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How Low Can I Go?


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#1 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:19 PM

A query for the pro's amongst us. I've been playing seriously for the last couple of years, and have gotten my handicap down to single figures (currently 8), without seeking any formal golf lessons. My query is, how low can I realistically expect to get my handicap before I hit the wall, and need to seek outside assistance via the services of a pro in order to take the next step? A bit of history ..... I've been down to 6 at some stages during the last year, but have drifted back out probably due to winter golf conditions. At no stage have I had my swing analysed etc . so I'm pretty much self taught, and have got to where I am via a shiteload of trial and error, and lots of on course practice. I should add, that being a male, I'm quite reluctant to ask for assistance, and am a stubborn bugger at times, so my aim is to "go low" without any outside assitance if possible. Your thoughts in relation to my query would be greatly appreciated.

#2 MaxB

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:23 PM

In theory I guess you can go as low as you want, scratch and beyond. In practice a good pro should help you reach the same objectives only a bit quicker (avoiding some of the trial and error you describe). Are you in a rush?

#3 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

I'm not in a rush Max ........... I'm just wondering where the "wall" is going to be along the journey, and how to recognise it, if and when, I get there. Also I guess, are lessons from a pro going to get me past it?

#4 MaxB

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:48 PM

I think every person you ask will give you a different answer. You've got a wall at 8, I saw one at 24 and one at 6-7, but I'm assuming a lot of people will have different walls. As for professional help, I swear by it, but above all I believe that you need to find a coach that you trust and work well with. I've been through many and some have teaching styles / tips that just don't resonate with me. But to answer your question yes I think that a good pro can help you overcome a wall and progress quite quickly. At your level of play I'd suggest having a (couple of maybe) range lessons just to clean up and swing flaws you may have and then a course lesson. I really found those to be very valuable one you get to lower handicaps.

#5 Zenstb

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:33 PM

GPJ, Everyone needs guidance or coach even for the best players in the world. Even with my knowledge I have , I still need guidance or a coach. There is a lot more to the game of golf then working on your swing. There is skill development, mental development list goes on. My coach is my mentor, my eyes, the shoulder to cry on when I three putt. He develops training programs to advance my skills and playing levels. My advice Gaz is you need an older sole coach, a dude who you respect and has some age and wisdom on you. This coach should also have experience with high level players. When you make a decision on what you want to do, interview the coach. I'm happy to offer you some recomendations of coaches, who would be great for you.

#6 parbreaker

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:58 PM

All depends on how low you want to go. Like Zen says a coach or even a friend will spot things that you cannot unless you can video yourself from different angles. You cannot see/feel this on your own.

#7 Goldy

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:07 AM

I reckon lower than this. New loudmouths?

#8 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:23 AM

Thanks for that Scotty. I'm not quite sure that I've hit the wall yet, in terms of gaining the most improvement I can on my own .. (before possibly heading down the path of enlisting a coach ..... as I've said earlier, I can be a stubborn bugger) .... but they are definitely wise words in regard to selecting a coach ... and in terms of what they could bring to my game. I guess that (getting a coach) ..... may happen at some stage if my "frustration levels" rose sufficiently. At the moment though I'm reasonably happy with my game. I tend to find, that when my game stagnates for a while, that I will go off and search for answers and then work hard enough to get it back on track, or to take my game another step or two further along. I think that, in not dealing with "winter golf" well enough this year, it has caused me to drift out in my performances .... yet now, I'm hitting the ball probably the most consistently I ever have, and feel like my game is pretty solid .... I just need to play comp more often. I have identified my weaknesses, (eg my putting and short game )....... and that is certainly on the improve over where it was, so I think my current game will get me back to 6 and hopefully a touch lower again, given some more comp rounds. From there tho, when I do reach the next plateau, who knows .... which is I guess what prompted the "how low can I go" query. If I do go down the path of a coach though ........ I'll definitely be seeking your advice on who I should consider. As always Scotty ........... lots of food for thought from your response ............. so many thanks.

#9 OldBogey

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:34 AM

Gaz, the latest mag from GolfVic highlights a guy who, over the last 30 or more years has had his handicap stable between scratch and plus two and is yet to have a lesson. Perhaps talent has something to do with it? I suppose what it comes down to is where your current game might be letting you down. You have the length in your shots to play to scratch, so what's stopping you? Is it consistency? Is it short game? Is it mental? When you've worked out what needs to be 'fixed', can you fix it yourself or do you need assistance? Therein lies your answer.

#10 hAcKpRo

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:04 AM

belief in your shotmaking ability. from what i see of you.... 1. 2 shots easy in a better recovery game (poor lies, trees etc) 2. 2 shots easy with the flat stick there is your 4 handicap to start with.

#11 DelMar

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:37 AM

I am in a similar position to Gaz - been back playing for 6 years after playing footy for 12. Got handicap down to 4 and have hit the wall. Blown back out to 6 trying to improve swing to go to next level and have just chopped it up the past 2 months and lost all the things that got me there in the first place. Never had any serious coaching but probably recognise that I need it to go sub 4 hcp. Zen, I prob need an older coach I would respect, like you said to Gaz. Could you recommend anyone? I live an hour west of Melbs and be willing to travel. Have a weak mental side to game that I am working on too, so a pro that is good with mental side be good as well. Cheers Dicko

#12 TheDart

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:06 AM

GPJ, I think your stubbornness is a big asset. I don't like working with people who are not resistant and argumentative. For one you know where they stand and when you have moved them. Go for it with the best help you can afford.

#13 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

Thanks guy to all who have have input, lots of food for thought amongst you're posts. Parbreaker ..... I'm not sure how low I want to go, just to go as low as my best game will allow me ... so whatever level that turns out to be. While I still feel I have potential inside me to be better, then I'll keep pushing myself to improve. Hacky ... yep I agree with your assessment, and I'm working on my short game, particularly my putting which is now starting to come along nicely. I figure that I currently have one "not ideal" shot per hole, and this is what I need to really work on next. Thankfully for the most part, that one shot doesn't penalise me too often these days, but it does cost me an opportunity to score though most times .... if you know what I mean. It's quite often the difference between I guess, making a well fought par, and setting myself up with a possible birdie chance. OB, wise words. At the moment that one shot per hole can be any sort of shot, a drive, an approach shot that is pushed slightly, or a short first putt, or a missed short par saver etc ..... so I really need to work on those areas one shot at a time. Alloverit ........... I guess as the frustration levels mount, it forces us to look at our games afresh, and recognise where our weaknesses really are. I've probably been through that stage twice now. The first ocassion led me to shift focus and really dial things back off the tee and play for position first and foremost ..whereas before I'd just blast away on everything. The 2nd time which I'm halfway through, prompted the decision to really put some time and effort into my putting. I think reaching the "frustration levels" though, are actually a good thing for our game, as it can lead us to recognition, and prompt us into action. Darty ........... thanks for the reassurance. I guess stubborness can be a good thing in that it makes me work harder ........ but I hope I am open enough to see my game clearly for what it is, and to be able to recognise when I have indeed hit the wall, and it's time to seek outside assistance. I figure I'll give it a few months, now that I'm acquiring a more solid putting routine and my confidence with the flatstick is high, and just see where that takes my game in terms of a handicap number ..... (at the same time as working on tidying up those pesky "one shots" per hole) ... but I'll certainly be mindful of stagnating at any stage. Goldy ............. what can I say, aside from ..... love you're work!!

#14 MaxB

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:41 PM

Another idea, and this ties back in with my earlier post: go and talk to a pro. And I mean "talk". Explain your conuncdrum and your stubbonrness and see what they think of it, their philosophy and draft plan of attack. If that sounds like it's inline with what you want then grab a lesson and see how it goes.

#15 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

Not a bad suggestion there Max . just to test the waters I guess, both for their feedback and to clarify my at times, mixed thoughts ......... into something concise and solid.




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