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Bogey golfer only thread (handicap index from 16 - 22) - what are you going through, working on,...

post #1 of 1072
Thread Starter 

I think there are many of us here who have started golf late in life, and struggling to break away from playing bogey golf and join the golf elite.   I am starting a thread for bogey golfers to share their ideas and experience.   Tell us what you are going through, working on, any sob stories you like to share, ....

post #2 of 1072

My sob story is that I should have looked at the 5 Keys vidoes available on this site a year ago. Seriously.

 

Currently, all woes are with my driver and 3W, trying to get in a more solid position and be able to hit them as well as I can on the driving range after dialing in with a few shots. My main issue right now is direction, second issue is getting that clean hit off the center of the face more consistently. My really bad shots are thin.

 

It might take some relaxation exercises, and develop a more consistent pre-shot routine, or whatever.

 

Irons could be hit a little less thin and more in the center of the face. At the moment, I hit a little bit thin and towards the heel. Probably setup. Seems like if I twist the hips at setup straight or a little closed it goes more in the heel and if my hips are a little bit open I hit more towards the center or toe. Head needs to be steadier and more relaxed.

post #3 of 1072

For me this is what is working and what I need to do each week, it has helped my score. I can also say that when I take weeks off either playing or not going to the range that I lose any momentum I had to lower my scores. This does not mean it will work for everyone or anyone but it is working for me.

So you know I am not retired so I only get to play weekends and any other time I can get away from work. It also helps that my kids are a little older, one likes to play and being married 22 years my wife does not have an issue with this. So here are my thoughts on all.

 

1. I did not buy clubs for the brand, I bought what fit may swing, I really did not care what brand that was going to be. I started back last year with a set of used clubs, they were the same brand and model I had when I quite a few years back, they were not right for me. So once I started playing every week, I also started trying new irons until I got to what I have now. I also went to 3 fitting until I found a guy I trusted, to many of the people at the store wanted to sell me what they thought was the best clubs but not the best for me.

 

2. I go to the range and work on what I am struggling with. When I don’t go the range at min once a week my weekend game seems to be off. I also hit a sm bucket before each round, most with the club I will use on the first tee.

 

3. I take lessons not every week, when I can because of time. If you can afford them all the better, if  not take them every few weeks or so  and hold off buying new clubs.  Lessons are important, it gives a professional a chance to point out what your issues are, some are easy fixes that will help lower your score.

 

4. If you cannot play at least once a week fill it in with range time. To me the range is for mechanics and fixes not to perfect may swing that is for the course.

 

5. I played used balls because I lost so many, this gave me a chance to find a ball I like, now I play a low spin soft ball. I really like the e6, I get them new now, I don’t lose to many any longer. My swing is not good enough for what the pro uses.

 

6. Keep score if you want, or just have fun. I will take an empty course and start dropping balls to practice, but will never hold up a group I play with or in back of me for this.

 

7. I also play as many different courses I can, and will fill in my favorites in between. I look for deals all the time golf is not cheap.

 

8. Most important to me is to have fun, I don’t care if there are guys better or worse, I play my own game, with my own swing  good or bad, I have plenty of both.

 

9. I read a lot of what is offered on the Sand Trap, there is a world of great information here with a lot of guys all willing to share and help.

 

 

No sob stories, frustrations, hitting my short irons off the tee par 3's is killing me right now, should be the easy irons to use. I don’t have issues in the fairways or ruff with them, just off the tee? So all I am working on right now is this at the range.

 

I am not a real long hitter, that is okay to me be accurate is more important, keeping the ball in play. If I can get in the single digit HC and be consistent I will be happy. If not that is okay also I just enjoy the game.

I love the add with Arnold Palmer, swing your swing, not some pros. I will never be a pro and my swing for better or worse is my swing.

post #4 of 1072
short game, short game, short game. My ball striking has improved considerably, so my emphasis has been on chipping, and putting.

In the past I'd roll a putt too far past then miss the comeback putt. So I've been working on consistent putting.

I've also been trying to play smarter. Why break out driver on the 4's that a 5 iron off the tee will work out well...
post #5 of 1072

Ok I am out of your range but it was not long ago that I was in it. The way I made the jump was by eliminating the blow ups. Play smarter. Take my medicine when I hit a bad shot and get it back into the fairway rather than taking any more chances. Club down off the tee. And yes, short game is big especially if you are up in the upper 30's in putts but I almost found it better to worry less about it and just roll the ball instead of hovering over it and stressing about it. Get out of your own my.

 

Finally, when you play, play. Your only focus should be "make ball go towards target". Work on your swing at the range and play golf on the course.

post #6 of 1072
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hendog View Post
 

Ok I am out of your range but it was not long ago that I was in it. The way I made the jump was by eliminating the blow ups. Play smarter. Take my medicine when I hit a bad shot and get it back into the fairway rather than taking any more chances. Club down off the tee.

 

This is what I need to improve.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRuzanski View Post

short game, short game, short game. My ball striking has improved considerably, so my emphasis has been on chipping, and putting.

 

Long game, long game, long game for me.   My short game is good and I need to focus on the long game to avoid big numbers.  If I do that, I think I can get out of this thread I started ;-).

post #7 of 1072
Quote:
Originally Posted by hendog View Post
 

Ok I am out of your range but it was not long ago that I was in it. The way I made the jump was by eliminating the blow ups. Play smarter. Take my medicine when I hit a bad shot and get it back into the fairway rather than taking any more chances. Club down off the tee. And yes, short game is big especially if you are up in the upper 30's in putts but I almost found it better to worry less about it and just roll the ball instead of hovering over it and stressing about it. Get out of your own my.

 

Finally, when you play, play. Your only focus should be "make ball go towards target". Work on your swing at the range and play golf on the course.

 

I agree with a lot that you said there - but wanted to follow up on the part in bold.  I think we often over think the putts.  A buddy of mine is always wanting to do extra thinking looking and "take a minute" and such on a bigger putt.  Terrible in my opinion.  All of that is emotional and has nothing to do with the physics of the putt.  It just adds pressure.  I tend to think of putting as just a crooked stick, a ball, and a hole in the ground.  The less there is to it, the better.  Best thing I've ever heard McCord say on TV: "Pick a line.  Hit it solid.  It either goes in or it doesn't.  That's it."

post #8 of 1072
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

 

I agree with a lot that you said there - but wanted to follow up on the part in bold.  I think we often over think the putts.  A buddy of mine is always wanting to do extra thinking looking and "take a minute" and such on a bigger putt.  Terrible in my opinion.  All of that is emotional and has nothing to do with the physics of the putt.  It just adds pressure.  I tend to think of putting as just a crooked stick, a ball, and a hole in the ground.  The less there is to it, the better.  Best thing I've ever heard McCord say on TV: "Pick a line.  Hit it solid.  It either goes in or it doesn't.  That's it."

 

Anything over 20 feet putt,  I just focus on speed and proper line to get it near the hole for tap in.   On flat carpet at home, I make 50% of those putts but greens have breaks, ball marks, slope, etc..  and I'd be lucky to get one out of 10 to go in. 

post #9 of 1072

Consistency, consistency, consistency. I've been working really hard on building a solid, repeatable swing. My old swing used to have a lot of moving parts, but I played three times a week, so it worked for me. I don't play often enough now to make that swing work, so I had to make changes. Still a lot to work on in the swing, but I feel like I am making strides.

 

I like to pitch and chip the ball a lot. I have plenty of room in my backyard, so I take full advantage when the weather is nice. I'll practice hitting balls to random targets, flop shots, etc. I enjoy it, and it is easy to work on, so I do it. I don't practice putting at all, though. I should probably work on that more, but I feel my priority is still the long game. For example, in my last round (a disastrous 108), I had six three-putts. I also had ten tee shots that cost at least stroke to recover from (OB, into trees, topped,, chunked, lost, into another fairway, etc.) along with five penalty strokes for hazards and lost balls. I'm no rocket scientist, but last I checked, 15 > 6. I'll start working on putting when I feel it is starting to hold me back.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by hacker101 View Post
 

5. I played used balls because I lost so many, this gave me a chance to find a ball I like, now I play a low spin soft ball. I really like the e6, I get them new now, I don’t lose to many any longer. My swing is not good enough for what the pro uses.

I agree with most of what you said, but I have to disagree with this. I play top tier balls because of the greenside benefits. I'll take every advantage I can get. AFAIK, their effect in relation to full shots is minimal, so you don't need a pro's swing to use a pro's ball.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hendog View Post
 

Ok I am out of your range but it was not long ago that I was in it. The way I made the jump was by eliminating the blow ups. Play smarter. Take my medicine when I hit a bad shot and get it back into the fairway rather than taking any more chances. Club down off the tee.

This is a change I've adopted this year and I think it is the biggest reason I can maintain my handicap while playing so infrequently. I used to go for the big hero shot out of the woods, but I play the percentages more now. I don't automatically reach for the driver on every par 4 and par 5. I'm a reasonably long hitter (not internet long, mind you) so I am not shy about hitting irons off the tee. I think it keeps me out of big trouble. I can still hit my 5i into the woods, but I have a much better shot at getting back out than if I hit my driver into the woods. I do this on par 5s, too. If it is going to take two perfect shots for me to reach the green in two, I'll hit iron.

post #10 of 1072

I turn 38 tomorrow, started playing last year, does that count as starting late in life? :-D

 

Like a few others, I'm also working on consistency. Late this season I moved to a more Stricker-like swing with less moving parts, shorter backswing, etc. and all of a sudden I'm hitting farther and with a draw vs. shorter and a fade or slice. I'm still not comfortable with this swing, but I like it and think it makes sense for me - someone who gets on the course maybe 2x per month, and hits the range 1x per week. Maybe in a few years when the kids are a bit older I'll have more free time (yeah RIGHT) but for now, it fits me.

 

I also realized that beyond the usual lost shots (bad drive, slice OB, etc) I was killing myself from 100 yards in. Pitches that I expected to go 50 yards went 10, chips that I wanted to go 3 yards skulled over the green, too many 3 putts, you name it. So I spent a lot of time just figuring out how to pitch and chip, instead of just going to the range and attempting to bomb my driver for two large buckets. I'm still a few years away from having any sort of halfway decent short game, but I'm a lot more confident when I'm closer to the green.

post #11 of 1072
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russtopher View Post

I turn 38 tomorrow, started playing last year, does that count as starting late in life? a3_biggrin.gif

Given some posts I have seen in the past, you are starting 30 years later than a typical scratch player.

We need to prove those posters wrong.b2_tongue.gif
post #12 of 1072
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russtopher View Post
 

I turn 38 tomorrow, started playing last year, does that count as starting late in life? :-D

 

Like a few others, I'm also working on consistency. Late this season I moved to a more Stricker-like swing with less moving parts, shorter backswing, etc. and all of a sudden I'm hitting farther and with a draw vs. shorter and a fade or slice. I'm still not comfortable with this swing, but I like it and think it makes sense for me - someone who gets on the course maybe 2x per month, and hits the range 1x per week. Maybe in a few years when the kids are a bit older I'll have more free time (yeah RIGHT) but for now, it fits me.

 

I also realized that beyond the usual lost shots (bad drive, slice OB, etc) I was killing myself from 100 yards in. Pitches that I expected to go 50 yards went 10, chips that I wanted to go 3 yards skulled over the green, too many 3 putts, you name it. So I spent a lot of time just figuring out how to pitch and chip, instead of just going to the range and attempting to bomb my driver for two large buckets. I'm still a few years away from having any sort of halfway decent short game, but I'm a lot more confident when I'm closer to the green.

Been there & done that.  Enjoy the journey.

 

38?  That's starting early!  10 years earlier than I did. 

post #13 of 1072

When I was young, I though golf was for old people.

 

Now that I am older, I enjoy it. :-P 

post #14 of 1072

I dunno what I'm working on.. just kind of random whack-a-mole stuff I guess, hitting the ball cleanly every time, figuring out how to aim my irons better so I can hit more GIR.  The season is winding down here so I seem to be spending a lot less time at the range and more time making last minute tee times when the weather turns nice for a day.  When I do go to the range though I be sure to hit all my clubs at least once, 10-12 balls per 3-9 iron and driver and 3-5 balls on the wedges and fairway woods.  I haven't really practiced putting because it seems like the quality of greens on whatever course I'm playing have the biggest impact in that regard.

post #15 of 1072
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post
 

I agree with most of what you said, but I have to disagree with this. I play top tier balls because of the greenside benefits. I'll take every advantage I can get. AFAIK, their effect in relation to full shots is minimal, so you don't need a pro's swing to use a pro's ball.

 

You are correct and as I had said, this is me, I wish I had the swing to be able to compress a tour ball or like the feeling on the green I just dont. But right now playing in the low 80's half the time the other low 90's I don't want to make any more changes until I keep it in the 80's and start to break into the 70's.....if that ever happens?

post #16 of 1072
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strandly View Post
 

I haven't really practiced putting because it seems like the quality of greens on whatever course I'm playing have the biggest impact in that regard.

 

I practice at home on flat surface (kitchen floor for soft touch, carpet) to hit with correct pendulum swing (i.e, hit straight).

post #17 of 1072

I wanted to offer a thought on strategy.  I don't largely get involved in actual swing mechanics and such - I more enjoy the strategy discussions. I feel strongly about this applying to we hackers, but it might apply to single digits as well.  Anyway - a buddy and I played this weekend and I realized I had been employing a strategy and had not really ever vocalized it.  He is about a 110 type golfer.  

 

On a shortish par 4, I duffed my drive about 90 yards or something.  We get to my ball and I pull a 5i.  He asks me why I'm going iron when I have so much distance to now cover.  It occurred to me how many times I had seen him go with hybrid/fairway wood after a similar duff.  And many other folks over time.  I think the natural choice after a bad shot is to try to get back all you can in the next shot.  You have to right?  You're at a deficit now. But I'd guess a lot of blow-up holes get started this way.  Duffed drive --> long club off the deck --> now lying 3 in woods, pond, bunker or maybe even a lost ball.  Unless you hit a pretty good shot, I feel a snowman could be coming.

 

Unless it is really open, I think the smarter play is to lay back here.  Protecting bogey or maybe even double is a safer bet here than trying to get 200+ yards out of a shot and risking more trouble.  A bogey golfer getting that kind of distance off the deck, down the middle, around any trouble sounds risky to me.  And what is the payoff?  Just being closer really.  You still aren't going to green it.

 

Our normal routine is probably to get on in 3 and 2-putt for bogey.  So:

- At this point, you still have a good chance to do just that with 5i  

- Even if you miss the green from 30-70 with your third shot, you are close and still have a chance to get up and down for bogey

- Even if it takes you 4 to get on and you 2-putt, it isn't as bad as it sounds.  You get bogey on most holes anyway, so getting double after a duffed tee shot is pretty much expected.  Make up for it with a par on a hole where you hit a better tee shot

 

Any thoughts from the bogey gallery?

post #18 of 1072
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

I wanted to offer a thought on strategy.  I don't largely get involved in actual swing mechanics and such - I more enjoy the strategy discussions. I feel strongly about this applying to we hackers, but it might apply to single digits as well.  Anyway - a buddy and I played this weekend and I realized I had been employing a strategy and had not really ever vocalized it.  He is about a 110 type golfer.

 

On a shortish par 4, I duffed my drive about 90 yards or something.  We get to my ball and I pull a 5i.  He asks me why I'm going iron when I have so much distance to now cover.  It occurred to me how many times I had seen him go with hybrid/fairway wood after a similar duff.  And many other folks over time.  I think the natural choice after a bad shot is to try to get back all you can in the next shot.  You have to right?  You're at a deficit now. But I'd guess a lot of blow-up holes get started this way.  Duffed drive --> long club off the deck --> now lying 3 in woods, pond, bunker or maybe even a lost ball.  Unless you hit a pretty good shot, I feel a snowman could be coming.

 

Unless it is really open, I think the smarter play is to lay back here.  Protecting bogey or maybe even double is a safer bet here than trying to get 200+ yards out of a shot and risking more trouble.  A bogey golfer getting that kind of distance off the deck, down the middle, around any trouble sounds risky to me.  And what is the payoff?  Just being closer really.  You still aren't going to green it.

 

Our normal routine is probably to get on in 3 and 2-putt for bogey.  So:

- At this point, you still have a good chance to do just that with 5i 

- Even if you miss the green from 30-70 with your third shot, you are close and still have a chance to get up and down for bogey

- Even if it takes you 4 to get on and you 2-putt, it isn't as bad as it sounds.  You get bogey on most holes anyway, so getting double after a duffed tee shot is pretty much expected.  Make up for it with a par on a hole where you hit a better tee shot

 

Any thoughts from the bogey gallery?

I agree. It's part of "taking your medicine" for a bad shot. I try to evaluate the percentages. If I'm not very likely to gain much from the shot, I'll lay up. Bogey is a better score than double or triple any day of the week.

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