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SEMI_Duffer's Golf Journey Saga


SEMI_Duffer
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In another thread, @Shindig asked:

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You've been on this site for a while and it's still golf season where you live -- let's talk (in another thread) about what's stopping you from whatever level of play would start to get you nervous, and then let's get you there so you can experience it.  It doesn't even have to be an 18 hole total -- if you're a 30 handicap, having a three hole bogey stretch can start some nerves that you're getting better. 

Since you asked :-) (I really did try to keep it as short as possible):

I took up golf at the ripe old age of sixty-nine years, in late June of 2020. Took two sets of group lessons at a local golf store.  When I felt I was ready I started playing.  Bottom line: After two sets of group lessons, countless hours in the back yard, at ranges, taking Internet advice, watching YouTube videos, etc, and 7-8 games: My ball-striking was worse than what it'd been at the start of the season. I couldn't hit diddly worth squat with anything.

At the end of the season I started training with True Motion Golf. The plan was to rebuild my swing from scratch, get to the point just shy of doing full swings, for which I hadn't the room, indoors, and move it outside.  Good plan, but...

In May of 2021 I needed arthroscopic knee surgery due to an injury sustained nine years before.  After recovering from that, resumed my training. (Backed-up a bit to re-do some of what I'd already done, as a refresher.)  Was going well.  Then I allowed a couple friends to convince me to play before I felt I was ready.  Calling the game a "train wreck" would be an understatement of epic proportions.  Then, a couple hours after that, I suffered a Branch Retina Artery Occlusion in my right eye--losing about 1/3 of my vision in that eye.

Dropped golf altogether.  Felt it likely I wouldn't play again.

Nonetheless, I'd become curious if the training I'd done actually worked.  Late in the season I took my mat, 7i, and some lake balls out back and hit into the woods, concentrating on the form I'd learned. Darned if I wasn't hitting them better, more consistently, than I ever had.  (Out of well over a dozen strikes I had one slice and one ground ball. [Those had been my most common misses.]  The rest were straight out or with a slight to moderate draw. All nice and high.)  Could hardly believe it.  Took my driver out, a week later, and did the same thing.  (At the end of the prior season, the last time I'd swung my driver, I couldn't hit with it to save my soul.)

Still: I had no conscious intention of playing again.

This spring rolled around and, driving by a local golf course I found myself gazing at it and thinking about golf.  Realized it and thought "Really?  Maybe you're not done with it, after all?"

So, finally, about six weeks back I resumed my training with TMG. I'm almost back to where I was about this time last year: Just beginning full back-swing training with a club. The first micro-motions in the down-swing transition are next.

I fully expect that, once I get to where I'm comfortable my swing is well-enough developed, that the myriad of flaws in my old swing have been replaced by good swing mechanics, I'll get back out to the range. Provided that goes satisfactorily, I'll start playing again.  I expect that to happen this season.  But it won't happen until I'm satisfied with where I am. I am not going to repeat last years mistake.

To answer the question I'm sure some may have, why am I going-about it this way, there are two reasons: I have an engineering mindset. I approach everything very methodically. Secondly, and probably more importantly: I am not at all athletic and never have been.  It's just never been in me.  I suspect part of the reason is I have very poor proprioception, which is the ability to sense where the body is and what it's doing at any point. (Case in point: My recent insistence I wasn't raising the club on the back-swing.)  So, for me to "learn" a motion and repeat it consistently, it takes a lot of repetitions doing it correctly.  That is one component of TMG's method.

 

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37 minutes ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

To answer the question I'm sure some may have, why am I going-about it this way, there are two reasons: I have an engineering mindset. I approach everything very methodically. Secondly, and probably more importantly: I am not

How you are going about is fine in my opinion.  The important thing is you gain pleasure from how you choose to do it.

if getting frustrated on the course will bother to the point of not enjoying the game then by all means, wait until you want to.

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Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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15 minutes ago, StuM said:

How you are going about is fine in my opinion.  The important thing is you gain pleasure from how you choose to do it.

That's been one of my two attitude changes this time around: Getting enjoyment out of training.  Celebrating getting a motion right, then, after getting it at least more-or-less ingrained, being able to repeat it without external visual cues.  (I've "registration marks" all over the floor and on the walls, the latter of which I can see in mirrors and videos.)

15 minutes ago, StuM said:

if getting frustrated on the course will bother to the point of not enjoying the game then by all means, wait until you want to.

Yeah... I don't handle frustration well at all.  I'd like to think I could cure myself of that, but, if I'm being honest with myself: If I haven't done so by now, it seems unlikely I will.

I know that, no matter how thoroughly I train, no matter how mechanically sound and how repeatable I make my swing, there will be bad swings and times when my game will go straight in the dumper.  That's golf, right? That I think I'll be able to handle.  It was the nearly constant frustration I was experiencing before that made it not a lot of fun.

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4 minutes ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

I know that, no matter how thoroughly I train, no matter how mechanically sound and how repeatable I make my swing, there will be bad swings and times when my game will go straight in the dumper.  That's golf, right?

Yup, even the best in the world have bad shots/holes/rounds.  The key is how you bounce back.  

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Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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2 minutes ago, StuM said:

Yup, even the best in the world have bad shots/holes/rounds.  The key is how you bounce back.  

I think I'll be ok in this respect.  My recollection of the games I played is that I didn't become truly frustrated until about the 3rd, 4th, 5th, whatever bad hole in a row.  And even then my recollection is I approached each new hole with a "This will be better" thought.  At least consciously ;-)

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3 hours ago, StuM said:

 The key is how you bounce back.  

Well, I pay for the damages I’ve caused, apologize for scaring any children, and dig embarrassingly fast through my bag for another ball.

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:ping: G25 Driver Stiff :ping: G20 3W, 5W :ping: S55 4-W (aerotech steel fiber 110g shafts) :ping: Tour Wedges 50*, 54*, 58* :nike: Method Putter Floating clubs: :edel: 54* trapper wedge

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8 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

... and dig embarrassingly fast through my bag for another ball.

Keep one in your pocket, it's faster. Upon this subject I've ample experience :-$

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1 hour ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

Keep one in your pocket, it's faster. Upon this subject I've ample experience :-$

That bad shot was the ball from my pocket….

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:ping: G25 Driver Stiff :ping: G20 3W, 5W :ping: S55 4-W (aerotech steel fiber 110g shafts) :ping: Tour Wedges 50*, 54*, 58* :nike: Method Putter Floating clubs: :edel: 54* trapper wedge

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2 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Well, I pay for the damages I’ve caused, apologize for scaring any children, and dig embarrassingly fast through my bag for another ball.

And you are medically qualified to treat any injuries you cause. So you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

@SEMI_Duffer, you are going to have peaks and valleys in your golf journey. Don’t get down when you’re in the valleys and enjoy the peaks.

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Scott

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boogielicious - Adjective describing the perfect surf wave

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  • iacas changed the title to SEMI_Duffer's Golf Journey Saga
18 hours ago, boogielicious said:

 

@SEMI_Duffer, you are going to have peaks and valleys in your golf journey. Don’t get down when you’re in the valleys and enjoy the peaks.

I understand that.  If it was easy, anybody could do it and it wouldn't really be a challenge, would it? :-)

I'm actually enjoying the challenge of it as much as anything else.

It wasn't just that one thoroughly-unpleasant game that resulted in my time off.  It was that, coupled with the eye insult (that's what they call such a thing, an "insult"), that did it.

TBH: That stuff did more than just put me off golf.  It actually put me into a nearly-year-long funk where I did almost nothing except the bare minimum to be classified as "living." Getting interested in golf again is, in part, a tool I'm using to re-kindle my ambition.

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On 8/18/2022 at 11:35 AM, SEMI_Duffer said:

In another thread, @Shindig asked:

Since you asked :-) (I really did try to keep it as short as possible):

I took up golf at the ripe old age of sixty-nine years...

Dropped golf altogether.  Felt it likely I wouldn't play again.

Still: I had no conscious intention of playing again.

This spring rolled around and, driving by a local golf course I found myself gazing at it and thinking about golf.  Realized it and thought "Really?  Maybe you're not done with it, after all?"

 

Thank you for telling your story. I love it. I love the parts above about how you can't quit it. 

Golf is like a drug, or a "mistress" or a "muse." Once you've tasted it, you can never really get rid of it.

About 6 years ago, I tried to quit. I had to stop because of a neck injury, and was feeling the weight of years of disappointment and frustration with my level of play, and just happened coincidentally to come upon another hobby that gripped me as strongly as golf had (ballroom dancing, by the way). I thought I was "cured" of golf by this new medicine. I also had the pleasure with dance to have begun with LESSONS, immediately, and virtually ALL of my dancing has been with a professional teacher, absolutely zero youtube, zero online reading or books or anything. So I got way better at it much faster than ever with golf. (Funny how that is 😉 )

But I couldn't let go of golf. I didn't play much at all from 2017-2019, but eventually the itch returned. I'm still dealing with injuries and so forth, but I'm back and dedicated to both hobbies now. I set up an indoor hitting hoping I can reach new heights 🙂

Keep playing golf and do not under any circumstances ever lose your self belief or surrender your will to get better. 🙂

 

Edited by Big Lex
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JP Bouffard

"I cut a little driver in there." -- Jim Murray

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3W: Callaway XR,
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Irons: 5-GW: Mizuno JPX800, Aerotech Steelfiber 95 shafts, S flex.
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 56 degree, M grind
Putter: Edel Custom Pixel Insert 

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@SEMI_Duffer just be careful you don't get too fixated on fixing your swing to the point you're never satisfied if you play golf. Everyone has bad days. Even the pros can top or shank the ball.

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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@billchao, wise counsel, but I do not expect that to be a problem.  My goals are fairly modest: Just to get to the point I can play half-way decent bogey golf.  If I someday end up playing better than that: Wonderful.

I know that, no matter how hard I work on it there will be bad strikes.  I know there'll still be train-wreck games.  If it can happen to the pros, and it does, it can certainly happen to me.

I guess the best way to put it is I'd like to get the rest of my game to where my chipping was year-before-last.  Chipping was the one strong point of my game. I got particularly good at green-side lob shots. To the point I received regular complements from the guys with whom I played.  Of course I still misfired.  Shrugged my shoulders, thought "Well, that sucked," and didn't let it bother me.

That actually had a downside, btw. I was so good at it, it became a hammer/nail thing, and I'd try to use that shot where a bump and run, or even the putter, would've been the more sensible choice.  Burned myself more than once, that way :-$

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