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The Key to a great game

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

We all want to go out to course, coffee in one hand, clubs in the other, and shoot a score that will impress our buddies. However, it's what you do leading up to that point that will grant you a score of what you deserve. If you're struggling to break 100, there's a reason. If you're struggling to break 80, there's yet again a reason. Some of us pick up the game easier than others. May it be because we were "wired" since a young age, or we just have the natural feel for the grip of the club. Whatever it is, there's one key that will have you beating your opponent every single time.

 

It's not the new "revolutionary" gimmick you see during breaks on the golf channel. It's a thing called hard work.

 

You probably know the name Tiger Woods, right? Hopefully, but if you don't, he's just the best player that ever hit the game. He won four majors in a row in 2001, but that was only the beginning of his reign on the golf world. So, why was Tiger so dominant? Again, it's the simple thing called hard work.

 

"Other golfers may outplay me from time to time, but they'll never outwork me."

 

So, what gives Tiger, and other greats, the feel to work so hard? It's the main factor that they want to crush their competition. They don't want to just be in the loop during a round, they want to be the guy that forces everyone else to battle it our for second place. 

 

Now, most people don't have the entire day to perfect their game. Unlike Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, people who work 9-5 jobs or daytime jobs can't swing the shaft all day and learn to putt for dough no matter how much they want. That's why I'm introducing a new concept.

 

If you work a 9-5 job, you, without a doubt, know the struggles of maintaining a good game. Although you want nothing more than one, you just don't have the time. But when the opportunity does knock, you're the first one to head out on a Saturday day off, or weekend resort. Possibly, you might even hit the course after work. However, it's what you do when you're on the course that is going to make you better. 

 

We all like to go to the course and smack at the balls and call it a day, but that gets you nowhere. If you want to become a good golfer, you need to apply pressure on your shots like you would playing with your buddies. If you have $20 on the line, and even some pride involved, on a shot, do you think you are going to go up and take a careless whack at it? Likely not. But if that's what you have been doing in practice, you'll do it on the course. I cannot stress it enough; practice how you play. Make every shot count. You don't need 2-3 hours on the range if you don't have it. 20 minutes is enough time to get in a quality, worth while practice. Focusing on all your shots, technique, and all that, you will create a repetitive swing you can use on the course. 

 

Now we move over to our short game. This is the biggest part of anyone's game. I don't care if your Tiger Woods or the average Joe, short game can make you or break you. 

 

When I shot a 78 a couple days ago, it wasn't because of my iron play. Granted, I was smashing the driver, my iron play flat out sucked. But what allowed me to break 80 for the first time in a group? The mere fact of my short game. I made 5 one-putt bogeys in a row on the back nine. That just shows you how easily I could have made 5 two putt double bogeys, or three putt triples, and so on. 

 

But putting wasn't everything that helped me shoot a 78. Chipping was a key factor, as well. I was able to make a large sum of up and downs for both par and bogey. 

 

Why was I able to pull it off? Because I practice my short game for hours upon hours a day. Although I've been only been playing for a couple weeks, my short game is one of the best I know. It may sound narcissistic to say, but it's true. Granted, it's one of the best around when I come through. However, I'm yet to get consistent. Consistency, however, takes time. I feel I can become a solid, consistent low 70's player in a couple months, and you can to. It's not as hard as people like to say it is. Shooting under par isn't hard! It's all a matter of how hard you work, and how you work as well. People like to pretend shooting in the 70's and 60's is something only the BEST do. That if you do it, your handicap is all of a sudden "pro". It's not, and it shouldn't be thought like that. Anybody who can't shoot in the 70's or lower doesn't have less physical ability then the next guy, but is simply not working hard enough.

 

Then again, there's the issue of time. 

 

The kid I played with two days ago has been playing since he was four. I have, also, but took a 5-year "break" to play baseball. He can out-play me any day he want's to, and I'm yet to beat in him in even a putting contest. However, although he may out play me, he'll never outwork me. Nobody will. That's the whole philosophy of golf. It's not like baseball, where a pitcher can throw you a curveball so nasty it makes even the best look like mediocre players. No, it's you and the tee box. You and the fairway, and you and the green.

 

The game is not hard. The game is only as hard as you make it. If there's water on the side of the fairway, why would you hit it into the water? Because you are going to slice it or start it right. The same goes for any hazard or OB marker. There is nothing telling you to hit it in there, or forcing you. The game is simple, yet astoundingly hard. But, like I continue to say, it's not hard unless you make it.

 

A good example of the game being easy is what happened to me on the 17th hole yesterday. I hit a hook drive, by far my worst drive of the day. I ended up under the branches of a tree, and had less than 2 feet to go under.

 

I had two choices: one - punch out and hope for a nice iron shot to save par. two - try to be a hero and punch under the tree, roll it up to the green and tap in for birdie.

 

Can you guess which one I chose? Sadly, the second one. What happened next was a shank (since I put it so far in the back of my stance) and a 2-putt bogey. Looking back on it, a par would have been easy. 

 

If you're struggling with the game, take a step back. Realizing 1. It's a privilege to be out on the course and 2. The game is only as hard as you make it. Nobody has the ability to change your score, only you do. Sure, somebody can yell in your backswing, but you're the one changing your swing for them. Golf is a game dictated by you and nobody else. Oh, and always focus on the positive aspect of a shot. If you slice a ball into the water, focus on how it was a bomb of a drive or you got your hips out front that time. The shot is gone, there's no need to be pissed off and say "there goes my score!" because believe me, I used to do that and it does nothing but ruin your game further. 

 

Yesterday I hit my 7-iron in the rocks on a par-3. As I watched the ball slice into what I thought was OB, I muttered "there goes my score." and pouted. But then I remembered what I read from Tiger Woods' "How I play golf". *Always focus on the positive*. So as I walked down to see where the ball was, my mind wasn't filled with how I could be OP and possibly triple this hole ... but how well I played the front 9. I was thinking about how I already had three birdies on the day, and how I saved par on the past hole with a great chip.

 

When I got to my ball, although it was deep in the rocks, things didn't seem bad. I thought of it as an easy up-and-down. And that's exactly what I did. Although I two-putted for bogey, it was a good bogey. I'm getting much better at staying positive on the course, but shots really pull you down. However, we all have to remember the game is just as hard as we make it. So, take a deep breathe, swing hard, and go make birdie. Because there's nobody stopping you but you.

 

Good luck! Hope everyone is having a great Christmas, and going to have an even better New Year.

post #2 of 55

     I've been lurking on this siie for a couple of years now.  I've never posted anything. That changed for me today after reading another one of kelzzys posts.  Am I the only one who thinks he's the most annoying contributor to this site?  The posts are entertaining though.

post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaivai View Post
 

     I've been lurking on this siie for a couple of years now.  I've never posted anything. That changed for me today after reading another one of kelzzys posts.  Am I the only one who thinks he's the most annoying contributor to this site?  The posts are entertaining though.

>never posted

>5 posts

 

Anyway, how is giving my honest input and tips annoying?

post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelzzy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaivai View Post

 
     I've been lurking on this siie for a couple of years now.  I've never posted anything. That changed for me today after reading another one of kelzzys posts.  Am I the only one who thinks he's the most annoying contributor to this site?  The posts are entertaining though.
>never posted
>5 posts

Anyway, how is giving my honest input and tips annoying?

Well that's one way to think of it. a3_biggrin.gif

I think most golfers prefer some humility. When you joined, it's like seeing a self promoting NFL player. Maybe that's just the new attitude for all youths, but kind of unusual for the golfing community.
post #5 of 55

Maybe he finds the idea of a 14-year-old who has played for less than a year and has broken 80 only once giving any kind of golf "advice" slightly annoying. Either that, or he dislikes huge ego-trip posts.

post #6 of 55
Kelzzy is also the first golfer I've ever come across who thinks golf isn't hard.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post

Maybe he finds the idea of a 14-year-old who has played for less than a year and has broken 80 only once giving any kind of golf "advice" slightly annoying. Either that, or he dislikes huge ego-trip posts.

Or both.....
post #8 of 55
If golf is so easy, why would you have to work so hard?
post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaivai View Post

Kelzzy is also the first golfer I've ever come across who thinks golf isn't hard.


Probably because he's only been playing a month and doesn't know what he doesn't know.

post #10 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post

If golf is so easy, why would you have to work so hard?

Hard work = easier golf. That was my whole point of this post. Golf is only as hard as YOU make it. If YOU work hard, golf will be easy.. etc.

post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelzzy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post

If golf is so easy, why would you have to work so hard?
Hard work = easier golf. That was my whole point of this post. Golf is only as hard as YOU make it. If YOU work hard, golf will be easy.. etc.

That much is true, but . . .
post #12 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


That much is true, but . . .

butt...? :D

post #13 of 55
Quote:
Why was I able to pull it off? Because I practice my short game for hours upon hours a day.

 

Good for you. That is, indeed, a way to a single-figure handicap, or better.

 

Unfortunately, for most people, there is this lengthy period between leaving high school or university and the first day of one's retirement, that tends to be called your career. Unless you choose a career as a playing professional, you may find that this career tends to intrude upon your golf practice. Linked to it are pesky, mundane elements of life - such as making the mortgage and car payments, ensuring that everyone in your household has decent health insurance, paying the utilities, saving for retirement - irksome, trivial, stuff like that. Plays havoc with my time on the practice ground working on my sand game, I can tell you.

 

I didn't mean to be sarcastic - but when you are not in a position to practice constantly, only have a certain amount of time each week available for golf, there is a tendency to want to spend that time on the course, not the practice ground, putting green, or range. This does, admittedly, mean that shots that are not routinely practiced tend to come with an element of surprise attached. The other day I got myself into an unusual (for me) part of the fairway on the 5th hole of a course I play regularly, ended up with what would have been a 8 or 9 iron approach shot to the green, but it was blocked by low-hanging branches. I played a long chip and run with a 5 iron, hit it too strong and it bounced just short of the green, before carrying on its journey past the hole and trickling down the back into the rough. Took me three to get down from there, including a longish final putt, and hence a likely par became a dicey bogey. Going around again in the afternoon I hit a similar drive to the same place, played the same 5 iron chip and run, got it spot on, and walked off with a birdie. Trouble is, going 5 days without playing and then trying the same thing again...well, the results will most likely be erratic.

 

With all due respect (and reflecting on my own experience), I found the best time to be a golfer was as a junior. Time to practice, access to affordable lessons with a professional (many clubs seem to have a pro in charge of the junior section), good competitions in which to play, and, without being patronizing, no feeling that you "really should be doing something else" when you are playing golf or working on your game (whether that's being in a meeting or painting the house). I'm not yet 40, so I'm not wishing my life away or counting the days to retirement, but I do think that the next time I will experience that sort of freedom on a golf course will be as a senior at the age of 65+

 

Yes, of course one has to work hard to achieve a good game. However, there is also a term that crept into the psychological vernacular in the mid-20th century: satisficing (a portmanteau of "satisfy" and "suffice"). For me, a good example of satisficing is shooting in the low to mid 80s, without ever troubling the 70s, whereas a score in the 90s would be disappointing (and unsatisfying). It's good to get out and play and derive enjoyment from one's good shots, try to learn from the poor ones, and post what I regard as an acceptable score (by my standards) at the end of the round. To consistently post scores in the 70s I know I would need (a) regular lessons from a pro, and (b) the time to practice what I had learned from the pro. Without the time for (a) or (b), it is enough just to get out there and play as well as I can. As you so astutely stated, "Being on the golf course is a privilege."

 

Having said all this, as it's Christmas week I am, of course, now neglecting my family to head to the range in the next few minutes, in order to spend ages with the new Wilson Staff D100 driver Santa kindly dropped down the chimney after he snagged it new on ebay last week for an incredible steal at under $100. And I'm not coming home until I'm bombing it off the tee in a reasonably straight direction, even if it's 47 degrees today and I'm still on the range when the sun goes down.


Edited by ScouseJohnny - 12/26/13 at 8:10am
post #14 of 55

I like doughnuts with chocolate frosting and those little sprinkles. I think Krispy Kreme makes the best!

 

 

Sorry if it sounds off topic but that's about what I was actually thinking about trying to read Kellzzy book( I mean post)!

 

 

 

 

 

Keep swinging kid, you might get there some day!

post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaivai View Post
 

     I've been lurking on this siie for a couple of years now.  I've never posted anything. That changed for me today after reading another one of kelzzys posts.  Am I the only one who thinks he's the most annoying contributor to this site?  The posts are entertaining though.

 

I agree with everything you said, except the entertaining part.

post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaivai View Post
 

     I've been lurking on this siie for a couple of years now.  I've never posted anything. That changed for me today after reading another one of kelzzys posts.  Am I the only one who thinks he's the most annoying contributor to this site?  The posts are entertaining though.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

Maybe he finds the idea of a 14-year-old who has played for less than a year and has broken 80 only once giving any kind of golf "advice" slightly annoying. Either that, or he dislikes huge ego-trip posts.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaivai View Post

Kelzzy is also the first golfer I've ever come across who thinks golf isn't hard.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 


Probably because he's only been playing a month and doesn't know what he doesn't know.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Joe View Post
 

 

I agree with everything you said, except the entertaining part.

 

Wow!  I've never seen so many miserable people in all my life.  He's a 14 year old kid, give him a break!  He has a love for the game of golf and is excited about it!  Let the kid be!  If you don't have anything nice to say about his posts or don't at least have some constructive criticism, why say anything at all?  If you find his posts annoying, don't read them!  I can't believe some of the things I've seen said to Kelzzy and I'm not just talking about this thread either.  Lighten up!

post #17 of 55
Nice post certainly entertaining one at least. It's a bit of a differnt mindset at golf i think compared to some other sports (like the basebal example which was pointed out)

Most people probably do play only against themselves, counting strokes and keeping score.

Match play and tournamenT golf have more of man to man competition mentality going on.
Golf certainly is more open ended game with these different options for different people.

Baseball also has that competition mentality in the game doesnt it? Tennis also has one, tennis is after all, 1v1 and you either win or lose. You would play until eternity to break the tie and figure out a winner ( in reality the match would be cancelled probably if it really took a long time to figure winner"?)
post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelzzy View Post


You probably know the name Tiger Woods, right? Hopefully, but if you don't, he's just the best player that ever hit the game. He won four majors in a row in 2001, but that was only the beginning of his reign on the golf world. So, why was Tiger so dominant? Again, it's the simple thing called hard work.


Just an FYI....David Toms won the PGA in 2001.
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