or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › To golfers who score in the 70s - What's your story?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

To golfers who score in the 70s - What's your story? - Page 2

post #19 of 71
Quote:

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 started playing when I was 10 years old & was instantly hooked. I would hit balls with my dad's 5-iron at a nearby field, but here was the rub - he was right-handed, I'm a lefty. So I would turn his club upside-down with the toe on the ground & hit balls that way. Taught me creativity. I honestly do not remember the first time I broke 80, but it was somewhere around the age of 15.

 

 

Quote:

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 read two instructional books - Ben Hogan's Five Lessons, and Jack Nicklaus Golf My Way. Ben taught me technique ("Plane of glass", the grip), and Jack taught me course management, for example, learn to eliminate one side of a hole thru grooving a consistent shot shape.

 

 

Quote:

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.

 

Certainly you need a somewhat solid, repeatable swing to break 80 - something that gets the ball on or near the green in regulation. From there it's all short game, and I've always thought that was the key to breaking 80 - a solid short game. If you want to break it down to numbers, here's how I've always looked at it -

 

If you can hit half of your greens in regulation, those will take care of themselves. You'll be no worse than even par on those holes.

If the half you miss, if you can get up & down half the time, there's 4-5 pars.

That leaves 4 or 5 bogeys on the remainder. That's 76 or 77 at worse.

 

So I believe the majority of practice time should be short game. For every hour spent hitting balls with full swings, spend two hours chipping & putting. Be bulletproof with six footers...the confidence will spill over to other parts of your game.

 

Re mental game, I believe the better you get the more mental the game is, so it's hard to quantify it in terms of percentages, so look at it as a sliding scale of percentage. For a 100-shooter it's probably 90% mechanics & 10% mental. For a par shooter it's the opposite - the mechanics are good, now it's a matter of managing the course, which is all mental, so it becomes more like 10% mechanics, 90% mental. So wherever you are between 100-shooter & par shooter is where you would be on the mechanics/mental continuum.

post #20 of 71

-grove a comfortable swing

-PRACTICE YOUR SHORT GAME

-understand your ball flight

-understand your misses

 

when you get out on the course, use the knowledge you gained during your practice sessions and trust it!

 

on my home course there is almost always a spot on the hole to "bail out". i am able to manage my way around the course understanding the risk/reward of my approach shots and putting myself into positions that will allow my short game to be successful. my gameplan to keeping my score in the 70's is to not make more than 7 bogies :) as i get better i try to attack more greens/pins but thanks to my short game i can trust i am going to get up&down from around the green unless i get a bad lie or a misread green

post #21 of 71

Took me about 7 years.  That said, I started playing in my late 20's.  Took lessons but frankly did not understand what I was being taught and read/watched way too many golf instruction shows that only screwed me up more.   Just my experience, the more tips you get from people, the harder this game gets.  If I could do it over again I would have done a better search for the right instructor and stuck with him. 

 

Like others have said, short game short game short game!

 

My mistake was spending 95% of my time on the range working on a flawed swing and making it worst and not practicing chipping and putting.  I would have a good round here and there, but more times than not I did not play well.  I was essentially living a lie because I thought I was getting better but was not.  I just got lucky on certain days.

 

Fast forward to today, I think I have found the right instructor and am spending the majority of my time working on my short game.  I am now getting back to the lower 80's after struggling for the most part this year.  There is no doubt you need to have a good swing to keep the ball in play, but being able to save bad shots and learn to scramble will serve you better more than having a Rory type of swing.  I have seen numerous long ball guys who look like Pros in the fairway but look like crap on the greens.

post #22 of 71

I started playing golf at 9 years of age but as you'll appreciate it was a long time before I broke 100 let alone got near the 70's. By 16 I was shooting high 70's but then went away to college, finding beer and women along the way, golf took a back seat for a few years. I returned to golf in my early 20's and was shooting in the 80's fairly quickly. Pretty soon I was living for golf, and shooting in the high 70's within a few years.

 

At that point I was probably playing 3 or 4 rounds a week, and practicing a couple of times too.

 

By 1989, age 30, I was off 5 and shooting mid/low 70's fairly regularly, with the occasional round lower. 23 years later I play 2 or 3 times a month, and don't practice, shooting somewhere around 77-78, last week was a 71. Current average is 77.59 but in truth its my putting average that saves me at 28.68 - a fair indication that my long game is waning and its my chipping and putting that are keeping me low.

 

Its the long hours spent on the course and practice ground through the 80's and 90's that mean I can put my clubs away for weeks on end but after a couple of rounds, shoot in the 70's.

post #23 of 71

How long? Started playing in earnest at 20 years old. I'd only broken 90 once in the first 10 serious years of playing when I caught lightning in a bottle and shot a 75. Fluke does not begin to describe it. Ten years later, I'm ready to change my swing and try and get beyond being awful. First few years of the new swing, I avoided the 100's for months at a time. Broke 90 with regularity.

 

I started breaking 80 a few times a year a few years ago. This was after almost 10 years of instruction and a new swing that brought me from an 18.0 index. Last year, I stopped saving the balls from my rounds in the 70's because it was happening more often -- still not "regularly."

 

I got to the point where I am today (I guy who breaks into the 70's once in a while, by consistently working on a swing concept for 10 years and by practicing a few hour a week (last few year but not this year). I started using video once in a while on the range. I work on my putting and chipping. I try hard to avoid big numbers due to mental errors -- like getting sucked into the sucker shots. I still hit bad shots. My better rounds are the rounds where the bad shots don't cost me more than one stroke here and one stroke there.

 

But I think the biggest change was mental. I calculated my person best on each hole on my home course. I've birdied every hole and eagled four of them. So, my all time best on my home course is a 22 under par 60. The way I figure it, there is no reason I can't shoot in the 70's any time out. If I shoot 18 over my personal bests, that is still 78. Play smart. Trust my swing. Hit a lot of good putts. And somedays, more than my fair share of those good putts drop... That's when I end up in the 70's.

post #24 of 71

I'm an 18-year-old, 5'5" 145 pound scratch golfer. Here is my response:

 

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 first picked up a golf club when I was 8-years-old and played every now and then from when I was 12, but I never really took it seriously until I was 15. (I played my freshman varsity golf season with 8 junior-sized clubs. LOL with me.) I first broke into the 70's when i was almost 16, and broke 70 when I was 17. 

 

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 consider myself "self-taught" since neither of my two golf instructors lasted more than one lesson, but that really means nothing.  I can't say there was one crowning source of information, but I generally just absorbed as much information possible, but committed myself to working out the kinks myself until I found a generally solid repeatable swing.  Don't be afraid to make adjustments to find what works

 

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.

 

Ball-striking.  If you're a solid ball-striker, your short game does not have to be something outstanding, as long as you're not three-putting every green.  I am no more than adequate at my short game (which honestly separates me from elite level), but my short game is significantly shorter than most golfers I encounter.

 

And this ball striking does not need to be found by pounding balls at the range for hours.  You have to understand your swing.  I hardly every practice at the range or the putting green.  If you're the type of player who needs to discover himself on the range before the round, you will never be consistent enough to get close to scratch.  Walk onto the first tee knowing what you individually have to do to put that first ball where it needs to go, and be able to make adjustments on the fly. 

 

 

Conclusion,

 

I know people will be critical because I don't put emphasis on practice.  But the truth is I worked my way to scratch golf on the course, not on the range, because I understand my swing.  I know how to adjust, so no one will ever see me "fighting" a particular issue on a single day. 

post #25 of 71

What is breaking 80?  Is it a course rated 67.5 or 77.5.......a 10 shot difference.  We need to keep the CR in mind when discussing "breaking 80".

 

breaking 80 in a nutshell:

1. don't waste shots with chunks or tops

2. be efficient around the greens chipping and putting

 

 

 

That should be enough to break 80 on any course. 

post #26 of 71

(1.) Ball striking.

 

Ball Striking is critical.  You need to be able to keep the ball in play and hit fairways and greens consistently (above 45% on each IMO)... You don't need to be long to break 80.  But you need to be consistent and have tighter dispersion to prevent yourself from hitting into hazards and other junk that causes double bogeys on the card.

 

I hardly practice with my driver... I usually am hitting a lot of irons and focusing on my full swing (5i/6i/7i).  This has helped me learn a swing that can get me around the course and put me in position to score.  

If I'm inside 175yds... I really feel like I will have a legit look at birdie.  And at least get it near the hole - or somewhere on the green.

 

(2.) Short Game.

 

Once you get on or around the green - you need to be able to get the ball into the hole.  Therefore, Pitching / Chipping / Putting aka Short Game is key... Turn Bogeys into Pars with a quality short game by getting up and down.  And I can't tell you how many times I've birdied Par 5's where I was able to get up and down leaning on my short game.  It is a big part of being able to score and prevent bogeys.

 

(3.) Right Mental Attitude.

 

Breaking 80 isn't hard.  But you have to have the right mindset.  Confidence in your game is huge.  Knowing you can hit the shot is one thing.  Doing it is another.  You have to believe in yourself - because really - no one else will on the golf course.  It is in your hands to execute the shot.  And you gotta have the right mind to do it.

 

(4.) Instruction.

 

Get golf instruction.  If you don't know what you are doing... You're going to waste a lot of time working on bad habits.  Or just wasting your precious time and money.  Go and get a lesson from a reliable source that knows the game of golf.  Someone that is recognized within the industry.  Or at least someone that has a list of references and sources that they are a legit instructor.  Once you find that instructor - take their teachings as if it is doctrine.  Live by it. You have to digest it and believe it before you can act.

 

(5.) Hit Balls - Play, Play, Play, Practice, Practice, Practice.

 

You need to hit a lot of golf shots to learn how to score and play.  Go play the course, spend time at the range, or even invest in a home /indoor setup.  The point of the matter is this... You aren't going to get better by sitting on your couch watching TV - or farting around on the web.  Get your hands on a golf club and practice making swings.  Taking divots.  Hitting balls.  A golf swing needs to be fine tuned to where it becomes an unconscious move.  One that you can execute in front of your friends.  One that you can execute in front of strangers.  One that you can execute when skins are on the line.  

 

If you dedicate yourself to the game... Breaking 80 is easy.  The problem with 98% of the world is that they want to take an easy route.  The game of golf has no short cuts.

post #27 of 71

I was shooting in the 70's in high school, gave up the game for about 12 years, it then took me about 3 years to get back in the 70's regularly.  It's fleeting, depending on how much I play.

 

This year, I've rededicated myself....lessons, range time, putting practice and playing about once a week. 

 

I'd say to shoot in the 70's regularly you need to:

  • Not have many/any mishits that cost you shots or penalties
  • get up and down reasonably well
  • Make most of your 3' putts (along with that comes good lag putting)
  • Hit most greens from inside of 150  (center of green is just fine)
  • Don't press or think about the score

 

Basically, don't waste shots.  It's hard enough without tacking on penalties for OB's etc.  The difference between an 81 and a 77 is not that much and a lot of it is mental and staying focused on what you're trying to do.  If things go off track for a hole or two and you get the occasional double, stay focused chances are you can make it up. 

 

Whatever you do, don't press and don't think about the score.  My best rounds it seems like I don't even know what I shot.  Boring golf is good golf.

post #28 of 71

You don't even have to hit it that well to break 80.  Avoid the wasted chunks/tops........chip/putt.....and you are there. 

post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

You don't even have to hit it that well to break 80.  Avoid the wasted chunks/tops........chip/putt.....and you are there. 

 

I agree. You don't have to be proficient at ball-striking to break 80 but you do have to be efficient in the short game. As I posted earlier, if you are getting it somewhere around the green in regulation - let's say within 20 yards of the hole - you can break 80 if you have a good short game.

 

Of course, that's not the only way to do it. I've played with guys that hit the ball beautifully - I would kill to have their swings - but they simply cannot putt, so they'll hit 12 greens & shoot 79. If I hit 2/3rds of my GIR, I'd be scratch, cuz of my short game.

 

But anyway. Your choices on breaking 80 are either to beat balls until you have a solid, repeatable swing...or have a solid short game. And since virtually every hole ends with having to make a putt, you cannot practice it enough. a3_biggrin.gif

post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

What is breaking 80?  Is it a course rated 67.5 or 77.5.......a 10 shot difference.  We need to keep the CR in mind when discussing "breaking 80".

 

breaking 80 in a nutshell:

1. don't waste shots with chunks or tops

2. be efficient around the greens chipping and putting

 

 

 

That should be enough to break 80 on any course. 

I think a minimum 135 slope also should be requireda2_wink.gif

post #31 of 71

   If somebody says they shot, "X"........the first thing I am curious to know is the CR because that is the "true par" for that course. 

post #32 of 71

OH geesh.. let me see if I can remember back that far.. LOL

 

     I started golf summer of '79.. Made Jr varsity team that fall.. I spent my entire summer of '80 playing 90 holes a week and practicing at home.. So I would say it took me 1 year to shoot in the 70's, and by that fall I was breaking par.. My handicap going into college that following year was 1.7 for 18 holes..

 

     I never had any formal training or instructing.. What I did use back in those days was a glass screen door that reflected my swing or stance..  Much like a mirror..  It's estimated that to learn any swing, rather it be throwing a ball, kicking or swinging something requires repetition of a few thousand times.. This is your muscle memory.. To do that, I would use an old broom stick cut down to the size of a 5 iron.. I would swing and swing and swing that stick at little pebbles in the drive way.. or a chalk dot I put there.. What this did for me was allow me to aim for a small target at just the right pressure to leave a mark on the concrete (showing the path of my swing) without hitting the concrete too hard (chunking it) or missing it all together (skulling it).. I still to this date feel it's one of the cheapest ways of working on your swing at home..
 

post #33 of 71
I probably dont qualify as a 70's shooter, although I've broken 80 a couple of times now.

I've been playing about 16 months now. I have never had a lesson but I work with some good single figure cappers who gave me some good advice when I was starting and from then I've just played alot of golf. My job allows me to play at least 4 times a week if I wish which is fortunate and I like to do my practicing on the course. If I want to work on something I'll go by myself when its quiet and try to work it out for myself.

I feel that it helps to become something of a student of the game. If you spend time to study what the pros do and to really understand what they are trying to do with their swing it helps you to identify flaws in your own swing.

I hope to get to single figures this year and then just see where I can get to.
post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

   If somebody says they shot, "X"........the first thing I am curious to know is the CR because that is the "true par" for that course. 

In England we dont have slope/rating, we just have the course par and the Standard Scratch Score.

At my home course the par is 70 and SSS is 69 off the yellow (mens) tees, and 72 off the whites (competition tees).

I have shot 78 off the yellows (6159 yards) and 79 off the whites (6542 yards)
post #35 of 71

If you're in the low 80s, no technical fix is necessary. Just use your head. You might be wasting two shots per side by playing the wrong shot or by playing the right shot with the wrong club. Which you realize after you hit the ball.

post #36 of 71
My average is @ 80 so I am in the 70s quite often. I first broke 80 after a year of working at a golf course way back in my 20s. I had been a casual player for 2-3 years before that. I shot 79 and then a month later shot 76.

The keys for me are to eliminate the double bogey and keep the ball in play off the tee. If I can do that, I will be in the money most of the time. It is very much mental especially eliminating a bad shot from your mind to allow yourself to then hit a good one. Too many people panic and get themselves into even more trouble trying to make up for the poor shot.

Here is the link to my blog that can help the insomniacs out there sleep:

http://thesandtrap.com/t/39652/the-tourspoon-blog/108#post_751780
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › To golfers who score in the 70s - What's your story?