Golf thread

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Ding Dong Johnson
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Ding Dong Johnson » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:38 pm

I’ve been playing for 30 years, and I probably haven’t kept score for 25 of those years (aside from the occasional best ball tourney). I don’t give a horsefeathers if I shoot 80 or 105.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby squally1313 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:55 pm

There's a lot of appeal in keeping track of at least your scores, in the same way I've always loved baseball statistics. Getting to the point where I can have a consistent handicap*, and figuring out how to improve it is definitely appealing to me, and also really like how you can use it to play against pretty much anyone else....some single digit handicap, my wife, my kid down the road, another hack, etc.

* Related to the earlier conversation, I believe the handicap calculations have score limits per holes, or will basically throw out your worst/blow up holes. I've played with people who say a triple bogey is the max score, and some people that just double par. I don't see any point in writing down a 12 or whatever. It's going to ruin the rest of your round no matter how good you might be playing the other 17 just because you hit 4 straight wedges into the same pond or took 5 swings to get over the lip of the trap.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby stitchface » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:06 pm

squally1313 wrote:There's a lot of appeal in keeping track of at least your scores, in the same way I've always loved baseball statistics. Getting to the point where I can have a consistent handicap*, and figuring out how to improve it is definitely appealing to me, and also really like how you can use it to play against pretty much anyone else....some single digit handicap, my wife, my kid down the road, another hack, etc.

* Related to the earlier conversation, I believe the handicap calculations have score limits per holes, or will basically throw out your worst/blow up holes. I've played with people who say a triple bogey is the max score, and some people that just double par. I don't see any point in writing down a 12 or whatever. It's going to ruin the rest of your round no matter how good you might be playing the other 17 just because you hit 4 straight wedges into the same pond or took 5 swings to get over the lip of the trap.


You sound like me. I actually haven't paid much attention to my total score so much as my disaster holes (3 or more above par - I max at 8), doubles, bogeys, pars, and birdies. My goal is to play bogey golf so I track that as well. I think writing it off as a disaster and moving on makes it easier to recover. The best feeling for me is flighting a long approach shot on to the green.

With regard to learning, I think everyone is different so lessons are better for some than others. Totally agree that one thing at a time is the most helpful and then take time to work on it. The range is great for beginners in my opinion and hit one club for multiple balls until you can hit 5-10 in a row reasonably well. When you get better, you can switch clubs at the range to make it more like a round (but cheaper and less time consuming). For me, I learned a ton online especially regarding grip and stance. Then I took a lesson and the instructor identified my problem but not how to fix it so I read online and found something that worked for me. I'll probably take another lesson once I correct that first problem he identified.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:57 pm

I know that golf can be fun for everything from “foursome of buddies day-drinking who happen to be hitting balls” through “obsessive competitive guy who thinks he might get through the Monday mini-tour qualifier next month with some luck.” For me, I am self-competitive and want to do my best, and I’m a huge nerd about keeping stats and following rules.

I will probably try a course for the first time within a few weeks. I am still hitting non-shots too often with irons, maybe 1/3rd are whiffs/tops/shanks/etc. A

I had planned on buying a full beginner set, but I started buying individual clubs to get a feel for them. After a few, I realized that I’m not consistent enough to be able to gap 14 clubs consistently, I really don’t think I need a full set. I might as well wait and skip the beginner set and buy something nice down the road when I can make good use of it.

So I’m carrying driver, 5h, 7, 9, PW, putter. I will probably add a 3w soon. Feels like plenty for me for the moment.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby stitchface » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:13 pm

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:I know that golf can be fun for everything from “foursome of buddies day-drinking who happen to be hitting balls” through “obsessive competitive guy who thinks he might get through the Monday mini-tour qualifier next month with some luck.” For me, I am self-competitive and want to do my best, and I’m a huge nerd about keeping stats and following rules.

I will probably try a course for the first time within a few weeks. I am still hitting non-shots too often with irons, maybe 1/3rd are whiffs/tops/shanks/etc. A

I had planned on buying a full beginner set, but I started buying individual clubs to get a feel for them. After a few, I realized that I’m not consistent enough to be able to gap 14 clubs consistently, I really don’t think I need a full set. I might as well wait and skip the beginner set and buy something nice down the road when I can make good use of it.

So I’m carrying driver, 5h, 7, 9, PW, putter. I will probably add a 3w soon. Feels like plenty for me for the moment.


Recommend a sand wedge.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby PackLandVA » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:18 pm

Sounds pretty basic, but if you're whiffing and/or topping the ball a third of the time, try this at a range. Swing and never take your eye off the spot the ball was teed/resting. Don't even worry about where the ball goes. Stare at the spot the ball is getting hit from even after you hit. You'll know if you hit the ball flush by the feel. And I bet after 10-20 times of doing this, you'll not top the ball very often.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Splendid Splinter » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:59 pm

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:I know that golf can be fun for everything from “foursome of buddies day-drinking who happen to be hitting balls” through “obsessive competitive guy who thinks he might get through the Monday mini-tour qualifier next month with some luck.” For me, I am self-competitive and want to do my best, and I’m a huge nerd about keeping stats and following rules.

I will probably try a course for the first time within a few weeks. I am still hitting non-shots too often with irons, maybe 1/3rd are whiffs/tops/shanks/etc. A

I had planned on buying a full beginner set, but I started buying individual clubs to get a feel for them. After a few, I realized that I’m not consistent enough to be able to gap 14 clubs consistently, I really don’t think I need a full set. I might as well wait and skip the beginner set and buy something nice down the road when I can make good use of it.

So I’m carrying driver, 5h, 7, 9, PW, putter. I will probably add a 3w soon. Feels like plenty for me for the moment.


IMO, I would never recommend buying a beginner set. Out of everyone I know that bought one (including junior/high school kids, adults starting out, etc), 95% either broke a club or dented their driver/fairway wood within 6 months of buying. They're just not quality work which is why they're super cheap. I always recommend getting an used big name brand iron set and driver/woods. You can even go back like 8 yrs for an iron set if needed to fit your budget.

Pack has the right idea for your whiffs and tops. Just stay down on the ball. Count to 3 and then look at where your ball is going. It's the same way with putts. Most ppl look up to see where it's going too quick.

As far as gimmes and putting out, it depends on what you're doing and who you're playing. I'm a 0 handicap and the guys I play with (all within 0-10 handicap) probably do gimmes (within a putter length unless it got a nasty break to it or it's for eagle/birdie) 90% of the time when we play. It's a big time saver when you do that. If you have a foursome and all 4 of the guys have around 3ft putts, it can take a couple mins to finish out due to each one having to putt in order, then get the ball out of the cup, or someone miss one and have to putt again whereas if you do gimmes, you're done and walking off the green. I bet you probably save at least 20-30 mins in a 18 hole round doing that as a foursome. Now if I'm playing by myself or just a twosome, I putt everything out just to practice and make sure you stay aggressive/firm on those short putts.

For handicap, my highest score can be a double bogey because I'm a 0. If I was like a 3 handicap for example, it's still a double bogey except for the 3 hardest holes. You can have a triple bogey on those holes as you got a handicap stroke on those holes. If you're a 20 handicap, the 2 hardest holes can be a quad while the rest are triple. I hope that explains it a little better for you guys.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:26 am

Budget isn’t an issue, it’s just so hard to figure out what’s what when you are brand new. I think people who have been around a hobby for awhile forget that. I can tell you what foot shape works best with a dozen different lines of hockey skates, but I go to eBay and type in “men’s iron set” and I have no idea what I am looking at. I think stiff is supposed to be for advanced players, graphite is nicer than steel? Callaway is supposed to be a good brand, as is Mizuno? Is TaylorMade kind of in between?

Sure, I can ask people I know irl or on the internet, but then I am just putting myself in the hands of some random jerk who might be right or he might like sac bunts, who knows? Plus, a big part of the fun is learning this stuff in my own.

I am just using cheap garbage clubs off amazon and a $5 putter from play it again (I also got a 4 iron there that I absolutely cannot hit). Once I’ve absorbed enough to actually have opinions on what works for me and what I want, I will go big.


Unrelated: it dawned on my today that I’m not actually hitting my driver well. It’s just that my tendency to pull and my tendency to slice and cancelling out harmoniously. Now that I know then it will probably stop working but for now it’s ending up on target
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:00 am

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:Budget isn’t an issue, it’s just so hard to figure out what’s what when you are brand new. I think people who have been around a hobby for awhile forget that. I can tell you what foot shape works best with a dozen different lines of hockey skates, but I go to eBay and type in “men’s iron set” and I have no idea what I am looking at. I think stiff is supposed to be for advanced players, graphite is nicer than steel? Callaway is supposed to be a good brand, as is Mizuno? Is TaylorMade kind of in between?

Sure, I can ask people I know irl or on the internet, but then I am just putting myself in the hands of some random jerk who might be right or he might like sac bunts, who knows? Plus, a big part of the fun is learning this stuff in my own.


This is not specific to golf(I hate playing and think it’s borderline immoral/90% of courses should be parks instead), but in similar circumstances i find site:reddit.com searches and poking around/searching any specific subreddits that turns up ends up giving me a fairly useful barometer after 30 mins or so.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Splendid Splinter » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:26 am

Taylormade, Ping, Titleist, Mizuno, Callaway, Cobra all would be good choices.

Regular flex in steel shaft for irons probably would suit you just fine for now unless you swing really HARD. For example, I have extra stiff graphite shaft in my driver and 1 hybrid, but stiff steel shaft in my irons. I was around 100-105 mph swing speed with my irons at my last fitting and low 110s with my driver.

If you're curious on what that translates for distance with my clubs, here's my yardages.

Titleist 917 D3 Driver: 270-280
Titleist 909 1 hybrid: 240-250
Ping i500 4 iron: 205
Ping i210 5: 185
6: 175
7: 165
8: 155
9: 145
PW: 135
UW (50°): 125
Titleist Vokey SM6 54°: 105
Titleist Vokey SM6 58°: 90
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Re: Golf thread

Postby sweetpeteman » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:56 am

I wouldn't over think it. Regular flex steel shaft will probably be fine starting out and you probably wouldn't be able to notice much of a difference at this point anyways. One major reason not to spend a lot on clubs is that you may find that you don't really like the clubs you buy after a while and want to try something different. A few years ago I picked up a set of TaylorMade's (I can't remember which set) that I never really felt I made good contact with and never felt comfortable. I switched to a set of Calloways and found them a lot more to my liking and am still using them today.

For now I'd suggest checking out some of the various websites (globalgolf, rockbottomgolf, callowaypreowned) for a good used set from the companies Splendid listed. I bought the previous TM set through GlobalGolf and my current Calloway set though callowaypreowned.

ETA: The one thing I would give thought to is that if you're over 6ft you may want to try to find some slightly longer clubs, I'm 6'2 and was playing a set that was a 1/2 inch longer. When I bought new clubs I looked up the specs to check out the lengths and the ones I have now in their stock form were only a 1/4 inch shorter so I didn't worry about it when I bought them.

Once you become more comfortable with your swing, a proper fitting and a new set would be the way to go.

Splendid's numbers pretty much match mine

Calloway XR16 9.0 - 260-280
TaylorMade Aeroburner 3w - 240
Adams Red Hybrid 3 - 220 (Got this from GlobalGolf a couple years ago for $20)
Calloway SteeleheadXR pro irons:
4i - 205
5i - 190
6i - 180
7i - 170
8i - 155
9i - 145
PW (45) - 135

Vokey SM7 Wedges:

GW (50) - 125
SW (54) - 110
LW (60) - 80
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Re: Golf thread

Postby sweetpeteman » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:41 am

One thing: Don't buy blades.

They're the ones that look like they're made of a single piece (like the TM p790 for example). They allow for a lot of control and shot shaping, but trade off that they're very hard to hit well. Basically just for very good players.

You want the regular cavity back irons.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby JudasIscariotTheBird » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:48 am

sweetpeteman wrote:One thing: Don't buy blades.

They're the ones that look like they're made of a single piece (like the TM p790 for example). They allow for a lot of control and shot shaping, but trade off that they're very hard to hit well. Basically just for very good players.

You want the regular cavity back irons.

I play with blades because all of my clubs are castoffs from other family members who are actually good at golf. I think that means everyone should use them.

Side note: a text message informed me my dad hit another hole in one today, at a tournament this time.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby BigbadB » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:51 pm

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:Maybe I will feel different when I get out there, but the entire concept of “gimmes” bugs me. It takes 5 seconds to tap it in and pick it up.


We actually gamble when we play, and anything inside the grip of the putter is a gimme. The biggest reason is to keep play moving, especially on a hot day. We average about 4 hours a round when we play, and that's plenty of time in the sun.

Oh, and I still amazingly look up on shots. It drives me nuts that I still do that on occasion. The old saying is if you want to see a bad shot, look up. And it's so true. Stay the F down on your shot if you want to improve.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby jersey cubs fan » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:43 pm

stitchface wrote:
Hairyducked Idiot wrote:I know that golf can be fun for everything from “foursome of buddies day-drinking who happen to be hitting balls” through “obsessive competitive guy who thinks he might get through the Monday mini-tour qualifier next month with some luck.” For me, I am self-competitive and want to do my best, and I’m a huge nerd about keeping stats and following rules.

I will probably try a course for the first time within a few weeks. I am still hitting non-shots too often with irons, maybe 1/3rd are whiffs/tops/shanks/etc. A

I had planned on buying a full beginner set, but I started buying individual clubs to get a feel for them. After a few, I realized that I’m not consistent enough to be able to gap 14 clubs consistently, I really don’t think I need a full set. I might as well wait and skip the beginner set and buy something nice down the road when I can make good use of it.

So I’m carrying driver, 5h, 7, 9, PW, putter. I will probably add a 3w soon. Feels like plenty for me for the moment.


Recommend a sand wedge.

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Re: Golf thread

Postby squally1313 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:10 pm

Echoing the club purchase concerns. I'm left handed, and tall, which kept me from ever being able to borrow someone else's clubs. But I wasn't about to spend $1000 or whatever when I didn't have any idea what my swing even was, so I just picked up the box set from Strata off Amazon for a couple hundred bucks (and then a SW/LW). They're pretty terrible and definitely too short, so I'm trying to find the sweet spot of figuring out a comfortable/consistent swing to bring to a club fitting without just settling into bad habits from using bad clubs. The PGA Superstore in the Chicago suburbs does free club fittings, so hopefully I can string together a couple not-terrible rounds and then bring that approach into getting fitted for a decent set.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby jumbo » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:51 pm

stitchface wrote:I do agree on hitting every putt - something about finishing and when you do play more "seriously," you'll feel a lot less pressure if you're used to finishing out.


This exactly. When I first played in a city tournament I missed several short putts due to nerves and not having tapped them in all those times. It's just good for your game to always make the ball rattle the cup.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:05 am

Some background on one of my nephews. He’s adopted and suffers from pre-natal drug exposure. Now 8, he loves sports and has tons of natural athleticism.

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of his drug exposure is that his brain is very slow to process new information. He tried to join a basketball team two years ago. His dribbling and shooting were far ahead of anyone else on the team. Unfortunately, he literally couldn’t keep up with play. When his team would switch from offense to defense, or even when the ball would be passed across the court, it would take him literally several seconds to process that he was supposed to be doing something different.

So we have been on the lookout for sports where that won’t be a problem. He did track for awhile but developed some repetitive stress injuries. When I decided to try golf, I picked him up a cheap set of used kids clubs and told him if he liked it, we would make it a bigger thing for him.

So it’s been a few weeks and he loves it. It helps that Tiger Woods “looks like me” (5 of my nieces and nephews are black adopted by my white family, and all of them are obsessed with representation even though we never said anything to him, in case people ever tell you it doesn’t matter) and Woods played HS golf near here.

I told him when we started he would need to be able to clear 100 yards with a drive before I could consider taking him to a real course. He told me today he was doing it, and I didn’t believe him until I stopped and watched him, and sure enough his solid hits (about half of them) clear 120. He has watched a lot of Tiger videos on YouTube and emulates the swing, and he really lets it fly with the driver. But his favorite thing to practice is chipping, which is probably good.

I haven’t even been to a real course yet, but there’s a little 9-hole par 29 executive course near I think we will have to try sometime next week
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Splendid Splinter » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:11 am

9 holes executive courses are a great way to start off on what it's like being on a course. Sure, it can be repetitive yardage wise with all those par 3s, but you'll get the experience of bunkers, trees, water (if there is any). You'll actually learn about shot placement, what club to hit at a certain distance, what kind of shot you need to hit, etc. rather than just hitting balls at the range with no worries about how far or where it ends up. Another good thing is it won't take a long time to play 9 holes so it won't eat up your day.

That's awesome your nephew loves to chip. I would keep him on those short games. If he can get that dialed down, it'll go a long way to shoot well. Eventually as he gets older and stronger, the distance will come, but he would come out ahead of other kids because he got the "touch" of his short game.

I was the opposite when I started back when I was in 7th grade. I was all distance/no touch. It took me forever to figure out the short game until I did a complete swing change about 6 years ago where I started to understand my swing mechanics, how to approach the game/shots, etc. that everything just clicked for me.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:15 pm

I ordered a bag and the last clubs I need, but they’re going to take 1-2 weeks, which is annoying. I should have just gone to the store, but I’m annoyed at how much golf bags cost new, and the used sports store has been pretty picked over because everyone is learning to golf during corona. I don’t mind spending on clubs, but the carrying bag by itself shouldn’t cost more than any piece of hockey equipment I own outside of my skates.

I have hit my five goals I had for myself before trying a real course (can keep a tee shot in bounds, can hit an approach somewhere in the vicinity of the green, can get out of a bunker, can chip onto a green, maximum three-putt from anywhere). So now I’m just waiting for my stuff to get here and I’ll make my first tee time.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:30 pm

Gonna get this kid into lessons, contacted some local coaches this week. This feels like it’s pretty good for first picking up a club three weeks ago and only having his doofus nerd uncle teaching him stuff from YouTube:

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Re: Golf thread

Postby WrigleyField 22 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:25 pm

I suppose it's partly due to Corona, but also due to my buddies who I do a weekend trip with every year talking about making next year a golf trip, has me interested in picking up golf. The last few pages of this have been gold. Thanks for sharing your journey Kyle. I'll be sure to post my personal updates if I get around to it. I think getting over the hurdle of trying something is gonna be big to get over because it is a bit intimidating.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:40 pm

WrigleyField 22 wrote:I suppose it's partly due to Corona, but also due to my buddies who I do a weekend trip with every year talking about making next year a golf trip, has me interested in picking up golf. The last few pages of this have been gold. Thanks for sharing your journey Kyle. I'll be sure to post my personal updates if I get around to it. I think getting over the hurdle of trying something is gonna be big to get over because it is a bit intimidating.



Highly recommend. Maybe it’s because I was already playing a “hit thing on ground with a stick” sport, and maybe it’s because I haven’t actually played a real round yet and my hubris will catch up with me, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s easier to be not terrible than many people have you believe. I see a lot of patterns that mirror other hobbies I’ve picked up where a vocal minority insisted it was incredibly difficult to get better but they were mostly shooting themselves in the foot.

I am pretty sure a lot of struggling amateur golfers are

1) neglecting their short game. Ive got a putting mat and chipping target at home, and anytime I have some downtime to watch tv or kid wants to be left alone in the yard, I’m grinding the simple shots.

2) overhitting to chase distance.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby JudasIscariotTheBird » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:00 pm

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:
WrigleyField 22 wrote:I suppose it's partly due to Corona, but also due to my buddies who I do a weekend trip with every year talking about making next year a golf trip, has me interested in picking up golf. The last few pages of this have been gold. Thanks for sharing your journey Kyle. I'll be sure to post my personal updates if I get around to it. I think getting over the hurdle of trying something is gonna be big to get over because it is a bit intimidating.



Highly recommend. Maybe it’s because I was already playing a “hit thing on ground with a stick” sport, and maybe it’s because I haven’t actually played a real round yet and my hubris will catch up with me, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s easier to be not terrible than many people have you believe. I see a lot of patterns that mirror other hobbies I’ve picked up where a vocal minority insisted it was incredibly difficult to get better but they were mostly shooting themselves in the foot.

I am pretty sure a lot of struggling amateur golfers are

1) neglecting their short game. Ive got a putting mat and chipping target at home, and anytime I have some downtime to watch tv or kid wants to be left alone in the yard, I’m grinding the simple shots.

2) overhitting to chase distance.

100% agree. People are generally horrible at everything, and golf especially so. And yeah Wrigley, your friends are all probably horrible and there is nothing to be intimidated by.

I ESPECIALLY agree with the idea "it’s easier to be not terrible than many people have you believe." It reminds me of your comments about being a hockey goalie... Its not to say that there isn't a skill in being a goalie or playing golf. Everything has a learning curve, and everything athletic requires coordination and speed and strength that differentiates overall preformance, and really starkly when you get to upper levels. But just because people exist that are WAY better than you'll even dream of being, it doesn't mean you can't reach competancy (compared to the sea of rubes that we populate) relatively quickly if you have a good mind set and a desire to improve.
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Re: Golf thread

Postby WrigleyField 22 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:00 pm

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:
WrigleyField 22 wrote:I suppose it's partly due to Corona, but also due to my buddies who I do a weekend trip with every year talking about making next year a golf trip, has me interested in picking up golf. The last few pages of this have been gold. Thanks for sharing your journey Kyle. I'll be sure to post my personal updates if I get around to it. I think getting over the hurdle of trying something is gonna be big to get over because it is a bit intimidating.



Highly recommend. Maybe it’s because I was already playing a “hit thing on ground with a stick” sport, and maybe it’s because I haven’t actually played a real round yet and my hubris will catch up with me, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s easier to be not terrible than many people have you believe. I see a lot of patterns that mirror other hobbies I’ve picked up where a vocal minority insisted it was incredibly difficult to get better but they were mostly shooting themselves in the foot.

I am pretty sure a lot of struggling amateur golfers are

1) neglecting their short game. Ive got a putting mat and chipping target at home, and anytime I have some downtime to watch tv or kid wants to be left alone in the yard, I’m grinding the simple shots.

2) overhitting to chase distance.

Ultimately if I do it with my buddies on a trip, I know it will be 80% about beers, cigars, and dicking around, and I could literally just do that with them and not pick up a club, but think I would enjoy the last 20% if I can look like it's not my second time picking up clubs (I've golfed 9 holes one other time and it was "best ball" so I couldn't slow things down).

But beyond the trip, I'm way too sedentary and while I should also do some real workouts too, golf does sound more appealing the older I get and seeing how my body has aged going on 15 years from my athletic prime. Insert the possibility to leverage it for business outings as well is more and more appealing as I shift into roles where I am expected to be a true advocate for my company and help establish/maintain relationships outside the 9-5 working relationship. I wouldn't want to offer a round of golf to a client/potential client right now and that's a little limiting.
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