Jump to content


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/24/2018 in all areas

  1. Every now and then, someone comes onto the forum with a grand idea about how "natural" the golf swing should be, about how "modern instruction is too technical," and about how they, despite rarely having broken 90 and having taken a few lessons and having seen a few YouTube videos, have the solution for what ails all golfers across the land. In this topic, I'd like to quickly tackle a few of the arguments that are commonly lobbed out there by these types of people. These comments are often made as if they're self evident, and obvious, when in reality they're just based on a hunch and a tiny dash of personal experiences. These comments are also often made by someone who has had limited success in the game, in part because — I believe — that the work it takes to get down to a low single digit handicap, for example, tends to make one very aware of just what is actually required. Note: I'm one of the first guys to tell you that I think most instructors aren't very good. And I have reason to dislike those guys more than most, because they actually make it more difficult for me to do well in my instruction business. If the perception is that instruction is bad (because it is), then that de-motivates people to seek out good instruction. It's a bit of a sinking tide lowers all ships sort of deal. What's the reputation of used car salesmen? Poor, right? I imagine nobody hates that reputation more than the good used car salesmen out there, as they have to work harder to overcome their perception of their peers as well as the normal things that come up in selling a car. In no particular order, then, here are some pins and my short (for me) responses knocking them down. Golfers Should be Taught the Basics and then Left Alone to Do What is Natural There's nothing natural about the golf swing. It's not even a move we've developed via evolution as a necessary hunting/gathering/whatever type move, like throwing or hitting something might be. Fewer than 20% of golfers ever get instruction, so most of what you see on the golf course is people trying to do what is "natural" to them. How's that working out for them? Not very well - most people's "natural" golf swing is a train wreck, and the reason why they can't break 100 very often. As humans, I'm not going to argue that we don't have some sort of natural hand-eye coordination. We do, to varying degrees. But golf is a whole new world of precision and speed with very little margin of error. So, yes, with a little practice the average human can get pretty good at making contact with a ball nearly every time they swing a club… but that motion, what they come up with "naturally," will often not be very good at all for playing golf. No Other Sport is as Technical as Golf Instruction Two quick things to say to this: Other sports are easier. I played soccer for a long time, and a bit of hockey. Skating isn't all that complex. Even puck-handling and shooting isn't all that complex. You can say things like "you roll your wrists like this, drag the puck like this, and then flick like this" or whatever, and that's - at most levels - about as complex and difficult as it gets. Golf is much more difficult than virtually any other sport - nearly every muscle in your body is involved in the thing, we have to hit shots accurately with the longest implements swung about as fast as anything else, our margin of error is ridiculously small (a putt from 3' with dead weight misses the hole entirely if it's not within 4° of accurate… and that's a three footer… have the wrong clubface angle on a driver by 3° and, hooo boy!). Anyway… golf is freaking difficult. Other sports, at the higher levels, are also incredibly technical, making the statement above in red a lie. Pitching coaches have all sorts of video and 3D motion capture devices. They analyze all kinds of things. Do we do this in Little League? They often aren't all that "technical" at the early stages, but things can ramp up for the better players. Some pitching camps and clinics will expose younger kids to this stuff. Every sport has things to gain from using science and technology, and the higher level you get. Other sports are incredibly technical. If you consider Formula 1 or NASCAR a sport, those sports are incredibly technical. Everyone is a Feel Player and Modern Instruction is Too Technical I agree that everyone is a feel player, and that giving a player too much technical "stuff" is bad, but that's inherent in how I stated it: "too much." Nobody would argue that giving the student "just the right amount" of technical "stuff" is bad, because again it's inherent in how I wrote it: "just the right amount." Some take this even further, and say things like "any technical information is too much," as if telling someone some basic technical thing is going to short circuit their brains and lead them to a complete inability to function. The truth is, mechanics are how you hit the golf ball. Someone who has the clubhead 18" outside their hands at A6 DL has bad mechanics, and those need to improve for them to be a better golfer. I see my job as an instructor to focus the student on the mechanics they need to improve (their "priority piece"), and then I use feels to get them to change those mechanics. The hypothetical student swinging across the ball here would understand that we generally want the clubhead somewhere inline with the hands at A6 DL, but feels are how we'd get there. Feels, drills (drills are just motions or exercises that help encourage the new mechanics to feel more normal and repeatable at higher and higher speeds), and other tools are what allow the students to change the thing, and if they understand the basic mechanics, they'll have a better chance of continuing to practice on their own properly. When students leave my lesson, they should understand the hows, whats, whens, and whys of their lesson: what the priority piece is, why it's important, when it occurs in the swing, and how to go about improving it. But the last thing is almost always feels and drills to enhance/encourage those feels. If the Instructor Talks about Mechanics, the Player Will Only Think About Mechanics This one comes about because sometimes people don't give enough credit to other people. If I tell a student "Okay, from the top what you're going to see is your hands shifting out, the club shaft steepening, and kicking out to here at A6 where it's 18 inches outside of your hands. This is why your good shots are big pulls and your bad shots are slices and wipey cuts" that doesn't mean the student is going to be thinking about "okay, my hands need to do such and such, my shaft needs to do this and that, and at this point, I want to have the clubhead and my hands at this point in space…" They might think that if you stopped the lesson there, but that's literally ten seconds of a lesson, and the next thirty plus minutes is often you working with the student to find the feelings, drills, etc. that help them improve those mechanics. If the student feels like his hands travel down toward his right pocket from the top of the backswing to fix the issue, then that is what the student leaves with, as well as an understanding of the what, when, why, and how… My students aren't thinking about mechanics. They know the mechanical change we're trying to make, yes. But I give people the credit they deserve: they can understand what mechanical change we're trying to make, and even why, while still being able to process, understand, and remember HOW they should go about making that change. Instructors who Draw Lines on Video Only Care about Positions, but the Golf Swing is a Dynamic Moving Thing High speed video is like having super-human vision. I say that a lot, because it's true. I wrote a lot more about this one here, but in short… the "positions" in the golf swing are merely "checkpoints" through which we pass through while making a dynamic motion. So that golfer with the clubhead 18" outside his hands at A6 DL that I've used a few times… on camera, he wants to start seeing the clubhead lining up closer to the hands. But he can't get there just by kind of posing it there, he has to get there dynamically, by finding the feeling that lets the clubhead pass through that "checkpoint" dynamically. At the end of the day, too, the camera often becomes more for the student than the instructor. The student can see that "wow, I did it!" They can try a feeling and see what happened in reality. They can experiment with how much of a feeling is needed to get something to pass through the "checkpoint." And they can use the photos the instructor makes and the notes they write down for them to continue guiding them as they practice. An Instructor with Lots of Gadgets is Obviously Too Technical Gadgets — launch monitors, high-speed video, pressure plates, SAM PuttLab, FocusBand, training aids, GEARS, etc. K-Vest… etc. — are tools. The good golf instructors I know have a lot of tools at their disposal. Just because they have every tool available to them doesn't mean they use them in every lesson. High-Speed video, for example, is like super-human vision. The golf swing happens too fast to see little pieces, and yet given the margins of error we have in the golf swing, we sometimes need to see those little pieces. And… I don't believe for one second that some of the famous instructors that pre-dated technological advances would have continued to teach the way they taught before. Ben Hogan would have been one of the first people to buy a FlightScope or Trackman, I think. The old instructors would have loved using high-speed video. Technology would have expanded their tool box, and they'd be foolish not to give themselves more options. As the saying goes, when you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But when you have a full toolbox, you can fix all kinds of things, even if you don't use every tool in your toolbox on every job. Golf Instruction is One Size Fits All and Does Not Adapt to the Student / Golf Instructors Have Only One Method and Everyone Fits that Model I've heard some people say that some golf instructors teach one thing to everyone. I think every instructor tends to have things they prefer, or like, but the best instructors are incredibly flexible. For example, I "prefer" something closer to a one-plane swing… but I have a number of students with Justin Thomas style backswings, very high hands, very two-plane-swing type motions. My only real constraints are working within the 5 Simple Keys®, and I'm always working toward improving one of those in the full swing. My instruction, and the instruction of good instructors I know, is highly personalized, and that doesn't just mean what they're actually told to do and fix and change in their golf swing. Some students aren't going to visit the range very much, so they're given lessons which focus on things they can do at home for 5-10 minutes per day. Vice versa for someone who I see 3-5x a week hitting balls 20 feet from me at Golf Evolution - they might get more drills you can do while hitting balls. Some students are able to "buy in" more if they understand some of the little details of what they're doing. Other people just have complete faith in you and are confused by or don't want to hear anything except what they're supposed to be doing. They don't even want to know why; your word is good enough. Some students learn by observing. Some like external cues, others internal more. Some like auditory assistance. People learn differently, and while you won't always get this perfect, good instructors try to notice those things and tailor everything they do and say to fit that person's mentality. Heck, one of my students loves to shoot the breeze, and get his little priority piece in about ten minutes, hit balls for five more minutes, and then shoot the breeze for a bit more. Then he goes off and works on what he was given, occasionally sends me a text with a follow-up question. He was a 22 three years ago. He's a 4 now. Getting to know your golfer, your student, is important, and while poor golf instruction might be one size fits all, good instruction is not. Golf Instructors Tear Down Your Swing before Building it Back Up Again This almost never happens, and when it does, odds are high that the instructor is horrible, lazy, or at best unimaginative. I've never actually heard a golf instructor say this to a student, and I've sure as heck never said it to a student. Golfers come capable of breaking 100, or 90, or 80… or whatever. They come with skills. What good instructors do is correct the priority piece at the moment, leaving everything else the golfer is doing well already alone. Oftentimes, fixing one thing improves several other things, too. I had a mother of a golfer — a girl, not a great swing, but she can sometimes shoot in the 80s, and other times barely breaks 100 — tell me that she didn't want to get instruction for her daughter because "she has a unique way of doing it and she doesn't have time to start over from the ground up and rebuild her swing as she's already a sophomore." Uhhhh… right. So just because the perception is out there, and because a few instructors might actually take this approach (e gads!), it doesn't mean it's valid or widely done. Let me put it another way… an instructor who wants to "rebuild" is telling you that they're incapable of working with the skills that you have now, and that he is only capable of teaching you how to play golf if you swing one way the entire time. He's saying that he's incapable of finding and fixing a priority piece while using the skills you already have. It's an utterly ridiculous way to approach instruction. The cynic in me thinks that anyone who says this is basically trying to lock you up for a bunch of lessons. After all, you can't "rebuild a swing from the ground up" in only two or three lessons. Comparing Someone to a PGA Tour Player is Pointless Because Golfers Aren't Built Like PGA Tour Players Golfers are built like PGA Tour players. Like PGA Tour players, they have two arms, two legs, a head, fingers, hips, and all sorts of body parts in common. They're also using similar tools — clubs, balls, etc. — and trying to perform a very similar task. Instructors often use a PGA Tour player to show something being done correctly. For example, if someone doesn't transfer their weight/pressure to their front foot, I might show them a PGA Tour player doing this, so that the person a) understands that it can be done, b) starts to realize that it probably should be done, and c) has a glimpse into how it's done or what it looks like. Then, I work with that student on feels that produce better mechanics - squishing a foam ball under their lead foot, bumping the fridge door closed from the top of the backswing, letting the hips coast downhill, etc. Average golfers may not be able to swing like a PGA Tour player, but they can certainly improve at one of the 5 Simple Keys®, the commonalities found in all great players, and comparing a golfer to a PGA Tour player can often be illuminating for the student. Plus, as the student begins to have success improving her mechanics, she'll often be thrilled to see you comparing her swing to a successful golfer and happy to see that, at least in the piece you're working on, she "looks like an LPGA Tour player" (or whomever). No, we don't show an 85-year-old guy the golf swing of Justin Thomas and say "we want you to swing like that" and leave it at that. But if JT does some small piece that the golfer in front of you can do, the comparison may be perfectly valid. I Saw a Video Online and it was Bad, So Lessons are Bad Videos online are often NOT lessons. Even videos of private lessons are often not the same as a true private lesson, because the instructor is often talking to the audience behind the camera as well as the student in front of him. Online lessons often focus more on mechanics than "feels," but that's almost bound to happen when you do not have a student right there in front of you. Videos try to give generalized instruction, and because everyone's feels may vary, they almost have to focus on the mechanics, trusting players to do the mechanics themselves and to find their own feels. Outside of saying "students often tell me they feel like X, Y, or Z when they do this move," videos can't really get into feels much, because two people given the same feels might produce very, very different mechanics, and both could be "wrong," but they'd feel like they did what you asked (and they're being honest, because they did the "feel" they were told to feel) and consider the video and the instructor in it to have failed. If You're Not Hitting it Better at the End of the Lesson, It's a Bad Lesson If this one said "you should know how to hit the ball better at the end of the lesson," then cool. But no, not every golfer is going to be hitting the ball better at the end of every lesson. You want to know a sure-fire way to hit the ball better at the end of a lesson? Do nothing. Just have your student hit 7-irons for 35 minutes or so. By gosh, they'll get in a bit of a groove and be hitting the ball better at the end — hey, why wouldn't they, they've been hitting a 7-iron for 35 minutes straight — than they were at the beginning. That's not a lesson. There are a ton of lessons where the student will need to work on something for a few days, weeks, even months after the lesson. They may be slightly worse for a time, and then as they begin to get better and better at the new skill, meet and then surpass their previous performance level. Golf is hard®, and changes take time to incorporate at full speed. If you insist on hitting the ball better at the end of the lesson, on being literally a better golfer at the end of a lesson, right at that moment… then you're likely only looking for band-aid type lessons. Quick fixes. The thing is, those types of lessons often don't last. There are occasions when they do, but true, lasting changes often take time. Changelog: Version 1.0 - 2018-12-18 - Initial Draft. Version 1.0.1 - 2018-12-27 - Added an image so that embedding this topic elsewhere will use that image. I plan for this to be a living, breathing document of sorts, and I'll add things here and there, revise the wording, etc. as time goes on. Changes for more than grammar/spelling/clarification I will try to note in the changelog.
  2. I'll take the bet. It would be quite a story to tell in prison.
  3. 11 points
    I'm having a mental game expert address some of my juniors next Saturday, and I had some additional notes for him. Stuff I wanted him to include that may be particular to my program, the way I teach, my LSW information, etc. And I thought some of you might benefit. So here's that part of the email: 1. Practice is not playing. I'd like them to know that when they're working on their swing, they care what the mechanics are, they care what things "look" like somewhat, they care about making the best MECHANICS or something, to change or improve. But when they're playing, it's all about the results, not what it looks like. Better mechanics eventually lead to better scores, but sometimes you have to find a swing that works THAT DAY. 2. One or two bad shots is not a pattern. If you duck hook it off the first three tees, then yes, you might want to do something different the next time you get a driver out, but don't rush into changing your entire swing thought or game plan after one or two or even three slightly funny shots, or you'll be changing something after EVERY bad swing, which happens more often than people realize. 3. Have realistic expectations. PGA Tour players: make 50% of their 8-footers and only 15% of their 20-footers. On better greens. Average 2.8 shots from 100 yards out in the fairway. They hit it to about 18' on average. Hit about 60% of their fairways, but almost always keep it "between the ropes." Hit three to four "great shots" per round on a great day. Their standard is higher, but still… they don't love every shot they ever hit. They also hit shanks, chunk chips, etc. You only see the leaders on TV. Get up and down only 2/3 times. Scrambling is tough. But they almost never take two chips or two bunker shots. Then of course, talk about how having proper expectations for yourself will be very personal. Expectations can be for one shot or for the score for 18 holes. 4. Have proper expectations and goals for entering tournaments, but enter them BEFORE you're "ready" for them. You might have a better way of saying this, but basically, we entered Natalie in HJGT events before she was anywhere near competitive for them… so that by the time she was competitive in them (now), she'd know what they were like. It's NEVER a bad thing to play as many events where you have to put your name and a number up on a scoreboard for all to see - it can only be BAD if you have unrealistic expectations about your abilities. Go into competitive golf with the proper mindset - that you're LEARNING how to compete, LEARNING how to deal with it all, how to handle the slow pace of play, playing under the rules, playing with strangers, everything… go in with the proper mindset and it's all about growth, regardless of the outcome.
  4. The thing that's bad for golf isn't "faster play", I don't believe that the speed of rounds has increased. What is bad for golf is intolerant assholes, and it seems that you've found a few of those. I'm sorry for the bad experience, but I think you handled their start in the world of golf as well as you possibly could have. The only thing that could have improved the situation was to find an uncrowded course for the first few rounds, maybe at an off time, weekdays, whatever is least crowded.
  5. I received the Cup a couple days ago and was very excited. I figured the best way to spend a day with the Newport Cup was on the course! I immediately decided the University of Michigan's course would be a great place to play. The course is located right across the street from The Big House. There was no warming up on the practice green Ultimately, the clubhouse staff told me to go home, take the Cup with me, and come back in May. Undeterred, I made the cross town trip to my "Home Course", Leslie Park Golf Course. Things looked promising. But then the reason for the empty parking lot became clear. No golf at Leslie for a few more weeks. Still, I was optimistic. Fox Hills remains open year round. Surely I could play a quick nine there with the Cup. Foiled again!! So I settled down in the nearest snowbank and enjoyed a cold one. Truthfully, it was a great day and The Newport Cup was a nice companion. Yes, we got a few odd looks during our adventures. I imagine everyone probably wanted to know how I acquired such a cool looking companion but were too embarrassed to ask. Everyone should try to make one of the 2019 Newport Cup teams because having this little pewter trophy in your hands is worth the effort.
  6. For some reason, you have missed hundreds of posts that do accept that. I've often said I can't even prove that Tiger would beat Vardon head to head, although I'd bet on him. What I CAN prove is that Tiger was more dominant than Jack, for more years, against stronger fields. It is 100% certain that Tiger had twice as many years (10 to 5) as the undisputed best golfer in the world as Jack did. See my data in this post if you want to debate that. https://thesandtrap.com/forums/topic/2203-jack-vs-tiger-whos-the-greatest-golfer/?do=findComment&comment=1434179 It is 100% certain that, using the Official World Golf Ranking formula to determine field strength, several World Golf Championships had stronger fields than some of the majors held the same year. It is 100% certain that they had stronger fields than any of the majors Jack won before 1975. And it is 100% certain that during his prime (1996-2009), Tiger won 13 of the 20 WGC stroke play events he entered, a .650 batting average in a sport where a .100 average is Hall of Fame material (no other golfer won more than one stroke play WGC during those years). His worst finish was ninth, and he got top fives in all but two of them. - It is 100% certain that Arnie, Jack, and Gary became the "Big Three" in part by winning six British Opens (two each) from 1959 to 1970. But there were a dozen or less Americans in the fields of the British Opens of the 60's, and that includes amateurs, seniors, and club pros. Take those out, and there were zero to three Americans to beat in some of those "majors." - It is 100% certain that some of the PGA Championship fields of the 1960's were two-thirds club pros, a situation Jack himself called "absurd and unfortunate." https://www.si.com/vault/1968/09/16/614249/rebuttal-to-a-searing-attack It is 100% certain that of all the top European money winners (i.e., those who won the Order of Merit and its predecessor) between 1955 and 1974, all but one of them never played in the US Open or PGA Championship in their lives. The one exception, Peter Oosterhuis, never did it before 1975. Peter Alliss was one of the best players in Europe for nearly 20 years. He won the Order of Merit twice, and beat the biggest American stars like Palmer, Venturi, and Casper in his Ryder Cup matches, but he turned down over half of his Masters invitations. Too far to travel, he said. His Ryder Cup partner, Christy O'Connor, also won the OOM twice. He never played an American major in his entire career. It is 100% certain that before the world rankings were established in 1986, the only sure way for a non-PGA member to get into a US major was to win the British Open. In summary, it is 100% certain that there were only a handful of international players in the field of US majors, and only a handful of American players in the field of the British Open, before 1975, and that it wasn't until the 1990's that almost all the world's best players played all four majors each year. So how do we know that made a difference? It is 100% certain that the Ryder Cup was the US against the British Isles until 1979. Once continental European players were allowed to participate, the record has been 11-8-1 in favor of Europe over the US, indicating that even one on one, Europeans are as good as Americans. It is not mere speculation to say that only half of the world's best players were in the majors of the Jack era, especially when you consider what the Ryder Cup record might be if the opposing Ryder Cup teams had included players from Australia, South Africa, Fiji, etc. It is 100% certain that from 1926 to 1978, there were only three non-Americans who won majors in the US. It is 100% certain that since 1988, there have been only two years when a non-American did NOT win a major in the US. In the two years that didn't happen, an Aussie and an Italian won the British Open, so a non-native has won a major every year, even when Tiger was winning one to three majors a year. Non-Americans won all four majors in 1994, and have won three out of four in several years since then. Even four of the last six US AMATEUR championships were won by foreigners. The conclusion is obvious to anyone with an open mind. The field kicks everybody's ass. It beat Tiger 70% of the time in his prime, and it beat Jack 80% of the time in his prime. The stronger the fields, the harder it is to win. And half of the world's best players were not in the field for the majors played before the mid-70's, at least. Tiger was more dominant than Jack, for more years, against stronger fields. That is what we claim, and can prove.
  7. Yeah, I get that. I’d be tempted, but realistically even if the odds for me were dead even, the upside isn’t worth the downside. 5 years in prison would have a much larger negative impact on my life, than $5 million would have in improving it.
  8. I'm going to speak as an instructor, and one who is completely confident that for the vast majority of my students, I'm doing a damn good job. I'm not insecure, but I'm also not going to say I'm perfect, either. I'm sure I could do a better job with some students. But it's tough to say, and you never really know. A brief story. I had a woman this past summer who was swinging WAY over the top and left. Like… more than I'd almost ever seen. So I could have gone two ways with her, and I chose what I considered "Way A" - a tougher but ultimately more "correct" way. The rest of the lesson went poorly, I thought, but she was getting the motion down better and better, so I kept going with it. At the end, feeling as if maybe I should have gone with the "easier" but "less correct" "Way B," I told her I wanted to see her in two weeks and I'd give her a half price lesson. I told her I wanted her to keep trying to do what we'd worked on (it's still the right thing, but she was having trouble hitting the ball anywhere on the club face, the change was so big for her). Anyway, two weeks goes by, and I meet her on the lesson tee. She is very nervous. I'm thinking "oh, man, oh no." She says "I'm so nervous. I've been doing what you said… and I'm hitting the ball so well I can't even tell you. Better than ever in my life!" I watched her hit a few shots, recorded a few, and said "wow, that's great. Let's work on your chipping or short game or putting or something, what you're doing there is awesome." So sometimes the instructors don't even know if the lesson was "good" - sometimes in a span of 45 minutes it's impossible to suss out exactly how someone will best learn something, how someone is going to practice, etc. The woman above trusted me and was just making such a big change, she couldn't hit the ball even as poorly as she had before, but as she got even used to it over two weeks… she started hitting it great. The golf swing is a physical motion. Yes, your brain "controls" everything, including your "feels," but it's a physical motion. All golf swings are repetitive, and none are natural. Some people have better hand-eye coordination than others, some have more speed than others, some may have played more stick sports as a kid… whatever. But the golf swing is not at all a "natural" movement, and instructors who say that, honestly, I think they're just scamming you. Marketing to you. Conning you. Those two things don't have to be mutually exclusive at all. I use technology. Hell, I wrote Analyzr, video swing analysis software. I use video in nearly every lesson I give, always. I use SAM PuttLab. I use FlightScope. I use training aids, and I draw lines, and so on. But I see my job as finding that one biggest change, the "priority piece," for that golfer to work on. Tour players are still valid comparisons, not because you should have the same flexibility or speed as them, but because they do the 5 Simple Keys®, and can serve as a good demonstration to show you what should be different. The high-speed video is for me at first, you bet. I can see things with high-speed video that you cannot see with the naked eye. I don't always need it, and the more I teach, the more I know what I'm going to see on the video, but it's still helpful to see the degree. It's super-human vision, after all - who would turn that down? But after the initial analysis, and after me seeing it… the video and the lines are for the student. I produce pictures for the student with their feels, and show them how that changes their golf swing. Yes, it's in photos… but the photos remind them of what they're after, what their "priority piece" is and how to work on it. I don't like blanket statements, either, but almost always, if you're leaving a lesson without photos or notes or something like that, I'm likely to feel you've gotten a bad lesson. A band-aid. A quick fix. My job is to take what can be quite technical and boil it down. To know the ocean's worth of information, but to give the student (oftentimes) what amounts to a tablespoon. Some golfers can handle a cup or a gallon. Most are good with a tablespoon. Those two things don't have to go together. "Too technical" is a fault, sure, but an instructor can be "technical" himself without exposing that much "technical" stuff to the student. And not all "line drawing" guys are technical. Everyone is a feel player, after all: They fog the minds of everyone. You're not alone in that. Just three quick things there… Those sports are comparatively much easier than golf. They have more margin for error and are simpler overall motions. Nobody has to start out training golfers by "filling their heads with technical mumbo jumbo," either. I just finished teaching 16 juniors today. In my last group, I have four girls. One is working on feeling like her left shoulder slides backward (to her right) across a shelf, the second is feeling like her hands drop down from the top of the backswing, the third is making her backswing motion feel "smoother" (the way her hips and knees work), and the fourth is trying to point the club to the left at the top of her backswing. That's it. That's their "priority piece." There is a TON of technical mumbo jumbo known by high-end pitching instructors, soccer players, wide receiver coaches, hitting instructors, and so on. Despite the fact that those motions are orders of magnitude simpler with much wider margins of error than the golf swing. You're arguing against a straw man, of sorts. Golf is hard.® It's not soccer. I've played soccer at a reasonably high level (varsity as a freshman, on a traveling team through that same year, until I quit to play golf instead), and it's so, so, so much simpler. No, we don't. Most instructors are pretty bad. You shouldn't be, as strict adherence to that standard will lead you to value band-aid fixes over actual golf instruction. It depends on what you mean by "better at the end of it," but if you mean "hits better shots at the end" then I disagree on occasion. Like the woman in my story at the top - she ended up getting a great lesson, and was what she needed, and she was nearly whiffing at the end of her lesson. Some guy who has been coming over the top for 40 years and who plays to a 12 doing that has figured out how to make that "work" to some extent. Making a lasting change that might let him become an 8 handicap might not happen inside of 45 minutes - he might need to keep working at it. But if he got a good lesson, that golfer should know what he's working on, know why he's working on it, know how to work on it… etc. Then, honestly, it's up to the student to actually do it. Some priority pieces take a little time and effort. I challenge myself with every student to "change the picture" as quickly as possible. Often that means asking for some feeling to be exaggerated. Then the student can see the change, and can be excited about it. It shows them quickly that they CAN do something. Then it's up to them to actually do it. A hundred times. A thousand times. Whatever. The golf swing isn't natural, but the habits (good or bad) that people build up are natural, and often fixing those bad habits feels very unnatural for quite awhile. You might not be an actual "better golfer" at the end of that lesson, though. You keep adding in stuff like "technical mumbo jumbo." I know almost all the technical mumbo jumbo you could want… and some students like to know what "palmar flexion" is. Others just want to know "twist the grip" or "turn the door knob." Not necessarily. Particularly for a really bad and really ingrained habit. You said that in response to "No type of instruction always helps." I took that to mean that for some, a more technical lesson can work, while others benefit from being a bit less technical. For some, a certain feeling or drill will work, but it likely won't work for everyone. And that's true. You're a different person than every other one of my students, @Don Golfo. The lesson that works for you, even if someone else was given your same exact golf swing and thus had the same exact problem, may not work for that student at all. I might have to explain things completely differently, or come up with a completely different drill, or whatever. There is no one type of instruction that always helps. And you know what else? You can give a great lesson, and if the student doesn't practice… it can all be for naught. The student has a responsibility too. They can't expect to take a lesson and just be "fixed." Technology doesn't do that, no. The instructor chooses to do that. I gave a lesson on SAM PuttLab the other day where a student had a severe inward arc on the backswing, swung the putter out way to the right on the follow-through, and left the face open (or it'd feel like a snap hook). I could have taken that information and gone a ton of directions with it: Show him the graphs and charts and paths and numbers and explain what it all meant. Show him the picture of his putter head path and clubface at impact and explain how to fix it. Show him nothing, but tell him how to fix it. And all sorts of other hybrid or subtle variations. What I did with this student was basically the middle one - showed him the path, showed him how that was leading to a clubface too open, and then said "feel like you take it back with the face shut and on a straight line." (He didn't take it back straight, but it was much less inward). He did that and we looked at those two data points to see what had changed. Then, using the picture of his path and the face angle number as his guideposts, he messed around until he found the feelings that worked for him, within a very narrow, specific framework. Any of the three solutions (or variations) could have worked with all sorts of different students. Some might be interested in the more technical stuff, about how if the putter is on a certain plane and if your shoulders are on this plane, and you move this way, the arc should be 15° with the face staying square to that arc but opening to the target line… and others just want the simplest of simple things. Maybe, but not necessarily. If the student doesn't take his notes, his pictures, what he learned during the lesson, and go practice it properly, even though he knows why, how, and what… then whose fault is that? The student's. I can give a great lesson that the student completely understands, that he improves at during the lesson, and see the guy in a month and if he hasn't continued to work on it, to make it a habit… he can be exactly the same as he was, with no improvement.
  9. Toughen up. Sorry, but if little things like that are getting under your skin, you’re going to struggle if it comes down to the wire and there’s any real pressure. Use the little annoyances as a means to prove to yourself, your own mental toughness.
  10. People do not choose how susceptible they are to addictive substances. There have been many, many cases where a person completely naive to opioids was placed on them for knee surgery, for example. The prescriber negligently wrote directions as ‘take 2 tabs every 8 hrs.’ So they do exactly that. Next thing you know they’re addicted to the medication without even realizing it. And this is especially difficulty to deal with if the person is genetically prone to opioid dependence. Some people can drink alcohol everyday and stop at one drink. Then go weeks without having any. Some people have a couple of drinks and it triggers an insatiable response to continue. Additive substances don’t effect everybody the same. Period. It’s similar to muscular build/fitness gurus. I’m not minimizing their efforts but some people can do much less training and see substantially better results all based on their DNA, not their incredible workouts alone. Same with your smoking. It’s awesome you quit but you may have a much less ‘inherent addiction’ to nicotine than another person. Sometimes it takes a lot of self reflection to admit one has an addiction. They want to ‘beat it’ or often try to deny it. They will tell themselves they will only have two beers then stop. Or just a glass of wine with dinner ....4 hours later they’re smashed after having one after the other. The acceptance that one has an issue is a responsibility that one needs to take/accept. But you must understand the medical side of this and show compassion for them. It’s not easy to accept you have such an issue especially with a substance (alcohol) you see so many people enjoy with no issues at all. Chris has taken this step.
  11. If they're not Miuras forged from the heart of a supernova and cooled with the tears of virgin dragons, they ain't for me
  12. I spent the better part of two days conducting this test last summer. I tested a few situations: In chart form: And for those who like the visuals… I used a PerfectPutter and positioned it far enough away that the ball wasn't bouncing at all but close enough that the ball wouldn't deviate too far from the intended line.1 I used Snell MTB Black balls. The flagsticks were standard Par-Aide fiberglass flagsticks. It wasn't windy, but there was often a little breeze.2 I tested on the flattest section of the greens I could find. The actual holes were as level as could be. Rolling the ball from close distance minimizes this anyway. I rolled balls from all around the hole so as not to overly damage one portion of the hole. Also, little "tracks" can form even after a few putts, so I wanted to balance that out as much as possible. The flagsticks were relatively centered in the hole, with only a little "wiggle room." I did not measure how far away the balls that didn't go in ended up; I considered it pretty obvious that a ball that hits the flagstick is going to finish closer to the hole than one that doesn't. This was clearly the case. I alternated five ball rolls with the flagstick in, five without. Then five without, and back to five with it in again. On putts where results seemed highly variable, I rolled more putts - up to 100. On putts that were a given (like 3' by speed at the center of the hole), I rolled fewer putts; as few as 10. I conducted the test on different holes and from different angles. I simply moved on when I felt I'd rolled enough balls at the holes that I could start to see a change to the lips, like some of the balls were "denting" or "rounding" the lips a little. I used holes where the lips appeared to be somewhat uniform (though obviously the specific soil density can vary around even a uniform looking hole). Stimp speeds were 9.75 to 9.9 feet. Distances off-center were done with a centered laser calibrated to aim straight (angular error in the laser was oriented upward) with a ruler across the hole, confirming both the proper hole dimensions and the distance off-center. I tried to roll balls from the same spot(s) on the PerfectPutter, but obviously there was some little error there - a few millimeters. I never rolled more than five balls at a time - and no balls ever hit a ball or balls in the hole and bounced out because of that. If balls did pile up on one side or in the front or back of the hole, I'd remove them. This rarely happened, though, as the holes are deep enough and only four balls would be in the hole when the fifth ball was rolled anyway. I'll add more information if I remember anything relevant. 1 Even with the PerfectPutter, you often can't make more than half of the 20-25 foot putts you roll across a real green. Just the tiniest deviation, hitting a bump slightly differently, can magnify over the duration of the putt and miss high or low even though you're trying to release the ball from the same exact spot on the PP. 2 One of the putts that almost surely would have gone in (as 98 others did) I felt was knocked away by the wind moving the flagstick at just the right time. Conclusions Leaving the flagstick in helps quite a bit, particularly on shots that are at the edges of capture speed/effective hole size. For example, at 4' by speed and 3/4" off-center, that's just beyond the capture size (only 8/100 went in) without the flagstick, but the flagstick took enough speed off that a 44/100 putts dropped with the flagstick in. At 3' by speed, the capture width of the hole is about 0.8 to 0.85" wide: wide enough for all of the 3/4" putts to go in, but few of the 1" putts. With the flagstick in, the 3/4" putts still went in, but the 1" putts that just nicked the flagstick scrubbed enough speed from the ball that a few more (14/50) putts went in. The largest percentage gain was the 6' speed at 1/2" off-center. At this distance from the center, only one putt went in (I would swear that I rolled it like all the others, but sometimes a putt that would have popped up and out hit some part of the hole just right and popped up and fell in), but since the contact with the flagstick (look at the image above) was still pretty flush, a lot of speed was taken from the ball and 45/100 fell. This is still fewer than half, but because the 1/100 is so low, the percentage is the largest. Similar inferences can likely be made on the 5' by putts - at 1/2" it's awfully close to the edge of the capture width of the hole, and at 3/4" is pretty much beyond it (again, though, a pesky 1/100 putts went in). These low make percentages without the flagstick make it possible for the delta between the flagstick in vs. out to be in the upper 30s to lower 40s.
  13. iacas

    2019 Newport Cup

    The 2019 Newport Cup Las Vegas, NV* So, just a quick note to say that @mvmac and I are looking at having the 2019 Newport Cup, a six-on-six Ryder Cup-style event in mid- to late-October, 2019 in or very near to Las Vegas, NV. Follow this topic if you'd like to stay apprised, and begin thinking of what you might say in your candidate video. * The event as a whole and the location are both tentative but likely at this point. All are encouraged to apply, but teams will likely still be comprised of 10 handicappers or less (it simply makes everything easier). While we'll encourage as many new players, we're not opposed to players making their second or third recent appearance. Costs will likely be the same as the last time - about $700 plus however you choose to get there. Regarding "goodies" we're not looking to top what we've done in the past, but Mike and I like goodies too. 🙂 Competition time frame is mid- to late-October, 2019, with teams chosen by mid-August. Format will likely be similar to 2017, with some small changes likely coming to the "Challenge Ball" idea. I may update this bullet list as I think of other things, or things change. That's all I have for now. You can't officially begin applying now, but you can denote your interest, and you can "follow" the topic so that you get instant updates. https://thesandtrap.com/newport-cup/ Edit: Add the appropriate "Candidate" badge/award to yourself here: https://thesandtrap.com/forums/topic/99617-2019-newport-cup/?do=findComment&comment=1421967 Thank you!
  14. I'm gonna give my wife the best 90 seconds of her life tonight...
  15. I don't mean to put a damper on things for you, but I can give you my personal experience (which seems fairly similar to yours) and my honest opinion. I was in a situation somewhat similar to yours with just a slightly earlier timescale, in that I played golf not too competitively until I decided to truly get serious starting in the spring of my junior year of high school. At this time I was approximately a 15 handicap golfer or so, occasionally getting lucky and breaking 80 (on easy courses) and but mostly shooting mid-80s to mid-90's for my scores. That spring I started working at a golf course. From March until May I played 2 rounds a day on the weekends and 9 holes a day during the week after school. From May until August I played 1-3 full rounds every single day, with only 7-10 days off for a vacation. In that one summer I was able to go from about a 15 handicap down to a 2 handicap golfer. I was hitting the ball a lot better, my short game was sharper, my tee shots could be controlled, it was a huge difference all around. I played my senior year of high school golf and did pretty well, enough that I was in talks with coaches from a couple of different colleges. By the time the snow melted and spring rolled back around I had slid back to about a +5 handicap thanks to the break, but I played every day again the next summer. The best my handicap ever got to was +2.3 that summer, but stabilized at about +1.5 towards the end of the summer. Unfortunately the colleges didn't pan out, since the college that made an offer didn't have engineering. No big loss, I figured I could try to walk on to the team where I did go. I played in the US Open Qualifier the summer after my sophomore year of college, having practiced a fair bit in the spring, to see how my golf game was once I was through with the time-consuming "weed out" courses for engineering and could have time for the golf team. You can read about my experience at the qualifier in the thread below. Long story short, it didn't go too well. I changed a lot of things right before the event (including buying a new set of blades that I hadn't practiced enough with, having previously used S55 irons) and just overall played poorly. It wasn't the clubs' fault, it wasn't the course's fault, I just didn't play great. I kept golfing through the summer and ended the year at a +0.7 handicap, if I remember correctly, but never again got back below a +1. I know that my personal limits were found when I got to a +2.3 handicap. I was playing multiple rounds of golf most days for 2 months in a row by that point in time, and to see more improvement I would have had to be able to find the funding to dedicate my life entirely to golf. I would've needed a regular (at least once a week, but ideally more often) schedule with a swing coach, a place to live while doing nothing but golfing, and the money to keep buying balls and wedges (I was going through 2 sets of wedges a year for those two years) as well as entering more and more tournaments. I wouldn't have been able to make do just by playing the same "average" course every day (Saddleback Golf Club, not a bad course but the greens were always rough and slow), and I would've needed to have access to multiple different championship quality layouts to practice on and hone my skills. It's possible that with that kind of work I could've gotten to better than a +3, and I think it's possible I MAY have reached as good a game as a +4 if I hit a hot streak for one handicap revision. I could have possibly even reached the sectional qualifying rounds for the U.S. Amateur or the U.S. Open. Despite being able to drop nearly 15 strokes from my handicap in only 5 months, and being able to go from a 5 to a +2.3 in 3 months, it was clear to me at that point that I was never going to be a touring professional. To give some perspective about why this is, we can take a look at the post from back in 2013 when one of our members got to play a round with Graeme McDowell: and this later post in the thread: The gist of it is that Graeme came out to play in the middle of December for a promotional event with his sponsors (Srixon and GolfNow), and shot a 63 like it was nothing. To be fair he was ranked #12 in the OWGR at the time, not just any tour journeyman, but he still was able to shoot a 63 while shooting the breeze with a couple of other guys, talking during his swings, joking around, all of that. This is comparable to what you see from Monday qualifying results (https://www.mondayq.com/) where the guys who make it are shooting 67 at worst if they want to make it into the tournament on a PGA-difficulty course. The best tournament round, or round of golf period, of my life was a 65. I felt like everything was going my way, and I knew I was playing at the peak of my abilities. I was 5 under par the first day of the tournament (the 65), and 4 under par on the front 9 of the second day. It's the best 27 holes of golf I've ever played, and I know it is the best 27 holes of golf I can reasonably expect to ever play again. The problem is that I was shooting these scores at municipal courses. Decent courses, of course, but the CR was 70-72 for both of those courses rather than the 76+ for many PGA Tour setups. I played out of my mind for 27 holes, and even then I was 3 shots worse than Graeme on a day where he was messing around and 4-8 shots behind the guys playing in Monday qualifiers that aren't even good enough (or just aren't lucky enough) to maintain a tour card. It was the best golf I've ever played and I was quite happy with it, but that was when I realized just how impossible it would be for me to make the Tour and make a living off of it. Sure, if I dedicated my life to golf and had others fund my efforts I could've made a run at it. I might have even had marginal success on mini-tours, possibly making it into a Tour event once with a lucky Monday qualifier performance where I again played out of my mind (if the others didn't). But when it takes a stroke of extreme luck for me to shoot anything better than a 69 or 68, and even those scores in the 60's are pretty uncommon (my +2.3 was created with rounds that averaged less than 1 under par, just played on a course with a more difficult rating), it really solidified in my mind just how good and different the pros are even from amateur golfers playing at their peak.
  16. Vinsk

    First Time Out

    No hibernation for me. I play poorly year round.
  17. I played this weekend at my home course (6550 yards, 70.2 rating, par 72). On Saturday i played solid and score 72(E) but the funny thing is that all 18 holes i score Par. This was the first time in my life i did that and the 2nd time with a bogey free round. On Sunday after Par on the 1st hole I called it 19 to my playing partners. I kept doing that on the next holes that i also pared. The streak came to and end on the 6th hole where i made a birdie from 20 feet (yes, thankfully i didn´t end it with bogey or worst). So finally i pared 23 holes in a role. Ended the round 71(-1) for a pretty good weekend overall. Are there some more good streak in the TST worth telling?
  18. I got my first hole-in- one today. Par 3 first hole, Birch Hills GC.
  19. Today is a big day! The forum underwent a rather large upgrade. While most of the looks will remain the same, many of the features that go into powering the site have been upgraded. Here are a few of the highlights. Some will matter more to some than others… but all make the site that much better! In no particular order… Animated GIFs You can now add animated GIFs, easily, to posts with the click of a button and a quick search! Post Before Registering If you are a guest (this probably doesn't apply to many of you), you can now post and then register. We've had the ability for guests to post, but it was almost never used. This will allow you to post immediately when you have something to say, and then register an account afterward, quickly. Faster Loading Speeds The site will, after it processes old posts, "lazy load" images. This reduces bandwidth by loading images and videos only when you've scrolled to where they're visible. Blank avatars (the letters seen on new member accounts) will now be SVG files instead of images. About 20 other improvements were made to help with page loading speed, too, including improvements to notifications/follower management, member searches, stream performance, UTF8 conversions have been sped up, PHP-level performance. They've implemented rel=noopener when links open a new window (which improves browser memory management), cache/data store management has been streamlined and centralised, many background tasks and the profile sync functionality have all been improved for performance. Six Small Improvements Some smaller improvements include: Browser notifications were greatly improved. I recommend enabling them. Widgets can be displayed (or not) depending on the platform (desktop, tablet, mobile). Club navigation is improved. Announcements can now have URLs. The first one of these will point toward this article! Time frames are selectable now. Groups can have different styles! Email Advertisements and Other Enhancements This feature was added - we can include an advertisement in the emails you get from the site - but we have no plans at all to activate this feature. Please, virtually all of the money we make from TST to pay the bills and provide this site, for free, is from advertising. Please do not turn on ad blockers, or disable them from this site. We keep advertising to a minimum; please repay this by viewing them and, occasionally, clicking on one that interests you. I'm considering turning off most of the ads for Supporters, too. If you'd like this, please post below. Also, you can now unfollow content without having to log in. And we get a few more statistics on email, but again… we see email as a convenience feature for YOU. It's a great way to be notified of new things or replies or comments on your topics, and more. Application Icon Management This one's for me, mostly, as I'd previously paid to have a plugin to generate pinned Safari tabs, favicons, application icons for iOS/Android, etc. Other Improvements A ton of REST API improvements, SEO improvements (including pagination being in the URL instead of the query string and canonical tags), Email statistics, Admin Control Panel notifications, store filters and commerce updates, and more. More is here: Welcome to Invision Community 4.4! - Product Updates - Invision Community Were thrilled to announce that Invision Community 4.4 is available to download now. After months of development, over 1650 separate code commits and quite a few mugs of questionable coffee you can now get... Enjoy!
  20. Winter golf in the Frigid Mitten involves finding an open course, dressing in layers and accepting sub-optimal conditions. One won't get much roll in the fairway Casual "water" can be an issue And the greens will have some loose impediments Digging your ball out of a bad lie can require a bit of club cleaning Unless it is snowing, the courses can look very playable And you run the risk of running into some crazy old guy wandering around on the course. [Photos taken 2/5/2019 at Huron Hills Golf Course, Ann Arbor, MI]
  21. I was emailed by a Wall Street Journal writer who is doing a piece on the flagstick rule and below is the majority of the email I sent him in response. (I'll also mark any corrections I have to make in red.) I'm sure you may have seen the MyGolfSpy test results published late yesterday: https://mygolfspy.com/flagstick-in-flagstick-out-2019-new-golf-rules/ My testing was similar to theirs except that: I rolled the ball from closer to the hole than they show in their picture. From even as little as 5' away, a ball can enter the hole +/- over 1/4" from where you've aimed it. I only tested balls that rolled about 3-6' past the hole, as 9' is starting to get ridiculous for putting (when Dave Pelz tested it back in the 90s, the flagstick could only really be left in for chips, and 9' is more reasonable for chip shots). I rolled significantly more balls than MyGolfSpy did. They rolled 20 per situation, or about 480 putts. I rolled over 2000. Lou Stagner rolled about 2500, per his Tweet. I measured at more points than MGS. I measured at dead center, 1/4" off center, 1/2", 3/4", and 1" (at 1.1" off center the ball doesn't touch a 1/2" diameter flagstick). My results in a nutshell: There's a distinct advantage when the balls hit the flagstick versus when they don't. Because a ball can still go in at 6' past speed when hitting the center of the hole, the biggest advantages lie to hitting a ball just off center a little - 1/2" off center had the biggest gains in my tests, with 1/4" and 3/4" next. At higher speeds hitting the center would ramp up considerably, though, as a putt going 7' by will almost never go in the hole even if dead center, but will still go in the majority of the time with the flagstick in. I didn't note the distances of the average miss, but it was exceedingly clear that when a putt missed with the flagstick in the hole, it remained MUCH closer to the hole than the putts without the flagstick in the hole. Anecdotally, a putt hit with 6' by speed 3/4" from the center of the hole might roll four feet away, a putt length that's missed 10-20% of the time by amateur golfers, yet with the flagstick in the hole it remained at a tap-in length (under 2'). There are times when the flagstick appeared to kick a ball out that would have gone in, but that was balanced by the times when a ball seems likely to miss but the flagstick takes off just enough speed that it can fall in. Differences there may be due to just slight differences in exactly what little piece of dirt or grass or whatever the ball hit, or how angled the stick was at the moment the ball hit it. I did not test a flagstick leaning away or toward. I have no reason to doubt what Dave Pelz said years ago: a flagstick leaning slightly toward actually helps more; it deflects the ball downward and into the hole. In other words, the flagstick offers an advantage on putts that are going over 3' beyond the hole (flat green, stimp ~9.5). For putts that would travel < 3' beyond the hole, there's no advantage or disadvantage. That said, there are other small points that lead toward an advantage: A flagstick in provides even more fine-grained aiming points on shorter putts. A golfer could aim "right edge of the flagstick" or "between the flagstick and the edge of the cup" and that's more precise than aiming at an empty hole. The shadow of the flagstick can sometimes be on or near your line and provide for an aim aid from even 10+ feet away. Players who like to "take the break out" and hit a putt more firmly now have the flagstick to act as a "backstop" of sorts, helping them more. From farther distances, the flagstick has shown to aid players in depth/distance perception, making it easier to get your longer putts closer to the hole. (This is why I advise my players, both students and my college team, to have the flagstick tended when they're far away, even if they can see the hole.) Two other thoughts, if I may, with the last one here being somewhat important as it speaks to the failure of the Ruling Bodies. 2. Not only are putts that would roll 3'+ by if they missed a concern, putts have to also hit the middle 2.2" of the hole (1.1" from center). The hole is 4.25" wide, but a ball that hits the outer inch of the hole is completely unaffected by the flagstick. A putt that truly lips out or lips in wouldn't even touch a non-leaning flagstick, and so those results are unaffected. In other words, I don't expect this to have a BIG change in golf. The two criteria are pretty rare: - Putt must be going 3+ feet beyond the hole. - The center of the ball must roll over middle 2.2" of the hole. All other putts are completely unaffected by whether the flagstick is in or out. That said, imagine how much this scenario would play out differently: Two players competing and going head to head come down to the final hole. Both hit their approach shots to about 30'. The first player, the better putter, lags his putt to a foot. The second player, a poor putter (at least in this case), hits his ball too hard, hard enough that it would go 7' past the hole if he misses, but instead it smacks the flagstick and drops for the victory, when previously the best he could have hoped for was to make a 7' putt to tie. All of the above segues into what I think may be the biggest issue in the whole thing: negligence by the USGA/R&A in changing this particular rule: 3. The USGA/R&A (Ruling Bodies) stated when they first proposed the Rules change and again when they finalized it that there was no advantage or disadvantage to having the flagstick in or out. They also never showed any tests and this statement defied what we'd always held to be true, and what tests are now showing to be true: that there IS an ADVANTAGE to leaving the flagstick in. And the thing is, hitting the flagstick from a putt on the putting green was not penalized for about eight or twelve years around 1958, and then a penalty was added, so why go back? Green speeds changed, but the hole size is still the same so a ball arriving at the hole with the same speed and location will still fall or not just as often as in 1958. The Ruling Bodies used the "time savings" as the reason for this change, but which will take more time: Someone occasionally having to wait to putt when they're well away from the hole and their buddies are too busy raking a bunker or something to tend or pull the flag, or Groups with people of different opinions taking the flagstick out and putting it back in even once or twice per green 18 times per round? I could make the argument that this flagstick rule, because people are slow to accept the results of the studies being conducted on this, will actually slow play down more than it speeds up play. Only in groups of golfers who basically never take the flagstick out will the pace of play be increased. Dave Wedzik and I maintained throughout the commentary period a website at flagstickrule.com that voiced some fairly vehement opposition to this rules change. I emailed several USGA representatives and members of the Rules committee that I'd met and knew personally, and provided feedback via the commentary forms the USGA/R&A made available to the public. In each I expressed my displeasure with this rules change, and implored them to conduct some actual studies or tests so that they could see that their "no advantage or disadvantage" line was incorrect. They were derelict in their duties, in my opinion, and have changed golf at a fundamental level. As the brief time in the 50s, we no longer play to a hole, we play to a backstop. The poorer putters out there have gained on the better putters, because they're most likely to need the flagstick to help stop or slow a putt struck a bit too firmly. Imagine if the Masters or U.S. Open this year comes down to the last hole and someone smashes a ball off the flagstick to win by a shot! I thought that there was almost no way that this proposed rules change would stick, and yet it did, so while I'd like to think that this rules change will be reversed to what we've known for decades, my hopes are rather slim. I encouraged members of my site, The Sand Trap .com, to write too, and many of them did as well. They wrote to say the same types of things: that leaving the flagstick in IS an advantage, and that the Ruling bodies should actually look at testing this rather than relying on a guess. And again, I'm weighing all of this against the understanding that these types of outcome-changing events are going to be rare: again, the putt has to be traveling 3+ feet (on the PGA Tour 4+ feet) beyond the hole and be within 1.1" of the center of the cup to even matter. But hey, you can flip a coin and get heads five times in a row, and so in the final round of a major, there is a chance that someone that someone smashes a ball off a flagstick and in two or even three times. That's a very real change, both in standing in a tournament and in money earned. In a world where "every shot counts," I'm disappointed that the Ruling bodies didn't even test their basic assumption, particularly when the only actual testing done to that point (the Pelz study from the 90s) said the opposite and what we now see as the truth: leaving the flagstick in is an advantage. Dave and I have our recommendations here: https://lowestscorewins.com/tips/putting-with-the-flagstick-in.
  22. Elections apparently take a few days… even though everything should be pretty automatic. I meet all of the requirements, so I should be in with about ten seconds of double-checking. But it took a few days. My election date is officially July 2, 2018. Yippee! I'm now a Class A member of the PGA of America (A-6 classification). Now I just have to figure out how to get a specialty second level of membership/status (in coaching or something), and then figure out my MSR credit stuff. Typical PGA, but… they haven't sent me an email or anything. If I hadn't been refreshing my membership status page every four hours for the past several days, I wouldn't even know I had been elected to membership.
  23. Got nothing to do with that, man. Political correctness, that is. I'm big on personal responsibility, too. But this ain't that. This is a medical condition, and by taking a leave of absence and focusing on getting healthy from his disorders, I could argue that he is taking responsibility.
  24. 7 points
    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.
  25. 7 points
    Dr. Sasho Mackenzie had a quote in the March issue of Golf magazine that I liked. Listen, there'll always be science-deniers and the belief that none of what I or other researchers do is necessary. They're going to be eroded away. There'll be fewer and fewer of these people once the community realizes that science and technology are simply about learning and understanding better ways to swing a golf club. I no longer feel bad for the instructors who fight it, because the information's out there. If they've got a theory that's different from mine, fine. I'm open-minded. I'll listen. Maybe I've made a mistake, but if they don't have an argument other than, "I believe in my method," then okay. I can't do anything else. We can't have a logical debate. I just feel bad for the golfers they're teaching. Emphasis mine. Unfortunately, another quote applies: You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into.
  26. I really like this topic/thread. I am surprised it doesn't get more use. At any rate, yestetday Myself, and 7 other buddies played golf. We usually get together once a month, or at least we try too. Although we kept scores, the scores were not important. All skins lost/won were spent on each other at the 19th. Just getting together, and swapping old stories, that we have swapped 100s of times before. Some gamesmanship was brought up. Some thought so in so cheated with his foot wedge. Then they remember his feet are in better shape than his wedges. Other's wondered how Jack made that 40' putt. That, and how did I miss that 3 footer. The point of this post is that I hope all the younger players on this forum will have the chance to grow old, with golf buddies of their own. This so they can enjoy all the accomplishments, or non accomplishments they lived through with those good friends. Having old, good friends is important as we all get older. Care home folks need visitors...lol Some in our group go back as far as grade school. Other were picked up along the way. Different walks of life are well repped. The fact that we all golf is a plus. Well some of us have game enough to be called golfing. Others, yeah, well they own their bag of clubs. $10 sets of Sam Snead signature clubs are well repped. When together, we all ride in carts. Some can't walk to far these days. We try to not hold up other golfers, while letting them play through as needed. Faster golfers do not know what real pressure is until they tee off with 8 old guys watching them. When we catch others on the course we take short naps. This lets them get out of our shorter driver ranges. After a round, we all finish our meet at the 19th hole. Food, beverages and good times are had by all. The waitress is well compensated for putting up with us. Like the song says there are drinks for the living and the toasts to the dead. Yeah, grow old with golfing friendships. You will be glad you did.
  27. “That Rule is So Unfair!” A Rules Geek’s Generalized Guide to Hot Takes and Overreactions | Rules Geeks I apologize for the length of this post. If I had more time I’d have written a shorter one. – Erik J. Barzeski “That Haotong Li penalty was an outrage! He didn’t gain an adv… My reasons against a lot of the "hot takes" by fans over rules issues are: They Get The Rule Wrong They Don’t Appreciate that Rules Cover Many Situations They Don’t Understand the Reasoning Behind the Rules They Don’t Understand the Underlying Principles They Misuse the Word “Fair” They Assume Intent Matters They Think “The Spirit of the Rule” Matters They Side With the Players Take a few minutes to read it. I'd love to hear what y'all think (in the comments over there).
  28. My book arrived today and I am at my 11 year old daughters basketball practice. Tonight just got a little less painful.
  29. Posting a life update. Golf game may start to suffer a bit and I don’t have plans to do many more bigger tournaments for a while. But, I’ll try to keep it up at work. My future pga tour star was born last night 😉 he’ll get a club in his hands quick! Already has a good grip. I don’t know, maybe me just playing instead of tinkering so much will be good for me. A good force.
  30. Shot my lowest round, 63, weird thing is I was just missing it well and putter was really solid. Definitely had better ball striking (contact wise) rounds lately. Out of eight makable birdies putts, inside of around that 7-8ft circle I made six of them. Then made two 25 footers and chipped one in just off the green on 16, almost putted it but changed my mind lol I got really nervous on 17 tee, never been -8 before and just stuck with the process and managed to birdie 18. http://www.gamegolf.com/player/mvmac83/round/2432567
  31. 7 points
    There's a reason @david_wedzik and I trademarked the phrase "Golf is Hard"®. https://thesandtrap.com/b/the_numbers_game/angles_of_error Here's a par three that is often a 7- or 8-iron (but can be a 6-iron). A driver on a par five. And another par three that plays from 190-220 yards. In all three cases, you have about +/- 2 or 3° in which to hit your shot, or else we deem the shot "a failure." Set your expectations properly, and give yourselves the credit you deserve when you DO hit a fairway or a green. It's phenomenally difficult!
  32. I think most of us on this forum would sell our soul for an extra inch or two!!!
  33. Hey Guys. Many of you have probably seen the current spin chart from Golf Digest (50 yd wedge shot), but when they release it the colored dots are numbered and on one page, and the legend is on another page, which makes it not as user-friendly as I'd like. So I labeled each dot with the model to make it easier to get an overall picture. Hope you find it handy.
  34. Using a geometric compass to calculate exact pin placement.
  35. Had the game of my life this morning. Shot my age - 68. Par 4 4 4 3 5 4 5 3 4 36 4 3 5 3 4 4 5 4 4 36 72 Me 4 4 3 2 5 3 6 2 4 33 4 3 5 4 4 4 4 3 4 35 68 6 birdies, 10 pars, 2 bogeys I'm a happy golfer!!!
  36. Good grief, why? I’ve played for almost 50 years and never had anyone complain about that. I played today directly behind 3 4-somes of super seniors at the club. These guys haven’t moved quickly to do anything since the Nixon administration, and while we waited on every single shot, we still played in 3:20. Slowish by our admittedly fast standards, but if 12 guys, all over 70, none of whom were likely to have broken 90, can get around in that kind of time, there’s absolutely no reason anyone else can’t!
  37. Your quote highlights something that Tiger is seldom given credit for, which is that he has never (to my knowledge) tried to lobby for himself the way Jack did. Tiger is pursuing the two biggest records in golf, namely Sam's 82 wins, and Jack's 18 majors. Tiger is a student of the game. He knows golf history. He knows that Snead (and Jack, for that matter) have gotten credit for official wins in team events, very short field events, etc. that would not compare favorably with the Tiger Challenge, let alone the weakest official event Tiger has won. There have even been articles by reputable writers detailing some of the very questionable events included in Snead's win total. And yet, Tiger has never mentioned them, never even hinted that he's already passed Sam. He has always accepted the number the PGA has posted, and has tried to surpass it under the much tougher conditions of the modern tour. Same with the majors. Tiger knows that Jack won majors against fields with only half a dozen American touring pros in the field, or with over 100 club pros in the field, but he's never pointed out how weak those fields were. When Tiger was compiling his cut streak, or winning 8 and 9 times a year, or winning six or seven consecutive events, and being compared with Nelson, Tiger never mentioned how weak the Tour was during WWII, when Nelson was setting all his records. He knew very well that Nelson's win streak was set against very depleted fields, but all he said about it was that it was a record that would never be broken. Since Tiger passed Jack in career wins years ago, major wins is the ONLY significant stat where he hasn't blown away Jack's record. Tiger has over twice as many POTYs, infinitely more (can't divide by zero) Vardons, more money titles, more of just about everything that shows more dominance over stronger fields than Jack ever faced, and yet he's never suggested that "most majors" shouldn't be the standard. He just keeps trying to surpass Jack's record. That is in marked contrast to Jack, who switched his criterion for GOAT every time it looked like he couldn't reach the old one, and lobbied vigorously for "most majors" once he had that record. So at least in this area, it seems to me that Tiger has far more integrity than Jack.
  38. Heck, even when I'm out on the course by myself, I'm still holding a conversation with the other voices in my head !!!!
  39. To me, a pro not knowing the rules is like an accountant not learning about the new tax laws. When they don't understand the rules, they feel dumb and go on the attack, "rules are unfair", it's just ignorant.
  40. Yes indeed, what a great game golf is and a game that, for the most part can last a lifetime. I'm a senior golfer living in central British Columbia and I finished the last season with a nine handicap. I'm a member of a semi private club, the golf course plays to a par 71 and is always in beautiful condition. Our course is heavily bunkered and water comes into play on numerous holes. I started swinging a golf club when I was around 6 or 7, I lived on a small island off the coast of Scotland and in the mid 50's golf was only for the well to do folks. Our home backed onto the only golf course on the island so I was able to sneak on, find a couple of balls under the gorse bushes and whack away. I'm in my early 70's fully retired now and I will play around 12 rounds a month. Last Summer I had a ten day period where I just simply played the best golf of my life, I shot my age four times and bettered my age ( 73 ) twice ,,, totally unexpected but as we all know " on any given day " ,, I mean it didn't take long to get back to normal scores ( my average would be around 77 ). I'm extremely thankful for what I have, my wife who is not a golfer is my biggest fan I tee it up regularly with a super group of guys and we are basically all in the same handicap range. We have 112 senior members at my club and only 18 with single digit handicaps and last season I won the Super Senior Championship with rounds of 77 - 76. At my wife's encouragement last Winter I was professionally fitted for a set of irons at GolfTec ,,, what a wonderful experience that was. The fitter was one of the best in the Province and we spent a good deal of quality time together. The fitter was absolutely meticulous, I've always been a big fan of Mizuno golf equipment so I chose Mizuno. We narrowed it down to two models, the forged and the " Hot Metal " and I really must say that after testing both seven irons with the same shaft and using my play ball I just couldn't tell the two clubs one from another, I chose the " Hot Metal ". But as we all know it's mostly all about shafts these days, we chose UST Mamiya recoil 95's F4, I was quite surprised when the fitter said we were going with a stiff shaft. He finished the irons off with a Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 grip, they are wonderful grips. I had a set of Pingi3 irons with graphite shafts we checked the degree of loft in my new Mizuno 7 iron against my Pings ,,, identical but I was ten yards + longer with my new Mizunos. Golf ,, so different from other sports, I was a hell of a good right winger in my soccer team years ago but all in all you just can't play that game and many others ( football, tennis, ice hockey etc, etc, ) when you are in your senior years. So roll on the new season, probably around six weeks away, can't wait. I've been blessed with good health and I've had the opportunity to play some great courses over the years ( The Old Course at St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, Turnberry, Royal Troon, La Costa to name a few ). I will make only one change in equipment for the new season, my putter, I've had the same old Nickent " Pipe " putter for ten years and I'd gladly replace it if I could but I've never been able to find a replacement. I came across a Mizuno / Bettinardi mallet style putter that I purchased so that will be about the only change for 2019. In the meantime to those of you that live in warmer climates and are out there hit them long and straight and others like myself waiting for the snow to disappear hang in there ,, won't be long. Oh by the way for lessons on how to dig up a few bunkers and greens check out Mr. Garcia he's a friggin expert at it ,,, the as@#$%e ,,,,, Cheers guys.
  41. This is a bit of a "put up or shut up" kind of forum. In that spirit, I'd suggest that, if you care to be taken seriously, you find some way of supporting your claims. Perhaps some Game Golf or Arcos data showing real-life distances. Perhaps some Trackman records. Better still, post a video of yourself in the Member Swings area. Until then, you'll continue to look like a typical troll.
  42. Yea so, just to clarify to anyone who was wondering, (and feel free to skip over this, I won't be offended) I have this disease called adhesive capsulitis. Here's a link to the wikipedia page if you want a crash course in it. There's a lot of misinformation on it (for example, you cannot prevent it once you get it), but it'll give you a basic idea of what it is. The term "frozen shoulder" is a catch-all used by both doctors and physical therapists to describe any shoulder condition that is both painful and includes loss of ROM (range-of-motion). Unfortunately, adhesive capsulitis gets conflated under this umbrella term. In most cases, rest and some physical therapy will help someone dealing with ROM loss due to an injury to the shoulder; in my case however, PT is both useless and detrimental during the first year or two of the disease. PT only becomes effective once the ball-socket joint begins to "thaw," or rather, when ROM shows signs of returning simply on its own. My left shoulder became symptomatic in June 2016 and didn't show any signs of thawing until September. Even back in July I tried to putt, but the pain was so severe, I left after five minutes. That was a really depressing day. The unfortunate reality of this disease is that even doctors don't know how to cure this. If you see five orthopedic surgeons, three will tell you to get intense PT, one will tell you to get surgery, and one will tell you to do nothing for two years. The latter doctor is the one who understands the condition the best of the five. And I can do PT now that I'm thawing, but rather than do that, I'm just playing golf, which is doing the exact same thing, and is obviously way more fun There is some debate among researches how this disease happens. Some think it is caused by trauma, some believe it is genetic, some believe there may be a viral component. IMO, this is genetic. I thought this was caused by golf, but when the other shoulder became symptomatic in December 2017, and I had done jack shit for over a year and a half at that point, I knew right away this was a disease. The symptoms and their trajectory were exactly the same. Typically, when your second shoulder goes, it's less severe than the first. That was the case for me. Someone I met online who also has this joked that "maybe the 2nd one is easier to deal with because we realize at this point to not do any PT for it?" I agreed. This disease can also attack the hips, but it's much rarer. I've met people online who have had the frozen hip too. I had hip pain in late October that lasted 4-5 weeks, so I was scared my hip was freezing too, but it turned out just to be a minor strain from all the walking I do daily for exercise. I guess anytime i get hip pain now, I'm going to have a panic attack, but such is the nature of the legacy of this disease. Experts have told me I should gradually regain ROM over the next five years and that if I'm lucky I could get 90% back, which I would take at this point. I may get none or I may get 100%. I've met people online who stay frozen forever, with no thawing phase. I know people who are over nine years into their disease. I've met people who had botched surgeries that say this disease is a cakewalk compared to what they deal with now. Within the community, I'm one of the luckier ones, believe it or not. I have something like thirty CVS ice packs in my freezer. It helps a lot. I'm something of a pro at tying ace bandages around my shoulders without any help I also did do PT for this for months in the early going and learned lots of tips and tricks for rehabbing injuries. I definitely learned the frozen cup trick! Plus, I've always had some trouble shortening my backswing, so if there's anything good that comes out of this, that's probably it! Star Wars up in Port St.Lucie was awesome! Outback Steakhouse! Erik getting his usual coke zero! Yea, the sick thing about that was my right shoulder was JUST starting to become symptomatic when we hung out. I think I even mentioned it to you that my right shoulder was feeling weird, but it wasn't for two more months where the symptoms became great enough where it was obvious to me it was happening. Yea, following golf these last 2.5 years has been tough, and for long stretches I disappeared entirely from it. I didn't watch any majors last year. I watched the Honda Classic just because I live down the street from PGA National, but that was it. It was simply too difficult to enjoy it, partly because of the pain, partly because I didn't know if I would ever be able to play again. It's been fun the last couple weeks catching up on tournament highlights, guys like Tommy Fleetwood who have risen to prominence, and watching content from new social media stars like Erik Anders Lang and Brodie Smith. I even got a Mevo in the mail today. And yea, you're right about the shorter backswing. Maybe we should inject @saevel25 with a droplet of this disease to help him with shortening his swing finally? JK. I'm surprised I can hit draws with only max 90 degrees of external rotation from both shoulders. This condition has been extremely difficult though, as you can probably guess. I've gotten the blues at varying times in my life, but I've never suffered depression like this before. The wikipedia page actually gets that part of it pretty spot on. It sucks. But I like to think the worst is over now with this. I appreciate the reply! Yea, so ice essentially just numbs the area, so I get relief from the pain for only a short period of time, but it's better than nothing. Not everyone responds to ice with this, but I do for some reason. Heat makes it worse for me, and I even tried to do hot tub therapy for a while there. I agree that with this particular condition, ice doesn't actually solve anything besides reducing symptoms for a little bit, but I'll take any relief I can get. I basically tried to mix up my usage of pills so I wouldn't overdo any one thing as well. Aleve one day, Tylenol the next, then I would give myself one or two days a week where I would take a Percocet or Tramadol or other opioid. I was very aware of the addiction risk since I know that a huge percentage of people who end up addicted start from the exact situation I was in: chronic pain. It can be from a sports injury, cancer, a car accident, whatever. The rest of the days, I simply just suffered and drank a glass of wine or ate crap. It sucked. I took a ton of vitamins and did try to eat healthy on some days, but I'm not sure it did anything. The avatar works even better when Brandel is in some sort of controversy or scandal. Like when he blocked Dufner or when he makes some claim that has been proven false already. And thanks for the compliments on the post. That advice I gave @Faksakes this morning was definitely born out of learning it the hard way. I simply don't have the strength anymore to waste my time figuring things out on my own. Maybe those of you who have been blessed with decent health can take this advice to heart and focus more on working with a qualified instructor. It really is a waste of time to go searching for it through the dirt because, frankly, life's too short and I'm not Ben Hogan. I just cannot afford to waste a single swing working on the wrong thing anymore. I only get so many swings I can make in a month so I have to make them all count. This doesn't mean I don't have to work hard to get better, I just can't afford to work on the wrong thing. It's funny that I haven't run into her once in like a year and a half or something. I used to see her all over town, but that time at Bed, Bath and Beyond up in Jupiter was the last time. Shame. Maybe she left town? My stalking game is totally slacking these days. But thanks, Michael, I appreciate it!
  43. I'm hesitant to say "I'm back," but for all intents and purposes, I kind of am Granted, I'm in so much pain right now writing this post, I probably can't hit balls for like two weeks or something, but this is just a reality I'm living in right now. The good news is, I'm trending in the right direction with my recovery, so over the next few years, it should get a bit better each week. But I don't want to jinx anything. I played my first round back a few weeks ago, shooting 95 from 6199 yards at Abacoa. You'll notice a bottle of wine in the top left corner. Yea, chronic pain sucks. It took three weeks for the pain to subside after this round. I used to never drink too, but now, a couple glasses of wine is better than more oxycodone and vicodin. 2.5+ years of chronic pain and counting takes its toll. I'll be alright with this stuff, don't worry. Pain killers are a necessary evil to getting through chronic pain, and I'm thankful I had a doctor who understood this. I resisted taking anything for over a year, but I broke down eventually. I can honestly say that they helped me get through this. That aside, as soon as the pain went away from that round, I went back to Abacoa on Friday and filmed my swing to see what the hell it looked like after all this time. Here it is: A face-on pitching wedge, first of the day. Maybe you noticed how fat I got since 2016? Yea, comfort eating helps too. So yea... first observation was, "yikes." Followed by, "I probably don't need to see a DTL view," followed by, "Christ, my hips don't effing slide anymore." So after some practice, I finally got this picture about an hour later: Also, the ball position was too far back so I moved it forward. This 2nd swing is a six iron. A bit better. Ball probably needs to be a bit more forward here too. Afterwards, I went into the clubhouse to get some lunch when I ran into Brian Creghan, who IMO is a good teacher. We caught up on the last few years, and he was genuinely happy to see me. I showed him video of my swing, and he said if I wanted he could give me a free half an hour after lunch, so being how I'm not totally stupid, I accepted right away. He agreed I needed to slide my hips and shit, but also told me to swing my arms across my chest faster relative to the pivot. I agreed right away. Then he has me do this old Mac drill where I hit a bunch of balls in a row without thinking much. I'd never heard of this, but it was pretty cool how it did unlock some better sequencing right away. After that, I practiced it on my own for a little while before heading home, mixing in some slow-steady drills that I learned from Erik and Mike. It was a great day, the first where I got to work on my swing in a very, very long time. As you may have guessed, the pain the next day sucked, and well, I'm feeling it still today, four days later. It stinks, but it is what it is. I can't make my shoulders worse by doing this, and from what I understand about this disease, I'm actually helping it in the long run by golfing. Also, maybe you noticed my limited range of motion as well. I can't swing past A3 much. I can't externally rotate my shoulder beyond 90 degrees either. I cant raise my arms above shoulder height. I seem to have just barely enough to make a functional swing, but it's really hard to generate much speed. I probably averaged like 215 yards with driver in that lone round I played, and that's with a modern Callaway driver that everyone seems to hit 290+ these days. Then again, it's hard for me to give a shit about score or distance or anything like that right now. It's unbelievable to be back. It was emotional after that round. I had a hard time containing myself in the car on the ride home. I'm pretty thankful to be able to get out there again. I hope my health can continue to get better each day and that this isn't a one time thing. The last 2.5 years have forced me to realize how lucky I was to be able to play this game in the first place. So much in your life has to be right for it to happen. Thanks for reading, and hopefully I have more of these to share here over the next few years. I feel pretty lucky right now just to be able to write one.
  44. Here is an image that I will use to explore a little bit of my perspective on this. What you see below is a Shot Zone overlaid with a green and the nearby hazards. The size of the green and the Shot Zone and the hazards and all of that is irrelevant for this take, as is the player's ability level. It could be a second shot on a reasonably short par five for a PGA Tour player coming in with a 3-iron, or it could be a short wedge shot for an 18 handicapper - it doesn't matter. What matters is that this is the last hole of a match or tournament and that the player needs to get up and down (the actual score doesn't matter here - if it helps you to think of it as being for birdie, so be it) to win and to get down in three to tie. Finishing second is irrelevant. I've positioned the Shot Zone to maximize the chances of the player making 2 or 3. It comes at a higher average score, regardless of where the hole is located, but increases the chances of the player making 2 or 3. As you can see there are 30 shots in this Shot Zone. Were there more, we might see a bit more clustering toward the middle, but not a lot (Shot Zones are often pretty wide, flat bell curves - the "middle 50%" often occupies about 70%+ of the area). Five of them are in the drink - offering virtually no chance of making 2 or 3 (he'd have to chip in from the drop). Three are in the bunker - he might get up and down 0 to 2 times, or hole out 0.2 times (out of 3). Four are in the rough - he may hole out about 0.3 times out of 3, or get up and down 1-3 times out of the four. 18 are on the green, and he'll one-putt some of those for birdie, and will average two-putting the rest. In this type of situation, you can't play for the lowest average score - you've got to GamePlan for the highest odds of getting 2 or 3. So, the player built a proper GamePlan here. Yet five out of 30 times, when his ball finds the drink, hitting what is a perfectly normal shot this player is going to look to blame something, and quite often, that player is going to look to blame his mental game. Seven more times, when he pulls it into the bunker or long/left into the rough, he's likewise going to seek out something to blame, though not quite as severely as he still has a small chance of holing out or getting up and down. Roughly 8-12 times out of 30, this player is going to look to blame something, despite every shot seen here fitting within his normal distribution of shots, within his Shot Zone. THIS is one of the reasons why the average golfer vastly over-states the mental game aspect. Everyone is going to be a bit nervous on this shot, and yes, there are rare cases where a guy flubs this shot so badly that it doesn't come close to fitting into the Shot Zone (remember, though, a Shot Zone for a 90s golfer includes only about 80% of their shots - the other 20% aren't even really true "outliers"). The player who shanks this shot or lays the sod over it might have had a mental game issue, but those times are quite rare. Most of the time, players hit pretty normal shots that fit within their Shot Zone. But because of the small sample size of one, because of the human nature to try to find a pattern and/or to place blame, they often arrive at "the mental game." Though baseball has recently slightly softened its stance that there's no such thing as "clutch" hitting (and if you look at the "clutch" hitters, you'll often find that the list is full of nobodies, not the stars of the game), the truth of the matter is that we as humans seek out patterns, and the larger the emotional weight, the more we seek out a pattern and/or blame. For example, as a kid, I remember thinking that every time Lee Smith came in to close the game against my Pirates, that the Pirates were going to win. It felt like the Pirates owned Lee Smith, despite him being one of the pre-eminent closers of the era. The truth is probably that the Pirates had a slightly better chance against him than average, but that Lee Smith still did his job more often than not. But because overcoming a 4-2 deficit with a walk-off homer one time (or whatever), followed by a scrappy 4-3 victory when he came in at 2-3 and a runner on first… it cemented a pattern that was really just two random events occurring close together. A small sample size. Is this player more clutch than the one above? Less of a choker? No. That player is just better. They aimed at the same place; if they were truly attempting to get 2 or 3, they'd aim a bit further left to get rid of those two water balls. But I kept the center of the Shot Zone the same to make the point more clearly that two players could literally have the same GamePlan, but the better player is still going to win more often through skill, not mental game. A lot of people will tell you that Tiger Woods is a "clutch" putter, right? Heck, he made a 15-footer on bumpy greens to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open, right? "Expect anything different?" Well, if you understand the statistics, you would have and should have expected that putt to miss. That was what was likely to happen. And you should have expected this putt to go in, and yet… it didn't: Why? Sample size. From 2.5 feet or so, Tiger is gonna make 99 out of 100. This was the 1 that missed. The putt mattered, too, as it was in a major and as we know, Tiger Woods hates making bogeys… so how do you think he feels about making double bogeys? What's Scott Hoch remembered for? Missing a short putt at Augusta National. But that's one putt, and Scott Hoch was known for years as a human ATM, as he cashed good sized checks at a ton of PGA Tour events, winning 11 times. Humans are really, really bad at detaching emotion and failing to understand randomness. I've said it a few times, but you can have a crappy mental approach to a shot, and still hit a good shot. In the post-shot routine, you don't go back and "blame" your mental game because you feel there's no "blame" to assign. Likewise, you can have a good mental game, but if you put the shot in the water, humans will often go back and play a little revisionist history (or blame a gust of wind that didn't affect the shot at all, or something) - they'll say "you know I was never quite ready over that one" or something. I'm a pretty darn good putter. I win a lot of putting competitions and I'd be one of the better putters on the PGA Tour if I was put out there. I once holed 15 out of 28 putts in a match against Dave, all over 20 feet, including the final putt from about 25 feet to close out our second match which went to a tenth hole (the first match was 18 holes and he lost by about six). I realize, though, that I'm no more "clutch" than anyone else. I just make a few more putts over a large enough sample size than someone else. Another thing people don't realize? Out of the 30 shots above (golfers often take about 34 full swings in a round of golf - 18 tee shots and ~16 approach shots. Some days you get a pretty even distribution. Some days you hit a few more of the poor shots from the Shot Zone above, and some days you hit more of the good shots. Imagine you bet $1000 on flipping a coin, and you choose a coin because it was minted in your birth year. You choose "Tails" every time, and the first three times you flip the coin it lands on tails, and you win $3,000. You'll probably go around saying "this is my lucky quarter, it never lets me down." Then suppose that the next time, you get heads, and lose. But then you get tails two more times… your mentality continues to be reinforced. It doesn't matter that if you continued to use the coin, it'd average out to 50% over time. You're looking at a small sample size of random events and, because of the emotional context, assigning far more value to it than you should. The coin isn't "lucky" just as the guy with either the smaller Shot Zone or the guy who randomly hits a good shot instead of a water-bound shot isn't "more clutch" or "have a better mental game." When Trump was elected, I heard a bunch of people saying "oh, the polls have him at 10 or 15%" or something. That statement would often be followed by "he's got no chance at all!" A 15% chance is not much smaller than the odds of playing Russian Roulette with a six-shooter and a single bullet… yet humans are bad at understanding chance or probability. Theoretically, if you held that election 100 times, Donald Trump wins 15 of them. It just so happened that 2016 was one of those times when the bullet was in the chamber and not in one of the other five spots in the revolver. Again, humans are typically very bad at this sort of stuff, because: Humans are emotional. Humans seek to place blame and find patterns. Humans are bad at understanding probability. Humans would often rather blame their minds rather than their physical abilities. All of those things speak to why human beings vastly over-state the importance of the "mental game." P.S. I'm still not talking about outliers, but those people are outliers for a reason: they're abnormal. If you literally have the yips on short putts with any pressure, or you can't find the clubface when you're down twenty bucks despite otherwise playing to a 5… you're an outlier with a glaring mental game weakness. Get help and improve. P.P.S. I don't count GamePlanning as a mental game thing. A 90s golfer can learn in 45 minutes how to GamePlan almost perfectly for the rest of his life. It's an SV④ skill in LSW, but not one that you have to "practice" - you just have to learn it once, ideally from the last half of Lowest Score Wins. 🙂
  45. Here we go. These are the pictures from 10-27-18. Made a lot of changes. Most of it was very natural for me and it mostly how I used to swing. There’s a chance progress will fast...probably best that it’s winter and I won’t be able to push it too fast.
  46. On the list of Things That Annoy Me, "lying about driver distance" is somewhere around 22,313. "People ranting on the internet about people lying about driver distance" is at 22,312. 😂
  47. Incorrect. See the post from @Asheville above. Yes, you may. Let’s say you’re playing in the US Open with really fast greens. A putt misses the hole and goes farther than you thought it would and it’s headed off the green. WAY off the green. You might be tempted to run up and try to stop it before it rolls off by putting it back before it stops. But you’re smart enough to know that’s not allowed by the rules. So let it run off, come to a stop, then use this rule to get it back on the green and this time sink the putt. It could happen.
  48. So a friend and I qualified on Monday for the US Final of the Audi Quattro Cup. We now play at Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay in September. Still quite numb about it. We couldn't have played any better. Texas scramble format where we both tee off and play alternate shot from that point to the hole. We only missed one putt inside 10 feet and only had one of our six birdie putts outside 12 feet. Both of us drove it well and only made one bogey...very stress free (until the end when we realized we were probably close to winning.) Get to check Pebble off the bucket list. Basically for free. Crazy.
This leaderboard is set to New York/GMT-04:00

  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...