or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Tips on shooting scratch golf?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Tips on shooting scratch golf? - Page 3

post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Precis1on View Post


Yea, but to get to scratch, most people need to get their primary shot shape down before they can start shaping the ball both ways. I can normally adjust my setup to move the ball differently (luckily), but in general when I can play a draw, I play the draw.

you are both right. Playing the stock shot on the course is usually the best option (although in less of a majority than you would think).

 

But learning happens faster when the brain has more information and reference points, even if those points are far away from what you deem ideal. This has been seen in numerous sporting and skill endeavours. But as with everything, there is a balance

post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Young View Post

I agree and disagree. I was talking more about having the ability to do it, and practising it more off the course, over actually hitting different shapes on the course.

I think it's pretty easy to learn to shape the ball - for use in a pinch - if you can hit a single shape pretty easily. It then just becomes a matter of making the same swing with different clubface and body alignments (though for the big curves, which are really rare and almost never practiced by anyone, your swing shape will change too).

Anyway, I don't devote a lot of my practice time to shaping shots, but I can hit them on the course when I need to because I understand basic swing geometry.
post #39 of 63

Look at McDowell at the Open, he talked how he learned to cut the ball for that tourniment, and then he had trouble hitting his draw because he's been cutting it so much. I think its to hard to bend the ball at will for most players, i think that got Tiger in trouble as well. He was really good for two days, but its really really hard to keep up, trying to hit low cuts, high draws, low draws, high fades, all the time. Even for McDowell, he couldn't get his ball back to a draw.

post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

Look at McDowell at the Open, he talked how he learned to cut the ball for that tourniment, and then he had trouble hitting his draw because he's been cutting it so much. I think its to hard to bend the ball at will for most players, i think that got Tiger in trouble as well. He was really good for two days, but its really really hard to keep up, trying to hit low cuts, high draws, low draws, high fades, all the time. Even for McDowell, he couldn't get his ball back to a draw.

exactly the point, even a top level golfer had trouble controlling the ball as he wanted, because he stuck to only practising one shape. If you get stuck in the mode of hitting only one shape, you lose your ability to control it when it goes a little wrong. He lost the feeling for the draw cos he was practising the fade so much - if he had practised both then he would have been able to get the feeling back easily.

 

It's a double edged sword though. hitting one shot can make you better at that one shot, but at the cost of a 'toolbox' when you need it. constantly varying all the time may not be the best for getting that 'one shot' downpat (although a lot of research shows more favourably on random practice and performance imrpovements.

 

Thats why I would recommend a more balanced approach and work on both.

post #41 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


I think it's pretty easy to learn to shape the ball - for use in a pinch - if you can hit a single shape pretty easily. It then just becomes a matter of making the same swing with different clubface and body alignments (though for the big curves, which are really rare and almost never practiced by anyone, your swing shape will change too).
Anyway, I don't devote a lot of my practice time to shaping shots, but I can hit them on the course when I need to because I understand basic swing geometry.

 

hitting the shape is one thing - controlling the shape is a different cat. As you know from your trackman data, the same clubface/path combo will curve differing amounts depending on what club used. So the feeling to hit the ball 'less left' would be different with an iron to a driver. You will better refine thee things when practising them directly.

 

Although a lot of it is your belief system. If you believe something will make you better, it probably will. Your methods will work just as well for your players as mine do for mine, if you sell it correctly 

post #42 of 63

Solid mental game.

 

Efficiency, tendencies, good decisions, corrections, controlling your emotions, visualization, committing to the shot at hand, etc.

 

Think of it like a business man or a baseball GM...percentages, percentages, percentages.

 

You can use those things to make a general plan for a certain hole, round, course, etc.  You can figure out what you need to practice most at certain times, what shot to hit to have the best results, what clubs to keep/drop from the bag, etc.

 

Not that i am scratch, but being detailed can help anybody....if you are a 26 handicap and you can't hit your 3 wood, you have a better percentage to get par by hitting 7 iron than hitting a good approach shot.  If you have used your driver on a certain hole, but have played from trouble a few times that week, then go with a different club off the tee.  If you have struggled hitting your irons a week after making a minor adjustment consider that you might have been better with what you were doing before. 

 

And i will add one more thing i think Tiger Woods said- "Let everybody else make the mistakes."  Maybe easier said than done, but maybe a good way to think about managing the course. 

post #43 of 63

Well i think its hard to keep hitting fades and draws over and over. Most courses, you can play one way or another. That course was very unique that it required shaping alot of shots. I honestly rather play one shot shape, and know how to curve it the other when i get into trouble. This of course means i need to be aware of were i place the ball in the fairway so i can use my go to shot alot more than the other. If you draw the ball, but constantly hit it in spots were you need to fade it, its not your shot shape thats the problem, but your course management

post #44 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

Well i think its hard to keep hitting fades and draws over and over. Most courses, you can play one way or another. That course was very unique that it required shaping alot of shots. I honestly rather play one shot shape, and know how to curve it the other when i get into trouble. This of course means i need to be aware of were i place the ball in the fairway so i can use my go to shot alot more than the other. If you draw the ball, but constantly hit it in spots were you need to fade it, its not your shot shape thats the problem, but your course management

 

I understand what you are saying. But it is not about being able to do it on the golf course as much as it is about having the precise feeling for where the clubhead is at any point during the swing. It is more of a subconsciuos thing over something you are aware of or trying to do it. But by practising shaping it refines and develops your feel further, so that when it comes to calibrating a straight shot, your brain uses that information from the fades and draws to help.

 

Although purely anecdotal, I often have times where I hit a shot, but after the shot I can analyse the swing and say "wow, I took it back really closed/open there, how the hell did I hit that straight'. It's almost as if my body can feel when I take it back wrong, and at some point makes a subconscious adjustment, whether that be a less aggressive clubface release in the downswing, or an opening of the face at the top. These beneficial compensations happen more and more for me when I practice shaping, and less and less when I dont. obviously I understand that having no need for compensations would be more ideal, but this is a theoretical and unachievable task.

 

Shaping also helps me to feel in my practice swing what would the result be. I have a heightened awareness of what shape the ball would be from the shaping i do in practice. This is VERY beneficial. 

 

The other main benefit is the 'toolbox' to control your shot becomes much more developed. If I am playing and an undesirable pattern emerges (such as the ball starts going 15 meters more left that I like) then I have tools that can bring that shape under control. I have 'tools' that can help me bring the ball 5 meters, 10 meters, 15 and 20 meters more one way or the other. My implementation of these tools gets better also with more shaping practice. 

 

I suppose the overall message is that, by practising shaping, your clubface/path awareness (mainly clubface) for the entire swing becomes heightened to a degree like never before. It then becomes easier to calibrate that stock shot you want. instead of being able to feel that the clubface is open/shut, you can feel by how many degrees.

post #45 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin18 View Post

Hello,

I am a farrrrr way off of this milestone, but hey any tips would only help bring down my score a few strokes. Even more. But what are some tips on shooting scratch golf? And what truly sets normal scratch amateurs apart from pros? I know its the mental part, but what exactly?
Thanks so much and may god bless you all! ^_^

 

IMO, the tips for shooting scratch golf for a low handicapper are no different than the tips for shooting single digit golf for a mid-handicapper.  You have to focus on executing your shots, one at a time, and managing the course within your shotmaking ability. 

 

A scratch golfer is someone who, on his/her average hole, can get to the green in regulation and two putt.  In order to do that you have to invest the time and dedication needed to hit all of those shots from tee to hole.  In the mean time, going for low percentage shots is what kills your score.  If you want to score, you have to play shots that you know you have a high percentage of making.  As you improve, those choices will increase and expand.  But, going for shots that you don't "own" will eventually cost you more strokes than they will save you.  I analogize it to the TV game show JEOPARDY.  The winner is usually the one who doesn't try to answer questions they aren't sure of. 

 

Hope that helps.

post #46 of 63

I agree that shaping is something that scratch golfers at least need to know how to do, along with their primary shot shape.

 

For an 8 handicapper like me, it's not at the forefront of my mind yet. I need to hone my stock swing to hit more fairways and more greens to put me in a better scoring position. When the time comes to shape it (dogleg left or right, stuck behind a tree, etc.) I trust my knowledge of ball flight laws to set up and aim properly to shape a shot and swing away at it. When I overcook a ball to the left (or right), I let my knowledge of ball flight laws diagnose my miss.

 

If I can get down to a -5 handicap and strike the ball dead center of the face over and over again, I think that would be a good time for me to shape when necessary. For the most part though, there's a lot of other things you can focus on if you're a 5 or above handicap in my opinion. Good ballstriking, THEN good shot shaping.

post #47 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin18 View Post

Hello,

I am a farrrrr way off of this milestone, but hey any tips would only help bring down my score a few strokes. Even more. But what are some tips on shooting scratch golf? And what truly sets normal scratch amateurs apart from pros? I know its the mental part, but what exactly?
Thanks so much and may god bless you all! ^_^

Did you read anything in this discussion that you're going to incorporate into your game?

 

Learn to do everything well, because you never know when you're going to need it, but learn one really consistent ball flight to get from tee to green without fail on the majority of courses. On any course there might be a couples holes or shots that are uncomfortable. Just manage those and you're set.

post #48 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Did you read anything in this discussion that you're going to incorporate into your game?

 

Learn to do everything well, because you never know when you're going to need it, but learn one really consistent ball flight to get from tee to green without fail on the majority of courses. On any course there might be a couples holes or shots that are uncomfortable. Just manage those and you're set.

 

I think this is consistent with my post #45 that scoring comes from playing high percentage golf. 

post #49 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limpinswinger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Did you read anything in this discussion that you're going to incorporate into your game?

 

Learn to do everything well, because you never know when you're going to need it, but learn one really consistent ball flight to get from tee to green without fail on the majority of courses. On any course there might be a couples holes or shots that are uncomfortable. Just manage those and you're set.

 

I think this is consistent with my post #45 that scoring comes from playing high percentage golf. 

I had your post (and poser's) in mind!!

post #50 of 63

Im in no way a scratch golfer, but I can tell you what has helped me make my game better, and that is on course practice. I have sort of a routine. I generally play 5 rounds of golf, then on the 6th, I have what I call a practice round. This practice round is not golf. I dont keep a score. I go out, ball in hand, and drop a couple of balls in the bad spots i've gotten into over the last 5 rounds (which I keep marked in my Yardage book), and hit a couple of shots from that area, trying to see which club, and which shot works out best for me in that position. Like I have a tendacy to hit my drive on the first hole (par 5) at my home course to the left side the fairway. This leaves me unable to see the green, with about 100 yards to the pin. A good drive would split the right side of the fairway and leave me an open 9 Iron to a very visible green. But my standard 10 yeard hook off the tee often doesn't leave me that shot. So, I hit 3 or 4 shots. I have a 100~ yards to a blind green. Should I hit a full swing 52* wedge over the trees to the green? It can work, but 3 out of 5 times, ill clip the top of the trees, knocking the ball down and leaving me with a 30 yard shot to the green. The other 2 out of 5, im on the green. But if I hit a 1/2 swing wedge up the side of the tree line, 4/5 times ill be at the back fringe/first cut of rough, for a chance at a chip in eagle, then a decent birdie chance.

 

Of course, like every golfer, I WANT to be on that par 5 in two, and leave myself an eagle putt. But if I end up down the left, I know that playing it smart, going for the GIR on my 3rd, im going to have a much, much better chance at a birdie by playing it safe than I will at an eagle if shoot over the trees. If the green was closer, I would use my 60*, as ill clear the trees almost every shot, but then I still come up short of the green and have an uphill chip on a green that is sloping towards me, forcing me to put it at the back of the green so it doesnt roll off to the front fringe.

 

So, if you can, try this at least once. I pick times where I know the course is slow (mondays are great for this at most courses near here), and while im not actually 'playing' golf, because im not keeping score, nor am I hitting tee to green. I am practicing. Its a lot of fun, it makes you think of your options, and allows you to really learn every inch of the course you are playing. I find it to be a blast, and much better practice than the range.

 

I have a lot of other examples of common misses I make at my home courses. I practice them all, and it has greatly improved not only my shot making ability, but my ability to decide the best course of action for every shot. Where I once just got up to the ball and hit, I now get up to the ball and think.

post #51 of 63

And anoth3er thing that really helped knock shots off my game is not going to the driver for every par 4 and 5. I noticed a lot of people at the course hit driver for everything but par 3's. The result is that they are all over the place.

 

If a par 4 is under 380 yards, or cuts into a hard dogleg anywhere around 250 yards, I leave the driver in the bad. I hit far straighter and more consistent off the tee with my Hybrid or 5 wood. My driver and 3 wood tend to hook badly on my mishits (working on these now with my swing coach). I can nail my 3H to about 215-220 yards down the middle almost every shot, my 4i to about  200, and my 5 wood to 230 (reshafted to give me exactly that, after a ton of launch monitor time). My Driver and 3 Wood are 270 and 245 respectively, but they are both wild. I just can't count on them, So I use them on par 5's with wide fairways, or when they leave me no other choice. Cant use a 3 hybrid on 550 yard par 5,. unless I want to hit it twice and leave a nice approach. But like I said, we all want that shot at being on the green in 2.
 

post #52 of 63

If you want to be scratch, shoot the course rating.  a1_smile.gif

 

Really, it comes down to striking the ball well, and recovering with minimal lost strokes when you hit bad shots.  If you need to hit a recovery shot 4 times a round, you're going to need to be able to spot chip pretty well (land it in a hula hoop and judge roll-out correctly) if you are a good putter, or really well (land it in a basketball) if you are just an average putter because you are going to miss a few greens.  Either you get up and down 100% of the time, or you need 3-4 birdies per round to offset those strokes.  So you need to be able to stick it in tight or make a putt on a few holes. 

 

Mentally, just practice at the edge and play within your abilities.  Don't let anything take you out of your game.  This goes for all skill levels.  Aiming at a target with a real ball that you paid $4 for can take you out of your game, for example.  You'll start steering to stay out of trouble and your swing will breakdown.  Learn to feel your swing in the foreground and watch the ball flight in the background.  Learn to play commitment golf, commit to a specific motion and let the results happen.  For example, every putt is straight, right?  You just line up square to the correct start line, aiming at a specific target, roll the ball the correct speed and it takes some curves and goes in the hole.  But there is a conscious read and an unconscious one.  If your mind unconsciously feels the putt breaks one way, but you are thinking that it breaks another way, you will find that your hands will engage at the last minute to do things to the face to get the ball online.  This is bad news.  The only way around this is to commit to missing it and making a good stroke.  This is much easier if you can align your intuition with your rational thinking.  Same goes for the full swing.  Learn your shot shape and alignments, carry and roll out yardages, put those out in front of a real flag, and commit to making your swing with a club you've committed too.

 

Played in a best-ball tournament yesterday with a friend and shot 72 on a 75.1/141 layout.  We would tell each other a yardage and then reinforce it verbally like the pros do on TV.  181 to the flag?  Yep.  What's my carry?  175 to carry the bunker.  Wind in from the left, 6-iron starting at that tree and drawing back to the pin, right?  Right.  6-iron starting at that tree.  Take it in from the right.  You sure this isn't too much club?  No.  At least a club from the wind.  7-iron puts you in that bunker at best.  6-iron is the club.  All this does is reconcile your intuition with your reasoning so you can have a confident club selection and be free to make a good swing and forget about the results.

post #53 of 63

Two things I don't know how to do yet, which might bear on the discussion.

 

1. Hit the ball on the center of the clubface with regularity.

2. Make birdies. I play to make pars. Birdies are lucky accidents. I don't know how to think about making birdies, which you need to do to play scratch. A scratch golfer can make a bogey and get the stroke back with a birdie on the next hole. If I make a bogey, it's a stroke lost forever. 

post #54 of 63

2 is not something you learn how to do. It is a result fo doing 1 (well through in a somewhat square club head)  and then getting good enough putting that you start sinking occassional 5-15ft putts. I am a bit shocked if your a 9.5 and not getting 2 or 3 birdies a round. Now maybe that is because you play a long course with a high course rating, but at ~15 I expect to have about 4-5 reasonable birdie attempts (under 20 ft putts a round) and I make 1 or 2 a round. Now I have a short par 3 (120) and 4 (325 downhill. Plays more like 250) that you might not have on my normal course.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer View Post

Two things I don't know how to do yet, which might bear on the discussion.

 

1. Hit the ball on the center of the clubface with regularity.

2. Make birdies. I play to make pars. Birdies are lucky accidents. I don't know how to think about making birdies, which you need to do to play scratch. A scratch golfer can make a bogey and get the stroke back with a birdie on the next hole. If I make a bogey, it's a stroke lost forever. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Instruction and Playing Tips
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Tips on shooting scratch golf?