of their...
My excitement over the impending golf season was abruptly curtailed today with thoughts of 7 hour rounds. I was looking for courses to play on Long Island, as those in Brooklyn and Queens are crowded and poorly maintained. Unfortunately, the few I found within an hour’s drive are just as crowded and poorly maintained as those in New York City. It seems I’m going to have to get a...
I took advantage of President’s Day by playing a round of golf - virtually of course at Golf Manhattan. The simulator is a lot of fun and very worthwhile during the winter. I should be encouraged that I finished even par after 12 holes. However, there’s no way I would have actually finished even par on a real course. At least three of my shots were wicked slices. I’ve hit...
It might be time for a lesson
I went to the range yesterday with specific things to focus on. A few poor shots later, I made some adjustments started hitting better shots. Shortly thereafter, I decided something else was wrong and tried to fix that. And so it went until my large bucket was empty and I left the range confused and unimproved. I haven’t played since November so I shouldn’t be surprised by erratic...
Does that say 50 degrees?
Yes, it does appear the weather will inch into the 50s later this week. A much welcomed trip to the range seems imminent during lunch hour.
It's a long offseason
Despite the lack of posts and the glut of snow cover, I have not forgotten about golf in the least. For now, I’m relegated to my monthly “Golf Digest” issue, continuous mailings from TGW.com, watching tournaments and “The Haney Project” on the Golf Channel, and taking practice swings in my bedroom. Unfortunately, none of this is going to help when I get back to...
Shorten that backswing!
I teed off today in 38 degree weather. After scrambling through 10 mostly poor holes, I finally decided to stop messing around and shorten my backswing. When I’m not paying attention, I take my club back just a little too far, bend awkwardly, and ruin any chance I have of keeping the ball straight. By hole 11 the temperature had reached 60. With my shorter backswing and perfect golf...
The "New" Ball Flight Laws
For countless years, I’ve assumed the cause of my driver slice was an open clubface. When the slice recently turned into a straight pull, I realized there was something else going on. New research has modified some long held beliefs about ball flight. It is true that a slice is caused by an open clubface relative to the swing plane. However, the initial direction of the ball is caused...
Off the wagon
I am a golf addict. If my 20+ week streak of golfing doesn’t prove it, then my top 10 Google page rank for “golf addiction” sure as hell does. One bad round toward the end of the season isn’t going to keep me away for long. On Monday, my first round back since “quitting,” everything was consistently 20-30 yards left of my target. If I wasn’t playing a...