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Journey to scratch

Juhnis

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Jan 22, 2014
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Finland Finland
Hello everyone, new member from Finland here. I have played golf 20 years now, sometimes quite seriously, sometimes just a couple of rounds a year. Now after years with depression and heavy drinking it´s time to do something else, concentrate playing and practicing golf. I have set myself a goal, play scratch in 2015. My handicap is now 4,4, so it means hours and hours of hard work. Another goal is to play in Finnish Championships, qualify to Finnish Tour and maybe even play in Finnish Amateur.
I started taking lessons with PGA Pro and now we´re working with the swing path and impact. During practice sessions I have concentrated on short game, mainly chipping and putting. Once a week i´m also able to hit some half wedges. Since it´s winter, all my practice is done indoors, courses won´t be open until May.
During my problem years I became way overweight and baldy out of shape, so I´ve started swimming and going to gym. Slowly but surely I have started to lose weight, still at least 20 kg to go.
I have read plenty of threads here and found out that here are lots of low handicappers and pros. I found lots of good info about practicing and what it takes to get lower. I wish to hear new ideas about practice in general and your best routines and drills. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

IrishGolfer

Fac ut gaudeam
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Sep 1, 2004
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Good luck Juhnis, sounds like a great goal. Short game is the real hurdle to scratch, so that's where your focus should be. Other than that I can't give you any advice except to ignore most of the guys on here, especially Tricky and Rockford! :D
 

limpalong

Mental Ward Escapee
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Oct 18, 2006
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I have read plenty of threads here and found out that here are lots of low handicappers and pros. I found lots of good info about practicing and what it takes to get lower.

Are you sure you're in the corrent forum? "... lots of low handicappers and pros..." Here?? Other than Tricky...... and his handicap comes from swinging an ax!!!! :)

As Clark pointed out, the journey from 4.4 to scratch could be an challenging task. It's easier to get from 14 to 4 than from 4 to scratch. However, it is a commendable goal and I wish you well.
One could suggest the long winters in your area could prevent you from ever attaining such a lofty goal. To those, they simply need to look at a plethora of skilled pros who have come out of the Scandinavian countries. Does the name Sorenstam ring a bell? Somehow, many have been able to hone their skills in that climate and you should be able to do likewise.
If you are already a 4, the most good you could do yourself is to work on your short game. At that level, it comes down to getting the ball close to the pin... and making putts. Good luck.
 

MarkFed

Active Member
Jun 17, 2013
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Hi Junhis,
Welcome and good luck! That is a lofty goal, but if you're a 4 now, and you have the time that it's going to take to put into your game to shave off those last few strokes, it can be done.
If you do have the time, put together a practice schedule i.e. Mon. 3-5 foot putts - 45 min chipping - 45 min 10-12 foot putts - 45 min greenside bunker shots - 45 min. Tues. might be something like full wedges - 1hr half wedges - 1hr. etc.
Anything you can do will help. My last piece of advice, would be to not only work on your swing, but work on your "game". When you're at the point of trying to go from a 3 or 4 to a scratch, don't overlook the importance of things like the decisions you make on the course, how you manage the course, etc. If you play to a 4, then I assume you have a good consistent swing already, and you're just tweaking things. All I'm saying is if this is your goal, don't overlook anything that might help you achieve it.
 
OP
J

Juhnis

New Member
Jan 22, 2014
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Finland Finland
  • Thread Starter
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  • #8
Thanks for the acvice, it´s excactly what I´m doing: keep the focus on short game. I´m not doing a major swing chance, only adjusting things. MarkFed, I´interested in practice schedule, what would be the weekly schedule like? I know it´s more than difficult to give advice to player one doesn´t know, but if you could give me a sample schedule, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks in advance!
 

trumb1mj

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Dec 19, 2007
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I think it's really easy to say, "work on your short game" to improve because most could shave a stroke or 2 by improving chipping and putting.

But as a 6 cap myself, I think it's just as important to sit down after a round and evaluate where you're losing strokes. Like, did you really make that bogey because you didn't get up and down? Or was it because you short sided yourself and made it impossible to get up and down?
 

nututhugame

Winter Sucks!
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Dec 29, 2008
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I think it's really easy to say, "work on your short game" to improve because most could shave a stroke or 2 by improving chipping and putting.

But as a 6 cap myself, I think it's just as important to sit down after a round and evaluate where you're losing strokes. Like, did you really make that bogey because you didn't get up and down? Or was it because you short sided yourself and made it impossible to get up and down?
Absofrigginlutely. I think more people of whatever cap, trying to get to their next level, should think like this.
 

warbirdlover

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Jul 9, 2005
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That's what I see with Tiger's game. His irons into the green and short game are leaving him long putts. Even a putter as good as he is can not shoot the real low scores without putting it near the pin.
 

azgreg

"Don't count that."
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Sep 20, 2007
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That's what I see with Tiger's game. His irons into the green and short game are leaving him long putts. Even a putter as good as he is can not shoot the real low scores without putting it near the pin.

Jerry, this kind of goes into what happened to my game over the last couple of years. I used to miss just about every green, but I was able to chip fairly close and save a lot of pars. As my ball striking got better I started hitting more greens, but not necessarily near pins. As a result I had fewer shots off the green, but more putts. I was playing better, but not scoring any better.
 

warbirdlover

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Sounds a lot like me but I was putting good so shot lower scores until my putting went south. Chipping close to the pin was for years my bread and butter and I didn't practice it enough last year so that's one of the main things (chipping) I'm going to concentrate on this summer.
 

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