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  • #13188
    MadamMadam
    Keymaster

    What do you all think?

    Breaking 80 consistently is a goal every recreational golfer has. Accomplishing that doesn’t require major technical shifts, but instead, eliminating simple mistakes. Enter GOLF’s resident low-handicaps, who are here to offer some helpful advice, golfer-to-golfer.

    https://golf.com/instruction/high-handicappers-mistake-golf/

    1. They don’t take enough club
    Dylan Dethier (+3.3 handicap): High-handicappers rarely take enough club. Maybe I’m projecting — this can be true of low-handicappers, too. Max Homa had a particularly good line about this, so I’ll let him take it from here:

    “Shane [Bacon] hit a 494-yard drive, and this was a legit 494. Now the thing is, the ball was straight downwind, straight downhill, got every — he hits it far, but got every break you could get. He does NOT now go around telling people, ‘Yeah, I hit it 490.’ That’s just a story he has!

    “Where my Dad will hit one 4-iron in his life 220 yards, and then every time he’s 220 he hits 4-iron and tells people he hits 4-iron 220. It’s like, ‘Dude, you just don’t. That’s not your normal number. Yes, it could happen, but you could also play golf on a hill, you could hit it way down that hill and yes, the ball will go farther.’”

    2. They don’t know their miss
    Luke Kerr-Dineen (2.2 handicap): There’s really not a whole lot of difference between golfers who break 80 consistently and those who don’t. But there is one big one: Ask a lower handicap what their most common miss is, and they’ll usually be able to tell you pretty quickly.

    “Good shot is a draw. Miss is a block out to the right.”

    Ask someone who shoots mostly in the 90s, and the answer to the same question becomes more complicated.

    “Either a block or a hook. Occasionally I’ll top the ball.”

    And therein lies the problem. Improving your handicap is the byproduct not of how good your good shots are, but knowing where your bad ones are going. You’ll never be able to eliminate your miss. But you should have consistent way of missing the ball.

    3. They overthink shots
    Josh Sens (2.5 handicap): I rarely don’t see high handicappers overthink and over-study all shots, but especially putts. Reading them from multiple angles. Taking forever over the ball. Occasionally plum-bobbing. For most of us, those kind of forever rituals don’t help. They hurt. Play a round of speed golf and see how much better you play.

    4. They get too angry after bad shots
    Ashley Mayo (3.1 handicap): Most golfers I play with who shoot in the 80s/90s have far more exaggerated reactions to poor shots than the better golfers I play with. I think lower handicappers just understand that bad shots are a necessary evil, and that knowing how to stay calm while rebounding from them is essential to shooting lower scores.

    5. They never play for bogey
    Zephyr Melton (6.7 handicap): Play for bogey. When higher handicap players get in trouble, they rarely try to minimize damage and instead play for the hero shot. There’s no shame in pitching out and playing for bogey. The easiest way to make the jump from mid handicap to single digits is to eliminate doubles from the card.

    Easier said than done, but knowing when to take your medicine and accept bogey is a good place to start.

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by MadamMadam.
    2 users liked this post.
    #13197
    OldBogeyOldBogey
    Participant

    Mads, you did ask what we all think, so here’s my twopence.
    Most of you would know that I’m a bogey golfer. Breaking 80 has been an extremely rare event. Whilst I’ve rarely played with scratchies, I’ve often played with single figure golfers but more commonly with high handicappers.
    So, here’s my take on the above.
    1. It seems all players usually fail to take enough club and they do that very consistently.

    2. High handicappers don’t know their miss because they don’t know which of the dozens of possibilities is going to occur for their next shot. Low markers have a better idea because their golf is far more consistent and misses are uncommon.

    3. It’s the low markers who overthink, particularly on greens. They are mostly by far the slowest players, perhaps thinking they are on the tour, or there’s money riding on every shot. High handicappers just walk up to their ball, take a putt, have another one and keep going until it’s holed or they run out of shots. I see many 30 ‘cappers who could be playing off 20 if they just took a bit more care with their putts.

    4. High handicappers have usually accepted the fact that they are crap golfers and yet another stuffed shot is nothing to cry over. Low markers, on the other hand, know that a failed stroke is not something they can readily recover from score wise and this will not be a ‘good’ round, hence the dummy spit.

    5. Whether one takes their medicine and hits a safe shot out of trouble depends on the format being played. If playing stroke, play safe. If playing stableford, it depends on how far up the creek you already are and whether playing safe still provides a reasonable prospect for scoring at least one point. If playing par, it’s likely that a safe shot will result in a wipe, so why not go for it.
    The fun comes in match play when your decision on what you’ll do depends on what your opponent’s position is and at what stage the match is currently. If loss of this hole means a lost match, you have to attempt the hero shot even though success is unlikely. If you are ‘up’ in the match, then a safe shot might just get you a half.

    I think most golfers are aware of how good or bad their golf is and what they need to work on for improvement. Inconsistent drives are the prime killer of poor scores. Fix those first then see what’s next. No point in being a fantastic putter if you keep running out of strokes before getting onto the green.

    People say that nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    West Gippsland Veterans Champion 2017 & 2018
    Olinda Golf Club B Grade Champion 2018
    Warragul Country Club C Grade Champion 2019
    West Gippsland Veterans B Grade Champion 2019

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by OldBogeyOldBogey.
    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by OldBogeyOldBogey.
    1 user liked this post.
    #13201
    WeetbixWeetbix
    Participant

    Interesting that they see breaking 80 as a goal for high handicappers
    Would have thought they were trying to break 90
    If breaking 80 is a realistic opportunity for you you shouldn’t have a high handicap – low teens at worst

    Everyone fails at golf for different reasons
    I think that improving your course management is a must for breaking 80 – playing to your specific skill set
    7 over though requires more than just minimising errors – you have to score a lot of pars

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by WeetbixWeetbix.
    3 users liked this post.
    #13203
    MadamMadam
    Keymaster

    Interesting that they see breaking 80 as a goal for high handicappers
    Would have thought they were trying to break 90
    If breaking 80 is a realistic opportunity for you you shouldn’t have a high handicap – low teens at worst

    Everyone fails at golf for different reasons
    I think that improving your course management is a must for breaking 80 – playing to your specific skill set
    7 over though requires more than just minimising errors – you have to score a lot of pars

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by WeetbixWeetbix.

    No doubles or more!

    Or need heaps of birdies.

    #13204
    Avatarxrman
    Participant

    High handicappers lack consistent ball striking skills. Once they develop that skill, then it is time to develop a repeatable swing plane. That is, the player can hit a ball roughly where he is aiming. First with a few clubs, then with most, and finally the Driver!!!

    Maybe playing with equipment that is easy to master. How often do you see golfers with old gear that doesn’t suit them / or isn’t forgiving of off centre hits? ( e.g. 8 degree Drivers when they swing at 85 mph tops)

    After that all the stuff others wrote above applies.

    1 user liked this post.
    #13218
    GoldyGoldy
    Moderator

    I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with OB on a few of these points. Given that I play (or did play) every week with a group of low single-digit players, my view is the following:

    1. They don’t take enough club
    I do enjoy the “this is my 220m club” call. I did that with my 3h. I once hit it 213m. It became my 213m club.
    I think this one is fair. But can equally apply to low handicappers…but I do think is more prevalent in high handicappers.

    2. They don’t know their miss
    Also fair…mostly in that there are so many options. Having said that…I know my miss is an filthy armsy-pull left…but hey…I try not to limit myself.

    3. They overthink shots
    Hmmm…agree with OB. especially in the putting area. The amount of time and analysis that some of the lower handicap guys put into the putts is frightening. Possibly that’s why they are lower…but I digress…

    4. They get too angry after bad shots
    Again…uncomfortably…agreeing with Mr Not my Pants. Choppers know they are choppers, and generally speaking accept that they are on the handicap they are on for a reason. With Mouldy being an obvious exception. I have seen some of the best club chucks of my life since playing with the low handicappers.

    5. They never play for bogey
    Yeah…I call bullshit on this one. Most high handicappers rejoice in bogey. Most low handicappers think the round is fucked as soon as they drop a shot.

    Now…off to have a shower.

    Winner Moonah Legends 2013 Nationals
    Winner The National 2013 Nationals
    Winner 4BBB 2013 Nationals
    Winner Stink's 3 Club Challenge 2015
    Winner C grade OOM The Sands 2016
    Hole-in-one Growling Frog 14/1/17 5th hole 137m TM RBZ 5 hybrid, Srixon AD333 ball
    Growling Frog GC Matchplay Champion 2017
    Winner B grade OOM Curlewis 2018

    Low Handicap point 12.7 9/4/16

    Finally...and most importantly...
    Smoldy....when only the best will do

    6 users liked this post.
    #13233
    MadamMadam
    Keymaster

    I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with OB on a few of these points. Given that I play (or did play) every week with a group of low single-digit players, my view is the following:

    1. They don’t take enough club
    I do enjoy the “this is my 220m club” call. I did that with my 3h. I once hit it 213m. It became my 213m club.
    I think this one is fair. But can equally apply to low handicappers…but I do think is more prevalent in high handicappers.

    2. They don’t know their miss
    Also fair…mostly in that there are so many options. Having said that…I know my miss is an filthy armsy-pull left…but hey…I try not to limit myself.

    3. They overthink shots
    Hmmm…agree with OB. especially in the putting area. The amount of time and analysis that some of the lower handicap guys put into the putts is frightening. Possibly that’s why they are lower…but I digress…

    4. They get too angry after bad shots
    Again…uncomfortably…agreeing with Mr Not my Pants. Choppers know they are choppers, and generally speaking accept that they are on the handicap they are on for a reason. With Mouldy being an obvious exception. I have seen some of the best club chucks of my life since playing with the low handicappers.

    5. They never play for bogey
    Yeah…I call bullshit on this one. Most high handicappers rejoice in bogey. Most low handicappers think the round is fucked as soon as they drop a shot.

    Now…off to have a shower.

    tell us about your 73mtr club please!

    #13236
    WeetbixWeetbix
    Participant

    You know how the pros will sometimes put out a list by club of carry and total distance?

    Goldy’s version would be quite the roller coaster

    2 users liked this post.
    #13241
    GoldyGoldy
    Moderator

    You know how the pros will sometimes put out a list by club of carry and total distance?

    Goldy’s version would be quite the roller coaster

    More Scenic Railway than Big Dipper.

    Winner Moonah Legends 2013 Nationals
    Winner The National 2013 Nationals
    Winner 4BBB 2013 Nationals
    Winner Stink's 3 Club Challenge 2015
    Winner C grade OOM The Sands 2016
    Hole-in-one Growling Frog 14/1/17 5th hole 137m TM RBZ 5 hybrid, Srixon AD333 ball
    Growling Frog GC Matchplay Champion 2017
    Winner B grade OOM Curlewis 2018

    Low Handicap point 12.7 9/4/16

    Finally...and most importantly...
    Smoldy....when only the best will do

    2 users liked this post.
    #13252
    koiomkoiom
    Participant

    More Scenic Railway than Big Dipper.

    I was thinking more Mad Mouse
    Mick, on the other hand, is more House of Horrors

    3 users liked this post.
    #13255
    pylpyl
    Participant

    I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with OB on a few of these points. Given that I play (or did play) every week with a group of low single-digit players, my view is the following:

    1. They don’t take enough club
    I do enjoy the “this is my 220m club” call. I did that with my 3h. I once hit it 213m. It became my 213m club.
    I think this one is fair. But can equally apply to low handicappers…but I do think is more prevalent in high handicappers.

    2. They don’t know their miss
    Also fair…mostly in that there are so many options. Having said that…I know my miss is an filthy armsy-pull left…but hey…I try not to limit myself.

    3. They overthink shots
    Hmmm…agree with OB. especially in the putting area. The amount of time and analysis that some of the lower handicap guys put into the putts is frightening. Possibly that’s why they are lower…but I digress…

    4. They get too angry after bad shots
    Again…uncomfortably…agreeing with Mr Not my Pants. Choppers know they are choppers, and generally speaking accept that they are on the handicap they are on for a reason. With Mouldy being an obvious exception. I have seen some of the best club chucks of my life since playing with the low handicappers.

    5. They never play for bogey
    Yeah…I call bullshit on this one. Most high handicappers rejoice in bogey. Most low handicappers think the round is fucked as soon as they drop a shot.

    Now…off to have a shower.

    1. They once did a survey at a Swedish golf club and I can’t remember the exact number but it was something like 98% of approach shots were well short, not even landing on the green. Being a “low marker” myself it never ceases to amaze me when most people hit their approach shots 15-20 meters short when they are less than 100 meters from the green.

    2. Most high markers slice their tee shots, I don’t think there could be much debate about that. And they never seem to learn to tee it up on the right hand side and aim down the left. I normally hit a fade with my driver and I always tee it up on the right…

    3. Please just stop with the plumb bobbing. It is literally the most pointless and annoying thing anyone can do on a putting green.

    4. Getting too angry. I would probably say that it’s not so much the high handicappers, rather it’s the 10-15 hcp:ers that think every shot they hit should be perfect.

    5. This is very much a high handicapper thing. If I had a $ for every time I’ve watched a high handicapper attempt a completely ridiculous hero shot that I would never dream of attempting I would be a rich man by now.

    * 2019 ISG Nats Barwon Heads winner
    * Proud member of the Wollongong Swimming Club.

    #13258
    Avatarxrman
    Participant

    I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with OB on a few of these points. Given that I play (or did play) every week with a group of low single-digit players, my view is the following:

    1. They don’t take enough club
    I do enjoy the “this is my 220m club” call. I did that with my 3h. I once hit it 213m. It became my 213m club.
    I think this one is fair. But can equally apply to low handicappers…but I do think is more prevalent in high handicappers.

    2. They don’t know their miss
    Also fair…mostly in that there are so many options. Having said that…I know my miss is an filthy armsy-pull left…but hey…I try not to limit myself.

    3. They overthink shots
    Hmmm…agree with OB. especially in the putting area. The amount of time and analysis that some of the lower handicap guys put into the putts is frightening. Possibly that’s why they are lower…but I digress…

    4. They get too angry after bad shots
    Again…uncomfortably…agreeing with Mr Not my Pants. Choppers know they are choppers, and generally speaking accept that they are on the handicap they are on for a reason. With Mouldy being an obvious exception. I have seen some of the best club chucks of my life since playing with the low handicappers.

    5. They never play for bogey
    Yeah…I call bullshit on this one. Most high handicappers rejoice in bogey. Most low handicappers think the round is fucked as soon as they drop a shot.

    Now…off to have a shower.

    1. They once did a survey at a Swedish golf club and I can’t remember the exact number but it was something like 98% of approach shots were well short, not even landing on the green. Being a “low marker” myself it never ceases to amaze me when most people hit their approach shots 15-20 meters short when they are less than 100 meters from the green.

    2. Most high markers slice their tee shots, I don’t think there could be much debate about that. And they never seem to learn to tee it up on the right hand side and aim down the left. I normally hit a fade with my driver and I always tee it up on the right…

    3. Please just stop with the plumb bobbing. It is literally the most pointless and annoying thing anyone can do on a putting green.

    4. Getting too angry. I would probably say that it’s not so much the high handicappers, rather it’s the 10-15 hcp:ers that think every shot they hit should be perfect.

    5. This is very much a high handicapper thing. If I had a $ for every time I’ve watched a high handicapper attempt a completely ridiculous hero shot that I would never dream of attempting I would be a rich man by now.

    The problem with high handicappers with distance control is
    1) They have inconsistent strike= varied carry distance
    2) Many have not measured carry distance for their clubs
    3) If they have measured carry distance, they expect that they will hit that distance every time, rather than taking one extra club and swinging easy.
    4) Usually the course lay outs do not punish short shots ( no bunkers, not difficult terrain or sloped) which means a short shot isn’t punished and a high handicapper can chip on with a bump and run shot( ? accurately) and have a chance at nett par.
    5) many don’t own a GPS or range finder anyway.

    The best thing I ever did was measure each club at 25,50,75,100% swing power and keep that list with my range finder. It is a great help in getting the ball on the green from within 80 m.

    1 user liked this post.
    #13260
    BumpunRunBumpunRun
    Participant

    I’m not liking the tone that this thread has taken, all I am taking out of this is that somehow the lower handicappers are now the bad guys when the whole point is to bag out higher ones and what they do wrong.

    Let’s bring the focus back to the high hanficappers please.

    4 users liked this post.
    #13261
    MadamMadam
    Keymaster

    I’m not liking the tone that this thread has taken, all I am taking out of this is that somehow the lower handicappers are now the bad guys when the whole point is to bag out higher ones and what they do wrong.

    Let’s bring the focus back to the high hanficappers please.

    No matter what anyone thinks- lower handicappers are lower for a reason, and higher ones are not;)

    #13265
    Avatarxrman
    Participant

    I see it as a means of education, sharing of ideas that will help high handicappers identify what they can work on to improve. I have heard it all before in various forms, but it doesn’t hurt to read other golfer’s views. Most of my points above come from watching my social golf group. Some of them are serious golfers ( mid- handicappers like me ,but keen to learn and improve) and others are hit and giggle /curse golfer who don’t really want to put the work in to improve, just play for fun.

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