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Are you a Better Golfer than a Year Ago?


Improvement in Your Golf Game  

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  1. 1. Are you a better golfer than you were one year ago? Are your scores and/or handicap index lower?

  2. 2. One year from now, do you think you will be a better golfer (lower scores and/or handicap index) than you are now?



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I think the issue here is that you got 10+ strokes better, but what you classify as small accomplishments doesnt seem to have changed. Since you have gotten significantly better, what you consider sma

Despite my current driver problems (just hideous lately, anything can happen from a dribble off the tee about 30 yards, a total sideways shank, a hook, a slice, or just an ugly sounding clanger with c

looks like you hit your target?

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29 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

... so by the time you're 90 you won't be shooting your age?  Well, there's always 100.

I am already shooting myage for 9 holes

23 minutes ago, RFKFREAK said:

Handsome devil like you?  I don't believe it! 😛

Yeah. It's tough being the drummer in a classic rock band. I'm always dodging crazy women stalkers.

club hit GIF

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34 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

I am already shooting myage for 9 holes

Yeah. It's tough being the drummer in a classic rock band. I'm always dodging crazy women stalkers.

club hit GIF

It's nice that you have "groupies"... even if they are toothless...

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  • 1 month later...

Looking back at my game this time last year, I am significantly better.  I was hovering somewhere in the low 30's and knew I totally sucked.  This past year, has been about being smarter with the game.  Along with finding this site, the 30day Covid Practice Plan Challenge gave me some serious homework and woodshed time.  Putting those drills into action and adding to them from what I read in LSR has made my game smarter.  Almost daily hitting the ball in some way - whether chips, pitches, putts or full swings (95% of the time with foam/whiffle balls) to work "purposefully" on certain skill sets.  Making up my mind that smarter not harder is a true component of golf - yes, bombing drives is cool but not making bogie or worse is better.  All has combined to lower my handicap (per my Garmin Approach S20) to just under 20.  For 2021, it will not be as large a drop as I know that the lower hanging fruit is pretty much picked, now comes the true game changers - drives that go farther and land in the fairways more often, approach shots that put you on the green or near greens in regulation, putts that finish in the cup or barely past it. Much to do, but excited about the possiblities. 

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In Chicago, our golf league finished our season on Wednesday. While my handicap didn't hit my single digit target, I did become a  more consistent 12 handicapper.  I permanently moved up to the senior tees and found the golf much more enjoyable. 

Also, I had my first hole in one which certainly put a nice cap on the season. For the off season I hope to work more on keeping flexibility and strength training. At 68 years old, if I don't keep flexible during the off season it becomes really tough to regain it at the start of the new season.

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I have been golfing for more than 50 years, even before the golf team in high school.  I've always been adequate, but technically imperfect.  I remember the HS coach once said, "Can I show you something?"  Then, after hesitation, "Never mind."  That's how challenging he knew it would be.

Then, when attempting to buy clubs to improve my score 25 years ago, the salesman said, "Do you always swing like that?"

A couple years ago, on the range "Coach" noticed my grip, and had me strengthen it. 

I went from a 19 to a 14.

Edited by Ole Duffer
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I answered yes and yes. I shot my lowest round ever (and first under par) in 2020. My average (against GHIN differential) dropped almost 3 full strokes and my handicap dipped below 5 for the first time ever. 

After building a golf simulator in my garage last winter my ball striking has continued to improve and I see no reason for that to stop in 2021. I am also signed up for the Super Speed program / challenge here in the forums in an effort to get back to my pre-shoulder surgery distance of 2019. 

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I made 2 big improvements this season. 1st was a putting change. I made the decision to go with a claw grip over the off-season last winter. Picked up my putter almost daily and just made practice strokes in my bedroom to get comfortable with it. Putted exclusively with it all season. I did have some bad putting rounds but I made more birdies this season than I ever have. Part of that was hitting better shots into greens but my putting confidence has never been as high as it is right now. 
 

The other important change I made this year is using a 3/4 lower flighted iron shot more often into greens. My home course is extremely windy. I started playing the shot more out of necessity to approach greens into the wind. As my level of comfort has grown with the shot I’ve started using it much more. I have hit a lot more greens on par 3’s by flighting a low cut into them.  More accuracy into greens and more confidence with a putter has lowered my handi cap and made me a more consistent player. 

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On 11/16/2020 at 5:01 AM, onthehunt526 said:

Well I learned two very important things about golf this year and they will change your life.

Stay out of the shit. Call “The Zoo”. That is all.

I thought I’d elaborate on this. 
 

The Stay Out Of The Shit part: I’ve read LSW probably 10 times. I understood the concepts but never really put them into play too well. In other words I was lazy about shot zones and shaded areas and all of that. I have developed a pretty reliable draw. That sometimes under pressure became a hook. (Tight tee shot with trouble on the left, high grass you know “the shit”). So the last month of this season for whatever reason I decided, the hell with it, I’ll play it. Adjust my target 15 yards right, because even a straight shot is a lighter shade of trouble, and play the damn draw. I couldn’t shoot higher than 76 with this system, by adjusting to a smarter target... I play boring golf. Just the way I like it.

 

Call “The Zoo” This was accidentally discovered while hitting balls. I had my music going and “The Zoo” by Scorpions came on. For some reason, the main riff of that song just relaxes me. So much that I hum it when I have a challenging tee shot. And damn it, it works. 
 

The one hole in my game currently that keeps me from being scratch, is my wedges from 50-100 yards. It’s a full swing motion. I just think my swing gets a little long and I’m like “Oh shit slow down”, it has gotten better to the point where I don’t miss as many greens from that range I just have longer putts than I would like 30-40 feet instead of more legitimate birdie chances.

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8 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

I thought I’d elaborate on this. 
 

The Stay Out Of The Shit part: I’ve read LSW probably 10 times. I understood the concepts but never really put them into play too well. In other words I was lazy about shot zones and shaded areas and all of that. I have developed a pretty reliable draw. That sometimes under pressure became a hook. (Tight tee shot with trouble on the left, high grass you know “the shit”). So the last month of this season for whatever reason I decided, the hell with it, I’ll play it. Adjust my target 15 yards right, because even a straight shot is a lighter shade of trouble, and play the damn draw. I couldn’t shoot higher than 76 with this system, by adjusting to a smarter target... I play boring golf. Just the way I like it.

 

Call “The Zoo” This was accidentally discovered while hitting balls. I had my music going and “The Zoo” by Scorpions came on. For some reason, the main riff of that song just relaxes me. So much that I hum it when I have a challenging tee shot. And damn it, it works. 
 

The one hole in my game currently that keeps me from being scratch, is my wedges from 50-100 yards. It’s a full swing motion. I just think my swing gets a little long and I’m like “Oh shit slow down”, it has gotten better to the point where I don’t miss as many greens from that range I just have longer putts than I would like 30-40 feet instead of more legitimate birdie chances.

Great lessons learned and how much LSW can teach us! 

BTW, I am wondering how many of us have just U-tubed "the Zoo"......  Very catchy song, great blues tempo!     

 

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8 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

I thought I’d elaborate on this. 
 

The Stay Out Of The Shit part: I’ve read LSW probably 10 times. I understood the concepts but never really put them into play too well. In other words I was lazy about shot zones and shaded areas and all of that. I have developed a pretty reliable draw. That sometimes under pressure became a hook. (Tight tee shot with trouble on the left, high grass you know “the shit”). So the last month of this season for whatever reason I decided, the hell with it, I’ll play it. Adjust my target 15 yards right, because even a straight shot is a lighter shade of trouble, and play the damn draw. I couldn’t shoot higher than 76 with this system, by adjusting to a smarter target... I play boring golf. Just the way I like it.

 

Call “The Zoo” This was accidentally discovered while hitting balls. I had my music going and “The Zoo” by Scorpions came on. For some reason, the main riff of that song just relaxes me. So much that I hum it when I have a challenging tee shot. And damn it, it works. 
 

The one hole in my game currently that keeps me from being scratch, is my wedges from 50-100 yards. It’s a full swing motion. I just think my swing gets a little long and I’m like “Oh shit slow down”, it has gotten better to the point where I don’t miss as many greens from that range I just have longer putts than I would like 30-40 feet instead of more legitimate birdie chances.

thanks for the tip- I'm going to use a song in my head to get into rhythm, and I particularly like "Man in the Mirror" sung by Michael Jackson.

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On 11/19/2020 at 12:11 AM, onthehunt526 said:

The Stay Out Of The Shit part: I’ve read LSW probably 10 times. I understood the concepts but never really put them into play too well. In other words I was lazy about shot zones and shaded areas and all of that. I have developed a pretty reliable draw. That sometimes under pressure became a hook. (Tight tee shot with trouble on the left, high grass you know “the shit”). So the last month of this season for whatever reason I decided, the hell with it, I’ll play it. Adjust my target 15 yards right, because even a straight shot is a lighter shade of trouble, and play the damn draw. I couldn’t shoot higher than 76 with this system, by adjusting to a smarter target... I play boring golf. Just the way I like it.

Yeah, reading it isn’t quite enough. You’ve got to actually apply the stuff in there. 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes! Last year (first year) I couldn’t break 100. This year I broke 100 and 90. I was able to stay below 100 all summer but didn’t have what it took to stay below 90. I ended the year at a 16.8. I think I can get to a 12 by the end of next year with enough work. 

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16 hours ago, Double_AA said:

Yes! Last year (first year) I couldn’t break 100. This year I broke 100 and 90. I was able to stay below 100 all summer but didn’t have what it took to stay below 90. I ended the year at a 16.8. I think I can get to a 12 by the end of next year with enough work. 

You can do it next year!

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I finally broke 90 twice recently.  88 and 89.  It felt like a lot of work in terms of staying focused to get the distance, choose the correct club, and feel the distance/swing, especially on approach shots.  Two things that stood out that have helped me to break 90 and make better contact is to release my left arm during impact, and the other is to setup, and then position the ball half a club face further away.  I had the tendency to stand too close to the ball and this created an akward position. By standing further from the ball, I could allow myself to release outwards and not feel too cramped in.  Also related to my release, I had to learn to swing faster. What I thought was "normal" was actually slow. 9 irons were carrying 110 yards, 8 iron carried 125 yards.  While maintaining balance, a fuller and faster swing allows me to carry an 8 iron 155 yards.  At any rate, each person is going to swing at different pace; what I've learned is that it feels more effortless if I swing "faster" rather than try to control the pace and sequence.  This tendency to control the pace and face is probably why I generally do well around the green, but took longer to find my full swing.

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