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Golfers - Your Aha Moment

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Breeze147, Jan 25, 2015.

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  1. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    I may or may not start playing again after a long layoff.

    My question: When did you realize that you had found the proper way to hit the ball? I'm not saying when you got good. I'm talking about that epiphany when it suddenly came to you what a swing was, the inside takeaway, the wrist cock, the release, the downward ball strike, the follow through, just happen, and that line drive 150 Yard 5-iron, became that majestic, soaring, free bird of a 200 yarder.

    And then suddenly, you could do it with all the clubs in your bag. Not perfect. Oh, no. Never perfect. But that feeling of wanting to shout: I can hit the 'effing ball!!!

    I was a scooper my entire life and never knew it. No pro could tell me what to do or what it felt like. No magazine article or book. No Golf Channel lesson.

    They all combined to put the ideas into my head. But suddenly, on the driving range, out of the blue, it just all came together. I still sucked, but I looked good while sucking.

    I'm wondering if others went through this, or did it all just come naturally? Did you always know why there was a flange and grooves on the club?

    I quit playing for reasons other than that. I just got a bad taste in my mouth about something I'd rather not discuss.

    Just curious about how others figured it out.
     
  2. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    I've been playing for so long tht I don't know if I remember my aha moment or of I've solely had one. I think it is sometimes a very fleeting thing at least for me. I play good golf and worked hard to get where I am in my game but I still think I have aha moments or at least moments of "stop being a dumbass" and doing whatever I'm doing. But I think that's what is great about golf if that you can always improve and all it takes is one good shot to get you hooked again.
     
  3. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    I'm so bad I can't enjoy the game and on the rare occasion I do hit that majestic 200 yard straight as an arrow 5 iron I feel compelled to throw it in the woods as there must truly be something wrong with the club.
     
  4. MUFC

    MUFC Low-Roller

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    My aha moment was not so much to do with my swing, but when I purchased some new titliest irons a few years ago. I had been playing for a few years with some pretty rubbish old clubs, and when I upgraded the difference was phenomenal. Hitting the sweetspot with those new irons was a great feeling and still is. I instantly knocked 6-8 shots off my scores every round and since I've had those irons my handicap has come down to 13.

    I have also had a bit of a lay off and haven't played since October, partly because of a bad back but the main reason is the weather over here just makes it a chore rather than something to enjoy. I'm looking to get back playing in the next few weeks and aiming for a single figure handicap by the end of the summer!
     
  5. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    Breeze,
    I don't think I've ever had that moment.....seriously.
    I always had a somewhat "baseball swing"....I say "somewhat" ---
    because I don't come thru "inside out" ....more "outside in....across".
    And this "modified baseball swing" has become worse thru the years
    as my arthritic hips have slowly deteriorated.
    I tend to swing around my hips instead of pulling my RT hip thru with my swing.
    I think my lack of hip mobility is a big part of this,now.
    *
    I've toyed with opening my front foot - to get my RT hip thru -- but have found
    it decreases my EVER SHRINKING yardage on my shot.
    I can't "MAN UP" and let my shots get EVEN SHORTER !!
    *
    I think you mentioned why you quit playing --( in a post long ago
    but I'm VERY curious why ?
     
  6. guapoxxx

    guapoxxx High-Roller

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    I'm still waiting for my Aha moment... think it has to do with me not hitting my driver with any consistency.
     
    Annual Golf Trip
  7. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    The Aha moment. Yes, I have had it. More than once. Once a good golfer saw me on the range and told me to keep my right elbow closer to my body, don't have the flying chicken wing. Wow! That one simple thing was like a miracle.

    Then another one was when I saw a video of myself a friend had taken. I was swaying forward instead of staying centered over the ball. Again, a miracle.

    I told my wife on these occasions it's like you just learned to fly, like a bird, and of course that would be all you wanted to do. I have super powers!

    The feeling fades after you hit it in to the woods though.
     
  8. nickle

    nickle Low-Roller

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    For the first 10 plus years that I played, all my rounds were triple digits as a result of my weak slice. One day, two friends and I went to a local quality golf course and had an "old" guy (probably younger than I am now!) was put with our group. He hit his first drive 240 down the left of the fairway, iron shot 160 pin high left, chip and put for par. He parred the second and bogied the third and then apologized for his play because he had fallen off a ladder two weeks earlier and this was his first game since. Turns out he was a teaching pro. On the 11th fairway, he asked who had taught me to play, and when I said that I had never had a lesson, he said I had the "most beautiful natural swing he had seen". He suggested that I adjust my feet, move my hands slightly on the grip and swing easier...Ah ha, I hit the ball solidly, longer and straighter than ever. That summer,I broke 100 for the first time and within a week broke 90! My handicap plummeted from 25+ to around 14 that summer and has not been higher since!
     
  9. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Joe, the reason is because I was turning into an angry, sullen, unapproachable person that was ruining the day for others and I did not want to be that person. So I quit.
     
  10. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    Breeze,
    You sound like half the guys I play with !!!....including myself !!!
    *
    I try to have a short memory.....I may whine + piss for a hole after a blow up hole !........then, I tell myself
    to shut up and enjoy the atmosphere................at least, I shut up !
     
  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Acceptance. That was my moment. Not sure it actually was a single incident but when I realized that: 1) The game is hard; 2) There is no such thing as mastery at any level of ability; 3) It's about having fun, walking around a pretty place, with good people; 4) Friends, family members and the neighbor's dog didn't give a rat's ass about my results on the course -- that was when it all came together. Thankfully I wasn't exactly a club-thrower out there so I didn't have to temper my own Tommy Bolt. Do I enjoy crappy shots? Not at all. But that's different. It's like rush hour traffic. It's bothersome, but if you are a volcano the only thing you really can do -- and it will prove decidedly short-lived and counterproductive -- is to start ramming people to shove them along.

    For those who are frustrated, some things to remember:

    Unless you play every day with the local college team or the past 10 club champs, almost everyone around you who says he hits it, "Oh, 275, sometimes 300,) is full of shit. Totally. Absolutely. A 100-mph swinger (say 10 percent of all recreational players and the higher end of the LPGA) who also can find the screws hits drives 250-260. Max. The physics doesn't allow more than that.

    The average "avid" recreational player, playing by the rules on a 6,000+-yard course of moderate slope, does well to break 100.

    So, everyone, keep your chin up, a smile on your face and let's play 36!!
     
  12. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    Ken,
    I love those stats !
    Great thoughts to remember....you are correct, sir !
    *
    *
    One short story ( not to steal thread, sorry Breeze ! ) :
    A guy I've played with ,maybe, three times in 5 years ---
    Very stocky,thick....takes a baseball grip...HUGE swing + grunts aloud.....WHUMP !!!!
    The ball sails off into a high majestic Babe Ruth homer --- it seems out there forever.
    I said, "Geez, you don't get cheated !"
    He chuckles
    I step up......take my slow easy swing......watch my Tee ball - line drive + roll....
    my ball only ends up 10 yds behind his.........all day.
    *
    Moral to the story ?
    "Different strokes for different folkes" - ---------- almost same results.
     
  13. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Amen, my friend. I play from time to time with some former hockey players, and they can flat move the ball with a swing even shorter than mine. You just don't know.

    Ball speed, launch angle, spin rate (including dispersion). The first is mostly god-given talent -- how fast you swing and how well you can find the sweet spot -- and some sweat and toil. The last two can be optimized with loft, shaft and head configuration -- that's fitting as much as technology. A properly fitted driver from three years ago is going to outperform the latest greatest thing picked blindly off the rack, for most people.

    I'm not saying technology doesn't matter. It does. But a little time kicking the tires and a little more money than buying blindly out of the barrel specials can keep your driver dialed in for some number of years.

    And if a guy doesn't really want to do that, meaning a fitting, or thinks it's bullshit, do try these things: Whatever driver you were gonna buy next, go ahead and get that model, but get it with with more loft and a more flexible and shorter shaft, and preferably some offset and/or a closed face or a closed-face setting.
     
  14. parallax

    parallax Low-Roller

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    My was that I came to the realization was that about ten years ago that I have should have stuck to playing golf right handed. Growing up a child I did most things right handed (write, throw the ball , etc.). However, I batted left handed and played hockey left handed. As my mom said, I was confused. When I started to play golf in middle school, I had to learn on the right handed Sears set that my dad had bought. I discovered that I was not very comfortable swinging right handed. Because of this discomfort, I did not swing real hard. The result was that I was a straight hitter and basically could hit within the range typical for a club. In the early eighties, I some how found out about this lefties catalog company and bought a set of cheap left handed Northwestern clubs. I felt free hitting left handed clubs. I could crush the ball. It felt so natural to play golf left handed. However, I did not have the same touch or control with the right handed clubs. About 10 years ago, I went to a week long golf academy with a friend. I focused quite a bit on the short game, which is my greatest weakness. We were practicing shots from about 75 yards out and I was barely able to hit the green. After hitting about 25 balls I only had hit one within 15 feet. I was getting really frustrated. As a joke, my friend should say that I should try it right handed. I borrowed his sand wedge and proceeded to hit 10 balls right handed. After shanking the first ball, I proceeded to hit 8 of the 9 balls within fifteen feet of the hole. It made me think that I should have remained a right hander. I know it is too late to turn back.
     
  15. kiwiboy1

    kiwiboy1 Low-Roller

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    When I was 22 I started playing. Sucked of course. Best score was around 110 on very simple public course. After about a year of this I finally realized what I was doing wrong. I was actually watching the club head go all the way back on the back swing and then trying to following it all the way down on the downswing. Idiot!

    Once I actually kept my eye on the ball the entire time I broke 90! Love the game but don't have much time to play anymore.
     
  16. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I can empathize. I'm a natural lefty, and do things left-handed where either there is no handedness to the implement and/or I picked up the activity on my own. So that means I throw a baseball right-handed as my first glove was for a righty, but use my left hand in football, basketball, frisbee, tennis. I golf right-handed but that's as a lefty should, when you think about it, plus I was given a rightly club the first time so that sealed that. I don't know why I bat right, however. Maybe my dad just plopped me on that side of the plate the first time. Then again, shouldn't a left-hand-dominant person bat right-handed as with golf? Makes sense to me. I'm further screwed up because in high school track I ran long distance and did two jumping events; yes, I know, I'm screwed up. So while I kick with my right foot, I jump off my left foot. But then again, maybe that makes sense too. Yet skiing, I always felt more solid on left-ward gates because I just felt I carved better with my right ski, though when I mono-skied I did it with my left leg.

    I'm a mess. Maybe that's why I so love golf.
     
  17. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    This was the first year when it finally sunk in that my best golf days are behind me. Dont start singing "Glory Days" but maybe 10 years ago I could at least play from the tips with some of my club pro friends and at least hold my own. Now forget it,I'm usually 85-95 from the foreward or senior tees. But Ken's right on point ,go out enjoy the game,the day, the company, we all have enough to worry about besides golf.
     
  18. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    And some recent data from Golf Digest: http://www.golfdigeststix.com/golfdigeststix/20150128?sub_id=qddfCXGy49Ef#pg17

    Using a new tracking system and avid recreational golfers, the numbers show that players who shoot 75-80 hit drives averaging 235 drives. The 90-95 shooters averaged 196 yards per drive. The numbers for fairways hit weren't that far off, but the latter group just cratered in GIR.

    So, some thoughts.

    1. The standout attribute of modern drivers is forgiveness less than being nuclear-fueled. And that makes sense.

    2. When you see those numbers, with similar numbers repeated elsewhere over and over, and you hear people macho up about the tees they use, by sheer fact of the numbers most players are still playing at least one set of tees too far back. When I hear people talk about the tips, I just cringe. Hell, I cringe when I see most guys step up to blue. I've played with thousands of different golfers in my life. And excluding male professionals, and some folks I know who do things like win state amateurs and the like, who played in college and kept the skill set, my guess is that maybe 5% belonged all the way back. 235-yard drives by accomplished players? Play it forward; do everyone including yourself a favor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  19. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    Those Driving yardages describe me and my scores..
    *
    I play with different fellows every weekend --
    being a "single" I just fill in wherever there's an opening.
    Most of the guy's play Blue Tees........and they shouldn't.
    I play whites + leave the the blues to them .....but notice my score is much
    better than theirs.
    And I don't understand why they insist on playing The Blues ?
    *
    There are only 4 guys ( I play with ) that should play from the Blues -- and they compete
    for Club Champ every year.
    The other guys get frustrated too much.......and should not be bothering w/ blue Tees.
     
  20. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Thanks for all of the great responses, but I was actually trying to find out when you discovered the proper way to hit the ball. My title was probably misleading.

    When did you realize you really were supposed to hit down? Some people, I suspect the pros, were born knowing it. Others just figured it out at an early age, others had a wiser person show them, others like me didn't get it until I was in my late 50's.

    No one, including teaching pros, ever said "Hey, dumbass, you are trying to lift the ball off the ground. That's wrong! Hit down and let the flange and grooves provide backspin so the ball flies. See all of those dimples on the ball. They aren't there to look cute, they are there to spin and help the ball fly. Take a divot. It's a TURN! not a straight back motion. You have to take the club away to the inside. Imagine if you can an arc. Draw a stick figure of a golfer from the side and see that the club swings around him. What you are doing will never produce anything but what is termed a "Reverse Pivot" and you will always hit the ball fat or worse, simply whiff.

    Don't complete the backswing by lifting up your elbow. Cock your wrists to complete the backswing. The downswing is initiated by rotating your chest back the way it came. Keep your wrist cocked on the downswing as long as possible. Then release all of that stored up energy DOWN through the ball and follow it through all the way around. That's way they call it a FOLLOW THROUGH! The main thing to remember is NEVER TRY TO LIFT THE BALL INTO THE AIR!!!!

    Okay now, it's slightly different with a driver. Instead of hitting down, you want to hit it SLIGHTLY GOING UP or LEVEL. That's why the ball is sitting on a TEE!

    Of course there is pitching, chipping and putting. That's the next lesson. Enough for today."

    Nobody, including several teaching pros, ever walked me through it that way. They would just put me into a position and say "Okay, now hit the ball!" And I would try, feeling like the biggest doofuss in the world, because it all felt so unnatural. No one ever explained the basic physics of how and WHY it all works.

    It all just came to me one day when I was in my mid-fifties. All of those ideas culled from books and lessons, the Golf Channel, golf magazines, online videos, it all coalesced into a single Hallelujah moment one day on the driving range. That's what I'm asking, when did that happen for you?
     
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