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bones75

Professional Athlete Quick Golf Progression

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57 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

IPruitt said that when he was in high school, he was all state in football, basketball, track, and baseball! There was no sport that he wasn't good at. Then, he took up golf! 

He told the host. "That little ball just sits there, waiting for me to hit it, and I can't do it!" He said golf was the most humbling game he had ever tried. 

I know a guy who was starting D1 football QB (idk what it was back then, but it's not a top 25 program today). He was also all-state in HS baseball, and the best player on his team in HS basketball. He took up golf in his 40's and was decent at it (bogey golfer), nothing amazing. But what was incredible was that he could golf equally well lefty OR righty. I witnessed it firsthand many times. He didn't take golf that seriously, but did want to casually improve, and kept switching a week or a month later thinking he was better the other way.

It's not the definition of athleticism, but it's definitely impressive athletic ability.

Edited by bones75

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I was kind of curious what @iacas thinks on this subject in general?  What's the fastest improving student he's every seen (by any measure or any level)?

(Mods: if this post is not TOS, feel free to delete, I would PM him, but I think others would want to see his answer too)

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Two thoughts on this. I doubt he shot 120-140 ever, and I would guess he probably isn't really shooting low 70s now.

I've told my own story several times on this forum. Played Div. 1 baseball in college, took up golf at 22 years old. I shot over 100 the first time I played and I never shot over 100 again. Was shooting in the 80s within a year or so of heavy practice and playing. Still took several more years to get to scratch.

I had a lot of raw talent and a great deal of natural swing speed which helped me improve at a quick pace. While baseball swings and golf swings share few of the same principles I still believe just being an athlete helped me improve much faster than the average player.

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Only way he shot 120+ was probably because he hit 2 drives out of 10 over 300, the other 8 drives he shanked it, and he didnt know how to hit irons  

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7 hours ago, bones75 said:

I was kind of curious what @iacas thinks on this subject in general?  What's the fastest improving student he's every seen (by any measure or any level)?

Well… the fastest improving student in the last year might be Doris.

But Doris hasn’t played yet so we shall see. But that’s her swinging with less than three hours of help.

The previous fastest improvement I’ve seen was a guy, hockey player, who got from ~100 to ~80 in three months. He always had ability but rarely played and never practiced. He was a right handed hockey player so a righty at golf too. He was 38-ish.

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Forgot the trainers name but he was recently on The Fried Egg podcast. He said golf is a very rotational sport that has many attributes related to the sports you always see players from on Pro Ams. Basically hockey players, baseball pitchers, and tennis players.

Personally a lot of my friends were good regional hockey players and not one of them is under 270 for drives without much practise. The dispersion might be higher hut the natural rotational strength is there.

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A few guys I play golf with are decent recreational tennis players. They went pretty quickly to low 90s scoring and one is a 8.8 hcp, but he went to about 15 really fast. I imagine an atp level tennis player might break 90 really fast, then 80 as well but low 70s is something I doubt. Because you still need putting and the short game and those need quite a bit of time to develop to a single hcp level. 

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He's quite good.

Shot an 81 w 4 birdies and two triples. His buddy said he's fired an 88, 78 and 77 in the times they've played. He still says mostly 80 or under, his low is 74.
 
his story as best as I can recall.
 
Retired from the ATP nov '18. Started to golf "a few times a month". He played the tips because he's long, but because he was long and not accurate he would lose a dozen+ balls in a round (at least at Stanford he would). So if he counted penalties,120+ sounds right. However, it's true he wasn't truly "trying" to score low. He was swinging at full throttle and that's just what was fun for him (and not that diff than many beginners). Even still, he broke 100 last October. 
 
So he did not go from 120 to high 70's in 5 months. He went from 'breaking 100 for the first time' to 'regularly breaking 80' in 5 months. I may have misinterpreted him earlier, his English is good, but not perfect. 
 
After breaking 100, he got interested, started lessons, and practiced "a lot" daily (I didn't ask for details). He says he absolutely loves being in a sports routine that's not tennis, so it's feasible he practices a ton. He was shooting mid/high 80s after 2 weeks of lessons. He broke 70 for the first time around xmas.
 
After lessons, he started swinging slower. Where he used to carry 300+, he "only carries about 265" now. However, I believe this is the low end, as I'm sure he carried a few 280-290 today. I also saw him hit a 6 iron fearlessly off of hard dirt 218 yards, pin high to 6', all carry (I laser'd it myself); and a ~300 yard (w/ roll) 2-iron. He's pretty straight, but even when he was wayward, he always seemed to have a high iron in at most. (Stanford is 6.7k from the tips).
 
He said driving and putting are the most natural part of the game for him. His putter was great, both lag and line. Overall decent short game, although he hit 3-4 really poor chips. He plays ROG, putts out 1 footers, no foot wedges. He can also work a fade well, but he can't control a draw (related to tennis?).
 
One thing that is misleading about his scores is that he only plays Stanford, so he's not sure how he'd score at other courses. He gets to play it for near free, and I think he's on a pretty small budget.
 
He doesn't have an index.
 
He was impressive. He hit a few bad shots, but not very many. And his great shots looked as good as I can imagine anyone hitting them.
Edited by bones75

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Thanks for the detailed report.

So often these threads disappear because the OP never follows up. :-)

 

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I just reread mine and found another mistake. He never broke 70. Meant to say "He broke 80 around xmas."

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Oh, and I forgot like the coolest story about his athleticism. His buddy said in January, he taught my friend the little thing of bouncing the ball on your wedge. He said by his 3rd try, he could do it indefinitely, and by the next hole, he was already doing tricks like between the legs, behind the back, etc..  Dude's just really good at using a stick to hit a ball.

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1 hour ago, leftybutnotPM said:

Thanks for the detailed report.

So often these threads disappear because the OP never follows up. :-)

 

Yes, thank you for following up.  It was a good read.  I have never tried to bounce a ball on my wedge because that's time stolen from practice putting.  I'm athletic (good hand/eye coordination) so I can probably do it, but I will never know.  We only have so many hours in our lives to practice.

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1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Yes, thank you for following up.  It was a good read.  I have never tried to bounce a ball on my wedge because that's time stolen from practice putting.  I'm athletic (good hand/eye coordination) so I can probably do it, but I will never know.  We only have so many hours in our lives to practice.

So I just know....just do....you ran right out to give it a try....:whistle:

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On 3/10/2020 at 5:13 PM, Killa said:

Because you still need putting and the short game and those need quite a bit of time to develop to a single hcp level.

Short game and putting are significantly easier to improve than long game. A person who can improve their long game to single digit level within a span of a few months is not going to find it hard to improve their short game with dedicated practice.

15 hours ago, bones75 said:

Oh, and I forgot like the coolest story about his athleticism. His buddy said in January, he taught my friend the little thing of bouncing the ball on your wedge. He said by his 3rd try, he could do it indefinitely, and by the next hole, he was already doing tricks like between the legs, behind the back, etc..  Dude's just really good at using a stick to hit a ball.

I actually try this from time to time and I still can't get more than four or five bounces.

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15 minutes ago, billchao said:

I actually try this from time to time and I still can't get more than four or five bounces.

It’s your swing speed Bill. And you’re probably bouncing it 25’ high.😃

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3 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

It’s your swing speed Bill. And you’re probably bouncing it 25’ high.😃

You’re joking, but bouncing a ball off my wedge is a pretty good indicator of my golf swing.

I’ll bounce a couple just right, one will shoot off in a random direction forcing me to chase after it, and I’ll hit one way off the toe that bounces too low for me to recover from, ending the sequence.

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36 minutes ago, billchao said:

You’re joking, but bouncing a ball off my wedge is a pretty good indicator of my golf swing.

I’ll bounce a couple just right, one will shoot off in a random direction forcing me to chase after it, and I’ll hit one way off the toe that bounces too low for me to recover from, ending the sequence.

I think you have stumbled upon the working mans swing monitor! Get a YouTube channel up, and hire me as your marketing guy, and we are in the money. Oh, McCord is looking for work, so maybe he can be the pitch man. Offer lessons on Master Class, oh man easy street is in view. 

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