So.....you're sayin' it's physically mental......or mentally physical
or is it feel vs mechanical
or is it a sport or a hobby
all I know is I want to golf that ball with my fairway metal while sporting my cargo shorts and rocking my driving hat while hitting a golf shot and being a great driver of the golf ball while someone mumbles 'shot' after a good golf strike of the golf ball and driving the golf cart and drinking the golf bloody mary
I don't know if golf is more mental than physical or vice versa. But I am convinced that a different mental approach/focus can help many problems in the game that many, if not most, instructors view as purely physical/swing related issues. A correct mental picture/intent can help golfers improve, and combining a mental approach with physical swing training can greatly accelerate improvement.
Take an over the top swing as an example. With the pure physical approach, the instructor watches the player hit a few balls and dissects the swing into component parts. The instructor gives a bunch of physical causes: you take the club too inside or outside, you have too much weight on the front or back foot, you should be supinating your wrist or pronating it, your hips are firing too soon or too late. The instructor has the player work on a different take away for the first week. When that gets better, they move onto the next problem and try to fix it. Two months late, the player is hitting it much better on the range, but still frequently comes over the top on the course. The more the student focuses on the ball, the more likely a OTT swing will show up.
The other approach: the instructor watches the student take some practice swings and then hit some balls. The instructor notices that the student rarely comes over the top for a practice swing but does so on most, but not all swings with a ball. Okay, she asks, why is the player sometimes coming over the top? Why is it worse when a ball is present? The instructor asks what the player is focused on. The ball of course. I want to hit the ball, make sure the club head makes good contact. The instructor then changes the focus of the player from hitting the ball to swinging through the ball to a target. The instructor explains that OTT is the default when the ball is the target. She gives some drills to improve focus away from the ball: the player hits whiffle balls to warm up, the player has to verbally identify the target and intermediary target and rehearse swinging out to the target, the instructor gives the student a mental image of swinging through the ball instead of hitting at the ball. After a week, the over the top move shows up less often and is not as pronounced. The instructor continues to have the student work on the mental side of swinging to the target and combines that with swing changes.
In the physical only approach, the physical changes will be harder to adopt because the physical swing is fighting against the students mental image of what is needed and the student's primary focus. When the mental and physical are aligned, progress will be faster. Another way to say it: the mind directs the body. The mind is telling the body to swing one way when the ball is the target and a different way when swinging to the pin.
In any case, an instructor who ignores the student's thoughts is short changing the student by focusing only on the physical. There's an old saying, if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. If the instructor only deals with physical swing changes, every problem looks like a physical problem.
On the course, which is more important, the physical or the mental? I don't know, but it is important that the mental image/goal/focus aids the physical side instead of fighting against it.
They're great. I've played a 9 hole round, in which I was trying to hit as many irons as possible (as opposed to lowest score). For example, I played one hole as 5-iron 9-iron instead, so I'd be able to hit both.
Distance: even accounting for the difference in loft, I'm hitting further. I'll get fit for woods soon, too, as I don't think I should be on S-flex in my hybrids, but I'll let a fitter determine that.
The 86 was my first round with the new irons. My literal first-ever shot with the 8-iron, didn't even hit it on the range, lead to a birdie (and a $70 skin). Funny story for that round: no 4s on the scorecard. Bogey or double on 10 of the par-4s, birdie on the other. Parred every par 3. Didn't birdie any par-5.
I hook them a bit, but I hook my other clubs too. I just have to get used to the shot cones.
I have yet to see net only tournaments, except when I play in our Couples events. But I agree, as a lower handicap, it is hard to win any net prize in a large field of higher handicaps, as the range of scores for the higher handicaps fluctuate a lot more than the lower guys, especially the plus handicappers. Even me as a 6 handicap, I've typically shoot somewhere between 74-79 most days and can throw in a 69 once in a while or a 79.
In my normal weekend game, we play with no strokes, everything is gross only, unless there are side bets.