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Hugh Jars

Course Management Strategies to Break 90

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Made my first sub 90 round at my local course yesterday adopting my course management tactics. I was really happy with this score as my full swing was completely off with my driver and hybrids, I was slicing it left with my take back going too inside. Not one of my shots off the tee broke 200m carry. I deliberately compensated for the slice by teeing off on the far right of the tee box and aiming left.
 
I increased each hole's par by 1. I gave up going for the green several times from my tee shot and favoured laying up with my comfortable irons (5 and 6 iron), to then have an easy pitch or wedge shot into the green. On the hardest hole, a long dogleg right par 5 with trouble off the tee, I favoured my 2 iron off the tee, hit it straight and just aimed to get on the green in four, which I was successful at to make a 6. I also did this on the opening par 5.
 
I went far right on a long par 3 but instead of trying to dangerous lob which I would have done previously, I chip and ran it onto the green to make 4.
 
Several times I swallowed my ego and decided to chip out to the fairway rather than trying to a risky full shot out of the trees. Made a par on the last par 5 hole after going bush off the tee and hitting an approach from from a distance that favoured my 5 iron which I was smashing that day.
 
 
Edited by Hugh Jars

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44 minutes ago, Hugh Jars said:
Made my first sub 90 round at my local course yesterday adopting my course management tactics. I was really happy with this score as my full swing was completely off with my driver and hybrids, I was slicing it left with my take back going too inside. Not one of my shots off the tee broke 200m carry. I deliberately compensated for the slice by teeing off on the far right of the tee box and aiming left.
 
I increased each hole's par by 1. I gave up going for the green several times from my tee shot and favoured laying up with my comfortable irons (5 and 6 iron), to then have an easy pitch or wedge shot into the green. On the hardest hole, a long dogleg right par 5 with trouble off the tee, I favoured my 2 iron off the tee, hit it straight and just aimed to get on the green in four, which I was successful at to make a 6. I also did this on the opening par 5.
 
I went far right on a long par 3 but instead of trying to dangerous lob which I would have done previously, I chip and ran it onto the green to make 4.
 
Several times I swallowed my ego and decided to chip out to the fairway rather than trying to a risky full shot out of the trees. Made a par on the last par 5 hole after going bush off the tee and hitting an approach from from a distance that favoured my 5 iron which I was smashing that day.

Sample of one isn’t telling anyone anything other than you played pretty well that day.

Everyone has great days, and your drives seem reasonable at 200m carry. Not sure why you mentioned carry as opposed to something easily measurable on the course like total distance?

My experience has been quite the opposite, as is for all my playing partners.

The better your long game, the easier to shoot under bogey. Pretty simple...

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6 hours ago, Hugh Jars said:

Made a par on the last par 5 hole after going bush off the tee and hitting an approach from from a distance that favoured my 5 iron which I was smashing that day.

Yep, your iron play let you get par. 

 

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7 hours ago, Lihu said:

Sample of one isn’t telling anyone anything other than you played pretty well that day.

Everyone has great days, and your drives seem reasonable at 200m carry. Not sure why you mentioned carry as opposed to something easily measurable on the course like total distance?

My experience has been quite the opposite, as is for all my playing partners.

The better your long game, the easier to shoot under bogey. Pretty simple...

Not sure why anyone would mention total distance as opposed to carry. Roll is so dependent on course conditions and whether or not you even land on the fairway. You’re one of those egomaniacs who walk around with their doodle out telling everyone how far they drive but secretly include made up roll numbers too dont you? 😜

Ive played many rounds with friends who hit less distance than me off the tee and consistently hit sub 90. They’re better players. Simple.  

Also, check this out:

1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

Yep, your iron play let you get par. 

 

AND my chip out of trouble back onto the fairway, AND my chip onto the green AND accurate 12 foot lag putt AND 3 foot putt.  That’s just one hole. 

Club selection, target selection, short game, scrambling, putting, chipping, pitching all helped me break 90, which is good for me for my current skill set. 

 

Edited by Hugh Jars

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3 minutes ago, Hugh Jars said:

Also, check this out:

https://youtu.be/WKPobjcF6ns

Terrible video.

He's narrating that "if your swing just needs some fine tuning, which is just usually a grip, rhythm, ball position thing, and the pro wants to do more… RUN!" He's saying this over video of the guy with the awful looking swing who seems to hit it pretty solid, airborne, forward, and on-line in the background.

His swing only looks terrible, but he's found a way to make it "work" if you redefine "work" as being so loose that shooting mid-80s is good enough.

Seriously… Didi's videos prove the opposite of what you and others think it does: that the full swing matters the most. Didi hits it solidly and in the right direction most of the time. He's near the green in regulation or hits it most of the time. The one round where I think he broke 80, he also played shorter tees and putted out of his mind (he gained a large number of strokes putting; not an oft-repeatable performance).

At 3:15, "in the end, if you can chip and putt, you're golden." NO. Dead wrong. Of course, chipping and putting well is a "good thing," but no, no, no. I'll take the good ball striker and the bad putter/chipper over the terrible ball striker who can chip and putt well. Stats show this to be the case, period. (This is not an invitation for you to conjure up what you imagine a "bad" ball striker is, because for an average golfer, even Didi is well above average there.) This idea that "if you can chip and putt" has about as much merit as the idea that planting feathers "grows birdies."

"Didi is never intimidated by 440-yard par fours. He just hits a driver, a fairway wood, and he's chipping and putting for pars." Because of the importance of the full swing, and how proficient he is at it despite a god-awful looking swing.

At 6:54, "for every one hour he spent on the driving range, he spent 3 hours on the practice green." Well, that's dumb. While I'm saying that Didi is reasonably proficient at the full swing… He's still shooting mid-80s most of the time. He's not great at the full swing. Plus, he'd hit it further if he could learn to turn.

image.png

But again, back to my main point: what these dumb Sidekick videos keep showing with Didi is not what they're saying. Most people who struggle to break 90 aren't doing this very often:

image.png

That's a five-iron. Didi does it a large majority of the time.

I stopped watching when I encountered the third or fourth sets of YouTube ads after that.

I'm glad you like them, @Hugh Jars, but a lot of the Sidekick stuff is pretty bad stuff. If you were to chart Didi's rounds from an SG perspective, you'd see that he's doing pretty well on the full swing stuff.

P.S. Please embed videos. https://thesandtrap.com/how-to/embed-videos/

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I have to agree with Erik here.  Just watching three or four videos from the sidekick was enough to show me that they aren't analyzing their game(s) scientifically.  Anybody that can hit a 9 iron 170+ has a good swing, and of course they're going to do well (because they have a good swing).  So preaching the importance of short game for them is fine as long as that's their most glaring weakness.  And honestly, I haven't watched enough to know if that's their weakest part of their game, otherwise they should be spending more time to dial in their long game so they don't have to have as good of a short game.

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14 hours ago, Hugh Jars said:
Made my first sub 90 round at my local course yesterday adopting my course management tactics.
 
On the hardest hole, a long dogleg right par 5 with trouble off the tee, I favoured my 2 iron off the tee, hit it straight and just aimed to get on the green in four, which I was successful at to make a 6.

Congrats on breaking 90.  Even more congrats on hitting a 2 iron.  Wow!

John

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14 hours ago, Hugh Jars said:

On the hardest hole, a long dogleg right par 5 with trouble off the tee, I favoured my 2 iron off the tee, hit it straight and just aimed to get on the green in four, which I was successful at to make a 6.

If you can learn to hit a 2i, you can learn to hit a driver.

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8 hours ago, Hugh Jars said:

Not sure why anyone would mention total distance as opposed to carry. Roll is so dependent on course conditions and whether or not you even land on the fairway. You’re one of those egomaniacs who walk around with their doodle out telling everyone how far they drive but secretly include made up roll numbers too dont you? 😜

 

No I use an application called Arcos and Game Golf and both use GPS to measure. It’s just super convenient...

Plus, I only mentioned that since it was a round from which you quoted the numbers :-D

Unless one uses a LM every tee shot its kind of hard to tell where it landed. Or maybe the ground was wet? 🙄

I carry my driver about 230m on average with an average total distance of 233m, but usually measure in yards. But end up using a 3W/hybrid or iron most of the time because of the courses I play. Flat Parkland style, I’d almost always tee off with a driver.

1 hour ago, billchao said:

If you can learn to hit a 2i, you can learn to hit a driver.

IF he can hit a 2i he wouldn’t be talking about breaking 90 strategies, strange. 🧐

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I've seen the sub side of 90 a few times. I should be playing a lot better than I am. You need to know your carry distances for hazards. Total distances.... Well can vary.  

1) Driver - seriously, this is the most forgiving club in the bag. It's got the biggest club face. If you can manage to get it square at impact and strike the ball somewhere near the center of the face you shouldn't be in trouble. Shouldn't. But you need to practice with this club. If you feel the need to shorten it to feel more confident with it, do it. I'd recommend butt cutting 1". 

2) Contrary to what people tell you, getting a hybrid to go straight off the tee is every bit as difficult as hitting a driver. The only reason to do this, or hit an iron off the tee on anything other than a par 3 is to lay up to trouble, or unless your driver will put the ball in the woods, hazard, or OB because of a dogleg. And trust me, the likelihood that I'll top a 3W or hybrid off the tee is much higher than topping a driver, so there's that. 

3) But your #1 focus should be approach shots. You have to get these on the green to get a par or better. Practice hitting these to targets. 

4) Short game... is important so you can make up for when bad things happen. That's what it's for. Pitches, bunker shots, chips, bump and runs. Do you hit flop shots? Maybe. Uncomfortable hitting partial wedge shots? You have to practice them.

5) Putting... Easiest part of the game. Read, lag and tap. Just practice it enough to be proficient. 

So this is my strategy for breaking 90. Know where the trouble is. Tee it high and let it fly. If you end up in the woods, look for an opportunity to advance the ball. If you're "in jail", take your medicine. Hero shots bad. Go for the center of the green. If you don't get there, use your short game to get it close so you can one putt. If you did get a GIR, two putt at worst. I don't have much else to say. 

Now for the strategy for getting good: I'm sorry - you have to practice. I don't... enough. It's why my game sucks.

I find Golf Sidekick entertaining. Not so much instructional. I look elsewhere for that.... like the pro from whom I've been taking lessons... and too many Fred Couples videos. We are never too old to learn. Like Erik said, Didi makes solid contact with the ball. His swing may look awkward but it's functional.

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On 9/4/2019 at 9:35 AM, pganapathy said:

I have a book at home titled something along the lines of "How to break 90".  It essentially says treat every hole as a bogey and play accordingly. 

I have the same old book. I have broken 90 a few times (much more in my old man past) using a teed up 3 iron off the tee on most holes. So I know it works. But today, I just don't seem to have the discipline...I want to see that ball SOAR for the distances I can hit it! Best, -Marv

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21 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

1) Driver - seriously, this is the most forgiving club in the bag. It's got the biggest club face. If you can manage to get it square at impact and strike the ball somewhere near the center of the face you shouldn't be in trouble. Shouldn't. But you need to practice with this club. If you feel the need to shorten it to feel more confident with it, do it. I'd recommend butt cutting 1". 

2) Contrary to what people tell you, getting a hybrid to go straight off the tee is every bit as difficult as hitting a driver. The only reason to do this, or hit an iron off the tee on anything other than a par 3 is to lay up to trouble, or unless your driver will put the ball in the woods, hazard, or OB because of a dogleg. And trust me, the likelihood that I'll top a 3W or hybrid off the tee is much higher than topping a driver, so there's that. 

3) But your #1 focus should be approach shots. You have to get these on the green to get a par or better. Practice hitting these to targets. 

4) Short game... is important so you can make up for when bad things happen. That's what it's for. Pitches, bunker shots, chips, bump and runs. Do you hit flop shots? Maybe. Uncomfortable hitting partial wedge shots? You have to practice them.

5) Putting... Easiest part of the game. Read, lag and tap. Just practice it enough to be proficient. 

I think the reason most people struggle with driver is because it is the only club in the bag with an unique swing.  Pretty much every other club, you either hit down or at the bottom of your swing.  A driver needs to be hit on the up and is the only club where hitting the ground is bad.  A large clubface is no guarantee of forgiveness.

Like mentioned above, a hybrid has a similar swing to a wood or long iron and since you have many more of those clubs and hit more of those shots a round, I find that hybrid is more accurate and straight off a tee than the driver.

True, approach shots are important, but when you are trying to break 90, be smart about what you hit.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, a bogey on every hole is enough to break 90.  Which means you can get on the green in GIR+1 and assuming you have two putts, get a bogey.  This means that trying to hit a 150-200 yard shot onto the green may not be a smart strategy.  Aim to get it as close to the green as possible, and either aim for the centre of the green or to the safest side, away from danger.  From there you should be able to get a ball reasonably close with a simple chip/pitch or decent lag putt if you are on the green.

Short game and putting needs a lot of practice.  Unfortunately most people rarely practice this.  Most amateurs spend more time grooving a swing on the range than any short game or putting practice 🤷‍♀️

 

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4 hours ago, pganapathy said:

Short game and putting needs a lot of practice.  Unfortunately most people rarely practice this.  Most amateurs spend more time grooving a swing on the range than any short game or putting practice 🤷‍♀️

 

So do most pros, and with good reason.  I think you know why.  

I'm not convinced short game and putting need a lot of practice unless you're uniquely bad at them, like I am.  Get a few basic short game shots down and have an idea for what your wedges do with various partial swings.  Your short game stats will improve as your full swing improves.  My short game "strokes gained/lost" today was 0.75.  It isn't that I have a good short game, it's that I missed my approaches in good places where I had easy short game shots to hit.  The one "challenging" short game shot I had to hit today was 65 yards, from under a tree, in rough, over a bunker.  I will practice that shot again the next time I'm in it, because I don't plan to face that type of shot very regularly. 

(I hit it into the sand, blasted out to 5-6', and missed the putt)

Speaking of putting, I went from abysmal at putting to halfway decent with about five practice sessions of about 45 minutes each.  Putt a few evenings, do some decent drills, and then spend time on the parts of the game that really need a lot of attention for your score to drop :-) 

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5 hours ago, pganapathy said:

A large clubface is no guarantee of forgiveness.

You mean success? Because by definition, the driver is the most forgiving club in the bag. You can literally hit the ball 2" away from the center of the clubface on a driver, whereas any other club would be a whiff.

5 hours ago, pganapathy said:

True, approach shots are important, but when you are trying to break 90, be smart about what you hit.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, a bogey on every hole is enough to break 90.  Which means you can get on the green in GIR+1 and assuming you have two putts, get a bogey.

I don't have any problem with accepting bogey as a reasonable and even good outcome for a golfer trying to break 90. What I have issue with are strategies (like Golf Sidekick's) that effectively make bogey the best score a golfer can realistically achieve on a given hole by playing too conservatively. A golfer who makes bogey their scoring goal is still going to make pars and doubles (or triples), but if that golfer has never broken 90 before, his skill level dictates that double is a more common occurrence than par.

5 hours ago, pganapathy said:

Short game and putting needs a lot of practice.

I disagree. Putting is by far the easiest basic motion to learn in golf, followed by chipping and pitching. Full swings are far more complex and are executed at much higher speeds which makes them harder to learn.

5 hours ago, pganapathy said:

Most amateurs spend more time grooving a swing on the range than any short game or putting practice

Most people hitting balls on a range aren't practicing effectively. That's the unfortunate reality of why they don't improve.

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On 9/10/2019 at 3:46 PM, DrvFrShow said:

I've seen the sub side of 90 a few times. I should be playing a lot better than I am. You need to know your carry distances for hazards. Total distances.... Well can vary.  

Carry distances vary a lot as well, especially with altitude, humidity, wind and weather.

Mine vary a lot depending upon strike as well. I might have as much as 40m variation in any given round. If I have anything more than a 200m forced carry, I’m pretty much laying up even though my average is 30m more than that.

Non optimal strike and a puff of wind could end up easily OB or wet.

Of course, a quick guesstimate of my shot zones would easily tell me if it’s stupid to try or not, plus I’ve never played a course with a forced carry over 200m that doesn’t have signs all over the place warning you not to do it 😂

BTW, the use of m if for the benefit of the OP...

Edited by Lihu

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I just shot a 96 making some foolish decisions. I can't believe I fell for such rookie temptations, but I did. 

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16 minutes ago, Billy Z said:

I just shot a 96 making some foolish decisions. I can't believe I fell for such rookie temptations, but I did. 

Funny that we think it’s stupid only after the fact 😂

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On 9/13/2019 at 9:04 PM, Lihu said:

Funny that we think it’s stupid only after the fact 😂

Yeah...Yesterday faced with a lay up shot to the front of a chasm/creek I selected the VERY SAME club that had carried too far twice before. My golf buddy said "Didn't you mention that last time?" Good grief! Best to all other stupids, -Marv

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