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Hi all, 

 

I've come searching for some help. After many years of attempting to play golf throughout high school, and battling the elements of Scottish links courses with a horrendous slice I seem to have finally sorted something. 

 

I didn't play for 9 years after high school and have returned to the game with a new mindset (i.e. don't lose the plot if I hit a bad shot). I had a lesson last September and that seems to have helped out a lot and now do not slice the ball. On my last 4 rounds(over the last 3 weeks) I have been striking the ball well about 60% of the time off the tee, either dead straight or with a nice fade. (Occasionally slightly overcompensating)

 

Now, the question I have is; With limited funds, is it better to try and improve on the course to get that last 40% off the tee sorted, or use my budget to take some lessons and get on the range. I'm conflicted because I do love getting out on the course, and don't mind the frustrations that come with not being amazing. 

 

I know the answer to improving is lessons 1st, but I'm interested in your thoughts. 

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Hi all, 

 

I've come searching for some help. After many years of attempting to play golf throughout high school, and battling the elements of Scottish links courses with a horrendous slice I seem to have finally sorted something. 

 

I didn't play for 9 years after high school and have returned to the game with a new mindset (i.e. don't lose the plot if I hit a bad shot). I had a lesson last September and that seems to have helped out a lot and now do not slice the ball. On my last 4 rounds(over the last 3 weeks) I have been striking the ball well about 60% of the time off the tee, either dead straight or with a nice fade. (Occasionally slightly overcompensating)

 

Now, the question I have is; With limited funds, is it better to try and improve on the course to get that last 40% off the tee sorted, or use my budget to take some lessons and get on the range. I'm conflicted because I do love getting out on the course, and don't mind the frustrations that come with not being amazing. 

 

I know the answer to improving is lessons 1st, but I'm interested in your thoughts. 

There is something to be said about getting out on the course so you can improve with in round play and pressure rather than just whacking balls on a range with no really consequences for poor shots. With limited funds I would try to do a bit of range work on your own and continuing to work on what you learned from your previous lesson. Then go play a couple 9 hole rounds and if things are still not quite right or other areas of concern are popping up, book the lesson. 

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I'd say lessons if they are in your budget. You still have to play more/practice to take advantage of what you're learning. Playing more will get you attuned to feel for distances, putting, and just playing in general...but lessons will help you with mechanics and the millions of other things that go into this stupid, dumb, idiotic, frustrating, maddening, torturing game that we all love.  ;)

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Just taking lessons and not practicing or playing won't achieve the results you're looking for. Most lessons are in a more sterile environment - on a mat or driving range. They don't duplicate course conditions, lies, different rough height, etc that would have an effect on your stroke.

 

I'd analyze where you need the most help working backwards from the green (putting, chipping), take a lesson in that area, practice , practice, practice, practice then play.

 

 

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My experience has been that I reach improvement plateaus and will not improve from that plateau without professional help. Insert any joke you'd like about from which professionals I need help! :-).

We are all different and I play with people who can beat balls down the range and film themselves and figure things out on there own in all aspects of the game. That ain't me. It may be you, but I am a believer in the tenet that it's crazy to repeat the same behavior and expect different results.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoy your rounds despite the challenges in your game. That is the secret to appreciating this game in my opinion. Because I know that my handicap won't change very much without lessons AND practice, I don't have unreasonable expectations for my scoring if I haven't been actively working on an improvement plan. If I took a set of lessons, and practiced what I learned, and don't see results within a few months, that would bother me.

So, examine how you prefer spend your time and money, make your choice and set expectations, then go out and do the best you can and enjoy it because golf is awesome!

 

Cheers!

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From my experiences I think lessons first will go a long way towards understanding how we play on the course, with caveats. This was something I learned personally and my evidence is more anecdotal than scientific but I hope it helps.

 

When I first started playing I took the advice of lessons lessons lessons seriously. So much so that I signed up for 6 lessons with a well known coach in the area. I drove about an hour every month to take a lesson, so that was 6 months straight of at least a lesson a month.

 

If I could do it over again I would space them out more. The reason why I say that is because I didn't take enough time between lessons to really absorb what he was saying. I took thorough notes during the lessons and still have them now. What I've noticed is that all the advice and mechanic he tried to teach me took a long time to really hit me. Some of the things he critiques about my swing which seemed inconsequential at the time ended up being breakthroughs as I kept playing. I took my last lesson with him a year ago and just last month one of the things he told me clicked on my head and I've been playing a few strokes better ever since.

 

Long story short, my advice is to take a lesson first, take great notes, ask all questions that come to your head no matter how basic you think, even record your swing with his advice if possible and then practice. Hit the range and try to apply some of the advice. Play as much as funds would allow and don't rush improvements. As soon as you feel you've taken the lesson seriously I would start thinking about going back along with your progress and the things you've learned along the way. Hope this helps. Cheers!

 

 

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I too returned to golf after a long hiatus, and have found that a few lessons up front and a bunch of range time to get my feeling back was key. Since then, I've been playing my face off. I plan to take lessons as needed when I run up against a serious issue that I can't fix on the range. For me, playing with practice between is the best approach.

 

 

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This is going to be such a wishy washy answer, but I hope to make it clear.

 

I prefer a mix of both lessons and on course gaming. There are situations in the course that will ask you to do something that cannot be replicated at the driving range, but getting the professional to look at what your doing and build your foundation is so critical.

 

I was fortunate to be able to participate in 4 30 minute lessons spread out over 2 months. In between every lesson, I went on the course and played and then brought the results back to my instructor so we could see what I still needed to work on in my foundation.

 

What the multiple lessons did for me was allow me enough time to figure out any on course trends that we could work on together over time and now I have a few drills or swing thoughts to help re-correct when my negative trends resurface.

 

 

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You know whether you professional help more than we do. If you decide to take another lesson, it needs to be the same person you already worked with. There seems to be as many ways to teach the golf swing as there are instructors and changing teacher may result in a step backwards rather than forwards.

 

Now, having said that, you said you are striking the ball well 60% of the time. So obviously you know how to make a golf swing. A little range time can improve those numbers.

 

But a full swing is only half of golf. Hit it in the fairway, get it close to the green and then on the green and 2 putt and you reduce your posted handicap by 10.

 

I would work on the full swing on the range and play more golf.

 

Establish a set of goal.

  1. The first goal is to avoid the penalties strokes.
  2. Perhaps your goal should be to play the same ball for 18 holes or longer. If you don't lose the ball then you probably didn't have a penalty stroke.
  3. No 3 putts

Stuff like that. But by playing more you have more opportunities to work on your short game which other than penalties is where you probably drop the most shots.

 

Also, if you are just playing a practice round, and not bothering every one else, drop an extra ball in the bunker, or some other place you would normally avoid and hit that to the green.

 

Course management, penalty avoidance, and short game go a long way to improving your score and those are learned by playing.

 

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Everyone is different in how we learn.  When I started playing, I took lessons, practiced, and played.  I didn't get any better after a slight initial improvement.  Why?  Because when I played, I reverted back to my old swing habits because of pressure and because my old habits felt more comfortable.  Wasted lessons; had to start all over again.  

 

If you are trying to fix one thing in your swing, a lesson with range time might work, and playing with focus on that one thing might be OK.  If you are needing a major overhaul, playing golf between lessons and practice time will only extend the time needed to develop the swing that you want.  You simply cannot make new moves repeatedly after only hitting a few dozen buckets of balls, even if you hit balls correctly which likely most will not be.  Your brain doesn't work that way.  Takes time, patience, and repeated trips to your instructor.  

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

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It's up to you. The consensus here will be 1-get lessons, followed by 2-you must be fit for your clubs. Both of those are excellent, if that's what you want, but I prefer to play more and figure out things for myself.

 

 

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Lessons and practice. Its all about muscle memory. As someone who never took lessons, just learned as I went by reading tips/how to's and taking lessons this year. I can tell my game plays much better when I do what my coach says and practice. As uncomfortable as my swing change was, when I focused on it, I shot an 83. When I didnt practice for 2 weeks and didnt focus on the change, I shot close to 100. 

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I would recommend lessons. I started a thread recently title “My experience with lessons”. It might help some. I was fortunate to find a great instructor. I can see results after each lesson. I practice a lot at the range. Lessons not only helped correct some flaws in my swing, but is also teaching me to understand the subtle details of a golf swing.

 

You shouldn't need to take more than 1 lesson every 3 to 4 weeks, so you will have the ability to still play some golf. Find cheap ways to practice. Golf is more fun when you are seeing improvements.

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Lessons require the commitment of practice or they will do no permanent good.

I need to practice, but I love walking that course instead of beating balls.

I guess I could do a niner and a range session....

 

 

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Hi all,

 

I've come searching for some help. After many years of attempting to play golf throughout high school, and battling the elements of Scottish links courses with a horrendous slice I seem to have finally sorted something.

 

I didn't play for 9 years after high school and have returned to the game with a new mindset (i.e. don't lose the plot if I hit a bad shot). I had a lesson last September and that seems to have helped out a lot and now do not slice the ball. On my last 4 rounds(over the last 3 weeks) I have been striking the ball well about 60% of the time off the tee, either dead straight or with a nice fade. (Occasionally slightly overcompensating)

 

Now, the question I have is; With limited funds, is it better to try and improve on the course to get that last 40% off the tee sorted, or use my budget to take some lessons and get on the range. I'm conflicted because I do love getting out on the course, and don't mind the frustrations that come with not being amazing.

 

I know the answer to improving is lessons 1st, but I'm interested in your thoughts.

Here's a few question lbs for you and the answers should provide the answer to your original question. How consistent are you with driver on the range? If the answer is 80 percent or higher the answer is play more and trust that your on course game will eventually match your range game.

 

If the answer is no then how bad are the misses that occur 40 percent of the time? Are we talking about a simple fairway missed but at a reasonable distance?

 

Hitting 60 percent of your fairways is fairly good. If that were the case I'd work on my strategy to eliminate one side of the course or the other off the tee to gain more confidence. Working on course management is generally free.

 

However if much of that 40 percent is in the trees, adding penalty strokes or significantly shorter than normal then lessons might be the better way.

 

I hope this helps you in reaching a decision.

 

 

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