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Scmelik

Shrinking Misses

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Hey everyone, long time lurker finally decided to join.  Ive got a question for all of you if I may.  Now that my tournament season is over its time to start working on the little things that kept me off the top of the leader board and one of the biggest is working to make my misses smaller.  Right now I tend to miss 5-6 times a round that are pretty big, with the driver it can be 30-40 yards with irons its 10-15 yards.  I make good contact on those, I'm typically right around the center of the club face on most shots so its my swing that is to fault, either leaving my hands open or getting quick.  These misses tend to lead to either penalty strokes or too having to scramble my butt off which ends in either a bogey or a double. 

As we are getting into winter I am looking at trying to find some things I can work on inside to help make those misses smaller, they are still going to happen I would just like to see those come down to 15-20 yards with the driver and 5-10 yards with my irons.

 

Thanks

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What's your handicap and are you playing your swing pattern?

In general, working on your overall swing will help to reduce misses in one way or the other. 

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Shindig,

My handicap is sitting right now about a 4.5-5.0.  I am not sure what you mean by playing my swing pattern, if you mean playing my miss then no I am not because its only 5-6 times a round if it happens at all.  I've had round where my miss was nice a small and those rounds typically end up under par, when the misses show up that's when scores start to skyrocket and I have to scramble and grind just to keep it in the 70s.

I hate to be brash, especially since I just joined, but if working on my swing in generally was the answer then I wouldn't be here asking for advice.  I spend 5-6 days a week on the range and play at least 54 if not 72 holes a week (the joys of being single with no kids HAHA), so just working on my swing in generally isn't fixing it.  

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Neither of those misses strike me as outlandish.  If a 10-15 yard miss with an iron is causing penalty strokes, and doubles, could some decision making/management issues might be more of an issue...?

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:

Neither of those misses strike me as outlandish.  If a 10-15 yard miss with an iron is causing penalty strokes, and doubles, could some decision making/management issues might be more of an issue...?

David I agree it’s not outlandish by any means until those misses put you in some nasty stuff or short sided in a bunker. Most of the penalty strokes come off the tee box with the driver (which a huge work in progress). I will agree that decision making and course management is part of the problem which I’m working on as well. 

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How do you typically miss your shot by 10-15 yards?  Is it always long left, always short right, or other?  Just knowing you miss isn't enough to really get you on a plan to fix what the miss is.

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6 minutes ago, amished said:

How do you typically miss your shot by 10-15 yards?  Is it always long left, always short right, or other?  Just knowing you miss isn't enough to really get you on a plan to fix what the miss is.

Distance is usually pretty close. Unfortunately it tends to be a two way miss, not much of a rhyme or reason to which direction it misses. 

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59 minutes ago, Scmelik said:

Distance is usually pretty close. Unfortunately it tends to be a two way miss, not much of a rhyme or reason to which direction it misses. 

I also miss both ways - though you can see my HC is much higher than yours. What I am working on, and I don't know if the idea will help you at your skill level (and I am as far from a golf instructor as one can be and still know which end of the club to grab), is trying to hit a small draw instead of trying to hit it straight. I'm trying to get a consistent miss left instead of a spray left and right. I stick an alignment rod vertically in the ground about 8 feet out in front of me and try to get the ball started just right of the stick with a small draw back on line. Lots of folk here with more knowledge than me so hopefully one of them can give you a more effective idea.

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3 hours ago, Scmelik said:

I hate to be brash, especially since I just joined, but if working on my swing in generally was the answer then I wouldn't be here asking for advice.  I spend 5-6 days a week on the range and play at least 54 if not 72 holes a week (the joys of being single with no kids HAHA), so just working on my swing in generally isn't fixing it.  

Just because you spend 5-6 days a week at the range doesn't mean you are practicing what you need to be practicing in order to improve. 

Obviously there is something in your swing that is causing inconsistent delivery patterns with either your club face or club path. I would recommend seeing an instructor in person, taking some online lessons through Evolvr.com, or starting your own swing thread on this site so others can see your swing and help identify what is causing the inconsistent delivery patterns.

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

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Shrinking Misses sounds like a weight loss program for young women.  

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4 hours ago, Scmelik said:

Shindig,

My handicap is sitting right now about a 4.5-5.0.  I am not sure what you mean by playing my swing pattern, if you mean playing my miss then no I am not because its only 5-6 times a round if it happens at all.  I've had round where my miss was nice a small and those rounds typically end up under par, when the misses show up that's when scores start to skyrocket and I have to scramble and grind just to keep it in the 70s.

I hate to be brash, especially since I just joined, but if working on my swing in generally was the answer then I wouldn't be here asking for advice.  I spend 5-6 days a week on the range and play at least 54 if not 72 holes a week (the joys of being single with no kids HAHA), so just working on my swing in generally isn't fixing it.  

Practice smarter not harder. Personally, before I was able to really score well and take those last strokes off my handicap I had to eliminate one side of the golf course, especially with the driver. If I was you I would work with an instructor to develop a stock shot shape, something you can depend on. I worked very hard to get rid of left misses. I feel quite confident with all my clubs that I can aim left and hit a fade when I really need it. That took a bunch of time and practice, and it's still something I have to work on.

2 hours ago, David in FL said:

Neither of those misses strike me as outlandish.  If a 10-15 yard miss with an iron is causing penalty strokes, and doubles, could some decision making/management issues might be more of an issue...?

I agree David. Sounds like something for LSW. As it gets colder maybe pick up the book below. If your 10-15 yard misses are really costing you it could help a lot by getting your game planning in better shape.

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Shoot lower scores on the golf course… NOW!
1 hour ago, Scmelik said:

Distance is usually pretty close. Unfortunately it tends to be a two way miss, not much of a rhyme or reason to which direction it misses. 

Like I said above. Work on a one way miss. 

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46 minutes ago, klineka said:

Just because you spend 5-6 days a week at the range doesn't mean you are practicing what you need to be practicing in order to improve. 

Obviously there is something in your swing that is causing inconsistent delivery patterns with either your club face or club path. I would recommend seeing an instructor in person, taking some online lessons through Evolvr.com, or starting your own swing thread on this site so others can see your swing and help identify what is causing the inconsistent delivery patterns.

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

Sorry that didn’t come across the way I wanted. I agree with you that just going to the range and hitting balls isn’t working, I need to make a change to my practice. The problem is on the range I have that miss, at least with the irons, one out of every 30-40 shots. 

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2 minutes ago, Scmelik said:

The problem is on the range I have that miss, at least with the irons, one out of every 30-40 shots. 

Again, work with an instructor or start a swing thread online so someone who is qualified in improving golf swings can help identify the cause of your misses and can give you specific priority pieces to work on to reduce those misses.

This is more of a strategy thing, but one thing that might help make some of those iron misses not end up in as bad of spots is if you aim for and play to the center of the green every time you are 100+ yards out

 

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13 minutes ago, Scmelik said:

Sorry that didn’t come across the way I wanted. I agree with you that just going to the range and hitting balls isn’t working, I need to make a change to my practice. The problem is on the range I have that miss, at least with the irons, one out of every 30-40 shots. 

Even pros will double-cross themselves from time to time.  If it happens every 40ish iron shots, you're looking at what, a little over once a round?  What happens with your other misses with irons that account for the 4-5 other misses?

Getting a one-way miss is a big deal, so accepting a bigger curve on some shots will be your problem in the interim.  So occasionally I'll have a shot where it curves more than what I wanted or expected, but that's something that I can gameplan for.  How much curve (and what type) do you have on your shots currently?

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Just now, amished said:

Even pros will double-cross themselves from time to time.  If it happens every 40ish iron shots, you're looking at what, a little over once a round?  What happens with your other misses with irons that account for the 4-5 other misses?

Getting a one-way miss is a big deal, so accepting a bigger curve on some shots will be your problem in the interim.  So occasionally I'll have a shot where it curves more than what I wanted or expected, but that's something that I can gameplan for.  How much curve (and what type) do you have on your shots currently?

On the range it’s about every 40 swings. On the course I probably have a big miss with my irons every 4-5 holes typically. Sadly it isn’t double crossing myself when I try to shape a shot it’s more of a block out to the right or a hard pull. On my home course a 15 yard miss into a green can and will give you a nasty chip shot either way up a hill to the green or into the woods or a creek next to the green. 

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3 minutes ago, Scmelik said:

On the range it’s about every 40 swings. On the course I probably have a big miss with my irons every 4-5 holes typically. Sadly it isn’t double crossing myself when I try to shape a shot it’s more of a block out to the right or a hard pull. On my home course a 15 yard miss into a green can and will give you a nasty chip shot either way up a hill to the green or into the woods or a creek next to the green. 

Either a block or a pull sounds like a double cross.  Are you trying to always shape a shot or are you just trying to hit it straight all the time?  Personally I try to have a little fade on all of my shots and occasionally I'll "screw up" and hit it dead straight which is something that I've planned for.

If missing by 15 yards will put you in a creek, aiming away from the green even to take the creek out of play if you really hit it to such a penal area that often might be a change until you can eliminate that type of miss.

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Just now, amished said:

Either a block or a pull sounds like a double cross.  Are you trying to always shape a shot or are you just trying to hit it straight all the time?  Personally I try to have a little fade on all of my shots and occasionally I'll "screw up" and hit it dead straight which is something that I've planned for.

If missing by 15 yards will put you in a creek, aiming away from the green even to take the creek out of play if you really hit it to such a penal area that often might be a change until you can eliminate that type of miss.

I don’t always try to shape my shots. There are times I do but I have gotten away from it a bit till I can get a little more control of it. I can move the ball each way when I want too but controlling how much it moves is a work in progress. 

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4 minutes ago, Scmelik said:

I don’t always try to shape my shots. There are times I do but I have gotten away from it a bit till I can get a little more control of it. I can move the ball each way when I want too but controlling how much it moves is a work in progress. 

Then as somebody that's learned a lot from here, and from other reputable sources, I would work on shaping my shots every time you have a non-pitch shot.  Pick whichever one is better for you (draw or fade, I've come around to loving my fade even though my home course tends to set up for a draw better) and try to do that every time.  With practice, you'll get your shape down to a reasonable amount as your "minimum" shape, and occasionally if you overdo it you'll curve a bit more in the direction you were intending to have the ball go anyways.

Also, keep in mind that when I say shape your shots, I'm not telling you to be Bubba and have a 20 yard curve on every shot.  Watching the pros, most of them don't curve it more than 5 yards it seems if they are trying to hit it straightish.  Picking a shot shape and sticking with it until you can be confident that every shot will curve +- 5 yards at the outliers will eliminate the misses you're talking about.  And it will give you something to focus on practicing.  Instead of working half your time on draws and half your time on fades, you can now work 100% of the time on whatever shot you decide to implement.  

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