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About Covert

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    Established Member
  • Birthday 10/24/1943

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    Clifton Park, NY (north of Albany)

Your Golf Game

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  1. Three cardinal regrets: First, similar to CoachB25, as a teenager my parents (and thus, I) were Oak Hill members and we lived next to the first green on the East Course, so I could watch blokes like Arnie approach and putt. He once winked at my girlfriend. I could have hopped over the fence and played anytime, but I was more interested in girls, beer, and taking Oak Hill members’ cars for joy rides when I knew they would be tied up for 18 holes. Secondly, like Valleygolfer, last winter attempting flop shots on hardpan at Streamsong. It ruined my score. Afterward a caddie told me that nobody can hit flop shots on that course, and veterans often use a hybrid around the greens. Lastly, a week ago, at a local course, a crew was filming a golf commercial for TV, and I suppose because of my snazzy ensemble they asked me if they could film me teeing off for potential use in the commercial. I said sure and then horribly chunked my drive, which is hard to do. “Take another shot,” the producer said. I duck-hooked it into the woods. Enraged, internally, and embarrassed, especially by the disappointed look on the pretty camera-lady’s face, I just walked to the next tee without saying a word or retrieving either ball.
  2. The first hypnotist, a woman, could not put me under. I went again and tried one of the male hypnotists, and he couldn’t hypnotize me either. In my initial interview they had told me that very few people couldn’t be hypnotized, usually only people with low IQs. I figured this asseveration was partially a marketing ploy. After the second staff member conceded defeat, he mentioned that in addition to near-retarded people he had had trouble with CEOs. Luckily for my ego in this instance I had been a CEO. My goal is to improve without practice, as I mentioned, because I have only a limited number of cycles on my two artificial shoulders before they wear out. I am trying watching videos of beautiful swings, such as In Gee Chun’s, and then at home replicating them in very slow motion. This is practice of sorts, of course, and so is playing golf, and the slo-mo drill seems to have had a positive effect.
  3. iacas, what do you mean, "Please do?" Do you mean instead "don't" (blather...)?
  4. This isn’t the ideal place to blather on about obliquely related topics, but it’s my thread, and I don’t want to scattershot around this forum. Hands down, pun intended, the most frustrating thing I do is hit a long drive perfectly in the center of a par-four fairway, leaving an unobstructed sand-wedge path to the pin. But then I chunk the ball short and left into a trap or the rough. It blows my mind and I end up with a double bogey. I had chunkitis yesterday; and, uncharacteristically, against my surgeon’s caution, went to a driving range this morning to try to figure out what the heck I was doing to cause it. I thought probably not rotating my body through enough ahead of my hands, but it turned out that I wasn’t keeping my head looking down behind the ball when I hit it. I don’t know why messing that factor up causes chunking, but when I kept my head in place behind the ball it stopped. As I said, I have identified eight factors; which, if I pretty much remember to execute them, my shots are very good. There is probably no other way than practice to incorporate them into automation, but I am so hoping the hypnosis will do it. Not that anyone here cares, but tomorrow my wife and I are driving from Albany, NY to Ogunquit, Maine, and we will play the beautiful Ledges course just south of there on Thursday. Lynn, whose torn rotator cuff prevents her from playing, forecaddies, tends the flags, rakes the traps, finds errant balls, and helps read greens for me. She loves the golf course walks and camaraderie with players we meet along the links. Embracing golf courses as focal points for travel, combined with nice restaurants, makes retirement very pleasant.
  5. I think sometimes just committing to some kind of therapy, if you will, has an effect even before one commences. I signed up and paid, but haven’t yet scheduled my first session. And I know that one game doesn’t constitute a trend, but I played better the last time out, and the first time after signing up, than perhaps ever before – after over the first three holes shaking off a bit of a hangover from a dinner party. One-hundred-and-fifty-yardish approach shots on the last two of the nine holes I played felt automatic and landed within three feet of the pins for tap-ins. And I didn’t miss a single “makeable” putt – no three putts. With fingers crossed, I am heading out for another round this morning.
  6. I signed up for three hypnosis sessions, at more than $400. It’s not cheap. It will be easy to assess the results because I’ve plateaued. I will look into the various visualization techniques, and I thank those who gave me tips on specific ones to try. As far as eight factors being too many to think about at address, I know it’s impossible to remember them simultaneously. But having them close to mind permits me, when I make a bad shot, to know immediately which one I didn’t ply so that I can make sure I do in the next swing. Eventually the elements should become more automatic, even if I can’t program them into my subconscious mind. Incidentally, my hypnotist says she can do it. We’ll see, and I’ll report back. The will-o’-the-wisp siren is the thing that all golfers catch, the occasional flawless hole allowing him or her to feel, “What if I just always do it like that?” Aside from bad luck, such as the ball bouncing sideways off of a hillock in front of the green, every time I make a poor shot, I know what I did wrong; like, for example, hitting near the hosel and shanking, because I made a point of finishing the swing up rather than around and therefore pushed the blade a little forward during the swing. So the next time I just make it a point to feel like I am hitting the ball more toward the toe of the club. But then thinking about that, I might not rotate my hips through enough before dropping my arms and thus chunk a little. Or I didn’t keep my eyes behind the ball until after contact, and the ball pushes right, etcetera, etcetera. While I shouldn’t, and don’t, unless I have a recurring problem while playing, practice driving or irons at a range, I do practice putting, chipping, and short pitches, where most of the score is made. Chipping distance is the hobgoblin which requires a lot of practice to master, and that doesn’t tax the shoulders.
  7. Thanks, Rainmaker. My artificial joints are actually an advantage, and part of the reason I took up golf after I got them implanted. While I don't have much of a backswing (only about at 8 o'clock), the artificial shoulders work as smoothly as ball bearings. To make up for the limited arc, I train with a torso twist machine to strengthen my side muscles, and I also perform other core exercises, such as dead weight lifts, planks, and sit-ups, so that I have quite a snap at contact, and distance is not a problem. I take advantage of the senior tees, and the only greens I often can't reach in regulation are on the extra long par-four holes, of 450 or more yards. I did take a number of lessons getting started, from several pros; and one in St. Lucie, Florida introduced me to the square-to-square method for my bad back, and it works very well for me. I then took lessons for the various components, such chipping, putting, and getting out of sand traps, and now feel that I know the techniques well enough, if I can just remember to execute them properly.
  8. Thank you very much for your kind offer. It looks intriguing, and I might take you up on it after a little more investigation into the whole genre. If I do, I will gladly pay shipping, and I would also send you a check for $150 which you could rip up when you get the book back, or cash if I turned out to be like so many people who "borrow" things. But I would return the book.
  9. Does anyone have experience with hypnosis for golf performance? As I have mentioned, I started playing less than three years ago, at 72, compromised with severe osteoarthritis, requiring all four shoulder and hip total replacements. My degenerated discs can’t be replaced. My shoulder surgeon told me not to practice at a driving range or take practice swings, because every cycle of the synthetic and metal parts causes a little wear. He said I should just play like a Sunday duffer and enjoy the fresh air, scenery, and camaraderie. I’m too competitive for that, but I realized that without the benefit of 10,000 swings, which a pro told me were necessary for muscle memory, I probably couldn’t expect to be very good. I have identified eight most fundamental required elements of the golf swing; a couple, for example, being rotating the hips and following through up, not around. My wife caddies for me (does everything except carry the clubs, which I do) and ticks off the eight elements before every swing. Still, I usually forget one, or more, and often suffer a bad shot. But just as often I pretty much observe them and hit a great shot. On average, the alternating mixture keeps me at bogie level. I read that Tiger played under hypnosis when he was great. I wondered if through hypnosis the eight factors might be programmed into my subconscious mind, substituting for the benefit of endless repetition for muscle memory. So I decided to give it a try and I have my first hypnosis session scheduled for later today. It will be easy to evaluate results because I am pretty consistent where I am. I’ll report back if anything comes of it.
  10. My general goal is continuous improvement up until 75 years of age, at which point I plan to find something else to do. I started at 70, and I’m now 72. But it’s terribly frustrating. I winter on an oceanfront tropical golf course, and I have lots of courses around me in the summers here in Northern New York. I have no kids, or family, besides my wife, who forecaddies for me; I’m not on a budget, and I’ve not one thing in life that I have to do. So I practice and play a lot…but I barely lower my scores! in spite of seemingly discovering something new and important to help every month or so. Every time I go out I optimistically feel that I am on the brink of a breakthrough toward shooting under 40 for nine, my numerical goal; but it’s like every time I take a half step toward an impregnable wall; which, as if in a nightmare, I am predestined never to reach.
  11. I started playing just over two years ago, at 70. I took lessons and have put a lot of effort into it. But my progress has been slow. The best tip I can impart is the importance of strength training. I do dead weight lifts and sit-ups, but I am pretty sure the most important exercise for my distance is the torso twist, where you sit and pull up weight plates on a cable by twisting. These side muscles might be the most important for swing speed. They are large, but not normally used for anything, so they are flabby. I think I have doubled my strength and seem to drive and hit irons further than just about everybody my age I play with. But then once in a while I get matched up with some kid who hits 300 yards and I feel like repairing to a rocking chair and staying there.
  12. I’ve read that Tiger tips caddies well, and of course he gives a lot to charity. On the other hand, I listened to a good friend of Tiger’s, Charles Barkley, say on TV that Tiger is a horrible tipper and that Charles had to leave tips for him. So Tiger’s potentially got a quirk regarding restaurant tipping, while not being tight at heart.
  13. I think it depends on a person’s individual personality with regard to money. I remember Martha Stewart, when she already had half a billion, or whatever, going to jail because she couldn’t walk away from an extra $50 K, or something like that, even when it was illegal to go after it. Tiger couldn’t part with pocket change to leave a tip in restaurants, etcetera.
  14. Thank you all for the inputs. Iacus, yes, 300-plus yards exacerbate a minor miscue. Lazarus, I do get why a tour pro is reluctant to make significant changes to a swing s/he had perfected over hundreds of hours. But when $1 million, or whatever, is at stake, I think I would make an adjustment and work on getting the perfect swing back in subsequent practice – and I’ll bet some pros would make a temporary change. Rainmaker, I seem to be able to fix on the fly persistent issues that crop up, but after I correct one problem, something else will go wrong: Fat, thin, long, short, left, right, and a shank about every third round, just when I stop consciously watching out for the hosel; so I don’t enjoy many flawless holes.
  15. I watched Jordan Spieth drive way right time after time at the Byron Nelson. I had done the same thing a couple of times the day before. I went through the three or four typical causes and realized I was blocking by not rotating my hips enough, and I brought my drives back into the fairway by the third hole. I’ve been playing less than three years, beginning at 70 years old. Why couldn’t a pro like Mr. Spieth easily correct his push during play?