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Question for 5 to 10 handicappers only....


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  1. 1. What does it take...

    • Putting, putting, and .....putting
      20
    • swallow your pride and have good management of the tee
      5
    • short game from 40 yards
      27
    • forget about all of the above and just play...
      8


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Are you in the same boat as me??? Seems like you can shoot a great 9 holes close to par (or par) and fall apart on a few of the back holes, or shoot a "bad" front nine and knock it out on the back nine to shoot your hcap.

My situation is the opposite. I usually dig myself into a hole on the front nine and then play better on the back.

I have made it down to a 6 before floating back up to 8-9. What I have found from experience and observing better players... It gets exponentially harder to get lower your handicap as you get closer to "0" and you can't waste a single stroke on sloppy judgement. Think every shot through. You have avoid the big numbers by playing smarter. Play to your misses, as Jim Thorpe would say. A perfect example is a second shot on a par-5. You can't just grab your 3-wood everytime. If I have little chance of reaching in two, why flirt with the bunkers guarding the front? If I am going to lay-up... to what yardage? If I lay up at 100 yards and that brings trees into play left and right, should I lay-up to 110-115? That way I get in wedge range for my 3rd and minimize the damage done if I don't hit a perfect shot. If I have to hit a cut to advance the ball down the fairway, what club should I hit? If I am thinking clearly, I have to consider what will be the result if I don't get the fade I'm looking for. If a 5 iron hit dead straight would bury in the trees, maybe I should hit the 6 for protection. If I get my fade I'm still in good shape, but If I don't I'll still have a shot. If the pin is in the back on a par-3, should I go at the pin? If there is a steep down slope over the back, maybe I should hit a club that might get close but in any event probably but won't go past the hole, and will leave me an up hill putt. Also you have to grind over every putt and chip. And so on... SubPar
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i think it has a lot to do with realizing what aspects of your game are struggling, and being able to utilize them so you dont get into more trouble. this relates strongly to driving. if your driver is going all sorts of ways, hit a 3, 4, 5 iron off the tee. thats my problem. i always want to bang one down the fairway. Sometimes you just need to manage the course and know where to take risks and where to play it safe.

oh, forgot to mention, putting is huge. and i think up and downs are extremely important as well.
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Two of the most important aspects of your game that will greatly improve your handicap are anything within 60yd of the hole and course management. Getting the ball closer to the hole so that your first putt is significantly closer not only decreases your chances for 3-putts but also helps take pressure off of your putting game. Also, making smart shot choices on the course will make a huge difference. Trying not to force shots into tough pin positions and knowing when to lay up instead of going for it helps to give you the confidence you need to play withe the consistency nessacary to be a <5 handicap.
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Was -2 thru the first 5 holes, could have been -3 if I would have made a 4 footer. Ended up even par on the front nine (bogeyed #8 (the #1 hcap hole) and #9)....

The back 9 is eaisier........so i managed a +8.
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im in the same situation i shoot my handicap front nine then the back nine i shoot level par or under and i realy wna try b a pro so i gta try n fix it but duno hw?

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im in the same situation i shoot my handicap front nine

you want to be a pro? do you mean a club pro - or are you quite new to the game or very young? i.e. 11 years old ish loads of tourpros are scratch by age 12 or 13!!
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yeah, putting...

if you could sink 80% of 15' to 8' you'd be there. the blow up holes where you take double (or worse)? that's golf :) More times than not, when you think you're out of it you make a couple birdies and hey, a decent round can still be salvaged. yeah-it could have been great, but...

second for me would be the mental game. why is it you shoot lights out at the end of season? I think for me it's because I quit thinking about improvement-it's too late in the year-and I just play. So that's my new goal for the year. Get the groove back from the winter layoff, then JUST PLAY :)

good luck all...
-mark
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Course managment for me is very important, and I try to develop a "feel" by picking up the balls when practising chipping with just my wedge and getting them back in the bucket with no hand contact.
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Lately, I have found OB or lost ball holes and DOWNHILL putts to be killing me. If I can get the ball below the hole on my approach, I will not 3-putt, and have a good shot at a 1-putt.

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For me I think it has more to do with hitting off the tee. I may have a good hole and get confident and then just slice a driver into the trees, and blow my hole. If I can just get more in control of my driver, and other shots off the tee, setting myself up for better second shots, my mid and short game will do the rest.
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Short game. I am about a 10, and to drop to a 5, I need some ballstriking practice, sure, some more consistency, but that's not what's hurting my score, it's the inability to get up and down from inside 50 yards. The real good players can.
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for me it's all about getting off the tee. If I can get it near the fairway, my wedges and iron game can ususally get me out of trouble. Every few holes a stupid snap-hook shows its ugly face and I'm hitting 3 from the trees if I can find my ball.

I got fitted for a new driver with more loft (Ping G10 with 12* head) and a much stiffer shaft (ProLaunch Red stiff flex to replace the stock Ping TFC regular). It seems to have helped tighten up my dispersion pattern so far...
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It's one of the things that frustrates me, especially lately. I have good distance off the tee, a good sand game, pretty solid putter, etc... I feel like I have a lot of 'scratch' shots and frequently put together routine pars, so its frustrating that I'll still have the occasional hole where I'm just a mess. I feel like I should always threaten to break 80 and shoot 70s more often than I do, and all it would really take is to rein in, say, 3-5 holes per round.

But, I guess that's really the game - it's not about what you can do, it's whether you can do it for 18 holes. *sigh*

BTW, I voted "40 yards and in," for our handicap range. To get to scratch, I firmly believe it's all putting. The PGA tour is widely varied in short and long hitters, guys who hit fairways vs. not, but there's a reason those putting stats are so tight. Every one of those guys makes a ton more 10-footers than any amateur. That translates into birdies and par saves.

For us, I believe our main obstacle is, we're just not reaching the GIR. Given that, your short approach/chip/pitch has to be good. It has to give you a bona fide look at a saving putt. A chunk or skull is unacceptable at this level. That's the beauty of golf, every shot has importance. I think if a 10-handicap can start to take EVERY one of those shots seriously, and execute well, you can break out and get to the 5-ish level.
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For us, I believe our main obstacle is, we're just not reaching the GIR. Given that, your short approach/chip/pitch has to be good. It has to give you a bona fide look at a saving putt. A chunk or skull is unacceptable at this level. That's the beauty of golf, every shot has importance. I think if a 10-handicap can start to take EVERY one of those shots seriously, and execute well, you can break out and get to the 5-ish level.

so very true...

The last round I played I can think of a few of those type dropped shots. I hit my 2nd just over the green on a short Par 5 and was chipping from a tight lie (hard packed dirt w/ little grass) to a raised downhill green with about 8-10 feet of green. Needless to say I cought it thin and ran it down to the very front of the green from which I two putted. I also flubbed a 50 yard shot into some tall grass which cost me at least a stroke. I shot 81 that day... could have easily been 78-79. Round before that I made two terrible shots out of greenside bunkers (really soft sand). One I left in the bunker, and the other I launched too far. Shot 83 that day on a fairly tough course w/ considerable wind. Stupid mistakes...
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Note: This thread is 4798 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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