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thelab

How to know if your game could be taken to the next level?

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So, just found this forum and found it awesome. Here is my story and would love some feedback. I am currently mid 20s and have been working in NYC for 2 years post grad. I took up golf my junior year of college after quitting college hockey due to a car accident that rattled the ole head. My first time out I shot 50 and I was pissed to say the least lol. Fast forward about 15-20 rounds that summer going into senior year and I’m averaging 78-82. The next summer post-graduation I didn’t have a job right away so I was legit playing every other day and working on the range etc while I was applying for work. Just before I got my job I was sitting at a +0.5. Now, I know that there are tons and tons of golfers at scratch but how can one tell if they truly should make it worth their while?

Any past experiences or feedback would be awesome.

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3 minutes ago, 3jacker said:

If you don't have to ask anyone if you're good - that's how you know.

lol fair point. Not really asking if i'm good or not wondering how you can gauge potential and if it's worth the time to bust your ass 

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First and foremost, if you're scratch in your mid-20's, its extremely unlikely that you'll ever be able to make a living by playing golf.  The old line, don't quit your day job. So then what's your motivation?  If you love the challenge to improve, if you think you  want to compete on the amateur level, go for it.  Work hard, practice hard, enter local and regional tournaments, and see how you like it.   You'll find out soon enough whether you want to continue busitng your ass.

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1 hour ago, thelab said:

Now, I know that there are tons and tons of golfers at scratch but how can one tell if they truly should make it worth their while?

Any past experiences or feedback would be awesome.

Not as many as you think,

Being 0.0 or better handicap only accounts for 1.6% of all golfers with a USGA handicap. If you consider all the weekend golfers who do not have a legit handicap, that percentage greatly decreases. According to statista, that estimated number of people who played golf from spring 2016 thru 2017 was 25.95 million. Wikipedia has USGA membership at 700,000. I have no clue how many of those non-USGA members play better than scratch golf. I think better players tend to hold official handicaps.

You can be a scratch golfer or better and have no shot at making money off that ability. You can play a 6200 yard course, hit the ball 260 off the tee, and play better than scratch golf.

Besides that, good job at getting that good!

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

First and foremost, if you're scratch in your mid-20's, its extremely unlikely that you'll ever be able to make a living by playing golf.  The old line, don't quit your day job. So then what's your motivation?  If you love the challenge to improve, if you think you  want to compete on the amateur level, go for it.  Work hard, practice hard, enter local and regional tournaments, and see how you like it.   You'll find out soon enough whether you want to continue busitng your ass.

Well said. This post should be required reading for a lot of young players. There is a lot of wisdom to be gained on this site, and this is a great example.

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I will take "worth their while" as trying to make a go of it as a Tour Pro? I remember the first time I played with an actual Tour pro, it was also the time when I realized any ridiculous dream of being one was not going to happen. As a +.5 in your mid 20's you are so far behind. The guys on the Tour are ridiculously good. There is a HUGE difference between you and them. 

The good thing is you are a very good golfer if you carry the handicap you do. Enjoy being an amateur, enter some regional and national competitions. Have a lot of fun, the average golfer will think you are a freak of nature.

Edited by NM Golf

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9 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

First and foremost, if you're scratch in your mid-20's, its extremely unlikely that you'll ever be able to make a living by playing golf.  The old line, don't quit your day job. So then what's your motivation?  If you love the challenge to improve, if you think you  want to compete on the amateur level, go for it.  Work hard, practice hard, enter local and regional tournaments, and see how you like it.   You'll find out soon enough whether you want to continue busitng your ass.

Thanks for the great answer. I guess the struggle really is trying to be able to practice while I work 12 hrs per day during the week. I plan on entering a few local tournament and maybe try to qualify for the amateur or mid amateur and see what happens from there. Motivation is completely for the game and love competing and think with hard work could get much better.

4 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I will take "worth their while" as trying to make a go of it as a Tour Pro? I remember the first time I played with an actual Tour pro, it was also the time when I realized any ridiculous dream of being one was not going to happen. As a +.5 in your mid 20's you are so far behind. The guys on the Tour are ridiculously good. There is a HUGE difference between you and them. 

The good thing is you are a very good golfer if you carry the handicap you do. Enjoy being an amateur, enter some regional and national competitions. Have a lot of fun, the average golfer will think you are a freak of nature.

Pretty much my exact thoughts. I am guessing you are no where close until you can consistently shoot -5/-6 on mid 7k tracks?

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1 minute ago, thelab said:

Thanks for the great answer. I guess the struggle really is trying to be able to practice while I work 12 hrs per day during the week. I plan on entering a few local tournament and maybe try to qualify for the amateur or mid amateur and see what happens from there. Motivation is completely for the game and love competing and think with hard work could get much better.

That's the struggle most people face when they start their career, finding the time to do the things they want to do for fun.  Still, this is the best chance you'll get, marriage and children will take up additional chunks of your time (and money) that are yours alone right now.

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2 minutes ago, thelab said:

 

Thanks for the great answer. I guess the struggle really is trying to be able to practice while I work 12 hrs per day during the week. I plan on entering a few local tournament and maybe try to qualify for the amateur or mid amateur and see what happens from there. Motivation is completely for the game and love competing and think with hard work could get much better.

Pretty much my exact thoughts. I am guessing you are no where close until you can consistently shoot -5/-6 on mid 7k tracks?

Pretty much, these guys absolutely destroy the local muni. They will shoot low 60's pretty much every time on the average golf course. You have to remember they shoot the scores they do on ridiculously hard golf courses with ratings north of 76.0. For a golf course to even be considered for a Tour event it has to have a course rating over 75.0.

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13 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

he good thing is you are a very good golfer if you carry the handicap you do. Enjoy being an amateur, enter some regional and national competitions. Have a lot of fun, the average golfer will think you are a freak of nature.

This. I am the "Average Golfer" and looking at @NM Golf GG profile makes me want to sit in a corner and cry. 

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18 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Pretty much, these guys absolutely destroy the local muni. They will shoot low 60's pretty much every time on the average golf course. You have to remember they shoot the scores they do on ridiculously hard golf courses with ratings north of 76.0. For a golf course to even be considered for a Tour event it has to have a course rating over 75.0.

Right makes sense. Basically don't even think about it until you are scoring on the course ratings you stated and even then it has to be in tournament play. So a good goal i guess hah

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Think of it this way, Augusta National doesn't have an official rating and slope (the club won't allow the USGA to do it), but unofficially it's 78.1/1375acb936ed5b61_ScreenShot2018-04-09at10_20_04AM.png.394f03d1077cb5b428e92d5308cf90bd.png

And Patrick Reed shot -15 on that monster in windy and rainy conditions. As a +1 handicap I don't know if I could break 80 on a sunny day with no wind. Those friggin guys are GOOD!

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-tough-augusta-knuth

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2 hours ago, thelab said:

lol fair point. Not really asking if i'm good or not wondering how you can gauge potential and if it's worth the time to bust your ass 

That is a tough one.  Golf is a bitch, always teasing us with moments of greatness.  I say just keep competing and testing yourself. No other way to really know.

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I like the idea of playing 18 holes, four days in a row as way to see how good of a golfer one might be, and what further possibilities might be. . 

If comparing one's self with the pros, make it a 7K yard course. Get a friend to caddy for you, and walk the four rounds.

Give yourself 8 weeks of prepping for four consecutive days of play. Any flaws in one's game, that shows where improvement is needed to advance to the next level will show up. Usually on the 3rd, or 4th day. 

I did this a several weeks ago. Played pretty well for my own game. Actually play alot of rounds over a 6 week period.

Probably why my shoulder is screwed up now. :~(

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55 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Think of it this way, Augusta National doesn't have an official rating and slope (the club won't allow the USGA to do it), but unofficially it's 78.1/1375acb936ed5b61_ScreenShot2018-04-09at10_20_04AM.png.394f03d1077cb5b428e92d5308cf90bd.png

And Patrick Reed shot -15 on that monster in windy and rainy conditions. As a +1 handicap I don't know if I could break 80 on a sunny day with no wind. Those friggin guys are GOOD!

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-tough-augusta-knuth

yeah that is a tad wild hah I guess you have to realistically get in the + high single digits (+8/+9) where you own normal courses like it's nothing

17 minutes ago, Patch said:

I like the idea of playing 18 holes, four days in a row as way to see how good of a golfer one might be, and what further possibilities might be. . 

If comparing one's self with the pros, make it a 7K yard course. Get a friend to caddy for you, and walk the four rounds.

Give yourself 8 weeks of prepping for four consecutive days of play. Any flaws in one's game, that shows where improvement is needed to advance to the next level will show up. Usually on the 3rd, or 4th day. 

I did this a several weeks ago. Played pretty well for my own game. Actually play alot of rounds over a 6 week period.

Probably why my shoulder is screwed up now. :~(

that's a good idea. Make's it more like your actually playing minus the tournament atmosphere. Will try it out on vaca hah

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1 hour ago, NM Golf said:

Think of it this way, Augusta National doesn't have an official rating and slope (the club won't allow the USGA to do it), but unofficially it's 78.1/1375acb936ed5b61_ScreenShot2018-04-09at10_20_04AM.png.394f03d1077cb5b428e92d5308cf90bd.png

And Patrick Reed shot -15 on that monster in windy and rainy conditions. As a +1 handicap I don't know if I could break 80 on a sunny day with no wind. Those friggin guys are GOOD!

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-tough-augusta-knuth

Hence them being able to stick a wood or long iron on a narrow, fast green from 220 - 230 yards away such as 15. 

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Play with people who are better with you and see how your game stacks up.

Play in US Open, US Am, and US Mid-Am qualifying. That will step it up a level from where you're playing now. You'll be able to see first hand where you are in comparison to better players and really evaluate your game. If you can make the US Open and get to the US Amateur match play consistently, then maybe you could make it as a tour pro. Maybe.

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Note: This thread is 769 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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