Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Re: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby LesMurray » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:54 pm

Didn't bother too much with a vlog but played an interesting course over the weekend - Royal Links in Las Vegas.

Premise of the track is they have re-created to some degree or another some of the famous holes of various British Open courses included the Road Hole from St. Andrews and the Postage Stamp from Royal Troon. How good of a job did they do? I can't say having never played any of the courses but it was certainly fun to play the holes. It's not a walkable course as there are some long cart rides between some of the holes.

We were the first ones out and it felt like we had the course to ourselves most of the morning. Took under 4 hours to play including my several attempts to get a tee ball in play at the Road Hole. My initial shot was so far right I think I would have put out a window of the St. Andrews Hotel had I been there for real. For me the hardest part of the day was 1) finding the greens and 2) reading the putts. Highlights - par on Postage Stamp and the finishing hole (St. Andrews #14) and hitting 5 of 7 fairways on the front side. I played the gold tees (second back set) and still had some long holes. The longest of the par 4s were 460, 453, and 438 yards of which I did not acquit myself very well going 6 over for those 3 holes.

A final observation of the course - hard to call it a "tricked-up" course since it's inspiration are holes going back a century or more. On the other hand, it is completely man-made and not in being with the area. But then, who would go out into the middle of the Nevada desert and build a golf course? In the end I had a good time and found it challenging. A good score there requires finding the right spots in the fairways, hitting the greens, and decent putting.
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Re: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby lagpressure » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:22 am

I've heard interesting things about it.
Haven't played there, but will ask Vic Wilk next time I talk to him about it.
I know he's played it a few times and will have a proper perspective on it.
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Re: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby k2baloo » Tue May 09, 2017 7:01 am

I've been out a few times this year. Played alone the other day and got the first 8 holes on film. Ball striking is rusty, but I've made some improvements in the short game and putting.

https://youtu.be/W-2M5XM1WaM
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Re: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby Wknhacker » Tue May 09, 2017 12:05 pm

Not too bad considering you're rusty K2. One thing I'm determined to improve upon this year is reducing the amount of times I three putt.

Even the worst ball strikers can at least be good putters if they work on it. So that is goal number 1 for the 2017 season for me.
"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: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby k2baloo » Tue May 09, 2017 1:24 pm

Same here. Putting and short game are big focuses for me this year. I also want to avoid big misses off the tee and improve distance control with the irons.
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Re: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby Stu Carlburger » Tue May 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Maybe we could move this to a different thread ... a discussion of "improving putting." I'm always curious how people go about trying to improve their putting. I have some ideas/experiences/methods if you will that I'm happy to share. In fact, I've shared a bit of it on here in other threads and discussions about putting.

Personally, I think many people don't know how to improve -- I know I didn't for a long time in my playing career -- and end up thinking that "practicing putting" is how to improve, without much idea of what that actually entails other than spending hours and hours rolling putts. I said this before, and I'll stand by it forever, IMO spending time trying to hole putts is not only a waste of time, it's downright counter productive and might well set one back rather than make improvement -- caveat being the rank beginner who will see marked improvement from simply putting more.

I'm up for a discussion if y'all are!
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Re: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby Wknhacker » Wed May 10, 2017 9:34 am

My putting woes is primarily mis-judging speed. Especially on downhill putts with lots of break. I can usually get the line right but if I miss it will go sailing past the hole.

Then the next hole I'll overcompensate and not hit it hard enough. Then my confidence gets affected and it's 3 putt city from thereon end.

There is a local Municipal course close to my office. They have an excellent practice putting green which is free to use. This summer I plan go there during my lunches and put in 20-30 minutes of practice.
"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: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby Stu Carlburger » Wed May 10, 2017 10:20 am

Why, in your estimation, do you have trouble judging the speed of downhill putts? Further, what strategy do you have to improve? I ask because, as I said above, often times people think/assume that simply practicing (in your case, downhill breaking putts) more will lead to getting better. In my experience, there will be some improvement -- perhaps -- but often times its illusory improvement which is really the result of familiarity. Meaning, one goes out on the practice green, finds the putt they're struggling with and hits it until they "get it right." Unfortunately, an actual round of golf doesn't work like that. To me it is far more important to try to understand why the struggles are happening, and then implement a methodology for getting the opposite result. What I am basically driving at is learning to practice properly by working on what is going to allow one to do their best most often.

I'll say with 100% confidence that you have the requisite skill/touch necessary to excel at those putts, it's just you're conscious mind is trying to control the process too much. I say this as a (now amateur) former player, caddie, and teacher having watched/putted an untold number of putts. That experience has shown me unequivocally that the reason why people "hit it too hard" and then "overcompensate" is because you're giving your "Inner Athlete" bad information, and more specifically, that information is coming from your eyes. Basically, you've not learned how to "see" a (imaginary) ball roll across the green like a real putt rolls.

This "imaginary putt" is essential to giving the Inner Athlete its directive. However, if one is not totally in tune with the minutia of what a golf ball actually does when struck by a putter, the directive is bound to be faulty. Do you know how long it takes a 15 foot flat putt to roll and come to a complete stop? What about an uphiller, a downhiller, what about on slow grainy Muni greens? Every putt and every surface is different. But, there are some fairly constant things that once you train your eye to "see", your speed control will forever be impeccable.

So specifically, when you have a downhill putt you "see" it rolling way too fast given the slope and your Inner Athlete steps up and gives your EXACTLY what you've directed it to do. Even when you consciously say, "don't hit it too hard ..." it doesn't help because the Inner Athlete only deals in images/feelings not words. Whenever we get the conscious mind or "the Scientist" as I call it trying to control the action it's almost always less than our best result. So on the subsequent uphill putts your conscious mind "Scientist" is saying, "you hit it too hard last time ... don't hit it too hard ..." and you consciously slow down and leave it short.

I learned a method that nothing to do with stroke mechanics and everything to do with intuitively allowing the Inner Athlete to do what it does. I've taught it to players from club guys, to PGA Tour pros and the result has always been amazing. It takes a bit of discipline to begin with as one has to really learn to slow their eyes down, and be able to know exactly how a golf ball actually rolls across the green. From there, it's pretty simple. In fact, I have a shortened version that I do when I am playing causal rounds and don't feel like really grinding on putts -- when I do this I almost always "almost make" most putts, but the exacting precision isn't there (because I've not gathered all that information) and I can tap in and move on.

I'd be happy to share it with you if you like as I am pretty sure it will help you a lot.
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Re: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby Wknhacker » Thu May 11, 2017 6:47 am

Hi Stu. Thanks for the comments. I agree wholeheartedly that my putting woes last season was more mental than anything else. For example, I tend to get really nervous when I have to make short putts to save par and almost always end up like Doug Sanders in 1970 completely flubbing what should have been a routine putt.

I saw a video of KJ Choi practicing the speed of his putts which I'm planning to employ in my practice regiment also. He placed a club about half a foot past the hole and perpendicular to it. The objective is to putt the ball with the right amount of speed so that it does not hit the shaft if the ball misses the hole. I plan to do with uphill, downhill and side hill putts and get a feel for each.

I'm also planning to go back to using my arc putting stroke instead of the straight back straight through method which I used last year. I was naturally an arc putter but was coached to used the straight back straight through method which I don't feel is natural to me. I also find the latter method takes a lot of the feel out of the stroke.
"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: Let's Post Some ABS Course Vlogs

Postby Stu Carlburger » Thu May 11, 2017 7:18 am

Not to sound flippant or anything, but I really never think about by stroke -- I try only to observe it, and it goes back straight but then has a small inside arch at some point. I too tried to keep the putter going straight back and straight through, and I also tried to have an arching stroke, and the release of the toe, I've pretty much tried it all to be honest. Now, as I said, I don't really try to do anything with the putter, per se, except deliver the sweet spot into the center of the ball. If my putter arcs, fine, if it goes straight back and straight through, fine too. I worked very hard (a while back, now I really never practice my putting as I don't have much time to do so) on simply letting go and being an athlete.

Now, I understand the geometry of the stroke and know that the center-shafted face balanced putter I use is going to promote a more straight back and through action, but that's the extent of it for me -- but as I said, I see a bit of an arc. Further, when I do putt with a not face balanced putter I can definitely feel a pronounced closing of the toe as I come through -- a feel that I don't care for -- and I notice that many of my putts start a bit to the left of my intended line. I think that is a ball position issue, as with my current putter and set up I like the ball fairly up in my stance so I've passed the center of the arc and the putter is actually "closed." I can make the adjustments if I need to, but I don't really like to.

I've been on the golf course with Ben Crenshaw dozens of times at Austin Golf Club and watching him putt is like watching a master artist paint of sculpt. There is a flow and rhythm to his stroke that is nearly impossible to describe. But, I could never putt like he does. However, spending time with him just observing and sometimes talking with him about his approach and what he's looking at really illuminated a great deal about the art of green reading and speed control. But again, all my attempts to mimic his long, flowing stroke ended pretty badly. To each his own, I suppose.
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