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Blog Comments posted by newtogolf

  1. Even at the pro level playing consistent golf is very difficult.  I started off slow this year, slowly progressed up until July then had a major regression with my irons which I eventually resolved in September and for the last two months have been playing very good golf despite my driver being a problem again.   I started the season at a 21 and finished at a 16.4 which is 1.4 strokes higher than the goal I had set for this year but that's life and golf.  Had I not had the regression in July and August I might have made it down to 15.  

    While many of us are obsessed with lowing our index, we should also strive to enjoy our time on the course.  This is more difficult when we're struggling with our swing and a round that you started with hopes of scoring a new low blows up on the first few holes and now you've got to play 12 - 15 holes just to salvage a terrible score.  

    It's good the last round of the season was enjoyable, it will give you a good reference for working on your swing over the winter and make it even more exciting to get back on the course next year. 

  2. Great post and dead on in terms of message.  

    I spend a lot of time at the range at my golf course and the local golf range, I rarely ever see anyone "practice" I see them hit golf balls.  

    When I go to the range, I'm always there to work on something or if I'm playing a course I've never played before I'll go there with the course layout and play a round of golf in my head mentally, hitting each club I'd use on the course.  

    I take a lot of time in between shots so I get to observe what most people at the range do and it amount to; hit 5-10 full swing shots with a wedge, then a 7i or 8i, then a hybrid, wood and driver, finish the practice with some pitching and chipping.  Half the time they don't even seem to have a real target or they are really inaccurate.

    Some people also refuse to learn from their mistakes.  One of my playing partners almost always ends up in the green side bunker on the first hole which he struggles to get out of. The clubs he chooses often leaves him a 60-70 yard shot that has to carry the bunker 55-60 yards.  He usually ends up hitting the shot fat and ending up in the bunker or thinning it over the green.  The bunker only covers the middle to right side of the green so I've suggested to him that he should aim left to take the bunker out of play so that at least if he hits it fat he's not in the bunker but he didn't like that idea.  

    His solution to the problem was to buy an XE-1, go to the practice area and spend an hour hitting out of a bunker, which I commended him for but I asked him why he wasn't also working with his wedges to gain comfort with them so he didn't end up in the bunker at all, he gave me a puzzled look and said "I hit my wedges okay, it's the bunker I have trouble getting out of."  <face palm>

  3. Use video to review your swing.  I don't have great flexibility and when I'd try to achieve a full back swing I found through my instructor and video I was cheating the last 25% of the swing to feel like it was a full back swing.  To get the club in the position of a full back swing I had to bend my right arm (I'm a lefty) which introduced a whole bunch of timing and down swing problems.  

    My golf game has improved significantly since I accepted I won't have a back swing like Rory or Bubba.  I've actually gained distance with the shortened back swing because I'm in a better position for the down swing and overall I'm making better and more consistent contact with the ball.  

    A shortened back swing may cost you a bit of distance on your best hit balls but overall I think you'll find your average distances go up.  

  4. I think professional athletes are reaching the extremes of our bodies potential which is demonstrated by the distance some are achieving and the toll it's taking on their bodies.  The lower lumbar wasn't designed for the torque and stress that professional golfers place it under with their swings.  Some believe the bulk of the damage to the lower lumbar occurs as a result of how golfers decelerate the club after impact.   

  5. 2 hours ago, Hiway1tele said:

    I never believed it was easy...which is why I practiced each day..and took a lesson at least once a week when possible...you can believe what you like, because it works for you doesnt mean it works for all of us...if it did, we wouldnt be posting on the breaking 100 thread...

    It took me 3 years and 3 different instructors to finally find an instructor that could teach me how to swing a golf club properly.  PGA certified doesn't mean they know how to teach someone to golf.  

  6. I invited an old buddy to join my group today and learned a few new rules.

    1. If your playing partners lose sight of your ball and you shorten your time to look for it because the course is packed, you drop the ball where you think it landed and assess yourself no penalty strokes.
    2. If the greens were recently aerated and you hit a putt to within 3" of the hole, you count the putt as holed, no extra stroke as would be added for a "gimme"
    3. Any noises from vehicles on nearby roads while making a stroke entitle golfer to a "mulligan".  

    We both shot a 95 today but he played by his rules while I played by the actual rules, for which I was called a sandbagger.  He then pointed out that he'd expect I would have played better than him given I'm taking lessons.  

    He's a great friend and we don't golf together very often so I let the comments slide as it doesn't really matter to me what he scores but I did think it was sad that he had convinced himself the above rules are what "everyone" plays by.  

  7. I kept telling myself not to look up and acknowledge the mutterer who chose to set up 1 stall apart from me despite the entire range being empty.  I'm a lefty so I was facing her the entire time, she was obviously was just learning to golf.  She also must have bathed in a gallon of vanilla perfume which was making me queasy from the heavy scent (I was down wind).  

    With each swing I'd hear a grunt, followed by a sigh, some cuss words and then a I'd get another whiff of her perfume.  I quickly finished my bucket of balls and left but the scent of her perfume was stuck in my nose for hours.  

  8. 25 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

    I tend to agree that the actual "sand bagger" is rare when the group or club maintains a steady membership.  No one joins our group and starts winning every event without a spotlight being shown on him.  It is the "one off" event where someone can blow in, shoot 10 shots under his "handicap", and then disappear that attracts the baggers.

    My perception is as some of you have mentioned; it is the vanity cappers who talk about sand bagging most frequently.  A "7" who should be a "12" can't understand how a "10" beats him like a drum.  

    I know there was a lot of real sandbaggers in my bowling leagues but it's not possible to have a vanity bowling average as scoring is handled automatically and overseen by the team you compete against.  

    I am convinced sandbagging isn't as big an issue as I first stated, it's much more likely just sour grapes from vanity cappers.  Great discussion!

  9. 1 minute ago, iacas said:

    Is it?

    I don't know if I've ever seen really strong numbers on this. Honestly, I think vanity capping is a bigger problem.

    I know a lot of people that belong to clubs that complain about the sandbaggers in their club.  Could be sour grapes but the perception is they are sandbagging. 

    I agree vanity capping is more common but that works against the vanity cappers that play for money or in tournaments so people don't get as outraged about it.  

  10. Sand bagging is a problem at most clubs.  It is unfortunate that some honest people have to be penalized in order for the tournaments to appear to be fair for all.  

    I play most of my rounds for "fun", where no money or very little money is wagered.  I always want to score my lowest to achieve my handicap goal but I may also try to make some shots during a fun round that I'd never try during a big money or tournament match. My scores tend to be lower during tournaments and bigger money rounds because I'm more focused on scoring and playing smarter golf, especially in match play events.  

    While the Knuth Tournament Point System minimizes sandbagging, it also penalizes players who play better under pressure.  You and Bob will be playing at a disadvantage to others simply because you're better clutch golfers which is unfortunate.   

  11. 4 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

    Unfortunately, that's business in general. The honest, ethical business owners and employees often suffer as a result of the mistrust created by the not so honest ones.

    That's what I like about Erik and my current instructor, they recognize the majority of other instructors are not very good and are willing to speak out about them.  Unfortunately most of the instructors I've met are like doctors and don't want to say anything bad about their fellow instructors who they know are ripping off their students.  I don't know if that's a PGA pro thing but their unwillingness to call out their peers just hurts their industry. 

  12. 13 minutes ago, gregsandiego said:

    Good post. I don't think I would have been comfortable at all in that situation. The idea of a caddy makes the whole thing sound snooty and pretentious.

    The club was a bit snooty (part of the reason I'm not a member there any longer) but the real purpose of the caddies was to ensure pace of play when the course was busiest, which I learned is why they weren't required on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or for tee times after 3:00 pm.  

    The caddies not only reduced or eliminated the time spent searching for mishit balls but they also ensured your group maintained pace with the group in front.  They were always nice about it, but it was an easy way for the club to enforce pace of play and many of the members liked playing with a caddy anyway and depended on them for reading putts, etc.    

    1 hour ago, JonMA1 said:

    And even good instruction does not guarantee good results.

    In the end, after we've put in all our available time, money, and effort, perhaps we simply look back and accept whatever skill level we achieved. Then be appreciative to have been able to play the game at any level.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going out to the garage to mindlessly whack golf balls.... with my 1983 Hogan Radials.

    Funny you mentioned Hogan irons because that was part of the story I left out.  When I met Don I was using Callaway Diablo Edges which he took one look at and handed back to me with a look of disgust.  Don was obsessed with Hogan irons and suggested I purchase the "best irons ever made" Hogan Apex Pros with Apex 3 shafts.  He claimed to own 5 sets of them so he'd never have to play the "crap" they sell today.  

    At his urging, I found a nice set of lefty Apex Pro's on eBay and purchased them which led me to start a collection of Hogan irons.  

  13. I agree, as I have been documenting in my blog, I went through five instructors before I finally found one who I felt was knowledgeable and cared enough to help me improve.  I was and am determined to become a single digit handicap golfer and fortunate enough to have the funds to pursue that goal despite all the wasted money spent on bad instructors.  I have a few friends and family members who were so frustrated from bad instruction they either gave up trying to improve or gave up the sport all together.  

    I've become friends with my current instructor and have helped him market his business.  We spend a lot of time talking about the golf industry and how poor the golf instruction within the industry is.  It hurts his business because he often hears from prospective customers that they aren't interested in taking lessons because of poor experiences they had in the past with lousy instructors.    

    Bad instructors hurt the good instructors and the golf industry overall.  

  14. Great blog, it encouraged me to reflect on my golf history.

    I wish I learned to play golf at a younger age.  I was too quick to dismiss it as an old mans game that I never got to appreciate how difficult and challenging it really is.  I also wish I was more diligent in selecting an instructor as I have engrained many bad habits into my swing that I am spending too much time trying to fix now.

  15. Forums are only as good as the people running and moderating them.  Finding the right mix of moderator intervention is tough.  If it's too loose, posters tend to get very personal and people start to get alienated.  If moderation is too tight, the feeling is that you can only post what the site owners want you too.  In either case, once key posters start to leave, it's tough to get them back and to stop others from following them.

    I'd say the moderation on TST is just right, we have a lot of room to express ourselves but if we do overstep, the moderators are quick to intervene and get the thread back on track.  The site caters to a lot of different interests with more emphasis on instruction than equipment which is intentional based on past comments I've seen from Erik.

    OOB would still be doing well if it didn't get acquired.  Other Forums I've been involved with changed after acquisition too, such as DPReview.   DPReview was acquired by Amazon and the moderation of the site changed significantly after it was acquired, especially some of the Pro Forums.

  16. @iacas I tell my kids all the time, if you work at your hobby you'll rarely feel like you've worked a day in your life and the money will come because the passion you have for your work will be obvious to your managers or customers.

    I am thankful I don't have to work, but I loved the business consulting and marketing aspects of my previous business so much I started a new business focused strictly on that.  I do what I love and I'm helping small businesses in my area be more successful, kind of my way of paying it forward.

    It's tough to go from putting in long hours to none, but @rkim291968 seems to have plan on how he's going to spend his retirement so maybe he'll have better luck at staying retired than I did.

  17. Dr. Don went on to coin many other catch phrases for his swing methods (none of which I'm aware worked for anyone).  He had almost conned some independent broadcast house to consider producing a cable television show on his swing method but the deal fell through.

    I give credit to anyone that works hard to earn a living and Don wasn't bad at giving basic swing tips.  The problem was instead of being a good golf instructor and helping people improve at golf he always tried to push his latest swing method on them and a bunch of lessons.  The range he worked at has distanced themselves from him so I'm not sure where he will end up, but I'm a bit relieved I won't have to run into him at the range anymore.

  18. I was more patient with Don than I typically would have been because I had verified he was the golf coach for a popular university in NY.  I think at one time he had good intentions and was really trying to uncover Hogan's secret but somewhere along the way he got lost and turned into more of a con artist than a golf pro.  

    @JonMA1 I think we'd all would like to be part of something magical to make the game easier.  I know when I was serious about improving in golf I sought out an easy way to get good fast.  I realize today that it was a lot of time and money wasted.  The blog is a  way for me to document and remember my journey but I also hope it helps some new golfers that might read it from repeating the same mistakes I've made. 

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