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JD616

I am Trying to Become a Scratch and Need Help!

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I would study very closely Luke Donald's surge to the #3 spot in the world golf rankings.  Even though he's not long by tour standards or all that straight off the tee, he is deadly with his irons, wedges, bunker play, chipping, and now for the last bit PUTTING.

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So what I have gathered so far from this is the following:

1. Ask my instructor about course management and how to play to score

2. Practice putting as much as possible

3. Practice short game and bunker play

4. Learn to avoid trouble off of the tee and on approach shots (same as number 1)

5. Improve my ball striking ( I have already made a huge leap in terms of better contact compared to last year and previous years )

6. My original goal wasn't necessarily feasible in the time provided

7. My new goal is to be a mid-single digit handicap by the end of the year ( Is this reasonable to everyone?)

8. Practice both on the course and at the range

9. Learn to hit closer to targets with irons

Is there anything else that will help me out other than what is mentioned above or in other posts? Also, I have a question pertaining to flexibility, strength, and endurance. What are your feelings on the three aspects of health/wellness in ability to play better?

I would like to thank everyone who is taking part in this thread you have all given me so much valuable help that should help me focus my efforts this season and for the coming seasons

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In my opinion you should forget about scratch and focus on getting to a 6 which is attainable. Once you reach a 6 evaluate where you are losing shots and work on those areas harder. I like your work ethic and I believe you will get there but it's going to take time so just have patience.

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I'm convinced that I can become a scratch with practice, but I also realize my initial goal isn't easily attainable. However, like you said focus on getting to a 6, I like that idea and honestly a true 6 handicap would be a great start to my ultimate goal.

How exactly does one go about tracking their handicap? My profile one is just a rough guesstimate. Is there a program I can buy that will allow me to input scores and course info., and then compute my handicap from that information?

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Yahoo used to have a free handicap tracker I'm not sure if they still do though. Actually it would track everything fairways, GIR, putts per round and you just enter the info from your scorecard to get your handicap.

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Check with your local course and see if they use the USGA handicap system. I know for my club it is $20/year and you can enter your scores online or at your club. You can even enter in all your round stats and track your entire game. They just did a big upgrade and the new version is slick!

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Originally Posted by awmgolfer

Check with your local course and see if they use the USGA handicap system. I know for my club it is $20/year and you can enter your scores online or at your club. You can even enter in all your round stats and track your entire game. They just did a big upgrade and the new version is slick!



I play different courses everyday, my home course is basically just a giant practice area for me. They offer this same thing I'll have to check in to it and how it works for other courses as well

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Everybody has tips/drills/pointers.  Mine is to play like a 15 year old.........have FUN!

Play games.  Hit from sand trap to sand trap.  Play follow the leader with a friend looking for the worst rough. Your handicap will skyrocket.....up!  But, you will learn how to make difficult shots.

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^^^^

I'm pretty sure that is illegal to do, but it gave me a good laugh. I have fun while I'm playing and I often play different games. People assume that because I'm 15 I should just be having fun, but the truth is that what I find fun is playing golf all day, everyday. I've even tried playing left handed for whatever reason, but it was fun, ugly, but fun.

Thanks for the comment though, it is a great tip for developing a love for the game, but definitely not the way to lower your handicap

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Actually playing left and right handed is a very good method of becoming really good at anything.

Balances your muscles and nervous system.

It forces you to go back to basics.

Most auto mechanics are as good with their left hands as their rights.

It teaches you to ignore the laughter of others.

If you end up in the PGA you will stand out from the very beginning for this ability alone.

I only putt left handed. But, started switching stance in surfing as soon as I could stand and make a turn.  After a period of being on the left side when I switch back to right, my rights improved.

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Originally Posted by Gerald

It makes little sense to go out practising a lot of nearly impossible lies, getting to scratch has less to do with the abillity to save shots from those kind of lies, it is avoiding you get there in the first place, so work on ball striking, ball striking and ball striking. Putting is also something you can win a few shots ....... from 12 to 6 or even a little less would be great !!!!! Getting to scratch from 12 in a few months ....... don't get frustrated if it doesn't work.......



i agree with you on the ball striking, but knowing how to get out of trouble is important too, wouldnt you agree? i played with a guy the other day would was awesome ball striker, but even he found himself missing the fairway from time to time. KNOWING how to get out of trouble is a lot better than GUESSING. IMO

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Originally Posted by andymane

i agree with you on the ball striking, but knowing how to get out of trouble is important too, wouldnt you agree? i played with a guy the other day would was awesome ball striker, but even he found himself missing the fairway from time to time. KNOWING how to get out of trouble is a lot better than GUESSING. IMO



I do usually try some bad lies just to see the results, but some shots like out of roots and stuff isn't worth risking injury or damage to clubs if it doesn't have to be played. I will definitely practice them, but I'm not trying to hurt myself in the process

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Originally Posted by JD616

I play different courses everyday, my home course is basically just a giant practice area for me. They offer this same thing I'll have to check in to it and how it works for other courses as well



You can joing the ohio golf association and track your hc this way.  It will give you an official handicap.

http://www.ohiogolf.org/

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My advice would be to do it on your own. Figure it out for yourself.  I think golf instruction is generally very poor.  Hank Haney (considered one of the greatest coaches in the world) couldn't help Ray Romano break 80.  Sean Foley doesn't seem to be helping Woods very much.  Golf instruction is all over the place. Not consistent. Why can't the amazing teachers compete at a high level. Why isn't Hank Haney on the sr. tour, why isn't Sean Foley on tour? Makes you wonder.

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Rule number one...

Asking for advice on a golf forum is not a great start.  Most golfers have all kinds of advice, 99% of it comes from guys that can't play a lick or haven't improved in 10 years.

You need to be able to filter out all the crap so something of substance can be processed.

Number two...

Work at it hard.  hitting the range with a purpose is a hard thing to do for some.  Make every range ball count for something.  Pick a specific target and hit to it.  Find a practice buddy.  I know this sounds lame but finding someone willing to put in the same amount will help a lot.  Make games out of practice.  closest to the pin or closest to the target with a driver is a good game.  PLay for a quarter or something.  Chipping and putting are probably more important to learning how to score than anything else. be sure to work on your short game at least half as much as everything else.

I tried posting a longer response yesterday but it never went through,  I'll check back later with some other tidbits of ultimate wisdom.

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We use a bunch of monopoly money in practices. Don't win by score but who has the most money and you can bet on anything. You'd be surprised how much pressure you put on yourself when playing for $500 even though it is monopoly money :)

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Play alone -

Play alone and play a WORST ball scramble. Meaning, hit two tee shots - play the worst one. Hit two approaches - - play the worst one. Hit two chips ... etc.

You will learn how to PLAY GOLF if you start challenging yourself more than normal. Everyone can make a par from the fairway, but can you find a way to make a par from the trees...?

Play with people who are better than you.

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Note: This thread is 3238 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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