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Getting to single figures...


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Assuming the guy with the magic pills is joking (maybe he should get a job on the stage?) I was considering which is most beneficial; short game lesson or general swing lesson... Any thoughts?

General swing, and it isn't even close. Unless you're incompetent at some aspect of the short game (always stub chips, always blade pitches, always hit putts fat, etc), an improved general swing will be the bigger difference. Also, for less than the cost of a lesson, order a copy of LSW.

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Thanks for the advice... have just been trying to buy LSW online, but am in the UK. Is it worth an equivalent of 45 US dollars??


Yes, but you can also contact Joe Jezzard on Twitter and get a copy from him. He imports them in semi-bulk to the UK.

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  • 3 months later...
Would definitely recommend this book - LOWEST SCORE WINS makes such great sense, destroys a few of golf's 'urban myths' and outlines a real plan for improving (although shot maps could take time). Well worth a read and re-read though!
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Having got to the singles this year (then back up, and now going down at a good pace), eliminating mistakes is probably the biggest.  If you're an 11 hdcp you can hit a golf ball better than most.  Obviously more practice, short game, blah blah, will make you better, but the in my opinion the biggest thing is playing smart.  Learn where to aim so that when you miss, you're in play with a decent shot.  Aim for the middle of greens when the pin is short or on the wrong side for your shot shape.  Take your medicine and make sure you don't make worse than bogey after a bad shot.

Playing a lot is best, but I'm sure it can be done when you're not playing 3x a week.  Remember, the better you get, the hard it is to keep getting better (if that makes sense).  When you're trying to break 100 2-3 blow up holes isn't going to kill your chances, but when you're trying to consistently shoot sub-80, it only takes 2-3  bad holes to ensure that's not gonna happen.

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Good thread. Back playing and practicing with purpose. Just ordered "Lowest Score Wins" as a info user person. Lookout Loretta!
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Having got to the singles this year (then back up, and now going down at a good pace), eliminating mistakes is probably the biggest.  If you're an 11 hdcp you can hit a golf ball better than most.  Obviously more practice, short game, blah blah, will make you better, but the in my opinion the biggest thing is playing smart.  Learn where to aim so that when you miss, you're in play with a decent shot.  Aim for the middle of greens when the pin is short or on the wrong side for your shot shape.  Take your medicine and make sure you don't make worse than bogey after a bad shot.

Playing a lot is best, but I'm sure it can be done when you're not playing 3x a week.  Remember, the better you get, the hard it is to keep getting better (if that makes sense).  When you're trying to break 100 2-3 blow up holes isn't going to kill your chances, but when you're trying to consistently shoot sub-80, it only takes 2-3  bad holes to ensure that's not gonna happen.


I was going to reply with something this, but I read through the thread and here it is. You already have the game to be single-digit. You just have to start thinking through each shot, play shots you can hit well, and don't try to get things out of your game that aren't there.

The next three rounds, write down after each one, every stroke you played. Go over how many strokes you lost because of mental errors. I'll bet it would be more than enough to get those two strokes.

Essentially, golf is a game, and we all need to learn how to play it. That's different from knowing how to hit shots.

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I joined a club last season and got to know some competitive players at our club with low digit handicaps and played few rounds with them and it has help my game to watch their shotmaking and accuracy

each player seems to be good at something, their swing, putting, course management etc.

I think one way to improve is to play as much with better players.

Also there's some money games during the week with players with both low and high single digit handicap and playing with them keeps my mind on scoring low.

Our club champ is a plus handicap and first time I played with him I felt very intimated, but now I relish the challenge as I know he's going to be in the middle of the fairway and putting for birdie on almost every hole.

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I was going to reply with something this, but I read through the thread and here it is. You already have the game to be single-digit. You just have to start thinking through each shot, play shots you can hit well, and don't try to get things out of your game that aren't there.

The next three rounds, write down after each one, every stroke you played. Go over how many strokes you lost because of mental errors. I'll bet it would be more than enough to get those two strokes.

Essentially, golf is a game, and we all need to learn how to play it. That's different from knowing how to hit shots.


Going through your round shot by shot is a great idea.  I do it often, and like Rec said, it'll give you a very good clue to where you're losing strokes.  There's going to be a two kinds of bad shots: the ones where you did everything right but put a poor swing on the ball (fixed with a lot practice, increased consistency, etc.) and the ones where you made a mental f*ck up (too aggressive off the tee, poor club choice, trying to hit that 210 yard high cut from the right trees that you swear you pulled off that one time a year ago, etc.).  The second category is where you'll drop strokes quick.

As far as improving your swing, I've found that at my level (right now at least) the majority of bad swings I make come from poor alignment at address.  I have a habit of setting up about 10-15 yards right of the target.  This doesn't just cause shots that go where you're aiming...you eyes and mind know where the target is, and will subconsciously screw up your swing in an attempt to swing at the target, resulting in pulls and over the top swings.  Might not be your problem at all, but much easier fix.

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Going through your round shot by shot is a great idea.  I do it often, and like Rec said, it'll give you a very good clue to where you're losing strokes.  There's going to be a two kinds of bad shots: the ones where you did everything right but put a poor swing on the ball (fixed with a lot practice, increased consistency, etc.) and the ones where you made a mental f*ck up (too aggressive off the tee, poor club choice, trying to hit that 210 yard high cut from the right trees that you swear you pulled off that one time a year ago, etc.).  The second category is where you'll drop strokes quick.   As far as improving your swing, I've found that at my level (right now at least) the majority of bad swings I make come from poor alignment at address.  I have a habit of setting up about 10-15 yards right of the target.  This doesn't just cause shots that go where you're aiming...you eyes and mind know where the target is, and will subconsciously screw up your swing in an attempt to swing at the target, resulting in pulls and over the top swings.  Might not be your problem at all, but much easier fix.

This is where game golf has helped me a lot. I have a documentation of all my rounds.

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As an 11 h'capper, who plays approx once a fortnight in comps with practice time limited to two nights a week max in between, what would people suggest is the best way to get into single figures???

Relative to USGA handicaps, aren't you actually equivalent to a 7 or less? Is your 11 based off a running average of scores?

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Been sitting around a 12 handicap this summer and the last and want to get to singles so badly this year. I work up north and for the longest time couldn't hit any balls, just do some mirror work etc. Then I saw one of the posters up here had put a wiffle ball on a string and attached it to the ground, genious! I don't have anywhere to put a net so this is perfect for me. Hopefully between that and finding this forum I can shave a few more strokes off (or you know a lot of strokes would be cool too)

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  • 2 months later...

Been a while since I posted that I was trying to get to single figures from 11...

Well I managed it at the end of August; won 2 comps and had a shot cut for 'general play' so now down to 8.9

Why am I telling anyone this? Because what made the difference (I'm 99% sure) was, after playing pretty much qualifying comps only for 3/4 months, I played 2 games with my old man on holiday and didn't really even keep score. Just played for sheer enjoyment/occasion. Then got home and won 2 of the next 3 comps I entered.

And it reminded me that we are supposed to be playing for fun, right?!

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Note: This thread is 2087 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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