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Golf Goals or Golf Resolutions?

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I am really not a fan of making resolutions for every new year.  I’d really rather make goals when I figure out something that I would like to do.  "Resolutions" always seem to go in the garbage by mid-February the way I see it.  I’ve had some particular golf-related goals that I want to accomplish for some time now.  For me, having goals work much better since you can track their progress.  Its a process that I’ve followed for most of the sports I’ve played throughout my life.

First – make your goal reasonable!  I am all for ambition, but if you are shooting a 150 and want to get into the 80s in a few months you are setting yourself up for failure.  I suppose that if you did nothing else but work at your game every day with a coach it could be possible.  Realistically though, how likely is that?  I’m sure there are exceptions to every rule but why not just first work on beaking 100? 

Next – make milestones: in the above example, if you really are at 150 and want to be breaking 100 by the end of a particular period, break it up into small chunks.  Give yourself an adequate amount of time to break it in half, then get to 100.  Of course, these time periods need to be assertvie so you don’t get lazy. 

Don’t forget to give yourself a break also.  It is very easy to get frustrated when you are watching the pros so effortlessly swing the club.  Be sure to compare your progress to your previous work and not to Annika Sorenstam or Tiger Woods.  Let’s face it, most of us will never be that good.

Finally, just follow though.  Keep to your goals but remember my previous bit of advice.  If you get sidetracked with a job, kids, family, or other unforeseen distractions don’t worry about it.  Golf will always be there.  I’m fairly certain the game isn’t going away any time too soon.  When you are ready to continue, golf will be ready for you.

My latest goal is to stop being what one instructor calls "handsy" with my swing.  I have a tendency to tense up at times and grip the club entirely too hard.  It is so true that less is more and I have really been working on that part of my game at the range.  I’m definitely making progress. 

What are your latest goals for your game?  Are you making goals or resolutions?

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2 Comments

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  1. Watch

    Jan 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Good advice. For the previous poster, it is important when you do get that set of good clubs, you see a professional clubfitter (an independent business owner with his own shop) to have your irons adusted for loft and lie angles — suited to YOUR INDIVIDUAL swing. Better yet, make sure the shafts in your clubs are right for your individual game as well.

    I just had the irons I assembled and swingweighted for myself fitted by a true professional. Every single one of my irons needed adjustment. And they are high quality clubs to begin with. (The lie angles were flattened for me and the lots evenly spaced throughout the set.) The most immediate result was that my wedges now go straight all the time, not 75% of the time. What a relief that was. And with the long irons I am now drawing the ball 5-10 yards instead of 20-25.

    It’s been real cold here, so I haven’t had much of a chance to practice or play much since the adjustment, but I have spent some range time and did get in one round. The loft and lie adjustments are going to make an important difference in my game come this spring.

    Now if I could quit averaging this per round: one blown tee shot, 2-3 fat shots, 2 greenside wedge skulls, 2-3 three-putts.

  2. jmxs2410

    Jan 11, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I’m one of those guys that’s about ready to take golf seriously. I’ve been saving up my money for about 7 months now to purchase a good set of clubs. Anytime I play, I usually shoot over 100. Like the author said, I immediately think about scoring in the 80’s…and comparing my game to a good friend of mine. That was great advice to just focus on breaking 100 and looking back on the progress I’m making in small strides and not to try and be someone else.

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The DailyWRX (9/22/2020): 12 steps back, 1 step forward | Golf ball compression goals | Elk’s truth hammer

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Sometimes yah gotta take 12 steps back to take 1 step forward…

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@berndwiesberger after the US Open ???? #USOpen

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Rick looks…pi$$ed off…

Samesies…

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Compression goals from @brysondechambeau. ????

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Truth hammer…If a course is 7,400, they only actually play 6.300 of it. That’s what happens when you can carry…everything.

St’i emit I dnuof a wen emag…….

MD @ynnhoj_rednuw or @johnny_wunder

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An inside look at the world of golf club design

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The design process has always fascinated me, especially when it comes to golf clubs.

The ability to create something new while also making them distinctly recognizable within a brand is impressive. The most parallel comparison I can draw would be in the car industry, where new models are released on a yearly basis that both look familiar yet refined. Add in the technological improvements, and you create something worth upgrading to.

The keyword here is “improvement,” because when OEMs release new equipment, the ultimate questions from golfers are “How is this better, and how can it help my game?” There is no doubt we are seeing advancements in technology, but whether those advancements are designed for you or a different segment of golfers is up the engineers behind the products. I have had the opportunity to speak with designers and engineers from multiple OEMs, and they all have a few things in common.

Obviously, nobody is trying to design a worse-performing golf club, and the process to create something new always starts with goal setting.

Pulling levers and reaching goals

Like with any engineering project, end goals are mapped out, with performance and looks as key factors in the success of the project. Thanks to computer modeling, and a deep understanding of materials, it’s not overly difficult for engineers to design to the far outreaches of what’s possible—but the difference between possible and playable is massive.

For example, we have seen extremely low spin drivers enter the market and help golfers hit it further, but to build that Center of Gravity (CG) location into a driver, you have to sacrifice forgiveness. On the other end of the spectrum, you can create a driver that goes very straight with higher MOI but then you lose the potential to maximize distance – its a fine balancing act and engineers are very good at pulling the right levers to balance performance depending on the target demographic.

So to answer one of the questions from the top “how is this better?”, in some individual cases it might actually not be, it could be that a previous generation had all the design characteristics to perfectly match your game. That doesn’t mean designers haven’t actually created a better club, it just means that it’s not better for you!

One of the best examples is in modern-day fairway woods. Unlike drivers where the end goal is to continue to drive the ball as far as possible, with a fairway wood it is a fine balancing act between distance and control. A 3-wood that goes as far as your driver off the tee doesn’t make a lot of sense since you already had a driver, and if it can’t be hit from the fairway, then you are basically wasting a spot in your bag.

Who’s driving the technology?

When we look at the golf industry as a whole, it is a substantial economic driver, but compared to other industries that rely on using the same raw materials to produce products, golf is just a tiny fraction of that business. No other part of the industry better exemplifies this than golf shafts.

They are made from exotic raw materials, including various forms of carbon fiber that can be quite expensive, but when you compare the types and amounts of carbon fiber used in golf shafts versus commercial and military aviation applications, then golf is obviously a very small player. This is why we see golf shaft companies utilizing materials from the aviation industry—the most recent example is the ProjectX RDX line of shafts which uses HexTow® carbon fibers to add more stability to the already extremely stable line of HZRDUS Smoke shafts. Although you might have never heard of Hexcel before this, to put them into perspective, they topped over $3.25 billion dollars in sales last year–that’s near twice the sales of Callaway’s entire portfolio.

Photo by S. Ramadier – Airbus

The same goes for club heads. Maraging steel, for example, which is used in both fairway woods and even some iron faces, wasn’t developed for golf clubs, it was developed in the 1950s, and was primarily used in military applications including rocket casings. We still use it today even though it was developed in the age or persimmon woods—How’s that for a mind-bender?

 

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Morning 9: Bryson’s coach: “Change the rules and he’ll still win” | Reshaping the game? | Wunder’s “Love/hate”

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1. Reshaping the game?
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“There will be those who contend the USGA went light on the setup and paved the way for DeChambeau’s paradigm-shifting performance. That’s the same crowd who came down with a convenient case of statistical amnesia when Tiger Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open at 12 under, ignoring that he was the only player under par at Pebble Beach.”
  • “DeChambeau was the only player in red figures (6 under) at Winged Foot, but it’s not the number, as one USGA type explained late Sunday, it’s how he arrived at that number that will keep rules makers awake at night.”
  • “All of the dogma that bound the fabric of the game has unraveled. DeChambeau ate it. All the caveats that came with strongman golf – it’s not controlled enough to work on a “true” major championship test – have been mown down like 5 ½ inches of Winged Foot rough.”
  • “For those who clung to the notion that thick rough and firm greens were all golf needed to bring the body builders back to earth, the sky has fallen.”
2. Bryson’s coach: Even if you change the rules, he’ll find ways to win
BBC report…”Try to make it tough for Bryson and I’m telling you he will figure out how to beat you,” said his coach Mike Schy.
  • Schy told BBC World Service: “The reality is if you make it so Bryson can’t play he will figure it out.
  • “They can easily change this whole situation by scaling the rough on courses and they aren’t talking about that.
  • “Instead of having the same rough 200 yards out from the green, you scale it. At 200 yards it’s an inch and a half deep. At 60 yards it’s six or seven inches deep. The game can go back to strategy and risk and reward if you scale the rough in the right way.
  • “If you scale the rough it becomes back to how it used to be.”

Full piece.

3. Paynes Valley Cup 

Jason Lusk for Golfweek…“After the narrow fairways, high rough and impeding tree lines at Winged Foot’s West Course in the U.S. Open, the top players in the world surely could use a little relaxing width in a golf course.”
  • “Four of them will get plenty of opportunities to swing away Tuesday, as Tiger Woods welcomes Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose to the opening of his new Payne’s Valley layout at Big Cedar Lodge. That foursome will tee off at 3 p.m. Eastern (on Golf Channel) in the Payne’s Valley Cup on Woods’ first public-access design in the United States.”
  • “Named in honor of Ozarks native Payne Stewart, the three-time major winner who died in a plane crash in 1999, Payne’s Valley will be the third 18-hole course at Big Cedar.”
4. Bamberger’s take
The eminent Golf.com scribe…“DeChambeau may be too young to really understand what he just did. Tiger, at 27, was like that. He wasn’t when he won the Masters last year, at age 43. This game of golf, especially alongside this thing called life, has a way of growing up all who play it for keeps. DeChambeau is not married. He does not have children. Like Justin Thomas and Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland, he’s in a period in his life where he can devote himself to one main thing: getting better at golf. Tiger remembers what that was like. It won’t last forever. Even Hogan found that out.”
  • “The winner of this 120th U.S. Open, and its $2.25 million first-place prize, was asked what kind of mental strength he takes, from doing things his own way.”
  • “It’s a lot of validation through science,” he said. “If I hit a 40-footer and it says 10.1 miles per hour on the device, I know that I’ve executed it correctly. If I see the ball go two feet past that 40-foot mark, I know it’s perfect. I know I’ve done everything I can in my brain to make my perception reality. I’m trying to make my perception of what I feel and what I think and turn it into proper reality.”
5. Love/hate with Johnny Wunder
I LOVE what Bryson’s success is going to do to change the game, not only from a “what is possible” standpoint but the trickle-down effect it will have on the average golfer. Think of it this way: Bryson has become the test subject for not only physical optimization but also golf club launch optimization, stability-hell, footwear optimization. Like with Tiger in 2000, the game will shift in a new direction. That’s exciting.
I HATE what Bryson’s success is going to do to change the game. The separation between the tour and actual golf will become even greater and the nuance of the game will be lost to speed and power. Gone are the days were a true craftsman can have designs to play on tour and compete. The path to the tour will be speed first and strategy second. The PGA Tour is looking more and more like the NFL every day, and at some point, the courses we love will become completely unrecognizable. No. 1 at Augusta is 450 yards. In the next 10 years, somebody will get to that green on the tee shot. That scares me. It will be great TV though…
6. Zalatoris cashes is
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Zalatoris shot 70-71 over the final two rounds in difficult conditions to move all the way up to a tie for sixth at 5 over. He finished the week alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, and his top-10 finish means he’s exempt for next year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.”
  • “I just found out that obviously top 10 gets us into next year, too, so that’s obviously pretty exciting,” Zalatoris said Sunday. “I’ve been really working hard over the past couple of years, and nice to finally see it pay off on the big stage.”
  • …”But Zalatoris’ result in one of the most lucrative tournaments of the year highlights the disparity in pay between the biggest events and those on the developmental circuit. In 16 Korn Ferry starts this year, while distancing himself as the circuit’s best player, Zalatoris has made a total of $403,978. For his T-6 performance at Winged Foot, he eclipsed that total and cashed a check for $424,040.”
7. Takeaways for Wolff
ESPN’s Bob Harig…“The Sunday struggles are the kind of thing that might send a golfer into a funk, causing him to wonder what went wrong and making him the subject of conjecture about how difficult it might be to recover from such a collapse.”
  • “But for Wolff, there should be no such fear. In this case, especially, there is no shame in finishing second — not when you completed 72 holes in even par on a golf course where many expected the winning score to be over par and not when DeChambeau did otherworldly things and was the only player in the field to break par on Sunday.”
  • “Keep in mind that Wolff, 21, was playing in just his second major championship. Only 15 months ago, he won the NCAA individual title for Oklahoma State, and soon after, he turned pro. This was his first U.S. Open; you have to go back to Francis Ouimet in 1913 for the last time a player won the championship in his first attempt.”
8. Grillo seeks out Como
PGATour.com’s Sean Martin on Emiliano Grillo linking up with Bryson DeChambeau’s coach…“They do share one thing in common: a swing coach. Both work with Chris Como, the Dallas-based instructor whom DeChambeau effusively praised Sunday for guiding him through the radical transformation of his body and game.”
“Como’s ability to assist one of the game’s most obsessive tinkerers, and another student with a more laid-back approach, is credit to an under-appreciated aspect of coaching. It’s not just what you know, but how you convey the information to your students. Como can be give DeChambeau the data he craves or tailor his teaching to Grillo, as well.”
  • “Chris is always 100% into it. He adapts to your personality,” Grillo says. “I’m super different to Bryson and we both really match well with (Chris). That’s what makes him very special.”
  • “Grillo said he isn’t planning a Bryson-esque transformation – “I enjoy a lot of other things, and I don’t think adding weight for my job is a priority,” he says – but he has been helped by Como’s instruction. Whereas DeChambeau loves to rely on Trackman readings and his background in physics, it has been a simple key from Como that has benefitted Grillo.”
9. Browsing the GolfWRX Classifieds…
Member TheRawEdge – TaylorMade SIM Ti 3-wood…It’s been proven to be one of the longest 3 woods ever made, and now this if your chance to get one, for a great price with a very expensive aftermarket shaft.
Member Paranorml – The Buck Club ( sneaker head ) cover…If you like to collect rare covers and also happen to be a sneakerhead, then this cover, along with some of the others in this listing are for you.
Member Wintohla – Cameron inspired by JT Putter…Scotty Cameron “Inspired By” series putters are a hot commodity and the weld neck JT is already proving hard to find – better scoop this one up quick.
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