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  1. I've had a few moles, etc., cut off and tested myself. I'm not particularly fair, but I try to avoid the sun as much as possible while golfing. I haven't ever noticed a white tint to any sport sunscreens I've used. I like the CVS brand sport 50. Amazon's sport sunscreen as good as well. I always use spray since it's much more convenient to reapply. I'm more worried about the sun than chemicals so I can't speak to that. I buy whatever is large and cheap as I usually find my buddies borrowing my sunscreen pretty regularly as they tend to be less prepared.
  2. I can offer some of my experiences on what not to do, but unfortunately I haven't had a lot of success with instructors. I started golf in college just going out and having some beers with my roommate. We weren't any good, but we had fun. After college I tried playing with my dad, but he was good and played faster than I was capable of playing, so I decided to get some lessons so I could keep up. My range had an old pro, white hair, cigarette stained hands, really nice guy, who gave me about 6 lessons. At the time, I had no concept of the golf swing, and the instructor didn't do much to improve that. We practiced some feel stuff, he tried to get my path more on loop that would promote more of an in to out swing. He changed my stance for chipping. That's about all I remember. I didn't know enough about golf to really improve much, and my instructor focused solely on my swing, and didn't teach me anything conceptual. While I was in grad school, I was gifted 10 lessons at golftec. I found the ability to review video of my swing instantly helpful, but I still didn't know enough conceptually about golf to really improve. We worked on drills, and I felt like I slightly improved, but then my instructor moved to a different golftec, I couldn't get a new slot that worked with my school schedule, and then that golftec closed. I think I used 6 of the 10 lessons. Again, not much improvement but a fair amount of wasted money. This past Fall I really started working on my game. I've watched hours and hours of instructional videos. I have a very good concept of what the golf swing should be. I have the understanding a vocabulary to talk about spine angle, weight shift, pivot/rotation, etc. I understand face to path. I've used a trackman and can understand the data. So now I think I'm equipped to better understand and implement help. I took a lesson with a golf digest top 100 instructor in my state. I had about an hour and a half lesson, in which I was told that my takeaway was a little too inside, but that my transition was excellent and that I really ought to be shooting better than I was. At the end of the lesson the instructor told me to work on my path, and then schedule another lesson when I felt like I was coming more from the inside. I worked on that a minimum of 3-4 times a week for the next three months, but didn't really make significant progress. I'd always had an over the top swing, and I just wasn't able to fix it on my own. I watched every OTT video known to man. I had some small successes but nothing significant. Since then, just due to practice, I managed to break 90 for the first time. I've definitely improved on my own, but I don't feel like I have any consistency. When I'm tired or just off, I can't quite find my swing. I think that's because I've gotten better at compensating for faults, but that's still basically my swing, a compensation. In a few weeks, I plan to go back to that same instructor I saw in the fall. He can do contactless payment and outdoor lessons, so I think that's a decent option given the pandemic and my current situation. So as you can see, I can't tell you what works. But I can offer some lessons learned. Understand the golf swing conceptually. Read Ben Hogan's 5 lessons or something similar. Watch youtube videos by Chris Ryan, Me and My Golf, etc. The more you know the better you can understand the instructor. You need the golf vocabulary to really understand your instructor and not waste their time and your money. Do not commit to multiple lessons until you have a good and informed opinion of the instructor. I'm still skeptical about the guy I saw in the fall, and if the next lesson isn't better, I'm going to try to find someone else. Some instructors aren't great, some aren't a good fit for your learning style, etc. I would try a few different ones if possible, and then consider committing to multiple lessons. Only take lessons when you have the time to practice. The first time around I had plenty of time to practice and did. In grad school, I didn't really have the time to practice much, and no matter how good those lessons had been, I don't think I would have made the most of it.
  3. I've been struggling for a long time, so I really really hope I can keep it going. I'm definitely playing smarter. When decent contact eluded me, it was hard not to just hit whatever club could maybe get me near the green. Before this season, which has been obviously limited, I never tried to play to a specific distance. Now I've been trying to leave myself 100-80 in where I can, and it's made a huge difference now that I can actually stick greens with decent contact from a more reliable swing.
  4. My miss with wedges and irons tends to be left. I definitely have been aiming for right-center of greens, which as been working out pretty well. 2nd and approach shots have typically been my weakness, though I think I could simplify that by saying contact has traditionally been my weakness. The last three rounds I played, I had one day where I was still adjusting to a new driver, but other than that, approach and 2nd shots were my strength. I really don't think I could have struck the ball much better. If anything, to score better I'll need to reduce three putts. But right now my focus will definitely just be trying to keep the momentum going on my ball striking. If I keep playing this well, I think it will encourage me to get out a lot more than I usually do.
  5. I think my problem started out innocently enough; I just wanted to hit a few decent shots in a row with a particular club. However, however many balls/however much time I had would go by, and I'd never had moved on. I also used to only go to the range with I had a lot of time to kill, so I didn't have to be very intentional about my practice time. Now, I usually find myself with 45 minutes over lunch, or about the same after work, so I really have to have a plan to maximize a quick practice session. The simulator really helps with being intentional, but you could probably do something similar at the range, and you could definitely do it with a portable launch monitor. Basically I have different goals/metics for different clubs. With my GW, I like to try to hit 102, 103, or 104 total carry. I also generally imagine a very small target. So a sign on the simulator range, but really I'm pin seeking. With a 9i, I like to try to imagine a small to medium green is the target and I'm just trying to hit the middle. So if I carry about 125-130 and don't go offline by more than 5-10 yards in either direction, I call it a success. With mid irons, I'm more worried about total distance and shot shape. For instance I might try to hit a baby draw or fade, and keep the direction more or less on the target line, but I'm mostly concerned about shape and distance. With the hybrid, I still practice more like I used to overall. I care about accuracy, but mostly I'm just trying to hit it as hard as I can while making good contact. Basically maximizing distance. But even as a pre-round warm up, I'll rarely hit the same club more than 3 times in a row.
  6. Congratulations! There is a 9 hole course near me. It's actually closer than the range I used to frequent. I'm going to start trying to play there as much as I can. I don't particularly enjoy playing alone/getting paired up with people I don't know, but it definitely beats range time for improvement. Another reason I have been hesitant is that it's walking only, but I just bought a push cart.
  7. I started golfing in about 2005-6. I broke 100 for the first time about 6 years ago or so. On Friday, I finally broke 90 with a an 87. My previous personal best was a 92. I've really had two goals recently. One was to break 90, and the other was to get through a round without any flubs or mishits (I don't think I've ever had a round where I didn't chunk or top a ball about 40 yards or so). Right now, I'm mostly just going to try to keep my momentum going, but at some point, I guess I'll need a new goal. I think there are three things that really helped me improve. I hit a long plateau in which I was learning and practicing more than ever with no appreciable results. I can't promise these thoughts will help you, but that is certainly my hope. First, I started swinging the club very frequently. I used to practice a lot, but it was several long range sessions over a month. I'd often go weeks at a time without swinging a club, and I don't believe that allowed me to address fundamental swing changes or rebuild my swing. That frequency may be enough for better golfers to improve, maintain, or it might be enough for those more talented than I, but it just didn't work for me. I started practicing more often (at least once every other day), and for a much shorter duration (sometimes only 10-15 minutes, but usually about 30-45). I bought my dad a simulator for xmas, so I've been going to his house a lot which is near my office, but I also swing the club in the grass in my back yard, etc. I just make sure I get some swings in at least every other day. Second, I broke my 9i during a lesson and started playing much thinner soled clubs (my dad's old irons) off a very firm and unforgiving mat. This resulted in fat shots ending up much shorter than I was used to. When I was swinging a 7i, hitting fat, but still carrying 140 and having the ball go 150, I ended up with a playable looking result. To clarify, with wide soled clubs, I'd hit reasonable distances at the range, and then go out to the course, where the turf is less forgiving, and my chunks would result in much worse shots. With thinner soled clubs, I couldn't get away with chunks, even off a mat, so I had to learn how to move my low point forward and make better contact. I've posted about this before, and many of you have disagreed with me. I'm not advocating for beginners to buy blades or anything crazy, but just realize that a plush mat and thick soled game improvement irons can mask low point issues. So play off of turf as much as possible (range or course), or at least do some drills or find some aids to help with low point control if you have to hit off a mat. Third is just a thought about how I practiced, and honestly, it may be the most important. I used to go to the range and usually only hit an 8 or 7i (or both). I just really wanted to hit a nice little draw with an 8i about 140 carry, or 150 carry with a 7. I thought that was reasonable for my swing speed, and would help me improve my iron play. So I'd just swing and swing trying to come more from the inside. That method did not work for several reasons. As stated before, the mat and my clubs allowed me to hit decent shots at the range that couldn't translate to the course. But I think the bigger issue is that even though I was usually able to grind my irons into working the way I wanted, it took a lot of time and effort, and that process is just not relevant to the game of golf. If golf, you never hit the same shot twice. In practice, that was all I was doing. Since I've been playing the simulator, I've been aiming at targets, considering hazards, thinking about risk, and playing each shot as it comes. Somehow that has helped me improve my contact more than just banging away at the same shot over and over. I still prepare for practice in a similar way. I'll google some of the issues I'm having, watch some instructional videos, take some notes, and then review those right before I play. But now instead of hitting 200 shots where I'm trying to change the path of my 7i over and over, I'm playing different clubs, different shapes, different trajectories, and somehow it's accelerated my improvement. I also think playing has forced me to practice the hybrid a lot more. Having a 180-200 yard club that I feel I can trust/is reliable has been a game changer. I know not everyone can buy a simulator, but to the extent possible, play instead of going to the range, and when you do go to the range, play games and hit all your clubs. Don't just swing the same iron over and over. Trust me, it's a fools errand that I'm all too familiar with.
  8. The easiest answer is that you should play the newest most forgiving clubs you can afford. If they're fit to you, even better. If you're not pretty average sized, then fitted clubs becomes even more important. I'm not saying that average sized people don't benefit from fitted clubs, but I have a friend that is 6'10. He definitely benefits more than I do from fitted clubs. Less forgiving clubs may give more feedback. I think they do, but others don't. But to make the game easier and more enjoyable, playing with newer more forgiving clubs seems like an obvious choice. Would you still benefit from practicing some with older less forgiving clubs? I think you might, but I could be wrong.
  9. Just got back. The boyfriend had a great time and shot a 55 (playing 9 on a full length course from forward tees). He had several incredible shots. The only thing I think I would do differently is try to manage his expectations better. He had a few pars, he hit some greens in regulation, and his shortest shot off the tee all day still probably went about 110, so he played great for a first timer, but he was pretty upset about missing an island green 5 times in a row on 18. But bottom line is that he killed it and really enjoyed it. I think he'll keep coming out, and we'll see if he actually gets into golf. Here was one of his best shots:
  10. I haven't been able to play much this season yet. Just got back from a vacation and I played 9 on a full length course. I had a lot of really nice shots, but I'd say more or less I feel into old habits. My sequence was off and I was chunky, probably because I was rushing some, so I scored about my usual on 9. I was also helping a first timer, so that probably affected my game some as well. I did stick an island green on 18 into the wind which was fun, and I hit a shot out of an ice cream consistency bunker about 85 yards and put it about 5 feet from the hole. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I didn't really look at how wide the soles were of the clubs I was playing. I think they were M4s. I do remember the grips feeling very narrow and the clubs feeling very light overall. I agree with 105 vs 125. One is bad, one is so bad you'd get laughed off the course. I'm not saying anyone should be happy with 105, but you can get paired with someone that plays at a reasonable speed, shoots a 105, and not be bothered. It's OK golf. Not something to aspire to, but something it's a little too easy to get comfortable with.
  11. You make a lot of good points. I think I probably should have titled the thread, "CAN wide soles hold you back?" That is an important distinction that I failed to make. I'm not saying forgiving clubs hold everyone back, but I am saying I feel like they held me back in a specific way at a specific point in my progress. I'm also not saying that gaming forgiving clubs was an impossible roadblock for me, or others, that'd be crazy. I think they're best for most, and I do intend to get some when I get new irons. It was really more about vanity and the loss of 20ish yards when switching to thinner soled clubs that caused me to really figure out my swing.
  12. That certainly seems to be the consensus. I feel like Juror 8, but I don't think I'm ever going to get y'all to Not Guilty.
  13. I watched a review once about how they'd help most golfers regardless of ability be more consistent. I wouldn't be opposed to giving them a go. Don't care for the look, but you don't judge a book by it's cover.
  14. If you go back and look at the responses, I think you can find at least one example of assumptions being made... I'm not complaining about the forum, but when I say that I broke my 9i during a lesson and then everyone is talking about how I need to talk lessons, talk to a professional, talk to an instructor, I can't say that's particularly helpful. One last (hopefully) point. I'm not suggesting that I'm going to stick to thinner sole clubs from here on out. I do think that the less forgiving clubs gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get over the hump of swinging OTT and chunky. But now that my path and low point is better, I intend to get fitted (unless I'm just playing out of my mind with my current clubs), and I'll get whatever I hit best. I'm most interesting in trying the new hot metals due to the MGS review of them, but who knows.
  15. I agree that one can improve regardless of their clubs. At this point it just feels like people are responding without reading. For three years I've been working very diligently (though ineffectively) on one task. Fixing my path. I assure you I haven't been lazy or unwilling. I've spent tons of time and money on range balls and lessons. If y'all had read my post, you'd have seen that I have since fixed the issue that was holding me back. The post wasn't about fixing the issue. It was about rather or not you agree that forgiving clubs can stymie improvement. In my case, I believe they did. I'm wondering my my experience can be generalized, or help others. I'm not really looking to argue with people who purport to know my swing, or make assumptions about me.
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