Breaks from golf are necessary sometimes. They heal us, mind and body. Gives the old back a break. Everything you learned and did is still with you. It's like riding a bike or so they say. It will come back quick to you. Find your confidence and have fun again!
Thanks! You are correct about finding confidence and having fun. This is a pastime for enjoyment and remembering that always helps with perspective.
It rained pretty steady the last few days but it was 70 and sunny today. I went out for a quick 9 and it was interesting. The course was busy, so i didn't take as many stats as I might of normally. Plus I got off to a rough start on 1 and decided to go easy with things. I had a foursome in front of me and I caught them on #3 and they had a foursome in front of them. There was no place to go, so I did my best to hang back. There was no way I'd be able to play through and the foursome behind me didn't catch me though they were teeing off as I was on the last couple of greens.
Overall the round was not good. I took another X on the par 3 #8. This time I lost a ball low left and another right... The course was very wet and that impacted things, I was heavy from the FW on a number of shots. I managed a bogey and two doubles. The rest was not pretty.
Driver was not good enough. I hit a house OB with a slice on 6... I also topped one on 5. I did hit 3 fairways and my playable misses were 1 right, slice, and one left, pull hook. Not a good dispersion for my misses. I did hit a good draw and a nice fade though.
Irons were off. Some of it was being fat with the soft ground. I tried to remember to choke down on the club but I chunked a lot of shots. I managed a couple okay shots and even hit one green with my approach. My predominate miss was right though. Also hit a number of thin/bladed shots.
I ended up in two bunkers. The first one I had a ways to go so used my GW. Forgot to open the face and it dug and i left the ball in the sand, sigh. I remembered to open it and got the next shot out and sank the putt. The second time I did the same thing and got out in 1 but left myself a long putt. I'm okay with this though. My goal is to get out in 1.
Putting was better,I had 13 putts on 8 holes including 4 one putts. I'm getting a little bit better at reading the greens, though I still messed up the speed on a few of them.
Chipping/pitching was meh.
I may be able to get out Thursday but I think it should be range work. Work on my irons, pitches, and a few more sand shots. I'm worried it'll be mats only again, which makes me hesitant but I need the practice. The flip side is I feel a need to play since I want to at least get enough rounds in to feel like I'm breaking close to even with the membership. This will be much easier to do if I can get my wife to try the game in the spring.
Anyhow, it was a fun round and I'm glad to be playing again. I guess i missed it more than I thought over the years.
I have a quick question(s) for anyone that has some insight/thoughts on the subject.
Do you have any clubs in your bag that you don't hit much? What are your thoughts about that scenario? I rarely use my 7W or 60LW. I also have a 4W I don't hit much. The 4W I have used a bit in the past and I can hit it a pretty decent distance but I'm out of practice and am leery of using it right now. The 7W was added to my bag many years ago for a single par 3 at my old course. I almost never use it and would need to practice with it some. The LW is if I need to hit a flop type shot. I used to be able to do it years ago with decent results but that's all I really use it for. I use driver, 4i-pw, GW, and SW when I play.
How long did it take you to learn a new course and what impact did it have on your scores? I have now played the front 9 four times and I'm learning something new, the hard way every time I play. The good thing is I am trying to think a bit more on where I want my shots to go than I did in Maine. I knew that course well and there were only a few places you had to be careful, assuming you are not the type to spray the ball all over the place.What I have so far:
1 - left is a bit better than right off the tee. The green side bunker is on the right side, so it's more avoidable if you are coming in from the left.
2- par 3 that has bunkers on both left and right front. There is maybe a 2 - 3 yard gap to walk up to the middle of the green. You need a club that will reach the green and a miss slightly right is better than left. Long will probably be in a bunker as well.
3 - par 5 dogleg right, better off hitting tee shots more left. It's shortish, so you can get real close without as much risk from the left side. This assumes you can hit a 200+ yard second shot, which I'm not about to try. For the approach shot, left side is better. Bunkers ring the right and back of the green. None are on the left front.
4 - slight dogleg right, so left is better for your tee shot. Short hole, so this could be one to not always use driver on if you have enough distance.
5 - par 5 dog leg right. This one has trouble left and might as well be trouble right and is more narrow. Left side is water hazard and brush, the stream goes under the fairway at the dogleg and then follows the right side of the hole pretty much all the way to the green where it goes back under the fairway and shields the left front of the green. Right side off the tee is open but you're dealing with a ridge. I don't like the shot options from over there. The fairway opens up at the dogleg. The green has an upper tier that runs at an angle from right to left. A hot that's on the front of the green near the right can ride the hump to go to the left front of the green. Being past the flag if it's on the upper tier is bad news, you can barely miss and have the ball roll a good 30+feet as it goes down the hump to the lower tier.
6 - This one just seems to have OB right and is fairly wide.
7 - it's better to be left to have an angle to the green without dealing with the spine of the ridge on the right that you may have to hit over. There is a bunker short left but short right is open. So this may be a toss up if you are good at hitting from side hill ball above your feet. I'm thinking left is better for me for now.
8 - par 3 short left is bad, anything right is likely to be bad as well.
9 - All you need to do here is avoid the pond that runs down the left side and fronts the green.
It was in the 60s today and I played the front again. Schedules won't let me play tomorrow but maybe I can sneak in range time. So I decided to play.
1- par 4, I hit my driver about 200 into the right rough near some trees. I don't have a shot at the green unless I want to deal with said trees. I punch a 6i forward and to the left side of the fairway. I have about 100 yards to center and hit my GW on. I have a 14 foot putt and I miss it low and it goes 3 feet past the hole. I sink that for a bogey and my round is off to a good start. 2 guys are teeing off behind me as I make my way from the green.
2 - par 3 and I'm about 136 from center. It's a 'sucker pin', flag is on the right behind the right side bunker but there's a left front bunker too so I guess most of the times i'd call it a sucker pin for myself. I aim for center with my 7i and hit a high push that lands near the right fringe and bounces a bit right. The ball is on the up slope leading to the green that is on the right. I take my sw to chip. I lean left a bit like I always do when I chip and I chunk it bad and the club hits the ball a second time... Well, that's rare but sucks. So I'm now lying 3 and didn't get to the green. I keep my body more inline with the slope and hit my next chip to 1 foot and end up with a double. The double hit is unfortunate but I've only done it a few times in my life. The twosome behind me is waiting on the tee as I putt out...
3 - par 5 dogleg right. I hit a nice fade with my driver 196 into the fairway. I'm something like 235 - 250 or so from center and hit my 6i to give myself an approach shot from the left side. I hit a nice draw and have 128 to center. The flag is on the right behind some bunkers. I decide to aim for center since there are no bunkers there. The ground is soft under my feet but I don't see any casual water. I hit my 8i and am fat and it goes to the right. I sank a little during my swing, blah. The ball is well short of the green. I decide on a half SW which I put right into a bunker.... It takes me two to get out and I notice the twosome is waiting on me to hit their approach to the green. I chip on using my putter and am 6 feet from the hole. I'm above it and the green slopes away from me. I read the break but not quite correctly and my speed is off. I go 5 feet past and miss the return putt as well. So I get a nice 10 for my efforts....
4 - par 4 and I hit a nice fade 206 into the fairway. I'm now thinking about the guys behind me. They have not done anything to make me think that they are impatient but they are always right there and waiting it seems. I have 76 yards and go with a half PW. I'm a bit short and in a bunker again. This time I'm out in 1 and in the rough behind the green and I see the cart with the guys waiting to hit into the green. I chip with the putter and three putt again for a 7. I'm rushing and it's costing me.
5 - par 5, dog leg left with brush/hazard left and a ridge to the right. it's the most narrow driving hole on the front. I hit my ball low and left about 185 yards. I wave the guys up in the cart and let them play through me and notice another twosome behind them... My ball is in the left rough near the edge. My back swing will hit branches at a bit less than a half-swing. I decide to punch my 6i. I make contact with the branches and dub my shot low and to the right, I'm off my target line by a good 30 degrees... Ball is on the right and slightly above my feet. I'm standing on a cart poath but relief will put me up the right with more of a sidehill lie and the ball significantly above my feet. I play it as is and try to punch my 6i again. This time it's low and right again and into the stream. Sigh. I take my drop and actually hit a good 6i to set up my approach shot. The flag is right and there's water that is short and left of this green. I'm 109 from center and hit my PW. I'm a bit thin and hit a high push that misses right of the green. I chip with my SW and the ball spins alot, lands short of the green in the fringe, makes a depression in the soft ground, bounce up and forward a few inches. So I'm not on the green. I chip again with and am above the hole. The flag is on the upper tier. I miss my putt a little and I watch it roll down the tier 36 feet past the hole.... Sweet! I aim right since the tier should pull my ball left and I putt up the tier and into the fringe... Chip using the putter and leave my ball close enough to the hole that I make the putt for an 11. I am doing great!
6- par 4, OB right. I hit a high fade and hear it hit the cart path on the right and take a big bounce but I don't know where. I hit a provisional and it's also a high fade but it hits a slope to the right of the cart path and I see it kick left. I go looking for my balls and find my provisional in the fairway. My first ball went further and I see a guy on the tee box behind me. So I wave him up and stand behind a tree. I find my first ball in the right trees in a hazard. I go drop and hit my ball when I hear another shot. Turns out it's a couple behind me. I shanked my shot to the right into the bushes and I see another cart on the tee box behind me. I'm starting to think I messed up with letting people play through since there's been no space behind me all round it seems. The couple hit their approaches and I hit my provisional from the FW and it's a mishit. I've given up on this hole and just pick up. I had hoped to hit a decent shot with the wrong ball and at least putt out while they went to #7 to tee off. I was taking an X regardless.
7 - par 4 that's quite the drop. I hit a nice draw 231 into the FW. The couple get to the tee box and I tell them to tee off again. This time things work out and all our balls are in a line in the FW. They hit their approaches and I follow suit. I have 129 to center and catch my 7i a bit thin and long. I'm walking and they get to the green and are putting out. They leave and i use my putter from the back fringe and get my ball about 3 feet from the hole. I see the single cart behind me in the FW waiting to hit. This time I make my par putt!
8- par3 ,I get to 8 as the couple I let through done teeing off. They ask if I want to tee of too and I tell them I'll wait. It's 161 to center and the cart behind me gets to the tee box as the couple is putting out. It's a girl, between 12 - 14, with her grandmother. Grandma is just along for the ride and not playing. I tell them they can join me for the last two holes if they want since i'm just playing 9. they agree. So I tee off with my 6i and it a push draw that lands on the front right of the green and releases left some. I expect the girl to drive up to the forward tees but she gets out of the cart and asks me if I had the distance. I tell her I had 161 with my GPS and she proceeds to hit a nice shot to about 6 feet past the hole... I have a 24 foot putt. I hit it and it's tracking and falls in for my first birdie in a few years. It's a little bit of a walk from 8 - 9 and I tell them I'm just playing 9, so tee off if it's open. I'm in no hurry. they thank me and drive off.
9- I get there as she's starting to tee off. So I tee off as well and hit a nice slice into #1 183 yards. I don't have a good shot at the gree because of trees and there's the pond on the left side of #9 that fronts most of the green. I figure i'll hit a little punch to set myself up. So i punch my 6i and make good contact and watch it roll into the pond.. oops. I take a drop and miss with my GW to the right. Chip on and two putt for a 7.
So a 51, not counting the X, which purely for HCP purposes would have me posting a 57. I started okay and had a par and birdie in the mix with 16 putts on 8 holes. The 10, 11, and 2 7s didn't help any. Not great but better than last time... I had more good shots today and a fair share of mistakes. I'm hopeful that I'm learning more about the course each time I play. it's costing my, like the 3 chip and 3 putt fiasco on #5 for that 11.
Holes that are getting me are 5 and 6. I need to figure out what I'm doing with them.
Have a good one and sorry about typing a book today.
No book today, I promise.
I hit the range and practice green today. I brought 4w, 5i, 8i, and SW. It was pretty busy and we were all hitting from mats until the range attendant came by and said hitting from the grass was okay. Wish I had know that when I started. I hit a mix of shots and did my usual of trying to mix things up a bit. I hit a few pitches, partial wedges, a couple punches/knockdowns, and full shots. Overall it was decent. I hit a few nice shots and a few clunkers. The big thing I tried to pay attention to was ball position. I've hit some blocks right on the course and I feel like it was related to the ball being too far back. So I tried to focus on where the ball was in my stance and it's flight characteristics. I think I need it a touch more forward than I have been using.
The 4w was used off the deck. I thought I'd try to start getting my confidence back with it in case I want to use it during a round. This is a club that if I don't mishit it, it just goes. I get nice height and distance with it. I hit a couple great draws and then lost a couple right. I did an old drill my teacher in Maine had me do, though I never did it with a wood before, and that was to try and hit a hook by forcing my hands to turn over. I managed it on the first shot and sent a couple more low and left into the trees next to the range. I played around with ball position and think I have it narrowed down a bit better. I'd say it's a 50/50 proposition right now with the 4w off the deck. Not sure where on the course I can use it yet though. the course forms two circles/rings with houses inside and outside of the rings. So the only place that holes run parallel to each other is 1/9.
I mixed in 12 sand shots in the middle of the range session. A few were ugly but I hit more good ones. I'll keep at it every time to keep trying to improve my bunker play.
I did some chipping and putting. The chipping was horrendous. I need to watch Monte's videos on it again. The putting was a mixed bag. There is a major tier on half of the practice green by the clubhouse. I was trying to putt from the top tier to a hole that was on the lower tier and maybe 6 feet from the fringe. It was probably a good 30 - 40 foot putt. I was using 4 balls and it didn't matter how slow I hit them, every single one rolled well off the green. I did some putts from the lower tier to the upper and a couple of times my ball didn't have enough juice and rolled back down. Another member showed up and I asked him if there were many holes with big tiers since I only have noticed the one on #5 that cost me yesterday. He said there were and he likes the greens because 'they are fast and roll good'. He also said 'the course isn't long but the greens are what makes it difficult'. He said it's important to have the pin sheet because you don't want to be above the hole on a number of the greens. They have laminated pin sheets in the carts and I got them to photocopy one for me since I walk. Just gotta laminate it and then I can attach it to my bad and I'll have it.
I was able to get out for another 9 today. I have learned the only thing that is consistent is the fact I have none... I did better than last time though, which isn't saying much per say but it's still better.
I had another X. It was #5. I hit a nice slice into the junk with my driver. I then topped my provisional into the thick rough in front of the tee box. A couple mishits later and I'm maybe 40 yards further than a good drive would be laying 5. I decided to try my 4w off the deck and I hit a slight push to the right. It was solid contact and I never heard it hit anything. The line it was one could have gotten back into the fairway since my mishit 'cut the corner' but I couldn't find my ball anywhere. I don't know if it went into the backside of the stream or what. I just called it good an moved on from there.
I shot a 45 on the 8 holes I did complete with 2 8s and 2 7s on the card. I had 1 birdie, 1 par, 2 bogies, a double(one of the 7s), a triple, and two quads. Jekyll and Hyde golf is my game! I tried to play safer when I was in trouble, which was a fair amount though my 4w shot did lead to my X.
The bad: Driver blew chunks except on one hole. It was a slice or top pretty much all round. Irons had a number of tops too. Besides the fiasco on #5, I put another ball in the pond on #9 when I tried to hit a safe shot and hit it too far again... Chipping with a wedge, I gave up after my first chip which I bladed.
The good: Drive on #4 was 232 into the fairway. I was 65 from center and hit my GW long. I used my putter to chip and got it to about 4 feet and sank the par putt. I sank a 12 foot putt on #2, par 3, for a birdie, actually hit the green off the tee for a change. 4w from the deck worked good on #3. I was 180 out and went a bit long. I had solid contact every time I used it but they tended to go right on me, either a push or a push fade. My approach was short on #7 and in a bunker. I hit it out to about 2 feet from the cup. My only sand shot of the day.
Overall, I'm happy with how I did. I dropped a fair number of shots but got my second birdie of the year. If I was posting a score for HDP, my X would have been a 7 I believe, for a 52. I know the reality is I'd probably have shot a 10 - 12. I can't actually post any rounds, so it doesn't matter either way in the end. I was only in the sand once and the shot came out perfect. So that practice is helping me I think. My putting is a mixed bag still but I sank putts from 12 and 6 feet and had 3 one putts.
Happy new years.🍻
OP, interesting topic, thx for starting it :)
i haven't read too carefully, but i think i'm about where you are.... i can break 90 pyalot but low 80's is very hard to do.
i think there's a pyramid of improvement.
to get into low 80's consistently i think is beyond avoiding bad shots. that's to get under 90....... i think we need to hit more good shots to get those scores. and really serious course management......... and no more doubles (this is somewhat contradictory to my earlier comment)
and i think once you reach a certain level that a formula linking score to GIR is quite relevent... not sure what that formula is but it's googlable (and of course, it's just a general idea someone came up with)
something i saw online. i will post link
score GIR # pars
81 7 8.1
85 5 6.6
89 3 5.1
95 0 2.8
i think this really understates how important avoiding big numbers is..... i feel like my GIR and pars are higher than this suggest. GIR for sure......i should track it though
i play a long tough par 4. 440 yards sea-level. uphill, tight with big trouble on one greenside and moderate on the other
i can think to make it in 2 with perfect/perfect......... but i mean really perfect.
i should hit two irons and leave myself under 150 yards. and make 5 the most likely score....... but of course, i get 7's and 8's all the time
@jim rockford interesting link with the stats and what he has makes sense based on my memory of my own rounds when I played well in the past. I was hitting fairways and getting more GIR, etc. Your strategy for that par 4 makes sense to me, it's also the strategy in the book How to Break 100, which is a good read, as is How to Break 90. So you know what to do if you if you want to score well.
It rained here on Thursday and Friday but I got out yesterday, Sunday. Things were wet and I got to take relief from casual water a few times. Still only playing the front 9 and I don't know when I will feel ready to walk 18. I am so out of shape, lol.
The two real good things from Sunday is I played the entire round with the same ball, which means I actually didn't take an X, and completed all 9. Think this is the second time I manage to do that. Also means no penalties!
I ended up in a couple bunkers. I'm hitting the shot I want out of the sand but need to work on how hard I swing/club used to get more distance. I don't hit the ball very far and need more distance at times with the size of the bunkers. I am happy with the progress I've made with my bunker play at the moment and will keep working on it.
Putting was horrid. The greens were slower than I expected. I think it's a combination of the rain making things softer and I don't think they have done any work on the course ie mowed or rolled the greens, etc. I finally decided to try and hit the ball harder because I was coming up short all day and then I would blow it past the hole, sigh. I'm chalking this up as an outlier for now since my putting has been decent i.e. near 2 putts/hole.
My yardages are terrible. I don't know how much is wet ground and the temperature versus swing but all three are in the mix. Driver is averaging under 200 yards. I will be moving up to the teal tees, for the front 9 it's a change from 3033 yards to 2758 based on the card. It's not huge but I really shouldn't be playing the whites with my distances. I have no clue what my iron yardages are but I'm trying to dial them back. Once upon a time my PW was a 120 club, with a nice high ball flight, now I think it's probably closer to 105ish. So I think I will be clubbing up until I find myself going long.
I had hoped to get to the range today but no dice. Instead I watched an interesting, and short, video series by Monte regarding changing ball flight with set-up changes. It's less than 15 minutes but I learnt a lot, and hopefully I will retain some of it. One of the big things was around ball flight laws. He only spends a few minutes on it but I have the 'old' laws ingrained in my head. I gotta remember that direction is based on club face and curve is based on the relationship between the club face and swing arc. He goes on and talks about how where the ball is in your stance can effect the flight, along with grip, shoulder angle, and how far you stand from the ball.
I think this explains some of what I have seen on the course lately. I've been losing the ball right more but have also tried to move the ball forward in my stance some. It's probably too far forward with my driver and that MAY be causing some of the slices. I'll just have to keep what he was saying in mind and try to to make things worse than they already are with my swing.
I will say that I like Monte's videos. The ones I watched on Youtube years ago were good. The ones I've purchased all seem very solid with better production values. I like how he explains things.
A good place to start since you play alone a lot is to track your stats and score for every round. Track fairways missed left or right, greens missed short, long, left right, putts, and scrambling around the greens. You'll start to see weaknesses in your game and will know exactly what you need to get better at.
I agree completely. I had well over 100 rounds tracked in OOBGolf years ago. I paid the yearly subscription for the 'premium" stats and tracked a lot of stuff. I'm kinda bummed they went away though I did get my data over into the Skygolf thing that replaced them. It's very old and not of much use today I don't think, so I dunno if I want to even bother with it.
I have been putting stuff into TheGrint but I haven't gotten the advanced stats since I can't find any info on what they are, lol. My new toy is Arccos. I'm curious to see how well it works once I get it setup and on the course. I'm also curious about what kind of stats it tracks. It's gonna be interesting to see how Arccos performs, etc. I may want to cry/drink heavily after I see the results but...lol
Be careful not to overthink it, keeping simple stats can be powerful and point out hurtful tendencies. I don't do it much after regular rounds but immediately following tournament rounds I write down three things I could've done better during that round to produce a lower score and it helps.
One more thing that amateurs don't do and almost all pros do is go to the range after the round. I usually head in for a beer after a round but if I've got something to work on I'll keep 10 balls from my warmup bucket and hit 10 shots to correct something that I was doing poorly with on the course. If you go to the range for 5 minutes immediately after your round I promise you will get better. Working on something while it's fresh in your mind is huge.
Interesting point about hitting the range after your round. I'll have to try to keep that in mind. I didn't do it today for time reasons.
I got in a quick 9 today and used Arccos. I must say it was pretty painless to use and pairing my clubs was pretty simple. I did have to do some post round editing but nothing major. Changing a wedge shot into a sand shot, a chip with the putter to a chip, etc. The only thing I had to do was the flag location on every hole which I did. It took a bit longer than I would like since I waited for the gps to settle down on where I was. Still it was quick and painless. I kept a normal scorecard and just made notes of my short game shots, sand, and penalties.
So the round itself was not great but I had my moments. I stayed on the white tees because Arccos does not have the teal forward tees for my course in their system yet. I shot a 57 with 2 stroke and distance and one regular penalty. Make those go away and it's a 52, still not good though.
I did club up like I said I would and the results were better. I felt lame hitting a 6i on a par 3 that was 138 to center but I actually hit the green. The shot itself was a low draw that I hit thin. I also hit the other par 3 using my 5i and one par 4 using my PW.
Putting still needs work. It was better than the other day but I still was having problems.
I was in the sand one and got out and on the green with 1 shot!
Next change is my driver is going into my bag to stay for a while. I'm losing it right and it's costing me. I had 2 S+D penalies, one of which I topped my next drive a whooping 70 yards to the back of the ladies tees( I lost more than the normal 2 shots for S+D in that fiasco. Arccos has my driver as 20% left(my topped shot), 40% FW hit, and 40% right. It thinks my driver is good for 207 yards right now, range is 190 - 221. A wide range is a sign of inconsistency, which I have. The algorythm they have removes topped drives... Based on prior rounds I think this number will drop too.
So on #7 I went with my 4W off the tee. I hit a nice high shot into the fairway and then on 9 I hit a high push. Both shots were straight with barely any curve to them. Arccos, after 2 holes, has my 4W off the tee as being good for 189 yards, range was 188 - 190. So I maybe lose 20ish yards but might have a ball flight that doesn't go as far astray and cost me more in penalties.
Couple of cool stats. My GIR# was 33.3, I missed left once and the rest were short...My average distance to pin with a GIR was 35.6 feet and 125.4 on my approaches. Arccos has a handicap by facet feature, driving, approach, chipping, sand, and putting. It has me as a 30.0 in everything but sand where I'm a 24.1.
Anyways I have 9 holes of stuff tracked by Arccos and I need to go look through things. I'm excited to see where things end up once I have enough rounds/holes tracked to get some real trends. It seems pretty cool.
Have a good one and thanks for reading.
Okay, reality is setting in or at least I hope so. I need to re-evaluate my short term goals and rough plan. My scoring is awful and the reason changes a little day to day. One day I don't lose a ball in wet conditions but can't putt to save my life. The next my putting is okay but I lose 5 strokes to penalties/OB. I have played the front 9 enough to have a basic idea of where I want to hit the ball off the tee and where some better misses are when going for the green. My scores are horrid though because I can't seem to count on any aspect of my game, in a positive manner, from one round to the next.
I played 9 yesterday and posted one of my worst 9s but there were a couple bright spots. #5 is the par 5 hole that I always struggle with. My scores on it from the cards I have sitting on my desk are 7, X, 10 ,8. I got my first par on it and almost had a birdie. My chip stopped about three inches from the cup on the high side, so just a few more revolutions and it would have gone in. I stuck with my 4W off the tee. Including the two holes from Wednesday I'm hitting 66.7% of my fairways, losing 11% left and 22% right. I did manage a couple big push slices early in my round, so it's not a magic bullet. It does seem to keep me in play a bit more though.
So my short term goal is to just break 50 for 9. One of the first days I played I shot a 53 and thought I just had rust to knock off. My follow up rounds have been higher and sometimes 60. So yeah, it's not gonna be smooth sailing. I shouldn't be surprised since I essentially didn't play for close to 6 years.
My plan: Try to play 9 twice a week. This way I feel like I'm close to breaking even on the membership. Try to hit the range a couple days a week when I don't play.
Plan on the course: Stick with the 4W off the tee and work on course management.
Plan at the range: Hit balls out of the practice bunker and work on whatever it is I am trying to work on.
I hit the range today and hit a dozen or so bunker shots. I also started to work on a drill from the Efficient Swing that deals with the takeaway. I was working on hip rotation and how it should feel with pressure in left toes and right heel. I did the drill with a partial shot and the first few were ugly blades to the right. I kept at it and things straightened out quite a bit. I hit some great shots with the right ball flight and the mishits seemed more playable. They went in the right direction but distance was affected depending on if it was weak contact versus bladed. The good thing is the low pushes I've been seeing on the course went away. I pretty much just worked on this with a PW, thought I did hit driver a few times as well. The other takeaway is i need to try to remember to keep my wrists looser. I always do better if I can feel the club set my wrists.
Regarding Arccos, I'm really liking it. I think I will use their HCP as a gauge for my improvement going forward. It looks like it's just what they think you should be based on analytics of your golf shots and scoring. After 18 holes they have me as a 28.8 overall. My sand and putting are 23.9 and 23.2 respectively, everything else is 30.0 which I assume is the max. I expect to see things fluctuate as I play more but that will settle down. I don't care how accurate the numbers are with regard to an actual HCO index. I'm just going to use them by themselves to track improvement, no more no less.
Have a good weekend.
Best way to break 85 is to seriously work on your swing with a good instructor either in-person or online. I highly recommend Monte or iTeach but there are some others as well. Breaking 85 is actually really easy if you can get the ball moving forward and in play on every hole. Think of it this way....a fairway is 30 yards wide....keep it within 5 yards...so you have a 40 yard window to hit your driver.....Keep you approaches within 5 yards of the green....say the green so say that's a 25 yard window. All you need is to hit 3-5 greens and you do it...and you do that by aiming at the middle regardless of pin location. You don't need to get your swing perfect or even great just better. There is a large margin for error....larger probably than you think.
I remember trying to break 90/85/80....I kept thinking I had to hit every shot great or it wouldn't happen. When I realized that I didn't, the pressure was off and it became easier. The key is just having a swing that can accomplish this. The lower the target score, the smaller the window
These are great tips. I'll add just stay patient and always have fun.
@ferrispgm This was my experience as well. When I got 'serious' about golf and worked on breaking 100 and then 90, lessons were a key part of it. It took a few years but we turned my slice into a draw, even with my driver. As the swing improved, so did my scores. What I am hoping, is that my swing is still there, buried under rust. I do see flashes of that swing once in a while, so it's lurking there someplace. I have all of Monte's video series and I am using them for my guidance right now. I'm working on the hip rotation that he talks about in the second or third segment of Efficient Swing, feeling weight in left toes and right heel. I'm not ready to start working with someone 1-1. I had a great relationship with the pro I used in Maine and trust him. Down here it's an unknown and I don't want to end up undoing what I've already done unless I become convinced I'll never regain it without going down that path.
@BB28403 If it's not fun, why do it? It's why I quit in 2013. I was sooo frustrated on the course. I didn't have fun. I'd like to say I'm more mature now, lol. I can say that I am having a great time even if I am shooting in the high 50s for 9. I forgot how fun golf is if you let it. I'm under no pressure to score. Trust me, I want to do the best I can on every shot but if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. The next shot might. Plus this is how I learned on the course years ago. How to hit out of trees, partial shots to try to setup the next full shot, etc. Funny how much attitude matters.
I played 9 Saturday. My wife suggested it and I am not gonna pass that opportunity up! Overall another bad 9 with bright spots. I went par, bogey, par on holes 6, 7, and 8. I did send the 4w right early on, slice on #1 and a push slice on #3. I hit driver on #7 and 9. They are open enough for it and it worked out okay. I am still liking Arccos.
I went to the range Sunday. I hit a dozen sand shots. I only used my SW but tried varying how fast I swing(power). I'm trying to get comfortable swinging harder for when I need more distance and it went real good. I spent the majority of the session with my PW working on my hip rotation still. Trying to feel weight in left toes and right heel. It went very well and I was hitting nice high shots. It was off mats because of rain late Saturday, so that will mask things some, but I am pleased with the progress and results.
My range session also had an experiment as well. I brought one of my older drivers, Magregor Mactec 460. It's probably circa 2007. It's a stiff 65g Adilia shaft, 10.5 degree loft. My 'gamer' driver is an Adams Speedline Fast 12, 55g stiff shaft, and 10.5 degrees loft. I was wondering how the two compared... Took a few shots with the MacTec and they were lower but much straighter than what I've seen with the Adams on course. I take the Adams and hit a couple shots, and both high push slices. Grab the Mactec and it's back to being lower but straight. So I've removed the Adams from the bag and replaced it with the Macgregor. Curious to see how it works out on the course when I get to play next. I'm not sure about how losing height will impact me but it was so much straighter.
I also have an old 3w and 5w kicking around that I may try out at some point to replace the 4w and 7w I'm carrying now. There's also a 2h I picked up, but never really used, kicking around. I should try it at the range to see if I can hit it. It would be a possible replacement for either my 7W or 60LW, both of which don't get used much. I'm not in the market for new clubs BTW. I know I'm using older 'tech' but I'm fine with it. I've never been a club 'ho, lol.
reading through your posts and a few things come to mind.
Ping G410+ 9*, Tensei Pro Orange
Adams XTD Ti 17*, Fubuki
Apex 20*, AD DI 85
Srixon U85 23*, AD DI 95
Srixon 585 5-6, Nippon 120
Srixon 785 7-PW, Nippon 120
Ping Glide 3.0 52*, Nippon 120
TM Hi Toe 56*&60*, Nippon 120
@scooterhd2 Great post, I appreciate it. All of your points make sense to me.
#3 in your list, regarding iron distances is something that will sort itself out I think. I know I tend to miss short and now I have Arccos tracking my shots and telling me how short I am. I have been trying to use more club but it's just been for a couple rounds and mishits have messed that up a bit. It's embarrassing to be looking at a 130 yard shot and thinking maybe I should hit a 6i... It was hard to even type that because of how bad that looks... Oh well, it is what it is, lol. So I expect to get a more accurate feel for my iron distances once I have more data captured by Arccos.
#4 about recovery shots is something I kinda do but I don't know my distances. I have put at least 3 balls in the pond on #9 trying to hit a punch from the right rough/1st fairway to a safe spot to get an approach to the green. I always hit the shot well and it rolls in because i use to much club/swing. The range at the course is on a hill, so I can't easily get actual distances when I practice there. Sure a flag is 108 yards away but it's downhill. So that's just a challenge to working out some punch shot distances. I used to be real good hitting punches and I am hopeful that skill will return with some practice.
No golf the last few days thanks to rain. Today has been dry but the course isn't. I saw a guy walk out into the third fairway to get his ball and it was kinda amusing watching all the funny steps, trying to avoid water. He picked up his ball and turned around and headed back towards the tee. I assume he decided it was too wet. Too bad since if that was his tee shot, it was a pretty good one. I'm hoping I can possibly get in 9 hole the next couple of days.
I finally 'discovered' that Arccos has a dashboard on their website. I will say that for a product that was so easy to set-up and use, their documentation isn't obvious. I only poked around looking for the dashboard when I saw a video review that showed hole history where it shows an aerial view of the hole and your shots from multiple rounds. That view doesn't exist in the phone app. Guess I should poke around to see if I can find a manual someplace that explains the reports and colors. Fo example looking at a club's shot history I see some are colored gray and other are green. I'm not sure what makes it which color. I'm assuming gray means bad for now, lol.
I did make it to the range and it was mats only again. I worked on sand shots again, hit 10 of them, with good results. I'm liking the little routine I have with regard to this. Years past I would say I'd work on X, (chipping *cough**cough*), and never get around to it. The practice bunker right next to the range has been a big help in getting me to work on this.
I continued with working on my weight shift feel and it seems to be going real well. I'm pretty much just using my PW for it but the ball is coming out high and my miss seems to be a slight push fade. I'm not blading the ball or hitting low runners. The hard part is the mat hides fat shots. I can feel them, like I can when I catch it thin, but the ball flight is still good. I'm not so sure that will be true on the course. I mixed it some pitches and partial swings too with good results. A couple full swings with my 6i as well, just to see how that looked.
I decided to try my old 3W off the mat and I can't say it was much different than my 4w. No big difference in my misses. So I think the 4w will stay in the bag for now. I also tried the 2H I have. I can't hit it... So I'm leaving it out too. maybe someday I will be able to hit it and it'll find it's way into my bag.
I did hit a few driver shots and it was just like on Sunday. Much straighter than the Adams. I don't hit it as high but the direction is so much better. So I plan to stick with the Macgregor and see how well it works for me on the course.
Generally loft is going to help you, especially if you do not have a ton of swing speed. Loft helps get the ball in the air and also minimizes side spin. I've seen alot of people hit massive fades with a 5 iron, that hit a PW pretty darn straight. I would imagine the 4 wood will be better for you than the 3 wood. The 2 hybrid might be tough, but I could see a 4 hybrid being easier for you. Might depend whats you longest iron is that you feel comfortable hitting.
And if your data keeping yields that your 130 club is a 6 iron, and you are 130 out, what do you think is going to happen when you pull the 8 iron out?
I'd be interested in seeing your swing. Or maybe just knowing what your swing speed and ball speed are with a 6 iron. If you have access to a launch monitor. I have a feeling you generate speed but dont compress the ball well. You ever use impact tape to see where you are striking the ball?
Glad to hear the pressure shift feel is going well...I had a similar issue I worked on last year as I wasn't getting into my trail heel on the backswing. Word to the wise....when you go play don't think about it at all...just look at the shot in front of you, create the shot you want to hit in your mind, step up and hit it to the best of your ability....then go find it and do it again. Thinking about the change on the course can lead to disaster....and for me at least...this one produced the worst results of them all when I would think about it on the course.
You won't hit them all great but you should hit a few really well....then next time out you will hit a few more and then the 3rd and/or 4th time struggle..then get better again on the 5th the 6th, etc. For me and most I think progress is like this: 1 step forward, 1 step forward, 2 back, 2 forward, 1 back, 1 forward, etc.....just as long as you are gradually getting better then stick with it! Best of luck to you.
@scooterhd2 Thanks for taking the time to post your comments. I appreciate it.
I haven't used impact tape in years, though masking tape works just as good. So that's something I could probably manage. With irons, I tend to hit towards the toe. It's probably that case with almost all of my clubs. I'm also likely to be low on the club since I do hit them thin a good amount. I rarely hit a true shank off the hosel. I'm leery to say this because of Karma but I think my last actual shank was in 2013 on the range.
As for video, I'd have to see if I brought the Casio camera with me from Maine. I bought it just for golf video since it has a very good slow motion video capability. I might even know what box it's in, lol. I'm sure there's a launch monitor someplace near me since I'm in Atlanta. I'd have to look around for one though.
If Arccos says my 6i is my 130 club then it's my 130 club. I just remember a time when that was a 150 club for me. It is what it is and now I have actual data versus many years ago when it was more gut feel using a GPS.
I will mention some anecdotal stuff regarding speed and how I'm not getting all I can. Things improved for me years ago when I started to feel the clubhead during my swing. By that I mean that my wrists were loose enough that I could feel the club head tug the handle near the top of my backswing. I hit a better ball when I have that feeling, I think it a mix of tempo being better and letting the club do what it's gonna do without tension preventing it. I'm not sure if that makes sense or not.
The other thing is I do not have full rotation back or through the ball. The pro in Maine pointed the back swing part out to me back in 2011/12 and we worked on it. getting my left arm under my chin. I have also noticed on the range that I finish at a slight angle to my target. So my finish position would have me looking right of my target line versus a full finish that has me looking parallel to my target line. I actually started to make myself finish be more parallel and the results were interesting. I had better ball flight and didn't hit the slight push fade I see at times. I am leery about messing with this right now though because i'm trying to focus on one thing at a time and that's the weight shift feel.
@ferrispgm that's a great point about on the course. I try to just hit it when I play and I will diagnose some of my mishits. For example, something feels wrong when I setup with my driver but I swing anyways and block the ball off the planet. I try to acknowledge what didn't seem right, ball was way forward, so i don't do it again and someday i hope to learn to backout when it doesn't feel right. I think I'm 50/50 at best doing it.
My experience is similar to yours though. If I try to do something on the course with my swing, bad things happen. It's funny how there are times in golf where thinking is the worst possible thing to do.
I managed to get in 9 today. Condistions were sunny, low 60s, with a decent breeze. Course is still soaked. Standing water in some fairways and pretty much casual water everyplace. I emailed Arccos about the missing teal tees last week and when I did an update last night they were an option. I consider that to be pretty fast turnaround. So I played the teal tees which are 67.3/121, rating/slope, and 2758 yards. The whites are 68.9/126 and 3033. So a little shorter and easier but still harder than my old course.
1 - Par 4, I decide to hit driver. It was a nice push into the 9th fairway, 163 yards. There was no roll, the ball stopped a couple inches from it's plug mark. Well so much for this driver not going right on me based on the range sessions... I'm over 200 yards out and have a small stand of trees between me and the 1st fairway. There's a decent sized gap between the trunks, so I punch my 6i through it, 84 yards, into the correct fairway. The GPS portion of Arccos is giving me a plays like distance of 130 to center. Out comes my 6i and I hit a low draw 149 yards off the back of the green. My ball landed about 6 feet short of the back and went a couple yards off the green. I chip with my putter and 2 putt for a 6.
2 - Par 3, Arccos says it's playing 130ish so I hit 6i again with the wind blowing at an angle over my left shoulder to the right. I hit a high push that goes 141 yards and misses to the right of the green. Again, no roll. A line from my ball going across the back of the green would have put the ball on it, maybe 6 feet from the back. I chip with my GW and leave it short of the green. The clubhead just slid under the ball completely. I use my putter to chip and end up 2 putting for a 5.
3 - par 5 dog leg right, I hit driver and it's a nice draw to the left side of the fairway, 187 yards. I'm just over 200 yards out but the ground is soggy and there are bunkers short right. So a 4w if I'm feeling bold, which I am not. I decide to try to hit a 5i and blade it 83 yards. I have about 125ish to center now and go with my 7i. I blade it low and left about 87 yards. I'm probably 40 yards from center, short left on a raised knoll, which is firm and dry. I hit a low pitch but it's too hard and the ball rolls through the back right of the green, when I started front left. So putter to chip again. I get the ball 4 feet from the flag roughly and somehow manage to miss the putt. So another 2 putt for 7, sigh..
4- short par 4, I hit driver and push slice it into the trees. I hit a fade with my provisional 153 yards into the right rough. The ball is above my feet and I'm in that 130ish range again. So I go with my 6i and blade it. The ball gets maybe 3 feet off the ground, lands in the fairway bunker between me and the green. It skips forward and clears the 1 foot lip. The ball is short of the green, shocking. I chip with my GW and I get it pin high but my aim is off, so i'm about 10 - 12 feet right of the flag. I get stupid and try Voodoo putting. Big mistake and I 2 putt for a 7.
5 - par 5 dogleg right, that is my nemesis. The teal tees are a fair bit shorter than the whites. I use the GPS to get a distance to the stream that's to the left of the fairway. It's telling me it's 225 away. I struggle on this hole, so I tee off using my 4w. I hit a nice low draw down the right side of the fairway 227 yards. My ball is just a few yards past the stream. It's soggy but I find a place I can take relief. I'm just over 200 yards out again but I stay calm and use my 5i. I catch it thin and it's real low and goes 72 yards. I now have about 130ish to the green again, notice a trend? I hit my 6i and I blade that puppy. It somehow stops just a few yards short of the green, I thought it was possible to be even shorter with the amount of moisture in the ground. Anyways I chip with my putter and the ball is tracking at the hole and drops in for par!
6-par 4, with houses right. The tees are forward enough that the houses are out of play. So I go with driver and hit a push slice into the right trees. Great, I'm probably OoB. My provisional is a fade but I find my first ball in a ditch marker as a hazard, 149 yards. I take my drop and I'm 150-160 out. So I hit my 4i, It's not great, another lowish shot that missed short and right. I'm almost 30 yards from the hole and probably 5 yards off the green. I stay with my putter and give it a good whack to about 2 feet. I make the putt for a bogey 5.
7 - par 4, slight dogleg right and very downhill. it's pretty open so I go with driver again. A nice high push slice near the right treeline. There are houses and OoB over there so I hit a provisional which is a push fade, sigh. I find my first tee shot 157 yards from the tee and in play. I always seem to be near this one house's backyard on this hole... I have no shot at the green, so I punch my 5i about 80 yards into the fairway. I'm 120ish out and hit my 7i. It's a low draw to the right of the green, where I was aimed.... I use my putter to chip even though i have a lot of wet grass to work with. My aim is off and I end up pin high probably 8 feet away. I don't know what's going through my head but I 3 jack for a 7... I left my second putt either short for a tap in or I lipped out to a foot or so.
8 - par 3, downhill, flag is back and I'm 130ish from center. I hit my 6i and it's a high pull that misses well left of the green, 141 yard shot though. I'm probably 30 yards from center and try to chip with my SW and I'm short of the green. I just don't commit to the shot... I use my putter to chip again to 10 feet and proceed to 3 putt. This hole whichever second putt miss didn't happen on #7. So an awesome 6.
9 - par 4 with water left. So I am almost always in the 1st fairway off this tee because i hit a slice or push. The tees are forward enough that it brings some trees into play that haven't been from the whites. I pretend to be smart and hit my 4w. It's a high push right into the wind, 153 yards, into the rough to the right of the cart path. A familiar spot for me on this hole. I'm 140ish out and there are mature trees to the right and one of them, a large pine, has branches in my line. So I go with my standard second shot on this hole, a punch. I tend to put the ball in the water with this shot, so i go with my GW and only do a half swing, if that. It's good contact and I advance it 57 yards into the correct fairway. The Arccos is telling me that my next shot plays like 104. So I hit a 9i into the wind. It's a decent shot that lands right of the green, near the back and rolls on about 12 feet short of the hole. I 2 putt for a bogey.
So I managed a 53 with 3 penalty strokes in the mix and my drives did not set me up well for the most part. My putting was not good based on the distances I had for a first putt. I tried Voodoo putting on 2 holes and shouldn't have. It cost me strokes both times. I seem to recall having bad luck with it when I tried it once in 2013. I'm a decent putter and should have just stuck to my normal putting. I also had alignment issues on some full shots and chips.
The good things were using my putter to chip and while not great, my irons were better. I will stay with my short yardages since I'm not consistent enough to change them. Sure I hit two 6i shots 141 and another 149 yards but I also dubbed some much shorter. I think that I may go long/back of the green if I get it airborne on a 130 to center shot but unless that happens a lot, I see no reason to change.
I'll also stay on the shorter teal tees until things start to improve with my swing.
My son loves to whip out his iphone and video all things golf he does. I've toyed with the idea of doing a video blog of my efforts that are much like this thread. Then, you guys would see what a goofy **** I am in the flesh...
That is something I'd watch. I'm more of a writing type and while I consider myself funny and witty, I don't think it would come through on video. I think I'd be stiff as a board unless I found a way to relax on camera, lol.
Sounds like chipping with a conventional wedge went terrible for you today. Ball striking in general sounded poor with all the blades and thins in your shot descriptions. Have you ever used or thought about using a chipper around the greens? Seems like you do better chipping with the putter anyway. Might allow you to make the same stroke as a putter, but give you some loft to clear some grass and get a more predictable run out. or maybe try experimenting using an 8 iron to chip instead of the SW.
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