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Getting back into the game after 17 years away from it

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I am a new member and just joined.  Wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions.  Played golf a bit when I was in middle school and high school but nothing serious.  Mostly just going out with my grandparents.  I am 34 years old and hadnt touched a club in 17 years until this past summer.  I actually got back into it because I went to Buffalo Wild Wings and got seated in front of large TV playing the British Open this summer.  I forgot how fun golf was.  I went to Dicks Sporting goods after my meal and bought a cheaper set of topflight golf clubs Driver, 3 wood, 4 and 5 Hybrids, 6-W irons and putter.

 

Started out by going to driving range 3 or 4 times to hit balls and hitting wiffle balls in yard a fair amount.  Went this past weekend to driving range, course was slow so I decided to play 9 holes.  After 9 I wasnt tired and was having fun so I went back to clubhouse and paid for the other 9 holes and played 18.  Got a 135 keeping strict score. I had a blast.  Fast forward a couple of days, I had to get back out, I took a vacation day off work and went to course, played 18 holes and had an absolute BLAST!!!!  I scored a 123 this time keeping strick score.  Now its 40 degress and snow is coming so I think I will have to wait till spring but I am HOOKED!!!!  Couple of questions:

 

Having a hard time teeing off.  Once I get the ball in play, I am much better hitting from fairway or even the rough with an iron or hybrid than I am off the tee.  Is this unusaul?  When I use the driver I slice terrible to the right (I am right handed)  When I tee off with the 3 wood it is better but sometimes I have a hard time hitting solid.  Sometimes I pop it up or pull the ball hard to the left.  Why is it that I can hit super solid in the fairway or rough with my irons and hybrids but am having so much trouble off the tee?

 

How do I get rid of the slice with the driver?

 

Is 135 and 123 ok for starting scores or am I terrible LOL?

 

I only have a generic Wedge, I had a hard time the two times I got into the sand trap, will another type of wedge be better?

 

I am afraid I am terribly addicted already, I cannot wait to get back on course, hoping I can get out one more time before the winter sets in.  Thanks all for any tips or advice re: above questions and thanks for patience with the newb questions.

post #2 of 15
Right there with you, I'm returning to the game this summer after a 15 year or so layoff...it's awesome isn't it.

I'm the last one to give advice since I struggle with the same issue with my driver, so I won't. As for your other questions. I shot a 114 my first time out this summer, slowly worked it back into the mid-to-high 90's after a few months of playing/practicing more regularly. Honestly, I wouldn't focus too much on your absolute score the first couple of times out, just keep playing/practicing and enjoy the progress. Would also recommend you get a sand wedge, I'm sure your local golf store can help you pick out the right one.

Welcome back!
post #3 of 15

Welcome to the site.  I kind of did the same thing.  I played with my buddies a little in college, but then after college didn't play again for 15 or so years.  I started back about 2.5 years ago and am having a blast.  

 

I think your scores are fine - notably since you shaved 12 strokes from one to the other.  I started back shooting probably in the 100+ range and since then I got a handicap and have become a legitimate bogey golfer.

 

Regarding that slice / tee box / driver problem?  I'll tell anyone who will listen that I think the best way for high handicap golfers to lower their scores is to take the driver out of your bag for a while.  There is nothing wrong with hitting irons off of the tee. If you aren't breaking 100, you aren't getting to the green in 2 anyway.  Three 7i's will get you there easier than that wild driver.  

 

Driver is like having a dragon on a leash.  I often observer with playing partners that if I was take their driver out of their bag on the first tee box and break it in half - they would score better.  Driver is the most difficult club to hit for most people - so if you aren't really good at 5i yet, don't expect to hit driver well.  When I took mine out of my bag - my scores dropped immediately. I even broke 80 once hitting only irons (Full disclosure: Par 70 / 5800 yds).  And I'm scared to put it back in.  Worked my way up to hybrid and now 3-wood for my tee shots.  Still hoping to get good at it one day - but not willing to use it until it is under control. 

 

Oh yeah, and look up hitting inside to out and proper swing plane.  And 1000 other ways to quit slicing depending on what you are actually doing wrong.  And get some lessons - worth their weight in gold.

 

For winter, I recommend snow skiing and snow boarding.  But I live in Georgia - so we just play golf all year long.

 

Glad to hear you have the bug.

post #4 of 15

Congratulations on rediscovering the greatest game ever, particularly since you are still young enough to play well for years to come!

 

I am going to both agree and disagree with Meltdwhiskey.  At this point, you would probably be best served by leaving the driver alone and trying to use the 3 wood, or 4 hybrid to tee off.  Tee 'em low.  One of the best ways to trim down your score card is to work your way around without getting into a lot of trouble along the way, and avoiding wild misses is a good way to do that.

 

My disagreement is that drivers aren't really wild horses that only the toughest cowboys can ever hope to tame.  But you do have to get your swing under control before you get to that point.  And once the swing is in shape, I don't think a proper fitting that includes matching you with the right shaft will benefit you more for any other club.

 

I don't know where you live, or if you have practice facilities nearby that are open through the winter, but if you do I would suggest finding them and seeing if there are golf instructors available.  My ignorance of places where it snows is pretty profound, but I would guess winter might be a good time to find teachers with time on their hands and perhaps reduced rates.  There is nothing wrong with taking lessons, watch the TV shots of the pros warming up at the driving range before a tournament, you'll likely see a number of them have a swing coach standing there.

 

A good golf swing is something that people seldom figure out for themselves naturally, but solid fundamentals will really help you get those scores down and make the game more fun.  If you can't find a pro to work with over the winter, or even if you can, you might want to grab a book called Five Lessons, the Modern Fundamentals of Golf by Ben Hogan (http://thesandtrap.com/t/14250/five-lessons-the-modern-fundamentals-of-golf-by-ben-hogan).  It was written as a series of five articles for (if I recall correctly) Sports Illustrated, and it takes you step by step from grip to follow-through.  Since it was written as a serial, it has drills and things to work on that go with each installment.  I think if you took your time and worked through these you would be pretty well set to hit the ground running come the spring.

post #5 of 15

sounds like you've got the bug.    Depending how deep it's got its claws into you ... if you can devote the time, you can do it on your own - there are so many resources available to us to learn the golf swing today (youtube video's galore, golf channel on tv, discussion boards like this, iphones with built in video camera's so you can see what your doing wrong in your swing, etc).       Lessons are great for alot of people, but don't feel it's an absolute & necessary to go that route - it all depends what you want to get out of the game.      I enjoy the challenge of figuring it all out by myself & have the luxury of being able to play alot.    If I could give you one piece of advice - there's a very popular swing method today called "stack and tilt" - it's intended to make the golf swing simple and most importantly, will help to get rid of that slice of yours - it did for me without a doubt.      Check it out on youtube ...

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

sounds like you've got the bug.    Depending how deep it's got its claws into you ... if you can devote the time, you can do it on your own - there are so many resources available to us to learn the golf swing today (youtube video's galore, golf channel on tv, discussion boards like this, iphones with built in video camera's so you can see what your doing wrong in your swing, etc).       Lessons are great for alot of people, but don't feel it's an absolute & necessary to go that route - it all depends what you want to get out of the game.      I enjoy the challenge of figuring it all out by myself & have the luxury of being able to play alot.    If I could give you one piece of advice - there's a very popular swing method today called "stack and tilt" - it's intended to make the golf swing simple and most importantly, will help to get rid of that slice of yours - it did for me without a doubt.      Check it out on youtube ...

I agree, I think YouTube is a great place to get started.  I stopped playing for a few years and was struggling when I came back.  I started watching YouTube videos and found out a bunch of fundamentals I was doing wrong (grip was the major one).  Just changing up those fundamentals helped quite a bit.

post #7 of 15

Welcome

 

Driver is typically trouble for new players. Over the winter, you can do mirror work. Find a short kids club and use it. Find a swing with fundamentals and drills. Included is bunker play and a model swing. good luck.

 

See these threads:

 

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

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/54840/simple-specific-slow-short-and-success-the-five-s-s-of-great-practice

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/47906/pete-cowen-on-bunker-play

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/44307/hitting-up-or-down-with-the-driver-in-an-inline-pattern

 

youtube

 

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7rdIi1b8OYuXbxE4Y4KJyw

 

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQw-XcgOb0TJ_y8840epHEg

 

Model Swing of Grant Waite:

 

 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the tips!!!  I am dying to get back onto course but it was snowing this morning so I think I am out of luck till next spring.  Unfortunetly the closest indoor range is 80 miles from my house.:-(   Been staying up very late watching CIMB Classic in Malaysia though lol.  Wishing I lived in warmer climate.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by touro1979 View Post
 

Thanks for all the tips!!!  I am dying to get back onto course but it was snowing this morning so I think I am out of luck till next spring.  Unfortunetly the closest indoor range is 80 miles from my house.:-(   Been staying up very late watching CIMB Classic in Malaysia though lol.  Wishing I lived in warmer climate.

Mirror work.

 

A lot of guys here, even in good climes, get in front of a mirror with a kids club and practice good habits.

post #10 of 15
Welcome to the club! Just picked the game back up at 37 after a long layoff, haven't played this regularly since high school.

I'd agree with leaving the driver out. Short game, short game, short game. 150 in is where I'm concentrating. I've personally found a very short muni course, 11 bucks a loop, where you only need irons.

I have pretty high ceilings so I hang a sheet in a door way and hit foam balls into it.

YouTube, and the library. I try and read as many golf books as possible... I figure the more info the better...

I'd also suggest getting fitted if possible. I'm very tall, so a proper sized club was a must.
post #11 of 15
Oh, the slice.

I've always been a major slicer. I've now tamed it down to a reasonable fade. Proper sized grips, a slightly stronger grip, proper setup, and the big key for me... clearing my hips...
post #12 of 15

Just getting back in the game after a 10 yr. layoff. I use to hit a 2 yard draw, went to the rang with borrowed clubs last Sunday, and my shots went ALL over..lol

 

So, I'm working on several things, one of which is to get my swing back.

 

as for slices, might try a slightly closed stance, i.e. drop your back foot just slightly behind the front foot. 

post #13 of 15

In my opinion, closing your stance would just perpetuate the problem. Most often, when you have a closed stance, you come over-the-top even more to compensate and try to drive the ball back towards the place you're looking with your eyes.

 

Depending on how bad you're slicing it, it could be an open club-face and/or an out-to-in swing path. I would say, line up normally and TRY to hit the ball to the right of where you're lined up. At worst, you'll get either a snap hook or a big push. If you get the hook, then you just need to swing on a path in between what you normally do and what produced the hook. If you push it, then your hands are too slow, and you're not squaring the face at impact.

post #14 of 15
I have had driver problems for the last 2 years. The best advice i can give u is, get a lesson then a custom fit. I got 2 in 1 and now i am really confident with my driver. I have 11.5 loft but when i miss now it's a controlled miss and not a crazy 50 yard hook. It still gets up to at least 200 yards if i dont strike it sweet and in play.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yea. I think next spring I am going to start with a lesson. Want to work on driver and chipping. My fairway iron and hybrid shots r good.
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