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  1. I think people use the “mental game” as an excuse when they don’t perform up to their expectations. We all have a desire to play well and hit great drives in the middle of the fairway, hit greens and have excellent short games. We want to score low. Same goes for pros. When the ball doesn't go where we want we need a reason. We sometimes choose “the mental game” because it is perceived as an easy fix or a convenient temporary lapse that doesn’t detract from our own perception of our physical ability. We can still feel good about our physical ability that way. I’m a good golfer. The real reason we don’t perform up to our expectations all the time is our swings have variation. Our real physical ability is based on how small we can make that variation. My swing has some flaws and a certain level of variation even though I swing with pretty much the same way each time. I have a consistent swing with a consistent variation in (for example): how close I can hit the ball on the center of the club face each time the club head velocity my body can create Face angle, angle of attack and path I present to the ball hitting the ball before the ground for irons. Right now, that makes me a mid handicap player. My distances and shots zones have my current level of variation. Single digit HC players on this forum have less variation on all 4 of those than me. Their shot zones are smaller and they can hit it farther for the most part. Scratch golfers on this forum do it better than single digit. PGA pros>Web.com>top amateurs, etc. Tiger, Jack, Hogan, Snead, etc., were just that much better than others in their prime at those 4 things than others. I wasn’t their state of mind that won those tournaments. It was their physical ability to have very small variation in those 4 items over their careers that made them better than others. And guaranteed they worked really hard on it too. I fall into the trap of blaming my state of mind at times. But I know deep down that it is my physical ability that creates that variation. It is also why I keep practicing. Good practice can help reduce that variation.
  2. Have you tried a remote shutter? I've been meaning to try one of these, but haven't gotten around to it. The Camera App that comes with iOS makes video recording so easy. It's a great interface. I can accurately trim a video with one hand while walking in seconds. I've never seen anything come close to it on Android, albeit my Android experience is limited.
  3. Easy. Early on, the least expensive you can find.
  4. Did you see the OP video? Lifting the soil damages the root system. Read the very first post in this thread. That was the old rules. The 2019 rules allow for the repair of spike marks.
  5. Let's talk about repairing ball marks on the putting green, and doing so properly. I see a lot of people do this improperly. Unfortunately, many of them are PGA Tour players, and they do it on television. They put their divot repair tool in the ground, pop up, and tap down. This is the wrong way to repair a ball mark. It damages or rips the roots and the grass does not heal in a short time, taking weeks to recover. We had an old topic on this, but it's old, and the videos and links in it are probably almost all outdated. So I wanted to revisit the topic anew. First, a video, an old one but a good one, from Lake View Country Club. Next, an image from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). Third, a PDF I built based on the old Lake View site: https://thesandtrap.com/media/misc/repairing_ball_marks.pdf. In short… Push, Don't Pop. Finally, a photo of a recent repair I made to an improperly repaired ball mark: I did this by: Coring out the dirt part. Just inserted the tool and twisted. Progressively working the edges of the nearby turf around the edges toward the center of the hole. Tamping it down. I took the photo before I tapped it down with a putter (which smoothed it out nicely), and which not only looks better, but which will heal much more quickly. The left photo, the "badly repaired" ball mark, may putt quite well, but the person who repaired that ball mark didn't do his job correctly. He popped. He didn't push.
  6. 1 point
    Hello again, I haven't written one of these blogs in a long while. I haven't really been on the site for a long while. I had been practicing and posting every day for 405 days, That streak came to an end on May 10, 2018, when I went into the hospital. The last 11 months I have been going through things outside of golf, that are more important for my growth as a human being. Golf is my getaway, my therapy, my distraction, and my hobby. I love the game, it sometimes doesn't love me back when I'm playing it. Whether I'm hitting a 9-iron at the second that checks up too soon or I lip out that 4-footer on 18 for a 71, Golf is hard (R). I've decided that I really don't care that it's hard, I've decided that I just want to go out and relax and have fun playing the game. In the city championship last Labor Day weekend, I made the flight finals for the first time. I've played in that tournament every year since 2010, I lost 7 & 5 (ironically I played the same guy in the finals this year as I did in my first ever match), 2011 4 & 3, 2012 I was really sick Sunday and had to W/D, 2013, I lost 1 up, 2014 I lost 2 & 1 2015 I finally won a match 3 & 2 (It helped that I was out-driving my opponent by 70 yards), then lost 7 and 5, 2016 I lost 1 up, 2017 I made the semis and lost 3 and 2, Last year I hilariously won the 12th hole of my first match with a triple-bogey 8, to go 1 up in the match. Whilst laughing about it on the way to the 13th. I proceeded to play the next three holes, par, par, birdie to win 4 & 3. In the semifinals, I was 1 down after 6, (I started terribly was something like 4 over through 6 medal), I chipped in for birdie at 7, made par at 8, made birdie at 9 after hitting a terrible drive (I knocked the third shot to 4 feet), made bogey at 10, nearly made 1 at 11 (ended up making 3 I missed a 5 footer that was already conceded), and birdied 12. I went from 1 down, to 5 up in 6 holes, I put the match away with a par on 13 and won 6 & 5. (yes I won 10 with a bogey, my opponent had trouble with the right side trees, the only reason I made 6 was I took 3 to get down from 5 feet off the front of the green) I played the last 7 holes in 2-under and didn't even know I was playing that well until someone told me after my match ended. I was playing well but got tanked in the final 7 & 6. I did not play badly. I won just 2 holes, the 2nd and the 11th, however, that being said, I was losing holes to pars and birdies, I made only one double-bogey and that was on the 7th which is a par-3 (It was a good 5 too, I pushed a 7-iron into Fall Creek which is Oscar Bravo, and made 3 with the second ball, nearly holing a 15-footer to halve the hole. I think he shot 1 or 2 over, I shot 8 or 9 over and we halved #9 with birdies, which was a funny exchange, because he chipped in from just short of the green and I holed about a 30-footer on top of him. It was very different finishing second in my flight instead of last or T-3 twice. Going into the tournament, I decided that I was going to go out and just have fun, and whatever happened so be it. Over the winter I didn't do much practicing, as a matter of fact, very little. If you've seen my signature, I have different clubs in play right now but still have my Exotics bag. Actually might actually switch to Maltby from GolfWorks for the time being. I don't necessarily need the best and greatest new clubs. Becky and I separated for 5 months between October and March and we have since reconciled. Without getting to personal, one of our goals we came up with, was to try to do a hobby together. She tried golf a couple times with me, (she actually witnessed me birdie both par-fives on the front which I seldom do), but we decided we were going to either bowl or try disc golf. Come to find out disc golf is very inexpensive to get started in. I'm still trying to figure out the rules, but I'll get it. It's fun, it takes less time than real golf and is just as tricky. I was talking to one of our regulars at the golf course about it just yesterday, we're making predictions on which one I break par in first, disc golf or traditional golf. I've played 9 holes twice this year so far. The first time out I really didn't putt so I couldn't count it, but I estimate, I shot probably 39 or 40 on the front (or white tees, Newman is 9 holes with 2 sets of tees). Yesterday I shot 38, with one of the scratch players playing skins and they we're surprised. I didn't make any birdies but my par with a half-whack on 18 was good enough for $15, and my scratch partner and I cleaned up in the side match too. for my two bogeys, I lipped out on 11 after a decent bunker shot, and I was short sided and laid-up my chip to 15 feet on 14, and singed the edge, the rest we're all pars. I covered his double on 10 and his bogey on 18 (he birdied 12, 14, and 17 to shoot 36) so we were 3-under as a best ball team. I'm playing well, I have a very simple pre-shot routine with one swing-thought, right foot, left foot. My balance is a lot better, I actually finally figured out where the "balls of the feet" are. The step-through is now gone, my balance is back, and hopefully with any luck at all, I might get down into the 4.x by the end of the season, it'll be difficult, but I think with my new approach I can do it. I'll give you guys an update this time in May on how my game is doing to see if I've improved. For those of you who are wondering, Alina shot 49 for 9 holes last week (She's 5 1/2). She went with me and I really didn't play, She did. Mike told me. "Be careful, out there" She striped he drive from the actual ladies tee on #1 over the bunker, (She carries it about 125 yards now, and she is deadly with her hybrid (She has one of those now as she outgrew her other set). I played a little (I only brought a few clubs to pitch, chip and putt with so I had my 9-iron, wedges and putter with me. She actually beat me on #7, She made par and I made bogey and I didn't let her win the hole I legitimately did make bogey. When she parred 7, I knew she had a shot to break 50. This group of ladies was behind Alina and I, and they usually would be a little snotty about a twosome in front playing slow (we weren't Alina plays nine in 1:45). Saw Alina, par the 7th. To par she was +10 through 7. (She made 9 on #1) She piped a drive and hit 2 hybrids on the green at #8 and almost made par, tapped in for bogey, She hit a perfect drive on 9 and I let Alina make this decision herself, she grabbed her driver for her second shot (She got it just short of 250 out, off a 140 yard bullet), I think she thought she needed birdie to break 50, but she only needed a 7 (I don't tell Alina her cumulative scores, I tell her at the end) She topped one down there about 50 yards just short of 200, she then hits hybrid, hybrid on the front of the green (pin was all the way back) And three-putted for double... But that was all she needed for her first sub-50 9-holes. One of the ladies behind us, came up and asked me what she'd shot, I said "49 and she started with a 9." Alina plays the par-3s well at Newman from the ladies tees mainly because, well, it's just a driver for her. I talked to a local pro recently about maybe getting her a fuller set, and he advised against it for now, as her game develops and when she gets older then we can revisit that then. Not bad for a kid that plays 3 or 4 9-hole rounds a year at this point. But asks me to go hit golf balls all the time. She stripes it and I mean stripes it.
  7. I agree completely. Part of collegiate sports is learning to deal with adversity. If I were the coach, it would be a rainy day in hell before a kid who had withdrawn after nine holes because he was throwing a little hissy fit ever started again...
  8. Your spin rate is your spin rate. Side spin and backspin are not independent from one another, more backspin with the same angle between the club face and the swing path (and hit in the same place on the face) will always result in more side spin. Side spin, as most people think of it, isn't really a thing. The golf ball doesn't spin completely backwards and completely sideways, the golf ball simply spins at an angle. You can factor out the angled spin into backwards and sideways components, but it's just an angle - called the spin axis. It's also affected by how centered your strike is on the face of the golf club, through the gear effect. This angle is altered by changing the difference between the angles of your club face and your swing path. Bigger difference in those those two measurements means a bigger angle to the spin axis, as well as being increased by a strike that is further off center (more gear effect). Increasing your spinrate will increase the speed the ball rotates at, but not change the spin axis. This means that, if you were to break it down into backspin and side spin components, both backspin AND side spin would be increased by the same proportion. This video explains it graphically. It shoes how monitors like Trackman don't measure backspin and sidespin, but simply spin rate and spin axis as well as explaining how this correlates to the curvature of the golf ball.
  9. It’s easy in my case. All the components of my swing that are faulty come extremely naturally. Anything I’m doing correctly has taken years to develop and feels alien, awkward and at times violent.
  10. So, I only started playing after I retired 6 years ago. I'm 64. I've always kept fit but I'm well past the age at which i could be described as a natural athlete, and starting so late means that I inevitably lack the elasticity that gives some young players that elegant easy swing. However, I practice, and I've taken lessons. And my handicap is still coming down, it's not out of the question that I'll get to single figures. In my opinion the most important thing - at least for those who aren't just "naturals", of whom there may be a few - is not pure athletic ability, it is having the right concepts. For a long time I listened to people telling me that power came from the ground up, and tried to act accordingly. They were right, of course, in a literal sense, but trying consciously to give effect to that advice made the game extremely difficult for me. It wasn't until I found a coach whose vocabulary made sense to me that I stopped being so mechanical and focussed on technique, and began to hit the ball more naturally. I'm never going to be a good player, but I'll be good enough to have fun and not be embarrassed. So, not just athletic ability, not just hard work, but also focussing on the right things. Or, at least, not focussing on the wrong ones.
  11. Welcome @barooo. Sounds like you’re on a good path. If you’d like you can post a video of your swing in the ‘My Swing’ thread and get some advice from really good instructors as well, or at least help you with whatever your instructor has you working on. Cheers.
  12. The hard work (practice), and quality instruction enhances what ever natural abilities the. Golfing person might have. When I see a low handicap player, I just assume that player has more natural ability than say, the harder working mid, or higher handicap player. I think a lot of folks are limited to what they can accomplish due to genetics. I remember reading something about a person's genetic timing barrier. All humans have this barrier. This barrier would limit just how good a person could become, in anything they did. It limited their natural bilities in one area, while allowing expansion in other areas. The game of golf seems to require more, different natural abilities than other games. A good example might be my oldest Grandson. The guy can absolutely crush a golf ball 330 +/- yards, find, or near miss the fairway most of the time. However, once on, or near the green, he is a Neanderthal with a tree stump for a club.
  13. This was on my Facebook feed today. If he can gain distance, so can you
  14. Welcome to TST. We're glad you've decided to join. You've made a good step by reading LSW. Make sure you get the award for your purchase. To me, it is almost like the bible of golf. There is a lot of great information there. It's great you've signed up for lessons. You've got a good start.😊
  15. No, to all of the above. Please read the very first post in this thread. Welcome to a TST!
  16. I would highly recommend reading the part about camera angles in this article: https://thesandtrap.com/b/playing_tips/filming_your_swing My guess is that you're too steep on the downswing, which can cause the occasional wildness you're talking about. I've had that same problem. But it's hard to tell because your DTL view is not at all where it should be. A better angle would be really helpful.
  17. It could be possible, but I bet if you get that golfer to a proper instructor and that golfer practices in the correct way he could drastically improve. From the naked eye test, immeasurable. I would say that golfers who shoot under mid 70's routinely probably have golfing ability and practice. There are probably a very low percentage that can play at that level with very little practice or instruction. Above that, the variables are way too large to say for certain if a golfer is playing by natural ability or has had instruction.
  18. If there is a course you really like, call them and see if one of their leagues has an opening. I think the course is important. I played in one league that moved to a real quirky course that wasn’t fun at all.
  19. Okay, I'm going to fly against the crowd here. Unless you are over 6'2" or under 5'9", don't worry right now about being fit for your clubs right now. Getting used clubs is fine. In my opinion, however, unless there's some used club in particular you are looking for, I think there are three better options. 1 - Just go raid the bargain cave at Rock Bottom Golf. You can pick up a set of irons brand new for around 300 plus or minus, and a driver for around 100-200. Get a no name putter from your local sporting goods store and get out there and play. 2 - Go buy a boxed set from a sporting goods store. I started out with a boxed set from a store like Durhams Sporting Goods... (Not sure if you have those in your area.) But you can get everything you need including a bag for 100 to 350 bucks. I literally bought my boxed set on lunch break and went to the course after work for my first round in my company's league. That's how I started. 3 - (Best option) Find a friend who is a serious golfer. I'll bet you a dime to a donut that he has an entire extra set of clubs in his basement that he'd be willing to lend you for a while until you develop a swing and an idea what you are going to like. I know I could build a set with what's in my basement, and so could my wife. I'll bet there are people on this forum who could build 6, 8 or even 10 sets from what they have in their basement/garage. Ask around for a good golf instructor in your area and sign up for some lessons. Or some places offer a complete golf class. You show up every Thursday after work for an hour getting instruction on the different aspects of the game for the next 6 to 8 weeks. That kind of thing. Check out your local community center. I know ours has that class under "adult learning" every spring. I realize this is just my opinion, but I'd rather see you just get a set off clubs off the rack and go get some lessons rather than worrying about a fitting right now. If you haven't played in 10 years your swing will likely change a lot over the course of this season. Once you start hitting it consistently and enjoying the game a bit you will want to get new clubs anyway. Go get fit for those clubs. That's just my opinion. Remember opinions are like A$$holes everyone has one and believe that everyone else's stink.
  20. Didn't even notice. I was in the zone 😎
  21. My criteria as a player is I will pay what ever the playing fees are, as long as the situation warrants that cost. This is especially true on road trips, vacations, and local get togethers with friends. Now, when out and about, if I think I paid too much for the playing conditions the course offered, then I probably will never return to that course.
  22. Yes, but when I do pull one out of there, I'm normally already a little miffed.
  23. Nice to see another club builder here. I've pretty much gotten out of it but I still do repairs/regrips. As for Malby...I haven't had them in my bag but I did have a few that experimented with and hit at the range from time to time and they were solid. Back when I was obsessed with components the Maltby line was considered top notch and I haven't heard anything recently to change that.
  24. If it’s 75 yards away, and I had your approached from that distance, I’d take it! 😂
  25. Well, yesterday I brought it back somewhat and shot a 78 (39-39). Today, I had a 73, (36-37), 4 birdies, 5 bogeys, and 9 pars. Just don't wake me up. Since I'm not playing tomorrow, with the May 1st update, I'll have a 7.9 handicap index. Made one of my goals to become a single digit player again.
  26. Men swing 2 degrees steeper with a 3 wood than women do, and they swing 17 mph faster. The lofts of 3-woods are the same for both ladies and men, usually, at about 15-17 degrees. The reason the driver spin numbers are so similar, by comparison, is that men tend to use lower lofted drivers than women. Despite the larger difference in attack angle, when you use a 10.5 or even 12 degree driver instead of an 8.5, 9, or 9.5 degree driver like many men do it will cause your spin rate to go up (and also your launch angle).
  27. So, I downloaded a couple of these videos after following James on Twitter - he shares a lot of good thoughts and a couple of the videos he shared intrigued me. I particularly liked the one below that he retweets quite a lot. There are a number of videos and it can be hard to know exactly what you get. The 5 DVD set includes: Approach Wedges Scrambling Bunker Play Practical Green Reading Putting Performance The two I was particularly interested in were the Approach Wedges and Scrambling videos and I got both 2.0 and 1.0 versions of each. For info, I'd recommend getting 2.0 first, as it may include the 1.0 videos as well (I ended up with 2 copies of 1.0). I'm going to try to review without giving too much information. James has worked with a number of top players and coaches (Tour and otherwise) to pick up on what they do well and try to dial in when coaching. What I did really like was that a lot of what he says resonates with @iacas, @mvmac and others preach with pitching and short game in general, such as delivery of bounce, loft and shot selection. All of the videos are full of information and whilst they are relatively short - 40 minutes or so - there is so much there that you won't necessarily pick it up within 4 or 5 views. Approach Wedges 1.0, 2.0: This is relatively technical and addresses a few key factors (launch, strike etc). I would say that, for a casual player, this is not the one to get, as whilst there are some good concepts in there, it doesn't necessarily give you that much to immediately go away and work on. I will re-watch it to try to glean more, but there wasn't that much in here that I wasn't aware of already. It is also possibly the hardest section to work on on your own, without access to Trackman etc., but James does make some good suggestions. Approach Wedges 2.0 is more technical and doesn't really apply to me right now, dealing with spin rates, smash factor. It might suit a low handicapper, but I wouldn't suggest it as necessary viewing. Scrambling 1.0, 2.0: Whilst the Approach Wedges 1.0 was a bit heavy, Scrambling gets straight into the task of how to score lower shots and particularly varying trajectories with your wedges to accomplish this. You look at when to use certain shots and easy ways to vary high, low and mid trajectories to accomplish this - James explains it quickly and easily and I could immediately take this knowledge to the course and play around with it. I would suggest that this and 2.0 are almost essential viewing - they combine lots of information with really effective presentation and clear ideas of how to build this in to your game to shoot lower scores. 2.0 also includes some really useful situational based sections, with James taking a certain shot and explaining his choices clearly. There's also a nice fault fixer element that would help those who struggle with thins and duffs. In short, they are really useful viewing, but I'd advocate Scrambling over Approach Wedges, simply for the ease of incorporating it into your practice. If you'd like any more information, please ask, but I'd certainly recommend looking them up.
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