Tag Archives: golf score

The New Season Begins!

Freshly mown grass abounds.  Flowers starting to bloom.  The birds are back, and so is the golf season!  I know the winter allowed more golf this year, but the spring is what I always define as the new golf season.

The goal during the winter was to maintain and maybe even improve slightly before the first round of the year.  I didn’t want to walk onto the course rusty and need to build back to where I finished.  I will admit, I didn’t follow the winter schedule perfectly and got closer to 3 days a week than 4, but I succeeded in starting strong!

My first round happened last week.  I played the optishot most weeks during the winter, but the optishot isn’t the same as the course.  The adrenaline pumps a little harder when staring down a flag at 150 yards.  I was ready for the round, but I needed to get into my game quickly to stay on track.

My first tee shot flew high and down the middle.  The ground is rock hard right now in Oklahoma, so I also received a nice roll.  I only had a wedge left into the green.  I hit a thin, terrible wedge shot that settle right next to the green.  My chip was crisp, but I 2 putted for bogey.  Not a terrible start.

Similar shots on the second hole, but I made the up and down for par.  The 3rd hole is a longer par 3.  I pulled my hybrid and hit a high, beautiful, drawing shot that bounced, hit the flag stick, and stopped 10 feet from the hole.  2 putts from 10 feet for par.

I continue with another par on 4 and 6.  My driver was high and near the target.  My irons are a little short, but mostly high and moving slightly right.  Contact is as good as I have hit a golf ball in a couple seasons.  I had 3 GIR on the front 9, which is 2 more than I averaged a whole round last season.

The back 9 wasn’t quite as good, but my stamina isn’t perfect yet.  I had 2 pars, and only 1 GIR.  However, I hit 5 straight fairways.  I ended up with 9/14 fairways and 4/18 greens.  I shot an 84, which is better than most of my scores last season.  This is a great start to the year.

My goal was to begin the year as good, if not better, than last year.  I believe the winter was a huge success.  My swing is continually getting better.  My contact is more pure.  I think this year will see huge improvements.  No regression from last year.  I can’t wait to create my new spring and summer routine to keep improving.  Keep coming back to check out my progress.

Is It Possible to Improve Fairways and Be Disappointed?

Golf is a wonderful game with breathtaking views and fun with friends. Spending quality time outside and being more active is outstanding.  While beautiful, the golf swing is maddening.  Have you spent time making a change that causes other parts of the swing to go wrong?  It happens to me all the time, but the continual working generally leads to improvement.

My most recent round illustrated both the glimmer of hope and disappointment. I feel like my swing changes are creeping over to the golf course.  My fairways are showing improvement.  I played 9 holes and hit 4/7 fairways.  Over the last 7 rounds, I hit less than 50% of fairways only once, and in one round, I stuck over 70% of the fairways.

I am playing the majority of my approach shots from the short stuff. One key to success is in the bag.  Unfortunately, 1 key does not make a 9.9 handicap golfer, or right now, a 15 handicap golfer.  I am struggling to hit greens.  I haven’t hit more than 20% of GIR yet this season.  My approach shots must get better.  To drop my handicap, I need better iron play.

All of the sports psychologist information I read will now be put to the test. I know I can hit greens.  I know the swing is getting better each practice session.  I know the improvement is creeping into my game.  Every round with 3 or fewer GIRs is a little more frustrating though.  Honestly, it is easy to either scrap the current swing change and try to find a quick fix and/or lose hope in the process.

I resolve now to not abandon the current focus. The definition of insanity is to continually do the same thing hoping for different results.  The same thing for me is to try a new swing change when things don’t work.  I read about a new theory or think a different move will be better for me.  I then try to implement it the next range session.  The constant changing prevents lasting change.  I originally focused on my weight shift this summer.  The weight shift is getting much better, and I resolve to continue that progress.  I am now adding in a few repetitions focusing on swing plane with the weight shift.  Focusing on the small pieces will add up to a better swing in the long term.

I also know hope is not lost. Changes are hard to integrate and take more than a few rounds.  I played mid to low 80s 5-6 years ago.  I know how those scores feel, and I will stay confident those scores are in my near future.  The good news is I do see some good swings on the course.  My scores are decreasing over the last few months.  I plan to keep up all the positive self-talk and believe success is right around the corner.

While the old saying “fairways and greens” is more like “fairways and rough” for me right now, I can see a slight glimmer of light in the distance. I will keep going forward to get to that light.

Share my struggles on social media with others to get us all on the track to improvement.

Mid-Season Progress Report: Doom and Gloom or Starting the Climb?

Progress and improvement is portrayed like a math equation. Add a little work here, do a few drills there, and lower scores result.  Incremental progress is the goal, and every ounce of work should get us closer to the goal.  If that is the case, results should follow the same incremental approach, even if the results are slow.  My experience is the progress is more asynchronous.

I planned to improve by spending 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week on different aspects of golf. Check out my Current Handicap Page to see where my handicap started.  I set 2 goals.  The first was to lower my handicap from the 15.8 to 14 by the end of the season.  The close to 2 strokes seemed possible with the work on each aspect of my game.  I believe extra work should lower scores.

Unfortunately, my handicap is not dropping right now. As you see, my handicap is now at 17.  17!

HCP 7-22 2

Not only is it not going down 2 strokes, it is actually up 1.2 strokes. My mind raced when I saw my trend up.  Is it possible that my effort is making me worse?  Would I be better off not practicing?  Should I change my plan?  What should I do?

After thinking all those thoughts, I remembered the important goal of completing the progress. Most research indicates focusing on the result doesn’t normally lead to success.  Focusing on the process is what matters.  My current situation is the exact reason why process is the most important.  If I succumb to the idea that practice isn’t working or my effort is in vain, I will stop practicing or drastically change my plan.  Revisiting a plan is periodically necessary, but continual refocusing diminishes results.

The real question should be whether I completed my 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The honest answer is the majority of the time I did.  I have weeks with 3 to 4 days, but over half the time, I get to 5 days a week.  The practice time and completion isn’t the problem.  If true, then maybe I am not doomed.

The bright side begins to light up. Comparing the score lists on my Current Handicap Page, I realize why my handicap rose this year.  My oldest 7 scores were calculated in my original handicap, and all those rounds happened in 2014.  Unless I played at a similar level, then my handicap would rise.  My handicap at the beginning of my process was not an accurate reflection of my current performance level.  The handicap was artificially low due to good scores from over 2 years ago.  I breathe a little easier.

I also notice my handicap differentials for this year. Since starting the process, my differentials are decreasing.  From the beginning of the year through June, my differentials ranged from 19-22.3.  My last 2 differentials in July dropped below 18.  Looking closer at the numbers, I am improving.

I also feel like I am improving. My contact is much better.  I am focusing on shifting my weight correctly to compress the ball.  My trajectory is up.  I hit my 5 wood and hybrid better than ever the last couple rounds, and my ball flight is much straighter.  My GIRs are slightly up over the last 5 rounds, and I am still hitting a similar number of fairways.  I am showing improvement.  This is exactly what I am looking for.

My handicap is up at the mid-point, but I believe the numbers indicate improvement. My handicap started artificially lower, and my last 5 rounds are showing improvement in all areas.  14 may not be realistic by the end of the season, but I should be able to get back in the 15 range.  However, I am not focused on that number.  My goal is to practice 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.  Share my story on facebook and twitter to help others continue the journey to improvement.

My Experience on a Different Kind of Tour Course

Walking in the footsteps of current major champions is awesome. Being humbled by major tour courses provides context and generates even more respect for tour players.  My destinations only followed the PGA Tour though.  I wondered if I would have the same emotions walking in the footsteps of slightly older champions at a Champions Tour stop.  I was not disappointed.

I took a trip to Branson, Missouri over the 4th of July holiday.  My family planned to enjoy Branson’s many attractions, but my main goal was to play Buffalo Ridge and Top of the Rock.  The 2 courses host the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf Champions Tour event.  Buffalo Ridge is ranked on Golf Digest’s most recent top 100 public course list.  Top of the Rock is the only 9 hole par 3 course to host an event from any of the major tours.  My sights were set on taking my progressing swing to another tour stop.

We had tee times on July 4th at Buffalo Ridge for 9am and Top of the Rock at 3pm.  As we pull in to Buffalo Ridge at 8, lighting illuminates the sky and surrounding Ozark Mountains like a bad 1980s thriller.  When we made it in the pro shop, they pulled everyone off the course.  The lightning delay began.

For the next 3 hours, the sky opened and torrential rain came down. The clubhouse designer did an outstanding job.  The entire back wall is a series of glass doors and windows looking out over the range and first hole.  The first hole is a downhill par 5.  When the rain let up, the fairway had no fewer than 3 independent streams of water running to the drain.  I thought the course would be water logged for days.  I just hoped we could still play both rounds.

The great staff at Buffalo Ridge moved our tee times around for both rounds. They let us warm up at Buffalo Ridge at 12 to begin play quickly thereafter.  They moved our Top of the Rock time to 6.  The courses are a few miles apart, so we built in enough time to pack up, get quick food, and still make it by 6.   The timing ended up being perfect.

After warming up, we headed to #1.

Hole 1

I noted a couple things. First, the rivers down the fairway were gone.  The drainage system worked great.  The course was definitely wet from the multiple inches of rain in the short period of time.  However, I never felt water logged or that it affected my play.  The course was in great shape even with all the rain.

The second thing I noticed on 1, and throughout the course, was the size. The tour courses possess huge brawny fairways and greens.  Buffalo Ridge’s fairways weren’t as big.  The greens didn’t look as huge.  However, players must still possess every shot in the bag.  The bunkering is great tournament bunkering.  Generous landing areas in spots, but if you take a risk to go long, bunkers protect everything.

My swing felt pretty good. I need to be able to repeat it more, but I am confident focusing on weight shift right now.  My contact is improving.  I hit my drive slightly left.  I hit a solid 5 wood to wedge distance.  Wedge on the green and 2 putt for par.  Great way to start.

I hit the fairway on 2 & 3. Green in regulation on 3, so 1 over through 3.  Double on the par 3 4th wasn’t ideal, but still on a good pace.  I then walk to the par 4 5th.  The view is outstanding.

Hole 4

Playing through the terrain is interesting. My vision of mountain golf includes the desert with manufactured greens.  These are lush mountains with great vegetation. The golf course seems to just naturally flow through the landscape.

The elevated tee looks down to a hard to judge fairway going left. Water on the right.  The miss is clearly left, but the large drop makes aiming difficult.  I hit a good drive that missed left, but still playable.  Hit it around a little to need a 1 putt for bogey, and it dropped.  Other than a snowman on 8, the front 9 was on track with a 45.

Hole 14 is a nice par 5. The length felt like a medium par 5.  However, most people can’t reach in 2.  A creek crosses directly in front of the green.  Carrying the creek and staying on the green is tough.  Rock formations border the right with bunkers protecting short and long.  The approach must be perfect.  Mine was not.  Beautiful hole.  Sloppy bogey.

Hole 15 is another elevated tee with a great view. Small waterfalls from a creek are right.  I aimed left to a generous landing area.  I crushed a drive, but it was straight right.  The line was unintentionally aggressive.  My ball barely cleared the creek and ended up in the first cut on the right.  Miss the green and bogey.

Hole 15

The rest of my round followed the same pattern, which I believe is a huge success. We then rushed to Top of the Rock.  I don’t have a hole-by-hole because we were doing our best to get everything in before dark.  While it is a par 3 course, the holes had great variety.  Numerous water holes and an island green.  The bunkering is insane for a par 3, but the Champions Tour can play this course for a reason.  The course feels like a collection of great par 3s from around the country.  Great experience.

Top of the Rock

While my score isn’t what it needs to be, I can see the consistency. On a Champions Tour course, I had 2 doubles and a quad.  The rest were pars and bogeys.  I can handle that for now.  I shot an 89, hit 4 GIRs, and 7/13 fairways.  The GIRs and fairways are gradual improvements.  The process is moving in the right direction, and I am playing great golf courses.  I would definitely recommend Buffalo Creek and Top of the Rock.

Swing Changes on a Tour Course – Exhilarating and Futile

The US Open at Oakmont started today. Oakmont Opens live in infamy for not only who wins, but also the brutal nature of the course.  Tiger once said a 10-handicapper couldn’t break 100 on the course.  I believe this is a hard course, but this is still golf.  The course can’t be that tough, can it?  I love playing tour courses to experience the difficulty to bring me back to reality.  I had that experience again last weekend.

In a twitter interview, Zach Johnson listed TPC San Antonio as one of the hardest courses on tour. The Oaks course at the TPC is rated tough, but I was surprised he listed it as one of the hardest.  After last weekend, I definitely agree the Oaks is a beast.

The JW Marriott and TPC facility are fantastic. If you make it to San Antonio, I highly recommend the resort.  The resort includes a waterpark for kids, numerous outdoor options, and 2 great golf courses.  My kids loved it, and I played a round at the Oaks.

I am blessed to have played multiple great courses over the years, including Whistling Straits and Torrey Pines South right before the 2008 open. TPC San Antonio includes similar challenges.  The only thing it lacked was the ocean/lake views.  You need every shot in your bag, and then some you don’t have.

TPC San Antonio – Oaks Course

The course begins with a reasonable par 4. Drive the ball in the fairway.  Approach a green with a couple bunkers.  One thing I notice at tour courses is everything is bigger.  The fairways are larger.  The greens are bigger.  TPC San Antonio follows that model.  I feel like I can hit every fairway.  I proceed to hit it left into the rough.  The rough isn’t Valero Texas Open length now, but the grass isn’t muni short either.  The ball nestles down with at least half an inch of grass blades above the ball.  Thick rough means tough shot, but I pull out a bogey.

Hole #2 is a reasonable par 5. I pull it left again.  Hack away through some rough a few times.  Tough chips and end with a double.  Hole #3 is a long par 3 over water with a huge bunker right.  You can’t miss short or right.  My first shot, short and right.  I hit again from the tee thinking I just mishit the shot.  I smash a beautiful 5 iron perfectly on line.  I am looking at the ball and the hole, and then is splashes just short in the water.

All my tee shots draw left, so I aim down the right side. I proceed to hit 3 straight fairways on 6, 8, and 9.  I got up and down on 5 and 8, so I am playing reasonably.  As I finish the front 9, I notice something odd about #9.  The hole flyover on the GPS carts (which are great) explains #9 is the only hole without a bunker.  Thinking about it, nearly every landing zone and every green is surrounded by large bunkers.  Bunkers large enough to build sand fortresses to live in.  It would be nearly impossible to play a round on the Oaks without being in at least 1 bunker.

Hole #11 is an outstanding risk-reward hole. A short par 4 with a 50 yard bunker in the middle of the fairway.  The fairway also stops with rough between it and the green to prevent running the ball all the way onto the green.  The left side of the fairway gives a great angle to the green.  The entire right side of the green is protected by sand.  Strategy is a must.  I failed to play strategically.  Double bogey.

TPC11

I was able to get the vast majority of my daily steps on hole # 14. The reasonable par 5 has a long bunker down the entire right side near the green rivaling the sand on the left of 18 at Pebble.  I miss my approach right of the bunker.  I helped my son setup for his shot, and then I walked backwards for what seemed like a mile to get around the bunker to get to my ball.  I should have walked right through the middle.  Exercise is good though.  I pitched it well enough to walk away with bogey.

Hole #16 is fun and nightmarish in the same breath. Great medium par 3.  Grab a 6 iron and go for it.  However, try to stay on the correct side of the green because there is a bunker in the middle of the putting surface.  I pull extra clubs and miss the bunker.  I also miss the green long.  Chip and 2 putt for bogey.

TPC13

The nice par 5 finish is also a great risk-reward. Hitting down the right side will setup for a good 3 shot par.  However, the hole has a creek down the left side with another fairway to go at the green.  Long hitters can challenge the water and go for broke.  I played it down the right, stayed dry, and took a bogey.  Conservative, but decent, finish.

TPC14

Zach definitely knows what he is talking about. TPC San Antonio’s Oaks course is tough.  Tons of bunkers with speedy greens.  Having a good strategy and playing to the right spots gives great options.  However, slight misses are penalized.  I loved playing the course.  My iPhone pics don’t come near doing it justice.  I will take my 95 and tip my cap to the pros.

Struggle and Joy of My Last 2 Golf Rounds

Pure joy, frustration, exhilaration, anger, fist-pumping, despair, and anticipation for the next round can all describe my last 2 rounds on the golf course. Golf evokes the widest range of emotions in a short 3-4 hours.  I experienced all those emotions twice in the last few days.  I can’t wait to go back.

April and May are busy months for me, so I wasn’t able to play rounds. I stayed on track with my plan, but optishot simulation is as close to the course as I came.  Optishot is nice, but it isn’t the same as the course.

 

Round 1 – Choctaw Creek 

I played a round at Choctaw Creek on Day 1. Choctaw Creek isn’t the best maintained course, but I found a great deal on Golfnow.  Our region received significant rain the last couple weeks, so the fairways weren’t mowed low (or at all) and shots wouldn’t roll out.  It played much longer than the 6000 yards on the scorecard.

The round started exactly as planned. I scored well on the optishot recently, so my expectations are high.  I placed my first drive in the middle of the fairway.  Great start.  I hit the second shot poorly and left it short of the green.  Chipped it past the hole.  2 putt bogey.  Not terrible.

The second hole started a poor stretch. I pulled the drive way left.  I didn’t get close enough for a chip, so I pitched it over the green.  Couldn’t get up and down for bogey, so double.  Third hole is an uphill par 3.  I pulled an extra club because I wasn’t hitting the ball pure.  The shot landed short.  Chip up.  2 putt. Bogey.

The frustration begins bubbling. Every mishit or off target shot brings me closer to screaming.  I double 5 and 9.  Front 9 47.  Choctaw Creek is not a difficult course.  I take a deep breath and decide to make a swing change.  I know changing the swing mid-round is a terrible decision, but this swing is not working.

As my Golftec post indicated, I have multiple different instructors’ swing philosophies duct taped together for my swing. I can tell I am out of sync and trying to manipulate the club with my hands.  My lower body and shoulders turn faster than my hands move, so I get stuck.  My shots are either wide right or hooks left.  2 way misses are unplayable.  I decided I would swing what felt like only halfway back to keep everything in sync.

In the age of instant gratification, the change tested my patience. Hole 11 and 12 were terrible.  I tripled both holes.  However, I struck the ball more solid.  My short game contributed a few of those strokes.  My swing was more in sync.  Pure strikes built confidence and my short game touch came back.  I played the next 6 holes in 3 over par with 3 one-putts.  I didn’t hit any GIRs, but I placed the ball close enough to get up and down.  I strolled to 18 tee box planning to hit my last fairway, and I did.  I still missed the green with an iron, but an up and down finished off the round with a par!  92 isn’t what I wanted, but only 3 over on the last 7 holes is exactly what I needed.

 

Round 2 – Guthrie Country Club

I found another good deal on Golfnow for Guthrie Country Club for the following day. The course is only a 9 hole course, but the slope is 133.  The greens are tiny.  The fairways are tree lined.  The course is better maintained than Choctaw Creek, but the recent rain still meant the grass wasn’t short.

I finished strong yesterday, so I walked to the first tee knowing today would be better. The first hole is a long par 3.  I struck a 5 wood reasonably well, but it landed short.  Chipped up and 2 putted for bogey.  The greens are moving a little slow, and my putter must be open at impact.  All my putts fall right at the hole.

The 2nd hole is a short par 4.  I crush a driver down the middle of the fairway.  I flush a wedge to 30 feet.  2 putts and a par.  My first GIR in 2 days.  The joy is growing.  The feeling of halfway back still works.  Hitting it solid also means I am not losing distance.

Everything feels and looks better after an easy par. Then the 3rd hole happened.  Crushed driver, but it faded too far right.  I proceeded to hit every tree on the right of the fairway before finally taking my double.  I proceeded with bogey, bogey, double, double, double.  The exhilaration is gone.

I am on 9 with despair. My fix isn’t working.  All my shots are pull hooks.  I finally realize on 8 that I am significantly closing the clubface in the downswing while also pulling left, so I hit numerous pull hooks.  Something must change.  Again, I uncharacteristically make a slight tweek on 9.  I focus on the club exiting right.  I can handle the draw or hook as long as it starts enough right.  I hit a pure 4 hybrid with a baby draw.  The gentle breeze brought it back towards the pin to 20 feet.  2 putt par to finish the firsts 9 at 46.  Not ideal, but progress is possible.

I played another 9 to get my 18 holes in. The back 9 got better, but I struggle with consistency.  The reason making swing changes doesn’t work on the course is because the changes won’t happen every swing.  My swing and emotions flipped back and forth with nearly every shot.  I had great drives down the middle but mishit the approach.  I had 3 doubles on the back, but also managed 2 pars going into 9.

My confidence rose walking to the 9 tee box. Water lines the right, but I hit such a beautiful shot the first time.  I knew I could do it again. I pull the same hybrid, make the same smooth swing exiting right, and the shot came off the club even better.  My ProV1 starts just right of the flag.  A small curve left and lands 15 feet short and right.  The ball rolls towards the hole and stops 3 feet short.  Great Shot!  I loved it.  I sped to the green.  I line up the 3 footer and sink the birdie!  Great finish.  2nd 9 43 for an 89.

Immediate results with huge score drops don’t happen. I am happy I scored better my second round.  I know my focus now.  Feel like half swing to stay in sync.  Club exits right, and I should focus on club hitting ground after ball.  Improving those areas will consistently give me a chance to score well.

 

Sign up with your email to follow along my progress. Good luck in your next round.

Can the Golftec Method Guarantee My Success?

96% success rate lowering golfers’ handicaps. Lesson packages with continuous lessons that ensures progress.  Advanced methodology focusing on the right way to build a repeatable, quality swing.  Video based instruction to help visualize the right positions.  Does Golftec live up to these claims?

Golftec states they follow the most advanced teaching pedagogy, and as a professor myself, I believed them. They do setup a couple lessons a month with video instruction, and the theory sounded good.  I believed success was imminent, so I signed up quickly to get started.

As a quick disclaimer, everyone’s experiences are different, and I believe a good relationship with an instructor can have great success. However, the 96% success advertisement makes it seem like their system is nearly foolproof.  My expectation was Golftec would be the best instruction possible and my handicap would consistently drop.  I must be in the 96%.

I did not experience the success Golftec nearly guaranteed. I went through Golftec’s program for approximately 2-3 years.  I don’t remember the exact number, but I believe I took approximately 30 lessons.  In 30 lessons, my handicap did not decrease, and I did not shoot my lowest score ever.

My experience began well. The instructor conducted the swing evaluation and decided my swing plane was too flat.  He also showed me that my knees move towards the ball during the swing.  His analysis was correct.  I was under plane (causes pushes and hooks) and I did move towards the ball.

I proceeded with lessons for a year. My swing progressed to on or above plane on the backswing and downswing.  Many of the parts gradually came together.  However, my score wasn’t dropping.  He would show me a tour swing and compare it to my swing.  We worked on correct positions, but even though my positions were more correct, I still missed greens.  I followed an agreed practice plan, but I felt the instructor tried to move me to a predetermined swing that was not conducive to my tendencies.

After about a year and a half, I thought I hit the ball better. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and then, my instructor quit for a non-golf job.  I understand pursuing another career, but a job completely outside golf seemed odd.  I transitioned to working with the store manager.  He knew what I worked on with the other instructor, but he brought a few new ideas.  We made a few subtle changes that weren’t entirely consistent with the previous approach.  My score stagnated.  After a 6-9 months with him, I played a good round to finish the season.  I started hitting 50-60% of the fairways and more greens.

Success seemed imminent. My handicap would soon drop.  My new instructor then took another job as a head pro in a different state.  I now had to move to my 3rd instructor.  I wasn’t completely alarmed because Golftec is built on a method.  My 3rd instructor was incredibly nice, but he basically wanted me to flatten my swing back to slightly under plane.  I am not a golf instructor, so I will admit some ignorance here.  However, I felt like he asked me to do moves that I worked 2 years to change.  Not only that, my lesson package ran out.  I didn’t have any more lessons with a swing back at square one.  I was incredibly frustrated.

Even though the process frustrated me, I gave Golftec one last chance. I talked to the regional office and voiced my complaints.  They provided me a lesson package for the transition between so many instructors.  The new instruction continued down a completely different path, and my handicap continually rose.  My GIR went down to 1-2 a round.  My fairway percentage dropped.  The instructor told me it would get better.  The lesson package ran out.  I faced the decision whether to spend another significant sum of money to continue.  The instructor told me he loved teaching and planned to be at that Golftec for a long time since he was now the store manager, so he committed to me.  I remained skeptical and thought 3 years with no success (with tons of money expended) meant I should try something different.  Great choice because he is no longer at that location as well.

I may be the anomaly, but I would not recommend Golftec as an entity. I agree with most reviews that the instructor is what matters.  I had 3 different instructors, and my dad had an instructor leave on him in a different state.  There must be a reason for the turnover, so I don’t recommend Golftec.  I am sure they have some great instructors that last a long time in other locations.  Their theory for continuous lessons and practice is good.  The swing mechanics probably do work for many people.  However, I think they get away from playing golf and focus too much on mechanics.  I also wonder why I lost 3 instructors with multiple others leaving my location in 3 short years.

You can make a good plan and practice on your own. If you want instruction, find an established instructor in your area and they can help you with the plan.  I believe consistent practice with a good plan can work without paying thousands of dollars.

If you had experiences with Golftec, leave your comments below.

Is the Optishot a Good Improvement Tool or Just a Fun Game?

The beauty of #7 at Pebble Beach.  The danger of #17 at Sawgrass.  The Road Hole at the home of golf.  I played all of them, in my house.  The Optishot provides a great opportunity to play historic courses, but can that experience help improve your normal Saturday round?  I believe the answer is unequivocally yes.  Optishot measures face angle and club path extremely well.  Most golfers can get better by improving swing plane and face angle.  Optishot will help with those.  I played a round a couple weeks ago and was frustrated because I thought the sensors were off.  My shots were either blocks or duck hooks.  I went to the range a couple days later, and shockingly, I either blocked or hooked my first 20 shots.  The Optishot was completely accurate with my ball flight.

The Optishot is also a great tool for practice because it integrates interleaving practice. Load up one of the courses, which are good replicas of places I want to play, and play a round.  Each shot is slightly different with a different club.  I get to practice chipping, pitching, and putting.  The simulation and score creates the pressure and focus of a normal round.  This is a great tool.

Optishot does have drawbacks. The most accurate reading is path and face angle.  The sensors don’t detect fat vs. thin shots because it is reading the club, not the ball.  For that reason, the trajectory isn’t accurate.  You will most likely get a favorable trajectory, which makes holding greens easier.  The club speed isn’t precise, but that is adjustable.  Putting is obviously easier with a putting grid to read greens.  For all those reasons, most players score much better on the Optishot.

Scoring better isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I compare Optishot scores only to other Optishot scores, so I still get the benefit of simulation.  My focus right now is plane and face angle, so this is ideal for me.  I concede there are far more accurate simulators, but for amateurs, the Optishot provides the information needed for improvement.  I highly recommend the Optishot.

My latest round on the Optishot was my best ever!  The fairway looked wide on every tee box. The pin locations were accessible for all approaches.  The greens rolled smooth and straight.  Have you ever had your shots go exactly where you wanted each time?

I hit a sweet draw down the middle of the fairway on #1.  The shot felt good.  I put the approach on the green and 2 putted for a nice par.  The tee shot on #2 landed in the middle of the fairway.  My wedge shot landed close, and I 1 putted for birdie!  I thought, “if I stop now, technically, I shoot under par.”  The round started perfect.

The perfect start laid the foundation for the round.  I hit a wild tee shot to the right of the par 5 3rd that bounced off a house (no problem since fake, right?).  The second shot hit the house again and went backwards.  The third shot landed right of the green, but I chipped it close to get up and down for par.  Even the bad shots were manageable.  At that point, I knew the rest of the round would be smooth.

I finish the front 9 with another birdie and a bogey for a 35. 1 under on the front, which is my best 9 holes on the Optishot.

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The back 9 could derail the round.  A par on 10, but then, I hit my 2nd shot in the water on #11.  I doubled 11, and for the first time all night, I was over par.  The next hole would determine the success of the back 9.  I hit a great drive on the short par 5.  My 2nd nestled just off the green.  An easy up and down for a bounce back birdie!  Even par through 12.  I have a chance to beat my previous best of 76.

I birdie the short par 4 14th and par 3 17th.  I get to 2 under going to 18.  In my mind, I think, “bogey or better finishes under par and anything less than 10 beats my previous record.”  Terrible thought.  I should have focused on making a good swing and trying to par or birdie.  Instead, I tried to avoid a blow up hole.  Trying to avoid disaster almost caused disaster.  I hooked a tee shot left, and then hit my approach even farther left. I faced a tough shot to get on the green in 3, but I made it.  2 putts for bogey and a 1 under 71!  My thoughts probably cost me 1 shot in the end, but I will take my first under par round on Optishot.

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