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How do you know when it's enough?


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#1 om18v

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 12:33 PM

What is the clue that tells you golf is not something you are capable of?

Started playing a few years ago in my late 50's.  Started out OK.  Took some lessons off and on.  Practice some and played quite a bit.  Game never improves.  Broke 90 for the first time this year.  Last three rounds 97, 104, 124.  Today I stopped scoring around hole 14 since there was no sense to count.

When do you call uncle?  There has to be an answer that says quit wasting time and money, you just can't do it.


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#2 tatertot

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 12:39 PM

What are your goals? What are you trying to get out of the game?
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#3 Barfolomew

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:12 PM

Breaking 90 is a great accomplishment almost bogey golf!

But score aint everything...how bout playing and not keeping score...have fun then?  Im a scratch and I rarely keep score cause Im just trying stuff out having fun and improving in a more rounded way...

I hit shots your not supposed all the time but score makes too many people play the game with blinders on so they become a one trick (boring) pony...
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#4 Z1ggy16

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:16 PM

If you are having fun, what does score matter? I only keep score when I play with others so I can establish a proper handicap. When I play alone I don't even bother keeping score and just try to have fun, maybe try out a few shots I might not normally do, etc. I may not know my exact score, but I know if I played really really bad, decent or really well. As long as I leave the course having taken something positive away, I call it a win, regardless of how many strokes I played.
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#5 gvogel

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:21 PM

View Postom18v, on 26 June 2018 - 12:33 PM, said:

What is the clue that tells you golf is not something you are capable of?

Started playing a few years ago in my late 50's.  Started out OK.  Took some lessons off and on.  Practice some and played quite a bit.  Game never improves.  Broke 90 for the first time this year.  Last three rounds 97, 104, 124.  Today I stopped scoring around hole 14 since there was no sense to count.

When do you call uncle?  There has to be an answer that says quit wasting time and money, you just can't do it.

When it's no fun anymore, quit for a while.

But give it another chance in a few weeks.

Suggestion: go to a practice area and hit balls with your 7-iron, with a half swing.  When you start making nice contact, ramp up to a 3/4 swing.  Don't go any farther than 3/4.

Do that on a few occasions and then try to play that way.  Or maybe with a 1/2 swing, for awhile.  Just to get to hitting the ball fairly solidly and straight.

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#6 youngstructural

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:26 PM

OP,

Golf is hard.

A few years isn't much time and you've made great  progress.  I find the best thing to do is physically write your goals.  Scoring or swing related.  Create a realistic practice plan and then enjoy the journey.  You're likely in your early 60s so you have at least 20 years of golf ahead of you.  Just manage your expectations.

As a side note, when trying to go from triple digits to double consistently I find the singular most important things are:

1. Keeping ball in play off tee, even if you have to hit a shorter club, just avoid that penalty.

And 2, and more importantly)... Practice chipping.  I mean really practice chipping.  Then practice chipping some more.

Solid chipping will turn many double bogies to single bogies and bogies to pars.  I think a person at your skill level could easily save 3 strokes per side with better chipping and short game.

Anyways, don't give up.  Golf is about the small victories, and managing expectations.  And when you reach your goal(s) set more and enjoy the accomplishments.

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#7 bullsfan

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:34 PM

It's all about mindset, expectations and priorities. If you play golf for fun, with family and friends, then who cares what you shoot as long as your expectations are not over the top and you had fun. But if you have aspirations to be a low handicap and play well then you need to walk before you can run. Figure that out and you can decide what to do next.
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#8 Swisstrader98

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:35 PM

Stop if youíre no longer enjoying yourself as with any other activity.

Need to understand that golf is a forever impermanent up and down roller coaster but for me, it very closely mimics life and who said life was fair??

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#9 Albatross85

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:37 PM

A guy in our golf league is an 18 hdcp on 9 holes, thats the max hdcp allowed. He routinely shoots 65+ on 9 holes on a course thats 2900 yards. Been playing golf for 25 years and goes to vegas with us every year for a golf trip. I would go insane playing golf like that and never improving, but he apparently doesnt mind. Everyone is different....
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#10 HatsForBats

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 02:03 PM

If you want to improve more rapidly perhaps you could shift some more time from the 'played quite a bit' side to the lessons/practice/study side?

When to call uncle? The day I can no longer physically play golf.


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#11 Pro Slicer

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 02:05 PM

If you like playing the game don't stop trying to get better, if that's what you want. I'm a 27 hdcp and keep trying every round, yeah at times it beats me down with my score but I come back to see if I can make even 90.
As people have said, practice. Your short game is your friend. I do get frustrated when my drive doesn't hit the fairway, but know enough to use a club to bail me out to get somewhere close to the green or at least the fairway for my next shot.

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#12 Ferguson

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 02:09 PM

View Postom18v, on 26 June 2018 - 12:33 PM, said:

What is the clue that tells you golf is not something you are capable of?

Started playing a few years ago in my late 50's.  Started out OK.  Took some lessons off and on.  Practice some and played quite a bit.  Game never improves.  Broke 90 for the first time this year.  Last three rounds 97, 104, 124.  Today I stopped scoring around hole 14 since there was no sense to count.

When do you call uncle?  There has to be an answer that says quit wasting time and money, you just can't do it.


No quitters allowed.  

Play 3 more rounds and don't keep score.  No scoring at all.  
When faced with a tough shot or a long shot - hit your 7 iron.
Play all par-5 holes in 3 shots
Focus on getting near the green, not on the green.
When you've had enough pick up and go to the next hole.


Breathe steady and smile when you play.
Your buddies will think you're weird but it works.

Edited by Ferguson, 26 June 2018 - 02:10 PM.


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#13 om18v

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 03:23 PM

I have made and observation from some of the replies.  Maybe having a goal is the issue.  My goal is to break 100 on every round.  When it appears that is not going to happen on any given round I tend to get frustrated and give up.  Also when I start knocking the ball all over the place pace of play comes to mind.  I get concerned about the players behind even when our group is not holding anyone up.  That puts extra pressure on me so I start rushing my shots.

I believe I will take a break from playing for a while and concentrate on range time.  Some time off the course may help clear my head.

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#14 FadeFace

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 03:47 PM

Everyone is different. since my uncle brought a old set of clubs over when I was young and showed me how too play I was hooked. Built a small 4 hole course in my parents back yard and learned the basics on our local course. Went away from the game for many years through my teens and wasnít until my late 20ís that I really started too play again. I could shoot 100 every time I was out and still love every minute of it.
Donít get me wrong I put allot of pressure on myself too score well but scorning isnít why I love golf. Itís the Puzzling art of it and challenge. itís the hours that I can shut out the rest of the world. So many reasons to enjoy golf other than score.

Edited by FadeFace, 26 June 2018 - 03:49 PM.


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#15 bigfatant

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 04:07 PM

As long as you enjoy the walk, the scenery, the weather, the animals and maybe some good company then you're laughing. Sure beats sitting at a desk all day working.

Like they say golf is a journey not a destination. It's like a game of Tetris, it just gets harder and faster but there is no end. Just look at it differently and enjoy it while you can.

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#16 Sean2

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 06:25 PM

I started the game when I was 50 and quickly realized I wasn't going to be a long hitter, and realized that as an amateur I wasn't going to hit a lot of greens. So, I worked, and continue to work, hard on my short game. A decent short game can really shave off a lot of strokes during a round. The beauty of developing a good short game is you don't need to be young, or athletic to do so.

As to your frustrations...I understand as I asked myself those same questions. I persisted though. At one point I never thought I would break 90, and I did. And for a long, long time I thought the idea of breaking 80 was just a pipe dream. But I did it. I never though about breaking 70 as I thought that was simply reaching too high, yet I finally did it three times last year.

The reason I tell you this is that I really, really, really struggled at this game...and still do. I asked myself multiple times why I continue to play this game. Yeah, I get the social aspect, and all that, but if I was going to play golf I wanted to play it well. And, there is nothing I have ever put so much effort in without the commensurate reward.

But, I stuck with it, and now I can occasionally play with a modicum of consistency, though I can still post a high number. What I learned through all of my golf trial and tribulations, is that while I continue to work hard on my game, I also accept what golf will give me on any given day. Yesterday it was an 88. Today it was a 78. Even if I struggled on a particular day, I walk off the 18th green and look at those things I did do well, because no matter how poorly a round goes, there are always a number of shots that went as planned.

I have felt like calling "uncle" a number of times, I think most people who play this game have too. If the game becomes too frustrating, too stressful, then perhaps it is time to step back and re-evaluate whether or not you want to continue pursuing it. I have experienced less of both not because of my game so much as my approach to the game. I no longer get upset by things that used to upset me. I don't really get frustrated any more, even if I play poorly on any given day. I find I am enjoying myself more and playing better too.

ps: The reasons I took up the game was my doctor told me I needed fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. Golf met all three of those quite well.
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#17 zito

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 08:02 PM

Golf is a crazy game, I used to play all the time probably around 70 times a year, was fortunate enough to play in college and was a scratch golfer. At the time it was great, I loved every minute of it but the competition ruined the fun for me. Not being able to do things I once did on the course was extremely frustrating. I now only play about 10 times a year and have taken multiple stretches away from playing. Showing the occasional flash from the past keeps me playing sparingly, we all struggle with the game in different ways. It's been so good to me throughout my life and wouldnt have it any other way, however when the fun stops is when I would hang it up.

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#18 naval2006

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 08:29 PM

It’s never enough. Never ever, no matter how badly it humiliates us sometimes.  Keep it rolling, OP.

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#19 NoTalentLefty

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 10:23 PM

At our age it ain’t about the score but the camaraderie. Yea, it’s fun to shout well for our personal best , but this game ate me for lunch by time I was 40 , didn’t care anymore. Started playing less and less and by 50 after hip replacement the game is game again and 9 years later it’s a once a week look forward to it round. Is it ever enough? Yes , just take it a round at a time.
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#20 RSinSG

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 12:12 AM

Find a buddy who is at a similar skill level and play match play only.  You won’t stress over a 120 final score, and you’ll be pumped when your 8 wins the hole.

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#21 wmblake2000

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 12:46 AM

View Postom18v, on 26 June 2018 - 03:23 PM, said:

I have made and observation from some of the replies.  Maybe having a goal is the issue.  My goal is to break 100 on every round.  When it appears that is not going to happen on any given round I tend to get frustrated and give up.  Also when I start knocking the ball all over the place pace of play comes to mind.  I get concerned about the players behind even when our group is not holding anyone up.  That puts extra pressure on me so I start rushing my shots.

I believe I will take a break from playing for a while and concentrate on range time.  Some time off the course may help clear my head.

Like someone said, and this is the truth, the profound truth: golf is hard.  Learning how to learn and improve is not all that intuitive.  It's easy to chase your tail in circles.  Real easy.    

Second truth (my guess about you, anyway): once you break 100, the goal will move downward. That is part of the lure of the game for some people - sounds like you're in that group. Me, too.  

So if that's how it is for you, two pieces of advice.  One, there are only two options: improve slowly, or not at all (when you start later in life).  Two, accepting being frustrated as a central part of what makes golf fun is a big step.  I used to know this famous teaching pro - old school, crusty guy. He'd say, 'you're not good enough to get pissed off.'  Your delusion is your expectations about performance.  You can improve - I am an old guy (66) and still improving.  But I had to invest a lot of myself into that process.
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#22 Gautama

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:18 AM

I played a round last week with my son that had me asking the exact same question...unmitigated disaster of a round after a great lesson that morning no less. Like I'd never played before. All I could think was thirty years of grinding at this damn game and here I am feeling like I'm at square one!

I was honestly wondering if I should just surrender, but of course I didn't because I'm apparently a glutton for punishment...got out to the range today working on stuff from the lesson and came home feeling like I'm getting back on track.  And I think for me, that's always kind of been the draw...getting back up and still trying.

Not to sound trite, but if you can make it about the journey, the only reason you'd ever have for quitting would be "getting there." Would seem there's no risk of that for me anyway, so I'm a lifer!

Edited by Gautama, 27 June 2018 - 01:18 AM.


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#23 David C

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:47 AM

The biggest fun increase for me at that handicap was learning that there are 6 different Ďgames within a gameí at golf which you have to get good at. Of which 3 make a huge difference at your handicap - driving, putting and chipping

Driving
Irons
Pitching
Chipping
Bunkers
Putting

Most high handicaps have a terrible driver set up, namely feet too narrow, ball too far back and too low, a terrible grip and bad shoulder alignment. Then they donít stay behind the ball through the strike. Do those six things better and youíll still hit bad drives but youíll start hitting the club how it is designed and pump a few out there long and far. Lots of beginners I see simply cannot hit a proper drive from their setup. Itís literally impossible. And donít understand why they wonít and never will and if they ask to be shown how you do it, think it is too weird and extreme to stick with.

No beginner practices putting with any sort of purpose, or effectively. *Particularly lag putting*. If they go on the practice green at all it is three heavy handed whacks and then off to the tee. Just having some clear practice intentions will make a difference with even the stroke you have already.

No beginner seems to be able to chip without yipping it mainly because theyíve never been shown to chip to a landing area and effective ways to practice.

I think a lot of beginners would get a lot more enjoyment out of the game just by focusing on those three skills.

Thatís where I would focus my practice time. Get the ball in play better, know how to knock it on the greens you will inevitably miss and stick it close from those greens that you hit but are far away.

Edited by David C, 27 June 2018 - 01:49 AM.


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#24 jslane57

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:48 AM

Golf is not hard. Hit the ball, hit it again, have fun. On one of the greatest fields in the world, a golf course! How easy is that? But, playing better golf than you're capable of is very hard. Why do this to yourself? Why do this to yourself in your 60s? Change your goals. Instead, your goals now are to not step in anyone's line. Follow all the rules. Not be the slowest one in the group. Tell a good joke. Whatever, but goals don't need to be score based. Anyhow, enjoy the game, it is hard enough without making it even harder...

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#25 David C

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 01:53 AM

Also if you have any golf lessons, get a six lesson package where you are shown:

Aim, ball position, alignment, posture, takeaway, setting the club (and a simple drill to start making contact)

Short game

Driver

Putting

Bunkers

A playing lesson - even three holes on the course

A playing lesson is probably the most over looked golf lesson. Will get you using your common sense and shaving strokes off with better decision making.


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#26 juststeve

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 07:44 AM

I would quit playing golf if it was no longer fun.  It's still is  so I still play.

Steve

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#27 Nard_S

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:51 AM

Work on your game from the green back, not the tee forward. get good at putting and chipping, then pitching, then worry about full swing and long game. The emphasis today is a** backward and statistically stupid. 3/4 of strokes are allotted for approach and getting it into the cup. Go where the strokes are. Do that and you'll break 90. You want to break 80? Then get a good long game.

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#28 SNIPERBBB

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:56 AM

What is your goal for golf?  If it's no fun and you don't enjoy the social aspect, then you can probably leave golf behind.
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#29 jekato

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 10:25 AM

Check your ego in the parking lot, go play, keep score, don't judge.
The ultimate judge of your swing is the flight of the ball.  Ben Hogan

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#30 Justsomeguy

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 11:40 PM

Maybe your coach is to blame. Maybe not.
If you really want to get better, it's possible. Anyone without real physical limitations can become competent enough to enjoy it.
If you don't care much or it's not fun enough, there's no shame in just doing something else. That's not really giving up. It's just choosing. Golf will be here later in life.
But if you want it, you can do it.
Gotta assess the areas you're losing shots in and fix them. If it's driving, simplify the setup and just repeat it. Putting same thing. Chipping, go hit 1,000 balls a day. It's unbelievably important. Sand - be fearless. Irons - find the bottom of the swing.

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