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How did you get to a single digit handicap? - Page 4

post #55 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Since this great thread is attracting some great players, could anyone tell me when i should be looking at getting custom fitted for a proper shaft on my driver? I have a 101 swing speed which is regular right?
post #56 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

I'll add my .02 worth.

For me it was all about attitude. Most casual golfers tend to go out to enjoy their round of golf. They socialize, maybe have a beer or two, and just enjoy getting away for 4 or 5 hours. They "want" to play well, but they don't work at it.......rather they just hope that all the planets will somehow align and they'll post a relatively good number.

I didn't take lessons, buy better equipment, practice more (or really at all for that matter). One day, I just decided that my score was important. I didn't stop enjoying myself, but scoring well became the priority, not the social atmosphere. As Erik said, you can be pretty mediocre and dip under 10 if you use your head.

Getting down to the low single digits requires some pretty consistent ball striking, a decent short game, and the ability to execute a wider variety of shots.......but you still have to use your head.
post #57 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

As a former single handicap (at my peak I was around a 4.3 or so) I can tell you that its a lot of work both on the mental and physical side of things. On the physical side its fine tuning all the little shots because you've probably got most of the big stuff routine by now. Its hitting fairways, hitting greens, and hitting putts CONSISTANTLY. On the mental side it more analytical than anything. Not only knowing your distances but knowing how far exactly the pin is. Deciding whether to go for it or play it pretty safe. There's just so much to it. I've shot the majority of my rounds in around an 8hdcp this year (yeah my hdcp on my profile was an estimate). Mainly though it jsut takes time.
post #58 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Great thread. Honestly, eliminating "big" numbers and consistent ballstriking can get you down to 9 with good course mgmt. But to get any lower it starts getting much much harder and short game must be tight.

I seriously think you must hit greens in regulation, you must. Even if you have a nice short game you can't keep the pressure on it every hole every round and it hold up forever, hitting greens is the key, then when you do miss a GIR, that short game is there.


Try to relax and really see yourself as a single digit hcp, develop that self image and watch what happens

I'm personally trying to get to 2.4 and I'm working on my game this year harder than ever. My first tournament is May 31, and I am excited
post #59 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Nice thread. I'm pretty sure I could get down to 9 pretty quickly with a little better course management and some better thought process before attempting certain shots (which I guess plays back into the course mgt thing).

Because right now, I'm a 12 and I'm pretty bad. So if I just sucked a little less I think I could get to single digits.
post #60 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by golfbarefoot View Post
I'm personally trying to get to 2.4
Just curious how you pick 2.4 vs say 2.
post #61 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

If you truely have a 101 swing speed, meaning that you went to golf galaxy or golfsmith and got on the monitor which will tell you what your swing speed is. If you have done that and you do have a 101 swing speed then you should be using a stiff shaft on all of your clubs. That swing speed will over power the regular shaft creating head flex at the moment of impact causing you to produce weak pop up fades to the right. Some club fitters try to recomend weaker shafts to people in an effort to make them swing SLOW but that's not the nature of man. Swinging SMOOTH with your natural power gets you to impact at the proper time creating proper ball flight and direction.
post #62 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

How do you guys define course management?

Does that mean going with a 3 wood to be sure you get it in the fairway instead of the driver? Knowing when to lay up or when to go for it?
post #63 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by MSB256 View Post
How do you guys define course management?

Does that mean going with a 3 wood to be sure you get it in the fairway instead of the driver? Knowing when to lay up or when to go for it?
Yeah. Something like that. Making good stratagy decisons when you play can easily save you 2-3 strokes a round. But its not so much about using a lower club and just calling it "course management" - its about minimizing your misses. My bad shot is a pull hook or duck hook, whatever you want to call it. It comes from rotating at the ball too quickly from the top. Knowing that, I try to identify a bailout area and give myself some room to miss left on almost every full swing i take. So if i do miss it, i have a chance to recover. Even if it means underclubbing and coming up short even if i do hit the shot well.

Its also having a feeling of how to actually play the game, instead of robotically hitting the ball at targets. Sometimes its wise to play for bogey.
post #64 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by MSB256 View Post
How do you guys define course management?

Does that mean going with a 3 wood to be sure you get it in the fairway instead of the driver? Knowing when to lay up or when to go for it?
I can give you an example of poor course mgt and maybe that will help. My last round...lenghty par 5, I hit my best drive of the day. Ball ends up right next to the 238 yard marker. Slight side hill lie on the fairway with the ball slightly below my feet. Water near the green on the right. So I have a lie that will tend to squirt right...and what do I do? Grab my 3 wood and push it short right and it lands in the water. This was on the back 9, 15th hole and I'm even par on the back, figured I was swinging well and could pull it off. Stupid. Took a 7 on the hole.

Could of hit a freaking 8iron and had less than 100 yards in on my 3rd shot and probably had a decent shot at birdie.

As a 12 handicap I certainly do not have a side hill lie 238 yard 3 wood in my bag, and I should know this.
post #65 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Nice thread...I liked seeing some people state their goals from a year ago and have them reached...some good advice in here too...
post #66 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

I'm going to respectfully disagree with the emphasis put on the short game for the non single digit handicapper, and even more so for the really high handicapper. Man, I know I'm going to get torched for this, and I am in no way stating this as a fact(just from my own experience), but becoming a better iron player knocked about 8 strokes off my game in 2 years, also getting a little more consistent off the tee and developing a right-to-left ball flight with my driver. All this time I never practiced short game, ever.

This all equated to hitting more greens and making more pars, and turning would-be bogeys into pars and would-be doubles into bogeys. So now, as a 12, I'm starting to focus a little more on the short game to make more birdies. But still working mostly on hitting more GIR's.

I play in a league with 32 players, mostly a fun league when it comes down to it. Many of the players are high handicappers (20-30). Some of them have pretty decent putting strokes and can chip pretty good as well. But none of them hit greens in reg. Many of them can't hit a driver, 3 wood, or hybrid straight ever, and just chunk iron after iron. That is really the only difference in our game, I hit more GIR's than they do because I'm a better iron player and get off the tee a little better.

Not sure if my rambling made any sense, but I think some consistency in your long game can shave off strokes faster. And then you can move to improve your putting to start making birdies. But telling a 20+ handicap to work on putting so he can make more birdies isn't going to help them, I mean, how many birdie putts do they stand over in any given round? I think getting yourself to that position where the word "birdie" can start entering your mind on a regular basis will lead to better results in the long run.

go easy on me fellas.
post #67 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by MSB256 View Post
How do you guys define course management?
Choosing the most appropriate shots. Missing in the right places.
post #68 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by iacas View Post
Choosing the most appropriate shots. Missing in the right places.
Most definately. For example, say you're on a 360 yard par 4 with water on the right side of a narrow fairway, and bunkers at 280. You hit your driver 280 yards, and have a tendancy to hit a fade. Is it really worth hitting your driver, so that even in with a perfect shot you'll be left with 80 yards to the pin? Why not instead hit your 3 wood, which will leave you short of the bunkers and less likely to slice it, and take a 110 yard wedge into the green all the same?

Many people I know would hit the driver. Many people I know also struggle to break 90 or 100. That's a reason why.
post #69 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by iacas View Post
Choosing the most appropriate shots. Missing in the right places.
Concise and well said...

Originally Posted by mdvaldosta View Post
Most definately. For example, say you're on a 360 yard par 4 with water on the right side of a narrow fairway, and bunkers at 280. You hit your driver 280 yards, and have a tendancy to hit a fade. Is it really worth hitting your driver, so that even in with a perfect shot you'll be left with 80 yards to the pin? Why not instead hit your 3 wood, which will leave you short of the bunkers and less likely to slice it, and take a 110 yard wedge into the green all the same?

Many people I know would hit the driver. Many people I know also struggle to break 90 or 100. That's a reason why.
Good example... I should probably make smarter decisions myself.

Alright, I get course management.... now if I can just find the discipline to think about it when I'm out there.
post #70 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

well when I first started HS golf as a freshman I was playing to a 16 handicap, but with the constant play I dropped to an 11. Over the next year I played over the summer and after another season on the HS team I got it down to a 9. then by my junior year I played to a 7 and have stayed around there since. My short game has saved me over the years, and I need to hit more greens and fairways to really lower my scores from now on. I plan on playing in amatuer events, playing 5 times a week, and getting regular lessons to reach my goal of playing to a three handicap. From now on, I will put in all my time and effort into becoming a two or three by the time I leave for college. I know that it will happen will my constant rounds of 30 or less putts and stellar short game I just need to hit fairways and greens. Practice. Have fun, and enjoy the game!
post #71 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by $2 Nassau View Post
I'm going to respectfully disagree with the emphasis put on the short game for the non single digit handicapper, and even more so for the really high handicapper. Man, I know I'm going to get torched for this, and I am in no way stating this as a fact(just from my own experience), but becoming a better iron player knocked about 8 strokes off my game in 2 years, also getting a little more consistent off the tee and developing a right-to-left ball flight with my driver. All this time I never practiced short game, ever.

I wouldn't torch you for that,,,lol! Players that work towards improving will excel in certain areas faster than others. If you develop a solid game tee to green, even before your short game/putting come around, you can get to a single digit handicap.

Basically there are four parts to the golf game, Tee Shots, Iron Play, Pitching/Chipping/Sand, and Putting. If you improve or excel in any 2 of these 4 areas you can certainly make it into the 6,7,8,9 handicap range. As you reduce your handicap from there you will have to master other areas of the game.

I look at it as if you get to a 3 handicap or less you have at least learned to manage or master all 4 aspects of the golf game.

I remember my days as a scratch player and the work that I put in to maintain that level. I was working 50 hours a week in the military, and put in another +20 hours a week at the golf course. I would play about 36 holes of golf on the course and the rest of the time was at the range and putting green. It's amazing that you get to that level of consistantly shooting par or better yet you feel you still have holes in your game and that there's just not enough time in the day to work on everything.
post #72 of 270

Re: How did you get to a single digit handicap?

Originally Posted by mrobbie View Post
For those who are playing off single figures, how did you get there?

It's always been my goal, and I assume the same with many other golfers.

I've seen a number of players who get to this point in a very short time. Are you a naturally 'gifted' player, who picked up a club and everything just made sense and you got there with ease, or have you worked hard at it as often as possible to develop a single figure game? Have you had lessons over the years, or have you worked on your game yourself?
Some lessons, lots of practice (especially the short game), lots of rounds of golf, knowing the distances of the my clubs, knowing how to do different shots (the 3/4 shot is probably the single best to know, IMO), I can't say enough for course management (easy to say, hard to stay on top of), and the love of a challenge.

I have a very good amount of natual talent, but that alone will not help, especially if you have ingrained bad habits. Practice and committment are what will really help
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