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High handicapper "blow up holes"

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Apologies for the loose term, just read it on another thread and it certainly applies to me.

Been playing since July last year. Nearly a year in and I've still only shot a personal best of 102 and forever staying a handicap of 28.

Lately I've improved a lot (last round 103), and I feel I'm starting to make great progress, albeit slowly. There's ALWAYS one hole though where I self destruct and completely bottle it. It tends to be an 8 on a par 4, sometimes worse ... I shot a 12 on a par 4 a couple of months ago.

This may be a daft question but how do I get this stupid hole outta my game? Is it a mental thing?
post #2 of 58

Well im basically in the same boat as you. What Ive done to try to correct it is to keep track of what cost me strokes on that hole; was it putting, driving, short game, approach shot, etc. Keep trach of these for a few rounds and you should discover where you need to work.  As far as the mental aspect goes, i cant really help you, im still struggling with that.

post #3 of 58

Eliminating blow up holes is done by playing smart.      Rather than hitting driver off a hole that looks pretty tight - hit a 5 or 6 iron off the tee - or maybe a hybrid you have confidence in ... a 160-180 yard drive on the fairway is better than an OB and starting over 2 shots down.     If you're in the rough with a questionable lie, don't hit that 3 wood or 5 wood or even a hybrid, hit a 7 iron with a smooth easy stroke - totally focusing on the ball & clean contact & you'll find yourself in the fairway, rather than 30 ft farther down still in the rough.     At this stage of your game, your goal should be to PLAY FROM THE FAIRWAY at all times - eliminate the potential big misses with the tough to hit long clubs ... save those for perfect fairway lies and green light opportunities only

post #4 of 58

Sadly, it doesn't just apply to high-handicappers.    :8)

 

That's the challenge of this game....it's played across 18 distinctly different holes.  You can play the best 12 holes of your life, but the 13th hole just doesn't care. 

 

It's cliché but true, all you can do is play one stroke, one hole at a time.  Strive for solid ball striking, don't follow a bad shot with a stupid shot, and work on consistency.  When a bad stroke/hole happens, and it does for all of us, you have to be able to let it go and move on.  That next hole doesn't care that you're coming off a bad hole either.  ;-)

post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Sadly, it doesn't just apply to high-handicappers.    b4_blushing.gif

Remember Kevin Na a few years back? I think it was the Texas Valero Open? Dude shot something like an 18 on a par 4??

Good times. b2_tongue.gif
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

Remember Kevin Na a few years back? I think it was the Texas Valero Open? Dude shot something like an 18 on a par 4??

Good times. b2_tongue.gif

At the L.A. Open one year, Arnold Palmer made a 12 on a par-5. When asked how, he explained that he missed the putt for an 11.

OP, the point is: these things happen. After the round, look back and try to determine why they happened. If it was just a series of bad swings that sent the ball 25 yards each, that's almost to be expected, and it's a sign to improve your swing.

If it was bad decisions, that's something you can work to eliminate. Did you try for a low-percentage hero shot when you could have advanced it 25 yards easily and put it back in the fairway, making the following shot significantly easier?
post #7 of 58

I had exactly the type of "Blow up hole" today. I had played an amazing streth of 5 Bogeys in a row (being a 28 Handicapper I was very pleased) only to take my stance on the 18th Tee.

 

A nice short par 3 playing over a ravine of sorts. I hit two teeshots thick into the ravine. So essentially I was starting that hole 5 shots down. Managed to pop it on the green and two put. Ended up with an 8.

 

Totally ruined my scorecard today. :(

post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyMFC View Post

Apologies for the loose term, just read it on another thread and it certainly applies to me.

Been playing since July last year. Nearly a year in and I've still only shot a personal best of 102 and forever staying a handicap of 28.

Lately I've improved a lot (last round 103), and I feel I'm starting to make great progress, albeit slowly. There's ALWAYS one hole though where I self destruct and completely bottle it. It tends to be an 8 on a par 4, sometimes worse ... I shot a 12 on a par 4 a couple of months ago.

This may be a daft question but how do I get this stupid hole outta my game? Is it a mental thing?

Dave Pelz says it's not the bad shot that give you those blow up holes, it's the recovery shots. He says when you hit a ball behind a tree for instance, your goal will be to advance the ball to a spot as good or better than a good first shot would have been, take the extra stroke and try to negate it with a good chip and/or putt. If you can't then a bogey instead of trying to hit a shot between two trees to get it on the green and you clip a branch and it careens out of bounds etc. etc. 

post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

Rather than hitting driver off a hole that looks pretty tight - hit a 5 or 6 iron off the tee - or maybe a hybrid you have confidence in ... a 160-180 yard drive on the fairway is better than an OB and starting over 2 shots down.    

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdsandy View Post
 

Dave Pelz says it's not the bad shot that give you those blow up holes, it's the recovery shots. He says when you hit a ball behind a tree for instance, your goal will be to advance the ball to a spot as good or better than a good first shot would have been, take the extra stroke and try to negate it with a good chip and/or putt. If you can't then a bogey instead of trying to hit a shot between two trees to get it on the green and you clip a branch and it careens out of bounds etc. etc. 

 

both of these = great advice.  

 

i'll also go one further and recommend playing a couple rounds with irons only.  i started doing this last season and it helped tremendously (i'm actually continuing to do it this season, as i enjoy hitting my long irons with greater consistency).  it makes you focus on the basics, and your misses won't be as bad.  there's so much emphasis on distance, when accuracy is far more important at this stage of your game.

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyMFC View Post

Apologies for the loose term, just read it on another thread and it certainly applies to me.

Been playing since July last year. Nearly a year in and I've still only shot a personal best of 102 and forever staying a handicap of 28.

Lately I've improved a lot (last round 103), and I feel I'm starting to make great progress, albeit slowly. There's ALWAYS one hole though where I self destruct and completely bottle it. It tends to be an 8 on a par 4, sometimes worse ... I shot a 12 on a par 4 a couple of months ago.

This may be a daft question but how do I get this stupid hole outta my game? Is it a mental thing?

It happens to everybody and for different reasons but if it is happening once or more every round then it becomes a problem. Some of the things I thought when I got a little better is short game (good pitch and putt skills can save so many strokes, practice it a lot), don't hit stupid balls trying to advance a ball from a bad position to be able to club down(should really only enter in your mind if you can get there or need to advance it near danger to be able to get there next shot) and remember every shot is a new shot and every shot matters and deserves your complete focus. Just my thought process.

post #11 of 58
Thread Starter 
Cheers for the replies guys, much appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyJeeBiv View Post


both of these = great advice.  

i'll also go one further and recommend playing a couple rounds with irons only.  i started doing this last season and it helped tremendously (i'm actually continuing to do it this season, as i enjoy hitting my long irons with greater consistency).  it makes you focus on the basics, and your misses won't be as bad.  there's so much emphasis on distance, when accuracy is far more important at this stage of your game.

This seems a tad extreme for my game I think. Aside from one wild & erratic swing I throw into every third round or so, my driving is pretty consistent (only hitting between 200-250 though).
I full understand the reasoning for your recommendation though and I'll give it a go on the smaller par 4's.
post #12 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GDM0001 View Post

I had exactly the type of "Blow up hole" today. I had played an amazing streth of 5 Bogeys in a row (being a 28 Handicapper I was very pleased) only to take my stance on the 18th Tee.

A nice short par 3 playing over a ravine of sorts. I hit two teeshots thick into the ravine. So essentially I was starting that hole 5 shots down. Managed to pop it on the green and two put. Ended up with an 8.

Totally ruined my scorecard today. :(

I'm exactly the same. I tend to hit an 8 on the front 9 AND the back 9 every round. Trying to get these out of my round and I'm confident I can break 100 soon.
post #13 of 58

I was on pace to break 100 on Friday. Shot 49 on the front nine, parred 10 and had a nice drive in the middle of the fairway on the par 5 11. Hit my hybrid fat/shanked it to the left behind some trees. The wheels came off and I never really recovered, shooting 59 on the back. I'll be there soon.

post #14 of 58
Its a nightmare. Can't complain to much. Was only the second time I played the course and the wind was terrible.


Thoroughly enjoying being back in the game. :)
post #15 of 58
The problem I have is putting together a complete round! By that I mean a good front and back 9!

I can have a starting front 9 in the low 40's but will then screw it up on the back nine and crawl in with something in the 50's! Or I'll shoot something in the 50's and then scream back with a 42 on the back 9!!!

Or if it's a stableford quite often I'll have 22 or 23 points on the front 9 and end up with 37 points by the end of the round!

I tell you the day I string two good nines together I'm going to be just a bit above average! :)

Regards

Mailman
post #16 of 58
I'm a middle handicap guy, but still capable of producing some big numbers every round.

For me, it happens when I hit a poor tee shot and try to salvage a chance at par with a miracle follow-on shot.
Quote:

Thanks much for this topic ... I hope to be playing in a couple of weeks and will keep this failing in mind!
post #17 of 58
A lot of great advice so I won't repeat some of the things already said prior. For me, I find my blow-up holes usually happen when I lose focus and start overswinging. I tend to get way over extended on my backswing so what I'm trying to do more now (especially if I've hit a couple of bad shots in a row) is to club up and only take 3/4 swings just so I can start making better contact again and keep the ball in play.
post #18 of 58

In my case bad shots happen when I lose focus and don't follow the pre-shot routine.   Then I sometimes make a bad shot worse by picking a difficult shot to get out of trouble.

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