or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › How do you actually get better/improve at golf?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do you actually get better/improve at golf?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Since golf is not a game where simply the more you play the better you get what is the best way and how do you improve at it?seriously though?  Practice makes permanent not perfect so what do you do? The more you play and practice the more you are ingraining something into your game. I started playing since I was about 13 which was 7 years ago over the last few years I've been playing on and off due to college and uni.My handicap sucks but seriously though I want to be good very, very good and believe I have the potential because I've seen it. currently Id shoot anywhere between low 70s to mid 80s.  Im just so inconsistent and feel like im going absoulotely no where.  This week is a disaster I've even started shanking and now 3 putting again from everywhere.

 

So whats going to happen is: Il go to the range which I rarely do with the camcorder and record everything.  I will then see all of my flaws and they will be gone I will then go to the practice green and sort out problems there and then the hole process will go back to the beginning. Il start hitting low 70s and then eventually rise back up to the mid 80s. Is it because I dont do all of this all the time i.e. spending time practicing on the range with the camcorder and at the practice green.Anytime I do go though I feel comfortable with my game and feel like I cant learn anymore from that session i.e im just hitting balls to the flag.  

 

There was a guy I knew from when I was playing as a junior his handicap was something like 16 or 17 and in one golf season which is only half a year if that got down to 5.I got the chance to play with him and he told me that all he did to get down to that was just go to the practice range and practice green for an hour every day. Am I just being to short term orientated?Rather than spending time every day and looking at it in the long term? 

post #2 of 32

Repetition of a good thing.

post #3 of 32

Practice without purpose or direction won't help you improve, as you said in your initial post.

 

Additionally, things typically do not take hold in a single range session.  Pick something to work on from a lesson or video session, and work hard on this for many sessions.  Reprogramming muscle memory is not easy and takes significant time and dedication.

post #4 of 32

There are those who are naturally talented and get good real fast without much help. Many of us aren't like that and what will help most, I think, for golf, is good instruction and focused and consistent practice. I don't think you need to spend all day at the range, but you do need to keep getting out there, better an hour a day for 7 days than 7 hours in one session. You can't cram.

post #5 of 32

Make a swing, find a fault, find a fix for the fault and practice the fix until the fault is gone.

 

Repeat.

post #6 of 32

I highly doubt there is a great answer to this question, because if there was we would probably all be doing it and preaching it.

 

I think so many of us are all over the place with the ways we practice and get better and what works for one does not work for the other.

 

If there is a "best way" I'd love to hear it though!

post #7 of 32
Hit more balls. Practice your putting more. Practice your chipping more. Care more. I played with a 14-year-old kid yesterday who had never picked up a club 18 months ago. He's a solid 2 right now and will be scratch by the end of the year I'll bet. Every minute he isn't in school he's on the range or the putting green or the course. Potential counts for a lot, yes, but past that you get out what you put in.
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 

I guess chipping and putting is one thing I must definately will work on more as it is the most important and touch can be developed. I guess its hard what I'm trying to say, but when I play to the way I feel I should be, were Im not doing anything fundamentally wrong and swinging the club properly, I'm happy, thats the way I expect to be at now. But then all of a sudden things just go wrong that shouldn't do. Like all of sudden I will start aiming my shoulders right of the target, or maybe standing too far away etc.  Things like this just randomly start to creep in for some reason without me knowing and then it develops into my swing to counteract it for example if my shoulders start aiming right of the hole I will eventually subconsiously try to correct that by swinging over the top which has now lead to shanking.  

 

I guess what I should really focus on is to start practicing more at the driving range etc to ensure nothing like that starts to creep into my game and that nothing starts to get out of line.

post #9 of 32

One thing that doesnt work, not playing.  If I dont play at least 3 times a week, i have no chance of being consistent.  Some may be able to play less often and still play well but i need to keep my muscles constantly reminded of what they have to do in order to make a swing.   Yes, my swing is far from perfect but when i play well im usually satisfied with the results and that makes me want to go out and do it again, even though the next time might not go as well.   The difference between a solid strike and a poor effort can be fractions of an inch and to even have a chance to stay within those margins takes repetition.  

post #10 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernILGolfer View Post

One thing that doesnt work, not playing.  If I dont play at least 3 times a week, i have no chance of being consistent.


Is your handicap accurate?

 

Practicing the proper things. That's how you get better. Good information, finding good feel(s) that work for you to address your faults, and proper practice.

 

post #11 of 32

You get better by fixing the things you are bad at. There are usually a lot of things to work on, even for better players. It's about finding those problems and then finding solutions. It might take one, two, or twenty tries, but you improve when you find those solutions. Of course, things like proper instruction and practice expedites that process.

post #12 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernILGolfer View Post

One thing that doesnt work, not playing.  If I dont play at least 3 times a week, i have no chance of being consistent.


Is your handicap accurate?

 

I know it wasn't directed at me, but I'm trying to figure out why you asked that question...

post #13 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

I know it wasn't directed at me, but I'm trying to figure out why you asked that question...


Because it's weird to me that a 20 handicap is telling a guy to play golf more. The 20 should likely practice the proper things more than he currently does (if he wants to get better). I don't care if someone out there is happy to be a 20 and doesn't want to be anything but what they are... but when someone's asking how you get better or improve, I'm not sure "play more" is the best advice.

 

And I know what I've just said might be taken as offensive, but it's not intended as such, and I hope people will see that. The fastest, easiest way to actually improve is not to make 30-40 full swings over the course of four or five hours, but rather, to practice with a purpose (and good information).

post #14 of 32

I agree with what iacas is saying (and no, my handicap is not accurate, but a guestimate as I've only played 5 rounds in the last 2 years...getting back into the swing of things though).   

 

Proper practice on the most prevalent issues with your game will allow you to succeed.  Since you're in school, I'll use the following analogy.  Golf practice is like homework and studying.  Playing rounds of golf is like taking exams.  You must do PLENTY of homework and studying on the right things to do well on your exams (unless you're extremely gifted which carries over to golf as well...).  Treat your rounds of golf as an evaluation of your game (keep plenty of stats).  Then proceed with practice on the issues that need the most attention.  Also practice the things that are likely to come up on the next course you plan to play (i.e. your next exam).  As mentioned before, cramming is not beneficial in the long run.  If you find that an area of your game is hard to improve by yourself, get a tutor (i.e. golf instructor).

 

Only playing rounds of golf has benefits and drawbacks.  I feel that the drawbacks out weigh the benefits.  Benefits: course management, handling pressure, etc.  Drawbacks: intoduction of new swing flaws, inability to focus on areas needing improvement, etc.

 

Although seemingly simple, improvement can be difficult.  IMO the greatest challenge is to figure out how to effectively practice the right things and finding the right balance of practice vs. playing.  Sounds to me like you've got the right idea for practice but your ratio of playing to practice might be off.

 

Good luck with improving your game.  If you find something that works for you, please share it. 

         

post #15 of 32

Ive never really actually figured what my handicap is, its just an estimate.   If i play well, then i shoot in the upper 80's which im happy with and if i dont play so well i cant even break 100(not so happy) so i just figured somewhere in the middle.   I hate going to the range personally, for the same amount of money i can go walk 9 holes.   Going to the range for me seems like a wasted day, i used to go only after it rained because i didnt want to play in wet condtions.  It probably would help to go more often especially if im struggling with any or all parts of my game.   Many times when I play during the week, its more like a practice session if the course isnt too crowded.  Ill play 2-3 balls so i get additional reps but i realize you cant do that everywhere and i cant all the time either.   But yes, going to the range is the best course of action to take for most people and maybe getting a lesson or 2 would be helpful too.   I was really wanting to point out that not hitting balls at all is not going to help anyone, i have friends that call themselves golfers but they seldom if ever play and wonder why they're so bad.   One friend in fact bought a membership to a local country club and they live less than a mile away.   As of last week he has yet to play this year.  I dont like sitting indoors in the summer but some are content to do just that.  

post #16 of 32

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernILGolfer View Post

I hate going to the range personally, for the same amount of money i can go walk 9 holes.   Going to the range for me seems like a wasted day, i used to go only after it rained because i didnt want to play in wet condtions.  It probably would help to go more often especially if im struggling with any or all parts of my game.   Many times when I play during the week, its more like a practice session if the course isnt too crowded.  Ill play 2-3 balls so i get additional reps but i realize you cant do that everywhere and i cant all the time either.

 

I think the point is that someone who isn't really "getting better/improving" should probably avoid commenting on threads about getting better/improving.

 

What specifically are you working on when you have these "practice sessions" on the course? I doubt very much you have a specific thought, feeling, goal, or little piece you're trying to improve, and that you'll simply throw a ball down if you shank one and try to hit some "better" shots.

 

Targeted practice is the only way to improve. Thoughtful practice. Practice with feedback. Some of my students' best practice sessions has them doing drills where they're not even hitting the ball well at all because they're working so hard to feel an extreme (and new) sensation and so they can ingrain it the fastest. Had a guy awhile back setting up with the driver handle six inches forward of the ball, his hips well outside of his left knee, taking swings where he kept his hips there in the backswing 100% weight left always... hitting drivers 50 yards to feel it excessively.

 

He took 50 yards of slice curve off his regular full swing ball flight because he hit 100 balls in that specific, targeted, extreme fashion.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernILGolfer View Post

I was really wanting to point out that not hitting balls at all is not going to help anyone, i have friends that call themselves golfers but they seldom if ever play and wonder why they're so bad.

 

If the choice is "sit at home" or "play" then play wins, definitely! a3_biggrin.gif

post #17 of 32

Golf is a game where the more you play the better you get and just like any game those gains come much slower if the basic things you do during the game are fundamentally wrong.

 

If I'm playing baseball and for whatever reason I have it in my head that the best way to bat is standing with both feet facing the pitcher I can play and play and play and never get too much better at hitting.

 

In golf playing will make you improve but you have to play with solid fundamentals and on a solid understanding of what you need to do to be successful even if you are currently not doing it all the time.

 

Last season I played probably 9 rounds of golf all season and my average score was maybe 105 or 110. This year after knee problems ended my ability to play Rugby I decided to pick up golf more seriously. I took 2 lessons and started playing 3 times a week and practicing every day. My average score fell to the low 90s almost immediately and my last 5 outings are as follows.

 

1. 9 holes +6

2. 9 holes +7

3. 9 holes + 9

4. 18 holes +11

5 18 holes +19

 

The +11 was on a really easy course but as you can see just two lessons and combined with a lot of practice and playing with the fundamentals I learned in those lessons has yeilded big results in just a few months.

 

Before that I had been playing for probably 8 years and never got one but better becuase I never played more then 8-10 rounds in a season and I never tried to make a fundamentally sound swing.

post #18 of 32

Practice the right things, as had been said before. You find out what those right things are by having lessons. Then practice what you were taught and not anything else. 

 

You scores make it seem that you're dancing around what's right. Get to the point. At your level, there shouldn't be that many corrections you need to make.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Instruction and Playing Tips
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › How do you actually get better/improve at golf?