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I’m probably in the minority here, but lately, I’ve lost interest in putting numbers in a scorecard. I find myself working on the range or putting green to perfect my mechanics, and the number on a card don’t often reflect how well the changes are coming. Does anybody else find themselves liking range time more than actually playing?

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Yes at certain times of the year and I’d rather shoot 79 puring it vs a 73 skanking it around

I play 4 days a week. Never go to the range, even though balls are included in membership. I just enjoy playing the game.

At first I disagreed, but had to think back on some rounds of both outcomes before seeing where you are coming from. If I dink it around, make a lot of good pitches and long putts I know I got away w

Yes at certain times of the year

and I’d rather shoot 79 puring it vs a 73 skanking it around

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True about feel but the course is where the concepts and techniques you are working on are put to the test. It doesn’t matter how many 8 irons you hit in a row to the same flag but you stick a bunker in front of you with only one chance to perform, that’s when the confirmation on if you are actually improving is confirmed.

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Appreciate your observation. The scorecard is a one-day snapshot, handicap more. We are ams and will get a wide range of results. Best I ever played was simply playing and not counting. Play the shot at hand, nothing more.

Practicing in a "proper" manner is invaluable, I feel. You can take "proper" in many directions. To me that means patient and deliberate, using time to focus on your swing keys and, as you stated, "perfect my mechanics". If you have a solid, repeating practice routine, it can turn into loads of fun seeing your skills improve. That takes hours.

[Aside: Our course/range is closed, but there is an area where you can hit wedges 60-90yds. Confined to that now. I've learned much about hitting the 54-8, 56-14, 58-8, 60-6 (T7s). High-lofted wedges haven't been a strength. Made it a priority and the results are good. Love range time.]

Hogan's 1-iron at the 1950 US Open at Merion's 18th in the final round was preceded by how many thousands of 1-irons on the range? Effective range time makes playing easier and enjoyable.

"The closest Ben Hogan ever came to disclosing the secret of his golf swing was to say, 'The secret is in the dirt,' meaning the dirt of the practice range."https://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/27/sports/ben-hogan-s-real-secret-a-mystique.html

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I get where the OP is coming from but there comes a day when you have to work on scoring rather than satisfactory swings. Once you step on the first tee box you must play with what you have that day. Fiddling with your swing during a round rarely works out in your favor. Playing golf swing has ruined more rounds than Imelda Marcos had shoes.

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Very true. I"ve worked on a few things throughout the years that looked great on camera but wasn't reliable on the course when i wasn't hitting shot after shot on a range. This is why i like the new crop of instructors like @iteachgolf and Gankas. They don't fit you into a mold instead they look at your natural tendencies and work with them so the changes feel more natural and are transferable to the course when the pressure is on.

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Op you can study for a quiz all you want but if you never take the quiz, how will you know if you picked up on the knowledge. And at the end of the semester when you have to take all the knowledge that you picked up thru the semester and take the final exam but you never do because you are happy with studying in the library. All that counts is the score at the end of the round.

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A lot of people get caught up in whats behind them in the swing and not "playing golf". I've played with a lot of great players; Plus handicaps, aspiring professionals and club pros. Most of these guys express a desire to be blank over the golf ball. They want the swing in the right place and want to hit the shot they see with the hands. Thats not to say they don't have an in round swing thought but that they get out of their head and play. I've always found when I'm playing golf swing, I'm not playing my best. At times, I'm not even giving due attention to the shot at hand. Playing golf swing seems to take away from the therapeutic qualities of golf. There's a book called the art of shotmaking, which addresses some of this. Its by Fred Shoemaker. I recommend but haven't finished it yet.

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Probably been to a range 3 times in past 5 years. Never seen my swing on video. Play 4/5 days a week and that is my practice.

I'm lucky if my back holds up to that amount of golf- no swings left over for the range.

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truth be told, the rounds where playing partners will say "how were you 1 over for the day, you hit it everywhere?!" are far more gratifying than the days when you shoot 1 over because you just didn't make anything all day but you were playing target golf with your long clubs.

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That's what makes sports so great. It's like a ace pitcher without his best stuff. He's still going to give you seven innings and only allow two runs to keep you in the game.

Scrambling rounds are fun when you can pull off some saves!

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Looks like I’m definitely in the minority here. My scores have been good of late (67-71 the past 2 days), but I’m not sure I’m in love with the game anymore. It’s hard to appreciate hitting a good shot that hit a sprinkler or the flag stick. Has anyone ever experienced this? I know I play the game to have fun, but lately it feels like it’s been lacking that.

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I think practice is important, but you practice so that you can post/play well when it counts. I have always found that there is a sweet spot in time where you kinda stop practicing the swing - trust the process - and you start playing really well and all the rounds are really good. That only lasts a little while and then it’s back to practice to regain and maintain what you have worked for.

That time frame when everything is clicking, is magical. You can’t wait to play again and you hate to see a round end. It makes all the practice (if you really do practice) worth it. I feel sorry for those that have lost the desire to post a good score and are satisfied with just making good swings. I get satisfaction out of not having a good score, but swinging well. Though it pales in comparison to swinging well, playing well and posting a good score.

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Top players do not go blank over the ball. Everyone thinks of something, it is impossible not to. Human brains are not wired that way. What you think about is important. I love the range. The swing is like a puzzle to me and I love to work on solving it. The more of that puzzle that gets put together the better the scores for me. I have put many hours in on the range and worked extremely hard on my swing for several years, I think I have worked with iteachgolf for 8 years now. My swing is so different now than it was then and my game is too. He has eliminated the right side of the golf course for me finally after years of fearing a right miss. Makes the course way different and way more fun. Now it is about getting it in the hole.

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I've been hitting a lot of balls in the last few months trying to get my game into form. Then each weekend I'd go out with friends and I'd post something in the 85-90 range and I'd be disappointed even if I was marginally ahead of my buddies.

 

This past week I've tried to go out in the afternoons and walk a full round (or more) each day. My last 4 rounds are 79, 81, 81 and 75.

 

There really is no substitute for getting on the course and making real adjustments to your game.

 

What did the last tee ball do? Was that a playable miss? Okay, so how are you going to make sure the next one goes better? That's golf.

 

Beating balls on the range and "working on mechanics" can be effective if your swing truly stinks or maybe you're just starting out or if you are honestly trying to dedicate your life to golf and sharpen every skill you have. But you have to play just as much as your practice. Most good players are out on the course more than they are the practice tee. Knowing a given lie is likely to create a hook that leaves you left of the green and dead is a great thing. That experience can lead to turning a potential double bogey into a par. You get that kind of stuff through playing.

 

It's amazing how imperfect your swing can be when you are able to get it around. You don't need perfect mechanics. You don't need perfect shots. More than anything, you need to be in the groove and that comes by playing and playing and playing and playing.

 

This week I experienced a feeling I can honestly say I've never felt before. Over the course of 100+ holes I actually got to the point where I expected to have birdie opportunities. I was teeing it up with the excited feeling that I knew I would birdie a few holes. I wanted to see what holes those would be! I shot great scores and STILL left a ton of 10- and 15-ft birdie chances out there. That 75 I shot yesterday could've easily have been level par had I putted better. That kind of feeling makes you want to go out and play more.

 

Having hit a lot of range balls I think guys just get addicted to the feeling of making swing after swing and they tend to shy away from the course because (1) they know they won't shoot the scores they want and (2) they worry that it won't be as fun.

 

I think the best way to break a habit or addiction or to give yourself a different experience. Once you're out there having fun on the course you really forget all about those range balls. That's all I can tell you. The range won't have the allure once you start playing well. You just have to trust that it's going to happen. If you believe the range is always going to be more fun you'll never give yourself the experience of actually going out and playing.

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I work a quite a bit during the season on my game but it's still not the same as playing.

 

Not playing the same ball on the course as what is on the range, my local range is basically a giant shag bag looking at the ball collection. You'll see anything from a 90s Ballata to nearly mint proV1s. Messes with you a bit, especially with driver.

 

The grass ranges look like England after WWII so it's a struggle to find a decent grass clump to practice off of, which isn't horrible if you spend most of your course time is in the rough.

 

It is fun working on new shots at the range, pulling them off in competition is much sweeter.n

 

I do have a lot to work on after shooting 73 from the senior tees yesterday with LCP :( first round of the year though so there is that.

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Two random thoughts:

#1

Everyone knows that when practice starts to become "fun" it's a sign that you're just repeating stuff you already know how to do and can execute well. That's called plateauing and people often tell themselves what they want to hear as opposed to what's actually going to make them better.

#2

If changing the look of your swing constitutes a success to you rather than implementing a change that improves your actual golf scores, you might want to reconsider what you're even doing with a set of clubs. There are better hobbies than being able to swing a stick in a pretty way.

 

To be real, stick swinging just isn't something the world is going to reward you for. Girls don't care. You're family doesn't care. No one gives you money for it. It's purely arrogance really. It doesn't even help you as a person. Read books. Develop your career. Paint a picture. Format your resume. Do something. In the list of pointless activities, stick swinging is pretty high up there. Trust me...A LOT of really great people have discovered how incredibly pointless it can feel when you're obsessed about your golf swing and have literally nothing to show for it. Do yourself a favor and don't end up that guy. It's not a good feeling when you look back and have fully indulged yourself yet proven / earned absolutely nothing. You might feel good about it now but at some point you won't and it'll sink in just how much effort you put in. That comes back to bite you psychically-speaking.

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I respect your write-up but do disagree in some aspects. Striving for a “pretty” swing and working on mechanics are very different things. I mentioned that I video my swing, which is my way of viewing my mechanics. I can rehearse a correct movement as much as I want, but as we all know: feel is different than real. Pretty and ugly swings can both have good mechanics; I’d much rather prefer the reliable one (whichever it may be). I hope this clears up that I prioritize mechanics over aesthetics. I’m not sure where we got on different pages.

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Yeah, I think everyone is going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you're working on something, but my point is a deeper one that you should keep in mind as a player.

 

Without actually playing the game one has no authority to use words like "correct." There is no such thing as a good or bad swing without the golf to prove it. You're basically describing a process not of golf but of chasing something which is aesthetic. That's not golf. That's something entirely different, which is why I used the word arrogant. I should've said selfish.

 

I've been down that path where I feel like I have some ability--a talent only I can see. It boosts your confidence and makes you feel kind of cool but if you're not able to interact with the world around you it ultimately stays within you which is lonely and depressing (in my experience).

 

That's why I pointed out how many constructive things there are to spend your time on. The best swing in the world and sweetest-looking action doesn't really mean anything if it doesn't produce something. I just think you're on a path that'll lead to you quitting a few years later because you've run out of reasons. That's a popular sentiment around here. Lots of people giving it their all only to realize nothing matters and it's all pointless.

 

Just make sure you have a real reason to do what you do is all I'm saying. If you just like the feeling inside of imagining that you're good at something, there are loads of other activities which will deliver that feeling along with other practical benefits, too.

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I think the confusion is coming from a value judgement. Its like some people can look at a classic car and start drooling but could care less about the same model made after 1980 and some people look at the lack of power anything on the car and you'd think youre asking them to live in the dark ages.

 

You can't force people to change their value judgements unless it comes down to painful economics.

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