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My hat's off to you.

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
It occurred to me yesterday, after my round, how much respect I have for you guys who can play this game at a high level. Breaking 90 regularly means you're playing the game quite well. Breaking 80 regularly, which I know some of you do, is something to be quite proud of. And you few who can break par? I can only imagine.

It occurred to me yesterday that, overall, I was getting off the tee well, striking my irons well, chipping well (for me), getting out of the occasional bunker well, and putting well - and I still shot a 94. Granted, there was a 10 in there, so it could have (should have) been a 90. And I missed a few 6-footers. And I chunked a couple of wedges. And it was a 6700 yard, 131 slope course, so a 90 wouldn't have been a terrible score (again, the 10 skewed everything). But the fact remains that there a lot of you who routinely shoot in the low 80s, or even the 70s, on a course like that.

And that is remarkable to me.

Despite whatever meager talent I have, despite the lessons, despite all the good advice from fellow Shottalkers, I realize that when I'm "on my game", that could mean that I've shot 82, or it could mean 90. The difference is really just a few bad shots. To experience a round where the difference between a 73 and an 78 is a few missed GIR's? I don't see myself ever getting there. Maybe I'm being self-defeatist. Maybe I felt so good about my ballstriking yesterday that I have to accept that a 94 (or a 90) on a difficult course is just a good round for me.

Whatever it is, I take my hat off to the good players on this board. I hope you all realize how good you are.
 

gwlee7

Ho's from Rocky Mount, NC
Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2005
1,402
1
Eracer, would you be willing to to chart some of your rounds to find out exactly what is costing you your shots? I bet if you look closely at your game you will find that you can shave another 3 or 4 by working on a few simple things. Example, chipping the ball consistently another foot closer on average would most likely net a stroke or two. Taking one less putt per round would get you one more (There's 2 or 3 already). Mastering a simple bunker shot that always gets the ball out would be another. And, here is the hardest maybe, having no penalty strokes from mismanaging your game. Don't be afraid to aim away from trouble like out of bounds and be willing to lay up short of long forced carries over water hazards and the like.

I know that it all sounds like a lot of stuff to have to do but, the shots add up quickly. You can do it. You can shoot lower scores by playing smarter. I relearn this lesson all the time.

Here is an example from my round yesterday. The first hole at one of my clubs is a very short par 4 about 285 yards. Most of the guys I play with are licking their chops busting driver down there as far as they can. The kicker is that there are thick woods all down the left and out of bounds (a road) all down the right of the extremely narrow fairway. I always hit 4 iron. I mishit my 4 iron yesterday but I was still in the fairway only about 125 yard out. I watched two guys hit fairly decent drives but they had an awkward short shot over the very deep bunker that protects the entire green. Another guy went OB. I hit my approach to 15 feet pin high. Of the others, one is in the bunker and the other over the very narrow green. I make birdie and only one of them makes par.
 

ezra76

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2006
12,412
16
That's what I was thinking too. Nothing worse than losing strokes from chunking chips. I see my dad does this and it makes me feel like chewing tinfoil to see it. It's one of the easiest things to work on and one of the most important to save strokes. Chipping is more important than putting in my book, I only hit 5 or 6 greens on a good day.
Another thing is having the confidence to keep the headcover on the driver. I have a problem with the #4, anytime I see it as the 1st digit on the yardage I automatically want to pull driver. I have to beat it into my head, my 3W is only 15yds. shorter and way more accurate.
Most important is to just keep playing and practicing. When you can go a whole round without wasting a stroke on a total mishit, taking a decent strike for granted, it gets easier and easier to play par-bogey.
 

Hybrid-Heaven

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2006
36
0
It occurred to me yesterday, after my round, how much respect I have for you guys who can play this game at a high level. Breaking 90 regularly means you're playing the game quite well. Breaking 80 regularly, which I know some of you do, is something to be quite proud of. And you few who can break par? I can only imagine.

I agree. I'm an 11, and yesterday I shoot 38 on the front from the whites with a 124 slope (best front side ever on this course). On the 10th hole I try a different shot, and I pull my drive straight into the woods, got an unlucky break when puching-out and stayed in the woods after two.....end up with an 8! Confidence gone! Shot 45 on the back.:biglol:

Why did I do that? My thought process was I'd been hitting my driver great all day, so that's why I pulled it out of the bag when I normall hit three wood on this hole. On the box I decide that I'm going to hit a knock-down to stop it from possibly tailing into the woods on the right (hence the usual three wood shot).

If I stopped right there I could see how one thought, leading to another got me into a bad decision, but I wasn't mature enough to realize that I'd thought the shot-out incorrectly. I should have just hit my 24 degree hybrid, and left myself a 7 iron in, but I got greedy!

I've been playing 25 years, and I'm still not a fully mature player yet, but that's why the game is great, right?:confused:
 

Crossfire

PGA Apprentice
Supporting Member
Aug 10, 2006
810
1
I honestly believe if a person has the handeye coordination to strike the golfball, they have all the born skills to be a good golfer. Every other skill in golf, is learned.
 

emc

What would the Joker do?
Feb 4, 2006
895
1
An 18 handicapper's good shot is the same as a tour pro's good shot, it's just their bad shots are excellent compared to every level of amateurs. I believe keeping out of the trees is the most important task in breaking 90. When you stay out of major trouble, you won't have blowups as often and will score more consistently
 

JEFF4i

She lives!
Supporting Member
Jul 3, 2006
13,531
84
As emc said, it's just consistancy. I've played with people who ended up 20 strokes higher than me, doesn't mean they didn't get it closer to the pin at all. It's just replication of shots, and scores.

And, once you know you can do it, it becomes easier. My low round wasn't because I hit the ball long, or that my irons were on more than they aren't, it's just everything was on and I it all went well. *shrug*
 

Hybrid-Heaven

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2006
36
0
I honestly believe if a person has the handeye coordination to strike the golfball, they have all the born skills to be a good golfer. Every other skill in golf, is learned.

If that were the case John Daly wouldn't be loosing his tour card!
 

Hybrid-Heaven

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2006
36
0
An 18 handicapper's good shot is the same as a tour pro's good shot, it's just their bad shots are excellent compared to every level of amateurs.

Yea, that's true, except for maybe the 300 yard driving average.....oh, and maybe the 250 yard draw off the deck, well maybe the 240 yard 2 iron off the tee...course there's the long, middle and short bunker shot, the flop shot out of the deep rough, the 210 yard 7 iron, the 300 yard 3 wood, and last but not least their GIR putting average.

Other than those shots, your right on EMC!:hunter:
 

JEFF4i

She lives!
Supporting Member
Jul 3, 2006
13,531
84
Yea, that's true, except for maybe the 300 yard driving average.....oh, and maybe the 250 yard draw off the deck, well maybe the 240 yard 2 iron off the tee...course there's the long, middle and short bunker shot, the flop shot out of the deep rough, the 210 yard 7 iron, the 300 yard 3 wood, and last but not least their GIR putting average.

Other than those shots, your right on EMC!:hunter:
You're surpisingly hostile for someone who just joined.

Anyway, of course not every shot is exactly the same, but I think he was getting at the constistancy aspect of it.
 
OP
Eracer

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
Eracer, would you be willing to to chart some of your rounds to find out exactly what is costing you your shots?

I'll bring a voice recorder with me next weekend, when a few friends and I go for a 4-round getaway. I'll describe each hole, what club I hit (and why) and the results of each shot.

I bet if you look closely at your game you will find that you can shave another 3 or 4 by working on a few simple things. Example, chipping the ball consistently another foot closer on average would most likely net a stroke or two.

Chipping has always been my weakest point. And I mean WEAK. I've been spending a lot of time practicing, and more importantly, developing a routine to bust me out of the near-yips (what I call chyips). I will definitely continue spending 80% of my practice time on the short game.

Taking one less putt per round would get you one more (There's 2 or 3 already).

I keep track of putts, and am currently putting to a 34.7 average, with 15.8% of those being three-putts. I think that chipping better will help drop my putting average a bit. But clearly, I could be putting better, especially lag-putting from long range. I would like to be hitting 30-31 putts per round.

Mastering a simple bunker shot that always gets the ball out would be another.

I'm actually quite good out of the sand. I have a simple, repeatable setup that I learned during a Pelz school. One of the few really good things I got out of it.

And, here is the hardest maybe, having no penalty strokes from mismanaging your game. Don't be afraid to aim away from trouble like out of bounds and be willing to lay up short of long forced carries over water hazards and the like.

Understood, and agreed with. I think I'm better than most at managing myself on the tee box. I have enough length that I'm not afraid to play safe with a hybrid. I'm pretty good with my driver, and only use it for about 50% of my tee shots. Of course, I do have the occasional mind-melt, and hit the driver really badly. Hindsight then rears up it's ugly head.

I actually experimented a few months ago with carrying a 4-hybrid, 6-iron, 8-iron, SW, and putter. I played a few rounds on shorter courses, and it was pretty eye-opening. Playing the par-4 holes as par-5's actually led to a couple of decent scores. So I know how important it is to avoid trouble. Sometimes, though, despite the best of plans, trouble gets you.

I know that it all sounds like a lot of stuff to have to do but, the shots add up quickly. You can do it. You can shoot lower scores by playing smarter. I relearn this lesson all the time.

I think I will find that, statistically, my scores are most directly related to lack of precision in my iron play. I'm in the fairway (or just in the "first cut") a lot. But my GIR percentage is awful (4.1 per round). I underclub or overclub too many times. For example: A 165-yard approach to a pin in the back of a 25-yard deep green. Instead of hitting a 7-iron, and playing for the center of the green, I hit a 6-iron, make perfect contact, and fly it over the green, leading to an awkward pitch and then who knows what. Of course, I know I'm not going to hit every green from the middle of the fairway, and I need to get MUCH better at getting up and down. Those two things are my biggest obstacles.

Here is an example from my round yesterday. The first hole at one of my clubs is a very short par 4 about 285 yards. Most of the guys I play with are licking their chops busting driver down there as far as they can. The kicker is that there are thick woods all down the left and out of bounds (a road) all down the right of the extremely narrow fairway. I always hit 4 iron. I mishit my 4 iron yesterday but I was still in the fairway only about 125 yard out. I watched two guys hit fairly decent drives but they had an awkward short shot over the very deep bunker that protects the entire green. Another guy went OB. I hit my approach to 15 feet pin high. Of the others, one is in the bunker and the other over the very narrow green. I make birdie and only one of them makes par.

I definitely would hit my 4-hybrid in that case. It's money to go 185 and straight. I'll take a 100-yard pitch in from the middle of the fairway any day. Now, if there was no trouble on the hole, I might grab driver. Where that gets me in trouble is being 30 yards out for my second shot. I would much rather hit a 100-yard pitch shot than a 30-yard shot. So for that very reason, the driver should stay in the bag.

Thanks for the help. I'll post my stats from the upcoming rounds. Maybe you, or others will see something that I don't see.
 
OP
Eracer

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #14
That's what I was thinking too. Nothing worse than losing strokes from chunking chips. I see my dad does this and it makes me feel like chewing tinfoil to see it. It's one of the easiest things to work on and one of the most important to save strokes. Chipping is more important than putting in my book, I only hit 5 or 6 greens on a good day.
Another thing is having the confidence to keep the headcover on the driver. I have a problem with the #4, anytime I see it as the 1st digit on the yardage I automatically want to pull driver. I have to beat it into my head, my 3W is only 15yds. shorter and way more accurate.
Most important is to just keep playing and practicing. When you can go a whole round without wasting a stroke on a total mishit, taking a decent strike for granted, it gets easier and easier to play par-bogey.

You are absolutely right. Chipping well and eliminating the wasted shots are the key. I need to practice more, and play more. And, like you, remember that 400 yards is 230 + 170 (4-wood + 5-iron)

I HATE that daylight-savings time ends just as the sun starts going down earlier. The sun stays up until 8:30 pm in the summer, when it's just too bloody hot and rainy here in Florida. Then, as the weather cools and the afternoon showers go away, they take an hour away from the day! Now, it's dark at 6:00. I guess I should be happy that I can play every weekend of the year, eh? Or worse, that it's so far north (Scotland) that there's only seven hours of sunshine a day in the winter.
 
OP
Eracer

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #15
As emc said, it's just consistancy. I've played with people who ended up 20 strokes higher than me, doesn't mean they didn't get it closer to the pin at all. It's just replication of shots, and scores.

And, once you know you can do it, it becomes easier. My low round wasn't because I hit the ball long, or that my irons were on more than they aren't, it's just everything was on and I it all went well. *shrug*

I know that there is no difference in the length of my shots whether I score 100, or my personal best of 80. I know that one of the keys to lower scores is to bring one's "good swing" to the course. The challenge is to make that good swing a regular thing. And that's what impresses me about really good players like yourself, Jeff. Your good swing (even if it is much better than my good swing) is there much more often. I struggle with "good day" - "bad day" and average 92 strokes doing it. I don't know how to "dial up" the good swing, except to keep practicing and staying confident.

Thanks.
 

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