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tuffluck's Tough Love Ball Striking Thread - Page 6
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Seems to me everyone is being quite polite and trying to help Tuff. It's difficult to help someone who believe he knows the answer and simply wants everyone else to agree with him. Would you prefer they lie to him or ignore him?
The first step in fixing something is in realizing what you need to fix.
This is the truth.
What were my old swing problems? I'll tell you in detail because I love to talk a lot and it also may identify with some people. I thought they were all the correct way of doing things to hit a low power draw. This was the holy grail for me, since it's a really majestic flight and it allows you to take on a lot of courses. Going by all the general knowledge out there, I was hitting in to out a lot, hitting down, setting up with the ball a bit back in my stance (less loft is longer and more powerful, right?), takeaway way inside with my right elbow on my hip the entire way up to impact (the more inside out the better, right?), and using a strong right hand and a slightly bowed wrist (because that's how DJ hits this shot, right?), jacking my hips wide open way too early with leg drive (because that's kinda Rory's move, right?) with no real shoulder turn (because that will cause a pull, right?), with my clubhead so laid off and shallow (shallow attack causes a low draw, right?) I don't know how I managed to hit the ball at all. And not to mention using every bit of flexibility I had to give myself decent positions (because that's how the LD guys do it, right?) and a really high clubhead speed. In theory, I should have been hitting lowish spin push draws, and sometimes I did. But I was hitting big pushes on my solid shots and everything from iffy contact to a lowstraight fade on the others. Obviously the clubface was open, but no matter what I did I couldn't get the correction right (due to bad LH grip). Rarely did I get the shot I was trying to play as my stock shot. That's the definition of stupidity and futility. That's why I could never hit more than 1-2 good shots per round, and not a lot more OK ones.
Know what a lot of clubhead speed does to a golf ball when applied at a terrible angle? It's the same thing as a normal mishit but much worse and a lot more effort and harsher and louder. It makes you not want to play. I was hoping for everything to magically click and my unique swing to get really consistent the more I practiced. You're going through the same thing. It won't just "click" from repetition unless you change some things, whatever they are. Whether you have an epiphany at the range one day or read an article in a magazine or finally go get a lesson, once you know what to change the work becomes rewarding again. If your fundamentals are right, you'll have no trouble with consistency.
The last 3 times I went to the range I basically picked up where I left off (which was always something I'd struggle with, either my distance would be off or I wouldn't feel I had "it"; Hogan says something to the effect of you'd always have "it" if you check your grip and setup and everything correctly) and was hitting 95% of my iron shots better than I've ever been able to do, even on lucky shots. Each time the mishits were about cut in half because, for the first time, I didn't feel like experimenting.
Obviously, Tuffluck, your game doesn't compare exactly to mine or anyone else's. But I was about a 20cap the last few times I played in November, and I feel like I've improved a hell of a lot since then. I was about as frustrated as you are, about 2 months ago. My overall goal is to see how low I can get before I plateau, whether that be a respectable 6 handicap who can play anywhere or someone who could beat that 6 capper with just a 7 iron.
I get to open the 2013 season this wednesday, on a course where my prior best is a +31 (that was with 6 pars, btw). Hoping for at minimum a score of +9 for the 18, and I'm also hoping to make at least one birdie or better. Instead of trying to find the way forward in getting my swing to click, I can think about that 158 yard opening tee shot. Gonna hit a straight 9 iron, probably to about the front edge. Other than that planned shot, which I've been practicing, I plan on hitting every iron shot pure as another goal. Should stop me from overswinging or getting fancy working the ball.
If you want tough love then heed these words I learned from my recent experience: you don't get frustrated from doing things correctly. Personally, I hate being forced to move forward without any idea what's going on. Trying to fix your own swing might work, like it did for me, but I wasted almost 2 years. You realized something's wrong which is step 1, now just think about how to diagnose the biggest problem and then how to fix it. I know I have a long way to go but I'm back on the right path for now.
So I'll make this one time offer: If you post your swing, one of the most potentially embarrassing and exposing acts one can do on this forum, and attempt to take the constructive criticism (at least from the instructors and qualified users), I will post not only my current swing (I'll try and get some real on course shots when I play this week, not grooved swings at the range unless that's the only option), but a couple hilarious in hindsight videos from August showing me trying to flight that power draw. I will do so within a week or so of your thread being started, just PM me or bump this thread. And I'll try to listen to the constructive advice of the instructors going forward.
I don't think you'll get a better offer. It's free, no one will recognize you in real life, and I'll take the kick in the balls and suffer alongside you. Just promise no drama in any of the threads. I'm 22 and I don't know if you're older, but we're both about 20 handicaps right now.
EDIT: Logman, go home. You're drunk.
didn't even realize this thread was moved.
sorry for coming across defensive guys, it's just that i have always (maybe incorrectly) defined good contact as a good ball strike, and defined a good result of that ball strike as something else. part of that being environmental factors that have nothing to do with the clubface striking the ball. of course i would agree a push/pull (unintentional) or hook/slice (unintentional) is a bad ball strike, but if you're aimed at the pin and come up 10y short because you didn't interpret the distance/elevation/wind correctly, that has always seemed to me like it's another issue altogether. and that can easily lead to a bogey, which can easily lead to a 90+ score.
Edited by tuffluck - 3/12/13 at 2:02pm
as far as getting the clubface on the ball solidly, i feel like i am pretty good at that, however it is defined. i do miss a lot of GIR, usually short, and that's something i need to work on. but i watched the 5SK videos and really hope this doesn't come across as arrogant, but all of those rules i apply in my swings. it's the other parts of the game that bring my score up, and maybe i'm just an anomaly there.
I don't see that as possible for you to apply all those keys and be were you are. I don't even know if I can do two or three of them.
i deleted that because of a potential misinterpretation :)
i know to do all of those things and practice them is what i meant to say. whether or not i remember to do them every time (especially in tricky lies), is up for debate.
Well there you go ... I don't think most people would agree with you here. A good ball strike goes the correct direction and with the correct ball flight as well.
OK, that is better.
It is another issue altogether ... but its an isolated issue. In fact, I did that in my tournament Sunday and it cost me. I did it once, hit over everything, went OB, made triple, finished T4 instead of solo 2nd, but it didn't lead to me shooting a horrendous score. It led to me shooting 2 shots higher than I otherwise would have, that's it.
Everybody makes bogeys. In fact, everybody, including Tiger Woods, et. al., make bogeys because they didn't interpret the elevation/wind correctly (not distance though - they always know that). But a bogey does not lead to 90+ scores.
Ah ok, yeah because it is pretty tough to do all of them consistently.
As others (and myself) have said, it's highly unlikely that you're striking the ball as solidly as you think you are. I play to a scratch handicap and can skank the ball around and shoot 75 making "solid" contact four or five times a round. Solid contact is not just "somewhere near the sweet spot."
Again, no offense intended by this: but you don't get to throw those shots out due to "environmental factors." Good ball strikers hit the ball solidly even if it's a little above their feet, there's wind out of the west, etc.
That's probably not happening anywhere nearly as often as you think it is.
I've asked you at least twice now to film your swing from face on and down the line hitting five five-irons each off fairway turf. Let's see it, unedited, with the balls in a line. If I'm wrong I'll be happy to admit it.
There's a Gulf of Mexico between "I know to do all of those things" and actually doing those things. If you're hitting pushes, pulls, hooks, and slices you don't have Keys #4 and #5, and you probably don't have #1-#3 all the time. It has nothing to do with being able to "remember" them. Someone who doesn't play golf at all can "remember" them - DOING them is what matters.
Ideally this will be my last post in this thread. I'm going to summarize my points here, below the line, and be done.
Everyone here is trying to help you. The first step to improving is realizing WHAT you need to prioritize. You'd be quite literally a one-in-a-million (or more) golfer if you shoot 95 regularly and are a "good ball striker." Maybe one in a billion if your swing speed is over 85 MPH with a driver and your home course is NOT Pine Valley, etc.
It's way more likely that your ball striking is virtually the same - and therefore just as bad - as virtually every other 15-20 handicapper out there. There's almost no chance it's better than any five handicapper I've ever met - and they're not even necessarily that good.
So again the tough love is this: wake up, smell the coffee, and accurately assess your game. Better yet, have a GOOD instructor accurately assess your game.
He's not going to post a swing or tell you where he plays, and I kinda don't blame him. If I were you tuff though, I'd take these guys up on the offer and get assistance, they know what they are talking about. I don't disagree with him that for the general public, making good contact with a vague sense of ball direction is considered "good" ballstriking. Well, I cringed just now as I wrote "ballstriking" there, maybe more it's "decent" golfing. lol. On a side note its funny some of you say most single digits aren't really good ballstrikers. The more I think of it the more I agree. Most solid 5 handicaps I've played with don't really miss a shot way offline, but you can hear sloppy compression. Ballflight is always low and ugly. I see more mid handicaps throwing darts in there, usually.
i don't personally like when people say "take lessons," because your swing may be just fine. that's something you know though, not me.
i'm kind of in the same boat...for instance yesterday shot a 92 with two quintuple bogeys. take those away and i'm in the mid 80s for sure. lessons wouldn't have helped my round. honestly not sure what would have helped my round--there was a bit of bad luck involved.
overall though i don't know what to tell you, ha! i have days where putting isn't working and driving rocks, the next day it's the vice versa. i don't understand how people shoot 80s consistently or 70s unless they are playing a whole, whole lot. if you are a golfer that goes out once a month, mid 90s might be as good as you get...
then again agreeing with the other poster, a lesson could help if you aren't a good ball striker or have bad course management.
Luck is a very select thing on a golf course, its sort of hard to define it, anyone could say "CORRR THAT WAS BAD LUCK HUH!?" but in reality if it was a good shot there is very rarely luck involved, if you hit the middle of the green or middle of the fairway, your not going to need any luck! Maybe you could hit a firmed up bit of a green and scoot through, but 9/10 times bad luck is from a bad swing..
A fav quote of mine has to be "The more I practice the luckier I get" - Ben hogan (I believe, correct if wrong :) )
When asking a question I don't like the 'take lessons' answer either. That is too easy, off course most will benefit if they take lessons. But only if you find a good instructor that will be able to instruct in a way that works for you. And I met a couple that did not, so I understand Tough luck's demur.
I am a 13 capper and I don't consider myself a good ballstricker, not by far. I play a lot with players in between 8-18 hcp, non of them think they are good ballstrickers. I almost never (as in maybe once in 5 rounds) hit a ball out of bounds. That is because I am able to aim. Maybe miss, but when the right side is out off bounds, I aim more to the left and keep the right side out off play. This does not help me when going to the green, even when I need only 115 yards to the green I miss the green a lot.
During this winter something happend. Last fall I was hitting 0-4 greens and now I jumped to 4-7. This also helps making birdies. When you hit 4-7 GIR's, you will get used to birdie putts and stop beeing tense.
So what happend? I took some lessons, it helped. Looking forward to play, season starts 24th of march. I will be a better player then last year. But a good ballstricker? No, sorry.
just wanted to update a mildly old thread...
played today on a course that was 7,002y rated 73.2/128. checked the weather 3 times while i played every now and then just to see how windy it was, because it felt to me like the windiest of conditions i had ever played with in my life. in fact on the opening 3 holes my hat flew off so many times i eventually took it off for good for the rest of the round. anyway, the times i looked the gusts read 33mph, 36mph, and then 36mph again as i was finishing. i laughed on hole 1 and thought wow what a stupid day to try and play, and really was just shooting to break 100.
shot a 48 on the front nine and a 40 on the back 9 to card my best score ever, 88
ball striking is getting better. besides missing 3 short (less than 5') putts, i felt like i didn't throw many strokes away. there were several holes where i landed short of the green and it would roll off the other end due to the wind, so i really think it could have been very possible to hit even low 80s for me in more ideal conditions. usually per round i feel like i throw away about 8-10 shots.
also finally got my handicap calc worked out, and it is 15.3 at the moment with 16 rounds in (that's the best 10 scores of my most recent 16, so it can only improve from here). so yes, it is completely and totally possible to have a handicap well under 20 by not breaking 90 too often.
just wanted to update a mildly old thread...
played today on a course that was 7,002y rated 73.2/128. checked the weather 3 times while i played every now and then just to see how windy it was because it felt to me like the windiest i had ever played in my life. in fact on the opening 3 holes my hat flew off so many times i eventually took it off for good for the rest of the round. anyway, the times i looked the gusts read 33mph, 36mph, and then 36mph again as i was finishing.
shot a 48 on the front nine and a 40 on the back 9 to card my best score ever, 88
ball striking is getting better...
also finally got my handicap calc worked out, and it is 15.3 at the moment with 16 rounds in (that's the best 10 scores of 16, so it can only improve from here). so yes, it is completely and totally possible to have a handicap well under 20 by not breaking 90 too often...
Congratulations on breaking 90!