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A golfer's skill profile - Page 2

post #19 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

As a high handicapper who playes with low handicappers a lot Here's what I think.

Getting from handicap 30 to handicap 20 means being able to putt less than 40 times a round and being fairly consistant.

Getting from 20 to 10 you'd want to only lose 1 or 2 balls a round and have a good short game.

getting from 10 to scratch you'd want to be a great all round player and have a excellent short game.

beyond scratch means you need to be consistent, have great ball striking and hit over 60% greens in regulation.
post #20 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Originally Posted by golfdad View Post

ps. so for you, it is much better to aim for the bunkers, so it seems?
I like to go to the beach ...LOL !
post #21 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

I played golf as a kid and got away from the game after highschool. I got back into it 5 years ago and caught the bug hard. I have keep track of my stats during the time when I first came back I was a 7-10 handicap and now I am a +0.5. Here are my key stats through that time

HandicapAveSTGGIRPPRPPGIRP5P4P3BperRP/RoundBog/RDB/RWorse

979.5047.1747.22%32.331.975.364.523.421.588.585.921.580.33
878.8946.4450.62%32.441.965.074.443.691.569.115.561.440.33
677.4247.2546.8%30.171.915.064.413.441.759.505.750.830.17
274.7742.6163%32.161.945.044.213.342.1410.684.520.610.05
0.273.1341.8766%31.271.894.904.133.252.5111.273.730.440.02
+0.572.0541.3867%30.681.844.894.063.192.8711.553.300.210.06

Sorry it's a bit noisy I copied it from my Spreadsheet. The Biggest difference in my change from a 10 to a +0.5 has been in my ballstriking My shots to the green when I was a 9 handicap was 47.2 and now is a 41.4 a difference of 6 strokes where my putting only improved from 32.3 ppr to 30.7 or 1.5 stoke decrease. This is also reflected in my GIR which went from 47% to 67%. Its also interesting to note that My birdie per round has only increased from 1.6 to 2.9 where the real saving is in the reduction of Bogey and Double bogeys per round (5.9 to 3.3 and 1.6 to 0.2 respectfully). So it appears that getting around the course smarter and more consistently is the key to improving my score. One final note I will say that once a score is accomplished such as the first time I shot Par it was much easier to do the next time. As far as putting goes While I will say I'm not a bad putter I dont think it has gotten that much better over the time frame. Like someone said before on this post when I get streaky with the putter then I can shot really low. I shot a course record 62 at my course this summer and made like 180' of putts. If I could putt like that all the time i would join the tour.
post #22 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Originally Posted by Bluenoser67 View Post
Its also interesting to note that My birdie per round has only increased from 1.6 to 2.9 where the real saving is in the reduction of Bogey and Double bogeys per round (5.9 to 3.3 and 1.6 to 0.2 respectfully).
very good analysis by Bluenoser67. The comments regarding ball striking and putting are interesting and I believe true. As I've improved my swing over the years and started hitting 10-12 greens I noticed my putting #'s actually getting worse...This is logical as you hit more greens but are not close to the hole you are getting more 30-40'ers for birdie vs. 4-5'ers for par.

Also the comments regarding "big numbers" is absolutely true...keep the ball out of the condos and the lakes & u pick up 5 shots from the git go.

The most interesting remark however, is the mental barrier to breaking par.

excellent post!!
post #23 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Great post bluenose.


When I picked the game back up about 2-3 years ago, I started as a low-90's shooter. Every now and then I'd have a good round and shoot in the 80's. I imagine that my handicap was around 17.

Going from 17 to 11 today, the biggest thing was chipping. I did a lot of research on chipping and online videos and what not to find a reliable chipping stroke. When that happened, I stopped the 1-3 chilly-dips per round and I started getting on the green EVERY time when I chipped. I might not be stone dead, but I'd be putting. This made par possible and bogey as my default par.

Now, my chipping is getting better and better. Most of the time, my par save putts are in the 3-12 foot range.

I think what I need to work on now is ball-striking. I hit between 3-6 greens a round normally. If I can bump that up to hitting 7-10 mark, I can lower my score probably another 5 strokes.

On the flip-side to what I've explained for my game, my step-father is a fantastic ball-striker and a horrible putter. He's a 3 handicap and will hit about 80% of GIR, but he'll three-putt about 2-5 times per round.
post #24 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

My putting was around 36 ~ 41 per round when i was playing in the mid to high 80s.

I realized that chipping around the green is the secret to low score. Now really need to drop a few more strokes on putting.

Practice and getting the right putter .
post #25 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

To me the parameter you play in is determined by the controlled power of your tee shot. The best short game will not replace a 275 yard drive down the
middle consistently. Bottom line if you hit 200 yards off the tee, that makes you a bogey golfer at about 18. You can lower it to 10 to 12 with an exceptional short game but you will never be 5 or 0. You can also have it 25 with a poor short game. The 0 guys hit the greens easily in reg and get up and down a lot to save par. The plus people hit the second shot tighter and make more putts. Its a pleasure to play with the good guys, who are 140 out or less, hole after hole, on those long fours and easily hit the greens with short irons.
post #26 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

I play with a +4 player and he does not putt better than me. In fact I would say he has an average short game. He does not get up and down as often from bunkers as I do and the rest of his short game is not amazing. It is good, but my jaw doesnt drop watching him around the greens.

My jaw does drop though when I watch him tee off and hit approach shots. He is hitting 12/14 greens in every round. And he hits it loooong off the tee. And dead straight. 200 yard approaches on par 5s are meat and fodder for this guy.

So from 12/14 GIR every round you would expect a few birdies to compensate the missed greens and failed up and downs. On a good day he will shoot mid to high 60s. average day he is shooting par or a few over on a course with 74 course rating and always 15/20 mph winds.

If he even bothered to practice his short game he would be unbelievable and he is already +4.

For me I am at 4 hcp, the difference is GIR. I only hit 7/8 GIR, which is very low, so I have to work my butt off on saving strokes around the green and putting really well. Which thankfully I do most of the time.

I know that if I get my GIR up to 11/12 per round my handicap comes way down so that is what I am working mostly on now.

So I would say GIR is the most important stat once you reach low handicap level.
post #27 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Originally Posted by andyh View Post
I play with a +4 player and he does not putt better than me. In fact I would say he has an average short game. He does not get up and down as often from bunkers as I do and the rest of his short game is not amazing. It is good, but my jaw doesnt drop watching him around the greens.

My jaw does drop though when I watch him tee off and hit approach shots. He is hitting 12/14 greens in every round. And he hits it loooong off the tee. And dead straight. 200 yard approaches on par 5s are meat and fodder for this guy.

So from 12/14 GIR every round you would expect a few birdies to compensate the missed greens and failed up and downs. On a good day he will shoot mid to high 60s. average day he is shooting par or a few over on a course with 74 course rating and always 15/20 mph winds.

If he even bothered to practice his short game he would be unbelievable and he is already +4.

For me I am at 4 hcp, the difference is GIR. I only hit 7/8 GIR, which is very low, so I have to work my butt off on saving strokes around the green and putting really well. Which thankfully I do most of the time.

I know that if I get my GIR up to 11/12 per round my handicap comes way down so that is what I am working mostly on now.

So I would say GIR is the most important stat once you reach low handicap level.

7/8 GIR is low? Is that a typo? That's 87%.

Or did you mean, he hits between 12 and 14 greens per round (out of 18), and you only hit 7 or 8.

In any case, that's very surprising to me that a player who scores that much better than you doesn't have an advantage in the "scoring" areas of the game.
post #28 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

I read the 7/8 as 7 or 8 a round, so I think that's what he meant!

It might make sense if you change the logic to think of it as the +4hc guys "scoring zone" is much larger/longer. Specifically he can hit the much longer shots accurately enough to mantain GIR?
post #29 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Originally Posted by andyh View Post
I play with a +4 player and he does not putt better than me...
My jaw does drop though when I watch him tee off and hit approach shots. ...
And, youngskip40..
In any case, that's very surprising to me that a player who scores that much better than you doesn't have an advantage in the "scoring" areas of the game.
This +4 guy reminds me of an assistant pro where I caddied in the late 1960s. Using the classic persimmon-headed woods with steel shafts, he hit the 3W about 270 yds., and his 4W about 250. In that era, his 3W went longer than most all driver shots. (He had no driver due to control problems)

Anyway, he was a scratch golfer who shot two over par at the U.S. Open Sectional qualifying at a brutal former Open site. He hit 15 greens in regulation, but finished with 38 putts.

This was the story of his life - magic from tee to green, but never did learn how to putt. In today's golf scene, his mentor would probably have had his vision tested or something.
post #30 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

sorry for confusion but i meant i hit 44% GIR.

I am not saying this +4 has a bad short game. He putts well and his short game is decent but I have seen him make many mistakes around the green.

He is a club pro and very talented. But his real strength is his long game which gives him so many scoring opportunities.

Which is why I mentioned that GIRs are so important to getting down from 5 or 6 handicap to scratch or lower. Without hitting a high % of GIR you just cannot get enough scoring opportunities.
post #31 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Originally Posted by andyh View Post
sorry for confusion but i meant i hit 44% GIR.

I am not saying this +4 has a bad short game. He putts well and his short game is decent but I have seen him make many mistakes around the green.

He is a club pro and very talented. But his real strength is his long game which gives him so many scoring opportunities.

Which is why I mentioned that GIRs are so important to getting down from 5 or 6 handicap to scratch or lower. Without hitting a high % of GIR you just cannot get enough scoring opportunities.
I think this is the one stat that someone could tell me and I could take a good guess at there handicap. If someone hits 1/3 about a 10, 1/2 about 2 and 2/3 a plus something. This is the stat that is most important and is a reflection of driving accuracy, distance and iron play.
post #32 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Originally Posted by Leftygolfer View Post
I think this is the one stat that someone could tell me and I could take a good guess at there handicap. If someone hits 1/3 about a 10, 1/2 about 2 and 2/3 a plus something. This is the stat that is most important and is a reflection of driving accuracy, distance and iron play.
I agree. GIR % is a great marker for all kinds of things, including ball striking, distance control and course management. The better this is the higher your GIR will be. If you are hitting higher than 50% of GIR than you can be sure you drive well and hit your irons solid.
post #33 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

I am going to go against the grain a little based on my own experience. After being out of golf for nearly 8 years due to medical problems I came back intent on enjoying the game. First item on my list of rules was not to worry about distance and just keep the ball in play. All day long I could stand on the tee and hit driver right down the middle - about 230-240 yards. There were days I hit every fairway, no joke. Then, I could hit an iron into most greens at the local courses which plays pretty short. One day, I shot an 82 at my local muni which is one of my lowest scores, ever.

Then I looked back and realized I am playing a pretty short course from the whites and the blues add another 10-30 yards on most holes.

Which means the 7 iron I'm hitting is really a 5 or 4 if I play from the blues.

My ball striking was pretty good but hitting even a short par 5 in two was out of the question and a 420 yard par 4 put stress on my game.

So, I realized that distance is part of the equation - not hitting 300 yard drives but hitting it at least 250-260 is needed to play at a scratch level or even a 5 hdcp from my perspective.

So I took a pretty good game and started to dismantle it to get more distance. Granted, I am also working on my short game and can probably pick up 3-5 strokes per round just getting back to my old short game level.

But, to get where I want to be, I need to hit the ball farther, it's just that simple. Getting from 30-20 would be easy by hitting a tee shot 200 down the middle every single hole. But, getting from a 13 to a 5, which is my goal, requires more distance. I need birdie chances and need shorter irons in my hand.

The short game is important, probably most important, but distance matters more than a lot of us are willing to admit.

Just my two cents.
post #34 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

As a +2, the difference between me and the guys that beat me, is mainly putting. We all hit the ball relatively the same distances. Hit the same amount of fairways and greens. Its just about getting the ball in the hole.

The difference between me and the guys I beat is mainly in minimizing my mistakes, using course management and keeping my emotions under control.
post #35 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Originally Posted by Gerardv View Post
So, I realized that distance is part of the equation - not hitting 300 yard drives but hitting it at least 250-260 is needed to play at a scratch level or even a 5 hdcp from my perspective.

The short game is important, probably most important, but distance matters more than a lot of us are willing to admit.
Just my two cents.
This is why the USGA have a definition of a scratch golfer, part of which is "he male scratch golfer hits his tee shots an average of 250 yards and can reach a 470-yard hole in two shots."

Hitting beyond 250 may help you on certain holes (longer holes, without doglegs etc), but driving to 250 is a pretty good benchmark
post #36 of 39

Re: A golfer's skill profile

Originally Posted by Ben View Post
As a +2, the difference between me and the guys that beat me, is mainly putting. We all hit the ball relatively the same distances. Hit the same amount of fairways and greens. Its just about getting the ball in the hole.

The difference between me and the guys I beat is mainly in minimizing my mistakes, using course management and keeping my emotions under control.
I agree 100% with your statement. when I play against players that are at my handicap level it always comes down to putting.




As far as lowering your handicap based on improving a skill set, my philoshophy is they all improve to some degree as you get better but they don't all improve equally the same. I started playing at a young age so my improvement was not just on improving a skill set but growing bigger enabling me to hit the ball farther.

For me it was my ball striking that improved ahead of my short game and putting. Every year I got a little longer and a little more accurate as I worked on improving my swing. My ballstriking is what got me below a 10 handicap and it was my short game and course management that got me below a 5 handicap.

The last piece to reaching near scratch level for me was putting. Although I've never been a +5 handicap player I usually put up a handful of rounds in the 60's each year. On those days I'll hit a couple more fairways, a couple more greens and make a couple more putts than usual. It doesn't take a whole lot to turn a 72 into a 68, or vice versa,,lol!
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