Re: Do you play better with better players?
Guess I can go both ways on this. Two summers ago I really started playing alot with really good golfers. I was probably 20 or higher handicap at that time playing with with a scratch, 2 and an 8 handicap. The first summer I really seemed to struggle when I played with them. I tried to put so much pressure on myself to play well and not hold them up. I'd also tend to get really upset with myself if I hit bad shots. I didn't go around throwing clubs but it was the anger that I kept in that killed me. Always took 3 or 4 holes to get over a bad shot.
The turning point came on the third hole of a weekend outing early last spring. The first two holes were the usual overly tense swings that led to over par scores. We came up to a short par 4 will all kinds trouble everwhere. I think the hole played about 315 over a bit of a gulley with bunkers everywhere. As I awaited my turn to tee of LAST I watched the first three tee off before pulling a club. All of them hit an iron with only one staying out of trouble. At that point I decided if I was going to get in trouble it would be deep trouble. I pulled driver and left every thought I had in the bag. Went up and put freewheeling unihibited swing on it and rolled it up about 20 feet from the pin. At that point I finally made myself believe I could hang with these guys.
After a two putt tap in birdie I headed to the next tee with alot of confidence. Well after promptly duck hooking my next drive into the woods I was brought back to reality. That one drive was a changing point in my game though. I knew I had the ability to compete with them. Maybe not on every hole or every shot but I could win a few holes.
Now I am pretty competitive with them on a regular basis. I love being the underdog and having the opportunity to compete with better players. We very seldom play with handicap so the urgency to play well is always there.
There are two types of bad players. Bad players who have a passion for the game and are striving to get better. These players I can handle because they typically pay attention and know the basic rules.
The other type of bad players are the people who go out and hack it around and don't care. I work in the lumber industry so I see alot of this in outings. The perfect example was at our company's outing last summer. The outing was for our vendors and customers. I must have ticked off the guy setting the teams because I got paired with 3 guys who couldn't break 100 if they only played 9 holes. It was a scramble. We ended up 5 over!! We only used 5 shots that were not mine. 4 were chips from around the green. One was a tee shot on a 158 yard par three. My partner who's shot we used hit driver to about six feet.
They came for one thing free food and beer. Believe me they took advantage of that. That was a miserable round for me because these guys had no interest in golf. I don't know that any of them could have name more than 3 members of the pga tour.
I enjoy playing with anyone who has a love for the game and wants to play good or bad.
Sorry for the rant.