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How to Break 100?

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I've been playing golf since mid-late 2012. I took 5x2 hour lessons with a pro in late 2012 and it gave me a solid fundamental. I'm going to the range 1-2 times per week and play in the course 1-2 times per month. I usually hit 110-115. Here are my problems:

 

(1) My drives only reach 180-200 yards on a decent strike off the tee.

 

(2) I'm finding it difficult to strike a wood off the ground. I'm also finding it difficult to hit 3/4 iron. I can't get any height on them whatsoever. I also hate hybrids. I just can't stand the looks.

 

(3) I'm confident with my short game. 100 yards inside is quite accurate. I also have no problem to get out of the bunker. But, I have an awful putting and putted 2-3 times.

 

(4) I usually lost 1-2 balls per round, either it went out of bounds or end up in the pond/lake.

 

(5) Sometimes I also hit a couple of fat iron shots. I think this is more "mental" because I always hit my iron (5-pw) decently in the range.

 

Any tips on improving my score and not losing a ball anymore?

 

Any other tips would be very much appreciated.

post #2 of 59

I think the best advice I can give is for you to go ahead and invest in Evolvr and give them a shot.

 

They will study your swing and help you fix the priority piece that by fixing you will see the biggest margin of improvement.  What more can you ask for?

post #3 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post

Hi all,

I've been playing golf since mid-late 2012. I took 5x2 hour lessons with a pro in late 2012 and it gave me a solid fundamental. I'm going to the range 1-2 times per week and play in the course 1-2 times per month. I usually hit 110-115. Here are my problems:

(1) My drives only reach 180-200 yards on a decent strike off the tee.

(2) I'm finding it difficult to strike a wood off the ground. I'm also finding it difficult to hit 3/4 iron. I can't get any height on them whatsoever. I also hate hybrids. I just can't stand the looks.

(3) I'm confident with my short game. 100 yards inside is quite accurate. I also have no problem to get out of the bunker. But, I have an awful putting and putted 2-3 times.

(4) I usually lost 1-2 balls per round, either it went out of bounds or end up in the pond/lake.

(5) Sometimes I also hit a couple of fat iron shots. I think this is more "mental" because I always hit my iron (5-pw) decently in the range.

Any tips on improving my score and not losing a ball anymore?

Any other tips would be very much appreciated.

First, while I won't argue your lessons a year and a half ago didn't help, I would strongly suggets that you consider taking more (and or trying Evolver as suggested, I personally just prefer a pro on the range). There is no shame in taking lessons, it helps most people. Why do I suggest this?
Quote:
(1) My drives only reach 180-200 yards on a decent strike off the tee.

(2) I'm finding it difficult to strike a wood off the ground. I'm also finding it difficult to hit 3/4 iron. I can't get any height on them whatsoever.

Now, honestly, even if you only hit the ball 200 off the tee, you should be able to shoot in the low 90s pretty easily if you just stay out of trouble. And when you do get in trouble you MAKE A POINT of being out of trouble on the next shot, even if not closer to the hole. Getting in trouble, trying for a hero shot, and being in as much or worse trouble for the NEXT shot is the great score killer.

Putting is a problem for a lot (most) of us. Find a bit of smooth carpet if you don't have easy access to a practice green. Putt at a coin on the carpet if need be. Start at 2 feet and roll the ball over the coin a bunch of times, then some more. Go to 3 feet and start over. That should help you develop a pretty smooth stroke in time. When you can get to a practice green, practice the longer lag putts. There is nothing magical anyone can tell you, you need to learn the feel for those.

Numbers 4 and 5 do not seem to be the root of your troubles. We all mishit shots sometimes, the best players just still hit pretty good shots on their mishits. Developing a real solid swing and a pretty consistent ball flight can help with out of bounds shots, and to some extent water balls, but they are still going to happen. Watch golf on TV any Sunday. Happens to the best.

Moving the ball down the fairway without getting in trouble. Getting it onto the green, then holding the number of putts down to two per hole is the key to breaking 100.
post #4 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJim View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post

Hi all,

I've been playing golf since mid-late 2012. I took 5x2 hour lessons with a pro in late 2012 and it gave me a solid fundamental. I'm going to the range 1-2 times per week and play in the course 1-2 times per month. I usually hit 110-115. Here are my problems:

(1) My drives only reach 180-200 yards on a decent strike off the tee.

(2) I'm finding it difficult to strike a wood off the ground. I'm also finding it difficult to hit 3/4 iron. I can't get any height on them whatsoever. I also hate hybrids. I just can't stand the looks.

(3) I'm confident with my short game. 100 yards inside is quite accurate. I also have no problem to get out of the bunker. But, I have an awful putting and putted 2-3 times.

(4) I usually lost 1-2 balls per round, either it went out of bounds or end up in the pond/lake.

(5) Sometimes I also hit a couple of fat iron shots. I think this is more "mental" because I always hit my iron (5-pw) decently in the range.

Any tips on improving my score and not losing a ball anymore?

Any other tips would be very much appreciated.

First, while I won't argue your lessons a year and a half ago didn't help, I would strongly suggets that you consider taking more (and or trying Evolver as suggested, I personally just prefer a pro on the range). There is no shame in taking lessons, it helps most people. Why do I suggest this?
Quote:
(1) My drives only reach 180-200 yards on a decent strike off the tee.

(2) I'm finding it difficult to strike a wood off the ground. I'm also finding it difficult to hit 3/4 iron. I can't get any height on them whatsoever.

Now, honestly, even if you only hit the ball 200 off the tee, you should be able to shoot in the low 90s pretty easily if you just stay out of trouble. And when you do get in trouble you MAKE A POINT of being out of trouble on the next shot, even if not closer to the hole. Getting in trouble, trying for a hero shot, and being in as much or worse trouble for the NEXT shot is the great score killer.

Putting is a problem for a lot (most) of us. Find a bit of smooth carpet if you don't have easy access to a practice green. Putt at a coin on the carpet if need be. Start at 2 feet and roll the ball over the coin a bunch of times, then some more. Go to 3 feet and start over. That should help you develop a pretty smooth stroke in time. When you can get to a practice green, practice the longer lag putts. There is nothing magical anyone can tell you, you need to learn the feel for those.

Numbers 4 and 5 do not seem to be the root of your troubles. We all mishit shots sometimes, the best players just still hit pretty good shots on their mishits. Developing a real solid swing and a pretty consistent ball flight can help with out of bounds shots, and to some extent water balls, but they are still going to happen. Watch golf on TV any Sunday. Happens to the best.

Moving the ball down the fairway without getting in trouble. Getting it onto the green, then holding the number of putts down to two per hole is the key to breaking 100.

 

I didn't start this thread but I suffer from many of the issues that OP does.  I picked up the game this year and found myself shooting in the 130's-140's in the beginning of the year.  Played 40 or so rounds this year and found myself break 100 only twice.  It was one of my goals so I was happy to reach it but I found myself at the end of the year shooting b/w 105-115.

 

Like OP, I'm not a long hitter with the driver, usually b/w 200-230, and had been battling a bad straight fade so it's good to read that low 90's shouldn't be that hard with my current skill-set as long as I start playing smarter.

post #5 of 59

Don't worry so much about length off the tee - gotta eliminate OB or topped/bladed  shots - keep it in the fairway.     Lose the woods for now - focus on your 5 iron and a hybrid for longer approach shots.    The whole world uses hybrids today - so you gotta get over your disdain for them (ok, there are more than a few lovers of the long irons left - I still won't give up my 3 iron - but we're a dying breed).

 

Most importantly - swing easy with a smooth takeaway - come down hard if you want, but take it back smooth.   So many higher hcp-ers swing too fast - that's fine if you can make good contact EVERY TIME - until you can do that, take it easy and hit it solid.

 

Breaking 100 is all about eliminating bad shots.     Got to keep the ball in play & hit it solid.     Distance & accuracy will come - you'll break 100 if you just keep it under control and in the short grass.


Edited by inthehole - 1/7/14 at 6:41pm
post #6 of 59

Marvin:

 

There are a few things you can do without investing more money on lessons to help reduce your scores.  Your statements about where you're losing strokes are typical of those who shoot 100+ scores.  For example, they pump 2-3 balls OB, they miss 5-6 short putts, they wail away with 3-woods and long irons from the fairway with little or no success.

 

Here's what you CAN do for now:

 

1. OB drives - if you have OB on the right, go as far to the right side (trouble side) of the tee box and aim AWAY from the trouble.  You'll easily keep the ball in play even if you slice a drive.  You are now in play and hitting two, not teeing up THREE.  Keep ball in play and save 6 strokes per round.

 

2. Make the short putts:  Take 2 balls to the practice green before your round.  Make two 2' putts from 4 sides of the hole.  Move out to 3' and repeat the drill.  Move out to 5' and repeat.  After you've done this a few times, the 2 - 5' putts will become nearly automatic for you.  Make even 50% of the short putts and save 4 strokes per round.

 

3. Leave your 3-wood in the bag unless you use it off the tee.  Take your 3 and 4 irons out of bag and leave at home.  If you can hit a 5, 6 or even a 7 iron consistently enough to move the ball 150 yards from the fairway DO THIS.  The goal is to move the ball 150 yards down the fairway on longer holes to setup your short game.  4 strokes per round saved.

 

6 + 4 + 4 = 14 shots you can EASILY save per round.  110 - 14 = 96.  You don't really need more lessons, you just need to play smarter golf, limit the 'unforced errors' and play to the stronger part of your game.  I'll bet you can come in under 100 and really soon!  Good luck.

 

dave 

post #7 of 59
And, if you do like Dave says, play at least once a week a full round. Better play twice a week.
post #8 of 59

I have read this post with great interest as it is similar to my goals.    The advice makes a lot of sense and will try it.  Thanks everyone.

 

Doug

post #9 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks for helpful and solid advices and suggestions.

Earlier today I went to the range and saw and old man with considerably slow swing speed but still get the ball fly high and deadly accurate. Suddenly I realised how overswing I am compared to him.

So I tried to slightly loosen my grip, relaxed my arms, take a smooth takeaway, point my lead shoulder at the ball, move my weight forward, coming down easy and make sure my swing is in the correct plane. I imagined myself doing tai chi ("soft" Chinese martial arts) and keep my arms, torso, and my lower body move fluidly. I think I even didn't use half of my power.

To my surprise, I got a pure contact and more distance. I couldn't believe that overswing and trying to muscle the ball simply detrimental to my game. I just have to trust my swing and let the club do the work. For the first time I got 140-150 with my 7 iron consistently. Furthermore, I even hit my 3 iron easily 180-190 straight. No wonder this game is addictive, it feels damn good to hit a nice shot!

I know this is just a beginning and I still have more to practice. I just want to say thanks and I thought I should let you know how I'm progressing. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks!
post #10 of 59
I'm in the same boat. Have shot 100 on the nose twice but can't seem to break through. The advice you guys have will help alot.
post #11 of 59

Getting new lessons will help. Ultimately hitting the ball better is the best way to play well.  But that takes time. In the meantime, you can accomplish a lot with just irons.  I was able to go from the low 100's to the mid 90's without getting any better at golf - but just by changing strategy.  

 

I started playing irons almost exclusively because I realized there were a lot less OB / Lost Balls that way.  I also was able to reconcile the fact that getting a bogey and even playing for bogey is plenty OK.  If you can't break 100, I'm not sure a Par strategy is a good way to play golf.  

 

If you have a 340 yard hole, using 2 iron shots and a chip to get on the green and two putt is a bogey.  Just think of 3 shots as a GIR instead of 2 (and adjust for Par 3's and 5's). If you can repeat this all day, you shoot 90.  If you fail to repeat this 9 times (half of your round!), you still shoot 99.  And you might get a par here and there that you didn't expect to offset blow-up holes.

 

Using a driver off the tee, 3-wood off the ground (or off the tee if you aren't good at it), trying to "make up" distance after bad shots with long risky approach shots - these are all score killers.  If you can't break 100, you have no business hitting 3 wood of the deck.  That is a hard shot. Lay up with a 5i.  You don't get many GIR's anyway.  I'm a 16 and I don't get many.  The good news is, like you, I am good at the shorter distances.  Use this to your advantage.  

post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post

....   So I tried to slightly loosen my grip, relaxed my arms, take a smooth takeaway, point my lead shoulder at the ball, move my weight forward, coming down easy and make sure my swing is in the correct plane. I imagined myself doing tai chi ("soft" Chinese martial arts) and keep my arms, torso, and my lower body move fluidly. I think I even didn't use half of my power.

To my surprise, I got a pure contact and more distance. I couldn't believe that overswing and trying to muscle the ball simply detrimental to my game. I just have to trust my swing and let the club do the work. For the first time I got 140-150 with my 7 iron consistently. Furthermore, I even hit my 3 iron easily 180-190 straight. No wonder this game is addictive, it feels damn good to hit a nice shot!

I know this is just a beginning and I still have more to practice. I just want to say thanks and I thought I should let you know how I'm progressing. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks!

 

Yep, trying to hit it too hard certainly messes me up worse than trying to hit it smooth and easy.  Once you are hitting 'em fairly straight, you can work on adding back power until things start coming apart again.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RFKFREAK View Post

 

....

 

Like OP, I'm not a long hitter with the driver, usually b/w 200-230, and had been battling a bad straight fade so it's good to read that low 90's shouldn't be that hard with my current skill-set as long as I start playing smarter.

 

About 230 seems to be my rough average.  I wish I could boom it 280, but I can't.  Unless you play a really long course, or are too macho in your tee selection, 230 in the fairway is a good step toward most greens.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

.....

I started playing irons almost exclusively because I realized there were a lot less OB / Lost Balls that way. I also was able to reconcile the fact that getting a bogey and even playing for bogey is plenty OK. If you can't break 100, I'm not sure a Par strategy is a good way to play golf.

.....

 

Using a driver off the tee, 3-wood off the ground (or off the tee if you aren't good at it), trying to "make up" distance after bad shots with long risky approach shots - these are all score killers.  If you can't break 100, you have no business hitting 3 wood of the deck.  That is a hard shot. Lay up with a 5i.  You don't get many GIR's anyway.  I'm a 16 and I don't get many.  The good news is, like you, I am good at the shorter distances.  Use this to your advantage.  

 

This is solid advice. 

 

If you have the option where you play, establish an official handicap, otherwise, at least figure out what you handicap should roughly be.  Then, as a useful exercise for any aspiring golfer, figure out which holes you should bet extra strokes on, and how many.  If you're not breaking 100, you should get at least a stroke on each hole, and two on a number of the harder ones!  If you are playing a par 4 you would get two strokes on, your "par" is a 6!  You're ahead if you can shoot a 5.  That not only takes some of the pressure off, but gives you some little wins along the way when maybe you were beating yourself up for a bogy in the past.  Whether your handicap is 6 or 36, knowing which holes you're not expected to par can help.

 

The part about dealing with mishits is also worth noting and very similar to the point I tried to make about hero shots from trouble.  After a bad shot, you can be in "trouble" out in the fairway too.  This isn't just for people trying to break 100!  Accepting what has happened and making a smart next shot saves strokes.  I think the only place you should legitimately plan to "make up" a stroke is inside wedge range by giving yourself a one-putt option.

post #13 of 59
The main one to break 100 for me was not making any critical mistakes.

200 yards off the tee is already a long way, and seems pretty much long enough for bogey or better golf.

Every time I score over 100, it's because of OB tee shots or many putts. The cause is a little more tense playing. I started playing sub-100 overnight when I used a relaxed swing.
post #14 of 59

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

 

I feel as though I was hitting my driver better off the tee and for those long par 4's, I feel the only way I have a chance at par is to be able to get it 230 yards which I can't do with an iron.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

The main one to break 100 for me was not making any critical mistakes.

200 yards off the tee is already a long way, and seems pretty much long enough for bogey or better golf.

Every time I score over 100, it's because of OB tee shots or many putts. The cause is a little more tense playing. I started playing sub-100 overnight when I used a relaxed swing.

 

Really?  I feel on 400+ yard Par 4's, 200 yards just doesn't seem like enough.

post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post
 

Hi all,

 

I've been playing golf since mid-late 2012. I took 5x2 hour lessons with a pro in late 2012 and it gave me a solid fundamental. I'm going to the range 1-2 times per week and play in the course 1-2 times per month. I usually hit 110-115. Here are my problems:

 

(1) My drives only reach 180-200 yards on a decent strike off the tee.

 

(2) I'm finding it difficult to strike a wood off the ground. I'm also finding it difficult to hit 3/4 iron. I can't get any height on them whatsoever. I also hate hybrids. I just can't stand the looks.

 

(3) I'm confident with my short game. 100 yards inside is quite accurate. I also have no problem to get out of the bunker. But, I have an awful putting and putted 2-3 times.

 

(4) I usually lost 1-2 balls per round, either it went out of bounds or end up in the pond/lake.

 

(5) Sometimes I also hit a couple of fat iron shots. I think this is more "mental" because I always hit my iron (5-pw) decently in the range.

 

Any tips on improving my score and not losing a ball anymore?

 

Any other tips would be very much appreciated.

i'll try to give some advice thats helped me a little

(1) i don't now your age or strength so this may be a very good strike or not

(2) hitting woods or the ground can be intimidating. you just have to have confidence and practice this. also just keep down on the ball and don't stand up before impact. 3/4 shots you have to accelerate through impact. if you decelerate then you can be inconsistent and have a low ball flight

(3) its great to have a good short game. as far as putting. reading the greens perfect can be hard at first so work on speed. if you see it left to right, guess how much and if you get the speed right you'll have a tap in 2 putt

(4) this happens. if they are mis-hits then just practice your swing otherwise just play a little safer

(5) hitting it fat could be because knee flex which will cause impact to be inconsistent. just stay down on the ball

 

 

good luck out there and post your swing on the MySwing Area and there are a bunch of people on here who can help ya out

post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFKFREAK View Post

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I feel as though I was hitting my driver better off the tee and for those long par 4's, I feel the only way I have a chance at par is to be able to get it 230 yards which I can't do with an iron.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

The main one to break 100 for me was not making any critical mistakes.


200 yards off the tee is already a long way, and seems pretty much long enough for bogey or better golf.


Every time I score over 100, it's because of OB tee shots or many putts. The cause is a little more tense playing. I started playing sub-100 overnight when I used a relaxed swing.

Really?  I feel on 400+ yard Par 4's, 200 yards just doesn't seem like enough.

A 400 yard par 4 is rarely actually 400 yards, also it is a bit longer than what a double bogey golfer should be playing. If he drove 200 yards for real, he would only be an iron away.

If we assume that he drives 200 and can hit his 4i something like 160, then he would most likely be within 40 yards of the center of the green. His short game is self stated as being pretty decent. This means he could get close enough to the pin to make a par putt. If he does this sort of thing for 12 or so par 4s he can make something less than 12 over on the par 4s. Many of the par 4s are about 350 yards (sea level). This puts him within 150 yards on many par 4s.

I would assume that he would play less than 6000 yard courses, so the par 5 would be in the 475 to 500 yard range and the par 3 should be in the 120 to 170 yard range. He should be able to get close enough to par or bogey the par 5, and par or bogey the par 3.

This would give him a potential for 20 over without too much effort. This was my strategy before I started swinging more efficiently. The other thing is rolling a ball 100 yards is pretty easy relative to punching out, and works well to get out of trees.

He has the potential for scores of 92 or less playing with this strategy, with no other improvements.
post #17 of 59

Good advise here already, but I'll pile on.  I picked up golf in 2009 and it took me until 2011 to bring 100.  Since 2011 I've broken 80 5 times.  Here's what worked for me.

 

1) Don't play the tips.  Move up to the tee box that leaves you 150 yards into par 4's on average.  So if you hit your driver 200, don't play tees with a bunch of 380-440 par 4's.

 

2) Video your swing.  One thing that is certain with every golf swing... just because it feels like you're doing something, doesn't mean you are.  Videoing your swing will be a humbling experience.

 

3) Work on specific things when you're at the range.  Whether it's something you saw in the video or something a golf pro told you during a lesson.  Don't just bang balls

 

4) On course time > Range time.  The real turning point for me was getting a membership at a 9 hole par 35 course where I could go sneak in 4-9 holes after work.  I would go to the range at lunch, and then get in a few holes after work, and it helped immensely.

 

5) Be patient.  It's going to take awhile, but after you break 100 for the first time, it will get easier and easier.  Soon enough after that you'll be pissed off when you don't break 100... it's the nature of the game.  

post #18 of 59

As a high scorer myself I have found several things that have really improved my game over the last two years.

 

1 - Read either (or both) "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect" by Dr. Bob Rotella and "Zen Golf" by Dr. Joe Parent.  These two books really improved my game by showing me how important the mental game is and ways to help keep my head in the game.

 

2 - Short game - It is amazing how many strokes you can cut off by being able to get it on the green and two putting.

 

3 - Break down a hole to make it playable to the club you can hit with confidence - Example, I hit 6I well enough to get me into striking distance (150 yards).  On a 395 yard par 4 hole that would be two 6 irons shots, a comfortable distance short iron shot (see tip above), and a two putt.  That is a bogey.  If you score 9 "5"s in 9 holes that is a score of 45.  This thinking even gives you a cushion of 4 strokes to still hit 49.  Double the score for 18 holes and you get a score of 90-98.

 

4 - Sometimes a hybrid or 3 wood is better off the tee - Sometimes I find that when I am having driver issues I go to my super hybrid off the tee.  In most cases I am only losing 30-50 yards distance but I know I can hit it in play and have a good lie for a 2nd shot.  This year I plan to add a 3 wood to my bag for this purpose as well.

 

I am no expert but these things have made a huge difference in my game, especially number 1 and number 4.

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