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New to Golf HELP!


Moderator Emeritus
In New York, a 30 minute lesson with a PGA pro goes for something like $35-40 bucks.
The only thing worse than lack of practice is lots of bad practice. Don't train yourself a bad swing. See a professional. It will likely cost you roughly the same as a round of golf. If you can find a beginner's group lesson, that would be ideal. They will teach you what you need to get started. I would imagine there's a lot of places to learn in the greater fort wayne area. I would start with a local course and talk with their club pro.
People tell me that all the time :blink:

From the looks of the floor, the corner of the furniture, the paint, etc... your home looks beautiful. I mean from what little I see.
Thanks! I should post some pics, I'm proud of my home.

and am down to an 11.6 handicap.
what is a handicap exactly :blushing:

I'm serious, though! As soon as you pick up a club everyone around you suddenly becomes an expert golf teacher.
I'm starting to think I am :biggrin1:
I haven't heard of the "Rope-it", but you may check this place out: http://www.fwdome.com/Drivingrange/golflessons/index_E.html

I'm not sure which direction you live from Fort Wayne, but I believe the Sycamore golf course on 114 near North Manchester will schedule lessons, so you may want to give them a call if that's closer.

I went to college in North Manchester, so I was at Sycamore quite a bit, but never went to the Golf Dome.
Saturday I played Golf for the first time, it went well, except for almost hitting some guy with my hooked ball and it rained the whole time, and losing my new balls I JUST got in the water!

But it was fun.

so any advice for a newbie

Here is my gear

View attachment 101845

I was told this would be a good starter set, the only thing that wasn't so good, was the driver

View attachment 101846

View attachment 101844

I played on a course that isn't very nice, I figure that anyone thats good wouldn't be there, that way I'm not getting in anyones way.

I watched some youtube vids to get advice on how swing-hit.......Play!

what do you think! and again any advice?
I thought you lost your balls when you got married and then lost your wife's purse. Definitely keep your balls out of the water. All you'll get for your efforts is wet balls.

As for advice, ..... hit the little ball with the club like stick so that the ball goes into the little hole and not the water.



Wanting for wisdom
Moderator Emeritus
So you were the guy who stole the offering plate from our church?

Golf is a strange sport . . . the harder you try the worse you get. Relax . . . swing easy . . . the weight of the club is enough to move the ball. Michele Wie is not a muscle merchant but wow can she drive the ball. . . The beer cart is nice but damn it has never helped me play. Going to the driving range at lunch is a nice break from the day . . . if it is close enough. Parks are a nice place to practice chipping.
what is a handicap exactly :blushing:
from wiki:

A handicap is a numerical measure of an amateur golfer's playing ability based on the tees played for a given course. It is used to calculate a net score from the number of strokes actually played, thus allowing players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms. The higher the handicap of a player, the poorer the player is relative to those with lower handicaps. Handicaps are administered by golf clubs or national golf associations. Exact rules relating to handicaps can vary from country to country.

from me:

96% of the average of your 10 best rounds of your last 20 based on score and course rating.
from wiki:

A handicap is a numerical measure of an amateur golfer's playing ability based on the tees played for a given course. It is used to calculate a net score from the number of strokes actually played, thus allowing players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms. The higher the handicap of a player, the poorer the player is relative to those with lower handicaps. Handicaps are administered by golf clubs or national golf associations. Exact rules relating to handicaps can vary from country to country.

from me:

96% of the average of your 10 best rounds of your last 20 based on score and course rating.
I had always wondered how that worked myself.
I think some of this has been said already, but anyway:

Keep your eye on the ball, look where the ball is, not where you think it's going to be. A lot of bad shots come from people not keeping their head down while swinging but looking up in anticipation of hitting it, throwing their whole upper body out of whack and sometimes following through way too much.

Keep your left arm (if you're hitting right) as straight as possible. Another horrible variable is a bent forward arm. If you're bending it on the upswing and trying to straighten it out on the downswing, you're not going to be consistent with it and you're going to be all over the place.

Take it easy, it's not a baseball swing, it's not a hockey shot. You're just trying to hit the ball. I guess to use a baseball term, you're just making contact. The harder you swing the more you wind up pushing it usually. The speed in your swing will come eventually and with the new club heads and shafts they have now a days you get so much speed from the club itself that you don't need to swing hard to hit the ball a long way.

You also have to watch your grip. I use an interlocking grip, but whatever is comfortable for you. The part you want to watch here is your top hand. Depending how much your rotate your hand in or out plays a big difference on your shots. Just experiment with it.

Also stance and ball placement. I tend to hit my driver shots with the ball forward in my stance and my wedge shots in the middle. Everything else is in between those two. A lot of people do this, but a lot of people just hit everything from the middle position. It really depends on your swing. Again, experiment.

A lot of people say clubs don't matter, it's all in the swing, but in my experience that just is not the case.

My Dad has made several of his own sets of clubs, had several made for him. We know a pro shop owner and have gone through the process and what not.

Basically you can either have your clubs dictate your swing, or you can have a set of clubs that are dictated by your swing. It's up to you if you want to go through that process or not. Frankly, I don't care to spend the money on it and would rather work with what I have. But I've played with people that have custom made clubs that have the weirdest looking swings that have hit great shots. It's up to you.

Oh, and put the driver in the bag. A 3W is much more forgiving and when you're starting out you'll probably hit it further than your driver anyway.

Another great club to have is a hybrid. I've got a 3W hybrid and it's great for a 2nd shot out of the rough or for distance on the fairway when you need something a little better than one of your low irons. A lot of people have trouble hitting a wood on the fairway and thats where the hybrid comes into play as well. I bought mine on sale for 80 something bucks and I love when I get to use it.

After that, just practice practice. A lot of people take putting for granted, don't. I could probably take 5 strokes off my game if I'd just practice putting.

EDIT: Looks like you have a couple hybrids. Put them to good use. Also, you said you were playing on a not so nice course to avoid hindering good players. Frankly, I've played at some really nice places with people just as bad or worse than I am. How well the course is kept does not dictate skill level. Frankly, I'd play on the nicest course you're comfortable spending on. It makes it a lot easier to play and get consistent. Usually the further out from a populated area you go the cheaper the fees are.
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from wiki:

from me:

96% of the average of your 10 best rounds of your last 20 based on score and course rating.
Sort of. There is a formula.

Most courses have a USGA slope and rating. You will see on the score card, usually near where it shows the total distance for the set of tees you are playing, 2 numbers that look something like 70.2/125. The 70.2 is the rating, which is representative of what a scratch golfer could be expected to shoot on the course. 125 is the slope, which is a number given to the course by the USGA that is used to represent the difficulty on a scale they have determined. The baseline slope, which is used in the calculation, is 113. That is an incredibly easy course. Most public courses have a slope and rating somewhere in the ball park of 70-73/120-130. Courses that hold PGA tour events, when in tournament set-up, would probably be somewhere in the realm of 78-79/140-150. To obtain a handicap index, you need a minimum of 5 rounds, and only 1 differential (I'll explain that in a minute) will be used. The more rounds you have logged, the more differentials you will use, until you reach 20 rounds. Once you reach 20 rounds, the lowest 10 differentials from your last 20 rounds are used. Every time you input a new round, the oldest round gets tossed.

The differential is what is used to calculate your handicap index. It is the adjusted gross score-course rating*113/course slope.

For example, if you shot an 80 on a course wit ha slope and rating of 70.0/125:
1130/125-9.04 rounded to the nearest 10th is a 9.0 differential.

Once you have 20 rounds, you will take your 10 lowest differentials and average them. Just for simplicity, we'll say they are all 9.0, so your average is 9.0. That number is then multiplied by .96 (bonus for excellence), to give you your handicap index of 8.64.

This is an important number for some people, and for others, not so much. It is important for me because I play in tournaments, and it puts me in groups with people of like abilities. In some tournaments, it can be used to even the playing field between a scratch golfer (0 handicap) and a 20 handicap golfer. The lower the handicap, the better the golfer.

Using your handicap, you figure your course handicap. Most courses will have a chart showing what your course handicap is based on your index. The course handicap is your handicap index*course slope/113, rounded to the nearest whole number.

8.64*125/113=9.63=10 course handicap.

This number is used to determine how many strokes you are given in your net score (used in competitions).

There is a ton that goes into handicaps and maintaining them. You can learn more than you ever wanted to know here:


PS- Sorry for the novel. I'm a golf nut, and any time I get into a conversation about it, I tend to get a bit long winded.
Sort of. There is a formula.................
I've only played 3 Holes ( it was raining kinda hard ), the one hole was a 4 par. it took me about 11-12 hits :blush: thats what happens when you move the ball a foot at a time :biggrin1:

Hole number 2, I stopped counting :glare: besides the paper was too wet to write on :lol:

I had fun, and they gave me a rain slip, so next time it's free! :thumbup1:

PS- Sorry for the novel. I'm a golf nut, and any time I get into a conversation about it, I tend to get a bit long winded.
O' it's OK, I waiting the the next chapter!

I'm really thinking about getting lessons, I just don't know when I'll get the time to do it.

I wonder if that golf dome place is a good way to go or not, it's indoor!
Personally, I will not hit balls indoors (unless it is a simulator or launch monitor at a golf shop because I'm looking for a new club) or off of mats. I only hit on the simulators at the golf stores for a general idea. The problem is, when you go to golfsmith/golf galaxy (or any big store with a simulator) they manipulate the set-up to sell clubs. A lot of times they will have them set up to play down wind, or they are just not calibrated properly. There is no way someone with a 100mph club head speed is hitting the ball 300 yards (aside from hitting down hill/down wind on hard fairways), but it happens every day on these simulators. It will also straighten out your shots hitting with the wind, so on the simulator, most shots are incredibly long and straight. People look at the numbers, spend $400 on a club, go to the course, and cant hit a fairway or over 230 yards and are wondering why.

Hitting in a dome, in my opinion, is not the best idea either, unless it is big enough to see the complete ball flight of the ball. I suppose if the weather is terrible, and you just want to work on making good contact, it could be ok (but this would be after you have established that you can hit a ball with decent results). Even then, you are still hitting off of a mat, which hids serious flaws. If you hit fat on a mat, the club just slides along the mat, and you still get good results. If you do not recognize this when you are doing it, you are basically ingrainging a terrible swing flaw. When you take it to the course, and you cannot hit the ball, it will become very frustrating. Also, hitting the ground first tends to square the club, so when you hit fat on the mat, it may be just as long and just as straight, but on the course, not so much. In a dome, you might be hitting big hooks, or as is more typical with beginners, big slices, but due to the limitations in the ball flight associated with being indoors, you may not see it. You end up beating ball after ball with a bad swing, and then you take that swing to the course, and are hitting it all over the place. Again, very frustrating.

I would say to put your money in lessons, outdoors, with a qualified professional. For someone just starting out, you want a professional who will build you a good swing. He may start with what you already have, but he should be able to teach you good fundementals. He should start with your grip. Grip and alignment are key to being able to hit the ball well. Before the club is ever swung, you must take hold of it and address the ball. If these 2 elements are out of whack, you dont stand a chance. This is not saying there is 1 grip or 1 way to align yourself (just watch a tournament on TV, and you will see 100 different swings, 50 different grips, and probably 50 different address positions). You need to find what works for you. As mentioned by someone else, many pros do group lessons for a relatively cheap rate. You might not get much 1 on 1 time, but you will learn the basics of a golf swing. After a few group lessons, and you have a basic understanding of a proper swing, you can move to individual lessons with a pro dedicated only to you during that time.

If you have some experience, you need a pro that can work with what you have and improve on it. I'm not a great player, but even with a 11.6 index (I shoot anywhere from 78-90, depending on what kind of day I am having, and even on a bad day, a 90 pisses me off), I am above average. I have been playing for about 7 years, and my swing pretty much is what it is. If I were to ever see a pro, I would want someone who could take what I currently have, and make minor adjustments. I basically need an additional set of eyes that can see what I am doing wrong. I do not need someone that is going to try to give me a new swing.

Being that you have only played 3 holes, I would think that ANY qualified professional could help you in more ways than you could ever imagine. Find one (let me know where you are, and I may be able to help you find a good pro), and take a lesson. After the lesson, work on what he says. Try to go in with an open mind, because some of the things he tells you to do may feel quite un-natural compared to what you are doing now. I would say that for the 1st month, if you can afford it, take at least 1 lesson a week. Between lessons, work on what he says. Go to the range and try to repeat whatever it was he showed you on your previous lesson.

One last thought. When you do go to the range to hit balls and practice, do not just stand in one spot and bang ball after ball down range. Even if you are working on what he taught you, you need to practice with a purpose. Establish a routine, and do the same routine before every ball. Put a ball down (or on a tee depending on what you are hitting), and stand behind the ball. Pick out a target (it could be anything from a flag stick on the range, to a different color patch of grass, it doesnt matter as long as you have a target). Pick a line to that target, then address the ball, line up the club with that line (I find it is easiest to pick a spot about a foot in front of the ball on the line I want, and aim the club at that spot, then line up my feet to it, and by spot, it could be anything from a different color piece of grass to an old divot) then line up your stance to the target line. Make sure your feet, knees, hips and shoulders are all square to the target line and square with each other. When you hit the ball with irons or wedges, you want to hit down on the ball and hit the ball first. It sounds counter productive to hit down on something you want to go up into the air, but you just have to trust it. If you scoop it up or try to help it into the air, it will never work out consistently. Also, when you get to the driving range to practice, do not pull out your driver first. Start with a wedge, or a short iron, ad start out hitting 1/2 shots just to get into a rythim. So may people show up, tee up a ball, and start out taking big swipes with the driver. If you ever watch professionals on the driving range, they will all start out with pitching with a wedge, then a full wedge, then work through irons, then woods. There is a reason for it.
Lessons, then practice, practice, practice.

Trust me, I have had some serious problems in my swing and it resulted in some weird shots.

Lessons fixed my sway off the ball, overswing, lack of wrist rotation, ball topping, and while I did lose 15 yards off my drive, it's now on the fairway instead of out of bounds. Give them a shot and see what they do. And don't worry if what they tell you feels weird, it's going to.
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