Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

8 Sandbagger

About chazza

  • Rank

Personal Information

  • Your Location

Your Golf Game

  • Handicap Index
  • Handedness

Recent Profile Visitors

252 profile views
  1. I have completely the opposite attitude. The whole point of the handicap system is to allow you to play better players on equal terms. So if you're playing off a ten handicap, you should expect (on a good day) to bogey the holes that are stroke index 1 to 10. I'm trying to become a better golfer. The way to do that is not to simply accept that I need to play a shorter course, it's to improve my game and reduce my handicap. True, when I visit a "monster course" - I've played a few Open Championship courses - I'm not playing off the championship tees, because ordinary mortals can barely reach the fairways from back there and can't remotely play the course as it's designed to be played. But in general, I'm absolutely having fun when when playing holes I'll struggle to make par on, because the point of playing is to challenge myself.
  2. My home course is 6500 yards. The longest par 4 on the course is 440 yards. I'm getting old, a good drive for me is around 240. More often I hit it 220 - 230. So a decent tee shot and a good three (20 degree) hybrid will get me home. But if I don't hit my best drive I'm looking to hit my second shot to a number, say 80 yards out where I can hit a full shot with a lob wedge. Sometimes I'll get close enough to have a single putt. More often I'll make five. But that's what handicaps are for. If I was making par everywhere I'd be a scratch golfer.
  3. If you want links within reach of London it has to be Kent. Royal St Georges, Royal Cinque (pronounced sink) Ports, Princes. I'd say Cinque Ports was the most appealing. Royal St Georges is one of the two or three top rated courses in England, but it's an absolute beast.
  4. So, I only started playing after I retired 6 years ago. I'm 64. I've always kept fit but I'm well past the age at which i could be described as a natural athlete, and starting so late means that I inevitably lack the elasticity that gives some young players that elegant easy swing. However, I practice, and I've taken lessons. And my handicap is still coming down, it's not out of the question that I'll get to single figures. In my opinion the most important thing - at least for those who aren't just "naturals", of whom there may be a few - is not pure athletic ability, it is having the right concepts. For a long time I listened to people telling me that power came from the ground up, and tried to act accordingly. They were right, of course, in a literal sense, but trying consciously to give effect to that advice made the game extremely difficult for me. It wasn't until I found a coach whose vocabulary made sense to me that I stopped being so mechanical and focussed on technique, and began to hit the ball more naturally. I'm never going to be a good player, but I'll be good enough to have fun and not be embarrassed. So, not just athletic ability, not just hard work, but also focussing on the right things. Or, at least, not focussing on the wrong ones.
  5. The fields Woods was (is) beating were deeper, there's no doubt about that. But when Tiger burst onto the scene with his tournament record in the 1997 Masters he was playing pretty much the same course (pre Tiger-proofing) on which Nicklaus had set the previous record, just one shot more, more than thirty years earlier with vastly inferior equipment. This is the problem with comparing great players from different eras. Nobody is ever going to persuade me that Woods, with his relative wildness off the tee, was going to beat Nicklaus in his prime playing with persimmon woods and, especially, those spinny balata balls. Woods fans will disagree, but we won't know because Woods has never had to prove himself in those conditions while Nicklaus was, for ten years with this equipment, the longest and straightest player in the world. And yes, I agree Woods had the best short game we've ever seen, he's a far better player than Nicklaus was from thirty yards and in. I'd also make the point that one reason the fields are deeper is that the game is easier now. The ball and the driver permit distances that were unattainable before. More to the point, though, the PGA tour sets courses up to encourage big hitting and target golf. There's very little penal rough. If a lot of the contenders now were presented with conditions from the 60s and 70s, they wouldn't be contending. Doubt it? Look what happens to some of the supposedly great players when they're presented with courses they can't bomb, like at last year's Ryder Cup. Woods would probably beat Nicklaus in modern conditions if both were in their prime because he has a game adapted to those conditions. Playing in the 60s and 70s, Nicklaus every time. And I'll bet there were some old guys in the 1890s who'd have murdered both of them if everyone was playing hickory shafts and gutta-percha balls over unmanicured links courses. You get good at what you were brought up practising. The GOAT argument is a waste of time
  6. Quite. No 24 handicapper on earth plays like that.
  7. Turnberry (long before Trump got his hands on it). Royal St Georges in the driest, hardest summer we've had for forty years. Lahinch in the wind.
  8. Hmm. At my last club there was a member aged 81 who was still playing twice a week, walking the course and carrying his own bag - admittedly with a half-set of clubs. In his day he had been the club champion about a dozen times. By the time I played him he couldn't hit a driver past my 7-iron, but he was always in the fairway, could still chip and putt like the devil himself and played to 11. He seemed to be having a pretty good time - better than me, anyway.
  9. Others have mentioned some of the lesser-known (and less expensive) courses near St Andrews. Elie and Lundin Links are really excellent and very different from most of the courses you'll get in the States. After a few days there the choice is really whether to go north, into Aberdeenshire, or south to East Lothian. I'd suggest the first-time visitor should do the latter. North Berwick, Gullane 1 and Gullane 2, and Dunbar would all be on my list. And if you want to go a little off the beaten track, Goswick at Berwick-upon-Tweed is a superb links course, used as a qualifier for the Open, that you can play for peanuts.
  10. HI. I'm new here and this is a very long thread so if these points have been made before, I apologise in advance. It seemed to me that there were two big issues in the Ryder Cup. The first was the course set-up, and the second was the apparent difference in attitude between the teams. Le Golf National is a tight course. Let the rough grow deep like it was here and accuracy is going to be at a premium. Length helps everywhere, but with rough like that and water everywhere that course really has to be played from the fairways: you can't drive the ball like Mickelson habitually does and expect to have a shot to the green. Mickelson's comments afterwards about not wanting to play these sort of courses anymore were revealing. I didn't take them as just the moaning of a sore loser, they are more indicative of a completely different approach to the game. On the PGA tour very few courses are set up to really penalise the long but wayward drive, it's routine to hit it off-line and still have a wedge into the green. And the organisers, and the crowds, as well as most of the players, like it that way. Boom-boom off the tee, lots of close approaches, lots of birdies for the TV people. In Europe, and especially the UK and Ireland, the mindset is a bit different. Most of the old-established courses aren't that long, but they're tight or they're hard and fast or they're exposed to the wind (or all three) and simply blasting it 320 yards off the tee is very often a poor strategy. The game is more about choosing the right shot to adapt to the terrain than about setting up courses to favour the big bombers. It's less spectacular but calls for more imagination and judicious shot selection. That was what was required in Paris and most of the Americans failed to adapt. Why was that? Partly it was that the demands made were unfamiliar. But in addition (and this is where the attitudes of the teams comes in) most of them simply didn't look to be up for the fight. Woods mooched round looking as miserable as sin. Johnson at times looked almost indifferent. Apart from the close buddies, like Speith and Thomas, who were clearly playing for one another, it didn't look like a team. Contrast that with the Europeans, for whom the competition was clearly a very big deal and who were giving everything not merely to play as well as they could but to support and encourage their teammates. If you didn't know better you'd think Europe was a nation and the USA just a loose confederation of guys who happen to play quite well - for themselves.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...