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What Advice Would You Give A Beginner?


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#31 Fill the Dill

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:11 PM

Wandered around with him at Keperra during the PGA charity fund raiser the week after the PGA Champs. The course was set up so hard I felt sorry for the amateurs that forked out heaps to play. Cam had an easy 8-under - he really is a world class talent. The fame hasn't changed him one bit. He is also blessed without having an ego, which is very rare with talented people. Cheers Maxxie.


I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t win on the US Tour next year.

Good to hear from you, Raymondo.

Edited by Hokey Pokey, 31 December 2018 - 09:11 PM.

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#32 xrman1954

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 03:21 PM

I have just played 9 holes with a mate who is a beginner. After watching  him try very hard to work out what was going wrong with his bad shots, I think paying for lessons is a sound idea. When you pay for advice , one usually listens more intently. 

 

Second thing is different learning styles come into play. I am a visual learner; show me and if I understand the theory of "why", I have got it. He is a kinesmatic? guy, got to touch ,feel how to do it. 


Edited by xrman1954, 04 January 2019 - 03:24 PM.

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#33 PerfectStriking

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 10:14 PM

Probably been said, for tee to green,

 

1. Square grip. 

 

Then everything else is a journey.

 

For putting who knows, anything that works, look at Jack Nicklaus vs Tiger Woods the 2 greatest golfers in history and see the dramatic difference, I bet Jack would still output nearly anyone on tour today with a style no one would ever use now.



#34 xrman1954

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 08:15 PM

It has been a few months since I started this thread. Have I learnt anything that I would pass onto a beginner since then?

 

Well yes I have. In my search for a simple reproducable swing that got results easily I came across two YouTubers, Kirk Junge's set up for  impact single plane swing and Jim Venetos swing from a set position system. After trying both I think my preference is for the latter; less moving parts therefore simpler. Both gave me better reproducable ball impact. This is the key to consistent distances for each club. You need to know carry distance, so that you can work out which club to use. 

 

Course management is a very important to scoring well. Typically as a beginner you do as others do and hit a driver off every tee. Next shot, you try to knock the socks off every shot thereafter to get close to the green, ending up with a shortish pitch that you blade across the green. I watched videos by " Just your average golfer", who suggested buying a driver when your handicap reached 18.  Using a 5 iron to get it on the fairway, then another 5 iron or similar, to leave a full shot inot the green from 100-130 m is doable as long as you have the ball strike sorted. I watched a few of Golf Sidekick's YouTube videos too. His suggestion was get your putting and chipping under control, then work on how to get from Tee to the 100 M region reliably. He likes his 4 wood ( me too) off the tee, or 19 degree hybrid. "Onlly play shots you know that you have mastered" , was his advice.

 

In other words, the only part of golf we amateurs can do almost as well as the Pros is the short game. Why bother trying to play like the Pros in other aspects of the game. Play smarter rather than trying to power your shots ( into the weeds)


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#35 OldBogey

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:40 AM

I have to disagree to that 5i - 5i mentality.  It is far easier to hit a green from 100m than from 150m.  It is easier to put the ball onto a 'good part' of the green from 60m than from 120m.

 

If all you do is play irons off the tee (unless you can really smash them), you'd never qualify to use a driver (18 handicap as suggested) as you wouldn't get your handicap below high 20s.

 

Learn to hit a driver, learn to hit it straight.  If you never do it, you'll never be able to do it if you wanted to.  Unless you're going to restrict yourself to mini-golf or pitch 'n' putt.

 

The only time I'd recommend the iron-iron method is if the fairways are quite narrow and the rough is very penal. But then, you wouldn't get any enjoyment from such an arse of a course, so go and play somewhere reasonable instead.


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#36 Weetbix

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:57 AM

All these people who always hit their 5i straight - wish I was one of them
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#37 Weetbix

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 11:18 AM

Instead of ditching the driver before you get down to 18 (and unless you have a really great short game and iron game good luck getting to 18 with nothing longer than a 5i) how about going for a short shafted high loft driver?

Why I say good luck getting to 18 is if we say the average par 4 is 330m and you hit your 5i 160m then you are going to have to hit a lot of very good 5i's each round to get around the greens in reg to let your short game do the rest. And given the scrambling % of the worst player on the PGA Tour is about 50% you'll need tour level short game skills.

Let's assume that 10 of the par 4s and 5s you are in chipping range in regulation with good shots, if you get GIR and 2 putts or up and down on half of those that's 5 pars and 5 bogies. But you won't hit all good shots on those 10 so you're more realistically 8 over.

Then the other 4 par 4s and 5s you're probably 6 over at best or again 8 over (this is when you're playing pretty well - this is someone who can't control a driver so their swing isn't going to be laser like with irons and wedges).

Then the 4 par 3s you're probably 2 to 6 over if you play them well.

So play well and you're in the 16 to 22 over range. That's with very few to no penalties and very solid short game (well above the average for an 18 capper).

It's possible but you better be very very consistent. And I'm a fairly strong ball striker for a 10 handicapper - my short game isn't good - and so know how many mishits I have with irons and wedges every game - so I doubt you could do it.

If you can hit your 5i well enough to get to 18 then you can hit a 5 wood or 3 hybrid too and that will make a big difference to your approach distances. I can't see why anyone would limit themselves to 5 irons as their top club.

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#38 Devongolfer

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 04:04 PM

My 2 cents for someone starting out: Bogey is ok.

Course management skill is vital, and one key to good course management is to play within your capabilities.

As someone who is starting out, your capabilities are limited. Accept that, and play proper course management golf (as opposed to hit and hope) which means for you, bogey is ok. Doubles will happen, it is the triples and worse that you aim to eliminate.

When you reflect on a round, ignore the bad swings, mistakes, missed putts etc.
Try to identify the course management errors you made and learn from those.

There are two main areas, taking on shots that are beyond your capability or which had a low probability of success. The other is to do with assessing the course and conditions. Perhaps you under clubbed into the wind, or failed to notice the uphill slope on a green and left your putt way short.

If you have very good course management you will be able to turn modest swing mechanics into a 7-18 handicap.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you will first learn how to hit a golf ball and then worry about course management. Chances are, like me, you will be working on how to hit a golf ball for your entire golfing career.

In other words, get your course management skill ahead of, rather than behind, your ball striking skill development.

Bogey is ok.

#39 koiom K. Asterisk*

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 04:18 PM

I'm on the course management train too

You see a lot of golfers waste heaps of shots by not taking their medicine when they're in trouble or going for numerous low percentage shots.

 

As a rule...if you're in the trees, and your next shot is in the trees again, you should give yourself an uppercut


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#40 OldBogey

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 06:00 PM

I'm on the course management train too
You see a lot of golfers waste heaps of shots by not taking their medicine when they're in trouble or going for numerous low percentage shots.
 
As a rule...if you're in the trees, and your next shot is in the trees again, you should give yourself an uppercut


If it's a stroke round, definitely. But if you're playing par and you've put your drive amid the trees, chipping out is probably pointless because you will score a loss anyway. It's times like that to be creative. If it comes off, you're still 'on'. If it fails you've lost nothing more than you had already.

For a novice, course management is only basic - aim for the safest spot and, if you're lucky, you might just hit it.

I also endorse the 'practise the short game' methodology.
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#41 xrman1954

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 06:19 PM

The problem I see is that most beginners get a set of clubs with a driver, 3 wood, a hybrid then 4 iron to SW.

Most beginners struggle with the longer clubs, including the 4 iron. They don't have the swing speed or control  to get the 4 iron flying. The longest iron that they can hit reliably is a 5 or 6. For example, my Brazilian mate cannot hit the hybrid, 3 wood or Driver that he has yet. He gets frustrated by hooking or slicing ( sometimes alternately) but he can keep the 5 iron on the fairway. Realistically he is going to hit 2 over par on most  long holes if he can keep the ball in play.He has zero chance of hitting a double if he tries the longer clubs. In time he will get good enough to hit longer club tee shots. 

 

Playing 5 iron off the tee is no different to the veteran golfers ( 180 straightees) who bunt the ball along the fairway. It isn't glamorous golf but effective score wise. If a beginner can control his/her ego, he can score consistently well scoring doubles, a few bogeys and maybe a par per round. It take self control that many of us don't have, or as a beginner never considered. Everyone else in my group hits driver off all tees, therefore that is how it is done!

 

If a beginner can find a sure fire method of getting good strike, then he will improve in leaps and bounds and the longer clubs won't be an issue. Using traditional golf swings this is unlikely. It takes time and may never happen.

 

I can hit an iron onto the green from 135 m out now. A month ago I could get it near the green from 135 m out. Hitting many GIR is unlkely when handicap is >20, but a good short game can make up for that. Sure hitting a wedge from 70 m out is more accurate, but in reality most higher handicappers it is a hit and miss; they hit, they miss.


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#42 Toph

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 06:56 PM

I’ve seen these videos. There are multiple examples. In a way it appears to make sense but as a hacker I have not tried it a lot because

1. It assumes you have a 140-160m reliable shot. As a hacker I don’t. (It’s getting more so) There are no guarantees I will hit a 5i better than a driver. I have often hit a safe 5w or 5i nowhere or into ****. Which REALLY is soul destroying.
2. So I don’t want to be hitting into a green with a 140-160m shot.
3. Especially if the green is guarded. Or small. Or tiered.
4. It assumes you only ever 2 putt. Ever. Which I can’t.
5. It assumes you can get up and down in 3 shots from anywhere inside 100m. Which a hacker can’t.

6. Sometimes the driver is my most dependable club.

It’s all very well for a good golfer to show how you can play any hole to bogey With a 150 m shots and great short game and putting. Life is not like that.

My advice is get lessons and learn to hit a fairly dependable drive and other clubs. Any hole is SO MUCH EASIER if you can hit a drive 200m or a bit more onto the fairway. Which I can now do 90% of the time.

The 330m hole Weeti talks off becomes drive 7-8 iron not 5i + 5i + pitch/chip. You need 2 good shots not 3.
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#43 koiom K. Asterisk*

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 08:20 PM

If it's a stroke round, definitely. But if you're playing par and you've put your drive amid the trees, chipping out is probably pointless because you will score a loss anyway. It's times like that to be creative. If it comes off, you're still 'on'. If it fails you've lost nothing more than you had already.

For a novice, course management is only basic - aim for the safest spot and, if you're lucky, you might just hit it.

I also endorse the 'practise the short game' methodology.


We're talking about novice golfers who'll pretty much always have at least one shot a hole.
Chipping out sideways still gives a chance at a half, at worst.

Telling a novice that taking your medicine is pointless, regardless of the format, is less than stellar advice IMO
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#44 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 08:25 PM

Here are my 2 sheckle's worth for the golfing newbie.

 

1. Like in most situations ...… stiffer is better. All too often newbies get put into shafts for both driver and irons, that are too flexible. After some practice, when they actually go to belt the tripe out of it, the shafts can't keep up and high wide fades or slice ensue...…. so for newbies, don't expect their swing speed to stay the same over time, it will increase …. so stiffer is better.

 

2. Ensure they realise that the idea is to swing faster, and not harder, and yes, there certainly is a difference, so once they work that out, they can focus on speed, and not on added force.

 

4. Hit the front of the farkin ball, and not the back of it.

 

With irons .... all too often people hit with a focus on the back of the ball with absolutely no shaft lean whatsoever by the time the club actually makes contact eg, this means they've thrown any lag away, the iron is delivered at its true loft, and also about to decelerate, and they usually end up with a high launch and weak distance for their swing speed.

 

Getting them to swing with their focus on hitting the "front of the ball", will make the "release" later, and it usually enables for some lag to be at least generated, the club is likely to be still accelerating as it connects with the back of the ball. It also provides a better angle of attack, eg, better compression, lower launch, and more distance etc.

 

For newbies who are focussed on hitting the back of the ball ….. tis an easy way to gain an extra clubs distance without changing much at all, and for them to feel what compression should be like.

 

5. Work out your putting style, eg straight back straight through, or arc ….. and then match your putter to your putting style. It will save them a lot of trial and mostly error.

 

6. As far as I know, they don't give out awards for the lowest score on the range ……… so play "on course" for your actual practice.

 

7. When looking to improve, work on the weakest part of your game for at least a couple of weeks before expecting results, and when it does improve, pick the weakest part of the game again, and repeat.

 

8. I'd tell em to have fun and get enjoyment out of the game (otherwise there is no point). A lower score does not always equate to more fun …… 

 

9. Find yourself some fun playing partners, life is too short to put up with dickheads, particularly at golf!!  ;)


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#45 OldBogey

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:40 PM

We're talking about novice golfers who'll pretty much always have at least one shot a hole.
Chipping out sideways still gives a chance at a half, at worst.
Telling a novice that taking your medicine is pointless, regardless of the format, is less than stellar advice IMO


That's not what I said. It seems that it's been a while since you played with a novice or high handicapper. If he's in the trees, he's likely no more than 100m from the tee, chips out, two more to get near the green (par 4), on for 5, needs a 1-putt for a half. Odds are well against him.

I did say that, for stroke, take the medicine.
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