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I want to quit

 elpollosuperloco ·  
elpollosuperlocoelpollosuperloco Members  33WRX Points: 27Handicap: 21.4Posts: 33 Bunkers
Joined:  in Instruction & Academy #1

Things have gotten rather bleak this season (no guff, Chet!) and I'm considering quitting golf altogether. I don't know how to enjoy the game anymore. I'm turning to you guys for guidance, and wondering if anyone has ever been in a similar headspace and what they did / if a break was the right choice.

For background, I'm in my early 30s and a fairly strong former multi-sport athlete. I started playing seriously four years ago and I'm currently playing off a 21. My biggest issue has always been the driver. I started taking lessons in June of 2017 because I only drove the ball around 200 yards and was very inconsistent.

Since then I've dedicated myself to the game. Read books, structured my workout around golf. I got serious about lessons, and at this juncture I've taken 43 hours of instruction with a grand total of eight instructors. I've taken the bulk of these lessons with two coaches, one who I worked with last year for nearly 30 hours and another this year for close to 10. For the last three years I've practiced multiple times per week, year round. I've lived and breathed golf, and I thought I was on the right path many times. But the reality is my handicap has not changed since I started playing again. The swing I learned from YouTube videos in 2016 has created the same scoring results as dozens of hours of instruction, hundreds of hours of practice, and thousands of dollars invested.

I try to practice the right way -- I don't just beat balls, I do drills, I go slow. But the result (off the tee especially) is still anyone's guess. And to boot, I feel like a chump who got taken for a ride by instructors. It's made me think that I'm either a.) always destined to suck, and although I see tons of people with more consistent ball-striking swings who aren't pros, I won't get to be one of the lucky ones who has that or b.) golf coaches are squeezing me because I'm so obviously desperate to be good.

What's made me think about quitting recently is the fact that I just can't live in the trees anymore. I can't spend my entire round looking for every single tee shot. I don't want to play every hole defensively, where I draw my 5 iron out of the bag before I've put my driver back in because I know my second shot is going to be a 60 yard puncher. For the love of god, I just want to find the ball off the tee. This complete anguish over every tee shot being a roulette spin sucks, and it ruins the game, enough to where the score doesn't matter as much anymore.

Case in point -- I shot 88 at my home course last week, and I had a legitimate shot at being near 80. But I had just one par on the back nine and tripled 17 to finish with a 47 out. I came home all smiles because I'd only hit 3 "bad" tee shots on the back nine, and even those I was able to get out of trouble on. Meanwhile, I shot 87 at the sister course last week -- my second-best score ever -- and I was pissed. All because 11 of 18 tee shots were in other fairways, way under trees, stuck in brambles, or otherwise unplayable. I scrambled like a god, and Arccos had my putting handicap at +6.2, thus the great score, but the whole round was a headache. I hated it. I just don't want to play like this anymore.

I went through the pain of finding a new instructor this season, one of the most highly-rated in my state, and even after hours of instruction he's still just telling me to do the same drill over and over again and my body just will not cooperate. I've got a closed clubface at the top of the driver swing, and because my last instructor told me to "swing inside out" I now drop my hands at the start of the downswing, making direction all kinds of squirrely.

There was so much excitement for me at the end of last summer. I thought I was putting the pieces together, and that what I would work on all winter would be getting more compression and forward shaft lean, removing my flip at the bottom of the iron swing. But instead it's completely fallen apart, and even after more instruction I feel no closer to being "good". The ironic part is, all I want now is to **** the ball down the middle of the fairway and play bogey golf. But 95-105+ rounds keep sneaking up on me, all because I can't hit a driver or a fairway wood to save my life, and it's starting to feel like no instructor will ever be able to tell me how to do so.

COVID is hard. Golf has felt like some kind of escape, both in the time spent on the course and the mental concentration needed to play it, thus allowing the rest of the world to melt away. But now it's just another stressor to add to one of the most difficult times in any of our lives. My optimism and dedication has dissipated, and now I don't think I'll find a swing coach that can teach me how to not swing like an amalgam of Top 10 YouTube Swing Tips You NEED For More SPEED and POWER!!!

I'm so angry after every range session. I'm so angry after every round. It's been 18 months of near-weekly lessons and thousands of dollars, and it just doesn't seem worth it. I don't want to give up. I don't want to be a quitter. And when you play good, it's just so. ****. good. But right now, that feeling has been few and far between.

This is a very long, whiny post but god if anyone is going to understand this crap it's got to be you guys. Any support, tips, instruction, or offers on my clubs would be appreciated. Low ball offers accepted.

Posted:

youtube swing

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Comments

  • caniac6caniac6 Members  3657WRX Points: 1,314Handicap: 4Posts: 3,657 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #2

    It really sounds like you don't enjoy golf. If that's the case, you might be better off finding something else to do. Quit for awhile. See if you miss it, or not.

    Posted:
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  • caniac6caniac6 Members  3657WRX Points: 1,314Handicap: 4Posts: 3,657 Titanium Tees
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    Posted:
  • JustsomeguyJustsomeguy Members  1373WRX Points: 319Handicap: 15Posts: 1,373 Platinum Tees
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    Well, you can't quit. Not for some mystical reason, but because you have the competitive desire to beat this thing, and that's part of it, at least for me.

    Re the tee shot, start experimenting. Can't hurt at this point. I think the deal w the longer clubs is you've got to be flatter and further away from the ball. Some days you've got more of a flat swing and you'll pound the driver, but miss the irons..some days it's the opposite with an upright swing.

    As for instructors, they come in all forms. Some are garbage. The first one I had was a complete huckster. Second was good, but older to the point of deafness hurting our communication. Third was well meaning, but too young and didn't always have the right place to start. Fourth has been great, the go to guy in my area, but even the lessons with him have stalled for certain reasons.

    Play around w grip and distance from the ball and ball position, and consider it an experiment. Don't consciously use the coaching advice just for the sake of being open to trying something new.

    Even if it doesn't work, it won't be the same old same old results, and it will break up the bad shot monotony.

    But you can't quit. We're all in this together.

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  • EDT501EDT501 Members  33WRX Points: 81Posts: 33 Bunkers
    Joined:  #6

    Driver yips/angst drove me out of competitive golf. I understand your frustration with Following the standard advice - coaching, methodical practice, etc - and not seeing results. I can be sure without seeing you play, but I’m going to guess based on the info you gave that your swing is much better than you think. If I were you, I’d stop worrying about mechanics and practice, get out on the course, and just hit the **** ball. Find your natural tempo (whatever feels relaxed without feeling like you’re intentionally slowing anything down) and make that your only swing thought. Focus on the shoulder turn rather than the hands or club-head as your tempo baseline. It’s so easy in this game to get into your own head and I think that’s what has happened here. Maybe also play a more forward set of tees than you usually do so there is no subconscious pressure to strive for distance.

    Posted:
  • 2bGood2bGood Members  5636WRX Points: 866Handicap: 3-8Posts: 5,636 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 29, 2020 4:44am #7

    Golf takes allot from you and gives very very very little. When you don't enjoy the little it gives back, it is time to take a break.


    Take some time off and see how it goes.

    Posted:
    Post edited by 2bGood on
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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 IowaClubWRX  21795WRX Points: 5,791Posts: 21,795 ClubWRX
    Joined:  edited Jul 29, 2020 1:05am #9

    If you can shoot 88 and 87 you can ditch your 21 handicap.

    Accept the responsibility - so many people come on here and rant how they got taken by instructors which you aren't shy about implying or things pretty similar. Maybe you did, likely you didn't, but just take responsibility for your investment and your game, doesn't seem like you really are. You really blame about every external you can without putting it squarely on you.

    You say you are angry after every round and range session so I guess I have to take your word - if that's the truth then yep, quit, take up something else. I can't relate to being angry every single time I touch my clubs, but you say you are and that's just not worth it or healthy.

    Now, if you are really kind of exaggerating a bit, which happens in extremely lengthy rants, then sort out (nobody else can do it for you) what works and what doesn't and go from there.

    Maybe you need a different instructor, maybe you need to apply yourself differently to the lessons and subsequent practice, maybe your expectations need adjusting, maybe you should wash your car.

    Seems to me like your rant demonstrates some real love for the game, IMO, and a legitimate cry for help so maybe it's frustration, not "anger" - golf can challenge your soul, it's a testing game in many ways. So I can't believe I've read your first post three times, lol, but I did and I don't think anyone could express things the way you are without really having a connection to the game. So I'm going with that.

    So dig a little deep into yourself, challenge yourself and examine what's been happening and get about dealing with it (wow, I think that sentence is pretty much 40% of all of Rosella's pretty much identical books - most of which I've read three times as well, haha). His other 60% is positive, touchy feely stuff and that's not me, lol.

    Take a few steps back and make a plan. You'll be fine.

    Posted:
  • BlackettBlackett Members  40WRX Points: 36Posts: 40 Bunkers
    Joined:  #10

    I have been there a few times.. what worked for me was going out to play golf without worrying about score and have fun. I stopped playing golf swing on the course and went out and hit golf shots. Finding an instructor is really difficult, so don’t beat yourself up too bad.

    Posted:
  • 86020818602081 Members  2144WRX Points: 252Handicap: 10Posts: 2,144 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #11

    Even if I have a bad round, which I do quite frequently... I still enjoy being out there playing.

    You shoot your best and still not having fun.. Maybe you should take some time off..

    Posted:
  • Twin2LTwin2L Members  417WRX Points: 281Handicap: 12Posts: 417 Greens
    Joined:  #12

    I'm in the camp with jvincent and mgoblue83. I went through a similar period some time ago and struggled to break under 18 index. Tried my first coach and as much as I wanted to, I just wasn't going to grow into the swing he was teaching. I still retain a few basics from him, but learned far more from a coach I see from time to time. He didn't "teach" me a swing. He helped me learn what was in my swing that works well and what extra BS I had in my swing that hurt consitency.

    You stated; "For background, I'm in my early 30s and a fairly strong former multi-sport athlete."

    You're an athlete. Why not find YOUR swing. A quality coach can help you refine what is yours, far more successfully that anyone can fit you into a swing that works for them.

    Maybe take a break. Maybe come back and just hit balls.. 8 irons and find the target with consistency. Once you grip the club and choose your line, be an athlete and send the ball to the target.

    Sometimes we want to be good or better SOOOO bad, that we get stuck in the "how".

    I often find myself remembering the invaluable lesson one of my mentors taught me. He was a Master Chief river boat captain in Vietnam. When I was faced with a challenging situation, I sought his guidance. He smiled and said to me, "You know far more than you need to know, F*%$ how, just do it" (or something to that effect). The lesson was I needed to get out of my head and into the moment and simply perform.

    Oh yeah, there is this one other thing. Golf is a GAME. As such, don't forget to just "PLAY" sometimes.

    Posted:
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  • Jeff58Jeff58 Bend OregonMembers  357WRX Points: 234Posts: 357 Greens
    Joined:  #13

    My 3 cents-

    After the initial formative stage of swing development, where your flexibility and timing produce a repeatable form, attempts to recreate a significantly different form through instruction, regardless of the instructor’s skill, as often as not results in disaster, at least in the short term. Your results are normal.

    The driver and irons require different swing planes. Higher level golfers choose shorter driver shafts to the most part because it minimizes the differences in swing mechanics. Selling bogey golfers 46ish inch drivers because they test out 4 yards longer isn’t in anyone’s actual interest. Get a 43” driver with appropriate swing weight and your accuracy and repeatability will improve instantly.

    When practicing, don’t hit the same club more than twice in a row. You groove one swing plane at the expense of the other. Switch constantly.

    Posted:
  • ArtMBgolfArtMBgolf Members  574WRX Points: 127Handicap: 8Posts: 574 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #14

    We used to have a starter, that when someone complained about their game, would say "take 2 weeks off, then quit".

    Unless you have too many other activities, you may be sorry someday if you quit.

    Figure out the amount of time you can spend on golf and accept if you need more time to improve or if you have plateaued at your level.

    Whatever Hdc level, golf has peaks and valleys with scoring.

    Constant swing + club changes can also lead to frustration.

    Posted:
  • dubbelbogeydubbelbogey Members  701WRX Points: 414Posts: 701 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #15

    The #1 skill in golf isn't footwork, backswing, or any of the multitudes of positional things that come with golf lessons (though they are all valuable things to optimize at some point.) Instead, it's teaching your hands to know where the darn clubface is and getting those hands to deliver that clubface reliably to the ball for solid contact. That sounds like I'm just being Captain Obvious, but really, it isn't. I think there is a lot to be learned from hitting simpler shots with shorter clubs. Partial shots with wedges and short irons. Tons of chips, pitches and 3/4 effort short irons. Teach those hands how to do it with easier tools. You can hit many times more balls with those shots than you will pounding driver on range. You'll get less tired, have a lot more success and far less frustration. Then work your way up the bag, steadily, to the longer clubs. It's not a coincidence that those that practice a lot of shorter shots also tend to hit longer clubs pretty well. Even the best players only have so many driver swings in them before fatigue sets in and it becomes counterproductive. Practice success, not failure. Teach those hands.

    I know you said you're a multi-sport athlete. Were any of those sports hand-eye-stick-ball/puck sports? If not, don't be so hard on yourself and accept that you may not have yet built up the "wiring" translates as easily to golf.

    Posted:
  • sportz2k1sportz2k1 Members  32WRX Points: 16Posts: 32 Bunkers
    Joined:  #16

    Every single person goes through this including pros. Look at Jordan spieth. He is used to winning and now he has two way miss and can’t seem to put together consecutive good rounds.

    Ive been playing the game for four years just like you. Up until this year, I had trouble breaking 90 and then something clicked. I’m not a long hitter with avg driver distance around 240-250 with rolls but I can carry my 7 iron 170. It’s frustrating because i hit my irons longer than my playing partners but I’m shorter than them with my drives (need to get fitted. Last year I was only carrying 7 iron 150-155. Driver had high cut. I went to the range this winter and spring and tried everything. Bowed wrist, cupped wrist, right shoulder out and down feel, closed shoulder feel, ball further away from my stance, closer to my body, etc. I even cut my driver 1.25 inches.... and then something clicked. I’ve broken 90 last 10 rounds I’ve played with a round in the mid 70s which is the only time I’ve broken 80. It’s a cyclical game. Don’t be frustrated and let the game come to you. Don’t be afraid to try something different vs. what you’ve been taught. If you can hit your long irons well, try a round without driver and woods. I can’t hit my 5 wood and my 3 hybrid is atrocious. I don’t even know why I have them in my bag. I just play to my strength. For example, if I screw up my tee shot and I have a long approach 200+ yards I don’t just take out 5 wood and try to smash them. Some times it’s 4 iron and sometime it’s a pitching wedge. Driver is important but learning to really score helped me consistently break 90 this year. Once you learn to score, hitting fairways is a bonus and will help you go even lower. Be patient!

    Posted:
  • LUMALUMA I Am My Greatest Downfall St. Johns / Jacksonville FloridaMembers  2378WRX Points: 139Posts: 2,378 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 29, 2020 2:24am #17

    Dude, life is all about learning, as is golf. You never stop learning. If you don't enjoy the process of learning and the challenge, then you need to find something else.

    I have been playing golf for 30 years and I am just as frustrated and determined to get better as I was when I started. The joy of it IS the struggle and finding a way to overcome.

    You need to find out what it is about golf that you love. Slow down. Go play a bunch by yourself, walking, without a cart, go hit the range a ton, by yourself, wear some headphones, don't wear headphones, do what you do and just be for a little while and reflect. If you aren't having fun at that point, the game may not be for you. On a side note, this is what has driven me to LOVE fly fishing.

    That's just me... I find that my clarity in life as well as golf is found in my quiet.

    Posted:
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  • elpollosuperlocoelpollosuperloco Members  33WRX Points: 27Handicap: 21.4Posts: 33 Bunkers
    Joined:  #18

    I've been thinking about this methodology for a while and I think I'm willing to give it a try. I'm definitely able to just sort of whack one out there with the driver with no swing thought other that "hit it over thatta way". My resistance to this laid back mentality has been that I still only drive it between 210-235 yards with this method, and in my brain I keep thinking "I'm young and strong I should be 250+" but that's vanity. I appreciate this personal anecdote very much, I'm trying to keep the faith.

    Posted:

    youtube swing

  • Nels55Nels55 Members  524WRX Points: 274Handicap: 6.8Posts: 524 Golden Tee
    Joined:  #19

    Well, as someone who has had handicap from 27 to 7 currently I feel your pain. My advice would be to swing the clubhead and forget about mechanics. You might check out this video:

    https://youtu.be/8w00dSxmFaw

    Posted:

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  • elpollosuperlocoelpollosuperloco Members  33WRX Points: 27Handicap: 21.4Posts: 33 Bunkers
    Joined:  #20

    Absolutely right. It's definitely a competitive desire. I certainly can't explain in any rational terms to my girlfriend why I want to be better at golf outside of not losing balls. It's completely irrational, and it's simply that I don't want to let it beat me.

    And good call about the instructors. I've gone to eight people but in reality I count it as only two (first two were at a local GolfTec-like place, one was a friend, and a couple other I went to once to test the interpersonal feel but didn't get a good vibe). If you're saying you went to four, then I'm two behind you. Question for you -- how did you know when to switch coaches? I went nearly 30 hours with the first guy. I'm at eight hours with coach #2.

    Posted:

    youtube swing

  • elpollosuperlocoelpollosuperloco Members  33WRX Points: 27Handicap: 21.4Posts: 33 Bunkers
    Joined:  #21

    @EDT501 The smoother/slower thing has been big for me. It's only when I still spray it that I get frustrated, but I'm trying to make that work for me. I also recently started playing the correct tees for my handicap so that's a good call.

    Posted:

    youtube swing

  • elpollosuperlocoelpollosuperloco Members  33WRX Points: 27Handicap: 21.4Posts: 33 Bunkers
    Joined:  #22

    @Hawkeye77 I'm definitely trying to figure out a way to be happy out there. You are correct in that maybe frustration is a better word to describe it than anger. I'm definitely passionate about it. The subtext of my OP is that I'd like to find a way to keep going. A combination of time and maybe just chilling out for a bit seem like the consensus here, especially with comments like @Blackett made (which I appreciate, thanks for someone else admitting finding a coach is hard!!!)

    Posted:

    youtube swing

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  • elpollosuperlocoelpollosuperloco Members  33WRX Points: 27Handicap: 21.4Posts: 33 Bunkers
    Joined:  #23

    OK I really appreciate this, and I have follow-up questions: First, was there something you did that allowed yourself to let go of the "how"? At this point, I feel like maniacs like us know exactly what a perfect swing looks like and we're doing our best to replicate it every time, it's just that the swing is hard so we can't. I would like to swing "my" swing but I've resisted it because there are several technical flaws with my swing that reasonably effect my ability to play. Mainly the closed clubface at the top, my hands dropping under plane, and the flip at the bottom. It kills directionality on long clubs and sucks distance out of my irons.

    So as much as I would love to go back to "my swing" -- which is how I played before lessons -- I know that I'll sort of always struggle off the tee and I'll always have to grab two or three clubs more than everyone else for a shot from 175 because I'm adding dynamic loft with my flip. Do I just get over that for now and say **** it?

    Posted:

    youtube swing

  • SeidinhoSeidinho Members  92WRX Points: 36Handicap: 10Posts: 92 Fairways
    Joined:  #24

    Since you do hit good shots at times, your body knows how to do it. Don’t overthink it! When you practice, just “feel” what your club and club head are doing. See the result. Don’t get angry at the result, just take it as if you’re observing somebody else. And put together what you felt and what the result was. Then keep at it. Your body can figure it out.


    Too many thoughts and things to worry about, too many swing changes. too many lessons. Just relax!

    Posted:
  • TheMagicStingerTheMagicStinger Members  950WRX Points: 203Handicap: 7.6Posts: 950 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited Jul 29, 2020 3:37am #25

    .

    Posted:
  • DashfastDashfast ChicagoMembers  201WRX Points: 65Handicap: 10Posts: 201 Fairways
    Joined:  #26

    Funny to come across this post today. I’ve been feeling frustrated as well. I started three years ago (after playing a couple years as a kid) and have definitely started to move backwards in the past month or so (year one: 25HCP to 17HCP, year two: 17HCP to 12HCP, year three: 12HCP to 8HCP to 12HCP). I’ve been playing a lot, but after the first two years of linear improvement, my handicap has recently started increasing. It’s a brutal game - if I had to diagnose myself, it’s wanting it too much that is hurting your ability to improve. Overthinking it and trying too hard (tensing up when you swing, swinging too hard, not taking your time, etc) are deadly. I too am early 30s with a serious obsession.

    Posted:
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  • Soloman1Soloman1 Members  2964WRX Points: 985Posts: 2,964 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  #27

    I think you're right. You should quit. Reading your post makes golf sound like a bad marriage for you.

    You know, some people just can't play golf. You might be one of them.

    Posted:
    I'm quitting at 6.022 x 10^23 posts.
    Avogadro would be proud.
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  • MignuzMignuz Members  144WRX Points: 72Handicap: 3Posts: 144 Fairways
    Joined:  #28

    Wow.

    You seem so frustrated...and I can relate to that, as I seriously thought about quitting about 2 years ago.

    You have problems with the driver, I had problems with the putter.

    Yips.

    When my long game was the best of my life, I couldn't hole a short put.

    Sometimes I missed from 20 cm and even a putt from 30 cm was a stress.

    My hands opened or closed the face of the putter themselves.

    My yips lasted almost one year, and when I was about to quit, I occasionally tried to put with the claw grip and that saved my golf.

    Now putting is one funniest part of the game and I have confidence that I can hole every putt.

    I just changed something (grip) and that resetted my mind.

    Now, you.

    Let's be honest: if you are in your early 30s, athletic, but you hit your ball 200 yards with the driver and you're only 21 of handicap, something is wrong.

    It sounds like you feel to be a scratch golfer in the body of a 36 handicapper.

    I think that, first of all, you should accept your game.

    You can still enjoy playing once you accept your limits.

    Then, you say that your problem is the driver and that you don't want to tee off with a 5-iron.

    Well, between the driver and the 5 iron there are a lot of clubs to tee off.

    Leave the driver in the car and tee off with a 3 wood, or better a 5-wood, or a rescue, or a driving iron if you prefer.

    You will face the driver when you'll fell comfortable with your tee shots.

    If the problem, instead, are the tee shots in general, well, you're in the yips zone.

    Go to a mental coach, and I'm not joking.

    Good luck.

    Posted:
  • Jason280Jason280 Members  20WRX Points: 55Posts: 20 Bunkers
    Joined:  #29

    [quote]You know, some people just can't play golf. You might be one of them[/quote]

    I think its a matter of determining how high your handicap can be where you still enjoy golf....

    Posted:
  • JustsomeguyJustsomeguy Members  1373WRX Points: 319Handicap: 15Posts: 1,373 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  #30

    Heck, I forgot golftec. 1 "lesson," swing analysis bought by a friend for Xmas.

    My decision to change coaches occurred when, for the first: he no called no showed me 2x, 2nd: one area of the game broken-down completely, and we couldn't communicate to help, 3rd: no progress despite good rapport, 4rh: happy here, still evaluating, and still making progress.

    Posted:
    Cobra F9 10.5* Project X Evenflow Blue 65, R - CAMO!
    Titleist 915F 15* Diamana S+ Blue 70, R
    Cobra F9 18.5* 5w Project X Evenflow Blue 65, R
    Titleist 915H 21* Diamana S+ Blue 70, R
    Callaway Steelhead XR 5-AW Recoil 660 F3, R
    Vokey SM7, 56*/8 M Grind, Recoil ZT9 460 F3, R
    Miura 1957, 59* C Grind, Nippon Modus 110, Wedge Flex
    TM Spider Tour
  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
    Joined:  ...

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  • JaoffoJaoffo Members  5WRX Points: 7Handicap: my abilityPosts: 5 Bunkers
    Joined:  #31

    Golf is like that "Bat S--t Crazy" college girlfriend that never met a mattress she couldn't shred. You know you should leave to protect your own sanity but you just can't help yourself. Just enjoy the ride. Sometimes you just need to remember, "Life is too serious to take it too serious".

    Posted:
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