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a new golfers journey through the first two months so far....... - Page 2

post #19 of 112
I've been playing for about a month and have had 4 lessons. I am getting slightly frustrated at now playing any proper golf just being down the range. However following my last lesson I can start to see the individual drills etc coming together. Just got to find that consistency.

Wish I had been more like you and just got some rounds under my belt but my instructor has said to wait for a bit and continue with the lessons. b3_huh.gif
post #20 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoodyShrimp View Post

I've been playing for about a month and have had 4 lessons. I am getting slightly frustrated at now playing any proper golf just being down the range. However following my last lesson I can start to see the individual drills etc coming together. Just got to find that consistency.
Wish I had been more like you and just got some rounds under my belt but my instructor has said to wait for a bit and continue with the lessons. b3_huh.gif


Listen to your instructor. You've got the rest of your life to enjoy golf. Delaying the on-the-course experience for a month or two won't kill ya. a2_wink.gif

 

Plus, it'll make your first outings on the course more enjoyable because you'll be more focused on playing golf and less worried about your swing.

 

I'm in the same boat. I started a month ago, I've had exactly 4 lessons. And I've been to the range about 20 times. He took me on the course yesterday for a couple of holes just to work out situational stuff - I'm still nowhere near ready to play a round of golf.

post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamagrad03 View Post


Listen to your instructor. You've got the rest of your life to enjoy golf. Delaying the on-the-course experience for a month or two won't kill ya. a2_wink.gif

 

Plus, it'll make your first outings on the course more enjoyable because you'll be more focused on playing golf and less worried about your swing.

 

I'm in the same boat. I started a month ago, I've had exactly 4 lessons. And I've been to the range about 20 times. He took me on the course yesterday for a couple of holes just to work out situational stuff - I'm still nowhere near ready to play a round of golf.

 I know some people can, but I could not even imagine playing this way.   Go to the course, have fun (even if you play bad) and see how you actually like the game of Golf.

post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloverUT View Post

 I know some people can, but I could not even imagine playing this way.   Go to the course, have fun (even if you play bad) and see how you actually like the game of Golf.

 

I think more people prefer your way than mine. I've always loved practice in sports though. I absolutely love the hour I spend at the range every day. Even though I still suck, I'm there every day after work and at 7:30am on Saturdays.

 

And that's in no way bragging. Lord knows if I didn't absolutely love it, there's no way I'd be out there that much. I think it's just that golf is SO new to me that anything I do, practice included, is just fun. It probably won't always be like that. Especially after I play a round or two.

post #23 of 112

without the practice time put in you'll never get good at any sport... that said I assure that the practice at the range and what you'll actually face in a round are so drastically different that it is a mistake on your end if you think otherwise.

 

I routinely hit the ball perfectly at the range and in my lessons.  Then I get on the course and the lies are crazy or the green is protected by bunkers or there's a hard dogleg etc.  practice at the range will never really prepare you for situations like that.  That said, what practice does do is help you groove a proper swing so when you are on the course playing a round you can be confident that your swing will be consistent and that should allow you to hit the ball cleanly and accurately. 

post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisevolution View Post

without the practice time put in you'll never get good at any sport... that said I assure that the practice at the range and what you'll actually face in a round are so drastically different that it is a mistake on your end if you think otherwise.

 

I routinely hit the ball perfectly at the range and in my lessons.  Then I get on the course and the lies are crazy or the green is protected by bunkers or there's a hard dogleg etc.  practice at the range will never really prepare you for situations like that.  That said, what practice does do is help you groove a proper swing so when you are on the course playing a round you can be confident that your swing will be consistent and that should allow you to hit the ball cleanly and accurately. 

 

I suspect I'll spend less time at the range and more time on the course after I get a swing that's somewhat tenable. Right now, I'm so inconsistent off of a perfect lie at the range, that it's really pointless to get on the course and introduce even more challenging elements.

 

My goal is to establish a swing that I'm comfortable with and through repetition build some muscle memory. But until I can stop swinging with my arms on a consistent basis, I'm going nowhere near the course.

 

I will say that I'm fortunate enough to frequent a range that hits off grass, no mats. So at least that's one element closer to the real thing than just hitting off of mats.

post #25 of 112

I'm with you and believe me I went out and played a couple of rounds when I shouldn't have been allowed on a course which is innevitably what drove me towards taking lessons.  You also definitely have a huge positive with your local range being grass rather than a synthetic mat because at least if you can get comfortable hitting from that if you can land your shot in the fairway the conditions should be similar.

post #26 of 112
It is just motivation wise I think playing a round would motivate me even more to practice. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the range, but have absolutely no concept of how that correlates to actually playong a round!
post #27 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisevolution View Post

Your story sounds eerily similar to mine except you've been able to play significantly more golf than me in the similarly short period of time you've been playing.  I have the same struggles duffing iron shots after a great tee shot and I definitely am terrible hitting my irons off the tee on par 3's.  If I could get those parts of my game under more control I'd be consistently in the mid 80's to low 90's.  As it is I've dropped from being in the 120-130 range down to 100-110 on pretty consistent basis and I rarely have played the same course multiple times. 

The difference is I have been taking lessons for the last couple of months at Golftec and it's been super valuable in terms of understanding my specific swing issues and how to address them due to all the video feedback their system gives you.  While I may not have eliminated the stupid wasted shots in my rounds when I do keep it together the shots are much more accurate and on target.  I'm not saying you should take lessons, all I'm saying is that they've definitely helped me to understand what my pain points are and how I should be going about addressing them.


Keep up the good work and hopefully by the end of this season I'll be in the 80's/90's consistenly like you are!

Thank you for the kind words.  I am sure that you will get there.  Like yourself, I was terrible at hitting irons off the tee on par 3's.  So much so that it was the part that was and sometimes still does hold my scores back.  I am getting better though.  The hard part was learning to hit irons.  People tell you to hit down on the ball, when I started doing that it helped sometimes but also caused quite a few fat shots as well.  Now I am picking the ball off the ground while still hitting down on it.  It's leaving a good divot that is not too deep and is facing in the right direction as well. 

 

I am slowly but surely eliminating the wasted shots, usually on approaches.  When I'm in the rough, I'll now grip down the club and hold tighter to compensate for the rough grabbing the club and turning it to the left causing a hook.  Now I'm probably down to just a few wasted shots per round when a month or two ago I was hitting at least 12 wasted shots per round. 

 

It sounds like you are on the right track.  I like to play a lot and also go to the range a lot because I think that both are beneficial.  For a while I was hitting the ball good at the range but could not hit for anything on the course because I was not playing enough.  When I started playing more, that changed quite a bit.  I've been able to continuously change my swing here and there to get the desired results so far and that is why I have not saught instruction.  I guess I'm luck, I don't know.  I have done a lot of reading of great books that explain in detail what should be changed and I've tried to keep an open mind into this and stick to the changes as weird as they are. 

 

I am thinking about going to Golf Tec, not for lessons at this point but so that I can get statistics on my swing speed and things like that.  Some books that I would recommend to anyone new to the game are:  The Impact Zone by Bobby Clampett, Build the Swing of a Lifetime by Mike Bender, Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, and My Golden Lessons by Jack Nicklaus.  All of these books I thought were very good and I was able to use something from each book to help my game.

 

Best of luck to you and please keep us updated on your progress!

post #28 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoodyShrimp View Post

It is just motivation wise I think playing a round would motivate me even more to practice. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the range, but have absolutely no concept of how that correlates to actually playong a round!

I am in no position to give advice, but some advice that I read a while back has helped me quite a bit.  I cannot remember where I read this, but I read about playing a "range round". When I used to go to the range to practice, I would usually start with my LW and progress up to my Driver, hitting 10 balls at least with each club on the way up.  I thought that this was a good way to do it at the time.

 

Then I tried to play a "range round" and have done this ever since.  A "range round" is kind of simulated round but from the practice range.  I know you have not played a full round yet but I'm sure that you know roughly the basics of it.  I got a scorecard and kept it on me at the range.  This gave me an outline of all the 18 holes that I would try to simulate to some extent.  I played each hole but while hitting from the range.  Thus the first hole is a par 4, so after warming up, I hit my driver.  Since the hole was about 400 yards and I can hit my drives about 230 -240 now, I'd then figure out what I had left.  Thus I had about 150 left to the green.  After hitting my driver I then pulled out my 7 iron and hit that.  I'd play around with it though.  I did not land on the green every time.  Sometimes I land in a bunker and will then hit my third shot as a SW from the range.  I would figure this out based on how well I hit the ball on that shot from the range.  If I hit the 7 iron 150 yards and it went sraight where I was aiming, then I would add 2 putts and keep score pretending to play a full round on the range. 

 

If my driver shot was not straight on a hole, then I would pretend that I was hitting from the rough.  If I was playing a par 3, I would use the distance on the scorecard to simulate it as much as I could.  I have found that this helped me quite a bit lately when I play my actual rounds.  Especially if I am playing the same course that I played the "range round" on. 

 

Best of luck to you and please keep us updated on your progress!

post #29 of 112
Thread Starter 

I thought that I would provide an update to those that want to know how I am progressing.  I am continuing to improve which is good news.  I am playing at least twice a week (usually one round on Saturday and one on Sunday) and sometimes I am able to play a round during the week.  I am going to the range once or twice a week and hitting balls as well.  The nights that I do not hit balls, I practice my putting and short game at the practice green. 

 

While I am improving, my scores are not necessarily going down.  I know this sounds odd....I am now playing harder courses though and also playing from tees that are further back.  I am now playing each round from tees that are at least 6300 yards where as before I was playing easier courses with yardages of usually under 6000 yards.  As a result my handicap index has gone down from about 21 (last time I posted in August) to 18.1 currently. 

 

Since I was spending about $800 or more per month just to play golf (at least 10 rounds per month x $75 per round), I joined a local country club on Sunday.  I was able to get a good deal and will save money in the long run, not to mention that the course is in great shape, it has reciprocal agreements with other courses, and I can hit as many balls as I want basically whenever I want.  Also, I will now have an "official" handicap that will be reported to the USGA whereas before I was just charting everyone online at fariwayfiles.com and while this was helpful, it was not official.

 

The biggest change that I've noticed in my game since the last time I posted is how far I am hitting the ball.  This goes for all my clubs but especially with my driver.  Before I was lucky to hit the ball 230 yards with my driver where now a 230 yard drive is not far.  My guess is that my average drive is about 250 or so and on Sunday I hit a ball over 300 yards on one hole (granted I had some help from the wind and hit a great shot, still, I'll take that any day!).  I hit the ball solid all the time now from the tee and while I do not hit every fairway in regulation, I am seeing improvement week to week.

 

I am using my 3W and 3H and 4H many times in rounds now because I have much more confidence in hitting them which is good.  I am hitting the ball so much further with these clubs and even with my irons too.  Before I could not hit a 9 iron more than 125 yards whereas now I am okay hitting a 9 iron up to 140 yards.  I am not sore anymore after hitting balls at the range or playing a round as my muscles are now more used to hitting golf balls than they were before.

 

My best score is still an 87 which I have shot twice now.  Once in August and then the other day at my country club.  The difference is that when I shot the 87 in early August it was on a course that played 5800 yards and had a slope of just 119 versus the almost 6400 yards and 129 slope that I played on Sunday.  The biggest challenge I am now facing is the speed of the greens at the club which are so much faster and harder than from any of the courses that I used to play.

 

Anyways, so that is the update on my game.  I have not gotten any lessons as of yet but am still reading lots of books and trying to pick up anything I can from playing a round with someone that is much better than me (I played with a guy with a 2 handicap the other day that I learned a lot from) to tweaking things on my own based on how I am hitting the ball and the flight of my ball. 

 

I'll update this every once in a while so the new comers to the game can see other's experiences in beginning to golf. 

post #30 of 112

Good to hear your still progressing and congratulations on the new club membership!  I'm probably going to do the same thing starting next season, just trying to determine which club has the best value for a quality course with a decent location near me.

 

I'm sort of in the same boat progression wise.  My scores haven't dropped by all that much but I know for a fact I'm playing significantly better overall.  My approach shots and short game have gotten much more consistent generally putting me in decent position for par or more realistically bogey.  My tee game has gone away a bit as I've had to slow my tempo down to keep the shots straighter but I've definitely lost some of the distance I was getting previously.  The weird thing is I hit just about every other shot longer than I used to.  I'm sure it's partly because I started focusing more on my iron and wedge play and less driver/wood play over the last month or so.

post #31 of 112
Thread Starter 

Update - Have not posted since the end of September and figured that I would provide an update on my progress.  I'm still playing 2 to 3 times per week and I am hoping that the weather stays like this so I can play all winter long.  I joined a country club at the end of September and am glad that I did.  It's actually saving me money versus paying $75 per round of golf on the muni's.  Also I can hit as many range balls as I want and get to play a much nicer course basically whenver I want.  The course is harder though than the muni's that I used to play and thus it's taken a while to get used to that.  Another benefit is that now I have an official handicap which is sent to the Maryland Golf Association and the USGA as well.  My handicap is 15.5.  It was a bit lower but it has gone up a little in the last few weeks because of the colder weather conditions and because of this my scoring has not been as good or as consistent as it was before it got really cold.  I am not complaining though as if I were told in June of 2012 that I would be at a 15.5 handicap by December, only several months after I first started playing golf, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.

 

About a month ago or so I went back to play one of the municipal courses that I used to play alot before I joined the country club.  I shot my best scores ever by shooting an 84 and 85.  I did not even play all that well either which tells me that although my scores were not dropping much when I joined the country club that I was still improving and the reason was probably because of the difficulty of the course at my country club.  It was a major confidence booster to know that I am improving.  The club course tees that I usually play from are at 6400 yards or so and the course rating is just under 72 with a slope of 127.  It's not a killer but is much more difficult than the muni's that I was playing over the summer which were usually no longer than 6000 yards with a rating of well under 70 and a slope of note even 120. 

 

I continue to track my "stats" for each round so that I can see what are my areas of opportunity.  Over the last few months I have been fighting a bit of a slice with my driver but seem to have fixed this by standing closer to the ball and keeping my right arm in.  My distance in my drives has increased quite a bit since this summer as I would say my average drive is about 255 or so and on some holes I have hit close to 300.  My putting is about the same and has been fairly consistent.  I have been practicing on it.  My average putts per round is between 34 and 35 putts per round. 

 

The biggest improvement I would say has been my play with my 3W, 3H, and 4H.  I can hit all of them fairly consistently and with confidence.  My iron play has improved and my short game has gotten much better but it still needs a lot of work.  An average round now will have a few mishits shots for sure but not as many as I had over the summer when on the average round I would have as many as 10 duffed or topped shots.  I'm also able to hit my irons from the tee much better and more constently now.  No I do not hit every GIR on a par 3 but in most cases I am getting the ball near the green whereas before when I first started there were some times when I hit the ball and it would go only 40 yards because I mis hit the shot.

 

I have not had any lessons to date but I think that I am going to take some in the spring time of 2013.  I've continued to read books and study on the internet and then figure out my flaws and why the ball is going a certain direction/angle and then change my swing on my own to fix that.  So far it's worked out okay but I know that at some point getting lessons will help.  Since we are in the winter time I am just going to continue to hit as many balls as I can at the range and play as much as the weather will allow.

 

I've now played just under 60 rounds of golf in my life and I'm sure that just like a good free throw or three point shooter that the more practice you do the more comfortable you will get.  I am definitely more comfortable than I was even just 6 weeks ago on the golf course.  Although I have not been playing for that long, I have already met some really good friends and people through golf

 

So that's an update....hopefully someone that is just starting the game like I did earlier this year will find this thread helpful.  My only regret at this point is that I did not start playing golf years earlier.  The feeling of hitting a great shot, getting a birdie, or playing a great round is such a great feeling.  The fun I have playing the game along with the friends I've made and interesting people I've met is a nice bonus.  I'll continue to update this as time goes on.  Hopefully everyone has a good winter filled with warm weather and lots of golf!

post #32 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjwestner View Post

Update - Have not posted since the end of September and figured that I would provide an update on my progress.  I'm still playing 2 to 3 times per week and I am hoping that the weather stays like this so I can play all winter long.  I joined a country club at the end of September and am glad that I did.  It's actually saving me money versus paying $75 per round of golf on the muni's.  Also I can hit as many range balls as I want and get to play a much nicer course basically whenver I want.  The course is harder though than the muni's that I used to play and thus it's taken a while to get used to that.  Another benefit is that now I have an official handicap which is sent to the Maryland Golf Association and the USGA as well.  My handicap is 15.5.  It was a bit lower but it has gone up a little in the last few weeks because of the colder weather conditions and because of this my scoring has not been as good or as consistent as it was before it got really cold.  I am not complaining though as if I were told in June of 2012 that I would be at a 15.5 handicap by December, only several months after I first started playing golf, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.

 

About a month ago or so I went back to play one of the municipal courses that I used to play alot before I joined the country club.  I shot my best scores ever by shooting an 84 and 85.  I did not even play all that well either which tells me that although my scores were not dropping much when I joined the country club that I was still improving and the reason was probably because of the difficulty of the course at my country club.  It was a major confidence booster to know that I am improving.  The club course tees that I usually play from are at 6400 yards or so and the course rating is just under 72 with a slope of 127.  It's not a killer but is much more difficult than the muni's that I was playing over the summer which were usually no longer than 6000 yards with a rating of well under 70 and a slope of note even 120. 

 

I continue to track my "stats" for each round so that I can see what are my areas of opportunity.  Over the last few months I have been fighting a bit of a slice with my driver but seem to have fixed this by standing closer to the ball and keeping my right arm in.  My distance in my drives has increased quite a bit since this summer as I would say my average drive is about 255 or so and on some holes I have hit close to 300.  My putting is about the same and has been fairly consistent.  I have been practicing on it.  My average putts per round is between 34 and 35 putts per round. 

 

The biggest improvement I would say has been my play with my 3W, 3H, and 4H.  I can hit all of them fairly consistently and with confidence.  My iron play has improved and my short game has gotten much better but it still needs a lot of work.  An average round now will have a few mishits shots for sure but not as many as I had over the summer when on the average round I would have as many as 10 duffed or topped shots.  I'm also able to hit my irons from the tee much better and more constently now.  No I do not hit every GIR on a par 3 but in most cases I am getting the ball near the green whereas before when I first started there were some times when I hit the ball and it would go only 40 yards because I mis hit the shot.

 

I have not had any lessons to date but I think that I am going to take some in the spring time of 2013.  I've continued to read books and study on the internet and then figure out my flaws and why the ball is going a certain direction/angle and then change my swing on my own to fix that.  So far it's worked out okay but I know that at some point getting lessons will help.  Since we are in the winter time I am just going to continue to hit as many balls as I can at the range and play as much as the weather will allow.

 

I've now played just under 60 rounds of golf in my life and I'm sure that just like a good free throw or three point shooter that the more practice you do the more comfortable you will get.  I am definitely more comfortable than I was even just 6 weeks ago on the golf course.  Although I have not been playing for that long, I have already met some really good friends and people through golf

 

So that's an update....hopefully someone that is just starting the game like I did earlier this year will find this thread helpful.  My only regret at this point is that I did not start playing golf years earlier.  The feeling of hitting a great shot, getting a birdie, or playing a great round is such a great feeling.  The fun I have playing the game along with the friends I've made and interesting people I've met is a nice bonus.  I'll continue to update this as time goes on.  Hopefully everyone has a good winter filled with warm weather and lots of golf!

It's good to hear that you are still progressing. Going to get lessons will be good... check this out before you do though:

 

http://thesandtrap.com/b/playing_tips/the_instructor_quiz_nine_questions_youve_gotta_ask

 

Also, don't be locked into the typical in-person lesson... I know there are a lot of guys on here that have used Evolvr and have lots of good things to say about it.

 

Curious as to how you are tracking your stats... I use to (I kind of got lazy, going to pick it up at the beginning of the year and track all of 2013) and I used Scorecard... It's really good software and gives you all sorts of stats by entering in 5 (score, fairway/missed fairway, green/up & down/sand save, putts, and distance of first putt).

post #33 of 112
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the kind words Tristan.  When I am playing a round, I track everything on a scorecard.  Even if I am playing with friends, I always have my own scorecard that I keep on me and track my stats.  I don't track everything but track the following "categories":  FIR, GIR, putts, sand saves, lost balls/penalty shots, and duffed/topped/missed shots.  I then enter my stats/scores at home on www.fairwayfiles.com and also enter my score at the USGA/Maryland Golf Association website for my "official" handicap.

 

The most important "stat" has been since I started and still is: the number of strokes per round that are NOT putts.  That number tells me basically how well I struck or am striking the ball.  When I started golfing this summer I was playing munis that were no longer than 6k yards.  My putting numbers have been getting a bit better as I have been working at it, but even from the start I was a decent putter I'd say.  Of course I have on occasion a round with close to 40 putts, but usually I am between 30 and 35 putts per round which I am usually okay with.  It was the strokes other than putts that were my biggest area of opportunity.  Now when I go play those courses that I did over the summer from the same tees, I can usually get my strokes other than putts to a number below 50 (which I consider good for me). 

 

This has gone a bit backwards lately because I am playing almost all the time at my country club course which is longer and tougher than what I played over the summer.  Thus it's harder for me to break or get to 50 strokes other than putts but it's slowly but surely coming down.  That's how I know I am improving.  For example when I went back to a local muni in late October/early November I played the course and putted terribly as I had 38 putts....but, I had 47 strokes other than putts so my ball striking was getting much better.  As a result I shot an 85.  I can compare this data with numbers from previous rounds at the same course to see if I am improving or not. 

 

Hope this makes sense.  Have a great winter!

post #34 of 112

Just an aside and for what it is worth, lessons are not just for beginners. I've been playing golf for more years then I care to count. Every so often, usually two or three years, I'll go back for lessons to unlearn the bad habits I've picked up along the way. Even the Pros have a swing coach, another set of eyes always helps. 

post #35 of 112
Hello Sir, and welcome to golf! I have been playing for just over one year and enjoyed your post. It brought back lots of great memories (good and bad, lol) of when I first started to play the game. Although learning on your own provides tremendous rewards and satisfaction as you slowly improve, I, like many people here, strongly recommend lessons form a good pro. You expressed some valid concerns about wanting to find someone that does not force you into a particular swing. This can be addressed quite simply by interviewing your prospective pro over the telephone. Just ask him what kind of methods he uses and whether he teaches a particular swing. Further, I suggest signing up for multiple lessons, that way you can stretch them out over time and really make a lot of progress. I was able to sign up for 6 lessons and after 3 lessons (and lots of range time) over two months my handicap has dropped 4 points and I have never hit the ball more solidly. The real benefit of a pro is to have someone who knows what they are doing watching you swing and giving you immediate feedback. Also, it sounds like you do a lot of experimenting and are constantly tweaking things. If so, you can bounce all those different ideas off your pro and get some really good advice. It's a shame that most people will invest hundreds of dollars in equipment hoping to improve but won't get a single lesson. Just spend the $200 on a lesson package and consider it an investment in your game.

Again, welcome and I hope this helps! And good luck!
post #36 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldpk View Post

are going to publish that book?

golfing 'journeys' are as boring as fishing stories.

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