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Dramatic improvement following a critical insight?

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A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to get better. At that time I rarely broke 100. So I took some lessons from Golf Tech and got consistently into the 90's. Since then I've I've bought a lot of DVDs, read books, watched youtube videos, etc. I think my ball striking got a little more consistent, my handicap dropped a couple of points, but my distance didn't improve. A well struck 7 iron for me has always been 140 yds. Recently, I picked-up Jim Hardy's Plane Truth and its been something of a revelation. I took some of his one-plane ideas to the range and after about half a bucket, I was hitting (some of) my shots 170-175 with the 7 iron. Finishing the bucket, I grabbed another small bucket to try his tow-plane version. After about a dozen balls I was again hitting my 7 iron about 170 yds (with a little more dispersion). Two days later I went back to the range and replicated the results. Since then I haven't hit any balls due to weather and a minor knee surgery. I feel like I finally understand how to power a golf swing; however, I can't count how many times I've thought I was on to something only to find that either I wasn't, or that it had escaped me. Anyway, I'm wondering if such dramatic insight/improvement experiences are at all common in learning the swing. Since I cant play right now, I cant test the theory and I'm hoping to hear similar stories of how your swing improved after some critical insight.

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Great post Crappy and welcome to the forum. I would not say I have replicated those results. I do not hit a 7 iron 170 and what is more, I really do not want to. Yeah, I would love to be able to hit the driver 300 yards down the middle every time but I am pleased with the distance I hit the ball now with my irons. Well, in the summer anyway.:D

 

My epiphany, actually two of them. The first is pay no attention to that faster is farther crap. It is all about solid contact and fast comes from proper swing not trying to swing fast. My best hits happen when I think I am swinging slowly.

 

The second, and perhaps most important as far as lowering the score is that it is all about putting. The goal is to get to putting in the least amount of strokes and then in the hole in the least number of strokes. This means is the purpose of the drive is to set me up to aim at the green. The purpose of the approach shot is to get it on the green so I can putt. I can make a putt from any where on the green. (I can not necessarily do.) So when on the tee box, my goal now is to get the ball in play. This relieved a lot of pressure on my game. There is not near as much pressure on a putt for birdie or par as there is a putt to keep from getting a double bogey.

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I have had a few breakthrough moments in my game. Sometimes something just clicks, to the point where you just can't imagine how you ever played prior to the new realization. I had a breakthrough moment early last year and wrote about it in a thread titled "Relaxed Power" or something like that. I went on to play my best golf ever through the year, and posted my career best score and first time under par. A late season illness set me back quite a bit and that combined with winter weather has me struggling a bit to find where I was, but the keys are still there in my head and I have little doubt that I will be able to get back to where I was and hopefully improve upon it.

 

Get out and hit balls whenever you can focusing on the new feeling. It is as much about visualizing what you are trying to do and keeping your body ready to execute when you can finally bring it to the course. Don't let yourself forget, but don't worry too much about pushing for immediate results when the weather and your body are not going to let that happen.

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I am also a fan or the Relaxed Power Tyk talks about. I just downloaded the Jim Hardy's book so I will give that a look see and get back to you. I think I will run to the course and wack a few balls before I read it.

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...... however, I can't count how many times I've thought I was on to something only to find that either I wasn't, or that it had escaped me.

All the damn time. When you figure out how to combat it...let me know!

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I am also a fan or the Relaxed Power Tyk talks about. I just downloaded the Jim Hardy's book so I will give that a look see and get back to you. I think I will run to the course and wack a few balls before I read it.

Downloaded to your iPhone?

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Downloaded to your iPhone?

 

I downloaded it to my Kindle which is on my iPhone and on my Android (poor man iPad). Started reading it already.

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I downloaded it to my Kindle which is on my iPhone and on my Android (poor man iPad). Started reading it already.

I just figured out how to download books. Let me know what you think of it.

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I have had a few breakthrough moments in my game. Sometimes something just clicks, to the point where you just can't imagine how you ever played prior to the new realization. I had a breakthrough moment early last year and wrote about it in a thread titled "Relaxed Power" or something like that. I went on to play my best golf ever through the year, and posted my career best score and first time under par. A late season illness set me back quite a bit and that combined with winter weather has me struggling a bit to find where I was, but the keys are still there in my head and I have little doubt that I will be able to get back to where I was and hopefully improve upon it.

 

Get out and hit balls whenever you can focusing on the new feeling. It is as much about visualizing what you are trying to do and keeping your body ready to execute when you can finally bring it to the course. Don't let yourself forget, but don't worry too much about pushing for immediate results when the weather and your body are not going to let that happen.

 

Tyk - Just read the post you refer to - NICE. Answered my question and taught me something too. Might even help explain why my insight worked as well as it did - I was able to quit worrying about positions and mechanics and just concentrate on the much simpler matter of which muscles should be used to apply the energy that ultimately moves the club on the appropriate plane. All of the other swing movements (or lack thereof) were already pretty well ingrained and I was able to get out of my own way.

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Tyk - Just read the post you refer to - NICE. Answered my question and taught me something too. Might even help explain why my insight worked as well as it did - I was able to quit worrying about positions and mechanics and just concentrate on the much simpler matter of which muscles should be used to apply the energy that ultimately moves the club on the appropriate plane. All of the other swing movements (or lack thereof) were already pretty well ingrained and I was able to get out of my own way.

 

I was going to ask what in particular gave you the critical insight that led to the improvement? But you just answered it.

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In the last few months I made an adjustment that more consistently gives me that explosion of power that feels so effortless. It's something I would get 5 or 10 percent of the time maybe. It feels like a wave of energy traveling down my arm and snapping through the club into the ball. You can't muscle it or force it to happen. You have to let it happen. Now I get that on almost every shot. I figured out how to repeat it. Now I say that from the improvement I've seen indoors as I haven't been able to play for a while. Sometimes taking to the course can be entirely different. But I'm pretty confident I can keep it. It has to do with a particular way I move for one. But especially my tempo. I've learned to get that down by feeling the club. It tells you how to move if you let it. I know, sounds corny. But it gets rid of mechanical thoughts for me. I always say, there's two things that are a death sentence to a swing. The worst is thinking about hitting the ball. That makes it the target instead of where you want it to go. Your brain automatically tells your body to move differently when the target is on the ground in front of you. The second is thinking about HOW to swing. Both of those things take your mind off the real target and intent which gives you little chance to pull the shot off.

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The worst is thinking about hitting the ball. That makes it the target instead of where you want it to go. Your brain automatically tells your body to move differently when the target is on the ground in front of you.

 

Yes to this! I think about it a bit differently though, I try to not be ball or target oriented, I like to get myself set up and concentrate on rotating. If I set up right, and swing right, then the shot will be right, right? I all the time tell myself "you are not hitting a ball, you are making a good swing with a ball in the way"!

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I just figured out how to download books. Let me know what you think of it.

Ok. I read over this book rather quickly. I have not put it to practice and I would not say that there was a "Eureka Moment" , there were some "Aha Moments".

 

"Eureka moments" may come.

 

There is a lot of conflicting golf instructions and he does a great job of seperating it into two distinct swings. And this is an excellent way to spend the cold winter and $9.90 on Kindle.

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There have been a couple of "Eureka Moments" in this book and even a "Holy Sheep Sh!t, Batman!!! Moments." I will finish the book and put some stuff into practice but I can safely say that the problem that I have fought 15 months is solved. This will probably end up as its own thread but this one vs two plane book is good stuff. I did brave the snow this morning and hit a few balls and the results were outstanding.

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I would say there have been 3 aha moments that have really changed my golf game. The first was the Dave Pelz Putting Bible.It is not because this book is the only method for how putt correctly. Instwas it gave me a method and fundamentals to learn with drills to practice that gave me confidence in my putting. This resulted in great putting inside 5 feet, Very few three putts and feeling like any putt at least had a chance to drop. It also gave a lot of cold hard stats about the fact that even pros miss most of their outside ten feet. That helped me not beat myself up so.much when I missed. This resulted in a 3-5 stroke drop. For someone who was a 10 handicap at the time that is a sizable drop.

 

The second, and I would contend most important aha moment was The short game Bible. My putting benefited so much how could I not go to the next one. I know Rover Rick says it's all about putting, and winning a tournament requires a good putting week. But research shows that all tour pros hit it about the same and all.putt well too. However the only stat that That seems to have a direct correlation to money on tour is getting down in two inside 125 yards. It explains how Tom Kite who was not the longest or straightaway hitter, nor the best putter was the all-time leading money winner fora while.

This book convinced me to practice my short game like a madman. I could already chip and pitch well. But the book taught me to work on my distance wedges and bunker play. The results were up and downs for pars when my swing was off and lots of.birdies on short par fours and 5's. It also makes your full swings better because I don't worry about missing because I am confident I can get up and down. It also really frustrates the guys who hit it twenty yards past you and hit more greens when you beat them because you Chip and putt better. This got me to +2. Granted I was playing and practicing 5 days a week then. Now I am scratch and I play once a week and when I practice it is almost nothing but short game.

 

The final was Mental books like Golf is Not a Game of Perfect and Golf is a Game of confidence. The main thing here was to stay focused, pick specific targets, play smart, and trust myself and not do swing thoughts while playing. This has helped me now that I play less by making me more consistent and not doing stupid things. I shoot fewer 66' s these days, but I also shoot fewer 78' s.

 

In conclusion if your swing is good enough to keep.you in play and get at least close to greens in regulation, If you have a well.rounded weakness free short game, if you can make most of then inside 5 feet and not three putt and if you can stay target oriented in the present not making stupid mistakes you can be a single digit or even scratch golfer.

 

The problem I this goes against everything the golfing world tells you.Spend less time on the long game, the things you are already good at and new equipment and more time practicing the tedious things like three footers and distance wedges, and worry more about where you hit it and not how far you hit it.

 

I'm sorry I'll get off my soapbox now.

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I know Rover Rick says it's all about putting, and winning a tournament requires a good putting week.

 

True, sorta. If you are a great putter it relieves stress on the rest of the game. And getting on a soap box is an occupational hazard for you.:D So preach on.

 

What I really meant was that I had a killer short iron and wedge games for years. Anytime I was within 120 yards you could count on me being within 10 feet of the hole. However, you could also count on me two or three putting from 10 feet. The guys I played with for years laughed at me about my lack of putting skills. Then one week I had a putting breakthrough and after I made the putts on three consecutive holes they started talking about how we needed to change our betting system because I had learned to putt. The sad part is they were right.

 

If, and I plan to find out tomorrow, what I read and did in the snow today translate to the course this is a significant Eureka moment. But honestly I have spent very little time on my long game. Short game and putting is where it is at. I agree with that. If I can get my long game issues ironed out I can compete with the big boys at the club.

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True, sorta. If you are a great putter it relieves stress on the rest of the game. And getting on a soap box is an occupational hazard for you.:D So preach on.

 

What I really meant was that I had a killer short iron and wedge games for years. Anytime I was within 120 yards you could count on me being within 10 feet of the hole. However, you could also count on me two or three putting from 10 feet. The guys I played with for years laughed at me about my lack of putting skills. Then one week I had a putting breakthrough and after I made the putts on three consecutive holes they started talking about how we needed to change our betting system because I had learned to putt. The sad part is they were right.

 

If, and I plan to find out tomorrow, what I read and did in the snow today translate to the course this is a significant Eureka moment. But honestly I have spent very little time on my long game. Short game and putting is where it is at. I agree with that. If I can get my long game issues ironed out I can compete with the big boys at the club.

this is funny. I am currently reading plane truth as well, I am hoping that by making sure my one plane fundamentals more solid and not mixing the two theories I can get a little bit of my old consistency back without having to play everyday. I want to compete in state am tournaments but I also want to spend time with my family.

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this is funny. I am currently reading plane truth as well, I am hoping that by making sure my one plane fundamentals more solid and not mixing the two theories I ucan get a little bit of my old consistency back without having to play everyday. I want to compete in state am tournaments but I also want to spend time with my family.

I have some of both going on right now.

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I feel like the swing theories sort of came together as a way to teach someone what is most efficient and easily repeatable. However that is more of a new concept in golf I think.

I just got done reading an article by Bruce talking about "Play Swing or Play Golf" >> http://www.bargolfinstruction.blogspot.com/2013/01/play-swing-or-play-golf.html

 

This got me thinking about my first ever golf lesson at 3years old (I can't really remember it honestly). However, I do recall that I was given a club to hold and taught to swing with the goal of controlling the shot. I did take lessons form a PGA Teaching Pro when I was little. However, I highly doubt that the instructor would have bothered with swing philosophy to a 3 to 5 year old, just a grip thing here and a small tweak there in posture and tell you to swing away.

 

Why not just learn to hold the club properly, learn to address the ball properly (aim, posture, etc), then just figure out how to hit shots and control it?

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