The real reason golfers don’t get better with practice

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  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,018 ✭✭
    edited Nov 14, 2018 #62
    What I see is a lot people don't improve because a lot people simply practice the wrong thing. For instance a lot people think they need to practice better at putting and they may correct but do they practice from 6 ft in no they think they need to sink 30 ft putts all day because that is what they see on TV. Doesn't matter that even the best putters probably have less then 10% chance of making it . They also have no idea what shot they can and can't make and try to be a hero way too many times. If you have a 1 in 20 chance of making a shot it means you should not be doing the shot in the first place.



    When they seek help they end up going with instructors who can't break 80 and just teach guys who score 130 so they are not challenged to actually teach anything.





    After a few lessons of not improving they start to blame equipment and get advice a guy who tell them need to buy clubs that you can't tell where you hit the ball on the face or a driver that has an adjustment that makes you hook the ball.



    If they just kept things simple most of them actually would improve every time they go out.
  • Forged4everForged4ever To See A Man’s True Character, Play Golf With Him The Burgh/Hdcp: My gene poolClubWRX Posts: 15,617 ClubWRX
    edited Nov 14, 2018 #63
    The real reason that most golfers don’t improve with practice?



    Simple, lol



    They don’t know what to practice, when to practice it, why they are practicing it or how to practice it~



    I hope that you’ve hadda nice season Gator👊



    Cheers🍻

    RP
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  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,675 ClubWRX
    The real reason that most golfers don&#146;t improve with practice?



    Simple, lol



    They don&#146;t know what to practice, when to practice it, why they are practicing it or how to practice it~



    I hope that you&#146;ve hadda nice season Gator&#4322378;



    Cheers&#4322171;

    RP




    Which is pretty much the point of the original article: most people don't understand how to learn complex skills. That doesn't mean they are bad people. Or stupid. It means they don't understand it. Yet.



    And this is completely separate and apart from an individual's terminal ability in any given complex skill That one is trying to improve.
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  • elthrillelthrill Members Posts: 130 ✭✭
    initially, most new golfers dont improve due to course management. no question about it. I can take any new golfer that shoots 100+ and if i walk the course with them and tell them what club to hit and where to aim. i can get them improved 5-10 strokes. that day. no range time needed. thats how abysmal most people manage their own golf games when starting out. (and many after playing for years!)



    once they learn how to get around the course, they have to get into the golf swing and want to know why it works and how it works. have to know their own swing to improve and most just dont put in the time and work. its not easy. we all know that. instruction without deep commitment is generally not going to make you better. you have to know it and own it. a few lessons wont do jack $hit. and thats where most people stop. play the game. like it. try to get better. dont get better. quit. (but i even took lessons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • alfridayalfriday Members Posts: 458 ✭✭
    After reading this thread, I have to wonder how many of the people who responded, especially those who criticize the article, actually took the time to read the article.



    The premise of the article is pretty simple: "Improving how you think during your practice sessions is a simple strategy you can utilise to increase your rate of development."



    The author then provides "Expert Thinking--The Backgound," which includes the flow chart. This is background. The theoretical framework. Yes, it has some scientific terms in it. For those of us who have a working knowledge of performance improvement science, it's pretty straight forward. To those who are ignorant of this area, apparently it's gobbledygoop. Fine, it's background. You don't have to fully understand it to benefit from the article. Because...



    The author then goes on and gives two concrete examples. Example one: "Poor Golfer's Thinking." You don't have to know anything about learning science to read through the example and see how your practice compares to the example. Example two: "Elite Golfer's Thinking." Again, you don't have to know anything about learning science to see how it differs from the first example and to compare your own practice sessions with it. A reader can implement the changes by following the example without getting hung up on the scientific "gobbledygoop."



    The examples provide a pretty good framework to help golfers improve faster. And that is the point of the article. We all have limited practice time. If you can only practice two hours a week, how do you get the most improvement out of the two hours?



  • CheckJVCheckJV Male Model Members Posts: 2,092 ✭✭
    Don’t be foolish. It’s not about practice, it’s about buying new clubs.
  • llewol007llewol007 4KidsGolfer ClubWRX Posts: 3,355 ClubWRX
    A lot can be said about why a player does not get any better with practice. So much of the game is hand eye coordination. I see players who have played for 20 plus years and still cant crack 90. I have a friend who is a multi sport athlete and he shoots in the 90's all the time we play. Depends really on the foundation you have to start with. I never had any prior lesson before I took up the game. Luckily enough in high school I started working at a local golf shop and we had a couple of hitting bays. In a span of I would say 2 years, I was able to shoot in the mid 80's. Only when I practiced on my own and most of the issue for me was short game, did my scores improve. Most players now a days I say work too much on having the perfect golf swing and really lose the time needed to work on the short game which is what can really improve their scores. A buddy of mine told me if you have a solid short game, its like picking up and extra stroke from tee to green. Golf is a lot about timing as well and as many of us can attest, even the pros have a tough time with perfect timing. So imagine asking a novice player who practices once a week to see if his timing can be consistent enough to reproduce the same swing over and over is about as close to impossible.
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  • Nard_SNard_S Members Posts: 3,129 ✭✭
    The process the article lays out is highly similar to what is used in TQM manufacturing methods. It's the reason planes don't fall out of the sky and Toyota's go 300K without a hiccup even though there's 10's of thousands of components in both. The learning/improvement process is ongoing and does not end at the lesson or process plan. It's continual, it has a matrix to evaluate and adjust in real time and do better on the next effort. There's good stuff here and frankly I need to adopt it more even though I've gotten companies ISO registered, lol.
  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,245 ✭✭
    alfriday wrote:


    After reading this thread, I have to wonder how many of the people who responded, especially those who criticize the article, actually took the time to read the article.



    The premise of the article is pretty simple: "Improving how you think during your practice sessions is a simple strategy you can utilise to increase your rate of development."



    The author then provides "Expert Thinking--The Backgound," which includes the flow chart. This is background. The theoretical framework. Yes, it has some scientific terms in it. For those of us who have a working knowledge of performance improvement science, it's pretty straight forward. To those who are ignorant of this area, apparently it's gobbledygoop. Fine, it's background. You don't have to fully understand it to benefit from the article. Because...



    The author then goes on and gives two concrete examples. Example one: "Poor Golfer's Thinking." You don't have to know anything about learning science to read through the example and see how your practice compares to the example. Example two: "Elite Golfer's Thinking." Again, you don't have to know anything about learning science to see how it differs from the first example and to compare your own practice sessions with it. A reader can implement the changes by following the example without getting hung up on the scientific "gobbledygoop."



    The examples provide a pretty good framework to help golfers improve faster. And that is the point of the article. We all have limited practice time. If you can only practice two hours a week, how do you get the most improvement out of the two hours?








    Wait a minute. I did read the article, and if someone doesn't improve after a years practice at two hours a week, does it really matter what they are thinking? Seriously, who practices any recreational activity for two hours a week for a year and doesn't improve? If true, probably time to try something else. Golf isn't for everyone.



    Great thinking and getting better at golf



    Changing a golfer’s thinking in this way will make no visible difference over the course of three shots on a golf range. However, extend this new cycle of thinking out over a year’s practice (13,000 reps as an estimate for a golfer who practices 2 hours a week*) and we see a new golfer emerge.
    *100 golf balls a week = 100 cycles

    80 shots on a golf course a week = 80 cycles

    40 putts and chips a week = 80 cycles

    Total = 260 cycles per week

    50 weeks practice = 13,000 cycles / year


    This process is the difference between the golfer who still plays off 19 at the end of the year and the one who is now a 13 handicapper. Or the 4 handicapper who keeps hovering between 4 and 5 and the one who gets down to a 1-handicap and shoots under par on a good day.
  • alfridayalfriday Members Posts: 458 ✭✭
    Perhaps you should read it again.
  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,245 ✭✭
    alfriday wrote:


    Perhaps you should read it again.




    I did, and the author provides zero evidence for his ultimate conclusion: "This process is the difference between the golfer who still plays off 19 at the end of the year and the one who is now a 13 handicapper."



    The article doesn't answer your question either: "If you can only practice two hours a week, how do you get the most improvement out of the two hours?"



    However, i have heard that a 90's shooter can become a 70's shooter just through meta-awareness, so there is that.
  • Golfer4LifeGolfer4Life Bob Parsons Bodyguard, Chump! ClubWRX Posts: 2,152
    I have 100 yds in my backyard, so I practice mostly from 100 and in. I feel comfortable with the rest and the short game it is my favorite part of the game.



    I don't do it everyday, but enough to keep me sharp. I'm honest about it, I don't get better because golf is not my number one activity so I don't invest more time on it. I'm happy with my game the way it is at the moment.
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  • alfridayalfriday Members Posts: 458 ✭✭
    oikos1 wrote:

    alfriday wrote:


    Perhaps you should read it again.




    I did, and the author provides zero evidence for his ultimate conclusion: "This process is the difference between the golfer who still plays off 19 at the end of the year and the one who is now a 13 handicapper."



    The article doesn't answer your question either: "If you can only practice two hours a week, how do you get the most improvement out of the two hours?"



    However, i have heard that a 90's shooter can become a 70's shooter just through meta-awareness, so there is that.




    I can explain it to you. But I can't understand it for you. The answer to my question was the article. That should be obvious.



    Perhaps you should click on the links in the article and review the references.





    With that, I am done with you. It's your time you will be wasting on the range, not mine.
  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,245 ✭✭
    alfriday wrote:

    oikos1 wrote:

    alfriday wrote:


    Perhaps you should read it again.




    I did, and the author provides zero evidence for his ultimate conclusion: "This process is the difference between the golfer who still plays off 19 at the end of the year and the one who is now a 13 handicapper."



    The article doesn't answer your question either: "If you can only practice two hours a week, how do you get the most improvement out of the two hours?"



    However, i have heard that a 90's shooter can become a 70's shooter just through meta-awareness, so there is that.




    I can explain it to you. But I can't understand it for you. The answer to my question was the article. That should be obvious.



    Perhaps you should click on the links in the article and review the references.





    With that, I am done with you. It's your time you will be wasting on the range, not mine.




    Nothing in the links about "This process is the difference between the golfer who still plays off 19 at the end of the year and the one who is now a 13 handicapper" and it certainly doesn't answer how to get the most improvement out of the two hours of practice time but glad you got your drive by and "done with you" in.
  • FourTopsFourTops Banned Posts: 1,676 ✭✭
    I guess the key question is "what are they practicing" to not get better?
  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,675 ClubWRX
    FourTops wrote:
    I guess the key question is "what are they practicing" to not get better?




    "Badness"
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  • ryan983ryan983 Members Posts: 669 ✭✭
    Obee wrote:

    FourTops wrote:
    I guess the key question is "what are they practicing" to not get better?




    "Badness"




    You’re a pretty big proponent of swinging your swing and owning your unique move. How would a 12 handicap get to scratch and beyond without fixing their technique? Can they just groove their 12 handicap move and get to plus territory when enough practice?
  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,675 ClubWRX
    ryan983 wrote:
    Obee wrote:

    FourTops wrote:
    I guess the key question is "what are they practicing" to not get better?




    "Badness"




    You&#146;re a pretty big proponent of swinging your swing and owning your unique move. How would a 12 handicap get to scratch and beyond without fixing their technique? Can they just groove their 12 handicap move and get to plus territory when enough practice?




    How long has the 12 had a club in his hands? What's his athletic background?
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  • ryan983ryan983 Members Posts: 669 ✭✭
    Obee wrote:

    ryan983 wrote:
    Obee wrote:

    FourTops wrote:
    I guess the key question is "what are they practicing" to not get better?




    "Badness"




    You’re a pretty big proponent of swinging your swing and owning your unique move. How would a 12 handicap get to scratch and beyond without fixing their technique? Can they just groove their 12 handicap move and get to plus territory when enough practice?




    How long has the 12 had a club in his hands? What's his athletic background?




    You’ll make it whatever you want to fit your argument. You move the goal post depending on the thread you’re in.



    I was a low single digit/scratch for the last 20 years +. This includes my college years. The best I could get to on my own was scratch when I was playing all the time. Athleticism is never something I’ve lacked.



    I hardly played for some of those 20 years (couple times a month with a 6 month season). I picked it back up seriously about 4 years ago. Started really focusing on my mechanics the last 3 years bc I knew I was limited with the move I had and my body couldn’t handle the stress I was putting on it. I’m well into the plus range now and my anti handicap is miles better than it was before. I’ve picked up 30-35 yards off the tee at age 35.



    I get tired of the swing your swing mantra. Sometimes your swing will only take you so far. No matter how long you’ve played and how athletic you are, you will be limited if you have glaring technical flaws.
  • Krt22Krt22 Members Posts: 6,201 ✭✭
    edited Nov 14, 2018 #81
    That is why you need the meta awareness to swing your swing without technical swing things. If you see the swing you can become the swing
  • ryan983ryan983 Members Posts: 669 ✭✭
    Krt22 wrote:


    That is why you need the meta awareness to swing your swing without technical swing things. If you see the swing you can become the swing




    I’m certain that was my issue before! If only I knew that back then! 😁
  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,675 ClubWRX
    ryan983 wrote:
    Obee wrote:

    ryan983 wrote:
    Obee wrote:

    FourTops wrote:
    I guess the key question is "what are they practicing" to not get better?




    "Badness"




    You&#146;re a pretty big proponent of swinging your swing and owning your unique move. How would a 12 handicap get to scratch and beyond without fixing their technique? Can they just groove their 12 handicap move and get to plus territory when enough practice?




    How long has the 12 had a club in his hands? What's his athletic background?




    You&#146;ll make it whatever you want to fit your argument. You move the goal post depending on the thread you&#146;re in.



    I was a low single digit/scratch for the last 20 years +. This includes my college years. The best I could get to on my own was scratch when I was playing all the time. Athleticism is never something I&#146;ve lacked.



    I hardly played for some of those 20 years (couple times a month with a 6 month season). I picked it back up seriously about 4 years ago. Started really focusing on my mechanics the last 3 years bc I knew I was limited with the move I had and my body couldn&#146;t handle the stress I was putting on it. I&#146;m well into the plus range now and my anti handicap is miles better than it was before. I&#146;ve picked up 30-35 yards off the tee at age 35.



    I get tired of the swing your swing mantra. Sometimes your swing will only take you so far. No matter how long you&#146;ve played and how athletic you are, you will be limited if you have glaring technical flaws.




    What's your point?



    Have you seen my posts of guys who get pegged as 8 - 16-caps because their swings are so "flawed"? But they're actually scratch amateurs. With jobs. Who play to 1 to +3 indexes? In tournaments? That are verifiable?



    As to "moving the goal posts": Yeah, golf is a complicated, nuanced game that is equal parts art and science. You're **** right the goal posts move depending on the individual player and situation.



    What, exactly, are you taking issue with? Have we ever interacted?
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  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,675 ClubWRX
    ryan983 wrote:
    Obee wrote:

    ryan983 wrote:
    Obee wrote:

    FourTops wrote:
    I guess the key question is "what are they practicing" to not get better?




    "Badness"




    You&#146;re a pretty big proponent of swinging your swing and owning your unique move. How would a 12 handicap get to scratch and beyond without fixing their technique? Can they just groove their 12 handicap move and get to plus territory when enough practice?




    How long has the 12 had a club in his hands? What's his athletic background?




    You&#146;ll make it whatever you want to fit your argument. You move the goal post depending on the thread you&#146;re in.



    I was a low single digit/scratch for the last 20 years +. This includes my college years. The best I could get to on my own was scratch when I was playing all the time. Athleticism is never something I&#146;ve lacked.



    I hardly played for some of those 20 years (couple times a month with a 6 month season). I picked it back up seriously about 4 years ago. Started really focusing on my mechanics the last 3 years bc I knew I was limited with the move I had and my body couldn&#146;t handle the stress I was putting on it. I&#146;m well into the plus range now and my anti handicap is miles better than it was before. I&#146;ve picked up 30-35 yards off the tee at age 35.



    I get tired of the swing your swing mantra. Sometimes your swing will only take you so far. No matter how long you&#146;ve played and how athletic you are, you will be limited if you have glaring technical flaws.




    BTW, congratulations on your improved golf. Are you playing tournaments?



    About half the guys that I know who play legit, tournament-tested, scratch golf have a coach they see, anything from once a week, to once a month. The other half never, or almost never see a coach of any kind.



    I am only talking about the working people. Not professionals. Not self-made people without jobs with unlimited time. People who have to choose what they do with their "golf time."



    Half have coaches. Half don't.



    I recently surveyed 50+ SoCal scratch and below golfers on this very subject. Will be doing a write-up on my findings soon.



    If you think I think coaches are useless or that everyone can become their best completely on their own, that is not at all the case.



    I do think that most people would benefit from focusing more on HOW to learn and the underlying CONCEPTS of golf, ball flight, the golf swing, and scoring, than on positions and specific swing theories.



    Often times, though, the fault is as much with the pupil as it is with the student. Teacher can do a great job of balancing positions and overall concepts, and all the student hears are the positions, and thus fixates on them.



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  • PutterKilledTheDreamPutterKilledTheDream Members Posts: 3,327 ✭✭
    Obee. Great post.Well articulated my man.
  • jbw749jbw749 Members Posts: 1,126
    Obee wrote:

    ctmason_98 wrote:




    Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.




    I think it is fantastic if you teach people successfully. I don’t know anything about how you teach, and don’t care.



    So with all that said...this sentence is complete gibberish.



    And if it makes any one feel better, by all means just chalk it up to me just not being as smart as you.




    I don't know what a "feel channel" is, but I'm a big believer in meta-awareness being something every golfer should start to understand.




    Feel channel to me (Jim may have a different definition) is where you are non-judgmentaly observing how things feel while performing an action, this approach excels learning. You may practice in slow motion in front of a mirror over and over on a motion, but when you swing for real you are a student of HOW it feels.



    As apposed to chasing feels and trying make body parts feel a certain way by talking to them. You read somewhere it should feel like your right elbow should be in front of your navel at P6. Then you talk to your right elbow during the swing trying force that feel and if it doesnt feel like you achieved it then you grade it as poor. If you did achieve it then it's good unless it led to a bad shot in which case you think that feel now doesn't work for you. It's a viscous cycle. Always chasing new feels judging them good or bad just like a gambling or drug addict.
  • BMCBMC Members Posts: 3,525 ✭✭
    Hmmmm



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  • larrybudlarrybud Members Posts: 11,224 ✭✭

    larrybud wrote:

    Obee wrote:


    I'm surprised to see you say things like this, LB. Jim's stuff has always resonated with me. So much so, in fact, that I referred my son to Jim for help in overcoming his driver yips.




    Because it does nobody any favors. By his own admission, players have to pull up a *neuroscience* glossary to understand what Jim is talking about, and they have to blow 1/2 hour of lesson time to understand "meta-awareness". So they're a hundred bucks into golf lessons (or whatever Jim's hourly rate is) and have 0 progress. Honestly, how are new players supposed to relate to this? How are you supposed to get players into golf, and WANT to take lessons and get better with this? So they're an hour into a lesson and all they've done is book learning, and they'll forget 99% of it 5 minutes after they leave, when it's not necessary.



    It's absolutely detrimental to the game of golf.




    Man. Before I say this I want to say. I generally enjoy your posts.



    But to bag on this after I just tried to decipher the algorithm you propose to judge wind is a bit much.




    The difference is that I'm not a golf teacher who gets paid by people seeking to improve their golf swing.
  • larrybudlarrybud Members Posts: 11,224 ✭✭
    Obee wrote:


    Which is pretty much the point of the original article: most people don't understand how to learn complex skills. That doesn't mean they are bad people. Or stupid. It means they don't understand it. Yet.




    But learning that complex skill doesn't have to be complicated. Take example of a TON of juniors who don't have the mental capability of complex thought, yet they can learn to swing a club and succeed at high levels.



    So how do they do it? Does a teacher talk to them about ulnar deviation, or P4- thru P7, or metacognitive self-monitoring? Of course not! So why does anybody think that an adult needs to know any of that to improve?



    So why don't people get better? For a number of reasons:



    One - Bad/complicated/incorrect golf instructions - If you're leaving your lessons with more confusion than when you got there, you got the wrong guy. If your instructor is chasing a symptom rather than the root cause, your improvement will be short lived. And if your idea of practice is beating 200 balls with no specific intention, that will only get you so far.



    Two - Golf is collection of very different skill sets. I always see it as 5 different skills: Driving, irons, short game, putting, game management. I see very few similarities between driving the ball and putting, except that you're hitting a ball in each. Hitting unique short game shots to save a stroke is very different than hitting a full iron, for example. And being able to measure your ability for a given shot which is then used to influence how/what shot you play also takes a non-physical skill set that some might not posses.



    So to get to one's potential, each of those areas has to be improved, and few people have the time to work properly on each one.
  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,245 ✭✭
    jbw749 wrote:

    Obee wrote:

    ctmason_98 wrote:


    Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.




    I think it is fantastic if you teach people successfully. I don't know anything about how you teach, and don't care.



    So with all that said...this sentence is complete gibberish.



    And if it makes any one feel better, by all means just chalk it up to me just not being as smart as you.




    I don't know what a "feel channel" is, but I'm a big believer in meta-awareness being something every golfer should start to understand.




    Feel channel to me (Jim may have a different definition) is where you are non-judgmentaly observing how things feel while performing an action, this approach excels learning. You may practice in slow motion in front of a mirror over and over on a motion, but when you swing for real you are a student of HOW it feels.



    As apposed to chasing feels and trying make body parts feel a certain way by talking to them. You read somewhere it should feel like your right elbow should be in front of your navel at P6. Then you talk to your right elbow during the swing trying force that feel and if it doesnt feel like you achieved it then you grade it as poor. If you did achieve it then it's good unless it led to a bad shot in which case you think that feel now doesn't work for you. It's a viscous cycle. Always chasing new feels judging them good or bad just like a gambling or drug addict.




    Feel channel focuses on "How it feels", yet you are non judgemental? Then I have to ask, how do you reconcile a feel that feels great and proper yet the results are ****? This is what many golfers actually do. They do something that "feels" good or correct, yet it's not what they should be doing at all. At some point the results have to be judged and the feel as good or bad or how else do you improve?



    By the way, googling "feel channel" provides zero hits, which is quite unusual for google. Do you have any references or links as to where one might learn more about "feel channel"?
  • ryan983ryan983 Members Posts: 669 ✭✭
    edited Nov 15, 2018 #91
    This is in response to Obee. My browse won't let me quote the prior comments for some reason.



    I don't post much as I have a wife and 4 kids at home but I read some threads while sitting at soccer practice or over lunch, etc. You post a fair amount and to me, the predominate tone of your posts seem to be that you just need to play golf or work on your mental game or now your meta awareness. I don't hit it very far and look at how I compete against all the long ball hitters. You can do the same! Just own the uniqueness to your swing and go!



    There is absolutely a place for that. But that can do harm to the guys that need to address other technical issues before they can just go play in competitions and not get DFL. It's good to see you say you don't think everyone can become their best on their own. That's not what I take away from most of your posts and neither do the other guys on here that I know



    Most posters here asking for help are a long way off from being a traveling, tournament playing scratch. They need help with their technique whether that be long game or short game.



    yes I play tournaments and am in the "have a coach" group.

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