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65/20/15 Practice Ratios: Where to Devote Your Practice Time

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37 minutes ago, billchao said:

I disagree with this advice. A fairly new golfer isn’t going to be hitting a long iron off the tee much better than they would hit their driver. Even if you half swing a chippy driver just to keep the ball in play, it will probably go farther than the iron.

And to add to this, the driver is more forgiving than just about any other club -- it's important at all levels, but particularly when beginning.  

1 minute ago, Vespidae said:

You can play bogey golf with a 7 iron and a putter. If you can’t hit the easier, lofted clubs ... why would a student practice the harder clubs? Get the mechanics right. That’s the point of deliberate practice.

There are a number of paths to the top of the mountain. 

I doubt anyone with a double-digit handicap can play bogey golf with just a 7-iron and a putter, even on a course without sand.

And, as noted elsewhere, the driver is more forgiving than the 7-iron.  

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2 minutes ago, Shindig said:

And to add to this, the driver is more forgiving than just about any other club -- it's important at all levels, but particularly when beginning.  

More forgiving? I don’t know one instructor who starts beginners with the driver. Maybe there is, but it’s not my experience. They usually start with a lofted club. 

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3 minutes ago, Vespidae said:

More forgiving? I don’t know one instructor who starts beginners with the driver. Maybe there is, but it’s not my experience. They usually start with a lofted club. 

When you're at the point that you're going to go onto the course, with the goal of shooting as low a score as you can, you should learn how to hit the driver.  That doesn't make it your first club, but it does make it important. 

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1 minute ago, Shindig said:

When you're at the point that you're going to go onto the course, with the goal of shooting as low a score as you can, you should learn how to hit the driver.  That doesn't make it your first club, but it does make it important. 

To shoot the lowest score, you should learn how to hit a driver. On that I agree. 

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36 minutes ago, Vespidae said:

You can play bogey golf with a 7 iron and a putter. If you can’t hit the easier, lofted clubs ... why would a student practice the harder clubs? Get the mechanics right. That’s the point of deliberate practice.

There are a number of paths to the top of the mountain. 

A 20 handicap isn’t going to shoot 90 teeing off only with a 7i. That’s discussed at length in this post:

 

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26 minutes ago, billchao said:

A 20 handicap isn’t going to shoot 90 teeing off only with a 7i. That’s discussed at length in this post:

Exactly. A response to that post was ...

“A golfer who struggles to break 90 isn't going to have a club they can consistently hit 160 and keep out of trouble. They likely struggle with solid contact and at times are prone to thin, fat, or topped shots.”

My point is why don’t you have a club you can consistently hit? It’s because you can’t make solid contact, compressing the ball and flying the correct distance, direction and trajectory. So work on that before you try to master all 14 clubs.

We don’t agree. No problem.

Do I support 65/25/10 practice? Yes. Do I allocate time to various shots as outlined in LSW? Yes. Did I start there? No. I used 5, 7, 9 irons until I could hit 60% of my targets before adding woods. That’s me. Others do it differently and that’s fine.

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19 minutes ago, Vespidae said:

My point is why don’t you have a club you can consistently hit? It’s because you can’t make solid contact, compressing the ball and flying the correct distance, direction and trajectory. So work on that before you try to master all 14 clubs.

Huh? There are days I shoot 71 and don’t hit the ball “consistently.”

If people did what you’re saying they’d never hit a long club and would quit golf.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Huh? There are days I shoot 71 and don’t hit the ball “consistently.”

If people did what you’re saying they’d never hit a long club and would quit golf.

Would you say your misses are "acceptable"? If you are shooting 71, you probably hit the ball more or less "consistently" even if you don't feel you did your best. 

After reading LSW, I deliberately hit long clubs. Still do ... it's most of my practice. But I didn't START OUT hitting long clubs. That's the point I'm making. 

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2 hours ago, Vespidae said:

That's the point I'm making. 

And the point I'm making is that:

  • The long clubs are not all that different than the short clubs. What's different about a 6I versus a 7I? Not much.
  • The long clubs — like a driver — are often fun to hit. People forced to hit only a SW until they can hit it "consistently" (by some definition) might quit golf before they are allowed to hit something else.
  • The driver is often more "forgiving" — I know you already responded to that, but it's true. The ball's on a tee, it has a huge club face, etc.
  • People need to learn to hit all the clubs, and I think it will slow their progress to hit only or primarily one club.

I get people with enough speed hitting driver in the second lesson for beginners, typically. And our juniors, it's day two as well in our three-day camps.

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32 minutes ago, iacas said:

I get people with enough speed hitting driver in the second lesson for beginners, typically. And our juniors, it's day two as well in our three-day camps.

Thank you. Again, I can only reiterate what has worked for me. 

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4 hours ago, Vespidae said:

My point is why don’t you have a club you can consistently hit? It’s because you can’t make solid contact, compressing the ball and flying the correct distance, direction and trajectory. So work on that before you try to master all 14 clubs.

You are right at the bogey mark and claim that you can do this with the SW....clearly not. That skill translates to other clubs, whether you believe it or not.

Most people are looking to get out on the course and continuously improve their scores. Driver is a huge part of that. Most people don't want to stop playing golf to drill thousands of SW on the range, and it is bad advice because it is advice that will rarely be taken.

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6 hours ago, Vespidae said:

My point is why don’t you have a club you can consistently hit? It’s because you can’t make solid contact, compressing the ball and flying the correct distance, direction and trajectory. So work on that before you try to master all 14 clubs.

I disagree.

3 hours ago, Vespidae said:

Thank you. Again, I can only reiterate what has worked for me. 

Ok. But above..you’re suggesting your plan is a good one for others. Again, I disagree. And just because that’s how you did it doesn’t mean you’d be worse off having started with all clubs.

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6 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

You are right at the bogey mark and claim that you can do this with the SW....clearly not. That skill translates to other clubs, whether you believe it or not.

Most people are looking to get out on the course and continuously improve their scores. Driver is a huge part of that. Most people don't want to stop playing golf to drill thousands of SW on the range, and it is bad advice because it is advice that will rarely be taken.

I think you’re right. It won’t be taken. 
Do I agree with the basic philosophy of developing a good long game? Yes!  I just think you start with a good foundation and stretch it out. That is what worked for me and I’m happy for you if you found another way that worked for you. 
 

 

13 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Ok. But above..you’re suggesting your plan is a good one for others. Again, I disagree. And just because that’s how you did it doesn’t mean you’d be worse off having started with all clubs.

People learn in different ways. You can agree or disagree. I can only say it worked for me. 

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In my practice routine, I’ve found that hitting too many drivers is a waste of stamina.  As was mentioned above, the driver is more forgiving.  Less than good swings can produce good results.  
 

range routine:   50 ball bucket

 

section 1: warm up

-5 balls with a 7, 8, or 9.  (Random pick from my left-middle bag slot.)

-5 balls with 4, 5, or 6 (corresponding with the one above. 

section 2: long clubs

-3w off the deck until I hit 2 in a row well.

-1 3w off a tee (assuming its good)

-drivers until I hit 2 in a row well.  
 

section 3: scoring

rest of the bucket with mostly sand wedge. But, all various shots between 40 and 110 yds.  
 

my best range days, I feel, are the ones where it only takes my 5 balls to get through the 3w/driver section.   I’m just more focused with a couple driver swings, rather than bashing a ton of drivers, knowing when I miss one that I can make up for it with the next swing. 
 

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Vespidae said:

People learn in different ways. You can agree or disagree. I can only say it worked for me. 

The point I'd make is that you don't know if it worked "best" because there's no alternative universe where another "you" took a different tactic.

Please add an avatar @Vespidae.

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52 minutes ago, iacas said:

The point I'd make is that you don't know if it worked "best" because there's no alternative universe where another "you" took a different tactic.

Please add an avatar @Vespidae.

Yes, I do. 

I'm fairly well off. I've taken lessons from a PGA Tour Player, a PGA Master Professional, a PGA pro, a club pro, the number one golf school in the country, a teaching pro, a Tour coach, a Top 50 Instructor, a Best in State instructor, and finally my current guru. 

I ditched them all because I wanted to understand how to swing the club, properly. So I found an instructor whose philosophy I agree with and said, "I will only use you as my instructor. No one else." 

My current instructor is great. He played the Tour and is retired from competition. He asked me my goals and looked at my swing. His assessment was "your scores are ok but ... you'll never be any good because you just don't have a swing that repeats. And to create a swing that repeats, you have to ditch that shit you're doing now."

So I did. 

The goal was to a) make solid contact, b) be able to compress the ball, and c) repeat some predictable shot path. 

So I hit thousands of SW shots. Still do. Just to find the face of the club at impact. I've worked on rebuilding my swing over the last 2 years and am playing the best, most consistent golf of my life. I reworked the practice plan I use and it's now built on LSW principles. Combined with working on swing mechanics, I have a solid improvement plan. And I'm playing the best I've ever played. I won my flight in the club championship and can still fly a drive 260 yards. (I'm 60 years old.)

My point is ... which no one apparently agrees with ... is mechanics matter. I used a SW to build a fundamentally repeatable swing based on solid impact. Because the swing doesn't change that much until you get to the woods. Regardless, this is the approach my instructor designed for me. And it is working. For me.

Long story short, I'm very happy with the progress I've made because I have one instructor working with me on one swing philosophy and I have a practice plan (65/25/10) that supports what we are doing. 

It is working for me now .. which honestly, is all I care about. If it helps the original poster, great! If not, I'm going to stay on track with my plan and hopefully, by year end, I'll be single digits.

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26 minutes ago, Vespidae said:

My point is ... which no one apparently agrees with ... is mechanics matter. I used a SW to build a fundamentally repeatable swing based on solid impact. Because the swing doesn't change that much until you get to the woods

Nobody disagrees that mechanics matter. You even said the swing doesn’t change that much. With that being said, I think practicing long irons along with short irons is a better plan to develop a solid game. And nobody is saying your plan sucks. I’m saying if I were to teach a group of beginners I wouldn’t just pull out a sand wedge and ignore the driver and long irons.

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1 minute ago, Vinsk said:

Nobody disagrees that mechanics matter. You even said the swing doesn’t change that much. With that being said, I think practicing long irons along with short irons is a better plan to develop a solid game. And nobody is saying your plan sucks. I’m saying if I were to teach a group of beginners I wouldn’t just pull out a sand wedge and ignore the driver and long irons.

Fair enough. I don’t play long irons anymore. I don’t play anything less than a 5 iron because I can’t generate enough clubhead speed. I use hybrids instead. 
 

I don’t ignore drivers! I hit more driver than any other club. I worked my way into it as my consistency improved. That’s the message ... build a game based on solid mechanics.

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