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Improving Your Scores Without Taking Lessons

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

My name is Fred Fields, I am 76 years old and used to be a 6 handicap player, with average scores of 78 to 82 playing a course which, at its longest measured 7200 yards, and I often played the longest tees, My average drive was 225 yards.

 

It is my belief that almost every golfer, from Tiger Woods on down, wants to improve his game, but almost none of us know how to do it, except to take lessons.

 

I have a theory that golf pros should teach 2 things to help weekend golfers lower their scores:

 

1. A simpler swing, which is more natural, and with which, it is easier to achieve competence.

2. Basic strategies that will help the weekend golfer play the game more efficiently.

 

As to the swing, instruction, I think the swing they teach today is unnatural and unreasonably difficult to implement unless you have the money to buy a series of lessons, and the time and inclination to spend hours on the practice tee.

 

As to the strategy, the only strategy most golfers learn is what they hear on the TV watching a PGA Tournament, and I contend that using a pro's strategy is counterproductive if you don't play like a pro.

 

Have you ever considered this?

 

What do you think?

post #2 of 17
What do I think? I think you are here to sell us something and ICAS asked you to provide some substance and instead youre just asking leading questions with no actual substance.

I do not agree that the modern swing is too complex. I think some instructors make it too complex but a good instructor can have a very good effect and the vast majority of golfers do not TAKE lessons so blaming their lack of success on instruction is silly.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil McGleno View Post

What do I think? I think you are here to sell us something and ICAS asked you to provide some substance and instead youre just asking leading questions with no actual substance.

I do not agree that the modern swing is too complex. I think some instructors make it too complex but a good instructor can have a very good effect and the vast majority of golfers do not TAKE lessons so blaming their lack of success on instruction is silly.

 

This book : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Short-Hitting-Golfers-Break-ebook/dp/B004QS99AO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358709427&sr=8-1 ?

 

TF

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to accept iacas' suggestion.

 

I haven't mentioned any enterprise on this thread. 

 

I have what I believe is a legitimate belief that almost no golfer knows how to improv his scores.

 

I have another legitimate belief that most golfers don't play their best golf within their ability on the golf course because they don't use reasonable golf strategy.

 

I'm trying to open a discuission of golfing strategy for mid to high handicappers to lower their scores, without changing their swings.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Maybe I should start with an example.

 

If you have a slice. It would be helpful if you teed the ball on the right side of the tee box and aimed across the fairway to the left side. This would give the entire width of the fairway to absorb your slice.

 

Most golfers tee in the middle of the tee box and aim for the middle of the fairway, only allowing 1/2 the fairway to save their possible bad shot.

 

And the opposite for hookers.

post #6 of 17

How about we cut through the proverbial Gordian's Knot and suggest the obvious:

 

You hit it 225 yards at your peak, and are now in your 70s. You now cannot hit the ball out of your wrinkled, ancient shadow. I'd say 7200 yards is way too much, posing a challenge for a tour player who outdrives you by 80 yards.

 

Move up 3 sets of tees. The red ones nearest to the hole ought to do it, or if there's another one that's for men but basically within 5 yards of the ladies' tees, use them. Your score will drop without needing lessons or improvement in your game.

post #7 of 17

Personally, I think having control of your golf ball and knowing where it's likely to go, allows you to think and implement strategically. You can't take trouble out of play if you can't control your ballflight better than the "average" golfer - unless you play short of every hazard and thereby add hundreds of yards to your round.

 

Too much of "strategy advice" boils down to "be a good chipper and putter" - which isn't to my mind a strategy as such, albeit not bad advice in itself.

 

I also think that anyone who's interested can read good books by Pelz, Watson, Rotella and Floyd if they're interested in course management.

post #8 of 17

Hi Mr Fields.

 

I'm one of those high handicappers this is aimed at. I think we all take lessons to some extent. I'm not trying to be pedantic but if I adopt anything you suggest in this thread doesn't that count as a lesson?

 

Yeah, I slice the ball occasionally (OK, a lot of the time) and I managed to work out all by myself that maybe I could eliminate some risk if I tee from the right side of the box, but it took me a while and if someone had come up to me and explained that early on maybe I wouldn't have lost so many balls.

 

But honestly, that's as bad a lesson as what you are advocating we ignore. I searched the internet for advice, and ended up here because I love the way everything has to be explained and backed up with facts/evidence (I'm big on facts/evidence) or someone will chew your arse off. You can't just pull an idea out of nowhere and tell everyone this is the right way to do it. You won't get away with it.

 

And like most people here I actually want to improve, and improve quickly. I want to know that if I keep my head relatively still etc and I put in a bit of practise the chances are I'm going to get better.

If I tried to work even the most basic of theories, I'd never get there. I may never reach some lofty goals I may set myself but I'll still enjoy understanding why and how I can improve my game, and why some people are just so good at it. I don't want to be stuck in the 90's or 80's just because it's a bit easier to plod along there. I want to learn how to get better and listening to people who are obviously better than me is my first port of call.

 

What's wrong with learning how things should be done properly? Whether it's course management or striking the ball. It's all learning and lessons to me.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

I apologize. I started this thread badly. My goal is not to suggest that golfers not consult their pros when they need help with their game.

 

My original premise is that if you ask any golfer, "How can you improve your game?" Just about every one will answer..."Take a lesson." That's legitimate. My suggestion is that most golfers don't play the best that they could with their current game because they don't think on the golf course.

 

Here's another example...Don't cut the dogleg.

 

If you watch the PGA on TV, all the pros routinely cut the dogleg. That's great for them, because there's a good chance that they'll hit the ball high and straight and long, and go over or past the dogleg.

 

But if your best score is 102, and you try to cut the dogleg, you'll probably go into the woods or water or trash. Better to try to stay in the fairway and go around, and not lose the strokes in the woods, etc.

post #10 of 17

I suppose it depends on where your game is and what you want out of golf. I never played much but have always wanted to get better. Just didn't have the time before.

 

When I first started, no-one was interested in more than finding somewhere to go on a Sat/Sun afternoon before we hit pub.

Even the guys I play with most regularly now don't seem to think lessons are worth it for them. They just want to plod around. HCP varies between 20 and 40 but they are happy.

I'm not, I need lessons to improve my ball striking and the more I've played, the more I've realised that I need to play the averages more - course management. Didn't take a rocket scientist to tell me I was a feckin idiot if I carried on losing balls at the rate I was. I think it's called experience.

post #11 of 17

Do you believe this is really thought provoking?  You seem to be stating that high handicappers are stupid and need you to point out that if they aim their drives in the opposite direction of their slice they will hit the center of the fairway or shouldn't cut a dogleg.  Why don't you just tell us what you're selling and we can all move on. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

I apologize. I started this thread badly. My goal is not to suggest that golfers not consult their pros when they need help with their game.

 

My original premise is that if you ask any golfer, "How can you improve your game?" Just about every one will answer..."Take a lesson." That's legitimate. My suggestion is that most golfers don't play the best that they could with their current game because they don't think on the golf course.

 

Here's another example...Don't cut the dogleg.

 

If you watch the PGA on TV, all the pros routinely cut the dogleg. That's great for them, because there's a good chance that they'll hit the ball high and straight and long, and go over or past the dogleg.

 

But if your best score is 102, and you try to cut the dogleg, you'll probably go into the woods or water or trash. Better to try to stay in the fairway and go around, and not lose the strokes in the woods, etc.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

I apologize. I started this thread badly. My goal is not to suggest that golfers not consult their pros when they need help with their game.

 

My original premise is that if you ask any golfer, "How can you improve your game?" Just about every one will answer..."Take a lesson." That's legitimate. My suggestion is that most golfers don't play the best that they could with their current game because they don't think on the golf course.

 

Here's another example...Don't cut the dogleg.

 

If you watch the PGA on TV, all the pros routinely cut the dogleg. That's great for them, because there's a good chance that they'll hit the ball high and straight and long, and go over or past the dogleg.

 

But if your best score is 102, and you try to cut the dogleg, you'll probably go into the woods or water or trash. Better to try to stay in the fairway and go around, and not lose the strokes in the woods, etc.

If your best score is 102, and you DON'T try to cut the dogleg, you'll still probably end up in the trash. Most golfers in that range don't have the consistency to play strategically, and don't have an accurate sense of what their shot will do.

 

If you asked any golfer how to improve their game, they won't say "Change to an alternate victory condition which rewards your current game". Making the most of your game is great, but it doesn't improve your game, which I define as the shots you are capable of hitting. It's talent, experience, practice, knowledge, and execution. Course management and strategy are not a part of it IMO, that's what we have caddies for. Maybe instead of buying your book we should all just get a caddy.

 

And as I mentioned, if you aren't having accuracy problems but score poorly due to distance, change tees/courses. That dogleg is supposed to be a risk/reward element, meaning it should be at a range you could clear it on a good shot. If you play from a spot there's no hazards in reach off the tee, then you're playing the wrong tees. If you just play around every hazard, that's not a strategy at all, it's a cop out. You're supposed to get the lowest score possible on the course that day; you don't intentionally steer away from shots you know you can clear (eg forced carries, reachable greens in 2, aiming at center green from 50 yards out, etc). Maybe sometimes the wind or conditions will make clearing a hazard impossible, or help you get over one you've never been able to reach. There's no spirit of challenge against the course or anyone else when you're not testing your limits. That's why the PGA is interesting to watch and your sort are not. You could save money by going to the range instead. 

 

Not to mention, I bet someone who plays like you is absolutely awful at trouble play because you're never in it. Ditto with match play, since you'll only score when your opponent feels like letting you win. He could get 2 birdies or a few pars, then cruise for the rest of the match, tie a bunch of holes, and get a win. If you never get any birdies except the freak 30 footer, you can't win in match play. It's like playing basketball entirely on defense the whole game, maybe you hold the opponent below 50 points every time, but you aren't winning. Not to mention you'll still have mistakes.

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

I'm trying to accept iacas' suggestion.

 

I asked you to provide legitimate content, not just keep asking questions that lead people towards your ebook. Mike and I have and always will give out a TON of free information. We sell some too, but that's dwarfed by the time and effort we spend giving it out freely.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

I'm trying to open a discuission of golfing strategy for mid to high handicappers to lower their scores, without changing their swings.

 

Birly answers this one in a way that matches my perspective:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

Personally, I think having control of your golf ball and knowing where it's likely to go, allows you to think and implement strategically. You can't take trouble out of play if you can't control your ballflight better than the "average" golfer - unless you play short of every hazard and thereby add hundreds of yards to your round.

 

Too much of "strategy advice" boils down to "be a good chipper and putter" - which isn't to my mind a strategy as such, albeit not bad advice in itself.

 

I also think that anyone who's interested can read good books by Pelz, Watson, Rotella and Floyd if they're interested in course management.

 

Yep. That's what I said in one of the other threads.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

Here's another example...Don't cut the dogleg.

 

What evidence do you have that the average golfer is trying to "cut the dogleg"?

 

And if they have the distance, isn't not trying to cut the dogleg going to put them THROUGH the corner of the dogleg, leaving them in the trees just the same? This isn't content, this is just canned quickie tips that don't really mean much of anything, IMO.

 

And what if the golfer enjoys that one time out of six attempts that he manages to cut the dogleg enough to outweigh the five failures? What if they like pulling off the once-in-a-season type spectacular shot, and THAT is what they enjoy about golf, along with hanging out with pals, being outside, etc.?

post #14 of 17

Who's to say golf is all about your score? If you are a high handicap, you probably shouldn't really care all too much about your score. I mean, really, if you score in the 100's it shouldn't really matter if you score 105 or 110! Either way you're still more than 30 strokes above par! What a golfer of this skill level cares about is improving their skill level. To do that, you play realistic shots that are challenging for you, if you *****-foot around the whole course never taking any risks you won't ever get better. That's not to say that course management isn't important, especially once you get better, but for a high handicapper whats most important is improvement and shaving strokes that way, not taking 5 shots off of your 110 without actually getting better.

post #15 of 17
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

 

It is my belief that almost every golfer, from Tiger Woods on down, wants to improve his game, but almost none of us know how to do it, except to take lessons.

I'm a high handicapper and I know exactly where I'm losing strokes. And I don't take lessons, I use the tools that the good people have left here to work it out on my own. I can honestly say my handicap should be lower due to the amount of development in my swing, but I just don't have the time in my life right now that I'd like to devote to golf, so I have to dust off the rust every round.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

 

1. A simpler swing, which is more natural, and with which, it is easier to achieve competence.

2. Basic strategies that will help the weekend golfer play the game more efficiently.

 

As to the swing, instruction, I think the swing they teach today is unnatural and unreasonably difficult to implement unless you have the money to buy a series of lessons, and the time and inclination to spend hours on the practice tee.

I've read that once or twice around here before...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post
 

I have another legitimate belief that most golfers don't play their best golf within their ability on the golf course because they don't use reasonable golf strategy.

 

I'm trying to open a discuission of golfing strategy for mid to high handicappers to lower their scores, without changing their swings.

The guy I play with has been playing golf for 40 years. He is still a 15, at best. He's played so many courses around that I've grown to trust his judgement and advice on course management. He helps me play better. The reason he doesn't score lower is simply poor (and inconsistent) execution. It's his swing that holds him back and he will continue to post the same scores without changing that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

Here's another example...Don't cut the dogleg.

 

If you watch the PGA on TV, all the pros routinely cut the dogleg. That's great for them, because there's a good chance that they'll hit the ball high and straight and long, and go over or past the dogleg.

 

But if your best score is 102, and you try to cut the dogleg, you'll probably go into the woods or water or trash. Better to try to stay in the fairway and go around, and not lose the strokes in the woods, etc.

I totally cut the dogleg my last round out, and hit the green in 2! Of course it was the only hole I 3-putt that day, but the way I was playing, I doubt I would have parred that hole if I didn't cut it. It was also the only memorable thing that happened in my round of 103.

 

Anyway, my point is that you can't just group all mid to high handicappers together and come up with a bunch of generic statements about their game and assume they all apply. That's whats wrong with golf tips to begin with. Golf is such an individual sport that you really need to tailor specific fixes to specific individuals. That's part of why it's important to have an instructor. I can't even count how many times I've read contradicting advice published in the same issue of a golf magazine. How are people who don't study golf theory supposed to sort that out for themselves? They can't, they try everything, it doesn't help them, and they continue to score as they used to.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sometimes we do things with good intentions, but they turn out wrong.

 

I started this thread with the intent that a  golfer could pass along some tip that he had learned from his experience that might give other golfers ideas about how they could improve their games. Every golfer wants to improve, but except for taking a lesson, most have no idea how.

 

It turned out to be a bad idea badly done.

 

Sorry.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

I'm trying to accept iacas' suggestion.

 

I haven't mentioned any enterprise on this thread. 

 

I have what I believe is a legitimate belief that almost no golfer knows how to improv his scores.

 

I have another legitimate belief that most golfers don't play their best golf within their ability on the golf course because they don't use reasonable golf strategy.

 

I'm trying to open a discuission of golfing strategy for mid to high handicappers to lower their scores, without changing their swings.

 

 

????  What the heck are you talking about?  Your statement that "I have what I believe is a legitmate belief that almost no golfer knows how to improve his scores". 

 

Based on your statement and your "rules", that would lead me to say "I have what I believe is a legitimate belief that all those years and rounds of golf you played in the sun has left you WRONG"

 

I started playing golf on June 2, 2012.  My first full round of golf in June of 2012 my score was a 126.  In six months time I went from never playing golf to having a handicap of under 14.  Never got any lessons.  Guess I was just lucky eh?  I mean considering that I do not know how to improve my scores it must have been a miracle that I went from 126 to consistently shooting in the high 80, right? 

 

What about Bubba Watson?  Never had golf lessons.  I guess he must have gotten lucky to win the Masters, I mean since almost no golfer knows how to improve his scores without your help.

 

A huge reason that this website and others exist is so that people can learn and improve their games.  I've worked very hard to get where I am and while I am not a very good golfer, I have come a long ways on my own.  For you to criticize me and all the thousands/millions out there that have also improved their game on their own is WRONG.

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