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RFKFREAK

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

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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?

 

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I have seen pretty drastic improvements this summer.   Most rounds in the low 80's and just broke 80 for the first time.  2 summers ago I was happy with anything breaking 90.   

I saw most of the results on the course this season, but that if derivative of me spending about 3 days a week at the range (30-45 min per session) last summer and working almost exclusively on full swing.   Once I got my full swing to a much better place, I found that I was playing much better golf, but not seeing a great reduction in scoring.   At which point I identified that my chipping was a pretty major issue.   But, honestly, that wasn't difficult to fix.  I just found a stroke I could be consistent with, went to the chipping green 4 times for about an hour each and It cleaned up nicely.   

My main takeaway from the last two years has been, all the chipping and putting practice in the world isn't going to make you a good golfer if you can't get to the green efficiently.    Unfortunately, ball-striking takes the longest to improve on.   But, anyways, 3 days a week at the range and you will start to see gradual improvements, if you're practicing well and actually making changes.   

  

 

 

 

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Literally everything @lastings said. I'm a teacher so have months where I get lots of practice in and months where I get basically nothing. When the full swing is in a good place, I score well. 

Also, that doesn't mean every ball goes where I want it to go, it means that I know what my miss is and can hit a consistent shot pattern (i.e. high left to right). If I'm not on the green in two, I want to be close by so the worst I'm making is bogey.

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11 minutes ago, lastings said:

I have seen pretty drastic improvements this summer.   Most rounds in the low 80's and just broke 80 for the first time.  2 summers ago I was happy with anything breaking 90.   

I saw most of the results on the course this season, but that if derivative of me spending about 3 days a week at the range (30-45 min per session) last summer and working almost exclusively on full swing.   Once I got my full swing to a much better place, I found that I was playing much better golf, but not seeing a great reduction in scoring.   At which point I identified that my chipping was a pretty major issue.   But, honestly, that wasn't difficult to fix.  I just found a stroke I could be consistent with, went to the chipping green 4 times for about an hour each and It cleaned up nicely.   

My main takeaway from the last two years has been, all the chipping and putting practice in the world isn't going to make you a good golfer if you can't get to the green efficiently.    Unfortunately, ball-striking takes the longest to improve on.   But, anyways, 3 days a week at the range and you will start to see gradual improvements, if you're practicing well and actually making changes.   

  

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing and congratz on breaking 80! 

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2 minutes ago, RFKFREAK said:

Thanks for sharing and congratz on breaking 80! 

Thanks, appreciate it!

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13 minutes ago, 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?

 

It just varies so much between players for a number of reasons. @iacas and others have said quite a few times before that they typically shoot their lowest scores when they have been practicing more than playing and that's something that I can attest to in my game. My practice is SLOW. Even if I'm hitting a small bucket of balls I'm at the range for roughly an hour where I'm shooting video of a lot of swings while focusing on a specific piece (for me right now my practice is all focused on Key # 2 - weight forward at impact) and tweaking things during the session that I continue to video and change throughout to get the look that I want. Practice should very rarely if ever be a time when you are making full effort swings. New movement patterns are extremely difficult to ingrain and get right when you are also trying to hit it hard. I highly recommend reading the 5 S's of good practice thread as well as the sticky in the member swings forum So you posted a member swing... or something like that. Both contain really really good information.

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3 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

It just varies so much between players for a number of reasons. @iacas and others have said quite a few times before that they typically shoot their lowest scores when they have been practicing more than playing and that's something that I can attest to in my game. My practice is SLOW. Even if I'm hitting a small bucket of balls I'm at the range for roughly an hour where I'm shooting video of a lot of swings while focusing on a specific piece (for me right now my practice is all focused on Key # 2 - weight forward at impact) and tweaking things during the session that I continue to video and change throughout to get the look that I want. Practice should very rarely if ever be a time when you are making full effort swings. New movement patterns are extremely difficult to ingrain and get right when you are also trying to hit it hard. I highly recommend reading the 5 S's of good practice thread as well as the sticky in the member swings forum So you posted a member swing... or something like that. Both contain really really good information.

Lots of good in here, but I will partly disagree with the comment that "Practice should very rarely if ever be a time when you are making full effort swings." I try to split between mechanical parts of the session, which takes 3/4 of it, where I'm working on my main piece, then have the last 1/4 where I'm just trying to hit target. Ultimately, I don't want to turn up to my next round only having an exaggerated move in my mind that I've only practised at 40% for the last 10 range sessions.

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2 minutes ago, b101 said:

Lots of good in here, but I will partly disagree with the comment that "Practice should very rarely if ever be a time when you are making full effort swings." I try to split between mechanical parts of the session, which takes 3/4 of it, where I'm working on my main piece, then have the last 1/4 where I'm just trying to hit target. Ultimately, I don't want to turn up to my next round only having an exaggerated move in my mind that I've only practised at 40% for the last 10 range sessions.

That's true. Definitely might be something I begin to implement.

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I am just now starting to see differentials in the teens more consistently. This is the most I have practiced ever, and I would say I practice about 3-4 total hours a week scattered through all 7 days. Sometimes I practice more than that, but I regularly put in those hours most weeks. I am glad to say I am seeing improvements in both ball flights, solid strokes, and scoring, however I still have a ways to go to be full engrained into my swing change. 

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I started as a 30 handicapper 2 years ago and it was a slow progress to get down for me since i was not keen on golf as i am now. When i started playing everyday for sure! Yes i am a 20 handicapper right now but i am going to get cut today to probably around 17 from 1 round. Today i shot 13 over with 2 double bogeys from some bad decision making, my best round (in a tournament), i missed two 3 foot putts because i wasnt concerntrating which would of both got me birdies. I can tell you that i was playing to my handicap a couple weeks ago and now im playing under which is always a great sign of improvement. If i be honest you should not really be practicing by playing 9 holes everyday like i started doing since it really only makes your course management skills and swing more consistent but if you have a bad swing already then your swing will be more consistent but still bad :p. If you practice on one part of your game instead of all of it at the same time you will definitely improve alot faster. So for me personally i saw a massive improvement from practicing every day. As said by Tommy Fleetwood on a youtube video you should practice half swings (chest to chest) when at the range since there is less room for error, it syncs things up, can learn more from a half swing, it will be easy for you to detect your errors and correct them in a half swing.

Edited by Mr Golf Addict

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45 minutes ago, lastings said:

I have seen pretty drastic improvements this summer.   Most rounds in the low 80's and just broke 80 for the first time.  2 summers ago I was happy with anything breaking 90.   

I saw most of the results on the course this season, but that if derivative of me spending about 3 days a week at the range (30-45 min per session) last summer and working almost exclusively on full swing.   Once I got my full swing to a much better place, I found that I was playing much better golf, but not seeing a great reduction in scoring.   At which point I identified that my chipping was a pretty major issue.   But, honestly, that wasn't difficult to fix.  I just found a stroke I could be consistent with, went to the chipping green 4 times for about an hour each and It cleaned up nicely.   

My main takeaway from the last two years has been, all the chipping and putting practice in the world isn't going to make you a good golfer if you can't get to the green efficiently.    Unfortunately, ball-striking takes the longest to improve on.   But, anyways, 3 days a week at the range and you will start to see gradual improvements, if you're practicing well and actually making changes.   

  

 

 

 

This is so true. Even if my putting and chipping aren't "on" if the full swing is behaving for me I'm probably going to shoot decently. If I'm seeing regular GIR's there is statistically not too big of a chance that I'm leaving that hole with worse than a par.

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When I playing my best golf, I was practicing, and/or playing 5 days a week. My guess would around 20-25 hours a week. That was quite a while ago.

These days, I am practicing 7-9 hours a week, plus playing 9 holes 2-3 times a week. So, over all, probably 10-12 hours per 7 dayweek. I am more in "maintenance" mode now, more so than 'improvement" mode .

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I go through phases where I spend more time on the range vs the course. But.....I see better scores when I’m playing 3 times a week and simply warming up with my practices consist more of chipping and putting rather than much full swing work. On the course I have to deal with a variety of lies that I don’t get on the range

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The most improvement I've experienced took place over the course of a year.  I was caring for an elderly relative at the time and began going to the range, once a day, to maintain my sanity.  The most important factor, I think, was that I went there to relax and clear my head.  For all I'd heard, read, and been told, about "practicing with a purpose" I was a bit surprised to discover that simply enjoying swinging a club was very productive.  

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As a semi-retired person, I usually get to the range 3-5 times a week.  As I am working hard to get back into the game, I am indeed seeing improvements on a number of fronts but soon I will be spending a greater time at the GC to put it all together; after all, that is what it IS all about!  I find it relaxing at the course so I can free my mind to focus and enjoy the process

 

Edited by DrMJG

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31 minutes ago, chilepepper said:

I go through phases where I spend more time on the range vs the course. But.....I see better scores when I’m playing 3 times a week and simply warming up with my practices consist more of chipping and putting rather than much full swing work. On the course I have to deal with a variety of lies that I don’t get on the range

This is an important comment. I don't know how many times I have heard, or read, that if you are playing well, you should go play! If things start to go a little haywire, then you should go practice.

I can't give you numbers of hours spent to get good, but it was a lot. I lived at the range! 5-6 days a week, often accompanied by 9 or 18 holes after that. This was in my late teens into my early twenties. I was still living at home, worked at US Steel, had plenty of money, paid rent, bought groceries, and did all the yard work. But at that age you have energy to burn!

I learned the golf swing by reading instructional articles in Golf Digest. Resources like this simply weren't available. I shot a few strokes under par, from the tips, at several local courses. Then, life intervened, I no longer had the time to devote to the game, and it floated away from me. It's constant work. I like Patch's comment about being in "maintenance" mode. Being 65, and soon to be 66, I can fully appreciate this.

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I can only speak to my experience.

I started playing for real this year.

Started as a 30+, currently trending down and looking to be sub 24 with this revision.

I practice or play at least 3 days a week, sometimes 5.

Recently, I have been sub 100 for just about every round.  Something recently clicked and I can put most of my swing thoughts out of my head and execute a swing.

I have broken 90, but that was a one off on a shorter course (5700).

My goal 2 months ago was to break 100 and stay in the 90s.  Have broken 100 regularly now and am mostly in the mid to upper 90s.

My new goal for this year is to be in the low to mid 90s consistently and break 90 on a "real" course.

I believe I will meet these goals.  I am not special, I just have put in some work, taken some lessons, and pay attention to what I am doing.  If I can you can!

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 As with most sports, the better you get, the more practice is needed to move up a level, along with an initial burst needed to get going. At your level , a few hours a week ought to cut it if it's the right practice, since there are probably a lot of quick wins to be had. 

For me,  pitching and chipping was key to getting my scores down to around the 100 mark, since if you can chip & pitch, you can take 3 controlled shots to get to the green with the confidence that most of the time you'll have then have a 2 putt for bogey, which is fine if breaking 100 is the main aim. Only gets you so far though.

Full swing practice has the potential to be more transformational I think, but less predictable. 


Presently I dedicate fairly little time to practice due to wrist & back issues, but I improve by playing a lot of practice rounds (~2 a week), which helps things like course management and playing from tricky lies. In the 18 months that I've been seriously playing (was once a month player before), I've gone down from struggling to justify 28 , to 14. First few strokes were short game, then after that largely full swing. But even now i'm a poor 14, other folks that play to a similar handicap usually have a better technique but think less about course management. 

Good luck.

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