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tessallated

How Many Times Can a Person Shoot 80 Before Breaking Through? Arrrrghh!

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I am apparently the Queen of shooting 80.

I've been playing roughly 18 years. I started playing at 15, and didn't get serious about it until mid 20s. For the past 5 years or so, I've turned a corner with my game, sort of. I've figured out some things in my swing which have helped me break through a plateau, whereas I was consistently in the mid 90s for a good 8-10 years, I've gotten my game to the point where I'm in the mid-low 80s on my good rounds, with high 80s/low 90s on my bad ones. My hcp index is between 12 and 15 and has been for quite a while... but I cannot seem to break 80!

Today was the latest. I was playing a round with a much better opponent. She had 4 birdies on the front alone, and I was doing all I could to keep pace. Made the turn at 4 over, which for me is a good score and brings "79 watch" into play. From that point I went 1 over through my next 6 holes. I was standing on the tee box on 16 at only 5 over, and unfortunately for me I knew EXACTLY where I stood. 16 is a long par 5 and the green is on a little tabletop so it is the hardest green to hit. I was way short of the green on my approach due to wayward shot, and had a full wedge in. Hit the green perfectly, but had no spin whatsoever and couldn't hold it. Rolled off the side, pin high. Made a bad double. After parring 17, and splitting the fairway on 18 (albeit a little short), I had a comfortable 7 iron to the center of the green, knowing a par gets me in at 79. I was so nervous I had to back off the shot. I then proceeded to hit the worst, fattest iron I'd hit all day. Still, I had a comfortable sand wedge to the pin. Put it 10' away. Lipped the putt out. Tap in for bogey, and what must be my 5th or 6th time shooting 80.

The mental game is real people.

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I recommend reading some book by Dr Bob Rotella, could do wonder to your mental game.

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1 hour ago, tessallated said:

The mental game is real people.

14 minutes ago, Binh Nguyen said:

I recommend reading some book by Dr Bob Rotella, could do wonder to your mental game.

The mental game doesn't have nearly as big of an affect on your score as most people seem to give it credit for.

 

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Most people never do break through.  ;-)

It’ll come...

 

Edited by David in FL

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It's just a number.  You will get there and, once you do, shooting an 80 won't seem so tragic.  In the meantime...try not to think about your score while you are playing.  You will have a total, at the end of the round, regardless of whether you keep track of it or not.  

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18 minutes ago, klineka said:

The mental game doesn't have nearly as big of an affect on your score as most people seem to give it credit for.

 

 

Of course the mental game is not all but it is still an aspect of playing the game as physical aspect, skill aspect, game management etc as well.

I believe to fulfill your golfing potential you have to improve a lots of things not only your swing.

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1 minute ago, Binh Nguyen said:

Of course the mental game is not all but it is still an aspect of playing the game as physical aspect, skill aspect, game management etc as well.

As has already been discussed in the thread I linked earlier, the mental game accounts for a very very small aspect of your overall score when playing the game. 

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Would highly suggest getting a copy of Lowest Score Wins and reading through that. A lot of good stuff in there for tips on how to get better and how to gameplan.

One thing you could try, if possible, is moving up a set or two of tee boxes. You'll generally score better from there and be able to go lower to get used to that feeling. That said, if you've shot 80 multiple times, it will happen without a ton of effort from you. If you think about it, it's just a shot over 18 holes. Sooner or later, you'll bust through from just pure luck. Consistently breaking 80 is another story.

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2 hours ago, tessallated said:

I am apparently the Queen of shooting 80.

I've been playing roughly 18 years. I started playing at 15, and didn't get serious about it until mid 20s. For the past 5 years or so, I've turned a corner with my game, sort of. I've figured out some things in my swing which have helped me break through a plateau, whereas I was consistently in the mid 90s for a good 8-10 years, I've gotten my game to the point where I'm in the mid-low 80s on my good rounds, with high 80s/low 90s on my bad ones. My hcp index is between 12 and 15 and has been for quite a while... but I cannot seem to break 80!

Today was the latest. I was playing a round with a much better opponent. She had 4 birdies on the front alone, and I was doing all I could to keep pace. Made the turn at 4 over, which for me is a good score and brings "79 watch" into play. From that point I went 1 over through my next 6 holes. I was standing on the tee box on 16 at only 5 over, and unfortunately for me I knew EXACTLY where I stood. 16 is a long par 5 and the green is on a little tabletop so it is the hardest green to hit. I was way short of the green on my approach due to wayward shot, and had a full wedge in. Hit the green perfectly, but had no spin whatsoever and couldn't hold it. Rolled off the side, pin high. Made a bad double. After parring 17, and splitting the fairway on 18 (albeit a little short), I had a comfortable 7 iron to the center of the green, knowing a par gets me in at 79. I was so nervous I had to back off the shot. I then proceeded to hit the worst, fattest iron I'd hit all day. Still, I had a comfortable sand wedge to the pin. Put it 10' away. Lipped the putt out. Tap in for bogey, and what must be my 5th or 6th time shooting 80.

The mental game is real people.

I'm just looking at these two holes.  You hit a good shot to 16, but the ball rolled off the green, and you failed to get up and down.  That's not too uncommon for a 12+ handicapper.  And on 18, you hit a bad 7-iron, but still came close to making par.  Again, pretty common for someone in that handicap range.  If you had hit these shots on 7 and 9, and then shot 4-over on the back, would you still be as concerned?  In hindsight, you give these mistakes more weight, and put more blame on your "mental game" because of where they fell in the round.

You're a pretty good player, and if you keep working at it, you'll become a better player.  Those 70-somethings are right around the corner.

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OP, you're doing better than I am.  I've had a single 81 but never an 80, much less multiple times.  You'll get there!

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I know the OP's pain. I have never broken par. This, even though I have several rounds 70, 71, and 72 to my credit. 

Why? I have no idea. My best guess is no consistency in my game. Maybe a few missed 3 footers. A poor tee shot here, or there. A poor approach shot.  Maybe that bikini clad beauty laying by her pool next to my ball. Maybe I just didn't have a par breaking score in me. 

How long? I shot all those par scores, on several different courses during a 15 year period. 

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3 minutes ago, Patch said:

I know the OP's pain. I have never broken par. This, even though I have several rounds 70, 71, and 72 to my credit. 

Why? I have no idea. My best guess is no consistency in my game. Maybe a few missed 3 footers. A poor tee shot here, or there. A poor approach shot.  Maybe that bikini clad beauty laying by her pool next to my ball. Maybe I just didn't have a par breaking score in me. 

How long? I shot all those par scores, on several different courses during a 15 year period. 

That's a fine shot, leaving it next to the bikini girl but keeping it in bounds!  You've definitely got the skills to go low if you can pull that off.

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dont give up, stick to deliberate routine and it never hurts to get leaner and stronger.  for me, if i practice short game a lot a great score will eventually come!

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Took me 7 or 8 times to break 80, only needing a bogey to do it and could not do it. Then I was 5 over after 17 and I only needed a double bogey to break 80. Made an up and down double 😅

Now I break 80 on a monthly basis.

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8 hours ago, klineka said:

As has already been discussed in the thread I linked earlier, the mental game accounts for a very very small aspect of your overall score when playing the game. 

A small aspect is not zero. You can't just dismiss the mental aspect completely, especially when it comes down to being able to execute at one's highest level under pressure.

As @tessallated wrote:

10 hours ago, tessallated said:

I had a comfortable 7 iron to the center of the green, knowing a par gets me in at 79. I was so nervous I had to back off the shot. I then proceeded to hit the worst, fattest iron I'd hit all day.

It clearly had an adverse effect on her. Maybe it cost 0.5 strokes which is a very small percentage of 80, but for someone trying to break a benchmark, it's just enough to be a factor.

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13 hours ago, billchao said:

A small aspect is not zero. You can't just dismiss the mental aspect completely, especially when it comes down to being able to execute at one's highest level under pressure.

As @tessallated wrote:

It clearly had an adverse effect on her. Maybe it cost 0.5 strokes which is a very small percentage of 80, but for someone trying to break a benchmark, it's just enough to be a factor.

I agree that a small aspect is not zero, but as @DaveP043 pointed out, it was easy to give those mistakes more weight because of where they happened in the round.

23 hours ago, tessallated said:

16 is a long par 5 and the green is on a little tabletop so it is the hardest green to hit. I was way short of the green on my approach due to wayward shot, and had a full wedge in. Hit the green perfectly, but had no spin whatsoever and couldn't hold it. Rolled off the side, pin high. Made a bad double.

Nothing about that double bogey has anything to do with the mental game, IMO.

If @tessallated was hitting the full wedge in for her 3rd shot, rolled off the green, chipping for 4, that means she either needed 2 chips and 2 putts, or a chip and a 3 putt in order to make double bogey since it was a par 5. Or she needed an extra approach shot somewhere before the green.

That sounds like a physical/skill/execution issue, not a mental issue.

Not saying the mental game didn't play a role, but ending the post with 

23 hours ago, tessallated said:

The mental game is real people.

lends me to believe she thinks the mental game contributes way more to her score than it actually does.

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

lends me to believe she thinks the mental game contributes way more to her score than it actually does.

In a lot of ways, I think this is a chicken or egg proposition.  I think that for some people, pressure (even self-imposed pressure) has the potential to influence performance.  We're all different, and we all react differently to pressure.  But pressure is to some extent fear of failure, and is based on past history.  For someone like @tessallated, whose past history includes ZERO rounds below 80, she's had some failures.   Perhaps for her, in that particular situation, the mental game DID contribute to the poor shot on the last hole.  

So how does a person conquer self-imposed pressure?  I try to think about only the shot I'm hitting, not the consequences, not the score, just the single shot.  I consider the problem areas, consider my shot patterns, the lie, all the factors, select a shot, and then think only of the shot.  I may consider score implications when making a choice, but once I decide on a shot, that's all that I want in my mind, one shot.  I'm not always successful thinking that way, and I'm certainly not successful in hitting all good shots, but I do believe that approach helps, at least for me.

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