Originally Posted by KyleAnthony
ya i was having issues when i got back into it about paying to much attention to the score and when i would start doing well. i would get excited and mess up the back 9. it was common for me to shoot 40-49 or 42-51. since i have stopped paying attention to score it has really helped me out. on the last few rounds, excluding the last two, my scores have been 45-42, 50-41, and 44-42. before i stopped paying attention to score. my back 9 was never as good as my front. i haven't come across any other mental part of the game that i know how to improve yet. i think confidence in putts would help me a lot. i just have to get there
First off, it was fun meeting and playing a round with you out there. Oak Valley is a tough course and it got both of us pretty good. I did kind of see what you were talking about as far as the game elevating when you kind of "checked out" and didn't care so much any more... there is a thread around here about dealing with pressure on the course, it'd be a good read for you... It's something that I need to go back and read as well.
Obviously you've set a very, very hard goal to reach, and after meeting you, I am positive that it is something that you really want to accomplish. In all honesty, the chances of reaching your goal is going to be very slim, but I think you know that. The only reason I say this, is that at this point I'm at roughly the same level as you in my game (low teen handicap). My goal this year is to have just a single digit handicap, and I know how tough that is going to be for me, so much so that I can't imagine getting to a scratch. One thing that I've noticed as I've progressed is that I have a new appreciation for how tough it is to shave that next stroke off your game. When I joined this site a few years ago I was probably around a 22 or so. I didn't actually have a handicap at the time but I'd shoot scores around 105, on a good day I'd be in the upper 90s. I got better pretty quickly when I learned how to practice a little better and when I learned a little more about the swing. I started keeping a handicap around the time I was an 18 and dropped down to a 12 in about a year. That was over a year ago... since that time I've kind of hit a wall, have seen my index go up to a 14 and then back down to 11. At this point it will be a real fight to get to a 10 and then a 9. Early on, rapid improvement is easy because you throw away so many shots that fixing just a small percentage of them helps out significantly. For example, just learning to keep the ball in play off the tee on most holes can do wonders. However, as you get lower and lower the margin for error is so much smaller. You can't expect everything to be perfect, obviously, but your less than perfect shots (which will be most of them) have to be a lot better than before. I hit shots now that I am disgusted with, two years ago I would have been thrilled when I hit those shots.
The thing is, to get better, everything has to get better. You have to practice better, you have to plan better, you have to handle pressure better, and you have to execute better. At a bogey golfer level, you can make some improvements just hitting balls because you'll at least gain a bit of constancy. The thing is, you are beyond that point now. You need to figure out which piece you need to work on the most, and then focus on just that one thing. Going from one fleeting swing thought to the next doesn't help. I know because I do it. You said earlier that you remembered on the back to take your club straight back, and that thought seemed to work for you for that 9, but I'm sure throughout the round there are different things you were trying. You also said that you would keep an open mind and take tips, etc. and I'd just warn you to be careful of that. That is one reason I don't get Golf magazines anymore. Even though I know that most of that stuff is crap instruction anyways (and the little that is good, probably isn't my priority piece anyways) I can't help but to try it out. At this point the only thing I really do is post my swing here once in a while and listen to what Mike and Erik (and a few other select members who I trust) and that's it. For me, I know that I really need to turn more and stretch out my right side, and maybe focus on not letting the club get so deep in my take away. Those are the things that I need to work on. Are there other things in my swing that need work? Hell yes, but not nearly as much. It's hard to do a lot of things at once, so you just focus on the one (or maybe two) biggest ones and then move on once you've truly fixed them. The question is, do you know what it is that you need to do to improve? What are the tiny things you need to fix to change the picture? If you can't answer that question specifically then it's going to be hard to improve.
Originally Posted by KyleAnthony
im not to sure of how the slope works, but i think its more based on rating. i keep stats like GIR, FIR, putts, penalty strokes, how well i do on par 3's 4's and 5's. right now i think I'm averaging 5 GIR, 8 FIR, and 1.85 putts per hole. and 3 penalty strokes a game. and thank you for the tip on the mind factor i'll have to check that out.
I found that formula I was talking to you about that figures out your average score based on GIR... its 95.1 - 2xGIR... using that formula you should be shooting around 85 on average with the number of greens you hit. Even yesterday, you hit 4 greens IIRC so by that formula you should of have shot 87. That should help you figure out the area that you need to focus on improving. After playing yesterday, and talking with you, I know that you really need to work on short game shots a bit and feel more comfortable with them. You hit the ball a pretty long way, so you have to be comfortable hitting short approaches, otherwise you've given up any advantage that you had. If you honestly feel that you have a better chance at getting it on and somewhat close from 140 yards out vs. 70 yards out, then that's going to hurt you.
Anyways, I didn't mean to ramble on and on, but I just saw the way the thread took a turn there for a minute and wanted to give my two cents, especially since I had the opportunity to play a round with you and others haven't.
Like you said, there is a lot of good info on this forum. You've set what many would call and unobtainable goal, so your best place to start if you are going to prove them wrong is with the following threads IMO:
Lastly, I know that you still have lessons left with your pro, but once those are done, I'd really consider something like evolvr or in person lessons with Mike (@mvmac). Evolvr is a pretty cost effective alternative if you don't have the funds or the time to meet up with somebody in person. @Golfingdad and others can attest to that.