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Maverick

Do you play better with better players?

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Don't know if this happens or not but I've noticed it and so have some of my golfing buddies. 2 of the guys I play with are beginners and just starting out, when I play with them I usually don't play as good as if there is someone else in the group that is good as me or better. I know this is a total mental hiccup..but does this happen for others.

I've been playing lately with these guys and feel like I'm just hacking out there..but when I play with another buddy of mine, we're about even, then I tend to play better.

Does this sound right?
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Don't know if this happens or not but I've noticed it and so have some of my golfing buddies. 2 of the guys I play with are beginners and just starting out, when I play with them I usually don't play as good as if there is someone else in the group that is good as me or better. I know this is a total mental hiccup..but does this happen for others.

I tend to play better, but it's also one of the things I've worked on this year - worrying about my own game and not the other person's. It's allowed me to play about the same level of golf regardless of my playing partners. One of the things I do is not watch any other golfer's swing, particularly worse players. It throws me off.

That being said, I still think I have a little "extra" when I'm in a tight match.
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I just started back at the game this summer and did well playing single. I did have the opportunity to finally play with a guy who was really, really good and we met on the 8th tee and played through another 18 holes. Up through the seventh tee we both were shooting par (he was a little under par) and after that we both fell apart on your short game. I was more concerned about hitting a good shot so he would be impressed and that's what made my game fall apart. Lesson learned I hope " I'm the only person I need to impress!" The rest will fall in place.
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I think so. There is one condition though...I play better with guys who take the game a bit more serious and have proper golf etiquette and those tend to be better players.

Like Harvey said, "and if you play golf, you're my friend."

There are a lot of people who hit a ball around the course but don't play golf. I'll spare everyone the sermon.
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I definately play better with better players. It may have to do with the fact that normally when I am playing with better players it is part of a group and there is a wager involved. Don't ask me why but when I am playing for money I usually play better.
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...I play better with guys who take the game a bit more serious and have proper golf etiquette and those tend to be better players..

so true.

There are a lot of people who hit a ball around the course but don't

..sounds like one of the guys in our group..I finally told him to turn his phone off..it was so bad that one time..never seen this in my life..he was putting...with his phone in his hand..on speakerphone..carrying on a conversation with the other person on the other end..!

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2 of the guys I play with are beginners and just starting out, when I play with them I usually don't play as good ....but when I play with another buddy of mine, we're about even, then I tend to play better.

I think if you have what I would call an 'empathetic personality' (you really like people to like you), this is very natural. With the beginners, you remember what it was like to whiff the ball or only move it forward 20 yards on the ground. I think it's natural not to want to make their embarrassment any more acute by having them think they are "holding you up." Plus, you also know that you aren't exactly going to have to grind it out to "beat" them, so you instinctively let up.

When paired with better players, the situation is just the opposite. In order not to hold them up, you may have to raise your own game a notch. So that's what you instinctively try to do. I think it is somewhat natural, although, as others have noted, it is certainly not necessarily in the best interest of your game.
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I think if you have what I would call an 'empathetic personality' (you really like people to like you), this is very natural. With the beginners, you remember what it was like to whiff the ball or only move it forward 20 yards on the ground. I think it's natural not to want to make their embarrassment any more acute by having them think they are "holding you up." Plus, you also know that you aren't exactly going to have to grind it out to "beat" them, so you instinctively let up.

perfectly put.

I've decided that Saturdays will be my bud that share the same intensity for the game..and then Sundays it'll be the back 9 with these guys..for fun.
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I think it usually happens that when I'm playing with people who are a little bit higher handicapped than myself, it's usually a bit more relaxed attitude, and in some cases that may help my scores, but most of the time I'm not concentrating enough to string 9-18 solid holes in a row, usually it's more of the dbl-dbl-birdie-par-par-par-birdie-bogey-triple kinda rounds. I usually play with better players tho and it doesn't matter to me if they're a 2 and I'm a 9 I wanna beat them. Me and another junior(We are the top two ranked in the city) and he's a 1-2 and I'm around a 9-10 and we usually play straight up, no strokes given, it usually means that I have to rise to the challenge, and while I'm not consteint enough yet to compete with him all the time but i do beat him every few times. We usually only play a quarter or 50 cents a whole so it's big stakes, and the pride of winning means more to us than most of the wagers.
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I notice that I do play a little better with people better than me but I notice more that I play better with people who play the same speed I do. I tend to play failry quick and hate it when people take ages to line up a putt or take 2 or more practice swings for every shot. When golfers play slower than me I tend to play quicker feeling that I need to make up time for the other people playing slower but playing with people who play faster I seem to keep my rythm better.
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I notice that I do play a little better with people better than me but I notice more that I play better with people who play the same speed I do. I tend to play failry quick and hate it when people take ages to line up a putt or take 2 or more practice swings for every shot. When golfers play slower than me I tend to play quicker feeling that I need to make up time for the other people playing slower but playing with people who play faster I seem to keep my rythm better.

Excellent observation.

I've always been a very fast player. Ready golf. I'm sure you've felt this Everardo, but sometimes it seems I'm literally pulling the others along. Telling them it is their turn, finding their ball, etc. That is frustrating and not much fun.
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I have found that i play better golf when i play with players of equal or better game than i have.
Peoples make-ups are different, i have a strong competitional edge to me and that drives me to want to excel when i am with better players.
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Excellent observation.

Exactly! This reminds me of a post that Erik started a while back about things that can speed up the game. Although I'm partially blind and often need assistance finding my ball. So I admit that I can be the cause sometimes

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perfectly put.

And why not use these two playing environments to your best benefit? When playing heads up with your accomplished friend, grind it out for the best possible score. Put a little pressure on yourself to see how you respond.

When playing with the newbies, maintain your focus and intensity, but experiment a little more with shots you wouldn't ordinarily try (flops, fades, stingers, chipping with the 3-wood, etc.). The contrast of your playing partners' abilities actually affords you a unique opportunity to improve your game.
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I think I play better than I am with one or two of my buddies and another single or double.

I know for a FACT that I play better when I walk rather than ride, gives me time to think.
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I know for a FACT that I play better when I walk rather than ride, gives me time to think.

Agreed.

I have learned how to slow myself down while playing in a cart, but not only do I play better, but it is just a better experience walking.
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Agreed.

What tips you got for slowing yourself down while playing from a cart.

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What tips you got for slowing yourself down while playing from a cart.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm a fast player. I would never do any of these things if I was the one slowing down the group. That being said, off the top of my head, I do the following:

1. Never pull a club from your bag until you've stepped off your yardage. This helps me visualize the shot. Something I do as I'm walking up to the ball if I'm carrying. I get a feel for the yardage and what club I think I should have in my hand. 2. If you are not alone in the cart, ride shotgun. This makes it much easier to walk between shots if you want...which is something I like to do if the person I'm playing with doesn't mind. That leads to: 3. Walk between shots any opportunity you get. The easiest time to do this is on approach shots. If you hit the green, grab your putter and tell them "I'll walk in from here." Some guys don't like when you do this...so ask. It feels like you have a caddy and relaxes me. 4. If you don't have a solid pre-shot routine, get one. If you have a reliable pre-shot routine, the pace of play, slow or fast, shouldn't make much of a difference. As you play in more tournaments, this becomes a must. 5. Keep your between-shot thought process the same. Often times you will get thrown off-pace because you don't have time to think between shots and try and hurry the process. Make sure you are totally committed to the shot before you take it. My biggest fault before I slowed myself down was not thinking about all the factors before I hit the golf ball. This could be lumped in with 4, but I separate the between-shot thoughts and the pre-shot routine. Again, these are off the top of my head. I'm sure others will have some better ones or be able to expand on what I've said. I hope this helps.
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