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  #611  
Old 09-04-2019, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens Fan View Post
Our 18-hole game was cancelled due to rain, so I went to play alone at a 9-hole Par 3 course once the rain stopped.

Shot a 47 (+20), which was mainly due to my ball flight being way too low (along the ground) on quite a few occasions. I watched a couple of YouTube videos tonight to see what may be causing it.

The reverse-overlap grip felt comfortable today on the greens, my putts were going straight also. 19 putts in total, but I did struggle on a couple of sidehill putts.
To get the ball up, hit down on the ball. If you're trying to sweep the ball clean off the ground, you will end up with a lower ball flight. (Also, you may skull the ball a few times.)
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  #612  
Old 09-04-2019, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dancran1220 View Post
Went 101 on the familiar course to me and 102 on the new course the next day. While the scores were all similar and my 9 hole splits were all consistently between 49 and 52, the way I got to the same score on the rounds were different in only a way golf can deliver.

On the 101, I decided to try and use the 5W off the tee for every shot because in the past when I get on a groove with the club it is one my cleanest shots of my long clubs. This course isn't particularly long either and 200 yard advances are more than enough to score reasonably. It worked for the most part, although I did lose the swing for a couple holes in the middle of the round. The real issues on the round were the par 5s. I went 9, 6, 8, 9 on the par 5s in the round while going 3, 3, 3, 3 on the par 3s. This course has short par 3s and my low irons were dialed in. I had GIR, 2 putts on all 4 of the par 3s which were all 115-145. On the first 9 stroke par 5, I was hitting my 3rd from 115 out and pushed my PW right when trying to hit the center of the green. Landed and half plugged on the back wall of a back bunker - IE pretty much impossible to do anything with. I should have taken an unplayable lie and dropped it in the middle of the bunker. Alas, it took me 3 strokes to get out of the bunker and then getting flustered/rushed I torched my first putt miles past the hole. The other 9 stroke par 5 I was about 60 yards out laying 3 strokes and had to clear a bunker in front of me. Elected to go lob wedge and flubbed the first shot as the wedge went right under the ball only hitting it 10 yards. Next shot I skull over the green OB to deliver the knockout blow for the hole. Yikes. The biggest pluses on the round was that my low irons were on point pretty much the whole round and that my putting was nearly a guarantee 2 putt from anywhere, it was crazy how much confidence I had putting that day and I felt it was my best putting round to date.

The next morning, well I'm sure most of you can guess what happens . 102 on a new course with 44 putts. 9, read it, NINE 3 putts on the round. 7 of which were for double bogey, 1 for bogey, 1 for triple. My longer irons did a bit better, my shorter irons were still quite solid, chipping pretty good, but 3W/5W were a bit more iffy than the previous day off the tee. My buddy commented about halfway through the back 9 that my stance for my tee shots was incredibly narrow and that seemed to help my tee shots down the stretch. I have been focusing on being more upright/narrow on my chipping and putting with practice that it found its way into my other swings. Just another mental check to consider going forward now. I mean not much else to say. This course was a decent clip longer than the other course, all the par 3s were 140-190. It was pretty painful losing so many strokes 3 putting naturally. Multiple lip outs and near misses, but I just never felt comfortable with my stroke, the complete opposite of the previous day. My hands kept injecting themselves into the stroke and I couldn't get myself to deliver smooth, confident putts. My long putts (15+) had pretty good distance control but my reads were very poor. Then on the 4-8 footers I was just awful while the 8-15 putts were just as bad because they were never getting tap in close.

IDK, fun to play that much though. Still several more rounds on the books in the next month. Still hoping I catch a sub-90 round. Probably going to do some more formal putting drills this week. I'm also considering buying a new hybrid that I have some confidence in. My 4h currently just doesn't inspire any confidence to use right now.
TL;DR - Keep your head in the game, bro
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  #613  
Old 09-04-2019, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wat? View Post
To get the ball up, hit down on the ball.
I know what you mean here but IMO, the phrase "hitting down" can be misleading advice especially to a novice golfer.

You don't want to come in steeply to chop 'down' on the ball as that will create all sorts of mis-hits. With all clubs except driver, you want to hit the ball while the club arc is still descending, i.e., before it hits its low point (ideally a few inches past the ball). That's really what 'hitting down' is meant to convey. This is especially true for wedges, short irons and mid irons. As you get to the long irons/hybrids/fairway woods, this is still the case but to a lesser degree -- the swing should be shallower which should lead to a little more of a sweeping motion.

Correct set up and ball position for each club will help you achieve the descending strike more regularly.
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  #614  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:29 PM
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Great thread. Just discovered it recently and have been reading through. Going to hijack it a bit here and do a brain dump and hope to get some good discussion and insights. Long story short, I have been focusing on my golf game in a more serious way over the past 5 years and have gone from a 36 to a 20 or so, with aspirations and potential to be under 10.
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  #615  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:30 PM
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The long version: I was a quintessential american athlete in high school, playing at a high level in virtually all the traditional sports. During a few years in high school I started playing golf semi-regularly. I was a "90s/100s" golfer, but as I look back now, I was probably really a 100-120 golfer. More on scoring later.

During college and in my first 10 years out of school, I only played a couple of times per year, and I was pretty bad. Probably similar to how I was in high school, but much less consistent, given the playing frequency.

Five years ago I moved to California and got more serious about the game. I was probably a 120-130 golfer, driven mostly by inconsistency off the tee and with ball striking. I took two lessons about four years ago and have seen drastic improvements. Almost immediately became a 100-110 golfer. Over the last year, with increased frequency and another lesson I am almost always <100, with a few <90. Again, more on scoring later, but with more typical "casual" scoring, I am a <90 golfer now.
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  #616  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:31 PM
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I have some specific things I want to discuss, but before I do, I'll do a quick tangent on scoring and pace.
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  #617  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:31 PM
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Re: Scoring

Major caveat: I think the best scoring system is the one that makes the game enjoyable for the player. If you want to cap your score at 8, or take mulligans to make the game enjoyable for you, then you should do that. I let it bother me (and shouldn't) when people are discussing score and coming from very different baselines.

In my experience there are four types of golfers when it comes to score. (1) True golfers, that know virtually every rule and keep their score absolutely by the book. (2) Aspire to be true golfers, that think they know the rules and tell themselves they score themselves by the book, (3) golfers that keep score, but knowingly take liberties, and (4) casual golfers who don't care about or even keep score.

I think many people think they are 1, but the vast majority are 2 or 3. I have played with many, many people, and without fail, every one of them is one tick below where they think they are (a 3 will consider themselves a 2, a 2 will consider themselves a 1).

Some examples of liberties that people take that obfuscates their true score / skill level.

-Mulligans: No such thing. Typically is a 2 stroke adjustment per mulligan taken.
-Penalty shots: out of bounds is stroke and distance penalty. Most people take a lateral drop. This is a 1 stroke+ adjustment per offense.
-Adjusting a lie, moving the ball. Not allowed. Sometimes just improves your lie, and hard to tell how much that helps (but could be 2+ strokes, who knows). Other times, it is clearly a stroke improvement, since you would have had to hit it out from behind that tree, rather than forward.
-Gimmes: No such thing. Even if you limit gimmes to some short length of putt. Those putts are not 100%. Then you have people who miss a putt and "I should have made that". Or worse, miss a putt badly, and then don't attempt the next one ,that they also may miss. I would estimate this removes 1-6 strokes per round for most golfers.
-Score caps: No such thing. Sure, for handicap purposes your score is capped, but for scoring purposes in a round, it is not. People who give up on a hole, or cap it at 8, or double par are not keeping their true score. "Put me down for an 8" (you've taken 9 strokes and still aren't on the green!). I would estimate this adds 2-4 strokes for the typical golfer.
-Poor counting: Seems crazy, but people can't count. I've played with very good golfers, and at least once or twice per round I will notice a miscount. And I'm not even counting everyone's score closely. [internal dialog] "This hasn't been my best hole, I chipped onto the green, that must have been 3, then I three putted!. Ugh, double bogey." when in reality they were on the green in 4.

The result is that there are a lot (!) of golfers that consider themselves "bogey golfers", "shoot in the 90s", "100 is a bad day". And the vast majority of these casual-ish, decent golfers are actually 95-115+ golfers. The strokes above add up very quickly.

For myself, I am a 2. I want to be a 1, I try to be a 1. But I know I don't know all the rules. And there will be a very occasional "I should have made that putt, I rushed it and stood awkwardly because I was in the other player's line and it was a short putt." or "I didn't get a chance to warm up, I'm going to hit one practice tee shot on 1." But I am very tight on this, and very close to a 1. The majority of the time, I finish a round and am very confident that the score would reflect what a rules expert would agree with.

And none of this is to say that you have to do it this way. As I said above, you should do what makes it fun for you. But this is to put in perspective the scores I say in other posts. And unfortunately, sometimes I let other's impact my fun. "Oh you got a 101, ouch." (internal - actually a 101 on that course is a pretty good day. And by the way, your 96, was really a 106+)
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  #618  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:31 PM
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Re: Pace

While MathStatFin is obnoxious, there is an issue with pace of play. Without 'traffic" a round should take under 4 hours. On a busy day, it should still take 4.5 hours.

Rounds should be enjoyed. And "those bad players" may pay the bills. But with a simple dose of consideration and awareness, there is no reason for >4.5 hours for a round.

Play ready golf. Be considerate. Don't rush, but be efficient and have a sense of urgency. Even when I was at my worst, I would generally play in under 4 hours if it wasn't crowded, and always keep pace with my group / the group in front of us.

Random story - the other day, I went to play by myself. Got paired with three others who knew each other, in the middle of what looked like a packed tee slate. The three were an oldish man, his adult daughter, and his daughter's husband/boyfriend. The old man was good - old man good. Knows the game, knows the course, manages the course, hits the ball consistently, only cheats a little. The daughter was serviceable. Decent fundamentals. Some decent shots. Some struggle. The husband was bad. Novice. Many bad shots. Many OB. Many shanks. The round was taking a while, but after awhile, I noticed two things. We were no longer waiting on the people in front of us. In fact, we probably never saw them after the 5th hole or so. And the reason we were so slow was the old man. The other two had a sense of urgency/respect for others' time. He did not. The round took 5.5 hours.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:32 PM
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A little more on my progress, then some specific questions.

Five years ago, I had a bad slice. Terrible. And with my longer irons, I would hit the ball to the right (straight). My short irons and short game were my strength. Relying on feel and hand-eye coordination.

The first lesson helped with some basics on stance, grip, etc., but the major breakthrough was with my wrists. I would snap my wrists, like a baseball swing, and this was causing the slice/push. He got me to keep my wrists in line (hinge okay, but no bend). This led to drastic improvements.

Over the past 4 years I occasionally slice, but now it is much more of a slow fade then a curving slice. I occasionally pull the ball. I occasionally draw the ball. I occasionally push the ball. Maybe this is worse, because my mistakes are more unpredictable, but my modal shot is straight (or very slight fade).

Three months ago I went back for another lesson. I told him of my improvements in consistency and accuracy, but that I wanted to add some length. He gave me a few other tips, but the main one that has made a difference is rotating my torso to lead my backswing. Prior to this lesson, my approach was to keep my upper body relatively still, with the idea of a stable base, that would improve consistency. With the new torso rotation I have added 10-15 yards to my irons. I lost some ball striking consistency, but I look at that as a short term blip as I get used to this adjustment.

Where I am now:
-I still have some inconsistent ball striking, but for the most part it is greatly improved.
-I still tend to fade my driver and push my irons. It is much less significant, but is my most common problem. Occasionally I overcompensate and pull the ball, or even hook it.
-I understand I likely have too steep of a swing.
-I have always had a lot of height on my shots, including driver. Definitely above "ideal".
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  #620  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:33 PM
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Re: Distance

I'm tall (6'2"). In good shape, and generally athletic. Good hand eye coordination, strength, etc. I "should" be able to hit the ball well, and have good relative distance. I understand length is much more about form than raw strength. I also understand that distance helps, but what is more important is consistency and accuracy (if you hit your 7 iron 120 yards consistently, that is better than an inconsistent gap wedge that theoretically goes 120 yards. So I was never caught up too much with distance, but the potential is there.

5 years ago, my baseline was:
D: 225-275 (240)
3H: 190-210 (190)
5i: 170
6l: 155
7i: 140
8i: 130
9i: 120
P: 105
G: 75
S: 50

Over the past four years, my distance has been:
D: 240-290 (250)
3H: 190-210 (190)
5i: 175-190
6l: 165-175
7i: 155-160
8i: 145-150
9i: 135-140
P: 125
G: 105
S: 75

After this most recent change, my distances are now:
D: 240-290 (250)
3H: 190-210 (190)
5i: 190-205
6l: 185-190
7i: 175-180
8i: 165
9i: 155
P: 145
G: 110
S: 105

So I'm very happy with the upgraded distances (recognizing this is not the most important thing). But a few clubs to discuss.

Driver: I have not seen a significant improvement with my driver distances. This is perhaps the most surprising and most frustrating thing during this progression. I have hit drivers 350 yards. So I know I have the power to do so. I'm not trying to crush it, I know that's not the answer. But I would like to get a booming drive. And I'm disappointed that 15 yards on my PW didn't translate to 15 yards (or 30 yards) on my driver.

3H: At one point in my golf career this was my best club. I would hit it reliability out of the rough when my irons were terrible. Now I almost never hit it. It has become much less consistent for me than my longer irons. Maybe this is just a confidence thing, but I almost never hit it.

Gap wedge: At one point this was the best club in my bag. I would hit it for anything 100 and in (and only SW out of the sand). Before this last change it was a consistent, safe club for me. Now I have this hole in my bag/distances. I can't hit this club right. Same swing as the SW (reliably 100 with full swing) and PW (reliably 145, or mistakenly more). My gap wedge just won't get in line. Even when I feel like I hit it well it sometimes only goes 110. So I'm just confused by this club. Maybe it's just in my head.

70-100 yards. This distance is giving me a lot of trouble. I used to be great at adjusting my swing to get the middle distances. When my torso was stable, if I just took the club less back/up I could reliably take the right distance off in this 70-100 zone. Now I can hit 105 with a full SW, and hit 60 and in with a "feel" shot. But 60-100 is giving me major problems. I guess I'm having trouble understanding how to hit a 80% shot that includes my torso rotation.

Any help with these would be much appreciated.
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