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How to make high school districts (avg. 81) this year?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey, I am a sophomore and am about to start practice on the high school golf team for the second year in about a week.  Last year, I averaged an 89, and missed districts by a lot (8 strokes).  To make districts where I live, you have to average an 81, or have the best score in 4 matches (we play 16).  Because my friend shoots a mid 70 every time out, the later is not likely to happen.

 

Last year, however, I did not play with a driver the entire season (my club head popped, and because I didn't work last year and my parents couldn't afford it, I didn't get a new one).  Instead, I teed off with a three hybrid.  I am not sure how much the driver would have helped because I has a hard time hitting it consistently anyway haha, but I really did have a huge disadvantage on par 5s.  On holes that I should be taking advantage of and birdying, I was getting 6s.  The one good part of my game is my putting.  My Avg. putts last year was at 2.2, but this year have focused on it more, and am averaging 1.7.  By that average, I should be able to drop idk 5 strokes.  Also, how much of a difference do you think the driver will make, because while I have not bought a new one, I will in the next few days, because I have the money, because I work as a lifeguard.

 

I really enjoy golf and since a few corrections of my swing (from my coach and others) I really feel I could drop to an 81. Are the club switches enough to get that low, and if not, what else can I do?

 

Thank you very much in advance.

post #2 of 18

You need a driver.  Go to a golf store, and demo any clubs that are at least a year old and under your price range.  Hopefully, that price range can extend up to about $150.  You'll find something.

 

As a second option, you can get clubs cheap as hell online.  

 

You're not the only one who laments the price of drivers. My buddy makes $200,000 a year and just bought one for $100 because he finds the prices ridiculous.  

 

EDIT--I don't know if the club switch alone will get you that low, but your age and natural fast progression as you grow and learn the game at that level of experience could definitely get you there.  I say go for it.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yeah, thanks, and I get about 400 every two weeks and literally spend none of it, so I mean im willing to splurge, but Im not sure what the difference of the brand new driver would be to that of one that is a year or two old

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by islandersfan1 View Post
 

Yeah, thanks, and I get about 400 every two weeks and literally spend none of it, so I mean im willing to splurge, but Im not sure what the difference of the brand new driver would be to that of one that is a year or two old

 

Not enough to worry about, if at all.  It's very personal.

 

Think of it this way:  Are you going to buy a new $450 driver every year?  Probably not.  There are guys teeing it up this week at the PGA who will be hitting drivers that are effectively three years old in terms of technology, no matter what the club cover says because of sponsorship deals.  

 

So if you're not going to buy a new one every year, so what if it's a one year old model?  Maybe you'll get an extra yard with a new one.  I wouldn't worry about it.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks..

post #6 of 18

@islandersfan1

 

Read Lowest Score Wins.  It will help you improve your overall game, but more importantly, help you improve your scores with your current level of ability. The last section of the book teaches you how to create a game plan for the courses you play.  Give it a shot.

 

http://lowestscorewins.com/

post #7 of 18

I 2nd the recommendation to read Lowest Score Wins. The course management part will help you from day 1, it was something my high school coach preached a lot (20 yrs ago!) so I was familiar with the ideas but reading the book really refreshed them in my mind and has helped me remember to take them into account when playing. And then throughout the season you can work on shot zones and practice plans.

 

Buy a used driver on EBay, unless you just have money to throw away. You can find last year's models on there in great condition for less than $150.

 

Kids/family/career kept me away from the game for a while, but back into it this year and I bought a Covert 2.0 driver ($150), RBZ stage 2 5W ($60), and 56 degree Vokey SM4 ($70) for just under $300 total this summer on there.

 

Learn to chip if you can't do it now. Pick 1 club (I use the 56) and just practice from inside of 30 yds. I've been practicing in my front yard with 3 driveway reflectors from Home Depot (1/10 the cost of golf sticks and they're the same thing!) set at 10/20/30 yds. So I'm dialed in now on how far to backswing for a given distance, and I can generally eyeball the distances. Practice landing the ball at the yardage marker (10/20/30), then you you just have to pick a landing spot for the shot when you're faced with one. I use balls I've found over the years, so I have a bucket of about 50 now and I hit those 4-5 times a few times a week. It's worked pretty well for me, I can get inside of 15 ft pretty much all of the time now and according to GolfShot I've been successfully scrambling 25% of the time over my last 5 rounds versus 10% of the time early this season.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
thanks, and ill definitely take a look at that book.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

I just went out today, and got a Callaway X Hot N14 Driver at Dick's for 159.99.. After doing research it seemed like a good deal to me.. Also, the other thing I got was a Cleveland 56 degree wedge, because I needed a wedge with bounce, to use in different positions, and was pretty happy.. Good moves?

post #10 of 18

Unless you're a really good player, I always recommend having a sand wedge for bunker play around the greens.  It's just too difficult for most amateurs to get the ball out with 60 degree wedges and the like consistently.

post #11 of 18

global golf has Bio Cell "open box" drivers for $159 if you wanted some ability to adjust your loft for whatever reason.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

I just found out the date of my first HS match this year.. It's next thursday, and we can't practice or use the range until monday because of a club championship...  Does anyone have any recommendations I could use because I don't want to pay to go out on another course... So how should I get some practice in the next few days? Thanks

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by islandersfan1 View Post
 

I just found out the date of my first HS match this year.. It's next thursday, and we can't practice or use the range until monday because of a club championship...  Does anyone have any recommendations I could use because I don't want to pay to go out on another course... So how should I get some practice in the next few days? Thanks

 

Do some mirror work. Confirm that what feels natural is how you intend to set up. Make some slow motion backswings to feel things, etc.

 

Buy and read Lowest Score Wins. :)

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks and I did some mirror work and things like that, but I was able to go out on another local course (much easier, slope I think is 118) and only played twelve.  Over all, very good game, but two holes absolutely killed me.. The first and ninth hole.. The very first ball I hit in a real game with the new driver, way right, and tripled the hole.. If the first drive didn't happen, I was good until the ninth hole.. The second hole is where I really loved the feeling of having a driver lol, because about 290, right down the middle and was able to get par.  Third was a par 3, and parred it.. The next hole, again great drive, but three putted and got a bogey.. 5th hole hit a 4 iron off tee of a par 4 (because its just an odd hole) and had a GIR but once again three putted. A birdie putt lipped out on the next hole, and got up and down on the next after that to save par.. Then the ninth hole happened.. Once again a bad drive in the woods, and got a triple... After that I went par bogey par.. So I mean I'm not too mad because if you get rid of those two drives, it was a decent game.. If the two triples are bogeys, its 6 over through twelve, which if that rate continued it would have been an 81.. but woulda coulda shoulda.. Im gonna hit the range tomorrow, and work on straightening out the drive more consistently... But I mean besides that one thing I worked on was course management, like in positions where I was about 275 out, I would hit a 7 iron to about 125 out, and then it's an easy pitching wedge  for me, and in the three or so times it happened, it worked, I hit a GIR and two putted for par.. 

 

So for stats:
12 holes 11over, 5 GIR, 4 FIR, avg. 1.93 putts per hole..

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Just found out information and figured I would share it :) .  So, the average of 81 is correct.. Also, there are only nine matches this year, which the more I think about it is beneficial to me, because If I don't need a ton of great rounds, just need to get lucky a couple times, play capable the rest, and hope I don't blowup a round.. Also, each school gets to send one person if no one qualifies, and the coach selects the player with the lowest average.. After playing today, I think I am capable of averaging the best, and have the best average at the end of the year.  Now statistically it sounds odd, because I started off 10 over through 4.. but after that point went 1 over, and my drives were the problem that was fixed in the last five holes.. I was lucky I was 10 over through four, because my short game (by far the best part of my game) was great, but what was costing me was a drive in the woods every time.. I hit a three hybrid, a driver, nothing was working.. But after that, something clicked and was able to hit straight..  If I can get the drive to consistently go straight, I think I have a shot.. In the first four holes, I pulled everything left, but after that I was fine.  So to sum up, I'll take from this practice that I was able to comeback after a beyond horrible start where my driver wasn't going for me.. It made me realize that when I am in a match that if there is a drive that doesn't work out every once in a while, I have enough confidence in my short game to make up for it.. Mentally though, I feel this was a confidence booster, because of the comeback.. I am still a far way from breaking 81, but it's a minor improvement that I thought I'd note.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Just an update, I still need to average exactly an 81 after an eh round of 88.  So I need to get down 7 strokes, and I have a match Monday.  I don't think it can happen, but my ball striking is improving thanks to the 5 simples keys and course management.  so I am playing my home course Monday, which is very narrow, where I cant hit driver.. It's going to be really tough, but if I stay mentally in it, and focus, and know what I need to do, I can try to make the first step to getting to districts.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by islandersfan1 View Post
 

Just an update, I still need to average exactly an 81 after an eh round of 88.  So I need to get down 7 strokes, and I have a match Monday.  I don't think it can happen, but my ball striking is improving thanks to the 5 simples keys and course management.  so I am playing my home course Monday, which is very narrow, where I cant hit driver.. It's going to be really tough, but if I stay mentally in it, and focus, and know what I need to do, I can try to make the first step to getting to districts.

Focus on hitting the center of the green and ignore the pin on every hole. Unless there are some really severe and truly wacky slopes on the greens you will shoot a lower score than if you aimed for the pins and missed more greens (especially with a 1.7 putts per green average).

 

The most important thing to remember when you're playing in a tournament (at least for me) is something our assistant coach told me: Remember that you're playing a game that many consider to be only for the rich. To even be in this position means you are fortunate. If you had been dealt a different hand, you could be across the world in a sweatshop working for a less than living wage.

 

When he put it that way, it really helped me relax on the golf course. Especially after a bad hole it's always helpful to remind myself that I'm playing a game and doing something that many (including those in school that day) would love to do instead of me. It's worked well so far, with my worst placing this year being an 8th in a tournament of 90.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post
 

Focus on hitting the center of the green and ignore the pin on every hole. Unless there are some really severe and truly wacky slopes on the greens you will shoot a lower score than if you aimed for the pins and missed more greens (especially with a 1.7 putts per green average).

 

The most important thing to remember when you're playing in a tournament (at least for me) is something our assistant coach told me: Remember that you're playing a game that many consider to be only for the rich. To even be in this position means you are fortunate. If you had been dealt a different hand, you could be across the world in a sweatshop working for a less than living wage.

 

When he put it that way, it really helped me relax on the golf course. Especially after a bad hole it's always helpful to remind myself that I'm playing a game and doing something that many (including those in school that day) would love to do instead of me. It's worked well so far, with my worst placing this year being an 8th in a tournament of 90.t

Thanks for this.  It really put everything in perspective.  As for the advice of aiming for the center of the green, I will try to focus on it.  I saw on another thread that one person has two goals in mind on each hole , and that's all he focuses on:  Fairway first, then GIR.  If I just look at those two things and focus solely on those, it might help me keep things under control.  Oh, and one last thing, does any one else split the course into 6 3 hole courses, and try to go one over each course (to break 80)? Because I feel if I focus on that, I should be good, because I also read about 3 6 hole courses, but since this is smaller, my small mind will focus better haha.. Thanks, and hopefully on Monday, I can focus, hit every fairway, then hit the center of every green, make my two putt and go one over in every three hole sequence.  Thanks!!!

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