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Broken Driver

So I think my driver is broken. I don?t mean my swing, or the way I hit it, I mean the actual club.

Over the past several weeks, I?ve noticed a marked decrease in distance achieved, not to mention accuracy. It?s creeping in there, getting worse & worse. Occasionally I?ll hit one almost like I used to, but more & more often, pure crap.

It started about a month ago when all of a sudden it stopped working. OK, slump I think. Lets fix it. What am I doing wrong? Well, I hit the practice range, I?ve played a bit, but today took the prize for ?what the fuck??

I built this club about 3 or 4 years ago or so and it has been performing well in my bag for several seasons. This is the club I'm leaning on and the same one I shot my hole in one with in this picture. I bought the head on e-bay from a golf shop in North Carolina, an Integra 400cc ?slice killer? offset head, 10.5o beta titanium face, it?s a nice looking head that has performed well. I have some lead tape on the bottom to increase head weight marginally, & it has worked well. I got the shaft from a wholesale golf supplier in Mississauga Ontario. The shaft is a UST Proforce 65 ATR. It?s a nice shaft. It's cut down an inch or so because I'm a tall guy & have long arms. I?m on my second or third grip. I?m currently using a Lamkin Crossline full cord. It?s a nice club that has performed well, until lately.

The sound has changed. The distance & accuracy has changed. All my other clubs, irons, and my other woods, 3 & 5 work fine, just this one is screwed.

OK, it used to go ?dink? when you hit it, then the ball would go down the middle, nice & long, always over 200, sometimes up to 250 or more. Average around 220 or so. Nice. (You?d be surprised if you kept a tally, you don?t hit the ball as far as you think you do off the tee!) Now it goes SPLAT! Not ?dink? but SPLAT. The ball goes about 160-180 yards & goes left to right in a wicked slice about 30 yards or more. I?m checking the clubface to see where I?ve hit the ball; it?s in the same place when it sent it down the middle about 220. I?m using the same swing that sent it down the middle. I?m using the same swing that works with all my other clubs. What the fuck? I mean, I hit one drive an amazing 100 yards today! SPLAT?100 yards with a wicked slice!! What?s up with that? I mean the sound?SPLAT, not ?dink??but SPLAT!!!!

Something is very very wrong.

Filed under Golf, Sep 27, 2005
 

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Closing Stag

Closing Stag?TOURNAMENT?nerve time?how will I do? Will I completely embarrass myself or will I acquit myself & play a decent round? The angst started days before. Not a good sign.

We were originally slated to start in the morning, but were shifted to the afternoon at the last minute. This turned out to be a good thing as the morning was cold. I went to the course early & as I?ve been having trouble with sand lately, I dumped my entire shag bag of balls in the practice bunker & proceeded to figure out what the hell I?ve been doing wrong lately. I managed to acquire a new perspective on sand and am now able to get out without much trouble (which proved handy later on in the day!) ? swing, full follow through. That seems to work well, for me anyway. I hit another shag bag of balls with the driver which has been a bit of a source of irritation the past couple of weeks or so too. Man, I was spraying them all over the place. I must say though, that there was about a 3 club wind blowing, which would keep up for most of the afternoon, although the last few holes it dropped to a 1 club, but maybe I was getting used to it. OK, time to go & pay my fees, skins, draw tickets yada yada?then hit the putting green for a few putts to get some speed sensors in my brain. I must say that the greens were really nice this round. As nice as I've seen them all year. They putted true & I had a low putt count, well under 30 so that part of my game was on track. Off to the tee, we started on #3, 2nd group. Great, the hardest hole on the course against a 3 club wind. Perfect. Oh well, relax into the game & Que serra? serra?

Well, no problem, bogie, but against that wind that?s a good score for a long par 4. The next hole though?.I smash a drive right down the middle.? It goes straight as an arrow, stopping 40 yards off the green. Nice. This is going to be good. Well, I ?peek? on my next shot & pull it. There?s a bunker there but I?m going to miss it left, no problem. But wait! What?s this? A RAKE, a fucking RAKE?OUTSIDE the bunker (what was it doing OUTSIDE the bunker?!) that my ball comes down right on & careens into the bunker. Not just into the bunker, but also into a spot where I have to stand, well, balance really, with one foot out, one foot in & try & make a shot. Phhhht! Well, skull city, right over the green off the back by 5 or 10 yards. A 4 iron punch shot through the trees which block my view of the pin, right through the green & back into the bunker. Yes, the SAME bunker I was just in. Hahahahaha, perfect! Well, OK, at least I can now stand in it & make a shot I practiced just recently. I?m out, up and in for a sweet 7, triple bogie, on the second hole of play. Kee-rist?4 over after 2 holes! Man what a drag. Oh well, suck it up & play on.

I played my game for 16 of the 18 holes (I had a double bogie on 17 after I pulled my drive into some trees?2 shots later I?m back on the fairway after my ball greeted some of them rather abruptly) so I?m not too upset. 2 bad holes, 16 holes of what I normally shoot. 6 mis hits though. I could have easily shot in the 70s. Not fantastic, an 83, adjusted 82, middle of the pack, but not horrible either. ?I hit 3 bunkers , 4 if you count the same one I was in twice on the 4th hole, & had some pretty good outs thanks to my sand practice before the round. I wasn?t overly pleased with the round, but not overly pissed off either. No birdies, but there ya go. Maybe next time I play I?ll get 3 of them. You never know. It was a fun round played with friends so no complaints (other than the 4th hole & that stupid rake!!!)

When I was finally called to the prize table (there were 6 flights, I was in the second, about ? way down), I managed to get a $120 pair of golf shoes, which surprised me. I figured I'd get a hat & a sleeve of balls or something like that. Adidas. They feel a bit tight, but apparently I can exchange them. That?s nice, as my current shoes, (Footjoy softjoys, ?I?d recommend these to ANYONE!!? It?s like wearing slippers), are pretty well worn out.

Not a bad closer. The Men?s scramble is tomorrow. I?m sure I?ll have something to say about that. :-)

?

Filed under Golf, Sep 25, 2005
 

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Slump

So what is a slump anyway? Ever have one in anything you do? Why do they happen?

I?ve got one now, right smack dab in the middle of tournament season. My driver has gone south for the winter, & my putter is thinking about packing its bags & leaving too, although it might stay around for a while, just to piss me off. My irons just aren?t quite sure yet, sometimes they work, sometimes they don?t.

It all started with the round from hell a few weeks back. Things just stopped working for no apparent reason. They may start working for a while, and then decide to stop again with amazing rapidity. I can?t figure it out. The more I try & fix something, make subtle changes to get things back to the way they were, the worse it seems to get. The more I try & ?think? about how I did things when they worked, the worse things get. Today, a playing partner said that my left shoulder looked hunched up on my drives. News to me, but now I?ll think about it & probably screw things up even more.?

You know what? I think that THINKING puts you in a slump. The more you think about things, the more you tend to mess with what WAS working & make it worse. I guess ?if it ain?t broke, don?t fix it.? But what happens when it IS ?broke?? What do you do? I think (there I go again, thinking!) you have to play more, relax into the game & perhaps hit the range. The problem here is, when you work all day, you can?t do that. Well, I suppose you could, but at the expense of your domestic life. The problem there is finding the time to do it when you have other commitments.

Looking back at past scores over the last month or so, I have some pretty good ones, & some pretty poor ones. You know what, almost without exception the bad ones are centered on tournaments. Close to them, or during them. I don?t seem to have much of a problem when the damn things aren?t on my mind. On my mind?there I go ?thinking? again.

So, a slump happens. See what ?thinking? does! I must remember to stop it?DOH?there I go again!

Filed under Golf, Sep 22, 2005
 

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Tournaments

So what is it with tournaments anyway? Why is it you can be shooting fairly well pretty consistently & then a tournament comes along & BAM, it?s like you?ve never played before. Weird.

Take yesterday?s tournament at Mitchell for an example. Not quite as bad as the ?round from hell?, but not far off. I was 8 over after the first 3 holes! I actually managed 7 pars, no birdies though, although I had a few opportunities & it almost dropped in for one on one hole (checked up an inch short on an uphill putt). Man, did I get into trouble. I had 2 unplayable lies, a penalty stroke, and I managed to hit 4 bunkers, 3 of them on 3 consecutive holes! The sand was like concrete slurry. It had rained the day before & it was hard, sort of akin to the sand on a beach after a wave recedes. It was too soft to pick the ball out, but too hard for a regular sand shot. That cost me plenty let me tell you. I actually putted out of one bunker it was so hard! One of my playing partners, a good golfer, he?s a very low handicapper at a 2-4 level took 3 strokes to get out of one! Now THAT tells you something! Still, I shouldn?t have been in them in the first place right?

I?ve played this course before & shot well, low 80s, but low 90s this time, 89 after equitable stroke control. Yuck! Still, I didn?t come in last. At least that?s something. HAH! Despite my 7 pars, I had a few triple bogies & a bunch of doubles (remember the unplayable lies & penalty stroke? Remember that slice? It's baaaaaack!). Moments of brilliance but also moments of sheer unadulterated crapola!

Still, all said & done it was a fun day spent with friends on a golf course. You can?t go wrong there!

Filed under Golf, Sep 18, 2005
 

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Slice Cure

Ok, so I?ve been a little ?erratic? on the tee since the "round from hell". BUT, I think I figured it out.

Today, I screwed up my first several driver shots (let?s not even get into irons moan)But chatting with a playing partner on the 5th tee block, it was mentioned that it looked like I was trying to ?kill? the ball.

Well shit! BINGO! A light bulb lights, a bell goes off, pure epiphany.

Let up, easy clean swing, a bit less hips, BINGO!! Right down the middle, pure & long. Perfect!

It worked for the rest of the round. I shot an 81 with 3 birdies, not bad considering I was 5 over after the first 3 holes!

Hope I can remember to keep it up!

Filed under Golf, Sep 11, 2005
 

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