How do I even begin this post? As I scrambled to figure out my login credentials this morning, I finally got into my dashboard and realized I haven’t posted since DECEMBER! How is that possible? This was a daily source of decompression for me during a busy season of life, but then around December life turned that busyness up to 11, and it’s been insane for the last 4-5 months.
Add to that the fact we got an AMAZING English Bulldog puppy named Chubbs, and life has been 100 MPH for quite some time.
I was just finishing accounting when I wrote near Christmas, and I’ve now taken another marketing class and put the finishing touches on my last project for Managerial Finance last night. I maintain my position that accountants have serial killer tendencies, but I digress… I made it through, and now I stand with only 3 courses between me and my MBA. October can’t get here soon enough.
Adding to the craziness of life has been the war in Ukraine. If you’re new here, or I’ve failed to mention it, I am on the executive team of a non-profit organization (catch the last few minutes for my cameo, but watch the whole thing. It’s good!) and we are heavily invested in Ukraine, where our work began. It has been 60+ days of meetings, updates, praying, and decision making. There has not been enough time to even think about writing, and any free time I’ve had has been spent coaching little league games (we’re winless so far…thanks for asking), or playing quick rounds as I can fit them in at my home course.
I have no idea how often I will be able to consistently resume the round recaps until I am officially done with this masters degree, but after reading ROI Golf by a golf junkie friend I’ve developed on twitter, I think there may be some other things I can offer the golf world than just round recaps. That said, I do enjoy doing them, and I’ll try to work them in as often as possible.
Status of the bag:
If you’re been here for longer than 10 seconds, you’re likely aware my bag is not exactly what I’d call stable. Volatility is my bag’s middle name. I’m always trying something new and I love the search for the next “answer.” I am fully aware it’s almost ALWAYS the Indian and rarely, if ever, the arrow. That changes nothing. I’m a club junkie.
SO….here is the current What’s In The Bag as of May 7, 2022
Ping G425 LST 9* (turned to 7.5*) with Aldila Rogue 130 White 70TX
Taylormade 300 Mini 13.5* (Turned to 11.5*) with Fujikura Ventus Black 7X
Callaway APEX UW 19* with Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Black 80 6.5
Srixon ZX U 20* (bent to 18*) with UST Recoil Proto 110 F5
Srixon ZX5/ZX7 Combo irons 5-PW; +3/4” 2* Up; KBS Ctaper Lite X-Stiff
Cleveland CBX2 50/56* wedges with DG 115 Wedge Flex shafts +1”
Mizuno MP T20 58 Wedge with DG Tour Issue S400
Odyssey O-Works Tank #7 37”
There’s obviously been some change in the bag, so I’ll hit a couple highlights briefly.
DRIVER: The Ping G425 LST is the best driver I’ve ever hit in my life. It’s always been good, but a buddy put me on to the Rogue White70TX and I have never hit the ball like I’m hitting it right now. The 70TX is worlds apart from the standard X-Flex and with my aggressive move and high swing speed keeps me nice and stable and the ball is flying right now. I may talk more about this in a bit, but I’ve decided, at least while life is so busy, I am going to embrace my swing as it is. It’s good enough. I spent some time over the last few months trying to increase my angle of attack, shift my path, etc. and to be honest the results were awful. When I play driver back in my stance a little and don’t worry if I hit down on it, I middle it with the driver, and the ball is melted somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-320 yards pretty consistently.
300 Mini: This is a big development for me. The mini came in when I was tryin to experiment with driver ball position and it was a life raft for me. I almost never hit 3w off the deck, so if it’s a tee only club for me, I thought why not hit something with a larger face, and more forgiveness? The mini is an incredible club and I’ve talked it up to anybody who will listen. If you’re struggling with driver, or have a 3w that never leaves your bag, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It is long, forgiving, and beautiful to look at. Find one at a shop near you and give it a demo.
APEX UW: With the Mini in the bag, I’ve been experimenting with what comes next. I’ve tried 3hybrid, I’ve tried 5wood, both with some success, but always rotating between the two and no consistency. Enter the Callaway Apex UW. After another friend recommended the club to me, I had to try one, so I grabbed one cheap off eBay and lemme tell ya: this is the first and only Callaway club I’ve ever hit in my life that I liked. It’s kind of insane how great this club is. Perfect blend of fairway and hybrid. Nice flat piercing trajectory off the tee, but can also throw it up in the air from the deck if need be. I’ll spare you the details of my first round with the club, but in short, on dry, fast fairways, it went 274, 286 and 277….
On average its more like 250, which is perfect, but I like distance as much as the next guy, so that was fun!
ZX Utility: Not a ton to say here except I’ve always been a sucker for a good driving iron. This is the best one I’ve ever hit, and it’s incredibly versatile from the deck too. It is a rocket ship from the tee when I middle it. In the coming round recap, you’ll see I hit it 262 yesterday…again that’s probably the absolute MAX, but it’s consistently 230-240. I have a lot of confidence with it in my hand and it’s nice to have an additional tee option.
Status of the game:
If you’ve been here a while, you know this blog started out with the name chasing 8. As I improved last year and played a lot more rounds since moving into a neighborhood with a golf course, and began tracking my stats closely with V1 Game, I moved down pretty rapidly from a 13.4 to sub-8. It was completely unexpected, but obviously welcomed.
Looking at GHIN this morning, I see that almost exactly a year ago, on May 4, 2021, I was an 11.7. Yesterday I woke up to the revision you see above…6.8. I can’t honestly hardly believe it. I feel it’s misleading because I play 95% of my rounds at one course, and I play about 50-75% of my rounds as 9 hole rounds, but regardless, based on the legitimate handicap system, I’m officially a 6.8.
The truth of the matter is that golf is a grind, hence the name, and I don’t know where things will go from here, but I know the next goal I’m quietly chasing is 5. It will take a lot of work to get there, because there are still some big numbers lurking if I’m hitting it even slightly offline at my course, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made this far and I’m excited to see where my game continues to go.
This is gettin long so I guess I’ll save the latest round recap for its own post, but here are a couple things I find interesting in the V1 Game data and thought you might as well. A big focus for me has been trying to improve my iron and wedge play. Irons have gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better lately, but wedges have been really bad. I just put the CBX wedges in play this week, and the immediate results are promising. They’re cavity back wedges and they’re 1” longer than standard, so they seem to be a good fit, I’ve also hit the range a few times and hit a full bucket of wedges twice. That’s new…should help a bit! Anyway, here are a couple cool graphics from the data:
I don’t have much to compare this to, but based on some stuff I read from Lou Stagner on twitter, I am trying to better manage my expectations, while also improving the results of my shots. This seems like pretty standard stuff, hitting it closer to the pin from short and further away from longer distances.
What jumps out to me like a sore thumb though, and is something I’m just recently starting to be mindful of, is how from 100 yards and back, I’m consistently short of my target, and in many cases short of the green altogether! You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result….
Bottom line: I have to start getting the ball AT LEAST on the surface, and closer to the stick if I’m going to keep this handicap low, or move it down even more. I think a lot of this has to do with managing my expectations, not just AFTER seeing the results, but BEFORE hitting the shot. Playing for a perfectly flushed 8i sounds great, but the truth of the matter is I miss shots out on the toe frequently and those shots are going to fly shorter. Sure, when I flush one, maybe it flies to the stick or even past, but the data is clear, I’m not getting the ball green high or hole high ONE-THIRD of the time! That must be fixed.
This turned out to be a novel, but it’s been 5 months, so I guess I had a lot to say! There’s actually tons more where this came from, so stay tuned. Round recaps, golf thoughts and philosophy, strategy discussions, and I’ll try to embed some great twitter conversations and discussions I’ve had lately as well.
I hope you enjoyed this, and as for the length of the post…in the words of the notorious one…I’d like to take this moment to apologize to absolutely nobody!