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Author Topic: Getting into Golf  (Read 4879 times)
Mark_Porter
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« on: February 02, 2020, 09:31:23 PM »

I turned 32 in November and as a middle class white man, decided the time was probably right to take up golf.

I actually badly need a hobby, preferably one that is social, keeps me fit and is competitive. I have never found anything that ticks those boxes that I can get passionate about.

I live 5mins away from Chichester Golf Club - https://chichestergolf.com/. I saw them advertising "free beginners golf" lessons which I signed up for a couple of weeks ago. It is basically an hour group lesson every Sunday for a month. 3 sessions on the range and one chipping and putting around the green.

I played golf a bit as a teenager in Guernsey, had some second hand clubs and a few lessons. I never really took it seriously though, barely played a full round, never got close to breaking 100 and generally just dicked around with my brother whenever my dad drove my down there.

Thankfully, my hand eye coordination has always been pretty good. I played a fair bit of cricket and tennis in the past so I knew I would be able to hit the ball OK.

The second of 4 lessons was today. In the first lesson we worked on the basics and the grip. Today was re-enforcing that and working on aiming and ball striking. All this was with a 6 or 7 iron.

I am going to track my progress here. I know it won't interest many of the few people that still post but it will hold me accountable and keep me motivated to improve.

Anyway I recorded a bad quality video with my last ball of the basket today. I was off the mat rather than the tee after the first lesson last week and it felt reasonably natural/comfortable today. Am now quickly obsessed with reading and watching everything golf related! Any Blondes out there that play?


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Mark_Porter
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2020, 09:34:40 PM »

The only golf gear I currently own are two gloves that I bought today. We get to borrow clubs for the lessons.

I am planning on buying a set of clubs at the end of the 4 weeks of lessons - I want to make absolutely sure I want to carry it on before splurging.

I will either go for something like this:-

https://www.americangolf.co.uk/golf-clubs/package-sets/wilson-ultra-xls-steel-package-set-328927.html

Straight out the box starter set.

Or spend a bit more money on something like this:-

https://www.costco.co.uk/Sports-Spas-Leisure/Outdoor-Sports/Golf/Callaway-Edge-10-Piece-Golf-Set-Right-Handed/p/273385

I would look at second hand but the allure of the shiny newness might be too much plus the second hand market does not look particularly easy to navigate.
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Mark_Porter
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2020, 09:39:59 PM »

My only short term goal at the moment is to break 100. Really interested in how quickly I can get there. If I don't do it by the end of the Summer then will be really disappointed.

I am planning on booking some 1:1 lessons after the group lessons finish and combine those with an extra trip to the range every week. Chichester has a good looking par 3 course and a couple of 18 hole courses so want to get out there sooner rather than later.

I don't have any mates that are interested in golf though so could do with finding someone to play with.

I absolutley love chipping and putting. We had an 18 hole putting course 2mins from our house that I must have played circa 500 times with my brother. Long game will be the focus for the next couple of months I suspect.

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Karabiner
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2020, 10:05:49 PM »

That swing looked pretty good to me - I'm sure you'll break 100 this year on that evidence.

Keep practicing what you have worked on in the lessons and you'll be hooked in no time at all.
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2020, 10:24:58 PM »

Swing looks good to me as well. Love the last paragraph, in concentrating on your long game don’t forget how many shots you play around the green.

Getting up and down in two when you missed the green is such a good feeling, nearly as good as tonking one 275 yards down the fairway 😁
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Marty719
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 01:58:19 PM »

I have a very similar backstory to you.  I took it up again 2 years ago after doing much the same as you between age 12 and 16.  Now absolutely hooked.  In terms of clubs, I did go down the pre-owned route, getting all my clubs through GolfBidder.  Excellent quality and haven't had a problem.  With having a long break without playing, I was advised to get Ping's due to a lower spin rate and the overall "forgiveness" (the word every beginner golfer wants to hear).  Got a set of G10 irons 3-PW (literally could count the number of times I've hit the 3 and 4), a Glide 2.0 56°, i20 Hybrid, G Driver, 3 and 5 wood, and a Cadence TR Rustler putter.  Love them all. 

With work/kids I'm only getting out once a week at most, so improvement hasn't been as quick as I want.  Off 22 atm, but determined to actually work on getting it down this year.

Also can't stop watching as much golf as physically possible.  Nick Dougherty an excellent follow on IGram, and Rick Shiels podcast and videos entertaining and understandable.  Look forward to following the story.  Good luck!
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Mark_Porter
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2020, 09:00:54 AM »

Yea I am hammering through stuff on Youtube at the moment. Trying to avoid too many instructional things as am just going to overload my brain and implement things incorrectly. I have an obsessive personality so its always all or nothing with things like this.

I like Rick Shiels and all the "youtube golfers". That's where I saw those Costco clubs from that looked good. I will look at Golfbidder, all the options are a bit intimidating. Will have a chat to the pro about some good options.

Planning to go to the range after work on Friday and just hit 20 balls. Focus on making sure the grip is comfortable and see how consistent we can strike the ball. Will get a better video of my swing as will be interesting to see the changes made in actual 1:1 lessons over the next few months. Might hit the par 3 course this weekend too and remind myself what chipping and putting feels like. Bring on the warmer dryer weather!
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Pokerpops
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2020, 01:36:57 PM »

I had this set all ready to list on eBay later...

https://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/qrpvnal8_jpg.htm

https://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/jphfelyw_jpg.htm

https://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/medw4rdm_jpg.htm

http://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/kepru8rk_jpg.htm

Irons are Ben Sayers M2i 3-SW
Woods are Ben Sayers Big Ben 1,3,5
There’s an American Golf 60deg wedge and a Ben Sayers putter too

Bag is errrmm you guessed it, Ben Sayers with loads of pockets. It’s carryable, but the GreenHill trolley is so easy to push and pull and I wouldn’t have any other type. It’s British made too.

I’ll throw in this load of balls and stuff too.

https://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/9yfb4ok9_jpg.htm


PM if it’s of any interest at c£175 with you paying postage.


Edit: pictures weren’t showing, so have edited to just show the links
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 01:38:42 PM by Pokerpops » Logged

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Mark_Porter
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2020, 02:18:26 PM »

I had this set all ready to list on eBay later...

https://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/qrpvnal8_jpg.htm

https://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/jphfelyw_jpg.htm

https://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/medw4rdm_jpg.htm

http://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/kepru8rk_jpg.htm

Irons are Ben Sayers M2i 3-SW
Woods are Ben Sayers Big Ben 1,3,5
There’s an American Golf 60deg wedge and a Ben Sayers putter too

Bag is errrmm you guessed it, Ben Sayers with loads of pockets. It’s carryable, but the GreenHill trolley is so easy to push and pull and I wouldn’t have any other type. It’s British made too.

I’ll throw in this load of balls and stuff too.

https://www.directupload.net/file/d/5719/9yfb4ok9_jpg.htm


PM if it’s of any interest at c£175 with you paying postage.


Edit: pictures weren’t showing, so have edited to just show the links

Thanks, will let you know either way. I am not going to buy anything for a couple of weeks though.
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Mark_Porter
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2020, 12:06:26 AM »



A nice relaxed 25 balls after work today with a bashed up old 7 iron from the lost and found.

Struck the ball really nicely. Only a couple of real duffs, the rest were clean but a reasonably wide dispersion as to be expected.

I am getting that fade shape to virtually every strike. I guess that's the sort of thing that we can get into with some coaching. Am trying not to think too much, focus on striking the ball well and swing the club in a way that feels natural.

Jeez I am so unfit though. Even after 25 balls, I can feel it in my hips, across my shoulders and twinged a stomach muscle where my core strength is just non-existent.

Group lesson number 3 on Sunday and I think we are experimenting with some different clubs. Weather looks awful so won't be hitting off the real green stuff this weekend.
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Mark_Porter
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2020, 05:25:31 PM »

This wind is not conducive to a good balanced swing so no video today.

Got into some good technical stuff this morning and lots to practice this week. You will see in the last video that during the back swing I am rocking my hips backwards then forwards. My weight transfers almost completely onto my back foot in the backswing then comes forward again on the downswing. No real rotation. The obvious thing to spot is my right leg doesn't start to straighten at all.

Rather than this side to side motion, I should be rotating my hips. This will keep me more stable over the ball and I can then push through with more power. It feels strange but it's a movement I can practice without needing a club. It's very obvious when you watch a good golf swing what the difference should look like.

I have also bought a grip training aid as I was getting a bit underneath with my right hand and struggling to get the grip consistent every time.

Aiming to now be hitting 100 balls a week - 2 range sessions. Last group lesson is next Sunday (chipping and putting) then going to block book some 1:1 coaching and buy some clubs.
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Junior Senior
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2020, 07:43:19 PM »

Difficult game to get good at if you don't start young, so good luck.

My main tip is to enjoy it and try to get better every single time you play - it looks like you’re doing that already.

P.s. I know a guy called Mark Porter who plays for our county and is excellent at the game and hits it further than i go on my holidays these days so it’s a good name for the game!

P.s. my other tip is don’t get carried away with all the marketing hype on equipment - whilst you’re learning, you don’t need much to get started.
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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2020, 07:46:34 PM »

The swing looks very promising - try not to get too bogged down with tekkers as there are so many ways to hit the golf ball.

I would just stick to  basics and trying to strike the ball well without going at it 110%


PS The guy who posted above me knows what he's talking about so pay especial attention to his posts.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 07:48:09 PM by Karabiner » Logged

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Mark_Porter
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2020, 10:35:55 PM »

Golf is hard.

I have gone from just swinging the club in a way that feels right to thinking about hip rotation, transferring weight, extending arms, cocking wrists, striking down etc. There is so much content out there and I have consumed too much of it.

Unsurprisingly that has made hitting balls much harder and I have hit 125 this week. Went to the range on Friday night then final "beginner lesson" today. It is really challenging but exciting. I am trying to focus on just one thing at a time - rotation. The problem is by changing the way my hips move, it changes the plane the club travels on and the whole swing falls apart. The group lessons have been good though and am seeing progress.

They are now running another set of 4 lessons (£15 total), all out on the really well kept par 3 course. I am going to keep doing those group lessons, will be good to hit some shots from actual grass.

I have also purchased some clubs! I probably have gone a bit OTT but couldn't resist. Spent £200 on a set of second hand (albeit actually brand new) irons and am picking them up Tuesday. Very excited, will post some pictures.

I went to Goodwood on Saturday morning to chat to them about their "Get Into Golf" membership. https://www.goodwood.com/golf/membership/get-into-golf-membership/

At £375 it looks brilliant value and it's only 15mins from my house. Will see how we get on with this next batch of group lessons, potentially book a couple of 1:1 lessons then go from there.
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Mark_Porter
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2020, 10:01:31 PM »

We have our first set of irons.

I went for the Wilson Staff D300 and have a 4 iron through to a gap wedge. They look like this:-

 Click to see full-size image.
D300" border="0
 Click to see full-size image.
Wilson-Staff-D300-35" border="0


I picked them up brand new and still in the packaging last night. They were only released in 2017 and looked like a good option for the high handicapper. They are "super game improvement" irons, easy to hit with lots of forgiveness as the head is absolutely enormous. They aren't going to win any prizes in a beauty contest but I had tested something similar and they suit me. Just need a putter now then can get out on the course, have my eye on a couple.

Spent an hour at the range tonight and the clubs felt great. Felt more comfortable with my swing too after the last session, especially with the higher lofted clubs. I was knocking the 4 iron close to 200 yards and finished with some nice smooth pitching wedges below. They are getting a Trackman at Chichester this month so will be interested to see the numbers. Let's hope the weather behaves then can get out on the proper green stuff at the weekend.

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