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If You Were To Start Over Again!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

This is mainly aimed at the lower handicappers but feel free to throw in your thoughts regardless of your handicap. 

 

If by a magic time machine or magic genie you where to go back to when you first started playing this wonderful game, how would you approach the learning phase again, knowing what you have learned over your golfing lifetime??

 

Would you spend more time practicing a certain part of the game, maybes putting or the full swing etc or maybes put more effort into time with a pro and developing a better swing??

 

My reason for making the thread is too try and gain some idea's from other peoples experience. I am just starting my 2nd year playing golf and first full season. 

post #2 of 23

I think this is a great question!  My answer will probably not be for everyone, so take it for what it's worth...

 

I've been golfing seriously for 15 years, or so.  I did my own thing without taking any lessons for the first 6 years.  When I finally did take lessons, I got really frustrated because it made me worse, so I simply abandoned lessons.

 

About 3 years ago, I decided to really work on my game.  I basically decided to make golf my hobby (I was not married at the time).  I read many instruction books, watched countless instructional videos online, and even built an indoor hitting area in my house to hit balls into.  The weird thing is, doing all these things, while fun, actually put WAY too many things in my brain to think about and I didn't see any immediate improvements..  I went through a period of time where I hopped from one awesome thing I read to another.  I was basically spinning my wheels.

 

Now that it's been a few years, I am really glad I learned as much as I did and with I would have done it 15 years ago.  I now better understand how the different parts of a golf swing work and am much better at understanding what things I need to improve on.  I've also gotten past the phase of wanting to try every tip I learn about.  I have specific things I want to work on and concentrate on just those one or two things...

 

With that, my recommendation for a beginner golfer would be (in no particular order):

 

1.  Read a half dozen, or so, instructional books (Five Lessons, Golf My Way, The Impact Zone, etc).  You don't need to necessarily adopt any one of these books as your guide, but try to gain an understanding of the principles of a sound golf swing.

2.  Buy the Tour Tempo application and work with it.  It's helped my game and I know of no other resource that helps you work on proper tempo.

3.  Buy a full body mirror for the house.  It's amazing how slow motion swings and seeing your positions in a mirror can help.

4.  Regularly study the 5 Simple Keys and the SandTrap forum.  I am a firm believer that the 5 Simple Keys is spot on.  Make sure you get each one right before you go onto the next.  If you can become proficient with the first 3 keys, you'll be one heck of a good golfer already.  Also, the forum provides so much great information!  I've learned a bunch just from being on the site.

5.  Practice with a purpose and play as often as you can.

6.  Take lessons from a local pro or Evolvr (for me, I was much more receptive to lessons once I understood the golf swing a little better).

post #3 of 23

Although an interesting question, I really can't answer it because even to today I don't much or any practicing, never really did. Probably due to the fact I never had a lesson.

 

Todays very occasional practice is to throw 3 balls down and make some long putts and some 5 footers on the practice green.

 

I usually go from car to tee box.

post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royster1984 View Post
 

This is mainly aimed at the lower handicappers but feel free to throw in your thoughts regardless of your handicap. 

 

If by a magic time machine or magic genie you where to go back to when you first started playing this wonderful game, how would you approach the learning phase again, knowing what you have learned over your golfing lifetime??

 

Would you spend more time practicing a certain part of the game, maybes putting or the full swing etc or maybes put more effort into time with a pro and developing a better swing??

 

My reason for making the thread is too try and gain some idea's from other peoples experience. I am just starting my 2nd year playing golf and first full season. 

 

I wouldn't want to because Erik and Mike wouldn't have created the 5 keys system yet :-D

 

As of right now I feel like I am on the right path for my golf game, and this path could not have been started any earlier than 4 years ago. So I guess the only time I could have gone back to was about 4 years ago and got my self up to Erie, PA for that lessons much earlier. :-D

post #5 of 23
I've been playing for 25 years since i was 15. I've usually been open to other peoples' advice, but I wish I had taken lessons from the start. I was in bad shape after not playing much for several years and 4 lessons spaced over 9 months have me hitting some of the best shots of my life. I would definitely want to get started with those.

The other thing would be to think more about the game and what i need to work on. I used to play 72 holes a weekend and hit what I thought was best. Now I analyze everything and come up with what to work on and how to better play, like laying back with an iron, fairway wood or hybrid and think about what really got me into trouble.

Looking back, I did a lot with a mindless thought process and an iffy swing. Now I play better with more thought and a more solid swing.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

I wouldn't want to because Erik and Mike wouldn't have created the 5 keys system yet :-D

 

As of right now I feel like I am on the right path for my golf game, and this path could not have been started any earlier than 4 years ago. So I guess the only time I could have gone back to was about 4 years ago and got my self up to Erie, PA for that lessons much earlier. :-D

I agree with this one!  I did meet Dave and Erik in 2010.  Good instructors are hard to find.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the reply's so far is great for you too share your thoughts to help us newer players out.

post #8 of 23
I guess I wished I would have not have stopped playing regularly for 20 years. Golf was not cheap to me as a college student and if I would have known where to find the discounts like I do now I could have kept playing. Oh well you can't change it.
post #9 of 23

I love this question.  I started playing over 25 years ago and after 2 years, made my high school golf team.  As a beginner, you should lay out some goals for your game.  How far to you want to take it?  How much time can you devote to it?  The golf bug is a disease that can/will consume you!  Once you have a path in mind, find a professional source to teach you the game.  Build a sound swing and develop a great short game.  Finding the right instructor is critical.  I've had lesson from several different professionals, and they all taught me something different, they all relate their teachings differently, but they all are teaching "the swing".  You need to decide which one you communicate best with.  Once you figure that out, practice, practice, practice the lessons you receive.  Third, learn the art of putting.  If you can 2 putt every hole, you've only added 36 strokes to your score.  How many 3 putts do you have?  Find a putter you really like.  Find one that makes you feel like a pro golfer.  Spend as much money as you can on a putter.  If that helps you make more putts, then your score will go down.  Lastly, have fun.  Learn to stay relaxed and not get overwhelmed by the moment.  The sooner you can control your emotions, the more relaxed you'll play and your scores will improve.  Hope this helps and let us know how your journey goes!

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac View Post
 

I love this question.  I started playing over 25 years ago and after 2 years, made my high school golf team.  As a beginner, you should lay out some goals for your game.  How far to you want to take it?  How much time can you devote to it?  The golf bug is a disease that can/will consume you!  Once you have a path in mind, find a professional source to teach you the game.  Build a sound swing and develop a great short game.  Finding the right instructor is critical.  I've had lesson from several different professionals, and they all taught me something different, they all relate their teachings differently, but they all are teaching "the swing".  You need to decide which one you communicate best with.  Once you figure that out, practice, practice, practice the lessons you receive.  Third, learn the art of putting.  If you can 2 putt every hole, you've only added 36 strokes to your score.  How many 3 putts do you have?  Find a putter you really like.  Find one that makes you feel like a pro golfer.  Spend as much money as you can on a putter.  If that helps you make more putts, then your score will go down.  Lastly, have fun.  Learn to stay relaxed and not get overwhelmed by the moment.  The sooner you can control your emotions, the more relaxed you'll play and your scores will improve.  Hope this helps and let us know how your journey goes!

 

I am fairly lucky the driving range 10 miles from my house has a excellent coach who i have been seeing since i started playing the game last april. When i first went to see him I could not hit a 7i off the deck. Hes won a handful awards and has people traveling a fair way to see him. 

 

With regards to goals, I try to keep them realisitc and make new ones when I achieve the old ones. Current goals, get under 16 handicap and shoot under 80 (par 69) on a practice round.

post #11 of 23

For me, having had a better understanding of the swing path, how to find the bottom of the swing. 

 

I have taken countless lessons over the years but it wasn't until I went to Erie, PA for 2 day instruction clinic with Eric, James & Dave along with Andy Plumber and Mike Bennett, that I had a better understanding of a proper golf swing.

 

This by far was the most intensive learning experience I had ever had, complete with video and one to one instruction. 

 

I think Stack & Tilt dovetails nicely with  5SK which focuses on practicing the right things to hit the ball with compression with an understanding of how to curve the ball flight.

 

I wish these guys were around when I was younger but am glad I had the chance to learn from the best.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royster1984 View Post
 

This is mainly aimed at the lower handicappers but feel free to throw in your thoughts regardless of your handicap. 

 

If by a magic time machine or magic genie you where to go back to when you first started playing this wonderful game, how would you approach the learning phase again, knowing what you have learned over your golfing lifetime??

 

Would you spend more time practicing a certain part of the game, maybes putting or the full swing etc or maybes put more effort into time with a pro and developing a better swing??

 

My reason for making the thread is too try and gain some idea's from other peoples experience. I am just starting my 2nd year playing golf and first full season. 

 

Would have been nice to start golf with a good understanding of the following, I'll give my top 3.

 

- Ball flight laws. Rarely hit a draw because it would end up left of the target, I was a "good student".

- Pitching method using the bounce. This would have really come in handy in a lot of tournaments.

- The commonalities of the best players.

post #13 of 23

For me, learning golf is all about perseverance. It would be great to go back in time and only do the things that worked! Unfortunately that’s not possible; all we can do is keep working at it through the good times and the bad.

 

There were countless times when I went up the wrong path; when I wrongly thought I had the drill that was going to transform my swing or the tip that was going to make every shot go straight.

 

The best thing I did was persevere and understand that at times I was going to have to get worse in order to get better.

 

Non-golfers will never understand what it’s like to spend years working at something and still look like you started yesterday. We’ve all had those nights on the range where you shank and slice every shot! Can you imagine any other sport where someone so experienced could perform so pitifully?

 

On two occasions I literally had my foot on my 5 iron about to snap it on the range. I’d had enough! Fortunately I didn’t. The first time I beat my friends I was left with an 180 yard approach on the 18th. I took my 5 iron out and played the perfect shot under pressure onto the green, where I made par and won for the first time. It’s little moments like that which make it all worthwhile in the end. 

post #14 of 23

For me it would be to understand the importance of videoing swing and getting good coaching from the start. Spend too manay years not improving....

post #15 of 23

I would spend as much time as possible learning from a teaching professional how to;

 

1. Consistently get the ball in play off the tee

 

2. Compress and control the ball with my irons

 

3. Pitch the ball onto the green from anywhere inside 50 yards...with an emphasis on using the bounce of the wedge

to develop a consistent "go to" method of getting the ball on the green with a chance for par

 

4. Putt...especially from 10 feet and in

 

I would ...

 

document what I was working on so that I had something to refer back to

 

Practice something every day

post #16 of 23

I started about 15 years ago and was very serious about it for 3 years. At that time, I bought "The Golf Instruction Manual" which had a foreward by Ernie Els which I modeled my swing after. Besides this book, a co-worker gave me the Medicus 5-iron and off I went. Got myself down to a 5 handicap towards the end of the 3rd year. After that, I went off to work in Asia and did not play much until about 2 years ago when I really got back into it again and it felt like I was relearning everything. Watched alot of videos online, read alot about the golf swing and definitely have a much better technical understanding of the golfswing.

 

The only thing I would change if I had a do-over would be to play golf left handed (I am a natural righty that plays alot of tennis) so as to keep my dominant side towards the target to get a better pulling effect.

post #17 of 23

Played for 4 years.

 

I would get lessons immediately so get he correct setup, posture, grip and alignment - and I would keep getting lessons every week at least for the first year.

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran123 View Post
 

Played for 4 years.

 

I would get lessons immediately so get he correct setup, posture, grip and alignment - and I would keep getting lessons every week at least for the first year.

Seems like that might be a bit overkill. How much can you really change in a week to make the lessons meaningful? 

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