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How long do I need to be to start scoring/improve?

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  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 11, 2019 2:45pm #32

    You've gotta eliminate the three putts. Bad driver, poor iron shots you can recover from with a good follow-up. But when the ball doesn't drop in the hole there's nothing you can do to make up for it.

    My suggestions:

    • Try the coin putting drill. Place a small coin on the floor ahead of the ball (only a couple of centimetres). Putt the ball over the top of it. When you can do that consistently move the coin further out. Keep moving the coin until you can consistently send the ball over it from a metre away. Or at least half a metre. This will ensure that you can at least start the ball on the intended line.
    • Get a putting mat. Ideally one with a slope and holes at the far end and a channel to return the ball. Practice putting into the holes (the smaller one if you have a choice). Move up and down the matt to vary the distance. This should help you develop good speed control. The mats with a slope and return channel are my favourites because you don't have to move. Most other aids mean you have to go chasing after the ball even on success and certainly on failure. Hunting for golf balls under furniture gets old real fast. The slope+channel aids return the ball to your feet every time unless you do something really egregious. I've been known to spend an hour just putting on mine while watching TV.
    • When you're putting speed is the priority. Obviously you'd like to get direction right as well but at least if you get the speed right on most greens your next putt will be easy.
    • Don't look up until you hear the ball drop. Not everyone likes this advice and on a really long putt you should look up once the ball is definitely on its way to get information on the break for your possible next putt. But within a couple of metres I find that making a point of refusing to try and watch the ball hugely improves speed and accuracy.
    • Before a round by all means practice long putts but always finish off with some short putts. After you've done all the above you should be able to reliably hole out everything within half a metre and that will boost your confidence for the round.
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  • jvincentjvincent Members Posts: 807 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bonvivantva said:

    @golfandfishing said:
    OP- on average, once you are wedge yardage or closer, what is your average number of strokes taken?

    That's hard to say. My favorite distance in is probably 110-130. I'm most confident with a 9i, or maybe a PW. Inside of 70, I have to hit a partial shot, which is not my favorite. I'm also not great out of bunkers. But my putting is pretty decent. I'd say I two putt pretty often, and three putt just under half the time.

    Not trying to be a downer but trying to level set your expectations, but three putting just under half the time does not equate to being a decent putter. That is in fact what most would call a terrible putter.

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  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,361 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    This thread is a complete mess.

  • Birdie MacBirdie Mac Members Posts: 639 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @oikos1 said:
    This thread is a complete mess.

    Eight years on WRX and you think this thread is a complete mess? Tough crowd.

  • golfandfishinggolfandfishing Members Posts: 3,668 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    This thread isn't a mess but it has the potential. I think the OP has the classic case of the typical 20 handicapper who says they want to shoot better scores. Most of the time this is a lie - what they want is to appear to be a person capable of hitting the ball like a reasonable player. They could not care any less about shooting better scores or actually being a better player, what they want is to not embarrass themselves on the first tee. If a 20 wants to get better - they need to wear out the wedge area and putting green. As golfers we have been chasing "distance" since the 1600's. Steel shafts gave way to stronger lofts, metal woods became commonplace and gave way to graphite shafts and titanium heads that promised longer than ever distances. Adjustable drivers are now the norm, all "custom fit" on a launch monitor promising us 15 more yards. Even a tee that promised 2 extra feet on a drive made a guy wealthy. In the end, here they all sit, popping drives 220 yards and still not able to get down in 2 from the fringe...……………

    When I was teaching I lost so many students on the practice green that I lost count, they weren't serious about lowering their scores, they actually wanted to not get laughed at dumping a 5 iron 40 yards short of the green and picking up a divot the size of their house. For almost any 20 handicapper on the planet, the first part of lowering scores should be getting down in 3 or less anytime you have a wedge in hand. Our guy above, if I make a conservative estimate, averages 4 strokes (probably more) anytime he is under 100 yards. If he gets this to just 3 (THREE!), he is a 15 at most. Instead, he wants to hit it further so he can dump a wedge into a bunker, shake it out a mile from the hole and 3 putt for double bogey all day. If he takes the current long game he has and hits a drive 210, hits a 5 iron around the green and then makes bogey on 9 par 4's, bogey on 3 of the 4 par 5's and on every par 3 he just shot 88. But most don't want that, they want their buddies to ooooh at the one long ball they hit in play all summer.

  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    @golfandfishing said:
    This thread isn't a mess but it has the potential. I think the OP has the classic case of the typical 20 handicapper who says they want to shoot better scores. Most of the time this is a lie - what they want is to appear to be a person capable of hitting the ball like a reasonable player. They could not care any less about shooting better scores or actually being a better player, what they want is to not embarrass themselves on the first tee. If a 20 wants to get better - they need to wear out the wedge area and putting green. As golfers we have been chasing "distance" since the 1600's. Steel shafts gave way to stronger lofts, metal woods became commonplace and gave way to graphite shafts and titanium heads that promised longer than ever distances. Adjustable drivers are now the norm, all "custom fit" on a launch monitor promising us 15 more yards. Even a tee that promised 2 extra feet on a drive made a guy wealthy. In the end, here they all sit, popping drives 220 yards and still not able to get down in 2 from the fringe...……………

    When I was teaching I lost so many students on the practice green that I lost count, they weren't serious about lowering their scores, they actually wanted to not get laughed at dumping a 5 iron 40 yards short of the green and picking up a divot the size of their house. For almost any 20 handicapper on the planet, the first part of lowering scores should be getting down in 3 or less anytime you have a wedge in hand. Our guy above, if I make a conservative estimate, averages 4 strokes (probably more) anytime he is under 100 yards. If he gets this to just 3 (THREE!), he is a 15 at most. Instead, he wants to hit it further so he can dump a wedge into a bunker, shake it out a mile from the hole and 3 putt for double bogey all day. If he takes the current long game he has and hits a drive 210, hits a 5 iron around the green and then makes bogey on 9 par 4's, bogey on 3 of the 4 par 5's and on every par 3 he just shot 88. But most don't want that, they want their buddies to ooooh at the one long ball they hit in play all summer.

    Three putting half the time was just a guess. I don't keep track to be honest. Maybe I should. This past weekend the course didn't have a ton of break, and one of the guys was generous with gimmie's so I doubt I had many three putts at all. I played an executive length course a few weeks ago by myself and I think I shot 12 over par. But I think I hit driver only once, and otherwise an 5i is plenty of club. It also seems easier to hit irons off the tee, so really I only had an approach shot on occasion. That really leads me to believe my problem (with scoring) is more irons than chipping or putting, but one round doesn't really tell the whole story I guess.

    You bring up a good point. If I'm being honest with myself, I guess I'd rather improve contact than improve my scores, if I had to choose. I'm already having fun out there. Honestly, I just get frustrated that I can't seem to achieve a repeatable swing. A year or so ago, I kept changing my swing so drastically that I wasn't improving at all. I could be wrong, but I do feel like I have a swing I can build on now. Even if it's not the best way to lower my score, I guess I'd rather improve ball striking, as I think it will allow me to enjoy the game more. When I top or chunk a shot, it drives me crazy. When I leave a long putt or chip 3 or 4 feet from the hole and then miss the next putt, I'm not happy about it, but I'm not beating myself up over it either.

    I originally just wanted to know if y'all thought only being able to hit the ball about 180 on a second shot was holding my scores back. Literally all of my friends hit it longer than me, and although they don't necessarily score any better, I was wondering if that was holding me back. My dad hits his clubs about the same distances as I do, maybe even 5-10 yards shorter, and scores in the 70s. But he can also hit his hybrids and woods. That's really why I was wondering if distance was holding me back. It sounds pretty unanimous that distance is not the issue for me or someone in a similar position. The guys out there with a similar handicap seem to understand that if you're not having fun, you're not going to improve or stick with it. No matter your level of skill or experience teaching even, I don't think one can argue that point. Could I improve more/faster by focusing on putting and short game? Sounds probable, but as golfandfishing said, he lost a lot of students that way. Perhaps the most effective way isn't the most efficient? You certainly can't improve if you give up. Since I care about improving my irons and enjoy working on them, I think I'll keep at it.

  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,632 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bonvivantva said:

    I originally just wanted to know if y'all thought only being able to hit the ball about 180 on a second shot was holding my scores back. Literally all of my friends hit it longer than me, and although they don't necessarily score any better, I was wondering if that was holding me back. My dad hits his clubs about the same distances as I do, maybe even 5-10 yards shorter, and scores in the 70s. But he can also hit his hybrids and woods. That's really why I was wondering if distance was holding me back. It sounds pretty unanimous that distance is not the issue for me or someone in a similar position. The guys out there with a similar handicap seem to understand that if you're not having fun, you're not going to improve or stick with it. No matter your level of skill or experience teaching even, I don't think one can argue that point. Could I improve more/faster by focusing on putting and short game? Sounds probable, but as golfandfishing said, he lost a lot of students that way. Perhaps the most effective way isn't the most efficient? You certainly can't improve if you give up. Since I care about improving my irons and enjoy working on them, I think I'll keep at it.

    In my opinion, limiting yourself to 180 yards or so is definitely holding you back. 180 with a 5-iron is plenty far, but you would be very well served by learning how to hit the longer clubs reasonable well. Whether that's a swing improvement, or just getting used to them, only you can decide. On the other hand, there's really no question that putting is a simpler motion, you can improve that quickly with good practice. But for a typical 20 handicapper, trying to become a 10 handicap, putting is likely to get you only 2 or 3 strokes.
    The best way to make more putts is to hit the ball closer to the hole. The best way to hit it closer is to have shorter shots coming in. Seems kind of logical, I hope. The best way to get up and down more often is to leave yourself closer to the green. And to make more of your leaves closer to the green, find a way to hit from closer to the hole. THAT is the reason to get longer off the tee, while maintaining a reasonable degree of accuracy. If you're closer to the green for your second shot, your second shots will finish closer to the hole, you'll have shorter chips, shorter first putts.

  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    I really do think that focusing on my irons will also help my hybrids. Theres no reason I can't throw in a few hybrid shots as well. It's almost the same thing as my 5i. But the woods just seem to be an entirely different swing to me. Like I can't dig at all and have to sweep. When I practice woods I feel like I'm wasting time that could be spend improving my iron play. I'll save those for later. Focus on the irons now.

  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,632 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bonvivantva said:
    I really do think that focusing on my irons will also help my hybrids. Theres no reason I can't throw in a few hybrid shots as well. It's almost the same thing as my 5i. But the woods just seem to be an entirely different swing to me. Like I can't dig at all and have to sweep. When I practice woods I feel like I'm wasting time that could be spend improving my iron play. I'll save those for later. Focus on the irons now.

    I agree, to a point, improving your full swing should help improve your hybrids. Personally, I believe the best way to improve the most is to work on the weak parts of your game. Your irons are a strength right now, based on what you say, your woods are a weakness.

  • PorscheFanPorscheFan Members Posts: 1,278 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 2:25pm #41

    I got from >20 to 11 over the last couple of years, and my short game is arguably worse now than it was then due to practice time. Everyone's route is different, and everyone has different strengths, but this was mine:

    Make Driver Your B^%#$
    Don't settle for 3 wood. Learn to tame that driver. Cut an inch off the shaft if you have to. Shorten your backswing if you have to. Take driver-only lessons if you have to, but dedicate yourself to making it your go-to club. Learn to swing fast as you can in balance and control will come. Then, your 'easy' speed on the first tee will eclipse your current max speed. Use Strike Spray or athlete's foot powder to monitor strike. You must have good feedback to improve. Learn what a toe hit feels like, a heel strike, low on the face, high on the face... become a student. Feeling like you can get on that first tee box and swing without anxiety is KEY. Forgetting lower scores for a second, just for the enjoyment of golf... The ability to be paired with a group you don't know and not panick. Make the driver yours.

    Every Other Club is a Distance Club
    Learn a controlled swing, whatever that is for you. It doesn't matter if your 5i goes 190 or 170 on a good strike. What matters is that you can pull that distance off more often than not.

    Play the Least Risky Shot
    I hit green with my hybrid from 240 last weekend, but it was a scramble and we had good shots already in play. That wouldn't typicallybe my second shot into a par 5 with my current ball striking. It doesn't matter what's 'possible' - concentrate on what's 'probable'. I'm only just starting to fold in some hybrid shots on par 5s as my ball striking improves and would never entertain hitting 3 wood off the deck right now. 6i is often a comfortable layup shot for me on a par 5. I can swing within myself and even an OK shot will leave me with pretty much the same result.

    Enjoy the journey, whatever route you take!

  • iteachgolfiteachgolf Members Posts: 16,950 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    You hit it far enough to shoot under par from 6500 yards. Distance isn’t the issue

  • LeoLeo99LeoLeo99 Members Posts: 4,337 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Just a guess but I see guys like this every time I go to the range. Large bucket of balls and a bad swing and they just whack ball after ball. It's pointless. The only way to get better at golf is to improve your swing and short game techniques. You don't need to become of those people that worries about P3 positions and over technical details but you need a solid swing. After that, the game will fall into place. When your swing improves, your distance will probably improve. Keeping it in play will improve.

  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,433 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @LeoLeo99 said:
    Just a guess but I see guys like this every time I go to the range. Large bucket of balls and a bad swing and they just whack ball after ball. It's pointless. The only way to get better at golf is to improve your swing and short game techniques. You don't need to become of those people that worries about P3 positions and over technical details but you need a solid swing. After that, the game will fall into place. When your swing improves, your distance will probably improve. Keeping it in play will improve.

    I know I repeat this story frequently but when I was a near beginner there was a place I'd go a couple times a month for lessons. There was a driving-range there and one of the regulars was a guy who would pull up in the car park, pick up a large bucket of balls and with nary a practice swing or warmup of any kind proceed to whack all 100 balls with his driver in about 20 minutes, flat. Never even brought any club other than driver. He'd be hitting the next ball while the previous one was still in the air. Last ball launched, he'd be headed back to his car without even watching it land. I was told he came there several times a week to do exactly that.

    I'm guessing he was more about stress relief than practice, maybe.

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  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    @PorscheFan said:
    I got from >20 to 11 over the last couple of years, and my short game is arguably worse now than it was then due to practice time. Everyone's route is different, and everyone has different strengths, but this was mine:

    Make Driver Your B^%#$
    Don't settle for 3 wood. Learn to tame that driver. Cut an inch off the shaft if you have to. Shorten your backswing if you have to. Take driver-only lessons if you have to, but dedicate yourself to making it your go-to club. Learn to swing fast as you can in balance and control will come. Then, your 'easy' speed on the first tee will eclipse your current max speed. Use Strike Spray or athlete's foot powder to monitor strike. You must have good feedback to improve. Learn what a toe hit feels like, a heel strike, low on the face, high on the face... become a student. Feeling like you can get on that first tee box and swing without anxiety is KEY. Forgetting lower scores for a second, just for the enjoyment of golf... The ability to be paired with a group you don't know and not panick. Make the driver yours.

    Every Other Club is a Distance Club
    Learn a controlled swing, whatever that is for you. It doesn't matter if your 5i goes 190 or 170 on a good strike. What matters is that you can pull that distance off more often than not.

    Play the Least Risky Shot
    I hit green with my hybrid from 240 last weekend, but it was a scramble and we had good shots already in play. That wouldn't typicallybe my second shot into a par 5 with my current ball striking. It doesn't matter what's 'possible' - concentrate on what's 'probable'. I'm only just starting to fold in some hybrid shots on par 5s as my ball striking improves and would never entertain hitting 3 wood off the deck right now. 6i is often a comfortable layup shot for me on a par 5. I can swing within myself and even an OK shot will leave me with pretty much the same result.

    Enjoy the journey, whatever route you take!

    I think this makes a lot of sense. I think my best scores ever have been when my driver has been finding the fairway the best. My spring Myrtle Beach trip, I was hitting the longest I ever have with driver, but definitely not consistently or reliably, and my scores reflected that. I think my best round was a 94. I think one issue I've had is that my driving range has tees that don't quite get the ball about a half ball taller than my driver head. I bought some rubber tees off amazon that are supposed to be higher, and when they come in, I'll start working on the driver some each range session.

    I've spent way too much time watching golf instruction videos about path, wrists, drills, etc. My left wrist was breaking down at the top of my backswing for years, and let me tell you, you can't fix that by working on other things. It took me way too long to figure out the root cause of many of my compensations. I've watched my dad with his effortless looking swing just pitch easy shots out with a nice draw. I've never been able to do that. My wrist used to open the club face and then over the top was the only way to hit the ball. Now, I think I tend to turn off the ball and I have a pretty flat shoulder turn which causes path issues. I went to the range today, and I started off really well. I even managed to hit some 3/4 7is where I just pitched them in-out like my dad can. I wouldn't call it effortless, but I did it several times in a row. I was doing well for a while, when then I got a little hot and tired. As soon as I get tired, my swing flattens out, my wrist starts to break, and it's back to my old faults. I'm definitely getting better though. I had a series of PW shots today that the farthest I left one from the 130 pin might have been 15 feet. I just need to figure out how to feel that steeper plane and then stick with it longer/when I get tired. I also hit a bunch of 5is and rolled them up to the 200 yard pin. I really do think I'm making progress. I just can't quite manage to find a safe swing, or baseline that I can go back to when I get into trouble. I've hit little punch shots with my 5i that carry better than 150, but I can't seem to make that shot when things are breaking down. I feel like I need a safe shot in order to play the least risky shot. My contact seems best right now with my 8i. For whatever reason, I don't seem to chunk that one. If anything, when my plane is wrong or I rush, I hook it some, but it's still going about 150. I also tried more of a punch shot with my 9i. I was getting it about the same distance as a full shot (130ish), but with lower trajectory and more roll. But those shorter backswing punch shots were just as likely to hook as a full shot when I started losing it. I suspect that even with an abbreviated swing, my shoulders were too flat and I may have been swaying back some, causing chunky strikes and an out to in path.

    Anyways, it feels good to believe things are getting better with the irons. Can't say I'm improving as fast as I'd like, but I also don't feel like I'm wasting my time out there on the range. Once those tees get in, I'm going to start hitting the driver at least some each time I go out. I don't enjoy driving as much as I enjoy working on irons, nor do I feel as frustrated when I hit a bad driver shot, but I agree that taking your second shot from 200+ out and in the fairway can only help me scores and enjoyment.

    One last thought. I'm not particularly old (not 40 yet). Slamming my irons into the mat from an over the top swing is not an old man's game. For people talking about working on putting and short game, I feel like I have the rest of my life for that. Working on irons is not something I'd want to start later in life when I don't recover as fast. I wish I'd fixed my plane and path earlier!

  • msgmsg Members Posts: 361 ✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 9:30pm #46

    @bonvivantva said:
    Is 180 enough to break 90?

    I played once with a very bad snap hook. My driver went 160 and I played at a 6000 yard course, average length. I shot 77 because I never lost a ball or flubbed a shot. I just kept aiming right and ball ended up in the middle. My ego could not take it so I kept on hitting my driver even if I knew that my 4 hybrid would travel a longer distance. The other factor was my chipping and putting. I scrambled a lot that day that even if I did not hit a lot of greens, I saved lots of pars and got some birdies here and there.

    Whenever I play a shorter course, I always tell myself that I don't even need a driver. But my ego could not take it. lol Like you, I am not long by any means, I average 240 off the tee. I also played with long players who have lower handicaps than me and I can say that I was able to score a few strokes more than them even if they were out driving me by 30 yards.

  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,100 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I would argue the answer depends how accurate you need to be for the distance you hit it. Three 150 yard 7 irons and 1 putt makes 4, which is par on a majority of holes.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead
  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,632 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @northgolf said:
    I would argue the answer depends how accurate you need to be for the distance you hit it. Three 150 yard 7 irons and 1 putt makes 4, which is par on a majority of holes.

    True, but the OP is a 20 handicap. Very few 20s ever hit 3 shots in a row properly, let alone hit a 7-iron close enough to make the following putt. By limiting himself to his 180-yard 5-iron, he's limiting how well he's likely to score.

  • juststevejuststeve Members Posts: 4,860 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    When courses are rated it is done in reference to a mythical scratch golfer who the USGA defines as a man how can drive the ball 250 yards and can reach a 470 yard hole in two shots at sea level. This suggests to me that OP is long enough to improve his 20 handicap by a lot.

    Steve

  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,632 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @juststeve said:
    When courses are rated it is done in reference to a mythical scratch golfer who the USGA defines as a man how can drive the ball 250 yards and can reach a 470 yard hole in two shots at sea level. This suggests to me that OP is long enough to improve his 20 handicap by a lot.

    Steve

    Even the "standard bogey golfer" is expected to hit his drives 200 yards, and be able reach a 370 yard par 4 in 2 shots, and have a course handicap of around 20. That same general expectation is found in data compiled by Game Golf, here:
    https://www.golfmagic.com/golf-news/average-driving-distance-age-and-handicap
    It seems our OP, limiting himself to his 180-yard 5-iron, is already shorter than the "standard" golfer, so he is exceeding expectations with approach and short game stuff. Assuming his average tee shot (with that 5-iron) really is 180, he's driving it about as long as a 30 handicapper. If you trust statistics, it seems plain that, for his handicap level, his length off the tee is substandard.

  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,433 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @davep043 said:

    @juststeve said:
    When courses are rated it is done in reference to a mythical scratch golfer who the USGA defines as a man how can drive the ball 250 yards and can reach a 470 yard hole in two shots at sea level. This suggests to me that OP is long enough to improve his 20 handicap by a lot.

    Steve

    Even the "standard bogey golfer" is expected to hit his drives 200 yards, and be able reach a 370 yard par 4 in 2 shots, and have a course handicap of around 20. That same general expectation is found in data compiled by Game Golf, here:
    https://www.golfmagic.com/golf-news/average-driving-distance-age-and-handicap
    It seems our OP, limiting himself to his 180-yard 5-iron, is already shorter than the "standard" golfer, so he is exceeding expectations with approach and short game stuff. Assuming his average tee shot (with that 5-iron) really is 180, he's driving it about as long as a 30 handicapper. If you trust statistics, it seems plain that, for his handicap level, his length off the tee is substandard.

    I am the bogey golfer. I can drive it somewhat over 200 yards but long-term my average drive is almost exactly that (counting mishits, balls that hit trees and so forth). I can definitely reach a 370-yard Par 4 in two shots but I have to hit them both pretty solidly and straight. And over the past several years I don't think my course handicap has ever been less than 18 or more than 23, right now it sits squarely on 20.

    Kind of cool. Not often someone like USGA creates an entire category just for me!

    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte you sound like me. I typically drive just over 200 yards (but occasionally do a sky pull that doesn't turn out well). My approach shots usually end up missing the green by a couple of yards but I can chip back on, at the moment to within a couple of yards. Then I'll usually two putt, maybe one putt and occasionally three putt and walk off with a bogey.

    Bunkers I don't care about (although fairway bunkers will cost me a shot, getting out of a green side bunker is as reliable as my chipping).

    I get one or two pars a round, maybe even a birdie but the rest are bogeys and maybe double bogeys.

    Outside of competitions I'm in the high 80s, low 90s. Comps mid 90s to low 100s. I'm not unhappy about that but it'd be nice if I could knock ten strokes off. I rarely do anything egregiously wrong (most shots launch fine and fly fine) but GIR and pars are just uncommon.

    Callaway Rogue Driver.
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,433 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @andrue said:
    @North Butte you sound like me. I typically drive just over 200 yards (but occasionally do a sky pull that doesn't turn out well). My approach shots usually end up missing the green by a couple of yards but I can chip back on, at the moment to within a couple of yards. Then I'll usually two putt, maybe one putt and occasionally three putt and walk off with a bogey.

    Bunkers I don't care about (although fairway bunkers will cost me a shot, getting out of a green side bunker is as reliable as my chipping).

    I get one or two pars a round, maybe even a birdie but the rest are bogeys and maybe double bogeys.

    Outside of competitions I'm in the high 80s, low 90s. Comps mid 90s to low 100s. I'm not unhappy about that but it'd be nice if I could knock ten strokes off. I rarely do anything egregiously wrong (most shots launch fine and fly fine) but GIR and pars are just uncommon.

    You know the old song about you take the high road and I'll take the low road? That's you and me.

    A typical round for me lately will be 8 or 9 pars (often with a birdie mixed in there somewhere) along with a couple bogeys, a couple doubles and the rest triples or quads. I think I shot a 94 a couple weeks ago with 8 pars and a birdie, talk about an All Or Nothing round!

    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,632 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @andrue said:
    Outside of competitions I'm in the high 80s, low 90s. Comps mid 90s to low 100s. I'm not unhappy about that but it'd be nice if I could knock ten strokes off. I rarely do anything egregiously wrong (most shots launch fine and fly fine) but GIR and pars are just uncommon.

    The best way to improve GIR is by hitting it longer off the tee, as long as you don't lose a lot of accuracy doing so. Shorter second shots should mean more on the green, shorter putts, and misses that are closer to the green, all without improving your ballstriking. Of course, not all of us can increase driving distance, I know that's unlikely for me at my age. If I'm going to shave strokes, I have to look elsewhere.

  • wkuo3wkuo3 RELEASE Members Posts: 4,324 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 13, 2019 3:37pm #55

    @bonvivantva said:
    I'm a 20 handicap. I mostly just play with my friends on weekends and have a few beers, but we've been doing more golf trips recently, and I'd like to get better. My number one goal to enjoy golf more is just to stop flubbing (topping and chunking) my irons. I played a round last weekend in which I didn't flub a single ball. I wasn't driving the ball very well, but my iron game was much better than usual. I shot a 99, which is more or less usual for me. I've really been working hard on my iron game. I go to the range two or three times a week and hit 80-160 balls each time only working on irons. At the range, I can generally get my path in out, and my contact is pretty good. On the course, pressure often gets to me and I still swing too hard, which means I fall into my old habits getting steep and over the top.

    So my question is about length. If I practice the driver some, or even just play more, I know I can swing easy and put the ball out about 220-240 in play pretty consistently, which isn't impressive, but seems fine. After that, I'm not sure I have enough length. Right now, my longest club I hit well is my 5i. I carry a 3 and 4 hybrid, but when I get steep I don't make good contact so I usually play it safe with the 5i. I hit the 5i about 170-190. At the range, I roll it up to a 200 yard flag. On the course, my gps watch says I get about 180 total out of it.

    This weekend we finished up on a par-5 18th hole. I skyed my driver to only about 150. Then I hit my 5i, I pulled/hooked it a little, but I still got about 180 out of it. I had something like 220 left. So I couldn't really go for it with my 190 club, plus there were bunkers and other trouble. I hit an easy 9i with a nice draw about 130 into the middle of the fairway, and then about a 75 yard lob wedge right onto the green about 10 feet or so from the pin. It worked out, so in retrospect, it sure feels like I played that hole well, but if I had a longer club, I could have hit my second shot closer, or gone for it will my third.

    I do hit my 18 degree hybrid on occasion, but it's just no where near as reliable as my 5i, and I only get about 20 more yards out of it best case scenario. I carry a 3w and a 5w, but I literally can't remember the last time I hit either. Sometimes I can get the hybrids working at the range, but I've never experienced anything close to consistency with the woods.

    So in the short term, I plan to continue to work on my iron game. I could really get used to not flubbing shots. But to improve my score, do you think I need to figure out something longer than 180? Should I work on my hybrids, or maybe try out a utility iron? I know there are plenty of other ways to drop my score. Putting for instance. Is 180 enough to break 90?

    You had answered your own question. You'll get out what you put into the game.
    Next time you go the driving range, take your putter, wedge, one mid iron and your driver. Do that for one season.
    Old saying for the weekend golfer was, one wouldn't know what's going on until the 3rd or the 4th year.
    You can't expect to improve your game over night before the golf trip. Swing the driver in slow motion at home, this will improve your timing and rhythm. 20-30 driver swing in slow motion a day will let you get used to the longer length of the shaft quicker.
    One golf swing for the bag , however, because of the length of the shafts, it'll appear to be different swing plane, different timing. The goal is to get the club head to the golf ball.

  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,318 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:

    A typical round for me lately will be 8 or 9 pars (often with a birdie mixed in there somewhere) along with a couple bogeys, a couple doubles and the rest triples or quads. I think I shot a 94 a couple weeks ago with 8 pars and a birdie, talk about an All Or Nothing round!

    Heh, different indeed. Thankfully triple or quad bogeys are very rare for me. I just wish I could work out how to exchange a few doubles for a couple of pars. I played this morning and got a couple of birdies but I wasn't really scoring. Had an awesome drive to start off - must've been 240 yards down the centre of the fairway. At the next hole I skied twice and gave up and Mulliganed it to practice my approach. I was on my own on a day off work so didn't really care but what a mixed bunch. Mostly it was okay with several great shots and a few that were rubbish.

    The 18th summed it up perfectly. Always an ugly hole but the 8i off the tee was good. The silly/gamble with a 3h across the pond was okay. The 8i back up the hill onto the green was good. The putt was great and nearly went in for par. Heh - it's golf. It beat **** out of spending all day behind a desk working :)

    Callaway Rogue Driver.
    Callaway Big Bertha OS Hybrids (3/4/5)
    Callaway Big Bertha OS Irons (6/7/8/9/PW/AW/SW)
    Callaway 60* Sureout wedge
    Callaway 64* Sureout wedge
    Ghost Spider Si 72 Putter
    Callaway Super Soft Yellow (White in winter).
  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,433 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @andrue said:
    Heh - it's golf. It beat **** out of spending all day behind a desk working :)

    Yeah, I'll keep the seat warm for you.

    I wish I was out hitting dodgy 8-irons and skying drivers...

    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • deathbymuffindeathbymuffin Members Posts: 530 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I played last weekend with my late 60s father. He hits his driver 210-240. I hit mine 270-290. He played from a little over 6000 yards, shot 76 and beat me by a bunch. It's not distance that's keeping you from lowering that handicap by about 10 strokes.

  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,632 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @deathbymuffin said:
    I played last weekend with my late 60s father. He hits his driver 210-240. I hit mine 270-290. He played from a little over 6000 yards, shot 76 and beat me by a bunch. It's not distance that's keeping you from lowering that handicap by about 10 strokes.

    If the OP is going to limit himself to 180 off the tee, by hitting no more than 5-iron, he'll need a world class game from there to the hole to get to a 10. He has the physical ability to hit it further, but using longer clubs, but he hasn't been using it.

  • deathbymuffindeathbymuffin Members Posts: 530 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @davep043 said:

    @deathbymuffin said:
    I played last weekend with my late 60s father. He hits his driver 210-240. I hit mine 270-290. He played from a little over 6000 yards, shot 76 and beat me by a bunch. It's not distance that's keeping you from lowering that handicap by about 10 strokes.

    If the OP is going to limit himself to 180 off the tee, by hitting no more than 5-iron, he'll need a world class game from there to the hole to get to a 10. He has the physical ability to hit it further, but using longer clubs, but he hasn't been using it.

    He said he hits his driver 220 off the tee and reasonably in play, and that it's his irons holding him back. He just overall needs to learn to hit the ball more solidly. Sounds like he needs some swing lessons honestly if he keeps topping and fatting his irons.

  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,433 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @davep043 said:

    @deathbymuffin said:
    I played last weekend with my late 60s father. He hits his driver 210-240. I hit mine 270-290. He played from a little over 6000 yards, shot 76 and beat me by a bunch. It's not distance that's keeping you from lowering that handicap by about 10 strokes.

    If the OP is going to limit himself to 180 off the tee, by hitting no more than 5-iron, he'll need a world class game from there to the hole to get to a 10. He has the physical ability to hit it further, but using longer clubs, but he hasn't been using it.

    I know I've told this story before but when I'd been playing a couple years, I was making the turn from my 19th to 20th hole at my home course and saw my teaching pro in the parking lot. So I waited a few minutes and joined up with him to play my final nine holes.

    Third hole, medium length Par 5 and very narrow through a chute a trees all the way from tee to green. I pulled out a 6-iron and hit a kind of skanky low cutter into the first cut of round about 150 yards off the tee.

    He asked me basically, why the heck did you do that? I explained that I'd been hitting my driver into trouble at the start of the round so I backed off and was teeing off with a 5-wood instead. But on the 18 hole I lost my ball with the 5-wood so since this hole was so narrow I went with an iron.

    His next question was, what are you going to do when you hit 6-iron in the woods. Start hitting putter off the tee?

    There's sometimes a fine line between an ultra-conservative play that makes sense on one shot in one situation, versus basic chickening out on the entire game and treating every shot on every hole like a snake that's going to rear up and bite you if you don't play very carefully.

    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 

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