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AMA Thread (@iacas)

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After reading this website for a little over two years, I wonder how much time you spend, on average, posting and responding?  I'm sure it varies based on the amount and type activity here, and on your personal schedule, but can you make a guess for a daily or weekly average?

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

After reading this website for a little over two years, I wonder how much time you spend, on average, posting and responding?  I'm sure it varies based on the amount and type activity here, and on your personal schedule, but can you make a guess for a daily or weekly average?

Too much.

Oh, you want more detail than that? :-)

There are days when I don't check the site at all, or literally only check quickly on my phone on a topic or two in a day. I'll have a solid week of days like that when I'm at NCAA Nationals, or days when we're filming, or I'm caddying for @NatalieB, or things like that.

I spend less time than people think. On average, in a week… 20 hours? Counting everything I do, including back-end stuff, front-end, talking with sponsors, etc. I type pretty quickly. There have also been days where it's taken me an hour to write a really long post, because I have to include some graphics or produce a video. There are weeks I spend 35 hours on the site, and weeks I spend 12.

I enjoy it all. Generally speaking, we almost never have any real problems. People occasionally have problems with me, I know, but I generally don't really have any problems with other people. Disagreement doesn't make me dislike anyone. We all get to have opinions, and if we all agreed, that'd be boring and not challenging at all.

I spend 80-100 hours a week of my life on golf. This is one of the pieces in that.

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If a student were to come to you and request help on a specific key or part of their swing, would you accommodate that request even if you saw a more pressing issue?

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4 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

If a student were to come to you and request help on a specific key or part of their swing, would you accommodate that request even if you saw a more pressing issue?

That depends.

If it's in a different area of their game, almost always. i.e. if the person wanted to work on their short game, but they were topping their driver, I might just go along with the short game lesson (I'd probably ask about the driver, but they could just say "I'm working on that myself" or whatever).

If they wanted "more distance" and they had shitty contact, I might phrase the lesson as "solid contact = more distance" but really I'd be thinking "solid contact = better golfer period" in my head.

Or, more to the point of your question… if a guy comes to me asking… well, let me phrase it this way. If a guy comes to me and wants to work on X, there are a few possibilities:

  1. He's right, and X is the biggest priority. We work on X.
  2. He's right that X is a problem, but I see another priority. I might agree that X is an issue, but that working on Y will improve X too, or that X is a lesser problem than Y.
  3. He's wrong that X is a problem, or it's a compensation for Y and Z. I educate the golfer on that, and we work on Y or Z.
  4. He's wrong that X is a problem at all, or he misunderstands what he should be doing. I show him proof of this, he understands, we move on to something else.
  5. Uhhh… I think that's about it?

In all cases, it's just a matter of communication. Occasionally I'll try to "back door" a fix. The guy is ultimately paying me, after all, and I want them to be satisfied. If a guy comes to me wanting to fix his flip, but he's fully on his back foot at impact, I work on Key #2 and tell him - AND SHOW HIM - how that helps him with the flip.

It's just about communication. They have a problem, and ultimately, they're coming to me. So I have some power there, and I also know my stuff, so I can almost always get them to see my perspective on things and come to an agreement about what we truly should tackle first.

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As one of your students progresses and improves, about how often would you recommend them to re-map their shot zones? 

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10 minutes ago, HJJ003 said:

As one of your students progresses and improves, about how often would you recommend them to re-map their shot zones? 

The simple answer? When it changes.

Sometimes players don't improve, but they change, and they should re-map them then, too. A guy who slices a lot but starts setting up differently and hitting pulls should re-map, too, even if he's shooting the same scores.

I periodically check these myself. Sometimes it's just hitting a few clubs. If nothing seems different, I don't worry about it.

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Hope it's ok to still post on this.

I just finished LSW and loved it. In the strategy section you talk about "get as close the the hole as you can safely get with each shot." You had the experiment with the 3 different handicap "groups" from yardages from 130 and in and it clearly showed that on average the shorter the yardage the lower the score. In the data did you ask any of the players "do you have a yardage (or a club) that you feel most confident with?" and then measure how they did with that answer vs the rest of the yardages? I do NOT have data to support it but I FEEL more comfortable laying up to 100yds and hitting a GW than I do getting to 50yds and trying to navigate a 3/4 swing SW. Do you have any data where you ask players what yardage they think they are best at inside 130 and do the results support their self assessment?

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You can post here any time.

2 hours ago, Chasing_Bogeys said:

I just finished LSW and loved it. In the strategy section you talk about "get as close the the hole as you can safely get with each shot." You had the experiment with the 3 different handicap "groups" from yardages from 130 and in and it clearly showed that on average the shorter the yardage the lower the score. In the data did you ask any of the players "do you have a yardage (or a club) that you feel most confident with?" and then measure how they did with that answer vs the rest of the yardages? I do NOT have data to support it but I FEEL more comfortable laying up to 100yds and hitting a GW than I do getting to 50yds and trying to navigate a 3/4 swing SW. Do you have any data where you ask players what yardage they think they are best at inside 130 and do the results support their self assessment?

We've done that test to around 100 other players after the book came out. Quite honestly, we didn't think the sentiment was as popular as it seems to have been.

We found that in the vast majority of cases, whether "comfortable" or not, the same thing as we wrote held true: players hit the ball closer from shorter distances.

The few who didn't were able to match the success of the vast majority after about 10 minutes of practicing the shorter shots. These students (I want to say there were three of them) simply never hit those types of shots, so they just had to develop a partial swing, which didn't take that long.

And FWIW only a few of the players we eventually tested had the carry yardages for their 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 swings taped to the bottom of their shafts like we recommend in LSW.


Long story short:

  • Get over your "comfort" - you're probably forgetting a lot of bad shots from 100 yards and you're probably unfairly downgrading decent shots from closer because they weren't hit to three feet or less.
  • If you truly do suck from 50 yards, spend a tiny amount of time practicing these shorter shots.

Shorter shots aren't difficult. They're miniature full swings. You do less with them, and there's less chance for things to go wrong.

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32 minutes ago, iacas said:

And FWIW only a few of the players we eventually tested had the carry yardages for their 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 swings taped to the bottom of their shafts like we recommend in LSW.

I keep forgetting to do this! Do you recommend just "laminating" it over the shaft with packing tape for durability?

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6 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I keep forgetting to do this! Do you recommend just "laminating" it over the shaft with packing tape for durability?

Yes. Basically makes it "waterproof" too.

Just be careful with the ends of the tape, or at least the outside end, because if it's not perfectly sticky, it can start to peel up surprisingly quickly, and that's annoying. I recommend creating a sharp edge with scissors and not handling that edge at all - stick the middle of the inside of the tape on the paper, position the paper, and roll touching only the outside (non-sticky) side of the tape.

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

And FWIW only a few of the players we eventually tested had the carry yardages for their 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 swings taped to the bottom of their shafts like we recommend in LSW.


Long story short:

  • Get over your "comfort" - you're probably forgetting a lot of bad shots from 100 yards and you're probably unfairly downgrading decent shots from closer because they weren't hit to three feet or less.
  • If you truly do suck from 50 yards, spend a tiny amount of time practicing these shorter shots.

 

Thanks!

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At what point in a golfer's "career" would you prefer they seek instruction?

Early, before they've solidified their swing and generally (probably) don't repeat it every time or later when they have a swing, warts and all, to work with?

 

As a newer golfer, I've been told both are the way to approach it from various sources.

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5 hours ago, Teal379 said:

At what point in a golfer's "career" would you prefer they seek instruction?

Early, before they've solidified their swing and generally (probably) don't repeat it every time or later when they have a swing, warts and all, to work with?

I think that getting some basic instruction at the start can be good. Grip, setup, basic stuff about how the pivot works… etc.

But then, really, I think people need to start developing their own swing and their own feels. Often, a beginner will make very different swings all the time. They haven't yet settled on "a swing" or "a pattern." Stuff changes daily. Swing to swing even.

Depending on how much they play and practice, sometimes it might just be a few weeks. Other times it might be a year. But after stuff settles down and they start repeating things… that's when they should get their third or fourth lesson, depending on how many of the "intro" type ones they got before.

 

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Who are your 5 favorite musical performers?  Groups, individuals, etc?

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3 minutes ago, Zekez said:

Who are your 5 favorite musical performers?  Groups, individuals, etc?

In no particular order except the first…

R.E.M., Live, Genesis/Phil Collins, P!nk, and… hell if I know. I really only have a top one and then a bunch of tied groups or people.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

In no particular order except the first…

R.E.M., Live, Genesis/Phil Collins, P!nk, and… hell if I know. I really only have a top one and then a bunch of tied groups or people.

Love REM.. Awesome band.  And I love Genesis up through the Genesis album.

Thanks.

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I have recently started scoring better. And learned to play “boring” or low-event golf. 
 

My question is, would you recommend someone to play low-event golf? I know in LSW you and Dave talk about shot zones and playing for the center of green and such. But how to you do that when you’re fighting a one-way miss?

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