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Jerry in DC

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About Jerry in DC

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    Northern VA

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  1. How do you choose a coach?

    In addition to the good technical questions laid out in the original article, I'd be curious about the "project plan" for improvement. You have a set of inputs (my current swing, my athletic ability, my level of commitment). You have a process (lessons and practice) And we have a desired output (an improved golf swing). How would you organize the process to optimally achieve the intended goals? How do you evaluate progress towards those goals? And at what rate do you expect those goals to be achieved? I was in evolvr last year. I'm out now, but I'll get back in eventually. One of the things that I liked about the philosophy is that they have a project plan. They don't tell us the whole plan immediately, but that's actually pat of the plan - not overloading us. We work on one or 2 very specific things. Get them right. Then move on to the next one or 2 things. We have specific goals / milestones that are far more specific than "score better" or "hit draws". So we have a defined process and we have specific, measurable, intermediate goals. A lot of times on the range I'll see instructors working with a very, very new golfer- "you have to do this, you have to do that, ok this time you did that, but you also did THIS, which was a problem. [next swing] OK you did THAT right, but this time you did this". It's never going to work. One or two things. Lots of swings, until you get it right without thinking. It's not glamorous, but it's necessary. In terms of how long it would take to improve - I don't think there's a right answer. It's just a question I would ask to gauge the personality and thought process of the instructor. See if they're pumping BS, if they're invested in my improvement, etc.
  2. Neither Rory Nor JDay Will Win Another Major

    Even if Rory is operating below max-intensity from here on out (which is not a given), his driving is so good that he could easily run away with another major (or more). There aren't many guys out there who have a higher ceiling. He still gets in the driving groove all the time - hitting it 330 down the middle off almost every tee. From there all he needs is a couple of hot rounds with his wedges or putter to make a load of birdies. There's enough variance with wedges and putting that it can easily happen even if he's statistically below average at those skills.
  3. Switcheroo

    I know this is basically rhetorical at this point and the point is proven, but just for some partial experimental evidence -- I did putt righty (I'm lefty) for a full round because I forgot my putter and it had little to no impact on my score. I did a claw/hockey-style stroke and it was just fine -- with zero practice ever. I actually throw a righty putter in my bag once in a while just to mix things up now.
  4. (How To) Taking Your Lessons To The Course

    Functionally, I think I end up taking something around the "average" between my old swing mechanics and what I'm working on. When I'm working on the range, I try really hard to implement whatever I'm working on that day - rehearsals, super-slow swings, half-swings - resulting in all kinds of stuff (shanks, 50 yard 7-irons, etc.). When I'm on the course, I'll take 1 or 2 thoughts from what I'm working on, but incorporate them into a normal-paced swing. I don't film myself on the course, but based on feels, ball flight, etc. I'd estimate that I'm able to execute the swing change at somewhere between 20-60% effectiveness depending on a variety of factors (the type of change, where I am in the process etc). Then just keep working and try to get to 100% and then move on to the next thing. I've found this to be the only way I can enjoy playing and try to improve at the same time.
  5. Blaming Strategy? Or Execution?

    There's an element of chicken/egg here, but what I'm curious about is - how bad does someone's execution (skill) have to be before we start calling it a strategy error? For example: if you know that for a 22 HI player that his slices/mishits/whatever will reduce distance by 20 yards on x% of approach shots, how big does x have to be before you club up by 1 or 2 clubs? I know you can do the math if you have enough data (which I don't have), but to generalize - could we say that a 22 handicap should go +1 club than his "stock distance"? This "seems" true to me, but I don't really know. Or the general LWS approach of advancing the ball as far as possible (I know it's more complicated) - how bad does expected execution have to be before a short iron lay up from 240 becomes the "right" strategic play? Maybe the data says that the 18 handicap is almost as likely to hit a terrible shot with a 9i as he is with a 3w and the risk / reward works out. That doesn't "seem" right to me just from seeing / playing a lot of bad golf, but I could be wrong...
  6. Practice wedges and short irons

    First let me say I'm all-in on LSW, long game over short game, full swing practice, etc. That's what I do. That's what I think people should do. I spend a fair amount of time at the range and like to look around and see what people are doing. I see a lot of really bad swings being made by people with drivers in hand. I don't know if those people are actively trying to get better or if they're just knocking some balls around. I do think they'd at least prefer to get better. I strongly suspect that those people would be far better served with a mid/short iron in their hands rather than a driver. Making swing improvements is difficult enough - trying to do it with a driver seems like an unnecessary challenge.
  7. Stubbornness on Short Game vs Long Game

    In addition to what others have said, there's something in sports coverage where people like to credit the non-obvious factors that don't appear to be related to natural talent. People who can smash drives and stick long approaches seems like natural talent. Grinding around the green is "grit" and "tenacity". Think about the words used to describe Z Johnson vs. D Johnson. "Gritty, bulldog mentality" vs. "so talented, physical gifts". People tend to praise the former more than the latter for whatever reason. Usually in sports a team / player wins because they're just better. More talented, more athletic, better players. But people almost never say that. Even Golden State, the most talented team ever assembled, you still hear about their "team mentality" and "lack of ego". Really they just have 4 top-25 players, which is nearly impossible in team sports, so they smash everyone. For whatever reason, writers tend to make sports into a referendum on character/personality vs. a test of talent/performance. Somehow people persist in thinking this is the "smart" take even though it's completely disproven with reams of data.
  8. I have to say that I'm very surprised by the number of positive reviews on this book, particularly by members of this site. First I'll say that I'm sure Harvey was a great guy and probably a really good instructor. But this book? There is nothing to it. It's got tons of outdated conventional wisdom that goes against most of the principles of TST/LSW. The modern writers (Erik, Broadie, etc) actually have real data on these things whereas folks in Harvey's day relied on feels and guesswork for things like course strategy, relative importance of the short game, and even swing mechanics. That's fine - Harvey was doing the best he could with the tools at his disposal, but we have better data, better tools, and frankly better books now. For 10 bucks and the hour it took me to scan through it, the book didn't cause me much harm. Some of the anecdotes and homespun style can be amusing. His tales of golf from 30's were interesting to me, as that's not a topic that gets a lot of coverage. But as a golf improvement book? I think it's almost a complete waste. "Take dead aim." Sure, but that's more of a bumper sticker than a book.
  9. My Swing (nevets88)

    Hi - I had some free time today and I read through a bunch of this thread to get some inspiration for my own improvement and to see what people are working on. I just wanted to say that you've made a ton of progress and your swing looks really good. It seems like you can be hard on yourself at times, which definitely has helped you improve, but I think you should also balance it out by appreciating your progress and enjoying how you can swing the club now. It's very impressive.
  10. Stubborn Steepness

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I definitely noticed things not functioning properly when I focus on something new, particularly when I'm limiting the practice to one section of the swing. Common examples for me while working on this move are 1) not shifting my weight properly (likely leading to chunks) and 2) for some reason leaning toward the ball (possibly causing the shanks). I will get this one figured out - then the thing I'm really curious about is how easily this new move will integrate into the full swing. [Hopefully easily, but I'm not counting on it...]
  11. Stubborn Steepness

    Great thread here - this is something that a lot of high cappers, myself included, likely have issues with. I've written down about 10 things to try next time I go to the range. I used to have the retracted trail elbow on the backswing that Erik demonstrated in the 5SK video. My eVolver instructor made that a priority for me last year, and I think I worked it out reasonably well. Since then I've been working to shallow out my swing and it's tough - my body just doesn't want to do these things... Based on this thread, I've realized that I think I'm keeping my lead arm too close to my body in the downswing (going straight down, as that dude in the twitter video said). I think for slicers, we want to keep everything away from the ball to stop coming OTT, but it can be the wrong thing to do sometimes. I had huge issues in my backswing because of this before I started lessons. I also really relate to the guys who have said that making contact from the proper A6 position is tough. I'm pretty coordinated, but it feels like an entirely new way of swinging. I'll shank a bunch of balls just starting from A6, which seems absurd to me. Just have to keep working though. Hopefully it's warm enough to hit the range tomorrow.