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How long did it take you to get down to below a ten handicap?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Any stories on how long it took people to get down to below ten? How long? How much practice? What practice? Top tips?
post #2 of 14

As for how long it takes, depends on the golfer.

 

Basically, I got really good at repeating a BAD swing, but that BAD swing was good enough to get me down to about a 12 handicap. So when did I breach the 10 handicap, last year. Before college I was about a bogey golfer. During college I took some time off, played very sparingly. I was probably 15 handicap around then. Then I joined a golf league at my work. From the weekly play and a few lessons, I dropped to a 12 handicap. Now about 4 years ago I think, I found this forum. Last year I took my first lesson from the guys at "Golf Evolution", in Erie, PA. After that lesson, sometime early last year, I dropped from a 12 to a 6 handicap over the course of the last golf season. I had more results in my golf swing in the last year than I have in the previous 16 years. 

 

Basically it was introducing these 5 things into my golf swing,

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/55426/introducing-five-simple-keys

 

The biggest tip I would give you is look over the following threads,

 

This thread will explain why the ball flies the way it does, why it curves right, why it curves left. 

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

 

This thread is of 5 things all great players do. Now how you get them makes up your unique swing, but having them will make you a better golfer, 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/55426/introducing-five-simple-keys

 

This thread will teach you how to practice, which is just as important as what you are practicing. You never just want to hit 300 golf balls a day, one after another and call it a day. More can be done with less. 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/54840/simple-specific-slow-short-and-success-the-five-s-s-of-great-practice

 

This thread will help you get into a more comfortable set up, and debunk some myths out there about what the correct posture is. 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/56069/good-golf-posture

 

This thread will allow you to start working on some drills that can help you obtain the 5 keys to the golf swing. 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread

 

 

Besides all that information, video tape your swing and post it in the "Member Swing" section,

http://thesandtrap.com/t/38240/my-swing-video-threads-rules-please-read (instruction on video taping your swing)

http://thesandtrap.com/f/4180/member-swings (create your own "My Swing (Jacob Smith)" thread here)

 

You will get some great feedback. If you want something more in depth, then you can subscribe to Evolvr through Golf Evolution. It has a one time or a monthly fee, but you can submit videos and get great feedback from instructors. If you want the best bang for your dollar, I would suggest finding the closest 5 keys instructor near you and get a lesson. The best thing that any golfer can do. 

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

As for how long it takes, depends on the golfer.

 

Basically, I got really good at repeating a BAD swing, but that BAD swing was good enough to get me down to about a 12 handicap. So when did I breach the 10 handicap, last year. Before college I was about a bogey golfer. During college I took some time off, played very sparingly. I was probably 15 handicap around then. Then I joined a golf league at my work. From the weekly play and a few lessons, I dropped to a 12 handicap. Now about 4 years ago I think, I found this forum. Last year I took my first lesson from the guys at "Golf Evolution", in Erie, PA. After that lesson, sometime early last year, I dropped from a 12 to a 6 handicap over the course of the last golf season. I had more results in my golf swing in the last year than I have in the previous 16 years.

 

Basically it was introducing these 5 things into my golf swing,

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/55426/introducing-five-simple-keys

 

The biggest tip I would give you is look over the following threads,

 

This thread will explain why the ball flies the way it does, why it curves right, why it curves left.

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

 

This thread is of 5 things all great players do. Now how you get them makes up your unique swing, but having them will make you a better golfer,

http://thesandtrap.com/t/55426/introducing-five-simple-keys

 

This thread will teach you how to practice, which is just as important as what you are practicing. You never just want to hit 300 golf balls a day, one after another and call it a day. More can be done with less.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/54840/simple-specific-slow-short-and-success-the-five-s-s-of-great-practice

 

This thread will help you get into a more comfortable set up, and debunk some myths out there about what the correct posture is.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/56069/good-golf-posture

 

This thread will allow you to start working on some drills that can help you obtain the 5 keys to the golf swing.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread

 

 

Besides all that information, video tape your swing and post it in the "Member Swing" section,

http://thesandtrap.com/t/38240/my-swing-video-threads-rules-please-read (instruction on video taping your swing)

http://thesandtrap.com/f/4180/member-swings (create your own "My Swing (Jacob Smith)" thread here)

 

You will get some great feedback. If you want something more in depth, then you can subscribe to Evolvr through Golf Evolution. It has a one time or a monthly fee, but you can submit videos and get great feedback from instructors. If you want the best bang for your dollar, I would suggest finding the closest 5 keys instructor near you and get a lesson. The best thing that any golfer can do.

Wow ... you are I are remarkably similar in our golf progress.  I was a bogey golfer in high school, and got myself to about a 12 in the same way as you, then stayed in that vicinity until about 2 years ago when I found this site, and then eventually started doing Evolvr.  Got it 6.8 for a time last year, but fluxuated up a bit afer that.  (Am about to go back below 8 again in a few days, pretty excited about that :))

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Wow ... you are I are remarkably similar 

 

 

:scared::scared::scared::scared::scared::scared::scared::scared::scared::scared::scared::scared:

post #5 of 14

My golfing life is two parts. The first so long ago and the time between that and part two was about 13 years so I really don't remember specifics. I can comment on what I've done since 4/2012. From then until I broke into the sub 10 range took 17 months. I barely hung on after trending up from 8's to 9.9 where I ended up when the handicap season ended here in fall 2013. If I don't get it together soon I will trend up because I've been playing really bad. Suffering through some growing pains due to making changes, it will pay off eventually. The killer for me being in CO is low course ratings. If I shoot 80 from the back tees at my former home course the differential is 10.x. At my current home course the CR is two under par from 6600 yard tees. Typically have to play from 7k or so to find a rating that isn't under par.

post #6 of 14

For never taking lessons and imitating people I caddied for, it took me about 10 years to just get under a 10 handicap.   Then I moved to a big city and my game really fell off.   I couldn't break 95 on most courses when I moved five years ago and started playing regularly again and then after 1 1/2 years of playing bad, I took a few lessons and got back down to where I am now, 9.5.

 

Some people take to the game more naturally and it's quicker, lessons or not.   But to get below 10 requires practice, playing at least several times a month and lessons, or seriously studying what you need your swing to do, imo.

 

So no lessons and playing a lot, 10 years.    

Shooting around 100 on my home course, with lessons, 2.5 years.

 

And it took me over two years to get the lessons integrated into my swing also!

post #7 of 14
Like saevel, I also got good with a really bad golf swing. I've played off and on since I was a kid, but my freshman year of college I really got into it. It took me about a year and a half of daily practice (plus a three month stretch where I was playing like 36 holes a day and practicing all day in the summer) to get to about a 7 or so. It's really hard to get and keep single digits.
post #8 of 14

Took me maybe 4 years. Started as an 11-12 y/o and was sub-10 hcp by about 15. Obviously it depends on the person and savael, above, has pointed you to some great info. It takes a lot of practice (unless you're stupidly gifted) to learn and hone a solid, fundamentally sound swing. If you do that though (and you've decent hand-eye coordination anyway), it'll stay with you. I've been sub-5 hcp since ~18 y/o and I'm now a 48 y/o (ouch!) but the lowest I've ever been even though I average well under a round per week throughout the year now.

I like to think I have a solid enough swing (I really must upload a video here at some point...) and I learnt it and honed it in my teens over too many days and weeks to count. Now though, it only really takes a few practice range sessions to blow out the cobwebs if I've not played for a while.

Start with good fundamentals, practice them until they're unconscious and then go play golf.

 

Top tips? Two of the best I ever got were to aim at the top of the flagstick when pitching and to close the club face when faced with a plugged lie in a bunker!

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

As for how long it takes, depends on the golfer.

 

Basically, I got really good at repeating a BAD swing, but that BAD swing was good enough to get me down to about a 12 handicap. So when did I breach the 10 handicap, last year. Before college I was about a bogey golfer. During college I took some time off, played very sparingly. I was probably 15 handicap around then. Then I joined a golf league at my work. From the weekly play and a few lessons, I dropped to a 12 handicap. Now about 4 years ago I think, I found this forum. Last year I took my first lesson from the guys at "Golf Evolution", in Erie, PA. After that lesson, sometime early last year, I dropped from a 12 to a 6 handicap over the course of the last golf season. I had more results in my golf swing in the last year than I have in the previous 16 years. 

 

Basically it was introducing these 5 things into my golf swing,

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/55426/introducing-five-simple-keys

 

The biggest tip I would give you is look over the following threads,

 

This thread will explain why the ball flies the way it does, why it curves right, why it curves left. 

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

 

This thread is of 5 things all great players do. Now how you get them makes up your unique swing, but having them will make you a better golfer, 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/55426/introducing-five-simple-keys

 

This thread will teach you how to practice, which is just as important as what you are practicing. You never just want to hit 300 golf balls a day, one after another and call it a day. More can be done with less. 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/54840/simple-specific-slow-short-and-success-the-five-s-s-of-great-practice

 

This thread will help you get into a more comfortable set up, and debunk some myths out there about what the correct posture is. 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/56069/good-golf-posture

 

This thread will allow you to start working on some drills that can help you obtain the 5 keys to the golf swing. 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread

 

 

Besides all that information, video tape your swing and post it in the "Member Swing" section,

http://thesandtrap.com/t/38240/my-swing-video-threads-rules-please-read (instruction on video taping your swing)

http://thesandtrap.com/f/4180/member-swings (create your own "My Swing (Jacob Smith)" thread here)

 

You will get some great feedback. If you want something more in depth, then you can subscribe to Evolvr through Golf Evolution. It has a one time or a monthly fee, but you can submit videos and get great feedback from instructors. If you want the best bang for your dollar, I would suggest finding the closest 5 keys instructor near you and get a lesson. The best thing that any golfer can do. 

This is an awesome post (despite being from a Buckeye). Maybe it should be a sticky for anyone asking the question, "How do I become a good golfer?" 

post #10 of 14

Never really played much golf (maybe 3-4 rounds a year), but moved to an apartment complex that was on a golf course. Started playing a couple times a week. No practice, except walking a few holes in the evening. Joined the mens club and played a few tournaments.

 

Looking back, I had a lousy swing, no knowledge of course management, old clubs, etc.  Took about a year and a half to get my first GHIN card with an index under 10. I thought I was hot stuff at the time.  Little did I know.......

post #11 of 14

About a year and a half after I took up the game.

 

But that's in PA, so you could call it a year of playing outside, and I didn't even start playing until I was 15 (birthday is March 23, and I got my first set of clubs by spending my Christmas money a few months before).

 

I don't remember shooting over 100, though I'm sure I probably did if I'd kept actual score the first few times I played.

post #12 of 14
FWIW, this is my 3rd season (April-September for me) of really playing with some focus. Prior to that, just a couple social rounds per year.

In 2012, I went from being a bogey golfer to about a 14 HCP. In 2013, I dropped to about 11.

I don't feel like I'm much better than a bogey golfer yet (if you look at my straight average, it's about 15 over par for last season), because my swing hasn't fundamentally changed.

My goal in 2014 is to submit 2 videos per month to Evolvr, work on the drills for 5 hrs/week, play at least 3 rounds/month, and get my handicap down below 10 (with a fundamentally more sound swing).

If that works, it'll have taken 3 seasons, which I think is probably pretty typical for a fairly athletic person. Less time for those who are smart and practice smarter or take lessons earlier.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Smith View Post

Any stories on how long it took people to get down to below ten? How long? How much practice? What practice? Top tips?

i've been playing golf since i was 3, but didn't start playing competitive until high school. got recruited my senior year to play at Albright College, who had just won the conference championship the previous year. my freshman year of HS i was shooting high 40's for 9 holes, and by my freshman year of college i had a 77.5 round average for the season. in college i was at the range and putting practically every day after class, much more practice than i was able to do in high school. so i'd probably say 5 years from the beginning of competitive play to when i was below a 10 handicap

post #14 of 14
I started playing when I was 14 because I decided to quit baseball and play golf in HS, I averaged 44.6 on 9 freshman year, 41.3 sophomore year, 39.8 junior year, 38.4 senior year.

I don't actually know when I went below 10 handicap because I didnt pay attention to that in high school, but I would assume during my sophomore year sometime, so about a year and a half? Two years?
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