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Everything posted by hespeler

  1. Sorry if this has already been discussed as I didn't get through the whole thread. I've finally been flighting my wedges into greens the last few rounds and it's made my game from 150 and in sooo much better. Can't believe I've been hitting my wedges full-out all these years. I've now been trying to extend this into my short irons; ball back in stance, choke down, 3/4 swing. I'm having some trouble though; can't seem to hit it straight, it's either a bit of a hook or has too much fade causing me a nGIR instead of a GIR. Full 9-iron is about 160 for me so I'm now trying to flight it from 150. I can stand on the range all day and hit these shots but a little bit different on the course. Is it the same technique as the wedges? Any tips? Thanks.
  2. I can also add to the list of those who say swing speed can increase with proper technique. I was fitted for clubs 2 years ago at age 43 and was swinging my driver about 100-101 mph. Now two years later at age 45 with a better, more reliable swing I'm swinging about 105 mph. Gained 5-10 yds on average with my driver and 3-wood as well.
  3. I'm by no means highfalutin but the spitting in all sports does bother me too. I watch a lot of hockey and the constant spitting is a turn off. I saw Koepka spitting a ton this past wknd. If he was under the weather or had allergies that's one thing but when it gets habitual as a way to stay in a competitive posture through the round/game that I'll just never understand. And I do agree that a pro who gets a lot of TV coverage does have influence over young kids and I just don't see the point of propagating that kind of behavior. I think it's generally accepted that spitting unless for necessity every once in a while is seen as low-class behavior. Why does that change during a round/game? In the end, it's something I don't really care that much about and I'll still watch but I'd prefer to not see it. Also, having to spit a ton to play golf? C'mon. You know reading this maybe that's what the players are trying to do. Maybe they are trying to do it out of sight but the cameras seem to be catching them doing it. Still in all, I think plenty of athletes spit unnecessarily out of habit.
  4. Except NY'ers. We like to explain how difficult everything is around here. Completely agree with others; golf really early (or really late) or spend the day committed to it. I live a little under 40 miles (waaayyy out in Suffolk County) from the City line and when I have to drive in for work (have to drive for various reasons) I have to give myself 4 hours. 4 hours to go roughly 40 miles. Been doing it for so long but I still get a knot in my stomach every time I have to do it. Though there are sometimes pleasant surprises. We got a tee time this past Sunday on Memorial Day wknd for 9 holes at about 845 am so we could play before my kid's afternoon soccer game. We flew through it and signed up for another 9 and got that in and still made it on time to the game.
  5. Nice job on the 88. I shot 89 for the second time this past weekend. Did it once last year too. Doesn't feel monumental though. Feels like it could easily be a 90. I had to have some miracle shots to get there like a chip in from the rough for birdie and a couple of miracle putts. Things like that don't repeat too often. Just one more stroke like you had would have made me feel more comfortable "breaking 90."
  6. Agreed with some of the other posters; mileage-wise, there are plenty of options. Practically speaking, because of congestion, the radius gets a lot smaller. Not sure I'm going to head into the boroughs from LI to play when I can play nicer courses closer to me. Except for the history, Dyker Heights in Bklyn and I believe a course in the Bronx (first public golf course if I'm not mistaken) there's not much reason to golf in NYC. Except for a couple of courses here and there, I don't have much experience playing outside LI. Now if you start to add in private courses, I would think LI would begin to stack up well. Shinnecock, LI National, Sagaponack, Garden City CC...
  7. I'm generally satisfied with the public golf course options in the NYC area. Plenty of places to play without having to step off Long Island. I have a home course 10 minutes away and tons of other options within 15 to 60 minutes to change it up or to experience something new. Not all are in the greatest shape but you usually get what you pay for. Biggest problem is what was already alluded to - crowds. Really tough to play a quick round in NY. We booked a few days at the end of June at Crystal Springs in NJ and I was hoping to have a relaxing few days with leisurely tee times but there are outings all week and we have to play really early each day. I shouldn't have been surprised... I'll trade the number of courses for some great mountains to ski...and lower taxes.
  8. Really? I guess you're talking Nassau County which is essentially Bethpage and Eisenhower but if you're willing to drive just a bit to Suffolk, then Long Island on the whole has plenty of places to play.
  9. I’ve been hitting 8 or 9 GIR’s. Maybe 50% fairways. Have really good distance on all clubs. I simply can’t close out holes. I have a lot of par putts that turn in to bogey or double. When I miss a green, it’s often because I didn’t do a good job picking the right club and overshot the green leading to a lost ball or awkward pitch. Another 6 or maybe 7. Do I hit really bad shots? Definitely. I can spray the driver into the next fairway maybe once a round and similar shots that lead to blow up holes. But I can string together 4 or 5 holes with every shot being a good one...and maybe walk away with one par. I’ll miss a 4 footer to save par or bogey once or twice a round. I’m not there yet but I’ve come a long way and the full swing is not what’s really keeping me from going lower. It puts me in position to score a lot, I just can’t...score. I can stand on the practice green and drain putts and lag ‘em close, hit chips to a few feet but I can’t do it in a round. Much like you can stripe ‘em on the range but shank ‘em on the course. Between the net at my house, the range and lessons, I hit a ton of balls. Almost every day. Pro I take lessons with says high 80’s should be a bad day for me. Golf hasn’t been much fun and even though my swing is in good shape right now I’m glad the off season is coming up. Personally, I can’t think about the lower body too much. From years of experimenting and taking lessons. Yes I get quick from the top from time to time, flip the face and hook it. I’m just a hack, not a pro. But when my swing goes bad, from experience, trying too much with the lower body never really gets it back on track.
  10. What kind of shot does that produce for you, when you’re hips aren’t open at impact? Different for everyone I guess but hips not being open could be a slide which could be the result of trying too much to start with the lower body. I keep coming back to getting the club in a good position at the top and not overthinking the transition. i mean yes, practice not yanking the club down from the top but I don’t like swing thoughts that focus too much on starting with the lower body. I find those thoughts especially difficult to maintain under pressure. Disclaimer. I’m not a pro or low handicapper. Just a guy who has worked hard and made the full swing the strongest part of my game. Most of my strokes are lost around the green.
  11. I've seen a good impact position with my arms and club shaft in-line. Have taken a few lessons recently where the pro put me on video and never mentioned an issue with my hips. Guess I never thought about it but I certainly am finishing in the classic golfer pose and feel very balanced with my chest pointing towards the target. At least as of late... I do have a habit of taking the club too inside from time to time and even if I try like heck to start with the lower body I'm re-routing that club over the top to get to the hitting area. Hence why I try and focus on keeping the club on plane in the backswing which leaves me room to shallow out the club in the downswing. Easier for me than bump the hip...
  12. This is where I'm at too. Much better ball striking and consistency this season. I'm actually not sure it will get any better as 75% or greater of my shots go as planned. I lose a lot of shots around the green but despite practicing chipping, pitching, and putting and even playing a lot of rounds at a local par 3 to really hone in my wedges I can't bring the score down. I've found avoiding 3-putts and getting closer on chips and pitches to be the hardest aspects to transfer to the golf course. I can do it all day on the practice green but can't seem to actually score when I have to. I thought that when I got to the level that I'm at now with my full swing, scores would automatically come down. Not so. For most of us recreational golfers, even ones with a solid full swing, short game and putting is vital to bringing scores down.
  13. It is but in my own experience, not something that can be focused on too much. I think it's enough to know that the swing starts from the ground up, find whatever cue helps you (bump hips, press down on front foot, etc.) but you can start from the ground up all day and still hit a variety of bad shots if you don't get the club into a good position at the top and have proper a turn away from the ball. Practicing consistency in setting up to the ball the same way (grip, stance, alignment), good visualization of the target and target line, practicing a good takeaway, and a good shoulder turn have all led me to more success than trying to perfect the hip bump. I find that if I do all the things I just mentioned correctly, proper sequencing kind of takes care of itself. Swing a weighted club to practice starting from the bottom up. I just find that if I think about starting with the lower body too much it actually does the opposite and makes me rush down.
  14. Would you mind expounding a bit on that? 30-40 years is not a long time. I agree that golf will continue to suffer in the modern world but 30-40 years to non-existence as an outdoor sport?
  15. Was playing 9 the other day (I've been trying to break 90 forever). At around the 7th hole, one of the guys in the foursome says to me, "you probably shoot in the mid to low-80's." Told him I can't break 90 but thanks. He couldn't believe it, said I hit the ball way too well for those scores. This is a refrain I hear a lot, even from my pro. I told the guy I count every stroke, no mulligans, etc. He said he does too. On the last hole, I push my tee shot into the next fairway. Wound up hitting another (knew what I did wrong) and bomb it 265 in the rough but a good lie leaving me about 60 yds to the pin (short downhill par 4). Pitch on about 10 feet to the pin. Getting ready to putt, I tell the guy it's my 5th stroke cause I re-teed. He looks at me and says, "c'mon you're not gonna count that first tee shot..." I manage to 3-putt for 7 leaving me with a 47. Very typical round for me. On the practice green I can drain 10 footers or at least leave myself an easy clean-up putt but on the course I seem to leave myself with a difficult 4 1/2 footer all the time. I'm not getting on this guy as he was pretty cool and told me I'm a much better player than my score which motivated me.
  16. I'm the same way. I do enjoy all of the ancillary stuff but only to a point and it can't override my performance or lack thereof. Wish I could. I'd probably score better.
  17. Wow I'm pretty strict but if I tap the ball and it barely moves when I'm setting up I don't penalize myself. Something like that is a rarity anyways.
  18. Started playing again last year after taking a 5 year hiatus. I played for 6 or 7 years before that. Started in my early 30's and didn't take lessons right away but I've taken a lot of lessons on and off since then. First thing I'll say is I'm very skeptical of most people who say they break 100 or 90 regularly. Not the golfers who post on here because they are actually serious enough but most of the casual golfers who play once a month and say they card an 83. Most are being very generous with their mulligans, gimme putts, etc. Don't believe it till you see it. I recall breaking 100 came pretty quick for me but I'm still trying to break 90. When I left off I was shooting in the low-90's and that's back to where I'm at now. The difference is I'm a much better golfer now than I ever was back then. My ball striking and consistency is sooo much better, yet, my scores haven't moved. I play most of the round like someone who easily breaks 90 but can't avoid the one or two blow up holes and miss a lot of par putts that would knock my score down. I thought hitting more fairways and GIR was the key. I've done that, but ya still gotta score. I left golf for life reasons but also out of frustration of being stuck at the same handicap for so long and I'm starting to feel that frustration again despite knowing my swing is much better than it ever was. Even when I take lessons, it's the same lesson over and over again. When I play, it's the same round over and over again. Starting to lose the enjoyment in it and am glad ski season is coming up. I thought playing more was the answer. I've played more than I ever have in one season this year, so no, that's not it. Shot a 92 last week on a course I've never played despite a 9 on one hole and a 7 on another. 8 GIR's and 8 fairways. So close yet so far... I kind of have this theory that there's no in between in golf. You either get it or you don't. That theory is confirmed when you read a common theme in this thread where folks have said they broke 90/80 within the first few years of playing. A lot of the pros I've taken lessons with have also said they broke 90/80 early in their career. We all settle into a handicap and it's very hard to move it.
  19. Was away for a few days for work and squeezed in a round in Maine before heading home. Shot a 92 on a course I've never played before. Still frustrating though. 8 fairways hit and 8 GIR's. Can't seem to get rid of the blow up holes. A 9 on a par 5 and a 7 on a par 4. All though I will say a few bogeys may really have been pars but I three putted because the greens were being aerated. Just amazing how it's like Groundhog Day for me. Every round is the same give or take a stroke or two. Really don't feel like it'll ever change.
  20. At the end of the day you have to get the ball in the hole. To do that consistently you have to have at least some proficiency in all aspects of the game. I guess it all depends on what is defined by "good" and "talented." I play public golf courses with a lot of strangers and most agree that breaking 100 consistently is the definition of good golfer. Most think that if you could bomb a drive or hit a long approach shot to 10 feet you're a good golfer. They think if you can hit pro-level looking shots even some of the time that you're scoring well but they're not counting your score. People don't seem to take as much notice when someone gets up and down a few times a round or grinds out a tough putt to save par or even bogey. I played the other day with my father-in-law and a stranger and the stranger asked if I played golf in high school. When I told him I didn't and that I took it up in my 30's (I'm 44 now) he was very surprised. At that point in the round some of my can't break 90 flaws and inconsistencies began to creep in like they always do on the way to my obligatory 92. I appreciated the comment and truth is I did have more talent than the guy but I regard myself as a poor golfer because I can't score consistently despite striking the ball better than most that I play with. I also suspect that if people kept an accurate score their career lows would not be what they say or think they are so they aren't even sure if they're getting better or not.
  21. I've been using a LW since I started about 10 years ago and regularly shoot in the 90's. What I'm discovering is that I may have been using it for some shots that have cost me strokes. I played 9 last night and on a long, dogleg par 5, I bomb a drive, hit a GW layup exactly where I wanted and have about 95-100 yards to the pin. That's a full lob wedge for me. I skull that thing over the green like I've done so many times before. I say to myself, "you idiot, you've been practicing the 3/4 SW just for this reason." I get to my ball and have a pitch shot with not much green to work with and the hole is cut on a downhill. Ahhh this is what my LW is for. I did hit a pretty good pitch with it and 2-putted for bogey but was frustrated cause I should have had a GIR. So, in sum I think a LW is useful IF you don't try and make a full swing with it. Some people can and do without a problem but for a lot of us you're better off flighting a less lofted club. One other thing, I find a LW much easier to hit out of the sand because in this instance I can make a bigger swing which helps me follow through. Gentle pitch and chip shots and bunker shots will keep the LW is the bag for me.
  22. Yeah makes sense. There are times I'm well above average in GIR's for a 90's player and there are times I can't hit a green to save my life. The times I hit a lot of greens, I can't putt at all. The times I don't hit many greens, I chip and pitch pretty well and putt pretty well. 90's every time... Last few range sessions I've been hitting a ton of half and 3/4 wedge shots and I am slowly but surely seeing some improvement.
  23. I'm at the exact same spot. Can't really break 90. Shot an 89 twice but still doesn't really feel like I broke 90 because I feel I may have missed a stroke and on one of the rounds a couple of holes were under repair so there was a fake green 20 yards in front of the real green. Kinda feels cheap. I'm 44 at the pinnacle of my ability. Able to hit long and have gained a lot of consistency in my full swing over the last year or two. I also feel like I've hit a wall but I do agree with @gbogey. I'm losing so many strokes due to the short game and the other strokes come from one or two errant tee shots. There used to be a lot more errant tee shots so that's a big plus. I have just began practicing the short game more. Going out of my way to a range that has a short game area and a par 3 course I've been playing to become a better wedge player. I think the short game has been harder to transfer to the course than the full swing. I mean, a lot of short game shots are meant to SCORE and there is very little margin for error. A chip that leaves you a 3 foot putt and a chip that leaves you a 5 and a half foot putt are both pretty good shots for a rec player. But that 2 and a half foot difference means a ton when you count up all of your bogeys vs. pars in a round. I can say I've become very consistent. It's almost always a mid to low 90's round and I haven't been over a hundred in a long time. Even when I'm not hitting 'em that great.
  24. I know. It's getting to a point where I really think I'm incapable of breaking through. I really do strike the ball like a low handicapper. Not sure what else I can do. But you're right, when I look at it objectively, my short game is pretty bad. I maybe get up and down once or twice a round. I have the technique (pitching and chipping), just can't get close enough to the hole and rarely make any big putts over 4 or 5 feet. And I rarely ever have a comfortable par putt. Even if I play the hole great, I'll figure out a way to leave myself a 6-footer for par. Yes my lag putting stinks even though I practice it. Just something about doing it when it really counts. A couple of those putts inside of 10 feet I actually hit fat; ball went like a foot and was left with an 8 or 9 footer for par which turns into a bogey. Throw in a an eight or a seven and a few sixes and you're right at the line. 5 pars on the front nine yesterday, only one on the back 9. I usually have at least one hole a round where I have to re-tee (I'm not a tour player or collegiate golfer) so yes I'm consistent but within reason) leading to usually a 6 or 7 or even an 8 if I putt really bad. I don't know, I'm very penal on myself. If I hit a shot near the green in the trees and I can hit it out I will but if I can't and I move it even a little to be able to swing, I penalize myself. I never give myself a mulligan off the tee and if I can't find my first tee shot and play my second I take the penalty. About the only thing I do is allow myself a gimme putt every now and then from 3 feet or shorter. Trust me, I tossed a few clubs around yesterday after making bogey on some holes where I had a good look at birdie. And I definitely wanted to quit this game after the round yesterday because it doesn't add up to me either. In my defense, the course was in pretty bad shape, plenty of mud, bare spots around the green, greens themselves not in good shape...
  25. In the last year I've been fit for a full bag at Club Champion. I'm 44, 6'2", workout regularly and hit a ton of balls both at home into a net and at the range as well as play a decent amount. I swing 99-100 mph with my driver and my typical distances (with roll) generally are: Driver - 275-285 3 Wood - 250-265 3 Hybrid - 235 4 Hybrid - 205-220 7i - 180-185 Just played in a best ball tourney and won the long drive contest with a 320 yd shot. Hole was set up for it with a very elevated tee. We had about 60 yds left to the green. I will say my averages with my irons are pretty consistent but with the driver it definitely varies. I can hit one 285 and the next hole, 245-250. Also depends on the shot I'm trying to play. If it's a fade then it won't carry or roll as much. Nevertheless, most of the time I'm left with a wedge in. I'll hit a PW from 150 out. OK, bragging part of the post over and I can tell you that I'm NOT bragging. I can't break 90 to save my life and I'm actually pretty consistent too. Yes distance is important but at the end of the day you gotta be able to get the ball in the hole. At my current level, I don't have a knack for getting the ball in the hole. Yesterday I shot 92 (I don't give myself mulligans and count every stroke and penalty) and had 9 GIR's. Four or five were within 10 feet of the pin. 3 of the holes I bogeyed because of a 3-putt. My short game isn't horrendous but has to get better if I'm going to break this barrier. I still get 2-3 really bad full swing misses a round which doesn't help either. I would happily give up 25 yds of distance on every club if I could be a mid to low handicapper. Really goes to show you just how tough this game is when you're a well above average ball striker and still can't drop strokes.
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