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Blow up Hole Avoidance


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I played with a 7hcp recently and he was a really nice guy, he was my buddies friend who played with us. I'm like a 20 my buddy is a 24-26ish and my other buddy a 36+. I was thinking this guy is going to be an absolute stud off the tee and put us all to shame. Here's the thing, he wasn't, well at least not always. He hit a fair amount of wayward tee shots that found the woods just like us, he failed to hit 2 of the par 3 greens, he tried to cut the corner on the dogleg #18 and failed spectacularly and you wouldn't tell he was the best player in our group by far going by tee shots. But he finished with an 81 and none of us broke 100.

The biggest difference I could see were of course short game and putting, he was an up and down machine. But he hit drives on some holes that would've turned into a double/triple minimum for me that he either saved par on or bogied at worst. His trick was clean, safe recovery shots every time. In the tress 190 yards out? He would hit a little running 7 iron out the trees and into the fairway to have his 3rd shot be from 150 with a clean lie and then he would crush that third shot every time. I realized about 1/2 way through the round that he almost never made any situation worse for himself and was always trying to improve for the next shot instead of fixing the mistake of his last shot.

Seemed like just a completely different paradigm to how we were playing golf, he was always looking forward to the next best score he could achieve instead of desperately trying to save the score he thought he should have. I'm trying to replicate this mindset now every time I get out.

Edited by SullyGolf
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2 hours ago, SullyGolf said:

I realized about 1/2 way through the round that he almost never made any situation worse for himself and was always trying to improve for the next shot instead of fixing the mistake of his last shot.

:banana:

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Dave

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On 9/2/2022 at 5:50 PM, boogielicious said:

I only dated her for 4 months back in ‘81! It still haunts me.

They have medication for this, clears up what ever haunts you!

On 9/2/2022 at 10:30 AM, DaveP043 said:

When you hit one bad shot, don't try to make up for it.  Your decision for the shot you're facing has to be based on making the best best score you can from THIS spot.  If the best play is to play for 5 more shots, that's the way to go.  It doesn't matter if you're lying one, or lying 5, play for 5 more from here.  No hero shots to "save par", no swing tweaks based on what you think you did wrong with the last swing.  Make a solid decision, and a normal swing.

This is some of the best advice.
However I never think of this on the course.
After I duff a drive or hit a bad shot my next shot is a hero shot!
When I first started playing golf I played many rounds with this old timer, who always told me "G*d hates a coward".
When I get in trouble I hear that old timer. Of course now that I think back, he was just trying to win the hole and take my money!

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Short answer: Avoid penalty strokes, and be conservative and practical on the short game. Those two areas account for most of my blow up holes. 

Long answer: 

1. Avoid penalty strokes. I needed a simulator to learn that in reality, on some holes, I actually need to aim away from the fairway or away from the green. It isn't often, but on the sim I've reduced my number of penalty shots dramatically by doing whatever is necessary to avoid penalty shots from OB and penalty areas. Read Lowest Score Wins or one of the other books out there that help with aiming and clubbing decisions based on handicap and the risk of the shot.

2. Short game blow ups. For me, it means taking my time and swallowing the bitter pill. If you miss short side, you are playing with fire if you try to flop it over the bunker and get it to land short. Better to take the medicine and be sure to get it on the green somewhere, and avoid having a second short game shot. Stupid short game decisions where we end up ping ponging the ball across a green, following it up with a frustration-fueled 3 putt (or worse) are a cause of mostly avoidable blow ups, almost regardless of handicap level. 

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On 9/2/2022 at 10:30 AM, DaveP043 said:

When you hit one bad shot, don't try to make up for it.  Your decision for the shot you're facing has to be based on making the best best score you can from THIS spot.  If the best play is to play for 5 more shots, that's the way to go.  It doesn't matter if you're lying one, or lying 5, play for 5 more from here.  No hero shots to "save par", no swing tweaks based on what you think you did wrong with the last swing.  Make a solid decision, and a normal swing.

Yup. 

Great story Mike Malaska (PGA teacher) tells: His teacher took him on the course and told him he was going to change every one of Malaska's drives, and he wanted to see how Mike did, particularly if he could still shoot par or break par. 

The teacher would take every one of his drives and move it into some problem spot, like move it 10 yards off the fairway into rough, or into fairway bunkers, or putting it behind a tree or something. All 14 drives. 

Malaska says he shot 73 or something and was really happy with himself. The coach then said "I want you to imagine how the round would have gone for you if you had hit all the drives in those locations, rather than me _putting_ your drives there." Malaska says, like probably all of us would, that he would have been really annoyed, frustrated, etc., and maybe would not have dealt with the second shots as well as he did in this round. 

So yeah, like these guys are saying.....

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JP Bouffard

"I cut a little driver in there." -- Jim Murray

Driver: Titleist 915 D3, ACCRA Shaft 9.5*.
3W: Callaway XR,
3,4 Hybrid: Taylor Made RBZ Rescue Tour, Oban shaft.
Irons: 5-GW: Mizuno JPX800, Aerotech Steelfiber 95 shafts, S flex.
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 56 degree, M grind
Putter: Edel Custom Pixel Insert 

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30 minutes ago, Big Lex said:

2. Short game blow ups. For me, it means taking my time and swallowing the bitter pill. If you miss short side, you are playing with fire if you try to flop it over the bunker and get it to land short. Better to take the medicine and be sure to get it on the green somewhere, and avoid having a second short game shot. Stupid short game decisions where we end up ping ponging the ball across a green, following it up with a frustration-fueled 3 putt (or worse) are a cause of mostly avoidable blow ups, almost regardless of handicap level. 

This doesn't happen to me often because I am pretty conservative with short game shots; most important thing for me is to not leave a 2nd short game shot after first one. But I witness people I play with do this all the time where they are nGIR in 2 shots, and then end up with double, triple, or worse.

And sometimes it's not even from attempting a risky shot. I watched a guy about 2 feet off the green on the fringe chili dip a chip that moved a few inches, and then he bladed the next attempt across the green and off the opposite side, and had he used putter on the first shot, I guarantee he would have been putting for par after the first attempt.

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On 9/2/2022 at 10:30 AM, DaveP043 said:

When you hit one bad shot, don't try to make up for it.  Your decision for the shot you're facing has to be based on making the best best score you can from THIS spot.  If the best play is to play for 5 more shots, that's the way to go.  It doesn't matter if you're lying one, or lying 5, play for 5 more from here.  No hero shots to "save par", no swing tweaks based on what you think you did wrong with the last swing.  Make a solid decision, and a normal swing.

What,  DaveP043 said!   This has become my mantra of late, to quote Dr Bob Rotella "Make Your Next Shot Your Best Shot".  When a shot goes awry, the next has to be based on moving forward (even it it means moving laterally).  My son today had back to back blow-up holes (a double and triple) - he said, "Not today." Did a reset on the next hole and proceeded to shoot the next 12 holes at just over par!  He chose to not let the previous holes dictate his day but rather to move ahead and leave the past the behind.   By playing solid golf, not making adjustments he found his groove and moved ahead.  It is a lesson I have learned as well.  

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