So I'm a doofus -- swear I was posting this in 19th hole. Could a mod shift this to there.
Hopefully this post is in the right spot. Bare with me, I'm basically downloading a bunch of stuff that my wife will patiently listen to but doesn't really care about or have insight on.
So, I've been on a golf adventure as of late (not the good kind either, just fumbling around in the dark) and in the process have learned a lot about my swing, my equipment, and the way I practice.
Background: I'm one of those self taught golfers who's never had a lesson which is at this point both good and bad. The good being that I've developed a decent enough natural swing that some of the better golfers I know have complimented me (and told me to not let someone rebuilt it when I do get a lesson) and the bad being that when it unfolds I waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to fix it when it's typically something minor that a coach would probably see immediately.
I've been having a huge problem with dispersion (on well struck shots with my RSI2 Regular Shafts) over the last six months to a year that has been incredibly frustrating and I've spent a lot of time fixing and adjusting little things with my swing, the biggest being that I shallowed up my backswing a bit which had the nice benefit of getting a better turn, smoothing out my tempo, increasing my swing speed, and mostly curing a heavily over the top steep swing that was responsible for a lot of hooks and hard pulls. Even with all of that work my dispersion was terrible from long to short irons. I just could not find consistency with well struck shots, they just kind of sprayed all over the place and seemed as likely to go left as right. What made it more frustrating was the feeling that I was striking the ball reasonably well (for my handicap at that point 11.1 unofficially) and I was sitting on the edge of a breakthrough into the single digits. I got so frustrated the I basically forgot all about practicing my short game and ,as expected, I regressed instead of making the jump (13.9 officially after I signed up for SCGA).
Somewhere around May I had the silly thought that it was my equipment (partially right in the end) and started thinking about new Irons. I stumbled across Sub 70's demo program and ordered the 699 Pros with stiff shafts a try (Not to digress, but I really, really liked them, and something from them will be toward or at the top of my list when I do pull the trigger on new irons) The 699 lofts basically slot directly into my RSI2's so I pulled my 6&9 out of the bag put the 699 Pro 6 & 9 iron in play for a couple weeks. Pretty much immediately I noticed that the dispersion issues that I was having were either mostly solved or much reduced with the 699s and still very present with the RSI2's. Mishits obviously were still mishits. This was my first clue that some of my problem had to do with my equipment. I'll fully admit that even after 10 years playing I knew very little about golf clubs beyond reading about the different types of heads and I knew even less about golf shafts. I'd never bought anything brand new except my Betti and never had anything adjusted beyond re-shafting an old graphite iron after the butt broke in my hands. Down the rabbit hole I went reading about shafts until I was utterly and completely confused. Confused enough that I finally realized I was not going to figure it out on my own.
I resolved to get fitted for the first time. It might seem strange, but I was weirdly nervous. Like I was going to show up and not be able to hit a thing or that they were going to point out some crazy flaw in my swing. In any case I showed up and they could not have been more accommodating. Warmed up with some 9 iron and immediately dove into my current club specs. The Trackman confirmed basically everything that I had suspected. I was spraying the ball around, even on well struck shots. The fitter was excellent and did a great job explaining all the data to me. I found the whole fitting process absolutely fascinating and incredibly enlightening about equipment. I was particularly surprised at how much a few grams here or there could affect whether or not I could hit the club. I had a great time getting fit was excited about what had been built then saw the quote....
So, back to being frustrated. I figured, okay, I'll just live with these Irons and find a way to play around the dispersion issues -- even toying with the idea of trying to slow my swing down. Half a small bucket later I realized that that was going to be a perfect way to destroy my swing so I threw threw that idea in the trash heap. I started re-reading 'Golf is not a game of Perfect' to find some mental focus and added a new one 'The little book of Breaking 80' which reminded me just how much I'd been neglecting my short game. I started researching re-shafting my clubs (good idea) and building my own clubs (bad idea), another idea that went in the trash heap. Then started searching to see if I could find a builder in my area that was not a big box store. Nothing against those guys, but I see how busy the Roger Dunn club repair/building area is here in Socal (at all the stores) and I wanted to a little more attention put into mine. Eventually I found Dave Cape and DCCustom Golf. He took the specs from my fitting, quoted me a very reasonable price, and completely rebuilt my irons.
I'm fresh off taking those old/new clubs to the range for the first time and I have to say that they are basically completely different clubs. Its wild. It was very fun comparing the numbers from old to new with my budget launch monitor (SC200+) They're heavier so my swing speed has dropped a bit (1-2 MPH), but because I intuitively have a great feel for where the head is I'm making much better contact and getting slightly more (5ish maybe?) yards carry. Smash factor is markedly different 1.33 average before with the 6I to 1.39 today. I know its just one session but it does feel like this is going to really help. If nothing else I already feel like I have more confidence with these because I'm not losing the head location in my downswing. It doesn't feel like it will take me long to get dialed with these. I've also made a point to put a lot more time into my short game, spending significant time chipping from different ranges, and doing putting drills from 3, 6, 9 ft and also practicing my lag putting. I'm also going to search out a good instructor. I feel like its time and if I want to get to single digits I can't just shoestring this together anymore. We'll see if this pays dividends, but for the first time in a while I feel like I might be headed in the right direction. Hopefully my next round shows some of that. I'm tempering expectations, I don't expect to go low immediately, but I'm hoping that I might pickup one or two strokes from where I've been living lately (86-92). Even if the score doesn't bear it out success will be hitting a couple better approach shots, chips shots, and not missing short putts. Wish me luck.
TLDR Cliff Notes:
-- Never Taken Lessons
-- Having dispersion problems
-- Making adjustments to swing
-- Scoring Regression
-- Still having dispersion problems
-- Realizing that for perhaps the first time in history, equipment might actually be the problem
-- Getting Fitted
-- Not wanting to go bankrupt buying new fitted clubs
-- Getting my current irons rebuilt to spec
-- Going to find a coach to actually take some lessons
-- Working on short game
-- Tempered expectations