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how to shoot lower scores? - Page 2

post #19 of 88

Practice, practice, practice.

Just because you took some lessons does not mean you have grooved your swing.  You need to go to the range and practice--a LOT!!!

 

Just playing once or twice a week will not improve your game.  You have got to practice on the range.

 

When I started, I thought just playing a lot will improve my game.  And it does.  But NOT at a pace I had hoped for.  But once I started going to the driving range regularly, my score improved dramatically after about a month.

 

I still go to the driving range at least twice a week.  Why do you think the pros practice 8 to 10 hours a day?

 

You gotta put in your time, if you want to improve.

post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimATC View Post

I believe that the short game is the easiest way to improve your score, but the best way is probably to work on both short and long shots.
I remember this article was linked an a pervious thread a while ago, and I found it very interesting. Kinda makes me rethink the whole "short game is the best way to improve score".
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/21/sports/golf/21pennington.html?_r=1

 

For the high handicapper, the long game is definitely the place that needs the most practice.  Turning three strokes into two isn't really as important when you've already burned five or six on your way to the green.  If you top your drive to the ladies tee, chunk your three wood into the fairway, smother-top your hybrid into the woods, hack your fourth into the fairway and still have 150 left to the front edge, your short game isn't really going to bail you out.  That's where a lot of golfers - especially beginners - are, and I'm glad to see an article address this.  The Haneys and Harmons of the world are out of touch with how the rest of us play.  A great chip is 25% of a par four for the average tour pro.  For the average hacker it might only be 10-15% of their score on a particular hole.

 

Also, I tend to think that the 100 yard barrier for the "short game" is a bit skewed.  To me, the short game should be considered inside the distance of the full swing of the shortest club in the bag.  For a lot of folks, 100 yards is a full pitching wedge.  I tend to think that it should be considered 40-50 yards for most amateurs. 

post #21 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwdial View Post

 

For the high handicapper, the long game is definitely the place that needs the most practice.  Turning three strokes into two isn't really as important when you've already burned five or six on your way to the green.  If you top your drive to the ladies tee, chunk your three wood into the fairway, smother-top your hybrid into the woods, hack your fourth into the fairway and still have 150 left to the front edge, your short game isn't really going to bail you out.  That's where a lot of golfers - especially beginners - are, and I'm glad to see an article address this.  The Haneys and Harmons of the world are out of touch with how the rest of us play.  A great chip is 25% of a par four for the average tour pro.  For the average hacker it might only be 10-15% of their score on a particular hole.

 

Also, I tend to think that the 100 yard barrier for the "short game" is a bit skewed.  To me, the short game should be considered inside the distance of the full swing of the shortest club in the bag.  For a lot of folks, 100 yards is a full pitching wedge.  I tend to think that it should be considered 40-50 yards for most amateurs. 


I tend to agree with this. Short game is huge no doubt but if you are shooting 110+ then you were sunk well before you got around the green. I still focus a lot of attention on my tee shots even though there is no direct correlation between fairways and score. I know that I have to put myself in a good spot off the tee or par is gone after 1 stroke. So people should spend as much time on figuring out how to get off the tee in good shape and hitting decent second shots as they do on their short game. When you add up the penalties and the recovery shots you don't have to take then all of the sudden 10 strokes can disappear.

post #22 of 88
Thread Starter 

I agree with the tee shot theory, my average scores range from 83 which is my best to 95 which is now a bad day for me and the scores i hit in the 80's come from when i am driving ok and bad ones vice versa.

people say the putter is the main club but i think its driver id rather hit a 240 drive hit the green then 3 putt than top my drive try and hit a 3 wood out of rough then screw that up half the time and be on your 4th or 5th shot before you even reach the green especially on par 5's theres no way you can hit a good score doing that shit lol.

post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Henley View Post


So people should spend as much time on figuring out how to get off the tee in good shape and hitting decent second shots as they do on their short game. When you add up the penalties and the recovery shots you don't have to take then all of the sudden 10 strokes can disappear.

This^^^ is what has been lowering my scores! I will also add putting. Gotta eliminate the 3 putt! I shot my best ever 90 yesterday, but with one lost ball (+2 strokes) and three 3-putts, I should have broken 90!

post #24 of 88

Really everything needs to be worked on. Work on your irons and that can help alot. If you can hit a long iron then you could approach almost any par 4 with 3 iron 3 iron and be in good shape. Another reason to work on the short game. When you miss with your second shot you can get up and down. I agree getting off the tee in good shape is HUGE! Everything really needs to be worked on because if one part of your game is off it will reflect your score. Just say you were a bad bunker player. If you are a guy who takes 4 shots to get out then you will waste a ton of strokes trying to get out if you hit a bunker even once. I was taught start from the green and work your way out. Really just practice practice practice.

post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Henley View Post


I tend to agree with this. Short game is huge no doubt but if you are shooting 110+ then you were sunk well before you got around the green. I still focus a lot of attention on my tee shots even though there is no direct correlation between fairways and score. I know that I have to put myself in a good spot off the tee or par is gone after 1 stroke. So people should spend as much time on figuring out how to get off the tee in good shape and hitting decent second shots as they do on their short game. When you add up the penalties and the recovery shots you don't have to take then all of the sudden 10 strokes can disappear.

 

 

I tend to think that those that shoot 110+  certainly DO need to work on their driver etc.... but it's more about "making good decisions"  

 

You might not want to hit that driver off the tee until you can hit it straight,  etc....    I don't carry any wood/hybrid other than my driver,  so if I couldn't hit my driver,  I'd tee off with my 2/3/4/5 iron... whatever it takes.

 

So you only hit you 5 iron 170 or so,  but you hit it STRAIGHT.   think about most of the courses you play,  and how much lower your scores would be if you were getting on most par 4's in 2 or 3, but consistently....     110 would be easy to beat even for the average putter.

 

Shorter par 5's that are narrow fairways etc......    pull out the iron.    It takes a lot of humility to watch everyone belt drives out there while you're "playing it safe"   but getting the GIR and then making par is much more important,  so let those guys 'think about getting home in two'   and then making double bogey,  while you play it smart and get your par.

 

Good decision making is all about discipline.....  with that said,  even days I'm struggling with the driver,  I like to pull it out.... and even short par 4's where I know I can hit 3i and then 6i in,  I pull out the driver and try to get that driver/wedge in,  or whatever.   It's tough not to,  but minimizing the damage is the best way to shave strokes.

 

AVOID THE HAZZARDS.     smart play goes a long way.

post #26 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by scv76 View Post

This..^  Listen too Roblar...dead on advicec2_beer.gif

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimdangles View Post

Really everything needs to be worked on. ...snip...

Well.... yeah.

 

In my case, spending a *lot* of my practice time with my 52 and my PW has not only helped my short game, but it has also really helped *all* my irons.

 

...but not my driver at all!

 

Yes, you need to work at everything, but in my experience working on the short game translated directly to my mid-game as well.

post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

The most dramatic way to shave strokes is in the short game.  Whether you prefer a hook or slice isn't relevant..........just keep it in play.

This. I have no idea why anyone thinks you need to eliminate your fade. If you can control it, and if your distances are accurate, you hit the ball far enough to easily shoot in the 70's consistently.

Also not sure about the 'PW putting stroke'. There's a spot for hitting wedges or other clubs with a putting stroke, but it doesn't come up often in my game.

As others have said, improving your short game is a quick way to lower scores. I've always thought of putting as a completely different 'game', and it's so easy to practice that there just isn't any excuse for being a poor/average putter.

- You're a 20, so you're shooting in the 90's. A consistent setup and not spazzing during your swing should help eliminate fat/thin shots and get you in the 80's.

- As mentioned, improved putting and a solid wedge game will get you to single digits (as long as you keep the ball in play)

From there, refining all parts of your game will be a key to taking it even lower.

Good luck!
post #28 of 88

My ramble, the chicken or the egg, which lowers scores, the long game or the short game.  While I don't think anyone would question that for Tour level players, short game is where it's at, at every tournament you hear the guy that finished second say, "If I only would have make a couple of more putts", you never hear them say, "If only I hadn't cold topped the ball on 4 and fatted it on 6" which sounds more like what the rest of us would say.  I don't think there is one perfect process which you should follow to improve, but more a question of what you want to first improve and what suits your personality. 

 

For me, I started with the short game, that was the part of the game that came easiest for me.  I spent a lot of time beating balls, but spent more time with wedges, chipping, pitching, putting, and that was the first part of my game that came around.  For me, I found more enjoyment out of scrambling my way around the course, hit a drive in the woods, punch into the fairway, hit it by the green, chip to within a few feet and make a putt for a bogey.  The guys I played with would always shake their head and I know they were thinking, how did he do that.

 

For me, that was a better situation then hitting a ball in the fairway, missing a green, stubbing a chip, chip on, miss a putt and make a double like some of my buddies.  I know they got frustrated because they knew they hit the ball better than I did, but never scored as well.  And now with my driver woes worked out, I score better than ever, so I'm happy with the way I progressed in the game.

 

All of that said, I think it's really up to you as to how you want to progress, what suits your personality?

post #29 of 88

"mediocre short game". "horrible bunker play".

Hmm, Seems you know what to work on already.

post #30 of 88

I also have weigh on the side of the long game as well, and offer up some other reasons that haven't been mentioned yet.

 

A) It is a lot cheaper to have a comparably better long game.  I lose less than 1 golf ball/round, compared to my 20 hdcp playing partner, who routinely loses 3-5.  Depending on the ball you like to play (even cheap ones), your looking at an extra $200-$600/year added to your green fees, playing about once/week.  Taking those $ and applying it back to more rounds/equipment/range time = more opportunites for improvement.

 

B) Getting on/around the green in regulation let's you concentrate better on said short game during your round, which should filter back in to your development.  I think most here would agree that it is much easier to focus on a par/birdie putt (or chip) than one for triple bogey.

 

C) As mentioned above, generally you can't be penalized for a bad chip/putt (with exceptions for tough greens), but you can get penalized for lost balls/water/ob.  OB can be a real killer depending on the hole.

 

This all said, if your bunker play is 'horrible', obviously you want to get it to the point where it is at least mediocre, and soon.  But beyond that, I think you get better bang for your buck trying to lose 3-5 shots in penalties, with some positive 'virtuous cycle' effects to your short game, by improving your consistency with your long game.  If you can get down to the single digits, then the short game does become the best way to shave off the last chunk of strokes.  JMHO of course. 

post #31 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by A good hack View Post

I also have weigh on the side of the long game as well, and offer up some other reasons that haven't been mentioned yet.

 

A) It is a lot cheaper to have a comparably better long game.  I lose less than 1 golf ball/round, compared to my 20 hdcp playing partner, who routinely loses 3-5.  Depending on the ball you like to play (even cheap ones), your looking at an extra $200-$600/year added to your green fees, playing about once/week.  Taking those $ and applying it back to more rounds/equipment/range time = more opportunites for improvement.

 

B) Getting on/around the green in regulation let's you concentrate better on said short game during your round, which should filter back in to your development.  I think most here would agree that it is much easier to focus on a par/birdie putt (or chip) than one for triple bogey.

 

C) As mentioned above, generally you can't be penalized for a bad chip/putt (with exceptions for tough greens), but you can get penalized for lost balls/water/ob.  OB can be a real killer depending on the hole.

 

This all said, if your bunker play is 'horrible', obviously you want to get it to the point where it is at least mediocre, and soon.  But beyond that, I think you get better bang for your buck trying to lose 3-5 shots in penalties, with some positive 'virtuous cycle' effects to your short game, by improving your consistency with your long game.  If you can get down to the single digits, then the short game does become the best way to shave off the last chunk of strokes.  JMHO of course. 


I'm with those who say the short game and this was my answer before even opening the thread. This will be easier to fix than the long game and long irons. Think about all the strokes lost due to a poor short game. I guarantee the OP rarely hits a green in regulation so if he's lying 2 on a par 4 near the green, if he can get up and down or even chip or pitch and 2 putt he's looking at bogey which is certainly better than he's doing now. But a duffed chip, another chip and 2 putts is a double or a poor chip and 3 putts is the same bad score.

 

The short game is about ball position in the stance, proper club selection and accelerating through the shot. I've been playing a long time (not often enough lately) and my driving has always been inconsistent but I can chip well and am a decent putter. All of this saves me strokes from off of the green.

post #32 of 88

Play your best. Don't try and play your best ever.

 

I played yesterday with an former weekly golfing buddy. When we last played every week, he was a 20 and I was a 15. Now he is a 24 and I played to 10 yesterday. What I could not get over were the terrible decisions he made. Sure, anyone can miss a tee shot when you play only a few times a year as he does now. But the faced with a 300 yard second shot out of the rough, he is grabbing his 3-wood to get it "as close as possible." That's a good idea if you pull it off -- which he did 1/7 times. I would do the math for him and explain that if he hit a 7-iron out of that lie and left himself another 7-iron into the green FROM THE FAIRWAY. That awful tee shot might cost him one shot. Instead, the 3-wood fails, leaves more trouble, leaves another opportunity for a hero shot... "Put me down for a 10."

 

It may or may not be you, but if you are trying shots that you have when only when you "play your best ever," you are giving away strokes.

 

On another note: get a shot that allows you to get out of the bunker nearly every time. Anywhere out and on the green. Don't get greedy trying to get close.

 

Off the tee, just hit what you can/must in order to stay in play. I imagine you could drop 4-5 shots if you just played to get on every green in one over regulation and never had a penalty or bunker shot. What would you do if the only goal was score and the only target was 88? Would you use driver on a 350 yard hole? Go for it over the water or layup and play it safe?

 

In my case, I got to my lowest handicap ever last year when I took 10 yards off every iron (and practiced more.)

post #33 of 88

The biggest mistake from I see the 20+ folks I get paired up with is not playnig smart. The guy that can't hit anything longer than a 4i straight but hits successive bad tee shots with something longer and puts it out there the same distance as a 4i and ends up with a bad lie that results in an equally bad 2nd shot. It repeats over and over until they finally get on the green. What blows me away is many putt decent. That person would benefit from hitting something they can control 200y and choosing a mid iron 2nd shot to keep it in the fairway so they have a fighting chance of pitching/chipping close from a decent lie to eventually 2 putt. I know for me I didn't start scoring better until I started playing better.

post #34 of 88

http://thesandtrap.com/t/58816/65-25-10-practice-ratios-where-to-devote-your-practice-time

 

If your short game's not great or if your putting is bad, then yes, those can be the easiest ways to shave some strokes.  

 

But long term, if you want to consistently shoot low scores, you've gotta shrink the disperson cone on full shots.  Should at least hit the green with a very high percentage or wedge and short iron shots, with some real birdie chances (<15 feet) thrown in.  Should at least be close to the green with long approaches most of the time, with the bigger misses being pretty predictable and generally leaving you with at least a decent chance of an up and down.  And tee shots should find the fairway a solid percent of the time, leave you with at least a decent 2nd shot a high percentage, and be in jail, in the water, or OB a low percent of the time.

 

Also learning to manage the course can be helpful.  If you've gotten good enough that your misses are somewhat predictable, play shots to the correct side of the fairway or green for your miss, choose clubs off the tee that minimize your chances of getting in big trouble (though of course you don't want to go so far as always giving yourself 200+ yard approach shots so you can hit the fairway most of the time).

post #35 of 88
Short game, short game, and short game.
post #36 of 88

Long game, putting, and then the short game. It doesn't take much work to get to the point where you can hit all the short game shots and the only question is can you get the distance and direction right. At that point the short game is worth a half dozen shots at best (i.e. getting to within 6 ft to have a chance at 1 putting instead of being at 20 feet and 2 putting).  

 

This question comes up all the time. Instead of generic answers you should take some notes on where you are losing shots and go from there.  Count how many short game shots you take and the outcome. Figure out how many bad approach shots you have and were they are from.  Look at what holes you are 3 putting and think about why that is (long first putts, putts from bad locations,....).Think about if you are playing holes wrong (i.e. if you don't have a 3 wood off the deck, why are you hitting it). Then come up with a plan to fix the top flaw. The rinse and repeat.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10footer4bird View Post

Short game, short game, and short game.
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