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  1. Yesterday I hit balls with all my clubs with my butt against the back of a chair. I'm a half cm in front of the chair so I need to 'feel it' hit my right cheek on my back swing. Then on my down swing I should feel the weight of the chair in my left cheek right before, as and slightly after I make contact. My right arm is so sore today because it's such a different motion. Firing my left hip back while dropping my club (opening hips to the left while keeping shoulders closed and dropping my right arm) is such a new move for me. Normally I'll do some chair hits and then move the chair but I'm using you as motivation to fix my ailment instead of using bandaids. I'm hoping to get a few more chair sessions before I even think about hitting balls without it.
  2. My biggest swing fault is that on my down swing, like you, my hips dont stay thru the wall---as I approach contact my hips go towards the ball. When I focus on my hips and 'ripping' or 'pulling' them left--- either my swing plane becomes very over the top and I slice, or my swing plane is fine and my contact is bad. So I'm debating just focusing on contact and improving with my swing default vs. focusing on the default and taking some short-term steps back in my ball striking. Have you seen any improvement in your hips? And how so? I take dry swings in front of the mirror with a video camera on me and my swings are fine. But when you put a little white ball in front of me I just cant focus on my hips and the ball at the same time---not possible so I either make good contact by my hips are way too right or I focus on my hips and everything else falls apart. How have you begun attempting to correct your fault?
  3. Update: I've been doing my protocol relatively regularly (2-3x/week) and am in like month 3 of 6 of doing the same thing. I've decided that I'm not going to measure my speeds until I'm done this protocol. While I'm still having some trouble controlling the driver live (when I find a rhythem in the simulator the carry distances have been over 300 as of late) the success I've had with my 3w on the course of late is pretty remarkable. I was out there in the cold for 36 each of the last two weekends and have hit fairways at over a 50% clip and had only 2 penalties over those 4 rounds---which is astounding considering that in as recently as September I was good for 3+ OB's a round. My best round I hit 8/10 fairways with the 3w. I've never had a round where I was even close to 70% fairways. Everything just feels more fluid and the ball striking, for whatever reason, has improved drastically. My miss-hits before were slices 50 yards to the right, tops that might go 50 yards total and duck-hooks that go OB left before I can even pick my head up to track the ball. Recently, my miss hits are getting slightly under the ball---hitting a 225 yard pop up (opposed to 270-280 yard bombs) and slight fades that leak 10-20 yards to the right of the fairway. Ironically its the improvement on my miss-hits that I think help my score more than anything. 2018 we saw massive improvements on distance and accuracy. Hopefully by this time in 2019 I'll have the same confidence and results with my driver as I did with the 3w this year! Happy New Year to all!
  4. Pelz book is pretty much how I designed my entire short game. I have my 4 wedges and 4 shots for each wedge (Full, Choking up, 1/2 swing and 3/4 swing). It's probably the single best book to help anyone's game. Keeping the stats, while fun for me, is simply for making me better. As you'll see in my response to the next quote---it's already given me some legitimate improvement. But I do only use pen & paper on the actual course. The electronic gagets I use are just my computer and an excel spreadsheet. Yes, there were surprises all over. Putting: I know I'm a good putter relative to my peers but this showed me *where* I excel vs where I need work. I was not expecting to be good in the 5-10 range. I was expecting to be good in the 3-5 range and again in the 15-20 range. What I really learned was that not three putting from 15-20 feet is NOT impressive . Pros almost never 3-putt from that range so me thinking I'm good because I miss by 6" and then tap in my 2-putt is nothing special. I thought my lag putting was good by my memory made me think that it was my 30' puts that result in tap-ins when that simply isn't the case. From 30+ I'm a bad lag putter. I will spend most of my time practicing putting while on the actual practice green from here on out from 25+ feet. I have a putting mat in my apartment so I get work on 12' and in regularly---I don't get to work on the 30+ too often. Approaching: Here was my biggest takeaway. On almost ALL of my approaches from the rough or fairway, regardless of distance, 30% of my shots were misses short and 30% were misses right. 20-25% were hits leaving only 15%-ish long or left. I was able to make an immediate correction---adjusting my aim about 5 yards long and left of my target---and saw immediate results. Now I'm noticing from the tee I miss LEFT way more often than right. I have yet to put this takeaway to work but going forward I will focus on teeing the ball as low as possible and go into the shot with the thought process of 'this is a fairway shot not a tee shot'. Driving: My 3-wood being significantly more accurate compared to my 2-iron was a surprise. Not so much in fairways but that shank % being 50%-ish better on the 3-wood combined with the extra 30-50 yards I get with the 3-wood has totally eliminated my 2-iron as my "fairway finder". While I can hit that 230 pretty regularly, topping at 250 if I nut it---My 4/5 irons go over 200 yards and as you can see those clubs are WAY more accurate than even my 3-wood. Knowing (not assuming, but *knowing*) that I am now making informed decisions on the T-box has given my driving game a significant confidence boost. @Rome - I'll send you the spreadsheet tonight, sorry for the delay I've been a bit busy of late.
  5. I have it all on excel but the formatting is atrocious and I doubt anyone would be able to get anything of value from it. I have a tab for each portion of the game: driving, approaches, putting. The driving is relatively easy: every shot is either left, straight, or right. And every hit is either a hook, draw, straight, fade or slice. So the format is: Driver, No, Left, St, Rt, Hk, Dr, St, Fa, Sl. 3-Wood, No, Lt, St, Rt, Hk, Dr, St, Fa, Sl. 2-Iron, No... etc. Lots of columns and each row is a different round. Approaching is more complicated because I have three different tabs: one for off the tee, the fairway and the rough. Then each different sheet is broken down like so (each row is a different round): 50-75 Attempts, 50-75 makes, 75-100 attempts, 75-100 makes....etc. Putting is the easiest: 1' att, 1' makes; 2' att, 2' makes... when I get to 10 I have a third column for 3-putt. Now that I typed this all out I'm realizing that if you could see the spreadsheet it would make it more simple. If you want to reach out to me with your e-mail I'd just send you the actual spreadsheet so you could delete my data and plug in your own. It would definitely make it easier lol. This is enjoyable for me. As I said in the OG post, the in-round work is not really work at all. It takes 15 seconds per hole. The work is plugging in everything after the rounds which is fun.
  6. Update and next steps: So I've tracked a ton over the last few months and have learned a lot about my game. Off the Tee: No. Penalty Shank Fairway Driver 65 31% 42% 37% 3 Wood 75 10% 28% 38% 2 Iron 21 9% 44% 41% 4-6 Iron 12 0% 8% 67% I only get 20 or so more yards on the driver over my 3-wood so until I can start to lower the penalty percentage on the driver it's a net-negative when compared to my 3-wood even on long holes. As y'all can tell I'm mental so having this data on the tee box---knowing that the 3-wood is my best option has helped me simplify my game (though I'll emphasize I'm still putting in a ton of work on the driver this off-season). Approaches: (10-15 shots for each sub-section of the graph. Some have a smaller sample size, mostly as you go from further out (the 100% green hit from 200-225 was on a sample size of 1 as most tee boxes are obviously inside of 200 yards)). 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 Tee 33% 24% 20% 13% 100% Fairway 56% 56% 31% 30% 33% 60% 0% 0% Rough 29% 63% 46% 20% 25% 17% 0% 0% The downward trend off the tee box is pretty cool, nothing really to learn from there. There are two takeaways from non-tee box approaches: 1. Being inside 100 yards is the goal. From both the rough and the fairway the most significant drop is from the 75-100 spot to the 100-125 spot. 2. Being in the fairway on full-swing wedge shots might actually be a disadvantage vs the rough. But from inside 75 yards (where I'm not taking full swings) there is a clear advantage to being in the fairway. I think the former is mostly noise and as my ball striking gets better that gap will narrow and eventually favor the fairway. Regarding the ladder, the gap should narrow but obviously wont ever invert. 3. Once I'm taking full swings with the 9 iron or longer (outside of 125) there is again a clear advantage of being in the fairway. Combining the approach data with the driving data it helps me craft a game plan off the tee for each hole thus improving my confidence greatly. When I know the data backs up my strategy it creates a much more confident pre-shot routine and swing. Putting: There's nothing really to take away from this as far as "how can I help my game" but it is neat having the data and seeing how I stack up against pros and what not from various distances. Distance Putts Makes % Make 2010 Pro Me v Pro 3-Putts 3-Putt % 2010 Pro Me v Pro 1 66 66 100% 100% 0% 2 22 21 95% 99% -4% 3 24 20 83% 95% -12% 4 7 5 71% 86% -15% 5 11 4 36% 75% -39% 6 11 7 64% 65% -1% 7 6 2 33% 56% -23% 8 6 2 33% 49% -16% 10 13 4 31% 38% -7% 1 8% 0.7% -7% 12 11 3 27% 30% -3% 0% 0.9% 1% 15 20 0 0% 22% -22% 1 5% 1% -4% 20 19 0 0% 14% -14% 3 16% 2% -14% 25 6 1 17% 10% 7% 2 33% 3% -30% 30 22 3 14% 7% 7% 5 23% 5% -18% 40 7 0 0% 4% -4% 5 71% 10% -61% 50 4 0 0% 3% -3% 2 50% 16% -34% 60 1 0 0% 2% -2% 1 100% 24% -76% 70 1 0 0% 1% -1% 1 100% 31% -69% What do we learn? My 4-7 footers need work. I'm pretty darn good from 10-12 feet. The one-putt % from 25-30 feet is pretty decent but that's counteracted by my horrible ability to not three-putt from 20 feet and away. So I should be practicing putting much more from 4-8 feet and from 25+ feet. Not coincidentally, these are the distances according to Adam Young (author of The Practice Manual) suggests armatures should be doing the most putting from. Conclusion & Next Steps: Really glad I tracked what I did this year from a confidence standpoint and also it gives me a great baseline to track improvement on. The new variable is that last year I didn't belong to a course and now I do---so I need to change the way I'm tracking my stats. It's no longer "find out what you do well so I can work on it more" it's now about "find out how to score on this golf course". I plan on continuing to track the putting and approaching just like I've been doing but I'm going to change up the tee shot data to incorporate strokes gained so my data will be broken down by hole and then again by club. So for the first hole, which I normally hit a 4-iron on I'll have an average "strokes gained" of 4 irons off the first hole. I'll also start mixing in some shots with the 2-iron and the 3-wood just to accumulate a larger sample so I can compare between the clubs. I'd still have the raw data as far as overall % of long-irons vs drivers penalty/shank/fairway % but now I'll be able to drill those clubs down even more for context. What if I'm making a smart, conservative play by hitting 4 iron off the tee on hole one, but on the 12th hole, which is longer, I'm giving back a quarter of a stroke a round by not going 3-wood or driver? Answering questions like that will be the key to phase two of this exercise: Using my compiled data to lower my scores on the actual course!
  7. Yup! Definitely seeing improvement on the course which is the reason for all of this! The best part is now that my tee game is improving pretty significantly it's freed up some more practice time to focus on my mid & long iron game which has been lacking. The ball striking has been down and over the past few weeks I've been able to put a ton of focus on that. Also, my dad who's had some health issues over the last 10 years (he's 58) has been swinging the set of sticks I got him for the holidays semi-regularly. First time in ages he's been sore from real physical activity. Really cool.
  8. There was a lot of talk a few weeks ago around here about tempo. I played last weekend with one of my most common partners over the summer and after ripping a few three woods right down the middle to start off the round he made a comment about how smooth my tempo was. Tempo is not something I actively think about *at all* but it was good to see him make that comment considering how much stock everyone in this group puts in tempo. We were out to drinks a few days later and he made another comment on how much smoother my swing looks and how good my tempo was. He's a high-70s/low-80s guy and has been golfing for much longer than I have so I'm taking his word for it. I'll probably post my next speed updates when I finish my "protocol 2" (I have another few months of 5 kneeling swings each hand each stick, 5 regulars, 5 step thrus--- elaborating because my protocol 2 is different as I'm not an 'official tester'.
  9. I talked a lot in prior posts about accuracy, if you've read them you know I hit it far before the SS sticks---but now am hitting it even further with increased accuracy. I was able to join a new course and get round one in yesterday. It's a tight course that only has 2 holes I could realistically play my driver. My 3-wood was 4/7 fairway with the 3 misses ALL being within 10 feet of the fairway and having good looks at the green. My two other shots were 'misses' that I didn't count for my tracking purposes--- the shot was gorgeous I just mis-read the alignment. I hit 3 drivers. Two as "second shots" after my 3-wood, both were long and straight. The one I did hit for real was a gorgeous, drawing, accurate bomb. Add up all of my woods and drivers and you get 12 shots: 9 of them were either in the fairway or would have been in the fairway had the fairway been longer. 3 of them were barely in the rough. None went OB. None even went into the trees. Easily the best tee-day of my life, not even close.
  10. Just bought a set of these for my dad for the holidays. These SS Sticks increase your swing speed---pretty non debatable. They are a great workout, regardless of golf. And they are great for your golf swing. So thrilled I bought these for myself, cant wait to give them to pops.
  11. I plan on doing the full 72 weeks and beyond for a few reasons. First and foremost, the results. My swing speed went from 114.5 to 122-124ish in roughly 6 weeks (Today I did the protocol, then lifted weights and then hit balls 2 hours later---which I've never done. I recorded a personal record single speed of 126+ ) so my results are consistent with others that have seen at least a 5% jump. Secondly, from an workout standpoint this is a full body, symmetrical workout. Granted, it's not going to help your cardio or your overall physique----but as far as functional golf strength goes... how's it possible to do any better than the SS Sticks?! Thirdly, as I'll touch on down below---I feel as if doing the workouts on days that I do not swing is a 'kinda/sorta' decent replacement for hitting actual balls. I feel like I am becoming a better, stronger, faster and *more accurate* golfer every time I use them---especially when the comparison is simply not working out at all (hitting balls, lifting, running, etc.). Even after the protocol ends, I will continue to use them---while I might max out as far as not being able to see tangible results over a short-to-intermediate standpoint... If I have the sticks and they've helped me increase my speeds then why not continue using them for maintaining the speed gains I've built (and, as I alluded to in the above paragraph, it's a quality workout and helps my swing!)? When you say 'max out' I think "peak"---which is true to an extent. But you are either moving forward or moving backwards. When I "peak" I tend to "move backwards" slower---thanks to the SS Sticks. Now onto a few other things I've noticed over the past few weeks, one tidbit on the accuracy gains I keep talking about and another note on how this translates to other clubs that aren't your driver: * I track my stats: driving distance, accuracy, approaching (broken down by distance and whether I'm hitting off the fairway, rough, tee box), and putting (putt % from every distance, ditto 3-putt %). Because of this I have a really good baseline for my driving accuracy before and after I started the protocol. I also didn't play my driver in rounds until roughly a month after I started to give me a clean before and after. On a decent 62-swing sample ending in August my results were the following before the protocol: 22% Fairways and 33% Shanks (hooks, slices and tops). Since 9/15 I've had 7 rounds and sent the driver 67 times: 37% Fairway and 40% shank. Sure, I'd love the shank numbers to go down but it is logical that with another 8 MPH of swing speed it would be tougher to control--- but a 77% increase in fairway % is more than enough for me to call the slight increase in horrible shots a pretty big win. 1-in-5 to 1-in-3. Pretty cool. My 3-wood since August is at 34% fairways with 25% shanks (this is what I was primarily hitting off the tee in the month that I bagged the driver)! * I mentioned the 3-wood above and need to elaborate. Throughout the spring and early hit the driver sporadically (mostly in scrambles when my misses didn't hurt the squad) but really played the 3-wood up until a few weeks ago. Since the protocol, I've flipped those two--- I hit driver pretty much every time even when I shouldn't just because I'm prioritizing working on the driver over scoring for now. I did not have a baseline set of data for the 3-wood like I did for my driver in August so I can't make an apples-to-apples comparison for the speed and distance improvement there but from memory, 105 MPH swing speed and a 260-270 yard shot with the three wood sounds about right from 2ish months ago. I don't recall ever hitting a 3-wood on the simulator beyond 280ish, 285 definitely. Today on the simulator I decided to do a 10-swing sample with the 3-wood just to see where that is at---how much distance did I gain there and do I feel more accurate? Original Driver Sample Data (8/8---with additional info not in my other tables): Distance Carry Speed Degree Offline 295 282.5 116.5 -0.27 268 237 116.8 4.2 303 291 116.3 -3.2 294 287 115.4 0.2 289 282 116.4 -5.5 298 291 117.1 -3 293 285 114.2 3.2 284 273 115 0.97 299 288 116.4 -1.49 291.4 279.6 116.0 0.44 (3* offline either left or right is a bad shot, I use that as the accuracy guage. the .4444 at the bottom is 4/9 were on target, that's all.) Distance Carry Speed Degree Offline 268 263 116 1.7 281 267 114.8 -3.7 289 276 112.9 1 245 240 113.1 2.1 261 254 118.3 -7 291 281 114.06 0 273 265 115.4 -3.3 294 288 116.4 3.3 294 283 114.7 2 277.3 268.5 115.1 0.556 3 of my 3-woods, hit today after a full protocol workout and a weight lifting session, went further than my AVERAGE DRIVE of just two months ago. My highest single swing of the either sample was from today's with the 3-wood (118 MPH)! The reason I took the 10-swing sample with the three wood today is because I hit a bunch last night for the first time in a while---and a few went over 300 yards. In two months I've gone from hitting 280 yard drives and 265 yard 3-woods to 310 yard drives and 280 yard 3-woods.
  12. Just got back from Florida and got those two rounds in. There were positives and negatives. The courses were definetely tight and relatively short. They weren't ideal for me to bomb driver on every hole---so much damn water. So, naturally, I bombed driver on every hole, lol. First round: 15 drives, 7 OB, 5 were gorgeous 300-plus-yard baby cuts. All I wanted was one of these and I hit 4. So forget my 100, forget the 7 that went OB (a few were good but just misaligned), I was happy. I'm 5'11.5 and when someone asks how tall I am I say 5'11---no need to exagerate. I used to say I drive the ball about 280 on average---now I can say, with confidence, that I am a legitimate 300-yard driver. Now... we just need to figure out how to hit it a bit straighter (though 5/15, or 33%, is better than the 25% I was at over the course of the season). Round 2: 7 drives, 3 OB, 2 bombs. I was a bit more tactical here, trying to score, where round one was just about wacking it. Shot of the long-weekend: 400-yard dog leg right par-4 with water to the right. I aim straight down the fairway, hoping the natural ball flight will cut it right down the dogleg. Unfortunately I started it right---but it didn't have cut on it, it just went straight. It had to carry about 285 to clear the water and another 15 yards to clear the bunker. It carried, got the nice bounce & roll after the bunker and my approach was 40 yards to the green with the pin in front. I was a bit short with my approach, tried to finesse it a bit but got up and down for par. Nothing cooler than hoping you carry the water/bunker and then you see that gorgeous bounce beyond!
  13. Halloween Update (Swing speed MPH; all speeds taken from the same exact simulator) 8-Aug 17-Oct 31-Oct Average 115.9 120.2 121.9 Median 116.2 121.5 123.0 Some more detail: 8-Aug 17-Oct 31-Oct 118.45 123.89 125.09 117.07 122.39 124.76 116.8 122.22 124.68 116.7 122.21 124.58 116.55 121.69 124.53 116.51 121.63 124.33 116.38 121.58 123.16 116.37 121.54 123.03 116.28 121.53 122.92 116.05 121.49 122 115.96 120.41 121.35 115.58 120.39 121.13 115.37 119.47 120.47 115.04 119.42 120.1 114.82 119.24 117.13 114.44 117.8 111.6 114.21 114.2 114.15 112.39 Takeaways: Over the six week period from 8/8 to 10/17 I increased both my average and median swing speed by roughly 5 MPH. My slowest non-mishits of the 10/17 sample went further than my hardest hits of the original sample. I was thrilled with those results but was expecting to hit the plateau with most of my shots coming off around 122 MPH. Unexpectedly, and fortunately, the plateau is yet to hit. Last night my first swing was a career long 329 yard bomb that carried 324.6 yards, coming off the club head at 185 MPH with a club speed of 124.53. Woah. Was that an outlier? Nope. I only crossed 122.5 one time in the prior two sample sets. Last night over half of my swings were over 122.5, the median was 123 and if you call the 111.6 MPH a miss-hit and eliminate it from the data it would bump the average to 122.6. Before last night, I never hit the 124 mark... I crossed that barrier 6 of my 16 swings. I'll be down in Florida this weekend and have three rounds lined up. Really interested to see what the accuracy is looking like out on the course. I was about 30% fairway percentage throughout the summer and am coming off 6/7 fairways in my last round (25% of my drives this summer were OB). I think a reasonable goal for myself is 42% of fairways (would be 6 of 14) with a max of one penalty per round. If I'm keeping the ball in bounds and making good contact I should have a ton of wedges into the greens. Cant wait!!! Looking forward to giving y'all the update by next weekend!
  14. This is intuitive, in my opinion. I don't think SS is advertising an immediate increase in how fast you swing the club and how precise you make contact. It's about learning to swing harder and then learning to control it. I don't put smash factor into my posts but the data is there. 8/8 Sample Test: 116.1 MPH, 167.54 ball speed = 1.443 Smash Factor From my 10/18 post: 120.38 MPH, 174.5 ball speed = 1.449 Smash
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