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Not Chasing Scratch...Just Chasing a Semi Decent Reliable Game...How Do I Get There


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1 minute ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I do that occasionally. Like think. Ok do I need to hit driver here. A solid 3 wood will still leave me a 8 or 9 iron in.   
 

But I probably don’t do it enough for sure. 

Maybe even a hybrid in play and a hybrid to a good location chip and pray for a great putt. 

Play like a champion today!

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I would agree that focus short game would be were to start. I think can see quicker difference there. Also as you gain more confidence in your short game you will be surprised how it can help you with penalty strokes as well. As when you have trust in your short game you don’t feel the need to take as many chances or go for that hero recovery shot after a bad swing. 

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56 minutes ago, Preeway said:

There is a lot of truth here. My friends who play in the mid 90s talk a lot about their inability to putt well inside 5 feet but are completely blind to how bad they are with their lag putting. They are almost a guaranteed three putt from 40 feet and beyond. You can get from 95 to 85 real quick if you shore up your chipping and lag putting. 

Just like until the MGS 2021 ball test it never dawned on me that the best or longest ball off the driver wasnt always the best ball for me, its all everyone talks about is driver. That test was an eye opener .

 

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Ok so it looks like a combo of impressive the short game and better course management/strategy to set you up for better results

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4 hours ago, cnosil said:

 

First things first.....I'm pulling for you to get this worked out. 

My first question would be what do you want?  Bogey golf?  Better?  

So what happens on those big number holes?  Thins, fats, shanks, slices, hooks, penalties?  you imply they aren't solid shots but no details.  Sounds like the first area for improvement is better contact based on what is happening.  

When you do practice,  what are you doing to practice?  Just hitting balls?  specific drills?   

Wondering if maybe a different strategy might be what is needed?   At what club do you feel like you can start hitting it consistently?   5i, 6i, 8i?  For a while Maybe after the tee shot, hit that club and work on getting on in 3 instead of 2.   Kind of the discussion that was going on in the PAR is a mental health issue thread.   Forget about PAR and play the clubs you hit well and see how that goes.  Kind of gets rid of the I need to hit this well to get it to the green and focuses on just hit this well.  

Might be all bad advice,  but this is the kind of thought process I am mentally going through with my game.

your first question whst type of golfer do I want to be. 5 years ago I started ordering all my staff ProVs with No. 12 on them as they was my handicap goal (I was 16 at the time) and I figured staring at  it on every shot would keep me focused.   I still have that goal.  But to the Title of this post.  I think 15 would be a good starting point.  
 

So dropped shots?   Maybe 3 penalty shots on an average 18 hole round.   They come in all forms.  Not carrying a body of water.   The occasional push of slice OB.   And not routinely but enough for me to mention.  A bad lie thst maybe I tried to get too much out of. 
 

Last iron I’m really confident in is 6 which is a 145 to 150 club for me    I will take a 5 iron for 160 if there isn’t much trouble   But I’m not opposed to taking s 6 and just get out of it what I can and then chip up   Lately I’ve gotten more comfortable with  my 24 degree hybrid for 160, I usually get 170 or so from it  

Practice?  One of tbe best things that came from my lessons this winter was he stressed don’t just hit 30 7 irons in a row then go to 20 drivers in a row    Mix it up, make an imaginary fairway on the range and hit driver to that fairway   Then pick a flag doesn’t matter if it’s 125 or 155 then take a club and hit to it    If you miss it badly take a wedge and hit a 20 or 30 yard pitch shot   And so ok   Basically keep your mind and body chs going and thinking  

I do the play for bogey thpe approach on many greens.  Although some times the execution doesn’t match the plan 

 

4 hours ago, KC Golf said:

This is a great thread.  Glad to see that you started it.

Those stats seem to look pretty close to what (I think) a typical player would do with your index.  But that’s obviously a guess.  How many double bogeys or others do you have per round?  That seems to be a key stat to Index reduction. Arccos level detailed stats would be interesting if you tracked them.

Have you thought about consulting with Lou Stagner to see from Arccos statistically where you need to improve to get to your target index.  He also might be able to give you for your home course stats for players with your target index to see what they doing on average on the toughest 4-5 holes.

My guess is that it seems like driving distance is what Lou might suggest you need to improve on.  I think if you could get to 200-215 yards off the tee that could be all you need to get significant improvement.  Not sure given your health what is possible, since I am sure your Driver and FW are fully optimized to your current swing.

I know arm chair golf suggestions are not super helpful given your industry knowledge, but I thought it might be helpful.  Good luck with challenge.

Now to your questions.  
 

How many doubles or worse. Good timing for that question. He is the maddening part.  That 95 yesterday.  So I had five threes on the card. After the round our Super (a good friend) asked whst I shot.  I said. If I told you I hsd 5 3’s whst would you think I shot.  He guessed 87.  When k told him 95 he was like oh shit what happened.   So to answer your question. I had five holes with 7 or worse.   See my explanation to Cnosil above about where my big numbers come from.    I took a 9 on a par 5, because I didn’t use the drip area and decided my good lie in the hazard would give me a chance to make par after all.  🤦

How would I go anoit getting that info from Lou Stegner.  Does he have a service you subscribe to.    I really like the Arcoss data.  It’s just Arccos doesn’t like me.   I tried it 3 years ago and I missed so many shots i spent way too much tome trying to edit it during and after rounds. It was horrible.  It missed a shot on every hole it seems. 
 

I tried it again this yesr with LINk and it as a mess, I quit it after one round.   It must be me.  But I can’t imagine I was doing that many things wrong to get so many bad reads.  

The stats l listed in my first post are just the overall. I actually have hole by hole stats ok now I score on every hole on my course.   I would love to compare those to arccos users.   If we even have that many at our course. 
 

saved the best for last.  Yes 210 to 215 yes please.  I’d almost do unspeakable things for 220.   I have no clue how to get more.  You mentioned I have a custom fit and top of the market driver.   
 

And o have no room to judge anyone on age or golf swings.  But I routinely play with giys in our senior League that are 5 of 7 years older than me and drive it 220 to 225.    I know I’m losing speed every yeae. Down to about 81-83 mph driver swing speed now.    
 

I guess I need to seriously consider speed training. 
 

 

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Thanks so much everyone for the thoughts and input. 
 

So many mentioned short game and rightfully so.   
 

I will be taking a couple lessons soon and I am going to spend one of those at least on short game. 

What I want to get out of it as much as anything is ax strategy for shots around the green.   When to use a 54 or 58 and fly it on the green vs a 9 iron bump and run.  
How to play lies that are only 2 yards or so off the green but in  deep rough. 
 

I know what the “book” says about how to play all those.  But want to see and get hands on experience with them. 

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@Golfspy_CG2 Swing speed is very much about flexibility. Rather than swing speed training I would look into yoga or some other form of hip and back rotation movement exercise. 
 

Also, check out the Hack it Out podcast. Lou and a couple other guys have a really informative podcast series in a fun format. Lots of data from Arcos. Take it all with a grain of salt but it’s really good information. 

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Am also listening to the Chasing Scratch pod. Started season 3. Did Arccos for a year and the shots gained analytics did confirm don’t over do approach or short game, because was even to my handicap goal, but driver accuracy (as in fewer PK’s) and 3-5 foot putts are my bane of existence. Going to focus my practice

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10 minutes ago, Preeway said:

@Golfspy_CG2 Swing speed is very much about flexibility. Rather than swing speed training I would look into yoga or some other form of hip and back rotation movement exercise. 
 

Also, check out the Hack it Out podcast. Lou and a couple other guys have a really informative podcast series in a fun format. Lots of data from Arcos. Take it all with a grain of salt but it’s really good information. 

I will be the first to say I need more flexibility. And when I sent my video in to my coach for the first lesson I pointed that oit as the likely reason for my shortness.   As usual  I was wrong 

He said I had plenty enough turn and backswing to get to 90 or low 90’s CHS which would get me to that 220 range  

 

it was all about my translation and path that were costing me most of my speed and he’s rather see a few less  mph but more on plane and squared contact, and I’d get more distance  

 

I think did listen to one of the Hack it out PODs   I’ll go beck and check them loit

 

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Course management can be the key, I think, once I get to a good place in all the different phases of my game I still can't really score my best unless I sit down and plot my strategy at least a little bit beforehand.

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1 hour ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I guess I need to seriously consider speed training. 

I did the SuperSpeed testing several years ago, and yes I gained speed.  However, I would seriously caution beginning speed training until you can get a more efficient swing.  If you cannot make fairly consistent, solid on-plane contact, speed training will make for worse results.  My CHS is about the same as yours, and I don’t reach all of our par 5’s in regulation… along with a par 4.  When I move back to the tees I used to play a couple of years ago, I’m hitting FW shots and wedges most of the time with very few irons shots and hoping to get on the green and one-putt for par.  Fortunately, I can do that fairly frequently.  I can keep the ball in play, and recover from my poor strikes on the ball (that happens more frequently that I like… working on it).  Good scores come when short game and putting are solid.  Reasonable scores come when I can eliminate doubles or worse.

There are a lot of good suggestions posted above, so I won’t repeat them; However, it sounds to me that you need to spend time working with a coach to make good contact with the ball.  I say this because we seem to have a similar game, but we are playing it differently.  You can gain speed and control by focusing on improving ball contact with your proper tempo, rhythm and timing of transition to the downswing.  It’s how us older guys do it.  😂  

I’m not a follower of Hank Haney, but his keys to lower scores are 

  1. Eliminate penalty strokes.  Sounds like they are coming from poor tee shots, poor ball contact or decision making.
  2. No 2-chips or 2-bunker shots.  There’s technique involved that must be learned and requires practice; not just to learn, but also to maintain proficiency; have to keep at it.
  3. No 3-putts.  Again practice lag putting and putts under 5 feet; distance control cannot be stressed enough.

Obviously, any of these are going to happen at any time, but the key is to make them very infrequent.  How you go about it will depend on what your primary issues are and that’s where your coach come in.  You need feedback.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I think you are getting some good ideas from others on this thread. Looking forward to learning about your progress.

I agree Lou’s podcast is great.  Lou has a short newsletter every week as well.  His Twitter feed has cool nuggets of info as well.

I am not sure whether Lou does individual consultations, but Rob, as an industry guy may be you can ask him.  Since you are Mod for MGS Forum, why don’t you organize a Q&A with him for the forum and ask him some questions. He would be a great guest.  Those Q&As were quite interesting last year.

I really think based on Arccos and Decade they would tell you if you added more driving distance it would make a huge difference in your approach dispersion even if you are in the rough. That combined with using a more lofted club on approach shots (from driving it farther) would cause you to be better positioned on or near the green.   They both preach that and have empirical data to back that up.  Lou this week dispelled the notion that better angle to the hole is better than proximity to the hole.  It’s really interesting data.

If your coach is preaching swing plane and solid contact, I think video and LM analysis should fix your issues quite well.  Solid contact st the right launch angle is way more important than a couple of mph of added swing speed.  Most good coaches who understand your issues can fix this pretty quickly.  

I had a similar issue.  For me that was stopping the swaying in my swing and better shoulder and hip rotation.  Also shallowing my swing with long irons is key for me as well.  Still a work in process for me.  I was better st it two years ago and so I am trying to get back into it.

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A little late this this thread, but wanted to ask @Golfspy_CG2 what would be your end goal? 

Golfers Journal this year has what they call the index experiment. 

Shirt version each month you sign a scorecard. It makes your rate various aspects of your game, make goals for the season and month and tracks your progress month over month. 

This could be something that has some benefits for you as well?

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Dr. Bob Rotella has a book, "Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect". Once you read this and define what is a decent/semi-decent golf game you are on your way. Accepting that this sport can kill your soul if you allow it to, is also a thing to consider.

For me, golf is not about chasing a handicap index, it is about the camaraderie that I have with those who I have chosen to let be part of my golf world. My golf world exists for me. That is one of my happy places.

Best of luck to you in your search.

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From what I am reading, it seems that distance and a wide dispersion off the tee are a big issue. Many people think improving one can make the other worse but in my experience these go hand in hand. 
 

When you miss with the driver, do you slice it or push it? Do you typically hit a draw or a fade? If you can get to drawing it more with less spin, you can gain a good bit of yards, I’d bet 2 club lengths into the green on average (if that is your issue, you may draw it fine now) without even swinging any faster. 
 

Obviously I do not know your health issues in the past, but in one of you posts you said that your online coach seems to think you can get to a pretty good swing speed for what you are looking for. Next lesson you do, I would ask the coach for a couple of things:

 

1. How can I setup in my stance and grip to hit a draw with less spin? 
 

2. How can I use the ground forces more for better power? This also helps with face control and delofting the club. 
 

I was hesitant to post since I have never seen you swing and I’m no golf coach. But it seems if you gained some distance that it would fix a lot of other issues. Imagine if you turned every 6 iron into an 8 iron? Think you would have better proximity to the hole? Imagine if your 3W on par 5s instead of giving you a 100 yard shot gave you a 30 yard pitch chip or putt off the green? Not to mention #2 above will make your fairway shots go longer and straighter as well.

 

Chipping is always important to improve upon but from reading your description of your 9 hole round (albeit that is a sample size of one) that does not seem to be that big of an issue. 
 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Ha. 

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One thing off hand that I’m sure someone else has already mentioned:

  1. 30% missed short. That’s a pretty good reflection on most golfers and it’s ego thing for all of us. We club based on good shots, not our average shots. Your percentage long shows that you almost never end up long, and this percentage ignores things like back pin placements where you are probably on the green, but well short of the hole so that percentage could be as high as 40% short of the hole. The simple answer here is club down. Get your distances from the back of the green and try a round. You’ll be surprised how often you are still short of the hole.
  2. I’m sure you don’t want to hear this but game improvement irons make a big difference. The T300’s hit 10 yards longer than the T200 so if you need more distance, this will be a big help. I know people talk about the loft being lower, but that’s bull. They hit higher than the T200’s due to the technology and the dynamic lofts so you’ll also stop them better. To put it into perspective, Max Homa hits his blade 7 iron 170 yards, the T100s 185, The T200 190 and the T300 210 yards, and he hits it way higher than the others. 
  3. Short game - we have numerous golfers who are low single figures and similar distances to you. Their putting and chipping is mindblowing. 
  4. Get rid of double bogies. if you can cut those out of your game, your handicap will drop substantially.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ben_Howell34 said:

From what I am reading, it seems that distance and a wide dispersion off the tee are a big issue. Many people think improving one can make the other worse but in my experience these go hand in hand. 
 

When you miss with the driver, do you slice it or push it? Do you typically hit a draw or a fade? If you can get to drawing it more with less spin, you can gain a good bit of yards, I’d bet 2 club lengths into the green on average (if that is your issue, you may draw it fine now) without even swinging any faster. 
 

Obviously I do not know your health issues in the past, but in one of you posts you said that your online coach seems to think you can get to a pretty good swing speed for what you are looking for. Next lesson you do, I would ask the coach for a couple of things:

 

1. How can I setup in my stance and grip to hit a draw with less spin? 
 

2. How can I use the ground forces more for better power? This also helps with face control and delofting the club. 
 

I was hesitant to post since I have never seen you swing and I’m no golf coach. But it seems if you gained some distance that it would fix a lot of other issues. Imagine if you turned every 6 iron into an 8 iron? Think you would have better proximity to the hole? Imagine if your 3W on par 5s instead of giving you a 100 yard shot gave you a 30 yard pitch chip or putt off the green? Not to mention #2 above will make your fairway shots go longer and straighter as well.

 

Chipping is always important to improve upon but from reading your description of your 9 hole round (albeit that is a sample size of one) that does not seem to be that big of an issue. 
 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Ha. 

Lots of good info there Ben.  With all the lengthy post I made, it may hand gotten implied I am short and inaccurate.  I kinda joked about that ih s post.  But I am above average with driver accuracy for my handicap.  I play with other 20’s that will not 6 or 7 balls OB a round.  But they are much younger and have the strength and distance to make up for it.  In typical round o will hit 9-10 fairways.  And the misses aren’t usually OB there are 1 or 2 holes in oir 36 where I have to guard against a penalty off the tee.   
 

Hitting a draw?  Many teaches have tried and they all failed    Seriously  I do not have the physical capability od biting a draw   Sure I can over exaggerate it and hit a snap hook 30 yards off the tee   But hitting a normal draw   Just can’t do it

i sos before and no one took me up on it   If someone can guarantee me they can get me hitting a draw in one lesson even if it’s 2 or 3 hour lesson    I’d pay $500 and any travel expenses   The offer is there! 
 

 

 

3 hours ago, MissionMan said:

One thing off hand that I’m sure someone else has already mentioned:

  1. 30% missed short. That’s a pretty good reflection on most golfers and it’s ego thing for all of us. We club based on good shots, not our average shots. Your percentage long shows that you almost never end up long, and this percentage ignores things like back pin placements where you are probably on the green, but well short of the hole so that percentage could be as high as 40% short of the hole. The simple answer here is club down. Get your distances from the back of the green and try a round. You’ll be surprised how often you are still short of the hole.
  2. I’m sure you don’t want to hear this but game improvement irons make a big difference. The T300’s hit 10 yards longer than the T200 so if you need more distance, this will be a big help. I know people talk about the loft being lower, but that’s bull. They hit higher than the T200’s due to the technology and the dynamic lofts so you’ll also stop them better. To put it into perspective, Max Homa hits his blade 7 iron 170 yards, the T100s 185, The T200 190 and the T300 210 yards, and he hits it way higher than the others. 
  3. Short game - we have numerous golfers who are low single figures and similar distances to you. Their putting and chipping is mindblowing. 
  4. Get rid of double bogies. if you can cut those out of your game, your handicap will drop substantially.

 

 

On the short approach shots.  You may have missed the post where I referenced a lot of that is due to a league I play in that is played from the white tees. Where I know outside of the par 3’s there nigjt be 1 or 2 holes where I can actually reach the green.  So I lau back with a shot that won’t get me in trouble and leave me a comfortable wedge distance. 
 

I don’t play in that league to win.  I have some friends that play in it and it’s a way of spending some time with them.  and before anyone thinks it.  I’m not one to hold things up by playing the wrong tees.  A couple weeks ago we finished our 9 holes in 1:50 minutes in a steady rain.  Most weeks the course is packed with A and B groups.  So no group finishes in less than 2:15 for 9 most weeks. 
 

So I don’t really focusi on the approaches short.  In addition over the greens ar our course is pure dead 95% of the holes

On GI clubs  no argument here.  I’d you read my fitting for the T350 you will see I play T300 and just ordered the T350, even though the fitter said I could easily play the 200/350 combo.   But I really liked the 350 P,  it hit so well and deleted very good. so going with the T200 in short irons would have been letting ego make the decision    

All good thoughts though.  Thanks 

 

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@Golfspy_CG2 - Great thread! I'm in very much the same boat as you are. I started playing golf again when I retired in 2019 after a 10-year hiatus. Current index is 19.9, however, it is new and only based on three scores one of which is an 82 (my lowest score ever) and my guess that it will settle out around 20.5 to 21.5. I started keeping really good stats (via Shot Scope) in 2022 which were eye opening. among other things, age (now 67) and time off resulted in a big deterioration in my swing speed such that my PAve driving distance was only 176 yards. After working through Adam Young's "The Strike Plan" and reading "The Practice Manual" (both of which are great BTW) I learned how to effectively hit up on the ball, which resulted in my PAve driving distance increasing to around 191. Furthermore, I was fortunate to be picked as a tester for the MGS 2023 Super Speed review and have already added about 6 mph back to my swing speed such that PAve is now about 195. Additionally, I am hitting all of my clubs correspondingly longer than I did last year. Per my Shot Scope Stats, GIR has increased from 25% (with 58% short) to 32% (with 41% short). So enough with the good news. The bad news is that my putting has gotten worse as I am now averaging nearly 36 putts per round and 6.2 holes/3-putt versus around 32.5 and 11.5 in 2022 for those stats, respectively.  Hitting more GIR has exposed really poor lag putting on my part, which I am now working hard to correct. I also changed putters in 2023 (to the Ping Anser in my signature from the SeeMore mallet style which I used for most of 2022), which seems to have hurt my putting from 6' to 12'. Needless to say, putting (and short game in general) are getting a lot of attention now and I am considering going back to the SeeMore. 

Some things that I have learned from my reading about "how to "break 80" are as follows:

  1. Tee shots - Keep the ball in play off the tee, penalty strokes (OB, lost ball etc) and sideways punch outs are killers. A negative result of my increased distance is that I have gotten more of both this year. 
  2. Approach shots - It is really important to get on, or at least near, the green in regulation. It is desirable to avoid bunkers and miss where you have lots of green to work with. 
  3. Short game - Develop short game which focuses on getting on the green in one try; i.e. eliminate "2-chips", balls left in the bunker, etc. This is what I would call a functional short game. At the level of mid-capper to bogie golfer short game wizardry is not needed, but rather getting really good at a few reliable and low risk shots. 
  4. Putting - Reduce 3-putts as much as possible, lag putting and improving results from 3' to 9' are critical. 

Looking forward to how this thread progresses and learning some things in the process!

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5 hours ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Lots of good info there Ben.  With all the lengthy post I made, it may hand gotten implied I am short and inaccurate.  I kinda joked about that ih s post.  But I am above average with driver accuracy for my handicap.  I play with other 20’s that will not 6 or 7 balls OB a round.  But they are much younger and have the strength and distance to make up for it.  In typical round o will hit 9-10 fairways.  And the misses aren’t usually OB there are 1 or 2 holes in oir 36 where I have to guard against a penalty off the tee.   
 

Hitting a draw?  Many teaches have tried and they all failed    Seriously  I do not have the physical capability od biting a draw   Sure I can over exaggerate it and hit a snap hook 30 yards off the tee   But hitting a normal draw   Just can’t do it

i sos before and no one took me up on it   If someone can guarantee me they can get me hitting a draw in one lesson even if it’s 2 or 3 hour lesson    I’d pay $500 and any travel expenses   The offer is there! 
 

 

 

On the short approach shots.  You may have missed the post where I referenced a lot of that is due to a league I play in that is played from the white tees. Where I know outside of the par 3’s there nigjt be 1 or 2 holes where I can actually reach the green.  So I lau back with a shot that won’t get me in trouble and leave me a comfortable wedge distance. 
 

I don’t play in that league to win.  I have some friends that play in it and it’s a way of spending some time with them.  and before anyone thinks it.  I’m not one to hold things up by playing the wrong tees.  A couple weeks ago we finished our 9 holes in 1:50 minutes in a steady rain.  Most weeks the course is packed with A and B groups.  So no group finishes in less than 2:15 for 9 most weeks. 
 

So I don’t really focusi on the approaches short.  In addition over the greens ar our course is pure dead 95% of the holes

On GI clubs  no argument here.  I’d you read my fitting for the T350 you will see I play T300 and just ordered the T350, even though the fitter said I could easily play the 200/350 combo.   But I really liked the 350 P,  it hit so well and deleted very good. so going with the T200 in short irons would have been letting ego make the decision    

All good thoughts though.  Thanks 

 

Ok, I understand better now. If you are hitting fairways with acceptable length then I would not worry about hitting a draw. Fades are easier to control they just don’t typically go as far. It just seemed from reading your posts your shots were mostly short and missed were slices. But if you are hitting fairways with decent length trying to draw it can mess you up too. 

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On 7/7/2023 at 4:03 PM, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Putting summary

 

  • 2 putts or better 83%
  • 1 putts 16%
  • 3 putts or worse 17%
  • Approach shot stats
    • Greens in Regulation 16%
    • Approach Missed long 3%
    • Approach Missed Short 30%
    • Approach missed left 20%
    • Approach missed Right 22%
  • Driving Stats
    • Fairway Hit 55%
    • Missed Left 15%
    • Missed Right 17%
    • Missed short 5% (Don't Ask 🙂 )

So take this thread for what it is, I'm open to any thoughts, suggestions criticisms  and especially anyone that is going through the same thing.

Sorry if this aspect has already been mentioned, I haven’t read all the responses to the thread.

What strikes me most from the stats above is that a two-way miss seems to be in the cards both with driver and irons as both fairways and greens missed left or right have similar percentages. This aspect indicates some lack of repeatability on the swing/strike. Sometimes this comes up when we overthink about our swing or try to compensate for bad previous shots during a round.

I’ve been there and I know what it’s like feeling like rolling a dice on every swing. Having a consistent swing is one thing and a consistent outcome is another. In this case, having a consistent outcome irrespectively of the swing (e.g., miss mainly to one side) could be a temporary measure while working of the swing itself. For example, you could try to play a cut or simply avoid going for the perfect straight shot everytime. This way, good shots would be a nice tight cut and bad shots would likely be a bigger cut or slice but you would already know where the miss will be if it happens (it’s up to you to decide if a specific hole allows for misses to the right).

This brings me to the quoted post below and the terms ‘’consistent, solid, on-plane contact’’ are absolute gold. This is not only the key to making precise straight shots but hindering damaging misses also. Gaining too much speed prior to having full control of the swing and strike is like trying to steer a muscle car with chopsticks (I don’t know if it’s a good example but I find it quite amusing). When I talk about full control of the swing, it doesn’t mean having a perfect shallow swing, it simply means knowing exactly where a good shot will go and approximativéy where a bad shot will end up.

21 hours ago, Kenny B said:

However, I would seriously caution beginning speed training until you can get a more efficient swing.  If you cannot make fairly consistent, solid on-plane contact, speed training will make for worse results.  

I hope that this response can be somewhat relevant to your situation as it has been for mine. Good luck with your training!

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21 minutes ago, Ben_Howell34 said:

Ok, I understand better now. If you are hitting fairways with acceptable length then I would not worry about hitting a draw. Fades are easier to control they just don’t typically go as far. It just seemed from reading your posts your shots were mostly short and missed were slices. But if you are hitting fairways with decent length trying to draw it can mess you up too. 

Oh no.  You didn’t misunderstand.  I am short. Routinely the shortest in the group.  I may have gone so many directions on my issues they all probably  seemed one big problem. 
 

im rarely over 210 yards mostly in the 190-195 range     He’s the fade is reliable   And I am fit to a fairly low spin shaft GD DI 5 since I have a higher spin head in the TSR1 

I had one instructor 3 years ago ask me if I was opposed to hitting a draw.  I said no and we walked on it one lesson.    I managed a few with a 9 iron but not a driver. 
 

I went to schedule a lesson with him two weeks later and he had quit the industry.   Man I’m a career killer 😬😬

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5 hours ago, BobBC78 said:

@Golfspy_CG2 - Great thread! I'm in very much the same boat as you are. I started playing golf again when I retired in 2019 after a 10-year hiatus. Current index is 19.9, however, it is new and only based on three scores one of which is an 82 (my lowest score ever) and my guess that it will settle out around 20.5 to 21.5. I started keeping really good stats (via Shot Scope) in 2022 which were eye opening. among other things, age (now 67) and time off resulted in a big deterioration in my swing speed such that my PAve driving distance was only 176 yards. After working through Adam Young's "The Strike Plan" and reading "The Practice Manual" (both of which are great BTW) I learned how to effectively hit up on the ball, which resulted in my PAve driving distance increasing to around 191. Furthermore, I was fortunate to be picked as a tester for the MGS 2023 Super Speed review and have already added about 6 mph back to my swing speed such that PAve is now about 195. Additionally, I am hitting all of my clubs correspondingly longer than I did last year. Per my Shot Scope Stats, GIR has increased from 25% (with 58% short) to 32% (with 41% short). So enough with the good news. The bad news is that my putting has gotten worse as I am now averaging nearly 36 putts per round and 6.2 holes/3-putt versus around 32.5 and 11.5 in 2022 for those stats, respectively.  Hitting more GIR has exposed really poor lag putting on my part, which I am now working hard to correct. I also changed putters in 2023 (to the Ping Anser in my signature from the SeeMore mallet style which I used for most of 2022), which seems to have hurt my putting from 6' to 12'. Needless to say, putting (and short game in general) are getting a lot of attention now and I am considering going back to the SeeMore. 

Some things that I have learned from my reading about "how to "break 80" are as follows:

  1. Tee shots - Keep the ball in play off the tee, penalty strokes (OB, lost ball etc) and sideways punch outs are killers. A negative result of my increased distance is that I have gotten more of both this year. 
  2. Approach shots - It is really important to get on, or at least near, the green in regulation. It is desirable to avoid bunkers and miss where you have lots of green to work with. 
  3. Short game - Develop short game which focuses on getting on the green in one try; i.e. eliminate "2-chips", balls left in the bunker, etc. This is what I would call a functional short game. At the level of mid-capper to bogie golfer short game wizardry is not needed, but rather getting really good at a few reliable and low risk shots. 
  4. Putting - Reduce 3-putts as much as possible, lag putting and improving results from 3' to 9' are critical. 

Looking forward to how this thread progresses and learning some things in the process!

Bob. Thanks so much for taking the time to write that.  Yeah. There are a lot of similarities in our games.  
 

Interesting you mentioned Adam Young and the Strike Plan.  I just leaned if that this week listening to the first season on Chasing Scratch.   And the good ball striking round on Wed night I mentioned.   That was literally a result of me hearing the Hammer the Nail task that morning.  It was in my thought on every shot and o hit it solid.   Then less than 12 hours later on my Thursday round.  I couldn’t even see the damn mail let alone hit it.   😬

I know others have mentioned the hazards to be weary of with speed training   But living in the 190 territory just doesn’t allow you to get many scoring opportunities   Evdn playing from 5700-5800 yards our senior tees  

Thabks for all your thoughts and good luck in your progress  

 

 

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On 7/7/2023 at 3:03 PM, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I'm using the  Chasing Scratch term, not out of grand illusion, but I just found their POD last week and have become an avid listener.  I'm still on Season 2 but working my way through to get current.  I can't imagine what they are talking about 4 years later...ha 

So anyway....

I mentioned this in a bit of a rant last nigh in one of our Staff Slack Channels.  Most regulars here know I'm not a great golfer, many of you have had the misfortune of witnessing the wreck of my swing and politely look away hoping it's not infected. 

But due to a myriad of medical reasons and a simple loft problem (Lack of  $#$$ Talent) I have always hovered between a 15 and 23 handicap.  The 15 was probably 10 years ago when I stil lhad a little bit of distance, drive maybe 245 to250, 7 iron 160 to 170.   The 23 was probably 5 years ago right as some of my medical issues started talking place.   But for the majority of the time, I have been between 17 and 19.    

Last night I saw the sobering number of 20.4 when my handicap updated after posting a 95.  The night before I had a 47 but it was on a much tougher course rating and from the white tees which were about 200 yards further than the gold tees on the same front nine I had played Wed night.   

Wednesday Night South Course Front 9  I felt was possibly the best ball striking round, granted I only hit 1 out of 9 greens, but I can't reach many of the par 4's from the whites, so I was hitting good solid iron shots that left me in good position to get up and down for no worst than bogey.  But alas my putting faltered to the tune of 19 putts.   I was kinda shocked at the end when I saw my score, as I thought I had played better than that, but two holes with triples didn't help the cause. 

Thursday AM, 18 house SouthWest course.  The front 9 is the 9 we played Wed night, but today played it from the Gold Tees, Senior League-so of course I expected to go out and rip it Up 🙂   Oh yeah, if the rounds were only played in our heads. 

So no hole by hole or shot by shot recap.  It was just a day where not one single hole did I feel I was in control.  That is despite having 5 pars and 1 birdie.  So if you're adding up at home, that means the other 12 holes I shot 24 over.   

I totally get how the life of a higher handicap is a mixture of enough pars thrown in during a round to make you think you should be pretty good at this game, to be offset by 2 to 3 holes that are totally round wreckers and you are asking yourself, what's the highest score anyone has ever gotten on this hole.  

I know all the questions and even some of the answers to this quandary..to include:

  • Have you taken lessons--Yes, actually took many video lessons with a very good coach from January to April before some medical issues sidelined me for most of May and June.
  • Do you practice-obviously not as much as I should---See above  Which is a shame since I spent 8 to 10 hours a day less than 50 yards from a range and putting green, and can do on course practice pretty much on demand. 
  • Do you need new equipment---I think we all know the answer to that 🙂
  • Where do you lose all your strokes-- I was surprised to see it's pretty much equal between par 4 and par 5's   Not because I'm trying to reach in two.  But I think the simple fact that a Par 5 requires 3 consecutive solid shots.  VS a Par 3 you can get by with 1
    •  To that end here are my scoring averages for each this year based on my hole by hole stat tracking on GHIN along with Stats from my all around game. 
      • Par 3's 3..88
      • Par 4's 5.46
      • Par 5's 6.65
    • Average putts 33.6  (This is much higher than it has been and I can go into a long explanation, maybe in another post in this thread) 
    • Putting summary
      • 2 putts or better 83%
      • 1 putts 16%
      • 3 putts or worse 17%
    • Approach shot stats
      • Greens in Regulation 16%
      • Approach Missed long 3%
      • Approach Missed Short 30%
      • Approach missed left 20%
      • Approach missed Right 22%
    • Driving Stats
      • Fairway Hit 55%
      • Missed Left 15%
      • Missed Right 17%
      • Missed short 5% (Don't Ask 🙂 )
    • Driving Distance 
      • It doesn't save those numbers but I have enough on course R10 numbers to know it's around 187 

So take this thread for what it is, I'm open to any thoughts, suggestions criticisms  and especially anyone that is going through the same thing.   

It was mostly a way of ranting and not clogging up our MOD discussions with such poor play, when most of them are shooting in the 70's! 

 

 

Several observations/inputs.

1,  Thanks for posting this as we all go through similar things and share your angst.  

2, Immediate stand out items would be putting and likely chipping although chipping isn’t reported through  GHIN stats (I think you are posting GHIN stats).  If you can get your short game in order, the par 4s and par 5s should trend lower by as much as a stroke a piece down to say 4.75 and 5.75 respectively over the next year and that will drop 12-14 shots a round.  
3.  Your green misses are 30% short.  I suffer the same issue on my approach shots.  Take more club. The short shots aren’t always club/distance related as I know from experience, often they are flat out chunks or tops or whatever.  But, if you take enough club to hit the back of the green rather than the front, you might find you are decreasing those short misses.

4.  Change something out equipment wise.  Change out your putter or your grip.  I was on the Garsen MAX test effort and dropped nearly 4 shots by making that transition and I must say two months later, I am still seeing the impact.  
5.  Keep talking it out.  This forum is an amazing place for support and ideas.  I’ve found value in many of the threads.  You Mods all help us, we can return the favor.  

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13 minutes ago, Shlax said:

Sorry if this aspect has already been mentioned, I haven’t read all the responses to the thread.

What strikes me most from the stats above is that a two-way miss seems to be in the cards both with driver and irons as both fairways and greens missed left or right have similar percentages. This aspect indicates some lack of repeatability on the swing/strike. Sometimes this comes up when we overthink about our swing or try to compensate for bad previous shotsduring a round.

I’ve been there and I know what it’s like feeling like rolling a dice on every swing. Having a consistent swing is one thing and a consistent outcome is another. In this case, having a consistent outcome irrespectively of the swing (e.g., miss mainly to one side) could be a temporary measure while working of the swing itself.

For example, you could try to play a cut or simply avoir going for the perfect straight shot everytime. This way, good shots would be a nice tight cut and bad shots would likely be a bigger cut but you would already know where the miss will be it is happens (it’s up to you to decide if a specific hole allows for missed to the right).

This brings me to the quoted post below and the terms ‘’consistent, solid on-plane contact’’ are absolute gold. This is not only the key to making precise straight shots but hindering damaging misses also. Gaining too much speed prior to having full control of the swing and strike is like trying to steer a muscle car with chopsticks (I don’t know if it’s a good example but I find it quite amusing). When I talk about full control of the swing, it doesn’t mean having a perfect shallo swing, it simply means knowing exactly where a good shot will end up and where a bad shot sill end up.

I hope that this response can be somewhat relevant to your situation as it surely has been for mine. Good luck with your training!

Thanks and great points on the equal misses to Rah side on approach and off the tee.  No it hasn’t been discussed.    
 

I do quite a bit of prwcoce on Trackman and Gsrmin R10.  They are both consistent in showing my path is out to in ranging from a low of 2* to a really bad swing of 11 or 12*.  But I seem to live in the 6 to 7 range.   So I am starting left.  I do a pretty good job of closing my face to counteract that (according to our DOI) so usually o end up with a playable fade.   However there are times where I don’t close it and I I’ll end up with the slice or close it to much and end up with a pull hook.   So yeah the dreaded 2 way kiss. 
 

Finding a way to square the face consistently I think will not solve all my problems.  But o think it would eliminate some of those misses to both sides. 
 

Thanks for bringing that up. 

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4 minutes ago, Caddie1966 said:

Several observations/inputs.

1,  Thanks for posting this as we all go through similar things and share your angst.  

2, Immediate stand out items would be putting and likely chipping although chipping isn’t reported through  GHIN stats (I think you are posting GHIN stats).  If you can get your short game in order, the par 4s and par 5s should trend lower by as much as a stroke a piece down to say 4.75 and 5.75 respectively over the next year and that will drop 12-14 shots a round.  
3.  Your green misses are 30% short.  I suffer the same issue on my approach shots.  Take more club. The short shots aren’t always club/distance related as I know from experience, often they are flat out chunks or tops or whatever.  But, if you take enough club to hit the back of the green rather than the front, you might find you are decreasing those short misses.

4.  Change something out equipment wise.  Change out your putter or your grip.  I was on the Garsen MAX test effort and dropped nearly 4 shots by making that transition and I must say two months later, I am still seeing the impact.  
5.  Keep talking it out.  This forum is an amazing place for support and ideas.  I’ve found value in many of the threads.  You Mods all help us, we can return the favor.  

Thanks for the reply.  You are correct they are GHIN stats.  I have arccos but you may have read above aboit my frustration with it.  
 

You are correct on the short shots definitely not all club choice   And I do usually try to take more club than less more times than not  

I haven’t gone in depth in this thread aboit my putting yet   I will in another post    But most will tell you even some of my low single digit friends that I’m a very good putter   The simple putts per round iw up this yesr to 33. Something’s from 32.5 last year.  Again more to come on that.

 

But I do like the ideas of changing something up and that is in the works  😬

 

 

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18 hours ago, Kenny B said:

I did the SuperSpeed testing several years ago, and yes I gained speed.  However, I would seriously caution beginning speed training until you can get a more efficient swing.  If you cannot make fairly consistent, solid on-plane contact, speed training will make for worse results.  My CHS is about the same as yours, and I don’t reach all of our par 5’s in regulation… along with a par 4.  When I move back to the tees I used to play a couple of years ago, I’m hitting FW shots and wedges most of the time with very few irons shots and hoping to get on the green and one-putt for par.  Fortunately, I can do that fairly frequently.  I can keep the ball in play, and recover from my poor strikes on the ball (that happens more frequently that I like… working on it).  Good scores come when short game and putting are solid.  Reasonable scores come when I can eliminate doubles or worse.

There are a lot of good suggestions posted above, so I won’t repeat them; However, it sounds to me that you need to spend time working with a coach to make good contact with the ball.  I say this because we seem to have a similar game, but we are playing it differently.  You can gain speed and control by focusing on improving ball contact with your proper tempo, rhythm and timing of transition to the downswing.  It’s how us older guys do it.  😂  

I’m not a follower of Hank Haney, but his keys to lower scores are 

  1. Eliminate penalty strokes.  Sounds like they are coming from poor tee shots, poor ball contact or decision making.
  2. No 2-chips or 2-bunker shots.  There’s technique involved that must be learned and requires practice; not just to learn, but also to maintain proficiency; have to keep at it.
  3. No 3-putts.  Again practice lag putting and putts under 5 feet; distance control cannot be stressed enough.

Obviously, any of these are going to happen at any time, but the key is to make them very infrequent.  How you go about it will depend on what your primary issues are and that’s where your coach come in.  You need feedback.

Hey Kenny.  Thanks I forgot to reply when I read this earlier.   
 

And yes as @Shlax mentioned as well that speed training on an inconsistent swing can make it even more so.   And you are spot on, as I watch the Women’s US Open while typing this.   They don’t have the crazy speed of the PGA yet they are getting it out there plenty long enough.   I love watching ball speeds and seeing the distance it results ini actually pau more attention to that in my practice than I do swing speed.    As ball speed can be improved in ways other than just pure swing speed.   
 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Hey Kenny.  Thanks I forgot to reply when I read this earlier.   
 

And yes as @Shlax mentioned as well that speed training on an inconsistent swing can make it even more so.   And you are spot on, as I watch the Women’s US Open while typing this.   They don’t have the crazy speed of the PGA yet they are getting it out there plenty long enough.   I love watching ball speeds and seeing the distance it results ini actually pau more attention to that in my practice than I do swing speed.    As ball speed can be improved in ways other than just pure swing speed.   

I'm also watching the US Women's Open.  It's interesting that they seem to be missing more fairways than usual because they aren't as wide as the typical LPGA event where they swing all out and still hit fairways.  

I can tell you from experience that you will gain distance without increasing your swing speed when you make better contact.  Fixing club path and face control leads to a more efficient strike and more distance.  I'm 76 and I am hitting the ball consistently further than I did 10 years ago, and it's not all because of better technology!!  I made the decision to improve my swing because I could see that distance was going to continue to decline as I got older.  I just wanted to maintain, but I'm still seeing gains.  

A good instructor will be able to identify the main reason for poor ball striking.  Whatever it is, work on it until you eliminate it.  There will be other reasons, but you have to fix the main one before you can hope to fix the others.  Don't try to fix multiple problems at the same time!!  

I've enjoyed my time with Monte and he has helped me considerably.  @cksurfdude is at Monte's clinic in NJ this weekend.  As a top level instructor, his prices are reasonable, and his videos are gold and not expensive.  I watch them frequently.  I particularly like the Efficient Swing, No Turn Cast, and Power Shift.  He also posts excerpts from his videos on Instagram; it's the only social media I follow... except the MGS Forum of course!!  😉

 

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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1 hour ago, Kenny B said:

I'm also watching the US Women's Open.  It's interesting that they seem to be missing more fairways than usual because they aren't as wide as the typical LPGA event where they swing all out and still hit fairways.  

I can tell you from experience that you will gain distance without increasing your swing speed when you make better contact.  Fixing club path and face control leads to a more efficient strike and more distance.  I'm 76 and I am hitting the ball consistently further than I did 10 years ago, and it's not all because of better technology!!  I made the decision to improve my swing because I could see that distance was going to continue to decline as I got older.  I just wanted to maintain, but I'm still seeing gains.  

A good instructor will be able to identify the main reason for poor ball striking.  Whatever it is, work on it until you eliminate it.  There will be other reasons, but you have to fix the main one before you can hope to fix the others.  Don't try to fix multiple problems at the same time!!  

I've enjoyed my time with Monte and he has helped me considerably.  @cksurfdude is at Monte's clinic in NJ this weekend.  As a top level instructor, his prices are reasonable, and his videos are gold and not expensive.  I watch them frequently.  I particularly like the Efficient Swing, No Turn Cast, and Power Shift.  He also posts excerpts from his videos on Instagram; it's the only social media I follow... except the MGS Forum of course!!  😉

 

Yeah Monte is great. I got to know him at the PGA Show about 7 years ago then when he started his traveling clinics I hosted him at my course for his DC clinch for a couple years. 
 

I have watched a few of his videos including No Cast No Turn.   I just don’t seem to have the attention for YT type lessons.   I do better with direct whether it’s in person or via online 1-1.  
 

But I guess it can’t hurt to watch it again. 

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14 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Yeah Monte is great. I got to know him at the PGA Show about 7 years ago then when he started his traveling clinics I hosted him at my course for his DC clinch for a couple years. 
 

I have watched a few of his videos including No Cast No Turn.   I just don’t seem to have the attention for YT type lessons.   I do better with direct whether it’s in person or via online 1-1.  
 

But I guess it can’t hurt to watch it again. 

I understand.  If I lived in the LA area, I would be seeing him frequently… What am I saying!!!  If I lived in LA I would be moving out!!!

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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4 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

I understand.  If I lived in the LA area, I would be seeing him frequently… What am I saying!!!  If I lived in LA I would be moving out!!!

It was a shame what happened to him at the Senior Open.   Work all year for that and to have that happen Is just not fair. 
 

I look forward to hearing CKSurfdude’s experience at the clinic. 

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