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Does Playing More Often REALLY Help?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

My game has been sinking quick...I was on the road to break 90 just a few weeks ago (shooting consistent around 95) and I was more in control of my swing then I ever have been, felt like if I just tightened up the short game a bit I would break 90 with ease.

I recently have had some time off work for the holidays which made me VERY happy knowing that (at least in my mind)  im so close to breaking 90 and will have a lot of free time to play golf, and the more I play the better I will get, right? and this goal will come soon right? Not so much.

 

My last 4 rounds have brought nothing but frustration, disappointment and misery on the course. Ive shot 102, 103, 105, 105. I cringe even writing these numbers. 

 

Today I was +18 over 9 holes!! The old me would have just walked off the course but I toughened up and decided to just play as well as I can on the back 9. I knew breaking 90 would be impossible but I could at least gun for low 90s. So, I went Bogey, Par, Par, Par, Bogey, Bogey, +5, +2, +5...WTF is that? Thats +12 strokes over 3 holes!! 

 

It makes me feel even worse because I have friends who will not play for a month or two and then go out and shoot mid 90s. Then they brag about how they have not played for a while and can just walk on the course and shoot that score. If I was shooting mid 90s a few weeks ago and have been practicing and playing ALOT over the past 2-3 weeks, why am I just getting worse? 

post #2 of 51
Yes, playing a lot helps....but over the long term, not the short. Over the short term, even good players will have cruddy streaks....like the one I'm in right now! a4_sad.gif

Go play! c2_beer.gif
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Yes, playing a lot helps....but over the long term, not the short. Over the short term, even good players will have cruddy streaks....like the one I'm in right now! a4_sad.gif

Go play! c2_beer.gif

Thanks ;) I guess a second part of this question could be...if im doing something wrong in my swing (which obviously I am) does it matter at all how much I play? no amount of play or practice will make someone better if they have a faulty swing right? would it make more sense to stop playing until a professional can at least tell me what im doing wrong and give tips to practice / work on?

post #4 of 51

Some players can go without playing better than others. Not a coincidence that players with sound mechanics aren't hurt as much as players with questionable mechanics.

 

I fall in the latter and to play halfway decent golf I have to play or practice a lot. I know a few guys that can take a month off and look like they didn't miss a beat except their short game gets a little rusty.

post #5 of 51

When I play more often, I make fewer mental errors because I'm more in the golf zone.

 

If you play more often, make sure you still go through your same pre-shot routine. If you get excited and start using two or three different routines, things can fall  apart quickly.

 

If you holiday time allows for golf you have been missing the last few weeks, you may not be in the zone anymore.

 

ALSOOOOO... Here in StL we have below freezing the past week. Are you in an area with "320 golf days a year," or are your playing conditions challenging this time of year?

post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 
I am in NC. Not below freezing but not ideal. High 40s low 50s at best recently.
post #7 of 51

I played a ridiculous amount of golf this year & didn't practice much at all.     Improvement was minimal (went from a 17.6 to a 15.1) - I expected a lot more improvement.      The one thing I will say is that you tend to get in a groove playing a lot - I got into a stretch where I didn't even think about what I was doing with the driver - just got to be natural & easy.        I think the key to improving is to have DEDICATED practice time, even if it takes away from your playing time.     That is my goal for next year, like it or not...

post #8 of 51

Playing more often can help in some areas, but not others. For example, you'll get better at distance control on your putts, but you won't improve your swing mechanics any.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post
 

If I was shooting mid 90s a few weeks ago and have been practicing and playing ALOT over the past 2-3 weeks, why am I just getting worse?

How are you practicing? Are you using effective techniques, or do you just go to the driving range and hit balls?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post
 

It makes me feel even worse because I have friends who will not play for a month or two and then go out and shoot mid 90s. Then they brag about how they have not played for a while and can just walk on the course and shoot that score.

Shooting in the mid-90s isn't exactly brag worthy golfing. Don't worry about what your friends are doing and saying. Work on your game and you'll pass them all in time.

post #9 of 51

I live in New York so we are off for the winter, e.g., expecting 12" of snow on Thursday. It is interesting, when I start playing in the Spring I usually do pretty good. I believe I don't think as much, I feel more natural. Then I start thinking about my swing, tempo, timing, swing plane, grip, alignment, etc. etc. and I go down hill, score goes up (on average). Then I get into a groove along about the start of summer and my game improves. So for me, YES, playing helps my score. Also I visit a Pro for a lesson or two to correct bad habits I have a tendency to fall into, that helps as well. Go to a Pro, get some good practice technique and go to the range, as stated above don't go and just hit balls, you need to be working on something with every shot. And practice your short game as well, not just your drives. 

post #10 of 51
With 40 years+ of playing, not playing for a couple of months is not an issue. I can head to Florida after not playing and after a quick range session, I usually shoot BETTER than normal. Only because I'm not expecting anything after a layoff. By the third or fourth round I'm back to normal (low-mid 80's) because my old habits fall back in line.

As for not getting better after playing more, and being in a "golf groove" while on vacation for example, that groove may not be the "right" groove. Any mistakes you make are repeated over and over because you're more focused on playing GOLF, and not PLAYING golf. Something is causing those blowups, whether it's bad drives, approach shots, going for the miracle shot from trouble when a chip back would be a better choice. Trick is to find what they are and work on those at the range when you can, don't work on it while playing unless it's a test round for those issues without keeping score. At least writing it down anyway. You'll have a feeling about how you're playing.

If you are a scorecard watcher, STOP. write it down and move on. Don't tally as you go and think "hey, a par and 2 bogeys and I can break 90". KISS OF DEATH! While playing a testy little Pocono area track, we were on the 14th hole or so, and my buddy was poking around the scorecard seeing what he needed to break 100 (yeah, I know) and said to me: "Hey, Ray- you're killing today, one over!..." I nearly swacked him across the head with the 3 wood in my hand. "DON'T DO THAT". I bogeyed the next hole and boy, did he get "the look". Fortunately, I recovered with a bird and two pars to stay at 1 over. I was able to recover but he wasn't. He figured he only had to bogey in to break 100... he didn't even come close.
post #11 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

With 40 years+ of playing, not playing for a couple of months is not an issue. I can head to Florida after not playing and after a quick range session, I usually shoot BETTER than normal. Only because I'm not expecting anything after a layoff. By the third or fourth round I'm back to normal (low-mid 80's) because my old habits fall back in line.

As for not getting better after playing more, and being in a "golf groove" while on vacation for example, that groove may not be the "right" groove. Any mistakes you make are repeated over and over because you're more focused on playing GOLF, and not PLAYING golf. Something is causing those blowups, whether it's bad drives, approach shots, going for the miracle shot from trouble when a chip back would be a better choice. Trick is to find what they are and work on those at the range when you can, don't work on it while playing unless it's a test round for those issues without keeping score. At least writing it down anyway. You'll have a feeling about how you're playing.

If you are a scorecard watcher, STOP. write it down and move on. Don't tally as you go and think "hey, a par and 2 bogeys and I can break 90". KISS OF DEATH! While playing a testy little Pocono area track, we were on the 14th hole or so, and my buddy was poking around the scorecard seeing what he needed to break 100 (yeah, I know) and said to me: "Hey, Ray- you're killing today, one over!..." I nearly swacked him across the head with the 3 wood in my hand. "DON'T DO THAT". I bogeyed the next hole and boy, did he get "the look". Fortunately, I recovered with a bird and two pars to stay at 1 over. I was able to recover but he wasn't. He figured he only had to bogey in to break 100... he didn't even come close.

In that case I am probably the worst score card watcher. I dont even put down total number of strokes per hole, I just put "-" for par, +1, +2 etc. So I know exactly how many strokes over par I am at every moment. Guess that is a bad idea?

 

My blow ups are never miracle shots, I am actually a very conservative player (always chip back, will lay up on really long par 4s, etc) - I just lose a lot of strokes because of

 

A) terrible slice with both the driver and woods. Sometimes I can go 3-4 driver/wood tee shots in the fairway then all the sudden, I slice one way out of bounds and im hitting 3 from the tee.

B) I have this terrible habit of following up a bad shot with another bad shot or worse shot. Its not nerves either, I dont get angry after a few bad shots. I think its more once I hit a bad shot those same bad mechanics almost always show up on the consecutive 2-3 swings.

C) I am terrible from the sand, if I hit one in the sand it pretty much is always going to take me 2-3 shots to even get out and then when im out, I usually blasted it over the green or barely got it out onto the fringe. I have spent hours and hours and hours getting lessons with pros and practicing my sand game and still no improvement. There might be spurts where I do really well practicing it. But once im faced with the shot on the course, I almost never execute it.

 

I just dont understand how I can, on any given day, go something like: par, par, par, birdie, +5, +4,, +5...I do it all the time - my score cards look unreal.

post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post
 

In that case I am probably the worst score card watcher. I dont even put down total number of strokes per hole, I just put "-" for par, +1, +2 etc. So I know exactly how many strokes over par I am at every moment. Guess that is a bad idea?

 

 

I don't write anything down at all unless I'm playing a match that requires it. It's not very hard to just think back on the bogies and birdies and know what the score was.

post #13 of 51
Always remember that this is fun. We as golfers will see ups and downs in our game both physicaly and mentally. playing more golf makes me more consistent. if I get in a rut I find it best to take a break for the day or play your round without keeping score. a couple bad rounds can get into your head and really start messing with you or at least it can for me. when you do have "practice" time make sure you practice with a purpose. so many people I see go to the range and send a bucket of balls down range and head back to the course without working on anything. I guess in short....stop over thinking it. Go have fun you will be beating your score goals in no time. Just my 5 cents worth ;)
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamoCladWarrior View Post

Always remember that this is fun. We as golfers will see ups and downs in our game both physicaly and mentally. playing more golf makes me more consistent. if I get in a rut I find it best to take a break for the day or play your round without keeping score. a couple bad rounds can get into your head and really start messing with you or at least it can for me. when you do have "practice" time make sure you practice with a purpose. so many people I see go to the range and send a bucket of balls down range and head back to the course without working on anything. I guess in short....stop over thinking it. Go have fun you will be beating your score goals in no time. Just my 5 cents worth ;)

Thanks! I have heard practice with a purpose many times and it obviously makes sense. But I don't really understand it? Can't I go to the range and say "I'm practicing not slicing my driver" that would be a purpose yet it would still technically just be sending a bucket of balls down the range? I'm trying to grasp what everyone's opinion of good practice is?
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post

Thanks! I have heard practice with a purpose many times and it obviously makes sense. But I don't really understand it? Can't I go to the range and say "I'm practicing not slicing my driver" that would be a purpose yet it would still technically just be sending a bucket of balls down the range? I'm trying to grasp what everyone's opinion of good practice is?

 

Figure out your priority piece and work on improving that.  Good thread to read

 

 Simple, Specific, Slow, Short, and Success - The Five "S"s of Great Practice 

post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

Figure out your priority piece and work on improving that.  Good thread to read

 

 Simple, Specific, Slow, Short, and Success - The Five "S"s of Great Practice 

 

 

Yep, I've learned things quicker being methodical about my golf swing than I ever did just pounding golf balls. 

 

Yes you can learn a lot by playing golf, mostly what to do and what not to do. Also some shots you just can recreate practicing. Not everyone has a short game area with multitude of lies, specifically steep angles. So, playing a lot, maybe when it is a down time and hitting a few extra balls on the course can really be valuable time. 

post #17 of 51

I think we've all been there. You just have to power through it. If you have the fundamentals down and you're working on every aspect of the game, the scores will take care of themselves eventually. I wanna know what kind of friends brag about shooting mid-90's! lol...kidding, of course.

post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post
 

My game has been sinking quick...I was on the road to break 90 just a few weeks ago (shooting consistent around 95) and I was more in control of my swing then I ever have been, felt like if I just tightened up the short game a bit I would break 90 with ease.

I recently have had some time off work for the holidays which made me VERY happy knowing that (at least in my mind)  im so close to breaking 90 and will have a lot of free time to play golf, and the more I play the better I will get, right? and this goal will come soon right? Not so much.

 

My last 4 rounds have brought nothing but frustration, disappointment and misery on the course. Ive shot 102, 103, 105, 105. I cringe even writing these numbers. 

 

Today I was +18 over 9 holes!! The old me would have just walked off the course but I toughened up and decided to just play as well as I can on the back 9. I knew breaking 90 would be impossible but I could at least gun for low 90s. So, I went Bogey, Par, Par, Par, Bogey, Bogey, +5, +2, +5...WTF is that? Thats +12 strokes over 3 holes!! 

 

It makes me feel even worse because I have friends who will not play for a month or two and then go out and shoot mid 90s. Then they brag about how they have not played for a while and can just walk on the course and shoot that score. If I was shooting mid 90s a few weeks ago and have been practicing and playing ALOT over the past 2-3 weeks, why am I just getting worse? 

 

I think playing regularly helps, but I am also a firm believer that spending time on the range is an important piece of the puzzle.  For me, the range is the place to think about swing mechanics.  That is my personal definition of practicing with purpose I suppose.  The golf course (again, for me) is NOT the place to think about swing mechanics. 

 

This means that on the range I really think about my swing plane, how I'm hinging my wrists, how I'm shifting my weight and what that feels like as I make my backswing and start the downswing.  I do try to always have a proper target, but don't fret too much about it on the range because I know that I have a hard time thinking about swing mechanics and actually swinging the club.  If today's goal is to tame the driver's slice, then do it methodically rather than just banging balls and trying to figure out why one shot didn't slice so bad and the next did.  Change the grip a little.  Change the stance a little.  Flatten the swing plane a little (my solution).  Try specific things to fix specific issues, or just to see what will happen.

 

On the course, I really try to keep my focus on alignment and distance control, i.e. shooting at a specific spot, whether it be the flagstick or a spot on the fairway.  The only swing mechanic I give any thought to is my swing plane, and that's during a quick practice swing.  I don't get mad about bad shots, per say, but whenever I hit a bad shot and then start fiddling with my swing (or even thinking about it too much) I'm pretty much guaranteed to hit more crappy shots.  Perhaps it's the same for the OP?  Sorta sounds like it...  Putting bad shots out of your mind is much more than not getting mad, that's just the first step.  I'm still trying to learn to do it consistently, but focusing on the next shot without giving much thought to what went wrong with the last has helped me quite a bit.

 

Finally, yeah, if you are doing something really bad and you know it but can't stop, go see the pro before you hit the course again.  In the long run, that's better than walking out to the first tee thinking about the lousy stuff you were doing yesterday.

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