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Beginner frustrated with golf. Any advice?


81 replies to this topic

#61 FourTops

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 07:18 PM

What I often do is count "good shots" regardless of score.  A good shot can mean all kinds of things, but IMO for beginners it's a shot you hit decently towards your intended target.  It can be any shot...even putts.  I suggest keeping track of good shots and see your progress.  The nice part about this is you can still shoot 104, but maybe you had 30% good shots vs. 25% shooting 99 the last round.  There's always good shots with bad outcomes...count those.  If you strike the ball well on a par 3 but miss the green, count the well-struck ball as a good shot.  Don't penalize yourself with the score.

Edited by FourTops, 02 December 2018 - 07:20 PM.


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#62 Clambake

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 10:43 PM

"Beginner frustrated with golf"?  LOL.  You could really put "Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced/Pro frustrated at golf (Please circle one)"  and you cover pretty much anyone who has ever played this game.  

Golf is endlessly complicated and difficult, requiring the player to use almost every muscle in their body with microsecond timing, most shots played from varying conditions in varying weather.  It is a difficult game, and one that vexes even the world's best athletes.  Think of this for a moment:  No one has every heard of golf before, and someone told you that you are going to hit a tiny ball with a 3 to 4 foot long stick and in only 4 or sometimes 3 swings of that stick you'll knock that ball into a tiny hole in the ground a quarter mile away. You'd say that's impossible - no one could ever do that!  Yet almost every one of us has, at some point, played shots that equal the best in the world and accomplished that impossible task.  And the best in the world have all played shots about as bad as ours at times.  That's what makes this such a great game. It constantly changes and challenges us, and we will never conquer it but we can occasionally sniff at perfection when playing it.  

I think you'll find that if you shift your attitude about learning and playing the game to one where you embrace and enjoy the process of learning and getting better instead of trying to focus so much on the outcome, especially as a beginner, you'll enjoy the game much more. Probably most of us have been down the rabbit hole of focusing so much on the result and our bad shots, and when one instead enjoys the process of incremental improvement (even with the occasional step backwards), the game rewards one in ways that are tough to describe to non-golfer.  Enjoy the journey more than the destination.

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#63 andrue

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 03:11 AM

View PostClambake, on 02 December 2018 - 10:43 PM, said:

And the best in the world have all played shots about as bad as ours at times.
Yeah. I remember a couple of years ago watching golf and one of the pros hit a nasty slice into a pond. Peter Aliss' commentary was priceless. "Ooh, what a shocker!" :)
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#64 designpunk

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 04:07 AM

View PostTemple90, on 27 November 2018 - 09:40 PM, said:

I have attempted to start playing golf for the last three years and have just started taking it more seriously this past summer. I have been going to the driving range and taking lessons with a course pro.

So far I have taken six lessons and I feel like my progress has been very slow. I understand that it will  not be linear, but at times I feel like I am barely making any progress. For example, some lessons I am hitting awesome balls with minor form mistakes, but when I go to the range I can't hit a single ball well.
So far i am only practicing with irons and find that I am struggling significantly with the longer irons.
To add I have prior back issues (herniation) so my lower back is very tight. Makes for some discomfort during the swing, but never any pain.

Anyone have any advice? I want to continue going, but it is discouraging feeling like I am not getting anywhere with it.

Learn to make good contact with a chip. Even if it's in the garden. Then progress to a longer chip, a pitch etc.

Trying to stripe a 5 iron before you can hit a clean pitch is just going to be painful.

And if you're coach hasn't improved you in 6 weeks, I'd get another, or just watch youtube videos etc.

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#65 shoot4par

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 10:31 AM

Keep this in mind.... it takes 1000 conscious, "correct" swings to implement a single swing thought. Evaluate your practice and progress based on the metric. Also evaluate whose teaching you. Are they helping you progress? Do they have proven success?

Edited by shoot4par, 03 December 2018 - 10:32 AM.

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#66 RobertBaron

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:35 PM

View PostTemple90, on 27 November 2018 - 09:40 PM, said:

For example, some lessons I am hitting awesome balls with minor form mistakes, but when I go to the range I can't hit a single ball well.


Thatís golf for ya! (Youíll kinda get used to it. Rather, youíll accept that it will happen)

Quote

So far i am only practicing with irons and find that I am struggling significantly with the longer irons.

Sounds like you need to bring only 1 club with you to practice and it should be a PW or a 9 iron. Practice with that 1 club until you develop a consistent swing that finds the center of the face. Once you feel comfortable with that 1 club, move on to the next or skip 1 ahead. So go from PW to 8 iron and same thing. Work the next club like you did the last then move on.

Itíll take time. Months probably of consistent, constructive practice before youíre able to hit the whole bag with some level of consistency. But donít get too discouraged if you canít get to the long irons. Theyíre generally the hardest clubs for most ams to hit. If I were just starting out like you all over again, knowing what I know now, I wouldnít even bag anything over a 6i until youíre scoring in the low-mid 90s with regularity. Then move onto a 5 when youíre in the high 80s. Then a 4. But for the most part, youíre probably better off with hybrids by this point. The game is hard enough as it is.

Quote

Anyone have any advice? I want to continue going, but it is discouraging feeling like I am not getting anywhere with it.

Well like others have said, it takes time and practice. Lots of time and practice. And lessons and study. In the early stages of learning itís important to have a good eye watching you swing because if you donít, youíll probably discover some bad habits like flipping to get the ball in the air. Also video your swing frequently and compare it to swings you see of pros on YouTube. You donít have to emulate a swing perfectly, but itís good way to measure set up, swing plane, impact positions, shoulder turn.

But really it just takes time. And honestly, golf is probably one of the most difficult sports to learn. Iíve been playing probably 30 years now, and it can still be incredibly frustrating. You just canít give in and give up. Youíll have your ups and downs, but I think for most golfers itís more about the journey than the destination.

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#67 Man_O_War

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 07:46 PM

find a good teacher in your area...stick with them. It will save you wasted time and money if you consider you will be playing for life.
This coming from a self taught player  who was once a +1
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#68 wmblake2000

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 08:16 PM

Seems like a bunch of people have commented but op has vanished
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#69 FourTops

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 09:25 PM

View Postwmblake2000, on 03 December 2018 - 08:16 PM, said:

Seems like a bunch of people have commented but op has vanished

Ultimately it's really not a true question from some.  I follow my threads to the point of boring people to keyboard-tears.

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#70 KMeloney

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:10 AM

Has the OP come back to this thread since starting it?


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#71 FourTops

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 11:25 PM

Answer.....QUIT.  OY VEY!  Like we need another complainer who backs up the course?

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#72 Justsomeguy

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 01:48 AM

Maybe a week isn't enough time to deduce a quitter.
Besides- who could quit this game? Are we not all born masochists?
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#73 Temple90

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 09:27 PM

I have not vanished! I have been practicing and really appreciate all of the comments. My biggest issue was that I was swinging down on the ball (too steep) instead of through the ball.
I was on the fence of too steep vs okay downswing and had days where I could hit some decent shots and other days where I topped the ball hit off the toe or completely missed. Since practicing shallowing out my downswing I have been able to hit some better shots, but it is by far the hardest part of golf for me.
What I do now is practice on my patio with soft balls and a turf piece.

I am about 4 months and 9 lessons in. I'm sticking with it!

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#74 Temple90

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 09:30 PM

Also wanted to add that I really appreciate everyones' advice and honesty. This forum is the best. I have received a lot of really good info here.

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#75 llewol007

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 09:33 PM

Change your Mindset or else you will never be happy. Yes it is a frustrating game and will not come overnight. Stick with it. I would say hit up you tube and get your short game as solid as it can be while you are building your full swing. There are enough great instructors of the short game that if you work on that half of the game on your own, you are cutting your learning time by days and weeks. Keep going.

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#76 andrue

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:59 AM

Your swing will eventually sort itself out. It took me a year but I wasn't as assiduous as you sound about practising, plus I didn't bother with many lessons at first and tried to tough it out on my own. I remember the grief of not being able to make decent contact with the ball reliably and it wasn't fun.

Of course there's still a big gap between where I am now (nearly always make good contact with the ball) and where I'd like to be (the ball usually goes roughly where I intend it to) but when you can reliably get the ball off the ground and a useful distance away from where it was the game becomes more fun. It can still be frustrating but I think at that point you're past the worst of it. I just keep reminding myself that golf is going to be my retirement hobby so I don't want to have it all worked out too soon. Need to have something to work on over the remaining decades of my life :)

Edited by andrue, 06 January 2019 - 02:01 AM.

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#77 OakLawnGolfPro

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 05:48 AM

Remember it’s a skill game, you will see a lot of stuff about you need X, Y, Z but in reality you need to get out there, learn some of the basics and then see how you can push them.
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#78 rangersgoalie

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:47 PM

View PostTemple90, on 27 November 2018 - 09:40 PM, said:

I have attempted to start playing golf for the last three years and have just started taking it more seriously this past summer. I have been going to the driving range and taking lessons with a course pro.

So far I have taken six lessons and I feel like my progress has been very slow. I understand that it will  not be linear, but at times I feel like I am barely making any progress. For example, some lessons I am hitting awesome balls with minor form mistakes, but when I go to the range I can't hit a single ball well.
So far i am only practicing with irons and find that I am struggling significantly with the longer irons.
To add I have prior back issues (herniation) so my lower back is very tight. Makes for some discomfort during the swing, but never any pain.

Anyone have any advice? I want to continue going, but it is discouraging feeling like I am not getting anywhere with it.

Are you really not making any progress?  Or just not as quickly as you feel you are capable of?
Some of the toughest students I’ve had are people who played really well, and left the game to work or raise families.  They come back and it’s still very prominent in their mind how good they WERE, not who they are today.  If you can start every week trying to improve from where you honestly are, and improve from there, even in small increments, you are making progress.

Sometimes improvement can simply be understanding something better, and will not show immediate results

In a nutshell,mthe game sucks, it’s hard, frustrating, and rarely makes sense........it’s why so many love it!, and drink after they play!

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#79 GSDriver

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:53 PM

Remember this fact, golf is hard.

Have to set realistic goals, based on your commitment to improvement and what you want out of the game.

When starting out, it's easiest to improve.  The better you get (lower your handicap) the harder it is to shave strokes.

The average male handicap is something like 17, with less than 20% (going off memory, so might not be spot on) being single digit handicaps, so give yourself some time....then again, there's always TopGolf if run out of patience.
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#80 Temple90

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for the advice. I went in for another lesson and am finally starting to make progress on flattening out my downswing. I was swinging from outside in so there would be some good swings followed by slices and completely missing the ball.
What I am focusing on now is keeping my back elbow tight to my body during downswing and keeping it from internally rotating. When it internally rotates I come down on the ball. I was able to hit about 35/50 balls much better after focusing on the rear elbow. I think that is making me shallow out my swing and also hit from the inside.
Now to keep practicing and improve on that.


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#81 glk

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:06 AM

As a beginner (and actually at pretty much any level), consider doing one arm swings, both righty and lefty.    Short, only need to go back to club shaft parallel.    Trains what the arms/body/shoulders should do in the release.

After hitting the ball can put other arm on club and both should be straight.   Can do them supported at first - example, gently hold your trail elbow with your lead hand.

Here's one example of just right arm.
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#82 Lincoln_Arcadia

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:14 AM

View PostTemple90, on 27 November 2018 - 09:40 PM, said:

I have attempted to start playing golf for the last three years and have just started taking it more seriously this past summer. I have been going to the driving range and taking lessons with a course pro.

So far I have taken six lessons and I feel like my progress has been very slow. I understand that it will  not be linear, but at times I feel like I am barely making any progress. For example, some lessons I am hitting awesome balls with minor form mistakes, but when I go to the range I can't hit a single ball well.
So far i am only practicing with irons and find that I am struggling significantly with the longer irons.
To add I have prior back issues (herniation) so my lower back is very tight. Makes for some discomfort during the swing, but never any pain.

Anyone have any advice? I want to continue going, but it is discouraging feeling like I am not getting anywhere with it.

3 years is nothing. Most people see real improvements after 5 years. It’s all in the swing. Once you get a decent swing, your scores will drop right away. At the very least, you will at least feel like you’re playing golf as opposed to paddling the ball down the fairways.

Keep working on your swing and swing speed. The longer you hold off improving your swing the longer it will take for you to improve.

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