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Mike's Improvement

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Hi there,

My name is Michael, and I thought I would share my story with you guys, to see if anyone can offer any tips or ideas to help me improve further.

I’ve been on a bit of a golfing journey over the last 18 months, and am keen to keep improving further.

So… I started playing golf at 13, and got down to about 9/10 by the age of 16, but plateaued here due to poor technique and following other interests. I didn’t play at all between 18 and 25, but started again towards the end of 2016. I was struggling to play off 13, and in after an annual review in March 2017 I got put up to 14.

This was a catalyst for me to decide to improve my golf, and I decided I no longer wanted to be mediocre, but wanted to get as good as possible.

I saw a golf coach for a handful of lessons and started practicing as much as my wife would allow. I’ve kept a log of all my practice sessions, what worked what didn’t, how long they lasted and what I worked on. I also kept my stats from each round ie. GIR, FW’s, Putts etc.

The biggest issue for me at first was around the greens, I had the short game yips, literally couldn’t strike the ball at all, thins, double hits, you name it I’ve done it 1000 times. Hitting the ball relatively long has always been my strength, but keeping the ball in play was an issue.

I’d say now finally my chipping is pretty solid, but my pitching is still an issue, I don’t get it close enough consistently from 40-80 yards.  

How my plan differs to Pete’s Plan, is that I (unfortunately) have to work full time, and so can only practice in the evenings and at weekends. However I do have access to pretty good indoor facilities that use a Golfzon GDR simulator, which is similar to a GC2. But can access this for about 2 hours a week rather than 24/7.

I’m a member of a golf club in Surrey and in the summer can practice there after work, light permitting.

So this week has been kind of a milestone for me, as I have just logged (almost) 1000 hours of practice. (this includes playing rounds of golf) and since March 2017 my handicap has come down from 14.0 to 4.8.


My aim Is to get down to scratch next year, and my overall goal is to get down to +3 so I can play in almost any amateur competition in the country.

Barriers to this would be my golf course, the SSS is -1 in the summer and -2 in the winter, meaning I need to get 37 Points to stop my handicap going up 0.1. This is tough as the course is much tougher than the SSS suggests, due to a large number of changes being over the years. In order for me to get cut 0.1 shots I have to shoot at least -3 my handicap in the winter. It’s a big challenge especially as the course conditions deteriorate through the winter.

I’m currently having lessons with a coach who uses K-vest, Trackman and other tech. I’ve had two lessons, and I can already see massive improvements to the look of my swing, as well as my ball speed increasing through the bag, despite my club head speed staying about the same.

My SS with a driver is between 112-115 on average and I can get it up to about 118-119 when I go after it. (on the screen shot below it says metres on the left but actually it's yards, think it's a glitch)



My SS with a 6 iron is 95-98 mph.

For people interested in stats here’s some data from 2017 and my data from 2018, as well as my last 6 rounds.





I’ve just started using a new program to keep stats which is why it looks a bit different.


I should also mention that I had a severe knee injury requiring surgery in October 2017, which meant I had to give up playing football (soccer) and cemented my desire to get better at golf. Unfortunately it meant I couldn’t play any golf between Oct 2017 and March 2018. So I have had a bit of a break which held my progress back somewhat.

Last weekend was a bit of a breakthrough for me, as I shot my lowest ever round – 70 on Saturday and followed it up with another 70 on Sunday. Both in competition and I came 1st and 3rd respectively each day. This was level par on my home course, and got me down from 5.5 to 4.7.

I think what I’m asking is do you see anything glaringly obvious I’m doing wrong, or is there something I should be doing differently. I’ve read a lot of golf books, and enjoy reading on the subject.

Through the winter I’m going to be focusing on getting my full swing in better shape, when really I need to work on my short game, unfortunately I can’t practice outdoors for the next few months due to lack of light.

Do you have any questions for me?

Thanks for reading.


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Welcome @michaels333. You have shown some outstanding progress. You should be very proud. The good news is that with your swing speed you still have a good amount of improvement room left. 

My only suggestion is to recommend "Lowest Score Wins". You can find plenty of detail here on the site about the book but it will help you to decide where to spend that limited time you have to practice. I think this is going to be extremely important for you.

Here is the website for the book. 


Shoot lower scores on the golf course… NOW!

It would also be great if you created a journal on here on the forum for your progress. Initially many people might not comment but the more information you put up the more people will engage with you. 

Good luck and I look forward to reading about your progress.

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