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YoungTad

Range vs Course: I'm Struggling!

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Hello guys

well before my game was in around 32 handicap, but because of course management I have that slashed too 20.2. But I know I can slash that again!

my problem is longer irons, 7-4 mainly. On the range, on a mat, I'm constantly hitting good strikes, my distance is up, but as soon as I hit the course it's over the top of the ball, shanks, massive slices. 

 

What the hell do i do? It doesn't make sense too me that I can do it at the range but as soon as I stand on a par 3 160yards I fluff the shot.

 

help!

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Some mats hide imprecise strikes.  Perhaps you need to practice on real grass?  Or maybe it is performance anxiety; alone on a range you relax while on the course with a group you lose concentration?

Others will have better advice.  Keep plugging away at it and you will figure it out.

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1 hour ago, YoungTad said:

Hello guys

well before my game was in around 32 handicap, but because of course management I have that slashed too 20.2. But I know I can slash that again!

my problem is longer irons, 7-4 mainly. On the range, on a mat, I'm constantly hitting good strikes, my distance is up, but as soon as I hit the course it's over the top of the ball, shanks, massive slices. 

 

What the hell do i do? It doesn't make sense too me that I can do it at the range but as soon as I stand on a par 3 160yards I fluff the shot.

 

help!

It’s just not ideal to be doing all your practicing on mats. As @bkuehn1952 stated the mats can mask some poor contact issues. It’s also just another thing so different from actually playing, which is also true for practicing in general. On the range you’re hitting the same club, same shot multiple times in concession. On the course it’s a totally different club, shot and could be a different lie altogether. 

Post a video and let’s see if there are some mechanics to adjust/correct. Cheers.

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1: Practice on grass

2: Practice 1/2 speed

Focus on consistent ball striking. Not distance, not direction, just consistent contact.

Note I said 1/2 speed, not 1/2 swing. Take a full swing, but let your downswing be slower than normal.

5 hours ago, bkuehn1952 said:

Or maybe it is performance anxiety; alone on a range you relax while on the course with a group you lose concentration?

One way to overcome performance anxiety is to livestream your practice session to Facebook. 

Have you tried that yet?

Edited by Talldog

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I will assume your 4-7 irons are matched to the rest of your irons. Also on that 160 yard par 3 you mentioned, you are using a tee'd up ball.

When hitting off mats, check the bottom of your club heads. See if there is melted synthetic stuff on them that is the same color as the mats you are hitting off of. If there is, you might be sliding the club head into the ball, with a fat shot. Also if the synthetic residue is there, see if the streaks are at an open angle to a square a square club face. 

Once you get on real turf, the turf might be a little lower than the mat, which allows for tops. It might also cause a twisting of  the club face (open) to allow shanks, and slices. 

Mats tend to hide alot of poor ball contact issues with the club face. 

When I hit off mats, I treat the ball like I would a "thin lie" on turf. I try picking the ball, clean off the mat. The old "thin to win" scenario. I am not trying to take any divots. I leave very little mat residue on the bottom of my club. One of my practice regimins is hitting balls off a dry lake bed which is basically dried mud. Not quite hard pan, and a very thin lie. It's a ball first contact, with just a little "scratch mark" where the divot would be in front of the ball. 

Even when playing for a score, off of turf, I tend to hit balls a little more on the thin side than most folks do. Especially with my longer irons. I don't ground the club behind the ball at address.

As always, without seeing what's actually going with the swing, and those bad ball contacts, all one can do is speculate on what the problem(s) might be. 

Edited by Patch

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... Most do not take into account the obvious in taking swings from the range to the course. I taught full time for 10 years n tried to impress on my students the any shot you hit on the range does not count. If you slice one 100 yds, you simply tee up another and try to adjust. You can swing freely knowing it doesn't matter where the ball goes. Playing golf every shot counts and your conscious or subconscious is very aware of this so you do what even Pro's do, you attempt to guide the ball and do not have the same free swing. And your brain remembers every bad swing on the course, not the range, and reacts accordingly. 

... The answer is time and practice. Just keep hitting good shots on the range and hopefully your brain begins to gain confidence and you can repeat that swing on the course when it counts. I think it really helps to play practice rounds hitting several shots on the course to retrain your brain about good shots hit to a target on a real course. 

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I have another question:  what is your range sessions like in terms of club choices?  If I'm working on something in my swing, I'll stick with the same iron time and again.  However, it's easy if you aren't careful to get into hitting the same club better by familiarity;  when you need a 6-iron on the course, it (usually) isn't your fifth-consecutive 6-iron shot.  On the range, you often have many previous shots with the same club.  How do your range sessions go when you switch up the club often?

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15 minutes ago, Shindig said:

However, it's easy if you aren't careful to get into hitting the same club better by familiarity;  when you need a 6-iron on the course, it (usually) isn't your fifth-consecutive 6-iron shot.

I second this.

This year my driver has been simply awful, so naturally I've worked with it on the range.

Generally, the first few on the range will be pretty ugly, but then it gets better. More than once, I've fooled myself into thinking that I've turned a corner, only to find out otherwise a day or two later out on the course.

Basically, I can groove my driver after enough consecutive swings, but nobody is going to let me take three mulligans before I hit the one that counts out on the course.

 

 

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Bear in mind, @YoungTad, that practice and playing are two different things.  Most people (I think) spend their range time trying to maximize distance with each club.  Out on the course, however, you don't get extra credit for using a shorter club.  As the old saying goes: It ain't how...it's how many.

It is rare to get a flat lie on the course.  One minute out of level is 6 degrees...a club and a half worth of loft.  Then there is the wind, and the pin placement, and how you are feeling on a given day.  In other words...the last thing to be concerned about, on the course, is hitting the ball as far as you can.  

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46 minutes ago, Shindig said:

I have another question:  what is your range sessions like in terms of club choices?  If I'm working on something in my swing, I'll stick with the same iron time and again.  However, it's easy if you aren't careful to get into hitting the same club better by familiarity;  when you need a 6-iron on the course, it (usually) isn't your fifth-consecutive 6-iron shot.  On the range, you often have many previous shots with the same club.  How do your range sessions go when you switch up the club often?

My range sessions I usually end up with using every club in the bag, 4 balls with each club, if 3/4 go within 15 yards of where I'm aiming, the club goes in the bag, I'm not bringing it out again. However, if I don't get 3/4, it stays out. My driver, P,9,8 and 56 wedge, always land within 10 yards, in quite good with them, just more inconsistent with 7-4

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48 minutes ago, YoungTad said:

My range sessions I usually end up with using every club in the bag, 4 balls with each club, if 3/4 go within 15 yards of where I'm aiming, the club goes in the bag, I'm not bringing it out again. However, if I don't get 3/4, it stays out. My driver, P,9,8 and 56 wedge, always land within 10 yards, in quite good with them, just more inconsistent with 7-4

What about with clubs longer than the 4?

Keep in mind, most people won't be as accurate with a 4-iron as they are with a 9-iron.  You, me, Erik, Tiger, all of us. 

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1 minute ago, Shindig said:

What about with clubs longer than the 4?

Keep in mind, most people won't be as accurate with a 4-iron as they are with a 9-iron.  You, me, Erik, Tiger, all of us. 

My hybrid is horrible, so much so that I leave it at home. I hit irons much better,  a 4 iron of a tee for me has a nice draw too it, maybe 180-200 yards, but if I was too use a 4 as a 2nd shot on a par 5, I would be lucky too hit it off the fairway

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I have another thought:  what's your lesson-taking like?

Consider posting a video.  See the rules for member swings in this forum:

https://thesandtrap.com/forums/forum/13-member-swings/

I was just slightly better than you are now when I started getting help, some via member swing and others through evolvr online lessons.  I got as low as 12.2 at one point.  I've been amazed, over and over, at how many seemingly simple changes (which take some work to make stick) made such a big change in my ability. 

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22 hours ago, Shindig said:

...  However, it's easy if you aren't careful to get into hitting the same club better by familiarity;  when you need a 6-iron on the course, it (usually) isn't your fifth-consecutive 6-iron shot.  On the range, you often have many previous shots with the same club. ...  

You need to do some practicing out on the course. At your home course, are there times during the week when the course is fairly empty? If so, go out and hit a 5i, 6i and 7i from different spots around the landing area. You may find the lie is slightly uphill or downhill, unlike the ideal flats of the range.

Also, let's say you think you can hit a 9i over a tree to No. 7 green, from first cut of rough. See if you can really do it. It you can't, punch out to in front of green when this occurs - much better for score and mindset than tracking down ricochet shots in the forest.

Use the range for mechanics. But, have drills where you step back, visualize each shot and take a stance before you hit it. You don't get much from machine-gunning twenty 6i shots in 5 minutes.

If O-T-T is a persistent problem, take a lesson. It's not hard to clear up if the pro can spot your primary cause.

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Range vs. Course.  A young long-hitting assistant pro at my club said range time was over-rated and that he only played the course and did his practice there.  Though he was required to give lessons on the range.  Only time he was ever up there.

A guy was going to sponsor him on the Web.com tour or a lesser tour but over the winter he got busted for dealing cocaine.  This was a few years ago.

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1 hour ago, WUTiger said:

You need to do some practicing out on the course. At your home course, are there times during the week when the course is fairly empty? If so, go out and hit a 5i, 6i and 7i from different spots around the landing area. You may find the lie is slightly uphill or downhill, unlike the ideal flats of the range.

My home course is a public city course in Los Angeles, a very busy one.  I don't think there are times when the course is fairly empty.

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20 minutes ago, Shindig said:

My home course is a public city course in Los Angeles, a very busy one.  I don't think there are times when the course is fairly empty.

There are always times it is empty. Go out 1 hr before sunset, or 30-60 min before twilight starts. Mot days super twilight is busy for 30 min and then dead even at Sepulveda or Skylinks

 

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5 hours ago, criley4way said:

There are always times it is empty. Go out 1 hr before sunset, or 30-60 min before twilight starts. Mot days super twilight is busy for 30 min and then dead even at Sepulveda or Skylinks

Good call.  I guess I was thinking of time for a full round, which this both isn't and doesn't need to be. 

And I don't know what I was thinking with never empty, since I had a period of my life where I'd play an hour before twilight to get it largely empty.

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