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Jim N

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    Torrance, CA
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  1. I had a very similar dilemma when I started up again last spring after a 25-30 year hiatus. I was playing a set of original Armour 845s (3-PW), and picked up a set of Taylormade 4-PW Speedblades from a friend of a friend that are around 8 years old for under $300. The new clubs have stronger lofts, but are much more forgiving on off-center hits, longer and hold greens as well or better than the old ones. FYI, I'm 63, but still fairly strong and flexible due to doing a ton of yoga for the past 20+ years. When I hit the Armours just right the results feel more satisfying, but that doesn't happen all that often at my skill level. FWIW, both sets are steel shaft regulars, and the Taylormades are a little heavier swing weight. Having said all that, the difference isn't as extreme as when I changed out my first generation metalwood driver for a couple of years old Calloway epic flash. That added 50+ yards to my drives and keeps more of them in the fairway.
  2. Experiment to find what works for you. I tend to have a fairly long stroke, maybe a little longer forward than back, with very steady hands. I only try to "pop" the ball if the putt is heading to the next county over, as I don't feel like I have enough touch to pull off a pop-type of approach on anything under maybe 30 feet. Another piece of advice I've heard: to some degree it's easier to be consistent if your putting stroke mimics your full swing tendencies. If you have a short backstroke with an iron, maybe do the same thing with a putter, and vice versa.
  3. I walk unless the course says you can't. I switched from a carry bag to putting my bag on a cart this year, but that's mostly so I can shove a few beers in my bag and not suffer. I'm 63, but my main exercise is hiking, and I do around 40 miles of that a week outside of golf. As a result most gold courses qualify as an easy walk in the park, punctuated by brief moments of joy and frustration.
  4. The only time I vary is on downhill putts. I tend to set up with my putter with a little forward shaft lean on most putts, but find I have a more delicate touch with the shaft more vertical that works better on downhills. Length of putt has almost no impact on my prep or technique other than a longer stroke with maybe a little more pop to it.
  5. Almost anything from a technical standpoint will work for a few holes, then result in overdoing some aspect that takes my swing right out of rhythm. I'm a musician on the side, so the only thing that works at all consistently for me is to count to get rhythm and keep my tempo from revving up: 1 to press forward, 2 to trigger my hip rotation and weight shift back, three to start my downswing. There's other things I do to visualize, set up, release tension, but when it comes to the swing itself I'm better off putting my conscious mind to sleep.
  6. I got this injury a number of years ago doing something completely unrelated to golf. I suggest you try doing physical therapy, as it is usually a repetitive stress injury, and can get much worse over time, resulting in reduced range of motion in your elbow. There were a couple of exercises I had to do a few times a day using a light barbell, and I think something with pressing your hand and arm into a wall, but really can't remember the specifics. The bands help some with immediate pain, but don't address the underlying injury, and don't provide enough support to really keep it from getting worse. I'm by no means a good golfer, but if I was to guess I'd think you are straightening your right elbow too soon in your downswing and/or flipping too much at impact, as both those things put additional stress on the inside of your right elbow. Jim G's suggestions above regarding exercising and the downswing make sense to me.
  7. I've been getting by hitting flat balls off a small piece of turf into a cinder block fence in my back yard. Been doing that several times a day as a break since I'm working from home 100% of the time now and for the foreseeable future. That works okay for irons, but not at all for driver. Hoping I get picked. Thanks for the opportunity!
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