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Philosophical hcp "quality" question ... - Page 2

post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Right, but I think that potential is skewed a bit when you hone it on one course versus several.  Now, this isn't going to be true across the board.  The difficulty of the one course matters as well ... a valid handicap for a member of Oakmont, for example, is likely going to travel quite well.  But in general, everybody is going to get a bit comfortable playing the same course over and over.

I generally agree that it is easier to go from a hard course to an easier track (and I definitely score better sight unseen on easier tracks), but a guy from Oakmont who has only played there and never broken 80 might get nervous when he goes to an easier course and has a chance to break 80- this could result in him carding a higher differential than he normally does at Oakmont.

post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Right, but I think that potential is skewed a bit when you hone it on one course versus several.  Now, this isn't going to be true across the board.  The difficulty of the one course matters as well ... a valid handicap for a member of Oakmont, for example, is likely going to travel quite well.  But in general, everybody is going to get a bit comfortable playing the same course over and over.

I can only really speak for my own game, but if you can shoot 72 on a 72/130 course, then that is your potential. You (i.e. I) can shoot (and very well may shoot) 80 on a 69/115 course, but that's not my potential. Give me 3 rounds to figure it out and I'll shoot 72-74. When your potential is within a few shots of par, it doesn't take much to blow your index. And any course, even an easy one, can fool you for 3 shots or so the first time you play it.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post


I can only really speak for my own game, but if you can shoot 72 on a 72/130 course, then that is your potential. You (i.e. I) can shoot (and very well may shoot) 80 on a 69/115 course, but that's not my potential. Give me 3 rounds to figure it out and I'll shoot 72-74. When your potential is within a few shots of par, it doesn't take much to blow your index. And any course, even an easy one, can fool you for 3 shots or so the first time you play it.

I believe that bold is all the OP is saying though.  If your handicap is based on one or two courses, each of which you've played several times, then you've already had your "3 rounds to figure it out."  On the other hand, if your handicap is based on several different courses, then it's likely that for a lot of your rounds, and quite possibly some that are in your top 10, you haven't had those "3 rounds to figure it out."

 

Therefore if both of those 2 players have the exact same handicap, I believe that it is a safe bet that the second guy is slightly "better" in a lot of cases.  That is to say, if you could go back in time and simply have player 2 play the same variety of courses the same amount of times as player 1, that he likely will have a LOWER handicap than player 1, not a matching one.

post #22 of 41

Other variables private club golfers face is they may be accustomed to having a caddie who assists in course management and green reading so when they go to a new course and don't have the benefit of a caddie they aren't used to figuring things out for themselves.

 

I have a friend who only plays at his private course and always uses a caddie, he avoids playing at other courses (especially without caddies) because he plays much worse when he does. 

 

From personal experience I think this is more of a low handicap problem.  Mid to high handicappers face enough other challenges with their swing, green reading, etc that course familiarity isn't as great an advantage.  I always review a course layout before I play a new course.  I can plan a basic strategy for each hole but executing that strategy is always more of a challenge.   

post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post


I can only really speak for my own game, but if you can shoot 72 on a 72/130 course, then that is your potential. You (i.e. I) can shoot (and very well may shoot) 80 on a 69/115 course, but that's not my potential. Give me 3 rounds to figure it out and I'll shoot 72-74. When your potential is within a few shots of par, it doesn't take much to blow your index. And any course, even an easy one, can fool you for 3 shots or so the first time you play it.

GolfingDad is right- what you say does more to confirm what the OP says than disprove it (although, to be fair to you, the OP does mention playing a rotation of courses, so once he has been through them 3+ times, using your thinking, his handicap should be just as strong as the CC guy.

 

I disagree that you need 3 rounds to figure out all new courses you play.  My handicap is higher than yours (and has never been below about a 4), but I have broken 80 dozens of times on courses I had never played before.  In fact, the last time I played (9 holes due to time constraints), I shot a bogey free 35 (-1) at Broken Tee (white tees listed as 3100+, but really about 3 K).  To be fair, I had a laser range finder and played with 2 guys who know the course well.  In my last 18 hole round, my group won the scramble with a 56 (-16)- none of us had ever played the course before. 

post #24 of 41

Still it makes the assumption all things are equal and I can honestly say I don't play any two courses with nearly identical ratings that setup and play the same. IMO it's what you are accustomed to not how much you are accustomed to. I bailed on my former home course for this exact reason. I played 90% of my golf there last season and into 2013. The rating was low enough my differentials were higher than my scores. What I found strange was my away scores were almost always lower, significantly lower. It led to me questioning the head pro about the accuracy of the course rating which he claimed was recent within a few years. It convinced me my index was higher than it should have been not lower.

post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

Other variables private club golfers face is they may be accustomed to having a caddie who assists in course management and green reading so when they go to a new course and don't have the benefit of a caddie they aren't used to figuring things out for themselves.

 

I have a friend who only plays at his private course and always uses a caddie, he avoids playing at other courses (especially without caddies) because he plays much worse when he does. 

 

From personal experience I think this is more of a low handicap problem.  Mid to high handicappers face enough other challenges with their swing, green reading, etc that course familiarity isn't as great an advantage.  I always review a course layout before I play a new course.  I can plan a basic strategy for each hole but executing that strategy is always more of a challenge.   

 

That may apply to some few private courses, but it isn't all that common.  I've played at 4 or 5 private tracks and have yet to see a caddie.  In fact, I've never played a course which offered caddies.

post #26 of 41

There is definite truth to being a "1 Course Horse"..........   You will definitely play a course better if you play it regularly.  I was that guy in 2012 when I got down to a zero HC.   There is no way in hell I could play to that HC when I traveled.   I figure I had a 2-3 shot advantage playing my old home course........

 

 

On the other hand, if you tend to play a rotation of the same 5-10 courses and get to know them well.....you should play equally well on those courses!!  Whether it be 1 course....or maybe you play 5-10 regularly...it's no different.

post #27 of 41

Well, I may be the exception here.   More often than not, I play better at a new course.  One reason is that I play more conservatively on a new course.  Another reason is that I focus better when playing a new course.   Finally, when I play a new course, the course is usually a more upscale one than my crappy public course. They have better maintained greens and I have tendency to putt better on those. 

post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post
 

On the other hand, if you tend to play a rotation of the same 5-10 courses and get to know them well.....you should play equally well on those courses!!  Whether it be 1 course....or maybe you play 5-10 regularly...it's no different.

Lot's of truth to that with the exception being if there are big differences in green firmness and/or speed.  I think it is harder to get dialed in on your putting and chipping distance control if you are dealing with different speeds/firmness every time you go out.

post #29 of 41

If a player has a core group of courses they play, they know what to expect.    It's one thing to play a course for the first or 2nd time......it's quite another thing when it's part of a regular rotation.  I call BS on that...LOL   No excuses....

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

If a player has a core group of courses they play, they know what to expect.    It's one thing to play a course for the first or 2nd time......it's quite another thing when it's part of a regular rotation.  I call BS on that...LOL   No excuses....

Agree with this which is why I used 3 times in my previous post. If I'm playing a course for the third time I shouldn't be dropping shots due to lack of course knowledge. At that point I've figured out that all the putts break south, or that I can't really carry that bunker with a 3-wood, or that it's not worth it to try for that par-5 in two.

I will also agree that when you've played a course 10 times or more, you're going to be very comfortable with the lines, particularly off the tee, which can help. But you still have to hit the shots.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

Agree with this which is why I used 3 times in my previous post. If I'm playing a course for the third time I shouldn't be dropping shots due to lack of course knowledge. At that point I've figured out that all the putts break south, or that I can't really carry that bunker with a 3-wood, or that it's not worth it to try for that par-5 in two.

I will also agree that when you've played a course 10 times or more, you're going to be very comfortable with the lines, particularly off the tee, which can help. But you still have to hit the shots.
Fair points.
post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post
 

If a player has a core group of courses they play, they know what to expect.    It's one thing to play a course for the first or 2nd time......it's quite another thing when it's part of a regular rotation.  I call BS on that...LOL   No excuses....

BS on my different green speed observation or BS on the OP's premise that his handicap is stronger because he plays a group of courses compared to his CC friend who only plays one?

post #33 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Lot's of truth to that with the exception being if there are big differences in green firmness and/or speed.  I think it is harder to get dialed in on your putting and chipping distance control if you are dealing with different speeds/firmness every time you go out.

 

Agree ... green speed varies dramatically at the (not so great public) courses I play - some are nice & rolled every morning, others rarely & others are painfully slow.     At least in my case, judging green speed is the biggest challenge of playing different courses all the time ... of course, I never manage to get there early enough to get some time in on the practice green before I play - that is my resolution for 2014 - force myself to get there 15 minutes early & put some time in on the greens...

post #34 of 41

I say yes and no.

 

My club is has 2 courses that are very different.  A Pete Dye links course and a tight hilly parkland style.  An 80 at Dye puts me sub 10 HC.  An 80 at the other puts me over 10 HC.  I make an effort to play other courses about twice a month.  I have found that courses that resemble one of my 2 courses I can play at or near my HC.  When I say resemble, I mean similar greens, terrain and conditions.  It's encouraging to play my "hard" course often so when I play a "normal" course I can score well.

 

BUT, if a play an easy flat goat ranch I will always be well over my HC because the rating/slope are so low I'm already giving 5 strokes and then course conditions are so poor that greens don't putt true and hardpan fairways make shots tougher.

 

Similarly my parents belong to a club in the NC mountains.  Very high slope rating with unreal elevation changes.  Never a flat lie, everything is uphill/downhill/sidehill.  Lots of false front greens and sand all over.  Miss a fairway and it's stroke/distance.  Reading the greens in the mountains is like being in a fun house where nothing looks like it is.  Sand conditions are totally different than the Midwest and when it's wet it's even tougher.  Figuring out the club on a 175yrd par 3 that drops 120ft is daunting and add a little wind and you just pray.  Uphill green shots are just as bad.  I dread the member guest because I can't even come close to playing my HC.  I've played it probably 12-15 times and the best I'll manage is about an 82-85.

 

I can go to my brothers courses in Charlotte and score just fine because they are so similar to mine.  Going from bent to Bermuda isn't an issue because the terrain is so similar.

 

If you ask me, the guy that carries a handicap playing poor conditioned variety of courses will kick the tar out of the same HC that plays the same, well manicured course.

post #35 of 41

I play a private course exclusively- 99% of the time, its a tough one  by anyone's standards. each day the pins are moved along with the tees, each day the greens are mowed and many times are rolled, each day the greens are rolling at 11 and during tournament play often at 13 Plus. Its a hilly, rolling type of course, flat lies can be uncommon on many of the holes. Greens are undulated as well As one could expect the course is in good to great shape, with some exception a round  of golf moves along a decent speed.

 

I have a 3.5 GHIN handicap, if I and play another challenging  course in the area, I can usually figure it out, shoot a little higher than my handicap. the few strokes gained are usually greens related, where some clubs don't put tough pins up, or worse don't mow and the greens are hairy and slow, causing my 15 footer to come up short, putts bounce off line.  I think there is some merit to the original post but for myself it might be related to the flat stick on unpredictable or reliable greens.

post #36 of 41

There's a lot of factors on who plays well where, when and why. I have seen many examples over the years of one course players that struggle when they leave home. My Father in law is the perfect example of the average golfer that struggles away from our home course. He's only been playing for 5 years and joined my home course when he started. His best score ever at home is 80 and his average score there is 86-89. Three or four times a year my son and I will take him to other courses in the area and you can bet on one thing for sure, he is not going to break 90 that day. You can literally smell the anxiety on the first tee when he gets up to hit on a unfamiliar golf course.

       I contribute that more to lack of experience and lack of confidence in his game. So for average players like my Father in law who basically started out learning and playing on one home course there is no doubt they will normally struggle on foreign ground.

 

For myself I have played for over 38 years and have been in both situations of either being a member, or rotating through a number of courses. There's no doubt to become a complete player you have to be able to play unfamiliar courses well. Personally I think it's about confidence in yourself and your game that goes a long way in playing well away from home. That's why I think the higher the handicap the more a player will struggle away from home. Playing high school golf is where I learned to play and score well on courses I had never seem before. We were one of the top rated teams in the state and our coach was about one thing only, winning! So excuses like "well I never played here before" were not acceptable. You learn to get in the mindset that it doesn't matter if you've played there before you can still score well. Attitude and confidence go a long way!

 

The OP's example of being better in scrambles than their Country Club friend is a really bad example though. Unless you know for a fact that the CC friend and all his teammates have handicaps much lower than you and your teammates, using a scramble team score as a marker for a single persons ability is pretty inaccurate. We have a company scramble every year and my boss always grabs me to play with him and a couple other Directors because I'm the only scratch player in the company. The problem is all those guy's are 25-30 handicaps and provide little to no assistance. I play my ass off to get us -7, -8 under every year and we always finish in the middle of the pack with a team of 8-12 handicappers usually winning. If we played the tournament as a individual stroke play event I would mop the floor, so comparing scramble scores is not a good evaluation on this subject in my opinion.

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