Golf is often seen as a gentleman's sport, so admitting to cheating might sound scandalous. But before you grab your pitchforks, hear me out.
I'm not talking about the 'hand wedge,' 'finding' a ball in the woods, or miscounting strokes. Those are serious breaches of the game's integrity. Instead, my 'cheating' is more about bending the rules for enjoyment. When I play, I grant myself preferred lies – not just on the fairway. Encounter a root? I move the ball. A divot in my way? I'll shift it aside. Give myself an easier lie in the rough? Guilty as charged. Am I a better golfer for it? Probably worse. But do I have more fun? Yes! Golf is notoriously challenging, and I dare say 80% of golfers might benefit from a little 'cheating' for the sake of enjoyment. Among my friends, we all bend the rules the same way. No harm, no foul – after all, we're not vying for a spot on the PGA Tour. We're there for the fun of it, gentleman's honor be damned.
However, this approach has its drawbacks. Playing from these perfect lies has only taught me to hit under nearly ideal conditions. The nuances of a more challenging shot – hitting down on the ball, focusing on ball-first contact – become lost. But I've come to realize that learning to play from various lies is crucial. It teaches you the mechanics of the club, how its sole + bounce interacts with the turf, dictating your entire swing. This is the secret sauce for tour players extracting themselves from dire situations. They're not just strong athletes; they understand their tools.
Years have led me to groove an inefficient swing, something I could compensate for in my younger days. But with age, those minute fractions and angles in golf – where any little thing can disrupt your game – have become more critical. Hence, understanding the right way to play is essential. It all starts with the grip, something I revisit every season through 'The Five Fundamentals of Golf.'
As a non-club member without access to a practice area or frequent range visits, improvement seemed elusive. Then I discovered the MLM2PRO launch monitor in my garage. Coupled with video analysis, this became a game-changer. Sure, it's a bit of a love-hate relationship – firmware updates fixing one issue often introduce another. But for a golf enthusiast, the ability to break down every aspect of your swing and get real-time data is invaluable for making significant swing changes. Smaller adjustments, though? Those might still need a professional eye.
The MLM2PRO's software is frustrating and unrefined, yet functional. The best feature? Its practice session with video and impact feedback. And then there's Awesome Golf. Though MLM2PRO and Awesome Golf occasionally miss shots – which is maddening – the overall experience is beneficial. The cartoon golf feature is a hit with kids and friends, but the true gem is the Approach Shots feature. Practicing specific distances with a target green provides priceless mental feedback.
If I had to choose again, I might lean towards the Garmin R10. It appears less buggy, and if video feedback isn't a priority, it's a solid choice for range-like practice.
So, after this candid confession of my golfing 'sins', I have yet another revelation to share: I plan to curb my cheating habits. Well, with a small exception – I might still move my ball out of a divot. After all, on public courses notorious for less-than-ideal maintenance, it seems unfair to be penalized for a great shot. This decision isn't about chasing professionalism; it's about a deeper goal. I want to master the true art of using the club as it was intended, to genuinely improve my game. It's definitely going to be a challenging journey, but I feel ready to embrace it. So, here's to a new chapter in my golfing life – wish me luck!