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Do you drive 250+ yards and have a 20+ handicap?

post #1 of 142
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I had been in various threads, where people doubt the distances you can drive because you have a high handicap. This is not surprising, because for a low handicapper to drive 300 yards on average they need almost perfect swing mechanics.

 

My normal drive is only about 220 carry, which usually translates to about 230 to 240 drive distances. So, I don't quite fall into this category. However, from most of the standard male tees on a par 4, I generally take my second shot somewhere in between the red and the white tees.

 

This is not really a thread about distance, but it is about having the ability to be close to the red stakes after every drive on your appropriate tees and still get an average of 5 or more strokes on a par 4.

 

What happened?

 

So, my question to each of you is what makes your approach shot so bad? or is it the ability to 4 putt? or is it chipping poorly? or is it OB? or something else?

 

The ground rules are to post only one fault at a time, so we might get some specific answers.

 

When and if a specific problem has been addressed and fixed, please post the results. It could be in the form of a dialog about a specific round or even a hole that went really well because of the fix made.

 

It would be interesting if we can get some low handicappers to chime in and fix some of these problems.

post #2 of 142

I'm bringing my handicap down with every round, but right now it is sitting at 34. It is misleading to compare my drive distances to my handicap because I was driving it 200 at most until I got a new driver, and I have only played 3 rounds towards my handicap with this driver. But I am like you, a really good drive for me is 240, I think I could hit 250 with some wind and perhaps downhill. My average is probably closer to 220 or 230.

 

But for me, it's the blow up holes. I'll hit a 240 yard drive, hit a decent approach, 2-putt and get par. On the next hole, I might miss with my drive slightly, then duff a shot, land in a bunker, take 2 to get out, 2 putt and end up with a triple bogey or worse. 

 

My last round, I had a hole where I hit a good drive, but it landed in a fairway bunker that was in the middle of the fairway. My shot out of that only went about 30 feet, and into the edge of the woods. I had to hit a short shot out of the woods, and the hole doglegged to the left pretty sharp so I still couldn't hit to the green. I laid up in the fairway, hit onto the green and 2 putted. So even though my drive was a good distance, I ended up with a 7 or 8 on a par 5.

post #3 of 142
Eliminate the "Hero Shot" from the woods, rough, traps, water or anywhere else. Attempting a "Bubba" for the high handicapper is a ridiculous thought. Even a low handicapper will benefit from that.
post #4 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

However, from most of the standard male tees on a par 4, I generally take my second shot somewhere in between the red and the white tees.

 

This is not really a thread about distance, but it is about having the ability to be close to the red stakes after every drive on your appropriate tees and still get an average of 5 or more strokes on a par 4.

 

 

If I understand your description, your drives typically end up between 150 yards (White Yardage Marker) and 100 yards (Red Yardage Marker) from the green and not the tee markers.  And the red stakes you mention are the 100 yard markers - often marked with a red pole or indicator stick.

post #5 of 142

Irons. They are the bane of my existence. I can drive, I can chip, and I can putt. But if I have to strike a ball in the fairway, it's garbage. Pure garbage.

post #6 of 142

I don't actually hit 250+, but will offer my .02 anyway - based on experience with my game and watching many others since I very often join a group of players I don't know.

 

If hitting a drive 250 was my goal - I could pull that off a decent amount of the time.  The problem is a lot of those tries will end up in the woods and I'll get 8's - which would keep my handicap high. Instead, I quit carrying the damn thing and my handicap went down.  "Hitting it 250" is kind of a relative term since it doesn't imply how many fairways were hit.

 

Also, I see many, many players who consider themselves big hitters fully capable of hitting 250 yard drives (and on occasion really crush it down the middle), but they don't find the fairway enough to score well.  Same experience I had with driver.  But they still pull it out every hole.  Often times, about the 5th hole they'll notice and inquire why I'm hitting iron or hybrid or 3-wood again.  And the answer is because I'm trying to keep the score under control.

 

A really great drive down the middle saves you somewhere between 0 and 1 strokes per hole probably.  But one in the woods can add 2-3 sometimes.  So if you hit 50% of fairways, it could cost you 10 strokes per round pretty easy.  So - to make a long story long - I'd think a lot of 250 guys are just too wild off the tee.

post #7 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkuehn1952 View Post

If I understand your description, your drives typically end up between 150 yards (White Yardage Marker) and 100 yards (Red Yardage Marker) from the green and not the tee markers.  And the red stakes you mention are the 100 yard markers - often marked with a red pole or indicator stick.


Ah, yes. I meant on the fairway.

post #8 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post

I don't actually hit 250+, but will offer my .02 anyway - based on experience with my game and watching many others since I very often join a group of players I don't know.

 

If hitting a drive 250 was my goal - I could pull that off a decent amount of the time.  The problem is a lot of those tries will end up in the woods and I'll get 8's - which would keep my handicap high. Instead, I quit carrying the damn thing and my handicap went down.  "Hitting it 250" is kind of a relative term since it doesn't imply how many fairways were hit.

 

Also, I see many, many players who consider themselves big hitters fully capable of hitting 250 yard drives (and on occasion really crush it down the middle), but they don't find the fairway enough to score well.  Same experience I had with driver.  But they still pull it out every hole.  Often times, about the 5th hole they'll notice and inquire why I'm hitting iron or hybrid or 3-wood again.  And the answer is because I'm trying to keep the score under control.

 

A really great drive down the middle saves you somewhere between 0 and 1 strokes per hole probably.  But one in the woods can add 2-3 sometimes.  So if you hit 50% of fairways, it could cost you 10 strokes per round pretty easy.  So - to make a long story long - I'd think a lot of 250 guys are just too wild off the tee.

 

Absolutely. If there's trouble on both sides, I typically tee off with the hybrid. If it's only one side, I'll drive, if it's wide open, I'm driving...as hard as I can. a3_biggrin.gif

post #9 of 142

My main problem is anxiety I guess. When I hit the fairway I put so much pressure on myself to hit it close instead of just putting it on the green that I try too hard. There is no one thing I do all the time, but if I were to say my most often miss is a push to the right probably 60% of the time. It seems like the course designers around here all decided that the green should be about 3 feet higher than the rough around it, so my chipping on is sketchy at best giving me usually a 2 putt for bogey which can quickly be a 3 putt for double.

post #10 of 142
Quote:
Irons. They are the bane of my existence. I can drive, I can chip, and I can putt. But if I have to strike a ball in the fairway, it's garbage. Pure garbage

 

 

This almost to a tee. I am not a 20+ but when I was I still drove 250+. But I blade or chunk a SW from the fairway pretty much every time I try to hit one. And the rest of my irons are only slightly better until oddly enough I get to my 3 and 4 which I hit pure a high percentage of times. When I get in a groove with irons I show glimpses of greatness(if I do say so myself, and I do) but it is followed by rounds of lousy iron shots. If I ever get those worked out to even an average striker I will be single digits in no time. 

.

post #11 of 142
I wish I could pin it down to one specific aspect of my game that's holding me back but it's usually all over the board. Some days I drive well and can't hit an approach shot to save my life. Other days I'll blow up with my driver and my irons are the strongest part of my game. It's rare that I actually three putt a hole anymore but two putts are quite common.

Usually when I drive decent my ball carries around the 200 - 220 yard range. I have to agree with RayG about the hero shots... just the other day I was coming up the 9th hole and landed in a stretch of trees, rather than playing a safe shot and putting the ball back in the fairway I saw a gap I thought I could hit through. BIG MISTAKE!
post #12 of 142

I think the issue with high handicappers saying they're hitting 250+ and have 20+ handicaps is all about accuracy. It's one thing to crush the ball 250+, or even 300+, it's another thing to consistently hit the fairways. I personally drive on average 280-290 yards but I hit just under 50% of fairways. My handicap has steadily increased this year because of my inability to hit the short grass. I'm by no means close to a 20+ handicap, but I can't imagine myself getting back into single digits if I can't start hitting the fairways.


In addition to accuracy, it comes down to consistency with irons for higher handicappers. If someone asks me what my favorite club in my bag is I often times would say my 3-iron. It's one of my most consistent clubs off the tee or in the fairway/rough. I doubt many 20+ handicappers would say that. I'm sure I could lower my handicap back down to 8 or 9 if I started going back to teeing off with my 3-iron again, but once I'm out on that course I convince myself that today is my day to nail every fairway. I firmly believe many high handicappers think this too, they've hit the bomb before dead straight and they'll be able to do it again today.


The last point I'll make is importance of short game. The short game is the most important part of your game in general. To many beginners are concerned with driving the ball like the pros and not chipping and putting like them. If all you're worried about is the long ball then I can easily see how you can hit it a mile and still post double and triple bogies.

post #13 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post

I don't actually hit 250+, but will offer my .02 anyway - based on experience with my game and watching many others since I very often join a group of players I don't know.

 

If hitting a drive 250 was my goal - I could pull that off a decent amount of the time.  The problem is a lot of those tries will end up in the woods and I'll get 8's - which would keep my handicap high. Instead, I quit carrying the damn thing and my handicap went down.  "Hitting it 250" is kind of a relative term since it doesn't imply how many fairways were hit.

 

Also, I see many, many players who consider themselves big hitters fully capable of hitting 250 yard drives (and on occasion really crush it down the middle), but they don't find the fairway enough to score well.  Same experience I had with driver.  But they still pull it out every hole.  Often times, about the 5th hole they'll notice and inquire why I'm hitting iron or hybrid or 3-wood again.  And the answer is because I'm trying to keep the score under control.

 

A really great drive down the middle saves you somewhere between 0 and 1 strokes per hole probably.  But one in the woods can add 2-3 sometimes.  So if you hit 50% of fairways, it could cost you 10 strokes per round pretty easy.  So - to make a long story long - I'd think a lot of 250 guys are just too wild off the tee.

 

Thanks for the insight!

post #14 of 142
I always play from the tees appropriate for a 20 plus handicapper so I dont always need to pull out my driver but I always do. I avg between 215 and 235 when I hit one near the sweet spot. Believe it or not since going back to stack and tilt my ball striking has gotten WAY better and thats with every club in the bag. I stand over a 3 wood off the deck now expecting the ball to actually get airborne and go where Im aiming. Thats a totally new feeling for me. But back to the driver............last time out my best drive of the day was 249 right down the middle according to GPS. Come to think of it thats probably my best driver ever. Maybe I can attribute that so SandT but I know I am benefiting from a lighter driver. I love my Adams Super S woods.
post #15 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonTheSavage View Post

I always play from the tees appropriate for a 20 plus handicapper so I dont always need to pull out my driver but I always do. I avg between 215 and 235 when I hit one near the sweet spot. Believe it or not since going back to stack and tilt my ball striking has gotten WAY better and thats with every club in the bag. I stand over a 3 wood off the deck now expecting the ball to actually get airborne and go where Im aiming. Thats a totally new feeling for me. But back to the driver............last time out my best drive of the day was 249 right down the middle according to GPS. Come to think of it thats probably my best driver ever. Maybe I can attribute that so SandT but I know I am benefiting from a lighter driver. I love my Adams Super S woods.

 

My driver is out of commission, so I hit my buddy's Adams driver the other night and was really really impressed. 9.5 degree, stiff flex and the thing just crushed the ball. Great distance, and what seemed like great forgiveness.

post #16 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatwoodtigerdo View Post

 

 

This almost to a tee. I am not a 20+ but when I was I still drove 250+. But I blade or chunk a SW from the fairway pretty much every time I try to hit one. And the rest of my irons are only slightly better until oddly enough I get to my 3 and 4 which I hit pure a high percentage of times. When I get in a groove with irons I show glimpses of greatness(if I do say so myself, and I do) but it is followed by rounds of lousy iron shots. If I ever get those worked out to even an average striker I will be single digits in no time. 

.

 

It's good to know. What you did you do to "get in the groove"?

post #17 of 142

I play better than 20 but I'll assume what works for me is somewhat universal. For me FIR or a longer drive that misses with a good angle offers the best chance at GIR. If I manage to do that it's the best opportunity for par. My numbers are a little low, if I miss the fairway by an inch I don't log it as FIR, same with greens, I find the fringe often. Currently FIR is 48% and GIR is 36% with average driving distance of 258. I wish I could say it's just one mistake that hinders me but it's usually many. At my level inconsistency is everywhere and most of the time it's a WTF moment. I've hit "perfect" drives that leave a simple 75 yd pitch to an easy flag on a green without much trouble and taken 5 more strokes to get it holed. Even when it seems like it could be avoided its usually a random shank that takes the ball from it's good lie in the fairway to a trap that shouldn't have been in play or something like that. The strokes start piling up unless anything that follows is near perfect as possible. The shot out of the bunker that lands short of the green. Chipping on in 4 and not getting close enough to get up and down for bogey.

post #18 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post

 

My driver is out of commission, so I hit my buddy's Adams driver the other night and was really really impressed. 9.5 degree, stiff flex and the thing just crushed the ball. Great distance, and what seemed like great forgiveness.

 

Yeah I agree it seems to be very forgiving even with the 46 inch shaft. And they can be had brand new for $165 right now. I got a demo for $120 so I jumped on it.
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