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Jacktgolf

More birdies

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I rarely make a birdie during my rounds.

I would normally make one every round I played when I shot low 80's high 70's, and I find every time I make two birdies during my round I break 85 consistently and sometimes 80.

I know that when I make a bogey I'm never going to recover from it, because I can't make any birdies now.

I've made some ridiculous birdies in my life, such as when I drove into a fairway bunker, hit my second shot close, and holed the 15 foot putt. But I'm not consistent with it and it's frustrating.

My main problem is never leaving myself enough chances. I hit around 6-7 greens round, sometimes less, and the chances I have are never legitimate. Mostly they're from 40+ feet, and no one can hole a 40 footer often enough to make any birdies from hitting only 6 greens a round.

I'm an 8 handicap. It's creeping up a bit now that I'm not making as many birdies as I used to. I strike the ball consistently well, but every time I have an approach shot, I play ultra conservative and play towards the center of every green. I don't know if this causes my misses or if going for the pin would make me more accurate, or whatever. 

Thing is I used to hit 9-10 greens in a round, even hit a few 11 greens rounds before, and now I can't strike the ball at all. I still only made one birdie per round, because I was so far away from the hole playing as conservative as I do. In fact, I play so conservative I literally NEVER go for a flag. I find I fear missing on the short side or something, so I avoid going for pins at all costs.

I need to make more birdies. At least three per round if I'm to improve. I need to make them not only to score better, but to recover from bogeys. I make at least 12 bogeys per round, if I can make around 3-4 birdies per round, that cancels out a bogey and I can average in the 70's. My short game isn't that great either, but I know what to do on that. that's a work in progress.

Any ideas as to how to make more birdies per round? Should I play more aggressive? Should I go for more pins? If I need to go for flags, how many should I go for, and which ones are best to go for?

I don't know. I'm just tired of every time I make a bogey, I can't recover from it. 

Thank you for your time,

Jacktgolf

P.S. I have potential for birdies. I've made some ridiculous ones, like the one from the fairway bunker I mentioned. I've made them plenty of times, it's just consistency that robs me of them. 

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20 minutes ago, Jacktgolf said:

I rarely make a birdie during my rounds.

I would normally make one every round I played when I shot low 80's high 70's, and I find every time I make two birdies during my round I break 85 consistently and sometimes 80.

I know that when I make a bogey I'm never going to recover from it, because I can't make any birdies now.

I've made some ridiculous birdies in my life, such as when I drove into a fairway bunker, hit my second shot close, and holed the 15 foot putt. But I'm not consistent with it and it's frustrating.

My main problem is never leaving myself enough chances. I hit around 6-7 greens round, sometimes less, and the chances I have are never legitimate. Mostly they're from 40+ feet, and no one can hole a 40 footer often enough to make any birdies from hitting only 6 greens a round.

I'm an 8 handicap. It's creeping up a bit now that I'm not making as many birdies as I used to. I strike the ball consistently well, but every time I have an approach shot, I play ultra conservative and play towards the center of every green. I don't know if this causes my misses or if going for the pin would make me more accurate, or whatever. 

Thing is I used to hit 9-10 greens in a round, even hit a few 11 greens rounds before, and now I can't strike the ball at all. I still only made one birdie per round, because I was so far away from the hole playing as conservative as I do. In fact, I play so conservative I literally NEVER go for a flag. I find I fear missing on the short side or something, so I avoid going for pins at all costs.

I need to make more birdies. At least three per round if I'm to improve. I need to make them not only to score better, but to recover from bogeys. I make at least 12 bogeys per round, if I can make around 3-4 birdies per round, that cancels out a bogey and I can average in the 70's. My short game isn't that great either, but I know what to do on that. that's a work in progress.

Any ideas as to how to make more birdies per round? Should I play more aggressive? Should I go for more pins? If I need to go for flags, how many should I go for, and which ones are best to go for?

I don't know. I'm just tired of every time I make a bogey, I can't recover from it. 

Thank you for your time,

Jacktgolf

P.S. I have potential for birdies. I've made some ridiculous ones, like the one from the fairway bunker I mentioned. I've made them plenty of times, it's just consistency that robs me of them. 

You're looking at this from the wrong angle. 

If you are making twelve bogeys per round then you need to make less bogeys, not make more birdies. Making 3-4 birdies per round with 12 bogies just isn't realistic. Those bogies show that you have inconsistencies in your game with are going to prevent you from making that many birdies. 

Just looking at my own stats I average 1 birdie, 9 pars and 8 bogies or worse per round. I also need to make less bogies. 

Edited by shortstop20

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12 minutes ago, shortstop20 said:

You're looking at this from the wrong angle. 

If you are making twelve bogeys per round then you need to make less bogeys, not make more birdies. Making 3-4 birdies per round with 12 bogies just isn't realistic. Those bogies show that you have inconsistencies in your game with are going to prevent you from making that many birdies. 

Just looking at my own stats I average 1 birdie, 9 pars and 8 bogies or worse per round. I also need to make less bogies. 

I agree with this. What you need to do is make more pars! It doesn't have to be either bogey or birdie. What's your ball flight like off the tee w/driver? What's your big miss? How do you get in trouble off the tee? Address those questions. If you can put yourself out there in better shape for a second shot you're liable to wind up closer to the pin.

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29 minutes ago, Jacktgolf said:

but every time I have an approach shot, I play ultra conservative and play towards the center of every green.

I wouldn't consider this "ultra conservative" and instead think it's a sound strategy - but I'm a high capper so I might be wrong.

If you ask some of the other single-digit players on this site, I'm guessing most do not aim for the flag unless they are somewhat close... or the flag happens to be away from trouble.

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14 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

I wouldn't consider this "ultra conservative" and instead think it's a sound strategy - but I'm a high capper so I might be wrong.

If you ask some of the other single-digit players on this site, I'm guessing most do not aim for the flag unless they are somewhat close... or the flag happens to be away from trouble.

I think his strategy is indeed ultra conservative for his handicap index. 

It'd be rare for me not to go right at the flag on anything inside 100 yards. Obviously water hazards and such change that. Even then, I'm unlikely to go center of the green, I'll go 15-20 feet away from the flag in whatever direction is safe. Even from 100-150, I am aiming right at the flag or at a safe zone near the flag, certainly not at center of the green if that's 40 feet away from the flag. 

He may actually be making it more likely for himself to make bogies with his strategy. Center of the green could possibly leave some very long putts depending on the course. People of our handicap indexes have a decent chance of 3 putting on a 40 or 50 footer. Taking the "gamble" of going closer to the flag makes sense there, IMO. 

@Jacktgolf, how many 3 putts do you have a round? Do they usually come from being a long ways from the flag?

Edited by shortstop20

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6 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

I wouldn't consider this "ultra conservative" and instead think it's a sound strategy - but I'm a high capper so I might be wrong.

If you ask some of the other single-digit players on this site, I'm guessing most do not aim for the flag unless they are somewhat close... or the flag happens to be away from trouble.

Your not wrong. Middle of the green is a great target...even for single digit caps. Unless you are playing courses with humongous greens...the flag is never too far away. 

OP- I agree with what the others have posted. It’s about eliminating bogeys and making pars not making birdies necessarily. If you want more looks at birdies the key is better iron shots :-)

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3 minutes ago, shortstop20 said:

It'd be rare for me not to go right at the flag on anything inside 100 yards. Obviously water hazards and such change that. Even then, I'm unlikely to go center of the green, I'll go 15-20 feet away from the flag in whatever direction is safe. 

Point taken. As I indicated, I don't play at that level.

To be fair,  I also didn't see anything about his approach shots being less than 100 yards. Even I might go for a "quadrant" of the green if within 90 yards. 

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Just now, JonMA1 said:

Point taken. As I indicated, I don't play at that level.

To be fair,  I also didn't see anything about his approach shots being less than 100 yards. Even I might go for a "quadrant" of the green if within 90 yards. 

Yes, I wasn't trying to create a strawman or anything, just giving my own experiences. :-)

The short and quick of it is that not going for pins and making birdies just doesn't jive. A player should consider themselves lucky if they make one 20+ footer per round, let alone more than that. So if you want to make birdies, that means getting it closer. 

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3 minutes ago, shortstop20 said:

Yes, I wasn't trying to create a strawman or anything, just giving my own experiences. :-)

The short and quick of it is that not going for pins and making birdies just doesn't jive. A player should consider themselves lucky if they make one 20+ footer per round, let alone more than that. So if you want to make birdies, that means getting it closer. 

:beer:

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I average around 50 feet on my approach shots. I three putt every 4 out of 6 greens I hit. I have the putting yips.

I also don't hit enough greens to have legitimate chances. I hit around 6-7 greens a round, on a good day maybe 9 or 10. I'd like to average around maybe 10.

My putting yips have cost me quite a bit. Every short putt I have I miss (short putt for me is 5-7 feet. I never have 3 footers, unless we're talking chipping). Even then, on my longer putts, I can't get the ball within 6 feet. My greens play very large, sometimes 35 yards deep and wide, with the pin on the sides.

The only thing I have going for me is my short game, which doesn't count because I can't hole a 3 foot putt to save my life. I once hit a perfect shot off of hardpan on to a green that played 5 yards deep from my angle, with the pin in the middle. I hit it to two feet, a perfect shot. Even a professional would have trouble with that shot. Believe it or not, I missed the two footer. It was a scramble, and I was playing with a 20 handicap, and he simply looked at my two footer and knocked it in. Didn't even read it.

I can three putt from 10 feet sometimes, and today I three putted from 13 feet from off the green (lucky I was 13 feet from the hole, just missed the green, though it was a small green, not much to it, and pulled my shot onto the pin. Wasn't intentionally going for it.) 

I guess it's my putting. Either I need to get my approach shots closer, or I need to learn to lag putt. 

EDIT: I just watched a video recently about Phil Mickelson's short game series. Phil was talking about putting, and he said, "It's not how well you putt, it's where you putt from". I just remembered this and thought it was interesting, considering my situation. If I'm 20 feet from the hole instead of 50, I not only have a better chance of making that putt, but also getting my first putt closer on average. Of course, I have the yips, so this maybe doesn't count for me, because I can easily three putt from ten feet, and miss a two foot putt.

So do you think going for more pins would save me a few strokes? Or do you think my putting needs a serious makeover?

Note: I average around 37 putts for 7 greens in reg. I've never gotten it below 30 unless I only hit 4 greens on the day.

 

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Don't take this personally as I too am a bad putter but if your putting is truly as bad as you describe it then I would go get fit for a putter and then get some putting lessons. Four 3 putts every 6 holes is very bad. 

Almost everyone has the ability to putt well, it doesn't take athleticism. 

That said, I would still be a little more aggressive with approaches as well and see how it impacts your score. 

Edited by shortstop20

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Before I reply… I'm a +1-ish.

I make 13% birdies, 76% pars, and 11% bogeys.

That's a whopping… 2.3 birdies per round.

Trying to make 3-4 per round as an 8 or a 9 is unrealistic. Make fewer bogeys.

On 4/8/2018 at 11:40 PM, Jacktgolf said:

I average around 50 feet on my approach shots. I three putt every 4 out of 6 greens I hit. I have the putting yips.

You do realize that PGA Tour players average 2.0 putts from 33'. From 50' they average 2.14 putts. And that's on better greens than you play.

(I doubt you truly average 50' on the greens you hit - that's 17 yards away, on average, and most greens aren't that big).

On 4/8/2018 at 11:40 PM, Jacktgolf said:

I also don't hit enough greens to have legitimate chances. I hit around 6-7 greens a round, on a good day maybe 9 or 10. I'd like to average around maybe 10.

Improve your ballstriking second.

On 4/8/2018 at 11:40 PM, Jacktgolf said:

I can three putt from 10 feet sometimes, and today I three putted from 13 feet from off the green (lucky I was 13 feet from the hole, just missed the green, though it was a small green, not much to it, and pulled my shot onto the pin. Wasn't intentionally going for it.)

I guess it's my putting. Either I need to get my approach shots closer, or I need to learn to lag putt. 

Improve your putting first.

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On 4/14/2018 at 8:49 PM, iacas said:

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@Jacktgolf I am a similar handicap as you, here is my breakdown and comparison against Erik's. Erik is only averaging one more birdie per round than I am, yet there's an 11 shot difference in our handicaps.

I am making bogey or worse 42% of the time, which is 7-8 holes per round, where Erik is averaging just 2 bogeys or worse per round. 

As others have mentioned, your key to lower scores is to reduce bogeys and increase pars.

5ad616fbb7fd7_2018-04-1711-43-28_GAMEGOLF-Scoring.png.cd75694be092d4d0696b2be76199adb2.png

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3/4 birdies per round?? that´s imposible. As a +1, i average 2 birdies per round and 3 bogeys.

It´s not about the good shots, it´s about the bad ones. Figure out how to make less bogeys / hit more greens and your score will lower down.   
 

 

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As many people on here have said you need to make more pars and birdies will take care of themselves. I, like Erik, am about a +1 handicap, although we arrive there in somewhat different ways. I make more birdies on average than he does, and he makes fewer bogeys. That being said, I still only average 4 birdies a round. As an 8.5 you won't/can't average as many birdies as you are saying you want to.

5ad63d181a48c_ScreenShot2018-04-17at12_28_10PM.png.bc7f911f510229a5c385597b6114dd15.png

Let me ask you this, you say you always aim at the middle of the green and often away from the flag, what is your normal miss? Do you miss right, left? Why I ask is you should figure out your tendencies and play to those. If 75% of your misses are to the right then you are doing yourself a huge disservice if you aim at the center of the green on a left pin. What I am talking about are called shot zones and are discussed in full in Erik's book Lowest Score Wins. I think if you are having such a hard time with game management you may want to order a copy, it might help you.

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10 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

As many people on here have said you need to make more pars and birdies will take care of themselves. I, like Erik, am about a +1 handicap, although we arrive there in somewhat different ways. I make more birdies on average than he does, and he makes fewer bogeys.

Yeah, my brand of golf is pretty boring.

I'll often finish a round having hit no spectacular shots… while the guys I play with will pull off several. They'll also make their share of bogeys and doubles.

Heck I once shot 36 with nine pars on the front nine and was five down after ten to a guy who shot 32 with an eagle, a bogey, and four birdies in those ten holes. I told a playing partner "I'll still beat him in the end." I did, by two…

Me: http://www.gamegolf.com/player/iacas/round/1074402
Him: http://www.gamegolf.com/player/DrizZzY/round/1080547

Regardless, the number of birdies made isn't very high. Good players make a lot of pars, and few bogeys.

The leader on the PGA Tour in 2017 made 4.49 per round: https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.156.2017.html (Jordan Spieth).

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Yeah, my brand of golf is pretty boring.

I'll often finish a round having hit no spectacular shots… while the guys I play with will pull off several. They'll also make their share of bogeys and doubles.

Heck I once shot 36 with nine pars on the front nine and was five down after ten to a guy who shot 32 with an eagle, a bogey, and four birdies in those ten holes. I told a playing partner "I'll still beat him in the end." I did, by two…

Me: http://www.gamegolf.com/player/iacas/round/1074402
Him: http://www.gamegolf.com/player/DrizZzY/round/1080547

There's nothing boring about winning! :beer:

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14 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

There's nothing boring about winning! :beer:

Boring and easy it´s the best way to play and score.

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