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What handicap to feel comfortable playing ANY course?

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Do you think there is a minimum handicap a player should have before feeling comfortable playing at any course?

As a high handicapper, I often feel intimidated about playing an unknown course, especially if I'm travelling. I'm afraid of being paired up with better golfers and playing poorly, making the game uncomfortable for them, and generally embarrassing myself. I try to keep the pace up, but overall, it can really be an uncomfortable situation.

Do you think there's a level of play that's generally considered "OK" for playing an any course?

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There is no set handicap.

But if you are that worried about being *embarrassed* playing with strangers, maybe you should hold off.

Truth be told, nobody of any skill level cares about how good / bad you are - they care about your etiquette, how fast you play and overall enjoyment of a round with you,

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As long as you can keep a) up with the pace b) your temper, then I wouldn't worry about it. That's all that really matters to the vast majority of people you'll might get paired with.

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I think those are 2 different questions. If you choose the right set of tees for your skill level, you should feel comfortable playing almost any course.....you'll still want to avoid the Bethpage Blacks of this world, but there just aren't that many of those. As to when you're no longer intimidated no matter who you're paired with, I'm going to say that for most players, it probably comes somewhere around the time that they're consistently in the 80's. I agree though as long as you can MOVE and keep up, you should feel comfortable playing with just about anyone. Good players don't care if you're not as good as they are, but most of them do care if they're waiting on you.....

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I'm a high handicapper and whenever I'm playing with people I don't know, I tell them I suck. It doesn't impact me mentally, I just want the people I'm playing with to know what they should expect. As for courses I've never played before, I never get intimated. I look at it as a new experience and have fun with it.

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I thought we only shoot our index about 18%  of the time or maybe it's more, anyways I established at a fairly challenging course forward tees are 130 slope less than 6000 and tips 142 slope 7000, therefore I'm comfortable at just about anywhere I play I think I shouldn't embarrass myself.

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Do you think there is a minimum handicap a player should have before feeling comfortable playing at any course?

As a high handicapper, I often feel intimidated about playing an unknown course, especially if I'm travelling. I'm afraid of being paired up with better golfers and playing poorly, making the game uncomfortable for them, and generally embarrassing myself. I try to keep the pace up, but overall, it can really be an uncomfortable situation.

Do you think there's a level of play that's generally considered "OK" for playing an any course?

Depends upon how many balls you feel you can lose ;-)

I played some pretty hard courses and don't warrant a low enough handicap to play them. Played the tips at Hidden Valley in Norco CA, and lost 2 sleeves in the process. Played Oak Quarry in Riverside and lost 1 and 2/3 sleeves. Enjoyed them.

Now that I have a reasonable long game, I could lose a sleeve or less playing the same conditions.

Don't even worry about it and play from the easiest tees you feel comfortable. Keep the pace up, and enjoy ! :-)

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No moaning, please on the golf course. When over your head in the swamp just keep each shot in mind and don't cry because no one cares.  If they are hearing you cry, or complain, you won't be invited back.

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With rare exception all about what tees you choose. I play a variety of courses and if I see someone struggling it's usually because they are playing too far back. It's more than lack of distance. The pressure that comes with trying to kill it has a way of getting into your head and everything unravels from there, consistency suffers. Your duffed tee shot will lead to a difficult 2nd shot and so on. Even your putting will suffer because you'll be desperate to save lost strokes on the greens. Confidence comes with being comfortable and it starts with not making golf harder than it should be given your current skill.

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I think those are 2 different questions. If you choose the right set of tees for your skill level, you should feel comfortable playing almost any course.....you'll still want to avoid the Bethpage Blacks of this world, but there just aren't that many of those. As to when you're no longer intimidated no matter who you're paired with, I'm going to say that for most players, it probably comes somewhere around the time that they're consistently in the 80's. I agree though as long as you can MOVE and keep up, you should feel comfortable playing with just about anyone. Good players don't care if you're not as good as they are, but most of them do care if they're waiting on you.....

Not much I can add to this-sums it up pretty well in my estimation. I am not quite mid-eighties, but close and I would tee it up anywhere--using the proper tees of course. On a strange course, I will generally use the driver less, pulling a club I am fairly confident of keeping in (and reaching in some cases) the fairway. A lot of times I will play more conservatively on a strange or difficult course and wind up shooting my handicap or better. Hmmm, is there something I should learn from that?

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Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the perspective of more experienced players.

I am not too bad at keeping up, and I certainly don't whine. But, it can be hard to keep up when you need 2-3 more strokes than your playing partners on a hole.

I usually have a couple of blow up holes per round, and often just pick up the ball and move on.

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I'm a high handicapper and whenever I'm playing with people I don't know, I tell them I suck.

I recommend against doing this because it serves no purpose.  It's pretty easy to recognize a high HC player before the first ball is in the air, so why throw it out there?   Nobody cares if you are good or not so why say it?   All they care about is if you will hold them up or not.......

When a golfer goes out of his/her way to tell me they SUKK, I cringe a little and it causes dread. WHY?...when somebody tells me this, they are telling me they are slow and can't keep up.  Right or wrong....this is exactly how I interpret this message!!  Is this the message you want to give?

If you insist to proclaim your badness on the first tee, be sure to include the fact that you do it briskly with a smile........and you will be instantly welcomed.

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[QUOTE name="RFKFREAK" url="/t/71224/what-handicap-to-feel-comfortable-playing-any-course#post_923178"] I'm a high handicapper and whenever I'm playing with people I don't know, I tell them I suck.[/QUOTE] I recommend against doing this because it serves no purpose.  It's pretty easy to recognize a high HC player before the first ball is in the air, so why throw it out there?   Nobody cares if you are good or not so why say it?   All they care about is if you will hold them up or not....... When a golfer goes out of his/her way to tell me they SUKK, I cringe a little and it causes dread. WHY?...when somebody tells me this, they are telling me they are slow and can't keep up.  Right or wrong....this is exactly how I interpret this message!!  Is this the message you want to give?   If you insist to proclaim your badness on the first tee, be sure to include the fact that you do it briskly with a smile........and you will be instantly welcomed.

I probably should have qualified it with saying I do it with a smile on my face and a laugh. I never thought of people taking it with respect to slow play and when I say it I mean that they shouldn't expect to find me hitting every ball on the fairway or hitting many GIR. I figure by the end of the first or second hole they'll realize what I mean by sucking and if they think it means slow play then they'll realize that's not what I meant.

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I probably should have qualified it with saying I do it with a smile on my face and a laugh.

I never thought of people taking it with respect to slow play and when I say it I mean that they shouldn't expect to find me hitting every ball on the fairway or hitting many GIR.

I figure by the end of the first or second hole they'll realize what I mean by sucking and if they think it means slow play then they'll realize that's not what I meant.

I know you are just trying to break the ice and make yourself feel comfortable, but it sends the wrong message.  Just do your golf thang and don't be apologetic. Just have fun!   If you know you can keep up, you have no reason to say anything on the first tee.   Proudly act like you belong there on the tee........

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[QUOTE name="RFKFREAK" url="/t/71224/what-handicap-to-feel-comfortable-playing-any-course#post_924445"] I probably should have qualified it with saying I do it with a smile on my face and a laugh. I never thought of people taking it with respect to slow play and when I say it I mean that they shouldn't expect to find me hitting every ball on the fairway or hitting many GIR. I figure by the end of the first or second hole they'll realize what I mean by sucking and if they think it means slow play then they'll realize that's not what I meant.[/QUOTE] I know you are just trying to break the ice and make yourself feel comfortable, but it sends the wrong message.  Just do your golf thang and don't be apologetic. Just have fun!   If you know you can keep up, you have no reason to say anything on the first tee.   Proudly act like you belong there on the tee........

Break the ice, yes. Make myself comfortable, no, because I'm comfortable already. It's just a way to get a laugh. I haven't had an occasion yet where someone either told me or indirectly let me know they didn't enjoy a round with me. :)

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Break the ice, yes. Make myself comfortable, no, because I'm comfortable already. It's just a way to get a laugh. I haven't had an occasion yet where someone either told me or indirectly let me know they didn't enjoy a round with me. :)

You could also say something like "Don't worry, I won't slow you down."

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[quote name="RFKFREAK" url="/t/71224/what-handicap-to-feel-comfortable-playing-any-course#post_924457"] Break the ice, yes. Make myself comfortable, no, because I'm comfortable already. It's just a way to get a laugh. I haven't had an occasion yet where someone either told me or indirectly let me know they didn't enjoy a round with me. :)

You could also say something like "Don't worry, I won't slow you down."[/quote] Yeah, I'll probably add that to my comment about sucking if I say it again.

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You could also say something like "Don't worry, I won't slow you down."

Exactly.......that would work nicely.

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