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Same Golf, Different Year



2017 wasn’t exactly the same, but the results are pretty close… set the bar low and fail to reach it.

I’m not sure why it’s so important for me to improve at golf or why failing to do so has the impact it does. There are plenty of things I’m not that good at that I still enjoy. Guitar, fishing, hunting, shooting, working on small engines, lawn and home maintenance… I’m ok with being mediocre with these. They are simply enjoyable activities that make up my version of a full life.

Unfortunately, golf is more than that to me.

It may be because I thought or hoped it would be something I could excel in. I’ve said it before, golf is the perfect activity for me. It doesn’t require exceptional power, or speed, or upper body strength, it can be enjoyed alone or with a group of friends, it takes place in an environment I feel very relaxed in, and can be played well into my later years. I have a lot of time to devote to practice and enough of a budget with which to play and purchase equipment. So naturally, I adopted golf as MY game. 

The trouble is, golf is not my game. It’s something I’ll never excel at… ever. Given unlimited time, money, or even the best instruction, the ceiling would still be very low. The trick is learning to accept that fact, to be happy with the good shots and not care about the poor ones.

Easier said than done. But I have to work as hard at that mindset as I have in trying (and failing) to develop a decent game.

There were some positives during the season — just as in seasons past. I had a more relaxed approach in the off-season, shot a couple low scores, got together with other members of the forum, kept a legitimate handicap, bought some new equipment and developed an improved iron swing using the 5S’s of good practice. There were also small improvement in the short game in with putting. 

But overall, my game was worse than last year. And until I learn to accept the bad with the good, golf will continue to frustrate me.

Last week I played a solo round at a favorite course. From the white tees, the course plays at 6,000 yards with a rating and slope of 68.3/122. It’s a perfect course and distance for my skill level and club distances and shot mid 90's there twice last year. On this day, I hit 33% of my greens, hit approach shots of 100 yds or less to within 15 yds 100% of the time, and 50% of the time from 100-200 yds. My distances were longer across the board than average…. and yet I failed to break 100. Maybe those numbers are average for that score, I don’t know.

Given the courses I play, my problem has less to do with a lack of a distance from off the tee and more from lack of accuracy — and it isn’t even a close.

While my iron swing can best be described as a full body dry-heave, it can produce good results (and for anyone who thinks a golfer's swings are all the same, I have some videos for you). 

My problem isn’t an inability to make shots, it’s that the shots I miss are bad misses. It isn’t that I can’t do all the things needed to score low, it’s that I can’t do all the things needed to score low often enough. And I just don’t see that changing.

So going forward into next year, I have to develop a different way of looking at the game. Maybe  less worrying about improvement or index, and more goofing off, risk-taking, experimenting with different shots and looking for the positives in golf that are within my control.


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You are likely better than most golfers on the course, but that said I think your approach for the following year is a good one.

Don't even look at your index, that just happens. Playing shots that are "interesting" is way more fun anyway. Taking only the positives, is a great idea, and I bet you'll improve and/or have more fun.

BTW, your statistics for today of 33% greens and 100 yard approaches within 15 yards are excellent! That is far better than half of the people I play with, and most have been playing golf for a long time. They enjoy playing. Failing to break 100 is not the issue. You hit longer than usual and made a lot of greens with half being up to 200 yards! Excellent!

BTW, where is your GG link? Just use and post your rounds with that app. It's free for use even without the belt thingy.

Edited by Lihu
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Thanks for the kind words @Lihu.

There are a lot of hackers out there, but I'm not as good as most. Then you have a site like this where the bar is just set so high. I'll see guys shooting in the 90's their first year and think "what the hell is wrong with me" Lol.

Anyway, the game is supposed to be enjoyable not agonizing. So something has to give. Seems like I've been down this road before...

I no longer record many rounds, but here are a couple from last weekend. I clean them up a bit at home but don't normally adjust flag locations.




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I was more just wondering where you lost strokes with statistics like those on the approaches your last round. I’m terrible at analyzing stats anyway. . .

Yeah, I don’t adjust flag locations either. The course is usually too busy.

BTW, you should add your link to your Avatar, and I also have other hobbies as well. My kids play and my archery club lost a lot of rights, shooting guns is too expensive to do daily 365 day’s a year. That’s why I play Golf in the fall and winter months.

I’m glad you’re putting things in perspective, and am sure you’ll enjoy it a lot more. No expectations, enjoy!

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For both of those rounds, your average putts per hole is over 2.2. That is pretty high and is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways you can drop strokes. 

Have you practiced your putting much? Do you struggle with speed, direction, green reading, or all 3? 

This might help with the putting 


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19 minutes ago, klineka said:

For both of those rounds, your average putts per hole is over 2.2. That is pretty high and is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways you can drop strokes. 

Have you practiced your putting much? Do you struggle with speed, direction, green reading, or all 3? 

This might help with the putting 


Thanks for the link. I will re-read it again (and again). It takes time for some of this to sink.

Yes, putting is a glaring weakness and has been for years. I worked on it all winter, and midway through the season made some changes to my putting stroke that seemed to really help with bead. I've also been trying to rely less on what I see and more of what I feel with my feet. That certainly helps with the read and speed (thanks @dennyjones). Statistically, very little improvement has shown up, but it feels better (I haven't recorded many 2017 rounds). Obviously, I have a long way to go.

Driver and 5 wood are killing me right now with both penalties and just not giving myself chances for GIR. All I can do is work on minimizing that damage.

18 hours ago, Lihu said:

I’m glad you’re putting things in perspective, and am sure you’ll enjoy it a lot more. No expectations, enjoy!

Thanks @Lihu


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