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Chasing Scratch (the Podcast)


iacas
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2 hours ago, iacas said:

 

I didn't like his first "shallow" swing. He stays very closed, his hands roll over hard. He's right that the second one had a better turn. Same hands, and I wonder about the speed.

I don't care for the "nail drill." There are often very real mechanical issues at play, and if your goal is just to swing out more, you can do some very bad things to do this. You can tip back, stay closed, etc.

The "nail drill" has its place, but Mike and Eli act like it's the be-all, end-all.

It looks a tad dumped under like a foot or two before impact? That's why his hands are going more up and out rather than around? I'm looking at the two swings starting around 05:30.

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19 hours ago, iacas said:

 

I didn't like his first "shallow" swing. He stays very closed, his hands roll over hard. He's right that the second one had a better turn. Same hands, and I wonder about the speed.

I don't care for the "nail drill." There are often very real mechanical issues at play, and if your goal is just to swing out more, you can do some very bad things to do this. You can tip back, stay closed, etc.

The "nail drill" has its place, but Mike and Eli act like it's the be-all, end-all.

What are your thoughts on that alignment stick drill?

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15 minutes ago, Daveje97 said:

The one towards the end where he has to work his hands under the stick going back and again through.

Got a time stamp? I'll check later, but if you can narrow it down more or tell me where to look I can share my thoughts more readily.

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18 minutes ago, iacas said:

Got a time stamp? I'll check later, but if you can narrow it down more or tell me where to look I can share my thoughts more readily.

It's at about the 25 min mark.

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44 minutes ago, Daveje97 said:

It's at about the 25 min mark.

Okay. So… 25:48:

That drill can be good for some things, but what I see as his biggest problem(s), I address in this tweet:

IMO @Adam Young often addresses the effect and ignores the cause. This is NOT about Adam, but imagine someone swings too far to the left, and the "fix" then is to say "swing out to the right." Well, there are a ton of BAD ways to learn to swing out to the right, and unless you happen to do it correctly, it's either not really going to work or it's going to fall apart pretty quickly.

Consider the swings he normally makes versus the swing he's making in trying to successfully do this drill:

01.jpg

The swing on the left is much longer, with the trail elbow in a much different position, etc.

When he gets out on the golf course, is he going to make the swing on the right or the swing on the left?

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  • 3 months later...

For folks that like the pod, they posted this video of them playing Kiawah recently from where the pros will play this week.  It's a long one,  

On 2/4/2021 at 1:46 PM, iacas said:

The swing on the left is much longer, with the trail elbow in a much different position, etc.

When he gets out on the golf course, is he going to make the swing on the right or the swing on the left?

a pro gives him some advice at the 42 min mark somewhat related to this.  Curious if you agree. 

 

Overall, pretty fun video to watch some decent players try to play that course.  

 

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1 hour ago, Wanzo said:

Overall, pretty fun video to watch some decent players try to play that course.

Good gosh, given what their goals are and what time and money and help and all that has gone into this… they kinda stink. In no way should mid-single-digit handicappers have shot about 101 (97 and 105).

I'd suggest a serious re-evaluation of what they're doing. Their whole approach to things.

And Eli's putting stroke needs more elbow flex. 🙂

1 hour ago, Wanzo said:

a pro gives him some advice at the 42 min mark somewhat related to this.  Curious if you agree. 

I do not.

The right elbow still gets in a pretty bad position. And Larry's work with Eli is going to tend to produce the same sort of issue.

I had offered to help them out on Evolvr, free of charge (and didn't even want any publicity). That offer still stands.

They also each have a copy of LSW, though I don't know that they've read it. That too would help them, as their GamePlanning is often quite bad.

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23 hours ago, iacas said:

In no way should mid-single-digit handicappers have shot about 101 (97 and 105).

I was surprised how poorly they scored.  Obviously a tough course, cameras, pressure, but still that’s pretty rough.

 

23 hours ago, iacas said:

And Eli's putting stroke needs more elbow flex.

I was shocked how bad that looked given his hdcp.  Even before they started commenting on it

it will be interesting to see how this year progresses for them.  

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  • 1 month later...
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So, in the S4E6 episode "Safety First" they've finally learned a little bit about Shot Zones, playing away from trouble toward "lighter shades of grey," and in general applying a much more conservative strategy on the course.

I sent them both copies of LSW, published in 2014, over two years ago. I don't think they've read their copies yet, or they'd recognize all that they were told by Matt Luther (D1 women's college coach) about some of the things written in Lowest Score Wins, like:

  • Shot Zones (chapter 19 starts with a picture of a shot pattern)
  • Decision Maps (coding areas of the course as problems or "good" areas)/Shades of Grey
  • Realistic Expectations
  • Good golf being boring golf
  • The value of just hitting the green and giving yourself a putt

Maybe they'll dig out their copy of LSW and read it sometime.

P.S. Larry Ward's a nice guy, and a good instructor. Had dinner with him the last night at the PGA Teacher of the Year conference last December in Pinehurst.

P.P.S. Matt Luther got the one thing wrong: he said 5% was the margin of error. He's correct… if you're a PGA Tour player, and even then, it's not really accurate (the "average golfer" is made up, which as this is from our LSW presentation, is explained during the presentation — the point is that if the game's best are averaging 5-7%, you're averaging much more).

image.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I don't disagree that his stroke can use some work, but the ball clearly rolls for a bit and THEN jumps up in the air. It hit something.

I haven't watched this yet but will be soon:

I had dinner with Larry the last day of the Teacher of the Year conference at Pinehurst last December. Good dude.

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  • 3 months later...
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There's almost no chance they both get down to scratch next year, and barely little more chance that one of them does.

My opinions are unchanged, largely, and not something many others haven’t also seen. So I’ll try to say some slightly fresher things.

There's been talk that they care what their swings "look" like versus how they perform, but… their swings don’t even “look” good, and I mean that from a coaching/instructional standpoint.

  • Eli loads his left arm too far across his chest with his right elbow around beside him (and pretty low). He’s got speed, but he’d get MORE and hit it a lot better if he didn’t have to fight this on the downswing. More body, less arms.
  • Mike is better at the top than Eli, but throws it all away quickly from there.

Analyzr Image Export

Their putting distance control (Eli’s mostly?) continues to be poor. Stop accelerating, guys. You’ll have a LOT more tap-ins for par when you do hit greens, and your reads will be more predictable because you’ll be hitting a narrower distance window.

They have no clue how to practice or what it takes to get better. They continually seek out band-aids. As others noted, the “year-long” work that Larry gave them (I agree, 6-12 months of good practice) was abandoned quickly. Adam was cast aside early.

Their gameplanning/strategy is poor. This has been covered.

Unless they dramatically shake up a few things, they’re not going to get to 0.0 by the end of next year. They’re just not. They’re 6s, which means over half of their scores start with an 8 (a 79 on a 72.0/132 rated course is a 6.0 differential, and half of their 8 rounds are likely above that, with half being under that). That’s not that close to scratch.

Like others have also said, I don’t care if they get to scratch or not, though it is the premise. They’re funny to listen to. It is frustrating, as someone who has thoughts on this, how poorly they’re choosing to try to get there. But whatever. If they’re happy and having a good time, and entertaining people, that’s more important than whether they actually get to scratch.


They COULD get to scratch given their life schedules. It just requires a good idea of how to practice. And focus.

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