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Have you reached your maximum potential?


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#31 Dsevans8

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:13 PM

Big difference in reaching your potential, and being content with where you are at with your game. I know I haven't even scratched the surface of my potential, but I am also realistic in my expectations and the time commitment it will take to improve. I have been slow to realize that in order to improve you have to practice the right way, with the right fundamentals. Hitting a 1000 balls the wrong way is not improvement.


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#32 TPowell

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:28 PM

Fair enough, you will CERTAINLY hit ceilings quickly if you refuse to get better technique wise.

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#33 Pepperturbo

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:35 PM

I play lots of golf.  When I took up the game at 40, I hit 1200-1500 balls per week, one to two rounds of golf and additional hours on wedge game inside of 100yrds, to reach single digit inside of five years.  I loved working on ball striking, distance control and wedge game.  Not so much today, though I still practice wedge game and mid-irons.  Seldom ever hit driver or wood at the range.

As I see it, coming up short on GIR second shots and short wedged / pitch shots has three influences, failing judgment, worsening vision and feel.  The older golfers get, the more likely they cope with something going kaput.  As true as the OP's observation and advice is, its likely to fall on deaf ears, another thing that goes kaput. :)

Maintaining distance off the tee is as challenging as keeping a low single digit.  Sure, I could practice more and lower my index, but reaching scratch is no longer a driving factor.  I am happy to shoot in the low-mid seventies.

Did I mention hearing goes too. :lol:  Just ask the wives. :beach:

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#34 Socrates

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:59 PM

I reached my potential a number of years ago.  I'm currently taking lessons to try and keep father time at bay by improving my skills.  So far I've been able to do it but at some point I'll lose the battle.
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#35 naval2006

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:10 PM

Honestly, I'm past my prime.  That was in my 20's.  At 43 with work and family I can't play and practice as much as I used to.  But I never settle and I think the chase for better ball-striking, a solid putting game or efficient chipping are great motivation to keep on practicing.

At my course there's always the same bunch of people practicing: single digits mostly, the typical diehard driving ranger and a few newbies who really try hard to improve.  At least half of the members of my club never hit a range ball.  They are usually bad players.


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#36 Yuck

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 05:59 PM

I am long past my best golf.  Nearly 7 years since I last broke 70 in competition, or played in a US AM qualifier.  2 years since last playing a mid am qualifier, and not even breaking 80.  Index is near 6 now.  Was a plus 2 in the late 70's and scratch as recently as 2009.  My concentration is worse, my balance is worse, my putting is dodgy.   2017 so far has been my worse year golfing since I was 12 or 13 years old.  I am still as strong as I was 20 years ago, but I still have lost some speed, even when I go all out.  I have shot over 90 twice in the last month.  My handicap is now too high to enter any decent AM events.   When I do break 80 it is held together with duct tape and rubber bands.

And yet I still love the game.  I am still irrationally optimistic that I will turn it around and play decent again.  Even now, I expect my next range session will fix my horrible hooks and my yips will disappear with my next putter.  Golfers are nearly as gullible as fishermen.

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#37 Thrillhouse

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 06:36 PM

View PostYuck, on 20 June 2017 - 05:59 PM, said:

I am long past my best golf.  Nearly 7 years since I last broke 70 in competition, or played in a US AM qualifier.  2 years since last playing a mid am qualifier, and not even breaking 80.  Index is near 6 now.  Was a plus 2 in the late 70's and scratch as recently as 2009.  My concentration is worse, my balance is worse, my putting is dodgy.   2017 so far has been my worse year golfing since I was 12 or 13 years old.  I am still as strong as I was 20 years ago, but I still have lost some speed, even when I go all out.  I have shot over 90 twice in the last month.  My handicap is now too high to enter any decent AM events.   When I do break 80 it is held together with duct tape and rubber bands.

And yet I still love the game.  I am still irrationally optimistic that I will turn it around and play decent again.  Even now, I expect my next range session will fix my horrible hooks and my yips will disappear with my next putter.  Golfers are nearly as gullible as fishermen.

I'm also past my best golf, I'll never be a plus 4 again, I played and practiced every single day back then, I'll never be able to do that again.

For a long time this really bothered me, if I couldn't play as well as I once did I didn't want to play at all. Over the last ten years (been ten years since the end of my playing career) I've had two years where I played 30ish times but other than that I've hardly played. This year I've tried to go at it with a different attitude and just be the best player I can be. I've kept an unofficial handicap (I'm still technically a pro so I can't keep a real one, should probably get my am status back tbh), with the goal of getting back down to scratch. Most of my game is pretty solid but I'm really erratic off the tee and that has kept me at a 5 for now, but I think scratch is attainable.

For years I had this idea in my head that my game would click and I could qualify for a US Open or two. Last week I played Torrey south with a buddy who is a really good player (plus 5-6 if he kept a cap, and long) who played that beast from the back edge of the back tee at 7700 yards at dead air sea level. It was cool to see someone play it properly from there, but it made me realize there is nothing that could possibly "click" in my game anymore that would make me capable of playing at that level, nothing, it's over, whatever I once had I'll never have again.  

I think I'm at the point now where I can finally just admit that I'll never be a "good" (by the definition of high level golf, a lot of you will understand that scratch isn't really "good") player again, and it's fine. I want to work on it the best I can, I do want to improve the things I'm not good at (like getting my driver under control again), but mostly I just want to enjoy the game.

So it doesn't mean I don't have goals and aspirations. It would be a treat to be able to pull driver on any tee and not fear that I'm going to blow it 50 yards right, and I think I'll get there. It would also be a treat to be a consistent 0, and a treat to shoot 68 or 69 a few times a year. It's just a change of perspective.

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#38 JustTheTips

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 07:22 PM

View PostUnder2hours, on 19 June 2017 - 08:35 AM, said:

Yes I refuse to take lessons or revamp my swing.  I am in my 50's and playing decent.  I am working on my weaknesses but have no interest or time or spend at the range.  As a member of a club I will practice putting and hit chips and bunker shots but bored very quickly (i.e. 15 minutes per).  

My putting stroke makes Billy Mayfair's look smooth and like a pendulum.  Practice at home I can take it back and follow through straight, on the green my putter goes multiple directions.  

However the point is I am pretty much at my potential.  Close to breaking 80 legitimately, but hasn't been done and that is my goal.  Many of my rounds would be considered practice as I play alone with multiple balls (though post scores from my first ball as otherwise committee would question all my tee times and lack of a posted score).  I am not (and can not slow down and try to concentrate and worry on every shot).  

Repetition and playing a lot has got me to this point and who knows may get to an HC around 10, but won't find another 30 yards on my drives or a magic pill to cure putting.  All I want now is not to ground balls anymore, skull balls and get out of traps and on to greens.  

Do others feel the same and okay with it?

Lets see.
a) No desire to practice
b) No desire to use better technique
c) no desire to work out

and you think you are remotely close to your potential? We have vastly different definitions of what potential is. You aren't even trying to come close to yours.

Reality is that just about no one comes close to their golf potential. Few people are going to put in 1k/hrs/year of practice for 10 years, hit the gym for 4 hours, week, play 3+ rounds, and the rest of the things that you would need to do to come close.

What you (and most people) are in is the level where given their natural abilities and desire to work, you hit a scoring plateau. And to some extent that is perfectly ok.  There isn't much of a difference between going out and shooting an 85+-5 shots and shooting a 75+-5 shots. Your life isn't going to change in a meaningful way by getting better at golf.

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#39 buckeyefl

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 07:25 PM

View PostUnder2hours, on 19 June 2017 - 08:35 AM, said:

Yes I refuse to take lessons or revamp my swing.  I am in my 50's and playing decent.  I am working on my weaknesses but have no interest or time or spend at the range.  As a member of a club I will practice putting and hit chips and bunker shots but bored very quickly (i.e. 15 minutes per).  

My putting stroke makes Billy Mayfair's look smooth and like a pendulum.  Practice at home I can take it back and follow through straight, on the green my putter goes multiple directions.  

However the point is I am pretty much at my potential.  Close to breaking 80 legitimately, but hasn't been done and that is my goal.  Many of my rounds would be considered practice as I play alone with multiple balls (though post scores from my first ball as otherwise committee would question all my tee times and lack of a posted score).  I am not (and can not slow down and try to concentrate and worry on every shot).  

Repetition and playing a lot has got me to this point and who knows may get to an HC around 10, but won't find another 30 yards on my drives or a magic pill to cure putting.  All I want now is not to ground balls anymore, skull balls and get out of traps and on to greens.  

Do others feel the same and okay with it?

You are probably at your potential because you are stubborn. You are also fooling yourself if you think that you have a handle on your scores while playing multiple balls even if only counting the first one. Own your stubbornness and lack of drive  or quit whining.

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#40 b.helts

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 07:29 PM

View PostThrillhouse, on 20 June 2017 - 06:36 PM, said:

View PostYuck, on 20 June 2017 - 05:59 PM, said:

I am long past my best golf.  Nearly 7 years since I last broke 70 in competition, or played in a US AM qualifier.  2 years since last playing a mid am qualifier, and not even breaking 80.  Index is near 6 now.  Was a plus 2 in the late 70's and scratch as recently as 2009.  My concentration is worse, my balance is worse, my putting is dodgy.   2017 so far has been my worse year golfing since I was 12 or 13 years old.  I am still as strong as I was 20 years ago, but I still have lost some speed, even when I go all out.  I have shot over 90 twice in the last month.  My handicap is now too high to enter any decent AM events.   When I do break 80 it is held together with duct tape and rubber bands.

And yet I still love the game.  I am still irrationally optimistic that I will turn it around and play decent again.  Even now, I expect my next range session will fix my horrible hooks and my yips will disappear with my next putter.  Golfers are nearly as gullible as fishermen.

I'm also past my best golf, I'll never be a plus 4 again, I played and practiced every single day back then, I'll never be able to do that again.

For a long time this really bothered me, if I couldn't play as well as I once did I didn't want to play at all. Over the last ten years (been ten years since the end of my playing career) I've had two years where I played 30ish times but other than that I've hardly played. This year I've tried to go at it with a different attitude and just be the best player I can be. I've kept an unofficial handicap (I'm still technically a pro so I can't keep a real one, should probably get my am status back tbh), with the goal of getting back down to scratch. Most of my game is pretty solid but I'm really erratic off the tee and that has kept me at a 5 for now, but I think scratch is attainable.

For years I had this idea in my head that my game would click and I could qualify for a US Open or two. Last week I played Torrey south with a buddy who is a really good player (plus 5-6 if he kept a cap, and long) who played that beast from the back edge of the back tee at 7700 yards at dead air sea level. It was cool to see someone play it properly from there, but it made me realize there is nothing that could possibly "click" in my game anymore that would make me capable of playing at that level, nothing, it's over, whatever I once had I'll never have again.  

I think I'm at the point now where I can finally just admit that I'll never be a "good" (by the definition of high level golf, a lot of you will understand that scratch isn't really "good") player again, and it's fine. I want to work on it the best I can, I do want to improve the things I'm not good at (like getting my driver under control again), but mostly I just want to enjoy the game.

So it doesn't mean I don't have goals and aspirations. It would be a treat to be able to pull driver on any tee and not fear that I'm going to blow it 50 yards right, and I think I'll get there. It would also be a treat to be a consistent 0, and a treat to shoot 68 or 69 a few times a year. It's just a change of perspective.

These two posts are awesome. Thanks, guys, for sharing!!

:slowclap:


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#41 BenHoganSlam1953

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 08:39 PM

Not even close ...
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#42 ZA206

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:32 PM

I think my potential is somewhere between a 0 and a +1.5, but that would take some serious dedication and work.
Currently a 5.7 trending down (haven't played much this year because of work).... last fall was down to a 3.1.

I don't play enough to realistically get below a 2 at this point. I play maybe 3 times a month and might practice once a month.... that's life for me right now.

If I wanted to just drop my handicap, the easiest way would be to play the tips at my home course (73.5/145) instead of the blues (72.0/139). My scores don't really ever change when I play the tips, but none of my buddies like playing from back there. It would also hurt me even more in the dog fight net bets, because god knows I'm not challenging for the gross bets. ;-)

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#43 buckeyefl

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 02:04 AM

View PostUnder2hours, on 19 June 2017 - 12:38 PM, said:

View Postlarrybud, on 19 June 2017 - 12:35 PM, said:

View Postdornstar, on 19 June 2017 - 12:29 PM, said:

View PostZ1ggy16, on 19 June 2017 - 11:42 AM, said:

Isn't the definition of insanity when one repeats the same thing over and over, yet expects different outcomes??

How are you ever expecting to get better if you refuse to change anything, ie... Practice/get lessons. If you have gotten to a 10 and have held there steady for years doing what you've been doing, you're nuts to think you'll magically get better if you don't do anything extra.

Not many of us have the genetics or mental prowess the guys on tour have, but I think that as long as you play the right tees, single digits is possible for most people if they put in the level of effort required to get there.
That's no guarantee of success. I tried everything for years... practice, lessons, video, swing changes, gear fitting, etc, etc, etc. I spent a ridiculous amount of time, effort and money on this game and saw no real improvement. Granted, I already have a low handicap, but there was still areas for improvement. For me, the catalyst was launch monitors. For whatever reason, being able to try something and see results (if I do x or feel y, then z happens) resonated with me and that's when I broke the decade long plateau. Bottom line... you can have the best intentions in the world and not get it right which is EXTREMELY easy to do in this game.

Dorn, you're on the + side of handicaps.   You have very little room for improvement.  The OP is a 12, he's shooting 90-100 90% of the time.

No am shooting 80's 90% of the time, never 70's and 90's usually the result of horrendous putting.  Again no big deal, just an observation and I hope an interesting thread.

Based on your initial post,  no you aren't.  Play one ball,  no extra shot, play by the rules  for 6 months and see what you actually are as far as handicap. Currently you are guessing at best and delusional at worst.

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#44 dornstar

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:48 AM

View PostDsevans8, on 19 June 2017 - 02:13 PM, said:

Big difference in reaching your potential, and being content with where you are at with your game. I know I haven't even scratched the surface of my potential, but I am also realistic in my expectations and the time commitment it will take to improve. I have been slow to realize that in order to improve you have to practice the right way, with the right fundamentals. Hitting a 1000 balls the wrong way is not improvement.
This.

I know a lot of guys who flat our refuse to practice and wonder why their games never improve. That's fine. Some people don't have time or the desire to do it, but you can't expect to get better without paying your dues.

Then there's the guys that do, but they literally don't do anything other than hit balls with no real thought about changing their motions. They're not working on anything at all. I use to basically live at the range before I built my simulator and I'd get the strangest looks when working on my game. I'd be using video, would use alignment rods to try to improve whatever facet of my game I was trying to improve, would be rehearsing moves or doing drills to try to get it down, etc, etc. You see none of that from 99.9% of the guys out there. Even guys who would take lessons. They would work on what they were told for a few minutes after the lesson rehearsing movements and then would go right back to mindlessly beating balls. I mean, we all have smart phones and I could go days or weeks without seeing another person video their swing. They would just show up and rake balls with the same bad moves they've had for years. Then they would go to the short game area, hit a few putts and chips with the same scoopy motion with no intentions of improving their technique. You see it over and over again and the odds of them improving that way are beyond slim.

There are very, very few guys that I've seen who are legitimately out there working on their craft.

Edited by dornstar, 21 June 2017 - 08:01 AM.

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#45 Slackattack

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:32 AM

I have not reached my potential....yet.  Got down to a low single digit handicap 15 years ago then took a demanding job in business.  Despite that, I continued to work on my swing and game.  I took lessons about 7-8 years ago.  Today, while I don't take lessons, I film my swing regularly trying to get better.  Unfortunately I spend most of my time on the range as I don't have time to play 4+ hours that often.  I find that I'm probably a 10-handicap now playing only 4 to 5 times a year.  On great days I will play to a 2, on terrible days I will play to a 16.  Sometimes I hit 3 greens, sometimes I hit 10 greens.  Sometimes I make every putt, sometimes I have 35+ putts.  In the back of my mind I know that I could be a scratch player if I started playing 2-3 times a week, but I really can't say that for sure until I actually get out and do it.  That's really the whole crux of the matter.....are you willing to put in the effort to get better?

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#46 longballjs

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:38 AM

Probably not. With a wife, 2 kids, and a demanding job where I work a lot of hours I'm grateful to get my Weekly Sunday round in. I don't get out to practice and rarely play during the week. That said I just shot 70 on Sunday and missed an 8 footer for bird on 18. If I could practice 1-2 times a week or practice and play 9 I'd think I could drop the scores a few stokes. I just know it won't happen. Thank god I started very young and played more than a ton of golf in my teens and early 20's

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#47 naval2006

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 09:48 AM

View PostThrillhouse, on 20 June 2017 - 06:36 PM, said:


I think I'm at the point now where I can finally just admit that I'll never be a "good" (by the definition of high level golf, a lot of you will understand that scratch isn't really "good") player again, and it's fine. I want to work on it the best I can, I do want to improve the things I'm not good at (like getting my driver under control again), but mostly I just want to enjoy the game.

It's just a change of perspective.

Good you mentioned this.  Probably many of us feel or have felt that way.  I particularly accepted my time had passed a few years ago.  It all changed for the better, even my game, which got adapted to my new reality.  

I have a friend who says it's awful to be average at something you used to do very well.  He's right, but it's also true that you have to overcome that feeling because you play golf for many years and in the end you don't want to feel so miserable.  One of my golf heroes at my course was a superb player for almost 50 years (he was National Amateur Champion when he was young).  When his game decayed he simply stopped playing for good.   I always feel bad about this, because the guy is still active and I often think we could be playing together just for fun but he refuses to.

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#48 One_Putt_Blunder

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 04:06 PM

View PostThrillhouse, on 20 June 2017 - 06:36 PM, said:

  

I think I'm at the point now where I can finally just admit that I'll never be a "good" (by the definition of high level golf, a lot of you will understand that scratch isn't really "good") player again, and it's fine. I want to work on it the best I can, I do want to improve the things I'm not good at (like getting my driver under control again), but mostly I just want to enjoy the game.

So it doesn't mean I don't have goals and aspirations. It would be a treat to be able to pull driver on any tee and not fear that I'm going to blow it 50 yards right, and I think I'll get there. It would also be a treat to be a consistent 0, and a treat to shoot 68 or 69 a few times a year. It's just a change of perspective.

I should screen shot some texts between Isaacbm and me.
Me: 3 out of my last 4 rounds at even par :clapping: :clapping:
IsaacBM: responds with pictures of a 61 with a double and other really good T scores
Me: :russian_roulette: :russian_roulette:

My other buddy former mini tour guy who beat my 78 by 14. I love almost always playing with better players than me, but man it gets tough putting up 72-75 at times and losing while never really being close. Also goes to show each persons definition of good is different. Most of those guys are not happy with 74-75, yet some of the randoms I play with would practically kill for a 79.

Edited by One_Putt_Blunder, 21 June 2017 - 04:07 PM.

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