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Why are you not playing scratch? - Page 5

post #73 of 215

You can analyze and synthesize an infinite number of ways in trying to answer this question, but at the very bottom of the issue is the fact that the action of hitting a golf ball has such a miniscule margin for error, and small errors in ball striking will produce large errors in ball flight. This small margin of error is simply beyond the skill sets of most people to perform consistently, especially given the constraints of time and money. (In short, golf is @#%$!*& hard!)

 

Done.

post #74 of 215

I think I could make it to a mini tour but not professional certainly.  There have been a few times this last summer that I played only 9 holes at my home course and would all of a sudden bring out a 4-under score.  I can still feel and picture it, when everything just goes your way, and you're not even trying to swing anymore, because you know it will happen every time.  I remember one instance when I could've brought that score down to 6-under if I had hit a few more putts that were close.  I know I have potential, but I don't have the money or time right now to devote myself to get even better and shoot consistently lower scores.

post #75 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyk View Post

I think I could make it to a mini tour but not professional certainly.  There have been a few times this last summer that I played only 9 holes at my home course and would all of a sudden bring out a 4-under score.  I can still feel and picture it, when everything just goes your way, and you're not even trying to swing anymore, because you know it will happen every time.  I remember one instance when I could've brought that score down to 6-under if I had hit a few more putts that were close.  I know I have potential, but I don't have the money or time right now to devote myself to get even better and shoot consistently lower scores.

 

I know what you mean.  A couple of years ago I was playing with our head pro and couple of single digit handicappers, and I got in that zone better than ever before or since.  I was 3 under through 11 holes (4 birdies and one bogey), then it went away.  I have no clue how or why.  I could still feel what it was like when it was working, but I couldn't recapture it.  I played the last 7 holes in bogey golf for a 76.  Still a great score for a true 11 handicap, but not what I wanted after that start.  

post #76 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


Most scratch golfers are not tour professionals.......they're just not good enough to earn a living playing professionally. Some are teaching pros, but for the most part, they're highly skilled amateurs who, like the rest of us, have jobs, families, and other obligations.
I understand that everyone likes to think that with just a little more time, or just the right tweak from the right guru, they'd be scratch or better. The truth though, is that most of us just don't have the enormous talent that it takes to play at that level. Most can't even comprehend how good an honest scratch golfer really is.

 

 

thats kind of my point...being "scratch" isn't some elite status.  Yeah, it isn't easy to get to but to go from scratch to staying on any tour is still a long way.  The scratch golfers I know just have a lot more time to devote to golf than others.  They play 3 4 5 times a week and also have spent their whole lives doing that. 

post #77 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox View Post

 

 

thats kind of my point...being "scratch" isn't some elite status.  Yeah, it isn't easy to get to but to go from scratch to staying on any tour is still a long way.  The scratch golfers I know just have a lot more time to devote to golf than others.  They play 3 4 5 times a week and also have spent their whole lives doing that. 

Very true. Tour players are shooting 3,4,5 under par on Tour quality golf courses 3-4 days in a row, week in and week out. Not to mention all the pressure that is put on them during play. I'm sure you get used to the pressure eventually but still. Going from scratch to playing on tour is a HUGE step that a very small fraction of golfers reach.

post #78 of 215

ON the pressure component of playing well:   Recommend seeing NYTImes article on Charlie Beijan best round ever, when he played his second round in a stupor due to his panic attack.

post #79 of 215
 Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonK88S View Post

Very true. Tour players are shooting 3,4,5 under par on Tour quality golf courses 3-4 days in a row, week in and week out. Not to mention all the pressure that is put on them during play. I'm sure you get used to the pressure eventually but still. Going from scratch to playing on tour is a HUGE step that a very small fraction of golfers reach.

If PGA Tour players played the courses that we play every day, their handicaps would be something like +7. They are way beyond scratch.

post #80 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

If PGA Tour players played the courses that we play every day, their handicaps would be something like +7. They are way beyond scratch.

Actually, their handicap would be the same but their scores might be lower.  Depends on the rating & slope of your course vs. a tour course.  If your course's rating is 70, for example, and the average tour course is 76, you could expect they might shoot about 6 strokes lower on your course.  That's not counting the slope difference, since most tour courses don't have a slope for their tour conditions.

post #81 of 215

I pretty much agree that Pros would tear our courses up but I wonder if it would be as low as we think if they played the conditions we play under. Imagine the whining (at least initially) you'd hear from some of them on the uneven tee boxes, inconsistent sand quantity/quality of the bunkers, inconsistent speed of greens, not having 100 people looking for their ball in the woods where this time of year leaves are aplenty, etc.......

 

They've become pretty accustomed to having someone pamper them.

post #82 of 215

Pretty late to this thread and I have not read most of the posts here so pardon me if what I write is just rehashing what everyone else has posted. The first thing that comes to mind why I am not scratch is LOFT. Lack of effing talent. I have played this game for five decades some years only 30-40 rounds per year other years once I retired as many as 325+ rounds. My handicap has been from 5.0 to 16 over those years and my journey to get better had only started once I retired. There is no way anyone can get to scratch unless they start out very young with a good teaching pro helping them along. They need to have a lot of natural talent as well. That is step one and from there is it repetition on the range and a tremendous amount of short game practice.

 

 Now once you get to the point you are a low single digit handicap, and this will take years to achieve for most, you have to really bear down and work on your game every day hitting hundreds of balls and spending hours on the short game. You also have to play tournaments against players better than you are to learn how to play under pressure and how to win. When I got down to a 5 cap I had worked hard at it and when I got there I knew I did not have the skills needed to get to scratch or lower. I also did not have the patience to spend hours hitting balls or to spend hours on my short game as I got bored too easily. It started to become a job and I was retired and did not need a job. So I just decided to just go out and play the game and enjoy it more. Now I am 70 and my cap has gone up to 9-11 level and I don't worry about being a single digit any more. This is a game for life and if you make it a job then it had better be your job and you should be making money from it. The best thing to do for most of us is to get a swing that is somewhat repeatable and one that you can enjoy the game without becoming frustrated. Once you achieve that just go out and have fun with your buddies and treat this as a way to relax away from the trials and tribulations of every day life.

post #83 of 215
From reading your post, it isn't clear that LOFT was your problem. LOD (lack of desire) is more accurate. You didn't want to spend the 20+ hours a week practicing that you would need to maximize your talent.  Now I don't blame you for not spending that time. Being scratch isn't worth it for most people especially as an adult.  But don't pretent it was lack of talent that prevented you from being scratch. It was a lack of desire or time to do the work needed to get better. You choose to maximize your enjoyment of the game not to minimize the score on your card.

 

 

Originally Posted by shanksalot View Post

Pretty late to this thread and I have not read most of the posts here so pardon me if what I write is just rehashing what everyone else has posted. The first thing that comes to mind why I am not scratch is LOFT. Lack of effing talent. I have played this game for five decades some years only 30-40 rounds per year other years once I retired as many as 325+ rounds. My handicap has been from 5.0 to 16 over those years and my journey to get better had only started once I retired. There is no way anyone can get to scratch unless they start out very young with a good teaching pro helping them along. They need to have a lot of natural talent as well. That is step one and from there is it repetition on the range and a tremendous amount of short game practice.

 

 

 

There have been several stories about pros going out to your local muni. Here is one: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/01/AR2007070101221.html?sid=ST2009071701245 .  Make it a 6400 yard course with nice greens and give the guy a practice round or two and you will start seeing the mid-low 60s. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo68 View Post

I pretty much agree that Pros would tear our courses up but I wonder if it would be as low as we think if they played the conditions we play under. Imagine the whining (at least initially) you'd hear from some of them on the uneven tee boxes, inconsistent sand quantity/quality of the bunkers, inconsistent speed of greens, not having 100 people looking for their ball in the woods where this time of year leaves are aplenty, etc.......

 

They've become pretty accustomed to having someone pamper them.

post #84 of 215

 X129, it is because of LOFT that I never would get to scratch. I have played with guys who were scratch or lower, meaning + hdcpt. Knowing my talent level I think I could have made it down to maybe 2or 3. But just getting down to that level required a lot of work and at that stage in life it was not worth it to me. Yes it was the fact I did not want to work that hard or spend that much time getting there but once there then what. You pretty much have to stay doing those things unless you are very talented to start with. I had/have a lot of athletic ability as I played baseball, basketball, fast pitch softball and most of the big sports here in the USA in my career and for the most part made all the all star teams and was on teams that usually won championships. That being said if I started playing golf at the age I started playing baseball and had some strong teaching pro I probably could have got close to a scratch level in my 20's. But to get to a 5 fairly late in life that was not a chance in he11 I would get to that level.

post #85 of 215

Yes given your work ethic, you suffered from LOFT. With Tiger Woods work ethic, who knows. I think you (or pretty much any of us) is delusional in trying to guess how good we would be if he put in 10k hours of practice over 10 years.  People's improvement curve is all of the place. Obviously I am just going off your comments on your lack of desire to practice.  But as we both agree, it isn't worth the time for most of us. The sacrifices required are too much for the limited reward. Most of us do the best we can with a couple of hours of practice and a round or 2 a week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanksalot View Post

 X129, it is because of LOFT that I never would get to scratch. I have played with guys who were scratch or lower, meaning + hdcpt. Knowing my talent level I think I could have made it down to maybe 2or 3. But just getting down to that level required a lot of work and at that stage in life it was not worth it to me. Yes it was the fact I did not want to work that hard or spend that much time getting there but once there then what. You pretty much have to stay doing those things unless you are very talented to start with. I had/have a lot of athletic ability as I played baseball, basketball, fast pitch softball and most of the big sports here in the USA in my career and for the most part made all the all star teams and was on teams that usually won championships. That being said if I started playing golf at the age I started playing baseball and had some strong teaching pro I probably could have got close to a scratch level in my 20's. But to get to a 5 fairly late in life that was not a chance in he11 I would get to that level.

post #86 of 215
Quote:
Once you achieve that just go out and have fun with your buddies and treat this as a way to relax away from the trials and tribulations of every day life.

Luckily for me, there are so many things to work on in my game, that when I go to the course or the range, I never think for an instant of my trials or tribulations!!!!  

 

It really is a total escape.

post #87 of 215

It takes talent to become scratch, there is no substitute for it. I know guys that have been playing longer than me, practice more than me, and play more than me, but they can't beat me and they never will. Its a special kind of talent as well as I have seen some great athletes just stink it up on the golf course.

 

The great thing is this, who cares?! Golf is such a great game, because being good at it is not a prerequisite for having fun on the course.

post #88 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by x129 View Post

Yes given your work ethic, you suffered from LOFT. With Tiger Woods work ethic, who knows. I think you (or pretty much any of us) is delusional in trying to guess how good we would be if he put in 10k hours of practice over 10 years.  People's improvement curve is all of the place. Obviously I am just going off your comments on your lack of desire to practice.  But as we both agree, it isn't worth the time for most of us. The sacrifices required are too much for the limited reward. Most of us do the best we can with a couple of hours of practice and a round or 2 a week.

When I said it was not worth the effort that was getting down to a 5 handicap. Getting to just a 2 or 3 from there would almost be impossible for me and certainly getting to scratch for me was not going to happen. I think people don't realize had hard it is to be a scratch golfer and maintain that level. To get to the level of a professional is another thing entirely. I can assure you I would hot be able to get to scratch in my lifetime today. As I also stated if I had started at age 7 or 8 with the help of a teaching pro I might have built a swing that was going to take me to that level when I was a teenager. But when I got down to a 5 I was closing in on 60 years of age. To get to scratch I would have had to tear down my swing with the help of a teaching pro, spent the better part of 12-18 months building it to the point where it was my swing. Then the amount of work to get down to a 5 again and lower I am not sure even then I could get to the scratch level. It is pretty easy to go from a 15 to a single digit with a little talent, but to get to just 3 or 4 strokes lower and stay there takes a lot of work and many will never be able to get there.

 

 You keep insisting I have a poor work ethic but let me assure you that is not the case. When I worked for a living I worked for three different start up companies. This entails working 6-7 days a week and 12-16 hours a day every day with hardy ever taking a vacation or sick day. There were days we would work until 2 or 3 in the morning to get product out the door on time. There were times we did not go home until supper time the next day wooking 36 hours straight. I did this for over 25 years so I don't think my work ethic is poor. The reason I did not want to continue to beat balls and practice 3 hours a day was I knew I had reached where I could get to as a player. Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force once stated " a man has to know his limitations". Well I knew mine was somewhere around a 5 cap give or take a stroke. My quest was to find my level and I believe I did and to stay at that level for any length of time I knew I had to continue to spend more time than I wanted to expend. It was not to go lower but to stay there. Once I stopped and just went out and played my handicap fluctuated between 6-8. The last few years it has slowly crept up to 9-11 level. I know I can get it back to maybe an 8, but I also know it would only be an ego thing to do that. I am satisfied right now to go out and shoot in the high 70's to mid 80's most of the time. I enjoy walking down a fairway and taking in all the beautiful scenery around me. They say these are my golden years and I want to enjoy them as much as I can for as long as I can. Thanks for your response to my post. If you have a goal to reach being a scratch golfer my hat is off to you and I hope you enjoy your quest. I also hope you have a chance to reach your goal. Good luck, Fairways and green to you forever.

post #89 of 215

how many days in a row did you practice golf for 12-16 hours a day without taking vacation or sick days? Your work ethic at a job is not going to help your golf game. My comments are is based on your statement of  "I also did not have the patience to spend hours hitting balls or to spend hours on my short game as I got bored too easily".   If you practicing 30+ hours a week, then you can talk about talent being a limiting factor in your golf game. Up until then the limiting factor is your lack of time commitment.  Again I am not criticizing you or your choices. I am just commenting that not willing to practice is not the same as LOFT in my book.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanksalot View Post

When I said it was not worth the effort that was getting down to a 5 handicap. Getting to just a 2 or 3 from there would almost be impossible for me and certainly getting to scratch for me was not going to happen. I think people don't realize had hard it is to be a scratch golfer and maintain that level. To get to the level of a professional is another thing entirely. I can assure you I would hot be able to get to scratch in my lifetime today. As I also stated if I had started at age 7 or 8 with the help of a teaching pro I might have built a swing that was going to take me to that level when I was a teenager. But when I got down to a 5 I was closing in on 60 years of age. To get to scratch I would have had to tear down my swing with the help of a teaching pro, spent the better part of 12-18 months building it to the point where it was my swing. Then the amount of work to get down to a 5 again and lower I am not sure even then I could get to the scratch level. It is pretty easy to go from a 15 to a single digit with a little talent, but to get to just 3 or 4 strokes lower and stay there takes a lot of work and many will never be able to get there.

 

 You keep insisting I have a poor work ethic but let me assure you that is not the case. When I worked for a living I worked for three different start up companies. This entails working 6-7 days a week and 12-16 hours a day every day with hardy ever taking a vacation or sick day. There were days we would work until 2 or 3 in the morning to get product out the door on time. There were times we did not go home until supper time the next day wooking 36 hours straight. I did this for over 25 years so I don't think my work ethic is poor. The reason I did not want to continue to beat balls and practice 3 hours a day was I knew I had reached where I could get to as a player. Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force once stated " a man has to know his limitations". Well I knew mine was somewhere around a 5 cap give or take a stroke. My quest was to find my level and I believe I did and to stay at that level for any length of time I knew I had to continue to spend more time than I wanted to expend. It was not to go lower but to stay there. Once I stopped and just went out and played my handicap fluctuated between 6-8. The last few years it has slowly crept up to 9-11 level. I know I can get it back to maybe an 8, but I also know it would only be an ego thing to do that. I am satisfied right now to go out and shoot in the high 70's to mid 80's most of the time. I enjoy walking down a fairway and taking in all the beautiful scenery around me. They say these are my golden years and I want to enjoy them as much as I can for as long as I can. Thanks for your response to my post. If you have a goal to reach being a scratch golfer my hat is off to you and I hope you enjoy your quest. I also hope you have a chance to reach your goal. Good luck, Fairways and green to you forever.

post #90 of 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanksalot View Post

When I said it was not worth the effort that was getting down to a 5 handicap. Getting to just a 2 or 3 from there would almost be impossible for me and certainly getting to scratch for me was not going to happen. I think people don't realize had hard it is to be a scratch golfer and maintain that level. To get to the level of a professional is another thing entirely. I can assure you I would hot be able to get to scratch in my lifetime today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NM Golf View Post

It takes talent to become scratch, there is no substitute for it. I know guys that have been playing longer than me, practice more than me, and play more than me, but they can't beat me and they never will. Its a special kind of talent as well as I have seen some great athletes just stink it up on the golf course.


I couldn't agree more. I'm always amazed at the number of high handicappers who just know they'd be scratch or better if the only had a little more time.....

Most of them can't begin to understand just how far away a 5 handicap is from scratch, let alone a 15......
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