Greener pastures

The lush green grass has kept me fairly well off the computer during summer time. Early in the season I had a pro take a look at my swing and assign a training program. The results have been encouraging, gaining a club length in distance and significantly reduced the random hook/slice errors per round. Getting longer shots has cause a bit of trouble estimating the right club choic, and fairly frequently I've found myself in situations I couldn't even comprehend earlier.

Today was a significant exception to the better play regime. It served as a reminder on how well compared to past games I've played this season and the last. But the culprit was easy to identify. Approaching winter and dark skies have stirred a bit of life at the observatory and I'd spent yesterday doing physical labour with a chisel and wooden mallet in hand. The pounding hand was a bit shaken today, and just getting a natural feeling grip was a challenge let along getting a clean, effortless swing in rhythm. Funny how those little things can affect your game.

Currently the big question is, do I want to upgrade any part of my astrophoto setup for the coming season? The options are fairly limited with a budget available. I could get hyperstar for my own C8, but that would mean getting a 2" filter set and upgrading the rear cell focusing system to an automated one. That's stretching the budget a "bit" beyond the funds. I could hog most of the imaging time from the club William Optics, it gives a good, flat field with a near perfect angular resolution in the Finnish seeing (about 1.75"/px on my camera). The TS-Quad isn't quite as nice for my camera and it would match a C8+Hyperstar in focal length at 420mm (vs 425mm with Hyperstar). And it's a lot slower at f/6.5 vs f/2.1 for the C8 Hyperstar, a difference of over three stops. Hard decisions, and only three weeks to first moment of astronomical darkness for the next season.

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