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You'll see in the title I haven't defined what better is exactly, only that this will be a journey to better. Who knows where the game of golf will take me and I'll be using this blog to reflect every couple days or so.

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Improving, Slightly

So today I had another lesson and we worked a ton on alignment, and making sure that my upper body doesn't lean too far away from the target. This causes my centered turn to end up being around my hips and spine, but keeps my chest behind the ball which causes chunks, no matter how far over I slide my hips. Instead, now my hips slide and as a result my chest hangs back but is slightly ahead of the ball giving me clean contact. Not to mention, controlling my starting line is getting much easier. Every once in a while I still get shots that start just left and hook farther left, but overall most of my shots go straight and barely move or just draw a tad.  With my driver, I feel like my right leg is almost extending and my weight is turning around that. Similar to what happens in Justin Thomas's swing. In fact, my 'homework' was to watch JT bomb his driver to get an understanding of proper hip turn while my torso 'hangs back' and my right leg extends.    Oh, and I can hit my 3 wood!




First Rounds of the Year

I tried to fight my impatience, and see my instructor, John, before going out to play but I was just too excited to finally get to play Mistwood. I'm back from Arizona, possibly for good depending on how my financial situation looks for next school year, and I am planning on using this summer, mainly Monday, Wednesday and Friday to practice the living hell out of golf. So much that I get sick of it, though that is impossible.  Let me tell you guys, this course is beautiful, challenging and more importantly, fun! This is the first time in a while that a golf course has legitimately made me score better just because of the looks! I played yesterday, as well as today and both days spent an hour at the range getting the 'winter' rust off from my inability to play while I was in school. My first round was pretty bad, I shot a legitimate 100 and was discouraged, though it was my first round in a long while and before the round I decided not to keep score and play 2 balls per hole just for fun, though I did keep track of the first ball anyway. I spent some time after the round practicing just making solid contact with the ball, followed by some short game practice since I developed a case of the 'yips'. Just one hour was all I needed, and this morning I shot an 81, more similar to the scores that I was posting at the end of last year. I haven't used game golf yet, though I am not sure why. I'm excited to get to work over summer, I'm going to try to use it to get as good as I can, and learn as much as I can about the golf swing. I still have the goal of being a golf instructor in mind, and this summer will be used for me to practice on my on course ability so I can pass the PAT, but I will also be trying to engage with the TST community as often as possibly to learn as much as I can about the golf swing. If anyone wants to see a course flyover:  It's a little outdated, most of the holes changed, and a few are drives over water, which haven't really scared me because I have been hitting the driver pretty well recently. One par 5 is similar to Bay Hill's 6th. I can consistently leave myself 190 in to the green for my second shot when playing from blues, and 220 in when playing from the blacks. It's extremely fun, but has a potential to be a disaster. Oh well, grip it and make 18, right John Daly?



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    • I would think all three in varying degrees for different players. Can a man or woman carry their own bag, get their own distances and be their own best friend? Absolutely. It's not an inherent essential element of golf play, professional or otherwise.  But why take a chance really?  In general my take would be similar to @bkuehn1952's. The arena is so cutthroat competitive for relatively  large sum of moneys, that any advantage, however small or even if it only perceived at best, would be acquired.  I know I would. Especially the 'carrying my own bag' thing sounds like it would cost me some physical fatigue strokes over 72 holes. 
    • I'm not a mudder either. Especially in the Winter months when the fairways are dormant. Our club doesn't overseed even though we play year round. This year our course has been wet since October. It's just not much fun playing on thin soaking wet Bermuda. While our greens drain pretty well there are some low areas in our fairways that will have to be re-sodded when Spring arrives. 
    • I think you summed up the why do use caddies pretty well in three reasons: Pack mule / course maintenance GPS / course scout / game manager Emotional Support / Coaching I think the real question is why do pros maintain a regular caddie as opposed to using someone different each week.  I think the answer is obviously NOT #1 and obviously YES to #3. But I think #2 is an interesting issue.  I would imagine most tour stops have good local caddies - I must assume that Riviera has some good caddies that really know the course so well they might be an advantage over a regular caddie - think the guy Crenshaw used at Augusta.  But I would guess some of the issues with using a local caddie are: 1) there's probably not one for the entire field; 2) how do you know / do you have confidence that you are getting a good one?  Still I'm a little surprised no head strong pro has tried the "local caddie" strategy.  Maybe because there might be more downside than upside. I don't know if this will work but this links to an article from two years ago where a tour pro talks about what the tour would be like if there were no caddies. Undercover Tour Pro: What If We Had To Play Without Caddies? - Golf Digest Here's the question: What would the World Ranking look like if we had to carry our bags? No caddies. Also, FWIW, there was an interview podcast last year with Webb Simpson's caddie right after he won the Players.  He talked about one of the things he does to prepare for a big round is prepare a list of non-golf things to talk about to keep Webb from thinking about golf every minute of the round.
    • Interesting subject to discuss.  I mostly go long with your ideas.  Outside of the physical effort of carrying the bag and grooming the course, I imagine one of the biggest reasons every pro has a caddie is because they can have one.  And they are afraid that IF a caddie might make a 1 or 2 stroke difference, then they sure as hell want to have that advantage when everyone else in the field has a caddie.  
    • I of course agree with this. But FWIW this component of caddying was rather minimized during the Kuchar thread. 


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