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To Golfers Who Score in the 70s - What's Your Story?


gr8golf
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This is what works for me.

IACAS,

though....what?

Yes - 8.3.   I started playing when I was 9 years old and got as low as a 4.  For a guy who was self taught, plays once a week, counts every shot, rarely practices, plays by the rules and still has time for his kids  - an 8.3 index  is pretty darn good.   Yes, I count every shot.  So that's an accurate 8.3.

I never aspired to be scratch, but I do shoot in the 70's more than the average guy who practices a hell of a lot more than I do.  I can tell you this - the guy who started this thread originally is not aspiring to be scratch either.  He just wanted to hear our stories.   The post started "what's your story?"  But you didn't think to ask how much I played.  You just spewed your "pro" advice as the word of God and trashed everything I offered to the discussion.

This is an open discussion, correct?

Or is it not?

I'm not a pro.  To me the game is not about score as much as it is about honesty, integrity and having a good time.

Laugh a little - it's only a game.

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You just spewed your "pro" advice as the word of God and trashed everything I offered to the discussion.

Just as an FYI, he disagreed with (most) everything you offered.  He didn't "trash" anything.  There is an enormous difference there and way too many people choose not to see it.

For that matter, I was the first person to disagree with what you offered and I didn't trash it either.  Nor did I get accused of trashing it.  Why would you be more defensive and more apt to argue with a pro than just some schlub like myself?

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This is an open discussion, correct?

Or is it not?

@Ferguson , you're new, so please take this as advice… A big part of what makes this forum great is that it is very much an open discussion. But that means I get to counter your opinions with my own and you get to counter mine with yours. What is the alternative? Everyone just posts and never replies to anyone else unless they agree with them?

A forum where everyone agrees with each other is a boring place, and not the place for me.

an 8.3 index  is pretty darn good.

No disagreement here. Many would be happy to be an 8.3. But you're not shooting in the 70s very often unless you're playing a course with a rating of about 71 or lower.

You just spewed your "pro" advice as the word of God and trashed everything I offered to the discussion.

Tone it down a bit, eh? I know a bit about what I'm talking about. I also disagree with a good bit of your advice. It's not personal - I just think it's mostly bad advice.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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I haven't read this entire thread, but seems the common thread for most single digit hcp'rs is that they started playing golf while they were young (up through their 20's).

My question is this:  ANYBODY START PLAYING GOLF IN THEIR 40s LIKE ME, WHO'VE MADE IT TO SINGLE HCP ??

I need some inspiration - seems way too many good golfers started playing young, which is depressing me ...

haha, same here. Started two years ago (at 32), now at 12.6. Only thing I am working on right now (through winter) is full swing mechanics (hit farther and straighter). Hopefully that will work out to a single handicap sometime this year.

Ditto with me , but it doesn't seem like there is anything earthshaking for us to break 80.

At least for me, I know my current priorities, and can continue to incrementally improve them a little bit at a time. Plus, it's not like I need to start shooting 70s to make a high school team or anything. I can relax and enjoy the journey a bit.

So, we all have a chance of improving in a measurable way. . .

:ping:  :tmade:  :callaway:   :gamegolf:  :titleist:

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Re:  But you're not shooting in the 70s very often unless you're playing a course with a rating of about 71 or lower. 71.1 @ 134

Your handicap for that course would be 9.8, so you should be shooting 10 over par about 25% of the time, and that's playing to your handicap. You should be playing below your handicap far less often than that, so unless your handicap index is wrong, I don't see how you're shooting in the 70s very often, given that you play only once a week. Based on that information, I would think you break 80 maybe once or twice a year.

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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Re:  But you're not shooting in the 70s very often unless you're playing a course with a rating of about 71 or lower.

71.1 @ 134

That's true. I'm shooting in the low/mid 80s on good days on 72.9/130. Unfortunately, when I play our course that's rated 68.9/122 I shoot worse because I chip and putt like crap right now.

My putting and chipping on the practice greens is pretty decent. It's on the course under the heightened conditions of having just made some full shots and briskly walked to the green that my short game falls apart. So, I figured that is the best place for me to practice. Which I did this morning, and plan to from now on.

:ping:  :tmade:  :callaway:   :gamegolf:  :titleist:

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Ping i20 irons U-4, CFS300
Callaway XR16 9 degree Fujikura Speeder 565 S
Callaway XR16 3W 15 degree Fujikura Speeder 565 S, X2Hot Pro 20 degrees S

"I'm hitting the woods just great, but I'm having a terrible time getting out of them." ~Harry Toscano

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Your handicap for that course would be 9.8, so you should be shooting 10 over par about 25% of the time, and that's playing to your handicap.

You should be playing below your handicap far less often than that, so unless your handicap index is wrong, I don't see how you're shooting in the 70s very often, given that you play only once a week.

Based on that information, I would think you break 80 maybe once or twice a year.

They say you shoot better than your handicap about 20% of the time.

10 of your last 20 are thrown out. Then 50% of what remains would be above and 50% would be below. That's 25%, which is reduced to 20% because of the 0.96 multiplier.

Let's stick to the actual topic though.

@Ferguson , please hit the "quote" buttons when responding to people. Thank you.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Since I’m quoting myself and replying to all, I will cite it as I see fit.

Re: In fact, I never aspired to be scratch, but I do shoot in the 70's more than the average guy who practices a hell of a lot more than I do.

This is a fact. I play with guys at my club that practice a hell of a lot more than I do and they never shoot in the 70s.

Ferguson

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Since I’m quoting myself and replying to all, I will cite it as I see fit.

Re: In fact, I never aspired to be scratch, but I do shoot in the 70's more than the average guy who practices a hell of a lot more than I do.

This is a fact.  I play with guys at my club that practice a hell of a lot more than I do and they never shoot in the 70s.

Ferguson

How long have they been playing? Some of them could be compressing a 20 year golfing career played once a week into 4 years at 5 times per week?

Take me for example, I play every day but don't feel the least bit doubtful of your skills or that what you do is impossibly hard. I've been playing about 4 and a half years, but switched to lefty about 2 and a half years ago when I joined this site. So, even though I play and practice almost every day and don't currently score as well as you do, I feel strongly that I can get to a solid 10HC while scoring my share of 70s rounds.

Many of these other golfers might be in the same boat as me, so it doesn't really mean anything to state that you practice and play only once a week while playing better than golfers who practice and play daily?

:ping:  :tmade:  :callaway:   :gamegolf:  :titleist:

TM White Smoke Big Fontana; Pro-V1
TM Rac 60 TT WS, MD2 56
Ping i20 irons U-4, CFS300
Callaway XR16 9 degree Fujikura Speeder 565 S
Callaway XR16 3W 15 degree Fujikura Speeder 565 S, X2Hot Pro 20 degrees S

"I'm hitting the woods just great, but I'm having a terrible time getting out of them." ~Harry Toscano

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[COLOR=000000]Since I’m quoting myself and replying to all, I will cite it as I see fit.[COLOR=000000] [/COLOR] [COLOR=000000] [/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=000000] [/COLOR]

[COLOR=181818]Re: In fact, I never aspired to be scratch, but I do shoot in the 70's more than the average guy who practices a hell of a lot more than I do. [/COLOR]

[COLOR=181818] [/COLOR]

[COLOR=181818]This is a fact.  I play with guys at my club that practice a hell of a lot more than I do and they never shoot in the 70s.[/COLOR]

Please use the quote button, it makes your posts a lot easier to follow.

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This is a fact.  I play with guys at my club that practice a hell of a lot more than I do and they never shoot in the 70s.

And there are thousands who can beat you every day of the week and almost never shoot in the 80s. Let's discuss the actual topic not play a game of "I didn't say that."

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | 5SK.com | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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I would agree that the fastest way to drop some shots (10 is a stretch) is to practice your short game and putting.

But there's a ceiling there, and it's pretty low, and pretty easy to achieve. The real improvement comes from practicing and improving at the full swing.

This is 100% true from my experience. Short game and putting save you shots, but they can only save so many. If you want to become a better golfer, move your game to a new level, you need a better swing.

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You're an 8.3, though… I know a lot of people who shoot in the 70s who do almost none of those things. Moving the ball back in your stance is a bit of a cheat. I disagree with the importance of hitting the "low trap draw." I can hit one… and almost never do. No point. Hitting the ball high is an advantage over hitting the ball low. Your PS is completely unnecessary. Here are my tips for those who want to shoot in the 70s. [LIST] [*] Hit 9-10 greens per round. [*] This means working on your full swings (driver, irons). [*] Spend a little time on your putting, and a bit more on your short game, but don't spend a lot of time on those. [*] Be aggressive on the course for distance (second shots on par fives, etc.) but avoid taking penalty strokes, and aim for the fat part of the greens, even from 70 yards away. [/LIST]

This is very solid advice and I can tell you why. If you read it closely, to answer the original question, it's actually advising ball striking, so just connect the dots. Good ball striking means precious GIR's. More GIR's puts less pressure on trying to constantly scramble with your short game, especially taking aim at the middle of the green as suggested which is another good tip. Its also mentally exhausting trying to get up and down every single hole...BUT he also says don't neglect the short game and putting practice either because you will need it for those GIR's you will miss. I sincerely wish I had that advice sooner in my golf career. I was always told years back to spend majority of practice time on short game.

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Ditto with me, but it doesn't seem like there is anything earthshaking for us to break 80.

Indeed, nothing earthshaking has to happen. We just have to diligently and deliberately work on our games.

Han

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Many years ago, I was able to shoot mostly in the 70's. I had been playing golf for about 10 years and had worked my way down to 8ish handicap. At that time I could break 80 occasionally. I always struggled with consistent ball flight. I tried to hit it straight or draw it. One day, while slapping it sideways on the range, I decided that since I had problems clearing my left side, I'd just start with it out the way to begin with. So, I opened my stance and swung the club right down the line. I found that I could consistently fade the ball with this method. I could aim a little left and swing and hard as I wanted and the ball would fade back. Now, the left side of the course was something I didn't have to worry about any more. This was the key for me, having a consistent go to shot. My handicap dropped to a 5 and would've been lower if I had known how to handle a wedge around the greens. I played 100+ rounds that year, broke par twice, and only shot over 80 when my putting and/or chipping went nutso bad. Golf was fun!!!

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This is very solid advice and I can tell you why. If you read it closely, to answer the original question, it's actually advising ball striking, so just connect the dots. Good ball striking means precious GIR's. More GIR's puts less pressure on trying to constantly scramble with your short game, especially taking aim at the middle of the green as suggested which is another good tip. Its also mentally exhausting trying to get up and down every single hole...BUT he also says don't neglect the short game and putting practice either because you will need it for those GIR's you will miss. I sincerely wish I had that advice sooner in my golf career. I was always told years back to spend majority of practice time on short game.


+2.  And +100 for Erik's suggestion that putting/short game will drop strokes quickest, but without a doubt there's a ceiling.  I'm yet to put together a round a round in the 70's playing a full 18, however I play 9 holes more more often than I play 18, and out of the three 9 hole rounds I play every week, one (or two if my swing's on) will be in the 36-39 range (72/132 course).  The days I shoot the lowest are the days that my driver is so on that I never once think about a big miss, let alone a penalty stroke.  I think position and distance.  Anyone who says distance off the tee doesn't matter is flat wrong.  I play with an older dude once in a while who's roughly the same in terms of consistency, yet I consistently beat him because I put my drive 40-50 yards past his and thus have SW-PW in where he has 8i to 5i.  To me, breaking 80 means hitting the fairway, hitting it a long way, and hitting the green.

The idea that going for par 5's in two is overrated is retarded.  The only time I won't go for a par 5 in two is when: (i) I have longer than 200 yards and there's OB or a hazard clearly in play; or (ii) I'm outside of 240 (220 if i've got a crappy lie).  Why in the world would you purposefully avoid having an eagle putt or two putt birdie?

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Erik, This is kind of related... In your 65/20/15 thread you talk about the amount of time on that... but as for number of shots it's about the same, correct? For Everyone, I'm about an 11ish, I've got my last handicap card from the end of October last year I'll update it when I find it, but I digress. You may laugh at this but the rounds I was in the 70s last year were when I was relaxed and having fun... I try to hit my approach shots to the middle of the green... because if you push or pull it your either stiff or are either on the green or near it with a bunch of green to work with... Short game and putting will shave 3-5 strokes maybe (It can be 10 if you are red hot with the putter one day)... inside 100 yards probably shaves a few strokes... I shot a 76 at Newman Last July which was my lowest of the year, I hit 11 greens, made 1 birdie, 3 bogeys and a double... one of the bogeys was a one putt, the other two were two-putts, the double was a one putt (OB on 8), the birdie was a one-putt, I had 3 one-putt pars, and 9 two-putts, and one three-putt par, I had 31 putts and a penalty stroke, I was 3/7 scrambling for pars... and still shot 76... with 11 GIR... short game is important to an extent but as you can see from my example, solid ball striking is more important

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