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are you getting better?


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Loved the Black. I felt like a "mini me" version it's so big. And I mean everything is big, the trees, the bunkers, the greens, the tee boxes. Just getting on was an experience. I was designated "early riser" and got my spot in the numbered parking lot at 4 am. I think I was no. 32 or so. Didn't know that the rest of my group had to show up in person to pay for the greens fee before they'll sell you the ticket. So I called them and woke them up. We got on the course by 8:30. Ripped a drive down the left side 4' into the rough. Had 180 in. Hacked out a 9 iron. Hit wedge 105 on. 2 putt bogey. Then I remembered to breathe again. Never forget it.
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On the bright side, at least you're not 50 years old, same handicap, scores, lessons, play 3 times a week, and shoot 95 almost every time.

Pretty sure, based on your thread title, that you were asking us for our stories.  If that's the case, I'll add mine.  Short answer:  yes.  I am getting better. I started taking lessons last su

I play once a week in season and only see snail like improvement since I don't have time to practice. If I had time to play 3 times a week... I'd switch to 2 and take the third day to practice... alm

Originally Posted by chico713

49 yrs old. Same handicap. Same scores. Lessons. New equipment. Play 3 times per week. Still shoot 85 almost every time. Am I alone here??

ditto - same exact stats here ... except for the lessons part.      Need to put more time on the range & on the greens practicing if I ever really want to get better

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Yea improving, but ... like David in FL said sometimes in the short term it is one step forward two back.

Maybe 7 or 8 seasons ago got down to a 10.3 by just trying to be more consistent with what I had (every shot some variation of a low slinging draw) and playing/practising where I thought it would give the most bang for the buck. Meaning getting the ball on the green as fast as possible, as safely as possible. However, when my GIR started to get above 30% it put pressure on my putting and I developed the yips to the point where I eventually ended up missing putts inside ten inches at times. At the worst I sometimes had more 3 and 4 putts than 2 putts per round.

Handicap eventually went into the 16-19 range as things (putting) fell apart more and more. Took two Winters to cure the yips and in the process felt I gained some insights into the full swing as well. Seemed like a good time to actually try and change my swing (commonly described as making Jim Furyk's look classic ... even elegant) to something hopefully more fundamentally functional and reliable (still looked like an earthworm being electrocuted though). Learned about descending AoA, forward shaft lean, and something I call maintaining the angular integrity of the swing.

However, my effort at "change" in the full swing was let's say misguided, disorganized, and inefficient by any competent measure. But good enough to get me into the 9-11 range for two full seasons (8.6 to 11.1). I did feel like progress was being made on the full swing but would frequently get into situations where I would just have to say: since I don't "own" this shot I'll just have to try something and see how it goes, poke and hope. Mostly what I learned in this process was how little I actually know and how very, very far I have yet to go.

Last season I started as a 12.1 and this season I started as 17.6. Another setback, not injury related, equipment related, or frequency of practice and play related but I'm not saying what. I'll leave that to your imagination.

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I'm no pro, but it sounds like mental and course management might be your issue(s). I'm in the process of reading this book and I swear this guy knows all my faults. His solutions make all the sense in the world. I'm playing tomorrow for the first time since absorbing some of his teachings. I'll update. My best rounds have been 90. I believe with his direction, I'll break into the 80's shortly.  Buy it, trust me. "Zen Golf: Mastering the mental game" by Joseph Parent

Good luck Jimmy. I read a book by Fred Shoemaker called "extraordinary golf" that was all about the mental side. Really enjoyed that book. Kind of a "see it, feel it, hit it" book.

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If you're taking lessons, it might be worth asking your pro why you're not improving....

so your afraid to go low? Track your stats greens fairways putts see where your scoring bad. Willing to bet its inside 100 yards and putting. Sorry that was for the op Pros miss greens fairways and 3 putt so go figure

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I too am getting better.  I came back to the game last fall after quite a lot of years of inactivity.  I have taken a number of lessons, and am still taking them from time to time as I feel like I need some guidance.  I try to hit the driving range several (or more) times a week and have been trying to play at least 9 holes also several times a week.  So I am working on it pretty hard, though of course whether I am working as smart as I could be is open to debate.  I'm enjoying myself so...

At the beginning of the year I got the first USGA handicap index I've ever had.  20.9.  It's down to 17.4 and I hope it will drop a bit more at the next update.  At the beginning of the year I set a goal of 15 by Christmas.  I'm wondering if I should modify that to 12.

On the range I always go through a full pre-shot routine, lining up the ball (even when using alignment sticks, if you don't have 'em, get 'em!) setting my grip, getting into position and swinging for the target.  If I miss I consciously discuss with myself which way I missed and try to figure out why.  I don't just bang balls downrange.  On the course I have been working on playing smart and safe wherever possible.  If I'm out far enough that I have to take a questionably long shot over water to hit the green I just lay up, etc.

I notice from the original post two things about lessons (too lazy to get the actual quote, so forgive me if I don't get it quite right).  The OP felt that his pro was sometimes giving instructions he didn't understand, and that some pros give the same lesson to everyone.

- I think golf instruction must be a pretty difficult task because, while we're talking about mechanical physical movements, they need to be conveyed in terms of how it 'feels' for me to really catch on sometimes.  I am fortunate to have a pro who seems pretty good at conveying that, but I can see how different individuals were not on the same 'wave length' so to speak.  Did you tell the pro you didn't understand?  That's sorta important, IMO.

- Because I'm a 'regular' on the driving range, I see the pro I'm working with giving lessons to quite a few people.  Yeah, he sorta gives the 'same lessons' to a lot of them.  I've not discussed this with him, but I figure that because those people would like to get better and he is trying to teach them all a version of Ben Hogan's 'modern' golf swing.   Yeah, there are examples of people with home grown swings that play pretty well.  But if you ask a teacher to show you how to hit a golf ball, they are probably going to try to get you to hit it is a sort of classic way.

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Most of the time, I don't even use a scorecard. I judge my rounds by the # of good, quality shots that I hit. A score is just a #. Unless I'm playing in a tourney, I'm always going for it. Laying up is laying down. Ha
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O.K.

Update from post #32 earlier.

Shot a 94, 50 front, 44 back.

Best part after reading the book, "Zen Golf" is I never lost my temper, swung without thinking about 18 things, stayed in the present, not the last hole, not the next, and only focused on the next shot.

Most of all, I enjoyed the round!

80's are on tap!

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I'll be going into my 4th season this summer...

In my first season I was shooting 120+ consistently. I struggled with tops, skulls, thins, fats, you name it. No consistency whatsoever.

My second season I decided to scrap together what money I had and buy myself some clubs. I didn't bother getting them lengthened because I didn't have the money. I was shooting 100-120 normally with the occasional low 90s round. One shot I chunked so bad I got so sick of it and I snapped my 5 iron in 2. This forced me to get my clubs lengthened and fit for me.

Last year was my full year where I had a full set of clubs and I started to pull it together. I didn't really have a standard fade/draw for a typical shot, it was kind of hit or miss, but I was hitting it toward the general area I wanted. I was shooting high 80s, low 90s pretty consistently... of course there was the 2 100+ rounds where I don't know what happened. Then again, I broke 80 with a 79 last year toward the end.

This year I'm really looking forward to improving my game... I'm leaving my job and going back to school full time so I'll have plenty of extra spare time. I'm hoping to be consistently in the 80s throughout the year and hopefully break 75. But who knows? We'll see.

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Cipher stated the truth "You can get better, you need to start practicing correctly."

Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. And if you're not getting better then there is obviously a reason for it.

I don't believe I would be spending any more money with an instructor who isn't making me better. I mean, why would you? The whole reason for getting "professional" help was to get better, correct?

Find a new pro, devote more time to perfect practice, and you will see your scores slowly dropping!

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Originally Posted by AntiTankNinja

Most of the time, I don't even use a scorecard. I judge my rounds by the # of good, quality shots that I hit. A score is just a #. Unless I'm playing in a tourney, I'm always going for it. Laying up is laying down. Ha


And laying down will cause you far less triples and doubles!! It will also cause you shorter putts if your 100 yard game is on!

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joined a club 6 years ago and started at a 17 when i posted 20 rounds. i moved to downward pretty steady to low index of a 7.something. started a new busines and moved back to 12 index...getting back some practice time and have gotten back down to an 8. something index.

bottom line - i think is as mature golfers we all have a "show up and score range" based on your game, we all have a "been working regular on the practice area" range that is a couple shots lower and if we want to get better it takes a whole lot of work.

what I define as better is when your "show up and play range" is what your "practicing hard range" used to be!! it takes a lot of work to create that!

i also think we all have a cap based on physical and mental limitations, how low that is has many variables but at the end of the day you are limited. not everyone regardless of workout or lessons can be scratch or a 5 or whatever.

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I've been shooting in the mid 80's recently, so yeah. Putting has been huge for me, as I typically don't have trouble getting on the green for a birdie put. But if I'm off that birdie can drop to a par or bogey... Practice practice. I also saw a huge difference after I started using GPS. I use the free golf logix app, it does the job alright. Probably gonna get a rangefinder for next bow season.
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I am getting better even though I shoot around the same as I have for the last several years. A couple years ago, I started playing "real golf" ie by the rules. Most of the time up to then was with guys at the club and rolling the ball in the fairway was commonplace. I started playing the ball down a couple years ago, and have gotten back to mid 80's most of the time, or 42-43 for 9 which is what i usually play. I also walk occasionally, which I never did before, and that has made my golf "better". In generally hit every club in my bag fairly consistently, though any club can also go off the air temporarily which is what usually causes the bad holes.
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For years now, I have maintained my consistent roller coaster HC. I start off the season around a 10 and I slowly wind up near an 8 by the end of the season. I've never really been much lower in my life and I've surely been much better. But, this is without practice and without playing during the winter. I know that If I put in the time with somebody like Erik and practiced with effort (with the practice being efficient and tailored to my needs) that I could be leaps and bounds better off than I will be without it.

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I think you misunderstood. When you are by yourself, go for the harder shots. It's a form of practice. If you practice the hard shots, the easy shots, get easier. I just played in a 2 man scramble tourney with a guy and we shot a 63, he laid up....and I went for it. I never would have hit any great shots if I wouldn't have ever practiced hard shots. What happens if you shank a lay up shot? You are forced to make something happen to save par.
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