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I don't post as often as I should for how much I lurk, but here goes: I just found I out I have a neurological disorder that will cause me to have a very rapid decreasing in physical ability likely within the next 5 years (sob story - sorry)


Getting to near scratch is on my bucket list. I'm an 11 down from 15 last year and 20 the year before that. I am a regular guy in that I can't quit my job to do this, and am already looking around the area for some good quality coaching. I was wondering if anyone who has seen any major and quick improvements could tell me what they focused on or just what people in my shoes would do?



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I am sorry to hear about your situation.  I hope that you make your goals..work as hard at it as you can.  My only advice is that going from 11 to 7 can be done pretty quickly by concentration on hitting fairways.  If you hit fairways you have a much better chance of hitting greens and that means pars..lots of pars.  If you are missing fairways, you will have to rely on getting up and down from that dreaded 30-50 yard range and that it tough to do on most golf courses.  Spend some time on the range and learn to hit that driver and 3 wood where you want it and then depend on your short irons to help you score.


Good luck!

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Also so sorry to hear your bad news.... And sorry I don't have any good tips for you .. I'm not that good a golfer .. just wanted to wish you luck on your quest!!!

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I'll be following these replies, but I wanted to get a word in right off to wish you the best on this goal, and the best for your health.

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Samson, best of luck to you with your situation. I am sorry to hear that bad news.


The only tip anyone has given me that I believe has made my scores go down is focus on the game from 125yds and in. Not everyone can hit the ball 300+ yards, but most people can develop a great short game which can shave strokes and handicaps.



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Sorry to hear about your situation.


If you want to improve rapidly in golf, spend most of your time, like at least 80% of it, on chipping and putting.  We all know we aren't going to hit every green or fairway.  And since we acknowledge missed greens, it's what we do with that missed approach shot that separates the scratch golfers from the 10+ handicaps.


I treat my chip around the green as my first putt, and try to put it to within 3 feet of the hole, so that I can (hopefully) have a high percentage putt for par.


I always point to Seve Ballesteros when I talk about stuff like this.  Later in his career Seve completely lost the ability to hit a driver, and was constantly playing from the trees, the rough, from parking lots; basically anywhere but the fairway.  But 9 times out of 10 he found a way to get up and down for par or better.  He'd simply demoralize an opponent in match play when his opponent would crank one 300 yards down the middle and see Seve shank one into the trees.  His opponent would have a simple wedge into the green and Seve would have to curve a shot around trees to get on the green.  The opponent would often times see Seve pull of some miracle shot to 10 feet, and then the opponent would be so unnerved by such a miracle shot by Seve that he's chunk the wedge, or leave it outside of Seve's miracle shot from wherever.  Seve made a career out of this, and won a lot of matches this way.


Best of luck on your journey.  No matter where you end up, just enjoy the ride and don't take it too seriously.

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That sucks! Sorry to hear that. Hopefully it is not as detrimental as it sounds at this time.


If there was a quick fix we all would do it. Unfortunately there isn't one. Good advice on here regarding short game, and without context of your game is about all we can offer. I will say that if you find your biggest weakness and focus on fixing that it will make the most dramatic change. Then pick the next one and work on it, etc... We as golfers try to fix something and then get focused on something else and then get focused on something else, all the while forgetting what we set out to fix. Focus on one thing at a time and work from there. Whether that is fairways, GIR's or short game. The hard part about that is maintaining your current game at the same time. But if you can turn a weakness into a positive you will notice the changes on your handicap.


Goof luck and keep us updated!

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Sorry the hear about your condition.  I hope you make your goal.  You are on the right track by finding a good coach.  Make sure you get along with whoever it is; if it's not working out between you, get a new one.  


Work on whatever your big miss is.  Others posting are right; get in the fairway and work on your short game.  A good short game is the quickest way to lower your handicap, but being in position to attack the flag really helps.


Here is a piece of advice, that you can take or not.  We have some very good junior players at my course.  Even tough they can hit the ball more than 225 off the tee, their coach makes them play from the forward tees until they shoot par.  Then they can move back to the senior tees until they shoot par there.  Most are playing from the Men's tees now.  The point is the kids learn how to score from shorter distances before moving back.  Not only does it give them a sense of accomplishment, it also hones their short game skills along the way.  Ask your coach about it.

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really sorry to hear that!

However, your positive attitude will reap good rewards for you mentally I feel.


As others have said, work really hard on the short game, THAT ALONE will reduce your handicap very quickly.


Anyone can boom a drive, but not many turn a potential 6 into a 4.


Good luck Man, keep us appraised of your progress.

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So so sorry man, best of luck. +100 to what everyone has said. When I was down to single digits I primarily worked on short game/putting. It's the ONLY thing you can do in golf that's free! I would dedicate most of my time there because golf can be expensive. I will also add course management. I loved what was said about Seve and I'll add to that to remember that your NOT Seve either.(None of us are) Play your game out there, don't take shots that you never practice. Sometimes a simple layup or punch out can save a stroke or two. When you start getting low it's all about a stroke here and a stroke there. I'm not scared to layup on a part 4 if I'm out further than I'm comfortable with going at it. You can do it!


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Sorry to hear that, but hope you achieve your goal soon!


As opposed to the few tips you got here, the difference for me between shooting an 80 and a 100 is my driver. Don't have to be overly long, but hitting fairways is key for me. I guess it depends on where your weakness is?

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