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Shot a career low 79 and I attribute it all to changing what I practice


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On 10/19/2022 at 11:00 AM, inner_game_coach said:

I was going out with little expectation on myself. The only thing I told myself as I played was trust your “learning self” and accept the uncertainty - because uncertainty is part of the fun. If I could control every shot, I’d be great but at the cost of not enjoying the game. I was great at my job and could control most aspects of the work I did, but I still quit because it didn’t bring me joy in doing it anymore. I don’t want golf to be a job. I’m here to have fun, release stress, and enjoy nature.

Accepting the uncertainty in turn allowed me to unconsciously loosen up as a played. And being loose allowed me to have a smoother, more athletic swing than normally wanting to control how I swing and tightening up.

I don’t know how often I’ll shoot that low, but I’m inclined to continue accepting the uncertainty and enjoying the game a little more. I know working on my mental game will make a larger impact for me than trying to engineer a better swing.

 

... As others have said, great post! Played with a guy yesterday that had one of my cringe moments when he thinned an iron that rolled onto the green and 2 putted for what he described as "A par I didn't deserve". I asked him how may shots he took and he replied 4 and I said "then you deserved a par". I have heard these kinds of negative comments so many times. 

... Unless they just have uncanny golf skills every low single digit index player has learned how to score. Doing it when everything is working well is no easier than when things are working poorly. Sure you can shoot a couple under par when everything is on auto pilot but you can still shoot around par when the entire day is a struggle because you know that is a big part of the game. It is that old cliche of taking the round one shot at a time. Hit a really big drive and then hit your wedge fat coming up just short of the green? Your focus is now chipping in or getting it to tap in range. The fat shot is irrelevant. Yet I play with higher index players that hit a huge drive, duff their iron shot, mess up their pitch and 3 putt because they pretty much mentally checked out after "f*****g up my big drive with an idiot iron swing". Fred Couples just won shooting a 60 for his last round after opening the tourney with a double bogy. 

... Hats off to you for the right attitude to not only enjoy this great game, but also give yourself the best chance at shooting low scores. 

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Driver:     :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 10.5* ... AD-IZ 6SR
Fairway:  :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 15/18* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
Hybrids:    :taylormade-small: RBZ Tour Hybrid 21.5* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
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Well played, several great points in your recap, and sounded like fun too.   Welcome to the club!

On 10/19/2022 at 2:00 PM, inner_game_coach said:

...but I took the ego out of the situation and trusted my feeling. 

Accepting the uncertainty in turn allowed me to unconsciously loosen up...

I don’t know how often I’ll shoot that low, but I’m inclined to continue accepting the uncertainty and enjoying the game a little more. 

 

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The head tells the ball what to do, and the ball tells the head where to go

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On 10/19/2022 at 1:00 PM, inner_game_coach said:

I stood on the 18th tee not aware of my score - it is recorded automatically through Arccos. I knew I was playing well (to my standards) but it didn’t feel lights out. There were some mishits, but they were saved. Some short putts that were missed. I didn’t even card a single birdie - which I have done in the past multiple time and still card in the high 80's, low 90's

I put a drive about 245 into the fairway - I am not a long hitter. I had 135 left to the front of the green, pin set 10 paces on. I stood over my bag and without thinking or making judgments, I let myself pull my 8i. On the range my 8 is my 150 club - but I took the ego out of the situation and trusted my feeling. I put a smooth swing on it and the ball just cleared the sand trap guarding the right of the green - pin high, 10 yards to the right of my target.

So, when stepped up the 18th green at Architects to take my 35ft birdie putt, I was surprised to see that I had shot a 75 through 17 holes and that if I carded a par here, I’d break 80 and my lowest round ever. I immediately got nervous and though there was no one to care about my score and no crowds watching me, I felt this perceived pressure mounting. Something I had avoided for 17 holes. I let my thoughts get the best of me and I left myself with a nerve-wracking 5ft left. I became acutely aware of my tense upper body so I took a deep breath and allowed my shoulders to relax. “This truly doesn’t matter one way or the other”, I told myself. I stepped up the ball after getting my read and I imagined the feeling of picking the ball out of the cup and took my shot. It landed true and I finished the hole with a par. 79.

While I celebrate that accomplishment, I know that some days will be better or worse than others and that I should not feel defeated if the next time I go out I shoot an 89. Expectation is the enemy of enjoyment.

Up until that round I hadn’t played 18 in 3 or 4 weeks. I had been to the range a bunch because I am one of those nuts that loves to practice. But practice has been different lately. Instead of trying to “perfect” a certain swing, or come more from the inside, or hitting the ball first, I am working to practice what I preach - learning how to feel and getting my mind in the right space to play. I am learning to trust that my body can make the swing that it needs to make to get the ball where it needs to be.

I was going out with little expectation on myself. The only thing I told myself as I played was trust your “learning self” and accept the uncertainty - because uncertainty is part of the fun. If I could control every shot, I’d be great but at the cost of not enjoying the game. I was great at my job and could control most aspects of the work I did, but I still quit because it didn’t bring me joy in doing it anymore. I don’t want golf to be a job. I’m here to have fun, release stress, and enjoy nature.

Accepting the uncertainty in turn allowed me to unconsciously loosen up as a played. And being loose allowed me to have a smoother, more athletic swing than normally wanting to control how I swing and tightening up.

I don’t know how often I’ll shoot that low, but I’m inclined to continue accepting the uncertainty and enjoying the game a little more. I know working on my mental game will make a larger impact for me than trying to engineer a better swing.

Congrats on breaking 80!

I'm still trying. I've shot 80 three times. The last time I had a  triple on the 18th. I now do not monitor my total score on the last 9 holes. I add up my total after completing 18.

I'm confident it will happen, but at 70 yrs old it's not getting any easier 😉

Carl L

 

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Well done and trusting your swing is a breakthrough hurdle.

 

Brought back memories of my closest encounter with score in 60s. Par would be 69. I three putted from 18ft for a 70.....glad you made yours. Believe me, it does matter. .. 40 years later I am still regretting that 3 putt ! 

 

 

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Wow. Great job. I hope you enjoy and remember that round for a long time or until you break 78. Great job my man. Who Ah!!

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On 10/19/2022 at 2:00 PM, inner_game_coach said:

I stood on the 18th tee not aware of my score - it is recorded automatically through Arccos. I knew I was playing well (to my standards) but it didn’t feel lights out. There were some mishits, but they were saved. Some short putts that were missed. I didn’t even card a single birdie - which I have done in the past multiple time and still card in the high 80's, low 90's

I put a drive about 245 into the fairway - I am not a long hitter. I had 135 left to the front of the green, pin set 10 paces on. I stood over my bag and without thinking or making judgments, I let myself pull my 8i. On the range my 8 is my 150 club - but I took the ego out of the situation and trusted my feeling. I put a smooth swing on it and the ball just cleared the sand trap guarding the right of the green - pin high, 10 yards to the right of my target.

So, when stepped up the 18th green at Architects to take my 35ft birdie putt, I was surprised to see that I had shot a 75 through 17 holes and that if I carded a par here, I’d break 80 and my lowest round ever. I immediately got nervous and though there was no one to care about my score and no crowds watching me, I felt this perceived pressure mounting. Something I had avoided for 17 holes. I let my thoughts get the best of me and I left myself with a nerve-wracking 5ft left. I became acutely aware of my tense upper body so I took a deep breath and allowed my shoulders to relax. “This truly doesn’t matter one way or the other”, I told myself. I stepped up the ball after getting my read and I imagined the feeling of picking the ball out of the cup and took my shot. It landed true and I finished the hole with a par. 79.

While I celebrate that accomplishment, I know that some days will be better or worse than others and that I should not feel defeated if the next time I go out I shoot an 89. Expectation is the enemy of enjoyment.

Up until that round I hadn’t played 18 in 3 or 4 weeks. I had been to the range a bunch because I am one of those nuts that loves to practice. But practice has been different lately. Instead of trying to “perfect” a certain swing, or come more from the inside, or hitting the ball first, I am working to practice what I preach - learning how to feel and getting my mind in the right space to play. I am learning to trust that my body can make the swing that it needs to make to get the ball where it needs to be.

I was going out with little expectation on myself. The only thing I told myself as I played was trust your “learning self” and accept the uncertainty - because uncertainty is part of the fun. If I could control every shot, I’d be great but at the cost of not enjoying the game. I was great at my job and could control most aspects of the work I did, but I still quit because it didn’t bring me joy in doing it anymore. I don’t want golf to be a job. I’m here to have fun, release stress, and enjoy nature.

Accepting the uncertainty in turn allowed me to unconsciously loosen up as a played. And being loose allowed me to have a smoother, more athletic swing than normally wanting to control how I swing and tightening up.

I don’t know how often I’ll shoot that low, but I’m inclined to continue accepting the uncertainty and enjoying the game a little more. I know working on my mental game will make a larger impact for me than trying to engineer a better swing.

Congrats that’s awesome 

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Congratulations breaking 80.  For the majority of amateur golfers around your handicap breaking 80 can seem like that unattainable target.  With that perception, we can often be our own worst enemy when we walk up to the finishing holes with the opportunity to break it.   I can't tell you how many years I played and how many times I shot 80 or 81.  Each time I found ways not to break that barrier.  I was born, raised and worked in Rochester, New York.   In 1994 we had an unusually warm late November, so a friend and I headed out to play.  I was playing pretty well coming down to the last two holes.  My "friend" turned to me and said if I pared the last two holes, I'd break 80.  "THANKS", I thought.  Being a Buffalo Bills fan, it's like saying "Scott Norwood never misses at this distance" then wide right!  I ended up doing just that and broke that at time seems that insurmountable target.  The next week it was warm as well, we played a different course, and I broke 80 again.  

My lesson to myself was that once you think and know you can do it, the easier it becomes to do repeat the success of breaking 80 or any other golf score barrier.   After almost 30 years since breaking 80, I've done it many times.  To help me remember what's possible, I try and save golf balls from rounds that I accomplished something special.  They include many of the balls used to break 80, shooting par for 9 holes, making an eagle and playing three rounds in Myrtle Beach courses I never played before with the same golf ball.  I keep these on the wall in my office to remind me that almost anything is possible.  

993706740_GolfBallRackPublish.jpg.03425168362c6fe30819bafd7609ca5e.jpg

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Ping G400 SFT driver with a Matrix MFS 5 Korean Prototype Senior shaft, 12 degrees
Mizuno GT180 3 wood, with a Tensei CK Blue 50 gram senior shaft
Callaway GBB Epic Heavenwood, with a Mitsubishi Diamana 50 grams senior shaft  
Ping G 20.5 degree 7 wood, with a stock Alta 65 gram senior shaft
Ping G hybrid 5 (26 degrees) with stock Alta 70 gram senior shaft
Ping G30 irons 6-W, Yellow dot with graphite Fujikura EXS 60i R2-Flex shafts
Edison wedges:  50 degrees, 55 degrees and 60 degrees, 2 degrees up with KBS Tour Graphite A flex shafts
Putters:  L.A.B. Direct Force 2.1 putter, 34.5" long, 67 degrees lie
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A friend (who was a 3 hdcp) told me that breaking 80 is like popping the cork off a bottle, once done it will all flow from there… so long as you don’t think about it.  
 

I think he is half right. It does get easier.  If you don’t think about it the pressure is off because you’ve done it.  You know you can do it because youve done it.  Good scores often come in streaks. So long as you don’t think about it.
 

I try very hard not to look at my arccos until the end of the round. Check that the hole is right - no missed putts, but I try not to let my eye wander to that upper right hand corner…

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3W  Titelist TS2 15* Draw w Tensei Blue R flex
3H, 4H Cobra One Length F9 Speedback hybrids (1”short) w Fujikura Atmos R flex shaft
5I-GW Cobra Forged TEC Black One Length (1”short, 2* flat) KBS 90 R flex shafts
56, 60 Cobra King MIM One Length Black (1” short) KBS HiRev2.0 125 S flex shafts
ER7  or Scotty Futura X - 35”

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On 10/23/2022 at 9:16 AM, Golf2Much said:

Congratulations breaking 80.  For the majority of amateur golfers around your handicap breaking 80 can seem like that unattainable target.  With that perception, we can often be our own worst enemy when we walk up to the finishing holes with the opportunity to break it.   I can't tell you how many years I played and how many times I shot 80 or 81.  Each time I found ways not to break that barrier.  I was born, raised and worked in Rochester, New York.   In 1994 we had an unusually warm late November, so a friend and I headed out to play.  I was playing pretty well coming down to the last two holes.  My "friend" turned to me and said if I pared the last two holes, I'd break 80.  "THANKS", I thought.  Being a Buffalo Bills fan, it's like saying "Scott Norwood never misses at this distance" then wide right!  I ended up doing just that and broke that at time seems that insurmountable target.  The next week it was warm as well, we played a different course, and I broke 80 again.  

My lesson to myself was that once you think and know you can do it, the easier it becomes to do repeat the success of breaking 80 or any other golf score barrier.   After almost 30 years since breaking 80, I've done it many times.  To help me remember what's possible, I try and save golf balls from rounds that I accomplished something special.  They include many of the balls used to break 80, shooting par for 9 holes, making an eagle and playing three rounds in Myrtle Beach courses I never played before with the same golf ball.  I keep these on the wall in my office to remind me that almost anything is possible.  

993706740_GolfBallRackPublish.jpg.03425168362c6fe30819bafd7609ca5e.jpg

This is such a cool reminder. I may steal this idea

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5 minutes ago, inner_game_coach said:

This is such a cool reminder. I may steal this idea

Absolutely!  Glad you liked it!

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Ping G400 SFT driver with a Matrix MFS 5 Korean Prototype Senior shaft, 12 degrees
Mizuno GT180 3 wood, with a Tensei CK Blue 50 gram senior shaft
Callaway GBB Epic Heavenwood, with a Mitsubishi Diamana 50 grams senior shaft  
Ping G 20.5 degree 7 wood, with a stock Alta 65 gram senior shaft
Ping G hybrid 5 (26 degrees) with stock Alta 70 gram senior shaft
Ping G30 irons 6-W, Yellow dot with graphite Fujikura EXS 60i R2-Flex shafts
Edison wedges:  50 degrees, 55 degrees and 60 degrees, 2 degrees up with KBS Tour Graphite A flex shafts
Putters:  L.A.B. Direct Force 2.1 putter, 34.5" long, 67 degrees lie
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On 10/19/2022 at 2:00 PM, inner_game_coach said:

I stood on the 18th tee not aware of my score - it is recorded automatically through Arccos. I knew I was playing well (to my standards) but it didn’t feel lights out. There were some mishits, but they were saved. Some short putts that were missed. I didn’t even card a single birdie - which I have done in the past multiple time and still card in the high 80's, low 90's

 

Great job!  I finally broke 80 with a 79 five or six weeks ago.  I’ve come close multiple times but something always happened.  I never add my score until finished but I know when I’m doing well, but when I shot the 79 I did feel it might be the one.  I was hitting drives and approach shots extremely well and even had the thought, or confidence I was going to continue with great shots. Ironically, last week I as looking at my GHIN scores and noticed I had a 78 for two combined 9 hole rounds. And both segments were for a par 37.  But I don’t really count that as breaking 80 since it wasn’t done together. I’m sure you will break 80 again! 

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