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Playing with a Scratch Golfer - thoughts?

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Im playing with a buddy of mine who is a scratch player this weekend (never played with him before)...Just wondering if any of you have played or often play with a scratch player? Do you enjoy it? Do you learn from it? Beneficial? Or does it make you miserable to watch how good they are ? lol...What are your thoughts?

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I think it is tougher for a scratch golfer to play with a high-handicap than the other way around. The reasoning being, scratch golfers are use to a faster pace of their own play because they hit less shots. This isn't the case for a high handicapper because he is stuck hitting more shots, so he has less time actually just waiting to hit a shot. I've played with some high handicappers were it would be 2-3 shots for every shot I take. That can seriously throw a better player off their game.

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makes total sense...

I feel like high handicappers though, can learn a lot just from playing a round with a scratch...not necessarily pestering them with questions but just observing etc. I understand it may not be an "ideal" situation for a scratch to play w a high handicapper though, wonder what would make it worth while? maybe a free round lol...seriously though, what would make a scratch golfer more open to playing with a high handicap?

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I wouldn't worry about it.

I have played with scratch golfers and even one "+" handicapped golfer.

I find that it really depends on the individual's personality.

If they are temperament as a person then it is likely this will be reflected on the golf course.

The "+" handicapper that I played with used to be a golf pro but then he couldn't make enough money at it so went into the insurance business and he was very successful at it.

He joined us at the white tees and really went out of his way to make sure we were all having fun. I think because of his sales background (selling life insurance) he has played with a LOT of high handicappers and he is used to playing with them.

In that round it was actually the 4 handicapper that was a real grump because he was playing more like a 14 handicapper.

It wasn't till after the round that I realized he shot 2 under par. You really couldn't tell how good he was playing on the course. I mean I knew he did not get into any trouble but he wasn't a particularly long hitter and he just went about his business very quietly. Over beers he did confess that he really wanted to break 70 cause he hadn't done that on this course for many years.

He went out of his way to help us look for balls and it wasn't till the last four or five holes when he had a pretty good read on us that he offered up some much appreciated hints to me.

Off topic but he and I happened to both use the same irons (Ping G25's). I asked him why he was using a non players set of irons and he said it was because he doesn't have enough time to practice and they were very forgiving.

It was the 4 handicapper that was trying to crush the ball and was mad when the ball didn't spin back on the greens. The "+" guy just drove every ball in the fairway and hit most of his second shots on the green. When he did miss the green he always managed a up and down.

If you buddy is a good guy off the course it is very likely that he will be a great guy on the course and he will ensure that you will have fun.

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I wouldn't worry about it.

I have played with scratch golfers and even one "+" handicapped golfer.

I find that it really depends on the individual's personality.

If they are temperament as a person then it is likely this will be reflected on the golf course.

The "+" handicapper that I played with used to be a golf pro but then he couldn't make enough money at it so went into the insurance business and he was very successful at it.

He was a very personable person off the course and it was reflected on the course also. He always kept things very light and in that round it was actually the 4 handicapper that was a real grump because he was playing more like a 14 handicapper.

It wasn't till after the round that I realized he shot 3 under par. You really couldn't tell how good he was playing on the course. I mean I knew he did not get into any trouble but he wasn't a particularly long hitter and he just went about his business very quietly.

It was the 4 handicapper that was trying to crush the ball and was mad when the ball didn't spin back on the greens. The "+" guy just drove every ball in the fairway and hit most of his second shots on the green. When he did miss the green he always managed a up and down.

If you buddy is a good guy off the course it is very likely that he will be a great guy on the course and he will ensure that you will have fun.

for sure! I think I may have worded my question improperly...I am personally not worried about playing with my friend...my question was more about asking everyones opinion on how they feel playing with a scratch? does it help/hurt you? something you would like to do often if you could ? etc.

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Depends, it helped me, but then the guy I played golf with was very helpful and wasn't in a hurry to get the round done with. Just enjoy yourself..

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IMHO - handicap has zero to do with it, unless they think they need to 'fix' everyone else.  then it's good or bad depending on you.

But, I find that jerks, tend to be jerks.  Nice guys tend to be decent.  Fun people tend to be fun.  temperatmental types tend toward that.

It's not rocket science.

don't worry about the other guy's game, play with people you enjoy as people

as another mentioned above - the best players I've been out with (one dumb exception) acted like the people they were, and their score was stealthy, boring golf - didn't know they scored so well until we finished.

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I always prefer to play with people better than I am. It's hard to improve if you're playing with people equal to, or worse than you are....

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There's nothing better than playing with, or being, a scratch golfer. You can learn a lot from playing with him, and you should always take up the chance to play with other people.

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You'll get a lot of advice, but here's one that you might not get.

Be a little (or a lot) more hesitant to say "good shot" than you normally would. Sometimes poorer players will say "good shot" when I thin a wedge that hits into a tier and happens to grab and wind up close, but it was a lucky shot, not a good shot. I've learned to not let it bug me, but it used to, and I know some good players who get quite irked by that kind of stuff.

Look at his reaction and if he seems pleased, offer up a nice quiet "shot" (usually people don't say "good" at the better player level :D). Don't go over the top, just a restrained "shot" will be good.

Aside from that, just play golf. You'll be fine.

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I've pretty much always played with groups that had at least one or more players around scratch. Most enjoyable for everybody was always to play match play for a dollar a hole. That way I could compete with those guys on my good holes and pick the ball up on the impending disasters so everybody didn't have to stand around and watch me try to make a quadruple bogie.

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You'll get a lot of advice, but here's one that you might not get.

Be a little (or a lot) more hesitant to say "good shot" than you normally would. Sometimes poorer players will say "good shot" when I thin a wedge that hits into a tier and happens to grab and wind up close, but it was a lucky shot, not a good shot. I've learned to not let it bug me, but it used to, and I know some good players who get quite irked by that kind of stuff.

Look at his reaction and if he seems pleased, offer up a nice quiet "shot" (usually people don't say "good" at the better player level :D). Don't go over the top, just a restrained "shot" will be good.

Aside from that, just play golf. You'll be fine.

So no chest bumps? Ha Ha Ha!

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You'll get a lot of advice, but here's one that you might not get.

Be a little (or a lot) more hesitant to say "good shot" than you normally would. Sometimes poorer players will say "good shot" when I thin a wedge that hits into a tier and happens to grab and wind up close, but it was a lucky shot, not a good shot. I've learned to not let it bug me, but it used to, and I know some good players who get quite irked by that kind of stuff.

Look at his reaction and if he seems pleased, offer up a nice quiet "shot" (usually people don't say "good" at the better player level :D). Don't go over the top, just a restrained "shot" will be good.

Aside from that, just play golf. You'll be fine.

I never understood this. I had people say "great shot!" or "that's all over it" right as the ball took off, only to have the ball land in the bunker or lake. I realize they were just trying to be friendly, hell I would have even said the same thing if I thought it took off good. People seem to overreact (online at least) about misinterpreting the shot. I don't think I've ever met somebody say nice shot while the ball was flying and they didn't mean it. If they don't mean it, they're likely to say it after it lands.. y'know, to rub it in your face. But after contact it's all in good spirit.

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I never understood this. I had people say "great shot!" or "that's all over it" right as the ball took off, only to have the ball land in the bunker or lake. I realize they were just trying to be friendly, hell I would have even said the same thing if I thought it took off good. People seem to overreact (online at least) about misinterpreting the shot. I don't think I've ever met somebody say nice shot while the ball was flying and they didn't mean it. If they don't mean it, they're likely to say it after it lands.. y'know, to rub it in your face. But after contact it's all in good spirit.


It's not that they don't mean it, or mean well, or even that it rises to the level of bad etiquette. It's just that it's slightly irritating when we aren't particularly happy with the way we hit the ball and would just prefer to not hear "good shot" at that time.

Not a huge deal but just a little insider information on how to act.

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It's not that they don't mean it, or mean well, or even that it rises to the level of bad etiquette. It's just that it's slightly irritating when we aren't particularly happy with the way we hit the ball and would just prefer to not hear "good shot" at that time.

Not a huge deal but just a little insider information on how to act.

I've never commented on people shots, but people have mine and I think it's fine whether it was a good or bad shot. If it's "irritating" you should practice more, not get mad at the guy who just is trying to be friendly.

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You'll get a lot of advice, but here's one that you might not get.

Be a little (or a lot) more hesitant to say "good shot" than you normally would. Sometimes poorer players will say "good shot" when I thin a wedge that hits into a tier and happens to grab and wind up close, but it was a lucky shot, not a good shot. I've learned to not let it bug me, but it used to, and I know some good players who get quite irked by that kind of stuff.

Look at his reaction and if he seems pleased, offer up a nice quiet "shot" (usually people don't say "good" at the better player level :D). Don't go over the top, just a restrained "shot" will be good.

Aside from that, just play golf. You'll be fine.

Worst is when people say "good putt" and it lips out or just misses. Yeah good advice on just saying "shot".  Like Erik said, don't overdo it, even if you are really impressed with his game.

Also if you're feeling self conscious about your own game, don't worry about it, he probably isn't paying that much attention to you.  That's not a knock on you, just people in general tend to be more concerned with themselves :-)

I never understood this. I had people say "great shot!" or "that's all over it" right as the ball took off, only to have the ball land in the bunker or lake. I realize they were just trying to be friendly, hell I would have even said the same thing if I thought it took off good. People seem to overreact (online at least) about misinterpreting the shot. I don't think I've ever met somebody say nice shot while the ball was flying and they didn't mean it. If they don't mean it, they're likely to say it after it lands.. y'know, to rub it in your face. But after contact it's all in good spirit.

It happens.  It's all relative, we have people on here that are 18 handicaps that think they are good ballstrikers. Obviously the definition of "ballstriker" is much different to them than most golfers, so a "good shot" also has a different definition.  When I play with good golfers that I know well I'll sometimes say "good miss" if it's a slightly thin or fat strike that turns out well.

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I think it is tougher for a scratch golfer to play with a high-handicap than the other way around. The reasoning being, scratch golfers are use to a faster pace of their own play because they hit less shots. This isn't the case for a high handicapper because he is stuck hitting more shots, so he has less time actually just waiting to hit a shot. I've played with some high handicappers were it would be 2-3 shots for every shot I take. That can seriously throw a better player off their game.

This could be true, but also opposite can be true. Some scratch players do take their (and others) time when preparing for a shot or a putt. Total time could be same but it is sometimes very frustrating for also the high HC to watch someones "pro" routines... They can be good, but not that good.

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Im playing with a buddy of mine who is a scratch player this weekend (never played with him before)...Just wondering if any of you have played or often play with a scratch player? Do you enjoy it? Do you learn from it? Beneficial? Or does it make you miserable to watch how good they are ? lol...What are your thoughts?


I play alongside scratch and even + indexes every week, I realize your quite a bit higher index than me but just keep the pace up and like you said observe because you will pick up some handy etiquette habits likely. And just enjoy watching some good golf I hope sometimes scratch players have blow up round in the 80's from time to time so lets hope that isn't the case. Guy last Friday shot 66 in my group 73.7 rate 137 slope 7 birdies one bogey, the thing that really gets noticed when someone goes that low is they are making lots of putts.

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