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I am playing in the US Mid-AM qualifier, but I need your help.


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Well, I will not be qualifying, however I had fun and it was a good learning experience. I had a few 3 putts as the greens were really slick, and two blow up holes where I could have benefited form sl

I started this Blog Post a few months back, and well, have achieved my goal with 2 weeks to spare. As of Friday I will be a 2.7 handicap index (down from an 8.6 on May 1st) and I can officially submit

Fair. That's all I can say, since you are making this post on speculation, and the fact that a lot of guys do post low scores to play top tier courses that they normally wouldn't get to play. As

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Pretty wide variance in your recent best to worst scores. I'd look hard at what is causing what in the scoring differences and see if there is a flaw you can address.

Is GG showing you anything? It looks like you travel well. Good scores on tough courses but a couple higher days in the mix as well. What takes you from 67 to 86? The ratings aren't that different. 

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1 hour ago, kpaulhus said:

What should I do?

Stay relaxed :-D

1 hour ago, kpaulhus said:

I've never had a caddie in a tournament round. I was going to pick one of my friends who is a decent golfer, but even more so because he knows my game. I've only started playing "good golf" in the last 2 months....This is a whole new territory for me, so I'm looking for advise, tips, or just some good luck wishes.

I would read up on the USGA rules as what a caddie can or can not do. I would make sure he knows as well. 

Trust your game. You worked your way down and you shot one of your better rounds knowing you needed to shoot that round to get into this event. That's some good experience to fall back on. 

Good luck man! 

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16 minutes ago, Dave2512 said:

Pretty wide variance in your recent best to worst scores. I'd look hard at what is causing what in the scoring differences and see if there is a flaw you can address.

Is GG showing you anything? It looks like you travel well. Good scores on tough courses but a couple higher days in the mix as well. What takes you from 67 to 86? The ratings aren't that different. 

GG Says my misses are approach shots. The day I shot 86 it was damn near 100* and I was hungover, so that's a major variance. A lot of the courses I've been playing recently my tee game has just been very good. I'm long and usually not too far off the fairways so I have a chance to score. Also, I've eliminated a lot of the double bogies with better putting.  My approach shots from inside 100 yards are within 15 yards of the pin 70% of the time, and I'm 50% from outside 100 yards.

My last 5 rounds I am +2.14 in Putting strokes gained, so that is going to be a major focus since the qualifying course has super undulated and fast greens.

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33 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Stay relaxed :-D

Yup.  Don't get too caught up in what you want to do or think you'll do so that way as soon as something doesn't quite go to that plan, you are ready for it.

If the first hole is "easy" and/or a "birdie hole" and you go out and make double bogey, don't be discouraged.  Just shake it off, forget about it, and keep enjoying yourself.

Of course, of all people I've ever golfed with, I have to say that you are the one with the best attitude, so you probably already know that. :)

It's going to go by really fast, so be sure to take your time and enjoy everything.


Also ... fascinating that you only had 21 people last year.  I assume that only one person goes through?

Good luck!!!

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Wow - great work over the last few months.

Having never investigated something like this myself before, I think I'd get in touch with local USGA folks about your intentions and see what kind of support they offer for someone in your position.

I'd also consider discussing with local PGA pro(s) at your club or one of good repute in your area.

In other words, seek out some local experts including previous players in the event if you can get in touch with them, in addition to the fine folks here.

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I'm approaching this from my past history as a caddie.

I like your caddie preference as a playing friend who knows your game. The old 20th Century rule of thumb for caddies was show up, keep up and shut up. Times have changed. The PGA televised tournaments shows a lot of discussion going on between caddie and player.

Before the tournament, you want to have a "heart to heart" talk with your potential caddie. Clarify expectations from both sides. You may just want him to give you yardage to hole on most shots, or the "full meal deal" if you're going for a Par 5 in two. Give him an idea of what you want, or don't want.

Also, check over the rules for who stands where when lining up putts. The addition of a caddie complicates things a bit.

Once you get to the tournament and tee it up, relax and have fun. Few of us get to play in a tournament of this type, so just enjoy it and let it happen.

And, congrats on your accomplishment!

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Ive qualified for two Mid-Ams and one US Am at Cherry Hills. Plan on (at the least) having to shoot around par to advance. Sometimes 2-3 over might do it, but dont count on it.

You need to concentrate and think about nothing else but course management. Don't think about your swing when you hit a bad shot. Also remember one bad hole never kills you. Successive bad holes do. If you have a bad hole, move on and get it back later. Err towards aggressive play in qualifiers. Im not saying shooting at sucker pins and taking on forced carries from 250 yards out, but feel out situations where you can take a chance that could result in a good opportunity for a red number. Know where you're putting the ball and why, just dont try to hit it "straight". Have a game plan to attack whatever course you're playing, even if your only knowledge of the course comes from a tee sheet and satellite pictures. 

On national and state levels, most everyone hits the ball, so try not to throw away strokes around the greens cheaply. Let as few shots escape you on and around the greens as possible. If you're just off the green, get that shit up and down every time.  Not doing so means you're losing to the field and could miss out on a spot. When i qualified, i found the common aspect was that i drained a lot of 5-10 foot putts to save pars.

Let go of any feeling of trying to impress your playing partners just to show you belong there. I fell into this trap early on too. Belive me, you play in enough of these things and you'll see guys shoot 90. Play your game. 

But my #1 advice is to simply enjoy yourself. Enjoy competition and the buzz in the environment. Competing at an elite level is its own reward. So revel in that and try not to be too stressed about results. You're an amateur, it isn't life or death. 

Edited by Groucho Valentine
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That is super exciting.  The only thing I would add is to play your game and play the course. Understandably you have to have knowledge of what scores others are posting but it is a long game and those who start out well can and often do falter later and vice versa.  Don't try and play catch up or higher risk shots early; often slow and steady (attitude, nerves, game plan) wins the race. 

Good luck!

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49 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Ive qualified for two Mid-Ams and one US Am at Cherry Hills. Plan on (at the least) having to shoot around par to advance. Sometimes 2-3 over might do it, but dont count on it.

You need to concentrate and think about nothing else but course management. Don't think about your swing when you hit a bad shot. Also remember one bad hole never kills you. Successive bad holes do. If you have a bad hole, move on and get it back later. Err towards aggressive play in qualifiers. Im not saying shooting at sucker pins and taking on forced carries from 250 yards out, but feel out situations where you can take a chance that could result in a good opportunity for a red number. Know where you're putting the ball and why, just dont try to hit it "straight". Have a game plan to attack whatever course you're playing, even if your only knowledge of the course comes from a tee sheet and satellite pictures. 

On national and state levels, most everyone hits the ball, so try not to throw away strokes around the greens cheaply. Let as few shots escape you on and around the greens as possible. If you're just off the green, get that shit up and down every time.  Not doing so means you're losing to the field and could miss out on a spot. When i qualified, i found the common aspect was that i drained a lot of 5-10 foot putts to save pars.

Let go of any feeling of trying to impress your playing partners just to show you belong there. I fell into this trap early on too. Belive me, you play in enough of these things and you'll see guys shoot 90. Play your game. 

But my #1 advice is to simply enjoy yourself. Enjoy competition and the buzz in the environment. Competing at an elite level is its own reward. So revel in that and try not to be too stressed about results. You're an amateur, it isn't life or death. 

Thanks for that. I expect everyone to be good, though there were some 90's and WD last year on an easier course from what I can see. 

I'm going to sit with my assistant pro and have a beer tonight and talk about the whole ordeal. He missed qualifying for the US Open last year by a few shots so he has done this once or twice. 

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3 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

I expect everyone to be good, though there were some 90's and WD last year on an easier course from what I can see.

I've played in two slightly lesser qualifiers this year and in both cases this was true.  The cutoff for these was 5.4, not 3.4, but I checked through a lot of the players and there weren't many of us with handicaps above 3.  Yet, I still didn't feel out of place.  There are still good players with funky swings, and there was also several good players who shot in the high 80's or even low 90's, and some WD's.  I wonder how many of the WD's are guys who just don't bother to turn in a shitty score, versus how many actually didn't show up or quit playing because they got hurt or something.

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1 minute ago, kpaulhus said:

Thanks for that. I expect everyone to be good, though there were some 90's and WD last year on an easier course from what I can see. 

I'm going to sit with my assistant pro and have a beer tonight and talk about the whole ordeal. He missed qualifying for the US Open last year by a few shots so he has done this once or twice. 

Thats a good idea. Talking about the game but not swing is always useful. But don't over-preapre. Its just one round of golf. Prepare just enough to be comfortable, but yet leave some things unknown so you're a little unsettled. Its hard to explain what i mean by that totally, but i find that not knowing everything can be a good thing.  If you're going to over prepare, id lean towards doing that for the actual tournament. If you're using a caddie (I'm not sure if caddies are mandatory for USGA quali rounds or not) dont fall into the trap of trying to impress him or her either. Stay in your game. 

Also, since its a USGA qualifying event, make sure your wedges and irons are legal with the grooves. They rarely check, but you never know. 

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8 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Also, since its a USGA qualifying event, make sure your wedges and irons are legal with the grooves. They rarely check, but you never know. 

All of my clubs are new within the last year, so I believe I am good as far as legal grooves goes. The oldest club in my bag is a Vokey SM5, other than that its all newer gear. 

It did suck to pull the old callaway lob wedge with box grooves out of the bag. That thing would check from any lie.

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