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golfdesperado

Why are you not playing scratch?

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I am just on the road from desperate hacker to scratch myself. Hopefully one day I am getting close. I am not playing scratch far from it (hcp: 39 or higher) because I just started to learn this great game and have a long road to go. But I think it is possible (being naive and optimistic at once that is) for me to reach it. When I don't know. But why are you not playing scratch? You play for several years now and when I look in your signature I see your hcap 11 or 8 or even 2.1. Why is it not 0/scratch. Is it so unbelievable difficult to reach the last part of this quest? Does it need daily training for instance. Is it lack of time. age factor, mental, etc. Why this so small but important difference exist in your play!
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I think I could get to scratch... But I need to get myself setup with either a better practice area - or regular access to a course to play.  Getting a membership somewhere is something I've been wanting to do, but financially for me right now - it just isn't feasible.

Therefore, at the moment, I just play golf where I can find a decent tee time and rate.  So I don't play as frequently as I'd like...  I've only been getting out once or twice a week to play 18 holes on average.

The problem also is in my practice... I spend ~ $150 a month on average, just hitting balls at the range.  But in order to chip/pitch at the facility that I use, you have to pay extra to access this practice area.  I haven't made the investment in the chipping/pitching as I don't have a lot of extra funds at the moment.  And it can be seen in my game.  I'm only getting up and down about 1/3 of the time.  Far too low of an average to reach scratch or better.

So for me, I think the biggest issue preventing me from reaching Scratch or better is purely lack of funds to play/practice more regularly.  I'd love to find a place that would give me unlimited golf for $500 which had a range, putting, chipping and practice bunker.  But everywhere (within reasonable driving distance) I come across, is looking for an initiation of anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000+ and then monthly dues which are $400 to $800+ per month.

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^You have to pay extra to pitch and chip?? That's crazy. Why am I not scratch? I've only been playing for 6 years, I don't get to play as often as I'd like, and let's be honest, golf is difficult, no way around it.
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Originally Posted by walk18

^You have to pay extra to pitch and chip?? That's crazy. Why am I not scratch? I've only been playing for 6 years, I don't get to play as often as I'd like, and let's be honest, golf is difficult, no way around it.

Yeah it is $8/hr for a tube of ~ 20 balls that you can take out and chip/pitch and hit out of several bunkers to various pins with.

They have medium buckets of balls for $7 (about 60 balls) and large for $10 (about 100 balls).  I buy the pre-loaded key fob with $100, as that gets you a 25% discount on balls.  So I end up hitting $100 worth of balls for $75.  And re-charge the fob about every 3 wks on average.  I should just take the range balls in the bucket - and go over and chip/pitch with them before I hit them on the range, but they typically call you out over the PA system for doing that.

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Well, I got this thing called "a job" that sucks the time away from what it would take to get to a zero handicap.

So I have compromised. I've worked hard enough to get to a 5, and be gainfully employed.

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It's not easy being in the top 1% at anything........

Coming from a person who has a 0HC...it takes a lot of dedication to the game and one other thing....... talent.

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Originally Posted by golfdesperado

I am just on the road from desperate hacker to scratch myself. Hopefully one day I am getting close.

I am not playing scratch far from it (hcp: 39 or higher) because I just started to learn this great game and have a long road to go. But I think it is possible (being naive and optimistic at once that is) for me to reach it. When I don't know.

But why are you not playing scratch? You play for several years now and when I look in your signature I see your hcap 11 or 8 or even 2.1.

Why is it not 0/scratch. Is it so unbelievable difficult to reach the last part of this quest? Does it need daily training for instance. Is it lack of time. age factor, mental, etc. Why this so small but important difference exist in your play!

You should bookmark this thread. Come back when you're consistently breaking into the 90s and think about how you're still over 20 strokes away from scratch golf. If you're ever luck enough to get down to a 2.1 or to even play a lot with someone conistently playing off 2.1 on a variety of courses you'll realize how naive and condescending your query is. I'm neither offended nor insulted because I know it's a question from an absolute beginner who doesn't realize how many orders of magnitude scratch is from 10, let alone 39.

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Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut

It's not easy being in the top 1% at anything........

Coming from a person who has a 0HC...it takes a lot of dedication to the game and one other thing....... talent.

I would certainly agree with this.  I think my golfing potential is probably a middle single digit - based on the fact that I am already 40, have limited time to play and practice and I don't have much natural ability for golf.  That's my potential - if I worked really hard and played a lot - I could probably get to a 5  - maybe?  The weakest area of my game is approach shots - I miss almost every green - even from 100 yards in.  If you miss a lot of greens - you aren't going to be a scratch golfer.  Even if I really improved - I still see myself missing too many to be scratch.

For the OP - what I have learned is that the more you learn about the golf swing, the harder you realize it is.  At first it seems pretty easy - but when you first start out you typically have no idea what you're trying to do.  Some people never get past this stage.  I would say half the people I see at the range have no idea what they're trying to do.

The next stage is when you start to realize what you're trying to do with your swing - and you think it's just a matter of "grooving it in".  The next stage after that - where I feel like I am - is when you realize what you should be doing in your swing and can do it sometimes - but not close to consistently.  With enough practice, some people learn to do it consistently.  When you're striking it solid nearly every time, then you can start to learn to actually play golf.  So, it's quite a long journey to scratch golfer although it has a way of seeming shorter from wherever you are on the path.

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Come back in a year and you would have answered your own question.

Originally Posted by golfdesperado

I am just on the road from desperate hacker to scratch myself. Hopefully one day I am getting close.

I am not playing scratch far from it (hcp: 39 or higher) because I just started to learn this great game and have a long road to go. But I think it is possible (being naive and optimistic at once that is) for me to reach it. When I don't know.

But why are you not playing scratch? You play for several years now and when I look in your signature I see your hcap 11 or 8 or even 2.1.

Why is it not 0/scratch. Is it so unbelievable difficult to reach the last part of this quest? Does it need daily training for instance. Is it lack of time. age factor, mental, etc. Why this so small but important difference exist in your play!

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Rough numbers here- assuming 1% are scratch or better, then maybe 10% have the talent to become a scratch golfer.  I`d say a lot higher % have enough natural talent to make it to a high single digit, but it is much harder to go from 9 to 0 than 39 to 9.

For me, my low 'cap was 4 when I was 17 and played a lot with a good short game.  I have some definite swing flaws, but think that I may hit the ball better now, but don`t have nearly as good a short game.  I am working this winter on some of my swing flaws (over swing with an over the top move for starters).  Hopefully that will help with the consistency and short game work next season will get me back close to a 4...Not sure if I still have the short game talent to get to a 0, but if I can get to a 4 by August, I will feel that I will have a chance.

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@Datsyuk. I have no intentions to insult you or make you feel offended and I am happy you are not affected that way.
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My putting is keeping me from getting to scratch. My handicap has gone from 2 to 4 in the last two months. My ball striking is ok, but I have lost my speed putting. Last weekend I shot an 83 with 6 three putts. Everything putt is past the hole. I tend to be a very streaky putter,and now I am in a bad streak.

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Talent, time, and money........all three determine your potential at any point in your quest to become a scratch golfer.  I have now been playing for 40+ years.

Single and 20 something, just learning the game,  I got down to a 10

30s and married with children, I ballooned to an 18

Late 40s and into my 50s, I worked really hard, learned as much as I could, went to golf school, practiced, got a membership at a local upscale club, played in tournaments, golf leagues, trips to Myrtle Beach, and played 2 or 3 times a week on top of that and got down to 12.4

I'm now over 60 and not playing well at all compared to my glory days. Looking back, I'd say if I really had the potential to be a scratch golfer, I'd have made it. Clearly there have been periods in my life when I had the money and the time, but just didn't have the talent.

I believe that my true potential was a 10 handicap and in my 40s and 50s that wasn't possible due to age factors, hence the 12.4.

Talent, you've either got it or you don't.

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Overall it seems the time available to dedicate to improve your golf game. And the money it requires to practice and play that much to keep you A game sharp. This is what I feel from the posts. The second part where Mefree says [QUOTE]....but it is much harder to go from 9 to 0 than 39 to 9.[/QUOTE] is the deeper interesting part so to speak. Why is this final part so difficult then? What is the culprit? The same free time and money or something else for the last 9 ?
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Originally Posted by golfdesperado

Overall it seems the time available to dedicate to improve your golf game. And the money it requires to practice and play that much to keep you A game sharp. This is what I feel from the posts.

The second part where Mefree says is the deeper interesting part so to speak. Why is this final part so difficult then?

What is the culprit? The same free time and money or something else for the last 9 strokes?

Going from 9 to 0 is harder than 39 to 9, because when you get into the low single digits, there is very little room for error.  For instance, I played this week and shot a 77 on a par 72.  The scoring differential was +8.  Which sucks... And doesn't help my current handicap out which is a 3.9.  Looking back at the round, I didn't play terrible, I just didn't put myself into position to score.

I had one birdie, six bogeys and the rest pars.  Six bogyes is a lot for me, and I usually have more birdies in a round... But the round was frustrating off the tee as my lines weren't bad.  It was the first time I played the course, and some of the lines I took off the tee were too aggressive.  I ended up missing several fairways by only a handful of yards (just off into the rough).  The problem was I'd find myself behind trees where I would have to hit some low punch shot - and try and advance it as close to the green as possible... And try to scramble for par.

With my scrambling %'s as the weak link in my game right now... Only getting up and down 1/3 of the time.  So when I missed the fairway, and had to punch out (several times)... I was missing greens and dropping strokes.  Also it was in a tournament setting, and many of the pins were tucked either way up front - or far in the back.  So I seemed like I had a lot of 20 to 30ft putts on the greens I hit in regulation.  Hard to score when you do that.

My point is... When you get your handicap down into the low to middle single digits, the margin for error on your round is pretty small.  I look back at the round and feel like I didn't mishit many shots... I just hit a several shots that weren't as tight as I'd like.

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Originally Posted by golfdesperado

I am just on the road from desperate hacker to scratch myself. Hopefully one day I am getting close.

I am not playing scratch far from it (hcp: 39 or higher) because I just started to learn this great game and have a long road to go. But I think it is possible (being naive and optimistic at once that is) for me to reach it. When I don't know.

But why are you not playing scratch? You play for several years now and when I look in your signature I see your hcap 11 or 8 or even 2.1.

Why is it not 0/scratch. Is it so unbelievable difficult to reach the last part of this quest? Does it need daily training for instance. Is it lack of time. age factor, mental, etc. Why this so small but important difference exist in your play!

Golf is a difficult game and some of us lack the athleticism, or muscle coordination to ever have a correct and consistent swing.  For others it might be that their lives simply don't allow that sort of single minded dedication to any one activity.

Personally, I'm just happy being competent at the game and don't worry about it.  I'm there to have fun, and an occasional round in the 70's can make make my whole season work.


Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Quote:

Originally Posted by walk18

^You have to pay extra to pitch and chip?? That's crazy. Why am I not scratch? I've only been playing for 6 years, I don't get to play as often as I'd like, and let's be honest, golf is difficult, no way around it.

Yeah it is $8/hr for a tube of ~ 20 balls that you can take out and chip/pitch and hit out of several bunkers to various pins with.

They have medium buckets of balls for $7 (about 60 balls) and large for $10 (about 100 balls).  I buy the pre-loaded key fob with $100, as that gets you a 25% discount on balls.  So I end up hitting $100 worth of balls for $75.  And re-charge the fob about every 3 wks on average.  I should just take the range balls in the bucket - and go over and chip/pitch with them before I hit them on the range, but they typically call you out over the PA system for doing that.

That's wild.  I had 4 courses within 15 minutes of our home in southwest Denver where I could go to practice short game (with bunkers and greens) and never spend a penny, and nobody would ever say a word about it.

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Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut

It's not easy being in the top 1% at anything........

Coming from a person who has a 0HC...it takes a lot of dedication to the game and one other thing....... talent.

Originally Posted by AmazingWhacker

I would certainly agree with this.  I think my golfing potential is probably a middle single digit - based on the fact that I am already 40, have limited time to play and practice and I don't have much natural ability for golf.  That's my potential - if I worked really hard and played a lot - I could probably get to a 5  - maybe?

Originally Posted by MEfree

Rough numbers here- assuming 1% are scratch or better, then maybe 10% have the talent to become a scratch golfer.  I`d say a lot higher % have enough natural talent to make it to a high single digit, but it is much harder to go from 9 to 0 than 39 to 9.

Not sure if I still have the short game talent to get to a 0, but if I can get to a 4 by August, I will feel that I will have a chance.

Originally Posted by bigwave916

Talent, time, and money........all three determine your potential at any point in your quest to become a scratch golfer.  I have now been playing for 40+ years.

. Looking back, I'd say if I really had the potential to be a scratch golfer, I'd have made it. Clearly there have been periods in my life when I had the money and the time, but just didn't have the talent.

I believe that my true potential was a 10 handicap and in my 40s and 50s that wasn't possible due to age factors, hence the 12.4.

Talent, you've either got it or you don't.

Originally Posted by golfdesperado

Overall it seems the time available to dedicate to improve your golf game. And the money it requires to practice and play that much to keep you A game sharp. This is what I feel from the posts.

The second part where Mefree says is the deeper interesting part so to speak.

" I`d say a lot higher % have enough natural talent to make it to a high single digit, but it is much harder to go from 9 to 0 than 39 to 9."

Why is this final part so difficult then?

What is the culprit? The same free time and money or something else for the last 9 ?

Golfdesperado- The dedication/ability to practice and work on your game are huge, but you are still missing the part about being talented enough to have the potential to become a scratch.  I would say that a higher % of people have enough talent to become a scratch if they take the game up young, get a lot of good coaching and dedicate themselves to improving.  Some might be able to do this taking the game up later in life, but only if they were reasonably athletic when they were younger.

To become a 9, you only need to play your best 9 holes around even and your worst 9 even bogey.  Anyone who can hit the ball consistently 200+ yards with a good short game can do this.  Most men are capable of better than 200 yards, so there is even more margin for error.  To be a scratch, there is almost no margin for error if you hit the ball less than 260...longer hitters have more margin for error, but still not much.

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Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut

It's not easy being in the top 1% at anything........

Coming from a person who has a 0HC...it takes a lot of dedication to the game and one other thing....... talent.

This.........

One thing for the OP to remember about talent and THIS particular game; it doesn't mean you need to resemble a Greek God to play this game well. It's all about turning 3 shots into 2. PERIOD.

Look back at some of the people that have played this game well; Craig Stadler (overweight), Tom Kite & Gary Player (kind of short compared to the 'model' golfer), etc......you don't have to 'look' athletic but rather just have to hit the ball consistently in the center of the clubface and know where it's going. So the main thing is having a repeatable swing and the drive (pardon the pun) to score better. Don't spend 80+% of your time on the range; spend 80+% of your time on practice greens. Learn where the ball is going to go and how far.

I'm less than a ten handicap but know I'll probably NEVER reach scratch unless I take some lessons including short game ones. Once those lessons are complete I must dedicate myself completely to the change.

If all it took was practicing more, there'd be a lot more people shooting par.

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