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What's Preventing You From Playing Scratch Golf? - Page 11

post #181 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

As I said, I've never seen him!! (in person)

 

That's quite a remarkable achievement. Let's move the bar to 30, anyone know of a scratch golfer who didn't take up the game until after 30?


He probably wondered what the fuss was. Broke 100 the first time he played and shot 70 nine months later.

 

(And some people think there is no such thing as talent). ;-)

 

Yes, I think it doesn't really matter what age you start, but if you have the talent for golf. I would agree with @Pave with many other sports, but golf does not require the same level of athletic performance as many other sports*. If you have the natural smarts and enough physical flexibility and strength, there should really be no time limit on when you start your pursuit.

 

*I mean ones that require pushing your body to the edge of your physical limits.

post #182 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

I know that lots of folks here will disagree, and I really don't want to dash your hopes, but if you have played the game seriously for a couple of years or so and haven't yet gotten under 10, you won't get down to scratch no matter what. Certainly you can get better with practice and instruction, but everyone has a talent barrier at some point.

 

The guys I know who are close to scratch, including myself, played other sports first and took up golf later in life. One was a hockey player, a couple of us played competitive baseball/softball. None were child prodigies in golf, but I guess we had the eye-hand coordination necessary such that hitting the ball wasn't an issue. Then it took a considerable amount of effort to drop down to the near-scratch level.

 

So it is very much doable after the age of 30, but just hitting more buckets of balls, or watching more golf videos, or getting more lessons will not be enough if you don't possess the initial talent.

 

Too late, they're dashed. :-D

 

What is the definition of "playing seriously"? I guess, playing nice courses and taking a dozen balls you expect to lose with minimal lessons doesn't really count as serious? :whistle:

 

In all honesty, I played a round where my original coach from 3 years ago saw me play (took my first lesson with him along with my regular playing partner). It was very gratifying that he was interested in watching me par a hole from a distance. He was impressed by the progress I had made in the last 3 and a half months.

 

I don't expect to make "scratch", because I don't really know if I have the talent or not. However, I am having a heck of a lot more fun hitting the ball a bit more consistently. I expect to continue to improve in consistency with lots more effective practice. The main thing is eventually getting that nice well tuned swing. A feeling like carving perfect lines through knee deep powder while skiing. B-) 

post #183 of 205
I really think most golfers don't even have scratch as a goal. If that's really your goal its a huge commitment. You basically have to treat it like work. Most of us are like lihu and just want to hit more solid shots while having a few drinks with are buddies and getting out of the house.
post #184 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post
 

Too late, they're dashed. :-D

 

What is the definition of "playing seriously"? I guess, playing nice courses and taking a dozen balls you expect to lose with minimal lessons doesn't really count as serious? :whistle:

 

In all honesty, I played a round where my original coach from 3 years ago saw me play (took my first lesson with him along with my regular playing partner). It was very gratifying that he was interested in watching me par a hole from a distance. He was impressed by the progress I had made in the last 3 and a half months.

 

Sorry about that.;-)

 

I think "playing seriously" is different for each person.  For me, it started when I decided to play in a couple of local county amateur tournaments years ago.  Before then, I played maybe 20 rounds a year, never practiced, never took a lesson, etc. My scores were generally mid-to-high 80's, around a 12 cap.  Once I got "serious", the cap dropped down to 6 within a year. I still didn't play more than 30 rounds a year, but now spent some time on the range and putting green. Still with a flippy, homemade swing, but useful enough to get around in the high 70's most days.

post #185 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

I really think most golfers don't even have scratch as a goal. If that's really your goal its a huge commitment. You basically have to treat it like work. Most of us are like lihu and just want to hit more solid shots while having a few drinks with are buddies and getting out of the house.

This is sort of true for me.  I don't have any concrete handicap goals.  My goal is just to continue to improve.  Because no matter what number I threw out there (let's say my goal right now is to get into the 5's) as soon as I got there, I'd just move the goal to the 4's or 3's.  And as soon as I got there, I'd bump it down to 1 or 0.  Etc, etc.

 

Consistent improvement is the goal (for me) with scratch being off in the distance and more in the "dream" category. :)

post #186 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

Yes, I think it doesn't really matter what age you start, but if you have the talent for golf. I would agree with @Pave
with many other sports, but golf does not require the same level of athletic performance as many other sports*. If you have the natural smarts and enough physical flexibility and strength, there should really be no time limit on when you start your pursuit.

*I mean ones that require pushing your body to the edge of your physical limits.

I was quite good at any sport I played and come from a very good sporting family... But there isn't a good golfer between us :) yet ;)

Comparing the physical side between golf and other sports is way off.
Golf is more of a mental game.
In most other sports, you react to things and many actions are instinctive.

The closest thing I can compare it would be a free throw in basketball or a penalty kick in soccer.

For both those acts, you don't need to be an athlete. But you need to have to deal with the "thinking time" before your actions. Like golf.

How many times have you heard a commentator say "he had too much time to think about it" when a sportsman has a open shot or is through on a 1 on 1 situation.
The "too much time" the refer to may be only 0.5 of a second. You have 5 hours too much time on a course :)

Actually, a free throw isn't the same. You will see players bouncing the ball before they shoot, that breaks the thinking time. They try to make it a reactive action.

Point being, some of the best basketballers and soccer players are considerable worse at those tasks (than their talent for the rest of the game suggests) that allow time to think.
post #187 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

Sorry about that.;-)

 

I think "playing seriously" is different for each person.  For me, it started when I decided to play in a couple of local county amateur tournaments years ago.  Before then, I played maybe 20 rounds a year, never practiced, never took a lesson, etc. My scores were generally mid-to-high 80's, around a 12 cap.  Once I got "serious", the cap dropped down to 6 within a year. I still didn't play more than 30 rounds a year, but now spent some time on the range and putting green. Still with a flippy, homemade swing, but useful enough to get around in the high 70's most days.

Randy, if I may ask, what was your time-line like from a 12 or so to around a 1 where you are now?

post #188 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 


Larry Nelson didn't start playing golf until he was 21 years old and ended up quite a bit better than scratch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Nelson

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave View Post
 

And, I bet, they all started playing golf as kids!

 

I've never seen a scratch golfer who started playing golf after the age of 20.

 

Don't forget about Calvin Peete.  Started playing Golf at 24 I believe.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_Peete

post #189 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deryck Griffith View Post
 

 

 

Don't forget about Calvin Peete.  Started playing Golf at 24 I believe.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_Peete

 

With a elbow that was broken and never healed properly as a kid.

 

One of my favorite golfers of all time!    :beer:

post #190 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulhacker View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

Yes, I think it doesn't really matter what age you start, but if you have the talent for golf. I would agree with @Pave
with many other sports, but golf does not require the same level of athletic performance as many other sports*. If you have the natural smarts and enough physical flexibility and strength, there should really be no time limit on when you start your pursuit.

*I mean ones that require pushing your body to the edge of your physical limits.

I was quite good at any sport I played and come from a very good sporting family... But there isn't a good golfer between us :) yet ;)

Comparing the physical side between golf and other sports is way off.
Golf is more of a mental game.
In most other sports, you react to things and many actions are instinctive.

 

 

Sure, and what I was trying to say is that if you have a talent for golf, it does not matter when you start (Okay, maybe not when you are 85 years old). The mental part usually stays with you until you get really old or sick.

 

I seriously doubt that anyone not close to their physical prime can make the PGA or European Tour, but, with talent, should be able to get close to scratch.

post #191 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulhacker View Post


I was quite good at any sport I played and come from a very good sporting family... But there isn't a good golfer between us :) yet ;)

Comparing the physical side between golf and other sports is way off.
Golf is more of a mental game.
In most other sports, you react to things and many actions are instinctive.

The closest thing I can compare it would be a free throw in basketball or a penalty kick in soccer.

For both those acts, you don't need to be an athlete. But you need to have to deal with the "thinking time" before your actions. Like golf.

How many times have you heard a commentator say "he had too much time to think about it" when a sportsman has a open shot or is through on a 1 on 1 situation.
The "too much time" the refer to may be only 0.5 of a second. You have 5 hours too much time on a course :)

Actually, a free throw isn't the same. You will see players bouncing the ball before they shoot, that breaks the thinking time. They try to make it a reactive action.

Point being, some of the best basketballers and soccer players are considerable worse at those tasks (than their talent for the rest of the game suggests) that allow time to think.


I do see a correlation there. I was better at dribbling behind my back while cutting around a defender and hitting a 20 foot off-balance jumper than I was at hitting free throws. Even toyed with the idea of using a jump shot from the free throw line (but never went that far).

 

Not a chance in the world I could ever be as good at golf as I was at football, basketball, and baseball because in those sports I could play off of reaction and instinct.

 

The closer I get my mind to turning golf into that 20 foot jumper over a defender the better I play, and the more I turn golf into a static free throw the worse I play. Waggles are the golf equivalent of dribbling the ball a couple of times and maybe spinning it in my hands on a free throw line...And my best golf shots are almost always when I am in trouble and have to create something out of nothing. The running joke in my groups is that I don't start playing until I get in trouble.

post #192 of 205

Why not scratch?

 

Not enough time ot practice, age, lack of the requisite hand/eye coordination...not necessarily in that order, but that's it in a nutshell.

post #193 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


Sure, and what I was trying to say is that if you have a talent for golf, it does not matter when you start (Okay, maybe not when you are 85 years old). The mental part usually stays with you until you get really old or sick.

I seriously doubt that anyone not close to their physical prime can make the PGA or European Tour, but, with talent, should be able to get close to scratch.

Do you want to look at the winners on the PGA Tour this year and come back to me on that b1_ohmy.gif

Jimmy Walker is a fit guy but he's not ripped... it could be debated that he isn't at, or close to, his physical prime...
Zach is a super competitor, but is not athletic... (He probably is close to, or at, his physical prime)
I'll end the conversation with Reed and Stadler a2_wink.gif

Like any sport, I personally think it is an advantage to start as early as possible.
The lack of latecomers to sport is evidence of this imo.

When a kid takes up the game there is an awful lot less of the negative mental stuff, they are kids after all, they worrying if the pretty girls likes them not about their angle of attack a3_biggrin.gif
They don't think as much about the mechanics, the just play golf and generally improve (with minimal help) quicker. They are playing and learning along the way.
For us as adults, our minds are different and I think we have to learn to play the game.
A subtle difference, but a big advantage for someone taking it up at a young age.
Edited by hopefulhacker - 2/11/14 at 3:37pm
post #194 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulhacker View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


Sure, and what I was trying to say is that if you have a talent for golf, it does not matter when you start (Okay, maybe not when you are 85 years old). The mental part usually stays with you until you get really old or sick.

I seriously doubt that anyone not close to their physical prime can make the PGA or European Tour, but, with talent, should be able to get close to scratch.

Do you want to look at the winners on the PGA Tour this year and come back to me on that b1_ohmy.gif

Jimmy Walker is a fit guy but he's not ripped... it could be debated that he isn't at, or close to, his physical prime...
Zach is a super competitor, but is not athletic... (He probably is close to, or at, his physical prime)
I'll end the conversation with Reed and Stadler a2_wink.gif

Like any sport, I personally think it is an advantage to start as early as possible.
The lack of latecomers to sport is evidence of this imo.

When a kid takes up the game there is an awful lot less of the negative mental stuff, they are kids after all, they worrying if the pretty girls likes them not about their angle of attack a3_biggrin.gif
They don't think as much about the mechanics, the just play golf and generally improve (with minimal help) quicker. They are playing and learning along the way.
For us as adults, our minds are different and I think we have to learn to play the game.
A subtle difference, but a big advantage for someone taking it up at a young age.

 

I have to admit, all the kids I know took up the game pretty quickly. My nephew is the oldest, and has the most inhibitions to scoring well.

 

In addition to the reduced amount of inhibition, they also gain experience that puts them into a more mature stage at a young age. The more exposure a person gets to something the better they are at it. Many of the kids that get exposed at a young age have greater than 14 years experience by the time they get to college.

 

This is one of the reasons why I expose my kids to many types of experiences early on, so it ingrains experience early on. My kids have 10 years experience in music, art, tennis, 5 years in golf, mathematics, science, engineering, etc. Early exposure to all these things reduces inhibitions to learning them when they care about it.

post #195 of 205

What's keeping me?  I am.  (Regardless of the reason, it's always the only final answer for all of us.)

 

For those that can't....well, that's on us.  And there's nothing wrong with that at all.

For those that possibly, somehow, could?  Then it's a prioritization call....is the time and expense needed worth it over the other priorities in our lives.  That's a choice.  Also, nothing wrong with that.

 

 

 

 

Here's another question in general:

 

If you are having fun at your current level and learning and progressing enough to stay challenged, but not at a pace to EVER get to scratch......

Do you even care?

post #196 of 205

I have a pretty good idea why I don't play to the +2 that I did when I was 20-25 years old.

 

I'm 64. I no longer practice for hours and hours a day. When I have time to practice, I'd rather play. Not to mention, everything I ate last year is pretty prominent in front of me to see. My arms and shoulders are like a Medicus club. They break down into angles when I move them wrong. Maybe worst of all, I have the mind of Seve when I get in trouble, but I have no apparent firing snapses that communicate my great intentions anywhere below my neck. In other words, I compound my errors trying to hit the glory shot.

 

What I'm doing about it for about the past month is simple. I'm on a diet and have lost 17 lbs so far. Since I'm 6'7" tall and weighed 279 before my diet, I'll have a long way to go before my stomach is flat. Along with my diet, I'm doing golf specific stretches and light weight lifting. I'm also trying to increase the amount I walk every day. Walking my little dog isn't exercise because he wants to stop every 10 feet to sniff something... Yeah... sniff, that it... I have a Gazelle eliptical machine and spend about 30 minutes a day on it.

 

I'm also taking lessons from Sean Kicker, a PGA teaching pro, one of 3 who works out of our course. We get along extremely well. Sean communicates very well and his use of technology like video compared to tour pros with similar body shapes to mine help make a point, but also show the direction in which we're going to take my workouts so I can emulate their swing positions.

 

Will I ever be a +2 again? I'd be crazy to think so, but I've seen minor improvement already to the extent that I expect to regain a game where I can comfortably be around par most of the time. I'm currently averaging about 78-80 with the odd better day and the odd terrible day. What I have to keep in mind is also that I'm playing what is thought of by most as a pretty easy golf course.

 

Consistency is the biggest need for my improvement and that will let me enjoy lower scores.

post #197 of 205

The 2 things I am working on right now that will help me lower my score a lot (still not to scratch level, but we have to start somewhere).

 

- Inconsistent distance (far from perfect hits on the clubface). No matter the club, I can't have a consistent distance. Off the tee box it is not a really big problem unless I have to go over water or a bunker, but with short irons, I miss the green a lot too short or too far. (for example, with my 7 irons, I hit 50% of my shots at 135yds, 25% at 155 yds, 25% at 115 yards).

 

- Still slice the ball about 25% of the time with driver + fairway woods + hybrid. My 5 iron usually only fades when it curves. So one hole out of four, I am usually looking for my ball out of fairway which costs me at least one stroke.

 

The chipping an putting so far are looking good (this is what is "saving" me so far. I can do a lot of "one chip one putt") . Still a couple of errors, but usually, I chip and putt better than some lower handicaps I play with. So if I can start to keep the ball in the fairway and reduce my short iron distance gaps (I think that a 40 yard gap for my 7 iron is not acceptable to hit GIR) I should start to lower my scores by a good margin.

post #198 of 205

A few things are keeping me from scratch right now

 

Inconsistent putting - never been great putter, but, I have always been a good lag putter - short putts are my nemisis now

 

Par 5 performance - not as many birdies/eagles as needed 

 

Not as strong in the 90-125 range as in the past - fewer birdies

 

 

In addition, do not have the confidence to go low - in the past, when I shot in the 60's, I was able to just let it go and not let up

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