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Adventure to Break 85 - Rebirth of the Shovels

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
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    @jomatty I agree about the tilt comment. I was very good at going on tilt after a bad hole early in my round. I let it ruin the rest of it through a bad attitude and poor decisions. I'm better at it now but I still can get frustrated. it's not easy to just let go and move on but you have to. It's an odd dichotomy in that to care about your round, you need to not care about what happened earlier.


    @davidy1948 No worries, you won't discourage me. In fact part of what this thread is for is to get other's opinions. It's not just a 'pep rally. I know I am not an expert, so having people provide their thoughts makes me think about things. Just because I think X is true, doesn't mean it is. Of course, it may well be but it's good to have food for thought. It's good to have what I'm doing challenged since for all I know I have my head stuck in the sand.


    I'll cover the tees first since it's easier to explain, or is it? When I started playing again back in December after the long layoff, I could not hit the ball. My driver was MIA and a good 6i was going 120 yards.... I was and am still a bit embarrassed by that. I have never been long but a 120 6i? That was with my GI clubs BTW. So I moved up from the whites, 5963 yards, to the teal tees, 5484 yards. For frame of reference, the course I played in Maine and shot my two 85s on is just over 6300 yards at sea level. I just moved back to the whites because of the Saturday game. They play split tees but don't adjust the strokes. It's been raised that they should be using course HCP and not index but there is resistance from the guys that play forward, they'd lose 2 strokes. Me, I don't care and am fine with playing the CH. I am both the youngest, at 50, and highest index, 26, in the group.


    I was used to the system at my old course where age + hcp had to be 85+ to play the forward, non women's tees. These guys don't have that rule and so I joined the older guys on the forward tees. My driver has started to come around and I am getting 220 off the tee versus 180. I'm also hitting my irons about 20 yards longer now. It's a skins and closest to the pin on par 3 game. I win more then I lose overall since I'm erratic. I just need pars on the right holes to pick up a skin, even though my total may not be great. I have heard a comment or two about moving back to the whites. So I am. It's both political and I think I can handle it. I have played a longer course in the past with the clubs currently in my bag and did okay.


    My irons, you referenced the shafts, but I'll cover both. Yes, the guy I got the lesson from questioned the blades. My blades came up when my neighbor ran into him and commented that'I heard you gave XYZ a lesson today'. So my neighbor had to check them out Saturday morning. He plays MP 20s btw. I am going against all prevailing wisdom with them. I started to use a Mizuno 6i blade on the range pre 2010 because it was harder to hit. My pro agreed with it. We even had me using persimmon woods for a bit. He pointed me to an article about blades and dispersion versus SGI/GI clubs. What they found using Iron Byron, is that SGI/GI clubs did not lose much distance on toe mishits but the left to right dispersion was much greater. A blade lost a fair amount of distance but kept a tighter left to right dispersion pattern. So a trade off with toe mishits is distance versus direction. I bought my blades off ebay in spring 2012, after I broke 90. I always wanted a set and it was a reward to myself. One day I decided to play them and didn't see a big change in my overall game, so I played them for a few months until a Member Member. I went back to my GI clubs for it and I bounced around between them after.


    The shafts. 2004 or 6, I get my first set of fitted clubs, my GI M565s and they have stiff shafts in them. Feb 2011, I have had a number of lessons for a few years and I go to a club fitter near Boston. He puts fiberglass R flex shafts in my irons and sells me a R flex driver. Late summer 2011, I go looking for a new 7w to deal with a single par 3 hole on my course. A launch monitor is used and I hit a Diablo Octane stiff 7w the best. I also get the matching 4w since I had decided on the 4/7 split instead of 3/5. I hit both good on the course. March 2012, I do the same for my driver and end up with an Adams fast Speedline, also stiff shaft based on hitting on a LM. I get the blades off ebay a few months later and they have stiff shafts. I was worried a bit about the flex but I played just as well with them at the time.


    I still wonder about the shafts though. I won't lie. I will likely get them looked at eventually. I just don't want to deal with the potential expense right now. I can easily afford it but am spending a decent amount on the club membership and I'm still the only golfer in the house. My wife isn't a fan of it but I'm trying to get her to try it. So I guess the shafts are partly political as well, like my moving to the whites, lol.


    Now I am playing the blades because I want to. They are harder to hit and I like that feedback. I know I am making things more difficult on myself. It defies logic and I can't point to something and say but I hit them XYZ which is what I want. It's an emotional thing not born of stats or proof. This also means that I could change my mind and say screw it, I'm making no progress and it time to make it a bit easier for myself.


    Hopefully, this makes some sense, even if it's still baffling. LOL.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
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    I tried to get in a quick 9 but got rained out after 6 holes. There was a shower about an hour before I teed off, so everything was a little wet. It starts to sprinkle on #4 and is raining as i play 5. I tried to wait it out some and gave up on that idea. I played 6 in the rain and part of 7 when I threw in the towel. The rain was messing me up more than expected. Also #7 is the path i take to and from the clubhouse, so I was already close to home.


    I played the white tees again today. I will reference the yardage difference, according to the card, between the whites and teals.


    1 - par 4, 29 yards longer. I hit a nice high driver, into the wind, 208 yards. The ball doesn't roll much since things are a touch soft thanks to the rain before I played. I'm in the middle of the fairway just short of the 200 yard marker. it's a couple yards in front of my ball. I go with my 4w and hit a low pull that's just a few feet off the ground and it rolls out 148 yards onto a slight hump in the left rough. I'm 20-30 yards short of the front of the green on the left and about 55 to center where the flag is. I hit a partial GW and it comes out nicely but it's long, 74 yards through the green. I'm a couple yards into the fringe and use my putter to chip. The ball stops 5 feet from the hole on the low side. I sink the putt dead center for a bogey 5.


    I'm fine with an opening bogey since this is the #1 HCP hole on the course.


    2 - par 3 and 11 yards longer. GPS says it's 124 to the front and 135 center. The flag is forward right and I hit my normal 7i. It's a high push that misses the green completely to the right, 128 yards. I'm about pin high, so I had the right club. My shot is semi blind. I can see the top of the flag but the green is elevated in such a way I cannot see it or where the hole is in relation to anything else. I decide i want to pitch the ball just to where the rise leading to the green is and let the ball roll on. I use my niblick and I hit the shot I want. It carries over the lip and i can't see where it lands. I find my ball on the green, 30 yard shot, 9 feet from the hole. I leave my par putt a foot short and secure a bogey 4.


    Not the end of the world and I can live with it.


    3 - par 5 dogleg right, 6 yards longer. I hit a low pull with my driver 166 into the left rough. My lie is fine. I follow that up with a thinned 4w that's a straight worm burner and it only rolls out 141 yards but I'm in the fairway. I'm 160ish out and decide to hit my 4i to the left side of the green. It's a another low pull, 147 yards, that stops near the base of a small hump that's short and left of the green. I decide to chip with my niblick and I blade the ball 39 feet past the hole... The putt is down slope and I have to cross a spine in the green. I hit my putt and it's rolling nicely but misses low and 5 feet past... Not good at all. I miss the next one and have a 3 putt double bogey 7.


    Well that sucked but it's better than the 9 from Saturday.


    4- shorter par 4, 10 yards longer. A light rain starts up as i play the hole. I tee off with my 4i and it's a low darw down the right side, 154 yards, into the fairway. I'm about 140 out and hit my 6i. It's a mid height draw that lands on the right side of the green and releases towards the flag which is back right. I get to the green and my ball is 9 feet above the flag, 147 yard shot, and just past being in line with it. It's down slope and breaks left to right. I tap the ball and it's tracking pretty good and curves into the top side of the hole for a birdie 3!


    Well that makes up for #3 and I am feeling good.


    5 - par 5, dogleg right 62 yards longer. The rain picks up as I play this hole. I hit a low draw with my 4w 189 yards into the right rough next to the cart path. I take relief from the path and hit my 4i. It's a nice lower height fade that goes around the corner and should be in the fairway. I hop into the cart and follow the cart path to my ball. There's no sign of it anywhere.... I look all over the place. All i can think of is my ball kicked right after landing and somehow rolled into the stream. I drop where it may have gone in, 150 yards from previous spot, and i'm 150 out. I hit a low 5i that catches a branch near the green and my ball is about 5-6 yards off the green up by the flag which is back right. I chip with my niblick. The ball lands on the green but I'm too low. it catches the tier in the green and rolls out 22 feet from the hole.... It's raining pretty solid and I look it over and hit my putt. It goes up the tier and curves into the high side of the hole for a bogey 6, including the drop.


    I try to wait out the rain under the canopy of the rest rooms between 5 and 6. It's not letting up, so I stop waiting.


    6- par 4, 77 yards longer. I hit a low draw about 177 into the fairway with my driver. I'm getting no roll in the rain now. Things get wonky, I'm rushing in the rain and mishit a 4w and PW. I get on in 4 and two putt for double bogey.


    7 - par 4 elevated tee shot, 5 yards longer. I pop up my driver 144 yards into the fairway and then top a 4w in the pouring rain and call it. Grab my ball and take the cart home.


    I marked the round as private in Arccos and excluded it from my stats since I did not finish the round. Normally rain doesn't affect my game much but add in the swing changes I'm trying to incorporate and it wasn't pretty at the end. Too many variables to deal with in my head.


    I'm pretty happy with the overall results of the holes I did play. The birdie was a nice rarity. My driver and woods did not go right on me like on Saturday. I wasn't getting great distance but the ball stayed in play and the mishits went left. I am seeing the positives from my lesson and hope to hit the range again tomorrow to ingrain the changes more. I thought I was going to have a decent round for a while but the weather didn't cooperate. No biggy, I had fun and saw some good things out there. I can't ask for more.

    Posted:
  • davidy1948davidy1948 Members  73WRX Points: 63Posts: 73 Bunkers
    Joined:  #364

    Well you're right, this all defies any conceivable logic I can think of ! I remember a comment by Sam Snead after playing in a pro-am - he said if these CEO's ran their businesses they way they approach their golf they would be bankrupt in 6 months.

    Let me try you on something else and you can astonish me with your reply.... when I'm reading your round descriptions I cannot discern any obvious main miss that you'ere trying to correct - it's a true somrgasbord of thins, fats, tops, chunks, fades, pulls - the only miss I can't remember is a hook. Do you actually have a clear idea of the swing model you're trying to replicate or are you just making it up as you go along ( and believe me I have a feel I already know the answer ! )

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 31, 2020 5:19pm #365

    First, I want to thank you for your comments. They are getting me to think about things that I haven't been. Sometimes things need to be challenged. Maybe it holds up to the challenge and maybe the challenge is actually a better way/path.


    My current irons defy logic. I am well aware of that and always have been. I do tend to lean more to the logical side versus emotional and my current choice is purely emotional. I am very strongly considering going back to the M565s, which I love, now. Those have been my gamers since I bought them in I think '04, except for the brief spells where I used the blades. I like playing both sets but maybe now's not the time to enjoy the blades. The only bump in the road I'll have is all of my distances and stats in Arccos are the blades. So I'll need to rebuild my stats for the irons, which just takes time and some adjustment if i do happen to hit them better.


    I'm not sure what you mean by method. I can't say I followed a specific method. The changes to my swing, going from slice to draw, was all done via lessons with the same pro. We worked on it for 4 years. There wasn't a specific method that I can recall us ever talking about. I dabbled with Stack and Tilt for a bit during that time but that's it. I am hoping that swing returns but maybe taking 7 years off was too long. I have seen flashes of my old swing at times but that's it. So the swing I'm trying to recapture is a draw with misses going left. I shouldn't miss right but that's what I am currently doing. I can't work with my original pro since he's a 20 hour drive north of me. I liked the lesson with the new guy last week but we worked with what I have versus trying to built something specific.


    Hope this helps somewhat.


    EDIT - I just swapped out the irons in my bag to the GI M565s. Return to the Age of the Shovel!

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #366

    I got in a quick 9 with the R flex M565s. I have not used these clubs since early January, pre-Arccos. I unpaired the blades and paired up the 565s. So I still have all the stats for the blades and the 565s will get their own. So no worries about one set of irons influencing the stats of another.


    The overall round was meh. I had some serious short game issues today. I think one issue is I have strengthened my grip when I chip because of the change in my fullswing, which closes it down more. So I'm gonna have to revert to my old grip for chips and possibly pitches.


    The real good shots: My 4i off the 4th tee. It was a nice draw, with the wind, that went 186 and into the fairway. I also hit a 4i off the deck on #5 and it was another nice draw that went 161. Driver on #7, I remember to bow my left wrist at the start of the downswing and I hit a nice baby fade 240 into the fairway. I hit 8i for the elevated tee shot on #8 and it was a high draw that went 141 and landed in the front left of the green and the ball released about 4 feet.


    The irons are not perfect, I had some interesting mishits with them, even a shank, early on. I am chalking it up to adjusting to the different flex shaft. The 141 8i wasn't pure and I hit a 9i 115 that was also a mishit. The 186 4i did feel like a pure shot with wind assist though. So maybe I'll gain some distance but I'm not gonna hold my breath. The weak push fade mishit with my irons off the toe was gone. I did have a toe strike but it was a push draw and went a decent distance. I definitely didn't lose the normal yardage on that mishit like I would with the blades.


    The lesson still needs to get ingrained and I expect to have some swing issues as I try to incorporate things. I would have hit the range today but decided to swap out my irons and wanted to start getting my baseline distances with them.


    Playing 18 at the sister course tomorrow morning. I have had some real good runs of holes at this course but I expect things to be a bit up and down. That's fine though because of the ongoing changes. I need to be realistic with my expectations. That 41 a few months ago has yet to be replicated. It will someday though.

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  • MyherobobhopeMyherobobhope hey there, blimpy boy. Flying through the sky so fancy free. Members  3299WRX Points: 880Handicap: 6Posts: 3,299 Titanium Tees
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    Get it done!

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    Driver and Putter are set for now. Wedges are safe for time being.

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  • davidy1948davidy1948 Members  73WRX Points: 63Posts: 73 Bunkers
    Joined:  #368

    Glad to hear about the shovels, that's a step n the right direction !

    The reason for my previous question is that when I read your round descriptions and your range practices it's like watching a camel in the desert searching for water....I just don't get the feeling you have a big picture of what you're aiming to achieve with your swing long term. Your mention of S+T does reassure me a little - you're obviously aware that there are many theories about the best way to swing a club, all of them equally correct within their own parameters.

    Some people come to golf with plenty of athletic ability and/or good hand/eye coordination derived from other sports, and are able to reach some kind of acceptable golf swing quite quickly on the basis of that ( actually I was one of those people originally, came to golf via fairly high level cricket and squash ). You've been honest enough to admit that you are not one of those lucky people, but you love the game and are prepared to invest the time and effort in taking lessons and practising to get better. So it makes me sad to feel that you may be wasting so much of your time without a concrete goal...

    Your new pro says he wants to build on what you have rather than teaching you a completely new swing. That would be fine if you already had a solid foundation on which to build - but your misses seem to me to be so inconsistent I seriously doubt that such a foundation exists ? If your swing mechanics were solid and it was just a question of execution then that would be another story - but is that so ?

    This is just a suggestion : there are literally thousand of hours of free golf swing instruction from very capable teachers to be found on Youtube - why not trawl around those and see if there's one that you like the look and feel of, and try to follow that method as a model ( don't try mix and matching as many are incompatible ). Stack and Tilt happens to be the one I eventually arrived at because it's easy to remember, has relatively few moving parts to go wrong and aims for a push draw ball flight which is what you would like. I've steered some of my friends in that direction too with more than acceptable results. However, it doesn't really matter which one you choose, just pick one and then you have a model in your head on the driving range against which you can compare what you're doing. That gives you something to work towards and judge your performance against. If you don't have a frame of reference how can you evaluate what you're doing ?

    I hope you find this constructive and not too critical. We're all rooting for you brother !

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
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    @davidy1948 Previous range sessions were mostly me flailing around. I knew the result of a swing via ball flight but not the most likely cause since I don't use video. The lesson was to get some eyes on my swing and see what he thought I should be changing. I'd like to believe I do have a foundation of a swing. I once was a 19 index and shot in the high 80s/low 90s on a 6300 yard course at sea level. My swing was fairly consistent as well, 4 years of serious lessons saw to that. It wasn't perfect and still had plenty of room for improvement but it was solid enough for me to get around the course and feel like a decent golfer.


    Fast forward to today after a 7 year layoff and gaining a good 50 lbs and things are different. I see flashes of the old swing, maybe I'll not regain that pattern again. A rebuild isn't completely ruled out. It's just something I don't want to deal with right now with everything else going on and I'd really like to avoid that if I can. I have Monte's video series and they are pretty good. The Efficient Swing seems to be in line with what the pro suggested I change. At least I see what the pro was talking about in those videos. I'll text my old pro to see if he can tell me the swing pattern we were working towards.


    Hopefully this makes some semblance of sense.


    *** Cue stupid movie trailer music***

    They sat in the garage for years. Gathering dust.

    *** camera pans to MacGregor M565s leaning against a wall***

    Do they hold the power to transform a hacker into a legend in his own mind?

    ***Camera pans to overweight middle-aged guy*

    A man and his clubs seek mediocrity on the course

    Will he be a hero or stay a zero?

    ***Camera cuts to the first tee with the sun rising directly in front. Overweight almost old guy swings club and hits a ball. Fade to Black***

    This will NOT be the blockbuster summer event of 2020!

    The Age of the Shovel

    Coming soon!


    The Age of the Shovel is upon me. I was able to play 27 holes this weekend. Details to come.

    Posted:
  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 3, 2020 6:37pm #370

    I played 18 Saturday morning. It was at a sister course since they are having our morning group rotate between the three courses. I've played this course 5 times I think. It's a decent layout but the conditions make me scratch my head. Fairways are in very good shape but some tee boxes are pretty rough and it was hard to get a tee in the ground a few times. The greens are bent grass and the members that play this course are lazy because I can't believe all of the dead spots from pitch marks that were never fixed. I expect this more from a public course, not a private one since you'd think a member would have more interest in keeping things up. I know I shouldn't be surprised. this is an age old issue and some people are lazy regardless of the other parameters.


    It was 77 as I drove to the course just before 9 AM. Humidity wasn't bad and it hit low 90s by the time we wrapped up. So the weather was good. There was a 10 MPH breeze with gusts up to 20. I played the white tees which are 5400 yards, 67.3 rating and 120 slope. I have played this course fairly well a few times.


    I warmed up on the range andfocused on my 7w off the deck to try to figure out how to hit them better post lesson.


    1 - straight shorter par 5, 419 yards on the card. I hit a mid height pull with my driver down the left side, 207 yards into the fairway. I'm 215 or so from center and hit my 4w while the group in front is putting out. I top it fairly straight 136 yards into the middle of the fairway. I'm in a good spot and the flag is near the middle. There's a green side bunker on the right front that isn't in play unless I mishit the ball right. I'm 70 something yards out and hit a partial PW. It comes out a touch low and lands on the green, 77 yard shot, and the ball stops 13 feet past the flag. I have been staying with the 'new' putting routine from over a month ago. I hit the putt and it's tracking decently and stops 2 feet from the hole. I sink the par putt and I'm off to the races, 5.


    Great start to the round.


    2 - par 3, 116 on the card and the green is slightly elevated. There is a bunker near the front right corner and two at the back left corner. Flag is back left. I hit a high draw with my 8i a bit left. I can't see it land because of the lip of the green. If I missed, I'll be in the fringe real close. I get to the green and I am on it, 124 yard shot. My ball is pin high and 25 feet left of the flag. I'm maybe a yard on the green. I hit my birdie putt and leave it 3 feet short. Ouch, I need to sink this to win the greenie( I'm in the last group so I know no one can beat me). I sink the putt for another par, 3.


    3 - par 4, 365 on the card, trees down the left side. there's part of another hole on the right, so there's a line of mature trees running down it. I hit a strong pull with my driver, 245. I end up in the left rough. The green is elevated with a bunker front left. The flag is in the middle and behind a corner of the bunker. I am in that 115 or so to center range and hit my 8i. It's a thin draw at the middle of the green but I can't see what happens after it lands. it's a 137 yard shot and the ball is through the back of the green. I'm in the fringe and the greens slopes away from me. I use my putter and the ball rolls 8 feet past the hole... I hit my par putt and I come up 6 inches short. I sink the bogey putt, 5.


    Well the par train was short lived, lol.


    4 - shorter par 4, 265 yards. Trees left and the fairway on the left will likely feed balls into them. I have been hitting a iron off the tee here. I go with my 4i and hit a decent draw down the left side. Luckily we find it in the fairway, 199 yards off the tee. The green is slightly above me and there are bunkers guarding the left side of the green and I have to carry them. I'm 60ish out and hit a partial GW. I can't recall the exact issue but it's a high shot and it lands in a bunker. I was a yard or so of clearing it. I may have been a little heavy or i didn't swing hard enough, I just can't recall. The sand here is softer than at my home course, so I open the face on my SW and swing. I hit behind the ball and it goes 45* right and stays in the bunker... I try again and get out of the bunker and leave it short of the green... I suck... I chip with the putter to 2 feet and make the double bogey putt, 6.


    Well that sucked. I played it safe off the tee and hit a great shot. I screwed up my approach and messed up my bunker shots.


    5 - par 4, 296 yards, trees left and trees right until you get far enough for the 6th tee box where they thin out. I hit a push slice with my driver. It goes into the tree line and I think it'll be by the tee box for #6. No sign of it. I drop by the tee boxes and add two penalty strokes to my drive. There's trees between me and the green, so i need to keep it low. I punch a 9i but it's too high and it catches a branch and drops short of the green. The green is above me and it's a blind shot. I pitch with my niblick and the ball runs through the green. I chip with my putter to 3 feet and sink the putt for triple bogey 7.


    Well, I have officially blown up. So much for my good start.


    6 - par 5, wide fairway that goes uphill the entire way to the green, 440 yards. I hit another push slice into the right trees. A partner of mine finds my ball as I'm about to give up looking. it's 178 yards off the tee on the edge of the trees. I have no good shot and have to keep it low and just get my ball back into the fairway. I hit a low partial punch my my 5i, 80 yards, back into the fairway on the left. So I was able to gain a some yardage towards the green. I'm 180ish out and the green is elevated and there're two bunkers front left and another on the right side. I decide to hit my 7w to try to get close and it's a decent push fade that goes 168 yards. The ball lands short and right of the green. I use my niblick and screw up the shot and it goes 39 feet past the hole. I'm now on an upper tier with a long putt. I hit the putt goes 6 feet past the hole. Holy crap, I'm falling apart. This is not good at all. A 6 footer is no gimme and I need this to save a bogey. I manage to make the putt for a 6 though.


    Yup, typical. A good start and the wheels are coming off the bus.


    7 - par 4, 336 yards, there's a stream with a wide area of brush 200 yards out and it's about a 210-15 yard carry. The tee box is elevated and the green is too. Imagine a V with the stream at the bottom. I don't think I can carry the crap. I don't want to go long, so I hit my 5i. I fidget on the tee and find a way to mishit it low off the heel and the ball goes dead left, a couple feet off the ground, about 103 yards. I'd say i shanked it but those tend to have the same ball flight but go right instead. It felt like a shank. Here we go again... My GPS says I need to hit it about 125-130 to carry the junk. I am in the rough but it's an okay lie. I decide to hit my 4i and it's a low draw, 145 yards, over the junk and into the fairway. The green is above me as well with a bunker left front and two at the back. I'm about 95 yards out and hit my PW. It's a nice draw that lands on the green and is 19 feet from the cup. I hit the par putt to 2 feet and come away with a bogey, 5.


    I kinda averted disaster but this is not going well.


    8 - par 3, 157 on the card, slightly elevated and into the wind with a bunker front right. The flag is towards the front middle and I hit my 4i. It's a pull that goes 153 yards and misses the green left. I'm in the rough with a decent lie. I chip with my niblick and thin it through the green. I chip with the putter to two feet and make the bogey putt.


    Not great but I seem to be stabilizing a bit. Bogey golf is perfectly fine for me right now.


    9 - par 4, 336 yards on the card. This hole is a dogleg left. Your tee shot has to carry part of a lake which runs down the entire left side of the fairway. So if you are real ballsy you can take a driver and try to hit it as far left to carry more of the lake and shorten the hole significantly. I know my game and limitations. I take my 4w and aim more right giving me the least water carry possible. I hit a nice draw over the water and i see it bounce in the fairway. being next to the lake it's soft and my ball looks like it skipped backwards on landing, 174 yards off the tee. I'm almost in the middle of the fairway and I'm 160 from center. The flag is front left near the lake which covers the entire left side of the hole. I take my 4i and aim for the right side of the green. It's a decent height shot that is a maybe a slight push. My ball is on the right side of the green about 42 feet from the cup. I'm real happy to have a GIR. I have had issues with my second shot going too far right and losing it near the clubhouse or going long leaving me a bad next shot. I have a down slope putt and the ball goes 4 feet past the hole. I look over the par putt and it lips out on me! I tap in for a bogey 5.


    I'm back to playing decent golf, so I feel good heading to 10.


    10 - par 5, dogleg right just short of the green. 307 yards on the card... This is the stupidest par 5 I have ever seen. The next set of tees back are blue and they are 450 yards and the tee shot has to carry part of the lake. This really should be a par 4 from the white tees. It's just dumb. I hit a nice fade with my driver, 203, yards down the right side. I'm in the fairway at the corner, 70 - 80 yards out in 1..... The flag is on the right side, so close to me and behind some bunkers. I hit a partial PW and the ball lands on the green. I get to it and I'm 8 feet above the cup in 2. I have an eagle putt! Also a birdie worse case. A partner has a birdie putt from slightly behind and to the left of my ball. The green slopes down and i see his ball roll a good 6+ feet past the flag. His putting is a bit wonky and I've seen him miss like that before. I know not to hit my putt too hard. I tap the eagle putt and it misses the hole and i watch it trickle 6 feet past the cup! Holy crap I screwed the pooch. My birdie putt misses as well and i sink a par putt from inside 6 inches, 5.


    Well I paid the price but I have a par even if mentally it should be a bogey.


    11 - par 4, 337 yards on the card, I hit a fade with my driver down the right side into the rough next to a fairway bunker, 184 yards. I'm 160ish out or so with a decent lie and go with my 4i. It's a mishit that goes 113 yards but gets into the fairway. The flag is back and slightly elevated green, so I can't see the putting surface. I pitch with my niblick and it's a high shot that lands on the green. The shot went 45 yards and I'm 13 feet left of the flag. I hit the par putt and it tracks for the hole and drops dead center, 4.


    12 - par 4, 351 yards, elevated tee shot and then the green is elevated as well, another U/V shaped fairway. Trees to the right, so i aim left. probably too far left and I pull my driver, 212 into the left rough near two large trees. My lie is fine and i have a shot at the green. It's about 140 and I hit my 6i. My aim was either off or i hit a dead push that had no chance of reaching the green. It's a high draw that hits the cart path and bounces up into some bushes. I have to take a drop and my chip doesn't make the green. I use the putter to chip to 3 feet. I then miss the putt! So a nice smooth 7 after a decent tee shot.


    So much for that par train....


    13 - par 3, 129 on the card, and elevated tee shot. Flag is middle right and wind in our face. I figure the wind and hill will offset. I hit a high draw with my 7i that lands on the right side of the green, almost pin high and 18 feet to the right. I look over my putt and hit it. It's tracking good and drops for a birdie, 2!


    Well that helps some.


    14 - par 5, 500 yards on the card, fairly narrow and the green is offset to the right. the fairway slopes down towards it since it's by the lake. I hit a good draw down the left side, 232, right into a fairway bunker. My second shot here is always a layup for the third. Fairway bunkers are not something I deal with much. I hit my 6i and it enters the sand behind the balls and it goes 50 yards. I gotta learn how to hit that shot... Well I still need to layup, so I hit my 6i again and it's a nice draw that goes 148 into the fairway. I decide to hit a partial PW from 75ish yards. It's a bit low and goes 86 yards and onto the back of the green. I'm 18 feet out and have to go down a tier. I hit my putt and it stops 2 and a half feet from the hole. I sink the bogey putt, 6.


    15 - par 4, 343 yards, houses and trees left and the right side is the 11th fairway, so there are a line of trees on that side between the two fairways. I hit a high slice over the trees into #11 and yell fore. My ball lands within 5 yards of a parked cart... I have a nice chat with the guys by my ball in #11. We joked that if we could control where the ball went we'd be on tour. I have no real shot at the green because of the trees. Too many branches to deal with. I punch my 4i and it's a nice low draw that goes between the tree trunks, 150 yards, and is short and right of the green. The green is elevated and I have a blind shot over a bunker. I walk to the green to see the topography. I pitch with my niblick and leave it in the fringe... Sigh. I use my putter to chip and the ball stops inside 3 inches. So I tap in for a bogey 5.


    16 - par 4, 264 yards. This one is a slight dogleg left. I decide to hit my 4i and it's a poorly struck, thin pull into the left trees.... Well i thought i saw it roll into some bushes but it actually stopped short. Going for the green would mean getting my ball airborne and over/through a bunch of small trees. I don't like it so I take my 9i and just punch the ball 54 yards back into the fairway. I hit a partial PW 79 yards onto the back right of the green. The flag is front right on a lower tier. I'm on the upper tier 21 feet from the hole. I hit my putt and it heads down towards the cup and stops 2 feet out. I make the bogey putt, 5.


    17 - par 3, 103 yards on the card. The tee shot is slightly elevated and flag is middle. I hit my PW a bit thin and it goes 122 yards and over the green. I'm a couple yards off and there's a tier in the green I have to go down. I use the putter to chip and the ball reaches the edge of the tier and stops, 21 feet short. It was supposed to reach the edge of the tier and trickle on down but no.... So I have a much longer putt than expected. I hit it and the ball goes 3 feet past the hole but i do manage to make the bogey putt, 4.


    18 - par 4, 336 yards, with a longer lake carry short of the green. The lake is a bit over 200 yards off the tee and there's a slight downslope leading to it. I hit my 5i and it's pure. It had that sound of a well struck ball. it's a high draw that carries the top of the slope and disappears from view. I think I had a tail wind as well because the shot went 199 yards. I am just short of the lake, so a great spot. I hit my 7i and it's another high draw that lands on the green towards the back. I'm 48 feet from the flag and my birdie putt misses 4 feet long. I then miss the par putt and settle for a bogey, 5.


    I'm surprised to see that I shot a 46/43, 89. This is my lowest 18 since I started playing again and I finally broke 90 for the first time since 2012. I had some real bad holes but managed to play steady for most and that birdie on 13 really helped as well. 1 bird, 4 pars, 10 bogeys, and 3 double+. I only hit 2 fairways but managed 6 GIRs. if I don't FUBR a few of those holes, I'm looking at a score near 85...


    I'm happy with the results, obviously, and it';s good to see I can break 90 on a shorter course with a less than stellar tee shot day.


    Up next, Sunday's 9.

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  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers  3522WRX Points: 939Handicap: 2.9Posts: 3,522 Titanium Tees
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    When you're talking about getting off to a good start then wheels coming off, is that post round analysis or reflections you had during the round?

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
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    I was able to play 9 Sunday evening after dinner. My wife came with me and drove the cart. I teed off around 6:40 and it was still in the high 80s maybe low 90s. I played the front 9 at my home course, white tees, 3033 yards on the card. Yesterday was the 89 on a 5400 yard course. How'd I do?


    1 - longer par 4, 404 on the card. I hit a push with the driver, 213 yards, behind a clump of trees on the right. Blah. I've been here before unfortunately and I'm 180+ out but can't hit a full shot thanks to the trees. I punch my 4i between a couple trees and it's a nice low draw that goes 133 yards and sets me up short of the green on the right side of the fairway. The flag is forward right and I have to carry a bunker. I pitch over the bunker with my niblick. it was a nice high pitch that lands on the green and releases some. I'm 9 feet past the hole. I look over the putt and hit it. it's looking good and it drops for a par, 4!


    2 - par 3, 142 on the card, bunkers front left and right. I decide to hit my 7i and it's a high pull draw, 143 yards, that misses well left in the rough. I pitch on with my niblick, 28 yards, about 9 feet short of the hole. Not great.... I hit the putt and watch it drop for another par, 3!


    I tell my wife she's good luck as we head for #3. I can't count on making a 9 foot putt and I just made 2 in a row.


    3 - par 3, 458 yards, dogleg right. I hit a real nice fade around the curve of the hole, 229 yards, into the fairway right of middle. I'm a bit over 200 yards out and hit my 4w. It's a solid, high push fade that goes 185 yards and lands short of the green. The ball is in the rough and the flag is on the right side. There's a gap between two bunkers and the flag is through that gap. I pitch with my niblick and i feel like I didn't swing hard enough. The ball pops up and lands short of the green and rolls one towards the flag stopping 3 feet out. I sink the birdie putt, 4!


    I'm -1 through 3! Of course I know it...


    4 - shorter par 4, 293 on the card, I've been using an iron off the tee here. I setup with my 4i and something seems off. I leave my club grounded behind the ball and step back a bit and look. I'm aimed left for the bushes/stream... I back out completely and start over making sure to get my aim correct this time. I hit the 4i a bit thin, so it's a low draw that goes 182 yards into the fairway on the right side. I'm 100 yards out roughly and decide to hit my PW. I either screwed up my aim or hit another pretty straight push. I missed completely right, 116 yard shot though. I'm in the rough and have to chip/pitch over a bunker. I use my niblick and blade the ball and watch it rolls through the green, heading for the bunkers near the front right. i can't see where the ball went because of the slope, so i go to the cart to get my SW. I find it in the rough between the two bunkers that are on the left. So i got lucky. I chip with my SW and I hit a nice shot and the ball stops 3 feet from the hole. I sink the bogey putt, 5.


    Darn it. I'm whining just a little and my wife tells me that I'm still even.


    5 - par 5, 501 on the card. The whites are much further back than the teal tees, so I have been using my 4w off the tee instead of an iron. I hit a solid, low pull. Not good, there's trouble all down the left side. We find my ball a couple feet from the left bushes. My back swing is gonna hit branches aprt way back and even more near the top of a full swing. I am not comfortable with these shots, so i try to punch a 4i. i mishit it and it's a thin shot that goes about 60 yards into the fairway on the right side. I haven't passed the corner yet but i have a decent angle to advance the ball. I hit my 7w and it's a high draw that hits the slope left of the fairway and it kicks right, 166 yards, into the left rough at the base of the slope. I hit my PW and it's a push that goes 94 yards and misses a few yards right of the green. I'm near the back right and the hole is on the front right on the lower tier. I need to chip the ball to have it rolls onto the green and have the slope feed it down towards the hole. For frame of reference, I've barely missed a putt on the top tier and had it trickle 20 feet below the hole because it barely reached the slope of the tier and just trickled on down. I use my putter to chip and the ball stops a few inches short of the green! Well this sucks...I do it again and the ball reaches the slope and trickles down 2 feet from the hole. I make the putt for a double bogey, 7.


    Oh well, so much for a great round...


    6 - par 4, 367 yards, houses right and a slope that leads into woods left. I'm teeing off right into the setting sun. I hit my driver and never see the ball. Neither does my wife. I can't tell from the feel of impact where the ball went either. I hop in the cart and we head down the cart path and find my ball in the middle of the fairway, 196 yards off the tee. I'm about 180 out or so and the flag is left, behind a bunker. The green is below me some and I hit my 7w. It's a solid, high pull draw that lands in the bunker, 172 yards. I grab my SW and putter. The sand is very firm, so I use a square face and sing hard. I hit behind the ball and it pops out of the bunker and lands on the green. We watch as it rolls towards the hole and stops inside a foot. I do a Hans and Franz lat flex and almost hurt myself in the process.... ZDid i mention I'm outy of shape, pathetic, lol. I tap in for par.


    Houston we have a problem. I know where I sit.... +2.....


    7 - par 4, 351 yards, dogleg right, elevated tee shot. I hit a high true fade down the right side, 238 yards, into the fairway. I'm 100ish out, maybe a bit more, and hit my PW. It's a push that goes over the spine of the hill between me and the right side of the green. We find my ball on the right side, barely, 60 feet from the hole. The slope of the green is away from me and i'm a long way out.... I hit my putt and it's heading for the hole and rolls 4 feet past it. Not exactly gimme range but decent from 60 feet IMO. I go through my routine and sink the putt, 4.


    +2 heading to 8.....


    8 - par 3, 160 on the card, flag is middle, and elevated tee shot. I decide to stay hit my 7i. it's a high push draw, 156 yards, that hits the slope to the right of the green. the ball kicks left towards the greena nd the bunkers but stops just short of rolling into the sand. I'm above the green in the rough near the edge of a bunker. I have to pitch over the bunker to a green below me. The flag is near the middle and I'm pretty much pin high. I take my niblick and it's thin... The ball lands on the greens and rolls off the other side... What the heck! My wife wasn't watching because there were two deer in the trees right behind me, lol. So we watched the deer moving through the trees for a bit. I go to my ball and chip with my putter and leave the ball a good 6 feet from the cup... My bogey putt misses., stoping inside 3 inches.. So a double bogey, 5.


    I just fell apart, so much for a miracle round. +4 going into 9 which has a lot of water and is not a hole I do well on. it's also the #3 HCP hole, so second hardest on the front.


    9 - par 4, 357 yards, pond down the left side and fronting the green. I tee off with my 4w and it's a pop up down the right side, 166 yards into the fairway. I am too far out to even think of going for the green because of the pond. I layup by punching my 5i, 128 yards, down the right side. I'm now in partial PW range of the green and the pond isn't in play unless I pull it badly. The flag is towards the front left, so if i land my ball to the right, the green will feed it in that direction. The sun is coming over the trees in the distance and right into my eyes, so I can't see well. I don't know what happened on this swing. My easy 1/2 PW is off and i thin it into the back left bunker. This is no bueno.... There's no real lip to the bunker, so I might be able to putt out of it. I take my putter and niblick with me. i decide to chip out and catch the ball with the leading edge. It rolls through the green, and down the front to the pond. Somehow long grass stopped it just short. I hack the ball onto the green with my niblick and two putt from 8 feet for a triple bogey,7, and not a penalty in sight....


    A 43, which is still one of the best 9s I've played. Arccos said, for this round based on strokes gained, I drove like an 11.7, chipped like a 20.6, sand of a 5.1 and my putting was like a +4.6.... It's too bad I fell apart at the end. I didn't feel nervous on #8 or even #9. I knew where I stood and was thinking about how I was going low( for me). I just didn't execute and made a very costly mental mistake in the bunker on 9. i should have putted that ball to see what would have happened. it was very likely to be better than what did happen when I thinned a chip.


    27 holes doesn't make a statement and this could be a flash in the pan. After all, I carded a 41 using my blades, a few months ago. I can't deny the M565s seem to be helping. It's no surprise really. I was making things hard on myself playing blades because I wanted to. I'll probably play the blades again too but not until after things change. Like i break 85 and have the time to get them fit which will likely mean reshafting them all...


    I am thinking of a 30 minute lesson with my 565s since he based everything on what he saw with my using blades w/ stiff shafts. It may not change much but it's probably worth the confirmation. I want to get to the range this week to work on my swing more. The lesson isn't ingrained but I think I'm doing better with some of it.


    Sorry for all the posts today. Have a good one.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
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    That's a mix of reflections during the round and post round analysis. I try to capture some of what I'm feeling/thinking at the time. Of course it's based on my memory but state of mind means a lot in golf. I'm not mentally tough enough to completely ignore everything and just focus on the next shot. I am getting pretty good at not getting frustrated though. I'm more accepting. I think that I'll not be thinking about "good starts" if I start to have some regularity with it. They are outliers, so stand out more to me. I could probably play a bunch of bogey golf and not think much of it because I already kind of do that.


    The wheels coming off comment after #6 on Saturday is not how I think. It's more slight disappointment in myself. Just knowing I had a good thing going and then messed up. I'm highly critical of myself, believe it or not, but I'm getting better at not letting that feed on itself and make things worse. Wheels coming off the bus is just a good phrase to use.

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  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers  3522WRX Points: 939Handicap: 2.9Posts: 3,522 Titanium Tees
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    We have a running joke at out course that it's a curse to birdie the first hole, 492 yard par 5 from the normal tees. Really the first two holes as they are nice, seemingly straight forward holes. After that you can't allow yourself to get complacent as you have uphill, sidehill, down hill lies for the next 9 holes

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
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    I know that curse well. I first heard of it in Maine at my previous home course. Some guy birdied it and said something along the lines of 'Well, here goes this round." I even joked about it with one of the guys i was playing with on Saturday. 'Good thing i didn't get a birdie because it'd be all downhill from there". Lol, good to see it's widely known.

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  • Twin2LTwin2L Members  412WRX Points: 279Handicap: 12Posts: 412 Greens
    Joined:  edited Aug 3, 2020 9:56pm #376

    Bortass, it looks like you’re making some significant progress. You’re now doing something I don’t recall from before. You’re putting together strings of pars and bogeys. Those strings are very telling. You are clearly putting MUCH better. I’m happy for you and the gains you’re making.

    Personally, I understand the desire to play blades, but just a couple of rounds in, the results added to the effort you’ve put in are showing in some nice series of holes with the CB’s.

    Looking at Sunday’s nine, 2 over through 7, 4 over through 8 with a double, that’s pretty strong. Even with the double and triple, the 43 is very solid.

    That of course was on top of the 43 you had on the back on Saturday. Putting those kind of scores up regularly in nine can lead to some very pleasing scores.


    Remember the good shots, even on the “other” holes.

    I’ve been trying to reclaim some resemblance of “my” swing and game lately. Since the Covid lay-off, my hcp is up 3.5 strokes. I finished last year a 10 index, the new world HCP system made me an 11 the first of the year and now i’m a 14.6 index. Played yesterday and had a 2 way miss going off the tee, but was starting to strike my irons solid again. Funny thing in my swing is I get too “loose”. (When I do that a long time friend calls me “Gumby”). Bottom line is, I quieted down my hips and legs and let my upper body turn again. Suddenly i’m hitting solid shots and as long as ever with each iron. It stopped my “flipping” with wedges and I began to regain some small level of confidence with short irons and wedges again. Even shocked myself on a 186 yard approach. Pin was in the back left, guarded by a bunker, so I just chose my normal 170 yard club to just get to the open front part of the green. Smooth solid feeling swing, excellent feel at contact. I overcooked the draw a d it went in the bunker, but it landed 2 or 3 yards short of pin high. I haven’t hit a 180+yard 6 iron in YEARS. Surely didn’t expect anything like that especially since I celebrated my 61st last week.

    I saw the Larry Rinker vid someone posted last week. (We went to the same high school, he was 2 years ahead of me). He is real good at a stable base ( which I need) and turning the upper body. Chatted with my “coach” when I checked in and just seeing him had me in the mindset of keeping it simple and quite from the waist down. I also shot 89, 6300 yards from the whites. I had 5..... yes 5 penalties. When I find fairways regularly again, I should be in fair shape and score moderately well.

    Anyway, I rambled a bit, but it is real good to see your progress and your journey inspires me. I used to play a lot more, but know I can play fairly solid if I just keep it simple. (It will also help if I can hit the range at least once a week).

    So, thank you.

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  • berndgeurtsberndgeurts Members  45WRX Points: 28Handicap: 7.3Posts: 45 Bunkers
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    I think you made the right move going back to the cb's. They are made to help you.

    Now try to focus on the lessons and really try to ingrain the new swing. This means not only at the driving range, but also at home, under the shower, in the living room, in the garden or maybe even on your roof. Practice the new moves, get muscle memory. This will help get you to the next level.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
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    Well, Every Shot Counts confirmed something that I thought a long time ago, long game is more important than short game for the average amateur. I always felt that I needed every yard off the tee and the closer and sooner I got near the green the better. There was an interesting quote that I'm gonna paraphrase because I may get it slightly wrong "If you can't putt, you can't score well. If you can't drive, you can't play". Short game may provide the quickest/easiest improvement but ball striking is what will make the biggest difference in the average person's scores.


    The cavity backs really seem to be helping. I'm wondering how my iron distances will shake out. My mishits do go further but I'm leery of changing my yardages until there's some actual evidence that the CB have improved my distances.


    @davidy1948 I texted my former pro in Maine and there wasn't a pattern that he was teaching me. The goal was to get me to a solid impact position with the desired ball flight. For me, the desired ball flight was a draw and we got there. He also worked with what I had at our very first lesson in 2008. I couldn't break 100 at the time and the next day I shot 45 for 9. Of course it took me 2 more years to actually break 100, lol. I think my game plan is to keep working on my previous lesson and try to arrange a 30 minute lesson with the new guy at some point. That way he can check to see how i'm doing and if the change in clubs/shafts makes a difference in his recommendations.


    @Twin2L Happy belated birthday! I think the last 27 holes show I'm not completely off base with my goal. It will get easier if I string more good holes together, right now they are an exception but if it becomes common then I won't be thinking anything special about it. It's good that you know your main swing issue. That makes it so much easier when the light goes on and you realize you've strayed a bit. At least your index didn't seriously balloon. Also that 6i shows you still got it. It sounds like you're not playing as much, which I know caused me struggle since I lost what I had going back when I was decent.


    @berndgeurts Yup, I need to keep working on the lesson and ingrain the changes. It'll be a process.

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  • davidy1948davidy1948 Members  73WRX Points: 63Posts: 73 Bunkers
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    Your previous pro was spot on in what he was trying to achieve with you ! Not sure if your new guy so much - rereading your description of your first lesson with him I didn't spot anything that looked like he was going to address flaws in your swing mechanics. I often think we over - worship golf pros - of course by our standards they are excellent golfers, but I've stood on driving ranges listening to pros giving lessons and very rarely thought they are really addressing what their pupils need, or even that they understand how difficult the game is for us. Of course they are talented athletes who've been hitting a thousand balls a day since they were 4 years old..... from my own experience coaching in another ( much less technical ) sport I know personally how difficult it is to estimate what the maximum possible is for less talented individuals.

    I do have another avenue of enquiry for you - how do you prepare for a round ? Given your description of yourself physically, I'm guessing a dynamic stretching routine is not on the cards, but do you warm up on the range and short game areas ? And do you start with a swing thought in your head that you're going to focus on for that round ? I quite often find this while warming up on the range....

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
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    @davidy1948 My previous pro was excellent for me. We became friends of sorts. He cared about his students progress. I can't count the number of times I'd be on the range and he'd stop by and check on things or after a round with a swing issue he'd take me to the range for a few minutes to look at things. It was a smaller club so he was the only pro there so I saw him quite a bit while golfing.


    My current membership is for two clubs with 57 holes between them. The head instructor is out of the other club and I think all he does is teach, doesn't run the pro shop. He's the guy that we've been told to get lessons from but he's buried, so I went with the guy his overflow is going to. There are pros at my home club but I haven't heard anything about them one way or the other. The guy my lesson was with seems to know what he's talking about. At least what he was telling me made sense based on my prior experience and all that I've read.


    My grip was weak because back in the day I started to hit hooks, so the pro in Maine had me weaken it. We strengthened it some at the lesson since I'm losing shots right. We covered early extension and the flip I have. The back swing and getting the left arm behind me more is also something that I remember covering years ago. Flexing the left wrist, I have seen Monte talk about it. The other thing the new guy mentioned late in the lesson was getting the club more upright. It's laid off at the top of my back swing, so the face is even more open.


    I'll see how it goes. I worked on things more yesterday and the results were good. The wild card is the change in irons since they are easier to hit. I do know what you mean though. I had a very good relationship with a PGA pro I trusted. It's one reason I've been leery of lessons here in GA. I got the hurdle of actually getting one out of the way. The rest is based on how I do and if/when I can get another one. One lesson isn't enough to tell one way or the other unless there are some pretty big positives or negatives that jump out. That's not the case here but I do think the info provided was helpful. He did try to talk me into using my cavity backs after all :)


    My warm-up depends on the round. When I play 9, I'm trying to play and get back home. So I will swing my orange whip on the first tee some and off I go. In Maine, I didn't even do that, it would be a couple swings with the driver and then teeing off. My 18 hole rounds Saturday mornings are different. the group tends to have 4 tee times each week and while I'm normally in the last group, it sometimes varies. So I get to the course about 50 minutes prior to my likely start time. I'll head to the range, swing the orange whip, pitch balls, hit a few irons, maybe woods, and a few driver. Those rounds I get a much better pre-round warm-up in.


    I used to be in okay shape, but always overweight. I played recreational volleyball, 2-3 times a week, including some lower level leagues and tournaments in Maine. I happened to land in what seems to be a VB wasteland near Atlanta. The good news is my knees feel great these days, the bad news is I packed on the pounds. So I have that going against me. I should lose weight, start working out again, and stretching. Knowing what I should do and actually doing it are completely different though. I haven't found that spark of motivation to make me pull my head outta my rear and do something about it. Sad but true.

    Posted:
  • davidy1948davidy1948 Members  73WRX Points: 63Posts: 73 Bunkers
    Joined:  #381

    Good that you know what to do, maybe this Covid stuff will give you the push you need. Getting in shape can surely only reduce your risk of infection and improve your chances of survival should you catch it ?

    Posted:
  • RagnarDRagnarD Members  1WRX Points: 20Handicap: 20Posts: 1 Starters
    Joined:  #382

    I have been playing golf for 5 years, starting age 45. I did swing golf clubs with whiffe balls in my back yard when I was a teen, but didn't actually play. My first 3 years playing, I just wanted to learn how to hit the ball in the right direction so I wouldn't lose so many balls, and to learn how to make cleaner ball contact. Practiced a lot on the driving range in summer and indoors using skytrak in winter. It wasn't until my 4th year that I scored under 100 or finished a round without losing 3 balls. During that time of struggle I took a few solo and group lessons from pros, but felt lost. Watched Stack & Tilt videos and could barely hit the ball afterwards. Took 8 lessons from Golftek and that made me much worse, after each lesson I could never even do what they asked as a full speed swing. They would get me feeling contorted and unnatural with foreign swing thoughts and I developed a big forward press because of my coach's insistence on delofting.

    After all of that effort for my first 4 years, my scores were ranging from 105 to 95 that fourth year. My handicap was about 25. Except one magical day last fall I scored an 82 when everything went right. No explanation. My next round was 102, but that good round took my handicap to 22 or 21.

    Then Covid struck. When courses reopened I started playing a lot. Mostly scoring in the mid 90s. I took a couple of lessons from one of the coaches I met socially last fall.

    His lessons followed by some practice took 6 strokes off my HC in 2 months, and immediately got me better ball contact. Now my scores range from low 80s to mid 90s. A few key concepts:

    Set up as if I'm pissing down the handle at the ball (no forward press) with my arms extended and with a better back& waist posture.

    Stay in balance and hold my finish without falling out of balance. Practice that doing L to L swings.

    Before each iron/hybrid/wood, make a practice swing that contacts the ground.

    Try to practice on grass, not mats, whenever possible. Making ball first contact and divots after the ball is key. Mats lure you into thinking you can get away with fat shots.

    He made some more subtle tweaks that I'm still struggling to incorporate, but for me, the three above made a big immediate difference.

    Other ideas I have for high handicappers:

    Replace long irons with forgiving hybrids. My 4 and 5 hybrids are easier to hit than corresponding cavity back irons. For some reason I am very comfortable with my 4 hybrid that goes 170-180 yards. So I use that on par 5s instead of making bad contact with a 3 wood that might go 30y longer if I hit it perfect. I just replaced my old 3 and 5 woods with one forgiving 5wood adjusted to 4 wood loft, on the theory that with practice it can become my one comfortable and safe to use wood off the fairway or tee.

    Have 3 wedges that you know their distances and can hit consistently. I have a 60y, 80y, and 100y wedge and I don't mind laying up because I'm confident I can be on the green with my wedge shot and make a bogey with a 2 putt. That way I don't go for heroic long shots that get me in trouble. From 200 yards to a protected green, I often hit a 140y 7i followed by a 60y wedge close to the pin. Usually with better results than my 5 wood landing in sand or rough.

    With driver, figure out how to hit at least 50% fairways. Which typically means getting a fairly straight and somewhat consistent swing path as well as keeping face to path more consistent. Im still working on this, but lately I've been maintaining roughly 225y drives while reducing out of bounds type shots. Losing balls oob or in hazards quickly ruins chances of scoring under 90.

    Posted:
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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #383

    It was a disaster on the course. I have a two way miss of sorts. Driver going right and everything else going left. 16 penalty strokes including sending my tee shot into hazards on 2 par threes....


    There were a few good shots and even a couple great for me ones but not enough to make a difference.


    I just have to move forward and forget about this round. I think it’s an outlier but who knows. I would like to get to the range a couple times this week and keep working on what was covered in my lesson.


    Hope you have a good weekend.

    Posted:
  • Twin2LTwin2L Members  412WRX Points: 279Handicap: 12Posts: 412 Greens
    Joined:  #384

    I'm sure it is an outlier as you say. Sometimes that happens when working on swing changes.

    You have the right idea, let it go and just bring an iron to the range and get your swing back.

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  • bortassbortass ATLMembers  1726WRX Points: 232Posts: 1,726 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #385

    The possible okay part is the driver was a bunch of fades, ball started left and went right. Not the normal push fade. I think aiming more left would have helped but who knows.


    The misses with woods and irons were pull draws and a pull hook or two.


    So I have a fair amount to work on. The greens are supposed to get punched Monday/Tuesday. So it’s a good time to work on the range.

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  • berndgeurtsberndgeurts Members  45WRX Points: 28Handicap: 7.3Posts: 45 Bunkers
    Joined:  #386

    sounds like typical early extension misses and flipping of the wrists. although I would expect more of a push fade/ block right then a normal fade with the driver.

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