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20+ handicappers hitting 300 yards (mild rant)

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Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop

Lol, I'm prepared to be humbled in basically every facet of the game.

I was shocked...I was actually right there with Spyder for the first 6 or 7 holes, and then he just dominated me. Haha.

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Originally Posted by Slice of Life

I was shocked...I was actually right there with Spyder for the first 6 or 7 holes, and then he just dominated me. Haha.

I never get a chance to warm up before starting a round, let alone get any instruction or helpful advice, so no matter how I play it will be a great learning experience for me.

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I've always been a decently long hitter and while I definitely don't average 300 yards during a round. On a good round I'll have 3-4 drives that'll go 300+, usually one or two of those goes through the fairway into the rough or is a strong pull. 3-4 drives that don't have any help go between 265-280, then maybe a few 240-250 yard shots that were either blocks or hit into a headwind etc.

I don't keep a handicap, but I tend to shoot around 90, good day in the mid to low 80's, bad day in the high 90's. I struggle mostly with my iron play and putting, I keep changing my swing, and my irons are all over the place lately.

I'd say it's definitely possible, I was paired with a guy who could hit almost as far as me the other day, I thought he was good at first, then on the back 9 he literally fell apart, every tee shot OB, constant duffs, etc. I shot a 92 that day and thought he would of killed me, but he had a 60 on the back 9.

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Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop

I appreciate all the input you guys are giving and I apologize if I came off as petulant or arrogant.

You weren't.  That's usually my role, anyway ;-)

Originally Posted by Slice of Life

I hit what I thought was an absolute bomb a couple weeks ago, and it only actually carried about 260, and since it was so wet, it just plugged right there.

Actually, situations like this have helped me understand my carry distances.  Because driver and 3w tend to roll out a bit (depending on fairway conditions), knowing my carry distance with those clubs has always been based on speculation.  I just speculated that a particular drive got about 20 yards of roll, and subtracted that from the driving distance (based on GPS) to get an estimated carry distance.  However, a couple times earlier this season I hit a couple drives with the trajectory and feel of some of my best drives, didn't see the ball bouncing, and came to find it at rest in it's plug mark or just a few inches away.  I believe both were around the 260 mark.  Again, those were great swings for me (if I remember correctly).

Another time, I was finishing up a round as a solo and hit my 2nd shot into the water on the finishing par 5 hole.  I was pissed because it ruined my chances to break 80 that day, so I decided to play another ball and go for the green.  In order to reach the green, I would have to carry the entire hazard as the green is elevated from the water hazard (so anything just short will bounce/roll back into the hazard) which I had at roughly 235-240 yards with my GPS.  I hit it on the screws and but couldn't see if it made it, and it had just barely landed (softly) on the fringe and kicked forward a couple yards.

Usually, knowing carry distance with driver and 3w isn't all that important, but every once in a while it can come into play.  So it's nice to have a relatively accurate idea of what you can/cannot carry from the tee.

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

Usually, knowing carry distance with driver and 3w isn't all that important, but every once in a while it can come into play. So it's nice to have a relatively accurate idea of what you can/cannot carry from the tee.

Yep, I typically won't go for anything that needs a carry of over 260, since I'm not consistent enough to carry more than that on a regular basis. I smashed one that required a 280 yard carry, but it was a 2-man scramble. Wouldn't attempt that if I couldn't count on someone else to clean up my water ball.

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Yeah, once I started using GPS, it got a lot easier to track distances. There's a lot less guessing that way. You'd be surprised how far a 300 yard drive looks if you aren't actually hitting them.

The GPS is a great tool to get accurate distances for your drive. It can also be humbling... While I use a laser, my father has a GPS. When he and I play together, he'll get the distance on my drives a couple of times during the round (I don't request this, he just does it...). He always asks me to guess how far I hit it. He did two last Sunday. The first one was on a flat hole with wind at our backs. I guessed 260 (I always guess a number less than I think the answer is) and it actually went 273 (that's bragging distance for me, even if it was down wind)... The other one was flat, but into the wind. I guessed 250 and it actually went 239. These distances are with roll... The 239 yd drive was well struck. As I said earlier - For many of us, it can be humbling to know the true distance we actually hit the ball.

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Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r

He did two last Sunday. The first one was on a flat hole with wind at our backs. I guessed 260 (I always guess a number less than I think the answer is) and it actually went 273 (that's bragging distance for me, even if it was down wind)... The other one was flat, but into the wind. I guessed 250 and it actually went 239. These distances are with roll...

The 239 yd drive was well struck. As I said earlier - For many of us, it can be humbling to know the true distance we actually hit the ball.

Definitely humbling at times.  I remember one day when the wind was in my face maybe 5 of 7 driving holes, and I probably averaged in the 230-240 ball park that day off the tee.  It wasn't a particularly strong wind, but I wasn't hitting it great as I'm not comfortable in the wind, and I hit it relatively high so the wind does affect my ball a bit.  Still, even playing from the blue tees at most courses, hitting it 240 doesn't hurt much.  That's still only 160y into a 400 yard par 4.

At the recent SoCal event last month, it ended up getting pretty windy at some point.  On the only semi-driveable par 4, it happened to be directly into the wind.  I don't remember the distance, but I didn't even consider it because there was trouble (OB?) left, and with my ball flight, a bad shot would go OB, and a good drive would still be knocked down by the wind significantly.  TristanHilton's buddy, though, has this really low, penetrating flight with his driver.  He hit a good'n and put it like 15-20 yards short of the green (IIRC).  That was probably the more impressive drives of the day, considering the wind.  It may have been 260 total into a 15 mph headwind.

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Originally Posted by Slice of Life

While I'm inconsistent, I have a lot of driver power, Spyder can crush the ball pretty well, and Erik wasn't even trying and was smashing the ball. So even if we're relatively long by high cap standards, prepare to be humbled.

Erik who?????  Are there more than one of him?

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Originally Posted by Slice of Life

Erik who owns the site Erik.

I know, I was just messing with him in regards to your "smashing the ball" comment. ;)

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Your waist high finish just reminded me of an surefire 20 handicapper who easily hit many drives well over 300 yards.  He was just retired from the majors as a centerfielder who had several 30 plus homerun seasons.  Flat swing, abbreviated finish, ball might go anywhere, but when he connected... wow.  I think some of his divots might have needed a front loader to fill.

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Originally Posted by RC

Your waist high finish just reminded me of an surefire 20 handicapper who easily hit many drives well over 300 yards.  He was just retired from the majors as a centerfielder who had several 30 plus homerun seasons.  Flat swing, abbreviated finish, ball might go anywhere, but when he connected... wow.  I think some of his divots might have needed a front loader to fill.

The guy I spoke of who was a 15+ handicap (now an 11) but hit it legitimately 300+ played baseball for USC.  His divots were also pretty long/steep.

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This thread intrigued me to post...I am just under a 20 handicap but have only been playing for about 3 years. I felt my drives (when straight) were very close to if not over 300 yrds. I never really put much thought into how far I actually hit the ball on average until this thread so I went to my home course's range to see. I was surprised to see that I average about 230-240 (not sure where I am with roll etc factored in). I know for sure I have put some out there at about 300 on certain holes (with roll and downhill) but I definitely do not average 300 or even come close like I thought. Personally, I think a lot of 20+ handicappers don't really pay attention to their average yardage but rather that one good bomb they might have that they put out there. Just my two cents :)

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Originally Posted by jmcd22

This thread intrigued me to post...I am just under a 20 handicap but have only been playing for about 3 years. I felt my drives (when straight) were very close to if not over 300 yrds. I never really put much thought into how far I actually hit the ball on average until this thread so I went to my home course's range to see. I was surprised to see that I average about 230-240 (not sure where I am with roll etc factored in). I know for sure I have put some out there at about 300 on certain holes (with roll and downhill) but I definitely do not average 300 or even come close like I thought. Personally, I think a lot of 20+ handicappers don't really pay attention to their average yardage but rather that one good bomb they might have that they put out there. Just my two cents :)

This is a good thought, also I've discovered that by assuming the course stated yardages are correct it had me believing my shots were longer than they were in actuality. The problem we have so much is that many of us don't bother with gps measurements. I've found out that I actually hit 270-290, and that's using some gps measurements. First hole was 290, 2nd hole pull and hit a tree didn't bother with yardage, 3rd hole par 3, 4th hole 266 yd drive on a hole that the fairway rose up probably 25 ft higher than the tee, 5th hole approximately 270 yd in rough, 6th par 3, 7th 260 push fade next to tee on back 9 *rofl*, 8th 240 *hit tree and bounced back*, 9th 280 through dogleg in fairway. If I would have gone by yardage markers on the course I would have thought those drives were about 10 yd further than they were.

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Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop

This is a good thought, also I've discovered that by assuming the course stated yardages are correct it had me believing my shots were longer than they were in actuality. The problem we have so much is that many of us don't bother with gps measurements. I've found out that I actually hit 270-290, and that's using some gps measurements. First hole was 290, 2nd hole pull and hit a tree didn't bother with yardage, 3rd hole par 3, 4th hole 266 yd drive on a hole that the fairway rose up probably 25 ft higher than the tee, 5th hole approximately 270 yd in rough, 6th par 3, 7th 260 push fade next to tee on back 9 *rofl*, 8th 240 *hit tree and bounced back*, 9th 280 through dogleg in fairway. If I would have gone by yardage markers on the course I would have thought those drives were about 10 yd further than they were.

Those are still very good yardages though, especially for ones that are offline.  My guess would be that if you practiced and dialed in your swing to the point where the majority of your drives (say, 70% or so) were a very similar ball flight, your average distance would increase anywhere from 10-20 yards.  Right now, the average may be 250 because of the 240 yarder and the pull hook that you don't record.  When you start to find a more repetitive swing, the average will reflect it.

And then guess what?  Your handicap would too ;-)

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

Those are still very good yardages though, especially for ones that are offline.  My guess would be that if you practiced and dialed in your swing to the point where the majority of your drives (say, 70% or so) were a very similar ball flight, your average distance would increase anywhere from 10-20 yards.  Right now, the average may be 250 because of the 240 yarder and the pull hook that you don't record.  When you start to find a more repetitive swing, the average will reflect it.

And then guess what?  Your handicap would too ;-)

Yeah, I just got back from lunch during which I stopped by a local range to set up an appointment for a lesson. Depending on the first one I will determine if it's worth further appointments. I really feel like I'm close to getting my swing locked in. Once I do I hope that my HC will drop pretty decently. I'd be happy getting to about 10 or so, and ecstatic if I could get down to 5. It seems like it's just lack of play/practice holding me back because I haven't played more than 12 full rounds worth of golf yet and I've gone from mid 50's in league to mid 40's already.

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Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop

Yeah, I just got back from lunch during which I stopped by a local range to set up an appointment for a lesson. Depending on the first one I will determine if it's worth further appointments. I really feel like I'm close to getting my swing locked in. Once I do I hope that my HC will drop pretty decently. I'd be happy getting to about 10 or so, and ecstatic if I could get down to 5. It seems like it's just lack of play/practice holding me back because I haven't played more than 12 full rounds worth of golf yet and I've gone from mid 50's in league to mid 40's already.

Just be patient and don't put any undue pressure on yourself to improve rapidly.  The learning curve of golf is drastically different from a lot of other sports.  There isn't a steady line that gradually increases or decreases.  There are jagged spikes, in both directions, and some flatlines in between that can be quite frustrating.

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