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About NeedAJoker

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  1. Just finished up my second real season of golf and although I broke 80 twice this year, I wouldn't say that is the norm. Have been floating in the 82-85 range, and really hoping with some good off season work in the garage, I can come out next year striking the ball better than ever. I am glad to see a Breaking 80 forum get going. Kevin
  2. This thread was absolute nails for me. Had Men's League last night, read this whole thread yesterday, spent a few minutes brushing the carpet in my office, then 25 minutes on the chipping green before my round, and used it on 5 of the 9 holes leaving nothing further than 8ft. Obviously I have a lot to do to dial it in but thanks to everyone for this thread. Kevin
  3. TAKE THIS WITH GIANT GRAIN OF SALT AS I WAS A 25+ INDEX LESS THAN 12 MONTHS AGO: This may not be your issue, but it is my miss, so maybe could be contributing? I have a similar path, and when I am hitting push fades my face is open because I am blocked out by my body. If I speed up my arms just slightly and keep my arms in front of my body just a bit, I can close the face properly(too fast and its hook city) without thinking too much about it. I found a thread on here somewhere where one of the instructors was talking about letting the left arm come off the chest a bit and not stay so pinned. At top of back swing, inside left arm is above left nipple, then on left nipple, then below. Mine was pinned high and I never let it drop, hence the body getting in the way and my face being stuck open. Might be worth a look and if not, just disregard. Kevin
  4. Ugh I have been in a similar spot lately as I took up golf recently and all of my local friends are absolute hacks. I got to a point where I was spending more time looking backwards at the group behind to see if they got to the tee yet and/or were flailing their arms at us, than I was thinking about my upcoming shot. It is not a fun way to play golf. In my experience, if he is a noob, he most likely will start getting slightly better and faster as he goes, and won't be so oblivious to his surroundings once he gets stuck behind a few slow groups and starts realizing how annoying it is. Maybe you can just dodge the next few rounds he goes out and hope that he begins to either: A) Really enjoy the game and start putting time into learning and therefore speeding up B) Continues to hack and give up the game There obviously is the chance that he continues to play at the same terrible level and pace, but wouldn't his brother(your buddy) get fed up and say something? If your buddy is unaware and oblivious, I can't imagine he is the best playing partner for the future anyways. Kevin
  5. I had this worry last year and ended up building a garage simulator and that helped a ton, but on top of that, you should see if any local instructors do a winter series. My instructor does a package with 12 weekly lessons for pretty inexpensive, much less than a standard lesson outdoors during peak season. Quick 30 minute lessons on his simulator, gave me the drills I needed for mirror/video work at home. Made a huge difference. Good luck.
  6. Wanted to post a quick update as I just walked off my best round ever, 78! I am pumped, but at the same time a bit bummed as I had a triple on the front blocked out by trees twice, and then proceeded to bogey 16, 17 and 18. I knew I shot a 39 on the front and was having a great back, but I wasn't really even thinking about breaking 80 again so that wasn't what got to me unless it was subconscious. Short game was dialed all round, taking a ton of pressure off my putting, but just got a little pull-y on the last few holes and couldn't make the putts. Speaking of putting, after my last post I was browsing some putting threads and got on one talking about using Left Hand Low. I never have tried anything besides conventional, but I hit a few putts on my little practice mat and they were going dead straight so I put it in play today with literally 30 putts ever that way and I putted better than I ever have. The ball just seems to stick straight on my intended line like it is on a track and it never deviates. Can't wait to see what I will be able to do once I start practicing it. Oh what could have been, but isn't that why we love this game so damn much? I can't wait to play again. Happy Holiday Weekend to everyone! Kevin
  7. I started a private blog as I like to post daily, sometimes more as I have new thoughts, so I didn't want to keep bombarding the boards with my thread always being at the top. I have gotten so much from these boards that I want to keep everyone in the loop though, so I will keep updating this as long as anyone is still interested. Things had been progressing nicely, scores were coming down a bit, but in May I got a bit complacent with my practice, just started beating balls at the range, and it really was showcased when I made a trip down to Portland, OR to visit and play with my buddies(2hcp's) at the end of May. Similar to before the Vegas trip in December, I tried really hard, practiced a ton in hopes that I finally could play well with my friends and show them all the progress I had made. I mean since I last played with them, I broke 90, broke 80, and surely I might even be able to take some cash off them in skins. Well, in those 3 days and 45 holes, I think I maybe hit 5 good shots total. It was really defeating, and I couldn't keep the ball in play. Went 45, 92, 92. My game felt like it did middle of 2015. 100's of hours of study and practice, well in excess of $9k+ spent in the last 12 months, and I wasn't a lick better than before. The next week, I went to play a mountain course by our lake cabin in Idaho, and same thing, just awful. Lost probably 8-10 balls. After that round, I vowed to change everything and get back to disciplined practice. So I did. I broke out the camera and tripod, and started taking good video again, and low and behold, a few of my old crappy moves crept back into my swing. My very first lesson a few years ago, my first priority piece was minimize lateral sway. June 9th, 2016, 2 years after that lesson. Seriously?: This ended up being such a root of awful things, and once I made a very disciplined effort to minimize it and really turn away from the ball, all the other things I have been working on with swing plane, takeaway, open impact, etc all finally fell into place and I started hitting the ball better than ever, by far. I was actually really surprised how fast it came together, that move was just killing me and I was losing all my angles on my shift back to the ball, stalling and then dumping it fat. Since the changes, June has been great, and my Handicap has dropped from about 15.5 at the start of June, to 13.7 as of my round yesterday. The past two days I have played 18 at a local course, and the results are a perfect picture of where my game is at right now: Monday 49/40-89- Front 9 was terrible, but had 7 pars on the back 9 and had my then career best 9 pars for the round. My irons and wedges are really dialed for me, hitting most greens/fringe from <175, leaving myself an average of 12-15 feet. My problem this round was putting, I simply couldn't make a putt, and missed a ton of birdie attempts, leaving them 4 feet short, and then 3 putting. Of those 7 pars on the back, 3 or 4 were 5ft or less bird putts and I missed everyone on the edge. Tuesday -40/45-85- I started just where I left off, 5 GIR's, 6 pars on the way to a 40 on the front. Sweet, my last 18 holes have been played at 80, and it was the front and back of the same course, so that was cool. Onto the back 9 and things went to hell. Duffed shots, a few slices off the planet off the tee, not good. Overall I ended up with my now career best 10 pars, but had 8 GIR's with birdie putts and missed every one of them. All 2 putts. Some were <8ft too, so that sucks. Had 4 doubles on the back to kill what was likely my way to my second round in the 70's. Summary -Things are coming together, I can truly feel how close things are, and I think a few more putting practice rounds, and just a little bit of work to groove some swing thoughts so I don't have so many standing over the ball will help a lot. I am going to take some really good videos tomorrow after I rest today and will throw them up in MySwing thread. Thanks for reading. Kevin
  8. Having my first child next week so this put a big smile on my face. Thanks for posting @iacas
  9. The main things for me have already been stated, but with just really starting to take the game seriously at age 30(last year) this is fresh in my mind and something I think about often. 1. Ball Flight Laws- I think if I would have had a very good grasp of these at the beginning, I could have improved much quicker. It is literally night and day difference when you hit a bad shot and can say "Well it started right, and moved more right, so my face was probably open to an inside out path. Let me close the face a bit and get a draw." vs "Shit another slice, I suck at driver. Maybe if I change my grip again..." Would have saved me a ton of time wasted beating balls with no clue how to diagnose. 2. Video- Once I learned to break down my swing after watching hours and hours of My Swing threads here, it changed everything. Besides having a coach or someone with you every session, you just can't beat something that can remove all "feels" and give you an honest answer every time. The easiest way for me to change the picture, was to literally SEE the picture changing. Kevin
  10. Posting Myswings as promised: Thanks, Kevin
  11. It has been a while since I posted in this thread, and I am coming off my best round ever, beating my best score of 87 by 8 for a 79! I have another thread going that discusses things other than the swing specifics so check it out if you want to know the non-swing related progress: Quick Recap for those who don't care about the fluff: -9 GIR's each of my last two rounds(3 total birdies, putting not super great) -Can't hit a driver at the moment, so teeing off 3W and it has been great mostly, Arccos showing 252 average, 278 longest. I spent 5.5 hours today at the range and chipping green, and had some great results. I look at my swings and still see a lot of flaws, but my overall pivot and body work is so much better than when I started and the shots are feeling much better. Still coming across the line at the top and over swinging a bit. Been working on takeaway on plane and not so far inside and that has been tough, I did it about 80% in the FO video. I took these swings earlier in the session before I knew I was going to be there so long, but my iPhone died getting these so no chance to get better ones. I have been having an issue with over drawing the ball and hitting some hooks, so I changed my posture a bit and am trying to have looser hands at impact, which is causing a small flip I think, but the ball is coming off crisp and deep for me, so I am happy at the moment and will work that out. Here is what we got for today: At this point since I am playing decent, I am considering holding off on any big adjustments until fall so I can really enjoy the summer, but I am open to advice and would love to see what you all think. Thanks, Kevin
  12. Change of plans, I am jumping on an earlier flight today so no time to get to the range. I will be out of town for business the next 3 days, but the weather looks good for the weekend so I will do an update with some stats and video when I get home. Kevin
  13. Thanks guys, appreciate the comments. I wanted to go out yesterday and show my new found skills to my wife, so we popped out in the afternoon to a course that is pretty quiet and it was almost empty on a Tuesday afternoon. We grabbed a cart as she is 7 months pregnant and headed out. I treated it like a practice round and hit a few balls from most green side spots to work on my short game as I keep leaving the ball 10 feet short and it is making scoring impossible for me. I have been going between my 58, 54 and AW to play around with higher chips vs bump and run and I am starting to get the feel for the rollout a bit more. Putting I turned into a Sally lately and am leaving at least 10 putts a round short, so that has to change. Overall I didn't hit the ball that well to be honest, which kind of sucked after telling my wife how well I did Sunday, but it is what it is. I did hit a few really solid drives with 3W yesterday, the best being 278(measured, not internet big guy numbers) on a flat hole, and it got me realizing how stupid it is that I am still leaving driver in the garage at home. If I am going to continue to take this game as serious as I am, I can't keep handicapping myself by leaving out arguably the most important club in the bag. My friends keep telling me if you can keep consistently hitting 3W 260-280, you don't need a driver, but I am not sure I agree. Hole 5 yesterday is a 610 yd Par 5, wide open landing area, and it is just begging for a driver, yet I don't have one. I think I am going to go to the range today and get video of successful 3W swings, and then driver swings and I will post them in MySwing thread to see if anyone here can help me see what I am doing so differently. I have read until my eyes bleed about the setup for driver, AoA, etc, but to no avail, so maybe some eyes on the swing will help with something I am missing. Thanks, Kevin
  14. Cliffs/TLDR: I broke 80 Sunday, game is in great shape, handicap is dropping fast. My last post from Hawaii was about me breaking 90, and I am here to happily report that on my 8th full round this year, I JUST BROKE 80!! I will explain. Since I got back, I have really kept my practice up, and things had been up and down with my ball striking. My misses weren't big, but I just wasn't able to make good contact frequently for some reason, so most shots had quite a bit of movement and it was actually hard for me to guess which way it was going to move. I felt like I was falling back into where I was the end of last year and even started getting a bit depressed about it since I didn't feel like I should be regressing with how much I practice and how much time I put into it, and the fact that I just finally broke 90. I wanted to stay in the 80's. I decided I wanted to change things up and give myself something to be happy about practicing so I went out and got 2 new Vokey SM6's to give me a solid reason to start practicing my short game. I started trying to just take the wedges to left arm parallel, and then smoothly drop them through impact with chest to the target, letting the weight of the club do the work. The shots were going high and straight, short, but that was fine. I really like the wedges, but what happened to my overall swing was unexpected. Once I moved past the wedges and started hitting my irons, that smoothness carried over subconsciously, and with the smooth body rotation, I started hitting my irons like I never have before. The sound, the feel, that shot that I used to hit once out of 20 shots and always in search of was here, over and over again. I started puring everything, to the point where I was literally laughing at the range after each shot, the others on the range probably thought I was nuts. I couldn't believe it. Every iron shot was a piercing laser, 5-10 yards further than before, and my side spin numbers had to be almost zero as they just tracked to the flag or target and never left the path. Pure bliss. This fired me up, so to the course I went, and the scores started dropping. Another 87, 40/47. Then again, 40/47. The thing was even though I kept tying my best ever, I knew that I was playing way better than those scores. I pretty much was 2 putting everything, burning edges on 6 foot bird putts, and missing out on a lot of strokes that should have dropped in. I still can't hit a driver, so I tee off everything but Par 3's with my 3W, and it was going well, but everything was drawing jut a bit too much, leaving me blocked out on the left a lot, with the occasional hook setting up a punch out. Finally on Sunday it all clicked. I made a few adjustments Saturday night in the garage on the simulator, and told my wife, "If I hit 3W this well tomorrow, I will beat my best score." Sure enough, my 3W was on point, irons were perfect, short game was manageable, and putting once again was mediocre. On my Arccos tracker, 3W distances were, 227, 219, 264, 230, 247, 271, 260, 268, 273, so even though I can't hit a driver to save my life, this thing was getting me in great range all day. When it was all said and done, I had 2 putts on 18 for a 79 and I left the first one about 3 inches short and tapped in for my 79! I had just beat my best round by 8 strokes, and broke 80 without ever really even considering its since I didn't think I was quite there yet. I struggled so long to break 90, thought about it for over a year, so it was almost weird to break 80 without much thought to that barrier. I wasn't supposed to start thinking about 80 until mid summer. The drive home was all smiles to say the least. Now that I knocked that off the list, the next goal is single digit handicap. At the moment, I am trending at 15.4 for next revision, but as long as Sunday wasn't a fluke, I expect that to drop very fast as 6 of my 10 scores used are still in the 90's. I certainly don't think I am going to go out now and start firing off high 70's again, but with some putter and chipping work, I feel like I am getting closer to consistent low 80's. I was considering letting this thread die before Sunday as I didn't feel like there was very much left to talk about and I somewhat answered the original question of the thread, but now I am interested to see what the next few weeks look like and if I can follow up with some good scores, so if others are interested, I will keep updating. Thanks for following, Kevin Everyone likes pictures so here are a few from a round at Newcastle Golf Club in Seattle a few weeks ago(I'm in TM hat):
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