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Course Management Strategies to Break 90

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3 hours ago, ncates00 said:

It's imperative for someone, like yourself, trying to break 90 to keep the ball in play and hit as many GIR as possible.

That's easier said than done, especially for someone trying to break 90 for the first time. Having GIR as a goal and being able to achieve it are two different things.

Hell I'm a 12 and I struggle with this. My scoring average over the last 10 rounds is 88.6 and only hit 23% GIR.

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5 minutes ago, billchao said:

Having GIR as a goal and being able to achieve it are two different things.

Well isn't this thread exactly that?  Strategies to achieve it?

The point is simply 1) keep the ball in play and 2) hit GIR.

31 minutes ago, Killa said:

It’s not like you’ll just decide and shoot 10 GIR and then blow up 3 holes.

You're missing the point here, man.  People like you trying to break 90, more often than not, do have blow-up holes.  It's about skill, not some decision you make.  Some 90s players don't necessarily have blow-up holes, but they routinely miss a lot of GIR.  The point I'm making is to hit GIR and as many as possible.  If you set a goal to hit 10 GIR in a round and strive to make that happen, the results will come.  You had a 40 on the back nine after only hitting 6.  6 isn't very many.  You hit 6 and you still shot over 90.  Again, this thread is about strategies on how to break 90--hit GIR and you'll definitely do that.

Edited by ncates00

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3 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Well isn't this thread exactly that?  Strategies to achieve it?

Depends on who you're asking. OP in this thread promotes the Golf Sidekick strategy which is actually not about hitting GIR, but relying heavily on short game and putting.

6 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

The point is simply 1) keep the ball in play and 2) hit GIR.

Agreed. Best way to score well consistently is by being better tee to green.

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Just now, billchao said:

OP in this thread promotes the Golf Sidekick strategy which is actually not about hitting GIR, but relying heavily on short game and putting.

Well the OP is off his rocker.  I agree 100% with you on tee to green.  That's what this game is all about.

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You guys can throw stats, facts, data and scenarios to show the logic and you’re not going to convince those people short game isn’t the main factor to low scores. It’s never gonna happen. Golf Sidekick, Venetos, and a whole bunch of others still promote that philosophy on YouTube despite all the data, cold hard stats/facts. They are beyond repair.

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On 10/26/2019 at 5:02 AM, ncates00 said:

Don't hit balls OB/lose balls.  Hit most greens.  You'll break 90 and then some.  

And to play the flute: Move your fingers up and down over the holes and blow into it.

Edited by leftybutnotPM

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3 hours ago, leftybutnotPM said:

And to play the flute: Move your fingers up and down over the holes and blow into it.

Haha. Wouldn’t know the first thing about the flute but sounds like you know what you’re doing. 

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5 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Haha. Wouldn’t know the first thing about the flute but sounds like you know what you’re doing. 

There was a thread once about how you'd break 90 at Augusta and people were saying things like:

Stay on the Fairway.

Hit greens

Avoid three putts.

 

Easy!!

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13 minutes ago, leftybutnotPM said:

There was a thread once about how you'd break 90 at Augusta and people were saying things like:

Stay on the Fairway.

Hit greens

Avoid three putts.

 

Easy!!

No one said it was easy to execute. However, it is really easy to grasp. It really is as easy as 1) hit driver as far as you can with a clear shot at the green and 2) hit most greens or nGIR. People try to come up with all kinds of strategies and tips, but as far as how to play this game, it’s all about tee to green. If you can get that part, you’ve got the hardest part (and the part that will travel course to course). The more interesting conversation is around shot shaping, in my opinion. For example, I can see good arguments on both sides for having a neutral ball flight vs having one shot shape. 

Then just work on your partial wedges. 

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On 10/17/2019 at 8:38 AM, David in FL said:

If the primary reason that you’re not reaching greens in regulation is because of the distance that you’re able to hit the ball, it’s time to move up a set of tees.

As someone who plays as a single quite a bit during the week, that is the thing I see the most, people unwilling to swallow their pride and play the appropriate tees for their skill level.  

One of the things that really helped me get better was moving up, leaving the driver in my bag and working on hitting good shots with my hybrids and irons.  A few years back anything iron past 175 yards was a disaster as I had zero confidence I could hit the green. 

Now that I have improved my iron play by quite a bit it is far easier to hit greens and make par so I have started to devote more time to hitting my driver more consistently off the tee.  

Edited by Inferno2ss

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I think there is some conflict caused by the difference in having a goal to shoot 90, and having a goal to shoot low scores.  I'm not convinced that the strategy is necessarily the same.

To shoot a low score (let's say, perhaps under 80?) you probably need to hit a fair portion of greens, have shorter shots to greens, generally play good golf.

But, as a 90 (ish) shooter, I can get a bogey if I am near the green in regulation, and sometimes can get a par, with a good pitch.  What makes 90 almost impossible is a few doubles and triples.  Out of bounds, in the woods, extra sand shots, extra chips, extra putts.  I've noticed that lately I am getting more pars, an even the odd birdie (got one Saturday on the hole that we beat to death earlier in this thread, five wood, lob wedge to 2 feet), and yet the blow ups put me at 92 - 95.

I maintain that to shoot 90, the big number have to go.  To shoot 80, you need some low numbers.  And the strategy for those two objectives isn't necessarily the same.  Of course, that's just an opinion.

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After hacking it around the golf course for the past 10 years or so for the first time this year I put up multiple scores in the 90's.  After not playing much this summer, beginning in mid September to mid October in 7 of 11 rounds I scored in the 90's, including four in a row and shooting exactly 90 in two of those rounds on back to back days. 

Three things really helped out. 

  1. My full swing finally is improving and I'm hitting more GIRs.  It's nothing to write home about but hitting 5-6 GIRs as opposed to 1 or 2 that I had been is makes it a lot easier.  Along with that, I'm sure there's likely also been an uptick in nGIRs. 
  2. I made it a priority when chipping to not make perfect the enemy of the good and just get it on the green rather than try and be too cute or try to hit an exact spot and leave myself another chip shot. 
  3. I focused on the speed of my putts so that if I didn't make the putt, I'd leave myself a short make-able putt.  Putting is also one of my weak points so even though I didn't drain many putts, I didn't have many 3 putts.

After getting close to breaking 90 a few times to not have done it is a bit disappointing but my goal has been to consistently shoot in the 90's and that finally happened this year - except for the last few rounds which have been disastrous but have been because of things not directly related to golf.  

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It's the "course management" of "course management" that interests me most. "Learn to hit your clubs well" is a different topic.

-Analyze the hole and practice course management that minimizes the risks.  Examples:

a. Par 3, flag is tucked behind a front bunker 160 yards away.  Choose the club that goes 170.

b. Got a straight mid iron to the green, water on the left and a few sparse trees on the right.  Aim, not for the flag but the right edge of the green.

c. Take a clear view of the par 5's.  Most are designed with some sort of defense against reaching in two.  Certainly you will not try this if there is lateral water guarding the green.  But a par 5 with a tiny green and thick forest around it is just as dangerous.  You get what, one stroke benefit from a great shot?  The more likely result is an off-line stroke resulting in a lost ball and a ticket to a blow-up hole.  Save the 3-wood for the one with more room and maybe just a bunker protecting the pin.

d. Select at least one club up when you are in deep rough.  You are almost guaranteed to not get perfect contact.

e. Good God, stop aiming for flags.  I was taught to calculate the location of the flag on the green and adjust my club selection for that.  Somebody has to tell older brothers to stop telling younger brothers this advice.  Center of the green for now if you are more than about 60 yards away.  Once you get more consistent with your approach shots, start going for flags.  For now it is NOT worth the risk.

f. Take your medicine.  If you do not have command of the shot and there is another option, go with the other option.

 

These are the ideas that have helped me this past year to shave nearly 8 strokes off my handicap in the past year. Honestly, I am sure most of them I got from other people on this forum.

I recycle.

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11 hours ago, Cantankerish said:

It's the "course management" of "course management" that interests me most. "Learn to hit your clubs well" is a different topic.

These topics don’t get much discussion here because they’re solved problems. Whether it’s the Decision Maps and Shades of Grey from LSW or another thing that basically does the same thing… It’s solved.

We even have specific topics on some of the things you’ve listed. Look up #DeadCenter (which isn’t really about aiming at the dead center).

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A person who is struggling to break 90 has not solved these issues.  I admit that I did not scour this thread though, and they may be covered in it. And I have been going very slowly and deliberately through your book.  I may have simply not got to that part.  Right now I am grinding club face control.

Thanks for the topic ref.  Going there next.

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5 minutes ago, Cantankerish said:

A person who is struggling to break 90 has not solved these issues. 

For the vast majority of players struggling with breaking 90, the problem lies in skill and execution and not course management. They could have the best strategy in the world and still not break 90 because they're not hitting the shots they need to.

Course management for high handicap players is relatively simple, tbh. Approach the game with the mindset to hit more GIR. Advance the ball as far as you reasonably can from trouble spots. Aim away from penalty areas as much as you can. Pick a short game shot that will prevent you from having to hit a second one, even if it means being 15' from the pin. Anything beyond that really involves just getting better at various skills.

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46 minutes ago, Cantankerish said:

A person who is struggling to break 90 has not solved these issues.  I admit that I did not scour this thread though, and they may be covered in it. And I have been going very slowly and deliberately through your book.  I may have simply not got to that part.  Right now I am grinding club face control.

It's the entire third section of the book. You can learn it - once and for all - within about an hour or two, depending on how quickly you read.

25 minutes ago, billchao said:

For the vast majority of players struggling with breaking 90, the problem lies in skill and execution and not course management. They could have the best strategy in the world and still not break 90 because they're not hitting the shots they need to.

Yep. Course management is a completely solved problem.

25 minutes ago, billchao said:

Course management for high handicap players is relatively simple, tbh. Approach the game with the mindset to hit more GIR. Advance the ball as far as you reasonably can from trouble spots. Aim away from penalty areas as much as you can. Pick a short game shot that will prevent you from having to hit a second one, even if it means being 15' from the pin. Anything beyond that really involves just getting better at various skills.

Uh huh. Hell, if I had to summarize course management in one sentence, I already did. It's called "The Rule" in the book and you'll get to it as soon as you start reading section three.


And, let's be clear about something (from my perspective). If you don't agree with this stuff, say why. Engage. Discuss. I'm saying it's a "solved problem" because I believe it is, and I believe I have the facts to support this claim and belief. Come at me with something. Something.

Just remember, too, that we can't discuss individuals within the context of a generalized approach. Everyone's going to be different. There are high handicappers who love their 5W and high handicappers who can't hit anything that isn't teed up longer than a 6I.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

And, let's be clear about something (from my perspective). If you don't agree with this stuff, say why. Engage. Discuss. I'm saying it's a "solved problem" because I believe it is, and I believe I have the facts to support this claim and belief. Come at me with something. Something.

Just remember, too, that we can't discuss individuals within the context of a generalized approach. Everyone's going to be different. There are high handicappers who love their 5W and high handicappers who can't hit anything that isn't teed up longer than a 6I.

Well, the concern that I have is that you are calling the topic "solved".  That may be the case.  There may be a Best Practices doctrine with no need to innovate.  But this is not at all common knowledge.  The point of a discussion forum is to, well, discuss.  I am here primarily to learn, and to me this is an important and familiar topic.  Actually, for this particular bit I am sorta moving past.  That makes this the rare occasion where my knowledge is of value! Either way,  simply calling the topic "solved" does nothing to help me or the other people who are struggling to improve with these skills.

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