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Fairway_CY

Beating or Equaling a Better Player

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Yesterday, I decided I needed to play golf to prepare for an event this weekend.  I found a good deal of Golfnow and headed out.  I had the first tee time in the morning in hopes that I'd be able to beat the impending rain.  Once there, I realized that someone else had booked the same time slot.  In a twist of fate, it happened to be someone I knew.  He's a better golfer than I am by a fairly large margin.  We played the front nine with both of us showing some rust.  I was playing from a set of tees one further back than I should have been (approximately 460 yards longer)... but it wasn't a huge factor.  

As we finished the 9th hole... he asked me what a good score would be for me on the back side.  I told him that, from the tees I SHOULD be playing... a 43 would have been considered a good score.  He then told me that a good score for him would be 39 and challenged me to a 'beat your target' game.  His target being 39 and mine being 43, even from the longer set of tees.  I accepted figuring it'd be good for my game to play for something other than fun.  

We both played better on this side:

Hole # -- My Score - His Score
#10 -- Par (4) - Par (4)
#11 -- Par (4) - Double (6)
#12 -- Double (6) - Bogey (5)
#13 -- Bogey (6) - Par (5)
#14 -- Par (3) - Bogey (4)
#15 -- Bogey (5) - Bogey (5)
#16 -- Bogey (6) - Par (5)
#17 -- Par (3) - Par (3)
#18 -- Bogey (5) - Bogey (5)
Total -- 42 (+6) - 42 (+6)

I ended up beating my target by a stroke, but what I felt even better about was that I tied him... playing from tees further back than I'd typically play... knowing he's a much better golfer than I am.  I know he was rusty... and on most days, he'd mop the floor with me on the golf course, but it certainly felt nice.

Overall... I posted an 88 that included an ugly triple on the 7th hole when I topped my 3 wood into a hazard.  Not the greatest score for me, but I felt like things started to click again.  I've got to get some work in on my alignment.  I'm finding a lot of misses are pushes.  I've spent the better part of the last 7+ months battling a hook.  Now that it's straightened out a bit... I need to get my alignment proper so I can start finding fairways and greens.

Anyway... what's your 'beating a better player' story?  I've got a few of them, but... this one felt good because it wasn't expected.

CY

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Back when I was playing my best golf, I didnt lose very often to the regulars I played with.

A group of guys I normally played with brought in a ringer, their ringer. They were tired of watching me play better than them. .

Right off the first tee, I knew the ringer was a better golfer than I was. 

This suited me fine, because I really liked playing against better players. It makes  my round more enjoyable when playing against better players. I never had a problem losing at golf. 

After the first two holes, I was down three strokes to him. For the next 15 holes we went back and forth. I never got a lead on him. New even tied with him. However, his superior game kept me focused on what I needed to do to just stay close. 

Starting the 18th hole, I was two down to him. However,  I was familiar with this hole. A par 4, right dogleg, with 100 yard shot to the green from the dog leg. A green that sloped away into a water hazard. 

Both our tee shots put us in position to shoot for the green. I went first with an 70+/- yard lay up. He went for the green.

As I expected his ball hit the green, and rolled into the water hazard, just barely. 

My next shot was an easy pitch, that I landed on the apron with enough roll left over to stop the ball 2 feet from the pin. I would make that 1 putt par. 

He elected to not to take the penalty, and drop. (?) The top of his ball was just above the water line. He hit a fat (muddy) shot, leaving himself a 30 foot, up hill shot for par. He was not on the green yet. His next shot, a chip,  was probably the only bad shot he hit all day. He 3 putted the green for a 7. 

I carded a 74 to his 75. We shook hands, and pretty much never saw each other again. This even though I wanted to play him again. Told him so. 

In retrospect, I didnt actually beat this guy. He beat himself. 

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1 hour ago, Patch said:

I carded a 74 to his 75. We shook hands, and pretty much never saw each other again. This even though I wanted to play him again. Told him so. 

Great finish and a fun way to win a match, for sure!

10 minutes ago, 3jacker said:

I beat Boo Weekley once.  Does that count?

Certainly... but I bet there's a story.

CY

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I beat Tiger once, on a Thursday.  Came home after shooting a 71 and noticed Tiger's opening round score in some tournament in a place far, far away was a 74.  I beat the guy by 3 strokes.  😃

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What you've got to do is cut the hamstring on the back of his leg right at the bottom. He'll never play golf again, because his weight displacement goes back, all his weight is on his right foot, and he'll push everything off to the right. He'll never come through on anything. He'll quit the game.

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Meh...

Sometimes I beat a “better” player.  Sometime I lose to a player who isn't generally as good as I am.  That’s golf, or baseball, or football, or whatever.

Whoever wins, is the better player on that day...

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Does it have to be beating them?  A very fond memory of mine, from about two years into my time playing golf, was playing with a much better player and matching his score on three holes (two pars and a birdie).  I am 100% certain he beat my scores on the remaining holes.  Just the same, the (much much much) better player was super encouraging to me the whole day, but I particularly remember him complimenting those three.  

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17 hours ago, Fairway_CY said:

Great finish and a fun way to win a match, for sure!

Certainly... but I bet there's a story.

CY

It was waaaaaaaaaayy back in high school.  We went to different schools in the same area. 

He did not take golf very seriously back then.  I shot 35 and he was several strokes higher for a 9-hole match.  We were close then in terms of scoring. Then something happened to him after high school and he took it up many notches.  I think it was the chemical fumes from the tanks he cleaned at Monsanto. 

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I played a round with my instructor a few years ago. Absolutely no way to beat him or be as good as he is in the game of golf, but I did “beat” him because I shot a hole in one and he has none...

Edited by FlyingAce

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I enjoy playing with a group of better players at least once per week. I enjoy the challenge and find it makes me focus better.  My biggest struggle is putting two good nines together. 

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