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Secret lessons

 jmon ·  
jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
Joined:  in Instruction & Academy #1

New to the forum. So hello to everyone. I have played with the same 2 guys for the better part of 10 years. We rotate a 4th but it’s mostly us 3. I’m about a 15 handicapper. My best friend is one of the other 2. He’s about the same. 15 handicap. Now the other guy is the best of the 3 of us. He’s usually in the high to mid 70s. Occasionally low 70s. So longer drives. Better short game. He’s a very good ball striker.

So my best friend and I are tired of him whipping us every week. We decided that we would both take lessons. And not a quick fix one. 3 months of weekly lessons with practice sections. However we are not going to tell our playing partner. We are just going to start improving (hopefully) and see his reaction as we get closer and closer to his skill level. I can’t help but wonder how long it will take him to pick up on it. Should be pretty interesting. He’s a great guy so this isn’t meant as a slight to him at all. Actually more of a nod of respect. Just incognito style!

J

Posted:
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  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
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  • RobertBaronRobertBaron Members  901WRX Points: 211Posts: 901 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #3

    Sounds awesome. Will follow this thread!

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #4

    Should be interesting. I predict you will get worse before you get better, as that is typically the pattern when you start new lessons, but stick with it and see where it goes.

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  • jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
    Joined:  #5

    I like it. My instructor is actually a fitness trainer as well so I have no doubt they are coming from him soon anyway. 👍

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  • jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
    Joined:  #7
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  • jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
    Joined:  #8

    Yes agreed. I’ve always lacked power so he’s changing me to a strong grip. I like it so far. My next 4 rounds I’ve told him (my buddy) are practice rounds. I’m working on some stuff I told him. When I get it worked out and improve he’ll start asking questions and we’ll tell him. He’s a competitive guy. He’ll love it.

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  • ofortunaofortuna Members  463WRX Points: 59Handicap: 8.4Posts: 463 Greens
    Joined:  #9

    You have a long **** way to go from 15 but I wish you luck.

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  • CasualLieCasualLie Do Woodchucks Chuck Wood? Members  1728WRX Points: 306Posts: 1,728 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #10

    It may not take super long. As a 15 it's not like the sort of swing change as a pro/scratch might do. It's going to take some work for sure, but many elements of the "change" are likely learning proper sequence for the first time. If truly a 15 you can save 5 strokes quickly with better chipping, putting, and course management. Think about it, clean up the doubles and 15 over is 3 measely pars. The swing changes to save another 3-5 shots will take awhile. Going hardcore in practice, work on swing movements in slow mo at home without a ball. You can go 15 to a 6 in 6-8 months. After that though, it's a grind.

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  • jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
    Joined:  #11

    My short game is pretty solid. I’m actually a better putter than he is for the most part. It’s my ball striking that holds me back. Distance off the tee leaves me with longer clubs into greens. On holes where I can get inside the 130 mark to greens I score pretty well. I don’t expect to beat him every week. But it’s a goal.

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  • CasualLieCasualLie Do Woodchucks Chuck Wood? Members  1728WRX Points: 306Posts: 1,728 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #12

    There was a similar thread awhile ago...drop a ball at 130 on every hole, and what do you think you would score? Call it par 54. You have to get that to about 3 over at most to be able to call that good and then focus on the tee game/longer shots.

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 27, 2020 4:20pm #13

    Funny story, a guy at our club with a 16 cap used to claim he had the short game of a scratch and if only he could hit it better/longer he would be one of the best players in the club. One of our scratch buddies (around +2 at the time) called him on it with a creative bet. On the front nine, once the 16cap was within 100 yards the scratch would drop a ball and see who could get down in the least strokes, on the back the 16 cap had drop a ball where the scratch hit his regulation approach shot (after 1 on par 3s, 3 on par 4's, 3 on par 5's).... The scratch would pay $500 if he lost or tied, or get paid $100 if he won.

    It was not even close and the scratch made a few bucks and the 16 got to understand how well, really good players can save pars like crazy, no matter where the ball was hit.

    My own personal experience is my biggest reduction in my handicap came after I committed to practicing 3 foot putts. Sounds super silly - but all my practice for a year would start by holing 90/100 3 foot putts. I would place 5 ball marks all around a hole a putter length away and go around the hole 20 times. I would keep doing it until I holed 90/100 or ran out of time. I really would feel the pressure as I got down to the last 15 putts or so and I had to make 13 of them or start again. I felt so confident over short putts after a while, that I was mentally freed up on longer chips and putts as I had a big circle to get it in and I was confident I would make the next one. I then moved on a to a lag putt drill and chipping drill all with consequences that if not achieved I would start the drill instead. I rarely had time for full swing practices, but yet played the best golf of my life.

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    Post edited by 2bGood on
  • jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
    Joined:  #14

    Great drill with the putting. Phil does/did that I read somewhere. I have no doubt that more short game work would do me some good and save strokes. Can for anyone really. I’m just going to try and improve my ball striking first. I’ll never break 80 having 180 plus into most greens. And I rarely get a chance to have a legit shot at reaching a 5 in 2. The lessons are really to add to my enjoyment of the game. I’m using the secret lessons as motivation to chase down my better playing buddy. To hopefully get to his level or possibly even surpass him in 2021 sometime. He plays in local tournaments and such and Id like to do that as well at some point. I have no plans to quit playing till I’m in the dirt. So now is my time to commit to lessons and improve so I can reap the benefits for years to come!

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  • rich_s2rich_s2 wisconsinMembers  1079WRX Points: 834Handicap: 1.6Posts: 1,079 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #15

    Golfers like to rationalize a lot of things about their games. People always think they are better than they are. This story is 99% true between every 15 and scratch.

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  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers  9564WRX Points: 3,179Posts: 9,564 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #16

    Were you already a single digit player when you started that routine? The difference between a 15 and a 5 isn't going to be made up with short game practice

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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 27, 2020 11:13pm #17

    Yes, fair point. It has been a long time since I have been in double digits.

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    Post edited by 2bGood on
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  • cadoipicadoipi Members  153WRX Points: 153Posts: 153 Fairways
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    It might if the 15 is near the green in regulation 90% of the time, gets up&down < 10% of the time and 3-putts 40% of the time from outside 30 feet. But you are certainly right for most 15 caps.

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  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers  9564WRX Points: 3,179Posts: 9,564 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #19
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  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #20

    I guess my point, is higher handicaps ofter say they have a good short game, or are good putters when in reality that part of their game needs lots of work.

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  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers  9564WRX Points: 3,179Posts: 9,564 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #21

    While that is true, the biggest difference between a 15 and a 10 or a 10 and a 5, for the most part is ball striking. Just as many people over-estimate how well they hit the ball.

    If the OP is a 15 and trying to get a leg up on someone consistently shooting in the 70s, well he's probably on the right track with lessons to improve his swing as a whole.

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  • jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
    Joined:  #22

    It’s my weak ball striking that I feel is holding me back. With my buddy that’s taking lessons also it’s distance control. And just control overall.

    I play controlled. And I make a lot of bogeys and a handful of pars. I don’t take a ton of risks on the course. Been playing this way for years. And I can shoot in the 80s. And if my short game is really on I can shoot in the low 80s. But I’ll never break 80 this way. Not consistently.

    I certainly don’t think I’m better than I am. That’s the whole reason I am committing to building a better swing by being taught by a PGA Professional Instructor. Which isn’t cheap. But if I tally up all the clubs I’ve bought over the years instead of lessons? It’s is cheap.

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  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers  9564WRX Points: 3,179Posts: 9,564 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #23

    You are on the right track then. For the vast majority of mid to high index players, the most productive way to consistently shoot lower scores is to build a better swing.

    Posted:
  • jecarnljecarnl Members  105WRX Points: 60Posts: 105 Fairways
    Joined:  #24

    Ever heard the saying it will get worse before it gets better?

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  • jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
    Joined:  #25

    Week 2 of lessons and 2nd round afterwards. My instructor has done a great job finding my power leak. Hips were sliding. Grip was weak. Lag was non existent. After putting in some time at home on my practice net and mat I set up I’m a making great progress. Getting a nice hip turn that is a solid pivot. Not a sway to the right. Loving the nice strong grip. He also helped me with my stance balance. I’m no longer staying on my toes. Got a nice solid base to make a better turn. Not quite getting the shaft all the way to parallel but I’m taking it back on a solid plane much further now. Still dialing in the timing of the swing which causes a few mis-hits. Maybe 5 the entire round. Mostly tops. But got in a groove and managed to hit 5 GNRs on the back 9. Which is a huge breakthrough for me.

    My buddy still has no clue but said my swing is looking good. He was puzzled that I wasn’t keeping score so he knows something is up. Now my other buddy who is taking the lessons with me is actually regressing a bit. (Different instructor) His miss was always a slice. He’s struggling getting inside. If we had kept score Friday I would have beat him easily.

    I’m taking 12 lessons total. This was only lesson 2 and I’m really happy with my progress. My instructor said in a nice was my swing was very “non-athletic”. I agreed with him totally. But we watched a before the 1st lesson and after the 2nd lesson comparison. Big difference already. And prob 20 yards more off the tee yesterday. Pulled a few with the strong grip but overall a great day with the driver. Prob averaged about 230 off the tee.

    I’m putting in the work at home. Stretching exercises, have my iPad set up to record some swings and I’m using the V1 golf app to compare things with Zach Johnson. He’s who I am modeling my swing after. Great consistent ball striker. Not the longest off the tee but is so consistent.

    More to come! After 2 more weeks of practice rounds I’m gonna start keeping score again. The proof in the pudding will be there!

    I’ll post some pics or video at some point.

    Posted:
  • PriceydPriceyd Members  811WRX Points: 79Handicap: 12Posts: 811 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #26

    Love this thread and a great idea. Im currently around 11 and my goal is by end of next summer to get to a 5. Have been taking lessons this summer had 4 and my game already feels alot better. Had one lesson just on short game and now i feel comfortable when i miss the green im confident im going to at least chip and two putt. bought a putting mat for the basement last week so will practice alot of 5-8 foot putts.

    I only did a 30 minute lesson for short game but felt great and highly recommend it especially if you are around a 15.

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  • jmonjmon Members  14WRX Points: 24Posts: 14 Bunkers
    Joined:  #27

    I’ll absolutely be using a chunk of my lessons for short game. From pitch to putt. It’s an indoor facility with simulators so I do wonder how effective it can be for short game shots. They have an awesome Virtual Green which is like 20x20 and can change the green in all kinds of configurations.

    Posted:

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