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Ebrasmus21: Online Lesson w/Dan


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#1 ebrasmus21

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 05:15 PM

I'm going to try chronicling my game, lessons and practice for a while.  This is my attempt to provide personal content to the site in the hopes that it will be useful in one way or another, at least maybe to some.  If this thread proves to be useless I won't beat a dead horse.

About me:

Weekend warrior. Summer of 2017 I played to an all-time low of 4.  Handicap usually somewhere between 4 – 7.  However, I picked up some bad habits and my ball striking completely left me.  In the span of around 3 months I went from a 4 handicap up to 11 (my current number).  **Lots of shanks have happened in this period**

***FFS please no more shanks***

I've been told by my buddies (who are good sticks themselves) that I: swing from the inside too much, restrict my hips in the backswing, move off the ball too much and get "out in front" way too much.  I suppose this is all could be true but I've never really known what to do with this information.

I also have never really practiced because of the fear that I'll practice the wrong things and then really set in stone bad habits or just waste my time.  If someone asked me how to practice effectively I wouldn't know what to tell them.

For my own sanity I decided if I'm going to keep playing this game its time to try taking lessons.  There is a well-respected instructor in my town that a buddy referred me to.  To start I purchased a package of 4 lessons.  Definitely open to continuing on with lessons but had to start somewhere so I picked package deal of 4 lessons.

My dream would be to improve my game enough to be a scratch golfer.  To clarify, when I say scratch I mean a weekend-warrior-playing-the-same-course-every-weekend kind of scratch.  I could very well be delusional in this goal but I'm not trying to say I'm going to become a legit tournament scratch.  Just want to shoot goods scores with my buddies and maybe play one or two tournaments a year.

The idea I had for this thread would be to provide regular updates on how I'm playing, how lessons are going, what I'm learning and *hopefully* provide evidence of improvement along the way.

Would this interest anyone?  Any ideas on how I can make this topic interesting enough for people to get something out of it?

**These are a couple of swings from last summer when I knew things were going wrong.  We can use this as a starting point**

- https://youtu.be/aRjeclA9YWE
- https://youtu.be/-bLrI2phDuM

Edited by ebrasmus21, 10 October 2018 - 10:00 AM.

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#2 CrickorCreek

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:14 PM

Be honest bout the good and bad of your efforts. Especially the shanks. People love dirt but Iím interested on how you overcome them. My handicap and game almost mirror yours exactly. Went from a 5 to a 12 cause of those damn things and itís from getting stuck n swinging from inside. The mental hurdle is prolly more difficult to overcome than the physical. Good luck brother.

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#3 ebrasmus21

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:23 PM

View PostCrickorCreek, on 15 February 2018 - 06:14 PM, said:

Be honest bout the good and bad of your efforts. Especially the shanks. People love dirt but I'm interested on how you overcome them. My handicap and game almost mirror yours exactly. Went from a 5 to a 12 cause of those damn things and it's from getting stuck n swinging from inside. The mental hurdle is prolly more difficult to overcome than the physical. Good luck brother.

It sucks to be playing at your best and in a short amount of time you have no confidence anymore and can't hit the ball worth a lick.  I'll give this thread a go - to see if it gets any traction and maybe it will help a few people along the way.
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#4 msg

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:01 PM

I think it is doable. If you got to as low as 4, I think you are close to your target if you just focus and give it your best. Back in 2016, I joined a league which had some of the best golfers in our community. I wanted to be one of the best so I really grind that year and practiced every thing that I can practice.

I was able to get to 6 or 4 based on my Game Golf app. I used to be like 13 before then. Like you, I only play once a week and just practice whatever I can on weekdays. And we usually rotate three to four golf courses.

Last year, I did not join any league and kind a lost interest. I sucked when I joined the tournaments that I was expecting to at least qualify to the next rounds and get to play free golf. lol I was overconfident and this game humbled me. So this year, like you, my goal is to grind it again and beat my 4 handicap and get lower and qualify for those tournaments.

I'll follow your thread and see where it takes you!

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#5 ebrasmus21

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:07 PM

View Postmsg, on 15 February 2018 - 07:01 PM, said:

I think it is doable. If you got to as low as 4, I think you are close to your target if you just focus and give it your best. Back in 2016, I joined a league which had some of the best golfers in our community. I wanted to be one of the best so I really grind that year and practiced every thing that I can practice.

I was able to get to 6 or 4 based on my Game Golf app. I used to be like 13 before then. Like you, I only play once a week and just practice whatever I can on weekdays. And we usually rotate three to four golf courses.

Last year, I did not join any league and kind a lost interest. I sucked when I joined the tournaments that I was expecting to at least qualify to the next rounds and get to play free golf. lol I was overconfident and this game humbled me. So this year, like you, my goal is to grind it again and beat my 4 handicap and get lower and qualify for those tournaments.

I'll follow your thread and see where it takes you!

Very cool!  It might be wishful thinking on my part to think I can get to scratch but I'll give it a go anyways.  My first lesson is this Saturday.

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#6 Hawkeye77

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:21 PM

Looking forward to summary/recap/insights from lesson(s).

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#7 Jackhammer993

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:58 PM

Do you mind telling the name of the instructor and at what facility. I have struggled with the shanks from time to time. Literally would shank every single iron non stop...lol. It happened during a Ping fitting in Sacramento and also when I was testing some Miura irons in Half Moon Bay. Iíve also had bouts on the course where it was so bad I would just hit hybrids to finish out my round. I can self correct but not immediately. Good luck with your quest.

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#8 ebrasmus21

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 08:28 PM

View PostJackhammer993, on 15 February 2018 - 07:58 PM, said:

Do you mind telling the name of the instructor and at what facility. I have struggled with the shanks from time to time. Literally would shank every single iron non stop...lol. It happened during a Ping fitting in Sacramento and also when I was testing some Miura irons in Half Moon Bay. I've also had bouts on the course where it was so bad I would just hit hybrids to finish out my round. I can self correct but not immediately. Good luck with your quest.

Not sure what the proper etiquette is here so I'm going to ask my instructor for permission first before mentioning names.  I'm not sure I even need to ask but I want to be respectful.
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#9 anth

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 08:32 PM

Following with interest
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#10 Jackhammer993

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 08:38 PM

Sure, if itís something that makes you feel uncomfortable no need to do it. I hope you are successful in your quest.


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#11 ebrasmus21

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 08:59 PM

View PostJackhammer993, on 15 February 2018 - 08:38 PM, said:

Sure, if it's something that makes you feel uncomfortable no need to do it. I hope you are successful in your quest.

Jack check your PMs.
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#12 tarheelrx

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:21 PM

Very interested in following this!

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#13 canthitathreewood

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:24 PM

Good luck to you! Swing looks more like scratch than an 11.
Play Hard!

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#14 ebrasmus21

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:44 PM

View Postcanthitathreewood, on 15 February 2018 - 10:24 PM, said:

Good luck to you! Swing looks more like scratch than an 11.

Thanks for the kind words but if I almost killed you by way of shanking one at your cranium I doubt you'd be so nice about it.  Just flat out gave up on a couple rounds during the fall because I could hardly get the ball air born.
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#15 canthitathreewood

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:48 PM

View Postebrasmus21, on 15 February 2018 - 10:44 PM, said:

View Postcanthitathreewood, on 15 February 2018 - 10:24 PM, said:

Good luck to you! Swing looks more like scratch than an 11.

Thanks for the kind words but if I almost killed you by way of shanking one at your cranium I doubt you'd be so nice about it.  Just flat out gave up on a couple rounds during the fall because I could hardly get the ball air born.

Move all the change from your right pocket to your left pocket....

Play Hard!

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#16 ebrasmus21

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:50 PM

View Postcanthitathreewood, on 15 February 2018 - 10:48 PM, said:

View Postebrasmus21, on 15 February 2018 - 10:44 PM, said:

View Postcanthitathreewood, on 15 February 2018 - 10:24 PM, said:

Good luck to you! Swing looks more like scratch than an 11.

Thanks for the kind words but if I almost killed you by way of shanking one at your cranium I doubt you'd be so nice about it.  Just flat out gave up on a couple rounds during the fall because I could hardly get the ball air born.

Move all the change from your right pocket to your left pocket....

Lol, it couldn't have hurt to try.  I'll remember just in case I need that move in the future.
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#17 deadsolid...shank

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 07:56 AM

View Postebrasmus21, on 15 February 2018 - 10:44 PM, said:

View Postcanthitathreewood, on 15 February 2018 - 10:24 PM, said:

Good luck to you! Swing looks more like scratch than an 11.

Thanks for the kind words but if I almost killed you by way of shanking one at your cranium I doubt you'd be so nice about it.  Just flat out gave up on a couple rounds during the fall because I could hardly get the ball air born.

I have felt your pain ebrasmus. It's been over 25 years ago when we lived in Phoenix, but I had the shanks for basically a year. Every iron and wedge. I spent an entire summer playing an old laminated 5 wood all around the course. Was ever so close to completely quitting. Eventually they sort of went away, but would still reoccur on an annual basis, and last a week to 10 days. Then I would work through them and be good for a while....but when they hit at the time of a bigger tournament, Oh Dear!!  Finally one afternoon was talking to one of the local pros (who in our area's teaching hierarchy would have been in the lower half) and told him about my problem. He grabbed a bucket of balls, said let's go look, and 15 minutes later told me what I was doing. Now I have one on occasion, but know wha causes it.   No real point to my story, just commiserating.

Good luck and I look forward to following along.
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#18 ebrasmus21

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 09:37 AM

View Postdeadsolid...shank, on 16 February 2018 - 07:56 AM, said:

View Postebrasmus21, on 15 February 2018 - 10:44 PM, said:

View Postcanthitathreewood, on 15 February 2018 - 10:24 PM, said:

Good luck to you! Swing looks more like scratch than an 11.

Thanks for the kind words but if I almost killed you by way of shanking one at your cranium I doubt you'd be so nice about it.  Just flat out gave up on a couple rounds during the fall because I could hardly get the ball air born.

I have felt your pain ebrasmus. It's been over 25 years ago when we lived in Phoenix, but I had the shanks for basically a year. Every iron and wedge. I spent an entire summer playing an old laminated 5 wood all around the course. Was ever so close to completely quitting. Eventually they sort of went away, but would still reoccur on an annual basis, and last a week to 10 days. Then I would work through them and be good for a while....but when they hit at the time of a bigger tournament, Oh Dear!!  Finally one afternoon was talking to one of the local pros (who in our area's teaching hierarchy would have been in the lower half) and told him about my problem. He grabbed a bucket of balls, said let's go look, and 15 minutes later told me what I was doing. Now I have one on occasion, but know wha causes it.   No real point to my story, just commiserating.

Good luck and I look forward to following along.

Thanks DSS - I've been able to mildly control the hozzle for the past month or so.  Shot 77 last Sunday which was my first decent round in about 3 months.  If I find the cure I'll share it!
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#19 gentles

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:07 AM

A few pointers OP that might help you:

Use some basic statistics to understand where you need to improve the last few strokes off your game. Mathematically you need to save a quarter of a shot on every hole, where will that come from? Strokes gained lets you reference against PGA tour averages. I spent 2 months tracking every shot and found that my wedge game was actually the best part of my game, I thought it was bad. Scott Fawcett's DECADE system is a user friendly method which does the analysis for you and tells you what you need to work on.

Learn more about proper practice techniques. "The Practice Manual" by Adam Young is a great place to start with this - there are different types of practice, and you should be intentional about what you're doing. There is a LOT of great ideas in the book. One example I like is differential practice - can you strike the ball solidly if you hover the club above the ball at address, or take a stronger than normal, one foot back stance? Learning to be adaptable and transfer skills in different settings makes a big difference when you try and execute on the course.

Good luck OP!

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#20 ebrasmus21

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 10:36 AM

View Postgentles, on 16 February 2018 - 10:07 AM, said:

A few pointers OP that might help you:

Use some basic statistics to understand where you need to improve the last few strokes off your game. Mathematically you need to save a quarter of a shot on every hole, where will that come from? Strokes gained lets you reference against PGA tour averages. I spent 2 months tracking every shot and found that my wedge game was actually the best part of my game, I thought it was bad. Scott Fawcett's DECADE system is a user friendly method which does the analysis for you and tells you what you need to work on.

Learn more about proper practice techniques. "The Practice Manual" by Adam Young is a great place to start with this - there are different types of practice, and you should be intentional about what you're doing. There is a LOT of great ideas in the book. One example I like is differential practice - can you strike the ball solidly if you hover the club above the ball at address, or take a stronger than normal, one foot back stance? Learning to be adaptable and transfer skills in different settings makes a big difference when you try and execute on the course.

Good luck OP!

Good advice, thank you.  I work and have to travel for work pretty often so my time to practice is limited.  I want to make sure that any extra time I have is spent wisely.  

I'm not familiar with the DECADE system so I'll have to do some research.  From one of Richie's posts it sounds like keeping track of strokes gained stats properly is easier said than done.  So, user-friendly sounds good to me.  Thanks again!

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#21 gentles

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 02:36 PM

View Postebrasmus21, on 16 February 2018 - 10:36 AM, said:

View Postgentles, on 16 February 2018 - 10:07 AM, said:

A few pointers OP that might help you:

Use some basic statistics to understand where you need to improve the last few strokes off your game. Mathematically you need to save a quarter of a shot on every hole, where will that come from? Strokes gained lets you reference against PGA tour averages. I spent 2 months tracking every shot and found that my wedge game was actually the best part of my game, I thought it was bad. Scott Fawcett's DECADE system is a user friendly method which does the analysis for you and tells you what you need to work on.

Learn more about proper practice techniques. "The Practice Manual" by Adam Young is a great place to start with this - there are different types of practice, and you should be intentional about what you're doing. There is a LOT of great ideas in the book. One example I like is differential practice - can you strike the ball solidly if you hover the club above the ball at address, or take a stronger than normal, one foot back stance? Learning to be adaptable and transfer skills in different settings makes a big difference when you try and execute on the course.

Good luck OP!

Good advice, thank you.  I work and have to travel for work pretty often so my time to practice is limited.  I want to make sure that any extra time I have is spent wisely.  

I'm not familiar with the DECADE system so I'll have to do some research.  From one of Richie's posts it sounds like keeping track of strokes gained stats properly is easier said than done.  So, user-friendly sounds good to me.  Thanks again!

I think its a simple as planning out what you want to do with your practice time. If you lift weights at the gym, you usually show up knowing exactly how much you're going to lift, and in what order, how much break time etc. Try to treat practice time the same, at least to some degree. If you're working on executing under pressure, then don't take any video or use training aids. If you're working on your transition, you barely need to hit any balls at all, just focus on the movement etc.

you can purchase practice plans direct from Adam - I found them very useful for providing drills you can do at home and on the range etc...it is tailored towards your needs and practice time.  https://www.adamyounggolf.com/online-coaching-2/

If you do some google searching you can find strokes gained spreadsheets to use..the hardest part is actually recording every shot - only takes a few seconds you just have to remember to do it!

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#22 ebrasmus21

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 06:09 PM

View Postgentles, on 16 February 2018 - 02:36 PM, said:

View Postebrasmus21, on 16 February 2018 - 10:36 AM, said:

View Postgentles, on 16 February 2018 - 10:07 AM, said:

A few pointers OP that might help you:

Use some basic statistics to understand where you need to improve the last few strokes off your game. Mathematically you need to save a quarter of a shot on every hole, where will that come from? Strokes gained lets you reference against PGA tour averages. I spent 2 months tracking every shot and found that my wedge game was actually the best part of my game, I thought it was bad. Scott Fawcett's DECADE system is a user friendly method which does the analysis for you and tells you what you need to work on.

Learn more about proper practice techniques. "The Practice Manual" by Adam Young is a great place to start with this - there are different types of practice, and you should be intentional about what you're doing. There is a LOT of great ideas in the book. One example I like is differential practice - can you strike the ball solidly if you hover the club above the ball at address, or take a stronger than normal, one foot back stance? Learning to be adaptable and transfer skills in different settings makes a big difference when you try and execute on the course.

Good luck OP!

Good advice, thank you.  I work and have to travel for work pretty often so my time to practice is limited.  I want to make sure that any extra time I have is spent wisely.  

I'm not familiar with the DECADE system so I'll have to do some research.  From one of Richie's posts it sounds like keeping track of strokes gained stats properly is easier said than done.  So, user-friendly sounds good to me.  Thanks again!

I think its a simple as planning out what you want to do with your practice time. If you lift weights at the gym, you usually show up knowing exactly how much you're going to lift, and in what order, how much break time etc. Try to treat practice time the same, at least to some degree. If you're working on executing under pressure, then don't take any video or use training aids. If you're working on your transition, you barely need to hit any balls at all, just focus on the movement etc.

you can purchase practice plans direct from Adam - I found them very useful for providing drills you can do at home and on the range etc...it is tailored towards your needs and practice time.  https://www.adamyounggolf.com/online-coaching-2/

If you do some google searching you can find strokes gained spreadsheets to use..the hardest part is actually recording every shot - only takes a few seconds you just have to remember to do it!

Thank you, this is useful for me to think about and eventually implement.
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#23 ebrasmus21

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 09:11 PM

I have a post coming regarding how I played today and my first lesson this afternoon.  It's going to be a little bit long but I don't think that bad.  Please let me know if my post is too long so I can provide content that people will actually read.  

Post should be ready later tonight or tomorrow morning.
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#24 ebrasmus21

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:47 AM

Morning Round & First Lesson 2/17/18
Played 18 this morning – stopping keeping track of my score when I realized I was +10 through 8… Yeah.

Lesson
Met with my instructor Cindy Vining.  Cindy’s instruction revolves heavily on proper setup including grip, grip pressure, ball position and posture.  Cindy teaches a swing with a one-piece take-away using big muscles to complete the backswing and in the downswing the rotation and opening of the body to release the club.  This might sound confusing to some but it really isn’t.  Let me explain my experience.

She had me warm up as I normally would and we just small talked for a few minutes.  After getting warm Cindy explained her philosophy to me and her reasons for it.  She then took some pictures of my setup position and began to explain why my setup sucks (pictures will follow soon that display my normal setup postion).    

She had me set up in accordance to her philosophy and it felt quite strange.  I’ve never had a lesson before so trying this new set up felt completely foreign to me (pictures of the correct setup to follow).

She got me in a position that facilitates a one-piece take away and I proceeded to absolutely pure my first shot.  Even though the set up felt completely different and strange the swing felt easy and free and natural.  I hit the ball pure pretty much all lesson.  I hit one shank and a couple of lose shots and Cindy felt that a couple of them were because I was pulling with my right hand in the takeaway and a couple of others that I hit bad were because of uneven grip pressure between my right and left hand.  She also said I regripped mid-swing a couple times.  Cindy got the suspicion that my grip pressure was uneven early on.  She asked some questions about my grip and the feeling of each hand in the swing and I grip pretty tight with my left hand and pretty lightly in my right.  Apparently uneven grip pressure can often lead to bad things.   When my setup was on point and I had even grip pressure the swing felt so effortless.

I can’t really describe how easy the swing felt after being set up properly to the ball.  It just felt simple compared to my natural swing.  Like literally all I had to do was turn away from the ball and turn through the shot.  That’s it.

I’m trying to contain my excitement and optimism but I could hardly believe how good I was hitting it.  It seemed like Cindy performed some kind of magic on me.  At one point I hit about ten pure 7-irons in a row that landed with a dispersion that I’ve seldom – if ever – been able to achieve.  I can’t imagine how the lesson could have gone any better. The set up felt weird the entire lesson but the results were very unexpected and frankly amazing given how poorly I’ve been hitting the ball the past few months.

How does Cindy want me to practice?  First, I’ll be hanging around watching TV I’ll work on my grip and trying to achieve even pressure in both hands.  Second, I’ll practice my setup positions in the mirror over and over to try and get the feeling to settle in.  Third, I’ll try to make it to the range (hopefully) a few times this week to groove the setup position and takeaway.

I’ll play 18 again tomorrow morning and I’ll view it as practice.  I’m going to try and bring what I practiced today out to the course.  I know it can be difficult to practice new swing ideas on the course but I have such a small amount of time that I’m able to practice right now I need to use the course as practice as well.
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#25 Jackhammer993

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 05:40 AM

Sounds like your on your way. Just donít get down if you have a little 2 steps forward one step back. Keep at it.


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#26 ebrasmus21

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 09:36 AM

View PostJackhammer993, on 18 February 2018 - 05:40 AM, said:

Sounds like your on your way. Just donít get down if you have a little 2 steps forward one step back. Keep at it.

Iím preparing myself for this.  Couldnít help but be exited yesterday even though I know it isnít as simple as one lesson.
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#27 davep043

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:10 AM

One thing I found helpful when I was making a change to my set-up was video.  You said Cindy showed you photos of your original set-up, and explained the changes.  So take videos as you practice, to verify  that you set up properly.  Seeing that you're doing the right thing, even when it feels odd, will help you to persevere.

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#28 ebrasmus21

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:29 AM

View Postdavep043, on 18 February 2018 - 10:10 AM, said:

One thing I found helpful when I was making a change to my set-up was video.  You said Cindy showed you photos of your original set-up, and explained the changes.  So take videos as you practice, to verify  that you set up properly.  Seeing that you're doing the right thing, even when it feels odd, will help you to persevere.

Good advice thank you Dave.
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#29 bogeypro

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:29 AM

Personally, I'd say don't play until you get comfortable with the new swing.  Here's my thinking...  when practicing, you are only practicing...you are thinking about your swing and grooving the changes - you don't care if you hit a bad shot because you are practicing.  When you get to the course, you are thinking too much about results - you will fall back to old habits because they are comfortable.  

Wait a month, then go hit the course and see how it goes.
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#30 ebrasmus21

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 01:10 PM

View Postbogeypro, on 18 February 2018 - 10:29 AM, said:

Personally, I'd say don't play until you get comfortable with the new swing.  Here's my thinking...  when practicing, you are only practicing...you are thinking about your swing and grooving the changes - you don't care if you hit a bad shot because you are practicing.  When you get to the course, you are thinking too much about results - you will fall back to old habits because they are comfortable.  

Wait a month, then go hit the course and see how it goes.

That could be good advice, bogeypro. I talked to Cindy about it and sheís okay with me playing right now but if today is a disaster Iíll probably need to reasses

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