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dlow206

Dlow206's Quest to Break into the 80s

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Today was my first day that i could make it to the driving range. Had some good swing and some bad, but a big reduction in the big hooks and big pulls. I also think i have a good idea what i am doing wrong when im making bad swings, so need to avoid that.

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In the last few days, I made the decision that I will be joining the local country club in my area, which is 5 minutes from my house. I believe this will give me more time to practice, because I can go to the range anytime, and also go out for a few holes mid-day or after work to practice. I qualify for the young professional membership, so the rates are pretty good and the initiation fee is very low.

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During my recent practice sessions, have been having up and downs with my swing. I think my problem is too much head movement (down during the backswing and forward on the downswing), as well as arms getting stuck to my chest.

The other thing I am pondering is whether I was fit correctly into my irons. I was fit into C Taper Lite X-flex because my swing speed was recorded at 85 MPH with a 7 iron, and a "chart" said I should be in X-flex. I was fit back in June, when I knew almost nothing about club fitting, so I trusted the fitter at the golf shop I went to. I was basically given multiple X-flex shafts to try and was asked which weight feels better. We didn't go through any numbers of the launch monitor at all. I now believe that while I do have swing issues to work through, the X-flex is not helping with my low trajectory issues.

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During my recent practice sessions, have been having up and downs with my swing. I think my problem is too much head movement (down during the backswing and forward on the downswing), as well as arms getting stuck to my chest.
The other thing I am pondering is whether I was fit correctly into my irons. I was fit into C Taper Lite X-flex because my swing speed was recorded at 85 MPH with a 7 iron, and a "chart" said I should be in X-flex. I was fit back in June, when I knew almost nothing about club fitting, so I trusted the fitter at the golf shop I went to. I was basically given multiple X-flex shafts to try and was asked which weight feels better. We didn't go through any numbers of the launch monitor at all. I now believe that while I do have swing issues to work through, the X-flex is not helping with my low trajectory issues.


Without seeing your swing it is impossible to tell I’d head or arms are even an issue. Feel does not equate to what you may really be doing.

Fitting based on swing speed isn’t the best way. There are other factors that should be looked at for fitting flex like launch, spin, shaft load, etc. IMO if just looking at 85 mph 7 iron that probably puts you in stiff not X. Weight is about tempo and getting the face back to the correct impact position not what “feels” good.

Just my thought and hope you can achieve your goal.
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As someone who spent 20 years trying to figure out this game by myself I offer a piece of advice. Get someone to look at your swing, take a lesson. It speeds up the process immensely. I finally took one a year ago and changed the way I approach my swing. 

The head movement is generally a cause and not the effect. Thus why taking a lesson is huge. 

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9 minutes ago, cnosil said:

 


Without seeing your swing it is impossible to tell I’d head or arms are even an issue. Feel does not equate to what you may really be doing.

Fitting based on swing speed isn’t the best way. There are other factors that should be looked at for fitting flex like launch, spin, shaft load, etc. IMO if just looking at 85 mph 7 iron that probably puts you in stiff not X. Weight is about tempo and getting the face back to the correct impact position not what “feels” good.

Just my thought and hope you can achieve your goal.

 

Thanks. I was told by an instructor that the head was an issue, and I think i started regressing a bit with the head movement based on recent video. I'm going to get some additional feedback from the instructor soon.

Regarding the fitting, I now know a lot more. Really went into that original fitting clueless and just depended entirely on the fitter without knowing even the right questions to ask. Also, I don't think I should be fit into a X either.

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1 minute ago, THEZIPR23 said:

As someone who spent 20 years trying to figure out this game by myself I offer a piece of advice. Get someone to look at your swing, take a lesson. It speeds up the process immensely. I finally took one a year ago and changed the way I approach my swing. 

The head movement is generally a cause and not the effect. Thus why taking a lesson is huge. 

Agree on the lesson part. I had been taking a lot of lessons, but one in-person lesson with Monte Scheinblum was a game changer. I've been working through his feedback and now am trying to fine tune some issues. Some of my old habits are coming back.

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1 minute ago, dlow206 said:

Agree on the lesson part. I had been taking a lot of lessons, but one in-person lesson with Monte Scheinblum was a game changer. I've been working through his feedback and now am trying to fine tune some issues. Some of my old habits are coming back.

It has taken me just under 1 full year to implement what my instructor gave me. It's not easy and old habits creep in all the time. Your on the right track. Keep putting in the time and you'll reach your goals. 

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I joined a country club yesterday and played 18. Was great practice, but it was so wet out that i stopped putting at some point and didn't keep score. It wasn't realistic to putt on such slow greens, and even the holes were filled almost to the top with water.

On another note, I started to become frustrated with my low trajectory shots and fighting pulls and pull hooks. I had started to wonder if I was fit into the wrong clubs/shafts. I went to golftec for a fitting today. The fitting made me learn that my C-Taper Lite X-flex shafts were not a good fit for me. I fit better into lighter weight steel shafts in the 100 gram range. When I tried the lighter shaft, my trajectory went up, distance improved, and no more pull hooks unless I put the really bad swing on it. I actually started to hit small, controlled fades, which I actually prefer because I am scared of the lefts.

I also tried the new Callaway Mavrik Max irons. I hit those even better. 170 yard carry with about 120 mph ball speed, that is about 10 yards more carry. I triple confirmed that it wasn't due to jacked up lofts, both the Mavrik Max and 919 hot metal 7 irons are 30 degrees. The dispersion was even better. An upgrade in irons may be coming soon.

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I joined a country club yesterday and played 18. Was great practice, but it was so wet out that i stopped putting at some point and didn't keep score. It wasn't realistic to putt on such slow greens, and even the holes were filled almost to the top with water.
On another note, I started to become frustrated with my low trajectory shots and fighting pulls and pull hooks. I had started to wonder if I was fit into the wrong clubs/shafts. I went to golftec for a fitting today. The fitting made me learn that my C-Taper Lite X-flex shafts were not a good fit for me. I fit better into lighter weight steel shafts in the 100 gram range. When I tried the lighter shaft, my trajectory went up, distance improved, and no more pull hooks unless I put the really bad swing on it. I actually started to hit small, controlled fades, which I actually prefer because I am scared of the lefts.
I also tried the new Callaway Mavrik Max irons. I hit those even better. 170 yard carry with about 120 mph ball speed, that is about 10 yards more carry. I triple confirmed that it wasn't due to jacked up lofts, both the Mavrik Max and 919 hot metal 7 irons are 30 degrees. The dispersion was even better. An upgrade in irons may be coming soon.


Congrats on the new club. I’ll speak for others when I say we’d love to see some photos of the course
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I ended up pulling the trigger on new irons. The stats from multiple fittings and the feel of the new irons made me choose to make the change to the new Mavrik Max irons with the Nippon 950 Neo shafts. My current Mizunos are great clubs, but the C-Taper Lite X-flex shafts are just not the right fit for me. Can't wait for the new irons to come, it will definitely be a confidence booster for me.

By the way, the 950 Neo shafts are so smooth. I typically don't feel much difference in shafts besides a shaft being heavier/lighter or more stiff/more flexible. However, there is something special with these shafts.

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I am itching to get back to the range and the course to practice, but the weather has been bad and I am also waiting for my new irons to come.

Have been focused on putting at home on my putting mat. Trying to determine if I should game the Evnroll ER10 or my new (used) Scotty Squareback 1.

On the note of putters, I want to test a center shafted putter, particularly a wide blade style. At the store, center shafted putters work well for me, but haven't had a chance for any extended trial.

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On 1/10/2020 at 10:41 AM, dlow206 said:

I haven’t had any time to practice since the end of December. It has been a tough start to the new year. My wife was hospitalized with bacterial meningitis, which is a life threatening illness. We are fortunate it was caught early on enough that she was treated and she is on the road to recovery and is now out of the hospital.

OMG..... My Mom died from that so I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief for your wife and you..........
Best wishes for a speedy recovery back to full health!!

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On 12/21/2019 at 4:41 PM, tony@CIC said:

Keep at it - especially with short game practice. As someone who started playing after retirement it seemed like forever to get into the 90's. This past season I finally broke the 90 barrier but still have the occasional stinky round that has kept my handicap up. I practice a lot especially 100 yds in and consider that to be the best part of my game now. The worst part is what's between the ears - I have to figure out how to recover quickly from a bad hole. It seems to take me 2-3 holes to do that.

Was going to offer something very similar...

I'm coming from a somewhat similar place as in working to break through 90 and play consistently in the 80s; though I didn't hit my first golf ball until I was 53! But I also recently started a series of lessons at a Golftec center and that coach has been really helpful to me. My last 18-hole round, after 5 (half-hour) lessons and a bunch of dedicated practice, I shot about a 93 and that was with plenty of silly errors and way too many 3-putts (was down in Florida and the greens were treacherous!).

Practice practice practice with your wedges - full, partial, chipping; at the range and if you have access to a short game practice area then from all kinds of different lies that you can find. Use one method you're comfortable / confident with and WORK IT! Practice using the same club for different distances and practice using different clubs for the same distance. As someone else also mentioned earlier, practice with the same club working on low runners and on high spinners.

Your ability to handle short approaches and missed greens will progress!

You didn't mention putting but work on that, too (obviously!), as often as possible. Distance control - especially on long putts - is another key skill to refine.

On course management - one resource I found really helpful is at Matt Saternus (used to be with MGS) site PluggedInGolf.com...
https://pluggedingolf.com/course-management-basics-part-1/
Clear and straight-forward 10-part series with a ton of great tips and strategies.

On the mental game - the more I learn about golf, and the more I play, the more I realize how important the mental game is. But.. WHAT is it? HOW does one learn about it? There are a growing number of coaches out there but one I found, and had the opportunity to take a clinic from, and have learned a *LOT* from is David MacKenzie and his site GolfStateOfMind.com


EDIT:
Just saw your last post where you said you are practicing putting indoors - great! 👍

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2 hours ago, cksurfdude said:

OMG..... My Mom died from that so I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief for your wife and you..........
Best wishes for a speedy recovery back to full health!!

Really sorry to hear about your mom. And I really appreciate the best wishes.

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1 hour ago, cksurfdude said:

Was going to offer something very similar...

I'm coming from a somewhat similar place as in working to break through 90 and play consistently in the 80s; though I didn't hit my first golf ball until I was 53! But I also recently started a series of lessons at a Golftec center and that coach has been really helpful to me. My last 18-hole round, after 5 (half-hour) lessons and a bunch of dedicated practice, I shot about a 93 and that was with plenty of silly errors and way too many 3-putts (was down in Florida and the greens were treacherous!).

Practice practice practice with your wedges - full, partial, chipping; at the range and if you have access to a short game practice area then from all kinds of different lies that you can find. Use one method you're comfortable / confident with and WORK IT! Practice using the same club for different distances and practice using different clubs for the same distance. As someone else also mentioned earlier, practice with the same club working on low runners and on high spinners.

Your ability to handle short approaches and missed greens will progress!

You didn't mention putting but work on that, too (obviously!), as often as possible. Distance control - especially on long putts - is another key skill to refine.

On course management - one resource I found really helpful is at Matt Saternus (used to be with MGS) site PluggedInGolf.com...
https://pluggedingolf.com/course-management-basics-part-1/
Clear and straight-forward 10-part series with a ton of great tips and strategies.

On the mental game - the more I learn about golf, and the more I play, the more I realize how important the mental game is. But.. WHAT is it? HOW does one learn about it? There are a growing number of coaches out there but one I found, and had the opportunity to take a clinic from, and have learned a *LOT* from is David MacKenzie and his site GolfStateOfMind.com


EDIT:
Just saw your last post where you said you are practicing putting indoors - great! 👍

Really good advice. Now that I joined a local club, I can show up whenever and practice on the range, in the short game practice area, and even on the course without it being super crowded, as long as I go during off peak hours. It was raining the other day, so i essentially had the course to myself, so I played multiple balls and practiced a lot of short game shots on course. 

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24 minutes ago, dlow206 said:

Really good advice. Now that I joined a local club, I can show up whenever and practice on the range, in the short game practice area, and even on the course without it being super crowded, as long as I go during off peak hours. It was raining the other day, so i essentially had the course to myself, so I played multiple balls and practiced a lot of short game shots on course. 

Days like that are great to play a worst ball scramble. Get to play and get good practice in. 

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Ended up trading in my PXG 0811 XF Gen 2 driver today for a SIM Max 10.5 Fujikura Ventus Red 5 (made for shaft). Distance was better with the SIM Max, which could be due to a longer shaft, but also the feel was better as well. I also felt like I get penalized less with my miss with the SIM Max which is a low hook. Time will tell if the SIM Max performs better. I don't know what the MOI is on the SIM Max but the 0811 XF Gen 2 has one of the highest MOIs out of recent drivers, but I felt like the SIM Max was more forgiving for me. 

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Had a local lesson recently and it reinforced what I need to work on. My death move is sliding toward the target on the downswing and head move forward laterally toward the target. In trying to get weight to my front foot on the downswing, this has caused me to overexaggerate and making this sliding move. Going to focus on trying to feel like I am staying in the same spot, and limiting the slide forward to a few inches instead of the massive slide that is currently happening.

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18 minutes ago, dlow206 said:

Had a local lesson recently and it reinforced what I need to work on. My death move is sliding toward the target on the downswing and head move forward laterally toward the target. In trying to get weight to my front foot on the downswing, this has caused me to overexaggerate and making this sliding move. Going to focus on trying to feel like I am staying in the same spot, and limiting the slide forward to a few inches instead of the massive slide that is currently happening.

I did that - and sometimes still do - quite a bit.  Recently I've tried to remember to "post up" on my lead leg and that helped me minimize the "slide" and rotate my hips more.

Good luck - it's a tricky one as you still want to bump towards the target but not slide towards it.

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