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About lipout

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  1. OK, I take the points from sean_miller. I was not thinking about advice to kids or about advice for people who are naturally talented. I agree that they learn differently. I was following the core idea of the thread which was how unrealistic and inefffective adult golf learning is. I was not thinking we needed more "how to swing" information. I actually think we have too much of that. I was thinking in a different direction altogether: how to learn, perhaps including things like how to avoid some of the many pitfalls that make adult golf learning so unsuccessful. Has this been done already? Is this something that might help with the general topic of low productivity from lessons?
  2. I agree that most lessons end up being a waste of time. Lessons are often just 30 minutes - barely time for a "tip" or a "fix". Everyone is to blame for this. Amateurs for their expectations of improvement from 1 30 minute lesson, pro's for their willingness to go along with that and offer a tip or fix. TV pundits for confusing everyone with their pet theories. Pro's who write books and DVD's that promote themselves and contradict each other. And finally amateurs again for not practicing enough, not practicing effectively and not having a consistent setup. And I agree with iacas, many pro's are useless. Out of 7 pro's I have had lessons from over 8 years, 1 was only interested in selling me new clubs, 1 spent half of each lesson strapping me into all sorts of measurement gizmos and then confused the heck out of me with technicalities, 2 failed to find anything for me to work on "you have a nice looking swing, I can't see what the problem is", 1 was just using the video and trying to make me look like Ernie Els, 1 was able to come up with useful tips and fixes, and finally, 1 has made some fundamental improvement. So, my score would be 5 out of 7 stink (70+%), 1 was good for a tip or fix and 1 is good for developing a decent swing. I think the important point here is to separate full swing ball striking improvement from everything else. A single lesson is OK, for example, if you want to improve your chipping, or if you have suddenly got "the lefts" and need someone to spot something that has crept into your game. I agree with headgolffool that if you want to get the best score you can, most people would do better to avoid lessons on the full swing, and stick with what they have. They would do better to use smarter course management and improve some basic short game techniques. If you want to improve ball striking, IMO, get ready for some serious effort and take the time to find a really good pro. It took Nick Faldo two years to re-model his swing. It has taken me 4 years (and counting) and I think I am just beginning to see some early signs of improvement now I have finally found a decent pro. We need some unbiased, not for profit, advice for amateurs on how to learn. The advice needs to be far more specific than "consult your club pro", due to all of the above. Here is an idea: if it has not already been done, why don't sandtrappers get together and write it?
  3. Not sure why a shot has to be one of two options: bad luck or meltdown. I think there is a 3rd option: a regular poor shot, which might be a miss hit or an error in shot selection. IMO Stanley's 3rd shot was a poor shot, not bad luck and not a meltdown. His play from shot 5 onwards was worse, and is closer to a meltdown, but I still thnk that is too harsh in the situation immediately following the shock of shot 3.
  4. I agree, it does depend on how you use the term meltdown. I think Stanley hit the shot he wanted to, but he had not worked out in advance that the shot he had chosen might spin back into the water. To me, that is a mistake, not a meltdown. I would use the term meltdown for players who lose their game under pressure. Levin lost more shots over more holes, so he gets my vote.
  5. Early last season I switched back to a short putter after about 6 years using a belly putter. My conclusion about the belly putter (or other long versions) is that there are 2 main benefits. The main one is psychological. If you ever get yourself into a situation where you are convinced you can't putt, then a major switch to a totally different method can get you into a positive frame of mind. The second, and less important, benefit, is that you have fewer ways to move a belly putter. You cannot, for example, "push" a belly putter. I switched back once I started to properly study how to putt. If you develop good stroke mechanics, then I believe a short putter is better. You have more feel on long putts. When I first went to a belly putter, I truly believed that it was better on short putts. Once I got my putting mechanics sorted out, the short putt advantage of the belly putter went away. I would NOT favor a ban, based on these experiences. I don't think top players who can putt well have anything to fear from players using the belly putter, and I think it is good for the game to have other ways to putt for players who lose confidence. I still have my belly putter in the garage, just in case!
  6. If we talk about whether golf on TV is interesting, then I think the biggest issue is that it is the longest game by far (except cricket, which I won't attempt to explain). 4-6 hours of coverage on 4 consecutive days before you get a result. Who has 16-24 hours in a week to watch all of this coverage? It is not as if anything is happening on TV much of the time. And I agree with some of the previous posts about not really having a reason to strongly root for one player over another. So, if tournaments were 4 rounds of Nicklaus golf, 12 hole rounds taking 2 and a half hours each, you could fit 2 rounds in each day (as I mentioned in an earlier post). And you could get all of the action from 2 rounds into the same TV time slot as one current 18 hole round. Cameras would have only 12 holes to cover, not 18, so we could see a bigger proportion of the action. AND, we would spend less time watching them lining up short putts. You could pick the 12 most interesting holes as well, to build on another point from the previous post. Now, here is my latest question: if golf did that, do you think it would be a good idea to schedule golf tournaments mid week? What I am thinking of is finding a couple of nights when there is less other sport on TV. What are the days of the week, in the US, where there are fewer competing sports? Are there any? In the UK, the weekend is full of sport of all sorts, and there is also football (soccer) on Monday night. Tuesday to Friday has less sport on TV. How about Nicklaus style golf on Tuesday and Wednesday? I know that this would likely lead to fewer people going to watch the actual tournament on the course, but if it meant that more people watched on TV (and saw more action and a faster result), might that not be better for the game? When you start to open things up for questioning, as Jack Nicklaus has done, some of the things we take as "given" in golf start to look pretty strange IMO. I am starting to think that a resistance to change might be the thing that kills golf.
  7. Do any of you guys play in 36 hole competition? Our club championship is 36 holes in one day. Imagine, 9-10 hours of strokeplay in one day! They say that they do that because people don't play if it is Saturday / Sunday because they have family commitments. Now with a 12 hole course: 12 holes for round one, a bite to eat, then 12 holes for round two: all done in 5 hours. Now that sounds like a better day to me. On TV: Saturday: two 12 hole rounds, the cut and then two 12 hole rounds and a result. Wouldn't that be better TV?
  8. The key to all of this, IMO, is the willingness of the governing bodies to sanction varieties of the game. If they could sanction one official large hole size and 9,12,18 hole formats for scoring, then perhaps that would release course owners to try differnt things without the fear of becoming "not golf". Offer variety and see what happens. Right now we are offering no variety and are in an over supply situation. Rather than just keep closing courses until supply meets demand, wy not at least try some varieties to see if there really is a demand for something else?
  9. Hole size and Jack's idea about 8 inch holes. If I recall reading about this correctly, the origin of the 4.25" hole goes back to the size of a piece of drain pipe that was used to cut holes on one of the original courses in Scotland ages ago. In other words, it was an accident. There are a lot of arguments against making any change, there always are. I acknowledge all of these, and maybe no change is the best answer, but I wanted to point out some benefits of a larger hole as I see them Putting is slightly too big a fraction of the game. IMO. There is slightly too much bias towards "not 3 putting" as opposed to "trying to make birdie". Missing short putts is one of the main reasons we get frustrated with the game. Golfers put pressure on courses to prepare perfect greens so they get fewer missed putts due to irregularities in the greens. This drives up the cost of building and maintaining greens. Pro stats and TV coverage prove the point that you need to take care over short putts if you are serious about your score. All that marking and lining up of 3 foot putts takes time. Golf is too slow and TV coverage is way too slow. In the UK, they trialled something called "powerplay golf". I hate it, it misses the point totally. However, one aspect is relevant to the hole size debate: in PP golf there were two holes and flags per green. If we ever wanted to try larger holes, you could have 2 holes, one standard and one large, per green. I have played it and having an extra flag is not a problem for playing at all. A larger hole, would, IMO: make golf less frustrating, quicker, more positive. More birdies on TV, cut out the lined up short putts. Allow "fair" putting on less costly greens. Tilt the balance of skill in golf just a fraction away from putting and towards the long game and pitching. I think Jack is right about the size of holes as well. He is trying to modernise the game. He knows what he is talking about, and I really hope he gets a lot of support.
  10. If 12 hole golf were more officially sanctioned, I can see some existing golf courses doing something like this: Take the 18 hole layout and find a way to create 12 really good holes. That frees up 6 holes worth of land. Sell off some land for development: this would re-finance some clubs that are close to closing. Lets say they sold off 3 holes worth of land, that leaves 3 holes that could be used to create a par 3 academy course for the juniors, beginners and people who have an hour after work. 12 holes would make golf a "half day" game if rounds took 2 and a half hours as Jack suggests. In my area there are all sorts of courses of varying standards. I think it would be great if some of them, lets say 20%, converted from being mediocre 18 hole layouts to decent 12 holes. IMO they would appeal to a segment of people who don't have the time or money for regular 18 hole golf. Golfers could migrate up and down from 12 to 18 and 18 to 12 over their golfing career as their time and interest and ability and income varied. I think Jack is spot on about 12 holes.
  11. I suggest the first step is to think in terms of this being a 100% normal reaction to added pressure in golf. I get it, I see it on TV and I see it with people I play with. What "it" is, is your thinking brain going into overload because you are thinking about all sorts of stuff that does not enter your head when you practice. Most of it is fear based. Fear of embarrassing yourself, fear of looking bad to others, fear of losing. The heart pumps, the adrenaline rushes, you rush your routine, you rush your stroke, you name it. Here is my estimate of the effect: if you take 10 practice round scores and average the best 3, then it is perfectly normal for your score under pressure to be 5-10 % higher. In my case my average of the best 3 practice rounds might be 4 or 5 over par (I play off 8) so call that 75. If I were playing in the club championship, then I could add 4-8 shots to that score easily. IMO that is 100% normal and why golf is seen as such a "mental" game. The first way to reduce the effect is simply experience: the more times you put yourself in pressure situations, the less fear you get. The next step might be to go past your fear threshold. Lets say you want to play well in the league, can you find any games that are more scary than the league? Play in those, then when you play in the league, it won't seem nearly as scary. Beyond that, we are in the realm of trying to direct your thinking away from all the fearful thoughts and into something more positive. Bob Rotella has a lot of books out on this, I suggest you only need one of them because they all seem to say more or less the same thing. My personal favourite, though it won't appeal to many people, is "Zen Golf". Having studied all of these books, I will give you my personal takeway. I have 4 questions that I like to ask myself as I play 1: Between shots, the question is: "am I present?" 2: As I appraoch the ball, the question is: "what is the smartest shot I can play in this situation?" 3: As I settle into the shot, the question is: "what is the best mindset I can play this shot with?" 4: Finally, after the shot: "did I accept the shot?" These questions are my personal interpretation and distillation of the various mental game books I have. Question 1 tries to stop you thinking about the past (that last 3 putt) or the future (what will my score be). Anger tends to be associated with the past and anxiety with the future. To get into the present, look around, look at the scenery, chat to your buddies, anything to be in the moment so that you can stop your thinking brain getting angry or anxious. Question 2 tries to get you to play smart golf rather than hit dumb shots. Smart shots are those you have a good chance to pull off and that take into account course management. The more angry or anxious you are, the dumber you get, so asking this question pulls your thinking brain onto a positive topic. Question 3 is all about calming down even more, thinking about even less. Your best mindset will have, perhaps, 1 swing thought and you will focus on the ball (or your aim point). This is mental setup for the shot, if you like. You can set up grip, posture, stance, ball position etc, but if your mind is thinking about all sorts of stuff, you are not mentally set up. Question 4 is all about dealing with your reaction to the shot. You will duff some, miss some, have bad breaks and so on. Acceptance, rather than anger or frustration is the key. If you go off in a club throwing tantrum or get down on yourself after a poor outcome, it just makes the next shot harder. One of the keys to golf is simply accepting what happens as being part of the game and then go and find it. If you are not sure what I mean by "thinking brain" it simply is my interpretation of the idea that the brain has different sections or levels. Some parts keep you breathing, some allow you to walk or hit balls, and other parts - the thinking parts - worry about stuff or get angry. The thinking parts are the parts that give you "stage fright".
  12. This thread has been quiet for a while, perhaps this will help get it started again. I have had TGM for about 2 weeks. Fortunately, I had read the book about TGM beforehand, so I knew that it was meant as a reference manual for teachers, not for people like me unless I was prepared for some serious study effort. I am on my third read, and I am starting to find my way round the book, the cross referencing and the language. I think I understand, at this point, maybe 0.1% of the book. But that 0.1% has already improved my game. My first takeway was that you were either swinging or hitting. That was news to me (and I have a LOT of golf instruction books). Then I got a slight grasp on what swinging was and where the power came from. Once I got the idea of "accumulator #4" from TGM, I was able to power a basic Stack and Tilt swing with body pivot and let the hands uncock automatically. That was a revelation to me. It moved me from a short hitter in my group to a good average in one go. I now realise that I have been "throwing" the club and / or over accelerating from the top all my golfing career and TGM has already given me the language and insights to start to make progress. My latest clue from TGM has been to swing the right forearm on plane. This is helping me hit from the inside. I would visit a TGM professional, but there are none nearby. So, I will carry on and get as much as I can from TGM. My take on TGM is: this is the "mother lode" of golf knowledge. But it takes a LOT of work. So far it has taken 3 reads, each one several hours of intense reading, to get 2 actionable clues. But I have spent many more hours and much more money with pro lessons and other golf books and got far less. I really wish I had found it years ago.
  13. I've been looking into swing theory pretty hard recently, and got some great help from a couple of the pro's who blog on Sandtrap. I won't steal their tips, but just to say that there seem to be some key choices that you need to make: hitting or swinging, one or two plane. I will let them join in with pointers on these choices, rather than try and give you my version of their explanations. The key seems to be to pick a style (in my case: one plane, swinging) and focus on executing that style as good as you can. The other key is to NOT incorporate tips without first checking to see that they are compatible with the basic pattern that you are working with. It might be that the "steeper" tip for you was a mis match for your basic pattern, regardless of whether or not you realised that you had a basic pattern. I had 5 lessons with one pro and all we talked about was getting the hands as far up and away on the backswing as I could get. Total disaster for me. As soon as I switched pro's my first change was to get flatter again. Finally, when I lose my game with tips that don't work, I find that the best way to get my game back is to take a 2 week break. After 2 weeks, you lose your feel and swing thoughts and then your basic instincts come back and you go back to the way you normally play. For me, a break is better than beating balls when my game goes. Hope you find it soon.
  14. Had my second round with S&T; after getting help from Sandtrappers on hand action. Played the whole round exactly like you say, HeadGolfool, no conscious hand action in terms of release. I did work on the S&T; idea of taking the hands round rather than out. I was mostly working on the S&T; left leg pivot and trying to get the hips sliding before they turn and really letting the club follow and do its own thing. Its working, I must say. I even had a hint of push draw, which really pleased me. This time I reckon I was at 100 - 105% of my normal distance, compared to about 95% of normal on my first round. Another thing that really pleased me today was that I was working on some of Utley's pitching drills, and it occured to me that there seems to be a lot in common between Utley short game and S&T; full swing.
  15. tshapiro and headgolfool, thanks for the replies. I am glad I am not alone in finding all of this confusing, I was worried that it was just me. I like the way that tshapiro describes release, it is literally a hold, hold, wait for it, let go. I had been thinking it was hold, hold, wait for it, then HIT. I suppose the clue was there all along in the term "release", but I was thinking HIT because of the books that used that term. Also, I don't think the way you both describe this is incompatible. I will wait for any more suggestions, but I think that a plan to structure the swing around S&T; appeals, and if I can think in terms of holding the lag and then letting go, rather than trying to fit a HIT into my action, I think that might work well with S&T; and do nicely. Appreciate it.
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