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Jaymancds

6i and below

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Hi all,

I went out yesterday to my local course which I typically get about 50-55 on the front nine holes.  This is typically using all of my clubs.  Well after warming up at the range I just wasn't feeling my larger clubs (4h, 3w, driver). I decided on the first tee that I would play this round with nothing bigger than my 6i, which is the longest club I can hit with my eyes closed.  I hit more fairways than I ever have in one round, more GIR than before, and overall better lies for my shots.  I was able to go 6i-6i-wedge to most of the greens on my local course.

Long story short, I had my best round ever shooting a 45 on a par 35, and I never pulled the driver out of the bag.  My question is, could this be a sustainable way to get to low scores just by hitting more fairways and better lies?  I am a 6' 3" 230lb. high school junior, and I have never been able to hit my driver consistently.  If this is a better way to lower my scores, would it be reasonable to take my larger clubs out of the bag and replace them with more wedges? I like my iron play as it is pretty consistent, but something goes wrong in between me and my driver.  Could I be on my way to close to scratch golf just with more work on my putting and short game? Thanks

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You will reach a point of diminishing returns. Sure you will minimize mistakes and shoot lower scores but it will come to a point where you won't be able to shoot any lower. I however don't mind what your doing, just slowly start building confidence with your longer clubs. I suggest you work on incorporating that 4H next into your game plan, then the 3W, then finally the driver. If it gets to a point where you just can't hit your driver there is no problem using a trusty wood. I would suggest even trying to pick up a 5 wood as an in between the hybrid and driver. 

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13 minutes ago, Jaymancds said:

Hi all,

I went out yesterday to my local course which I typically get about 50-55 on the front nine holes.  This is typically using all of my clubs.  Well after warming up at the range I just wasn't feeling my larger clubs (4h, 3w, driver). I decided on the first tee that I would play this round with nothing bigger than my 6i, which is the longest club I can hit with my eyes closed.  I hit more fairways than I ever have in one round, more GIR than before, and overall better lies for my shots.  I was able to go 6i-6i-wedge to most of the greens on my local course.

Long story short, I had my best round ever shooting a 45 on a par 35, and I never pulled the driver out of the bag.  My question is, could this be a sustainable way to get to low scores just by hitting more fairways and better lies?  I am a 6' 3" 230lb. high school junior, and I have never been able to hit my driver consistently.  If this is a better way to lower my scores, would it be reasonable to take my larger clubs out of the bag and replace them with more wedges? I like my iron play as it is pretty consistent, but something goes wrong in between me and my driver.  Could I be on my way to close to scratch golf just with more work on my putting and short game? Thanks

If you work with a 3 wood and master hitting fairways with it, then you will get even better lies and lower scores. Then after that you can slowly work on hitting the fairways with a driver. Like you, I once only used irons, and then I worked on a 5 wood and 3 wood until I gained confidence with them, then finally I worked on with a driver working on a correct stance and swing plane and now I use a full bag of clubs.

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2 hours ago, Mugs050 said:

You will reach a point of diminishing returns. Sure you will minimize mistakes and shoot lower scores but it will come to a point where you won't be able to shoot any lower. I however don't mind what your doing, just slowly start building confidence with your longer clubs. I suggest you work on incorporating that 4H next into your game plan, then the 3W, then finally the driver. If it gets to a point where you just can't hit your driver there is no problem using a trusty wood. I would suggest even trying to pick up a 5 wood as an in between the hybrid and driver. 

So I just need to keep playing with lower clubs until I stop getting lower and lower scores?  Then I would slowly work into the larger clubs up to the driver?

1 hour ago, 9wood said:

If you work with a 3 wood and master hitting fairways with it, then you will get even better lies and lower scores. Then after that you can slowly work on hitting the fairways with a driver. Like you, I once only used irons, and then I worked on a 5 wood and 3 wood until I gained confidence with them, then finally I worked on with a driver working on a correct stance and swing plane and now I use a full bag of clubs.

Alright. So work on a single longer club until it is consistent and then move up?

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My main course I play is relatively short, right around 6,500 from the tips. I usually would keep my driver and 3w in the bag for the majority of holes to lower my scored and to cancel out those blow up holes. Even though this course is tight, I found that there are certain hole that I need to take out driver on in order to score to my potential.

I'm not saying that you should go out and hit driver or 3w on every hole, but now that you've found that you can score well hitting irons from the box, I think you should try integrating that into your game. Keep working on your driver, 3w and hybrid swings for those holes you need to be aggressive on, but keep hitting those iron shots on those shorter holes that give you trouble.

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2 hours ago, Jaymancds said:

I decided on the first tee that I would play this round with nothing bigger than my 6i, which is the longest club I can hit with my eyes closed.  I hit more fairways than I ever have in one round, more GIR than before, and overall better lies for my shots.  I was able to go 6i-6i-wedge to most of the greens on my local course.

Long story short, I had my best round ever shooting a 45 on a par 35, and I never pulled the driver out of the bag.  My question is, could this be a sustainable way to get to low scores just by hitting more fairways and better lies?

Could I be on my way to close to scratch golf just with more work on my putting and short game?

To lower your scores you will need more distance. Guessing you hit your 6i around 175 yards? If this is the case, 40-45 is about the best you'll likely get with a 175-190 yard tee shot. The longer the better off the tee.

Handicap-vs-average-driver-club-speed.pn

For reference 175 yards carry with a 6i is about 91mph, and that's giving you roughly the same ball speed (less because of added spin) as a driver going 90mph?

 

It's a good thing to do, BTW. As you feel more comfortable with your 6i you can move up to your 5i then 4i, hybrid, etc.

Scratch golf is not even on the horizon unless you have exceptional talent.

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22 minutes ago, Lihu said:

To lower your scores you will need more distance. Guessing you hit your 6i around 175 yards? If this is the case, 40-45 is about the best you'll likely get with a 175-190 yard tee shot. The longer the better off the tee.

Qualify this.... Longer is better as long as you can usually keep the ball in play.  His current driver is so erratic that longer is not better for him at the moment.  I like the idea of working his way up to driver.  It may not take all that long, since he doesn't really have to take every step along the way.  Just get the 3W figured out, then step up to driver.  That or take a lesson from someone who can straighten out his fundamentals  with the driver.  Sometimes there is no way to avoid getting some professional help.

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12 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

Qualify this.... Longer is better as long as you can usually keep the ball in play.  His current driver is so erratic that longer is not better for him at the moment.  I like the idea of working his way up to driver.  It may not take all that long, since he doesn't really have to take every step along the way.  Just get the 3W figured out, then step up to driver.  That or take a lesson from someone who can straighten out his fundamentals  with the driver.  Sometimes there is no way to avoid getting some professional help.

We don't really know if he is hitting long but wild with driver? For all we know he could be duffing half his shots? He could be hitting duck hooks into trees and slices OB, which kind of shortens the effective distance of his driver?

The only thing we really know is that he is not comfortable with the driver, and sometimes not comfortable with 3W and hybrid too.

 

3 hours ago, Jaymancds said:

Hi all,

I went out yesterday to my local course which I typically get about 50-55 on the front nine holes.  This is typically using all of my clubs.  Well after warming up at the range I just wasn't feeling my larger clubs (4h, 3w, driver). I decided on the first tee that I would play this round with nothing bigger than my 6i, which is the longest club I can hit with my eyes closed.  I hit more fairways than I ever have in one round, more GIR than before, and overall better lies for my shots.  I was able to go 6i-6i-wedge to most of the greens on my local course.

Long story short, I had my best round ever shooting a 45 on a par 35, and I never pulled the driver out of the bag.  My question is, could this be a sustainable way to get to low scores just by hitting more fairways and better lies?  I am a 6' 3" 230lb. high school junior, and I have never been able to hit my driver consistently.  If this is a better way to lower my scores, would it be reasonable to take my larger clubs out of the bag and replace them with more wedges? I like my iron play as it is pretty consistent, but something goes wrong in between me and my driver.  Could I be on my way to close to scratch golf just with more work on my putting and short game? Thanks

The main thing is he will eventually need to be able to get a lot more distance off the tee especially if he aspires to shoot scratch. So, I don't recommend he get more wedges to replace the woods and hybrid as he seems to be indicating. . .

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12 minutes ago, Lihu said:

We don't really know if he is hitting long but wild with driver? For all we know he could be duffing half his shots? He could be hitting duck hooks into trees and slices OB, which kind of shortens the effective distance of his driver?

The only thing we really know is that he is not comfortable with the driver, and sometimes not comfortable with 3W and hybrid too.

 

The main thing is he needs to be able to get a lot more distance off the tee especially if he aspires to shoot scratch.

Honestly, I ignored his comment about scratch.  That's putting the cart so far before the horse that the horse's sire and dam haven't even been conceived yet.  The best he's ever done won't even get him an 18 handicap, so he has a long way to go before he talks about scratch.  

I've known guys who drove the ball consistently and never got lower than 10 handicap.  I was even one of them at one time.  I still drive the ball okay for an old fart, certainly better than his 6 iron, but I'm not talking scratch.  I'd just like to break 80 again in my life, just once.  I was closer to my old self for this week with an 85, 88 and 86 on three consecutive rounds, but right now my only goal is to keep creeping up on 80.  

I am a believer in setting achievable goals, and then setting higher goals once you've reached the current one.  Small steps, not quantum leaps is how most progress in golf is measured.

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Check out this article by golf digest...Its about the real measure of driving accuracy and talks about how to score each tee shot and how much it hurts your overall score. For instance in the OP case he would according to this way of scoring have a lot of 2 pointers off the tee. Meaning he would be in the fairway/light rough but would not be able to reach the green in two. So this would help you better understand how by shorting yourself off the tee your really hurting your overall scoring potential. 

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/sanders_gd0809

My suggestion would be to start trying to incorporate the the longer clubs off the tee into your game. Your next step would be that 4H that club should yield some 20 yards longer then your 6 iron. Start your round off using that club and when/if you go crooked then lean back on the trusty 6i. Repeat this process with range practice until you can move up to the next level. Then when your at the next level let's say your 3W do the same until you have to lean on your 4H, then if that falters back to old trusty 6i. Eventually you should be able to start hitting driving and working your way down if you have too. 

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3 hours ago, Jaymancds said:

Hi all,

I went out yesterday to my local course which I typically get about 50-55 on the front nine holes.  This is typically using all of my clubs.  Well after warming up at the range I just wasn't feeling my larger clubs (4h, 3w, driver). I decided on the first tee that I would play this round with nothing bigger than my 6i, which is the longest club I can hit with my eyes closed.  I hit more fairways than I ever have in one round, more GIR than before, and overall better lies for my shots.  I was able to go 6i-6i-wedge to most of the greens on my local course.

Long story short, I had my best round ever shooting a 45 on a par 35, and I never pulled the driver out of the bag.  My question is, could this be a sustainable way to get to low scores just by hitting more fairways and better lies?  I am a 6' 3" 230lb. high school junior, and I have never been able to hit my driver consistently.  If this is a better way to lower my scores, would it be reasonable to take my larger clubs out of the bag and replace them with more wedges? I like my iron play as it is pretty consistent, but something goes wrong in between me and my driver.  Could I be on my way to close to scratch golf just with more work on my putting and short game? Thanks

Since you are struggling with your long clubs, I'd leave them in the bag when you play.... for now. This does not mean you shouldn't practice with them.

You just learned how to break 100. Now you need to take some lessons. If you want to play at the scratch level it will take a lot of practice time and lessons. You need to learn how to hit your driver. And you need to learn how to hit your fairway woods.

1) A scratch golfer should be able to reach a 471 par 5 hole in two shots: with at least a 250 yd drive and a 225 yd FW.
2) At your height you should be able to crush the ball with your driver. You need to take a few lessons with it. You need to practice with it and learn how to control it otherwise you won't be able to play scratch.

Drivers are hard. They're the longest club in the bag. The impact is up instead of down or level. A qualified PGA teaching professional can help you.

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2 hours ago, Jaymancds said:

Could I be on my way to close to scratch golf just with more work on my putting and short game? Thanks

Don't neglect anything, but the main ingredient for lower scores are greens in regulation. Prioritize your swing, and eventually the scores will drop. 

The short game gets easier too when you're not missing greens by 20+ yards.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

To lower your scores you will need more distance.

As @Fourputt already pointed out to you ... be careful with your wording and blanket statements.  This is extremely inaccurate.

All else being equal, certainly more distance means lower scores, but just about everybody (especially 16 year old relative beginners) can lower their scores in other ways.

3 hours ago, Jaymancds said:

Long story short, I had my best round ever shooting a 45 on a par 35, and I never pulled the driver out of the bag.  My question is, could this be a sustainable way to get to low scores just by hitting more fairways and better lies?

If your goal is to turn a ~30 handicap into a ~15-20 handicap, then yes, I imagine you could play this way forever and be fine.  This is probably all you need to do.  But based on the rest of your post, I don't think that is your goal.

3 hours ago, Jaymancds said:

Could I be on my way to close to scratch golf just with more work on my putting and short game? Thanks

To be that good, you'll need to get a handle on your longer clubs.  The putting and short game is relatively easy.  I'd suggest you get lessons if you can and keep working on your longer clubs.  If you want to leave them inthe bag during rounds and play with your 6 iron as your longest club for now, that's probably fine.  But don't give up on them, or else you'll be giving yourself a low ceiling.

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1 hour ago, Fourputt said:

Qualify this.... Longer is better as long as you can usually keep the ball in play.  His current driver is so erratic that longer is not better for him at the moment.  I like the idea of working his way up to driver.  It may not take all that long, since he doesn't really have to take every step along the way.  Just get the 3W figured out, then step up to driver.  That or take a lesson from someone who can straighten out his fundamentals  with the driver.  Sometimes there is no way to avoid getting some professional help.

Ah, I get what you are stating, now. Yes. Distance needs to be qualified with playable.

 

17 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

As @Fourputt already pointed out to you ... be careful with your wording and blanket statements.  This is extremely inaccurate.

All else being equal, certainly more distance means lower scores, but just about everybody (especially 16 year old relative beginners) can lower their scores in other ways.

If your goal is to turn a ~30 handicap into a ~15-20 handicap, then yes, I imagine you could play this way forever and be fine.  This is probably all you need to do.  But based on the rest of your post, I don't think that is your goal.

To be that good, you'll need to get a handle on your longer clubs.  The putting and short game is relatively easy.  I'd suggest you get lessons if you can and keep working on your longer clubs.  If you want to leave them inthe bag during rounds and play with your 6 iron as your longest club for now, that's probably fine.  But don't give up on them, or else you'll be giving yourself a low ceiling.

This post is exactly what I intended to state, I just seem to have trouble writing what I mean. :-P

Thanks.

 

36 minutes ago, Mugs050 said:

Check out this article by golf digest...Its about the real measure of driving accuracy and talks about how to score each tee shot and how much it hurts your overall score. For instance in the OP case he would according to this way of scoring have a lot of 2 pointers off the tee. Meaning he would be in the fairway/light rough but would not be able to reach the green in two. So this would help you better understand how by shorting yourself off the tee your really hurting your overall scoring potential. 

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/sanders_gd0809

My suggestion would be to start trying to incorporate the the longer clubs off the tee into your game. Your next step would be that 4H that club should yield some 20 yards longer then your 6 iron. Start your round off using that club and when/if you go crooked then lean back on the trusty 6i. Repeat this process with range practice until you can move up to the next level. Then when your at the next level let's say your 3W do the same until you have to lean on your 4H, then if that falters back to old trusty 6i. Eventually you should be able to start hitting driving and working your way down if you have too. 

Good post.

I wonder if this is already incorporated into Game Golf statistics?

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

 

Handicap-vs-average-driver-club-speed.pn

 

According to this chart I should be playing to a PLUS handicap... (right around 106/107 mph avergage and therefore +1 handicap)

Either the rest of my game is AWFUL or this chart makes huge assumptions.

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8 minutes ago, pumaAttack said:

According to this chart I should be playing to a PLUS handicap... (right around 106/107 mph avergage and therefore +1 handicap)

Either the rest of my game is AWFUL or this chart makes huge assumptions.

The chart is more for potential, so if you had a 98mph swing speed your chances of getting to scratch are pretty low whereas your chances with a 106.5 swing are much higher.

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The guys I know playing around scratch are good ball strikers but not really bombers. They score well because dang near every shot does the same thing.

I did what the OP did when I started in 2012 except I backed it down to a 4i until I could better control a fairway. I played a year before I used a driver and by then I was a 12 handicap. Even now I don't hit a bunch of driver. But on holes where I need to the length I chance it my drive won't be horrible.

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My 2 cents (as someone who also struggles with the driver), keep practicing with it and selectively pick your spots to use it during any given round until you're comfortable.  For example, there are a few holes at my home course that are longer and more wide open and, in those instances, I will opt for the driver even if I know a 3W or 3H may be the safer play.  The choice for me is partly the extra distance but also I feel as though I need to push myself to put the driver in play in a real situation if the risk/reward isn't too out of balance.  I figure hitting it well at the range means nothing if I've conditioned myself to avoid using it on the course.  That said, if it's a tighter hole, I have no issue going with the easier club to hit.  In fact, my home course has many under 350 yard par 4's and, up until this year, I would always opt for a 3W.  Lately, however, I've chosen to go at them with my 3H instead and found my scoring has improved dramatically as a result so, by all means, go with the longest club you feel comfortable with but don't be afraid to take the big dog out every now and again even if it's not your strongest club...yet!!!

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Note: This thread is 1679 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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