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A Journey Back to Scratch Golf and Healthy Fitness


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I felt I need to directly reply to this post.  I wanted to clarify some things.  Maybe things were taken out of context, and that may be my fault.  I'm an IT guy, not an English major.  Could have bee

Hey Everyone! Quick intro: Larry here from Long Island, 33 years old, the past couple years have been a wild ride.  Played D3 college golf, but was not very good.  The fact that I got to travel the co

I'm not going to follow The Hipp for the following reasons:     1. we all faces challenges Wait until you face a real hardship, perhaps the loss of a loved one   2. parag

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Look forward to following along

 

General comment:  Can’t believe a 10 cap could play D3

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Great plan @The_Hipp

 

Having something like this definitely helps the accountability factor and I had thought about doing something along the same lines although I wasn’t sure if I would prefer documenting it in writing on here on video via that well know Video Website.

 

Amazingly similar in terms of where I have found myself in comparison to yourself although, the lowest that I have gotten to has been a 2.

 

Got that low, got to my fittest and healthiest. Blew out a knee, no golf, no leg day (my favourite), got engaged, married and had a little one at the same time as taking on more responsibility through work.

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I'm not going to follow The Hipp for the following reasons:

 

 

1. we all faces challenges

Wait until you face a real hardship, perhaps the loss of a loved one

 

2. paragraph 2 

You start by saying it all went downhill and then mention escaping from your first child

Why have children?    I don't want to know.

 

3. you're 33?  

It's time to grow up and start thinking about "we and us" and less about "I" 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, I'd like to follow along as well.  I'm as heavy as I've ever been in the past, but still healthy.  I have started doing BodyStep 2x a week, plus some more lifting, I just bought a new set of irons to get me from 47 (48 in Oct) to my 50th where I'm going to do a week at Bandon Dunes.  I want to lose a lot of weight but somehow keep my distance.  Last time I lost a lot of weight and kept it off for abut 6 years I lost maybe 20 yards with the driver.  So I'm looking forward to some golf specific stuff because while I know how to lift for power, given my last experience, I don't know how to golf train.  Oh, and they just closed gym classes here, but not the rest of the gym so I can still go yeah!!

 

On the kid thing, it was super easy for us 3 years ago with the first one. We just traded "time off" with each other and my wife insisted I buy a membership and play a lot.  It was a ton of fun.  I ended the season at 9.1 - about 3 points higher than my best ever.  Then we had #2 and I've only played a few rounds each of the following years.  I played back in August and had two rounds in the high 80s but I'm sure my first round out this year will be in the 90s until I dial things in a bit.  My goal is to get sub 5 (4.9 or lower) within the next two years.  Here's a picture of me weighing around 240lbs.   The second one is almost two years ago (last time I was able to visit family) at maybe 260lbs. Add a few Covid pounds and I'm not my dadbod right now.

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Nice hope it all goes well, when you get that fire under you it makes things a lot easier. But when it goes out like you mentioned it's extremely hard to get it back. I'm in the latter category and need a fire under me again. 

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First of all, welcome to the forum!  I'm a personal trainer as well back round in bodybuilding, been training for over 20 years, etc.  I will hit you up if I'm ever in your neck of the woods for a workout! 

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Glad to see so many replies! I'm happy a few of you want to join the journey, or just follow along!

 

@cardoustie I'd be happy to have a story time in regards to me D3 golf career.  It's a good laugh!

 

@Slona Great idea on walking instead of riding! I committed to walking all last season.  It was a real eye opener when I was out of breathe walking to the greens on uphill holes!

 

@MattyO1984 Wow what a similar story, wild man! I wasn't sure how documenting this journey would be received but it looks like a few of us all had the same idea but never pulled the trigger.  Accountability is a great motivator, stay active on this thread and I'll hold your feet to the fire!

 

@gticlay  Totally understand on the fitness vs distance dilemma.  I had a teammate in college, he was 155 lbs soaking wet, yet the longest hitter on the team by far.  I've been reading and researching for a while now, so hopefully the golf specific programming will be the best of both worlds for you.  As for the kids and family comments, I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us.  I think that's great how you and your wife have committed to supporting each other and your "time".  I think that's quite healthy.  Amazing that she supports your golf, makes it much easier!

 

@MattM97  Flipping that switch is not easy my man.  Hopefully this topic will help you light the fire!  Let me know if I can help you find that spark!

 

@phizzy30 Awesome mate, please reach out anytime for a gym sesh!

 

@dugue4  I can't put enough emphasis on not only a balanced diet, but healthy eating habits as well.  The timing of meals and certain foods make such a crazy impact,  so kudos to you.  What's that saying, "Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym" haha

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Let’s hear some d3 stories


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I will add my drunken college golf team stories as well

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Hell thereo! Good luck on your journey. 

 

One observation: You will almost certainly not "fitness" your way to good golf. You will improve your golf by improving your golf and improve your fitness by improving your fitness. Fitness is a way to eek out small improvements in your game.

 

I've known many 4-cappers who swore to me that the reason they weren't +2's is that they were "out of shape."

 

As if going from 5'10" 225 and flabby to 5'10" 185 and super fit was going to somehow magically improve their skill with a golf club. It doesn't.

 

It can help you hit the ball a bit farther. Be a bit less tired. Be a bit more flexible. (Maybe) have a few less injuries. It can help turn a 0 into a +2 ... maybe.

 

If and when you get back down to scratch(ish) (which I hope you do!), your fitness will play a very small part in that compared to getting better at the game itself.

 

Best of luck to you. 5 strokes in a year is totally doable if you play a bunch of golf. Practicing alone ain't gonna do it. Gotta get on the course and play (and lessons and practice, of course/maybe).

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, The_Hipp said:

Glad to see so many replies! I'm happy a few of you want to join the journey, or just follow along!

 

@cardoustie I'd be happy to have a story time in regards to me D3 golf career.  It's a good laugh!

 

@Slona Great idea on walking instead of riding! I committed to walking all last season.  It was a real eye opener when I was out of breathe walking to the greens on uphill holes!

 

@MattyO1984 Wow what a similar story, wild man! I wasn't sure how documenting this journey would be received but it looks like a few of us all had the same idea but never pulled the trigger.  Accountability is a great motivator, stay active on this thread and I'll hold your feet to the fire!

 

@gticlay  Totally understand on the fitness vs distance dilemma.  I had a teammate in college, he was 155 lbs soaking wet, yet the longest hitter on the team by far.  I've been reading and researching for a while now, so hopefully the golf specific programming will be the best of both worlds for you.  As for the kids and family comments, I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us.  I think that's great how you and your wife have committed to supporting each other and your "time".  I think that's quite healthy.  Amazing that she supports your golf, makes it much easier!

 

@MattM97  Flipping that switch is not easy my man.  Hopefully this topic will help you light the fire!  Let me know if I can help you find that spark!

 

@phizzy30 Awesome mate, please reach out anytime for a gym sesh!

 

@dugue4  I can't put enough emphasis on not only a balanced diet, but healthy eating habits as well.  The timing of meals and certain foods make such a crazy impact,  so kudos to you.  What's that saying, "Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym" haha

 

Sounds good to me!! Exercise this week has been on point and I have carved out some time for golf over the weekend. Looking forward to it!

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I'll be following along out of interest and I'd like to say I'm hoping this turns into a feel good story but in reality I'm here for the D3 stories. 😜

 

Joking aside, I hope this goes well and will be following along in support. 

 

Family/Golf balance is important and it's doesn't get much easy once the children are no longer babies. My daughter is 12 now and plays golf and if you can believe it actually makes the golf family time balance even harder. 

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9 hours ago, Obee said:

Hell there! Good luck on your journey. 

 

One observation: You will almost certainly not "fitness" your way to good golf. You will improve your golf by improving your golf and improve your fitness by improving your fitness. Fitness is a way to eek out small improvements in your game.

 

I've known many 4-cappers who swore to me that the reason they weren't +2's is that they were "out of shape."

 

As if going from 5'10" 225 and flabby to 5'10" 185 and super fit was going to somehow magically improve their skill with a golf club. It doesn't.

 

It can help you hit the ball a bit farther. Be a bit less tired. Be a bit more flexible. (Maybe) have a few less injuries. It can help turn a 0 into a +2 ... maybe.

 

If and when you get back down to scratch(ish) (which I hope you do!), your fitness will play a very small part in that compared to getting better at the game itself.

 

Best of luck to you. 5 strokes in a year is totally doable if you play a bunch of golf. Practicing alone ain't gonna do it. Gotta get on the course and play (and lessons and practice, of course/maybe).

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your message, I appreciate the participation! Also just want to preface this by saying I do not expect to lower my handicap by focusing solely on fitness.  It just so happens that my health / fitness and golf game had both declined on the same path.  So I'd like to work on both at the same time, as I do believe they are beneficial.  Feel good, play good!

 

While I will agree fitness is not the path to playing great golf, I will say I don't believe that are as mutually exclusive as you describe.  Don't get me wrong, I am by no means saying fitness is a golden ticket to becoming a 0 handicap, but I do firmly believe it plays a larger part in bettering your golf game than you have described.

 

If one's sole goal was to "just better their golf game" than yes, I would urge that person to put an emphasis on lessons, and working their swing, focusing on short game, putting, course management, etc.  The list goes on and on.  But I do think ones overall health and fitness can have a significant role in their game. That goes for all level of golfers, not just the scratch or single digits.

 

Walking a round of golf could be exhausting.  Our wives, family, friend might laugh at that statement, but we all know it to be true! How many times have we all had someone say to us "Why are you so tired, you only played golf, it's not that hard!" ? The average walk of a golf course can be anyway from 3 to 6 miles, that's not chump change!  

 

Fitness can be something as simple as being in shape, just to support a single round of golf.  How many folks are out of breathe on the tee box, in the fairway, on the putting green.  We all know making the right swing with an elevated heart rate probably won't turn out ideal.  Now when you get into the nitty gritty, are there workouts, movements, stretches, that will help you tap into a couple extra MPH and yards on the driver of course.  The are also a plethora of physical limitations that golfers incur that can actually prevent them from getting into the right position, make the right swing, maintain the right path, etc.  There is a ton of fitness and stretching that can help with that.

 

Golf has come a longgg way.  Look at John Daly vs Bryson DeChambeau.  Just kidding, those are very extreme and atypical scenarios.  But can see a large shift in focus from players over the past 10 - 20 years.  I think Tiger really put fitness on the golf map.  Just look at the top 10 players in the world.  If you follow them as closely as I do, they all have very rigid and regimented fitness routines.  Are they all chasing some extra distance, yes of course, but can any of them afford to be tired on the 18th tee? Of course not.  The benefits are endless. 

 

Again, I am by no means saying you need a ripped body and 1% body fat to be a scratch handicap, and that is not my expectation for myself.  I just happen to be focusing on them at the same time.  But I will stress that "fitness" as a whole can range from 60 in HIIT workouts to something as simple as running and stretching.  All which have it's benefits.

 

 

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@Divot License Wow I didn't think the D3 golf comment would spark as much interest as it has!  I'd be happy to share my stories, and it looks like fellow members have stories to tell as well. 

 

@cardoustie I'm going to start a thread for this particular subject so this one doesn't get over run. Please join me, I'll tag you!

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10 hours ago, Obee said:

Hell there! Good luck on your journey. 

 

One observation: You will almost certainly not "fitness" your way to good golf. You will improve your golf by improving your golf and improve your fitness by improving your fitness. Fitness is a way to eek out small improvements in your game.

 

I've known many 4-cappers who swore to me that the reason they weren't +2's is that they were "out of shape."

 

As if going from 5'10" 225 and flabby to 5'10" 185 and super fit was going to somehow magically improve their skill with a golf club. It doesn't.

 

It can help you hit the ball a bit farther. Be a bit less tired. Be a bit more flexible. (Maybe) have a few less injuries. It can help turn a 0 into a +2 ... maybe.

 

If and when you get back down to scratch(ish) (which I hope you do!), your fitness will play a very small part in that compared to getting better at the game itself.

 

Best of luck to you. 5 strokes in a year is totally doable if you play a bunch of golf. Practicing alone ain't gonna do it. Gotta get on the course and play (and lessons and practice, of course/maybe).

 

 

 

Fitness only helps with adding distance through flexibility, better balance and mobility, strength and activation of fast twitch fibers.  I wouldn't say a little further.  I have trained clients who gained 30+yards off the tee from my golf specific programs that I tailor specifically to their needs.  And you're absolutely correct in that fitness will not turn a 4 cap into a + cap.  That would be more technique and practice. 

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48 minutes ago, phizzy30 said:

Fitness only helps with adding distance through flexibility, better balance and mobility, strength and activation of fast twitch fibers.  I wouldn't say a little further.  I have trained clients who gained 30+yards off the tee from my golf specific programs that I tailor specifically to their needs.  And you're absolutely correct in that fitness will not turn a 4 cap into a + cap.  That would be more technique and practice. 

 

That's fair. A little, meaning a guy who hits it 260 might be able to get to 280 (or, in extreme examples, 290) Sure. No doubt if I got fit I could pick up 20 yards at my age and with my limitations.

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Here are some thoughts on how I lost some weight for anyone who is interested:

 

About 6 or 7 years ago I lost 30 lbs over the course of a couple of years.  I found that losing weight was almost entirely about how much I ate.  During a yearly physical back then my doctor told me that my cholesterol was a bit high and that I should gets 20 minutes of aerobics in few times a week.  So I bought an exercise bike and I did pretty well at pumping it a few times a week especially while I was losing the weight.  I had run and worked out for as long as I could remember but in my 50s I had slowed down on my fitness work.  LOL I developed the belly over a long period of time it was not something that I happened all at once.

Here are a few things that worked for me:

1)  I kept a daily log of my weight with a friend from work who was trying to lose 5 lbs.  LOL she was in incredible shape and had been trying to lose five pounds for as long as I could remember.  There is something to be learned from her example I think.  Realizing that I had to log my weight the next morning often kept me from over doing it at meal time.

2)  I tried to eat healthier foods from the outside aisles at the grocery store.  I worked really hard to cut out the simple carbs.  Avoid eating sugar as much as you can.  

3)  Low carb, low fat or low anything diets are rubbish imho.  You need fat, carbs and protein in your diet in order to be healthy.

4)  I fast for 16 hours a day most days.  I think that doing this makes me more healthy.  It may help a little with weight control by reducing the amount that I eat but it is not a solution for losing weight.

5)  If you decide to limit your food intake to certain good foods and you are tempted by some doughnuts, candy or whatever say "I don't eat that" to yourself and move on.  If you say "I can't eat that" you probably will eat it.

6)  Don't keep food or drink that you don't want to have at home.  If it is there you will eat it or drink it.  If it is not there it is a lot easier to avoid it.

7) Dieting to lose weight is really tricky and your body will fight you.  There is a lot of good info out there on this problem which is much better than I can provide.  I did find that I need to reset maybe once a week by eating a lot of possibly bad stuff at one meal.

 

These are my thoughts on what worked for me and may not apply in other cases...  You probably already have a better plan anyway!

 

 

 

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Ha, I like this topic... I'm a little farther along in fatherhood (girls are 5 & 7) and significantly heavier... My current weight loss goals are more "Establish good habits" than get to my goal weight, as I'm in a marathon not a sprint (we are all, but my marathon is one of those all night ultra marathons where you aren't allowed to sleep)... I picked up Atomic Habits by James Clear, and it's been  super helpful in just thinking about everything as laying one brick at a time... Focusing on habits instead of success... I've been all over the board weight wise, and I'm tired of it... I want to build out good eating routines (and exercise) so that my weight management is on autopilot whenever I get to my final weight.

 

I also spend part of last season training for speed... ended up with a hurt back (I rushed back in and probably overloaded myself early)... my goal hasn't changed (120 CHS) but my methods have... I'm doing a ton more support work for my back to keep it healthy and then worrying about explosive movements when I'm fully healed. 

 

Good luck, and I'll happily follow along... 

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Hey @The_Hipp, I'm also from Long Island and Bethpage is my home course. I live about 5-10 minutes away. I know those 5 hour rounds all too well, but last year with the spaced out tee times was the fastest I've complete a round (~4 hours). I have a similar story to you, I had my first born at the end of the 2019 golf season after playing some of my best golf. After she was born and including quarantine I got to the heaviest I've ever been.

I'm also trying to lose weight  especially before the local am tour season starts but also for the quality of life. So I invested in a peloton and noticed how fast my leg strength has gone up but still trying to eat properly so haven't really lost anything yet. I'm trying to lose about 30-40 lbs by May which might be too ambitious but mostly want to lose by June for Monte's Jersey Clinic. If you're interested I would be down to play a round this year at Bethpage and also help out on the fitness journey. I definitely need to start lifting again 

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12 hours ago, Obee said:

Hell thereo! Good luck on your journey. 

 

One observation: You will almost certainly not "fitness" your way to good golf. You will improve your golf by improving your golf and improve your fitness by improving your fitness. Fitness is a way to eek out small improvements in your game.

 

I've known many 4-cappers who swore to me that the reason they weren't +2's is that they were "out of shape."

 

As if going from 5'10" 225 and flabby to 5'10" 185 and super fit was going to somehow magically improve their skill with a golf club. It doesn't.

 

It can help you hit the ball a bit farther. Be a bit less tired. Be a bit more flexible. (Maybe) have a few less injuries. It can help turn a 0 into a +2 ... maybe.

 

If and when you get back down to scratch(ish) (which I hope you do!), your fitness will play a very small part in that compared to getting better at the game itself.

 

Best of luck to you. 5 strokes in a year is totally doable if you play a bunch of golf. Practicing alone ain't gonna do it. Gotta get on the course and play (and lessons and practice, of course/maybe).

 

 

 

Hey Obee.  You must be the Obee we all know and love from POF, right?  Agree with what you say.  It kind of depends on how out of shape or fat one is. Do you have any workout advice for those wanting to improve their golf at the gym as well as practice at the course?  My main goal this year is to work on partial wedge shots.  Especially with the new wedge setup I'm going to try this year after maybe 15 years with just 47/54/60.

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3 minutes ago, DasTanK said:

Hey @The_Hipp, I'm also from Long Island and Bethpage is my home course. I live about 5-10 minutes away. I know those 5 hour rounds all too well, but last year with the spaced out tee times was the fastest I've complete a round (~4 hours). I have a similar story to you, I had my first born at the end of the 2019 golf season after playing some of my best golf. After she was born and including quarantine I got to the heaviest I've ever been.

I'm also trying to lose weight  especially before the local am tour season starts but also for the quality of life. So I invested in a peloton and noticed how fast my leg strength has gone up but still trying to eat properly so haven't really lost anything yet. I'm trying to lose about 30-40 lbs by May which might be too ambitious but mostly want to lose by June for Monte's Jersey Clinic. If you're interested I would be down to play a round this year at Bethpage and also help out on the fitness journey. I definitely need to start lifting again 

My understanding is that losing about 1 to 2 pounds per week is safe and anything beyond that is not such a good idea.  It sounds like you probably have a pretty handle on what you are trying to do which is to change your life habits for the rest of your life and not simply for some time period to achieve some weight loss goal? 

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12 minutes ago, Nels55 said:

My understanding is that losing about 1 to 2 pounds per week is safe and anything beyond that is not such a good idea.  It sounds like you probably have a pretty handle on what you are trying to do which is to change your life habits for the rest of your life and not simply for some time period to achieve some weight loss goal? 

Yup, its a marathon not sprint. I have lost weight before and have kept it off when I was going to the gym 5/6 days a week. But my gym habits (before covid) and ability to go changed so I slowed down working out and kept eating a little too much. Working on changing my mentality towards food and pushing myself.

Edited by DasTanK
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Fellow D3 player checking in, those were some good times. Hard to believe I could travel to both coasts from a small school in central TX and play, even got to play Oak Hill East one year. Good luck on the journey. 

Titleist 917 D3 9.5* Kiyoshi Black 65-05
Titleist TSi3 15* VA Composite Drago 75-X
Titleist 818 H2 19* Tensei White 100-X
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Mizuno T20 Raw 47-07 PX 6.5
Titleist Vokey SM7 Jet Black 54* S PX 6.5
Titleist Vokey SM7 Jet Black 60* M PX 6.0
Special Select Squareback 2 w/ SuperStroke Pistol 1.0

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