The Four Foundations of Golf

Last summer I blazed through my first read of “The Four Foundations of Golf” by Jon Sherman and loved it. I just finished my second reading and will likely read it once or twice a year. The information is so good.

Jon has been golfing for decades and does a wonderful job presenting everything in an easy to read format. He runs the Practical Golf site, where a lot of the same information is presented in different ways. His Twitter account is a great follow as well.

A big part of the book focuses on strategy, which many of us get wrong. Here’s a taste…

Similar information from Adam Young here…

Last year I started using the Golfshot GPS and scoring app on an Apple watch for the first time. I switched from using a range finder to zap the pin on each hole to using middle and back of the green distances, which I get from a watch. It’s really changing my game. After reading Four Foundations I realized I needed more stats to help me determine where I could improve the most. I bought the new Shot Scope X5 watch, which provides all of the strokes gained data I need. I’m looking forward to putting in more practice time this year to see where I can take my handicap.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Jon and Adam have a podcast together, called The Sweet Spot, which you can find on all of the podcasting platforms. I’ve started reading Adam’s book, “The Practice Manual: The Ultimate Guide for Golfers” and am learning a lot more about the physics of golf and how to use that information to determine what is happening when I hit the ball. You can bet I’ll post a review when I’m finished with the book.

“The Four Foundations of Golf” is a must read for every golfer.

Every Shot Counts

I’ve been wanting to learn about strokes gained because it’s everywhere in golf now. What better source than a book written by the man who created strokes gained? “Every Shot Counts” by Mark Broadie.

So what is strokes gained?

Strokes gained is a way of analysing a player’s performance level when comparing every aspect of their performance with other players within a particular dataset. It measures the golfer’s performance taking into account, the hole length, shot length, lie type of every shot and putt during a round of golf.

What is Strokes Gained? Strokes Gained Explained [2022]

The PGA Tour has really embraced SG, replacing many of the traditional golf stats for the most part. It’s a great way to measure the golf game and now there are products like Arccos and Shot Scope available to amateurs like me who want to analyze their own game to determine weaknesses and improve their handicap. I bought the new X5 watch from Shot Scope and will post about it after I’ve played more rounds with it.

There were parts of the book that seemed to repeat over and over again, but I realize stats and math can be hard for people to understand, so I think Mark was trying to drive home the concepts. The book was released in 2014, so I really enjoyed all of the references to Tiger Woods domination. SG shows how much better he was than everyone else who teed it up.

Overall it’s a really great book on the topic. You get in depth information about SG, the different categories, and plenty of examples from the PGA Tour. Perhaps the most valuable part of the book is the strategy information near the end. By using the math, Mark teaches the reader how to use SG to determine optimal decisions on the golf course.

With the data I’ve started collecting and some other things I’m reading, I’m excited to see where I can take my game this year. Stay tuned!

Royal Hold'em Notes

I’m messing around on UB with their new game Royal Hold’em just to have some fun. What’s Royal Hold’em?

Royal Hold’em is just like Texas Hold’em but with a twist. Only the best 20 cards from the deck are used (tens, jacks, queens, kings, and aces).

I even calculated the Royal Hold’em Odds earlier.

I’m no expert by any means, so don’t take what you read here as gospel. Just a few random thoughts I’m having while playing this crazy game of poker.

Read More »

Royal Hold'em Odds

Royal Hold’em is just like Texas Hold’em but with a twist. Only the best 20 cards from the deck are used (tens, jacks, queens, kings, and aces). While messing around with the game for fun I decided to calculate the odds of hitting your outs. Use them to crush your opponents.

Outs Flop Turn
1 14 – 1 13 – 1
2 6.5 – 1 5.5 – 1
3 4 – 1 3.7 – 1
4 2.8 – 1 2.5 – 1
5 2 – 1 1.8 – 1
6 1.5 – 1 1.3 – 1
7 1.1 – 1 1 – 1

2 New Books

A couple of new books came in from Amazon today…

I’ve been enjoying tournaments lately so HOH2 was a no brainer buy, especially after I liked Volume I so much. Hold’em gets boring at times so I figured I’d try to learn a little O8 on the side. Al, the expert O8 blogger told me HLSP was the bible, so that’s what I bought.

Poker Podcasts

On my rides to and from work each day I’ve been listening to poker podcasts. Listening to poker discussions keep my mind off the traffic. In the mornings the poker talk gets my mind thinking and after work it helps to relax me after a long day.

My favorite poker podcast without a doubt is Card Club on Lord Admiral Radio. Cincinnati Sean, Brent Stacks, and everyone else who contribute to the show to an excellent job. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary guys!

Another poker podcast I started listening to is Rounders. It’s actually a poker radio show that they turn into a podcast. The radio station is Team 1040 AM out of Vancouver, Canada. My favorite part of the show has been the interviews with some of the top names from the poker world.

What do you know…my two favorite poker podcasts are both from Canada…eh! As a lifetime Michiganer I’m glad to finally find something good to come from our friends across the lake. 😉

Another popular poker podcast is Poker Diagram by Henry and Zog. It comes all the way from London. Each week they play some kind of online poker and discuss their play and other things poker. I listened to a couple of episodes and it was put together well.

I’m sure there are many other podcasts out there related to poker. Do you have some I didn’t mention? Leave a comment because I’d love to check them out.

In Focus

I just finished browsing through some of my Poker Tracker stats for cash games and tournaments. It was an eye opener to say the least. What I had previously thought were my strengths are actually my weaknesses and vice versa. Once I can go through the data a bit more I’m going to write up a summary complete with a discussion and my plans for taking advantage of my findings.

I also owe a post about the tournaments I played over the weekend, including the largest cash of my poker journey. My tournament play from the weekend is actually what spurred me to check out my stats and data. Part of me is still in shock at what I found, but part of me knew it all along. I guess I’ve been hiding from myself.

It also looks like I will finally be part of a regular home game that a friend is starting up. I definitely need more live play.

The Ultimate Secret

Bill’s post titled The Ultimate Secret to Winning Poker is a great read for any poker player. New or old. I’m not great at poker, but I don’t suck either (or so I like to think). His post hit home on some great points. I’ve read the strategy books and understand the concepts. When I’m […]

Review: Harrington on Hold'em – Volume I

Harrington on Hold'em: Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments (Strategic Play)I finally finished reading the best poker book available on tournament play. Dan Harrington has done the poker world a great service by writing Harrington on Hold’em. I would have finished the book much sooner, but it was my bathroom reader, so I was only reading 10-15 pages a day.

Harrington breaks down the game of no-limit just like any other author by pre-flop, flop, turn and river. What makes this book stand out though are the awesome Problems presented at the end of each chapter. Dan uses actually hands that he’s run into or observed over the years. He lays out the hand and then asks you questions along the way. He describes what you should be thinking as you make you decision. It’s great to see what a world class player and World Series of Poker Champion is thinking during a poker hand.

Volume I is a great book for any poker player of any level. The attention to details is fantastic and the book is easy to read. I can’t wait to get my hands on Volume II for some of the more advanced topics and moves.

Harrington on Hold’em: Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments (Strategic Play) definitely gets an A+ from me.