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Handicap Index

Found 7 results

  1. It drops off significantly after that, 7 yards is least penal and then ramps up to 13 yards, which is just as bad as 0-3. So if you're going off line, guess it's better to go 5-7 yards off the fairway.
  2. Today was the first day I have ever done the gate drill. Not the "tees on either side of the ball" gate drill I have done that plenty of times. I am talking about the one where you put alignment sticks upright in the ground about 20 feet or so from you and form some "goalpost" like gates to hit through. I read it in LSW, though I know its probably a common drill I just have never done it. My thoughts on this drill are WOW. I used these gates while hitting 7 Iron, 5 Iron, 3 Hybrid, and 3 wood. This drill did a lot for me on all of these clubs. When hitting Irons I really wanted the ball to start over the gates rather than through them and it allowed me to really compress (deform) the golf ball so I could let the club loft do the work for me. That caused me to reply shift my weight forward and I noticed an immediate increase in distance..especially with the 3 Wood (off the tee). It was amazing how much more accurate my shots were (even if they curved) in relation to my target with proper start lines. Seems stupid I know...but was really an encouraging practice session today. My question is...have you ever taken this drill to the course? Obviously, not in a physical manner...but in a mental one? Would it be a good strategy for me to picture these gates in front of me on the golf course in line with my target? Or this is just a. good range drill to get a feel, but not something that should be taken to the course?
  3. Good Morning from Houston. I was supposed to get my Shot Zones mapped this morning but it is now at or below freezing this morning after a cold front blew in so I will be waiting until it warms up a bit. However, I have been thinking A LOT about shot dispersion lately, and was wondering what is normal for different levels of golfers. So what is your shot dispersion (left/right) of your clubs? Are you a fairly consistent percentage throughout your bag (say 10% left or right). Or are you abnormally good or bad with specific clubs in relation to the rest of them (10% with short irons and 25% with driver?). Due to your natural ball flight or stock shot is your dispersion mainly one sided (5% Left, but 15% right because you play a fade?) I am curious as to what types of shot dispersion different handicaps here on TST have. Looking forward to hearing from you all!
  4. http://www.golfdigest.com/story/watch-cody-gribble-lose-a-webcom-tour-even-in-the-most-brutal-way-imaginable Answer below to share why you voted the way you voted.
  5. I've written before about how golfers don't seem to understand losing or gaining partial shots. We can't ever hit a shot that counts as only half or three tenths of a shot, after all. A missed five-foot putt counts the same as a drive we pure 285 down the middle. So, I'd like to take a few minutes here to cover partial shots and work our way toward "strokes gained" or lost as it applies to golfers of all levels - including you. The simplest way of looking at strokes gained and partial shots is with putting. From one inch away, every golfer in the world is expected to take 1.0 strokes to hole out. Nobody ever two-putts, nobody three-putts, etc. The same is pretty much true from one foot away, as well: virtually everyone takes 1.0 putts (the true number, even on the PGA Tour, is probably something like 1.00000000000000001, but you get the picture…). From three, the number jumps to something like 1.04 - PGA Tour pros only make about 96% of their three-footers. The other four times, they two-putt. So (96 x 1) + (4 x 2) = 104. 104 strokes for 100 attempts is 1.04 strokes per attempt. In other words, if you have a three-foot putt, and you make it, you actually gain 0.04 strokes against your standard (if your standard is a PGA Tour player). By the standard, you should have taken 1.04 strokes to get the ball in the hole from three feet. You only took one stroke, so you "saved" the 0.04. If you somehow manage to make 100 three-foot putts in a row, that 0.04 strokes saved each time multiplies out to four strokes saved in total. Let's back up a bit farther. From eight feet, a PGA Tour player is about 50/50 to make it. They still almost never three-putt from this range, so let's just keep thing simple and consider that they're either going to hole it or two-putt. If they have 100 eight-foot putts, it would take the average PGA Tour player 150 putts to hole out. So, imagine that this 1.5 is your standard, and you make an eight-foot putt. You've "gained" half a stroke on the average. You were expected to take 1.5 strokes, but you took just one. If you miss an eight-footer on the next hole, you played two eight-footers in three strokes: dead on what you're expected to do. What if you happen to have six eight-foot putts in a row, on the golf course, and you miss them all? While it may feel as though you've given away six strokes, because all of those putts likely felt "makable," you've only given away about three strokes: 12 putts - 6 attempts * 1.5 putts/attempt = 3 strokes "lost." And that's if your standard of comparison is a PGA Tour player. If you want to compare yourself to a bogey golfer, you've actually lost only half that: 1.5 strokes (a bogey golfer takes about 1.75 strokes from eight feet, so 6 * 0.25 = 1.5). From 33 feet, the numbers are 2.0 for a PGA Tour player and about 2.2 for a bogey golfer. You're expected to take two strokes if you're a PGA Tour player, and 2.2 if you're a bogey golfer. Now, again, you can't take 2.2 strokes to hole out, but you can take 11 strokes over five attempts from 33 feet, and 11/5 = 2.2. Every five 33-foot putts, the PGA Tour player will gain a full stroke: it will take them 10 and the bogey golfer 11. Now that this part is understood, let's start putting some pieces together. Consider a golfer putting from B, above, 33 feet away from the hole. If he two-putts, he's going to finish neutral - he won't lose or gain strokes to a PGA Tour player. But let's imagine three scenarios. In the first, he hits his first putt to a foot and then taps in. In the second, he hits it to three feet. He takes his time and makes that. In the third, after horribly judging the speed, he hits his putt eight feet past the hole, but makes it coming back. In each instance he took two putts, but where he gained and lost strokes changes: a) 33', 1' b) 33', 3' c) 33', 8' The math on those start the same: from 33', the player is expected to take 2.0 strokes. It "costs" the player 1.0 strokes to hit the first putt, so at each of the second positions he has already expended one putt. If we look at the strokes gained for each of those distances, we find: a) 2.0, 1.0 b) 2.0, 1.04 c) 2.0, 1.5 In a, the player took one stroke to shave his "expected" strokes from 2.0 to 1.0. He's neither lost nor gained strokes, on either of his two strokes. He was expected to take 2.0 putts from 33', and he put it to a spot from which he's expected to take 1.0 more strokes. In the b and c, though, the numbers don't work out the same. If a player hits his 33' putt, as he does in b, to about three feet, we already know he's expected to take 1.04 strokes from there. So he was at 2.0 expected strokes, and he "spent" a full stroke to get to a position from which he is expected to take 1.04 strokes. He "lost" 0.04 strokes. That he then holed the three-foot putt is great - he "gained" that 0.04 strokes back. He was expected to take 1.04, but it only took him one stroke. c is even worse (and then better) for our player: from 33' he's expected to take 2.0 strokes, but he "spends" a stroke to hit his ball to a position from which he's expected to take 1.5 strokes. He's already hit a putt, and still has "1.5 putts" left, by the averages. So, going from 33' to 8' means our player LOST half a stroke on that putt. If he then holes the eight-foot putt, well, he gains it right back. Just as we saw above. This is how strokes gained (or lost) works: you look at the average number of strokes it takes a certain level of player to hole out from where they were before and after a stroke. If they're 33 feet away on the green (2.0), and they hit it to a position from which they're expected to take 1.2 strokes to hole out, they've lost 0.2 strokes with their first putt. It's the same thing from the tee, or an approach shot, too: even though a player is unlikely to hole out. Standing on the tee, a player is expected to take perhaps 4.0 strokes, and if they advance their ball with their tee shot to a position from which they're expected to take 3.18 strokes, they've lost 0.18 strokes with their tee shot. If they then hit their ball to 20 feet on the green (from which they might be expected to take 1.87 strokes), they've gained back 0.31 strokes (3.18 expected - 1 stroke taken - 1.87 expected strokes from new position). I've told this story a few times. @mvmac and I were playing a soggy course with a little wind coming from the south. The 10th and 12th holes on this course are 460 and 480 yards, and he had a hybrid and a 3-wood, while I had two hybrids, into each of the greens. We managed to hit our shots to about 15-25 feet, and we jokingly said to each other "strokes gained!" after each. Why? Because from 200 to 230 yards, hitting the green at all - let alone getting the ball to only 15 or 25 feet - is a substantial gain in strokes for a single shot. Heck, a PGA Tour player is going to average 1.87 strokes from 20 feet, and averages 3.32 from 220 yards out in the fairway, so that one stroke that took @mvmac and I from 220 yards to 20 feet cost us one stroke but saved us almost half a stroke (against a PGA Tour player): 3.32 - (1 + 1.87) = 0.45 strokes gained. Two-putting from there cost only the 0.13 strokes (2.0 - 1.87). Let's take a look at a hole: Let's imagine the hole is a certain distance and a hole on which you are likely to average 4.2. (If you're a scratch golfer, maybe the hole is 475 yards long, or if you're an 18 handicaper, maybe it's 355 yards long). Standing on the tee at A, you're expected to hole out in 4.2 strokes, which is of course impossible on any given single playing of the hole. That means that you're going to lose or gain 1.2, 0.2, 0.8, 1.8, or 2.8 strokes almost every time you play this hole. You can't break even on any single playing of the hole. But anyway, that's the important number: 4.2. Let's say you hit a good shot from the tee into the fairway to B. Again, to remain somewhat agnostic with respect to various handicaps, let's say you're going to average 3.0 from there. Your tee shot, which "cost" you one stroke, moved you from a spot where you were going to average 4.2 to a spot from which you average 3.0. You've shaved 1.2 strokes by "spending" only one stroke. Let's say that the rest of the positions work out as follows: B: 3.0 C: 3.2 D: 2.7 E: 3.6 Strokes gained (and "expected shots") is based primarily on two things (because adding in other factors could complicate things to the point of being ridiculous): the distance remaining to the hole and the lie of the ball. On the putting green, the lie of the ball is obviously "on the putting green." But from 180 yards, players average lower expected shots from the fairway than they do from the trees, or a fairway bunker. So again, a player expecting to average 4.2 from the tee (A), hits it into B, C, D, and E. If we limit the distances to relative descriptors, we can start to see how these make sense: B: 3.0 - Fairway, medium distance from the hole C: 3.3 - Fairway, long distance from the hole D: 2.7 - Rough, very short distance from the hole E: 3.6 - Fairway bunker, short-ish distance from the hole These four examples demonstrate two things that make strokes gained a pretty reasonable way to assess the value of a shot: the farther a shot is from the hole, the more shots you're expected to hole out, and the worse the lie, the same: the more strokes you're expected to take to hole out. Let's step through a full example. A player standing on the tee at A is going to hit it to C, miss the green in the rough short and right, chip to eight feet, and miss the par putt before tapping in for bogey. Shot Expected Result Expected Strokes Gained ---- -------- ------ -------- -------------- 1 4.2 C 3.3 -0.1 2 3.3 Grsd Rough 2.6 -0.3 3 2.6 8' Green 1.5 +0.1 4 1.5 3" Green 1.0 -0.5 5 1.0 Holed 0 0.0 -------------- Total: -0.8 The tee shot was played from a spot with 4.2 expected shots to a spot with 3.3 expected shots. This cost the player one stroke, but only reduced his expected score by 0.9. Thus, he lost 0.1 strokes. From there, the player hit a mediocre shot: they were in a position to average 3.3, but advanced the ball into a position from which they're expected to take 2.6. They gained only 0.7 strokes at a cost of another full shot. They lost 0.3 strokes. The player hit a slightly better than expected chip - they gained 0.1 strokes by hitting it from a 2.6 position to a 1.5 position (for this one position I'm just using the PGA Tour distance) at a cost of just one stroke - but the player is 1.1 strokes closer. But, then he missed the putt (1.5 expected strokes) and tapped in, losing 0.5 strokes on the two-putt exchange. In total, the player lost 0.8 strokes, but we know that just knowing the expected score from the tee and the score they made: 5 - 4.2 = 0.4 - 0.1 + 0.5. Though the player hit five shots, only two were "neutral" with respect to strokes gained or lost. The player lost partial strokes on the approach shot (which missed the green) and their putt (which missed the hole), but gained a very small 0.1 on a slightly better than expected chip shot. Let's do one more example: A to D to 3 feet and holed for a birdie. Shot Expected Result Expected Strokes Gained ---- -------- ------ -------- -------------- 1 4.2 D 2.7 +0.5 2 2.7 5' Green 1.25 +0.45 3 1.25 Holed 0.0 +0.25 -------------- Total: +1.2 This player hit a big tee shot (maybe it hit the cart path a couple of times) to D. He went from 4.2 to 2.7 expected strokes with one stroke, making up 0.5 strokes with his tee shot. Then, from short range, he hit his shot to five feet from where he's expected to take 1.25 strokes (he's expected to make 75% of his five-foot putts), again saving nearly half a stroke: 2.7 to 1.25 with a cost of one stroke is 2.7 - (1 + 1.25) = 0.45. Then, to wrap up the great hole, he holes the five-footer. These two examples highlight just how many different shots go into making up a score on any given hole: virtually every shot that isn't a tap-in results in an exchange - positive or negative - to the expected strokes. If you play a poorer shot than your comparison standard, you lose strokes. Play a better one than expected and you gain. The funny thing is, too, how people tend to see these shots. Though the player lost shots in the first example on both the tee shot and the approach shot, they're likely to blame a poor chip and a missed putt for the bogey. Yes, they lost strokes with the putt, but they actually gained a 0.1 strokes with the chip. The drive and the approach shot cost them, and the putt - a 50/50 proposition - simply landed heads up instead of tails up. In the second example, the players will likely give themselves credit for the approach shot, but overlook that they got a bigger advantage hitting the ball off the cart path and into the rough, where they gained a full half stroke. They'll also credit their clutch putting, but even if they'd two-putted, the strength of their first two shots would still have netted them 0.2 strokes gained for the hole. So that's it in a nutshell: both strokes gained and how partial shots work when playing golf. The next time you're out there, and you miss a 50/50 putt, take consolation in the fact that you're "owed" one. The next time you hit it to 25 feet from 162 yards, tell yourself that you gained some strokes with that shot (it's better than the PGA Tour average, after all). The next time you hit a good drive, take pride in saving 0.2 strokes or whatever. And, for Pete's sake, if you two-putt from 30 feet, stop kicking yourself for "never making them." Almost nobody does, and for players at your level, that two-putt probably saved you a partial stroke.
  6. Share your answers below. And answer the question for yourself first before responding to someone else's. Two quick notes: Please weigh "easy" versus how many strokes you could expect to save." Something that's 10% harder but saves 4 strokes instead of just 1 is a better answer. Please consider average 80s/90s golfers, not your own specific game.
  7. My men's golf team won the AMCC Championship this past weekend with a two-day score of 637 (keeping the best four out of five scores). That works out to 79.625 on a fairly difficult layout at Avalon Lakes Golf & Country Club. ALGCC is a Pete Dye course that, like many Pete Dye courses, is very target-golf oriented. Dye seems to love to use visual trickery to goad players into going for more than they can handle. Sure, it rewards the long drive into the very narrow alley way between water and bunkers, but it punishes a slight miss more heavily than the reward of being 20 yards closer to the green for the approach shot. So, my guys worked their butts off during the practice round(s) to learn a few things: How far was it to the various hazards and things.What lines should they take off the tee that kept them short of those kinds of things.Which side of the hole do you favor with your second shot, even if you're going for the green.How did the greens react to shots:From around the greens.From the fairway.From the rough.That's all we did. We didn't keep a score. We didn't talk about which pins to attack, or which holes to attack. In our minds, every hole presented the same opportunity: a chance to get a Green in Regulation (GIR is King, after all) and a chance to make a two-putt par. Occasionally they'd hit one close (even if aiming for the center of the green), and occasionally they'd reach a par five in two, and sometimes they'd make a longer putt for a birdie. When they were out of position, I stressed getting an nGIR and playing to give themselves a reasonable par putt. Sometimes reasonable was 30 feet. Other times it was four or five. I don't think that my team necessarily hit the ball too much better than the other players on the other top two or three teams. I got to see a fair amount of their players, and they hit a lot of good shots, too. They certainly weren't 21 strokes worse (nearly three shots per player per round), or worse - the winning margin the men created for themselves. I think it came down to the GamePlan, and that is the only credit I'll take in helping them win their fifth straight AMCC Championship, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA finals in May (in Rochester, NY).
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