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Getting down to single figures!


Millis3
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I've been playing now since January and joined my local club, my handicap was 16 but after today has gone up to 16.4, I play a couple of times a week and everyone says that my handicap is good for how the few months I've been playing.... Only thing is I want better! Just curious to know how long it took others to get into single figures? I said to my dad at the start that I would be there by the end of this year [emoji53]

 

 

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Lessons and practice.

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Lessons and practice.

 

Lessons and focused practice, don't just grind out full swings. Practice from less than perfect lies, and if possible from a variety of slopes.

 

Course management is also a really big factor for most new players. Try and play with some old guys who play off single figures despite not hitting it far, watch how they plot their way around the course.

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Practice on the course as well. Go out and play two or three balls a hole trying to hit different shots. I rarely if ever beat balls on the range and will play over practice any day.

 

I play a game every so often where I hit two balls off the tee and cannot use the same club twice. For example if I hit driver off the tee the next ball will be a three wood. Makes you hit different clubs into the same hole. Another good one is worse ball. Hit two tee balls and play both in from the worst drive. Doing that really helps with course management. I actually played 9 with my 10 year old son today and he played my drive and I played his. Really a lot of fun for both of us.

 

 

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Lessons and focused practice, don't just grind out full swings. Practice from less than perfect lies, and if possible from a variety of slopes.

 

Course management is also a really big factor for most new players. Try and play with some old guys who play off single figures despite not hitting it far, watch how they plot their way around the course.

I agree with Peaksy, but will also add that the faster you want to get there, the more lessons you have to take.  A 16 is pretty good for only playing 6 months, but you will struggle getting really low unless you have a coach that help you practice the correct swing for you.  You have to know what you are doing wrong and what you need to do to correct it.  If you don't know what to practice, how do you know if you doing it correctly or if you are perfecting a bad habit that will prevent you from getting to your goal?

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I agree with Peaksy, but will also add that the faster you want to get there, the more lessons you have to take. A 16 is pretty good for only playing 6 months, but you will struggle getting really low unless you have a coach that help you practice the correct swing for you. You have to know what you are doing wrong and what you need to do to correct it. If you don't know what to practice, how do you know if you doing it correctly or if you are perfecting a bad habit that will prevent you from getting to your goal?

Not sure that more is better when it comes to lessons. I have taken maybe two or three in my entire life and have been scratch to plus for 20 years. I have buddies that take two a week and couldn't break 80 from the front tees on most courses. I agree that lessons are the way to go but the coach needs to be the right coach. One that is more invested in working with what you have and making it better. I personally would not be interested in a guy that completely wants to rebuild you swing because you are not hitting it the way he wants you to. To this day I have one pro I trust to look at my swing and we normally do it on iPhone videos because he has seen me hit it well and poorly, generally one tip gets me fixed. He has also never given me a formal lesson just simple advice. He did do a hell of a job teaching my son fundamentals but not too much more.

 

On a side note I would also not advise to do what I did and play and beat balls until you figure it out. For me it came fairly quickly but that is usually not the case.

 

 

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I agree in part.  If someone has a decent swing, but needs to know what to do to get to the next level, then the coach should be one that works with that and not try to radically change a swing.  A good coach should be able to get a reasonable swing on plane at impact, which is a major key to ball striking.  However, if someone has a swing that has many flaws, a good coach should be able to show a person that it would be in their best interest to train a swing to a specific model.  It might be easier and take less time than trying to fix many faults.  The golfer must be willing to make the commitment or it's not going to work.  Each person is different, and the path they take will be different.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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You are doing great. In the end though there is no substitute for experience and you only get experience by playing and simulated play.

 

I got down to single digits on my own by playing tons of golf but I also started very young and had the time in my early 20's to play every day. I read instructional books, had a vision of how I wanted the ball to fly and worked on my swing until I could hit it that way. I was athletic and long too. Another key for me was meeting better players and playing with them a lot competitively.

 

In essence I learned to shot par by playing with people who shot par. My course did not have a range but it had a putting green so all of my practice was putting and chipping.

 

Easier would have been to find a good teacher/coach, one who understood what I was trying to do and could help me get there.

 

Find a teacher, play regularly with guys/gals who are low single digit players and work the short game. When you practice make it meaningful.

 

Good luck

 

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I've been playing now since January and joined my local club, my handicap was 16 but after today has gone up to 16.4, I play a couple of times a week and everyone says that my handicap is good for how the few months I've been playing.... Only thing is I want better! Just curious to know how long it took others to get into single figures? I said to my dad at the start that I would be there by the end of this year [emoji53]

 

 

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That's a heck of a hurdle you put on yourself. I started as an 18 handicap or there abouts. Worked my way down to a 16 in a year, but stalled there for a few years. Now I can shoot mid to lower 80's when I'm playing well. That puts me anywhere between a 10-12 handicap when I have a few good months. That being said, play often and learn to manage a course. I learned to play safe hitting iron iron instead of chunking a wedge. Now that I have a swing to trust I can go driver 3 wood on holes to give myself a half wedge. 

 

Keep track of stats too. Learn where you struggle, whether it's irons driver or around the green. Also don't get discouraged, it's a long haul for most of us, so setbacks can and do happen. Some get it right away, some struggle to figure it out.  good luck.

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First and foremost ... why the obsession to get down to single digits?

If you're playing the game, enjoying yourself and your time on the course just go with it.  :)

 

If I were to make 1 recomendation, I echo sportsfan - understand where you're costing yourself strokes while you play; it is chipping, putting, mid-irons, approach shots, tee shots?  At that point you have a clear understanding what you need to work on.

I got something to say then I'm gonna say it. 

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Do you guys have a golf league where golf clubs have their own teams and compete against other clubs?

Depending on the level of play, players might range from low single digits to 10-12

 

If the coach knows you've come to a 16 in such a short period of time, he might see the potential and offer you to come practice with the team.

 

My wife is currently a 12 and plays for the ladies team at our club. They get one group training per week and that's a much economical alternative to 1-on-1 lessons.

And by playing with and against better players, you will see what they do differently and learn from that experience.

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Not sure if anyone touched on this yet or not.

 

See if you can get into some weekly games at your club where you'll get to play with better players. Playing with better players and seeing how they do things and manage the course has made me better.

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I really started improving drastically when I stopped going to the range to bang out ball after ball. I would still go once a week or so to work on drills and fundamentals but that was about it.

 

I started spending a couple of hours a day on the practice green (I usually played 200+ rounds/yr) chipping and putting and watching the better players how they practiced.

 

And stop thinking on the tee and just hit the ball :)

 

 

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Get out on course for a few hours and just hit all different wedge shots from 125 yards and in. Full, half, pitches, everything. If you want to get your cap down many people will say to practice putting and chipping. However I believe that if you can get extremely comfortable with wedges from 125 and in you plan your holes from that distance off the tee. 

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Lots of good advice here already.  I'll just say a 16 after 6 months of playing is pretty darn good.   Read my backaground info in the GPS Golf Band Review, and you'll probably guess just how jealous I am...Ha

 

But keep working, keep getting instruction but most of all..keep enjoying the game.  if you don't enjoy it, in my mind getting to single digits wouldn't be near as satisfying. 

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Identify the weakest part of your game currently and practice to make it the strongest. Read a book or two about the area and put it into practice. We all love practicing our strengths but often avoid hammering our weaknesses.

 

Focus on 100 yards and in for a few months. Only use the range to work on your tee ball. If you can put the ball in the fairway off the tee, you will shoot low.

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Some great advise, thank you everyone. The big obsession with getting to single figures is because at the start of this year I decided to stop drinking alcohol and take up golf, before I even started playing I said to my dad I would make it to single figures before the year was out. He said I had no chance. So not only is it to prove him wrong but also because I set myself such a hard goal to focus on to keep me away from the drink. My strengths of the game is definitely my iron work but that is let down by my driving and putting, for some reason my long putts aren't too bad it's my short 5/4/3 foot putts that let me down. Think it's a mental thing! I play on average 3/4 times a week playing 2 comps a week at my club, 1 game a week at my club to constantly try to learn it and once a week with my old man at different courses. I've become so obsessed with golf and trying to get to single figures I even broke up with my girlfriend just so I could play more [emoji23]

 

 

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Those short putts add up the fastest.  The good thing is they are the easiest to work on.  You can putt for 15 mins on lunch in an office or at home.  Work on those and find a routine that works.  For me especially inside of 10' I picture the ball inside of railroad tracks leading to the hole.  That way the ball cant get off line and goes in every time.

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You came to the right place for advice. LOL We've got a load of it around here.

 

Man, don't obsess. You'll drive yourself insane. Very few people go from beginner to a single digit overnight or at best a few months. Glad you gave up the booze. Sounds like you had an issue there to start with. However, unless you just didn't like your girlfriend this game has already wrecked a relationship. Not good. Golf will drive you insane without you helping it along. Now comes my golf specific advise:

 

I've said many times here in the forums.... find yourself some guys you like that are much better players than you are. I'm talking guys that are low handicappers 5 or less. I learned more from those types of players back when I was wanting to really play better. The guys I played with were always giving me tips and advice. They would even come to the range and help me. I can honestly say I improved greatly by having them on my side and helping me.

 

We used to play a big Saturday game where we had 4-5 groups and a mixed bag of players. Guys anywhere from +2 up to 12-14. The lowest handicap guys would be team captains and get to choose their players in a rotation draw. The idea was we'd end up with teams of A,B,C,D players. Tons of fun... but that's where I learned to get better. I watched and learned and played. I played more back then than practiced. See if you can find a good player. Someone like a jmikecpa and ask for help and advice. Be patient and your Hcp. will drop. But remember, once you get down to about 10 or 9... going lower will start becoming much more difficult. It's generally easy stuff to knock off 10 points off from a high handicapper. But playing, keeping, and lowering yourself on down to a 5 or better; for example, isn't necessarily easy pickings. Good luck and have fun!

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Some great advise, thank you everyone. The big obsession with getting to single figures is because at the start of this year I decided to stop drinking alcohol and take up golf, before I even started playing I said to my dad I would make it to single figures before the year was out. He said I had no chance. So not only is it to prove him wrong but also because I set myself such a hard goal to focus on to keep me away from the drink. My strengths of the game is definitely my iron work but that is let down by my driving and putting, for some reason my long putts aren't too bad it's my short 5/4/3 foot putts that let me down. Think it's a mental thing! I play on average 3/4 times a week playing 2 comps a week at my club, 1 game a week at my club to constantly try to learn it and once a week with my old man at different courses. I've become so obsessed with golf and trying to get to single figures I even broke up with my girlfriend just so I could play more [emoji23]

 

 

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Hey... if you're looking to make more of those short putts check out the Ping Ketsch.  It's been the top mallet on MGS mallet testing 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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