Course Handicap Calculator

This tool allows you to calculate your playing handicap, or course handicap, for the day. You will need to know the course and slope rating, what the par of the course is, and naturally your own current handicap index.

Please ensure you use a point for the decimal, not a comma. The result will appear below the form.

Handicap Index:

Course Rating:

Slope Rating:

Par:

Calculate your differential here.

If you find this tool useful, please share it with your friends 😉

Version 1.0

Handicap Index Calculator

Enter your last 20, or more, scores to calculate your handicap index has been affected by your latest round.

Input at least 8 rounds into the text area below separated by a comma. Please ensure you use a point for the decimal, not a comma. The result will appear below the form.


Example: 7.5,8,3.5,4,6,1.8,2,7.5,8

Results are saved in a cookie so make sure to bookmark this page and enter new scores as and when you need to. Calculate your differential here.

If you find this tool useful, please share it with your friends 😉

Version 1.0

Handicap Differential Calculator

This tool allows you quickly check your differential for your golf score. It does not take into account playing conditions, but based on your course score and slope ratings, it should give you a good idea of how your round may affect your handicap index. Please ensure you use a point for the decimal, not a comma. The result will appear below the form. Enjoy!

Score:

Course Rating:

Slope Rating:

Sometimes when you play a round of golf you cannot wait to see how it affects your Handicap Index. This tool shows your score differential.

And if you would like to see the impact on your handicap index why not check out the Handicap Index Calculator.

If you find this tool useful, please share it with your friends 😉

Version 1.0

Max Homa – One step closer to greatness

Congratulations Max Homa. What a pleasant surprise to open the PGA app to see Max on top of the leaderboard. When I closed the app on Saturday night Sam Ryder seemed to be cruising to victory: especially when John Rahm appeared to be struggling a bit.

Embed from Getty Images

This victory, at the Farmers at Torrey Pines, was Max’s 6th on the PGA tour. As someone that didn’t actually see the tournament, I only caught up through the app, podcasts, and YouTube, it was great to see he had won. He is one of the nice guys on tour.

Max v Fore Play Golf

I’ve listened to countless podcasts that he’s on, I love the YouTube videos he’s involved in, and this week there was a new departure for the PGA: Max was mic’d up on a hole. He was asked about what he was thinking about throughout the hole and it gave a great insight into a golfer’s mind.

Mic’d up Max

I believe Max is quite in-tune with what the fans want. And he has quite a sharp sense of humor as would testify.

Max pokes fun at JT

So what’s next? I think Max will carry on being Max. He is the epitome of the PGA tour, having lost his card and being right on the edge. But he came back stronger, and given his performance in the President’s Cup I can see him in the Ryder Cup this year – perhaps as a Major winner. If not this year, it will come. I am sure.

Keep going Max, we love you.

Top 3 Golf YouTube Videos plus a bonus

There are some great YouTube videos. Here is a selection of the best golf videos out there, many of them featuring pros. All will take a bit of time to watch, but they are worth it.

Fore Play & Max Homa

Whether you like or regularly watch, the Fore Play guys’ podcasts or videos I would highly recommend watching this match.

Max Homa v Fore Play crew

At almost 2 hours in length, this is a great production with drones, multiple mics, and cameras. This video cemented my man crush on Max: he came across as really nice, humble, funny, and ultimately very determined.

NLU with Jordan Spieth & Justin Thomas

NLU with JT & Jordan

Rick Shiels & Rickie Fowler

Rick v Rickie

All of the videos highlighted above give an insight into a good player’s thoughts on the course, and perhaps a glimpse into the person behind the pro athlete you see weekly on the tour

Bonus Videos

Into the honorable mentions goes Good Good Golf. Their recent collaborations have been incredible. I created a playlist here so check it out.

If you enjoyed the Rick Shiels video, there are a few more with top golfers such as Tommy Fleetwood and Adam Scott. I’ve created a playlist of these >> check it out here <<

As “bonus” bonus video I am currently watching a great match between Bob Does Sports playing against Keegan Bradley: this promises to be a cracker.

Bob does sports

What are your favorite golf vlogs?

Top 5 Golf PodCasts

I listen to podcasts a lot. Every day when I am walking the dog, or just walking (my most common form of exercise), I have my AirPods on and drift back into the world of golf.

I do listen to other topics, I find Andrew Cannon’s The Art of Science and Joy particularly inspirational, but it is mostly golf. Here are my top 5 golf pods, and what they generally cover.

The Sweet Spot Podcast

I should really save the best to last, but this is my favorite podcast. Hosted by Jon Sherman and Adam Young, this digs into all aspects of playing golf.

Their podcasts don’t, normally, run in order and they should remain relevant and timeless for years to come. Their philosophy towards the game is more about the fundamentals and geared towards expectation management and enjoyment no matter the listener’s skill level. Find the pod from these search results.

As a bonus, Mr. Sherman has written a book that will guide you to better golf without having to change your golf swing. Check out The Four Foundations of Golf, I highly recommend it.

Hack it Out Podcast

Hosted by golf teaching pro turned YouTube golf professional Mark Crossfield, the show also includes PGA player Greg Chalmers and the stat hole, Lou Stagner.

The pod covers many aspects of the game and is light-hearted for the most part but can get quite heated if you say anything against Tiger Woods. The insights of one of the greatest putters on the planet and the data from the main tracking systems that Lou has access to make this super interesting.

And along the lines of Lou’s tweets, this pod should help you improve your game if you #manageYourExpectations.

Beef’s Golf Club

This is a new, started in 2022, podcast that is hosted by the DP World Tour player Andrew “Beef” Johnson and John Robbins, from Bad Golf infamy. This is just a fun chat show with loads of golf banter and their dream to build the perfect golf club. Find out more here.

Rick Shiels Golf Show

I do watch Rick Sheil’s main channel – the matches with the pros are excellent and I only fairly recently started listening to the podcast.

They talk golf, have a general chit-chat, and can have great guests. A lot of the chat is around Rick’s YouTube channel and it compliments it quite well.

It should be noted that I don’t follow the YT channel, I am a listener to podcasts, not a watcher.

The First Cut

Very US-centric pod, this is a great pod if you want to know about what’s happening on the PGA Tour. From betting guides, previews, and daily recaps of the events of the day this is a great insight into tour life.

You can find out more on the CBS podcast page.

Honorable mentions

Other golf podcasts that I recommend you check out are listed below:

Is there anything missing from the list? What is your favorite podcast?

40-Second Rule

When I started this blog, almost a year ago, I wrote down a list of blog post topics and today is where I go over the first topic on that list: the 40-second rule.

Unfortunately, WordPress did not save any of the notes I had associated with the subject so I did a quick “google” to see what I could find. I didn’t go very far into the results to find the following video on a variance of the concept related to the speed of play.

40 seconds pace of play

While the video presents a good idea, the presenter could incorporate WELD into her setup. The wind, elevation, and distance can be gauged as you approach the ball.

The purpose of this document was not to criticize someone else’s content, it was merely to highlight that the 40-second rule can mean different things to different people in golf.

For me, golf takes a long time to play, as highlighted in the video, and it is a long time to concentrate. You must focus on each shot, every shot is as important as the other. However, you cannot focus for the whole round.

This is where the 40-second rule comes into play for me: 40 seconds of concentration around each shot.

As already stated, you can start preparing for your shot as you approach your ball. When you arrive you can assess the lie and confirm the distance. Start your timer – this is where you focus and envisage your shot, the pre-shot routine has started.

Step into your “thinking box”, and imagine the ball flight, see the target, and where you want the ball to end up.

Cross that “decision line” and do your final routines and strike the ball. Watch the ball flight, where it ends, and assess the outcome. Stop all the clocks – you can relax a bit and enjoy the situation.

As you approach your ball for the next shot, go through the process again. Concentration blocks of 40 seconds at a time are a lot more manageable than trying to maintain focus for 4+ hours.

Consistent pre-shot routines are very important in the game and if you can be fully focused for each shot then you will benefit in the long term.

.* you’ll probably have a shorter pre-shot routine for putting but focus is still essential.

I don’t have a physical timer but I do try to incorporate this routine. Is this something that you do?

5 Things to do in the off-season – maintenance

Finland has been buried in snow since November already. As we bring in the new year it is an excellent time to reflect and prepare for the coming season – this could be your most incredible year in golf. Here are a few things that can help you prepare equipment-wise.

Clean your bag

Aside from probably being quite dirty, your golf bag can accumulate a lot of unwanted or unnecessary items which you can remove or quite simply throw away. This could include an accumulation of tee pegs, found golf balls, and (plastic) bags.

golf tee pegs, assorted, in plastic bag

As part of this cleaning process make sure you put your towel in for a wash and tip your bag upside down (when empty) – you’d be surprised what you may find.

This is also a good opportunity to reorganize your bag so items you use more frequently can be more accessible.

pitch mark repairer, brushes, pencils, ball markers

Mark your golf balls

This tip is especially useful if you bulk buy golf balls and you mark your golf balls more elaborately than scribbling your initials on the side of the ball.

Srixon golf ball with clover marking

Whether you are adding symbols or even simple lines to your golf ball this will speed up your game on course if you are prepared. As part of this process, you could also box the balls in different number groupings so you don’t need to add any additional markings because you pull a number 3 out of your bag when your previous ball was also a 3.

As I took all my found balls from my bag out I prepared them for practicing by adding a simple marking to them too – now I can go to the practice area with balls that I know I can identify.

Sort your gloves

Having a dry glove in the wet can be a critical component in coping with bad weather. I have a bag (to keep things dry) within my golf bag containing old golf gloves so I can rotate them when they get wet. However, some of the gloves were quite worn so I threw them out. They simply would not get used and I replaced one, at least, with the final glove of the last season.

Check your grips

I take pretty good care of my clubs throughout my rounds but one thing I often neglect is the grips. Depending on frequency grips should last at least a few years but you can rejuvenate your grips by giving them a good scrub with a brush and warm soapy water. This will bring back some of the tackiness.

Ideally, you would be doing this at least once a month but why not start the season off well? If your grips are really worn then get them changed through the close season.

Check your accessories

Very much related to your bag clean up make sure that you have batteries for your rangefinder, speakers, or cameras. Is there anything worse than getting out on course and you go to zap a yardage on a whole and your rangefinder doesn’t get a distance?

Do you have sunblock, hats, mosquito repellent, plasters, spare laces, a bottle opener, enough tees, pencils, pitch mark repairers, or golf balls? Make sure you are stocked up on all the little things that you made need to assist you through a round.

So there you have it, 5 quick tips to prepare yourself for the new golf season from the equipment side, is there anything you would add to this list?

Look out for the second part of this series, how to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the new golf season.

Have fun out there.

4 Ways To Have More Fun On The Golf Course

Does it ever get boring playing the same format all the time or are you taking it too seriously? This post covers some ways to bring the fun back to golf.

The reason people play golf differs from person to person: it may be for exercise; to be outdoors; to spend time with friends or even for the competitive element. For me, the first three are my main goal: and ultimately having fun. But how do you have fun aside from the social aspect?

I predominately play with the same group of friends. The skill range of the guys varies and their ambitions differ. Most of the time we don’t play too competitively and there are usually some mulligans and feel-good shots that make a “serious” game impossible. We never play for money.

Within this group, we do have an annual tournament where there is a bit more seriousness. And this is fine: I love the competition.

Over the past couple of years, I have been averaging about 80 rounds per year but for me, straight-up going for a score is never too much fun. It adds unnecessary pressure to something that is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. I am, after all, paying for the experience so it should be gratifying.

Total Rounds 82
Data recorded50
HCP Rounds32
Playing stats 2022

The table above shows my recorded rounds in 2022. I still think that 32 handicap rounds are possibly too much although I did start the year wanting to play more competitively: this did not happen. The 50 data recorded rounds are games where I could use my GolfPad GPS (can include fourball/better ball). The other 32 would be most likely scrambles or rounds I was playing so badly that I didn’t record anything.

To be fair Stableford does reduce some of the pressure so my inevitable blow-ups don’t matter quite so much but how do you make the game more fun overall?

Game format

Scramble

Scrambles, whatever the format, are not for everyone but I really enjoy them. I even participate in club-hosted events of this format. I never win but I enjoy the format very much. Why?

Normally there are no consequences with your shots. It doesn’t matter what you do as there are others who have the same responsibility are you over the piece. Of course, there is some pressure if you are the lowest handicap but you still have to manage your expectations.

Depending on how we are feeling we normally play one of two formats: pair versus pair or us against the course. While both games have a competitive edge it’s really interesting the strategy involved in both games is. Giving everyone a chance to feel as if they contribute can be difficult but I think that we have played enough together and know the game well enough to again manage expectations.

Tees

Tee it forward

There has been a campaign for many years, Tee It Forward, that encourages players to play from tees that suit their game better. There are numerous benefits to choosing a more strategic tee with probably my favorite: you can almost feel like a pro having shorter irons into the greens and are comfortably able to reach many par 5s.

Shorter approach shots should mean more greens hit which should ultimately mean lower scores. I shot my lowest score as an adult from the forward tees – breaking par for the first time.

Many contest that it is too easy from the front tees, but everything is relative: your handicap for the day is adjusted accordingly and you level out against the pros in terms of clubs. A pitching wedge will probably go the same as an 8 or 9 iron for me so, say, 130 meters is not the same for my standard as a player as a pro. I feel this is sometimes forgotten by amateurs.

Randomize the tees

If you consistently play the same course, this is a great way to make things a bit more interesting. At each tee we select a random tee to play from – this adds an edge as you normally don’t what to play from the tips and the strategy from each tee position can be very different.

“Random” app for iOS and the outcome of the 150 selections

Change tee based on score

I saw this on YouTube a short while ago and how yet to play it yet, but I am sure that we will try this at least once.

This game can be relative to your own game, but it is probably best played with a handicap in place. You would start from your normal tees, in my case yellow, and give yourself the handicap from those tees.

If you were to make a net birdie on the hole, you would move forward a tee. If you were to make a net bogey the hole you would move back a tee. The finer points of this game need to be agreed upon but if you can maximum move up or down one tee at a time I would imagine that you can spend more of your time not playing from the back tees all the time.

Tournament Rules

This is a fun one but a little weird because this is basically agreed cheating. Of course, the scores don’t count for anything other than within your group.

Embed from Getty Images

How often have you seen a pro overshoot a green by 10 meters and been saved because there is a grandstand? Or they fire a tee shot way off to the right and it hits a spectator and bounces back into play? Or the player is way off line, in deep rough, and a TV camera tower is blocking their line of site?

This game replicates the lucky breaks professional golfers can get during tournament play. The foot wedge is the 15th club in the bag and you are not penalized for carrying too many clubs.

Not much can really be taken from this format, other than it can show you what your scoring potential is when you eliminate bad shots.

Environment

Music

The final point in this list may not be for everyone. But here is a little background into part of the reason I included it.

I am an old-school golfer. I played in an age where golf etiquette was pretty strictly adhered to and you were often an outcast if you didn’t behave in a certain way.

I don’t move when others are about to play their shots (when they are nearby) and I certainly do not talk while others are playing – I think this is just plain rude.

I know this can be accidental but if someone is new to the game, or maybe even not so new, they may not know to shut the fuck up when others are playing.

I have really tried to block the noises out but sudden noise, especially, is still pretty difficult to ignore. Over a winter of simulator golf I have gotten a whole lot better at this and to add to this we have music blaring in the background.

I remember the first time I experienced music on the course – I really wasn’t sure if I would be able to concentrate on shots. But to my surprise, I was fine with it. Although you often don’t hear the music unless you are close to the speakers it can be very relaxing or allows you to not think about things too much when you have a wait until your next shot.

I liked it so much that I even bought a clip-on speaker for my bag and listen during my rounds quite frequently. Try it: you’d be surprised.

So there you have it, 4 ways to make golf a bit more fun. What do you think? What would add?

My 3 key takeaways from Ockie’s 1st DP win

As I watch the final days play of the Mauritius Open on the DP World tour my thoughts drift back to the Dunhill Championship in South Africa and Ockie Strydom’s first victory on the DP World Tour.

I really enjoy the coverage of the tour. I get a stream through ViaPlay (I’m in Finland for those who don’t know) and the tour provides the commentary, I assume. It is fantastic background viewing during the week. Early coverage, i.e. Thursday and Friday, is especially interesting for me as you get to see good and bad: the focus is not just on the leaders and you are not watching putting highlights only – unlike other tours that shall remain nameless.

Watching golf is incredible. Instead of jumping to advertising breaks when there is not much happening, in my stream at least, the cameras jump to the wildlife. Last weekend especially, when the course was right next to the Kruger national park was quite stunning.

Embed from Getty Images

But onto the main subject of this piece, Ockie Strydom, and the key takeaways for me.

Weekends are what matter

At the time of writing this has never been so true. Sami Välimäki shot a 10 under par round on the first day of the Mauritius Open this week. However, he has toiled around par for subsequent rounds and has been passed by at least 10 players.

In the Alfred Dunhill, Saturday, aka Moving Day, was dominated by Ockie. He shot a majestic 63 that pushed him to the top of the leaderboard.

You can shoot a good score after a worldie

Going into Sunday I was very suspicious of Ockie being able to hold on to the lead. It is quite unusual for a player to shoot a good round after such a phenomenal round.

I expected the South African to perhaps shoot around par – which would probably be good enough to hold on for the win. However, the player did not just hold on – he dominated. A final round 69, 3 under, gave the 37-year-old a comfortable, in-the-end, victory by two shots.

What was perhaps even more surprising was that his lead was cut dramatically by the time he reached the tenth tee after his double bogey.

You should never give up

One of the main stories about this victory was the history of Ockie Strydom. The member of the Sunshine tour had never won on the DP World tour. In 13 years as a professional, he had a couple of wins on that tour but had recorded a staggering 19 second-place finishes.

It goes to prove that you should never give up. The win will be life-changing for him. He now has a full card for the DP World Tour for the seasons. And who knows, if he finishes in the top 10 in 2023 a place on the US PGA Tour is possible.

A very solid performance that ignited over the weekend, with a fantastic and great (under the circumstances) couple of rounds proving that there is always hope if you keep on practicing and believe in yourself.

My Golfing History

My golfing history. A checkered past? I played as a junior and like most young kids had quite an awful temperament. I soon realized that I wouldn’t make the grade,

I played at Dunkeld & Birnam Golf Club in Perthshire, Scotland during my teenage years (in the 1980s). A short, hillside 9-hole course (at the time). We had quite a vibrant junior community with 10-plus boys, including my younger brother.

We didn’t have direct access to a golf pro, but we had occasional visits from Craigie Hill GC, Frank Smith, and a few very invested members: a special shout-out to John Cunningham who helped with coaching and transportation.

I cannot remember exactly when I started playing, but my mother was the influence – we played together in mixed tournaments with no success but it was fun.

I got down to a 6 handicap towards the end of my teenage years, and played a couple of times for my county but realized that I would never make it as a golfer so when college came around my priorities changed.

Cue a hiatus of about 30 years until I took up the game again properly. I got a membership at my local golf club, Pickala, for my 50th birthday (2019) – I had the aim of playing 50 rounds. Little did I know that I would become completely obsessed with the game again. Now I cannot get on the golf course enough.

Golf career history in my 50s

Golf now is so much more about having fun: being out in the countryside; at one with nature; with friends; maybe hitting the odd good shot. I am also trying to (thanks @loustagner) with the knowledge that I am not a pro, do not practice and the pros actually do quite as well as you would think.

I am currently trying to shift a bit from managing my expectations to having at all: check out @scratchattitude on Twitter for more on that philosophy.

I do look at stats and use this information on the areas of my game that need improving (if I were to practice) but the scores and the handicap are coming down – which adds to the enjoyment of the game.

In the off-season, which is long here, I’ve even signed up for weekly trackman sessions to keep my eye in and swing flowing. Roll on the new season.

My Golf YouTube Channel

I started my YouTube channel earlier this year and realized just how hard it is to film without the buy-in of your playing partners.

What’s in the bag in 2022? It changed some through the season.

I did the inevitable “what’s in the bag” for a warm-up but the first real golf videos were filmed on the par 3 course, Garden, at Pickala Golf Club in Siuntio, Finland. Editing is quite shoddy and there is a lot of work to try and live up to the title of FUN.

To that end, I decided to put filming on hold and try to focus on the golf. As you can My Golf Year 2022: summary it was quite okay – and it was FUN!!!

However, I thought at this point I would share my favorite channels, not a top 5, which is coming soon, but a general list of great content providers.

The inspiration for my media company – these guys and gals highlight some great courses. The players’ abilities can vary but I feel there is something for every golfer.

There are instructors on there too. As recommended by many great golfers and podcasters, be careful not to think about this stuff too much: these instructions don’t fit all players and it can be overwhelming.

The link is below, enjoy the content and please let me know what you think. I am now on Mastodon by the way. Why not start a nice conversation there?

https://www.youtube.com/@golfisfun18/channels?view=59&flow=grid

My Golf Year 2022 summary

2022 promised to be a tremendous golfing year. I had spent one evening a week in a golf simulator over winter keeping my swing intact. I had high hopes of improving my game in terms of consistency, bringing my handicap down, and perhaps getting a decent score in the senior championships but how did it pan out?

Chasing the pots of gold

I had set myself some, attainable, goals not only with regards to handicap but also my approach to the game.

Goals for 2022

  1. ✅ Have fun
  2. ❎ Practice
  3. ❎ Prepare properly for each round
  4. ✅ Play 75+ rounds
  5. ❎ Get my handicap down to 4
  6. ❎ Play well in the senior championship
  7. ❓ Manage my expectations

As you can see, I failed many of my targets. I think I am getting better at expectation management. With the unofficial help of Kent Osborne, Lou Stagner, and Jon Sherman I have managed to get more control of the mental game with regard to expectations – especially when I take into account my failure in goals 2 & 3.

I did play a lot of golf this year and for the most part, it was great fun. I so much prefer no-pressure games when playing with my buddies so I think I played too many individual rounds – but we did mix it up with scrambles and random tee challenges.

I played the worst rounds of the season during the seniors’ championship. I can’t quite work out whether this was pressure or just that I was in a rut at the time. I DID start off terribly with an 8, I think, and I did hit 3 tee shots on that first hole. I cannot remember now whether I played the 2nd or 3rd ball – that is a positive that I am able to forget, right? Be a goldfish!!!

Handicap wise I managed to get my index down to 5 over the final few rounds of the year. This was mostly due to the fact that we have been playing from the forward tees. Playing golf where you have scoring clubs in your hands more is great fun though. I managed to break par for the first time as an adult recently.

What are my goals for 2023? Exactly the same. Hopefully, we will have a longer season and the golf courses won’t get so beaten up over winter.

What are your goals for next year?

3 Reasons why LIV Golf works & how to make it even better

At the time of writing, the final round of the final LIV tournament is about to tee off. There have been quite a few things that I feel have not worked this weekend but there have been many positives too. Here are my 3 reasons why LIV golf worked this weekend.

Matchplay is an exciting format

There is no doubt that matchplay is one of the more exciting golf formats. The standard of play does not need to be great but the ups and downs within a game cannot be matched – assuming that the games are close.

Players do not need to play their top golf, they can still make the play interesting as errant shots are usually only damaging on that hole – there is always a chance of getting it back.

The team aspect is fun

Throughout the season players have been banging on about the teams but for the most part, this aspect was playing second fiddle to the individual competition.

This weekend the focus is entirely on team play. Whilst the teams themselves mean nothing, at this stage: may be different when teams are more stable and possibly franchised, you can get drawn towards specific teams and once they have proper identities there will be more partisanship.

The match has to be won

I really liked the fact that there were no halves. I am not sure how motivated a match would be to continue if the team result was already decided but yesterday was a great example of a game playing on past 18 holes and being decided in quite a thrilling fashion.

How to improve?

LIV has been agile when it comes to changing things up quickly and I think there are a couple of things that could make this event especially better for the future. You can read about that in my next post: coming soon.

What did you think of the LIV golf invitational so far?

5 Reasons why LIV Golf fails to capture the imagination

The final event of the inaugural LIV Golf season started yesterday in Miami with the first day of team matchplay. After jigging around with the game formats, they decided on 2 * singles and a fourball match so each team had 3 games with 4 players. All set for a great day? Here are 5 reasons why today did not work.

DJ, Phil and brother Louie

No one cares about the money

The fact that Dustin Johnson has won $35 000 000 this season, on top of his signing-on fee, is neither here nor there for most people. It is an obscene amount of money. It takes the sport to a whole new reality but ultimately it is about the competition and, dare I say, legacy.

Over sensationalism

From the on-field commentary to the “pressers” LIV is a hype machine. Even Donald Trump tries to get in on the act. Boring. Too much.

The field

I know they are trying and are not helped by their top players sliding down the OWR rankings but there are a lot of players who are severely past their prime and many who are totally unproven on the highest stage.

To me, who is quite an avid follower of World golf, I don’t know about a third of the field: which is about the same as a USPGA event.

Quality of golf

Tricky to call this as most of the challenges come below, but while Cam v Phil was an epic matchplay match was the scoring that good? Especially in the others, with the exception of HV3 who was outstanding but wasn’t featured too much in the coverage. Does it matter in matchplay anyway?

TV Coverage

The biggest faux pas for me was the TV coverage. I do not even go near the condescending and brown-nosing commentary: it was what was shown. I am not sure if this is due to a lack of cameras, editors that don’t understand golf, the format, or the fact that only a few matches generated any interest… but it was awful.

The main feature was Cam v Phil, and rightly so – it was 2 of their biggest “stars” in what turned out to be a very good match. Then LIV flitted between other “star” matches to get the ones with the most excitement. However, that meant that they didn’t really feature any of the other matches in any detail.

As the fluff content, they tried to show the climax of every hole but it turned out to be a putting roll. USPGA YouTube channel gets slammed for producing highlight reels that are 90% putting: this was LIV today.

Add the out-of-context nature of the presentation: who was that? what team does he play for? what hole are they on? how many holes do they have left? was this earlier or live and has the score been updated already or not? It was even more confusing than the normal presentation.

A lot of ranting yet I watched all of day 2 too. I will follow up shortly about what was right about this weekend’s LIV tournament. What did you think?

20220710 Summary

2 man scramble matchplay was the format for the Sunday game. My partner and I played quite (read very) poorly on the front nine. We were 2 over par and 4 down at the turn.

We did manage to get it together but the opposition was too good for us on the day and we lost 2 and 1. We did come home in a rather nice 5 under par though.

I have no images/shot tracking to show today but the shot highlights were probably not as interesting as our combined scoring. We had 4 birdies in a row and for 2 of the birdies we had coming home we didn’t even win the holes.

The shot highlights though are mostly the norm: great drive up onto the plateau, excellent approach by my partner to about 2 meters, and putt for birdie on one of the hardest holes (not by stroke index).

To narrow it down to one shot: the 15th hole; the second shot from about 160 meters to a saucer-type green. A really nice 6 iron to the heart of the green that took the slope and ended up about 2,5 meters from the pin.

Holing the putt made it a sweet birdie and gave us some hope at that point. We lasted 2 more holes.

It was a great game though. So much more fun, for me at least, than playing your own shots all the time and losing interest early on. I still enjoy the scenery, ambiance, and company on these own-scoring days but today and similar certainly add an edge.

20220709 Summary

The weekend started with a traditional own score, lose interest after 3 holes type of round. Forest was the course, and whilst there was some sort of optimism I lost the round very early on.

Date9th July 2022
CourseForest, Pickala Golf Club
TeesYellow: 5 400 meters
Gross Score83
Playing HCP7
Net Score76
Forest Summary

I start out really badly although I can take the positives of the home 9 holes where I hit a few really good shots. The first, or best, was a 7 iron from 134 meters to about 2 meters on the 17th hole.

Hole #17 Forest

While I did not make the putt, the approach was sweet – just aiming for the center of the green, and luckily the ball went where I was aiming.

Hole #13 Forest

The 13th is always a fun hole and depending on the wind you can get quite close from the tee. On Saturday we had a slight tailwind and I was able to carry the water to leave an approach shot of about 30 meters. I managed to know that in close and get a rare birdie on the day.

Hole m#12 Forest

Hole 12 provided the final highlight. From the yellow tees, it takes a really good shot to get up onto a plateau allowing you to at least see the green. If you take the shortest route from the tee you can get blocked out by a tree. This happened to me so I had to work a shot.

A 5 iron up the hill, aimed right with a big draw around the tree. I ended up going through the green but it was good to know that I can shape shots when I need to.

Some positives in an otherwise shit round 😀

20220707 Summary

Another midweek round. On Park again. This time we moved it forward to the blue tees for a bit of fun. Yesterday’s round was perhaps a bit of a fluke and my expectations were pretty low.

And rightly so. This round turned out to be a bit of a shocker. Yet again it was quite hard thinking back on the round and trying to pick out highlights.

Date7th July 2022
CoursePark, Pickala Golf Club
TeesBlue: 5 400 meters
Gross Score79
Playing HCP4
Net Score75
Park Summary

Trying to pick out the good shots, the best strike of the day was on the 16th hole.

16th Hole

I finally hit a drive of the centre of the club face and with a tail wind and most likely a very friendly bounce I left myself an iron to the par 5 after a 273 meter smash. I duffed the iron shot onto the green and two putted for my only birdie of the day.

2nd Hole

Another highlight was 3 hybrid driving iron. I used this club quite a bit today and high point was probably on the second hole. I managed to cut the corner and carry the trees to leave around 140 meters into the pin.

The final highlight was the driver again, overall the driver was perhaps the best club in the bag today.

18th Hole

Again I managed to fluff a shot in on the way to a bogey, but 246 meter drive over the trees was a nice way to finish from the tee. As you can see from the image I ended up with a bogey, to come back in 37 (1 over) so things were improving.

However, overall the iron play especially was very poor. I hope this improves over the weekend.

20220706 Summary

After a weekend away from the golf course, I was back to Park on a midweek round with some random dudes (all around the same handicap). It was windy and sunny so after a break in play I had no real idea what to expect.

Date6th July 2022
CoursePark, Pickala Golf Club
TeesYellow: 6 000 meters
Gross Score78
Playing HCP8
Net Score70
Park Summary

This turned out to be a very strange round. I started with my usual pull shot on the par 5 first. I followed up with a reasonable hybrid up the fairway to leave around 70 meters to the pin. I nice gap wedge to about 4 meters was missed but I thought: “Solid par – more please!”.

The wheels came off immediately and I shot a quadruple bogey on the next and almost all my shots went almost straight away. It was like I had never hit a golf ball again.

Over the next few holes, with a few exceptions, I managed to steady the ship. This phase was capped my highlight #1. An 119 meter bunker shot to about 10cms.

Hole #7 Park

The sand was firm and although I was quite close to the lip I was able to get a great contact on the ball.

Another collapse ensued on the next hole – mostly caused by a drive in the water but again I hit a few bad shots in a row. I was 6 over par after 8 holes – 6 strokes over on 2 holes. I’d effectively par in from there.

I had a number of looks for birdie after that. One that got away was on the 11th hole. A short par 3 playing about 110 meters directly into the wind. Having seen one of my playing partners hit to about 2 meters, I almost hit his ball from my tee-shot and rolled out to about 2,5 meters.

Hole #11 Park

My final banked shot was again on the par 4 17th hole. Like a valley of death I smashed my hybrid 3 iron right down the centre of the fairway. I gave myself another look for birdie but again had to settle for a par.

Hole #17 Park

As I said, it was a bit of weird round. I had a lot of chances today, played absolute crap in parts but was overall quite steady. Driving was not great and cost my most of my shots.

But tomorrow is another day. And another round on Park. Stay tuned.

20220619 Summary

I’ve been playing quite a lot of golf recently but most of it has been pretty poor and I’d seemed to have lost interest in trying to document the good from the bad.

Today I played for the fourth time this week in a practice for a better ball competition that takes place next week. We overall scored quite OK and personally took a few strokes over my handicap that were mostly down to poor execution: especially around the greens – perhaps unsurprisingly.

After a scramble in the rain yesterday in the rain from the “ladies” tees we were back on yellows on Forest.

Date19th June 2022
CourseForest, Pickala Golf Club
TeesYellow: 5 900 meters
Gross Score81
Playing HCP7
Net Score74
Forest Summary

The highlights overall were better driving and reasonable iron play but if you pick three then the putt on the 9th for a birdie was the first memory. I hit pin high about 5 meters to the right and drained the putt. This was even sweeter as I double-bogeyed the previous hole.

The 13th hole

Although this was not the longest shot ever with my 3-iron hybrid it does cement the case that it was a good investment and I hit it pretty consistently.

The par-5 5th hole

The final highlight kind of summed up my round. Not a great drive, but on the fairway, I good lay-up (it was blowing a gale at this point) and then a really good 7-iron to under the hole to around 3 meters. I narrowly missed the putt.

Overall, this yet again could have been a round to my handicap but my short game is absolutely killing me.

Practice and lessons beckoning.

20220610 3 Round Summary

I’ve been playing over the past 3 days and thought I would summarize them all in one go. This is partly because the first round was mostly un-memorable. I’ve really been struggling of late and shot memories are the only thing I can really take from the game – not a great score.

Friday was Seaside. An evening round with Hannu I shot in the mid-80s. Highlights were parring the first hole — a hybrid into the middle of the fairway and a solid 9 iron t about 4 meters. I hit quite a few iron hybrids also they seem to be quite consistent.

It was a very enjoyable round nonetheless – summer is here.

Saturday was at Lakisto. Only the 2nd course I have played in Finland outside of Pickala. I played really well on the first nine but fell to pieces on the back nine – although I did finish with my only birdie of the day.

The highlights were that there was grass on the greens. I still managed to 3-putt a few greens but I did putt a lot better – 31 for the day.

Strategically I played very solid on the front nine. I was placing my drives well with hybrids and 3 wood. I was very prepared for the new course challenge. Unfortunately, I tired so I was unable to maintain the scoring.

If I were to take only one shot into the memory bank it would be the 160-meter 6-iron uphill to the third hole. It ended up about 2,5 meters from the hole on the correct plateau. I gave the putt a chance but it wasn’t to be.

Another great day out with great company though – even though the actual golf didn’t match.

Sunday was at home on Park. There was a noticeable improvement in the greens but they are still not up to standard yet – maybe next month.

The highlights were the scambles on the front nine. The only hole that I didn’t up and down led to the first bogey of the round. To be fair my chipping was saved by the putter.

Overall I putted very well, with one three-putt with a short miss that was a misread as opposed to a bad putt.

I drove pretty well today too – with a 255-meter mini-bomb on the last. My iron play was not so good though so the putting really keep the score down despite 2 double bogeys. They sandwiched my sole birdie/highlight with a long swinging put on the short part 3 11th.

Great company and weather again so a really nice few days. There may be a few signs of life in the game. Roll on Wednesday.

20220605 Summary

The second round of the week, and we are on Seaside again. Did I manage to keep the demons away?

Short answer: yes. Sort of. I introduced new bad outcomes that were hopefully one-time but I continued my poor run of form.

Date5th June 2022
CourseSeaside, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesYellow: 5 700 meters
Gross Score84
Playing HCP5
Net Score79
Sunday Summary

I won’t go into the trauma of the first hole but I did manage to find the fairway. That is where the good stuff stopped. My first real highlight came on the 5th hole. I smashed my 18,5-degree hybrid iron right down the center of the fairway about 215 meters from the tee.

After crashing from that shot, the rest of the round was about trying to make some memories. I was getting desperate.

Roll on the 17th hole following one from another hybrid tee shot this time 150 meters to the pin. I was a bit between clubs but ended up hitting a really sweet 7-iron pin high. I was 2-4 meters away and of course, missed the putt but this was probably the strike of the day.

Final highlight: the final hole. 120 meters with a pitching wedge to about the same distance as the previous hole. Obviously, this was not really close to the hole but it was a great hit, right on the line of the flag, and the outcome was really determined by a mound at the front of the green. I think if I had carried about a meter more this would have been really close.

So I managed to snatch a few nice memories from a round otherwise memorable for my ripped heels from the new golf shoes I was wearing.

20220601 Summary

I managed to sneak away for a midweek game on Seaside today. Playing from the yellows Seaside is not my favorite course but I feel I have a few demons to crush.

I didn’t crush them today unfortunately but there were a few highlights that I have picked out today.

Date1st June 2022
CourseSeaside, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesYellow: 5 700 meters
Gross Score82
Playing HCP5
Net Score77
Overview

Today I had a serious case of the “lefts”. This is not good as I have a significant issue with the water on the first hole: on the left. I managed to take a club that didn’t reach the water but I still gave myself an impossible shot.

So the first highlight was my 150-meter second shot that I hit low and hooky round a tree to end up about 25 meters left of the green. Most importantly it avoided the water in front of the green.

I left so many putts in the jaws from short-range today my putting highlight was holing a 3-meter putt on the 7th for a birdie. It just dropped but it capped a well-played hole for me.

The final highlight of the round has a chip-in from the fringe on the 11th. I hit a great approach that was just too much club, I got a bit of a flier. This left me with about 10 meters and I rolled a 4-hybrid into the cup.

Overall it was a sloppy round. The lessons learned were that I struggle with fatigue after a day of work and that I really need to warm up / hit the range before my game. Hitting a few balls before the round is a very noticeable improvement, unfortunately there sometimes just isn’t time.

Do you find range first helps you? Comment below.

20220529 Summary

Weekend game number two was a nice morning stroll around Park from the Blue tees (5400). I am more than happy to play from the more forward tees as you have less club for second shots and it makes some of the par 5s makeable.

The round started really badly: bogey; double bogey. Mostly due to really poor irons shots and a large distance from the flag, putting was especially testing today. I ended up with 37 putts.

Date29th May 2022
CoursePark, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesBlue: 5 400 meters
Gross Score79
Playing HCP4
Net Score75
Overview

As a general highlight, I was pretty solid for the 16 holes that followed the disastrous start but for actual shots, the first entry to the highlight reel was an 80-meter gap wedge shot to about 2 meters on the fourth hole. This was an entry because I have struggled a bit with the new wedges but today I managed to get to grips with the clubs.

A 3 hybrid of about 190 meters on the 8th hole ended up just short of the par 5 in the bunker. It was a really good strike and about 1 meter from being an excellent shot.

The final highlight was a 150-meter knockdown 6 iron on the par 3 15th. The hole was in-between clubs due to quite a strong wind. It was a beauty and ended up about 2,5 meters from the pin. My birdie attempt went sideways unfortunately so an easy par. But it was really satisfying to be able to “work” a shot.

Scorecard of the day

20220528 Summary

Saturday round was a scramble on Forest from the yellow tees (5700 meters). There was very light rain throughout the round but it wasn’t too unbearable.

The highlights of the day are complicated today. We didn’t really sink any putts so we only made 3 birdies.

I suppose the highlights were the first tee. This is two rounds in a row where I have smacked the ball right down the middle albeit not as far as the previous round. I hope now that I have got over my bogey hole.

Other highlights we hitting all the greens on the par 3s. Nothing super close but it should have given 4 players a chance of getting a birdie.

The final highlights would be the drivers. I hit a few duds but in general, the drives were fairly straight and of a reasonable distance.

20220526 Summary

An early round on a day off work with my buddies. It was mostly fine despite the risk of rain. The golf was awful but the company was good as always. The golf in fact was so poor that we switched to scramble format for the second nine. I lost 5 balls today 🙁

Positive highlights were difficult to think of today but a couple of drives and one approach shot make it into the highlight reel.

A 221 meter 3 wood down to the end of the fourth fairway was the first positive. It put me into a prime position on the hole but I managed to self-destruct from there.

The next hole contained a 228-meter 3 hybrid iron tee shot. Again right to the end of the fairway. I managed to par out that hole.

The final highlight was on the eleventh hole. A 140 meter 7 iron to a tight pin position to about 4 meters. We were in scramble mode by this point and we did not manage to convert this into a birdie.

All in all the golf was not memorable or good, but at least I have a few shots to cherish.

20220525 Summary

The first of four rounds scheduled for the week, an late afternoon start in a twosome, as the other couple dropped out perhaps because of the threat of rain, we had an enjoyable round on Park at Pickala Golf Club.

The pace of play was around four hours since the 2 groups in front were held up by a foursome – but that didn’t matter. That allowed for more thought about the shots we played and to chat.

The rain stayed off, there was only a little rain (for about 1 hole) and there was some decent golf.

Date25th May 2022
CoursePark, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesBlue: 5 400 meters
Gross Score79
Playing HCP3
Net Score76
Overview

The course is really raw right now as it’s only been open a few weeks so I am not going to take too much from my putting stats but it is very difficult to score when you take 22 putts on the front nine. I won’t dwell on this though and my first good highlight to remember was my attitude.

I jokingly said after 9 holes that I would try to shoot 35 in to score 80 but my main thoughts were to make some memories. I did even between and hit a 2 under par 34 to actually break 80.

After struggling with putting on the front nine I managed to pull myself together so a couple of par saves and two birdie putts will be banked today.

The final highlight was a driver off the desk on the par 5 12th. I was behind a tree and needed to work the ball left to right with a little over 220 meters to the hole. I actually put too much bend on the ball but ended up pin-high in a greenside bunker.

As a side note, I was able to play with a friend today by seeing his reservation and free slots within the flight using Red Lenses Golf. If you are a NexGolf user you should really check it out. Read more on how to add NexGolf bookings to your calendar.

20220522 Summary

This weekend’s Sunday game was on Forest from the yellow tees. It was still quite windy so we tried to relieve the scoring pressure a bit by having a better ball matchplay game on the side.

The result of the game was semi-irrelevant but it was still fun – especially as the winning side both played to their handicap or better. I was on the winning team.

Date22nd May 2022
CourseForest, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesYellow: 5 900 meters
Gross Score76
Playing HCP6
Net Score70
Overview

The highlights for me today were 2 drives and one hole. The first drive was on the first. If you’ve read the disaster that was the 20220518 Summary you will know that I have a problem on the very first hole. The same goes for Seaside come to think of it.

Anyway, today I decided to aim further right and really took care with my alignment and cracked a great drive down the center of the fairway. Hopefully, the demons are gone now.

Next up was a drive on the par 5 seventh hole. Slightly downwind from an elevated tee, I hit an absolute knuckleball. It caught a downslope and ended up at 280 meters. It left a 4 hybrid to the green. The ball just went through the green but I managed to get it up and down for a birdie.

The final memory bank shot was from deep rough after a horrible duck hook, I had about 140 meters into the par 5 for my 3 shot and caught a really crisp 7 iron that went under a tree, landed just short of the green, and ended up about 3 meters from the flag. It was the third birdie of the day.

Scorecard from 22nd May 2022

There were a lot of positives today. Hopefully, this does not go to my head and make me think I will play like a pro next week.

20220521 Summary

A windy but sunny and moderately warm early Saturday round on Park was the start to the weekend. The usual foursome playing individual Stableford I played OK in parts but had 2 disaster holes in a row that ultimately caused the lousy score.

Date21st May 2022
CoursePark, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesBlue: 5 400 meters
Gross Score80
Playing HCP4
Net Score76
Overview

Again playing from the blue tees it all went to pot on the 7th hole visiting 3 bunkers on the way to a treble bogey to be followed by a double-bogey on the 8th. But on to the good.

My memory bank entries cover 2 holes. Not only were they both birdie holes every shot on that hole was good in its own way.

On the 10th I hit a 235-meter blind drive to leave about 80 meters to the flag. I hit a 52 degree to about 4 meters and holed the put aiming about 2 meters to the left of the cup.

The 17th hole of Park is a hard hole and you need to hit the fairway. I hit a hybrid about 170 meters into the center of the fairway. The highlight here was that I was actually on green grass and I said to my colleague that I should make the most of the good lie. I hit an 8 iron to about 3 meters and holed out for a rare birdie on the hole.

Given that my two 7s included taking 5 to get the ball into the hole from 110 meters or less this could have been one of the rounds where I played to my handicap. But it was not today.

There is always tomorrow though. It’s Forest on Sunday.

20220518 Summary

Today’s round was fairly impromptu. I only decided the night before to play. The weather was set to be nice, and it was: 18 degrees, and sunshine though the wind was quite strong.

Normally I play quite well with strangers. Today was an exception as I carded the worst round of the season by a long shot. The round started badly and it continued, becoming apparent that I was just looking for shots to put in my memory bank and not to shoot a good score.

Date18th May 2022
CourseForest, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesYellow: 5 900 meters
Gross Score92
Playing HCP5
Net Score87
Overview

A straight to course round – I have no real excuses. 3 off the tee at the first incurring the first of 7 penalty shots for the day. My tee shots got better as the round progressed but I was fatting so many shots and never gave myself a chance. I ended up hitting 4 greens in regulation.

So the highlights, what makes it into the memory banks?

Despite the overall poor performance on the tee, tee shots were the main highlight, piping drives down 17 and 18, and the best of the lot, though not the longest, was on the 12th where I comfortably made it up the slope to the plateau.

I also holed a few putts today from over 2 meters. I had my usual anomalies mid-round but overall I putted quite well and perhaps covered the cracks of the short game.

Overall a game to forget but the memory bank has good drives and putts saved for another day.

Minjee Lee Wins Again

I have to say that I really enjoy watching the LPGA. Not that I would come even close to beating any of the ladies in a match there is a certain air of realism to their games. They are methodical, lacking real egos and they hit the ball around the same distance as me.

This weekend’s tournament was at the Founders Cup. Minjee Lee managed to up a gear to win by a couple of shots. She perhaps struggled a bit throughout the round, not really getting the ball within good birdie range but she was quite comfortable in the end.

Embed from Getty Images

This was Minjee’s 7th win on the LPGA tour and she is currently ranked 4 in the world. It is no surprise as she has been playing very well this year. The only surprise is that it took here so long to win this year. Thie has the number one ranking score average: 68,89.

Minjee has been great for quite some time, coming from a very strong amateur background. And as a junior, both she and her younger brother, Min Woo, have won the USGA junior championships respectively.

She is one of my favorite players on the tour so I was very happy to see her perform so well this week. Her form must put her amongst the favorites for the next Major, the US Women’s Open, in June.

Well done and good luck Minjee.

20220515 Summary

Part 2 of the pre-NATO golf weekend concluded with a windy round on Park from the senior tees.

It was quite a weather contrast from the previous day. There was plenty of sunshine, I think it hit a whopping 15 degrees at some point, but it was windy. Very windy.

Date15th May 2022
CoursePark, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesBlue: 5 400 meters
Gross Score76
Playing HCP4
Net Score72
Overview

Compared to yesterday’s summary I think there are more specific highlights this time around. This journal is supposed to be a collection of positives so I will steer clear of the stretch today where I completely forgot how to putt.

Scorecard for 15th May 2022

The first highlight was a 86M pitching wedge straight into the wind. Drilled the 75% swing to about 2 meters. I missed the putt and really putting was the highlight of the day.

The second highlight was 2 shots on one hole that make the 3 things to remember from the round. On the par 5 16th hole I really caught a driver and it went straight down the middle leaving just over 200 meters to the green.

I took out my 3 wood and promptly pull-hooked the shot into the forest. But by some fantastic stroke of luck, the ball kicked out and into the rough leaving about 100 meters to the pin.

With the ball below my feet and an adequate lie, I smashed a pitching wedge high over the impeding trees. The ball pitched on the front of the green and rolled about to about 1,5 meters – narrowly missing the pin. I holed out for my second birdie of the round.

The final good though was my bunker shot on the last. Flat lie in the bunker but downhill shot from heavy sand I targeted a hard hit but the real measure was how far behind the ball I hit.

To avoid decelerating on my shots in the bunker I need to commit to hitting the ball (or more correctly sand) hard. I almost holed out from about 10 meters and secured a nice par to finish off quite a decent round of golf.

This was quite a positive weekend overall, and again the weaknesses in my game are glaringly obvious. Lessons and practice should help.

20220514 Summary

The first round of the weekend included quite a heavy and unexpected shower after around five holes. But the rain did not dampen the spirits and the whole group managed to play within an acceptable buffer.

Date14th May 2022
CourseForest, Pickala Golf CLub
TeesBlue: 5 400 meters
Gross Score78
Playing HCP4
Net Score72
Overview

This was a game of 2 halves. Fairly solid in the first nine, all over the place in the second. We were playing from the “senior” tees, so there was a bit of an advantage on about 4 of the holes otherwise the tees are similar to the standard yellow tees.

Scorecard for 14th May 2022

The main highlight was the number of legitimate birdie opportunities I had. I would say that I had about 7 chances from 3 meters and under. Unfortunately, the greens are pretty raw and sandy since the course has only been open for a couple of weeks. I am not using that as an excuse but I am also not that worried about missing 5 of the 7 chances I had. It will come.

Driving was pretty decent. I didn’t hit the ball very far today, but I also didn’t hit it into too much trouble either. I striped a lot of irons today, thus the birdie chances. Putting was mostly poor and my chipping was crap.

Around the greens is an area that I really need to practice. If I want to get my handicap down to 4 then this part of the game must improve.

I have a voucher for one lesson with one of our club professionals and vouchers for several more. I should really get a booking.

I’m Keeping a Journal

Golf teachers often mention one thing to try to remember the positives from your round to help influence future shots and decisions by how you reacted in certain situations.

There are various suggestions about how to do this with writing the top highlights being frequently suggested. To this end, I have decided to document my highlights and put them online for easy access and perhaps act as a reference & guide for others – especially if I actually learn from my writings.

I hope that these findings are interesting to people and that they can coexist with course vlogs as and when they are released.

Weekend Winners

Both the DP World Tour & the USPGA had quite remarkable winners this weekend. Both are worthy of a mention.

Embed from Getty Images

Max Homa was a great winner in the Wells Fargo tournament over the weekend. I did not watch any of the coverage live but managed to catch up on YouTube. I think the main reason I wanted to take about this is because of my experience of the golfer.

I have never met him or interacted with him. He is hugely popular on Twitter and I do follow his antics on that social media channel. Follow him here if you don’t already. You will be entertained.

My main touchpoint though was a video blog he did recently with Barstool Sports on their YouTube channel playing them as a four-man scramble against Max.

I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen it, watch here, but he came across as such a nice guy. Very determined on the golf course and hugely talented.

Embed from Getty Images

In the DP World Tour Thorbjorn Olesen won the British Masters in what was an incredible event. I missed the first day and then followed him on the TV on Friday. He was all over the place but he was getting up and down almost all the time.

I missed Saturday and then picked up on Sunday again and he was having a mare. He again was all over the place. He had a severe case of the lefts. He looked so dejected on the 16th but managed to scramble a par. Then the 17th and 18th happened. Quite unbelievable.

I missed all his previous wins on the tour as I had several years away from the game but this must give the average golfer some hope: you can play crap but as long as you chip and putt you have a chance.

Congratulations to both!

Did you watch these tournaments, what did you think?

What’s In The Bag?

This is probably one of the most common golf videos out there, but now it is my turn. This is the what’s in the bag video for 2022.

Clubs

  • Driver: Mizuno 220 ST-X
  • 3 Wood: Cobra King F9
  • Utility: Cobra Black Utility 18,5
  • Hybrids: Cobra King 3 & 4
  • Irons: Mizuno JPX-919 Hot Metal Pro 5-PW
  • Wedges: Wilson Staff 52, 56, 60
  • Putter: Cobra King AGERA ArmLock
What’s in the bag YouTube video

Why

As you will realize if you watch the video and perhaps if you pay close attention to the clubs listed I have too many clubs for a regulation round. What club I leave in the locker depends on the course that I am playing but I am basically trying the get the utility club into the bag when needed. This means that either a hybrid or a wedge is usually omitted.

Given my recent practice sessions, I may also consider leaving the 5 iron behind – it all depends on the gapping needs of the day. But a 60-degree is quite a new thing for me so I don’t really miss this too much when it’s not in the bag.

Nothing too outlandish in this Cobra bag – what do you think?

The Golf Season Has Started – Kind Of

Finally. Pickala Golf Club has opened its par 3 course, Garden, and there is a semblance of real golf away from the simulator.

At this time last year, we have already been on one of the main courses after a few weeks of pitch and putt. This time around there is still quite a bit of snow and there is still a frost at night.

This was an opportunity to get the camera out again and this time tweak the video with a bit of commentary. I normally use a Crosstour CT9900 action camera attached to my golf bag but as I was only carrying a few clubs I tried with iPhone and gimble (which is broken). As you can see, the results were quite varied so this is really just a practice to build up skills in a few areas before hopefully much nicer videos.

The video cuts are a bit raw and there are obviously few frills right now but give it time. Check out the video above, give it a like if you want, and subscribe so you get all the latest videos.

And please, please, please leave a comment and tell me what you would like to see and what I can improve.

PS: I said in the video that I was well and truly thrashed in the game. It wasn’t 15 shots though: it was 16. 😀

WELD

I eagerly await Golf Sidekick’s latest and greatest video posts on YouTube. He has been a great source of inspiration to me since I returned to golf a few years ago. He has many wise sayings and thoughts and truly “get” where he is coming from.

Some of his thoughts are about keeping the ball in play and the 6/6/6 approach to the game that I think can be used by golfers of any handicap – it works really well if I can implement it as I play off around 6 so it is easy to calculate.

In recent weeks he has talked about CENTURY – an acronym so complicated I cannot remember and I think Matt just made up and thought that he had to run with it. Whilst the points in the word do work I think it complicates things a bit and I like to use WELD as a method to plan my golf shots.

The great thing about this system aside from the fact that is super simple is that it is super simple: you can start the process as you walk to the ball to take the next shot.

Before I go into detail about WELD I would like to make the disclaimer that I did not create this process. I heard it on one of the many golf podcasts that I listen to regularly and thought it was so simple that I would give it a go. If you take these 4 steps into consideration in setup then you are on your way to execution.

Wind. A factor that directly influences your ball flight. You can gauge the wind as you approach your ball. Check out the clouds, trees & bushes, and water, and get ready to take this into account as you evaluate the next factor. The general rule of thumb is for every 1mph (0,5 mps) of headwind you would add 1% of the distance. Conversely, for each 1mph of tailwind, you deduct 0,5%.

Elevation. Whether you are shooting uphill, downhill, or on the level influences your distance. The general rule for this is the 15 feet formula. (@4,5m) – so for each 15ft difference in elevation add or subtract one club. Again this can mostly be worked out before you get to the ball.

Lie. Whether you are in the rough, in a bunker, in fescue, or on the fairway all have an influence on the distance you shot. Shots lying in the fairway should go the distance you except unless you’re in a divot but shots from elsewhere then have other factors influencing the outcome and results may have various fluctuations in spin, loft, and subsequently distance.

Distance. The final piece of the jigsaw before you execute your shot. You have all the other factors assessed already, you now measure the distance and select a club based on this and the previous 3 factors.

What swing thoughts* you may have at this point is up to you but by going through the WELD setup process you should be in no doubt where to hit and what club to hit is with.

* I will probably post a few ideas about swing thoughts in the coming months, but needless to say, you should try to keep them simple and remove any doubts in your mind when you are about to swing.

Scottie Too Hottie

That was some week wasn’t it? From late Friday afternoon, it looked as if newly crowned number one Scottie Scheffler would run away with The Masters. To be fair he made it a lot closer than it needed to be but it all added to the final day drama.

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Scottie seems like a really sound bloke from the podcasts and interviews I have heard him in. But he is determined and has been a multiple winner in all stages of his career to date. So it came as no real surprise when he won his first USPGA tournament – the surprise was that it took so long.

From that elusive first win, he has become a champion 3 more times including the latest and greatest so far: The Masters Champion.

My favorites for the week were the in-form players: Scottie and Cam Smith. Between them, they had four wins this year coming into the tournament. Cam put up a great fight but disaster struck on the 12th and he never really recovered.

An honorable mention goes to Rory McIlroy. Once again Rory managed to get a backdoor into the top 10 and in fact achieve his highest ever placing in The Masters with a final round 64. Thank you Rory for at least making the final hour interesting. It was great to see his enthusiasm and joy after the round and the scenes on 18 when both he and then Collin Morikawa managed to hole out from the bunker were quite unbelievable.

But the week belonged to Scottie – once the Tiger frenzy died down. Great to see the legend back on the golf course but you can’t help feeling that all the media attention (and most of the pressure) was taken away from Scottie, Rory, and Cam because of the hype surrounding arguably the greatest golfer of all time.

He is on a heater right now (to steal a phrase). How long will it last? Who knows but to hit a hot streak around a time there is a major is great and it couldn’t happen to a seemingly nicer, or human, person.

5 Reasons To Use The Red Lenses Golf App

Are you a user of the NexGolf booking system for your golf games? Red Lenses golf allows you to add your tee times directly to your calendar.

Calendar feed using Red Lenses Web App

As an avid golfer located in Finland and playing at Pickala Golf Club all out tee reservations are done using NexGolf course management software.

One thing that I felt was missing was the ability to see upcoming golf rounds in a calendar so I built a simple web application that does just that.

Here are 5 reasons that you should be using the Red Lenses golf application:

See your schedule

If you have a combined calendar you can see if you have conflicting events at a glance so it’s easy to say “sorry, I am playing golf!”.

Share your bookings

Adding tee times to your calendar allows you to share these times with others. So if you don’t mind that your partner knows exactly where you are there is no need to explain all the time

Trigger phone events

Depending on your phone type, and whether you want triggers based on geofencing you can silence your phone, for example, based on your calendar schedule.

Playing partner status

Check who you are playing with and what handicap they play off straight from the calendar event.

Works with most calendars

There are multiple formats available but the ICS version has been tested on multiple calendar software and works on Apple, Google calendar, and Microsoft Outlook. Please note that the service is dependent on the NexGolf application service.

Bonus tip: It’s free

All these features in one simple web application come at absolutely no cost, so if you belong to any of the clubs listed on NexGolf courses then why not jump over to Red Lenses Golf to find out more.

https://bit.ly/378BWHF

I would really love your feedback. Why not reply to this the tweet below?

New Balls Please

I’ve been playing quite a bit of simulator golf over the close season and had a equipment malfunction. To be fair these balls did last about 10 full rounds but it did make me think a bit.

I noticed that Gilly, a regular guest on the Dan Hendrickson YouTube channel had similar sort of issues (different manufacturer). He joked that it was because he had played so many rounds with the same ball.

For me, my best is about 4.5 rounds before losing them, these were about 10 and then a serious few thrashings whilst trying to up my swing speed but what about you?

How many rounds of golf would you expect to get out of a golf ball?

Magical Kenyan Open? Almost

The DP World Tour is back and this time they were playing in Kenya. After a hiatus of a few weeks, it was great to see golf back on TV and there were some quality shots played.

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Ashun Wu secured his 4th DP World Tour victory with what turned out to be quite an emphatic 4 shots. His 6 under 65 was pretty comfortable but I think the turning point was the birdie on the 8th I think where he hit a poor approach that went past the hole on a plateau leaving a tricky downhill putt. The commentators were suggesting getting away with a 2 putt would be a good result. He dropped the putt that swung back and forth and back again.

The tournament would not have been so magical to Ewen Ferguson. The Scot, in his first full season on the main tour, led overnight by 4 shots. A final round of 75 ensured that he would enter the history books for all the wrong reasons. Keep your chin up Ewen – your time will come.

Congratulations also to Daniel Gavins who ended up with a top 6 finish.

With all the talk of the breakaway tour in the US and the fact that the Arnold Palmer Invitational was played at the same time, it’s interesting to see the amount of coverage of this event in the press. BBC at least has a leaderboard only and more interest in Scottie Scheffler. Thank goodness the internet is a big place and there are more sources of golf information.

Did you watch this tournament, what did you think?

Great Start Daniel Son

After what seems like a lifetime the DP world tour is back. My routine is back and the golf is in the background as I work. But I’m delighted to see our Daniel son has started very well.

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Dan Gavins, known in Golf Mates circles as Daniel son, has made a blistering start to lead the Magical Kenya Open after the first round. As is the norm he mostly managed to elude the cameras but we did managed to see another monster putt holed on his final hole of the day.

With all the PGA chat surrounding Phil, Greg and the Saudi Golf League, let alone the atrocities that are happening in Ukraine, it is nice to get some light relief.

Watching live golf, albeit on TV, is a great getaway for me and I cannot wait for the winter to end so I can get near a golf course again.

Of course, the situation in Ukraine is awful and wish for peace and an end to the fighting as soon as possible. I can only imagine the emotions right now.

The First Video Published

At last, I have finally pushed a golf video to YouTube. After years of threatening to do so, I uploaded a short clip of this week’s simulator golf highlight.

Of course, it is winter here in Finland so there is no on-course action just yet, but I thought that it would be good at least to test the software that I currently have, see how YouTube actually works and give the views a sneak peek of what is to come.

This is the 17th hole at Taiheiyo Club Minori Course. A slightly pulled drive, a peach of a second – why am I telling you this? Give the video a view … and a “like”. Please 🙂

There will be more sim videos to come hopefully giving you an insight into our purchasing decision going forward. A couple of friends and I are looking to buy a simulator for fun and business and we are trying out the current options. In Finland, the Helsinki area, there has been an explosion in the golf sim market and we are seeking a way to differentiate.

Stay túned for more. In the meantime, please comment below on what you look for when choosing to play indoor golf: for fun; for practice?

Saudi golf league

There is no DP World Tour golf this week so there has been a little void in my life. However, there is a lot of chatter about Phil Mickelson and the Saudi golf league.

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I am sitting on the fence for this one – mostly because the argument against Saudi’s human rights is, whilst undeniably bad *, little better or worse than many other nations that golfers appear quite happy to make money from.

* I do not condone or support Saudi Arabia one bit.

On the subject of competition – I believe that this is a good thing though it was very interesting to hear the punditry on or around the Farmers Insurance Open. Most commentators were saying that the field was weak, winning was demeaning etc.

Legacy is an interesting area of conversation. New events of course don’t have anything but they have to start somewhere. Counter that with firsts? WHo knows? It may be great for a few players. But will it ever be the same as winning The Masters with its pure and fine history (sarcasm).

Ultimately it comes down to money. Phil appears to be aggrieved that he as only made around $100 million from professional golf. I do get your gripes about image rights but you signed the contract Phil – about 30 years ago.

For the most part though I think his comments have been out of line and the obnoxious greed quote is a mirror of himself.

It’s your choice Phil, no one is stopping you but don’t forget your green jacket on the way out.

What do think? Comment below or join the conversation on Twitter.

The first tee

Welcome to Golf is fun. I’ve decided to start blogging again to hopefully drum up some interest in the web site and back up my belief that I have some knowledge in the game.

Of course I am no pro – and I realize (known for many years) that I never will be. However everyone is entitled to an opinion. Feel free to have start a conversation . I would love to hear your opinions around the game.

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To kick things off though, I thought I would congratulate Ryan Fox on his second DP World tour victory.

He was quite majestic all week and was never really challenged in the end at the Ras al Khaimah Classic. Rounds of 63, 69, 65 & 69 gave him a total of 22 under par and a comfortable 5 shot victory.

What did you think? A worthy winner for sure, but does the ease of victory make viewing less interesting?