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Do you drive 250+ yards and have a 20+ handicap? - Page 4

post #55 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

Just wondering if the reason the long hitters are not on the fairway might be due to terrain. For instance, a dogleg at 270 yards?


Possibly, but for the most part, guys I hear say "Oh, I bombed that one 320 plus" are usually not in the same fairway as they started. And not NEARLY as far as they thought. And that's on a straight hole. They get lucky once in awhile when their slice matches a hole and they get close on their drives. "Yeah, I put a charge into that one"... And if the hole bent the other way they'd be in the wrong zip code.
post #56 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


Just wondering if the reason the long hitters are not on the fairway might be due to terrain. For instance, a dogleg at 270 yards?

This does happen to me a bit, drive through the dogleg and end up behind a tree or in nasty rough. This is, of course, my fault for not being more intelligent with my course management.

post #57 of 140

I don't know about anyone else but as my driving distance increased my scores greatly improved.  When I started I was thrilled to break a 100 and I was averaging 200-220 off the tee.  When I started hitting in the 90s I was probably averaging 240.  This year I am hitting my farthest every 250-260 carry off the tee and have my hcp as low as its ever been. 

post #58 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by trackster View Post

I don't know about anyone else but as my driving distance increased my scores greatly improved.  When I started I was thrilled to break a 100 and I was averaging 200-220 off the tee.  When I started hitting in the 90s I was probably averaging 240.  This year I am hitting my farthest every 250-260 carry off the tee and have my hcp as low as its ever been. 

 

Could also be that you're getting better all-around over time. That tends to happen...b2_tongue.gif

post #59 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by trackster View Post

I don't know about anyone else but as my driving distance increased my scores greatly improved.  When I started I was thrilled to break a 100 and I was averaging 200-220 off the tee.  When I started hitting in the 90s I was probably averaging 240.  This year I am hitting my farthest every 250-260 carry off the tee and have my hcp as low as its ever been. 

As slice said, increase in distance is typically indicative of increase in ball striking ability/club head speed which will translate into better play overall. My problem is from the start, long ago, I was more worried about distance than accuracy. So now I've had to undo the bad habits picked up along the way. I've said already, I'd trade distance for accuracy anyday!

post #60 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trackster View Post

I don't know about anyone else but as my driving distance increased my scores greatly improved.  When I started I was thrilled to break a 100 and I was averaging 200-220 off the tee.  When I started hitting in the 90s I was probably averaging 240.  This year I am hitting my farthest every 250-260 carry off the tee and have my hcp as low as its ever been. 

 

Would you say that 250 to 260 is a sweet spot so to speak?

Let's say you could hit it 50 yards further, would it help your game? Or could it put you in positions you don't want to be in. That is assuming you do not know how to fade/draw on purpose?

post #61 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

Would you say that 250 to 260 is a sweet spot so to speak?

Let's say you could hit it 50 yards further, would it help your game? Or could it put you in positions you don't want to be in. That is assuming you do not know how to fade/draw on purpose?

 

I would take more distance in a heart beat.  This game gets a lot easier the farther you hit it.  Leave yourself shorter approach shots and your game will improve.  Accuracy is important but I would take reasonable (not sliced two holes to the left or out of bounds) long ball over shorter fairway finding.

post #62 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

Would you say that 250 to 260 is a sweet spot so to speak?

Let's say you could hit it 50 yards further, would it help your game? Or could it put you in positions you don't want to be in. That is assuming you do not know how to fade/draw on purpose?

 

If you can hit it where you want it to go, of course it would help. If you're in a situation where you don't need the distance and/or can't control the fade/draw, grab your 3-wood or 3 iron. 

post #63 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

This come up a lot. "Average Drive" length ISN'T all of your drives averaged out. it is the drives IN the fairway that count. That's what the tour uses for it's stats. Not picking you out personally, but just a reminder that average drive lengths are measured for those in the fairways. They have a stat for accuracy as well. Check the guys that bomb it. Their accuracy stat is usually well down the list. I think on tour they have only one or two holes at each event that are used for measuring drive distances. IF they get lucky on those one or two, then all's well. But if they miss the fairway, those aren't put in the spreadsheet, as it were.
Just wondering if the reason the long hitters are not on the fairway might be due to terrain. For instance, a dogleg at 270 yards?

 

Typically the measured holes are straight.

post #64 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post
Just wondering if the reason the long hitters are not on the fairway might be due to terrain. For instance, a dogleg at 270 yards?

 

This can happen - but it is not the main reason. I'd say that generally speaking - a 20+ handicapper (or maybe anyone) would be in a position where they sacrifice some accuracy for distance - or conversely distance for accuracy.  If you swing smoother or take less club - both generally help you keep it in the middle.  Taking driver and 'going for it' can get you more distance, but these are not accuracy based ideas.  And at the bogey golfer level - accuracy is more important for scoring than distance is.

 

As was stated by reedf above: ... my longer ones out to 280. I'm "averaging" around 240ish. My trouble is still off the tee! I have been taking around 10 penalty strokes per round recently. I either slice one OB, lost or in the water or I smoke one 250 down the middle. 

 

10 penalty strokes per round is a GIANT score-killer. And that doesn't even count the ones that are in trouble but don't actually result in penalty strokes - but in strokes to get back to the fairway and such.  If we're talking about 15 strokes/round, that is the difference between 85 and 100.

 

I'd have to think that if I stood on the first tee with him and broke his driver in half - that he would score better.  And that isn't specific to him - I think this all the time when I play with people.  A really good drive can result in a shaved stroke - but it doesn't always.  And 20 caps don't hit many GIR anyway.  So even if you hit it good, you might still be on in 3 with nothing gained.  But in his example above, it illustrates how quick you can give up 2 strokes because it didn't go well.  The balance of risk/reward is tilting in the wrong direction.

 

This led to me (reluctantly) giving up driver until I can hit it better.  It looks like Mickelson has done the same thing.  I really hope to get better at it and begin to hit it - because I do hate topping out at about 240 on 3-wood (although more commonly 220+ or so).  And I actually hit more hybrids than anything - about 210 maybe.  But giving up driver helped get me out of the 20's and into the teens.

post #65 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post

10 penalty strokes per round is a GIANT score-killer. And that doesn't even count the ones that are in trouble but don't actually result in penalty strokes - but in strokes to get back to the fairway and such.  If we're talking about 15 strokes/round, that is the difference between 85 and 100.

 

I guess it is pretty amazing how quickly penalties adds up.

post #66 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

I guess it is pretty amazing how quickly penalties adds up.

 

True, but in all practicality, they wouldn't have much impact on your handicap unless you were consistently doing it.  For example, I had 5 penalty shots yesterday and shot an 89, or +17.  Far above my handicap, but won't impact it at all since it will be one of my worst 10 scores of the last 20.  

 

10 penalty strokes should be an outlier.  If it's not, there are many things wrong, moreso than just the ability to repeat a swing.  It likely includes poor course management and poor decision making (to the extent that the two aren't redundant).  If it doesn't, then there's no way the swing in question is averaging good distances.

post #67 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

 

True, but in all practicality, they wouldn't have much impact on your handicap unless you were consistently doing it.  For example, I had 5 penalty shots yesterday and shot an 89, or +17.  Far above my handicap, but won't impact it at all since it will be one of my worst 10 scores of the last 20.  

 

10 penalty strokes should be an outlier.  If it's not, there are many things wrong, moreso than just the ability to repeat a swing.  It likely includes poor course management and poor decision making (to the extent that the two aren't redundant).  If it doesn't, then there's no way the swing in question is averaging good distances.

 

Agreed. 

 

I hit one drive OB yesterday, and it wasn't a terrible drive, just a push that took a bad bounce and shot into the woods. If you're hitting 5 balls OB, you should probably start teeing off with a 5 iron until you figure out what's going on.

 

(Except for me, since I'd hit more balls OB with my 5 iron than my driver...PIECE of $#!T IRONS!!!)

post #68 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

I guess it is pretty amazing how quickly penalties adds up.

 

True, but in all practicality, they wouldn't have much impact on your handicap unless you were consistently doing it.  For example, I had 5 penalty shots yesterday and shot an 89, or +17.  Far above my handicap, but won't impact it at all since it will be one of my worst 10 scores of the last 20.  

 

10 penalty strokes should be an outlier.  If it's not, there are many things wrong, moreso than just the ability to repeat a swing.  It likely includes poor course management and poor decision making (to the extent that the two aren't redundant).  If it doesn't, then there's no way the swing in question is averaging good distances.

 

This^^

 

Making good decisions, overriding one's ego can be a big step to lowering one's handicap.  How many players do we know who only have that one swing? They approach the game with one idea, that being full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.  Driver on every holes that isn't a par 3.  Go for every par 5 in 2 no matter how bad an idea that might be.  The only satisfaction they've ever gotten out of the game is being able to hit a ball farther than most everyone they play with.  I get an added buzz out of beating those guys just for giving them the object lesson.  

 

When I was in my 30's it used to gripe me to get beat by that old guy who hit his driver 40 yards shorter than me yet still "lucked out" with an up and down par half the time.  Now I'm that old guy, and I know exactly what he was about.  c2_beer.gif

post #69 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

 

True, but in all practicality, they wouldn't have much impact on your handicap unless you were consistently doing it.  For example, I had 5 penalty shots yesterday and shot an 89, or +17.  Far above my handicap, but won't impact it at all since it will be one of my worst 10 scores of the last 20.  

 

10 penalty strokes should be an outlier.  If it's not, there are many things wrong, moreso than just the ability to repeat a swing.  It likely includes poor course management and poor decision making (to the extent that the two aren't redundant).  If it doesn't, then there's no way the swing in question is averaging good distances.

 

The first statement about 10 penalty strokes not affecting your handicap, is certainly true. However, it does not hold for many of us higher handicappers. If every round has two or more blowup holes, it will be reflected in the handicap even with "equitable stroke control".

 

In response to your second statement, I understand that for you to hit farther, you would require that any distance increase be through better swing mechanics.

 

However, good swing mechanics and poor course management or decision making are not related. Good swing mechanics is related to a persons coordination ability, while good course management and decision making are dependent upon a higher level of thinking.

 

They are independent traits that could make your game bad, but you need to be good at all of them to make your game good.

 

So, what I wanted to know is that if someone could hit 250+ yard (hence, reasonably good coordination), what is keeping them from having a really good handicap?

 

What I really want to hear, is what did lower handicappers think and do to make their scores better.

post #70 of 140

I certainly don't qualify as a low handicap golfer but I can honestly say the biggest difference in what I do now compared to when I was playing around 20 is minimizing mistakes. It seems simple enough but too few actually put it into play. If you don't take unnecessary chances you don't get burned. Another thing that helped lower scores was not trying to muscle very club. I don't know why but many amateurs like to be able to say I hit X club this far. Usually it's an attempt to qualify their game with claims that their distances are close to tour pro stats. When I stopped trying to swing my 9i like a driver to hit the ball 150 the errant shots became less frequent, it was usually counterproductive. The swing was there it was just hidden by my over-swinging.  Play smart golf not driving range and the scores will trend down. I suppose the third step that helped my lower scores was not using equipment ill suited to my skill level. It was sweet looking at the thin topline of my forged MacGregor's, nice shiny little chrome beauties. But those clubs hurt more than helped and in the end I liked the look of a lower score on the card than the sleek irons I couldn't hit consistently.

post #71 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

The first statement about 10 penalty strokes not affecting your handicap, is certainly true. However, it does not hold for many of us higher handicappers. If every round has two or more blowup holes, it will be reflected in the handicap even with "equitable stroke control".

 

In response to your second statement, I understand that for you to hit farther, you would require that any distance increase be through better swing mechanics.

 

However, good swing mechanics and poor course management or decision making are not related. Good swing mechanics is related to a persons coordination ability, while good course management and decision making are dependent upon a higher level of thinking.

 

They are independent traits that could make your game bad, but you need to be good at all of them to make your game good.

 

So, what I wanted to know is that if someone could hit 250+ yard (hence, reasonably good coordination), what is keeping them from having a really good handicap?

 

What I really want to hear, is what did lower handicappers think and do to make their scores better.

Anyone with a repeatable swing can get it from tee to green. It's 100 yards and in where the lower handicaps separate themselves from the higher handicaps. If a 15 misses a green, chances are he'll put up bogey or worse. If a 5 misses the green, he's likely going to get up and down to save par. I think working on developing a repeatable and predictable swing with solid ball contact is the first step to decent golf. And that doesn't mean hitting it 280 off the tee and dead straight. Just have a good idea on what your miss is and play to it. For instance, I know my miss is to the right. So instead of aiming at the pin, I'll aim at the left side of the green. If I hit it straight, great. I'm on the green with a good chance at a two putt par. If my miss occurs and I fade the ball, my misses won't be nearly as bad because there is more green to work with and might even work out really well depending on how much it fades. 

 

It's hard to play good golf if you're not striking the ball consistently. If you're slicing, hooking, topping balls, or chunking them, you need to work on ballstriking. Once you have your ballstriking consistent, you can start working on scoring. Try to get through a round without any absolutely terrible shots and don't worry about the score. Your stroke totals will fall as you focus on making a better pass at the ball. 

post #72 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

The first statement about 10 penalty strokes not affecting your handicap, is certainly true. However, it does not hold for many of us higher handicappers. If every round has two or more blowup holes, it will be reflected in the handicap even with "equitable stroke control".

 

 

Agreed, but a blow up hole is different from penalty strokes.  Technically speaking, a high handicapper is a high handicapper precisely because they have a lot more blow up holes.  But that doesn't necessitate that they had penalty strokes.  Having a few penalty strokes can be the result of some poor swings, which is expected.  But once you pass a certain threshold, penalty strokes start to become a function of poor decision-making. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

However, good swing mechanics and poor course management or decision making are not related. Good swing mechanics is related to a persons coordination ability, while good course management and decision making are dependent upon a higher level of thinking.

 

 

We definitely agree on this part, and if I wasn't clear in my original post, this was precisely my point.  They are unrelated, so differentiating between poor swings and bad decisions is a necessary endeavor to prevent (theoretically) accumulating 10 penalty strokes in a single round.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

 

So, what I wanted to know is that if someone could hit 250+ yard (hence, reasonably good coordination), what is keeping them from having a really good handicap?

 

What I really want to hear, is what did lower handicappers think and do to make their scores better.

 

 

I may not be what some would consider a "low handicap", but 1-3 years ago I was a 16+, and these days I hover just above single digits.  Although I made the jump from 16 to 10 over the course of a few months, it took several years to put together the pieces that eventually allowed me to play better.  When I started 4-5 years ago, I couldn't hit my driver.  It would probably go a total of 200 yards.  200 yards on one plane, and 50 yards on the other plane.  I would hit 3i off almost every tee.  It took a year or more before I put driver back into play, and the only thing that helped was practicing at the range.  

 

No matter, I still was a very poor ball striker, didn't hit many greens and left myself in a lot of bad situations around the green that make it near impossible to get up and down from.  Nothing but better ball-striking allowed me to improve my scores.  To me, golf is simple in concept and immensely difficult in execution: you need the low point of the club to be past the beginning point of the ball in order to play with consistency, but it's easier said than done.  Swing speed will help you have a higher ceiling once you come closer to this point, but until you do, it won't matter how fast you swing.

 

For me, 2-3 years ago, when I caught my iron shots clean (let's say 2-3 out of 10 times), it was a ball flight that a lot of folks were impressed by.  They would talk about how there was no way I was a 16 handicap, and I just needed to do this or that...and then they'd proceed to beat me by 10 strokes.  And, when I hit my driver well, it was typically further than them by 15-40 yards.  But it wasn't consistent enough to average anywhere close to 250, let alone 275 or 300.  

 

I will admit though, hitting with the driver was easier for me than hitting with irons once I understood more about the driver swing.  You can be a flip-artist and still do decently well with the driver.  But I believe there is also a ceiling handicap at which you can drive it far consistently but not be able to do anything else well.  The reality is that on most courses, the biggest causes of blow up holes are still going to be more in play from the tee than around the green.  It's more common to hit it OB, or lose your ball from the tee.  Water hazards may be equally in play from the tee and near the green, but I wouldn't know.  But even if we assume they are evenly distributed, the reality is that if you add a penalty shot from the tee, you're more likely to have a higher score than if you add a penalty shot from an approach shot.  My point is that if you're driving it awesomely well, averaging 280 off the tee and hitting fairways, the chances of you having a very high handicap start to decrease.  Having that high of a handicap typically involves finding a lot of trouble off the tee, or hitting it short enough that all of the trouble from typical tee shots is still in play.

 

I've typed long enough and I want to leave work.  Not sure if my post makes any sense, but feel free to dissect it and let me know your thoughts.

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