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What I have learned this season.....

Slingblade61

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Aug 26, 2004
6,039
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This season was my first "serious" season.
In the beggining I resolved to do 2 things. 1) was to join a leauge or at least get out as often as possible and 2) was to get a handicap for the first time in my life.

The "official" season for score submission is over. I have a final tourney next weekend with an awards banquet at the end.

The first thing I learned is how important lessons are.....I did not have an opportunity to take any this year but rest assured, they are on the top of the list for next year.

I learned how to hit WAAY long drives.

I learned that my short game sucks beyond all measures of acceptability.

I learned alot about alot of things from the people here and on a few other boards. I tried alot of different things with varying degrees of success.

I learned (too late) that I should keep my lob and gap wedges at home and just choke up on the PW or SW like I always used to do and swing softer.

I learned alot about the nuances of different golf balls and have settled on 2 favorites.

I AM learning right now, the nuances of different shafts (sigh).....

I learned that my basic technique is sound but generally not consistant or repeatable.

I learned that snowmen are not my friend.

I learned how to sneak new equipment by my wife. :D

While I close out this first season of serious golf with a 29 hcp I am commited to breaking 90 next year and bringing some degree of consistancy to my game.

I am also commited to improving this site, it's content and it's membership.

Cheers!

Bob "Slingblade61" Berry
 

Rockford35

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Slingblade61 said:
I learned how to hit WAAY long drives.

I learned that my short game sucks beyond all measures of acceptability.

I learned (too late) that I should keep my lob and gap wedges at home and just choke up on the PW or SW like I always used to do and swing softer.

I learned alot about the nuances of different golf balls and have settled on 2 favorites.

I AM learning right now, the nuances of different shafts (sigh).....

I learned that my basic technique is sound but generally not consistant or repeatable.

I learned that snowmen are not my friend.

I learned how to sneak new equipment by my wife.

Bob "Slingblade61" Berry


Sling,

Good season assessment. I think that everyone should keep a journal of monthly assessments of what they need to work on, as well as what they have worked on.

1. The long drive isn't the key. Trust me. It helps, but also gets you into alot more trouble than that of a controlled drive. It only took me about 8 years to figure this out. Not bad, i guess. ;)

2. Your short game is more important than your driver. Spend at least 90% or your practice time on the short game. It's hard, but it works wonders. I hit maybe 6 drivers and 6 fairway woods through a whole bucket of balls. The rest goes to 7 irons and down, mostly wedges (I'll come back to this).

3. For now, leave the lob wedge at home. Keep a 56* wedge in your bag and practice it til it wears out. Wedges are fundamental to a strong short game, but you must practice to stay on top of this aspect of your game. So many guys go out there and "expect" to play wedges well, when in fact, very few guys can, (myself included somedays!). But don't give up on your wedge. Take that bad boy 56* and practice hitting with it in a variety of situations. Challenge yourself. Take 15 balls to the green and say to yourself "I'm not leaving til i sink at least 5 of these." You'll be suprised how honed your short game gets with this attitude. It's tough, but worth the blood, sweat and tears.

4. Golf balls are so personal. Good work nailing a brand down that works for you. (Slazenger, right? ;) ) Keep buying them for consistencies sake. This will also help your short game/putting.

5. Shafts are tough. I think the seasons up here help me with that. If i buy a new club, it's usually always over the winter. That way, i have ZERO expectations of how i should perform with it. Replacing a shaft mid-season is tough. But, if it's gotta be done, just buy the same one that you've been using, or, failing that one that matches kick point, launch angle and weight/tourque specs. It'll help.

6. Consistency come with practice. And practice comes with sacrifice and self determination. You have to want to practice. As tough as that sounds, it's easier to see better results with a good practice regiment over just willing it happen. (I've tried this method, willing it to happen, it totally doesn't work! Go figure!). Get out there and want to succeed. Breaking 90 is inevitable with a good practice routine and schedule.

7. I've never trusted snowmen. Bastards, all of them. And 8's on the scorecards don't help either. ;)

8. Your wife and I have been talking. You have to cut down on the "club-ho" persona. We've scheduled you into a help group. Tuesday's during Big Break. :D

Nice work Sling. I love how you've laid out your entire game, both good and bad. I think everyone needs to take a look in the mirror once in a while like this and make some assumptions and assertions.

Cheers,

R35
 
OP
Slingblade61

Slingblade61

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Aug 26, 2004
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I have a couple of thoughts on long drives.

First, they make me feel REAL good when I am 50 - 80 yards beyond everyone else. :D

These last few weeks I have been hitting around 50% of them in the fairways so my slice is getting ironed out.

Finally, because I hit so long, my second shot is always a short iron on the par 4's. I've used my 5 maybe 3 times this year and use the 8 all the time. So by virtue of that fact alone I figure I am getting some good experience with the shorts irons. It is because of that, that I decided to ditch the lob and gap....it took me most of the year to give them up though. I find that they hurt me more than they help me (like alot).

Then of course there is the putter.....I have my eye on an Odessey 2 ball ....don't tell my wife. ;)

And yes, Slazenger....I know no one talks about them but I am telling you, a Slazenger RAW distance will go farther than any other ball I have hit.....pro v's can kiss my ass. I'll wait until I get better before I worry too much about backspin or soft landings. ;) If I am splurging...the maxfli's are the cat's ass. :D

I learned one other thing this year I forgot to mention.....chip with the 4 iron.
Putting stroke, bump and run. I have WAAY better luck with this close in than I do with a lob wedge.
 

Youngun5

Beware of the Phog!
Aug 26, 2004
2,734
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i never really had liked slazenger but today i found one of the afore mentioned raw distance balls, really surprised me how it played, if went forever and was surprisingly soft off of my irons,
sling, congrats on a successful season and heres to many more, i kind of revamped my interest in the game, i was slacking and kind of lost interest for a while, but now that i have to focus on every shot or get burned with my blades, now i have to work for it this game is fun again

:yellow:
 

Rockford35

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Slingblade61 said:
I learned one other thing this year I forgot to mention.....chip with the 4 iron.
Putting stroke, bump and run. I have WAAY better luck with this close in than I do with a lob wedge.


I used to be a die hard 7 iron chipper. It's just easier that way. But, i busted my ass with the lob wedge this year, as I was determined to gain the feel that i needed in my brain for a tight shot. It's tought to get, but once your dialed, you almost salivate at the chance to chip one in. :D

(And as much as I preach about the long drive not being key to good scores, i love to bomb as well. My fairway's hit this year improved alot with my game focus and practice, so i've started letting the big dog hunt a little more everytime out. Carried a 280ish average this year with plenty over 325.....)

R35
 

buddha33

aka Dick Ramser
Aug 31, 2004
390
0
Congrats, Blade. This is the first year I've dedicated myself to the game too, so I can relate to a lot of your points. Here's some things I've learned (apologies if they sound familiar :) )

1. You can not buy a game with new equipment. I tried and wasted money.
2. Lessons are priceless in growing your skills.
3. My putting and short game were/are killing my scores. I had no clue.
4. I love living in Florida.
5. I have a "beautiful swing", it's just not consistent. :mad:
6. Proper set-up (alignment, grip, etc.) are keys to a consistent swing.
7. I finally learned to hit a flop shot.
8. My online poker addiction has its benefits...it pays for greens fees. :D
9. This game's a bitch, but I'm addicted.
10. There are some really cool, helpful mofo's online to help a brotha' along. :thumbup:
 

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
3,986
3
Seems we all have the desire/obsession to get better in common.

This is my second year of "serious" golf. The first year was a complete washout, in large part because I was taking lessons and making big changes. This year I did see some improvement. At the beginning of the year I decided to not focus on scoring and instead devote my attention to developing a solid repeatable swing.

Two things happened.

1. My swing got better. It's not where it needs to be, but it is vastly improved. For the first time ever I played a round without mulitple swing thoughts. It was fun to leave the voices at the range.

2. My scores got better. Most of you guys are miles ahead of me but I'm pleased with the progress. I started the year around a 23 and I'm currently at 15.

The year isn't over here so I'm not changing goals until 05. I don't think I'll make many more club changes for awhile. That said, I do hope to find a 3 wood that I can be confindent with. At the moment my driver is more reliable.

One more thought. Improvement can lead to expectations and expectations can lead to disapointment. Every day on the course or range is a new day and should be approached that way. Oh yeah, I've discovered I absolutely love this game, (or sport or whatever it is). :thumbup:
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,198
270
I learned this year that internet friendships are possible. <Sorry for the cheezwiz...>
I learned that slumps won't kill you.

Question of the year:
Why does my grip feel so natural when it creeps over to super-strong and kills my game, yet feels so unnatural when I weaken it back over to neutral. (Good news is this bit of self-diagnosis that gave me my straight-ball back. Finally!)
 

Rockford35

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I bet you played baseball or tennis in your younger days....

I'll put a case of Bass Ale that's what it is/was. ;)

R35
 

Loop

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
1,418
3
Nice lessons Sling :)

Personally:
1. Marking on your ball "You suck" doesn't help your game. But when you inscribe "Eagle" or "Killer", you get terrific rounds.
2. Making that SMT Nemesis with Graf Blue Regular was a real tester. Began liking it, then hated it, then loved it... I'm not sure I'll be engaged with it :p
3. I used to be quite a good iron player with any iron from 3 to PW. Since my neck injuries dated 2 months ago, I have no idea how to hit them (and I mean hit, like touching....). I guess I have the David Duval curse.
4. No I'm not selling my TA1. They ROCK! (no pun intended... :innocchi )
5. A swing key that works for a day or two won't work the day after, nor any other day. How weird is that....
6. I'm in the process of revamping a completely new, easy and above all consistent swing.
7. The best show on TGC is Playing lessons from the Pros. The ones I like the most art with Nick Faldo and also David Feherty (Can you really eat the grass rough without penalty ? )
8. The worst show is the Big Break. Why doesn't that guy play completely naked? He'd get a lot more attention than being bare-footed...
9. I'm not buying any new equipment until my swing is super consistent. Sorry Buddha that you had to learn the cash way. ;)
10. This forum is absolutely amazing
 

Empty_One

Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2004
4
0
1. I learned that Golf os a fun game to play, and is not only for rich kids and old men.

2. I learned that I should have joined the High School team when I had the chance, instead of picking it up at 31.

3. I learned that there are beautiful days in October in Chicago, and they are better served playing golf than watching football on TV.

4. I learned that golf is a hard, frustrating game, but makes you feel so great when you hit that perfect shot.

5. I learned that buying you first set of clubs is harder than I thought. There are hundreds of choices in all price ranges, and they all have their benefits, and downsides.

6. I learned that golf is more than a game, it's an addiction. Luckily there are thousands of books, magazines, and web pages to devour while waiting for spring.

7. I learned that lessons are very important, and during the winter, you get breaks on the prices. :)

8. I learned that when you've only played 2 rounds of golf in your life, it's hard to come up with 10 lessons learned.
 

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