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

D

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Not sure it'll make the OP feel any better, but just so you know - you're not alone. Year and a half ago we moved. Our new house is a 3 minute drive from a driving range which also has a decent enough putting and chipping green which you can use for free. Since the move I started going to the range and/or the practice green probably 2-3 times per week. Don't even want to think about the money I've spent on bashing balls, only for my game to become worse and worse. I don't have an issue with distance, but my driver is absolutely killing my game as I cannot keep the ball in play. Have had no less than 4 lessons in the last year for the driver only, but none has helped thus far, so I keep binge watching youtube and trying everything, and the more I try, the worse it becomes.

Still mulling over my options, but for the foreseeable the driver will not be in the bag until I've found someone or something that can help me get rid of the demons.

Based on what you are writing, you and I sound very much the same. We beat ourselves up cause we so desperately want to improve and we both seem to have put in the hours and effort, but not reaping any of the rewards from it, so of course it's a bit disheartening.

You have already said though that your fitness could be better. Perhaps you start there, take a step back from direct golf practice and focus on that instead over the winter? That could (potentially) help you with the distance issue, so that would be one box ticked. And if that doesn't translate directly, the worst case scenario is that you just simply will be fitter, which is never a bad thing.

Also, perhaps try meditation? I say that although I'm really bad at doing it consistently, but I know that it helps in the long run when you get into it over longer periods of time. Or, it does for me at least as it does help me control my temper when I'm on the course.

Anyways - as said, you're not alone, and I hope you find your way to improve your game! I'll keep my own search going and will let you know if I find the universal fix! :)
 

Albo

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Not sure it'll make the OP feel any better, but just so you know - you're not alone. Year and a half ago we moved. Our new house is a 3 minute drive from a driving range which also has a decent enough putting and chipping green which you can use for free. Since the move I started going to the range and/or the practice green probably 2-3 times per week. Don't even want to think about the money I've spent on bashing balls, only for my game to become worse and worse. I don't have an issue with distance, but my driver is absolutely killing my game as I cannot keep the ball in play. Have had no less than 4 lessons in the last year for the driver only, but none has helped thus far, so I keep binge watching youtube and trying everything, and the more I try, the worse it becomes.

Still mulling over my options, but for the foreseeable the driver will not be in the bag until I've found someone or something that can help me get rid of the demons.

Based on what you are writing, you and I sound very much the same. We beat ourselves up cause we so desperately want to improve and we both seem to have put in the hours and effort, but not reaping any of the rewards from it, so of course it's a bit disheartening.

You have already said though that your fitness could be better. Perhaps you start there, take a step back from direct golf practice and focus on that instead over the winter? That could (potentially) help you with the distance issue, so that would be one box ticked. And if that doesn't translate directly, the worst case scenario is that you just simply will be fitter, which is never a bad thing.

Also, perhaps try meditation? I say that although I'm really bad at doing it consistently, but I know that it helps in the long run when you get into it over longer periods of time. Or, it does for me at least as it does help me control my temper when I'm on the course.

Anyways - as said, you're not alone, and I hope you find your way to improve your game! I'll keep my own search going and will let you know if I find the universal fix! :)
There may be a question of how you practice as much as the amount you practise. The four foundations of golf is a book by Jon Sherman which goes into a lot of detail about how to practice effectively.
Also your comment about lessons not working so turning to YT watching and trying stuff, been there, done that and got worse as a result!!
Stop doing that, it won’t help at least in my vast experience it won’t. Go back to what you were told in your lessons and practice that, things will likely get worse before they get better, but giving up after a week/month/whatever and thinking the fix can be found on YT is a long road to disappointment
 
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There may be a question of how you practice as much as the amount you practise. The four foundations of golf is a book by Jon Sherman which goes into a lot of detail about how to practice effectively.
Also your comment about lessons not working so turning to YT watching and trying stuff, been there, done that and got worse as a result!!
Stop doing that, it won’t help at least in my vast experience it won’t. Go back to what you were told in your lessons and practice that, things will likely get worse before they get better, but giving up after a week/month/whatever and thinking the fix can be found on YT is a long road to disappointment
Oh, it's 100% about me practising the wrong things. And since I've done that in bulk, the inevitable has happened, i.e., I gradually become even worse. Add on top of that the hundreds of swing thoughts that is bouncing around in my head from YT and it's a proper recipe for disaster.

Tbh, the lessons didn't give me too much. Whenever next time I go for a lesson, I will be straight up honest and say that I need them look at it, break it down, be harsh and then give me 2-3 things to work on until the next lesson and then stick with that. I was never given any real drills or anything. Apparently the grip is fine according to both pro's I've seen, so it shouldn't be that at least. One tip was to "aim more to the left" which isn't really gone solve the root cause of my issue as it's clear, to me at least, that there's something fundamentally wrong when I got a driver in my hands.

Just finishing off 4 Foundations of golf and started to read "Every shot counts" by Matt Broadie now. If nothing else, it's an interesting read!
 

BearwoodLakesGolfer

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I don’t have much to add that others haven’t.
For me the biggest difference was 1) Finding a coach that you’re receptive too. I have had a few lessons and was t getting anywhere, then I switched and found one that I got on with and suggested different ways for me to learn. Sometimes some pros would preach one way to practice and think that’s the only way.

Secondly to your point around practice, speak to the pro and be really diligent about what you are practicing.

Like tiger says, stay off YouTube though. It’s a dangerous rabbit hole to go down..
 

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On the idea of fitness, that would be a complete waste of time. Golfwise - exercise unquestionably good from a health point of view. But do it for health without golf benefit expectations by all means. But if you are investing in fitness as a way of sorting your golf, you will be disappointed. 20 minutes chipper per weak will give you something, 3 hours of fitness will not. Fitness is not the issue for golfers with HI in double digits. Fats, thins, quick hooks OB, duffed chips, etc are not coming from a lack of fitness, but golf technique and skill. In the single digits fitnes, as the route to longer hitting, matters.
 

BiMGuy

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On the idea of fitness, that would be a complete waste of time. Golfwise - exercise unquestionably good from a health point of view. But do it for health without golf benefit expectations by all means. But if you are investing in fitness as a way of sorting your golf, you will be disappointed. 20 minutes chipper per weak will give you something, 3 hours of fitness will not. Fitness is not the issue for golfers with HI in double digits. Fats, thins, quick hooks OB, duffed chips, etc are not coming from a lack of fitness, but golf technique and skill. In the single digits fitnes, as the route to longer hitting, matters.
Any evidence to support this view?

Surely improving core strength will help maintain a good posture? Being stronger and more flexible will make swinging the club easier. You could hit the ball further with less effort.
 

TigerTime

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On the idea of fitness, that would be a complete waste of time. Golfwise - exercise unquestionably good from a health point of view. But do it for health without golf benefit expectations by all means. But if you are investing in fitness as a way of sorting your golf, you will be disappointed. 20 minutes chipper per weak will give you something, 3 hours of fitness will not. Fitness is not the issue for golfers with HI in double digits. Fats, thins, quick hooks OB, duffed chips, etc are not coming from a lack of fitness, but golf technique and skill. In the single digits fitnes, as the route to longer hitting, matters.

I think you are looking at it on the extreme side of the scale.

If you are lacking mobility, core strength and power the working on these things will absolutely have an effect on your game.
 

RichA

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On the idea of fitness, that would be a complete waste of time. Golfwise - exercise unquestionably good from a health point of view. But do it for health without golf benefit expectations by all means. But if you are investing in fitness as a way of sorting your golf, you will be disappointed. 20 minutes chipper per weak will give you something, 3 hours of fitness will not. Fitness is not the issue for golfers with HI in double digits. Fats, thins, quick hooks OB, duffed chips, etc are not coming from a lack of fitness, but golf technique and skill. In the single digits fitnes, as the route to longer hitting, matters.
How could it possibly be a waste of time to improve your fitness, strength and flexibility, whatever your handicap? Of course fitness will improve your golf.
 

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Any evidence to support this view?
None whatsoever. Just the strong view of the non specialist who has decided he has an opinion, is so convinced of its correctness that any concrete evidence would be superfluous, and is sticking with it. I am correct though.
 

Backsticks

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How could it possibly be a waste of time to improve your fitness, strength and flexibility, whatever your handicap? Of course fitness will improve your golf.
Any evidence to support that ? The 'of course' is a much bigger stretch than my position.
 

Backsticks

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Any evidence that fitness will help you in a sport!? My, I'm sure that would be difficult to find...
Without moving the goalposts from handicap golfers such as the op and this discussion here to a generic 'one', nor from golf to sport, I would genuinely challenge you to find any. So very difficult to find, if indeed it exists at all.
And guess that more likely you fill find that there is no benefit, or any benefit is minimal a hugely out of proportion to the time investment compared to solving some skill flaws (not getting on with a hybrid is technique issue that is spoiling someone's game, and fitness will have no influence on that).
 

RichA

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Without moving the goalposts from handicap golfers such as the op and this discussion here to a generic 'one', nor from golf to sport, I would genuinely challenge you to find any. So very difficult to find, if indeed it exists at all.
And guess that more likely you fill find that there is no benefit, or any benefit is minimal a hugely out of proportion to the time investment compared to solving some skill flaws (not getting on with a hybrid is technique issue that is spoiling someone's game, and fitness will have no influence on that).
I'm imagining that said in the voice of Donald Trump.
 

TigerTime

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It sounds to me as if you have too many swing thoughts from so many lessons.
You need to simplify everything.

Golf is in its simplest form is all about 2 things
Contact.
Direction.

Before I retired from teaching golf, I used to assess the pupil on these two fundamentals.

I see you miss the target on both sides which suggests to me your swing is slightly out to in and your grip is suspect.
When your weak hand (normally left) is dominant, you fade the ball.
When your strong hand (normally right) is dominant, you pull the ball.
I would strongly suggest you get your grip checked as a neutral grip will improve your consistency. Where you hit it.

How you hit it.
90% of pupils I used to see would sway rather than turn which just adds to the inconsistency.
It's a simple check.
Film yourself on the course from face on and that will show if you are in fact swaying off the ball.
The only cure for this is to try and keep your head still. Again, filming your swing will help show the difference between real and feel. Turn, don't sway.

So one change in the set-up (grip) and one swingthought (head still).
Hope this helps

Just wanted to follow up on this advice @bobmac

I got things checked over.

- Swing path was massively out to in unfortunately, probably as a result of 'playing the cut'. I've managed to narrow this down a little bit, but clearly got more to do on this front - I think it was averaging anywhere between 9-15 degrees out to in. Nuts.

- My grip was 'neutral to slightly weak' but because the swing path was massively out to in it resulted in an open club face and 'fades' - occasionally I'd get a power fade type thing but mostly, high weak curvature to the right. My grip was a baseball grip - it has now been switched to interlock. It is still neutral - but we found it took out my right hand being dominant so there was less pulls at least but there was a toe strike dominance.

- The swing itself. There was a bit of sway, but the biggest issue was lack of rotation in the upper body. My arms would carry on and on resulting in the club basically being dumped behind me and my torso/shoulders didn't turn with them. I'm not sure if I have a postural or mobility issue here which may be why I've ended up swinging this way over time or if I just need to learn how to do it properly.

- More on the swing. On the backswing I opened the clubface slightly - how I done this I'm not sure if it was a wrists thing or if it was because of the lack of upper body rotation above. And perhaps because of that I do this thing at the top of the swing where I push the hands up and you can guess what it results in.

It kinda makes sense and the main root cause seems to be from the lack of upper body rotation. Lower body was fine apparently.
 
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