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Rate of gain - The humble growth rate in golf

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

 When I go to the livestock sales, its always good to look at a Steer with a low rate of gain.  The idea is that the beef that grows slower has less fat and better quality.

 

If I transfer this to my golf skills, then low rate of gain means that I'll have a better quality game in the long run, no?

 

Okay, sooooo the livestock sales doesn't translate to golf, but why do I feel like I should be making better progress?

 

Humbly I stand before you with a score car from yesterday that has a 54 on the front 9 and a 57 on the back 9.  I was excited to see my scores drop below 120 on 18 holes but I thought I'd be closer to 100 by now. 

 

Am I delusional about the rate of progress?

 

*This thread was a bit of a launch from the Difference in skill level thread


Edited by Trekchick - 6/22/2009 at 02:49 pm GMT
post #2 of 21

How OFTEN do You Play ??

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

 Once a week for sure, twice if I'm lucky.

 

post #4 of 21

when you hit the ball well, how far does it go and in what direction?

 

Driver and 7 iron??

 

My point is this, I've come close to elininating a slice from my game after many many years and now have a controlled draw  with driver that goes consistently 225 yards or so if I strike the ball pretty well, which is about 70% of the time (this year I'm driving vwey well on say 5 of 7 driving holes on a side and screwing up the rest pretty badl

 

7 iron is dead straight 150 to 155 yards when I hit it well. which is most of the time.  Rest of the clubs I use regularily are about the same I hit them well 70% of the time or so.

 

Pitch and chip not so good and putting---on a fast greens, down right atrocious right now.  on slower or wet greens, I'm deadly!

 

I can make most shots are except for say a 4 iron off the back foot to get under thr tress or a flop shoe over sand---by that I means I know what to do---not sayin it will happpen according to plan even some of teh time

 

problem is I never get all shots going at the same time.  latley I'm driving very very well but losing at least one shot in the fairways darn near every hole and my putting could be better.  result??  43 to 47the last 5 9 hole rounds.low this year is 42 and high is 53.  18 holes range from 89 to 102.

 

If you cannot reliable know how far each club will go---you are not yet at a point where improvement will start to seem rapid.

 

mis 2 drives, 3 putt 2 times in nine and miss one from the fairway 3 or 4 times and thats  bogey golf right there.

 

more than that adds up quickly.

 

 

 

How did you play on your marathon round with driver??  

post #5 of 21

I play about 3/4 times a week was  a plus +27 in my first season 5 yrs-yrs ago am now +14 , I WORK at it but i have FUN WITH IT not getting UPSET 

 

t's hard to say or predict what specifically works for someone, since its really a highly individualized  game . Fundamentals are key but so is sheer practice time and repetition

 

 I practice at least 4-5 days a week in additiion to playing . Each practice session  I focus on just 1/2 differant types of shots ( Mostly all approach and short game stuff) but 1nite a week i'll hit typical second shot on a par 5 type balls for an hr or so ,

 

 I've read many books , watched untold  instructional videos -----------------BUT  FIND by playing 75 - 80 rounds a season and playing with folks better than me i'v e been able to reduce my handicap .

 

Keep swinging , don't obsess  relax and have fun ,TENSION of any type screws up your game  tense grip , forearms  herky jerky overly fast swing =trouble

 

Have fun

post #6 of 21

There's so many ways to be bad at this game. Inconsistant ball striking, no short game, can't putt....

 

If you're shooting in the 100's you should practice at least twice as often as you play. Take lessons, get on the web. There's tons of great videos on the web. Take videos of yourself. Get over how bad you'll look. The mistakes are usually glaring.

 

For me the greatest help I had getting where I've managed so far is having a great golf partner that can help you with your game. I've had three in 16 years. It's like having a full time coach. We push each other, help figure out what's going wrong when things get bad.

 

Don't become one of those players who's afraid to try different things. "But I hit a great one last Tuesday with this swing" means nothing. You're doing it right when it repeats every time. How good you hit it once and a while means nothing. It's what makes golf harder than anything else. If it doesn't repeat it needs to change.

 

Some people never get it. Enjoy the journey. You'll see improvement in time. My h'cap hasn't changed much in the last three years but I'm still learning, the next breakthrough may come tomorrow.

post #7 of 21

I'm slumping right now. My short game is still consistant and good but fairway play is bad. All of a sudden, I can't hit my mid irons and hybrids. It's not good.

 

I've come to the idea that I'm thinking too much and should just hit the stinking ball instead of playing around with whether to play the ball back or forward. Problem is, I need to just hit balls at the range instead of playing. but with work and playing twice a week in leagues, there isn't time to work on the game.

 

I'm thinking the Vegas trip away from the game will do me good.

post #8 of 21

It truly is a silly game...a good walk spoiled..or whatever you want to call it.

 

I have found that golf is a poor mistress, it needs just too much attention. Unless you commit 2-3 times at the range and 1-2 rounds in, your game will not improve. Oh and cigars and scotch help a lot, especially the scotch.  

post #9 of 21

Low rate of gain does not necessarily mean higher quality of learning. Wait till you start learning in the midst of negative rate of gain.

post #10 of 21

When you play, do you keep track of any stats, such as fairways hit (you're missing many, so mark down if the misses are left or right), greens in regulation (probably making none right now, so mark long/short, left/right or combo), and number of putts?

 

These numbers will help you focus your practicing efforts.

 

Also, how do you practice? Do you just hit off of mats? If so, get on some grass. David Leadbetter suggests practicing shots in groups of 5. Two groups working on a particular swing thought, one group in what he calls "trusting" mode.

 

Have you had video analysis of your swing? Doesn't have to be anything fancy, but it would help to see your own swing, epecially if you know what to look for.

 

All the above can help. But, like others have said, it's going to take a lot of golf to get your scores to where I suspect you want them to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 When I go to the livestock sales, its always good to look at a Steer with a low rate of gain.  The idea is that the beef that grows slower has less fat and better quality.

 

If I transfer this to my golf skills, then low rate of gain means that I'll have a better quality game in the long run, no?

 

Okay, sooooo the livestock sales doesn't translate to golf, but why do I feel like I should be making better progress?

 

Humbly I stand before you with a score car from yesterday that has a 54 on the front 9 and a 57 on the back 9.  I was excited to see my scores drop below 120 on 18 holes but I thought I'd be closer to 100 by now. 

 

Am I delusional about the rate of progress?

 

*This thread was a bit of a launch from the Difference in skill level thread


Edited by Trekchick - 6/22/2009 at 02:49 pm GMT



 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Lots of good info here and lots of stuff for me to answer:

 

Jeff, I have been hitting consistently straight with my driver, hybrids and irons, but can't chip for crap.

 

Driver distance is about 150-175 yards depending on wind and how fatigued I am. 

7 iron is 100 ish yards.

 

Putting has been okay but not great.

I was keeping track of putts and was getting 1 or 2 putts for an 18 hole round with about 4 or 5 holes demanding a 3 putt.  Lately I'm three putting a LOT!  

 

 

Sooooooo, here is a video of me driving on a par  4, 291 yds from the red tee box.

This drive was 165ish yds.

http://gallery.me.com/snowhot#100009/100_2131&bgcolor=black

post #12 of 21

Your position at address is somewhat hunched over limiting your fluidness at impact. Bend from the knees a little and arch your back so your shoulders are more upright and your hands are lower and closer to your body. This will especially help you with shoulder turn throughout the swing and more follow through which might be your problem chipping and your short iron play.

 

Putting is knowing how to read greens, feel and stroke. It takes alot of practice and experience to be consistant. Practice does help and where you place the ball in your stance can help you with distance. If you are comming up short alot. move the ball back in your stance some. How does the ball leave your putter? if it hops at impact, your hands might be too far forward at impact. the ball should roll from your putter not hop. The smoother the ball rolls, the better it holds line.

 

While on the putting green, start trying to hole straight putts from 3 feet first. I see people try 30 footers as soon as they get on the practice green. that does nothing for your game. When you can make seven in a row from 3 feet, move away another foot and repeat. Repeat again and when you are really consistant, try a few breaking putts. Make sure the ball is rolling from the head not hopping.

 

I like to have my eyes directly over my ball at impact and the ball in the center of my feet which are at a comfortable width in complete balance. The head must be quiet and shouldn't move till the ball is already gone. The wrists can't come into play and your grip must be firm. Let the shoulders do the stroke not your wrists. I always set up for a putt the same way every time. My routine never varies. And always mark your ball before you putt. That way you can clean it and place it. That little bit of unseen mud is a killer. Always mark and clean. I always place my ball so you are only looking at the white. None of the logo. That distracts focus. Reading greens is fairly easy if you can picture the path your ball must roll to get in the cup. It's all mental. Once I see the line I pick a point in that path, a spot or old ball mark somewhere between my ball and the hole that intersects my line, and i aim for that instead of aiming at the hole. This also helps with speed and flow. I like to play breaking putts to die at the hole and straight putts I roll firmer. Especially birdie and eagle putts. You don't want to be short on them. I'd rather have to make a four footer coming back than leave a money putt short.

 

I'm no pro TC, but I have a decent game and a good eye. And I am one of the best putters anywhere. They don't call me Cash for nothing. Hope this helps.

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

You know Lars, I've been working on a new grip this year that has worked better for me since I broke my wrist last year.  My golf instructor didn't say anything about being hunched over, in fact she encouraged me to "bow to the ball" ...but, another friend who is an amazing golfer suggestd that I use  a men's driver because he thought a woman's driver is too short for my height.  I'm not THAT tall tho.

 

Hmmm, food for thought.

 

 

post #14 of 21

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

You know Lars, I've been working on a new grip this year that has worked better for me since I broke my wrist last year.  My golf instructor didn't say anything about being hunched over, in fact she encouraged me to "bow to the ball" ...but, another friend who is an amazing golfer suggestd that I use  a men's driver because he thought a woman's driver is too short for my height.  I'm not THAT tall tho.

 

Hmmm, food for thought.

 

 


Maybe hunched wasn't the word I should have used but your back should be arched with your knees bent and shoulders back. This encourages a low hands position so you're not reaching away from your body. Reaching with your hands high and away causes that flying elbow thing.
 

 

Food for thought. My Wife is 5'9" she uses a mans driver.

 

Maybe it's that "double jointed thingy"

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

 

The idea of this thread was not so much about me, but about personal growth in golf in general.

What should a beginner golfer expect?

Am I being too hard on myself?

 

 

post #16 of 21
Ok, I think the answer you're looking for is it depends. I started playing golf seriously when I turned 40. Before that I played maybe 5 times total. I had spent my whole life hitting balls with things. Tennis balls, baseballs, softballs, racquetballs, squash balls, ping pong balls. You get the idea. At the end of my first season I had a h'cap index in the single digits. For me it was just hitting a different ball with a different tool. No big deal. People who've never played ball sports before are starting out with a lot more to learn. Some never do.

There are a lot of good things in your swing, and some flaws you'll have to fix to improve. Keep at it.
post #17 of 21
TrekChik, you are bold.  Hats off to anyone game enough to post video of their skiing or golf swing on this site, has chutzpa!  Think I had happening what you have happening about 4 years ago.  Out of ski season I only play 1 time a week and have gotten my handicap down chasing a 10 (hit 8 over today).  At 57 I"m good with that.  What I have figured out, like in skiing we are trying to physical maximize force while minimizing motion.  A smooth swing.

Just got to see your video, these little black boxes are a puzzlement.   Think that Lars is on to something with the back thing.  From the angle it looks like your spine is curved forward.  If you were to lean from the hips keeping your back straight it should allow a lot more turn in your back swing, that should help with a lot of things including distance. 

Take a 2X2 put it across your shoulders with your arms out stretched on it.  Get into a golf stance and swing away with your body.  When your spine is straight you will feel a LOT more turn and have a lot fewer moving pieces in your swing. 

Also posted on the SeeMore putter thread it may be beneficial, it is working for me.  It is the little black box thing let's try this...EUREKA!

_________________
Did it!  The cheap way of course with the ball marker on my Ping, think it is helping.  Have played 2 rounds with the dot have laid down 5 1 putts a round, normally I have 2-3

I have a pretty good putting stroke and have worked hard on keeping the head still, think the dot is helping more with the still head.  Don't often 3 putt and had only 1 the last two rounds.  Today there were another 5 holes that the ball was looking down in the cup, some left some right, as it rolled by.  One conscious swing thought is all I am good for, like my skiing, have to keep it very simple.

Am a VERY big believer in the still head thing, watch the pros, if the head moves too soon the ball is almost always left of the cup for a right hander; watch for it it happens a lot to them too.  

There are 3 things I like with adding the dot:  1/ you can keep an old friend with you.  2/ cheap of course I like free.  3/ you can undo it with a little alcohol when you are ready.  Now to get my Burner driver back, the head was starting to fall off, and don't think it is supposed to do that.

Yes you can try this at home and it really might help. 
post #18 of 21
Trek I looked at your swing. I am no pro but the only thing I see in your swing is you are over swinging. If you will take the video you have and stop it at 3/4 swing that is perfect from alignment to swing plane but when you push that extra shoulder turn in it it is impossible  to  get to where you need to be. Remeber power comes from your club below your waist everything else is getting you to that position. Go to the  range and hit 20 balls at 3/4 swing and then you reg swing your 3/4 swing will probaly be further down the range. I had the same problem and this is the  advice a pro gave to me. OH yea and just like me we way over think sportsLOL!!!! Go to your touch corner not power.       
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 

The idea of this thread was not so much about me, but about personal growth in golf in general.

What should a beginner golfer expect?

Am I being too hard on myself?

 

 YES YES YES

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GW Skier View Post

 OH yea and just like me we way over think sportsLOL!!!! Go to your touch corner not power.       

You been talkin' ta Squatty?
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 

The idea of this thread was not so much about me, but about personal growth in golf in general.

What should a beginner golfer expect?

Am I being too hard on myself?

 

 

In short-yes.

There is a lot of good in your swing. I would concur that I would like to see a better spine angle with less rounding of the upper back. That will allow improved rotation of the torso around your upper spine which is where the center of the golf swing occurs.

Two areas I really like are 1) the movement at the start of your downswing to the left side but it then stops and the upper body starts throwing the club down at the ball creating a steep angle of attack and you swing around a bit of a blocking torso losing the fluidity you see in an accomplished swing. As a drill or a thought process try this: get into a good golf posture-stand tall, push your butt out a bit, flex your knees a bit and bend forward from the hip joints until your upper arms hang vertically. Next cross your chest with your arms  (hands on shoulders) and rotate your torso to the top of your backswing. Now while holding your head and shoulders back initiate the downswing by rotating your belly button around toward your target. Once that feels somewhat comfortable let your arms hang down and do the same thing-you will be allowing the big core muscles to pull the upper torso into the swing not having them follow the arms casting from the top. Make sure you do this to your finish.

The other area I like is the balanced finish. Often I have students concentrate on just achieving the balanced finish knowing you have to do a lot of things right to achieve that postion.

A video suggestion-when you are being shot face on make sure the camera is positioned directly opposite of your center-not at an angle. It makes for a clearer view of what is really occuring.
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