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The Rob Plan


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#1 robdalky

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 09:59 PM

Some of you may be familiar with the now-defunct Dan Plan (http://thedanplan.com), the story of a man who quit his job to play golf. He theorized that after 10,000 hours, he could go from a guy who had never played before, to a professional (he lasted just over 4,000 hours before calling it quits as a 5.5 index).

My story is a bit different, but I bet like a lot of your stories: I have two young kids (a two year old and a newborn), work a demanding job (70 hours a week last month), go to school part-time, don’t play as much as I like, and I think I should play better than I do (currently a 9.4 index). I was good enough in high school to be cut from golf tryouts on a yearly basis and I didn't play much for about 8-10 years after that, but really got the golf addiction again back in 2014, along with a desire to get good at the game. I don’t have unlimited time to practice or play, and I’m not retiring from job or family life anytime soon.

I've been inspired by some of the recent threads about, "How to squeeze golf in with XYZ", as well as the few threads following people's swings, lessons, etc.

This brings me to the Rob Plan. I’ve been thinking a lot about efficiency and how inefficient most of my time playing golf is. I go out, whack a ball around or smack a bucket of balls on the range, and shoot the same scores I always do whether I play once a month or three times a week. I've done this for years. Usually, I feel like I barely have time to practice or play to begin with, so what is a guy to do?

My question is this: Can I maximize the efficiency of my time playing and practicing golf, even though I won’t necessarily spend more HOURS playing, and by doing this wisely, see a tangible improvement?

Can a regular guy, with a regular family, a regular job, and everything else, get better at golf? Significantly? (I do not know the answer to this question, and in my experience almost no one seems to be able to do this.)

I’ve enlisted the help of Michael Martin (Fort Worth Pro), who teaches about an hour from where I live. I’ve been getting lessons from him for almost two seasons now. My handicap prior to seeing him was 11 and I had a swing that was a bunch of bad habits cancelling each other out to generally help me shoot in the 90 range. I have a really comical video of a swing from before I started seeing him, but it is very hard to watch. On the first lesson he eventually threw up his hands and said, ”I can’t take it anymore. We have to start over. Grip, stance, alignment. You’re not just here for a quick fix, so here we go.” My handicap crept up to a 12.8 during the thick of it. I spent a hot minute at 8.4 (my personal all-time best) but it has gradually crept up to 9.4, where I am currently. Make no mistake about it, I have improved while seeing Michael.

I plan on taking his lessons and combining them with a deliberate practice process which will involve video review, statistically recorded range and short game sessions (with longstanding records to identify improvement, weaknesses, etc). No more practicing without recording or without a plan, even if it's 10 or 15 minutes.

I have also come to feel that for fun/weekend/buddy golf is much less beneficial to testing and improving one's game than tournament play. I've really barely had a taste of it with the city tour tournaments the last two seasons, but find it fun and think it would be fun and good for my game to play in some tournaments.

I have come up with several goals:
1. Attain a handicap of 5.4 or lower by August 2019 to allow me to attempt to qualify with a partner for the 2020 USGA four ball (never mind that you really need to be scratch to have a chance to make it).
                        a.      August 2018 would be awesome for the 2019 four ball (Bandon!!!!), so I will list it here as a stretch goal.
2. Attain a handicap of 6.4 or less by March 20, 2019 to allow me to qualify with a partner in the TGA four ball.
3. Attain a handicap of less than 7 prior to the September 2018 City Tour finals (I play as part of a team out of Dallas).

a. Win the City Tour finals (prior best finish was a distant 3rd last season).

4.     Attain a new all time low handicap of something less than 8.4.

Of course, this whole process cannot come at the expense of my job or family life. Grinding out the golf 80 hours a week is an option none of us have, and is cheating. If problems arise, the Rob Plan is over, I lose.

I hope that this exercise recording the process will be helpful for me, and interesting for you to read. Off we go!

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#2 robdalky

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 10:18 PM

Here's an example of some of the stuff I'll be trying to do with my practice time:

Posted Image

Edited by robdalky, 05 June 2018 - 10:22 PM.

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#3 Moshjean

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 10:23 PM

Work on your weaknesses. If you have trouble hitting fairways and greens, work on figuring out your full swing. If your putting or chipping sucks, make it a strength.

Golf improvement is tough with kids, work, and school, I’m in the same boat and there is an inverse relationship between being an awesome dad and getting better at golf.

FWIW I only hit wedges at the range (maybe 5 drivers, 10 iron shots) and putt as much as possible, this to me is the key to good scores for single digit handicaps. I can get away with showing up with a mediocre swing for a round, but if my short game isn’t sharp I’m not scoring any birds
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#4 robdalky

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 10:57 PM

View PostMoshjean, on 05 June 2018 - 10:23 PM, said:

Work on your weaknesses. If you have trouble hitting fairways and greens, work on figuring out your full swing. If your putting or chipping sucks, make it a strength.


Great point. That's really the thought behind my plan. To be honest, I think most of the time I didn't have a great sense what exactly my weaknesses were and how weak they were. I might notice, yeah, I have trouble getting up and down, but that doesn't help. Is that a problem with bunker play? Chipping? Pitching? Putting? Wedge play/approach shots? Hopefully taking some more meaningful data will help me ID those things that I need to work on.
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#5 mitman25

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 10:33 AM

If you want to improve your game. Work on your short game. Wedge game. From 100 yards and in. Thats honestly what makes the best guys the best. They can get up and down from anywhere. They hit bad irons and drives just like us, but they don't compound their mistakes by hitting poor chips and pitches very often. If you want to improve in a short period of time that is where you will get better quicker IMO


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#6 Dave D

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 11:14 AM

Mitman I have to respectfully disagree, ball striking is the key to consistent lower scores.

say he works really hard at his wedges, the best on tour get up and down 50% of the time.

If he only hits 6 greens that's at least 6 bogeys straight away. hit 12 greens, there's 3 bogeys and probably a couple of birdies
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#7 gentles

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 12:37 PM

OP - you sound like you a) have thought this through, and b) have set goals which are tangible and achievable which is a great start!

I would start by really trying to figure out where your game stacks up - if you're number savvy do a search for the strokes gained spreadsheets and track 4-5 rounds to see where you compare. I did this myself and found that my wedge game and putting were nowhere near as bad as I gave them credit for, instead my ballstriking was so bad that I was leaving 30 yard pitches into most greens, and missing a whole bunch of 6-10 footers for pars. Pick up a copy of "Every shot counts" by Mark Broadie, and you can learn about why the biggest difference between you and a much better golfer is likely driving and approach shots rather than short game.

If that's too involved, sign up for DECADE by Scott Fawcett, where you enter stats data and recommended advice is provided. Not cheap though.

I'd also recommend picking up "The Practice Manual" by Adam Young to really learn how to practice and get the most out of your time. Your time is limited, so you need to squeeze as much improvement as possible out of every range session. Practicing mechanical changes is a part of this, but also performance training to help translate changes to a course setting. One of my favourite things is variability practice, where you mix up the setting and try to execute a great shot (see the pic below for a game from Andrew Rice (https://www.instagra...ricegolf/?hl=en)

Hope this helps OP, look forward to following along!

Variability.PNG

Edited by gentles, 06 June 2018 - 12:38 PM.

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#8 MadGolfer76

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 12:51 PM

Current research shows that nearly all learners get more out of a highly focused, task-specific practice session of about 15 minutes (total duration), that takes place on a daily basis. Basically, you practice until your mind starts to wander from the task at hand, and then you either move on to the next item on the "to-do" list...or you stop your practicing altogether. Swinging aimlessly is actually counter-productive.
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#9 Golfbeat

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 01:39 PM

Good luck, but this is what most of us are trying to do. Many of us are actually retired or semi retired and have a lot more time than you do and nobody seems to improve much anymore. I think that most of us, who are playing already for quite some time,  are rather hovering up and down during the years in a margin of 3 and 5 stroked or so. My lowest index ever was 4.3 (3 years ago) and I am now a 8.2, trending slightly downwards again. Golf is tough. I hope you will be the exception.
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#10 dg_1983

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 01:51 PM

Ive dropped my handicap from 2-0 since first baby boy came along a year ago.

IMO here is the deal.....

Get focussed......practise time is limited, you got to spend it wisely.

Get a good teacher to work with to make your swing technically more sound. This will help eliminate the big ball striking miss. I'm not talking an overhaul, just something that gets your path and face ratio better and your strike reasonable. You can't waste your time trying to make an inconsistent swing work, you don't have the time.

Driver practise, 6iron practise, wedges, pitching, chipping and putting. The rest doesn't really matter and will follow suit anyway.

When I say practise it is all down to proximity to the hole. After warm up, track 5 ball performance with each.

Rinse and repeat.

Lag putting and putting from 4 feet is all that matters on a limited schedule.

All in all it matters how good you want to be, but on a limited practise schedule I'd focus on this stuff.

I'm interested in the performance practise that's been suggested, though if I am hoenstly, depedning on a players base skill level I think that's somewhat out of reach.

I also agree with the short sessions. As above, beyond teaching drills all you need is 40 ball focuses sessions Regular as possible. 200 balls is utterly pointless (unless it's technically drills)

As far as playing goes - relax and enjoy the limited playing time you have

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#11 bigeasygator

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 01:54 PM

Here's a couple of things that I would say have either helped me or that I've picked up recently that seem to make sense.  
  • I purchased a set of Arccos sensors and they have really helped me understand what I'm doing with each of my clubs and where my strengths and weaknesses lie.  The sensors will assign a handicap to five areas of your game (driving, approach, chipping, sand, and putting) and can really hone in on areas that need work.  For me, it's gotten me to really hone in on my iron game and I'm hitting a lot more greens and scoring a lot better than I ever have.  It's the closest thing to a strokes-gained type statistic for an amateur golfer that I've seen.
  • Speaking of strokes-gained, there was a recent No Laying Up podcast where they talked to the creator of the statistic.  One of the biggest things I took away from the show is that it is really the long game that separates the pros from the "Joes," not putting or the wedge game which so many people think.  If you want to bring down your handicap, improving your driving and iron play is likely the best way.  There was a great analogy on this that highlighted the diminishing returns of working on your putting and chipping at the expense of the long game.  It was basically asking whether you'd like to have a contest against a pro, would you rather it be a putt off from 10' or who could score the lowest on a 215 yard par 3?  We tend to think of the pros being so much better at putting, but the reality is the pro is going to beat an amateur from 215 yards far more often than he's going to beat them from 10'.
  • For someone who is a single digit handicap, course management is just as big as ball striking IMO.  For so many years I played as about a 10-12 handicap and I had essentially zero course management skills.  I would take aim at a flag and that would be the end of it.  Now I'm much more deliberate about understanding when I can and can't go after a flag, taking aim not to short side myself, knowing where the safe miss is, and in general just taking a much more "center-of-the-green" approach.
That has largely been my formula to improving my game 1) understanding my weaknesses and tendencies 2) focusing on the long game (tee-to-green) and 3) being more mindful of course management.  I'm currently playing to about a 6 and feel like I've got more potential to improve.

PS: I would also highly recommend a club fitting if you've never done it.  Not sure how much you're looking to spend on this endeavor, but I feel I've gotten a lot of return on getting fitted for clubs.  I know there isn't necessarily an equipment panacea out there, but I've found that my clubs were much longer and more forgiving after I was fitted to them.  I know it's helped improve my long game.
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#12 gentles

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 02:25 PM

View Postbigeasygator, on 06 June 2018 - 01:54 PM, said:

  • Speaking of strokes-gained, there was a recent No Laying Up podcast where they talked to the creator of the statistic.  One of the biggest things I took away from the show is that it is really the long game that separates the pros from the "Joes," not putting or the wedge game which so many people think.  If you want to bring down your handicap, improving your driving and iron play is likely the best way.  There was a great analogy on this that highlighted the diminishing returns of working on your putting and chipping at the expense of the long game.  It was basically asking whether you'd like to have a contest against a pro, would you rather it be a putt off from 10' or who could score the lowest on a 215 yard par 3?  We tend to think of the pros being so much better at putting, but the reality is the pro is going to beat an amateur from 215 yards far more often than he's going to beat them from 10'.

I can't remember if it is from Broadie's book or where I heard it...if there was a world championship for approach shots from 150-220 yards, the winners would likely also be good enough golfers to play on tour. Not the same for putt-putt champions, and certainly not the same for long drive champions!

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#13 gentles

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 02:31 PM

View Postdg_1983, on 06 June 2018 - 01:51 PM, said:

Ive dropped my handicap from 2-0 since first baby boy came along a year ago.

IMO here is the deal.....

Get focussed......practise time is limited, you got to spend it wisely.

Get a good teacher to work with to make your swing technically more sound. This will help eliminate the big ball striking miss. I'm not talking an overhaul, just something that gets your path and face ratio better and your strike reasonable. You can't waste your time trying to make an inconsistent swing work, you don't have the time.

Driver practise, 6iron practise, wedges, pitching, chipping and putting. The rest doesn't really matter and will follow suit anyway.

When I say practise it is all down to proximity to the hole. After warm up, track 5 ball performance with each.

Rinse and repeat.

Lag putting and putting from 4 feet is all that matters on a limited schedule.

All in all it matters how good you want to be, but on a limited practise schedule I'd focus on this stuff.

I'm interested in the performance practise that's been suggested, though if I am hoenstly, depedning on a players base skill level I think that's somewhat out of reach.

I also agree with the short sessions. As above, beyond teaching drills all you need is 40 ball focuses sessions Regular as possible. 200 balls is utterly pointless (unless it's technically drills)

As far as playing goes - relax and enjoy the limited playing time you have

My understanding of performance training is simply playing games to test yourself on the range, rather than just using range time to work on technical changes. Three examples of games come to mind:
  • Seeing how few shots you need to take to hit every club in your bag inside a 40yd window down range
  • Taking impact tape and seeing how many shots out of 10 you can hit out of the center of the club
  • Alternate between fades and draws, how many shots can you land in a row inside a target
These are all examples of practice that is more likely to translate to on-course improvements that your standard rake-and-hit technical practice. Nothing to do with the performance level of the player. Loved your ideas!

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#14 me05501

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 02:42 PM

View PostGolfbeat, on 06 June 2018 - 01:39 PM, said:

Good luck, but this is what most of us are trying to do. Many of us are actually retired or semi retired and have a lot more time than you do and nobody seems to improve much anymore. I think that most of us, who are playing already for quite some time,  are rather hovering up and down during the years in a margin of 3 and 5 stroked or so. My lowest index ever was 4.3 (3 years ago) and I am now a 8.2, trending slightly downwards again. Golf is tough. I hope you will be the exception.

It definitely is hard, just like making swing changes is hard.

I will go out on a limb and say that for most of us, the mental game offers far more opportunity for improvement than the physical. The good news is that mental improvements can be uncomplicated and have immediate impacts.

Obviously you can apply your mind to making your practice sessions more productive. I learned years ago that I got more information from hitting a small range bucket than a huge one. It sounds like "smart practice" is already part of the formula here.

Take it next level. Believe in the power of visualization. Picture every shot in your mind before you set up to the ball. See the flight of the ball on the trajectory you intend. Watch it roll out. Absorb it. This works for every shot on the course, tee to green.

Even further: visualize your rounds before you play. Preview how you're going to feel and react after a good shot or a bad one. Program in the places where you need to be sure to hydrate or eat an energy bar. Make a whole-round success plan and follow it.

Visualize yourself watching yourself swing. Imagine the tempo and balance that you know to be ideal for your best results. Watch yourself perform the swing that causes your playing partners to say "Nice swing!" Print that on your mind.

In terms of scoring and knowing where you stand, figure out which mental approach works for you. Do you like to know where you stand against par? How many bogies you've had? Is it better for you to separate the round into 6 3-hole segments? Do you want to imagine a clean slate on each tee? Learn how your mind and body react to various scenarios, and plan for success over failure.

I think one of the major differences between the best players and the rest of us is that the best players are mentally engaged on every shot. We can take that idea from them, and obviously we should!

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#15 Exactice808

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 03:08 PM

OH Man.... this thread has potential!

I am assuming there are many in this boat right now,   27-40ish.  right in the middle... Played a little golf,  got into the work grind.... brought golf back into life... But real life hit us, A mortgage that requires a full time job, then the evolution of golf.

I am addicted as well with a almost 3yr old and a 10month.... I still play once a week due to my business and does not affect family or home life as its during the work week.

ZERO time to go to the range, Pre Kids... Range was twice a week about 2 hours per session.

I am sure you went through this, and many alike..... My point.... my golf expanded and got better... hit a plateau and been there ever since.  PRE baby and POST Baby. I've hovered around a 11-15 average score, NOT handicap......Potential is there... but again I have a day job and my kids are the world to me.


OK, now to my generic philosophy

1) Natural Talent vs Work hard Talent.....one or the other were do fit?   I know I am not natural, so I require hard work (I dont have the time...so I know that is my limitation)
2) Commitment.  How Important is golf REALLY to one's self?  I mean seriously..... I personally think even outside of actual talent.  There is 2 really important facets,  Course Management and Mental aptitude.
2a) I realize a huge difference, between a tour pro and myself and its NOT just talent. (First) they warm up pre round its their job, I never have.  (Second) course planning, Again its their job, so they have the whole course and every hole mapped out.  I know I just pick a course for the week, show up 30 minutes,  grab a soda and play. I have played the course often, but still never play it strategically. I am prior military... so we had mission planning,  I dont think I have ever mission planned a round of golf. I can almost guarantee every PRO or High level golfer has.
3) Acceptance. There is a reason why there is 125 PGA tour cards but a billion golfers.  The funny part is about half of those tour cards are a lock the other are those fighting each other for raw talent.
Some of us have talent... but will likely just never be single digits....we have potentials to make those scores.....but not on a consistent basis, no matter what we do....BUT We can sure darn well get close.   Point being..... Accepting your limitation will allow you to evolve better rather than just saying I know I am good But why am I not better.



Anyways......Everyone has great input above..... I am likely preaching to the Choir....... quick points.

if you have the ability but no time to practice or make for efficient practice. (because I personally believe that practice induces confidence that can be taken to the course)

Make a mission plan of the course you plan to play, Dictate the course out..... pre plan as many shots prior to the round as you can..... so you take less guess work out when you get to the course to avoid convoluted thoughts, and deal with outliers when they pop up.


as you evolve with your game. adjust the course game plan,  i.e. There are 3 types of holes.... par 3, Par 4, & Par 5 at every Single Golf course.  The only difference is that some are longer or shorter than others, BUT no matter if its dog leg, over water etc... we still intend to hit the ball straight to X target...no one plans to hit it into the water of bunker.

SO set the course up to put the ball where you can make the least effort but the best chance.... If you get longer...adjust the game plan, you start hitting fades more often then draws, adjust the course plan.....

Sometimes we JUST cant get practice in, BUT if we atleast come to the course with a specific idea and stick to it... it should eliminate doubts for the day.


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#16 robdalky

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 09:17 PM

View PostDave D, on 06 June 2018 - 11:14 AM, said:

Mitman I have to respectfully disagree, ball striking is the key to consistent lower scores.

say he works really hard at his wedges, the best on tour get up and down 50% of the time.

If he only hits 6 greens that's at least 6 bogeys straight away. hit 12 greens, there's 3 bogeys and probably a couple of birdies

In my lessons with Michael we have almost always worked on full swing. Couple of short game lessons, a bunker day, but for the most part I am banging away full shots and what Dave said is primarily the reason. I don't care how good your short game is, if you hit 6 greens, you aren't going to score very well. Hit 12 and you can even survive a penalty stroke or three putt and still score well.

Of my last 10 rounds I had the following GIR: 3, 4, 6, 6, 8, 6, 11, 6, 12, 4. (Average of 6.6.)

Huge target area for me.
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#17 robdalky

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 09:46 PM

View PostGolfbeat, on 06 June 2018 - 01:39 PM, said:

Good luck, but this is what most of us are trying to do. Many of us are actually retired or semi retired and have a lot more time than you do and nobody seems to improve much anymore.
Love this reply. That thought goes through my head every day! I do think I have learned one thing though and it is that although you need time, time spent does not necessarily equal significant improvement.


View Postbigeasygator, on 06 June 2018 - 01:54 PM, said:

  • I purchased a set of Arccos sensors and they have really helped me understand what I'm doing with each of my clubs and where my strengths and weaknesses lie.  The sensors will assign a handicap to five areas of your game (driving, approach, chipping, sand, and putting) and can really hone in on areas that need work.  For me, it's gotten me to really hone in on my iron game and I'm hitting a lot more greens and scoring a lot better than I ever have.  It's the closest thing to a strokes-gained type statistic for an amateur golfer that I've seen.
PS: I would also highly recommend a club fitting if you've never done it.  Not sure how much you're looking to spend on this endeavor, but I feel I've gotten a lot of return on getting fitted for clubs.  I know there isn't necessarily an equipment panacea out there, but I've found that my clubs were much longer and more forgiving after I was fitted to them.  I know it's helped improve my long game.

I was fitted for my set of clubs and completely agree. As far as Arccos - this ties in to gentles' post - I think you have both reminded me that I something concrete for data tracking during rounds. Maybe it is Decade, maybe Arccos, maybe something else.

Currently I use only a garmin S20, which is great for yardages but not super useful in terms of data tracking. However, I love the convenience of it and the fact it requires minimal interruption in my routine while I play. No cell phone, no pulling a laser in and out 50 times. One of my good friends had the first generation model Arccos and got so distracted by it that he stopped using it. Do you use the 360 or the first generation?

View Postgentles, on 06 June 2018 - 12:37 PM, said:

If that's too involved, sign up for DECADE by Scott Fawcett, where you enter stats data and recommended advice is provided. Not cheap though.

I'd also recommend picking up "The Practice Manual" by Adam Young to really learn how to practice and get the most out of your time. Your time is limited, so you need to squeeze as much improvement as possible out of every range session. Practicing mechanical changes is a part of this, but also performance training to help translate changes to a course setting. One of my favourite things is variability practice, where you mix up the setting and try to execute a great shot (see the pic below for a game from Andrew Rice (https://www.instagra...ricegolf/?hl=en)

Hope this helps OP, look forward to following along!

Attachment Variability.PNG

I did pick up on Scott initially last year based on his NCCGA driving video on youtube. Until then, I never hit anything but driver on basically any par 4 or par 5. His stuff already has made a huge impact on how I play and I'm intrigued by Decade/birdiefire. I do wonder how arduous it is to input data - I am highly tempted on an automated solution to get SG statistics (Arccos?). I haven't decided how much time I'd be willing to dedicate during and post round to input the data for Fawcett's app. Do you use it?
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#18 robdalky

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 10:00 PM

Not to go back too far, I'll talk a little bit about what I've been working on after my last couple lessons.

The first was directed at getting better leg and hip action in order to fight a "collapsed" weak impact position. This opened some doors for the stuff I am working on now. I had this tendency to sort of crumple up at impact. Part of this is caused by bad habit and the other part by some weak hip abductors which is something I need to continue to work on.

In order to get a more stable base I started to hit shots with resistance bands around my legs. I would hit some shots by starting with a narrow stance and then stepping forward with my left foot in the backswing, and then some other shots without a step, then some shots with no bands, and rotated around. Part of the key of all of this was a slightly wider stance with more abduction at setup.

I bought some bands and this has improved in recent weeks but will probably be something I'll need to monitor because old habits die hard.

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#19 Garush34

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 04:29 AM

Good luck OP. I like threads like this, always makes for good reading. Trying to get myself down to 12.4 this year after being stuck around 19 for the last couple of years. Already down 1 shot, but still along way to go.
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#20 bigeasygator

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 05:56 AM

View Postrobdalky, on 06 June 2018 - 09:46 PM, said:

One of my good friends had the first generation model Arccos and got so distracted by it that he stopped using it. Do you use the 360 or the first generation?

I’ve actually used both. I kind of gave up on the Arccos Gen 1 system as I found I had to spend much more time in the app correcting shots. With the 360, I’ve found it’s almost been flawless. I do have to add and subtract putts fairly often, but it’s very, very easy to do that. It’s been a much more “set it and forget it” type system thanthe Gen 1. As long as you’re comfortable with playing with a phone in your front pocket, then that’s the way to go!

Also, Arccos doesn’t do a true SG calculation. But the handicaps assigned to each area of your game serve as a kind of strokes gained number to give a relative sense of performance. I thought it would be cool if they could leverage all the user data to do a true SG calculation against various handicap levels.

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#21 robdalky

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 10:27 PM

As I began to work more on my hip and leg action, the following swing was a representative 7 iron from what had developed (May 14).
There are a few issues I will get into.




Edited by robdalky, 07 June 2018 - 10:36 PM.

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#22 robdalky

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 10:55 PM

Michael looked at my swing and basically came up with what I translate as four main things to work on. The leg and hip action had improved but wasn't quite what we were looking for, and I made some compensations that have caused a couple of issues. The four main takeaways were:

1. The club is getting too steep on the downswing. This needs to be shallowed out ala any pro player on tour. Think Sergio Garcia. Shallow.
2. The shallowing move must include an initial move of the left hip, knee, shoulder, DOWN and toward the target. The easiest way to shallow the club is to come up with the left shoulder and down with the right, which causes high push slices and is no good.
3. As I near impact, I need to release my head more toward the target (don't keep it down on the ball so much, this will help to maintain spine angle and prevent injury).
4. During the downswing I need to work on extending the left knee more. I think this will help maintain spine angle, create more clubhead speed, and prevent early extension.

Here's a video from the lesson on more what I should be doing.



I've been working on that pretty consistently on the range, spending most of my time on full swing while trying to get these relatively large changes ingrained. I can't hit my driver with this swing yet, but I feel comfortable with every other club in the bag.

Edited by robdalky, 07 June 2018 - 10:56 PM.

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#23 robdalky

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 11:07 PM

View Postbigeasygator, on 07 June 2018 - 05:56 AM, said:

View Postrobdalky, on 06 June 2018 - 09:46 PM, said:

One of my good friends had the first generation model Arccos and got so distracted by it that he stopped using it. Do you use the 360 or the first generation?

I’ve actually used both. I kind of gave up on the Arccos Gen 1 system as I found I had to spend much more time in the app correcting shots. With the 360, I’ve found it’s almost been flawless. I do have to add and subtract putts fairly often, but it’s very, very easy to do that. It’s been a much more “set it and forget it” type system thanthe Gen 1. As long as you’re comfortable with playing with a phone in your front pocket, then that’s the way to go!

Also, Arccos doesn’t do a true SG calculation. But the handicaps assigned to each area of your game serve as a kind of strokes gained number to give a relative sense of performance. I thought it would be cool if they could leverage all the user data to do a true SG calculation against various handicap levels.

I don't mind having a phone in my pocket while I play except that I find that it's good to "disconnect" while playing. It's hard to ignore a phone that's on in your pocket that you are using... However I have heard good things about the Arccos 360. I'd also really like if DECADE came with a one round trial or something of the sort, I'd really like to test drive it before committing.

The site apparently does not let you put three videos on one post so I had to split up my last post. Here's an attempt to cram it in:


Here is a video from my range session today. I've been trying to monitor my swing on video every time out to see if I am or am not doing what I'm supposed to be doing.





I do struggle with how shallow to get with each club and how deep to get with the left shoulder/hip/knee on each club, and am not sure if I will end up with something Sergio-like or a little more tame than that.

I'll play my first 9 holes since trying to implement these changes tomorrow, pretty pumped.

My goals:
1. Stick with the process. No going back to "the old way" if the going gets rough.
2. No drivers. Haven't had enough time to dial it in.
3. Hit 4 greens. This would beat my average for 9 holes on this track.
4. Score 42 or better, which would beat my 9 hole average this season by a stroke.
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#24 Golfbeat

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 05:56 AM

That swing has clearly potential.
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#25 robdalky

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 09:30 PM


Well, today is in the books and went about as expected: poorly. Except that I got to play, which was awesome.

This was the first time trying to grind out this swing during a round and I just couldn't find the ball. Tops, chunks, shanks.

Typically it will take me 15 balls or so to regroove the right feeling on the range, and a lot of difficulty hitting the ball before that. I went from work right to the course and to the first tee today, so I definitely did not do myself any favors there (time crunch). I really will need a full swing warmup to get this going next time out.

The verdict:
1. I stuck with the process. No going back to the old way when the new string felt like riding a bike with square wheels. Even topped my drive on 9 to prove it. Check.
2. I hit zero drivers today. Check. My buddy was goading me, "pull out the epic man!" At least I stuck with my plan. Even though it went badly.
3. I hit... uh... one green. Reached a par 5 in regulation, two putted for par. Hit a poor drive also. Two holes later I placed a tee shot on the fringe of a par 3 from 170, but did not technically hit the green.. I was one over after three, feeling fairly good about the round despite the ball striking issues. Missed my goal by 3 greens.
4. Shot a 45. Missed my goal by 3 shots.

I took two penalties on water balls. I hit great wedges and chips today. Placed a 60 yard wedge to 3 feet to save bogey, bump and run from 30 yards to 2 feet to save par, and nearly holed a chip on number 8. 14 putts. My short game was quite good from 100 and in so this is an example of how critical tee to green and GIRs are to scoring.

My main problem today, I bet if I had video (I don't) was consistently grooving the left hip knee shoulder down and toward the target move while shallowing the club in transition. As Feherty put it, my swing today felt like an octopus falling out of a tree.

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Edited by robdalky, 09 June 2018 - 09:18 PM.

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#26 robdalky

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 09:52 PM

The next big item on the calendar is the two man City Tour scramble on June 23. Last year at this same track my 15 handicap partner and I finished with a -1 71 that day. I recall playing pretty lights out. The low pair this year will be in the mid 60s (64? 65, certainly no higher than 66 unless the wind is crazy).

I'll hit up the range tomorrow to continue to grind the new swing. It will take a lot of improvement to post an under par score.

In the meantime I have continued to work on my practice data. I have a 12 foot Big Moss Augusta putting green that my two year old loves also. My favorite thing about it (other than it is durable and rolls awesome) is that it comes with inserts to reduce the size of the holes, if desired. I've started to track my performance on the smallest size (2 inch cup) from 3, 6, and 11 feet.

On the PGA, as a point of reference, the average make rates are 95% from 3 feet, 65% from 6 feet, and 34% from 11 feet. I think these are good goals to shoot for, and so far I am in the ballpark from 3 and 11 feet but seem to be significantly weaker in the 6 foot range.

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Edited by robdalky, 09 June 2018 - 09:53 PM.

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#27 robdalky

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 01:19 AM

Been out to the range the last two days and each time I show up it’s like I have never shallowed the club before. I’m instantly back to my swing I’ve had for 30 years like all my prior range sessions never happened.

I felt like I eventually (sort of??) Got it back after a bucket and a half of balls but this is beyond frustrating. After looking at my last few range sessions compared to good swings on YouTube I think my shallowing goes haywire when 1. My club gets across the line in the backswing and 2. In transition my hands work too much down primarily and not enough out. I’ll try to post videos of the difference between my driver and Sergio’s driver later.

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#28 robdalky

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 09:33 PM

I do think I’ve had a few breakthroughs in recent days.

1. I have found my putting alignment to be off at 6+ feet using the eyeline putting mirror. I had issues with my shoulders being open to the target line causing a left miss/ pull. I have fixed this and also found some improvement staying connected with the shirt tucked under arm (ala Justin Rose) technique. My numbers have improved, we will see if that holds true.

2. I was struggling something fierce with my driver when I began to question if my feels or swing keys should really be the same with my driver as with my irons or wedges. I had tried forcing it for a few weeks and at the range yesterday decided to open myself up to the idea of having a different swing key or feel with the driver. By the end of the range session, I was striking it like never before. I have always thought that really there are numerous different swings in golf with some similar foundations but that require different technique. Specifically on video with my driver I noted a tendency to set up closed with an open club face, squaring this up at setup and focusing on the “zipper away” pelvis action (Michael and I worked on the same concept months ago) with a good full extension produced much more consistent shots.

3. Regarding my current swing project: getting more shallow. I love this idea and continue to work on it every day I get out. However, I have gotten frustrated with it when trying to translate it to the course. I had an epiphany about this. I had this thought that I was going to grind for a month, “fix” my swing, make it perfectly shallow, then when it’s good, my swing will be good to go. This is not how it works nor is it how I should think about it. In reality, I go out and work on it consistently, and day by day, my swing will change by microscopic amounts, weeks and weeks and months of this go by and my swing continually improves. It does not change all at once and it’s not for months that the process finishes up. I do think taking this new attitude will help me tolerate the process more and not allow the rounds I do play to get too “derailed” by a preoccupation with making the “perfect swing” every time.

I should have 2-3 rounds in the docket this coming week, one of them a two man scramble tournament this weekend. I’m feeling much better about my game overall after the last couple of days and hope it translates to the card leading up to this.

Edited by robdalky, 17 June 2018 - 09:36 PM.

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#29 robdalky

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 09:42 PM

Past few range sessions have left me with mixed feelings. My typical routine is to warm up, and then start hitting shots, focusing on whatever key I have. Today, I was puring the ball. Then, I usually bust out the video to see if I am actually doing what I think I'm doing (currently working on shallowing and proper hip/pelvis/shoulder action at transition). At this point I usually notice something off, try to fix it, and the rest of the range session is a clown show. Not sure if this rings true for anyone else. Perhaps too reliant on video for my swing? However, I imagine if I do not use it I end up going back to the same old habits.

I have also decided to incorporate some posture and golf flexibility drills on a daily basis. Takes about 10-15 minutes and I intend to do this prior to leaving for the course when playing. Links, if interested:

https://www.mensheal...lity-exercises/
https://www.youtube....h?v=LT_dFRnmdGs

I'll be playing Friday morning. I find that when I get out on the course while in the course of taking lessons, I have a tendency to play "golf swing" instead of playing golf. I usually end up tied up in knots when this happens and shoot a million, probably not learning much in the process. So what I'm going to try is the following:

1. At the range pre-round, I will see what the "swing du jour" is. I will keep in mind my current goals in terms of pelvis action and shallowing the club, but narrow it down to whatever one (ONE) feel is working on the range. For the round, I'm going to focus only on that one feel each shot, and see how it goes. I think that will help me play golf instead of play golf swing. I don't get too many rounds so it's important to be able to play and enjoy it.

Goal-wise:
1. Hit 7 greens or more.
2. Less than three penalty strokes (OB/hazard).
3. Shoot 85 or better.
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#30 robdalky

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 01:42 PM

More steps backward today. Getting a little embarrassing that I started this thread and now have to post in it. Shot the highest score I've had since February of 2017. 95. Hit two greens and had two penalty strokes in the first 6 holes, finished with a total of nine (!!). Felt like I did okay finding the good feel on the range and then just playing golf, but overall the day was a disaster.

Only bright spots were a birdie on a three shot par 5 (made a nice 8 foot downhill slider) and a 334 yard pure blind rage drive on the 16th, where I unleashed my patented John Daly super coil mega anger drive. This was after two penalty strokes on the 15th had me ready to break every club in my bag into multiple pieces and then stab all the broken shafts into nearby trees.

I am really surprised to be struggling so much with scores so much higher than what I was accustomed to. I sort of thought I would be working the other direction when I made this thread. Not sure if I need more lessons, less lessons, or retirement at this point.

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Edited by robdalky, 22 June 2018 - 01:43 PM.

Callaway EPIC 9.5 Aldila Rogue Max 75X
TM SLDR S 17* Fujikura F3 90
Callaway XR Hot Pro 20* Accra Dymatch MT-H 85
PING i25 4-PW KS Tour 120
Titlest SM6 50F-54S-58K, X100
Odyssey O-Works #7S
Titleist ProV1

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