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Aaron Madeley a.k.a. aaronm04
How old are you and what's your occupation?
I'm 39 years old and work as an IT Manager.

When did you start playing golf and what's your handicap?
I started golfing in the fall of 2007. I played slow-pitch softball for ten years and started to have knee problems. I took some time off from softball, took up golf, had knee surgery, and never looked back. My knee is thanking me but my back is quite displeased. I'm currently a 9 handicap.

How often do you play?
During the Spring and Summer, I play at least 27 holes a week.

Tell me about a great shot you've made.
Great? Lucky, perhaps. Certainly memorable. I was on #5 on the North Course at Onion Creek. At the time, I was feast or famine out of a bunker. It was a windy day and I was hitting out of a green side bunker when I skulled the bejesus out of the ball, as often happened then. Famine on this day, as it were. As the ball flew by the flag, the flag (the cloth part, not the stick) whipped the ball, knocking it straight down. It took a nice, soft landing and trickled in the hole for a birdie.

What is your best golf memory?
Hard to say being so new to the game. It's probably a book and the impact it had on my game. After a terrible round, my father-in-law lent me the book Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect by Bob Rotella. The book focuses purely on the mental aspect of the game. I changed my practice habits and my mental approach based on what I read. My next full round, I shot my then-best score of 82 (+12). I used to struggle to break 90 and I'm consistently in the 80s and sometimes 70s since. It was a real turning point for me.

What is your "home" course?
Onion Creek in Austin, Texas. I live close by and spend a lot of time there. Great practice facilities too.

What ball do you play?
Bridgestone e5. I used to play the B330 series balls but the new e5's have great spin and are almost half the cost. The price point takes some of the sting out of depositing a brand new one into the pond.

Drivers: TaylorMade R11
Fairway Woods: Callaway X-Fairway
Hybrids: Adams Golf Idea Pro a12
Irons: Adams Golf IDEA Pro a12
Wedges: SCOR Golf SCOR4161
Putters: Yes! Marilyn

Favorite pro?
I really don't have one, but generally anyone not named Tiger or Phil. I like Steve Stricker and Luke Donald mostly because I can identify with the guys who aren't long hitters but have a great short game and putt well. I do enjoy watching Bubba Watson, even before he won the Masters, though his isn’t necessarily a swing I’d care to emulate.

The problem I have with Tiger is that he's boring and seems angry. The one thing that makes him remotely interesting, his salacious personal life, he won't talk about. Phil's game is what kills me. His course management at times is completely baffling for a touring pro.

Favorite course you've played?
Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz, CA. A tough but fair Alister McKenzie-designed course. Well, perhaps #3, the par-3 195 yard (from the middle tees) uphill to the green, is unfair. Overall, a great course.

Dream course you've yet to play?
Augusta. Or Cypress Point. You know ... the ones you have a harder time getting onto.

Best round ever- and what course?
I shot a 73 (+3) at Onion Creek's Crenshaw course, a 9-hole course I had to play twice due to a tournament on the other 18, last May. My driver accuracy had been so terrible that I went to hitting 3-wood off the tee on par 4’s and 5’s. I hit a ton of fairways and made several nasty, downhill 6-10 footers to save par. Probably the best up-and-down I made all day was the dreaded 30-yard bunker shot that I had to hit directly over an adjacent bunker to a narrow back pin.

What is one aspect of your golf game you would like to improve on in the next year?
Iron accuracy. I've worked a lot on my putting but missing as many greens as I do kills my birdie chances. The Adams clubs in my bag are new and I’m hopeful they will help improve my GIR stat.

Tell me a story.
I was playing with a buddy of mine at Onion Creek and we were on the same hole as my miracle birdie above. His ball went beyond the green and cart path and landed near the OB markers, in play, by some houses. There was a dog in the yard who had apparently seen many folks retrieve balls in HIS territory.

My buddy was walking up as I approached in the cart. I looked over for his ball and saw that the dog, a yellow lab, had the ball between his front feet with his head hunched down and staring right at me, as if daring me to approach. As my buddy neared his ball, the dog stared at him, turned in the requisite circle (as we've all seen dogs do), then lied down directly on top of his ball as the rest of us cackled. Bye bye ProV1.


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[ comments ]
dartboss04 says:
Congrats on GOW! Awesome handicap for playing such a short period of time. I like the YES putter represented. I just switched to Dawn this year and love it so much I bought a back up in the same specs as the particular model is hard to find.
Duke of Hazards says:
Congrats. I might have to pick up that Rotella book you mentioned. Pasatiempo is also at the top of my dream course list. Love the Alistair McKenzie designs, so artful.
DaRupp13 says:
Congrats! Love the story...reminds me of The Beast from the Sandlot.
jfurr says:
Austin TX! Love it. Pokey Joe's BBQ!!

Hey Aaron are SKOR wedges popular around that area of TX? Outside of this website haven't met anyone who has heard of them. Just wondering if being from TX the company has a following.
bkuehn1952 says:
Congratulations on achieving the pinnacle of golfdom, GOW!!

Let's hear from you regularly!
GBogey says:
The Rotella book is really awesome. I'm reading it for the second time. Its done wonders for me, both improving my game but also helping me enjoy playing more and get frustrated less.
aaronm04 says:
Thanks, everyone! @jfurr: Pokey Joes? Wait the three hours to get Franklins--which is totally worth it--and thank me later. Not especially popular wedges around here but excellent wedges overall. I think not many know about them in general but I hope that changes. I know about them from reading the forums and I carried an Eidolon Lob Wedge in my old bag. When I replaced all of my wedges, I really wanted the even loft gaps between clubs and that V-Sole that I came to love in my Eidolon.
aaronm04 says:
@Duke: When you play Pasatiempo--or any courses around the area--play a tee down. The elevation changes really lengthen it from what you see on the scorecard.

@DaRupp13: Never thought about that but he sure does!
Virtuaframax says:
very nice!!! congratulations on the GOW!
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