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Toph's Pilgrimage


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#1 Toph

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:29 PM

From complete hacker to hopefully a golfer

 

Pilgrimage - def. A long journey of religious significance to sacred or holy places

 

The time has come to start my journal. If it bores you - don't read it. Basically firstly as a record to myself, and also because I honestly hope that it will be of some help to others in the future.

BACKDROP

I started playing golf at a young age, which mainly consisted of hitting balls around the back yard. From the age of about 12 my father would occasionally take me to play at Dorking Golf Club, a short 9 hole club where he was a weekday member. Mornings spent there are some of the happiest memories of my childhood.

As a teenager I’d play several times a year, but never broke 100. I only ever had one lesson at the age of about 18.

These were the days of wooden clubs, small balls, bladed irons for all, 7 clubs in the bag.

From age of 20 to 49 I played golf hardly at all, maybe 2-3 times a year at most. Work and family life just became more important.

Fast forward to Feb 2013. Age now 49. Business finally at a level where I can start to have some me time. Children a little older and not needing constant attention. I have a game of golf with a good friend at Emerald Lakes, gold coast. Score about 105 - and thats with my friend Shaun showing me the line of putts and kicking the odd bad lie back towards the fairway. I finally realise that if I am to play this game I need help. Professional help. And new clubs - my old ones are 20+ years old, I still have some wooden woods, and my irons are cheap small headed things from about 1988.

6 out of 10 shots fade heavily or banana to the left. Shaun tells me my swings OK - could just learn to live with the slice. I decide to learn how to hit the ball properly. Should only take a couple of lessons, I reckon.

I set off in search of lessons. Try a couple of cheap group lessons, but somehow I just don’t think they are cutting it. The pros try to give me the odd tip, but I feel I need a major swing overhaul.

 

LESSONS 2013

After intensive research I come to the conclusion that I need lessons from the best pro that I can find, and I wanted them with Trackman and video. Can’t honestly remember why I thought Trackman was so important - probably some overdeveloped sense of my potential and ability. Anyway this search sent me to Joel at KDV Sport at Carrara. Can't speak highly enough of this man.

 

My first lesson with Joel he must have looked at my swing and realised that I was the proud owner of just about every conceivable common significant swing flaw in the history of the game. Didn’t tell me this though - probably didn’t want to break my spirit. Instead he just set about righting my posture. I was slouching over the ball with a rounded back, knees too bent, no tilt away from the target etc etc. He got me into the right position. It felt weird and unnatural. He had to show me video of Tiger Woods to convince me. Sent me home with drills to work on posture.

Aha I thought - the secret of golf is mine. But no. over succeeding lessons we worked on my swing plane (too vertical) my legs (too active) my shoulder turn (off plane) my right elbow (fly away) my left wrist (too cupped or extended) my pelvic turn, the generation of a differential between my shoulder and hips, then getting a proper pivot, full follow through, hitting down, and removing the casting motion. Also putting and chips and pitches.

Holy number of things to remember Batman! Every lesson is a revelation, every lesson feels like THE secret, but every lesson leads to only incremental improvement at actually playing the game, although a major change in striking the ball.

 

IMPROVEMENT IN 2013

I have gone this year from a state of unconscious incompetence, through conscious incompetence, and into conscious competence. At times.

I have taken 10 strokes off my game - which considering I now score 95-103 just goes to show how bad i was.

My friends tell me I look like a different person hitting the ball - I think they are jealous as a couple of them want to get lessons from my pro too now.

I can hit my mid irons and woods quite well most of the time - from a 40% success rate to a 80-90% success rate, and when hitting well have developed a nice draw. My bad shots are hooks and snap hooks with woods, instead of banana slices, and the occasional total fat mishit with irons. I am working on hitting down on an in to out path and removing the casting downswing, though thats a stubborn beastie.


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#2 BumpunRun

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:33 PM

good luck man.

 

set some goals and smash through them!

 

you will find you'll have plenty of hanger-oners helping and enjoying your pilgrimage :)
 


"But sometimes there are more important things in life than being pedantic about the rules of golf, or spelling and grammar on golf forums"

#3 MaxxOn

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:48 PM

Good stuff.

Look forward to reading about your progress.

#4 Toph

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:53 PM

Thanks Bump

Goals for 2014

 

1 - get a handicap

2 - play some club comps

3 - take another 10 shots off the game. Break 90 most games. Remove remaining hackdoom. Stop being an embarrassment to my clubs. Get a handicap below 20. All much the same thing really. I have a cunning plan..........

 

1 - Driving - need to work on consistency and learn how to fade a driver - this should probably wait till consistency is better. Need to get more length in my driver - now my shoulder entrapment syndrome is better its time to get fitter and more supple.

 

2 - irons - continue to work on hitting down, removing casting, getting proper pivot

 

3 - short game. ISG Southport game showed me how much work I need to do here. Must have wasted over 12 shots in the round on this alone. I was blading and hitting fat, so must have been loosing my FLW. Annoying thing is I can hit great shots on the practice green, then it all goes to sh!te when it matters. From now on 80% of practice time will be on pitches and chips. Must work on 3 distances of pitches with each short club a la Pellman (note to self - must get his short game Bible)

 

4 - Putting. Not a bad putter usually, but sometimes lack confidence. Needs work.

 

5 - Course management. Sadly lacking. Why oh why do I feel the need to hit driver on a dogleg right hole when I am hitting right to left just because everyone else is doing it? Why do I not stick to THE PLAN??


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#5 Toph

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 10:12 PM

Thanks Maxxon.

 

Not going to give a shot by shot account, but will be keeping track of insights gleaned and milestones passed.

 

I think my journey so far, with the multitude of swing flaws possesed, gives me some insight into what a high handicapper should be doing.

 

I would never have made the progress I have without the help of a competent golf pro. I believe video analysis is crucial during a lesson, because I simply did not understand how bad i was. When Joel corrected me I thought I was wayyy overcompensating, but video showed that i was still not achieving the change we were looking for.

 

So looking forward to the next 12 months.


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#6 Toph

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:05 AM

The Pilgrim peers through squinted eyes at the barren landscape. Tumbleweeds roll slowly through the desert.

Almost certainly no golf for three weeks - probably not even a range session

Too much work piling up prior to Xmas, then Xmas and New Year with kids on holidays and a frustrated tired Mrs Injector not keen to see Injector disappear for a few hours during the day

It looks bleak. And depressing.


I'm just pissed off OK? Don't ask.
READ EM AND WEEP
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#7 MaxxOn

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:14 AM

I have found the secret, to playing more golf.

My partner came to the driving range with me about a month ago and for some reason she loves the game.

I'm buying her a package set for Xmas.

She played her first actual holes a few weeks ago.
She was using my Mizuno blades haha.
She played off the men's tee.
1st hole she played was a 500m par 5, 3 putts for a 10 and the next hole a par 4, she had 3 putts for an 8. Fairly impressive.

Now she wants to play more than me lol. :)

Edited by MaxxOn, 11 December 2013 - 11:15 AM.


#8 Deege

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:00 PM

Great to hear Maxxon.


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Golflink

 

Winner C Grade Long Drive 2013 OOM #2 Heidelberg

Winner B Grade Long Drive 2015 OOM #4 Heritage

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Handicap PB - 12.6, baby


#9 MaxxOn

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:02 PM

Great to hear Maxxon.


I showed her a few packages but the bag has to have purple on it arrrrrrgh!
:)

#10 MaxxOn

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:03 PM

Sorry for the slight thread jack Injector.

#11 BumpunRun

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

 

 

I think my journey so far, with the multitude of swing flaws possesed, gives me some insight into what a high handicapper should be doing.

 

 

the one and only piece of advice I will ever give was to Weeti as part of his quest to be off single figures was, when he is playing with someone on single figures - watch and understand what makes their game "better" than yours and what they do that is good. 

A great example of this would have been watching Nath and how he goes about his chipping and how many shots he saves a round because of it. 

This sort of thing is absolutely free and simple. You don't need to tell them you are taking mental note or even talk to them about it, just watch and understand what the good players do good!

Comparing your game to someone who is better than you is a good way to see where you need to improve on.

 

And most importantly, if you watch someone who is off say 15 for example, I am sure there really won't be a whole lot of difference in the things you can do and what they do do. 

 

The best way for you to learn is to make a call on what advice you listen to, that is why I reckon the best way to do it is to watch and understand what you are seeing rather than hearing, if that makes a lick of sense....


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#12 Weetbix

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:30 PM

The beetle is wise!

Handicap

Best result: 2 over 74 at Hills International on 13 Feb 2016

Eagles: 21/10/16 17th Keysborough, 24/10/16 18th Woodlands

Goal: A round at par or better!

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Winner: 2016 Nationals day 5 round at Woodlands

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#13 MaxxOn

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:32 PM

Ssshh don't tell him that.



#14 Goldy

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:39 PM

the one and only piece of advice I will ever give was to Weeti as part of his quest to be off single figures was, when he is playing with someone on single figures - watch and understand what makes their game "better" than yours and what they do that is good. 

A great example of this would have been watching Nath and how he goes about his chipping and how many shots he saves a round because of it. 

This sort of thing is absolutely free and simple. You don't need to tell them you are taking mental note or even talk to them about it, just watch and understand what the good players do good!

Comparing your game to someone who is better than you is a good way to see where you need to improve on.

 

And most importantly, if you watch someone who is off say 15 for example, I am sure there really won't be a whole lot of difference in the things you can do and what they do do. 

 

The best way for you to learn is to make a call on what advice you listen to, that is why I reckon the best way to do it is to watch and understand what you are seeing rather than hearing, if that makes a lick of sense....

 

Post reported.

 

Too sensible.


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#15 MaxxOn

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:51 PM

Post reported.

 

Too sensible.






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