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Inconsistent contact and no distance on my irons

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hello.

 

I'm new to the site and wanted to see if anyone might be able to give me some advice.

 

I'm 37 years old, 6'2", and weight roughly 265 and would consider myself overweight but not massively so and used to be fairly athletic.

 

I just started playing golf this year in March with a starter set that I bought 6 or 7 years ago.  I've been keeping track of my scores (roughly 25 rounds) and if I did the math correctly, I'm a 36 handicap and have had numerous rounds on par 4 holes where I put up an 8 or worse.  I've never really been able to consistently make good contact with my irons, have fade my driver for most of the season, and only recently have I been hitting my woods fairly well.  I've been going to the range roughly once or twice a week after work and usually get a round in once a weekend.

 

Two weekends ago I achieved my one goal for the season of shooting a round under 100 (96).  Then this past weekend I played and shot a miserable 125.

 

So, I watched some youtube videos to try and figure out how to make consistent contact and hit the range today.

 

It went terribly wrong.  I concentrated mostly on my 8, 6, and 5 irons.  I chunked the ball more times than I want to count and topped the ball a few times, as well.  

 

The longest I hit my 5 iron was 158 yards; my 6 iron 164 yards, and my 8 iron 132 yards.

 

I feel for my size, I probably should be hitting way further and wonder if the youtube vids just messed me up with respect to contact.  That said, I never really felt I've done a good job getting distance from my irons.  Earlier this year, I was hitting my 7 iron an average of 150 yards.

 

Not sure what I should do at this point.  I've taken 3 lessons this summer from two different PGA instructors and whereas it helped, I kind of feel that the PGA instructor never really felt vested or tailored anything to me.  I'm planning on trying a third PGA instructor this weekend but wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts or drills that worked for them to at least make consistent contact.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

post #2 of 25

Well if your in the western part of NY, go to Erie, PA. Erik and Dave do a top notch golf instruction. 

 

Create a My Swing thread on the forum. Post your swing, let some of the guys here rip on you ;), i mean constructive criticism. 

 

Also check, http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread

 

I would work on the keys in order. There are some good drills there. If you get key's 1 and 2 down, then key 3 is very much easier to do. Once you get keys 1-3 down, you can really feel like you can manipulate the club and path to work on keys 4 & 5. 

 

Also check out the other threads in that general forum area, there is some great information, alot of dispelling golf myths, and getting you educated in what actually happens in the golf swing. Knowledge is power. 

post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

Well if your in the western part of NY, go to Erie, PA. Erik and Dave do a top notch golf instruction. 

 

Create a My Swing thread on the forum. Post your swing, let some of the guys here rip on you ;), i mean constructive criticism. 

 

Also check, http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread

 

I would work on the keys in order. There are some good drills there. If you get key's 1 and 2 down, then key 3 is very much easier to do. Once you get keys 1-3 down, you can really feel like you can manipulate the club and path to work on keys 4 & 5. 

 

Also check out the other threads in that general forum area, there is some great information, alot of dispelling golf myths, and getting you educated in what actually happens in the golf swing. Knowledge is power. 

 

That's good advise.

post #4 of 25
A club fitting might help with consistency...
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

Well if your in the western part of NY, go to Erie, PA. Erik and Dave do a top notch golf instruction. 

 

Create a My Swing thread on the forum. Post your swing, let some of the guys here rip on you ;), i mean constructive criticism. 

 

Also check, http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread

 

I would work on the keys in order. There are some good drills there. If you get key's 1 and 2 down, then key 3 is very much easier to do. Once you get keys 1-3 down, you can really feel like you can manipulate the club and path to work on keys 4 & 5. 

 

Also check out the other threads in that general forum area, there is some great information, alot of dispelling golf myths, and getting you educated in what actually happens in the golf swing. Knowledge is power. 

 

I live in Albany so I don't think going to Erie PA is going to work - haha.

 

That being said, I'm just not sure what to look for in a good instructor.  I just know that I didn't like it when the last person I went to said that my fade would fix itself if I would hit the range.  I thought to myself that I had just wasted $40 on a lesson.

 
I'll see if I can get to the range after work and videotape myself and start that thread. 
 
Hopefully I'll find that answer to my question of why I'm only hitting my 5 iron more than 160.  
 
And I'll also check out that thread and those videos.
 
I'm sure that I'm doing many things wrong so I'll certainly check out the other forms as well. 
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRuzanski View Post

A club fitting might help with consistency...

 

Yeah.  

 
Unfortunately, I'm not in the market financially to be able to get new clubs.  When I do, though, I have a friend who said he'd be able to get me a set of irons for cost! 
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFKFREAK View Post
 

 

I live in Albany so I don't think going to Erie PA is going to work - haha.

 

That being said, I'm just not sure what to look for in a good instructor.  I just know that I didn't like it when the last person I went to said that my fade would fix itself if I would hit the range.  I thought to myself that I had just wasted $40 on a lesson.

 
I'll see if I can get to the range after work and videotape myself and start that thread. 
 
Hopefully I'll find that answer to my question of why I'm only hitting my 5 iron more than 160.  
 
And I'll also check out that thread and those videos.
 
I'm sure that I'm doing many things wrong so I'll certainly check out the other forms as well. 

 

 

First, your not going to see drastic consistent change over night. You might see some improvement during the lessons because you got into a grove, but your body is going to fight the change.

Second, depends on what the instructor is fixing. Like getting your weight forward, keeping your head steady, working on getting your lead hand more forward at impact. All these things will translate into a better swing path and diminish slicing.

 

The reason your not hitting it far is because your a 36 handicap with inconsistent ball striking. Distance is predicated on two things, Clubhead Speed and contact. You can have all the clubhead speed in the world, but if your hitting it like shit, your not transferring it effectively. Also good mechanics lead to more clubhead speed. There are thing called accumulators in the golf swing. Most amateurs loose these due to improper mechanics.

 

Your not going to find a quick fix. Its going to be hard work to get a good golf swing. It all depends on how much you want to play the game, and invest into it. I'd say an extended weekend in Erie, PA is a good investment. Take the drive, stay at a hotel, and get a long lesson. They'll do more than the typical 30 or 60 minutes. I was there basically half a day working on my swing. I live 5 hours away from them. Best Lesson i ever had, and worth the extra time and money to get there.

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

First, your not going to see drastic consistent change over night. You might see some improvement during the lessons because you got into a grove, but your body is going to fight the change.

Second, depends on what the instructor is fixing. Like getting your weight forward, keeping your head steady, working on getting your lead hand more forward at impact. All these things will translate into a better swing path and diminish slicing.

 

The reason your not hitting it far is because your a 36 handicap with inconsistent ball striking. Distance is predicated on two things, Clubhead Speed and contact. You can have all the clubhead speed in the world, but if your hitting it like shit, your not transferring it effectively. Also good mechanics lead to more clubhead speed. There are thing called accumulators in the golf swing. Most amateurs loose these due to improper mechanics.

 

Your not going to find a quick fix. Its going to be hard work to get a good golf swing. It all depends on how much you want to play the game, and invest into it. I'd say an extended weekend in Erie, PA is a good investment. Take the drive, stay at a hotel, and get a long lesson. They'll do more than the typical 30 or 60 minutes. I was there basically half a day working on my swing. I live 5 hours away from them. Best Lesson i ever had, and worth the extra time and money to get there.

 

Yeah, I guess since I have seen a remarkable improvement from my first round of the season where I shot a 143 to the 96 I shot two weeks ago, I feel like I've improved dramatically and then to shoot 123 last weekend, I felt somewhat disheartened.  I'm probably putting too much emphasis on it but yesterday's range session really annoyed me.  In August over four  rounds I shot between 103-110 so maybe I'm expecting too much.  

 

If I go for a lesson, do you think it'd be best for me to ask the instructor to help me with my ball striking?

 

I wish I could put more time into it but I hope that hitting the range once or twice a week and playing once a weekend will lead to some real improvement.

 

Yeah, Erie seems to be about six hours from Albany so would have to make a weekend out of it.  I'm wondering if I might be better to set something up next season seeing as how if I tried to do it now, I'd have to plan the trip around an already full weekend schedule that my girlfriend and I keep.  Can I ask how long the lesson you took was, what they charged, and what specifically that you worked on with them?  Also, would you share what golf club they're out of to give them a call when I get a chance to get out there?

 

I am planning on getting a net to hit balls in my backyard so as to at least try and do something constructive this fall/winter to try and improve my swing.

post #9 of 25
just pm iacas, Erik will set you up.

golf is a game of marginal returns. lower you go the tougher it gets.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

just pm iacas, Erik will set you up.

golf is a game of marginal returns. lower you go the tougher it gets.

 

I'm finding out - haha.

 
My new goal in the two or so months left in the golf season up here is to shoot under 100 again.
 
I booked a lesson with another PGA instructor for tomorrow where I'm going to ask him to help me with consistent ball striking.  Hopefully he can set me up with some drills.  
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFKFREAK View Post
 

Hello.

 

I'm new to the site and wanted to see if anyone might be able to give me some advice.

 

I'm 37 years old, 6'2", and weight roughly 265 and would consider myself overweight but not massively so and used to be fairly athletic.

 

I just started playing golf this year in March with a starter set that I bought 6 or 7 years ago.  I've been keeping track of my scores (roughly 25 rounds) and if I did the math correctly, I'm a 36 handicap and have had numerous rounds on par 4 holes where I put up an 8 or worse.  I've never really been able to consistently make good contact with my irons, have fade my driver for most of the season, and only recently have I been hitting my woods fairly well.  I've been going to the range roughly once or twice a week after work and usually get a round in once a weekend.

 

Two weekends ago I achieved my one goal for the season of shooting a round under 100 (96).  Then this past weekend I played and shot a miserable 125.

 

So, I watched some youtube videos to try and figure out how to make consistent contact and hit the range today.

 

It went terribly wrong.  I concentrated mostly on my 8, 6, and 5 irons.  I chunked the ball more times than I want to count and topped the ball a few times, as well.

 

The longest I hit my 5 iron was 158 yards; my 6 iron 164 yards, and my 8 iron 132 yards.

 

I feel for my size, I probably should be hitting way further and wonder if the youtube vids just messed me up with respect to contact.  That said, I never really felt I've done a good job getting distance from my irons.  Earlier this year, I was hitting my 7 iron an average of 150 yards.

 

Not sure what I should do at this point.  I've taken 3 lessons this summer from two different PGA instructors and whereas it helped, I kind of feel that the PGA instructor never really felt vested or tailored anything to me.  I'm planning on trying a third PGA instructor this weekend but wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts or drills that worked for them to at least make consistent contact.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

 

This is interesting because I'm also 37 but about 5'9 and 145 pounds and I used to think I would never hit the ball far because I'm not some hulking behemoth.  I couldn't have been more wrong, and judging by your distances I'm currently beating you with basically every single club.  :-P   The point here is don't get caught up with what you think you should be doing and just learn how to hit the ball.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strandly View Post
 

 

This is interesting because I'm also 37 but about 5'9 and 145 pounds and I used to think I would never hit the ball far because I'm not some hulking behemoth.  I couldn't have been more wrong, and judging by your distances I'm currently beating you with basically every single club.  :-P   The point here is don't get caught up with what you think you should be doing and just learn how to hit the ball.

 

LOL.  Last weekend I was playing with a buddy and we had teed off on a 135 yard par 3 and he asked me, "what are you going to use, a pitching wedge?"  I somewhat embarrassingly replied, "no, 8 iron."  

 
Yeah, I realize I need to learn how to properly hit the ball.  I'm just having difficulty figuring out how to do it.
 
Once I do, though, I'm hoping that I'll be able to bust out my pitching wedge on that par 3. ;)
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

So, I went for a lesson and what the instructor told me to work on was two things for now.

 

1) Grip.  For my left hand (I'm a righty) I should not have a gap between my thumb and pointer finger.  He said they should sort of be webbed together.  He also said I should hold the club in my left hand more on my finger tips.

 

2) He said I shouldn't be turning my body as much as I do when I go in the backswing and should feel as though I'm going forward.  He said I should practice this motion without a club by having my arms outstretched and feeling the left one moving forward which allows my right shoulder to move forward and my right arm like a back swing which allows my shoulder to move back.  

 

I'm not sure I'm describing it well and it felt somewhat uncomfortable in the beginning but I played a round this weekend after the lesson and it felt a bit better and took some swings outside when I got home and it felt better.  

 

The instructor suggested hitting the range three or four times before I go back for a lesson with him.  I'm playing in a friends tournament on Saturday going to try and get to the range at least three times this week including tomorrow and see how it goes.  I'm going to try and get my gf to come along so she can video tape my new swing and hopefully upload it in the create a My Swing thread and get some thoughts.

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFKFREAK View Post
 

So, I went for a lesson and what the instructor told me to work on was two things for now.

 

1) Grip.  For my left hand (I'm a righty) I should not have a gap between my thumb and pointer finger.  He said they should sort of be webbed together.  He also said I should hold the club in my left hand more on my finger tips.

 

2) He said I shouldn't be turning my body as much as I do when I go in the backswing and should feel as though I'm going forward.  He said I should practice this motion without a club by having my arms outstretched and feeling the left one moving forward which allows my right shoulder to move forward and my right arm like a back swing which allows my shoulder to move back.

 

I'm not sure I'm describing it well and it felt somewhat uncomfortable in the beginning but I played a round this weekend after the lesson and it felt a bit better and took some swings outside when I got home and it felt better.

 

The instructor suggested hitting the range three or four times before I go back for a lesson with him.  I'm playing in a friends tournament on Saturday going to try and get to the range at least three times this week including tomorrow and see how it goes.  I'm going to try and get my gf to come along so she can video tape my new swing and hopefully upload it in the create a My Swing thread and get some thoughts.

 

Nice.

 

I don't understand the web comment with the grip but the gap between the thumb and pointer finger and holding the club in your fingers sounds spot on.  It sounds like before you had some kind of strange underhand baseball bat type grip that would make it almost impossible to hit a ball.  haha  Anyway, when I hold a club now the bottom of the grip runs across the base of my fingers, my palm folds nicely up the left side and my thumb lands on the top and points down the shaft.  It might feel a little weird holding the club this way at first (especially if you're not used to chopping down on the ball like you need to do with an iron) but I think if you do it at the range a few times you won't even notice it anymore.

 

Speaking of the range, did he also show you how you should attempt to strike the ball?  I think I might have a hard time adapting to this grip if I was still trying to "push" (baseball swing) the clubface through the ball like I assume many new players try to do.

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strandly View Post
 

 

Nice.

 

I don't understand the web comment with the grip but the gap between the thumb and pointer finger and holding the club in your fingers sounds spot on.  It sounds like before you had some kind of strange underhand baseball bat type grip that would make it almost impossible to hit a ball.  haha  Anyway, when I hold a club now the bottom of the grip runs across the base of my fingers, my palm folds nicely up the left side and my thumb lands on the top and points down the shaft.  It might feel a little weird holding the club this way at first (especially if you're not used to chopping down on the ball like you need to do with an iron) but I think if you do it at the range a few times you won't even notice it anymore.

 

Speaking of the range, did he also show you how you should attempt to strike the ball?  I think I might have a hard time adapting to this grip if I was still trying to "push" (baseball swing) the clubface through the ball like I assume many new players try to do.

 

I think I probably shouldn't have used web.  It was more like there shouldn't be a gap b/w my pointer finger and my thumb.  Before, I would make the line the pointer/thumb to my opposite shoulder, but they weren't touching.

 

No, we didn't have a discussion about how I should attempt to strike the ball.  I think he wants me to go to the range first and get comfortable with the new grip and motion first.  Consistent contact is probably a ways away but I'm supposed to be getting a golf net for my back yard this weekend so hoping I can hit a few balls for those days I can't get to the range.

 

I uploaded a couple of videos in the My Swing Thread (http://thesandtrap.com/t/70159/my-swing-rfkfreak) from today's range session so please feel free to check it out and critique it for me. 

post #16 of 25

I wish two things for you:

 

1. Try what feels like 1/2 or 3/4 backswings. The paradox is that you very likely will hit the ball farther with what feels like a half swing.

 

2. Slow down. Control your backswing and feel like you are getting yourself in the right positions. Try slow motion as practice. And then try really slow (feels slower than it will be) backswings with a feeling of a pause at the top.

 

If nothing else, a shorter and slower swing will let you and your instructor see what happening easier.

post #17 of 25

Work on your grip when you're NOT at the range or the course - while watching TV, etc. It helps to ingrain the new habit. Set your grip and then release, set and release, always paying attention to exactly what you are doing. If you find it's boring and your mind starts to wander, shake it off and start over.

post #18 of 25

It sounds like you have gotten some solid advice.  Over the last year I have taken quite a few lessons,not even sure how many but for a while it was weekly so I would guess over twenty.  One of the things that struck me before too long was that the skills my instructor was having me work on build on each other.  In other words, I had to gain some proficiency in one skill before it was worth trying to work on the next.  If felt really slow for a while, then things started clicking together and my scores started coming down.  In your first post you mentioned that you didn't feel like the pro was tailoring anything to you particularly.  This is likely because he was starting at the beginning, a place he's started at with various people many times most likely.  I don't think you can expect to see a lot of real instruction tailoring until you have gotten past the basics.  The good news is that if you practice your putting and pitching some along the way, you will be shooting around 90 pretty consistently by that time!

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