Archive for December, 2009

An ode to Jeff Foxworthy

Massive Golf Dork, or MGD, is the next level past “scratch.”

If you have your name embroidered on your bag and golf isn’t your job, you might be an MGD.

If you are “too good” or manly for a 7-wood or hybrid…

If the loft on your driver is smaller than your shoe size…

If you often use the phrase, “keep your head down,” you are an MGD.

If after shooting your best score, you video your swing and find several mechanical faults to work on…

If you make a boast about one of your stats and that number is better than the PGA tour average…

If you know the exact swing-weight and shaft weights of all your clubs…

If your reason for not liking a course is that it is too short and you play the white tees…

If you pump your fist and the immediate result isn’t, “you won the Masters…”

If you give a lesson to a friend, that you read, heard, or invented on your own…

If you add your handicap to the length, in seconds, of your pre-shot routine and it is over 40, you should be shot.

If you step off yardages, or own a laser and don’t hit it green high at least 16 times in 18 holes…

If you find yourself often criticizing the golf swings of players who are better than you…I guess that makes me an MGD

R=80, S=50, X=20

If you add one of the above numbers (shaft you use) to your average drive and that number isn’t over 300, you are an MGD

If you ask the starter if they have pin sheets…

If you have ever stepped off a yardage twice because you weren’t sure if you had 70 or 71 yards…

If the cloths you are wearing cost more than the green fee…

If the number of equipment changes is more than the number of rounds you play…

If you have a 2-iron in your bag, and haven’t broken 70 in the last year (what does that say about you folks with 1-irons)…

If you think aesthetics is a positive and difficulty is a negative, when judging a golf course…

If you constantly say, “I know my way is funky, but it works,” and your handicap is 22…

If your iron covers, cost more than your irons…

If you have made more than one golf purchase from an infomercial….

If you are the only one playing the back tees, and shooting the highest score in the group….

If you have more wedges, than woods….

If the club champion can’t hit your irons….

If your person displays more than 5 corporate logos…

If you have ever gone up to a pro and told him a story about how your nephew is the next tour star…

If you think you know someone who hits it farther than Monte Scheinblum…

Welcome to my new friends from pinoy golfer. I hope you enjoy the blog. Check out the video link on the right as a lot of people are finding them helpful. Especially the one entitled, “plane and release by feel.”

My golf course rating system

At first you will pass off this system, as just a poor attempt at humor. However, it has proven infallible. This rates my own personal view of a course and what is important to me. I inserted this for a reason. We all need to start being more astute in judging the golf experience. We need to look at everything from the way the course plays, to the service at the snack bar. Right now, people build whatever they want and few will criticize a big name architect or developer. I personally find many of the new courses sacrifice playability for aesthetics. Just because a course is difficult and aesthetic, doesn’t mean it is a good course.

Create a system of your own, and judge a course by what is important to you and not what the golf mainstream says.

It is a 0-100 point system and points are bad. The perfect course would get a score of zero.

1. 20 points for quality of green condition (20 being worst)
2. 20 points for quality of condition of the rest of the course
3. 1 point for every hole you find a poor design, for a maximum of 18
4. 1 point for every green you find a poor design, again, for a maximum of 18
5. If a green or hole is exceptionally bad, you can give it an additional point
6. 24 miscellaneous points. Miscellaneous points can be incurred by rudeness of the staff, pace of play, arrogance of players/members and/or course designer. Basically, anything that is involved in ruining your experience. A “course host” showing up to my car wearing plus fours and asking me if I would like to pre-hone my game at the world class practice facility, would incur about a 5-8 point penalty for me. A marshal getting in my grill for waiting too long to hit a drive, or waiting from too far away to hit the green, automatically gets the full 24 point penalty.
7. There also can be bonus “minus points” awarded. Since points are bad, “minus points” would have to result from something excellent I didn’t expect. A really hot beverage cart girl or a sign on the first tee saying, “you must play in 4 hours and/or keep up with the group in front of you.” A marshal driving up and betting me a quarter that I can’t reach the green from 280 all carry over water and waits patiently to watch me do it…would create a -25 point bonus for his facility.

Now add up all the points and see where it falls.

0-10 A course you’d pay any price to play
11-20 A wonderful course and experience
21-30 A very playable course
31-40 Kind of a pile
41-50 Pile
51-60 Major Pile
61-70 Ultimate Pile
71-80 Beyond Pile
81+ A Donald Trump golf course with a greens keeper about to be fired.

The point of this system and much of this book is having fun. It’s a game. Make it simple and enjoy yourself.

Maintain the T

This is going to be a big time mantra I am going to start, because I am finding even more people have a problem with this issue than I thought…including me in the past. Make sure you tune into the blog on Monday January 4th. I am going to have a post and video that some will say is too simple to be that important and/or everybody knows that already. The second thing is true, but I am bringing it more to the forefront.

This concept is not stressed enough and I am going to stress it.

I am waiting till the 4th because that is when most people will be recovered from the Holidays and getting back to improving their golf.

Until then, I will make fun of some PGA Tour player’s golf swings, while still fully appreciating they are better than me :-)…and hoping you will all learn there is no perfect swing in golf to strive for.

Don’t worry so much about driving distance.

I know, I know, easy for me to say…but hear me out. If you stop worrying about driving distance, you will increase your driving distance.

This might be a bad analogy, but what if you only worried about your biceps and did nothing but work them out heavily? What if you put all of your money into one stock…etc., etc., etc.

Whereas what happens if you work out your entire body…your biceps get bigger…and if you invest in more than one stock, even if one goes down, you end up with more money in the long term…2008 notwithstanding.

Everyone knows that chipping and putting is where the scoring is, but being able to control distance with your wedges is the next most important.

Let me digress and talk about something almost every golfers notices. When you hit a ball right at the hole and you get up on the green, it is always farther from the hole than it looked from where you hit it. When you hit a ball pin high left or right, it always ends up being closer than it looked.

Distance control is an overlooked skill in golf…and yet another reason why holding off the release/adding lag is terrible for your game.

The way you improve your distance control with wedges, and all clubs for that matter, is to control spin and trajectory. Controlling spin and trajectory is all about taking the control out of the hands and allowing the turn of your body to control the speed at which you accelerate the club.

Releasing the club is even more important in controlling spin, trajectory and distance. Unwinding a lot of lag late in the downswing is tough with driver, but you don’t need distance control on that. Having too much lag and it releasing late with wedges will cause too much spin from a good lie, bigger fliers from the rough and little if any trajectory control because of the late release.

That is why you often see some of the shorter hitters on tour being the best wedge players and Tiger airmailing wedges over the green and spinning them off the front on the days he is having trouble releasing it properly.

I will say it for the again till I annoy all of you into believing me. If Tiger can’t control a late release, how can any of us?

Let me put it this way. What is more important? Gaining an extra 10-15 yards on 1 out of every 5 drives, or being able to put your wedges consistently the same distance as the pin.

So you can have one 280 yard drive in the fairway, four in the trees from 230 to 250 and wedges all over the map…or three 265 yard drives in the fairway, one in the light rough and one in the tress at 250 and wedges in a 30-40 foot circle around the pin

If you think having wedges in a 30-40 circle is not that good, check out stats on the PGA Tour to find out how good that is. I bet if you kept track of your would find some amazing results…this would also help you with lower your expectations on individual shots, make you play more strategically and lower your scores.

I can’t think of a better piece of evidence for allowing a natural release to happen than that.

I am putting this post up again in a week or 10 days. Both to remind those that read it today…and expose those who have taken a break from the blog for the Holidays.

Didn’t you like the way I went off on different tangents and segways throughout the post to get back to the lag controversy? 😮

I hope you all got cards for the Holidays

that have a commitment to pay for a lesson a week from Monte Scheinblum for the next 10 years. 🙂

All kidding aside folks, whether you take part in the new site and get lessons from me…learn from reading the blog…get lessons from someone else…or forget all of it and just go out on your own, lets all make some collective New Year’s resolutions.

1. We are all going to simplify our golf games and have more fun when we play.

2. We are going to send our long preshot routines and swing checklists to the land fill and play in 4 hours or less (kind of goes along with resolution #1, don’t you think?).

3. We are all going to stop judging Tiger…and just make fun of him for listening to Hank Haney make him swing like Mark O’meara…with a dash of Charles Barkley head dive.

4. We are going to throw away all of our long irons and use high lofted woods and hybrids.

5. We are all going to write CBS and ask if they would please replace on course and swing analyst Peter Kostas with Bozo the Clown. Would anyone notice the difference?

6. We are all going to enjoy Johnny Miller’s unique analysis of the golf being played and turn a deaf ear to anything he says about how to improve our swings.

7. We are all going to stop trying to create lag in our golf swings…and just let it increase as we improve our swings.

8. We are all going to hope that Natlie Gulbis starts wearing even shorter skirts and they show highlights of her getting her ball out of the hole on ESPN (I know, I know, I am a dirty old man).

9. We are all going to hope that Monte Scheinblum starts taking his own advice, gets his game back in shape and makes the Tour. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a real life Roy Hobbs in golf? Barbara Hersey never shot me, but working with Dave Pelz did cause me severe internal bleeding.

10. Let’s really have more fun when we play…and that includes playing faster. Maybe that can be the Holiday gift to all of the people playing behind us. 🙂

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!!

(Look below this post, there are probably some of the swing analysis of pros that readers requested)

I am going to give you all a present.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I am going to give you a present.

Stop worrying about golf, your job and how bad your football team is.

Go spend time with family members and friends that you like.

I have learned this over the past year with my son.

Some of you will call this sentimental BS and you might be right, but instead of writing and watching the blog today, I am going to go play:

Come get daddy!

I am going to get the baby!

and

Let’s make a mess with lima beans and various fruit and make mommy mad!!!

Happy Holidays!!!!!!!

How far do you really hit the ball-revisited.

I’d say about 90% of all amateur golfers would improve their game if they had a better understanding of how far they hit the ball.

I literally hear several times a week people saying they are 300 hitters.

Unless you are one of the top 10 drivers on the PGA Tour or a professional long driver, you are not a 300 hitter. When you are down hill, down wind, at 5000 feet elevation, hit a cart path and a dog picks up your ball and runs 40 yards toward the green and your drive ends up 301 yards…you are not a 300 hitter.

Just like in baseball if you go 1-3 in a game, you are not a .333 hitter when your average for the season is .232.

I am saying this to make fun of all of you a little, but more to help you shoot lower. Most people make club selections to the green as if they are going to hit their best shot. That is why every sand trap short of all the greens are torn up at the end of the day and the sand over the green is almost perfect. It also doesn’t help that everyone is either afraid to hit it just over the green…or doesn’t want their best shot to end up over the green. If you can get over these two things, you will shoot lower.

Let’s take a typical 5-iron for a 15 handicap. Most will tell you they hit that club about 175 and end up in the front fringe or sand all day long because they actually hit “most” of their 5-irons about 165.

The key word is “most.”

The distance you hit your irons is neither how far the best one goes, nor the average. It is how far most of them go. How far most of them go and the average sounds the same but it can be quite different.

So go to the driving range, pick an iron in the middle like a 5 or a 6 and hit 40 or 50 of them and track how far “most” of them go. The far ones and the short ones are like the East German Judge, they get thrown out for bias.

Then adjust the rest of the bag using that measurement as a base point…unless you want to take the time to do it for the whole bag. That is better, but most people don’t have enough practice time to do the whole bag.

Gaps between clubs are usually greater the shorter the clubs get. In other words, the gap between your pitching wedge and 9-iron might be 10 yards and the gap between your 4 and 5-irons might only be 7 or 8.

It is OK to over club when there is trouble short and it is OK to under club when the trouble is long. If there is trouble short and long…we fall back on the “most.”