I picked up golf in July of this year and have been a "range rat" ever since, spending ~2 hours per day practicing, with almost no exceptions. I also have a teacher and take a lesson whenever I can't figure out a swing flaw. I know I have a lot of room for improvement, but can also see that I've improved a lot since I began...the beginning was extremely frustrating!
I stick to playing a very short par-3 course, with a personal best of 33, including hitting 5 greens, and even had a birdie! It was my best highlight so far and was a great feeling. Golf gets very expensive on nice, full length courses, so until I am confident I can score well, I am sticking to less expensive courses. I also don't want to be losing strokes in my short game, because I don't anticipate being a very long hitter. I'm 115 lbs.
Anyway, I'd like to run by my current scenario and get some feedback because I'm guessing many of you have gone through this. In general, my distances are as follows, with a confident but not overly aggressive swing:
I'd say the majority of my swings fall right in the middle, or on the lower edge of each range. Right now, I don't really practice any other clubs because the course I go to has 8 of 9 holes under 150 yards.
The issue I'm having is that on any given day, my ranges change. If I'm hitting them well, I can add as much as 10 yards per club, and if I'm hitting them poor, -5 yards.
This primarily presents an issue when managing my expectations, AKA the mental game. On "bad days" where I'm hitting my PW around the 100 yard mark, usually after awhile I start to over swing to compensate for lost distance. That always leads me down a bad path and 10 minutes later I'm shanking the ball in crazy directions. On my most recent bad day, I made a conscious effort not to over swing, and ended up gaining that 5-10 yards back after about 30 minutes of practice, but I'm still not sure why. My only explanation is that my muscles were more fully stretched out later.
Have any of you had similar experiences and care to share any insight?
Also, on a slightly related note, the only wood I own is a 5w and just can't seem to hit it right. Maybe 1 out of 5 days it just clicks and I can nail it 170-180, which is what I'd expect, but most of the time it only carries 150-160, which seems much too short for me. Any tips? I try to use the same swing as my iron, I just push the ball an inch or two up in my stance.