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I am thinking about starting all over with golf........

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

During the past year, I've progressively gotten worse at golf.  Started the year at around a 12h.c. and was improving.  And then the wheels fell off.  I shot up to a 15 pretty quickly.  Now, at the end of the year, I am a 23 and not happy about it.  I have developed some odd problems in my swing that pop up and completely kill my game.  My last 5 rounds, I've struggled to break 100.

 

1.  Putting -  I am a very bad putter.  I practice and practice but get no better on the course.  I can hit a straight putt, but can't read breaks very well and my speed is typically horrible.  I have setup to get a custom Edel putter built for me and then backed out because I didn't want to be embarrassed being such a horrible putter trying to get an expensive custom putter built to a swing that for all I know is completely wrong.  There's some resources available here including Aimpoint and The Seemore Institute that I should plan on attending this off-season.  I've also been fit to a Seemore, which is completely different than what I'm putting with now.  Maybe having the correct specs and Aimpoint will help me in this avenue.

 

2.  Chipping/Pitching - Again, I'm not very good here as well.  While I don't thin shots over the green like a lot of people do, I'm usually not aggressive enough, leaving me long 1st putts.  I definitely need to practice this area more and want to get much better at chipping with PW and 9 iron.  I've been using these shots a lot lately and I'm getting better, but still nowhere near where I want to be.

 

3.  Ball Striking - Seems to be improving and then receding in chunks.  I can hit 6-PW fairly well, but the majority of my shots are low.  I don't hit those nice towering 9 irons into the green anymore.  My big problem is that I have developed a pretty good fade on my iron shots along with a habit of digging trenches instead of divots.  I associate the two together, since every time I hit a slicing iron, it comes along with a huge divot.  Not sure what's going on here, I used to hit my irons beautifully.

 

4.  Fairway Woods/Driver - Absolutely the worst part  my game right now.  I have a couple problems going on.  I am playing with a standard length Regular Flex Miyazaki shaft in a 10.5 degree Z-Star head.  The shaft feels a bit long and whippy to me (being 5'5") in it's natural form.  I tend to hit everything high on the clubface to pop ups and off the toe.  I have been known to take a divot with the driver from time to time also.  My fairway woods are 80% horrible as well.  I have one cheapy 7 Wood that was built for me and fitted and I hit it well, but none of my others perform.  I know I will have to get my new RBZ Tour 5 Wood shortened and swingweight adjusted in order to become more consistent with it as time goes on.  It's simply too long for me at this point, and I'm taking divots with it as well.  My driver is a nightmare. High Right, Low Left, Low Straight and the Pop Up off the crown, which is the one that ticks me off the most.

 

 

So in this situation, would you start all over again with lessons and equipment?  I was thinking about replacing everything except for my irons, which are custom fit to me and doing the same with every other club and starting all the way over with a new instructor and telling him I am a blank slate and to teach me from the beginning?  I currently have the Stack and Tilt Book, which is a good read but It's looking like I cannot get the necessary information from the pages and into my muscle memory.  What about the 5SK DVDs?  Could I start all over using that product.

 

I really want to be a decent golfer.  I don't have aspirations of turning pro or winning the club champoinship, but I would love to be able to go out and shoot in the mid-80's on any given day.  A couple years ago that was a close reality for me, but this year things have went the other way for me.  It's almost not fun anymore.

post #2 of 20
I totally and utterly sympathise with your situation. I similarly do not enjoy being on the course and haven't for some time now.

If you're addicted like most of us, then quitting isn't an option.

You've got an analysis on which to base your recovery and I would have thought that prior to changing clubs, finding a pro with whom you can connect would be the best move. It will potentially save you from going 'round in circles trying to resolve your issues on your own and you may find that the solutions aren't as drastic as tearing your swing totally apart.

A pro's advice and some video work along the way are a great combination.Finding a pro with an approach you like could take some effort, of course, and it's a very personal thing. I can only say that what's stoping me from quitting is coaching with a pro who's worked with Plummer & Bennett so his approach is along the S&T lines. When I do what I'm told, the results are great.

TF.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

I've worked with two pros during this year and came away disappointed with no significant changes in my game.  One would just shake his head at me sometimes because I would come back the next week worse than the week before.  I would practice and practice what they taught me, and seemed to get worse the more I practiced, which doesn't make sense at all.  I seem to be unable to make any changes to the crap that's going on in my swing right now.

post #4 of 20

Since someone sympathized with you, i wont   :)

 

Your problems are normal, its golf, look at the countless number of pro's that had major problems within there career, and there the top 1%.

 

The problem i see with golfers. Is most of them think golf owes them something, just because you have the equipment, and the unrelenting love for the game doesn't mean that you should be automatically good. It not a easy game, and if you try to listen to everyones opinion you ll be more confused and lack more confidence then ever.

 

Don't buy new gear, don't read more forums, find a teacher that makes sense when they explain the swing. Play rounds with him and find YOUR way to play the game!

post #5 of 20
what Shooter said +1, but i still totally sympathise. I too go and practice hard, but sometimes return with the fault still all too evident.

I've recently realised that my practice isn't effective without visual feedback so I asked Santa for a camera so that I don't just rely on feel. Are you working with a mirror and a camera ?

I've also come to realise that I have to be very careful about the drills and advice I'm given, especially exaggeration drills. One example that screwed me up was the concept of keeping the club face square to the arc - I ended up overdoing it and trying to keep it square for too long into the back swing.

Ultimately, I'm at the same point you are - an increasing handicap despite coaching and working hard. I don't have the answer, sadly, but I have resolved to get more regular coaching, to play more (because I'm a different player at the range), to try and avoid over-analysis, and to increase my fitness.

I can't quit yet, but I do find myself wondering if I'll ever break 100 again let alone improve on my former best 'cap of 17. I've been playing far too long and had far too many lessons to be as bad at golf as I am.

At this stage I can only emphasise visual feedback and not just during the lesson. Does that seem sensible ?
post #6 of 20

Sounds like you need a break from golf and a fresh start.  Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to "fix" our swing we get too inside our head and that messes with what would happen naturally.  It happens all the time in baseball, guy gets into a slump, starts putting extra hours into batting practice and the slump only gets worse. 

 

You may have developed some bad habits that could be more easily detected by someone on here looking at your posted videos. 

post #7 of 20

Tidy freak, Bullit.

 

You guys live where golf can be played and practiced all year round? only reason why i ask. Is that i live were i have no choice but to take 5 months of golf because it snow's a sh*t ton here dung the winters, and you'd think that would kill my game, sort of a reset; however, that never happens. It seams the lay off helps my game. A break from the game will do wonder for some. Its worth a shot.

post #8 of 20

D'oh

 

newtogolf- I must of posted right as you did. Great minds think alike! LOL

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by shooter View Post

Tidy freak, Bullit.

 

You guys live where golf can be played and practiced all year round? only reason why i ask. Is that i live were i have no choice but to take 5 months of golf because it snow's a sh*t ton here dung the winters, and you'd think that would kill my game, sort of a reset; however, that never happens. It seams the lay off helps my game. A break from the game will do wonder for some. Its worth a shot.

 

Not sure about Bullitt, but I live just outside London so I can indeed play & practice pretty much all year 'round, although practice is only off grass during the summer months and I'm convinced that I actually don't play enough rounds throughout the year due to other commitments, but I agree that a proper break is definitely worth considering ...

 

TF

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Yes, I can and do play all year round here in North Carolina.  I did however take the month of November off because I wasn't having fun on the course anymore.

 

I taped a couple of my swings with my laptop webcam just to see how bad it looked, and to be honest, it's pretty bad.  Every part of it looks stiff and mechanical.   When it isn't raining outside, I'll take the video camera out and get some face on and DTL shots and post them. 

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt5339 View Post

Yes, I can and do play all year round here in North Carolina.  I did however take the month of November off because I wasn't having fun on the course anymore.

 

I taped a couple of my swings with my laptop webcam just to see how bad it looked, and to be honest, it's pretty bad.  Every part of it looks stiff and mechanical.   When it isn't raining outside, I'll take the video camera out and get some face on and DTL shots and post them. 

 

My advice WFIF is to be very careful about the feedback you receive *  from posting video and especially stills.With all due respect to everyone who subsequently posts their very well-intentioned advice, it seems to me that it would be very easy to get confused and I personally would worry that a particular swing fault had been correctly assessed - some things aren't as obvious as you might think. I suspect that this is less of a problem with full video that can be run in slow-motion and I have no doubt that there are a lot of forum contributors that very much know what they're talking about, but my starting point would be comparison with stills and video given to me by my pro.

 

On the subject of video and finding pros that work for you, there's the Evolvr training route. I haven't tried it, but you'll obviously find testemonials on this site. Had you thought about using them at all ?

 

TF.

 

* I obviously don't mean IACAS, MVMAC etc. I'm pretty sure they know what they're talking about ... ;-)

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

OK, I had a small break-through today.  The rain quit, so I decided to go to the range for a couple hours.

 

When I got to the course, I was talking to the pro about my problems, so he asked if I had time to play a few holes with him.  So we went out on the course and tee'd off where he made a few observations:

 

1:  I was not finishing my swing.  

2:  My alignment sucks.  

3:  I open my stance way up without realizing it

4:  My right hand grip needed a small tweak

5:  My stance was too wide, which contributed to #1

 

So we played with alignment sticks on every shot, narrowed my stance to where it almost felt like I was standing with my feet too close together and concentrated on finishing in a traditional pose, which helped me finish my swing.  This made a huge difference with my irons and fairway woods, but when it came to driver I was still doing the same stupid things.  Pop-Ups, Divots with the driver and hitting it off the toe.

 

The pro asked to see my driver, took a couple swings with it and then had me go back to the Pro Shop with him.  He had me take a couple swings using a small portable radar and I was swinging the driver at 97-98mph.  He said he thought that the shaft in my driver was too long and too soft for me and handed me a 9* R11-S with a stock still RIP Phenom in it that was 44" long and took me back out to the course.  My first drive was a low straight bullet that went about 200 yards.  He then increased the loft as far as it would go and my shots got a lot better.  I was still hitting it a little lower than I'd like, but after a quick weight change, I was hitting them dead straight.

 

Once I started hitting the driver better, my entire game picked up.  A 5 second change in my putting setup (narrowing my stance and gripping down on the putter) had me putting a lot better.  I could finally feel like I didn't have to worry about the speed of my putts. 

 

For the last 3 holes we played, I didn't use the alignment sticks, but had remembered where was straight when looking comfortably forward.  The last 3 holes were bogey (200 yard Par 3), Par (402 yard Par 4), Par (520 yard Par 5) with 4 putts.  On the Par 5, I hit one of the best 5 Wood shots of my life.

 

One observation he made is from working with me before, I don't do well on the range.  He said it seems easier to make me keep changes in my swing when we're on the course and I have a target and a goal.  So he recommended that every couple weeks, we do a playing lesson for a few holes in the evening when the course isn't crowded.  I even noticed a huge difference in getting my instruction on the course, when I had to see where I wanted the ball to land and I needed to hit a specific distance.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't instantly start striping every ball, but contact was better and the swing feels better.

 

I guess there's hope for me after-all.  I do know that on Thursday I'm ordering a 12* R-11S with a stiff shaft at 44" at a D5 swingweight.

post #13 of 20

Great news Bullitt :-)

 

And that's a very interesting point about learning more effectively on the course, I must say.

 

TF

post #14 of 20

Most of my improvements have come on the course....not the range. Some improvements are self taught, others from guys I play with. The most improvement has been in my short game because during the summer I live next door to a nine hole pitch and putt course in the mountains of Va just a street over the NC state line. A mile away is an 18 hole private course that is a grass covered roller coaster of a place. The guys I play with are good golfers, some are scratch and a couple were semi-pro. They have helped me a lot.

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Now that you mention it, when my handicap was dropping my regular playing partner was a 65 year old former mini-tour player who was constantly giving me advice on the course.  For the past year, he's been having a lot of health problems and hasn't been able to play golf which has left me playing with an entirely different group of people.  

 

He was quick to tell me that I was screwing up and how to fix it because he knew that I wanted to get better and the guys I'm playing with now are more polite and follow etiquette rather well and will not offer advice.  My old playing partner was funny and an ******* at the same time, but really cared about me getting better at golf.  I actually shot my 2 best scores when he was with me.

 

I had never put those pieces together until you mentioned playing with semi-pros, but it does make sense to play better when you've always got someone who's educated on the swing playing with you every round.  It's like taking a playing lesson every time you play, I guess.  

post #16 of 20

Like many golfers, one day I will swing and get okay results and the next day the swing and results will be totally different...usually horrible!!

On my bad days, I have noticed that my body does not come around all the way ( my hips stop moving), and on my follow-through, I wrap around immediately to the left (for a righty) instead of down the line then left

As soon as I correct these faults good things happen.

On any given bad day of swinging, check those two positions (don't know the proper name for them) early on.  Make any changes needed, they see if your swing and results improve.

This is what works for me, maybe it will help others as well.

All the practice in the world will do no good if you are doing it incorrectly..actually it will do more harm as we get discouraged with ourselves

post #17 of 20
Only advice I can offer when things really start to go bad is to slow it down, take a little off the back swing & give 100% focus to hitting the ball totally clean - distance takes a far second place when we get in a slump like this...
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post

Only advice I can offer when things really start to go bad is to slow it down, take a little off the back swing & give 100% focus to hitting the ball totally clean - distance takes a far second place when we get in a slump like this...

 

Great advice, control is the key.

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