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Fred Fields

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About Fred Fields

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  1. Sometimes we do things with good intentions, but they turn out wrong. I started this thread with the intent that a golfer could pass along some tip that he had learned from his experience that might give other golfers ideas about how they could improve their games. Every golfer wants to improve, but except for taking a lesson, most have no idea how. It turned out to be a bad idea badly done. Sorry.
  2. I apologize. I started this thread badly. My goal is not to suggest that golfers not consult their pros when they need help with their game. My original premise is that if you ask any golfer, "How can you improve your game?" Just about every one will answer..."Take a lesson." That's legitimate. My suggestion is that most golfers don't play the best that they could with their current game because they don't think on the golf course. Here's another example...Don't cut the dogleg. If you watch the PGA on TV, all the pros routinely cut the dogleg. That's great for them, because there's a good chance that they'll hit the ball high and straight and long, and go over or past the dogleg. But if your best score is 102, and you try to cut the dogleg, you'll probably go into the woods or water or trash. Better to try to stay in the fairway and go around, and not lose the strokes in the woods, etc.
  3. Maybe I should start with an example. If you have a slice. It would be helpful if you teed the ball on the right side of the tee box and aimed across the fairway to the left side. This would give the entire width of the fairway to absorb your slice. Most golfers tee in the middle of the tee box and aim for the middle of the fairway, only allowing 1/2 the fairway to save their possible bad shot. And the opposite for hookers.
  4. I'm trying to accept iacas' suggestion. I haven't mentioned any enterprise on this thread. I have what I believe is a legitimate belief that almost no golfer knows how to improv his scores. I have another legitimate belief that most golfers don't play their best golf within their ability on the golf course because they don't use reasonable golf strategy. I'm trying to open a discuission of golfing strategy for mid to high handicappers to lower their scores, without changing their swings.
  5. My name is Fred Fields, I am 76 years old and used to be a 6 handicap player, with average scores of 78 to 82 playing a course which, at its longest measured 7200 yards, and I often played the longest tees, My average drive was 225 yards. It is my belief that almost every golfer, from Tiger Woods on down, wants to improve his game, but almost none of us know how to do it, except to take lessons. I have a theory that golf pros should teach 2 things to help weekend golfers lower their scores: 1. A simpler swing, which is more natural, and with which, it is easier to achieve competence. 2. Basic strategies that will help the weekend golfer play the game more efficiently. As to the swing, instruction, I think the swing they teach today is unnatural and unreasonably difficult to implement unless you have the money to buy a series of lessons, and the time and inclination to spend hours on the practice tee. As to the strategy, the only strategy most golfers learn is what they hear on the TV watching a PGA Tournament, and I contend that using a pro's strategy is counterproductive if you don't play like a pro. Have you ever considered this? What do you think?
  6. To get or not to get golf lessons?

    Dear Golfjunky, I'm glad you started us back on the original topic. I agree with you. Golf teaching professionals have an imporatnt role in golf. Your pro obviously is doing a good job helping you with the lessons he's giving you, and I'd recommend you take his advice and take a lesson on your short game, and be sure to ask him to help you by including greenside trap shots in the lesson. They're the easiest shots in the game...you don't even have to hit the ball. After the lesson, ask if you can take him to the bar for a coke or a beer, and ask him to suggest some strategies which, in addition to improving your swing, as he had already done, might help you reduce your scores. The lesson in the bar, could take 5 strokes off your average score...or more.
  7. To get or not to get golf lessons?

    iacas, I admit my criticism of the golf instructing profession is sweeping, because I believe that, as a rule, golf is badly taught. It looks like golfjunky has a very good golf pro. He solved Junky's swing problem, and he recommended a short game lesson. Junky is getting his money's worth and, if he improves his short game and, with the new info on his swing, his scores will drop. . I still maintain that to get the most out of his game, he needs to learn golf strategy. And the only way he'll come across it will be from Johnny Miller on TV, discussing golf strategy for touring pros, which will actually hurt the game of a mid-to-high handicapper. In fact, ask any golfer how he can improve his game, and many, even most, have no idea. If they regularly shoot 90 to 105, I believe they hit the ball well enough to shoot in the mid 80's,occasionally, and break 90 almost all the time. The difference is simple, as I've said specifically before, forget playing for birdies. Play for bogeys. Most golfers' swings reach their competence level early in their careers, and level off. Some, who are dedicated and work to improve their swings by taking lessons and hitting balls get better...some much better. But the statistics show that over half still never break 100. The golfing industry solves this situation by trying to influence these golfers that more distance is the solution, or 3 wedges in their bag, or spending $1,000 on a new set of irons, or taking an expensive set of lessons. I get it. Nobody wins if there is no profit. I'm a retired businessman. On the other hand, wouldn't it be better if someone at Golf Digest or The Golf Channel started teaching some realistic golf strategy for the high handicapper, Like: Don't try to cut the dogleg, most likely you'll wind up in the woods or the water ot the trash and waste useless strokes. Just hit 2 easy shots to somewhere near the green in regulation, chip or pitch to somewhere on the green and 2 putt for a good bogey. Play for bogey. 17 bogeys and 1 lucky par is 89. 200 yards in the fairway off the tee, and a 4,5, 6, or 7 iron, whatever you hit 125-130 yards, will put you close. If you practice pitching and chipping occasionally in your back yard, you can be on the green in 3. Then 2 putt for bogey. You don't need to hit the ball 300 yards. By the way, unless you're sure you'll break 85, play the shortest tees allowed. You should almost never play a par 3 over 175 yards or a par 4 over 400 unless your talent level gives you a sporting chance. OR A CARRY OVER 150 YARDS. Ask yourself, what's the worst thing that can happen to me here? Woods? Sand Trap? Water? Waste area? Being long of the green on the right side? Then avoid that! If avoiding the hazard requires a shot you might not make, lay up, lose one stroke instead of 2 or 3 strokes. Here's one my Pappy taught me..."It always amazes me that a golfer who misses a fairway 50 yards wide, thinks he can hit the ball between two trees 18" apart". Get out of the woods the easiest, surest, way possible through the widest gap in the trees, whichever direction that is. Practice chipping and pitching in your back yard and putting on a rug at home. Those are the shots that even the touring pros use to save shots. As for improving golf swings, you're right, that takes work and practice, and I'll grant, lessons. The overwhelming majority of high handicap golfers aren't even going to the driving range to warm up before a round. Most think 3 or 4 putts on the putting green, if it's convenient, and a little stretching is enough. They don't have the time to devote to improving their swings very much. As for pushing books, the only book I've got on this site is Tommy Armour's, an old best seller form one of the recognized best golf pros of all time, in which he backs up what I say. In fact, that's where I learned to improve my scores from100-105 to 78-82. And except for a tip from a stranger on a public driving range one night about how to cure my slice, and a lot of short game practice, none of that improvement was in my swing. And by the way, iacas, how many golfers at your club never expect to shoot 85?
  8. Driving Distance

    Wow! Blades4me got it exactly right! Distance is the most overrated factor in golf for everyone but professional golfers, and even for them it's not as important as short game, I'm an old guy...76 years old. In my younger days I was a 6 handicap, and often played the way back tees at Columbia Counrty Club, which any local golfer will tell you is 7200 yards. My driving distahce...225-230 yards. My best score from that distance...73. (That's +1, y'all) The reason for my best score, I was chipping and pitching close for 1 putt greens all day. Driving distance is ok if you can do it AND KNOW WHERE YOUR BALL WILL LAND! But 200 yards in the fairway beats 300 yards in the woods or pond all day long. If you want to improve your scores: Stay out of trouble, and chip and putt like a genius...and use a smart "weekend golfer" game plan, not Tiger Woods" strategy (unless you play the same game and can hit the same shots as Tiger Woods).
  9. To get or not to get golf lessons?

    Golf Junky, You've got the problem solved. Three lessons in 10 years, and those to fix a swing gone bad. I agree with you 100%. If you have a specific problem, your local pro, if he or she is any good, very well can help you solve it. Did he give you any tips on reducing your score other than "This will help you hit the ball better." Because hitting the ball is not the only thing you need to know to improve your scores. Every golfer wants to improve his scores. But almost none know how to do it, except to take a lesson. The real answer is, you need to have a strategy to help you get around the course in less strokes. Tommy Armour wrote a book, "A Round of Golf With Tommy Armour". It is all about how he played a 9 hole round with one of his club members. In the book, he tells the member what club to hit and identifies the target for each shot. The member argues with him all the way, over practically every shot. Tommy gives no other instruction than what club and the target. The club member scores his best round ever using the same clubs, the same swing, only using Tommy's strategies. That's what I'm talking about.
  10. To get or not to get golf lessons?

    Harmonious. You're right. This is a site for opinions and I've got dozens of them. Where golf is concerned, I disagree with the way it is taught...very vociferously. As I said above. If golf were taught better, golfers would score better. As for your specific comments. I appreciate The Golf Channel's commercials advertising and selling golf miscellany, cars, beer, etc. That allows me to watch it free. The gadgets I was referring to were the gadgets the swing instructors push during the swing instruction shows. That's unnecessary and more or less useless junk. I can't speak for the entire professional golf industry, but yes, I believe very strongly that golf is taught very badly as a general rule. Your average PGA Tour golf pro hits about a quarter of a million practice balls every year to make his swing work. Do you know any weekend golfers who practice at all, or anywhere near that rate? Yet Hank Haney, Bob Toski, etc. and your local golf pro have been teaching that golf swing since Old Tom Morris' days. What they should be teaching weekend golfers is a simplified, practical, easy to use swing that doesn't require all that manipulation, and precise timing, and with the complicated, unnatural moves. My criticism is that golf instruction is universally standard, and the standard is not effective. I'm saying that we need a new standard of instruction: 1. A simpler, more natural, easier to use swing 2. At least SOME attempt by the teacher to teach golf strategy...How to play the game. Most weekend golfers learn strategy watching the PGA Tour on the weekends. They don't realize that the Tour player's strategy is actually HURTING their scores, because they don't have the golf swing to play that strategy. And yes, I think that most golfers don't use their brains on the golf course. If they did, they'd recognize that the putt is the most important shot in the game...36 of 72 strokes to par are putts...the easiest shot to hit and the easiest to improve. Two putts per hole is playing half the game at even par. Three shots to every green, even the par 3's, would be a score of 90. Yet because Tiger gets suicidal at hitting a bogey, weekend golfers think bogey is bad. Bogey should be their goal! They should leave the birdies to Tiger. I have already made this rant too long. Probably nobody will read it. But yes, I've written a book that I think solves these problems; that, simplifies the golf swing, and that teaches a basic strategy that will help the average golfer scoring 100-110 learn how to score in the 80s almost without regard to his or her personal athletic ability. Will your golf pro teach you that? No! That's the foundation of my whole argument.
  11. To get or not to get golf lessons?

    Hacker. When I was younger, I tested my golf theory about distance. I took every club longer than a 5 iron out of the bag. The 5 was my 150 yard club. I played 9 holes and shot 43. I realized, in the fairway is better than distance. Talking about lessons...I'll bet that 9 months out of 12, the golf magazines feature "Power Golf" and "Hitting for Distance" as their lead story on the cover.. That's another example of how golf is badly taught. Tiger's last major win, the Open where he played Rocco Mediate in a playoff, and they were even after the playoff (after 90 holes).Tiger was outhitting Rocco by 40 yards off the tee. You don't have to be a big hitter. Some short hitters you may know...Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins, and some REALLY short hitters (averaged 240-245 off the tee in their playing days on the Tour) Calvin Peete (who won the Vardon Trophy for lowest average score for the year, and was in the top 4 money winners 3 times in his 12 years on the Tour) And Mike Reid, who was a winner on the big Tour and has won over $4,000,000 on the Senior Tour. Us old guys can still play well if we use out heads.
  12. To get or not to get golf lessons?

    Hacker, Don't be upset. I was joking back. I have relatives in Mississippi, and love and respect them dearly. I read your bio. I knew you were from CA. Getting back to the original subject,..Whether or not to take lessons. There are certain fundamentals that a beginning golfer should learn about swinging a golf club, and almost any golf pro can teach these to you. After you master the basics, unless your goal is professional golf, I believe that you learn more by observation and the practice tee, and yes, even tips from fellow amateurs. Example: Why do pros, when teaching how to grip the club always suggest V's pointing to the shoulder or counting your knuckles? The true relationship of the hands should be parallel to the face of the club. My limited experience with golf lessons is that the pro almost never mentions the relationship between the hands and the club face, Example: Most pros teach delayed hand action. What is the biggest problem for most amateurs who can hit the ball regularly? Slicing! What causes slicing? Primarily the hands arriving too late...caused by delayed hand action!!! And that's only two of the first, most obvious examples. In my opinion, golf is the worst taught enedavor in the entire civilized world. My justification for that belief? That fewer than 1/2 of all golfers, statistically, will ever break 100. I realize that golf is difficult. But if it were taught well, 95% of all golfers would play in the 80s and better. PS. Watch the Golf Channel. I think those guys are more interested in selling gadgets than in lowering anyone's scores.
  13. To get or not to get golf lessons?

    Hacker. I think that's the OTHER Fred Fields, from Oregon. The one who donated $150,000 or some other crazy number to some charity or golf course, or something. Believe me, That ain't me!!!. I have trouble donating $150.00 from my retirement income. Why do you think I wrote the book??? I've lived in WV and in SC. Both states claimed the 49th ranked schools...Mississippi supposedly the 50th. Considering your math skills, me having admitted to age 76 (and the other Fred Fields being dead)...You must be from Mississippi!
  14. To get or not to get golf lessons?

    Harmonious, You're right, it sounds like an amateur giving tips to a pro. Pappy always told me, "Never bet against a man at HIS game." I'm 76 years old, have played golf for 62 years, was a 6 handicap who regularly broke 80. But in my profile they asked what my handicap is today, not what I used to do. I shot a 79 last April. But I don't play much any more. That 79 was shot on a 6600 yard course, hitting 175 yard drives. However, I do admit to one area of ignorance. What is an Avatar? And if you want to know more about me, look me up on Google under Fred Fields, Golf Fred Fields