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formula428

I've learned one thing -- golf is all about doing everything right, ALL the time!

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In the August Golf Digest, Keegan Bradley gives his keys to playing well. He suggests when faced with an in between yardage to always go with less club. Is he a good enough player for you? I think you're stuck between doling out advice for high handicappers and low handicappers.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus advocate taking more club when in doubt. Are they good enough for you? Yes, my comments are directed at 10+ cappers. I'm sure there is plenty of debate between what constitutes a high/low HC'er. A ten is certainly respectable. Let me say this: I've been a 10. Speaking only for myself, making sure I tried to get the ball to the hole on approach shots was a part of my strategy for (successfully) lowering my index, and I've been scratch on a revision or three. YMMV.......

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Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

In the August Golf Digest, Keegan Bradley gives his keys to playing well. He suggests when faced with an in between yardage to always go with less club. Is he a good enough player for you?

I think you're stuck between doling out advice for high handicappers and low handicappers.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus advocate taking more club when in doubt. Are they good enough for you?

Yes, my comments are directed at 10+ cappers. I'm sure there is plenty of debate between what constitutes a high/low HC'er. A ten is certainly respectable.

Let me say this: I've been a 10. Speaking only for myself, making sure I tried to get the ball to the hole on approach shots was a part of my strategy for (successfully) lowering my index, and I've been scratch on a revision or three.

YMMV.......

LOL - nice backhanded comment*. I don't know you and I've never seen you hit a ball, but I'll take your level of awesomeness and all-knowingness at face value. I do know that when I was playing off 6 (was at 4.9 for a brief moment or two a couple summers ago), it was because I was shoot the exact same scores I do now, but on longer courses. I also know that the first time I got into single digits was because I stopped listening to people who said take more club - I stopped airmailing greens.

*an approximately 10 index is what happens when I count all my strokes - about 40 of them per 9 holes - 38 last night but it'll get paired with a 42 from last week and be the same old 80. I don't keep track of how many strokes I lose by not taking enough club, but it's probably a small number compared to strokes lost by being long.

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I think that the easiest way for a very high handicapper to improve their score is to improve their bad shots. I remember going from shooting high 90s to low 90s and almost nothing about my game changed except I learned to control my bad shots better. I stopped hitting the chunkers that move a half acre of dirt, I stopped push slicing drives into neighboring states, I stopped blading wedges over the green, etc. (At least, no longer as often.) That itself dropped my score about 4 shots per round plus a penalty stroke or two as well. You can improve a lot, but in golf, the weakest link in the chain is what's the most important. You can work hard for some pars and bogeys only to throw it all away on one hole.

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Originally Posted by beisenhauer

Never follow a bad shot with a stupid one. Worse often comes as a result of stupid.

Yes worse does often come as a result of stupid.  I am living proof of that.

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Originally Posted by LovinItAll

I'm not sure why many people think pulling an extra club = flying it over the green. By example:

Even if we know our exact distances with approach irons, we don't usually end up with the perfect number. Given an average of 10 yards between clubs (adjust based on your game), if the pin is in the middle on a 25 yard deep green, this is what we usually end up with:

130 in.

Let's say a golfer hits 8 135 and 9 125.

8 is almost always the club, not 'hard nine'. Perfect 8 leaves golfer 15' (5 yards) past the pin. Even to a back pin, it's not usually cut less than 5 paces.

130 in.

Golfer hits perfect 9 130, perfect 8 140.

Again, if golfer is a 10 or worse, he is hitting very few shots flush. If he pulls 8 and hits it 140, he's 30' past (available on most, not all, greens). Unless the pin is cut back, there is almost always 30' available past the pin. More likely, though, he pulls 8 and doesn't catch it perfectly, leaving himself hole high, a little short, or a little long. Hitting 9 less than flush, he's never going to be hole high unless the bad shot was a skuller. I'd rather be putting from 15' or less every time regardless of green speed/slope, but that's just me.

Re: advice from the book mentioned - it's great advice once a golfer starts hitting most shots the correct distance.

This post is getting hijacked by this debate, but I can't resist.

For the first scenario, for a beginner I'd say it's not ridiculous advice to say if you're 130 to a mid pin, your 9i goes 125 and your 8i 135, just hit a stock, smooth 8i.  Even for a non-beginner, I'd say it's not unreasonable to prefer going for the soft 8i rather than the hard 9i (though it's not unreasonable to prefer the other way around too).

For the second scenario, I don't think so.  Like Sean said above, since I can remember I've had stock distances that were pretty consistent with the irons (especially with the shorts and mids back when I was worse).  I never thought of my 8i as my 150 club but really hit it 150 20% of the time and ranged between 135-148 the rest of the time.  That's ridiculously inconsistent distance with a short iron.  If you're not blinded by some macho egotism or something, after you've played regularly just a few months you've got an idea how far your short irons will go, and the misses that will drop your distance 15 yards on an 8i or 9i are most likely fully f-ed up shots, chunked, sliced, push-sliced, etc, where you're not anywhere near the green anyway so shouldn't be playing to your shot maybe going that distance but generally somewhat on line with the flag.

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Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

In the August Golf Digest, Keegan Bradley gives his keys to playing well. He suggests when faced with an in between yardage to always go with less club. Is he a good enough player for you?

I think you're stuck between doling out advice for high handicappers and low handicappers.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus advocate taking more club when in doubt. Are they good enough for you?

Yes, my comments are directed at 10+ cappers. I'm sure there is plenty of debate between what constitutes a high/low HC'er. A ten is certainly respectable.

Let me say this: I've been a 10. Speaking only for myself, making sure I tried to get the ball to the hole on approach shots was a part of my strategy for (successfully) lowering my index, and I've been scratch on a revision or three.

YMMV.......

Actually, can you point me to where Arnie or Jack have suggest that when faced with 8-iron distance a player should pull a 7-iron and try to fly the green?

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I'd say practice and play as much as you can until you can tell the difference between a good shot, bad shot and what is just lucky. I see new golfers out there all the time. Many hit decent shots just because nobody hits bad shots all the time.  Over time their swing developes and smoothes out. Their gap distances start to work out naturally. When I see noobs on the range more often than not they're overswinging in an attempt to hit it far but everything is whacky. They hit an 8i as far as a driver with the same swing because they don't know what they are doing right or wrong, a thin 8i gets blasted and a something hit from the toe goes nowhere. When they slow it down and make solid contact regularly they start to see and feel what a good shot is.

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LOL - nice backhanded comment*. I don't know you and I've never seen you hit a ball, but I'll take your level of awesomeness and all-knowingness at face value. I do know that when I was playing off 6 (was at 4.9 for a brief moment or two a couple summers ago), it was because I was shoot the exact same scores I do now, but on longer courses. I also know that the first time I got into single digits was because I stopped listening to people who said take more club - I stopped airmailing greens. *an approximately 10 index is what happens when I count all my strokes - about 40 of them per 9 holes - 38 last night but it'll get paired with a 42 from last week and be the same old 80. I don't keep track of how many strokes I lose by not taking enough club, but it's probably a small number compared to strokes lost by being long.

Seriously, I don't know what your problem is, but I have NEVER boasted about my 'awesomeness'....quite the contrary. So you were airmailing greens and got that fixed. Excellent. I've played a lot of golf, and airmailing greens is NOT something that most amateurs ever consistently do. BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE, you're the exception, not the rule. There's a big difference between scratch and 5, 5 and 10, 10 and 20, etc. As with all of my comments, I try to say what I personally did to achieve a result/goal. It was my observation a long, long time ago that guys that shoot in the 80's and above don't get the ball to the hole on their approach shots nearly enough. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!!!!!

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Actually, can you point me to where Arnie or Jack have suggest that when faced with 8-iron distance a player should pull a 7-iron and try to fly the green?

If I go to the trouble of finding where Jack/Arnie say to take extra, will it change your mind? Are you going to say, "Oh, you were right, I was wrong. Good call.", or will you just keep toeing your position? Don't waste my time and I won't waste yours.

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Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

LOL - nice backhanded comment*. I don't know you and I've never seen you hit a ball, but I'll take your level of awesomeness and all-knowingness at face value. I do know that when I was playing off 6 (was at 4.9 for a brief moment or two a couple summers ago), it was because I was shoot the exact same scores I do now, but on longer courses. I also know that the first time I got into single digits was because I stopped listening to people who said take more club - I stopped airmailing greens.

*an approximately 10 index is what happens when I count all my strokes - about 40 of them per 9 holes - 38 last night but it'll get paired with a 42 from last week and be the same old 80. I don't keep track of how many strokes I lose by not taking enough club, but it's probably a small number compared to strokes lost by being long.

Seriously, I don't know what your problem is, but I have NEVER boasted about my 'awesomeness'....quite the contrary.

So you were airmailing greens and got that fixed. Excellent. I've played a lot of golf, and airmailing greens is NOT something that most amateurs ever consistently do. BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE, you're the exception, not the rule.

There's a big difference between scratch and 5, 5 and 10, 10 and 20, etc. As with all of my comments, I try to say what I personally did to achieve a result/goal. It was my observation a long, long time ago that guys that shoot in the 80's and above don't get the ball to the hole on their approach shots nearly enough.

YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!!!!!

This is how you personally improved? Hey, that's exactly what I was posting too.

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To the OP, I know it feels like you've got to do everything perfectly.  As some others have said, at your level you don't need to do everything perfectly, just avoid the awful shots.  Get rid of the next fairway over slices, the chunked approaches that go 20 yards, the skulled green side pitches that skip through the green and down the back into the bush, the 3-putt greens (and 4+ putts!).  Sure, you're not going to instantly start hitting every shot exactly where you want, but think of it this way.  At 24.3 you're hitting 100+ a lot of the time.  If you eliminate the really awful shots, then even some not so great shots don't lead to terrible scores.  Say you don't hit a great drive, end up behind some trees.  You hit a little pitch out to the fairway, then don't hit a great (but not awful) approach, end up nearby but not on the green.  Then you pitch on and 2-putt.  That's two not so good, but not awful, full shots, and a not great pitch, and you still hit a double.  If any one of those three is a good shot, you're hitting bogey.  On the holes where you hit two solid shots you can get par.  All you have to do to play bogey golf and get down to a 90 is average one solid shot per hole and stay away from the awful shots.

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Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

Actually, can you point me to where Arnie or Jack have suggest that when faced with 8-iron distance a player should pull a 7-iron and try to fly the green?

If I go to the trouble of finding where Jack/Arnie say to take extra, will it change your mind? Are you going to say, "Oh, you were right, I was wrong. Good call.", or will you just keep toeing your position? Don't waste my time and I won't waste yours.

If you can find comments by Jack or Arnie suggesting a player when faced with a hard 9 or smooth 8 should actually pull a 7 and try to hit over the green then I will not ever again suggest to a new player that always trying to hit over the green is a bad idea for their long term development.

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Originally Posted by B-Con

I think that the easiest way for a very high handicapper to improve their score is to improve their bad shots. I remember going from shooting high 90s to low 90s and almost nothing about my game changed except I learned to control my bad shots better. I stopped hitting the chunkers that move a half acre of dirt, I stopped push slicing drives into neighboring states, I stopped blading wedges over the green, etc. (At least, no longer as often.) That itself dropped my score about 4 shots per round plus a penalty stroke or two as well.

You can improve a lot, but in golf, the weakest link in the chain is what's the most important. You can work hard for some pars and bogeys only to throw it all away on one hole.

LMBO at that one

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I've seen the "use extra club" advice, I believe in one of the handful of books I have at home. Don't recall off-hand which it was, maybe I'll look it up.

Notwithstanding the rhetoric, word-mangling, and old-fashioned low-brow Internet Debatin' that's happened since it was first brought up in this thread, I think it's good advice for a high handicapper to err on the side of extra club. It certainly has improved my golf. The source I first found this asked something along the lines of, "How often do you find yourself long on your approach?" For me, and apparently many others, the answer was (and largely still is), "Rarely."

If you know your distances well, and if those distances are consistent from shot to shot, then obviously you should pull the club that the situation dictates. However, for higher handicappers, those distances aren't consistent. In my experience, shots are more likely to come up shorter than expected than longer, so erring on the side of an extra club will probably help. Again, obviously , if there is trouble long, you need to take this into account. But until you're consistently hitting the distance you intend---and frequently finding misses both short and long of your target---you will benefit from adding an extra club.

While it's also true that a longer club will be somewhat less accurate, I don't think that's all that big a deal. I'm noticeably more accurate with my 9I than my 4I, but I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between my 8I and my 9I or my 4I and my 5I. The effect must be there, but I think increasing the chances of being on or next to the green rather than 10 yards short  is a bigger deal than being a few yards off laterally or the slight increase in the chance of a total flub. The only place where a single club makes a very large difference in my accuracy would probably be going from 4I to 3H or from 3H to a wood. However, that's irrelevant for my purposes: I'm not often aiming for the green with more club than a 4I, and I'm certainly not going lower than that if there's significant trouble in play. Clubbing down and going 9I PW is a much higher percentage shot than praying for a 3W to thread a needle.

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I'm new and not exactly a well spring of living water when it comes to golf knowledge... but my take on it is good golf boils down to realistic course management. By realistic I mean embracing an honest assessment of your capabilities and playing within those boundaries. When I first started some months ago, I was under a number of false impressions... namely you're "supposed" to hit the driver on anything par 4 or longer. approach shots should always be high loft pitches, putting should only be done from the green... every shot should be a full swing with the right selected club for the distance except for pitches/chips...and on...

As I have progressed, I've learned that not to be the case at all. Good golf is defined not merely by how well you can hit each club in your bag, but by your score at the end of the day. I'm not great at many of my irons right now. I dare not hit anything longer than my 7 iron with a full swing. But I am finding success in dropping my scores by playing to my strengths. I rarely pull out the driver, and save strokes using my 3 wood. For mid-range shots, I use my 4 hybrid a lot as I've found I'm fairly accurate with it. On short par 3's, I've learned I perform best by using a short tee and clubbing up so I can swing soft and not risk any erratic shots.  I no longer attempt high loft shots unless the scenario absolutely calls for it, i'm content to hit a 35 yard chip with a 9 iron if it means preserving accuracy. There are numerous more examples but you get the idea.

In the mean time I keep working on my weaknesses at the range or during practice rounds and build up confidence with a given issue until I can safely use it during the more competitive rounds.

so ultimately my 2 cents are that its not so much about being close to perfect all the time, but learning your limitations and playing soberly (not egotistically) within them, while working on your weaknesses on the side.

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If you can find comments by Jack or Arnie suggesting a player when faced with a hard 9 or smooth 8 should actually pull a 7 and try to hit over the green then I will not ever again suggest to a new player that always trying to hit over the green is a bad idea for their long term development.

I never said that, and I'm sure Jack/Arnie never said that. You keep saying that I think players should try to blow it over the green on every approach. I didn't say that. I said that, with front and middle pins, most higher handicappers would benefit pulling an extra club, and on the rare occasion that they hit that club extra solid and it flies the green, they shouldn't get upset. Also, I said, 'Dont try to hit soft 8....hit full 8.", not "Pull 7i." Again...I NEVER SAID THAT A PLAYER SHOULD TRY TO BLOW IT OVER THE GREEN ON EVERY APPROACH! This was an assumption you made in the other thread. The average green depth on the three courses I play regularly is ~30 yards. This is the same average as the two courses at the last club to which I belonged. To a middle pin, there's 15 yards past the pin to play with, more than a club for 6i and shorter for most players. You mentioned that long at your club was dead. Your club may also have small greens. I don't know. No advice that anyone, especially me, tries to give can be universally applied to every situation. I said that as well. Again, FOR ME: Trying to make sure I got the ball to the hole, when practical, improved my game when my HC was ~10-ish. I realize that other people may have different priorities and weaknesses that may be holding them back. When I played yesterday with three guys that are 10-15's, I watched as they consistently came up at least a club short over and over. When they did go over, it was after landing on the green and getting run out that left them no worse off than had they been short. Better, really, as they never had to contend with sand like they might have had they been short. You may have a stellar sand game and may be better off there as opposed to greenside rough....I don't know. I would like to know your home track, though. Maybe better advice was given in this thread already: instead of picking an extra club, try to hit the center of every green without regard to pin position. Most higher handicappers would benefit from this advice. Nicklaus made a pretty good living in the majors using this strategy as well.

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Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Quote:

Originally Posted by formula428

I've been golfing for about 2 months now,. . .   Any tips for improving consistency?

. . . Oh, and take more club than you think you need. Others will (and have) debated this, but it's my experience that, at your level, if you think the shot requires an 8i, pulling 7i will rarely hurt you. Try blowing that 7i over the green. If you are successful, consider it a good shot. If you aren't, you'll probably end up in better shape than if you'd pulled 8i.

Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

That I can't recall ever playing a course where missing long is generally preferable to missing short is another debate entirely. There are exceptions of course, but around here flying greens leads to big numbers.

I'm not sure why many people think pulling an extra club = flying it over the green.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

If you can find comments by Jack or Arnie suggesting a player when faced with a hard 9 or smooth 8 should actually pull a 7 and try to hit over the green then I will not ever again suggest to a new player that always trying to hit over the green is a bad idea for their long term development.

Also, I said, 'Dont try to hit soft 8....hit full 8.", not "Pull 7i."

Again...I NEVER SAID THAT A PLAYER SHOULD TRY TO BLOW IT OVER THE GREEN ON EVERY APPROACH! This was an assumption you made in the other thread.

Your comments on this topic, from this thread.

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Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

If you can find comments by Jack or Arnie suggesting a player when faced with a hard 9 or smooth 8 should actually pull a 7 and try to hit over the green then I will not ever again suggest to a new player that always trying to hit over the green is a bad idea for their long term development.

I never said that, and I'm sure Jack/Arnie never said that. You keep saying that I think players should try to blow it over the green on every approach. I didn't say that. I said that, with front and middle pins, most higher handicappers would benefit pulling an extra club, and on the rare occasion that they hit that club extra solid and it flies the green, they shouldn't get upset.

Also, I said, 'Dont try to hit soft 8....hit full 8.", not "Pull 7i."

It seems to me you're talking about two different things, which may be confusing me. When you reference Jack and Arnie saying use a soft this or hard that, it seems they're talking about what to do when you are trying to hit a certain distance and are between clubs. Your views in this thread have been on the subject of whether you should in general try to pull a club that when hit well will put you past the spot you are aiming for. That's different, so I don't think you can back it up with quotes from Jack and Arnie (especially since you don't have a source).

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Note: This thread is 3053 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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