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sooper8

Any ideas on turning my game around ?

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I've been out this morning & hit 2 baskets with about 70% success rate - good distance and straighter than I usually do ( only been playing a matter of months, but have an ok swing) Went straight out and played 9 holes with friend and played pretty atrocious golf all the way around. Came back and hit 80% of a basket of balls really well again ... I asked friend for ideas and he said just stay on the driving range.... Any thoughts , ideas etc appreciated Thanks in advance Jem
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Patience, Patience, Patience............

Golf is not an easy game.

Most beginners usually want to see their shots go at the intended target.

This leads to looking up quickly. This is the probably the difference of what you are experiencing  at the range and on the course.

At the range, practice an abundance of shots with each club, use your imagination.

On the course, practice when there is no other golfers behind you. (late in the day is a great time)

Practice on the course is an opportunity to hit a few bad shots, over.

It will not matter if you still hit bad shots, but if you hit good shots it will boost your confidence.

If and when you do play on course, do not let bad shots frustrate you.

The good shots will come with practice, guidance and lessons.

Club Rat

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Patience, Patience, Patience............

Golf is not an easy game.

Most beginners usually want to see their shots go at the intended target.

This leads to looking up quickly. This is the probably the difference of what you are experiencing  at the range and on the course.

At the range, practice an abundance of shots with each club, use your imagination.

On the course, practice when there is no other golfers behind you. (late in the day is a great time)

Practice on the course is an opportunity to hit a few bad shots, over.

It will not matter if you still hit bad shots, but if you hit good shots it will boost your confidence.

If and when you do play on course, do not let bad shots frustrate you.

The good shots will come with practice, guidance and lessons.

Club Rat

I really appreciate your reply.

Thinking back, maybe I was a bit anxious to see where the ball was going on the course , but less so on the driving range.

And I need to accept that if golf was easy, everyone would be playing and be good at it.

Wise words...thanks

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It took me a long time to take my "range game" to the course, so don't be discouraged. Two things I'll recommend: First, do your best to replicate course conditions on the range. You want a range where you can hit off grass/dirt and tee up with your own tees. The range I practice at now has uneven ground at the end spots, which is even more helpful (since I'm still not nearly good enough to put it in the fairway every time). Also, mix up your clubs at the range, like you have to do on the course. Hit one with your driver, then one with a wood, then an iron, etc. Pretend you're playing a round. Toe your driver on the first shot means you have to use your 3-wood on the next shot. Hit a good drive on your first shot means you should use a 7 iron on the next shot. Be creative. Second, at the course, only hit the shots you know you can hit. At the range, if you hit it poorly, the next one is still off the tee or from fairway conditions. On the course, if you it hit poorly, your next shot will be difficult because you'll be in the rough or the woods or whatever. In the highly *likely* chance you mess up that difficult shot, things will get even more difficult. And then it's in your head and things unravel. So be conservative on the course. If you hit it poorly, with your next shot, just knock it back on the fairway to set yourself up well. Only hit shots you know you can hit -- that's what you're doing on the range. Then count your "aggressive" shots and your "just kicking it back out" shots separately so you get a sense for how you're doing.
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It took me a long time to take my "range game" to the course, so don't be discouraged. Two things I'll recommend:

First, do your best to replicate course conditions on the range. You want a range where you can hit off grass/dirt and tee up with your own tees. The range I practice at now has uneven ground at the end spots, which is even more helpful (since I'm still not nearly good enough to put it in the fairway every time). Also, mix up your clubs at the range, like you have to do on the course. Hit one with your driver, then one with a wood, then an iron, etc. Pretend you're playing a round. Toe your driver on the first shot means you have to use your 3-wood on the next shot. Hit a good drive on your first shot means you should use a 7 iron on the next shot. Be creative.

Second, at the course, only hit the shots you know you can hit. At the range, if you hit it poorly, the next one is still off the tee or from fairway conditions. On the course, if you it hit poorly, your next shot will be difficult because you'll be in the rough or the woods or whatever. In the highly *likely* chance you mess up that difficult shot, things will get even more difficult. And then it's in your head and things unravel. So be conservative on the course. If you hit it poorly, with your next shot, just knock it back on the fairway to set yourself up well. Only hit shots you know you can hit -- that's what you're doing on the range. Then count your "aggressive" shots and your "just kicking it back out" shots separately so you get a sense for how you're doing.

Thanks for your thoughtful response- I really appreciate your ideas and encouraging words.

Regards

Jem

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No problem. I very rarely post here, but this forum has been an incredible resource for me -- I've gone from never having broken 100 about a year ago to regularly shooting in the mid/high 80s, which makes me as good as the guys I work with and need to not embarass myself in front of. Part of that is playing *a lot* more, but another part is the tips I've read here. That in mind, here's my effort to give back to the forum. These are the four tips that have helped me the most: 1. When you swing, pull the club with your left arm (assuming you're right handed). Power comes from the left. Your right arm is just there for guidance, not for power. Opposite of baseball. Practice at the range holding a towel in your right armpit. That'll keep your right elbow tucked in and eliminate a baseball swing. Don't worry about where the ball goes when the towel's in there, the towel's not going to be there when you're actually playing, you just want to use the towel to get used to having your right elbow in and pulling with your left arm. The range is for bad shots anyway.... 2. If you've got an outside-in swing (this is the likely culprit if you have a bigtime slice, like I did), when you warm up before swinging, don't take your normal swing. Instead swing a few times as if the club is a big bucket of water you're throwing over your left shoulder. Before you take these warm up swings, don't bother setting up properly or anything. This is just to get your body used to an exaggerated inside-out motion. 3. If you think about your swing as a pendulum, the pivot isn't the middle of your chest, it's your left shoulder. Really helped me visualize the game, from lining up right, to hitting down on the ball, to follow through, to weight shift, etc. This whole deal's a mental game... I'm sure... maybe... 4. If you're struggling with the driver, seriously consider buying a driver with a short shaft (42-44") and/or high loft (more than 10 degrees). Mine is both. Short shaft means easier to make good contact; high loft means backspin to compete with sidespin (i.e., slice). Upside is accuracy; downside is distance. Also, the ultimate goal is to drive the big dog 300 yards down the fairway, and leaving the big dog in the garage doesn't help me there. But if you struggle with the big dog, better to be 230 in the fairway than 280 in the woods. And I've got enough other holes in my game that I count 230 in the fairway as a strength.... No idea if any or all of these will work for you, and I'm sure some people here will have had bad experiences with or recommend against any or all of them. All I know is that they helped me make the transition from really, really sucking to being a normal bad golfer. I fear my next step -- somehow becoming a good golfer -- is one I won't be able to acheive.... Gotta dust off the big dog...
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One thing that I found when starting out, or being newish to the game is to learn how to RELAX on the golf course. When at the range, if you mis hit a shot, it's no big deal, as you have many more balls to correct the mistake, or at least try, not so on the course, so you tend to tense up, and there's not 1 thing I can think of that you can do well while your tense.

Also, don't have more than 2 swing thoughts if you have them, most get to confused and blow the shot anyway.

Then there's the TEMPO, TEMPO thing. Hurried/fast swings usually bring more trouble than not. Last BREATHE, you can't relax if you don't breathe, try counting on your swing, from take away..1001  1002 that helped me. Good luck and keep trying.

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No problem. I very rarely post here, but this forum has been an incredible resource for me -- I've gone from never having broken 100 about a year ago to regularly shooting in the mid/high 80s, which makes me as good as the guys I work with and need to not embarass myself in front of. Part of that is playing *a lot* more, but another part is the tips I've read here. That in mind, here's my effort to give back to the forum. These are the four tips that have helped me the most:

1. When you swing, pull the club with your left arm (assuming you're right handed). Power comes from the left. Your right arm is just there for guidance, not for power. Opposite of baseball. Practice at the range holding a towel in your right armpit. That'll keep your right elbow tucked in and eliminate a baseball swing. Don't worry about where the ball goes when the towel's in there, the towel's not going to be there when you're actually playing, you just want to use the towel to get used to having your right elbow in and pulling with your left arm. The range is for bad shots anyway....

2. If you've got an outside-in swing (this is the likely culprit if you have a bigtime slice, like I did), when you warm up before swinging, don't take your normal swing. Instead swing a few times as if the club is a big bucket of water you're throwing over your left shoulder. Before you take these warm up swings, don't bother setting up properly or anything. This is just to get your body used to an exaggerated inside-out motion.

3. If you think about your swing as a pendulum, the pivot isn't the middle of your chest, it's your left shoulder. Really helped me visualize the game, from lining up right, to hitting down on the ball, to follow through, to weight shift, etc. This whole deal's a mental game... I'm sure... maybe...

4. If you're struggling with the driver, seriously consider buying a driver with a short shaft (42-44") and/or high loft (more than 10 degrees). Mine is both. Short shaft means easier to make good contact; high loft means backspin to compete with sidespin (i.e., slice). Upside is accuracy; downside is distance. Also, the ultimate goal is to drive the big dog 300 yards down the fairway, and leaving the big dog in the garage doesn't help me there. But if you struggle with the big dog, better to be 230 in the fairway than 280 in the woods. And I've got enough other holes in my game that I count 230 in the fairway as a strength....

No idea if any or all of these will work for you, and I'm sure some people here will have had bad experiences with or recommend against any or all of them. All I know is that they helped me make the transition from really, really sucking to being a normal bad golfer. I fear my next step -- somehow becoming a good golfer -- is one I won't be able to acheive.... Gotta dust off the big dog...

I'm on the range this weekend (and maybe will have time to get 9 holes in), I will feedback on these tips.

Thank you!

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One thing that I found when starting out, or being newish to the game is to learn how to RELAX on the golf course. When at the range, if you mis hit a shot, it's no big deal, as you have many more balls to correct the mistake, or at least try, not so on the course, so you tend to tense up, and there's not 1 thing I can think of that you can do well while your tense.

Also, don't have more than 2 swing thoughts if you have them, most get to confused and blow the shot anyway.

Then there's the TEMPO, TEMPO thing. Hurried/fast swings usually bring more trouble than not. Last BREATHE, you can't relax if you don't breathe, try counting on your swing, from take away..1001  1002 that helped me. Good luck and keep trying.

I see what you mean about 'no more than 2 thoughts'.

But I don't quite get the counting on the swing - can you either give a little bit more info or provide a link please?

Thanks for your thoughts...I think last weekend I was a bit rushed and consequently didn't relax at all. We all had 2 young guys behind pushing on us a bit and I felt rushed even if I actually didn't need to be.

It certainly has more of a mental element on the course than the range for sure....

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What I mean by counting is, once you are at address and ready to make your swing, before your takeaway, count  1001...1002 should be the finish of your swing. That way you avoid the "fast" or hurried swing, and you'll likely make better contact. Oh and making sure your relaxed. What I strive for is a swing tempo like Freddy Couples or Ernie Els, not saying you should strive for that type of swing, but it will tend to slow you down a tad for better contact, at least it does for me.

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This might sound weird, but try chewing gum. I noticed that I hit much better shots on the course when I'm chewing gum. If I try to hit it too hard, I tend to tense up and clench my jaw a bit. If I'm chewing gum, I stay a lot more relaxed and swing more free. So, try that and see if it helps. It certainly can't hurt, and won't put any additional thoughts into your head.

No offense to anyone that has posted swing thoughts, but in my opinion, thinking over the ball is the worst thing you can do. Think about what you're going to do before you get over the ball, take a practice swing, and then just hit it.

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