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MS256

Scoring: The Bottom Line.

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  1. 1. What is the main thing that goes wrong?

    • Trouble off of the tee.
      28
    • Missing greens too badly to get up and down.
      16
    • Short game around the green.
      4
    • Putting.
      7
    • Mental mistakes.
      4
    • Complacency.
      1
    • Lack of competitive experience.
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Some people have pretty good swings that don't match up with their scores against the course rating, or their handicaps.

Others seem to find a way to get the ball in the hole.

If I mess up the format for this poll question I apologize in advance... My first attempt at it.

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Poor ball-striking for the vast majority, me included.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Poor ball-striking for the vast majority, me included.

Yet with a  5.5 index, it can't be all that bad.

My biggest trouble point is, like many, an inconsistent driver.  When it's bad it costs me strokes.  When it's good, it's still pretty bad.  I don't worry about it as much as most players do though, because I can make up for a lot of misses with my short game.  Even when I'm in the middle of the fairway, I have no difficulty in missing the green, so a few wayward drives aren't as disastrous as you would think they'd be.

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Yet with a  5.5 index, it can't be all that bad. a2_wink.gif My biggest trouble point is, like many, an inconsistent driver.  When it's bad it costs me strokes.  When it's good, it's still pretty bad.  I don't worry about it as much as most players do though, because I can make up for a lot of misses with my short game.  Even when I'm in the middle of the fairway, I have no difficulty in missing the green, so a few wayward drives aren't as disastrous as you would think they'd be.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I recognize that my ball-striking is a big opportunity for me, but there are a bunch of mid/high handicappers that will tell you that they consider it to be a strength. It's not..... ;-)

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Poor ball striking (which in my opinion is the first two combined). If I had to summarize it the simplest, it would be "missing GIR."

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So far the answers surprise me just a little. I'm not surprised that the top two are the top two but I'm surprised that the bottom five aren't a factor.

That's not what I see in the groups I play with.

Of the best golfers I know (all better than scratch) two would clearly choose "Putting" without a moment's hesitation. One (if honest at all, and I think he is) would choose "Complacency". (He simply doesn't have any desire to do any more than to play once a week at the local club). Another would choose "A lack of competitive experience". (Very, very good in casual rounds but doesn't match up in tournaments against players with more tournament experience).

Of the next level of players I know (the ones I can beat fairly often even though they should be better than I am) it would be "The short game around the green". (They are better than I am at every other aspect of the game, but not that one).

The next level has several people that hit the ball fairly well but make a lot of terrible decisions about the odds of pulling off a shot and make a lot of "Mental mistakes".

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So far the answers surprise me just a little. I'm not surprised that the top two are the top two but I'm surprised that the bottom five aren't a factor. That's not what I see in the groups I play with. Of the best golfers I know (all better than scratch) two would clearly choose "Putting" without a moment's hesitation. One (if honest at all, and I think he is) would choose "Complacency". (He simply doesn't have any desire to do any more than to play once a week at the local club). Another would choose "A lack of competitive experience". (Very, very good in casual rounds but doesn't match up in tournaments against players with more tournament experience). Of the next level of players I know (the ones I can beat fairly often even though they should be better than I am) it would be "The short game around the green". (They are better than I am at every other aspect of the game, but not that one). The next level has several people that hit the ball fairly well but make a lot of terrible decisions about the odds of pulling off a shot and make a lot of "Mental mistakes".

+ hcp golfers tend to be much better ball-strikers than the rest of us schlubs......

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Originally Posted by MS256

So far the answers surprise me just a little. I'm not surprised that the top two are the top two but I'm surprised that the bottom five aren't a factor.

That's not what I see in the groups I play with.

Of the best golfers I know (all better than scratch) two would clearly choose "Putting" without a moment's hesitation. One (if honest at all, and I think he is) would choose "Complacency". (He simply doesn't have any desire to do any more than to play once a week at the local club). Another would choose "A lack of competitive experience". (Very, very good in casual rounds but doesn't match up in tournaments against players with more tournament experience).

Of the next level of players I know (the ones I can beat fairly often even though they should be better than I am) it would be "The short game around the green". (They are better than I am at every other aspect of the game, but not that one).

The next level has several people that hit the ball fairly well but make a lot of terrible decisions about the odds of pulling off a shot and make a lot of "Mental mistakes".

Short game is easier to make good improvement in than the full swing.  Once you have a usable swing, focus on the short game will reap the largest rewards.  I've always hated the range - just leads to terminal boredom, so I avoid it.  But when others were on the range warming up for a round or a tournament, I was down on the far end at the chipping green.  I also spent a lot of time in the mid 80's practicing on the par 3 course at my home facility, working mostly on greenside play - chipping, pitching, and bunkers.

The short game holds few mysteries for me, and I relish setting up to a chip or pitch.  If I'm within about 15 yards of the green in regulation, I will almost never make worse than a bogey.  Any doubles or worse are most often a direct result of hitting a drive into an untenable position.  I've learned to do what I can to minimize such mistakes, but they happen and I just don't worry about it any more.  I know that my short game will get me back on track.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

Short game is easier to make good improvement in than the full swing.  Once you have a usable swing, focus on the short game will reap the largest rewards.  I've always hated the range - just leads to terminal boredom, so I avoid it.  But when others were on the range warming up for a round or a tournament, I was down on the far end at the chipping green.  I also spent a lot of time in the mid 80's practicing on the par 3 course at my home facility, working mostly on greenside play - chipping, pitching, and bunkers.

The short game holds few mysteries for me, and I relish setting up to a chip or pitch.  If I'm within about 15 yards of the green in regulation, I will almost never make worse than a bogey.  Any doubles or worse are most often a direct result of hitting a drive into an untenable position.  I've learned to do what I can to minimize such mistakes, but they happen and I just don't worry about it any more.  I know that my short game will get me back on track.

There is another question that this poll won't answer. How many players actually recognize what costs them?

Here is a typical scenario that happened a while back in my group:

A typical young player that could hit the ball a mile, but whose testosterone level was way higher than his ability, was on our team. We came to a 370 yard par four with a creek that started at 280 yards and took 300 yards to carry it. We all hit 3 irons or 5 woods to a nice layup area short of the creek. He asked me what it was to carry the creek and I told him 300 yards. Sure enough he said "I can do that" and pulled out the driver and one hopped it right into the creek. That turned out to be typical of his game, and is also typical of many people that play in our games.

I'm just not sure they know that the reason they shot a 95 was that they didn't know when to lay up, and when it's worth a risk to go for it.

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Originally Posted by MS256

There is another question that this poll won't answer. How many players actually recognize what costs them?

Here is a typical scenario that happened a while back in my group:

A typical young player that could hit the ball a mile, but whose testosterone level was way higher than his ability, was on our team. We came to a 370 yard par four with a creek that started at 280 yards and took 300 yards to carry it. We all hit 3 irons or 5 woods to a nice layup area short of the creek. He asked me what it was to carry the creek and I told him 300 yards. Sure enough he said "I can do that" and pulled out the driver and one hopped it right into the creek. That turned out to be typical of his game, and is also typical of many people that play in our games.

I'm just not sure they know that the reason they shot a 95 was that they didn't know when to lay up, and when it's worth a risk to go for it.

If you don't know how to manage the course to fit your game, then you will never make any great, landmark, improvements in scoring.  I have played with that guy too.  Hit every drive 300 yards, but with no more control than I have on my 230 yard drive.  All that means is that he is 70 yards deeper in trouble.  But try and tell him that he can score better and more consistently be leaving the driver on the range, and you butt up against a testosterone fueled ego.  He simply can't face the thought of being a "average" driver.  As a result, that type of player will even struggle to be an average golfer, and although he won't admit it, he is actually a below average driver because he can't hit a fairway.  Length is nothing without some control.

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Originally Posted by MS256

There is another question that this poll won't answer. How many players actually recognize what costs them?

Here is a typical scenario that happened a while back in my group:

A typical young player that could hit the ball a mile, but whose testosterone level was way higher than his ability, was on our team. We came to a 370 yard par four with a creek that started at 280 yards and took 300 yards to carry it. We all hit 3 irons or 5 woods to a nice layup area short of the creek. He asked me what it was to carry the creek and I told him 300 yards. Sure enough he said "I can do that" and pulled out the driver and one hopped it right into the creek. That turned out to be typical of his game, and is also typical of many people that play in our games.

I'm just not sure they know that the reason they shot a 95 was that they didn't know when to lay up, and when it's worth a risk to go for it.

One of the things I do is record, for each double bogey or worse, what the shot was that was most at fault.  OB for out of bounds, W for water, shnk for you know what, etc.

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Some holes you have to lay up, some holes are just tight and have risk no matter what club you hit. So it depends on the design. But i agree, course management can add some significant.

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I was torn between tee shot and around the green.  I have sacrificed some distance on my tee shots to hit more fairways by using a small head driver or the Callaway 3Deep.  If I use a 460cc driver, tee shots become a bigger problem as I end up in the rough and OOB more often.

I try to leave myself 100 yards from the green so I can hit a sand / gap wedge into the green depending on wind conditions.  I'm usually pretty accurate with it, but if I don't land on the green then I'm usually looking at double bogey because my up and down conversion rate is very poor.

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I have a hard time answering this question, because every time I go out, the Golfing Gods decide a different part of my game will be my nemesis.  My bottom line for scoring is that I generally score in the low to mid  80's, and when all of the different parts of my game are working I will shoot in the 70's.  When three or more are slightly off, I will score in the high 80's/low 90's.  Personally, I break my game down to 1) driving; 2) fairway shots; 3) short game; 4) putting; and, 5) course management.

My failure to break 80 can be the result of one or more of these areas. Examples: 1) Earlier this year I shot 81 after hitting trees on 11 of 18 holes.  Obviously, my driving was horrible, but my course management was excellent and was supported by my short game and putting.  2) Several years ago I played a round where I hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation and shot an 81 (9 over par). Obviously, that day my putting was my downfall. 3) Most recently I played two courses on vacation where I shot 84 and 82, and my downfall was course management where I did not recognize where the trouble areas on the course lurked.  4) Often, when I reexamine my round, had I hit a few more good chip/pitch shots closer to the hole, or made a putt or two, I would have broken 80.  So, in summary, you can see that my bottom line in scoring can be affected by any of the five areas of my game.

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Originally Posted by MS256

Of the best golfers I know (all better than scratch) two would clearly choose "Putting" without a moment's hesitation.

He'd be wrong.

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Originally Posted by iacas

He'd be wrong.

No. He wouldn't.

Sorry, but you haven't seen him putt. Any time he runs into a Tour player that he used to play with the first thing they say is "Yeah, you're the guy that could hit the ball better than anybody but couldn't putt a lick".

He tied his putter to the bumper of his car and dragged it home after a US Open qualifier where he hit 16 greens and shot a 79.

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Originally Posted by dfreuter415

I have a hard time answering this question, because every time I go out, the Golfing Gods decide a different part of my game will be my nemesis.

Quote:

Originally Posted by saevel25

Some holes you have to lay up, some holes are just tight and have risk no matter what club you hit. So it depends on the design. But i agree, course management can add some significant.

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Originally Posted by MS256

No. He wouldn't.

Sorry, but you haven't seen him putt. Any time he runs into a Tour player that he used to play with the first thing they say is "Yeah, you're the guy that could hit the ball better than anybody but couldn't putt a lick".

He tied his putter to the bumper of his car and dragged it home after a US Open qualifier where he hit 16 greens and shot a 79.

He's an outlier then, and shouldn't be ruining his putter, but actually practicing putting. In reality, anything outside of 20' there is no difference between pro's and amateurs with handicaps less than 25. Dave Pelz did a study on this, and found that pro's excel at putts inside of 15'. That is were they have a significant advantage. Yet they also get more opportunities at this range as well, hence Erik's recommendations on how to practice. Your not going to score if you hit 16 greens, and your average putt is 25' from the pin. Though GIR's are the key stat for scoring, because it sets up the maximum opportunities to make birdie or better, but proximity is a better indicator.

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