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The Rob Plan


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#31 robdalky

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:44 PM

Felt like I started to see some progress today during our two man scramble tournament out at the Tribute. My partner and I finished at 68, 4 under, and finished first. We also took home three skins. Awesome day. Plus had wind that kept the heat away, major plus.

I am struggling more with the flatter swings right now (primarily just driver), feel like I can get the hip action/shallowing/sequencing going with the rest of the bag.

My putter was also on fire today. After having practiced on the Big Moss small hole for the last month, the cup looked huge today. Drained a couple of 20+ footers, was very steadily hitting the center of the cup from 6-12 feet. The only putts I wish I had back were two three footers that both of us missed - one a slight uphill right to left that I pulled and lipped out, and the second a downhill right to left slider that I played a cup outside right and missed on the low side (a considerably tougher putt).

I have been using Aimpoint express and left hand low now for about the last year and today was the first day in competition where I really felt like I finally "got it". I putted first and was not off on a single read all day. Seemed rare that my partner had to hit a putt.

As an added bonus, I did get to hit one of Ben Hogan's actual clubs (he used it in the 90s). Beautiful 8 iron blade, thin sole. Pured it and hit it strangely the same distance I hit my Ping i25s. Interestingly, his driver grip had a coat hanger down the middle of the underside of the grip (think MCC Align). I asked the rep about that being illegal and he said, "Well, I had the same question as you..." lol. Apparently he did this to guard against hooking the ball.  There was also one of his two irons there with a ton of lead tape on it... wish I would have given that a rip.

All in all a great day.. Freakin golf.. keeps you coming back. :dntknw:

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Edited by robdalky, 23 June 2018 - 08:46 PM.

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#32 royourboat

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 04:22 PM

Nice team round!

I don't think you finished with any commentary on the chipping club comparison graph? Did you run an experiment or just graph results?
I like to tee the ball up.. using man sized clubs.

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 09 June 2017 - 12:16 AM, said:

View Postmothman65, on 09 June 2017 - 12:09 AM, said:

Is Melbourne getting any closer to happening Momte?

Still need some more, but it's pretty likely I'll come.  Just don't know when yet.

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#33 robdalky

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 03:09 PM

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

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 busted out that Andrew Rice drill today and found it to be pretty fun. Scored 22, not too bad for the first time through. It is incredible what the brain is able to do when you just have to hit a shot and you can't think about mechanics because you're standing on one leg or whatever.

I went to the range today and decided to change things up I was only going to video a swing at the end of the range session. Just see what shakes out as opposed to using it for feedback. It's not quite as shallow as I would have liked to see (but it's definitely better than a month ago).







I still cannot hit a driver to save-my-life after these swing changes, and am still inconsistent through the bag. I have a lesson with Michael on Friday so I hope he can help me straighten some things out, maybe needs tweaking maybe needs more time, probably some of both.

Edited by robdalky, 25 June 2018 - 03:10 PM.

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#34 robdalky

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 03:15 PM

View Postroyourboat, on 24 June 2018 - 04:22 PM, said:

Nice team round!

I don't think you finished with any commentary on the chipping club comparison graph? Did you run an experiment or just graph results?

Good question, my initial plan was just to graph results and try to improve in weak areas. It works for that. However, I also found that I was having much more success lately with the hybrid than any of the other wedges (maybe related to a recent trip to Bandon and more practice with it), and my percentage within 3 feet with the hybrid was significantly higher. So out on the course, for example the tournament round yesterday, I found myself reaching for a hybrid on the couple of chips we had where it was a reasonable play and it worked out well. So it's given me something tangible that helps me make decisions during rounds.

The one thing I struggle with is the range routine, will have to try and come up with something more concrete (Adam Young book or even better if I'm able to get something more structured from Michael).
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#35 robdalky

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 02:24 PM

Had a lesson with Michael on Friday. The good news is that my shallowing of the club shaft, hip/leg action is good to go. Backswing, takeaway, etc., no changes recommended right now. We worked primarily on staying connected and rotating through from 9 to 3 and getting fully extended by 3 with my arms. The feel to me is holding wrist angle almost with a bowed left wrist at 9 which allows me to then rotate everything together through the ball. The main drill was hitting some shots from 9 to 3 doing that.



We took a look at the driver and Michael had a couple of recommendations. He saw the miss I've been struggling with lately (swipe push fade to right field) and had me intentionally hit huge hooks for a while and gradually moved my targets so that I was just drawing the ball 5-10 yards. Interestingly, I wasn't really thinking about mechanics at all while we were doing this, I was just focused on moving the ball. I focused a little on the extension toward right field (tying the lesson from above) but wasn't really thinking of anything else. Voila, I was pounding it.

His recommendation was for sure to work the ball off the tee. Doesn't matter which direction. Aim down the right side and draw it, or aim down the left and cut it. I've never really thought of myself as "good enough" to do that ("that's for the pros") but he informed me that I am because I can go either way on command and really need to use that as part of my strategy off the tee. It makes sense how it can double the size of your landing area, so I'm in.

In my range sessions this week I'll probably focus on working the driver and 3W and plan on taking that to the course. I'll plan on working the ball right to left (that's my normal shot shape and the fundamentals from my lesson are geared at preventing the block right, so it makes sense to work the ball left).

Certainly feels like it's coming together. I think it's going to be a while until the scores really start to show improvement but I can tell I'm on the right track.

Edited by robdalky, 01 July 2018 - 02:25 PM.

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#36 mstram

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 02:54 AM

View Postrobdalky, on 05 June 2018 - 09:59 PM, said:

work a demanding job (70 hours a week last month),

Do you work for "The Firm" ? :)

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#37 dave5405

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 03:59 PM

Look forward to following this thread. You should look for a fellow WRX member in a similar situation, and turn this in to a competition.

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#38 FullOfBrushMan

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:32 PM

Consistency over intensity.

Also the whole charting thing is pointless if you are 90+ on average as you need to basically work on everything.  If anything it will act as a negative more often than not until reaching a certain level which you are nowhere near.

Just focus on the correct practice moves every day, have fun with it, and ask a ton of questions/do research.  Took me 3 months to get the feeling of a steeper takeaway/shaft from P2 to P3 correctly translated from practice to playing and that was about 10-15 mins a day every day roughly 100 reps at night.  And that was 1 move ...

Good luck.

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#39 PorscheFan

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 09:19 PM

I love your focus on efficiency vs. raw time with regard to practice.

70 hours per week... been there, don't that.  Thankfully left it behind.  Not an easy time at all.

You're working crazy hours and presumably Mom is working crazy hours with the two young' uns

Hoping the Ultimate Rob Plan includes more time with the little ones, more time with Mom, ruthlessly efficient golf practice, and LESS time at work.  That plan might take longer to put into practice, but your kids and your golf game will love it.

Good luck!

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#40 FourTops

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:11 PM

View PostMadGolfer76, on 06 June 2018 - 12:51 PM, said:

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.

Learning golf..IMO...is NO different than learning piano or guitar.  It's ALL about learning the fundamentals to the point of utter boredom....then add more boredom.  I see so many folks play several chords on the piano then buy Beethoven's original composition and practically go into convulsions on the piano bench.  There's no going from A to F, let alone A to C.  Just my opinion.  Only a few gifted folks can pick up golf, piano or guitar at a blisteringly accelerated rate.

Edited by FourTops, 08 July 2018 - 10:11 PM.


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#41 robdalky

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:50 PM

View Postmstram, on 08 July 2018 - 02:54 AM, said:

View Postrobdalky, on 05 June 2018 - 09:59 PM, said:

work a demanding job (70 hours a week last month),

Do you work for "The Firm" ? :)

Haha, only the 1990s Tom Cruise version
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#42 robdalky

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:52 PM

View Postdave5405, on 08 July 2018 - 03:59 PM, said:

Look forward to following this thread. You should look for a fellow WRX member in a similar situation, and turn this in to a competition.

What a great idea.
I would be game to do that if any WRXers are in a similar situation.... any takers??
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#43 robdalky

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:04 PM

View PostPorscheFan, on 08 July 2018 - 09:19 PM, said:

I love your focus on efficiency vs. raw time with regard to practice.

70 hours per week... been there, don't that.  Thankfully left it behind.  Not an easy time at all.

You're working crazy hours and presumably Mom is working crazy hours with the two young' uns

Hoping the Ultimate Rob Plan includes more time with the little ones, more time with Mom, ruthlessly efficient golf practice, and LESS time at work.  That plan might take longer to put into practice, but your kids and your golf game will love it.

Good luck!

Great post! Love your take on the ultimate Rob plan. Itís hard to focus on what your values really are when youíre really busy and trying to build a family and a career. You just go day by day keeping head above water, then a few (or maybe a bunch) years go by and you think, man, how did this happen?

For a lot of reasons Iíve started to think recently about what my values are and what I feel is important... so far came to one thing thatís been neglected and itís balance: not too much of any one thing. The right amount of it all. Golf, work, family, etc. Now the challenge is finding out what that is and actually doing it. Anyway, I digress.

I didnít make it out to the range last week unfortunately, but set aside Tuesday afternoon to get out there. As luck would have it, a two week drought ended when the skies opened up with a huge thunderstorm 25 balls through the bucket. I saw some gnarly clouds rolling in and whacked them like a crazy person and then literally ran to my car. 60 mph gusts and torrential downpour followed shortly thereafter. Go figure.

On the plus side, I hit a personal best on the bigmoss tiny hole putting green: 16/20 from 6 feet! I have found really feeling the weight of the putter head and ďletting itĒ swing back and through has been a good feel lately.

I hope to get out for a round Friday morning in advance of another two man scramble on Sunday.
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#44 PorscheFan

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:47 PM

View Postrobdalky, on 11 July 2018 - 11:04 PM, said:

View PostPorscheFan, on 08 July 2018 - 09:19 PM, said:

I love your focus on efficiency vs. raw time with regard to practice.

70 hours per week... been there, don't that.  Thankfully left it behind.  Not an easy time at all.

You're working crazy hours and presumably Mom is working crazy hours with the two young' uns

Hoping the Ultimate Rob Plan includes more time with the little ones, more time with Mom, ruthlessly efficient golf practice, and LESS time at work.  That plan might take longer to put into practice, but your kids and your golf game will love it.

Good luck!

Great post! Love your take on the ultimate Rob plan. It’s hard to focus on what your values really are when you’re really busy and trying to build a family and a career. You just go day by day keeping head above water, then a few (or maybe a bunch) years go by and you think, man, how did this happen?

For a lot of reasons I’ve started to think recently about what my values are and what I feel is important... so far came to one thing that’s been neglected and it’s balance: not too much of any one thing. The right amount of it all. Golf, work, family, etc. Now the challenge is finding out what that is and actually doing it. Anyway, I digress.

I didn’t make it out to the range last week unfortunately, but set aside Tuesday afternoon to get out there. As luck would have it, a two week drought ended when the skies opened up with a huge thunderstorm 25 balls through the bucket. I saw some gnarly clouds rolling in and whacked them like a crazy person and then literally ran to my car. 60 mph gusts and torrential downpour followed shortly thereafter. Go figure.

On the plus side, I hit a personal best on the bigmoss tiny hole putting green: 16/20 from 6 feet! I have found really feeling the weight of the putter head and “letting it” swing back and through has been a good feel lately.

I hope to get out for a round Friday morning in advance of another two man scramble on Sunday.

Balance - you hit the nail on the head!

That's something I sucked at for more years than I care to remember.  Work took over everything.  The rest was merely crumbs.

It was great for my career, but overall as a human being, I was incredibly unsuccessful.

Balance is a fantastic and worthy goal.  Get that right and golf is only one of the many wins you'll achieve.  Loving this approach!

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#45 robdalky

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 09:57 PM

So today we had another two man scramble tournament.

I did not end up getting out to play this last week like I had hoped. I did manage to hit the range at about 11pm after leaving work Saturday night to try and get loose, since I hadn't gotten out to play since the last two man tournament on June 23. I didn't get too technical on the range, just went from Driver to Wedge to Driver to Iron to Wedge and tried to get loose. Hit the ball okay.

The course today was Texas Star, in my opinion considerably more difficult than the Tribute. Great track though, and I always enjoy it. I had the same partner for this outing as in June, and felt like 68 was a good target score for us today.

The hole by hole:
1 - Par 4, I hit a nice drive 284 down the center, left us with a wedge in. I put it to 4 1/2 feet and we couldn't convert. There was an odd mound between us and the hole, so that the ball could go left or right, but unless you murdered it dead in the center you probably wouldn't make it. Par.
2 - Par 4, Partner hit a nice 3 wood layup and I put a wedge to 3 feet, tapped in. Birdie. -1.
3 - Par 3, I put one to about 12 feet, putt lipped out. Par.
4 - Par 4, Partner drove one up the right side of the fairway, I hit a 9 iron to about 9 feet and my partner made the birdie putt. -2.
5 - Par 4, Partner hit a 298 yard drive that left us with about 70 yards in, which I put to two feet, and tapped in for another birdie. -3.
6 - Par 4, Partner hit a layup 3 wood and I put a gap wedge to 10 feet, neither of us could convert on the putt. -3.
7 - Par 5, I hit a 313 yard bomb leaving us with about 190 in, I hit a six iron to about 25 feet which my partner converted for eagle, -5.
8 - Par 3, long hole here, partner and I both put 5 irons to about 35 feet and two putted for par. -5.
9 - Par 4, forced layup off the tee. Partner put a 5 wood out in the center in great position, I hit a 9 iron to two feet for another kick in birdie. -6 for a 29 on the front side.

10 - Par 5, we were both wild off the tee here with me out of position and my partner OB. We had to layup, and then both put wedges to about 12 feet, missing the putt and walking away with a disappointing par. -6.
11 - Par 4, short and drivable, we both hit solid drives green side but my partner's was in a better spot, he chipped up to a foot for another birdie. -7.
12 - Par 4, really long and difficult hole, partner hits a solid drive to the middle, I hit a 9 iron to about 15 feet and my putt lipped out. Another par. -7.
13 - Par 4, odd hole, partner hits a great drive, both of our second shots are barely off the fringe on the left, I chip up to a foot for another par. -7.
14 - Par 3, shot of the day here by my partner, puts a 4 iron up the hill 210 to 3 feet for another birdie. -8.
15 - Par 4, partner hits a great drive, I hit a wedge to 6 feet from 70 yards out and my birdie putt lips out. -8.
16 - Par 3, the only clown show of the day. Partner is in the hazard and I hit a tree left of the green, kicking my ball further left. The best we can manage is 35 feet away from jail, and my partner drains it to save par. Amazing. -8.
17 - Par 4, Partner hits a solid drive and approach to about 15 feet, and both of our putts burn the edge. -8.
18 - Par 5. Partner hits a drive down the middle that ends up in a grass bunker, I have tree trouble right. We take his, but the lie is uphill and gnarly. The best we can manage is my layup 60 yards short of the green, which I put to 5 feet, and we both burn the edge again for par for 63.

My partner drove the ball incredibly well, and I didn't leave a single wedge outside 12 feet all day en route to a bogey-free blistering 63. That's the sixth best score in the country this year, and I haven't had that much fun playing golf ever. One of our opponents that we played with today was a former Juco-turned-D1 player and asked on 7 if I was scratch, which was nice affirmation that I am trending the right direction. (With my 9.4 cap!)

If I do have one bit of criticism it is that I am still lacking control and consistency off the tee. That is the only thing that would have cost me shots today in a stroke play format. That's not surprising since that is a lot of what Michael and I worked on at the last lesson, and I haven't had much range time to drill that in. I will say though, I only lost two balls all day, and they were "backup balls" that I busted out to try and clear ridiculous hazards from the tee on 9 and 15 (both requiring about a 280 carry, which I was 0 for 2 on, and would not have tried either of those plays in stroke play).

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#46 mstram

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 11:56 PM

View Postrobdalky, on 15 July 2018 - 09:57 PM, said:


If I do have one bit of criticism it is that I am still lacking control and consistency off the tee. That is the only thing that would have cost me shots today in a stroke play format. That's not surprising since that is a lot of what Michael and I worked on at the last lesson, and I haven't had much range time to drill that in. I will say though, I only lost two balls all day, and they were "backup balls" that I busted out to try and clear ridiculous hazards from the tee on 9 and 15 (both requiring about a 280 carry, which I was 0 for 2 on, and would not have tried either of those plays in stroke play).

Well just as you wouldn't use the "backup-ball-busto" swing all the time (ever ?) in stroke play, maybe you need to also think about whether your "normal-scramble-tee-shot-temp", is also  above your "redline"  (which can vary depending on how often you play / practice) .. or even how you are swinging THAT day  ... or even during that stage of the round.

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#47 robdalky

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 03:45 PM

I did get out to the range today and think I've had a breakthrough.

I discussed with Michael at the last lesson whether there were "different swings" in golf - i.e.: is the driver swing fundamentally different from the iron swing, and from the wedge swing. I personally thought that they were different. However, he explained that really they are the same, with differences only brought about by setup, stance, ball position, etc.

So I tried to figure out why it was that I hit my wedges so exceptionally well the other day, while I wasn't particularly thrilled with my tee game. And the thought that I had was that since my wedge swings were shorter, I was staying more "connected" and rotating through the ball, essentially doing exactly what we had worked on the last lesson, and did it quite well.

For some reason, maybe because the swing is longer (maybe too long in my case), flatter, etc., I think I was losing the connection with my driver swing. I took a couple of videos early in my range session and found my arms and hands to be too far outside, with my downswing too steep.

I tried to stay connected by keeping the inside of my right bicep attached to the outside of my right chest/pectoral muscle, and then started pounding the ball. I was hitting them straight and they landed halfway up the net at the end of the range (not totally sure how far out it is, suffice to say I don't hit the net on the fly usually). I think this helped to keep me connected, kept my downswing more shallow, and more from the inside. Part of keeping that connected too I think is not allowing a massive arm overswing, which I do on occasion.

I have the feeling that with all of this coming together I'm about to make huge strides in my game. Not totally sure when my next round out will be but I'm pretty optimistic that multiple facets of my game seem to be "clicking". I think the 70s are not far off for me.... time will tell
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#48 robdalky

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 08:24 PM

I was able to get out today to play the first round in a couple of weeks today. I woke up and somehow tweaked my back or something getting out of bed (wtf LOL) and it was fairly painful but some advil kicked in shortly thereafter.

My range breakthrough with the driver turned out to be true, as I hit the ball fairly well off the tee all day and did not take a penalty stroke (rare for me). Contrary to the last two man scramble, I hit my wedges and approaches somewhere between poor and terrible. My putting and short game were fairly good, a few putts that lipped out or burned an edge. Not much wanted to fall today but that's okay.

Taking a look at the stats, 83 beats my average scoring this year by almost 4 shots, I had zero penalty strokes, 33 putts (14/19). Played really well on the front 9, need to carry that through going forward.

Last local two man scramble of the year is Sunday.

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#49 robdalky

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Posted 29 July 2018 - 10:09 PM

I played in the last two man scramble of the season with a new partner. We started off hot, then cooled off, then got incredibly hot to close out the round.

We finished at -8, shooting a 64. I thought that this would most likely win, but one team (it turns out a 0.8 and 2 handicap) shot a 62 to eek by us, so we finished second. Another great showing though and very happy with how we played.

The highlight of the round for me was definitely 18, a heavily bunkered par 5 into the wind. My partner led off and push-sliced his drive in the woods right, out of play. I took a controlled keep-it-in-play driver swing that flew past the long drive marker (I was beaten by the final group of the day, the 0.8 handicap, argh!). Funny how that happens when you hit the ball in the center of the club face. I then put a 5 iron to about 20 feet and made the putt for a solo eagle, my first eagle of the season.

My wedge play was hit and miss, at times great, but did hit a couple really poor shots. My tee game was on point today with the exception of one hole. My partner lost a few shots OB or in trouble and I was able to hit solid shots in those instances.

We finished the season as the season winner and will be going to New Orleans in September to play at Bayou Oaks and TPC Louisiana.

This will be a particularly heavy work week so I won't be playing much or probably even touching a club until at least next Wednesday. I do think I have for sure made the most of the time I have had to practice and take lessons, and it feels as though my game is noticeably improving.

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#50 Irishgolfer88

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 06:28 AM

Will be following this thread from now on , Im aiming to go from 18 to single figures by next year , Im currently at 14.
At the start of this year , putting and chipping was my weak point , I worked on it and its now my strongest part.
I however neglected my driver and three wood which has resulted in it going poorly the last 3 weeks

I will start working on it this week in the driving range - I plan on hitting 60 balls two times a week to get it back working on my technique


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#51 robdalky

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:09 PM

I got out and played another round on Monday and had far less success overall with my scoring. Shot an 87 which breaks my downward trend. Had a fair round going then got derailed with back to back penalty strokes and two straight snap hooked drives after that on the back nine. On the plus side, I did hit 7 greens and had 32 putts (and felt like NOTHING would fall), these are better numbers from both a ball striking and putting standpoint than I had been posting a few months ago.

I will say that our Monday morning round at the local muni, teeing off at 7:50 as a twosome, took nearly 5 hours to play. Which made me lose. my. mind. The end result of this was that I finally took the plunge today and joined one of the local private clubs. I'd been planning on this for a few years now but really wanted grad school etc., to wind down to feel like I would actually have some free time to play. The timing worked out and my family enjoyed the day we spent out there, wife was totally on board.

I only played one qualifying GHIN round in July (only one in June too, it looks like I retired from golf, haha), but it has been enough to lower my handicap from 9.4 to 9.2.

I hope to get a couple of solid, highly focused range sessions in the next two days and then hopefully another lesson with Michael to check on things next week. I have a tendency to get comfortable with what I *think* the new feels and the motions are in my swing, but they end up bastardized if I don't watch them closely. I did have the recurrence of a nasty pull hook on a couple of tee shots on Monday, probably an overdone bastardization of the stuff I've been working on, so I think I'm due for a couple grindy range sessions and a checkup.

My main goal at the range the next couple of sessions: 1. Focus on a pre-shot routine to ensure my setup, stance, pre-swing checkpoints are set (I tend to get comfortable then problems with alignment ball position etc cause badness. Oddly I've really never had a consistent pre-shot routine, which is also not a good thing.) 2. See how closely I'm doing what we've focused on in lessons and tweak anything that is out of place.

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#52 duffer987

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:26 PM

Good luck Rob. I did a 3-lesson set with Mr. Ft Worth Pro at the start of 2017 and he's great.
For a homemade golf swing luddite like myself he did a great job of getting me on a better path.

Have you thought of not playing for a couple months and just focusing on swing improvements?
Since I was making wholesale changes, I didn't play for 10 weeks and just did drills and went to the range. I'm definitely not someone who could play while making proper changes.

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#53 robdalky

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:55 PM

View Postduffer987, on 08 August 2018 - 10:26 PM, said:

Good luck Rob. I did a 3-lesson set with Mr. Ft Worth Pro at the start of 2017 and he's great.
For a homemade golf swing luddite like myself he did a great job of getting me on a better path.

Have you thought of not playing for a couple months and just focusing on swing improvements?
Since I was making wholesale changes, I didn't play for 10 weeks and just did drills and went to the range. I'm definitely not someone who could play while making proper changes.

"Homemade swing luddite" love that, speaks to me!

That's a really good question - did I think of not playing for a couple months and just focusing on swing improvements?

The answer is no. But should I? Just hit the range and drills? I will say that I shifted my play/practice ratio from 95/5 to about 30/70 during this timeframe. I do recall asking Michael how to even begin to play golf while trying to make swing changes - so many swing thoughts, etc., it's easy to get tied up in knots. His response was basically to 1. Remember you're out there to have fun, golf is a game, so play the game, and have fun. 2. Keep it to one or two swing thoughts while playing - up to one takeaway and one transition thought - any more than that and you can't function, and 3. If you are playing a round and hit a terrible shot, old swing comes in, you make that same mistake - put another ball down, grind that one or max two swing thoughts you're working on, and hit the shot. Then go to your other ball and get back to it.

I asked Michael about the collegiate players he coaches and they are all getting coaching, constantly, weekly during the season. Mind you these are small changes and tweaks for the most part, but the better the player and more ingrained the swing, the more disruptive and significant small changes can feel.

That's a really long answer to your question.

How did your 10 week layoff work? Did you make significant strides? Did you try to make changes previously while playing and that didn't work?
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#54 duffer987

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:16 AM

Really the swing I had from 2012-17 was whatever my 40 year old self had left over from my 20s after taking my 30s off :)
So yes definitely significant strides. But I did tell him, I know my swing is funky but it's gotten to a point where I am smother city and I'm not sure how to get out of it, so I am happy to take time off and make fundamental changes and just work on my swing, so let's go the whole hog: and we did.
I'd go to the range twice a week and spent weeks just doing 1/2 speed swings off of tees with my 7I/5I and mirror work at home, building up to a proper full swing again. For me personally, I didn't want to take a serious work in progress to the course. Funnily enough, when I finally did I had 4 birdies my first round out, lol.

I've had a couple 10 week (always 10 lol) stretches where I've not swung a club in the past 15 months due to some injuries and it's too damn hot to go to the range right now, so I'm only playing, so I know I've regressed some in my fundamentals. But when my back cooperates, my iron play is so much better than before, better than a couple years back when I spent a summer down around 6.5 index.

I know I still have the EE bug and TBH, I feel like I could do another few lessons and concentrate on getting more fundamentally sound as I'm nowhere near as competent as most who post in this subforum, but at some point as a recreational golfer you just have to play and have fun :)

Edited by duffer987, 09 August 2018 - 08:34 AM.


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#55 robdalky

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 03:13 PM

Got out to play again today and it was not pretty. The highlight was 3 birdies and I putted extremely well. My ball striking was horrendous, however.

I struggled AGAIN with the huge push fade to right field. I could not tell which swing flaw was causing it - Was it my left shoulder getting too high and right too low in the downswing? Was it too steep in the downswing? Arms getting stuck behind hips and then having to stall the hips and flip the arms through? All of them? These are all things Michael and I have worked on previously and I had a pretty hard time correcting things on the course. I thought of duffer's post and thought I needed 10 weeks off, lol.

I took some range footage yesterday and wasn't too happy with the swings, I think after looking at them the primary problem that has come back is my arms getting stuck way behind my hips, leading to early extension and my needing to flip them past my body to catch up near impact. What would be helpful is if my pivot was synced up properly with my arms, this would allow me to rotate through the ball and the club face will be square at impact. This is part of what Michael and I worked on in my post from 7/1 and the difference between that swing and the ones yesterday and today are obvious.

The drill Michael had me doing was sort of similar to the one described in this thread ( http://www.golfwrx.c...-pivot-in-sync/ ) and think I probably need to spend more time working on that. The other apparent issues are that my head does not release early enough and my backswing is too long.

I'm not totally sure, it seems like a lot of things need fixing and refixing (particularly frustrating considering I just felt that my swing was grooved and much improved within the last few weeks).





For now I'll plan on going back to the drill above and then getting in for another lesson next week.

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#56 robdalky

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 02:31 PM

Got in to see Michael again today and I've had a bit of a realization.

Golf lessons really aren't a series of "fixing things" then moving on to the next "thing to fix" then after a while you've fixed it all and your game is appreciably better.

Rather, it's a constant battle against your own bad habits and swing flaws. At first, your instructor tries to fix something, it takes an hour and you can barely hold the club or make a slow motion swing without falling over, it seems so foreign. After a while you can make some slow motion or half swings. Then you go in and revisit the same stuff in the future, and you still have some of the same stuff creeping back again, but this time, you can make the move correctly and hit a golf ball with it... And then a few months later, or a year later, you go back in, and you get back to correct after 30 minutes of working on stuff... Then a year later, after 5 minutes, you've fixed the flaw that crept back in and you're back to where you're supposed to be, hitting it pure.

Today was described like that - 10 - 15 minutes, and hitting it solid again. Most of the swing issues were things we had worked on at one point or another in the past, that needed a tune-up, and the tuneups are getting a bit more natural today than they were a couple years ago.

The main focuses today, 1. Stay down on the right foot a little longer, and when pushing off needs to be more off the inseam and less off the toe. 2. Same squatting into the left side/down hip action at transition. 3. Standing up / posting up more aggressively on the left side (timed right), while bringing the right hip through the hitting zone (don't leave it back) - hip stretches were shown to help this out. Primarily the pigeon stretch, lunge for the hip flexor/groin, and a warrior 2 yoga pose type stretch. Also worked on the finish being a little freer, a little higher, a little further away from the chest. Sort of felt like a little less to left field and more towards center field. Tiger's wedge and iron finish is a great example of a good high full finish.

It's all really hard to describe but that's the best I can do. It's nothing really THAT different that we haven't gone over before, it's all similar stuff to bits and pieces we have built on before. I do feel like it gets easier to do things "right" after each lesson, and it sure feels good to hit some shots just perfectly pure... addictive.



I have a couple days off in the next week, hoping to hit the range tomorrow to continue to work on the stuff from today.

Edited by robdalky, 14 August 2018 - 02:32 PM.

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#57 robdalky

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 08:23 PM

Got out to play yesterday and did fairly well keeping with the last lesson.

I did a very nice job focusing on two main things, keeping my right foot down longer on the downswing and getting a good hip rotation/extension on the left side. I was able to accomplish the second one without getting too high on the left side / first move flexing down and toward target.

I badly misplayed two holes off of the tee based on my Scott Fawcett gameplan. On the first hole I played too conservatively with a hybrid off the tee (did go 262 yards), but when I got up around the green I noted that there is just virtually zero penalty for ripping the ball down the treeline toward the green. I'll hit driver there going forward. On the 7th hole I also hit hybrid trying to stay away from a large tree that creeps in the fairway at about 300 yards, hooked it into the trees left. Left is fine on this hole and really the tree should be ignored, just rip a driver again.

Highlight of the day was I thought I had something going after going birdie - birdie on the third and fourth. Had a 12 foot eagle putt after perfect drives and hybrids that led to a kick-in birdie, and chipped in after missing the green from 100 yards out in the middle of the fairway on 4. (My first hole out from off-the-green in who knows how long.) Hit a bad tee shot OB two holes later that shook my momentum and finished 41-46, hitting 5 greens and having 32 putts.

One thing I still have not done is intentionally worked the ball R to L or L to R off the tee. I have found that my attempts to hook or fade a hero shot out of the rough with an iron typically come out dead-straight, despite being able to replicate this easily at the range. I can usually work a 4 iron right or left but any more loft than that and I really struggle to draw or fade one around a tree. It's probably partially the GI nature of my irons that limits working the ball unless the lie is clean, so I'll probably "take my medicine" a little more regularly going forward.

Index trending down to 9.1.
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#58 robdalky

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Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:47 PM

Got out again today and had a very rough round, 50 - 42 - 92.

Breaking down my last two rounds, looking over the data, I found a couple of things.

First, I have not been aggressive enough off of the tee and I have been far too aggressive when I get out of position. I counted that I cost myself five shots attempting hero shots from trees or other disastrous areas in the round on the 18th. I made a point going into the round today to alter my club selection off the tee and to make conservative shots once out of position. I will say that on the two holes I made more aggressive plays off the tee, both worked out well with well-positioned drives and one of the two resulted in a 6 foot birdie attempt (missed). I got in the boondoggle twice and made an appropriately conservative punch out both times (one I should have actually used a hybrid punch instead of a 6i but that was pretty minor). Forgot about the green and got back in play and I think those both worked.

So how in the world did I shoot 50 on the front 9? I was having serious difficulty making contact with the ball. Primarily tops, duffs, snap hooks, etc. Uncharacteristic even for a mediocre 9 handicap. This happens to me occasionally and I think I was able to fix the problem after my tee shot on 9. One of my playing partners noted a few months ago when I had a similar stretch that I was swaying off the ball instead of turning in the backswing. That moves the low point and causes all of the things I experienced. A lightbulb went off on the tee box after topping a driver 20 yards to the next tee box, that maybe that is what I was doing. Fixed it, birdied the next hole, and shot a 42 on the back with no more tops and no more nonsense.

But this raised a question in my mind: do I need some sort of a pre-round checklist? Things I go through every time on the range?

I.e.: Hit 5 balls focusing on a good turn on the takeaway... 5 more focusing on squatting into the left side... now 5 more getting the hips nice and open with full extension on the downswing... etc.??

Furthermore, should I have a pre-shot checklist.. a really regimented routine? I watched the video of Greg Norman and Butch Harmon talking about the shark's approach to a shot and his set up routine, and I still really haven't developed one for myself that's based on anything other than "this sounds good, I'll do this." Part of me thinks this is all starting to turn into wayyyy too much thinking, but I would be curious to hear the general WRX sentiment among good players and their pre-round or pre-shot checklists.

It does not look like I'll be shedding 2+ more strokes from my handicap in time to meet my September handicap goal, but I really do still feel like I'm heading the right direction, and hopefully today serves as a good learning experience - one of the only times I can ever recall diagnosing a problem on the course mid-disaster round and actually fixing it.
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#59 robdalky

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 01:38 PM

Got out to play an early round with a friend today. 38-43=81. The front nine marked my lowest 9 since August of 2017, and the 81 is my lowest 18 hole round since April, where I played 126 holes in 3 1/2 days at Bandon.

I focused mainly on a couple of things.

1. Preshot routine similar to that used by the Shark described here ( https://video.golfdi...olf-greg-norman ). The only thing I dislike about this is coming into the ball with my right hand on the club which requires a complete regrip at address, but for the most part my alignment was improved today. I have a tendency to set up aligned closed to the target which causes occasional blocks right and hooks left, and it seemed like that was a non-issue today.

2. The discovery I made on the turn of my last round I think has held water; I think I have learned my most common faults, symptoms, and how to fix them. If my contact is inconsistent (tops, chunks, shanks), I am swaying off the ball instead of getting a good coil/turn in the backswing (this nearly derailed my back 9 today). If I am hitting high push slices, my left shoulder is too high in transition and I need to squat a little more southwest instead. If I am hitting pull hooks, my hips are not active enough and I need to get them open with more extension.

3. I focused on shortening my backswing, one of my major faults, feeling like stopping arms parallel (which is really club about 10-15 degrees short of parallel, possibly even parallel with a driver, a good position for me). If I don't think about this I will naturally go to parallel with a mid iron and about 20 degrees past with a driver, which in my case is entirely arm overswing.

Today I was +2 after 12, thinking I would finally shoot the 74 or 75 round I've always had in me. I then confirmed that I am still a mental midget. I three-jacked the 13th, topped my tee shot with a 3 wood into the water on 14, making a double, and following it up with another topped drive on 15. One more top and a penalty stroke on 16, and I took a step back and thought about point 2, made a correction, and then put the wheels back on from there.

9 greens was indicative of much improved ball striking for me, the most I've hit since I hit 11 and 12 at Bandon in April. I did have 4 putts lip out today (36 total putts :( ) and need to spend some more time on the Big Moss in the coming days to dial my stroke in a little more, because I did cost myself on the greens overall. Just a bit more time invested there and I think it could have made a big difference today.

The highlight was the 11th hole. I slightly mishit a drive that was a low 270 yard cut into the middle of the fairway (love those kinds of misses), leaving me with about 265 to the front edge of the green. I pured a three wood as good as I've ever hit one off the deck and left myself with a 12 foot eagle putt, which I burned an edge with and left a kick-in birdie.

GHIN trending down to 8.8.

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#60 robdalky

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 11:45 PM

A bit more progress on my last round out. Was able to go 41-42 on a 73.9/139 track. Quite difficult and felt as though I left some shots out there.

I found that my preshot routine has continued to work and appears to improve my alignment.

Off the tee, a key focus for me is a good turn back without a sway. Focused on that from the start today and eliminated WTF tee shots.

I left some shots out there today, in particular kicking myself for blading a wedge over the 11th green, suffering a penalty stroke and leading to a bogey when a kick-in par should have been the absolute max. In all, I hit my wedges pretty well. My putting was solid, although I ended up with 30 putts, every two-putt was a kick-in on the second, just not a lot fell - but I was all over it all day. Short game was improved after a couple days of work at the short game area last week. The highlight of the day may have been a blistered drive down 9, wedge 1 foot short of perfect to a front tucked pin into a trap, with a perfect touchy sand save for par.

5 greens was a bit subpar, and I think the fault was my iron play. I had a tendency to get too high on the left side, a common fault for me. I missed a lot of shots right with the mid and long irons today, and I need to work on getting more down into the shot on transition, as we have focused on the last few lessons.

Again, some tangible improvement. Also got to play with a great group and looking forward to keeping it up. New GHIN index is now 8.7.

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