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Everything posted by alfriday101

  1. I posted the following on another site, but it fits with this discussion: Other professional (and amateur) sports have made rule and equipment changes to counteract athletes getting bigger and stronger when the sport got out of balance--the strategy and integrity of the game was questioned. Why should golf be any different? Course are designed with certain challenges built in. Green complexes for short par fours are different from complexes for long par fours because the ball flight and stopping power of the a short iron and long iron differ. If players are regularly hitting short irons into greens designed to receive long iron shots, the game is changed. If par fives can be reached with driver and 8 iron, the game has been changed and becomes less strategic. If bunkers are easily flown, they become irrelevant and the game changes. For decades, the solution primarily has been to lengthen courses, which is not sustainable. Basketball players got taller and faster. The basket was not raised, but they added a three point line and shot clock to keep 7 footers from dominating the game. In football, as the kickers have gotten stronger and more accurate, kicking rules have changed many times--for kick offs, extra points and field goals. They moved the kick off line from the 40, narrowed goal posts, eliminated tees for extra points and field goals. It is entertaining to watch players hit the long ball. But, long and short are relative terms.
  2. I have this table saw for the farm. Very well built saw and has a nice safety feature. Makes me feel safer when working alone in a building with less than ideal cell service. My next door neighbor also bought one, but only after almost losing three fingers. So be careful out there in DIY land.
  3. My group has "Hold My Beer" shots. Yesterday I pulled my second shot on a par 5 into the trees and I ended up about 110 yards from the green in deep rough with no realistic shot at the green. The prudent play would be to punch out to the fairway, take my medicine and play for bogey. Did I do that? Of course not. I grabbed my 9 iron and yelled to my playing partner, "Hold my beer." I hit a 3/4 iron through a small gap in the trees (it did catch one small leaf, but not enough to slow it down). The ball drew around the next tree, just cleared a deep bunker, landed on the fringe and rolled about 10 feet past the pin. Stupid play? You bet. But it was fun!
  4. I'd take the 300 yard drives. My P-average is 254 right now. At my age, there isn't much I can do to get that to 300. So I'd take the 300 yard drives and then spend a lot more time working on my distance control with the putter. There are no age or physical issues with improving putting, or wedge play for that matter. On the two courses I play most, 300 yard drives would put a wedge in my hands on all the par 4s and make all but one of the par 5s reachable in 2. I'd still have the par 3s to contend with, however.
  5. Regarding the second part of the post, the women's numbers would be "skewed" if the chart went higher. Note how many "54 or higher" players are represented on the far right of the chart.
  6. I have several play lists on my Amazon Music account. The spousal unit and I took a road trip to the mountains last week and created a new play list while driving to pass the time. "My one and only" play list. We picked out our favorite artists from the last 50 years or so, ones that had multiple hits and lasted for several years. Then we picked the one song (and only one song) we liked best from each group or solo performer. It made driving across Nebraska almost tolerable.
  7. Great advice here. As they say, golf is 90% mental, so work the mind. Visualize. Visualize. Visualize. You might also combine it with some very low stress, super slow motion work.
  8. I have very wide feet. My favorite shoes are Footjoys. They offer many styles in wide and extra wide and a few in XXW. I normally order them off the Footboy website as the really wide shoes are not usually available in stores. I have had luck with Sketchers and New Balance finding wider shoes, but I don't like the shoes as well as the Footjoys. The Sketchers are a bit squishy for my taste. The New Balance are fine, but I prefer the build and fit of the Footjoys.
  9. I hit my best shot of the year in today's round. Number 16 at Bent Tree in Council Bluffs, is a drivable par four. 295 yards, protected by bunkers left and right with a narrow opening in front. I normally lay up, but went for it today. It was down hill and down wind. I hit driver to 10 inches. (For a while there, we thought it might go in.) Tap in eagle. A lot of fun. Only my fourth eagle, second on a par four.
  10. have you ever tried the Ben Hogan, a/k/a the perpetual motion drill? You can do this at home in the yard or the house, if you have a high ceiling and an understanding spouse. Hogan reportedly did the drill 30 minutes a day. If it's good enough for Hogan... Here is an update with a bit more explination: Shawn emphasizes the balance aspect of the drill, but it also helps with transition and tempo.
  11. Chisag once again offers sage advice. Here are a few things to try on the range. 1. Develop a tempo "mantra," a phrase tied to your desired tempo that you use on every shot--every shot. Some people use "1,2,3", in waltz tempo, or "tick-tock". Personally, I use "to the target." Start out saying it out loud on the range as you swing to really get it down. Then move on to saying it in your head. Did I mention to do this on every shot? 2. Practice hitting clubs to less than full distance (similar to what was mentioned above.) For example, take your driver and hit the first ball to the 100 yard marker, the next shot to 125, then 150, etc until you get to full distance. Take a full swing each time. You can use any club in the bag. 3. Hit balls with your eyes closed on the range. Set up, take a practice swing, then step up to the ball and close your eyes and hit to your target. You will quickly feel your tempo and find out if you are too ball bound.
  12. It's very possible that she has a conceptual issue. You've probably told her over and over to hit down on the ball or through the ball. But does she know why she needs to hit down through the ball? I went to a workshop several years ago that had golfers of all levels. The first thing the pro/instructor asked was "What make the ball climb into the air? Drivers and wedges basically go the same height; but why do wedges climb quickly and drivers slowly?" About half of the attendees said loft of the club started the ball higher. The others said spin. The pro carefully explained how the dimples worked to create lift when the ball spins and how the ball stays on higher lofted clubs longer to create more spin. He held a ball against the face of various clubs and showed how hitting down and through the ball created more spin than trying to lift the ball. He then demonstrated the difference by hitting a few shots "lifting" the ball and hitting through the ball. He then had the golfers hit some short pitches trying to hit down on the ball as much as possible so each could see the effect. For most of the newer golfers, getting the concept clear in their minds immediately helped to quit trying to lift the ball in the air. It may sound simple and obvious for someone who has played for a long time. But for someone starting out, the reason behind hitting through the ball may be eye opening.
  13. Speaking of paralysis by analysis, here is one thing that helped me to find a more natural, comfortable stroke. I got the idea from Fred Shoemaker's "Extraordinary Putting." I have the Puttout mat and Pressure Putt Trainer. I put the fold down part on the pressure trainer up so it fills the hole in the trainer. Any putt that hits the trainer rolls back down the mat. Starting about two feet from the trainer, I would roll putts into the trainer. When they would roll back, I would putt them before they stopped rolling. I made it a game to see how many I times I could repeat before missing the hole. I didn't have time to think at all, just react to the ball coming toward me down the mat. It didn't take long to find a freer flowing motion and a more comfortable stance.
  14. 1. Be grateful. I feel privileged to be playing golf, good or bad. If the shots aren't working out, well, I'm still out with my friends, the sun is shining, there's a nice breeze, etc. I take a few deep breaths and really look around, notice the sun on the grass, on the way the leaves are moving in the trees, how the sun feels on my skin, etc. 2. I keep score, but I do two things that help me not focus on it. First, I mentally divide the round into six sections of three holes each. When I get to the fourth tee, it's the start of the next section. It's sort of like making the turn every three holes. Second, I try not to put too much mental energy into my overall score. What I've done so far is in the past. My potential score is just that, potential--it's in the future. What matters is the shot I'm making. When I write down my score on a hole, I put my scorecard face down on the holder. That act is a gentle reminder to stay present. 3. I try to stay focused on process, particularly my set up and target focus. If I'm off, it's usually in my set up. I take a little extra care to make sure I'm balanced, my ball position is good and my alignment is good. Then it's back to focusing on the target.
  15. Lefty was spot on saying there is a lot going on in the original post. I'll try to parse things out a bit. 1. You had good ball striking, if not great last year. What has changed? You mention two things: 1. Superspeed training and 2. Focusing more on mechanics to affect a swing change. Super speed training is good for improving speed, but a number of golfers complain about how it screws up their ball striking during the program. Swinging all out with the sticks will do that. You can stay with the program, just know that ball striking will lag until your mind and body adjust to the increased speed. Focusing more on mechanics can also mess with ball striking. This actually gets to the heart of a major issue in golf instruction. Which comes first, better swing mechanics through conscious focus on certain movements in the swing, or does working on improved outcomes lead to improved mechanics. For me, the latter certainly works better. I will work on mechanics a bit at the beginning of a practice section, but quickly move on to more results based learning. For example, I may rehearse a move in slow motion 5 or so times. But I will quickly move on to a drill that improves and measures ball striking. Improved mechanics are a result, not a cause. Check out Adam Young and The Strike Plan. Based on what you say, I would think staying with your current swing is the better path forward. (Albeit, I would get a lesson from a coach to make sure what you think is happening really is happening). That doesn't mean you swing won't change. You are a good golfer. Your swing will naturally change and improve if you focus on outcomes. As for Question 2, it's hard to say. It depends on how far off your current (stock) set is from your ideal set. I'm 6' 2" tall and play over length and upright standard irons. In SL, I stayed with standard length SL irons, which makes them the same length as my over length VL 8 Iron. I did get mine upright however. (I did get fit for the SL irons). How big of an impact does a fitting make? Again, it depends. But I'll tell you a story that happened to me this summer. About a month ago, I hit my gap wedge into the green and it faded quite a bit, which surprised me. I thought I hit it dead on the flag. The same thing happened a couple of days later. I didn't worry about it too much, my swing isn't that good, after all. A couple of days later I was at the range and I hit a SW right at the target. I switched to my GW and the ball faded, even though I though I hit it about the same as I had with the SW. I compared my LW and SW and found that my LW is a few degrees off in lie from the rest of my set. I think I must have bent it when traveling. Sometimes it is the arrow and not the archer. If all my irons were the same as my LW, I would have to make compensations to get my desired result. It's possible your slight over the top move is learned to compensate for ill fitting equipment. Or, you could just have a slight over the top move. Re question 3. Some golfers play a fade, some a draw, some hit it straight as their predominant shot. Consistent and repeatable is more desirable than changing to a different shot shape. Here is a simple thing to try for a few weeks to see if it affects your OTT move. When you go to the range, hit your normal shot. Notice how it feels. Then hit a draw--swing to first base. (Start out trying to hit as big a draw as you can to exaggerate the move.) How does that feel different? Keep alternating. Add in hitting a fade. How does that feel? Change clubs and do the process over again. Fade, draw, straight. By noting the difference in how each feels, you will self correct and your stock shot should get closer to neutral.
  16. My approach to masks is pretty simple: do unto others. A mask provides me some protection; it's main benefit is to protect others.
  17. My putting has improved quite a bit over the past year. My method was to break putting down to it's most basic skills and improve those one by one and then in combination. The skills: roll the ball, on line, at appropriate speed. I started working on my base stroke to get a better roll on the ball. I found a comfortable stroke and set up which I could repeat to put a good roll on the ball. I then went on to hitting the putt on line. I putted down a metal ruler at home and concentrated on straight 3 to 5 foot putts on the practice green. (I found that when I moved from indoors to the practice green, my perception would get off. I tend to line up to the right of the target over time. I went to using three lines on the ball similar to the triple track ball, aligned to the target. I got very good at putting down the yardstick, but once the visual cue of the ruler was gone, I would gradually drift my aim to the right.) I then worked on distance control by doing a lot of different distance drills. A favorite is to put a club or alignment rod down on the green and putt (flat, uphill and downhill putts) to a tee 17 or so inches in front of the rod. Putt from different distances and try to get the ball to stop between the tee and the rod (if you don''t hit the tee). My three putt numbers are way down, in part because I am getting the ball closer on long putts and I am much more confident of my ability to make the four footer if I don't get it close. One game I used to measure improvement was to play nine holes on the practice green. Three holes with putts from around 6 feet, three from 10 to 20 feet and three from 20 plus. Each putt was to a different hole and the distances were randomized--6 foot putt followed by 25 footer, followed by 15 footer, etc. I kept score and compared results over time. On a score card I would record overall score, length of first putt, leave distance and direction from the hole. For example: total score 2, 20 foot putt uphill R to L, leave 2 feet short right. Total score 3, 35 foot putt downhill R to L, leave 5 foot long left, leave 2 inches short. It doesn't take too many "rounds" to figure out tendencies. Note that I did not include green reading in the mix. I think it is easier to improve green reading once the mechanical skills improve--I know it's my green reading that was on or off, not my stroke or distance mechanics.
  18. I just received an e-mail from the pro at my Florida club. He and the restaurant staff went to a "Safe Serve" conference regarding serving alcohol on Monday. Today they were informed that one of the instructors just tested positive for the virus. A bit ironic. The club is shutting down inside food and drink service temporarily. The staff practiced social distancing at the conference, so hopefully it was enough. We'll see in the next week or so. Stay safe everyone.
  19. Thanks for the post. I am back in the midwest, but I still get the member e-mails from my course in Florida. Two weeks ago, the pro sent out an email with a plan to relax social distancing guidelines at the club. He proposed going back to shared carts and a couple of changes regarding the proshop. I was surprised at the response, but happy with it. Basically, the membership said no to the changes. The protocols adopted in March are going to stay in place.
  20. I play with the same group most of the time. We are familiar enough with each other that we will occasionally ask what's wrong. If I think my alignment is off, I'll have one of the guys stand behind me and check my alignment. If asked, I'll tell another player what I'm seeing. Since we are so familiar with each other, the problem is normally pretty obvious--it is something they are doing that is different from what they normally do. For example, a couple of weeks ago, one of the players (former club champion) started hitting shots thin and then fat and didn't know what was going on. He asked the group if we saw anything and we all said the same thing: he was setting up with his shoulders open when he normally didn't. He took a few practice swings, making adjustments, and then played the rest of the round squared to the target. I would never volunteer advice without being asked. I also would not give advice to someone whose swing I did not know every well.
  21. Practice is of value only if you are fully engaged mentally. If you are not, you are recreating, not improving. So, how do you stay engaged? For me, the following works: 1. Limit technique work to a few minutes at a time. 2. Work on improving skills instead. 3. Keep the mind challenged on each shot—vary the target, change clubs, use the “wrong” club. Make the brain solve a new problem with each shot. 4. Play games where you keep score and try to beat your best. 5. Sometimes, just engage in child like play. Experiment. Play “if, then.” IfI do X, Y happens. No judgement whether it’s good or bad, just observing cause and effect. 6. Make practice as game like as possible. Here is an example of how a short game session could progress. Plan it out ahead of time. Have goals for the practice session. Standard 5 minute stretching and warm up. 5 minutes practice on balance and set up and alignment. (Technical practice). 10 minutes practice putting distance control. ( I put an alignment rod 17 inches behind a tee, which represents the hole. Goal is to hit the tee or have the ball end up between the tee and the rod. Do for 10, 20 and 30 feet. Try for three from each distance with in ten minutes. Change distance on each putt.). Record how many puts it takes to finish. Play Par 18, keep score. Pick out 9 short game shots, 3 easy 3 medium and 3 hard. Some chips, some pitches, fairway and rough and sand. Play one ball and see how many strokes it takes to hole out from each spot. Record your score and compare to last theme you played. Takes about 15 minutes. Pitching game from 30 to 70 yards. Toss ball in range specified. Estimate distance. Then laser and compare to estimate. Play nine different distances. One ball at a time. How many shots to hole out. A variation is to chose a club different from the one you would normally chose. Takes about 15 minutes. Cool down and evaluate session. Work on any technical aspect for just a few minutes. Do a drill that addresses weak area.
  22. Golf club manufacturers have stated specs and manufacturing tolerances that are allowed to vary from those specs. At the manufacturing level, it probably doesn't make sense to measure each club head before shipment. As a golfer/consumer, I have the option of which retailer I buy from. I choose to purchase from retailers that check lofts and lies before delivering the irons to me, the final consumer.
  23. For me, the mental game boils down to two things: 1. Being grateful and 2. staying in the present. Being grateful is about attitude and perspective. I play golf for fun, to be with my friends, to get some exercise and to enjoy the great outdoors. I can enjoy the sunshine and cool breeze just as much when shooting 95 as when shooting 75. Staying present takes some practice. Focus on the now, this shot, this moment. The bad shot I hit two holes back is in the past, there is nothing I can do about it. If I par the last three holes, I'll shoot the best round of the year. Let that thought float in and then out of the mind. Don't dwell on it. Come back to the present and focus on the shot in front of me. Follow my routine and commit to the shot
  24. I want to mention two drills/games that I have found very helpful for sharpening the short game. Each drill/game takes about 15 minutes. 1. Green side practice. Par 18, or Par 27, depending on skill level. Take one ball, your putter and chipping club or clubs. Play 9 "holes". Give yourself 3 easy shots, 3 medium and 3 hard shots to a target from varying spots around the green. Vary the order from easy to medium to hard, so you don't hit three easy shots in a row. Use a score card and record your results. Play each hole just like you would on the course. The object is to get the ball up and down each time, or to get down in three if you have a higher handicap or a bit rusty after a layoff. Hit your shot, record the distance the ball ends up from the hole, and then putt out. Keep track of putts. If using multiple clubs, be sure to record what club you used on the shot. Move on and play from a second location. Rinse and repeat for 9 holes. To help guide which club you should be using, try playing the game multiple times, each time with a different club. Mark your spots around the green with tees and play the first 9 with your go to club, then play again with a lower lofted iron and again with a higher lofted iron. You can do this 3 or 4 times in an hour and you will have hard data when finished as to which club gets you closest to the hole, or which club has the potential to get you closest with a bit of practice. 2. The "Cone of Contention" Game. This comes from "Attention: The Secret to You Playing Great Golf," by Karl Morris. (Karl co-authored "The Lost Art of Putting" and "The Lost Art of Playing Golf" This book was written prior to the Lost Art books.) Start from any position from 30 to 75 yards . "Follow this process: 1. Stand and look at the distance. Try to gauge it in your mind--45 yards, 47 yards, go on and make a guess. 2. Now use a rangefinder and find out exactly what the distance is. How close did you get. Not very, if you are like most people. This is going to be important later. "Now, the drill is this on each shot: 1. Guess the distance. Say it out loud to commit to your guess. 2. Actually get the distance from your rangefinder. 3. Feel the shot with a practice swing. 4. Play the shot. 5. Note if the shot is within the magic 6ft area, and mark down the result. 6. Move on to the next random distance." Morris recommends doing this with 10 balls. I do it with 9 balls so I can record the results easily on a score card. Morris states: "I am being deadly serious when I say if you have the discipline to do this two or three times a week, you will elevate your game to a level of scoring you didn't think possible. This for me, is the crown jewel of all practice games I have used over the years. Just 15 minutes, three times a week." Variations are to play the game 3 or four times using a different club for each game, or to hit three balls from each spot, each shot with a different club so you can see how club choice affects results. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
  25. In this month's "Today's Golfer", there is an article on this very subject. According to the article, "Shot Scope data backs up just how much more effective a multi-dimensional short game is than trying to use the same club and shot each time..." The article provides a chart of players with poor short games. Club usage from just off the green: PW 16% GW 9% SW 24% LW 42% Putter 9% (66% of shots are played with the 2 most lofted clubs). The figures for better players: 8i 12% 9i 14% PW 22% GW 12% SW 6% LW 8% Putter 18% SW and LW now at 14%. The article states: "The inescapable conclusion from this short game data is that better short-game players look to keep the ball flight down as much as possible, selecting the club that gets the ball rolling on the green quickest. The article is by Gavin Dear, Shot Scope commercial officer and former Walker Cup player.
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