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How did you get to a single digit handicap? - Page 3

post #37 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

I've been playing irregularly for many years. I never got my index below 10. This last year I took it up again at 54 years old. I played for awhile and took 1 or 2 lessons. Mostly I practiced a lot to get the feel back. One of the biggest things I believe was to first get my swing analysed to see what kind of shafts and what lie/loft was appropriate. Then I replaced my iron shafts so they were all the same. same flex, same kick, etc. and had the club heads tweasked for my swing. Kind of expensive but it took my previous 10 down to a 7 right away. More analysis of driver shaft and 2 lessons for driver, putting and greenside play took it to 5.4.

In my Cheap Calloway Bag:

Driver: Ping Rapture 10.5 with aldila VS65 Stiff
Fairway: Ping G5 3 wood with aldila VS65 Stiff
Hybrid; Magique 3
Irons: Cleveland TA1 Forged Musclebacks
Wedges: Cleveland Forged
Putter: Old Ray Cook Blue Ray
post #38 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

I agree with Erik that when you get under 8 or 9 its all from 100 yards and in. But I especially agree that course management is highly underrated. I'm guessing I took 4-5 strokes off just by getting a ittle help with club selection and strategy. Everyone wants to boom it off every tee, but it's not necessarily the best strategy for lower scores. Good luck...

phill
post #39 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
My mom wants to take up golf again in her soon-to-be retirement after not playing for 35+ years other than a few trips to the range with me. Maybe this will help me get to single digits: wanting to impress her with great golf shots.
I have to make fun of you... you want to impress your mom? You sissy little momma's boy...

just kidding... I got my mom into golf back about 10 years ago and she still plays... but I don't think she's improved much.

Originally Posted by DDBowdoin View Post
I started to be able to control my shotmaking ability off the tee, just the confidence of knowing where I need to put the ball in the fairway and doing it. Knowing your wedges, how they work and their accurate distances. And finally putting, avoiding 3 putts at all cost
avoiding 3-putts is huge... so is a solid wedge game... for me it's not knowing the distance of different ones so much as knowing how to hit multiple shots with my PW, 52* and 58*.
post #40 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by Big_M View Post
I have to make fun of you... you want to impress your mom? You sissy little momma's boy...

just kidding... I got my mom into golf back about 10 years ago and she still plays... but I don't think she's improved much.

I know you mean it in jest, but I have a far better relationship with my parents than just about anyone I know under 30 (I'm 24). They live not too far from me and I'll go home periodically, sometimes just to watch golf or football on TV with her.

In any case, I do think the desire to impress someone - parent, friend, whoever - may help improvement in golf (or just about anything, for that matter). Knowing what shots really impress mom on TV - close approaches and putts that sink - may press me to improve if nothing else does
post #41 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
I know you mean it in jest, but I have a far better relationship with my parents than just about anyone I know under 30 (I'm 24). They live not too far from me and I'll go home periodically, sometimes just to watch golf or football on TV with her.

In any case, I do think the desire to impress someone - parent, friend, whoever - may help improvement in golf (or just about anything, for that matter). Knowing what shots really impress mom on TV - close approaches and putts that sink - may press me to improve if nothing else does
yeah... I was just poking fun at you... I am actually real close to both my parents as well (I'm 28)... I consider my father one of my best freinds... I'm also an only child, so I think that is part of the reason. My parents are actually planning to retire in NC since I am moving there... so that kind of shows you how close we are (and I will be the only family they have there). I still had to say something though... it just sounded funny and was a good opening.
post #42 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

work on your short game. How many times can a high handicapper look back at a round and count 3 duffs, a shank, and four 3 putts? It's all short game and course management, and checking your ego at the door (don't try to drill a 9 iron 150 if you can't do it, take an extra club).
post #43 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by Big_M View Post
yeah... I was just poking fun at you... I am actually real close to both my parents as well (I'm 28)... I consider my father one of my best freinds... I'm also an only child, so I think that is part of the reason. My parents are actually planning to retire in NC since I am moving there... so that kind of shows you how close we are (and I will be the only family they have there). I still had to say something though... it just sounded funny and was a good opening.
Funny you should mention retirement in this thread. They're looking at getting a home in Palm Springs. That's going to help both her game and mine. More courses to play, more things to encounter, etc.

And I think we're about as off-topic as we can get while remaining approximately on-topic.
post #44 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

I got myself a job at a golf course with unlimited access to the course and practice facilities.
post #45 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by iacas View Post
\
Most 18 handicappers could become 9 handicappers inside of a month if they work on:
a) course management
b) putting
c) short game (chipping, pitching)
Exactly, in that order.

I'd add to that:
d) Mental discipline/positive thinking. You can get a bunch of Rottela's books on CD for very cheap. I went from low 80's to high 70's after listening and reading his stuff

For the course management, Elements of Scoring is very good.
post #46 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Just for the record of all those who are not single figure handicappers, you do not need to hit the ball well to play off at least 9.

This is always the mistake I have made, my ball striking is pretty good, which has got me down to 5 (my short game is not good), so when I'm not playing well I shoot scores in the mid too high 80's, simply because my short game could not bail me out....... Learn from my mistakes and practise your short game 3 times as much as you already do.

JaY_B
post #47 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Last year I moved from 13 to single digits. I LOVE the range and used to spend LOTS of time with a driver in my hand. But I did the Golf Digest Challenge, which tracked my "long game hdcp" vs my "short game hdcp" and realized that my short game sucked.

I made a lot of changes to the way that I practiced, but two things moved me quite quickly from 13 to what it is today:

1) I stopped trying to drive as far as possible of the tee. Now I think first about keeping the ball in play, and second about setting myself up for an approach instead. (course management)
2) I started practicing distance wedges, chipping, and putting. (short game practice)
3) I committed to putts, long and short. I pay attention to how many I have per round and focus how I can get less.

I look at that list, and I think that I would describe the overall change as thinking of the hole backwards ie. from hole to tee. I think before i just wanted pretty ballflight all the time--it is very hypnotic.

Last point: small, specific targets from hole to tee. Pick a tiny target, and align yourself to it--driving, putting, whatever. I do LIVE to play golf, but I have other loves and responsibilities, so the practice and rounds have to COUNT! Be focused.
post #48 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

As for the Ego part of golf: I'd like to say abit about "Gambling"

When your a high handicap, you tend to take alot of gamble shots. You try shots that arent possible, shots that wont leave you anything good afterwards, or shots that are plain stupid when you know you have a better option.

Another reason My handicap is taking awhile to decrease is because I gamble! Alot, I try to pull the hero shots to impress my friends, and most of the time they dont work. I add about 2-3 strokes a round doing this.

Advice for the high handicap or anyone: Dont take gamble shots unless you are 110% sure you can sucseed and youll have a great outcome. Take the safe way out and youll save a ton of strokes.
post #49 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by g-funk13 View Post
Last year I moved from 13 to single digits. I LOVE the range and used to spend LOTS of time with a driver in my hand. But I did the Golf Digest Challenge, which tracked my "long game hdcp" vs my "short game hdcp" and realized that my short game sucked.

I made a lot of changes to the way that I practiced, but two things moved me quite quickly from 13 to what it is today:

1) I stopped trying to drive as far as possible of the tee. Now I think first about keeping the ball in play, and second about setting myself up for an approach instead. (course management)
2) I started practicing distance wedges, chipping, and putting. (short game practice)
3) I committed to putts, long and short. I pay attention to how many I have per round and focus how I can get less.
Ha, thats almost exactly what my first few months were.

I played for about 2years (starting at the age of 15) almost every other day. Golf Team preperation and pure love of the game is what drove me to it. I got down to a 4.2 handicap, and for some reason that I have no idea why, I just stopped playing.

I regret that every second now. I am 18 now and have been back "playing" for about a month and am around an 8 as of today. Was at the range from late November to end of February practicing and getting used to my new irons.

Golf is a great game if you play it consistently and keep your mind in it.
post #50 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Well I'm a long-way from becoming a single digit handicap but I am really looking forward to the new Golf season, I'm out of the country at moment so I am looking forward to coming home and going golfing. I only took up Golf last year in June, 2 of my good friends are keen golfers are were going for a game on a new 9hole golf course just opened and asked if I wanted to come along, My father has played golf for years but for ages I just couldn't get into it, I loved watching it on tv - but would rather play football,soccer,volleyball than a 3-4hr game like Golf

I found the old clubs of my dads in the garage and went out with my pals and something changed,I seen the 'Golfing' Light I loved it and managed to hit a few decent shots, so last summer I really got into it playing golf at least twice a week, both 18holes and 9.
I managed to go from shooting 135 on my first 18, to around 101 on a par 70 but my last score was a 109 or so, some of these improvements were very basic e.g 'not placing the ball in the middle of my stance when using the driver'.
My main aim this year is to try and get into DOUBLE figures consistantly, I went to the range here where I could borrow clubs and hit 50 balls last week and focussed on my long-irons and managed to hit them well and getting loft (one thing I struggled with last year) although a driving range can be very misleading than a golf course, haha I hope to continue the decent shots in a few weeks when I'm home.

I also rushed alot of shots last year and I've told myself that I'm not going to rush them, My putting is pretty good but I've always played putting even when I didn't play golf, I'd often go to putting greens with pals and play putting comps and usually don't 3putt so often, chipping is quite decent as well - and although my driving at the beginning was terrible, I've now learned some basics and don't try to 'whack' it, a 3-4 length swing and i'll get to around 230-50yards and that's fine right now for me, hoping to work on the power aspect and full swing this year.

a long way to go til I make a single handicap but I'd say just keep playing, enjoying yourself and go around with friends who are fun, that's the whole reason i got into playing golf. I love playing with my 2 pals and my dad, my 2 friends are good and have handicaps of 9 and 3, (one won a tournmanent last weekend) they are good guys and give me alot of encouragement, last year the 3handicaper kept telling me to keep playing, you hit the ball well, just take more time with your shots and don't try and nail it so much, go for safety.
Try to limit your 3putts although I know it's difficult , work alot on your putting.
post #51 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by Kevin04 View Post
Well I'm a long-way from becoming a single digit handicap but I am really looking forward to the new Golf season, I'm out of the country at moment so I am looking forward to coming home and going golfing. I only took up Golf last year in June, 2 of my good friends are keen golfers are were going for a game on a new 9hole golf course just opened and asked if I wanted to come along, My father has played golf for years but for ages I just couldn't get into it, I loved watching it on tv - but would rather play football,soccer,volleyball than a 3-4hr game like Golf

I found the old clubs of my dads in the garage and went out with my pals and something changed,I seen the 'Golfing' Light I loved it and managed to hit a few decent shots, so last summer I really got into it playing golf at least twice a week, both 18holes and 9.
I managed to go from shooting 135 on my first 18, to around 101 on a par 70 but my last score was a 109 or so, some of these improvements were very basic e.g 'not placing the ball in the middle of my stance when using the driver'.
My main aim this year is to try and get into DOUBLE figures consistantly, I went to the range here where I could borrow clubs and hit 50 balls last week and focussed on my long-irons and managed to hit them well and getting loft (one thing I struggled with last year) although a driving range can be very misleading than a golf course, haha I hope to continue the decent shots in a few weeks when I'm home.

I also rushed alot of shots last year and I've told myself that I'm not going to rush them, My putting is pretty good but I've always played putting even when I didn't play golf, I'd often go to putting greens with pals and play putting comps and usually don't 3putt so often, chipping is quite decent as well - and although my driving at the beginning was terrible, I've now learned some basics and don't try to 'whack' it, a 3-4 length swing and i'll get to around 230-50yards and that's fine right now for me, hoping to work on the power aspect and full swing this year.

a long way to go til I make a single handicap but I'd say just keep playing, enjoying yourself and go around with friends who are fun, that's the whole reason i got into playing golf. I love playing with my 2 pals and my dad, my 2 friends are good and have handicaps of 9 and 3, (one won a tournmanent last weekend) they are good guys and give me alot of encouragement, last year the 3handicaper kept telling me to keep playing, you hit the ball well, just take more time with your shots and don't try and nail it so much, go for safety.
Try to limit your 3putts although I know it's difficult , work alot on your putting.
breaking 100 will come quickly if you just keep working... so will 90 for that matter. Just try to learn as much as possible about the mechanics of a golf swing... nothing will help you improve more than a good understanding of the fundamentals of the swing.
post #52 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Great thread. Good input from everyone. I have a fair amount of work to do to get to single digits. I don't see it happening this year, maybe in 2009. Short game, short game, short game.
post #53 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

I'm not a single digit:

<--- that's a math joke.

but I'd like to follow the comments about course management bringing immediate improvement. I was playing a 500yd dogleg left par-5 today that, at my best performance ever (not today), I eagled with a 3-wood and 8-iron. That was my absolute best. 265 yard 3-wood slight draw to the middle of the dogleg leaving 150 yards uphill. On average, when I get to that hole, I lose around 1.25 balls to the creek on the left. I recall one time hitting 3 serious quackers in a row that all hit the same branch on the same tree (not really, but very close), followed by the most perfectly straight drive I've ever hit. I ended up carding a quadruple. But when I finished the round I remembered that 2 of the balls hit the trees and bounced back to the left rough. I could have just laid up one of them and had at most 1 penalty stroke and at best 0, assuming I had found the first ball I'd hit. That would have saved 2 strokes there for a double. Today I did almost the same thing: first tee shot, duck-hook into the creek. What really gets me is that I stepped up to the tee and told myself, "Alright, rather than try to go for eagle with 3-wood and 8-iron, lets just take a 4-iron, get down there around 220 (hard fairways, slightly downhill), and at worst have to lay-up, but at least take the big number out of play." Followed by, "Aw hell, lets just go for eagle." I made a triple. I could totally drop my handicap index by 6 strokes if I would just eliminate holes like that. I almost never duck-hook my 4-iron.
post #54 of 258

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by mrobbie View Post
For those who are playing off single figures, how did you get there?

It's always been my goal, and I assume the same with many other golfers.

I've seen a number of players who get to this point in a very short time. Are you a naturally 'gifted' player, who picked up a club and everything just made sense and you got there with ease, or have you worked hard at it as often as possible to develop a single figure game? Have you had lessons over the years, or have you worked on your game yourself?
i got to 5 in about 2 yrs but planed out hovering around there ive just always had good touch around greens so thats prolly what you need to work on imho
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