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The Scratch Golfer's Creed


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#1 Dan Drake

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:13 AM

At some point, as Obee has so astutely pointed out in past threads, you have to just dance with the one you brung.  Sure, we are all trying to make our swing better, but so often we do it to the detriment of our ability to simply learn our swing.  If your goal is to truly get better and be the best golfer you can be, perhaps more time spent learning your swing and less time fixing your swing is in order.  One of Obee's points in his great article is being aware ("Pay attention," I believe he said).  I think that is a step that we so often don't even consider.  

So, in honor of all of the middle-aged golfers looking to get to scratch with a less-than-perfect swings, I give you the "Scratch Golfer's Creed":

This is my swing. There are many unlike it, but this one is mine.
My swing is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
Without me, my swing is useless. Without my swing, I am useless. I must swing my swing true. I must hit the ball straighter than my opponent who is trying to beat me. I must beat him before he beats me. I will…
My swing and I know that what counts in golf is not the great shots we hit, the noise of our outbursts, nor the birdies we make. We know that it is the awful shots that count. We will hit awful shots......and we will recover.
My swing is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its quirks and its takeaway and transition. I will keep my swing clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…
Before Ben Hogan, I swear this creed. My swing and I are the attackers of greens. We are the masters of our scorecard. We are the saviors of errant tee shots and short-sided pars.
So be it, until victory is ours and there are no more double bogies!

(This is in no way meant to lessen any of the importance of the Rifleman's Creed to our Military.  I live in a Military area and come from a large Military service family, and I have a massive respect for all of our servicemen and servicewomen, past, present, and future.  This is simply a small parallel between us and our "tools" and how we constantly are looking for a bigger and better gun instead of simply learning to use the (almost!) perfectly good golf rifle we already have.)

Edited by Dan Drake, 19 August 2017 - 02:32 PM.

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#2 ironmikes

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:18 AM

Amen to that ! this has been my moto for years

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#3 Nessism

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:27 AM

Swing your swing (as the USGA/Arnold Palmer commercial endorses) is all well and good as long as your swing is GOOD.  If your swing depends too much on timing to get the club back to square then some technique improvement may be beneficial regardless of your handicap.
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#4 Dan Drake

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:38 AM

View PostNessism, on 19 August 2017 - 11:27 AM, said:

Swing your swing (as the USGA/Arnold Palmer commercial endorses) is all well and good as long as your swing is GOOD.  If your swing depends too much on timing to get the club back to square then some technique improvement may be beneficial regardless of your handicap.

Great point Nessism!  I completely agree that this is most pertinent after you have reached some level of swing competency.  And that is who this thread is for, those middle-aged golfers looking to get to scratch.    

I guess what I'm saying, is that in a match between someone like Obee, who is a self-admitted short hitter with a bag full of hybrids who knows his swing and tendencies inside and out, against another plus handicap who has spent his whole life trying to fix the "flaw" in his swing that he once saw on video that keeps him from hitting every drive 285 in the air instead of 270, well, I guess you can imagine who I would pick in that match-up!
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#5 CallawayLefty

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 09:26 PM

Only question I have as a scratch golfer is whether there is something better lurking on the other side if I fix some somewhat obvious swing flaws.  I know it will be hard, but what do you do if the potential of fixing it is higher than the potential of just honing my own move?


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#6 NYC243

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:24 PM

View PostCallawayLefty, on 19 August 2017 - 09:26 PM, said:

Only question I have as a scratch golfer is whether there is something better lurking on the other side if I fix some somewhat obvious swing flaws.  I know it will be hard, but what do you do if the potential of fixing it is higher than the potential of just honing my own move?

why cant you do both?

fixing your swing is part of owning your own swing too....its all part of being aware of they dynamics of your swing and being able to adjust what you can, and work with what you can not.



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#7 juststeve

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 08:59 AM

IMO your ability to repeat your swing and produce a predictable ball flight is more important than either the swing or ball flight themselves.  In other words, execution trumps style every time.

Steve

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#8 jbw749

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 10:59 AM

View PostDan Drake, on 19 August 2017 - 11:13 AM, said:

At some point, as Obee has so astutely pointed out in past threads, you have to just dance with the one you brung.  Sure, we are all trying to make our swing better, but so often we do it to the detriment of our ability to simply learn our swing.  If your goal is to truly get better and be the best golfer you can be, perhaps more time spent learning your swing and less time fixing your swing is in order.  One of Obee's points in his great article is being aware ("Pay attention," I believe he said).  I think that is a step that we so often don't even consider.  

So, in honor of all of the middle-aged golfers looking to get to scratch with a less-than-perfect swings, I give you the "Scratch Golfer's Creed":

This is my swing. There are many unlike it, but this one is mine.                        
My swing is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.            
Without me, my swing is useless. Without my swing, I am useless. I must swing my swing true. I must hit the ball straighter than my opponent who is trying to beat me. I must beat him before he beats me. I will…            
My swing and I know that what counts in golf is not the great shots we hit, the noise of our outbursts, nor the birdies we make. We know that it is the awful shots that count. We will hit awful shots......and we will recover.                        
My swing is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its quirks and its takeaway and transition. I will keep my swing clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…            
Before Ben Hogan, I swear this creed. My swing and I are the attackers of greens. We are the masters of our scorecard. We are the saviors of errant tee shots and short-sided pars.            
So be it, until victory is ours and there are no more double bogies!                                      

(This is in no way meant to lessen any of the importance of the Rifleman's Creed to our Military.  I live in a Military area and come from a large Military service family, and I have a massive respect for all of our servicemen and servicewomen, past, present, and future.  This is simply a small parallel between us and our "tools" and how we constantly are looking for a bigger and better gun instead of simply learning to use the (almost!) perfectly good golf rifle we already have.)

What a great post thank you. Pay attention be aware and learn. The swing you already have might be better than the one you're trying to find.

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#9 vman

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 11:19 AM

Swings are never fixed, just refined and they're as individual as fingerprints. Playing golf to score is an art form in itself and takes, for some, a very long time to learn. Learning to be a player of golf rather than a perfect swinger of a golf club should be the goal, but..hey, everyone can get sidetracked now and again.
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#10 Dan Drake

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 11:31 AM

I have been somewhat documenting my own personal journey towards scratch, but I noticed that I have been adding it into other member's threads.  As opposed to taking away from their own thread, I figured that I may as well just add my posts to this one.  Here are the last two handicap updates:

View PostDan Drake, on 28 June 2017 - 03:36 PM, said:

1/15/17 I was at 7.2.  I'm now at 5.4.  A couple of good 9 hole rounds from the tips have lowered my number a good bit.  I am starting to believe that it's going to go somewhere near where I want it to.  I haven't gone particularly low recently, but it's coming.

View PostDan Drake, on 15 July 2017 - 08:31 AM, said:

7/15/17 All of the incredulity at only playing 3 rounds a month has me taken aback.  3 rounds a month is good for me right now!  

Down to 5.1 on the new revision.

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#11 glk

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 11:46 AM

Full Metal Golf?

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#12 Dan Drake

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 12:30 PM

One of the things that I looked forward to most going through my apprenticeship was the opportunity to play in our local pro tournament.  Most of the local guys (20-25 DOG/HP/AP's) get together during our slow time after the 4th of July and play a little round robin bracket or a pod type of tourney.  It is match play, and we Tee It Forward and play from the #2 tees on all the courses.  My game isn't where it needs to be to beat the top 5 or so guys, but it compares pretty evenly with everyone else.  We all can shoot 72 or 86 on any given day.  The top 5 guys can shoot lower, with our area's best player capable of going low.  He played in the PGA Professional's Championship.  

I have shot 79, 74, 75, and 80 and am 3-1.  It was my 74 that gave me my lone loss, against the above mentioned best player.  He shot a very easy looking 71 with a bogey on the last hole while I birdied it.  But, I had him down for the whole front 9 (shot 34 to his 35) and I was only 1 down with 4 to play before I went all haywire.  

Things I have noticed:

My swing is good enough.  It was good enough to be +1 through 14 holes (+2 on final 4 holes) in one match and -2 through 13 holes in another (+5 through first 5 holes).  As much as I want to believe it was my swing's fault, neither of these truly was.  On each and every poor shot in those two rounds, there was a serious lack of a plan that lead to a serious lack of commitment.  My swing both days was good enough to shoot under par, especially on the day I shot 75.  Oddly enough, the day I shot 74, the shots weren't particularly crisp until halfway through the back 9, I just had a great plan and committed to it for the last 13 holes.  Being 3 down and +5 through 5 can do that to you.  

I play to the level of my competition.  My 79 beat an 80.  My 80 beat an 83.  My 75 lost to a 71 and my 74 beat a 76.  I need to develop the ability to play my game regardless of my opponents struggles.  For some reason, it is easier for me to stay encouraged and engaged when my opponent hits a miraculous shot than when they hit poor ones.  My worst shot of the 4 matches came when I was 3up and my opponent had snapped one into the lake left.  100 yard wide landing area and I snap a 5 iron into the same lake for no good reason other than I was not even close to focused and committed.  

My short game is good enough.  I get the easy ones up and down as a rule and I get the tough ones on the green so I have a putt at it.  The easy ones are due to practice, good technique, and confidence.  The tough ones are due to the conscious decision to accept what the course gives me, which was not a strength of mine for years.  

My putting is good enough.  I've found a putter I love, a "style" that works for me, and my speed control is getting better and better.  I genuinely no longer care if I don't make putts for a few holes or even for an entire round.  I finally believe in myself enough to know that they will at some point, and it's probably going to be sooner rather than later.  I don't get too worked up if I miss my line on a 40 footer or lip out a 5 footer.  I'm going to make my fair share and a bomb here or there while being very solid from 30'-35'.  I no longer look at that as an opportunity to look foolish.  I now see it as an opportunity to hit a great shot.  I only need to hit one good putt to get down in two from 35'.  It could be the lag putt or the short putt and I don't really care which.  One of the two is going to be a good one and that will get the job done.  (If I can ever get my ball striking to this level of self-belief, I will easily reach my playing goals)

Having a 2nd tee shot option that you trust can really, really help.  

Mano-a-Mano Match play is a blast, especially if both players are having a similar type of day.  The fun of not knowing if the next shot is going to be a great one or a laughable one makes for a very entertaining round.  

9/1/17 revision: 3.9 index.  My best 10 scores are in my last 15 rounds, so I have five "free" rounds to make another serious dent in my index.  The goal for 2017 was to get to 2.0 or better.
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#13 Dan Drake

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 12:32 PM

View Postglk, on 02 September 2017 - 11:46 AM, said:

Full Metal Golf?

That is exactly where the idea came from.  My step-son is going into the Air Force, so my wife and I had him watch the first 20 minutes or so of Full Metal Jacket, just to give him a bit of a different perspective.  The Rifleman's Creed spoke to me, golf-wise, in a way that it never had before.
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#14 matthewb

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 12:43 PM

View PostDan Drake, on 02 September 2017 - 12:30 PM, said:

One of the things that I looked forward to most going through my apprenticeship was the opportunity to play in our local pro tournament.  Most of the local guys (20-25 DOG/HP/AP's) get together during our slow time after the 4th of July and play a little round robin bracket or a pod type of tourney.  It is match play, and we Tee It Forward and play from the #2 tees on all the courses.  My game isn't where it needs to be to beat the top 5 or so guys, but it compares pretty evenly with everyone else.  We all can shoot 72 or 86 on any given day.  The top 5 guys can shoot lower, with our area's best player capable of going low.  He played in the PGA Professional's Championship.  

I have shot 79, 74, 75, and 80 and am 3-1.  It was my 74 that gave me my lone loss, against the above mentioned best player.  He shot a very easy looking 71 with a bogey on the last hole while I birdied it.  But, I had him down for the whole front 9 (shot 34 to his 35) and I was only 1 down with 4 to play before I went all haywire.  

Things I have noticed:

My swing is good enough.  It was good enough to be +1 through 14 holes (+2 on final 4 holes) in one match and -2 through 13 holes in another (+5 through first 5 holes).  As much as I want to believe it was my swing's fault, neither of these truly was.  On each and every poor shot in those two rounds, there was a serious lack of a plan that lead to a serious lack of commitment.  My swing both days was good enough to shoot under par, especially on the day I shot 75.  Oddly enough, the day I shot 74, the shots weren't particularly crisp until halfway through the back 9, I just had a great plan and committed to it for the last 13 holes.  Being 3 down and +5 through 5 can do that to you.  

I play to the level of my competition.  My 79 beat an 80.  My 80 beat an 83.  My 75 lost to a 71 and my 74 beat a 76.  I need to develop the ability to play my game regardless of my opponents struggles.  For some reason, it is easier for me to stay encouraged and engaged when my opponent hits a miraculous shot than when they hit poor ones.  My worst shot of the 4 matches came when I was 3up and my opponent had snapped one into the lake left.  100 yard wide landing area and I snap a 5 iron into the same lake for no good reason other than I was not even close to focused and committed.  

My short game is good enough.  I get the easy ones up and down as a rule and I get the tough ones on the green so I have a putt at it.  The easy ones are due to practice, good technique, and confidence.  The tough ones are due to the conscious decision to accept what the course gives me, which was not a strength of mine for years.  

My putting is good enough.  I've found a putter I love, a "style" that works for me, and my speed control is getting better and better.  I genuinely no longer care if I don't make putts for a few holes or even for an entire round.  I finally believe in myself enough to know that they will at some point, and it's probably going to be sooner rather than later.  I don't get too worked up if I miss my line on a 40 footer or lip out a 5 footer.  I'm going to make my fair share and a bomb here or there while being very solid from 30'-35'.  I no longer look at that as an opportunity to look foolish.  I now see it as an opportunity to hit a great shot.  I only need to hit one good putt to get down in two from 35'.  It could be the lag putt or the short putt and I don't really care which.  One of the two is going to be a good one and that will get the job done.  (If I can ever get my ball striking to this level of self-belief, I will easily reach my playing goals)

Having a 2nd tee shot option that you trust can really, really help.  

Mano-a-Mano Match play is a blast, especially if both players are having a similar type of day.  The fun of not knowing if the next shot is going to be a great one or a laughable one makes for a very entertaining round.  

9/1/17 revision: 3.9 index.  My best 10 scores are in my last 15 rounds, so I have five "free" rounds to make another serious dent in my index.  The goal for 2017 was to get to 2.0 or better.

Thanks for sharing, Dan. Please continue to do so.

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#15 Mcgeeno

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 02:37 PM

I'm down from a 5.X cap to a 2.X cap this year and I attribute part of it to a new coach who enlightened me a little bit.

Kind of opposite to the 'swing your swing' moto, but he told me openly and honestly:

"You have a decent swing and you can play solid golf with what you have forever. I've seen plenty of guys sling a hook around and shoot good scores. You can continue to break par a few times a year, contend in the odd tournament, win some matches. Or we can fix that big dip, make you worse on the course for a while but build you back up into a better player"

I had been hovering in the 5 cap range for literally 10 years. So I rolled with his 'marketing ploy' and followed him down the rebuild path.

Long story short we've slowly worked on removing this dip/back shoulder drop I have during the downswing that causes me to come from the inside hard and play a big hook or a push. A draw the odd time when all the timing is on.

I'm hitting so many more stress free shots its ridiculous. Way less pressure on my game when I know where I can aim and what my ball will do. I've shot 7 rounds under par this season when I had 6 combined under par the last 5 years.

I'm encouraged to say the least, and I would just say the situations are different for everyone. I had a huge technical flaw holding me back. Its still there. I've only made incremental changes that are barely noticeable to other golfers. But I notice it and its helping a lot.

Edited by Mcgeeno, 02 September 2017 - 02:39 PM.


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#16 Dan Drake

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:34 AM

So, I'm a 3.6 and trending to a 3.4 at the 10/15/17 revision.  I have been defeated in our local PGA match play tournament in the round of eight.  But, I played well and other than two nervy swings down the stretch where I lost the clubface, I was really happy with how I played in my first elimination match against a good player.  He beat me 1 up on #18, but I had him 1 down most of the match, I beat him in medal play 74-75, and my 20' birdie putt on #18 caught a small piece of the hole on the high side with good speed.  Not much more I can ask at this point, honestly.  Of my two losses, one came against last year's champ (the best player in the area that I mentioned in earlier posts) and the other against the only guy to get to the 18th hole against said defending champ.  Not too shabby for my first go around in this thing, if I do say so myself.  

I'm putting very well, as well as I ever have.  My short game is also performing well/very well at the moment.  The only issue I have with my short game is when I am in a particularly difficult spot, I am still having trouble committing to a less aggressive shot selection.  Even though I know the right thing to do often enough, I still get a bit nervy and hit poor shots, when all I'm really trying to do is hit it to 15' or 20' and move on.  I need to fix that to keep doubles off the card.  My recovery play is generally a strong suit as well, as I grew up in and amongst the pine trees.  As long as I make my shot plan sometime before halfway through my downswing (this resulted in a triple yesterday, oops), I'm good from trouble spots.  

Ball striking and Driving.  These are where all the shots are lost.  

1. The 2w is consistently (3 out of 4 months running) .20 strokes per shot better than the driver, on all length holes.  At some point, until I can get properly (not self) fit for a driver, I need to consider just hitting the 2w.  The good news is that because of the consistency in the SG relationship between the two clubs, I know that there's not necessarily a driver "swing" issue.  

2. Consistent shot shape.  This will be the final hurdle.  Low point control is getting better, so for that, I'm very happy.  But getting a consistent shot shape "dialed in" will be the last large hurdle.  There are multiple shots each round lost directly due to indecision/trust type issues simply because I do not have a consistent shape on the ball.  I may have to figure out a way to get an inexpensive launch monitor to truly know what the face and path are doing.  With where the rest of my game is, that knowledge and practice focus will make the last 3 or 4 strokes per round difference.  

Any advice on the best used/inexpensive launch monitor option that gives face and path numbers?
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#17 Rusty1885

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 01:22 PM

From my research the face and path numbers require camera and the cheapest one I think about 2k, skytrak, the preowned ones is about 1500. I just don’t like subscription models. I’m using the ES14 and swingbyte and pretty happy with it.
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#18 Dan Drake

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 02:18 PM

3.4 at the revision today.  That means so far in 2017, 7.2 was the highest on 1/15 and 3.4 is the lowest.  I have a month and a half to get to my beginning of the year goal of a 2.0.  There are a few factors going in my favor:

1. I have a greens map of our course and I'll be using it until the USGA says I can't!  It helps so much on lag putts and short game shots!
2. I have 4 more scores before a good one rolls off, so those are like playing with house money.
3. I'm down to 1.5 swing thoughts and hope to be down to 1 soon, lol!  This is the simplest I have ever had my swing and longest that a swing "thought" has ever continued to work.
4. And last but not least, we have had our course re-rated and I have a sneaking suspicion that it is going to come back rated harder than it was previously rated.  My 74's won't be a 1.9 differential for much longer.  It's not much, but at this point, every little bit helps!

I'll be happy if I can't dip it down to 2.5 as that is the lowest I have ever officially been while keeping a GHIN.  From there (or 2.0 preferably, as that was the goal), I will take on 2018 with the goal of getting to a 0.x.  I turn 40 next year and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I will play the best golf of my life between 40-55 years of age.  

And I can't wait!

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#19 Sean2

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 02:58 PM

IMHO it's one thing to tweak a swing, it's another to be constantly overhauling it. We look at YouTube videos, read the golf tips section of golf magazines, watch GC lesson programming...all in search of the "magic" that will transform our swings into consistent fairway finding, flag hunting weapons.

Working with what you have seems to me to be a much easier proposition than constantly overhauling the swing. I have had my best season by far by tweaking versus overhauling (as well as playing the same equipment).

Everyone's penmanship is different, yet if it's legible it does the job, no matter how it looks. Everyone's swing is different too. If it is getting the job done more often than not, then it's doing its job.

That is just my take on the topic.
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#20 Lincoln_Arcadia

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 03:03 PM

View PostDan Drake, on 21 October 2017 - 10:34 AM, said:

Any advice on the best used/inexpensive launch monitor option that gives face and path numbers?

Heard good things about Flightscope Mevo, at least it's from a good name in LM.


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#21 PorscheFan

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 03:14 PM

 Lincoln_Arcadia, on 01 November 2017 - 03:03 PM, said:

 Dan Drake, on 21 October 2017 - 10:34 AM, said:

Any advice on the best used/inexpensive launch monitor option that gives face and path numbers?

Heard good things about Flightscope Mevo, at least it's from a good name in LM.

I'm not sure SkyTrak or Flightscope Mevo give face and path numbers.

SkyTrak is photometric, but doesn't - at this point - measure the club,as far as I'm aware.  Only the ball at this point.

FlightScope Mevo measures clubhead speed, but I think you're getting into the higher end FlightScope products for face and path

Interestingly, the el cheapo OptiShot 2 only looks at the clubhead and path and can't see the ball, so while it's not a great all-round launch monitor and isn't the last word in accuracy, it does measure those aspects and can be useful for practice

Edited by PorscheFan, 01 November 2017 - 03:18 PM.


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#22 Lincoln_Arcadia

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 03:17 PM

 PorscheFan, on 01 November 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

 Lincoln_Arcadia, on 01 November 2017 - 03:03 PM, said:

 Dan Drake, on 21 October 2017 - 10:34 AM, said:

Any advice on the best used/inexpensive launch monitor option that gives face and path numbers?

Heard good things about Flightscope Mevo, at least it's from a good name in LM.

I'm not sure SkyTrak or Flightscope Mevo give face and path numbers.

SkyTrak is photometric, but doesn't - at this point - measure the club,as far as I'm aware.  Only the ball at this point.

FlightScope Mevo measures clubhead speed, but I think you're getting into the higher end FlightScope products for face and path

Yes, you're right. Mevo doesn't seem to have that feature. Sorry.

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#23 Dan Drake

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:04 AM

Only one round in since the last revision and it wasn't in the low 10, but it wasn't awful either.

I remain undaunted.

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#24 aggiegolfer21

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:11 PM

I am a PGA student at NMSU and "Swing your swing" could not be more true.  The key is to learn to setup to allow you to swing your swing naturally, tension free and produce the result you want.  Too much emphasis is placed on swing plane.  The truth is any swing plane works as long as you understand how it affects ball flight.  You could have the most over the top swing plane but if you understand what it does to the ball you can setup for it and hit a high, soft draw ever time.  One example of how to setup for your swing is to look at your left hand when you are standing up and relaxed.  A lot of people think that the back of the left hand is must face the target at impact but if you look at your left hand when it is relaxed, the thumb will be closer to the body then the pinky, this is how the joints naturally align and this is where your body will naturally want to be at impact.  We can setup for impact using our natural joint alignment which can get rid of tension in the swing, keep us from having to manipulate the club, or in most cases both.  Learn to setup for your natural swing and you will start playing great golf.

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#25 bogeypro

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 11:37 AM

I used to have this creed.  Then, I decided that I wasn't satisfied and decided to go a year long journey to improve.  I wrecked my swing and put it back together.  It still has hints of my previous swing...will probably never get rid of some of these traits.  I've finally started improving again...hitting shots I never could before.  I've lowered my handicap and I have a new love for the game.

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#26 kingotheworldma

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 11:55 AM

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#27 MtlJeff

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 10:08 AM

I don't think scratch golf is that difficult to achieve so i would agree that you can do it with an imperfect swing. Now when i say "not difficult" to achieve i just mean that you don't have to be a super athlete or gifted in any special way. I've played a lot of sports, and i would say "scratch" level in other sports sometimes requires some physical gifts. For example i don't think just anyone could be an all-city basketball player in high school.

Anyway, if you have the time to dedicate to golf, practicing maybe a couple of times a week or playing 2-3 times a week or whatever, just getting in enough reps and putting intelligence into how you practice, i think it's pretty possible to do. I've seen a lot of guys do it who i wouldn't say are very athletic guys. It's not like you need to hammer a ball 270 to play to scratch on a 6500yd course

I do think it's important to understand your swing though, even if it's imperfect (know how to square the clubface repeatedly) . But yeah it doesn't need to be textbook

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#28 Blues Golfer

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 06:01 PM

A legit scratch is difficult to achieve.  It takes more innate talent than most people have.  That’s why way way less than 1 percent of golfers achieve it, or ever could.

Yes, being a scratch on an easy home course is not the same as being a scratch at Oakmont.  As much as the USGA will argue otherwise, handicaps travel with varying results.


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#29 Santiago Golf

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 07:23 PM

What got me through my PAT was

You are golfer, If you were not, you would not  be here
Golf is game meant to test your physical and mental ability
Golf will bring the best and the worst out you
Golf is what defines you, you are who you are because you golf
People who do not golf do not understand what it means to be a golfer
So stop being a person, and go be a golfer.

I have tried to pass this along to my friends who are still sadly, it honestly break my heart, that are on the PAT Tour. It has worked for some and they have gone on to pass their PAT and for others they say, shut up Tags (my nickname) and are still on the PAT Tour. I was at +0.7 when I passed. Now I no longer keep a cap, I can shoot anywhere from in the 60s to 85, I just play my game.
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#30 Dan Drake

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 12:35 PM

3.0 at yesterday's revision.  I put up a 74 from our Member's tees with one bad driver swing off #16 tee (water hazard down the entire right side of the hole) that cost +2 and then shot a mind-numbing 85 from the tips at another local course that is narrow and severely penal off the tee.  I found "it" on about the 13th hole, but it was too late, lol, I was already +12.  Sticking with the theme of the thread, the "it" that I found had zero to do with my golf swing that was seemingly wrecked.  It was a simple ball position/shoulder alignment issue.  The last 6 holes had TWICE as many realistic birdie putts as the first 12 holes, sheesh.  Oh well, c'est la golf.  

Our new course ratings are in and the course is rated a small amount higher than the older ratings (~ .5 strokes across the "middle" tee boxes and less than that from the tips and most forward tees).  But, the slopes on those "middle" tees have changed, some of them as much as 10 points.  This is going to move my handicap all by itself over the next few months as I put scores in from my home course.  Unfortunately, this will demonstrate even more how poorly my game travels!!!

The good news is that I started at 7.2 and the EOY goal was to be 2.0.  I'm at 3.0 (with only 24 rounds in 11 months, lol) and playing pretty well, the last aberrant round aside.  I see no reason not to be in the 2.x's on the Jan. 1, 2018 revision and while that means I didn't hit my goal, it is close enough for me to call a success.  I am committed to my goal of scratch golf and I would like to achieve that goal by the Jan. 1, 2020 revision.  

1/1/18 - Goal: 2.0 or better
1/1/19 - Goal: 0.9 or better
1/1/20 - Goal: 0.0 or better

I also remain committed to my scratch golfer's creed.  My own swing, flawed as it may be, was good enough (even in the midst of a woeful round) to flush a few mid/short irons dead on the line I was looking, hit a driver 270+ down the skinniest fairway imaginable, and hit a few 3h's and 2w's off the turf that would make any momma proud.

When the PShR and PSwR are done correctly, the swing is plenty good enough.

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