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Can I improve my swing only with repetitive hard work alone ? - Page 2

post #19 of 29

Get lessons early or go to a school (see my signature for a great one).

 

You can get to an 18 with practice on your own because you can get better at putting and short game even if you don't know what you're doing. Yu can learn to get the ball in the hole and because you awful rounds won't count toward your handicap, it will drop some. Not good, but better.

 

But you must know what you are trying to do in order to practice a full swing and get better. Just hitting lots of balls without a plan or clue is called a work out -- not improvement.

 

I went from years at 25.0 to 18.0 by hard work on my own. I committed to change my swing with professional help and got as low as a 6.1 two years ago. Bounced up near 10 and now am back down to 7.2. I'd still be an 18.0 or worse if I'd just tried to do this on my own.

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post
Just hitting lots of balls without a plan or clue is called a work out -- not improvement.

 

that's a good line.

 

Sometimes I just want to hit golf balls.  Sometimes I want to practice......

The key is, I decide before I hit the range and then use the time accordingly.

post #21 of 29

Originally Posted by golfdude71 View Post

...If I assume, I do not have any in built skill in my genes etc, to lower my handicap below 28, can I switch over to hard work and try to build a good golf swing in my muscle memory ? ...

 

First of all, let's check our definitions (courtesy of Merriam-Webster online): skill comes to us from the Middle English word skilen, which means to divide. Modern work related definitions involves:

  • a : the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance
  • b : dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks

 

So, skills are not genetics. They are the ability to do something learned through practice

 

Then we get to muscle memory, which is a bit hard to measure. It involves a type of movement with which the muscles become familiar. (Not all persons who study athletic motion are convinced it really exists.

     See http://www.coryholly.com/articles/article.cfm?id=171)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by golfdude71 View Post

 

...  My assumption here is that scratch golfers, single digit handicappers have some golfing ability or skill in them which makes them good in golf. ...

Now, here you are talking about skill as if it is something good golfers are born with. This is not the case.  What many good athletes have is certain inborn capabilities, such as strength, motor coordination, hand-eye coordination, flexibility and good balance. These inborn capabilities make it easier for them to learn athletic moves than for the average person.

 

Many people don't realize it, but Jack Nicklaus was offered two athletic scholarships to Ohio State: One in golf, and one in basketball. So, Nicklaus was a superb overall athlete, not just a golfer.

 

One-time San Francisco 49er quarterback John Brodie became a pro golfer after football, and won an event on the Champions Tour.

 

Then, there's how you structure the swing. There's more than one way to hit a golf ball. The past few years, many golf pros have emphasized trying to find the swing that's inside you rather than emphasizing one swing.

 

Flexibility and balance are two things that help enable a good golf swing. When I started playing golf regularly again a few years ago, after several seasons with maybe a half-dozen rounds each, I found that my flexibility had slipped, and that I needed to work on it to be able to stay down in my stance, and to have a smooth swing. I also found I did not have the best balance, and learned drills to improve it (still not where I want to be).

 

So, back to your original question. To develop a sound golf swing, you need to work on the basics, which involves range work. But, you have to practice with purpose (see other threads on Instruction forum which deal with this.)

 

Also, you need to go out and play. If you hit 20 shots from a 1-foot square on the driving range, you aren't experiencing much variety. You need to combine practice with play. Practice gives you the basic swing form, and play allows you to apply it in different situations.

 

And, don't forget to have fun when you play golf. a3_biggrin.gif (it's allowed...)

post #22 of 29

My own personal story. I am 56. Started golf at age 52, but in a very casual way (played a round every two or three months max). Then one day in 2011, at age 54,  I made the committment to become a better player. It was a very important promise I made to myself.

 

By the way, my athletic ability is médium at best.

 

In two years I have been able to reduce my scores from 120 to mid 80's. I took one lesson in 2011 and one lesson in 2012. that's it. I play once a week.

 

However, I watch instruction videos every day when I have a few minutes (it's amazing the number of good videos you can find on internet). I read all the magazines I can get my hands on and watch the golf channel almost every day after dinner. Very importantly, I pay close attention to everything I read or see and try to learn something from it. I take many notes. I film myself about once a month. When I practice at the range I have a specific goal in mind for that day.

 

Besides work and family, golf has become a high priority in my life. And, at my age, an enormous source of joy and satisfaction. My wife thinks I'm crazy, but she understands how much it means to me.

 

So to answer the question, can you improve on your own, I'd say yes, if you are very disciplined and very committed to learn.

post #23 of 29
My wife also thinks I'm crazy.

Well directed practice is the better way to go.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 

Wow !

 

Thanks for all the tips. Reading them makes me quite hopeful.
 

post #25 of 29

That phrase about the secret and the dirt was coined by  the famous golfer Ben Hogan.  Maybe he was asked the secret of his golf swing, which was might impressive. He replied that the secret to his swing, or his ability, was not in his  genes, but rather in the huge amount of time he spent out in the Texas sun pounding golf balls out of the dirt towards the tumbling tumbleweeds. And that is how we all get  better. Hit the range and best to have some kind of plan. Instruction may indeed help.

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post

That phrase about the secret and the dirt was coined by  the famous golfer Ben Hogan.  Maybe he was asked the secret of his golf swing, which was might impressive. He replied that the secret to his swing, or his ability, was not in his  genes, but rather in the huge amount of time he spent out in the Texas sun pounding golf balls out of the dirt towards the tumbling tumbleweeds. And that is how we all get  better. Hit the range and best to have some kind of plan. Instruction may indeed help.

 

Just remember that Mr. Hogan had some ideas about what he was trying to do as he hit the dirt. You can simply hit the range and discover a repeatable swing that works for you. Palmer, Travino, Seve, Moe Norman, and maybe even Mr. Hogan each found their own swing. BUT, they were golf geniuses. You and I are not.

 

That secret in the dirt will only reveal itself after you have a model or concept of what you are trying to do. 

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfdude71 View Post

Wow !

Thanks for all the tips. Reading them makes me quite hopeful.

 
RustyRedCab's Moe Norman swing looks really good.

I used to swing this way, but I swung too flat.

However, I have been learning to use the more conventional way, but it requires some back flexibility. The main reason I am trying to learn the more conventional method is that you can get more lag and power. If you are flexible, then it does not put excessive stress on your back.

It might save you some time to learn the Moe Norman swing, with the only potential disadvantage being power.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Repetition will only help if what you're repeating is correct. 

 

Quoted for posterity.

 

And it is a very difficult thing to try and gain feedback from your own swing results when just starting out, and then know how to implement the proper changes.  It's possible, but it takes an awful lot of patience, critical thinking, and more than likely some visual and peer feedback.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


RustyRedCab's Moe Norman swing looks really good.

I used to swing this way, but I swung too flat.

However, I have been learning to use the more conventional way, but it requires some back flexibility. The main reason I am trying to learn the more conventional method is that you can get more lag and power. If you are flexible, then it does not put excessive stress on your back.

It might save you some time to learn the Moe Norman swing, with the only potential disadvantage being power.

Don't want to hijack the thread. (Even though I am longer and more powerful since I switched to Moe's swing -- by a bunch. I'm as long as I want to be and longer than most.) PM me if you want to hear more about Moe's swing and power.

 

The big lesson you can take from my Moe Norman experience is that I found a model and committed 100% to learning that model. No, "I'll adopt some if it but keep my old grip..." stuff. All in. I am closer to being constantly on the model. It is still work. BUT, I know what I am trying to do every time I practice. I know what I am trying to look like every time I see myself on video. I know what problems are causing certain ball flight observations. So, I've been to 4 schools that teach Moe's swing. All taught by the same teachers. I watch webiniares and video lessons...

 

I'm not saying you should switch to Moe's swing. But if you think you are going to teach yourself by hitting lots of balls and reading Golf Magazine tips, it is going to take a long time and you might need to get lucky.

 

So, take lessons and commit to what your teacher tells you 100%. If you can't, switch teachers. Once I went all in, I went from 18.0 to 6.1. Not overnight but the journey was, and continues to be, wonderful.

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