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How many hours per week were you practicing when you saw significant improvement?


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1 hour ago, Shindig said:

My times of biggest improvements:

* April - June 2008, played 72 holes a week and often practiced the other days.  Went from ~25 handicap to ~20 handicap and broke 90 for the first time.

* Summer 2014 and Summer 2015, practiced or played nearly daily, went from ~19 handicap to ~13 handicap (despite not much practice/play in between those two summers).  It's only this summer (2018) where I'm also practicing a lot more, although the handicap doesn't yet reflect that.  Summer 2016 and 2017 were largely maintenance for me I feel, although I did some improving then.

Like many here, I'm also a teacher so I suspect summers going forward will be the times of my biggest improvements. 

Teachers schedule, nice huh?

im considering a membership somewhere so next summer I can play 36 a day.

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1 hour ago, DDBowdoin said:

Teachers schedule, nice huh?

im considering a membership somewhere so next summer I can play 36 a day.

Nice sometimes, not so nice others.  Sometimes I have busy evenings, which I hate because I'm a morning person.  

In any case, though, playing 36 a day sounds nice.  There are two complexes near me that have 36 holes, even...  I should aim for that.  

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6 hours ago, Shindig said:

Nice sometimes, not so nice others.  Sometimes I have busy evenings, which I hate because I'm a morning person.  

In any case, though, playing 36 a day sounds nice.  There are two complexes near me that have 36 holes, even...  I should aim for that.  

I teach at a private school and our Fall is considerably busier than Spring with open house events, recruiting evenings, and back to school potlucks so my golf will drop come fall.  

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On 7/30/2018 at 3:40 PM, RFKFREAK said:

As some of you may know, I recently finished grad school and I now have a lot more free time I haven't had the last two years.  Besides work, I have very few demands on my time and one of the things I want to do is get better at golf. 

As it stands right now, a good round for me is in the high 90's, although typically I'm in the 100's range and although I don't carry and official handicap, Game Golf has my HC at 28.5.  I might be unrealistic about this but I think if I put in the work, I can break 90 before the season is out.  I realize that the greatest improvement will be seen by dedicating 65% of my practice on the full swing, 20% on the short game, and 15% on putting.  But at this point, I think my most glaring weakness is my full swing so I should probably concentrate on that.

So I'm curious to see when people first started playing what they were shooting and how much practice they were doing per week when they saw a significant decrease in their scores and/or handicaps and what kind of practice it was.  For example, were people going to the range for an hour 3x per week practicing their full swing or did they just play pretty much every day.  Was there any other type of practice that was incorporated?  In what amount of time did you see your scores/HC drop after incorporating said practice?

Great question. For me, it depends on how deliberate my practice is. There is a great book called "practice to learn, play to win" by Mark Guadagnoli. It walks you through step by step how to practice to maximize your time. I played the best golf of my life after reading that book.

https://amzn.to/2O6ZZrE

One thing not to be overlooked it to have some direction or a goal for your practice session. Take a lesson and have something to work on other than just hitting balls for hours on end. When I am working on my swing, It may take me 2 hours to hit a bucket of balls (about 80 balls). 

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When I first started playing seriously, I found a part time job at a golf course so I could afford to play and practice enough to improve. Those first 2-3 years I played and practiced 7 days a week. I hit thousands of golf balls and spent hours on the putting and chipping greens. My main job was at night and spent all day at the course. Literally a typical day would consist of a large bucket then 9 holes in the morning, then I would eat lunch, play 18 holes then come back in and hit another bucket or two. Mind you I was 22 and had no wife, no kids, etc. 

The first time I played golf I shot over 100, I haven't shot over 100 since. I was breaking 80 within a year or two, I was scratch within a few more years. I improved pretty quickly, but I put in a ton of work during that time. 

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Difference strokes for different folks.

After a 35 year break I started playing golf in the fall of '17. Winter came and then in March of this year I started back in. In 60 days I got in 52 rounds. I started in the 110+ range and returned home in  the upper 80's. The place we stayed at had no driving range and only a very poor practice putting green. 

 I feel that playing as opposed to the driving range can yeld better results for your long game. Short game is another story (although I wish they had a practice putting green with more complicated breaks). 

Also, I think rapid change comes to those who analyze their practice rather than just repeating the same bad habit over and over while expecting change.
Example: I was having problems topping and trenching (thin/fat). Thinking of the swing I realized the bottom of my swing was under my left eye so I changed to ball placement under the left eye. That got me through until my hand eye coordination improved. Then I went back to differing the placement based on the shot.

Finally, for significant improvement I believe that the more you play the better you get. No practice out there that I know of will improve your putting (reading breaks, judging speed, etc) as much as experience.

I get 2 to 3 rounds and 1 practice session a week
Just my 2¢.

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I had managed over the years to get down to around 12, thru self-teaching (yeah, right!), practice and play. It probably took a lot longer to get there than it should have, but the progress was steady and enjoyable...  Then, I was stuck, for a couple of years. I took that clue to do something about it: get a coach, a teaching plan and a goal (single digit). I took those lessons (about once every 3-4 weeks), did the drills, added a bunch of practice, and continued to play quite a bit. That dropped about 2 points on the index but I got stuck again between 9 and 10.

Since I had attained my single goal digit and not thinking I could get much lower, I just kept going to my coach for a quick look every 6 months or so, but stopped actually working on my game formally, just enjoying playing, and being retired, that means 3-4 times a week. Lo and behold, after well over a year, the index started dropping, bigly. Into the 8s, then a couple of really good rounds got it to 7.2 and it has dropped a bit more since, now 6.6, my lowest ever. I don't feel I am doing anything differently, but I am hitting more greens and my short game and putting are just a little bit sharper too.

Go figure! I'll take it while it lasts...

Edited by sjduffers
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  • 4 weeks later...

I actually noticed more improvement when I practiced less.

One/two baskets of balls with extreme focus yielded better results than 4+ hours at the range.

Over the course of a few weeks I went from a 6ish to a 2/1 handicap.

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