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What Single Thing Made the Biggest Drop in Your Handicap?

Val Raj

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Don't know about but what helped my game most was a Golf Channel video by Greg Norman on bump and run type shots around the greens. Also a video on alignment with Hale Irwin.

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Lots of golf this year, but lots of practice aswel...

I was fighting a fade(slice), at the start of the year, everything was going right.  My playing partner suggested when he looked at my setup that me shoulders were actually pointing left, hence the over the top move....

I swear to god it was a lightbulb moment for me, since that change and a couple of hundred balls on the range, l have shot 74, 76, 76, 78, 79 and 80 Gross a whole load of times.  I now have an inconsistent draw which is my winter goal to fix.

I would also lke to mention the Garmin R10 launch monitor, what a peice of kit that is for the money..!

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My biggest drop in the four years I am playing was this year. 16.3 on June 9th to 11.1 on sept 12th.

My problem has mostly been wayward drives pushed to the right and fat shots.

I got one lesson for the driver where he told me my wrists collapse at the top of the swing, he gave me a temporary fix which i didn't like at all but once I knew the fault I worked hard on palmar flexing my left wrist at the top of my driver backswing.

I started playing a straight or push fade as per Eriks thread here. I started hitting a lot more fairways and my scores were a lot better immediately ( a bad drive was causing doubles or worse before )

My irons also got a lot better following the advice of mvmac's thread on how to hit a draw and advice Erik gave me before to work on the wall turn drill, I already hit a draw but it was more so about turning properly in the backswing to eliminate fat shots. 

I'm still having the odd bad drive and bad iron shot but I am a far more confident ballstriker now. I still can't hit a draw with my driver though I just push it straight right when I try but I'm quite pleased with myself this year all in all

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I just played a crap ton of golf this summer. I worked four to five days a week this summer, and I got in 31 rounds of golf, only four of which were nine-hole outings.

Possibly another thing that helped my handicap drop was the fact that I exposed myself to at least half a dozen new courses, all of which proved to be more difficult than my home course.

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Lots and lots of practice with the wedges and putter. I have gone several rounds in a row without a 3 putt. Hit it close, or putt it to a gimme distance.

If only I could straighten out the errant driver that can miss both ways. I have been trying to hit a power fade, but will often hit a dead pull., other times it becomes a slice, At least I'm not hooking it any more.

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  • 2 weeks later...


This has been the first year (i retired earlier this year) in which, finally i have managed to play quite a lot of golf (52 rounds and counting since mid April) and practice more regularly, i had a series of 6 lessons as i was simply all over the place, my 3 handicap cards being 2 x 104's and a 110, 

with help from the pro and my practice and simply playing im down to 15, i think a major factor in this is following his instruction i can now identify more clearly 'why' i produced a bad shot, with me it is often lacklustre hip action leading to the old familiar slappy powerless shot to the right,

Improving that action has helped me stroke some of the best shots of my life, best gross this year 83 that with less 3 puts could have easily been a 77/78.

I need now to work on shortish pitches and chips, getting them closer to the pin to guarantee at worse a bogey.

+ of course putting practice !

Cheers SG

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Playing... and playing a lot. Of course, I was younger and had a lot of time after school. And learning on Blades in the mid/late 70's. Lowest official cap I got to was 6. But I only kept one for 2 years in the 80's. I wasn't good enough to worry about it or enter any comps. A 6-10 will lose more times than not to that 18 who has a good day... seemingly all the time. I do know that my "handicap" went UP when I took my first and last official "lesson". Joke of a Pro just screwed me up and I lost my 'natural' swing. I'm not a number chaser, so it really doesn't matter. I can play with just about anything and shoot what I normally would shoot with my clubs. Just recently seemed to rediscover my natural swing from my 'youth' and have played significantly better in the last few weeks than I have for the last 5 years of playing around with my swing, thinking I would improve. 

So it wasn't just one "magic" club or swing tip, it was playing and practicing with what I had. 

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Mine was definitely accuracy off the tee and is still my main issue keeping me from going lower. I hit it far but dont hit many fairways and am notorious for losing strokes having to recover from behind trees and usually at least one big miss per round. Despite not being happy with where I'm at I'm miles ahead of where I was at just a year ago where I couldn't find the club face and was the main reason I cut my handicap from 16 two years ago to 10 last year and down into the 4s this year peaked at 3.4. 

That and then wedge game 150 and in developing shots for certain distances (I currently go in 10 yard increments and have a sheet where I describe the kind of shots and which clubs I can use for each yardage) when I'm playing well is when this is clicking and I'm not missing greens or giving myself 40 foot putts. Tough to work on without a launch monitor or reliable driving range postings though. 

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I am still searching for a “drop in handicap.” My game seems to be improving but I am still not scoring lower. Can’t explain it.

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Short game - chipping, pitching, putting. Practice the most common shots needed around the green (within 30-40 yards or so). This really helps my scoring when I miss a green.

Secondary to that, get your driver sorted. Whether that takes lessons or a proper driver fitting to improve consistency, do whatever you need to hit more fairways (or at least be in the first cut, rather than punching from under a tree, or worse ...)


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My improvement was forced on me. When I started at the age of 33, I was fit and strong, quickly got down to 10. But I always focused on fairways and greens, long drives etc. 30 years later, I lost yards in my 60s,  play a 6,700 course now. I was forced to improve 50 yards in, not reaching greens as much. Got down to 6 because of that alone. For 15 years I was stuck at 10 because I neglected 50 yards in. I think that is the biggest reason us club golfers don't reach our potential,  glad I found out in time !

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