Taking it on the road

Would love to understand how to truly take it on the road, figure out a course. What are the ‘must dos’. Or the way to approach it, the principles and the process.

Especially how to figure a track out having never seen it before and without using the internet; playing blind. Played a course Monday after 3 hours drive and dismantled it on the back nine using nothing more than a 5 iron and 220 - 250 total off the tee, with the course running super hard and baked out.

But… didn’t figure it out until the 5th hole. By then my card was lost.

Do I just chalk that off to ‘you scored as well as you could’? I’m 70/30 about accepting that. And the 30% is just wanting to have a ‘be in the present it’s gone’ attitude. I want to learn the lessons before moving on.

There’s an interview somewhere talking about how Moe could/would not shoot at a pin he couldn’t see. That’s a common dilemma when you play a tight track for the first time. I think you could manage that by playing it safe and only putting the ball where you KNOW will be ok from your line of sight. You’ll cost yourself a few extra strokes, but that’s better than striping one OB.

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Well… that is good advice for sure…

Hitting is a much better technique to taking it on the road… much easier to rely upon the body rotation than trying to time a swinger’s release. Too many variables to deal with timing a very active toe moving through the strike.

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Been doing ABS swing since 2014. After drilling for 3 years. All I focus on now is post speed acceleration. Infact all my practice swings are never a full swing. I start at impact and speed to the finish with a low left shoulder squaring the face. I do this on the course, and let my trained drills do the work. I know where to apply the speed. Feels like it takes forever for the slot - gravity drop- squat into the back leg. All the momentum is after the ball. I play 3-4 times a year and still shoot 70 golf with no practice but backyard swings of club starting at impact to followthru. My face is very stable, and my hand attitudes and pressures kick in with that one intent. Used my 1964 hogan irons last year and carded a nice 73 walking right to the first tee

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Generally speaking… the vintage blades are better golf clubs. Heavier heads, firmer shafts, better feel, better feedback, no offset, flatter lie angles. What’s not to like?

All of those specs I just mentioned are a “technology” that have to do with the physics of hitting a golf ball. It has nothing to do with when they were made, past, present, future… the laws of the physical universe haven’t changed… the ball doesn’t care what decade or century the clubs were created. More mass, better energy transfer, better compression, flatter lie angles hit straighter and move the left vector of possibilities to the right… or closer to the pin. Stiffer shaft resist torquing, and load better and more consistent when hitting and holding shaft flex. No offset means you don’t have to over rotate or throw the right arm at the ball at impact. Flatter lie angles also naturally work the shaft more behind you so you can properly use your pivot to build energy into the golf shaft. More mass means less over acceleration and easier to hold shaft flex.

This all has nothing to do with nostalgia… just common sense really. If this is wrong, then Hogan was wrong…

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Hesitant to ever change from my Hogan Apex Edge Pros 4 shaft. They feel flatter and I didnt like them when I was flipping the club down the line. Now they seem right

It can be hard to play a course well the first time out. There can be blind tee shots, hidden bunkers, little creeks or water hazards that you never realized were there.
On tour, the tuesday practice round is when you figure out your strategy for the week. We have the luxury of hitting a few balls off the tee with different clubs to find out what shot best fits the hole. Some holes are obvious, some aren’t.
Funnily enough, some of my best rounds have happened when I’ve played a course blind. I’ve stood up and ripped it down those tight holes with a bit of danger, not realizing it wasn’t the best strategy. Someone else who has played that hole a thousand times may be just trying to guide a 3 iron down there.
If you play a course enough, there will always be a hole or two that will get in your kitchen, a tee shot that just scares you. Then it’s a mental fight to swing free and not put the big guide swing on it. Number 4 at Wolf Creek in Canada comes to mind eh John [lagpressure].
Ultimately, course strategy is just practice, like reading a green. Some do it better than others. You have to know your game, know your limitations. Know what shots are easy for you to hit consistently, keep the risk to a minimum. It’s going to be different for everyone.
Of course the better ball striker you become, the easier course management will be.

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The 4rth tee at Wolf Creek… I agree, the scariest tee shot I have ever seen. I remember a guy hitting a 6 iron off the tee… then laying up short of the green gambling on an up and down from there. Not the worst strategy. I remember guys making 10’s 12 on the hole. No safe place to bail out… just terror. Then the shot into the green with water all around the back and left side… and the creek on the right all the way to the green.

I experimented a lot with that hole. The shoot off the tee was just spine chilling… but it did actually open up slightly if you could get the ball around the corner left. I did try hitting a high 2 wood with a draw to get the ball over in that pocket left. If I hit it perfect I would just have a 7 or 8 iron into the green… major reward. If I hit it dead straight it would go through the fairway into the creek but I would take the 1 shot lateral and probably just make bogey. If I overcooked the draw it would be in the trees and weeds left and not good. Two club lengths or back to the tee… just have to hope you had a lie and a way out sideways with a wedge out of jail.

What I didn’t like was hitting a 4 iron off the tee then having to go into that crazy green with a long iron. Not good.

Bottom line, I still think about that hole from time to time and don’t know how to play it… but pretty memorable… right?

How about that par 3 in Perth Australia at the quarry course? Jundalup or something like that with Kangaroos bouncing around the fairways? If you missed the green to the right you were up ontop of a 100 foot cliff. I remember Brett Officer getting up and down from there…

The PGA Tour today just looks so boring. I loved the diversity of the foreign tours, and just the general life experiences on and off the course. Really precious times.