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Dave Ruppel a.k.a. DaRupp13
How old are you and what's your occupation?
I'm 28 and I'm in the Strategic Development group at WebMD. Don't ask what that means, I have no idea.

When did you start playing golf and what's your handicap?
My dad (brupp50) built me my first set of clubs when I was in elementary school, but I didn't play seriously until college. I worked at Timbers at Troy Golf Course in Maryland through high school and college - having a PGA pro as your boss makes lessons an easy commodity. My handicap is currently 12.

How often do you play?
I play on average once a week from April - September with a round or two in the offseason depending on weather. I try to go to the driving range once a week year around. I also have a loft area in my house with double doors to the master bedroom. I'll set up a blanket in a circle on the bed and chip plastic golf balls into it from about 20 feet away. I'll also putt back and forth on the carpet...it's only slightly slower than a muni course green.

Tell me about a great shot you've made.
Just this past Saturday, it's a somewhat short par 4, about 390, into a small breeze. my sliced tee shot flares and catches the wind, dropping into the deep rough on the right with a few giant trees in my line to the green. I have about 175 to go, slightly up hill. My lie actually isn't bad so I open the face of a 4 iron and fade it right around the trees, bounces up on to the green to about 25 feet. I two putt to make my par.

What is your best golf memory?
I really have two. One is my first eagle I made last year at Warrenbrook Golf Course in Somerset, New Jersey. 311 yard par 4. I'm hitting my driver really well that day so I choose driver over laying up with an iron. I hit my drive 300 just in front of the green in the fairway. Pin is in the front, I chip it up, 4 bounces into the cup. The other is a group of memories, annual Myrtle Beach trips with my dad and his clown friends. I went for 4 years during college. 16 guys, 5 days, 5 rounds, combined net score tournament. First place gets a nice cash prize and trophy. Last place gets a larger cash prize and a trophy made out of a beer can. I am a proud owner of both trophies.

What is your "home" course?
I would say Hyatt Hills Golf Course in Clark, New Jersey. It's only a 9 hole course but it has a decent driving range with heated stalls for offseason practice, large putting green, and a practice green with a practice bunker and fairway pitch area. I spend a lot of time there.

What ball do you play?
I play a ProV1 for 2 reasons. First is I love the spin around the green with chipping and the backspin control with short irons and wedges. I also love the sound it makes leaving the clubface (in onomonopia - "thhhWACKsssssssssssssssssssssss") It's a challenge off the tee but I LOVE the green control. To me a solid drive will go straight if I hit it properly. I'll trade a flared drive here and there for the green control. The other reason is my brother in law works for a liquor distribution company and one of the swag items they give to clients are logo'd ProV1s. I get a few boxes here and there for free, which helps.

Clubs?
Drivers: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade Burner Plus
Hybrids: TaylorMade Burner Rescue Tour
Irons: Callaway X-18
Wedges: Cleveland CG15 Black Pearl
Putters: Odyssey White Ice #9

Favorite pro?
I'll always be a Tiger fan. What he can (or used to be able to) do within 4 strokes of the lead on Sunday will always make it exciting. It's nice to see him win again - good for the game. It just kind of sucks he's such a dick. Who doesn't love Bubba golf these days? 135 yard gap wedge off pine straw with a 40 yard hook?? Come on!

Favorite course you've played?
As you'll see from the avatar image - Oyster Bay in Myrtle Beach. Great scenery and an overly fun course. Similar to it is Jack Frost National in Poconos, Pennsylvania. This is a more recent favorite. It's not overly difficult or long, and it just has a fun layout. A wide variety of holes from your 562,332,423 yard uphill par 5, to your 100 yard, 50 feet downhill par 3.

Dream course you've yet to play?
Have to go with Pebble Beach. Of course Augusta is up there but it doesn't have the views that Pebble does. I grew up in a house surrounded by azaleas, I don't need azaleas anymore.

Best round ever- and what course?
I shot an 80 last year at Warrenbrook, and actually this past Saturday, 80 at Spooky Brook. Spooky is an easier course though, much more forgiving. 38 on the back 9 this past Saturday is my best 9 hole score - 3 bogeys and a birdie.

What is one aspect of your golf game you would like to improve on in the next year?
I'll always work on chipping and putting at home, and will always practice irons at the range. This year, I really want to improve the accuracy of my tee shots. After writing the answers to these questions, I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should play a lower spin ball... Meh...I flare range balls with a driver, it's the golfer, not the golf ball. With how my irons and short game are currently, hitting an approach shot from anywhere except the fairway is what's really going to slow me down on a consistent basis.

Tell me a story.
Once upon a time there was a golf website that didn't report anything about Tiger Woods. That site ... is not this site. The end.

But seriously, given a lot of the rules posts as of late, I'll use this as an avenue to post my opinion...since all of you are going to read it. Learning how to play golf and learning the game of golf are two very different things. I learned how to play golf during college working at the golf course - the golf swing, how to putt, how to grip the club, course management, etc. I learned the game of golf from an early age from my dad. This is how to conduct yourself on the course. This includes etiquette - not stepping in someone's putting line, not talking during a back swing, etc. But really this is integrity - keeping an honest score, taking your medicine when you hit a bad shot, etc. This brings it back to the recent posts by the Wedge Guy and Brian K. Gimmes, mulligans, etc. isn't golf. That's clubhouse golf - being able to brag about your score in the clubhouse. In the end, you're lying to yourself. On one of my replies, I declared taking provisional tee shots and no more gimmes, 2 rounds into the season and I'm still going strong.

Thanks!

Interested in being next weeks featured golfer? email us here

[ comments ]
Banker85 says:
Welcome to GOW! I agree the flared tee shots are worth the spin and control around the greens with the ProV1's!
5/24/12
 
Jbeck says:
Nice to meet you, keep up the good work.
5/24/12
 
DaRupp13 says:
@Banker I'm really struggling off the tee right now - the ProV1 exaggerates the issue, but it is definitely not the cause. I even went as far as to take all the ProV1s out of my bag and replace them with NXTs...then I went back and undid it, knowing that it won't be the cure.
5/24/12
 
Duke of Hazards says:
Congrats on GOW, D-Rupp. Have another purple hooter (or whatever that is) on me.
5/24/12
 
Backquak says:
What??? a larger cash prize for last place???
5/24/12
 
DaRupp13 says:
Thanks Duke! No idea what that drink is...

Backquak, because of the ridicule that accompanies the basement finish...it's only fair to make that one the richest.
5/24/12
 
cvargo says:
Congrats on GOW. I really agree with your "tell me a story"
5/24/12
 
legitimatebeef says:
Hello Dave.
5/24/12
 
dartboss04 says:
congrats on GOW...have the same flare issue with the drives...it may be slightly worse with the pro v1's but not enough to sacrifice the spin as you said...

my savior was the ping k15...little extra heel weighting helped me out...
5/24/12
 
bkuehn1952 says:
Welcome to the GOW club!
5/24/12
 
Duke of Hazards says:
+1 @beef
5/24/12
 
Scott Shields says:
Nice GOW! As far as lower spin balls go, just switch to a Prov1x ... slightly less flare, good green control. I love em!
5/25/12
 
DaRupp13 says:
Thanks everyone! Scott, interesting though. I'll have to explore them.
5/25/12
 
BDA says:
Congrats on GOW......I liked your story of learning the game and playing the game, I agree about keeping it honest....i would rather shoot a 101 honest with no mulligans or gimmes than a 97 with them......
6/1/12
 
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