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Everything posted by Buckeyebowman

  1. OK, this response confused me. In your OP, you said you were losing your balance leading to a "step forward". If that's the case, you are losing your balance in the direction of the target. While a loss of balance is not the ideal, toward the target is better than away from it! What you didn't describe is what the shot looks like when you do this. That would help. You read my mind, RayG! I've watched GP do the "walk through" in majors, and just keep on walking because he knew he hit it right on the button! Again, we need more info about the results of those swings.
  2. I agree! These are people who are way too smart for their own, or our, good, who seek to "explain" the golf swing in terms that are inexplicable to the average golfer! Just teach me how to swing the damn golf club in a way that makes the ball go where I want it to! Sheesh!
  3. Great point, ajw! We'll go to the dome over the Winter, and my buddy will have everything lined up perfectly. Yet, when we get out on the course, he'll have his driver way back in his stance, and have his feet lined up way right! Oddly enough, he does the exact opposite on putts. He lines up way left and shoves the ball toward the hole!
  4. I completely disagree that there is no such thing as muscle memory! When I was a kid, I took piano lessons. Every year my teacher would hold a recital for all her students. Would hire a hall, a big Steinway grand, and the place would be packed! To add to the pressure, the more advanced students could bring their sheet music and review while waiting to play. However, the teacher was seated backstage, and you would have to hand the sheet music to her before going on, and play the piece from memory. In the instance I'm thinking of, I was an advanced student and was playing a difficult, classical piece. For the finale, it called for an ascending series of chords, 5 notes apiece on each hand, in a key that had 7 sharps in it! When playing I'd always think a couple of measures ahead, seeing the written music in my mind. On this occasion, I couldn't "see" the music for that crescendo. I began to panic! I just couldn't see it! Yet, my body took over and I played the passage perfectly. I had rehearsed it so many times, my body just knew what to do. My mind was a blank! This thread is quite long, so I perused the first and last pages, and decided I should ask the following question. When you ask about the mental "game" are you really referring to your mental "state"? For me they are two opposite things.The mental game refers to your thinking about how you are going to play the course. Your mental state refers to being wary of hazards! We all know the skull jobs. Ooh, look at all the water on the right! Ooh, look at the OB left! I have a friend of mine who concentrates on everywhere he DOESN'T want to be! I keep telling him to not think that way. Think of where you WANT to go!
  5. I can appreciate the fact that some people's egos, usually men's, can get in the way of any good idea. I think 5 sets of tees should normally cover all eventualities and skill levels. Of course that can depend on the slope of the course, or just how "wild" is the target area you're hitting into? At 63 I can't go much more than 6500 yds, and that's getting to be a stretch. The "tee it forward" effort was worthwhile as was the "while we're young" idea. I wish they'd keep drumming it in! One thing that could help is proper course design relative to the total length required off the tee. One type of course I really don't like is where every par 4 is a driver and an 8 or 9 iron! That gets boring! At least design a course where, if I play from the proper tees, I still have to pull a mid or long iron every so often! Variety is the spice of life. And what's wrong with playing different tees on different holes? Unless we're in a sanctioned, or in some way "competition", event we move the tees around. Let's say we decide to play the "orange" tees, and we come to a hole that looks like a real nothing from there. On the spot we'll decide to move back a tee, or two, to make the hole more challenging. This usually takes place on par 3's. And it's true that on many older courses with blue, white and red tees, the women don't get enough of an advantage. Or, I should say "most" women. We were played through on an upscale course by a couple of women who could just blast it off the tee! Our male egos dove right into the nearest divot!
  6. I'm sorry, but I haven't read your article yet. This was something I read quite some time ago, probably in Golf Digest which I subscribed to for many years. EDIT: Duh! I had to edit because it occurred to me that I should have asked where this article appears. I looked in "Blogs" and another place, but couldn't find it. Still learning to navigate the site.
  7. Well said. I remember one swing change that Tiger initiated, and it took him the better part of two seasons to get it down! Zero, amazing how that pic shows the two divots pointing in the exact same direction. However the divot from the clunky shot looks quite a bit deeper than the good shot. Could it be you caught it a little chubby and the clubface closed?
  8. I understand. That's why I put the word "important" in quotation marks. Maybe I should have used a different phrase like "count as much as". I read that article a long time ago and can't remember exactly how it was worded. Lowest Score Wins brought up a distant memory and gave me a little chuckle. When I was first showing an interest in the game my Dad and the next door neighbor would let me tag along when they played. I'd pull my Dad's cart and keep the scorecard. The first time out, after the front nine I proudly informed my Dad that he was winning! He had 43 and Mr. Ross had 39! My Dad just grinned his little grin and told me that in golf, the player with the lowest score wins! Oops! Well, a lot of hype was certainly generated around Tiger, and with good reason. We went to the WGC Bridgestone in Akron last year, and I watched guys like Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba hit drives that boggled my mind! I also got to see Nicklaus in his prime and he was certainly long, but a lot of guys are just hitting it stupid distances these days.
  9. OK, I am new here, so I will ask what the heck is LSW? I tried hovering the cursor on it, and it didn't turn into the little hand, so it's not a link. I do find Player's comments a little off, since he can still hit it 260-270 at his age! Obviously all parts of the game are important. No better example exists than Ben Hogan wanting to eliminate putting from the game late in his life. He wanted to play "fairways and closest to the pin"! He couldn't imagine a 2 foot putt being as "important" as a 280 yard drive! But I like Hank Haney's comments on distance. His contention is that golf is a distance game, which it is. Long hitters who can keep it in play have always had an advantage. It's like tall guys in basketball. The operative phrase is, of course, keep it in play. Haney maintained that for every 1mph you could increase your clubhead speed, you'd gain 2 yards. So, if you could increase your clubhead speed by 5mph, you would gain 10 yards. If you hit 40 full shots per round, and hit them all 10 yards longer, that's a gain of 400 yards. So, you're shortening the course by 400 yards, which is significant! And I also laughed when the powers that be started lengthening courses to deal with the long hitters. Specifically Augusta "Tiger proofing" their course. They didn't seem to realize that no matter how long they stretched it out, the long hitters would still have shorter approach shots than their less powerful brethren. Distance good! Short bad!
  10. I've only read the last page of this thread, but there were some really good thoughts. I've been playing golf for 50 years and am self-taught by reading articles in Golf Digest during my youth. I have never taken a lesson in my life, yet I was a scratch handicap in my early 20's. Some tips in the mag I wouldn't even try since they made no sense to me on their face. Others I would try, but if they didn't work I'd discard them immediately. Get back to what you know will advance the ball. Once I found things that worked for me I would practice them. And practice, practice, practice them! There is just no substitute. It got to the point where I could tell if I was so much as 1/4" off in my setup! I'd hit balls at least 5-6 days a week, and play at least 3! The result was a situation where I could self diagnose problems, even during a round. Obviously my situation was unique, and everybody can't do that. For those who can't, I remember a video lesson I watched by Hank Haney. He had 3 tips that could immediately improve your scoring by thinking properly on the course while playing whatever game it is that you have at the time. Tip #1. Eliminate "penalty shots". Haney's definition of penalty shots might be different than what you're thinking. Say you put your drive in a place where it is not OB, but you can't advance the ball toward the green. All you can do is chip or pitch out sideways, and then advance the ball. This costs you a stroke with little benefit. Tip #2. Eliminate "two chips". I can't tell you the number of times I've seen guys put their approach shots in heavy greenside rough, try to get "cute" with the chip or pitch, then either chunk it or skull it and leave the ball in heavy rough! You're not Phil! Just get the ball on the green somewhere so that you're putting! Which brings up the third tip. Tip #3. Eliminate "three putts". Good lag putting is vitally important for all golfers, especially for us chops! Yes, making the 3-4-5 footers is important, but you have to get the ball there in the first place. Saw an interesting tip by David Toms the other day. When he's practicing lag putting he does not putt to a hole. He putts toward an area of the green or to the fringe, seeing how close he can get. He does his "close work" putting to a hole.
  11. I agree with this! Don't aim your clubface at the target! That is what gets you the "right to right" ball flight. The clubface has to be square, actually just slightly open, to the intended initial flight line. And keep your lower body moving!
  12. I once read an article by David Feherty where he claimed that Christy McAllister use to practice hitting drivers "off the deck" on the beaches of Ireland. So much so that you could take the sole plate off his driver and shave with it! Hyperbole yes, but you get the idea. When playing from sand there's a difference between a "blast" and a "pick". Anyone remember Sandy Lyle's shot out of the fairway bunker on 18 in the 1988 Masters? It looked like he never moved a single grain of sand! You just have to practice enough, and have enough course sense, to know what shot to hit!
  13. Same here. Although it's the Bing Crosby (now the AT&T) pro-am that gets me all horny for golf, the Masters is what really kicks off the golf season here in in NE Ohio. In 1986 it was a particularly fine Spring, and Master's Sunday found us on a very nice local course. We finished our round and adjourned to the bar, where we found that Nicklaus was in the hunt! We slammed one beer and beat feet for home. I had somewhere I was supposed to be, a wine tasting as I recall, and when I didn't show people were calling me like mad. I just let the calls go to the answering machine! I sat there and watched Jack win his 6th. Don't regret missing the event one bit!
  14. Since this was initiated in January, I'll attribute it to SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder). I will acknowledge some of the recent posters in saying that English is one of the more screwed up languages on the planet. It's very versatile, but that is part of it's problem. I've heard it said many times that English is the hardest second language to learn. Years back there was a comedian whose name escapes me now, who had a whole routine of making fun of the English language. He'd point out similarities in spelling with differences in pronunciation like, cough, rough, and slough. But his capper was the words go (goe) and do (doo). As he put it, "It's as simple as the words go and do! Words comprised of two letters apiece that aren't pronounced alike! Hey! Let's go do something!" I figure golfing is the least of our worries.
  15. Well said Rough! Yes equipment advances have been made but what's new about that? Take the "rollback" thinking far enough and we'll be playing with hickory shafts and Gutta Percha balls. What is the ideal? Look at baseball. Guys are swinging maple bats for more bat speed. At least golf clubs don't shatter and send razor sharp shrapnel flying! Hockey. Newly designed skates, fiberglass reinforced sticks, and better athletes. Look at film clips of historic players like Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. They look like they're skating in slo-mo compared to modern players. Football. We now have quarterbacks as large as linemen were 20-30 years ago. And, we have linemen who can run the 40 as fast as running backs did that long ago! It's an ascending curve, and for those who don't think golfers are athletes I'd guess they haven't attended a pro tournament lately. We go to the WGC Bridgestone in Akron every year. Yes, there are outliers, but the vast majority of pro golfers look as if they don't have an ounce of body fat on them! They just look "different" than your average guy walking down the street. Whatever the sport, as the paychecks have gone up, so has the dedication. Pro football players used to have part time jobs in the off season to supplement their income. With the salaries being paid nowadays, staying in shape year round is paramount. I remember an NFL player saying that if you wait until training camp to get in shape you won't be in the league very long! So it is with all sports.
  16. Sounds like a software glitch, which will be ironed out if people call it to their attention. We're just coming out of Winter here, so it's been a while since I've used GolfNow, but I used it enough in years past that I didn't have to pay the processing fee. I know there have been changes, but don't now exactly what they are yet.
  17. I have to say Lihu, that I agree strongly with iacas and Mike Boatwright. When you are on the course you are playing "golf" not "golf swing". The object is to score, and to score you have to send your ball toward the target as accurately as possible. You seem to be a lot like a friend of mine. He'd step up to a shot and look at all the places he did NOT want to end up, instead of looking at the target. Then he'd start thinking all kinds of mechanical thoughts. You could actually stand back and see it! Another way to say it is that he was "getting in his own way", as you appear to be doing. Mechanics are find on the range. But the range and the course are two different experiences! When you are on the course, the only thing you can do is play the game you have to the best of your ability.
  18. Ah! What he said is much more understandable in that context. My buddy was afflicted with a case of the "hang ons" several years ago. He'd make these goofy, little "steer job" swings and hang on the club for dear life! He'd ask me what he was doing wrong, and I'd demonstrate his follow through with the clubface looking at the sky waist high in his follow through, when it should be looking behind him. I told him that, basically, all he can take care of is his grip, stance, and alignment. Then he has to swing and just let the shot go! Release your hands! Well, it must have finally taken, because last Summer he started bombing it off the tee, beating me and winning beers off me a bit more often than I'm comfortable with! Damn my good eyes! I sometimes think that high handicappers are afraid to let their hands go because they're afraid they'll hook it, or yank it, off the planet! They just don't realize the possibilities.
  19. I agree! And I think you are on the right track. If you're getting it out of the bunker and onto the green better than half the time, you're ahead of the game. From your post it sounds like you need a place with a practice bunker. The sand game is unique, but it's not that hard to learn if you have a place to practice it. Find a place that has such an amenity. If the practice bunker is hard by a green and your course calls for a little more distance, just practice by hitting bunker shots over the green if etiquette will allow.
  20. I suppose "violent" could be one way to describe it. I would prefer "athletic". I think the idea of a violent swing would encourage jumping from the top. It's a mistake to begin the downswing much faster than you ended the backswing. That's a sure way to "throw away the energy". You blow it all at the top, and don't have it when you need it at the bottom. Well said! I've watched a number of Hank Haney instructional vids on the computer. One was a complete half hour lesson with a rather elderly man. He had the usual complaints, lack of distance off the tee, and hitting weak, pop up drives to the right. Hank give him some tips on grip and stance, but his major emphasis was on hitting the ball hard. He'd tell him "Hit it like you mean it!", and "Hit the ball hard this time!" One time, after such an admonition, the student said, "OK, I'll swing harder." Hank was quick to respond with "NO! I don't want you to swing harder. I want you to swing faster! There's a difference."
  21. You read my mind, boogie. As long as you're consistent doing what you're doing, stick with it. Too many guys have screwed themselves up by constantly tinkering looking for that "perfect" swing. Just look at the different swings on tour. Many of them would not be taught by any PGA of America certified instructor. But, they work! Consistency and effectiveness are key!
  22. I think much of the confusion between "swinging hard" and "swinging fast" resides in the brain of the golfer. Swinging hard too often entails "jumping" from the top, and getting completely out of rhythm. Swinging fast means letting the speed grow slowly, and whipping the arms, hands, and club through the impact area. For too many people swinging hard or fast means tensing the muscles in your arms and shoulders. You don't want that! You want your muscles loose and flexible.
  23. I'm amazed at the number of people who have experienced problems with GolfNow. I've only had one bad experience, and it wasn't the fault of GN. We booked the Hot Deal at a course we'd never played, went to the course and presented the paperwork. Immediately, the a**hole behind the register started calling us the "GolfNow Boys!" The, he made us wait and wait until we could tee off, claiming that some "members" had priority. Finally, we played the course, and it was far short of what their website claimed. For all intents and purposes it was a goat ranch! But they sure were proud of it! Then, when we got back in the clubhouse to have a few libations, the a**hole behind the register started berating us as the "GolfNow Boys" yet again. I'd finally had enough and yelled, and I can yell, "Hey! If you don't want people booking on GolfNow, why are you on their service?!" Everybody in the place heard me and froze. The doofus at the register shut his yap and just stared at me, because I'm sure the look on my face told him I'd bury a wedge in his skull if he gave me any more lip! The other extreme came when I, by mistake, booked a time for for the wrong date. Totally my fault, yet GN and the course went the extra mile to ascertain that we had NOT played on the day in question. It was a "Hot Deal" which demands prepayment. My account was credited in full, and we were able to book another time on a day when we could be there. Needless to say we've gone back to that course again and again. And I continue to use GolfNow.
  24. We have both Mennonites and Amish around here. As for the Amish, you can mark both the men and women out immediately due to their dress. Not so Mennonites. Very near my friend's house is a Mennonite "convenience store" that makes the most delicious toasted subs, and has an incredible selection of home made jams, jellies, and condiments. Also nearby is a Mennonite farm market. In both cases the Mennonite women dress like Amish women with the long dresses, aprons, and bonnets. Mennonite men, however, you couldn't tell from anyone else in a lineup. They dress like everyone else, and don't wear long hair, beards, or straw hats. They do, however, have a slightly different manner of speech. But, you have to listen closely or you'll miss it.
  25. One thing I have learned at the range is that mimicry is a very powerful force. One time I went to play a powerhouse course in the area. Included in the greens fee was a bucket of balls to warm up. I happened to find myself next to a guy who obviously knew how to swing a golf club. The way he got his legs and hips into the shot marked him out. As I started warming up, I found myself unconsciously mimicing this guy. Next thing I know I'm making a really nice move through the ball, and hitting everything dead on the button! I went on to have a very nice round of golf. So, the next time you go to the range, maybe look for the guy who looks like he knows what he's doing. Find a place near him and watch him hit balls, then hit some yourself. If you feel like it, ask his advice. If not, don't. Most golfers are willing to help, maybe too much so! As for your not offering unsolicited advice, I say Hooray for you! I can see thing that someone is doing wrong, but unless they ask me I keep my mouth shut! As I once read, "unsolicited advice is like a headache looking for a forehead to slam into!"
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