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Your "Level Up" Moments


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Has there been a moment or a thought or a time when you felt you "leveled up" in terms of your golf game?

 

For me, the biggest "ah ha!" moment came when I started picking irons based on both distance and trajectory, not just distance. For example i could slam a 7 from 180, or hit in a flat 5. But for every shot i had probably four clubs that could hit it. Starting to think that way was a huge level up moment.

 

I'd love to hear other WRXers level up thoughts / moments / lessons! figure if we all share them, we might find some gems.

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My a-ha moment was knowing the importance of forward shaft lean at impact which gave me a lot more solid shots and accuracy. Fat shots are really rare to me now and shaved off at least 15 strokes off my scorecard.

 

Short game wise, I've learned to make chip and pitch shots that shot up high and landed soft by using the bounce of the wedge and maintaining that bounce through impact (no flipping).

 

Lastly, my putting really improved a lot using an old school pop stroke (the bigger the "pop" the longer the putt regardless of the length of the stroke).

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Titleist 990 (3-PW) with stock Dynamic Gold in S300
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2011 Adams Tom Watson signature wedges in 52 and 56 degrees with stock steel shafts (Player's Grind)
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"Loft for loft, length for length, and shaft for shaft, the ball will go the same distance when hit on the sweet spot regardless how old the iron."

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In order of occurrence in the last couple years...

 

When I broke 90 the first time.

 

Getting a well-fit putter, resulting in way more consistency on the greens.

 

When I broke 80 the first time.

 

Learning to intentionally work the ball right to left AND left to right (with all clubs from irons to driver).

 

Getting my first set of blades and not shooting a sh*t score with them.

 

Next on the list will be consistently breaking 80, with blow up rounds still staying below 90 (currently not the case).

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i'll say it... getting a set of blades and realizing that i wasn't going to s*** myself when i stood over my first 4 iron shot from about 205 out. Once that happened i really felt like everything became easier to deal with. i still hit bad shots however i don't stress over them.

PXG Fitting soon 

 

Driver...

Fairway woods...

Hybrids...

Irons...

Wedges...

Putter... 

 

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I'm a self taught golfer. My aha moment was trying to get rid of my slice with my irons. When I play what I feel is a stinger to get more penetrating flight and a right to left shape is feeling like I'm putting the top of left hand on the ball during my downswing. Made a huge difference in my iron striking. Doesn't go super low. But the strike is more consistent and I'm actually holding greens instead of short right or on the green and runs off.

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Par is good. Even bogey is not bad either. Middle of the green is good place. Stop thinking about swing mechanic while playing on the course helps the most. I now count backward 99, 98, 97...before hitting any shots so I stop thinking about my swing. My wife used to asked when I started playing better of how or what I did on the course and I was like "I don't remember"

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When i learned it wasnt the club and no club can prevent shanks fats thins slices or draws. So i started to practice and magically it didnt matter what club design i used they all did the same thing when struck correctly. Now that goddamn putter is still about 3 levels behind and really puts pressure on the short game.

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Three big moments for me:

 

1) Quieting my lead leg in the downswing which had a tendency to straighten too quickly which would lead to inconsistent strikes (mostly on the thinner side)

 

2) Keeping the club more in the fingers of the right hand (slightly weaker position) and less in the hand/base of the fingers. I'd have a sneaky tendency to get the club too much in the hand as it felt like a stronger position but ultimately removed the thumb and forefinger stability at the top of the swing, which would lead too....

 

3) Keeping my right arm/elbow closer to the body in the backswing. I'd also have a tendency to let that elbow fly a little too much which created a bit of an "across the line" move at the top that, when combined with the lack of thumb and forefinger support from the bad hand position in #2, led to the sensation of the handle coming away from the meat of my left hand and into the fingers, sort of "regripping" kind of thing. This to me was the worst feeling in the world as nothing felt stable in transition and would lead to inconsistencies in downward swing plane as I tried to gather everything back in.

 

#1 is an ongoing process that I have to remind myself of throughout a round, but #2 and #3 have lead to a massive improvement in both the quality and consistency of both my strikes and shot shapes. I played a round 2 days ago where I could not BUY a putt and I still shot even par. For the first time in a very long time I was almost automatic from both the tee and from <160y. Really looking forward to getting back out there with the old putter back in the bag to see if I can finally break into the 60's.

 

EDIT: A nice byproduct of this was the feeling of justification that round gave me for the relentless amount of club tinkering I do. :D

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Allowing the swing to flatten and get on plane on the transition and with that, creating torque. This was huge.

 

Then by chance, I learned to 'squat' during the downswing which dramatically improved my weight transfer and allowed me to compress the ball much better and extend where extension should occur...with much more power.

 

Also getting in trouble off the tee doesn't mean I still can't salvage a par by taking my medicine. Last week I hit a good drive into the fairway bunker. High lip and pond in front of the green, I decided to get back on the fairway straight left, took my PW from 120 and knocked it right in the hole. Although the hole out was fun, it really hit home that I would have had a very good chance a par without being a cowboy and hitting it into the lip or into the pond.

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Went from hitting duck hooks left off the tee with the driver...working it all the way to a high fade.

 

When I was hitting it left, it made me guard against hitting it left. Which naturally made me flip the club and shut it down hard hitting it more left. When I got through the mental hurdle of rotating and actually feeling like I’m swinging to the left ball started to straighten out.

 

If you can’t get off the box you’re pretty much dead. Golf is much more fun closer to the hole on the second shot

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Interesting topic.

 

For me is the day i started to play each shot one at a time. Dont get ahead of myself and forget the bad shots i hit before. To analyse every shot for their potential for my final score. That day, and i remember, i broke 80 for the first time. I played par for the first time the same summer. And the summer after that, i played twice under par which was so unrealistic 6 years ago when i got back in the game. Love that game so much. Right now, golf is an important part of my life and it helps me in the challenge i face every day. What a great game!

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All sorts of bad things stopped happening when I stopped thinking body mechanics during the swing and focused on swinging the club, and making solid contact. Mechanics are for the range only, after that it has to be a swing. If you had to think about every move and muscle in use when you jumped up on a chair it would feel really weird.

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I had a real mental hurdle breaking 80, so mentally it was ah ha to not just do it but play without any regard to shooting 78 or 83. It is amazing how many more 78s happen when where you stand to 80 isn't in the back of your head.

 

Putting, huge moment for me. Distance control is putting, distance control first, line second. Combined with knowing and believing "I can make every putt". Jack Nicklaus said "putting is an attitude" and I think that is my favorite golf quote. I used to suck at putting, all I did was practice and drastically change my outlook. 6 feet for birdie used to trip me out because I had to make it and I would miss under that pressure. Now, I can mis a 6 footer for birdie or par and sure be mad but let it go because I feel like I am 1 putting out until I don't, and a few of them from 12 or 20 end up dropping to even out that miss as where before the pressure would build with each miss as a missed opportunity I 'should have made". Bogies and pars and birdies can come in weird ways, roll with it.

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I had a real mental hurdle breaking 80, so mentally it was ah ha to not just do it but play without any regard to shooting 78 or 83. It is amazing how many more 78s happen when where you stand to 80 isn't in the back of your head.

 

Putting, huge moment for me. Distance control is putting, distance control first, line second. Combined with knowing and believing "I can make every putt". Jack Nicklaus said "putting is an attitude" and I think that is my favorite golf quote. I used to suck at putting, all I did was practice and drastically change my outlook. 6 feet for birdie used to trip me out because I had to make it and I would miss under that pressure. Now, I can mis a 6 footer for birdie or par and sure be mad but let it go because I feel like I am 1 putting out until I don't, and a few of them from 12 or 20 end up dropping to even out that miss as where before the pressure would build with each miss as a missed opportunity I 'should have made". Bogies and pars and birdies can come in weird ways, roll with it.

i am still waiting for my first "putter" moment that creates that big jump in putting confidence and skill... that is the one area that has plagued me from day one and still exists today.

PXG Fitting soon 

 

Driver...

Fairway woods...

Hybrids...

Irons...

Wedges...

Putter... 

 

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Focusing on consistency. Last couple years has been major for it, both in terms of equipment changes and swing improvements, but it has drastically improved my game. I always used to try and build my clubs to hit it as far as possible. Once I started realizing well crap, I hit the ball a really long way regardless, I could give up a bit of that distance for some forgiveness. Night and day difference. Also switching to a SeeMore putter. Putting used to be a dreaded part of the game for me. Just couldn't find a repeatable stroke and I always seemed to be offline. My SeeMore helps so much that I can just pick my line and instantly have the confidence that the ball is gonna go where I'm aimed.

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I've had a couple such moments.

 

First was finding out I was better off with both heavier and stiffer driver/wod shafts than had previously been suggested to me. As a result, I spent a fair amount of time playing a 100g+ 2X driver shaft. And it was awesome. Still like them on the heavier side if I can manage; have 80g+ shafts in my SLDR and SuperDeep, and so on.

 

Second was from a fitting, where I found the case I'd been play with irons was equipment related; my irons were a couple degrees flat for me. It seems I have more in common with T-Rex than I'd prefer.

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3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram Vibration Matched, RIP Tour 115 R
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For me, basically being a bit smarter about going about my practice and course management.

 

When I was a young'un, I had the opportunity to be at the course A LOT between working there with a gang of buddies and playing a lot of golf. In essence, I could get away with some subpar course management because I was usually honed (I played almost every day). Once I moved on post-college and wasn't able to play all the time, the weaknesses in my game began to magnify once I could only practice or play sparingly.

 

I had to put much more focus on my practice sessions at the range, because my ability to "work it out" on the course was gone. With the lesser amount of time available, I've tried to identify a few problems/keys in my swing to focus on rather than being extremely analytical about everything. That being said, I also have been trying to make smarter decisions on the course and being more mindful about the design of the holes and playing the proper club, not just defaulting to hitting the shortest club possible.

 

Now i'm playing the best I have in a long time. Had I known then what I know now....

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Working out my game with the coaches at Every Ball Counts in West Palm. They’ve helped me Improve my static posture outside of golf and over the ball. Improving my dynamic posture throughout the swing and by a solid plan To attack these things in the gym really helps as well. When the pure movement in the gym finds its way into the golf swing things get fun. Then they teach you how strokes gained works and how to improve your score. They teach you how to get your averages from each zone ( 75-100, 100-125 etc) so you know where to aim for a left or aright pin. Then creating a shot matrix so you can cover zones with multiple shots. All of this becomes a serious work in golf course management and creating a process for you for each shot. It’s quite fun to think you’re way around a course with confidence in your process

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Being a baseball player all my life and never swinging a golf club til my sophomore year of college, everyone here can imagine what my golf swing looked like when I started. Once I finally had a swing that resembled a golf swing, I was still struggling with consistent contact. My roommate said I was dropping my head severely when starting the downswing. I was adamant that I was not. He videoed my swing, and it looked like I was jumping out of my shoes. That started my first major swing change, working to keep my head level. Once I got my head to stay level throughout my swing, my contact was greatly improved, and its been the basis for every swing improvement I've made since.

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