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Are you a Better Golfer than a Year Ago?


Improvement in Your Golf Game  

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  1. 1. Are you a better golfer than you were one year ago? Are your scores and/or handicap index lower?

  2. 2. One year from now, do you think you will be a better golfer (lower scores and/or handicap index) than you are now?



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This time last year I was scoring about 115. This year the average is closer to about 103. So, yes, I'm better, but for some reason it's even more frustrating to be this close to double digits than to be totally hopeless. I find myself looking at my scorecard at the end of the round and knowing it could have happened this time, if I'd just cleared that bunker the first time, didn't skull that approach pitch, hit that hybrid shot a little cleaner for distance, and didn't spend most of hole 5 on hole 6's fairway. When there are fewer things keeping you from a milestone, the fact they keep happening is that much more maddening.

Edited by Liko81
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I just had to revisit this thread after today's round, which was kind of schizophrenic. This morning my buddy calls me, says his kid is getting off work early, so let's go play! I tied one on pretty good last night and was feeling a little rough, but had 3 hours to get it together so, OK! Anything for golf, right?

Played the front in 44, one stroke less than bogey ball. But it was weird, par, birdie, triple bogey! My short game was nonexistent. But by the end of the front nine I was starting to feel more like myself.

I played the back nine in 37, one over. Suddenly, everything was working, especially my full shots. I striped every single drive on the back, and my tee shots on the par 3's were some of the purest shots I've hit in years!

What's the reason for this? I think it's because I'm now actually trying to make a backswing! Iacas' video from the outing at Eagle Creek, imagery I've seen from my own Bresser camera (similar to a GoPro), and tips from my main golf buddy showed me that I was making a punky, sawed off, wimpy little backswing.

Some might think that introducing more length into the backswing introduces more margin for error. That might be for some, but I have another idea. I think that making a short backswing amplifies the "hit impulse". Your body, which is quite smart, knows you've made a dinky little backswing, so it "thinks" you have to make a real go at it to get the ball to the target. This leads to jumping from the top.

In contrast, a longer backswing allows you to make a more leisurely transition to build clubhead speed through impact. You're not out there slugging away! Even in that back nine I didn't notice a lot of yardage gain other than in the Driver, 3 wood, and my 1 and 2 hybrids. I'd just relax, swing the club, and the ball would go whistling down the line. What I noticed was how purely I struck the ball with all the clubs. On one 200 yard par 3 I hit the I hybrid nearly 25-30 yards over the green! It wound up in the middle of the tee for the next hole!

I don't mean to carry on like some evangelist here, but I feel like today was something of an epiphany! Just relax! Make a full swing. The ball will go!

 

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For me at this point its a resounding yes.  Over the course of the last year and a half I lost 130 pounds (lost it before the end of last year), and learned how to swing with the added flexibility losing that weight affords.

The result has been a massive jump in distance, I've gone from hitting 140 yard 7 irons to 175 yard 7 irons.  Same pretty much all through my bag, though at times it seems like I'm losing distance on my driver (most likely a side effect of poor contact...may also benefit a little from a fitting).  Today I hit a 215 yard 4 iron into a par 5....last year that would have been a 3 wood while I said a little prayer that it would roll up.

I started last golfing again regularly for the first time in about 8 years last year and when the year started a 48 was an average day with something below 45 heavenly.  Now a 48 feels like the world is ending and anything higher than a 41 feels like I'm leaving strokes out there (possibly due to my own overestimation of my abilities).  I've gone from just wanting to consistently break 90 to hoping I can consistently break 80 (did it for the first time Sunday and I've been skirting around 80-82 for most of the summer).

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I'm not sure if I even picked up a club in 2015, but going to a district convention at a golf resort in FL in June got the juices flowing again after a decade with very little play.  I hit a few buckets before teeing it up on their best course twice.  I had a few good shots and holes (1 birdie and a handful of pars in 2 rounds), but was very inconsistent striking the ball and absolutely could not touch it with my old 3-wood that I could not miss with 10 years ago.  I was lucky to break 100 from the 6300-yd tees -- hitting 3 iron off the tee makes it hard.

I'm not a member anywhere, but use Golf Digest's online handicap tool to keep track.  Even with those 2 blowups to start with, after just 6 rounds, it's down to 15.3.  Two weeks ago, I fired a 41-43=84, playing the front 9 twice (back closed for aerification).  A new-to-me driver that I was able to make good contact with made things much easier on second shots in this round.  Dialing it in even more can't hurt.

My right elbow is a little tender after this sudden increase in activity, so I'm taking it easy for now.  I have more interest in improving now than I ever did while in school.  Tightening up my swing mechanics should help me improve over the next year.  I've only broken 80 twice in my life; I expect to do it again soon, and hopefully with regularity in the future.

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Yes, significantly better. Best indications is that my anti-HCP is about 5 shots better, i.e. worse rounds are easily 5 shots better than this time last year.  

Funny thing is best rounds are not yet anywhere near to where they were last year either, in the opposite direction. Yet to hit the 3 month hot streak that showed up early last summer.

Strange game this.

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Overall scoring average is better.  Hitting more greens, straighter and longer off the tee.  The new irons being fitted to me have been very consistent.  No more big left misses. More GIR.

 

Putting back to where it was the year before last.

 

All good!

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i posted earlier that i felt as if my game was much improved, but my handicap hadn't dropped significantly. well after my round today, my index dropped to an all-time low of 3.9. i started the year as a 7.2 index, so I guess the results are starting to come! 

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Been away a few days doing yard and garden work, and processing the fruits of the harvest. But, I wanted to follow up on my last post.

I have to say that I think something has definitely "clicked"! Played 18 this past Thursday with a couple of friends in baking heat and humidity that felt like it would grind you right into the ground!

Long story short, I shot a 7 over par 79! Best score of the year by far. And I still felt like I threw away a stroke here and there!

This "new" swing seems to be working. I put "new" in parentheses since it seems to really be my "old" swing, from back when I could actually play this game, that I am now remembering. You turn your shoulders, not just flap your arms around!

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13 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Been away a few days doing yard and garden work, and processing the fruits of the harvest. But, I wanted to follow up on my last post.

I have to say that I think something has definitely "clicked"! Played 18 this past Thursday with a couple of friends in baking heat and humidity that felt like it would grind you right into the ground!

Long story short, I shot a 7 over par 79! Best score of the year by far. And I still felt like I threw away a stroke here and there!

This "new" swing seems to be working. I put "new" in parentheses since it seems to really be my "old" swing, from back when I could actually play this game, that I am now remembering. You turn your shoulders, not just flap your arms around!

You should go claim the Broke 80 achievement. 

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Definitely better and believe it will be better in a year. On Friday I shot 88 at a course I struggled to break 100, and it felt great. I struggled with the usual stuff, making consistent contact...but my misses aren't near as penalizing as they used to be. Now that I have a better bead on my distances with each club, I'm making smarter shots with less anxiety about whether my swing will be good enough. I've gotten a nice repeatable swing which has helped build confidence. And add on to this the recent addition of LSW to my library and I'm all but guaranteed to be scoring/playing better!

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I don't keep score, but I notice that I am no longer shocked to be playing the same ball for nine holes. So that is something right there. I used to play for nine pars -- in a summer. Now I think I am playing for 18, and throw in a couple of birdies, not all on par 3s.

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Feel as though I am a better golfer, and scores have come down, but not to where I would like them to be but I think most golfers say the same. Love the game but at times don't think the game loves me or are they just my poor shots ,oh well off in a bit the try and break the 100 will let you know.

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On 31 mei 2016 at 10:15 AM, MacDutch said:

And confirmation. Last year I played a three day tournament in Germany and scored 82, 86 and 91. Same tourney this year 80, 83 and 86. Happy :banana:

Funny, this question about getting better keeps me posting again. This year is special, made my first hole in one, made my first par 5 eagle (drive, 5 wood and a putt) and scored for the first time in my life 1 under on a 9 holes round ( par 72, cr 71.9, sr 136) and hcp down to 7.1. Wondering if getting better next year at the age of 60 is doable.

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