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Fairway_CY

Practicing Golf - I Get Bored Easily

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For some reason, I have absolutely no problem going out on the course alone and enjoying 3 hours of hitting a shot and leisurely walking to hit the next one.  I'm at peace.  I'm happy.  I'm focused.  That said... I don't really 'practice' on the course.  Each time I step on a course, I'm trying to post a score.  Doesn't matter if I'm alone, playing with a friend, playing a match at the club or playing in a tournament.  I want to post the best score I can.  

That pretty much leaves the range and practice areas to work on my game.  Currently, I'm working on having more confidence on and around the green.  That means hitting a ton of chip shots to try and ingrain the feel I need to be able to step over the ball and know I'm going to hit is crisply and with the right amount of spin.  It means tediously putting hundreds of 6 footers so they no longer jump up and get me during competition rounds.  

The problem is... I get bored easily when doing that.  Now, if I've got someone with me and I can make a competition out of it... I can stand there for a few hours.  I did it last year in Hilton Head with 2 of my buddies.  We went to one of the courses we were going to be playing... stood on the putting green and just hit putts for 2 hours while making a game of it.  Then we spent another hour at the short game area playing what was essentially a game of HORSE.  

I've tried to make it a game when I'm by myself, but... it only lasts so long before I'm bored.  I start looking at my phone... looking up at the clubhouse to see who is heading into the 19th hole... or even worse, packing up to head home.  I'd love to just say that I can bring a buddy to the course with me, but... most of my practice is on weekdays when my wife is at work and I'm between meetings or visits.  Most of my golf buddies are at work... and when they aren't, they just want to play.  

How do you guys keep your practice sessions interesting?  Am I alone in my boredom?  

CY

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I like beating balls, especially wedges. Hitting close to the pin is entertaining. Putting is like watching paint dry. I wish I could putt for hours. I guess what I am saying is that you are not alone in your boredom.

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8 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Simple.  I don't practice, I only play.

Which is fine if you're content to be a 6.

Ditto to you, @Fairway_CY, to be a 9.

Practicing isn't for everyone. Depends on what you want to get out of things, and what you can find a way to enjoy.

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Just now, iacas said:

Which is fine if you're content to be a 6.

Ditto to you, @Fairway_CY, to be a 9.

Practicing isn't for everyone. Depends on what you want to get out of things, and what you can find a way to enjoy.

Absolutely true.  To be clear, I have no doubt that I could be a better golfer than I am, if I would take lessons from a good instructor and practice diligently.

 

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2 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Absolutely true.  To be clear, I have no doubt that I could be a better golfer than I am, if I would take lessons from a good instructor and practice diligently.

I don't either. And it's fine that you don't want that. Or at least don't want that right now.

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35 minutes ago, Fairway_CY said:

For some reason, I have absolutely no problem going out on the course alone and enjoying 3 hours of hitting a shot and leisurely walking to hit the next one.  I'm at peace.  I'm happy.  I'm focused.  That said... I don't really 'practice' on the course.  Each time I step on a course, I'm trying to post a score.  Doesn't matter if I'm alone, playing with a friend, playing a match at the club or playing in a tournament.  I want to post the best score I can.  

That pretty much leaves the range and practice areas to work on my game.  Currently, I'm working on having more confidence on and around the green.  That means hitting a ton of chip shots to try and ingrain the feel I need to be able to step over the ball and know I'm going to hit is crisply and with the right amount of spin.  It means tediously putting hundreds of 6 footers so they no longer jump up and get me during competition rounds.  

The problem is... I get bored easily when doing that.  Now, if I've got someone with me and I can make a competition out of it... I can stand there for a few hours.  I did it last year in Hilton Head with 2 of my buddies.  We went to one of the courses we were going to be playing... stood on the putting green and just hit putts for 2 hours while making a game of it.  Then we spent another hour at the short game area playing what was essentially a game of HORSE.  

I've tried to make it a game when I'm by myself, but... it only lasts so long before I'm bored.  I start looking at my phone... looking up at the clubhouse to see who is heading into the 19th hole... or even worse, packing up to head home.  I'd love to just say that I can bring a buddy to the course with me, but... most of my practice is on weekdays when my wife is at work and I'm between meetings or visits.  Most of my golf buddies are at work... and when they aren't, they just want to play.  

How do you guys keep your practice sessions interesting?  Am I alone in my boredom?  

CY

So keep your practice sessions short. Short could be five or 15 mins. 

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I'm glad to know that at least I'm not alone in my boredom.  

@iacas - I'm certainly not content.  That's the primary reason for my post.  I want to practice more.  I would just like to find a way to keep it interesting so I'm not looking to bail after only 30 minutes or so.  My course is a 35 minute drive from my house, so... driving 35 minutes to practice for an equal amount of time and then driving back become tedious.  I'd like to spend at least an hour (closer to 90 minutes) around the short game area really building confidence in the areas of my game that I'm struggling the most with.  

CY

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When you see yourself on video and see all the faults you wanna fix, that's more than enough incentive to keep me practicing, plus as you add more and more good pieces to your swing and see the progression and the ball flight getting better, that's its own reward, measurable results. It's similar to university, when you studied hard for a test and go to the board to see the results when marks are out. Anticipating what your swing looks like on video is like going to the board.

A small bucket, 35 ish balls, lasts me an hour, an hour and a half.

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13 minutes ago, Fairway_CY said:

@iacas - I'm certainly not content.  That's the primary reason for my post.  I want to practice more.

There's no secret here.

You have to find it rewarding to make tiny, almost imperceptible gains in your ability.

Keep your sessions short. Vary them frequently. Hit pitches for five minutes, then hit long-running chips. Then putt a few. Then play 18 holes of "get up and down from horrible lies" and see if you can beat your previous best score.

There's no secret here.

13 minutes ago, Fairway_CY said:

I would just like to find a way to keep it interesting so I'm not looking to bail after only 30 minutes or so.  My course is a 35 minute drive from my house, so... driving 35 minutes to practice for an equal amount of time and then driving back become tedious.  I'd like to spend at least an hour (closer to 90 minutes) around the short game area really building confidence in the areas of my game that I'm struggling the most with.  

I doubt that the short game is that much of a glaring weakness.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

I doubt that the short game is that much of a glaring weakness.

I like the ideas you mentioned above... especially the 18 holes of up & down from various, difficult lies.  

As for the short game, right now it's definitely hurting my scores.  Prior to this weekend, I went over my last 17 scorecards and I counted 53 putts from 6 feet and in that I missed over those 17 rounds.  A lot of them were 3 and 4 feet.  I didn't bother going through the short game misses, but I can count at least 8 times over the 2 rounds I played this weekend where I was greenside (or close to it) and I hit especially poor shots.  

Overall, I converted just 1 of 15 up & down opportunities for the 2 day tournament and I finished 8 strokes behind the winner.  It's been a weakness for awhile.  I took a short game lesson the Friday before last that has me at least making clean contact and not hitting it fat anymore... but my tendency now is to hit it 15 - 25 feet past the hole.

I'm gonna play 18 tomorrow morning and then on Wednesday morning before meetings, I'm gonna spend some time at the short game area and I'll try out what you listed.  That should keep me engaged.  

I've got a 3 day member guest event Thursday, Friday and Saturday... so, I'll have plenty of on course time too.  

Thanks for the suggestions.  Simple, but not something I would have thought of doing on my own.  It's in my wheelhouse too because I like to keep scores and stats, so... I can do that with an up & down challenge like that.

CY

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As you know, Chuck, I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. Playing for scores/tracking handicap hasn't interested me as much the past couple of years, because I just know I've got some fundamental things wrong going on with my swing. I have felt that if I can just make a big breakthrough with my mechanics that my new baseline will be better than the "bogey golf" standard that I've typically played to, without lessons.

I've played on and off my whole life un-seriously, and I've always been about the same. Then again, why would I get better if I'm not really changing anything? I decided that my home-grown "swing my swing" mechanics have hit their limit, so I've been pretty determined to just do what it takes to get better. It has definitely been more difficult than I had thought it would be, but I think I'm improving and changing things- even if not as fast as I had hoped. If nothing else, I'm certainly aware of what I need to do more than I was!

I won't always favor practice over playing, and I'm still hoping for a breakthrough (sooner rather than later- perhaps months away) where I'll be happy again to get out there and play as much as I practice. Hopefully more.

You've seen all the threads on practice and learning, but I'll include the couple that keep me motivated below. Like Erik is saying, it's not a secret.  I find it motivating to put into practice the ideas about making changes "unconscious" in the thread about stages of learning. If that's not motivating to you, I guess I don't know what to say. It just keeps me going and is as simple as that. In my mind, if you don't really seek out to change something, there's little chance you'll be advancing your game to where you want it long-term.

 

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If you find the course fairly empty on an afternoon, play some holes and practice situationals.

Do you have a hole with four greenside bunkers that you often bogie? Well, drop two or three balls in each bunker and see how close to the pin you can get. You may realize that the 56* is ideal for three, but the fourth bunker requires a 60* because you need to get the ball up quickly.

Do you have a dogleg that gives you trouble? Hit a couple of shots each with a driver, 3W and hybrid, see which one sets you up best for the second shot.

A short par 4 dogleg right that lasers out to 190 yards at the corner. Can you readily get the ball up high enough to cut the corner and get an easy chip for up and down? Try it with driver and 3W and see if it works.

If you normally fade the ball, can you hit a teeshot draw into a fairway that drains all the tee shots off to the right? Try it out during on-course practice.

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I play. I don't practice very often. I am just a bit below a four, and very comfortable with my ability. I don't play tournaments, and only play for enjoyment and exercise. I'm 63, and my "working at it" days are done. If things start going sideways,I will take an occasional lesson, but a nice enjoyable walk with my friends is much more important to me than a score.

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18 minutes ago, RandallT said:

I've played on and off my whole life un-seriously, and I've always been about the same. Then again, why would I get better if I'm not really changing anything? I decided that my home-grown "swing my swing" mechanics have hit their limit, so I've been pretty determined to just do what it takes to get better. It has definitely been more difficult than I had thought it would be, but I think I'm improving and changing things- even if not as fast as I had hoped. If nothing else, I'm certainly aware of what I need to do more than I was!

We're definitely on the opposite ends of that spectrum.  I love to be on the course.  I used to love to go to the range and beat balls over and over.  I enjoyed going to the practice green at a local course to putt just to get away.  It was a monetary decision, though.  It was cheaper to buy a large basket of balls for $12 than to go to the course and pay $45 to play 18 holes.  Since I've joined a club and I have access to play whenever I want, I just find it more fun to get out and play.  

I've improved quickly by being in different spots and having to teach myself certain shots.  I was never able to draw the ball on command before I joined there... but the course has a number of holes that require a draw, so... I had to learn it or my scores would suffer.  Now, when I'm in a tournament and I need to hit a draw... I can with pretty good consistency.  It may not always be pretty... but it's better than not having the shot at all.  

So... now that I've improved to where I am, I'm looking to pick up strokes on the other things.  My stats show me that I struggle in certain areas.  I tend to try and work on those areas when I DO practice, but... like my original post mentioned, I get bored easily.  
 

15 minutes ago, WUTiger said:

If you find the course fairly empty on an afternoon, play some holes and practice situationals.

Do you have a hole with four greenside bunkers that you often bogie? Well, drop two or three balls in each bunker and see how close to the pin you can get. You may realize that the 56* is ideal for three, but the fourth bunker requires a 60* because you need to get the ball up quickly.

Do you have a dogleg that gives you trouble? Hit a couple of shots each with a driver, 3W and hybrid, see which one sets you up best for the second shot.

A short par 4 dogleg right that lasers out to 190 yards at the corner. Can you readily get the ball up high enough to cut the corner and get an easy chip for up and down? Try it with driver and 3W and see if it works.

If you normally fade the ball, can you hit a teeshot draw into a fairway that drains all the tee shots off to the right? Try it out during on-course practice.

This is something that I do on the course pretty regularly... although in a 'playing' situation.  I don't drop balls and try shots like that, but... it's something I'll likely be doing over the winter.

8 minutes ago, caniac6 said:

... but a nice enjoyable walk with my friends is much more important to me than a score.

I completely understand what you're saying.  I'm just not capable of not competing.  When money was tight, I played a lot of video games with friends because once I owned the $50 game... I could play it as much as I liked.  It's the same reason I play tournaments now... I just want to win.  I'm fueled by success and motivated by failure.  Golf certainly gives me more motivation than fuel.  

That's what led me here to post this.  I'm motivated to succeed in 3 weeks when I go play a 3 day tournament against about 200 other people all with similar handicaps to my own.  I have a huge desire to get better and actually get to Hilton Head and find myself in contention.  

:-)

I love the input, guys.  Keep it coming!

CY

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I try to be specific in my practice sessions and only practice a limited time on certain items.
I'm not out expecting to add 25 yrds with the driver, or greater distances with every club, but only to make solid contact and put a great deal of emphasis on my target.
My practice will vary, some days I'll spend extra time on certain issues, but always limit it to making it right or somewhat better.

Not every session is positive or productive, so I leave it behind me and try again another day.
Every once in awhile, I'll just hit balls, because it beats "a day at the office" .....  :whistle:

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You guys are lucky.  I actually enjoy practicing.  Chipping and Putting games etc.  I don't mind hitting the same club over and over and workin on things.  I just have ZERO time now to practice.. lol  My time is now hitting into my net for 20 minutes or so or chipping balls into a hula hoop working on distance control.  Maybe once a week away from the house

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I just got tired of always being beat in the foursome I'm hooked up with.

Practice is boring.

I couldn't get out of a bunker to save my life. Spent a bucket a week in a bunker. By the third week it was mind numbing. I stuck with it, sand in the face on a windy day, sand in my gaunch, in my socks. Took 5 weeks.

Now I feel confident when I am in a bunker. 8/10 is better than before.

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