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Fairway_CY

Effect of playing the same course repeatedly...

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One of the member at my old club who was a journeyman professional (he played the Canadian Tour, Cactus Tour, Pepsi Tour, hopefully you are seeing the theme here). Told me that his theory was that at his home course (our club) if a round there was 0 then he would probably add 1-2 strokes at a course he didn't play all the time and 1-2 additional strokes for competition. So he told me he needed to be shooting 62-63 at his home course to be ready for the tour. That would mean he would be 65-66 when he was playing in competition at a different course. His argument was that at his home course he knew every blade of grass, knew how the ball would break before he hit it, sometimes he told me he wouldn't even need to read a putt.

For us hacks there is probably a scale from what he was talking about. For me, a 6 handicap I am probably 2-3 for each. Maybe for you a 14-18 handicap it might be 3-5 for each.

That all said I think playing a club has benefits that may help you get better faster. You may find yourself practicing more because of the nice facilities. You may fall in with a regular group who are better players than you and start to find yourself getting better that way. I have seen many golfers who once they join a club they play more regularly and become better golfers. So my prediction is playing regularly at this course is going to make you better.

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18 minutes ago, Club Rat said:

A long time friend once told me that one of our golf buddies would rather win a $2 Nassau over me, than win a lottery.  :whistle:

He's probably got a better chance at the lottery.

And I agree with @Club Rat and @mchepp, if you get into a regular group, whether its one other guy or a gang of 20 or more, the competition can help you become a better player.  Its not just wanting to be competitive, but simply playing with better players that can help.

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The poster of the thread is in the same position as most of us. You pay your annual fees and play the club nearest to you that you can afford.  My nearest club, and the one I belong to is a very long 9 hole, and to be honest is quite forgiving. When I play tight courses I suffer. In an ideal world I would spend a fortune, drive a 60 mile round trip, and become a member of Woodhall Spa, but it's not going to happen. 

My tip is, enjoy what you have, and remember it is only a past time !!

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

I see two sides of this.  On one hand, as you know your home course better and better, you'll make better reads on the greens, you'll know how much effect uphill and downhill shots will have on your yardages, and you'll begin to score better, even if your skill level doesn't improve.   On the other hand, if the course is convenient enough that you play and  practice more, your skill level has a good chance to improve.  In my personal game, I believe the chance to play and practice more overrides the impact of course familiarity.  I'm scoring better, both at home and away, because I've become a better player.

^^^

This. I joined a private CC in May this year and the frequent range practice and familiarity have allowed me to distill improvement to my swing skill. I am a bit of scatter brain and playing different courses each week wasn't helping this. I am playing at least 3 shots better now than in April and think will drop another 2 before the year is done. The improvement is also carrying to the few courses that I have played other than my cc since.

Another plus is that I play in league competitions very frequently now, which in itself is a huge.

56 minutes ago, mchepp said:

One of the member at my old club who was a journeyman professional (he played the Canadian Tour, Cactus Tour, Pepsi Tour, hopefully you are seeing the theme here). Told me that his theory was that at his home course (our club) if a round there was 0 then he would probably add 1-2 strokes at a course he didn't play all the time and 1-2 additional strokes for competition. So he told me he needed to be shooting 62-63 at his home course to be ready for the tour. That would mean he would be 65-66 when he was playing in competition at a different course. His argument was that at his home course he knew every blade of grass, knew how the ball would break before he hit it, sometimes he told me he wouldn't even need to read a putt.

For us hacks there is probably a scale from what he was talking about. For me, a 6 handicap I am probably 2-3 for each. Maybe for you a 14-18 handicap it might be 3-5 for each.

That all said I think playing a club has benefits that may help you get better faster. You may find yourself practicing more because of the nice facilities. You may fall in with a regular group who are better players than you and start to find yourself getting better that way. I have seen many golfers who once they join a club they play more regularly and become better golfers. So my prediction is playing regularly at this course is going to make you better.

And this...

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My tournament scores (on average) on courses i dont know too well are probably lower at courses i play at often. In a tournament round on a course i dont know, i wimp out and don't take any chances. Fairway and greens type of play. Which is great if I want to keep my score in the par to 4 over range, but doesn't allow me to be competitive against the level of player i usually play against. On courses i know, tend to be way more aggressive and take more chances. Which can lead to lower scores than playing it safe, but more bogeys and doubles, too. 

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Thanks for the replies, everybody!  Some very good points in here.  

A few mentioned that playing more often will have benefits, and that, in and of itself, is the hope.  I was a once a week (on average) player for the majority of this season.  I started out posting some pretty ugly scores early on in the season (a 117 and a 110 in my first 2 tournaments come to mind)... but I was working with a new grip and what I'd call a 'swing change' at that point in the season.  Since then, I've posted some really solid scores and I've dropped from a 17.8 index on March 15th to my current index of 14.3 (and trending lower as of the next revision).  

For as well as I played my 2 rounds on Wednesday... I went out this morning and... well, I should have waited to post this thread because I played like crap today.  My irons were off so I wasn't finding greens... and then, I failed to convert on 7 of 8 up & down opportunites on the front side, leading to a 47.  On the back, I started double - triple - double and then I finished double - double.  That was a total of 48 on that side and an 18 hole score of 95.  

So... yeah.  I suppose Wednesday was just 'one of those days' and I shouldn't really worry about it.  

:whistle:

Thanks again for all the feedback.  You've all helped put my mind at ease and help me realize that my decision to join the club was a good one!

CY

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2 minutes ago, Fairway_CY said:

For as well as I played my 2 rounds on Wednesday... I went out this morning and... well, I should have waited to post this thread because I played like crap today.  My irons were off so I wasn't finding greens... and then, I failed to convert on 7 of 8 up & down opportunites on the front side, leading to a 47.  On the back, I started double - triple - double and then I finished double - double.  That was a total of 48 on that side and an 18 hole score of 95.  

No matter how well you know the course, you still have to hit shots and make putts.  That holds true whether its your first time around, or your hundredth.  I've been at my club for over 20 years, and I still have plenty of disappointing rounds.  On the other hand, every time I play there I'm playing with a friend (sometimes a new friend in the case of new members), and that's worth an awful lot.

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I've mixed feelings. I seem to do better on the courses with a little more difficulty/ slope rating. A couple of the courses are rated around 125, the course at MCAS Miramar is 121 I beleve, is flatter, not all that long, but I do worse there than the others. I think a lot has to do with the topography in that you don't always find yourself looking at troublesome holes. If there is trouble and you don't know its there, you aren't thinking of it.  OTOH, on the courses I am very familiar with, I know what to avoid. One example is one has a deep ravine that your tee shot has to clear, its not particular long, but if you miss, you are toast. I have learned that sometimes I will only lay up even if is less than 100 yards to the edge of the ravine, and then try to hit the green on my 2nd with a much easier pitch rather than take a driver off the tee. I  would rather birdie in a less manly fashion, than  double or worse trying to do what the course is designed for.

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I play a majority of my rounds on one course.  There are a lot of benefits not the least of which is that I get to pick my hours when I know that play is less and so, I can take my time.  I walk the course and so, don't want to hinder any cart member's rounds.  I love the fact that I trust the distances of the various markers on my course and so, I can practice exact distances with my irons.  We have water, sand, uphill and downhill holes, ... and so I get to practice a variety of shots.  I love the fact that my home course has a links style back nine and so, I get a good mix each round.  We also have another 9 that is just hard.  That is where my HS Team plays. It can be narrow.  There are trees everywhere.  You have several creeks to cross and the rough is real rough.  I like to go down there at times when I know I'm going to play in a tournament. 


One drawback to my home course is that the putting greens are a little "shaggier" than other courses in the heat of the summer.  The Head Groundskeeper leaves them longer or "shaggier" and, as far as I know, he has not lost a green in the 30 years I've been a member.  If I play in a scramble or tournament at another course, I have to constantly remind myself about speed. 

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Don't some courses have reciprocal relationships with 'sister' courses where you can get a tee time and/or a reduced greens fee?

My view of club membership in terms of getting better is that unlimited range balls is one of the best cost benefits.

Edited by natureboy

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I get bored of playing same course more than 3 times in a row. So I mix it up between about 7-10 different courses. That's one of the reasons I don't belong to any private club. Variety is spice of life. 

As for advantages/disadvantages playing one course over and over, I think you can gleam all that you need from the posts above.

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The worst part of playing one course repeatedly is that you hone a set of skills for only that type of course.  When you wind up playing courses outside your comfort zone, it gets difficult.  For example, playing links courses demands an ability to hit lower shots because you are playing into winds.  Playing the wide open and long courses demands distance far more than accuracy.

Additionally it stops challenging you in strategy because after 5 or 6 rounds of the same course, you will settle on a strategy that suits a hole and course and tend to stick to it

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Note: This thread is 1347 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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