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Does Playing More Often REALLY Help? - Page 3

post #37 of 51

I played a lot last year, but the last round I played before this past Sunday (Jan 5th) was on September 21st of last year (and I ironically had a hole-in-one on that day, my 2nd one, 1st one was 20 years earlier).  I had surgery on my left leg and was out of commission for a while.  I went to the driving range and practice green early December and it took me a little while to get back in a groove.  Then I didn't touch a club again until 1/5 and I shot a +2 74.  I was -1 with 5 holes to play and had some brain farts.  I attribute that to rustiness.  I actually played better after a long break than I was when I was playing a lot.  Sometimes it helps me "reset" and start fresh to take a break for a while.  I don't recommend 3 months break, but most of that was health, travel, and family commitments.  Now I'm going to get back on the band wagon playing and going to the range.  Ironically, I'm sure my scores will get worse initially the more I play and then level back off.

post #38 of 51

Playing more is the only way you will improve!   Are you kidding me?  If you wanted to become a concert pianist, do you think you would improve by playing less?   

 

To be a good golfer, you need to play a lot!  (good is a relative term). How good depends on HOW MUCH you play!

What is a lot?   To some, it's 50 rounds a year, 100 rounds, or 150 rounds?

 

If you seriously want to improve, a minimum of 2-3 full (18 hole) rounds per week is an absolute minimum.  If you play 18 holes twice every week, becoming a single digit handicap shouldn't be a problem if you have any talent.   If this isn't enough, then God shorted you on talent. LOL

 

Some people weren't meant to carry single digits!!


Edited by BuckeyeNut - 1/9/14 at 1:37am
post #39 of 51

IMHO, playing more helps you score better with the swing you have. Different stances, lies, mental, etc... For most, it doesn't help improve swing technique.

 

Practicing productively helps you maintain/improve your swing technique. YMMV, I think you need both. Even with perfect weather, right now, 

I'd be 80% range/short game area, 20% course. That'll change as things progress and that's pretty much my final answer - il dépend

 

Even with all the range time last summer and my swing looking markedly different now, ultimately my scoring improved without playing that much, even with rusty putting. Some of the times I did play on the course, I dropped 2-3-4 balls every shot, so effectively, in 9 holes, I got in way more than 18. One way to battle slow play.

post #40 of 51

I think the more frequently you have a club in your hand helps you more than just the total volume of holes played or balls hit.  I used to be a member at a club where I owned my own cart and could play as many or few holes as I wanted whenever I wanted for a flat rate per month.  I went out a lot of evenings after work and just played 3 holes, practiced chipping and putting, and went home.  Or went to the range and hit 15 balls, played 3 holes, practiced putting on the last green 15 minutes, and went home.  Sometimes 9 holes, sometimes just went to the practice green, or sometimes just the range.

 

The point being it didn't have to be complete 18 hole rounds 5 times a week.  I found playing 9 holes 4 days in a week was more beneficial to me than playing 18 holes 2 times a week.  You still need to play quite a few 18 hole rounds, but when you can't get in 18 just working on something even for a little bit more often seems to do wonders.  Frequency of days having a club in your hand working on something seemed to be the key for me.  For example, hitting 20 balls a day for 5 days in a week was more effective for me than hitting 100 balls 1 day per week.  Same amount, but spread out and more frequent.

post #41 of 51

I'm a bigger believer in playing rounds as opposed to hitting range balls than most. Don't get me wrong, I like to spend a little time on the range as well, but usually it's just once a week. I find that after 20 minutes or so of hitting range balls that I tend to lose the focus that is required on every single shot out on the course. Also, our local courses have a lot of rolling hills and strange lies to deal with that can't be replicated on the range. For that reason, I try to play rounds as much as I can and just hit the range when I don't have time to get in a round. I know I get in fewer swings with each club, but my concentration is so much better that I feel I get more out of a round than a range session. Quality over quantity for me I guess... Plus it's more enjoyable.

 

The short game is a different story though. I've found that frequent and consistent practice from 100 yards in can be very beneficial out on the course, and is a MUST if you really want to significantly lower your HI.

post #42 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddog10 View Post
 

The short game is a different story though. I've found that frequent and consistent practice from 100 yards in can be very beneficial out on the course, and is a MUST if you really want to significantly lower your HI.

 

Please check out this thread, 

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/58816/65-25-10-practice-ratios-where-to-devote-your-practice-time

 

Its a nice discussion on why short game isn't is as important as you think. 

post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

Please check out this thread,

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/58816/65-25-10-practice-ratios-where-to-devote-your-practice-time

 

Its a nice discussion on why short game isn't is as important as you think.

 

That is a great read. I didn't go through all 23 pages but I read the OP and then the next couple of pages. It's an interesting theory that is backed up well with facts and statistics. I wholeheartedly agree that GIR's are the single most important facet of the game, as I've posted here many times. It is unbelievable how many strokes you can knock off you score by just giving yourself two putts to make par everytime.

 

After reading, I see that maybe I do overvalue the short game, although I think for me personally I would adjust his numbers a bit. It's a good point that a poor tee shot instantly costs you strokes that you can't recover from, especially if hit in a hazard or OB, but if PGA data was considered in his evaluation then I think it could prove to be more damaging than it really is to an amateur. When the pros miss the fairway off the tee it instantly makes the hole a difficult par due to the lenght and thickness of their rough. From my experience, that typically isn't the case as an amateur. Sure, you get bad lies or will play courses with difficult rough in which case finding the FW off the tee becomes very important, but most courses I play the rough is not overly difficult and allows the player to recover as long as they hit a nice iron shot. It's not ideal, but it doesn't ruin the hole either.

 

Also, I believe that the weighted percentages should work as a sliding scale in relation to your skill level. A guy that is a 25-30 handicap isn't going to knock 10 strokes off their handicap solely by improving their putting and chipping. They could save a few strokes in that department for sure, but it is likely that they struggle getting to the green so driving and long game is where the bulk of the potential savings lie. On the other hand, a 5 handicap player is likely pretty decent off the tee and a good ball striker. It's no secret that it becomes exponentially more difficult to knock strokes off your HI as it gets closer to 0, and many times the difference is in how many of those 10 footers you make in a round or how many times you were able to recover from a poor shot. I believe that aside from an obvious weakness, as you become a better player the savings potential begins to shift from long game to short game. The difference in a 5 HI and a scratch player from my experience is average distance from pin on GIR's (long game), # of putts made in the 6-12 foot range (putting), and ability to save a missed GIR whether it be from the rough or a bunker (short game). I don't want to belittle the importance of the long game, but it is not the norm for players of that caliber to have penalty strokes during a round, or to really hit a terrible iron shot. It happens, but it's not the norm. The same can't be said for players of a higher HI.

post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post
 

 

If you seriously want to improve, a minimum of 2-3 full (18 hole) rounds per week is an absolute minimum.  If you play 18 holes twice every week, becoming a single digit handicap shouldn't be a problem if you have any talent.   If this isn't enough, then God shorted you on talent. LOL

 

Some people weren't meant to carry single digits!!

 

I'm curious over how many years (roughly) do you think it would take an average skilled person playing twice a week to get to single digit hcp ?     In my case, I'm 49, been playing 3 years (~ 100 rounds a year) and am not even close to single digits (I think I can get there in a few more years if my body holds up & I continue to improve, play smarter & start actually making a few putts).  

 

 Also curious, with your hcp as low as it is, would you mind sharing how old are you & how long did it take you to get there  ?   Thx ...


Edited by inthehole - 1/9/14 at 8:57pm
post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

 

I'm curious over how many years (roughly) do you think it would take an average skilled person playing twice a week to get to single digit hcp ?     In my case, I'm 49, been playing 3 years (~ 100 rounds a year) and am not even close to single digits (I think I can get there in a few more years if my body holds up & I continue to improve, play smarter & start actually making a few putts).  

 

 Also curious, with your hcp as low as it is, would you mind sharing how old are you & how long did it take you to get there  ?   Thx ...

 

Depends on the person's innate ability to swing a golf club. With out formal training, just playing golf on the course, it isn't for certain a person will ever reach a single handicap. 

post #46 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

Depends on the person's innate ability to swing a golf club. With out formal training, just playing golf on the course, it isn't for certain a person will ever reach a single handicap. 

 

 

IMHO, the above is a great take on the subject. Kinda OT, but lessons have helped me way more than just playing. What playing does for me is it helps with my yardages, and helps me to learn how shape shots. Not counting reading putts, ect.

post #47 of 51
My opinion on the matter is that, while playing often is often a large help, the more important thing is HOW you are playing and practicing. If you treat every round in a nonchalant fashion, chatting it up with buddies and giving yourself gimmes, it's a lot less beneficial to your game than even just a simple 30 minute focused practice session. There's nothing wrong with playing that way, I do it myself, but the trick is to focus on each shot and play them as you would in a tournament. I feel that playing 4 holes in this manner gives me much more to take away from the experience than when I just go out there (on a vacation perhaps) to swat a ball around the course.

In this same vein, you also want to have an idea of what to be looking for or working on when practicing. Focused practice only makes things worse if what you're practicing produces a large slice or duck-hook. This is where lessons, of all forms, can come in handy. Just having someone to touch base with every now and again is tremendously helpful at least for me. It helps me make certain that I know what I need to be doing and that I'm not going it in the wrong way. As an added bonus, my instructor lets me play 16 holes for free (starting the course on hole 3) when it's not too busy after my lesson.
post #48 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

 

I'm curious over how many years (roughly) do you think it would take an average skilled person playing twice a week to get to single digit hcp ?  

 

imho, doing this, even if you are focusing on technique on the course, is like the person at work with 25 years experience, that 1 year of experience done over and over over 25 years versus the guy with 3 years experience who keeps pushing his limits hard, learning, growing, 

post #49 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

 

I'm curious over how many years (roughly) do you think it would take an average skilled person playing twice a week to get to single digit hcp ?     In my case, I'm 49, been playing 3 years (~ 100 rounds a year) and am not even close to single digits (I think I can get there in a few more years if my body holds up & I continue to improve, play smarter & start actually making a few putts).  

 

 Also curious, with your hcp as low as it is, would you mind sharing how old are you & how long did it take you to get there  ?   Thx ...

My posts can be harsh at times.   I apologize for that...

 

I considered myself a twice a week player in my early years, but I honestly played more.  I'm 46 and started playing in 1992 when I was 24.  I started keeping an official HC when I joined a club in 1996, I was already a 9. 

 

Don't lose hope.  I got to 9 fast, but I was stuck in that 7-9 range for nearly a decade.  I had completely given up hope for improvement and was comfortable with my fate.  Then out of nowhere.....I smashed through several barriers.   It came out of nowhere...... I never went to the range, never took lessons.......I just kept playing and the improvement came rushing through after being stuck for so many years.  I haven't hit a bucket of balls since 1995!!!   I know this because I quit the range as soon as I had unlimited golf privies.........I figured....screw hitting buckets because I can play golf every day on the course starting in 1996.

 

To this day, I have unlimited range privies.....and I never use them.  LOL................I'd rather just PLAY!! If I'm going to tee it up, it's on the course...........

post #50 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

I never went to the range, never took lessons.......I just kept playing and the improvement came rushing through after being stuck for so many years. 
I think you're the exception, rather than the norm. Most people I know that have played for years do not improve much at all, and they ones who are or were better players at some point in their lives have all taken lessons and practiced often to maintain their skill level.
post #51 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post
 

To this day, I have unlimited range privies.....and I never use them.  LOL................I'd rather just PLAY!! If I'm going to tee it up, it's on the course...........

thx man - your post gives me hope.     I know that I have to work on some things which will require range time, but for the most part if given the opportunity, as Old Tom Morris says, I'd rather GO PLAY !!

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