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Post-mortem: 130 to 88 in 6 months... what worked, what did not. - Page 5

post #73 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm currently shooting in the 70's regularly now... Breaking through the barrier of low 80's.  It isn't easy.

 

Congrats.  I sincerely mean that.  Before I started this two years ago I didn't think 70s was all that hard.  I was wrong.  I have a tremendous amount of respect, not for long hitters or great ball strikers but people who can *Score*.  Its hard.

 

 

Quote:
Hopefully getting something a little more formalized around the golf swing will help me physically take it to the next level on the course? 

 

Yeah, I really, really like the book.  They have tests for balance, strength, flexibility, etc... (there are 6 I think).  You do the assessment tests every 30 days or so, and based on those assessments you get 12 daily exercises to do.  I got to start somewhat higher up due to being a tennis player in college and a decent athlete, but they have workouts for people who can't stand on one foot for more than 10 seconds, etc...  Its really good.

 

Getting "longer" had a very small effect on my score.  I still play from the blue tees (same tees) and going from 225 off the tee to 285 off the tee has saved me about 3 strokes a round.  You'd think (and I thought) it would be longer, but it isn't all that helpful unless you can score.  This whole experiment has taught me one important lesson: golf is about scoring.  Period.  As an example, on Monday afternoon, I hit a drive that was probably between 295 and 305.  My playing partner hit one about 210.  He hit a 4 iron wide right, I hit a wedge to the back.  He got up and down, I two putted, and we both par'd.  He ended up with an 80, I carded an 84.  Length is not all that important.

 

Length is all about strength.  As you go through the program, you don't feel different.  Your swing feels exactly the same.  But, slowly but surely, your ball just goes further.  Its pretty interesting.  You don't "feel" any different, but the ball explodes off the face.  Overswinging and switching drivers doesn't really help I found.  Getting stronger makes a huge difference.

 

Enjoy the book and thanks for posting.  I really hope to be able to post up a "how I got to the 70s" post, but until I get there, I don't know what to say. :)  If anyone else in the 70s cares to share what may have worked, I'd love to read it.  Cracking 80 consistently is very, very hard.

post #74 of 84

I'm just tagging this with a post so I can find it again.  Good stuff.
 

post #75 of 84
Would still like to read it.
post #76 of 84
Great thread, thanks for sharing.
post #77 of 84

Great read!  I'm inspired by hearing from someone who has walked the path I want to travel.  Thanks!

post #78 of 84
Thread Starter 

Well, it is now about two years later, and I've broken into the seventies consistently.  I just shot a 74 from the back tees on a very difficult course this past weekend, and have done five consecutive rounds under 80 (although one was a 34 for nine I guess).

 

I expected the journey from 82 to 76-78 to take another six months or so from the end of this thread - certainly not two years.

 

Developing the game to break 80 consistently on a 6800-yard course is in the top 3 hardest things I've ever done, right up there with starting a business.  Its that hard and took me a smaller but similar time commitment.  Others may have found it easier, but for me it was really tough.  Fun, but tough.

 

Over the past two years, I've run the gamut (including quitting for about 4 months out of sheer frustration).  

 

I've started writing up a similar thread to this one about the journey from 88 to 75.  Hopefully it will go up this month.

 

A few highlights:

 

1. Its mental.  Whatever the question, that's usually the answer. :)

 

2.  You can get significantly longer if you are willing to work on it every day for an hour for a year or so. (I went from fairly short 235ish to a long hitter, and I hope to detail how that was accomplished).  Using tension bands to get stronger and doing little drills to perfect center-of-clubface contact did wonders that years of overswinging and several driver fittings didn't accomplish.

 

3.  Having a putter that fits you is insanely important.  If you asked me to choose between a putter that didn't fit or my 5, 7, 9 irons, I'd play with 11 clubs.  I'd probably play with 6 clubs rather than play with a putter that doesn't fit.  For me, getting fit (i used edel) was a huge quantum leap in the consistency of my contact in the center of the putterface.

 

4. Get a schedule and stick to it.  A little bit every day works wonders, and is way better than 5 hours per day a couple times a week.

 

I have alot jumbled in my head about the order and what to say about different things, especially since I did alot of things that didn't work *at all*.

 

Now I am hopeful that I can, someday, get my index to scratch.  We shall see.

 

In closing, these three books were instrumental/integral to getting to the mid-seventies:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Fix-Your-Body-Swing-Revolutionary/dp/0312605625/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400507898&sr=8-1&keywords=fix+your+body+fix+your+swing

 

(I do the "dirty dozen" every day.  This book is awesome.  You will add serious yards if you faithfully do the exercises for 3-4 months).

 

http://www.amazon.com/Golf-Flow-Gio-Valiante/dp/1450434045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400507912&sr=8-1&keywords=golf+flow

 

(The best book I've found on mental game, because it discuss the biology of how the brain works on a golf course, which was helpful to me.  "Own your game" by Stockton and "Golf is not a game of perfect" by Rotella are also good, but much shorter and less technical about how myelin actually works, etc...)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Lights-Out-Putting-Approach-Golfs-Within/dp/0809224402/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400508049&sr=8-1&keywords=todd+sones

 

(This book is very very good.  Its not as exhaustive as Pelz, and Pelz has better drills, but this book is a light read and gives some great information, especially how to check if your putter fits.)

 

Anyway, hopefully Ill get a longer post up in a bit, as I've started organizing my thoughts already.  So much went into getting better that its hard to distill it down to something digestable.

post #79 of 84

Congrats, I am actually looking forward to the thread. 

post #80 of 84

Thanks so much.   This is encouraging.

post #81 of 84

Really cool writeup. This will make a great read for me.

 

Please work on gory details getting from 88 to 75 too!

post #82 of 84
I'm also looking forward to that thread. I'm sort in the boat you were in 2 years ago. I'm a low 80s-ish shooter, but I can also go below 80 and above 90 every once in a while. So it's definitely interesting to me what steps you took to get from low 80s to consistent 70s.
post #83 of 84

Like any of you need me to confirm anything, I'm still going to chime in.

 

On Sunday I played in my club February Medal Stableford competition. I hit 97 shots and scored 34 points (17 out, 17 in). My playing handicap is 25, and this is only the 6th time I've broken 100.

 

I scored a 4-over on the first, and a three over on the 14th and 18th, but the first two of these were the only zero-points holes (the 18th was still worth 1 point). The rest of the round I had six double-bogies, six bogies, and three pars.

 

But the reason I'm chiming in is not to show off (though I am pretty chuffed with this round), but because so many things mentioned in the OP were things I was doing.

 

The best example would be the 16th. This hole (much like the 1st, 17th, and 18th) is from the top of the valley, across a ditch at the bottom of the then up again to the green on the other side. This green is particularly obviously raised, not just because it's at the top of the valley side. After my tee shot, which only just made it over the ditch I still had 134 yards to go. So, for me (I'm a short hitter), and particularly on a winter day, this would have to be a very good shot to get a GiR. Since there are two nasty bunkers at the front I decided to lay up and play for par or bogey. Now, although my lay-up shot didn't go as far as I wanted to, I was still left with a pretty unchallenging PW to get on, which I made. Two putts later, I was walking off with a bogey for 2 points.

 

Similar deal on the 15th (SI 1). An OK tee shot ended on the right of the fairway. It's another raised green, and I was blocked off by a big oak tree (this hole requires a tee shot that ends on the left of the fairway for a clear shot in). Heroics were pointless, so, an easy hybrid lay-up left me with a SW on the green. Two putts for bogey: 3 points.

 

This was also only the second time I've broken 100 on my home course.

 

My point, which matches the overall point by the OP, johnclayton1982, is that it's about scoring, not hitting. It felt like this was the first time I was playing golf rather than just hitting shots and seeing what would happen. i.e. I was thinking my way around, and playing percentages.

 

I had a good day off the tee, which obviously helps a lot. But again, this matches johnclayton1982's point. My longest drive was just 178 yards, only one other reached 170 yards, but I only missed three fairways, and as a result, I was always in a good position to progress towards, or on to, the green. i.e. short and straight is better than long and wrong.

 

Can't give johnclayton1982 any credit though. I read this thread for the first time just yesterday. ;-)

 

Still, it's a great article. So good I've saved it to my Evernote so I can refer to it wherever I am.

post #84 of 84

Good initial post, and a better update!   I am bookmarking this post. 

 

( The OP did it in 6 months which took me 3 years.  Unlike the OP though, my game is back up to 100 range after two more years of golf.  Much of my game's decline was self inflicted by not continue doing what worked.   In order to improve but not wanting/having time to practice consitently, I took short cuts which ended up messing up my game.   Starting two months ago, I pushed the reset button by signing up for a series of lesson (and relearning much of what I knew before).   I sure hope it does not take another 3 years this time. )

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