Originally Posted by dbuck
I am a bogey golfer--maybe just slightly better than bogey. If I shoot 41/82 I feel pretty good, 42/85 ok, 45/90 meh, over 45/over90 a little disgusted.
I have been playing fairly consistently for a little over 40 years. There have been a couple years when I didn't play much, one year when I think I played twice, and a few years where I played 3-4 times a week. But generally, I have played at least once a week during the season for about 40 years. Back in my late 20's early 30's, I got close to single digit, but not quite. I did not carry an official handicap then, but was shooting regularly in the low 80's with an occasional foray into the 70's or at least 30's on 9.
I was mostly self taught until college, when I decided to take some lessons. I had to unlearn some things, so there was a rebuilding process, but I have basically had the same swing ever since. I had maxed out in my self taught way and gotten to the low 90's, but after the pain of unlearning some things, the lessons and some new equipment got me into the 80's on a more regular basis.
I told you my "life story" to say that through all this I have learned what I think are some points:
1. Get a lesson or 3 from a qualified instructor, and learn the correct fundamentals. Many things may not "feel natural" at first, but practice them until they do, and stick with the fundamentals. Grip, stance, steady head, plane, rythym, etc. The 5 keys. If you are just starting, do this now so you don't have to unlearn bad habits. Sometimes you think you are doing something correctly but you aren't; a qualified teacher will spot and correct this quickly.
2. Get some good equipment that looks good, fits you reasonably well , and suits your game. It doesn't have to be the very best, but for the most part better is better. You can save a lot by buying at the end of the year just before or right after new models come out, and the beginning of the next year if there is still last year inventory in the pipeline, provided you can get what you need. Nothing wrong with used either if you know a little about what to look for-you can save over half this way. Replace your grips when they need it; you will have better field and not feel the need to trade as often.
3. Learn the rules, at least the bulk of them and play by them.
4. Play as much as you can, and go to the range as much as you can, provided you go with a purpose and not just to beat balls.5. Practice your short game.
6. Practice your short game.
7. Practice your short game