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MURPH's Handicap Mission


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#886 BuggeraCup

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 04:56 AM

First round back yesterday at the Els Club after a family vacation to Italy. After my last round resulted in a -2, 70, I was excited to be back on the links after a fairly long lay-off. I literally hadn't touched the sticks in almost a month so I certainly had no grand illusions of another sub-par round though.

My full swing never really seems to change too much, it's usually fairly consistent regardless of how long I've had off. Today was no different, it certainly wasn't pure but it was reasonably solid. However, as to be expected, my touch was terrible around the greens. I had several three-putts and I even managed to hit one of my putts FAT!!! I managed to chunk a putt FFS!!! My chipping wasn't much better and I never really left anything stone dead.

Overall, it was good to shake off the rust but I ended up shooting a fairly average +12, 84. Nothing to worry about, things will improve though as I get back into the routine of playing at least once a week though.
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#887 BuggeraCup

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:10 PM

Haven't played much golf recently due to work commitments but I did take this opportunity to finally commit to getting some lessons with the local pro at the Els Club. I've thought about doing that for ages but never gone ahead with it because it's tough when you're decent at golf and (occasionally) shooting really good scores it tough to tinker with the swing. But I've always felt that I'm a good driver of the golf ball but my ball striking, particularly with my irons, was not very solid. My ball flight can be weak and, as a result, I struggle in the wind, I struggle with distance control and I don't take advantage of my good driving by giving myself very many close birdie chances. 

 

So my aim was to improve my consistency and my ball striking and, as a result, my ball flight.

 

The first lesson was interesting. The pro was very happy with my set-up and my swing plane (a little from the inside). He said that I was a little too static with the lower body and my turn was a little restricted which sometimes lead to a slide (instead of a turn). He also said that all of those minor errors were from the root cause of a poor, overly strong grip that was also too much in the palms vice the fingers. 

 

It made sense to me because I knew it wasn't perfect or neutral and he essentially showed me pictures of Rory's grip and we copied that. As anyone knows, the grip is probably one of the hardest things to change and it felt like my grip was so weak that I had no control of the club face. The first few shots were like that as well!!!

 

However, by the end of the lesson, I started hitting some shots that were so pure with a strong, slight draw ball-flight that it was very exciting. It's going to take a lot of practice but I'm excited by the long term prospects. I've spent the last few days with a golf club next to the couch and rehearsed my grip at every opportunity. 



#888 BuggeraCup

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 05:10 PM

Haven't had that much time available for golfing lately so it was great to get a chance to play with a group of mates early yesterday morning at Arabian Ranches. It was also my first chance to hit the links since having some lessons with the pro who really changed my grip quite significantly. I certainly did not have high expectations and I knew that there would be some loose shots but I was just hopeful of seeing progress. The score was going to be almost irrelevant.

 

It's a good thing I wasn't too concerned with the score because I ended up shooting an ordinary 87 off the stick which included 2 x triples and 2 x doubles. I found that when it felt wrong at address - it was wrong and the results weren't great! So I need to have the confidence to step away and start again. I also had misses that went both ways which always makes it hard but again, with more time and experience I'll get a better feel for my 'standard' miss which is very important when it comes to scoring.

 

 

Although there was some very ordinary golf and swings at times, there were also some positives. In fact I played a very nice stretch of golf through the middle of the round from about 8 - 12. During which I hit some very solid shots which had great ball flight which is what I'm trying to work on so that was nice. It's still a work in progress though and I expect the next month or so to be very inconsistent golf. Playing again tomorrow actually so we'll see how that goes.


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#889 BuggeraCup

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 11:42 PM

Had a hit yesterday just as a single because I had the day off work. Played at the Els Club which was in mint condition following their end of summer renovations and, while it was still hot, there wasn't too much wind around which was nice. Plan was to continue to work on the new grip in match conditions and hope to see improvements in my ball flight and ball striking. 

 

The round started off brilliantly, the new grip felt comfortable and the ball striking and ball flight was excellent. In fact, other than a wedge shot that I got fat on approach to the 3rd and a pitch into the 5th, I didn't really hit a false shot in the first half a dozen holes or so. A birdie on the Par 3, 4th and I was -1 through 7 holes. However, I ended up bogeying both the 8th and 9th to turn in +1, 37.

 

Unfortunately, that poor finish to the front side continued on the back nine and my ball striking had really gone to sh#t. Again I was missing it both ways and the ball flight wasn't strong at all so I'm not really sure what was going on there. I leaked a lot of oil coming home and I also had a double on the tough Par 4, 15th after I rinsed a ball in the piss off the tee.

 

In the end it was a 37 + 44 for a +9, 81 off the stick. There were definitely some positive signs but I also regressed towards the end. Last round I played really solid for a 5 hole stretch, this round it was awesome for 7 holes so hopefully it becomes a case of it becoming more engrained for longer and longer each round until it just becomes the norm.

 

I hope it is all worth it in the end, we'll see.........  


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#890 BuggeraCup

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 02:14 AM

Another game today with a mate from work at the Els Club again, which is starting to really come back into great condition as we approach peak season over here. Weather was warm (surprise, surprise!!!) with about a one-club breeze and the greens were very quick.

 

Warm up went okay but I didn't start the round well at all with a double bogey on the 1st after a terrible pitch shot from short of the green. In fact it wasn't until the Par 5, 5th (birdie) that I started striking the ball decently. However, from there my short game started to dessert me with a couple of bladed or fat chips and a couple of three-putts as well.

 

The back nine was actually very solid from a ball-striking point of view. My ball flight for the most part was very strong with a slight draw which is what I'm looking for with these lessons and changes I'm making to my swing so that was pleasing. However, despite "playing" well, I didn't score well which was very frustrating. In fact, I had to birdie both 15 and 16 in order to post a somewhat respectable 80 off the stick (41 + 39).

 

So ball-striking was good (for 13 holes) but the scoring was poor. I'm surprised and I also underestimated the effect of the grip and swing changes have made to my short game. My chipping used to be quite solid but now my short game seems very inconsistent which makes it impossible to score well. So I need to put in a lot of work with my chipping and pitching as well as my full swing. Common sense I know but, like I said, I'm surprised by the impact on my short game from the grip changes.



#891 BuggeraCup

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 02:50 AM

Played again today with a few mates at the Els Club for our regular weekly game in good weather and the course was in good nick. I had another lesson last Saturday where we continued to work on the grip changes and my body rotation through the ball as opposed to sliding too much. Needless to say, I had plenty of swing crap running through my head which is never a good way to play golf in my experience.

 

Started off the round pretty decently but there were plenty of loose shots thrown in as well including a nice shank! Luckily my short game was pretty sharp and I was putting well on the pure, but fast, greens. In fact when I managed to birdie 7 and 8 (which was almost an eagle!!!) I had somehow managed to play the front nine in +2, 38. This was surprising because I really felt like I was hitting it all over the place.

 

The back nine was more of the same with a few poor misses but I felt like I had a bit more control over where the ball was going. Another birdie on 16 but a poor finish lead to coming home in 40 shots for a +6, 78 off the stick.

 

A good score was a welcome relief from some poor recent rounds but it was still all smoke and mirrors with the score coming from good luck and a sharp short game. Still a work in progress.........


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#892 BuggeraCup

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 12:58 AM

Played again yesterday, just solo this time at Arabian Ranches with a decent wind blowing. 

 

Ended up shooting 75 but I only had time to play 16 holes as I had to go and pick up the kids. So I was already +9 at that stage so it would have ended up in the mid to low 80's I guess. I didn't really mind that I didn't get to finish the round (which I usually hate!) because I was hitting it pretty ordinary. My ball-striking was very inconsistent and I was missing it both ways plus, due to the ball-striking, it was a real struggle in that wind. 

 

I'm starting to get a little frustrated with these lessons and swing changes that I'm trying to work on at the moment. Sometimes I feel like I'm hitting them great on the range but I'm really struggling to take that form out onto the course. I hit it awesome on the range and then hack it around on the course. Also, my ability to post a score has disappeared at the moment as well - usually I can keep big numbers off the card even when I'm not hitting it great but not so at the moment.

 

I'll keep plugging away.....


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#893 BuggeraCup

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 11:13 PM

Played in a tournament run by an aviation club that I'm a member of yesterday. The UAE doesn't have regular club comps like back in Australia where you get the regular Saturday and Wednesday comps at most clubs. Here they just tend to have occasional big tournaments with lots of sponsors and bigger prizes. I miss playing those regular comps and I think it makes you a much better player but I was excited to play yesterday as it was my first tournament since early summer.

It was played at Arabian Ranches which was designed by Ian Baker-Finch and is a tricky course but the weather was nice. I hadn't actually played a round for a couple of weeks but I had actually put in a fair bit of time on the range trying to sort out these grip and turn changes.

I drove it great all day and ended up hitting 9/14 fairways and, other than one hole, none of my misses were horrendous. The problem with Arabian Ranches course is that there is no rough and if you're off the fairway then you're in the fine, powdery desert sand. As a result of that I think I only got one of those fairway misses to a GIR. I also played the Par 3's terribly (double bogies on both 7 and 12!). I ended up only hitting 9 GIRs. Again though most of my misses weren't terrible.

In the end I managed 33 stableford points in the Comp which got me nothing in terms of prizes. It was a frustrating type of round. I felt like I hit it pretty well for the most part but just couldn't get it in the hole and post a decent score. That's probably a symptom of too much range time and not enough time on the course actually playing golf!

I feel like the changes are starting to come around though and hopefully some good golf and good scores are not to far away!
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