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claytonmeister

How bad am I?

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Hey folks, be gentle.. new(ish) to golf and new to this forum. Been reading/watching a lot on the web and just playing a very short 9 hole course at present. I shoot around 110-120 (same 9 holes played twice equates to 3724 yards). I have some lessons coming my way with a pro local to me, we will see how this goes. Last week I went on to a 'proper' 18 hole for the first time and hit 140 (the course is 5192 yards). It was very disheartening. I was playing with an 18 handicapper and he made me look absolutely hopeless. How does this sound as an absolute beginner? I'm building my confidence on the short 9 hole and will keep practicing. I feel my left arm is not staying straight throughout my swing? How important do you rate this? I seem to hit better at present (at the range) with a bent left arm?! I'm sure some lessons may help with that! Sorry, so many questions for an absolute beginner
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Originally Posted by claytonmeister

Hey folks, be gentle.. new(ish) to golf and new to this forum. Been reading/watching a lot on the web and just playing a very short 9 hole course at present. I shoot around 110-120 (same 9 holes played twice equates to 3724 yards). I have some lessons coming my way with a pro local to me, we will see how this goes.

Last week I went on to a 'proper' 18 hole for the first time and hit 140 (the course is 5192 yards). It was very disheartening. I was playing with an 18 handicapper and he made me look absolutely hopeless.

How does this sound as an absolute beginner? I'm building my confidence on the short 9 hole and will keep practicing.

I feel my left arm is not staying straight throughout my swing? How important do you rate this? I seem to hit better at present (at the range) with a bent left arm?! I'm sure some lessons may help with that!

Sorry, so many questions for an absolute beginner

Sounds very normal for a beginner.

Do not bother bout scoring, just enjoy hitting the ball till you can feel the improvement.

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I played a few years back but gave it up. I was a young man with a temper (not compatible with golf I have now realised). I don't get too upset (wisdom of being a bit older i suppose) about poor shots now, just concentrate on the next one. Why do you think I can hit nice shots with a variety of clubs (notably the 7 iron, low irons/pitch wedges and the 5 wood) at the driving range but am not as consistent on the course?
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Last year was my first year back to golf in more than a decade. In the beginning I was terrible. The first time out I didn't even finish one hole in nine, I picked it up. What really helped me was spending a lot of time on the par 3 courses and working on my swing at home. I'd go out late in the afternoon on the shortest par 3 and play 3 balls to work on short game and putting. Pretty sure I only played the par 3's for a few months until I had developed some confidence. I watched youtube lessons and put the time in to get into golf shape. It took a while before my body would even move the way I wanted it to.

It was rough and I often considered giving it up. Give yourself a chance to improve. All it takes is getting a few good shots in the air to feel better about it. Make goals appropriate to your current skill level. For a while I was happy when I could score a double bogey. Heck I was happy with an entire score card of them. You'll get better, everyone does.

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Left arm stays straight, to slightly past impact, were the right arm will become straight, and the left arm will fold down, like the right arm does in the backswing

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Why do I find that so hard? I find I hit better shots when the left arm is bent at the moment, maybe a lesson or two will help?!
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Originally Posted by claytonmeister

Why do I find that so hard? I find I hit better shots when the left arm is bent at the moment, maybe a lesson or two will help?!

a lesson or 2 will only help if you pay attention during it and practice it daily until your next lesson - it takes time to build muscle memory

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Cool I have been swinging a club in my spare bedroom, but I fear I am learning poor techniques. Maybe I should just keep playing until my lessons and see wha happens
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Hank Haney says you should make 100 swings a day. According to him good or bad technique doesnt matter.

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If you like your left arm slightly bend in the backswing keep it bend. I know Lee Westwood worked on keeping his arm bent and Id say it works pretty well for him. Another thing is move your ball back to the fairway if you are in trouble hitting a bad shot from under a tree or a bush won't help you much. Move back to the fairway and once you are comfortable with your ballstriking then start playing your bad shots. Also where did your 140 strokes come from? Hitting OB, 3/4 putts on a green, etc? Finding where your strokes are going will help you figure out what to work on.
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Sucking ass at golf, especially as a beginner, is as normal as it gets. I think I shot 165 the first time I played 18.

Study, study, study. Get lessons from a good teacher. Practice, practice, practice. Be patient. Give it time. You'll get better.

And just to get a bit further in depth with it:

Study : This is great not only for your own understanding, but being able to figure out who the good instructors are. A lot of guys out there just pull shit out of their ass, and it's easy to call them on it if you've studied the game for a while. This website is a good place to start.

Instruction : This is where you will learn about your swing, and the biggest swing flaw you are facing right now. You will learn how to practice fixing it.

Practice : This is where the magic happens, but you gotta know what to work on for this to really be effective.

Patience : People spend years upon years perfecting their swings. Give it time. Even if you are working on the right things, changes typically don't happen overnight.

You will get better though.

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I agree with the others who have posted here. Do not worry about the score you shoot, but rather enjoy the course and playing it.  Try to savor the good shots and forget the bad ones.  The more you play the better you get, and with a few lessons you will be playing a lot better.  I am by no means a good golfer and I have been not worrying about my score as of late and it's helping me play better and I have been playing for 15-20 years.  Patience is the key with golf, you will have good days and bad ones.

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Welcome aboard.

You are not bad, you are beginning.

If I might, I would like to share my experiences (short version).

Back in 1988, the way to get Friday off was to go golfing with the General. When we got out on the course, we used to gamble days off or mornings off from PT when we got on the green. I got very good with putting. However, I couldn't get off the tee or hit a long iron/wood to save my life. Even went to the pawn shop outside of base to get my first golf clubs (I still have them).

I played off and over the years... I got a little bit better, but not much.

Then injuries (due to running and basketball) and age took their toll. So I turned back to golf for exercise. Additionally, golf was a chief way to get business done here on the Island. Still a horrible golfer, I started shagging balls downrange. And then two key events changed my outlook on golf:

  • A County tournament in which our team came in 2nd to last place. I was furious because I made putts to save ourselves from last place, but none of us to hit a shot to save our lives.
  • My brother's recent death. The golf course was my therapy.

So I decided to really dedicate myself... And then I found thesandtrap.com . After reading so much about our beloved game, I found my home. Additionally, I found a great bunch of folks who are really helping me with my game.

And yes, I know I am getting better: day by day, swing by swing, address by address.

My message to you: study this sport, take instruction, and hone your craft. Most of all, be patient.

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Originally Posted by SCfanatic35

I agree with the others who have posted here. Do not worry about the score you shoot, but rather enjoy the course and playing it.  Try to savor the good shots and forget the bad ones.  The more you play the better you get, and with a few lessons you will be playing a lot better.  I am by no means a good golfer and I have been not worrying about my score as of late and it's helping me play better and I have been playing for 15-20 years.  Patience is the key with golf, you will have good days and bad ones.

+1

I was a 36 two years ago.  Play, range time, play, practice and play have helped me cut that almost in half. I have awesome days now to help offset the really bad.  We are ALL horrible at some point.  Some people were horrible at 11 years of age.  Some of us at 38.  Put in the time, be patient, use your head and it'll get better and better.  And it'll be more fun!!

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I would say don't get hung up on the actual score because sometimes it can be misleading. Weather changes, different courses, a bad hole etc...

I have a whole bunch of scores in the low 100's then stopped playing for 2 years just got back into it. Scored 101 on a truly dreadful day hitting short irons into about 15 of 18 temporary greens. Boy it was hard. Sometimes you know you are hitting it better but still you will miss your targets. I'm finding that out where I have a very workable swing,played with a 5 handicap recently and he was shocked that I was a high handicap,said I shouldn't be any worse than an 18 with my swing.

That's the thing your swing looks sound,you hit well,but small errors add strokes. A missed putt, an iron shot that you catch a little fat adds a stroke,a well hit pitch on the green that runs past too far. Little details that all add strokes. So if there's a sport where it boils down to one swing at a time golf is it. It's a process every little technique learned could remove one stroke from your score.

Really develop mental fortitude,do not be deterred from improving and if you are fortunate like me practice if you can at home if you have some room. Golf is the one sport that you just have to practice or it's a long day at the course finding the ball.

Oh yeah once you start it's like a clean addiction, I'm not sure rehab would cure it, good luck.

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Thanks for all ofl your advice. Practice, play and instruction it is then. I am out this morning on the short 9 again with my dad, am looking forward to it. Thanks everyone on sand trap, I don't feel to dreadful now :-)
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Clayton, do you enjoy golf?

If you can always answer "yes" to that question, as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter how bad or good you are.

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Originally Posted by Brakkus

Really develop mental fortitude.....

Oh yeah once you start it's like a clean addiction, I'm not sure rehab would cure it, good luck.

I 2nd these motions.

Here is something you can definitely look forward to: Your own Nickalaus moment when you hit the ball perfectly and it does EXACTLY what you expect it to do.

Its a worse addiction than heroin or crack. But its a GREAT addiction to have.

Just remember what Brakkus said: mental fortitude .

Go out there and have fun eh?

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