Author Topic: Any golfers on here?  (Read 6817 times)

MMMdude

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Any golfers on here?
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:59:00 PM »
Golfing would seem like an anti-moustachian activity, however this is one thing I can't let go of.  I like to play of course but also enjoy pounding golf balls at the range.  Usually once golf season comes around I'll hit 4 or 5 buckets a month at the range ($8 per bucket - yikes....think I'll get a pass next year) and as far as playing rounds, i'll always try to use a 2:1 pass or play during twilight rates.  I only play between 5 and 10 rounds per year, so it's not too bad now but I want to play more assuming I work less when I go full MMM.  Probably at that time I'll buy a yearly pass to the local muni, which is a great track.

  I avoid the expensive golf courses as they are usually overrated, too hard to enjoy and alot of times carts are mandatory and I prefer to walk.  As for equipment I have a set of Hogans purchased used online - it's very easy to find reasonably priced golf equipment online as most golfers want the latest and greatest and dump their 'old' stuff for 40% of new. 

Any other golfers on here?  How do you keep it moustachian?

Paul der Krake

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 03:37:22 PM »
Hey MMMDude,

I started a thread on the subject a few months back,
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/golf-on-the-cheap/

You're absolutely right, equipment can be had at bargain prices if you just chill out and realize the quipment from 5 years ago was good enough for the pros in 2008, and is probably good enough for you in 2013. I don't even know how the golf industry would turn a profit if everyone was Mustachian. Any set of irons lasts 20+ years with very minimal maintenance.

Where about do you live? I used to love walking when I lived in more temperate climates but it's just not an option in the summer months in NC.

rvanmanen

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 03:00:54 PM »
I would recommend disc golf as one of the perfect mustachian sports..  You will have to purchase your discs to begin with, but most of the courses are at your local parks and are completely free to play.  Similar mentality to ball golf, and much cheaper, and you are supporting your local parks (not to mention getting outside and walking).  Check out pdga.com for a course directory, chances are there is a course pretty close.

I've been playing since 2000 and absolutely love it

PDGA # 20807

RoseRelish

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 03:24:30 PM »
I play quite a bit of golf and buy a season pass for the public courses. It's something like $500/year for unlimited play at either of our town's 2 public courses. I buy (or find) mostly gently used balls, have had the same Adams irons for 8+ years, and always walk. When I'm out of town, I only play twilight or some other special rate.

Golf can be pretty reasonable if you know the hacks. Sounds like you're on the right track.

BlueMR2

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 04:09:14 PM »
Once you own the equipment it's not too bad.  Doesn't take much maintenance, and you don't *have to* keep upgrading.  Greens fees can be rough at the common places, but I always managed to find little backwater places that were cheap and still fun to play.

Gave it up and sold my equipment though.  Best thing I ever did.  Almost got all my equipment costs back and I'm free of the back and knee pain I had the entire time I golfed...

GreenGuava

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2013, 09:22:28 AM »
You're absolutely right, equipment can be had at bargain prices if you just chill out and realize the quipment from 5 years ago was good enough for the pros in 2008, and is probably good enough for you in 2013. I don't even know how the golf industry would turn a profit if everyone was Mustachian. Any set of irons lasts 20+ years with very minimal maintenance.

I'll go one further:  build your own clubs (I didn't see this in your other thread, either) when you want a new one.  It's a fun do-it-yourself project, it's incredibly easy with steel shafts (graphite is a bit tougher, at least at first), and you probably have all of the non-golf-specific equipment available already.  There are fantastic sets that, new are about $200 for total materials.  I'm looking (not to purchase;  just browsing a catalog) at a great set of clubs I'd suggest to anyone with a handicap north of 20 (and that I know an 8 who plays) - 8 heads, shafts, grips, and ferrules for $160.   The set I currently play - $180. 

I recently re-gripped a full set of 13 clubs (everything except my putter): total cost, $33, including materials (obviously), and I have some leftover grip solvent for next time.  As any golfer knows, a new set of grips makes your clubs feel like an entirely new set, too.

A golfer seeking FI obviously needs to a larger 'stash than one who is satisfied with cheaper hobbies;  this is doubly true because I suspect that, when I reach FI, I'll play more golf than I do now.  Only you can make an informed decision as to whether or not this is worth it to you.  I probably won't ever have a Scotty Cameron putter, or the latest TaylorMade driver, but I do shoot lower scores than a friend of mine who has those.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2013, 05:45:55 PM »
Interesting idea. Does making your own clubs allow you to play with the shaft flex and length? I have only ever owned two sets of irons, one was a hand me down from my dad and the other a friend's old set ($150 for Ping i3s with brand new grip!), and I adapted my game to them really easily. But I'm a 15 handicap on a good day, so there's probably no point in getting obsessed over equipment just yet.

GreenGuava

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 11:00:55 AM »
Interesting idea. Does making your own clubs allow you to play with the shaft flex and length?

Yes.  When you order the components - I'm not designing the heads and pouring the metal myself - you can specify the flex of the shafts.  It's also easy to trim the tip properly (especially with steel shafts, even with a cheap tube/pipe cutter) to get the exact flex you want.  I play stiff shafts, soft stepped:  that is, S-flex, but the 4-iron shaft is put in the 5-iron (and then cut to 5-iron length so it plays like a 5-iron) to make it slightly less stiff, and so on down the line.

(Note: within a given shaft type, for most shafts, the 4-iron and 5-iron shafts only differ by how you tip them; for the most part, you order a "FST Pro 115 S/X" or whatever and then tip it to make it for a particular iron and for S or X flex)

Actually, my 5-iron isn't cut to 5-iron length, either, since I play mine half an inch under standard. 

Sure, you can order your set this way when you buy a set of Mizuno or Nike irons, too (I did, in my days when I was frugal about just about everything except golf for some reason).  But it's incredibly easy if you're doing it yourself, too.

I have only ever owned two sets of irons, one was a hand me down from my dad and the other a friend's old set ($150 for Ping i3s with brand new grip!), and I adapted my game to them really easily. But I'm a 15 handicap on a good day, so there's probably no point in getting obsessed over equipment just yet.

Honestly, I think handicaps under about 20-25 are when it makes the biggest difference.  Tiger Woods could probably shoot a good round with clubs designed for me, and he and I are... well, let's say very different in physique and golf ability.

Next time there's a demo day in your area, see if the company will fit you.  Many big names will do this for free.  Tell them you're considering their clubs and want to know what they suggest in terms of specifications.  This makes sense from their point of view:  Nike wants people to play Nike clubs and play them well, so others may want to buy the same.  And you're more likely to play well with properly fitting clubs than with off-the-shelf.

If you're interested - and I should specify, I have no affiliation with either of these companies! - check out the GolfWorks catalog and the GolfSmith club building catalog.  Both will ship you a free catalog if you ask.  But maybe wait until you're willing to consider a new set of irons, because these things are tempting.

GiggyJig

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 04:48:36 AM »
Quick question regarding building your own clubs: also my first post hahaha. But do you pretty much have to get fitted to know what specs to look for in the catalog? I am getting into golf and am realizing to actually get better I need the right fit for my clubs and the cheap nike ebay set is just not cutting it for me anymore, but I want to know before I spend $100 getting fitted at 2nd swing.

edit: Would you recommend if after getting fitted to buy used clubs and change them to your specs? or does that not even make sense hahah I feel the best bet is to get fitted and build them from there through the catalog at golfsmith. Also recommendations on where to get fitted would be great (especially a mustachian way)
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 04:51:42 AM by GiggyJig »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 08:09:28 AM »
GiggyJig, welcome!

Are you sure getting your cheap set fitted is the way to go if you're just starting out? You could find a better, used set that already fits you and sell it for pretty much the same amount you paid for when you want to upgrade. Right now, what you probably want are easy to play, oversized irons that fit 99% of players with a 2-digit handicap. The shaft length is probably the most important thing when finding a proper fit. As long as you have the basics covered, I wouldn't worry too much about finding the perfect clubs for your swing since it will very likely evolve as you get better.

Beware the lifestyle inflation as your handicap goes down! Golf is mainly played by bored white collar males with too much money, it's really easy to succomb to the siren calls of manufacturers and magazines pushing you to upgrade everything every two years.

GreenGuava

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 09:14:28 AM »
The easiest way to get fit is to go to a demo day.  Golf shops frequently have them;  check their website or ask.  If you have a preferred OEM, check out their website for upcoming ones. 

Go to one, try out a few clubs, and ask them what your fit is.  They can usually determine a fit for you quickly and they don't charge for it.

Don't pay money for a fitting, especially if it's a shop where employees make a commission.  You do that and you'll typically find that the clubs the shop wants to offload fit you beautifully.

While we're at it, don't buy new golf balls, especially at a high handicap.  There are many reputable online used golf ball sellers.

GiggyJig

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2013, 02:48:57 AM »
Thanks for the reply's guys! Well what im worried about is my cheap off the shelf ones are just making my swing and game worse. But from what your telling me I definitely should NOT pay to get fitted at a place like 2nd swing, and instead go on a demo day. But would this even be a comprehensive fitting, as in will I know the fit I need for driver - wedges? On the subject matter of the offloading of expensive clubs, trust me I couldn't afford them if I tried! hahaha but long story short I just want to know the specs for my body, although like you mentioned I need to get an established swing down first before I do that which probably won't even be until after this season of practicing and figuring out the right fundamentals. So daunting!

GreenGuava

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 10:20:29 AM »
Giggy - how tall are you, and how far from normal length for your height are your arms and legs?   Also, try to give an accurate estimate of how far you typically hit your ~35-degree iron (either a 7- or an 8-iron).  I stress accurate - not your single best shot with that club, not how far you are from the target when you use the club, not how you hit it with a tail wind (I know plenty of people who cite their iron lengths accordingly).  In a calm, flat environment, with a typical swing, how far will you hit the ball with that club?

At the very least, we can give you an approximation for what the right fit is, at least in terms of length and flex.


Are they making your game worse? Probably not, unless they are horrible wrong for you (incorrect dexterity, extremely wrong flex, extremely wrong grip size -- the latter is extremely easy to fix, though).  If our goal, without regard for money, was to make you the best golfer you can be, the first step would be to get you a new set of custom-fit clubs, and we'd probably go somewhere like Callaway's O.C. (CA) fitting center.  Then you'd take a few lessons, and we'd re-evaluate the clubs, and we'd probably re-evaluate the clubs at least monthly.  Needless to say, this isn't what I advocate, even on forums where golf takes the #1 priority.

Comprehensive fitting?  Start with an iron fitting and ask them about a driver fitting.  Irons are fundamentally important to be properly fit, IMO, since they are how you should be spending most of your full swing practice time (this avoids the question of short game practice vs full swing;  that's another discussion for another time), and thus is how your swing will develop (again, we're comparing optimal to good, I hope;  you aren't playing over-length X-flex, are you?).

As for the driver fitting... at least get the flex and loft right.  IMO, the shaft length should generally be much shorter than off the shelf - again, this may be another story for another time.  I use an AK grip with mine (I'm still using a driver I bought used - right specs other than length - many years ago;  haven't assembled my own yet) because I haven't gotten around to cutting it down.  I will next time I re-grip it.

GiggyJig

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 08:01:55 PM »
GreenGuava- I am about 5'10", my legs are definitely shorter than average, I have a long torso and I think that my arms are average but I have never really measured them. I would have to get back to you on the length of my shot with the 8 iron, as I have not hit a golf ball in months (minnesota winters), but if I were to throw out a number I would say around 130 yards? again this is a total rough estimate as I will be able to tell you when I can get out on the range and see.
So what i'm ascertaining here is I should figure out when a demo day is at a local course, and have a brand or group fit me for irons, and they will do this for free. That makes things a lot simpler for me then because like you said I can shop around for used clubs that will fit according to this, or even just keep using my regular ones (since I am a high handicap and have not developed my swing yet). One thing I think of is if I go in there and hit horrendous shots on the irons. Would they even be able to do anything for me?

GreenGuava

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 12:36:25 AM »
GreenGuava- I am about 5'10", my legs are definitely shorter than average, I have a long torso and I think that my arms are average but I have never really measured them. I would have to get back to you on the length of my shot with the 8 iron, as I have not hit a golf ball in months (minnesota winters), but if I were to throw out a number I would say around 130 yards? again this is a total rough estimate as I will be able to tell you when I can get out on the range and see.

It is likely that you're inclined for regular flex, maybe hard stepped (or even stiff flex, soft stepped).  If the result from the next part disagrees with this, go with them.  I'm also making no prediction about length.

So what i'm ascertaining here is I should figure out when a demo day is at a local course, and have a brand or group fit me for irons, and they will do this for free. That makes things a lot simpler for me then because like you said I can shop around for used clubs that will fit according to this, or even just keep using my regular ones (since I am a high handicap and have not developed my swing yet). One thing I think of is if I go in there and hit horrendous shots on the irons. Would they even be able to do anything for me?

Demo day at a nearby course or golf shop, yes.  Imagine this from the companies' POV:  does TaylorMade really want you playing their newest irons and hitting poor shots with them?  If you stick with golf, it might keep you from their brand in the future;  if others see you hitting poor shots with their newest "guaranteed you'll hit it well" irons (not their actual claim), it might tarnish it in their minds, too.

TaylorMade, Nike, Titleist, Callaway, Cleveland/Srixon and Mizuno have extensive fitting programs.  Bridgestone does this more for balls than clubs (although if you see a Bridgestone ball challenge, go check it out -- free golf balls, plus theirs are usually available online at reputable used-ball retailers for good prices).  Just keep a note of who told you what;  some companies have different "standard length" than the others. 

Having been a golf nut for a while, I've attended many of these and spoken to various company representatives.  The ones I spoke to estimated that about a third of the people who go for their various free fittings use the numbers to go on and buy used clubs.  I never did ask how many they felt did this for club-building.

If you go there and hit horrendous shots, they might not be able to do much more than a static fitting.   But during the season, there's going to be a ton of demo days:  if you mess up at this one, go to the next one.  Believe me, they've seen beginners - and just plain people with bad swings - before.

gotaholen1

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 09:12:20 AM »
Hello fellow golfers.  Golf is most certainly my anti-mustachian hobby.  I live in IL, therefore I only get to play from about April 1 to the end of October.  I try to play at least 9 holes every day after work when the weather is nice, and pay a flat rate for a year round pass.  This also includes unlimited range balls. 

In regards to the club conversation, I completely disagree with the advice given to GiggyJig.  I agree that the fitting days are a good opportunity to try out clubs, and get a free fitting, but I just don't think this is the first step in building his golf game.  I am sure the Nike Irons that he currently has are just fine for now.  If his goal is to get better, then buying new irons with a more forgiving club head or more built for his game are going to have a very small impact on his overall score. 

I would presume that the Nike set currently includes a PW but no other wedges.  I would try to find 2 used wedges (2nd swing should have some).  Make sure they have nice grips, and I would probably get the same brand and model.  I would advice a 56 degree and a 60 degree wedge.  Also make sure you have a putter that you are comfortable using.  Putt around with a few putters until you find a type that feels good.  I think you should be able to pickup 2 wedges and a nice used putter for around 100-125 dollars total, and you may not need a putter if you like the one you currently have.

Now that you have these new tools, go practice with them.... not at the range, but find a course in your area with a nice chipping and putting practice area.  This is free to use and you do not need to buy a bucket of balls.  I always see beginners at the range pounding through a bucket of balls, and in reality this is not going to improve their scores. 

Best of all by practicing pitch shots, and various chips you will improve the confidence that you have with your full swing when using the other irons in the bag.  Also before playing a round, go to the course and hit the practice green and chipping facility before playing.   


GreenGuava

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2013, 09:40:08 AM »
In regards to the club conversation, I completely disagree with the advice given to GiggyJig.  I agree that the fitting days are a good opportunity to try out clubs, and get a free fitting, but I just don't think this is the first step in building his golf game.  I am sure the Nike Irons that he currently has are just fine for now.  If his goal is to get better, then buying new irons with a more forgiving club head or more built for his game are going to have a very small impact on his overall score. 

Just to be clear:  I don't think he needs new clubs yet.  I suggest finding out if the current ones are a good approximation to his fit.  If the suggested fit is, say, standard length and stiff flex soft stepped, and he's playing standard length regular flex, he's fine (good enough is good enough).  If he's playing -1" X-Flex, the clubs are going to hinder his game and development as a golfer.  If this is the hobby he chooses to spend his money on, it's best not to frustrate yourself immediately.

I would presume that the Nike set currently includes a PW but no other wedges.  I would try to find 2 used wedges (2nd swing should have some).  Make sure they have nice grips, and I would probably get the same brand and model.  I would advice a 56 degree and a 60 degree wedge.  Also make sure you have a putter that you are comfortable using.  Putt around with a few putters until you find a type that feels good.  I think you should be able to pickup 2 wedges and a nice used putter for around 100-125 dollars total, and you may not need a putter if you like the one you currently have.

It's a good question for GiggyJig:  what clubs do you have?  Also, I strongly disagree with a beginner having a 60 degree, unless he's playing super-fast greens with regularity.  However, a gap wedge may be a good choice, depending on the PW's loft. 

I'm also not sure he needs more clubs yet - a set of irons and a putter may be sufficient if he has access to a par-3 course, even if he occasionally finds a shot that would be better played with a different club.

Now that you have these new tools, go practice with them.... not at the range, but find a course in your area with a nice chipping and putting practice area.  This is free to use and you do not need to buy a bucket of balls.  I always see beginners at the range pounding through a bucket of balls, and in reality this is not going to improve their scores. 

Some courses do charge for their short game area (it's fairly common near where I am - I can think of two free chipping areas;  putting is still free everywhere I've been).  And short game practice for a beginner is vastly over-rated.  Once he's competent with a basic chip, pitch, and can do the basic putts (making 3' semi-regularly, having decent control for speed), the fastest way to improve his score is going to be keeping the ball in play off the tee and iron striking - these are both on the range.   Among other problems, there's a huge learning curve past the basics in short game, while much of the need for these shots can be obviated by good (in the sense of well-planned and semi-predictable) approach shots.

The single biggest scoring correlation for golf is greens in regulation, and it holds up at both high handicaps and at the highest levels of professional play.  Unless he's the next Stan Utley, you aren't going to become someone who can scramble from everywhere -- but he can avoid being everywhere, at least enough of the time.

Best of all by practicing pitch shots, and various chips you will improve the confidence that you have with your full swing when using the other irons in the bag.  Also before playing a round, go to the course and hit the practice green and chipping facility before playing.

Absolutely true;  many of the basics apply to both and are easier to get acclimated to in a pitch. 

GiggyJig

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2013, 03:59:59 PM »
Im currently at school right now and since it's winter I don't have my clubs; I'll be home tomorrow evening and will be able to give you the details. For me, my short game (chips, approaches with a wedge, short irons) has actually came naturally. I am not claiming i'm amazing and can lay up within 4 feet every chip, but it's something that I feel does not bring my score down a bunch. What has typically been the problem is longer irons, the driver (which I seriously need to buy, I currently have a junior sized fairway driver-yikes! and my driver slices harder than a dominoes pizza from right to left) and my putter which is wayyyy too short. I am definitely going to take the advice to go check out some wedges and a putter, and I need to evaluate my irons because I think I have some clubs missing or something that bothered me the last time I played. I guess I might even just skate by with what I have until I have the couple hundred bucks to throw down on a used decent set of irons+driver and hopefully i'll have a good putter and wedges before then. Do you guys have any tips on what to look for in wedges, as in what style/type? Also, how do you guys practice your ball striking when you typically seem to frown upon shooting range?
 As I started researching more and more what I need to be able to go to the local 18-hole average golf course and go a round without looking like a fool, I really saw how anti-mustachian this sport really can be and it almost scares me because i'm a sports fanatic!

gotaholen1

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2013, 04:55:28 PM »
I don't frown upon the range at all, I just hate to see people get a bucket of balls and pound through them really quickly without thinking.  Take your time, plan your shots like you would on the course.  If you ever get a chance to watch a pro golfer on the range it is amazing.  They have a plan for every practice shot. 

I would highly recommend the book here:  http://www.amazon.com/Five-Lessons-Modern-Fundamentals-Golf/dp/0671612972

Buy it used or get it at the library.  Just practice those things when you go to the range and stay focused.

GiggyJig

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2013, 06:58:45 PM »
great to know. And thank you everyone who has been contributing it's great getting so much support, and from intelligent golfers who are down to help out. Makes me mad that I live in Minnesota where I get seemingly little time to golf. late april is when it seems the courses will start opening, with outdoor ranges coming a bit sooner although i'm sure somewhere around the metro there is heated stalls haha. Where do you guys golf locally?

GreenGuava

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Re: Any golfers on here?
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2013, 02:12:13 AM »
What has typically been the problem is longer irons, the driver (which I seriously need to buy, I currently have a junior sized fairway driver-yikes! and my driver slices harder than a dominoes pizza from right to left) and my putter which is wayyyy too short.

Don't buy one until you have an idea of your fit;  you're probably in R-flex, and could probably do with more loft.  And you'll probably find plenty in the used bins.

See if your local golf shop has one of the Ping putter fitters;  my local ones leave them out in the putter area, encouraging anyone to try it to determine their ideal fit.

I am definitely going to take the advice to go check out some wedges and a putter, and I need to evaluate my irons because I think I have some clubs missing or something that bothered me the last time I played. I guess I might even just skate by with what I have until I have the couple hundred bucks to throw down on a used decent set of irons+driver and hopefully i'll have a good putter and wedges before then.  Do you guys have any tips on what to look for in wedges, as in what style/type?

Hang on on new purchases until you've evaluated what you have and what you need.  You also might want to look also at a golf-specific forum for more "beginner on a budget" advice, too.  TST is a great one.

Also, how do you guys practice your ball striking when you typically seem to frown upon shooting range?

Echoing gotaholen1 here:  when you're at the range, practice like you're paid for it by the hour, not by the bucket.  For each shot, take a few practice swings and aim at a specific target.  Know up front what you're there to practice.  My friends wonder why it takes me longer to get through a bucket and how I can shoot lower scores than they do when I "hit so darn few practice balls."

That would be my advice, too, if range balls were free or if money weren't an issue for you.  So it isn't just because we're at MMM.

As I started researching more and more what I need to be able to go to the local 18-hole average golf course and go a round without looking like a fool, I really saw how anti-mustachian this sport really can be and it almost scares me because i'm a sports fanatic!

Well, now we get into a debate about whether the hobbies you spend money on keep you focused on the overall goal or whether they get in the way.  I would argue that golf keeps me motivated and is, in fact, one of my main FI goals -- to be able to spend more time playing and practicing golf.  And if that means a few more months in the office to account for that, I'm fine.

As for the books, the Hogan book and the Bennett & Plummer book are the only two full-swing reference books I'm fine recommending.  They should both be in your library, as should Arnold Palmer's "Playing by the Rules" (which is how I learned the rules, plus it's interesting history).

Best of luck with the weather.  Maybe in a half dozen or so years, we'll both be retired and in Phoenix or Palm Springs (those are my intended retirement castles) where we can play golf 365.