Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    22
  • comments
    60
  • views
    5,422

My Plan To Get Better at Golf

onthehunt526

1,115 views

My Plan to Get Better at Golf

By Shane Jones

 

            After over two decades, I have decided that I am not very good at golf. I mean at all, I am a terrible driver of the golf ball (If you look at my strokes gained statistics), I don’t gain a lot of strokes with my approaches. I am a terrible wedge player. I’m a decent putter, but anyone who plays miniature golf with a four-year-old child can do that. With all of stuff I’m bad at, I needed to find some things that I was good at to build on. I was reasonably long, both off the tee and with the irons. I am decent from 100-125 and 125-150 (I don’t gain a lot of strokes to a scratch, but I’m good enough to gain strokes against a 5 handicapper), I usually don’t have a lot of blow-up holes, and I know how far each of my clubs go with a normal swing.

            In the days, in which we are analyzing everything, you wonder, how you will ever get better at golf. I think that I may have devised a plan in which to do this. I will get into a more detail with each of these later in this blog. First, I’m getting lessons. I’ve already started this part. Next, realize that just because I can hit it 270 yards off the tee, doesn’t mean that I necessarily would need to. This isn’t the Soviet Union in 1947 after World War II with Joseph Stalin telling me, that I must hit it 270 yards on a hole with a 14-yard wide landing area, while having a firing squad locked and loaded at me. Furthermore, I need to have a better practice plan. I used to practice whatever I felt like that day. That doesn’t work especially if you want to get better. I’m trying to embrace the Five S’s of practice, so when the money down in tournaments, I’ll have dealt with it in practice. Practice isn’t just hitting balls either. As @iacas and @mvmac have preached, practice can be rehearsing a motion while waiting for a bus, getting a motion down in front of a mirror, or a golf specific workout. Finally, I need to GamePlan better. I need a back-up club to advance the ball safely, when my driver goes awry.

            You’ve made it through my first two introductory paragraphs without going to another blog or thread. Here is the meat and potatoes of this blog. Explaining myself about how I plan to get better.

            The biggest obstacle, I’ve had in my lifetime for golf is that I’ve never taken a lesson. (As of this posting, I’ve taken three). I asked all the questions in Lowest Score Wins to a few instructors. I accidently came across the instructor that I choose. I went into an indoor golf center and saw a sign for a 5-lesson package for $250. I received a $300 gift certificate for Christmas from a family member who knows how much I love golf. I was just trying to get some launch monitor time and the Pro there and I struck up a conversation. He asked if I had ever had a lesson. (I’m paraphrasing for time’s sake) I said no. He said, the launch monitor time would do me some good, but lessons would probably be better. He’s a younger guy (a bit older than me, probably Erik’s age or so). I asked him my questions, he asked me his. We went on like this for about 15 minutes and I decided it after a few days of going through the data, that he was right. So, I called and signed up for some lessons.

            The first lesson, was a “figure out where I was” and “where I want to go” lesson. So, he had me hit 3 solid shots with each of my clubs. So, we got my distances down, and he noticed that a lot of my shots were leaking to the right. That’s where the first seeming monotonous drill came in. They have the “Eye Line” training aid that you see advertised on TV and Internet. Craig is more old school… He pulled out 4 water bottles. (If you’ve read the “5 Minutes Daily Practice Challenge” thread the last couple months, you know what I’m talking about) he placed a ball down. Placed 1 bottle in front of my left foot and one in front of my right foot a little further from me. He says, take a waist high swing and don’t hit these bottles, once you can do that consistently 10 times in a row, for 3 days. You can move to a half swing (9:00). If you can do that, move to a three-quarter swing, if you can do that, you can officially hit a draw. I asked, “What about a full swing?” He grinned and said, “Your three-quarter swing, looks like a full swing to me”.

After a month of getting this drill, down to a science, I go back. The results were amazing. Longer and hitting draws very close to the center line on some, relatively close with others. He complicated it for the next month. The hardest shot in golf to hit. The straight one. All four bottles. In a 6” X 6” square. Can’t hit the bottles. Nothing longer than a 9-iron, for a month. (It’s the hardest damn drill to get perfect that you will ever see.) After a month of that, I go back. I’m doing all that right. Craig notices that my body is a little out of sync with my arms during my transition.

Now he has me doing this “Arms lead the body drill”. It’s not a hard drill to master, but I think he’s up to something. I don’t have another lesson until April (he’s going down to Florida for a month for a tourney or two and to see some family). I was second guessing myself for a very long time. For once, however I’m trusting the process. I DO believe this is making me a better golfer.

            Next, having a better practice plan. I used to practice whatever the hell I felt like. It was like okay, If I hit balls, I must drag the net out, put it up, hit balls and take it back down. (A pain in the ass if I ever knew one). This is related to getting lessons, either directly, or indirectly. I’m a believer that now that I am receiving lessons, I’m practicing better. I’m working on the two “SV4” skills for sure with what I am practicing.

            The bad thing is, no one ever really taught me how to hit a bunker shot. I kind of picked up things on my own. Then, the skills with less separation value, I’m left to practice on my own. Will I? I will, at some point. My pitching and chipping need some work. I guess when Craig comes back, he’s going to work with me on that. I need to plan better. I DO believe I am on the right track though,

            I’m getting tired, and my paragraphs are getting much shorter. The third thing is having a back-up club when my driver goes awry. (Sounds like something Tiger needs right now). My home course is 9 holes with two sets of tees. 6,385 yards. If you divide that by 28. It’s around 228 or so. I don’t need my driver (270 yards total) to necessarily get around. If driver is putting me into trouble, why be a stubborn ass and keep hitting it? I’ve found a “magic club” that can get me 220 yards or so off the tee and I can choke down to the graphite and hit it 180 yards if I must. If driver is causing double bogeys or worse, the 20-degree hybrid will be the way to go. (Mission accomplished there).

            Finally, I need to GamePlan better. I need to get my Shot Zones down to a science. Even if I must get some ¼” grid paper, a ruler and a compass and draw this out and keep the paper in my bag I will. If it helps me get better, damn it, I’ll use it.

            Well of all the blogs on The Sand Trap, this one may be close to the longest. I typed it up on Word so that I would have a spell check and such. But there you go, that’s my “Plan” to get better at this beautiful game. I want to thank Erik, Mike, and all the golfers and other members that keep the Sand Trap going. I’m sorry I wrote a damn novella for a blog, everyone.

           



6 Comments


Recommended Comments

Very good.  Interesting. 

I'm always making plans to get better, but my plan usually lasts about a week.  Then it changes.  It's hard for me to stay on a path. 

Edited by Marty2019

Share this comment


Link to comment

Golf is hard (R). It's very difficult to accept that what you are doing is wrong. It takes dedication and a good attitude to change. 

You know Marty, doing all these silly drills, let's face it, sucks. But it's about trusting the process. Progress not perfection is what I'm striving for.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I look forward to hearing more.  Anytime a golf blog mentions USSR/Stalin, I’m in it for the long haul. 

Any thoughts on using video in your practice regimen? Would love to see your swing thread updated if you are gonna be incorporating video analysis. Definitely helped me when I was looking to “change the picture.”

Definitely interested in seeing you get eligible for Newport Cup 2019! :beer:

Edit: I could’ve sworn you had said before in another thread you weren’t eligible yet but I notice now your handicap is actually low enough already!

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 3/1/2018 at 9:26 PM, RandallT said:

I look forward to hearing more.  Anytime a golf blog mentions USSR/Stalin, I’m in it for the long haul. 

Any thoughts on using video in your practice regimen? Would love to see your swing thread updated if you are gonna be incorporating video analysis. Definitely helped me when I was looking to “change the picture.”

Definitely interested in seeing you get eligible for Newport Cup 2019! :beer:

Edit: I could’ve sworn you had said before in another thread you weren’t eligible yet but I notice now your handicap is actually low enough already!

 

The only reason my handicap is as low as it is... five of the ten rounds that count are in the 70s. I"d be okay with just getting to say a 4.x at the end of this year, but have all ten rounds that count in the 70s. I still have some inconsistencies that you will see in future blogs, that I am working on. Wedge play is a big one... My blow-up holes are few and far between... Even when I have one (that occasional triple-bogey or quad)... I recover better... I'm at the point where if I can go from my current average of 7 "kings" now to 9 "kings" now, I'm actually a decent enough putter that I stand to gain 2.2 strokes... that puts my average in the 70s right there.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Blog Entries

  • Posts

    • I totally agree. I spent a lot of time on drivers that I had trouble controlling. They gave me some extra length when I hit them right, but I found myself out of the fairway a lot. Then I found my latest gamer and it wasn't cheap, an 8.5 degree Titleist 913D2 but the amount of confidence that I have when I step up to the tee is a great feeling. I literally know I'm going to hit the fairway with it. It's aging now and I am getting older too and the loss of distance is concerning, so following this post is great insight into the replacement process which will become eventual for me.    
    • It was a short 125 yard par 3 slightly up hill.  A well struck pitching wedge, but you can't see the bottom of the flag so didn't see it land.  I thought I'd gone too long, but my friend thought it was close.  Turns out he was right! I wish I'd taken some pictures from ground level, so I had a better chance of determining whether any part of the ball was underground.  Wasn't 100% sure of the rules at the time and didn't want to hold up the group behind by taking too long. It seems by the strict letter of the law that, as I don't think any of the ball was under the surface it isn't a hole in one.  But that just seems wrong as it was over half way in to the hole and clearly leaning in to the hole.  My friend gently centred the flag and it dropped in the hole. I'm just glad it wasn't my first hole in one as I would be really gutted right now!
    • I fully understand It may seem like from my post that I'm some kind of macho distance guy ... I've certainly seen my fair share of rolled eyes from other golfers around distances ... or from a nasty slice/hook etc ... something I'm working on as a 15HC player (as where the 3w is coming in with much more fairways hit these days) ... personal I think if you can constantly hit the ball cleanly with controlled power then why wouldn't you ... many times the difference between a 110mph drive and 118mph is an emotional factor, the actual distance isn't much at the end(Plus accurately is far better in lower controlled swing)   ...but sometimes after a 3-4 putt blowing a birdie etc, the tension releases makes me swing harder on the next tee..or maybe Bunker 260 out and I really want to pass it ...  I'm sure many Golfers are the same and hit the ball down there with a normal feeling swing. -----example-- where I was pissed at distance off the club....  last hole game very close to my best round 2nd shot PAR4...153 yards out to an ever slightly elevated green usually hit a PW full swing to around that distance.. Now the ball was in the first cut rough 10-15mph headwind so thought to take the 9 out full swing and it came off the face perfect high slight draw ... yes here we go >>>> down it came landed behind green ran up a gravel pathway onto some rough easy 15-20yards further than I expected ...Gutted 4 more shots to close out the hole..cost us the match and outright second place for the day
    • Thanks to all for sharing. I probably will find and join a league (hoping there are weekend leagues, great idea btw to meet other golfers). I will keep encouraging my friends and family to learn golf, joining a golf group at social media will help too. And, yep, playing alone occasionally could be nice.   
    • I do believe that some golfers "want it" more than others simply by putting more hours and effort into becoming great.  From what I've read about Hogan, I'd have to say that he wanted it more than others.  I'd say the same thing about Bryson.  And, of course, Tiger.  This is true in all fields, not just golf, and to me it's as plain as day.
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Antneye
      Antneye
      (51 years old)
    2. CapM
      CapM
      (54 years old)
    3. Cardsfan
      Cardsfan
      (27 years old)
    4. Mr Golf Addict
      Mr Golf Addict
      (15 years old)
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...