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Diece

Journey to the Mackenzie Tour, One Amateurs Dream & Eventual Reality.

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*NOTE* Just a little warning. I will not tolerate any posts that tell me that this is crazy or that I need to choose a real dream and be realistic. I'm willing to live out my car to make this dream a reality, I'm willing to invest every bit of my life into this. I'm willing to....you don't want to know the extent I'm willing to go. So shut it. *NOTE*

God..

I know what you're thinking.

Not another delusional thread about some amateur who plays to a 1 handicap and wants to start looking at turning pro..

We have had enough of those.

Okay.

I hear your cries.

I'm different.

How?

I'm not delusional & I know exactly what it takes to get my game to the level required.

How?

I've traveled around my area, watching different levels of tournaments. Analyzing their skill levels and abilities.

And let me tell you.

I've NEVER hit a long iron as good as those guys on the Mackenzie Tour.

But that doesn't mean that I never will.

Because...

I will.

And you guys are lucky because you're gonna see my development from an unknown amateur who drives a beat-up Saturn Ion that sounds like a rocket ship taking off everytime you hit the gas because the brand new muffler that was installed during the winter has already rusted. To a professional golfer, with the matching clothes and big staff bag with my name embezzled on it to prove it (oh and don't forget seeing my name at the top of the leaderboards).

This thread is going to serve as a log of my journey.

Now..

Let's get some basics out of the way.

What is my current handicap?

I play to a 1/2 right now at the courses around here. They're nothing crazy but certainly aren't easy, the course I belong to is a 128 rating.

If I'm on the road playing a course for the first time, the handicap can jump up to an 8 at worst but typically is around a 5/6.

Tournament play I'm struggling, averaging around a 7 handicap (still trying to figure out how to deal with Tournament pressure and nerves)

My journey so far has gone like this...

The beginning of 2017 I decided to take golf seriously and pursue this goal. Never really broke 80 before or did anything noteworthy with the game prior but have been playing recreationally for a while and I did take it quite seriously when I was in Grade 7 & 8 but quit in highschool (playing video games is a great way to never reach your goals).

Fast forward to 2017.

I had a handicap of around a 7ish.

Lowest score was a 73 (par 71).

Best 9 was 2 under (did it a few times)

2018,

Handicap of 1/2 so far.

Best round, 71 at my home course (first time breaking par for 18)

Best 9, 3 under (did it once)

With these numbers, I definitely don't feel I am living in the clouds of delusion..but I am a long ways away from turning pro.

Anyways.

Let's cut this here.

I gotta wake up early tomorrow to play & practice.

Maybe I'll throw up a post or video of what I'm working on, I'm sure some of you might find it helpful.

Edited by Diece

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Interesting. We don't doubt your desire, your intent, your drive, your passion nor your dedication. I'm not sure what responses you're expecting. I think it's great you have this goal and are apparently very passionate about it. Not sure what you mean by 'will not tolerate any posts about this being crazy, find a real dream, be realistic.' You're going to face a lot more adversity than people simply doubting your success. You might want to learn to tolerate it. It shouldn't bother you if you're that confident and dedicated. Anyway, I wish you all the best and look forward to your updates.

Edited by Vinsk

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48 minutes ago, Diece said:

I will not tolerate any posts that tell me that this is crazy or that I need to choose a real dream and be realistic.

You're gonna get 'em anyway.

Good luck. You're gonna need it. I'm a shot and a half better than you… and I'm nowhere near earning even a poor living as a professional golfer.

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4 hours ago, Diece said:

*NOTE* Just a little warning. I will not tolerate any posts that tell me that this is crazy or that I need to choose a real dream and be realistic. I'm willing to live out my car to make this dream a reality, I'm willing to invest every bit of my life into this. I'm willing to....you don't want to know the extent I'm willing to go. So shut it. *NOTE*

.

Maybe not the best way to start a post as straight away you came across as aggresive. Like has already been said you're going to get people who will disagree with you because you're posting on a forum and thats what happens on these things, sometimes we disagree.

However, I wish you the best of luck and i will say you are indeed crazy (not meant as criticism) but i think all tour pro's have to be to do what they do day in day out :-D, I certainly wouldnt be able to hack it.

Even if you dont make it at least you gave it a go. Better to do something to your best ability and fail then to not have a go and regret it.

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7 hours ago, Diece said:

*NOTE* Just a little warning. I will not tolerate any posts that tell me that this is crazy or that I need to choose a real dream and be realistic. I'm willing to live out my car to make this dream a reality, I'm willing to invest every bit of my life into this. I'm willing to....you don't want to know the extent I'm willing to go. So shut it. *NOTE*

God..

I know what you're thinking.

Not another delusional thread about some amateur who plays to a 1 handicap and wants to start looking at turning pro..

We have had enough of those.

Okay.

I hear your cries.

I'm different.

How?

I'm not delusional & I know exactly what it takes to get my game to the level required.

How?

I've traveled around my area, watching different levels of tournaments. Analyzing their skill levels and abilities.

And let me tell you.

I've NEVER hit a long iron as good as those guys on the Mackenzie Tour.

But that doesn't mean that I never will.

Because...

I will.

And you guys are lucky because you're gonna see my development from an unknown amateur who drives a beat-up Saturn Ion that sounds like a rocket ship taking off everytime you hit the gas because the brand new muffler that was installed during the winter has already rusted. To a professional golfer, with the matching clothes and big staff bag with my name embezzled on it to prove it (oh and don't forget seeing my name at the top of the leaderboards).

This thread is going to serve as a log of my journey.

Now..

Let's get some basics out of the way.

What is my current handicap?

I play to a 1/2 right now at the courses around here. They're nothing crazy but certainly aren't easy, the course I belong to is a 128 rating.

If I'm on the road playing a course for the first time, the handicap can jump up to an 8 at worst but typically is around a 5/6.

Tournament play I'm struggling, averaging around a 7 handicap (still trying to figure out how to deal with Tournament pressure and nerves)

My journey so far has gone like this...

The beginning of 2017 I decided to take golf seriously and pursue this goal. Never really broke 80 before or did anything noteworthy with the game prior but have been playing recreationally for a while and I did take it quite seriously when I was in Grade 7 & 8 but quit in highschool (playing video games is a great way to never reach your goals).

Fast forward to 2017.

I had a handicap of around a 7ish.

Lowest score was a 73 (par 71).

Best 9 was 2 under (did it a few times)

2018,

Handicap of 1/2 so far.

Best round, 71 at my home course (first time breaking par for 18)

Best 9, 3 under (did it once)

With these numbers, I definitely don't feel I am living in the clouds of delusion..but I am a long ways away from turning pro.

Anyways.

Let's cut this here.

I gotta wake up early tomorrow to play & practice.

Maybe I'll throw up a post or video of what I'm working on, I'm sure some of you might find it helpful.

Good luck. Please change the handicap index in your profile. It says '15' right now. 

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I'm sure you know, it's one thing to play on a tour, where the only qualification is that you show up and pay the registration fee, and quite another to be even moderately successful at it.

 Please keep us up to date on your progress, and especially your results.  Don't be "that guy" with the bold initial post who we never hear from again.  Some will be good, some will be bad, and some will be ugly.  Let's hear all about your journey.

Good luck!

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Not going to said if you can do it or not.. i´m just like u. around +1 to 3 handicap in the last 2 years at my home course.
On away tournaments my handicap it´s around 2 to 5, a bit better than u.

The only thing i will tell u is that if you want to play professional golf and make a living from it.. you have to lower your handicap to +4 on Away tournaments, that´s 10 strokes better than your current performance.
If you think that´s possible and have a lot of patience, time and resources go for it.

Let us know your improvements.
 

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On 8/23/2018 at 12:18 AM, Vinsk said:

Interesting. We don't doubt your desire, your intent, your drive, your passion nor your dedication. I'm not sure what responses you're expecting. I think it's great you have this goal and are apparently very passionate about it. Not sure what you mean by 'will not tolerate any posts about this being crazy, find a real dream, be realistic.' You're going to face a lot more adversity than people simply doubting your success. You might want to learn to tolerate it. It shouldn't bother you if you're that confident and dedicated. Anyway, I wish you all the best and look forward to your updates.

Thanks for the kind words.

I mainly put the disclaimer/note at the top because I posted something similar a while ago in a different community and there was no real discussion. Just people telling me that I can't do it or that I'm crazy (which I'm used to hearing anyway) however you guys have been great. Seems like theres a great group here.

On 8/23/2018 at 12:33 AM, iacas said:

You're gonna get 'em anyway.

Good luck. You're gonna need it. I'm a shot and a half better than you… and I'm nowhere near earning even a poor living as a professional golfer.

Thank you. I appreciate the kind words. I really need to step my game up if I want to hit the level that I desire.

On 8/23/2018 at 4:25 AM, RussUK said:

Maybe not the best way to start a post as straight away you came across as aggresive. Like has already been said you're going to get people who will disagree with you because you're posting on a forum and thats what happens on these things, sometimes we disagree.

However, I wish you the best of luck and i will say you are indeed crazy (not meant as criticism) but i think all tour pro's have to be to do what they do day in day out :-D, I certainly wouldnt be able to hack it.

Even if you dont make it at least you gave it a go. Better to do something to your best ability and fail then to not have a go and regret it.

I agree with this, I just want to minimize the disagreeing and instead have this thread develop into a great discussion and share my journey with other people, hopefully inspiring others to take on similar monumental tasks in their own lives. 

On 8/23/2018 at 6:57 AM, boogielicious said:

Good luck. Please change the handicap index in your profile. It says '15' right now. 

Thank you, and yeah I will.

On 8/23/2018 at 7:54 AM, dennyjones said:

Good luck,   keep posting here to update your progress.

Definitely, I love writing so I don't see this thread die.

On 8/23/2018 at 8:12 AM, klineka said:

Good luck! Where are you located/Where are you playing in tournaments?

Niagara Falls. Playing on a local tour, will be branching out more next year as I will be moving to B.C (Kelowna).

On 8/23/2018 at 8:24 AM, David in FL said:

I'm sure you know, it's one thing to play on a tour, where the only qualification is that you show up and pay the registration fee, and quite another to be even moderately successful at it.

 Please keep us up to date on your progress, and especially your results.  Don't be "that guy" with the bold initial post who we never hear from again.  Some will be good, some will be bad, and some will be ugly.  Let's hear all about your journey.

Good luck!

Definitely, I don't want to be that guy and like I said above I love writing so this is going to be a thread with regular updates. 

And yea, I don't want to just barely make it on the Mackenzie Tour, I want to dominate. If I can do that, maybe I'll branch to other tours but I think before I even consider moving further I need to get to that level first.

On 8/23/2018 at 12:52 PM, p1n9183 said:

Not going to said if you can do it or not.. i´m just like u. around +1 to 3 handicap in the last 2 years at my home course.
On away tournaments my handicap it´s around 2 to 5, a bit better than u.

The only thing i will tell u is that if you want to play professional golf and make a living from it.. you have to lower your handicap to +4 on Away tournaments, that´s 10 strokes better than your current performance.
If you think that´s possible and have a lot of patience, time and resources go for it.

Let us know your improvements.
 

4

For sure man, I need to be breaking par consistently around here. That's my first "big" goal, then I need to start performing better in tournaments but that will come with more experience.

I want to thank everyone who has posted into the thread. 

Now...

Let's get down to business.

____________

Today I played and practiced.

Spent about an hour and a half hitting a basket of balls.

Mainly, working on my swing.

Takeaway and plane.

I've been taking it too far inside and coming over the top, causing these nasty slices with my irons where I'd hit the ball well but it would move so far left and I'd lose so much distance.

Which is why I was working on a more upright plane and a nice takeaway, straight back, straight through. 

I recorded the session...

(not the best video, but we'll improve that next time)

After the session, I played.

How did I do you might ask?

I don't want to talk about it...

 

 

Haha.

I shot a 79, 4 birdies a double and a triple.

The triple was because my ball was stuck behind a tree and my ball bounced off the tree and hit my leg.

Double was from a godawful drive and equally worse 3 putts.

My putting and up and downs really let me down.

32 putts.

1/5 Up & Downs

Terrible.

I think this is the biggest thing that's dragging my game down.

I can't make the birdies when I hit the ball really close and I can't recover from my missed greens.

Which makes sense because I hardly practice chipping and short game due to my home course having terrible facilities.

Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to put a putting green/chipping smack dab in the parking lot.

One bad shot and you're through the window of the mayors BMW.

I've been keeping track of my rounds (for the past 7 rounds)

Here's my percentages.

45% GIRS Hit

31.2 Average Putts Per Rounds

58% Chance Of Saving Par (Up & Down)

25% Fairways Hit (But I usually am just in the rough, rarely lose a ball)

God...

Crazy 

You think you're a decent player until you look back at your stats and realize that I hit less then 50% of greens and my chance of getting up and down (from mostly easy situations is just shy of 60%).

Compare that to PGA Tour Pros.

64% of Greens hit.

29 Putts per round.

61% Of Fairways Hit

56% Scrambling (but this is on tough greens + conditions. I imagine I need my own stats to be 80% or higher at my local course to approach proish levels.)

Basically...

I have A LOT of work to do.

I knew I was far off of course but it's nice to see numerical representations of HOW far off I am.

One thing I want to mention thought before I wrap this up.

Actually I lied.

There's two things.

The first one is, stats don't lie.

They can't.

Unless you lie.

But then youre just hindering yourself because your stats don't reflect your true abilities.

I read a book this year by Byron Nelson,  it was titled "Byron Nelsons Little Black Book"

Most of the info was kind of basic, except the part where Nelson said he loved stats and figures. He said it himself.

"I kept track of everything"

Is there a coincidence here that he was one of the greatest players of all time and holds the record for most wins in a row (which will likely never get beaten).

Perhaps that's the "key"

It's under our noses.

Golf is such a hard game to figure out where exactly you're messing up and what you really need to improve.

Your rounds don't tell you the full story.

But the stats do.

Having a direct overview of your game and improvement is key and the only way you get that bird-eye view is through stats.

Seriously,

I had no idea that my green were only 45% (I would have guessed 50% at least)

Funny how, even though my stats are not very good (percentage wise), I can still manage to shoot 1/2 over. 

Goes to show just how hard the game really is.

So the lesson today,

Keep track of your stats a bit more diligently, you might be surprised at what you find.

I know I was.

Now let's move onto the second thing.

Considering this thread is both for me and you, I have to ask -- What do you want to see out of this thread? What would you like me to write about? 

Better yet,

Would you find a website, YouTube or a Daily Emails about the game interesting?

Let me know what would personally interest you.

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Came to a bit of a realization today.

Stance & Grip are EVERYTHING.

Why?

Because they are the only parts of the swing that you have full control over.

The rest of the swing is much harder to control.

I was sitting back, waiting to clock in at work and I started to think about what I noticed with the Mackenzie Tour Players when I watched them.

Other than one of the players wife was the hottest girl I've ever seen.

I noticed how PRECISE they were.

When they set-up to the ball and gripped a club, everything was precise.

Compared to when I saw the top Canadian Club Pros two months ago, they were less precise and more willy-nilly.

Then I started to think about it.

If your stance and grip aren't consistent, then how the hell can you expect a consistent swing?

How can you have a consistent "feeling" through the ball?

How can you figure out the parts or feel involved in a good swing?

You can't really.

Because you will always be starting from varied positions.

Reading Jack Nicklaus's Golf My Way & Greatest Game Of All plus Gene Sarazen's Thirty Years Of Championship Golf have confirmed this assumption.

Both players say that the grip & stance are vital because they are the only part of the swing that you can fully control.

Now I know what I need to work on,

Stance & Grip.

For a while, I've known that my grip and stance are bad. Now it's time to fix them.

 

 

Edited by Diece

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6 hours ago, Diece said:

Stance & Grip are EVERYTHING.

Because they are the only parts of the swing that you have full control over.

I dont agree with this. People have had success with many different grips and stances. Some guys have a really strong grip, some guys have a really weak grip, etc. 

You have full control over your entire golf swing. Nobody else is making the swing for you. The wind doesnt make you do a bad swing, your opponent doesnt have control over your swing, etc.

Your performance/handicap contradict your statements. If the stance and grip are really everything as you claim, then please explain how were you able to get to a 1/2 handicap, which is better than aprox. 98% of all golfers (http://thedanplan.com/average-golf-handicap/) with a stance and grip that are bad? That doesnt make sense to me.

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Instead of the old stats (GIR, FIR, up/down, putts per round) you'd better track your stroke gained stats to find your weakness.
GIR: 10 GIR in a 7500 yards course it´s different than 10 GIR in a 6500 yards course
FIR: even tiger say this stat is useless. It´s better to hit 300 yards with 50% FIR than 250 with 70% FIR.
Up/Down: as you said, depends on the slopes, greenside dificulties and green speed and firmnes. MoreOver it depend on wedges and putting, you could be a great player around the green but and awfull putter, this stats put everything in the same bag. 
Putts per round: worst stat ever. 30 putts on a day you hit 3 GIR it´s a lot worst than 32 putts a day you hit 16 GIR.  

 

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3 hours ago, David in FL said:

I know plenty of 15 hcps with a solid grip and relatively good stance...

My grip it´s ok.. but my stance it´s awfull. For all my shots my stance is like i was going to hit a chip shot or from a greenside bunker.
Feet really close to each other and really open to the target, like 45° open. This allow me to not sway in the back swing.
Despite that i´m a 2 handicap...    

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57 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

Despite that i´m a 2 handicap.

How exactly are you tracking/calculating your handicap? Do you have a record of say your last 10-20 rounds? Are you taking notes and gathering data after your rounds?

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On 8/22/2018 at 9:43 PM, Diece said:

What is my current handicap?

I play to a 1/2 right now at the courses around here. They're nothing crazy but certainly aren't easy, the course I belong to is a 128 rating.

If I'm on the road playing a course for the first time, the handicap can jump up to an 8 at worst but typically is around a 5/6.

Tournament play I'm struggling, averaging around a 7 handicap (still trying to figure out how to deal with Tournament pressure and nerves)

Personally, I only have one handicap and it includes scores from everywhere I play, home, away, tournaments, etc. I don't know how you figure out three different handicaps, but it sounds like you are about a 5 all together. 

I read your "disclaimer", and I won't tell you you can't realize your dream, but I am going to give you a heavy dose of reality. In case you haven't realized it yet the Mackenzie Tour does move around therefor you have to play different courses, like every week. So if you are a 7 handicap in tournaments and a 5/6 at away courses then you will be about a 10 at a Mackenzie Tour stop. 

Also, you claim to be a 1 handicap at your home course with a 128 slope. First, you shouldn't concern yourself with slope, thats for bogey golfers. You should concern yourself with the rating. With a 128 slope I would guess your home course has a rating around 71 or 72, meaning a scratch golfer, a person with a zero (0) handicap should shoot around 71 or 72.

Now for the fun part...

Most Mackenzie Tour courses have a rating around 75 (slopes around 140). A scratch golfer there would likely shoot around 75 (+3).

Now for the even better part...

Those players on the Mackenzie Tour shoot scores well under par on those courses. In fact several times this season the winner has been -20 or better. Heck the cut line more often than not is several under par. And all of this on a course that is significantly more difficult than the ones you are currently playing.

What this means...

Players currently competing on the Mackenzie tour have handicaps well north of +4. The scoring average is just a tad UNDER 70, and let's not forget they are doing that on courses much more difficult than the courses you play. Not to mention the average drive in in the neighborhood of 300 yards.

What this means for you...

You are NOWHERE near good enough to even think about teeing it up with players of that caliber. You need to be shooting scores 10-15 strokes better than what you are shooting now. You need to be hitting the driver 275 yards at a minimum.

Most people, you included, literally have no idea how good these guys really are.

You better get to practicing .

Edited by NM Golf

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22 hours ago, Vinsk said:

How exactly are you tracking/calculating your handicap? Do you have a record of say your last 10-20 rounds? Are you taking notes and gathering data after your rounds?

My handicap it´s official here in Argentina, they do the math for me every month, now it´s winter here so course conditions are hard.. lots of wind, wet fairways and 5/10°C. My scoring average for my last 16 rounds it´s 76,2 in a 71,1 rating course. Last summer my handicap was +1(scoring average around 73).

Last year i made an spreed sheet in order to imput my stroke gained stats after the round, taking the last 16 rounds for average values in each area (tee, approach the green, around the green, green) and sub areas(green side bunker, long putts, mid irons... etc). I quit from filling it when i quit practicing, but it really helped me to know my weak areas.

47 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

With a 128 slope I would guess your home course has a rating around 71 or 72, meaning a scratch golfer, a person with a zero (0) handicap should shoot around 71 or 72.

This is even worst... every player scores in average 2..3 shots above their handicap. So a scratch player will score around 74 on a 71,5 course. A tour pro scores around 71 in 75 rating courses.. so in average they play at +6..+7 handicap. Insane...    

 

Edited by p1n9183

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