Highs and Lows in Golf

Northantslad

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Returned to the game in the last year or so after a good few years away, the break brought about by our lad being born, the return to it being brought about by him getting into the game and it being something in addition to fishing we can do together.

I could have called this one 'highs and lows of the high handicapper' and anyone who is in that bracket or for that matter anyone who has ever played the game and moved down the handicap system, will, I am sure be able to relate to things.

Coming off the course and analysing my game, the biggest difference I feel between my skill level and someone higher, is simply consistency, by that I mean, that rarely in the same round will, tee shots, approaches, chipping and putting all be good, one day one or two of those might be of lower handicap standard, but then my actual/real standard is reflected in the aspects of the game that weren't so good.

In yesterdays round with the lad and also a mate, we had great game between us (9 holes), with stableford points being 18, 18 and 19 respectively. Had a good start with a couple of 5s on the opening par 4s, then came the par 5. Well, 9 shots later including a 4 putt on the par5, saw me back to my actual standard.

Then on the next 3 holes I did something I have never ever achieved, 3 pars in a row (4,3,4), this and some further ok scores on the remaining holes saw me card a 47, with my best on the course being a 43. Along the way and in between these highs have been low to mid 50s, with the aim and without over pressurising myself, to try and be sub 50 over 9, or sub 100 over 18.

The three of us have agreed on 18 holes somewhere for the next outing. With my driving and irons being ok yesterday, but chips and putts not so good, I wonder what aspects of my game will be ok next time.....
 

ukzero1

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I have never played golf, but I look at all pastimes the same way. I play darts for a local team and last Monday was our first match so we met up Sunday evening for a practice session. I played the best I've ever done, taking out some big finishes, the best being 157 (Treble 19, treble top, double top). Come Monday's match and couldn't throw a dart to save my life, my biggest 'out-shot' being 42. You get those days when you can't put a foot wrong, but from there it goes all downhill, it does for me anyway.

Hope all goes well on your golf though and you give them a battering. :upthumb:
 

Arch

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Don’t compound one mistake with another. If your in the trees and the wonder shot through a small gap is appealing, don’t. Chip out onto the fairway and start again.
 

Wise Owl

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Ballsed my game up having Lessons from being a club12 handicap to not been able to hit a Cows arse with a Banjo.
 

davylad

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If you want to get down to single figures, which a lot of say 15 handicappers could, you must be disciplined and practise your short game. I used to get lots of birdies when I was off 8 ish, but also the odd 7 or 8 would always spoil a good card. I concentrated on accuracy from the tee rather than distance, and then sorted my short game out. I quickly went down to 5 and sometimes went ages without getting a double bogey. Like a lot of games it's about percentages, cut out the once in 50 shots and take your punishment, sometimes a good long putt and you can still make par. Oh and instead of going for a game, spend some "quality" time on the practise ground, rather than just hitting ball after ball at the driving range. I know where you're coming from Wisey regarding lessons, but to be honest that's the way to go if you really want to improve, a correct grip for instance feels really strange to some poor golfers, but the penny does drop with persistancy.
 

Northantslad

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Don’t compound one mistake with another. If your in the trees and the wonder shot through a small gap is appealing, don’t. Chip out onto the fairway and start again.

Yea always a don't talk yourself into the shot moment those arch. Similarly too, one duff shot doesn't ruin a hole necessarily. I have learnt a decent recovery if keep my head after the bad shot can often follow it. So much of the game is in the mind.
 

Ruddles #

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Returned to the game in the last year or so after a good few years away, the break brought about by our lad being born, the return to it being brought about by him getting into the game and it being something in addition to fishing we can do together.

I could have called this one 'highs and lows of the high handicapper' and anyone who is in that bracket or for that matter anyone who has ever played the game and moved down the handicap system, will, I am sure be able to relate to things.

Coming off the course and analysing my game, the biggest difference I feel between my skill level and someone higher, is simply consistency, by that I mean, that rarely in the same round will, tee shots, approaches, chipping and putting all be good, one day one or two of those might be of lower handicap standard, but then my actual/real standard is reflected in the aspects of the game that weren't so good.

In yesterdays round with the lad and also a mate, we had great game between us (9 holes), with stableford points being 18, 18 and 19 respectively. Had a good start with a couple of 5s on the opening par 4s, then came the par 5. Well, 9 shots later including a 4 putt on the par5, saw me back to my actual standard.

Then on the next 3 holes I did something I have never ever achieved, 3 pars in a row (4,3,4), this and some further ok scores on the remaining holes saw me card a 47, with my best on the course being a 43. Along the way and in between these highs have been low to mid 50s, with the aim and without over pressurising myself, to try and be sub 50 over 9, or sub 100 over 18.

The three of us have agreed on 18 holes somewhere for the next outing. With my driving and irons being ok yesterday, but chips and putts not so good, I wonder what aspects of my game will be ok next time.....
 

Northantslad

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If you want to get down to single figures, which a lot of say 15 handicappers could, you must be disciplined and practise your short game. I used to get lots of birdies when I was off 8 ish, but also the odd 7 or 8 would always spoil a good card. I concentrated on accuracy from the tee rather than distance, and then sorted my short game out. I quickly went down to 5 and sometimes went ages without getting a double bogey. Like a lot of games it's about percentages, cut out the once in 50 shots and take your punishment, sometimes a good long putt and you can still make par. Oh and instead of going for a game, spend some "quality" time on the practise ground, rather than just hitting ball after ball at the driving range. I know where you're coming from Wisey regarding lessons, but to be honest that's the way to go if you really want to improve, a correct grip for instance feels really strange to some poor golfers, but the penny does drop with persistancy.

Finding out this is so true davylad.
When I first played the game, it was all about who has the biggest pair off the tee and would often take driver because all in the 3 or 4 ball were, invariably dropping out for playing 3 when I couldn't then find the ball. Now I do try to manage the hole better and will take irons where needed. The other thing I told myself and when building up my set again, was firstly that the best brand in the world won't make me better, nor will going for the full set option.

Have always been ok 5 iron wise and down. Never got on with 3 or 5 woods especially off the tee. So I have built my set thus from clubs that suit my game:

9.5 degree driver, can hit long but don't need the height
Fairway wood
4 Hybrid
5-SW
60 degree lob
64 degree lob
A weighty putter-helps me achieve a consistent pendulum action

Points about aimlessly hitting ball after ball with no plan on a range true too, I do like to work through the bag and pick targets etc. Rightly or wrongly I like to avoid the range before a round too, preferring some chipping and putting practice.

After this return to the game too @davylad I quickly realised that probably 60-70% of my shots on typical hole were either chips or putts and with the quality of the former determining the number of putts I then take, I have worked on this aspect the most and have a lesson lined up for it.

I am hoping to get some guidance from it, on seeing the shot option, choosing the right club for that shot and then of course how to execute the shot.
 

Northantslad

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I get how the handicap system works all and used to calculate it for the small group I played with formerly, but I have a few questions after becoming a bit rusty:

My strokes on rounds of 9 holes to date have been (random order)- 53, 43, 48, 44, 57, 47, 52, 51, 49, approximately I am assuming this makes me a 28 due to the vast inconsistency of scores? The round yesterday off 28 (so 14) I scored 19 pts, one over the figure that would suggest 28 was spot on?

Is short game work the best focus for the foreseeable future, in terms of getting strokes down where I currently take the most shots? Or would I be doing this at the risk of then neglecting all important longer shots, which just happened to be good yesterday?

Making time for the range not a problem say once a week, nor getting on a course once a month generally, is the time I can currently give the game, not ideal for becoming better and getting the handicap down? What time is needed to get down from 28? If its unrealistic at present I can be content with having some good days and some bad days, but would like to get better.

Thanks again all.
 
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Dusty

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Growing up I’ve always considered myself to be pretty naturally good at any sport I try, that was at least until I tried golf.

I’ve played on and off for years and only once shot under 100 in 18 holes. If I’m being honest I think mentally I’m not capable of playing to a high level.

When I’m playing football 90% of the time I know where I’ve gone wrong if I make a mistake, with golf I can’t tell the difference between my good and bad shots.

It’s a real shame because if I could play to a decent standard I would genuinely play 3 or 4 times a week but unfortunately I seem to have half a decent round followed by 3 where I wish I’d stayed home.
 

Pompous git

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Good evening northhantslad, here is my professional opinion. Give up golf {its a silly game anyway} and spend more time fishing, sorted.
 

Arch

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Try playing with 4 clubs for a few games. It makes you adjust your game to suit. In our clubs 3 club + putter challenge, everyone takes a driver. Why ?? 14 holes where you maybe need to hit driver off the tee, the rest of the round it stays in the bag. Swap it for a 3 or 4 iron and you have something you can hit of the deck as well as the tee. You could easily reach a par 5 green with three 3 irons. I chose a 3 - 7 - PW for my clubs.

Pick 3 or 4 clubs and see how you get on.

Another thing, think about your next shot. Rather than blast it as far as you can, leaving you a little fiddly second shot. Lay back a bit and give yourself a full second shot into the green. My short game let me down, so i took a 2 iron off many tees and left myself with an 8 or 9 iron in. Served me well.
 

62tucker

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Ballsed my game up having Lessons from being a club12 handicap to not been able to hit a Cows arse with a Banjo.
Same as me. Played with 3 younger lads from work for years. Really good laugh. Even joined a club and done 9 holes 3 or 4 times a week before late shift. I was always the shortest hitter as been older and back issues and wrist issues but I could always hit straight. Ended up booking 6 lessons. 1st thing I was told was I was standing to far away from ball and was leaning over. So to to stand closer and straighter. 1st round after lesson I played best ever. Then Started shanking the ball. As in my mind I was to close to ball ?. Once stood on a approach and dropped 10 balls and shanked 8 of them. Lost all confidence and shank was in my mind over ever ball.
 

Dusty

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Try playing with 4 clubs for a few games. It makes you adjust your game to suit. In our clubs 3 club + putter challenge, everyone takes a driver. Why ?? 14 holes where you maybe need to hit driver off the tee, the rest of the round it stays in the bag. Swap it for a 3 or 4 iron and you have something you can hit of the deck as well as the tee. You could easily reach a par 5 green with three 3 irons. I chose a 3 - 7 - PW for my clubs.

Pick 3 or 4 clubs and see how you get on.

Another thing, think about your next shot. Rather than blast it as far as you can, leaving you a little fiddly second shot. Lay back a bit and give yourself a full second shot into the green. My short game let me down, so i took a 2 iron off many tees and left myself with an 8 or 9 iron in. Served me well.

I went through a period of about 3 months where I hit 4 hybrid off tee on all holes except short par 3s. My game improved massively and I was finding the fairways most of the time.
Then one day I just couldn’t hit that club, total mental block.
 

davylad

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To be straight NL, if you are playing around a 28 handicap, without any doubt whatsoever the best thing would be to see your local pro, or one of your mates who knows the game, and have half a dozen lessons. It will save you many hours of frustration, as you will just be practising bad habits. In no time at all you should improve if you persist, and take it on board, and you will enjoy playing much more. Here's a few things to get you going. 1. Decent grip that suits you. 2. Good base without swaying. 3. Stay behind the ball. 4. Good rhythm without trying to sent the ball to the moon. etc etc.
Hey Tucker, a shank is usually a good players fault mate.
 

TonyA

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Don’t compound one mistake with another. If your in the trees and the wonder shot through a small gap is appealing, don’t. Chip out onto the fairway and start again.

When I was in the trees my low handicap mate told me to "aim at the big tree, you're so rubbish you'll miss it and be out on the fairway" !
 

Jenson

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Hi Northants lad,
Youve answered your own question mate having a good short game is key to getting your h/cp down simply because most of your shots are frittered away from 100 yds and in ( assuming that you don't keep going for the sevvyesque wonder shots as as previously been said) a good chipper and putter will beat a good driver and rubbish putter any day of the week, as most of us don't reach a lot of par 4s in regulation a good tip is always leave yourself a yardage to the green that you know you can achieve 90+% comfortably and that's where knowing how far you hit each club comes in handy.
Very frustrating game but one that is really rewarding when you play it correctly.
 

dry nets

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Hit ball hard, walk after it
Hit ball not as hard, walk after it
Hit ball softly, step towards it (repeat this step a few times if you’re rubbish)
Tap ball into a hole in the ground, pick it up and start again
Repeat 9 or 18 times.
 
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