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hespeler

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About hespeler

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  1. Started playing in my early 30's and played and practiced pretty regular for about 6 years. Never could break 90. Quit the game due to frustration and some life issues that needed attention more than golf. Got back into it seriously last year and shot an 89 last year and an 89 this year. But it still feels as if I haven't broke 90. I'm pretty good about counting every stroke and I just can't help but think I missed something and I actually shot 90 on both occasions. Last year the last two holes, the greens were under repair so there were make shift greens that you couldn't even really putt on but I did hit both approach shots within 5 feet. So it wasn't really a satisfying 89. This year's 89 I think was actually a 90 because I forgot a penalty stroke so I still feel like I'm working towards breaking that barrier. Now at 44 I with 2 kids I don't have that much time but I know that I definitely have the consistency, distance, and ability to be a low handicapper. I just have to get better at closing out holes and making par more often instead of bogey.
  2. hespeler

    Time On The Driving Range

    I now use the range primarily to check ball flight. Have a net at home and pretty much hit balls every day it's not raining. That's where I do most of my "thinking." Trying to hone a consistent draw and/or fade right now and I'd say what I see on the range carries over to the course about 25% of the time. Really only thinking about different grips and alignments to change the path and face angle. If I find something that is kinda working, I really try to stick with it on the course for the whole round. Can't give up on it after one bad shot or you'll never really know for sure. Hit balls at home most days and hit the range maybe once a week.
  3. Yes in a lot of ways but still no where it really counts - my scores. I'm one of those hit a wall players as well. Mid to low 90's but just cannot get down into the 80's. Been stuck here for years. I don't get to play very much and I'm sure that's a big reason but I usually do get out for 9 holes a week, sometimes 2 nine hole rounds and a full 18 every once in a while. I do practice A LOT. Practice based off of lessons and self-diagnosing. I have a net and a good mat to hit balls into. Head to the range a decent amount. The good - I am more consistent the last two season than I've ever been. My ball striking is worlds better than an average 90's shooter. Hitting a lot more GIR. Driver goes from time to time but I have a good enough game to pretty much bogey most holes when I hit a wayward drive. Sand game is much better. I have all the shots, I just can't seem to close holes out. I stand over a lot of uncomfortable par putts. Guess you can say my lag putting stinks. Too many 5 and six footers for par which turns into a bogey. I did get a pretty large putting mat for my patio and am committed to practicing my putting more this season. Putting and plugging some holes in my driving really should lower my scores significantly. Typical round for me is mostly bogeys, a few pars, and maybe one or two blow up holes with a 7 or 8. 90's every time... I will say I'm brutally honest counting every stroke and only giving myself definite gimme putts. I play with friends who somehow seem to tie or beat me when they re-tee their drives on a few holes and use their foot wedge to get the lie they want.
  4. hespeler

    Driver - range vs. on the course

    Great post and so true. To the OP. Getting off the tee consistently is a problem I have as well. Sounds like you play pretty well (especially for someone who has only been playing a year). I suffer from pulls and slices with my driver as well. It happens in between the times I'm hitting it well and cranking it 285 to even 300 if the fairway has a downslope. It's all from an over the top move and is usually from rushing down from the top of the backswing. Gotta give it an extra second to let that club shallow out before swinging through the hitting zone. Easier said than done! Some of the things that help me when this starts to happen. 1) In the backswing, try and swing more around your body rather than up and down (think swinging a baseball bat). 2) make sure you are behind the ball at the top of your backswing and your weight is transferred to your back foot (be careful not to sway off the ball). Maybe tilt your upper body away from the target just a little bit more and put a bit more weight on your rear foot at address. Both of these things may help you deliver the club a little more from the inside. The danger here is if you a) don't transfer your weight from back to front you may flip the club head closed and hit a nasty hook or duck hook or b) not turn through enough and hit a push or push slice out to right field. Whatever you do, try and feel the shaft shallow out and the club head actually move further away from the ball at the top of your backswing and before you start your downswing. This happens by starting the down swing with the lower body (whatever cues work for you). The irony of the driver for me is when I'm hitting some pulls and slices, I can sometimes save par and often times save bogey but when I'm duck hooking it or pushing it well to the right I really struggle to avoid high numbers. But I hear people say that a hook is closer to a good swing than a slice... One last thing. Like you, I can usually play ok and not pull the driver out of the bag the whole round but this season I'm committed to hitting it more on the course because the familiarity will hopefully lead to a more fluid swing.
  5. hespeler

    Play Fade or Fix Path?

    Yes, definitely.
  6. Just joined up and this is my first post. Sorry it's a bit long but I think it'll be interesting. I've just come back this season after taking a good 6 years or so off. When I stopped I was a mid to low 90's golfer and am back to that same level right now. Took a bunch of lessons earlier in the season and got my fundamentals back in order and also worked hard on two problems the pro saw in my swing - early release and a bit of an OTT path. I have gotten to the point where I have become a really consistent ball striker (no more flipping) and after reading LSW I have spent the last few weeks trying to control the curve of my shots. I was typically hitting draws with the occasional hook or push but doing so without really trying to do it intentionally. I've tried to shape pretty much every shot the last few rounds and at the range (except wedges) to see which ball flight suits me best. I've also tried to study ball flight laws to diagnose what's happening on each swing. I've been slicing with the driver and sometimes my other clubs as well ever since I started trying to shape shots. Played a round 2 days ago and the slice was still there mainly with the driver. Starts out at the target and trails off to the right. Although I was able to keep my irons and hybrids straight, the impact just didn't feel as solid as usual. To try and get through the round, I began gripping the club with the face slightly closed and aiming to the right until the face was square with my target and lo and behold, I began to hit some great shots with my irons and hybrids. Dead straight and sometimes a nice draw. But the driver except for two holes which I managed to bomb it straight down the fairway continued to slice into the right rough or trees. Just could not feel like the face was turning over. I diagnosed it as not making a full shoulder turn which was partly true as it was really cold out and as a result my swing got short and jerky. In my practice sessions I could not control that draw. I could draw it, but could never get it to start right and come back to the target. I was always 10-15-20 yards right or left of my intended target. Had more success with the fade but even that would eventually turn into a slice after a while. Went to the range yesterday and hit some balls the way I did on the course (closed stance and closed clubface) and continued to hit all the clubs great. Dead straight, great distance with the very occasional pull or pull hook. Then I get to the driver... Hit it a LOT better with the improved shoulder turn but every 2-3 shots that darn slice crept in. Still in all was pretty happy but couldn't stop thinking about where that darn slice came from. So back to the ball flight laws...seems that a shot that starts out at the target then moves right comes from a face that is square to the target but a path that is out to in. It then dawned on me that I have a problem with my path with all my clubs. By closing the face and aiming right I was compensating for my OTT swing and essentially have a fade/slice swing but setting up to draw it as a compensation. And as usual, you can get away with it until you get to the big stick. My question is, do I just learn to play this way or do I fix the path? The reason I ask is this is a scenario that plays out over and over again in my game. I can fix the path and it will last for some time and I will eventually start to hook the ball and push it; alter my path to be more out to in so I can swing left of the target and begin slicing, rinse and repeat. I feel like I'm at a crossroads with my swing. Play with the flaw or try and fix it for good? I'm never going to turn pro and I don't keep a handicap. Just trying to shoot lower scores. I'm your high handicapper who hits the ball much better than his scores indicate. Distance is not an issue for me. My iron distance is comparable to the pros and I can drive it 275-290 when I'm hitting it well. I'm pretty sure I can learn to control the slice with the driver and aim down the left side and not lose too much distance. I wish I can get some video up but I just can't right now but I think I have a more natural steep swing that is more fit for a fade swing. I was fit for clubs this past summer and the fitter put me in S-Grind Vokey wedges because he said my angle of attack is pretty steep. I typically hit my irons really well and struggle with my woods from time to time. That said, if fixing the path is the right thing to do then that is what I'll work on. For me it's mostly about my right shoulder working out instead of down when I start the downswing. Thanks for reading and looking forward to the advice.
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