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Mental Breakthrough - Got through my block


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Here's the difference - a combination between short game and confidence.  Confidence I can get it up and down.  Not getting worried about how many fairways or greens I can hit. 

I changed from my avg being 1-2 birdies on a great day with a bunch of pars  playing safely vs 6-7 birdies with a ton of bogeys playing aggressively . It was this way for several seasons until now. Now I can stay aggressive and go from 2-7 birdies with maybe giving 2 back.

Mine came is learning how to play overlapping gaps between irons.  Either by choking down clubs or shortening swings to the winds properly. 

My practice is now 85% chipping/putting/4 wedges.

Anyone else get a breakthrough in unexpected ways? Everyone says short game is the key but it didnt click till now for me and having a specific set of yardages and conditions to practice.  And logging it.

 

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The guy who taught me how to play when I first started out made me work on the short game for months before he would let me move on to the 8 iron and up.  It was all about putting, chipping, and pitching, and bunkers. He said if you can master that you will always be able to score well in the future. All I can say was, he was correct. It is still a very strong part of my game. 

At the time I didn't appreciate it. All I wanted to do was hit the big sticks. But I stuck with it. 

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I've been working on my short game since I started playing 10-11 years ago - and I still suck! .. oops I mean: and I've been making good improvement, especially this year with my putting.

I'd started a series of full swing lessons a year ago, and have been making improvements there - so now chipping has become a (kinda glaring) weak spot in my game.... So switched it up to a short game lesson.

But what @El Chivo opened with...

On 12/4/2020 at 2:05 PM, El Chivo said:

Here's the difference - a combination between short game and confidence.  Confidence I can get it up and down. 

.. that's the real keyword = Confidence.

 

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Have to agree when ibplaybin the short game with visualize and hit the shot I play much better than over thinking. Trust the feel for me.

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If you watch Golf Sidekick's videos on Youtube he will always say that instead of just trying to hit the ball as far as possible all the time, you should try to play the ball to yardages that you are comfortable with, even if that means you hit a shorter club.

Why try a delicate pitch shot when you could just lay up to 120 yards and hit a stock full shot with a wedge?

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39 minutes ago, BadgerGolfer said:

If you watch Golf Sidekick's videos on Youtube he will always say that instead of just trying to hit the ball as far as possible all the time, you should try to play the ball to yardages that you are comfortable with, even if that means you hit a shorter club.

Why try a delicate pitch shot when you could just lay up to 120 yards and hit a stock full shot with a wedge?

And Strokes Gained analyses, for all levels of golfers, show that players will end up closer to the pin when hitting FROM closer to the pin.  Of course that's a generality, for some players the trend will be the other way, but most of the time for most players it works.   If you are good enough to to consistently hit the green from 120 yards, you're almost certainly good enough to hit delicate pitches consistently closer.  The Golf Sidekick videos could be a completely different topic all on their own, I won't go further down that rabbit-hole.

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I tracked my stats for a few years and realized 95+% of the shots I give away are all short game. Not even the whole within 100 yards thing, I mean within 20 yards. Even if a drive puts me in trouble, I have good recovery shots. Even if I hit a bad second, I'm still at least in a position for up & down par. Once I figured this out I stopped tracking because it hadn't changed in 2 1/2 years. A 1-year old has limited practice time.

A big thing for me is focusing on the mental game. What I practice now is sticking to a routine. Approaching every shot the same way. And slowing things down on the greens. Taking an extra 20 seconds to walk up on a chip, or read the putt from behind the cup. Give myself a chance to think and breathe. Even with non existent practice time I took 2 strokes of my hcp this year.

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On 12/4/2020 at 2:38 PM, Tom the Golf Nut said:

The guy who taught me how to play when I first started out made me work on the short game for months before he would let me move on to the 8 iron and up.  It was all about putting, chipping, and pitching, and bunkers. He said if you can master that you will always be able to score well in the future. All I can say was, he was correct. It is still a very strong part of my game. 

At the time I didn't appreciate it. All I wanted to do was hit the big sticks. But I stuck with it. 

Gosh I frickin love that! 

On 12/5/2020 at 2:39 PM, cksurfdude said:

I've been working on my short game since I started playing 10-11 years ago - and I still suck! .. oops I mean: and I've been making good improvement, especially this year with my putting.

I'd started a series of full swing lessons a year ago, and have been making improvements there - so now chipping has become a (kinda glaring) weak spot in my game.... So switched it up to a short game lesson.

But what @El Chivo opened with...

.. that's the real keyword = Confidence.

 

Aint that the truth.

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On 12/6/2020 at 9:52 AM, DaveP043 said:

And Strokes Gained analyses, for all levels of golfers, show that players will end up closer to the pin when hitting FROM closer to the pin.  Of course that's a generality, for some players the trend will be the other way, but most of the time for most players it works.   If you are good enough to to consistently hit the green from 120 yards, you're almost certainly good enough to hit delicate pitches consistently closer.  The Golf Sidekick videos could be a completely different topic all on their own, I won't go further down that rabbit-hole.

Perhaps but you could also argue that trying to hit hero shots so that you get closer to the whole brings in a whole new level of risk, which is what Golfsiderkick's, "way of the playa" is about avoiding and theres really no case to be made against that.

You can talk strokes gained all you want but theres no debating that trying to always hit the ball as far as you can is dumb golf.  Just ask Bryson how that worked out for him at the Masters this year. LOL

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2 hours ago, BadgerGolfer said:

Perhaps but you could also argue that trying to hit hero shots so that you get closer to the whole brings in a whole new level of risk, which is what Golfsiderkick's, "way of the playa" is about avoiding and theres really no case to be made against that.

You can talk strokes gained all you want but theres no debating that trying to always hit the ball as far as you can is dumb golf.  Just ask Bryson how that worked out for him at the Masters this year. LOL

Strokes gained doesn't suggest trying to hit the ball as far as you can, and NEVER suggests trying hero shots.  Strokes gained generally suggests getting as close to the hole as possible without taking on too much additional risk.  You have to assess risk based on your game, and on the hole in front of you.  The Golf Sidekick episode I remember watching, aimed at breaking 90 I think, suggested hitting 7-iron 3 times in a row to get to a par-4, which is complete foolishness for a bogey golfer.  

As for Bryson, that strategy worked pretty dang good at the US Open, mostly because he consistently executed the shots well, including short game and putting.  When you don't execute, the problem isn't with strategy, its with execution.  I see that all the time with my friends, a guy slices one 50 yards into the woods, and decides that driver was a dumb choice.

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3 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

Strokes gained doesn't suggest trying to hit the ball as far as you can, and NEVER suggests trying hero shots.  Strokes gained generally suggests getting as close to the hole as possible without taking on too much additional risk.  You have to assess risk based on your game, and on the hole in front of you.  The Golf Sidekick episode I remember watching, aimed at breaking 90 I think, suggested hitting 7-iron 3 times in a row to get to a par-4, which is complete foolishness for a bogey golfer.  

As for Bryson, that strategy worked pretty dang good at the US Open, mostly because he consistently executed the shots well, including short game and putting.  When you don't execute, the problem isn't with strategy, its with execution.  I see that all the time with my friends, a guy slices one 50 yards into the woods, and decides that driver was a dumb choice.

Agree.  I wonder how often a bogey golfer will hit a 7-iron well enough 3 times in a row to get to a par 4.   

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On 12/11/2020 at 9:47 PM, Kenny B said:

Agree.  I wonder how often a bogey golfer will hit a 7-iron well enough 3 times in a row to get to a par 4.   

I think this strategy makes sense for one who shoots 110 and up or it is not a bad way to learn the game. I agree, the approach with a 7 iron is no guarantee for the bogey or above bogey golfer.  

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48 minutes ago, NC Golfer said:

I think this strategy makes sense for one who shoots 110 and up or it is not a bad way to learn the game. I agree, the approach with a 7 iron is no guarantee for the bogey or above bogey golfer.  

It's a good way to learn the game; it really depends on the golfer.  Not all higher handicaps are the same.  The normal reaction is that higher handicaps don't get off the tee very well, but there are higher handicaps that hit the ball reasonably well, but take 4-5 shots around the green.  Some hit woods better than irons; others can hit irons but can't hit woods.   Each person has to evaluate what works best for them, and work on those parts of the game that are lacking.  As @cksurfdude said, it's about confidence.  If someone who shoots 110+ can play a club, any club, that they can control to the green, and work on their short game, they can lower their score considerably.  A bogey golfer already has a reasonable short game or they wouldn't be a bogey golfer; they need to focus on controlling shots off the tee and their approaches.

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On 12/11/2020 at 9:47 PM, Kenny B said:

Agree.  I wonder how often a bogey golfer will hit a 7-iron well enough 3 times in a row to get to a par 4.   

Yes, a bogey golfer doesn't hit two good shots in a row typically.

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I made a mini breakthrough on shots from the 50 to 90 yard range, especially on the shorter end of the range. I would try to get too delicate with those shots and then end up doing something really bad. I've learned to do things like take a 3/4 swing and from there make a normal downswing. I think before I would take a swing and then start to decelerate and then everything goes bad from that point.

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27 minutes ago, SlowNLow said:

Yes, a bogey golfer doesn't hit two good shots in a row typically.

I like the idea of a 7 iron round.  Would be interesting to try during offseason , well at least once

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1 hour ago, SlowNLow said:

Yes, a bogey golfer doesn't hit two good shots in a row typically.

I actually think a bogey golfer can hit two good shots in a row quite often, but 3 in a row happens a lot less often.  Two for a typical DB golfer is not very common.  I am going from my personal experience!  🙄

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35 minutes ago, mwr57 said:

I like the idea of a 7 iron round.  Would be interesting to try during offseason , well at least once

I did this once on a very foggy day.  A 7i was all the further I could see, and anything longer got much wilder; I didn't want to lose a ball.

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15 hours ago, Kenny B said:

I actually think a bogey golfer can hit two good shots in a row quite often, but 3 in a row happens a lot less often.  Two for a typical DB golfer is not very common.  I am going from my personal experience!  🙄

Yeah, that makes sense.   

I make bogeys all of the time, thousands of ways to do it, but the decent drive, decent approach, chop, chop, chop is my best one.

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On 12/11/2020 at 7:47 PM, Kenny B said:

Agree.  I wonder how often a bogey golfer will hit a 7-iron well enough 3 times in a row to get to a par 4.   

As a bogey golfer, I am offended 😂

Unless your "good" 7 iron goes 110 yards, you better be able to reach a par 4 green with 3 shots even with a duff. If your good 7 iron goes 150 and the average of all shots including fats and thins is 130, that works out to a 390 yard par 4 in 3 shots. Hit 2 150, with a 100 yard chunk in the middle and you're still around the green for a par 4. 

If you are duffing 2/3 of all short iron shots, you sure as hell better not be playing 400 yard par 4s because you average 7 iron distance is around 100 yards or less in that scenario. You're also not a bogey golfer at that point. 

I think 1 aspect which gets overlooked with this advice (for hackers) from Golf Sidekick is that if you are predominantly hitting 6,7 and 8 irons, you will likely groove a half decent iron swing if you're a 90-100 shooter by repeatedly making similar iron swings which also end up in trouble less often. (As opposed to driver into the woods, punch out, hybrid approach which slices way off to the side, etc.). How much golf instruction and defending random practice centers around never facing the same shot twice?

What if you're playing a 320 yard par 4 with a bunch of water along one side and fairway bunkers at 200? Hit a 7 iron 170 off the tee and leave yourself 150 in which is your 7 iron approach club... I bet you're probably feeling OK about that 6, 7 or 8 iron into the green after just hitting it.

If you lose 2 balls OB off the tee with driver that's -4 SG, you then need to hit 8 good drives to break even from a SG perspective vs 10 "safe" tee shots that travel ~40 yards shorter than driver (if you hit the same number of fairways with both clubs which is unlikely).

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