11 pointsThere are several things which take almost no talent to do correctly, and if you can do them, you can become a better golfer and stay a better golfer. These things should be touchstones of a sort, things you check on constantly, but again which take no (or at least not much) actual skill to achieve. These are things even beginners can do. These lists are off the top of my head. Tier 1: No Real Talent Grip the club properly - in the base of the fingers, with the right number of knuckles showing for your swing. Set up properly - weight over the right part of your feet, arms hanging almost vertically, ball position forward of center. Learn the ball flight laws. You only have to learn them once. Learn that bad shots happen, and don't require a change to what you're doing or attempting to do. Change your grips when they get worn, slick, hard. Get a video camera, alignment sticks, and a few other training aids. You don't have to spend a lot of money here. Use decent clubs. Your muscle back 2-iron is probably not helping you much. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses. Your skin and your eyes are important. Tier 2: Minimal Talent Grip the club firmly while remaining athletically "loose" with the rest of your body. Tension in the wrong places can be a killer. Loose muscles are fast muscles. Learn what "start line" and curve your ball has on any given shot. You'll be miles ahead of the game when it comes to solving problems with your swing for the rest of your life. Practice effectively. It doesn't matter if you practice for 10 minutes or 10 hours a week, if you can practice effectively, you'll squeeze as much out of that time as you can. Nobody practices perfectly, but 90% effective is better than 30% effective. Nobody hits perfect shots when practicing, either, but you can make changes when practicing properly. Learn the Shades of Grey and your Shot Zones. Play quickly. Play without fear - golf is just a game we play. Tier 3: Some Talent Learn to putt with a backswing and downswing that are about the same size. If your ball goes too short and you feel you have to make a huge stroke, just swing it faster, but keep the through and backswing lengths the same. Learn to hit a chip shot with some forward shaft lean and without throwing the trail wrist. I'm amazed at how few people can do this, even if they're just hitting a shot onto a range with no real target, solely trying to "do" this motion. Learn how to make partial swings, particularly with wedges. Learn how to have a "B" swing for days when things are not going well. Develop a ball flight — it's okay if it changes as you continue to improve — and apply the bullet point in the section above to play it. I allotted myself 15 minutes to write this post and come up with what I could come up with, and that's it. Please add your own in the comments below.
1 pointTitle. Seriously. Every day I talk to people who underplay COVID-19 by comparing it to the flu. Just today I spoke with someone who told me, "Tens of thousands of people die from the flu each year, we don't shut anything down for that!" Well you know what? It's not the flu. The flu is something we understand and have historical data for. This is new. A severe flu season has a death rate of 0.17% (something like 80,000 flu-related deaths in 48 million cases). As of today, 6,501 people died out of 169,374 confirmed cases, for a death rate of 3.8%. Even if somehow only one in ten people with COVID-19 are tested and confirmed to have it, it would still be twice as deadly as the flu. The flu also has a shorter incubation period, with symptoms typically presenting after two to four days. An individual infected with COVID-19 may not present symptoms up to 14 days after infection. That's a possible two weeks for a seemingly healthy individual to go about their daily lives, spreading the disease. I mentioned that it's new, right? Anyone who has had the flu before will have some natural immunity to similar strands in the future. But, viruses mutate. It's not perfect, but it's something. We have no pre-existing immunity to COVID-19, which potentially makes every single person in the world vulnerable to infection. Quarantines, school closures, and other changes to our daily lives have inconvenienced us. I get it. But this is about so much more than not being able to watch your favorite sports team compete, or your vacation plans being cancelled. It's not about politics or mass media hysteria. This is a real disease with a serious negative impact to the world and we (Americans) have the opportunity to do something about it before it gets out of hand and we end up like China or Italy. Sorry, had to get that off my chest. I'll burn this f***ing soapbox now. Sources: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/people-have-been-trying-underplay-why-coronavirus-different-flu-n1156801 https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/does-the-flu-provide-better-immunity-than-a-flu-shot/ https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
1 pointToday is a momentous occasion my friends. 25 years ago, my wife and I got married. She mostly puts up with my insistence to play this silly game called golf. I guess that makes her a keeper. She only accompanied me once to the golf course and rode along watching me play. This was about 21 years ago when she was pregnant with my son and overdue. I convinced her that riding in the golf art might help to induce the delivery of the baby. I really wanted an excuse to play golf, and that was the best idea that I could come up with. I was wrong and quickly came to regret it. Several holes in she told me that I stunk. I have improved quite a bit since then, but it often takes a little honest reality to kick you in the arse and motivate you to get better. I'm not sure if that was her attempt at getting me to give up the game, or if she was trying to make sure that I never invited her out to the course again. All I can say is that the last 25 years have been anything but dull.
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