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Super hacker to decent golfer..... Who's done it?

post #1 of 122
Thread Starter 

 Realistically trying to understand how many people have started off as a 110 or 120+ golfer to get down to a respectable round? Realistically I'm around an honest 120 and hope to break 100. I'd be satisfied to be in the 90's even long term and absolutely elated to ever sniff breaking 90. I'm looking to see how many people here have done just that. I'm working on some things and I'm expecting to see some results. I've even taken a lesson locally but I did not get much out of it. I'm planning on starting lessons through evolve soon. I may even sign up tonight. So who's made the journey from hacker to respectable and wants to share their story, key to success, or even just a few words of inspiration.

post #2 of 122

I played when I was really young only a handful of times and I was absolutely terrible, never took scores.  I gave up until I took the game up fall of 2012 at which point I started to keep score and actually play by the rules.  At that point I was playing a cheap 150 dollar set from amazon, probably averaged 110 strokes+ per game. Last summer I bought a boxed set of Adams tight lies and really started to play and enjoy the game.  I played 1-2 times a week and went to the range at least once.  I started recording my swing and watching tons of videos (I am 21 now btw), this allowed me to learn pretty quick. I started last season shooting that 110 that I ended on in 2012, and I finished out last season averaging low-mid 90's.  My best score last season was roughly bogey golf 88 (playing 9 holes, scaled to 18).  My first round this season a few weeks ago playing that first first round with my new custom fit irons, I shot 36 on a tough par 3. Granted I had been to the range 4 times before I played.

 

I really hope this is a good sign for the season(s) to come my goal is to get down to 80 this season.  So to answer your question, yes you can definitely get better.  The key is to become a student of the game.  Watch the golf channel, perfect your swing, watch instructional videos, get fit to some clubs once you get a consistent swing down!  Playing pretty good golf should be completely possible for you. 

post #3 of 122

One of the really nice things about just starting is you will see rapid improvement with practice, which motivates you to practice even more. All of us started out terrible at golf, and many of us started playing as adults (I did). You can definitely learn it and get better, just try to remember the good shots, and not get discouraged! You will get better, I promise!

post #4 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meddle View Post
 

One of the really nice things about just starting is you will see rapid improvement with practice, which motivates you to practice even more. All of us started out terrible at golf, and many of us started playing as adults (I did). You can definitely learn it and get better, just try to remember the good shots, and not get discouraged! You will get better, I promise!

That was the best part of my early days with golf- the constant improvement from round to round.  Once you start playing enough, you begin to get the hang of the swing, your putting improves, chipping gets tighter, and the driver starts cooperating more often.

 

Once you get to a certain point the margin for error narrows, so people feel the hit a wall. However, that is where golf truly tests you! and it why I love the sport so much!

post #5 of 122

Honestly, as long as you have the patience and are willing to put in the practice and effort, you will no doubt get better. I think people not having enough patience is half the reason why they don't enjoy golf or find it boring. How many people want to pay 30-40 dollars to hack around a golf ball for 4-5 hours? Not many. But if you stick with it and put in the work, it is a very reachable goal. The thing with other sports, such as soccer for instance, is that anybody can kick a soccer ball. Literally anyone can run around a kick a soccer ball around. (Please do not mistake this as me saying soccer is easy). But 90% of the time with a golf swing, you will miss the ball completely, or catch a chunk of sod if it is your first time out. 

 

I started working at a golf course when I was 15 and let me tell you that I absolutely hated everything about the game of golf. My dad is the superintendent and and tried for years to get me to play and I never liked it. My co-workers always asked me to come out for a round and it never really seemed interesting to me. Then one summer I started golfing nearly 4-5 times a week if not more and now I can say that I shoot between 80-85 regularly. I've broken 80 a few times but when I started I was probably closer to 120-130. Don't give up!

post #6 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromthecoast View Post
 

 Realistically trying to understand how many people have started off as a 110 or 120+ golfer to get down to a respectable round? Realistically I'm around an honest 120 and hope to break 100. I'd be satisfied to be in the 90's even long term and absolutely elated to ever sniff breaking 90. I'm looking to see how many people here have done just that. I'm working on some things and I'm expecting to see some results. I've even taken a lesson locally but I did not get much out of it. I'm planning on starting lessons through evolve soon. I may even sign up tonight. So who's made the journey from hacker to respectable and wants to share their story, key to success, or even just a few words of inspiration.

 

 

If you consider the 88 to 96 range a respectable score, that's me. Along with quite a few other bogey golfers here.

 

Check out our thread: http://thesandtrap.com/t/70872/bogey-golfer-only-thread-handicap-index-from-16-22-what-are-you-going-through-working-on-sob-stories

post #7 of 122

I started playing last year in May. My first round on a 6200 yd course was 135. Broke 110 in July. Shot 99 on Aug 29 then again in October.

Then a 91 the end of November. Probably played 60 rounds last year.

 

I found a pro through trail and error. He helped a lot and gave me Confidence, so I expect to hit a good shot. Took 5 or 6 lessons.

I only listened to him...not my buddies. 90% of my friend's advice is worth exactly what I pay for it:)

 

My number one priority is keeping the ball in play; keep it moving forward. My pro taught me one way to chip with one club for now

to keep things simple. Chipping and putting are where the strokes are. I can get to 9or around) a par 4 in 3 shots easily...I dont want to take 3plus shots to get down from there.

 

I like to keep stats and follow the rules.

 

My goal this year is an index under 20.

post #8 of 122

I've seen my brother go from a hack 110+ strokes per 18, to someone who now can go out and throw down a typical score of low to mid 80s almost everywhere he goes....  

 

But he's also been playing since 2000 or 2001, and when its golf season, he has his golf league, plus his golf range practice, and then when he plays on the weekend... So basically when Golf season is in, he is out at the golf course atleast 2 to 3 times per week... 

post #9 of 122

When I was in high school I played a bit and would shoot between a 95 - 110 and then I stopped playing aside from maybe one round over the summer for the next 10 years. I came back to playing in 2008 as I took on a golf coach position that they were having trouble filling. I figured I needed to get my game in order but I was easily shooting 110 - 120 my first year back. I had a wicked slice that went out about 200 yards at best and would end up 60 - 100 yards right of my target with my long clubs. I worked my tail off because I figured being the golf coach I wanted to at least have some game, my first year goal was to be in the low 100's and I actually got into the upper 90's. Mainly the score improvement came from my short game and putting. I dealt with my wicked slice until 2 years ago when I learned how to work the ball which came from understanding the ball flight laws. Once I understood that it didn't take long to remove the slice.

 

Each year since I have improved my scores by a number of shots until last year when I finally reached a 4 handicap. It went up a little last year due to a bad practice season, not the greatest weather but my goal this year is to knock it down a few more. I am pretty much self-taught with a lot of reading and watching videos online along with videos of myself. I am a quick learner so it hasn't been too bad but the local golf pro that I am good friends with definitely adds in his advice here and there which has also helped a lot. It's been a lot of hard work but I have enjoyed every minute of it.

 

The thing that has helped me is setting short term and long term goals. Our season is short so usually I have a mid-season goal and an end of the season goal. Each year I have reached my goal with the exception of last year which was just one of those years. I do have some big advantages, as a teacher and the school computer guy I set my own hours over the summer depending on the tech needs of what I need to do. I usually go to the driving range in the morning for a bit, go in to work and then go out and play after. I also do not have any kids aside from my students and then being the golf coach I spend a lot of time on the course, lots of chances to practice.

post #10 of 122

I recall breaking 100 for the first time and breaking 80 for the first time as if both happened last month, but I just can't recall what years those milestones occurred in. I'm thinking they were about 7 years apart. However, I'm pretty certain I went from shooting 110-plus to occasionally breaking 90 in about 2 years. Oddly, I can't remember a thing about breaking 90 for the first time.

 

I've never had a lesson, I don't seek improvement through quickie tips such as publications like Golf Digest are littered with and I've never watched instructional videos. I've never seen myself swing a club on video and have no interest in doing so.

 

Ever since I was a young boy, my focus with sports has been on the fundamentals and I'm one of those oddballs who loves practice, especially repetitive stuff that I can do alone. I've never had a lot of natural athletic ability, but I made myself a respectable competitor by concentrating on the finer skills (hitting and pitching a baseball, shooting a basketball, etc.) and practicing more than anybody I knew.

 

Golf, which I didn't take up until the conclusion of my baseball career at age 22, was the same deal. I was briefed on the most basic fundamentals by a college professor and I just practiced and practiced and practiced until I could make decent contact most of the time and send the ball in the direction I was aiming on at least a relatively frequent basis. Two large range buckets a day – one in the morning and one in the evening – was not an uncommon scenario.

 

I made a big leap after reading Hogan's "Five Lessons" and I've re-read it probably five times since. It deals only with the hardcore fundamentals of the full swing and preaches that if you master them, you can't do anything other than hit respectable shots most of the time. I discover something new that helps me every time I read it.

 

I went from a 14 index to a 9 within a few months (maybe half a year) of becoming engrossed in that book. Then I gave up the game for a dozen years and came back in the summer of 2012 as a low-90s shooter with no feel at all for how I used to do anything involving a golf club. I'm gradually working my way back down to where I was, but I don't have nearly as much time for practice these days, mainly due to that creature in my avatar.

 

The short game came much easier for me. Not trying to boast here, but my hand-eye coordination and ability to perform finesse-type actions with balls is very good due to all that practice with baseballs and basketballs throughout my youth. I also played a ton of pool during my childhood, and I'm sure that also helped to some extent.

 

I'm a big believer in what Hogan always professed: The secret to improvement lies in the dirt. Those who want to get better – a lot better – must go and dig it out on the range.

post #11 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromthecoast View Post
 

 Realistically trying to understand how many people have started off as a 110 or 120+ golfer to get down to a respectable round? Realistically I'm around an honest 120 and hope to break 100. I'd be satisfied to be in the 90's even long term and absolutely elated to ever sniff breaking 90. I'm looking to see how many people here have done just that. I'm working on some things and I'm expecting to see some results. I've even taken a lesson locally but I did not get much out of it. I'm planning on starting lessons through evolve soon. I may even sign up tonight. So who's made the journey from hacker to respectable and wants to share their story, key to success, or even just a few words of inspiration.


I'm 50 years old and I started golfing July 2011. When  I started I was shooting in the 120s. I played and practiced 3 or 4 times a week. After a year my scores were in the low 100s and occasionally in the high 90s, even shot an 89.

 After 14 months I decided that with my current swing I wouldn't be getting much better, So I changed it, went back to the fundamentals from Hogan's book and my scores ballooned up into the 140s, I was exasperated, frustrated and wondering why I was playing a game that wasn't fun anymore. I stuck with it, am sticking with it. I am now shooting in the mid high 90s and I have to play pretty bad to break 100 the wrong way.

 Learn the fundamentals and stick with them.  Stay away from the tips from pros on line and in mags, they just screw you up.

 I don't think I'm respectable yet, but I am getting close. The breakthrough for me wasn't some magical moment where I learned how to hit the ball straight, it was when I figured out that I could hit a bad shot or even two or three bad shots on any given hole and still manage just a bogey or a double, at worst a triple. good luck.

post #12 of 122
I'm 46, first started playing in my early 20's with my college buddies for fun. Back then I'd be lucky to break 110. Took a long lay-off from the game (15 years or so) and just got back into it last summer with a vengeance. First time out shot a 114 but through a fair amount of regular play/practice I was shotting in the mid-to-high 90's by the end of the season. Haven't gotten out to play yet this season, but have been taking lessons so I'm hopeful to get into the low 90's this season. For me, golf is one of those sports that you absolutely get out of it what you put into it so enjoy the ride.
post #13 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromthecoast View Post
 

 I've even taken a lesson locally but I did not get much out of it.

That's your problem right there. One lesson isn't going to change anything. You need to stick with them and see a pro on a regular basis if you want large improvements.

post #14 of 122

I'll let ya know by the end of the summer. :-D

I was scoring low 100's before the snow hit but I've been practicing at a indoor facility for a good part of the winter. I fully expect to be breaking 100 easily and by the end of the summer my goal is to break 90. 

post #15 of 122

High 90's and low 100's 2-3 years ago.  About 150 rounds later, many lessons, and countless hours practicing, I am in 80's most of the time, and shot in 70's twice last month.  It's all possible, but only with lessons and deliberate practice. (at least for me)

 

Good luck. :)

post #16 of 122

I was talking to a friend on the range the other day, who I have been helping out a little with his swing. He said that he gets frustrated with his game, but now he is shooting in the low 90's. He said he pulled out some scorecards from a year ago, and saw that he shot in the 110's and 120's.  Lots of improvement in only a year. He hasn't had any "official" lessons but is pretty diligent on working on the things I've showed him (for what that's worth).

 

And if he continues to work on hitting the ball before the ground, he should be in the 80's in short order. He was striping it on the range, so we'll see how that translates onto the course.

post #17 of 122

I took up golf late in my 40's & got the bug ... bad.     Way bad.     From my experience, a couple thoughts to help the OP:

 

1.  Keep it in play - this must be your focus.   Meaning - back it down a notch & make 100 % sure you're not gonna lose it OB off the tee.       Back it off & be happy with a 220-230 yard drive IN THE FAIRWAY.    Sure, we can all hit it longer, but nothing good happens from trying to recover from the rough or worse.     Repeat, keep it in play at all costs.     I wouldn't worry about hitting it hard until you're making pure contact consistently & shooting in the 80's ... then, I have no problem with really learning to hit it hard, but you still have to be able to control it.  

 

2.  Let the club do the work.    Resist the urge to overswing.    if you need more distance, go down a club.    Smooth tempo on the back swing, not fast. 

 

3. Practice chipping into a recliner or laundry basket in your living room - my short game has dramatically improved since I put in alot of time chipping indoors.   Works for me ... give it a try.    Putting is what it is - my putting is finally just starting to show signs of getting decent & Im just starting my 4th year.

 

4.  Play alot if your schedule allows - repetition helps.    You'll get in a groove and good things happen.

 

Take it with a grain of salt ... I'm no expert.   

post #18 of 122

I took up golf in 2009 at 49.  I only played once every couple of years before that.  Now I am down to the 10 - 12 range for my HC. If I shoot in the 90s, I am having a real bad day.  It takes time, patience, study and lessons  along with playing more to really improve.  I read a lot and also listened to the experts on this site.  I take Evolvr lessons and learned AimPoint.  

 

If you are only going to play a couple of times a month, you should set your expectations to just enjoying the level you are at.

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