A conversation in the making...

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A conversation in the making...

Postby Ded2Journey » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:01 am

I've been working diligently on drilling over the past few months (and years actually) and I've really made some incredible strides in both understanding the physics and feels associated with true ball striking recently. I am excited to get back into "playing" golf this year and I wanted to take a moment to discuss what really makes great ball strikers great, IMHO.

Ben Hogan said he , "stopped trying to do a great many things perfectly, because it was no longer advisable or possible..." He just tried to perfect his fundamental movements... in short. If you ever watch him everything is done once he's set up, the swing is in his DNA.

Well, after working to perfect the ABS drills, I must say it has directly translated into incredible ball striking. Even better, it has led to a far advanced understanding of biomechanics, physics, golf club design, course management, short game development, etc. This understanding has given me a boat load of confidence to fire at pins I normally wouldn't have, hit the driver where it used to be low percentage, and really jam the accelerator when I've got it going. I now know these are the feelings that great ball strikers have.

After this 3+ year journey to change my swing, I'm simply blown away at where I am now. I feel blessed to be on this accelerated path, living in the information age! I completely understand why this took Hogan so long to trust...especially as a self-proclaimed perfectionist.

So, the conversation/discussion developed while reflecting on the last 3 years. Great ball strikers are incredibly confident. There are many paths to get there, but only one path for YOU. If you want to be a good ball striker, your goal should be to fully trust what you've built or are building. If it doesn't hold up under pressure, you probably need to find the technique flaw and correct it, but after a few thousand drills...just trust it! What John and Brad have developed works...but only if you leave it at the house before you hit the links!

Easier said than done of course...but how many of you CAN leave the mechanics at home? I know the great ball strikers did...
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby k2baloo » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:52 am

Great topic to start up here.

I think this is one of the keys to good golf. That is, having a sound mental approach to actually playing the game.

Build a swing like an engineer, play the course like an artist. You can't have mechanics bouncing around in your head when you're trying to post a score.

I don't struggle with mental problems on the course as much as I used to, and that's because work has a monopoly on my technical brain. So golf is all about relaxation and sport for me.
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby Wknhacker » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:18 am

k2baloo wrote:You can't have mechanics bouncing around in your head when you're trying to post a score.


I agree. Swing thoughts (about mechanics) on the course is the bane of most amateur golfers.
"I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone's golf game: it's called an eraser." - Arnold Palmer
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby Stu Carlburger » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:18 pm

Right now I'm stuck in that "thinking" mode on the course, and it is awful to say the least. However, it's a stage that anyone willing to change/improve has to be willing to go through. In my experience one has to progress from conscious incompetence, into conscious competence, and eventually into unconscious competence/mastery -- there's no way to shorten the process.

It's frustrating when you're in the midst of the change. I try to keep my expectations appropriate -- right now I'm looking for just a few shots where I do it "right" per round. Hell on the scorecard by great for that handicap! I'm tired of being the one giving storkes anyway!
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby Ded2Journey » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:57 pm

Do you play the hook/slice/toe/heel shots like Dr. Bob Rotella would recommend? Do you try to fix it on the range? Do you lean on a "go to" shot?
Trust is such a double edged sword with this game...what do you trust when the A and B game are MIA?
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby Stu Carlburger » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:07 pm

Ded2Journey wrote:Do you play the hook/slice/toe/heel shots like Dr. Bob Rotella would recommend? Do you try to fix it on the range? Do you lean on a "go to" shot?
Trust is such a double edged sword with this game...what do you trust when the A and B game are MIA?


Nope. I've read Dr. Bob's stuff, and I find it somewhat simplistic. I'm not saying he's not a good dude, just that his stuff never resonated with me much. I used to have a "go to shot" when I had my old swing. Now, I'm actively and intentionally trying to unlearn that way of swinging.

Yesterday I used a round as glorifed practice, to see what came out on the course -- and it wasn't pretty. But, despite the miserable scoring and several awful shots, some beauty came out and that is what brings me back!
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby k2baloo » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:18 pm

Ded2Journey wrote:Do you play the hook/slice/toe/heel shots like Dr. Bob Rotella would recommend? Do you try to fix it on the range? Do you lean on a "go to" shot?
Trust is such a double edged sword with this game...what do you trust when the A and B game are MIA?


Can you elaborate on this? I haven't read Rotella's stuff...
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby Ded2Journey » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:06 am

Stu Carlburger wrote:
Ded2Journey wrote:Do you play the hook/slice/toe/heel shots like Dr. Bob Rotella would recommend? Do you try to fix it on the range? Do you lean on a "go to" shot?
Trust is such a double edged sword with this game...what do you trust when the A and B game are MIA?


Nope. I've read Dr. Bob's stuff, and I find it somewhat simplistic. I'm not saying he's not a good dude, just that his stuff never resonated with me much. I used to have a "go to shot" when I had my old swing. Now, I'm actively and intentionally trying to unlearn that way of swinging.

Yesterday I used a round as glorifed practice, to see what came out on the course -- and it wasn't pretty. But, despite the miserable scoring and several awful shots, some beauty came out and that is what brings me back!


I agree on Rotella's stuff. Good for weekend golfers, but I think you'd have to meet with him to get the really good stuff tailored for your mental game needs. I guess I have always tried to fix my swing on course. However, this usually gets me steering the ball which is just as bad. This year I'm committed to playing my go to shot (sawed off 3/4 backswing punch fade). I know I can trust this shot and I know I won't have blow up rounds playing this way.

I watched my buddy play a super hook yesterday and he hit a lot of pure shots and made a few birdies (he's a rotella guy). However, his misses put him in position for a few doubles too. I shot a solid even par, but it was a boring round--just leaning on the go to shot and short game to keep my score reasonable. I won the match by 2, but I felt terrible after the round. I can't remember hitting one shot pure...which is what I'm trying to make a daily goal.

So, I guess what I'm learning is that find something you trust...no matter what it looks like to others.
Last edited by Ded2Journey on Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby Ded2Journey » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:11 am

Can you elaborate on this? I haven't read Rotella's stuff...


Bob Rotella would say that Golf is not a game of perfect and if you're playing a hook on the range, go play that hook on the course. Also, he's big on a living in the present and knowing your skills. Playing within yourself, etc. He's a very good writer...you should pick up "Golf is not a game of Perfect". I would recommend every golfer read it at least once. I've probably read it 5 times and Golf Flow by Gio Valiante. Both books give you a great mental game arsenal on the course. I like Patrick Cohn's stuff too...but he's a very boring writer. Gio and Rotella tell a lot of stories that keep the strategies in perspective and make it easier to apply it on the course.

Books are easy to read...hard to put into practice.
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: A conversation in the making...

Postby LesMurray » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:14 am

This topic is so important for me at this time. I am beginning to strike the ball much better and am now focused on converting that into better scoring. The process of hitting the shot is becoming much more important than the outcome of the shot.

What I am working on now is developing a pre-shot routine that has me focus on a target and visualizing shot shape. It's tough for me because I still find myself having swing thoughts in my motion. If I can choose a very specific target and imagine the shot shape to go along with that target and identify the feelings to go along with that shot shape things generally work out pretty well. Then I judge my shot not on the outcome (or at least try not to) but rather 1) did I follow my process and 2) how close does my shot come to what I visualized.

There's a Canadian instructor named Shawn Clement (probably you've heard of him, he's all over the interwebs) and the one thing I like about him is he teaches his students to be very external focused - pick a target - and to develop repeatable feels for a given shot. These feels are centered on how the body feels in regards to hitting towards a target and how the club feels as it moves through the shot. I use these ideas as general ideas about how I develop my feels for hitting to my target and feeling the shot. Combining these with Mod 8 and 9 feels on how the hands feel pressures of the shot and shaping the shot and I am starting to build my "catalog" of feels for how my shot should be executed.

Now, as part of my developing pre-shot routine, I use the waggle to simulate the feels in the hands of how I want to shape the shot. I know a lot of this is shot-making 101 but my prior swing I was never aware of these elements in my swing as I was very passive with the hands. Now I feel very active with the hands (in the right place).

The mind is a very powerful tool and when one focuses on a target (or goal) the mind tries to do everything in its power to achieve that goal. The variable is focus and the more target-focused I can become for my shot the better it seems to turn out. It comes down to trusting the motion and letting the mind take care of the details while I focus on the goal.
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