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To golfers who score in the 70s - What's your story?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I am very interested in golfers who score in the 70s. How did they get to that point?

 

If you score in the 70s, can you please share your story? I would greatly appreciate any post at all explaining your path to breaking and consistently scoring in the 70s, but if you want some ideas, this is what I'm particularly interested in:

 

1) How long did it take to break 70? If it took you 2 years, was that 2 years from the first time you picked up a golf club, or did you just play around for the first year and then take the second year seriously?

 

2) What methods did you follow? Did you pick and choose from different instructors, books, DVDs, or even just watching tips on the golf channel? Did you follow a single set method/book/DVD/instructor and follow it like it was your bible?

 

3) What does it take to score in the 70s consistently (in your opinion of course)? A consistent swing? A good mental game? 70% mechanics 30% mental? Please share.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 63

I played in high school and shot consistently in the 90's and then when I graduated I stopped playing due to college. Pretty much 10 years later I started getting into it again and a situation came up and I was asked if I would be willing to coach our varsity golf team which I jumped at. This was 5 years ago and I said, well, if I'm gonna be the coach I better be able to play well and know what I'm doing. My first year back I was shooting what I did in high school by the end of the season. The second year I got myself shooting in the mid 80's. The last two years I was shooting upper 70's to low 80's. This year I am now shooting low 70's consistently. I am not a long ball hitter at all, average drive is between 230-250. I have spent a lot of time on my putting, I rarely have worse then a 2 putt and average around mid to low 20's for my putts per round.

 

The biggest key for me was being able to hit the ball where I want with the driver. I struggled for the past four years with a serious slice with my driver, I would hit 180 yards and it would be way, way right. This past winter I worked hard on learning to work the ball. This year I can now play a fade, slice, hook, and draw when I want and put it where I want. Still have mis-hits like we all do but they are not mis-hits that can't be recovered from. Also my mis-hits tend to be the ball doesn't turn and goes straight, can't complain..lol. The other big key was the short game, if you want to be in the 70's you can be okay with the driver and irons but if you can't guarantee more often then not you will get up and down you won't stay int he 70's. 

 

So what are my keys, not to be to serious, laugh off the bad shots and have short term memory, I get frustrated with a bad shot but the minute I am pulling or walking up to the next ball that is where my focus is no matter where I am. I have never had a formal lesson and take bit and pieces from watching good golfers, our local pro that offers me tips, teaching the kids, and watching the golf shows and reading books. For me was having a consistently repeatable swing, might not be the best or most efficient but I can repeat it. The final piece is confidence, when I step up to a shot I am confident in what I am going to hit and where and I hit it. If I am putting it's always a one putt, every putt is going in. Anyway, just a few of my own journey ramblings..lol.

post #3 of 63

1.  It took me little over 2 years to break 70 from the first time I ever picked up a club.  I was a late starter.  I didn't start playing golf till my mid 20s but, the guys who got me to play were single digit to scratch golfers.  I took it seriously from the first day I am very competitive and hate losing.
 

2.  I pretty much was self taught and my swing was nothing pretty till around 2 1/2 years I started trying different swing methods and taking lessons.

 

3.  It takes a pretty sound swing to be able to shoot in the 70s and the better the player I think then it becomes alot more mental than mechanical.  I still don't shoot 70s everytime I play and I've shot as high as 89 earlier this year.

 

Biggest things I think worked for me was playing with better players and learning different shots and techniques they used.  Lessons helped a great deal it's just trusting the changes I'm making and not getting frustrated when I hit a bad shot.  I find my mental game now is probably around 90% of how I'm going to play for the day. 

post #4 of 63

I like this thread as I am also curious. I feel like I am too good to have not broken 70. I feel like my biggest problem is consistency. Im keeping an eye on this thread.

post #5 of 63

As a 7 I am right on the cusp of your target group. I shoot 77-82 so my responses should be weighted accordingly.

 

I started playing @ age 25 and I am 37 now. I started getting into the 70s with decent regularity only this year. I've always taken it seriously but it was not until June of '10 that I got to a place in my life both professionally and geographically that I could actually work on my game at times other than during rounds on the weekend. Basically I moved to a great area that has a country club and facilities that allow me to play practice rounds and actually work on my game along with the fact that I was working from home a lot so could get to the course by 5 any day I wanted.

 

I have never had a lesson. I am self taught. I played baseball through college so I at least had certain skills and attributes that helped in the transition. I also don't do instructional books and such. Call me stubborn but I wanted to figure it out on my own. I think in my mind I thought "Hell I could hit a 90 mph fastball so I should be able to figure out how to hit a ball sitting on a tee". And 12 years later I can :)

 

The only book that has ever helped me was "Your Perfect Swing" by Jim Suttie. Basically it educated me on the different swing styles and attributes of each and helped me stay focused on my swing and not constantly change it to something I saw somewhere.

 

What it takes for me is solid tee shots. That is both long and accurate. When I am wild off the tee I will not break 80. Long to me is 275 playing from the blues but its not just driver. The fairway woods and long irons need to work on short par 4s and other lay up type holes. After that it is all about short game. If you hit those solid tee shots more than likely you will be near or on the green in good shape but now you have to get the ball in the hole. Up and downs are probably the biggest thing for me. I don't make a lot of birdies (less than 2 per round right now) so I can't afford to many bogies and I miss quite a few greens (only hitting 8 GIRs per round) so when I miss a green I need to get up and down most of the time. I also have to be lights out from 5ft or less. This goes hand in hand with the up and downs but will also occasionally help finish off a two putt. Lag putting is the other key. I have to be able to get the ball inside that 5ft circle and preferably to tap in range 8 out of 10 times. If I do that I will also occasionally make some simply through probability (the hole is in that circle somewhere).

 

Finally, as I have posted about recently is the mental part and specifically the grind. I don't always have my best game so being able to mentally toughen up and grind out some pars is big. Stay calm, don't panic, change your course management strategy etc to fit the game that is there on that day. Lately that has led me to a few nice scores (2 80s exactly) that I really had no business shooting. I love it when I say my score at the end of the round and my friend says "Really, I thought you played like sh!t". I say, "I did but I stayed tough and fought through it."

 

So that's my story. I'd love to hear from guys who are 5 or less because you are really shooting 70s unlike my 50/50 thing.

post #6 of 63

1.

I quit baseball and started playing golf in 8th grade.  I shot 79 one time my freshman year on a relatively easy course, par 71.  I hadn't really started to take golf seriously yet, and I had no way of getting to a course to practice outside of my high school season, because I couldn't drive yet.  At this point, 4 years later, I very rarely don't shoot 70's on any course.   I assumed you meant break 80, now if you meant break 70, I just did that for the first time today.  I shot 68 in a tournament today to win by 7 shots.  That would be... 5 years since I started playing.  2 years since I started playing seriously.

 

2.

My dad is the one that taught me how to play.  I learned about 96% of what I know from him, and I got the other 4% from the one or two pros I've taken lessons from.  I've probably only had about 4 lessons in my life.  I've also read some books on the mental game, because I have struggled with confidence.  I read Golf Is A Game Of Confidence, by Bob Rotella, and Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect, also by Bob Rotella, great books.  I'd recommend them.  They are instructional and fun to read, because he just tells stories in them basically.  

 

3.

In my opinion, you need to have somewhat sound mechanics, but I don't think that is the key.  I've played with tons of high school golfers and seen some very strange swings.  Among those strange swings I've still seen quite a few 70's.  Obviously it doesn't hurt if you have Rory's swing, but I don't think it's completely necessary.  I think you should get a swing that is decent, and then it's all about practice.  You have to practice the short game to shoot 70's every time you play.  That's what it all comes down to.  You will have days where you hit 13+ greens, but those will be rare.  Getting up and down is a must.  And on the mental aspect.... I think this is huge.  If you trust your swing when you stand up to the ball, and you aren't afraid of that pond you have to carry to get to the green on a 200 yard par 3, or that OB on the left of the long par 5, it will help your game immensely.  I've started to get better with this now, and my scores are just flying down.  In the end, it takes determination, practice, and mental strength to shoot in the 70's consistently in my opinion.   The swing is very important, too, but I don't think it should be the main focus.  Unless it is absolutely dreadful.

post #7 of 63

1) How long did it take to break 70? If it took you 2 years, was that 2 years from the first time you picked up a golf club, or did you just play around for the first year and then take the second year seriously?

 

The first time I broke 70 was my Junior year of high school.  I've been swinging a club since I was 6 months old, but I didn't start playing seriously until I was about 10 years old. (Tournaments and such.) The first time I shot in the 70's was my freshman year of high school. 

 

2) What methods did you follow? Did you pick and choose from different instructors, books, DVDs, or even just watching tips on the golf channel? Did you follow a single set method/book/DVD/instructor and follow it like it was your bible?

 

I've had one lesson all my life, and that was a grip change.  Other than that, i've only learned from high school and college golf coaches, but for the most part I taught myself.  I would watch Tiger Woods videos for hours because his swing is what I would want to emulate.  At a young age (12), I would always record my swing, put it side by side with Tiger's and then just fix what looked wrong.  It helps that I am very athletic.  I've played basketball and football for about as long as i've played golf. 

 

3) What does it take to score in the 70s consistently (in your opinion of course)? A consistent swing? A good mental game? 70% mechanics 30% mental? Please share.

 

Hmm, this is a great question!  For me, it is about 90% mental, 10% physical.  I don't ever try to "fix" my swing during a round, i just take what my swing is giving me because it is usually consistent, whether it be consistently straight, fade, draw, slice, hook, whatever.  I fix whatever I need to ON THE RANGE.  I also tend to play smartly.  I don't go for sucker pins and I take my time, especially with club choice.  If I even think about clubbing up, I go ahead and do it, cause i'd rather have enough club to get there than hit a perfect shot and it end up short.  Like the saying goes, "Play smarter, not harder."  Last little mental note, stay calm.  Don't get mad just because you hit ONE bad shot.  If you stay mad, that one bad shot can lead to several more bad shots, whereas if you keep level-headed, you can easily come back with a birdie, and get yourself back in the zone.  Also, short game, short game, short game.  Sand saves, up and downs, etc. will get you in the 70's quickly.  Other than that, work at the game.  If you don't like where your golf game is, fix it.  Don't be a weekend warrior, buy a range card, figure out what's wrong with you swing, and if you have the finances, find a teacher that you like and are comfortable with and get to work! 

 

I'm hoping to be near scratch handicap at the end of this season.  I know it'll take a lot of work because of the "plateau curse", but i'm ready to work at it.  Just my 2 cents. 

 

Edit: One thought to leave you with, work from the bottom up. This means, putting > chipping > pitching > approaching > driving

post #8 of 63

Started 4 years ago, but only played till the 8th of june that year, then had a bad knee injury while running, and required immediate surgery, putting me out of action for the rest of the summer. My second year, I spent most of the winter building a swing from hogans 5 fundamentals. It was my ONLY resource for all of 2010. With this, I got down to shooting mid to high 80's. worked through that winter, to the middle of last July. Thats when I went looking for a full time swing coach. Took lessons with 5 different pro's, finally narrowing it down to two, then one when I realised which pro was working better for me. Since then, i've been working with him 2-3 times a week, every week, indoors in the winter, outside in the summer (except for every 4th lesson, which is on the trackman w/ V1 sports software). Worked hard with him, and by the end of last season, I was shooting in the low 80's regularly. Spent all winter working with him, and then broke 80 very early this season (I think it was my third or 4th round this year. From there, i've been working relentlessly. Playing 4-6 rounds a week most weeks, plus 2-3 lessons, and usually at least 4-500 balls a day at the range on days I dont play, and ~200 balls on days I only play 18. I broke 70 for the first time on my home course yesterday, and regularly shoot 73-78.

 

I will say (and im not trying to brag or anything) that I am an athlete, and in better shape then I was even at 18. I run 6 miles 4 days a week, and go to the gym on those mornings as well. Plus my job requires me to train with collegiate athletes from September to May, and a couple of my own clients (2 NHL hopefulls with a great shot) that I work with year round.

 

Luckily I have summers off, and was born in a family with some wealth, so i've been able to afford all of this. And on top of my love of the game, my ultimate goal is to turn pro (no, I have no delusions of being on the PGA or Webb.com tour), play summers on the canadian tour for fun, but mainly im using it as a vehicle to perfect my golfswing and learn enough about it to be able to train golfers, on top of the hockey and baseball players I work with. But, before I take the step of turning pro, I want to qualify and play in the Canadian Amateur Championship. Taking my first step in two weeks, playing in my provincial amateur championship. A top 3 there would get me in to next years Canadians, so hopefully I can make it! (follow my thread in Golf Talk forum to see my progress). But if I dont qualify this year, next year i'll be going to q school for the cantour.

post #9 of 63

It all started one quiet morning in the suburbs of Denver Colorado on my 4th birthday. As I tore through the brightly colored paper wrapping of my birthday gifts, I came across a longer box than the rest, one which would change my life forever. Inside the box sat a carefully machine crafted set of plastic golf clubs. A magnificent yellow driver, a green iron, and a bright blue putter. By the end of that fateful day, I was out of those plastic golf balls because I had hit them all over the fence, an issue that plagues me to this very day.

 

1) I didn't play a lot of golf after that. I played enough to develop a good swing. My dad was a pro and my grandpa was a single digit handicap so it was only natural. I was a 15 handicap in 8th grade. I broke 80 a few times in high school golf but never consistently and didn't really care. I got the bug really bad 2 summers ago, I spent that entire summer recovering from a back injury, at the end of last summer after a solid month of practicing or playing 5 days a week I finally started breaking 80 occasionally but only got down to a 9. This summer again after a ton of work, I have started to break 80 on a regular basis, especially in the last month.

 

2) My methods were originally just the methods that my dad and grandpa taught me when I was young. But more recently, and more effectively, I have used this website, a camera phone, and a ton of range time to get consistently below 80. That is pretty much it. This site has helped me so much. The things that the forum leaders posts (swing thoughts forum) are absolutely amazing. They often completely flipped my thinking about the game upside down, and for good reason. Learning the true ball flight laws makes it so much easier to diagnose your own swing. Learning that a slower putt makes the hole larger than a putt that you try to ram into the back of the cup. Things I had never thought about before that have really made me a good golfer. I never payed for a lesson, and I've taken my handicap from 14 to a 7.5 in a year (only 3 months of which have I really put in a lot of effort). I will be closer to a 5 next revision and I hope to be even lower than that by the end of this summer more than anything, thanks to this site.

 

3) It takes dedication to practice. You have to learn the full swing. I never really broke 80 because of my short game like I think a lot of people do, I break 80 because I hit a lot of GIRs, and I only hit GIRs when I hit Fs. I can't put numbers on mechanics vs mental, but it's all mechanics. Get the mechanics down, become consistent by banging balls, and the mental part will naturally improve because you know you have the mechanics to execute.

 

I'm obviously on the high end of the 70s but I am trending downwards (good time to win money).

post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8golf View Post

Hello,

 

I am very interested in golfers who score in the 70s. How did they get to that point?

 

If you score in the 70s, can you please share your story? I would greatly appreciate any post at all explaining your path to breaking and consistently scoring in the 70s, but if you want some ideas, this is what I'm particularly interested in:

 

1) How long did it take to break 70? If it took you 2 years, was that 2 years from the first time you picked up a golf club, or did you just play around for the first year and then take the second year seriously?

 

2) What methods did you follow? Did you pick and choose from different instructors, books, DVDs, or even just watching tips on the golf channel? Did you follow a single set method/book/DVD/instructor and follow it like it was your bible?

 

3) What does it take to score in the 70s consistently (in your opinion of course)? A consistent swing? A good mental game? 70% mechanics 30% mental? Please share.

 

Thanks!

1) I started playing when I was 13 and my first round in the 70s came when I was 16. When I turned 18 I was a 4 or 5 handicap 

 

2) I was taught initially by my father but I started working with a local pro after 2 years which I made my biggest handicap jump at 17 I went from a 12 to a 7. This was partly due to taking lessons as it helped me develop a stock shot but the other reason was a I grew a lot so I started hitting further. The bonus was not being able to hit it very far my father alway made me practice my short game non stop. 

 

3) A consistent swing is a big part of it but shooting in 70s requires you to be fairly good at all aspects of the game. The biggest mental thing I think of is if you are having an off day can you grind a decent score by over coming some bad shots.

post #11 of 63

First shot in the 70's nearly 20 years ago and was fairly consistent mid to upper 70's.took some time away from the game but started playing more in the past couple years, I actually think I may be a little better now than I was 20 years ago since my index is from a fairly tough course and if I was at one of the other public courses I think I may be closer to a 4 index. For me consistent driving of the ball plays a big part cause it always gives me the best chance for a good approach, I have never been a good iron player and I think that's whats keeping me from getting really low but good enough to hit greens and if I do miss I usually miss where I can get up and down.I think to be able to break 80 a player needs to have at least one part of the game down pretty good, for me it's driving the ball in play I don't claim to be long but I'm definitely not a short hitter either right about 260.For me though I think I have pretty much hit the wall and am gonna have to take some lessons before summer is up, I actually was starting to hit my irons pretty straight and consistent for about a month and I can feel things starting to lapse again despite the efforts at the range, theres probably about 5 or 6 things going on that need work but I think if I can get 2 or 3 fixed and on the right track my game should be in a lot better shape.

post #12 of 63

When I played last some 25 years ago I was scaring upper 70's rounds most of the time.

 

What got me there?  36-45 holes a week along with at least an hour on the range each week.

 

1. Driving.  I was long, 275 + with a wood!  But it was my accuracy along with a predictable ball flight that made the difference.  Distance does help but accuracy and keeping the ball in play in the fairway along with properly playing each hole is the key.  Not every hole requires you to haul off and crush a drivers.

 

2. Short game.  In a nutshell, your short game is what saves your skin.

 

3. Putting.  This goes without saying.  3 putts are a no-no and the more 1 putts you have will get you to 70 quick.  Part of that comes from #2 above.

post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8golf View Post

Hello,

 

I am very interested in golfers who score in the 70s. How did they get to that point?

 

If you score in the 70s, can you please share your story? I would greatly appreciate any post at all explaining your path to breaking and consistently scoring in the 70s, but if you want some ideas, this is what I'm particularly interested in:

 

1) How long did it take to break 70? If it took you 2 years, was that 2 years from the first time you picked up a golf club, or did you just play around for the first year and then take the second year seriously?

 

2) What methods did you follow? Did you pick and choose from different instructors, books, DVDs, or even just watching tips on the golf channel? Did you follow a single set method/book/DVD/instructor and follow it like it was your bible?

 

3) What does it take to score in the 70s consistently (in your opinion of course)? A consistent swing? A good mental game? 70% mechanics 30% mental? Please share.

 

Thanks!

 

I don't think I can really answer your question definitively.  I didn't start playing golf seriously until I was in my late 30's.  Through the years since then I've shot a lot of rounds in the 70's, but because of an erratic full swing, most of those have come on courses which I know fairly well.  I've learned on those courses where to temper my aggression so that I don't get myself into trouble unnecessarily, and I know the green complexes well enough to maximize my recovery efforts.  My success on less familiar courses tends to be more in the low to mid 80's when I'm playing my average game, just because I lose a few strokes to being in the places from which I can't dependably play recover shots.  My erratic swing kept my handicap around 10-11 most of the last 25 years.  It was only my short game which allowed to to be that low, and on those days when the swing was working okay (it's never been great - I've never even once hit more greens in regulation than I missed in  a single round), breaking 80 seemed quite easy. 

 

What I can say is that my epiphany came quite abruptly during my first summer playing tournament golf in my home course Mens Club.  I had gotten into the habit on tournament days of stopping by another course on the way to warm up on their chipping green - at the time my course didn't have one.  This always seemed to be the most effective way for me to warm up for a round.  For whatever reason, hitting balls on the range was either useless or even detrimental to my game - it still is.  I had brought my handicap down from 19 to 16 through the season, and had opened the first weekend of the Club Championship playing well, shooting 84-85, a bit below my handicap for the first 2 rounds.  The second weekend that short game practice suddenly paid off in spades.  Round 3 I shot 73, still the best round of my life.  Round 4 I shot 76 with my first Ace.  Since I was in the 3rd flight, I certainly wasn't vying for club champion, but I won my flight and got the trophy for net champion.  From that day on my handicap dropped rapidly to 10, even dipped to 9 for a little while, but that was it.  The next tournament was one where our mens club played against the mens club of our sister course.  I shot my first sub 80 round away from my home course that weekend, carding a 77 there.

 

I give the credit for my success to my short game, but I blame my failure to ever go beyond that on my erratic long game.  Despite shooting a lot of rounds in the mid to high 70's, I could never do it consistently enough to counter those mid 80's scores and become a consistent single digit handicap.  I even began this season with 3 of my first 6 rounds in the 70's, with the other 3 all below 85.  One round last year I played the first 11 holes on my home course in 3 under par, but finished the last 7 holes at bogey golf for a 4 over par 76.

 

I am essentially self taught.  I've read a few books, maybe the most influential was "Golf My Way" by Jack Nicklaus.  I spent a lot, and I mean a LOT, of time playing from practice bunkers, chipping and pitching, and playing the little par 3 course which is part of my home course complex.  While I have put in range time, I never enjoyed, and mostly just got bored there.  It was playing and practicing my short game where I really had fun.  And the par 3 course let me play holes from 80 yards to 195 yards, so I used all of my irons, played lots of bunker shots, and generally taught myself how to score from 150 yards in.

 

So from this I guess I would have to conclude that you need a complete game to consistently break 80.  Having consistency in half of your game can lead to some good rounds, but you will rarely break 80 on those days when the weaker part of your game lets you down.  I will say that I still believe that a solid short game paired with an average long game pays better dividends overall than the other way around.


Edited by Fourputt - 7/28/12 at 10:14am
post #14 of 63

Before I start, I've only broken into the 70's 3 times but I shoot usually around 82-84. I played in high school and the first time I ever played was when I tried out for the team. I made it because they really didn't have enough people anyway lol. But I played for 2 years in high school and after high school I only played maybe 5-10 rounds a year at most. Then last year I decided I wanted to become a decent golfer. 

 

So I started off in the low 100's high 90's with a goal of breaking into the 80's at some point last year. I played about 60 rounds last year and about 30 rounds in I broke into the 80's and stayed there, posting a low round of 81. This year came around it was the same thing, I set a goal of breaking into the 70's and have done that 3 times so far, and a bunch of 81, 82 scores. I have also played a lot more this year as I got a membership at my local course and have already played 60 rounds. The biggest help was getting my swing down and making small adjustments as I went a long. Even now I still make adjustments. And the 2nd biggest help was getting better within 100 yards of the pin. I picked up 2 wedges, a 54 and 58 degree and really learned how to hit those. And when I'm playing well and my whole game is clicking I'll shoot in the 70's to low 80's

post #15 of 63

I've been playing for 9 years now, I'm 22.  Broke 70 the first time sometime in high school.  

 

Consistency is of course the biggest factor.  Another major key is avoiding big scores completely, I'll go 5 or more rounds with nothing worse than a bogey carded, so damage control is a big part of shooting low.  I'm sure you've noticed how pros can spray it all over the place one day and still shoot 72-75 or even under par, they by no means hit every fairway or green.  I'd say it's 50/50 mechanics and mental.  You have to have a mechanically correct, repeatable swing of course but you also have to have the attitude of "I know I'm gonna hit it solid and where I'm aiming" and just focus on the shot itself.  Believe you're gonna sink every putt inside 25 feet.  

 

awmgolfer had great advice as well.  When most people hit a few bad shots in their mind the round is over.  Sometimes i'll play the first 4 holes without hitting one good shot and be 2 over or something, but you have to forget it and go into that next shot with confidence like you're 2 under.  And yea, keeping your drive at least in play is pretty crucial.

post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutter View Post

I've been playing for 9 years now, I'm 22.  Broke 70 the first time sometime in high school.  

 

Consistency is of course the biggest factor.  Another major key is avoiding big scores completely, I'll go 5 or more rounds with nothing worse than a bogey carded, so damage control is a big part of shooting low.  I'm sure you've noticed how pros can spray it all over the place one day and still shoot 72-75 or even under par, they by no means hit every fairway or green.  I'd say it's 50/50 mechanics and mental.  You have to have a mechanically correct, repeatable swing of course but you also have to have the attitude of "I know I'm gonna hit it solid and where I'm aiming" and just focus on the shot itself.  Believe you're gonna sink every putt inside 25 feet.  

 

awmgolfer had great advice as well.  When most people hit a few bad shots in their mind the round is over.  Sometimes i'll play the first 4 holes without hitting one good shot and be 2 over or something, but you have to forget it and go into that next shot with confidence like you're 2 under.  And yea, keeping your drive at least in play is pretty crucial.

 

Important advice here - being able to move beyond a bad hole and salvage a round.  I've started at 6 over in the first 3 holes with a quad bogey 8 on the 3rd, then played the next 15 holes in 2 over to card an 80.  I've also shot 104 when carrying a 10 handicap. d4_w00t.gif The most difficult thing in the world is to keep playing and finish when you are a hopeless basket case (it was the first round of the 1992 club championship - the second weekend that year I carded both rounds in the 70's).

post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8golf View Post

Hello,

I am very interested in golfers who score in the 70s. How did they get to that point?

If you score in the 70s, can you please share your story? I would greatly appreciate any post at all explaining your path to breaking and consistently scoring in the 70s, but if you want some ideas, this is what I'm particularly interested in:

1) How long did it take to break 70? If it took you 2 years, was that 2 years from the first time you picked up a golf club, or did you just play around for the first year and then take the second year seriously?

I've had three golfing 'careers':

- Started playing in 2/89 with very little experience (some scrambles previously). I broke 80 on a par 71 track in 11/89. It was an easy municipal course, but it was still a 78. Don't remember the course rating. I quit playing completely until I joined a club in '99. I think it was June/July.

- First round after joining the new club in '99, I didn't break 100. Broke 80 for the first time there on 5/10/2000 (78, 71.9/122). I still remember some key shots from that round.

I just looked for (and found) some notebooks I kept from all those years ago. Funny to look back at them.

I quit playing in 2006 after an injury. I didn't play a round again until mid-spring of this year. Since then, I've either played or hit balls at least 5 days/week.Took me about 4-5 weeks to break 80 this time around.
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2) What methods did you follow? Did you pick and choose from different instructors, books, DVDs, or even just watching tips on the golf channel? Did you follow a single set method/book/DVD/instructor and follow it like it was your bible?

Both the first and second go around, I read some golf mags and took maybe a handful of lessons before breaking 80. I played a lot and practiced a good bit in '99-'00, though. No lessons - or any plans for lessons - this time around.
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3) What does it take to score in the 70s consistently (in your opinion of course)? A consistent swing? A good mental game? 70% mechanics 30% mental? Please share.

- Gotta make solid contact with the ball and avoid chunky monkeys and thin rockets around the green. You don't have to hit it pure every time, but you really can't afford to give away shots by hitting 150 yard approaches 30 yards or hitting it 50 yards when you need the ball to go 50 feet. There's a little more room for that when trying to break 90.

- Three putt avoidance is important. They add up fast.

- Staying out of trouble and avoiding penalty shots is a key for me. I'm not Seve, so constantly bending it around trees and having to hit miracle shots will eventually take its toll on my score. I'll go ahead and take bogey if going for it might lead to double (or worse). I try to play the percentages.

- By the same token, making double (or worse) doesn't ruin a round. I don't let it get in my head that it does

- I'm not that long off the tee (no 300 yard drives here), so finding the short grass and letting my short game carry the load is how I play.

- IMO, once a golfer is making good contact with the ball, course management becomes very important. I play with whatever I brought to the course that day, and I don't fight my swing during a round.

- I let go of previous shots, good or bad. I can't change the past or control the future - I can only play the shot I have right now.

- Once a golfer is scaring 80, I think it becomes more mental than mechanics at that point, at least on the course. Don't know what percentage of each. A consistent swing is important, of course. I just try to get the ball in the hole and save the 'thinking about my swing' for the range.

- Maybe it's cliche, but it isn't about how good I hit it that will determine my score. It will almost always be how well I control my misses.

- Similar to a previous point, I have to make sure I don't become results oriented. If/when I do, I invariably screw up.

- More cliches, but indifference will cost me shots. I have to commit to my swing in order to score. I'd rather hit the wrong club well than the right club poorly.

- I've got to keep my head in the game. I don't need to bear down and concentrate for 3-4 hours, but when it's my turn to hit, I have to focus 100% on my shot. Weird, random thoughts will make my dumb ass forget something. I try to keep the hot beverage cart babe away from me when I'm up ;)

That's all just me....YMMV.
post #18 of 63

To consistently break 80, there is 1 main area of your game you must work on…SHORT GAME.  The best players in the world practice their short game more than any other aspect of their game.  Short game (inside 100 yards) accounts for 60%-70% of all your shots in a round, so it would only make sense that working on this is the area would cut the most strokes off your game the quickest.

 

Here are a couple tips on what and how to practice short game:

  1. Short Putts- Practice from 3-5 feet until you can make these putts without thinking.  When you are on the course, recall the visual of the ball going in the hole during practice. (save 3-5 shots per round) 
  2. Lag Putts- Practice lag/longer putts while staring at the hole and not looking at the ball.  I know this seems different and maybe strange to some, but think of this, all other sports you are looking at your target before you perform the action (i.e. Basketball, Baseball, Football, etc.).  This will help your mind and body get in-sync with proper distance control.  (save 3-5 shots per round)
  3. Chipping- Start with your Wedges (LW, SW, PW) and work all the way through bag to your 3 wood.  Understanding how far each club goes with the same amount of effort helps you gage chipping from different distances.  (save 3-5 shots per round)
  4. Pitching- Place golf balls all around the Pitching Green and vary distances and lies (uphill, downhill, sidehill, buried, fluffed, etc.) and try to get up and down from each location.  This will mimic the various types of shots you encounter on the golf course.  (save 4-6 shots per round)
  5. Wedges from 100 yards and in- Find a target that you know the distance exactly.  Practice hitting shots with about 80% power with each Wedge until you find the most consistent Wedge/Distance combination (i.e. I hit my 56 Degree about 85 yards every time with a smooth swing).  This will be your “go to” shot each time you choose to lay-up on Par 5’s and short Par 4’s.  When it comes to crunch time, you will know you have this shot! (save 3-5 shots per round)

 

Taking this part of your game seriously will drastically improve you scores and you should be in the 70’s inside a season (granted your practicing or playing 2-4 times per week).  Good luck and Play Hard!

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