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20ish handicap. What should I strive for. - Page 2

post #19 of 30

Play it hole by hole and shot by shot.  I started the year playing off of 18 and am now flirting with 10.  Be happy with bogeys and even happier with pars.  It is not unusual for me to do a fist pump after sinking a four foot bogey putt.  Because that's a decent hole for me.  Hell if I bogey every par 4 and 5 and par all the 3's, I've shot myself a nice little 86.

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dev 0 View Post

With such a high handicap should I be striving to score lower or try to aim for my handicap of around bogey golf. I've tried playing with both mindsets and I've noticed that when I play with trying to get a low score and I don't some disappointment sets in. When I play for Bogey and I score better then I get excited. I don't notice any differences in my actual game play. I don't really expect to start shooting lower scores either way (that will hopefully just start coming with more practice), but which do you think is the better mindset to be in?

 

I didn't read every response, but skimmed them - so forgive me if I repeat some.  Looks like there are some great responses.  And I think this mindset thing is pretty important.  And I think the answer is somewhere in between the two listed, but much closer to 'shoot for bogey' one.

 

If you are a 20 cap, then you aren't shooting 20 over only once out of every 5 rounds and probably like 94-98 most of the time.  So shooting for bogey is legitimate.  Trying to shoot for par and pulling out all the stops is going to hurt your game.  The worse the golfer is - the more conservative he should play if he wants to score well.  We all start at par on the first tee box and then watch the score climb as we go.  Bogey and worse golf is about minimizing the damage.  A great shot can shave maybe a stroke.  A bad one can cost you 3.

 

I play with a few folks who are much better at hitting the ball than me, but I stay competititve with them - and I think it is because of course management.  I think it is best to do what keeps you in the hole - what keeps you from getting worse than bogey.  When you do this, more par opportunities present themselves than you think.  I of course have no idea what Tiger's mindset is, but when I watch him, I get the feeling this is what he is doing.  He isn't doing anything stupid, he's waiting for opportunities to present themselves, then he takes advantage when they do.  

 

And don't hit driver on the tee box just because you are on the tee box and driver is the accepted club.  Hit what stays in play - period.

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

You should strive to hit every shot the best that you're capable of, and constantly strive to improve what your best is. Lower scores will follow.

 

Job 1: Get your short game together.

Job 2: Put your tee shots in the fairway. Doesn't have to be 280 yard drives: Use tee shot to set up a reasonable approach.

Job 3: You'll know what is next when you complete Jobs 1 and 2.

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickK View Post

FWIW, course management can help lower scores also.  I see way too many people drag out their driver on holes where they do not need it.  I like to play to yardages I like.  Short par 4s.  I'm probably not going to drive the green so I hit a club to get me to yardages I like.  I prefer not to be any closer than 115 yards.  If a hybrid or 3 wood gets me there...no reason to hit driver. 

Par 5s that I have no prayer of reaching in 2.  I probably will hit 3 wood off the tee then lay up with something to get me to 115 yards.

 

That's dumb. (I'm in full "calling a spade a spade" mode here, but trust me, it's for your own good).

 

Do you know what the single biggest determinant of how close your next shot is to the hole? How far away you are when you hit it. Direct correlation. The closer you are to the hole, the closer your shot will finish.

 

If there's relatively little trouble (rough doesn't count - I mean bunkers, super steep slopes, or water), get as close to the green as possible. Try not to short-side yourself, but I'll take short-siding myself with a tricky pitch over being 115 freaking yards away.

 

You're basically saying that if you hit the ball into the left center of the fairway at 50 yards, you'd rather pick your ball up, walk 65 yards backwards, and play from there? No way. Players hit the ball closer to the hole when they play from closer to the hole.

 

TL;DR: So long as you're not hitting into trouble or asking too much from the shot (i.e. you can't hit your 3W off the fairway for some reason or something), get as close to the hole as you can.

post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 (rough doesn't count -

I had to smile at that one.

 

There's rough and then there's ROUGH and there's a huge difference in the two.

 

With all of the rain we are having lots of people are probably wishing they had laid up. I'm finding a ton of balls just a few feet from the fairways when I can mow. Some are just about the right distance for a good tee shot that was a few feet too good and ran out of fairway.

 

I had a shot myself last week that was only 120 yards but was next to impossible to advance more than halfway there (nasty).


Edited by MS256 - 7/12/13 at 7:43pm
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickK View Post

FWIW, course management can help lower scores also.  I see way too many people drag out their driver on holes where they do not need it.  I like to play to yardages I like.  Short par 4s.  I'm probably not going to drive the green so I hit a club to get me to yardages I like.  I prefer not to be any closer than 115 yards.  If a hybrid or 3 wood gets me there...no reason to hit driver. 

Par 5s that I have no prayer of reaching in 2.  I probably will hit 3 wood off the tee then lay up with something to get me to 115 yards.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

That's dumb. (I'm in full "calling a spade a spade" mode here, but trust me, it's for your own good).

 

Do you know what the single biggest determinant of how close your next shot is to the hole? How far away you are when you hit it. Direct correlation. The closer you are to the hole, the closer your shot will finish.

 

If there's relatively little trouble (rough doesn't count - I mean bunkers, super steep slopes, or water), get as close to the green as possible. Try not to short-side yourself, but I'll take short-siding myself with a tricky pitch over being 115 freaking yards away.

 

You're basically saying that if you hit the ball into the left center of the fairway at 50 yards, you'd rather pick your ball up, walk 65 yards backwards, and play from there? No way. Players hit the ball closer to the hole when they play from closer to the hole.

 

TL;DR: So long as you're not hitting into trouble or asking too much from the shot (i.e. you can't hit your 3W off the fairway for some reason or something), get as close to the hole as you can.

Erik, are you referring to everything you quoted or only these parts:

 

" ... I like to play to yardages I like. ... so I hit a club to get me to yardages I like. I prefer not to be any closer than 115 yards. ... then lay up with something to get me to 115 yards."

 

Because the rest of it seems to be pretty sensible ...

 

"FWIW, course management can help lower scores also. I see way too many people drag out their driver on holes where they do not need it. ...  Short par 4s. I'm probably not going to drive the green ... If a hybrid or 3 wood gets me there...no reason to hit driver.  Par 5s that I have no prayer of reaching in 2. I probably will hit 3 wood off the tee ..."

 

However, the reason why I ask is because I do some of this stuff above and it actually costs me, so maybe I am wrong.  Example of a frequently common occurence:  Yesterday I was playing a short-ish (400) yard par 4 with a fairly narrow fairway, a hazard on the left and a big hill with thick rough on the right, so I tried to play "smart" and pulled out a hybrid, with the thought that a good shot would put me in the 160-170 range and I'd have probably an 8-iron in.  What I did instead?  Hooked it into the hazard and since I was using a hybrid I was 50 yards back of where my driver would have probably gone into the hazard.  Had I gone with the driver, I would have still had a remote chance at a par and a good chance at a bogey.  (I ended up with a triple)  And I've done other things like this recently too that's getting me to re-think myself and that perhaps I'm thinking too much here.

 

PS:  Love the new avatar ... whoever gave it to me. ;)

post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post

I had to smile at that one.

 

There's rough and then there's ROUGH and there's a huge difference in the two.

 

With all of the rain we are having lots of people are probably wishing they had laid up. I'm finding a ton of balls just a few feet from the fairways when I can mow. Some are just about the right distance for a good tee shot that was a few feet too good and ran out of fairway.

 

I had a shot myself last week that was only 120 yards but was next to impossible to advance more than halfway there (nasty).

Raises the question, would you have preferred to have been further back in the fairway?

post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

Raises the question, would you have preferred to have been further back in the fairway?

On that one I would. I basically agree with Eric though and I'm not known for laying up. One reason is that I have a good short game and the other is that I'm just about as likely to hit a fairway wood into trouble as I am a driver (but farther back).

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Erik, are you referring to everything you quoted or only these parts:

 

" ... I like to play to yardages I like. ... so I hit a club to get me to yardages I like. I prefer not to be any closer than 115 yards. ... then lay up with something to get me to 115 yards."

 

Mostly those parts.

 

But let's take a couple of short par fours.

 

Here's hole 8 at Lake View CC in North East, PA.

 

The hole measures 400 yards from Tee "A" and 360 or so from Tee "B":

 

 

From the A Tees, a driver that goes 285 will get to about where the A pin is. This leaves a shot of about 115 yards, and is generally okay. You can hit your driver far enough to be past the trees on the right, so the good miss is in the right rough (the fairway slants right too). You typically want to avoid the left side as the trees are thicker there.

 

From the B tees, the same driver will go to where the B pin is. This puts you 40 yards closer to the green - about 75 yards out - but the problem is the two trees short and left of both bunkers. Unless you're quite literally within about five yards of the fairway (remember - it tilts right a decent amount), the trees will block you and you'll have to find a way to go over them - a launch angle of 65° or so might do it. Maybe. Or try to hook or slice a 75-yard shot.

 

In other words, you'd be hitting into trouble unless you're dead center. So you lay up with 3W from the B Tees, and hit driver from the A Tees. It gets you as close to the green as possible without putting you in "trouble." From 115, you can easily go over the trees if you're right or left a little.

 

Here's another hole, a par five at Lake View (#6). It's about 600 yards from the tees I've illustrated. I've drawn a driver of about 285 yards again, leaving 315 to the green.

 

 

Why, if you're in a good position, would you ever consider hitting even a 200-yard shot to lay up to 115 when you can hit your 3W 240 and reasonably accurately to 75 yards? There's no trouble at 75 yards. Not any worse than the trouble at 115, anyway (the fairway slopes left, there are some trees right and a tree or two to the left - the ideal miss is a little left).

 

Unless - again - you literally can't hit your 3W off the fairway or you duck hook the snot out of it or something, you always rip your second as far down there as you can.

 

You can't tell me that if you hit your ball to 75 yards you'd rather pick it up, walk back 40 yards, and play from there.

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

You can't tell me that if you hit your ball to 75 yards you'd rather pick it up, walk back 40 yards, and play from there.

Right now, 75 yards is my least favorite distance -- too close for a full 56 (85 yards), too far for half of a 9-iron (65 yards). I can try to hit half an 8-iron, but I haven't hit that shot very well in the past, compared to a half wedge.

But I'd still rather have 75 yards left than 115.

(I'm also not the guy you responded to when you gave the example)
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Mostly those parts.

But let's take a couple of short par fours.

Here's hole 8 at Lake View CC in North East, PA.

The hole measures 400 yards from Tee "A" and 360 or so from Tee "B":




From the A Tees, a driver that goes 285 will get to about where the A pin is. This leaves a shot of about 115 yards, and is generally okay. You can hit your driver far enough to be past the trees on the right, so the good miss is in the right rough (the fairway slants right too). You typically want to avoid the left side as the trees are thicker there.


From the B tees, the same driver will go to where the B pin is. This puts you 40 yards closer to the green - about 75 yards out - but the problem is the two trees short and left of both bunkers. Unless you're quite literally within about five yards of the fairway (remember - it tilts right a decent amount), the trees will block you and you'll have to find a way to go over them - a launch angle of 65° or so 
might do it. Maybe. Or try to hook or slice a 75-yard shot.


In other words, you'd be hitting into trouble unless you're dead center. So you lay up with 3W from the B Tees, and hit driver from the A Tees. It gets you as close to the green as possible without putting you in "trouble." From 115, you can easily go over the trees if you're right or left a little.


Here's another hole, a par five at Lake View (#6). It's about 600 yards from the tees I've illustrated. I've drawn a driver of about 285 yards again, leaving 315 to the green.




Why, if you're in a good position, would you ever consider hitting even a 200-yard shot to lay up to 115 when you can hit your 3W 240 and reasonably accurately to 75 yards? There's no trouble at 75 yards. Not any worse than the trouble at 115, anyway (the fairway slopes left, there are some trees right and a tree or two to the left - the ideal miss is a little left).

Unless - again - you literally can't hit your 3W off the fairway or you duck hook the snot out of it or something, you always rip your second as far down there as you can.

You can't tell me that if you hit your ball to 75 yards you'd rather pick it up, walk back 40 yards, and play from there.
Thanks Erik. This confirms that I've been over thinking this and am going to go back to basics. Next round ... More drivers! It also makes me think I've accidentally slipped into a crappy negative frame of mind. Your examples highlight the differences in the two strategies based on a good shot whereas I've been basing my strategy too much on the what ifs of the bad shots. Might be time to break out the Rotella books for a refresher.
post #30 of 30

Repeating good swing and putting and getting them into your muscle memory.   I.e, practice, practice, practice.    You are still at a level where big improvements can be made with focused practice.  No practice ... no improvement.
 

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