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skywaterbanjo

How many rounds does it take to get back to pre-winter form?

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I work really hard on my game during the summer when I can play.  I'm happy where my game ended up last fall ( 8.8 index) when our courses closed for the winter.  I can't travel much in the winter to play - maybe 5 or 6 rounds for the Nov-April timeframe.

So, the course opens in about a month and I know I'm not going to be anywhere near where I left off.  My handicap index is going to cost me a lot in my Tuesday men's league - most of the other guys play year around and I'll have to give anywhere from 5 - 10 strokes from my index.  I come back off of winter playing closer to a 13 or 14.

I will do my best to get back to pre-winter form.  How long does it take you guys who can't play in the winter to feel like your game is back?  My experience so far is that it takes a good 12-15 rounds, which puts me almost mid-summer.

Thoughts?

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Usually, I play some of the best rounds earlier in the season.  I think it's because I forget about all the bad habits and concentrate more on the basics.  By the time summer comes along, I usually fall into a slump.  Typically, it is because I am thinking too much by then.

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For me it's not rounds but driving range time. I'm a high enough handicap that I'm missing plenty of shots anyway with my long game, but to actually feel back in the swing of things, I need buckets and buckets of reps to beat out my bad habits developed over the winter of not playing and taking dry swings. The Haney philosophy of taking 100 swings a day sounds great on paper. But I was just reinforcing bad habits without any feedback to tell me to correct them, haha.

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I'm only three years in, but some of the worst rounds of golf I've ever had were the early spring ones. Last year's initial outing will go down in history as "The Massacre At Yankee Trace". It made me think about quitting for a solid week.

Between busy season at work and the crappy weather, I don't get a lot of golf in until late April. After four or five rounds, I'm usually back to a similar form that I ended the fall with.  Improvement has generally come between May and September and then levels off in the fall.

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Usually, I play some of the best rounds earlier in the season.  I think it's because I forget about all the bad habits and concentrate more on the basics.  By the time summer comes along, I usually fall into a slump.  Typically, it is because I am thinking too much by then.

This.... Even though I might hit the range a few times before hand to "keep my eye in" so to speak, I go to Florida in Mid/Late March to play a few rounds between chore work for my Dad. I almost ALWAYS shoot the best score of the year (on decent courses) on the second time around. I'm not thinking about shooting a good score- just glad to be out there in the sunshine. No thinking about swing plane, head position, wrist cock, etc... By the end of the visit, I think "Okay, I got my swing nailed down". Get back home and try and repeat the performance... DENIED. Drives me nuts.

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I'm in the same boat as you. I live in MN, so my season is even shorter than yours. I'd say it probably takes me a good 5-10 rounds to get back into the swing of things (pun intended). I love MN, but HATE no golf in the winter.

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I need 4 or 5 100+ ball range sessions to get ready for the course.  I also try to spend a few hours on the short game.  If my regular course is uncrowded, my first couple of rounds are practice rounds hitting multiple shots and forgetting about the score.  If there is no one behind me I will work on my short game including the sand.  My first couple of legitimate rounds are usually a few strokes higher but by mid-May I am playing decent golf.  If the fly-fishing is great it may take until mid-June before I am consumed with golf.

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I'm heading to Tampa area in two weeks (from Ohio) to work on the game.  I'll make 4 tee times in the noon-1pm range and show up 2 hours ahead of that time and practice, practice, practice.  Will work a lot on the short game, putting and will hit a large bucket before each round.

When you're a 16 handicapper, keeping it there or a bit better is as much as can be expected.  It's not like practicing is going to make me a sub-10 handicapper anymore!  And the practice and play time in FL will get me ready enough to return home and play badly is the disgusting weather of April and May in NE Ohio.

dave

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I'm heading to Tampa area in two weeks (from Ohio) to work on the game.  I'll make 4 tee times in the noon-1pm range and show up 2 hours ahead of that time and practice, practice, practice. Will work a lot on the short game, putting and will hit a large bucket before each round.

Why so much time on the short game and putting?

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Up here in Vancouver we can play almost all year round.

For me the issue is not how long it will take to get my game back from the winter break but rather how long it will take for me to recover back from my winter handicap index.

Our active season (for handicap posting) is from March 1 to Nov 15.

Any scores posted during the non active season is still used in the calculation of a handicap during that off season but on March 1st those scores are excluded in the calculation of the active season handicap.

My index at Nov 15th of last year was 12.7 (home course handicap of 15) and my current index is 9.5 (home course handicap of 11).

So on March 1st I immediately go back to being a 12.7 index or 15 handicap.

My last 5 scores were 85, 81, 85, 81, 84.

Based on my active season handicap I would have shot net scores of 69, 66, 69, 66, 68.

My handicap is very accurate as I always post every round and because my regular weekend group plays a money game we keep each other scores. As well most my playing partners regularly look over each other's handicaps.

Looking forward to March for my weekend games.

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Why so much time on the short game and putting?

Maybe it's just a very, very, very large bucket of balls on the range?

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Why so much time on the short game and putting?

Actually, it's about 50-50, short-game to hitting balls on range in terms of time spent.  Over the past 5 years, I've learned that keeping my scores to mid- to high-80s relies heavily upon a sharp short game.  The long game just isn't there anymore.  Hack my way to 120 and into my comfort zone and I'm good to go from there.  Even hitting 200 yard drives and being lucky enough to flush anything from the fairway once every five attempts is why I depend so much on my short game.

To quote Bruce Hornsby:  "that's just the way it is."

dave

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Actually, it's about 50-50, short-game to hitting balls on range in terms of time spent.  Over the past 5 years, I've learned that keeping my scores to mid- to high-80s relies heavily upon a sharp short game.  The long game just isn't there anymore.  Hack my way to 120 and into my comfort zone and I'm good to go from there.  Even hitting 200 yard drives and being lucky enough to flush anything from the fairway once every five attempts is why I depend so much on my short game.

To quote Bruce Hornsby:  "that's just the way it is."

dave

I think you open yourself up to a resigned response of "some things will never change"

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I don't "play by the rules" until May. They're all practice rounds.

I spend about 20 minutes before each round lag putting and about 20 minutes on the practice tee loosening up.

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I just played five rounds of golf while on holiday, which is the first golf I've had since October. The rust was there, especially in the iron work. I'd say another four or five rounds and I'd be back to speed with where my game was before the snow. Of course, I won't golf again until the end of April at the earliest, so it will easily take another ten rounds total to get in form.

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I will do my best to get back to pre-winter form.  How long does it take you guys who can't play in the winter to feel like your game is back?  My experience so far is that it takes a good 12-15 rounds, which puts me almost mid-summer.

Thoughts?

I usually hit the range pretty hard before the first rounds of the year. Usually one range session gets my contact back up to form. Same with the short game. If I spend a good day on it I can get the feel I want back. Putting comes back almost instantly.

Actually, it's about 50-50, short-game to hitting balls on range in terms of time spent.  Over the past 5 years, I've learned that keeping my scores to mid- to high-80s relies heavily upon a sharp short game.  The long game just isn't there anymore.  Hack my way to 120 and into my comfort zone and I'm good to go from there.  Even hitting 200 yard drives and being lucky enough to flush anything from the fairway once every five attempts is why I depend so much on my short game.

If your short game is that good then cut that % down and increase your long game practice. Cutting back on your short game practice will not hurt its performance. It is one of the easier aspects of the golf game to keep sharp with minimal amount of practice time.

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It usually feels like a week or two before I am back to full form. It goes from (1) getting used to standing over the ball outside and hitting it the first day to (2) finally being able to feel my swing and hit it more like normal the 3rd or 4th time out to (3) finally being able to score like normal after 8 or 10 rounds.

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