I admit my criticism of the golf instructing profession is sweeping, because I believe that, as a rule, golf is badly taught.
It looks like golfjunky has a very good golf pro. He solved Junky's swing problem, and he recommended a short game lesson. Junky is getting his money's worth and, if he improves his short game and, with the new info on his swing, his scores will drop.
. I still maintain that to get the most out of his game, he needs to learn golf strategy. And the only way he'll come across it will be from Johnny Miller on TV, discussing golf strategy for touring pros, which will actually hurt the game of a mid-to-high handicapper.
In fact, ask any golfer how he can improve his game, and many, even most, have no idea. If they regularly shoot 90 to 105, I believe they hit the ball well enough to shoot in the mid 80's,occasionally, and break 90 almost all the time. The difference is simple, as I've said specifically before, forget playing for birdies. Play for bogeys.
Most golfers' swings reach their competence level early in their careers, and level off. Some, who are dedicated and work to improve their swings by taking lessons and hitting balls get better...some much better. But the statistics show that over half still never break 100.
The golfing industry solves this situation by trying to influence these golfers that more distance is the solution, or 3 wedges in their bag, or spending $1,000 on a new set of irons, or taking an expensive set of lessons. I get it. Nobody wins if there is no profit. I'm a retired businessman.
On the other hand, wouldn't it be better if someone at Golf Digest or The Golf Channel started teaching some realistic golf strategy for the high handicapper, Like:
- Don't try to cut the dogleg, most likely you'll wind up in the woods or the water ot the trash and waste useless strokes.
- Just hit 2 easy shots to somewhere near the green in regulation, chip or pitch to somewhere on the green and 2 putt for a good bogey. Play for bogey. 17 bogeys and 1 lucky par is 89.
- 200 yards in the fairway off the tee, and a 4,5, 6, or 7 iron, whatever you hit 125-130 yards, will put you close. If you practice pitching and chipping occasionally in your back yard, you can be on the green in 3. Then 2 putt for bogey. You don't need to hit the ball 300 yards.
- By the way, unless you're sure you'll break 85, play the shortest tees allowed. You should almost never play a par 3 over 175 yards or a par 4 over 400 unless your talent level gives you a sporting chance. OR A CARRY OVER 150 YARDS.
- Ask yourself, what's the worst thing that can happen to me here? Woods? Sand Trap? Water? Waste area? Being long of the green on the right side? Then avoid that! If avoiding the hazard requires a shot you might not make, lay up, lose one stroke instead of 2 or 3 strokes.
- Here's one my Pappy taught me..."It always amazes me that a golfer who misses a fairway 50 yards wide, thinks he can hit the ball between two trees 18" apart". Get out of the woods the easiest, surest, way possible through the widest gap in the trees, whichever direction that is.
- Practice chipping and pitching in your back yard and putting on a rug at home. Those are the shots that even the touring pros use to save shots.
As for improving golf swings, you're right, that takes work and practice, and I'll grant, lessons. The overwhelming majority of high handicap golfers aren't even going to the driving range to warm up before a round. Most think 3 or 4 putts on the putting green, if it's convenient, and a little stretching is enough. They don't have the time to devote to improving their swings very much.
As for pushing books, the only book I've got on this site is Tommy Armour's, an old best seller form one of the recognized best golf pros of all time, in which he backs up what I say. In fact, that's where I learned to improve my scores from100-105 to 78-82. And except for a tip from a stranger on a public driving range one night about how to cure my slice, and a lot of short game practice, none of that improvement was in my swing.
And by the way, iacas, how many golfers at your club never expect to shoot 85?