Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey
I think this is the central question. And a great one. I ask myself this all the time - and kick myself for times I didn't do the "smart" thing. And I can think of a few possible answers
1. Some would rather make that miracle shot or super-long drive than score well - you're a Go For It guy like the Tin Cup guy
2. Emotions get the better of you when in trouble. The thought of double-bogey is killing you, so you try a miracle that puts you in even worse shape than you were in. Now you get triple.
3. Despite knowing that it is a low percentage play - you just feel like it is your day
4. You haven't really analyzed the game enough - relative to your skill level - to realize that it is a low percentage play. You see players do things on TV or on the course and you feel you should play that type of game as well. But you are way out over your skis to be trying that shot.
Just some guesses. I'd love to hear some answers from some of you who feel you could shoot lower with better management. Mine would probably be #2. I play a really conservative game of golf and feel I actually play really good course management. I think it actually improves my HC as compared to actual golfing ability. But I can still try to get too fancy to avoid a big number.
I think you have the jist of it. You also reach a point where your skills are good enough that your thought process changes. I now know that if I pitch out sideways from a fairway bunker because the ball is too close to the lip I can still make par. A 20 hcp does not believe that and feels he/she must go for it for them to have a chance.
I can also approach a green from much further away with confidence. If you are shooting near 100 or more honestly you are hoping you know where the ball is going but you don't truly know! So I can shoot for the safe side of the green they are hoping for the general direction of the green. There is also much more to consider/fear when you are a higher handicap. I think it is part of the process.
Lets consider a specific scenario and shot choices.
130 out, pin back, wind in your face water left bunkers surround the green, being below the hole is a must due to the slope of the green. My thought is hit a low draw staying out of the wind as much as I can drop it short take my chances from there.
High handicap is going to hit a ballooning shot, not sure how far it will go, whatever spin they put on it is going to be exaggerated. How much course management can they play?
I am that guy in the last couple years, I think I have a feel for it.