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So close to breaking 80 but just can't - Page 2

post #19 of 70

i think ball striking is a given.  everyone needs to work on ball striking.  that never stops.

 

 

look at any golfer that shoots consistently 80-85.  the worst part of his game is 100 yards in. 

post #20 of 70

well i take that back.  my father is the exception lol.  terrible from 100-200 yards out, but shoots mid 80s consistently.  but he is pretty good around the greens.

post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

I would strongly disagree that focusing on anything other than ballstriking is what the OP needs.  Course management and short game work can help any golfer, but that doesn't appear to be what is holding him back.  And I also disagree that GIR makes a person go from 70s to 60s, the implication being that it doesn't help you go from 70s to 80s.

 

Look, the OP, and anybody else for that matter (including myself), can be a poor ball striking, mid-handicapper and sink several big putts over the course of a round and break 80.  Breaking 80 one time, one round isn't the hammer that breaks down the floodgates to constantly breaking 80.  

 

The tone I get from the OP is that he wants to get better, not simply post one good score and then brag about it for the rest of his life.  If he wants to get better, he has to improve his ball striking.  'Cause if you can't break 80 on this course, going to a longer, par 72 course with a 125+ slope is really going to be an eye-opener.

 

Saevel and bjwestner have it right, IMO.  Breaking 80 is great, but it doesn't tell the whole story.  Figure out how to hit more quality golf shots.  Even if you don't hit the fairway, is it good enough to be playable and reach the green?  Even if you don't hit a GIR, is it around the green and in a safe spot and missed to the correct side, or is it a duff/shank/slice/hook that completely misses your target area by 30-50 yards?

 

Again, don't mean to be a dick and rain on your parade.  You were close, and you are apparently improving, so congrats on getting closer.  But the answer to what you are looking for isn't just "focus harder", "manage the [easy] course better", nor "work on your short game."

 

I've got to agree with this.  The answer sounds terrible.  Bplewis24 calls it ballstriking.  But the answer is - be better at hitting good golf shots.  I know that is terribly vague, but it is the real answer.  I know there are some folks who are particularly bad at chipping or putting or something and sure they need to get better at that.  But I've stewed over this for 2 years now and have come to this as a conclusion.

 

Your course management has to be good - I firmly believe in it and firmly believe in some of the previously listed advice about it. But no amount of it is going to take you under 80 if you don't hit the shots.  And I agree that a lot of folks need to back off of driver on the tee box - I don't even carry one!  But that is going to leave your approach more difficult.  And hitting a PW vs. a 7-iron are not the same thing.  Hitting more GIR's is not the answer to anything because it doesn't say how to do it.  It isn't like you can just decide to hit more greens.  You hit more greens by hitting more good shots.  

 

If you go driver, then you better not hit it in the woods.  If you go hybrid or iron, then you might very well be left with 180+ to get to the green.  But people who can't break 80 don't hit many greens from 180+. That's really hard.  That leaves you with either being better at driver or being better at 180 yard approach shots.  Either way, you gotta be better at ball striking.

post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post

If you go driver, then you better not hit it in the woods.  If you go hybrid or iron, then you might very well be left with 180+ to get to the green.  But people who can't break 80 don't hit many greens from 180+. That's really hard.  That leaves you with either being better at driver or being better at 180 yard approach shots.  Either way, you gotta be better at ball striking.

Well... actually wouldn't this last statement point to short game being the immediate 'fix'?  You can be not great at either drives or long approach, but in this scenario you can save the round with short game/putting.

 

 

I feel like my first step was course management.  Once I started plotting a hole from the flag instead of hitting driver from the tee for anything over 250 yards I noticed a drastic improvement in my game.  Less OB, less drops, more iron strikes from perfect lies (regardless of distance to hole), closer leaves around the greens, and most importantly... more balls on mis-hits left in the correct spot (short of trouble, correct side of fairway, low side of green, long side of green, etc).

 

I feel like putting the ball in play more consistently has led to more consistent ball striking for me.  I'm not playing balls from under trees and in deep rough, or two fairways over.  The added benefit is that I feel like a golfer now... I feel like a shotmaker... I don't think confidence can ever hurt your game. :)

post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by PooN View Post

Well... actually wouldn't this last statement point to short game being the immediate 'fix'?  You can be not great at either drives or long approach, but in this scenario you can save the round with short game/putting.

 

When you're in the trees, hazard, OB, your chipping game may not matter much.  When you miss the green by 35+ yards often enough, putting isn't going to save you enough to break 80.

post #24 of 70

I play my best golf when I don't know my score.  If I can... I tell my buddy my score and let him keep it.

 

If I'm keeping it then I try not to keep track of where I am.   If I know that I'm shooting a good number then I tend to try too hard and blow it.

 

I've only shot 79 once but it was a total surprise when I totaled it up.  I knew I was playing well... just didn't quite know how well.

post #25 of 70

I have shot a 77.  Since, I have shot 80,81,81,83,86.  Shot 81 yesterday with an ob on par 5 that led to a mental meltdown and an 8.  I hit 7 GIR and missed all of my birdie putts.  Two stopped an inch away from falling in.  My overall game was good enough, even with the mishits (fairway mishit lead to a double as well) to end up at 79.  Mentally, I think I tighten up just trying to get that birdie.  The 77 featured only one birdie out of 11 GIR.  Geez.... I need to learn to putt.

post #26 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post

 

I've got to agree with this.  The answer sounds terrible.  Bplewis24 calls it ballstriking.  But the answer is - be better at hitting good golf shots.  I know that is terribly vague, but it is the real answer.  I know there are some folks who are particularly bad at chipping or putting or something and sure they need to get better at that.  But I've stewed over this for 2 years now and have come to this as a conclusion.

 

Your course management has to be good - I firmly believe in it and firmly believe in some of the previously listed advice about it. But no amount of it is going to take you under 80 if you don't hit the shots.  And I agree that a lot of folks need to back off of driver on the tee box - I don't even carry one!  But that is going to leave your approach more difficult.  And hitting a PW vs. a 7-iron are not the same thing.  Hitting more GIR's is not the answer to anything because it doesn't say how to do it.  It isn't like you can just decide to hit more greens.  You hit more greens by hitting more good shots.  

 

If you go driver, then you better not hit it in the woods.  If you go hybrid or iron, then you might very well be left with 180+ to get to the green.  But people who can't break 80 don't hit many greens from 180+. That's really hard.  That leaves you with either being better at driver or being better at 180 yard approach shots.  Either way, you gotta be better at ball striking.

I like this answer, and the idea.

 

I can hit fairways off the tee with my driver much easier, and more often, than I can hit 180+ into a green, so I take driver alot in order to leave myself the 140 into the green as oppose to the 180.

 

If you aren't good at either, then obviously you are going to struggle.

 

I'd like to think hitting a decent sized fairway off the tee, is easier than hitting a green from 180+. But then, some people seem to really struggle with a driver.

post #27 of 70

I remember the first time I broke 80.  One of my buddies and I were playing in the afternoon and we were sailing along talking about most everything but golf.  He always has had a habit of adding up scores late in the round so he does not have much left to add when it is over.  He normally will tell me, you are xx over par and that's it.  Afterwards, I recall that he never said a word about my score.  When we finished, he said "Do you know you just shot 78?"  Nope, not a clue.  Of course, 2 days later I shot something like 87. 

The point, don't get to caught up in your score or a target score while you are playing.  Good rounds can turn into great rounds with a few breaks.  But, mostly it is about getting the ball in the hole and minimizing the damage when you get in trouble.  I have yardages that I really don't like to hit from.  If I am playing a par 5 and after my tee shot I know I have no chance of reaching the green in 2, I figure out what club I need to hit to get me somewhere between 130 down to 90 yards.  I want a full swing.  I don't want to have to hit a 1/2 or 3/4 pitch shot over a steep bunker especially if it is to a tight pin.  Learn what course management is all about.  If there are holes where you tend to hit it OB or in the water, determine what club you can hit to take those out of play...even if it means not getting on the green in regulation.  And, that brings up another point to practice that is extremely important in getting yourself to lower scores.  Practice chipping and putting till you are sick of it and then practice some more.  If you consistently miss on certain holes, it is important to figure out how to hit the green on those holes but it is equally important to figure out how to hit the shot that gets you up there so you can make the smallest score possible. 

Doubles and triples are killers to score.  Too often I make them when I say..."Crap, I can pull this shot off!".  Right!  Then I don't and make some ugly score on the hole.  It is so easy to turn a great round into just a decent round by stupid mistakes. 

Figure out where your weaknesses are and go practice to get rid of them.  And, if you go to the range, the driver should be the club you hit the fewest shots with.  You may find that you really don't need to hit it very often anyway. 

Luck to you.  A round in the 70s is not far away.  Staying in the 70s...that is a whole different ballgame.  But, if you put your mind to it and practice, you can get there.

post #28 of 70

I'll keep it simple. Get in more fairways. Go to the range and focus on clubs that you prefer to hit off of the tee...  Then work on your shorter iron play. (150 and in)
 

post #29 of 70

It's about hitting greens.......

 

Hit all the par 5's and half (7) of the remaining 14 par 3's and par 4's.  No 3 putts, and you just shot 79.

 

Nothing to it.   a1_smile.gif

post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

It's about hitting greens.......

 

Hit all the par 5's and half (7) of the remaining 14 par 3's and par 4's.  No 3 putts, and you just shot 79.

 

Nothing to it.   a1_smile.gif

Hm.  This is some inspiring math for someone who had never broken 80.  Much appreciated.

post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickK View Post

I remember the first time I broke 80.  One of my buddies and I were playing in the afternoon and we were sailing along talking about most everything but golf.  He always has had a habit of adding up scores late in the round so he does not have much left to add when it is over.  He normally will tell me, you are xx over par and that's it.  Afterwards, I recall that he never said a word about my score.  When we finished, he said "Do you know you just shot 78?"  Nope, not a clue.  Of course, 2 days later I shot something like 87. 

The point, don't get to caught up in your score or a target score while you are playing.  Good rounds can turn into great rounds with a few breaks.  But, mostly it is about getting the ball in the hole and minimizing the damage when you get in trouble.  I have yardages that I really don't like to hit from.  If I am playing a par 5 and after my tee shot I know I have no chance of reaching the green in 2, I figure out what club I need to hit to get me somewhere between 130 down to 90 yards.  I want a full swing.  I don't want to have to hit a 1/2 or 3/4 pitch shot over a steep bunker especially if it is to a tight pin.  Learn what course management is all about.  If there are holes where you tend to hit it OB or in the water, determine what club you can hit to take those out of play...even if it means not getting on the green in regulation.  And, that brings up another point to practice that is extremely important in getting yourself to lower scores.  Practice chipping and putting till you are sick of it and then practice some more.  If you consistently miss on certain holes, it is important to figure out how to hit the green on those holes but it is equally important to figure out how to hit the shot that gets you up there so you can make the smallest score possible. 

Doubles and triples are killers to score.  Too often I make them when I say..."Crap, I can pull this shot off!".  Right!  Then I don't and make some ugly score on the hole.  It is so easy to turn a great round into just a decent round by stupid mistakes. 

Figure out where your weaknesses are and go practice to get rid of them.  And, if you go to the range, the driver should be the club you hit the fewest shots with.  You may find that you really don't need to hit it very often anyway. 

Luck to you.  A round in the 70s is not far away.  Staying in the 70s...that is a whole different ballgame.  But, if you put your mind to it and practice, you can get there.

This is really good advice.  I have not yet broken 80 but am close.  My best 9's I've added up at the very end of the round.  A very good 9 for me is 40-42.  Every time I've shot it, I have never thought about my aggregate score until tallying at the 19th hole.  Then it's "Wow, I do remember a nice little par streak."

post #32 of 70
Quote:

Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

 

Breaking 80 is great, but it doesn't tell the whole story.  Figure out how to hit more quality golf shots.  Even if you don't hit the fairway, is it good enough to be playable and reach the green?  Even if you don't hit a GIR, is it around the green and in a safe spot and missed to the correct side, or is it a duff/shank/slice/hook that completely misses your target area by 30-50 yards?

 

I like this ^ .  I just started breaking 80 on a few courses around here.  But not because it was my goal.  I just decided to work on being a better striker, learning to control the shots better, and working on the short game (a weakness).  The better scores just started to happen, of course.  And consistently.  Now a 79 or a 78 is about every 4th round, vs last year where it was twice the whole season.  I'm not yet working on course management either.  Not until I get that Eagle (that's my little unreasonable short term goal).

 

During any round, I'm more jazzed about those really nice shots that go as visualized than I am about the final score.  I don't remember the 79, but I do remember that soft 3w that cut slightly and rolled up on the green, or that really nice sand shot up to the green 15 feet above me.... (I'm more fond of the "what was your best shot" thread over the "how did you score" thread).

post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

 

I like this ^ .  I just started breaking 80 on a few courses around here.  But not because it was my goal.  I just decided to work on being a better striker, learning to control the shots better, and working on the short game (a weakness).  The better scores just started to happen, of course.  And consistently.  Now a 79 or a 78 is about every 4th round, vs last year where it was twice the whole season.  I'm not yet working on course management either.  Not until I get that Eagle (that's my little unreasonable short term goal).

 

During any round, I'm more jazzed about those really nice shots that go as visualized than I am about the final score.  I don't remember the 79, but I do remember that soft 3w that cut slightly and rolled up on the green, or that really nice sand shot up to the green 15 feet above me.... (I'm more fond of the "what was your best shot" thread over the "how did you score" thread).

 

I watched Big Break last night, and at some point one of the contestants (Brent) mentioned, "I've hit a couple bad shots [on this par 5], but if I make this putt, it still looks like I played it well."  His first shot was a pull hook, his second ended up really short, kinda chunky, and he pitched onto the green to about 15-20 feet.  He ended up missing the putt, but his point stands: sometimes you can hit really crappy shots and make a miraculous recovery (or just a long putt), and the scorecard doesn't really know how well or poorly you played it.  

 

Anyway, I bring that up just to expand on the point you and I were making.  Sometimes the score doesn't tell the whole story, and you remember how well or poorly you hit the ball instead of the score.  I once shot an 81, but didn't feel anywhere near good about the score because my ball striking was horrible, the course wasn't very penal for missed fairways, and I also had something like 9 one-putts on the day, including a few for birdie.  3-4 years ago I would have been thrilled with that score, but after the round the first thing I wanted to do was go to the range and work things out.  The next few rounds I remember shooting in the high 80s and low 90s, which was more representative of how I was playing at that time.  

 

And the same can go the other way if you're striking it well, but getting bad breaks or not making any putts.

post #34 of 70
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately I have only played once since then.  On Sunday I step out of the car

walk up to the tee... Driver, 7 iron, 10 foot putt.  Easy birdie. I then doubled the next 3

holes.  I was getting frustrated and told my son I need to stop and just enjoy the day

with him. Shot an 88. with 6 pars and the one birdie, 4 of those pars were missed birdie

putts.

 

I can't expect to play once or twice a month and be consistent. 

post #35 of 70

I just broke 80 for the first time this past weekend.  While I am happy that I did it, I do not view it as some others out there do.  I shot 80 at a muni more than a month ago and the muni is much easier and only a par 71 versus my country club which is harder, longer, and a par 72.  I knew it would happen in time.  I just focused on improving ball striking and hitting more GIR.  This has led to my handicap going from 15.5 in March of 2013 to currently 9.5L.

 

The ironic part of my first sub 80 round?  My ballstriking was actually not very good (8 GIR and 50 strokes other than putts).  It was an average to above average day of ball striking but I had a great day of putting (just 29 putts) that got me under 80. 

 

When I first started golfing 14+ months ago, it seemed that breaking 80 was some monumental acheivement.  As I improved and got closer, I realized that breaking 80 could be very impressive or it could be an okay round where you just take advantage of a particular course (i.e. playing a par 70 muni versus a par 72 course with a much higher rating/slope).  When I shot 80 several weeks ago at a local muni it was a par 71 and was right at 6k yards.  My index for the round was just 11.9.  When I shot 80 at my country club (which is par 72, 6400 yards, 128 slope) which is not easy but by no means really hard either, my index for the round was 8.4.  So on paper the score (80) was the same, but yet in reality there was almost a 4 shot difference between the two.

 

That's why I was not that consumed by it.  I knew it would happen eventually as I had been right around 80 for several weeks now.  I'd rather shoot 80 and have a solid index than shoot sub 80 on a course where I could shoot par and still have an index of almost 5. 

post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

It's about hitting greens.......

 

Hit all the par 5's and half (7) of the remaining 14 par 3's and par 4's.  No 3 putts, and you just shot 79.

 

Nothing to it.   a1_smile.gif

 

That's assuming the 7 you don't hit end up being bogey. ;)

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