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JonMA1

Consistency

7 posts in this topic

Hi All,

I'm 52 and am going through my second full year of learning the game. I've taken 4 lessons from a PGA pro since this past Fall which has helped a great deal. I'm sure I practice as much as anyone relative to my time available even to the point where I set up an indoor net and mat to get me through the winter (Northern Michigan). I have good flexibility for my age even if I don't have a great deal of power.

I have repeatedly "found" a good swing (mid to long irons) that will last for several sessions or even days only to "lose" it completely (good swing being defined as getting my maximum distance, good loft, straight flight to target, with a simple, easy swing). I have a basic understanding of the laws of ball flight so when the swing is working, I can somewhat shape shots or at least correct hooks and slices. Even mis-hits stay pretty straight. When it's on, golf seems to be the easiest game in the world relative to my skill level.

When it's off it's ugly. The overall ratio of good swings vs evil swings may be improving a tiny bit, but the difference between the two is so drastic and it's so hard for me to know what I'm doing differently. So subsequently, it's difficult to make corrections.

Here are my questions: Is this just golf? Do better players go through these extremes or are they able to correct after a bad shot? Is there a way to "memorize" a good swing so it's more repeatable?

Thanks.

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Here are my questions: Is this just golf? Do better players go through these extremes or are they able to correct after a bad shot? Is there a way to "memorize" a good swing so it's more repeatable? Thanks.

I think for newer players, this could definitely be just golf... but for a better player, it's not as extreme as you describe it, but certainly it can be an on or off day. There is definitely a way to memorize a good golf swing:proper practice, and a lot. It'll never be perfectly repeatable (unless you're Ben Hogan). I think the real secret is learning what causes a certain miss in your swing and knowing how to fix it, especially for on the course adjustment

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Thanks onephenom. I do practice a lot but it may not be "proper practice". Any chance you could describe that?

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I think the best way to improve is to video tape yourself when practicing. Get a high speed slow motion camera where you can set up and view your swing. I personally do this all the time and it is the main reason I have improved other than playing. Ever wonder why high handicappers struggle consistently while low ones don't as much? Pretty simple, they have repeatable good swings. I'm not saying you have to take my advice but I'd look into evolvr. No offense to most PGA professionals but most of them aren't very good and believe things that just aren't true. The guys at evolvr know their stuff and will help anyone to get their swing on the right track. I'm sure mvmac or iacas could explain it to you if you have any questions.
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Good advice on the video. I might try that.

We all want to get better, but when it comes down to it, I don't have any delusions about how good I will get as far as scoring. Hitting a nice crisp shot that lands exactly where you intended is one of the best feelings in the world, even if that happens less frequently with me than with others. That's what makes even practicing fun (if someone told me that 30 years ago, I would have thought they were crazy). So improving just means I get to experience that feeling more often.

Thanks for the advice. As far as mechanics, the swing seems to be a chain of correct moves and all it takes is one weak link. Sometimes all I have to do to get the swing back is something as simple as remembering to keep my left arm straight, keep my wrists hinged longer, shift my weight, swing a bit smoother, etc. It then becomes second nature again for a short while. Maybe video would help identify the problem sooner.

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Thanks onephenom. I do practice a lot but it may not be "proper practice". Any chance you could describe that?

Sure. Proper practice: most importantly, you should always be working on something, looking to improve something while at the driving range. Don't just hit balls. Always aim to a specific target. Always go thru your preshot routine. Don't rush. When you're playing, there should always be at least one swing though, but no more than two. I struggle with that, trying to make everything perfect.

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Originally Posted by onephenom

Sure. Proper practice: most importantly, you should always be working on something, looking to improve something while at the driving range. Don't just hit balls. Always aim to a specific target. Always go thru your preshot routine. Don't rush.

When you're playing, there should always be at least one swing though, but no more than two. I struggle with that, trying to make everything perfect.

I understand what you're saying about practicing with a purpose and I agree. Especially not rushing to the next swing after taking a couple of bad ones. I'll try to focus on that more when I practice.

Regarding playing, I probably don't have the credibility to offer advice, but here goes.. I do all my thinking while taking practice swings. By the time I address the ball, I already know what I'm going to do and have mentally accepted the possibility that I might have a poor shot. Worst-case scenario - I'll have the opportunity to learn how to get out of trouble - it's not the end of the world. I can then commit to the shot without a lot of negative thoughts. I know it sounds like B.S., but it works for me at least within my capabilities. Committing to a shot is huge.

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