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

SwingsitlikeHogan

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Everyone has a limit, I suppose. And that limit is probably proportional to the amount of time we play / practice.

But, even if you have the worst, most unnatural swing ever, changing even the slightest thing to make it better will actually feel horrific, as it isn't natural to you. Furthermore, even if you change that thing, there will then probably be other issues within your swing that cause huge problems, as before they worked as they compensated for the flaw you are now trying to fix. So, after a lesson you probably need to embrace the fact you are going to play horrifically for a while, but commit to the change. At best, your body will gradually eliminate other flaws that are no longer required due to the change you are making, although it might require follow up lessons every few weeks if it hasn't happened naturally.
….
Agree with all the post but with this in spades as it is absolutely my experience. And it has been difficult.
 
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Mel Smooth

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With all due respect to the OP, the last thing anybody needs to do if they are looking to improve is ask the opinions of a bunch of people who don't know her/him on the internet.

While there's probably some useful advice in this thread, there'll also be a lot of useless to the individual guff.

Professional tuition from a good source is the best way to improve, anything else is secondary.
 

Swango1980

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With all due respect to the OP, the last thing anybody needs to do if they are looking to improve is ask the opinions of a bunch of people who don't know her/him on the internet.

While there's probably some useful advice in this thread, there'll also be a lot of useless to the individual guff.

Professional tuition from a good source is the best way to improve, anything else is secondary.
And yet even your advice could well be useless. Professional tuition is often not the best way to improve.

Some of the best golfers I know, who have improved massively feik when they started, have never had a lesson in their life. But they play loads. Isn't it true Bubba Watson had never had a lesson?
 

BiMGuy

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OP. I haven’t read all the replies, but I suspect there are a lot saying get good at short game. They aren’t wrong, short game is important but that won’t fix the problem, it’s just a ban aid.

From your stats’s it’s clear where you are leaking shots. If you want to shoot lower score, you need to hit more greens.

You have two main options to improve that. Be closer to the green your tee shot and get better at hitting your irons. Doing both will really help.

Being short so often is not uncommon and it sounds like your ball striking is an issue. But next time you play, take your yardage from the back of the green on all approaches and see how you get on. This works even better if you can get someone else to do it for you.

And also don’t worry about being long. It might happen once and is not all that different to being short.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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OP. I haven’t read all the replies, but I suspect there are a lot saying get good at short game. They aren’t wrong, short game is important but that won’t fix the problem, it’s just a ban aid.

From your stats’s it’s clear where you are leaking shots. If you want to shoot lower score, you need to hit more greens.

You have two main options to improve that. Be closer to the green your tee shot and get better at hitting your irons. Doing both will really help.

Being short so often is not uncommon and it sounds like your ball striking is an issue. But next time you play, take your yardage from the back of the green on all approaches and see how you get on. This works even better if you can get someone else to do it for you.

And also don’t worry about being long. It might happen once and is not all that different to being short.
…except that most times the worst trouble is to front and sides of a green - over the back is often not an issue.
 

Orikoru

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Echo the comments on distance not being the problem too. 220 carry with driver isn't short, it's average if not a little above average for an amateur golfer. As long as you're doing that and keeping it in play, it should be plenty.

I'm around that sort of range, maybe a tad shorter, and I used to wish I could hit further - but chasing that just makes me slice the ball more which is no use at all. Ultimately it was more of a problem when I didn't have a reliable second shot for around 190-200 yards, but since I got my current fairway woods which just worked for me, it's been less of an issue. If you can hit 220 yards from the tee and 200 yards from the deck, it may not sound like much but only the 420+ par 4s are out of reach then, and holes of that length are few and far between.
 

Swango1980

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OP. I haven’t read all the replies, but I suspect there are a lot saying get good at short game. They aren’t wrong, short game is important but that won’t fix the problem, it’s just a ban aid.

From your stats’s it’s clear where you are leaking shots. If you want to shoot lower score, you need to hit more greens.

You have two main options to improve that. Be closer to the green your tee shot and get better at hitting your irons. Doing both will really help.

Being short so often is not uncommon and it sounds like your ball striking is an issue. But next time you play, take your yardage from the back of the green on all approaches and see how you get on. This works even better if you can get someone else to do it for you.

And also don’t worry about being long. It might happen once and is not all that different to being short.
Better short game is excellent advice

We all have bad days off the tee or with our ball striking, and sometimes you just need to write those rounds off (and given we ignore 12 of our last 20 for handicap, that is fine).

But, there will be days we get the ball in play. We either have a better ball striking day, or just get lucky. After all, our drives don't need to be incredibly accurate, but just hopefully get into a playable position. When those days come, you want to capitalise and don't throw any stupid shots away around or on the green. Even on bad ball striking days, a good short game can get you really good scores at times. Whereas it is rare that a person shoots a good score on a great ball striking day, but are rubbish around and on the green.

Getting from a handicap of 18 down to single figures, I think I had a good mentality once I got around the green. I never got stressed out about having to get up and down. I think lots of people get up tight about that and end up making a mess, or head goes down when they fail to do it. Instead, I just had the thought process of chipping the ball to a position that would give me a very stress free 2 putt (say, within 10-15 feet). Usually, that should be fine for nett par anyway, and would give me a chance to even make the putt for a shot better. As I had taken that stress away, I actually got a whole lot better at chipping, and actually ended up probably getting up and down anyway.
 

sjw

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I read through the first page of this thread and not beyond, so apologise if I've skipped something.

My main observation is that you sound pretty fed up, and perhaps get frustrated as a round goes on. Maybe try and take a week or two off, or play with counting at all. Just go out there and enjoy it. Get down the range, if it's TopTracer, play some of the games, whatever.

We play this game for fun and there's no point getting hung up on it :) Good luck! FWIW, I'm around your handicap level as well and I know all two well what it's like to start a round well and it go downhill, when it doesn't feel like you're doing any differently. It's very frustrating, I get that.
 

BiMGuy

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Better short game is excellent advice

We all have bad days off the tee or with our ball striking, and sometimes you just need to write those rounds off (and given we ignore 12 of our last 20 for handicap, that is fine).

But, there will be days we get the ball in play. We either have a better ball striking day, or just get lucky. After all, our drives don't need to be incredibly accurate, but just hopefully get into a playable position. When those days come, you want to capitalise and don't throw any stupid shots away around or on the green. Even on bad ball striking days, a good short game can get you really good scores at times. Whereas it is rare that a person shoots a good score on a great ball striking day, but are rubbish around and on the green.

Getting from a handicap of 18 down to single figures, I think I had a good mentality once I got around the green. I never got stressed out about having to get up and down. I think lots of people get up tight about that and end up making a mess, or head goes down when they fail to do it. Instead, I just had the thought process of chipping the ball to a position that would give me a very stress free 2 putt (say, within 10-15 feet). Usually, that should be fine for nett par anyway, and would give me a chance to even make the putt for a shot better. As I had taken that stress away, I actually got a whole lot better at chipping, and actually ended up probably getting up and down anyway.
A better short game is great advice and as you say is what you need when not firing on all cylinders. But it’s not the solution to better scores long term.

The solution to better scoring is hitting more greens in regulation.
 

Orikoru

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A better short game is great advice and as you say is what you need when not firing on all cylinders. But it’s not the solution to better scores long term.

The solution to better scoring is hitting more greens in regulation.
The way I see it, if you want to get a good score despite not playing very well, that's when you need a great short game. If you're more concerned about playing 'good golf' i.e. hitting nice strikes and good golf shots, then the short game alone isn't going to give you that feeling.
 

BiMGuy

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The way I see it, if you want to get a good score despite not playing very well, that's when you need a great short game. If you're more concerned about playing 'good golf' i.e. hitting nice strikes and good golf shots, then the short game alone isn't going to give you that feeling.
Indeed. A good short game is to get you out of trouble. Not getting into trouble in the first place is how we score better.

A good short game will not compensate for a poor long game. It can reduce the impact slightly, but it’s not the solution for long term improvement.
 

Backache

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Indeed. A good short game is to get you out of trouble. Not getting into trouble in the first place is how we score better.

A good short game will not compensate for a poor long game. It can reduce the impact slightly, but it’s not the solution for long term improvement.
I kind of agree with this to which I would add that relative to the rest of his game, the short game already appears to be in decent nick if the strokes gained are to be believed , so its unlikely that this is where the biggest gains can be achieved.
 

bobmac

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Buying new clubs will not fix a poor swing.
Improving your short game will not improve your poor swing.
Trying to keep the ball in play and hit more greens will not improve your poor swing.
Improve your poor swing, that will bring back the fun.
Golf is more fun from the middle of the fairway and putting for birdies.
 

Swango1980

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A better short game is great advice and as you say is what you need when not firing on all cylinders. But it’s not the solution to better scores long term.

The solution to better scoring is hitting more greens in regulation.
I must be exception to the rule. As I said earlier, when I was at my best, HCP 6, I was only hitting about 4 or 5 greens in regulation generally. My swing and ball striking are pretty horrendous. In fact, that part of my game has got a lot worse over the years (probably watching too much internet advice), so developed a swing that hooks the ball, and fats it frequently.

Ultimately, what will make you a better golfer is to improve ANY part of your game, as none of us have reached perfection in any of those areas. But, that is an unrealistic proposition.

When I played off 18, I didn't improve my long game at all. But short game improved significantly, and I got down to 6. It probably wasn't ALL down to the improvement in short game, as better course management would have played a huge part. I knew I was a terrible ball striker, but I could manage my game to improve the odds I wasn't going to hit the ball in the worst areas. Don't hit driver to a narrow gap when a 6 iron could give me a wide part of fairway to aim for and still give me a full wedge to 7 iron to green, etc.

Once I got down to 6, any further improvements to short game would probably have marginal benefit, unless I could truly could make it to world class short game standard, which is never happening. So, if I wanted to get much lower then, for sure, improving ball striking and greens in reg would have been much more important. I just didn't have the time to commit to that amount of work. My swing is so loopy (like a reverse Jim Furyk), that I find it really difficult to fix
 

Swango1980

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Buying new clubs will not fix a poor swing.
Improving your short game will not improve your poor swing.
Trying to keep the ball in play and hit more greens will not improve your poor swing.
Improve your poor swing, that will bring back the fun.
Golf is more fun from the middle of the fairway and putting for birdies.
Yeah, buying new clubs is the worst thing most people can do, unless they have the worst suited clubs fitted to their swing possible.

One guy at my club is honestly the worst golfer I've aver known, that is a member of a club. His swing is horrific, it is like a lumber jack trying to annihilate a tree stump by his foot. Several times, his ball almost pops up and hits him in the face. The other week he struck it off the tee. He couldn't see it, asked everyone else and they couldn't see where it went. After they were discussing this for about 5 or 6 seconds, the ball landed 3 yards in front of him. Hilarious. His clubs are worth well over a grand, and he even has a special edition golf bag that costs a few pennies. I just think to myself, what is the point? He could play golf swing a snooker queue and have similar scores.
 

Skytot

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Echo the comments on distance not being the problem too. 220 carry with driver isn't short, it's average if not a little above average for an amateur golfer. As long as you're doing that and keeping it in play, it should be plenty.

I'm around that sort of range, maybe a tad shorter, and I used to wish I could hit further - but chasing that just makes me slice the ball more which is no use at all. Ultimately it was more of a problem when I didn't have a reliable second shot for around 190-200 yards, but since I got my current fairway woods which just worked for me, it's been less of an issue. If you can hit 220 yards from the tee and 200 yards from the deck, it may not sound like much but only the 420+ par 4s are out of reach then, and holes of that length are few and far between.
You sound like me , ie distance off the tee and fairway distance. I’ve been stuck on 10.2 to 10.9 for 2 seasons, I thought this winter I would work on my driver distance but actually I need to improve my 5 wood . Can get 200/210 when I hit it well but generally I have a slice with it . We have a lot of holes 420 to 430 which means bogey / double for me ..
 

Orikoru

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You sound like me , ie distance off the tee and fairway distance. I’ve been stuck on 10.2 to 10.9 for 2 seasons, I thought this winter I would work on my driver distance but actually I need to improve my 5 wood . Can get 200/210 when I hit it well but generally I have a slice with it . We have a lot of holes 420 to 430 which means bogey / double for me ..
I suppose it's a good example of how there's many ways to skin a cat in golf. In that scenario you either improve your woods from that range, or hit something to 30-40 yards and get your pitching to a level where you're giving yourself a decent par putt every time. Getting on the green in reg and trying to two putt is always going to be preferable though.
 

TigerTime

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Thanks all for the advice, some very good points, some I agree with some I don't. But I do appreciate the suggestions.

I've had a break since this post (although it's only been a week) where I've not even thought about golf (well in terms of playing) and it gave me time to reflect a little bit. Yes I am frustrated at my game not getting better (if anything, worse). Yes I am frustrated that I spend what I deem to be a considerable amount of money on it just to hack it round. I enjoy the company and I enjoy the course and just playing, but it's less fun when I have a bad day and I shoot a mid 90's piece of garbage. Yes I just want to be at a similar level to my mates so I can relax more and enjoy it a little bit more. I'm not expecting to break par, it would be nice to have an occasional round in the 75-80 range with a bad round being mid 80's.

I'm going to work with a coach at Archerfield over winter, and have my first lesson booked up for next week. I don't expect instant results of course, my sole focus this winter is to work on my swing and ball striking so I can hit the links next year in a better place and able to enjoy myself a bit more. I am already armed with questions, mostly in relation as to how I will practice any change, and so on. I will be playing little golf up until March, and most time will be spent on practicing whether thats at the range or home, unless instructed to get on the course. If I'm going to do this, I'll need to manage my expectations and I'll need to be disciplined and properly work at whatever I get to work on.

I'm also going to get back to the gym and work on my fitness again, I've let it slide far too much.

Time to focus up and hopefully next year when the winter is over I'm in a better place from a technical and fitness point of view so those 90+ scores are a thing of the past.
 
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PhilTheFragger

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Speaking as a Auld Phart, with limited natural ability and so much medical history so as to make it a miracle I can still breathe let alone swing a club, it’s all about being realistic and enjoying the game.

We all improve, then either plateau or go backwards, and it takes time and effort to move to the next level.

I was an 18 handicapper about 8 years ago, for 1 week, I hit my limit of ability.
Now if I can break 100, I’m having a good day.
But I love the game, I love playing, even badly, it’s those great shots that keep me coming back.

You are never going to be Tiger, so don’t try, play the game and be grateful that you can, coz one day, you won’t be able to,

👍
 
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