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17 minutes ago, jlukes said:

I know you're keen on the scientific approach, but Stockton simplifies things and really takes decision making out of play so that you can focus on simple execution. 

I appreciated that in reading Unconscious Putting. Let me bounce this question off you, though: I really felt like I read Unconscious Putting at the right time: after I had really done a lot of technical work on my putting. At that point, it made sense to relax and just trust what had become my instinctive stroke. I suspect (I could certainly be wrong) that if Unconscious Putting were the first putting book a person read, that would be a problem. Just going with their signature stroke is likely bad advice for a lot of golfers.

Does that make sense?

For my short game right now, I think I'm at an awkward place. I suspect there are some technical, mechanical things that I can clean up and make good progress. I also know that the more mechanical I get on the course with wedges, the worse I play.

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17 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

I appreciated that in reading Unconscious Putting. Let me bounce this question off you, though: I really felt like I read Unconscious Putting at the right time: after I had really done a lot of technical work on my putting. At that point, it made sense to relax and just trust what had become my instinctive stroke. I suspect (I could certainly be wrong) that if Unconscious Putting were the first putting book a person read, that would be a problem. Just going with their signature stroke is likely bad advice for a lot of golfers.

Does that make sense?

For my short game right now, I think I'm at an awkward place. I suspect there are some technical, mechanical things that I can clean up and make good progress. I also know that the more mechanical I get on the course with wedges, the worse I play.

Yes and no. I agree that mechanics are somewhat important, but it falls in line with the age old saying "play golf, not golf swing". I think Unconscious Putting and Unconscious scoring contain enough technical instruction for beginners. It also teaches beginners how to develop a feel for the short game rather than trying to become some sort of chipping and putting robot. Developing feel around the greens is probably the single most important skill someone can develop. 

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I look at my brother in law as a prime example. He struggles to break 100 and around the greens he becomes a stiff robot. No sense of distance control with pitches, chips and puts. He is consumed by mechanics and has no feel 

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I look at my brother in law as a prime example. He struggles to break 100 and around the greens he becomes a stiff robot. No sense of distance control with pitches, chips and puts. He is consumed by mechanics and has no feel 


People are different and there is a correct combination of mechanics and feel for each person. I personally lean more toward the mechanical side of the curve while others the feel side. I also think that people don’t truly understand the difference when we use those terms. Mechanics is an approach to feel in my mind. Move the putter 4 inches back to hit the ball x feet is a mechanical approach. That provides no insight on how to actually move the putter.

Instead of mechanics, I think the term we are search for is technique. Without the right technique neither feel or mechanical type swings will work properly. For example I can feel a swing the this swing will fly the ball x distance, but if my technique continually has me swinging steep into the ball you are going to chunk a lot of shots and not get the distance you expect. Correct technique results in a successful swing and consistent results which allows you to fine tune your feel. This is kind of where I have been with my short game, if my swing was on it worked well, but technique flaws resulted in inconsistency. My last lesson was about fixing the technique to not require a perfect swing. I still need to develop the “feel” to hit the ball a particular distance.

Maybe this is all just then mechanical side of me speaking.
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4 hours ago, cnosil said:

 


People are different and there is a correct combination of mechanics and feel for each person. I personally lean more toward the mechanical side of the curve while others the feel side. I also think that people don’t truly understand the difference when we use those terms. Mechanics is an approach to feel in my mind. Move the putter 4 inches back to hit the ball x feet is a mechanical approach. That provides no insight on how to actually move the putter.

Instead of mechanics, I think the term we are search for is technique. Without the right technique neither feel or mechanical type swings will work properly. For example I can feel a swing the this swing will fly the ball x distance, but if my technique continually has me swinging steep into the ball you are going to chunk a lot of shots and not get the distance you expect. Correct technique results in a successful swing and consistent results which allows you to fine tune your feel. This is kind of where I have been with my short game, if my swing was on it worked well, but technique flaws resulted in inconsistency. My last lesson was about fixing the technique to not require a perfect swing. I still need to develop the “feel” to hit the ball a particular distance.

Maybe this is all just then mechanical side of me speaking. emoji12.png

 

Agree with your regarding technique.

What I was talking about was regarding execution. Mechanics and technique should be engrained through practice, but when it comes go time you shouldn't be standing over a putt or chip thinking about swing technique, you should be thinking about the speed of the putt, the line, your landing point for a chip/pitch etc. 

When you're driving a car, you're not thinking about how much you rotate the wheel or push your football down - those mechanics take care of themselves. The actual mechanics become unconscious and that allows you to drive fairly easily. Those same concepts are applied in Stockton's unconscious books. The books do give you some great technical fundamentals, but once you have a hold on them it is all about the shot and what you want the ball to do 

Execute a shot, not a swing. 

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Let me toss in here another set of categories that I've found enormously helpful, from one of my favorite coaches: Adam Young. In his book The Practice Manual (and also in this older blog post) he talks about the five places you can focus during a swing:

  • Internal: "I want to do this with my wrists in the backswing."
  • Near external: "I want my club to strike the ground in that spot."
  • Far external: "I want my ball to land on that target."
  • Neutral: "2, 4, 6, 8...."
  • Transcendental: [Wouldn't know. Never been here. The world slows down, you have superpowers, etc.]

What we mean by "mechanical" is often internal focus. What we mean by "feel" is most often far external focus.

Young argues (and I think he's right) that most people get better moving from internal focus to something external. Like @jlukes is arguing, swing changes and practice are the time for internal focus; when you're trying to score on the course is the time for external focus.

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10 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Let me toss in here another set of categories that I've found enormously helpful, from one of my favorite coaches: Adam Young. In his book The Practice Manual (and also in this older blog post) he talks about the five places you can focus during a swing:

  • Internal: "I want to do this with my wrists in the backswing."
  • Near external: "I want my club to strike the ground in that spot."
  • Far external: "I want my ball to land on that target."
  • Neutral: "2, 4, 6, 8...."
  • Transcendental: [Wouldn't know. Never been here. The world slows down, you have superpowers, etc.]

What we mean by "mechanical" is often internal focus. What we mean by "feel" is most often far external focus.

Young argues (and I think he's right) that most people get better moving from internal focus to something external. Like @jlukes is arguing, swing changes and practice are the time for internal focus; when you're trying to score on the course is the time for external focus.

Golf science Lab podcast ftw! 

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53 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Young argues (and I think he's right) that most people get better moving from internal focus to something external.

Essentially what Golf Sidekick advocates. Visualizing the results seems to have a massive impact on what actually happens.

I agree with both of them. Went to the course Tuesday saying I was going to go low (for me). Opened with a great drive, great wedge and a no doubt putt from 10 feet for birdie. Kept that same "I'm going to go low" mentality throughout the round and really was only about 4 yards (needed to carry a greenside bunker) from seriously threatening my best nine holes ever.

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On 1/26/2019 at 9:31 AM, GolfSpy MPR said:

Some really good questions! I'll do a fuller write up on the SkyTrak in for course, but here are some initial thoughts.

A common complaint about the SkyTrak is the delay between hitting the shot and the display of the result. The delay is real. That said, it's a great time to guess, based on the shot, what the result will be. Only very rarely does SkyTrak really come back with a result that makes me skeptical (with the "puzzled puppy" head tilt).

Most often, the odd short game result comes from some really bizarre spin reading. For instance, I've had a 30 yard pitch with 2,000rpm of left spin, that landed and ripped sideways. I believe Kirke had a 60 yard hybrid shot with 10,000rpm backspin. These obvious misreads tend to stand out.

But otherwise, in the vast majority of the cases, I'll hit a shot and guess the result, and SkyTrak is right in line with expectations. I take that as a pretty good measure of consistency.

I'll get back to you on Zepp and SwingByte. I've not used either much on short game shots. I've used SwingByte more with putting than anything else, and Zepp exclusively for full swings.

I know I’m super late to this, but have to defend SkyTrak a bit.  Overall, I agree with your assessment and it’s accuracy.  In my research I heard of the delay, so I got a crazy fast PC to use with it (my son is a PC gamer). We got a good video card, lots of RAM, and a solid state hard drive.  After I swing, I look up to the big screen TV, and about 1-3 seconds later, the image appears.

In short - it’s not SkyTrak that’s slow.  It’s all up to the PC you use.  

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Monthly recap time!

I'm getting better and spinning my wheels, all at the same time. Let me explain. The spinning my wheels part is easy to explain: my handicap just doesn't budge. It's down slightly from the start of the season, to 15.4.

But every metric that matters, I'm either improving or holding steady. Let's dive in. Here's July vs. June:

image.png

Putting is obviously a wash. According to Game Golf, my strokes gained putting fits in between a 5 and 10 handicap. I could always improve, but putting is not my problem.

My approach game continues to be solid. Once again, it scores in between the marks for a 5 and 10 handicap, so pretty much where I need it to be.

My off the tee game continues to trend the right direction. I've had a couple of rough driving rounds recently, until it dawned on my that I was letting my driver swing get steep again, leading to my least favorite miss: the driver pop-up. Got that sorted out again, and hit one of my best drives of the year in last night's league round:

image.png

I'm still no bomber, but that's a 270-yard drive to the fringe of a short par 4. (Ignore the massive pull from the previously hole that came into this fairway 🙂).

And so we're left with the short game. Three reasons for optimism. First, I put two new wedges in my bag, the Cleveland RTX-3 CBs. Not quite as chunky as the CBXs, but bigger and (theoretically) more forgiving than the Callaway MD3s they're replacing.

Second, I'm reading the @jlukes-endorsed Unconscious Scoring.

And third, last week, I started toying around with the Stricker/Day no-wrist chipping. It definitely simplified things for me, and helped me gain a much more consistent low point, as well as being less punishing on mishits. If I compare my last three rounds to the five before that, I get this:

image.png

So the pieces are in place. My last three rounds, I've hit 48% of greens. I just need a streak of rounds in which all the pieces come together for me so that I can drop a few strokes off the handicap.

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34 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Monthly recap time!

I'm getting better and spinning my wheels, all at the same time. Let me explain. The spinning my wheels part is easy to explain: my handicap just doesn't budge. It's down slightly from the start of the season, to 15.4.

But every metric that matters, I'm either improving or holding steady. Let's dive in. Here's July vs. June:

image.png

Putting is obviously a wash. According to Game Golf, my strokes gained putting fits in between a 5 and 10 handicap. I could always improve, but putting is not my problem.

My approach game continues to be solid. Once again, it scores in between the marks for a 5 and 10 handicap, so pretty much where I need it to be.

My off the tee game continues to trend the right direction. I've had a couple of rough driving rounds recently, until it dawned on my that I was letting my driver swing get steep again, leading to my least favorite miss: the driver pop-up. Got that sorted out again, and hit one of my best drives of the year in last night's league round:

image.png

I'm still no bomber, but that's a 270-yard drive to the fringe of a short par 4. (Ignore the massive pull from the previously hole that came into this fairway 🙂).

And so we're left with the short game. Three reasons for optimism. First, I put two new wedges in my bag, the Cleveland RTX-3 CBs. Not quite as chunky as the CBXs, but bigger and (theoretically) more forgiving than the Callaway MD3s they're replacing.

Second, I'm reading the @jlukes-endorsed Unconscious Scoring.

And third, last week, I started toying around with the Stricker/Day no-wrist chipping. It definitely simplified things for me, and helped me gain a much more consistent low point, as well as being less punishing on mishits. If I compare my last three rounds to the five before that, I get this:

image.png

So the pieces are in place. My last three rounds, I've hit 48% of greens. I just need a streak of rounds in which all the pieces come together for me so that I can drop a few strokes off the handicap.

Good luck waiting for all of the pieces to be in place. I've come to terms with the fact that I'm probably never going to have a round where I'm just firing on all cylinders. One thing I can say for sure is that my short game is much improved from 2 years ago. I've said it so many times, but the difference between us and them (scratch golfers) is mostly their ability to get up and down consistently. Keep working on your chipping and putting and I'm sure your cap will get down to single digits!

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49 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Monthly recap time!

I'm getting better and spinning my wheels, all at the same time. Let me explain. The spinning my wheels part is easy to explain: my handicap just doesn't budge. It's down slightly from the start of the season, to 15.4.

But every metric that matters, I'm either improving or holding steady. Let's dive in. Here's July vs. June:

image.png

Putting is obviously a wash. According to Game Golf, my strokes gained putting fits in between a 5 and 10 handicap. I could always improve, but putting is not my problem.

My approach game continues to be solid. Once again, it scores in between the marks for a 5 and 10 handicap, so pretty much where I need it to be.

My off the tee game continues to trend the right direction. I've had a couple of rough driving rounds recently, until it dawned on my that I was letting my driver swing get steep again, leading to my least favorite miss: the driver pop-up. Got that sorted out again, and hit one of my best drives of the year in last night's league round:

image.png

I'm still no bomber, but that's a 270-yard drive to the fringe of a short par 4. (Ignore the massive pull from the previously hole that came into this fairway 🙂).

And so we're left with the short game. Three reasons for optimism. First, I put two new wedges in my bag, the Cleveland RTX-3 CBs. Not quite as chunky as the CBXs, but bigger and (theoretically) more forgiving than the Callaway MD3s they're replacing.

Second, I'm reading the @jlukes-endorsed Unconscious Scoring.

And third, last week, I started toying around with the Stricker/Day no-wrist chipping. It definitely simplified things for me, and helped me gain a much more consistent low point, as well as being less punishing on mishits. If I compare my last three rounds to the five before that, I get this:

image.png

So the pieces are in place. My last three rounds, I've hit 48% of greens. I just need a streak of rounds in which all the pieces come together for me so that I can drop a few strokes off the handicap.

I don't know anything about game golf so forgive me if you have covered this already. Do those numbers represent strokes gained/lost? 

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On 8/2/2019 at 5:14 PM, THEZIPR23 said:

I don't know anything about game golf so forgive me if you have covered this already. Do those numbers represent strokes gained/lost? 

Yep, that's exactly it. In this case, strokes lost to a scratch golfer over 18 holes.

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More details to come, but I've strung several solid rounds together, including a 10-over this morning. So [drumroll]:

Screenshot_20190810_120207.jpg

My handicap has finally gone under 15!

Key stat: hitting more greens. Here's my GIR history of all my rounds. You can see the recent trend upward, as well as note that over the last 10, I'm averaging nearly double the GIRs of my lifetime average:

Screenshot_20190810_120108.jpg

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nice shooting MPR but isn't that still 15 😉

 

only 0.3 tho and you'll be 14.............only 5 more shots till single figs- c'mon MPR, you can do it👏

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Things are trending down, in a good way!

Grabbed nine holes at twilight with my sons yesterday, and shot one of the odder rounds of my life. Put up a 5-over 41, with a triple (on the first hole), a double, and 7 pars. Nothing felt particularly good, but I have a hunch that that was related to my doing some swing work before the round, so I was more conscious of my swing than I'd like to be during a round. The encouraging element, then, is that I just shot 5-over on a round in which I felt like I was scuffling the ball around the course. My handicap dropped again, to 14.5 (I know I need to drop another tenth of a stroke to make @perseveringgolfer happy 🙂).

Here's the strokes lost numbers for my four rounds so far this month vs. July:

image.png

It's really nice to see progress in every single area.

Obviously, the biggest improvement has been in my short game, which has been my focus in recent posts here. Last night's round was especially good: GG gave me a strokes lost of 1.88, which is just barely higher than an average 10-handicap. I'm getting more comfortable and more confident with the no-wrist chipping and pitching and the Cleveland wedges.

Here are my stats for my August rounds vs. an average 10-handicap:

image.png

The sand save number isn't important: we have very few bunkers at our course, and so that number is always noisy for me.

Everything else is looking really good. My GIRs have really gotten much better this season, I'm very comfortable with my putting right now. Driving has been uneven: when I remember my swing cues, I've hit some very good drives. When I forget them, I remain prone to the popup drive (had one yesterday for a blistering 145 yards).

Hoping to keep chipping away at the handicap over these remaining weeks of the season, but living here in the UP, the ominous signs are already appearing: a tree branch here and there with red leaves.

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:callaway-small: Rogue Sub Zero, 10.5°, Project X EvenFlow Blue 65
:taylormade-small: M4 3HL 16.5°, Atmos Red 60
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 19.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
:755178188_TourEdge: CBX 20°, Project X HZRDUS 85 5.5
:ping-small: G700 5–PW, blue dot, Modus3 105
:cleveland-small: CBX 48°
:cleveland-small: RTX-3 CB 54° and 60°
:odyssey-small: Stroke Lab R Ball, 34"
:srixon-small: Z-Star XV

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Great stuff dude - Unconscious Scoring helping out a bit?

Also - I sent you a PM a few weeks ago - I know Kirke met Keegan at a golf tournament - I have a signed Srixon hat from him that i just have sitting in my closet.  I'd love to send it to him.

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In my :mizuno-small: BR-D4 Stand Bag

:ping-small: G410 Plus Ping 9* VA Nemesys 65FIVE
:ping-small: G410 LST 14.5* VA Vylyn 75FIVE
:titelist-small: 818 H2 20* Tour AD DI 85X
:mizuno-small: MP20 HMB 4 Tour AD 95X
:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW Oban CT 115 X(-)
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 49 F - 54 S - 59 D
:mizuno-small: M Craft I
:bridgestone-small: Tour B X
 
SuperSpeed Forum Tester
Initial Driver Speed on Provided Monitor: 109 MPH
 

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5 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Great stuff dude - Unconscious Scoring helping out a bit?

Also - I sent you a PM a few weeks ago - I know Kirke met Keegan at a golf tournament - I have a signed Srixon hat from him that i just have sitting in my closet.  I'd love to send it to him.

I haven't yet given a close read of the chapters on technique just yet, because I don't want to mess with what (so far) seems like a good fit for me. But the mental/strategic aspect has been good and helpful.

And thanks for the reminder; I'll get you my address in a DM.

  • Like 1

:callaway-small: Rogue Sub Zero, 10.5°, Project X EvenFlow Blue 65
:taylormade-small: M4 3HL 16.5°, Atmos Red 60
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 19.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
:755178188_TourEdge: CBX 20°, Project X HZRDUS 85 5.5
:ping-small: G700 5–PW, blue dot, Modus3 105
:cleveland-small: CBX 48°
:cleveland-small: RTX-3 CB 54° and 60°
:odyssey-small: Stroke Lab R Ball, 34"
:srixon-small: Z-Star XV

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Just now, GolfSpy MPR said:

I haven't yet given a close read of the chapters on technique just yet, because I don't want to mess with what (so far) seems like a good fit for me. But the mental/strategic aspect has been good and helpful.

And thanks for the reminder; I'll get you my address in a DM.

Yeah the mental part and shot planning parts of the book are the best.  Didn't force me to change my technique, but still guided me through an efficient, simple decision making process.

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In my :mizuno-small: BR-D4 Stand Bag

:ping-small: G410 Plus Ping 9* VA Nemesys 65FIVE
:ping-small: G410 LST 14.5* VA Vylyn 75FIVE
:titelist-small: 818 H2 20* Tour AD DI 85X
:mizuno-small: MP20 HMB 4 Tour AD 95X
:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW Oban CT 115 X(-)
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 49 F - 54 S - 59 D
:mizuno-small: M Craft I
:bridgestone-small: Tour B X
 
SuperSpeed Forum Tester
Initial Driver Speed on Provided Monitor: 109 MPH
 

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FWIW: comparing scoring average (over par) on holes by par, and overall, plus putting stats:

image.png

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:callaway-small: Rogue Sub Zero, 10.5°, Project X EvenFlow Blue 65
:taylormade-small: M4 3HL 16.5°, Atmos Red 60
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 19.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
:755178188_TourEdge: CBX 20°, Project X HZRDUS 85 5.5
:ping-small: G700 5–PW, blue dot, Modus3 105
:cleveland-small: CBX 48°
:cleveland-small: RTX-3 CB 54° and 60°
:odyssey-small: Stroke Lab R Ball, 34"
:srixon-small: Z-Star XV

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