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How to get down lower than a 5 already!!!


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I would like to direct this post solely to those of you w an index of 2.0 or better please
No disrespect to the higher caps, trust me I started somewhere too
But I am seeking some advice on how to get past the slump im in

Ok few background points about me and where im trying to go

-played H/S golf to a 2.5 or so
-was a 2.9 last year
-trying to get to ….well…..scratch was the idea, but would even settle for 1 or 1.5 now

I cant seem to keep things consistent enough
One week I drive the ball great, but cant putt
The next week my chipping, pitching is lazer beams, but cant get off the tee

I think you get where I am going

I play quite a bit too
Practice short game for an hour at least 2-3 times a week, play up to 45 holes/week, hit the range once a week
I cant get any lower than 2 over par for the year….ok, I had 2 rounds on the back nine @ 1 under, but shot 4-5 over on the front
i have had two lessons this year as well

Its getting frustrating ……..

I know this isn’t a cop out, but when I play with my one buddy who is about the same index, I always play well – both of my -1 rounds were with him….we feed off each other
My 2 regular playing partners are a 36 (for real) and a 20 index
Love these guys to death – one is my biz partner and the other is my best friend
I just cant get focused with them

What do I need to do???? What can I do to get lower
I don’t know many guys that r good players, but I really want to find someone to get out w regularly

Ok guys……how’d u get past the infamous 5……..

Thanks for your help

PS – MODS, if this post is in the wrong spot, please move it
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I play some rounds as a single,just turn up and get paired up with other guys.I always seem to play well when i do this.I play once a week with buddies and i don't seem to play as well,i don't seem to concentrate as much.I have another Buddie though that plays with us sometimes and him and i play skins against each other and this usually turns into good golf as we are the same index,i don't play skins with the other guys as they are about 14 to 20 index and its just too confusing with giving shots.So go play with strangers and you will start to play better.
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I'm not currently a 2.0 but I've been there so I chime in.

Your situation sounds similar to what I went through years ago when I played on my high school team. I was the #2 guy but for practice I always played with players who were 10 to 20 handicaps. They were great guys and I enjoyed playing with them immensly but they weren't good for my game. When you're not being pushed or there is no competition it makes it hard to really focus at times.

I remember me my coach telling me something to the effect that "there's plenty of time in between shots for trash talk and ball busting but when you start your pre shot routine all that distraction has too be shut down and shut out". His advice was that once the pre shot routine starts that you have to be myopically focused on the task at hand.

What I used to do is take one big deep breath to settle myself and I used that as a pre shot starter. After a few rounds of practice, once I took that deep breath I was completely focused on my next shot. Try it and see if it helps.
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i was hovering around a 5 last year and i played by my self a lot and practiced and played every day. i found that i was rushing my pre shot routines and finally when i got myself slowed down the scores started dropping. another thing i did was ask my pro who else in the club takes the game seriously and wants to practice. he introduced to a guy my same age. we practice together about 4 times a week and its nice because we are always trying to beat each other and if one of is struggling the other has a good idea of what we are doing wrong. just my 2 pennies...
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I would like to direct this post solely to those of you w an index of 2.0 or better please

None taken - there are miles between a 6 and a 1. My lowest index before this season was ~ 8 - I have nothing for you.

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do you go through your normal preshot routines when you play with friends? I always tended to play worse with friends and then the only thing i thought about was ensure a good preshot routine

i do the same pre-shot yes

maybe not putting all the time........
i was hovering around a 5 last year and i played by my self a lot and practiced and played every day. i found that i was rushing my pre shot routines and finally when i got myself slowed down the scores started dropping. another thing i did was ask my pro who else in the club takes the game seriously and wants to practice. he introduced to a guy my same age. we practice together about 4 times a week and its nice because we are always trying to beat each other and if one of is struggling the other has a good idea of what we are doing wrong. just my 2 pennies...

think i may try this

slow the preshot down and ensure that i do it all the time when putting too im gonna book another lesson this week and talk to my pro about who i can talk to at the course, someone similar to my index
None taken - there are miles between a 6 and a 1. My lowest index before this season was ~ 8 - I have nothing for you.

i would hardly consider you a higher cap Miller

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The slowing down is bad advice for you in particular, since it seems your problems are mental. If you look at the pros, they kind of just step get loose and fire... this is what confidence in your ability allows you to do and is what you should be shooting for even if you are not there yet.

I'll tell you what made a difference for me from 5-0 the most.

1. Putting. Develop a stroke that you don't have to think about. Personally I worked on an in to square stroke and now I just step up and dont really think about a bunch of mechanics only about the line and the target. My putting has improved significantly.

2. Weight training. Getting stronger allows you to swing easier, more stable... at least in my case. I was able to take some off without losing distance and that has all but eliminated any lost balls... which really brings the game down to the short sticks.

3. Simplify your swing. The quieter you can make it, the easier it will be to repeat. The easier it is to repeat, the better your scoring will be.

4. Wager on your game. It doesn't have to be a big figure, but put something into it. Some people I know are averse to playing a little money... For me putting something on the game makes me get into it more leading to better playing. This is a double edged sword though, as when you get used to this you may find it hard to concentrate when you aren't betting on your game.

5. Track your stats. Track Your putts, FW hit, GIR etc honestly and they will tell you what you need to work on to improve.

6. Practice. Some people preach machine like putting practice, where you stand there and putt for hours like a machine. To me this is not a great way to practice something that is 90% feel based. What I like to do as far as putting practice is take 4 balls and put them in the same spot... then try to sink one at a fast speed with less break and work myself up to the slowest speed possible with most break. This is how you develop feel.

On the Driving range, I like to work on mid to low irons, usually I'll hit a 7 then a PW. I play games to see how many out of 10 I can hit within 10 yards of my target... I'll treat myself with a beer for every 10 that I nail on the flag for example.

I don't really practice chipping that much, probably should.

Hope you find some of this helpful and good luck improving! Remember you are already ahead of the game at a 5 HCP.. be proud! It is monumentally more difficult to go from a 5 to a 0 than a 15-10 for example.
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The slowing down is bad advice for you in particular, since it seems your problems are mental. If you look at the pros, they kind of just step get loose and fire... this is what confidence in your ability allows you to do and is what you should be shooting for even if you are not there yet.

Some of the best advice I've heard on this forum. Especially the wagering. When you play for more than just lowering you're handicap, you'll actually now be competing for much more and be more focused. This is what a tournament will feel like, but tenfold. A dollar a hole skins? Can't get much better than that. Unless you have the money to play for 5 a hole :O.

I start PW then go 7. I love hitting those irons as I often don't have much more than a 7 into the green unless its a par 4 like 450+. Treating yourself for success on the range is a good idea. Never tried it myself but maybe I will today. I warm up my stroke by picking a no break spot and make myself make 6/6 from 5ft then move back a putter length to 8ft and try to make 5/6. Then I'll move back 2 putter lengths and try to make 4/6. Then random putts as if I had just hit the green trying to get that birdie or up and down. I think a lot of people underestimate the importance of practicing green reading. But now that I read your idea, I'm thinking of making a game out of it. 5-8 ft for par 10-20 for birdie and try to see how under par I can get. Maybe 3 sets of 6. Assuming GIR are 9/18 (pretty good for me) then half the balls are for par and half for birdie. :) Then I work on lag putting from 30-50ft and trying to get up and down. I'm not laser accurate with my irons...yet. :) Oh, I forgot I'm not a 2.0 or below.
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sounds like you put a lot of work in. Guess it comes down to the fact that you can't teach talent

wow...that was kinda harsh hey???

im as talented as the next guy, maybe not a 1.0 like you, but i KNOW i have the skills to get there just need to put two and two together do me a favour next time....keep your dumb ass posts to yourself
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sounds like you put a lot of work in. Guess it comes down to the fact that you can't teach talent

Nice. Very helpful.

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4. Wager on your game. It doesn't have to be a big figure, but put something into it. Some people I know are averse to playing a little money... For me putting something on the game makes me get into it more leading to better playing. This is a double edged sword though, as when you get used to this you may find it hard to concentrate when you aren't betting on your game.

ddalet, great post overall....I just wanted to add a quick note on the wagering.

My playing partners and I have a standing bet everytime we are out (on top of anything else we have going) -- it is cheap and has helped my game -- if any player in the group gets through the round with at least 13 pars (or better) and no double bogeys (or worse), then each other player owes him $10 -- obviously, you can adjust the number of pars to make it fit your group, but the important one is no doubles or worse -- really makes you grind and play smart from trouble.
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I do not know about you but most of the time when I do not score well it is because of a lack of focus. I call it leaking mental fluid... Its the not really thinking about what you are trying to do rather than focusing on what you really need to do... Like there is really only one place you can not hit the ball, you hit it there and then call yourself a moron for not making sure you did not hit it there but rather missed somewhere else. Whenever I make a double or something in that range it is usually something to do with the aforementioned statement... I hope this helps...
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what i liked to use when teaching was the Dave Pelz short game test.It'll help you evaluate any minute flaw in your short game. Lets face it, chances are most of your shots are lost from within 100 yards, right? Take the test and repeat it and you'll see the difference. Let it be known, i do not work for or represent Dave Pelz. :)
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Another vote for the money game. Last October I started playing in a league. It's a money league, penny ante at best ($5 buy in), but if enough guys are playing and you win the individual you can stand to pocket $30-40. Still no big deal, but I've seen my game improve the most since I've been playing actively in this league moreso than at any other time in my life. I've shot my personal best over 18 holes, lowest handicap, etc. While this is certainly anecdotal I think that what I've seen in my game is an added aspect of seriousness, and furthermore I'm finding myself playing with a better caliber playing partner. So for me this league has got me playing with and against better golfers than what I was used to being with before and improved my focus on the game itself when playing. Perhaps for guys at a better level than me more serious competitions (local golf association tournaments, club championships, member-guests, etc.) would be the ticket for providing the same motivations?
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well i finally broke the infamous 5 !!!!!!!!
I put up an even par round today of 71

came off the front -2 and + 2 on the back
I was in a zone on the frontm, couldnt miss an approach shot, and had 4 birdies too!

its been a long road, but if i can card a few more rounds under 75, im on my way!!!!
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