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Typical Golfers vs. Typical TheSandTrap.Com Golfer


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Hey guys,

On this forum, the common story I hear here is that a lot of people pick up the game, take 6-12 months to break 100 and another 1-2 years to break 90.

My hypothesis/question is, isn’t this story a rarity?  While a golf message board is more likely to be frequented by better golfers, I hear this story more often than I would have expected.

Here is the profiles of my four-some:

  • Player 1: Playing 8 years, practicing daily & takes lessons.  A good drive goes about 220-230.  Scores 100-110.  Not tall/strong/athletic, but is reasonably coordinated.
  • Player 2: Playing off/on about 10 years.  Drives 250 dead straight on the regular but rest of game is below average.  Scores 95-105. Never practices, doesn’t even warm up.  Thinks practice doesn’t help him.  Driver never misses.  Same build as player 1.
  • Player 3: Late 40’s, great swing and as a teenager could score in mid 80’s.  Very little practice, now doesn’t break 100 due to poor consistency.  Same build as player 1.
  • Player 4: Early 60’s, is/was very athletic, great distance with all clubs, but inconsistent.  Usually scores about 110 but once in a while can card in the low 90's or better.

To add to this narrative, when I am on the course and casually walk by other groups, I notice that most swings are much worse than ours.  So, what I see is that us hacks who rarely break 100 seem to be above average, but reading this forum gives me the impression we’re very much in the weaker category.

So, my conclusion is that the audience on this message board do not accurately reflect the general population of golfers and/or is a bubble of the upper echelon of golfers.

Thoughts?

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53 minutes ago, Effington said:

Hey guys,

On this forum, the common story I hear here is that a lot of people pick up the game, take 6-12 months to break 100 and another 1-2 years to break 90.

My hypothesis/question is, isn’t this story a rarity?  While a golf message board is more likely to be frequented by better golfers, I hear this story more often than I would have expected.

Here is the profiles of my four-some:

  • Player 1: Playing 8 years, practicing daily & takes lessons.  A good drive goes about 220-230.  Scores 100-110.  Not tall/strong/athletic, but is reasonably coordinated.
  • Player 2: Playing off/on about 10 years.  Drives 250 dead straight on the regular but rest of game is below average.  Scores 95-105. Never practices, doesn’t even warm up.  Thinks practice doesn’t help him.  Driver never misses.  Same build as player 1.
  • Player 3: Late 40’s, great swing and as a teenager could score in mid 80’s.  Very little practice, now doesn’t break 100 due to poor consistency.  Same build as player 1.
  • Player 4: Early 60’s, is/was very athletic, great distance with all clubs, but inconsistent.  Usually scores about 110 but once in a while can card in the low 90's or better.

To add to this narrative, when I am on the course and casually walk by other groups, I notice that most swings are much worse than ours.  So, what I see is that us hacks who rarely break 100 seem to be above average, but reading this forum gives me the impression we’re very much in the weaker category.

So, my conclusion is that the audience on this message board do not accurately reflect the general population of golfers and/or is a bubble of the upper echelon of golfers.

Thoughts?

I certainly can’t and won’t speak for anyone other than myself. I played at golf for probably 3-4 years before consistently breaking 100, but I was playing maybe 10-12/year with maybe a half dozen range sessions in there...never taking a lesson. 
 

When I did break 90 consistently, it was prob around the 10-year mark and it’s only been in the last few years that I have consistently shot in the Mid-lower 80’s, breaking 80 a couple of times per year (now in my 22nd year of having touched a club). I think that’s a pretty normal progression, one very different from what you describe the “typical Sandtrap golfer” to be. 
 

But to your point, I think those of us here, put more attention, time, and energy into the game “the average golfer.” I see in your foursome, that no one is given to much practice, certainly not daily or even weekly practice.  It’s the passion to improve what drives the fruit of success in any arena.

***and I don’t consider my swing pretty by any stretch

But I also may not be the “typical Sandtrap golfer” 🤷‍♂️

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(edited)

It's probably safe to say that the more frequent posters to this board are generally the more serious, more practiced and generally better golfers, but not entirely.  A few of us, like myself, are world-class hacks that probably aren't much better than your friends there. 

Probably the commonality on this forum is that the members do want to improve and are willing to spend the time and resources to do so. It sounds like your foursome doesn't share that mentality.

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  • iacas changed the title to Typical Golfers vs. Typical TheSandTrap.Com Golfer

I think it goes without saying that participants on sites like this tend to be either more into golf than than most golfers or trying actively to improve (I know that I frequented sites much more heavily when I was in the "big improvement" mode). Active golfers tend to be better golfers, much in the same that studies show that golfers who walk tend to score lower - probably because golfers who walk tend to be better golfers, not that they play better from walking (although in my individual case I think I do play better when I walk).

As to your foursome, if you are regular players meaning weekly or so, then your results are surprising to me. I  believe that most golfers who are reasonably athletic and coordinated should be able to play in the 90's unless you are playing Bethpage Black every week (or similar difficult course / wrong tees). Failure to do so likely indicates that they've never practiced enough to achieve minimal proficiency or poor course management or lousy short game. All of these aren't that hard to improve but improvement doesn't come without putting some time in. Just my two cents.

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1 hour ago, mcanadiens said:

Probably the commonality on this forum is that the members do want to improve and are willing to spend the time and resources to do so.

It’s this. There is a greater percentage of golfers here who are seriously interested in improving and not representative of the greater population.

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Most of the handful of guys here that I've played with are better than average golfers. 

That being said, I think the average golfer is much worse than whatever the average handicap is that is publicized by the USGA or whatever

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When I was in the grove for about four years straight I would hover in the low 90’s  and break 90 a few times a year. During this time is was playing 3 times a week and hit the range once a week. Now life has caught up to me and I play about twice a month and my game and scores reflect it. I still enjoy golf and just try to keep expectations simple. My chipping and putting is still pretty decent since it’s something I can do in the yard. The rest of my game is a tragedy. That being said I don’t think a weekend golfer who puts no time into practice or other work into their game can expect improvement no matter how long they have played. But that shouldn’t take away from the enjoyment or love of the game. Just temper expectations and remember it’s you against the course, not other golfers. 

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I am not sure how many users are on the forum, but it is a very very very small amount compared to all those who play golf. Yea, it is understandable that this segment of golfers might be those who are more serious when working on their golf game. 

Also, they get some good advice from some pretty competent instructors. 😉

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10 hours ago, Effington said:

Hey guys,

On this forum, the common story I hear here is that a lot of people pick up the game, take 6-12 months to break 100 and another 1-2 years to break 90.

My hypothesis/question is, isn’t this story a rarity?  While a golf message board is more likely to be frequented by better golfers, I hear this story more often than I would have expected.

Here is the profiles of my four-some:

  • Player 1: Playing 8 years, practicing daily & takes lessons.  A good drive goes about 220-230.  Scores 100-110.  Not tall/strong/athletic, but is reasonably coordinated.
  • Player 2: Playing off/on about 10 years.  Drives 250 dead straight on the regular but rest of game is below average.  Scores 95-105. Never practices, doesn’t even warm up.  Thinks practice doesn’t help him.  Driver never misses.  Same build as player 1.
  • Player 3: Late 40’s, great swing and as a teenager could score in mid 80’s.  Very little practice, now doesn’t break 100 due to poor consistency.  Same build as player 1.
  • Player 4: Early 60’s, is/was very athletic, great distance with all clubs, but inconsistent.  Usually scores about 110 but once in a while can card in the low 90's or better.

To add to this narrative, when I am on the course and casually walk by other groups, I notice that most swings are much worse than ours.  So, what I see is that us hacks who rarely break 100 seem to be above average, but reading this forum gives me the impression we’re very much in the weaker category.

So, my conclusion is that the audience on this message board do not accurately reflect the general population of golfers and/or is a bubble of the upper echelon of golfers.

Thoughts?

I would say that many of us are into improving our game, but not necessarily in any upper echelon. I see it as a little sad that your group in not up for a little practice. It can go a long way to more enjoyment and fulfillment.

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On 4/11/2021 at 6:23 AM, Effington said:

Hey guys,

On this forum, the common story I hear here is that a lot of people pick up the game, take 6-12 months to break 100 and another 1-2 years to break 90.

My hypothesis/question is, isn’t this story a rarity?  While a golf message board is more likely to be frequented by better golfers, I hear this story more often than I would have expected.

Hn of golfers.

Thoughts?

A person who takes 6-12 years to break 100 is much less likely to bring it up than someone who does it quickly. Some form of confirmation bias may be in play.

 

Have not seen a study done but I would place a small wager that the venn diagram showing golfers who break 100 with those who routinely break 100 after 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, and finally the golfers who interact on forums...the overlap is going to skew heavily towards the quick learner mentioning it.

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No offense to the OP, but I don't get how people can be enthusiastic about golf and settle for 100+, particularly if you have some athletic ability. Personally, I am on a quest to improve every time I tee it up. I take lessons and I love the range and the putting green. I am not a great athlete but I don't know if I would play if I couldn't break 100. Breaking 80 is a daily quest at this stage of my life.

I do play pretty regularly with a guy who hits it accurately about 240 off the tee, but can't scare 90. He insists that breaking 90 is a goal and he plays at least 4 times a week but doesn't have any idea where the range is. Baffles my mind. I told him last week that if I could drive it like him I would be an 8 handicap. He asked me if that was a complement or an insult.

 

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The main issue with golf is time.  When my job and other responsibilities allowed me to play at least once per week and practice in between, I could play consistently in the high 80s.  But as a weekend golfer it’s tough to maintain enough consistency to stay in the low 90s.  Adding age to the equation makes maintaining consistency even more difficult.  It’s still a fun game if you manage your expectations realistically.

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Appreciate all the feedback!  Definitely sounds like the general consensus is in agreement with my theory.

For what it's worth, I'm player 1.  While I was never a top athlete in my younger years, I consider myself reasonably coordinated.  That being said, playing golf has been a humbling experience.  Based on my readings here, I've struggled to improve more than the huge majority of players, despite great efforts.

However, there's a ying to the yang.  What my enormous struggles has given me is a really great appreciation for any player who can hit the ball consistently well, and all it takes (right now) for me to enjoy myself is decent ball striking, which I'm defining as anything that is even remotely sniffing regulation.  Which is better than most.

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TST = better than average golfer? Not sure. I think it's more like, TST = bit more serious about golf GPA than average golfer.Of course not speaking for all TST posters.

Intent alone makes a good chunk of difference. You gotta WANT to maintain at least a 2.8-3.0 GPA. 

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I don’t think TST is necessarily a group of better than average golfers. I think we’re probably a micro community that has a  similar ratio of high level golfers to complete hacks as the general population. 

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I suspect it has to do with the motivation of each player. We play as a three maybe twice a month. I will get out once, sometimes twice a week. I have been playing for a long time and have actually never shot over 100. I was a range rat for 1-1/2 seasons before my Dad let me go out and actually play. Shot a 98 (no mullies or gimme's- My Grandad played with us and was Scottish, so no coddling allowed). I loved it and tried to improve until I was around a 4/6 depending on the course. But there was no place to really go as that hdcp, AND I had found surfing, skateboarding and girls taking up more of my time. I never really "lost" my game. Took a few years off in my early 20's, but picked it right back up and have kind of settled in shooting low-mid 80's with a 79 thrown in on a good day. My buddies are in it for the craic- they have shot essentially the same score for the last 25 years we've played together. 100-105 with maybe a high 90 thrown in on an easier course. No real game plan to improve. In the spring, they might go to the range once or twice, hit a few 7 Irons to warm up and then just beat Driver for 80 balls and call themselves ready to go. When we play for a bit of something, they each get a stroke a hole and I have never lost. Even if they do a best ball off the card, I'm collecting. And yet, none of us really care. We know we aren't playing for millions, and most times not even for quarters. Sure, they get all aggravated with chili dips, chunks and 4 putts, but the beer cooler is in the cart and I remind them we aren't good enough to get that angry about it. 

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6 hours ago, Vinsk said:

I don’t think TST is necessarily a group of better than average golfers. I think we’re probably a micro community that has a  similar ratio of high level golfers to complete hacks as the general population. 

I'm not sure about this. The fact that we all have taken the time to participate in a golf forum shows that we take this more serious than most. While we certainly have our share of high, mid, and low handicap players, I'd guess that the skill level of the average SandTrapper is greater than that of an average golfer.

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30 minutes ago, tristanhilton85 said:
6 hours ago, Vinsk said:

 

I'm not sure about this. The fact that we all have taken the time to participate in a golf forum shows that we take this more serious than most

I don’t think we know this. There are plenty who come here to run their ball washers about more than golf. They don’t practice or care what their scores are. They don’t take golf seriously at all.

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