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What is something you know now that you wished you knew as a beginner?


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As the first one in my family to try to play golf, I wish I had gotten a couple of lessons at the beginning.

I was a little league baseball player when I started caddying and trying to learn golf. I just got clubs and started swinging. In year two (1964?) I bought Doug Ford's 1960 book "Getting Started in Golf."

One problem: Our  first set of sticks was a "grab bag" of clubs from 1930 through 1960. The driver, as I found out two years into playing, was a lead-filled training club never meant to be used for full swings on the course. (I've had a life of tempo problems with my swing.) 

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1 - that girlfriends, no matter how nice they are at the beginning, eventually go crazy 2 - a large percentage of women eventually end up looking like their moms 3 - the skinny, geeky girls

Great responses.  I'm enjoying this although I agree that I wouldn't really change anything about the journey because that's how we truly learn.  There's a reason golf is hard and yet we all still cli

Hey everyone,  I've been reflecting on my golf journey and was just curious, what are some of those things you know now that you wished you could have figured out as a beginner?  For me, it'

16 hours ago, arturo28mx said:

I wish I had known that the golf swing comes more from the torso than from the arms.

This and I wish I had taken a lesson right away.  Now I am fighting 20+ years of bad habits.

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When I started played my first round in 1969, the only information available was bad information.  However, at that time in my life, finances and location determined that nothing much was going to change.  I never understood much about the golf swing until I went to a golf school in the late eighties.  The next big event was a lesson from a top teacher that worked with me strictly on the action of the legs and hips.  To sum it up, the available golf instruction to beginners is light years ahead of the rural area where I started.  The internet has changed golf instruction immeasurably.  However the internet has hurt golf IMO as the youngsters won't get off their machines and go play.

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I wish I knew how expensive this dang sport was. I probably never would have taken it up.

Who am I kidding. Of course I would. :-)

In all seriousness, when I started playing regularly about 18 years ago, I thought I would be scratch in a few years. How hard can it be, I thought. I spent years getting pissed because I couldn't hit it like the guys on tv. Eventually I realized how difficult this game is and learned to enjoy playing and work on little things to improve.

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Now, I don't really wish I knew more/different from the beginning. I am ok having kissed my frogs. All journeys are unique and I respect mine.

Having said that what I know now reflects some of the above posts:  

1) Golf is hard. Like ridiculously hard. I think I lacked the level of respect it deserves for a very long time and.

2) Going it alone without proper instruction is like betting your life savings on 35:1 odds.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Rainmaker said:

I wish I knew how much difference finding the right instructor makes.  I took a series of 10 weekly lessons when I first started really trying to "learn golf".  It didn't work out, I got discouraged and figured I just didn't have the needed natural ability.  I hacked it around for 3 years before I gave lessons another shot. 

100% this. If I had taken the time to actually get quality instruction when I started instead of thinking I could "dig it out of the dirt", self diagnose, and/or use all those videos and articles to fix my swing.... Yeah I think it's pretty safe to say I would have been a single digit HC golfer long ago. The shear number of years and swings that I've had this damn flip has made it so difficult to get rid of that by the time I do I will have lost so much time that would have been able to used to address the other issues with my swing.

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Great responses.  I'm enjoying this although I agree that I wouldn't really change anything about the journey because that's how we truly learn.  There's a reason golf is hard and yet we all still cling to it. 

Big takeaways:

1.) Getting instruction early is important but finding the right teacher is more important and somewhat difficult 

2.) Going it alone is even more difficult 

3.) When in doubt, always go with a simpler swing. 

4.)  There are some important movements we tend to overlook, mainly torso rotation. 

I agree with all of this.  I find I can hit the ball nearly as far with a crisp compact swing that allows me to stay balanced  rather than a big overswing that feels way harder and is more likely to miss.  That's when my arms get too involved and big problems show up. 

Also, torso rotation is like the biggest thing I am working on right now.  The cool thing is, I can work on this in the mirror without a club, just trying to focus on spine angle and feeling the right muscle groups activating. 

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I think practicing all aspects of the game, chipping, pitching, bunker shots, low shots, high shots, draw and fades etc and practice with all clubs at a 70-80% swing rate for control and the feel of hitting the ball in the center of the club goes a long way in the beginning.

Progression often helps with dedication and knowledge. I've always been big on video and just working with better golfers along with many lessons through the years.

I've just began a journey working with my grandson at our club. He gets to golf with other kids his age, and gets instruction from the golf staff.
I've been spending 2-3 hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays mornings on the putting green, on the range, chipping and bunker play.
I've started a Vid Log and show it to him along with explaining procedures. I explain to him that development will take time and not become
discouraged because golf is a difficult sport.

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Wish I would have seen video of my swing sooner. The biggest factor in me taking measures to improve was seeing my shot swing and being so embarrassed I knew I'd have to improve or consider quitting. Unfortunately that didn't happen until I was a freakin' 12 handicap so I played a lot of bad golf.

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The main things for me have already been stated, but with just really starting to take the game seriously at age 30(last year) this is fresh in my mind and something I think about often.  

1. Ball Flight Laws- I think if I would have had a very good grasp of these at the beginning, I could have improved much quicker.  It is literally night and day difference when you hit a bad shot and can say "Well it started right, and moved more right, so my face was probably open to an inside out path. Let me close the face a bit and get a draw." vs "Shit another slice, I suck at driver. Maybe if I change my grip again..." Would have saved me a ton of time wasted beating balls with no clue how to diagnose.

2. Video- Once I learned to break down my swing after watching hours and hours of My Swing threads here, it changed everything.  Besides having a coach or someone with you every session, you just can't beat something that can remove all "feels" and give you an honest answer every time.  The easiest way for me to change the picture, was to literally SEE the picture changing.

Kevin

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I wish I knew how hard it would be to break bad swing habits I ingrained from years of bad or no instruction.  

I started out with an over the top, outside to in swing and whenever I'm under stress it will sneak back in when I lose mental focus.  

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I wish I had started when I was a kid. My overly generous parents would have footed the bill for the lessons.

Now, I just can't really dedicated more than a certain amount of the budget to golf and I need that money to play.

 

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On 6/26/2016 at 2:42 PM, Piz said:

I wish I'd known that a good golf swing was fluid and graceful.  I used to swing at the ball instead of thru it and it took me years to sort the meaning of that phrase.  The "aha!" moment , for me, was when I substituted the word "turn" for the word "swing".  No amount of "swinging thru the ball" accomplishes the same effect as "turning thru the ball" does.  My instructors meant well; but I never interpreted "swing" to mean "turn".  

So what was the functional difference, you think? More shoulders and less arms from 'turn' vs. 'swing'?

On 6/26/2016 at 5:46 PM, chilepepper said:

Ball flight / swing path. 

That's a good one.

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1. Listen only to smart people. Just because someone is a "Professional" at your local course does not mean they know much of anything about teaching you how to play.

2. Learn to get your low point in front of the ball with all your clubs but the driver.

3. Learn how to hit up on the ball with the driver.

I have other small things, but these would be the key 3.

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15 hours ago, rehmwa said:

1 - that girlfriends, no matter how nice they are at the beginning, eventually go crazy

2 - a large percentage of women eventually end up looking like their moms

3 - the skinny, geeky girls in school grow up to be hot - and smart.  The curvy hot girls usually end up fat

I know this has nothing to do with golf, but it's still some things I'd have liked to have found out back when I was beginner

I totally agree - especially 1 & 3. 

:-D

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