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I’m reading about all these people who are 3-6 months in, breaking 90 from time to time or constantly and I just don’t know what to think about that? 

I’ve been playing for the past 3-4 years, am reasonably athletic and have decent length of the tee. I’m nowhere near breaking 90 consistently, my best round was a 96, I did card some below 45s on 9 hole rounds. 

The courses I play most are either very tight or very long. Lots of trees, water and OB. 

I don’t know if these people who are breaking 90 after a few months are playing short and open courses, but looking around at the people who play with me I see no one who is breaking 90 a couple of years in, especially no one who is a few months in. 

 

/rant. 

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1 hour ago, Killa said:

I’m reading about all these people who are 3-6 months in, breaking 90 from time to time or constantly and I just don’t know what to think about that? 

I’ve been playing for the past 3-4 years, am reasonably athletic and have decent length of the tee. I’m nowhere near breaking 90 consistently, my best round was a 96, I did card some below 45s on 9 hole rounds. 

The courses I play most are either very tight or very long. Lots of trees, water and OB. 

I don’t know if these people who are breaking 90 after a few months are playing short and open courses, but looking around at the people who play with me I see no one who is breaking 90 a couple of years in, especially no one who is a few months in. 

 

/rant. 

It's hard to say. It's possible some are not counting every stroke, or playing easy courses as you mentioned, but I'm guessing they are just better than average (or better than us) at learning the difficult skills needed to break 90.

I see the same thing you do. Most of the folks I play with or watch at my course are not breaking 90. There seems to be a consensus among better players who believe most of us who take the game seriously and are of average athletic ability should be breaking 90 within a couple years.

Maybe it's a flaw in my approach to learning, or maybe it's a natural ability I'm lacking, but breaking 90 in the first three or four years was not even on the radar for me.

FWIW @Killa, after seven years I've just started to occasionally break 90 the last couple of months (less than 6,000 yards). I don't feel any difference between those rounds and the ones where I would shoot mid to upper 90's.

You may be closer than you think.

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12 hours ago, Killa said:

I’m reading about all these people who are 3-6 months in, breaking 90 from time to time or constantly and I just don’t know what to think about that? 

I’ve been playing for the past 3-4 years, am reasonably athletic and have decent length of the tee. I’m nowhere near breaking 90 consistently, my best round was a 96, I did card some below 45s on 9 hole rounds. 

The courses I play most are either very tight or very long. Lots of trees, water and OB. 

I don’t know if these people who are breaking 90 after a few months are playing short and open courses, but looking around at the people who play with me I see no one who is breaking 90 a couple of years in, especially no one who is a few months in. 

I played my first 18 hole round at age 22, it was the one and only time in my life I shot over 100. I broke 90 within a year, I was shooting mid 80s consistently within a 3 years. I was a low single digit handicap before I turned 30.

I played 90% of my golf at a course that was 7000 yards long with a rating around 71. It wasn't tree lined, but it had many areas that were black holes and several water hazards. 

I have natural athletic talent, I played Div 1 college baseball and was an all state football and baseball player in high school. My father and my grandfather were both scratch golfers.

All I am saying is yes it's rare but there are people out there like the ones you are describing. I am one.

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It can be frustrating @Killa, but you can’t worry about how fast others are progressing. In reality, there are a lot more people not progressing that fast or are rather stagnant you just happen to be noticing the “fast climbers” because they stand out and hearing about them get your attention. All you can worry about is what is holding YOU back and the developing the proper practice plan to implement the changes necessary to fix it. 

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I’m thinking (might be wrong) that I would be breaking 90 constantly if I didn’t worry that much about technique and just go out, practice and play with what I have. 

 

While I think that would get me to single bogey golf, my goals were always higher - at least low single digits. That’s why golf was one of the first sports I really wanted to learn properly and not just wing it. 

Well... we’ll see in a few years. 

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It seemed to me like breaking 90 on a constant basis came down to the mechanics of golf. i am fairly athletic as i played numerous sports growing up from baseball to football and golf as well.  I could never break 90 growing up playing golf.  Then again i also thought i knew everything and wouldn't take advice or pay attention to the little mechanics within a swing.  With that being said i have since noticed how important the correct wrist hinge is as well as how important your right elbow (for right handed golfers) is in order to produce consistent shots.  I mention the elbow specifically because i finally sat down and studied the mechanics of proper swings and noticed that though many players have different stances and grips, one thing that was almost common with every golfer was the action of that trail elbow.  Take a look around on the golf digest website at the swings of the pros and pay attention to how that trail elbow works in order to make solid and powerful contact with the ball.  I took six years off and just got back into golf this past summer. But after about 2 months of playing and range sessions i have finally found a stance and proper swing that has led to consistent rounds in the low to mid 80's and those scores starting showing up once i fixed that elbow from flying too far away from my body. Hope this helps you some!

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I think it's the rare exception to the rule, but I agree that some have natural talent. I play in a society that once a month plays a short par 33 executive course. One of the guys joins us 3 or 4 times a year (and does not play at all otherwise) with about half a dozen old clubs in a tiny bag, and shoots ~41 on a good day - no practice and his touch around the green is as poor as you'd expect, but a completely natural, athletic swing. If he properly took up the game, he'd get into the single figures very quickly.

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9 hours ago, Killa said:

I’m thinking (might be wrong) that I would be breaking 90 constantly if I didn’t worry that much about technique and just go out, practice and play with what I have.

That leans heavily on your natural athleticism, which varies from person to person. I know people who have never taken a lesson and played to a single digit handicap at one point or another. I also know people who have played for decades and struggle to break 100 when we go out.

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I broke 90 within a few months of taking up golf, I never considered that it was a rarity until i read this thread. Maybe i am better than I think I am. June 2017 i started properly. I had played 4 or 5 rounds in my life before that with other peoples clubs. My best is 83 but my local course is probably not as hard as others, I played a champioship standard course 2 weeks ago and it was definitely harder but not hugely. 

I'd love to break 80 now but cant see it happening this year as winter is coming. Everyone i play with is better than me, maybe one or two are worse and one of them is just after starting. 

Is it really uncommon to break 90?

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On 9/29/2018 at 4:14 AM, Killa said:

I’m reading about all these people who are 3-6 months in, breaking 90 from time to time or constantly and I just don’t know what to think about that? 

I’ve been playing for the past 3-4 years, am reasonably athletic and have decent length of the tee. I’m nowhere near breaking 90 consistently, my best round was a 96, I did card some below 45s on 9 hole rounds. 

The courses I play most are either very tight or very long. Lots of trees, water and OB. 

I don’t know if these people who are breaking 90 after a few months are playing short and open courses, but looking around at the people who play with me I see no one who is breaking 90 a couple of years in, especially no one who is a few months in. 

 

/rant. 

If it makes you feel better, I'm in the same boat as you.  I've played for a while and can't score, but I believe the people who say they can score in the 80's after taking up the game recently.  The way I see it, life's not fair and everyone's progression is different.  There's always going to be someone better than you or learned faster, so try not to dwell on it.  Just strive for your own improvement.

It's true that some/many people probably exaggerate their abilities; weather, course length, green speed on a given day can all dramatically effect your scores.  Many people use their best/ideal conditions as their typical ability.  Again, I try not to think too hard about it.

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I just started this year, my goal was to break 100. I shot a 99 one day and was happy with that. I play with a group of guys who only play once or twice a year and they shoot low 90s normally. I think some people just have a more natural swing and others such as myself have to constantly work on it.

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On 9/29/2018 at 2:47 PM, HJJ003 said:

It can be frustrating @Killa, but you can’t worry about how fast others are progressing. In reality, there are a lot more people not progressing that fast or are rather stagnant you just happen to be noticing the “fast climbers” because they stand out and hearing about them get your attention. All you can worry about is what is holding YOU back and the developing the proper practice plan to implement the changes necessary to fix it. 

👍🏻 Yep I agree. I used to play 5-6 year shoot maybe 48 (9) if I’m lucky. Now shooting low low 40s last two months but I have put time in practicing and research learning all the things I was doing wrong.  The more I research the more I find out how little I know, looking back at my progress keeps me going.  I used to love and hate this game, now I love the game but don’t hate it bc I understand more😊

2 hours ago, Northwoods88 said:

I just started this year, my goal was to break 100. I shot a 99 one day and was happy with that. I play with a group of guys who only play once or twice a year and they shoot low 90s normally. I think some people just have a more natural swing and others such as myself have to constantly work on it.

Yah! And those people are annoying!! Lol!

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4 hours ago, Effington said:

It's true that some/many people probably exaggerate their abilities;

Yes, I played with a guy this evening who claims he doesn't "normally play this bad". Worked with a guy who talked up his game to everybody before our company outing that maybe had 4 foursomes. Had never seen anything more comical as he was about the worst person out there that day.

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4 hours ago, Nail said:

I broke 90 within a few months of taking up golf, I never considered that it was a rarity until i read this thread. Maybe i am better than I think I am. June 2017 i started properly. I had played 4 or 5 rounds in my life before that with other peoples clubs. My best is 83 but my local course is probably not as hard as others, I played a champioship standard course 2 weeks ago and it was definitely harder but not hugely. 

I'd love to break 80 now but cant see it happening this year as winter is coming. Everyone i play with is better than me, maybe one or two are worse and one of them is just after starting. 

Is it really uncommon to break 90?

I think a low percentage of folks break 90 within their first few months.

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58 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

I think a low percentage of folks break 90 within their first few months.

Yup. Heck I believe only 25% or so of golfers ever break 90 at all. 

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About 1 year after I returned to golf, in my second round after a year of practice and lessons, I broke 100. Less than a full month later, I broke 90.  Now I am playing around 93-94 as my average.  I still have far too many game issues to drop 6 or so strokes on a consistent basis.  So it can be done, breaking 90; it is my task now bringing my level lower over all.  It will be a combination of practice, some luck, and perhaps, limited by my age.  But as I am not planning on on the Senior Tour anytime soon, I am only in a rush to do my best and have fun.  I think my progress is, in part,  not getting stressed over it.

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2 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

I think a low percentage of folks break 90 within their first few months.

I think you could've put a period after 90.

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11 minutes ago, DrMJG said:

About 1 year after I returned to golf, in my second round after a year of practice and lessons, I broke 100. Less than a full month later, I broke 90.  Now I am playing around 93-94 as my average.  I still have far too many game issues to drop 6 or so strokes on a consistent basis.  So it can be done, breaking 90; it is my task now bringing my level lower over all.  It will be a combination of practice, some luck, and perhaps, limited by my age.  But as I am not planning on on the Senior Tour anytime soon, I am only in a rush to do my best and have fun.  I think my progress is, in part,  not getting stressed over it.

Absolutely! 👍🏻

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