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Jaywun

Advice needed

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I'm an older golfer. 11 handicap. I average 250 off the tee, 5 iron about 175. The thing is I have a short backswing(self taught). I have no crazy goals of getting to scratch but feel I still have a chance to get to 5. Question-should I still try to lengthen my backswing for more distance or stick with my length and work on short game to get down to 5? I layup on every par 5 and try to wedge in for birdie, but almost never 1 put, so settle for par at best. Most low single digits say birdie on par 5's are necessary. If I can maintain my distances and just work on consistency and short game, is getting to 5 realistic or do I have to get longer? Also, there are a couple long par 4's on my local courses that I just dread playing. I always have 3 or 4 iron in and always bogey or worse on those holes. Any thoughts? Anyone in the same position? All feedback appreciated.

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Hi there

Before you change anything that later on you can regret, working on the short game is never a bad idea. Practice those pitches, chips, and putts. I am sure that if you practice well you will lower your score, and you´ll always have time to change your swing if you want to.

Besides, i think that a longer backswing will not necesarily make you hit further.

Good luck!!

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I'm an older golfer. 11 handicap. I average 250 off the tee, 5 iron about 175. The thing is I have a short backswing(self taught). I have no crazy goals of getting to scratch but feel I still have a chance to get to 5. Question-should I still try to lengthen my backswing for more distance or stick with my length and work on short game to get down to 5? I layup on every par 5 and try to wedge in for birdie, but almost never 1 put, so settle for par at best. Most low single digits say birdie on par 5's are necessary. If I can maintain my distances and just work on consistency and short game, is getting to 5 realistic or do I have to get longer? Also, there are a couple long par 4's on my local courses that I just dread playing. I always have 3 or 4 iron in and always bogey or worse on those holes. Any thoughts? Anyone in the same position? All feedback appreciated.

I wouldn't try to lengthen the backswing in your situation. You don't want to risk injuring yourself, and your ballstriking would probably suffer from the longer backswing, at least until you've put in a lot of time working with it. Also your distances don't sound all that short. Shorter than you'd like, I'm sure, but not all that short.

Also remember: there are more than 2 parts of the game of golf. Sounds like you're pretty much thinking there's distance and short game, but there's a lot more. Long game accuracy comes to mind: you mention that on long par 4's you end up with a long iron for your second shot, and therefore you make bogey or worse. But you skipped a step there; somewhere between the lines you hit a bad shot with your long iron. There's a leak to plug right there. Also, if it's bogey or worse on those holes, then it sounds like that 3rd shot is not what it should be either. Pitching might be something to patch up. Also you mention you almost never 1-putt. Practice those medium-to-longish putts more. It will help you make a few more 1-putts, but it will also help you avoid 3-putts. The things I've mentioned (and there's a lot more to golf than that, too), should make far more difference to your handicap than adding 7 yards to each iron and 20 yards off the tee might. -Andrew

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Also, there are a couple long par 4's on my local courses that I just dread playing. I always have 3 or 4 iron in and always bogey or worse on those holes.

I have a Par 4 similar to this on my course. You have to play a drive down the left side, or I'll be looking at my 21* hybrid or 3 Wood into the green from the right side of the fairway. When this happens I still try to play for par, but dont get mad if I make bogey. The next hole is a Par 5, so I usually make a birdie or par. Finishing +1 or +2 on both 9's will get you down to a 5 pretty quickly. So, dont get discouraged by the really hard holes, because, they are hard. Just make sure you take advantage of the easy one's and try to get a few birdies on the card. My best rounds as of late are when I get 2 or more birdies.

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Do you stop because it feels like you completed a shoulder turn or do you stop because you just don't want to overswing? If its the first, i would just work on stretching those mucles out and you'll gain a bit more swing lenght. But if its the other then i would be hesitant doing it because it can throw alot of timing off.

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You didn't say how much older? 250 is a decent average length. I am shorter than you by 25 yards. Have you seen your swing on video? If shoulder turn is good but armswing is short I wouldn't change anything. I have found hybrids and utility woods really make a difference. If you are within 10-15 and still not making any one putts then maybe a putting lesson is a good idea,

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Don't get a longer backswing...just watch this guy!

Where did that come from... and why?

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Where did that come from... and why?

Not sure what that completely pointless bit at the end is. His swing is essentially done, yet he expends some more energy by releasing his right arm throwing his left arm awkwardly behind him. Makes an interesting youtube video, but I'd hazard a guess to say he doesn't swing like that on the course. Why would he?

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Not sure what that completely pointless bit at the end is. His swing is essentially done, yet he expends some more energy by releasing his right arm throwing his left arm awkwardly behind him. Makes an interesting youtube video, but I'd hazard a guess to say he doesn't swing like that on the course. Why would he?

Stance, swing and release looks just like a baseball player... as well as just like a guy I'm never going to hit next to at the range.

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Thanks everybody. My shoulder turn is ok I guess. I dont get my hands very high. I think my numbers are good for a 10 hdcp. But all the 5 hdcp. I know are very long off the tee. The few holes that I described would play so different for me if I had 6 iron in instead of 3 or 4. I still haven't got any hybrids. Mostly because there are too many to choose from. I rarely get any birdies. seems like I never get more than 1 a round. My last 2 rounds I started 36 38 on the front(easier) Just to finish 81 82 total. I actually tied a very low hndcp on the front. But he ended up with 73 to my 81. He reached the green on my nemesis par 4's plus both par 5's. This back nine really has my number. There are some fairly easy holes, I guess I'm gonna have to birdie some of those. Gonna look at some hybrids and work hard on short game.

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Where did that come from... and why?

At first I went to YouTube to find some pro swings that had a shorter backswing. Then I saw this guy and thought it was interesting / funny.

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