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Playing a Round of Golf Solo

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Last year I played about 30 rounds solo but expect that to drop to about 3 - 5 total this year. If I can't post the score I see no reason to wake up at 5:30 so I can get to the course to get 9 in before work. The rounds I do play solo will likely be at the end of the day but they will be far and few between as the courses here are jammed up with leagues. It was easy to play by the rules as my goal was to play 9 holes before work 2 to 3 times a week while there was light. No dilly dallying or practicing. My goal was to play the round and get back to my place to take a shower before work.

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I don't play official rounds by myself but the questions the OP asks are more about how an individual approaches their game and handicap.

Some golfers (vanity cappers) take their handicap very personally and don't like to record bad rounds in fear it will cause their handicap to go up and that will somehow mean they are a lesser golfer.  

Others are indifferent, they record every round regardless of the score and don't worry about the impact of a bad round on their handicap.  

I've become part of the third group, those who believe in the handicap system and understand that handicap is what allows them to compete with other golfers on an even playing field.  I used to be more of a vanity capper, but since I started playing in club events and tournaments I realized that not posting the bad rounds was hurting me in competitions.  

As a result, I post all rounds that I play by the rules of golf, which is 99.9% of the rounds I play.  It does hurt to see the handicap trend up after a few bad rounds but if that was the best I could that day then the uptrend is a reflection of overall ability to score and I shouldn't try to artificially keep it lower for my ego.  

I practice at the practice facility and at the range. I want to be competitive in club events and tournaments, so not playing by the rules, even during practice rounds only works against me.  

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5 hours ago, Dave2512 said:

It's not a strong response. We don't need an RO to follow us for day in day out golf we just play. There are no critical calls we don't teeter on million dollar stroke decisions we have a 10 plus stroke variation in our last 20 rounds. 

Being alone shouldn't change anything this is a basic principal of golf.  Find yourself in a sticky spot with rules? Strict is better than loose. There are no hall passes. 

Sure it was, but my point is that more than one set of eyes helps you follow the rules better.

 

1 hour ago, Dan42nepa said:

I play solo almost every day. I play by the rules. yesterday I flubbed a bump and  run and dropped a 2nd ball and hit a shot but played the first and picked up the 2nd. I think that was the only time i did that. I use my garmin watch to upload my scores and it is painful to upload a high score but i shot it right? Sometimes I will catch up to another group and join them. I find that when I do I go into a different mode. I play more focused and subconsciously want to beat whoever I am with. I like playing alone as I can finish 18 in 2 1/2 hours playing slow.

Like you, it's rare for most people to take that 2 stroke penalty for making that second shot even if not used. You can only practice your chips and putts after holing out. Many people do this, but in a match or stroke play it's instant death.

 

9 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

I don't play official rounds by myself but the questions the OP asks are more about how an individual approaches their game and handicap.

Some golfers (vanity cappers) take their handicap very personally and don't like to record bad rounds in fear it will cause their handicap to go up and that will somehow mean they are a lesser golfer.  

Others are indifferent, they record every round regardless of the score and don't worry about the impact of a bad round on their handicap.  

I've become part of the third group, those who believe in the handicap system and understand that handicap is what allows them to compete with other golfers on an even playing field.  I used to be more of a vanity capper, but since I started playing in club events and tournaments I realized that not posting the bad rounds was hurting me in competitions.  

As a result, I post all rounds that I play by the rules of golf, which is 99.9% of the rounds I play.  It does hurt to see the handicap trend up after a few bad rounds but if that was the best I could that day then the uptrend is a reflection of overall ability to score and I shouldn't try to artificially keep it lower for my ego.  

I practice at the practice facility and at the range. I want to be competitive in club events and tournaments, so not playing by the rules, even during practice rounds only works against me.  

You don't record solo rounds any more because it's against the rules to do so.

BTW, I don't even consider vanity capping cheating. Stupid, but definitely not cheating. :-D

 

11 minutes ago, Grumpter said:

Last year I played about 30 rounds solo but expect that to drop to about 3 - 5 total this year. If I can't post the score I see no reason to wake up at 5:30 so I can get to the course to get 9 in before work. The rounds I do play solo will likely be at the end of the day but they will be far and few between as the courses here are jammed up with leagues. It was easy to play by the rules as my goal was to play 9 holes before work 2 to 3 times a week while there was light. No dilly dallying or practicing. My goal was to play the round and get back to my place to take a shower before work.

Even at that time aren't there other golfers on the course? Pair up and it might cost you 15 minutes at most? People who play that early are usually pretty fast and play ready golf.

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When my home course was nearly empty I would intentionally play a couple of solo practice rounds, especially early in the season.  I recognize that now all solo rounds do not count towards you HCP Index, but they are still a good indicator of how my game is progressing.  I have played only 3 rounds so far this year, none of them solo, but if I do get to play solo I would most likely play most rounds by the Rules of Golf.  The couple of non RoG rounds will occur if I need to practice. 

Last year I played about 1/3 of my HCP rounds solo and did not have a problem playing by the RoG. 

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I have struggled the same as the OP.  But I never carried an Official handicap so maybe thats why.  I haven't played any tournaments. And solo rounds quickly turn into practice rounds.  Its funny though that as I get better it's easier to follow the rules.

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I, at one time, did count solo rounds.  I would play two balls and one by the rule and the other as I pleased.  But then I discovered the "no practice during a stipulate round" rule and so I quit counting solo round several years ago.  For me they are always practice rounds so the rule doesn't affect me.  But like the OP I would probably find it impossible to play a solo round and 100% by the rules.

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Hell. Thinking a bit about it, treating every round as a practice round would probably be better for me anyway. I get too caught up in what my score is and not in how I'm hitting the ball. I should just two-ball it full time anyway and get more out of my round that some stupid score.

I'll save the rules for when I actually play against someone.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

Even at that time aren't there other golfers on the course? Pair up and it might cost you 15 minutes at most? People who play that early are usually pretty fast and play ready golf.

Sometimes there are other golfers but only occasionally a single and that's hit and miss on only adding 15 minutes. With the transit time to and from the course there is not a lot of room for error. Without a guarantee of being able to post the score it's not worth my time, effort and money. In my book the juice is not worth the squeeze anymore.

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I'm still going to play as many rounds as I used to, even though I can't post the scores. I probably should start using these rounds to experiment and practice different shots. It's hard to switch out of the idea of trying to shoot as well as I can though. Every once in a great while I'll luck out and get a twosome to join me if it's slower and they have to wait, but unfortunately I'm not lucky enough to have the experience several people here do of almost always getting joined with other people by the course. I don't mind playing with others. I prefer it normally, to be honest, because it helps me keep from getting frustrated by having others to talk to. Plus it helps me get used to having to slow down and wait which will be very important when I start playing in competitions. It does get a bit frustrating when people act like it's a simple matter to find someone to play with, but I'll just make due with the rare random group that joins me and the rounds I get in with people from here. The only drawback would be the possibility that my official handicap won't be as accurate if my game is trending up or down and I'm unable to post scores, but as it's been pointed out that only matters if I'm competing.

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I don't compete, I don't bet, I don't care.  I loathe betting.  I prefer to play alone, it's peaceful time for me.  But I also enjoy playing with friends and strangers - depends on the mood.

Every round is practice, I'll hit extra shots or not depending on how I feel at the time.  If I'm with people, I still play that way.  In ALL cases, I won't if there is a pace of play conflict.  If I have the wiggle room, it's not an issue.

That said, most all my games just end up by the rules, but if I want to mess around and try something during the game, it's simple, I just don't post it.  Strangely enough, the VERY best rounds of my life have all been very much 'by the book' and solo.  There's something in the mentality of playing pure and undistracted that helps the game.  Nevertheless, that's fun to do, sometimes it's fun to try a couple shots to see what I can learn.

I can post for stats and not handicap on my application (it's not official or sancitoned) - that fine for me, I want the stats, I don't care about a handicap.

 

short answer - have fun however you like.  if you are with people, make sure they know what you're doing so they don't get bent out of shape - some players are bit pissy and old ladyish about it, so best they just understand up front, then if they care about how YOU play it's their problem, not yours.

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I really like playing solo. Then it is all about golf and it is easy to focus. Usually the course is quiet and there is minimal waiting for the next shot.  Those are the conditions when I have posted my best scores. One of the great advantages is having plenty of time to re-hit a shot that ended with a poor result. Then a different approach can be used.

It is easy to find out how honest people are, by watching them when they think no one is around.  It is a chance to be honest with yourself, or not as the case may be.

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4 hours ago, mcanadiens said:

I'll have to admit to a bit of ignorance here. It never occurred to me that hitting a second ball that doesn't count was against the rules. I don't do it very often, but after a horrendous short-game shot, I may drop a second ball and see if I can do better.

Is the thought process that the feedback I might get from chipping a second ball going to help me later in the round? Hardly ever bares out that way.

You can chip and putt after you finish the hole. That is allowed. I do that when I'm waiting to tee off sometimes on a slow course. I'll do some chips and pitches near the tee box. 

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Alone, with strangers, or with friends, it's all the same for me. When I play for a score, I have a couple of goals to play for. Probably <20% of my rounds are solo

As for the rules, we are probably less strict when we are a foursome plus of friends out there just having fun. I am not a 100% expert on all the various rules, but I do carry an updated book on them if needed. I think I only use 5 or 6 on a regular basis through out the year as it is, and those are the ones I know of the top of my head. 

As for the "solo no handicap" rule, I think it's not that big of deal. Just as long as golfers don't use it as an excuse to not go golfing. Kind  of a "if I can't count it, why go" type of mentality. 

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13 hours ago, Scotsclaff said:

How can you post a score playing solo,you need someone to mark your card.

Pretty boring playing solo.

In all my rounds, I have never ever had some one mark my card.
when I play with myself, let me rephrase that; when I play solo I play the ball as it lies. 
I hit the ball walk after it, hit it again and right down the score.

The only time I have deviated from the "rules" is when I have the course to myself and play 2 balls.
I right "1" on a ball and "2" on a ball and score each ball as played.

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The laughable part of this is that I can play by the ROG alone or with others. It doesn't matter. But the reality of the game is that it is next to impossible unless you're playing in a competition of some sort. 

I was playing with a group and one of the guys I was playing with hit a drive that went dead down the center of the fairway. There was a little hill, so it could have hit a sprinkler head on the other side. Or was it moved by an outside agency? We don't know. The group in front could have picked it up out of "anger" because he really smoked it. We couldn't find the ball when we got there. We had a foursome waiting on the tee behind us. Drop a ball in the fairway and move on. Walking back 300 yds would have held up play on the course.

In a competition or tournament he'd have to go back and re-hit - or if it was a tournament with some spectators someone probably would have seen where his ball went and we wouldn't have had this problem. 

But when you play with a group, and your group doesn't play strictly by them and reports scores anyway, what good does "witnessing" do? No one checks your scorecard to begin with. It's no more valid than someone playing by themselves. You can pretty much enter what you want in the system unless your club requires that you turn in your scorecards for review.

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8 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

The laughable part of this is that I can play by the ROG alone or with others. It doesn't matter. But the reality of the game is that it is next to impossible unless you're playing in a competition of some sort. 

I was playing with a group and one of the guys I was playing with hit a drive that went dead down the center of the fairway. There was a little hill, so it could have hit a sprinkler head on the other side. Or was it moved by an outside agency? We don't know. The group in front could have picked it up out of "anger" because he really smoked it. We couldn't find the ball when we got there. We had a foursome waiting on the tee behind us. Drop a ball in the fairway and move on. Walking back 300 yds would have held up play on the course.

In a competition or tournament he'd have to go back and re-hit - or if it was a tournament with some spectators someone probably would have seen where his ball went and we wouldn't have had this problem. 

But when you play with a group, and your group doesn't play strictly by them and reports scores anyway, what good does "witnessing" do? No one checks your scorecard to begin with. It's no more valid than someone playing by themselves. You can pretty much enter what you want in the system unless your club requires that you turn in your scorecards for review.

Still easy to post that round if you follow the rule associated with how to score a hole not played by the rules:

Section 4

Holes Not Played/Not Played Under The Rules of Golf

Q.  How do I post a score if a hole is not played or not played under the Rules of Golf?"

A.  For handicap purposes, the player must record a score of par plus any handicap strokes normally received for the holes not played or holes not played in accordance with the Rules of Golf. These scores should have an “X” preceding the number. For example, player A is not able to play holes 16, 17, and 18 due to darkness. Player A has a Course Handicap™ of 12 and holes 16, 17, 18 are a par 5, 3, 4, and are allocated as the number 4, 16, 10 handicap holes, respectively. Therefore, player A will record an x-6, x-3, x-5 on holes 16, 17, and 18, respectively.

Please visit Section 4-2 of the USGA Handicap System manual for further reference.

 

I've done this on occasion when I wasn't able to go back and rehit a ball that came up missing.

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I just played 18 on an "extended" lunch break (hour and a half) and shot 90 from the back tees. 

I play by the rules. I posted the score. If the USGA has a problem with that then they better find a better way to govern it. I make the decision right before I tee it up whether this is a practice round or a real round. Once I say its real, its getting posted whether its good or not. 

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1 minute ago, kpaulhus said:

I just played 18 on an "extended" lunch break (hour and a half) and shot 90 from the back tees. 

I play by the rules. I posted the score. If the USGA has a problem with that then they better find a better way to govern it. I make the decision right before I tee it up whether this is a practice round or a real round. Once I say its real, its getting posted whether its good or not. 

What were the ratings from the back tees?

I ask only because you might have some people in your club wanting the exact details of how your scored a 90? :whistle:

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Note: This thread is 1418 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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