True Improvement ... With Verifiable Results

ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,765 ClubWRX
edited Dec 4, 2018 in Instruction & Academy #1
Who on the board who took up the game in the 20's (never played in high school or as a child) or later who got down to scratch or below and has been able to play tournaments at that level with verifiable results?



I'm doing a bit of a study on that type of golfer, specifically.



Answer here, or PM me, if interested in discussing your journey.
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Comments

  • JohnnyMIkeJohnnyMIke Members Posts: 482 ✭✭
    Im pretty sure our aging perriennial former club champion fits that bill. Ill ask him to confirm. He is still a decently ranked Sr Am in VA and has top 5 finishes in VSGA statewide events.
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  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,765 ClubWRX
    edited Dec 5, 2018 #3
    JohnnyMIke wrote:


    Im pretty sure our aging perriennial former club champion fits that bill. Ill ask him to confirm. He is still a decently ranked Sr Am in VA and has top 5 finishes in VSGA statewide events.




    Those are exactly the kind of guys I'm looking to speak with: Guys who can shoot under the course rating, in tournament conditions, who took up the game as adults, not kids. And it sounds like this guy is significantly better than that, even.
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  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,765 ClubWRX
    And I would love to hear from the instructors here: How many of you guys took up the game late in life, versus playing as kids?
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  • tanker44tanker44 Members Posts: 338 ✭✭
    edited Dec 5, 2018 #5
    I played tournament golf from middle school, through college and still today.



    Guys picking up the game in their 20s and making a run at high level tournament golf are around but not many. I play golf with 2 that have come close or are there (US Open Qualifiers, State Ams, etc). One is a former semi-pro hockey player and the other is a retired Navy SEAL. Both these guys are athletic and insane. To do what you are asking the person has to be athletic, have some sort of compulsive disorder, massive ego and play 200 rounds of golf a year.



    Also, these guys surround themselves with the highest caliber players in the area and they hate losing to them. Just thought I'd share info on two examples i've golfed with for years. Doesn't happen all the time.
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  • moodogg98moodogg98 Members Posts: 83 ✭✭
    tanker44 wrote:


    I played tournament golf from middle school, through college and still today.



    Guys picking up the game in their 20s and making a run at high level tournament golf are around but not many. I play golf with 2 that have come close or are there (US Open Qualifiers, State Ams, etc). One is a former semi-pro hockey player and the other is a retired Navy SEAL. Both these guys are athletic and insane. To do what you are asking the person has to be athletic, have some sort of compulsive disorder, massive ego and play 200 rounds of golf a year.



    Also, these guys surround themselves with the highest caliber players in the area and they hate losing to them. Just thought I'd share info on two examples i've golfed with for years. Doesn't happen all the time.


    Sooo...life of the party type?
  • MonteScheinblumMonteScheinblum Rebellion Golf Southern CaliforniaMembers Posts: 18,347 ✭✭
    Larry Nelson took up golf at 21 after he came back from serving in Vietnam.



    Used to know Ryan howison pretty well. Awesome guy and player. Gave me the Happy Gillmor moniker.



    I don’t remember exactly when he took golf up, but it was pretty late and I don’t think he got good until after after he injured himself playing college baseball.



    Won a bunch of money on the web.com tour and played the big tour a few times.
  • jbw749jbw749 Members Posts: 1,135 ✭✭
    Obee wrote:


    Who on the board who took up the game in the 20's (never played in high school or as a child) or later who got down to scratch or below and has been able to play tournaments at that level with verifiable results?



    I'm doing a bit of a study on that type of golfer, specifically.



    Answer here, or PM me, if interested in discussing your journey.




    I think YE Yang started at 19. The people your looking for would need to play and practice all day instead of work and have to learn a subconscious action after the brain is done developing. Tough people to find.
  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,162 ✭✭
    tanker44 wrote:


    I played tournament golf from middle school, through college and still today.



    Guys picking up the game in their 20s and making a run at high level tournament golf are around but not many. I play golf with 2 that have come close or are there (US Open Qualifiers, State Ams, etc). One is a former semi-pro hockey player and the other is a retired Navy SEAL. Both these guys are athletic and insane. To do what you are asking the person has to be athletic, have some sort of compulsive disorder, massive ego and play 200 rounds of golf a year.



    Also, these guys surround themselves with the highest caliber players in the area and they hate losing to them. Just thought I'd share info on two examples i've golfed with for years. Doesn't happen all the time.




    You’re pretty spot on.
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  • Nard_SNard_S Members Posts: 3,373 ✭✭
    Statistically speaking, your looking for needles in haystacks. The number of people who take up game in 20's or later and go to scratch is astronomically small. I've come across studies via Google and there's a huge correlation of starting young and going sub 5 and starting late and getting stuck & giving up in high singles. The Larry Nelson syndrome is really rare but I think it best to have a sobriety about it if your not like him and yet desire to test 70's golf on any given day in some distant future.
  • bazinkybazinky Members Posts: 1,665 ✭✭
    edited Dec 5, 2018 #11
    I'm curious to hear about this. I've known several guys who would fit the category, but don't have the required tournament resume. Players that get good after a late start are already pretty rare, and those that also have sufficient time to play tournaments (other than club/local events), are probably going to be even smaller.
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  • RichieHuntRichieHunt Members Posts: 3,692 ✭✭
    Ted Fort didn't take up golf until he was an adult and he's a really good competitive golfer. And he just had his 2nd hole-in-one of the year in a tournament the other day.













    RH
  • Swisstrader98Swisstrader98 Members Posts: 3,549 ✭✭
    edited Dec 5, 2018 #13
    Obee. Can’t recall where I saw it, but there was this very cool study some years ago that gave the statistical probability of becoming Scratch players based on the age they started to play golf.



    It was a very precise and interesting grid that broke out age groups and then percent chance of becoming scratch based on the age a golfer started to play the game.



    Said something like (and this is a VERY generalized view): if you started to play when you were age 0-5, 10% chance, 5-10, 5% chance; and on and on.



    What I MOST DEFINITELY recall is that starting when I did at age 33 or so, the grid indicated that my chances of becoming scratch was like a .000001 probability. But hey, I keep trying!!
  • jms31207jms31207 Members Posts: 28
    edited Dec 5, 2018 #14
    Started January 2016 age 23.



    Best GHIN index: +1.4

    Best 4 day tournament index: 0.8



    I may not be exactly who you are looking for due to my relatively poor tournament results thus far. Definitely a goal of mine this coming year, to have only tournament rounds in my GHIN, all verifiable via online results.

    Outside of tournament play, I have 6 rounds in the 60's with witnesses this year including my best score of 65 recently (Star Ranch Golf club Blue tees 70.1/117), and my best differential earlier this summer at 66 at Crystal Falls back tees 73.4/131.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • bogeyprobogeypro The Original Bogeypro ALClubWRX Posts: 3,258 ClubWRX
    edited Dec 5, 2018 #15
    I started playing when I was 20... while in the army. I got to scratch fairly quickly and am currently at +2.5 (about to turn 42 this month). I don’t play many tournaments because I hate 6 hour rounds of golf. I play with most of the local pros who can vouch for me. I’ll be glad to talk if you want.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • elthrillelthrill Members Posts: 190 ✭✭
    i didnt start playing golf until age 25. i sucked until I was about 32. just went out and hacked around with buddies 3-4 times a year. never practiced. got really interested in actually trying to learn how to swing the **** club at 35. Just turned 38 and I hope to play some tournaments in 2019. also want to get my real handicap logged this year. got married and had a baby so keeping a cap hasnt been realistic the last 2 years. But ive shot in the 70s on some high slope tracks and feel my game is really close to being at a scratch level. i love playing for something on the line so the real reason i got interested in playing good golf was to play in tourneys.
  • jbw749jbw749 Members Posts: 1,135 ✭✭
    Obee are you asking for tournament proof to keep the vanity cappers out?
  • suprfli6suprfli6 Members Posts: 460 ✭✭
    I like to think this is the journey I’m on right now. Never golfed as a kid (was a soccer goalkeeper at a pretty high level though) and took it up in 2013 at age 26. I’ve plateaued a bit the last year as a low single digit and am hoping to push to a genuine scratch level next season. It was a real tough year for golf in NY, I’m hoping to get a home simulator setup next year which I think will help me get more consistent.
  • BeerPerHoleBeerPerHole Members Posts: 1,220 ✭✭
    Very interesting. I'd love to see what comes from this research. I started at 29 and my game, 23 years in now, has pretty much been a continual s&*tfest. 14 index now...ugh.

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  • melly9melly9 Members Posts: 29
    Hoping this will be me. I started at 22 after finishing up my college baseball career. Im 27 now and am at a 4 handicap. Was pretty much a mid teens handicap until this past year and working with iteach. Low score has been a 70. Normally shoot low to mid 70's.
  • MattStrubeMattStrube San FranciscoMembers Posts: 155 ✭✭
    Can you share with us what sort of research you're conducting? Now THAT would be interesting!
  • ThinkingPlusThinkingPlus South TexasClubWRX Posts: 1,659 ClubWRX
    I probably qualify for this discussion. I started playing relatively often during grad school so I was around 23. My lowest index was this summer at +2.1 (slow learner - took me 34 years LOL). I have not played a bunch of tournament golf, however. Just really started the last few years. Also keep in mind the field strength in women's amateur golf is weaker than men's.



    I've won a couple of state level senior women's events (one NM, one TX) and one 2nd (TX). I have a 2nd (NM), 5th (NM), and 20th (TX) in state level women's events (the kids are really tough). I have a couple of rounds under the course rating during those competitions. Looking to be a little more competitive with the kids this coming year as I am getting more accustomed to tournament golf.
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  • JohnnyMIkeJohnnyMIke Members Posts: 482 ✭✭
    Obee wrote:

    JohnnyMIke wrote:


    Im pretty sure our aging perriennial former club champion fits that bill. Ill ask him to confirm. He is still a decently ranked Sr Am in VA and has top 5 finishes in VSGA statewide events.




    Those are exactly the kind of guys I'm looking to speak with: Guys who can shoot under the course rating, in tournament conditions, who took up the game as adults, not kids. And it sounds like this guy is significantly better than that, even.
    Im slammed in my real life, but Ill pm you in the next coupla days
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  • David CDavid C Members Posts: 848 ✭✭
    By ‘tournament’ do you include 18 and 36 hole competitions? We don’t have many true what I would call ‘tournaments’ in the UK
  •  Dave D Dave D Members Posts: 4,003 ✭✭
    David C wrote:


    By 'tournament' do you include 18 and 36 hole competitions? We don't have many true what I would call 'tournaments' in the UK




    Pretty sure every county has a amateur championship and an order of merit with several events, I would class those as tournaments? Not to mention regional and national tournaments?
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  • blehnhardblehnhard Over The Hill & Almost Down The Other Side Members Posts: 502 ✭✭
    I don't quite qualify on the 1st parameter as I first picked up a club at age 14 but only played a few times each summer in my teens. I was horrible, can remember shooting 140 for 18 holes on a fairly short par 68 course. I was a 3 sport athlete in high school and mostly a tennis player in the summer. I began to take golf more seriously during my time in the service in my early 20's and by the time I got out of the Army in spring of 65 (age 22) I could shoot in the mid to upper 70's on a good day. No real instruction except for reading Hogan's 5 Lessons (which I misinterpreted in many ways).



    Took a job as an assistant pro in spring of 65 (married with 2 young children) for $ 65 per week. Spent 5 years as an assistant, working the last 2 for a very good player (1st team AA along with Bobby Nichols and Don January in 1959). Learned a lot about how to play and was able to win a few Section PGA pro ams.



    Head pro at a private club from 1970 thru 1979. Won numerous local pro ams, won a State Open, qualified for a US Open and played in 5 or 6 National Club Pro Championships.



    Head pro at another private club from 1981 thru 1992. Won numerous section events including Section Championship, and another State Open. Played in another 8 or 9 NCPCs (played in a total or 14). Best highlight of the NCPC was finishing 3rd in 87 at Pinehurst (final round on #2 where I made 6 3s on the front nine for a score of 32 and a final score of 70).



    Finished 7th at Sr Tour Q School in late 92 to earn full exemption for 93 - played 30 events with best finish a tie for 2nd. Not exempt in 94 thru 97 - played mini tours and tried Monday qualifying for Sr Tour events. Would get in 3 to 5 events a year. Finished 5th in Tampa in 95 after "4 spotting". 13th at Q school in late 97 which got me a partial exemption for 98. Played 17 events.



    Did not qualify for 99 season and hung up my competitive spikes. Worked for Soft Spikes / Pride Sports for 10 years.



    Play "casual" golf with friends about 3 times per week during the good weather in Northern VA. Just turned 76 last week. Have had some physical issues (right hip replacement in May 2016 and bad case of sciatica in late 2017 that laid me up for over 3 months. Can still get a few rounds in the upper 60's each year, but mostly stay between 70 and 77. Just got back from a 4 round trip to Pinehurst where I shot 75, 77, 78, 73. Probably no golf here for a while as it looks like a cold winter.



    Hope to work on picking up some clubhead and ball speed over the winter.



    Many thanks to the OP (Obee) for his putting threads this summer which has really helped my putting - now a "Claw Grip" convert for rest of my career along with counter weighted grip.



    Bruce
  • MountainGoatMountainGoat Mid-MarylandMembers Posts: 1,911 ✭✭


    Obee. Can't recall where I saw it, but there was this very cool study some years ago that gave the statistical probability of becoming Scratch players based on the age they started to play golf.



    It was a very precise and interesting grid that broke out age groups and then percent chance of becoming scratch based on the age a golfer started to play the game.



    Said something like (and this is a VERY generalized view): if you started to play when you were age 0-5, 10% chance, 5-10, 5% chance; and on and on.



    What I MOST DEFINITELY recall is that starting when I did at age 33 or so, the grid indicated that my chances of becoming scratch was like a .000001 probability. But hey, I keep trying!!




    If anyone has a link to this study, I'd sure like to see it.
  • Krt22Krt22 Members Posts: 7,043 ✭✭



    Obee. Can't recall where I saw it, but there was this very cool study some years ago that gave the statistical probability of becoming Scratch players based on the age they started to play golf.



    It was a very precise and interesting grid that broke out age groups and then percent chance of becoming scratch based on the age a golfer started to play the game.



    Said something like (and this is a VERY generalized view): if you started to play when you were age 0-5, 10% chance, 5-10, 5% chance; and on and on.



    What I MOST DEFINITELY recall is that starting when I did at age 33 or so, the grid indicated that my chances of becoming scratch was like a .000001 probability. But hey, I keep trying!!




    If anyone has a link to this study, I'd sure like to see it.


    +1. I started at age 29 so it would be nice to see what the statistics are for my age group
  • Nard_SNard_S Members Posts: 3,373 ✭✭
    Krt22 wrote:




    Obee. Can't recall where I saw it, but there was this very cool study some years ago that gave the statistical probability of becoming Scratch players based on the age they started to play golf.



    It was a very precise and interesting grid that broke out age groups and then percent chance of becoming scratch based on the age a golfer started to play the game.



    Said something like (and this is a VERY generalized view): if you started to play when you were age 0-5, 10% chance, 5-10, 5% chance; and on and on.



    What I MOST DEFINITELY recall is that starting when I did at age 33 or so, the grid indicated that my chances of becoming scratch was like a .000001 probability. But hey, I keep trying!!




    If anyone has a link to this study, I'd sure like to see it.


    +1. I started at age 29 so it would be nice to see what the statistics are for my age group




    I read the same study that ST is referring to. While trying to track it down ( I cannot) came across this:



    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2650782/



    It's rather wonky and my eyes glazed reading it but upshot is time and intensity of practice matter a great deal more than at what age one starts. They feel that if proper time and effort is put in most anyone can greatly improve and reach scratch.



    My subjective feeling is that they're off on this a bit. In music, it's imperative to start young, 12 at the latest, the theory is connections between the right and left hemispheres grow stronger and faster in the elasticity of youth. Also as important is the pre-frontal cortex is lagging and not developed so reliance on that part of the brain is minimized, something which is important in musical & sports performance."Being in the zone" so to speak and freely allowing mind to run fast and not get bogged down with "logic".



    But bright side in their study is if you dig in the dirt, brain will fortify connections and true development will occur. It does mean that real time and commitment has to be put in. In youth you have that along with a more malleable brain,in adulthood, you have less of both.
  • ObeeObee ClubWRX Posts: 3,765 ClubWRX
    Will be responding to a bunch of the posts on here soon. Work has been absolutely crazy lately.
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  • BKN1964BKN1964 Members Posts: 977 ✭✭
    Nard_S wrote:


    I read the same study that ST is referring to. While trying to track it down ( I cannot) came across this:



    https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC2650782/



    It's rather wonky and my eyes glazed reading it but upshot is time and intensity of practice matter a great deal more than at what age one starts. They feel that if proper time and effort is put in most anyone can greatly improve and reach scratch.



    My subjective feeling is that they're off on this a bit. In music, it's imperative to start young, 12 at the latest, the theory is connections between the right and left hemispheres grow stronger and faster in the elasticity of youth. Also as important is the pre-frontal cortex is lagging and not developed so reliance on that part of the brain is minimized, something which is important in musical & sports performance."Being in the zone" so to speak and freely allowing mind to run fast and not get bogged down with "logic".



    But bright side in their study is if you dig in the dirt, brain will fortify connections and true development will occur. It does mean that real time and commitment has to be put in. In youth you have that along with a more malleable brain,in adulthood, you have less of both.




    Quote from the study: "To gain a reasonable handicap of 10–15, at least 5000–10000 practice hours are necessary."



    Assuming you have other obligations once you're in your 20's or later (work, family, etc.): If you can practice 2 hours every weekday evening and 8 hours on each weekend day, it'd take between 3.7 and 7.4 years just to get your index down to the 10-15 range.



    As a 54 yo current 20 index who really started playing seriously 4 years ago, I've got some work to do ...

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