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Does Playing More Often REALLY Help? - Page 2

post #19 of 51
I hope so. It's a big part of my plans going forward. About six years ago, I had a two month period where I played 3-4 times per week and dropped a half dozen shots off my handicap (went from 23 or so to about 17).

If you're playing regularly, it can also give you the opportunity to identify if there is a glaring weakness in your game, as opposed to something popping up in your monthly round or whatever.
post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 
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 

Cool - so read through this and sounds great BUT I have one comment / question...

 

How is someone who is not an expert on the golf swing (myself / high handicapper), suppose to know what specifically to work on? You use the below example:

 

 "I want to improve my footwork" is not specific. "I want to bank my right foot inward more to prevent my right knee from kicking in towards the golf ball on my downswing" is better.

 

I understand this is just your example however regardless of what the "specific" detail is to work on, one would have to know THAT is what needed to be worked on, correct? In other words, I would assume its best to see a pro and have him/her diagnose your swing and tell you what specifically to work on? What I think is wrong with my swing and what a professional tells me is wrong with my swing would probably be two completely different things. ALSO, if I have the wrong idea of what the swing "should" be then I can be spending time working on something that not only will not help my swing but is not even fundamentally correct. 

 

To further my explanation, I always felt that a lot of my slicing was due to coming over the top. The pro I saw (about a year ago) said this was not my issue at all and explained what was and gave me specific practice drills etc. to work on at the range. 

 

This is in no way to knock The Five "S"s of Great Practice as they do make perfect sense. I guess I just don't feel comfortable diagnosing my own swing and telling myself what I think I should be "specifically" working on.

post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post
 

This is in no way to knock The Five "S"s of Great Practice as they do make perfect sense. I guess I just don't feel comfortable diagnosing my own swing and telling myself what I think I should be "specifically" working on.

 

Nor should you necessarily feel comfortable, but there are four things that can help you:

 

  1. Post your own and listen to the advice: http://thesandtrap.com/f/4180/member-swings
  2. Various other threads.
  3. http://evolvr.com/
  4. http://purestrike5sk.com/

 

You have 35 posts here, so you're new, but I think as you explore here you'll really start to see how much free and good advice is given here, by myself, by @mvmac, by other knowledgeable golfers.

post #22 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Nor should you necessarily feel comfortable, but there are four things that can help you:

 

  1. Post your own and listen to the advice: http://thesandtrap.com/f/4180/member-swings
  2. Various other threads.
  3. http://evolvr.com/
  4. http://purestrike5sk.com/

 

You have 35 posts here, so you're new, but I think as you explore here you'll really start to see how much free and good advice is given here, by myself, by @mvmac, by other knowledgeable golfers.

Yes and I have noticed all the great / free advice and do appreciate it, which is why I continue to visit this forum / website instead of others. You answered my question though - I think uploading my swing would be a good idea! Is there a link for the best method of filming? I realize one should be face down and one should be down the line but is there any other specifics? Are iphone videos usually high enough quality? or need to use a cam with higher res.? thank you

post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post
 

Is there a link for the best method of filming? I realize one should be face down and one should be down the line but is there any other specifics? Are iphone videos usually high enough quality? or need to use a cam with higher res.? thank you

 

http://thesandtrap.com/b/playing_tips/filming_your_swing

post #24 of 51

I need to get my swing analyzed.  My answer to the question on this thread is yes golfing more does help.  If you stay true to what you practiced, and didn't revert back to hacker swing when pressure was on.  I believe in practice and conditioning.  If you want to get better, strengthen the core.  Hit lots of range balls the right way.  Stay focused.  Get a lesson from a decent pro.  Study the game.  If you can do something at the range with accuracy and precision are likely to play better when scores matter. Worked for me.

post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by tqcishark View Post
 

I need to get my swing analyzed.  My answer to the question on this thread is yes golfing more does help.  If you stay true to what you practiced, and didn't revert back to hacker swing when pressure was on.  I believe in practice and conditioning.  If you want to get better, strengthen the core.  Hit lots of range balls the right way.  Stay focused.  Get a lesson from a decent pro.  Study the game.  If you can do something at the range with accuracy and precision are likely to play better when scores matter. Worked for me.

 

I think there are more effective ways to improve than doing crunches ;-)

 

5SK Video Thread 

post #26 of 51

I love the 5SK teaching videos.  When I say "hit lots of range balls the right way" and "study the game", following the advice in those videos seems like a good way to accomplish both.  You guys have organized ball striking fundamentals into an effective grouping of teaching goals; I will definitely be looking at your teaching products when I get this cast off my arm.  

 

Still, the best advice I've ever heard from a pro was what Jack Nicklaus said about strengthening the core.  He said in no uncertain terms it was his secret to great golfing.  On my worst day, I'm ten strokes better when I'm on a regular routine.  Its not just me.  Tiger dominated golf like no other player largely because he was one of the first truly gifted golfers who came at the game like a pro athlete, in a field of cigarette smoking booze hounds.  Lefty fell short time after time until he got serious about conditioning.  Bottomline, a flat bench, some dumbbells, and a good sit-up mat can go a long way towards improving golf.  

 

I'm still working on my swing, really still in my first couple of years striving to accomplish something in golf.  My scores and handicap are still nothing to be proud of, but my ball striking and consistency are notably better when I'm doing something in the gym.  

post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post

 

This is in no way to knock The Five "S"s of Great Practice as they do make perfect sense. I guess I just don't feel comfortable diagnosing my own swing and telling myself what I think I should be "specifically" working on.

Perhaps you can (diagnose your own swing) but most people cannot.  Even if you have a video it is difficult to know what to do to correct a "flaw" or even if the "flaw" is creating an issue for you.  I know I recently decided to improve my game and signed up for a series of lessons at a place that uses video.  When I saw myself swinging the club it was an eye opener for me.  To make a long story short I am on the way to recovery as a result of this decision.  

 

To answer the OP question of ,does playing more help?, I think it can.   But like practice it if won't help if you're doing the same bad swings over and over.  While I am not a particularly good golfer I think it noteworthy that all the Pros have "swing coaches" and if they need them to stay in tune it is likely the rest of us do also.

post #28 of 51

Playing often increased my consistency more than my skill level.  So I didn't necessarily shoot lower scores, but I shot fewer high scores.  Lower scores have come through improved ball striking working with evolvr.

post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

Playing often increased my consistency more than my skill level.  So I didn't necessarily shoot lower scores, but I shot fewer high scores.  Lower scores have come through improved ball striking working with evolvr.


 



+1

I found that when I was playing more often this past summer that my overall scores (as dreadful as they were) stayed within more of a consistent range from round to round. I don't think I'll truly improve my game and lower my scores until I take some lessons (which I plan on next season).
post #30 of 51

Golf is a challenging game with abundant opportunities to screw up. This creates some mental pressure when you play (at least it does for me).  Playing a lot definitely helps me feel more relaxed and natural on the course and that helps my game a good deal.  Others' mileage will vary I guess based on their personality.

post #31 of 51

Glad you created this thread OP. I was wondering the exact same thing myself this past week. Like you, I've had a lot more golf time because of the holidays, and was hoping to take advantage of it and make some strides with my golf game. Instead of improving, I've played much worse then usual, which has frustrated me. Some good suggestions in this thread.

post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooke119 View Post
 

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. 

 

I'm in NY and played 18 yesterday with my brother. It never got above 30 degrees but it was a blast, and I had my best round off the tee ever. I drove one green and hit the drive so high I thought it could embed on a normal day. Thing is, the greens were a bit like cement; it landed right near the hole and bounced 20 feet back up, then died in a pile of leaves past the green. Walking on the greens felt like I would chip off my spikes, but I still broke 90. I'm not willing to let my game go to crap by not playing until St Patrick's Day like so many people. I may not have another chance for a week or so given this storm so I took my opportunity.

 

I also bought a membership for this year, which brings me back to OP's point. Playing more golf is the only way to get really good. Hitting lots of balls is good too, though I go a bit into the extreme in this area. I bought the membership because I knew I could cash in after about 25 rounds, which I hope to be through by April 1 if the weather permits. Last year I played more often and got a range pass, and usually practiced or played 3 days a week or so during the summer. I hope that this year I will finally get more continuity in my scoring game, since I tend to work on my long game until I plateau. After about 5 days straight of good swinging, I'm in enough of a groove to concentrate on my short game more, but I try to keep my long game intact if I have limited or sporadic practice time.

 

Playing a lot helps you get your swing back every time. If you don't play a lot you tend to forget the proper way to swing every time you go out for the first few holes. Starting your round with shaky hitting is bad, and my course has a nasty second hole, so you need to keep it together through the beginning 4 holes before any scoring opportunities appear.

 

Bruce Lee had a great saying: don't fear a man that knows 10,000 kicks, but do fear the man that has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times. He was pretty good at kicking people so he knew what he was talking about. I know a lot of people think hitting lots of balls is a waste of time or even detrimental, but unless you're physically limited you should do it. I can't remember anyone losing a tournament for excessive practicing. The more practice you get the better your swing will repeat, and you can make finer adjustments to your shots. Standing on the tee needing to hit a certain shot is pretty intimidating unless you've hit the exact shot countless times. If your mechanics are horrible, get a few lessons, but practicing a lot is a good habit. Playing is more important than practicing, though, since it puts your game to the test. There's nothing more sobering than putting in a lot of practice only to have your game fall short on the course, it's easy to feel good on the range but it's not an accomplishment to be proud of like posting a good score or hitting a memorable shot. 

 

Refine your fundamentals; no matter how limited your game is, you can learn from and enjoy every round and practice session. They add up.

post #33 of 51
Thread Starter 

great stuff here and good advice from everyone..Pushy I like how you worded that golf presents "abundant opps. to screw up" - I actually think about this very fact while on the course! - I try so hard not to but can not help it. I will come off a 2-3 par stretch and think "wow if I mishit my 3 iron on this next tee shot it could slice into the water and I will end up with a +3...I dont need anyone to tell me how bad it is that I have these thoughts on the course, trust me I know...im working on it ;)

post #34 of 51
I will put in a cautionary note here, playing more on your home course will certainly make you score better... on your HOME course. If you join a club and play it exclusively, you know the bumps and rolls, where to play 3 wds, drivers, etc... Before you know it you're hdcp is dropping and you can get a few games going without losing too much or maybe winning once in awhile. Then it's off to Myrtle Beach for a golf outing with your buddies and you can't break 100 and you're buying all the drinks.

The most important thing, IMHO, is to have a well rounded game across ALL disciplines. Ability to drive reasonably well (accuracy over length), know your yardages so you can layup, approach shots, chipping, bunker play and putting, putting, putting. It's no good to get on in reg, and then proceed to pinball it all over the place. I've played with a few guys in Florida who only play their one course and their bag shows it. Maybe no driver, no long irons, etc... Lots of hybrids, with a total of 10 clubs. They play their course their way and they are very good at it. Put them down the street at a different place and they'd struggle. "Just playing" isn't always the path to lower scores. Emphasizing one aspect at the expense of one or more of the others isn't going to help you improve.

In my case, I never actually took a formal lesson- a few summer Saturdays at a free junior clinic after playing a year or so. I learned my game while playing. I wasn't long off the tee then (about 12) so I LEARNED to hit fairway woods. My approach shots weren't always spot on, so I LEARNED how to play bunker shots because I was in them all the time. If I wasnt in the bunker I was just off the green, so I LEARNED how to chip, etc... I think that's what the problem is with many people who start out later on in life. Their strength outguns their ability. At 10 or 12, it isn't likely that you will knock it 250 let alone 300, so you adjust as you grow. Pick up the game at 25 or 30 and 250yds isn't out of the realm of possibility on an ideal shot. But now what? You're out there and have no clue what to do next. AS I grew up and improved my overall game, Those skills I learned early on came in handy when I DID find a trap, or needed to hit that 3 wd. I had confidence in them. Heck, I've played practice rounds hitting into traps, missing greens, and laying up off the tee to keep my game in if any of those skills are failing me a bit. Need bunker work? aim for a trap just short or offline and play it out.
post #35 of 51

Course familiarity is a factor but not much if you're practicing and playing enough to show improvement. I'd like to say knowing my home course like the back of my hand helps but I still have to execute the shots. Knowing what you want to do and doing it are two different things until you get to fairly high level of golf. I still hit more bad shots than good. On an unfamiliar course my score might vary a couple of strokes a side and usually just because there is something I can't see. Really depends on the day.

post #36 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

I will put in a cautionary note here, playing more on your home course will certainly make you score better... on your HOME course. If you join a club and play it exclusively, you know the bumps and rolls, where to play 3 wds, drivers, etc... Before you know it you're hdcp is dropping and you can get a few games going without losing too much or maybe winning once in awhile. Then it's off to Myrtle Beach for a golf outing with your buddies and you can't break 100 and you're buying all the drinks.

The most important thing, IMHO, is to have a well rounded game across ALL disciplines. Ability to drive reasonably well (accuracy over length), know your yardages so you can layup, approach shots, chipping, bunker play and putting, putting, putting. It's no good to get on in reg, and then proceed to pinball it all over the place. I've played with a few guys in Florida who only play their one course and their bag shows it. Maybe no driver, no long irons, etc... Lots of hybrids, with a total of 10 clubs. They play their course their way and they are very good at it. Put them down the street at a different place and they'd struggle. "Just playing" isn't always the path to lower scores. Emphasizing one aspect at the expense of one or more of the others isn't going to help you improve.

In my case, I never actually took a formal lesson- a few summer Saturdays at a free junior clinic after playing a year or so. I learned my game while playing. I wasn't long off the tee then (about 12) so I LEARNED to hit fairway woods. My approach shots weren't always spot on, so I LEARNED how to play bunker shots because I was in them all the time. If I wasnt in the bunker I was just off the green, so I LEARNED how to chip, etc... I think that's what the problem is with many people who start out later on in life. Their strength outguns their ability. At 10 or 12, it isn't likely that you will knock it 250 let alone 300, so you adjust as you grow. Pick up the game at 25 or 30 and 250yds isn't out of the realm of possibility on an ideal shot. But now what? You're out there and have no clue what to do next. AS I grew up and improved my overall game, Those skills I learned early on came in handy when I DID find a trap, or needed to hit that 3 wd. I had confidence in them. Heck, I've played practice rounds hitting into traps, missing greens, and laying up off the tee to keep my game in if any of those skills are failing me a bit. Need bunker work? aim for a trap just short or offline and play it out.

I started playing golf at 25....im 29 now. I have been playing my home course a good amount over the past few weeks but normally I try to rotate between 4-5 courses.

 

I also try to set a goal at each course I play. Ex. Course near my office, I can go to after work over summer and can get 9 holes in. Made a goal of shooting 43 on front 9...accomplished that, a few times.

 

Sometimes I play 9 holes before work at a different course that has a bit of a less challenging rating than the above noted, made a goal of shooting 42 on back 9 there....accomplished that twice. 

 

My goal of breaking 90...well I would be happy with that anywhere! But I envision it happening on my home course first, since I know it better than the others. It's not much of a struggle for me to shoot 45 or under for a 9 hole round. But I just have not been able to put together an entire round yet.

Agree its important to manage your game in all disciplines. I was having major bunker issues and then I actually read a post on here about keeping left knee flexed throughout the shot and it has made the world of difference for me in that area...My putting has been a bit suspect. I was actually just fitted for a putter and realized the putter that im using is almost the complete opposite of what I SHOULD be using. So probably going to invest in that. Not saying it will dramatically improve anything, but at least I can be confident in knowing I am using the proper equipment.

 

Also to your point, my drives...when they don't slice way right are anywhere from 275-300. Goes to show how much more important accuracy is. I would sacrifice distance ANY DAY of the week for being in play more consistently. Proves the point as well that 100 yards and in / short game is where it's at.

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