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Finley

My journey to breaking 80.

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Brief Background - I've been playing seriously since September 2012. Before that I would play 1-5 rounds a year for fun. My job requires me to be gone from home 3 - 4 days a week. Any day that I home though I am either playing or practicing. I usually play one day, then practice the next day for a few hours.

Last 5 rounds - 86,88, 85, 83, 81.

The course I played today is 69.6/120 - 6249 yards.

My best score ever on the front 9. I put all of my focus on fairways and GIRs. 39! 16 putts, 5 GIRs, 4/7 fairways.

One double due to a penalty. 4 bogeys. 1 par. 3 birdies, all with a one putt. One 3 putt.

Back nice...  ugh...  48. These guys were nice enough to let me play through. That's when it unraveled. I felt rushed. Double, then a Triple.

5 penalty strokes on the back. I just couldn't get refocused.

Ended up with an 87.

Do you guys/gals suggest that I stick to one course? I'm currently playing 3 different ones. My 81 is on the easiest of the three. 68.8/116 - 6025.

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Just remember: patience is a virtue.  With all of your practice and playing, it will eventually happen.  Don't forget to enjoy the journey on your way to 80.

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I shot a 77 last week, best round of the year, and looking back at stats it was all about staying out of trouble from the tee and putting. Easy to hit greens hitting short irons from the fairway. The high % of FIR led to above average, for me, GIR and with that above average putting. In a nutshell that was my best day for course management. As for sticking to one course it doesn't work for me nor is it fun. I actually play better on higher rated courses.

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play as many courses as you can. it keeps the mind fresh. and will expose you to different shots.

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play as many courses as you can. it keeps the mind fresh. and will expose you to different shots.

I agree. It may take you longer to break 80, but you'll be a better overall player for it.

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I had a similar background to you, OP.  1-5 rounds/year for many years. Then started in earnest in May 2012. I was 90s mostly last season, but started improving throughout the summer, and I've been all over the 80s for months now (but never 79!). I think my signature may have a link to all of my scores this year, if interested.

My easiest course is a 68.1/122/5700, and I think I could easily break 80 there now, if I played it regularly... but that's boring. It's wide open for many holes, it's short, and it's par 71.

My toughest course is 70.4/134/6300, and it plays a lot more than 2 strokes more difficult than the easy course above! It's tighter, longer, with more hazards, but it's a lot more interesting.

I also have several courses between those, and I prefer to keep them in a rotation for variety. When I get to the easy course in my rotation, I kind of lick my chops that I'll have a good round because I'm used to the more difficult courses... but I never seem to pull it all together for that round. I figure it'll happen sometime soon. I hope so, anyway.

Good luck!

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Thanks fellas!

I'll keep rotating the three courses that I play.

Dave, golf is so much easier from the Fairway. I'm now only using the driver when needed, which is helping my FIR a lot!

Randall, we sound close! That's a pretty neat website with all of your scores on it. Good luck!

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Finley... I'm curious, is the round you described from the other day pretty typical (a great front 9, and disasters on the back 9)? That seems to be typical for me. I think its mostly due to the ADHD I've struggled with my entire life. I can only focus for so long. I'll shoot anywhere from 38-40 on the front, and then anywhere from 40-50 on the back. If you do typically score better on the front then back... It could be one of a few things: Golf/physical stamina, Focus (my problem), Tougher back 9 on the courses you play. Just something to think about if that's the case.
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Tefunk,

I feel Focus is my problem, as with you. It's all between my ears.

Yesterday after the 39, I dropped 5 shots on 10 and 11. I felt the chance at 79 slip away and I started playing poorly.

The last time I shot a 40, a few weeks ago, on number 10 I lost a perfectly executed tee shot that I could have sworn was sitting beside the 150 yard mark on a par 5. Wind to my back, dog leg right, blasted a high fade that was headed straight for it. Gone. Nowhere to be found. Now I'm on the tee box hitting 3. Blocked my tee shot, ended up with a 7.

When I start the back with a double, I get frustrated and my focus slips. Especially when I follow it with another one or worse.

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If breaking 80 is your only goal then I would stick to one course but if you can shoot 82 at every course you will be a better golfer than shooting a 79 at a course you know in and out. I tend to lose focus or something too. the other day (at the toughest course I play) I should 3 over on the tougher front and then 10 over on the back. It all started with a double on the easiest hole on the course. mental error. PLAY SMART!!!!

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Originally Posted by Jimdangles

If breaking 80 is your only goal then I would stick to one course but if you can shoot 82 at every course you will be a better golfer than shooting a 79 at a course you know in and out. I tend to lose focus or something too. the other day (at the toughest course I play) I should 3 over on the tougher front and then 10 over on the back. It all started with a double on the easiest hole on the course. mental error. PLAY SMART!!!!

Yea, I feel the same here... but as someone with ADHD, as well.  I think keeping a randomizing of your course can help with the focus while leaving a little bit up to fate :-)

If you keep play the same 3 course in order that my cause a bit of "normality" to the your game which may cause some loss in focus.  I live on the east coast and luckily live in an area with a TON of course per square mile, so I have a little spin wheel I made with my dad.... spin the wheel on Monday, book the course, and play on Saturday/Sunday.  It keeps my brain, at least I think it does, from feeling like it's in a dull drum routine.

The only routine I have in my life right now....is my pre-shot routine.  Which is still not perfected, but I will be doing my best to get something I can repeat when I'm behind the ball; that may also help with your focus.

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I have a few things that I do that do help with focus a little (but its 50/50). Eat sunflower seeds, smoke a cigar, have a drink or two (but not get drunk), put a little money on the line ($1 skins or something). Anyone else have something they do which helps on the focus a little?
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another thing I can add is don't get fixated on that 80 number. also if you have a bad hole don't try to make it up in one hole just move on. I cant tell you how many times I have shot a 42-43 front nine and backed it up with a 36 -37 to break 80.

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Yah, some days I might have an early blow up hole or two, but then magically string together pars and a birdie... suddenly the score looks better than a normal round and 80 is actuslly in sight. Gotta just play shot by shot and hope it adds up nicely. Never count yourself out.
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A good mental tip I read last night in an old Rotella book.

He said something along these lines:

Find two things at the beginning of a round: your swing and your attitude.  Find a good attitude and don't let it change.  You wouldn't change your swing from shot to shot, so why change your attitude from shot to shot?

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Jim, breaking 80 is my goal for now. Once I accomplish it, i'll make a new goal. Before 80 it was 90. That one seemed to happen easier

Same attitude for all 18 holes. Alright, headed to the course.

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Originally Posted by Finley

Jim, breaking 80 is my goal for now. Once I accomplish it, i'll make a new goal. Before 80 it was 90. That one seemed to happen easier

Same attitude for all 18 holes. Alright, headed to the course.

Best of luck to Finley, I'm on the same goal and am going out today to the course.. Hey, let's both get it done....

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This is my ultimate goal I really believe in going to be a 70's golfer. Got 86 this week and was 1 over for the three par 5's and 6 over for the four par 3's and 8 over for the par 4's so the toughest parts of the course I played really well and the easiest holes I played badly. One of the par 3's I caught out of the toe of my 7 iron and lost a few yards ended up in the bunker got a bogey. The other missed the green chipped on 2 putted bogey. The other 2 one I striped a 4 iron and stubbed my chip,misread the putt and ended up 3 putting double bogey. The other wrong club choice bunker got out but had to chip from the top of the bunker and then 2 putted because I messed up the chip. Double again. Had I played those well 80 isn't far off. Did Ben Hogan say once that any reasonably coordinated person should score 80 in golf?
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