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Grinding away.....


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I'd like to hear about breakthroughs that you've all had, and what has led you to becoming better players through continually grinding away.

 

Thought I'd share a long winding, frustrating story about something that's happened to me recently (again), and no doubt to all of us throughout our golfing lives.

 

Firstly, I'm absolutely sick of playing inconsistent irons, or any club for that matter.  I hate stuffing up my approach shot after splitting the fairway off the tee, or pushing/slicing (sometimes shanking with shorter clubs), leaving me with demoralising results. 

 

I'll make a general, but fair assessment of my game:  Have only been playing for 2 years.  Have come in from 24 to 16 h'cap, mostly over the past 12 months.  Have the ability and goal to be a 10 H'capper in the near future but need to be, wait for it, consistently better with approach shots & reaching more GIR's. Average about 3 per rd,

Driving & short game is above where it should be at this stage, and often saves me.

 

I decided to start grinding away (with more of a methodical and 'baby step' approach) to build a better swing with consistently better results in both terms of accuracy, flight, shot shape & distance.  I should say right here that I would gladly lose 10m/y of distance for greater accuracy - wouldn't we all.

 

So off I went to the range just a week ago to really groove out a slightly in-to-out path, with face slightly closed to get nice little draws & straight shots, instead of the inconsistent fades & various other shots I've been churning out.

There I was, all relaxed and focused, taking practice swings inside the line of the ball to ensure the bottom of the arc was target side, and only when I did this 3 times in a row would I address the ball and repeat that swing. 

My focus was to keep the weight on the lead side through the downswing, with stance & shoulders slightly closed. 

I only hit about 40 balls in the session, but I was dialled in & striking so well.  In fact, my 7i was was getting the same, if not more distance than my normal 6i, due to the closed face decreasing the loft.  Accuracy was outstanding, well, for the 16 hcap that I am anyway. 

Dispersion was appx 5-7 yards either side of my target from 160 yards away. 

Swing was to 'right field', slight draws/straight shots, with divots on the target side, mostly hitting the sweet spot of the face of the club. Something that low handicappers experience all the time, and boy am I envious of them.

I left that session feeling that I had really achieved a breakthrough.  An epiphany if you like.  I had felt what it was like to hit the ball really well. I could see a single figure H'cap next to my name on the horizon! 

 

Which brings me to now.  1 week later I was only hitting 1 in 10 balls like that.  Chunky, over the top, releasing too early, absolutely disgusting results.  Clearly not focussed or in the same mindset to be able to repeat what had happened only a matter of days before. 

Did I expect that I would go straight back to hitting better shots without really working on my game? Probably.

Did I underestimate the importance of a mid-high handicapper like me taking practice swings every day? Absolutely.

Gives me greater appreciation for what the better players, and Pro's do to get to the level that they're at.

 

Just goes to show that without grinding it out and practicing most/every day, unless you are like a duck to water with this game, you'll only get the results to the time you put in. 

 

Time to really start grinding it out now....

 

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I should say right here that I would gladly lose 10m/y of distance for greater accuracy - wouldn't we all.

 

 

I left that session feeling that I had really achieved a breakthrough.  An epiphany if you like.  I had felt what it was like to hit the ball really well. I could see a single figure H'cap next to my name on the horizon! 

 

Just goes to show that without grinding it out and practicing most/every day, unless you are like a duck to water with this game, you'll only get the results to the time you put in. 

I am sure many of us have had similar experiences.  I have epiphanies all the time!  I have days where I hit the ball better and further than I have in years.  Something clicks and it all seems so easy, but then just as quickly... it's gone.  

 

As for me though, I want/need those 10m/y, and I don't want to give them up.  Accuracy is my strength; distance is my weakness.  When I go through those periods of hitting it well, I am in territory that I would like to be in all the time.  I am disappointed when it's gone, and I am back to my typical yardage.

 

My only comment about grinding away is to be sure that you are grinding away doing the right things.  It's easy to just "practice" but if it's engraining a flaw, the problem will not go away and may even introduce a different issue.  It's best if you can get advice from a pro on how to train to fix your problem.  Don't guess at it.  Good luck!!

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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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Hey Kenny!

 

Completely agree with grinding it out with the correct habits.

Seeing a Pro and getting lessons, whether it be to learn new technique or swing changes, or to just get reinforcement on something you're doing right is something I need to get back into the habit of.  It's leading into our summer now, so may be a great time for  a tune up. 

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I'm with Kenny on this one. You can pretty easily get to a single digit hcp. with practice, playing, and coaching. But trust me.... or most anyone around here; once you get to a 10 or 8 for example it's going to start get much harder. IMHO. It's generally accepted that with some practice and playing, coaching, etc. a high handicapper can lop off a bunch of strokes in a hurry. Go for it.

Getting some coaching/lessons will surely accelerate your progress.

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My Sun Mountain bag currently includes:   TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 771CSI 5i - PW and TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               :755178188_TourEdge: EXS 10.5*, TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

                                                                                :edel-golf-1: Willimette w/GolfPride Contour

 

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jofi, I've had two breakthough moments in my game.  

 

The first was about 10 years ago.  I was a bogey golfer with a big slice, or if not a slice, a big pull.  I decided that I couldn't play golf this way, so I was either going to get rid of the slice or quit.  I went to a golf school to learn the single-plane swing.  I treated it as a vacation, and a week later I had virtually no slice.  That change got me down to a 10-12.  It stayed that way for several years because of a bad lead knee that I had replaced 3 years ago.  

 

The second came last October.  I joined a new golf club that had much better practice facilities, and after learning the tricky greens, I started working on putting, chipping, and pitching.  My short game improvements brought me down from 10 to 8 this year.  

 

I think I am approaching my limit from the tees I'm playing.  Old age is catching up with me, and I don't hit the ball far enough anymore.  My short game can only do so much to save my long approach shots.  I can't move up a tee box because it's not fair to my wife; she's already playing from the forward tees and has no place to move.  We are pretty competitive now.  If she has a good day and I have a so-so day, she can beat me.  Doesn't happen often, but it will happen more frequently with each passing year since she is 9 years younger!

 

PJ is right.  Lessons and practice will help quickly.  Short game practice will take the most strokes off.  Errant shots happen, but a good short game is crucial to recovery.

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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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Simple course management can help save a few shots a round. If you're spraying your irons, don't aim at the flag, go for the centre of the green. Play with the swing you have on the day, even if it's not your preferred ball flight. The better your short game is, the less pressure you put on your long game. If you get in trouble, take your medicine and get the ball back in play, particularly if playing Stoke.

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For me it used to be a pulled shot because of a slightly steep downswing. Through much practice and deliberation I managed to fix it by focusing on getting the shaft to split my right forearm on the way down. 

 

This has made all the difference in my game in I usually get a slight draw now.

 

Got to be persistent in this game :)

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Mizuno MP-25 irons, R/H, N.S. Pro 950GH regular shafts

Cobra King LTD 8.5 degrees driver, R/H stiff Aldila Rogue shaft

Titleist 3-wood 915F, 15 degrees, Diamana stiff flex shaft

Queensland, Australia

Handicap 5

 

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Breakthrough moment?

Hmmm... after watching a video from the guys at MeAndMyGolf on how to get rid of the slice...

Slicing off the tee was costing me sooo many strokes... 

 

It was a magical moment! Now I can hook and draw on command (assuming my swing path is OK), but consciously being able to control the club face has changed my game!

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For a minute I thought you were describing my golf game. I've had the same problem with my irons. I'd say I'm 50/50 with them. However my bigger problem was with driver. Big slice, huge. Hitting 33% of fairways. So, I went to the range hit 50 balls and made some improvements. Same day on the course. Improvements lasted 4 holes. Then it was hit and miss from there. Kept working and now hitting more than 50 - 60% of fairways. Soon I think I'll be even better soon then I got to work on those dang irons. Positive note: Missing all those fairways made me a better ball striker from the rough and a great ball hunter.

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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Great thread already. I am a 23 and started just last Oct when I was hitting 115-125... For me it was a lower hand grip change a guy mentioned at a pro shop a few weeks ago. Within a few rounds i dropped from 98-106 to a few rounds in the low 90s. I even had a 37 on the front 9 Wed (followed by a 53 on the back!). I'm going to take a few lessons on short game and putting as my next goal

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

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Plaid, can you remember a 'breakthrough' moment when it clicked for you?

 

Honestly I can't say there was a breakthrough moment. But, what benefited me probably more than anything in my golf career was having the opportunity many years ago to play with guys that were really good players. Back then; I'd joined my first club and knew a bunch of guys that played there. At that time (80's) I was about a 15 hcp player. In the Saturday games I got paired in my foursome (A,B,C,D) with guys that had + to 8 hcps. I was lucky that several of the good players took me under their wing. They new I wanted to get "good-better" and were willing to help me. I tried to emulate their style of play and they gave me useful tips all the time. I learned a ton from those guys. And yes... I dropped my hcp rather quickly. I eventually got down to a 5 and played at about that for many many years. Mostly between a 4 & 5. Not bad. I'm older now and the game presents new challenges. Or is it the body? Ha.

If you are able to find some advanced players to play with occasionally by all mean do it. Ask them for help. Ask them how to hit various shots, etc. Watch how they play. Emulate their style if you can. Additionally, there are quite a few guys of various ages hanging around this forum that are really good players. As always... practice, take some quality lessons and play, play, play.

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My Sun Mountain bag currently includes:   TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 771CSI 5i - PW and TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               :755178188_TourEdge: EXS 10.5*, TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

                                                                                :edel-golf-1: Willimette w/GolfPride Contour

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My breakthrough moment was finally hitting the ball without a slice. My right elbow would bend almost the the way which caused a drastic slice. Fixing that problem allowed me to play a draw with the driver and at the time a drastic but somehow controlled hook with the irons. That probably allowed me to take 5-10 strokes off every round.  That lead to upper 90's down to the mid to upper 80's where I'm currently shooting.

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 Driver:   :callaway-small:  Epic Flash 12 Degree

Wood: :callaway-small:  GBB 3 Wood
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Irons: :callaway-small: X2 Hot 4 iron (pro version) 5 iron - Gap Wedge (non pro version).  KBS 120g Shaft stiff cut 1/2  inch bent 1°upright
Wedges: :vokey-small: 52° 56° and 60°.
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It has to be some of the great tips I picked up here about proper weight shift and not thinking too much when putting. It has really helped my game within the last couple of weeks.

 

Sent from my sizzling Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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WITB:

 

Driver:   :taylormade-small: Sim2 Max w/ Fujikura Motore X F3 shaft

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Irons:  :srixon-small: Z565 - 7 thru PW & ZU85 - 5 thru 6 with Recoil ZT9 F4 shafts                                            

Wedges:   :cleveland-small: RTX4 52*, 56*, 60* 

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Ball:  :Snell: Black & :titelist-small: Pro V1

Bag: 2018 MyGolfSpy stand Bag & 2021 Greenside Golf stand bag

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I went thru a tough phase of almost quitting the game.But found a way to still enjoy this game by working on my swing.My breakthru was shallowing the club properly.Once I did that the ball flew right to left and long everytime.I can swing 70% of my power shallow and still hit longer than when i was steep.Very very simple to do and repeatable

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