I'm not progressing

Gentlemen, I need help. I’ve been playing for close to two years now (interrupted by two lockdowns), and somehow I feel like I’m not progressing any further.

I’m out on the range and the course 1-2 times a week if work and family permit, I’ve taken lessons with the local pro, subscribed to some online coaching plans, used a launch monitor at the range, etc. etc and my game is still wildly inconsistent.

Yesterday, I played 12 holes by myself. Fired the 1st drive into a hedge like 5 meters left of me, just to hit the drive on the next hole perfectly straight 200m over water. I knife a 10m chip to 20m behind the green, only to hit an 8 iron right next to the pin from 90m out on the next hole.

It all seems just so randomized still, I just can’t seem to find ample control and length to my shots. I’m comfortable with half shots, but struggle mightily with full backswinged shots. That’s why I’m so short with all of my shots…I just don’t have enough radius to generate speed because if I go full backswing, the result will usually be something dreadful…fat, topped, shank, missed entirely, you name it.

I’m frustrated at myself and just don’t know how I’m taking that “next step”, and getting away from hitting all over the place.

I’ll be thankful for all your input!


I have lots of thoughts on this… and I think improving at golf is a slow process where improvement is hard to notice…

But, I think you’ve mentioned an important aspect.

I’ve shortened my swing considerably. I’m a 5 handicap. I generate enough force that it doesn’t impact my distance that much… but even if it cost me 20 yards, I’d still do it.

There is a balance, and if your “full swing” is out of control, figure out a shorter swing that remains in control with playable distance.

Finding the swing that keeps you in play will help lower your scores, and as you keep doing it, you will generate more and more distance.

Consistency is far more important than hitting it far when you make proper contact.


Thanks, Will! Your feedback is always very welcome!

My shots with irons are almost always pitching-like. Narrow stance, gripped short, only half a backswing, so the clubhead points at 12 o’clock max. Of course this equals in a short distance. I hit my 8 iron to around 110m maybe. I leave the 7 and 6 in my bag most of the time, bc I’m just not comfortable with them.


You know, it’s just so frustrating and embarrasing, when I’m being paired with an older lady, who keeps stoically hitting fairway after fairway and green after green with seemingly no effort (hideous swing, but the result counts) to bogey every hole, while I’m all over the place, firing into woods and water and whatnot.


With the obvious disclaimer that I’m not a professional (at golf or otherwise), I would suggest that the frustration and pressure you put on yourself to improve and hit consistent shots might be hindering you. These types of things lead to a lot of swing thoughts and doubt and it’s near impossible to hit a good golf shot with that happening. I’d argue that trying to hit a half-swing shot isn’t necessarily easier than a full-swing shot, it’s just easier to trust it and therefor step up and hit it confidently. Extending that confidence to longer and longer swings could be key. Next time you’re at the range, start with your 8 iron half swings and hit a few good ones, then just make the swings a little longer (mentally, you can feel like you’re adding just 5%). Don’t focus on the result, just the feeling of the swing. This could help you find a “full swing” you can be confident with. For training aids, something like an Orange Whip could also help develop better tempo and balance (two things that really impact full swings IMO).


She doesn’t care what you shoot. Just have fun out there. Lessons are good.

The funny thing about golf is that confidence breeds confidence… the more good shots you hit , the more confidence you’ll have… I have no idea how to start building that confidence!


I feel your pain and have similar struggles. I had a similar 9 holes Tues night. I have always had a long swing with relatively poor tempo. According to my pro, it’s not the length of my swing that causes the issues, but the poor tempo and what my hands are doing. I often lose control of the club at the top and then rush the downswing. Even before that I don’t always set up with good posture and either whip the club inside or sway instead of turn. My backswing may always be long, but if the tempo is decent and my hands are passive then the swing is usually good.

Any way my long winded point is that it may not be just the swing length that is the issue.


2 years, I’ve been playing for 37 years and put balls into the hedges! Here’s what I’ll tell you, golf is a hard game (anyone disagree?), lessons are good (are you executing the lessons?), if you think are going to get good overnite (this isn’t the game for you), It takes a ton of repetition, you have to find your swing that will get you into a proper position to strike the ball crisply and thats off a good lie. Take a step back and re-evaluate what you are trying to accomplish. First start with a putter and chipping exercises…start small and buy a net and make it a point to hit balls every nite at least 20 or 30 in the yard or garage. I would use this drill to get started https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAADrjkwvXg


I don’t expect to get good overnight, but I would at least think I’d make any progress which I feel just hasn’t really happened.

I would love to be able to practice at home, but my backyard and garage are both too small for a net.

BFG…you need 10ftx 8ft for a net. Take my word for it and my mat is 2’x2’ this is the net I got. If your garage can fit a midsize car it can fit a practice net and mat! 100% small investment for huge returns…if you want to learn to hit the pill! https://www.amazon.com/boknight-Practice-Backyard-Driving-Hitting/dp/B092YVTB9K/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=golf+practice+net&qid=1632420774&sr=8-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEySTkwT1A5UjIySzBRJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTA3MzY0MVVRWVhaQlFGS0NJTiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNDIwODY0MzNFTU1KUExKSVBMRyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU= THis is the mat

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I’ve had a Rukknet for abut 2 years and it’s not super large. Some garages may be too low for a net or full swing, but it wouldn’t take much of a backyard. I like it as it’s super easy to open and close.


I understand your frustration. This is a frustrating game, even for those on the pro level. Look at McIlroy at the 2011 Masters. Do you think he intended to pull his tee shot on 10 on the last day of the tournament 100 yards offline? Same thing for Jordan Spieth with his tee shot at 13 at Royal Birkdale in the 2017 British Open. Even the best golfers hit miserable shots at times.

Although nerves and their effect on timing can explain some of this, I believe that misapplication of basic fundamentals is as big, if not a bigger explanation. You mention you’ve only been playing for two years so it is likely that some of those fundamentals are not completely ingrained, despite your lessons and practice. And even if you’re fully aware of the need to follow fundamentals, sometimes a flawed concept of them will undermine you.

One of the reasons I’ve always like Hogan’s Five Fundamentals is the basic checklist he sets out through the book. I suspect some of the specifics of his swing are now out of favor–he favored a tucked in right elbow that is the opposite of the current trends–but his description of a proper grip, setup, posture, and weight distribution are all still valuable ideas that any golfer can apply.

Spend the offseason pairing those ideas with the concept that a well-executed golf swing hardly ever leads to a loss of balance–meaning that a loss of balance generally means a flaw in your swing process or setup–and you can go some ways towards finding and starting to fix your problems so that you’ll be more consistent in 2022.


Just another thought on this… “I’m not progressing” might not be the right way to look at this… “I’m not seeing progress “ might be more accurate.


I think the challenge with golf is you have to commit to certain things, and grind them with no real knowledge of how much they will help… you have to figure out what to work on and how to work on it… improvement on the course takes a long time, so it’s important to find the little things to declare as successes along the way.

I don’t have a great answer on how to do this, but it’s something I think about everyday.


Thanks all you guys!

I just thought with all of the time and effort I put into it, I’d be at least able to crack 100 consistently now, but I’m almost always not able to. Maybe it’s because I’m putting too much pressure on myself also.

I’ll consider getting a net, but like was said, my garage is too low for full swings, even with shorter clubs. My pro has a set of Super Speed sticks that I’ll be able to borrow from him, so that’s on my off season agenda too.


Golf is hard. The truth is hard.

Everyone can’t be good.

Some people are naturally better than others.

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Again, I never expected to be or get good (whatever your definition of “good” is).

I just hoped that after two years of practice and play I’d be able to have any of the following to show for:

keep the ball in play more
have less mishits
drive it to 180m instead of 140
score somewhere in the high 90s instead of 105
see my handicap drop to around 40 instead of 54 where I still sit.


I understand the frustration, but unfortunately 1-2 times a week when you can isn’t that much time… golf is definitely cumulative and the more time you can put in in a week the more it builds on itself (I think!)….

Check out the New Favorite Practice Drill thread and maybe work on some low speed drills at home. It should help continue to build feel for a proper swing.


I was in your position and I know your pain. Back in 2016 when I restarted playing golf in my 40s I thought the more I worked and the more I played the better I’d get. Wrong. My initial handicap was set at 18. I went up to 22 over 2 years. I nearly gave up but kept believing I had the innate ability to get down to single figures.

The turning point for me was learning about the mental game and how the conscious brain interferes with athletic performance. I’m now down to handicap index 16.1.

However I’ve practically talked myself out of being able to hit my hybrids, such is the negative self-talk when I pick one of them up. Fixing that is a good goal for me before spring 2022.


Adding onto this, golf’s an activity where it really is, “three steps forward, two steps (or more) back.” Backsliding is something that just is, for a lot of people. What gets me through it, is remembering what my goals in golf were some time ago, and noting that, as bad as I am this current session, it’s a whole lot better than my ‘good days’ were a year or two ago. Then have faith that the progress you just noted will continue to something better, so long as you put knowledgeable work in.

I see all sorts of swings and results at the public driving ranges I go to. I used to look like a lot of those golfers: awkward, out of balance swings, with balls being shanked, topped, chunked…and I’d only have one or two balls in a bucket that actually looked and felt like the shot in my head. Now, I have more. My standards are higher, too, and just getting the ball up in the air, and roughly downrange, isn’t enough. I still have some of the old mistakes from time to time—don’t get me wrong. Trying a new thing in my swing—currently, it’s trying to take a proper divot—will bring back the frequency of those embarrassing errors. Try to not care about being embarrassed—it’s hard, but realize that no one cares or notices, and those that do, usually have empathy for what you’re going through. (Then there’s US Open practice…) Have faith that your diligence and humble use of good resources will ensure that this course of improvement will work, just like your prior course of golf improvement did.