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


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I wish I knew how to properly use the bounce of my sand wedge on pitch shots. I would've been a much, much better player. I wasted a ton of strokes being too steep throughout the years.

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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'

33 minutes ago, RH31 said:

I wish I knew how to properly use the bounce of my sand wedge on pitch shots. I would've been a much, much better player. I wasted a ton of strokes being too steep throughout the years.

And that to achieve that it's a much more active / wristy / fliippy feeling release vs. the full swing irons shot feel you may be working on at the same time and also less lower body / upper body sequence & separation. A totally different feeling swing.

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18 hours ago, NeedAJoker said:

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.

 

Absolutely agree.  Last year was the first season I got serious about video feedback.  I remember watching my swing and thinking, "Oh God is THAT what I look like??" 

Self diagnosis through feel alone can only get you so far. 

Now that I am learning more about the movements of the swing, it is easier to look at a video and diagnose what I am doing because the video does not lie. 

On the flip side, it's fun to see improvements on video because you have proof that you have successfully implemented some changes. 

Side note: as a musicians I know how easy it is to avoid that kind of feedback, i.e. I hate recording myself. 

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More serious answer -

to use video comparisons, and ball flight laws

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Probably 8-9 years ago, I attempted golf as a poor university student with zero instruction and quit because of frustration.

Last summer, thought Id try it again by properly going to a beginner adult camp thing over 5 Sundays and loved it because of that instruction. That camp was $100.

Had I stumbled upon something like that 8 years ago at a similar price, I might have paid that and loved the sport 8 years earlier.

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I cant say i have many things i wish i would have known as a beginner that i know now. I had instruction on fundamentals and basics on course managment from day one. Lessons i still use to this day. My full swing is more or less self taught, but the foundation was built on those lessons in the fundamentals i received from the teaching pro. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

One instructor's 'mental picture' / 'feel' I found particularly enlightening a bit into my own journey came from Herman Williams where he talked about 'backing in' for the full swing. I recommend checking his stuff out.

 

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For me, I wish I had been taught good drills to do at the range. I use to be very stubborn and just hit bucket after bucket without very much improvement. 

A couple of good drills that I have discovered recently I will mention here.

The first drill you set up to the ball as you normally do. Next step away from the ball a few inches so you can do practice swings so that you  do not hit the ball when you swing.

Next, swing forwards and backwards over and over without stopping, until you build up a rhythm. Your tempo might speed up, but you can slow down the tempo if you try.

After you get in a rhythm and you are still swinging forward and backwards, simply  pick one downswing to step a few inches towards the ball while you are in the downswing and just let the ball get in the way of your clubhead. This drill is a variation of what some call the perpetual drill. Here is a  link of Fred Astaire demonstrating his version of the perpetual drill ( 

 )  

 

The next drill is usually called the ball  drill. This drill teaches how to stabilize the lower body, which might make your swing more consistent.

Here is the drill.

Take a soccer ball and place it between your knees or your thighs, try it both ways.

Now swing the club and hit some balls, keeping the soccer ball between your knees such that the ball does not fall to the ground, but stays between you knees during the entire swing.

Here is a video about the ball between the knees drill.

So drills are very important. Your time is valuable. Try to do drills that really help a lot.

Try  not to waste your  time on drills that do not improve your handicap.

Try to have a swing that does not injure your knees, hips, or lower back.

Good Regards To You And Yours

LukeDaniel

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still consider myself a beginner, but I've learned that making adjustments in golf is like backing up a boat on a trailer.  Make small adjustments and then react, big changes and adjustments will jackknife you.

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I wish I'd known that someone was going to invent GI irons in the early 80's.  I wouldn't have spent $240 in the pro shop (the only place you could buy brand name clubs and balls back then) on Golden Ram blades in 1974.  I'd have suffered through with my starter set for a few more years (the starter set was blades too, but not exactly tuned).  

Probably not really true, though.  I really wanted a full set, even if I only hit the longer irons reasonably well about 25% of the time.  They were still really, really better than my old half set of discount store clubs.

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Here's a non-technique related one just for perspective on reasonable expectations.

Golf through a TV camera lens distorts the depth of field and perception of distances.

Don't get me wrong the pros hit it miles figuratively, but on TV it looks like actual miles sometimes to the hole. Gauge your own misses a bit more realistically when you understand how much they frequently miss by even when within 150 yards.

Similarly, putting distances on TV look huge compared to one's own perspective from the same distance on the green. I used to visually equate their 20 footers with what I now know are my 60 footers. Now they are still way better putters than me, but understanding that difference and pacing off distances on my practice green gives me a much better sense of what's a reasonable 'make distance' vs. a lag putt.

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Something I was noticing at the range today. I was setting up on an uphill lie and when I dropped my right shoulder to match the slope, I noticed that it made my shoulders feel more 'closed' to the target.

Recently I had been having misses tending to the fade side, and I think I have often been setting up a bit too open with the shoulders (but where it 'felt' square) leading to that fade tendency. When I consciously went for a slightly 'closed' feel of the shoulders relative to the target, I started making much better contact and the familiar ball flight (straight to slight draw) returned.

I wonder if a 'feel' of being square to the target line actually resulting in open shoulders might contribute to the beginner tendency to slice?

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3 hours ago, natureboy said:

Something I was noticing at the range today. I was setting up on an uphill lie and when I dropped my right shoulder to match the slope, I noticed that it made my shoulders feel more 'closed' to the target.

Recently I had been having misses tending to the fade side, and I think I have often been setting up a bit too open with the shoulders (but where it 'felt' square) leading to that fade tendency. When I consciously went for a slightly 'closed' feel of the shoulders relative to the target, I started making much better contact and the familiar ball flight (straight to slight draw) returned.

I wonder if a 'feel' of being square to the target line actually resulting in open shoulders might contribute to the beginner tendency to slice?

I don't think so. I think beginners tend to "hit" at a golf ball using arms as the primary muscle causing out to in (or over the top) swing. This is the main culprit for slice. 

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#1 thing for me would have been that I don't have to swing "up" on the ball "to make it go in the air." Wasted a lot of time on that (before lessons).

#2 would be not having to swing like the dickens at the ball to make it go far, and instead just have a natural easy movement with good control. the ball will go far enough, if not farther

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5 hours ago, Yukari said:

I don't think so. I think beginners tend to "hit" at a golf ball using arms as the primary muscle causing out to in (or over the top) swing. This is the main culprit for slice. 

Like I said in the post: contributory. I get that the early (vs. late) 'hit' impulse is likely the primary factor, but over the top also involves early and higher than ideal right shoulder movement out to the ball. If the shoulders are more open than they should be starting out, it's not going to help.

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26 minutes ago, natureboy said:

Like I said in the post: contributory. I get that the early (vs. late) 'hit' impulse is likely the primary factor, but over the top also involves early and higher than ideal right shoulder movement out to the ball. If the shoulders are more open than they should be starting out, it's not going to help.

I believe it's more to do with clubhead movement and how it promotes redirection. Also how the elbows and wrists work in transition. I don't think the right shoulder is the primary driver of the over the top move. 

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