Tired of being rubbish...how do I improve?

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
I thought I had turned a corner at the start of the year after a few lessons, was playing well, hitting it longer off the tee, putting like prime Tiger (ok maybe not :D). Then as is normal with golf it goes to crap. I have come to learn over the last few years you get dips and ups and that's just the way it is. However it started going crap and it was proper regression instead of a dip and it was like this for months and months with no sign of turning up again at any point - in fact I was regressing to being even worse than I was when I first started playing. In July I started to find a little bit of form and ball striking improved although not to same as before, and last couple of months have been garbage again - like I've never played. My handicap has literally floated between 15-18 for two and a half years. It's tiring because, I spent a bunch of money on lessons last winter - improved a bit then regressed massively again. I had spent money on lessons previously too - no improvement. I accept I will have good/bad days and that's golf, but there's been absolutely ZERO progression in my game for two years despite the lessons etc.

Lessons? Been there many times - can't say I've improved off any of those. Okay so it's a me problem, I obviously have difficulty making swing changes, so how do I do that? I practiced enough, or did i? Did I practice correctly?
Play enough? Absolutely - once a week minimum in winter, three a week summer. I'm a good putter and I can hit decent chips. Tee to green I am completely rubbish.
Another thing I'd mention is my fitness has gotten worse over the last year and a bit also, related or not? Possibly, I suspect the fitter you are the 'easier' it is.
I don't hit the ball far enough - I just don't - technique and fitness related I presume. I suspect if I was at 'peak' fitness and had good technique I could bash out 250+ carries off the tee no problem. As it stands with poor fitness and poor technique you'd be lucky if I carry it 220.

What do I need to do? I love the game, and there's' been times where I've hated it also, but I really want to improve. Most of the guys I play with are anywhere from scratch to 9 indexes - good players, yet I'm there hacking around constantly and it gets you down at times.
 

Albo

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
864
Visit site
Number one thing to do, in my opinion, is to start to keep some sort of stats as to where you are losing your shots, is it off the tee? Left or right or tops or fats? Is it irons, again, left or right, tops fats? Once you know what’s costing you, you can start to formulate a plan.
Is it strategy? Are you trying shots outside of your ability?
Talk us through a few things typical holes? What goes well, what goes wrong?
 

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
Number one thing to do, in my opinion, is to start to keep some sort of stats as to where you are losing your shots, is it off the tee? Left or right or tops or fats? Is it irons, again, left or right, tops fats? Once you know what’s costing you, you can start to formulate a plan.
Is it strategy? Are you trying shots outside of your ability?
Talk us through a few things typical holes? What goes well, what goes wrong?
I did this last year, had the Shotscope tags/watch for a bit. I stopped using them back in May this year as it was messing with my head. It basically just confirmed what I already knew though. This is basically from Oct 22- May(ish) 23.

Some screenshots for you.

Average distances, Fairway accuracy/distances (caveat that the big drives were all heavy down wind, some into heavy wind etc). Approaches (100 to 200 yards, they are 50% short because of being out of position of the tee, poor ball striking, club choice, or not hitting it far enough).

Just a flavour. I'd say since then, these would probably be worse if I had kept tracking all year.
 

Attachments

  • distances.png
    distances.png
    36.5 KB · Views: 67
  • Screenshot 2023-10-29 195932.png
    Screenshot 2023-10-29 195932.png
    82.5 KB · Views: 62
  • Screenshot 2023-10-29 200220.png
    Screenshot 2023-10-29 200220.png
    43.8 KB · Views: 61

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
Hard to know without seeing you hit a ball or negotiate a course.

Poor swing technique
Poor ball striking
Don't hit it far enough (combination of the first two plus fitness)
Probably make up about 75% of the problems.

The other 25% would come from course management/club selection/out of position off the tee etc

It's genuinely mostly crap technique.
 

Albo

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
864
Visit site
Ok from what I can see, nothing out of the ordinary, you’re short 50% of the time, we all are, so you think you hit the ball further than you actually do. Take a club that you think will get to the back of the green regardless of where the pin is, more often than not the trouble is at the front of the green .
Understand what a good shot is for your skill level and manage your expectations accordingly, look up Lou Stagner on twitter.
And as I said before watch Golf Sidekick.
Your distance isn’t bad at all nothing there I can see that would stop you getting to single figures and your dispersion is a little right heavy which makes me think the miss is a slice?
Aim more left to account.

Honestly if you can walk us through say 5 holes just any 5 hole stretch, shot by shot what your intention was versus outcome, that will give an indication
 

Imurg

The Grinder Of Pars (Semi Crocked)
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
36,631
Location
Aylesbury Bucks
Visit site
1. You hit it far enough unless you're playing 7000 yard courses.
2. Keep the ball in play. Being 20 yards shorter and having a shot is better than being 20 yards further on in deep rough
3. Stop trying so hard. Accept you're going to hit poor shots and when you do make sure you get the ball, back in play
4. Try to keep the double bogeys down by being sensible. Keep the ball in play

I'm not a long hitter these days but I've been single figures for 25 years.
Its not about making birdies.. it's keeping those doubles off the card.

5. Keep the ball in play....
 

Backsticks

Assistant Pro
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
3,613
Visit site
Distance fundamentally looks good enough for 12-14 HI and that should be possible without major fluctuations up to 18. More distance will be the real difference to make progress as its the key correlating factor to HI. If by improve, you mean get to single digits like your buddies, you will have to increase significantly. Drives with carry 230+, and all other clubs proportional too that. You wont play single digits with a 5i of only 160yds.

Is there really enough data in that Shotscope ? Does seem to be something amiss in your gapping with your irons which might be contributing to the high percentage of short of green approaches. Firstly, a big gap in your 5i to 7w. Not that you will really be hitting too many greens from 180 yards, but its a symptom of something. Secondsly, irons gaps of 7, 7, 10, 6 is far too tight. More in line with someone who doesnt really hit their driver above 200 yards at all. 7w to 3w has the same problem.

What does shotscope give as your strokes gained versus a 15 or 10HI for tee, approach, shortgame, putting ?
 

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
1. You hit it far enough unless you're playing 7000 yard courses.
2. Keep the ball in play. Being 20 yards shorter and having a shot is better than being 20 yards further on in deep rough
3. Stop trying so hard. Accept you're going to hit poor shots and when you do make sure you get the ball, back in play
4. Try to keep the double bogeys down by being sensible. Keep the ball in play

I'm not a long hitter these days but I've been single figures for 25 years.
Its not about making birdies.. it's keeping those doubles off the card.

5. Keep the ball in play....
I play a lot of courses from 6000-7000 yards. I played Kingsbarns a before the Dunhill (absolutely top notch by the way, stunning course). 6600 yard green tees. I played my home course last weekend - 6000 yards. It varies by course. I never play off the tips at top courses as its usually 7000 plus and that's just impossible for me. But I do play a lot of the top courses.

2 - fair point. But if I misshit the tee shot it doesn't matter does it.

3 - I actually stopped trying a long time ago to be honest. I used to care so much I'd beat myself up constantly, now I just shrug the shoulders and move on.

4 - Another fair point. My comeback to that is - if I top the second shot then miss the green what chance have I got not to make double bogeys.
 

chrisd

Major Champion
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
24,760
Location
Kent
Visit site
I don't know if you have any facility like I went to, and did a review of on the "post a review " page. I was going downhill bit by bit and going to a school I was able to have about 10 to 12 hours of intensive (with 2 others) of tuition. I've practised since I got back 2 weeks ago, and today I played hugely better than recently. It strikes me a far better stimulus to my golf than loads of half hour lessons
 

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
Ok from what I can see, nothing out of the ordinary, you’re short 50% of the time, we all are, so you think you hit the ball further than you actually do. Take a club that you think will get to the back of the green regardless of where the pin is, more often than not the trouble is at the front of the green .
Understand what a good shot is for your skill level and manage your expectations accordingly, look up Lou Stagner on twitter.
And as I said before watch Golf Sidekick.
Your distance isn’t bad at all nothing there I can see that would stop you getting to single figures and your dispersion is a little right heavy which makes me think the miss is a slice?
Aim more left to account.

Honestly if you can walk us through say 5 holes just any 5 hole stretch, shot by shot what your intention was versus outcome, that will give an indication

I suspect I'm short more because I've not hit the ball rather than club selection, although even if I could hit the ball I'd probably still be short a little bit.

Your second point, I get what you are saying - but if I've spent hundreds and hundreds of pounds on lessons, range time, practice etc should I not at least expect some sort of improvement? Otherwise what's the point?

I'll subscribe to Golf Sidekick. And yes my miss would be a bit of a slice but I do sometimes have a pull hook in me.

I'll have a think of a good recent example and I'll get back to you.
 

pendodave

Tour Rookie
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
3,144
Visit site
You say you play with some good players (which usually helps!).
Find the one who you feel most comfortable with, and ask them what they think. Sometimes a 3rd eye is required to spot some obvious things which are eluding you.
 

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
Distance fundamentally looks good enough for 12-14 HI and that should be possible without major fluctuations up to 18. More distance will be the real difference to make progress as its the key correlating factor to HI. If by improve, you mean get to single digits like your buddies, you will have to increase significantly. Drives with carry 230+, and all other clubs proportional too that. You wont play single digits with a 5i of only 160yds.

Is there really enough data in that Shotscope ? Does seem to be something amiss in your gapping with your irons which might be contributing to the high percentage of short of green approaches. Firstly, a big gap in your 5i to 7w. Not that you will really be hitting too many greens from 180 yards, but its a symptom of something. Secondsly, irons gaps of 7, 7, 10, 6 is far too tight. More in line with someone who doesnt really hit their driver above 200 yards at all. 7w to 3w has the same problem.

What does shotscope give as your strokes gained versus a 15 or 10HI for tee, approach, shortgame, putting ?

Yeah I agree with your first sentence. I've said for years if I could add 10-20 yards off the tee and obviously the trickle down effect that would have on the rest that I'd already be off single figures. And from there its working on different skills and different type of shots and so on. So yup, completely agree. The key to more distance will be what? Better technique/ball striking is certainly part of it - as will be strength/fitness. A combination of both probably.

Yeah like I said I gave up using it in May so data won't be fully up to date/as accurate.. I suspect stats are probably a bit worse now than then though if I had kept going.

Strokes gained ( I don't have putting for this as the number will be skewed as I could never get it to work so just tapped any old crap to get it to move to the next hole, I probably have putting of a 8/9 index if not better)

v 15hcp:
Tee Shots: +1.81
Approaches: -2.62
Short Game: +1.96

v 10hcp:
Tee shots: +0.41
Approaches: -4.29
Short game: +0.69

v 5 hcp:
Tee shots: -1.21
Approaches: -6.29
Short Game: -0.05

vs scratch (for a laugh why not)
Tee shots: -3.07
Approaches: -8.64
Short game: -0.60
 
Last edited:

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
Ok from what I can see, nothing out of the ordinary, you’re short 50% of the time, we all are, so you think you hit the ball further than you actually do. Take a club that you think will get to the back of the green regardless of where the pin is, more often than not the trouble is at the front of the green .
Understand what a good shot is for your skill level and manage your expectations accordingly, look up Lou Stagner on twitter.
And as I said before watch Golf Sidekick.
Your distance isn’t bad at all nothing there I can see that would stop you getting to single figures and your dispersion is a little right heavy which makes me think the miss is a slice?
Aim more left to account.

Honestly if you can walk us through say 5 holes just any 5 hole stretch, shot by shot what your intention was versus outcome, that will give an indication
Okay 5 holes from my home club last week

1 - Par 4 - Tee shot straight down the middle, second shot missed green right but hit off a bank and rolled to about 15 ft, two putted for par. Bit lucky with the approach but was easy enough.
2 - Par 4 - Decent tee shot, found the fairway but a long way back (into wind), had to hit 6i to reach, when short right into front bunker, up and down from the sand for par. Good up and down saved me here.
3 - Par 4 - Dogleg to the right, playing downwind, so right up my street you'd imagine. Pulled tee shot straight left, just missed trees but still had a shot into the green, then shanked it straight into front right bunker, out first time and 2 putted for bogey.
4 - Par 4 - Tight fairway, cant miss right or left due to oob/trees. Hit the ball, it caught wind, careered off to the right and I got stuck behind a huge tree lucky it didn't go oob, took my medicine and chipped out sideways, then I thinned my third over the back of the green, chipped onto the green to about 15 foot then two putted for a double.
5 - Par 3 - 165 yards but downhill. Tee shot flaired off to the right, in the rough, chipped onto the green, two putt bogey.
6 - Par 5 - Uphill and a bit of a brute into wind, but not particularly long numbers wise. Thinned the tee shot with a driver, it rolled for a bit then decided to roll out to the rough. Second shot tried to play for position and just hit an 8 iron to get back out onto the fairway, 3rd shot topped it into deep bunker, two shots to get out bunker, 2 putt double bogey.

The good, bad and ugly.
 

Backsticks

Assistant Pro
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
3,613
Visit site
Yeah I agree with your first sentence. I've said for years if I could add 10-20 yards off the tee and obviously the trickle down effect that would have on the rest that I'd already be off single figures. So yup, completely agree. The key to more distance will be what? Better technique/ball striking is certainly part of it - as will be strength/fitness. A combination of both probably.

Yeah like I said I gave up using it in May so data won't be fully up to date/as accurate.. I suspect stats are probably a bit worse now than then though if I had kept going.

Strokes gained ( I don't have putting for this as the number will be skewed as I could never get it to work, I probably have putting of a 8/9/10 index)

v 15hcp:
Tee Shots: +1.81
Approaches: -2.62
Short Game: +1.96

v 10hcp:
Tee shots: +0.41
Approaches: -4.29
Short game: +0.69

v 5 hcp:
Tee shots: -1.21
Approaches: -6.29
Short Game: -0.05

vs scratch (for a laugh why not)
Tee shots: -3.07
Approaches: -8.64
Short game: -0.60
Looks like its mainly a distance problem there. Shortgame, tee, and putting is better than a 15hc, but approaches is killing you, and it looks like its by being too short. Your left/right isnt bad at all.
So dump the 5i - it is no longer a club for anyone over 10Hc anyway. And find two hybrids that give you total distance of 170ish and 180ish......and play them. Dont underclub ! Or go a step further, discard the 6i also and get a hybrid that goes 160ish. Hybrids>>>>>>Irons for consistency for the hc golfer. Its a no brainer.
 

Backsticks

Assistant Pro
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
3,613
Visit site
Okay 5 holes from my home club last week

1 - Par 4 - Tee shot straight down the middle, second shot missed green right but hit off a bank and rolled to about 15 ft, two putted for par. Bit lucky with the approach but was easy enough.
2 - Par 4 - Decent tee shot, found the fairway but a long way back (into wind), had to hit 6i to reach, when short right into front bunker, up and down from the sand for par. Good up and down saved me here.
3 - Par 4 - Dogleg to the right, playing downwind, so right up my street you'd imagine. Pulled tee shot straight left, just missed trees but still had a shot into the green, then shanked it straight into front right bunker, out first time and 2 putted for bogey.
4 - Par 4 - Tight fairway, cant miss right or left due to oob/trees. Hit the ball, it caught wind, careered off to the right and I got stuck behind a huge tree lucky it didn't go oob, took my medicine and chipped out sideways, then I thinned my third over the back of the green, chipped onto the green to about 15 foot then two putted for a double.
5 - Par 3 - 165 yards but downhill. Tee shot flaired off to the right, in the rough, chipped onto the green, two putt bogey. ?
6 - Par 5 - Uphill and a bit of a brute into wind, but not particularly long numbers wise. Thinned the tee shot with a driver, it rolled for a bit then decided to roll out to the rough. Second shot tried to play for position and just hit an 8 iron to get back out onto the fairway, 3rd shot topped it into deep bunker, two shots to get out bunker, 2 putt double bogey.

The good, bad and ugly.
1 - nothing wrong with a pin high miss right
2 - 6i wasnt long enough. Thats why you need a hybrid, and hit the distance to middle or back of the green
3 - what club ? Hybrid>Iron
4 - What iron ?
5 - 5i ? 6 hybrid a more consistent club
6 - What club with the 3rd ?
 

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
Looks like its mainly a distance problem there. Shortgame, tee, and putting is better than a 15hc, but approaches is killing you, and it looks like its by being too short. Your left/right isnt bad at all.
So dump the 5i - it is no longer a club for anyone over 10Hc anyway. And find two hybrids that give you total distance of 170ish and 180ish......and play them. Dont underclub ! Or go a step further, discard the 6i also and get a hybrid that goes 160ish. Hybrids>>>>>>Irons for consistency for the hc golfer. Its a no brainer.
Can't hit hybrids for toffee. Thin/top almost every single time. I used to hit a good fairway wood off the deck, but that's gone now too.
 

TigerTime

Active member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
305
Location
Scotland
Visit site
1 - nothing wrong with a pin high miss right
2 - 6i wasnt long enough. Thats why you need a hybrid, and hit the distance to middle or back of the green
3 - what club ? Hybrid>Iron
4 - What iron ?
5 - 5i ? 6 hybrid a more consistent club
6 - What club with the 3rd ?

3 - I had 110-120 left so hit a PW, it is slightly downhill and downwind also. It was a poor swing and strike.
4 - Thinned a 9 iron about 3 feet off the ground
5 - 7 iron. It is downhill (like a lot, it generally plays about 130-140 at most)
6 - Think it was another 8.
 
Top