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How did you get to a single digit handicap? - Page 13

post #217 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by vct33 View Post

I'm no longer a single digit player but when I was, it was purely from short game practice.  I chipped into hula hoops or trash cans in the yard.  I would flop shots over my kids' swing set.  I would play "bocci" with golf balls with my friends.  At my best, I shot a 71 with one GIR.  If my approach game had ever been on par with my short game and driving, I would have been scratch but as it was I peaked at around 7.
 

 

Perfect example of the limits of focusing too much on short game.  Shooting a 71 with 1 GIR means you had an absolutely dominant short game, especially for an amateur.  Sure that was a best of sort of day probably without any super unlucky breaks on spot or lie when you missed all those greens, but it still shows you did indeed develop a deadly green side game.  But even with the best short game of probably anyone you ever played with, you still topped out at a 7 HC cause your full shot game never got the loving your short game did!

 

Not a dig on you, by the way, especially with kids.  Obviously it's a lot easier to step out back and practice short game shots for a bit way more often than you can get to a range.  If this is still your situation, let me hawk the BirdieBalls I use and absolutely love.  3W goes ~50 yards, better info on trajectory, shape, and contact than any other practice balls I've used.

post #218 of 270
A few of you mentioned that it takes 3 years of serious work to get to the low single digit level. I tend to believe this.

I spent the last year working hard to get my handicap down from a super high novice, down to a level where I can actually keep a decent score.

Part of this year was squandered hitting lots of balls the wrong way. Weight loss was my primary goal, and 30 pounds was successfully lost.

The last 6 months was spent with a seriously good coach, and now I have the beginnings of a decent swing. My chipping and putting are very basic, but I have a learned to make it somewhat repeatable by locking down a fixed form.

I plan to start with Mike and maybe evolvr to learn how to further improve my swing.

I can see that there is another 2 years to commit all these things to muscle memory, learn course management better, reading greens and getting comfortable with all the situations where my ball might land.

It feels like the amount of effort in getting to a low single digit is equivalent to getting a bachelors degree in something.

If it wasn't a good challenge and fun, I think my interest level would have diminished long ago.
post #219 of 270

It's tough for me to quantify this because i took some gaps. But one summer of just hitting golf balls, and having a good sense with regards to balance allowed me to develop a swing that could give me a consistent mid 80's, or 12-16 handicap. That was with basically 3 lessons over that one summer. These lessons were typical generic golf lessons, nothing special, but helpful for a novice golfer. I stayed at that level of play for the next 13-14 years. 

 

One lesson with Erik, and proper methodical lesson's, I have dropped to a single handicap in 1 month. 

 

So, a person can get close to a single handicap, but with out proper instruction it is very tough to be consistently a single handicap. A person might flirt with it, but not be consistent. 

post #220 of 270
I set out at about a 15hc and age 30 to be scratch in five years. Year one I played once or twice a week and got to a single pretty quickly. Ended the year as a 6. The second year was 2012. I worked more on keeping the ball in play and getting up and down more. Got to a 4.5, but I was losing distance and even had the occasional shanks, which had been with me for a few years. More of a range problem though than anything else. I realized I would never make it without help. I took a few lesson last fall and then took the winter off. This year, which is year three I have been taking lessons since the spring and have been averaging two full rounds a week. My trend Sept 1 is 3.8. It is getting much tougher to improve. I have gained a lot of distance with the lessons and also strike the ball much better. Always working on something new is hard in a sense to improve at first. I have had troubles predicting at times what the driver will do and it has cost me some strokes. My short game has improved slightly but my putting has gotten much worse. I have improved it a bit lately with some goofy self inflicted changes.

So a few months from 15 to 6, and two years from 6 to 3.8. At this rate I will not make my goal but I know I am doing everything I can to get there and that is fine. With small kids I really can't get more than a couple full rounds in a week playing before work. I plan on staying committed to swinging the club this winter as well. All that to say it has been tough to improve for me once reaching the mid single digits.
post #221 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


Did it take you 2-3 years after becoming serious, or just after starting?

I guess a little of both....1992 is a lost year for me.  I got hooked and played casually, but as the year progressed....I played more and more.  I have no idea how many rounds I played because I have no official record.  I broke 100 that first year....that's about all I can say. 

 

It was Game ON in 1993.  I started tracking every round, and I still have it.  I can tell you what I shot every round since Jan1, 1993, who I played with, where I played, what it cost, how many birdies and eagles I made, and the weather conditions..LOL

 

I was consistent in the 90's and started being consistent in the 80s by year end.  I was cracking into the 70s in 1994.  I got to the 7-9HC range and hit a wall for nearly a decade!!  It wasn't until about 2004 that I broke though and dropped to the 4-6HC range.  By 2006-2007...I was a 2.  I got to a zero for the first time in '11 and pretty much maintained a 0-1hc through 2012. 

 

In 2013, I took a new job, changed courses, played less...and my game went to complete sh!t...LOL   I was up to a 7HC this year.  My putting was in the dumps....I couldn't hole a putt to save my life.  My index highpoint in 2013 was 5.4, but I've been playing better in recent weeks and I'm down to a 3.1 as of the September 1st revision.  On my 141 slope home course, that makes me a 4HC now.  (down from a season high of 7HC with a 5.4index)

 

I think I found something recently with the putter and it feels like the good old times are back.  I changed my putting stance and got my mojo back.  I don't know if it'll last or not, but I am hopeful!!  Putting was always my strength, and when I lost that.....my game was in big trouble.  Im still not playing as well tee to green as I know I am capable of.....but the putter is a great equalizer.


Edited by BuckeyeNut - 9/1/13 at 2:12am
post #222 of 270

I'm now a 7, used to be a 3, short game, short game, short game.  I can't putt at all anymore. Used to practise chipping and putting after playing and wouldn't leave until I chipped at least one in.  Something that I think is over looked, become a good fairway wood player.  I play with a group of guys every week and none of them can do anything with a 3 wood from the grass.  I don't practise much anymore but try to play 3 times a week in the Iowa golf season and I try to hit the range a little bit in the spring.  I don't mind going out by myself and play a couple balls. I also have a net in the garage that I use on weekends in the winter.  Takes time and practise.

post #223 of 270

To give an example of how slow improvement can get, I just jumped from a 5.1 handicap to a 5.0 handicap this last revision. I'm taking any progress I can get at this point. My goal for this year is to end at a 4.5 or less.

post #224 of 270
Short game means youre not hitting greens. To me I never got single hdcp figures until i honed in my iron play. Iron play to me anyways is way more important,than short game. Just saying
post #225 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah View Post

Short game means youre not hitting greens. To me I never got single hdcp figures until i honed in my iron play. Iron play to me anyways is way more important,than short game. Just saying

yea...GIR is important and it certainly helps, but the short game always rules supreme.  Short game is the difference between hitting 9GIR and shooting a 69.......or a 79. 

post #226 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

yea...GIR is important and it certainly helps, but the short game always rules supreme.  Short game is the difference between hitting 9GIR and shooting a 69.......or a 79. 

If I remember correctly the average scratch golfer still hits 12 GiR a round. Short game is important but almost all scratch players get there with about 12 GIR.
post #227 of 270

I was about a 30-35 handicap a year ago, (broke 100 for the first time 15 months ago, but would average around 110 on not very hard courses).  I played maybe 2 or 3 times a year.   Since then, I have worked hard at my game, playing probably 40 rounds, and did a package of 10 half hour lessons.  I am now at an 11 handicap and expect to get to single digits by year end, but we will see...

post #228 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post


If I remember correctly the average scratch golfer still hits 12 GiR a round. Short game is important but almost all scratch players get there with about 12 GIR.

You are missing the entire point. LOL

 

 

BTW...I got to scratch hitting 50%.  I've also played to a 6HC hitting 50%.

post #229 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

You are missing the entire point. LOL


BTW...I got to scratch hitting 50%.  I've also played to a 6HC hitting 50%.

Wow, here we go, I am getting laughed at again. Those are the facts. The average scratch golfer hits about 12 greens. Sorry I don't know what to tell you. So you hit 50% of greens but are scratch. Either you completely miss the green or you stuff it in order to be scratch. That is hard to imagine. Or you get up and down close to nine times a round, also hard to imagine. Enlighten me please. Also you say at times you have played to a 6 hitting 50% greens as an example of how short game matter so much. Sure it matters a lot when you hit 50% or less. One thing I can tell you though is that you won't see any 6hc golfers hitting 12 greens. Now which one reigns supreme again?
post #230 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post

Wow, here we go, I am getting laughed at again. Those are the facts. The average scratch golfer hits about 12 greens. Sorry I don't know what to tell you. So you hit 50% of greens but are scratch. Either you completely miss the green or you stuff it in order to be scratch. That is hard to imagine. Or you get up and down close to nine times a round, also hard to imagine. Enlighten me please. Also you say at times you have played to a 6 hitting 50% greens as an example of how short game matter so much. Sure it matters a lot when you hit 50% or less. One thing I can tell you though is that you won't see any 6hc golfers hitting 12 greens. Now which one reigns supreme again?

Maybe just novice luck, but my best round with 6 pars were all up and down holes. Now I get 1 to 2 GIR and only 4 pars per round.
post #231 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post


Wow, here we go, I am getting laughed at again. Those are the facts. The average scratch golfer hits about 12 greens. Sorry I don't know what to tell you. So you hit 50% of greens but are scratch. Either you completely miss the green or you stuff it in order to be scratch. That is hard to imagine. Or you get up and down close to nine times a round, also hard to imagine. Enlighten me please. Also you say at times you have played to a 6 hitting 50% greens as an example of how short game matter so much. Sure it matters a lot when you hit 50% or less. One thing I can tell you though is that you won't see any 6hc golfers hitting 12 greens. Now which one reigns supreme again?

 

There are many ways that a GIR stat can be totally misleading. Especially when those stats came from totally different golf courses (which can be from A to Z in green size and complexity). I can see where that could lead to arguments over the importance of GIRs.

 

I'm most certainly not a good ball striker but if I played most of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses I would hit a very high percentage of greens, and have many more 3 putts (and I'm a good putter). The greens are MUCH smaller on the courses I play so missing the green doesn't tell much of a story at all as long as you know which side you can afford to miss on and don't miss by much.

 

You could miss every green at the course where I work and as long as you never missed by more than 5 yards you could be closer to the hole (and with easier next shots) than another person playing on huge multi-tiered greens that was constantly missing the pin location by 15 or 20 yards on the wrong level but on the green.

 

I actually hit a much higher percentage of greens on the nicer "tougher" courses (when I get a chance to play them). It's not that my ball striking miraculously improves but only that the greens are too big to miss, after what I'm used to.

post #232 of 270
I think the best way is being able to get up and down 60 percent of the time, and limiting how many hazards you hit in a round. Those add up faster than 3 putts!
post #233 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


Maybe just novice luck, but my best round with 6 pars were all up and down holes. Now I get 1 to 2 GIR and only 4 pars per round.

My best round(I mainly play nine hole rounds), was a 35 hitting 6 of 9 greens.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

 

There are many ways that a GIR stat can be totally misleading. Especially when those stats came from totally different golf courses (which can be from A to Z in green size and complexity). I can see where that could lead to arguments over the importance of GIRs.

 

I'm most certainly not a good ball striker but if I played most of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses I would hit a very high percentage of greens, and have many more 3 putts (and I'm a good putter). The greens are MUCH smaller on the courses I play so missing the green doesn't tell much of a story at all as long as you know which side you can afford to miss on and don't miss by much.

 

You could miss every green at the course where I work and as long as you never missed by more than 5 yards you could be closer to the hole (and with easier next shots) than another person playing on huge multi-tiered greens that was constantly missing the pin location by 15 or 20 yards on the wrong level but on the green.

 

I actually hit a much higher percentage of greens on the nicer "tougher" courses (when I get a chance to play them). It's not that my ball striking miraculously improves but only that the greens are too big to miss, after what I'm used to.

I don't think it is misleading at all.  There are not enough courses like that out there that people play for every day handicap purposes that would make that much of a difference.  The more greens someone is hitting the closer they are hitting the ball to the hole, plain and simple.  If you are hitting GIR you are not taking penalty strokes and you are not having to rely on having a ridiculous short game.  I think at certain levels short game matters a ton.   I also think one of the easiest ways and how I got to single digits is to simply learn how to keep it in play off the tee and work on your short game.  Getting from high single digits for most players seems to be all about GIR and proximity to the hole though.   

post #234 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick1998bunker View Post

I think the best way is being able to get up and down 60 percent of the time, and limiting how many hazards you hit in a round. Those add up faster than 3 putts!

Probably the only post I've read of yours that I agree with. Getting the ball near the green is fine but short game is such a massive factor. I have a 12 hole pitch and putt near me and I tend to go there more than I go to the range.
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