I am Flunking Weekend Golf

DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Pinehurst, NCMembers Posts: 5,247 ✭✭

A couple years back I made some changes in my life, adding a few activities and making room by (in part) dramatically reducing my golf. I used to have a club in my hands (play or practice) 5 to 6 days per week. Now it is down to one round per week, maybe a bit of chipping practice in the back yard, and nothing else. I expected my game to go downhill, I have exceeded expectations, so no huge surprises in that regard.

But what is a bit of a surprise is that I am having trouble enjoying the game these days. I have moved up a set of tees (although that hardly keeps scoring where it was 'in the old days'). And it isn't the scores that bother me. What bothers me is what in my terms is that I just hit WAY too many 'duffs' (chunks, skulls, tops, etc). It isn't the scores but all those really bad shots that 'kill my enjoyment'.

I have watched many of my buddies as their game 'ages' (my DOB is 1949) and their game goes downhill. Some just keep playing and still enjoy it. Many others have quit playing. 'Back then' my index was (at least in the summer) in the 5's occasionally dipping into the 4's. I am currently in the express lane for low to mid teens.

Just thought that I would throw this out there to see what it stirs up.

dave

«1

Comments

  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Open Championship! IowaClubWRX Posts: 18,066 ClubWRX

    Dramatically increase your golf!

  • DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Pinehurst, NCMembers Posts: 5,247 ✭✭
    edited Jun 19, 2019 10:46pm #3

    I used to be able to play once a week and enjoy it (like back in the 1970's). I am not sure what has changed here.

    dave

  • tocinotocino Members Posts: 2,289 ✭✭

    lack of practice? also age related issues may be messing with your swing more than you realize.

  • DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Pinehurst, NCMembers Posts: 5,247 ✭✭

    Age and practice are clearly factors. The inability to play well enough to enjoy the game is the real shocker here.

    dave

  • DrDonDrDon Members Posts: 83 ✭✭

    With a handicap in the low teens, you are in the upper echelon of golfers aged 70 who play only once a week.

  • MountainGoatMountainGoat Mid-MarylandMembers Posts: 1,870 ✭✭

    I work with this all the time. Older guys tend to lose their lower body power and balance, and they start playing the game with their shoulders, arms and hands. That leads to mis-hits.

  • DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Pinehurst, NCMembers Posts: 5,247 ✭✭

    @MountainGoat said:
    I work with this all the time. Older guys tend to lose their lower body power and balance, and they start playing the game with their shoulders, arms and hands. That leads to mis-hits.

    First of all this post was not about the state of my golf, but the state of my relationship with my golf game. I was not looking for swing help here, but your comment is interesting. And in my case I wonder if the opposite is true. One thing that took the place of my golf time is my road bike. I ride (depending on the season) 120 to 200 miles per week and pretty routinely ride at 18 to 19 mph (solo) for an hour or two (longer on occasion). I would guess that my lower body is stronger now than it was five years ago and I wonder what that might mean.

    But golf swings are hard to fix when you are willing to work on them, so not much to be gained in my case most likely.

    dave

  • MountainGoatMountainGoat Mid-MarylandMembers Posts: 1,870 ✭✭
    edited Jun 20, 2019 11:16am #10

    @DaveLeeNC said:

    @MountainGoat said:
    I work with this all the time. Older guys tend to lose their lower body power and balance, and they start playing the game with their shoulders, arms and hands. That leads to mis-hits.

    First of all this post was not about the state of my golf, but the state of my relationship with my golf game. I was not looking for swing help here, but your comment is interesting. And in my case I wonder if the opposite is true. One thing that took the place of my golf time is my road bike. I ride (depending on the season) 120 to 200 miles per week and pretty routinely ride at 18 to 19 mph (solo) for an hour or two (longer on occasion). I would guess that my lower body is stronger now than it was five years ago and I wonder what that might mean.

    But golf swings are hard to fix when you are willing to work on them, so not much to be gained in my case most likely.

    dave

    Forgive my comment. This being an instruction forum, I thought you were looking for instruction. If you're looking for empathy, then yes, I empathize with your increasing number of mis-hits. I often shake my head at my own short-comings in this area. In any case, it's not a question of lower body strength. It's a question of positive integration of the lower body into a golf swing. I'm now out of this discussion.

  • Swisstrader98Swisstrader98 Members Posts: 3,548 ✭✭

    Take some viagra

  • HatsForBatsHatsForBats Members Posts: 1,688 ✭✭

    Take a break. If you have gone from 5 to 6 days per week down to 1 it sounds like you have lost your passion for the game. 1 day a week isn't going to allow you to make much of an improvement if any.

  • MelloYelloMelloYello Upstate, SCMembers Posts: 3,459 ✭✭

    Are you struggling with your ball-striking or your short game?

    I'm 33 but I totally agree that playing below one's expectations is a horrible experience. It's really hard to roll-back the expectations that we have for ourselves which only adds to the frustration of the game.

    Seems to me that most players face this issue and either (1) just get angry about it, (2) quit so as not to face the problem any longer or (3) try to get better by getting more engrossed in the game.

    If you want to be more happy about your game I'd suggest working on your issues. You obviously aren't going to make a "swing change" at your age but I don't see why you couldn't steady the ship in terms of hitting the ball a bit better.

    I'm pretty good in the short game for instance. I'm an 8 handicap but I'd put my chipping & pitching up against anyone who's a scratch. That said, if I ever have a day where I chunk a shot or shank one unexpectedly a la Justin Rose it's frustrating. That said, if I hit it reasonably well but just don't get it close enough to convert or simply miss putts that's a far less infuriating experience.

    So I don't know how much you can improve your score, maybe only a few strokes, but I'd bet that you can improve your enjoyment if you practiced a bit more.

    Driver: TaylorMade M3 (10.5) w. Tensei Pro Orange
    Fairway: Titleist 915 F (18) w. Diamana Blueboard
    Hybrid: Tour Edge Exotics E8 (19)
    Irons: Titleist 716 CB (4-Pw)
    Wedges: Vokey SM6 52-F / 56-F / 60-S
    Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Select
  • DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Pinehurst, NCMembers Posts: 5,247 ✭✭

    Thanks for all the comments. Just to be clear

    1) The unexpected high level of dissatisfaction is not about the (unexpected high) level of poor scores
    2) The high level of dissatisfaction is about the unexpectedly high level of 'duffs' - 150 yards out in the fairway, hit the ball 80 yards. That kind of stuff.

    FWIW, my short game is hardly sharp any more but (now that I have solved my YIPS with a different grip) I am actually happy with the level of degradation that I have experienced in that regard.

    dave

  • DavePelz4DavePelz4 A golf course in the Chicago area.ClubWRX Posts: 24,656 ClubWRX

    Hey Dave...4 years ago I was playing 5-6 times a week like you, was a single digit and posted some really nice rounds. Did an acquisition which basically replaced golf time with work time. As you can imagine, my index went up by 8 shots and while the passion was still there, the enjoyment factor went way down because of the crappy scores. Trying to just enjoy being with my friends more and relishing the good holes, assuming there are any. I hope in time I'll be back to playing a lot more and am truly looking forward to that.

  • MelloYelloMelloYello Upstate, SCMembers Posts: 3,459 ✭✭
    edited Jun 20, 2019 1:15pm #17

    @DaveLeeNC said:
    Thanks for all the comments. Just to be clear

    1) The unexpected high level of dissatisfaction is not about the (unexpected high) level of poor scores
    2) The high level of dissatisfaction is about the unexpectedly high level of 'duffs' - 150 yards out in the fairway, hit the ball 80 yards. That kind of stuff.

    FWIW, my short game is hardly sharp any more but (now that I have solved my YIPS with a different grip) I am actually happy with the level of degradation that I have experienced in that regard.

    dave

    Nothing you've said sounds at all surprising if you're a typical amateur with a few flaws in your swing, which virtually everyone is. If indeed you're really chuncking it that badly, it sounds like you have an iffy swing. Maybe when you were playing a lot you could time things up enough to avoid the disastrous mistakes that are now getting exposed? That's pretty common. Whatever the case, it sounds like you're falling back as a result of poor technique.

    The path forward is to either enjoy chunking it (haha) or go fix it with a little practice. If you're playing once a week you still need to hit some balls in between, even if you view it as work. Golf is a terrible hobby in terms of how much time is required to be reasonably proficient. The smallest thing can result in a poor shot and that one poor shot can ignite a blow-up. All golfers try and balance on a knife-edge.

    So ideally you'd take a look at your swing and see if there's anything you can do to correct your flaws that isn't going to require a massive change.

    Driver: TaylorMade M3 (10.5) w. Tensei Pro Orange
    Fairway: Titleist 915 F (18) w. Diamana Blueboard
    Hybrid: Tour Edge Exotics E8 (19)
    Irons: Titleist 716 CB (4-Pw)
    Wedges: Vokey SM6 52-F / 56-F / 60-S
    Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Select
  • DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Pinehurst, NCMembers Posts: 5,247 ✭✭

    @DavePelz4 said:
    Hey Dave...4 years ago I was playing 5-6 times a week like you, was a single digit and posted some really nice rounds. Did an acquisition which basically replaced golf time with work time. As you can imagine, my index went up by 8 shots and while the passion was still there, the enjoyment factor went way down because of the crappy scores. Trying to just enjoy being with my friends more and relishing the good holes, assuming there are any. I hope in time I'll be back to playing a lot more and am truly looking forward to that.

    Dave, thanks for the perspective. Your '8 strokes different' is in the same ballpark as my experience here.

    And I guess that I have an advantage over you in that I can just 'decide to play more' if I choose that.

    dave

  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members Posts: 21,377 ✭✭

    @DaveLeeNC said:

    @DavePelz4 said:
    Hey Dave...4 years ago I was playing 5-6 times a week like you, was a single digit and posted some really nice rounds. Did an acquisition which basically replaced golf time with work time. As you can imagine, my index went up by 8 shots and while the passion was still there, the enjoyment factor went way down because of the crappy scores. Trying to just enjoy being with my friends more and relishing the good holes, assuming there are any. I hope in time I'll be back to playing a lot more and am truly looking forward to that.

    Dave, thanks for the perspective. Your '8 strokes different' is in the same ballpark as my experience here.

    And I guess that I have an advantage over you in that I can just 'decide to play more' if I choose that.

    dave

    Why not try an experiment? Dedicate one week this season to golf. See where you're at by the end of the week, and you'll likely have your answer. If you see a large improvement it's likely just lack of practice. If you're duffing as many shots on Friday then it's likely the body heading south. I generally play on the weekends, and I have my share of poor shots. When I'm on vacation and playing every day, or twice a day, I get into a groove, and the results are very good.

  • DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Pinehurst, NCMembers Posts: 5,247 ✭✭

    @Argonne69 said:

    @DaveLeeNC said:

    @DavePelz4 said:
    Hey Dave...4 years ago I was playing 5-6 times a week like you, was a single digit and posted some really nice rounds. Did an acquisition which basically replaced golf time with work time. As you can imagine, my index went up by 8 shots and while the passion was still there, the enjoyment factor went way down because of the crappy scores. Trying to just enjoy being with my friends more and relishing the good holes, assuming there are any. I hope in time I'll be back to playing a lot more and am truly looking forward to that.

    Dave, thanks for the perspective. Your '8 strokes different' is in the same ballpark as my experience here.

    And I guess that I have an advantage over you in that I can just 'decide to play more' if I choose that.

    dave

    Why not try an experiment? Dedicate one week this season to golf. See where you're at by the end of the week, and you'll likely have your answer. If you see a large improvement it's likely just lack of practice. If you're duffing as many shots on Friday then it's likely the body heading south. I generally play on the weekends, and I have my share of poor shots. When I'm on vacation and playing every day, or twice a day, I get into a groove, and the results are very good.

    That experiment is interesting. But there a good bit to the story here that I left out simply to avoid making this a thread about swing changes and practice habits. But what the heck :D

    The change in golf started a number of years ago when in the month of October 2015 my golf game went away. I took a month off for some family business and my ability to hit the ball at the level I had previously was gone. I finally ended up getting a series of lessons from a local, kind of "high end" type instructor. I realized at the end of this I had learned to make the same mistakes using a different setup and (slightly) different grip vs. when I started.

    My interest in golf kind of slowly dwindled at that point until here we are. I have done one thing that was an interesting 'solution'. My driver has never been a problem (I am not long, but put a ball on a tee and give me a GREAT BIG clubhead and I can do pretty good, even now). I learned to play defensive golf where 'defensive' meant avoiding my problem shots which is anything with a full swing using clubs between 3w and 9i. Since I was playing the forward tees I was typically inside 150 on par 4's and most of the par 3's were not much longer than that.

    So give me 110 in the middle of the fairway with a green that I could run the ball onto, and that was a half swing 6i. 150 was a half swing 5w. I have more than once hit driver on 160'ish yard par 3's. It isn't a very satisfying way to play, doesn't generate particularly good scores, but it avoids all those horrible shots that are the source of my frustration. And on some courses with lots of elevated greens (hard to know what a low ball does on the first hop into a bank) or greens with front bunkers it really does not work. So some courses are better than others at 'tolerating that'.

    And there have been times when I could not 'keep the ball off the toe of the club' to save my life. When those tendencies 'got active' I learned to address the ball with the heel of the club (I mean the clubhead was partially 'past the ball'). Could still hit toe shots but not so much.

    FWIW.

    dave

  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Tasmania to CanadaMembers Posts: 12,213 ✭✭

    maybe all your bike riding has = tight hips and no turn = steep path = toe hits
    I would just add in 1 day of practice a week and then learn to appreciate the good shots and laugh off the crap ones
    Turn golf in friends outing vs a scoring outing. Enjoy the process, weather, and not the end result if you catch my drift
    I do get what you're saying though, crappy golf can be hard to stomach .. been there

    Ping G400 LST 11* Oban Revenge 65x
    Callaway x2hot 14.5* 3 Deep Oban Gold 65s
    Callaway x2hot 18.5* 5 Deep Oban Purple 55x
    Callaway Apex 4h 23* Mitsu KK 80s
    Callaway Apex 5h 26* Mitsu KK 80s
    Ping Blueprint 6i DG xp115 x100
    Ping Blueprint 7-PW DG s400 orange dot
    Vokey sm2 TVD M grind 50*, 54* & 60* DG s400 Onyx
    Piretti Matera Elite (torched)
  • wkuo3wkuo3 RELEASE Members Posts: 4,046 ✭✭

    Age is definitely a factor, but, have your eyes checked out, I mean a full exam beyond the annual check up.
    Many senior are losing their peripheral vision, and possible gradual cataracts issue, which will speak up on you.
    Gold once a week is more than most of the "golfers" could muster these days, either health or financial reasons prevented the diehard golfers from getting onto the golf course.

  • hacker49hacker49 Members Posts: 543 ✭✭

    Don't the number of duffs directly correlate to your score at least in part? Why do the duffs matter but the score doesn't?

  • DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Pinehurst, NCMembers Posts: 5,247 ✭✭

    @hacker49 said:
    Don't the number of duffs directly correlate to your score at least in part? Why do the duffs matter but the score doesn't?

    Getting to the point that score was LESS important was something of an accomplishment, mentally. So far ignoring "the duffs" is beyond me. Dave

  • IamMarkMacIamMarkMac SF Bay AreaMembers Posts: 715 ✭✭
    edited Jun 20, 2019 9:57pm #25

    @hacker49 said:
    Don't the number of duffs directly correlate to your score at least in part? Why do the duffs matter but the score doesn't?

    @DaveLeeNC said:
    A couple years back I made some changes in my life, adding a few activities and making room by (in part) dramatically reducing my golf. I used to have a club in my hands (play or practice) 5 to 6 days per week. Now it is down to one round per week, maybe a bit of chipping practice in the back yard, and nothing else. I expected my game to go downhill, I have exceeded expectations, so no huge surprises in that regard.

    But what is a bit of a surprise is that I am having trouble enjoying the game these days. I have moved up a set of tees (although that hardly keeps scoring where it was 'in the old days'). And it isn't the scores that bother me. What bothers me is what in my terms is that I just hit WAY too many 'duffs' (chunks, skulls, tops, etc). It isn't the scores but all those really bad shots that 'kill my enjoyment'.

    I have watched many of my buddies as their game 'ages' (my DOB is 1949) and their game goes downhill. Some just keep playing and still enjoy it. Many others have quit playing. 'Back then' my index was (at least in the summer) in the 5's occasionally dipping into the 4's. I am currently in the express lane for low to mid teens.

    Just thought that I would throw this out there to see what it stirs up.

    dave

    I get where you're coming from completely. Coming back to golf this year, I've gotten a lot of my swing back but I'm still super susceptible to the big miss. We talk a lot about getting forgiving clubs or other tweaks to bring out the best in our games but there's no equipment that helps when you just flat out chunk the ball.
    For me, it's an absolute downer because it comes usually after I've hit a nice drive or if there's a par 3 that's prime for scoring. It's a scoring moment and I just completely miss. 150 yards to the pin playing 2 and I'll find a way to fluff that shot. 150 yards playing 3? I'll hit it inside 5 yards of the hole.
    And I wouldn't mind it so much if I hooked or sliced and missed a green badly. It's the fact that I chunked the ball and hardly made contact. You start to question why you play the game.

    Bag 1                                                                 Bag 2
    Ping G400 LST 10                                             Epon Technicity 9
    Ping G400 3W 14.5                                          TM R9 3W 14
    Ping G400 3H 19                                              Miura 3H 19
    Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro 5-P               Epon 503 4-P Nippon Super Peening Orange
    Mizuno s18 50, 54, 58                                     Miura 51, 56 k-grind
    Bettinardi BB1                                                  Scotty Cameron Newport 2
  • hacker49hacker49 Members Posts: 543 ✭✭

    @DaveLeeNC said:
    Getting to the point that score was LESS important was something of an accomplishment, mentally. So far ignoring "the duffs" is beyond me. Dave

    I understand the difficulty of forgetting or ignoring the duffs. I have finally gotten to the point where I am hitting the ball well more consistently. Right now my scores don't dictate my improvement but last time out I had 3 par and 1 bogey. I'm fine if I hit a good drive but it fades a bit to much and misses the fairway or I slightly pull a approach shot and miss the green. As long as I am swinging well and making solid contact I am OK with a little bit of off angle. Just like if I hit a solid chip but don't get the line or distance correct I am happy with hitting it solid.

  • JoelsimJoelsim Members Posts: 1,068 ✭✭

    @DaveLeeNC said:
    Thanks for all the comments. Just to be clear

    1) The unexpected high level of dissatisfaction is not about the (unexpected high) level of poor scores
    2) The high level of dissatisfaction is about the unexpectedly high level of 'duffs' - 150 yards out in the fairway, hit the ball 80 yards. That kind of stuff.

    FWIW, my short game is hardly sharp any more but (now that I have solved my YIPS with a different grip) I am actually happy with the level of degradation that I have experienced in that regard.

    dave

    I’ll bet that you’ve developed something in your swing which is causing it, probably nothing that a single lesson couldn’t fix, too much sway or suchlike.

    Ping G400 Driver 10.5 Reg Ping Alta 44.5”
    TaylorMade Original One Mini Driver 13.5 Regular Diamana F Ltd
    Ping G410 19 Hybrid Stiff Alta
    Titleist 818 H1 23 Hybrid Regular Tensei Blue
    Cobra King Ltd Black 5 Wood Aldila Rogue Stiff
    Ping G400 4-UW & G410 SW Regular Alta (#4 at power spec loft)
    Callaway Mack Daddy 4 58 X and 64 S
    Bettinardi Studio Stock #3
    Bettinardi BB39
    Odyssey Toulon Stroke Lab Palm Beach
    Cleveland Huntington Beach #10
    Bettinardi Studio Stock #28 Slotback
  • FergusonFerguson Members Posts: 4,970 ✭✭

    What bothers me is what in my terms is that I just hit WAY too many 'duffs' (chunks, skulls, tops, etc). It isn't the scores but all those really bad shots that 'kill my enjoyment'.

    This stuff bothers EVERYONE but it's not the end of your game.

    Let me paint an example:
    Ever get into a heated argument with friend? It doesn't end your friendship just because of one argument or disagreement . It's temporary and part of every relationship. You're still friends. Same thing applies in golf.

    Don't let a few poor shots dictate your attitude for the entire round or your game.

  • OldFrog75OldFrog75 Fort Worth, TexasMembers Posts: 83 ✭✭
    edited Jun 21, 2019 8:26pm #29

    I keep track of a lot of statistics for every round I play. One of my problems is that I average 6 fairway "miss hits" (fat, topped, shanks) for every round which works out to about 12% (putting not included). My solution is to spend a lot of time at the range hitting balls and trying to lower that percentage. The more I concentrate, the better I do.

    Post edited by OldFrog75 on
  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 10,384 ✭✭
    edited Jun 21, 2019 7:46pm #30

    @OldFrog75 said:
    I keep track of a lot of statistics for every round I play. One of my problems is that I average 6 "miss hits" (fat, topped, shanks) for every round which works out to about 12% (putting not included). My solution is to spend a lot of time at the range hitting balls and trying to lower that percentage. The more I concentrate, the better I do.

    It's been a while since I last studied it but as I recall my handicap was almost 50% what I called "wasted shots". Fat, topped, duffed, whiffed, etc. Slightly more than half my above-par strokes were all the usual ways of not scoring well by an accumulation of mediocre to poor shots. Slightly less than half were wasting virtually an entire stroke on a shot that did not materially advance the ball.

    During the one period a decade ago when I got "serious" about improving my golf game, I got my index down in 12's and 13's at its lowest. We're talking gym membership, daily stretching, swing drills in the backyard every morning, lessons twice a month, replacing occasional 18-hole rounds with nine holes plus some range time. The whole package. Took 18 months to chop basically 1/3 off my handicap (from index around 20 to index around 13) and for the first time I could hit a draw with both driver and irons, I gained a bunch of distance and I hit more good iron shots in a round than I used to hit in a month.

    As best I could determine, it had almost no effect on my "wasted shot" rate. I hit a few less of them because I was hitting fewer shots overall. But I could not for the life of me get better at avoiding duffs. I was basically hitting shots and putting like a low-single-digit handicapper but still duffing nearly 10 shots a round.

    I had some very difficult life events to deal with and once that was behind I never had the interest in going back on the improvement treadmill. I just play golf whenever I can, shoot in the 80's and 90's (with huge variance) and duff a lot of shots. It's still good exercise.

    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • DFinchDFinch Members Posts: 1,434 ✭✭

    It affects your view of the game in general because you set a high standard for yourself and those shots don't live up to it. The question becomes, what are you going to do about it?
    You basically have to either: 1. Commit the time and effort to reduce/eliminate those shots using whatever approach you think will work for you or 2. Accept that you are going to duff shots and that's how it's going to be because you're not the player you used to be but you still want to play/enjoy getting out or 3. Give it up because you don't enjoy it anymore when those shots keep happening.
    I'm a perfectionist. I can relate.
    I just retired so I've committed to an extensive evaluation of my entire game. It has cost me 4 strokes on my index this year. On any given day I feel like I can shoot 68 but it's just as likely to be an 85. I have duffs that would have never happened a year ago. But, in between those terrible swings has been some of the best ballstriking of my life. I recently had 7 birdies and 4 triples. I've gone +13 for 4 holes and even on the other 14. I've gone +5 on 2 holes and -1 on the other 16. Still, it's those duffed shots that create a STRONG temptation to abandon the work I'm doing because those shots are so outside how I view myself and my game that I can barely handle it mentally. THAT is where my real work is and I would bet it is for you as well.

    Titleist TS3 8.75* Evenflow White / Cobra F6 3W 15.5* / Cobra F6 Baffler 18.5* / Maltby TS2 DG105 X100 / Taylormade Hi-Toe 54*/60* / Evnroll ER8 Gravity Grip / Snell MTB X
Sign In or Register to comment.