October 30, 2013

I'm in Love...

Wow. Seriously have not had such strong feelings for an inanimate object since I first saw an F-14 Tomcat. The guys at MyGolfSpy.com posted an article about the leaked 2014 Cobra catalog and in it I found, seriously, THE hottest piece of golf equipment I have ever seen.
I bought my Ping G15 driver because the driving range I practice at had a big banner by the entrance with a picture of the G15 that said "Gold Rating by Golf Digest" and "Editor's Choice." That's it. That's the reason why I picked my driver. I never got fitted for it, I never tried it in the store, I saw that banner and thought to myself that it must be good if Golf Digest was willing to print a banner that size for it. What do I know about drivers?  I had just started playing golf, I couldn't hit the Cobra S9-1 tour driver I got off Craigslist to save my life, and wanted a more forgiving driver. Luckily, it worked out beautifully. The G15 is a beast. The stock stiff shaft that it came with was really weak though, and my shots were ballooning up even on good hits in the middle of the face. Reshafted it with a tour-stiff Xcalibur shaft from Arthur Xtreme Engineering, and problem solved.
I never got into the white crown look of the R11s and their ugly bottoms just didn't appeal to me. I thought the matte black look of the Ping i20 was super sexy, but I wasn't about to replace my G15 for the i20 just because of the matte finish. So, I bought some matte black primer, some clear matte finish, and presto. Matte black G15 driver. I love the way it looks. But then I saw the Bio Cell+ Driver... Now I kinda don't love the way it looks. (end of backstory)
Seriously... The white and red... This one

The white and red... Cobra. Just take my money now. I don't even care how it performs. Next year. As soon as this driver comes out I'm buying one. Going to reshaft it with the XCalibur shaft and gonna blast some balls into the trees and adjacent fairways.  Can't.  Wait.

October 20, 2013

I Miss Breaking Bad

No golf related post today.  It's Sunday.  A Sunday without Breaking Bad.  Last few years there were lots of Sundays without Breaking Bad; but at the end of that Sunday, you knew something.  You knew you were one Sunday closer to the next season.
All Hail The King
Those days are no more.  Never again will I wonder what happens next with Walt and Jesse.  Never again will I hope that someone tells Marie or Skylar off in the next episode.  Never again will I wonder if Walt Jr. stumbles (no pun intended. Seriously.) across his father's empire and joins him, showing an aptitude for chemistry the likes of which the world had never seen before. 
I love you Bryan Cranston.  Is that weird?  No it is not.
It really was the best thing I've ever watched on a screen of any size.  And I seriously hope that some day I'll find a show that I enjoy as much as I did Breaking Bad; I doubt it. And so do you.  The Bryan-Cranston's-head-shaped void left in our hearts will probably forever go unfilled.  The acting was incredible, the pacing was perfect, and don't even get me started on how amazing the writing and directing was.  To me, Breaking Bad was the most perfect form of non-interactive entertainment ever produced by man.  Unless Vince Gilligan turns out to be some kind of meta-human, which would explain a lot.

In case you're in the same predicament I am--floating in limbo wondering what to do with your life--here's my plan for the future with some other info that I'd like to share as we mourn the loss of our dearly beloved show:

  • My Top 5 Favorites of All Time:
    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Archer
    3. Game of Thrones
    4. Modern Family
    5. Doctor Who
  •  I've been told that Sons of Anarchy and Scandal are very good.  I might check them out once I'm done grieving.
  • I plan on spending the entire month of October revamping myself as a morning person.  My goal is to rise & shine at 5am every day.
    • So far, not happenin'.  So this plan might eventually include November as well.
  • Golf is still awesome and you can use it to wear yourself out Sunday afternoon to justify sleeping early to avoid the times that remind you of Breaking Bad.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also awesome and can be paired up with a regular strength & conditioning routine to help with the going to bed and waking up early plan.
  • Video Games.
  • Lastly, if distracting yourself by trying new forms of entertainment just isn't working out for you:

October 14, 2013

Yeah... Nevermind...

Yeah, yeah.  I know, I know.  In all fairness.  Moving the ball farther back in my setup DID help the pull at the range and the last two rounds!  And if you look closely, the pin is just behind my calves so the perspective of the shot is a little skewed.  But yeah, not that much.  Guess this is the problem causing the pull, too. Pretty serious one from the looks of it.  I missed this green way out to the right.  The way I got the screen shot of my downswing was totally by luck too.  I was looking at our latest YouTube vid and just happened to pause it here.  It's as if the golf gods were like (in a sexy James-Earl-Jones-esque baritone), "Thou shalt quit making lame excuses and finally learn to attack the ball from the inside."  You can see the ball flight in the video, the ball faded back to the left a bit, but yeah I still had to chip.  Not good.  But I'm glad I caught this.

I can feel it.  This stupid screen shot of my horrible downswing on the 3rd hole at Grand Oaks is the beginning of a new era.  The era of the high draw.  I can feel it.  Can you?

October 11, 2013

The Return of the Swing

Played another round at Grand Oaks in Grand Prairie, with Thomas.  This time no mud!  T's been struggling with his swing for a bit, but found it again and asked me to go play with him so we could test it out.  It was really nice to see him playing well and having fun again.  We all know how frustrating those inevitable lows can be when you're in the process of implementing changes to improve your game.  But perseverance always pays off and it really showed.
Enjoy the video:

Yo, check it out! Your boy snagged dat top comment on Mark Crossfield's video! Lol.

October 10, 2013

New Writing Gig with BigDGolf.com!!!

Check it out!!!

I'm so pumped for this! Details will be revealed in the near future, but let's just say that this is gonna be extremely awesome for everyone involved.

Almost makes the pain from saying goodbye to Breaking Bad go away. Almost.

October 9, 2013

What a Dumb Movie. (Repost)

I was reading through old posts and found this one and thought I'd move it up to the front because it made me laugh. 
I actually rewatched parts of this movie just a couple of weeks ago.  My review still stands.  I was having a bad day and needed someone to make me feel better about my golf swing.

(Originally posted on Aug. 5, 2012)  I watched The Back Nine today. A movie about Jon Fitzgerald who, in his 40s, decides that he wants to be a touring golf professional. Midlife crisis much? (He even addresses this in the movie with "This isn't a midlife crisis." Yeah right Jon. Sure it isn't, Jon.) 

Everybody knows, or should know by the time they reach adulthood, that there are certain personalities you just can't get along with. After high school, college, failed relationships, jobs, hobbies, you eventually develop a pretty specific roster of personalities you like to surround yourself with. Consciously or not. This guy, Jon Fitzgerald, is a not-surround-myself-with for me. Maybe you would, in which case you might actually enjoy this film. Bet money you won't tho.  Fitzgerald is a monster narcissist. He has to be the center of attention all the time because he never was, growing up. Before you say anything, that's not the main reason why I disliked this movie.  Most (read: All) people who know me would probably (read: definitely) describe me as a bit of an attention-whore. To be completely honest, in some bits I almost envied the guy. How fun would it be to play St. Andrews with your pops and learn about the origins of the game? Seriously awesome vacation idea. But here's the part that just didn't sit well with me. His wife. Pregnant. Baby was due right around the time homeboy planned his trip to the motherland. Seriously?  That's what really bothered me about The Back Nine.  This guy put his ambitions way ahead of his wife and children. 

This movie did make me ask myself a few questions: What are my goals with golf? Why do I play? What level do I want to reach? Most importantly, what am I willing to sacrifice in order to play?
I'm willing to sacrifice some money, nothing more. Would I ditch my pregnant wife for a chance to play in Scotland with my dad? Hell no. If I worked 50-80 hour weeks would I travel on the weekends to play golf? I like being married.  Maybe Jon doesn't. Way I see it, if you're a married man, you chose to be a married man. You can't live life like a single guy with no responsibilities just because you feel like "[you] just HAVE to do this." (Fitzgerald J., The Back Nine, 2009.) If you're a father, good or bad, how your kids remember you is all about the choices you make.  To me, setting a good example for my children is not only my main priority, it goes hand-in-hand with all my other ambitions in life.  I don't think Mr. Fitzgerald and I are on the same page with that one.

http://golfdashblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/the_back_nine.jpgThe Back Nine... More like The Crap Nine. I think even the title is misleading. Here's what this movie was truly about: An ego-maniac who got super lucky and found the most patient wife on earth with whom he bred the most understanding daughter to have ever walked the face of the planet.  Then, spent his entire marriage doing nothing but pursuing his own dreams. Maybe it's just me reading between the lines, but I think this guy Fitzgerald made up an intricate (to the point where he put together the funding to make a movie) excuse to cover up his true desires: spend all free time after work playing golf. After sitting through this idiotic self-portrait I think it should've been titled differently. A better title would be, "Jon Needs a Vacation from His Responsibilities So Let's Put Some Fake Ambition Behind the Truth: Golf is the Shit and I Want to Play as Much as I Can Without Getting Divorced. Part One" 

 Thank you for the suggestion, Netflix.  To those looking to watch a golf movie, do yourselves a favor and avoid this one. F- 


October 7, 2013

Diagnosis: GIR Deficiency

If it ain't one thing, it's another.  Right?  That's why we love this game.  There's always something to tinker with and no matter how good we swing one day we always want to do better the next.  

100 Balls, 100 Divots
I went to the range today and only brought 8-iron and below.  My goal was to work on my accuracy from 160 yards and in.  Ruining perfectly good tee shots by constantly missing the green is getting a little old.  My goal at the range up to now has always been to flush it and make good contact.  This strategy helped a lot with distance and basics but I want to take my game to the next level.  I need to start sticking my approaches closer to the pins.  At least get them stopping somewhere on the dance floor.  Even if I leave myself a lengthy putt, it's better than hitting a wedge from an awkward distance.  Right now, pretty much every hole my inner monologue goes a little something like this, "No problem Juno, you can get up-and-down from here for par/bogey/double..."  
Nice form, but ball's still on the tee.
Luckily I'm not fighting the pull as much as I was last month.  Moving the ball back in my stance was a really good decision.  I'm also setting up with much less forward press at address.  Hopefully getting more comfortable with these changes will improve my accuracy and we can get back to breaking records.

Salman played a round at the Stonetree Golf Course in Killeen, TX.  He said the course was gorgeous but he had to play on super fast greens because the course hosted a tournament earlier in the day.  The layout reminded him a bit of The Resort in Fort Worth.  Still did well despite the green speeds and shot a solid 44 on the back nine.  He scored his lowest round for 2013.  Looks like someone's game is coming along nicely!

October 2, 2013

Muddy Round at Grand Oaks in Grand Prairie

Heavy rain all week = twilight prices at Grand Oaks, in Grand Prairie, and SUPER MUDDY GOLF SHOES!
Played Grand Oaks a couple weeks ago with dad, Soks, and Salman.   Fun round as usual with dad and my dudes.  Big congratulations are in order for Soks who shot his lowest round to date!
The course was very muddy that day after heavy rains throughout the week.  It didn't really pose too much of a problem with play, but they said cart path only for the carts.  Dad, Soks, and Salman rode carts and I walked it.  Really annoyed that I didn't get Salman getting stuck in the mud on camera!  That was pretty funny.  Cart path only means cart path only, buddy. 
The round was the usual affair for me.  Garbage front nine and pretty good back nine.  I didn't get to implement the work I put in to fix the pull in this round, but I'm happy to report that I did kinda fix the pull. (For now... I think?)
Last post I talked about how I assumed I was swinging out-to-in but I had a hard time fixing it with that thought because I already kinda feel like I do attack the ball from the inside'ish. Nevertheless, I tried a drill that Ted shared with me on Twitter and still managed to pull a few shots with my driver with the stick in the way.  Then I remembered the tip in my last post that said ball position can cause a pull.  I took my swing to the range again and just moved my ball back closer to center on all my clubs aaaaaaand VoilĂ ! Problem Solved!  Moving the ball back straightened pretty much all my shots out, most significantly the driver.  Huge relief for me because big changes in mechanics are a pain, especially when you're feeling really comfortable with how you're swinging it.  

...Now if only I can find a line of text that will help me putt better.