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    Urbana, IL
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  1. One small thing that helped my spin and AoA was changing my club placement in relation to ball position. I used to setup with the ball off my front toe and the club right behind the ball. I recently switched to a setup where the ball is in the same location, but I rest my club one club-heads length back from the ball (~3 inches). I focus on the location of the club face as if that was the point of contact. This brought the lower apex of my swing arc behind the ball and my AoA increased significantly. I only use this method with the driver.
  2. Another weekly update. I had a few great golf outings this week. Thursday night was the first round of men’s league and my partner and I won our match. Unfortunately, our opponent’s teammate had a conflict and wasn’t able to attend, so the better ball game was a bit lopsided. With the exception of one hole, we used my ball for each hole, so that felt pretty good. Tee shots were horrible, but everything else was pretty solid. Even though it was casual, it was nice to get back to “competitive” golf. On Saturday I was able to get out and card a solid score. 40 on the front and 37 on the back, a 77 and my lowest score of the season. Once the handicaps updated the next day, I met the first phase of my goal: a single digit handicap. I’m currently sitting at an index of 7.4. A few learnings from this week: Consistency off the tee really needs work. I’m only hitting 3-4 fairways per round and my shot shape can either be a mega-slice or a handsy hook. My wedge game is slowly coming back. I’ve always been a bomb and gouge player, scoring from 100 yards in, but I had lost all distance control when I came back to the game a few months ago. Thankfully I’m seeing some of that feel come back. Still working on my rotation. I tend to get my weight out over my back leg. Focusing on keeping my head still and eyes aimed at the point of contact is helping me clear my back hip and shift my weight “around” instead of sliding my weight straight back. I have lost all ability to read a green except knowing the general direction a ball may move. It's pretty disheartening to hit a wedge shot close and misread the break by 50-60% This is certainly something ill be working on moving forward. All things considered, a pretty good week of golf. If anyone has any tips or practice drills to better read greens, please send them my way!
  3. Quick Update: So far, I've gotten in 10 rounds and a few dozen practice sessions. Scores are averaging in the low-80s, but I did complete one very consistent round for a solid 78. The handicap index is currently sitting at 11.1 After a bit of work with a local swing coach, launch monitor, and some swing recordings; I've found that my rotation is lacking. Club path and speed are good, but I'm slamming the club-face closed at impact. I'm sure it will take some time to get my rotation back, but I'm seeing decent results already.
  4. Quick update: This past weekend I was able to fit in a practice session on Friday, then play on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's front 9 went well, the course was wide open, and I looped the front nine in about 75 minutes. I accidentally skipped a two-some at the turn who went into the clubhouse for a few drinks. While standing in the #10 (330yd par 4) greenside bunker a ball careened past me and settled on the side of the green. I looked back at the tee box and the two-some was teeing off. It was a great shot, but still had me rattled. At the next tee-box we exchanged apologies, them for the drive and I for skipping ahead. All was good, but I was still in my head. I made it around to the 12th hole before dunking two balls into a creek and calling it quits. I carded a 43 for the front nine. Sunday was a different story. Since it was Easter, the club was empty, and the course was deserted. I hit a few balls on the range, then jumped on the first tee. For some reason, I was hitting duck hooks on every single tee box. Apart from driving the green on #10, I don't think I hit a decent tee shot all day. The short game is starting to come back, and I made 4 par saves. Carded an 85 for the day with two double bogeys to finish. A few things I learned this weekend: My hands can't handle my full-cord grips like they used to. I installed these grips to handle the humidity and moisture when I played in Florida, but they are shredding my hands up here in IL. The 10-year old driver isn't "dead" like I thought. I'm just hitting everything way out on the toe. My expectations need to be reset. Most of my big misses were due to trying something exotic. Whether it was attempting to pick a ball clean, hit a stinger, shape the shot, etc. They would almost always result in a bad miss that put me in a worse position than playing a normal swing. Also, thanks @DaveP043 for the book recommendation. I am halfway through Broadie's Every Shot Counts, and it is eye-opening. As a young golfer I always tried to bomb the ball for fun but didn't realize the impact it may have had on scoring.
  5. Thank you. This resonates with me, I am in the best shape of my life, but certainly not the best golf shape. I need to start incorporating flexibility workouts into my routine. Thank you for the book recommendations. I haven't seen the work done by Broadie but it looks incredibly interesting. Ordered the book today and I'll read it this weekend.
  6. Thanks, probably just going to tackle it myself. Most swing instructors over the years immediately try to straighten my elbow and everything gets mixed up. Thankfully I do have access to a nice practice facility now. Full grass range and nice short game practice area. I agree with you that the reps are necessary to get the consistency back. We’ll see where I'm at after a few weeks on the range. Fortunately I haven't lost the mental side of the game, just the physical it seems.
  7. A quick backstory: I've played golf my entire life. While growing up my dad played golf but we never had access to a good course in our area, so golf was reserved for special occasions. Typically, I would ride along and maybe hit a few putts here or there. Going into high school I started becoming more serious about golf after a knee injury took me out of baseball. When I started, I had the typical baseball-style over swing. Around this same time, my parents purchased a townhouse in NC on a golf course. I started playing fairly regularly all summer, then practicing and playing on the schools golf team during the school year. Eventually, I had enough experience to start competing and dropped my handicap to low single digits. On a good day, I would shoot par, on a bad day I would shoot high 70’s. I even spent some time working with Jimmy Ballard (Rocco Mediates coach) during my senior year in return for some maintenance on his website. Then life got busy; I went to college and quit golf altogether. That was 10 years ago and I haven’t played more than 2 rounds a year since. Last week I joined a local country club for the social aspect, but I’m already getting back into golf. I carded my first round this weekend and it wasn’t half bad, shot an 89 in very wet conditions. Most of my misses were incredibly severe: skulls into the ground, shanks, etc. My current swing is a bit unorthodox compared to modern standards (Ballard’s teachings). I have a very soft left elbow and short follow through. If you guys were getting back into the game after a long break, what would you do first? How can I build back my consistency? What should I be working on during range sessions? I appreciate any tips. Hopefully I can get back to a single digit handicap by the end of the year.
  8. How long have you been playing golf? What’s your handicap or normal score? I’ve played since I was a kid (29 now) became competitive in late high school and started playing junior tours before moving to low level collegiate golf. Around 21-22 I completely quit golf and just now started back up. Probably a 15-ish handicap at the moment but would like to get back to 2-3 where I played competitively. What do you love about golf? Golf is a sport that’s personally competitive. It’s easy to track your progress and play against yourself no matter what skill level you play at. Where are you from? What is your home course? I just joined the Urbana Country Club in Illinois, looking forward to making it my home course. What do you do for a living? I’m a human factors engineer. Basically, I design medical devices to prevent surgeons from making mistakes. I’m happy to join the forum, if anyone would like to meet up for a round, let me know!
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