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Fairway_CY

Effect of playing the same course repeatedly...

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Hi all... 

I just recently joined a local country club at the suggestion of my wife (of all people).  It's only 12 minutes from my house... fully private... offers a great short game area... and has some exceptional greens and course conditions.  We had done a tour of the club on a Saturday afternoon, but I didn't get to play the course... just rode around and viewed it.  During the ride along, I had said to the membership chairman that the front side seemed very friendly.  There didn't appear to be many places to lose a ball.  There are only a handful of spots on the front side that bring trouble into play.  

  • #3 has some out of bounds up the right side on your second and third shots.  
  • #5 has a pond you have to cross from the tee, but a decent tee shot should never even come close to trouble. 
  • #7 has out of bounds up the entire right side.
  • #9 has a pond up the left that catches balls that hit the tree just beyond it.

Outside of that... there's really no trouble.  

Since joining, I've only had the opportunity to play a handful of times.  

  • First time out, I shot a 46 on the front... 45 on the back for a 91.
  • Second time out, I shot a 48 on the front... 42 on the back for a 90.
  • Third time out, I only played the front and shot a 40.
  • Fourth time out, again... only played the front in a dogfight and shot a 39.  

Last night, when I got home, my wife asked me how I played.  I told her what I had shot and she asked me if I thought the front side was too easy.  I immediately answered no, because... well... I'm not very good.  I grew up playing the same 2-3 courses over and over... and I played 2 of the 3 repeatedly through 2014 when I moved south.  I never played them very well.  

Since moving down here, I've played a certain 9 hole course in the neighborhood of 30 times.  My average score on that course is a 50... my low is a 40 and my high is an embarrassing 65 on a day when I couldn't hit the ball to save my life.  By comparison... that course has trouble on every single hole.  Some have out of bounds on both sides... a few have water in play... and it's really a very tight course.  

I play different courses frequently with the Golfweek Amateur Tour... so I like to believe that, generally, my "game" travels pretty well.  My primary reason for joining the country club was so that I had a good, local course to play and practice on.  

Basically, my question is... what kind of an effect will playing the same course over and over (I plan to play there 1 to 2 times per week at least) have on my game.  Should I be worried that it's an open course?  My scores yesterday on the front side (the 40 and the 39) were exceptionally good scores for me, but... I think I would have scored just as well anywhere I played.  It was just one of those days for me where I was striking the ball really well.  

Anyway... just curious what experiences anybody else has who plays one course frequently.  Does it hurt your game when you play at other courses or, can you pretty much tell when you're on and you'd have scored well anywhere?  

CY

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I play the same course every sunday. Usually shoot high 80's. But when I go to new courses I usually shoot high 90's!!! I simply don't feel as comfortable as in my home course.

The advantage I see in playing the same course is that I can easily assess any changes I do to my swing and determine if they were for the good or for the bad..

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43 minutes ago, Fairway_CY said:

Anyway... just curious what experiences anybody else has who plays one course frequently.  Does it hurt your game when you play at other courses or, can you pretty much tell when you're on and you'd have scored well anywhere?  

It won't hurt your game...you still need to make good swings, and the course rating will generally reflect the fact that it's open.

It will probably lower your scores a bit relative to your actual skill level, but probably not enough to matter even if you play net competitions.

Overall, I wouldn't worry about it. Congrats on joining a good club.

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My game is the same at most courses. Some days I shoot around par, others are mid 80's. Playing the same course only helps course knowledge and where to hit the ball.....but you still have to hit the ball well to score no matter where you play. I've made a 2 on a par 4 and a 13 on the same hole within a month. Golf is golf. 

 

Edit *** and I play the same country club 90% of my 120+ rounds a year

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I played a really top notch club last Sunday that has a "friendly" layout. It's a member's club in that it has some generous landing areas. The key to that course was the greens. But its a funny thing because on a few holes I had never played I recalled different holes from different courses that reminded me of the holes I was playing. In the end, it was the nuances of the greens that got to me, but I would definitely like to play there over and over again. I could see myself lowering the cap if I played there every day. That course placed a premium on the approach shot and the putter. 

Having worked at 2 different courses in my youth we played them till we knew every bounce. The first course had trouble right, almost on every hole. That course taught me to miss left. It also had smallish greens so the up and down game got really sharp. The second club was a really tight track carved out of a pine and cypress forest that had to be swampy at some point. It had all the environmental areas that were marked ob sometimes left and right. It was a PGA Tour stop in the 90s and never made it as a member's course because it was too penal. That course set me up to really tear up easier courses because I felt more free to take chances. That course taught me to pick the right club off the tee so that I could have my best chance at hitting the greens. 

In the end analysis, it really is what you want to do with your game. Every course has its challenges and while it may seem "easy" for now, it may just play to your strengths, but you will soon find out what part of the game it really tests. I don't think that I would want to play the second course as a regular diet, I would like something without a 140ish slope. For now, I would enjoy what you have in your backyard. It;s not where you play so much as what you are playing and that is golf. Enjoy every minute and take the lessons that course has to offer you. 

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My membership course is as challenging as I choose.  The tips are way over my head.   The white tees, I have shot an 82 and as high as a 96.   I have played almost as much golf at other courses as my own and my scores reflect the same pattern.   The course near my house, the last two times I shot 82 and an 84 (48/36).     My game is in transition because I'm hitting the ball well but putting .... 

Having said all of that, playing my home course has allowed me to try some unusual things with different clubs which has lowered my scores.    I believe you learn to play the course differently the more you play.

 

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On average I score lower on my current home course. I play about 65% my rounds there. I have no problem saying that my familiarity with the greens is why I score lower there than on other courses I am not familiar with. My home field advantage is worth 3-5 strokes and most of the time those saved strokes show up in my putting. 

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You learn where to miss on your home course.   

Golfers who are thinking ahead and looking at the layout of a hole, or green, do this on any course.   But local knowledge goes a long way to helping you avoid trouble.

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Just now, imsys0042 said:

You learn where to miss on your home course.   

Golfers who are thinking ahead and looking at the layout of a hole, or green, do this on any course.   But local knowledge goes a long way to helping you avoid trouble.

Great point. The first time I play a course, I don't know that unless someone is helping guide me through.

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My home courses have been tougher than most of the other courses I play (tighter fairways, tougher greens, more OB) so while I may get used to the greens and have a better idea where the trouble is, overall I think playing there regularly makes me a better golfer on other more friendlier courses.  

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I play 85% of my rounds at one course.  I generally play a couple strokes better at my home course than at other courses.  Some of this differential is from course knowledge and knowing where to miss and how best to attack holes.  I also think I'm able to judge how a green will react to get my chips and pitches closer at my home course than at other courses giving me a better chance at saving strokes.

I joined my home course 12 years ago.  I can still remember my first round on it thinking the course was fairly easy.  The more I play it, the more I appreciate how challenging the course really is.  Because it is challenging, it is always fun to play.  I'd suggest giving it some time, get some more rounds in, and have fun learning to appreciate the course and its' challenges - as well as the other members.  As TourSpoon mentioned, different courses put more of a premium on different parts of your game.  You're game will probably get better in at least the types of shots that your home course challenges you with.  If you are playing more golf than you are used to, you'll likely become a better golfer and being a better golfer should translate to every course.

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The "home courses" are actually among the more challenging ones that I play. I'm extremely familiar with them, but mid-90s out there is a good round for me. After I get tired of shaking my fist at Kittyhawk's water hazards and dirt traps, I'll play one of a few other courses that are significantly easier (CRs back that up) and usually enjoy rounds in the 80s. 

My biggest problem going back and forth is that the home courses' greens are very slow and its a big adjustment with the putter. I try to take a few extra minutes on the putting green when its an away day.

 

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If you're working on your swing, I really don't think the course matters. When you're working on scoring, short game, specialty shots, that's when variety helps. A home course is great for saving time and money, but it's good to switch it up now and then.

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I think it depends on how challenging the home course is.  I play about 70% of my rounds at my home course and mid 80's is a good round for me there.  It's a challenging course, short but very tight.  On average, I usually score about 5-6 strokes better at my home course because I know where all the trouble is and what I can get away with.  Only downside for  me, since its short, I don't get to use my driver and long irons for approach shots much so I struggle somewhat on longer courses.

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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.

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17 hours ago, Fairway_CY said:

what kind of an effect will playing the same course over and over

Course conditions, weather, wind and rain change the behavior of all courses characteristics daily and sometimes hourly.
Also, every approach shot from any distance usually will be a different angle, lie, stance, ball positon (level, above or below) 
Playing a set of combo of tees creates a different hole design once in awhile or move up and back a tee.
Effectively, playing the same course should improve your game and you can make it as challenging as you like.

I've played the same course for 12 years and still love. I also enjoy golfing with the many members the club has,
making new friends and creating competiveness among many.

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:

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Used to play the same course everytime. Its a loveley course but got too samey. Sure, every round is different but sometimes, as they say, a change is as good as a rest.

Started playing with a guy from work who is a newbie so we meet at corses half way between where we both live. I managed to find 2 really nice courses that are cheaper than where i play so that was an added bonus.

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Note: This thread is 1119 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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