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Biggest Concerns for Amateur Golfers


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So here’s a question:

 

As an amateur golfer looking to get to the next level, what are the biggest areas of concern for you? Is it fitness/stretching? Is it knowing which equipment works for you? Is it wanting to get lessons but not being able to afford seeing a pro at your local course? Something else?

 

I’m curious to hear what people struggle with. For me personally, a lot of it is the fitness aspect and making golf more athletic. I see the DJs and Koepkas out there and they are athletic specimens. For me, I hate going to the gym but need ways to improve that area of my game.

 

What is it for the rest of you?

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Making a commitment to a swing change. I sit at a desk all day so I love getting out to play on the weekends, and in the back of my mind I'm not sure it's worth sucking for a season in the hopes I get slightly more consistent. At this point any change would likely be driven from injury prevention.

 

#2 is really specific, a tight lie greenside shot to an elevated green. Yes, I've watched all the YouTube videos, yes I know the technique, no it's not the yips, yes I know it takes practice...which I don't really have time for. I reach for the putter often. Chipping has been in other threads, but with how tight the greens crew can cut grass now, if your technique is slightly off it is easy to look stupid. Another windmill for me to chase. 

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I think a lot of it just mental and course management.  A year ago I was just living and dying by every shot. After watching Dustin Johnson last year shoot some 80s in competition and also play some of the most sublime golf I've ever seen, I wanted to learn from him what was transferable.  See ball, hit ball - the last shot is in the past and doesn't matter, so be present and focused on every shot. Also I was having a really hard time last year being comfortable on the course because I was too invested in the result.  Of course I want to shoot around par every time, but now I try to take the approach now that if I hit a few great shots per round, then it was a good day.

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I guess it depends on what the next level is.  For me the next level is sub-70 rounds.  Factors that will keep me from that consistently are limited practice time and limited time playing in more than a recreational setting.  My son is 5....so at least one round and one practice session a week is dedicated spending time with him.  In these sessions I treat my time actually hitting as a practice round, but my focus is spending time with my son. I play maybe 3 rounds a week, practice before I play or when I can't play.  

 

Finances play a pretty large part as well, limiting practice time, playing time, and lessons/equipment as needed....but that carrot of a sub-70 round is kind of fun to chase.  I'll shoot one eventually, and when I do my next level will be shooting sub-70 in a tournament round....oh look another carrott.

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As a person who played golf for a living for over 10 years and made more than I spent, who is now an amateur that is trying to get back to high level competitive golf, my biggest concern is time. 
 

I have a job and a family. It’s hard to find time to practice and harder to make time to get better. It’s important to me, but it simply isn’t a priority. So I struggle as a decent player that feels very much like he should be better than he is, but knows he really has no right to. 

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This year I'm gonna work on my consistency more (hitting less REALLY bad shots), and course management. Playing to the fat side of the pins every time and eliminating double bogeys. 

 

Separately, I want to become a more consistent putter. I don't think of myself as a bad putter, but I will miss a short putt (3 footer) every 2 rounds or so and then start beating myself up. 

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On 4/7/2021 at 12:21 AM, GrooGrux03 said:

So here’s a question:

 

As an amateur golfer looking to get to the next level, what are the biggest areas of concern for you? Is it fitness/stretching? Is it knowing which equipment works for you? Is it wanting to get lessons but not being able to afford seeing a pro at your local course? Something else?

 

I’m curious to hear what people struggle with. For me personally, a lot of it is the fitness aspect and making golf more athletic. I see the DJs and Koepkas out there and they are athletic specimens. For me, I hate going to the gym but need ways to improve that area of my game.

 

What is it for the rest of you?

What level are we talking about? Fitness is pretty irrelevant at almost all levels. Not saying you shouldn't be healthy for yourself and to live a better life but for getting better at golf it's pretty unimportant in the grand scheme. For essentially everyone, lessons and swinging better will be a way better use of time. 

 

Tons of elite pga tour players which aren't athletes. Quite a few of the top 10 players in the world are average joes athletically. 

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Until you get to + levels of am golf, the #1 priority is getting consistent, center face contact.  I'm sneaking up on scratch but I currently live off hitting the ball off the toe, especially with irons.  I'll be stuck in 1-2 index purgatory until I get rid of it.  As caps get higher, it's more about getting a consistent and playing for a standard shot shape. Even higher you go, just getting the ball on the air is the biggest hurdle

 

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My back. It's just done. Can hardly play anymore. Played late yesterday and finished a round for the first time in a month. Have had three back procedures in the last four months. Crazy. I was playing some of the best golf of my life last summer/fall and now ... can hardly swing.

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My lumbar spine now in a 'degenerative stage', which combined with spinal stenosis, means some pain and lots of whole body aches.  Walked the 18 holes on Tuesday and could hardly get out of bed all day Wednesday.  Tomorrow i will rent the buggy and go another 18.

 

Range sessions greatly limited.  Glad to be out in the fresh air hitting balls, even if errant.

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6 hours ago, jobin said:

My lumbar spine now in a 'degenerative stage', which combined with spinal stenosis, means some pain and lots of whole body aches.  Walked the 18 holes on Tuesday and could hardly get out of bed all day Wednesday.  Tomorrow i will rent the buggy and go another 18.

 

Range sessions greatly limited.  Glad to be out in the fresh air hitting balls, even if errant.

 

That is exactly what I have along with arthritis. My spinal stenosis was described as "significant" in my MRI review. Phock.

 

And same with you: I simply can't practice. I don't even warm up. I walk to the first tee that's my first swing of the day, usually.

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I would say most amateurs concerns are focused in the wrong area. Unless you are + or better, your main concern should be identifying your core swing flaw(s) and working on that and only that. Far too many waste time and effort looking for lighting in a bottle when the fix is much more straight forward, it's just harder and longer

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17 hours ago, Obee said:

 

That is exactly what I have along with arthritis. My spinal stenosis was described as "significant" in my MRI review. Phock.

 

And same with you: I simply can't practice. I don't even warm up. I walk to the first tee that's my first swing of the day, usually.

 

Has a laminectomy been discussed for you?  My dad had it done, made a great deal of difference.  Just don't put weight on afterwards.

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1 hour ago, golfortennis said:

 

Has a laminectomy been discussed for you?  My dad had it done, made a great deal of difference.  Just don't put weight on afterwards.

 

In the last four months, I did: 

 

Medial Branch Nerve Block (determine which nerves are affected)

Epidural Steroid Injection

Medial Branch Ablation

 

Might do one more ablation here soon, but we'll see. After that, it's laminectomy or ALIF or ????

 

Losing hope ....

 

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1 hour ago, Obee said:

 

In the last four months, I did: 

 

Medial Branch Nerve Block (determine which nerves are affected)

Epidural Steroid Injection

Medial Branch Ablation

 

Might do one more ablation here soon, but we'll see. After that, it's laminectomy or ALIF or ????

 

Losing hope ....

 

 

Yeesh.  Best of luck.

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On 4/7/2021 at 8:38 PM, gators78 said:

Making a commitment to a swing change. I sit at a desk all day so I love getting out to play on the weekends, and in the back of my mind I'm not sure it's worth sucking for a season in the hopes I get slightly more consistent. At this point any change would likely be driven from injury prevention.

 

#2 is really specific, a tight lie greenside shot to an elevated green. Yes, I've watched all the YouTube videos, yes I know the technique, no it's not the yips, yes I know it takes practice...which I don't really have time for. I reach for the putter often. Chipping has been in other threads, but with how tight the greens crew can cut grass now, if your technique is slightly off it is easy to look stupid. Another windmill for me to chase. 

 

i put in a lot of work on ball-striking with my irons and gaining speed with my driver. was really happy with progress and looking forward to competing this month but then got sidelined with an injury. so now my #1 concern is getting healthy and staying healthy, treating golf more like a marathon instead of a sprint. 

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19 hours ago, Krt22 said:

I would say most amateurs concerns are focused in the wrong area. Unless you are + or better, your main concern should be identifying your core swing flaw(s) and working on that and only that. Far too many waste time and effort looking for lighting in a bottle when the fix is much more straight forward, it's just harder and longer


Every golf pro I've ever taken an lesson from has told me these same thing.   I hear the same swing flaw from each of them.

You'd think I'd have solved it by now.     There's probably a clue in there some where.

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#1 is injuries for me. 

 

I play par golf but constantly have injuries of all kinds.  I want to play much better and play tourneys well but i have to rebuild my swing a few times a year and have to limit how I play to not get injured.  I imagine what it must be like to be able to just play and see how good one could get...

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I don’t play as much as I used to and I’ve lost a lot of my old game but I simply focus on keeping things the easiest and swing the club through to a full finish with rhythm. 

 

And I’ve always been obsessed with hitting it pure.  Sometimes I can but others, well.  The days I hit solid I I’m ok with the game. 

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Main concerns for me are my health as I have scapula issues that sometimes go to my shoulder and my ankle.  When the pain goes to my ankle it just means days of not getting any sleep.  

 

Yeah, I've got to get in much better shape and lose weight but it's tough to exercise when you're in pain.

 

Game wise I've gone thru a significant swing change working with my instructor, Josh Koch.  I really like where we are going, it's just going to take a lot of time and practice to ingrain the things we are working on since I've ingrained so much of the stuff we are trying to get rid of.  

 

I think from there it's a lot about being mentally prepared to play.  With work and life and all, too often I'm completely unprepared mentally and playing well is a crapshoot.

 

 

 

 

RH

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Thanks for all the responses. Sounds like there’s a whole plethora of things to work on, and I’d venture to guess we all want to work on multiple aspects our games given enough time. Fitness/injury prevention, better ball striking, better putting, etc - all just fantastic!
 

For me, outside of fitness/injury prevention, the one aspect of my game I am really trying to work on this season is my putting. I’ve been streaky the last few years and am really trying to avoid those mistakes on the green. 
 

Thanks again, everyone! Love this community!

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Re-gaining or preventing further loss of distance tee to green due to my age. Moving up a tee box isn’t practically possible because my playing partners are longer than I am & don’t want to move up with me. Taking lessons more frequently but hard to make even subtle swing changes stick. Minor tweaks feel like a complete re-build at my age.

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