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Update: How to break 80 this year. Need advice on action plan


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#1 mholmstrom

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:48 PM

Hey Guys,

Goals
My goals for 2013 are to shave at least 4 strokes off my index (currently 12.6) and break 80 for the first time and start shooting scores in the high 70's. I have about 10 hours per week I am able to dedicate to golf. This could be 2 round of golf OR it could be 1 round and 3 range sessions.

Background
I'm a 40yo lifelong golfer, but only got serious about improving my game about two years ago - going from 18+ down to as low as 11.2 during that time. I've played an average of 75 rounds each of the last two years and spent plenty of time reading up on this forum. I've also been averaging about 2-3 one-hour range sessions each week, focusing 75% on irons and woods to try and improve my full swing and about 25% of practice time on short game. I don't have a specific practice regimen, but have been pretty good about practice with a purpose - not raking balls and hitting aimlessly. My weakness right now is def. short game - so I'm planning to spend 75% on short game and 25% on range for practice the next few months.

Challenge
In 2012, after playing 70+ rounds and 2-3 days of range practice per week, my index ended right where I started the year - around 12.6.  This was extremely frustrating as I had spent Soooo much time and practice and had nothing to show for it. I felt I would break 80 in 2012 and it never happened, although I shot 80 4 times. I feel like I have learned a lot and have a better foundation going into 2013, but really want to see some improvement this year over last and start shooting in the 70's.

Best Plan of Action?
What's the best course of action to meet my goals. I've contemplated just going out and playing vs. buying a package at golftec and trying to improve my swing, vs.seeing a Pro vs. just developing a better practice routine.
Would be interested in hearing what you guys think, keeping in mind I only have 10 hours per week to dedicate to the sport.

Edited by mholmstrom, 24 March 2013 - 09:27 PM.


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#2 bruinsPATSirish

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:57 PM

Short game!  100 yards and in.  No doubt about it.

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#3 duffer987

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:58 PM

Lessons from a qualified teaching professional.
Find yourself that teaching pro, print out your original post, read it to your instructor, and off you go :)

Not trying to be cute, I think that's absolutely the way to go. You've obviously spent a lot of time on the game yourself. It's time to get assistance from someone else.
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#4 esketores

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:00 AM

Practice your short game. While playing. Not every round needs to be a competitive round. There is nothing wrong with dropping a ball here and there. Hit a bad pitch shot... drop one and hit it again.
Hit a bad approach or want to hit one buried in the rough... drop one and hit it. I can't remember if it was Snead or Hogan but a round of worst shot was played. Hit two balls and the worst one is what was played.
Personally I'd rather play than spend time on the range. I'm time constrained as well.
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#5 armydiver

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:09 AM

I am pretty sure most folks will say short game, which is true. However I believe you have to ID the weakness in your game and spend just as much time working on that; otherwise those issues will pop up when the pressure is on (breaking 80 for the first time) and sabotage your score. Working on it means truly understanding the problem first and foremost. Worked for me. I was stuck shooting 80-86 for the longest time until I learned to stop coming in too shallow with my irons. Be it putting, short game, or driving, you gotta turn the weaknesses into less of a liability. It turns out that golf is a game of misses as they say. That said, short game is crucial as well.


#6 ronstars

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:16 AM

I agree fully with duffer987.

It's funny because reading your topic is like reading my mind! I am a 12.1 and have hovered around that # for the past 2 years. No matter how much I practice and/or play I never seem to break free of it.

But when I break it down to the nitty gritty, I always come to the fact that I am a self taught golfer. NEVER had a lesson and have always been to stubborn to aknowledge this till now. I finally have a bag set that I am completely happy with, except the putter, so no more excuses. I am going to save my club ho $$$ and use it on lessons this year. I am thinking 3 lessons this month and then continue them every couple of months as I go.

I have broken 80 all of 1 time (78) and it literally felt like I was firing on all cylinders for the first time ever...like I could hit anything just the way I wanted to. That's how I want to experience golf a majority of the time or at least every few times rather than once in my lifetime.

It's tough because my foursome is the same way...all stubborn dudes that will never spend the time to actually take a lesson. They just blame the thoughts in their heads or the way they slept the night before.

Just know you are not the only golfer in the situation you are in.

Plus with all the low cappers on this forum, they usually all have one thing to suggest and that's to go take some lessons...So I assume they have to be right! I mean who else can you trust if not the WRXers???
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#7 finalist

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:18 AM

Know the course you intend to play. It is a lot easier to reach a scoring goal if you set out to practice for a specific course under specfic conditions.
Here's what I try to practice for important rounds:

How long are the par 3s and what type of shot should you practice to hit the green - wind, slopes, visual stuff, best miss?

On each hole where can you miss and still have a shot at par? Also, know how to avoid green side bunkers.

Practice chipping on the type of lies found around the greens you miss. (I find a lot of time practice areas provide a different type of lie than the actual course for chipping, flops etc) at my home course a missed green typically results in a fluffy lie where the ball sits up, but at the practice area the ball sits down.

And putting!

Edited by finalist, 08 January 2013 - 12:19 AM.

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#8 coolmonk

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:28 AM

You and I are alike my friend. I'm also looking to score lower this summer and actually did break 80 three times last year after two years of golf, but I haven't been to break it again since. Of the times I did break 80, several things happened:
1. I did not hit any tee shots OB.
2. I did have any triple bogeys.
3. I did not three putt.
4. The stars aligned and I flushed every iron shot.

The last few rounds I played back in October were frustrating to say the least as I struggled to break 85. One of the issues was that I've dramatically increased my club distances so I've sort of had to relearn my club selection. At the beginning of the 2012 season, my drives were averaging 240 total and a 7 iron would go 150 yards. Now I'm driving 260 carry and my 7 iron is my 160-165 club. I missed a lot of GIRs due to a poor wedge game but I've spent many hours at the range and hopefully my short irons will get me more birdie opportunities.

#9 Haaank

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:29 AM

m,
Everyone's already said it... but yes work on short game.
Here's a different approach though. It may sound funny, but it worked wonders for me. At the beginning of last summer, I was a 9 index that had never broken 80. I shot 80-86 every time...and I mean EVERY time I played my home course. I'd shoot 38-43 or 39-41, with a double on either 17 or 18 like it was my job. Then one day my buddies and I went to a nearby, fairly easy track that none of us had seen before. (70.9, 129). To please the starter, we played the whites. I shot 77 with my classic double on 18. I thought to myself, HOLY s*** I CAN BREAK 80!!! Yeah, it was from the "kiddie tee's" but damnit a 77 is a 77.

The mental barrier was gone. About 5 weeks later I finally shot 79 on my home track (TPC Potomac in MD).

What did this lesson teach me? Well, for some people, me included, the only thing in between me and a score starting with a 7 was a mental block.
So in conclusion, move up a tee or play an easy course until you can break the 80 barrier. Play the womens tees if you need to. Just record a 70-something. Prove to yourself you can. Then when you start playing your regular course or regular tees again, you wont be afraid of recording a low number. DONT BE SCARED OF GOING LOW! Just do it!
Could you break par from the reds? It's harder than you may think. Try it out. Breaking 80 will be a thing of the past.

Best of luck
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#10 Petter Player

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:36 AM

Hank and duffer have said it about right. However it somehow depends also on the long game. A couple of lost balls off the tee needs to be compencated, if that's the case, as I have had.

However, I had played a couple of 78s, when I had my index in the 12-category.
At that time I had spent endless hours practising my swing and developed a look-alike golfswing, which looked nice, had tremendous power, but no consistency. I had had a faulty idea of how to produce the power. Now a couple of years later I'm still having hard time to score in the mid 70', yet was near to play par a couple of times last summer and the summer before. Last season ended with a 79, where I had a 9 on a par five second taking 43 shots on the front-nine. During the play in back-nine we got stopped by a heavy rain shower for a quarter. After the break my game was right from the tour coverages for six holes. I put myself into positions with makable birdie putts on each hole and even eagled a tough par-5. And the round ended with a bogey - double -finish, parring the back-nine.

I've found that the best plan to go under 80 is to figure a game plan in advance for each hole on your course. Then, even, if you feel confident with your swing on that day, stay with your plan. A plan, that has conventional approach on at least the toughest holes will give you best odds on reaching your goal. It woun't harm your score, if you play the easy also with the same mind set. Keeping in mind, that even, if you imagine the best of your shots while doing the plan, they will not always be pulled out from the bag the same. So, if you have 240 left for the second shot on a par-5, maybe it would be wise to lay-up, even if you have that shot the odds are really low on getting it close, instead taking a 140 yds easy 8i into the middle will putt into position to hit a solid wedge in and two-putt for your par or even make a birdie, if you manage to get it close enough.

I'm with Hank on the mental block thing also. Taking a bogey here and there will not ruin the effort to go below 80, but trying to force the birdies to get bounce back will. Staying in the present and making your best effort, not the best shot on every shot you take, not worrying about, what had just happened will get you there. And play your best shots till the 18th green. The score is not done before the round is over. When you get into trouble the key is to take your medicine. Get out of trouble and make a double, if par or bogey is not possible. After a recovery from the bunker for instance, don't get over your head, just keep calm and concentrate on the easiest shot there is, the putt.

Even, if you have a double or quadruple bogey on your card, you can still go under 80, but it will never happen, if you weld in agony after a bad hole and try to force taken strokes off your card. It's about forgetting the bad and pampering the good ones in your mind, that'll take you there.

It is in you and it is in your mind, Go low, bro!

Edited by Petter Player, 08 January 2013 - 03:47 AM.


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#11 derschas

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:05 AM

I recognize this issue all too well, as I'm hovering around index 8 - rarely shooting sub 80.

At first I realized that I really was afraid of winning, i.e I had a hard time sinking crucial putts. This block went away (mostly) after I started playing more competitive match play. At first, match play really messed up my mind when I was leading and I would more often that not end up on the losing side. This reflected into stroke play as well.

After that I analyzed my game (every round for a few years) and came to the conclusion that my long game is the key improvement area. So my personal recipe is to keep the ball in play, what stops me from doing that is a solid, repeatable swing that I can trust. Short game proved to be a strong side, most likely because I miss so many greens I automatically get the practice every round.

So my advice, FWIW, is to analyze your rounds and draw relevant conclusions from the analysis. Don't fall into the trap of wishful thinking ("my swing is really better than the stats show"), but be honest. Practice sytematically to eliminate your flaws (or at least improve the misses).

Identify your mental flaws with brutal honesty and try to find a way to address them.

#12 jebb

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:22 AM

Hi,

Some great advice on here and here's how I would do it.

First you have to work out what the areas to be improved are. Be ruthlessly honest about your abilities.

Second would be take some time and find a good pro to work with. You may have a few false starts but good instruction will save you a lot of time and effort.

Third is to get the Pro to work out an effective practice regime for you. If you have spent 2-3 hours a week at the range and haven't gone forwards then something needs to change. As everyone always says the short game and particularly putting would usually be the first thing that gets more focus. But you will only know that after conducting a review of your game as it is.

Good luck with it and well done for getting your handicap down by yourself and working on your game. Keep us up to speed with updates and let us know how you get on.
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#13 JustTheTips

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:20 AM

If your weakness is short game, going to golftec doesn't make sense. I would make sure that your weakness is really the short game and not the fact that you have a lot of short game shots because your full swing sucks.

#14 240clutch

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

Short game and driver. Driver because you can't afford a drive that goes OB if you want to break 80. Short game for reasons for scoring, but when you have developed a good short game your confidence in your approach shot will improve because you will swing for GIR but will accept a miss where you get a chance to demonstrate your short game.

#15 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:13 AM

I don't know  your game but will offer one observation. Improving your short game (pitching/chipping), unless it is currently a mess, won't be particularly helpful until you become a good putter from 5-6 feet. You'll probably never consistently hit chips and pitches inside 3', but you can hit them inside 6' often.

I believe it was Raymond Floyd who said that the most important shot in golf is the 6' putt.

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#16 Golf Monkey

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:31 AM

Use a GPS during practice to measure your shots.  Be realistic and record the data to use during competition rounds.

#17 Desert Golf

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

My game was very similar to the OP last year...12HC with no improvement and I wasn't breaking 80.  I play once a week and tried to get to the range occassionally.

I had a single lesson with a pro who changed my setup and this improved my ballstriking dramatically.  My shortgame was also a weakness.

Since my single lesson with a pro approx 12 months ago, I started practicing 2X a week and I still play once a week.  But I spend about 1/2 my practice time chipping, putting, and working on my bunker play.  My index dropped to 8.7 in a year and I am breaking 80 occassionally.

It's amazing how much improvement is needed to shave a few strokes from your scores.

Your scores will drop if you can identify your weakness and work on them.  I'm cheap and don't like shelling out $ for lessons but if you can find a good instructor, it is worth the investment.
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#18 myspinonit

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

View PostGolf Monkey, on 08 January 2013 - 08:31 AM, said:

Use a GPS during practice to measure your shots.  Be realistic and record the data to use during competition rounds.

All great suggestions. I'm not there yet either, (almost made it last year).

The one tip that really helped me was from my coach last year: tracking every shot, FW hit, GIR, putts and the biggie- Up and Downs from 50 yards in. A check mark for every Up and Down, an X for every shot that did not result in the next shot going in the hole. Then I had to take the cards in to him.

It was hard to put down sometimes two or three X's on one hole. That made it very evident it was the short game that was costing my strokes and it gave me something measurable to work on for immediate results: improving my chipping and bunker play (and to a lesser degree for me, my putting).

I use a Callaway GPS and do record the stats on line from that. Unfortunately the U&D isn't an option on the GPS. But fortunately my short game continues to improve.

Edit: The mental game is important too, not getting too high or too low for me. I recommend reading Extraordinary Golf by Fred Shoemaker and Inner Golf by Timothy Galwey. I'm rereading Extraordinary Golf now.

Edited by myspinonit, 08 January 2013 - 09:51 AM.

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#19 TheBigSmooth

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

Short game.  130 yards and in.  Getting up and down consistently would lower your cap significantly.
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#20 highergr0und

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

Aside from short game, which is obvious, work on course management.  Keep bogey in play, never try to save birdie.  If breaking 80 is a goal, come up with an exact course strategy.  When I was on my quest I played the same two courses all the time.  I knew every shot I needed and practiced them.  There was even a par 3 that kept foiling me until I learned to purposely leave it 15-20 yards short of the green in a safe area.  I would have a shot at par and all but a guaranteed bogey.  There was water and several bunkers that made the hole tough along with the course's love to put the pin in a sucker spot.  

With your cap, you've got the skills to do it.  Just don't think you need a great score on a hole.  You've got 7 bogeys to deal with.  I've broken 80 with a double and no birdies a few times and with two doubles and a birdie once.  A triple has cost me 80 on several occasions.


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#21 TheCityGame

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

All this talk about "short game", "putting", "driving". . .

WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HE HAS TO WORK ON.

He might be hitting 18 greens, and 3 putting every one of them.

He might be hitting 2 greens, and getting up and down 90% of the time.

OP -- you need to know your stats.

There's a chart on this page that indicates what a typical person shooting different scores should be doing. . .

http://www.probableg...ews09-07-04.htm

There's some decent stats here, too. . .

http://www.probableg...ws01-19-09.html

If you're completely deficient in one of those areas ON AVERAGE, that's where you need to focus. For instance, if you're hitting 70% of fairways, but you have 35 putts, compare that to what a 79 shooter should be doing (61% and 31.7 putts); you need to work on putting.

I'm actually guessing he could save himself some shots by hitting a couple more fairways each round, and translating that into hitting 1-2 more greens per round. Then, making a couple more putts each round, and that comes from being a better chipper, and a better putter.

But, I've gone from about a 12 to about a 6 over the last few years, with much more consistent breaking of 80 (once in '09, a couple times in '10, multiple times in '11, then a bunch this year). FOR ME, a big part of that was eliminating penalty strokes, mostly off the tee, either from course management or better ball striking. But, also, my putts per round have really dipped. Where I used to be 60% from 3 feet, and 25% from 7 feet, now I'm 85% from 3 feet, and 40% from 7 feet (numbers are for illustrative purposes only). Depending on what your round looks like, you might get 8-10 putts in that range and that can be the difference between 79 and 81. I'm usually going to be on or around 15-16 greens in regulation.That hasn't changed in a while. It's really just a question of how many it takes me to get down from there.

I track my stats using my Sky Caddie. There are lots of stat-tracking methods out there. You don't need to go crazy, you can really get a lot of information just from fairways/greens/putts.

Sometimes it really smacks you in the face, though. A couple years ago, I shot a 79 after hitting 15 greens in regulation. That's HORRIBLE putting. These days, I'm much more likely to shoot 79 if I only hit 5-6 greens. I make more birdies, and i get up and down a lot more. If I hit 15 greens again, I'd break par.

#22 mctrees02

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

I'm in the same boat as you.  I'm an 8.8 index and have never broken 80 on a par 72 course.  The best I have to my name are a few 79's on a par 70.  My last 20 rounds are all between 80-86 and it's very frustrating trying to get over that hump.

Last year, I added the Golfshot GPS app on my phone.  Not only does it get me yardages at the fraction of a price of a sky caddie ($30 for the app) but it also does a great job tracking stats, trends, etc for me.  I was able to break down the data and I found two glaring weaknesses.  I'm not hitting enough fairways with my driver (under 50% vs 85% or better w/ 3 wood, hybrids, irons) and some of those misses are penalty strokes.  Also, my short game isn't getting the ball close enough to the hole to give myself enough chances to get up and down.  I know how to play a lot of different short game shots from different places and get them on the green.  However, I often times leave myself 10-20 feet for par and I'm not going to break 80 very often if I have to roll in a bunch of low percentage putts to save strokes.

The last two winters, I have focused primarily on ball striking (I'm above average at GIR, ranging from 42-48% GIR while seeing my index go from 13.3 to 8.8 this year) and putting (average 33.1 putts/round and right at 2.0 putts per GIR over my last 20 rounds) and the results have been there.  This offseason is going to be about driving the ball consistently (something I rarely practice because while spending so much time working from 75-150 yards) and getting the ball inside the 6 foot & 3 foot circles from inside 50 yards.

Here is a thorough short game test that a local pro emailed out a while back.  It's a lengthy examination that will test every shot in your bag on and around the greens.  Part of my work this offseason is to do this monthly to track my progress.  It gives me the competitive round pressures that I need to "stress test" my short game:

http://www.markmanes...fdesc=ShortGame

Here's to breaking 80 many times over in 2013...

#23 sonofagunn

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

If you use golfshot to track your rounds (and also enter your handicap into golfshot.com), there is a companion product, golfplan, that will analyze your driving, GIR, putting, short game, and bunker play against other people of your same handicap.

Then it will create a 4 week practice plan with videos to watch (with Paul Azinger) and drills to practice.

I am in the same boat (12-13 handicap who wants to break 80 consistently). I've just started using it a few days ago. It seems like the plan it created for me is a good idea.

#24 mholmstrom

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

OP here. This is all great stuff guys. Thanks for everyone's input.

FYI here are my stat's from Golfshot GPS (Last 20 rounds)
Fairways hit - 50.4%
GIR - 32.8%
Scrambling 13.2%
Sand Saves 20.4%
Putting Averages Per Hole 2.0
Putting Averages Per GIR 2.2
Scoring - Birdies 2%, Pars 30%, Bogeys 44%, 2 Bogies+ 23%

I have really been paying closer attention to course management this past few months and this is paying off. I've probably eliminated a few penalty strokes per round through better course management (no longer pin seeking, playing away from hazards, etc). I have to give a shout out to Adam Young's Blog which has some great advice in this area and he talks about important stuff that not many people seem to be talking about.

I do think the mental game is a big part of it and continue to work on my mindset during rounds. During my last lesson, I discovered that I had a fear mindset with chipping - so changing my mental approach to certain shots will be key. Eliminating the fear of "going low" also makes a lot of sense.

Most everyone here has been right on the money with where I need improvement - CHIPS, PUTTS, and DRIVING ACCURACY.  My last round was a shining example of this. I shot 87 (1 Birdie, 5 Pars, 9 Bogies, 1 Double, and 2 Triples) on a fairly difficult course (131 Slope) with 10 GIR and 39 Putts!!!  I had five birdie putts inside 8 feet and missed them all and 3-putted five times, four of those on GIR's.

I have a putting lesson today with a good Pro and am looking forward to reporting back on my progress here after a few more rounds. Thanks again everyone!

#25 mctrees02

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

View Postsonofagunn, on 08 January 2013 - 01:28 PM, said:

If you use golfshot to track your rounds (and also enter your handicap into golfshot.com), there is a companion product, golfplan, that will analyze your driving, GIR, putting, short game, and bunker play against other people of your same handicap.

Then it will create a 4 week practice plan with videos to watch (with Paul Azinger) and drills to practice.

I am in the same boat (12-13 handicap who wants to break 80 consistently). I've just started using it a few days ago. It seems like the plan it created for me is a good idea.
Oh yeah I forgot to mention Golfplan as I got away from it last summer.  If you know you can do 3 range sessions/week for a month then it is a great tool to have for drills to keep practice lively.


#26 soupandtea

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

Lots of good advice here. One thing I've found useful is to start doing the math on how to reach your goal. If you are a 12 then you make around six pars a round (very ballpark math there). So first thing is to get rid of anything higher than a bogey, doubles are going to hurt you, obviously. To get down to 79 you need five more pars per round. Birdies will help a lot because bogey-birdie is the same as par-par. So with one birdie, and your same six pars, you are ten over. Only three more pars to go.
Now mentally walk through your home course and assess realistic score goals for each hole and work with that. Ask yourself if it is a par hole or a bogey hole. Make sure you are parring your par holes. Look at your bogey holes and (a) don't worry if you bogey them, you are on track, and (b) figure out what you need to improve to par those. Maybe it's a straighter drive, or laying up to comfortable distances if it's not reachable in regulation.  Work on those things.
Now with all that, forget score while playing! Write it down after each hole and forget it. Most likely your first round in the 70s will be a surprise when you total it up!

#27 mholmstrom

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

View Postsoupandtea, on 08 January 2013 - 07:19 PM, said:

Lots of good advice here. One thing I've found useful is to start doing the math on how to reach your goal. If you are a 12 then you make around six pars a round (very ballpark math there). So first thing is to get rid of anything higher than a bogey, doubles are going to hurt you, obviously. To get down to 79 you need five more pars per round. Birdies will help a lot because bogey-birdie is the same as par-par. So with one birdie, and your same six pars, you are ten over. Only three more pars to go.
Now mentally walk through your home course and assess realistic score goals for each hole and work with that. Ask yourself if it is a par hole or a bogey hole. Make sure you are parring your par holes. Look at your bogey holes and (a) don't worry if you bogey them, you are on track, and (b) figure out what you need to improve to par those. Maybe it's a straighter drive, or laying up to comfortable distances if it's not reachable in regulation.  Work on those things.
Now with all that, forget score while playing! Write it down after each hole and forget it. Most likely your first round in the 70s will be a surprise when you total it up!

Great Advice!  Going to try this next time out.

#28 chiva

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

View Post240clutch, on 08 January 2013 - 08:09 AM, said:

Short game and driver. Driver because you can't afford a drive that goes OB if you want to break 80. Short game for reasons for scoring, but when you have developed a good short game your confidence in your approach shot will improve because you will swing for GIR but will accept a miss where you get a chance to demonstrate your short game.

+10000000000

Driver is sooooo important. So is short game. Anyway, Ben Hogan thought the driver was the most important club in the bag. What did he know? Lol.

#29 coloradogolfer632

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:27 PM

If your going to get a lesson and he changes a few things it might get worse before it gets better at least that's how it was for me so don't get to frustrated with a swing change from a lesson and keep doing the things the instructor says to it will pay off and start to work

#30 gvogel

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

How often on approaches from 150 and in do you take one or two extra clubs and use a 3/4 swing.  For many situations, it will be more consistent.

On tee shots, make as big a shoulder swing as you can - against a firm right leg - and then unwind, all the way, with your lower body.  Forget trying to hit the ball with your hands or arms.

And of course, learn to love one of your wedges to get up and down all the time.

Practice lagging long putts.  Practice making 5 footers.

Practice with AP2's,
play with AP1's

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