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5 Sandbagger

About Rykymus

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  1. Took a lesson last Tuesday. WOW. What a fantastic experience that was! While I can't say that I'm suddenly incredibly better, there is a big difference. Turns out, my swing path was way to vertical. This was causing two problems. First, if I happened to lean down a bit on my swing, it would create a very steep angle into the ground. Such deep "chunks" probably psych'd me out and made me somewhat apprehensive about digging in so deep, hence the frequent "topping" of the ball. The second problem the vertical swing path was causing was that because of it I wasn't getting enough hip rotation, and what I was getting wasn't really translating into any additional power. My instructor stuck a tee in the ground, leaving only half an inch sticking out of the ground, and had me swing more horizontally, bringing the club head around high and behind my head, instead of around and up over my head. No ball. My goal was to always tap the tee. After a half dozen swings or so, I started tapping the tee consistently, so he had me hit some balls. Out of about 20 shots, I only had 2 or 3 tops, and the rest were long, straight, and felt considerably easier and more natural than anything I can remember hitting well in the past. I'm still struggling to always interact with the ground, but now I know what I was doing wrong. For now, I stopped hitting balls into my practice net, and just swing at a tee sticking out of the ground. My next day at the range 2 days later, while still not perfect, was a lot better. I feel like I'm on the road to recovery. I plan on practicing this new swing path regularly, and going back to for another lesson at the end of the month, and then every other week after that, until I get where I want to be. Ya'll were right. Take a lesson.
  2. You are 100% correct. That's why I went ahead and signed up for a lesson with Jake Sandusky at Watters Creek a week from today. I'd go sooner, but we have thunderstorms coming in for the next few days. I'm probably going to buy a package of 5 lessons, and go at least once a week.
  3. Rykymus

    Golf glove or no glove???

    I like the extra grip I get with the glove. I feel like I can hold the club just a tad more loosely with a glove on. But on hot days, I rotate between three gloves. Otherwise the glove gets too wet from sweat to be of any value. I have a velcro strip on my bag where I stick them so they can dry out. I don't use them on wedges or putter. Pretty much anything I'm hitting at least 100 yards I'll use a glove. Oh, and I use it for everything at the range, and with my net in my backyard. Otherwise, I'll get blisters from hitting so much.
  4. I think I may already be doing just that. I'm trying to keep a triangle between both arms and my chest, and make my rotation happen with shoulders and hips. After watching more video, I noticed that as soon as my right arm gets to the point that it must bend, that's when I instinctively stop my rotation and start my down swing. I'm going to need to develop a bit more rotation because I'm only reaching about 75 - 80 degrees, but that will come. Main thing I'm looking for is consistent strikes and straight ball flight. Getting into trouble because of inconsistencies is what keeps my scores in the 110-120 range. And I don't seem to be suffering from any distance loss with the much shorter swing. (I was literally touching my left shoulder with my club on my back swing before.)
  5. Update: Had my wife video my swing with her iPhone and found that while my body was still and my rotation was good, I was bending the hell out of my left arm on my back swing. Started concentrating on keeping it straight, and my ball striking became a lot more consistent. (Maybe that is what I was doing right that magical day.) Keeping my arm straight also kept me from bringing my club too far back. Ball is going further and straighter, without so much pull. Of course, it will probably all fall apart again tomorrow.
  6. Rykymus


  7. Back at it yesterday. Decided to change my grip and stop interlacing my right pinkie and left index fingers, as it seems my left index finger is always sore, and it hurts a bit at the strike. I was surprised that it didn't seem to feel weird, and didn't really change anything that much. In fact, I think I may be releasing better. But I still have a pull I need to work out. Got creative and found a spot in our tiny backyard where I could put up my net. I like hitting into the net (with foam balls) as I'm not trying to kill it, and therefore I'm slowing down and just swinging.
  8. I hope you're all happy. My groove didn't follow me back to the range the next time. Oddly enough, I was hitting stuff with a greater variety of "bad" than ever before. Fat, thin, topped, shanked, hooked and sliced. Out of 100 balls, I probably only had 10 good contacts. Yeah, I tempted the golf goods something fierce, didn't I. Maybe I need to watch all those videos again before going to the range each time.
  9. Same way I figured out my own BBQ sauce. Look for the common denominators, and if someone gives contrary advice, see if they have a good explanation as to why. Then experiment. I fully expect that my next day at the range, I'll be shanking stuff all over the place. But at least now I know what I'm supposed to be doing, and can identify what I did wrong when I screw up.
  10. It took me a while, but today, I finally found my groove. I have yet to take a lesson. I have been watching tons of You Tube videos and reading articles and forums. In particular, I like Mark Crossfield, Golf with Aimee, the lady from More Pars Golf, and Paul Wilson Golf. Today, a few changes brought me swing in to a groove that worked on every club. Not only that, the contact felt unbelievable good, and ball flight was perfect. And for the first time, I had proper distance gaps between each club. Heck, I was even able to nail my hybrid and my fairway woods! Although I'm sure everyone is different, this is what did it for me. 1. More shoulder and hip rotation, and less arms. 2. Smoother take-away with better tempo 3. A more neutral grip (I was way to strong, because I had been trying to correct a slice) 4. Remembering to set a bit of lag at the beginning of my downswing 5. Allowing my club head to "swing" instead of trying to push it through with my arms 6. Seeing the arc that my hands are tracing, and bring that arc smoothly all the way around After about 20 swings, all of them hitting correctly, it just started to happen naturally. I still had a few fat shots, and a few shanks, but with each of them I immediately knew what I had done wrong and made sure to correct it. Out of probably 150 balls, I'd say at least 130 of them felt terrific. I was even jumping around the bag at the end, instead of ending with just the driver. (I usually start with wedges and work my way through the bag up to the driver.) I finally understand "how" to hit. Now I just have to work that groove into muscle memory, so that I don't have to think about it, and can then start learning how to "shape" my shots when I need to. Love this game.
  11. Rykymus

    Different way to practice

    I have yet to take a lesson. However, I have watched a ton of You Tube videos, and read dozens of articles, and forum posts here. It's not instruction, but it's definitely not figuring it all out on my own. Even if all you do is watch other people at the range swing, or watched some professionals swing on TV, you're still not figuring it out on your own. It took me about 6 months to finally get to the point where I was hitting consistently. It didn't happen until I had garnered enough knowledge about the "science and mechanics" of the swing and the body to be able to understand what was working and why, and what wasn't working and why. And I had to "unlearn" several bad habits that developed through trial and error trying to fix my swing (like using a stronger grip to fix a slice instead of fixing my out to in swing path.) Had I taken at least one lesson from a good teacher (and by "good", I mean someone who explains "why" and doesn't just tell you to do something) I probably would've spent a lot less time (and money) working on my swing, and would have played more actual golf instead. Trial and error can work, but your chances of success are far less, and it will take you longer.
  12. Rykymus

    Back problems by the 15th hole

    The course where I live (and play) requires the use of carts, but encourages (not limits to) keeping them on the paths. As much as possible, I try to leave the cart on the path and walk to the ball. If someone is on my heels, I let them play through. (I play alone 99.9% of the time.) Walking always loosens up my back. I also get a lot of massages.
  13. You can strike down on the ball without taking a divot. The divot itself doesn't equal striking down, it's the result OF striking down, and perhaps more so than necessary. I generally brush the grass just past the ball when I purposefully strike down a tad. If and when I take a divot, it's almost unnoticeable. Yet, (most of the time) I get the results that I'm looking for. I have no doubt that taking a bigger divot would be the result if I tried to hit down even more, but if I'm getting the appropriate distances (for me and my goals), isn't that enough?
  14. Rykymus

    Different way to practice

    Your post isn't nuts, just inaccurate, and based on a lot of observations that are yours and yours alone. Many of the skills you listed fit the logic you are offering. But I think you're overlooking a very important element. You can't fix what you're doing wrong if you don't know what it is you're doing wrong. A golf swing has so many elements and nuances to it that it is almost impossible to isolate every single one of them, and only adjust one nuance at a time and do everything else the same way over and over while you adjust that one element of your swing. (If you could, you wouldn't have any problems with your golf swing to begin with.) I too am one who is generally better self-taught. I find that many instructors (not just in golf) are either unwilling or unable to teach you the "why" of what you do, and just tell you that you "must" do it a certain way to be correct. (And we all know there are many ways to skin a cat.) While I agree that you must practice to get better, sometimes, having a trained eye to help identify what you are doing wrong, and offering ways in which you might fix the problem can be quite helpful. It's not for everyone, but you're dead wrong if you think it doesn't work for anyone.
  15. So, I played a little when I was in my late 20s (30 yrs ago) and started up again last summer. Spent a lot of time on the range, the chipping and putting greens, and playing mostly par 3 - 9 hole courses. That was back in CA. I moved to DFW in November (into a home on a golf course, no less) and finally got around to getting back out on the greens a month or so ago. I'm going to the driving range 5 days a week, hitting about 120+ balls, and I always end with about 30 mins of chipping (and some from the bunker), and 30 mins of putting. I played a full 18 holes for the first time in 30 yrs a couple weeks ago, and shot a 115. (Hence the additional time at the range) With the help of Google, You Tube, and this forum, I'm learning the mechanics and the science of golf, but I've got a problem: I don't like taking divots. I know, I'm supposed to, and I can if I need to. I just don't like the feeling of taking divots. I prefer being a picker. I can't really explain it. I just don't like taking divots. Now, I'm not looking to become a great golfer, although I do want to be decent. When I was young, I never shot better than 105. I'd like to be in the 90s at least. I just do it for fun, and for the fresh air and exercise. I'm getting pretty consistent and straight with my shots, through all my clubs. (Although I still struggle to hit consistently with my hybrid and my 3 wood, but it's getting better.) I cured my driver slice, and I'm starting to get even gaps between my irons. I've considered taking a few lessons, but I fear that the instructor is going to insist that I take divots, and I don't want to. I've had bad experiences with instructors in other disciplines, who only seem to be able to teach the way they were taught, be it right or wrong. So, isn't it possible to play decent golf without taking divots? Inquiring minds want to know.

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