GPJ’s Journey to ... God Knows Where
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Just wondering how much has to do with getting a read from the first ball and how much from being able to get rid of crappy shots? Or even just being able to take the better of two?
True, getting rid of crappy shots is a part of it I suppose, but I still found myself hitting shots from the wrong fairway, even when I chose the better ball! What it gave me was two chances to ‘get back in the hole’. I’m not a perfectionist by a long way, and know my swing can only deliver so much. So errant shots don’t bother me too much, it’s lack of concentration and crappy chips/putts which I think the Ambrose helped me overcome.
Maybe I should try a Shambrose where I take the worse of the two balls and see what score I get? :)
(Sorry GPJ, will stop jacking the thread…)
Smergs …......... feel free to “jack my thread” whenever the desire arises buddy, (as you always add lots to the discussion).
Just a thought on your discussion …...
When you’re about to play your “first ball shot”, do you have a practice swing …... and if so ….... are you really focussed on getting your practice swing to mimic exactly, the type of shot that you need to play ….... or is the swing primarily used to just loosen the muscles? (I’m guilty of that a bit)
What I’ve found is that, the better I can feel “the swing” that I need to make in my practice swing …...... the better my shots usually are when it comes time to actually step into the ball ….. the real shots becoming like my 2nd ball shots (if you know what I mean) ... as I already have the correct feel for it.
Indecision hey? Not set in the shot before you step into the ball. I get this way too often.
When playing pool very late on night recently I ended up in a game with a random chap, he was quite the pool player. He walked round the table, picked his shot, got it in his head, lent down and nailed it.
I realised that I was leaning over the shot trying to go through it all in my head. I hadn’t sorted it all out before hand, which is what pre shot is all about I guess.
So I started playing the shot in my mind before leaning down, then committed to that and once I addressed the ball I fired quickly. I played far better, no surprise.
All been done to death I know, from all quarters, but good to relearn lessons when you can. Pre shot is so damn important, then get up and fire.
How often do you pick your line for a putt, get over the ball and change your mind, only to miss because you had the right line to start with?
What is this golf game you talk of?
Update time once again, and oh wow, last night’s practice 9 on the Hills of Beacy was an interesting, enjoyable, excitable affair, book-ended at either end (as book ends usually are) ....... by something that was much less than gloriousness (Is that a word?)
I started with two practice swings with the driver on the 1st tee …... and all warmed up(?) ....... I was ready to begin.
I aimed leftward at the tree on the inside corner of the Par 4 slight dogleg, and relaxed the top hand playing for a draw ….... Oh sweet jesus, mother of god, don’t go there!!!!
I “pulled it” harder than a sixteen year old “lonely boy” ... all the way right back across the fairway, and on thru the tree line …...... to finish somewhere in the rough over on the 9th hole ….. still with 223 metres to go … on this mid length wide open par 4.
Blocked out from the green itself, I decided to aim slightly right to try and bunt a low 3 wood back thru a wide gap in the trees …... and get it heading on down someway towards the green.
A gloriously topped 3 wood ensued, and I watched it bump, bounce, and leap, some 90 metres further towards the hole, but still I was on the 9th hole.
Not the sort of start I was expecting.
137 metres to go, still behind a tree, and still sitting out there in the rough, and on the wrong hole ….. (although I did had the room to get back over the tree).
Okay, time to get things back on track.
Into a slight breeze a 7 iron was called for, as 137m is the perfect distance for this club. I firmed up the top hand to stop myself from pulling it right …... I aimed directly at the flagstick ….. and watched it sail right on target.
It landed 6 foot short, and finished up 2 feet from the hole with a slight but straight uphill putt to come. I then made the two footer for my par ….............
Wtf was that hole all about????? .....0
2nd hole Par 3 – 5 iron fade to centre of green, 2 putt par … 0
3rd hole Par 5 – Driver fade up and around the hillside to 212 metres from green. Aimed right across the slope with a 5 iron fade. It landed just short, finished on the green, 2 putt birdie of merit .......... -1
4th hole Par 5 – Driver fade, then a small pitching wedge to leave myself with 144 out. (PW was just to get me up onto the flat section as I wanted to hit some mid irons) 7 iron fade hitting with a slight wind …..... oh wow. 6 feet straight uphill putt to come….. lipped out, then tap in par, bugger!!! ......... -1
5th hole Par 4 bastard dogleg.
A 3 iron fade of perfection to leave myself 110 to go …...... Gap wedge to just off left of green but puttable …...... two putt par …...... -1
6th hole Par 3 A 9 iron off the deck and safely no fuss, onto the green, two putt par ….....-1
7th hole Par 4 Driver draw shot of distinction thru the dogleg corner to sit mid fairway 70 out …..... Lob wedge right at it, 6 foot straight uphill putt to come .. bang ….... nothing but net ….... -2
8th hole Par 4 – Driver draw shot of high and mighty worthiness to right edge of fairway and looooong ….... 86 to go. SW of equal merit landed on and close.A 2 foot slight left to right putt to go for birdie, nice one …. – 3
9th hole Par 4 (Bookend time again now)
A driver draw shot of legendary status ….. aimed at the left hand treeline, firmed the top hand ever so slightly to keep it from drawing too much …..... and it curled gently to finish …. way long …..... and only 43 metres from the pin in the light left rough. The ball was sitting up in the rough, so lob wedge in hand I proceeded to ease it from it’s position.
Bastard big jessie !!!!!!!! ............ I eased it not enough, as it landed into the upslope on the front left edge of the green, and bounced back down to the side of the green ….... ARRGGGGHHH F@*#!!!!!
A gap wedge bump and run of some 3 metres up and on followed and that left me with a 4 foot sidehill par putt. (Why oh why couldn’t I have just hit that freakin lob wedge onto the bloody big green to begin with????)
Focus now …....... and I allowed a couple of inches for it to break and then hit it smoothly ..... but ….. just a tad too firmly …... The ball hit the high side of the hole, but like Mohammed Ali (on most occasions) ....... it refused to drop …. tap in bogey followed …..... -2.
Summary (from memory this time)
More analysis to come (after a dart)
Very good point Fancy Pants. I am quite often guilty of swinging just to get a bit of loosness and warmth into the muscles. But strangely on Par 3 tees, I’ll practice swing until I’m happy I’ve got the swing I want, which is what you refer to.
So maybe that’s what I need to work on around the course, nailing the practice swing and then going into the ball once I’m satisfied. Like Stink says, pick your shot and then take it.
Noice. I like it.
Smergs, with me of late focussing on “working the ball”, what I’ve found is that the key to it for me, is the grip pressure in my top hand.
That seems to control everything in relation to the direction of the shot for me …......... so now, when I take a practice swing, more than anything else, I’m trying to get the right “grip pressure” in my top hand.
Once I feel the right level of grip, I find that I can step into the actual shot with confidence.
I’ll put up a table shortly showing what changing my grip pressure does with my various shot directions.
Okay my grip pressure table is below.
I picked this up somewhere on line (in regard to grip pressure and how they used a scale of 1 thru to 5 to describe it.
5 being strangling the club, and one being barely holding onto it)
Below I’ve included specific clubs, as that seems to change thru the bag. Please note that I am a lefty, so for soft hands eg a 1 on the scale, that means a big draw shot for me.
The spread of the numbers indicates the actual direction they seem to go in for me with the various clubs.
So for a “slight” draw with the driver …. I need to have a grip pressure of between 2 and 3. That seems to be about half a fairway’s width at my distance. I’ll aim left, and then swing thru normally, aloowingthe face to swing to closed thru impact.
If I go just a bit softer in the grip pressure in my top hand …. the amount of my draw increases etc as the club releases thru impact slightly more.
For a fade I’ll tighten up the grip pressure, and for a slice, I strangle the bugger, so the face remains slightly open all the way thru impact.
Where the club itself is mentioned …... that means a straight shot.
5 …....... 4 …........ Dri3ver …..... 2 …........... 1
5 ….. 4 …... 3 ir(3)on ….... .2 …...... 1
5 ….. 4.. 5 ir(3)on….. 2 ….... 1
5 …4 … 9 iron 3 …... 2 ….. 1
5 ..4 .SW . 3 ….. 2 …... 1
With my shorter clubs like my wedges etc, I can just about strangle it before I’ll get it to fade much, whereas I can still draw the ball easily with wedges …...... wierd I know, but that is just me.
This doesn’t take into account the lie of the land, but with the ball below my feet with say a 9 iron, I can still get it to draw nicely by relaxing the grip to around 2 I figure.
Hope this all makes sense guys …......
I won’t even need to contribute the 7 shots I was banking on for tomorrow.
I figure I should go okay around there Goldy, however I am counting on you …........ You are bringing cake aren’t you?
Seriously though ….. Langy is noted for its subtle greens, and as opposed to Beacy where all the slopes are evident from a hundred yards away …... Langy’s are much more subtle, so conservative putting may be the order of the day, despite it being an ambrose event.
I’m just hoping though, that I can keep the woods and irons working as good as they are at the moment …... and then we’ll see what we end up with on the greens themselves.
Hopefully between us, Gina and Vicky will be on song and we’ll have a decent scoring day …... either way though, its gonna be fun …........ just don’t forget the cake.
Had an interesting chat with George at the ‘bat last night – and I just thought I’d bring it up here for your opinion, Gaz.
We were discussing the par 5 second hole, which in my opinion, is the easiest hole on the course. The plan is to get ANYWHERE on the fairway or first cut with the tee shot, purely to enable you to select the club that will get you between the two dams at the bottom of the fairway, and leave you around 90 – 110 in. Easy 9 iron up the hill to the green, 2 putt par (or preferably,1 putt birdie).
I reckon I par this hole 3/4 times.
So, the theory was, is the reason that this hole is considered easy – the fact that there IS a plan in the first place? And is this what really good golfers do – have a specific plan for every hole?
Nail on the head I believe Goldy.
I can only speak for myself, as a fellow “tryhard” ...... but I know going into a hole, if I don’t have a plan, or haven’t seen it before …....... the few seconds spent on the tee before I hit off are spent scanning the whole length of the hole trying to look for clues as to how to play it best with the golf game I brought that day.
Play a hole many times though, and playing it in different ways, gives you the chance to can fine tune things into using specific clubs, specific shot shapes, and as you say, working your ball safely down the hole and into the lay up area that will leave you with your preferred, well practised, comfortable shot in.
The more times I play the same hole, the more I have the plan “down”, and the less head work that I need to do on the tee.
As you know, l a sight unseen course is pretty hard, second time I should have an idea where to go,(or not to go) etc …... and so it goes the more times you hit there until you have your plan …... and you then just need to work it.
An example Keysy 1st visit … 27 points . 2nd visit 37 points. The 10 point difference ….. was in having more confidence in picking my driving lines, and also changing a couple of tee shot club selections …. oh, and not listening to you, in going for that long drive hole.
So how many of the Bat’s holes have you got a plan for?
And how many holes are your trouble ones that you never seem to do well on?
Do you have a plan for those, and if so (the trouble ones) is it time to re-think your plan on those ones?
It’s an interesting question…
I suppose the par 3s and 4s tend to be less “planned” in the sense that you have a plan as to where you DON’T want to be on specific holes. But a plan nonetheless.
I think the par 5s tend to be more my “planning” holes in regard to where I need to be to set up the next shot, be it the 2nd or 3rd. Although one par 4 (the 18th) has a dam the comes into play at around 150m, and stays in play on one side of the fairway for about 30 metres (length).
So I have a new plan for that hole – and parred it for the first time on Sunday, and then again during the week.
Generally speaking now, I, like you, enjoy the par 5s because I feel that I am a chance to make par consistently on these if I set up correctly. Your enjoyment of the par 5s is probably more related to how you can get your 2nd shot onto the green – I clearly have no such ambition or capability.
I am meek, I may inherit the Earth, but I WILL NOT reach the par 5 green in 2… :-)
Goldy ….......... so having a plan on the par 5’s is helping you’re game …...... good to hear
So once you have those planned (like me you want the par 5’s to become your biatch first hey??)
Time to move on down the line until you get to those pesky bastard par 3’s … and even they need a plan, probably more so than the par 5’s, where you have much more room for recovery (if you err in either judgement or execution)
Stuff up a par 3 badly, and you could be writing any score down, but get it right ….... and it can be just like missing an actual hole on your scorecard.
An example now if you will indulge me,
Beacy Hills Course 6th hole uphill Par 3 . 129 metres of what was sheer hell for me, from the back plates., (about 115 from the front ones).
The only real “danger” on this hole, a bunker on the left hand side.
From the back tees, it should be an easy straight 8 iron, up the slight hill for me.
Early days, I was going directly at the flag with the 8, and I’d pull everything right and never land one on, although they were usually around pin high …... in the right rough leaving me with a chip across to the green, but with the green sloping away from me, it was hard to judge the chip to get it to stop anywhere near close to the hole.
Next I tried aiming left of the flag off the tee …. same freakin result, I pulled them even more to the right to still finish in the rough …... (probably subconcsiously, I was helping to drag them away from the bunker and back towards the flag).
From there I tried moving the ball both back and forward in my stance to see if that helped fix what I percieved, was my “closed clubface at impact” .... same result, more often than not … for both back and forward ball positions.
Then I tried aiming right and fading it back to the green …. same bloody result, it would just stay straight thiese times, and finished right rough ...... it’s like the right hand side had freakin magnets in it.
Stuff this 8 iron bullsh I thought …..... I’m going elsewhere to solve this problem.
Instead, I chucked the ball on the ground and grabbed my 9 iron (no tee), aimed a bit left and played for my usual draw these days …...... bingo …..... pin high, mid green.
Another one to test out the theory .. same thing, mid green, pin high.
Okay, another six more off the deck just to test this out properly .. result = 5 of them on the green, and 1 just on the right edge.
Beautiful 6th hole plan locked and loaded….
9 iron off the deck, aim ten feet left of the pin, relaxed grip, smooth swing …..... putting for birdie …....... the last several weeks in both practice and comp, it has worked perfectly.
It took me several weeks of regular play though to get there, but now that I have “the plan” I can file this away and not worry about it unless faced with a really strong wind one day etc.
Wherever the flag is on the green (even if it’s over near the bunker, in most cases, I can still just aim slightly left with my 9 iron off the deck, and know that will end up reasonably close.
So, my thought is ......... Got to have a plan Goldy, and got to work it until it either works nearly all the time for you, or if it rarely works ….. chuck it out and try something else.
Lets discuss and test this tomorrow….bloody hell, this is too late to be posting when I’ll be dragging my sorry @rse out of bed in about 6 1/2 hours…...night.
Update time guys from the weekend, and first up, 2 Man Ambrose with Goldy vs the world at the Augusta of Gippsland (Lang Lang).
Sadly for us the world won on the day, but it was a very interesting (and always enjoyable) round.
Started down the 10th with what was going to be a draw shot off the tee, aimed slightly left into the treeline. Gripped the driver a tad too firmly, and hit a lovely straight one into the trees. Goldy nicely in the fairway with a 3 wood. (This became something of a pattern). Note to self, when on the first hole, if possible …...... play for a fade, as the tendency for me early on, is to firm up on the grip without meaning to.
From there though, we played pretty well on the front 9, but in hindsight, my mindset in playing with Goldy probably wasn’t quite right.
With Goldy being slightly shorter off the tee, he would generally tee off first and put a nice one into play with the 3 wood. Then, instead of hitting my driver smoothly, I started going for extra distance, and in the process, lost both accuracy and my natural rythym.
While we managed to get it around pretty comfortably for the middle section of the round, when Goldy’s 3 wood started finding the trees, my tee shots also let us down on the odd occasion, as the rythym just wasn’t there any more.
We had a couple of shockers late in the round, it was sort of like synchronised swimming at times, only when neither person can swim a stroke …. not good for golf, but a hellova good laugh though.
The 2nd last hole, and with 20 metres to the pin, and the edge of bunker in between ball and green, two lovely duffed chips landed in the bunker …...... one right after the other.
I learnt a lot from the round though, about my own golf game, and in watching the others in our group.
Hopefully I learnt that despite it being Ambrose, you still need to play your own game to a large extent, and not fall foul of trying to play outside of your “natural game”.
Watching CB and his partner in our group, both stayed true to their own games, and they complimented each other on every hole, rather than work against each other, or try to play like each other.
Was a very good learning experience, and should come in handy the next time Goldy and I, take on the world … that’s if he’ll have me of course.
I’ve found that in the 2 ball Ambrose game, Gaz. That is the first time I’ve played that format and it is definately harder than a 4 ball.
If you are both hitting the ball well then you get more options to score. If one is struggling…....it puts extra pressure on his partner.
9/10/12 – Hole In One – 7th Hole Portsea GC
You had me at hello….
You were playing one man ambrose on a few of the holes on the inward 9.
Biggest problem for the day, in my opinion, was that I gave not a lot in the approach shots, from distances that I would normally be confident of contributing – bladed a lot of them, such as that short par 4. Put you under a LOT of pressure. I think in hindsight – letting you hit first on everything except the tee would be the strategy in the future – I reckon you don’t need the added weight of my already duffed shot on your shoulders – and there were a few times where I hit a decent shot in after you had hit.
The tee strategy I thought worked pretty well – I liked your comment “with Goldy being slightly shorter off the tee..” BWAHAHAHA – SLIGHTLY – you’re killin’ me, Gaz.
I’m there for whenever you want to tee it up fella.
A relaxed “practice 9” , late Sunday up at the Hills of Beacy, with the beloved … in very windy conditions.
1st hole ….. Played for a draw off the tee, but it stayed straight and cut the dogleg slightly to leave me with 85 to the pin. (What was that I said about playing for a fade early on as I tend to grip too tight early in the round?) .... hit a nice little wedge in, one bounce and on …... and just missed the birdie putt for a tap in par.
2nd hole, 5 iron gay fade into the breeze left me short left, but safe. Chip shot was too firm and took two putts to get back to the hole …. bogey.
3rd hole, played this one terribly, I bit off too much of the dogleg from the tee and clipped the trees which left me blocked out. Then I tried again to bite off too much when chipping out, and caught more branches. Finally got it out but the damage was done. 4th shot on this par 5 from around 180 metres, 6 iron went slightly right and rolled down the side of the green and into thick stuff. Chip out (when is this hole ever going to end??) . two putts for a lost count, couldn’t give a F .. can we just move on, score.
The beloved meanwhile, parred it comfortably, (two nice wood shots, a nice little chip on and then two steady putts …......... don’t you hate that???)
4th hole and time to right the wrongs of the previous hole. Draw driver of perfection to centre fairway over the brow of the hill …........ small bunt of the ball up onto the next flat level …..... (just cause I could) ...... and then a nice drawn 8 iron on, easy two putt par …
5th hole, bastard dolgleg left par 4 …... 3 iron with slight fade, but it went way looong with the wind at my back …..... into trouble as it went right thru the dogleg …......... geez it felt nice tho!!
Tucked up against a tree, with a very limited backswing, I belted a PW firmly, to finish up just off the green’s front edge. 2 putts . par.
6th hole par 3 ..back tees into the strong wind…. 8 iron draw shot off the deck, and on the green, two putt par.
7th hole par 4 …........ Driver draw shot into the wind, perfectly to the far side of the dogleg, Only 80 to go. Choked down 3/4 swing with a PW up the hill ..... 2 putt par.
8th hole Easy driver fade with the wind, nice and long ….... 84 to go from the right rough. SW to green’s fringe, on the low side of the pin ….. not perfect, but very nice. Just missed the uphill putt, tap in par . moving on.
9th hole ….... Nice easy straight drive into a now howling wind finished left half of fairway.
144 metres of “uphillness” to go. 6 iron out with only one very high over-hanging gum tree branch some 40 metres further on up the fairway to miss, and all will be sweet.
Hit the 6 iron perfectly into the stiff breeze, sailed high, had just started to draw, and bang.
Lost sight of it for a second, and then it fell back to earth directly below the tree branch, back on the fairway.
Hit another “practice” 6 iron from the same spot, bang, same branch, didn’t even bother to look for this one.
Important note to self, need to work on varying trajectories …....... or bring the chainsaw.
From there it was a chip on with another nice wedge … and then 2 putts for bogey.
Summary of the round . Played pretty well in some very windy conditions ….... took the wind into account on all but a couple of notable occasions, and paid a high price for those ones ….... which is good, as it will make me remember them.
I hit some great iron shots, some nice solid wedges, and the putter is like a 12 lb sledgie .. so nice and solid. Gives me confidence to be anywhere near the short stuff and the 1st putt will end up close to the hole.
The beloved played well too, which is always nice. While not long (she only hits driver 150m at best) she hit them straight and low, and barely left the fairway from memory. All up, it was an enjoyable late afternoon round . nice and relaxed and we pretty much had the place to ourselves …..... a very nice way to wind down the weekend.
I’m sensing that the OOM Final Support Comp is firming as a 2-Ball Ambrose…
My mate and I are hitting off at the Marsh this Friday doing a 2B Ambrose just for fun. We normally play head to head, but getting into the festive spirit and going round with a few beers.
Will be very interesting to see how we go. We’ve discussed strategies and strengths and weaknesses.
Was weird, no golf on the weekend. Hopefully if the rain stays away this arvo, might get some speed golf in.
Hey Pete, it wasn’t so much that one of us was struggling, more just a case of me losing my rythym off the tee knowing that Goldy had while not overly long …...... put us safely in the fairway.
In hindsight I should have just played “relaxed drives” off every tee, rather than try for a little more distance on most of them.
As you know, being relaxed and not trying to belt the suitcase out of it really doesn’t lose you any distance.
2 man ambrose as you say though, has a tad more pressure to it, but for the most part we managed to compensate for each other’s um waywardness pretty well, aside from a couple where we both had shockers.
Was a good fun day though playing with “Godly”, and that was always going to be aim of the day I figure.
I’d do it again any day.
I don’t recall it like that at all Goldy …...... you must have me confused with someone else buddy.
I could have sworn we went shot for shot the whole way around . I think the tee shots alone were pretty much 9 and 9.
OOM Final Support Comp is firming as a 2-Ball Ambrose ….........Now thats a good idea Smergs, as it’s a good fun format.
Playing head to head, you should know each other’s games pretty well for Friday ........ just got to work out which of the good bits you can take from each person to make it work for you as a team.
A question on ettiquette though …....... is it still okay to sledge him now that he’s your teammate??
Didn’t seem to be a hindrance on Saturday…. :-)
Never is between you and me .. just adds to the fun where we’re concerned …. but not everyone may have our wierd sense of humour.