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Just some random thoughts...

Discussion in 'Hacker's Anonymous' started by ezra76, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. ezra76

    ezra76 Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking a bit lately about my golf game and drawing comparisons to basketball when I was younger. I was pretty much a standout player and if I had to compare the two, I'd have been a plus handicap in basketball. At 14-15yrs. old I could go play with guys 18-30 and be the most dominant player on the floor.

    Now I think "why" and "why not". Well, for one, I had an early start. I was playing at the age of 6-7yrs. old and always played against kids 3-5yrs. older than me. I was used to being lighter and shorter and once I was physically matched up comparitively, I was dominant. Good fundamentals combined with pretty much superior speed and jumping ability made things seem easy. The big part though... commitment and practice. I'd spend hours shooting jumpshots, back to basket from spots and hitting shots off the backboard, even in the winter I'd shovel a lane to drive and pullup or in the basement dribbling and passing to masking taped targets on the wall. In probably almost 10yrs. I practiced or played almost every single day. Once I was about 13 I started implementing training, plyometrics mostly and gained the speed and jumping abiltiy. I had over a 40" vertical and running a 4.2 40 at 14.

    With golf, I'm starting to realize that the phyical gifts are actually there, almost as much. It's just a matter of taking the time and effort to tap into them. It has to start with getting back to the fundamentals though.

    I have no idea what this post is about. Just trying to motivate myself I guess. [​IMG]
     
  2. King Par

    King Par Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Look at the variables in either. Basketball doesn't have so many, while golf, has an insane number of variables.
     
  3. Wi-Golfer

    Wi-Golfer Golfer on hiatus. Supporting Member

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    Funny you mentioned basketball as this topic came up at work the other day. When I was in high school I played a little basketball, wan't any good at it but being skinny at the time & 6'3" I couldn't quite dunk a ball but could at least jump high enough to get my wrist over the rim.

    The other day we measured the ceiling height at work & it's 9' 9" & I couldn not even come close to touching it. 30 years ago it was easy as hell but now days there is no way. I have lost at least a full 12" in my ability to jump.

    No point in this post either Ez.:p
     
  4. ezra76

    ezra76 Well-Known Member

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    Don't feel bad. I'm only 32 and can barely touch the rim from a standing jump off 2 feet. I used to be able to get both wrists over the rim from a standing jump and touch my right elbow on the rim from a running 1 foot jump. Last time I dunked a ball was almost 10yrs. ago.

    I guess I can draw comparisons in flexibility and the fast twitch muscle in golf. I've just noticed lately, since loosening up the swing a bit, I'm hitting the ball pretty darn far. I haven't played at Triggs in a while but played 2 9's and an 18 the last 2 weeks. Definitely hitting some pretty impressive club combo's into par 5's there. Especially for weighing a whopping 150 soaking wet.

    I just wonder why I was able to get as good at basketball as I did and how to do it with golf. I questioned natural ability but that's not it, at all. I thought back and really realized how much I practiced and played. Not to mention having some very good coaches. Then the kid who was my neighbor was the starting point guard and 3 years older than me. So after playing a kid that good every day, who was taller than me at the time as well... basically if I take him to the hole one on one, a kid my own age who wasn't nearly as good was easy.


    In golf there aren't really that many different variables. In basketball it comes down to the competition really. I mean, I could have an off day shooting but so long as I boxed out and played to my opponents weakness, I did well. In golf it's like playing against my own weaknesses. I have too many right now. If I want to be "as good", well it's going to take "as much" time and effort. I've got to practice more and still would have 5-6more yrs. to go.
     
  5. King Par

    King Par Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Look at Sadlowski, what is he 175 lbs? He beat Dobbyn in the Canadian LD championships. Dobbyn's like 6'8" 300 lbs?
     
  6. ezra76

    ezra76 Well-Known Member

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    I love this video

    SwingAcademy.com

    I laughed my a$$ off when some dope analyzed it too. [​IMG]
     
  7. King Par

    King Par Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  8. David Hillman

    David Hillman Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how much you can really gain from comparing basketball and golf, as they are too different. The biggest issues are that basketball is a team sport in which everything is relative, while golf is (normally) an individual game with an absolute measure (par for the course).

    When I say that 'everything is relative' in basketball, I mean that the level of your competition is critically important to judging your performance. A good high school boy in many places would be a WNBA All-Star, but that wouldn't make him a better player. There is no "par" to measure with. Even the term I just used, 'good high school boy' is almost impossible to quantify. The difference in competition quality between, for example, a big-school league in the city or suburbs, and a small-school rural league is enormous. It is extremely difficult to judge a basketball player without knowing a lot about the competition ( this is why the NBA draft is such a mess! ). Not just competition, actually, but teammates, too. A bad team can make a great player look bad, and vice versa. Not to mention, there are a lot more soft skills required when playing a team game, and those are notoriously hard to judge.

    The only part of basketball I would compare to golf is free-throw shooting, to putting. Both are relatively straight-forward tasks requiring focus and muscle-memory. I was a great free-throw shooter... from eighth grade on. Why? I shot 1,000 free-throws a day throughout the preceding summer. Have I ever made that commitment to my putting? No. So I see where you are coming from, but the comparison leaves a lot to be desired, I think.

    To put all too fine a point on it, without trying to be insulting, dominating against amateur basketball players is the equivalent of perhaps a high single-digit 'cap. Depending on the quality of those "18-30 guys" it could be anywhere from 0-20, though. Maybe you weren't that much better at basketball, all else being equal, maybe your perspective is just different because you lack a good measuring stick to use?
     
  9. SiberianDVM

    SiberianDVM I love Hooters Moderator

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    That's your key point right there. Kids learn so quickly, adults' bodies cannot "learn" to do something as complex as repeatably hitting the perfect golf shot nearly as well.

    If you want to be a great golfer, go back and start when you are 2.
     
  10. DaGris

    DaGris Bears fan in Georgia

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    .....since we are talking basketball,....I use to be able to slam.....I was 6'2" 220,....played forward and was a force to be reckoned with down low...we still play every thursday, but now I'm 290:p.....but still pretty damn good.....I'm 33 and play with a bunch of guys from 18 -40......if I could play golf as good as I'm at basketball, I'd shoot in the 70's every time.


    I was great at basketball, good a baseball, good at football too.....pretty much every sport I play, I was pretty darn good.....golf is by far the hardest "sport" I've ever played.
     
  11. gpo

    gpo Well-Known Member

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    I think Ezra was pointing out that he put a ton of effort into basketball when he was a kid and it paid off. That is how he got good.

    I am not saying I am great at golf, but dear old Dad put a club in my hand at 5. I play my first 18 just when I turned 7. I used to chip in the backyard a ton. Then when I got older I would cut the field behind my house and had a nice 100 yard green to hit at and a 150 as well. I would hit a ton of balls all the time. I spent the time to get good at this game. The lucky thing for me was I did it while I was a kid and had a ton of time on my hands.
     
  12. David Hillman

    David Hillman Well-Known Member

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    This is probably going to get me in trouble, so I'm saying upfront that I mean no offense. I think you both are overestimating how good you were/are at other sports due to insufficient reference points.

    You may have been a great forward at 6'2" at the level you were competing at, but in order to be a professional, you'd have had to be 6-10" taller with the same game, or develop the quickness and ball-handling or shooting to play guard. Both of which are a lot easier said than done. Kind of like me saying, for example, if I could just add 50 yards to my drives, and drop 5 putts a round, I could get paid for this. While that may be true, that's a lot easier said than done, and it seriously underestimates the gap between me, and the guys who _do_ get paid.

    Just like there's a huge gap between a recreational golfer with a, say, 10 handicap, and a pro, there's a similarly huge difference between a recreational basketball player and a pro. We're talking about guys who are taller than anyone most of us have ever played with, and can handle and shoot better than anyone, too. I've played with some guys up to about 6'9", and I am awestruck to think about trying to defend a guy like, say, Dirk Nowitzki, who is even taller, has range to like 25', and can put the ball on the floor, too.
     
  13. wirehair

    wirehair Life's too short to drink cheap wine.

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    Back in the day .... way back... I did everything - nothing well. 2nd string football, bench guy in basketball, 4th outfielder, even the 5th guy on the golf team. Good enough to hang out with & be called a jock, but not good enough to be noticed by the chicks.:real angry:
     
  14. ezra76

    ezra76 Well-Known Member

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    I guess if you want reference, I made JV in 9th grade and Varsity in 10th grade. When I was in 7-8th grade I made an "all-county" team as a starter. So if a guy could be playing on the varsity golf team as a sophmore, I guess that's how good I was comparitively.

    I think about this also because my grandfather was scratch golfer, plus cap actually my dad said. My grandfather also played for URI in 1946 when they finished runner up to Kentucky in the NCAA championship. Things were obviously different in 1946 than 1994 when I got out of HS. Although there was a kid I played with that played div. 2 NCAA and I could flat out smoke him. He was just a spot up shooter though with no speed or jumping ability. He was a good knock down 3pt. shooter, I'll give him that.
     
  15. David Hillman

    David Hillman Well-Known Member

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    The last part of your post brings up the "team game" element. There are probably millions of guys in this country who could beat Steve Kerr 1-on-1, even in his prime. But there probably aren't a half-dozen who would be better standing at the arc waiting for Jordan to kick it out. This really doesn't apply in golf. There is no specialization, no such thing as a "hustle guy" like Kurt Rambis. There are tons of great college players who are better all-around players than guys in the League, who don't make it there, because they aren't good enough at any one thing. If they're lucky, they hang around a roster for a while, or go overseas and make their money elsewhere.

    I'm not trying to dull anyone's past glories, just trying to point out that it is really tough to know how good you really are at most team sports. I know I had my eyes opened and expectations reset three times, as a basketball player. I played for a small school that was one of the best in its league most years. We were country kids, but we thought we were pretty good. The first time I went to a basketball camp at a D1 school, was, ahem, educational. Granted, I was the minimum age allowed, and we all played together, but wow. The speed of the guys who were a foot taller than me was amazing! The second time, was an out-of-league game we played against a nearby juvy facility. They had a 6'3" point guard from NYC, and he was unstoppable. Our bigger guards were giving him 10", hell, I played 4 and was 5" taller than me. I believe he was later drafted, but never made it due to obvious off-court issues.

    The third, and by-far best experience, was the city summer league we played in my last two years. After getting over our intimidation at being dunked on... by guards, we stepped it up and found out that we could compete if we played a lot harder and better than we normally did. ( Why yes, Hoosiers is one my favorite movies ;) )
     

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