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How did you get to a single digit handicap? - Page 15

post #253 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
 

 

That course is a nightmare. An absolute nightmare. I played it from their "Championship" tees where they held the 2011 US Open qualifiers in a two day tournament over the summer. At 7450 yards, it was certainly the longest course I've ever played and that rough can be punishing. The greens were nice though, but that water hazard on number 7 was killer off the tee on the first day. My entire group went into it because we didn't realize there was that sharp slope right in the landing area short of it that kicks your ball into it.

 

It is brutal, that and it's sister course Legacy Ridge are the toughest public courses I've ever played. If you want to torture yourself, I'm sure you've been there since you're up north, play Colorado National from the 7676 tees. If they set that up like they do the rinky-dink Coyote Creek with 6" rough it be a killer. Though CC mowed recently and it was shorter than usual, still can't see the ball it's so deep. If not for the wind and dust storms I played well enough that I'm fairly certain I could have shot a person best and trended back under 10 last night. I'm going back today hoping for no wind.

 

post #254 of 270

I've never actually played Colorado National, but they do have a very nice practice facility there. The range usually has really nice grass at least, with mowed greens to hit to. I have played at Fox Hill, which is a country club owned by the same guy who owns Colorado National. Apparently the membership at Fox Hill transfers to all of that guys other courses, but I'm not a member of Fox Hill to begin with. I just play there when they have the city tournament and, for a day, they let us "plebeians" play on the course. :-P

Legacy Ridge was another course I had a tournament at this summer, and that one wasn't a picnic either even though they didn't have us play from all the way back.

post #255 of 270

When i first started 

 

My swing was  fast after allot of lessons i learned how to control, 

After that by playing i started to improve long and short shots, after that my coach told me the right clubs for my game shafts and personalizing the clubs for me.

Constantly practicing on course and in the range my game started improving by the day, warm up,  play go back to the range try to fix the struggles, and next day again.

Always keeping your mind focused specially on the parts u have difficulty and have fun...

 

eventually you will get there

post #256 of 270
This thread peeked my interest because this is a goal of mine. Something that only occured to me was that the USGA handicap system is different from the CONGU one we use in the UK.

We have SSS standard scratch score for a pro so no slope ratings and the like. From doing some research though a single digit handicapper really has to score somewhere between 78-84 on a regular basis.
My last round was 86 and my last 3 cards according to the handicap calculator bring me out to a 16 handicap. My handicap tracker says I'm a 21.5.

So I believe this is a possible goal more than ever. Without getting any better at actual striking of the ball a few putts going in and some increased touch on the short game and you are there.

Of course I'm only entertaining this idea because as has been said practice is the key. You need to have a well rounded game that has been honed by being a diligent gold student and putting the time in to get there.

Its certainly not out of reach but does take some commitment to do
post #257 of 270

Just last week I was able to make it to a single digit (just barely), descending from a 20 to a 16 to a 13, and now 9.9.  Here's what I now know:

 

* I'm not sure my drives are better, but I've eliminated (usually) the OB's, hitting into hazard, etc.  Some days I'm often in the fairway, but other days I'm in the rough.  Essentially I've gotten my drives "good enough" for a single digit.

 

* I've worked had to round out my game:  distance wedges, sand, chipping, punch shots, etc.  Again, I don't think I'm great in any one of these areas, but pretty much good enough.

 

* One thing that has made the difference is mastering the six foot putt (or at least making most of them). You've got to be able to get down in two putts on nearly all of the greens.  For me that was making sure I made nearly all the six footers and less, and getting up and down with less than perfect chips. I still bogey more often than not when in a greenside bunker, but at least I'm eliminating doubles.

 

* Perhaps most important is that even though my irons have gotten better, I've gotten much more conservative when aiming at the greens.  I almost always go for the middle of the green on shots greater than 100 yards.   For distance wedges from 100 to 50 yards I might favor one side a little more.  However, I never shoot directly at a pin unless that pin is also in the middle of my "safe area" in the green.  Get it on the green, two putt, next hole. If I birdie, probably because I hit a good putt, not an aggressive approach shot.

 

* Finally, I've become a believer in "boring golf."  The first hole at my course is a Par 5.  I could hit a driver, and maybe hit a FW wood that might be on the green that might allow an eagle putt, that ....you get the idea. Instead, I hit a three iron the the safe area before the bunker, then a 4 iron then a short iron to the middle, then two putt.  Keep it boring. 

 

Obviously I have a lot of room for improvement, but at least can now claim single-digit status. 

Good luck.

post #258 of 270
I got down to a 9 about three years ago. The problem was that I was very inconsistent and wanted to get to that next level. Some friends of mine talked me into changing pros and went with a more analytical mechanical type of instructor. He has corrected a lot of my swing flaws but I still struggle with the mental game and tend to turn into a complete hack once I step onto the course. To be honest, I have not played good golf since I changed pros. Things that work for me he tends to nitpick and wants to change. I know he is only trying to get my swing to be able to play well on a consistent basis but I have gotten very frustrated going to the course and not playing to what I feel my abilities are.

I am a range rat which I have learned hurts my game so I am going to spend more time just playing and not practicing so much. It's expensive to try and play 3-4 times a week which for someone with my ability needs to do to ever get into the single digits plus work gets in the way. Some of the best players I know just have great hand eye coordination which I have never had. One friend was a great baseball player, plays golf maybe once every three months, and can shoot low to mid 70's every time.

I play my best when I am very conservative on the tee box. I suck with my driver but my pro has me using it now to get over the mental hurdle I have with it. I constantly hit block shots because my timing is always off and it turns all of my game into a mess (chipping, putting, etc). I can go to the course with no thoughts in my head and after two holes of bad drives I lose all feel for my game and next you know I am posting a 90+ score. I am a legit 13 just because of my better short game but putting needs a lot of work.

I did not start the game until my late 20's and play with mostly folks who have played since they were kids. To me, I have years of catching up to do compared to them. All I can say is God Bless those of you with natural ability or have been able to conquer the mid handicap stage and become a permanent legit single digit player.
post #259 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


These are believable, but getting from a complete newbie to a single digit inside of a year is difficult for me to believe.
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Greg Norman did it, no? :)

 

 

Greg Norman (HOF inductee, winner of 2 majors w/ multiple near-misses, #1 ranked golfer for about 6.4 years, one of the best drivers of all time) did it in 16-18 months.

 

Given his age at the time, and his location in Brisbane (summer: High-87*, Low 71* / winter: High-71*, Low-50* | 245 avg hours of sunshine per month). I expect he got hooked and played as much as he could for that period. Plus he was pretty athletic (played cricket - a ball & stick sport) to begin with. And he clearly had the genes.

post #260 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by natureboy View Post



Greg Norman (HOF inductee, winner of 2 majors w/ multiple near-misses, #1 ranked golfer for about 6.4 years, one of the best drivers of all time) did it in 16-18 months.

Given his age at the time, and his location in Brisbane (summer: High-87*, Low 71* / winter: High-71*, Low-50* | 245 avg hours of sunshine per month). I expect he got hooked and played as much as he could for that period. Plus he was pretty athletic (played cricket - a ball & stick sport) to begin with. And he clearly had the genes.

Clearly athletic.
post #261 of 270

My reading of the Norman story is that he took up golf as 16  yr old sportsman.  Started with HC of 36, halved it in one year, then went to zero the second year. His family had membership in local golf club so he spent most/all of his time there. What better way than total absorption as youth?

post #262 of 270

I started playing golf when I was 7 years old...started with a 'Jackie Burke' Junior set...would play off the women's tees until in a year or so I was able to play the men's tees as they had some forced carries that I was just not strong enough to carry...next stepped up into women's clubs (Wilson Staff Patty Berg). As I'm making my journey as a wee one I learned basic course management skills...made even bogey my par...planned 2 shots on a par 3 and two putts----3 shots on a par 4 and two putts...4 shots on a par 5 and two putts. When I got old enough to hit the ball longer and tall enough to swing them I got men's clubs and by the time I was 13 I had a 9 Hcap at my home course.During this six year period I virtually lived on the golf course and was able to experiment and find a swing that has stayed with me for life.I was down to a scratch by the time I was 17.

 

Maybe I could have played the tour but I will never know as Golf lost its priority for me in the late 60s and was swept away in the social upheavels of the day. Golf was definitely not 'cool' then. I've laid off from playing for years at a time and was always able to come back and shoot in the 70's due to the grooved swing my young bones and muscles developed.

 

I am 63 now and play to a 3.6 (USGA HCap)

 

My suggestion to those trying to get down to the single digit mark is to find a good instructor who can keep things simple for you and not mess your mind up with a lot of BS. Working things out on the driving range is a good thing but IMHO playing golf is a much more valuable way of progressing in the game...play play play...I've run across many a range rat who had no clue what to do on a golf course. Golf is played on a golf course not a driving range.

 

So my journey was facilitated by living across the street from a golf course and playing and caddying from dawn to dusk...not everyone has the same advantages I had...so I was very lucky to be able to learn the game as a child and my development was a natural one and simply part and parcel of 'growing up' and learning the game with the wonder of a child.

post #263 of 270

Stats can definitely vary by wide margins by scratch golfers depending on the course they play.............

 

 

IE.....playing from tees rated 77CR....this golfer can average 80-81 and carry a scratch HC. With that said, the GIR and other stats will look VERY different from a scratch golfer playing a course with a 70CR.  The course difficulty and the CR is HUGE........

post #264 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by joekelly View Post

My reading of the Norman story is that he took up golf as 16  yr old sportsman.  Started with HC of 36, halved it in one year, then went to zero the second year. His family had membership in local golf club so he spent most/all of his time there. What better way than total absorption as youth?

Total absorption as an adult?
post #265 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

 

It is brutal, that and it's sister course Legacy Ridge are the toughest public courses I've ever played. If you want to torture yourself, I'm sure you've been there since you're up north, play Colorado National from the 7676 tees. If they set that up like they do the rinky-dink Coyote Creek with 6" rough it be a killer. Though CC mowed recently and it was shorter than usual, still can't see the ball it's so deep. If not for the wind and dust storms I played well enough that I'm fairly certain I could have shot a person best and trended back under 10 last night. I'm going back today hoping for no wind.

 

Dave....................I can relate! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I belonged to a club for several years that I would argue had US open rough conditions EVERY DAY!!!!

 

From afar, the rough looked absolutely beautiful!!!! How bad can it be?  Any missed fairway can lead to a possible lost ball.  Look now nice the grass looks?

YEP......Nicely mowed................DEEP and LUSH!!!

 

A closer look at a lie in "FRESH CUT" grass................

 

Heaven forbid you hit into an area that hasn't been cut in 1-2 days.........and find your ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just Imagine................. 455yd par4..................hazard fronts the green.  What is your play?  LOL....................... (hack out)

post #266 of 270
I don't get to go to the range as much as I used to but I still work on the fundamentals at home (setup, posture, alignment, swing). You can practice these things without going to the range and knocking around balls and it's the foundation. I feel that this works great because I'm not worried about anything else. Now when it comes to short game you need the range because these are feel shots.
post #267 of 270

The two things that vastly improved my golfing came from reading this website: Aimpoint Express and the Iacas pitch. I was a bogey golfer who was generally near the green in regulation on every hole. I used to pitch on and 2 putt for bogeys. Aimpoint expanded my makable putt range from 3 feet to 6 feet. At the same time the Iacas pitch started getting me within 6 feet on my pitches. When these two things started to overlap I started getting up and down for par regularly. I now seem to do this about half the time which would be 9 pars and 9 bogeys even when I don't hit any greens in regulation! When I am hitting greens, I shoot the kind of rounds that get that low handicap. Thanks, Iacas and Sandtrap.com 

post #268 of 270

I remember my transition to a single handicap, it was easy to identify looking back.  I played when I could in middle school and I recall finally breaking 50 on this somewhat easy course with my yellow pinnacle.  I was on the freshman golf team, but, was pretty much near the bottom of the team.  We joined a fairly nice country club during the fall of my Sophmore year and I played a ton.  Had some basic instruction, but, it really was playing and getting confidence in getting the ball in the hole.

I went out for golf the spring of my Sophmore year and played well enough to actually make the varsity team.  I was at that point consistently breaking 40 and getting better.  I did struggle with some high scores in varsity tournaments since the comfort level was not there.  I have pretty much been a single digit handicap since that time over 30 years ago.

 

Thinking about my golf life, it seems that the key for me being a single digit player is always having the ability to hit the ball solid.  Even at the early age above, I was able to get the ball moving somewhat forward and straight.  Also, I had that desire to be better and liked competition.  Putting has always been a struggle, but, I practiced a lot as kid on long putting and become a good lag putter.

 

I was able to get the handicap to around a 1 and played some college golf.  I have a natural strong grip and have always been a drawer ( sometimes hook) of the ball.  The ability to hit the ball far and somewhat over power the golf course was my advantage at that time.  I became really good with the sand wedge from 100-120 yards.

 

The handicap is around a 5 now, the ability to "get after" the ball is gone and the easy birdies on Par 5's have dried up.  At this point, the ability to hit the ball somewhat solid allows me to stay out of trouble and basically make bogey the worse case on a hole.  I know my limitations and attempt to miss in the correct spot.  

 

Lessons and practice are important, but, I really feel time on the course was the most valuable.  I had to learn how to get the ball into the hole, learn how to recover, learn how hit non normal shots.  Being able to hit a punch 2 iron out of the trees after a bad tee shot, getting the ball back in play and still making a par.  

post #269 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zesty View Post
 

The two things that vastly improved my golfing came from reading this website: Aimpoint Express and the Iacas pitch. I was a bogey golfer who was generally near the green in regulation on every hole. I used to pitch on and 2 putt for bogeys. Aimpoint expanded my makable putt range from 3 feet to 6 feet. At the same time the Iacas pitch started getting me within 6 feet on my pitches. When these two things started to overlap I started getting up and down for par regularly. I now seem to do this about half the time which would be 9 pars and 9 bogeys even when I don't hit any greens in regulation! When I am hitting greens, I shoot the kind of rounds that get that low handicap. Thanks, Iacas and Sandtrap.com 

 

Interesting and good information. Thanks for posting this.

post #270 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


Clearly athletic.

 

Just heard an interesting factoid. Larry Nelson did it in almost half the time of Norman, starting at 21. Didn't crack the PGA until he was 27, though.

 

Also played a ball & stick sport as a kid.

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