Golf Club Reviews and Discussions
Well even if its a little cool or wet for us to play golf , we can at least talk about it. What are people's goals for their 2017 golf game? Areas of improvement, scoring goals?
With my heart issues of last year, i did NOT get out very much to play or practice. Only one 9 hole round of golf and only 2 visits to the range to practice. So I have a lot of work to do for the coming year. First I have to get back in decent shape for swinging a golf club, and then I have to get in a lot of practice. My first goal will be to do what I can to get stronger and more flexible so I can swing a golf club at a high level. And than I need to hit the range and hit golf balls to re-learn how to hit good golf shots with as much power as I can get out of this old body. Time to put in the work to get back to being a single figure golfer again.
Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.
Its funny how golfers always want to improve. They have a number ( handicap ) and they always want to get it down. I play 8 ball pool in a league and obviously want to win every game I play but I dont have a constant urge to get better and better as there are no real perameters to tell me im getting better apart from my win %.
This year in golf is my biggest plan to improve. Ive only ever hoped to get better through playing more although this is not always the case. I have read alot about the physics and science of the swing, the hit, ball and spin etc and I have real hope for improvement this year. I play off 12.6 HCAP in my society and I would love to get down to 9.4 but that would be a big ask. I really need to drive about 20 yds further to give me better chances on the longer par 4s. I need to eliminate my body sway and that should improve my ball striking and increase my AOA and in turn better drives. Ive got a great starting point, im a fairly short driver 200-210 yd an agood drive, I have booked a session with a golf simulator and will take up 3 or 4 of my drivers to look at the numers. I will let you know how that sesh goes. Pretty cheap at £15 for 1 hour so looking forward to it. I could even do that every 2 weeks and see if there is any improvement in the data. I will keep you all posted. CAC
cac handed Geordie.
Good stuff guys.
@Don - justt take it slow Don, improve the physical stuff and get your strength back and start getting out more.
@Cac - lots of good stuff there. I might recommend you pick one or two things and focus on them. Hard to work on many things. Adding distance off the tee is a good start, to reduce the lengthon those Par 4s. If you can do that with equipment improvements great. If you have to change your swing, just be careful..that can carry over to the irons too. Length there is great but don't cost yourself consistency.
Golf is a game that can only be played...
For me, last year I feel like I made progress on the driver. I feel like I may have settled my swing down a bit and don't hit the duck hooks now. Made progress on being able to hit a fade on command..sometimes it goes from draw to SLICE but I'm working on it
Iron ball striking probably is still the big item on the list. I tried different things last year, some with limited success, but nothing that sustained more than a round. The crux is the inital other the top lunge I tend to have..The only thing that seemed to work well was slowing down my swing and making sure I got my right shoulder coming down. So that's my focus for now. Irons. And reading greens. I chip OK but I tend to leave my putts short trying to die them in the hole, avoiding long comebackers. So I think I'm going to try being more aggressive with putting. We'll see how it goes.
If I can pull those three things off I should be a more consistent player in the coming season and I should be able to get more games in.
I started my flexibility program this week. Working on getting my back loose so I can increase my X factor of my swing. The X factor is what Jim Mcclean calls the difference in how far you can turn your shoulders compared to how far you turn your hips during your back swing. The more degrees you can turn your shoulders beyond how far you turn your hips, the BETTER for power and distance. What you should be aiming for is something OVER 45 degrees of X factor with a 90 degree or more shoulder turn at the top of your back swing. I'm up to arond 55* currently and my goal is to get it up to 60-65* by spring. My next thing to work on is to loosen up my shoulders by doing dumbells lifts starting out with light weights and working up to heavier ones as I get stronger and looser at the same time. I have three drills I use to strengthen and loosen my shoulder that I need to start doing again.
I stretch on the mat at the gym, if I lay with my shoulders flat I can turn my hips 90 degrees. But there is more resistance when you try to do that standing up. I will grab a piece of equipment at shoulder height and try to pull across my body also. Doing stretches ALL the time is the key.
It's not how...it's how many
Way to go Aimee with the 90* hip turn. I doubt i will ever be that loose in my back to turn that far, but it's a good goal to Aimee for. Pun intender of course. Can I ask you how far you can turn your shoulders at the top of your backswing since you can turn your shoulders 90* without turning your hips? I would think you could get well past a 90* shoulder turn with a huge X factor.
I do the same stretch Aimee on the floor as it helps my lower back .... which BTW i had an MRI on today so we can see whats up in there.
Don, I can make that same floor twist but I don't think I make that much turn in my golf swing. I can get it back there but I don't tend too unless I'm really focusing on that.
scott; getting your back swing to have a 90* plus shoulder turn is one of the things you could be working on when you Practice at the range. If you can get it past 90 during your practice sessions you will have a much better chance of doing it when you play a round of golf. IF you watch the Long Drive competitors you will notice that they all get well past 90* shoulder turn and some of them are past 120*, so it does seem to help with distance. NOT going to make you longer, but it does give you the Potenial for more distance is you do the other things correct. So I think it's something that is worth working on at the practice range and in your strecthing exericise work.
it does seem to work differently to rotate the upper back (shoulders) while standing vs. twisting the hips (lower back) while lying down. Just standing up now, I can rotate so my left shoulder is centered over my belly button. But I think when golfing, if I try to rotate too much my arms get out of synch. It's been almost 3 months so it's hard to remember!
For me it's probably around 45° of shoulder turn without any hip rotation. I can get my shoulders back to 90° without much trouble, but that includes what looks like 45° of hip turn as well. It's intersting that I seem to be more restricted on the follow through in terms of rotational differential.
I know that some schools of thought make a big deal out of "X" factor, but others are much less convinced that it's necessary especially for older golfers as it's an excellent way to incurr back problems unless you do a lot of training beforehand. Personally, I think that distance is greatly overrated especially if you're a handicap player. Far better to play the appropriate tees and concentrate on making quality shots than to worry about wringing the last few yards out of your swing, after all it is a game of finesse.
scomac, I agree ref distance vs accuracy or other skills...I know I used to hit my driver a little bit further, but other aspects of my game have improved over the years so that I can make a good score anyhow. My back has been tight lately so we will see how my first round of 2017 leaves me!
I have tried at time to make a full swing, and I can do it but if I'm not careful, I can get too long with the swing and the club goes back too far and I'm less accurateon the down swing. I'm playing with a lot of things right now though so I'll pay more attention to how far back I get.
In Friday's round, about half way through I started trying to make sure I kept the club "out" on the takeaway so I didn't bring it too far inside on the back swing, felt like I was turning more in that...and then I worked on trying tio "pull" through with the left hand to get the club down in the right position. I was not very consistent with draw vs fade, out of about 8 swings it was probably half and half, but the ones I did well, I "teed" off on. Those were the 310+ yard drives, one even slightly uphill. So when I get back from Florida I'm going to keep playing with it for a while. Maybe video it and see what my positions are. I've played with the idea of pulling with the left hand before when I get frustrated with too many over-the-top shots but I've never really spent a lot of time on it.
Avoid any sort of physical impairments that I struggled with last year. Hopefully I'm in better shape to start the season
Improve driving accuracy. I really struggled getting off the tee on a consistent basis
Improve putting statistics through a better focus and understanding of alignment and aim
With my golf season rapidly coming to a close I thought it would be appropriate to look back on my goals for the season that I set in January.
Healthwise I've had a good year. I switched to a new massage therapist in January and she has kept my lower half supple and working well. I wasn't forced to take any time off from golf due to injury so that has been a big plus from previous years. To date I have 65 rounds in largely due to joining a couple of different leagues that kept me playing week in and week out. Didn't play in any tournaments this year.
This year I was committed to playing a modern bag for the most part due to the league play rather than splitting time between modern clubs and vintage woods and blades. For the most part I stuck with a single driver and that helped out alot with driving accuracy as I wasn't adjusting to different clubs frequently. I learned how to hit a draw with my driver as well by choking down on the club and moving the ball back in my stance about a half a foot's width. Furthermore, I used my fairway or hybrid more often off the tee when it made sense for positioning or accuracy. Better driving led to better scoring overall.
I didn't make the progress I was hoping for on the putting front although I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. I had periods of good putting and then periods of terrible putting. I still have far too many three putts, but I've started to make a few more putts of length and I'm feeling more confident in the 4 to 6 foot range which often times is where I've run into a rash of three putts by failing to make that length of putt following a lag that wasn't as good as I'd like. It's strange that I can hole putts like no one's business on the practice green with a number of different styles of putter other than a heel/toe weighted blade with offset, but when I get out on the course its the Anser or Zing that record the best putting stats for a round. I wonder if it simply comes down to the fact that those designs are best for lag putting leaving me less challenging second putts?
Overall, I am very satisfied with my results for the year. I feel like my game has progressed for the first time in a few years which is encouraging. The most important improvement to me has been to be able to get a full season in without ill effects. I hope that I can continue along in that vein.
Scomac, good to see the update and that you can measure progress and improvement towards your goals. No doubt, putting is the one area that most people find frustrating, it is so much of a "feel" thing and I certainly have played with guys who were really good golfers but really mediocre putters. It's the easiest way to drop strokes off your score, hence the biggest source of frustration when those 3 putts blow up your score. I think sticking with one putter all the time will enable you to feel more comfortable with distance control. And if you can identify your most common "miss" you might find something you can adjust (ie, if the miss is almost always left, maybe you are striking with a closed putterface). Those short/mid length putts are "money" and getting confident with them will pay dividends.
Thanks Aimee! As fate would have it my back went out this morning during day men's curling. I was a little tight this morning when I got up, but thought that with the exercise that things would loosen up as I played. That lasted for about half the game and then I began to spasm. I'm in a bad way and won't be playing much of anything for at least the rest of this week. This is most definitely the most frustrating thing that I have to deal with periodically.
Well shoot Sco...that hurts (pun intended) to hear. Rest and get back to the massage therapist soon.
Glad to hhear you made progress on several areas. You could be right..some putters might be better weighted for you to get a better first putt that others. In terms of putting statistics, do you keep a mental note of how far your approach shots are landing from the pin? Meaning, are you leaving yourself reasonable 2 putt ranges usually? That's another way to help your putting statistics.
My 2017 recap...
Main goals for 2017 were
The fade of the driver was mainly because I was trying to learn to take one side of the course out of play, and stop ducking hooking on the misses. I feel like the lessons I took and the fixes I have in place now, I'm more consistent off the tee. I think I can fade or draw it now and I've learned more why the hooks happen and what I was doing wrong to cause them, so that's great. So I feel like I made progress there.
Iron wise, again, the lesson and seeing what I was doing wrong, helped me make some strides there. I still am working to make it more automatic but I feel like I've made a big step forward. Just have to keep working on my grip and the wrist position. So I feel like the ball striking is better. not perfect but making some positive steps forward
the over the top thing is still something I'm working on. It's better, and I'm more aware of it and I try to make my pre-swing routine focus on starting my down swing on plane. But I still can pull it so I'm having to focus on that swing path and when I do, It's pretty good.
Aggressive putting ... Probably did not make the progress i wanted to make. Need to find more time to work on putting. I did make some progress recently going back to my old style putting grip but this will be a point of focus next spring. Probably going to try a new putter this off season and see what I think about it.
Green reading.. lately, either I'm over reading the break or I'm putting too much pace on it. I have been missing putts on the "pro" side but .. I'm still missing. I had some good putts that almost went in but .. didn't. So I need to work on this next year.
I'm not much of a stats geek, Scott. I have a pretty good idea how far I hit my various clubs, but I don't track anything in particular beyond putts.
Being a higher handicap player I don't make a lot of GIR, so I focus on ths short game and trying to do a better job of getting up and down. I'm not a long hitter so in many cases I deliberately play for an extra shot coming in leaving me with a higher confidence full swing rather than an awkward yardage. For example, our closing hole is a par 3 a bit over 200 yards. It's a driver for me if I go for it, but I've found that my average score is probably a half a stroke less by laying up short and then pitching onto the severely sloped elevated green using the slope to my advantage. A drive to the left or right of the green can be a real challenge due to the cross slope. Long is just a total crap shoot as it's almost impossible to hold the green on the down slope.
For me the most important trackable stat is fairways hit because that is directly related to score and why making progress there was so important.
Sco, I play the same way on one hole on my course. LONG Par 4 and while I may could reach in 2 with a great great aggressive shot from say 220 yards out..missing the green left or right brings in bunkers..and those aren't usually in great shape. So I tend to lay up to a short pitch shot and I usually make no worse than bogey. Where as hitting in those bunkers can easily bring in double.
Game management is probably the best way to lower your score. Knowing where your weaknesses are and playing away from them, when you execute, definitely can save you strokes.
I remember reading an article about playing each hole, other than the par 3's so you hit ONE more shot to get to the greens. That way you should be able to score a bogey if you two putt or chip it close from off the green and one putt. The idea is to make each hole a bogey hole and bring breaking 90 into reach for the amatuer golfer, something a lot of golfer can't do if they try to reach the green in regulation. And IF you have a good short game, you might ba able to play your third shot into the green on a par 4 hole, and get it close enough to the pin to bring par back into play os some of the holes.
I have a hard time understanding what short hitters have to deal with on the course. As luck would have it, I don't have to worry about reaching the green on any par 3 holes I play. I rremember playing a 205 yard par 3 hole one time with a friend of mine. He's pretty short off the tee, so ht hit his driver to reach to green. He ended up about pin high on the green so he was putting for birdie. I hit my 24* 9 wood to just short of the pin and was also putting for birdie on the hole. Two very different clubs for the same 205 yard Par 3 hole. For my friend, hitting driver meant he had to land to ball short of the pin and hope it would roll out to the flag and hold on the green. For me hitting a high loft faireay wood. I was able to aim for the flag and with the high loft club, my ball flight was quite high so the ball stopped within about 5 to 8 feet of where it landed on the green. Much easier to get the ball close for me than him on this length par 3 hole. I do play one par 3 hole that can be hard to reach and hold the green at times. Depending on where they place to cup and where the markers are set on the tee box, the hole can play more like 240 yards than the 220 it's listed at on the score card. The green on this hole is fairly long front to back, but only about 12 to 15 yards wide at most. so directional control can be an issue, especially when it's playing more toward the 240 yard distanse. Water left and a big dropoff with trees Right means hitting the ball straight is the only way to make par a reasonable outcome. I guess I COULD hit a 9 iron off the tee and hit a Lob wedge into the green and hope I can one putt for par, but I've never tried that approach on this hole. I just hit a fariway wood and try to make it onto the green and two putt for my par. Doesn't alway work out that way of course, but it's what I try to do.
I play with several guys who are in the same situation Sco. One guy hits the ball so high due to his falling back swing that he can't carry more than about 185 yards. Maybe 200 on a good strike. So I've tried to talk to him about laying up..but his point is usually that his layuppercentage of failure is very high too and that he's better off hitting his driver because it tends to find the short grass. the key thing I try to get him to do is play up and play the right tee boxes. Hell he's almost 60, I try to get him to play the front tees but he won't. but if I can get him to play for bogey, it would still beat his normal scores of high 90's. But I understand, there's more to it than just scores...
Like you Don, I'm fortunate to have decent length off the tee so even the long Par 4s are still reachable but I tend to play it based on the risk - reward...Like the hole I spoke of, bogey or better from the back tees is fine with me..
Scomac, I only track putts/GIR/pars each round. Mostly out of curiousity, but over time you can see trends. I always have had seminars for work about setting measureable goals (ie, don't just say...get more pars). So if you see that you average 4 three putts per round, for example, a goal would be to reduce that to 2. All things being equal, that drops 2 strokes off your score. And I'm with you on playing a hole to your strengths, if you play for bogey, sometimes you chip it close and one putt for par. Better than hitting into a bunker and then winding up with double bogey.
I haven't gone back to look at my goals, but I know I probably said to improve bunker shots. That's sort of a constant theme. I don't have a good practice bunker at the range that simulates what I deal with on the course, so I tend to not spend much time on that. I have had brief periods where I felt OK hitting out of greenside bunkers, when I really focused on swinging like a flop shot (which I do hit well), but I'd be kidding myself if I said I had any kind of consistency or control. I'm happy just to get out.