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Practicing on the Course


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I dont play golf any more, but caddy regularly for my son.

When I played back in the day it was normal for everyone to just play one balll, hole out

and record our score.

My son doesnt do this. He will go out and play nine holes, but if there is no-one behind

him, he will drop down, say six balls just off the fairway and play all six down the fairway or into

the green. He repairs his divots courteously. Doesnt even putt out...

Watching him play, I was thinking I could not just play one ball if I was playing these days.

Maybe in a saturday afternoon comp, or monthly medals, sure...but a practice round...no way...

Think about it. One ball...one shot..one chance..

How often does a practice round become so frustrating because of a few holes

which ruined your score..

Try it..dont score..just practice..you will enjoy the game a lot more

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8 minutes ago, bones said:

I dont play golf any more, but caddy regularly for my son.

When I played back in the day it was normal for everyone to just play one balll, hole out

and record our score.

My son doesnt do this. He will go out and play nine holes, but if there is no-one behind

him, he will drop down, say six balls just off the fairway and play all six down the fairway or into

the green. He repairs his divots courteously. Doesnt even putt out...

Watching him play, I was thinking I could not just play one ball if I was playing these days.

Maybe in a saturday afternoon comp, or monthly medals, sure...but a practice round...no way...

Think about it. One ball...one shot..one chance..

How often does a practice round become so frustrating because of a few holes

which ruined your score..

Try it..dont score..just practice..you will enjoy the game a lot more

I “play” two balls regularly if not playing with others for score....just to get the practice in. 

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I rarely ever play an extra ball.  if I am on top of the group in front of me and it is open behind me I may go back and replay the hole but that is rare. My preference is to get a true score.

The course is to play, the range is for practice.

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I played three rounds last year where I practiced like the OP stated.    I hit two approach shots into each green.   If the course is empty it's a good way to practice.   

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If the course is empty, I will drop more balls, but usually from different spots like a trap, non-level lies or deep rough, etc. Range practice is where I work on mechanics. But you don’t get odd lies there. I will also on occasion try a different club off the tee with a partial swing. It’s not really a mindset thing for me. I like to play and I like to practice. Empty course doesn’t happen too often though.

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7 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

If the course is empty, I will drop more balls, but usually from different spots like a trap, non-level lies or deep rough, etc. Range practice is where I work on mechanics. But you don’t get odd lies there.

I should drop more in the traps...and 2-3 on the greens 🙄

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11 hours ago, StuM said:

The course is to play, the range is for practice.

I strongly disagree. There are just some things you can't simulate on the range.

Ball above your feet in deep rough having to hit a mid iron 

Hitting from a downslope in the fairway to an elevated green

Judging how the ball will fly out of the rough, will it come out normal, will it be a flier, etc

Having to hook the ball around a tree with the ball below your feet

Good luck practicing those on the range.

While I do believe that practicing on the range can be a good thing especially if you are working on swing mechanics, practicing game situations on the course can also be very beneficial

 

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14 hours ago, bones said:

Try it..dont score..just practice..you will enjoy the game a lot more

I don't think I would enjoy it more, I enjoy trying to score, I enjoy putting pressure on myself and then dealing with it, I enjoy competing in golf.  I do enjoy practice as well, but its a different kind of enjoyment.  Besides that, even at my lightly played private club I'm very seldom there  at a time when I can practice in the way you described.  

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I agree with Klineka. Practice rounds especially when alone should be about practice. It also makes being stuck behind multiple foursomes tolerable. 

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  • iacas changed the title to Practicing on the Course
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I renamed this topic. I don't think it's about "two mindsets" at all, really.

If anyone has a better suggestion for the title than the one we currently have, I'm all ears.

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15 hours ago, bones said:

Try it..dont score..just practice..you will enjoy the game a lot more

Sure, but do you mean all the time?? Nah. I would lose interest or I would only have loose interest in the activity..heh.

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15 hours ago, bones said:

you will enjoy the game a lot more

I don't agree with this statement. 

1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

I don't think I would enjoy it more, I enjoy trying to score, I enjoy putting pressure on myself and then dealing with it, I enjoy competing in golf.  I do enjoy practice as well, but its a different kind of enjoyment.  ...  I'm very seldom there  at a time when I can practice in the way you described.  

I do agree with this statement. 

If I'm practicing on the course a lot that's because I'm hitting it like rat turds and that's not nearly as much fun as hitting it well, playing just one ball and trying to beat your personal best. 

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I see people playing multiple balls all the time, especially people who tee off on the earlybird back 9 special at my home course. There's a section of the back 9 where you can loop around the same 4 holes (as long as it is not busy), and get quite a bit of uninterrupted practice.

I do both; I play with the intent of scoring well and achieving my goals, and also sometimes if the playing conditions allow, play multiple balls and work on things that I can't practice with my mat/net, like uphill/downhill/sidehill lies, sand shots, hitting out of various types of rough/native area that municipal golf courses provide.

For me the key is finding a balance between the two. My handicap improved ~5 strokes in 2020, and recently I started really obsessing over scoring well to keep the positive trend going, and that created some unwanted pressure/anxiety on the course. So I backed off and stopped keeping a scorecard (my watch still tracks shots so I know relatively how well I am playing), and just enjoy hitting shots while I work on some mechanical things. Eventually I'll get back to pushing myself to score well.

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5 hours ago, klineka said:

I strongly disagree. There are just some things you can't simulate on the range.

Ball above your feet in deep rough having to hit a mid iron 

Hitting from a downslope in the fairway to an elevated green

Judging how the ball will fly out of the rough, will it come out normal, will it be a flier, etc

Having to hook the ball around a tree with the ball below your feet

Good luck practicing those on the range.

While I do believe that practicing on the range can be a good thing especially if you are working on swing mechanics, practicing game situations on the course can also be very beneficial

 

You are correct on those various lies which may explain why I stink at them.

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6 hours ago, boogielicious said:

I also find it odd that someone who states they don’t play anymore is telling us how to enjoy the game.

I think youre being pedantic.

I wasnt "telling anyone how to enjoy the game"

I was simply making a suggestion.

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