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Everything posted by JonMA1

  1. How dare you make light of something so serious!
  2. I think you overestimate the ability of those will little to zero talent and you may even underestimate your own talent level. I say that with the utmost respect for those of you who have some natural talent and put in the good work. Now if you're excluding those of us who started the game later in life, you may be correct. I wouldn't know. I believe an average individual may get to the upper 80's in a couple years under those circumstances, but IMO, there are some - and it might only be 10% or whatever - who have almost no chance even with decent practice habits and a reasonable amount of time in which to practice and play. Believe me, I'd love to be wrong on this one. I don't say this as an excuse for being where I'm at after 7 years. I certainly could do better with my practice habits, but I do put a lot of effort into trying to practice properly. While I'm no natural athlete, I'm not a complete failure at other sports either. Golf requires a certain level or type of competency, or understanding, or whatever, that some of us lack. I've always enjoyed stories of a player who, despite putting in the work, plateaued in the upper 90's or worse for several years before making a change or have some sort of breakthrough to become considerably better rapidly. Those stories don't seem to be common.
  3. My previous driver was an Adams 10.5° and had quite a bit of wear and tear. I did a considerable amount of research and thought the Titleist 915 D2 would be a forgiving and well-built driver. This was in early 2017. The new version was out so there were a lot of used ones to be had which were within my budget. I no longer remember the details, but there was something about the weight distribution (towards the back??) that made the club more forgiving - or at least that's how it was touted. The 910 remained a popular club but the 913 got some negative reviews. Before buying a used one online, I thought I'd check with the only pro shop in my area. He had several unused 915 heads and I decided on the 12° based on information I'd read here at TST. I had several options of shafts and since I was having trouble launching the ball high with the first shaft the fitter put on, I decided on one with more flex. The owner/fitter wasn't a tremendous help as far as suggestions, but that's just his nature. In the end, he sold the club to me for $175 which I thought was more than fair. He didn't have any Titleist head covers but gave me one from another brand. As far as anyone else knows, I carry a TaylorMade driver in the bag. I had the shaft shortened a bit last year. I sometimes question the wisdom of that but it's so hard to know what effect that had. I've lost a few yards and gained a bit of accuracy. Could be due to me being a year older.
  4. https://www.gamegolf.com/player/JonMa1/round/2388723 Practice round. Lots of penalties but somehow managed to shoot my average. Not sure how that happened. To describe the shot zone of my driver as the size of a football field would not be an exaggeration. Some pretty extreme two-way misses. I played the back 9 first and that's where most of the penalties occurred. Started to at least keep the driver in play on the front. Of course, keeping a drive in play does not guarantee a clear shot to the green... Yeah, fairway bunkers aren't hard enough. Let's put an island, a tree and a boulder in there for good measure. I can imagine the course designer looking at this bunker and thinking, it's missing something... I've got it! A boulder! It needs a boulder! But wait, a boulder by itself would just look silly. It'll need an island and a tree to go with it. Funny thing is that I don't think I'd ever noticed it before. Kind of hard to miss it today. I was pretty happy with the bogey on this hole.
  5. https://www.gamegolf.com/player/JonMa1/round/2386734 https://www.gamegolf.com/player/JonMa1/round/2386961 Played perhaps as well as I can the first time through the course and shot a 41. Probably the most balanced the game has ever been. Even though I 3-putted on 2 GIRs, my putting was pretty solid along with everything else. Not sure what happened on the second time through, but it wasn't pretty. There was some frustration (which I felt was justified), but easy to put in perspective afterwards. While I have broken 90 a few times now, that's not going to be my game every week until I improve.
  6. Not trying to pile on @DrMJG, but I think all those exclusions - and probably many others - go without saying. I don't think there's anything but respect for those who play this game with a physical or mental disability, especially those who don't require acknowledgment or preferential treatment. Plus, it's just an article. Who gives a shit what this guy thinks or how he writes it. Maybe a 12th reason why we don't improve is that we hope to find something meaningful in Golf magazine.
  7. I am by no means good at bunker shots, but the 56/10 used Hogan wedge I bought last year is a far better club for getting out of sand than the gap wedge or lob wedge I had been using. As others have suggested, put my gap or lob wedge into the hands of a skilled play and they'll work just fine.
  8. Not sure if this is what the author meant, but I took this as maybe describing those who can talk about the swing plane, tempo, casting, flipping, reverse C, lag, releasing the club..... They know exactly what the terms mean and even why they're important, but they can't always apply them to their own swings. That's just what came to mind when I read it. Most of the items on the list apply to many of us, but I still believe a lack of natural talent has a lot to do with why I still suck. 1. BS. I practice all the time 2. Yep. Probably the most accurate weakness even though I put a good deal of effort towards practicing correctly. 3. BS. Got fitted for my irons and my driver. That doesn't mean the fitter did a good job of course. 4. Possible, but with little impact. Could replace the 4i and 5i with hybrids, but that's not why I suck. 5. BS. I track my stats and devote practice to improve a trending weakness. 6. BS. I'm exactly as bad as I think I am. 7. True. Nothing like the example they've given of 150 yds, but I do expect to hit more greens with a wedge in my hand. 8. BS. I walk 90% of the time. 9. A little truth. I know a quick-fix is not the answer, but I sometimes practice (incorrectly, see #2) hoping there will be an aha moment or discovering that one simple thought or movement which is preventing me from seeing a little success at my single priority. 10. BS. I play the tees that fit my distances and still don't score well. 11. Somewhat true. I have a difficult time feeling or putting into action what I've been told or have read. I don't, however, buy into the "feel the club head" or "natural swing" way of thinking.
  9. I don’t know how much time you have for golf, but I think most folks would take advantage of savings by playing more often. You might want to make sure paying additionally for a cart isn’t mandatory with the promotion or on the weekends. Other than that, it sounds like you’ve done the math and that you’d like to play more often.
  10. Very frustrating practice tonight. I've been really struggling on making decent contact with my shorter irons, specifically fat shots. So I started tonight with easy 40% swings and abbreviated followthrough. No problem with those - good contact and draw flight. But as soon as I get my hands up and try to make a fuller shoulder turn, it turns into a hot mess. I just couldn't get it back tonight, even when I slowed everything back down. Towards the end of my practice, I started to use the "hit into right field" thought, bringing my hands in a bit tighter to my hip on the downswing, and getting a little right side lean on my followthrough. That allowed good contact on the last several shots. I never thought I'd lose the ability to hit short irons, but that's where I am right now. My GIR are the lowest they've been since I started recording them. As for the perpetual fail on key #2, my instructor suggested not flaring my right foot and keeping pressure on the inside of my lead foot during the backswing. While I like the idea of keeping weight inside, not flaring my right foot goes against the grain. But I gave it a serious try for the last two weeks and I don't think that's going fix anything. It's simply a matter of not shifting weight on swings when I hit a ball. The very best I can hope for at this point is a centered hip turn on the back swing, weight about 50/50 at impact, and a followthrough without falling back. I'm even failing at those far too often. The improved scores last month were very enjoyable while they lasted. I'll try to get back there, but judging by the last couple rounds and practices, it'll be difficult. Sadly, I'll have to return to not keeping score to eliminate frustration. My index will drop substantially in 2 days, but because I don't keep score on every eligible round, I don't considerate it legitimate.
  11. When I was a kid, one our friend's Dad played golf with one arm. He'd lost his other arm just below the elbow in the war. I wasn't following the game then so I don't know who he competed against, but he had a lot of golfing trophies in the house. On a side note, this guy was a bad ass. Nice as could be to all of us kids, but I'd seen him get into it with other adults on a few occasions and he was not someone you'd want to mess with. Welcome to the forum @One Arm Rick, glad to hear you're back to playing.
  12. I'm hesitant to give much advice because 1) I don't want to sidetrack what your instructor is having you do. He may have a plan in the near future to address some of the things I see, and 2) Not being very good myself, I could easily cause more damage than good. At the same time, you seem to really want some help. Also, I'd hate to see some of your faults become habits as has been the case with my swing. So again, take what I'm about to post with a grain of salt. I think at some point soon, you should address the lateral movement in both your hips and your head on your backswing. It's ok to have a small amount but from what I'm seeing, that might be the biggest reason you're struggling with your irons. As far as how? Lots of camera work and lots of mirror work. Start off taking very slow, very short swings - I mean very slow, very abbreviated. Once you see what you like, try to get use to the feel and apply it to hitting a ball - but again, very slow and easy swings. Until you can control what you're working on with that type of practice, keep at it until you see some improvement. Every time you're in front of a window or mirror, practice a backswing keeping your head basically in the same lateral position and not allowing your hips to slide back away from the target. Don't let your trail hip slide outside your trail ankle but instead, rotate it back. Again, put a premium on the move instead of how far or hard or clean you've hit the ball. That will come in time. This is not something most folks can do overnight. Keep your expectations of improvement reasonable. One more thing @Mark_k...
  13. I agree with all who use pace of play and enjoyment to decide. I also agree that a given distance on one course can be easier than that distance on another. Because I'm often fortunate enough to play as a single on days when there are very few others on the course, I'm able to play longer tees on occasion. It forces me to work on my long clubs more than normal. I think it makes for a very good practice round as long as I'm prepared to accept the higher score. 5,800 to 6,000 yds seems to be the perfect distance for me on most courses. There are par 4's that require a good tee shot in order to make a dog leg, the par 5's are reachable in 3 with a driver, 5w and wedge, and the par 3's are usually mid to long iron distance. Shooting in the 90's can be a challenge at this distance. Move back to 6400 yards and breaking 100 becomes almost impossible. There are certainly guys hitting as short as me who can do it, but they are far more skilled. My home course is a bit tougher than most of the others in my area and I play from tees just over 5,000 yards. I'm not really embarrassed by that as it matches my skill level (I've only broken 90 a few times from there). It's telling that a high percentage of the other members - some of whom are pretty good - play those tees as well.
  14. @Mark_k. What does your instructor have you working on? Is there a specific area he's having you concentrate on? If you wouldn't mind, please give us a short description of a lesson and the lesson plan he gives you.
  15. Same here. He's not just hanging in there and making cuts, he's challenging a very strong field almost every week.
  16. The courses I play have both trees and fescue/heather and rough. Never said or meant to imply courses with less trees were without hazards or less difficult. Two different kinds of trouble. In all fairness, I was clear it was a personal preference. You are probably correct, but we will likely never know. I have played this course which is considered one of the more beautiful courses in the country. And yes, it was beautiful to look at... so long as I wasn't playing golf. After the first few holes it became underwhelming. Well-maintained and as challenging as other courses, but to me, boring to play.
  17. This is just a personal preference and not how I think all courses should be. I like a lot of trees or least enough to make an errant shot costly (not necessarily a lost ball). I also find courses with a lot of trees aesthetically pleasing and more enjoyable to play than those with fewer trees. I don't disagree with keeping the original design or any of the other benefits for removing trees.
  18. What pisses me off about that is they probably have a good hip slide and don't realize it while I know it needs to happen and can't accomplish it. I had a co-worker tell me that Ben Hogan didn't move his hips forward. I just didn't realize there were many instructors who thought the same thing.
  19. https://www.gamegolf.com/player/JonMa1/round/2375856 After I don't know how many good rounds in a row, I finally fell back to earth today. But it was still fun to get out there with my son. The fact that it doesn't bother me to shoot a poor round is something I was hoping for... which is not to say I want this every week. I've shot the last few rounds below 90. i suspect I'll settle in to low 90's golf again (on short courses). I'm hoping to be able to accept these types of rounds as long as I can occasionally break 90.
  20. I'm 58, I'll take option A. Friends and family are overrated. Seriously, I'm pretty happy playing crappy golf with the prospect of improving a little and playing the game beyond the age of doing much of anything else. That, and I really, really hate airports. I think I'm too much of a homebody to travel for a living. Definitely, option B. Then again, the money would be nice. Of course, I couldn't spend any of it on golf equipment. But there's always fishing....
  21. Yes, that does have a lot to do with it. Even though you may have been using this as a general example, you have described my short game perfectly.
  22. Lol. I was going to type something like "even if I only used it once in a round" and then thought, no one's going to buy that.
  23. So true. I don't have much in the way of an arsenal, so often times it's an easy choice. But it is a rewarding feeling when you put some thought into a shot or club selection and obtain the result you were after. I'm not familiar with that spreadsheet, but I've always liked the separation value concept. Bill may have been joking about working on trouble shots, but I work on those quite a bit and I believe he does as well. Even players like you and I have the ability to learn how to punch a shot with just enough curve to leave us in a better position than by just punching out sideways. If that skill can help me get 20 or 30 yards closer on my next shot without much risk, it's worth developing.
  24. Hi @Mark_k, welcome to the site. I'm a high handicapper with a lousy swing who has absolutely no business trying to help others, so take this assessment with a grain of salt. What I see that needs to be addressed... 1. Head movement. This can make consistent contact very difficult. 2. Hip sway back instead of a centered turn. Turning your hips more instead of sliding them back will likely help a couple other things. It will allow for a better shoulder turn and may even help reduce the head movement. You are shifting your weight back to your front foot on the downswing, but it's a from a position too far back, IMO. I'm not sure if that's contributing to your hooks, but you won't find a lot of videos of good players doing this. I'm not sure what to suggest would be your priority, but it's best to concentrate on single goal instead of trying to fix everything at once. Fortunately, fixing one flaw can sometimes lead to fixing others. Hopefully, someone with a bit more knowledge will look over your video. They'll see something I'm missing and be able to give you some direction or a plan. Just take it slow and easy and be patient. Here are a couple of links that might help... Good luck Mark.
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