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Do you practice "correctly"? - Page 3

Poll Results: Do you treat each practice shot on the range with the same care you give to each shot on the course?

 
  • 33% (23)
    All or Most of the time.
  • 36% (25)
    Some of the time.
  • 30% (21)
    Rarely or Never.
69 Total Votes  
post #37 of 52
Hello , I was wondering if any one could tell me how long it would take someone my level to get down to scratch, currently I play off 10, I'm 15 and started playing golf since I was 13 and only being playing serious for 1 year I started off 24 beginning of last year and now down to 10. Also at the end of last year I was playing to around 6. I spend around 16-19 hours a week playing and practicing. And aim to spend around 16 hours per day in the school holidays. Roughly how long do you think it would take me to get to around 1 or scratch handicap , Thankyou.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukebisatt View Post

Hello , I was wondering if any one could tell me how long it would take someone my level to get down to scratch, currently I play off 10, I'm 15 and started playing golf since I was 13 and only being playing serious for 1 year I started off 24 beginning of last year and now down to 10. Also at the end of last year I was playing to around 6. I spend around 16-19 hours a week playing and practicing. And aim to spend around 16 hours per day in the school holidays. Roughly how long do you think it would take me to get to around 1 or scratch handicap , Thankyou.


Luke, I would suggest starting a thread on this. 

 

If you are hoping to get to scratch in high school, I assume you are (or plan to) play competitively (Junior leagues, etc) and most scratch golfers also hope to play beyond high school.  Since you currently play off of a 10, you should already have a pretty good idea of where you are adding 10 strokes over par on 18 holes and should be able to identify the week points of your game. 

 

Do you track things like fairways, GIR, up/down %, etc? 

 

In golf, I believe that most people believe that breaking 100 and breaking 80 are the two largest milestones.  Because breaking 100 means you have SOME concept of how to play the game, and breaking 80 means you have some concept of how to repeat that for an entire round. 

 

Having played to a 6 last year, I assume you have broken 40 a side and hopefully even 80.  Is that true?  Where did you miss on those sides / rounds? 

post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

I've done that on the range, but I still got bored - I guess I just don't have a vivid enough imagination.  I found out that it was more effective to practice that way on the actual course, so that's what I do.  I play golf on the course, and I practice the same way, by playing golf.  For me, that what works.  My only actual off course practice anymore is short game.


I think there is something to be said with this.  I have a 9 hole course by my house that I play alot of rounds at that.  In the end, I might write down a number on the card, but to be honest it isn't close to accurate. 

 

I typically try to play early in the morning and go out alone and use the time to play multiple balls, especailly on short game stuff, I might drop 3 balls where my shot landed and try hitting the same shot 2-3 different ways to see what gives me repeatable performance.

 

As for the comment with short game, does anybody have any drills that can help make short game practice productive?  At times in the summer I will take a bucket of balls over to my local practice facility and chip from different distances, but in the end, I walk away feeling that I didn't accomplish all that much. 

post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukebisatt View Post

Hello , I was wondering if any one could tell me how long it would take someone my level to get down to scratch, currently I play off 10, I'm 15 and started playing golf since I was 13 and only being playing serious for 1 year I started off 24 beginning of last year and now down to 10. Also at the end of last year I was playing to around 6. I spend around 16-19 hours a week playing and practicing. And aim to spend around 16 hours per day in the school holidays. Roughly how long do you think it would take me to get to around 1 or scratch handicap , Thankyou.

No.  Most people never get there, regardless of how often they play or practice.  Others quickly.  Others work hard for years and years and eventually get there.  There is no way to know.  You could be any one of these people.

 

Secondly, why are you asking?  I've never understood this question.  Is the amount of time we estimate going to have some bearing on whether or not you keep playing?  Would you listen anyway?  Like, if I said, it'll take you 10 years ... would you turn around and go "Oh, really, that long?  Well, in that case I'm not going to bother."?

 

You obviously have talent if you're a 10 in one year at age 15.  And I hope that you enjoy it as well.  Why not just keep working hard, and see where that leads you?

 

Every once in awhile I will wish to myself that I was a great golfer.  But one thing that I always remember is that I do not want to BE a great golfer, I want to BECOME a great golfer.  Enjoy the journey!

 

Good luck!

post #41 of 52

I voted rarely.  I usually hit a bunch of shots pretty quickly to warm up, then work on something specific with a mixture of full speed, half shots, slow motion rehersals, etc.  When I think I have it I hit a bunch pretty quickly.  Towards the end I'll take the last 10 balls or so and treat them like real shots on the course.  

 

I dont think I have a real consistent routine outside of putting anyway.

post #42 of 52

It's extremely difficult to practice correctly, no matter who you are. I voted for "some of the time." Its easy to get lost or to beat balls or to think your'e doing something right when in fact you aren't.

 

My ideal way to practice consists of the following prerequisites IMO:

 

1) Grass range

2) Your very qualified instructor present

3) Trackman hooked up so you can see your actual numbers. Changes become even clearer this way. You aren't necessarily trying to improve those numbers whenever you practice obviously, but they can definitely be useful as hell from time to time.

4) A high speed camera at the ready to show you whatever changes you are making and that feel isn't real

5) An understanding of when to hit slower tempo, half shots to hit a specific piece in the golf swing that you and your teacher want improved or fixed.

 

Then you learn what it feels like to hit that piece and you can practice by yourself. Take notes and maybe get a printed out before and after photo of this change you are making, so the image can really sink in. Discussions with your instructor about it can be helpful in cementing the "why" factor as well if you are skeptical over a suggestion he makes. 

 

I use evolvr, so it's obviously not as good as the above. It keeps me on a path, but by myself, alone out there, its easy to stray from what I'm there to do. Discipline and patience is key. Evolvr is a good way to go if you don't have a good instructor near you. I recommend it. 

 

My best practice sessions are when I stick to what the hell my teacher tells me to do, I slow down to hit that piece, and I practice it diligently. I wish I was smart enough to stick to this every time.

 

Tangent: 100 years from now golf lessons will be able to be conducted through hologram platforms where you can get in touch with any instructor in the world if they also have a hologram platform. Trackman numbers and slow motion holographic swings that can be viewed 3-dimensionally by the teacher will be the future... Sorry, I was dreaming for a second there. Carry on, guys.

post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterms View Post

 

As for the comment with short game, does anybody have any drills that can help make short game practice productive?  At times in the summer I will take a bucket of balls over to my local practice facility and chip from different distances, but in the end, I walk away feeling that I didn't accomplish all that much. 

 


When I played in high school, every day during practice our coach would pick a spot to chip from around the practice green and you had to hit 5 in a row from that spot to within a certain distance from the cup (5-10 feet maybe?).  Miss one and you start over.  Once you finished that you switched two clubs up or down, (depending what you chipped with) and had to do it again.  For example I always chipped with my SW, so I had to go down to my 9 iron on the 2nd go.  This helped me learn consistency and a couple different ways to chip the ball.  Also helped you understand how the ball would release differently with different clubs  - bump 'n run vs chipping it into the air.

Depending on how comfortable you are with chipping, don't worry about switching clubs just yet and make your goal of being within 15 feet from the hole and chip away.  As you get better, move to new spots, switch clubs, increase the number in a row into the target (5-10), or bring the target distance closer to the hole.  It helped me quite a bit back then.

post #44 of 52

I dont practice in the, "correct" way that Breed suggests but I do practice in the sense that I dont just mindlessly blast away at the range.  What I do is play what I call, "imaginary golf" where I start out with a driver or 3-wood, then hit a 7-iron or a wedge.

I may have to try hitting 3 different shots with the same club, like Breed suggests.

post #45 of 52

I found out a few great practice habits last year when I interviewed some tour players that have won. 

 

It seems there are a couple of ways to practice depending on whether you want to change something or prepare for an event.

 

When they are making swing changes they will focus a lot on the mechanics and trying to make the change as you would expect.

 

But, when they are preparing for an upcoming tournament or durnig the tournament week they practice very differently and try to avoid mechanics.

 

Here's what I found out they do for practice so they are in the right mindset for an event:

-Mix up their shots so they aren't hitting the same club or shot type each time

-pick a different target for each shot

-try to imagine a shot they will likely need on the course they are playing so they can imagine playing it on the range.

-pick a yardage for each shot rather than just hitting a "stock" 7 iron.

-use the preshot routine

 

Basically, they are trying to simulate playing conditions so when they play, they have practiced what they do on the course.  Makes sense to me.  I think a lot of people whack the same shot over and over and then can't take it to the course b/c on the course you don't hit the same shot over and over. 

post #46 of 52

I am a quick golfer. There is little to no pre-shot routine. I pretty much line up, take aim, and then swing. The only time I take practice swings on the course itself is if I'm trying to hit a specific shot like a cut, a draw, a pitch from a certain yardage, or need to feel the club head through thick rough. Otherwise if the ball is in the rough or fairway and I have my yardage, I just line up where I need to and swing away. I'm not saying that is correct, but it is the way I've become accustomed to playing.

 

The range is a different story. I'm very meticulous on the range and have taken a new approach last season. I try and see a specific hole I've played or am going to play. I start off with the club I would tee off with and judge the distance. Let's say for example, I'm playing a 365 yard par 4 with a dogleg right. I try and hit a cut with my driver or 3 wood and estimate the distance I would have left to the green. Then I pick the iron I would be left into the green with and hit that. I notice this stops me from banging balls and makes me practice with a purpose. If I hit a bad shot, I do the iron shot over immediately. I take full practice swings and all. Then I try to visualize the hole over again and start from the tee shot as a penalty. I notice this helps me a lot better with my iron shots.

 

Then there are also time I'm trying to correct a flaw or habit and will try to groove a correct swing. But there is always a time elapsed as I step away from the ball and restart after every swing. I've come to enjoy my range time a lot over the past year.   

post #47 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

 

That's what I want to achieve this year.  More effective practice.  Simulated rounds of golf on the range.  Picture a hole on my home course, hit my driver, see what I'd have left for my second shot, pick my next club and a target green close to the remaining distance to my imaginary green, hit my shot, figure if I'm on the green or not, and see how many GIRs I can hit.

 

 

 

Originally Posted by antnee94 View Post
 

The range is a different story. I'm very meticulous on the range and have taken a new approach last season. I try and see a specific hole I've played or am going to play. I start off with the club I would tee off with and judge the distance. Let's say for example, I'm playing a 365 yard par 4 with a dogleg right. I try and hit a cut with my driver or 3 wood and estimate the distance I would have left to the green. Then I pick the iron I would be left into the green with and hit that. I notice this stops me from banging balls and makes me practice with a purpose. If I hit a bad shot, I do the iron shot over immediately. I take full practice swings and all. Then I try to visualize the hole over again and start from the tee shot as a penalty. I notice this helps me a lot better with my iron shots.

 

I guess there's a lot more guys doing this than I realized.  I've even gone as far as taking a scorecard from a course with me and simulate a round of tee and approach shots.

post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

 

I guess there's a lot more guys doing this than I realized.  I've even gone as far as taking a scorecard from a course with me and simulate a round of tee and approach shots.

 

The 1st time I did this I remember blowing through the card very quickly and it was just hitting balls. It took me a long time to figure out how to practice the right way. It wasn't until I took a series of lessons and really tried to get better to fully understand my practice sessions.  I've even taken my wife to the range with me and had her take video of my swing from different angles. To say I'm obsessed is an understatement.  

 

It's funny how you know who is practicing and working on their game, and who is there to just beat the hell of a bucket. I usually go through two buckets (130 balls total) in about 2 hours. I always save about 25 balls for 40, 50, and 65 yard pitch shots at the end of each session.  

 

The best part about taking the card with me has been practicing my nemesis holes. Unfortunately last year that was a three hole stretch on every course that consisted of holes 15, 16, 17, or 18. It was amazing how I self destructed and threw away mid to high 70 rounds. To top it off, I never add up my score until the end for fear of blowing up the last holes.  

post #49 of 52

Playing an imaginary round makes sense to me if you have a big tournament coming up or if you're just trying to maintain your game, but do you guys do that when you're working on something specific, too? 

post #50 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

Playing an imaginary round makes sense to me if you have a big tournament coming up or if you're just trying to maintain your game, but do you guys do that when you're working on something specific, too? 

 

Let's be honest...we're ALWAYS working on something specific.  Whether it's our elbow, our wrist hinge, our shoulder turn, our release...we're always working on something.  But you can't just stay on the range working on only the swing until you get it perfect.  The best way for me to see improvement is to work on something for a little while, then to put it in action (with my simulated golf on the range, for instance).  I don't need 18 holes to see if I've improved, and I can't afford to play on an actual course every time I make a few changes here or there.  I realize some of you like to play instead of practice.  Just understand that we all can't afford to do that.

 

So yeah, I'll often mix it up and work on part of my swing for some of the practice, and then do some simulated holes for the other part of my practice.  It only takes 40-50 balls at most to do a simulated 18 holes (tee shots and approaches).  The rest of them are spent working on part of the swing (I usually hit 100-150 total each time, unless Lisa's with me and then we take turns, 5 at a time, hitting 75 apiece total).

post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

 

Let's be honest...we're ALWAYS working on something specific.  Whether it's our elbow, our wrist hinge, our shoulder turn, our release...we're always working on something.  But you can't just stay on the range working on only the swing until you get it perfect.  The best way for me to see improvement is to work on something for a little while, then to put it in action (with my simulated golf on the range, for instance).  I don't need 18 holes to see if I've improved, and I can't afford to play on an actual course every time I make a few changes here or there.  I realize some of you like to play instead of practice.  Just understand that we all can't afford to do that.

 

So yeah, I'll often mix it up and work on part of my swing for some of the practice, and then do some simulated holes for the other part of my practice.  It only takes 40-50 balls at most to do a simulated 18 holes (tee shots and approaches).  The rest of them are spent working on part of the swing (I usually hit 100-150 total each time, unless Lisa's with me and then we take turns, 5 at a time, hitting 75 apiece total).

 

 

Sorry, I wasn't talking about imaginary 18 vs a real 18, I meant imaginary 18 vs hitting 20 balls with your six iron.  But I think you answered that in your second paragraph--you do both.

post #52 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

 

 

Sorry, I wasn't talking about imaginary 18 vs a real 18, I meant imaginary 18 vs hitting 20 balls with your six iron.  But I think you answered that in your second paragraph--you do both.

 

No worries, I get it now.  From the responses on here it's pretty clear to me that there's a distinct difference between working on part of the swing and working on the full swing (which as far as I'm concerned, and a few others agree, includes the pre-shot routine).  It sounds like golfers fall into one of three categories (maybe more).

 

Category One are the guys who just use the range to warm up/exercise and they just grab a club and start whacking away without concern for a specific target, maybe aiming for a specific direction at best.  Some of these guys don't believe in a pre-shot routine.  Some of them have a pre-shot routine but don't bother integrating it into their practice.

 

Category Two are the guys who just use the range to work on parts of the swing and don't spend much time at all on the full swing, preferring to actually be on the course when practicing the game, maybe dropping an extra ball or two when possible to work on specific types of shots.

 

Category Three (this is me) are the guys who try to use the range to practice everything, sometimes because of economic reasons or time constraints.  We'll spend part of our time working on our swing, and part of it simulating golf shots including the pre-shot routine.  While our simulations may not be good enough for some of you, since our lie is pretty much the same for every shot, we have the advantage over Category Two of getting to choose each of our practice shots--it's not simply dictated by where we happen to hit the ball, or how much we're being pressed by a group of golfers behind us.

 

I'm not saying I'm right and others are wrong.  What works for me may not work for you.  I was just surprised to see that Michael Breed segment because I didn't realize others were doing the same thing (simulated golf on the range).  It sure doesn't look like it, from what I've seen.

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