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bones75

Professional Athlete Quick Golf Progression

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I go to a Stanford sports medicine clinic for some old injuries, and I run into NCAA athletes as well as some professionals. I ran into an old friend who was an old tennis player that tried to make it on the ATP. He's always played golf for fun (maybe 10x per year), had a 300+ long carry on his drives (if they happened to go straight), but shot like 120-140. He said he turned in his ATP card last year, only teaches and coaches now, and has taken up golf more seriously. In 5 months he said he went from shooting 120+ to high 70's, with a low of 74. No idea how much he's practiced in that time.  Home course is no joke either, Stanford university.

If this is true, that's the quickest improvement I've ever seen in real life (including young people). I'm going to play w/ him soon, and we shall see if it's true.

Is it believable? Or would one think he's been practicing longer than 5 months.

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17 minutes ago, bones75 said:

 

Is it believable? Or would one think he's been practicing longer than 5 months.

It seems like you're the only one who will be in  a position to find out, given you say you're playing with him soon. :-)

 

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40 minutes ago, bones75 said:

He's always played golf for fun (maybe 10x per year), had a 300+ long carry on his drives (if they happened to go straight), but shot like 120-140....

Is it believable? Or would one think he's been practicing longer than 5 months.

He has been playing golf all along and maybe shooting 120-140 was a bit of an exaggeration?

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31 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

He has been playing golf all along and maybe shooting 120-140 was a bit of an exaggeration?

I'm kind of thinking along those lines. I don't know exactly when he stopped trying all-out on the ATP, but know he was super dedicated to it 2-3 years ago. Prior to that, I'm confident he didn't give a rats ass about his golf game, and believed him when he told me he shot 120+ (he told me this 2-3 years ago). I think he's Serbian and only came to the US about 6 years ago, which makes me think he didn't even try golf til he came here (I have no grounds for this btw, just guessing there's not a lot of golf in Serbia)

So I'd figure at most it has been like ~18 mos of golf bug for him. But that's still exceptional improvement.

Curious if anyone has ever seen anyone improve that quickly in half a year.

Believe he was top 500 in the ATP worldwide at some point and he's still young (late 20s or mbe 30), so for general athleticism he's got a lot going for him.

Edited by bones75

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Given all that we now know about what helps you score low, those 300 plus yard drives put him ahead of most of his “starting to get the golf bug” colleagues. I also happen to play regularly with a friend who was a good tennis player (not at your friends level) and he almost never goes to a range or practices but routinely shoots in the 80s. I feel like it’s a sport that translates well to the course.

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It’s certainly possible. As a high level athlete you know he’s got athleticism and understanding of how to dedicate himself to practice for improvement. Golf just seems to come more naturally to some people.

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It is an exception, but that level of progression is possible.  I assume, he knew the theory and with practice was able to convert it into good rounds.  Plus, I would believe he is a naturally gifted athlete, who may well have been blessed by the golf gods as well as the tennis gods.

No doubt being able to drive it 300 makes a huge difference to helping lower his scores, as I assume he is driving it straight now

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I would be curious to read the update after you have played with him. I had heard about a guy or two in my area progressing very quickly like this from the group I used to play in (many years ago). After I played with them, it was apparent that the progression wasn't that crazy. Moving the ball all around to improve his lie, giving himself 3 footers, etc...Not saying that your friend does these things, but these guys were so used to doing it that they didn't think anything about it. It was just how they played. Since then, I am of the mindset that I like to see it before I believe it. Initially, I am on the side that maybe his previous scores weren't that high. Of the people that I have played with that shoot scores like that, it pretty much isn't kept up with after 100. Just my experience though

Edited by TN94z

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Here's what I've learned after 47 years on this planet:

 

 

 

Most people are full of s***.

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We just set a date for this Saturday at Stanford to play. I hope he's as good as he says, cuz that's just a wonder to behold I feel. I hope he's not as good as he says, cuz I'd be just super jealous.

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1 hour ago, bones75 said:

We just set a date for this Saturday at Stanford to play. I hope he's as good as he says, cuz that's just a wonder to behold I feel. I hope he's not as good as he says, cuz I'd be just super jealous.

Just don't play him at tennis.  Is tennis handicapped?  How?

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2 hours ago, bones75 said:

We just set a date for this Saturday at Stanford to play. I hope he's as good as he says, cuz that's just a wonder to behold I feel. I hope he's not as good as he says, cuz I'd be just super jealous.

How about you make sure that from hole 1 he understand that you are scoring properly. No gimmes or mulligans. If he says "par" when he means seven, call him out from the get go. If he scrapes a ball away from 2 feet ask him why he did it. If he tees up again after a crap drive, ask him what he's doing.

He won't break 95.

Edited by leftybutnotPM

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2 minutes ago, leftybutnotPM said:

How about you make sure that from hole 1 he understand that you are scoring properly. No gimmes mulligans. If he says "par" when he means seven, call him out from the get go.

He won't break 95.

I'm hoping the guy is legit.  He will inspire everyone here...

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11 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

I'm hoping the guy is legit.  He will inspire everyone here...

I hope he is too. But the moment I read a report that says he shot x BUT gave himself this and didn't count that we know that he isn't. Just sayin'. :-)

 

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It will be interesting to read your report. One thing we know about pro athletes is that they are fit, have excellent hand/eye coordination, and can learn physical skills relatively easily. With a sport like tennis I could imagine your friend being able to improve his golf at a rapid pace once he started concentrating on it. 

Lots of ex pros in other sports become really good golfers, and then sometimes it just doesn't translate. I remember an interview a talk show host had with a member of the Cleveland Browns at their charity golf outing. He interviewed Greg Pruitt, running back from Oklahoma, retired from the NFL, and he asked how his game was. Pruitt 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. 

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19 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

 

It will be interesting to read your report. One thing we know about pro athletes is that they are fit, have excellent hand/eye coordination, and can learn physical skills relatively easily

 

Charles Barkley.

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