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Talk me down (or give me a push) - Page 3

post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

Bob Rotella has it right.  Golf is not a game of perfect.  Go into it looking for perfection  and you are doomed to be disappointed.  Treat it as what it is..... a game.  You can be serious as hell when you practice, but play the game for fun.  If it isn't fun, then why do you do it?  One or two rounds isn't the end of the world.  It can be fixed - it's something in your swing or your psyche - look for it when you practice, but go out and play to have fun.  You should consider yourself lucky.  You get to play 1 or 2 times a week.  That's more than the great majority of golfers gets to do.  I'm living on an island where there is no golf.  I haven't had the chance to touch a club since April.  I'd kill to go out and shoot 94, because at least I'd be playing golf.  That's about all I have to say.

Best answer in here, I believe.

post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 

OP Update:

 

Thanks to everyone for the encouraging words. I was worried I'd get a lot of "Stop crying baby" responses but I didn't see any.

 

Stress has been a big key for me lately as I changed jobs recently after a 7 year run at my previous job. If I line up the time lines of when I started interviewing and contemplating the change with my golf stats (I do track everything by the way, I've even made up some stats) then I'm sure it will be synchronized with the down turn in my game.

 

I went to the range yesterday and walked 6 holes. Totally practice and not playing for score (extra practice shot here or there) and I tried to reduce my focus to one thing (my Curly moment): Hit the ball at the target. Fat, Thin, little slice, little draw, whatever, as long as it ends up going in the direction I was aiming (generally). I did that and was really happy with the results. Not always great but rarely awful. I par'd 3 holes, bogied another and had 2 holes that I didn't keep score on because I hit some bad shots and rehit a couple times and didn't really play my first ball out.

 

Finally a quick note on how I keep score: I play 3 holes at a time and try to be 1-2 over on each 3. When I get done with 3 holes I start over. I may just move more to 9 at a time and write things down at the turn and at the clubhouse. I can remember every shot on every hole for about 3 rounds especially if they are on different courses (shots on same course can run together sometimes). The point is I can remember it well enough to not write it down for a while.

 

Anyway, thanks for talking me down :)
 

post #39 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Driver View Post

 

Jason,

 

I think you nailed it - "I feel like I need to almost forget about handicap and just play."  I think a lot of golfers have faced that moment when frustration fills you up. Most aren't at your same handicap, but expectations for all golfers can be very high and when we aren't improving or the handicap takes a hit, it feels like the golf world is upside down.

 

I was talking to a friend about golf woes and such and he asked me, "Isn't golf supposed to be fun?" I was upset because my handicap was headed north and didn't look like it was going to stop, I was hitting the ball all over the place. And my scores were awful.

 

My problem? I wanted to use clubs that were above my skill level to use consistently and I was so focused on SCORE, SCORE, SCORE, that I wasn't focused on the shot that was right in front of me.

 

I took care of my equipment issues, that was the easy part. The hard part for me? Stop keeping score out on the course. Quit looking at the scorecard and don't worry about my handicap. I wanted to play good golf and a handicap is a reflection of that, it isn't the ultimate goal.

 

In the last year and change, my handicap has dropped over 6 stokes. I have been sitting at or just below 10 for the last couple months, I am playing better than ever and I am having more fun out on the course. I still will throw up an embarassing score once in a while, but that happens. I try to focus on making my next shot a great one. Whatever happens, happens, walk up to the ball and make the next shot a great one.

 

Best of luck and make your next shot a great one.

 

DD

 

DD,

 

I was reading this again and was curious about the club situation you had. What clubs did you have and what did you move to? About a year ago I went from some muscle-back Mizunos to some TM blades. It was a little tough at first but I love them now and at least I THINK they have helped me get to where I am. However they are blades and rated for 7 and below (I think) so I wonder if I could be just as good with some clubs that were a little more forgiving. I do love working the ball though so that was the main consideration for the blades.

 

Just curious. Thanks

post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Henley View Post

 

DD,

 

I was reading this again and was curious about the club situation you had. What clubs did you have and what did you move to? About a year ago I went from some muscle-back Mizunos to some TM blades. It was a little tough at first but I love them now and at least I THINK they have helped me get to where I am. However they are blades and rated for 7 and below (I think) so I wonder if I could be just as good with some clubs that were a little more forgiving. I do love working the ball though so that was the main consideration for the blades.

 

Just curious. Thanks

Some cavity backs play a lot like blades, meaning not all blades are hard to hit and not all cavity backs are easy to hit. The biggest advantage of a blade type irons to me is trajectory and spin control. I was watching the Big Break and noticed how poor they are at spin control. It might even be their biggest weakness compared to the top pros. Okay, they're miles better than me, but I played with a guy last weekend who on a calm day would have beaten me by a handful of strokes, but in the wind he ballooned so many approach shots and drives it was insane. I beat him by only 1 stroke, but it felt like a dozen.  

post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Henley View Post

 

DD,

 

I was reading this again and was curious about the club situation you had. What clubs did you have and what did you move to? About a year ago I went from some muscle-back Mizunos to some TM blades. It was a little tough at first but I love them now and at least I THINK they have helped me get to where I am. However they are blades and rated for 7 and below (I think) so I wonder if I could be just as good with some clubs that were a little more forgiving. I do love working the ball though so that was the main consideration for the blades.

 

Just curious. Thanks

 

 

I was hoping nobody would ask as it is embarrassing to be so insecure with clubs that i can't settle on a set of irons for more than a year or so, but I get the feeling that others have probably been in the same predicament, so, here we go.

 

I started on what I call the golf club merry-go-round about 10 years ago after my game improved to the point that I felt I was ready for the next step, new clubs, blades.  ( http://thesandtrap.com/t/49746/post-mortem-130-to-88-in-6-months-what-worked-what-did-not/54 )

 

I had been playing some PIng I-3 O-size irons, my first fitted set or irons. After using them for a few years and feeling over confident because I had lowered my scores from the 110's down into the mid- to high 80's. I decided it was time to take the next logical step and get some clubs with more workability, I decided on a set of Mizuno Mp-32's. I had them for about a year and hit them pretty good for the most part, and loved the feel when I hit the ball well. Problem was my distance control was way off. Depending on how well I hit the 'sweet spot' I could easily be a club long or short of my average shot. I was flying greens and coming up short all too frequently. My scores took a big hit.

 

Well, after not quite a year, I had enough pain from bad scores and decided my swing wasn't good enough to hold up to the MP-32's and it was time to tuck my tail and go back to a game improvement club. A friend suggested I try the latest Callaway offering. So, I got rid of the MP-32's and picked up a set of X-18's (it has been a few years, but I believe that is right) with the uniflex shafts. The store insisted the One-shaft-fits-all, were great. Not so great for me. Shaft way too soft, ball way too high. I didn't have those more than several months and I decided to go back to some Ping's, the I-5. I was fitted and they really wanted to put me in some S300 shafts stepped stiff to match my swing and to stop the ballooning ball problem with the Callaways. The I-5's were ok, but I never really felt like they were quite right and I missed the feel of the forged Mizuno's. Less than a year later, I decided to try a set of Mx-200's. These were so, so, for me. Good, but not great. I still hadn't found anything that played as well as my original Ping I-3's and my scores were hanging around bogey.

 

I finally thought enough is enough and sold the Mx-200's and decided to try some used clubs, including some older Ping I-3's. I picked up 3 different sets, Ping Zings', Ping I-3's and Ping Eye-2's and played them for a little over a year. The I-3's were ok, not as good as I remember them. The eye-2's were a better head, really easy to hit from all types of lies, more of a players clubs, but the shafts weren't as good and the lofts were weak compared to the newer clubs and I was a full club shorter. I still felt like I could do better. (isn't that always the case?)

 

That's the long way around to the equipment changes that brings me to where I am today. I sat down and evaluated my strengths and weeknesses on the golf course and decided what I needed to do to make a change. At the time, three of my changes involved equipment; Irons, 3-wood and putter. Over the short span of about 1 month I sold my irons sets, a nice SC putter I wasn't using and a bunch of extras that had been sitting in the closet unused for a long time. I first replaced the putter with a very generic TM770 that I putt really well with. Next was the irons. After a lot of thought I felt like I needed to get some confidence back and bought a set of Ping G-15's, 4-UW. And last, I got rid of an old Taylormade System 2 3-wood and bought a new Taylormade Burner Superfast 2.0 3-wood. All stiff shafts. What a change.

 

I began putting better, hitting my irons with some confidence, and attacking short par-4's and long par-5's with the new 3-wood. In conjunction with this, I relocated to a more difficult course than what I had been playing and forced myself to learn to hit better and more difficult shots and learn some real course management skills.

 

So far, it has all worked out very well. My handicap has dropped 6 strokes, I am currently sitting on a 10.0. But better than that, I am playing with a lot more confidence and really having a good time when I go out. I look forward to hitting good shots.

 

What troubles do I still have? Well, the G15's hit the ball pretty high and the course I play on is a links style course open to the wind with firm greens and fairways. You can see the problem here, needing to keep the ball lower with clubs made to hit the ball high. I have to be very careful in club selection and how I play my shots.

 

Second, the G15's have a very wide base that makes easy work of hitting the ball nicely off the fairway, it is hard not to hit solid shots. But the irons can be a real drag when the rough gets wet or if I find my ball in an difficult lie or if the wind is up.

 

But we have to be honest with ourselves in all of this. I find it hard to argue with my new success. It is nice to go out for a quick 9 holes and shoot a few shots over par on a difficult course and to finally break into the 70's (on occasion). I often walk off the course with a real sense of accomplishment for having played a good round of golf.

 

But nagging in the back of my mind is that feeling that if I am going to take the next step I am going to need to lower my ball flight and be able to do more with shots from challanging lies and that means a change in irons. I look forward to a change in a way, but also dread because of what happened last time I tried going from a game improvement club to a players iron.

 

Well, there you go. An painful journey to say the least, but it is the route that I've traveled to get where I am. And I feel that I am much better off than I was even two years ago.

 

I am very interested to hear your perspective on irons, having managed your game to the point you have. How much does shot workability (with your irons) factor itself into your scores?

 

DD

post #42 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Driver View Post

 

 

I was hoping nobody would ask as it is embarrassing to be so insecure with clubs that i can't settle on a set of irons for more than a year or so, but I get the feeling that others have probably been in the same predicament, so, here we go.

 

....

 

I am very interested to hear your perspective on irons, having managed your game to the point you have. How much does shot workability (with your irons) factor itself into your scores?

 

DD

 

I have always been a right to left player (right handed). At first it was uncontrollable but I educated myself on different grips and figured out how to control it. I quickly found out though that I can't expect to hit a draw on every shot. Sometimes the landing area is not setup for it (water left or pin back right) and sometimes the path between ball and target does not allow for it (trees tight down the right). So I started working on hitting a cut. I got pretty good at it but the fatal mistake I made was I focused to much time on it and took for granted my "normal" shot. I got to where I was hitting cuts more than draws because I was trying to force it and because I had lost confidence in the draw. But I couldn't hit the new cut as well as the old draw so my scores started going up.

 

So while I was "working in" the cut my scores were going low. Mostly hitting draws and then pulling out the cut when I needed it. But when I started getting cocky and trying to hit cuts when I really didn't need to things turned sour. Imagine a par 3 with the flag on the right side. I could easily just hit my normal draw and land the ball in the middle of the green and even get a little greedy and try to land it right of center. But I started trying to be Mr. Hot Shot and hit the cut and of course I just wasn't as consistent with it so I started dropping strokes.

 

Bottom line is I went to far to fast. The cuts are necessary to escape trouble or access a green/pin that is otherwise inaccessible but I was trying to use it like I was a tour pro and I just couldn't do it well enough. Too much trying cost me my feel and confidence for my normal swing and then things fell apart a bit. I am now back to nothing but draws except for trouble situations in which I will hit the cut.

 

So shot workability I think is huge if you want to get down into and stay in the single digits. Since I lost it I have been playing more in the low teens although my handicap has not yet fully been impacted. I am hoping that I have caught it in time to limit the damage because I sure like being a single digit player :)

post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Henley View Post

 

I have always been a right to left player (right handed).

 

So shot workability I think is huge if you want to get down into and stay in the single digits. Since I lost it I have been playing more in the low teens although my handicap has not yet fully been impacted. I am hoping that I have caught it in time to limit the damage because I sure like being a single digit player :)

 

 

Thanks for the reply -

 

I can relate with you. I have been a right to left player for a long time. (lefty that plays right handed)

 

On occasion though, I've had trouble with the dreaded pull hook which can be a disaster. Consequently,this last year, I neutralized my grip a little bit and am trying to eliminate all that is left of the left side of the fairway. This works well with the G15's as they do a nice job of straight. They really square themselves up and are consistant at distance. I can work the ball some, but I have to overcome the weighting of the club to do so. And I don't get a lot of feedback as to where I hit the ball unless it is the extreme. I can always tell if I get way out on the toe and thin. High on the face gives a weak feeling and too close to the heel is an unknown unless I should strike a hosel, which is a dead giveaway. (Don't say that word)

 

My scores have come down a lot over the last year, So, overall, I think weakening my grip has been a good move for me. I do get in periods where everything seems to be right and I feel a little bit like I'm protecting against the pull hook by blocking shots right and this is a hard rut to get out of for me.

 

I can get plenty creative with my clubs, but there are limits. I THINK I could use some more feel to my game. I would also like to have an easier time of hitting shots under the wind, or at least, lower than I am currently hitting. It seems at times I get the ball up there in the jet stream and the next stop is going to be off in the rough or well off the green.

 

A narrower sole would certainly help with difficult lies and playing from the rough. Wet rough is another story.

 

My big questions are; How well am I capable of striking the ball? And will I learn and adjust to the increased feedback from a change in my irons? And will the change allow me to improve my scoring?

 

All good questions.

 

DD

post #44 of 56

I just came in from trying to work on my 5 iron. After failing miserably, I had to ask the question, why the #^& am I beating my head against the wall in a sport that I will obviously never even be average at. So I starting wondering how many golfers consider giving up on the sport because their expectations surpass their abilities (as is the case for me) and I came across this older thread.

 

Hendog, I don't know if you're still participating in the forum. Hopefully these guys were able to talk you down from quitting. But I have to wonder how one can have a single digit HC and not be able to enjoy the game. I mean, I can imagine it's like anything else, as you get better and become accustomed to improvement you raise the bar and suddenly staying the same or slipping a bit is hard to accept.

 

But please put it in perspective. It sounds like you still have a good game. I've been playing for over a year and I've yet to break 50 on a 9 hole course playing from the middle tees. This forum is full of single digit golfers and I can't even play double bogey golf! If I had any self-respect I wouldn't even participate in the discussions. But of course this game has stripped away any of that. I've put a lot of effort into trying to get just a bit better and as of yet, have not. The opinion that anyone can get good at golf with enough practice is B.S. from my perspective. There's nothing quite like setting low standards and failing to meet them.

 

So at the risk of sounding like a loser, I have to put my situation in perspective. With all the real pain that many people in the world experience, not being very good at hitting a stationary white ball doesn't seem so bad. The fact that I allow it to become so frustrating, consuming, and addictive should be more worrisome than how my "game" stacks up against par. The fact of the matter is that I don't play golf because I have a bunch of drinking buddies who play, or because I ever believed I would get really good at it or any of the other reasons many folks start playing. I play because I can walk the course and really enjoy the experience - especially when I'm the only person out there. I can hit beautiful drives, perfect approach shots, and flop shots that land close enough to the hole for a tap-in putt. Obviously these shots are in between a lot of really bad ones, but the point is, most of the time the game can be a lot of fun. Hopefully, I'll improve over time but if it doesn't happen, it won't be from lack of effort.

 

Good luck getting your game back.

post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post
...But I have to wonder how one can have a single digit HC and not be able to enjoy the game. I mean, I can imagine it's like anything else, as you get better and become accustomed to improvement you raise the bar and suddenly staying the same or slipping a bit is hard to accept.

 

But please put it in perspective. It sounds like you still have a good game. I've been playing for over a year and I've yet to break 50 on a 9 hole course playing from the middle tees. This forum is full of single digit golfers and I can't even play double bogey golf! If I had any self-respect I wouldn't even participate in the discussions. But of course this game has stripped away any of that. I've put a lot of effort into trying to get just a bit better and as of yet, have not. The opinion that anyone can get good at golf with enough practice is B.S. from my perspective. There's nothing quite like setting low standards and failing to meet them....

Jon - regarding the first bolded sentence - I have a good friend who is a low single-digit handicap.  About five years ago, he put his clubs in the attic and gave up the game for over a year because he got so frustrated every time he went out and didn't play to his handicap, it would totally ruin his day.  Like you, I wondered how he could be that angry/frustrated when he was a single-digit 'capper - I told him "Just relax, go out and enjoy it - I know I suck, so I just play to have fun".  His reply was, "I'd gladly give you my handicap and my game if you could give me your attitude".

 

I think it's all relative - a 30-handicapper wants to be a 20; a 20-handicapper wants to be a 10, a 10 wants to be single-digit and a single-digit wants to be scratch.  From my current point of view, I always say I'd be happy if I could just consistently shoot mid-80's - but in the back of my mind I realize that if/when I get to that point, I'll probably be saying that I'd be happy if I could just shoot in the 70's.  I've very rarely encountered a golfer who considers themself a "good" golfer, or who is satisfied with their game as it currently is.

 

Regarding the second bolded part (and the OP), I feel your frustration.  I've golfed for 25 years, never put much effort into it, and have always been a 100+ golfer (probably broke 100 less than 10 times in all those years, usually shot around 105-110).  This year I finally decided to make a concerted effort to improve my game; since January I've improved to the point that I consistently shoot in the 90's and have actually broken 90 twice (87, 89), but every so often I still throw that 100+ round out there, making me feel as though I've gone exactly nowhere.  The self-doubt creeps in after a round where I stink the course up and I find myself wondering if I'm just not physically capable of getting any better at the game; but when I look at the other scores I've recently posted and my gradually declining handicap (31.2 in January, 26.1 as of the most recent revision - not bragging on a 26, but it is what it is), I at least feel that I am improving - even though it's slow and not noticeable at times.  The 100+ rounds have become the exception rather than the rule and while I realize I'll probably never be a scratch/single-digit 'capper, I'm confident that I can at least improve to the point where I feel somewhat competent and am not self-conscious about embarrassing myself by hacking the ball all over the course when playing with strangers. 

 

I have no illusions about turning pro, or even being a club champ - I'm over 50 years old and not blessed with loads of athletic ability even in my prime.  I'll take improving as far as I can (wherever that may end up), but above all I just want to be able to enjoy the game, the camaraderie, the competition - and yes, even the frustration that pushes me to not give up and try a little harder because I refuse to be beaten by a little white ball lying there on the grass looking up at me. a1_smile.gif

post #46 of 56

For three weeks in a row, I came home and told my wife that my score wasthe highest I've shot at my course,topping out at 89. Last week, I played the front nine from the back tees, 3471 yards, and shot even par. I had lower expectations playing from longer tees, and just relaxed and played.

post #47 of 56
Hey man, you're not a lone. I've been desperately trying to get my handicap down but it's only going north. And then as if it wasn't bad enough I need to stop playing for 6 months to prep for my major exams
post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac62 View Post

 

I think it's all relative - a 30-handicapper wants to be a 20; a 20-handicapper wants to be a 10, a 10 wants to be single-digit and a single-digit wants to be scratch.  From my current point of view, I always say I'd be happy if I could just consistently shoot mid-80's - but in the back of my mind I realize that if/when I get to that point, I'll probably be saying that I'd be happy if I could just shoot in the 70's.  I've very rarely encountered a golfer who considers themself a "good" golfer, or who is satisfied with their game as it currently is.

 

 

I think this is what makes the game so appealing.  Impossible to master.

post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac62 View Post
I have no illusions about turning pro, or even being a club champ - I'm over 50 years old and not blessed with loads of athletic ability even in my prime.  I'll take improving as far as I can (wherever that may end up), but above all I just want to be able to enjoy the game, the camaraderie, the competition - and yes, even the frustration that pushes me to not give up and try a little harder because I refuse to be beaten by a little white ball lying there on the grass looking up at me. a1_smile.gif

 

Well put Mac, as are the other posts. When I posted this last night I was obviously at the height of frustration. Afterwards, I regretted posting it and wondered what type of response it might bring (I've read some pretty brutal threads). So thanks everyone for the positive feedback.

 

I hope that anyone else who falls into that frame of mind gets a chance to read them. 

 

Even though the skill levels vary a great deal, the desire to get better vs the desire to enjoy the game seems to be a common thread here at the TST. 

 

MLPx - good luck with your exams.

post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post

Well put Mac, as are the other posts. When I posted this last night I was obviously at the height of frustration. Afterwards, I regretted posting it and wondered what type of response it might bring (I've read some pretty brutal threads). So thanks everyone for the positive feedback.

 

In my experience, many of the brutal threads come from people who think far more highly of their games than they should, not the opposite! :)

 

Dedicate time and effort to improving the 5 Simple Keys and you will get better, relatively quickly, without needing to spend much time per day.

post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 

It was ironic that this thread came alive when it did. Just this weekend I was thinking "I'm so close". I then realized I've been saying that for 10 years. When I thought about it I started to understand that I am always going to be close and I am never going to be there, whatever there is. It use to be, I'm so close to breaking 100 consistently. Then it was 95, then 90, then 85 and now I am SOOO close to breaking 80 consistently.

 

But its the chase that I love. The battle. The triumphs and the struggles. The enigma that is golf. 

post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

In my experience, many of the brutal threads come from people who think far more highly of their games than they should, not the opposite! :)

 

Dedicate time and effort to improving the 5 Simple Keys and you will get better, relatively quickly, without needing to spend much time per day.

99.9% of comments and replies I've read at TST are positive and supportive with the intention of helping others. I will look into the 5 Simple Keys program. Part of my problem may be information overload when a simplified approach would be better. 

 

One more thing. For us who are new to the sport, reading comments like those above from better players or players who have been in the game a long time and what you go through mentally I think would be a tremendous help. We might know what to expect - even if we don't start out wanting to become scratch players. Positive attitude may be absolutely necessary towards improvement, but you've got to have a handle on reality. While golf may not be a game of perfect, I now realize how close to it you have to play to shoot really low scores. And if you aren't shooting well, I now realize how much self-control is needed to mentally deal with it. 

 

Glad to see you're still in the game hendog. 

post #53 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac62 View Post

 

I think it's all relative - a 30-handicapper wants to be a 20; a 20-handicapper wants to be a 10, a 10 wants to be single-digit and a single-digit wants to be scratch.  From my current point of view, I always say I'd be happy if I could just consistently shoot mid-80's - but in the back of my mind I realize that if/when I get to that point, I'll probably be saying that I'd be happy if I could just shoot in the 70's.  I've very rarely encountered a golfer who considers themself a "good" golfer, or who is satisfied with their game as it currently is.

 

 

I think this is what makes the game so appealing.  Impossible to master.

 

I've been playing since the mid-80s and my HCP has stayed about between 9 and 12 (right now 9.6).  I think there comes a time in most golfer's games where they plateau.  I think I got there at about the 5 yr mark when I was playing my best.  

 

My goal now is to try to enjoy the players I'm playing with (lots of give and take), make a few low wagers for bragging rights, and try my best to enjoy the scenery around me and appreciate that I'm not pushing up daisies. (Hopefully, I'm decades away from that).  I think I enjoy golf a lot more now than the days where I was tossing clubs, driving away from the course angry, etc etc.

post #54 of 56
I don't think anyone has said this yet but, have you tried drinking some beers while you play? Sounds like you have been talked off the ledge but some cold beers on a nice day, and golf, always a good way to relax with the game.
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