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Adventure to Break 85 Again


bortass
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9 minutes ago, TheDeanAbides said:

Okay, the reason I'm asking is that you seem to be chasing the ball based on your comments about driver. I think the idea of swinging smooth (especially with driver) is plastering over the cracks, and that's definitely true for someone who carries it not much more than 200 yards. 

What you really need to do is commit to a good teacher - online if necessary - and work exclusively on the drills and feels they teach. I read your stuff and you're clearly committed to getting better, but like most ams you're a little to reactive to a bad session. A poor range session, round, week or more is only holding you back if you're chasing ballflight without a very clear idea about what you're working on. 

I said the same to BigTerp, but he's already had a lesson with Monte so he has that lighthouse to realign his work to. 

I hear ya.  It's what I did with my prior teacher and it worked great. So far I haven't found one at my course though. The guy that's highly recommended is hard to get in with.

 

Monte's various videos are what I have been using as my primary source lately, NTC and now BF. I know that's not perfect but I am slowly seeing positive results. Cast B from NTC really is helping my partial wedge shots. The contact I get with my 7i when doing BF drills is pretty amazing but it's to new to see much on course except the occasional nuked iron over a green.

 

Issues I know about with my swing and some are historical and may not be as prevalent now.

  • I suck the club inside during the takeaway
  • I am shallow at the top of my backswing
  • I EE but that is a result of prior issues in the backswing
  • My swing is armsy and I don't use my lower body well
  • I have a reverse roll for a release aka I hold off for some unknown reason
  • I cut off my backswing early
  • My tempo is off
  • I don't always complete my follow through
  • My posture/setup needs work

 

One reason I started to list practice goals for each week is to help me focus on specific things to work on. I don't have a good big picture plan, so this is my start at it. I came to the conclusion I was chasing ball flight yesterday and it served no valuable purpose. 

 

So I'll stick with what I said I'd do this week. I'll flip flop two items, move the driver to 'bonus work' and probably hit it a few times, maybe. Work on posture/setup instead. These can be done with every swing, I just need to actually think about it.

 

I do think I may have to give the driver a short leash on the course unless I find my other options are just as bad, lol.

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5 minutes ago, bortass said:

I hear ya.  It's what I did with my prior teacher and it worked great. So far I haven't found one at my course though. The guy that's highly recommended is hard to get in with.

 

Monte's various videos are what I have been using as my primary source lately, NTC and now BF. I know that's not perfect but I am slowly seeing positive results. Cast B from NTC really is helping my partial wedge shots. The contact I get with my 7i when doing BF drills is pretty amazing but it's to new to see much on course except the occasional nuked iron over a green.

 

Issues I know about with my swing and some are historical and may not be as prevalent now.

  • I suck the club inside during the takeaway
  • I am shallow at the top of my backswing
  • I EE but that is a result of prior issues in the backswing
  • My swing is armsy and I don't use my lower body well
  • I have a reverse roll for a release aka I hold off for some unknown reason
  • I cut off my backswing early
  • My tempo is off
  • I don't always complete my follow through
  • My posture/setup needs work

 

One reason I started to list practice goals for each week is to help me focus on specific things to work on. I don't have a good big picture plan, so this is my start at it. I came to the conclusion I was chasing ball flight yesterday and it served no valuable purpose. 

 

So I'll stick with what I said I'd do this week. I'll flip flop two items, move the driver to 'bonus work' and probably hit it a few times, maybe. Work on posture/setup instead. These can be done with every swing, I just need to actually think about it.

 

I do think I may have to give the driver a short leash on the course unless I find my other options are just as bad, lol.

What I mean is that you can't work on something for a couple of weeks and determine whether that's doing anything for your swing. It's too short a time period, but unless you're sure it's the correct fix and you're performing it correctly you'll always be tempting to try something else. Can I see your latest swing? 

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47 minutes ago, bortass said:

@TheDeanAbidesHere you go.

 

Things I notice my takeaway is still not right. I'm shallow at the top and EE still exists. 

 

Front on today: This shot actually came out great. A high draw....

 

DTL

 

 

 

 

 

I'm just about to go to bed, but I can see some simple things that might help. Will respond properly tomorrow. 

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Okay, let's do this! 

 

Firstly, you could use a couple of tweaks at set-up. As you can see from this image, your butt is quite a way out behind you which keeps your weight a little too far back on your heels, and that probably contributes to the EE. I know you're a bigger guy and that gives you some leeway here, but I feel that you can improve this a little. 

 

 

 

The other set-up tweak is to get your arms a hair closer to you. You're reaching for the ball a bit, which is okay with the longer clubs, but less so here. Oh, and relax your right elbow. If I lay a club across your arms at address it's going to point left. Your right arm doesn't want to be that tight. 

 

You're correct about your takeaway too. Look where you are at P3. That's a result of over rotation of your torso and incorrect wrist conditions. Stand at address and lift the club up in front of you. Just feel like your moving the back of your right hand towards your outer wrist. That's it. Combine that move immediately off the ball with the no turn part of the backswing and you'll get into a better P3.From there you'll have a much better chance of coming back in shallow. Now it's a classic shallow to steep swing. 

 

 

unnamed (6).jpg

unnamed (7).jpg

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@TheDeanAbides Many thanks! 

 

I didn't mention it but that's a 7i to help frame things more.

 

Setup - I am doing something wrong that doesn't jive with my weight being in my heels. My weight feels forward with my current setup. I have wondered if I was maybe too forward at times because I feel my weight is more in my toes. I know if I try to lean forward to have my arms hang closer to my toes and my rear end is tucked more, I feel like I'm going to fall on my face... During the swing I have lost my balance in the follow through and had to take a step with my right foot to not face plant... 

 

So with reaching too much, I assume I want to stand taller, keep the my butt closer to my heels and not bend forward as much? I know there will be variation because everyone is built different. 

 

Regarding the right arm, I never noticed that before. It may be a volleyball thing because you need to lock your elbows to bump the ball and the positions are very similar. The difference with VB is I'd be breaking my wrists downward to flatten my forearms even more. Otherwise my arms are pretty much exactly the same. I'll have to start working on that.

 

I'll change the drills I do on the range. I'll stick with a BF drill because it does seem to help other parts of my swing and I like it. Plus I tend to just do a couple sets with them.  I'll start with the first drills from NTC and keep at it until I get it. Pretty sure that first NTC drill is lift the club with the hands and then flatten the left wrist then push the hands to 7.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, bortass said:

@TheDeanAbides Many thanks! 

 

I didn't mention it but that's a 7i to help frame things more.

 

Setup - I am doing something wrong that doesn't jive with my weight being in my heels. My weight feels forward with my current setup. I have wondered if I was maybe too forward at times because I feel my weight is more in my toes. I know if I try to lean forward to have my arms hang closer to my toes and my rear end is tucked more, I feel like I'm going to fall on my face... During the swing I have lost my balance in the follow through and had to take a step with my right foot to not face plant... 

 

So with reaching too much, I assume I want to stand taller, keep the my butt closer to my heels and not bend forward as much? I know there will be variation because everyone is built different. 

 

Regarding the right arm, I never noticed that before. It may be a volleyball thing because you need to lock your elbows to bump the ball and the positions are very similar. The difference with VB is I'd be breaking my wrists downward to flatten my forearms even more. Otherwise my arms are pretty much exactly the same. I'll have to start working on that.

 

I'll change the drills I do on the range. I'll stick with a BF drill because it does seem to help other parts of my swing and I like it. Plus I tend to just do a couple sets with them.  I'll start with the first drills from NTC and keep at it until I get it. Pretty sure that first NTC drill is lift the club with the hands and then flatten the left wrist then push the hands to 7.

 

 

Yeah, I wasn't totally sure re the set-up because it could just be your body shape. I trust you if you say you're balanced. The way to find out is to use this process that I outline in this post. If you follow this to the letter and you look about the same as you do in your video then you're golden, but this process will find your natural balance point. 

 

 

If you soften that right elbow you'll actually find it much easier to get the club up to P3 correctly. 

 

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27 minutes ago, bortass said:

Regarding getting closer to the ball, is that as simple as nudging forward some so my right hand is over my toes instead of in front of them or is it standing a touch taller to pull the hands in some AND getting a bit closer?

Go through the process outlined in that post. Let your body's innate balance find your perfect posture for your body type. 

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54 minutes ago, TheDeanAbides said:

Go through the process outlined in that post. Let your body's innate balance find your perfect posture for your body type. 

Gotcha.

 

I read through it and have a question to make sure I understand. The right foot will be in line with the ball AND on the line that my feet would be one when I'm done? So if my toes are 2 feet from the target line, my right foot will be in line with the ball and 2 feet away from it.

 

The rest of it looks straight forward. I'm sure the first part is too, just gotta make sure I don't overthink what you wrote, lol.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, bortass said:

Gotcha.

 

I read through it and have a question to make sure I understand. The right foot will be in line with the ball AND on the line that my feet would be one when I'm done? So if my toes are 2 feet from the target line, my right foot will be in line with the ball and 2 feet away from it.

 

The rest of it looks straight forward. I'm sure the first part is too, just gotta make sure I don't overthink what you wrote, lol.

 

 

 

So you start with your feet as they are in this terrible picture I just bungled together in Paint. Then bring your left foot up next to your right and move them left and right to find the ball position. The important things are keeping your spine angle, looking at the target and not looking down at your feet or the ball whilst lifting your feet to find balance. 

setup.png

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@TheDeanAbides I'd love it if you or someone who understands the process would take some video of the method you're describing and toss it up on YouTube. 

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10 hours ago, betarhoalphadelta said:

@TheDeanAbides I'd love it if you or someone who understands the process would take some video of the method you're describing and toss it up on YouTube. 

I don't think I'd feel comfortable putting it on YouTube because it's really the property of a teacher, but I'm happy to make a video to share with you. I don't know when I'll be well enough to do so though. 

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Take this with a grain of salt, because I've still got a lot to learn, but in addition to continuing my NTC work and the things I've went over with Monte in our lessons I'm spending a lot of time working on my grip and setup. Time is probably not the best word, but emphasis on my grip and setup is a better description. For me, it was super easy to get lazy with those aspects. I'd be so focused on working on this or that aspect of my swing that I started not paying attention, like at all, to my grip and setup. IMO, it's the single most simplest thing to do and has a huge impact on your swing. 

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22 minutes ago, BigTerp1524 said:

Take this with a grain of salt, because I've still got a lot to learn, but in addition to continuing my NTC work and the things I've went over with Monte in our lessons I'm spending a lot of time working on my grip and setup. Time is probably not the best word, but emphasis on my grip and setup is a better description. For me, it was super easy to get lazy with those aspects. I'd be so focused on working on this or that aspect of my swing that I started not paying attention, like at all, to my grip and setup. IMO, it's the single most simplest thing to do and has a huge impact on your swing. 

No salt needed for this. It makes perfect sense and I happen to agree with it. It's kinda like trying to run a 5K in dress shoes. Sure you can do it but it won't be pleasant. The set-up that @TheDeanAbides mentions will need work since I have to add it to my pretty bare pre-shot routine. I did a couple practice run throughs at random times yesterday inside the house(when no one was looking) and with no club. Just trying to get a basic feel for it and it does seem to keep my rear closer to my heels. 

 

Do you happen to have the link to Monte's live chat from last night? 

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15 minutes ago, bortass said:

No salt needed for this. It makes perfect sense and I happen to agree with it. It's kinda like trying to run a 5K in dress shoes. Sure you can do it but it won't be pleasant. The set-up that @TheDeanAbides mentions will need work since I have to add it to my pretty bare pre-shot routine. I did a couple practice run throughs at random times yesterday inside the house(when no one was looking) and with no club. Just trying to get a basic feel for it and it does seem to keep my rear closer to my heels. 

 

Do you happen to have the link to Monte's live chat from last night? 

 

He shared it to his IG TV last night shortly after the live session was over, but I don't see it on there now. He has a bunch of other live sessions on there though, so I'm sure it'll be added shortly.

 

I only caught the last 25 minutes or so, but a lot of the stuff really resonated with me. And it wasn't necessarily the NTC and Broom Force stuff. Just some things in general like how to approach practice and swing changes and how that should be completely different from how you approach a round. Some of the same stuff @TheDeanAbides has been trying to pound through my thick skull for the past several months, LOL!!!

 

I haven't been keeping up much on here lately, so not sure if this relates to what you're currently going through or not, but I took a big step back recently and am focusing on a lot of basic and simple stuff. Things like setup and grip, as mentioned above, half swings and the main things Monte went over with me during our lessons. I got off track and started searching for different fixes instead of holding the course of what I had been working on. It wreaked havoc on my game. I'm now back to working on about 3 specific things that I know I need to improve versus something random today and then something totally different tomorrow because I "think" that's what I need. Surefire way to regress, as I can attest to!!

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3 minutes ago, BigTerp1524 said:

 

He shared it to his IG TV last night shortly after the live session was over, but I don't see it on there now. He has a bunch of other live sessions on there though, so I'm sure it'll be added shortly.

 

I only caught the last 25 minutes or so, but a lot of the stuff really resonated with me. And it wasn't necessarily the NTC and Broom Force stuff. Just some things in general like how to approach practice and swing changes and how that should be completely different from how you approach a round. Some of the same stuff @TheDeanAbides has been trying to pound through my thick skull for the past several months, LOL!!!

 

I haven't been keeping up much on here lately, so not sure if this relates to what you're currently going through or not, but I took a big step back recently and am focusing on a lot of basic and simple stuff. Things like setup and grip, as mentioned above, half swings and the main things Monte went over with me during our lessons. I got off track and started searching for different fixes instead of holding the course of what I had been working on. It wreaked havoc on my game. I'm now back to working on about 3 specific things that I know I need to improve versus something random today and then something totally different tomorrow because I "think" that's what I need. Surefire way to regress, as I can attest to!!

You haven't missed much really. My last three rounds were ugly, 102, 103, and 99. Biggest thing I noticed is my driver has gone AWOL on me. There were some other issues as well, so I'm not glossing those over but the tee shot just seemed to really hurt me. I've been at it for almost 2 years and I'm seemingly not close. Sure I have made strides in my game and my index has dropped some but I struggle with the reality of my goal is card an 84 but I am not posting scores that are anywhere close to it. So writing about things can get hard because I feel like I'm just blowing smoke. 

 

My goal has not and will not change because I know I can do it. Just venting some about insecurities, lol.

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10 minutes ago, bortass said:

You haven't missed much really. My last three rounds were ugly, 102, 103, and 99. Biggest thing I noticed is my driver has gone AWOL on me. There were some other issues as well, so I'm not glossing those over but the tee shot just seemed to really hurt me. I've been at it for almost 2 years and I'm seemingly not close. Sure I have made strides in my game and my index has dropped some but I struggle with the reality of my goal is card an 84 but I am not posting scores that are anywhere close to it. So writing about things can get hard because I feel like I'm just blowing smoke. 

 

My goal has not and will not change because I know I can do it. Just venting some about insecurities, lol.

This will change when you know that you have a solid routine to get into a sound and balanced set-up and then work on one thing at a time. It's so easy to get lost going around the houses looking for solutions to today's bad shot instead of focusing in on one critical change and then moving on. As long as we integrate the change around solid grip and set-up foundations we always make progress when looked at it over months rather than rounds or individual sessions. 

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1 hour ago, BigTerp1524 said:

 

I haven't been keeping up much on here lately, so not sure if this relates to what you're currently going through or not, but I took a big step back recently and am focusing on a lot of basic and simple stuff. Things like setup and grip, as mentioned above, half swings and the main things Monte went over with me during our lessons. I got off track and started searching for different fixes instead of holding the course of what I had been working on. It wreaked havoc on my game. I'm now back to working on about 3 specific things that I know I need to improve versus something random today and then something totally different tomorrow because I "think" that's what I need. Surefire way to regress, as I can attest to!!

 

Yeah, it's one of the reasons I don't post a lot of videos in my thread, and when I do, people often give me swing advice and I politely thank them but silently ignore it. I'm working on one thing based on my lesson with Monte. When I feel like I have it down (I'm getting close IMHO after almost 7 months now lol), I'll go back to Monte for more. 

 

This forum and YouTube can lead you down all sorts of rabbit holes of things you should be doing in your golf swing, and you can only focus on so much at once. 

 

There are a lot of good things here to that you can make use of. I.e. @TheDeanAbides message to you about the par+1 strategy and focusing on managing the course rather than hitting bombs lol, and something he just said in my thread about practice and range time that I think will be valuable for me mentally to break me out of trying to kill the ball on the lower-lofted clubs. There's a lot of value in the mental side and the "how to practice" side of things, i.e. I tell people basically what Monte told me, which is that most of your work when changing a movement should be partial-length partial-effort swings, i.e. the 70-80 yard 7i swing. Also that video is the key if you're changing a movement--you can "feel" like you're doing something and then you see it on video and realize your feel is completely wrong. 

 

But you can't get dragged one way to another from swing idea to swing idea and ever actually make progress on the movement you need to change. 

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Trust the process. First become a bogey golfer. Hover around 90. Your 84 will come again once you can shoot close to 90 more regularly.

 

That being said, playing for bogey on every hole, IMHO, is a poor strategy. Don’t go for hero shots to save par, but try for par when you’re in position off the tee.

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1 hour ago, 95124hacker said:

Trust the process. First become a bogey golfer. Hover around 90. Your 84 will come again once you can shoot close to 90 more regularly.

 

That being said, playing for bogey on every hole, IMHO, is a poor strategy. Don’t go for hero shots to save par, but try for par when you’re in position off the tee.

My strategy on the tee box is play for par. It stays that way until the smart play become playing for bogey because I am out of position or screwed up my tee shot.

 

For example, #9 has a pond fronting the green. I tee off with driver and am going for the green with my second shot if I am in the fairway with a 6i or less. I will go for it if I’m in the rough but closer maybe 8i or less. Anything else I am laying up for bogey.

 

It’s situational. So I may set out looking for par but I am completely fine with a bogey. It  is part of the mental game to try to keep my frame of mind in the right place.

 

I have never been good at standing on the tee and playing for bogey by hitting day 3 7i shots on a 400 yard par 4.
 

I did play for bogey on 18 a lot because there’s both a stream and pond to deal with. Now I feel fine hitting my second shot over the stream with my 4w and going for the green in 3 (it’s a par 5).

 


 

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On 10/2/2021 at 4:49 PM, rondo01 said:

Just want to say I haven’t been keeping up, but your most recent swings look a lot better than what you’ve posted before.

Thanks! The work is slowly paying off. I am hitting it better on the course. The same issues are still there but hopefully not as bad. 

 

@TheDeanAbides @BigTerp1524 @betarhoalphadelta @95124hacker Good points to help talk me off the ledge. I ended up reading more in The Practice Manual and it dovetailed into what I was whining about quite well. I thought it was kinda funny that the book was covering topics that applied to my 'here and now' and linked to what you guys were saying, so it really hit home and made me think.

 

That section of the book was about goals and trusting and tracking the process. Rome wasn't built in a day, so we need to be realistic on long term timelines. There will be set backs and that's where the trusting the process kicks in. Our improvement may not be very obvious over short periods of time and may not show up in the macro target of our goal for a long time. Tracking is just finding ways to measure your progress that aren't score based.  The thing with tracking was to find milestones that will help lead you to your target that aren't directly tied to the goal itself and then making them a mini-game on the course.

 

He used an example around his goal of becoming a scratch golfer. That would take years and any one round or set of rounds may show no obvious improvement if score was used. I'm gonna make up the following since I can't recall exactly what he used for his example. One milestone is 60% GIR. So he'd know he was getting better as GIR% went up. The mini-game within a round may have been to hit 5 greens in regulation. The reasoning is if he just looked at the score for the round it wouldn't be positive but if he hit 5 greens then he was successful in moving towards his milestone and thus his long term goal. So he could walk off the course feeling good about the round regardless of the actual score.

 

I realized my goal to shoot under 85 a second time is much harder than I originally thought. The first time was after years of lessons to improve my swing and I was playing close to 100 rounds(mostly 9 holes) a year, which was mid April - early November. It took me 2 years to break 100 once I started to try to and another 2 years to break 90. I shot the 84 a year after breaking 90. This time around, I started after quitting the game for about 6 years. My swing didn't magically come back after knocking off some rust. I realistically can't play as much as I used to, it had some negative impacts in other areas of my life and I'm not willing to pay that price.

 

I need to be realistic, it's taken me almost 2 years to get to this point and it'll probably be another few years to actually break 85 again. That 84 is the best round of my life to date. So I can't think that some better scores means I'm close to doing this. After all, I did shoot a 41 for 9 in April of 2020 using my blades but have only seen one or two 9 hole rounds with low numbers like that since. 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TheDeanAbides said:

What was your average score excluding the 84 at that time? 

I can't say for certain because I did not do any round write ups after breaking 90. I was kinda burnt out after doing it for 4 years, lol. I am looking through my thread from 2012-2013 when I had a goal of breaking 80.

 

I broke 90 late May of 2012.

 

July 1st, 2012 - I start my breaking 80 thread. I wrote that my game was helter skelter and I couldn't string together solid rounds but I shot an 85 on that day and my index was dropping.

 

July 15th, 2012-  I wrote that I had shot a couple of 86s.

 

August 5, 2012 - I wrote most scores are hovering in the 87-91 range and I had a 40 on the front which was my lowest 9 ever at the time(par 35 for the front of this course).

 

October 14, 2012 - The 85 is still the best. My index got to a low of 19.7 in mid July and I tweaked my back since August. My index was gonna hit 24 with the next revision on Oct, 15th. I started the year with an index of 27.  I commented "The biggest reason my scores have ballooned though is the driver. It went MIA and I was fighting a two way miss for awhile. Push fades with the occasional hook. Gotta love it when you can miss either way. "

 

May 12, 2013 - "I have had a major regression. I expected some winter rust but not this. I have broken 100 once this year and that was a 91 about 3 weeks ago. It's hard to play when you shank irons and either heel your driver or hit the push fade off into right field and the nice happy trees(Bob Ross) that live there."

 

May 19, 2013 - "  I shot a 44/49 93 in the two ball championship yesterday. I played the front twice today and had a 48/44 for a 92. At least I am playing ok golf again. One of my opponents in the two ball commented 'you hit it pretty good for a 26'.

My index was restricted with the last revision. I had two tourney scores from last august in the 89-91 range. I was gonna shoot up to about a 29 or 30. "

 

March, 2014 - " Been about 10 months since I posted anything, so I guess I'll add a small update.

I pretty much lost interest in golf in 2013. It was a year of ups and downs. I played the equivalent of 20 rounds from 7/7 through 10/31. That's well below how much I would normally play. My index ended @ 20.6, the bad part being my good scores will start to roll off soon. I even quit keeping the stats I normally would keep while playing. My morale was completely broken. I haven't figured out how to stay positive when I play terribad.

Now some good news from the year. I won my first ever individual club tourney that ended with a sudden death playoff that lasted 1 hole. My nerves were so shot playing that hole but I pulled it out. So far this is the pinnacle of my golfing career. Not much for some but it's big for me. I also shot a 42 on the front 9 with a 7 on a par 4 and later in the year shot a 43 with a 7 and 8 on par 4s. My best 18 I was able to post was an 84. I was able to reach a par 5 in two during a tourney."

 

That was the last meaningful post I made. I pretty much quit golf at that point. I think I played 3 times in 2014. Dropped my membership in 2015 and played roughly 18 holes a year through 2018. I started golfing again in November of 2019.

 

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I completely agree with the long-term idea espoused by that book.

 

I got into a discussion with some folks on a completely different topic about goals and plans. I said 'my goal is to become a scratch golfer--and the plan to do so is relatively straightforward; it's lessons, practice, and commitment to get better.'

 

The other guy said that's an unrealistic goal--only ~1.5% of male golfers in the US ever achieve scratch. 

 

So what? If it was 0.15% (less than 1 in 500), maybe I'd agree. If my goal was playing on the Senior Tour when when I turn 50 in 7 years, that's probably an unrealistic goal. But 1.5% is only a little worse than 1 in 50. Given that I'm a healthy, able-bodied male with no known physical ailments that prevent me from achieving that goal, 1 in 50 is something you can hit with determination and hard work. 

 

I think with anything of this nature, you need three things:

  1. Determine your goal.
  2. Make sure that you develop a good plan and process, such that if you consistently follow the plan, you'll achieve the goal.
  3. The commitment to actually do it. 

Truth is I'll probably never be a scratch golfer, but it's because of #3. I don't have the time or flexibility to devote the kind of practice time I'd need to hit scratch, and I don't have the commitment to elevate the goal of being scratch high enough relative to other things (family, work, social engagements, etc) that I will get there. If I didn't have a wife--I could absolutely become a scratch golfer. But I do have a wife. If I devoted enough time and effort as I'd need to become a scratch golfer, though, I probably wouldn't have a wife any longer lol! 😉 

 

But I do trust that my goal (to "suck less", i.e. get well beyond "weekend duffer" status) and my plan (to actually practice and play often enough, with lessons as needed to improve my skills) is achievable and I've committed to that. And per your point, the big thing about this is trusting the process instead of looking at scorecards. Scorecards over a 5-round stretch are not going to tell you anything. Scorecards over a 1-2 year stretch, on the other hand, will. 

 

If you base an exercise / weight loss goal on daily weigh-ins, you'll get discouraged because day-to-day or even week-to-week your weight can fluctuate quite a bit with seemingly no rhyme or reason. The same is true of golf scores. But if you commit to a long-term plan, whether it's exercise / weight loss or golf improvement, and you have a good plan and you STICK to it, over time you transform yourself. 

 

Keep working to the plan, and you'll break 85 again. Maybe it'll be next summer, or maybe it'll be 2023. But if you keep working to the plan, you'll get there.

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Saturday's round was overcast and in the low 70s. I warmed up on the range and it went well. On the course, I did my best to not mess with my swing. The big thing i tried to think about was keeping my right elbow softer based on the comment from @TheDeanAbides. I didn't try messing with my set-up since I haven't had time to work on it at all.

 

1 – par 4, 404 yards, straight, #1 HCP, bunker front right. I aim towards the left side of the fairway on a line that would putt me 20 yards to the left of the green since I have been hitting the ball to the right. My drive is a nice baby draw, 239 yards, down my line and it sets me up in the middle of the fairway. The flag is left and 170ish yards, so 7w time. My tempo is off though and I blade it 74 yards down the fairway since the dew kills the roll of the wormburner. Well it's now 90ish yards and I rarely hit this green in 2, so this is okay. I hit a partial PW and it's a high pull that carries over the left side of the green and lands on the cart path to the left of the green and I watch it bounce into the bushes on the other side. I find my ball and have no shot, it's marked as a hazard and I drop 118 yards from the prior spot. My guess is I carried that PW 110 yards... I have to pitch from wet rough and I hit the ball 37 yards and am just in the fringe. Crap. I chip with my putter to 4 feet. My first putt misses and rolls 2 feet past the hole. I make that one for an opening quad, 8.

 

Well that's a kick in the teeth but it's okay. I keep in mind that I can't measure things by score and that opening drive was great.

 

2 – par 3, 142 yards, #17 HCP, bunkers short left and right, and long left. The hole is back left and I decide to hit a partial 8i. Contact is real good and it's a high fade, 133 yards, onto the right side of the green. A GIR! I have a 42 foot putt and I leave it 12 feet short. Ouch. Well it's a 3 putt bogey, 4.

 

I was thinking par but no dice. The 8i shot is interesting since I tend to hit my full 8i around 130ish.

 

3 – par 5, 458 yards, dogleg right, #9 HCP, couple of fairway bunkers on the left at the corner. I aim to the right of the fairway bunkers that are marking the outside of the corner. I hit a nice mid height fade down that line and around the corner, 225 yards. I'm in the fairway and about 220ish out. I hit a decent 4w and it's a fade that's a touch right of my line but I'll be in a good spot. It's a 181 yard shot and I'm in the fairway inside 50 yards. I take my SW and choke down on it. I swing and blade my ball 60 yards into the back bunker....Sigh. My sand shot skips is a blade off the hardpan in the bunker and I'm off the front of the green. Chip it to 6 feet and two putt for a double bogey, 7.

 

My mistake was the pitch on. I choked down but didn't stay down with my swing. I made a mess of this hole but my drive was very good and my 4w shot was decent as well.

 

Scores aren't great but I'm focusing on the good shots.

 

4 – par 4, 293 yards, straight, #15 HCP, water left and OoB right. Right side has a slope. There's a fairway bunker on the right. I aim left similar to what I did on #1 to account for my tendency to go right. My swing is off and it's a low push fade, 180 yards, into the right rough just short of the fairway bunker. The hole is front left and I'm in the rough and above the green to the right. My lie is level and I figure a partial 9i since it's a bit over 100 yards. It's a complete mishit. I don't know exactly why but the ball starts dead right and curves right, 86 yards. So I'm still in the right rough but I'm near the green now. I pitch with my SW and make good contact but it's too much. My ball lands on the green and rolls through it into the left fringe. I use my putter to chip the ball, 8 yards, to 2 feet. I make the bogey putt, 5.

 

Another miscue with something less than a full swing. Drive was meh at best but stayed in play which is good after what's been happening with my tee shots.

 

5- par 5, 501 yards, dogleg right, #5 HCP, hazard down the left side. There's a slope on the right side which makes the fairway narrow in the landing spot. A stream runs down the right side from the corner to near the green. I can't aim left on this hole, so I aim down the middle just a hair left of center. Contact is a bit low on the face and it's a low draw down my line. It only goes 196 yards but I'm in the fairway. I don't have a great angle past the corner to get real close to the green but I can still hit a 4w to clear said corner. Contact is decent and my ball lands on the face of the slope that's to the left of the fairway, which kills the roll out. It's only a 169 yard shot and I'm in the rough with the ball below my feet. I'm 140 – 150ish out. I don't like trying to go for it, time to lay-up. I hit a partial AW 82 yards down the fairway. Now I'm in a good spot. The flag is on the front a bit left of center. It's around 70ish yards which is a partial SW. I make contact and it's a high pull that has no chance to land on the green. The ball goes 64 yards, lands on the slope fronting the green and kicks left. I find my ball sitting in thick, wet, Bermuda rough. The there's a big tuft of grass right behind the ball and it's growing towards me. I decide to use a steep akak hack it out chip. The ball comes out and lands on the green and I have 8 feet for bogey. I hit the putt and watch as it misses and goes 3 feet long. I manage to sink the next for a double bogey, 7.

 

Well the trend continues... A decent drive and 4w. My layup was perfect but something is wrong with my partial shots into the green for some reason. This is an area I consider a strength of my game but something is amiss.

 

6 – par 4, 367 yards, slight dogleg left, #7 HCP. Medium width landing area with a bunker on the left. Houses are on the right and there's a sharp slope into the left trees if you end up too far into the left rough. I stay with aiming a touch left and it's a miss hit. My drive is a very low push fade that hits the slope on the right and it kicks back to the left and into the fairway. It was a weak drive and only went 174 yards. I don't feel good about trying to reach with a 4w. The ball may have been a bit above my feet. It's a layup and I hit a partial 7i punch and it's a nice lowish draw that goes 136 yards and sets me up in the fairway short of the green. The hole is on the right side and around 50ish yards. I pitch with my SW and it's a slight pull. The ball comes out nice and high though and I'm on the green 17 feet left and slightly above the hole. I get my par putt to 2 feet and get a bogey, 5.

 

Kept the drive in play and came away with bogey, overall this isn't a bad hole.

 

7 – par 4, 351 yards, slight dogleg right, #11 HCP, elevated tee shot to a wide open fairway that slopes down right to left all the way to about the 100 yard marker. Bunkers on the left marking the corner and a slope on the right. I always aim left on this hole since it's so wide and right is OoB. I hit a low pull 210 yards into the left rough near the fairway bunker. The hole is front right and I hit 6i. It's a decent shot and it goes 151 yards and is on the green 18 feet left of the hole. I miss the birdie putt and sink the two footer for my first par, 4.

 

 

8 – par 3, 160 yards, elevated tee shot, #13 HCP, bunker on the right side of the green. Slope to the right of this hole that is weed whacked. So it's long stuff and wild. Balls can get lost here. The flag is back right and I decide to hit a partial 7i. Contact is good and it's a high pull, 162 yards that misses the green left. I'm in the rough and my pitch/chip doesn't reach the green. I dub the next chip to 12 feet and two putt for a double bogey, 5.

 

I didn't feel good walking off the green. I was okay with the pulled 7i, it's the bad short game that bugs me.

 

9 – par 4, 357 yards, straight hole, #3 HCP, water on the left as you approach the green. The pond fronts this green. I hit a massive push fade with my driver over the stand of trees between #9 and #1. 200 yard shot and I'm in the rough of #1. I have no shot to the green from here. I can layup and get closer to the green by punching an iron through some trees about 70 yards in front of me. I punch my 7i and it come sout great. The ball gets through the trees and ends up in the fairway close to the green, 122 yard shot. The hole is middle back and within 50 yards of me. I hit a pitch and it's too much and I end up in the back bunker... I hit the ball out with my putter and get it to 2 feet. I make the bogey putt, 5.

 

I am fine with this bogey. This hole is hard and a bogey is always good.

 

10 – par 4, 342 yards, dogleg left, #10 HCP hole. Elevated tee shot to a lower fairway. Green is elevated with a bunker front right. I hit a nice draw with my 7w, 209 yards, into the left rough. I screw up my ball position with the partial 9i shot to the green. I send it straight right and into the bunker. This bunker is set into the slope, so the green is above my head. I barely get out in one and have to chip on. I get the chip to 5 feet and I sink the bogey putt, 5.

 

I struggle with this hole quite a bit so the bogey is okay. The how isn't great but things are good.

 

11 – par 4, 329 yards, 90* dogleg left, #12 HCP. Fairway eventually slopes down to a stream short of the green, forced carry. I hit my 7w and it's another draw, 193 yards, that lands in the fairway on the left and rolls into the trees. I'm on a slope and have to punch a ball over the stream . The hole is to the back and my angle is to the front right. I try the shot with my 8i. It comes out low and a bit weak. It hits rocks that make up the far bank and bounces into the stream. Should have laid up, so I need to remember this going forward. I drop and pitch the ball 67 yards and off the back of the green. I chip with my putter and leave it 12 feet short... It's a two putt triple bogey, 7.

 

This is a case of trying a shot I'm not skilled enough to hit and I paid the price.

 

12 – par 4, 315 yards, 90* dogleg left, #14 HCP, green is elevated. Narrow tee shot that opens as you reach the corner. It's back to driver and I hit a low draw, 211 yards, into the fairway and past the corner. The hole is on the right and I hit a partial 9i into the elevated green. It's a high shot and my ball ends up in the rough behind the green, 109 yards. This was almost a possibly great shot. There's a steep slope behind this green that feed to the green. My ball stopped in the rough and would have rolled back down towards the hole if there were no rough. So I'm on a steep down slope and chip with my putter. I expect things to come out hot and don't hit the ball that hard. I end up 9 feet short, lol. I miss the par putt and have a two footer for bogey which I make, 5.

 

13 – par 3, 123 yards, #18 HCP, green is elevated with bunkers short right and left and long left. Tiered green as well. Flag is front but I think it's back. So I hit a partial 8i to reach the back of the green. I mishit it badly and it's a low pull, 97 yards, short of the front left bunker. My pitch is too hard and I end up on the back of the green, 42 feet from the hole. Cue Yakkity Sax aka the Benny Hill song.... My par putt come sup 11 feet short. The next is 7 feet long. I miss that one too and it's a 4 putt for a 6.

 

OMG, now I feel like a dummy.

 

14 – par 4, 543, straight hole, #4 HCP. Elevated teeshot to wide open fairway. Fairway slopes down left to right, water on the right closer to the green and fronting the entire green. I aim left and hit a push fade towards the houses on the right. I don't find my ball and drop in the area, 224 off the tee, and add a couple penalty strokes. I hit a decent 4w, 187 yards, to the left side of the fairway. The flag is on the left and 130ish yards. I decide to hit a partial 7i. I hit it solid, 147 yards, and my ball ends up on the back left of the green, 57 feet from the hole.... I have putt over a hump in the green, not what I wanted. I hit my putt and it climbs the hump, rolls through the flat area and down the far side. The ball keeps rolling and stops 4 feet from the hole. I make that one for a double bogey, 7.

 

Not gonna lie. I am happy with a double with 2 penalty strokes.

 

15 – par 4, 264 yards, straight, #16 HCP. Elevated tee shot to a fairway that is always soft abd cart path only year round. Fairway bunkers on left side in line with the green. Bunker surround this green except for the left side. I hit a lowish push fade, 196 yards, into an area on the right where a small tree was cut down a little while ago. It's bare dirt with sticks and roots. I have been over here a fair bit so it's not a big deal. I hit a partial SW and it comes out okay. The shot is high and lands on the green, 63 yards. Finally another GIR. I'm 15 feet short of the hole and the birdie putt misses. It's a tap-in from about a foot for par, 4.

 

16 – par 3, 147 yards, #8 HCP. Elevated green with a forced stream carry. Bunkers short right and long left and middle. Tiered green with a strong back left to front right slope. The hole is middle back. I decide to hit a partial 7i. The ball comes out high but it's a slight push fade and that lands on the green and rolls to the right. 140 yard shot and I'm front right and 47 feet from the hole. I have to putt up a tier and leave the birdie putt 6 feet short. Blah. My par putt misses and I end up with a bogey, 4.

 

17 – par 4, 363 yards, dogleg left, #6 HCP. Fairly open fairway with bunkers on the right at the corner. Green has a tier and heavily slopes left to right, can putt off this green... Bunkers short of the green as well. I swing and it's a disaster. The swing that is, the ball is hit off the heel and is low and left a mighty 82 yards and it doesn't reach the fairway. I try to hit a partial 5i punch and hit it thin, 36 yards.... At least I'm in the fairway now. I hit 4w and it's an okay shot that goes 179 yards and keeps me in the fairway. The hole is left front and I'm inside 50 yards. My pitch is a bit of a pull. It goes 44 yards and is in the fringe. I chip with my putter to 6 feet and two putt for triple bogey, 7.

 

The 5i shot was dumb. I wasn't gonna do anythign special after the bad tee shot but I may have saved a stroke if I used a different club to try to advance my ball into the fairway.

 

18 – par 5, 504 yards, straightish, #2 HCP. There is a stream carry on either the second or third shot. There is also a pond fronting the green... I hit a high draw, 226 yards, down the right side of the fairway. I have a good lie and can clear the stream with my 4w. I aim left with it to avoid the pond and make solid contact. It's a high draw, 197 yards, into the fairway. The hole is front right and around 80 yards. A partial AW. I chunk it 65 yards and short of the green... I chip on to 8 feet and two putt for bogey, 6.

 

A 50/51 101. terrible score but that's fine. My driver mostly behaved. I had a number of mishits but only sent it way right once. Also that drive on #14 was the first ball I lost since I was able to retrieve my stream ball on 11. What went wrong was my partial irons, short game, and putting.

 

Based on strokes gained my driver was much improved. For approach shots it's where it tends to be, so I'm taking that to mean I actually did better with my approaches and it was offset by my struggles with the shorter partial shots. Short game had a big drop off and my putting was off.

 

birdies: 0

pars: 2

bogeys: 8

double bogeys: 4

triple+: 4

 

 

Some stats:

Avg drive: 197

Longest drive: 239

Fairways: 6/14

GIR: 4/18

Avg Approach: 116 yards

Up & down: 2/15

Putts: 37(LOL)

 

Strokes gained compared to a 12 HCP. 

Overall: -16.3 strokes

driving: -2.8, big improvement!

Approach: -6.4, about normal for me

Short game: -3.3, did much worse than normal

Putting: -3.8, a bit worse than normal

 

Edited by bortass
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