Good days vs Bad days: Where are we trying to improve

Yeah. I think a better topic might have been what does better mean… handicap? Low score? Less frustration?

I can tell you, I have a lot fewer regrets at the end of the round, but I also don’t have as many “how did I pull THAT off” moments… the two are very linked!

Still plenty of great memories of good shots… just no more crazy trick shots.

I think the approach needs to be get the high scores lower and everything will follow, but I think you can lower all scores by making sure you take advantage of opportunities when you get the green light (sending it, aiming at pins when you can, getting 10-15 foot putts to the hole) without making big numbers.

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Obviously, getting better, I would like to totally eliminate the 3jack, but not going to ever happen, I will tell you it’s been 8 years since I had a 4jack. With my new found distance my GIR has obviously risen from an avg of 39% from the first 5 months from Feb to 61% in August & September of this year. Being able to unleash off the tee again with confidence that, I’m really taking Left outta play, I am hitting 8,9,and Ws into holes because I’m not bunting the ball out there anymore. My expectations are changing…When I am missing greens I need to really start working on tightening up chipping and pitching. Like I said, this past week as an example, the absolute worst I could have came away with was 78, I ended up with 76, It should have been 68 or 69 and IF everything was executed perfectly it could have been 66. So, yeah…make those 3-4 ft birdie putts…I missed them both, I did have 3, 3 jax, Pay more attention to line and speed, Make just 1 more 10-15 ft putt, I did NOT get the ball up and down from crummy lies that were within 6 ft of the greens trying to be greedy firing at pins. I also had 1 dbl in this last round because I did hit a ball into a “penalty area” and had to take some medicine. How I am thinking on the course has to change…Basically BORING Golf…to get to next level again, even reviewing what I just wrote…the total around the green play has to tighten up.

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This has been the same for me. My low score at my home course is 81 and I shoot that at least once a year, but I did it several times this season. I’m still not 100% happy because I shot in the high 70’s several times over 10 years ago so the 81 doesn’t cut it lol.

I probably should be satisfied with the season as my handicap had been steadily rising the last 10 years from about 13 to 20. Last year I finished as an 18 and had a goal of getting to 14 this year which I am at right now. I hit my goal, but I don’t feel like my swing got much more consistent. I used to hit driver like a 25 'cap and my irons like a 10 and then putt like a 30. Now it’s more like I do everything like a 14 and I miss hitting irons like I used to…still no hole in one either dammit :disappointed:

I feel like I’m getting really close to breaking 80 again, but if I do I probably won’t be happy for long. I’ll still be working on it though. I have started on a new game plan for winter practice because there is always next year.

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Hi Kev, if I’m not mistaken we are both on the + side of 60 now. How far are you hitting your driver.? I play my course from the back tees again at 6100yds. I did play 2 rounds this year away from home at 6400yds recently, with no problems. Last year my driver and general swing seemed to deteriorate where I couldn’t hit a driver past 230yds max and my PW was only carrying 95-100. I tweaked a few things but I’m back to maxing a wedge 120yds and driver is back up to 245-255 easy. Did you notice severe distance loss after 60? Have you had a swing breakdown to see If you can pick up yardage? It is work, but I do know that adding some width to the swing, getting back into proper posture, rechecking my grip (it had become seriously weak) and I added a bit more spine and hip tilt has really been a fountain of youth for me. I’d love to hear your breakdown for us seniors.

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I’m “only” 55, but certain parts have a bit of extra mileage :laughing: I’m very inconsistent with the driver and it’s not related to my physical well being, but my swing or lack of in general. I do have to watch posture as I tend to slump or stand too tall. I also tend to sway instead of turn. Lots of issues.

I have days I can barely hit it 230 and other days where 260 is not a problem. I have no troubles hitting SW 100 and PW 125, but I have been struggling with this OTT move with the longer clubs and I tend to fly the driver 230 and plug it. My longer drivers are usually toe draws lol.

I played 9 last night and really struggled with the swing and yardage. 1st hole I hit it 250 which would have been great except I aimed left for the weak fade and hit it straight and had to pitch out of the woods. The 3rd hole is a dogleg and tees were up so I hit 3w and 210 would have been great, but I managed to hit it 240 thru the dogleg lol. I had this extra yardage, but wasn’t hitting it straight enough and long at my course is no good. I’m sure this weekend I’ll be back to short & crooked

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Thinking about this topic some more and looking at my game and my stats for the past couple seasons…
I feel like my game really improved this year, but looking back at my stats, my handicap is about the same as it was last year. But my scores are a lot more consistent, and my bad days are less bad. I managed to break par twice this year, something I had never done before, and I don’t think that was due to any special skill that I practiced, I was just really “on” on those days and the putter was hot.
For my own game, the thing I think I need to work on related to this, is the “makeable” birdie putts in the 10-15 foot range (I leave them short way too often).

Other than that, I think “going low” is just due to being “on” on a particular day and variance (aka, “luck” where you’re hitting some irons close).

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Interesting…I know one of the guys posts along with me and we are 60…“55”…you’re gainin on us! Anyways, I’m. like everyone else, buying new stuff, and frankly not seeing any appreciable gainis. So last year, after we got back out on the course, I pulled out my old set, especially my persimmon 3 & 5w and my TM 9.5 Burner. The balls looked bigger than the clubhead and I’m thinking to myself how the hell did I ever hit these things? I cracked the driver longer than the new investment I made into a new TM. The irons are softer lofts…so my PW on my old set was 51. So some adjustments there. It was then and there…I’m like something is wrong. Lessons and vids showed me…I lost width, some turn, grip has horribly weak instead of neutral, I really was losing spine angle on the downswing because I was lurching forward…It was a mess. So that’s when I bought a net and a phone stand and started and recorded and got lessoned up again…beating at least 100 balls a day into the net. I also purchased a small monitor to get some feedback. Then about 40 days ago things clicked…I had broken the bad habits and was executing the better habits…Hence, the ability to recalibrate my iron distances and hit the Driver off the tee with some pop. The last few weeks I have been working on eliminating the left side of the fairway. 90% of my misses are right now, If I do miss left it’s actually a bitt of a pull and is not in the woods…more like left ruff or left FW. That has dropped the scoring into mid to 70’s now. If I do get that round where the flat stick just drops a few more…breaking par again will be in the equations for me.

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Yeah I have newer equipment, but can’t say I’ve gained any distance from it. I do find the newer woods to be more forgiving. About 5 years ago I went back to more “standard” loft irons and have stuck with that. I have gotten a bit stronger in the gym this year, but not sure that has made it to the course.

I had started playing much more consistent golf this year and started threatening to break 80 again, but then things got busy with work and family and I couldn’t play much and I’m struggling again. I could have fit some practice in, but I wasn’t motivated since I knew I couldn’t play. For some reason I just don’t have the muscle memory for golf. Maybe because I didn’t take up the game until I was 30. I was never a great athlete, but baseball and basketball didn’t seem as hard lol.

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This to me is the biggest key. I truly envy you folks that have time to play every day…or even every few days. I aspire to get to that point asap. Between work and family and life, I’ve found that when I play more, my handicap drops quicker.

I started the year as a 12…during the summer when school was out, I got to the course more and dropped to a 10 (all time low for me)…now that school and other commitments have increased, I’m back up to an 11.5 and lucky to squeeze in 9 holes once a week.

I certainly don’t downplay lessons, technique, mental game, course management…all of those are SUPER important to improvement…but TIME trumps all in my opinion.

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I have a working (completely unproven) theory that we can lower the time threshold by finding the things that actually WORK in terms of practice… I’m convinced there is something I could be doing 10-20 minutes a day that would be better for my game than an hour at the range… I have no idea what it is!

As we head into the off season, I’m going to work on speed training and strength… with a minor in short game… hoping to use the simulator at the club to dial in my wedges… Still have about 2 months of golf this season, but it’s going to be in less ideal conditions, so I’m more worried about figuring out what my offseason will be focused on.

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Yeah I don’t think anyone can deny that. I found myself out of work back in 2009 and luckily I had a nice severance and played golf every other day and practiced as well. I went from shooting 90’s to 80’s and broke 80 several times.

My putting was terrible and my driver was mediocre at best, but my irons and wedge play were quite good. I thought I had at least part of the game figured out, but when next Spring came and I MIGHT play 9 holes/week I quickly realized I hadn’t learned a thing. I haven’t broken 80 since then.

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I bought a net for $60. I bought a mat for another $40. I bought a stand for $8 to record my sessions. I downloaded Virtual Pro Swing Analyzer. I purchased the PRGR to analyze speed, distance and Smash Factor. I regripped my clubs. So a pretty minor investment. I did 5 minutes of stretching every day, then worked on incremental lessons that my PRO kinda owed to me to make new technology work for me. From the vids, I 100% saw poor grip. Th V in my left hand was pointing almost to the left of my chin…It’s supposed to be at minimum to the R armpit. I also saw my left arm at the elbow was breaking down and I was losing all kinds of width. I also saw (from behind) that I was standing up maybe about an inch or 2, causing me to lose spine angle. All that together, no control, fat or thin shots and all stored energy was expended by the time the downswing was hitting 4 o’clock. I hit balls every day as a daily workout instead of doing something dumb like watch TV…each day I incrementally worked on each piece. When I learned the game you wanted to impact the ball at the bottom of the swing. I had to in-grain learning to hit up on the ball. The difference is minutia…but it is a difference I was not performing. I might have had a launch angle upwards of about 7-9*, now it’s like 13-14*. You cannot hit a TM M3 like you hit a TM Burner from 1989. We were always afraid of “sky-marking” the clubhead…I bet you can find time if it’s in your backyard. I’m like an old time gym-rat…I actually love beating balls. But do it with a purpose. I also received a 12ft putting matt for a BD present years ago. I finally broke that out and stroke at least 20 putts everyday. All I can say is I gained 40-50yds off the tee, my irons are now hitting what they are supposed to go, Putter…not so much…I still suck, but suck to me is avg of 1.88…I want to see it closer to 1.6 or 1.7…how do you do that? Ya just gotta get the ball close to the hole :rofl:

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It seems to come down to motivation for me. In the winter about a month before our annual FL golf trip I will have the net up in the garage, hitting balls off the mat and using foot spray and the PRGR monitor on a near daily basis even if only for 15-20 minutes. My short game will suck, but I’ll usually strike the ball decently. But during golf season, if I know I won’t be able to get out and play for a week or 2, my thought is “why practice since I can’t play?”. And then when I finally do get to play I play like sh*t.

Most of my buddies are the same. We have 1 guy in our group who doesn’t seem to need to play or practice much though. He might only play 9 holes/week, but his swing will still be silky smooth and he’ll hit his +20 yr old 12* driver 275 or so dead center of the fairway and shoot a couple over…I hate him so much lol.

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I don’t even know your buddy and I hate him…

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There’s another topic about “my favorite practice drill” where the poster was quite enthusiastic about the “Slow Motion Drill” from Harvey Penick - if any of you have a copy of “The Little Red Book” I encourage you to (re-) read that section; for anyone not familiar with it you can find explanatory vids on You Tube.

I just started doing it, and … no kidding … it’s already helped me! Check out it…

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Yeah, the slow motion drill is great! Though you have to know what you are trying to do in slow motion!

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Oh yeah!!! It works for me because I’ve been taking a series of lessons this year, and we’ve gone through a LOT of movements - plus I wanna say that I’m maybe possibly starting a little bit to kinda get some of it :wink:

But, yes, super important to NOT ingrain “wrong” moves!

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Do note though that “The Slow Motion Drill” was principally conveyed in The Little Red Book as an exercise to do two specific things:

  1. Bring your left heel back down at the beginning of your top-of-swing-coming-down in order to get your weight shift set up for impact through the ball
  2. Bring your right elbow in back to core

Once you internalize these two moves into your normal golf swing, The Slow Motion Drill can be utilized as Golf Yoga or Golf Quan Do to keep you honest for as long as you care to work on it.

For me, the right elbow thing has totally straightened out my shaping and eliminated a long-time outside-in propensity that has haunted me for decades.

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Ha great term, love it!

And thanks for the extra clarifications on the drill! :+1:

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