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gr8golf

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

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1) How long did it take to break 70? If it took you 2 years, was that 2 years from the first time you picked up a golf club, or did you just play around for the first year and then take the second year seriously?

I started playing at 12 years old at a public nine hole executive course. I played mostly with a friend whose father was a scratch golfer when he was in his 20s. I played a single year of JV golf when I was 17, when I was coming off knee surgery and couldn't quite yet make it back to playing varsity tennis. At that time, during my matches (we only played nine holes), I was shooting 43-49, playing by every rule. Over the next year or two, my handicap dropped to around a 14, where it stayed for all of college and seven years of graduate school, due to playing enough to maintain but not improve. I had shot in the low 80sa number of times during those years, even getting a few scores of 80, but didn't have the length to really get enough greens in regulation to break 80. It was after graduate school, when I got a job (30 years old) and was settled in a particular location that I knew i needed to totally change my swing to get more distance (as my average drives were consistently dead straight, but maxed out not much more than 200 yards). I realized that I had a reverse pivot and I took a few lessons a year over the next few years to get rid of that reverse pivot. That first season when taking lessons to totally redo my swing, at 30-31 years old, I was shooting in the 90s. The next year, age 31-32, I was in the high 80s. Finally, by the third year after deciding to fill rework my swing (age 32-33), I finally got back to the scores I was shooting before I made the swing change, low to mid 80s. Then, the next year, it happened (age 33-34), those years paid off and that's was the summer I started to regularly break 80, in the high 70s. So it took about 22 years. I am now (at age 39) about a 6 handicap and heading, it seems, to scratch (lowest around ever was a +1, 73).

I am still not a long hitter (230-250 yard drives), but the REAL key to breaking 80 is a great short game. Unless you're hitting 15/18 greens in regulation, which is an insanely high percentage, as 12/18 greens on regulation is a pretty darn good round for an amateur, you need to get up and down a bunch. 

 

2) What methods did you follow? Did you pick and choose from different instructors, books, DVDs, or even just watching tips on the golf channel? Did you follow a single set method/book/DVD/instructor and follow it like it was your bible?

I take about three 30 minute lessons a year and will watch Golf Channel for random tips.

 

3) What does it take to score in the 70s consistently (in your opinion of course)?

--Enough distance to get to all par fours with mid irons or shorter for approach shots.

--great short game

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Only just scored in the 70's with a 77 with a 38-39 (On a PAR-72) Had to put my driver away in the back 9 as it just was not consistent enough with a few pushes and pull shots (3w made a huge difference putting in the middle much more often) .. 9 out of 10 chips/lobs were solid  ...only one three-putt ..if it wasn't in the hole it was a tap in

This time for a first I didn't add up my score going into the last few holes I just didn't want to know I wanted the feeling I was just playing an average round and not going for my first ever sub 80 scores in over 184 games carded.

Now I've had much better 9 hole rounds and much better games with the driver ...but would be my best at just keeping the ball in play and confident short game.

 Nothing burns me up in a game to miss easy birdie after birdie from poor short gameplay..  

IMHO Mid to high HC players the 3w isn't used enough in place of the driver I certainly wouldn't have broke 80 if I had to use Driver only on PAR-4-5's

 

Edited by NZ Golfer

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New member, just found this thread. Started hitting balls in1964 at 8 yrs old. By the time I was 16 I was an A player in the Men's game at the course I grew up on . Turned Pro after school and played for a living for 12 years. I my opinion, the ability to play very well inside 100 yards and putting seperate the good players from the others. Length is a contributing factor, but short game is a determining factor. It is all about how fast did you get it in the hole. 

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The average amateur will putt 40+ times per round. If you want to have a chance at shooting in the 70’s, learn how to putt.

What did I do? Married the right woman that didn’t care if I started this adventure of golf. Had the right people in place to allow me to leave a business for a few hours a day. Joined a Country Club that forced me to practice if  I was to meet golf friends.

Started 2011, broke 80 within a year, and par within the second year.The 60’s would be in the third year. I played almost every day and got lessons when I couldn’t get lower than 8. I still use the same one now when necessary.

Edited by LMoore
Missed a word

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Got my second 70's score the other day with a 79 (45/34) now with 191 carded rounds ...it seems after getting 83 (around 80 games ago 6yrs+ it's been so hard to beat that score)  with many 83's at best but just as many low 90's ....

then after a 5-month break with zero golf .... I just took a different mindset to really think about my game and not focus on my score so much ...got a net out the back yard work on the swing path contact ...much more chipping practice ..

and it been 40 days where outside a couple of days I haven't held a club ...played doz or so rounds and I go from 15.1 HC to 12.1 .... 77 and 79  >>> brilliant haven't yet scored an 80 or 81

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18 minutes ago, 3jacker said:

Anyone who takes 40+ putts in a round surely must take 60+ or 70+ full shots. 

 

Don't know if I agree with that. If you 2 putt 14 greens and 3 jack 4 greens, but hit all of the greens in regulation, you'll end up with a 76. Certainly, it's unlikely that all of the greens were hit in regulation, but I know for sure I've broken 80 with bad putting days. In fact, depending on one's length, 3 putt pars are possible on par 5's. I've been a victim of those ugly pars many times. It makes the putt count high, but the score can be close to handicap.

More common for a low single is 30-34 putts.

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On 4/9/2019 at 5:55 AM, Old Pro said:

Length is a contributing factor, but short game is a determining factor.

No, putting is the least determining factor, then short game. Ask @iacas 

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There's always the possibility for anything.

In general, 40+ is an indicator of an average or less golfer and in general, people are far less able to execute a full swing than a putt.

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Story?  I'm a fan of the Dark Tower series, also Feist's Magician series (the entire thing), and Julian May's extended Pliocene Exile series.

 

(Frankly, it's not birdies for me, those come one or two maybe a round, but some of the best rounds are just regulation golf - that GIR approach shot is a big deal - I'd rather be 2 putting for par (with chance of birdie) every day rather than scrambling for par - if you can hit that approach shot well, then suddenly being good vs great at putting matters a lot less in just keeping the score from blowing up - which is a good thing, frankly I'm medicore at putting at best).

Edited by rehmwa

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On 4/9/2019 at 12:39 AM, LMoore said:

The average amateur will putt 40+ times per round. If you want to have a chance at shooting in the 70’s, learn how to putt.

I don't believe that first bit is true.  Based on this study, with data collected by TheGrint,


YOU (vs) OTHER GOLFERS How do you compare to other golfers in the US?

even 25 handicappers average less than 39 putts.  For a 25 handicapper to get to the point where he breaks 80 regularly, we're talking about close to 20 strokes of improvement.  The fewest putts a player is likely to average is 30 to 32, so he can gain maybe 7 or 8 per round by putting better.  To get into the 70s with regularity, he has to improve everything he does, with most of his improvement coming before he gets to the green.

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58 minutes ago, LMoore said:

Don't know if I agree with that. If you 2 putt 14 greens and 3 jack 4 greens, but hit all of the greens in regulation, you'll end up with a 76. Certainly, it's unlikely that all of the greens were hit in regulation, but I know for sure I've broken 80 with bad putting days. In fact, depending on one's length, 3 putt pars are possible on par 5's. I've been a victim of those ugly pars many times. It makes the putt count high, but the score can be close to handicap.

More common for a low single is 30-34 putts.

A lot more can go wrong to compound your score or give you more opportunities to score before you get to the green.  Go read "Lowest Score Wins" and look at strokes gained data.  I'll take a premium ballstriker with suboptimal putting over a premium putter with suboptimal ballstriking any day of the week.  

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I don't believe that first bit is true.  Based on this study, with data collected by TheGrint,


YOU (vs) OTHER GOLFERS How do you compare to other golfers in the US?

even 25 handicappers average less than 39 putts.  For a 25 handicapper to get to the point where he breaks 80 regularly, we're talking about close to 20 strokes of improvement.  The fewest putts a player is likely to average is 30 to 32, so he can gain maybe 7 or 8 per round by putting better.  To get into the 70s with regularity, he has to improve everything he does, with most of his improvement coming before he gets to the green.

Dave, no question, every aspect of one's game is needed to score consistently in the 70's. In general, most 20-25 handi-cappers are not great putters. I know there are exceptions. But if they have consistently been that number, the quickest way to lower a score is to putt better. A 7 or 8 stoke improvement is pretty significant. And putting well seems the quicker route to do so, especially given that so many folks can't practice full shots for a large portion of the year due to geography. They can putt in a garage or basement.

I realize I'm making a large assumption that they can get off the tee, strike a decent 2nd shot, and be somewhere near the green.

But I acknowledge your point to an overall need of ability. I'm not looking for affirmation in any way by saying I improved quickly when I took the game up in mid 2011. While I quickly moved from not being able to break 100 to an 8 handicap in less than a year[lot's of practice, lots of rounds], to get lower, as low as a +1, I had to put a lot of time into putting. I'm still not a great putter, just better than average. To get lower, I'll have to putt better.

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1 hour ago, 3jacker said:

Anyone who takes 40+ putts in a round surely must take 60+ or 70+ full shots. 

No.

My daughter had a bad round putting the other day. 40 putts. Broke 90.

Just now, LMoore said:

Dave, no question, every aspect of one's game is needed to score consistently in the 70's. In general, most 20-25 handi-cappers are not great putters. I know there are exceptions. But if they have consistently been that number, the quickest way to lower a score is to putt better.

Larry, you should buy and read Lowest Score Wins, if you haven't already (you don't have any achievements, so I don't know…).

Yes, the quickest way to lower your score by a few shots is to learn to chip and putt better, but that's also low-hanging fruit, and it's also not very big.

A guy shooting 95 that wants to shoot 75 is losing about 15 of those shots to the full swing, and only five shots from putting and short game.

Just now, LMoore said:

A 7 or 8 stoke improvement is pretty significant.

It's also highly unlikely that a guy shooting 95 has eight shots to lose just from his putting. He'd be a statistical outlier, big time.

Just now, LMoore said:

I realize I'm making a large assumption that they can get off the tee, strike a decent 2nd shot, and be somewhere near the green.

Your assumption is faulty. If they can do those things and they're losing 8 shots a round to putting, they're a statistical oddity. An outlier. Putting is a clear "glaring weakness."

Just now, LMoore said:

But I acknowledge your point to an overall need of ability. I'm not looking for affirmation in any way by saying I improved quickly when I took the game up in mid 2011. While I quickly moved from not being able to break 100 to an 8 handicap in less than a year[lot's of practice, lots of rounds], to get lower, as low as a +1, I had to put a lot of time into putting. I'm still not a great putter, just better than average. To get lower, I'll have to putt better.

Unless you're also a statistical outlier, you're probably wrong about that.

You're probably a much better putter than you realize.

I virtually never practice my putting. Ballstriking (off the tee, approach shots) account for the vast majority of the "Separation Value®" to be had in golf.

On 4/9/2019 at 12:39 AM, LMoore said:

The average amateur will putt 40+ times per round. If you want to have a chance at shooting in the 70’s, learn how to putt.

That's not accurate at all.

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2 minutes ago, LMoore said:

quickest way

Yes, but it's not the most impactful nor does it provide the longevity and "travel-ability" of ballstriking.  If you go around always relying on putting and short game because you can't hit a green, you'll eventually get bit and it will cost you--often dearly.  Inversely, you can play pretty good golf hitting the ball longer and hitting greens but not putting that well.  

If you can't putt, you won't score as well as you'd like.  If you can't hit the ball, you can't play golf.

15 minutes ago, LMoore said:

to get lower, as low as a +1, I had to put a lot of time into putting.

That's because at your level, you're closer to the peak.  You already do so much well by way of striking to even get to that point.  Makes sense.  Handicap golfers don't have the same problems you do, or else they'd be at +1 who can hit the ball too.

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17 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Yes, but it's not the most impactful nor does it provide the longevity and "travel-ability" of ballstriking.  If you go around always relying on putting and short game because you can't hit a green, you'll eventually get bit and it will cost you--often dearly.  Inversely, you can play pretty good golf hitting the ball longer and hitting greens but not putting that well.  

If you can't putt, you won't score as well as you'd like.  If you can't hit the ball, you can't play golf.

Again, my assumption is "some" ability to move the ball toward the green.

I'm losing this battle. So I digress. Maybe I need to play with some higher handi-caps to gain perspective.

tired donald duck GIF

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1 minute ago, LMoore said:

Again, my assumption is "some" ability to move the ball toward the green.

I'm losing this battle. So I digress. Maybe I need to play with some higher handi-caps to gain perspectivetired donald duck GIF

haha yeah, your better player problems are different.  But you know that.

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13 minutes ago, LMoore said:

Again, my assumption is "some" ability to move the ball toward the green.

I'm losing this battle. So I digress. Maybe I need to play with some higher handi-caps to gain perspective.

Read LSW. Read ESC.

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