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Old 05-22-2017, 07:52 PM   #1
aejones
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aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

I'm a terrible golfer. I've played intermittently since I was a kid but never really took it seriously until now. My goal is to just get good enough to fire up a round at a sweet course and not embarrass myself. In my mind that's roughly a high single digit handicap. Right now I'm probably ~110-115 or so (I shot 117, 120, and 123 on 3 Pinehurst courses from the whites iirc).
  • I can kinda sorta drive the ball as of about a month ago
  • I don't have a 3 wood in my bag
  • I struggle with long irons
  • I can kind of hit a wedge
  • I can't really chip but I'm working on it
  • If I hit it in the bunker I just take a 10 on the hole (even though in theory I know how bunker shots work, I can't get it out)
  • ...and putting is actually the worst aspect of my game (but it's all luck and I'll figure it out eventually).

The only thing I don't struggle with is distance, I'm not particularly long, I'm just a half decent athlete probably with a good frame for golf and that's about the only thing I'm not actually worried about. In the last year or so I think I've started to develop an understanding of the physics of the swing that I didn't previously have (primarily with it being much more on the horizontal plane than the vertical plane). I previously had a pretty hard slice from my elbow disconnecting and my coming way over the top, it still comes out once in a while, but at this point my misses are pretty erratic (lately I've been missing fat pretty often actually, which is new, I try to combat this by focusing more on coming through the contact area from 7 to 1 on the clockface and I've also flirted with floating my club in the air a bit before the takeoff like Kuchar, in my mind that's a logical-ish thing but maybe it's total nonsense).

I'm sure that I can take off a dozen strokes with short game, but I find golf to be much more enjoyable with good ball striking so my plan to get better is to just hit infinite range balls (shooting for 10,000 this summer) and post regular videos until I'm hitting a bunch of GIRs. Of course I will occasionally work on short game, and probably near the end of the summer it'll be my primary focus, but for now I want to have a bunch of birdie putts to miss.

I took some videos of my swings the last few days at the range and I'm going to post my rounds/practice. At the moment I've been starting at SW/PW (alternating days) then going every other club, moving on to the next club after I've hit 5 in a row that I deem 'solid.'

Should I get clubs? My plan was not to get them until I could break 90 every once in a while, but my friend said I should consider just getting fitted for some so I could get used to them. I have some like 5-8 year old Taylor Made Burner irons, some kind of random 60 degree, and I got an M2 hybrid last year at the end of the season.

Someone said the straight behind angle was the best one for analyzing swing, I assume slow motion is good? Lmk if other video formats would be more helpful. I deleted no videos and am planning on just having the random sample of however I hit it show up, so hopefully I'll have some misses at some point (or, rather, hopefully not)-- I think all of these were pretty fine but not spectacular shots.

PW:


PW:


PW:


7 iron:


Hybrid:


Hybrid:


Driver:


(Also should be noted after I hit the driver the tee flipped up a cpl feet in the air and stuck in the ground, don't think I've ever done that before)
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:54 PM   #2
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

5/19: 1 bucket

5/20: 1.5 buckets

5/21: 2 buckets, ~100 5 foot putts

5/22: 2 buckets, ~50 chips
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:09 PM   #3
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

Pretty cool! Some thoughts:

Your swing looks mostly decent, but I think you need a lesson to understand better what you are trying to do. You don't have to take a series of lessons...just one where the instructor has you work on one thing...when you think you're ready for a new lesson, go back then...

Someone with your build should probably be a little more upright when you swing. slender builds get distance from a large swing radius (usually). Look at Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, etc.

How tall are you? On some of those videos, the short irons look like they may be a tad short for you.

Your swing with the driver and hybrid look a tad laid back...that by itself is not a bad thing, but this is something a good instructor will be able to see if it's the right thing for you. Again, guys with your build usually do better with a more upright, high swing, than a more laid back, "around" swing.

You should get fitted...because your clubs may be stiff, regular, or flex, or they may be mixed...and that can really screw you up. A guy of your age and strength should not be using a flex shaft at all. I'm 53 and I still use stiff shafts.

Hitting thousands of balls on the range without knowing how to work on the specifics of your swing will only reinforce your bad habits. You will learn how to hit better with those habits, yes, but that's not where you want to start.

Again, get a lesson!

Lastly:

If you work on your short game and putting just two days a week, you could conceivably drop ten strokes right there, without doing anything else. It's that important.

Enjoy it getting better!
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:36 PM   #4
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

It really isn't too bad or anything. A bit over the top and probably a bit flat on the backswing. Doesn't look like you are turning the hips enough in the backswing but the driver seemed better. I would get a cheaper set for now that are fit right and take a lesson or 2 to get started on the right track. You seem motivated so that is half the battle. Get a few face on videos as well as those are the 2 best angles to watch swing from. Gl there are some people who know a lot more about the swing than me so hopefully they will chime in.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:02 PM   #5
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

good stuff.. you have a nice swing already.. my absolute guess is you need to play/practice more.

i agree with the comment that the wedge looks really short for you.

backswing looks great. swing through the ball doesn't look that great... i'm thinking you are not getting through the ball enough. watch tiger or rory in their prime. their hips are way open as they are hitting.

also, your wedge and driver swing look too similar.... you want to get behind the ball more in your set up with the driver.

basically these are things i'm working on or have worked on.

where are you losing strokes? everywhere? ...... penalty strokes and flubs have to be eliminated . no matter what........ i got better to a large degree figuring out how to drive the ball straight and reasonably far (for me).

i'm an 85 whites and 90 blues type golfer playing once a week - but i did play alot over a 3 to 4 year period once... the golf pro at my club says playing/practicing more will get rid of your doubles and triples really fast. single bogeys probably not so easy to get rid of, but maybe on easier holes.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:04 PM   #6
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

i take back one of my comments.. i think your driver swing looks good.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:07 PM   #7
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

i concur totally on getting at least "soft fitted" for clubs - your driver especially
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:25 PM   #8
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

I'm not great but if I could give you a tip, I think you flip your wrists on your backswing too soon. Basically when your club is waist high, if you can slide your right hand down the shaft to the club head, you are flipping your wrists.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:37 PM   #9
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

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Originally Posted by EddyB66 View Post
I'm not great but if I could give you a tip, I think you flip your wrists on your backswing too soon. Basically when your club is waist high, if you can slide your right hand down the shaft to the club head, you are flipping your wrists.
Right this is something I was told in a lesson last month, that I basically bring the club back with my wrists. It's probably the third or fourth thing I'm thinking about/working on, i would say the takeaway just doesn't feel natural to me and when I think about it it feels even weirder
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

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Originally Posted by rivercitybirdie View Post
good stuff.. you have a nice swing already.. my absolute guess is you need to play/practice more.
Yea like a month ago I got a lesson in Miami and he basically was shocked my scores were so bad and said my swing mostly looked good, that it was a matter of consistency and playing more

Quote:
where are you losing strokes? everywhere? ...... penalty strokes and flubs have to be eliminated . no matter what........ i got better to a large degree figuring out how to drive the ball straight and reasonably far (for me).

i'm an 85 whites and 90 blues type golfer playing once a week - but i did play alot over a 3 to 4 year period once... the golf pro at my club says playing/practicing more will get rid of your doubles and triples really fast. single bogeys probably not so easy to get rid of, but maybe on easier holes.
I'm losing strokes basically everywhere, but mostly in the sand trap (still some DNFs) and around the green (too many scalds on chips/pitches) and on the green. There's a lot of low hanging strokes though I think
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:55 PM   #11
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

Where is your home course? Florida?
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:09 AM   #12
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic View Post
Pretty cool! Some thoughts:

Your swing looks mostly decent, but I think you need a lesson to understand better what you are trying to do. You don't have to take a series of lessons...just one where the instructor has you work on one thing...when you think you're ready for a new lesson, go back then...
I got a few lessons a few months ago, and then I went to a GolfTec at some point about a month ago. I will definitely find someone where I am now to get a check up, but I think I have a half decent idea of the physics of the swing (of course a long way to go, but might be more reps at this point)

Quote:
Someone with your build should probably be a little more upright when you swing. slender builds get distance from a large swing radius (usually). Look at Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, etc.
Kinda funny when I got the first lesson he said the same thing, and then the GolfTec guy said to be a little more bent!

Quote:
How tall are you? On some of those videos, the short irons look like they may be a tad short for you.
I am 6'

Quote:
Your swing with the driver and hybrid look a tad laid back...that by itself is not a bad thing, but this is something a good instructor will be able to see if it's the right thing for you. Again, guys with your build usually do better with a more upright, high swing, than a more laid back, "around" swing.
I'm not sure I under what you mean by laid back?

Quote:
You should get fitted...because your clubs may be stiff, regular, or flex, or they may be mixed...and that can really screw you up. A guy of your age and strength should not be using a flex shaft at all. I'm 53 and I still use stiff shafts.
Yea I will go get fitted at some point then

Quote:
Hitting thousands of balls on the range without knowing how to work on the specifics of your swing will only reinforce your bad habits. You will learn how to hit better with those habits, yes, but that's not where you want to start.

Again, get a lesson!
Obv I need a lesson but I'm not sure there's something that I'm doing that's heinous enough to be reinforcing bad habits

Quote:
Lastly:

If you work on your short game and putting just two days a week, you could conceivably drop ten strokes right there, without doing anything else. It's that important.

Enjoy it getting better!
Yea, I know, but I don't really care about score at this point, I want to be encouraged to play more and in my mind the way to do that is to be good enough at ballstriking to keep myself in the fairway and on (or near) the green. In a few months it's likely I'll be at the point I want to work on primarily putting
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:11 AM   #13
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

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Originally Posted by EddyB66 View Post
Where is your home course? Florida?
I don't really have one, I'm in the Canadian rockies at the moment
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:04 AM   #14
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

LAID BACK def
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:17 AM   #15
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

One thing I'm noticing comparing my wedge video to some pro wedge videos it seems like the hip turn thing is pretty noticeable, haven't really thought about it too much when I swing so I'll try to think about it tomorrow
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:21 AM   #16
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

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OK yea so I'm basically trying hard to do that, thinking about staying connected, coming around the shoulder instead of over the top, and then coming through the zone from 7 to 1 to correct my slice. My swing like 6 months ago way just way up and down and my arm was chicken winged out and about 30% of my shots went to the right on a pure right angle. I have no idea if I am overcorrecting or what, but I count it as a small victory when I have any draw on it, even if it's more of a hook than a draw (when contact is still good).
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:27 AM   #17
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

Here's a great video on correcting a slice. This video changed my entire game off the tee.

https://youtu.be/lnopJFvTa3Q
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:18 AM   #18
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

If I remember correctly ae, you said you played a year in high school right? Swing def shows good potential imo.

Agree that you should stand up a little taller. Biggest thing I noticed was the club does not appear to be turning over through impact. The club at finish should be more horizontal and around your back rather than more vertical and down your back. Just my opinion.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:26 AM   #19
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

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If I remember correctly ae, you said you played a year in high school right? Swing def shows good potential imo.
I played a year as a freshman because we basically didn't have enough guys to field a team-- I probably went to practice like 1/3 of the time and only played when they needed me and they never actually used my score. Definitely a regret that I didn't take it more seriously at that age, but we didn't have any real coaching and I was too focused on basketball even in the spring

Quote:
Agree that you should stand up a little taller. Biggest thing I noticed was the club does not appear to be turning over through impact. The club at finish should be more horizontal and around your back rather than more vertical and down your back. Just my opinion.
That seems like something that would be contributing to my slice, will try to think about turning through more than just the path of 7 to 1 today
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:29 AM   #20
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

Are all club fittings the same? Can I just google a place and go there?
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:07 PM   #21
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

Any decent golf store should be fine
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:52 PM   #22
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

Nice driving range! Need to get to the Canadian Rockies one of these days.

I think your swing looks far better than your scores... which makes me think you must have a lot of very big misses during each round - the type where you are losing the ball or completely giving up a stroke by topping, hitting fat, etc. I would focus on keeping the ball in play... maybe even try an entire round playing 9-to-3 swing (halfway back). Your swing looks a little long to me and most players when they take what feels like a short backswing, it's closer to the correct length and longer than they think it is.

Also I highly recommend the "Arm Swing Illusion" thread on Golfwrx (there is a vid of it on Youtube also). Really helped me with swinging my arms too far around/inside instead of keeping them in front of my chest. It looks to me like you have a very nice turn but your arms may be going too far behind and not staying out in front of your chest as it turns. The feel should be that the arms are just going out and a little to the right - no side-to-side motion in the arms. When this is combined with the body turn, it looks like the arms are being swung around the body but that is the "arm swing illusion". Jim Waldron is the instructor who talks about this and he has a lot of excellent insights into what is really happening when we swing a golf club, vs. what appears to be happening.

Good luck you have an athletic swing and the right attitude so I think you will progress quickly with practice.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:11 PM   #23
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

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One thing I'm noticing comparing my wedge video to some pro wedge videos it seems like the hip turn thing is pretty noticeable, haven't really thought about it too much when I swing so I'll try to think about it tomorrow
Added bonus of turning the hips is it takes pressure off the lower back, which might not feel like much but 10 years of it and your back can get ****ed up.
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:27 PM   #24
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

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Nice driving range! Need to get to the Canadian Rockies one of these days.

I think your swing looks far better than your scores... which makes me think you must have a lot of very big misses during each round - the type where you are losing the ball or completely giving up a stroke by topping, hitting fat, etc. I would focus on keeping the ball in play... maybe even try an entire round playing 9-to-3 swing (halfway back). Your swing looks a little long to me and most players when they take what feels like a short backswing, it's closer to the correct length and longer than they think it is.
This has been my experience as well yea, I definitely have been trying to be shorter with it-- being more horizontal and keeping my elbow connected sorta shortens it naturally, it's hard to REALLY get over the top past parallel with your elbow 'connected.'

Quote:
Also I highly recommend the "Arm Swing Illusion" thread on Golfwrx (there is a vid of it on Youtube also). Really helped me with swinging my arms too far around/inside instead of keeping them in front of my chest. It looks to me like you have a very nice turn but your arms may be going too far behind and not staying out in front of your chest as it turns. The feel should be that the arms are just going out and a little to the right - no side-to-side motion in the arms. When this is combined with the body turn, it looks like the arms are being swung around the body but that is the "arm swing illusion". Jim Waldron is the instructor who talks about this and he has a lot of excellent insights into what is really happening when we swing a golf club, vs. what appears to be happening.

Good luck you have an athletic swing and the right attitude so I think you will progress quickly with practice.
I'll check it out, but yea a lot of what I'm trying to do right now is "push away" and go 7 to 1. It was described to me as similar to a forehand shot in tennis, though I don't really play tennis I gather what they were trying to say.
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:29 PM   #25
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Re: aejones shaves 25 strokes off his game

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Added bonus of turning the hips is it takes pressure off the lower back, which might not feel like much but 10 years of it and your back can get ****ed up.
I actually felt it a bit today on the the range, seemed to hurt my back just a little to be more upright actually
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