Radiman's Ramblings. My Life, My Game, and My Grandaddy Prep

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radiman

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Radi’s Ramblings

Alright gents. I have been thinking long and hard on a way to reach out to the community in a really creative way to give you a glimpse of the kind of guy I am as I head into the greatest amateur event in all of golf. It’s very important to me that you guys feel some sort of connection while I am sharing my experience. I don’t just want to be some jabroni on the internet having a blast while you guys sit there thinking, “who the hell invited this guy?”

Other people are so creative. I have been seeing what other people have done for this and other events, posting videos, prep work updates, etc. It’s all great. But, when I think about the kind of guy I am, and the best way to share my personality with the forum, I keep wanting to default to my natural instinct to just blabber on and on and talk in circles as I try to make my point clear. So, I am embracing it. I am dedicating this thread to the inner workings of my mind as I talk about my game, my life, the Grandaddy, and all sorts of other stuff. The thought is to sit down each week and break down what’s going on in my mind at the time. So, if you decide to put yourself through reading my ramblings, feel free to ask me questions, give me feedback, share stories, etc.

Hopefully, by the time December rolls around, you’ll know me as best you can. You will have a sense of my thought process and how I am digesting the experience. If I am going to do the best job that I can, I have to ensure everybody is familiar with my personality, writing style, and golf game.

So, buckle up THP. You may just regret taking the time to read these posts when it’s all said and done.
 

radiman

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Who is Radiman?

Warning: If you are planning on reading all of this, I recommend you pack a snack and go to the bathroom beforehand. I apologize in advance for probably sharing way more info than you really need to know and just rambling on in general.

I am a 37 year old IT professional. I have been married to my lovely wife for almost 11 years now. We have two beautiful daughters, Isabella (12) and Elin (8). She isn’t named after Tiger’s ex-wife. But, she was all over the news when she was born. My wife fell in love with the name. This is honestly the best picture they have taken together for a long time.



We live in a town called Moorhead on the western most border of Minnesota. Right across the river from Fargo.

Yes, this Fargo…






Usually, if anyone asks, I say I am from Fargo just to avoid explaining that I live in a town no one has heard of that happens to be right next to Fargo. And no, we don’t talk like the people in the movie or TV series. At least I don’t think so. Although, some of the more hardcore Norwegians in the area have a hint of the good ol’ Fargo accent. Anyways, I have lived in this area pretty much my entire life. It’s been a pretty sheltered existence. It’s your typical mostly quiet community.

We have two dogs. Stella is a 4 year old English Bulldog. She is the perfect companion. Doesn't require too much exercise. In fact, she prefers none. And Winnie our 7 month old monster (half Boston Terrier half Pugg) who likes to pee on the floor a bunch. Her redeeming factor is she loves to snuggle on the couch with me.





I grew up in a pretty big family (I am one of seven kids). Grew up on a farmstead just outside of a town of about 400 people. My Dad has played since he was about 30. I always wanted to go with him when he went with his friends, but he didn’t really have the patience to drag me along. Now that I am a parent, I don’t blame him. Getting him to go with just him and I was no easy feat either. What he did do at the time though, is buy me a membership at a rural 9 hole track about 15 minutes from our house. I think the Jr membership cost about $75 for the summer and most of the par 4’s were between 260-280 yards on the scorecard. My friends and I would get dropped off and picked up about 4-5 hours later. In that time, we would hack around the course and look for golf balls.

I was 13 at the time I believe (hard to remember as I didn’t take the game very serious at that point). We didn’t have any formal teaching. We taught ourselves the game based on some of the tips our Dad’s gave us at some point. But, I had quite the collection of lost Top Flites and Slazengers at home. We didn’t take the game real serious other than we wanted to beat one another. As we started to slowly improve, I noticed a theme. I could hit the ball a lot further than my friends. It gave me a pretty good advantage against them. I don’t remember how many years it took before I got to bogey golf. But, I remember being on top of the world at the time. After a couple of seasons like this, my Dad started bringing me with him once in a while. He started the game later in life and never had any formal instruction either. But, he assembled a pretty decent game based on Golf Digest articles he had read throughout the years.

He started getting more involved in teaching me. Helped me get my fundamentals down (grip, stance, alignment). Another theme emerged, I was outdriving him and his friends. It’s honestly probably the thing that hooked me into the game. Being tall and flexible, I could really wind up in the backswing back then. I think everyone has that shot. The moment the hook set and you were a golfer from there on out. That was it for me. I could hit the ball far, and all of a sudden, I absolutely loved golf. Didn’t mean I was any good at it.

I played golf in high school. But, we were a small school and barely had enough kids on the team to send to each tournament. Out of high school, I fell out of the game for a few years. I would play a couple of times a summer, but that was about it. It wasn’t until I met my wife and she tamed my wild ways that I decided to get a stable hobby. It didn’t hurt that she was pregnant with our first daughter at the time. It was time to buckle down and be an adult. I was 25 when I decided to start playing regularly again.

I started by joining a small bar league that my Dad was playing in. Still play in it to this day every Thursday in season. Took me a couple of years, but my game started to sharpen. Got down into the single digits and started to take things seriously.

So, my passion for the game grew. I was looking to digest any and everything I could regarding it. I started getting into all of the new equipment. Going to the range and fine tuning things and developed a repeatable swing. Found an online golf community full of people who were just as passionate as I was, had news on all of the equipment, and all seemed to be good…for a while.

Enter THP. This past offseason, I was in need of my internet golf fix but had to find a new more positive place to get it. I had joined here years ago and had a 0 post count forever. I somehow remembered my username and password and decided to dive in. I was immediately overwhelmed with how positive the community is here. It took me a little while to get my bearings straight just out of the sheer number of events and contests going on. But, there was common theme in every topic I read. Community. I was amazed at the level at which everyone seemed to know each other. It didn’t take me long to realize that it was over the course of many events played over many years coupled with the positive vibes on the forum that did it.

I knew I had to crack this egg. Such a great community, I had to be a part of it. So, I tried my damndest to wedge myself in. I am a pretty laid back guy, and this place just seems to fit me like a glove. I started posting and sharing my thoughts, asking questions, and just trying to participate.

I was pretty content. I had the flow down. I was remembering users, picking up on their personalities, having a good time. Then, it hit. My alarm goes off at 6am. My routine is turn off alarm and then check emails. Didn’t even have the sleep rubbed out of my eyes when I saw a stack of THP notifications. Heart starts racing. Go over to tapatalk and see a PM from JB. Said something along the line of “turn your camera on and click on the link below.” At that point, I knew what it meant. But, being half asleep, I just could not believe it. I must have read that post 20 times before it hit me. I am going to the Grandaddy. Still give me butterflies thinking about it.

That’s pretty much the 30,000 foot view of how I got started in golf and meandered my way into THP.
 
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radiman

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My Game

My Game

I thought it important that the membership has some sort of idea of the kind of shape my game is in, or at least how I perceive it heading into the event. I am currently a 3.2 trending to a 2.6 thanks to a string of great scores recently (two consecutive rounds under par). My trend was lower up until I rifled off an 82 today. One that I am very proud of actually. Battled a sinus infection and some tough breaks to get to that point.

So, I don’t want to sound conceited, but I am a pretty decent golfer. Sure, there are guys that will beat me handily. But, in the terms of you average run of the mill weekend warrior, I am pretty alright. I am capable of shooting some pretty low scores (relatively speaking). I can shoot as low as a 71 (all time low, shot it 3 times this year) to as high as an 89 (also shot this year). So, it’s safe to say consistency is not my strong suit.

I am above average in length. I can hit the ball a long way. When I am on, good luck. When I am off, God help me. Get me hitting the ball crooked off the tee and I am bound for some big numbers. The trouble with hitting the ball a decent way, is that if you are off, you are waaaaaaaay off. So, it’s safe to say that while my distance is one of my biggest assets, it’s also one of my biggest hurdles. I used to hit a really nice looking draw as my stock shot. But, these days, I have come to appreciate the fade I have been producing. Relatively reliable with a good amount of carry. I don’t think my LM numbers are maxed out for distance, but I think I am starting to stay in play more often and score better because of it.

I would rate my iron game as average. I make really good contact. But, when I am off, I am off. Again, hitting the ball further than average lends itself to some wayward shots. Around these parts, things can get pretty windy. You hit too much of a fade into a 20 mph wind or worse and you are looking a bogey right in the face.

For reference, my stock yardages are below. These are the numbers I attempt to hit my irons to. I don’t have Arccos or any fancy devices that have everything measured out. Very much strike dependent, hence why have them listed as a number I attempt to hit it to. All of these are plus/minus depending on wind conditions and necessary shot.

LW: 100
SW: 115
GW: 130
PW: 145
9 Iron: 160
8 Iron: 170
7 Iron: 185
6 Iron: 200
5 Iron: 215
4 Iron: 230
3 UT: 240-250
3 wood: 265

This season has seen me struggle mightily with my game. I came out about a club shorter than normal across the board. With my wedges, it didn’t matter what was in my hand, I was maxing out at 70 yards or so. I struggled through it for a long while trying to recapture the magic from last year.

At the end of June, I had enough. It was time for some lessons. I had to get a second set of eyes on my swing to explain what happened to me in the offseason.

That Sunday, I played a round of golf with the instructor and had a lesson scheduled immediately after. By the end of the round, he must have had a pretty good idea on what my biggest issue were as he wasted no time getting into it on the lesson tee. Using his words. I am a One Trick Pony. I was really good at hitting a really high fade and that was it. Now, the solution was something that I really knew better but hadn’t addressed for some reasons. Simple really. I was lining up the ball too far forward (why they would go high) and my stance was way too open (why they would fade). His prescription was to basically go to the range on a somewhat consistent basis and just hit punch shots. Weight forward, ball back, and try to flight the ball low. This would, in theory, exaggerate my game the other direction allowing me to find the middle ground. So, up to the end of June, I had broken 80 twice all season (as a 3-4 handicap). Since then, I haven’t shot above 80 once. 3 of those rounds have been under par.

Now, I had figured out a couple of other things on my own that weren’t addressed in the lesson that have helped tremendously. I am working on keeping my arm in front of my chest without separating it from my torso in the backswing if that makes sense. I am working on remaining connected throughout the swing. Trying to not let my arms overrun at all. I also found that I was overswinging. The videos below were what I thought was a ¾ shot. After recording my swing, they are very much a full swing with a cut off follow through. I would say that this video is a pretty accurate representation of my current swing when things are going well.



Right now, I am hitting the ball better than I have this season. Scores are trending down and I feel like I am gaining a bit of consistency. But, since these changes are pretty early yet, I still find myself having the lazy shot or two each round leading to a large number.

My drives are still make or break for me. 300 yards is no stranger, but neither is the woods or the water. My short game has sharpened up out of necessity. Missed a lot of greens this year requiring a lot of pitches. Putting has never been something I hang my hat on, but I can get hot and light it up every once in a while.
 
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radiman

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I thought it would be somewhat telling if I did a current WITB. Now, needless to say, I am a bit of a Callaway guy to begin with. So, almost every single gamer of mine is a Callaway club with the exception of the putter.


Driver: Callaway Epic Flash SZ 9* with HZRDUS Smoke Green 65 6.5TX playing 45”


This club is an absolute bomber for me. The HZRDUS Smoke Green, AKA, The Hulk, was won on a Twitter contest that True Temper put on. It is a phenomenal shaft. So stable. So uniform in its feel. It doesn’t have a pronounced kick like some shafts do. It isn’t the longest combo I have ever hit. But, it damn sure is the most consistently predictable. My misses are much less severe. My fades rarely go way right unless I push it. My draws are tight. In fact, I am having a hard time getting this thing to turn over. When I really try to hit a draw, I tend to just hit it dead straight, which is alright too.

I have been toying around with the settings on the neck, but have pretty much had the moveable weight in the heal the entire time. I will typically have the neck at Neutral, Draw. Sometimes switching it to -1 Draw, or N, S to play stock.


3 Wood: Callaway Epic Flash SZ 15* with Evenflow Black 75 X playing 43”


This club is the best 3 wood I have ever hit. I purchased it without trying it based on the reviews on THP. I guessed on the shaft looking for something that was stouter than the Evenflow Blue that I didn’t care for but still a softer profile than what I was playing in my driver. The Evenflow Black has been a perfect match for me. This could be the best purchase I have ever made and I just hope that whatever they put out next season can fit as well as this does for my game.

Honestly, off the tee, it doesn’t seem to be that much behind my driver in distance. I will typically hit a nice tight fade with it. Off the deck, I can elevate it easily. It has just been a dream to play.


3 UT: Callaway X Forged UT 21* with Motore Speeder VC 8.8 X


It has been called my magic club by my playing partners. From the rough, this thing hits absolute line drives. From the tee and fairway however, I have a tendency to overspin it resulting in some really high flying straight shots. It has gotten me out of a lot of jams though.

This club is something that I most definitely interested in getting dialed in come fitting time. I prefer the UT profile over a hybrid simply because I am a digger and they seem much easier to get out of the rough for me than a typical hybrid. It’s not as long as a regular hybrid by any means. But, for me, it seems to be more predictable.


Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 2016 4-PW with KBS Tour 130X, standard length and I believe them to be 3* upright.


I bought these on a whim last September. I was playing Z965 muscle backs and decided I would opt for more forgiveness. They have definitely provided that. I think they are a little too upright as I have typically played clubs at 1.5-2 degrees up. I already know they aren’t long enough based on my preference of .5” over standard. I had every intention of getting them extended or reshafted. But, learning that I am going to be getting a set built for me by Callaway’s Tour Dept. has me a lot less motivated to spend the money to alter or replace them :)


I like the irons but think there is room to get them better fit. They also came from a teaching pro in New Zealand. So, they have these really cool The Grip Master leather grips with Callaway logos on them. Another reason I haven’t done anything to the shaft length as it would be a shame to cut those off and they’ll seemingly last forever.


Wedges: Callaway MD2 52 and 56, and a Callaway MD3 60 stock length and shafts


I had a full set of MD3’s but opted for my old trusty MD2 52 and 56 after a while. I like the forged feel on full shots and like the way they set up behind the ball. The 60 is pretty good, but could be better. Also looking forward to a wedge fitting as I have always played stock length, lie, and shafts.
Guilty pleasure: Vokey 64 degree wedge
I cannot get rid of this thing and seem to rotate it into my bag when things aren’t going well. I will drop the 60 and play this around the greens when it’s in the bag and use the 56 from the 80-100 yard range that my 60 would typically cover on fuller shots.


Putter: Taylormade Spider X 35” Navy Blue with Golf Pride Tour SNSR


I mention the putters grip as I feel that is a vital part of the putter for me. I always opt for that grip now. I like this alright as I have been a milled blade user forever. I find that I am putting well enough with the insert and mallet. But, this is something I hope to improve on. I have tested the Stroke Lab in the shop and love the balance. I have also purchased a Toulon Atlanta to get a feel for their milled design as I have never played one before. It has the H4 neck and I don’t feel it’s a great fit for me as I tend to pull my putts with it.


I have a special connection to my Hazeltine Ryder Cup headcovers as it was my first professional event I had ever been to. Love the USA theme to them and got a matching Sun Mountain Sync cart bag. I have been using my MN Masters inspired driver headcover from Cayce lately though, well, because it is pretty bad ass.

I'm using a SkyCaddie SX500 and still pull out the Bushnell from time to time.


If you guys have any questions regarding my equipment choices or looking for my thoughts on anything in my bag, please feel free to ask. I would love to discuss it.

 
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radiman

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One More :)
 

Snickerdog

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Great stuff Radi.
 

tomcat

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Whoa. Thanks for giving me something to read at 2am at work tonight. ;)
 

radiman

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Lol, I thought I gave fair warning. Not even all of it yet! Writing about myself is easy. Trying to put into words what the grandaddy is and how it feels to participate is a heck of a lot harder!

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AcushnetGolf

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Well I just read all of your post and you got me hooked. Keep them coming and I look forward to the follow. Awesome stuff Radi.

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Carolina Dundee

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Great read so far. The VP of marketing at Titleist we played with at the event in Savanna is from Morehead MN. Do you know JT?


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radiman

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Great read so far. The VP of marketing at Titleist we played with at the event in Savanna is from Morehead MN. Do you know JT?


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Thanks man. I can't say that I do. At least the name doesn't sound familiar.

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McLovin

feelz good 2 b a Gsta
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great stuff radi! keep it up.
 

Misike

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Great stuff so far!
 

Awstyn

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Thanks radiman. It wasn't too long for me, and I look forward to what is to come... All the way to and beyond the GD.
 

gkeller813

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Thanks radiman. I've been trying to keep up with all these Grandaddy posted from those going. I think getting to know people beyond them as a golfer supports the feeling of community here at THP. Can't wait to follow along!
 

radiman

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Non - Grandaddy related. But, this is the kind of work we do. Building a demo box for one of our sales reps to take to a trade show.

Running some benchmarks and getting Rainbow Six installed. We primarily sell PC's and servers to K-12 education, Higher Ed, and SMB.

Apparently eSports is a growing segment and some schools are even putting together varsity programs.



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campilobaxter

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This is fun radiman. Enjoying the street so far. Also feeling pretty sheepish about my 75 yrd LW.
 

fuffle master

"Remember, NO man is a failure who has friends."
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Non - Grandaddy related. But, this is the kind of work we do. Building a demo box for one of our sales reps to take to a trade show.

Running some benchmarks and getting Rainbow Six installed. We primarily sell PC's and servers to K-12 education, Higher Ed, and SMB.

Apparently eSports is a growing segment and some schools are even putting together varsity programs.



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Nice looking rig.


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Doubleb21

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Great read radiman!
 

2BFAST

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Trending..
Who invited this guy??
 

golfinnut

Do I Love Titleist? YEP!
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HEAT!
Well now I know who to call if I have IT issues. :act-up:
 

Parrot

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I appreciate the sharing and look forward to more. Rock on!
 

braddman19

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I had no idea you were in Moorhead! We usually end up in Fargo for a getaway every year or so, and by proximity, to Moorhead as well!
 

radiman

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I had no idea you were in Moorhead! We usually end up in Fargo for a getaway every year or so, and by proximity, to Moorhead as well!
If it's in the summer time, hit me up and we'll play a round!
 

radiman

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I had no idea you were in Moorhead! We usually end up in Fargo for a getaway every year or so, and by proximity, to Moorhead as well!
If it's in the summer time, hit me up and we'll play a round!
 

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