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Realistic goals??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new to golf, I'm 26, I played a little while in school but never seriously, and recently started playing properly I have the bug and have been putting serious time into the game I've joined a private course and been given a handicap of 20.0.

I have friends who play single figure handicaps, I've been playing less than 3 months and my best score has been +15 I've scored this twice and I've had 3 birdies in a single round and 8 pars in a separate single round, I can par all the SI 1 holes on the courses I've played and I've set a goal of 15.0 by the end of the year and 5 or better by the end of next year.

Are my goals realistic and how high can I set my goals at my age without any serious history in golf can I become a scratch golfer and maybe turn pro or is this a myth that most new players get carries away with?

Replies appreciated.
post #2 of 15

Keep it up, you can easily go pro in a couple of months - maybe even force tiger to retire

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
What an idiot you are. ūüĎć.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by thiagowoods View Post

What an idiot you are. ūüĎć.

 

Brutal honesty time: you're not going to last long on the Internet if you don't learn to at least just ignore sarcasm.

 

Is a 15 by the end of the year (less than two months?) and a 5 by the end of next year reasonable? Maybe. I'd say it's just on the far side of unlikely, but it's not impossible, no.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply and yes I'll try and mind my response when faced with the trolls/pointless replies.
post #6 of 15

You say you were "given a handicap of 20.0".  Was this an earned handicap based on posted scores, or something they sort of assigned when you joined the private course?  I ask because the two were stated together as one sequence.  If it is an assigned handicap, vs. an earned handicap, the answer to 15 may lie in what you earn when enough scores are posted.  If you are playing to an earned 20.0 today, I too think 15 in two months is a bit optimistic.  But you should be able to get it down to 15 and below in pretty short order if you practice right and keep your mind together on the course.

 

A 5 by the end of next year... well, again, if you work at it hard and smart, and get some good instruction, perhaps.  I have been finding that going from 20 to 15 wasn't too hard.  It took me a lot more work to get from 15 to my current 10.3 (gotta update my sig).   I think I should be able to get into the upper single digits next year, but 5 is perhaps optimistic for me.  But I'm way over 23 and sort of lazy so you may be able to make it.  The progression seems to be somewhat exponential though.

 

I think scratch (real scratch) golfers are a rare breed.

post #7 of 15

At the end of 2012 I was sitting at a 24 handicap based on my league scores. With some help from a gentleman at the local practice facility over the winter and early spring I am now down to 17.7. As the previous poster stated the initial drop is the easiest as you are hitting woods and irons better. The real test as I am finding out is in the short game from 100 yds in. During the summer I was practicing chipping, pitching and putting a minimum 3 hours a week and still didn't get to where I wanted to be. The run down to 10 or even single digits will be the hardest part. If you can find a local muni that has an all-day rate like we have here where you pay $20 for unlimited golf that is where you can get full course practice and as long as you aren't holding anyone up get some wedge and putting practice on a real course instead of on astroturf mats. If you can find a course like that, head out on a Saturday or Sunday after 5 or 6 PM when everyone else is done for the day and take about 2 dozen balls to get your yardages dialed in on your wedges then practice putting from different lengths with emphasis on lag putting to within 1-2 feet. But remember one thing, the guy who has been helping me once told me I would hit at least 10,000 range balls and still only get it maybe half right.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJim View Post
 

You say you were "given a handicap of 20.0".  Was this an earned handicap based on posted scores, or something they sort of assigned when you joined the private course?  I ask because the two were stated together as one sequence.  If it is an assigned handicap, vs. an earned handicap, the answer to 15 may lie in what you earn when enough scores are posted.  If you are playing to an earned 20.0 today, I too think 15 in two months is a bit optimistic.  But you should be able to get it down to 15 and below in pretty short order if you practice right and keep your mind together on the course.

 

A 5 by the end of next year... well, again, if you work at it hard and smart, and get some good instruction, perhaps.  I have been finding that going from 20 to 15 wasn't too hard.  It took me a lot more work to get from 15 to my current 10.3 (gotta update my sig).   I think I should be able to get into the upper single digits next year, but 5 is perhaps optimistic for me.  But I'm way over 23 and sort of lazy so you may be able to make it.  The progression seems to be somewhat exponential though.

 

I think scratch (real scratch) golfers are a rare breed.

No i handed my first three cards that i played with my friend who is a member in and was given a handicap of 20.0 but I play better than the cards that I handed in now as I had only been playing properly for a few weeks at the time so im getting better pretty quick.

 

I agree and anticipate hitting a wall with my fast improvements and that around the 10-15 handicap mark I may hit a wall but I practice a lot and work shifts so get plenty of time to do so and ill keep trying to improve and see what happens.

 

I feel that if I can cut out my silly mistakes that will help a lot but im guessing that is everyone's problem and if we didn't make mistakes we would all have a really low handicap but time will tell.

 

cheers

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Brutal honesty time: you're not going to last long on the Internet if you don't learn to at least just ignore sarcasm.

 

Is a 15 by the end of the year (less than two months?) and a 5 by the end of next year reasonable? Maybe. I'd say it's just on the far side of unlikely, but it's not impossible, no.

 



Its possible. I'm living proof. I first picked up a golf club aged 30, played in a work outing and shot 134. I loved it from the first minute and practiced like hell for the next few weeks until the next game and shot 99. I then joined my local club a few months later and was given 18 as my first handicap and 18 months later was off 5. I've not had the time to put into golf the last 5 years but I've never been worse than 5 since and i can play to my handicap if i only play once or twice a month with no practice. I'm currently off 3.

Anything is possible and everyone is different.
post #10 of 15

As already been mentioned, it's not that bad to get down to the 15. It's the road to low double, high single that is harder to achieve and especially to mantain... short game will be what makes the difference in the scoring. 32 or less putts per round, and up and downs is what makes the difference between a 5 and a 10 in my opinion

post #11 of 15
If you start off swinging correctly, and start striking the ball well from the start it can be done.

I have never really seen this happen. Everyone I've seen has a serious swing flaw, one kind or another. If they are good, they usually tell me it took them two to three years with a good swing and decent ball striking.

My son's handicap just dropped from 15 to single digits this last month. Something just clicked this last month. His swing has been pretty decent for the past year or so, and his coach has been refining things for him. I don't really know enough about ball striking to know what the last few lessons showed him that made everything seem to click.

My own handicap is not dropping yet, but I just started to develop a decent swing this last month. My old "swing" was able to occasionally knock balls around into the hole in a decent number of strokes. My new swing is much faster and easier, and if I could aim correctly would put me on the green in regulation many times.

I feel like it will be about half a year to a year before something good will happen, and this will put me on the same path as most of the people I talked to.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtuaframax View Post

As already been mentioned, it's not that bad to get down to the 15. It's the road to low double, high single that is harder to achieve and especially to mantain... short game will be what makes the difference in the scoring. 32 or less putts per round, and up and downs is what makes the difference between a 5 and a 10 in my opinion


 



The main difference I notice between myself and someone off say 10 is that my long game is much more consistent. I play with lots of people who can putt and get it up and down fairly well but they are in trouble too much off the tee or putting far too much pressure on their short game too often. Eventually that pressure shows no matter who you are. I play with a guy off 9 who has a really solid short game but he has a huge slice generally with his long clubs and it kills him. I'd say he was scratch short game and 25 long game.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robster 7 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtuaframax View Post
 

As already been mentioned, it's not that bad to get down to the 15. It's the road to low double, high single that is harder to achieve and especially to mantain... short game will be what makes the difference in the scoring. 32 or less putts per round, and up and downs is what makes the difference between a 5 and a 10 in my opinion

 



The main difference I notice between myself and someone off say 10 is that my long game is much more consistent. I play with lots of people who can putt and get it up and down fairly well but they are in trouble too much off the tee or putting far too much pressure on their short game too often. Eventually that pressure shows no matter who you are. I play with a guy off 9 who has a really solid short game but he has a huge slice generally with his long clubs and it kills him. I'd say he was scratch short game and 25 long game.

 

Long game is what's killing me, and my longer long game is getting me into more trouble these days. Need to practice a lot more tee shots.

post #14 of 15
I learnt to play the game with some old Mizuno TP 9 blades that I bought on EBay for about £80. The pro at my first club said I was mad for using them but I honestly believe I am a better ball striker as a result because there's nowhere to hide with blades. The game is made so much easier these days with forgiving clubs that people don't get the feedback from the club to learn when they aren't hitting it correctly. IMHO one of the most disregarded factors of shot dispersion is where the ball contacts the face. Learn how to hit the ball consistently out of the middle and then straighten your flight if necessary. Look at a tour pro's clubs and they have a nice ball shaped mark which they wear out in the middle of clubs ( especially wedges) look at a 10 handicap and the club will have marks all over it and sky marks on the driver.

I don't use blades now btw. I'm not completely mad a3_biggrin.gif
post #15 of 15
Good luck. I am trying to get better too. It's all about clean contact to the ball and lessons. You need to cute your swing flaws before you get used to them. That's what I am doing
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