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      Introducing TST "Clubs!"   08/28/2017

      No, we're not getting into the equipment business, but we do have "clubs" here on TST now. Groups. Check them out here:

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Found 18 results

  1. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for October, 2017! The rules are the same as always: Make a detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. Try to limit the number of very short or "ditto" type posts. Describe what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it in red text so I can notice it and give you the award. Enjoy and practice hard! Note: you can miss one day per monthly challenge if you have a good reason and still be eligible for the monthly award.
  2. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for August, 2017! The rules are the same as always: Make a detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. Try to limit the number of very short or "ditto" type posts. Describe what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it in red text so I can notice it and give you the award. Enjoy and practice hard! Note: you can miss one day per monthly challenge if you have a good reason and still be eligible for the monthly award.
  3. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for June, 2017! The rules are the same as always: Make a detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. Try to limit the number of very short or "ditto" type posts. Describe what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it in red text so I can notice it and give you the award. Enjoy and practice hard! Note: you can miss one day per monthly challenge if you have a good reason and still be eligible for the monthly award.
  4. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for May, 2017! The rules are the same as always: Make a detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. Try to limit the number of very short or "ditto" type posts. Describe what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it in red text so I can notice it and give you the award. Enjoy and practice hard! Note: you can miss one day per monthly challenge if you have a good reason and still be eligible for the monthly award.
  5. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for April, 2017! The rules are the same as always: Make a detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. Try to limit the number of very short or "ditto" type posts. Describe what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it in red text so I can notice it and give you the award. Enjoy and practice hard! Note: you can miss one day per monthly challenge if you have a good reason and still be eligible for the monthly award.
  6. Wikipedia defines the four stages of competence as: Unconscious incompetence - The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage. The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn. Conscious incompetence - Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage. Conscious competence - The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill. Unconscious competence - The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become "second nature" and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned. It comes with a picture that I've included to the right. Consider how you learned to ride a bike. You started off being incompetent, for sure. Before you knew that you could ride a bike, or how you might even start to go about doing it, you were unconsciously incompetent. You didn't even understand how to ride a bike. At some point you hopped on a bike and swerved all over the place for the four feet you traveled before you hopped off or fell over. You knew that you were incompetent, hence, conscious incompetence. Slowly you figured out that it was all about balance. You knew what you had to do - balance, and lift your feet up, and pedal, and steer too. And you were thinking about all of these things as you were riding your bike. Your four feet turned into ten, then a hundred, then halfway down the block before you crashed because you tried to turn around in a driveway. You crossed over from being consciously incompetent to consciously competent somewhere in there (depending on how you define competence). For a more specific example, the first time you get a bike with dual hand brakes (one controls the front wheel, one the back wheel) you started off having to think about which brake to apply (never just the front one!). You could do so, but there was always a partial second of thought like "which one is it again?" Then after a short while, you can hop on your bike and go. You can turn. You can brake. You're clearly competent, and you can do those things while thinking about how much of a bummer it is that Jenny doesn't like you back, and that your parents are mean, and that you can't wait for your baseball game tomorrow. You are unconsciously competent - you don't have to think about riding a bike at all. For a more recent example, consider how you learned to drive. At first you had to remember all sorts of things, and think about them, even which way to flick the stick to signal a left turn. Now, you just hop in your car and go. This all applies to golf, as well, and this thread is how you do it: Let's take, for example, a golfer who just goes out and plays golf. Let's say he shoots in the 90s and hits the ball fat, thin, and all over the map. He goes to take a lesson. Why? Because he's unconsciously incompetent. He knows he's incompetent, yes, but he doesn't know why or what he should work on first. So his instructor films him and says "you need to work on Key #2: your weight does not go forward at all in your downswing." Bam: the golfer is now consciously incompetent. He knows what the fault is, but still can't do it right. So the instructor gives him some drills. He demonstrates. He has the golfer do things in slow motion and with shorter swings. The golfer is still consciously incompetent. He still can't do the move properly. He can do it better, but it still may not be competent. So the golfer keeps working. He knows what he's doing wrong, how to fix it, and eventually when doing drills or actively thinking about a feeling, he can do it (as well as he can be expected to, which may not be perfect). He's become consciously competent. Eventually, the golfer notices more and more that he's able to do this - he's trained himself to do this - without having to think about it so much. Maybe it's a swing thought, or something he practices with a little half practice swing before he hits his shot, but it's not something he's actively thinking about while hitting the ball. So, a question for you all: at what point should the golfer above seek out instruction for his full swing? There are three possible answers, IMO, but the first - Time #1 - is a given: at any point in step 1 the golfer should seek out instruction, because he's both incompetent and lacks a road map or the knowledge to do anything differently to improve. Take a moment to think about it, and then scroll down. Here are the other times when a golfer should seek instruction. Remember that Time #1 is when the golfer is incompetent and doesn't know what to do to improve. He's "unconscious" (doesn't know) and "incompetent" (bad at the thing). Here are the other times: Time #2: When the golfer is unconsciously competent, or in the middle of step 4, he's ready for new information. If he can achieve Key #2 reasonably well during the downswing without having to think about it, he is ready to work on something else - to go back to step 1 and work on shallowing his shaft in the transition, or achieving inline impact, or something else. It's inadvisable for the golfer to seek out new instruction when he's in the middle of the third step - the golf swing happens too quickly to consciously think about two things during one swing. Occasionally we'll give students two things, but we typically only do so when one is a backswing thought and the other is a downswing thought, and even then we will caution them to work on only one thing at a time. I'll say something like "yeah, hit four balls thinking about this one, and then three balls thinking about the other one. It helps things stay fresh and staves off boredom or complacency." Time #3: When the golfer is struggling to move from conscious incompetence to conscious competence, he should seek out instruction. He knows what's wrong, but for one reason or another, is having trouble actually correcting it. It may range from the student not really understanding the drills or things he was given (note: that doesn't mean he's unconsciously incompetent - he still knows what he's trying to improve, just not how to do it), or that he's overdone them so much that he's almost created a new problem, or that he's just forgotten the feel that clicked during a lesson and a text to the instructor may be all he needs to get back on track. Golfers screw this stuff up all the time. They seek out a lesson when they're between steps 2 and 3. More commonly, they seek out instruction when they're dead smack in the middle of step 3 - they can make really good swings (for them) when they're actively thinking about their "piece," but it hasn't sunk in yet to where it's truly unconscious. Golfers also almost never really achieve complete unconscious competence, either. Unlike riding a bike, golfers tend to slowly revert back to what's natural, or form some new bad habits. When a PGA Tour player says something like "I have a tendency to get a little stuck sometimes. I worked on it all winter and was playing well in the first half of the season, but it got away from me a bit around the British Open." What that golfer is saying is that he was in step 3 in the off-season, worked to get it pretty deep into step 4, but as he played in tournaments and pro-ams and had some good finishes and then worked on his putting stroke and his bunker play and hitting the driver a bit higher, he slowly slipped back into step 3 territory: conscious competence. He still knows what he has to fix, and how to fix it, but it's slipped back into where he can probably only do it when he's thinking about it. He's just across the line - he might even win tournaments with a swing thought related to getting stuck. I'll conclude with a question for all of you. We see this golfer on TST all the time, and it's something that plagues a lot of golfers on the Internet. This golfer seeks out a ton of information. They read a lot, watch a lot of videos, and absorb a ton. They can tell you fifteen things wrong with their swing. They can point out the various quirks of different Tour players, and are often dogmatic about what makes a good golf swing. They seem to "know" a lot of stuff… So the question: what zone are they in? Why?
  7. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for February, 2017! The rules are the same as always: Make a somewhat detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it, preferably in red text or something so I can notice it and give you the award. Detail what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). Enjoy and practice hard! Note: you can miss one day per monthly challenge if you have a good excuse and still be valid to win the monthly award. BTW since February is the shortest month… if you've ever wanted to do the least amount possible to get the 5 Minutes Award, this is your month to do it!
  8. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for January, 2017! The rules are the same as always: Make a somewhat detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it, preferably in red text or something so I can notice it and give you the award. Detail what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). Enjoy and practice hard!
  9. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for November, 2016! The rules are the same as always: Make a somewhat detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it, preferably in red text or something so I can notice it and give you the award. Detail what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). Enjoy and practice hard!
  10. MySwing Golf Launches Major Software Update Scottsdale, AZ (November 16, 2016) — MySwing Golf, Inc., the world’s leading full-body 3D motion capture analysis system for the golf swing, has announced the launch of its newest and most sophisticated software package. The software is now available for download to all existing MySwing customers. The key upgrades with the new software include biofeedback, which uses both audio and visual cues, that allows coaches to share instant swing feedback with their students; and a report comparing a student’s swing to tour ranges, allowing instructors to quickly focus on one or two major swing issues and provide a quick evaluation to the student. Instructors can add comments to this report and share it with their students via PDF. In addition, there are a variety of 3D planes and a new 3D wrist view. “Students learn much faster if they can both see and feel what their instructor wants them to do rather than the instructor forcing the player into a certain position,” said MySwing Director of Product Development, Chase Cooper. “Our goal with MySwing is to be as visual and user friendly as possible. Forcing instructors and their students to look at and understand graphs really isn’t the right approach.” The MySwing Professional product is the only wireless 3D system that is portable and can be used indoors as well as outdoors for a real-time teaching experience. According to Cooper, the MySwing Pro state-of-the-art system takes golf instruction to a new level. “Golf instructors have two goals: improve their students and increase revenue. With this new software release, we will help them accomplish both.” For more information about MySwing Golf, visit www.myswing.com. Now then… I wanted to start a thread on the MySwing. The software and everything was a little rough the last time @david_wedzik and I checked it out at the PGA Show last year, but I'm curious about the improvements they've made. I'll talk with Chuck (Evans) about it, as he's been using it for awhile, and I know others who have a system as well. Generally speaking, I tend to like technology but not like it when it requires doing too much different than regular golf. For example, the K-Vest was cool and all… but it was an actual vest and took some strapping in and all that. Time that is sometimes better spent, plus, the golfer didn't "feel" like they were playing golf, they felt like they were in an experiment. The MySwing is fairly non-intrusive.
  11. Welcome to the "5 Minutes Daily" Practice Challenge for October, 2016! The rules are the same as always: Make a somewhat detailed post describing your practice every day during the month. No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. On the last day of the month, if you completed the challenge, post about it, preferably in red text or something so I can notice it and give you the award. Detail what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). Enjoy and practice hard!
  12. You can get better at any age. Many here would trade their swing for this one…
  13. I gave a lesson to a guy the other day who said he wanted to learn "how to play golf." He was being sarcastic, as he's played golf for 40 years or so, has made many nice changes and improvements to his golf swing, and is playing quite well for his age. Despite this, his texts from the day before were of the panicking type. I gave him a lesson. I wanted him to do two things. First, I wanted him to take his left shoulder down a bit more so his head didn't drift back and up during the backswing. Then, I wanted him to slide his hips forward an inch, two at most, further forward on the downswing. The former would clean up contact, the latter would bring the ball flight up. Three balls in I'm hearing about how "ecstatic" he is. Ten balls in and I'd heard the word six or seven times. We switched to the driver. The success continued. We added the hip piece. The success continued. Back in "the room" I drew some arrows and lines and measured some things in the video and made his before/after photos with notes. Then he said something which prompted me to look at his first lesson about sixteen months prior. What he saw didn't surprise me at all, but shocked him quite a bit. He saw essentially the same arrows. The same lines. The same measurements. The same notes. He'd been working so long on his "latest piece" (all summer, really), that he kind of forgot about his "first" priority piece. That thing that will always tend to creep up on you and nag you. That thing you always have to watch for. That's all. Long story short, if you're struggling, look back at your old images and notes and videos. Odds are, you may just need to remind yourself of something you thought you'd licked previously.
  14. If you do not practice properly, you probably won't get any better. You'll probably say "that instruction doesn't work" (even though you're not doing it). The worst culprits are often the better players. They make two swings slow motion and think they have it. I'm easy at first, gently reminding them. Then I get a little firmer. Then firmer yet. But ultimately I can't go full drill sergeant on them, and whether they practice properly after having the benefits, reasons, process, etc. explained, it's up to them. Oh, and… the title?
  15. Welcome to the first Practice Challenge for 2016! The rules are the same as the last several months: Post every day during the month above. No back-dating or pre-dating posts or practice sessions. Detail what you did for at least five minutes of practice (indoors or out, with or without golf balls, etc.). Some of you have been slacking on this - give details. Enjoy and practice hard! P.S. This month, hopefully, we'll be able to generate awards again. The plugin is being worked on right now by the developer, and is in beta testing.
  16. From 2009: http://www.golfdigest.com/story/hotlistevolution-0902 From 2015: http://www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/Golfweek-Custom-Media/golfweek-5-18-15/2015051202/17.html#16 Ignoring the fact that without a floor, you can't really calculate a percent improvement*… the fact remains: golfers are getting better. This seems to be true despite courses continuing to get more difficult, golfers playing longer tees than they often should, and anything else you can think of. Golfers continue to get better, IMO, because: Instruction is improving. Launch monitors are more readily available to average golfers. Some of the lousier golfers might have been squeezed out in the recent recession. Equipment continues to improve. So, there you have it. Regardless of the reasons - which I may or may not even have sniffed - golfers are getting better. * I read a review of the iPhone once where they said the temperature increased from 30° C to 40° C and how that was a 33% increase. This kind of math doesn't work because it's not based on a scale that ends at true zero. Perhaps if the scale was to use the Kelvin scale, which has absolute zero… but 303.15 to 313.15 is only a 3.3% increase, which isn't quite the headline of "iPhone 33% hotter!". Anyway… the handicap scale is like that. There's no hard limit at "zero."
  17. I recently moved back a set of tee boxes in an attempt to force myself into working on a weakness, which is woods and driver off the tee. I was really enjoying the lower scores due to playing from shorter tees. But when I played different courses, my inability to keep the ball in play when teeing off with those clubs was the main reason for higher scores. So far, the rounds I've played from these longer tees have both frustrated me (predictably higher scores) and resulted in a bit of improvement in that area. I'm sure this is the right thing to do (for me anyway), but I was curious as to how others approached this "dilemma".