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9 Plays Winter Rules in the Summer

About BaconNEggs

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    Boston, MA

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  1. Tiger Woods Master Catch-All Discussion

    He was hitting the ball better than I expected. Still looked a little rusty with the short game, but not terrible. He also caught an unfortunate bounce or two that led to strokes instead of scoring.
  2. How long is your golf commute?

    I play a wide mix of courses, but the one I've played the most is about 25 minutes with light traffic, but 45+ if there's traffic, and there's almost always traffic on the way home. The good value courses are 45 minutes to an hour away, but that can make for a long day.
  3. This whole built like a linebacker thing.

    Compared to what? The average professional soccer player is about 5'10-5'11. Weight typically falls in the healthy range for BMI given a height. Not all that much different from what a typical golfer looks like. Not saying that golfers are as fit or athletic as professional soccer players, but they still look relatively athletic to me. Arnold doesn't look athletic. Most NFL QBs don't look athletic.
  4. How is this guy leading the HSBC so large?

    There are lots of professional athletes who look way worse than Aphibarnrat. The thing is, they're way better athletes than you. They're faster, stronger, and more agile. They're called linemen and they play football. Don't judge a book by its cover. Yeah, and it has absolutely screw-all to do with Aphibarnrat-- who is one player, one totally unknown to most casual golf fans-- or his physical shape. You won't be able to find one shred of evidence that suggests otherwise.
  5. Yup, agree with all of that. If someone tried to pull the club, my grip would probably tighten up to a 7 or 8, maybe even harder depending on how hard they were pulling-- I think my grip tightens near/during transition, probably even more closer to impact. I think I'd lose the club at the top of the swing if I tried to maintain the 2 feeling. The alternative, of feeling a grip pressure of 7 or 8 at address, throws off my takeaway and makes my arms and hands feel like an entity separate from the rest of my body. By keeping a passive sort of feel, I believe it allows me to focus on the objective at hand (my shot), and how to do that slinging this club into that ball. Once I consciously think about the pieces of the swing like my arms, it turns into a major multitasking effort trying to coordinate the arms and body simultaneously, and just leads to all sorts of nasty inconsistency. I've heard plenty of instructors talk about target focus and that was something I also never fully grasped until now. No active mechanical swing thought allows me to maintain focus on the type of shot I'm trying to hit. Oh for sure. I doubt gravity is a significant source of power in the golf swing. I actually don't like calling it gravity, but I now understand the feel that they describe. If I want to hit it far, my backswing tends to be a little bit longer, and although I still don't consciously think about engaging my muscles more, they're definitely being engaged more aggressively.
  6. Fall Time Change

    Yup, it's pretty much the unofficial end to my golf season. Between the colder temps that are about to hit and the limited daylight to play in-- especially with frost delays in the mornings-- I usually don't play this late in the season. Once I take the clubs out of the car it's over, and that's looking imminent. Always a sad moment.
  7. I realize this thread is over a year old, but stumbled upon it and thought I had to comment given my recent experience. I'll admit it's somewhat difficult to describe personal feels, and obviously there's a lot of confusion and subjective interpretation into what certain terms mean, so hopefully I'll be able to provide further insight into the feel that I have that is more clear. In the last 10 years, the only feel that had a substantial and lasting improvement on my ball striking was the idea of having my whole body being absolutely as loose/relaxed as possible, while still being able to maintain leverage in the swing (i.e. minimal slack in the arms). Apart from the takeaway, my arms and wrists feel 'passive' or on autopilot while my body turns back. Beyond the takeaway, my conscious activity is similar to what I have when I throw a baseball, i.e. virtually none regarding my technique and all about the shot I'm going to hit (or pitch I'm going to throw in baseball). My grip at address is very loose (I would say it feels like a 2/10). My body is in an athletic stance but feels fairly limber, like a free-throw shooter in basketball. The takeaway goes back and momentum propels the club upward, at which point it eventually hits the top and for a moment pauses before beginning to drop. This is the make or break moment; my bad habit and what I've fought for my whole golf life has been to actively swing from the top with my arms and body, leading to poor striking (lots of fat shots) and horrible direction (big hooks). If I successfully maintain the 'passive' mindset, my sequencing is far better and ball striking is significantly improved, and it feels effortless. I know from a physics standpoint that there are a lot of forces in action and you're talking hundreds or even thousands of pounds of force being generated. So there is a lot of force flowing through the arms, but it feels largely reactive, which is the key to it feeling effortless. If I'm struggling to not strike at the ball, I actually exaggerate the thought of passivity by thinking "do NOTHING" at the top of the swing. It's unnerving at first as you might think you'll just drop the club head straight down into the ground a few feet behind the ball, but that never actually happens (for me, at least). The best analogy I have in terms of looseness and how much conscious effort I have is throwing a kettle bell from a golfing stance. When I pick up a kettle bell, my grip is as loose as possible while still being able to hold the kettle bell-- there's no reason I need to squeeze it, that just unnecessarily adds tension and reduces my ability to freely swing the kettle bell back and forth. And when swinging it back I maintain a loose feeling. As loose as possible while still being able to hold the kettle bell and not lose balance. As an aside, you will almost never sway because if you do, the weight of the kettle bell is such that you really can't throw it off your back foot like you can with a golf club-- helps the feel of not swaying for me. And when the kettle bell hits the top, it pauses for a moment before dropping, at which point I reactively move the body and arms in a fluid motion to toss it forward. It is almost impossible for me to have the same 'hitting at' impulse with a heavy kettle bell. It would throw your balance and timing so far off you might actually hurt yourself. To me, the golf swing feels very similar. Be as limber as possible while still being able to maintain leverage and balance in the swing. The issue for me is that the club is so much lighter, it can be hard to be patient and reactive. But once you trust the motion, the amount of conscious exertion in the swing is minimal, while the unconscious exertion remains high and the sequencing is far superior. My full PW is about 130 yards. If I want to hit a 100 yard PW, apart from minor changes in setup, the only conscious change in my swing is the effort in the takeaway (less), which then limits backswing length. The downswing feels like the exact same amount of conscious effort, i.e. very little. I've been typically shooting 90-100, with occasional high 80s for most of my life. My low was 82 about 10 years ago and since then I've had maybe one or two rounds below 85. While short game hasn't been good in years, ball striking was always what held me back. Constant lost ball penalties. Fat wedges when I would finally put myself in good position off the tee. The 'passive' swing feel was a game changer. My last five rounds have all been low to mid 80s, and trending lower as my 'new' swing gets more ingrained. I shot an 80 with 38 putts last weekend (including 2 3-putt bogeys). I shot a 38 with 17 putts on Friday. It was the easiest, laziest sub-40 round I've ever shot. I'm nearly breaking 80 with a very neglected short game (that is also improving using the same swing thought, by the way). I finally get what guys like Shawn Clement and David Lee are teaching when they say let gravity power the golf swing. I get what an 'effortless' swing feels like. I feel like I've broken a mental barrier that has prevented my ball striking from improving for over a decade now. Goals that haven't changed in years are basically an afterthought for next season. I can actually focus on improving other parts of my game instead of saying "I'll work on that once I'm happy with ball striking."
  8. Dress Codes: Good or Bad for the Game

    I think they're positive, if only marginally. To me having a dress code sets an expectation of reasonable adult behavior. That being said, right after college I had a membership at a local muni and would play after work, and often played with blue collar singles trying to get a couple holes in before dark. A lot of these guys would be wearing their work jeans (i.e. with paint stains, rips, etc.) and shirts, occasionally saw guys playing in work boots-- and I didn't mind at all. But if I showed up Sunday morning and saw the same, might be a little dismayed. @jamo you posted this as I was typing, but I agree 100%. A pair of nice jeans and a simple t-shirt looks perfectly OK to me. I see Jason Day wearing a lot of these half-collar shirts-- sometimes they don't even look like a half-collar, but I digress-- along with slim fit pants and high-top golf shoes and think he looks worse than the outfit you put together above. I mean he doesn't look like a slob, but he looks like a golfing version of Michael J. Fox from Back to the Future, minus a jeans jacket. I do not like the look at all. Just a style thing.
  9. which club is more difficult for you?

    Longest clubs, definitely. I love hitting driver, I'm confident with it. It's a largely misplaced confidence, though, as driving penalties and generally poor position off the tee kill me. So it does the most damage, usually. 3W and 3H I either hit fairly well or top. 3, 4, 5 irons I sometimes have poor contact with poor direction, but I usually am not hitting them far enough to do a lot of damage. If I'm 190 out and slice a weak 170 yard 4 iron, that's usually recoverable. 6i and above I don't have too much trouble with, relative to everything else. For the guys who don't hit wedges well, is it a distance/direction thing? Contact? I chunk them sometimes, but find distance and direction pretty easy most of the time
  10. The Importance of a Trouble Shot

    Based on the elevation change (which is hard to discern how much there is from the photo), probably a 6 or 7i and try to draw it. I think if you are a creative player, these types of shots are very fun and while I don't like putting myself in these situations, I really enjoy trying to get out and making a shot of it. Nothing is sadder than pitching out 15 yards sideways into the fairway.
  11. 40 Putts per Round, Average of 96 (Dave Pelz)?

    Yup. If you were to go out to a muni that has a tough green and watch the average weekend hacker on that hole, I would bet you'd see a scary number of four putts... and I bet a lot of them would get recorded as three putts.
  12. The President just shot 73 at

    Many playing partners have said he takes a lot of the usual weekend hacker liberties-- breakfast balls, lie improvements, etc. He's still a pretty good golfer, though. I think Ernie Els said he thought he would be a high single digit handicapper if he played legit.
  13. 40 Putts per Round, Average of 96 (Dave Pelz)?

    It wouldn't surprise me to be in the upper 30s, easily. 40 does sound a little bit high for an average. I play with a couple guys who typically shoot in the high 90s and low 100s, so higher than the 96 golfer mentioned in the thread-- but 40+ putts doesn't sound unusual or outlandish for them. One putts are rare, three putts are common, and four putts definitely happen, probably more often than you would think... especially if these guys are kept honest and actually putt out. If you google "average 40 putts" or something along those lines, you'll find no shortage of people who profess to average 40 putts in a round, and their scores are lower than you might think (if you believe them).
  14. Is golf more mental or physical?

    Since course management seems so relevant, take Frisbee/disc golf as an example. You face many of the same considerations as a golf course, minus things like lie and water hazards. But the skill hurdle is that much lower, assuming you're good enough to consistently throw a Frisbee. And assuming you are good enough to do that, you would almost never accidentally throw the Frisbee directly at the target you're trying to avoid (e.g. the woods). Doesn't matter how nervous you are. Doesn't matter how frustrated or upset you are. Why? Because you are physically good enough / consistent enough to throw the Frisbee at the target you want, regardless of your mental state. Golf is like that, but on steroids. The skills are just that much more difficult to master.
  15. Is golf more mental or physical?

    Why do you have negative thoughts? Because you aren't (physically) that good of a golfer, your swing is not consistent enough, and you are not confident in your ability to hit a good shot. I don't mean any offense there. And people are notoriously untrustworthy when recalling events. I would bet that for every time you have a "negative thought" and hit a bad shot (relative to your average shot), there are times you have a "negative thought" and hit an average or good shot. You just don't remember them, or you place an outsized significance on the times you hit a bad shot. I totally get it. If you have water on the right side, it's not uncommon to think don't slice and hit the water, and yet invariably that's what happens. In this hypothetical, maybe a golfer is probably swinging away from the water (out to in) in an effort to avoid it (despite that being the opposite swingpath you'd want), cutting across the ball, and slicing it. Here's the thing: if your swing was rock-solid and repeatable (physically), and you knew with 95% certainty that you could hit the shot you wanted to hit (maybe a draw that starts center and goes left), that mental error manifesting itself in an out to in swingpath and unwanted slice wouldn't happen. You're not unique; you're typical. Your physical game simply is not good enough, and mental errors manifest themselves into physical errors. And yes, you could be mentally better, and without that mental error that pops up you might avoid the water on the right more often, but at the end of the day the mistake you and others like Runnin continue to make is to highlight these one-off examples where mental errors cause an extra stroke or two and then extrapolate that to mean they are more important than the physical game. Think about it. You're a 15 index. You might be able to shave 3 or 4 strokes a round (generous IMO) if your mental game were better. But you're still going to make purely physical mistakes that result in the other 10-15 shots above par that you normally hit. Which would you rather have: Tiger Woods' swing from 2000 (physical) and your current mental game, or your current swing and Tiger Woods' 2000 mental game? If you take the latter, again, you might shave off a small handful of strokes from your current index. If you took the former, you'd instantly be a scratch golfer. Would you even worry about that water on the right if you knew you could hit 20 other tee shots of varying shapes and distances so consistently? No! It's not unsolvable, people just don't want to listen. They just want to put forth their arguments and hold their ground, regardless of the counter-argument. Golf, like every single sport, is predominantly physical. There is not a single sport out there where the "mental game" is more important to an individual's performance. It's just not a thing! Sports are physical! Yes, the mental game matters. Mental errors might cause you to make a bad shot making decision. Mental errors might be the difference between shooting a 79 or 80. But they will not be the difference between shooting a 79 and a 95. A 25 handicapper is not going to break 80 because his mental game is strong. A scratch golfer won't shoot 95 because of a poor mental state.

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