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Deja Vu All Over Again


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#1 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 07:10 PM

Can it really be four years ago that I last broke par? That's what my golf link record says. It was at Innisfail Golf Club in Far North Queensland on 6 September 2014 that I shot 69 against par 70. As I recall my short game was sharp and I holed more than my share of putts.

 

I can recall a feeling that I had achieved everything I wanted to in my return to the game. And since then my golf has been pretty uninspiring. Golf link tells me that the best I have done since is 74 against par 71 at Mount Garnet Golf Club west of Cairns. Even that was more than two years ago on 20 March 2016. This year my best was 80 against par 72 on the St John course at the Heritage Golf Club near Melbourne. The only reason my handicap is still at 6.5 is that I haven't been playing.

 

My history is that I've taken a couple of ten year breaks from the game due to a lack of interest. Now that I've reached retirement age it's a case of now or never.

 

So there's my target, par or better. I'm dreaming of deja vu all over again!


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#2 iRON MiCK

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 09:19 PM

Run Forrest. ..
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18.4 by Dec. 2018

 

2018 Keysborough GC Gala Team Event Winner

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#3 Bluethunda

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 10:50 PM

Good luck with your goal
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DEBUT: US Masters, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA 2016
DEBUT: ANA Inspirational LPGA Mission Hills, Palm Springs, CA 2016
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#4 Weetbix

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 06:33 AM

Amen
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Handicap
Best result: 2 over 74 at Hills International on 13 Feb 2016
Eagles: 21/10/16 17th Keysborough, 24/10/16 18th Woodlands, 15/4/18 16th Carbrook
Goal: A round at par or better!
Brisbane Fairways 2015 Club Champion
Winner: 2015 Nationals day 5 round at Links Hope Island
Winner: 2016 Nationals day 5 round at Woodlands
Winner: 2017 Nationals day 5 round at Bonnie Doon
South East Queensland Golf Group - Treasurer
http://www.brisbanef...ssocialgolf.com - Treasurer

#5 upnin

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 06:46 PM

We're inundated with dreamers on here - sweet dreams!


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#6 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:06 PM

Played in the stableford comp at Cairns GC today. Quite a few pulled out because of threatening rain but nothing more than light drizzle eventuated. Tees were forward. Nice mix of easy and hard pin placements. Greens had been lightly top dressed fairly recently and were very good.

Before the round I thought about what I was trying to achieve. First was a consistent preparation for each shot and in particular visualising what I was trying to do. Second was to try out the idea of a post shot routine. Third was to assess my physical fitness for the game.

My swing mechanics are definitely in need of renovation. I've decided to follow the rotaryswing.com five step training. They've revamped it recently so that you watch the series of videos, do the drills and then when you are ready submit your swing for feedback and pass or fail assessment from the reviewer. The first stage was setup and I passed that on my second attempt about a month ago. The second stage is weight shift. The upshot is that my full swing thought is a squat to square action at the start of the downswing. When I get it right it feels like my lower body is driving the downswing rather than my upper body flipping the club into impact. So my full shot preparation was focused on getting the right swing path through impact with the club face set to achieve the right ball flight. Then I swing just focusing on weight shift and the impact I'm trying to achieve. My short game and putting are similarly in need of renovation.

That takes me to the idea of post shot routine. I came across it in James Siekmann's short game book. The very short version is that in the few seconds after hitting a good shot you enjoy the moment and admire your shot making skill. In the few seconds after hitting a bad shot you focus entirely on what you would do differently if you had your shot over again. Then move on to the next shot. That strikes me as really good practical psychology.

Finally fitness. In the last few years I've really struggled toward the end of rounds. It also takes me a few days to recover physically. Not only that I'm diabetic and my blood sugar control needs a lot of improvement. Finally I had a stroke at the start of the year. So all in all I'm in poor shape physically.

So with all of that what was my assessment of today? I was pretty pleased with my visualisation and preparation for shots. A few times I lost the plot but I felt that the approach has potential. The post shot routine was similar. I missed it a few times but I certainly wasn't thinking about shots for long after they had gone. Fitness needs improvement. I've started using a sensor for my blood sugar levels. I read it using my mobile phone. The information is very detailed but after eating lunch my blood sugar climbed throughout the round until it was higher than it gets on even a bad day at home. That was the opposite of what I expected and may just be the reason I was getting so tired. Today I was in a cart so that helped but my mental processes were shot by the end of the round. I'll be off to the doctor to figure out what is going on.

And my score? 79 against par 72 for 36 stableford points.

It's a start!

Edited by Forrest Gardener, 18 July 2018 - 09:10 PM.

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#7 Weetbix

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:27 AM

Playing to handicap is always good
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Handicap
Best result: 2 over 74 at Hills International on 13 Feb 2016
Eagles: 21/10/16 17th Keysborough, 24/10/16 18th Woodlands, 15/4/18 16th Carbrook
Goal: A round at par or better!
Brisbane Fairways 2015 Club Champion
Winner: 2015 Nationals day 5 round at Links Hope Island
Winner: 2016 Nationals day 5 round at Woodlands
Winner: 2017 Nationals day 5 round at Bonnie Doon
South East Queensland Golf Group - Treasurer
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#8 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 09:34 AM

Yesterday was a quiet day of recovery from Wednesday's round. Enthusiasm got the better of me in the afternoon so I went to Cairns GC for some chipping and putting. The practice green at Cairns is quite modest with 5 holes cut. It may be my imagination but it also seems to be shrinking with the fringe grass cutting lines gradually encroaching. Being a pleasant afternoon there were already 3 others there when I arrived. That meant that the options for practice were limited.

For many years my chipping and finesse shots could be described as unreliable at best and embarrassingly bizarre at worst. I can recall putting from twenty metres or more through rough just to avoid any attempt at a lofted shot. I went very close to buying one of the heavy chipping irons. Eventually I thought that if I couldn't play the game properly then I wouldn't play it at all. The consequence of course was that any missed green meant either a bumbled shot with the putter or a risk of turning an easy bogey into a double bogey or worse. My putting has generally been satisfactory apart from a pattern of missing very short putts when I least expect it.

In the last year or so most of my golf time has been chipping and putting partly because I enjoy it and partly in a quest to develop a functional short game. James Sieckmann's short game and putting books were largely responsible for my steady improvement. Then came the El Arish debacle when things got so bad I went back to either putting from well off the green or bumbling a shot along the ground with an eight iron or similar. Then I started duffing or skulling even my attempts at bumbling shots along the ground. Pulling my 56* out of the bag was out of the question.

It was time to either stick to putting from inside 30 metres or do something about it. The turning point was to practice with an eight iron from just off the green to a hole about fifteen feet away. Over time I managed to use a little closed faced motion and improved enough to increase the distance up to around thirty feet. Most of the improvement came from changes in setup. Making sure that my chest was pointing slightly ahead of the ball at setup and using very little shaft lean eliminated almost all of the duffs and skulls from these very simple shots. The next stage was more work on hitting the ball in the middle of the club face with a slight descending blow but no divot. Then came fixing miscellaneous faults like actually watching the ball through impact, keeping my weight toward my left foot, using a motion with minimal shaft lean at impact without flipping. And most importantly making the transition from focusing on technique to focusing on feel got me to the stage where I could play simple shots fairly well. The trouble came when I needed to play a shot with any loft but that's a story for another day.

So there I was hitting little chip shots. First came a few minutes hitting shots assuring myself that my technique was sound, discovering it wasn't and fixing the mechanical faults (again). Then my favourite game which is to chip to a hole until I've got three shots within a putter length and then putting those three balls into the hole. Start again if I miss any of the putts then move on to chipping to the next hole. Measuring success is easy. I just keep track of how many balls it takes me to get three close. I like the feeling of leaving the green after achieving success on each hole.

It took about thirty minutes all up. By then my blood sugar level had dropped and it was home for dinner with just a little smile on my face for a job done well.
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#9 Snappy McSnapperton

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 08:25 AM

Thats a good day. When i played at Cairns i counted not being eaten by a croc in the mangroves as a win.
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If I can win an OOM anyone can. 
 
http://www.golflink....k_no=3012646041

 

 


#10 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 09:46 AM

Thats a good day. When i played at Cairns i counted not being eaten by a croc in the mangroves as a win.


I'd be more worried at Half Moon Bay GC where I have seen a croc or at Palmer Sea Reef where I nearly ran over one in my golf cart.

The more irritating natural hazard at Cairns GC are the almost invisible biting insects on 13. Locals always apply repellant going down 12.

#11 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 08:19 PM

My next swing review with rotaryswing.com is due in a couple of days. The daily comp at Cairns GC was the first day of the 4BBB championship. Not only had I not organised a partner, it is a two day competion with the second day tomorrow.

 

I decided not to play a full game today but instead went to play the six hole par three course at the driving range at Smithfield north of Cairns. The greens are pretty rough but it's good if you want to play a series of full wedge shots to well defined targets. It is also good to gauge progress on swing mechanics on a short course setting.

 

My objective was to work on weight shift. More specifically I wanted to reverse my usual hip pattern so that the right leg stays more or less stationary at the start of the downswing with the left hip moving away from the ball. That move is then blended with an early weight shift to the left leg.

 

It all went quite well. My wife videoed my shots down the line. Early on I was applying very little power. As the videos confirmed that I was doing what I wanted to do I amped thing up a bit. Even after that my right knee stayed nicely in position at the start of the downswing and my right heel stayed on the ground until well into the downswing.

 

Tomorrow I aim to work up to longer clubs until the new motion breaks down. If I can get as far as about a six iron that should be good enough for my swing review.



#12 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 07:07 PM

Yesterday and today were range sessions working on weight shift and hip action. Overall it was a bit of a puzzle. Face on I'm trying to get my right leg to appear to hold its position on the backswing then on the downswing shifting my weight so that the left leg is over the ankle at impact. Down the line I'm trying to keep my right leg slightly flexed on the downswing, my left hip roughly where my right hip was on the backswing and with the foot flat and the knee behind its address position until impact. That's a lot of words but it's just the standard text book style action.

 

I'm pleased with the practice routine I've been using. In short video every swing, start slowly until it is exactly what I want, then gradually ramp up the swing until the mechanics break down. I then go back a stage or two until I can get it right again and keep ramping it up slowly until I can do what I want at a slightly higher intensity.

 

By the end of today's session I got as far as a smooth six iron. Out of curiosity and having a few balls to spare I tried some drivers. I couldn't get anywhere near the action I wanted so I finished off with some more six irons. I quite enjoyed learning where my limit was.



#13 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 06:17 PM

Nine holes practice on the course at Cairns GC yesterday. The test was to see how many mulligans I needed to hit all the fairways and hit all the greens in regulation. It's a surprisingly hard test. For example the fifth hole off the back tees is 210m. I lack the firepower to carry it to the green so getting it on is a matter of landing on a fairly narrow opening at the front. At any rate it took me a total of 27 shots against regulation 17 shots.

 

Today was the mid-week competition. Tees forward and the course in very good condition. A very good start on the 359m 10th with a drive and four iron to the middle of the green followed by a holed putt from about thirty feet for a birdie. More birdies at the 321m 14th (drive + 9I), the 273m 1st (drive + 60m pitch) and the 123m 8th.

 

The rest was a mix of good and bad, some good putts holed and some short putts missed. Totals were 40 on the par 36 back nine and 36 on the par 35 front nine. Nine greens in regulation for a total of 76 against par 71 and 38 points. Strangely no up and downs at all (except for the birdies), not even from just off the green for two on the 462m par 5 sixth. I did not even realize the complete absence of up and downs until I did this analysis.

 

My weight shift and hip rotation is slowly improving though I really would like to boost my clubhead speed. Still you can't have everything. Where would you put it?


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#14 Weetbix

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 06:22 AM

Everywhere!

Nice birdie-fest round
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Handicap
Best result: 2 over 74 at Hills International on 13 Feb 2016
Eagles: 21/10/16 17th Keysborough, 24/10/16 18th Woodlands, 15/4/18 16th Carbrook
Goal: A round at par or better!
Brisbane Fairways 2015 Club Champion
Winner: 2015 Nationals day 5 round at Links Hope Island
Winner: 2016 Nationals day 5 round at Woodlands
Winner: 2017 Nationals day 5 round at Bonnie Doon
South East Queensland Golf Group - Treasurer
http://www.brisbanef...ssocialgolf.com - Treasurer

#15 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 08:44 AM

My rotaryswing.com review came through this morning. My weight shift is still rated a fail.

 

To use an old IT analogy, improving golf technique is like nailing jelly to a tree. You work hard at something and just when you get it right something you previously had nailed down falls off.

 

In my case I have been focusing almost exclusively on moving my left hip away from the target line to power the downswing. Along the line I have also tried to keep my right leg almost straight and my right foot on the ground until impact. That blends in with the weight shift onto my left ankle during the downswing.

 

That's still a work in progress but by focusing so hard on hip turn I had neglected my setup. Over a period of a few weeks I had completely lost axis tilt at setup. This was having the predictable effects of mucking up my ball position and having next to no axis tilt at the top of the back swing. As an additional consequence I was not moving my weight over my right ankle on the back swing. Maybe fixing that will give me a little more power.

 

It never ceases to amaze me how one easily fixed little fault can throw out so many other things in the golf swing. Otherwise my instructor was really pleased. Every previous review he has recommend watching a few training videos but this time all he wants is for me to fix axis tilt at setup.

 

In the next two weeks I will work on fixing and ingraining my axis tilt and keep working on hip turn and weight shift. For the first time in several years I actually feel like I'm making progress!


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