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Beginner Struggling

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

 

I'm new to this website and I just wanted to get some advice. I'm 34 and I started playing golf 8 months ago and bought a second hand set of blades and didn't take any lessons initially. I played for 3 months before I realised that I needed to get myself a set of cavity backs and get some lessons. Since then I've had a lesson every 2-4 weeks and tried to play as much as I can. Sometimes going to the range, park or getting out for a game. I'm playing at least once a week and practicing a couple of times a week.

 

The problem is I'm still struggling. When I started I was hitting around 120-130. I'm now hitting around 110 but I can't seem to drop my score. I'm just so inconsistent. I'll have a few good holes where I'm hitting par or bogey then I'll hit an 8 or 9 on the next couple of holes. I sometimes think it is my back turn, but I work on that and I still struggle. Then I think it's my hip turn, so I work on that and I still struggle. Then it's something else.

 

People I play with all seem to be better than me. Should I be better than I am for playing as long as I have? Am I just never going to get it and should I just give up? I love going out golfing but I get so downhearted about my poor scores that I get embarrassed playing with other people so I end up just playing on my own.

 

Any advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.

 

Many Thanks

 

David

post #2 of 29

im pretty new to the game too man. You cant get discouraged golf isnt an easy sport to be good at. just gotta put in the work and you will see improvement. I've been playing for a few months and i just practice alot watch tv shows youtube vids and read articals to suck up any tips on playing as ican and ive seen alot of improvement. hang in there brah you will get it

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

I know mate. I keep telling myself that but there are only so many times you can tell yourself not to worry about the bad score before you lose the will to live! :) I was out at lunchtime and things were a bit better but one day is different from the other. I think lack of consistency is the worst thing about my playing at the moment. I've parred every hole at one point or another on my club course so I know I can do it but I just can't seem to hold it together for a full round.

 

I thnk if somebody told me it would be this difficult I wouldn't have taken it up, but I'm hooked now and there's no turning back!

 

Have you got through the difficult period yet and are you starting to play well? I'm dreaming of the day when I break 100. That's been the goal since I started.

post #4 of 29

Golf is hard.  Progress is made and then setbacks occur.  I've been playing for around 3-4 years now - never even hinted at breaking 100 until this year when, probably due to some lessons, I started hitting it a lot better and broke 90 once.  The last time I played was a few weeks ago - I shot +6 on the front nine at the local course.  Today I was + 8 after the second hole - it was like I'd never swung a club before.  I totally never recovered, either - tossed out the scorecard by hole 4 but it was a disasterous round.  Didn't even hit one shot that I liked.

 

But - that's what makes it fun.  It's so great when you hit one pure and so hard to do consistently that it's just addictive.  For however stupid and illogical it is . .I always feel like I'm 1 just step away from being a low single digit handicap.

post #5 of 29

110 after 8 months aint bad.

 

score improvements come in stages.. as you fix your flaws, it will become 100, 90, 85 pretty quick... but the big IF is that you do identify and fix your flaws.

 

just beating range balls usually won't help - evidenced by all the hackers who have been at it for decades and still shoot 100+.

 

you need to UNDERSTAND, by self study, or aid of a coach, what gives you consistent ball striking. Groove that, all else will be good. pitching/chipping is just a small version of ball striking... and putting.... it's all about feel.

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by robey1978 View Post

I know mate. I keep telling myself that but there are only so many times you can tell yourself not to worry about the bad score before you lose the will to live! :) I was out at lunchtime and things were a bit better but one day is different from the other. I think lack of consistency is the worst thing about my playing at the moment. I've parred every hole at one point or another on my club course so I know I can do it but I just can't seem to hold it together for a full round.

 

I thnk if somebody told me it would be this difficult I wouldn't have taken it up, but I'm hooked now and there's no turning back!

 

Have you got through the difficult period yet and are you starting to play well? I'm dreaming of the day when I break 100. That's been the goal since I started.

havnt been able to play a round since iv started making the good improvements. My dream is to play on tour (long shot but thats what a dream is) my goal for right now is to break 100. i hit pretty consistant accuracy wise but my distance is what kills me right now (getting distance off the tee judging distance on approach). not sure what im doing wrong. I'm self taught right now but i jst schedualed my first lesson for two weeks ffrom now. hopefully he can fix what im doin wrong and i can practice over the winter. plan on going hard on my putting over the winter aswell. keep us updated on how your doing brah. keep at it

post #7 of 29

Keep going mate, but just a word about styles of golf swing. Anyone landing on this planet from Mars would assume that there's ONE swing, one style. And clearly there's not. At the risk of sounding like a broken record new golfers should just get the feel of hitting the ball with any style they like and then progress into weighing up their games and where they want to be down the track. What most new golfers do is watch telly ,see the pros play, go to a coach and then get taught the swing that the pros use. The big problem is the pros swing is hard to learn, has got stacks of moving parts, and is hard to maintain. The upside is if you want to extract the last 10% of your distance then swinging with the conventional swing is a must but mastering that swing is a high maintainence thing, and a good deal of natural talent is required........just look at this site and other golf sites.....full of people with problems , trying to fix this or that. If however you're realistic about how far you think you can hit your driver, how much time you're willing to practice, and you don't think you can win the masters then maybe playing a golf swing that's easier to learn,easier to maintain, and is more in keeping with you're natural ability then one of the other golf swings might be the way to go. I use LPG swing, but there are many. Check em out before just accepting that you hit the ball like this.....

post #8 of 29

Growth in golf is like growth in puberty. It comes in stages. Until last year, I had never had a handicap lower than 18. Then I dropped it to 14.5 by the end of last year. This year, it has gotten down to 6.2, mainly due to hard work. What you should focus on is not how far you hit the ball, but how the shot felt. Was it solid, was it clean, did you hit it fat or thin? That's where I made the most improvement, by trying to hit cleaner shots and play smarter. One last thing that'll help is to live on the putting/chipping green for a few months. If you can tune up your short game, it'll help until you start hitting more greens.

post #9 of 29

Golf is a tough, frustrating sport with large physical and MENTAL elements to it.  During practice sessions, you can and likely need to work on improving technique.  On the course, you need to play it one shot at a time without over thinking things or worrying about a missed shot.  On the course, I think it helps to picture yourself hitting a good shot, but don`t have a lot of swing thoughts going through your head- best to have just one thought like good tempo rather than getting overly technical on the course.

 

The good thing about being a new player at your level is that improvement can come in big jumps.  Best of luck.

post #10 of 29

This opinion is from a crappy golfer who never learned how to properly execute a golf swing (until recently)...this is only an opinion, so take it for what it's worth

 

Most golfers who get consistently high scores do not know how to swing the club in a proper way. We swing with arms and shoulders, and have absolutely no idea what good timing is.

We pick up little bits of information some of which is probably detrimental to us. Sometimes we even take some lessons thinking a few lessons will be the magic cure.

But a lot of times these early lessons are more focused on assuming a picture perfect position than how to use the body to start the swing.

If you do seek out lessons, make sure you tell the instructor to teach you how to hit the ball properly, then work on making it look good.

First set yourself a reasonable goal (maybe score under 105 in x period of time?), If you do not accomplish the goal, ask yourself why not?

Access where most of your strokes came from....I'm guessing the reason is probably a whole lot of badly hit shots more so than missed putts!!

Get someone who knows the correct way to swing the club and work with them starting out using only partial swings.

Do not try full swings until you make good contact the majority of times.(if you can't do it correctly with a small swing you will most likely not get it right with a full swing)

Go play a course (short one recommended on a slow day), and do not be ashamed for using half swings for every hit, you are in training!!

You will be surprised how far a ball will go with a half swing that is done correctly. Once you play a few times with good success of striking the  ball well, your confidence will get stronger.

Be reasonable in your expectations..that is, don't let poor scoring bother you,  instead concentrate on how well you hit the ball.  Once you have mastered striking the ball well with partial swings, go out and work on full swings.

Most importantly, do not give in or give up....and of course have as much fun as you can

post #11 of 29

To the original poster I can only say: “Hang in there!” I have played golf now for going on 5 years and am only a 20-ish handicap.

 

Without a doubt the biggest obstacle to my improving has been that I am by nature impatient, and thus play too quickly. I am now determined to slow down and use what I call the OSX system.  Before EVERY stroke, even putting, I determine the Objective of the stroke, what I want to achieve. Then Set-up properly (Grip, alignment, ball position) for every stroke, and then only EXecute the stroke.

 

I have even written those letters on my glove to prevent me from reverting to my usual rushed style of play after a few holes!

 

Secondly, I have been playing for 4 years with the wrong RH grip (Youtube, Mark Crossfield, grip.) My right hand is too far under the club, closing the face during the swing, and causing me to do strange stuff with my hips, come over the top, hit the ball fat, and 100 other evils, all in an unconscious effort to keep the face square. Most of the instruction out there concentrates on the LH grip, saying basically that your right hand simply closes over your left. That is far too simplistic for a right handed beginner player.

 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the game is as easy as the pros on TV make it look. They have masses of natural talent (We can all play tennis, but who of us have a hope of beating Nadal or Federer!), and all the practise time they need. AND they have a caddy to advise them on every stroke they play.

 

As you often play alone, why not sacrifice 9 holes concentrating only on keeping to the fairway from tee to green, perhaps using the half swing approach suggested by a previous post. Then play the second 9 “normally.” Compare the 2 methods. You will be surprised how much more enjoyable the game is if you are not perpetually hacking out of the rough, or suffering penalty strokes! Soon that half swing will become a reliable three-quarter swing, and when you begin to hit that one a little harder.. voila!

 

Patience, patience, patience!

post #12 of 29

i think you're on a pretty normal track.  i started the same way 15 months ago, now i'm averaging 95-105 per round.  what was odd is that i started noticing my ball striking and chipping getting a lot better over this time, but my total scoring was only dropping an average of 5 strokes per round.  i was getting frustrated because i felt like i was hitting the ball better, but the ensuing results really weren't much different from when i couldn't strike the ball as well. 

 

so what i started doing (and still do), is analyze each round to see where all these damn extra strokes were coming from!  what i did was a bit unconventional, but i scored myself 5 different ways on each hole: drive strokes (this should obviously be just 1, but if i lose a drive, it would be 3 and i can easily look at the scorecard later and identify unnecessary driving strokes here), iron/fairway strokes, chipping strokes (<100y), putting strokes, and penalty strokes (less the driving strokes).

 

i can actually score myself back to par this way, i.e. 1 chip and 2 putts is going to yield a bogey (unless you drove close to the green).  anyway, what i found for me personally was that i lost 3-4 drives per round (good for 8 strokes), and missed about 5 putts per round within 3 feet (5 strokes).  this is pretty much consistent for me on every round these days.  if i can manage to lose only lose 2 drives instead of 4, i shoot in the low 90s.  but if i could eliminate all of these unnecessary strokes, i would go from shooting 95-105 to 82-92.  much better!

 

anyway, at least i know what i need to work on.  had i not done this i would have been frustrated and confused about my game since it seemed i was hitting the ball better, but only managing marginally better scores, but this approach has been helpful.  there is still the question of why the heck i was only 5-10 strokes higher when my ball striking wasn't as good, but i honestly will say i probably bent the rules a little bit more when i had a 40+ handicap.  nobody wants to see a 115 on a scorecard...

 

one other very cliche thing that worked for me was to just realize angry golf is no fun.  i still have my anger moments, but when you relax, enjoy the weather and being outside, maybe even a beer and chatting with your buds, i think at least for me, my game gets better.

post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 

Sounds like my rounds! It is such a frustrating, yet addictive game. I feel like I'm almost there but there are just a few things that aren't quite right and it affects my score significantly. At least I know I'm not the only one who ends up binning their scorecard before I've completed the front 9!

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

good luck with the lessons. that's what killed my game! haha! I was playing what I would call, ok, then I decided to get a few lessons and the pro changed pretty much everything and it was like starting all over again. I'm hoping I will see the benefits of it soon but it has been a long process. Plus, I strained my intercostal muscles on my right side from overswinging and was out for 6 weeks. A few people have said to me that my swing looks good but it just isn't quite right. I'm waiting for that epiphany moment when I "crack" the golfing secret!

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

Logman, it was a long journey from Mars! :) I just thought there was the right way to swing or the wrong way. I've been taking lessons for about 5 months now and I feel I'm a little way down the track that I'd rather keep going the way I am for now, but thank you for the advice.

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 

Tuffluck, I also feel that my technique has improved greatly since I started but I don't feel like I am making that much headway. When I go to the park I usually take a wedge and a short iron. I normally hit around 50-100 balls depending on how long I've got. The first 10 or so are a bit erratic then I begin to settle down. By the time I'm done I'm hitting them consistently. I try and transfer that to the course and it just breaks down. It's really weird.

 

I think if anything I've realised I'm not the only person who struggles with their game. Maybe playing with people who are closer to my handicap would make a difference and wouldn't make me so embarrassed about my own game and would help me get me used to playing with other people. I love the game but I just want to be good att it quickerr than it's happening.

 

Thanks fo all your advice and words of encouragement.

post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by robey1978 View Post

Tuffluck, I also feel that my technique has improved greatly since I started but I don't feel like I am making that much headway. When I go to the park I usually take a wedge and a short iron. I normally hit around 50-100 balls depending on how long I've got. The first 10 or so are a bit erratic then I begin to settle down. By the time I'm done I'm hitting them consistently. I try and transfer that to the course and it just breaks down. It's really weird.

 

 I think you are expecting too much out of your game at this stage.   You are hitting wedge after wedge after wedge at the park and somewhere in that 50-100 balls, you finally find a groove.   On the course, you hit one, maybe two, then pick up the putter and putt.   Then you move to the next tee, use your driver/wood/iron and, depending on the situation somewhere on that hole, you might pick up your wedge and hit it again once or twice.   At that rate, it would take you at least 5-10 holes on the course to have gotten past the 10 erratic shots you make at the park before settling down.  Not to mention it's unlikely you are ever going to hit 50-100 wedge shots in a round on the course.    So to expect the consistency on the course that you got after say, 60 balls at the park, is unrealistic.    Once you get to the point you are hitting your wedge consistently from the first shot or two at the park, and maintain that consistency throughout the 50 balls, then it would be realistic to have the expectation that it will transfer to the course. 

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

Roper, I see what you are saying and you make a good point. I am trying to use the majority of the clubs in my bag and I am only using these clubs a few times going round the course. Do you think, as a novice, it is better to use fewer clubs and try and master these clubs first before introducing more clubs? Say, 5 wood off the tee, 7 iron on the fairway and wedge on approach.

 

I've always thought it best to try and use more clubs because I've heard people say they never take certain clubs out of their bags because the are scared to use them and I didn't want to only use certain clubs. I wanted to be able to use a broad range of clubs (which I obviously haven't mastered either!).

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