Thursday, May 31, 2007

Putting Practice

Since my wife had something to do after work tonight, and I had to go and pick up cat food, I decided to grab my putter and a few wedges and stop off at Juniata Golf Club for some putting and chipping practice. I spent about 35 minutes on and and around greens. I really didn't structure my practice, but something is better than nothing. One thing I did try to work on was my putting routine; lining up the putts, looking at the line from behind the ball, taking a few practice strokes, then putting. I think I may have figured out a way to inexpensively build a putting track using pvc pipe. Watch for a future post to see if I had any success. In the meantime, I need to figure out a practice routine for my short game that will help me get the most out of my practice time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


When I play golf, I always try to walk, unless forced to take a cart. I feel it is good exercise, plus, my game is always better when I walk. I am able to go over strategy, think about my next shot, and most importantly, carry ALL my clubs to the ball. This is especially important, since, if you get dropped off at your ball by your partner in the cart and only have a few clubs with you, you're limited to those options. Likewise around the greens; it prevents you having to carry a wide variety of wedges, putter, etc. from the cart and there is little chance of leaving a club behind.

I have a Sun Mountain 3.5L stand bag, which is great. It is very lightweight and has plenty of room for my clubs and accessories. It even has a convenient pouch for carrying a bottle of water. The only thing I don't like about this bag is the double straps. Because I don't have wide shoulders, it is too wide for me and after awhile, it begins to hurt my shoulders. I am going to have to look and see if I can replace the straps with something more suitable. If not, I may need to purchase the newest version of 3.5L, which has a better shoulder strap system.

Speaking of walking, my wife and I are trying to get into a walking regiment a few nights per week. I really believe this will help me get in better shape for walking when I play golf, and that can only benefit my game. Right now, we have been walking around Lincoln High School in Mayfair. It's about 3 miles around and takes us about 45 minutes, which is ideal.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Practice Round

Bethlehem Golf Club Executive Course
Bethlehem, Pa.
Yards: 4906, Par: 68
Score: Practice Round
Date: May 26, 2007

My Sunday golf with Brian Morris was canceled on Friday, so I played a practice round at Bethlehem Golf Club's Executive Course on Saturday afternoon when we arrived at my sister-in-law's house near Easton, Pa. The Executive Course was a great opportunity for me to work on my game, especially the new hybrids and the 4 wood. I was really pleased with how these clubs performed. The 4 wood was good off the tee and the hybrids were really good from some squirrely lies in the rough and off the tee. The greens had been aerated, so putting was iffy. Because the greens there are elevated and small, I had ample opportunity to practice my chipping. I worked a bit on opening the blade of my sand wedge to land the ball softer and the results were promising. I played some holes very well, some okay, and some pretty poorly. But the practice was good and I feel I am gaining some confidence for the rest of the season.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New 4 Wood

I ordered an Adams Redline RPM 4 Wood from last week and it arrived today. It has 17 degrees of loft and will be replacing my 3 Wood in the bag. I talked with my Brian, the husband of wife's friend Noreen, tonight about golfing on Sunday at Fox Hollow in Quakertown, Pa. They are having a barbecue for Memorial Day and Noreen's birthday, so timing might be tough. Brian is going to call to try and get a tee time for around 11 a.m., so we'll see what happens. I might have an opportunity to play in Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday, since we are going to visit my wife's sister overnight. They have a great public course in Bethlehem, as well as a very good short, or executive, course, which is what I would probably play. I have found the short course to be great for practice, and at this point in the season, some practice rounds certainly wouldn't hurt.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

No Golf Today...

I started with a cold on Friday, which really has me feeling blah. Still I was determined to play today. I figured I could at least grind out nine holes at Juniata Golf Club. But, I guess it was a good omen when I arrived and found the course closed for an outing. I came back home and slept on the couch for a few hours, then watched the Phillies and the final round of the AT&T Classic, which Zack Johnson won in a playoff. I am really disappointed that I didn't get to play, but the rest probably did me good. I vow to try and at least go one night this week to practice on the putting green.

Last night, however, I did add a few new pieces to my golfing wardrobe. My wife and I went to Boscov's in the Neshaminy Mall. They were having a nice sale, so I picked up two pairs of PGA Tour shorts (white and blue) and PGA Tour mock polo shirt in red, which is made from Dry-fit material to help you stay dry and cool when playing in sumer heat and humidity. I really like wearing the mock polos when I play, and I think I might have to try to pick another before the sale ends.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Equipment

I'm really excited. I've taken a new philosophy into my game recently and it is reflected in my equipment. I have been intrigued by Champion's Tour golfer Dana Quigley and his move to a majority of hybrids in place of his long, middle, and even now, some short irons. Realizing that I can no longer effectively hit my long irons (I had dumped the 3 iron ages ago), I decided to follow suit. I already use a hybrid in place of my 5 wood (a Nickent 3DX DC Utility, 19 degrees) and had put a hybrid in place of my 4 iron to start this season.

Well, I started researching a few weeks ago what Quigley had done. They have a great clip from The Golf Channel of Quigley explaining how he replaced his irons with hybrids. He said it was almost like stealing or cheating. Hey, if pro golfers are doing it, it is time for me to check my ego at the door! I have decided to replace my 4, 5 and 6 irons with hybrids.

After some more research, I found a golf company, Alpha Golf, who made a hybrid that did what I was looking for. If you've never heard of Alpha Golf, you are not alone. However, research revealed that they are very big in the competitive long drive field. Everyone review I read stated that they made quality heads, the same as the "big name companies" like TaylorMade, Callaway, etc.

The Alpha RX hybrid came in the required lofts: 22 degrees, 26 degrees and 30 degrees; almost identical to my TaylorMade 4, 5 and 6 irons. I had them custom built with steel shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips. With minimal offset (very important for me since I already hit a draw), they look really sweet. They arrived last week and were in my bag for my 14 practice holes on Saturday at Walnut Lane Golf Club.

Here's how they performed first time out:

1st Hole: After losing my tee shot and taking a drop, I went to hit the 5 hybrid from the left rough, caught a tree and caromed to the right rough. With just over 150 yards to the green (my normal 6 iron shot), I hit the 6 hybid. It produced a nice, high draw that landed on the front of the green and rolled to about 6 feet. I made the put for a bogey 5.

2nd Hole: 186 yards to a smallish green that slopes back to front. With the pin on the right, I hit the 4 hybrid, a high draw that landed just off the left of the green, pin high. A mediocre chip and 2 putts for a bogey 4. Not too bad of a start.

5th Hole: 184 yard Par 3 that plays to a slight dogleg left over a ravine. Bad alignment caused me to hit the ball straight right. But the ball flew well off the club.

9th Hole: Two poor tee shots with the 3 Wood left me with about 170 yards and the 5 hybrid in my hands. I turned it over which left me left of the green and virtually no shot.

12th Hole: 317 yard Par 4, dogleg left. Again, the tee shot is over a steep ravine. I hit the 4 hybrid off the tee, caught it a little thin, but ended up with a 9 iron in my hands from the left rough.

I even used the hybrids to chip a few times from around the greens. My overall assessment? I think these clubs will be good for my game. I hit some good shots, some fair shots, and one really bad shot. But overall, once I get my swing more up-and-down as it has been successfully in the past, I think the 4,5 and 6 hybrid will make my overall game a bit better.

I also want to mention that I bought a new putter last October. It is the Odyssey XG #9, the same model used by Phil Mickelson. I feel like I have been rolling the ball tremendously well with putter. It really instills confidence when I'm standing over a putt. I would recommend it to anyone.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Season to Date:

So far, I have played two full rounds of golf and 14 holes of a practice round:

April 22: A season-opening 91 at The Fairways in Warrington, Pa. Shaking off the rust of a six-month layoff, the season got got to a better start than I anticipated. My putting was pretty good, but I was hitting the to far left off the tee and with my irons. I need to bring my draw under control, but the season is early.

April 29: A 92 for my first round at Juniata Golf Club. Again, my draw is untamed and I am hitting big hooks instead of my normal draw. The greens are ridiculously slooooooow, so putting is almost impossible. Take away a 9 on the Par 3 13th and I could have done better. But, overall, things are not looking too bad. The over-draw is correctable.

May 12: Juniata was closed for an outing, so I headed to Walnut Lane Golf Club at the last minute. Armed with four new clubs (see my next post), I played 14 holes of a practice round, until lightning, thunder and rain caused me to abandon play. I played some holes well, some holes medicore, and some holes extremely bad. Putting continues to be good, but I have to work on my swing. I think I have gotten away from my more upright swing in favor of a more rounded swing, which is casing my to 1) hit the ball off the heel of the club on tee shots, and 2) pull most of my shots way left. I must keep my swing thought to be more up-and-down as opposed to around my body the next time I play.

Overall, my play hasn't been that bad for having six months off. The swing is fixable, putting has been pretty good, and my course management isn't as rusty as I thought it might be. I have made some recent equipment changes which I am excited about and will outline in my next post....


Hello, and thank you for stopping by my blog, The Muni Golfer. Let me take a few minutes to tell you about myself. I have been playing golf since 1993. It is an avid passion. I love to play, unfortunately, I don' get on the course as much as I'd like. Still, I manage to play about 25+ times per season. Despite this, my handicap is about 26.

Most of my golf is played at public golf courses in and around the Greater Philadelphia Area, particularly the five courses owned by the City of Philadelphia: Juniata (my home course), John F. Byrne, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Walnut Lane, and Cobbs Creek (both the Olde and Karakung Courses).

With this blog I hope to chronicle my adventures both on and off the course as they pertain to golf. So stop by from time to time to see when I'm playing, how I'm playing, where I'm playing and what I'm playing (I'm an equipment junkie).