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Desperate to improve my golf game
Old 10-12-2009, 08:50 PM   #1
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Desperate to improve my golf game

Though I have always been a decent athlete, I am really stuck with my golf game. I need some advice: books, CDs, anything.

I took up the game last year after playing casually decades ago. Signed up for over 4 months of nearly weekly lessons with Golftech, where they wire you up and tell you what's wrong with your swing in more detail that you really need. I did improve, and my swing looks better.

But on the course I can't make consistent quality contact; my long shots fly left, right, and occasionally perfect. My short game has me playing volleyball back and forth over the green half the time. I typically hit 98-100 for 18 holes. Aaarrggghh.

I know I haven't put enough time in at the range. I need more lessons, hopefully not in a hitting cage. Blah blah blah.

Any tips or ideas about taking it to the next level (for me that means consistently in the 90s? I might just have to wait for FIRE so I can put more time in, and I love going out with my buddies but there's gotta be a way to take that next step.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:52 PM   #2
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
I might just have to wait for FIRE so I can put more time in...
Heck, if you wait that long you'll be able to 'shoot your age' with no improvement at all!
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:25 PM   #4
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Rich, sorry, but I think practice is the only answer. Practice on the putting green, practice on the pitching green, practice on the driving range.

I've been working on my golf game since I retired, getting out for some practice two or three times a week. To be honest, it can get boring, but my golf buddies are impressed with the improvement in my game.

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Old 10-12-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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I know I haven't put enough time in at the range. I need more lessons, hopefully not in a hitting cage. Blah blah blah.
Jarhead would tell you that you already know what you need to do. I think he puts in at least as much time on the range (if not 2x) as what he puts in on the course. Heck, you're not a moderator anymore-- think of all the free time you must have now...

Taking your game to the next level may require the kind of hard choices and personal sacrifices that you've heretofore seemed hesitant to make: ER'ing another 10%!
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:36 PM   #6
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A couple things that worked for me are to really pay attention to how close you stand to the ball. Too close or too far makes you change your swing to compensate.

Balance is also important. Overswinging or just being unsteady in your backswing throws you off. Stay on the instep of your back foot.

Third is the grip, if you can't keep your club face square you'll get that inconsistency.

Of course I'm just feeling superior after 3 birdies in 4 holes on my last 9, played last week. I even just missed a makeable eagle putt, and was 2 under after 6. Two bogeys and a snowman put me 4 over for the round. Usually I'm in the 90s so it was still good, but that quad bogey took the glory out of it.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:34 AM   #7
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I also started playing a little golf after a 40 year hiatus and have the same problem you experienced. What works for me is enjoying the game and not worrying about the score No way I like golf enough to put in the time to get really good. I avoid going out with ultra serious players.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:45 AM   #8
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You do have a foot wedge? I would take weekly lessons with a pro for awhile. He can tape you and give you good one on one advice. I find the drills my pro shows me helps as much as anything. You can pick up a lot of drills from the Golf Channel, but they all start running together. Your pro will show you a couple that are specific to your needs.

Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
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Find a video from the late Moe Norman. The guy makes golf very easy. Plus, it seems like you are pressing when things go wrong on the course. You have no have amnesia after a bad shot, like it never happened. Also, keep in mind that MOST of your score happens from 150 yard in, so keep that driver in the bag and practice chipping and putting about 80% of the time..........
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:40 AM   #10
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I second donheff's advice...lose the scorecard and just play the course. Pick a shorter course the next few times and treat it like a practice session. You'll get some nice relaxed chipping experience by eliminating fairway frustration.

Also, playing under pressure from an antsy group behind you is a sure fire way to get bad shots. Let 'em play through.

BTW, did I mention the relax part?

PS I don't play anymore (carpal tunnel), but when I did, I rarely kept score. Too distracting.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:46 AM   #11
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I second donheff's advice...lose the scorecard and just play the course. Pick a shorter course the next few times and treat it like a practice session. You'll get some nice relaxed chipping experience by eliminating fairway frustration.

Also, playing under pressure from an antsy group behind you is a sure fire way to get bad shots. Let 'em play through.

BTW, did I mention the relax part?

PS I don't play anymore (carpal tunnel), but when I did, I rarely kept score. Too distracting.
Well, Rich is a competitive guy and wants to do well.........you and donheff want him to "forgeddiboutit".....what if he doesn't want to??

If the average golfer went to the DRIVING range 2-3 times as much as a golf course, they would see a lot of improvement......
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:09 AM   #12
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...If the average golfer went to the DRIVING range 2-3 times as much as a golf course, they would see a lot of improvement......
Exactly why I suggested the shorter course. Better than a driving range and who cares what you score on a short course ?
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:11 AM   #13
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I guess I am self-competitive about golf. I like the suggestion of developing shot-by-shot amnesia. Plus the fact that no one really cares how I shoot, except me.

Back to the range. Got a tee time for Saturday with a forecast of 75 degrees and sunny.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:28 AM   #14
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I suggest only playing the 19th hole...

Drive for show, putt for dough.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:35 AM   #15
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Only work on one part of your game at a time - until it improves. Then concentrate on another weak area. Some people have no plan when they practice. Maybe your approach shots need work... stick with the long irons and fairway woods until you get some consistency.

Also, if you really want to get your scores lower you should be somewhat scientific when you play (maybe you already are?)... know your yardages for each club and use the yardage markers on the courses to choose the correct club. It'll help.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:44 AM   #16
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no one really cares how I shoot, except me.
That is so true, in many endeavors and golf is one of them.

You care, so you may always pursue the improvement of your game, but no sense in getting discouraged. The point of the game (it seems to me) is to have fun and get some exercise and fresh air.

I haven't read the whole thread, so probably this has been suggested and discussed ad infinitum, but Frank benefited tremendously from regular weekly private lessons with a top notch golf pro/instructor. He is still a little frustrated with his game, but overall is much more satisfied with it than he once was. Right now, his problem is mainly finding the time to play.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:49 AM   #17
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Best thing I did for my swing was join a golf league. Stayed in the megacorp league which runs from April-Oct. Really forces you to get out when you normally would not.

April is double glove here. Slight rain ... who cares?
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:01 PM   #18
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Only work on one part of your game at a time - until it improves. Then concentrate on another weak area. Some people have no plan when they practice. Maybe your approach shots need work... stick with the long irons and fairway woods until you get some consistency.
I've heard the opposite. Don't go to the range and hit dozens of balls with the same club. You never do that on the course--well, I have hit the wedge a few times in a row before.

Instead, picture your course. Hit your driver or 3 wood, then whatever club you'd use on the fairway, and then your wedge. You can skip the wedge with a good fairway shot, but most of us need the practice with the wedge so I pick different distances. Repeat for the next hole. That way, you get more practice focusing on hitting it well the first time with each club.

I only do this sometimes. Other times I try to figure out and fix what's going wrong with a certain shot, and hit the same club over and over, like Life_is_Good suggests.

In reality, I don't hit the range that often. I don't enjoy it that much, and would rather get the exercise from walking the round. I can live with being a 20 handicapper (or whatever I am--I don't track it) with occasional spurts of glory.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:07 PM   #19
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Not a golfer here, just happened to over hear newbie golfer in the diner describing his difficulties. He thought the rotation of the earth was too fast and wanted to know from experienced golfers how to correct for it.

The laughter was deafening.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:38 PM   #20
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Instead, picture your course. Hit your driver or 3 wood, then whatever club you'd use on the fairway, and then your wedge. You can skip the wedge with a good fairway shot, but most of us need the practice with the wedge so I pick different distances. Repeat for the next hole.
This is really good advice. You ( almost ) never hit the same club back to back on the course, so practice this way.

My local 'teaching' course sells punch cards with 10 buckets of balls and 5 9 hole rounds. For me, thats 15 trips to the course. One large bucket can take a while to hit when you are going thru your shot routine. If I get to the course say 3 times a week, I'm almost a scratch golfer.

Last bit of advise. Don't count score. Count your birdies, pars and bogys. Lets you forget about the really bad holes.
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