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Frustration at lack of improvement

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
I played 18 again yesterday (forgot to take pictures after the 1st hole though...) and played pretty badly...again.

Long story short - started playing 3 years ago and played a lot of short courses that year (with a couple of lessons), didn't get to play much the second year (only one lesson), and played a fair amount last year (with a few more lessons that prior years).

I started out shooting in the 100s - 110s like most new golfers, last year started breaking 100 regularly and by October'ish got it down to the low 90s (even shot a 90). Since September (when I went back to school and no more work), I've been focusing on improving my game with a good amount of time on the range, playing, and at the indoor training centre with video (particularly since December).

The problem is that in my last four or five rounds, my lowest round is probably about 98 and my highest is probably 105. This isn't cool.

It seems the more I work on my game, the worse it gets.

To illustrate, yesterday, I lost a lot of strokes having to pitch out to the fairway from the right trees. This was not a factor of club selection because I was slicing it out with driver, 3 wood, and hybrid 4. It was the difference of pitching out from 180, 210'ish, or 240'ish (lost distance from the slice). On the other hand, my short game was pretty decent (for the most part) yesterday, particularly the 60 yard pitch that lipped out to 2 inches for a bogey on the first hole, the 9 iron over the right trees from 130 yards to 20 feet on the second and a similar shot on the 4th. I did start to lose focus and lost the short game to some degree, but by that point I wasn't playing well and so didn't care as much anyhow.

I'm not looking for a cure to the slice, I'm going to a lesson for that. I know my swing path is *usually* inside out, but that might have changed, and I might be leaving it open (perhaps from too stiff of a shaft? just switched to a Grafalloy Blue Stiff), or I may even be doing both.

Have you been in a position of making concentrated efforts to get better and been severely lacking in achieving that goal? It's getting fairly frustrating because I'm spending a lot of time on my game and not really seeing results.
 

The master

online
Oct 24, 2004
1,735
5
I can understand how you feel, but you are doing ok for the length of time you have been playing.

Things you should work on are your putting and pitching I bet you spend way more time on the range hitting balls this will not help you improve much, you will drop shots when you practice your putting a lto.

Another thing that may be gonig worng is you say you arepractcing and not seeing improvement this may be because you are not practicing right and not doing the right things if this is the case it will if anything make you worse, you need to go to a pro get a series of lessons and get some good drills that you can put to effect.


As for me I get frustrated with my putting all the time because my friend has a cutty putting stroke and I see mnie as pritty smooth and he makes a tonge more putts than me because he is better at reading greens and practices putting more.


I was also frustrtaed when I was a 10.7 handicap a couple of years agi because to get into the boys uslater champ you need to be 10.4 or lower and I had 2 comps to go before they closed entrys and I had already dropped many shots that year and in one comp I was liek +5 playig 16 which was good at the time lol... ANd I finished +11 and it broke my heart and I didn't make the champ I didn't play for a week and was close to quiting but that just simply means you need to pmprove you mental game
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
I appreciate your comments. A few items come to mind though:

1. Putting - my putting is decent, not fantastic, but not my weakness (usually in the 34 - 37 putts/round range). I do practice putting but at this time of year, I get cold just going out to putt, so I don't spend as much time on it as I should. While this would help me drop strokes, this has been the most consistent part of my game. It's above average, but not great.

2. Practicing "properly" - I like to think that I do this, but I do know that I need more work in this area. I have an imitation Inside Approach that I like to use in combination with a Plane Stik to work on my swing path and plane. I work on contact drills, as well as a few other specific types of practice (such as release), but do definitely need to work on more practice types. I don't generally have "poor practice" habits, in that I like to go through at least a semblance of my routine and not just pound drivers all day long. I also actually try to correct and work on specific things while practicing, such as keeping my right leg bent on my backswing (which is coming along nicely).

3. Lessons - I do have a series of lessons to take, but have problems spending the money on lessons when there isn't anything specific that I need to work on (which was sort of how I was feeling in October when things were really coming together). I need to start using them though, because my own work isn't working on getting me any better like I want to do.

Good points.
 

The master

online
Oct 24, 2004
1,735
5
All seems sound to me.


A few tips when practicing are:

A plank of wood in bunker, place a small bit of sand on it and you will get a better feel for a well hit bunker shot.


I have mroe to tell you later but got to run gonig to play 9 ball for money.
 

Loop

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
1,418
3
Silver, we all got to this point, where you practice and don't see the results as you want it. Golf is largely a mental game, and the more you play, the more maturity you get, and better will be your course management.
Second, Golf is also a game of consistency. Having a good session in the driving range doesn't mean you have a consistent swing. When you practice, you get into a groove, but most of the time, you don't know why you're making good contacts. For a time, I practiced in the range, and while I thought my swing has changed, it hasn't, and my swing was as inconsistent as before.

So the idea is the more consistent swing you have, the better your ballstriking will be, and the lower your score. To get to that point, you need to work on your fundamentals in the swing. Don't look how you've made contact, or the swing path, or how the ball sliced when you practice.
Be aware of your body, feet, legs, head, arms and hands in the swing.
Work on the swing, not the ballstriking.
I guarantee you, the result of better ballstriking will come in.

Before, I had a crappy swing. Then I've worked to make my swing as easiest as possible, with very very few movements. Each time, I've went to the range with only one swing change in mind. For example, I'd think of "hips stable and rotating". I ingrained it for a full hour, not thinking about anything else, and not caring how I've hit the ball. Then in the next session (which comes about once a week), I'd think of another thing. The result? A consistent swing that produces great ballstriking.
 

690.CB

Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2005
34
0
Sounds like your putting in plenty of effort. Only thing I can suggest is dont complicate things too much for yourself. When I walk on the 1st tee I try to have just one swing thought. At the moment im trying to get a nice wide arc and have plenty of room between my right hand and shoulder at the top.

If your trying to remember everything you've learned and incorperate them all into every swing it will begin to get difficult.

Id say the slice with the driver is maybe down to the graffaloy blue, I find that shaft a touch on the stiff side for me and I hit the ball 280+ and swing at around 110mph.

Dont worry too much about your scores for now, just try and concentrate on striking the ball consistently and eliminating the slice. With this will come increased confidence. The 1st time I ever broke 90 I shot 80, who's to say you wont do the same some time this year.
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
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  • Thread starter
  • #7
I like to attribute it to the Blue as well, but then again, my 3 wood is slicing as well (stock stiff Aldila shaft in the Powerbilt). I'm slicing my Nickent Genex Hybrid 4 (stock steel...uniflex I think), but I think I might reverse pivot on that club or something, or have it too far forward in my stance - not sure yet.

It's particularly frustrating because I fought a slice for so long and had pretty much gotten rid of it for the last six months or so. Now it's back and as good as ever.
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
And I definitely have to think about less when I step up to the ball, but it's hard not to think about things that you normally think about when you're practicing.

I have to spend more time reading Zen Golf so that my mind is clear.
 

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
5,822
15
Silver:

I can tell you with confidence that getting lessons now is the way to go.

My reasons:

1) You are still very new to the game...

2) Solving the Mystery of the Slice - has not yet been fully rationalized in your mind.

I read somewhere that 85% of golfers hit some sort of slice/block. For millions, it is a confounding, puzzling problem. Some never solve it.

I play with guys - very bright, who have played for much longer than you - who have not mastered it. They have a 16-18 handicap, and manage to score in the high 80's but nonetheless are "aiming left" to some extent on every shot.

Solving it on the internet is absurd.

My most recent lesson story has reinforced to me that they are the key to improvement - not some Grafalloy Blue shaft or some other equipment thingy.

Remember now that I have played for 40 years....

About 15 years ago, I was a solid 9 index. Played about 50 rounds per year. Not spectacular, but I shot between 81-84 on a pretty hard course...

Then, family problems came in and I played less and less - maybe 15 rounds per year.

In 2002, I was shooting high 80's and low 90's. Miserable.

So I said, "I am getting lessons and Committing to improvement - or I am hanging it up".

I went for a series of six lessons over 5 months. Get a lesson, hit the range once a week, play once a week. Month two get another and repeat....

At first - the scores went Up. We all know this story. And then they began to creep downward and then go way down. I dropped from a 13 index to a 7.0.

Keep in mind, that after 37 years of play (2-3 years ago) I was clueless about how to get my game back. Stumped. I told the pro,,,"please just give me back what I had before. I am not greedy, I just want to play in the low 80's again"

You are bright. You would not be admitted into law school if you were not mentally gifted. Strangely, it is people who are very cerebral - for whom golf can be very difficult. Because you want to analyze it. And although analyzing it IS valuable - ultimately is is a game of Feel. You have to Feel It. And the only way you can feel it is to have someone there in person - who will show you the right body positions, etc....

The mystery of the slice is a tough one. The good news is that once you break through - it will be gone forever.

Go negotiate a series of 5-6 lessons over a period of weeks now. Work them in between classes and COMMIT yourself to a practice and playing routine that will work for school...

IT will come my friend. At some point, you break through the cloud...wall.
 

The master

online
Oct 24, 2004
1,735
5
Bravo said:
Silver:

I can tell you with confidence that getting lessons now is the way to go.

My reasons:

1) You are still very new to the game...

2) Solving the Mystery of the Slice - has not yet been fully rationalized in your mind.

I read somewhere that 85% of golfers hit some sort of slice/block. For millions, it is a confounding, puzzling problem. Some never solve it.

I play with guys - very bright, who have played for much longer than you - who have not mastered it. They have a 16-18 handicap, and manage to score in the high 80's but nonetheless are "aiming left" to some extent on every shot.

Solving it on the internet is absurd.

My most recent lesson story has reinforced to me that they are the key to improvement - not some Grafalloy Blue shaft or some other equipment thingy.

Remember now that I have played for 40 years....

About 15 years ago, I was a solid 9 index. Played about 50 rounds per year. Not spectacular, but I shot between 81-84 on a pretty hard course...

Then, family problems came in and I played less and less - maybe 15 rounds per year.

In 2002, I was shooting high 80's and low 90's. Miserable.

So I said, "I am getting lessons and Committing to improvement - or I am hanging it up".

I went for a series of six lessons over 5 months. Get a lesson, hit the range once a week, play once a week. Month two get another and repeat....

At first - the scores went Up. We all know this story. And then they began to creep downward and then go way down. I dropped from a 13 index to a 7.0.

Keep in mind, that after 37 years of play (2-3 years ago) I was clueless about how to get my game back. Stumped. I told the pro,,,"please just give me back what I had before. I am not greedy, I just want to play in the low 80's again"

You are bright. You would not be admitted into law school if you were not mentally gifted. Strangely, it is people who are very cerebral - for whom golf can be very difficult. Because you want to analyze it. And although analyzing it IS valuable - ultimately is is a game of Feel. You have to Feel It. And the only way you can feel it is to have someone there in person - who will show you the right body positions, etc....

The mystery of the slice is a tough one. The good news is that once you break through - it will be gone forever.

Go negotiate a series of 5-6 lessons over a period of weeks now. Work them in between classes and COMMIT yourself to a practice and playing routine that will work for school...

IT will come my friend. At some point, you break through the cloud...wall.


Good post bravo, but I'm not being rude but you say you where shooting in 80's-90's, that is some accomplisment to be 7-8 index in a matter of two years at a middle age like youself. I know that 80% of the golfers in their 40-50's start to go up like crazy, I'm glad to hear you got it back.

Also silver try form about 5 feet on the putting green getting a ruler 1m long and set the ball in the we hole at the end and putt this will help you getting the putts on a better line and a better roll.

The club in the gorund is also great for the plane but be careful it actually can be dangerous.
 

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
5,822
15
TM:

Your post shows that you have not played with middle aged guys much - which is understandable given your age and experience...

There are several guys at my place who are between 53 - 57 years old who play to a 3-6 index all the time. We have a 75 year old woman who has an index of 6. She's been playing for 60 years. She carried an index of 0-2 for 45 years.

I had been a 9 index for several years and knew how to do it. It was about ten years ago. All I did was get my game back - and this case - more. My best previous handicap was 9 (at age 40) and at age 49 - I dropped to a 7.0.Last summer - not only did I shoot my lowest score ever - 73, but I shot my four best consecutive scores.

The key for Silver is to "break through" the left to right issue for good. And only lessons can do that for him....
 
S

spankdoggie

Guest
Omeletpants once told a story about a good friend of his at their private club... decided he wanted to win the club championship. He sucked at the time.

For years, he just took lessons and never played on a real course. Just practiced. I forgot the theory that he was practicing but someone asked about it and he replied.

He did win the club championship...
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
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  • #13
Bravo, TM, Loop, others, thanks for the comments. I assure you I am taking everything to heart, as well as with a grain of salt - wise words when dealing with the golf swing.

Anyhow, I'm in a GREAT mood right now. I just came back from Urban Links (my indoor training place) and I made a HUGE breakthrough thanks to one of the guys that works there, Jared. Jared used to play varsity golf for the uni that I did my undergrad at (Simon Fraser University). Anyhow, he's a +3 golfer and working towards getting his CPGA (still an amateur). He's more into "coaching" than doing just random lessons. I really like this approach because I feel that someone who REALLY wants to improve would do well to have regular contact with someone. I digress...

Jared came downstairs while I was busy trying to stay on plane and have good body positions at setup, impact, etc and noticed something...my release. He told me to start working on the "pump drill":

1. I should lay a club parallel to my target line right below where my hands start. I then basically take the club back to where it's pointing at 9:00 and check to see where it is in relation to my line and how the clubface is looking (should have the toe pointed straight up or even be "slightly closed" at the worst...but not open)

2. Then I take the club up to the top (which he pointed out that I should have a 90º angle with my right arm, where I was more compressed and tight into my body before whereas this will increase my extension and power and help with consistency)

3. Then I take the club back down to where it's pointing at 9:00 again and showed me where my hands should be and how my wrists should still be cocked and that the club shouldn't be "outside" the line of the club at my feet, and that the toe of the club should once again be either pointing straight up or be slight closed.

4. Do this a few times slowly, just from the top to the 9:00 position...over and over. If I ever start coming outside, stop and start again..."pumping" the club

5. After a few of these "pumps", release through. EVERY time I released, my club just nicely skimmed the mat and felt SO powerful.

I started trying this off of the launch monitor and after a few tries, I came up with the readings in the picture below. Straight with a 0º azimuth and 0º squared face is as good as it gets for contact.

The other yellow lines are how I was all over the place with earlier swings...trying all sorts of different things. The white line (and those right around it) are the ones that resulted from this drill. I was getting great power with just that release drill coming down from the top...so not even a "full swing." I'll take that accuracy anytime.

Basically, the way Jared was explaining it is that if I work on being right in line with that drill, I'll avoid these crazy outside-in swings and/or way inside-out swings that have been plaguing me lately. It will also prevent me from leaving the face open at impact.

I had NO consistent swing path and it was obviously killing me on the course. I did this for awhile and was trying it with my 4H and even my driver...I had a killer drive that was offline by about 25 yards but that LAUNCHED 275 (25 more than normal for me these days). I still came outside in on that shot, but it just flew (I only did it with two drives and kinda duffed the other one...the result of the drill with a 45" club). Anyhow, it was closer to online than anything yesterday and was also much further.

Anyhow, here's the picture:
2005_0226Image0005 (Small).JPG
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #14
Oh, and Loop, just re what you were saying about body positions and what not, I really generally only have one bad body position: my release. I always knew this, but seemed to fly the ball pretty well and always thought it would only help me with distance, so didn't worry about it too much.

Here are a couple more pictures showing how I was practicing the other day. This is a good way to keep on plane, let me tell you, although I kinda felt DiMarco/Furyk'esque on a couple of swings, but the "Plane Stick" prevents coming or going too far inside and the fake inside approach prevents the opposite, so I had some great plane that day, too bad everything else was ass (was leaving the clubface way open or closing it way too much at impact).

Anyhow, just thought these were good shots and that I would share:
2005_0226Image0001 (Small).JPG
2005_0226Image0002 (Small).JPG
 

mediaguru

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2005
513
0
Silver: The other thing that sucks about golf (and what makes it better and different than any other sport IMO) is that it gets harder the better you get. I've been working on trying to get to "scratch" for about 3 years now. Three years ago I was a 4 hcp. I got it down to a 1 for a short period and back up to a 2 over the last 2 years. The difference between a 2 handicap and scratch is exponentially different. It's just about as big of a gap as going from an 18 to a 6 in my opinion. Golf is like nothing else.
 

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