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Instruction Helps
Professional Champion
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So, I wanted to show you all my progress since I have been working with Carl Cooper to help improve my swing and my putting. I have been working with Carl since last year. I had been losing lots of drive distance and even distance throughout my set of clubs. I met Carl at Pine Crest Golf Club. My goal was to improve my swing and try to recover some of my lost distance. I am getting older and I couldn't afford to keep losing distance. I didn't want to end up like those old codgers that have a lousy swing, can't hit it very far and always play the same club on every hole from the same spot because they make the same lousy swing time after time as they play the same course over and over.

So we started. Carl first noticed that I was too upright, and I also was not getting the club in a good position to hit the ball solid. My swing was too erratic but I had developed a very good short game that essentially accounted for my handicap. I always started the club back okay but didn't make any turn. At about the middle of my backswing, instead of continuing to turn, I would lift my arms straight up. I had no power from there and developed a steep downswing which made it very difficult to hit long irons or fairway woods. Over time, I gave up long irons. I carried a 5-iron but rarely used it since I couldn't hit it solid consistently and didn't hit it very far when I did hit it solid.

Since the drive distance is something I track, I have used that as a measure of my improvement. The chart shows that my average drive distance had declined to 227.8 yards in 2013. In 2014 (when I started with Carl) I improved to 229.8 yards and in 2015 I have continued to improve to an average drive of 234.8 yards so far. This is an average of all drives that I hit with my driver only, and the drive must be in the fairway. If I miss the fairway I don't measure the distance. If I use a 3-wood or 5-wood or an iron to tee off, I don't count that as a drive nor do I measure the distance. It has to be a driver and it has to be in the fairway for me to count it as a "hit fairway" and record the distance.

The neatest improvement is how solid I hit my irons and how high they fly when I make a good swing. I had been struggling to hit an 8-iron 120 yards or so and I used to hit a 9-iron 125 yards on average. Now, I am hitting my 8-iron almost 140 yards consistently. When I make a good swing with my irons they fly very much higher than they used to. It is flat out cool to see my irons fly so high. I don't make a good swing every time. It's still a work in progress but I am seeing a lot of improvement in my golf game. We have also started to work on my putting some and he is helping me to use my shoulders more than my hands when I putt. We get together once a week and in between I practice and play.

Carl Cooper is a former PGA tour player. He once hit a drive in the Texas Open that went 787 yards. It was so long that it couldn't be measured accurately and consequently couldn't count as the "official" longest drive ever on the PGA tour. If you live in Houston and you are considering a golf instructor, Carl Cooper would be a good choice. I like Carl. He is easy going and he doesn't seem to try to make drastic changes all at once. He starts with the biggest swing flaws and tries to fix or improve those before he moves on to more minor issues in your swing.

By the way, Carl will be playing in the Senior PGA Tournament in Indiana next week. Check in on the tournament and see how he does.
Gilberts driving distNCE
# 1    5/15/2015 11:06:46 AM   
Thanks for sharing Gilbert. Glad for you that your new swing is coming around and that your hitting some good shot's. also that your improving on your putting. makes a lot of difference between a good & bad round of golf. I'm glad to hear about your swing coach golf history, I, need several swing lessons.

Professional Champion
# 2    5/16/2015 8:43:51 AM   
This sounds like my golf game. Mine is the same with lost of distance. My distance is getting shorter. Then i may have picked up bad habits to get more distance and made it worse.

Mark Simmons
# 3    5/16/2015 3:10:57 PM   
Gilbert, that is really cool. Good reminder that losing distance as we get older isn't inevitable. Like you, I've been able to add distance the last 5 years. In order of significance I attributed that to improvements in: Technique, fitness, and equipment.

Thanks for sharing what you've been doing.

Professional Champion
# 4    5/20/2015 5:25:29 PM   

I've recently begun lessons. Four of us, so group rate, but small enough so individual attention isn't sacrificed. Classes usually run 2-2 1/2 hours. Started out with nine holes of golf so the instructor could see what he had to work with. A few tips while playing. I was able to make it over a gorge, on a hole I had never successfully crossed before. Past pin high. Pulled out a bogey and I was very happy. Then we went inside for some tips on full swing.

The class if focusing on 100 yds and in. Last week was chipping/putting and this week nine holes to see how we are progressing. The class is scheduled for 10 weeks, alternating between range instruction and 9 holes of play.

I'm trying to work hard on practice and hopefully improve my game to bogey golf, or slightly better.

The playing lesson has to be incredibly useful to you. It sounds like you have found a very useful way to get some excellent instruction. Good for you. Ten