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Road to becoming a professional golfer


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Originally Posted by Harmonious

Quote:

Originally Posted by JetFan1983

Well this is total BS obviously  Sadly, as a 14-15ish index, I'd have to agree.

Sorry, JetFan.  I didn't mean to say that 14 caps have no talent. I meant to say that they probably don't have the talent to get to the PGA Tour. Mea culpa.


It's okay. I know what you meant, and I agree with you.

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The best advice I would  give to an aspiring professional is to go to a tournament and watch a couple guys you've never heard of on the practice tee. Watch how the ball rockets out of sight and how th

We get it.  You've got a plan.  You're not the first, and won't be the last, 15 handicapper with visions of glory. Tell you what - Come back in six months (better yet, a year), after working th

Best of luck to you...if you enjoy the journey, then it doesn't really matter what the end of the road is!

You'll need money a lot of money or a source that will give you a lot of money. Think about the cost it will take just for you to possibly reach being good enough to play on a smaller tour. Then the cost of traveling and entry fees which if you're lucky you might break even IF you place well enough. I won't sit here and tell you not to do it but your chances are very slim.

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Hmm ok, to respond to everyone that posted lately:

I definitely know that right now that I have the talent.  There's no shortcut except for practice and hard work which is what I'm going to do and I have all the time in the world.

As I've said before, I started playing about 3 years ago, was never really serious about this and never took lessons or really practiced until I thought about it.  I realized how much joy I get out of playing the game, and how much joy it is to improve.

I know there are many people way better, Greg Norman for example, that got to scratch like you said in a year, but he's about the only guy I know that has ever done that even after listing all the pros.  I've gotten pretty good pretty fast with not a lot of work and now I'm going to devote my life into this.

Like I said, we'll see how it goes!

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Harmonious,

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.  If you devoted 60 hours a week for 10 years, you would be something truly amazing.  You would definitely have the talent.

It's very evident in just about everything in life.  You devote time to something, you get better at it.  Name something that takes skill that anyone wouldn't get better at if they practiced a lot.

Obviously I don't have 60 hours a week currently, I'm hoping to in the future.  There's a lot of studies and theories and factual data about the 10,000 hour rule.  60 hours a week in 10 years is 31,200, over three times the mark.

I would have to say you would definitely be able to play in Carnegie Hall! :)

Originally Posted by Harmonious

My thoughts, too.  I play the piano, and even if I devoted 60 hours per week to practice for 10 years, I will never play Carnegie Hall. I just don't have the talent.

A 14 handicap at age 25 signifies that talent is also missing. At some point, additional practice (even perfect practice) won't solve that problem.



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Also I'd like to add this:

I'm not saying I'm a shoe in or that I know that I'll make this dream come true.  In fact, I know that it's almost impossible, but I'd rather say that it's extremely improbable.

I'm just saying that it's my dream, I'm going to go for it, I'm going to give it my best shot, and I'm going to devote my time towards it.

I've been doing that by practicing quite often for a few hours each night after school.  I haven't been able to golf much because of weather and work but I've been practicing indoors.

Last night I got a few key Bob Rotella mental game thoughts in my head for today.  I also have been working on my irons with solid contact as well as a good putting stroke, and clean crisp chips as well as alignment.

I know that just because I practiced however much it doesn't necessarily mean I'll have a good round and even if I did that doesn't necessarily mean that I'll shoot like that from now on and it goes the same way if I shot bad but....

I played 9 holes today which was nice because my time allows me to play 9 holes maybe once a week now as work is piling up but the practice seems to be helping a lot.

I made 7/9 GIRs.  Two greens I missed I chipped close and made par.  I bogeyed one hole.  I had 3 birdies.  My irons felt so nice.  I can really feel that the practice has helped my ball striking.  The golf launch monitor has helped me straighten my shots and work on my distance which was very apparent.  My driver was ok but I haven't been able to practice indoors(I have a few marks on my ceiling from that!), and my putting stroke seemed a lot smoother.  I ended up shooting a 2 under which is actually lowest 9 holes!  I wish I could of kept going but darkness was starting to come in.  And no, it wasn't on a par 3 course :P

I've never been so on with everything.  I'm feeling so encouraged about my practicing.  Again, because of work, I'm only getting 15-30 hours of practice in a week but I probably have already eclipsed total practice time in the past few months compared to my first two years before I really started to think about committing to the dream.

I know that this doesn't necessarily mean anything, and I've got a loooooong way to go, but I feel good you guys! :)

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Ok I've been crunching more numbers and planning more.  Here are some long term goals and plans:

in 4 and a half years, I will be 30 and it will be June, I will be able to save up around 50,000 as well which I will do.

I will plan to move somewhere where I can work on my game all year long, Florida for instance.  I will find a job at a golf course to work, play, and get lessons.  From working there, I'm sure I'd be able to play for free in most cases and get lessons here and there cheaper than usual.

If I can work at a golf course, and have money saved up, I'll be able to stay down there for quite awhile to just focus on my golf game(I'm really good at not spending money ha).

Also in 4 and a half years, I am hoping to become a scratch golfer.  Even if I'm not, I'm still going to go down there.  But that is the goal.

4 and a half years to become a scratch golfer, save up 50k, move down to Florida(or somewhere warm/hot all year round), get a job at a golf course.

That is basically my entire focus.

Also, I'm hoping that 4 and a half years to become scratch is a conservative estimate.  I'd love for this to be my progression:

I'm starting out at a 14 now....

end of 2012 season: 4

end of 2013 season(if the world didn't end): 1

end of 2014 season: scratch

end of 2015 season: +1

summer of 2016: +1.5

And then off to Florida or somewhere nice :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JetFan1983

Oh yea, I just want to add this too: There are some pros who did take a while to get into a groove. Paul Azinger for example struggled as a freshman golfer on his college team. I remember reading an article about this where he admitted it was difficult for him to break 80 on consecutive days. He had already been playing golf for a long time at that point.

But by the time he was 19, he was a + index. So I guess it's not insanely fast for every player, but sooner or later, these guys figure out how to get it done out there. He turned pro at age 21.

YE Yang turned pro at age 24, five years after picking up the game. He didn't start playing regularly though until he was about 21 years old.



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Originally Posted by LongballGer

Your handicap and how many years you´ve been playing golf has absolutely zero correlation with how good you can get.

I never dumbed it down those simplified terms. Sure, if you took a 20 year veteran of the game who carries a 25 handicap and suddenly had him practice the right things as well as practicing every day, sure, he would improve a helluva lot. But that would require a lot of mental realizations on his part which, let's be honest, most players never make.

Originally Posted by LongballGer

There is a difference between aimlessly hitting a bucket of balls once a week and playing 18 holes, doing that for 20 years and still not being a single digit handicapper. Then you have guys like Greg Norman that warmed up in the parking lot before sunrise and practiced till dawn (in his own words) almost everyday for a year straight.

Did you just completely forget this conversation we had in this thread a couple days ago? And didn't you say that (I'm paraphrasing) studies show that practicing more than five hours straight is counter-productive (I'm assuming when you say "sunrise ...til dawn" it was a misprint and you meant "sunrise til dusk")? It may be your opinion that young South Korean female pros, for the most part, don't know how to practice. But, hey, they are still professional players so they obviously are doing something right.

And it's quite possible that Norman was just "beating balls" too. It's just happened by random chance that he naturally did the right things, so the ball beating was beneficial.


Originally Posted by LongballGer

Trust me, for every "child prodigy" there are always thousands of hours on the practice ground involved that nobody talks about because people still like to believe the fairy tale that someone just has some god given talent and when he picked up a golf club for the first time he magically hit everything pure, long and straight with a beautiful swing. It only works that way in movies.


I never once said these great players "magically hit everything pure" from day one. Didn't I say Azinger struggled to break 80 on consecutive days as a freshman on his college team? It's in the post of mine you quoted.

IMO you missed the point of my post. And it seems like you've done a total flip flop of your opinion a couple days ago in that thread .

Tiger has great talent, but everyone knows that during his prime years, no one worked harder than he did. I'm not sure where you got the impression that I believe he was just good from day one. But you are simply ignoring the very critical piece to all of these guys' careers which is, for lack of a better word, talent. That's the foundation for all the good things they do on the golf course. But built upon that foundation is the endless amount of hours of hard work that gave them the careers they have.

The only myth here is the one that anyone can become a touring pro simply by out-working everyone else. And IMO, on a side note, the simple ability of being able to practice every day, all day without getting injured is a talent in of itself, both mentally and physically.

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Originally Posted by Travis Robinson

Currently, I am working full time and live in Wisconsin which makes it very hard to work on my game.  I have built an indoor driving range as well as purchasing a golf launch monitor.  I also have an indoor putting green so I'm off to a good start for the winter months.

Cheers everyone!



4 pages and you haven't posted pics of your indoor set ups? Get on it boy!



Originally Posted by Travis Robinson

Sure,

I probably only started thinking about becoming a pro a year ago.  I haven't done much this summer as far as practice because I've been busy with work and buying a house.



Originally Posted by Travis Robinson

Ok I've been crunching more numbers and planning more.  Here are some long term goals and plans:

in 4 and a half years, I will be 30 and it will be June, I will be able to save up around 50,000 as well which I will do.

I will plan to move somewhere where I can work on my game all year long, Florida for instance.  I will find a job at a golf course to work, play, and get lessons.  From working there, I'm sure I'd be able to play for free in most cases and get lessons here and there cheaper than usual.

If I can work at a golf course, and have money saved up, I'll be able to stay down there for quite awhile to just focus on my golf game(I'm really good at not spending money ha).

Also in 4 and a half years, I am hoping to become a scratch golfer.  Even if I'm not, I'm still going to go down there.  But that is the goal.

4 and a half years to become a scratch golfer, save up 50k, move down to Florida(or somewhere warm/hot all year round), get a job at a golf course.

That is basically my entire focus.

Also, I'm hoping that 4 and a half years to become scratch is a conservative estimate.  I'd love for this to be my progression:

I'm starting out at a 14 now....

end of 2012 season: 4

end of 2013 season(if the world didn't end): 1

end of 2014 season: scratch

end of 2015 season: +1

summer of 2016: +1.5

And then off to Florida or somewhere nice :)


If you are going to move in 4 years and save up money, buying a house now is not a good way to go.

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You will never know unless you give it a try... For everyone who will tell you that you can do it 10,000 more will tell you that you can't! Look at it this way, even if you don't make it, even if "it" never happens at least you tried and that you will always have. You do not want to be X year old saying you wished you had tried... Good luck

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Originally Posted by normdamarine

You will never know unless you give it a try... For everyone who will tell you that you can do it 10,000 more will tell you that you can't! Look at it this way, even if you don't make it, even if "it" never happens at least you tried and that you will always have. You do not want to be X year old saying you wished you had tried... Good luck



Yea, I definitely don't want to imply the guy shouldn't work hard on his golf game. I want to always encourage hard work out there. But come on, let's keep things within reason right now and just focus on getting to something like a single digit first and then take it from there. Despite some inconsistencies in his posts that shades pointed out (unless the property value of whatever house he's buying will increase), it seems like the OP is willing to undertake this dream with smaller goals.

But seriously, read Paper Tiger like Shorty said. It's a fun read too.

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Quote:
I never dumbed it down those simplified terms. Sure, if you took a 20 year veteran of the game who carries a 25 handicap and suddenly had him practice the right things as well as practicing every day, sure, he would improve a helluva lot. But that would require a lot of mental realizations on his part which, let's be honest, most players never make.

Exactly. How many people do you know that have spent 3 hours every single day practicing intensively for 10 years? It´s not a lack of physical talent that is keeping people from making the tour. Otherwise you would have never heard of Tim Herron, Rocco mediate etc. You can´t tell me that they are superior freak athletes. I´m also not buying the "they are born with superior hand eye coordination" argument.

Quote:

Did you just completely forget this conversation we had in this thread a couple days ago? And didn't you say that (I'm paraphrasing) studies show that practicing more than five hours straight is counter-productive (I'm assuming when you say "sunrise ...til dawn" it was a misprint and you meant "sunrise til dusk")? It may be your opinion that young South Korean female pros, for the most part, don't know how to practice. But, hey, they are still professional players so they obviously are doing something right.

Yes, practicing more than 5 hours is a waste of time, but they still practice for 5 hours even if some of them practice more productively than others. Last time I checked practicing for 5 hours daily is better than beating half a bucket of balls once a week.

Quote:

And it's quite possible that Norman was just "beating balls" too. It's just happened by random chance that he naturally did the right things, so the ball beating was beneficial.

Yes, although I do believe he also had someone teaching him. You can never hit enough balls as long as you are engaged in what you are doing and working on the right things.

Quote:

Tiger has great talent, but everyone knows that during his prime years, no one worked harder than he did. I'm not sure where you got the impression that I believe he was just good from day one. But you are simply ignoring the very critical piece to all of these guys' careers which is, for lack of a better word, talent. That's the foundation for all the good things they do on the golf course. But built upon that foundation is the endless amount of hours of hard work that gave them the careers they have.

So what is talent then?

IMO it´s simply having the determination to work hard and smart for many years. I believe there are thousands of kids out there right now that could be the next Tiger, but they a) lack access to golf and instruction b) don´t have the drive/work ethic c) don´t have supportive parents.

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I would say 4 years to become scratch is far too long for your goal of going touring pro given your age. Especially if you have the talent. Getting to scratch should take you 2 years tops. I would say if you can get there in 2 from a 14 handicap, you have at least the basic mental and physical training to go for pro.

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The 10k hour rule is more about correlation than causation. In sports with a strong genetic component (running,swimming, biking) this is a lot clear than in the skill based activities. You will get better at anything with 10k hours of practice. It is unlikely you will get to a pro level.  You are also deluded if you think you can play golf for 60 hours a week for 10 years. Your body will break down.

If you look like a slob and through a 95mph fastball, you have the physical talent to be a pro pitcher. If you look like a slob and have 120mph clubhead speed, you have the power to be a pro golfer. If you look like an athlete and have a 85 mph club head speed, you don't. There are 1000's of golfer that have put in 10k hours of practice by the time they are 22-23. Only a few of them make it as a pro.

In 10k hours you will be a decent golfer but odds are you will not be at the nationwide level.

Quote:

Harmonious,

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.  If you devoted 60 hours a week for 10 years, you would be something truly amazing.  You would definitely have the talent.

It's very evident in just about everything in life.  You devote time to something, you get better at it.  Name something that takes skill that anyone wouldn't get better at if they practiced a lot.

Obviously I don't have 60 hours a week currently, I'm hoping to in the future.  There's a lot of studies and theories and factual data about the 10,000 hour rule.  60 hours a week in 10 years is 31,200, over three times the mark.

I would have to say you would definitely be able to play in Carnegie Hall! :)



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Originally Posted by Travis Robinson

I'm starting out at a 14 now....

end of 2012 season: 4

end of 2013 season(if the world didn't end): 1

end of 2014 season: scratch

end of 2015 season: +1

summer of 2016: +1.5

And then off to Florida or somewhere nice :)

Travis -

No one is doubting your enthusiasm, but the problem is that your goals are not realistic.

The numbers above are arbitrary at best.

Also, the report from 9 holes of golf makes me think you are playing a very short course.  What is the name of the course? Where is it?

My thinking is that you have never actually played with, or seen a seriously good player in the flesh.

People either have it or they don't.

A good teaching pro will tell you afte five (or 2) swings what your chances are.

The fact that you think that x number hours piano practice gets you to Carnegie Hall is a problem for me.

Why not say "I have been playing guitar for 6 weeks and within five years I want to play in one of the world's top bands". People would laugh.

Unfortunately, on golf forums, most people believe that if Greg Norman - one of the most naturally gifted players in the history of the game can get to scratch withing a year or two that "it's possible".  It is, in the sama way that your three year "could" become more famous than Picasso.

Reality check needed.  Now.


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